Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

ARTS AND MANUFACTURES IN level. From personal observation and com. FRANCE.*

munication with individuals, we believe there

exist generally in France a desire to know, (Prom the Foreign Quarterly Review.- and a disposition to appreciate, whatever we No. VI.)

possess that is good and worthy of admira., tion. If a measure of commercial policy bę

in agitation, the minister justifies it by the Ir it be true that the mathematical and phy- example of Great Britain–f a grant is de. sical sciences are the conquests made by manded for the repair of the roads, he refers man's understanding over the secrets of na to the excellence of communication in Engture, it is no less so that industry is the land. Is an attack made on the liberty of frait of the victory gained by man's free the press, or an unpopular law attempted to will over the forces of nature. Placed as it be introduced--the orator on the liberal side were among a heap of rugged materials, ap. shows that it forms no part of the law of parently stubborn and unyielding, and threat. England, and contends therefore that it is ening them with destruction, mankind are contrary to the spirit of a free constitution. making a steady progress in subduing the Our modes of living, our fashions, and our whole chaos, and fashioning it anen in their very absurdities, are adopted with a readia own image. To have taken the lead in this ness which shows no hesitation to take ex., glorious career-to have maintained her dis- amples from us, nor any jealousy of innovatinguished rank among nations by her at- tion upon their national habits. And of the tention to the useful arts has been the just multitude of English travellers who flock anpride of Great Britain, and will, we trust, dually across the Channel, there are very few not cease to be the boast of her enterprising who do not speak with satisfaction and pleaand persevering children. The encourage sure of their trip, and do not readily acknow. ment that education has recently received at ledge that they have acquired new informathe hands of the high and wealthy among us tion, and perceived something worthy of -the establishment of two new universities imitation from our Gallic neighbours. in the metropolis--the rapid spread of the The more this mutual respect and good Mechanics' Institutes and scientific institu- understanding are cultivated, the more aptions-the formation of a Society for the parent it will become, that in the present Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, and the age, which is distinguished from its prede. commencement of an exhibition of British cessors by no more appropriate name than arts and manufactures in the metropolis that of the age of industry,” it closely conmark the interest taken by our countrymencerns us to watch the progress of France in of all ranks and parties in the prosperity of arts and manufactures ; a progress that forms the industrious classes, and their sense that as sure an index to the growth of a people in the welfare of the latter is identified with mental excellence, as it does of the increase their own. Por ourselves, we enter cordially of the national strength and power. into this feeling, and it is simply on account

The speech of Professor Blanqui, placed of our wish to extend it somewhat farther, at the foot of this article, was delivered bethat we think it a part of our duty to notice fore a very numerous meeting of the patrons the efforts which the men of science and the of the school established in Paris for the friends of order and peace are now making in instruction of youth in the principles of comFrance, to stimulate the working people to merce, in commercial law, political economy, exertion, and to supply them with informa- and the several auxiliary sciences. In at. tion tending to enable them to better their tempting to introduce our readers to this sub. condition in life. In such labours, indeed, ject, and to sketch an outline of the en, We cannot but take a warm interest, assured, couraging picture of M. Blanqui, we shall as we are, that every addition to the civiliza- adopt his arrangement as the best that can tion and comforts of other nations has a sen- be used to develope the steady progress that sible effect upon our own; and that the the industrious arts have been making in stock of happiness accumulated by any one France, from the period of the Restoration people will, in the end, as certainly spread down to the present day. itself to others, as water will find its own The details of the new inventions and im.

provements in each separate branch may be

found at lerigth in the History of the Ex1.-"Discours prononcé a la qualrième Séance bibition in the Louvre for 1827. Of the annuelle du Copseil de Perfectionnement de l'Ecole spéciale de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris, le 12 utility of these periodical shows to the main Aout. 1828. Par M. Adolphe Blanqui, Professeur body of the manufacturers whose choice prod'Econainie Politique, Paris.'

ductions are thus displayed to public cu2-" Histoire de l'Exposition des Produito de Industrie Francaise en 1827." Par M. Adolpire riosity, some doubts have been entertained Blanqui."

even at Paris. The tendency of these ex3. Discours de son Excellence, le Ministre hibitions, it is said, is to induce the manufac. Secrétaire d'Etat du Commerce et des Manufactured: turers to neglect their regular and productive sur le Budget de son Département, Séance du 16 Juillet, 1828. Paris."

work for the purpose of executing some VOL. I.

4 H

No. XVIII.- FEBRUARY 28, 1829.

[ocr errors]

curious specimen of ingenuity, that may ob. to bring forward at periodical intervals the tain the prize from the jury, and attract the machines, the methods of working, the tisnotice of royalty and the beau-monde of sues, the articles of every kind that shall Paris. An instance occurred at this very have been brought to perfection, with reexhibition, of a carpet being displayed, which ference to price and execution ; to proclaim occupied two years in making, and contained ingenious or original inventions, particularly three or four thousand ostrich feathers—a distinguishing such as are useful. A merarity which has indeed spread the fame of thodical classification would be essentially the manufacturer, but which he will proba. necessary to attain this object.”. bly not attempt again, unless he wishes to The restoration of the Bourbon dynasty ruin himself. These objections, as M. in 1815 is now the era from which the grox. Blanqui admits, have their full weight ; and ing prosperity of France takes its date. The he reluctantly confesses that their justice has ravages made by the wars of the revolution been in a great degree proved by experience and of the empire upon her population and at the last exhibition. But he attributes the wealth, have been 'estimated, according to abuse of the original design to the system of M. Dupin, at two millions of men, and 600 protections and prohibitions, which exists to millions sterling of English money. Every so great an extent in France. The exhibitor succeeding year of peace is, however, healing of a curious piece of machinery thinks he is these severe wounds ; private losses have entitled to call loudly for the exclusion of been indemnified ; houses and factories have Swedish iron or English copper ; the manu, been rebuilt; the cattle and live stock are facturer of a rich shawl or carpet is equally more numerous than before the war, and the clamorous against the introduction of foreign population has been augmented in thirteen woollens; and the improver of the breed of years by two millions and a half of in. sheep demands the prohibition of any wool habitants. In adverting to the state of but French. These conflicting interests, all French industry in its several branches, we asking exclusive protection, believe their best shall show that although stripped - of its chance of winning the royal favour to be the verdure, its life was never extinguished; but production of something new, to the inven. that its winter being past, it put forth fresh tion of which “ la grande nation" nay lay shoots in the spring, and is already covered claim; and hence have - arisen instances of with a profusion of blossoms, that promise a servility and want of independence among rich crop of fruit to its diligent cultivators. those classes, which, of all others, might be It is the result of the observations of Mr. expected to be the most free, and the least Jacob, in his Report, published in April last, regardful of the patronage of the court. that the agriculture of France occupies one M. Blanqui, in the introduction to his of the lowest ranks of any of the northern

History of the Exhibition," enters at some states of Europe, being inferior to that of the length into the question of the expediency of Netherlands, Hanover, Prussia, Saxony, prohibitions, and thus concludes his observa. Denmark, Poland, and even Austria. Altions :

though about two-thirds of the population, “ I have thought it my duty to submit or twenty-one out of her thirty-two millions these considerations to the French manufac. of inhabitants, are employed in the cultivsturers, who for the most part can see nothing tion of the soil, the old system of farming in a great industry but a vast monopoly. has been hitherto but little departed from, This unfortunate notion leads them inces, and the scientific principles that guide the santly to crouch to the government-to hu- English agriculturists, though beginning to miliate themselves—to compromise their in- make their way, are yet by no means in dependence ; it sufficiently explains why so general practice. The average fertility of many of them have merely endeavoured this the soil has led many of its proprietors te year to attract notice by whimsical or extra- rely too much on their natural advantages, ordinary productions, in the hope that they and too little on the assistance of art. The would be bought for the use of the crown, or protecting duties, which, like those of Engof some superior dignity. With such pre- land, exclude the competition of foreign corn, judices, it is impossible to expect that French have likewise, it is to be feared, tended to industry will take any energetic and durable check the exertions they were designed to spring, until people will condescend to work stimulate. But the backwardness of agrifor the world in general, for the public are a culture is mainly attributable to the very far wider market than the court. It is to partial spread of education in the rural dis. the public, the supreme arbiter of all come tricts, there being out of 40,000 communes, mercial destinies, that we ought always to according to M. Dupin, 15,000 destitute of look : the royal' munificence is a resource teachers; and out of twenty-five millions of bounded by the civil list, and ministerial inhabitants who have reached a teachable favours find their limits in the budget. age, ten millions only able to read. Nor as

“ What ought then to be the object of the small independent proprietors of land exhibitions of our productions, and the direc. amount to four millions, and their families tion that we should give to industry? It is to twelve or fourteon millions more, it is ob

vious that this state of ignorance must, under Cricq's speech prefixed to this article. The such circumstances, be attended with far minister appears to have taken much pains more prejudicial effects upon production than in investigating the question, whether the if it existed in England, where the labourers high duties imposed in foreign countries are under the orders of about thirty-two have brought about the stagnation and want thousand large proprietors, and the success of demand now experienced; and be shows of cultivation consequently does not so mainly that, with the exception of that of Eņgland, depend upon the general diffusion of know. the foreign tariffs cannot have contributed ledge. It is gratifying to find, however, much to this effect. He then asks whether that the large proprietors in France are uni- it is expedient to adopt any measures to curversally desirous for the instruction of the tail the number of vineyards ? as seemed fit rest, and that societies, rural schools, and to the royal wisdom in 173), when similar model-farms have been established under complaints seem to have been prevalent. very favourable auspices. The Agricultural

“Shall we say that the secret of our evils Society of the Seine et Oire, which comprises consist in this, that too many vines have many extensive landed proprietors, bestows been planted ? that it is superabundance annually medals and prices on the small which ruins us that we onght to have, as cultivators who turn their hereditary estates was the case in 1731, a decree (the terms of to the most profit, and upon the hired la. which prove that similar ones had preceded bourers and servants employed in large farms, it), ordaining, that no new plantation of who perforin their work with the greatest vines shall be made in the kingdom, and that intelligence and fidelity.

those which shall have been uncultivated two In Franche Comté and the department of thousand livres, be re-established without the

years, shall not, under the penalty of three Doubs, the government has taken the breed- express permission!of his majesty ? Surely ing of cattle under its peculiar care, and es.

not, gentlemen! Thank God, we have at tablished annual exhibitions and prizes. In this period, surer means of preserving the these parts, as also in Montbéliard, the use- sale of our articles of culture, and of preless practice of feeding off the land is begin- venting an excessive depreciation of their ning to be discontinued, it being ascertained price. These means consist in the greatest that a hectare of inclosed ground produces possible development of labour, and in the one-third more if not subjected to this cere increase of consumption which is thereby mony. The arrondissement of Montbéliard

promoted." has abandoned the system of fallows in use in the rest of the departınent, and cultivates these ends is, unquestionably, as M. St.

The most effectuat method of attaining with success both flax and the turnip. In Cricg appears to be convinced, the reduction Franche Comté the very beggars are be- of the internal duties. The wine growers coming industrious; they go about collect- suffer grievously from the pressure not only ing manure till they have accumulated a of the government taxes or droits généraux, certain quantity, when they take it to a pro- but of the octroi, or punicipal tax, which prietor, who allows them in return to plant wine pays on entering the barriers of a town, on his soil, and receive the crop of a propor- but of whicb no drawback is allowed on its tionate number of potatocs.

exit. These town dues are very uncertain, The culture of the vine is a department of and in some places so excessive, that it is their husbandry of which the French have, by no means uncommon to find French perbaps, a right to boast more than any wines dearer at home than in other countries other people. The same grape, when tried of Europe. The octroi of Paris is twentyin countries under the same latitude as the one francs per hectolitre, although the south of France, has never been brought to greater part of the wine consumed is not an equal degree of perfection. The planta- worth more than fifteen france the hecto-> tions of vines have been and are subject to litre; and it is a strange anomaly, that those severe discouragements, but have neverthe- who wish to get wine at a moderate price less increased by one-third over their extent cannot do it without stepping outside of one in 1789. In that year their surface was of the barriers of the metropolis, where estimated at 1,200,000 hectares of land; in they are at once in the “ Islands of the 1808 it amounted to 1,600,000; and in 1824 Blest"-in a land flowing with Bourdeaux it covered 1,728,000 hectares. The vines and Mâcon-in a land which freedom from now occupy about two millions of cultivators, the octroi makes the chosen seat of those and their anpual produce is computed at rotaries of Bacchus who prudently prefer forty millions of hectolitres ; the value of inbibiog the divine liquor at places where it which, at fifteen francs per hectolitre, is six can be had at moderate prices. We stated lıundred million francs, or about twenty-four six hundred million francs to be the value millions sterling English money. Great of the annual produce of wine in France ; of complaints have, however, lately been made this one hundred millions are exacted by the of the languishing and depressed state of droits généraux, and twenty millions more this trade, and the investigation of its actual by the octroi, making a total taxation of condition forms the principal topic of M. St. one-fifth part of the whole—a grievance

which we cannot wonder is sensibly felt of fattening them at a small expense is bethroughout the kingdom. The proprietors ginning to be better understood, and that of vineyards bave petitioned repeatedly for the Chinese and English breeds are getting liberation from these restrictions, and in into use for crossing. The fact that four every case wbere relief has been granted, millions of pigs are killed yearly in France, the increase of consumption has surpassed shows of how great importance they are to expectation. At Bourdeaux, where the duty the small agriculturists. is one-half less than at Paris, twice as much We shall allade in their proper place to is consumed in proportion to the number of those branches of agriculture immediately inhabitants, as in the metropolis. The fur- connected with manufactures. The most ther reduction of our duty (now 78. 6d. per extensive of these are the calture of beetgallon), or the introduction of a scale on root for sugar ; of olenginous plants, partithe ad valorem principle into our tariff--as cularly at Lille and Dijon ; and of the mulis the case in America and in several coun- berry for silk-worms in Languedoe and the tries in Europe-would be as great a benefit southern provinces. It has been the habit to the French vine proprietors as it would in England to consider the former of these be an acceptable boon to our middling and as merely a fanciful amasement of national lower classės, and a certain augmentation of vanity; but it appears by the amount of its the revenue. This is a subject of some ime consumption (between seven and eight milportance, to which we shall probably take an lion pounds a year), tbat at all events it is early opportunity of returning.

become an article of some practical magIt cannot be disguised that, with the ex- nitude. ception of parts of French Flanders, Nor The state of the roads and canals of mandy and Alsace, the breed of cattle and France has hitherto been a serious drawback sheep in France is yet very degenerate. But to the interchange of internal commotheir improvement, like that of mankind, dities. depends upon their rearing ; and if the ex The products of Provence are at this day ample of the Roville and other studs be fol- obliged to go round by sea, througb the lowed, there seems no reason to doubt that Straits of Gibraltar, for want of an internal the French horses may one day equal those navigation to Paris. The late ministry are of England or Spain. The company lately charged by M. Blanqui with miscalculations formed for recovering the four million hec- and careless management of the grant, and tares of marsh land now uncultivated, and he laments that some of the millions so reckconverting them into pasture, will greatly lessly squandered within the last forty years, further the amelioration of the cattle, as had not been applied to the renovations that well as the augmentation of their numbers. are now found essential for keeping up the Two millions and a half of horses, seven public communications. millions of horned cattle, and forty-two “Happily," he adds, “the genius of millions of sheep and goats, are certainly France is more skilful and more persevering not a large stock for a country covering in producing, than the bad ministers we have fifty-three and a half million bectares of met with are indefatigable in spending. To land.

all the attempts made within the last few of the improvements in the quality of years to retard the civilization of the counwool we shall have occasion to speak here- try, our operatives have replied only by a after. The most experienced of the agri- generous confidence in the future, up to the culturists have shown that the fleeces may time when we have seen them, not without be brought to almost any desired degree of admiration, with one hand lay at the foot of perfection. When the merinos of Spain first the throne the chefs d'euvre of their indusappeared in France, the partisans of the try, and with the other deposit in the politicoarse mattrass-wool were continually al- cal balloting-urn the vote that will repair leging that Spanish sheep would never their wrongs !" thrive in the French climate; their success In turning to the department of manufachas, however, been complete. The cele- tures, it is obvious that it is here we are to brated M. Ternaux has imported wools of look for the strongest proofs of the extent what are called the electoral race, and has of resources the French have made availplaced the goats of Thibet in his park of St. able, and of the ingenuity and flexibility of Ouen, near Paris. The ragged declivities their genius. Since the commencement of of the Jura have been adorned with the the preseut century more has been done in magnificent Naz breed of MM Girod and substantial work for general use, and there Perrault, and their rams are now attesting profit made from foreign examples, than in in Ne Holland the march of science in the the whole fifteen hundred preceding years; management of flocks in France.

and in nothing is this more striking than in Although the French pigs have excited the metallurgic arts, to which we shall first many facetious observations from travellers, refer. and have not unfrequently been compared to It is somewhat remarkable that the great greyhounds, we are assured that the method consumption of iron, copper and lead,

der

ing the wars of the revolution and the em- transport the coal ? Where in our engines pire, should not have contributed more to are those English piston bellows which work bringing the workmanship of them to per- four or five years without being out of order, fection. It is only since the re-establish- and which produce five or six thousand ment of their intercourse with England that quintals (two hundred and ten to two bunthe French have begun to use pit-coal in dred and fifty tons), of cast iron a day? Do their furnaces, and to substitute the instru- we not yet see, in many places, miserable ment called a flattener, or laminoir, for the furnaces, with leathern bellows fit only for hammer, in beating iron into plates. Since the forge of a horse-shoeing blacksmith? Is this invention plate-iron has not only become our use of the flattener as advanced as it cheaper, but more, tenacious, purer, and ought to be, when our iron in bars still costs more free from flaws. The establishments sixty-three francs, and English iron only at Creusot and Charenton, of MM. Manby twenty-six francs ? When shall we melt, and Wilson, who work a steam-engine of like our neighbours, 1200 million killograms 160-horse power, furnished the exhibition (1,200,000 ions) of iron yearly on our own with specimens of an iron mast weighing 63 soil ?" cwt, and purchased for the navy; the stock The working of steel and of white or of a cog-wheel of 73 cwt., and a section of a tinned iron, which, since the secret of workrailway, with an iron carriage-a symbol of ing it, was carried out of the kingdom in the approach of the time when France shall 1686, by the Calvinists, in consequence of really be traversed by these invaluable con- their persecution by Louis the Fourteenth, trivances. At Fourchambault, in the de- seems not to have been recovered until of partment of the Nièrre, 2000 workmen are late years, is now going on with great employed by MM. Boigues; they have ten energy and success in many parts of France, great furnaces, and their bellows are blown particularly at St. Etienne and in the departby steam. They ship annually, up and down ments of the Isère, and of the Lower Rhine. the Loire, iron in rods and sheets to the Springs for carriages are made in great perweight of 6000 tons, and consume about fection by Garrigou, of Toulouse, and the 23,000 chaldrons of coal, and 100,000 cords jury at the exbibition awarded a silver meof wood. The factory of Pont-Saint-Ours, dal to Sirodot and Co. of Bèze, in the Côte on the Nièvre, is famous for its axle-trees, d'Or, for their steel knitting-needles, coins, now used by most of the French diligences, dies, and stamps. It is true that the bardand of tried strength.

ware factories, in general, use English and The mides of the Jura, the Vosges, the German steel, but as it is well known that Puy-de-Dome, the Pyrenees, and other steel-working depends more on manual dexmountainous districts, furnish an abundant terity than scientific knowledge, there is supply of iron; but this, as well as every every reason to think that the French will other of the metallurgic arts, suffers severely ultimately succeed as well in this, as they from the difficulty of procuring coal. Al- have in arts of a similar character. Many though France is by no means deficient in manufactures of hardware have been encoal, but on the contrary large fields of coal tirely created of late years. France used to and collieries exist in the north-east, in the procure from Germany her scythes and departments of Puy-de-Dome and Cantal, sickles as well as files, and now she is able and thence along the Allier to Nevers, and to supply all Europe with these articles, if in many other districts, the difficulty of car- they were wanted. rying it away, when raised, renders this sort Nail-making has been much improved, of fuel almost unavailable, unless it is met and by no one more than M. Sirot, of Vawith on the spot. The consumption of lenciennes, who has two hundred machines wood for the fusion of metals takes one- for nails of iron, zinc, and copper, and who fourth of the whole quantity cut throughout has made their use so easy, that a child of the kingdom—a quantity that covers a súr- ten years old can make eight thousand nails face of 400,000 bectares of land; and as in a day. Wire-drawing is much better coke is scarcely ever employed, it may well understood than formerly; it is performed be conceived that wood fuel is every day be- at Paris, in the departments of the Orne coming dearer, and that unless steps are and the Oise, at Valenciennes, and many taken to open the mines and facilitate the other places ; and tin has been drawn carriage of coal, the effect upon the iron so fine as to be made into under-waistcoats. works must be very serious. On this sub- Twenty years ago, saws had not been manuject M. Blanqui says in his last speech : factured in France, and now they are made

" In fact, at this moment, gentlemen, the in great numbers and perfection. The cirquestion of the price of French iron is re- cular saws of M. Mongin, of Paris, were deduced to the question of the price of wood. servedly admired by the visitors of the The refining of iron by coal is twice as eco- Louvre. Steel bracelets and other ornanomical; but where are our rail-roads, our ments are in common use. The most negmeans of communication by land and water, lected of all hardware are pins and needles : our steam-carriages and steam-vessels to M. Blanqui says, there is only one pin ma

« PreviousContinue »