Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/251

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MORLEY

man. I consider the class of artificers," he went on, "as the panders of vice, and the instrument by which the liberties of a country are generally overthrown." In England they reckon 70 per cent, of our population as dwellers in towns. With you, I read that only 25 per cent, of the population live in groups so large as 4,000 per- sons. If Jefferson was right our outlook would be dark. Let us hope that he was wrong, and in fact toward the end of his time qualified his early view. Franklin, at any rate, would, I feel sure, have reveled in it all.

That great man — a name in the forefront among the practical intelligences of human his- tory — once told a friend that when he dwelt upon the rapid progress that mankind was making in politics, morals, and the arts of living, and when he considered that each one improve- ment always begets another, he felt assured that the future progress of the race was likely to be quicker than it had ever been. He was never wearied of foretelling inventions yet to come, and he wished he could revisit the earth at the end of a century to see how mankind was getting on. With all my heart I share his wish. Of all the men who have built up great States, I do believe there is not one whose alacrity of sound sense and single-eyed beneficence of aim could be more safely trusted than Franklin to draw light from the clouds and pierce the economic and political confusions of our time. We can imagine the amazement and complacency of that 213

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