« PredošláPokračovať »
• All shells should be left a few hours in cold water after they have been killed; this will allow the bodies of the animals. to shrink, and they will be more easily extracted. Whenever the mouth is closed up by a lid, it should on every occasion be carefully preserved and replaced; but the collector should on no account attempt to clean the shell by acids or any other means; simply brushing it with water is enough. It is a great error many people run into, who think that the more the colours of the shell are seen, the more valuable it becomes ; now it is precisely the reverse, for a scientific collector in England will give more for a shell covered by its rough coating, than when it has been taken off by unskilful hands.
• The process of drying plants for the herbarium has been stated as very difficult in tropical countries during the rainy season, when they are so apt to rot in the process; this, however, I have never found, and suspect it originates in suffering the progress of desiccation to stop, by not changing the paper sufficiently often. The method I pursued in South America was as follows : the presses were made about the size of a common folio book, and consisted of two planks of mahogany one inch and a quarter thick, with a narrow piece let in at each end to prevent their warping; at each of these ends was a press-screw, about four and a half or five inches long: the paper for drying the plants was made into books fitting into the press, between every two or three of which, when filled with plants, I placed a thin board of deal, the same size as the books; this answered
purpose, that of making the pressure more equal on all the specimens, and separating those plants which were juicy from the grasses, ferns, or others, which dry in half the time; it should be observed that fine cartridge-paper I have always found the best, and blotting paper the worst for this purpose: the whole was then put into the press, and the screws tightened twice a day, the paper being changed regularly every morning or evening. Few plants by this method required more than four days' pressure ; and the process may be accomplished in three, if the paper is changed twice a day, and the leaves of the books heated in the sun or over a fire, before the specimens are put in. Independent of every other advantage, this method retains the colours of the plant better than any other I am acquainted with.'
In the Appendix will be found a receipt for the arseniated soap, which, though a poison, is now so much used by collectors; another for the preservative powder, employed by Mr. Bullock ; some judicious directions for cleaning packages of specimens at the Custom-house ; and a list of dealers in natural objects in London, or the immediate neighbourhood. We doubt not that some of our readers will be astonished when they are informed that on stuffed birds, imported from abroad, a duty of fifty per cent, has been imposed : but it should here be mentioned, that in cases where extensive and valuable collections have been made abroad by travellers or naturalists, expressly intended for scientific purposes, the Lords of the Treasury, with proper liberality, are generally pleased to exempt them from any duties, on regular ap
plication being made. At the same time it is to be fioped, this liberal policy will soon be extended generally, and these subjects (acquired often by great perseverance and personal risk, and generally valuable only in the eyes of a naturalist,) may be exempted from duties, which can add but a mite to a revenue of millions, and which exist under no other government in Europe or America.'
A postscript is subjoined, in which the author intimates his desire of mutual exchanges of specimens with collectors; and his willingness to purchase, at a fair valuation, such articles as may supply some of the desiderata in his own stores. The plates, which represent a bird undergoing preparation for the Museum, and some rare shells, are executed with great neatness and accuracy:
As Mr. Swainson is busily engaged in his zoological illustrations, and in a work on Conchology, he will forgive us for whispering in his ear, with a reference to his future literary labors, that, much as we respect the preservation of shells and butterflies, we cannot be wholly indifferent to that of the English language ; and that consequently we must take notice of his disregard of due punctuation, the aukward modelling of some of his sentences, and such phraseology as the following : to travel a country - which circumstances may prevent their not preserving those they may only leave a report of -to confer to - by that time the best of the day commences, the birds become silent -if either of the jaws are furnished - it is almost incredible the rapid destruction - enough specimens. Indeed, we think so.
Art. 11. A Concise and Practical Treatise on the Growth and Cul
ture of the Gooseberry: including a Catalogue of the finest and most esteemed Varieties that are now cultivated in England and Scotland. By R. F. D. Levingston, Parson's Green, Middle
12mo. pp. 46. Harding. 1822. Mr. Levingston speaks of himself as a practical gardener, and states that the treatise which he offers is the result of personal experience. All directions of this kind are valuable, and may occasionally suggest useful hints even on well-known subjects: but the culture of the gooseberry-bush is now so common, that we did not expect a pamphlet on that branch of gardening. Mr. Li's hints may, however, be acceptable to gentlemen-gardeners at least, who wish to produce their own varieties; and his catalogue of the best sorts will be generally useful. His sections treat of seedlings in the first, second, and third year; of cuttings in the first and second year ; on suckers, soils, and manures, planting, pruning, and training, training to walls, &c., concluding with general observations.
From this last chapter, we shall quote the author's mode of destroying the insects that most affect the gooseberry-bush.
· These insects are the green-fly, the caterpillar, the redspider, &c. After many experiments, and attempts to destroy 16
these species of insects, I find the following mixture to be the most effectual, and cheapest; and being confident of its utility, I submit it for the use of my readers. In the first place, get a large handful of young elder leaves and twigs, one pound of the coarsest and strongest tobacco, and boil them together in some old pot or copper, in two or three gallons of soft rain-water ; let them be well boiled, after which take out all the leaves and twigs of each, and put half a gallon of quick-line into the liquor, and after it is wel dissolved, take out all the grit of the lime, and throw it away; then add to the liquid, half a pound of blue ointment, five pounds of soft green soap, two pounds of flour of sulphur, and three pounds of champignon, or puff balls, and if necessary another gallon of soft rain or pond water ; set them over a gentle heat till properly dissolved, during which time they are to be stirred round with a stick; when all is properly dissolved and mixed up, take it off the fire, and immediately put it into a coarse vessel or vessels, with about twenty gallons of rain or pond water; shut it up, and let it remain for a few days, when it will be fit for use.
· The best mode of using the above liquid is with a hand syringe, or squirt, as you can most conveniently get it round the bush, and under the leaves, where the insects are most destructive,
• When a bush is infested with an easterly blight, it is easily destroyed by throwing some thick bass-mats over the bush, and entering the fumigating bellows at the lower part of the bush, and fuming with a mixture of coarse tobacco and soft hay.
• Bushes are also speedily cleared of the blights, at little expense and trouble, by fumigating them with brimstone, strewed on lighted charcoal; this effectually kills the insects; but the workmen must get to windward of the bush, as the fumes both of charcoal and sulphur are very offensive and pernicious.
• Fumigating should always be done in the morning or evening of a dull heavy day, when the bushes are damp.'
The Catalogue contains 49 varieties of the red gooseberry, 35 of the yellow, 58 of the green, and 44 of the white, with the size of the berries denoted by their weight. The names given to these sorts are in many instances whimsical and absurd ; and it is to be regretted that some proper rule is not observed in conferring new denominations. Wherever it is possible, the nature, the quality, the peculiarity, or the origin, should be intimated by the appellative; and, when this cannot be done, the mere nanie of the first cultivator is the simple and obvious choice: but who can tolerate such names as the following, among others, bestowed on a gooseberry ? viz. Huntsman, Roaring Lion, Plough-boy, Ville de Paris, Cheshire Cheese, Rattlesnake, Heart of Oak, Jolly Tar, Jolly Cobbler, Dusty Miller, &c.;-- besides the application of the names of celebrated persons, from the Duke of Wellington to Bellingham, and from Queen Charlotte to Mrs. Clarke.
POLITICAL ECONOMY and politics. Art. 12. Economical Enquiries relative to the Laws which regulate
Rent, Profit, Wages, and the Value of Money. By Thomas Hopkins. 8vo. pp. 112. Hatchard. 1822.
We doubt whether Mr. Hopkins be not somewhat hypercritically disposed, and may not have suffered his ingenuity to run waste in detecting imaginary flaws, and in elucidating doctrines sufficiently intelligible. He objects to Mr. Ricardo's notion that “the quantity of labor expended in production is the basis of exchangeable value in every stage of society;" and a few pages afterward he considers exchangeable value as regulated by the cost of production' in wages, profit, rent, and where a tax is imposed, by the aniount of the tax paid for it; that is, by the cost of subsisting the laborer, the owner of stock, the owner of land, and the government. According to the amount of one or more of these costs in producing it, will be the value in exchange of each commodity. This is evidently a mere substitution of food for labor as the original element and measure of value. We can form no other idea of the cost of production' than the quantity of labor,' either immediate, or hoarded and then termed capital, expended in production. Food, in the early stages of society, may be the measure of value : but labor is the measure of the value of food itself. For farther illustration of this point, however, we must refer to our account of Colonel Torrens's work « On the Production of Wealth,” in our Numbers for October and November last.
Mr. Hopkins observes that the term Rent has been exclusively appropriated to the charge for the use of land, houses, and a few other things; the word profit employed to designate the charge for the use of a stock of machinery, goods, money employed in trade, &c.; and interest to signify the charge made for money when lent to another : but these terms, being essentially the same, might all be included in the general term of Rent, or charge for use. This is very true: but it would be unwise to confine ourselves to a generic term, and abandon the specific terms which branch out of it, and which are used for the purpose of subdivision and distinction.
When Mr. Ricardo, Mr. Mill, and others, assert that successive portions of capital employed on land afford a successively lower rent to the land-owner, because each successive portion so employed yields a less return of produce to the cultivator, it must be understood that the point from which they graduate this decreasing ratio of return is, adequate capital already employed; and it appears to us that Mr. H. has misinterpreted their meaning. They certainly never contemplated the absurdity of laying it down as a maxim that, when a man takes a farm, the less ability he has to cultivate it well, (in other words, the less capital he employs in manure, draining, and tillage,) the greater will be his return on that capital. They assume that a given capital is necessary and adequate to produce, we will say, ten per cent. :- less than that capital would not bring a return of ten per cent., because the land must be insufficiently stocked and tilled without it:- but they say that, when an adequate capital is employed, the application of every additional portion yields successively a smaller and smaller return. From not understanding Mr. Ricardo's meaning in this simple and obvious sense, Mr. H. has thrown away his strength in proving what nobody has denied ; namely, that, till an adequate capital is employed, more is required, and that, in this case, successive portions pay a greater instead of a less rent for the use of land, - that is, yield a greater return. The natural rent of land has been defined to be the excess in the produce of one piece above the produce of another piece of the same extent, equal quantities of labor being employed on each. Mr. Hopkins remarks that this definition expresses the natural rent of the first piece, when it is checked and limited by a sufficient quantity of the second kind, obtainable without rent: but, if the land of the second quality were annihilated, so far from rent ceasing on that of the first quality, it would rather rise to a higher rate, as land would then exist in a greater degree of scarcity. --- If, then, the existence of a second quality of land be not necessary to the formation of a rent, the relative amount of produce cannot be the cause of it. Nor is it contended so to be; the relative amount of produce is not the cause, but the regulator of rent. The scarcity of land of equal and uniform fertility is the cause of it, while the different degrees of fertility of different lands regulate its amount. Mr. Ricardo has amply explained this point. In using the word fertility, we mean not merely that degree which nature has conferred, but that artificial fertility which has been superadded by the labor of man, in clearing the forest, draining the morass, levelling the hill, irrigating the meadow, &c. Mr. Hopkins's remark (ch. ii. sect. 5.) concerning different rates of rent is however, true enough ; that, if a hundred thousand pounds, expended in bringing into cultivation new land, will procure a return of three thousand per annum, and give a certain degree of influence over a number of tenants, as well as a superior reputation, such low rent may be preferred to five thousand per annum, without such power and reputation. Still it is clear that this does not touch the argument: cæteris paribus, fertility regulates rent, but not cæteris imparibus ; and here are extraneous circumstances introduced, the proprietor making a sacrifice or paying a rent of two thousand
per annum for influence and popularity. The fault of Mr. Hopkins is that he takes the positions of political economists too literally. The doctrine, he says, that the products of equal quantities of labor are of equal exchangeable value is contrary to common experience; and he gives as a proof that, while one man earns twenty-four shillings a-week, another earns only twelve. (P. 59.) Who has ever denied this ? Did Adam Smith, who broached the doctrine, but confined its application to the rude periods of society; or did Mr. Ricardo, who extended its application to civilized life; or did Colonel Torrens, whose work we have recently noticed ? Not one of these writers omitted to dilate on the various circumstances which affect wages; such as