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of manual drudgery, and being thus advanced a rank higher in the human species, may become eligible to many employments in which the understanding has a share, and which so greatly abound in a wealthy and civilized country.
Another British writer, whose work may be styled the text book of statesmen, thus complains of the deleterious effects on society and civilization, which arise from the drudgery incident to the manipulations of extensive manufactories, which may be greatly alleviated, and in some instances, almost annihilated, by labor-saving machinery. “In the progress of the division of . labor, the employment of the greater part of those who live by labor, that is of the great body of the people, comes to be confined to a few very simple operations ; frequently to one or two. But the understandings of the greater part of men are necessarily formed by their ordinary employments. whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects too, are perhaps, always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding, or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties, which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exercise, and becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become. The torpor of his mind renders him not only incapable of relishing or bearing a part in
* Balmanno's Introduction to Jones' Law of Bailments.
but of conceiving any generous, noble, or tender sentiment, and consequently of forming any just judgment of many, even of the ordinary duties of private life. Of the
great and extensive interests of his country, he is altogether incapable of judging; and unless very particular pains have been taken to render him otherwise, he is equally incapable of defending his country in war. *
The ancients paid divine honours to the inventors, patrons, and improvers of those arts, which have a tendency to ameliorate the condition of mankind. Most of their deities were mortals, who had no better claim to an apotheosis than what originated in their having distinguished themselves by their ingenuity and industry in those arts, which too many of our modern patricians deem beneath the notice of
any but persons destined to fill the lowest ranks in society. Bacchus was a successful cultivator of the vine; Apollo, Minerva, Ceres, Vulcan, &c. were personages famous for inventions and improvements in agriculture, and other useful and ornamental arts. Virgil assigns the highest place in the Elysian fields to those who improved human life by the invention of arts;
“ Inventas qui vitam excoluere per artes."
In Egypt the priests maintained their ascendency over the common people, by blending useful knowledge with the grossest superstition. They were conversant with celestial motions, and were supposed, by the populace to have some influence in causing those heavenly
* Smith's Wealth of Nations,
phenomena, which their science enabled them to predict.* The Egyptians should seem to have been masters of many useful arts, which have been lost and buried in the rubbish of time. No mechanical powers, by any mode of application with which the moderns are acquainted, could have enabled them to rear those stupendous monuments of useless ingenuity, and ill directed industry, which have bid defiance to the
of time, and seem destined to endure till the dissolution of the “great globe itself, and all which it inherits.”
“ In Greece," says an elegant historian, “ tradition mentions the original production of the olive, the first culture of the vine, and even the first sowing of corn. The first use of mills for grinding corn is also recorded. The knowledge of the cultivation and use of the olive, of the preparation of a lasting food from milk, by converting it into cheese, and the domestication of bees for their honey and wax, was said to have been brought from Africa by Aristous : and so important was the information to the wild tribes of hunters, who first occupied Greece, that Aristous had the fame of being
Something similar has been observed by modern travellers. When Mr. Bruce arrived at Chendi, he found the people “much alarmed at a phenomenon, which, though it occurs every four years, had by some strange inadvertency, never been observed even in this serene sky. The planet Venus appeared shining with an undiminished light all the day. The people flocked to me from all quarters to know what it meant, and when they saw my telescope and quadrant, could not be persuaded but that the star had become visible by some correspondence with me, and for my use." Bruce's Travels, Vol. iv. p. 531. In China the prediction of eclipses still continues a powerful engine of government. Staunton's Embassy, Vol. ii.
the son of Apollo, the god of science; the herdsmen and rustic nymphs, among whom he had been educated, were raised, in idea, to beings above human condition, and he was reported to have been himself immortal. The goddess of arts, Minerva, according to the oldest Athenian author from whom any thing remains to us, though reputed the peculiar patroness of Athens, was born in Africa, but deified by the gratitude of Greece."*
The patronage of Pericles, combined with other favoring circumstances, gave Athens a pre-eminence in the arts, which made the inhabitants of a diminutive, and naturally barren territory, the masters of Greece, the terror and admiration of cotemporary nations, and caused her to be hailed as the arbitress of taste by all succeeding ages. The whole population of that petty but powerful republic, in the height of its splendor, scarcely amounted to thirty thousand families of free subjects. Yet Athens reached a degree of perfection in the fine arts, which all succeeding ages have attempted to imitate, but never have been able to equal. This excellence was the consequence of the
patronage afforded to artists by a great man, who at that time presided over the destinies of the republic. the Abbe Millot, "gave life to the whole, and the Athenians for a couple of ages, continued to produce the most elegant master pieces. Architecture erected those superb monuments, whose delicate proportions
“ Pericles,” says
* Mitford's History of Greece.
enchant the eyes, while the enormous Egyptian masses can only serve to strike with astonishment.”
“ Before the time of Pericles," continues the same author, “ sculpture had produced nothing but clumsy shapeless figures. The Grecian statues, like those of the Egyptians, had their arms hanging down, adhering close to the body, with the legs and feet joined to one another, without gesture, attitude or elegance." Phidias, Mycon, Polyctetus, Lysippus, and Praxitiles, flourished as sculptors. Polygnotus, * Apollodorus, Zeuxis, Pamphilus, Timanthes, and Apelles became immortal for their skill in painting, and the labors of these artists, together with the eulogies of the historian, the orator, and the poet, were at once the incentive and the reward of those astonishing feats of valor and displays of patriotism, which have excited the admiration of all succeeding ages.
Among the successors of Alexander the Great, we find Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, a commander, celebrated as a warrior, and no less renowned for his mathematical and mechanical science. 6 He had an inventive genius ; and it may be justly said that curiosity and a fine turn of mind for the sciences were inseparable from him. He never employed his natural industry in frivolous and insignificant amusements, like
* Polygnotus received the thanks of the council of the Amphyctyons, in a public decree, which entitled him to have his expences defrayed wherever he travelled, for having painted gratis the story of the Trojan wars in one of the Porticos at Athens.