Page images

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. On the 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 scimore portable or nearer at hand. A simple illus-ence enables us already to solve every difficulty, tration will make this plain. A farmer contracts would display as much rashness, and a degree of with a gas company for all their white gas-lime, ignorance almost as inexcusable, as those who containing very little sulphur, for so many months, deny its intrinsic claims upon our consideration. at sixpence a ton. This he carts six miles; and A familiarity with the actual state of science will he thinks it much cheaper than the quick-lime 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 ignofrom his farm, for five shillings a ton. But on a rance is very great; many more of which our chemical examination, the gas-lime is found to con- knowledge is very imperfect; but the acknowltain half its weight of water: so that two tons edgment of this does not weaken the just pretencontain only one of dry lime, for which, therefore, sions of science to the intelligent gratitude of the he pays a shilling. But, besides, the lime is agricultural community. It is at this moment found to be chiefly in the state of carbonate-the busily laboring to remove these dark places from dry matter containing about two fifths-say only the surface of our knowledge; and deserves to be one third-of carbonic acid. Deducting this car- encouraged, not only because of what it has done, bonic acid, we find that in three tons of the refuse but on account of what it is striving and underthere is only one of pure or quick-lime, which, taking hereafter to accomplish. How little hiththerefore, costs the farmer eighteen-pence. If his erto agricultural bodies have for their part done to return carts carry it home at the low rate of four- secure the aids of science almost every farmer can pence a ton per mile, each ton of pure lime will tell-while to reproach science that, amid all cost him a shilling a mile for carriage. On this discouragements, it has not done more for a too supposition, its ultimate price will be seven-and- thankless class, is not the most likely way of ensixpence a ton when delivered on his farm. suring its more zealous services for the future. 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.


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 Many cases of this simple chemico-economical the ways by which this end is to be attained. kind have come under our own notice; and they But how, it is replied, will the possession of illustrate very intelligibly the way in which ex- such knowledge aid us? The rejoinder to this is ceedingly simple chemical inquiries may bring simple. It will enable us, either as individuals about a great saving to the farmer. The study of or as a nation, to beat in the race all other indiwaste materials, while it shows that some sub-viduals or nations who, placed in similar circumstances, though really containing what is valuable stances with ourselves, possess a less degree of 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 inquirythe 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.

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 Half-read men are prone, in farmers' clubs and the same blood, and inspired with the greater agricultural meetings, to exaggerate the impor- ardor of young nations-are most to be feared by tance of some trifling practical difficulty, and to our home farmers. They are rapidly advancing lessen the value and usefulness of science-be- in knowledge, and are eagerly seeking it from

In conclusion, while we speak thus of the uses of science, and the services it may be made to

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.

every quarter; and if, while they enjoy so many | what, as hopeful men, may we not expect from it other advantages, they can raise themselves even when it is really stimulated to exert itself to the to an equality in agricultural skill and resource uttermost in our behalf? with ourselves-what will be the result to Great Britain it is not difficult to conjecture. The eighth section of Count Strzelecki's "Phys-render us, we do not hold them up as infallible ical 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 Von 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 Anwendung auf Landwirthschaftliche Verhältnisse insbesondere Deutschlands. Stuttgard: 1845.

From the National Era


THE South land has its fields of cane,
The prairie boasts its heavy grain,
And sunset's radiant gates unfold
On rising marts and sands of gold.
Rough, bleak and cold, our little state
Is hard of soil, of limits straight;
Her yellow sands are sands alone,
Her only mines are ice and stone!
From autumn frost to April rain,
Too long her winter woods complain;
From budding flower to falling leaf,
Her summer time is all too brief.

But on her rocks and on her sands
And stormy hills the school-house stands,
And what her rugged soil denies,
The harvest of the mind supplies.

The treasures of our commonwealth
Are free, strong minds, and hearts of health,
And more to her than gold or grain,
The cunning hand and cultured brain!
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,
While near her school the church-spire stands;
Nor fears the blinded bigot's rule,
While near her church-spire stands a school.


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


opportunity of copying a favorite poem by the Rev.

Ralph Hoyt.


By the wayside, on a mossy stone,
Sat a hoary pilgrim sadly musing;
Oft I marked him sitting there alone,
All the landscape like a page perusing;
Poor, unknown-

By the wayside on a mossy stone.

Buckled knee and shoe, and broad-rimmed hat,
Coat as ancient as the form 't was folding,
Silver buttons, queue, and crimped cravat,
Oaken staff his feeble hand upholding,
There he sat !

Buckled knee and shoe, and broad-rimmed hat.
Seemed it pitiful he should sit there,

No one sympathizing, no one heeding,
None to love him for his thin gray hair
And the furrows all so mutely pleading
Age and care;

Seemed it pitiful he should sit there.
It was summer, and we went to school,

Dapper country lads, and little maidens,
Taught the motto of the "Dunce's stool,"-
Its grave import still my fancy ladens,-

It was summer, and we went to school.

When the stranger seemed to mark our play,
Some of us were joyous, some sad-hearted.
I remember well-too well-that day-
Ofttimes the tears unbidden started-
Would not stay!

When the stranger seemed to mark our play.
One sweet spirit broke the silent spell-

Ah! to me her name was always heaven!
She besought him all his grief to tell,

(I was then thirteen, and she eleven,)

One sweet spirit broke the silent spell.

Angel! said he sadly, I am old;

Earthly hope no longer hath a morrow;
Yet why sit I here thou shalt be told;
Then his eye betrayed a pearl of sorrow-
Down it rolled!

Angel! said he sadly, I am old!

I have tottered here to look once more
On the pleasant scene where I delighted
In the careless, happy days of yore,

Ere the garden of my heart was blighted
To the core'

I have tottered here to look once more.
All the picture now to me how dear!

E'en this old gray rock where I am seated

Is a jewel worth my journey here;

Ah! that such a scene must be completed
With a tear!

All the picture now to me so dear!

Old stone school-house-it is still the same!
There's the very step so oft I mounted;
There's the window creaking in its frame,
And the notches that I cut and counted
For the game!
Old stone school-house-it is still the same!

In the cottage yonder I was born :

Long my happy home that humble dwelling; There the fields of clover, wheat, and corn, There the spring with limpid nectar swelling;

[blocks in formation]

There's the orchard where we used to climb,
When my mates and I were boys together,
Thinking nothing of the flight of time,
Fearing nought but work and rainy weather;
Past its prime !

There's the orchard where we used to climb.

There the rude, three-cornered chestnut rails,
Round the pasture where the cows were grazing,
Where, so sly, I used to watch for quails

In the crops of buckwheat we were raising-
Traps and trails-

There the rude, three-cornered, chestnut rails.
There's the mill that ground our yellow grain;
Pond and river still serenely flowing;

Cot, there nestling in the shaded lane,
Where the lily of my heart was blowing-

There's the mill that ground our yellow grain!
There's the gate on which I used to swing,
Brook, and bridge, and barn, and old red stable
But, alas! no more the morn shall bring
That dear group around my father's table-
Taken wing!

There's the gate on which I used to swing.
I am fleeing-all I loved are fled;

Yon green meadow was our place for playing;
That old tree can tell of sweet things said,
When round it Jane and I were straying :-
She is dead!

I am fleeing-all I loved are fled!

Yon white spire-a pencil on the sky,
Tracing silently life's changeful story-
So familiar with my dim old eye,
Points me to seven that are now in glory
There on high-

Yon white spire-a pencil on the sky.
Oft the aisle of that old church we trod,
Guided thither by an angel mother;
Now she sleeps beneath its sacred sod-
Sire and sister, and my little brother-
Gone to God;

Oft the aisle of that old church we trod.

There my Mary blest me with her hand,
When our souls drank in the nuptial blessing,

Ere we wandered to that distant land-
Now, alas! her gentle bosom pressing;
There I stand-

There my Mary blest me with her hand.

Angel, said he sadly, I am old;

Early life no longer hath a morrow
Now why sit I here thou hast been told;-
In his eye another pearl of sorrow ;—
Down it rolled,
Angel, said he sadly, I am old.
By the wayside, on a mossy stone,

Sat a hoary pilgrim sadly musing;
Still I marked him sitting there alone,
All the landscape like a page perusing;
Poor, unknown,

By the wayside, on a mossy stone.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

ILLUSTRATION.-Hudson, the Railway King, off the Rail, 416.

POETRY.-Irish Temperance Hymn, 391.-Hope and Memory, 400.-The Farmer's Plough;
Beneath the Wayside Tree, 412.-It cannot last, 413.-Massachusetts, 430.


PROSPECTUS. This work is conducted in the spirit of | now becomes every intelligent American to be informed Littell's Museum of Foreign Literature, (which was favor- of the condition and changes of foreign countries. ably received by the public for twenty years,) but as it is this not only because of their nearer connection with ou▶ twice as large, and appears so often, we not only give selves, but because the nations seem to be hastening, spirit and freshness to it by many things which were through a rapid process of change, to some new state of excluded by a month's delay, but while thus extending our things, which the merely political prophet cannot compute scope and gathering a greater and more attractive variety, or foresee. 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.

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 acquaint our readers with the great department of Foreign affairs, without entirely neglecting our own.

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 While we aspire to make the Living Age desirable to mountain Scenery; and the contributions to Literature, all who wish to keep themselves informed of the rapid History, and Common Life, by the sagacious Spectator, progress of the movement-to Statesmen, Divines, Lave the sparkling Examiner, the judicious Athenæum, the yers, and Physicians-to men of business and men of busy and industrious Literary Gazette, the sensible and leisure-it is still a stronger object to make it attractive comprehensive Britannia, the sober and respectable Chris- and useful to their Wives and Children. We believe that tian Observer; these are intermixed with the Military we can thus do some good in our day and generation; and and Naval reminiscences of the United Service, and with hope to make the work indispensable in every well-inthe best articles of the Dublin University, New Monthly, formed family. We say indispensable, because in this Fraser's, Tait's, Ainsworth's, Hood's, and Sporting Mag-day of cheap literature it is not possible to guard against azines, and of Chambers' admirable Journal. We do not the influx of what is bad in taste and vicious in morals, consider it beneath our dignity to borrow wit and wisdom in any other way than by furnishing a sufficient supply from Punch; and, when we think it good enough, make of a healthy character. The mental and moral appetite ase of the thunder of The Times. We shall increase our must be gratified. variety by importations from the continent of Europe, and from the new growth of the British colonies.

The steamship has brought Europe, Asia and Africa, into our neighborhood; and will greatly multiply our connections, as Merchants, Travellers, and Politicians, with all parts of the world; so that much more than ever it

We hope that, by "winnowing the wheat from the chaff," by providing abundantly for the imagination, and by a large collection of Biography, Voyages and Travels, History, and more solid matter, we may produce a work which shall be popular, while at the same time it wi aspire to raise the standard of public taste.

tion of this 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 refe

TERMS. The LIVING AGE is published every Satur- Agencies. We are desirous of making arrangements day, by E. LITTELL & Co., corner of Tremont and Brom-in all parts of North America, for increasing the circula field sts., Boston; Price 123 cents a number, or six dollars a year in advance. Remittances for any period will be thankfully received and promptly attended to. To insure regularity in mailing the work, orders should be addressed to the office of publication, as above. Clubs, paying a year in advance, will be supplied as follows:

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]


Postage. When sent with the cover on, the Living Age consists of three sheets, and is rated as a pamphlet, at 4 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 on 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 volumes are published quarterly, each volume containing as much matter as a quarterly review gives eighteen months.

WASHINGTON, 27 DEC., 1845.

Or all the Periodical Journals devoted to literature and science which abound in Europe and in this country, thi has appeared to me to be the most useful. It contains indeed the exposition only of the current literature of English language, but this by its immense extent and comprehension includes a portraiture of the human mind the utmost expansion of the present ago. J. Q. ADAMS.


From the Edinburgh Review.

1. Rudimentary Electricity; being a concise Exposition of the General Principles of Electrical Science, and the Purposes to which it has been applied. By Sir W. SNOW HARRIS, F.R.S.

London: 1818.

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 3. Traité de Télégraphie Electrique, renfermant son that even the contemporaries of Newton thought Histoire, sa Théorie, et la Description des Ap-it prudent to hide, under anagrams and verbal Par M. l'ABBÉ MOIGNO. Paris

2. Regulations of the Electric Telegraph Company. London: 1849.



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 plague

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 wit

have wished it success, or expected good from it.

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 phe-patient, was a crime against God and man! The nomena; 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 depre-ness the most curious mechanical invention-or ciated, 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.ming-bird, is, after all, at least as curious a thing 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 VOL. XXIII. 28



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 hum

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

« PreviousContinue »