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aid aside to be used in other ways. All this could never be done by machinery. It is different in the spinning of cotton, silk, or wool, in which the original threads are almost all of uniform thickness. The invention of the English flax-spinning machine, therefore, can never supersede the work of the Belgian fine thread spinners, any more than the bobbinnet machine can rival the fingers of the Brussels lace-makers, or render their delicate work superfluous. The prices current of the Brabant spinners usually include a list of various sorts of thread suited to lace-making, varying from 60 francs to 1800 francs per pound. Instances have occurred, in which as much as 10,000 francs have been paid for a pound of this fine yarn. So high a price has never been attained by the best spun silk; though a pound of silk, in its raw condition, is incomparably more valuable than a pound of flax. In like manner, a pound of iron may, by dint of human labor and ingenuity, be rendered more valuable than a pound of gold. Lace-making, in regard to the health of the operatives, has one great advantage. It is a business which is carried on without the necessity of assembling great numbers of workpeople in one place, or taking women from their homes, and thereby breaking the bonds of family union. It is, moreover, an occupation which affords those employed in it a great degree of freedom. The spinning-wheel and lace-pillows are easily carried from place to place, and the work may be done with equal convenience in the house, in the garden, or at the street-door. In every Belgian town in which lace-making is the staple business, the eye of the traveler is continually greeted with pictures of happy industry attended by all its train of concomitant virtues. The costliness of the material employed in the work, viz., the fine flax thread, fosters the observance of order and economy, which, as well as habits of cleanliness, are firmly engrafted among the people. Much manual dexterity, quickness of eye, and judgment, are demanded in lace-making; and the work is a stimulator of ingenuity and taste; so that, unlike other occupations merely manual, it tends to rouse rather than to dull the mind. It is, moreover, unaccompanied by any unpleasant and harassing noise; for the humming of the spinning-wheel, and the regular tapping of the little bobbins, are sounds not in themselves disagreeable, or sufficiently loud to disturb conversation, or to interrupt
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