« PreviousContinue »
althyugh, (being an imperfect and fallible creature,) this
liberty exposes him to mistake and is perpetually leading 14 him into error; yet by patience, perseverance, and industry, and by long experience, he at last achieves what angels may, perhaps, behold with admiration. A bird's nest, is indeed, a perfect and beautiful structure ; yet the nest of a swallow of the nineteenth century, is not at all more commodious, or elegant, than those that were built amid the rafters of Noah's ark. But if we compare, (I will not say Adam's bower, for that was doubtless in the finest style of nature's own architecture,) but if we compare the wigwam of the North American Indian, with the temples and palaces of an15 cient Greece and Rome, we then shall see to what men's mistakes, rectified and improved upon, conduct him. Animals can provide for their wants, and for those of their offspring, with the utmost adroitness; and just so much, and no more, did their antediluvian ancestry: while man, after having provided for his first necessities, emerging gradually from the savage state, begins to cultivate poetry and musie, proceeds to the knowledge of arts and sciences, unknown and unthought of by his rude forefathers, till, (in humble imi
tation of the works of God himself,) he gives exquisite 16 construction to the rudest materials which nature has left for his use; supplying those artificial wants and wishes, for which it was beneath her dignity to provide; and while his hand thus executes all that is ingenious and beautiful, his thought glances at all that is magnificent and sublime.
LESSON LIII. ..
Manufacture of a Pin.—ANONYMOUS. 1 There is an article employed in dress, which is at once so necessary and so beautiful, that the highest lady in the land uses it, and yet so cheap, that the poorest peasant's wife is enabled to procure it.
The quality of the article is as perfect as art can make it; and yet, from the enormous quantities consumed by the great mass of the people, it is made so cheap that the poor can purchase the best kind, as well as the rich. It is an article of universal use. United with machinery, many hundreds, and even thousands, are employed in making it. But if the machinery were to 2 stop, and the article were made by human hands alone, it
would become so dear, that the richest only could afford to use it; and it would become, at the same time, so rough in iis appearance, that those very rich would be ashamed of using it. The article we mean is a pin.
Machinery of all kinds is difficult to be described by words. It is not necessary for us to describe the machinery used in pin-making, to make you comprehend its effects. A pin is made of brass. You have seen how
metal is obtained from ore by machinery, and, therefore, 3 we will not go over that ground. But suppose the most
skilful workman has a lump of brass ready by his side, to make into pins with common tools --with a hammer and with a file. He beats it upon an anvil, till it becomes nearly thin enough for his purpose. A very fine hammer, and a very fine touch, must he have, to produce a pin of any sort,-—even a large corking-pin! But the pin "made by machinery is a perfect cylinder. To make a metal, or even a wooden cylinder, of considerable size, with files
and polishing, is an operation so difficult, that it is never 4 attempted; but with a lathe and a sliding-rest, it is done
every hour, by a great many workinen. How much more difficult would it be to make a perfect cylinder, the size of a pin! A pin hammered out by hand would present a number of rough edges that would tear the clothes, as well as hold them together. It would not be much more useful or ornamental than the skewer of bone, with which the woman of the Sandwich Islands fastens her mats. But the wire of which a pin is made, acquires a perfectly cylin
drical form by the simplest machinery. It is forcibly drawn 5 through the circular holes of a steel plate ; and the hole being smaller and smaller each time it is drawn through, it is at length reduced to the size required.
The head of a pin is a more difficult thing to make even than the body. It is formed of a small piece of wire twisted round so as to fit upon the other wire. It is said that by a machine, fisty thousand, heads can be made in an hour. We should think that a man would be
Skilful to make fifty in an hour, by hand, in the roughest manner; if so, the machine does the work of a thousand men. The machine however, does not do all the work. The head is 6 attached to the body of a pin by the fingers of a child,
while another machine rivets it on. The operations of cutting and pointing the pins are also done by machinery : and they are polished by a chemical process.
It is by these processes,--by these combinations of human labor with mechanical power,—that it occurs, that fifty pins can be bought for one half-penny, and that, therefore, four or five thousand pins may be consumed in a year by the most economical housewife, at a much less price than fifty pins of a rude make cost two or three centuries ago. A 7 woman's allowance was formerly called her pin-money,—a proof that pins were an sufficiently dear article to make a large item in her expenses. If pins now were to cost a half-penny apiece, instead of being fifty for a half-penny, the greater number of females would adopt other modes of fastening their dress, which would probably be less neat and convenient than pins. No such circumstance could happen while the machinery of pin-making is in use ; but if the machinery were suppressed, by any act of folly on the part of the pin-makers who work with the machinery, pins would go out of use, probably all together : the pin-makers would lose all their employment; and all the women of the land would be deprived of one of the simplest, and yet most useful inventions connected with the dress of modern times.
Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice. His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff; you shall seek all day ere you find them; and when you have them, they are not worth the search.-Shakspeare.
If to do, were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages, princes' palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own instructions : I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. The brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot temper leaps over a cold decrce; such a hare is madness the youth, to skip over the meshes of good counsel the cripple.--Ib.
To Surrey's camp to ride ;
And Douglas gave a guide.
“Let the hawk stoop, his prey is flown.”
“Though something I might plain," he said,
hand.”But Douglas round him drew his cloak, 3 Folded his arms, and thus he spoke :
My manors, hails, and bowers, shall still
4 Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire, And shook his very frame with ire;.
And—“This to me!” he said,
“ An 't were not for thy hoary beard, Such hand as Marmion's had not spared
To cleave the Douglas' head!
May well, proud Angus, be thy mate;
And, Douglas, more I tell thee here, 5 Even in thy pitch of pride,
Here in thy hold, thy vassals near,
I tell thee, thou’rt defied !
Lord in Scotland here,
Lord Angus, thou hast lied !”
Fierce he broke forth: “ And dar'st thou then
The Douglas in his hall ?
Let the portcullis fall."-
And dashed the rowels in his steed,
The ponderous grate behind him rung :
there was such scanty room, The bars, descending, grazed his plume.
The steed along the drawbridge flies,
He halts, and turns with clenched hand, 8 And shout of loud defiance pours,
And shook his gauntlet at the towers. “ Horse! horse !" the Douglas cried," and chase !" But soon he reined his fury's pace; “A royal messenger he came, Though most unworthy of the name.Saint Mary mend my fiery mood ! Old age
ne'er cools the Douglas blood, I thought to slay him where he stood.