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the impolicy of this course of proceeding. An American writer thus comments upon the circumstance: "We have wantonly sacrificed the comprehensive and permanent interests of the State to the particular and separate views of the counties or districts in which we reside.""* The baneful effect of individual interest operates to protect the monopoly in France. Messiers. Villiers and Bowring, in their "Report on the Commercial Relations between France and Great Britain," make the following observation: "In France a very large proportion of those who are interested in the continuance of the existing commercial system, are elevated public functionaries, or are placed in immediate contact with them."t

The time is, however, near at hand when, in all probability, this exclusive system will be abolished, and our iron admitted in to both these countries at a moderate duty.

The interest and importance of this inquiry have induced the author to give at some length the history of the manufacture in France and America.

Belgium and the German States will close the inquiry into foreign manufacture.

The concluding chapters continue the history of the home manufacture from the year 1830 to the present time, with observations on the past and present state and prospects of the trade.

Since this Introduction was written, changes have taken

* Cambreleng's "Report to the Committee on the Commerce and Navigation of the United States."

"Je ne connais de moyen d'animer un commerce quelconque, que la plus grande liberté et l'affranchissement de tous les droits que l'intérêt mal entendu du fisc a multipliés à l'excès sur toutes les espèces de marchandises, et en particulier sur la fabrication des fers.

"En général les dépenses d'exploitation sont si variables, si difficiles à prévoir, ont des proportions si différentes avec le produit réel des différentes mines, qu'une portion déterminée du produit, sans aucune déduction de dépenses, formerait nécessairement une taxe très inégale et d'autant plus injuste, qu'elle augmenterait à raison de la diminution des profits. Cette injustice existerait déjà, si ce dixième se prélevait sur la mine brute, sans avoir égard aux dépenses de l'extraction; mais elle est encore bien augmentée par la disposition de quelques anciennes lois, qui règlent, que ce dixième sera pris sur les matières fondues et affinies, et qui par conséquent chargent encore l'entrepreneur de la dépense et des risques de la fonte.”—TURGOT.

place in the duties, as will be shown in the following pages.

The public may refer to the various returns in this Book, with confidence, as they are altogether taken from official or otherwise authentic documents.

It has been the author's study to condense his subject as much as was consistent with the necessary detail and the interest of the narrative.



IT may be necessary to premise this chapter by stating that, with the minute notice and a detail of the various iron ores and their location the author scarcely interferes, being well aware that that department more justly belongs to the practical geologist, from whose labours increasing information is constantly elicited, and rational conclusions are leading our views to the exalted origin of all knowledge. In the pursuit of scientific research, the utmost labour of the most enlightened, and the expanded ideas of the most learned philosopher, can reach but an atom of immeasurable omniscience. What then is the boast of human knowledge, the pride of man's learning? A few steps in the field, a few flowers gathered, from the ever-increasing myriads which nature presents everywhere to notice. How many vain attempts of our primitive fathers were essayed ere iron, the most plentiful and useful of all metals, was brought forth from the stubborn ores in which it was hidden! How zealous the daily and midnight endeavours of the alchemist to convert iron or stone into precious metals, or by a synthetical process to form gold! A recurrence to the curious records of such abortive labours may occasion a smile, grounded upon our advanced knowledge and experience. Which, of all the civilised nations of this refined age, is yet able to solve the problem of the formation or growth of metals? and to what human source may we, even in these times, turn for such information? Was there ever, since the creation of this globe, a time ere metals existed, when men might in vain have

explored the inmost recesses of the everlasting hills for the discovery? The answer to this is not less easy, perhaps, than that to the former question; both present a wide field for the maturest reflection, and give rise to a full consciousness of our feebleness; but more especially should it confirm us in humility. Science cannot yet unravel this mysterious growth or natural origin of iron, or the other metals. In our earliest and most authentic history (the Bible), we do not find a solution of the difficulty; but only know God created all things, and that by his almighty power they are


It is a doubtful point, whether the dominion of man over the animal creation, or his acquiring the useful metals, has contributed most to extend his power. The era of this important discovery is unknown and very remote. It is only by tradition, or by digging up some rude instruments of our forefathers, that we learn that mankind were originally unacquainted with the use of metals, and endeavoured to supply the want of them by employing flints, shells, bones, and other hard substances, for the same purposes which metals serve among polished nations. Nature completes the formation of some metals. Gold, silver, and copper are found in their perfect state in the clefts of rocks, in the sides of mountains, or the channels of rivers. These were, accordingly, the metals first known and first applied to use; but iron, the most serviceable of all, and to which man is most indebted, is never discovered in its perfect form; its gross and stubborn ore must feel twice the force of fire, and go through two laborious processes, before it becomes fit for use. Man was long acquainted with the other metals before he acquired the art of fabricating iron, or attained such ingenuity as to perfect an invention to which he is indebted for those instruments wherewith he subdues the earth and commands all its inhabitants. In our present state, when we depend so greatly upon the use of iron and steel, it is difficult to conceive how man could exist in a state of society without their aid. From the Scriptures we learn that, but a short time after the Creation, Tubal-cain, a descendant of Cain, the son of

Adam, was "an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron." And we find in the Sacred Volume, as the following quotations abundantly testify, singular evidence of the acquaintance which the Jews and other Asiatic nations had with the uses of metals. Mention is made of a land whose stones are iron; allusion is made to the furnace of iron. Vast numbers of chariots of iron are stated to have been employed by the Canaanites in their wars; and it is more than probable that those of Pharaoh, in his pursuit of the Israelites, were partly of that material (B. C. 1500). It is also said, that Og's bedstead was iron; and if we now descend the stream of time to David's era (B. C. 1044), plain mention is made of Goliah's iron spear-head, of saws, axes, and harrows of iron, of hammer and axe, of a rod of iron, bars of iron, of fetters of iron; in Job of barbed iron and fish-spears; and by Jeremiah of northern iron and steel, of yokes of iron, a pillar of iron, a pen of iron. Ezekiel (B. C. 590) speaks of a pan of iron, of trading with iron, of bright iron, &c., in thy market. It would be easy perhaps to largely increase the list of such notices in Sacred Writ; but we conceive this selection is amply adequate to the establishment of the fact, that the skill of those nations, in the working and forging of articles of well prepared iron, was continually exercised, and therefore that the art must have greatly advanced, and have become familiar to the people adjacent. Homer mentions a mass of iron as one of the prizes at the Funeral Games, given by Achilles in honour of Patroclus.†

"Then hurl'd the hero, thundering on the ground,

A mass of iron (an enormous round),

Whose weight and size the circling Greeks admire,

Rude from the furnace, and but shaped by fire.

This mighty quoit Aëtion wont to rear,

And from his whirling arm dismiss in air;

The giant by Achilles slain, he stow'd
Among his spoils this memorable load.
For this he bids those nervous artists vie,
That teach the disc to sound along the sky.

* Gen. iv. 22.

"Iliad," Book 23.

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