Abbildungen der Seite


Percy Anecdotes..


-“INDUSTRY! rough power! Whom labour still attends, and sweat, and pain ; Yet the kind source of every gentle art, And all the soft civility of life.”


HISTORICAL RETROSPECT. The eloquent Dr. Barrow has, in one of his sermons, given the following admirable summary of what may be called the History of Industry :

To industrious study is to be ascribed the invention and perfection of all those arts, whereby buman life is civilized, and the world cultivated with numberless accommodations, ornaments, and beauties. All the comely, the stately, the pleasant, and useful works, which we view with delight, or enjoy with comfort, industry did contrive them, industry did frame them.

“Industry reared those magnificent fabrics, and those conmodious houses; it formed those goudly pictures and statues ; it raised those convenient causeys, those bridges, those aqueducts ; it planted those fine gardens with various flowers and fruits; it clothed those pleasant fields with corn and grass ; it built those ships whereby we plough the seas, reaping the commodities of foreign regions. It hath subjected all creatures to our command and service, enabling us to subdue the fiercest, to catch the wildest, to render the gentler sort most tractable and useful to us. It taught us from the wool of the sheep, from the hair of the goat, from the labours of the silkworm, to weave our clothes to keep us warm, to make us fine and gay. It helpeth us from the inmost bowels of the earth, to fetch divers needful tools and utensils.

It collected mankind into cities, and compacted them into orderly societies; and devised wholesome laws, under shelter whereof we enjoy safety and peace, wealth and plenty, mutual succour and defence, sweet conversation, and beneficial commerce.

“It, by meditation, did invent all those sciences whereby our minds are enriched and ennobled, our manners are refined and polished, our curiosity is satisfied, our life is henefited.

“What is there which we admire, or wherein we delight, that pleaseth our mind, or gratifieth our sense, for which we are not beholden to industry?

“Doth any country flourish in wealth, in grandeur, in prosperity ? It must be imputed to industry; to the industry of its governors, settling good order; to the industry of its people, following profitable occupations ; so did Cato in that notable oration of his, in Sallust, tell the Roman senate, that it was not by the force of their arms, but by the industry of their ancestors, that commonwealth did arise to such a

pitch of greatness. When sloth creepeth in, then all things corrupt and decay; then the public state doth sink into disorder, penury, and a disgraceful condition."

THE CRUSADES. The frantic expeditions undertaken in the middle ages, by innumerable legions of warlike pilgrims, for the recovery of the Holy Land from the Saracens ; though they depopulated and impoverished the western countries of Europe, were nevertheless productive of soine beneficial effects. The few warriors who survived the fatigues, the diseases, and the slaughter of the expeditions, returned to their native countries, with their minds somewhat expanded by their intercourse with nations more advanced in civilization than themselves ; and they were in some degree cured of the ignorant pride which makes barbarians esteem themselves the wisest and the best people upon the face of the earth. They had acquired a taste for many comforts and elegancies of life, which they had never known before; among which, the Oriental articles of precious stones, silk, and especially spicery of all kinds, appear to have been most in request. Some specimens of those and other foreign rarities, which they carried home, created a desire of obtaining greater quantities of them, among their countrymen, and stimulated the dormant industry to cultivate or manufacture some commodity which they might give in exchange for the new objects of desire. Thus nations sunk hitherto in listless indolence, or only roused from it when hunger urged them to the chase, or their chiefs led them to battle, acquired INDUSTRY, the only efficient and legitimate source of all other acquisitions, and of national prosperity.

ROYAL GARDENER. When Lysander, the Lacedemonian general, brought magnificent presents to Cyrus, the younger son of Darius, who piqued himself more on his integrity and politeness, than on his rank and birth, the prince conducted his illustrious guest through his gardens, and pointed out to him their varied beauties. Lysander, struck with so fine a prospect, praised the manner in which the grounds were laid out, the neatness of the walks, the abundance of fruits planted with an art which knew how to combine the useful with the agreeable; the beauty of the parterres, and the glowing variety of flowers exhaling odours universally throughout the delightful scene. “Every thing charms and transports me in this place," said Lysander to Cyrus; “but wbat strikes me most, is the exquisite taste, and elegant industry, of the person who drew the plan of these gardens, and gave it the fine order, wonderful disposition, and happiness of arrangement, which I cannot sufficiently admire.” Cyrus replied, “It was I that drew the plan, and entirely niarked itout; and many of the trees which you see were planted by my own hands.” “What !” exclaimed Lysander, with surprise, and viewing Cyrus from head to foot," is it possible, that with those purple robes and splendid vestments, those strings of jewels and bracelets of gold, those buskins so richly embroidered;

is it possible that you could play the gardener, and employ your royal hands in planting trees?” “Does that surprise you?” said Cyrus; “ I assure you, that when my health permits, I never sit down to table without having fatigued myself, either in military exercise, rural labour, or some other toilsome employment, to which I apply myself with pleasure.” Lysander, still more amazed, pressed Cyrus by the hand, and said, “ You are truly happy, and deserve your high fortune, since you unite with it virtue."

“Immortal Peter! first of monarchs.”

THOMSON. It was the custom of Peter the Great, to visit the different workshops and manufactories, not only to encourage them, but also to judge of what other useful establishments might be formed in his dominions. Among the places he visited frequently, were the forges of Muller at Istia, ninety wersts from Moscow. The Czar once passed a whole month there ; during which time, after giving due attention to the affairs of state, which he never neglected, he amused himself with seeing and examining every thing in the most minute manner, and even employed bimself in learning the business of a blacksmith. He succeeded so well, that on one of the last days of his remaining there, he forged eighteen poods of iron, and put his own particular mark on each bar. The boyars and other noblemen of his suite, were employed in blowing the bellows, stirring the fire, carrying coals, and performing the other duties of a

« ZurückWeiter »