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less this inherent principle of action cannot be suspended by the violent and arbitrary measures of a successful despot. He may indeed succeed for a moment in interrupting and suspending commercial intercourse, but he cannot long resist the impulse of general feeling and the common sense and reason of mankind.
In the present awful crisis of public affairs, which threatens to prove ruinous to numbers, and yet which may not be ultimately injurious to the general prosperity of the empire,rr-should the partial suspension of trade throw a part of the manufacturing population and capital into the employment of Agriculture, and thereby accelerate the internal improvement of the country,—the security of the empire would be promoted, and its real strength and power increased.
In tracing the progress of agriculture, an art practised from the earliest times, the mind is forcibly struck by the slow advances it has made, and the state of mediocrity in which even at this day it remains in the greatest part of civilized Europe.
The occupation of husbandry appears above all others congenial to the character
of of man, suited to those sentiments of independence so natural to him, till subdued by force, or abandoned from corruptio-n. The history of nations seems to prove the very reverse, and exhibits agriculture as not rising in estimation until arts, commerce, and sciences have advanced towards maturity.
That agriculture above two hundred years ago engaged the attention of men of the first genius and influence in this kingdom, we have a proof in the works of Lord BaCon, who strongly recommends the value and importance of irrigation. In 1653, W. Blith published his Survey of Im- proved Husbandry, in which is contained much useful knowledge. In truth little has been since added.
Jethro Tull's admirable work on drillhusbandry, which has proved of such great utility to the nation, appeared a little too early to procure for its author all the credit to which he was entitled. In how small a part of the kingdom, even, at this day, is the drill-husbandry established?
The moment is not yet arrived, though not distant, when the empire at large will concur in recognizing Agriculture as the real foundation of its strength as well as the first
ingredient in promoting the happiness of its inhabitants. In the course of the last forty years these opinions have been gradually gaining ground with all ranks: in the last ten years their progress has been most rapid.
The general spirit with which agricultural improvements have been embraced in various parts of the empire, has had the happy effect of advancing our national prosperity beyond all former periods, notwithstanding the unexampled pressure of war and taxation.
In the course of the last forty years, many patriotic individuals have exerted themselves to rouse the attention of the landed proprietors, and of the country at large, to the importance of agriculture; and their labours have not been unsuccessful in representing it as a pursuit worthy of the application of gent'emen, affording a rational and pleasurable source of amusement,' and combining, in a high degree, individual profit with public advantage.
Amongst the first books of modern husbandry may be reckoned Lord Kaimes1 "Gentleman Farmer/' That great and good man, to whose friendship I owed so many personal obligations, did not content
himself himself with mere theoretical opinions, but set a noble example of improvement on his estates at Blair-Drummond; and to him we are indebted for the first suggestions of the establishment of a Board of Agriculture. About the same period, the successful exertions of a single individual (Mr. Bakewell) called forth the public attention by his intelligent and indefatigable experiments in the improvement of stock.
To the Bishop of Landaff the nation owes its first acquaintance with the importance of Chemistry, as connected with Agriculture; and from his ingenious labours we are now reaping the advantage of many valuable and important discoveries.
Natural History, Botany, and Mechanics, have respectively contributed. to promote, extend, and facilitate the various objects of Agricultural industr}'; while on the other hand, the researches of the learned, and particularly of the Author of the " Husbandry of the Antients," have stamped upon it the character of distinguished approbation, and traced it down to us from periods of the highest and most virtuous antiquity. And thus froma combination of causes may be deduced ,this solid truth, that the best informed and
b . greatest greatest men cannot better secure their glory and happiness, than by encouraging a pursuit, as productive of pleasure and profit, as of true independence and feelings of national attachment.
The memory of the late Duke of Bedford must be ever dear to the country, from the zeal and ability with which he espoused the interests of Agriculture. It was reserved for this manly and patriotic character, aided by Mr. Coke, of Holkham, and other public-spirited individuals, to draw forth the intelligent farmer from his relative obscurity, and place him in that respectable point of view, to which that meritorious and spirited class of individuals are so justly entitled. By the example of such men the country has been induced to regard with favour, and reward with approbation, the exertions of those engaged in the labours of Agriculture.
To the Board of Agriculture, and to its indefatigable President, Sir John Sinclair, the country is largely indebted. Nor is there any incorporated body, from whose exertions the nation has derived more real benefits than from those of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures,