Mathieu Briancourt, “The Organization of Labor & Association” (1846)

[one_third padding=”0 10px 0 0px”]


[/one_third][two_third_last padding=”0 0px 0 10px”]

The Organization of Labor & Association

Mathieu Briancourt



Many good minds have long been persuaded that on the present generation must devolve the task of solving the formidable problem of the organization of labor, under penalty of being visited by a social revolution, the terrible consequences of which are incalculable. This belief gains ground every moment, and already this question of life and death for civilization is placed among the orders of the day by the most valuable organs of publication.

In view of a problem of such importance, it is the duty of all men of heart to come to the assistance, as much as they can, of those generous workmen who are employed upon all points of the globe in laying the foundations of the edifice which is to shelter the human race.

Desirous of taking part in this immense work, I, an unknown laborer, had prepared a rapid sketch of the organization of labor. It was intended to be read by only a few friends; but this sketch might, I am assured, contribute to destroy certain prejudices, and to restore hope to men of good desires, by proving to them the possibility of happiness for all; and I venture to give to the public a work which was not intended for it.

In the first part of this volume, I pass rapidly in review of our miseries, leaving to each of my readers the care of increasing that very incomplete list, by the sufferings and deceptions which are peculiar to himself.

In the second part, I display, in a few pages, the very simple mechanism of the organization of labor; it will be readily understood, I tale pleasure in hoping, by those least accustomed to questions of this nature.

In the third part, I demonstrate that this organization is conformable to the views of the Creator.

The attentive reader will perceive without difficulty, that if labor were organized in a township according to the method described in the second part, all the noble instincts of man, piety, love of the neighbor, devotedness, would necessarily be developed, and would take the place of incredulity and selfishness; he will perceive also that the physical necessities of each would be amply satisfied, at the same time that the delights of the soul, the heart, and the mind, would become accessible to everyone.

Like many of the children of this age, I have, during long years, conscientiously sought the truth without discovering it. Unable to accustom myself to live in indifference respecting the great and important problems which have occupied men of all epochs, and, on the other hand, not finding the solutions which had been given until our day sufficient, I doubted. Those who are in a similar state of mind will alone understand how much that doubt made me suffer.

I address myself to such persons; I beseech them to read the third part attentively; perhaps they will there find a termination to their doubts, for, if I do not deceive myself, they will be compelled to acknowledge that the law upon which the proposed organization is founded, bears the seal of a goodness and a justice without limit, and reveals the existence of an infinitely perfect creating power. Then, by reflecting a little, the reader will remain convinced that, in reality, the same law embraces the solution of the so much disputed problem of the immortality of the soul. On another side, the law which regulates the progressive march of humanity, a law indicated in the third part, has made me understand and love Christianity, against which I shared the prejudices of a great number of my contemporaries.

It is, therefore, also to well-informed Christians of elevated minds, that I address this work; they will thence derive, I am confident, new light which will strengthen their belief while enlarging it; they will there see, with happiness, that the organization which I sketch is but the application of the spirit of the Gospel to social relations.

Finally, and above all, I address myself to those honest and sympathizing hearts who suffer the sorrows of all, who groan over the vices and disorders of society, who ask themselves where we are going, and who perceive the yawning abyss, towards which the civilized world is marching with ever quickening pace.

I beseech all men of good will, whatever may be their religious faith, to whatever political party they may belong, to read these few pages without prejudice; they will thence derive, I hope, the conviction that is my own, which is, that the organization of labor is the remedy for all the sufferings of humanity.

Let those readers who find no serious objection to the theory, and who acknowledge how easy and conclusive a trial would be, do all in their power to influence public opinion, and to hasten the day when that trial shall be made.







“And seeing the multitudes, Jesus had compassion on them, because they were exhausted with sufferings, and lying here and there, like sheep that have no shepherd.”—St. Matthew, chap. ix.

“But Jesus answered them: ‘Every plant that my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up. Let them alone, they are blind leaders of the blind.’”—St. Matthew, chap. xv.

One day, in the month of October, I found myself in a city but a short distance from the town of M—–, which a horrible conflagration had completely consumed. On the next day, the inhabitants or that unfortunate town were to hold a meeting, which the mayor had called for the purpose of distributing succor to the most needy, and of making known the result of the subscriptions opened in favor of the victims of the disaster.

One of my friends, a merchant, in whose house I was staying and who was to be present at the meeting, offered me a place in his carriage; I accepted his offer with pleasure, and on the following day we started quite early in the morning.

We had for travelling companions a magistrate, a government officer, and a silk manufacturer.

During our journey the conversation naturally turned upon conflagrations, which were very numerous that year, and had caused great distress in Germany, in England, in America, and in many of the departments of France.

Then the manufacturer, who had seen the overflowings of our rivers, gave an account of the immense destruction they had occasioned, and asserted that inundations presented a still more desolate and frightful spectacle than conflagrations. “Such sights are horrible,” said I, in my turn; “still, the civil war and the riots which I saw at Lyons, some years since, leave the soul more afflicted than it is by the sight of disorders occasioned by the elements. Those collisions between fellow-citizens are the more deplorable, because it would be possible, as it seems to me, for all the world to live in peace and almost happy, if each of us would consent to introduce a little less selfishness into his relations with other men.” “Eh! how can you expect to make a good understanding prevail among men,” replied the merchant, “when each class, each individual, has interests opposed to the interests of other classes and other individuals? Think a moment: it is the interest of the manufacturer to make his operatives work a great deal, and to give them as little wages as possible, while it is the interest or the operative to work but little, and to get overpaid for his time and his labor. The producer’s interests are at variance with those of the consumer, and reciprocally; and the interests of the trader are opposed to those of the producer, from whom he buys as cheap as possible, and to those of the consumer, from whom he exacts the most he can. “Each manufacturer, each merchant, sees, and he is quite right, in all his fellows dangerous competitors, whose interests are incompatible with his own.

“The physician hopes there will be a great deal of sickness; the lawyer that there will be a great many law-suits; the military man desires war; and many are not sorry that there are conflagrations, &c.

“Now, you understand that this general opposition of interests must inevitably give birth to incessant struggles of every kind; for, as we must necessarily acknowledge, gentlemen, personal interest is the moving power of the actions of the immense majority of mankind; thus, so long as interests are opposed; we must not hope to destroy clashings and hatreds; so long as each is free, as the career is open to all, we must not be astonished that each draws to himself with all his strength, and that an unbridled competition takes possession of all branches of industry.

“You must not believe, however, that I am an enemy to liberty; far from that, I am its warm advocate; but I could wish it were possible to unite liberty with order, for I hate anarchy still more than I love liberty. I have a horror of tyranny, from whatever source it comes, under whatever form it shows itself. I consider it very melancholy, for example, that the rich should be able to grind down the poor without pity; that a producer, opulent enough to make momentary sacrifices, should be able to overthrow his rivals, and exact at will from the consumers, as soon as he remains master of the field of battle. Eh! good God! is there not room enough, then, in the sun for everybody, and has the Creator made the earth too small for humanity!”

“You merchants,” said the officer, “are incessantly complaining that competition ruins you. Do you believe then, sir, that those employed by the government do not experience as many vexations as the commercial classes? Do you believe that they do not undergo a thousand mortifications, a thousand wrongs? that they do not suffer at seeing preferred to them men less capable than themselves, competitors who owe more to protection than to merit? Do you think that the cultivator is not also overwhelmed by cares and anxieties of every kind?

“If competition be injurious, it has also its good side: it reduces the prices of productions, and renders them accessible to a greater number of persons. It is to that we owe our travelling so cheaply from time to time. I have even been told that, upon a certain route, not only are travellers carried gratis, but that an excellent dinner is given by way of thanks, to those who consent to allow themselves to be transported in very good diligences. This is, doubtless, one of the fine effects of that competition which you decry so pitilessly, Mr. Merchant.”

“Certainly,” returned the latter, “the effect is not over disagreeable to him who dines and travels without putting his hand into his pocket; but, for the rival contractors, who are not rich enough to support the undertaking, the effect is not a most satisfactory one; neither is it very much so for those travellers who come after, when the conqueror, master of the highway, makes them pay with interest for the dinners to which he treated their predecessors.”

“What can you say,” added the manufacturer, “the fatal results of competition are to be met at every step: for my part, I have known twenty respectable houses that have been ruined because they did not wish to falsify their products, while their neighbors, less scrupulous, were offering their spurious or adulterated goods at lower prices. I, myself, who cannot make up my mind to sell cotton for silk, perceive that my customers forsake me from day to day. Really, gentlemen, in the way things are now going, men must become rogues in order not to die of hunger! I have said it a hundred times: this competition which is so much vaunted, produces more” misery than war and plague united. By reducing indefinitely the profits of the manufacturer, it compels him to lower the wages of the operative, at the same time that he is induced to manufacture more than is necessary; and thence come gluts in the market, which inevitably produce stagnation in business; and the manufacturer, unable to dispose of his large stock, cannot meet his engagements, and is obliged to stop payment.

“Speaking of failures, which competition produces by thousands, who can number the honest people and small capitalists who, every day, are affected by bankruptcies more or less fraudulent, and see themselves reduced to vegetate, in deep poverty, until the day of their death, which sorrow often occasions in a short time?”

“Mon Dieu! you are perfectly right, sir,” said the merchant in his turn: “business grows worse and worse, and if what is called progress goes on for twenty years more, I don’t know what we shall come to. The evil is already so great, that, if each of us should attempt to enumerate the commercial disasters of which he has been a witness or a victim, we should have enough to talk about for a week, and then we should not have told all.

“Who of us, for example, does not know several families formerly opulent, now fallen into a poverty which is the more distressing because the earlier part of their lives was passed in the luxury and enjoyments which riches procure; and who would dare to say that those women and children have so fallen by their own fault? Almost always the cause of their fall was beyond their reach; their misfortune generally proceeds from the illness or death of the head of the family, from his misconduct, his incapacity, from some enterprise badly conceived or poorly managed, from some unforeseen accident, such as failures, revolution, conflagration, shipwreck, &c., all things which the mother and children could in no way avoid or prevent.

“Who of us, gentlemen, does not know some of those small manufacturers, who are sober and industrious; of those comfortable shop-keepers, full of order and economy, who, overpowered by rivals less delicate or more rich than they, see their ruin advance a step every day? Horrible agony! which produces despair and suicide, and those terrible diseases of the liver and stomach, and those aneurisms and cancers so common in our day, but which were unknown to our fathers. Who of us has not seen workmen, by hundreds, rendered incapable of supporting their families and reduced to the humiliation of subsisting by charity, in consequence of the invention of a new machine, or of a simple improvement in one to which they were in some sort an accessory? Then what revulsions in commercial affairs; how many capricious variations in demand, in fashions, shake the most solid fortunes! A poor crop, a riot, a simple change of ministry, throws all into disorder, shakes credit, and occasions periodical stagnations which are injurious to the millionnaire and fatal to the workman who lives from hand to mouth!”

“Certainly,” said the manufacturer, “he must be very blind who would assert that commerce and industry, abandoned as they are, without guide and without compass, to the caprices of each, are not unfailing sources, from whence proceed wave upon wave, evils without end and without name. All our lives, all our comforts are incessantly threatened; no one is sure of the morrow; nowhere is stability to be found, and everyone trembles for his future and for that of his children.

“Why then is there not some minister appointed for the purpose of making known the necessities of consumers, in order that we may regulate our productions accordingly? But no: every one goes on at random, blindly: success belongs to the boldest, to the greatest cheat, to the most lucky. It is quite time to find some method of organizing production, since the people have become producers; there was no difficulty about organizing the elements of war, when the people were fighters.”

“It is easily seen, gentlemen,” said the magistrate in his turn, “that you are engaged in business; the evils which result from the method of producing, or exchanging and dividing products, have struck you more than all the others. Competition, I know, tortures the manufacturer and the merchant; it corrupts them, renders them fraudulent, adulterators, bankrupts. The labors of the workshop do not assure to the laborer his daily bread; they destroy his health, deform his body, deprave his morals, leave his mind without cultivation, and send him to die in the hospital, degraded in his moral and physical being. All these deleterious results of industry, all these thousand plagues, with which commerce overwhelms the human race, strike you more than our other sufferings, because you are industrialists; still those evils are not our only evils; perhaps they are not the most poignant. Do you think, gentlemen, that the business man alone has causes of grief? Probably not, for you suffer also in other respects. As for myself, I maintain that there is no man who is exempt from anxiety,—who is not wounded in some of his affections. Allow me to cast a glance upon the family relations only, and you will see that those sweet ties of father, of son, of husband, of brother, which should make our happiness, do cause our suffering in a thousand ways.

“Fathers suffer from the misconduct of their children, do they not? they suffer at their pains and their sorrows; they experience an infinity of cares and anxieties in order to educate them and secure a position for them; and they often receive only ingratitude as the reward of their toils and their sacrifices! I knew, for instance, a poor father who had diminished his fortune and imposed upon himself great privations in order that his son might receive a brilliant education; that is, to send him to school and college for eight or ten years; and that unhappy father had the misfortune to see his son ashamed of his birth and the condition of his parents,—he who was not fit for any condition; to see him despise his family, which did not possess the inappreciable advantage of having their heads stuffed with Latin and Greek. I knew a poor mother who died of grief at having her daughter seduced and dishonored by one who called himself a friend of the family. Everywhere we meet old men who have the sorrow to know that their death will not occasion a single tear, even if it be not desired by their greedy heirs. In all our villages there are honest old people who, after having given up their little fortunes to their children, on condition of being supported by them, perceive, but too late, from the barbarous haste with which each strives to get rid of them for the profit of his brothers, that they are only a heavy burden from which their children desire to be relieved. You will hardly believe such ingratitude, but I have often seen destitute mothers come into court, obliged to have recourse to the tribunals in order to obtain a small annuity for their support from their children in easy circumstances. Yes, gentlemen, the tender affections of the family will soon be nothing more than a fiction. Already we see brothers bringing suits against brothers, and becoming estranged for life, on account of the smallest pecuniary matter; we see them dispute the poorest inheritance even before their father’s body is cold.

“But if we penetrate still further into the interior of households, what hidden sufferings, what vexations devoured in secret, do we not see? Here is a married couple who do not understand each other, and to whom everything is an occasion of complaint; or who do not love each other, and to whom everything becomes an occasion of dispute; or who suffer from the tortures of jealousy, and whose mouths are constantly full of reproach. There are husband and wife disagreeing on the subject of money, of expenses, of dress, of housekeeping, of the education or settling of their children: what can I say? every household has its tribulations, and perhaps there are not two couples in a hundred who are really and constantly satisfied with their union. Is it possible it can be otherwise, moreover, when, in families in rich or comfortable circumstances, the young people marry without knowing each other? And how, besides, can they succeed in knowing each other, even if they had the opportunity of meeting frequently, when it is for the interest of both to conceal their defects and to pretend qualities which they do not possess? This inevitable dissimulation, let me say in passing, is in part the reason why marriages of inclination, very rare at any rate in the richer classes, are not less unhappy than the others, because but a very short time after their union, both parties cease to see each other with the eyes of lovers, and because the deception has been greater, the warmer and more blind the love.

“But as I have just said, marriages of inclination are rare. Marriage, nowadays, is a kind of commercial transaction, in which each party endeavors to obtain the best pecuniary condition; it is a scandalous and very strange bargain, in which a mother of small fortune throws into the arms of a rich old libertine, who has never believed in love, a beautiful and pure young girl whose heart is filled with the sweetest illusions; in which the father must increase the dowry in proportion to the ugliness, the age, or bad temper of the bride! And this is called a compensation which some consider quite natural! What have we come to, Good God!

“Among the poor, love makes more marriages than among the rich, but they are not more happy on that account, for brutality and misconduct are too often, alas! the dowry of the married couple; and besides, poverty alone is enough to introduce discord into the best assorted household.

“But, gentlemen, I should never come to an end if I wished to search out all the sufferings of families; if after having depicted the almost always insipid and often oppressed life of the woman, I should speak of that of childhood and youth, those ages of gaiety, of innocence, and of illusions, which are still the least unhappy of our life, but which ought to be so happy! If I were to show you the child of the rich man torn from his brothers, sent to school in order to learn words for which he cares but little, and of which he will never feel the need; and receiving, instead of maternal caresses, ferrulings, tasks, and black marks; then, having entered the world, experiencing an infinite trouble in obtaining a position, inasmuch as all the public offices are fun, while commerce and industry present but few chances of success; if I could make you see the child of the poor man, exhausted by privations, suffering from the bad treatment of a drunken and brutal father, or of a libertine mother; having incessantly before his eyes the example of depravity and of the most shameful vices; then thrown, still young, into a workshop where he becomes completely depraved, both physically and morally!”

“All this and still worse is seen at every step,” continued the manufacturer; “I know, nevertheless, that there are exceptions here, as everywhere; still I hold as true the proposition that you advanced just now, Sir, which is, that cares and troubles reach us, whatever place we may occupy in the social scale. Yes, each has his sorrows here below,–from the royal family exposed to assassination, overwhelmed with calumnies and trembling for its sons always kept at a distance and exposed to the dangers of combats and tempests, even to the proletary who knows not where he shall find to-morrow that work which alone will enable him to provide the necessaries of life for his children.

“And, in fact, if we wished to group together all human miseries, to enumerate the diseases which, under forms as horrible as they are numerous, torture and decimate families; those which, having become hereditary, mow down youth in its flower; those which, under the name of epidemics, the plague, the cholera, ravage cities and whole nations; if we counted all the accidents and all the crimes which the newspapers record each day: the thefts, the cheatings of every kind, the suicides, the assassinations, the infanticides, &c.; if we were to recall all the vices which display themselves with insolence or are hidden in the miserable dens of our great cities: drunkenness, libertinage, adultery, prostitution, &c.,—certainly we should never come to an end, and would be compelled to admit that each has his share of sorrows, and that life is not, in our day, by any means attractive.

“If each of us should recapitulate, moreover, what he has suffered in his friendships, if it be permitted, without prostituting that holy name, to give it to those intimacies of childhood, at which we laugh as soon as we have shaken off the dust of the school; if each of us should recall the deceptions he has experienced in his love, in his ambition; the hindrances opposed to his advancement; if each of us should think of the monotony of the present, of the uncertainty of the future; if he counted up his illusions destroyed, his affections crushed, his faith shaken or vanished, eh! doubtless life would not seem to us a present worthy of the Creator, and we should recognise that, in our sceptical and selfish age, in which people believe in nothing but the power of gold, men suffer more and more in proportion as their hearts are better constituted and more loving, their souls more elevated and more generous.”

“Hallo! gentlemen croakers,” cried the government officer, “things here below are not all rose-color certainly; but, I beg of you, do not exaggerate beyond measure the number and the intensity of human miseries; whatever you may say, all men are not perverse and corrupt; there are still some honest people, and we even see, here and there, some persons who are happy, or at least who affirm that they are so. All these little troubles of housekeeping, all the quarrels among friends are not very poignant sufferings. Sometimes even they are not without their charm: after the quarrel comes the reconciliation. Besides, a happiness without mixture would be very insipid: I go for variety and contrasts: that is my motto.

“Then we are so much accustomed to consider discomfort as the inevitable condition of the great majority, that most men have no consciousness of their sufferings until they become intolerable.

“Moreover, what can you do? we must be resigned, sorrow has been the lot of our fathers, and probably will be the lot of our children, unless we succeed in discovering a remedy for so many evils; which may well happen some day, as a profound politician latterly said to me; for everything goes on improving, and our legislators, by dint of making laws, may perhaps hit upon some one which will render us all happy.”

“That is exactly what grieves me,” returned the magistrate; “we deny the evil or we resign ourselves to it, and say with the Turks—it is written: or we jest instead of seeking remedies which man must have the power to find, since if evil be ignorance is the sage says, science can overcome and destroy evil.

“Now, gentlemen, when I look around me, and see everywhere only diseases, misery, frauds, vices, and crimes of every nature, I am led to ask myself what palliatives for so many ills are proposed by men placed at the head of society and called upon to lead it. Then I pass in review the labors of our legislators, the professions of faith of our candidates for representatives, and the politics of newspapers of every color, and I recognise, with stupefied astonishment, that those holding themselves to be most advanced, most democratic, most radical, limit their efforts to demanding changes of ministers, modifications in the form of government, laws upon parliamentary or electoral reform, as if all these changes in the political machinery had any connexion with the sorrows which overwhelm mankind; as if they had not been tried without success twenty times in the last fifty years; as if the same sufferings did not exist, with very trifling difference, under all the ministries of the present government, under the Restoration, under the Empire, under the Republic, under the ancient régime; as if absolute Russia, representative France, republican America, were not attacked with the same disease; and, despairing thought! as if that disease were not deeper seated and more severe the more industry is perfected and the more considerable the riches of nations become! Witness powerful, industrious, opulent England, exhausting herself in vain efforts to cure the horrible misery of her starving population, and giving hardly any solace by her charities, as ingenious as they are numberless, by her enormous poor-tax, her numerous work-houses, her hospitals and unceasing emigrations.

“This horrible situation of our neighbors, our elders in industry, threatened by an imminent social revolution, makes me foresee the sufferings and terrible commotions in store for our dear country and the whole of Europe, attacked more and more each day by the disease of pauperism; and I begin to despair of the future, and to think that God has abandoned humanity, and given up the world to chance.”

We all shared the sorrowful emotion experienced by the magistrate at the dark prospect he had opened before us; we kept a sad silence, when our carriage stopped; we had arrived at M—–, of which only the church and town house were standing; all the rest was but a heap of cinders and of ruins.



“Seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.—St. Matthew, vii.

“Wherefore trouble not yourselves, saying: What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? … Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be given unto you in addition.”—St. Matthew, vii.

We alighted, and perceived here and there long pieces of wall blackened by fire, and half consumed machines, which alone reminded us that fine factories of cloths formerly flourished in this place of desolation.

We directed our steps towards the church, into which we saw several persons going, and we entered it at the moment when the curate ascended the pulpit.

The venerable pastor made a touching address to his parishioners on the subject of love to our neighbor: he recalled to them the numerous instances of courage and devotedness which had been witnessed on the occasion of their catastrophe; be mentioned that several citizens had abandoned their houses and furniture to the flames, in order to give assistance, at the peril of their lives, to a bedridden old man, whose house was on fire.

He then passed a eulogium on the neighboring villages, the firemen of which had rivalled each other in ardor and intrepidity, while all the inhabitants had vied in welcoming the victims of the disaster, and had shared with them their bed and board.

He taught them especially to admire the goodness of Providence, which has placed in the heart of man so much love for his neighbor, so ardent a sympathy for the sufferings of others, that subscriptions in favor of M—– were opened every day beyond the limits of France, although, in consequence of the prejudices with which nations are still imbued, each of them looks upon the others as enemies.

He ended his discourse by returning thanks to the Almighty that he had permitted so many reasons for consolation to alleviate the evils with which he had been pleased to visit the parish.

On leaving the church, we entered the Town Hall with all the rest. The Mayor gave an account of the sums produced by the subscriptions and of those which could be reasonably hoped for; he requested the inhabitants to come to an understanding, in order to make the best possible use of these precious resources; he invited each to give his opinion freely as to the course he thought it best for the community to pursue under its present disastrous circumstances. “As for myself,” added he, “while listening just now to our venerable pastor, who has shown us so clearly that men are led by nature to love and mutually assist each other, I asked myself how it happened that all of us, who are neighbors, relatives, or connexions, far from loving and helping each other on every occasion, are, on the contrary, jealous and envious each of the other. I asked myself why we endeavor to crush our competitors, often even by fraud and bad faith; and, I confess it, I have discovered no other cause for this incessant war than the opposition of our interests. In fact, is it not true, gentlemen, a merchant does not look with displeasure upon the success of his partners, so far as they are his partners, be it understood, and this for the sole reason that they cannot become rich without his also becoming so? Now, if it be necessarily thus, would it be impossible to associate all our interests, so that each would find his advantage in the prosperity of all? Let us think seriously of this; the question is surely worth the trouble.”

After some moments’ silence, a manufacturer of cloths spoke. “It seems to me,” said he, “that the problem stated by our mayor is not unsolvable; I will endeavor to solve it:

“Let us see, in the first place, what is done when several persons enter into partnership for any business; then we will examine if the same process would not be applicable to a partnership having for its object the production and manufacture of all things necessary for the inhabitants of a community like our own.

“When I became a partner with Messrs. A. and B. to manufacture cloth, I was already a manufacturer, as you know; I brought into the partnership stock my buildings, machinery, and looms, valued at 400,000 francs. Mr. A., who was a wool merchant, put in what he had on hand, to the value of 100,000 francs, and Mr. B. paid in 200,000 francs in money.

“Then Mr. A. undertook the purchasing of wool, oil, and dye stuffs; also the sale of our manufactures; and he travelled for the purpose of effecting this. He understands buying and selling very well, and takes pleasure in these operations, for you know that people generally do with pleasure those things in which they are skilful.

“Mr. B. took charge of the books and correspondence, and I employed myself in the manufacture of our goods.

“By means of these arrangements, we all three employed our time usefully; and as we do not want for activity and experience in our various departments, as moreover our united capitals are quite considerable, our accounts show good profits, which we divide in proportion to the capital put in, and also in proportion to the labor of each during the year.

“I ask of you, gentlemen, would it be very difficult to make analogous arrangements among us all, in order to produce grains, vegetables, fodder, cattle, clothes, furniture—in a word, those things of which we have need, or which we shall sell, in order to procure in exchange whatever we do not manufacture ourselves?”

All the hearers, rich and poor, declared that such a partnership appeared to them very easily realized, and that as each would there find an advantageous investment for his funds, and assured labor, it was necessary to study this project. Consequently, the manufacturer was requested to give a further development to his thought. He, continued, therefore, in these terms:

“In order to produce the partnership capital, let us proceed in the manner I have cited; let the land owner bring to the stock his fields, his meadows, and his cattle; let the manufacturer give in his cloth, his wool, and his machines, which have been saved from the flames; let each one give up his garden, his money, and his portion of the contributions which are to be distributed. We will estimate, in a neighborly manner, what each one brings, and we will give, in exchange, as many shares, based upon the whole of our property, as there are thousands of francs in the portion of each. These shares of one thousand francs will be subdivided into parts of one hundred and even of ten francs, in order that all of us may be stockholders, or soon become so.

“Our partnership capital being thus formed, and it will be very considerable, will it not? we will begin by building a single factory and distributing the cultivation of our soil. It being well understood that the manufactory and soil, the whole, must be considered as the property of a single individual, as is the case in every partnership.

“We will begin, then, by levelling our enclosing walls and our hedges, by removing the bounds of our fields; we will fill up our ditches.

“That done, our agriculturists will decide what cultivation is most proper to be given to each soil; then they will plant for us a vast vineyard, a large kitchen garden, a superb and spacious flower garden, which will take the place of all our present small -vineyards and gardens. Our domain will be magnificent as that of a king, and a thousand times better cultivated than these kitchen gardens which, more or less badly kept, now surround our houses.

“I say that our domain will be perfectly cultivated. In fact, those of us who excel in the cares to be given to prairies or artificial meadows will take charge of that part; those who prefer the care of trees or of flowers will find work in our vineyard, our vegetable or flower garden; those who like to be with animals will employ themselves in our barns and stables; in a word, each inhabitant will apply himself to those labors he is best acquainted with, and consequently everything will be done in the best possible manner.”

“Gentlemen,” said a farmer, “the ideas which have been laid before us are admirable in their simplicity and fruitfulness. I do not know, really, why they do not present themselves to everybody. Their application will produce great abundance; for the union of the various parcels of soil in our town will evidently unite the advantages inherent to large and small farms, without having their inconveniences, which are great, as must be confessed.

“Thus large farms cannot be cultivated without the aid of hired laborers, who have no interest in employing their time well, and securing products which shall be abundant and of superior quality.

“Small farms, on their side, present inconveniences of more than one kind, as we see each day; our fields are too small for us to alternate our crops properly, and to raise animals enough to manure them sufficiently. We are very often obliged to sow wheat, which we need to feed our families and to pay our rent, on soil which would yield much more largely if laid down to grass or planted with trees. Then our farms, cut up into small fields, scattered here and there, present obstacles to a well understood cultivation; and that which we give them, imperfect as it is, obliges us to lose a great deal of time in going and coming. In fine, the smallness of our farms, of our capitals, of our manure heaps and our crops, often occasions a deterioration of the soil for want of the means to enrich it; it places us in a condition in which we cannot possibly benefit by the discoveries of science, make experiments or improvements, or take advantage of the tools and machines which so greatly economize both time and labor.

“But give up to us all the territory of the township freed from the hedges, the ditches, and enclosures which disfigure it and make unfruitful an important portion of the soil which will be restored to cultivation; give us good horses, ploughs, and other improved tools; procure for us the necessary hands, which we sometimes feel the want of; yield to us the fountain which has occasioned so many quarrels and law suits, and assure to us the means of properly irrigating our fields, our meadows, and our gardens, and we guarantee to you a crop double or triple that which we now make each year.”

“Very well!” resumed the manufacturer, “you will have all this, and moreover good advice, if necessary; for we will consult, at home and abroad, those men who are most experienced in the practice and theory of agriculture; we shall also be able to procure plants and seeds of the best quality; we shall be rich, and we will make for our establishment temporary sacrifices which the earth, that good nursing mother, will soon reimburse to us with usury.

“I say that we shall be rich; I mean by this that we shall have capital enough not to neglect any improvement; for if we have not enough with our united capitals, we can easily borrow upon the security of our land, and we should have no difficulty in repaying within a few years, if desirable, since you promise us a double and even a triple crop.

“Hands will not be wanting, and good hands, I assure you; since our workmen will be partners, proprietors, and not hired laborers; and, in case of need, you can be sure that our hay will be cut, cured, and housed in two or three days; for that hay belonging to all, we shall all have an interest in its being saved without getting wet; and we shall be anxious to do this at once, whenever the weather is not perfectly sure.

“It will be the same with all the crops, the gatherings and harvestings of every kind.

“You will have good horses, perfectly taken care of; as I have said, by those among us who like to be with animals; we shall so arrange as to retain only those which are necessary for our purposes, and distribute our labors so as not to keep, as now, a number of horses doing nothing a part of the year.

“You will have all the tools and machines which facilitate and diminish labor; in a word, like the great and rich farmers, we shall know how to procure everything that can improve our soil, increase our products, and diminish our fatigue.”

“I see very clearly,” returned the farmer, “that our workmen, interested in the good and prompt execution of our labors, and undertaking those which they like and in which they are experienced, will work with ardor, and will become very skilful; I foresee that our crops will become still more abundant than I stated just now; but if all the inhabitants put their hands to the work at times of hurry, and if all the farmers accomplish a great deal, as do those who work upon their own lots, the labors of the field will soon be over. Shall we remain with our arms folded when we have nothing more to do in the field, and would it not be possible to increase our income by employing ourselves usefully in the house in our leisure moments, and during the bad weather?”

“When you cannot work in the fields, or there is nothing to call you there,” replied the manufacturer, “each can busy himself according to his tastes; some will go to the blacksmith’s, the wheelwright’s, or the joiner’s shop; others into our cloth factory; these will keep the books, those the schools, &c. In this manner, each of us, able to find employment in the house and on the farm, will do a great deal more work than he can now, since he need not lose a single moment, and the profits realized by the whole of the inhabitants will be much greater than they are now.

“At the end of the year, we will take from the gross amount of our profits the sums necessary to pay our taxes and the expenses common to all the inhabitants, to pay also the interest to our stockholders, and on money borrowed, if there be any; then the surplus will be divided among the workmen, in proportion to what each has accomplished, absolutely as in the partnership which I gave as an example.

“Our partnership will always have this immense advantage over the other, that no one need fear any great diminution in his share of the profits from one year to another, inasmuch as our branches of industry being numerous and greatly diversified, even when there should be a loss on one or two branches, our general revenue would hardly feel it. It is quite otherwise when the partnership has but a single branch, for this, when it experiences a stagnation or losses, too often occasions the ruin of those concerned.”

All the assembly having approved this project of partnership, the architect was requested to give his opinion respecting the rebuilding of the town; the greatest economy was especially recommended to him.

The architect expressed himself thus: “As the whole territory of the township is to be cultivated as if it belonged to a single person, I think that we shall require but one stable for our horses, one for our cows, one for our sheep, &c.; thus fewer persons will be needed to tend and oversee our animals. We will build but one barn for our hay, one granary for our corn; it will then be much more easy to take the precautions necessary for the preservation of our crops.

“We will build a single shop for shoemaking, one for joinery, &c.; our workmen thus assembled will find their labor less wearisome; besides, these workshops, store-houses, and stables, will be vast, commodious, well ventilated, well lighted, properly warmed, and they will nevertheless cost us much less to build, and keep in order, than those which have been destroyed by the conflagration, and which were so inconvenient, so dark, so dirty, and unhealthy.

“The private houses only will remain to be built. Each family will arrange this to their liking. You will remark, however, that these buildings will not be very extensive, since it will no longer be necessary to add to them either stables, barns, or workshops.”

“But,” observed an old soldier, “when we wish to provide lodgings for a regiment, we do not build a barrack for each soldier; when we establish a boarding school, we take good care not to furnish a house for each scholar; that would be too costly, expensive, and inconvenient. It seems to me that, in our town, as the families must have frequent communication with each other, and as each of them will require but a few rooms, it will be more reasonable, and much more economical, to construct only one large building, in which the workshops shall be placed, and where each can hire a lodging as modest, or as magnificent, as he may desire.”

“And why,” added a travelling clerk, “not establish a single kitchen, in which food shall be prepared on a large scale, so that we can all be served according to our taste and our means, as is the case in the great restaurants at Paris? Why not, also, build a single wash-house, such as is seen in certain public establishments, where skilful chemists bleach linen so perfectly, and at such small expense? “

“An excellent idea!” said a housekeeper; “those of us who understand cooking will prepare the food for all; the economy will be enormous, and the food will be more varied and better prepared than it now is upon the best tables in the town. And then so many less cooking utensils will have to be bought!”

“Add,” said the mother of a family, “that the women, freed from the details of their housekeeping, will take part in the labors of the garden, of sewing, of manufacturing, &c.; they will take care of the children, keep the workshops and apartments in good order, and will, therefore, have a right to share in the profits of the partnership.”

“All these observations are perfectly correct,” returned the architect, “and I consider it very reasonable that we establish only a single kitchen, but abundantly provided with ovens, boilers, pumps, &c.; a single wash-house, one brewery, one bakery, provided with all the machines and tools necessary to economise time and labor.

“As to the lodgings, we will place them together in one wing of the building; we will so arrange them that there shall be both large and small, sumptuous and modest, “in order that there may be enough for all tastes, and all fortunes; but all shall be convenient, well provided with those things which render habitations comfortable; such as bathing rooms, abundance of hot and cold water. All will be well warmed in winter by means of steam, which can be done without great expense by making use of the waste heat of the kitchen, of the steam engine, &c.

“The whole building will be perfectly lighted during the day by numerous lofty windows, which will allow the air and sun to enter for the health of the population; and at night we can light our courts, our assembly rooms, our workshops, and our apartments, with gas.

“We will arrange a fine corridor, which will make the circuit of the buildings, in-order that we can go easily to our work, to our pleasures, and visit our friends, without fear of the wind, the snow, or the sun.

“This style of architecture will economise roofs, beams, staircases, entrance doors, carriage doors, party walls, &c.; it will also economise overcoats, umbrellas, overshoes, and other articles of the same character; it will enable us to avoid many colds and coughs.”

“Do not forget a handsome ball-room,” said the young girls; “it will cost much less to warm and light than the two or three hundred chambers in which we now pass our evenings alone.”

“Do not forget, either, dining halls, in which we can frequently dine in company with our friends,” added the old men; “chatted food is half digested, says the proverb; and besides, it will not cost more to take our meals in company with those we love, than to have them served in our own apartments.”

“Gentlemen,” said a machinist, “allow me to bring to your notice the great economy of labor and time, which will necessarily result from our executing the labors of our farm, and of our workshops, upon an extensive scale. We shall have the hardest executed by machines, as is the case in our great manufactories, and in a great number of workshops, where articles are prepared destined for the table; such as in the English breweries, the bakeries, where kneading is done by machinery, &c.

“It will be neither very difficult, nor very expensive, for example, to raise by steam power the water necessary for our workshops and our apartments; that which will be used in the irrigation of our fields; that, in fine, which is reserved for fires, which, I will say in passing, will become almost impossible.

“Machines will soon be found, I assure you, to assist our threshers, to load and unload our hay and our manures, to sweep our roads and our court yards; in a ‘Word, to take place of the arms or men in all unmeet and fatiguing labors.

“And, since we are to operate in all matters upon a large scale, I must point out to you, gentlemen, some of the precious advantages of this method of production.

“Manufactures upon a large scale, in the first place, allow great products with few hands. England is a very evident proof of this truth, and I recently read in one of our newspapers, that fifteen establishments in Lancashire manufactured cotton goods enough to provide three shirts a year for every inhabitant of France. These prodigious results are evidently owing to the employment of machinery; now, their use becomes practicable only in manufactures upon a large scale; it is clear, in fact, that the mother of a family cannot purchase a stocking machine, in order to knit stockings for her children, and that a man who should make cloth without the assistance of any other person, could not buy the power and the machines used by great manufacturers in the production of this article. If he should procure them, those machines would soon deteriorate, and absorb far more than the profits on his products.

“In the second place, manufacturing on a large scale gives products of a superior quality and at a low rate. These results are owing to two causes; to the use of machines, and the division of labor. An example will easily make me understood.

“If as I supposed just now, a man had to make a piece of cloth alone, that is, sort, clean, and scour the wool; wash, dye, card, and spin it; set up his piece, and weave it; then full it, clear it, nap it, shear it, press it; in a word, give it all the dressings; certainly, if he had the greatest experience in manufacturing, he would still make very poor work, and in very small quantity; and in order to derive any profit from his labor, our man would have to sell his inferior cloth at perhaps more than one hundred francs per yard. And remark, that he would already have made use of machines in all his operations; for if he had had only his fingers, his whole life would not have been enough to make a yard of the most common stuff.

“But let a rich man establish a cloth factory: he brings to his assistance five or six superintendents employed in directing and overseeing exclusively, one the fulling, another the dyeing, this one the spinning, that one the weaving or the dressing; and all these various operations are executed by special workmen furnished with the most improved machines, which spin, full, shear with the assistance of very few hands, and accomplish each more work, and work superior in quality, than twenty men could have done with the machines in use fifty years ago. Thus our manufacturer produces, with few hands, a great number of pieces, and he can sell his handsome cloth at twenty francs the yard.

“In fine, manufactures on a large scale, finding their superiority and profits in the use of machinery, tend incessantly to improve them; in other words, they tend to render the labor less fatiguing to the workman, to subdivide all the operations, and consequently to render them more easy to be learned. It is thus that, nowadays, a child understands a trade in a short time; the shearing of cloth for example, which formerly required several months’ apprenticeship in a grown person; and that the greater part of the operations necessary for the production of our fabrics are of such easy execution that an apprentice receives wages from the beginning.

“You see, gentlemen, that manufactures on a large scale owe their superiority to the use of machinery and to the division of labor. If, therefore, we wish “to produce much and well, we who will also execute on a large scale the labors we undertake, let us do like all extensive manufactories: let us employ machines as much as we can, and subdivide our operations so that each laborer may perform a simple detail the smallest possible: he will easily learn to accomplish it, and soon he will do it well and quickly.

“But as a simple detail, always the same, is an exceedingly wearisome occupation, each of us will apply himself, according to his activity, his tastes, and his fitness, to ten, twenty, or thirty different details; at one time in the fields, the vineyard, the vegetable or the flower garden; at another in the workshop, the counting house, the factory, &c. This variety of occupation will change our labor into pleasure, since we shall leave one job to pass to another quite different, before weariness or fatigue attacks us; it will also increase our profits, for we shall not lose a moment.”

“This manner of living,” said the physician, “these employments, alternating between the fields and the house; these labors of the body and the mind, united with an abundant and healthy nourishment, with cleanliness, with the absence of great vexations, and especially of anxiety for the future lot of one’s self and children, will all contribute to the increase of gaiety and health: we shall soon see the greater number of diseases disappear; the successive generations will become more and more healthy, handsome, and strong; the physicians of the future will have only to take care of the public hygiene.”

“It has been shown to us,” said the justice of the peace, “that our crops will be at least doubled; we can calculate that our cloth factory, in which so many will work as partners, will give a large product of good quality, from which we shall derive considerable profits; we will wait the most favorable moment for our sales; we shall be rich enough not to hurry in realizing; it is therefore evident that the income of our town will be greatly increased.

“On the other side, we have seen that our table, although better and more abundantly served than it now is, will nevertheless cost us much less, as the dinner of a soldier who eats at the ordinary of his mess is preferable to that of a man who lives alone and spends twice as much. We shall also be lodged and clothed much more cheaply.

“We may therefore boldly conclude that we shall live six or eight times better, physically speaking, when associated together than we do now. As to our moral enjoyments, they will necessarily be such as to make it impossible to establish a comparison between those of the past and those of the future.

“Believe me, gentlemen, I am far from exaggerating; association is the source of all economies; it alone possesses the means of rendering accessible to persons of small fortune enjoyments which, without it, would be beyond the reach of kings.

“Is it not in fact to a species of association that we owe our primary schools and the colleges attended by our children for the payment of a small consideration? Is it not from an association between the owners of animals in our village that we are able, for a small contribution each, to pay a shepherd to take charge of and pasture our flocks? Is it not to an association of the lovers of reading of a great city that are due those reading rooms which place at our disposition the greater part of the newspapers and recent works, for a subscription of a few francs each year?

“Again, it is association which enables us to travel at a small expense more rapidly and more conveniently than the most powerful monarchs could in former times; it is this which reduces to a few sous the postage on letters from the most distant countries; it is because a great number of persons are associated for their pleasures, that for two or three francs we enjoy the best dramatic representations, or purchase the right of hearing a band of musicians whom a sovereign would not be rich enough to keep in his pay.

“It is, in fine, to the association of all the inhabitants of a country that are due the museums, the libraries, the fleets, the armies, the roads, the canals—in a word, all the gigantic enterprises of their governments.

“I was, therefore, quite right in saying that association is the source of all economies.

“Thus nothing is more certain: we shall economize, as you have been told, in all things; in the purchase of housekeeping utensils, in heating and lighting, in the building and preservation of the edifices, which we shall know how to construct with solidity, without having any disputes about contract.”

“I wish to point out to you an economy of another kind, which is not to be despised: we shall have no more lawsuits.

“In fact, there will no longer be any method of getting up a law-suit about service, encroachment upon property, a right of way, a spring, a party wall, and a thousand other things which now engender a great deal of hatred, and cause the loss of much time and money.

“I must confess, nevertheless, that I fear there may be some difficulty in the distribution of work, in which each would like to command, and in the division of profits.”

“It seems to me,” said a retired general, “that it is not impossible to reassure our honorable justice of the peace. It is enough, in my opinion, that we organize our laborers, in order to avoid the disputes he fears. I was formerly employed by the emperor in the organization of the regiments composed of foreigners who served France against their will; and yet I succeeded. I do not think it will be more difficult to organize workmen who engage with pleasure. Therefore, if you think well of it, I will undertake to organize our labors, and this is the method I will adopt:

“Suppose that we take up our factory of woollen cloth. I will make a call upon all well-inclined persons, men, women, and children, of whom I will form a fine regiment, which I will divide into as many battalions as we manufacture kinds of cloth.

“The first battalion will manufacture, I suppose, cloths; the second, cassimeres; the third, mousselines.

“Each battalion will be composed of companies; there will be a company of spinners, one of weavers, one of shearers, &c. Several companies will be out of file, that is, will belong to two battalions, or even to the whole regiment. Such as the scourers, dyers, &c. It is thus we see our artillerymen, our companies of engineers, of the baggage train, not forming part of the regiments with which they work on the day of battle, but still belonging to the same division, or the same army.

“Each company will, in its turn, be divided into squads, performing one same work, but by different processes. Thus in the company of scourers, for example, some squads will operate with carbonate of soda, some with soap, &c. Each squad of the company of dyers will apply itself exclusively to one color; in the company of shearers one squad will employ the transversal, others the longitudinal, or shears of different systems, and thus in all the companies.

“This organization will excite rivalry among the squads, and will tend to perfect all the operations; each squad, each company will become passionately fond of its labor and peculiar processes, the esprit du corps will soon display itself and will produce wonders.

“Every workman will have charge of a detail of the work executed by his squad. In a squad of nappers, I will suppose, some will fix the teasles without attending to other details; others will secure the frames to the machines; these will take charge of the cloth during the operation of napping; those will remove the frames or clear the teasles, and so in all the parts. The smaller is the portion to be executed by each person, the more speedily will the work advance, as our machinist has very truly told us; besides, this is so clear that you have only to look at what is going on in every factory to be satisfied that such is the case.

“It is well understood that each squad must have its corporal, each company its captain, each battalion its commandant, and every regiment its colonel, to direct the labors and superintend the operations. All these officers will be appointed for a fixed time, by the laborers engaged in the work: the corporal by his squad, the captain by the corporals of his company, and so with the others.

“I promise you that the chiefs will be well selected, for all the workmen will have their interest and their honor involved in their rivalries, and consequently all will wish to have for commanders those most skilful in leading the work, in exciting the ardor of the laborers—in a word, in sustaining the honor of their flag.

“And not only will all wish to make good selections, but all will be able to choose the most capable, since every day each will see everybody at work, and will know exactly the worth of the men of his squad, and that of the chiefs who are immediately over them.”

“This organization,” remarked a farmer, “appears easy to establish in a woollen factory as large as ours will be; but how can it be applied to field labor?”

“I would proceed exactly in the same manner to organize the regiment of agriculturists,” replied the general; “I would compose it of several battalions, one of which should cultivate grains, another the meadows, a third the vineyards, a fourth the gardens, &c.

“The battalion of grain-growers would be formed of companies attached, some to the culture of wheat, some to that of rye, to that of barley, &c.

“The company cultivating wheat should be subdivided into squads, each cultivating a particular species, or making use of a different system of cultivation.

“The other battalions and companies of agriculturists should be subdivided in the same manner; and as we have seen in the regiment of manufacturers, there would be companies out of file; such would be the company of ploughmen, whose labor would be required by all the battalions which might need ploughing done.

“I would organize, in the same manner, in battalions or only in companies, in proportion to the importance of the work, or, to speak more exactly, in proportion to the number of workmen necessary to execute it, those persons who take charge of the house-keeping, of the joinery, &c.; and in all the squads, I repeat, I would take care to divide the work to be executed into as many portions as possible.

“The women and children will enrol themselves in all the companies, or in almost all; they will there form distinct squads which will apply themselves to such details as are conformable to their tastes and strength.”

“Such an organization,” returned an old officer of dragoons, “will be an inexhaustible source of gaiety, or emulation, of enthusiasm and earnestness in labor; the battalion which manufactures cloths will be in continual emulation with that which makes cassimeres; they will endeavor to surpass each other, and, to succeed, they will spare neither pains nor sacrifices; and their efforts will result to the advantage of our general income and the glory of our town.

“A similar rivalry will be established between the companies of the same battalion, between the squads of the same company; the squads of men will emulate those of the women and those of the children, and reciprocally, and all will be led to work a great deal and well. It is thus that on the field of battle, and during the siege or the defence of a place, we have seen the different portions of the army make superhuman efforts to surpass each other. The enthusiasm will be permanent among our peaceful battalions, since the strife will be a daily one, the combatants will have for judges or witnesses of their exploits, their friends, their lovers, their mothers, their sisters, and before them an advance in rank and profits increasing with their efforts. Really, it would be difficult to foresee where the impetuosity of our soldiers would stop.

“Still, as we must neglect nothing to stimulate that ardor, since the general prosperity will increase with it, it will be well, I think, to recompense those persons who distinguish themselves by premiums, honors, and decorations. You know, general, to what prodigies of valor the hope of a cross has incited our brave soldiers.

“It will be well, also, when practicable, to execute our labors in the midst of songs and instrumental music. Have we not seen our troops surmount incredible fatigues owing to the excitement of their drums and fifes? It will be really a pleasure to see the reviews and parades in which our columns will defile, in brilliant uniforms, preceded by fine and good music. And if our stout ploughmen, with vigorous horses, execute their rude labor to the sound of flourishes; the joyous songs of our young girls, united with the harmonies of the piano, will give an infinite charm to our saloons of seamstresses and mantuamakers.

“Musicians, and other artists, will certainly not be wanting. The schoolmaster will tell you how many, among our children, have a natural aptness for the fine arts, and especially for music. Before ten years have passed all our young people will be musicians, of unequal power, of course. We shall also have, in a few years, skilful painters to adorn our church and our saloons, and poets to sing our happiness. .

“But please to tell us, general, who will take care of the establishment, of the buildings, who will keep the accounts?”

“Those labors,” replied the general, “will be executed by a battalion which I will name, if you please, the staff. This battalion will be composed of companies, one of which will buy at wholesale and at first hands those things which we require, and which we do not produce ourselves; another will sell to the battalions, to the companies, to the squads or to individuals, the articles required by them, and this at cost, that is, at a price much lower than that which we now pay to the retailers, who themselves buy from second or third hands, and too often sell us only damaged or adulterated articles.

“Different companies of the staff will sell abroad those products of our industry which we do not consume, take care of the children, bring up and educate the youth, watch over the repairs of the buildings, &c. One of them will keep the accounts, the correspondence, and the great book, upon which every person, man, woman, or child, every squad, every company, every battalion, will have an account opened, where will appear their earnings and their expenses. In a word, the battalion of the staff will be the father of the family to our township.

“It now remains for me to show you,” added the general, “that the division of profits which the justice of the peace fears must be a stumbling-block, fill become the easiest thing in the world with the organization which I propose to you.

“In fact, you understand that in true justice we ought not to recompense equally an hour spent in the cultivation of flowers, and an hour spent in cleaning our pig-pen. We will begin by classifying our labors according to their degree of usefulness and of difficulty; and if we allow a share in the profits, represented by the figure 20, I will suppose, to the most irksome and most necessary work, we shall attach only the figure 20 to an occupation which is useful but not repugnant, and the figure 10 to a labor of pure pleasure.

“To determine the figure belonging to each battalion, and consequently its share of profits in the yearly division, all the inhabitants of the township will assemble every year at a fixed period.

“The figure of a battalion being determined, all the workmen of that battalion will fix the figure of each of their companies, and the soldiers of each company will determine the figure of each squad. After some trials, we shall attain a perfectly equitable arrangement.

“It will be easy for each squad to share the dividend which falls to it, in a manner exactly proportioned to the labor and the talent of each of its members; for the chiefs will keep an account of the work done, or of the time employed by each person; and, on the other hand, talent will be always represented by the grade which will be its exact expression.

“You understand, gentlemen, that the figure of each battalion will be fixed every year for the following year, in order that each may know if he will or will not continue to belong to it, it being also understood that the Society will diminish or increase this figure according as the work to be executed shall be more or less easy, more or less useful; according, in fine, as fewer or more persons present themselves to undertake it. Thus, when too few persons offer to enrol themselves for the purpose of executing a disagreeable but necessary work, workmen will be attracted by in. creasing the dividend of the company, or of the squads which undertake that work.

“Moreover, glory will very naturally be awarded to those generous companies which, for the interest of all, apply themselves to repugnant labors. In a society which will not be acquainted with poverty, honors will be a much more powerful lever than money for those noble and devoted hearts which, thank God, are not so rare as might be thought; our disastrous conflagration has shown this very clearly.”

“I begin to believe, general,” returned the justice of the peace, “that lawsuits will disappear entirely from our village; but nevertheless you cannot deny that the division of profits will always give occasion to discussions more or less earnest, for you know that men deceive themselves respecting the value of their own work, which they look upon as more important than that of their neighbors. Thus, the battalion which cultivates flowers, for example, will allege, at the general meeting, that its products embellish our greenhouses, our garden, and our fields, that they make the ornament of our church, our workshops, our festivals; that they adorn our young girls, and are the charm of our habitation, to which they give, throughout the year, a holiday appearance. This battalion will consequently claim a large share in the profits. For myself, I should be quite disposed to consider their claim a just one; but everybody might not coincide with me, and thence would arise disputes, or at least very animated discussions.”

“Your observation is a very just one,” replied the general, “and matters would probably pass as you say, if each associate had but one trade; but you will remember that it is not so. All, on the contrary, will belong to different battalions; consequently the florists will be employed also in the factory, in housekeeping, millinery, keeping accounts, &c. If therefore, they were to cabal in order that their battalion should receive an unreasonable recompense, they would be working against their own interests, concerned in all the other battalions; which would be absurd.

“On the other hand, there will not be a company, not a squad perhaps, in which our florists will not have a friend, a child, a relative; then personal interest, and that of those connected with them, will therefore compel them to be always just.”

“All that you have told us, general,” remarked the officer of dragoons, “is strikingly true, and as easily arranged as the organization of an army or of any administration. One difficulty still troubles me, however; allow me to state it: I do not see where you will find the people necessary to fill the ranks of so many battalions; you will require twenty or twenty-five thousand workmen, while we are not more than two thousand inhabitants, one half of whom probably know nothing of the labors in which your soldiers will be engaged.”

“In the first place,” replied the general, “the workmen will be much more numerous than they are now, and this for several reasons easily understood.

“1st. No one will wish to remain idle when each can choose the occupations which please him, and when, moreover, there will be details for all strengths, all ages, and all tastes.

“2d. The shopkeepers will increase the number of our workmen, inasmuch as they will no longer have any business at their counters, since two companies of the staff will have the sole charge of purchases and sales.

“3d. The women will take part in all the labors, freed as they will be from the cares of housekeeping, and the worrying of their children, since special companies will undertake the labors of the kitchen, and others which fill up the lives of our housekeepers, and the children will be tended, brought up, and taught, as I have told you, by those companies to which the education of youth is intrusted.

“4th. The children themselves, instead of destroying, as they do now, impelled by their unconquerable need of movement, will enter with delight into the squads of infantine laborers, which will be open to them from their tenderest years, in order to initiate them to work, and in which they will render services proportioned to their strength.

“You see, therefore, commandant, eighteen hundred at least of our two thousand inhabitants will enrol themselves under our standard. The sick, those who are absolutely decrepit, and very young children, will alone remain out of our active ranks.

“But let us suppose an effective force of sixteen hundred workmen, and suppose that each of these enrols himself; on an average, in twenty squads,–that will give thirty-two thousand soldiers. Confess, dear commandant, that with such materials we can form some fine battalions, and accomplish a great deal.

“Besides, it is well understood that we shall form our regiments only in proportion to our materials, in the same manner as we shall undertake only such cultivation and such branches of industry as are perfectly appropriate to our soil and our locality. “We can readily procure whatever we have need of that we do not produce.

“We will remember, in forming our battalions, that we have agreed it is indispensable we should operate in all things on a large scale, and that, consequently, it would be impossible to undertake a great number of different branches.

“We will remember, also, that, to excite and keep up the emulation among our workmen, the squads of the same company ought to be numerous, so that each of them will have work almost similar to that of the neighboring squads.

“You tell me,” added the general, replying to one of his neighbors, “you tell me that you do not well understand how each person can become perfectly acquainted with twenty or thirty trades, while at present it is so seldom that a man understands well the single trade which he constantly exercises.

“You have forgotten, my dear sir, that we do not here speak of trades such as we now see carried on, but simply of the details, sometimes very small, of a trade. Now, it is evident that a workman, executing only a trifling portion of any trade, must quickly render himself skilful in it; it is also evident that as the apprenticeship of a detail requires but little time, each workman will be able to learn a great number.

“See, moreover, what actually takes place, and you will find that there is not a cultivator, not a mechanic, who does not accomplish a crowd of these details of which we speak. A gardener, for example, digs, hoes, sows, waters, harvests; he plants trees, prunes, grafts, and cultivates them; he takes care of espaliers, quenouilles, and standards, those trees which bear fruits with seeds, as well as those which give stone-fruit, vines and peach trees, apple and pear trees of every kind; he cultivates vegetables of every species; he takes care of green-houses and hot-beds, of Bowers and shrubs: in a word, he exercises some hundreds of trades, which, in our society, will become the occupation of more than fifty squads. “Thus, in supposing that each person, on an average, has twenty parts of trades, I have confined myself far within the reality.”

“Few men, as you have said, are perfectly acquainted with their trade nowadays, and this will cease to astonish you if you remark that it is almost always chance, and not a vocation, which decides the choice of the trade that each of us embraces; especially if you pay attention to the fact that each trade is made up of a number of details which, for the most part, are by no means in accordance with the tastes and dispositions of the persons compelled to execute them.”

“This is also the reason why, let us observe in passing, we meet with so few women who are really good housekeepers; the cares of a household and of a family, the order of a house, require so many multiplied and very different inclinations, which God rarely grants to a single person, but which, in our great societary household, will all be found in an eminent degree, divided among all our women.

“You ask me, moreover, how it will be possible to undertake twenty different kinds of work each day. I have never said, sir, that each must be occupied every day in all the labors he is acquainted with. That would be impossible; the day would not be sufficient: impossible, because many squads, many companies, and even whole battalions, like those of the cultivators, will work only a part of the year; and some companies of those battalions, such as those which dig, plough, plant trees, or graft them, will not be able to exercise their talents more than a few days each year.

“Nevertheless, it will be easy to undertake seven or eight, or even ten, different labors in a single day. In fact, every one may remark that men accomplish more during the first two hours of any employment than during the three following hours. It will, therefore, be for our interest to proceed by short sessions; and when a squad has not finished its task in an hour or two, if the chief perceive that the ardor of the workmen is relaxed, he will cause the ranks to be broken, and each soldier will depart to begin a different work with one of the numerous squads of which he is a member. It is unnecessary to say that, if the work requires it, the squad will prolong its session, or be replaced by another.

“Every evening, by order, the employment of the next day’s time will be fixed: thus, each can so arrange as to occupy his days with the labors most agreeable to him, and not lose a moment.”

All the audience applauded, and the curate spoke pretty nearly as follows: “My dear children, what we have heard is admirable in its simplicity. The organization which is proposed to us can be easily tried. A trial cannot compromise the public order in any manner; for this organization, limiting itself to the formation of workmen into regiments, and to their association for production and consumption, requires no change in the civil, political, moral, and religious laws which govern us. The processes of the organization of labor, which have been laid before us, are in perfect agreement with the character God has given to us; for man is passionately fond of the society of man: he dies or becomes crazy in isolation. He also loves with passion variety in his labors and in his pleasures; his health deteriorates, his organs become weakened, his intelligence brutified, in an occupation always the same.

“The labor chosen by each of us—I say us, because I certainly intend, in spite of my advanced age, to enrol myself in more than one squad of gardening, of teaching, of accounts-the labor, I say, always of our own choice, always varied, and executed in the company of persons whom we love, will become a continual pleasure, an incessant source of gaiety and of perfect health.

“Association, as has been demonstrated to us, is, in itself; the source of every abundance in production, of every economy in consumption, of every justice in the division of its products.

“Thus, my good friends, if we form an integral association, poverty will evidently give place to abundance; if we organize our labors, idleness will give place to activity; and all the vices will disappear with their mothers, poverty and idleness.

“Jealousies and hatred having no longer any occasion for their production, we shall give ourselves up with happiness to the affectionate feelings which God has so abundantly implanted in our hearts. Our parish will be a model for the neighboring parishes, which, envious of its happiness, will not delay imitating it; for what is more contagious than happiness? and our own dear country will become the abode of wealth, of order, of true liberty, of all the talents, of all the virtues.

“Then you will understand me when I speak to you of the providence of God and of his goodness; for we shall be filled with his benefits every moment of our lives.”

And raising his voice: “We thank thee,” said he, “O Almighty God, who hast permitted men to discover the means of rendering practicable and easy the law of thy Son, which commands us to love each other as brothers; we thank thee that it has been granted to us to see the dawn of the thousand-fold happy day when thy will shall be done on earth as it is done in the heavens; when thy kingdom shall come; that kingdom of truth and justice, the coming of which we ask of Thee every day in our prayers; that kingdom which Jesus recommended his disciples to seek before all things, assuring them that the rest (food and clothing) should be given to them in addition.”

And all the inhabitants of our unfortunate village, full of hope, congratulated themselves, embracing each other and clasping hands.

All soon left the hall, and groups more or less numerous were formed here and there, to converse respecting the advantages promised by the proposed association, and respecting the measures to be taken in order to organize it in the township.



“He shall enter into the kingdom of God who doeth the will of my Father who is in the heavens.—St. Matthew, chap. vii.

My travelling companions and myself approached the most animated group. The doctor, who made part of it, was earnestly addressing a grave looking man, who, we were told, was the professor of physic and mathematics in the royal college of the shire town.

“It is impossible,” said the doctor, “you do not think, Sir, that we ought to take literally that exclamation drawn by the foresight of a great good from the excellent heart of our venerable pastor: ‘Then the will or God shall be done upon the earth.’ This is one of those hyperbolical phrases which cannot be accepted as the expression of a scientific truth.”

Professor. “Excuse me, doctor; I do say very positively, the form of society willed by God, in view of which the Creator has given to man all his wants and all his natural instincts, is and can be no other than that resulting from the integral association of the inhabitants of a township, organized in regiments of workers, after the manner which we have heard explained. This proposition seems to you bold, extravagant. Well, I will endeavor to demonstrate it to you decidedly.

“If I am compelled to enter into rather extended details, you will excuse me, gentlemen, in view of the importance of the question, to the demonstration of which I attach great weight, inasmuch as the truly religious persons whom I may have the happiness to convince, must necessarily, if they are consistent, do all in their power to contribute to the coming or God’s kingdom, and to the accomplishment of his will here below.

“In order to introduce more method into my demonstration, I will read to you, if you please, some pages in which I have endeavored to discover the terrestrial destiny of humanity, and the manner in which the Creator intends that man shall proceed to the accomplishment of that destiny. I will afterwards complete my proofs if you wish to hear them.”

All the group having testified a desire to hear, we took our seats upon benches placed in the shade of an aged linden near at hand, and the professor read his manuscript, which was as follows.



Attractions are proportional to Destinies.

God, the Creator of all things, is infinitely good and infinitely just.

“In order to discover what is the terrestrial destiny of humanity, I must first establish two propositions, which, as they are intended to serve as a base to my principal proposition, must be demonstrated in an unshakeable manner. I request you, therefore, gentlemen,” added the professor, addressing us, “to allow nothing that is in any way uncertain to pass in my reasonings: they ought to be as unattackable as mathematical demonstrations.

“These two propositions are as follows:

“1st. God gives to all his creatures the powers and the instruments, material and immaterial, which are best adapted to the accomplishment of their destinies.

“2d. God is always economical in means; by this I mean that the Creator makes things and makes them operate with the least possible expenditure of instruments and powers.

“These propositions, which are axioms to every one who admits a good, just, and powerful Creator, are easily demonstrated by examining animate and inanimate beings with a little attention. We will do this succinctly.

“The beings with which the earth is covered may be classed in four different great categories, to wit, the minerals, comprehending all inanimate bodies; the vegetables; the animals; the human race.

“All known bodies are formed of elements which are few in number; in our day chemistry reckons only eleven, exclusive of the metals. For ourselves, we are persuaded that these elements are themselves formed of only a single one, of which light is perhaps one of the most simple manifestations. The discoveries recently made in astronomy, in chemistry, and in physics, authorize us to believe that unity of substance will be proclaimed ere long. This opinion, moreover, is in accordance with the Genesis, which informs us that the first creature issuing from the hands of God was light.

“However this may be, the bodies called elementary by the chemists appear to obey a single power, attraction; but each of those elements is provided with a dose of attraction, if we may thus express ourselves, so admirably proportioned to its numerous destinies, that these eleven elements are enough, with a few metals, as we have said, to give birth to everything that is in the bosom and on the surface of the earth.

“Oxygen, for example, which is one of the eleven elementary bodies, has received an attraction which leads it, compels it to combine itself with the metals, in order to form oxides; with eight of the ten other elements, to form acids; and with a ninth, hydrogen, to compose water. This liquid, in its turn, is animated with an attraction so wonderfully proportioned to the wants of plants and animals, that it dissolves in air with the greatest facility, and abandons it in the same manner; so that a slight cooling of the atmosphere is enough to cause the water which is contained in it to resolve itself into dew, rain, &c., and to distribute on all sides life and freshness.

“And as a similar reasoning can be employed with regard to all other crude’ bodies, simple or compound, solid, liquid, or gaseous, we are right in concluding:

“1st. That God has given to inanimate bodies attractions proportional to their destinies.

“2d. That the Creator has been economical of means in crude bodies, for he has formed them of a small number of elements, probably of a single one, and he makes them accomplish their destinies by means or a single power: attraction.

“If we study the vegetable kingdom, we shall recognise, with M. Dumas, that the principal task of plants is to form organic materials for the nourishment of animals.

“Now let us see how the vegetables accomplish this mission according to that wise professor.

‘“ The air contains or engenders oxidized products, principally water, the oxide of hydrogen, carbonic acid, and azotic acid. The plants decompose these oxides and take possession of their bases, that is, of hydrogen, of carbon, and of azote, and with these three elements they form all the organic and organizable matters which they yield to animals. They throw back the oxygen into the atmosphere.

“‘The animals, in their turn, by the aid of the oxygen which they draw from the atmosphere by their breathing, burn the vegetable matters on which they feed, and reproduce water, carbonic acid, and azotic acid, which return to the atmosphere, to reproduce anew the same phenomena in the immensity of the ages.

“Let us add,’ says the learned man whom we quote, ‘let us add to this picture, so striking from its simplicity and its greatness, the undisputed part filled by solar light, which alone has power to put in motion this immense apparatus, to develop the vegetable kingdom, which absorbs, by its green portion, the chemical force of the luminous rays, in order to form organic products which, eaten, then burned by animals, reproduce the differences by which their movements are assisted, and the heat, the electricity which constitute our strength and measure its extent.

‘“Thus is formed the mysterious circle of organic life upon the surface of the globe, thus the atmosphere constitutes the chain which binds the animal kingdom to the vegetable.’

“The vegetables commissioned to accumulate power for the benefit of animals, as M. Dumas teaches, are so organized as to be rarely required to employ that power in order to accomplish their functions: thus the Creator, economical in all things, has not given to plants powerful organs like the heart in animals. In order to cause the circulation of the sap, that blood of vegetables which runs through the whole plant, from the roots to the most elevated extremes, in order to produce and renew the organs, nature employs a particular method, endosmosis, which is not capillary attraction, for it allows the sap to issue from the tubes in which it is enclosed, and to spread itself in the interior, and even outside of the plant.

“Nevertheless, in the important acts of their life, in those, among others, having for object the reproduction of their species, plants bum the sugar they have accumulated, and reproduce heat and strength: they then live an almost animal life; we see them perform movements which seem to-depend upon will: they close their calyxes at the approach of night, or of a storm, in order to protect their organs of generation; they turn their corollas towards the sun in order to warm those same organs.

“The Creator has divided among the various species of vegetables the great task which he has confided to them. He has intrusted to each of them several special missions: some produce flowers, fruits in infinite variety, destined to cause the delight of men and animals; others form gum, rosin, starch; these, honey, sugar; those, oils, dye-stuffs, and a thousand other products, all of which, nevertheless, in spite of their dissimilar qualities, are composed of the same elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and, in a few, azote in small quantities.

“The apparatus commissioned to organize the different products of plants is so delicate, so marvellously constructed, that starch, gum, dextrine, sugar, woody fibre, &c., are composed of absolutely the same elements: twelve atoms (or molecules) of carbon and eleven atoms of water. The simple difference in the respective position of the elements, says M. Dumas, gives birth to substances which have very slight resemblance to each other.

“We may, therefore, conclude also, with regard to vegetables:

“1st. That the Creator has given to plants in general, and to each species in particular, the organs and the power necessary for the accomplishment of their destinies, since those destinies are accomplished without interruption.

“2d. That the Creator has been economical in means, since he has employed to form the vegetables and their numberless products, only three or four elements, and a single power, chemical force.

“Let us pass now to the animal kingdom.

“The functions common to all animals are, as we have just said, to burn the vegetable products on which they feed, in order to appropriate to themselves the power accumulated in them, and to recompound the water and the carbonic and azotic acids which they throw back into the atmosphere where the plants resume them in order to use them anew.

“Animals, to fulfil these important tasks, are provided with mouths, with trunks, with suckers, fitted to draw in their nourishment; with teeth, beaks, and mandibles, intended to crush it; with stomachs and intestines capable of decomposing it; with arteries and other analogous organs which transport through the whole body, with the blood, the products of digestion, in order to cause the organs to grow and to renew them; with veins which carry to the lungs the blood charged with carbonic acid; finally, with lungs which absorb the oxygen of the air, and expel the carbonic acid contained in the venous blood.

“Obliged to change place in order to satisfy their wants, animals, in general, have received the organs necessary for locomotion, and they find in their food, as we have said, the power which is indispensable to put those organs in motion.

“But these two presents of the Creator, the power and the organ, are not sufficient for the animal; for, in order to change place, it is moreover requisite that he should have the will to do so, and this will is necessarily the result of a want, or an attraction, which I shall call a stimulant.

“Thus, while attraction is sufficient for crude matter in order to fulfil its destinies, vegetables require attraction and power, and animals require attraction, power, and stimulants.

“We will now cast a glance, as rapidly as possible, upon some of the stimulants commissioned to impel animals towards the accomplishment of the two principal tasks of their life, which are, the preservation of the individual and the perpetuation of the species. We shall discover here, as always, the economy of means or the Creator.

“To grow and to preserve itself, the animal has two stimulants, hunger, and the desire to live, or more properly, the fear of death.

“To fly from pain, and to avoid death, the different animal species have received different material and immaterial instruments: some, strong and endowed with courage, oppose resistance to their enemies, and are provided with powerful arms, defences, teeth, horns, claws, galvanic piles, poisonous stings, &c., others, weak and timid, but shrewd and crafty, escape from their enemies by flight, and are consequently furnished with rapid wings, agile feet, threads to uphold them in the air; some are dyed with the color of the plant on which they feed, or of the trunks of trees against which they cling; and thanks to the color of their covering and their absolute immobility during danger, they escape the animal which pursues in order to devour them. Several species are protected by carapaces, shells, scales, feathers, hair, prickles; others are furnished with reservoirs containing mephitic odors, corrosive liquors, black dyes. These latter diffuse their coloring matter in the water in which they live, render it opaque, and by this means escape from the pursuit of their enemy.

“Let us here remark a circumstance very worthy of our whole admiration: all animals know their enemies, without having ever seen them, and they make use of the instruments which God has given them to serve their stimulants, without study, without previous practice, and yet with perfect skill. This is especially the case with the insects whose life, extremely brief, is incompatible with experience.

“To satisfy the second preservative stimulant of the individual, hunger, the animals have received organs and instruments which they also use perfectly, and instincts which do not deceive them.

“Those among them which feed upon living prey have a piercing sight to discover it, and powerful organs to reach it, seize it, tear it in pieces, and devour it. They know how to hunt in company, and have an exquisite smell, like the dog; or they lie patiently in wait for their prey, like the cat; know how to spread nets, like the spider; or to set traps, like the ant-lion.

“The animals which live on vegetables or their products are furnished with suckers, with trunks, with teeth of a peculiar form, and some, like the ox, with four stomachs and voluminous intestines to digest their food.

“But the carnivorous animals were not destined to devour all animals indifferently; the herbivorous were not all to feed upon the same plants. This is why nature has given to each species a taste, an instinct, by the assistance of which each animal knows surely the food which is destined for him; and this instinct is so imperious, that the greater part of the insects would perish of inanition rather than touch any other plant than that which nourishes their respective species.

“When it is in conformity with her views, nature designs as food for one species what would be poison to all the others; she gives to certain animals a strong desire for aliments the sight alone of which causes in us an extreme disgust: thus dead bodies and the excrements of large animals would, while decomposing, disengage dangerous miasmas; what does nature do? she inspires numerous species with a violent taste for these things, and grants them an exquisite smell, in order that they may discover their presence from a great distance; and legions of wolves, of hogs, of vultures, of crows, of beetles, of flies and larvas, attracted by the odor, for which we feel an irresistible repugnance, throw themselves with fury upon those ruins, turn to use the organic matters which they contain, and thus purge the earth of them.

“At the approach of winter, when the plants, by losing their verdure in our climates, take away from the herbivorous animals all means of nourishment, nature, always foreseeing, removed from a great number of those animals, quadrupeds, and insects, the preserving stimulant itself, hunger. Then they become completely torpid, and, in this miraculous lethargy, await the return of verdure.

“Nature, rich in expedients, does not stupify all species at the approach of frost; she engenders in some, quadrupeds fishes, birds, a new instinct which we will call a need of migration, which impels them to a milder climate, where they continue their mission, eating the insects, plants, or fruits, the substance of which they are commissioned to assimilate.”

The professor having interrupted his reading, in order to take breath, the doctor profited by the moment of silence to cause us to notice how imperious this need of migration is in the travelling animals. “Buffon assures us,” he said, “that young quails, kept in cages almost from their birth, and which could neither know nor regret liberty, experienced regularly, twice in a year, for four years, a singular agitation and anxiety, at the customary times of migration, that is in the months of April and September. This uneasiness lasted about thirty days each time, and recommenced every day at an hour before sunset.

“I confess, gentlemen,” added the doctor, “this passage of Buffon appeared to me very extraordinary, and I asked myself as did that celebrated author, what had announced the law of departure to those poor prisoners separated from their kind. But I confess also that I was not well satisfied with the explanation given by Buffon when he says: ‘This fact is determined by the habit which compels the quails to migrate every year, in order to seek food which they no longer find in the country they inhabit; and this habit becomes, so to speak, an innate affection.’ I ask the eloquent naturalist’s pardon, but this phrase reminds me of Galileo’s reply to the men at work upon the Florentine fountains, that nature has no horror of a vacuum except in a space less than thirty-two feet.”

The Professor: “The need, the stimulant of migration has always been a subject of astonishment to thinkers; still it is not more surprising than a number of other stimulants of which we every day see the effects among our domestic animals; not more, for example, than that which attracts the duck, on leaving the egg, to the stream into which it throws itself with delight, in spite of the cries of anguish of the poor hen that has hatched it; not more than that which teaches the chick just out of the shell, to recognise, among all others, the grain on which it must feed, or than that other stimulant which makes it seek a refuge under its mother’s wing at the slightest danger.

“No, gentlemen, the stimulants are not owing to habit; they are innate with animals, they are awakened at the precise moment when they become necessary to impel them to the accomplishment of a task, and they cease to be felt as soon as that task is terminated.”

And, resuming his manuscript; “Let us continue,” said the professor, “and pass in review some of the instincts, or stimulants, commissioned to lead animals towards the second function of which we have spoken, towards the reproduction and preservation of the species. This research will fully confirm what I have just said, respecting the origin of the stimulants.

“If nature is prodigal of instincts to the different species, in order to cause them to avoid danger and procure food, she is not less fruitful, nor less ingenious, when she wishes to ensure the perpetuity of those species.

“To compel animals to multiply, nature sends them an unconquerable stimulant, desire, at such a moment that the birth of the little ones shall coincide with the production of the food which they will require.

“But desire alone is not always enough to insure the perpetuity of the species. ‘When the little ones are born weak, delicate attentions are indispensable to them on their entrance into life; this is why birds are excited, some time before laying, by a stimulant which impels them to construct a nest, artistically arranged.

“Let us here remark, that a bird brought up in a cage will make use of the same materials as those used by his species in constructing their nests, if placed at his disposal. This circum. stance testifies clearly, that our prisoner is moved by a stimulant common to his species, and not by a need of imitation; for he has never seen a nest made, and has received no lessons from his mother, from whom he was taken before he was hatched.

“The nests, moreover, are different in different species; always variety in unity. The birds, so earnest in constructing the cradle of their young family, garnish it with wool, feathers, moss, &c., arrange it with coquetry, and there deposit their eggs, upon which they sit with an indefatigable patience. Still, no one has taught them that this incubation is necessary for the hatching of their young; the nightingale, born in a cage, cannot even know, when she lays for the first time, that her eggs contain beings for which she will soon experience the most tender affection. Incubation is, therefore, the result of a stimulant, and not of a calculation. (Add to this the well known fact, that the hen will sit as diligently upon pieces of chalk as upon eggs.)

“Some burrowing quadrupeds, moved by an analogous instinct, prepare, on their part, soft cushions for their young.

“These first cares are followed by other cares; as soon as the little ones are born, it is necessary to provide for their nourishment, for they are generally too weak, among the quadrupeds and the birds, to seek it for themselves. Then the female, of the mammiferous animals, presents to them her teats, which nature has taken care to fill, exactly in time, with an aliment perfectly appropriate to the delicacy of the stomachs for which it is destined, while the birds, animated by a touching and indefatigable solicitude, hasten in quest of living or dead animals, of insects, of small seeds and other food, agreeing with the tastes of their young family.

“It is also necessary to protect these weak creatures, to defend them in case of need. Well! nature animates the parents, particularly the females, with a powerful stimulant, maternal love, capable of the greatest devoted ness, and sometimes more energetic than the fear of death itself.

“Let us also remark here, that Providence, so liberal, is nevertheless sparing in means. When the task, which a stimulant is commissioned to cause to be accomplished, is terminated, that stimulant is withdrawn from the individual; thus desire lasts only a few moments each year in the animals, with but few exceptions; and the hen which, animated by an ardent maternal love, braved all dangers to defend her chicks, regards them with indifference, and as strangers, as soon as they can dispense with her cares.

“This question of the stimulants is extremely important in the demonstration or our theorem; we shall, therefore, be permitted to dwell upon these astonishing impulses, and also to pass in review several of the instincts which attract insects towards the accomplishment of their destinies. They are, moreover, singularly curious, and as infinite in variety as the destinies, as the organs of these animals.

“The female of the ant lays a very large number of eggs, which are metamorphosed successively into larvas and chrysalises. That female evidently cannot suffice for the cares required by her little ones, during these numerous changes. Who, then, can replace the mother? That multitude of workmen, born without sex, and consequently knowing nothing of maternal love, but who, experiencing a boundless devotedness for those chrysalises, the hope of the republic, lavish upon them the most tender cares, and brave death to protect them.

“Insects, in general, live less than a year under their perfect form, and undergo several metamorphoses before attaining that state. The mothers cannot take care of their children, for it is impossible they should know them; a large number of females can bestow no care upon their eggs, for some die in laying them, others deposit them in places where they cannot penetrate, under the skin of animals, in the interior of fruits, &c.

“How shall nature supply the want of maternal love in this case also? The Creator displays an inexhaustible fecundity of means in these so different cases: he gives to the females of different species stimulants, which are very dissimilar, but all admirably appropriate for the object to be attained, that is, the safety of the eggs, and the satisfaction of the wants of the little ones at the very moment of their birth.

“Thus nature, who turns everything to profit, and leaves nothing useless, when she wishes to hasten the decomposition of a tree uprooted by the storm, sends myriads of beetles to perforate that tree, and deposit their eggs in its interior; of course she has provided these insects with the tools necessary to execute the work, apparently so disproportioned to the strength of such little animals, which tools she has taught them to use with all possible skill. The eggs, well sheltered by the bark of the tree, and beyond the reach of every enemy, give birth to larvas. These are fed, according to the species, some upon the bark, which they gnaw, but which they never cut entirely through to the outside so as they expose themselves, others upon the sap wood, &c.; in a word, these larvas divide among themselves that immense prey, they being commissioned to shorten the time of its uselessness, and to appropriate to themselves its organic parts.

“The stimulants, the necessities which are awakened at the moment of laying, have, as we see, no relation to the usual necessities, those of the preservation of the mother; sometimes they are in every point in opposition to her habits. Thus the dragon fly and the gnat, which flutter about in the air, and fear the water that would immediately kill them, nevertheless deposit their eggs in ditches, because the larvas, which are to come from them, are aquatic animals.

“Thus, also, a beautiful fly, the sand sphex, which sports in our gardens, and feeds upon the honey of flowers, changes her gentle habits at the moment of laying; she furiously attacks caterpillars and other soft insects, pierces them with her dart, pours into the wound a liquor, which paralyses her victims; then she carries them to a hole she has dug in the &and, deposits in it at the same time her eggs, from which will be born carnivorous larvas, which will feed upon that living flesh, and will undergo their metamorphosis at the very moment when the provision is consumed. In all things, neither too much, nor too little.

“Evidently, the females of the different insects of which I have spoken, and all, or almost all the others, are in the same case; they cannot in any manner know the requirements or their larvas, so different from their own. The foresight, or which they give proofs, cannot be the result either of experience or of reasoning. In depositing their eggs in such places, upon such a plant, rather than on such another; in preparing for their young food of which they themselves make no use, they obey, we cannot doubt it, irresistible stimulants, which are felt at the proper moment. But let us continue:

“The butterflies and certain flies do not pass immediately from the larva state to a perfect state; they undergo an extraordinary transformation on leaving the form of caterpillars; they become chrysalises.

“As they will not experience any want while in this state, they are not provided with any exterior organ; never anything unless. Shall the chrysalises, a kind of eggs, endowed with some susceptibility, be given up without defence to their numerous enemies? Feel no anxiety: Providence has foreseen all. The caterpillars of the night butterfly, at the moment of their transformation, are excited by a new stimulant, which impels them to construct shells, silky within, and yet presenting a great deal or resistance without. In this soft bed they enclose themselves, and await with security their marvellous resurrection.

“Other caterpillars dig their grave in the ground, in the trees, and know how to garnish it softly and to conceal it from the piercing eyes of their enemies.

“We cannot see in these wonderful labors the result of a foresight, for it is entirely impossible that those caterpillars should have the least idea of the condition in which they will soon find themselves; neither can they be the fruit of any lessons, for the caterpillars have never seen cocoons made; they have never known their fathers. These surprising labors are therefore also the consequence of stimulants which excite these insects at the precise moment when the labors are to be executed.

“The Creator, moreover, when necessary, knows how to endow matter which is, so to speak, unorganized, with stimulants that impel it to accomplish acts which would be believed to be the result of calculation. The following is an example among many others.

“Shut up in a box with a glass cover some nettle caterpillars, children of those day butterflies which are so brightly colored, and which rival in freshness the flowers among which they delight to play, and observe attentively: when the moment has come to shed its skin, the caterpillar suspends itself by the extremity of its body to a silken thread previously glued to the cover of your box; the skin soon opens upon the back; the head of the chrysalis, if there be anything that can be called the head, disengages itself first; then, little by little, the chrysalis comes out entirely, with the exception of quite a small part near the tail. By means of this fulcrum, the chrysalis raises itself violently, reaches the silken thread with its extremity, makes multiplied movements in order to fasten itself to it, and when it feels itself strongly held, abandons its old vestment, the caterpillar skin, which falls to the bottom of the box.

“The chrysalis of the bombyx disparata, suspended as I have said, recognizes the approach of an ichneumon which comes to pierce it with her dart and lay her eggs in its body. In this pressing danger, our chrysalis turns round and round, so long and with such rapidity, that it fatigues and drives away its enemy.

“The beings which accomplish these evolutions, which at first sight seem the result of a succession of reasonings, are a kind of eggs, as I have said: open them, you will find a pap presenting no appearance of organization.

“Each species of insects is provided with organs and particular stimulants, inasmuch as each species has particular missions to fulfil, and these missions are numerous for each of them. In fact the smallest insect has relations with the light which guides him, colors him and provides him, by the intermediary of vegetables, with the strength he requires; with the air which sustains him in his flight, and from which he draws oxygen; with the whole vegetable kingdom for which he recomposes the carbonic acid gas; with the plant on which he feeds, with the bird to which he serves as food, with all that surrounds him, all that he animates, all that he embellishes with his cries, his colors, his movements. His larva, in its turn, has no less multiplied relations; and all these relations require the organs and special stimulants with which the Creator has liberally supplied him.

“I think we have entered into details enough; we have quoted a sufficient number of conclusive facts to have the right to affirm, with regard to animals, as we have done with regard to minerals and vegetables:

“1st. That God has given to all animated beings the organs, the powers, and also the stimulants which they require to accomplish their destinies.

“2d. That God has been economical of means in respect to animals, since we do not remark in them any useless organ or instinct, and because, still more, the stimulants are withdrawn from them when the work which they are commissioned to cause to be executed is accomplished.

“We have now to endeavor to ascertain what is the destiny of the human race, and what are the instruments with which the Creator has gratified it in order to accomplish that destiny. But first let us render a tribute of admiration and of gratitude to the Almighty, who has connected pleasure with the exercise of the stimulants, with the satisfaction of the wants that he has distributed to his creatures; so that pleasure is found to be the recompense of the creature when obeying the orders of the Creator.”

The professor having passed his manuscript to one of his neighbors with a request to continue the reading, the apothecary took advantage of a moment’s silence in order to speak.

“Gentlemen,” said he, “the propositions which the learned professor has demonstrated to us, are so much in accordance with the justice of the Creator, that they must be true, absolutely: moreover, all the sciences confirm what we have just heard.

“The botanist who sees a plant for the first time recognises by its foliage, its bark, its roots, &c., if it grows on the margin of water or upon precipitous rocks, if it likes open places or the shade of forests.

“Our great Cuvier, on examining fossil bones, could say if the animal of whose frame they constituted a part, had been herbivorous, insectivorous, or carnivorous, if it had inhabited mountains or marshes; he could, in a word, from the inspection of a few bones, describe the instincts and the habits of an animal, of which the species had disappeared from the surface of the earth for a great number of ages: so perfect are the relations between the organs, the stimulants, and the destinies.

“And without being a Cuvier, which of us, gentlemen, on perceiving for the first time,

“A heron, with long beak and long neck to match,
Perched on long legs and waiting to catch,

as says our inimitable fabulist, which of us would not affirm, without fear of being mistaken, that the heron is a shore bird, destined to seek his food in stagnant waters, where his task is to hunt for the fish, reptiles, and worms which are there imprisoned, and the bodies of which would decompose uselessly, spreading abroad pestilent miasmas whenever the heat had dried up the mud.”

The Doctor. “God grants to his creatures all that is necessary in order to accomplish their tasks. You, sir, have mathematically demonstrated this first proposition, at least so far as regards the minerals, the vegetables, and the animals, those organs of universal life. Permit me to observe, in passing, that your proposition is not less true if we consider ill an isolated manner, the organs of any being; for we find them always wonderfully appropriate to the function, or, to speak with more precision, to the functions they have to perform. Thus the ear is admirably adapted for hearing, and no optical instrument will ever approximate the perfection of the eye.

“As to your second proposition: God never creates useless means, it is considered so free from doubt by the learned, that the anatomists who could not discover the function of the spleen, took good care not to conclude from this that the spleen was useless; they knew that an organ is necessary, from the sole fact of its existence: if it had no function, it would become obliterated, would be annihilated.”

The Justice of the Peace. “I agree, sir professor, that your first two theorems appear to me perfectly demonstrated; but you have advanced a third: you have said, the Creator has united pleasure to the exercise of the stimulants; would you have the goodness, before resuming the reading of your manuscript, to give us some examples in support of this last proposition, which is not so evident to me as the others?”

The Professor. “Willingly: many plants open themselves when the sun sends to them his vivifying heat, as do the nervous tufts in animals to receive agreeable sensations. Those same plants, on the contrary, close their flowers and leaves, and appear to suffer when struck by a chilling wind.

“The vegetables, we have said, have for their principal mission to decompose the light, and absorb its chemical rays. Well! they evidently suffer when in darkness; placed in a spot which receives light only by a small opening, they incline towards that opening, and make visible efforts to procure for themselves the light they need: they languish and die if too long deprived of it.

“Vegetables also languish if unfavorable circumstances prevent their fulfilling some other task. They therefore experience well-being and ill-being, according as they can or cannot accomplish their destinies. But have they consciousness or this, we do not know; strictly speaking, we may believe so.

“If the question of the feeling of pleasure united to the accomplishment of a function be obscure with regard to plants, there is every evidence of this truth as respects animals, and especially those animals which are most elevated in the scale of beings.

“In fact, no one doubts that the satisfaction of the stimulants, hunger, thirst, desire, maternal love, is a real pleasure to animals, and that the impossibility in which they sometimes find themselves of satisfying one or the other of these necessities occasions an ennui, a suffering which brings on disease and sometimes death.

“We must believe from analogy, and from remarking the ardor with which animals accomplish all their functions, that all the stimulants are to them causes of pleasure or of suffering, according as they can or cannot be exercised and satisfied; we must, therefore, also conclude that happiness is found in the integral accomplishment of destiny.”

“You do not well understand this consequence,” said the professor, replying to one of his neighbors; it is nevertheless very simple, very evident; listen:

“There is no useless stimulant, is not that true? all have an object, a task to cause to be executed. Now, the destiny of a creature being nothing else than the aggregate of the tasks which are intrusted to it by Providence, it follows that when a being accomplishes its destiny integrally, no one of its stimulants is deprived of exercise and causes pain, but, on the contrary, all are necessarily exercised and cause pleasure; in other words, a creature fulfilling its destiny finds the opportunity of satisfying all its wants, all its physical and moving desires.

“We shall also conclude that the creature encounters evil, ennui, pain, whenever it wanders from its destiny, because, when removed from its path, its wants, its inclinations are inevitably thwarted.

“Happiness is therefore, as I said, the recompense attached to obedience to the orders of the Creator; while pain and suffering are warnings destined to recall the creature to its functions. The suffering is the greater the more the individual or the species, when the task is a collective one, wanders from its destiny.

“This must, moreover, be the case; for God, all good and all powerful, could not create pain without necessity. Having to choose between attraction and constraint, in order to cause his orders to be executed, the Creator must choose attraction, and reserve suffering for cases of obstinacy in disobedience.”

As no one made any further observation, the professor’s friend resumed the reading of the manuscript.



The terrestrial Destiny of Humanity.

“God blessed them, and he said to them: ‘Increase and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over all the animals.’“—Genesis, chap. I.

“We think we have demonstrated in an incontestable manner these two propositions:

“1st. The Creator gives to all beings the powers, the organs, and the stimulants necessary for the accomplishment of their tasks.

“2d. The Creator is sparing of means; consequently he gives to his creatures no useless power, organ, or stimulant.

“We understand, moreover, a priori, that this must be so, for it would be infinitely absurd, it would be impious, to suppose that God could exact from his creature acts which he had not given it the power to accomplish, or that he could have given it necessities, desires which it was impossible for it to satisfy.

“These truths being well established, I have the right to affirm this other proposition, which is an evident corollary to the first two. The wants and destiny of any animal are always in an exact proportion, so that we can discover one of the terms, the destiny, for example, when we know the other term, the wants.

“All that we have said demonstrates also that a living being accomplishes its destiny by acting upon external objects, by modifying them to satisfy its wants.

“Certain of the truth of these propositions, let us approach the essential thesis, that of the terrestrial destiny of man, and, to attain this, let us endeavor to discover what are his wants.

“It is useless, I think, to remark here that no question is now raised as to our future destiny, that which awaits us beyond the grave.

“Of all the inhabitants of the earth man is, without contradiction, the one whose wants are the most numerous.

“In fact, man inhabits all parts of the globe, with but few exceptions; and yet he is born extremely weak, and without any clothing, while the animals are better covered in proportion as they inhabit the colder countries. Good and foreseeing nature even carries her solicitude so far as to clothe with warmer furs, at the approach of winter, those species which do not migrate.

“Man does not bring his habitation with him, on coming into the world, as do the tortoise and the snail; he does not instinctively know how to build a nest like the swallow, or to dig a burrow like the fox; and yet no creature has an equal need of shelter against its enemies, and against the inclemency of the seasons.

“Man has not even received offensive or defensive weapons like the animals.

“He is therefore compelled to create all, weapons, lodging, clothing, food. I say fixed, for if there do exist some countries favored by heaven, in which man without difficulty procures nutritious and abundant fruits, it is not less true that he would die of hunger upon four-fifths of the earth, if he were reduced to live upon the fruits which grow there spontaneously.

“The food of man is not limited to a single plant, as is the case with numbers of animals; but if he can nourish himself with a great number of vegetables, he is compelled to make the larger portion of them undergo a preparation, common cooking, without which they have a repulsive taste to his palate.

“Man is also carnivorous; his teeth and his intestines show this. He eats almost all kinds of terrestrial and aquatic animals; nevertheless raw meat is repugnant to him. Some physicians even pretend that it is Poisonous to him. However this may be, the most savage man causes the flesh of animals to undergo a preparation before using it for food; he cooks it or prepares it in some other manner. “And not only does man experience many more wants than all other creatures, but his wants are much more requiring than theirs.

“Thus, while animals do not covet any other clothing, any other food than that which has from all time formed the delight of the individuals of their species, while they do not seek to improve their dens, to embellish their nests, man, on the contrary, feels incessantly tormented with the desire to ameliorate everything that serves his wants. Look for a moment:

“Wild vegetables and the flesh of animals, even when prepared by cooking, are not long sufficient for our wants. We require more refined dishes; and, as soon as we are able, the products of the soils and of the waters of the whole earth, improved by wise cultivation, and prepared in a thousand ingenious manners, cover our tables, upon which water yields its place to the most generous and most exquisite wines, and to drinks of every kind.

“The skins of animals serve as clothing for man in the infancy of society; but the need of cleanliness, the desire of fixing attention, the inclination to please, coquetry in fine, cause him soon to invent webs of every nature, and the most precious stuffs become necessary to him.

“The habitation of man which, in the beginning, was a cavern, successively became a hut, a cabin, a house, a palace, and architecture invented wonders to lodge him: the rarest marbles were employed to raise his abode, which sculpture, painting, and all the arts rivalled each other to adorn. In a word, our wants become always more and more requiring, and to satisfy them we lay under contribution all the kingdoms of nature, while the animals have at this day the same wants, neither more nor less, which have been experienced by their fathers since the creation.

“We may therefore affirm, without fear of mistake, that the terrestrial destiny of man is labor applied to all the products of our globe; to the minerals, in order to procure for himself metals, stones, plasters, &c.; to the plants, in order to multiply them and to create, so to speak, new species, very superior to those which grow spontaneously; to improve the flowers, to the beauty and perfume of which man alone is sensible; to the animals, finally, in order to preserve and improve those races which are useful to him, and to destroy those which are noxious.

“Thus the mission of man is to adorn, to embellish, to render fruitful the earth which God has given him to govern, as says the Bible. He must make abundance and order prevail in it, conditions which are indispensable for the complete satisfaction of his wants.

“Let us now seek to discover the powers, the instruments, and the stimulants, which we have received; they must be mighty, they must be sublime, to be sufficient for the immense, the glorious, and, so to speak, the divine task for which we are commissioned.

“Man is endowed with a muscular strength which is great and relatively superior to that of animals. The Creator has presented him, that he may use this strength, with a material instrument, the hand—an admirable instrument, with which he can move very heavy burdens and mould the most delicate objects.

“Man has received an immaterial instrument, the memory, an astonishing faculty which gives him the possibility of acquiring experience, of perfecting his labors, and of making other men profit by his progress.

“The Almighty has, moreover, made us a marvellous gift: he has granted to us intellect, a divine principle, by the assistance of which we discover and put to use the laws of nature, which we incessantly endeavor to penetrate, for we are imbued with an insatiable desire of knowledge.

“Remark, in passing, that if attraction is sufficient to crude matter in order to accomplish its destiny, the vegetables require attraction and power; I mean by this a free power, independent of the attractive power. The animals cannot do without attraction, power, and stimulants, nor man without attraction, power, stimulants, and intellect.

“The humanitary task being immense, and the physical strength of man not being sufficient for it, the Creator has placed under our hand strength far superior to our own, which we direct at our will. Thus we find courageous and powerful assistants in our beasts of draught, animals so docile to the voice made to command them, that a herd of oxen obey a weak child.

“We have in the dog, a servant, an intelligent companion, devoted even to the death, ready to defend us against our enemies, and skilful to assist us in the chase and in the care of our flocks.

“The intellect of man has known how to bring into subjection to him other powers; he employs, in order to manufacture his clothes, to build and ornament his abode and prepare his weapons, ingenious machines which multiply his hands a hundred fold, and to which motion is given by the fall of water, by the tides, the winds, steam, electricity, &c.

“Finally, Providence has placed in the service of man, and of man alone, since he alone had need of it, an agent of wonderful power, fire. With the assistance of this agent, we prepare our food, we mould the metals, those substances so admirably adapted to our wants, we subject to us all that there is upon the earth.

“Let us proclaim it, therefore, with gratitude: if the task intrusted to humanity is immense, immense also are the powers and the instruments which are placed at its disposal, or which its intellect has received the power to create.

“Before searching for the stimulants destined to impel man to the labor with which he is charged, let us say a word upon some instincts which were indispensable for him.

“Humanity, called to govern its planet, its beautiful domain, ought to occupy the whole surface. This is why the Creator has placed in the heart of the king of the earth the love of his native soil, so violent in a great number of individuals, that a prolonged absence from the place of their birth occasions in them that sad disease, nostalgia, which often carries them to the grave.

“This love of country was in fact necessary to prevent the people from precipitating themselves en masse towards those countries most favored by heaven; and this is evidently its mission, as the love of country is the more vivid in men, the poorer the country in which they dwell, and the more difficult it is to support life there—an effect opposed to the desire of comfort, so imperious in all perceptive beings.

“But, on the other hand, the humanitary work being common to all men, since it is necessary to an, the nations must concert together in order to accomplish it. This is why nature inspires some individuals with a want entirely different from the love or country: the desire of seeing and the unquiet humor, as says our good La Fontaine. This desire impels persons who experience it to journey, to serve as a bond between the nations, to make the people progress towards unity. And, let us remark it well, this desire is felt only among people placed at the head of progress and commissioned, in consequence, to be the initiators of their less advanced brothers.

“Is it not also in view of human unity that the Creator has endowed each country with different products, eternal sources of exchanges and multiplied delights? Is it not for the same object that the inhabitants of the less fertile zones have received, as a compensation, a greater portion of activity and of inventive genius, which leads them to manufacture articles intended for clothing, in order to exchange them for the products of the soil of southern countries?

“The unity preached by the Christ is so truly the state toward, which humanity tends, that an political and social institutions produce good in proportion as they cause the nations to make with each other, and with the different classes of the same nation, more progress towards association and solidarity; and produce, on the contrary, so much the more evil as they isolate men more. I could bring a thousand proofs in support of this truth, but they would make me digress too much from my subject; I resume:

“The humanitary task is composed of labors of an infinite variety. This is why men are not all born with the same tastes, the same aptitudes. Far different in this from the animals, all individuals of which, in each species, experience identically the same wants. The Creator gives to each of us, on the contrary, particular desires and vocations. Some instinctively experience a decided taste for music, poetry, painting; others for mathematics, the exact sciences; those for the mechanic arts, buildings, manual labors, and almost all for gardening or some other branch of culture.

“And each of us brings several vocations at our birth, because the most essential labors, those of the cultivation of the earth, do not require our attention except during a part of the year. Now, the great economist does not uselessly multiply means: if one man, then, can be sufficient for ten different labors, God will not create ten men to execute them: he will give to a single individual ten vocations for those different labors.

“We are authorized to believe that there are vocations for all the labors, and in a number proportioned to the real requirements of those labors; for if it were otherwise, it would be the first time that we found any want of foresight in nature. Is it not true, on the other hand, that the most useful arts, requiring the greatest number of hands, cultivation, mechanics, building, and among the fine arts, music, are, more than any other, in accordance with the taste of children? Now, we should study the intentions of the Creator in the child, whose native inclinations, not yet falsified, can be easily recognised.

“Man has received several other instincts, of which we will speak as opportunity offers.

“Let us now go on in our search for the stimulants commissioned to impel man to make use of the powers and the instruments at his disposal: and let us endeavor to discover in what manner those stimulants draw him towards the noble work which God has confided to him.”



Of the Stimulants of Man and of their Mission.

“In the eminently important search in which we are about to engage, let us not forget that we must understand by stimulant every want, every desire, every aspiration determining the will.

“We have seen the animals accomplish their tasks under the impulse of their stimulants; we must believe a priori that the stimulants given to man have equally for their mission to impel him towards the accomplishment of his destiny; in fact, for what other object could they have been created? And besides, if the great economist employs, to form all crude bodies, to create and preserve worlds, to sustain and guide the suns in space, only a single force, physical attraction, we cannot doubt but he has made that other force, which we will call passional attraction, in opposition to the first, sufficiently complete, sufficiently comprehensive to lead the human race to the end designed by his almighty power.

“I hope, while studying the law of love, which leads living beings by attraction, to prove a posteriori the reason for the existence or all our stimulants, and their perfect proportion with humanitary destiny.

“Man has for movers of his actions thirteen stimulants, five sensitive and eight animatic, not including the instincts of which we have spoken, and which we do not range in the category of stimulants, as they only show themselves accidentally, or only in a small number of individuals.

“The five sensitive stimulants answer to the need of satisfaction of the five senses; let us look at their use.

“Men experience the desire of satisfying their senses, but not all in the same manner: what pleases one displeases another. And God has willed this difference in the tastes of man, in order that nothing should be neglected in our vast task, nothing wasted at the grand banquet to which we are invited.

“Our senses, like all our other faculties, are perfectible by exercise. The Creator informs us in this manner that he wishes us to exercise all these faculties.

“Our senses become more requiring as they find means of satisfying themselves; and it is evidently thus, in order that we may be incessantly excited to perfect everything; our fields, and almost all that surrounds us, by the requirements of sight; language, music, by the requirements of hearing; flowers by those of the smell; fruits, plants, animals, by those of taste; our dresses and dwellings by those of touch.

“The eight animatic [1] stimulants are:

“The religious sentiment, the stimulant, par excellence, formed by the union of all the other stimulants, as the white ray is fanned of all the colored rays of the solar spectrum.

“Then the four affective, friendship, love, love of family, ambition.

“Finally, three distributives, enthusiasm, the need of intrigue, and the need of change.

“We will examine these eight stimulants in succession, and search for the reasons of their being.

“Man desires the riches which procure for him the means of satisfying his wants; he desires health, without which there are no complete enjoyments here below; in a word, man desires happiness, towards which he tends with all the powers of his soul. Nevertheless, he is not born selfish; for he cannot be perfectly happy except on condition that his family, his friends, the whole human race are so equally; the pain of others, even that of the animals themselves, makes him suffer. Man feels and loves justice, order, the beautiful, the true; he desires to be in harmony with the whole creation, with the Creator; in a word, he is endowed with the religious [2] sentiment, which binds man to humanity and to God.

“This stimulant is without contradiction the most noble, the most sublime of human attributes; it separates us in a decided manner from all other terrestrial creatures.

“One of the missions of the religious sentiment is certainly to lead man to make order reign in all his labors, and justice in all his relations with his brothers.

“The first three affective stimulants, friendship, love, family love, have, among other missions; that of inducing us to redouble our earnestness in our labors, from the desire of pleasing persons attached to us by one of those sweet bonds. Who does not know, in fact, to what miracles of devotedness these stimulants have given birth in all ages!

“They are given to us, also, by the inexhaustible goodness of the Creator, to spread an infinite charm over all the instants of our lives. Why must it be, alas! that the chaos in which society struggles, should make these presents of ineffable sweetness bear such bitter fruits?

“It is easily understood: these stimulants must needs be only transitory in animals, since they have only transitory missions to accomplish; the brute, in general, could not even know the animatic face of love which was useless to him; in man on the contrary, these stimulants, commissioned to impel him to a labor which lasts as long as his life, must be permanent, or, at least, succeed each other, and so to speak, be completed one by the other; consequently, as soon as one of these stimulants becomes weakened, another must increase proportionately, in order that man may feel uninterruptedly excited to distinguish himself by the desire of pleasing a beloved object, in order that his heart may never remain empty.

“The following is what actually takes place: friendship is predominant in our childhood, love in our youth, ambition in our mature age, and family love in our old age. We do not therefore say that several affective stimulants cannot share our heart. Far from this. Several usually reign there at the same time. There are even individuals of privileged character and high stamp, in whom all four command at the same time.

“We will soon speak more extendedly of ambition.

“The five sensitive stimulants and the three affective of which we have just spoken, are evidently commissioned to impel us to labor, and to excite our ardor. But nothing until now tells us how our labors ought to be organized in order that our task may be accomplished in a manner conformable with the views of the Creator. Still if the whole of humanity must take part in the prodigiously complex work which is confided to it, it is indubitable that this work should not be undertaken confusedly and without order; for God, the supreme harmony, who has taken so much pains to order labor among the beavers, the bees, the ants, and other animals living in society, cannot have willed confusion and disorder in the labor par excellence, that which continues in some sort the divine work, creation, upon the earth.

“It is evident, moreover, that if humanitary labor was to be always-incoherent, if society was destined indefinitely to see its laborers waging a savage, pitiless war upon each other, God, who makes nothing that is useless, would not have placed in us the feeling and the need of order.

“Thus, we cannot doubt it, God wishes to see order prevail upon the earth. And to discover how he understands it shall be introduced, let us proceed as we did when we desired to learn the will of the Creator with regard to the creature, let us study the wants he has implanted.

“We are then about to search anew in the heart of man. I beseech the reader to redouble his attention here, for we are about to speak of powerful, irrepressible, unconquerable stimulants; looked upon until these latter times as defects, as vices, by the philosophers and moralists who, not discovering their usefulness, denied it. Much less wise in this respect than the physicians who did not deny the usefulness of the spleen, though they could not discover its function.

“These stimulants to which we refer are the three animatics which we have named distributives, viz. enthusiasm, the need of intrigue, and the need of change. These stimulants are called distributive, because their incontestable mission is to distribute, to organize labor.

“But before demonstrating this, we must remark that God, having created man eminently sociable, shows us thereby, that he does not wish he should labor in isolation. We have, moreover, every instant, some need of each other, and we cannot satisfy anyone of our animatic stimulants without the concurrence of one or several of our fellows. This need of union, which we will call the love of the group, is inherent in our nature: in all places, in all ages, savage or civilized, young or old, rich or poor, learned or ignorant, man seeks the society of man to share his labors or his pleasures. It is not good for man to be alone, says the Scripture in more than one place.

“The greatest diversion ceases to please if it he not shared: the young girl who has the greatest passion for a ball will not dance long if she be alone in her chamber, and on the other hand, the roughest labor is much lightened, when performed in company. The troops on a campaign, for example, cheerfully surmount fatigue under which isolated individuals would sink.

“Man deprived of the contact of man suffers from ennui, and languishes. If the isolation is complete and prolonged, he becomes idiotic or crazed. The trial of solitary cells in our prisons has revealed to us these fatal effects of the repression of this love of the group.

“This is one of man’s most violent wants, and in order that it may not be sterile, the Creator has made us a present of an admirable instrument, speech, which evidently serves only to communicate our thoughts, in order that we may concert together and combine our efforts.

“And this need of the group was necessary: for, if reduced to his individual powers, man could not accomplish, nor even undertake his high mission.

“Therefore we cannot be mistaken: God means that men shall unite to labor. This truth, moreover, will be felt in a much more striking manner on the examination of our distributive stimulants.

“If we do not reckon the need of the group among the stimulants of man, it is because it is only a means, but a means which is indispensable for the satisfaction of his animatic stimulants. Let us now study the three distributive stimulants, and endeavor to discover what was the Creator’s object in giving them to man.

“Enthusiasm is that charm which is found in the execution of any work by a union of men impassioned for the same thought, engaged in the same object. This stimulant, acting upon masses, gives a supernatural power to the efforts of man; it increases a hundred fold the strength of armies, and causes them to surmount all obstacles with a wonderful rapidity; it accomplishes wonders among workmen hastily assembled to rescue a fellow workman from a horrible death; it sustains the ardor of a population busied in extinguishing a conflagration or in repairing dikes, the destruction of which would occasion terrible inundations.

“Enthusiasm, which galvanizes an assembled multitude with the rapidity of electricity, even in. our theatres, to applaud a favorite artist or a dramatic master-piece, proves to us in an irresistible manner that the Creator intends our labors should be executed by masses of workmen; for, I ask, with what other object can the great economist have attached to numerous assemblages this astonishing property of increasing in an immense proportion the results obtained by collective labor?

“If the laborers are to operate by an assemblage of numbers, shall those assemblages be disorderly and confused? No, doubtless. God, who is harmony itself, cannot will disorder, I repeat; and the stimulants which remain to be examined will enable us to know the organization willed by the Creator for the masses of workmen.

“The need of intrigue is that need of rivalry, of strife, which leads the individual, the squad, the battalion, to redouble its efforts, sometimes to perform miracles in order to surpass, to conquer the rival individuals, squads, battalions. This stimulant is in some degree the opposite of enthusiasm, the need of union.

“The need of intrigue, in all times, creates an esprit do corps, national rivalry, excites the different regiments, the different companies of an army, impels them to perform miracles of valor in order to acquire a reputation superior to that of other regiments, of other companies.

“The need of intrigue, having been given to man to excite individuals and groups to surpass each other, cannot be useful and impel to the perfecting of all industries except so far as the laborers working for the same object are organized. Without that, this stimulant engenders disorders of every kind. This is why it produces much more evil than good in our present society.

“I insist and say: The Creator means that men shall be united in groups to execute their labors; for he has given them the love of the group. The Creator intends also, that the groups of workmen shall be in rivalry with each other; for he has given them enthusiasm and the need of intrigue. Now, as rivalry is manifested between squads only when they are united in companies, and between companies when they are formed into battalions, we must conclude that God wills this hierarchical, organization or laborers.

“An effective stimulant, ambition, the reason for the existence of which we have still to seek, will confirm to us the necessity of this organization.

“Ambition (we understand by this word that thirst for glory and honor, that want which impels man to make himself talked about and to seek for distinctions), ambition was necessary to lead us to great enterprises, to give chiefs to the laborers and to sustain them in their painful tasks. But, we cannot doubt it, this powerful mover cannot have been given to man, by supreme goodness, except with the foresight of a hierarchical organization of laborers, since, without that, it is the incessant cause of disturbances for society and deceptions for individuals. Thus, in our unorganized medium, offering no means of recognising the value of individuals, and rarely permitting even exceptional capacities to place themselves in the rank which belongs to them; in our society, we say, the false directions, the subversive effects of ambition, are mean and ridiculous when they are not dangerous; they are sometimes so horrible that instances are not wanting in which men have committed crime in order to draw the public attention for a moment.

“It is also evidently in view of a hierarchical organization, that God permits the masses to become impassioned for certain chiefs, the most complete representatives of the common thought, and that the enthusiasm of those masses should go so far as to sacrifice even their lives to obtain a look, a word of approbation from their chiefs, their idols.

“It is, therefore, impossible not to perceive it, the Creator wills that laborers should be organized in squads, companies, battalions, executing their labors under the lead of their hierarchical chiefs.

“We have still to discover the mission of the third distributive stimulant, the need of change, which leads man to vary his occupations and his pleasures.

“The need of change exists, as do all the other stimulants, in each of us, but in very different degrees. It is so much developed in certain persons that a pleasure prolonged for several hours becomes to them a suffering.

“This stimulant, like the preceding, causes great physical and moral disorders when it cannot be exercised, witness so many persons to whom an occupation always the same becomes so insupportable that, to withdraw themselves from it, they neglect their most essential duties, they compromise their dearest interests: witness the numerous diseases and the deformities which overwhelm the workmen of all trades in which the need of change is repressed.

“The physicians know this: in our day, each trade engenders peculiar diseases, and with a little practice it is easy to ascertain by the form of the limbs, by the position and walk of an individual, what are his habitual labors: certain proofs that these diseases and these deformities are the consequences of a want of equilibrium of the organs, caused by an excess or a want of exercise in some of them.

“This stimulant in our day causes the unhappiness of great numbers of persons; it was nevertheless necessary in order to excite man to exercise and consequently to improve all his organs, to cultivate and develope all his vocations, which the Creator has given to him very numerous in order that he may never remain idle.

“By putting in us the need of change, God teaches us very clearly that he wills our labors to be varied, alternated; for it is impossible to discover any other reason for the existence of this stimulant, or any other means of rendering it useful.

“We think it desirable, before concluding, to group together the various propositions which we have successively demonstrated: when united their evidence will be more plainly seen.

“We have shown that the Creator grants to all creatures the material, intellectual, and passional instruments which they require to fulfil their tasks, and that he gives to them none that are useless, and, for a still stronger reason, none that can hinder them in the accomplishment of those tasks.

“We have shown that the terrestrial destiny of humanity is to govern its planet; to create, by its labor, the abundance necessary for the satisfaction of its wants. We have seen that, in this immense task, each man is destined to special details appropriate to his native vocations.

“We have demonstrated, moreover, that humanity has been provided with the powers and the instruments necessary for its mission; that the requirements of the five senses are the movers, the stimulants charged to utilize these instruments and these forces; for if man did not experience wants, he would remain motionless, inert, like a rock.

“Then, passing to the mode of execution of the humanitary work, we have demonstrated, in the first place, that all men must take part in this work, for the cooperation of all is necessary; otherwise God would have created less men, and he would no longer be economical in means; since we all experience wants, justice requires that we should all share in the labors indispensable for the production of the means of satisfying those wants.

“We have shown, in the second place, that the Creator wills the association of laborers, since he has made them the gift of speech, since he grants different capabilities to each of them, and gives an immense power to association.

“We have shown, in the third place, that God excites us to redouble our efforts in our labors, by inspiring us with the desire of pleasing those persons for whom we feel friendship, love, or family love. The association of all men for the humanitary work being demonstrated, we asked what organization should govern that infinite number of laborers; for, we said, God cannot will disorder, confusion, in the labor par excellence, and if he has made us to love order and justice, it is apparently that we may make them rule in all things.

“Then, passing in review the stimulants we have received, we reasoned thus:

“God has given us the love of the group, therefore the workmen must be united in groups more or less numerous.

“But we said, it is evident that the groups of workmen cannot be isolated, independent of each other, under penalty of disorder: w hat then is the law of their union?

“And considering that the Creator has given us enthusiasm, the need of intrigue, and ambition, three stimulants which are useful only when they act upon groups connected hierarchically among themselves, and are sources of innumerable disorders and disturbances everywhere else, we have been forced to conclude that the groups or squads of workmen should be united in companies, forming by their union battalions, &c., and that these different groups must receive an impulse from their respective chiefs.

“We have proved finally that the laborers must vary their labors, since the Creator has inspired us with the need of change, since he has made a present to each of us of several vocations, of several capabilities, since he has endowed our organs and all our faculties with the admirable property of improvement, but on the express condition that these presents of his goodness shall not remain inactive.

“But if God wills that we associate our efforts to produce, he must also will that we associate in order to consume the products obtained; for God is economical in means, and association is the source of every economy; for God loves all his children equally, and association alone can put all products, all enjoyments within reach of all men; for God is just, and association alone permits the establishment of justice in the division of products, that is, permits them to be distributed in proportion to the part which each laborer has taken in the creation of those products by his labor, his talent, and his capital, the three elements of all production. It is evident in fine that the Creator wills association in consumption, since he gives to each of us different wants and tastes in every species of consumption: food, clothing, lodging.

“You see, therefore, gentlemen,” said the professor, putting his manuscript into his pocket, “you see that I was quite right in affirming that integral association, united with a regimental organization of the laborers, and with variety, alternation in the labors, constitutes the social form in view of which man was created with the wants and the inclinations we know that he possesses.”

Several of the audience having testified a desire to make some observations, we agreed to meet again on the same spot after each had employed two hours in his own business.



When we were all again assembled, the justice of the peace began to speak, and addressing the professor, “Sir,” said he to him, “your reasonings are close and logical; I, who believe in final causes, should consider your conclusion as perfectly demonstrated, if you had made a complete analysis of man. But I must observe to you that you appear to have chosen among your stimulants, as you call them, those which support your Utopia, and to have entirely neglected the others. Thus you have not said a word about envy, pride, gluttony, drunkenness, anger, avarice, all passions, you will allow, which have a great deal to do with the determination of the wills of men, and which always produce trouble in society, whatever be its organization.”

Professor: “No, sir, I have not concealed any of our stimulants; the vices which you have named are not innate to man; they are the disorderly effects, the false operations of the stimulants of which I have spoken, and which, all created to produce good in the medium in view of which God has given them to man, produce evil when they act under the influence of circumstances unfavorable to their development and to their satisfaction.

“Our stimulants are living forces; they therefore tend necessarily and incessantly to act. Now, if the society in which man is placed offers no useful employment to some of his stimulants or hinders them in their harmonious development, these forces, always active, will act at any rate and will cause disorders and crimes, or else one of these stimulants, being immoderately developed, will become a vice, a defect, which win occasion subversive results. Let us look at this for a moment:

“Men having, in our social sphere, no means of knowing their true value, and being naturally led to exaggerate the merit of their labors, of their capacities and their acquired knowledge, easily persuade themselves that they are superior to the persons with whom they make a comparison. Thus pride and envy are the false results of ambition, which could not degenerate in this manner in a society in which no one could be ignorant of his merit, or be deluded respecting the value of his associates and his own. In such a society, ambition would produce a useful emulation, as can already be seen in organized masses, for example in an army which has been engaged in war long enough for the corps and the individuals to have learned to know each other upon the field of battle.

“Gluttony and drunkenness are degeneracies of the stimulant taste immoderately excited. These vices will disappear, without any doubt, whenever society shall procure the means of satisfaction for all the affective and sensitive stimulants. They are occasioned nowadays by the impossibility in which the greatest number or men find themselves of giving satisfaction to their wants. Thus the number of drunkards is much greater in those classes which, undergoing most privations, cannot vary either their pleasures or their labors, than in the more wealthy classes.

“The laboring man, living wretchedly the whole week, bound to a single monotonous task, runs on Sunday to the tavern, where be finds the means of exercising, in an incomplete manner doubtless, but still the means of exercising, the need of the group, the need of change, where he can satisfy, up to a certain point, friendship and the affective stimulants which God has given to him as well as to princes and kings.

“Everyone knows also that gluttony, by which I mean excess in eating, does not prevail among persons who have their table covered each day with chosen and varied dishes. These persons may be dainty; but daintiness, refinement in cookery, would be far from being a vice in an organized society, since it would give a powerful impulse to improvement in cultivation and many other arts.

“Gluttony, you will remark, is not the vice of men who experience any violent passion of the soul; thus it would disappear if each could give himself up to his affective stimulants, I mean to say if we all experienced earnest friendships, real loves, if our ambition were excited all the moments of our lives; which would evidently be the case in an organized society.

“Anger is produced when one or several stimulants of an ardent person are opposed by any act of another person; but it is easy to see that anger is not a stimulant, and that it would cease to be manifested if the circumstances which occasion it should disappear. And this will take place, with very rare exceptions, when the interests, far from being in opposition, shall converge towards the same object.

“Avarice may be considered as a stimulant peculiar to some individuals, and we can easily discover what mission is intended for it in a society swimming in the midst of extreme abundance, and the members of which, in general, in consequence of that very abundance, will be but little disposed to economy. In view of such a medium, the supreme economist must have created these natures who see waste with sorrow, and who will satisfy their need of economy, their avarice, if yon will, by enrolling themselves in the superintending squads charged to see that nothing is lost, that everything is turned to use.

“Yes, gentlemen, I have given you the complete list of the moving forces which make us act: examine carefully, you will discover no others. Now, I ask you, does it not result from their ensemble and from the study of each of them in particular, that God has not created us to contend eternally in antagonism and anarchical labor, in isolation and insolidarity. If humanity were destined to struggle for ever in its present chaos, the Creator would have taken good care not to give us ambition, enthusiasm, the need of intrigue, the love of the group, the need of change, and insatiable sensitive stimulants. Proportioning the stimulants to the destinies, God would, on the contrary, have inspired us with moderation in all things, with the desire of mediocrity and isolation. What do I say? the Creator would have inspired us with the love of nakedness and of poverty, he would have caused us to be born-with a single vocation, and would have made us find supreme happiness in executing a single labor during all the hours of our life.

“You can understand now what has been the for ever to be deplored mistake of those who have, until this day, governed and directed the nations: they have been obstinate in mutilating man; they have said to him: Restrain your thoughts, repress your desires, suppress your passions, reform the work of the Creator, in order that you may act, without too much hindrance, in the social sphere we have established.

“Really religious men would have transposed the terms of the problem, and stated it thus: Let us endeavor to modify the social form, which is our work, so that man and his stimulants, which are the works of God, can be developed freely, and harmonize in it.

“But no! the legislators of the nations have labored without relaxation at their impossible and impious work; I say impious, because it tended to nothing less than to make the will of the Creator bend before that of the creature! They have, alas! gone astray, and have led humanity out of its path. The Holy Scriptures are very right in affirming, that pride has destroyed man.

“Let us look again for a moment at the play of our stimulants in our present society, rent by the antagonism of interests; the subject, gentlemen, deserves all our attention.

“The stimulants being wants, which cause pleasure when they are satisfied, and suffering when they are opposed, necessarily impel men towards the objects which will give them that satisfaction. And if society is constituted as in our day, in such a manner that it is almost impossible for each of us to satisfy his stimulants without thwarting those of another, these moving forces, given by divine goodness to produce good, will inevitably cause evils, disturbances of every nature.

“It is easy to understand how a person, full of ardor, and provided, like a spoiled child of nature, with several energetic stimulants, who was consequently destined to become the glory of society, and one of its most important members; how, I say, such a person, being so situated that he can satisfy only one of his stimulants, should abandon himself to it with fury, and fall into the greatest excesses. Thus, a man of strong temperament, from whom humanity ought to expect great services, will become a debauchee, a gambler, a drunkard; and if he cannot without crime obtain the means of satisfying his wants, which have become unconquerable in consequence of a faulty education, he will become an assassin.

“The stimulants and vocations, distributed in unequal degrees to each individual, form the infinite variety of human and of national characters. Characters are more elevated in proportion as the animatic stimulants are more developed, and as the stimulant par excellence, the religious sentiment, predominates in them.

“Our stimulants, being a part of our nature, like our intellect, our memory, our organs, are indestructible. It is not given to man to annihilate them at his will. Nevertheless, man has received the power of modifying his stimulants and his other faculties up to a certain point; he can make use of a superior inclination to conquer an inferior one. This is his free will; this is what makes man’s merit or demerit; this is why an animatic stimulant, love, ambition, &c., when excited to a high degree, imposes silence on the wants of the senses; this is why education, in developing, improving the faculties, modifies the characters of individuals; this, finally, is why religion, by exalting the supreme stimulant, the religious sentiment, has so much power over men, and why superior natures, which have this stimulant predominant, can with its assistance subdue their most energetic passions.

“If a well directed education can, by cultivating the superior stimulants, modify and improve men, for the same reason a different education will fatally impel to evil a great number of individuals. Thus, in a society incredulous and poor like our own, the workmen, whose life depends upon the labor of their hands, that is, the immense majority of men, are deprived of every moral and religious instruction, which they can, it is true, obtain at the church, but they do not go there; or in the schools, but they do not frequent them; or in good books, but they do not know how to read, or have not time to apply themselves; for all their moments are barely sufficient for their severe daily toil.

“And not only are the greater part of men disinherited of all means of improvement, but they also grow up and pass their lives under the deleterious influence of the evil examples of parents, of friends, of the workshop and the tavern. We should not, therefore, be surprised when their sensitive instincts, incessantly over-excited, are developed in excess, while their animatic stimulants are in some sort annihilated for want of exercise.

“The same is also the case with natures that are inferior, and yet full of energy, in which the wants of the senses are much more imperious than those of the soul, and the religious sentiment so weak that a religious education would be powerless to modify them. Brute force alone, by awakening the instinct of preservation, can conquer those natures, so dangerous in our present society, which is ignorant of the means of making them useful.

“What shall we conclude from all this, gentlemen, except that, as man cannot change his nature, while he can very well modify the form of society, the only method of putting an end to all vices and crimes, false workings of stimulants good in themselves, is to resume from the foundation, and in an opposite manner, the labor so badly attempted by the legislators of past ages, and, in. stead of obstinately trying to reform man, to organize the social fabric upon the basis of the requirements of human stimulants, so that all these stimulants can be developed in freedom, and constantly produce good, according to the will of God?”

A Colonel on Half-pay. “You have very clearly proved, sir, that the destiny of man is labor. You have also demonstrated that the animals are attracted by pleasure to the accomplishment of their destinies. How does it happen, then, I would ask you, that man experiences a repugnance for labor? It seems to me that we must conclude, from this radical difference, that the law of passional attraction, as you term it, true with regard to animals, ceases to be so in the case of man.”

The Professor. “Allow me, Colonel, to express my surprise at hearing you say, that man does not love labor; you who are incessantly at work in your garden, when the weather is fine, and at your forge, or in your cabinet, when it is unpleasant; you whom it would be very difficult to surprise in inaction.”

The Colonel. “That is true: I am never more gay nor in better health than when I can amuse myself in digging, forging, or turning. But I do all this for amusement, at my own time, and without being compelled to. Besides, all persons are not alike, and we have only to look around us to be convinced that the greater part of men do not work unless they are forced to, here by poverty, there by the whip of the overseer, according to the degree of civilization of the country in which they live. Workmen, in general, much prefer passing their time at the tavern, or at some game of bowls or cards, than in the workshop.”

The Professor. “Ah! colonel, you dig, you forge, and you call that amusement and not a labor!

“You know, gentlemen, that we often appear to be of opposite opinions, and discussions are prolonged without result, because we do not attach the same meaning to the words we use. Let us, therefore, begin by defining clearly this word labor, which, to many persons, carries with it an idea of fatigue, of suffering, of constraint, which I am far from attaching to it.

“I call labor every employment of our physical or intellectual powers, without reference to the nature of the result obtained, which may be useful, useless, or injurious.

“This understood, you will perceive without difficulty, colonel, that no healthy man, in your place, in your position, could remain in idleness; he would perhaps choose some other occupations, but certainly he would not stagnate in a complete physical and intellectual inaction; such an inaction is impossible, it is death and not life.

“Every person, in good health be it understood, likes to work, that is, to employ his powers; nothing makes him suffer more than want of occupation; and if peculiar circumstances, such as a wound or imprisonment, compel him to remain idle, ennui, spleen, physical and moral suffering soon make him feel that he is astray from his destiny.

“Man, incited by the need of change, rests himself from one labor by another labor, which he then calls a distraction, a pleasure. Thus the clerk finds refreshment in hunting or fishing; the weaver finds it in throwing a heavy ball for whole hours. And yet this rough employment of their strength, these rough labors, put the hunter and the bowl-player out of breath, and fatigue them a hundred times more than their customary occupations.

“How can labors so severe as hunting, fishing, and a thousand kinds or games, sometimes become ardent, exciting pleasures? It certainly is not because they are unproductive; for the hunter has not a less pleasure when he makes a good hunt, nor the bowl-player when he wins the games in which he is interested. Neither is it because these labors leave few or no traces having any value or durability; for a man is evidently so much the more fond or his work as it is more durable: witness the gardeners, painters, sculptors, architects, literary men.

“But, finally, how can severe labors be changed into pleasures full of attractions? I assure you, gentlemen, it depends entirely on the fact that the mere conditions under which a work is executed render it agreeable or insupportable; and if the least fatiguing occupation very often displeases us, this proceeds solely from the circumstances which accompany it, and which are more or less in opposition to our stimulants and vocations.

“If your idle fellows, colonel, prefer games and the tavern to their workshop, it is because their stimulants, especially the distributives, need of intrigue, love of the group, need of change, can be exercised in some manner in the tavern and at play, while they are repressed in the workshop.

“Thus, you see the Creator has not made man idle: God cannot will the end without willing the means. Labor, on the contrary, pleases us, and is necessary to us in every relation.

“But I perceive that you are not yet entirely convinced of this truth. Well, I will endeavor to demonstrate to you by all example, that the most repugnant occupation can be changed into pleasure.

“Among your weavers, gentlemen manufacturers, a large number dwell in small, dark, dirty, often even damp rooms. There, alone, seated before their loom for fifteen hours a day, they can earn, when their woop and warf are good, as much as two francs, barely enough to procure for them coarse garments and wretched food.

“We must not be surprised if these poor workmen do dislike their craft, since the circumstances with which it is accompanied wound their thirteen stimulants, without permitting anyone to be exercised.

“But let us take that one of your weavers who detests his trade most cordially, and raise his wages to six or eight francs, so that he can satisfy his sensitive stimulants, that is, obtain good meals, a good bed, a clean and warm chamber, comfortable and even handsome clothes; in a word, so that he can satisfy his senses according to his taste. Our weaver will no longer have such an aversion for his trade; is not this true?

“Let us now seek to procure for him the means of exercising his other stimulants, and for that purpose let us transport him into this township, such as it will be fifty or sixty years hence, if you associate yourselves from this day, gentlemen, and-organize your labors. Let us place our weaver in this vast hall, so beautiful, so conveniently warmed, and so perfectly arranged, to contain these eight hundred neat and tasteful looms, which you see arranged in perfect order. These looms, moved by steam, work without noise and in measure, and one person can, in case of need, superintend two without fatigue. Here the love or the group can be completely satisfied.

“The men and women weavers whom we see, are occupied in this hall only two hours a day, during bad weather; they employ the remainder of their time in the garden, in household work, and a thousand other labors, satisfying the need of change. All these weavers have chosen this trade, some from vocation, others from some other motive. All are polite and well educated, all have received the instruction of which they were susceptible; all understand music, which forms an essential part of the unitary education. It would be impossible to distinguish the rich man from him who is not rich, by any difference in manners: listen to the pleasantries, full of good taste, which they interchange.

“See now our weaver at work in the midst of his friends: a satisfaction of friendship; near him is one of his young brothers; in front, his mother directs a group in which appear several or his young sisters; satisfaction of family love; and not far from there is placed a beautiful young girl, his betrothed, whom he loves to madness, and whose attention he endeavors to captivate: satisfaction of the animatic face of love.

“In this workshop each squad has an interest in exciting the ardor of its members by distinctions and well retributed grades; and each workman has the pretension and the hope of becoming skilful enough to class some day as corporal; sergeant, and even captain: satisfaction of ambition and the need of intrigue. All our weavers work for the glory of the factory of the township, which, famed abroad for the beauty of its products, has its reputation to maintain: satisfaction of enthusiasm. Add, that all here, men and women, are truly religious; they know that labor is the task of humanity, and that by working they conform, consequently, to the will of God, and perform an act that is agreeable to him: satisfaction of the religious sentiment!

“Do you now believe that our man will think the two hours given to weaving long? Do you believe that a person would be welcome who should propose to him to leave this hall which contains all that is dear to him, and where his stimulants all find exercise, useful development, for a hundred points at bowls, or the best party at the tavern? No, gentlemen, you do not think so; and if the captain should propose to his company to work an hour longer, in order to make up the time lost the day before on some urgent job, you would not be surprised to see the proposition received with acclamation, especially if; to charm away this additional hour, he should request our weaver’s betrothed, an excellent musician, to take her seat at the organ, in order to accompany a hymn to labor, in four parts, with a chorus for nine hundred voices, including those of the hundred children, whose squads are preparing bobbins for our weavers.

“You see, therefore, the most tiresome work can become seductive, and attach the laborers passionately, when the circumstances which accompany it permit their stimulants to be satisfied.”

A Lady. “If I have clearly understood your reasonings, sir, I must conclude from them that the Creator has not given to man any evil inclination; but that, according to the circumstances in which we are placed, we can make a useful or injurious, virtuous or vicious, employment of our passions, which are good in themselves. This belief is highly religious, it agrees admirably with the idea which we must form to ourselves of divine goodness and justice; yet I confess, to my great regret, that I cannot share it. Look down there, I beg of you, at our graceless boys, up to their knees in mud and dirt; see how much ardor they display in dragging a piece of furniture, abandoned during the conflagration, out of that noisome pool, which is a disgrace to our community. Do you believe, sir, that this marked preference of the greater part of children for dirty plays is a useful and good inclination? For my part, I think it is only intended to exercise their poor mothers’ patience.”

The Professor: “This inclination, madam, is one of the thousand proofs that man was created to live in a society integrally associated.

“In fact, in such a society, in which poverty will be unknown, and in which each one would have to choose among a hundred kinds or agreeable occupations, evidently no one would wish to undertake disagreeable jobs; but the great economist, who has foreseen everything, gives to children that indifference, we may rather say, that preference, for dirty exercises, at the same time that he leaves their smell obtuse until puberty, in order to intrust to them the repugnant work. These labors, moreover, will not be numerous in the future; for architecture, the mechanic arts, and chemistry will vie with each other from day to day to render them more rare and less disagreeable.

“You said just now, jestingly, and in a low voice,” added the Professor, addressing one of his neighbors, “you said, sir, when we were speaking of vocations, that there would probably lie very few for cleaning stables; well! you see there at work the laborers charged by Providence with that mission, and may remark that they do not go at it lazily.

“This ardor, this fire with which youth are animated, will be some day communicated to all the laborers, when their squads shall be in rivalry with those of the adults; for, as you know, you military gentlemen especially, enthusiasm is contagious among rival companies, and, the impulse once given, everybody takes part in the action; the individual cannot remain impassive, while the mass is led away by any transport. These are the brilliant effects of the stimulant enthusiasm, acting in an organized sphere.

“Observe, I desire you, that these children do not so trouble and fatigue themselves in the hope of a pecuniary recompense. Youth is the age of disinterestedness; they very simply obey their instincts; and, to sustain their ardor, it was sufficient for them to receive a word of encouragement and approbation from that man who was looking at them just now, and who, from impulse, from imitation, has seized a rope, and is lending a helping hand.

“Among the stimulants with which childhood is animated, enthusiasm and ambition, or the love of glory, hold the first ranks; thus, in association, the banner of the infantine company will be brilliant among the banners, and honored by all, small and great. Honors will be the recompense of the repugnant labors to which the children will apply themselves several hours each week.”

The Colonel: “Thus, sir, honors will be the reward of the most abject occupations?”

The Professor: “Honors, colonel, will be acquired by devotedness and disinterestedness; and this must not surprise you, for it has always been the case.

“Is not the soldier honored in proportion to the fatigues and privations he endures, to the dangers he braves in the service of all, without hope of fortune for himself?

“The physician, who gratuitously gives his cares to the unfortunates with whom our hospitals are filled; the ecclesiastic who carries help and words of consolation, of hope, and love to the wretched man, deserted by every one, and dying of want, of sorrow, and despair, in his filthy and fetid lodging; those holy women who consecrate their youth and their whole life to dress hideous wounds, to nurse disgusting diseases; do they not deserve our respect and our veneration for the very reason that their charitable missions are most disagreeable, most useful, and most disinterested?

“Those noble women, those exceptional men, will always be the glory of humanity. Some day, may it not be far distant! their tasks will become less painful, less repulsive doubtless; but their noble faculties, their touching sympathy, will not remain idle; society will always have wounded to nurse, widows, orphans, mends to console, old men and children who will require their cares and their caresses.

“But let us return to our youths. Will it not be entirely just, I ask you, that these children, who will render a great service to humanity by executing those indispensable labors which no others are willing to undertake, should be recompensed by honors and distinctions, the only reward they desire, and also the only one that can be offered to devotedness without humiliating it!”

The Doctor: “What you have told us, sir, is startling in its truth; you have caused us to know all the human passions, and you have shown us how, in an integrally associated society, they would all concur to the general interest, even while producing individual happiness; whence you have concluded that God had this social form in view when he created man with his wants and stimulants. I do not see very clearly, I must confess, how it would be possible not to admit your conclusion; yet I must ask you to allow me to make one observation which appears to me important.

“I am convinced, as I have already said, that the greater part of diseases will disappear from your organized society in consequence of the absence of poverty, of privations, of anxieties, and excesses, and in consequence of a proper regime and varied occupations which will harmoniously develope all our physical and intellectual faculties, and will maintain among our organs that equilibrium which constitutes health. Men, in such a sphere, will be, we cannot doubt it, incomparably happier and better than they have been until now; for they will live in abundance, free from cares and fear for their future; they will be surrounded by parents and friends whom they will love, as they will themselves be beloved by them, no motive of jealousy or cupidity being produced with sufficient strength to silence the affectionate feelings of friendship or of family. If we add to so many causes of happiness, labor, which win have become an inexhaustible source of pleasure and of gaiety, we shall proclaim the excellence of association and of the organization of labor.

“But if I confess so many and so great benefits, if I even recognise that endemic fevers and some epidemics, produced by the presence of swamps and other local circumstances, will soon disappear with their causes, it is none the less true that your organization will not have the power to destroy plagues and the cholera, to prevent inundations, storms, tempests, &c. Now, sir, if God had made social laws to render men happy, it is evident that such evils could not appear on a planet governed by those laws, for the Creator does not do things by halves. Therefore your organization is excellent, I agree, but there is no sufficient demonstration that God had it in view in the formation of man.”

The Professor: “Very well, doctor; you have stated it perfectly. If association, when organized, has not the power to make evil disappear, under whatever form it may be produced, in order to replace it with good, allowing for exceptions valued in general at an eighth, exceptions which confirm the rule, association is not the social form willed by Providence, and we must seek some other. But I have here to do with intelligent persons, and I ask your attention; I am about to combat victoriously, as I hope, the doctor’s serious objection.

“In a township integrally associated, you will all doubtless grant me this evident result, there will be neither mendicity, nor prostitution, nor theft, for a man does not rob himself, and besides, what could be done with the articles stolen? There will be no more assassinations nor suicides; there will be few cares, sorrows, and diseases, and all these pests of our present society will be replaced by abundance, good morals, health, entire and true liberty, united with perfect order and harmony among all the inhabitants.

“You will grant, also, I think, that the first township having organized association and labor, the other townships will imitate it so much the more promptly, as the inhabitants of the first enjoy more comfort, more happiness. This being stated, let us continue.

“The townships, once organized, will naturally become associated among themselves, according to the law which governs each locality. Thus a certain number of townships will form an associated canton, having its chief place and its general staff, and cultivated and administered as if it belonged to a single person.

“From step to step, several cantons will form a province, and several provinces a kingdom, and each of these will have its capital and its general staff, in the same manner as a company is composed of squads having their corporals, and a battalion of companies having their captains.

“Thus associated and organized, the kingdom will be administered by its general staff; and cultivated as if it belonged to one person. Then, and this is certainly evident, civil war, rebellions, revolutions will be annihilated for ever.

“Afterwards, the kingdoms will associate among themselves, as the cantons and provinces have already done, and the whole earth, this beautiful domain of humanity, will be cultivated and governed as if it were the property of a single man.

“Calculate, if you can, gentlemen, the fabulous abundance and the immense economy of every kind that will be the result of this association of the human race; calculate the indescribable well being that it will diffuse over the earth.

“Then will vanish, as if by enchantment, slavery in all its forms, and the hideous trade in negroes, and famines, and the wars of nations against nations. A noble rivalry will impel the nations to surpass each other in the sciences, in the fine arts, in useful discoveries; industrial armies will execute great labors for the general good: the draining of marshes, cultivation of heaths and deserts, cutting through isthmuses, junction of seas, &c. Then there will be real glory to be obtained by the most vast ambition. Then, indeed, will man obey the order of” the Creator who has said to him: Increase and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.

“And all these problems which our present society raises without being able to solve s single one; yes, gentlemen, a single one; as, for example, the questions of duties, of taxes, of insurances, of machines, of the popularization of higher instruction; these problems, I say, and all others, without exception, which are the despair of journalists, of economists, and of governments, will be found to be naturally solved, or, to speak more exactly, cannot be stated in the social order of which we speak. My assertion appears to you extravagant! Well! I am ready to acknowledge that association is not the social order willed by God, if you will show me a problem now insolvable, which will still be so in organized society; but if there be none such, you must confess in your turn that there is really the truth, or I know not by what sign it can be recognised.

“I now come to your objections, doctor: you understand that it will be easy for the human race, acting as a single man, under the direction of the most capable, to discover, to combat, and cause to disappear the causes of plagues and cholera. And as to tempests, earthquakes, storms, inundations, we must allow in the first place that their ravages will fall very lightly upon the individuals and the countries visited by these commotions when the nations shall be associated, when all men will be solidary.

“Do you think, then, that man, who has done such great things when he labored, so to speak, in isolation, will not be able, when associated, to dig beds for his torrents, to bank up his streams, to raise dykes against the overflowing of his rivers?

“Is it not proved, on the other hand, that sudden floods and the scarcity of water are both caused by stripping the heights of their wood? And, if this be so, will it not be easy for the industrial armies to plant forests in the places pointed out by science?

“But I go still further, and I say: if God has given in charge to humanity the government of its planet, he has necessarily given to it the power to combat all disorders, whatever they may be, and to make them disappear, for the attractions are proportional to the destinies, as we have seen.

It is well ascertained in our day that the irregular meteorological phenomena, storms, lightning, hail, tempests, &c., are caused by the disarrangement of equilibrium in the electric fluids of the earth and atmosphere. It is also acknowledged that the electric fluid tends entirely to the surface of bodies, and, consequently, to the surface of the globe. This stated, what shall one day prevent man, the absolute master of this surface, having natural lightning rods at his disposition in the large vegetables, from maintaining the electric equilibrium by a well understood cultivation, and so opposing the production of disorders occasioned by the rupture of this equilibrium?

“And if other causes still concur in the formation of irregular winds and other phenomena, man will know how to discover them and render himself their master. Who will dare to place limits to the intellect which the All-Bountiful has presented to us?”

The Doctor. “Your reply, sir, is entirely satisfactory to me. Our planet is a body of which all the parts are probably solidary: the harmony of the whole will be produced by the harmony of the different parts; I am consequently persuaded that a wise cultivation, adapted everywhere to each soil, will not only prevent atmospheric disorders, but may even greatly ameliorate the climates and regulate the seasons so disordered in our country. This will be a new and powerful cause of abundance and well-being. My conviction, in this respect, is founded on the dissimilarity of temperature in countries situated under the same latitudes; a dissimilarity evidently owing to the difference of cultivation, or to other circumstances which man could often modify, either by draining the swamps, or by cultivating the heaths and deserts; my conviction is moreover based upon the deterioration or amelioration of climate in countries where extensive forests have been cut down or planted. It is thus that the destruction of forests has changed the climate of the Gaules and of a portion of America, and that recently the viceroy of Egypt has partially regulated the overflowings of the Nile, by making plantations on the heights.”

The Justice of the Peace. “As our doctor is more competent than I am in these questions of the higher physics, I willingly assent to his opinion. But permit me to make an observation of an entirely different nature. You have said, sir, slavery will be abolished by the very fact of universal association; that is indubitable. Still there will always, and necessarily, be distinct classes, domestics, for example: we cannot do without them. The unity will therefore be for ever incomplete, and jealousies, hatreds will soon be manifested in the bosom of your society.”

The Professor. “Excuse me, sir; in association the unity will be perfect; there will be, it is true, some persons richer than others, but none poor; some individuals more learned than others, but none ignorant; as there will always be handsome and ugly, but few or none deformed. As to the pariahs, there cannot be any. Servitude will be unknown; for no individual will be bound to the service of another individual, all services being performed by squads into which no one is compelled to enter.

“Those persons who love cleanliness, enrolled voluntarily in a squad of sweepers, I will suppose, will keep clean the apartments of all, of the rich and of the poor, and will receive, for this labor, honor and a large share in the general profits; they will be, in their turn, served by squads filling other functions, at present reserved for domestics.

“Devoted and serviceable persons whose greatest happiness it is to make themselves useful, and certainly they are not few, thank God! will compose the companies taking in charge those cares which are now considered debasing, and will at the same time form part of numerous other companies; and one who may have polished your boots in the morning, will in the evening be your corporal in a squad of cultivation, of manufacture, or the fine arts. Thus you see that the unity will be complete.”

The Apothecary. “You have an answer for everything, sir, and I am compelled to admit, a satisfactory answer. I would, nevertheless, have you observe that the men of your society, being so perfectly happy and swimming in an unheard of abundance, will multiply rapidly. Now, the fertility of the earth will necessarily have its limits, and consequently the equilibrium between consumption and production will one day be broken, and poverty will reappear with all its train of sufferings, of vices, and of crimes.”

The Professor. “Your objection is a capital one, sir, and I confess, if population had to increase rapidly and indefinitely, happiness would not be the destiny reserved to man upon the earth. But happily, Supreme Goodness, in regulating the reproduction of his creatures, has not made a law so cruel that abundance should be an impossible thing; far the contrary. The law which governs this important function may be thus stated: the fecundity of individuals, of females especially, is in direct proportion to the intensity of causes which tend to destroy those individuals; or, what amounts to the same thing, inversely in proportion to the causes tending to their preservation, that is, inversely proportional to their well being, to their improvement.

“This proposition appears paradoxical to you, I see; but without entering into scientific explanations which would show us that it must be true, let us consult experience, gentlemen, and cast a glance upon what is passing around us in all the kingdoms of animated nature.

“Have you never remarked, Mr. Apothecary, you who pay so much attention to botany, that the flowers and even the fruits on which you bestow most care produce fewer seeds as they are more perfected.

“We all of us know that horses, dogs, and other domestic animals of improved breeds, are comparatively unfruitful; whence it happens that their price is always high; and our housekeepers will tell you that their hens stop laying w hen they get too fat.

“And you, doctor, have you not observed that children are more numerous in poor than in opulent families; that weak, diseased, unhealthy women have generally more children than strong and healthy women, especially if their minds are cultivated?

The Doctor. “All that is indisputable, gentlemen; and this law of reproduction, in such agreement with divine foresight and goodness, gives me the key of a phenomenon which seemed inexplicable to me. The following is the fact to which I refer:

“I was recently reading the pages in which the Abbe Raynal gives some interesting details respecting the establishments of the Jesuits in Paraguay. The author there praises the gentle and pure habits of the Paraguanians; he admires the well-being, the total absence of poverty in that nation, where everybody, he says, marries from inclination and not from interested motives; where a multitude of children is a consolation, and not a burden; and he asks why this happy country is not the most thickly peopled of all the earth. [3]

“After having refuted the calumnious reports by which some sought to explain this extraordinary fact, Raynal himself, unable to discover the cause, attributes it to the unhealthiness of a warm and moist climate.

“A newspaper, also, expressed its astonishment, some time since, at the fact that Paraguay, whose happy inhabitants possess a territory almost as extensive as that of France, should contain no more than five hundred thousand souls, and this newspaper attributes this phenomenon to some very deep-seated vices of the system of community, without, however, informing us what those vices are.

“For myself whom Raynal’s explanations and those or the author of the article I have referred to are far from satisfying, I see, in the slow increase of the most happy population on the earth, as in the prodigious multiplication of the working classes, so poor and so unhealthy, in our great manufacturing centres, I see, I repeat, an irresistible proof of that wise law of which the professor has informed us.”

The Professor. “This law of reproduction has numerous exceptions without doubt, as have all those which govern those animated beings which are most elevated in the scale of life, and especially man. To ascertain the existence of this law, we must examine a great number of cases, as is done in preparing tables of statistics, of the births, mortality, and crimes of a country.”

The Justice of the Peace. “I confess that facts of every nature vie in demonstrating that the Creator has formed man for universal association; but why then have not men lived in association always, since it was the will of God?”

The Professor. “God wills that humanity should one day live in association, and this will indubitably be the case; still God has not willed that this association should take effect from the very creation of man, for he could not will what was impossible, and that was so.

“In fact, the Creator, in confiding to man the government of his planet, has made him a present of the intellect which he may require to discover the moving forces, and to manufacture the instruments necessary for the accomplishment of this glorious mission. Now, as association was impracticable before the invention of those instruments, we must conclude that a longer or a shorter space of time must elapse from the appearance of man upon the earth, before the establishment of association.

“I say that we must necessarily have lived in incoherent societies until the creation of improved instruments or labor; and all can understand that it could not be otherwise; for, before the discoveries made in mechanics, an immense number of slaves was required to prepare articles of the first necessity, as, for example, to reduce wheat into flour; and all labors were then so severe, so repulsive, that only men compelled by violence or hunger would submit to them: association was, therefore, impossible at that time.

“The invention of machines which abridge and facilitate labor and the creation of riches necessarily preceding association, much time had to pass before mind could conquer matter and subdue the powers of nature. But at this day all things are ready, and humanity can enter the promised land as soon as she will.”

As no one made any further observation, the professor continued thus:

“I resume our discussion, gentlemen, and I say: Integral association, united with the organization of laborers in squads, companies, &c., or, as the science expresses it, in groups and series of groups, is the law of humanity; it constitutes the social form willed by God:

“1st. Because the Creator having evidently confided to man the government of the earth, having given him mission to adorn it, to embellish it, to make order, abundance, and harmony prevail in it, has necessarily granted him the powers, the organs, the stimulants, and the intellect, appropriate to the accomplishment of so beautiful a task, and cannot have imposed upon him any instinct, any inclination in opposition to that task; for, as we have demonstrated, the attractions are proportional to the destinies.

“Now, the only social form in which all the attractions of man, his vocations and stimulants, tend to the end willed by Providence; that which utilizes all, brings them into equilibrium, harmonizes them, is certainly organized association; for in that association only can all our physical, moral, and intellectual wants be satisfied in full freedom, without presenting any obstacle to the satisfaction of the wants of another.

“Our stimulants, on the contrary, incessantly produce evil in all known societies, which one would believe were invented expressly to thwart all human attractions.

“Moreover, gentlemen, if the Creator dispenses to each or us moral, intellectual, and physical faculties, it is evidently not with the intention that they should languish in inaction, that our brain should be obliterated and our members become deformed from excess or want of exercise, that our heart should dry up from selfishness: deplorable results of all social spheres other than association.

“2d. Because the All-good having placed in the heart of man an unconquerable desire of being happy, happiness is infallibly reserved to humanity. Now, association alone will have the power to procure happiness to all and to each, since evil (disorders, vices, crimes, diseases, sorrows of every nature) will be the exception; and good (virtues, health, pleasure, order, liberty) will be the rule.

“Under all social forms known until now, on the contrary, all evils are produced without cessation, while good is exceptional, and this for two reasons:

“In the first place, poverty, the cause of a thousand sufferings, is inevitable in all unorganized spheres, because isolated labor produces but little, produces badly; because a very great portion of the physical and intellectual powers of the people are lost, if not employed in destroying, and because .the equitable distribution of products is absolutely impossible.

“Besides, all societies, other than association, are desolated by the vices of men, or degraded by their brutishness, because their stimulants, unable to find useful exercise, engender all disorders, and because society, which also has the right to live, finds itself obliged, in order not to be overthrown, to repress by force the subversive operations of these stimulants.

“3d. Because the association of the human race will replace antagonism and war, by the agreement of all wills directed towards production,—the terrestrial destiny of man.

“Pain, we have said, is a warning to the creature which leaves its true path; now, societies are so much the more unhappy, as the interests of individuals or of nations are more opposed, and if this opposition becomes extreme, its consequence is war, that scourge of scourges, which men have glorified, sanctified! And yet war is visibly a disobedience to the laws of God, a deviation from our destiny, for it engenders the greatest evil that can fall upon us; destruction, ruin, carnage, tears, suffering or every species, slavery, famine, plague! Can Providence more clearly inform humanity that it is on a false path?

“If, then, war is the way of perdition, we must necessarily conclude, that peace is the way of God. Now, if God wills peace, he must also will association, the only social form capable of giving it to the world.

“4th. Because association is the only social medium in harmony with that attribute which we have acknowledged in the Creator;—economy of means.

“In fact, in association, abundance will be the greatest possible, and produced with the least possible expenditure of power; for no power will be lost. The same economy will preside over the consumption of products; for all men, with their different tastes and wants, taking part in this consumption, everything will be turned to use. In all other societies, on the contrary, not the least economy ever prevails in production, or in consumption.

“5th. Because the organization of which we speak is founded on the distribution of men in all their relations, and of the townships themselves in groups and collections, or series, of groups. Now, this law of distribution is the law which governs all the beings of the universe; the stars, whose elementary group is formed of a sun for pivot, around which circulate the planets and sub-groups of planets, accompanied by their satellites; and the group immediately superior, named by the astronomers starry nebulous, is formed of a series of solar groups; and thus, perhaps, to infinity. Then the terrestrial things; animals, vegetables, minerals, form also groups and series of groups, named classes, orders, genera, species, families, varieties, &c.

“Even the individuals of all varieties are no other than collections of organs and molecules.

“If, then, the supreme Lawgiver of all things has willed, that all the harmonies of the universe should be the result of the arrangement by groups, can we with reason believe, that this same law would be insufficient to make harmony prevail in the relations of men among themselves?

“On another side, men having to act upon all terrestrial creatures, which are distributed by groups, ought evidently to regulate their labors according to the same law, in order to place themselves in connexion with those creatures. God, moreover, reveals his will to us in this respect clearly enough, by distributing to men vocations according to the general law of groups; while he gives identical instincts to all the animals of one same species.

“6th. Because the discovery of this organization has been providentially made at the very moment when humanity has created the machines, formed the moving powers which render practicable the serial organization of labors; at the period when the general tendencies of the most enlightened nations are to peace, to commercial relations, in a word, at the moment when these nations progress towards unity, preluding upon association; at the moment, in fine, when the evils caused by industrial and commercial anarchy, by unlimited competition, are visible to the least clear-sighted, for they betray themselves every day by coalitions, by revolts; for they threaten England, France, and the most industrious nations, with a social war, and call upon the thinkers, upon men of good desires and good will, to seek a remedy for such great sufferings, for such horrible dangers. We may believe that these dangers are more or less imminent, but certainly they are inevitable, if the remedy be not applied in time.

“Tell me, gentlemen, is not that organization providential, which, far from taking anything from anyone, will cover both rich and poor with goods and happiness, and create riches sufficient to enable society to make allowance for all acquired rights; that organization, which can be tried by any village, without any change in its religious, moral, civil, and political laws; that organization, which, rendering the trial township incomparably more prosperous and more happy than the surrounding townships, will have the inappreciable property of attracting the neighboring people to imitation, and from step to step the civilized nations and the whole or humanity; and this without convulsions, without revolutions, without constraint, and by the sole attraction of happiness, that powerful motive power, the only one which the Creator uses to make living beings obey him?

“This last property in the trial township is exactly conformable with that which Jesus recognised in the Kingdom of God, which, he said, ‘is like unto the leaven that a woman takes and mixes with three measures of flour, until the whole be leavened.’

“Remark, moreover, gentlemen, how the transition of the laborers from isolation to association is facilitated by the circumstance, that the requirements of association are in accordance with our present condition. Thus the poor man, formed from his childhood to the most laborious occupations, will choose them quite naturally, because he understands them, and they will necessarily be the best paid; the rich man, on the contrary, will execute the more agreeable labors, less fatiguing, and most poorly paid, so that no work will be neglected, and yet no one will do anything that is too disagreeable.

“Yes, gentlemen, it is providential, this organization which will realize so completely that divine aspiration, for which the Christ gave his life; that holy desire of brotherhood, which he expressed so well in a few words, when he cried; ‘Grant, O my Father, that they all may be one!’

“This simplicity, this economy of means, this distributive justice; all this ensemble of circumstances, which render easy and peaceful the transformation of the social medium, are they not certain indications of the will of God?

“The social form, of which we speak, is so visibly that willed by the Creator, that you may consider it under every face, from every possible point of view, you will find it always in agreement with the perfections of God; with his Providence, his goodness, his justice, his power, his economy; always in perfect agreement with the wants and the inclinations of man, at all ages of his life, in harmony with all the laws of nature, and in unity with the whole universe.

“I ask those religious and well-informed persons, who have followed me attentively: Is there, in any science, a truth more solidly established than my proposition: integral association, obtained by an organization into groups and series of groups, constitutes the social form willed by the Creator?”

The Curate. “You said, sir; ‘I undertake to prove that association is the kingdom of truth and justice, the kingdom of God announced by Jesus, in order that religious and consistent men may be compelled to assist, with all their power, the advent of that form of society.’ I cannot see, for the true believers who have heard your demonstration, any other course to pursue than that which you desire.

“I will say, in my turn, that your theorems, so solidly demonstrated, are the most powerful weapons against incredulity.

“In fact, if the attractions are always proportional to the destinies, then an infinitely powerful and infinitely wise intelligence has presided over the creation of all beings, and atheism is overcome.

“If creatures are led to the accomplishment of their tasks by attraction, the creating intelligence is infinitely good.

“Finally, if supreme goodness does not give to his creatures any desires and aspirations, but such as will one day be satisfied, materialism is conquered in its turn, and the immortality of the soul proved; for man, in all ages, has desired not to end completely on descending into the grave.

“Honor, then, to a doctrine so consoling, so conformable to the teachings of the Christ, and to which religion will owe new strength; glory, encouragement, and assistance to the men of good-will, who shall attempt the trials of organization by which human brotherhood, and general happiness, will at last be realized!”


The Return.

When the curate stopped speaking, our group separated. My friend, the merchant, offered the professor a seat in his carriage, and we started on our return to the city. As we went on, we talked about association, and our conversation was, in reality, only the continuation of the preceding discussions.

“I confess, gentlemen,” said the magistrate to us, smiling and alluding to the morning’s conversation, “I confess, that this organization appears to me a much more efficacious remedy for the sufferings of society than a law upon parliamentary accountability, than electoral reforms—in a word, than all these political and revolutionary changes, by which the government and people are rightly affrighted; for they promise only what is unknown, with few chances of increasing the general happiness, if we are to judge of the future by the past.

“It would be a thousand times wiser, would it not, to lay aside these modifications in the political machinery, modifications henceforth powerless to ensure the well-being of mankind; it would be more prudent to neglect debates as sterile as the disputes of the Lower Empire, and to busy ourselves actively with the organization of labor, and the association of laborers; which appears to me very simple and easily executed.”

The Merchant. “As for myself I agree with you entirely, and therefore determine that I will urge on the inhabitants of M—–; I should feel great regret at seeing their good resolutions fail of producing any result. I will gladly put into the partnership quite a large farm which I own within the township, for I have no doubt of the success of the trial.”

The Professor. “And how could it fail? You may be certain of this, Sir, all the inhabitants of your town, whatever may be their rank and fortune, will’ felicitate themselves every day that they have become associated. I do not deceive myself nevertheless; the happiness reserved for the children, completely developed and unitarily educated, will be much superior to that which the parents will enjoy; for these latter have received very different educations, and have imbibed prejudices which will render the unity imperfect: they are themselves ignorant of their vocations; the organization of the groups will be less satisfactory; the stimulants, in fine, of several among them, long thwarted, have become defects, which may cause some trouble in the community. We can never produce perfect music, when there are any false instruments in the orchestra.

“But do not doubt this, all the inhabitants will still find, from the first years, an immense amelioration in their lot, owing to the absence of anxiety for their future, to the unheard-of happiness of their children, to the great increase of their incomes, and to the reciprocal good-will that will necessarily animate associates having the same interests and” the same object.

“If, however, from any cause, your association should be dis. solved, each of you would recover his capital or his improved land, and you could experience no loss, except on the sale of the buildings which you must necessarily build in consequence of your horrible conflagration.”

The Merchant. “Do you then think, sir, that any village can make a trial of association without altering its buildings?”

The Professor. “Very certainly, and things will probably take this course in general: the inhabitants of a township will associate, will organize their labors, and will not think of erecting the buildings necessary for unitary farming, barns, stables, granaries, &c., finally, the dwelling-house, except in proportion as the savings made upon their increased profits will allow them to build without borrowing too much.”

The Civil Officer. “Do you think, sir, that government will permit our town to organize itself as it pleases?”

The Professor. “By what right, I ask you, could they oppose it? And why, moreover, should they not permit it, when there is everything to be gained, and nothing to be lost by so peaceful a trial? Far from hindering your association, the government, do not doubt it, will come to your assistance, for its dearest interests urge it to this. Look for a moment: whether your attempt succeed or fail, it will have the glory of having contributed to the trial. It will always be said in praise of the King of Prussia, that he contributed with his purse to assist the generous Mr. Owen in founding a community of workmen. If, which is impossible, the attempt fail, the poor and suffering classes, and who does not suffer? will feel grateful for the efforts made to relieve them.

“If it succeed, on the contrary, what an immense service will be rendered to the human race! Its name will live as long as the world, and be blessed by the most remote generations.

“The trial of an associated village would be extremely useful to the government in every view; it would open a new and: fruitful route for the ideas which have at this day accumulated without means of political escape; like every hope, it would be a calmative for the sufferings of the masses, a safety valve, capable of preventing the most terrible explosions.

“The government would also find a considerable increase of the public revenues in the societal order; for, is it not true, your town, when organized, would readily tax itself for a larger sum than that now exacted in its contributions? Now, this sum being taken without expense from the general revenues of the township, before any division, will enter undiminished into the treasury of the state. If then, all the population of France were organized into phalanxes, the budget could very easily be doubled, without occasioning the least murmur.”

The Merchant. “What is the meaning, if you please, of the word phalanx which you have just used?”

The Professor. “Charles Fourier, who discovered the law of association of which we have to-day been speaking, calls by the name of phalanx the population of a township organized societarily. Hence comes phalanstery, the dwelling of a phalanx, as monastery signifies the dwelling-house of monks. Thence, phalansterian, belonging to the phalanstery, and by extension” to the whole system of association.”

The Merchant. “So, sir, it is Fourier who discovered this beautiful science which you call phalansterian, which is so logical, so religious, that you have had the goodness to explain to us, and which has singularly modified my ideas respecting man and society?”

The Professor. “Yes, sir; at the commencement of this century, Fourier discovered the phalansterian or social science, which was propagated very slowly at first, like all new truths, but which is now known and discussed among all civilized nations.”

The Magistrate. “I had formed, I confess, an entirely different opinion of Fourier’s system. I thought it absurd, impracticable, subversive of property and the family.”

The Professor. “You see, sir, how mistaken you were. I know the prejudices which have been spread abroad respecting Fourier; this is why I took good care not to mention his name: I wished to be heard with impartiality. This is why I also avoided employing the terms used by the phalansterian school. Thus I called stimulants the moving powers named passions by Fourier, who, in this, preserved the vulgar denomination; being very careful, moreover, to state beforehand, that the word passion in his writings never means vice, which is the excess, the false action or the motive power. In spite of this distinction, often reproduced in his works, many critics still persist in repeating that the phalansterian system, which they know nothing about, gives free course to all the passions.”

The Magistrate. “The reproach is very unjust. And if I am to judge by the statement that has been made to-day, Fourier confines himself to giving the means of organizing labor, that is to say, the social element now abandoned to anarchy. I cannot explain why people go crying through the world that Fourier preaches immorality.”

The Professor. “Oh! you may be sure, sir, that those who bring this accusation against Fourier do not know him, or calumniate him. Fourier did not come to proclaim a new political code, neither does he teach a new moral one. He does not say to men: in order to find happiness, adopt such and such a belief, reform your morals in such and such a manner. No! a thousand times no; this really religious man confines himself to saying; in order to be all happy, let us obey God, who commands us, by the voice of our attractions, to organize our labors by groups and series of groups.

“You have seen how any village Catholic, Protestant, Jew, or Mahometan, situated in a republic, or placed under an absolute government, can easily be transformed by degrees into a phalanstery, without ceasing to obey the laws of its country. Far from that: I maintain that every associated township will obey the laws more religiously than all others, for the more happy its inhabitants become, the less will they experience any desire to protest against existing institutions. It would be superfluous to demonstrate that they will be more moral.”

The Manufacturer. “Still, sir, I read one of Fourier’s works by chance, and I saw how much the phalansterian manners and customs will differ from our own.”

The Professor. “Really, that would be a great pity: our morals are so pure nowadays! Oh! without doubt, sir, the customs will not always be what they now are. God has not condemned humanity to wade for ever in blood and filth.

“When the whole of society shall have attained harmony, the social phalansterian sphere being thus named by Fourier and his school, the laws, the customs, the morals will certainly no never be what they now are. But the change will be produced by degrees, in proportion as necessity will have demanded them; the customs will place themselves in relation with the requirements of the new social sphere, as has al ways been the case. Our laws, our present customs are no longer the same as in the time of the Gauls: is not this true?

“What will be the manners of the harmonians? No one knows. Still everyone asks himself this question, every one would like to read the future. Fourier, quite naturally, has sought the solution of this problem; he has described with love, with candor, with a great power of imagination, the life which he believes is reserved for our descendants. The manners which he has described bear very slight resemblance to our manners; they would certainly be very immoral in our present society, the institutions of which they would destroy. Fourier, moreover, may have been mistaken in his conjectures; my own opinion is, that he has not always hit the mark. But had he been mistaken twenty times, a hundred times, had he been mistaken always, in regard to what the manners will be five or six hundred years hence, that would prove nothing against the value of his discovery.

“The question which interests us now is not, in fact, to know what our great grandchildren will do to regulate adoptions, marriages, &c. It is not now our mission to form those laws, and our descendants will know very well how to do this without our help when their time comes. That which is of importance for us to know, for us who are suffering in a thousand manners is, if association, and the organization of labor proposed by Fourier, will realize all his marvellous promises; that which is of importance for us to do, is to make trials that will edify the world.”

At this moment our carriage stopped; we had reached our destination. We took leave of each other, but I promised myself that I would not leave the country without seeing our professor again, in order to ask of him more ample details respecting the organization and the habits of an associated township.


[1] From anima, the soul.

[2] Religare, to bind together.

[3] The statement recently published with regard to the people of Typee, where prevails an abundance unknown in more civilized countries, and where the increase of population is very small, if any, presents facts analogous to those here referred to.


About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.