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acts with redoubled force; and accordingly deficient ears, superabundance of straw, and a disproportionate yield, are called in to aid the delusion. But all such expedients are, and must be unavailing. There is an universal estimate derived from universal inspection, which, though not absolutely accurate, is sufficiently near to work the conviction that the crop has, at least, been good. The daily and weekly supply of the markets, the cautious purchases of those most deeply skilled and interested in the trade in corn, are also tests, and the all indicate the firm belief a supply equal to the demand; while such an opinion is fully backed up by the transactions of the last three years. All the talk about land going out of cultivation from a low price of grain, is now proved to be a mere bubble. On the contrary, the farmer naturally endeavours to compensate a low price by increased produce; and this will, in some degree, account for the visible additions of the later seasons. The importations from Ireland, where the exertions making to enlarge the employment of the people, and to direct capital to agriculture, are great and continual; and, from the colonies, are quite adequate to reconcile the contradiction between Mr. Jacob's and Mr. Macculloch's anticipations, and the supply and consequent fall of markets. We have arrived at the period when, with favourable seasons, a production equal, and more than equal to the consumption, may be securely reckoned upon; and, against this, it is impossible that prices should ever rise, even to the lowest of those various points which it has been so long the endeavour to substantiate, as the necessary and indispensable rates of remuneration to the farmer. This begins now to be universally acknowledged. The establishment of this truth is accompanied by another; namely—that protecting-duties are inoperative, and therefore useless. The tenantry are convinced upon this head, whatever the landlords may think of it. The momentous changes in foreign commerce begin also to be known and computed. All these things will have a sensible, and probably an immediate effect, upon the opinions of Parliament, relative to the continuance or extinction of the corn-laws.
If any extraneous causes can tend more rapidly to bring about this effect, it will be those to which we have just alluded, and, most especially, the commercial system of Russia. This appears to be neither more nor less than an attempt, under a more covert form, to introduce the exclusion of British manufactures and of colonial produce through England, from the Continent. And although the same permanent objection lies against the scheme, which defeated the never-to-be-forgotten endeavour of Bonaparte to strike the same blow at the wealth and power of England, there is now a difference in the commercial and manufacturing constitution of these countries, which requires the English Government to watch their progression, and neither to irritate the Continent by arbitrary restrictions, nor to throw away the advantages she might possess, by the adoption of better regulations. Germany is advancing rapidly in the use of machinery, and is already capable of furnishing herself with much that she was accustomed, while in a less mature state, to purchase of the merchants and manufacturers of Great Britain. But it must also be obvious that two material circumstances will operate in favour of the endeavour Prussia is now making to rear manufactories, and to render Germany independent of England; these are, first, the cheapness of subsistence into which the principal charges of manufactures ultimately resolve themselves); and, secondly, the rejection of the raw produce of those countries by England. Corn and timber are the means by which the people of the northern States can alone pay for the merchandise of England, and these England will not take; the graduated duty, under the existing production of England, Ireland, and the colonies, amounting to a prohibition. The impolicy of this country, hy maintaining the corn-laws, is therefore in truth abetting, in the most striking particular, the attempted exclusion of the commercial system promulgated by Prussia, and upon the very eve of adoption by the German States. The political consequences it belongs not to our province, in this article, to insist upon; but those consequences will strongly persuade the Government (be it Whig or Tory) to frustrate the purposes of Prussia, and at the same time of Russia, who views the scheme as among the best modes of strengthening her designs upon Turkey. These considerations all seem to be not only preparing, but precipitating the long anticipated change in the corn-laws, to which, as we have shown, the Government is invited by the events of the last four years, indicating at once the power of England, Ireland, and her dependencies, to produce a more than adequate supply, and the necessary consequence, the reduction of the protecting-duty nearly to a nonentity; for its only effect has been to preclude the introduction of foreign corn. Upon price it can have had little force, for price has gradually sunk to a lower term than it has found since the commencement of the war with the republic of France.
These are the two main questions : first, to what further degree would all open trade affect price; and, secondly, at what point of declension will price settle, supposing the protecting-laws to remain as they are ?
Before we enter upon these questions, we owe it to ourselves to premise, that forewarned as we are by the total failure of Mr. Jacob's conclusions, drawn, we are ready to acknowledge, from the most extensive information any man could be reasonably supposed to attain, we can scarcely expect that implicit confidence should be placed in any train of reasoning upon premises embracing so vast a range. But from experience, and from what we already know of the Continental growth and commerce in corn, arguing from the widest calculations of the cost of production and transit, and from the effects of an open market in England upon the price abroad, it should appear that the price could not be brought much lower. Perhaps the very lowest rate at which foreign wheat can be purchased, is 288. per quarter, and the cost of transmission can scarcely be taken, on the average of distances, at less than 6s. We are rather inclined to believe, from the most careful review of Parliamentary documents, and the private correspondence of merchants and millers, that were the trade now thrown open, the effect after a very short period would be to raise the price, because the continental grower would see some vent for his produce beyond the domestic consumption, now clearly inadequate to take off the supply. Mr. Jacob and Mr. Macculloch have brought strong reasons, and strong facts also, to prove that continental wheat cannot be grown and exported to a profit at much less than 48s. per quarter, taking the average of distances and
But granting 25 per cent. for error in this calculation, a free trade would not sink the price below the present average. We would not, however, be too sanguine upon this head; for there are two points of no slight importance, which their calculations seem entirely to have overlooked or disregarded. These are the profit of the freightage of the vessel to the shipowner outwards and inwards, and the profit upon the cargo to the English merchant, which he may send out in barter for the corn. these contingents will necessarily lower price, because it is manifest that these profits may cause the merchant and owner to import corn even at a loss upon the corn, and yet drive a good trade by the advantages upon the freight and cargo. We are therefore prepared to believe that the price of corn would continue as low, and perhaps it would at first especially, fall a trifle lower; but we think the circumstances we have enumerated would about counterbalance each other, and that the present might be fairly taken for the average price, in average seasons.
When we come to consider the second branch-to what rate price will fall under the existing duties and appearances, if we take the common law of political economy? -we should answer, to the lowest point which will defray the charges of production. But this will be deemed vague and illusory. These charges vary so entirely with the quality of land and local accidents, that such a solution affords no certainty. We are rather dis
posed to treat it upon the plainer principle of supply and demand, and to say that the moment it is ascertained that the supply is beyond the home demand, the price will adjust itself to what can be obtained for the surplus in foreign markets. To this, it should seem, it is already nearly come. The above drawn inferences lead to the final conclusion, that both upon domestic and foreign grounds, for fiscal, no less than political reasons, Parliament will seize the occasion, and make some great and permanent changes in the laws respecting the trade in corn, while the experiment can be tried with so little appearance of disturbing, in any dangerous degree, the prospects of agriculture.
We have thus, though slightly, yet we hope clearly demonstrated, the new circumstances which seem to promote the views of those who have so long advocated a free trade in corn. Much more remains to be said, which we must postpone to future opportunities, and many will be allowed us before the matter comes before Parliament. The hopes held out by the Marquis of Chandos, of the repeal of a moiety of the malt-tax, derived, according to his Lordship, from the report of the Excise Commission, are obviously founded upon his misapprehension of the terms of that paper, for the recommendations of the Commissioners go to exactly the contrary way. They couple even the supposed reduction, with the express condition of allowing the free import of barley, in relation to price, and expressly declare that even under any circumstances, the reduction could not be effected without involving the coincident loss of a large sum to the revenue. This, therefore, if it assume any practical shape at all, will probably be taken as a part of, and in conjunction with, the larger question of the corn-laws and corn-trade generally.
The supplies of wheat, barley, and flour, are now becoming every week more abundant, and the necessary consequence is, a slight depression in price. Nor can this effect be soon mitigated, for as payments come round-rent and tithe particularly—and as the winter poor-rates nearly equal the summer outlay for labour, money must be had. And now it is that a want of confidence, not in the men, but in the trade itself, operates so much against the farmer, for scarcely a guinea will any banker advance to rescue him from this competition. Till after the year be turned, it is therefore probable the same difficulty and depression will continue. The deficiency of the turnip crop has been excessively felt in the business of the various fairs. The abundance of stock offered could not be sold at hardly any price, for the simple reason that no one has wherewith to maintain his own ordinary average of sheep or bullocks, much less any addition. Even where the turnips promised to revive after the rains, they have gone off to an inconceivable degree from the ravages of the black canker and ground insects.
The weather is favourable in the highest degree for getting in the wheat. It will be remembered that some few years ago a Mr. Hickling, of Norfolk, found three extraordinary ears-saved and sowed them—they made a prodigious inorease, and he gradually accumulated a large stock of seed wheat. This was last year purchased by Mr. Richardson, of Heydon, who tried the experiment by means of Mr. Bulwer's tenants, extensively, and the success has been enormous.
Fourteen coombs (i. e., seven quarters) per acre, has been the average, and that gentleman has again purchased a large quantity for the patriotic purpose of propagating the growth; and through his means the seed is extensively using. It is in every respect to be recommended. The quality is fine, and the straw so strong, that it keeps up against all ordinary assaults of rain and wind. Let us also urge upon the attention of farmers, the fact that red weed is effectually to be eradicated by passing a bush over the new sown wheats, soon after they begin to get above ground, when the earth is soft with a recent fall of rain.
RURAL ECONOMY. Gardening.-Land can never be dug too well. The spits should be thin and finely broken. Trenching may often be done to advantage; it is superior in its effects to digging, simply because the land is more deeply and regularly moved. When the digging is deep, the root makes its way down and seeks nourishment for itself. The spade goes much deeper than the ugh, and leaves the ground comparatively loose under it. There are many instances of wheat dibbled in the spring, two grains in a hole, the holes nine inches apart each way, having produced forty, and even fifty, bushels to the acre. In this manner, the expenditure of seed is not, perhaps, two pecks per acre ; but in this way the ground is well dug, and loosened, and cleaned, which is of vast importance, for weeds often take up more nourishment than the corn. In making a garden, drain the ground; without draining, unless the soil is very light indeed, your garden will never prosper. The stagnant water in the winter, autumn, and spring, rots the roots of plants, and kills the seed, and the soil is rendered less fertile by the constant soaking wet. Cut some drains slanting across the ground into a ditch on the outside, if there is one, and fill up the lower part of the drains with bushes and loose stones; but if there is no ditch, dig out the walk pretty deep, and fill in the bottom with stones, broken bricks, dry rubbish, and bushes. Next to draining comes trenching deeply. Nothing improves the ground so much as working it ; begin by trenching it (if the soil admits of it) three spits deep. It would take too much time to do all in one year, but it may be done by degrees. After being trenched three spits for one crop, a single digging will be enough for the second crop, and for the third ; a digging of two spits will, for the three crops, always give a fresh surface, which is a matter of great importance in growing fine vegetables. Draining and trenching are of more consequence even than manure, as those will find who try the experiment. Of course manure is not to be neglected when it can be got. Wood ashes will do something; rotten leaves, stalks, &c., not eaten by the pig, are excellent manure. The scouring out of the ditch is good manure; and a few barrows of turf sods, chopped up and dug in green, will be as valuable as a load of dung; the scrapings of roads, if the soil is heavy, are also excellent, and assist much in lightening the ground.-Useful Hints for the Labourer.
Weights and Measures.-We call the attention of our agricultural friends to the following section of the Act passed in the late Session of Parliament for regulating weights and measures :-Sec. 6. “ And be it enacted that from and after the passing of this Act the measure called the Winchester bushel, and the lineal measures called the Scotch ell, and all local or customary measures shall be abolished; and every person who shall sell by any denomination of measure other than one of the Imperial measures, or some multiple, or some aliquot part thereof, &c. shall on conviction be liable to a penalty not exceeding the sum of 40s. for every such sale." It follows from this enactment that the comb, boll, double bushel, load, sack, or any other provincial term, is completely done away with, and it must be observed that this part of the Act comes into immediate operation. The one of the heaped measure is also abolished, and all bargains made thereby are declared void, as well as a penalty of 40s. imposed on the seller.
USEFUL ARTS. Fire-Proof Houses.-A writer in the “ Mechanics' Magazine," communicates the following useful hints on this subject :-"All party walls should be eighteen inches thick, and all divisions between the front and back part of a house should be nine-inch brickwork. The joists should be one-inch thick, and drilled through every six inches, to receive screws for fastening down the floor. I would form a perfectly even and durable ceiling, resisting effectually one great means of communication in case of fire between the different stories. Some of the floor-screws might be passed at proper distances through the sheet-iron, the heads being neatly countersunk, and all of them are intended to screw into the underside of the floor by passing the screw from the lower room. On the top of every house should be placed an iron tank, lined inside with lead-three pounds might do-having a ball-cock, and supplied by the water companies for domestic purposes as well as in cases of fire. The tank should be six feet square by three feet deep, and should be so placed on the roofs that a communication by a two-inch pipe might be made between each pair of tanks at the bottom. A pipe should descend to the bottom or ground floor, and, passing through the front wall under the pavement, should be inserted into a general supply three-inch pipe, the latter having at every third or fourth house a pipe two feet long rising from it, and fixed to the wall with a key-tap to fix a leather hose to when necessary, every inhabitant having a key. Such taps would, in case of fire, supply the engines, supposing only twelve houses forming the side of a street, with nearly 8000 gallons of water, and the opposite houses of course the same. From the pipe that descends from the tank should pass to each room an inch branch pipe, having a cock eighteen or twenty inches from the floor, with a key fixed to it by a chain. In cases of fire breaking out in any apartment the inmates could speedily put it out, having nearly 1300 gallons of water at their command, the produce of two tanks."
Electricity and Magnetism.-Mr. P. Cunningham, surgeon, R.N., has lately made the following interesting discovery of electric conductors being, to a certain extent, also magnetic conductors. and of non-electric conductors being non-magnetic conductors, thereby adding another powerful proof to the many already existing of the identity of the electric and magnetic bodies. The above result was obtained by placing successively in a copper-wire helix, connecting the poles of a galvanic battery, pieces of steel and of iron, either united end to end by brass solder, or simply retained in close contact in the above position by a copper tube, fitting tightly round the point of junction, each needle being found on removal from the helix to be a perfect magnet with two poles, the same as if it had been constructed in the usual way, of only one piece of steel. No interchange of magnetism took place when the union of the pieces was effected by sealing-wax, or when the intervening brass was an inch long, the greatest extent of solder between the magnetised pieces being the twelfth of an inch. When two pieces of iron or steel were placed at a distance from each other in the helix, each piece became a distinct magnet, but when approximated nearer they closed with a snapping noise, and formed a single magnet between them, one piece becoming a North pole and the other a South. This construction of a magnet promises to be of importance in preserving, to a greater extent, the magnetic properties of the mariner's needle; even soft iron, which under other circumstances loses its polarity as soon as the magnet is removed, being found to retain it when united in pieces as above, Mr. Cunningham has also constructed a magnetic needle, the ends of which point East and West by magnetising it transversely instead of longitudinally; being led to attempt this by the accounts of ships struck by lightning having their needles changed to point east and west, which he concluded could only be effected by a transference of the polarity from their ends to their sides.