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of a convenient distribution of them, and the necessity of husbanding them discreetly; and then let him reflect on the anxious toil which such a task would impose on a board of the most experienced and intelligent commissioners, who, after all, would be able to discharge their office but very inadequately. Yet this object is accomplished far better than it could be by any effort of human wisdom, through the agency of men who think each of nothing but his more immediate interest; who, with that object in view, perform their respective parts with cheerful zeal, and combine unconsciously to employ the wisest means for effecting an object, the vastness of which it would bewilder them even to contemplate." They are not more conscious of dividing into many distinct parts the whole employment of providing a city with provisions, than they are of co-operating for the purpose of such division; but neither the combination of labour, nor the division of employments, is less certain for being hidden from ignorant and vulgar observers.
-Industry Essentially Social.
[EDWARD EVERETT was a writer and politician of the United States. He died in 1865. In 1845 he was Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of London, and while resident here won the esteem of all parties by the moderation of his views and his desire to maintain the friendly relations which ought ever to subsist between the two countries. Mr Everett was always a consistent labourer in the object of advancing the intelligence of the great body of the people, and delivered at various times some interesting lectures to Mechanics' Institutes, and similar associations. The following extract is from his "Lecture on the Working Men's Party," published in a collection of such discourses by the Boston Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.]
Man is not only a working being, but he is a being formed to work in society; and if the matter be carefully analysed, it will be found that civilisation, that is, the bringing men out of a
savage into a cultivated state, consists in multiplying the number of pursuits and occupations; so that the most perfect society is one where the largest number of persons are prosperously employed in the greatest variety of ways. In such a society men help each other, instead of standing in each other's way. The further this division of labour is carried, the more persons must unite, harmoniously, to effect the common ends. The larger the number on which each depends, the larger the number to which each is useful.
This union of different kinds of workmen in one harmonious society seems to be laid in the very structure and organisation of man. Man is a being consisting of a body and a soul. These words are soon uttered, and they are so often uttered, that the mighty truth which is embraced in them scarce ever engages our attention. But man is composed of body and soul. What is body? It is material substance; it is clay, dust, ashes. Look at it as you tread it unorganised beneath your feet; contemplate it when, after having been organised and animated, it is, by a process of corruption, returning to its original state. Matter, in its appearance to us, is an unorganised, inanimate, cold, dull, and barren thing. What it is in its essence, no one but the Being who created it knows. The human mind can conceive of it only as the absolute negation of qualities. And we say that the body of man is formed of the clay or dust, because these substances seem to us to make the nearest approach to the total privation of all the properties of intellect. Such is the body of man. What is his soul? Its essence is as little known to us as that of the body; but its qualities are angelic, divine. It is soul which thinks, reasons, invents, remembers, hopes, and loves. It is the soul which lives; for, when the soul departs from the body, all its vital powers cease; and it is dead—and what is the body then f
Now the fact to which I wish to call your attention is, that these two elements, one of which is akin to the poorest dust on which we tread, and the other of which is of the nature of angelic and even of divine intelligence, are, in every human being without exception, brought into a most intimate and per
fect union. We can conceive that it might have been different, God could have created matter by itself, and mind by itself. We believe in the existence of incorporeal beings, of a nature higher than man; and we behold beneath us, in brutes, plants, and stones, various orders of material nature, rising, one above another, in organisation; but none of them (as we suppose) possessing mind. We can imagine a world so constituted, that all the intellect would have been by itself, pure and disembodied; and all the material substance by itself, unmixed with mind, and acted upon by mind as inferior beings are supposed to be acted upon by angels. But in constituting our race it pleased the Creator to bring the two elements into the closest union; to take the body from the dust-the soul from the highest heaven-and mould them into one.
The consequence is, that the humblest labourer, who works with his hands, possesses within him a soul endowed with precisely the same faculties as those which in Franklin, in Newton, or Shakspere, have been the light and the wonder of the world; and, on the other hand, the most gifted and ethereal genius, whose mind has fathomed the depths of the heavens, and comprehended the whole circle of truth, is enclosed in a body subject to the same passions, infirmities, and wants as the man whose life knows no alternation but labour and rest, appetite and indulgence.
Did it stop here, it would be merely an astonishing fact in the constitution of our natures—but it does not stop here. In consequence of the union of the two principles in the human frame, every act that a man performs requires the agency both of body and mind. His mind cannot see but through the optic eye-glass; nor hear, till the drum of his ear is affected by the vibrations of the air. If he would speak, he puts in action the complex machinery of the vocal organs; if he writes, he employs the muscular system of the hands; nor can he even perform the operations of pure thought except in a healthy state of the body. A fit of the toothache, proceeding from the irritation of a nerve about as big as a cambric thread, is enough to drive an understanding capable
of instructing the world to the verge of insanity. On the other hand, there is no operation of manual labour so simple, so mechanical, which does not require the exercise of perception, reflection, memory, and judgment; the same intellectual powers by which the highest truths of science have been discovered and illustrated.
The degree to which any particular action (or series of actions united into a pursuit) shall exercise the intellectual powers on the one hand, or the mechanical powers on the other, of course depends on the nature of that action. The slave, whose life, from childhood to the grave, is passed in the field; the New Zealander, who goes to war when he is hungry, devours his prisoners, and leads a life of cannibal debauch, till he has consumed them all, and then goes to war again; the Greenlander, who warms himself with the fragments of wrecks and driftwood thrown upon the glaciers, and feeds himself with blubber ;-seem all to lead lives requiring but little intellectual action; and yet, as I have remarked, a careful reflection would show that there is not one, even of them, who does not, every moment of his life, call into exercise, though in a humble degree, all the powers of the mind. In like manner, the philosopher who shuts himself up in his cell, and leads a contemplative existence among books or instruments of science, seems to have no occasion to employ, in their ordinary exercise, many of the capacities of his nature for physical action; -although he also, as I have observed, cannot act, or even think, but with the aid of his body.
This is unquestionably true. The same Creator who made man a mixed being, composed of body and soul, having designed him for such a world as that in which we live, has so constituted the world, and man who inhabits it, as to afford scope for great variety of occupations, pursuits, and conditions, arising from the tastes, characters, habits, virtues, and even vices of men and communities. For the same reason, that, though all men are alike composed of body and soul, yet no two men probably are exactly the same in respect to either-so provision has been made by the Author of our being for an infinity of pursuits and employ
ments calling out, in degrees as various, the peculiar powers of both principles.
But I have already endeavoured to show that there is no pursuit and no action that does not require the united operation of both; and this of itself is a broad natural foundation for the union into one interest of all, in the same community, who are employed in honest work of any kind: viz., that, however various their occupations, they are all working with the same instru ments-the organs of the body and the powers of the mind.
But we may go a step further, to remark the beautiful process by which Providence has so interlaced and wrought up together the pursuits, interests, and wants of our nature, that the philosopher, whose home seems less on earth than among the stars, requires, for the prosecution of his studies, the aid of numerous artificers in various branches of mechanical industry, and in return furnishes the most important facilities to the humblest branches of manual labour. Let us take, as a single instance, that of astronomical science. It may be safely said, that the wonderful discoveries of modern astronomy, and the philosophical system depending upon them, could not have existed but for the telescope. The want of the telescope kept astronomical science in its infancy among the ancients. Although Pythagoras, one of the earliest Greek philosophers, by a fortunate exercise of sagacity, conceived the elements of the Copernican system, yet we find no general and practical improvement resulting from it. It was only from the period of the discoveries made by the telescope that the science advanced with sure and rapid progress. Now, the astronomer does not make telescopes. I presume it would be impossible for a person who is employed in the abstract study of astronomical science to find time enough to comprehend its profound investigations, and to learn and practise the trade of making glass. It is mentioned as a remarkable versatility of talent in one or two eminent observers, that they have superintended the cutting and polishing of the glasses of their own telescopes. But I presume, if there never had been a telescope till some scientific astronomer had learned to mix, melt, and mould