Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VII.: Of human Industry. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. VII.: Of human Industry. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 1.
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Of human Industry.
MANKIND, by their industry, and by the influence of good laws, have rendered the earth more proper for their abode. We see rivers flow where there have been lakes and marshes: this is a benefit which nature has not bestowed; but it is a benefit maintained and supplied by nature. When the Persians§ were masters of Asia, they permitted those, who conveyed a spring to any place which had not been watered before, to enjoy the benefit for five generations; and, as a number of rivulets flowed from mount Taurus, they spared no expence in directing the course of their streams. At this day, without knowing how they came thither, they are found in the fields and gardens.
Thus, as destructive nations produce evils more durable than themselves, the actions of an industrious people are the source of blessings which last when they are no more.
[§ ]Polybius, l. 10.