« ÎnapoiContinuați »
out more careful examination, when the labourers who practise them work in different places. In a pin-factory, where ten men produce forty-eight thousand pins in a day, the co-operation of those ten labourers is as evident as the division into separate parts of the whole business performed by their united labour. The co-operation, on the contrary, which takes place between those pin-makers and the labourers who provide them with metal, tools, fire, clothes, and food, is not to be discovered without reflection; and it would, moreover, be a hard task for the most enlightened philosopher to reckon the immense number of persons who co-operate before a single pin can be made and brought to market. “The woollen coat,” says Adam Smith, "" which covers the day-labourer, as coarse and rough as it may appear, is the produce of the joint labour of a great number of workmen.” Joint or united labour is another word for co-operation. If, “without the assistance and co-operation of many thousands, the very meanest person in a civilized country could not be provided, even according to what we very falsely imagine the very easy and simple manner in which he is commonly accommodated,” who shall venture to form an estimate of the number of people who combine their labour before the inhabitants of a city in Europe, at the present time, are supplied with all the useful and agreeable objects which they enjoy? The degree of combination of labour, or co-operation which is requisite for supplying a city with food alone, has been pointed out by Dr. Whately, with his usual felicity. "Let any one," says he, "propose to himself the problem of supplying with daily provisions of all kinds such a city as our metropolis, containing above a million of inhabitants. . . .. Now let any one consider the problem in all its bearings, reflecting on the enormous and fluctuating number of persons to be fed; the immense quantity and variety of provisions to be furnished; the importance 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 inipose 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 cooperating 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.
Lucas. [RICHARD LUCAS, D.D., Prebendary of Westminster, was the author of a popular book entitled an • Inquiry after Happiness, from which the following extract is taken. He also published Practical Christianity,' and Sermons,' extending to five volumes. He lived in the early part of the last century. The following extract from the Preface to the Inquiry after Happiness,' is a charming illustration of the character of this amiable divine :
“It has pleased God that in a few years I should finish the more pleasant and delightful part of life, if sense were to be the judge and standard of pleasure; being confined (I will not say condemned), by well-nigh utter blindness, to retirement and solitude. In this state conversation has lost much of its former air and briskness. Business (wherein I could never pretend to any great address) gives me now more trouble than formerly, and that, too, without the usual despatch or success. Study (which is the only employment left me) is clogged with this weight and incumbrance, that all the assistance I can receive from without must be conveyed by another's sense, not my own; which it may easily be believed are instruments or organs as ill fitted, and as awkwardly managed by me, as wooden legs and hands by the maimed.
* In this case, should I affect to procure myself a decent funeral, and leave an honourable remembrance of me behind, should I struggle to rescue myself from that contempt to which this condition (wherein I may seem lost to the world and myself) exposes me, should I ambitiously affect to have my name march in the train of those All (though not all equally) great ones-Homer, Appius, Cn. Aufidius, Didymus, Walkup, Père Jean l'Aveugle, &c., all of them eminent for their service and usefulness, as for their affliction of the same kind with mine; even this might seem almost a commendable infirmity; for the last thing a mind truly great and philosophical puts off is, the desire of glory. But this treatise oweth neither its conception
nor birth to this principle; for, besides that I know my own insufficiency too well to flatter myself with the hopes of a romantic immortality from any performance of mine, in this ingenious and learned age, I must confess I never had a soul great enough to be acted on by the heroic heat which the love of fame and honour hath kindled in
I have ever loved the security and contentment of privacy and retirement, almost to the guilt of singularity and affectation.
But the truth is plainly this: the vigour and activity of my mind, the health and strength of my body (being now in the flower of my age) continuing unbroken under this affliction, I found that, if I did not provide some employment that might entertain it, it would weary out itself with fruitless desires of, and vain attempts after, its wonted objects; and so that strength and vivacity of nature, which should render my state more comfortable, would make it much more intolerable.
I confess, my zeal for public good, by the propagation and endearment of divine truths, was less fervent in me than could well become the particular obligations of my profession, or the common ones which every Christian, in proportion to his talents, lies under. I was almost induced to believe, that this chastisement, which had removed me from the service of the altar, did at the same time discharge me from all duty owing to the public: but my good friend, Mr. Lamb, revived the dying sparks of a decaying zeal, and restored me to a proper sense of my duty in this point; for whether by design, or by providence governing chance, I know not (for he never seemed to address or design the discourse particularly to me), he had ever and anon in his mouth this excellent principle, that the life of man is to be esteemed by its usefulness and serviceableness in the world. A sober reflection upon this wrought me up to a resolution strong enough to contemn all the difficulties which the loss of my sight could represent to me in an enterprize of this nature. Thus you see on what principle I became engaged in this work: I thought it my duty to set myself some task, which might serve at once to divert my thoughts from a melancholy application on my misfortune, and entertain my mind with such a rational employment as might render me most easy to myself and most serviceable to the world. Being now abundantly convinced that I am not released from that duty I owe that body of which I am still a member, by being cut off from a great part of the pleasure and advantages of it; therefore, like one that truly loves his country, when no way else is left him, he fights for it on his stumps; so will I ever, in the remains of a broken body, express, at least, my affection for mankind, and breathe out my last gasp in their service.")
What dost thou mean by fortune? If mere chance, then to envy the lot of others, or murmur at thy own, is folly; if providence, then it is impiety; for whatever goodness, guided by unerring wisdom, doth, must be so well done that it cannot be mended; and whatever is merely in the power of a blind, giddy, and inconstant humour (which is the notion by which men choose to express fortune) can neither be prevented, fixed, or regulated. But what is it, secondly, thou dost put in the power of fortune ? the understanding and liberty of men's minds; wisdom, temperance, industry, courage, and in one word, virtue? If thou dost not, she has no influence on thy happiness, she cannot prevent thy attainment of it, nor bereave thee of it when attained. If thou dost, thou dost enlarge the empire of fortune too far; let her rule and insult over soldiers, courtiers, lovers, factious demagogues and time-servers, but not over philosophers : let those who are her minions be her slaves ; let her dispose of money, lands, farms, commissions, benefices, honours, graces, fame; nay, if you will, crowns and sceptres too; virtue, and happiness, and souls are too precious commodities to be the sport and traffic of Fortune. Solomon observed long ago,
Wisdom cries out, she uttereth her voice in the streets; she cries out in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates; in the city she utters her words.” Prov. i. Our Saviour in the great day of the feast, cried, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink," John vii., which is an invitation of the same nature with that of the prophet—“Every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat, buy wine and milk without money, and without price.” Isaiah lv. This ever was, and ever will be true; a great fortune is not necessary for the attainment of faith, hope, or charity; and he that is endowed with these cannot be miserable: you may learn the whole system of divine and important truths; you may acquit yourself with all the beauty and enjoyments of virtue at a very cheap rate; and you may learn temperance, fortitude, justice, modesty, constancy, patience, contempt of the world, without the assistance of much more wealth than will serve to feed and clothe you: and canst thou not be content with these possessions ? is not this a sort of merchandize to be preferred before that of fine gold?
I know the greater part of those who accuse their fortune of misery do at least pretend that their condition and circumstances of life are so incommodious, that they have not time to attend to the great interest of the soul, or at least not with that application which they should
Alas ! thus not the mean only, but almost all talk, from the porter to the prince : the circumstances of one are too strait, too narrow; of another too full of trouble, because too full of state ; one complains that he is withdrawn from his great end, by the many allurements and sensual temptations to which his rank and quality in the world expose him; another, that he is daily fretted and indisposed by the little cross accidents and the rugged conversation which he is necessarily obliged to bear with ; one complains of too much business, another of too little; the hurry and multitude of things distracts the one, infidel fears and anxious despondencies the other ; one complains that his acquaintance and friends are too numerous, and intrench too far upon his precious hours; another is querulous, melancholy, and peevish, because he looks upon himself either for his meanness neglected, or for his misfortune deserted and forsaken ; company
is burdensome to the one, and solitude to the other. Thus all conditions are full of complaints, from him that trudges on his clouted shoe, to him who can scarce mention the manners or the fortunes of the multitude without some expressions of contumely and disdain. Thou fool! dost thou not see that all these complaints are idle contradictions ? for shame, correct the wantonness of thy humour, and thou wilt soon correct thy fortune : learn to be happy in every state, and every place : learn to enjoy thyself, to know and value the wealth that is in thine own power, I mean wisdom and goodness: learn to assert the sovereignty and dignity of thy soul. Methinks that, if philosophy could not, pride and indignation might conquer fortune. It is beneath the dignity of a soul, that has but a grain of sense, to make chance, and winds, and waves, the arbitrary disposers of his happiness; or, what is worse, to depend upon some mushroom upstart, which a chance smile raised out of his turf and rottenness, to a condition of which his mean soul is so unequal that he himself fears and wonders at his own height. Oh, how I hug the memory of those honest heathens, who, in a ragged gown and homely cottage, bade defiance to fortune, and laughed at those pains and hazards, the vanity and pride of men, not their misfortune, drove them to! Men may call this pride or spite in them; as the beggarly rabble doth usually envy the fortune it doth despair of: but there were a great many of these who laid by envied greatness, to enjoy thiş