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as possible, that is, to get as much wealth as we can with a reasonable amount of labour. In order to do this we must take care to labour in the most favourable way, and there is no difficulty in seeing that we ought to labour
(1) At the best time;
(3) In the best manner. 21. Work at the best Time. Of course we ought to do things when it is most easy to do them, and when we are likely to get most produce for our labour. The angler goes to the river in the early morning or the evening, when the fish will bite; the farmer makes hay while the sun shines; the miller grinds corn when the breeze is fresh, or the stream full; and the skipper starts when wind and tide are in his favour. By long experience farmers have found out the best time of year for doing every kind of work: seed is sown in autumn or spring; manure is carried in winter when the ground is frozen ; hedges and ditches are mended when there is nothing else to do, and the harvest is gathered just when it is ripe, and the weather is fine. Norwegian peasants work hard all day in July and August to cut as much grass, and make as much hay as possible. They never think of timber then, because they know that there will be plenty of time during the long winter to cut down trees; and when the snow fills up all the hollows in the mountain side, they can easily drag the trees down to the rivers, which rise high with floods after the melting of the snow, and carry the logs away, without further labour, to the towns and ports. It is a good rule not to do to-day what we can probably do more easily tomorrow : but it is a still better rule not to put off till to-morrow what we can do more easily to-day. In order, however, that we may be able to wait and to do each kind of work at the best time, we must have enough capital to live upon in the meantime.
22. Work at the Best Place. Again, we
should carry on every kind of work at the place best suited for it, that we can get possession of. In many cases this is so obvious that the remark seems absurd. Does any one plant fruit trees on the sea sands, or sow corn among rocks? Of course not, because there would be no result. No one is so foolish as to spend his labour in a place .where it would be wasted altogether. In other cases it is a question of degree; there may be some produce here, but there would be more produce there. In the south of England vines can be made to grow in the open air, and, in former days, wine used to be made from grapes grown in England. But vines grow much better on the sunny hills of France, Spain, and Germany, and the wine which can there be made with the same labour is far more plentiful and immensely better in quality. Those, then, who want to make wine had much better remove to the continent, or, still better, let the French, Spaniards, and Germans produce wine for us. In England we have good soil and a moist climate fitted for growing grass, and the best thing which our farmers can do is to raise cattle and produce plenty of milk, butter, and cheese.
In order that the world may grow as rich as possible, each country should give its attention to producing what it can produce most easily in its present circumstances, getting other things in exchange by foreign trade. The United States can raise endless quantities of cotton, corn, bacon, meat, fruit, petroleum, besides plenty of gold, silver, copper, iron, &c. Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa will furnish much wool, hides, sugar, preserved meats, besides gold, copper, and diamonds. Tropical Africa has palm oil, ivory, teak wood, gum, &c. South America abounds in cattle from which we get tallow, hides, bones, horns, essence of beef, &c. China supplies us with vast quantities of tea, in addition to silk, ginger, and many minor commodities. India sends cotton, indigo, jute, rice, seeds, sugar, spices, and all kinds of other products. Every part of the world has some commodities which it can produce better than other countries, and if men and governments were wise, they would allow trade to be as free as possible, in order that each thing shall be produced where it costs the least labour to produce it.
23. Work in the Best Manner. Whatever the, kind of industry carried on in a place, we ought to take care, thirdly, that each labourer works in the best manner, so as not to waste his labour or to make mistakes. There are many different ways of setting about the same work, and, in order that he may choose the best, the labourer must be intelligent and skilful, or else he must be directed by some person who has knowledge and skill. Moreover, there must be, as we shall see, great division of labour, so that each man shall do the kind of work he can do best. We need, then
(2) Division of labour. 24. The Need of Science. In order that he may employ his labour to the best advantage, it is requisite that the labourer should be not merely skilful, that is, clever, and practised in handiwork, but that he should also be guided by a scientific knowledge of the things with which he is dealing. Knowledge of nature consists, to a great extent, in understanding the causes of things, that is, in knowing what things must be put together in order that certain other things shall be produced. Thus the steam-engine is due to the discovery that if heat be applied to water, the result is steam expanding with much force, so that a firebox, coal, boiler, and water are causes of force. Whenever we want to do any work, then, we must begin by learning, if possible, what are the causes which will produce it most easily and abundantly. By knowledge we shall often be saved from much needless labour.
As Sir John Herschel has explained, science some
times shows us that things which we wish to do are really impossible, as, for instance, to invent a perpetual motion, that is, a machine which moves itself. At other times science teaches us that the way in which we are trying to make something is altogether the wrong way. Thus, iron-masters used to think that the best way of smelting iron in the blast-furnace was to blow the furnace with cold air ; science, however, showed that, instead of being cold, the air sent into the furnace should be made as hot as possible. Then, again, science often enables us to do our work with a great saving of labour. The boatman or bargeman takes care to learn the state of the tide, so that he may have the tide in his favour in making any journey. Meteorologists have now prepared maps of the oceans showing the sea-captain where he will find winds and currents most favourable to a rapid voyage. Lastly, science sometimes leads us to discover wonderful things which we should not have otherwise thought it possible to do; it is sufficient to mention the discovery of photography and the invention of the telegraph and the telephone. No doubt it may be said that all the greatest improvements in industry—most of what tends to raise man above the condition of the brute animals---proceed from science. The poet Virgil was right when he said, “ Happy is he who knows the causes of things."
DIVISION OF LABOUR. 23. How Division of Labour Arises. When a number of workmen are engaged on any work, we find that each man usually takes one part of the work, and leaves other parts of the work to his mates. People by degrees arrange themselves into different trades, so that the whole work done in any place is divided into many employments or crafts. This division of labour is found in all civilised countries, and more or less in all states of society, which are not merely barbarous.
In every village there is the butcher and the baker, and the blacksmith and the carpenter. Even in a single family there is division of labour : the husband ploughs, or cuts timber; the wife cooks, manages the house, and spins or weaves; the sons hunt or tend sheep; the daughters employ themselves as milkmaids. There is a popular couplet which says
" When Adam delved and Eve span,
Who was then the gentleman ?” It seems to express the fact that this division of labour existed in very early times, before there were any gentlemen.
In modern times the division of labour is immensely complicated : not only has every town and village its different tradespeople, and artisans and men in different posts and employments, but each district has its peculiar manufactures. In one place cotton goods are produced ; in another, woollen goods ; in other parts of the country flax, jute, silk are manufactured. Iron is made in Staffordshire, Cleveland, South Wales, and Scotland ; copper is smelted in South Wales ; crockery is baked in the potteries; hosiery is manufactured in Nottingham and Leicester; linens are sewed in the North of Ireland; and so In every sepa factory, again, there is division of labour; there is the manager, the chief clerk, the assistant clerks; the foremen of different departments, the timekeeper, the engine-tenter, and stokers, the common labourers, the carters, errand boys, porters, &c., all in addition to the actual mechanics of different kinds and ranks who do the principal work. Thus the division of labour spreads itself throughout the whole of society, from the Queen and her Ministers, down to the errand boy, or the street scavenger.