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ful of all weapons of peace or war, Fire, from which every other animal, unless when fortified by his presence, flees in terror; and with it alone not only clothes himself, but lays the foundation of a hundred arts.
MAN AND THE INDUSTRIAL ARTS.
Man may be defined as the only animal that can strike a light; the solitary creature that knows how to kindle a fire. This is a very fragmentary definition of the “
Paragon of Animals,” but it is enough to make him the conqueror of them all. The most degraded savage has discovered how to rub two sticks together, or whirl the point of one in a socket in the other till the wood is kindled. It is a thoroughly technical process, not easily learned or practised. Judgment, dexterity, and patience are needed for its performance; and even the most sagacious of monkeys, though he has a pair of hands more than a man, has never attempted this primitive pyrotechnic art.
Once provided with his kindled brand, the savage technologist soon proves what a sceptre of power he holds in his hand. He tills with it; by a single touch burning up the withered grass of a past season, and scattering its ashes to fertilize the plains, which will quickly be green again. It serves him as an axe to fell the tallest trees with, and hollows out for him the canoe in which he adventures
upon strange seas. It is an all-sufficient defence against the fiercest wild beasts; and it reduces for him the iron ore of the rocks, and forges it into a weapon of war. I might say, indeed, with truth, that his kindled brand makes the ten-fingered savage, without further help, a farmer, a baker, a cook, a carpenter, a smith, a potter, a brick-maker, a lime-burner and builder; and, besides much else, a soldier and a sailor. Well did the wise ancients declare that men obtained fire from heaven; but not well that they stole it. It was a gift to them, in compensation for
their having no share in the dowry granted to the lower animals; and it has proved an ample compensation.
You may think this sketch of the savage's obligation to fire fanciful and exaggerated ; but if you consider how every human industrial art stands directly or indirectly related to fire, whilst no animal art does, you will not regard the statement as extravagant. And civilized man, as much as his savage brother, is a fire-worshipper in his practical doings. The great conquering peoples of the world have been those who knew best how to deal with fire. The most wealthy of the active nations are those which dwell in countries richly provided with fuel. No inventions have changed the entire world more than steam and gunpowder. We are what we are, largely because we are the ministers and masters of fire.
Clotheless creatures by birth, we are also tool-less ones. Every other animal is by nature fully equipped and caparisoned for its work; its tools are ready for use, and it is ready to use them. We have first to invent our tools, and then to fashion them, and then to learn how to handle them. Man's marvellous hand is, no doubt, in itself an exquisite instrument of art ; but, after all, our hands are less adroit than those of the monkey, who bas four, each equivalent to a right hand, whilst the handiest of us is only ambidextrous. Our right hands would be nothing to us, but for our wise heads ; for we have to begin two steps further back, in our industrial labours, than the meanest of the animals, who practise no such craft as that of tool-making, and serve no apprenticeship to any craft. Two-thirds at least of our industrial doings are thus preliminary. Before two rags can be sewed together, we require a needle, which embodies the inventiveness of a hundred ingenious brains ; and a hand, which only a hundred botchings and failures have, in the lapse of years, taught to use the instrument with skill.
It is so with all the crafts, and they are inseparably dependent on each other. The mason waits on the carpenter for his mallet, and the carpenter on the smith for his saw ; the smith on the smelter for his iron, and the smelter' on the miner for his ore. Each, moreover, needs the help of all the others ;-the carpenter the smith, as much as the smith the carpenter; and both the mason, as much as the mason both. This helplessness of the single craftsman is altogether peculiar to the human artist. The lower animals are all polyartists, and never heard of such a doctrine as that of the division of labour. The same bee, for example, inarkets, and bakes bee-bread, and manufactures sugar, and makes wax, and builds storehouses, and plans apartments, and nurses the royal infants, and waits upon the Queen, and apprehends thieves, and smites to the death the enemies of the Amazons. The nightingale, though he is a poet, builds and furnishes his nest without any help from the raven, who despises the finė arts; and the lark does not excuse herself from her household duties because she is an excellent musician.
Nor are there degrees of skill among the animal artists. The beavers pay no consulting fees to eminent beaver engineers experienced in hydraulics; the coral insects do not offer higher wages to skilled workmen at reef-building ; every nautilus is an equally good sailor; and the wasps engaged in "just and necessary wars,” offer no bounties to tempt veteran soldiers into their armies. ...
The industrialness, then, of man is carried out in a way quite peculiar to himself, and singularly illustrative of his combined weakness and greatness. The most helpless, physically, of animals, and yet the one with the greatest number of pressing appetites and desires, he has no working instincts to secure (at least after infancy) the gratification of his most pressing wants, and no tools which such instincts can work by. He is compelled, therefore, to fall back upon the powers of his reason and understanding, and make his intellect serve him instead of a crowd of instinctive impulses, and his intellect-guided hand instead of an apparatus of tools. Before that hand, armed with the tools which it has fashioned, and that intellect, which marks man as made in the image of God, the instincts and weapons of the entire animal creation are as nothing. He reigns, by right of conquest, as indisputably as by right of inheritance, the king of this world.
DR. GEORGE WILSON.
THERE is a calm for those who weep, And soothe the bosom's deepest wound
With heavenly balm.
Whate'er thy lot, where'er thou be,
Confess thy folly—kiss the rod;
The hand of God.
A bruised reed he will not break;
Afflictions all his children feel; I long to lay this painful head
He wounds them for his mercy's sake-And aching heart beneath the soil;
He wounds to heal !
Humbled beneath his mighty hand,
Prostrate, his providence adore :
To fall no more.
Now, traveller in the vale of tears,
To realms of everlasting light, Art thou a mourner? hast thou known Through Time's dark wilderness of years, The joy of innocent delights,
Pursue thy flight.
There is a calm for those who weep,
A rest for weary pilgrims found;
And while the mouldering ashes sleep The sweet remembrance of the past;
Low in the ground,
The soul, of origin divine,
God's glorious image, freed from clay, Though long of winds and waves the sport, In heaven's eternal sphere shall shine, Condemned in wretchedness to roam,
A star of day! Live-thou shalt reach a sheltering port, The sun is but a spark of fire, A quiet home.
A transient meteor in the sky; Seek the true treasure, seldom found, The soul, immortal as its Sire, Of power the fiercest griefs to calm;
Shall never die!"
A YOUNG officer (in what army no matter) had so far forgotten himself, in a moment of irritation, as to strike a private soldier, full of personal dignity (as sometimes happens in all ranks), and distinguished for his courage. The inexorable laws of military discipline forbade to the injured soldier any redress—he could look for no retaliation by acts. Words only were at his command, and, in a tumult of indignation, as he turned away, the soldier said to his officer that he would “make him repent it.” This, wearing the shape of a menace, naturally rekindled the officer's anger, and intercepted any disposition which might be rising within him toward a sentiment of remorse; and thus the irritat¡on between the two young men grew hotter than before.
Some weeks after this a partial action took place with the enemy. Suppose yourself a spectator, and looking down into a valley occupied by the two armies. They are facing each other, you see, in martial array. But it is no more than a skirmish which is going on; in the course of which, however, an occasion suddenly arises for a desperate service. A redoubt, which has fallen into the enemy's hands, must be recaptured at any price, and under circumstances of all but hopeless difficulty.
A strong party has volunteered for the service ; there is a cry for somebody to head them ; you see a soldier step out from the ranks to assume this dangerous leadership. The party moves rapidly forward; in a few minutes it is swallowed up from your eyes in clouds of smoke; for one half hour, from behind these clouds you receive hieroglyphic reports of bloody strife-fierce repeating signals, flashes from the guns, rolling musketry, and exulting hurrahs advancing or receding, slackening or redoubling.
At length all is over; the redoubt has been recovered; that which was lost is found again; the jewel which had been made captive is ransomed with blood. Crimsoned with glorious gore, the wreck of the conquering party is relieved, and at liberty to