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MONTHLY RECORD.

Page.

75, 254, 348, 440, 528
350

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530

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Baldwin, E.-Annals of Yale College,
Belknap, Rev. Jeremy-History of New-
Hampshire,
Bigelow, Rev. Andrew-Travels in Mal-
ta, etc.

Campbell, William W.-Annals of Tryon
County, New-York,
Cheever, G. B.-American Common Place
Book of Poetry,

88
354
357

441

173
351

170

89

447

91

533

269
88

Cobb, Lyman-Critical Review of N. Web-
ster's series of Books,
Davis, Daniel-Precedents of Indictments, 444
Deane, Samuel-History of Scituate, 536
Dilloway, Charles K.-Roman Antiquities,
and Ancient Mythology,
Dutchman's Fireside,
Evarts,Jeremiah-Tribute to the Memory of, 265
Everett, Edward-Lecture on the Impor-
ance of Scientific Knowledge,
Featherstonhaugh,G.W.-Monthly Journal
of Geology and Natural Science,
Felton,C. C.-Lecture on Classical Learning,174
Follen, Charles-Inaugural Discourse, 445
Grund, Francis J.-Elementary Treatise on

259

542

Geometry,

Goodrich, S. G.-Token, for 1832,
Griffin, Rev. Edmund D.-Remains of,
Hale, Nathan-Epitome of Geography,
Hodges, R. M.-Sermon on the Death of
Rev. John Reed,

267

175

Huntington, Rev. Daniel-Triumphs of Faith, 86
Jones, James A.-Haverhill, a tale,
Lewis, Alonzo-Poems,
Native Bards,

269
171
83

173
356

442

268

Newman, Professor-Lecture on Rhetoric,
Newhall, Isaac-Letters to J. Pickering on
the authorship of Junius,
Oliver, Benjamin L.-Law Summary,
Palfrey, J. G.-Oration on the Fourth of
July,
Puritans, Tales of,
Reed, Rev. John-Sermon on his Death, 267

172
172

270

270

Sawyer, M. E.-Treatise on Fever,
Spring, Gardner--Tribute to the Memory
of J. Evarts,

African Colony,
Ancient Remains,
Anthracite Coal,
Algiers,
Arkansas Springs,
Audubon,
Boot making,
Black Snake,
Cemeteries,

Cottonier,
Cherokees,
Domestic Silk,

Story, Joseph-Lecture before the Me-
chanic Institute,

Story, Joseph-Address on the Dedication
of Mount Auburn,

Sullivan, William-Moral Class Book,
Simpson,Stephen-Working Men's Manual,531
Thatcher, James-Essay on Demonology, 539
Washburn, Emery-Lectures before the
Worcester Lyceum,

87

81

Fairy Land,
Fossil Bones,
Foreign Missions,
Horned Snake,
Indian Relics,
Iron Manufactures,
Kentucky Cavern,
Madder and Barilla,
Meteor,
Michigan,

New Food for Cattle,

New Application of Horse Power,
New-England Glass Bottle Company,
Newspapers,

Wayland, Rev. Francis-Introductory Lec-
ture before the American Institute,
Wayland, Rev. Francis-Discourse on the
Philosophy of Analogy,

445

169

Webster, Daniel-Lecture before the Me-
chanic Institute,
Withington, Rev. Leonard-Election Sermon, 83
Willard, Joseph--Address to the Wor-
cester Bar,

Willis, N. P.-Poems,
Worcester, J. E.--Comprehensive Pro-
nouncing and Explanatory Dictionary, 80
Woodworth, Samuel-Festivals, Games,
and Amusements,
Upham, Charles W.-Lectures on Witchcraft,262
UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES, 271, 361,
449.

359

MISCELLANIES.

N. K. System,

Occultation of Aldebaran,

Page.

Orang Outang,
Palm-leaf Hats,

Peat,

Silk,
Savages,

449

Self-Decapitation,

Small Pox among the Indians,
Steam-Boats in the West,
Thomas, Isaiah,
Universities and Colleges,

265

188

539

268

86
537

176

544

544

277

276

277

544

451

545

457

545

93

177

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For notices of Universities and Colleges, severally, see the pages referred to above under
the general head; and for individual Obituary Notices, see also the similar references.

THE

NEW-ENGLAND MAGAZINE.

JULY, 1831.

ORIGINAL PAPERS.

ON THE CONSIDERATION DUE TO THE MECHANICAL ARTS.

THE estimation, in which the practice of the mechanical arts has been held in different portions and periods of the world, is an interesting subject. It is easy to see from what a poor repute and through what gradual progresses the occupations of the artizan have risen to their present rank in society, becoming more and more regarded with the general advancement of mankind. A curious fact will now and then be brought to light by such a survey of other nations and past times. It must be admitted, however, that the facts in the case are neither so numerous as we should expect, nor always so clearly demonstrated. History has been too busy with the exploits of the destroyers of human life, to think much of those who have contributed to its security and embellishment by their ingenious and patient labor. That the origin of many inventions should be lost in extreme antiquity we should expect. It could not be otherwise. That improvements of comparatively modern date should have their story involved in contradictory accounts or buried in total obscurity is not surprising. That there should be numberless grand and beautiful works, still demanding the admiration of the world, while the memories of those, who wrought them, have perished as utterly as their hands, is a natural consequence of the great but unrecorded changes that have been mingling together and sweeping away the products of industry from the beginning of time. Thus the delicate vases and the gigantic masonry, that are called Etruscan for want of any other name, are monuments, not of forgotten individuals merely, but of a forgotten race. But it does seem strange, that society should so have neglected as a body those, whose toils have been devoted to its most obvious and immediate interests; that it should all along have preferred in honor the elegant to the serviceable; extolling as divine the efforts of the sculptor, and crowning the name of the painter with the immortality that is denied to his performances; while it has made little account of its most valuable workmen, and permitted their best devices and operations to pass by without a register. A new and marked interest has been

shown of late years in the useful arts, and a great increase of influence has been acquired, with an increase of intelligence, by those, who exercise them. It may be interesting, therefore, to cast a glance backward on the days when it was otherwise.

The arts were divided in ancient times, as they are at present, into two great classes. But they were not called by the same names they now are. They were known by the titles of the liberal and the servile, that is, those that were worthy of freemen and those that were fit only for slaves. By the first of these were denoted those arts, and several others besides them, which are still called liberal, or fine, or polite,-such as music, sculpture, drawing. Under the last were included all mechanical pursuits. And the very name that was thus fastened upon such pursuits, since more honorably distinguished as the useful arts, contains a whole volume of history as to the sort of repute in which they were held. We may see occasion, in the progress of our remarks, to suspect that any division of the arts, whether designating them by one title or another, which is founded on the idea that some of them are peculiarly intellectual while the rest are merely manual, is subject to difficulties and leads to inevitable confusion as soon as we attempt to apply it. Deferring, however, for the present any considerations of this kind, we cannot but feel how degraded a place was assigned to the offices of manual skill, when mechanical and servile were convertible terms. That last word, disparaging as it seems, expressed a literal fact, as we find at once on recurring to the nations of classical antiquity. The useful arts in ancient Europe no sooner spread beyond the limits of private dwellings and became too unwieldy for the delicate hands of women, than they fell to the province of menials and slaves. In Attica, that famous district of Greece, of which Athens was the capital, they were conducted altogether by absolute bondmen. The only bodily labor, in which the free population thought it became them to engage was agriculture, and this they held in the highest honor. There was little, indeed, to encourage among them the opposite descriptions of industry, since they carried on so inconsiderable a trade with their neighbors. Those branches can never be extensively cultivated without the aid of commerce, and that was never flourishing among them, though their vessels were seen along the Thracian coasts, and sometimes visited the shores of the Black Sea. The case was still worse in Sparta, whose lawgiver discouraged all trade as utterly as did the lawgiver of the Hebrews; and for a similar reason,-that the people might remain a peculiar one and not be contaminated by foreigners. What has been said of Attica, was doubtless true of other parts of the country. The Greeks, though appointed to read lessons of liberty to the human race, were, to an unexampled degree, slave holders; and since their slaves were not called on to turn up the soil in which they had no rights, they were naturally employed upon handicrafts. It may seem fanciful, but I think I see even in the mythology of this ingenious people an illustration of the low esteem, in which they held the profession of the artificer. There is nothing to make Vulcan respectable. The mechanic Deity, though belonging to the company of the celestials,

lives in the caverns of the earth, waited on by muscular but ugly shapes, more deformed than himself. He is married to the very queen of beauty-is there not an allegory here ?—but even this honor gives him no elevation; and when he presents himself on Olympus, Homer tells us who seems to have the best right to know-that "unextinguished laughter shakes the skies."

From Greece we pass to the other classical land, Italy. Here again, not only the mechanic arts, but all kinds of trade were accounted dishonorable. The Roman historians make early mention of the working classes; informing us that they were distributed even under the government of the Kings into distinct corporations or companies. They were looked on as of so low a calling, that some have denied their having ever been ranked in the number of citizens. Whether this were so, however, or not, it is certain that they consisted chiefly, when not of slaves, either of the dregs of the native population, who were considered incapable of contributing to the protection of the country in war or to its maintenance in peace, or else of foreigners, who, as long as Rome remained free, lived without any of the privileges of its freedom, being subject to a particular jurisdiction, forbidden to wear the national dress, and deprived of the right of holding legal property or making a will. Such was the rabble, that, in the proud days of the Roman republic, filled the walks, which were to be occupied by the Inigo Joneses and Sir Richard Arkwrights, the Fultons and Perkinses of after generations. Leaving the cares of husbandry and the dangerous honors of the public defence to others who were more favored, they remained in the condition of a sunken and proportionally factious and dangerous class. We cannot be much surprised, therefore, at the expressions of Cicero, though the most accomplished of Romans and one of the most candid of men ;-" Of all the occupations whose object is gain, nothing is better than agriculture, nothing richer, nothing sweeter, nothing worthier of a freeman. But all artizans are engaged in a sordid employment, nor can any thing ingenuous come out of a workshop." We must forgive him this in consideration of his country and time. Though from so incomparable a genius we might almost have hoped for a spirit of prophetic intelligence, discerning at a distance a happier and a nobler era for these despised arts. We might almost have hoped to hear him acknowledging, that, in the nature of things, there is nothing more excellent in cultivating the ground and dealing with its living productions, than there is in bending stubborn masses of matter to the control of an all but creating mind, in dealing with the strong elements of nature and imitating the machinery of a world. But no man is more than a limited number of steps in advance of his times.

The Roman workmen came afterwards to obtain a little more consideration in the state. But we find the practice of the useful arts to have remained extremely depressed in Europe till the middle ages. Even so late as Charlemagne, who united all its richest crowns on his own head in the ninth century, they appear to have been exercised by the hands of mere serfs, at the order and with the

* De Off. 1. 42.

funds of rich proprietors. From this period, however, they began to assume new rank, and to take that free start from which they have advanced to their present social consequence. Persons, who shared in all the prerogatives of citizenship, gradually took part in them. The religious, in their monastic retreats, beguiled with them the intervals of their sacred offices, or mixed them, to the great advantage of their own health and of the interests of their order, with their usual sedentary task of copying manuscripts; which, as the only way of multiplying books then was to transcribe them, furnished these persons with abundant employment. In the tenth century a great progress had already taken place. This was owing to the growth of large towns, which became the seat of more refined and various industry, to the advancement of civil institutions, and above all to the extension of personal independence. It was in Italy that these improvements began, the same land that had seen them so long kept back, and from thence they spread over the rest of Europe. A singular anecdote may serve to show the difference in this respect between the Italy of ancient and of modern times. Some one tells us that a criminal, condemned to die at Vicenza, actually saved his life by appealing to a Roman law, which set forth that any one should be pardoned for his first offence, if he could prove himself to excel in any useful art. This law corresponds with that of the privilege of clergy in England, which pronounced a similar pardon to all who could prove themselves to have made the peculiarly clerical attainment of knowing how to read. About the tenth century, the foundations were laid of those corporations, or guilds, as they were called, which united together under special privileges the persons who wrought in the same calling, and which rose at last to a high degree of political importance. These corporations of the middle ages remind us of those just mentioned as established under the Roman kings. They might have had their origin remotely in them, but they differed entirely from those ancient orders in the characters and civil positions of the individuals of whom they were composed. They were no longer made up of bonds-people. They were the very children of freedom, and-as all good children should do-they defended and reflected back honor on the mother, who had reared them. In the disputes, that often arose in those unsettled days between arbitrary power and the general weal, between the exclusive pretensions of a few and the dearest rights of the community at large, they always stood on the side of the popular interest,.and often with preponderating effect. They seemed worthy to be the predecessors of the intelligent and spirited mechanics, who were named sons of liberty in this very town, more than half a century ago, who, without guilds or privileges, knew both how to argue and to do battle for the common privileges of mankind.

What has been said thus far relates to the Western portions of the old continent. Let us now turn our attention for a moment to the East, which was the birth-place and cradle of all the arts. Here a very different scene unfolds itself, and one that we can contemplate with greater pleasure. But we must be merciful to our readers. We will not bewilder ourselves in the vast interior of Asia, where

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