Slike strani
PDF
ePub

shortness of the term of leases; upon the reform of grass, farm leases, 'whose system is discouraging to the labourer; finally, it depends upon the French peasant's, bestowing more care upon his sheep, and his treating them with greater humanity; his ima proving the breed, and destroying those which degenerate. These means are only indicated here, it is impossible to give a detail of them. Those who wish for more information upon this head, may read the articles Draps, Laine, Mouton, &c. already quoted.

S E C Τ Ι Ο Ν
T I

. V.

LINENS.

There are two principal species of linen-drapery, which are sub-divided into a multitude of others.

The first species contains linen properly so called; that is to say, linen which serves to make shirts, sheets, table linen, and all the linen made use of for every purpose of cleanliness.

These linens are made with hemp, flax or cotton; this last article is employed when the two former ones are scarce, it is sometimes mixed with fax. The manner of making these linens is very

simple;

ple; they are made in all parts of Europe. * Those countries where religions or political despotism difcourages industry; where the numerous institutions of charity, invented to divert the attention of defpair from misery, nourish idleness; and where the heat of the climate disposes so much the more to inactivity, as there is no inducement to overcome it:

If there be a country where the manufacture of linens is en. couraged, it is in Ireland, particularly fince its resurrection into the political world. Parliament has established a committee which is particulaily employed about this manufacture, and which grants very considerable succours to manufacturers. There is one who has obtained more than thirty thousand pounds sterling from government, and whose manufacture employed two thousand men and women, and fix hundred children.

This committee names inspectors to examine the state of manu. factures, and afterwards to make reports, or give a general descrip. tion of their situation, of the number of workmen they employ, of their produce, resources, wants, &c.||

Still more has been done in Ireland, to encourage the commerce of linen; great edifices have been built, and destined to receive them, as well as those who come to offer them for sale. The moft considerable market being at Dublin, three or four times a year : linen merchants from the North, who have bleach yards, come to Dublin with their assortments. They find in these edifices, places for their linens and for themselves to lodge in, all at no expence.They meet English buyers or others, who go there to gather together all their purchases. Like depositories are eftablished in the North; they are essentially necesary to those manufactures, the articles of svhich are gathered in the country.-Where they exist, expences are less, and work is better paid for.

# When these inspe@lors are honest, and men of understanding, their reports are evidences of success. Then example has a singular infiva Once upon industry.

these

[merged small][ocr errors]

these countries are the only ones, wherein this manufacture does not merit the attention of the political observer.

Every where else, the country people employ, more or less; the leisure which their kind of life affords them, and the hands of sedentary individuals, to spin and weave linen. Most of the farmers and proprietors who enjoy a little ease, or who are not afraid of letting it appear, sow hemp or flax, and draw from their soil and the work of their hands, the linen which covers their bodies and supplies their family.

The more activity, ease and surety there are in the property of labour, the more considerable this manufacture is. ' But in no place is this fort of linendrapery the product of a regularly established manufactory, except it be for the preparing and bleaching of that which is destined to pass through the hands of shopkeepers.

Markets and fairs are the places where the undertakers of these bleacheries, and the traders who pay for bleaching, buy of the country people raw linens, or those partly bleached. Hence it is, that these linens appear in general fo cheap to persons who know how to calculate workmanship.,

The English have added other causes to those which produce low-priced workmanship: their astonishing industry, their observing genius, their ever calculating mind, have invented for the spinning, &c. of cotton, and for weaving, several machines -which ftill surpass the cheapness to be expected from the leisure of the inhabitants of the country.

which

As there machines are insensibly introduced into countries, it may be expected that the low price of linen drapery wili be every where established. .

But notwithstanding the multiplication of these machines, nations which

groan

under a bad government, or are grown rusty in old and wretched habits, will always deper.d, for that article of necessity, upon those which, having established bounds to their government, but none for their industry, that muft constantly encrease. *

It results from these facts, that the United States will always have, in proportion to the increase of their population and culture, less recourse to strangers for that principal kind of linen drapery, whose manufacture is so well associated with the labours of the field.

* “ It is very true” says M. Roland de la Platiere, (Article Toiles) “ that these machines begin to be every where known-but the *6 genius which invented them, the moment they shall be known, “ will invent others more expeditious and perfe&t, and in this res6 peet, as well as in many others, there is no isation upon

earth or which will not for ever remain inferior to England.”

+ “ The American women,” says the author of the American Cultivator-" are renowned for their industry in the conduct of " their houses ; they spin, and cause to be spun, a great deal of “ wool or Aux; they would lose their reputation and be despised, “ if their whole family were not almost entirely cloathed with the “ cloth and linen made in the house : if the whole interior of their 14 ruftic habitation did not bear evident marks of their cleanliness and “ induftry."

Very Very fine species of linens must neverthelefs be excep'ted; they are destined for luxury, and the individuals employed about them, are condemned to vegetate miserably in cities, ro!ling perpetually in the same circle of mechanical labours.*. It is the unhappy fate of all those who are born in Europe without property, and will not debase themselves by domestic labour.

The United States, where laborious individuals may with so much facility become proprietors, are far from that degradation; and if they are wise, they will have for a long time, the happiness not to see fpun or woven among them, those delicate kinds

Manufactures are much boasted of, because children are em. ployed therein from their most tender age ; that is to say, that men congratulate themselves upon making early martyrs of these innocent creatures; for is it not a torment to these poor litrle beings, whom nature commands us to permit to take the air and their sports, until they are of riper years, and their strength is become considerable Is it not a torment to them to be a whole day, and almost every day of their lives employed at the same work, in an obscure and infected prison: Muft not the weariness ard vexation which they suffer, obstruct the opening of the'r physical and intellectual faculties, and stupify them? Must not there result from this a degenerate race, inclined to automatonism and flavery ? For mot manufactures require no other than mechanical labours, which a machine would perform as well as a man, It is therefore impossible that a man condemned to this kind of employ, should not become a machine ; and stupidity and servitude are joined to each other. These truths cannot be too often repeated, not to disgust the Europeans with the mania of manufactures; they are too far advanced to retract; but to hinder the Americans from ever following the same

[ocr errors]

career.

of

« PrejšnjaNaprej »