Imagens da página





publications of the Society have been transferred from Messrs. Parker to Messrs. Rivington.

We have received from Paris the Discours d'ouverture, for 1862, of M. Garcin de Tassy, the eminent Professor of Hindostanee at the Institute, and one of the first Oriental scholars of the day. In this inaugural Lecture, the Professor passes in review the chief publications, native and English, that have appeared in India during the past year, and offers many interesting remarks on various subjects connected with Oriental literature, religion, and customs. At p. 13, occur the following observations on the study of the Coran, with a reference to Mr. Rodwell's recently published translation :L'étude du livre sacré des Musulmans et de ses commentateurs n'est pas

sans utilité pour la théologie chrétienne, parce que les développements qui 'y sont donnés aux récits bibliques reposant sur des traditions juives et

chrétiennes ne doivent pas être tous rejetés avec mépris ; et je partage • l'avis du nouveau traducteur du Coran, le Rév. Mr. Rodwell, sur l'im'portance réelle de ce livre et sur le rôle mystérieux de Mahomet. On ne sait pas assez que ce qui forme une bonne partie des matériaux du Coran, ce sont les légendes qui avaient cours dans le temps et dans le pays de Mahomet, les broderies talmudiques et rabbiniques de l'Ancien Testament, les légendes populaires des Juifs et des Chrétiens d’Arabie et de 'Syrie, les récits des Evangiles apocryphes, car il paraît que Mahomet

connut ces livres, qui sont comme la mythologie de la religion chrétienne ' et qui ainsi par leur merveilleux exagéré devaient plaire à sa vive imagi

છે ' nation. Tout cependant, ainsi que je l'ai déjà dit, n'est pas à mépriser

à dans le oran. La lumière peut luire dans les ténèbres, et je répéterai à ce sujet, avec Sale et Rodwell, ces paroles de saint Augustin : Nulla falsa doctrina que non aliquid veri permisceat.'

'Sulla Guerra della Corte di Roma contro il Regno d'Italia' (Torino, Tipografia Baglione), is the title of three Letters addressed by an eminent Church dignitary to a well-known diplomatist in Italy. As that title indicates, they bear upon the present conflict between the Court of Rome and the kingdom of Italy, treat of the usurpations of the Papacy, and urge, with great force and learning, a return to the ancient principles of Church polity, especially as regards the election and confirmation of Bishops, without the intervention of the Court and See of Rome, thus paving the way for the restoration of true Catholic unity. These Letters have attracted great attention in Italy, and have been reproduced in several Italian journals at Turin and Naples. The first has been reprinted both in Latin and Italian, with an introduction and a commentary, in the Mediatore of Turin, edited by Passaglia. They have also appeared in English in the Colonial Church Chronicle.

M. Guizot has collected into one volume his different Discours at the French Academy, and published them under the title of Discours Académiques' (Paris : Didier). To these he has added his speeches at the meetings of various religious and educational institutions, as well as some philosophical and literary essays. We cannot give them higher praise than by saying they are worthy the great writer, orator, and statesman.

[ocr errors]



APRIL, 1863

Art. I.The Journal of Agriculture. No. LXXVIII. Oct.

Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London. AGRICULTURE is fast rising to the rank of a science. It will never, perhaps, gain a separate niche among recognised sciences, but it is every day becoming more scientific. Individual experience and local tradition and general custom used alone to guide the work of the farmer. Each man followed the routine which his fathers had followed before him; or, at the most, borrowed a hint from some more enterprising neighbour; or in the most enlightened districts struck out cautiously and diffidently, some improvement from his own brain. But innovations were rare, and were viewed with little favour by the class most interested in them, and were not often so obviously desirable as to command success. Now, however, among advanced Agriculturists, every detail is sought to be carried out after fixed principles—and abstract sciences, such as chemistry and mechanics, and physiology, are called in to develop and to perfect the operations of Nature--and desultory individual projects are swallowed up and systematized by Agricultural Associations--with Central and County and district societies, with Chairmen and Secretaries and annual meetings, and prizes, and dinners with their subsequent speeches, and all the apparatus of a flourishing and popular Institution. Though there is much in the movement to which exception may be taken-it is an important, and an increasing, and apparently an enduring one. And while it partakes in the general interest which the Church must feel in the material and social and intellectual well-being of any large class in her communion—it particularly demands the consideration of all whose lot has thrown them, whether as clergy or proprietors, among a rural population. An increase of intelligence and education is, if judiciously directed, an increase of strength to her. When a knowledge of farming was

NO. CXX. - N.S.


gained by experience alone, a country Incumbent had necessarily little in common, apart from his official and spiritual relation, with the every-day life of the farmers of his parish. But now that men of intellect and enterprise are stirring in the pursuit, and that Agriculture has established a literature, and challenges the name and attributes of a science, a clergyman can take a reasonable interest in the occupations of his parishioners, and exert that influence which familiarity with his subject puts in the power of every educated man, when the minds and habits of those below him are passing through a period of transition.

Such a period is now disturbing Agricultural life. Like the opinion which used to be heard with respect to the fitness of a younger son for the Church, it was thought, thirty years ago, that if a man was good for nothing else, he was good enough for a farmer. Good physical power, more or less of industry, and, if some steadiness, so much the better-and these were about all the qualities required. As for activity, education, habits of business, or a love for improvement, or an ambition to keep pace with the progress of the age, or a power of taking advantage of, and adapting to his own purposes, modern discoveriesthey would have been as much out of place in a model farmer of a generation or two back, as in one of his own sleepy cart horses. If every year his land bore scantier crops, or, at any rate, did not produce above a scanty average, he supposed it was going against nature to expect it otherwise, and submitted. If his stock were few in number, and unprofitable and of a bad breed, and deteriorating in every generation, he thought he had about as many and about as good a lot as his neighbour, so he thrust his hands into some profounder depths of his pockets, and acquiesced. He paid his labourer low wages, but he took him for better or worse, kept him as long as any work could be got out of him, and then sent him on the parish.

It will be a long time before the change which, within the last few years, has come over what are called the crack Agricultural counties, will make itself felt in every corner of its present area, or will take possession of the whole kingdom. The old system is too deeply rooted, and has too many vested interests, to be eradicated in one generation. There is not a greater difference between the art of cotton-spinning before the time of Arkwright and Strutt, and the perfection to which a Manchester millowner can now carry it, than between farming as it was last century, and as it is now in Essex or Bedfordshire. But, while by the laws of trade, the cheaper and more finished process of manufacture will alone meet the demands of the market, and the inferior must inevitably improve or withdraw; the conditions of Agricultural success are less stringent. The old-fashioned


system will cling to the soil for many a long day, and in many an odd nook and corner, just as the roots of a tree will throw up shoots long after the main trunk is to all appearance dead.

It is not to be expected that the art of husbandry will advance with such strides as manufacture has done and is still doing. There are not the same means at command, nor is there the same competition, nor the same field and opportunity, nor the same prize for success. In the manufactures, the capitalist and the man of business are one and the same person; so every suggested or attempted improvement appeals to him who has the means, and whose immediate interest it is, to turn it to account. And again, the gains of a successful hit or a lucky invention by a manufacturer, must always enormously surpass the returns of capital invested ever so remuneratively upon land. And where the profits are higher, the competition will be keener, and trade more adventurous and speculative; and the constant and pressing call for improvement in machinery and fabric will of itself tend to satisfy the want which it creates. But Agriculture has these aids and incitements to restless advance in a less degree. It does not admit of extensive speculation. Its profits are moderate and steady, and incapable of exceeding a certain and easily-reached limit; and, what is its greatest impediment, it has to depend upon two distinct classes, one of whom holds the purse and the other does the work. And although the true interests of landlord and tenant run together, it is not always recognised to be so by both, nor, after all

, is the effect the same as though the two were absolutely identical. However, let its inherent drawbacks be what they may, Agriculture is surely and firmly advancing.

The farmer is looking up in the world, or, to put it more truthfully, he is being looked up. His age has taken him under its guidance, and will not let him creep along his old beaten track. So he must be patronized and petted, and become a fashion, and listen to speeches and compete for prizes. He must be told that he is always lagging a generation or two behind—that he knows next to nothing of his own business, and that the sooner he confesses his ignorance and opens his ears to his instructors, the better for him—that if he would only acknowledge his good fortune, his calling is the most happy, and the most enviable, and the most beneficial to his country. It is wonderful how soon men learn to believe all that is told them about themselves. Independent as he may look, the typical farmer is at bottom a very shy sort of man; he likes to keep pretty much to himself and to his kind. Yet, under the titillating influence of the caressing which has been heaped upon him these few years, he has become gregarious, and has waxed

eloquent on platforms, and is met with at shows, entering his name for prizes with all the ardour of a neophyte in the pursuit.

That there is much that is admirable and highly useful in these various Agricultural Societies which are cropping up all over the country, we fully believe. They give a fillip and an impetus to husbandry generally. They bring into friendly intercourse and competition, labourer, and tenant, and landlord. They form an evidence and a memorial of the progress which has been made. They give an opportunity for suggesting and sifting and testing improvements. They detect and expose abuses. If a man of position has anything to say upon the subject, they bring together a sympathizing and, at the same time, critical and practical audience, before whom to deliver himself. And they manifestly forward their primary object of raising to a higher standard the cultivation of the ground, and the growth of corn, and the breed of cattle. This is their brighter aspect. On the other side, a certain amount of bustle and parade seem inevitable when different classes of men meet together under such circumstances. Speeches fall into a tone of patronage and intrusive advice. The benefits which the farmer and the labourer are receiving are insisted upon too frequently, and dilated upon too unreservedly. Their pursuits are described in terms too ardent and imaginative, too much as the speaker thinks that they ought to be, or has read that they are. It may be well that men should be litted above the earth now and then for one glowing hour; but when they are let down again into the dull and material, and may be, gross and sordid reality of the morrow, the effect cannot be inspiriting. Yet, deducting for a certain amount of exaggerated sentiment, and condescension and superfluous speechmaking, there is a business-like air about these Agricultural Associations, which is an omen of good. Farmers meet together for other purposes than to be praised and patronized. The talk is after all but a secondary part of the proceedings. It


purpose of amusement and relaxation after the day's work is over. It must be endured as a logical and inevitable sequence of the dinner. It raises, no doubt, the tone of the whole meeting, investing it with a light, intellectual atmosphere, which, upon those whose treats in that way are rare, may have an elevating effect.

There was little to call for notice in the speeches which were delivered upon the subject, throughout the country, in the early

, part of the autumn. After the controversy upon the morality or the good feeling of bestowing a prize upon labourers for long periods of service had subsided, and which, while it lasted, was brisk enough, and which we will return to presently, few of



« AnteriorContinuar »