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Agricult,ural Improvements.


Agricult,ural Improvements. In'this country, says the Field, where it is our pe- culiar privilege to possess the liberty of speech, we may generally expect .to arrive at the true issue of a subject, after it has undergone the process of public discussion. There are always two sides to a question, and a calm and temperate review of both sides, even I though forming part of .a postprandial peroration, yet has its advantages as well as its uses. There is a tendency in these days—though, perhaps, not more so I than formerly-to run at once to conclusions, instead of taking a comprehensive view of all the bearings of a subject; there are many who are apt to be carried away by the first impressions, which may be right or wrong; but still, as they require a test of their value, we ought to be cautious in accepting them. In farm- ing matters this has been especially the case within a comparatively few years the old order of things has been changed, the cut-and-dried theories of a former age have been exploded, and we are inaugurating a new -career. There is still, of course, much to be said for the old state of things. In certain localities these changes have not turned out so well, but still the principles of farming are better understood, and it is therefore not altogether unreasonable to suppose that we are on a course which will eventually reward our labours. There are, however, some who think that these alterations made and additions introduced have not been productive of good, and would rather see things as they were than as they are. Now that such may I be the case in some instances is no argument against the general proposition; but still as regards any particular localities these opinions cannot but have their value, for the circumstanees which could at all give effect to such views must be entirely local, and the conditions the result of a long succession of the same principles. Thus, for instance, at the late meeting of the Manchester and Liverpool, at Knuts- ford, while Lord de Tabley expatiated on the improved condition of farming and of the progress that had been made, having especial reference to the improve- ment in agricultural machinery, Sir Harry Main- waring, on the contrary, sees no good in anything that has been done, and holds his views with much force of abuse. Now there is not much in such vague generalities to meet with opposition; but Sir H. Mainwaring, of whom it had been said previously that he had been the means of opening up a new resource in a large district, and had himself been the means of great improvement in agriculture, it appears, not- withstanding, is opposed in full force to all these innovations. He wants no machinery; steam ploughs to him are an abomination; he would have no reapers, nor would he attempt even the im- provement of the breed of cattle by the in- troduction of a single short-horn bull. He held it as an established opinion that Cheshire did not require drainaere, needed no artificial manure, not even a pinch of bone-dust, and would, moreover, be the better off without the usual accompaniment of farming generally, of even a few sheep. According to Sir Harry, Cheshire was a dairy-farming county; it wanted but its herds and its grazing, its milk, and above all, its cheese—the staple commodity for cen- turies past; and in this it would hold its way against all competitors, and be successful in the matter of paying, beyond all that could be done for it by any r. e v-fangled notions. Such was the substance of the views entertained by Sir Harry Mainwaring and although they could hardly be sustained by the growing intelligence of the country, there is still much connected with local cir- cumstances which might induce even Cheshiremen to listen and pause before they instituted a new series of agricultural principles, or introduced a new system of farming. Sir Harry is known as an improver on his own principles, and one who has already achieved success by carrying them out. He has opened up a country, has brought tracts of land hitherto unprofit- able into paying cultivation, and yet heartily eschews all those so-called improvements—such as drainage, artificial manure, and agricultural machines-which certainly have formed the chief staple of agricultural progress in this country.

Gardening Operations for the…


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