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I will only add, Public Sentiment, as it now stands, in some, if not in most parts of our country, must needs be rectified; else idleness and dissipation will continue to gather numbers and strength. So long as an idle, worthless fellow-perchance a gambler and sharperby means of a fine coat, a lily hand, and graceful bows, is able to take rank of an industrious, worthy young farmer or mechanic, who gets an honest living by the sweat of his face-it will be in vain to denounce idleness, or to recommend industry. Under such circumstances, young men, whose ambition is more than a match for their moral principle, very naturally turn idlers, or set out to live by their wits; well knowing that if they can only keep up a gentlemanly appearance, by any means, they will be much better received, and rank much higher, than if they were plain, industrious, laboring men.
Lo, a Ball! a splendid ball.And who enters now? Who is he, that all the gentlemen greet so heartily, and all the ladies notice so readily? It is Mr. Flash, an itinerant, who, without funds, without industry, without any visible means, always dresses in high taste, and has, at his finger's end, every punctilio of fashionable manners—he is quite the gentleman !
Of productive labor, other than that of the hands.
“KNOWLEDGE is power.” This was a favorite maxim of Bacon, so eminent in the ranks of philosophy.
The weakness of man is wonderfully strengthened by his knowledge. It is by his superior knowledge that he gains dominion over the various races of animals, of which many are much stronger and swifter; over the stubborn earth, and over the powerful elements, Fire, Air and Water. Naked came he into the world, and naked must he ever have remained, had not the inspiration of the Almighty given him understanding, and furnished him with motives to
employ this noble faculty in an infinite variety of use
Man is feeble of body: his principal strength lies in his mind. Apart from his superior intellectual faculties, he would be one of the most helpless, forlorn, and wretched animals, upon the face of the earth.
The invaluable worth of knowledge, and of education by which it is acquired, has ever been, in all civilized countries, the standing theme of profound discussion, or, more often, of splendid but empty declamation; so that only scanty gleanings are left to the modern pen. There is, however, one respect in which the subject has been neither exhausted nor frequently touched; it is the intimate connection between knowledge and Productive Labor.
Productive Labor, so essential to the sustenance and support of the general community of man, is twofolddirect and indirect.
Direct productive labor consists of that bodily exercise by means of which we are furnished with food and rainent, and with all the various necessaries and elegancies of life. By this it is that life is sustained and decorated; and it is in this way that the great bulk of mankind is necessarily employed. Those who labor with their hands, in husbandry and in the various useful arts, are as it were the strong pillars that support the living world. But, then, they are not entitled to arrogate the honor to themselves exclusively :—“The hand cannot say to the eye, I have no need of thee."
Indirectly, there are, in the common vineyard, productive and efficient laborers, other than those who work with their hands. They are the ones who invent, conceive, plan, guard, and regulate; so that, after all, Mind is an essential and most eminent operator throughout the whole
process. I will barely suggest a few particulars; leaving it to the reader to enlarge upon them, and to combine them with others which are alike obvious.
Very little would it signify, though we had hands to labor, if we knew not how to use them; nor should we know how to use them skilfully, but for the inven
tions of those who have gone before us.
Without the aid of the arts, our hands must be idle, or work to no purpose. In all the multifarious occupations that are now going on, whether upon land or water, whether for the sustenance or the adornment of life, there is a never-ceasing dependence upon the arts. And how were the arts explored, and how brought to the wonderful state of perfection which they are now in? By intense labor of the Mind. From one generation to another, many who labored not with their hands, have labored abundantly, and most efficiently and usefully with their intellects. Their inventions and improvements have directed and guided manual labor, and have facilitated and abridged it in a marvellous manner and degree. And assuredly, theirs is to be regarded as belonging to the highest class of productive labor;
assuredly, he that contributes to the general stock of x knowledge in the arts, is a benefactor of the public, ad and is entitled to the gratitude of all; assuredly, the
laboring man is bound to encourage the arts, which so mightily aid the work of his hands. Nor ought he to think lightly of mere science; it is the mother of the arts, and, in sundry instances, it has, undesignedly and unconsciously, led to the discovery of them. The stargazers of ancient Chaldea never once dreamed of the vastly important practical purposes to which the world, in succeeding ages, would apply the knowledge of astronomy.
Again, it is to be considered and distinctly remembered, that the laboring class spend their strength for nought, unless the fruits of their industry, be securely guarded froin plunder and robbery, and against the hand of rapaciousness, in whatever manner, or under whatever guise it may assail them. Hence, of necessity, there must be government, laws and courts of justice; and of necessity, also, there must be lawgivers, executive and judicial officers, advocates, and a whole catalogue of other denominations. Now all these must be paid out of the common stock. But, provided they discharge their duties ably and faithfully, and are content with a reasonable recompense, they are not less worthy of their hire, than are manual laborers. By no
means are they to be regarded as drones in the hive. As they are the necessary guardians over the general treasure which manual labor accumulates, .so they have a right to a share of it--at the same time, on the part of the general community, special care must be taken lest the guardians of its rights and its property, like the ravenous sons of old Eli, should make such free use of the flesh-hook,* as to leave little else to the commonalty but the broth.
I might proceed to name several other classes of laborers, whose labors, though rather mental than manual, are indirectly productive to a great amount; but these particulars I must wave, except one.
The teachers of our common schools, as well as of the higher ones, have a fair-claim upon the public as productive laborers of pre-eminent usefulness." Including both sexes, their number far exceeds that of all the other learned classes taken together. Without the encouragement of honorary distinctions, with but moderate, and too often such inadequate stipends, as leave them in the bleak and blighting shades of poverty, considerably upwards, perhaps, of twenty thousand, including only the section of our country north of the Potomac, are sedulously employing what abilities God hath given them--abilities not unfrequently of respectable grades-in an exterminating warfare against ignorance, waged solely by means of dispensing instruction to childhood and youth.
This is an invaluable standing army, which, so far from endangering public liberty, is, of all means, the most conducive to its preservation : a literary corps, which the country is bound by every tie of duty and interest to cherish and reward. The lamp of learning, as respects the public at large, would become extinct, were not these numerous and busy hands perpetually trimming it. Yes: abolish this single profession, and the Dark Age would speedily return.
Of schoolmasters and schoolmistresses, how arduous. is the task! how unremitted the toil! how immense the benefits which their silent, and too often unregarded labors produce! They stand midway as it were be
* First book of Samuel, second chapter.
tween the parent and the child, and have strong hold on both. They take mankind in the bud, which they cherish, and expand into faculties full-blown. They feed the mind with knowledge at the season when it most needs to be fed, from incapacity to feed itself. The intellectual efforts of others are chiefly directed to mature age; but these “gather the lambs in their arms." Under their hands, character forms and developes. They sow and water the seed, which, in ininds docile, well-disposed and diligent, springs up, and ripens to a plentiful harvest.
The tree that is clustered with rich fruit, and far ex. cels “the trees of the wood,” is indebted to the skilful hand which reared the plant ;-and so, some of the greatest men that have trod the stage of mortality, felt their indebtedness to the instructers of their puerile minds, and ever remembered them with high respect. Edmund Burke, at the period of his greatest renown, delighted to visit the venerable schoolmaster who had had the tuition of his boyish years.
Contempt of this profession springs from gross ignorance, or absurd pride, and often from a pitiful compound of both; for it is entrusted with the richest treasure of the nation, On the other hand, nothing more clearly proves that a people are wise, than that their schools are sufficiently numerous, discreetly governed, and well taught, and the faithful teachers held in hon
I will venture to add, if there are any classes of debts which may be properly distinguished by the denomination of debts of honor, one of these is the dues to schoolmasters and schoolmistresses: there are no debts more sacred, or which should be paid more willingly, and with greater punctuality.
A sorrow-soothing Scottish Legend. OLD age is justly considered as situated on the confines of the grave; and, of course, the ravages that