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THE RURAL EXODUS AND CHESHIRE DAIRY FARMING. » It becomes, writes a correspondent, a greater problem and more evident every year that if the promising youth are to be kept in the country where they are born, some greater attraction must be held out in the future than in the past to stop the ever-increasing flow into our large towns. There you may spend your life in shabby gentility, wearing a black coat, grinding away at a counter or desk, breathing the impure atmosphere of a crowded commercial warehouse or city counting-house, and the reward is that at night you may walk out with the latest style of choking cravat, or snatch the fearful joy of a cheap cigar, or applaud the gushing serio in a music hall, and the result is that you are weak, sickly and pale. On the other hand, by remaining in the country where you are born you form one of the three partners in the present land system of England, which is the best in the world as regards the feeling existing between landlord, farmer, and labourer. There is no other system in the world which could have kept agricultural depression, when it has appeared, from being felt by those most dependent on the soil, than our system of large estates owned by private individuals, who, owing to a connection lasting sometimes for generations, sometimes for centuries, are bound up in such an inseparable bond of union with the dwellers on their soil, so that we have to-day many examples of men such as the Duke of Bedford, who for a large number of years not only did not receive any balance from the rent at the end of the year but the estate was managed at a very considerable loss, and during the whole of that time the charities and schools were supported to just the same extent as if he had been receiving the full rental value of every acre; whereas if an estate were worked on a commercial system as some people advocate, the charities, schools, pensioners, and local institutions would be the very first to feel the baneful result. We have in Cheshire many brilliant examples of good and excellent landlords, whose estates have such a high prestige as to favourably compare with any body of estates in the United Kingdom. We have some landlords who have possessed, and do possess, the will and the means to develop their property to such an extent that it affords a very great inducement to good husbandry* besides being a source of very great pride to our county. But we have other landlords in Cheshire who have not the means of carrying out all those repairs to their property which in many cases they would earnestly wish to see done, and yet owing either to the individual personality of the landlord, or to a fair renown for good and liberal treatment which, for generations, tradition has attached to the owner of the soil, the prestige of their estate is so high that it is difficult to say which is the higheral the, two. If we have good landlords in Cheshire we have also good tenant farmers. The Cheshire farmers' establishments are one of the most brilliant examples of uncorrupted industry on the face of the earth, and it is right on such an occasion as this that we should pay a tribute of respect to their wives, daughters, and sisters, who day after day, in dull monotony, spend the best hours of the morning in the heavy and arduous toil of the dairy. When we consider the lot of the third party, the agricultural labourer, if their hours of labour are long they are all the more happy; if their lives are dull they are all the more healthy. It is undoubtedly their duty to remain in the country and carry on unimpeached and hand down unsullied the proud and honourable traditions delivered to them by their forefathers, in whose breasts has dwelt the loyal spirit of the English yeoman- that spirit which stands up for Queen and country and their country's freedom, of which we have seen such a remarkable example in our day in the equipment of a large force of yeo- manry, who left their homes at their country's call, and undertook a journey of several thousand miles across the sea to defend a dis- tant portion of the Queen's dominions. By their gallant behaviour they have done for Cheshire what no other power on earth could do in removing the feeling of something akin to dislike for the army which for so long has held sway among the agricultural community in Cheshire-the feeling that when a man enlists in Her Majesty's Army he goes altogether to the bad. Owing to their heroic spirit that feeling has disappeared never more to return' and Cheshire, which for centuries has been celebrated for its skill snd industry in agri- culture, has become at the close of the nine- teenth century renowned throughout the world for its wonderful devotion to the Queen. If the supply of youth of the labouring agricultural community of Great Britain and Ireland were to fail, it would materially affect every department of naval and military service as well as every industry and commercial enterprise throughout the empire of the Queen. It therefore becomes the duty of every loyal subject of Her Majesty and of everyone who has at heart the country's welfare, to do what in them lies to make the life of the agricultural labourer not only tolerable but attractive, and to endeavour to make them understand how much truer their interests will be served by remaining in the country than by going into the town which nature never intended to be the permanent home of man.

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alunting, Notes.

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Family Notices


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