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it is produced, may lose that value when carried cause, so far as they know, it either has not
even to short distances; that is to say, the expense solved or cannot solve that difficulty.
of conveying it a very few miles may make it a other hand, any one, who should declare that our dearer application than a purer material would be present knowledge of this branch of applied sci
more portable or nearer at hand. A simple illustration will make this plain. A farmer contracts with a gas company for all their white gas-lime, containing very little sulphur, for so many months, at sixpence a ton. This he carts six miles; and he thinks it much cheaper than the quick-lime
ence enables us already to solve every difficulty, would display as much rashness, and a degree of ignorance almost as inexcusable, as those who deny its intrinsic claims upon our consideration. A familiarity with the actual state of science will keep us from both extremes. There are still, no
which he can purchase at the lime-kiln, two miles doubt, many points in regard to which our igno
from his farm, for five shillings a ton. But on a chemical examination, the gas-lime is found to contain half its weight of water : so that two tons contain only one of dry lime, for which, therefore, he pays a shilling. But, besides, the lime is
found to be chiefly in the state of carbonate—the
dry matter containing about two fifths—say only one third—of carbonic acid. Deducting this carbonic acid, we find that in three tons of the refuse there is only one of pure or quick-lime, which, therefore, costs the farmer eighteen-pence. If his return carts carry it home at the low rate of fourpence a ton per mile, each ton of pure lime will cost him a shilling a mile for carriage. On this supposition, its ultimate price will be seven-andsixpence a ton when delivered on his farm. At the same rate of carriage the lime from the kiln would be laid upon his land for five shillings and eightpence a ton; and, being caustic, or newly burned, one half the quantity would produce an equally sensible effect. Thus the apparently cheaper material is in reality much the more costly of the two. Many cases of this simple chemico-economical kind have come under our own notice; and they illustrate very intelligibly the way in which exceedingly simple chemical inquiries may bring about a great saving to the farmer. The study of waste materials, while it shows that some substances, though really containing what is valuable to the plant, will prove dear to the farmer at any price, has also shown that many other refuse materials, which have been hitherto thrown away or allowed to run to waste, might be collected with great profit for agricultural purposes. We might proceed to another line of inquiry— the prevention of disease in plants and of destruction from the attacks of insects—on which, also, science has entered and made no small progress. But we must conclude our argument, which, cumulative in its nature, has already been sufficiently varied to meet the knowledge and to touch the experience of almost every reader. And we do think we may now venture to say that in the face of all our illustrations, it can no longer be said, with any degree of truth, that science is not of any direct money value to the practical farmer ; and, if to him, then to the owners of land also from whom the farmer holds. Half-read men are prone, in farmers' clubs and agricultural meetings, to exaggerate the importance of some trifling practical difficulty, and to lessen the value and usefulness of science—be
rance is very great; many more of which our knowledge is very imperfect; but the acknowledgment of this does not weaken the just pretensions of science to the intelligent gratitude of the agricultural community. It is at this moment busily laboring to remove these dark places from the surface of our knowledge; and deserves to be encouraged, not only because of what it has done, but on account of what it is striving and undertaking hereafter to accomplish. How little hitherto agricultural bodies have for their part done to secure the aids of science almost every farmer can tell;-while to reproach science that, amid all discouragements, it has not done more for a too thankless class, is not the most likely way of ensuring its more zealous services for the future. To return, then, to the point from which we started. Many persons are apprehensive of injury to the husbandry of the country, in consequence of the abolition of our corn laws; and are asking by what substitute the prosperity of agriculture is to be sustained. We have said that more knowledge, especially of elementary science, is one of the ways by which this end is to be attained. But how, it is replied, will the possession of such knowledge aid us! The rejoinder to this is simple. It will enable us, either as individuals or as a nation, to beat in the race all other individuals or nations who, placed in similar circumstances with ourselves, possess a less degree of knowledge. Nay more—arm all parties alike with the whole knowledge of the day, and we still believe that our native energy will bring us through. We may possibly be left to depend on our home productions—or we may be called on to compete with the productions of the world. In the one case, we shall be able to maintain our whole population more easily and with cheaper corn; in the other, we shall be more likely to triumph in the fight, even over countries more favored by nature than ourselves. There is, perhaps, a stronger argument still for our encouragement of the application of science. It is this. If we allow other nations to add the advantage of higher knowledge to their more favored natural circumstances, the decline of our agricultural prosperity must then become almost certain. Above all other countries, the United States of America and our own colonies—born of the same blood, and inspired with the greater ardor of young nations—are most to be feared by our home farmers. They are rapidly advancing in knowledge, and are eagerly seeking it from every quarter; and if, while they enjoy so many other advantages, they can raise themselves even to an equality in agricultural skill and resource with ourselves—what will be the result to Great Britain it is not difficult to conjecture. The eighth section of Count Strzelecki's “Physical Description of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land” is a striking exposition of what is doing in those two countries for the improvement of their agriculture, and of the skill and energy which we may expect to see developed in our other colonies. As regards the United States, we may add another observation. The desire of their several governments to promote the applications of science to agriculture has been shown by the numerous surveys they have lately caused to be made, and by the reports—similar to that of Dr. Jackson, the title of which we have placed at the head of this article—which have been printed and circulated at the public expense. The anxiety of individuals also to obtain further information, and their estimation of its money value, may be judged of from the recent visit of Mr. Colman to this country. This gentleman was, in a certain sense, commissioned by his countrymen to inspect and report upon British agriculture; inasmuch as, before he embarked for England, he had already received upwards of three thousand subscribers for his intended work. His published volumes on British Agriculture are full of kindly and benevolent feeling. From being written for the most part while in England, and published piecemeal, they are somewhat sketchy and unmethodical, and, in this respect, suffer by comparison with the smaller and more condensed work of Won Weckherlin", Director of the Agricultural School at Hohenheim, in Wurtemberg; yet they contain an outline of what was attracting most attention among us during the period of his visit, and can scarcely fail to be productive of good. In respect to this visit of inquiry, also, we may remark that the welcome reception and ready communications on all subjects which Mr. Colman everywhere experienced among us—as is shown by his published letters—are not only gratifying to ourselves, as they must have been to himself, but will prove, we trust, to our kindred on the other side of the Atlantic that we are still influenced by the old adage, that “blood is thicker than water.” Let such of them as doubt this come among us with open hearts, and try. To return from this brief digression, we would say that here, as in America and elsewhere, to avail ourselves of all the resources which science has already placed within our easy reach, is not enough. We should also secure its more extended and zealous services for the future. In this way only are the difficulties, from which so much is apprehended, to be overcome. If with little encouragement, science has already, in so many ways, promoted the interests of agriculture, * Ueber Englishche Landwirthschaft, und deren An
wendung auf inniwirthschaftliche Verhältnisse insbesondere Deutschlands. Stuttgard: 1845.
what, as hopeful men, may we not expect from it when it is really stimulated to exert itself to the uttermost in our behalf?
In conclusion, while we speak thus of the uses of science, and the services it may be made to render us, we do not hold them up as infallible nostrums for all possible evils. We are not to entertain unfounded expectations from it, as if sudden and great discoveries were to be made on the occurrence of every new emergency. All scientific progress is slow, but it is also sure, and its benefits are lasting. Nor do we recommend the diffusion and enlargement of such knowledge as the only things to be done, or as precluding any other means of improving the prospects of the agriculturist. But they are methods which ought to be tried, and which must and will be tried sooner or later. We had better try them early, in the hope by their means of maintaining our existing position. It will be harder work to employ them hereafter, in the attempt to regain a position which we may then have lost.
From the National Era. BY JOHN G. whittier.
THE south land has its fields of cane,
Rough, bleak and cold, our little state
From autumn frost to April rain,
But on her rocks and on her sands
The treasures of our commonwealth
For well she keeps her ancient stock— The stubborn strength of Pilgrim Rock; And still maintains, with milder laws And clearer light the good old cause !
Nor dreads the sceptic's puny hands,
N E W B 00 K S.
MEssrs. Ticknor, Reed & Fields have sent us a copy of the second edition, revised and enlarged, of ANGEL Voices: or Words of Counsel for overcoming the World. After the mode of Richter's “Best Hours.” We have looked far enough into this to think it a sweet little book. There may be some good lines left out of it, but so far as we have read we like very much what is here. We take the
Prosporus.- This work is conducted in the spirit of Ulttell's Museum of Foreign Literature, (which was favor. ably received by the public for twenty years,) but as it is twice as large, and appears so often, we not only give spirit and freshness to it by many things which were excluded by a month's delay, but while thus extending our scope and gathering a greater and more attractive variety, are able so to increase the solid and substantial part of our literary, historical, and political harvest, as fully to satisfy the wants of the American reader.
The elaborate and stately Essays of the Edinburgh, Quarterly, and other Reviews; and Blackwood's noble criticisms on Poetry, his keen political Commentaries highly wrought Tales, and vivid descriptions of rural and mountain Scenery; and the contributions to Literature, History, and Common Life, by the sagacious Spectator, the sparkling Eraminer, the judicious Athenaeum, the busy and industrious Literary Gazette, the sensible and comprehensive Britannia, the sober and respectable Christian Obserrer; these are intermixed with the Military and Naval reminiscences of the United Service, and with the best articles of the Dublin Unirersity, New Monthly, Fraser's, Tait's, Ainsworth's, Hood's, and Sporting Magazines, and of Chambers' admirable Journal. e do not consider it beneath our dignity to borrow wit and wisdom from Punch ; and, when we think it good enough, make 'ase of the thunder of The Times. We shall increase our variety by importations from the continent of Europe, and from the new #.". of the British colonies. *
The steamship has brought Europe, Asia and Africa, into our neighborhood; and will greatly multiply our connections, as Merchants, Traveliers, . Politicians, with all narts of the world ; so that much more than ever it
now becomes every intelligent American to be inform of the condition and changes of foreign countries. A this not only because of their nearer connection with ourselves, but because the nations seem to be o through a rapid process of change, to some new state things, which the merely political prophet cannot compute or foresee. Geographical Discoveries, the progress of Colonization, (which is extending over the whole world,) and Voyages and Travels, will be favorite matter for our selections; and, in general, we shall systematically and very fully lo our readers with the great department of Foreign affairs, without entirely neglecting our own. While we aspire to make the Liping Age desirable ; all who wish to keep themselves informed of the rapi progress of the morement—to Statesmen, Divines, Lawi. and Physicians—to men of business and men of eisure—it is still a stronger object to make it attractive and useful to their Wives and Children. We believe that we can thus do some good in our day and generation ; and hope to make the work indispensable in every well-informed family. We say indispensable, because in this day of cheap literature it is not possible to guard against the influx of what is bad in taste and vicious in morals, in * other way than by furnishing a sufficient supply of a healthy character. The mental and moral appetits must be gratified. We hope that, by ... the wrheat from t chaff.” by providing abundantly for the imagination, a by a large collection of Biography, Voyages and Travel istory, and more solid matter, we may produce a o; which shall be popular, while at the same time it wi aspire to raise the standard of public taste.
o are desirous of making arrangements in all parts of North America, for increasing the circulation ...]". work--and for doing this a liberal commission will be allowed to gentlemen who will interest themselves in the business. And we will gladly correspond on this subject with any agent who will send us undoubted references.
Postage.—When sent with the cover on, the Livin Age consists of three sheets, and is rated as a .# at 44 cents. But when sent without the cover, it comes within the definition of a newspaper given in the law, and cannot legally be charged with more than newspaper postage, (14 cts.) We add the definition alluded to :A newspaper is “any printed publication, issued in numbers, consisting of not more than two sheets, and published at short, stated intervals of not more than one month, conveying intelligence of passing events.”
Monthly parts.-For such as prefer it in that form, the Living Age is put up in monthly parts, containing four or five weekly numbers. In this shape it shows to great advantage in comparison with other works, containing in each part double the matter of any of the quarterlies. But we recommend the weekly numbers, as fresher and fuller of life. Postage on the monthly parts is about 14 cents. The rolumes are published quarterly, each volume containing as much matter as a quarterly review gives in eighteen months.
WAshingtoN, 27 Dec., 1845.
Or all the Periodical Journals devoted to literature and science which abound in Europe and in this country, this
to me to be the most useful. It contains indeed the exposition only of the current literature of the
English language, but this by its immense extent and comprehension includes a portraiture of the human mind h
the utmost expansion of the present age.
J. Q. ADAMS,
f LITTELLS LIVING AGE.-No. 290–8 DECEMBER, 1849.
From the Edinburgh Review. 1. Rudimentary Electricity; being a concise Frposition of the General Principles of Electrical Science, and the Purposes to which it has been applied. By Sir W. S.Now HARRIs, F.R.S. London : 1818. 2. Regulations of the Electric Telegraph Company. London : 1819. 3. Traité de Télégraphie Electrique, renformant son Histoire, sa Théorie, et la Description des Apparcils. Par M. l'Abbé Moigno. Paris: 1849. The curiosity of the British people, which the wonders of science have fed so profusely for the last fifty years, has latterly not only spread over a larger area as knowledge has diffused itself, and increased in intensity as it grew by what it fed on, but has also remarkably altered its direction. From the days of the Stuarts down to a comparatively recent period, the unscientific portion of the nation was chiefly interested by marvellous natural phenomena; and concerned itself little in even the most practical applications of the experimental sciences. In our own day a totally opposite feeling prevails. A worthy naval captain comes home to announce that he has seen a great sea-serpent. His account is scarcely published before it is depreciated, criticized, and derided, from one end of the island to the other. The “Gentlemen of England who sit at home at ease,” may differ among themselves as to what the good captain did see, but are quite at one as to what he did not see. In the seventeenth century any number of sea-serpents would have been credited ; and the bigger and more uncouth they were, so much the better. None, indeed, of the treasures of natural history which the British Museum can now exhibit, are half so strange as a Londoner could take his country cousin to in the times of the Commonwealth and the Restoration. Feathers could then be produced which had dropped from the tail of the Phoenix. Ostriches were to be seen which, unlike the birds of the present day, had not pecked their way into the world through an eggshell, but had been born alive. Bones were plentiful, of giants compared with whom Goliath was a dwarf. Petrified babies were not very rare ; or solid thunderbolts, or unicorns' horns—or barnacles which had first been shell-fish, and then changed into Solan Geese ! Our forefathers rejoiced for the most part in believing such things; and the few that were sceptical could only hazard a doubt. Credulity, however, never absorbs the entire man. It appears, on the contrary, to necessitate a countervailing scepticism. Credulity and scepticism, indeed, are two blind imps playing at see-saw. Neither sees his opposite—although each would be flung off if not counterbalanced by the other; and CCXC. Living AGE. vol. xxiii. 28
the arc which the one describes determines the space through which the other must travel. The terrified gazer at comets, and implicit believer in astrology, made himself amends, accordingly, by denouncing as a wizard the man who showed him the sun's spectrum on a wall, or the image of a tree turned upside down in a camera obscura ; so that even the contemporaries of Newton thought it prudent to hide, under anagrams and verbal enigmas, their more striking discoveries from the vulgar observer. His faith was unlimited in one direction, and his intolerance in another ; and he allowed each full play. To slay one's enemies was not only a lawful but honorable thing ; to hang, draw, and quarter a traitor was the duty of a loyal subject; to shut up a man stricken with the plague, and leave him to his fate, was the most tender mercy which he could expect; but to dissect the dead body of foe, traitor, or plaguepatient, was a crime against God and man The credulous believer in a thousand imaginary natural and supernatural phenomena, unconsciously revenged himself for his credulity, by a fixed disbelief in man's power to conquer physical nature; and would not have stirred from his door to witness the most curious mechanical invention—or have wished it success, or expected good from it.
But these things have been long completely changed. The popular mind, like a magnet struck with lightning—which reverses its poles, so that it points to the south with the end which formerly pointed to the north—has been so electrified by the triumphs of experimental science, that it has whirled round like the disordered compass-needle; and what it formerly admired it now despises, and what it once despised it now admires. Had it been wise, it would have kept much of its old faith, (to which it will yet return,) and would have been content with adding to its previous beliefs whatever it found admirable in the youthful or regenerated sciences. But at present, when there seems no end to the achievements of experimental science, these achievements alone engross attention ; and the public has not yet had time to count the cost, or grow weary of its new toy. It was not at all necessary, however, that botany or zoology should be thrown aside, because chemistry and electricity had recently abounded in wonders. A nettle or a limpet, the meanest weed or humblest insect, still more a nautilus or a humming-bird, is, after all, at least as curious a thing as gun-cotton or chloroform ; and a torpedo or gymnotus is in reality a much more wonderful machine than a voltaic battery. Many-voiced, however, as the public is, it is not many-sided. It has latterly remorselessly narrowed its taste to a very few scientific subjects; and the present period