All, values are created by modifications of existing matter. Man cannot create one particle; but he can modify what he finds, or change its condition, in three ways ; viz.: —


First, by transmutation.

This is eminently the work of the agriculturist, who, availing himself of the chemical agencies of the earth and air, transmutes seeds into vegetables, fruits, and grains; and these again, by the aid of animal organizations, into butter, beef, hides, &c. This is the most extensive branch of industry, and employs probably four-fifths of the human race from generation to generation. It is the base of the great pyramid of production. It furnishes the material and the support of all other forms of labor; and not this only, but it renews and restores their waste with an unceasing supply of fresh bodily and mental power. The air of trade and of the mill heats and rises, and cold currents rush in from the prairie and the mountain. The foot of the rustic is ever turned to the marts of commerce, and the busy gatherings of men. He comes with clumsy tread and homespun dress; but he takes the first place in the market and the synagogue. Basil enters Constantinople as night is

falling, stares about on the magnificence of the city, and [24] falls asleep on the steps of the Church of St. Diomede. He is tired of Macedon. He has business on the throne of the world. He who restored the laws of the Eastern empire, and reclaimed the lands deluged by the barbarian floods, is the exemplar of the countryman, in all times, gazing rudely around on the luxury his homely virtues are to appropriate. The millioinaire dashes by in his splendid turnout: a raw, tall lad, with a bundle on a stick, looks on with wonder, — the employer of that man's children.

Just as agriculture sends to the markets and the mills of the world their materials, so it sends them their workmen. Strength and even life go fast in the eager competitions of manufactures and trade. Cool air, fresh blood, flows in from the country, to supply the waste. The bare, bleak hills, where Nature grudges every morsel of food, and stabs cruelly through every chink in the wall, every rent in the clothes, feed the busy cities with men. The streams of vigorous life run off from them to refresh the plains below.

Agriculture has no need to receive back, in any form, her contributions to the other occupations. The power to give without exhaustion lies in the liberal, healthful reproduction of man, when living in intimate relations with Nature. Here, after all its hurts, humanity comes for healing. War and pestilence, the fierce contest of the mart, the stifling atmosphere of the mill, may waste our kind in quick or lingering deaths; but still, by the side of the brooks, men will be born to hold up the frame of industry and social order when their supporters faint and fail. Yet agriculture does get back a certain share of what it gives. Because it is not a labor of ambition, because honors are not to be gathered in the fields it cultivates, because the excitements of machinery and association are not to be found in its work or play, because quick wealth is not to be realized in its slow increase, the rustic turns himself to the city; and because it is not a labor of ambition, and for each of the other reasons given, the citizen, weary with all, goes back to the open fields and fresh air of the country. The cabbages of Diocletian, the eggs of John Ducas Vata-ces, the apples of Sir William Temple, are the return made to agriculture for Basils, Astors, and Lawrences.

But the department of agriculture is not confined to the popular view of it. When grain is produced, the seed must be planted in prepared ground, the long interval of growth to maturity must be filled with care and labor ; and, at last, the work of harvesting completes the round of duties that go to the production of the grain. But there are great industries in the department of agriculture, where harvesting alone is performed by man. Nature has done all the rest. Man's part is to find and to take of her bounty. Such an industry is mining, — whether of iron or coal, whether of diamonds underground in Golconda, or sponge under water in the Archipelago. Such an industry is the fisheries,— whether of whales off Greenland, of cod off Newfoundland, or of pearl-oyster off Ceylon. So great, indeed, is the scientific extension of the department of agriculture, that even the smelting of the ore, and the transportation from the fishing-grounds to the port from which the venture began, are included in it, because these first put the products in the possession of the capitalist in an available form. Any further change, whether to make the metal up into forms for use, or carry the fish or oil or pearls to market, would come under the other forms of production, to which we now proceed.