Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/81

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AS man has learned with increasing complexity of means toward an increasing variety of ends to wrest food and fuel and shelter from the earth and all that springs therefrom, each man has had to depend more and more upon the efforts of his fellowmen; and hence has arisen that marvelously intricate intertwining of effort that characterizes the civilization of to-day. Interwoven in ministering to the needs and gratifications of mankind are the laborer's muscle, the hand of the mechanic, the brain of the merchant, the painter's touch, the singer's voice.

This intertwining of effort is nowhere separable; the result is the blood of civilization that, flowing through the arteries of commerce, connects the hemispheres. Europe and America eat the cattle and the wheat of the western plains, wear the fabrics of England and France, and drink the tea of the Orient. The results of the researches of the German laboratory, and of the inventor of whatever nation, are utilized throughout the world, and books of whatever press penetrate to the households of every clime. Patti sings in San Francisco and St. Petersburg; Irving and Booth act in Berlin, Paris, London, and New York. In public gallery and public park the masterpiece of painter and sculptor is seen by thousands, and, as reproduced by engraving and etching, is brought to the sight of thousands more. The English specialist discovers a remedy that all physicians use; the American lawyer collates, systematizes, and formulates a code that eases the burden of all litigation.

In the simplicity of primeval life each man obtained for himself his own crude subsistence, prepared his own rude clothing, and fashioned his own rude tools. In time it was learned that, by yielding a portion of the result of one's efforts for the benefit of another in return for a portion of the results achieved by that other, increased benefit was obtained by each. Thus began that co-operation that, through the centuries of slavery, feudalism, and absolutism, has increased and extended until to-day all who by work of hand or brain achieve results that contribute to the benefit of others receive the measure of their material reward in money obtained as wages, salaries, fees, or profits.

The man of affairs, before taking the morning train that conveys him to his place of business, gives a penny to the boy at the station and receives in return a newspaper. In exchange for that penny he receives knowledge of the happenings of the previous day, which may play a part in determining his course in connection with the production and distribution of commodities that