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spontaneously affords us; as fruits, corn, marble.
Hen. But there is a great deal of trouble with corn; you have often made me take notice how much pains it costs the farmer to plough his ground, and put the seed in the earth, and keep it clear from weeds.
Fa. Very true; but the farmer does not make the corn; he only prepares for it a proper soil and situation, and removes every hindrance arising from the hardness of the ground, or the neighbourhood of other plants, which might obstruct the secret and wonderful
process of vegetation ; but with the vegetation itself he has nothing to do. It is not his hand that draws out the slender fibres of the root, pushes up the green stalk, and by degrees the spiky ear; swells the grain, and embrowns it with that rich tinge of tawny russet, which informs the husbandman it is time
to put in his sickle : all this operation is performed without his care or even knowledge.
Hen. Now then I understand ; corn is a production, and bread is a Manufacture.
Fa. Bread is certainly, in strictness of speech, a Manufacture ; but we do not in general apply the term to any thing in which the original material is so little changed. If we wanted to speak of bread philosophically, we should
it is a preparation of corn, Hen. Is sugar a Manufacture ?
Fa. No, for the same reason. Beside which, I do not recollect the term being applied to any article of food; I suppose from an idea that food is of too perishable a nature, and generally obtained by a process too simple to deserve the name,
We say, therefore, sugarworks, oil-mills, chocolate-works; we do not say a beer-manufactory, but a brewery ; but this is only a nicety of language, for properly all those are manufactories, if there is much of art and curiosity in the process.
Hen. Do we say a manufactory of pictures ?
Fa. No; but for a different reason. A picture, especially if it belong to any of the higher kinds of painting, is an effort of genius. A picture cannot be produced by any given combinations of canvass and colour. It is the hand, indeed, that executes, but the head that works. Sir Joshua Reynolds could not have gone, when he was engaged to paint a picture, and hired workmen, the one to draw the eyes, another the nose, a third the mouth : the whole must be the painter's own, that particular painter's, and no other; and no one who has not his ideas can do his work. His work is therefore nobler, of a higher species.
Hen. Pray give me an instance of a manufacture.
Fa. The making of watches is a manufacture : the silver, iron, gold, or whatever else is used in it, are produce tions, the materials of the work; but it is by the wonderful art of man that they are wrought into the numberless wheels and springs of which this complicated machine is composed.
Hen. Then is there not as much art in making a watch as a picture? Does not the head work ?
Fa. Certainly, in the original invention of watches, as much or more, than in painting ; but when once invented, the art of watch-making is capable of being reduced to a mere mechanical labour, which may be exercised by any man of common capacity, according to certain precise rules, when made familiar to him by practice. This, painting is not.
Hen. But, my dear father, making of books surely requires a great deal of thinking and study; and yet I remember the other day at dinner a gentleman said that Mr. Pica had manufactured a large volume in less than a fortnight.
Fa. It was meant to convey a satirical remark on his book, because it was compiled from other authors, from whom he had taken a page in one place, and a page in another; so that it was not produced by the labour of his brain, but of his hands. Thus
your mother complain that the London cream was manufactured ; which was a pointed and concise way of saying that the cream was not what it ought to be, or what it pretended to be ; for cream when ge. : nuine is a pure production ; but when mixed up and adulterated with flour and isinglass, and I know not what, it becomes a Manufacture.
It was as much as to say, art has been here where