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implements and machines not only reduces the price of produce by reducing the expence of producing it, but it always acts in a manner similar to an amelioration of the soil, and is the cause of an increased quantity of produce in two ways--first, by enabling the farmer to get more from the same land; and second, by ena-.. bling him to cultivate land which could not otherwise be cultivated. It is as equally true as it is shameful and unjust, that the i monopoly of the Corn Laws counteracts these beneficial results to a great extent; but notwithstanding this, to which I called the attention of the reader, although J. F. has not attended to it, still, there can be no doubt that there is more manual labour to perform in agriculture than there was twenty-five years ago, and more people employed to do it. If J. F. will push his enquiries in the right direction, he will find these to be facts. But, to the number of hands employed in agriculture simply, must be added those employed in every department, from the first opening of the earth to mine for coals and ironstone, to the setting the machines in motion. J. F. should not have omitted the observation I made, namely, that I contemplated “the whole quantity of employment in every branch to which machinery is applied, including the workers in metal, machines, buildings, &c., occasioned by the use of machinery;" and not have selected one department only of a business : it is possible that machinery may in some cases have reduced the quantity of hand-labour in a particular department of a business, while it has greatly increased it in other departments, notwithstanding I have never met with a case in which it has reduced the quantity of hand-labour in any department permanently.
J. F. next alludes to the rope-makers, and to the devil, which when they applied to him nine years ago was tormenting them. I can assure him that this devil still continues to torment them, but the torments he inflicts are more imaginary than real. I suspect this is the way in which most people are tormented by the devil. Some of the leading men among the rope-makers applied to me during the last Session of Parliament, and requested my assistance in petitioning against the devil of machinery, but as they were unable to make out a good case I could not assist them. Whenever a case is made out, and this beneficent devil shall be shewn to be a malignant devil, I will do my best to have him “ laid in the Red Sea.”
Machinery for making ropes and cables and chains, used for purposes for which ropes were formerly used, has considerably increased the quantity of hand labour, and has also given rise to some new kinds of employment; namely, chain bridges, chain cables, &c. &c.; and has thus given employment to many more hands than could otherwise have been employed.
J: F. adverts to machinery used in the cotton and woollen manufactories, and asks, “Do the spinning machines in the fac
tories employ as many, or a quarter as many hands, as werë em ployed by the spinning wheel ?" And he adds, " impossible.” So far, however, from its being impossible that one-fourth as many people could be employed, the fact is that many more than the whole number of people who were employed in spinning at the time he speaks of are now employed in spinning processes, and in all the various departments of the cotton manufacture, in consequence of the use of machinery, employment has been provided for, at the least, forty times as many people as it employed seventy years ago, and probably for upwards of twenty times as many people as could have been employed, had not machinery been introduced and improved from time to time as it has been.
J. F. expresses a wish that I would explain more fully and clearly the results of my enquiries. I assure him I am desirous of doing so, for I am of opinion that correct information on these subjects must be useful to the working people whose welfare I have much at heart, but the time I can give to these subjects is not so much as I could wish, neither is there much desire among those in whose hands is the periodical press to countenance doctrines which have not as yet become popular. Only a few days ago I sent an essay to a provincial paper on machinery, wages, and population; three subjects which cannot well be separated when either are spoken of. I will send one of these papers to Mr. Carlile for J, F. who will then see that I have anticipated his wish to some extent. It is a rule but too generally observed among those who publish newspapers and other periodical works, to refrain from copying from one anothers publications, but Mr. Carlile will probably give the essay a place in his “ Republican,' should he conceive that it is either likely to be of use, or to produce such explanations as may be of use to the working people.
J. F. says, “ F. P. must excuse me if I think the jargon of good in principle and bad in practice' had been overlooked, meaning, that I ought not to have taken the advantage Mr. Single gave me by using a wrong word.” J. F. sup.. poses the words used by Mr. Single should have been
good in theory, bad in practice,' and that I am therefore cavilling at a word. He does not know how incapable I am of doing this." Had the words been" good in theory, bad in practice,” they would not have been less a jargon. A measure which has been found bad in practice could not have been good in theory. If J. F. will read Mr. Bentham's book on Fallacies, published by Hunt in Tavistock-street in 1824, he will not lose his time, and he will there find the fallacy-good in theory, bad in practice exploded. In the meantime, if he will ask himself why was it bad in practice? he will be compelled to answer-because it was bad in theory? ..J. F. asks, do Mechanics’ Institutions afford the best means of acquiring scientific and literary knowledge. I reply, that I can
not say they do, because I do not myself know what are the best means of acquiring such branches of knowledge, but I do know that they, and particularly the London Mechanics’ Institution, are powerful instruments for the performance of these services. J. F. says, “ lectures are generally dull and soporific." If this be so generally, then is the London Mechanics’ Institution preeminent, for there the hundreds of auditors are neither “ dull nor soporific,” so well adapted to the hearers are the lectures, so interesting and so useful, that just the contrary effects to those J. F. describes take place. I hope he will go and hear some them, he will see the audience, cheerfully attending to the lecturer, imbibing knowledge, and being furnished with motives for pushing various enquiries ; he will see them stimulated to attend the schools, and he will, I am sure, agree with me, that it is hardly possible to extol this valuable institution too highly.
Sheffield, July 23, 1826. As the eternity of man and of other identities has its advocates, and more particularly among some of your friends and correspondents, I am induced to make a few remarks on the subject, with a view of eliciting further illustration. The eternity of any thing can only be ascertained (to use such an expression) by comparing one thing with another; for if we see progression increase-or decrease in any existing identity, there is reason to suppose it once commenced; and, on the coutrary, if we observe any thing in existence that exhibits no marks of progression-increase-or decrease, what proof is there of such ever beginning to be? The increase or decrease in any identity must destroy its eternity'.
Matter, I take to be very different from its identities: the former, apparently, eternal; and the latter created in time, every thing that ceases to give evidence of its once beginning, though we may not be capable of demonstrating its creation. There are identities which we observe to commence and to cease; but we never saw or heard of matter either commencing or ceasing to be under any circumstances; and this alone establishes a difference in their manner of existence. The eternity of the globe, we inhabit, in its present identical
Etemity is a word void of all correct application either as to matter or its identities it is a hypothetical word the use of which can only be admitted as a relation to age or as the extent of age. It is the maximum of age in relation to all
form, dimensions, and situation, accompanied with its animal, vegetable, and mineral productions, is certainly subjected to much doubt; for geologists and naturalists demonstrate the regular arrangements of the mineral and vegetable substances. Toulmin, though an advocate for their eternity', says, speaking of the Egyptians writing on the rocks of granite, instead of books :
the very materials of the pyramids, the written rocks themselves, the mountains upon which such engravings are visible, the countries in which they are situated, and even the substances constituting the world and the universe itself, have each of them been as prue gressively formed, and are subject to as gradual dissolution and decay, as were the engravers of the rocks, the pyramids and the mountains:” and, says he, “pature is progressive in the production of every species of earth, stone and substance existing :” and, “ the animals, the vegetables, the earth, the stones, the mineral, alike take their origin in the gradual progress of time.” Can such language convince any man of the eternity of identities ? Aristottle maintains, that all terrestrial bodies are formed from four ele. 'ments — earth, water, air and fire; and yet, after this concession, he declares man eternal. Dr. Watson*
" that the elements of matter never had a beginning, that they are eternal, that man, being a compound of the elements of matter, never had a beginning, therefore, man must be eternal also.”. What are we to understand by the words being " formed" and " being a compound," but that the beings that have relation to these words are effects, consequently not eternal, equally as consistent should we be, in saying that St. Paul's Church, London, is an edifice formed from the elements; or that Mr. Hunt's ink or blacking are compounds of the elements of matter ; therefore, both the building and the liquids" must be eternal.” To say that identities are eternal, is as much as to say, effects are as ancient as causes. Viewing matter as the eternal cause, and every identity one of its effects, may we not imagine every animal, vegetable and mineral in existence extinct, and the elements of matter remaining? But we cannot even imagine the extension of matter and the identities remaining; consequently, all identities are dependent, and, it follows, not from eterniiy; for whatever is eternal must be independent of every other existence.
The phenomena of nature presents the composition and decomposition of animal, vegetable and mineral substances, and that the decomposition of one substance is the production or support of another; for instance, there are minerals that are fully demonstrated to be composed of animal and vegetable remains, which could not have existed prior to the animal and vegetable sub
ng Toulmin distinguishes between the eterity of matter and the eternity of succession in its identities. He inf the one from the other.-R. C.
• Republican, vol. 9, page 42.
*stances of which they are composed. When we consider, that
chemists inform us, that the union of a certain proportion of two gases, is a substance we term water, that this water united to another gas, will be an earthy substance, and this last substance in conjunction with others will have other effects, through causes of which we are ignorant, may be capable of giving existence to other identities, through an infinite variety of circumstances; for instance, the diamond, the hardest known substance is produced by the power of nature assimilating a simple fluid carbon gas ; when such a proof as this is adduced, that the jewel-like substance is a thing produced in time, and that nature is the cause, why doubt that matter is not capable of all the effects we behold, or at least, why not shew a more efficient cause, or some trifling effect from some other but a real cause.
The eternity of man is attended with much difficulty: Geological research is favourable to many revolutions and changes in the situation or constitution of our globe, before the existence of man; for, according to geologists, the animals and vegetables, with which the earth is at present covered, could not have lived ‘at the period when the transition rocks were forming.” The increase of population and the progress of arts and sciences are certain proofs of man not being eternal'. May we not take a single family or a nation, and according to history, trace their manner of descent from some other family or nation ? Every descent must inevitably reduce the number in existence, and to reduce in number or in quantity, equally destroys eternity. But even this cannot be made to apply to matter, and surely, because we cannot account for or trace down to the first formed man, it is no proof to the contrary. But, if, dependence is to be placed on history, we may say to the advocates for the eternity of man, that, when the period which we have partially become acquainted with, be multiplied by 100 a 1000 or ten hundred thousand millions of millions, it would still leave the years so numbered, as an inconceivable point, when compared with eternity. If he were eternal, why had we not intelligent ages long before we have any account of them? Why had not the art of printing, that all-sufficient science for the increase of intelligent beings, been perfected before the 15th century of our era ? Why were astronomy and chemistry left, as it were, to be perfected by the present generation? Why not historians long before those with which we are only faintly acquainted? What are the few thousands of years known to have elapsed in comparison with eternity? What mighty wonders in acquirements are we not witnesses of, that, a few years since, were scarcely discernable? Such questions, I am
* It is an argument abont nothing. The human animal might be on other planets, and there the matter of age loses itself.-R. C.
· Eternity, (not) thou pleasing, dreadful thought!" but, silly word, that hast no meaning. R. c.