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AND MODIFY THE CHARACTERS OF NATIONS IN

THE STATE OF CIVILISATION.

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JAMES DUNCAN, PATERNOSTER-ROW;

J. AND J. J. DEIGHTON, CAMBRIDGE; AND

MILLIKEN AND SON, DUBLIN.

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ON

NATIONAL CHARACTER.

CHAPTER I.

ON INDUSTRY.

PART I,

On the Causes which develop and modify Industry among Nations.

The state of literature, of science, of the fine arts, is generally considered as the most direct standard by which intellect can be measured, and in cultivated individuals this may be held as sufficiently correct ; but large bodies of men must be examined in more complicated points of view, and the relations in which the members of a community stand toward each other, are juster measures of the understanding of nations. Thus government forms a more leading feature in national character and intellect than mathematics, poetry, or painting; and a well-constituted empire presents a larger phalanx of well-combined force, than one which swarms with artists and astronomers.

In the same manner, industry is one of the surest national characteristics. It is the general, the involuntary expression of the wants of society, proclaimed by the free voice, and manifested in the unbiassed practice of every man, however little he is raised above the state of nature or of indigence. Paradise Lost has been read, perhaps, by one fivehundredth part of the British nation, and in that fivehundredth part how few can form a proper judgment upon it? But the meanest individual uses some artificial texture to cover his limbs—the dullest helps to raise the shed which protects his body. If anything, then, can be held as a

Vol. II.

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