« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
Hen. Pray give me an instance of a manufacture.
Fa. The making of watches is a manufacture: the silver, iron, gold, or whatever else is used in it, are produce tions, the materials of the work ; but it is by the wonderful art of man that they are wrought into the numberless wheels and springs of which this complicated machine is composed.
Hen. Then is there not as much art in making a watch as a picture? Does not the head work?
Fa. Certainly, in the original invention of watches, as much or more, than in painting; but when once invented, the art of watch-making is capable of being reduced to a mere mechanical labour, which may be exercised by any man of common capacity, according to certain precise rules, when made familiar to him by practice. This, painting is not.
Hen. But, my dear father, making of books surely requires a great deal of thinking and study; and yet I remember the other day at dinner a gentleman said that Mr. Pica had manufactured a large volume in less than a fortnight.
Fa. It was meant to convey a satirical · remark on his book, because it was compiled from other authors, from whom he had taken a page in one place, and a page in another; so that it was not produced by the labour of his brain, but of his hands. Thus you heard your mother complain that the London cream was manufactured ; which was a pointed and concise way of saying that the cream was not what it ought to be, or what it pretended to be ; for cream when ge. nuine is a pure production ; but when mixed up and adulterated with flour and isinglass, and I know not what, it becomes a Manufacture. much as to say, art has been here where
It was as
it has no business; where it is not beneficial, but hurtful. A great deal of the delicacy of language depends upon an accurate knowledge of the specific meaning of single terms, and a nice attention to their relative propriety.
Hen. Have all nations manufactures?
Fa. All that are in any degree cultivated; but it very often happens that countries naturally the poorest have manufactures of the greatest extent and variety.
Hen. Why so ?
Fa. For the same reason, I apprehend, that individuals, who are rich without any labour of their own, are seldom so industrious and active as those who depend upon their own exertions: thus the Spaniards, who possess the richest gold and silver mines in the world, are in want of many conveniences of life which are enjoyed in London and Amsterdam.
Hen. I can comprehend that ; I believe if my uncle Ledger were to find a gold mine under his warehouse, he would soon shut up shop.
Fa. I believe so. It is not, however, easy to establish Manufactures in a very poor nation ; they require science and genius for their invention, art and contrivance for their execution; order, peace, and union, for their flourishing; they require a number of men to combine together in an undertaking, and to prosecute it with the most patient industry; they require, therefore, laws and government for their protection. If you see extensive Manufactures in any nation, you may be sure it is a civilized nation, you may be sure property is accurately ascertained and protected. They require great expences for their first establishment, costly machines for shortening manual labour, and money and credit for purchasing materials
from distant countries. There is not a single Manufacture of Great Britain which does not require, in some part or other of its process, productions from the different parts of the globe, oils, drugs, varnish, quicksilver, and the like: it requires, therefore, ships and a friendly intercourse with foreign nations to transport commodities, and exchange productions. We could not be a manufacturing, unless we were also a commercial nation. They require time to take root in any place, and their excellence often depends upon some nice and delicate circumstance; a peculiar quality, for instance, in the air or water, or some other local circumstance not easily ascertained. Thus, I have heard that the Irish women spin better than the English, because the moister temperature of their climate makes their skin more soft and their fingers more flexible: thus again we cannot dye so