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But, Mr. President, I am not here to flatter the farmers. And if I desired to do so, it would be rather a dangerous experiment at a moment when we are within ear-shot of so many of our fellow-citizens who are engaged in other pursuits. I shall not say to them, as the old Roman poet said, that, when Justice winged its flight from the earth, it made its latest abode, and left its last traces, among the homes and in the hearts of the husbandmen. For, I cannot forget, that that noble Association of Massachusetts mechanics, for which my friend, Mr. Lincoln, has just responded, and of which I enjoy the cherished distinction of being an honorary member, adopted long ago for its motto “ Be just and fear not;" and I believe there is no body of men in the land, who more scrupulously “reck their own rede," and practise according to their own precepts.
Nor shall I tell the farmers, as they have been told from high quarters, in more recent days, that they are the best part of the population;" for I know they would scorn any compliment which should be paid them at the expense of their brethren in other pursuits. It is enough for us all to admit that there is no better part of the population, unless, indeed, it be their own wives and daughters, as represented in yonder group, whose privilege is always to be styled, " the better part of creation.” There are none better entitled, certainly, to the respect and confidence of the community, or to the protecting and fostering care of the government of the country. And let me add, Sir, that if the farmers do not receive their full share of this governmental care and protection, it is their own fault; for though our friend, Mr. Child, has clearly proved to us that they do not constitute the most numerous class in our own State, they are unquestionably in a great majority in the country at large, and can have their own way, whenever they see fit to assert their power and vindicate their rights.
Mr. President, I would gladly have said a more serious word, before taking my seat, in reference to the importance of some provision being made, either by the liberality of individuals, or under the patronage of the State, for the promotion of agricultural education, and the diffusion of agricultural science. But the sound of the car-bell is already in my ears, reminding me that in a few minutes more I must be on my way to Boston. You have your own engagements, too, the distribution of prizes, the election of officers, and other interesting and important duties, with which I would be the last to interfere. I cannot conclude, however, without adverting more particularly to the fact that this is not a mere agricultural occasion.
There is something of peculiar and most agreeable significance both in the title of your Association, and in the time, place, and circumstances of your festival. You are a society of Husbandmen and Manufacturers, and you have chosen as the scene of your cattle-show the very site and seat of our largest and most numerous manufacturing establishments; while the Mechanic Association of the county has prepared a beautiful exhibition, crowded with every variety of curious machine and ingenious implement and exquisite fabric, and is uniting with you in all your arrangements and festivities. Horticulture, too, has lent its choicest fruits and its richest garlands to the occasion. And, above all, a good Providence has shed the selectest influences on the hour, by favoring us so unexpectedly with a day of such unsurpassed loveliness and brilliancy,
The whole occasion, Sir, furnishes a striking and beautiful testimony, on the part of those who understand the matter best, to the union and harmony of interests, which ought to exist, and which do exist, among all the different branches of human labor. It furnishes a noble refutation and rebuke to the idea, too often propagated for mischievous purposes, that there is an antagonism of interest or of feeling between the agricultural and manufacturing population of the country, and especially between the farmers and mechanics of our own State. It declares, in a voice not to be misinterpreted, that the interests of labor are one and the same, in whatever departments it is employed; and that the industrial classes, instead of thriving at each other's expense, find their highest interest and advantage in each other's prosper. ity. The greatest division of labor - the greatest union among laborers - this is the lesson of the scene before us, and I hope it will not soon be forgotten. It cannot be forgotten, Sir, by the farmers at least, while the mechanic arts are providing such implements for agriculture, as those to which you have already
alluded, -the Massachusetts Plough and the Virginia Reaper, which have recently carried off the prizes at the World's Fair, and given new celebrity to American invention and Yankee skill; and which, let me add, are remembered by us not the less gratefully to-day, as having associated in the triumphs of modern art, those two ancient Commonwealths, which were so closely and so gloriously associated in the early struggles of American Independ. ence. Nor will agriculture forget its indebtedness to invention and the mechanic arts, while it is in the enjoyment of those noble highways of intercommunication whose completion we have just celebrated, and which have brought the markets of Canada home to our very doors. Why, I have heard, Sir, within a few hours past, that since the opening of these roads, during the last week, one of your Middlesex farmers has found a ready sale for thirty or forty bushels of fresh peaches in the city of Montreal!
But, Mr. President, I am admonished that these railroads are like the wind and tide in at least one respect — “they wait for no man," and I hasten to secure my own passage, as well as to relieve your patience, by proposing as a sentiment, as I most cordially do,
“ Success to the Farmers, Manufacturers, and Mechanics of Middlesex, and may they ever continue to cherish and cultivate those feelings of mutual respect and fraternal regard, which have united them to-day in a common and brilliant Festival."
THE MECHANIC ARTS.
A SPEECH DELIVERED AT THE FESTIVAL OF THE MASSACHUSETTS CHARI
TABLE MECHANIC ASSOCIATION, IN FANEUIL HALL, ON WEDNESDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 1, 1851.
[In reply to a complimentary call from George G. Smith, Esq., the Chief Marshal of the occasion.]
I could have wished, Mr. Chief Marshal, that your worthy Vice-President, whose privilege it is to preside over the neighboring Observatory, as well as over this Association to-night, and who has so long been a living Bond * between science and art, might have brought some star of larger magnitude than myself within the range of his glass at this moment, and have allowed me to remain still longer unobserved. But we all know that there is no escape from his telescope, and I willingly yield myself to his summons, as kindly announced by yourself.
I thank you most heartily, ladies and gentlemen, for this friendly reception. I thank you still more for the opportunity of enjoying this most agreeable occasion. I have often, in other years, attended your festivals as a guest, and always with renewed gratification. But you must pardon me, if I cannot consent to be considered as a mere guest this evening; for, since you have accorded me the distinction of being enrolled among your honorary members, I feel emboldened to assert my privileges as a brother. A most unworthy and unprofitable brother, I do confess, and little better than a drone in your industrial hive; but one, who is all the more deeply grateful for your liberality, in allowing him to come in for a share of your honey, and especially in admitting him to-night to join with you in doing homage to your Queen Bees.
* Mr. Bond, the Cambridge Astronomer, the Vice-President of the Association, occupied the Chair.
And never was there a moment, Mr. President, in the history of mankind, when any one might be more justly proud to find his name on the rolls of a Mechanic Association. Never, certainly, was there a year when the inventors and artisans of the world could hold up their heads with a loftier consciousness of their importance to their fellow-men, than they may in this year of our Lord, 1851. Wherever we turn, at home or abroad, we see the strong hand of the mechanic, aided and guided by science, impressing itself upon the condition of society, and giving form and character to the age in which we live. As it was in the procession of the late Railroad Jubilee here in our own streets, to which the Mayor has so happily alluded, - so is it everywhere in the great procession of human events, as we see it passing along over the highways of human existence, and on the stage of daily life; - the emblems of the trades, the insignia of the arts, the triumphal banners of mechanic labor and invention, are the chief features of the scene, and furnish its most striking and attractive ornaments.
The highest praise has been awarded from all quarters to Prince Albert, of Old England, för proposing and patronizing the noble scheme, which has been so successfully and brilliantly carried out, of an exhibition of the industry of the world, and there is no one here who would detract one jot or tittle from the credit which belongs to him. But, after all, Sir, he has only recognized the grand fact of the times. He has only made a seasonable and just acknowledgment of that which could no longer be denied. The Crystal Palace, (as was truly said by the Earl of Carlisle, so well and so favorably known to us all as Lord Morpeth,) is only “ the formal recognition of the dignity and value of labor.” But that dignity and that value existed, whether they were formally recognized or not. They did not wait for the breath of princes to call them into being, nor require a World's Fair for their blazonry. They were created by no royal patent, and made manifest by no crystal palace. By the strength of millions of stout arms, by the energy of millions of intelligent minds, and by the countless products which industry, invention, science, and skill, have brought to the advancement of civilization and the improvement of society, they have forced them