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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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4322. LABORERS, English aristocracy and.—[continued].
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4322. LABORERS, English aristocracy and.—[continued].

The aristocracy of England,
which comprehends the nobility, the
wealthy commoners, the high grades of priesthood,
and the officers of government, have the
laws and government in their hands[and] have so managed them as to reduce the
eleemosynary class, or paupers, who are
about one-fifth of the whole, below the
means of supporting life, even by labor.
[They] have forced the laboring class,
whether employed in agriculture or the arts,
to the maximum of labor which the construction
of the human body can endure, and to
the minimum of food, and of the meanest
kind, which will preserve it in life, and in
strength sufficient to perform its functions.
To obtain food enough, and clothing, not
only their whole strength must be unremittingly
exerted, but the utmost dexterity also,
which they can acquire; and those of great
dexterity only can keep their ground, while
those of less must sink into the class of
paupers. Nor is it manual dexterity alone,
but the acutest resources of the mind also,
which are impressed into this struggle for
life; and such as have means a little above
the rest, as the master-workman, for instance,
must strengthen themselves by acquiring as
much of the philosophy of their trade as will
enable them to compete with their rivals, and
keep themselves above ground. Hence, the
industry and manual dexterity of their
journeymen and day-laborers, and the science
of their master-workmen, keep them in the
foremost ranks of competition with those of
other nations; and the less dexterous individuals,
falling into the eleemosynary ranks,
furnish materials for armies and navies to
defend their country, exercise piracy on the
ocean, and carry conflagration, plunder and
devastation to the shores of all those who
endeavor to withstand their aggressions.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 376.
(M. 1814)