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avocations of various kinds separately from | ture this is what you can hardly ever get their literary or scientific activity, and he leave to do. Literary men require to see mentions an observation of Gifford's which is something of the world; they can hardly be much to my present purpose:-"Gifford, the hermits, and the world cannot be seen witheditor of the Quarterly, who knew the drudg-out a constant running expenditure, which at ery of writing for a living, once observed that the end of the year represents an income. 'a single hour of composition, won from the Men of culture and refinement really cannot business of the day, is worth more than the live like very poor people without deterioratwhole day's toil of him who works at the ing in refinement, and falling behind in trade of literature: in the one case, the spirit knowledge of the world. When they are comes joyfully to refresh itself, like a hart to married, and have families, they can hardly the water-brooks; in the other, it pursues its let their families live differently from themmiserable way, panting and jaded, with the selves; so that there are the usual expenses of dogs of hunger and necessity behind.'" So the English professional classes to be met, and Coleridge said that "three hours of leisure, these are heavy when they have to be got out unalloyed by any alien anxiety, and looked of the profits of literature. The consequence forward to with delight as a change and rec-is, that if a book is to be written prudently it reation, will suffice to realize in literature a larger product of what is truly genial than weeks of compulsion." Coleridge's idea of a profession was, that it should be " some regular employment which could be carried on so far mechanically, that an average quantum only of health, spirits, and intellectual exertion are requisite to its faithful discharge." Without in the least desiring to undervalue good professional work of any kind, I may observe that, to be truly professional, it ought to be always at command, and therefore that the average power of the man's intellect, not his rare flashes of highest intellectual illumination, ought to suffice for it. Professional work ought always to be plain business work, requiring knowledge and skill, but not any effort of genius. For example, in medicine, it is professional work to prescribe a dose or amputate a limb, but not to discover the nervous system or the circulation of the blood.
must be written quickly, and with the least amount of preparatory labor that can possibly be made to serve. This is very different from the "douce incubation" of Michelet. Goldsmith said of hack-writing, that it was difficult to imagine a combination more prejudicial to taste than that of the author whose interest it is to write as much as possible, and the bookseller, whose interest it is to pay as little as possible. The condition of authors has no doubt greatly improved since Goldsmith's time, but still the fact remains that the most careful and finished writing, requiring extensive preparatory study, is a luxury in which the professional writer can only indulge himself at great risk. Careful writing does, no doubt, occasionally pay for the time it costs; but such writing is more commonly done by men who are either independent by fortune, or who make themselves, as authors, independent by the pursuit of some other profession, than by regular men of letters whose whole income is derived from their inkstands. And when, by way of exception, the hackwriter does produce very highly-finished and concentrated work, based upon an elaborate foundation of hard study, that work is sel dom professional in the strictest sense, but is a labor of love, outside the hasty journalism or magazine-writing that wins his daily bread. In cases of this kind it is clear that the best work is not done as a regular part of professional duty, and that the author might as well earn his bread in some other calling, if he still had the same amount of leisure for the composition of real literature.
If literature paid sufficiently well to allow it, a literary man might very wisely consider study to be his profession, and not production. He would then study regularly, say, six hours a day, and write when he had something to say, and really wanted to express it. His book, when it came out, would have had time to be properly hatched, and would probably have natural life in it. Michelet says of one of his books: "Cette œuvre a du moins le caractère d'être venue comme vient toute vraie création vivante. Elle s'est faite à la chaleur d'une douce incubation." It would be impossible, in so short a space, to give a more accurate description of the natural manner in which a book comes into existence. A The fault I find with writing as a profession book ought always to be "fait à la chaleur is that it does not pay to do your best. I don't d'une douce incubation." mean to insinuate that downright slovenly or But when you make a profession of litera- careless work is the most profitable; but I do mean to say that any high degree of conscieninto the world like every really living creation. It has been tiousness, especially in the way of study and produced by the heat of a gentle incubation." research, is a direct injury to the professional
*"*This work has at any rate the character of having come
writer's purse. Suppose, for example, that he is engaged in reviewing a book, and is to get 31. 108. for the review when it is written.
were placed by the side of thoroughly careful and earnest work, it became strikingly evident that they had been painted hastily, and by the accident of previous accumulation his would be almost immediately exhausted by knowledge is already fully equal to the de- the purchaser. Now these pictures were the mand upon it, the review may be written rap-journalism of painting; and my friend toki idly, and the day's work will have been a prof-me that when once an artist has got into the itable one; but if, on the other hand, it is nec- habit of doing hasty work like that, he selessary to consult several authorities, to make dom acquires better habits afterwards. some laborious researches, then the reviewer is placed in a dilemma between literary thoroughness and duty to his family. He cannot spend a week in reading up a subject for the sum of 31. 10s. Is it not much easier to string together a few phrases which will effectually hide his ignorance from everybody but the half-dozen enthusiasts who have mastered the subject of the book? It is strange that the professional pursuit of literature should be a direct discouragement to study; yet it is so. There are hack-writers who study, and they deserve much honor for doing so, since the temptations the other way are always so pressing and immediate. Sainte-Beuve was a true student, loving literature for its own sake, and preparing for his articles with a diligence rare in the profession. But he was scarcely a hackwriter, having a modest independency, and living besides with the quiet frugality of a bachelor.
Professional writers who follow journalism for its immediate profits, are liable in like manner to retain the habit of diffuseness in liter ture which ought to be more finished and more concentrated. Therefore, although journalism is a good teacher of promptitude and decision, it often spoils a hand for higher literature by incapacitating it for perfect finish; and it is better for a writer who has ambition to write little, but always his best, than to dilute himself in daily columns. One of the greatest privileges which an author can aspire to is to be allowed to write little, and that is a privilege which the professional writer does not enjoy, except in such rare instances as that of Tennyson, whose careful finish is as prudent in the professional sense as it is satisfactory to the scrupulous fastidiousness of the artist.
The truth seems to be that literature of the highest kind can only in the most exceptional cases be made a profession, yet that a skilful TO AN ENERGETIC AND SUCCESSFUL COTTON writer may use his pen professionally if he chooses. The production of the printed talk of the day is a profession, requiring no more than average ability, and the tone and temper of ordinary educated men. The outcome of it is journalism and magazine-writing; and now let me say a word or two about these.
classes in their lower grades inevitably hostile--The spir
itual and temporal powers-The functions of both not easily exercised by the same person-Humboldt, Faraday, Livingstone-The difficulty about time-Limits to the energy of the individual-Jealousy between the classesThat this jealousy ought not to exist-Some of the sciences based upon an industrial development-The work of the intellectual class absolutely necessary in a highly civilized community-That it grows in numbers and influence side by side with the industrial class.
The highest kind of journalism is very well done in England; the men who do it are often either highly educated, or richly gifted by nature, or both. The practice of journalism OUR last conversation together, in the priis useful to an author in giving him a degree vacy of your splendid new drawing-room after of readiness and rapidity, a skill in turning the guests had gone away and the music had his materials to immediate account, and a ceased for the night, left me under the impower of presenting one or two points effec-pression that we had not arrived at a perfect tively, which may often be valuable in litera- understanding of each other. This was due ture of a more permanent order. The danger of it may be illustrated by a reference to a sister art. I was in the studio of an English landscape-painter when some pictures arrived from an artist in the country to go along with his own to one of the exhibitions. They were all very pretty and very clever-indeed, so clever were they, that their cleverness was almost offensive-and so long as they were looked at by themselves, the brilliance of them was rather dazzling. But the instant they
in a great measure to my unfortunate incapacity for expressing anything exactly by spoken words. The constant habit of writing, which permits a leisurely selection from one's ideas, is often very unfavorable to readiness in conversation. Will you permit me, then. to go over the ground we traversed, this time in my own way, pen in hand?
We represent, you and I, two classes which in their lower grades are inevitably hostile; but the superior members of these classes
others have done, would in these days have had nothing to learn. Past history proves the immensity of the debt which the world owes to men who gave their whole time and attention to intellectual pursuits; and if the
ought not to feel any hostility, since both are equally necessary to the world. We are, in truth, the spiritual and the temporal powers in their most modern form. The chief of industry and the man of letters stand to-day in the same relation to each other and to man-existences of these men could be eliminated kind as the baron and bishop of the Middle Ages. We are not recognized, either of us, by formally conferred titles, we are both held to be somewhat intrusive by the representatives of a former order of things, and there is, or was until very lately, a certain disposition to deny what we consider our natural rights; but we know that our powers are not to be resisted, and we have the inward assurance that the forces of nature are with us.
This, with reference to the outer world, But there is a want of clearness in the relation between ourselves. You understand your great temporal function, which is the wise direction of the industry of masses, the accumulation and distribution of wealth; but you do not so clearly understand the spiritual function of the intellectual class, and you do not think of it quite justly. This want of understanding is called by some of us your Philistinism. Will you permit me to explain what the intellectual class thinks of you, and what is its opinion about itself?
Pray excuse any appearance of presumption on my part if I say we of the intellectual class and you of the industrial. My position is something like that of the clergyman who reads, "Let him come to me or to some other learned and discreet minister of God's word," thereby calling himself learned and discreet. It is a simple matter of fact that I belong to the intellectual class, since I lead its life, just as it is a fact that you have a quarter of a million of money.
from the past of the human race, its present would be very different from what it is. A list has been published of men who have done much good work in the intervals of business, but still the fact remains that the great intellectual pioneers were absorbed and devoted men, scorning wealth so far as it affected themselves, and ready to endure everything for knowledge beyond the knowledge of their times, Instances of such enthusiasm abound, an enthusiasm fully justified by the value of the results which it has achieved. When Alexander Humboldt sold his inheritance to have the means for his great journey in South America, and calmly dedicated the whole of a long life, and the strength of a robust constitution, to the advancement of natural knowledge, he acted foolishly indeed, if years, and strength, and fortune are given to us only to be well invested in view of money returns; but the world has profited by his decision. Faraday gave up the whole of his time to discovery when he might have earned a large fortune by the judicious investment of his extraordinary skill in chemistry. Livingstone has sacrificed everything to the pursuit of his great work in Africa. Lives such as these-and many resemble them in useful devotion of which we hear much less-are clearly not compatible with much money-getting. A decent existence, free from debt, is all that such men ought to be held answerable for.
I have taken two or three leading instances, First, I want to show that the existence of but there is quite a large class of intellectual my class is necessary.
Although men in various occupations often acquire a considerable degree of culture outside their trade, the highest results of culture can scarcely ever be attained by men whose time is taken up in earning a fortune. Every man has but a limited flow of mental energy per day; and if this is used up in an industrial leadership, he cannot do much more in the intellectual sphere than simply ascertain what has been done by others. Now, although we have a certain respect, and the respect is just, for those who know what others have accomplished, it is clear that if no one did more than this, if no one made any fresh discoveries, the world would make no progress whatever; and in fact, if nobody ever had been dedicated to intellectual pursuits in preceding ages, the men who only learn what
people who cannot in the nature of things serve society effectively in their own way without being quite outside of the industrial life. There is a real incompatibility between some pursuits and others. I suspect that you would have been a good general, for you are a born leader and commander of men; but it would have been difficult to unite a regular military career with strict personal attention to your factories. We often find the same difficulty in our intellectual pursuits. We are not always quite so unpractical as you think we are; but the difficulty is how to find the time, and how to arrange it so as not to miss two or three distinct classes of opportunities. We are not all of us exactly imbeciles in money matters, though the pecuniary results of our labors seem no doubt pitiful enough. There is a tradition that a Greek
philosopher, who was suspected by the prac-| with the tranquil assurance of their own pertical men of his day of incapacity for affairs, manence. The advancement of material welldevoted a year to prove the contrary, and being in modern states tends so directly to traded so judiciously that he amassed the advancement of intellectual pursuits, thereby great riches. It may be doubtful even when the makers of fortunes are themwhether he could do it in one year, but many `a fine intellectual capacity has overshadowed a fine practical capacity in the same head by the withdrawal of time and effort.
selves indifferent to this result, that it ought always to be a matter of congratulation for the intellectual class itself, which needs the support of a great public with leisure to read It is because the energies of one man are so and think. It is easy to show how those arts limited, and there is so little time in a single and sciences which our class delights to cultihuman life, that the intellectual and indus- vate are built upon those developments of intrial functions must, in their highest develop-dustry which have been brought about by the ment, be separated. No one man could unite energy of yours. Suppose the case of a scienin his own person your life and Humboldt's, tific chemist: the materials for his experithough it is possible that he might have the ments are provided ready to his hand by the natural capacity for both. Grant us, then, industrial class; the record of them is prethe liberty not to earn very much money, served on paper manufactured by the same and this being once granted, try to look upon industrial class; and the public which enour intellectual superiority as a simple natu-courages him by its attention is usually found ral fact, just as we look upon your pecuniary in great cities which are maintained by the superiority. labors of the same useful servants of human
In saying in this plain way that we are in-ity. tellectually superior to you and your class, I am guilty of no more pride and vanity than you when you affirm or display your wealth. The fact is there, in its simplicity. We have culture because we have paid the twenty or thirty years of labor which are the price of culture, just as you have great factories and estates which are the reward of your life's patient and intelligent endeavor.
Why should there be any narrow jealousy between us; why any contempt on the one side or the other? Each has done his appointed work, each has caused to fructify the talent which the Master gave.
It is possible, no doubt, in these modern times, that some purely pastoral or agricultural community might produce a great chemist, because a man of inborn scientific genius who came into the world in an agricultural country might in these days get his books and materials from industrial centres at a distance, but his work would still be based on the industrial life of others. No pastoral or agricultural community which was really isolated from industrial communities ever produced a chemist. And now consider how enormously important this one science of chemistry has proved itself even to our intellectual life! Several other sciences have Yet a certain jealousy does exist, if not be- been either greatly strengthened or else altotween you and me personally, at least be-gether renewed by it, and the wonderful photween our classes. The men who have cult- tographic processes have been for nature and ure without wealth are jealous of the power the fine arts what printing was for literature, and privileges of those who possess money placing reliable and authentic materials for without culture; and on the other hand, the study within the reach of every one. Literamen whose time has been too entirely absorbed ture itself has profited by the industrial progby commercial pursuits to leave them any mar-ress of the present age, in the increased gin sufficient to do justice to their intellectual cheapness of everything that is material in powers, are often painfully sensitive to the books. I please myself with the reflection contempt of the cultivated, and strongly dis- that even you make paper cheaper by manuposed, from jealousy, to undervalue culture facturing so much cotton. itself. Both are wrong so far as they indulge any unworthy and unreasonable feeling of this kind. The existence of the two classes is necessary to an advanced civilization. The science of accumulating and administrating material wealth, of which you yourself are a great practical master, is the foundation of the material prosperity of nations, and it is only when this prosperity is fully assured to great numbers that the arts and sciences can develop themselves in perfect liberty and
All these are reasons why we ought not to be jealous of you; and now permit me to indicate a few other reasons why it is unreasonable on your part to feel any jealousy of us.
Suppose we were to cease working to-morrow-cease working, I mean, in our peculiar ways-and all of us become colliers and factory operatives instead, with nobody to supply our places. Or, since you may possibly be of opinion that there is enough literature and science in the world at the present day,
suppose rather that at some preceding date IT is agreeable to see various indications the whole literary and scientific and artistic that the absurd old prejudices against comlabor of the human race; had come suddenly merce are certainly declining. There still reto a standstill. Mind, I do not say of English- mains quite enough contempt for trade in the men merely, but of the whole race, for if any professional classes and the aristocracy, to intellectual work had been done in France or give us frequent opportunities for studying it Germany, or even in Japan, you would have as a relic of former superstition, unhappily imported it like cotton and foreign cereals. not yet rare enough to be quite a curiosity; Well, I have no hesitation in telling you that but as time passes and people become more although there was a good deal of literature rational, it will retreat to out-of-the-way corand science in England before the 1st of Jan-ners of old country mansions and rural paruary, 1800, the present condition of the nation sonages, at a safe distance from the light-givwould have been a very chaotic condition if ing centres of industry. It is a surprising the intellectual class had ceased on that day fact, and one which proves the almost pato think and observe and to place on record thetic spirit of deference and submission to its thoughts and observations. The life of a superiors which characterizes the English progressive nation cannot long go forward ex-people, that out of the hundreds of occupaclusively on the thinking of the past: its tions which are followed by the busy classes thoughtful men must not be all dead men, of this country, only three are entirely free but living men who accompany it on its from some degrading stigma, so that they course. It is they who make clear the les- may be followed by a high-born youth withsons of experience; it is they who discover out any sacrifice of caste. The wonder is the reliable general laws upon which all safe that the great active majority of the nation, action must be founded in the future; it is they the men who by their industry and intelliwho give decision to human action in every di-gence have made England what she is, should rection by constantly registering, in language ever have been willing to submit to so insoof comprehensive accuracy, both its successes and its failures. It is their great and arduous labor which makes knowledge accessible to men of action at the cost of little effort and the smallest possible expenditure of time. The intellectual class grows in numbers and in influence along with the numbers and influence of the materially productive population of the State. And not only are the natural philosophers, the writers of contemporary and past history, the discoverers in science, necessary in the strictest sense to the life of such a community as the modern English community, but even the poets, the novelists, the artists are necessary to the perfection of its life. Without them and their work the national mind would be as incomplete as would be the natural universe without beauty. But this, perhaps, you will perceive less clearly, or be less willing to admit.
lent a rule as this rule of caste, which, instead of honoring industry, honored idleness, and attached a stigma to the most useful and important trades. The landowner, the soldier, the priest, these three were pure from every stain of degradation, and only these three were quite absolutely and ethereally pure. Next to them came the lawyer and the physician, on whom there rested some traces of the lower earth; so that although the youthful baron would fight or preach, he would neither plead nor heal. And after these came the lower professions and the innumerable trades, all marked with stigmas of deeper and deeper degradation.
From the intellectual point of view these prejudices indicate a state of society in which public opinion has not emerged from barbarism. It understands the strength of the feudal chief having land, with serfs or voters on the land; it knows the uses of the sword, and it dreads the menaces of the priesthood. Beyond this it knows little, and despises what it does not understand. It is ignorant of science, and industry, and art; it despises them
TO A YOUNG ETONIAN WHO THOUGHT OF BE- as servile occupations beneath its conception
COMING A COTTON-SPINNER.
Absurd old prejudices against commerce-Stigma attached to the great majority of occupations-Traditions of feudalism-Distinctions between one trade and another-A real instance of an Etonian who had gone into the cottontrade--Observations on this case-The trade a fine field for energy-A poor one for intellectual culture-It develops practical ability-Culture not possible without leisure -The founders of commercial fortunes.
of the gentleman. This is the tradition of countries which retain the impressions of feudalism; but notwithstanding all our philosophy, it is difficult for us to avoid some feeling of astonishment when we reflect that the public opinion of England-a country that owes so much of her greatness and nearly all her wealth to commercial enter