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Houghton. In a letter to General Churchill, he says, “ This place affords no news, no subject of amusement and entertainment to fine men. My flatterers are mutes: the oaks, the beeches, the chestnuts, seem to contend, which shall best please the lord of the manor. They cannot deceive; they will not lie. I, in return, with sincerity admire them; and have as many beauties about me, as fill up all my hours of dangling; and no disgrace attends me from the age of sixty-seven.” The greatest planter that ever appeared in South Wales was Johnes ; planter and adorner of Hâfod; which, out of a desert, he converted into an earthly paradise. From October 1795 to April 1810 this model of a country gentleman planted more than 1,200,000 trees; besides a great number of acres, that he sowed with acorns. And here, it were delightful to dwell upon the memory of William Evelyn, “ the English Peiresc,” whose Sylva was published by order of the Royal Society; and who long enjoyed the felicity of sitting under trees, he had planted in his youth. His love for this art may be judged of by the following passage. “And now," says he, “ let it be observed, that planters are often blest with health and old age. According to the prophet Isaiah, “the days of a tree are the days of my people.' Hoc scripsi octogenarius ; and shall, if God protract my years, and continue my health, be continually planting, till it shall please Him to transplant me into one of those glorious regions above, planted with perennial groves, and trees bearing immortal fruit.”
The Duchess of Rutland is particularly partial to the planting of oaks; and her grace received the gold medal from the Society of Arts for her experiments in raising them. Her method of planting is to drop the acorns in the spots, where they are to remain. Sir Watkin Williams Wynn has planted upwards of 845,000 forest trees from 12 to 1400 feet above the level of the sea. In 1815, he planted, in the neighbourhood of Langollen, 30,000 wych elms; 35,000 mountain elms; 40,000 sycamores; 63,000 Spanish chestnuts; 80,000 oaks; 80,000 ash ; 90,000 larch firs; 102,000 spruce firs; and 110,000 Scotch firs. .
The forest of Dean, in the county of Gloucester, contained, in the time of Charles I. 105,557 oaks. Of these 25,929 were destroyed in consequence of a grant to Sir John Wintour by Charles II. and 200 only remained in 1667. In the 20th of the same reign, however, 11,000 acres were planted. These have been, of late years, used for the navy. During the reign of George III. several thousand acres were, also, planted. In 1783 there were 90,382 oaks; and in 1788, 46,000, besides old trees, beech, and oaklings.
Sometimes whole provinces are distinguished by a love of this art. The natives of Catalonia”, for instance, are so partial to it, that they vie with each other in multiplying trees of almost every description.
CLOSELY allied to gardening and planting is that most useful of all the sciences, Agriculture: than which, no art or
· Laborde, i. 110.
science is more dignified, or more worthy the attention of an honourable man. It is remarkable, that in almost all semi-barbarous countries agriculture is held in contempt. In western Africa, and among the Indians of America, it is, for the most part, unknown; and in Lapland' it is esteemed so low an employment, that no person thinks of it, as a mode of gaining a livelihood, but those, who are utterly and entirely ruined.
The first stage of society is that, in which mankind live upon the spontaneous produce of the soil. The second is the hunting state; the third the pastoral; and the fourth the agricultural. In Rome, from the accession of Numa to the time of Heliogabalus, it was regarded with peculiar distinction; and deities were appointed to take charge of the corn in every stage of preparation and growth. Stercutus directed the manuring?; Occator the harrowing; and Sator the sowing. Seia protected the seed, while it remained in the ground, and when the blade first sprung from the earth. Runcina directed its weeding; Robigus secured it from blasts and mildews; Nodosus guarded the joints of the stalks ; and Volucia folded the blade round the ear. Flora watched it in the blossom ; and Patelina in the pod Hostilia observed, that the ears grew long and even; and it was the care of Matuta, that they came to maturity.
Agriculture, which Cicero and Columella associate with true philosophy, and which De Lille calls “ the primitive pleasure of primitive man,” has, in all ages, been the resource, to which eminent men have recurred, in order to amuse the leisure hours of retirement. Xenophon, when banished to Scilloto, devoted himself to the cultivation of the earth. During this exile he wrote the principal part of his works. The virtuous Sully, too, after the assassination of his master, Henry IV, of France, amused himself at his Chateau de Villebon, during a period of thirty years, in cultivating his estate.
i Clarke. Scandinavia, ch. vii. p. 276. • St. Augustin. de Civitate Dei, lib. iv. c. 8.
Count Hertzberg, the Chatham of Prussia, reared silkworms; while his farms, at Britz and in Pomerania, were directed, under his own management, with all the caution and exactness of honest industry. In England this science has become popular of late years; and that it may still continue to draw our nobility from the stews of dissipation, and give them a distaste for less honourable pursuits, is the earnest wish of every virtuous man. A wise government will never neglect to encourage agriculture, in preference to all other arts.
II. Pliny has a curious chapter in praise of this science; (for agriculture is both a science and an art ;) and truly may it be said, that though it is an encourager of oligarchies, of all the arts it is the surest inculcator of peace. Hence it is the interest of every nation to make it, not only respectable but honourable: for where it is neglected, nothing but pride, ignorance, and poverty, disgrace the country'. While a land of thistles flourishes, that of
· Perhaps the ancient Gauls and Germans may be quoted as exceptions. Tacitus gives a fine picture of their morals ; and yet he says they held agriculture in contempt ; vid. Germ. c. xiv. et xxiii. The Sabines, on the other hand, were the best of all the ancient farmers; and still more celebrated for their charity, simplicity of manners, and purity of morals.
pearls, and of silver and gold, presents an aspect of want, misery, and slavery.
“ I have travelled,” says Thornton, “ through several provinces of European Tartary, and canno: convey an idea of the state of desolation, in which that beautiful country is left! For the space of seventy miles, between Kirk-Kilise and Carnabat, there is not an inhabitant, though the country is an earthly paradise !.” An instance of this kind speaks volumes, in favour of agriculture, which was so much esteemed by the Persians, that those satraps, whose provinces were the best cultivated, had the surest claim to the favour of their prince . In Persia, an annual festival was, for a long series of ages, held in the month of December, when the king, clothed in white robes, descended from his throne, and, seating himself upon a white carpet, a select body of husbandmen was admitted to his presence, when he addressed them in the following manner.-" I am one of you: my subsistence, and that of all my people, depend upon your industry. Without you none of us could exist; but your dependence on me is equally imperative; we ought, therefore, to live in perpetual harmony, and be brothers."
Most of the Athenian nobles cultivated their own estates 3 : Pisitratus even caused agricultural precepts to be engraved on stones, for the use of African farmers. Aristotle, Demetrius of Abdera, Archytas, Democritus, and Theophrastus, wrote upon the subject; and, in i Thornton's State of Turkey, 68.
Xenoph. Memor. lib. v. Rollin. Anc. Hist. vol. ii. 283. ' s Xenoph. Oecon. p. 831. In the British Museum is an urn, the bas-relief of which represents Echetles fighing at the battle of Marathon with a ploughshare. Room v. No. 21.