become useful to his Race or in any degree eminent through Literature, Seek first of all things a position of pecuniary independence; learn to live by the labor of your hands, the sweat of your face, as a necessary step toward the career you contemplate.
If you can earn but three shillings a day by rugged yet moderate toil, learn to live contentedly on two shillings, and so preserve your mental faculties fresh and unworn to read, to observe, to think, thus preparing yourself for the ultimate path you have chosen.
At length, when a mind crowded with discovered or elaborated truths will have utterance, begin to write sparingly and tersely for the nearest suitable periodical—no matter how humble and obscure—if the thought is in you, it will find its way to those who need it. Seek not compensation for this utterance until compensation shall seek you; then accept it if an object, and not involving too great sacrifices of independence and disregard of more immediate duties.
In this way alone can something like the proper dignity of the Literary Character be restored and maintained.
But while every man who either is or believes himself capable of enlightening others, appears only anxious to sell his faculty at the earliest moment and for the largest price, I cannot hope that the Public will be induced to regard very profoundly either the lesson or the teacher.
Such is the substance of Horace Greeley
's message to the literary and refined.
I turn now to the lecture on the Organization of Labor, and select from it a short narrative, the perusal of which will enable the reader to understand the nature of Mr. Greeley
's advice to working-men.
The story may become
historically valuable; because the principle which it illustrates may be destined to play a great part in the Future of Industry.
It may be true, that the despotic principle is not
essential to permanence and prosperity, though nothing has yet
attained a condition of permanent prosperity except by virtue of it. But here is the narrative, and it is worthy of profound consideration:
The first if not most important movement to be made in advance of our present Social position is the Organization of Labor.
This is to be effected by degrees, by steps, by installments.
I propose here, in place of setting forth any formal theory or system of Labor Reform, simply to narrate what I saw and heard of the history and state of an experiment now in progress near Cincinnati, and which differs in no material respects from some dozen or score of others already commenced in various parts of the United States, not to speak of twenty times as many established by the Working Men of Paris and other portions of France.
The business of iron-Molding, casting, or whatever it may be called,