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troduction is too new to be placed already altogether beyond the risk of disappointment. Mr. Smith's mode of dealing with a clayey subsoil, which holds up in the soil the water that has fallen in rain, and thus exerts some unexplained evil influence on plants fitted for the food of man or of cattle, is as follows :- That gentleman invented a heavy iron plough, resembling the common plough, but differing in this respect, that, having no mould-board, it splits the ground, but does not turn it over; and he uses it thus : at the same time that an ordinary plough goes along and turns over the surface of the wet land, the share of the sub-soil plough following, passes through and splits the whole of the subsoil to the depth of 18 or 20 inches, and the rain-water, sinks, of course, su much lower. Mr. Smith, however, does not allow the rain to lodge here: he has previously dug covered drains about 3 feet deep, made thus deep in order that his underground.plough may have room to pass over the covered channel which is left for the water to flow along in the lower part of these drains after they have been filled in above ; and he states, that in this way he can not only produce, artificially, a porous subsoil instead of a close one, but that this clayey subsoil, having been so subdivided, becomes mellowed by the action of air and of water, and that thus, after a few years, a portion of it may be safely brought up by deep or trench-ploughing, and turned over upon the surface, so that the cultivated soil, by this third process, is to the same extent deepened. To whatever extent the Deanston system may be found applicable to the clay-lands of England, a revolution will be at the same time effected in their mode of culture by the introduction of the turnip upon them.

With regard to that portion of England which lies on a stratum that may be called rocky, much of it will be found to have the immediate subsoil of clay, and to fall therefore properly under the last head ; and even where the subsoil is of stone, the stone may be so interspersed with clay, that thorough draining may be equally requisite. Where that stone is a dry gravel, it may be worth the trial whether the roots of some plants cannot be enabled to descend into it by means of the subsoil plough. Such an experiment appears, by a communication from one of our members, to have succeeded at Heckfield. A considerable portion of the stony soils belongs to the great chalk formation which, resting on the basis of Hampshire, flings its arms widely, in four directions, as far as the sea, through Dorsetshire, Sussex, Kent, and Yorkshire. On this extensive tract another, and singular, mode of permanently improving the texture of the soil, by bleuding with it a part of the subsoil, has been long and successfully, though very partially, practised. Pits, like wells, are sunk in the field, by workmen used to the business, and from the bottom of these the best sort of chalk is brought up with a windlass, to be atterwards spread over the surface; which thus, in the winter months, when the operation should take place, that the lumps of stone may be shaken to pieces by the frost, presents at a distance the aspect of a field covered with snow.

The benefit of this rather expensive operation has been long acknowledged, though its mode of action has not been explained. It is less surprising, indeed, where the upper soil of the chalk formation consists of a thin layer of reddish clay, left behind by the plastic clay formation; but even where that soil is a shallow sheet of earth, that appears to be

made up of fragments of the stone upon which it rests, this ancient prac. tice of laying on a fresh coat of that very stone is stated to be equally advantageous. Enough, however, has now been said to prove how much remains to be done for the permanent improvement of the English soil. Indeed, while it may with truth be affirmed that our husbandry, on the large scale, stands in the first rank as far as the surface of the ground is concerned, it must equally be admitted, as regards the subsoil, to be yet in its infancy. There is scarcely a situation where, however wet, or dry, or stony may be the natural ground, a kitchen garden, with a bed of mould two spades deep, may not gradually be formed by the constant, long-continued care of the gardener. While the sand is stiffened, and the clay mellowed, and both deepened, the very stone is probably, by length of cultivation, worn down into soil. Nor can British husbandry be considered complete in this department until all the farms of this country, like those of Flanders, are brought into the same condition of garden-like temper and depth."

We have hitherto confined ourselves, for the illustration of how much yet remains to be done in agriculture, and how much it may become indebted to science as applied to the process of draining and bringing up new as well as the mixing of soils. We might go into some details upon many other operations and branches. How much scope is there for improvement in the matter of breeding stock, on the selection and culture of seeds, on the subject of implements, &c. &c. And bere the following passage comes aptly to our hands :

“ The power of improvement does not cease when the corn is placed in the rickyard; and here we have not to enquire or to guess, but simply to look at the practice of the practical farmer in the Lothians and in Northumberland. There, instead of the thresher and his fail, may be seen the machine, not driven however by horses, for then the advantage might be more doubtful, seeing that the labour is distressing to the animals, and withdraws them, moreover, from the work of the fields, but impelled by wind, or water, or steam, and that on almost every farm. In France, too, it appears that not only travelling threshing machines are employed, as is the case here, but that it is proposed to work these by steam-engines carried with thein. It may be objected, indeed, by the farmer, that if he gave up his land-threshing, he would be at a loss to find employment for his men in the winter. The objection, however, shows a want of confidence in the power of permanent improvement judiciously applied on the soil to bring back its cost with interest, nor can this objection be allowed any weight as long as a single acre of the · farm is stagnant with water, or dry because the soil is shallow, while

there is possibility of its being deepened. Indeed, if you once establish a moving power on your farm, whether steam, water, or wind, it is not the labour only of threshing that may be saved to men or horses, but the winnowiug, the dressing, the chaff-cutting ; even the turnip-slicing machine, when the turnip is consumed at home, may be grafted on to the

VOL. 11. (1839.) NO. 1.


principal wheels, and thus borrow their motion. The more labour is thus set free from mere work of routine, the more will be applied to the further improvement of the parent of all agricultural labour, the soil. Having mentioned the turnip-slicer, we cannot but say that, while we would willingly rest the necessity for increased intercourse among the agricultural body, upon the varying practices which prevail in different parts of England with regard to the turnip alone, a strong argument may be drawn for it from the limited use even of this implement only. It consists in some simple machinery of knives, turned by a handle, enclosed within a box, above which is a trough into which the whole turnips are placed, and below which the slices fall into another receptacle: the whole may be placed on a wheel and two legs, and moved about the field like a wheelbarrow. The advantage is two-fold, saving the teeth of the old ewes, for which the Swedish turnips, especially, are too hard : saving the waste of this valuable root, which, when partially scooped out by the sheep, is rotted and trampled about with great waste. The economy effected by this simple machine, which costs but 6 or €.7, has been stated to us by an anthority which would at once be admitted as very high, to be no less than one-third of the whole produce. If it be taken, however, only at a fourth or a fifth, why, it may be asked, has not every farm in the country been long since furnished with this cheap apparatus ? If a contrivance were discovered in Manchester which should save one-fifth of the cotton consumed in a manufacture (were such a saving possible) not a year would pass before most of the old machinery would be replaced by the new, and such changes are constantly taking place there, at the expense of many thousand pounds; but the turnip is the raw material of the farmer's stock, and the farmer is of the same enterprising race with the manufacturer : why, then, but on account of the separate and secluded scene of his industry, is the spread of agricultural inventions so slowthe extension of those which concern manufactures, so rapid; and what but a central connection of the cultivators of the soil can diminish the distance and remove the obstruction ?"

These few passages ought to convince the most prejudiced that scientific knowledge and mechanical powers can with the greatest advantage be applied to the art of agriculture. But how are the great body of farmers to obtain in common the best practical knowledge which men of science, and who have time, means, and taste for prosecuting those experiments that develop the soundest methods, without the energy and the publicity which such a society as the one whose first report is before us, is calculated to establish? And here, again, a passage presents itself which is entirely to our purpose ; it is an extract from a Report of the Harleston Farmers :

««• Your committee, in common with every member of the club, was astonished to find that, amongst a body of farmers, all residing within four or five miles of the place of meeting, all using a similar breed of cart-horses, and cultivating a similar description of land, such an asto

nishing difference in the expense of maintaining their cart-horses should exist, amounting, in authenticated statements, to upwards of 50 per cent., whether estimated at per head for each cart-horse, or per acre for the arable land.' That is to say, not only, with an equal number of acres to plough, the horses of one farmer cost twice as much as those of another; in which case the difference might arise partly from the different number of working cattle maintained ; upon which a second question would arise, -which farmer had too many, or which had too few ?- but also the very same number of horses stood in to one farmer at double the expeuse which they did to the other. • What greater proof,' the Harleston Committee very properly ask, 'could be required of the necessity for discussion ?-and if no other subject had ever been brought before your club, we are of opinion, that by debating this question alone it would have rendered incalculable benefit to the neighbourhood ; for what member, who now learned for the first time that his neighbour was cultivating his land at much less cost than himself in one of the heavjest items in a farmer's expenses, but would go home and improve on his farm management?'"

We shall pursue the subject no further, having sufficiently indicated what are the improvements which may yet be produced in one of the most interesting and important branches of national wealth and economy, and also noticed the new energy which the

English Agricultural Society” cannot fail to infuse among the proprietors and cultivators of the soil. The numerous prizes to be periodically distributed for the best essays on every subject connected with the science and art in question, and the publication of such as are deemed suitable, must usher in a new era in the history of English husbandry. A few paragraphs from the Committee's Report before us, convey some details that we have pleasure in copying

“ Being desirous, as early as possible, to enlist talent in the investigation of those subjects which involve matters of deep interest to the practical farmer, prizes for essays upon a variety of topics have been offered, some of which will be awarded this day, some at the meeting at Oxford next year, and others at the country meeting to be held in the year 1840. The majority of those prizes are upon subjects directly calculated to improve the cultivation of the soil, an object regarded with special interest by the English Agricultural Society. The prizes for cattle to be given at the Oxford meeting, and through which improvement in the breeding of stock is mainly contemplated, will be publicly announced in a few days; and your Committee trust that the owners and occupiers of land in Oxfordshire and the neighbouring counties will cooperate in rendering the first meeting of this Society efficient for the objects for which it was instituted.

« Aware of the immense loss sustained in consequence of the want of better knowledge in the treatment of the diseases of cattle, sheep, and pigs, the attention of the Committee has been turned to this subject, in

order, if possible, to devise means for supplying the deficiency. A vete- . rinary school has been long established in the neighbourhood of the metropolis, and it has been most useful in teaching the scientific and successful treatment of the diseases by which thousands of horses used to be destroyed ; but its attention has been almost exclusively devoted to the horse; and it was considered that, if its labours could be directed with the same success to the management, in health and disease, of our cattle and sheep, it would be of inestimable advantage to the British farmer.

" Application has been made to the Governors of the Veterinary Col. lege, stating the anxious wish of the English Agricultural Society that this most important extension of its inquiries and its benefits should take place, this Society not interfering with the arrangements and proceedings of the governors of the college, but contributing from its funds to the accomplishment of this purpose.

“A most favourable answer has been received from some of the governors; and a meeting will soon take place between them and a delegation of your Committee, from which the happiest results may be anticipated,

“ Correspondence with agricultural, horticultural, and other scientific societies, both at home and abroad, being one of the means proposed whereby useful information may be obtained, a proposition has been made for opening a correspondence with several societies at home; from most of which, but most especially from the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, your Committee has received the strongest assurances of a desire to establish a friendly communication with your Institution.

Through the assistance of an able member of your society, who has recently been travelling on the continent of Europe, arrangements have been made for opening a correspondence with the Royal and Central Agricultural Society at Paris, the Royal Agricultural Society at Lyons, the Agricultural Society at Geneva, and the Agricultural Society at Lille."

There are several able papers in the present publication, which we need not particularly specify. We therefore conclude, hailing this recently established Society as offering a pleasing and promising subject, especially when contrasted with the bitterness and the opposite doctrines that prevail upon the Corn Laws. Whatever may be the fate of these laws, it is quite clear that peaceful and vast means for rendering this country more than ever independent of foreign lands, in regard to a supply of food, are yet to be developed.

ART. V. On the Language and Literature of Italy. By PROFESSOR

CARLO PEPOLI. London: Taylor and Walton, 1838. This is the Inaugural Lecture delivered in the University College, London, on the 6th of November, 1838, by Count Pepoli, who has lately been appointed to a professorship in that institution.

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