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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 must be written quickly, and with the least larger product of what is truly genial than amount of preparatory labor that can possibly weeks of compulsion." Coleridge's idea of a be made to serve. This is very different from profession was, that it should be “ some regu- the “douce incubation" of Michelet. Goldlar employment which could be carried on so smith said of hack-writing, that it was diffifar mechanically, that an average quantum cult to imagine a combination more prejudionly of health, spirits, and intellectual exer- cial to taste than that of the author whose intion are requisite to its faithful discharge."terest it is to write as much as possible, and Without in the least desiring to undervalue the bookseller, whose interest it is to pay as good professional work of any kind, I may little as possible. The condition of authors observe that, to be truly professional, it ought has no doubt greatly improved since Goldto be always at command, and therefore that smith's time, but still the fact remains that the average power of the man's intellect, not the most careful and finished writing, requirhis rare flashes of highest intellectual illumi- ing extensive preparatory study, is a luxury nation, ought to suffice for it. Professional in which the professional writer can only inwork ought always to be plain business work, dulge himself at great risk. Careful writing requiring knowledge and skill, but not any does, no doubt, occasionally pay for the time effort of genius. For example, in medicine, it it costs; but such writing is more commonly is professional work to prescribe a dose or am- done by men who are either independent by putate a limb, but not to discover the nervous fortune, or who make themselves, as authors, system or the circulation of the blood. independent by the pursuit of some other pro
If literature paid sufficiently well to allow fession, than by regular men of letters whose it, a literary man might very wisely consider whole income is derived from their inkstands. study to be his profession, and not production. And when, by way of exception, the hackHe would then study regularly, say, six writer does produce very highly-finished and hours a day, and write when he had some concentrated work, based upon an elaborate thing to say, and really wanted to express it. foundation of hard study, that work is sel. His book, when it came out, would have had dom professional in the strictest sense, but is time to be properly hatched, and would prob- a labor of love, outside the hasty journalism ably have natural life in it. Michelet says of or magazine-writing that wins his daily bread. one of his books: "Cette cuvre a du moins In cases of this kind it is clear that the best le caractère d'être venue comme vient toute work is not done as a regular part of profesvraie création vivante. Elle s'est faite à la sional duty, and that the author might as well chaleur d'une douce incubation." * It would earn his bread in some other calling, if he still be impossible, in so short a space, to give a had the same amount of leisure for the commore accurate description of the natural man- position of real literature. ner 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 conscien* * This work has at any rate the character of having come into the world like every really living creation. It has been
tiousness, especially in the way of study and produced by th: heat of a gentle incubation."
research, is a direct injury to the professional writer's purse. Suppose, for example, that he were placed by the side of thoroughly careful is engaged in reviewing a book, and is to get and earnest work, it became strikingly evi31. 108. for the review when it is written. If dent 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 told 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 gelessary to consult several authorities, to make dom acquires better habits afterwards. some laborious researches, then the reviewer is Professional writers who follow journalisin placed in a dilemma between literary thor- for its immediate profits, are liable in like manoughness and duty to his family. He cannot ner to retain the habit of diffuseness in litir spend a week in reading up a subject for the ture which ought to be more finished and more sum of 31. 10s. Is it not much easier to string concentrated. Therefore, although journaltogether a few phrases which will effectually ism is a good teacher of promptitude and decishide his ignorance from everybody but the ion, it often spoils a hand for higher literature half-dozen enthusiasts who have mastered the by incapacitating it for perfect finish; and it is subject of the book? It is strange that the better for a writer who has ambition to write professional pursuit of literature should be a little, but always his best, than to dilute him. direct discouragement to study; yet it is so. self in daily columns. One of the greatest privThere are hack-writers who study, and they ileges which an author can aspire to is to be aldeserve much honor for doing so, since the lowed to write little, and that is a privilege temptations the other way are always so press- which the professional writer does not enjoy, ing and immediate. Sainte-Beuve was a true except in such rare instances as that of Tenstudent, loving literature for its own sake, and nyson, whose careful finish is as prudent in preparing for his articles with a diligence rare the professional sense as it is satisfactory to in the profession. But he was scarcely a hack- the scrupulous fastidiousness of the artist. writer, having a modest independency, and living besides with the quiet frugality of a bachelor. The truth seems to be that literature of the
LETTER IV. 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
MANUFACTURER. chooses. The production of the printed talk of the day is a profession, requiring no more
Two classes in their lower grades inevitably hostile--The spir
itual and temporal powers—The functions of both not than average ability, and the tone and temper
easily exercised by the same person-Humboldt, Faraday, of ordinary educated men. The outcome of Livingstone-The difficulty about time-Limits to the en it is journalism and magazine-writing; and
ergy of the individual-Jealousy between the classes
That this jealousy ought not to exist-Some of the sci now let me say a word or two about these. ences based upon an industrial development-The work
The highest kind of journalism is very well of the intellectual class absolutely necessary in a highly done in England; the men who do it are often
civilized community-That it grows in numbers and in
fluence side by side with the industrial class. 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 in a great measure to my unfortunate incaof it may be illustrated by a reference to a pacity for expressing anything exactly by sister art. I was in the studio of an English spoken words. The constant habit of writing, landscape-painter when some pictures arrived which permits a leisurely selection from one's from an artist in the country to go along with ideas, is often very unfavorable to readiness his own to one of the exhibitions. They were in conversation. Will you permit me, then, all very pretty and very clever-indeed, so to go over the ground we traversed, this time clever were they, that their cleverness was al- in my own way, pen in hand? most offensive--and so long as they were We represent, you and I, two classes which looked at by themselves, the brilliance of them in their lower grades are inevitably hostile: was rather dazzling. But the instant they but the superior members of these classes ought not to feel any hostility, since both are others have done, would in these days have equally necessary to the world. We are, in had nothing to learn. Past history proves truth, the spiritual and the temporal powers the immensity of the debt which the world in their most modern form. The chief of in- owes to men who gave their whole time and dustry and the man of letters stand to-day in attention to intellectual pursuits; and if the 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 from the past of the human race, its present Ages. We are not recognized, either of us, by would be very different from what it is. A formally conferred titles, we are both held to list has been published of men who have done be somewhat intrusive by the representatives much good work in the intervals of business, of a former order of things, and there is, or but still the fact remains that the great intelwas until very lately, a certain disposition to lectual pioneers were absorbed and devoted deny what we consider our natural rights; men, scorning wealth so far as it affected but we know that our powers are not to be re- themselves, and ready to endure everything sisted, and we have the inward assurance that for knowledge beyond the knowledge of their the forces of nature are with us.
times. Instances of such enthusiasm abound, This, with reference to the outer world. an enthusiasm fully justified by the value of But there is a want of clearness in the rela- the results which it has achieved. When tion between ourselves. You understand Alexander Humboldt sold his inheritance to your great temporal function, which is the have the means for his great journey in South wise direction of the industry of masses, the America, and calmly dedicated the whole of accumulation and distribution of wealth; but a long life, and the strength of a robust conyou do not so clearly understand the spiritual stitution, to the advancement of natural function of the intellectual class, and you do knowledge, he acted foolishly indeed, if years, not think of it quite justly. This want of un- and strength, and fortune are given to us only derstanding is called by some of us your Phil. to be well invested in view of money returns; istinism. Will you permit me to explain what but the world has profited by his decision. the intellectual class thinks of you, and what Faraday gave up the whole of his time to disis its opinion about itself?
covery when he might have earned a large Pray excuse any appearance of presump- fortune by the judicious investment of his tion on my part if I say we of the intellectual extraordinary skill in chemistry. Livingclass and you of the industrial. My position stone has sacrificed everything to the pursuit is something like that of the clergyman who of his great work in Africa. Lives such as reads, “Let him come to me or to some other these--and many resemble them in useful delearned and discreet minister of God's word,"votion of which we hear much less-are thereby calling himself learned and discreet. clearly not compatible with much money-getIt is a simple matter of fact that I belong to ting. A decent existence, free from debt, is the intellectual class, since I lead its life, just all that such men ought to be held answeraas it is a fact that you have a quarter of a ble for. million of money.
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.
people who cannot in the nature of things Although men in various occupations often serve society effectively in their own way acquire a considerable degree of culture out without being quite outside of the industrial side their trade, the highest results of culture life. There is a real incompatibility between can scarcely ever be attained by men whose some pursuits and others. I suspect that you time is taken up in earning a fortune. Every would have been a good general, for you are man has but a limited flow of mental energy a born leader and commander of men; but it per day; and if this is used up in an indus-would have been difficult to unite a regular trial leadership, he cannot do much more in military career with strict personal attention the intellectual sphere than simply ascertain to your factories. We often find the same what has been done by others. Now, although difficulty in our intellectual pursuits. We we have a certain respect, and the respect is are not always quite so unpractical as you just, for those who know what others have think we are; but the difficulty is how to find accomplished, it is clear that if no one did the time, and how to arrange it so as not to more than this, if no one made any fresh dis- miss two or three distinct classes of opporcoveries, the world would make no progress tunities. We are not all of us exactly imbewhatever; and in fact, if nobody ever had ciles in money matters, though the pecuniary been dedicated to intellectual pursuits in pre-results of our labors seem no doubt pitiful ceding ages, the men who only learn what 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 them. whether he could do it in one year, but many selves indifferent to this result, that it ought a fine intellectual capacity has overshadowed always, to be a matter of congratulation for a fine practical capacity in the same head by the intellectual class itself, which needs the the withdrawal of time and effort.
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 humanIn saying in this plain way that we are in- ity. It is possible, no doubt, in these modern tellectually superior to you and your class, I times, that some purely pastoral or agricultuam guilty of no more pride and vanity than ral community might produce a great chemyou when you affirın or display your wealth. ist, because a man of inborn scientific genius The fact is there, in its simplicity. We have who came into the world in an agricultural culture because we have paid the twenty or country might in these days get his books and thirty years of labor which are the price of materials from industrial centres at a disculture, just as you have great factories and tance, but his work would still be based on estates which are the reward of your life's the industrial life of others. No pastoral or patient and intelligent endeavor.
agricultural community which was really Why should there be any narrow jealousy isolated from industrial communities ever between us; why any contempt on the one produced a chemist. And now consider how side or the other? Each has done his ap- enormously important this one science of pointed work, each has caused to fructify the chemistry has proved itself even to our inteltalent which the Master gave.
lectual life! Several other sciences bare 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 prog. by 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 All these are reasons why we ought not to any unworthy and unreasonable feeling of be jealous of you; and now permit me to inthis kind. The existence of the two classes is dicate a few other reasons why it is unreasonnecessary to an advanced civilization. The able on your part to feel any jealousy of us. science of accumulating and administrating Suppose we were to cease working to-mormaterial wealth, of which you yourself are a row-cease working, I mean, in our peculiar great practical master, is the foundation of ways—and all of us become colliers and facthe material prosperity of nations, and it is tory operatives instead, with nobody to suponly when this prosperity is fully assured to ply our places. Or, since you may possibly great numbers that the arts and sciences can be of opinion that there is enough literature develop themselves in perfect liberty and I 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 lent a rule as this rule of caste, which, instead and its failures. It is their great and ardu- of honoring industry, honored idleness, and ous labor which makes knowledge accessible attached a stigma to the most useful and imto men of action at the cost of little effort and portant trades. The landowner, the soldier, the smallest possible expenditure of time. the priest, these three were pure from every The intellectual class grows in numbers and stain of degradation, and only these three in influence along with the numbers and in- were quite absolutely and ethereally pure. fluence of the materially productive popula- Next to them came the lawyer and the physition of the State. And not only are the natu- cian, on whom there rested some traces of the ral philosophers, the writers of contemporary lower earth; so that although the youthful and past history, the discoverers in science, baron would fight or preach, he would neinecessary in the strictest sense to the life of ther plead nor heal. And after these came Auch a community as the modern English the lower professions and the innumerable rommunity, but even the poets, the novelists, trades, all marked with stigmas of deeper the artists are necessary to the perfection of and deeper degradation. its life. Without them and their work the From the intellectual point of view these national mind would be as incomplete as prejudices indicate a state of society in which would be the natural universe without beauty. public opinion has not emerged from barbaBut this, perhaps, you will perceive less rism. It understands the strength of the clearly, or be less willing to admit.
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 LETTER V.
it does not understand. It is ignorant of sci
ence, 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.
of the gentleman. This is the tradition of
countries which retain the impressions of Absurd old prejudices against commerce_Stigma attached feudalism; but notwithstanding all our phi
to the great majority of occupations Traditions of feudalisın-Distinctions between one trade and another-A
losophy, it is difficult for us to avoid some real instance of an Etonian who had gone into the cotton- feeling of astonishment when we reflect that trade-Observations on this case–The trade a fine field the public opinion of England-a country for energy-A poor one for intellectual culture-It devel
that owes so much of her greatness and ops practical ability-Culture not possible without leisure -The founders of commercial fortunes.
nearly all her wealth to commercial enter-