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11. Many of the articles of dress and furniture in daily use are made from materials which are only to be found far apart from one another, and which accordingly must be brought together. Wind and steam again lend their power, under the guidance and control of knowledge and skill, to bring this about by moving our ships and railway trucks. There are difficulties to be overcome in order to make materials unite after they have been brought together. The chemist and electrician come to the rescue.
12. The researches and experiments made in their studies and laboratories have shown where union can, and where it cannot be effected, and the combining proportions of different materials. Finally, the magnetic needles communicate the wants and transmit the information, without which success would be deferred, or might even be prevented.
13. Even this very cursory glance at the part played by knowledge and skill in industrial life must be more than sufficient to convince all reflecting persons that twenty millions of inhabitants could not exist in this island if past labour had not been greatly aided by knowledge and skill. The same aids to labour are just as much required to enable this number to live in the future. There are many, unfortunately, whose participation in the general knowledge and skill is exceedingly slight. Their labour is inadequate to replace the whole of what they consume.
14. Of these, some, through defective organization or other causes, have never been capable of acquiring either knowledge or skill; others, through the neglect of which they were victims in infancy or childhood, have never been taught, nor even trained to the capacity of learning; and they may be considered almost as much shut out from knowledge and skill as if they had been born defectively organized. The means of subsistence for individuals and classes thus unfavourably circumstanced must be provided, partially, at all events, by the knowledge and skill of their more fortunate countrymen.
15. When the industrious man directs his work to useful objects, and in the best manner, we call him instructed and skilful; we say he possesses the qualities of knowledge and skill. We admire these qualities in others and are glad to encourage them; and if we would participate in the wellbeing derivable from an abundance of the necessaries and comforts of life, from the affection and esteem of our neighbours and friends, and from our own self-respect, we ought to cultivate these qualities in ourselves.—Dean Dawes.
shops. cursory, slight. participation, the act of sharing. inadequate, insufficient. defective, deficient. organization, constitution
What two powers have assisted industry in the accomplishment of beneficial labour? How does the farmer show knowledge and skill in the management of his farm? Why does the farmer in our country not cultivate tea and coffee? What advantage has the farmer at the present day over the ancient Briton, who perhaps cultivated the very same ground? Name some ways in which skill and knowledge enable us to make the raw material into the manufactured article. Why should we always encourage industry?
1. In the first half of the fifteenth century the condition of France seemed almost hopeless. The English king, Henry V., had won the great victory of Agincourt in 1415. This victory led to a series of campaigns which brought all the northern part of France completely into his power.
His sudden death in 1422 prevented the complete subjugation of the remaining part of the country. The successor of Henry V.-Henry VI.—was but an infant, and for a time the course of French conquest was delayed by English factions. The south of France remained loyal to their rightful king, Charles VII., who, as he had not yet been crowned, was known by the title of Dauphin.
2. In 1428 the Duke of Bedford, brother of Henry V. and Regent of France, determined to cross the Loire, which divided the dominions of the Dauphin from those which acknowledged the English supremacy. As a preparatory step the important city of Orleans was besieged. The Dauphin had done but little to assist the besieged town. Despair seemed to have unnerved both the sovereign and the people. The besieging force was really very small, but such was the terror inspired by the English name that, during a six months' siege, not a single sally was attempted from the town, and famine had at last compelled the besieged and panic-stricken inhabitants to make offers of surrender
3. At this eventful crisis the tide of fortune was changed by the appearance of a young peasant girl at the court of the Dauphin in the Castle of Chinon, south of the Loire. This girl's name was Joan of Arc.
4. She was the daughter of a labourer of Domremy, a small village near Vaucouleurs, in the N.E. of France, and was now in her eighteenth year. She was a simple, country girl, fond of the forest near her father's cottage, tender to the sick and poor, and an ardent lover of the services of her village church. But her quiet home-life was broken by the sounds and sights of war. One absorbing passion filled her soul. She had pity, as she was always repeating, on the fair realm of France. In her simple, childlike faith she believed she saw visions, and heard divine voices, bidding her rise and save her downtrodden country. She wept, but she felt sure that her mission was clear. Her father was angry at the idea. The priest of Vaucouleurs, to whom she confided her story of visions and sounds, refused to help her. “I had far rather rest and spin by my mother's side," she said, “ for this is no work of my choosing, but I must go and do it, for my
Lord wills it.” 5. At last all obstacles were overcome. The Dauphin received her at Chinon amid a throng of nobles and
soldiers. She assured the Dauphin that he should be crowned at Rheims, where the French Kings were usually crowned, but which at that time was in the hands of the English.
Her first care was to relieve the besieged city of Orleans. Full of the strength and vigour of her peasant training, accustomed to fatigue and hardships, clad in white armour, with a large white banner in her hand, she placed herself at the head of ten thousand men-at-arms, and led them to the famine-stricken city.
6. The besiegers were overawed at her presence. Her enthusiasm, her proud confidence in her country's future, her simple faith, spread among her countrymen; the hesitating generals were aroused by the example of her enthusiasm to attack the small handful of besiegers, and in a very short time Orleans was saved. The Maid of Orleans, as Joan of Arc has ever since been called, was wounded, but not seriously.
7. She was resolved to fulfil the task which she devoutly believed was assigned to her by Heaven. While the English remained panic-stricken round Paris, she brought the Dauphin to Rheims, where he was crowned King of France, while the Maid stood by his side.
Joan now believed her mission was at an end, and begged to be permitted to return to her cottage home at Domremy to keep her flocks and herds as before, and do all things as she was wont to do. But the king would not hear of this. She was at last taken captive and given up to the Duke of Bedford, and after a year's cruel imprisonment was burnt to death at Rouen in 1431, to the lasting disgrace of all concerned.
8. But the cause of England was utterly lost. Gradually all her conquests in France were torn from her, and nothing remained of all the victories of Edward III. or of