Billeder på siden

' and twenty-five head of cattle) without the exception of any one 'animal that is out of order. And he believes there is nothing that 'will promote the health of cattle and their good condition more than salt, when rightly administered; and that medicine would, in his opinion, be little required, if he had salt at command. And this deponent saith, that the fourteen oxen above mentioned for fat, were fed on straw, steamed chaff and turnips only; and eight of them were weighed on the thirteenth day of February last and 'seventeenth day of this month of March, and the increased weight ' of the eight, was thirteen stone, of fourteen pounds to the stone.' As follows, viz:

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

With regard to the use of salt as a manure, the information derived from Mr. Parke, tho' perhaps not " containing the sum of all "the knowledge that Europeans are possessed of on the subject," is, we think, amply sufficient to justify the most extended experiments; but, that the reader may judge of this matter for himself, we hasten to lay before him some additional extracts.

In some parts of Great Britain, particularly in the neighbour'hood of salt works, the value of common salt as a manure is well 'known and acknowledged; and it has lately been given in evi'dence before the select committee of the House of Commons, by ' a gentleman of the highest credit, that the farmers of Cornwall

are so convinced of the value of salt, as a manure, that whenever 'the waste salt that has been employed in the curing of fish is on 'sale, there is a violent contention, among the occupiers of land, 'who shall have the largest share of it. The same gentleman in'formed the Committee that, where wheat or barley has followed


turnips on land which had been salted, the ensuing crop has in' variably escaped the mildew; although that disease had infected 'all the corn upon the lands immediately adjoining, on which salt 'had not been used.'

The efficacy of salt in destroying noxious weeds, grubs, worms, 'flies and insects is well known in many districts, and those who ' are incredulous, may very easily satisfy themselves by direct ex

[ocr errors]


'periment. For instance, if a few common earth worms are taken 'out of the ground and sprinkled with a little salt, they will be seen to writhe about for a few minutes and then expire. Thus 'salt does as it were perform two operations at once; for, by de'stroying the worms and the weeds, while the land lies fallow, it 'prepares the ground most effectually for the reception of corn, or 'plants, before it can possibly take any effect upon the the crop itself. And besides this peculiar advantage, the extreme luxuriance and verdure which common salt gives to grass lands, when properly ' applied, would be so satisfactory to such farmers as would make ' use of it, and so convincing to all the neighbouring agriculturalists of every description, that if only one or two gentlemen, in ' each district, were to employ it, in a few instances, I am certain 'this mode of top-dressing would very soon engage the attention of every person in the empire, who had even but a garden to manage and cultivate.

'From the evidence which has already been collected upon this subject, it is obvious,-that a great portion of the land in this 'kingdom might, by the proper use of salt, be made to produce nearly double the amount of the present crops of grass, as well as How greatly this would serve the manufacturing and in'deed all other interests of the country, I need not attempt to ex'plain. Moreover, by forcing the land with a sufficient portion of 'salt, our crops would be brought to maturity much sooner than 'they now are;-a matter of considerable importance in the north

· corn.



ern parts of this island, where much of the corn is frequently spoiled by the autumnal rains, before it can be sufficiently dried by the sun and wind, to stack with safety. And in the hay har' vest, should the farmer be induced, from the uncertainty of the 'weather, to carry in his hay too soon, a small quantity of salt 'sprinkled upon each layer of the rick, will prevent the hay from 'becoming mow-burned, as it is called; and when hay, which has 'been thus treated, is presented to horses and cattle, it will be pre'ferred by them to that which has been put together in a more fa'vourable season and not treated with salt.'

'The cleanliness of rock salt as a manure, is likewise another 'considerable advantage. In many cases this circumstance will be 'found to be very important; particularly in the grazing districts. It 'has repeatedly been observed, that if land be manured with dung, ' after the hay has been carried off, the neat cattle will refuse to eat 'the eddish (rowan) which grows upon such land. On the con'trary, if a field be dressed with about two bushels of fine salt, in'stead of dung, soon after the hay is cut, this inconvenience and 'loss will be avoided and a large crop of after-grass will be obtain'ed, possessing such peculiar sweetness, that all kinds of cattle as well as horses, will eat it with the utmost avidity.' VOL. II.


The farmers in some districts, are accustomed to steep their 'corn in lime-water, and doubtless the practice is often useful; but 'I am decidedly of opinion that a strong brine, made by the solu'tion of rock salt in water, will be infinitely more efficacious. Crops of wheat are often reduced one half in value, by a disease ' to which this kind of grain is very liable, called the smut or rust; 'but when the seed has been properly prepared with salt, this mis'fortune can never happen. It has also been proved by some pub'lic spirited individuals, who have made the necessary experiments, 'that the scab is never found upon potatoes, which have grown upon land that has had a proper dressing of common salt.'

Our review of Mr. Parke's work, and the extracts from it, close here-but we have thought, that, on a subject of so much interest, it may not be amiss to say a few words also concerning the doctrine and practice of other countries, in relation to salt as a ma


This use of salt has been long known in France-particularly in Brittany and as far back as the year 1792, engaged the attention of the agricultural society there, who instituted two sets of experiments on the subject; the one, in the neighbourhood of Paris -the other, in that of Marseilles. The result of these, according to the report of Silvestre (which may be found in the 33d volume of the Annals of French Agriculture) was," that the produce of "land manured with salt, was much greater than that to which " stable dung alone (though in an extraordinary quantity) had "been applied; the difference being 58 kilogrammes, 8 grammes," "in favour of the salt."

Many experiments were also made by M. Feburier, but in these, the salt was combined with cow-dung. "This mixture," he says,


applied to marshy land, or to cold clay soils, was eminently use"ful, but on chalk and sand, it did harm."

One of the greatest difficulties attending the subject, in the present state of our knowledge, is, to ascertain the exact dose, most useful to different kinds of land, and to the same kind of land, under different degrees and kinds of cultivation. On this head Sil.vestre, whom we have already mentioned, quotes with approbation the practice of M. Pluchett, "who thinks 300 lbs. the acre "[about four bushels] the proper dose; and that as more would

probably do harm,-less, would be wholly inefficient."

Few of our readers need be told, that salt is composed of what the chemists call muriatic acid and soda;—but as it is obtained in states very different, and by processes, more or less perfect, its degrees of purity and powers of operation are necessarily wide of

[ocr errors]

a The Gramme is the unit of weight, and is equal to 15.45 grs. Troy. The Kilogramme is equal to 1000 grammes, that is 2 lbs. 3 oz. 5 drms. Avoird.

each other. Salt, obtained from sea-water by distillation, is the purest; fossile salt and that obtained from salt springs, are often mixed with foreign bodies, and frequently with magnesia;—the qualities of which being totally different from those of salt, will, so far as they go, detract from its value, both as a condiment and ma


It ought to be noticed here that the English experiments, stated by Mr. Parke, were made with refuse salt-the mere sweepings of stores and work yards-and estimated variously at one fourth and one half of its bulk in pure salt; while those of France, were made with salt as prepared for culinary purposes, and of course of a better quality-a circumstance, which may sufficiently explain the difference, in the practice of the two countries, in relation to the quantity applied to the acre-the maximum, in France, being four bushels, and in England twenty.

Our readers will probably regret, as we ourselves do—that Mr. Parke, (to whose name is appended so many of the outward and visible signs of science) and still more that M. Silvestre, whom we know to be a distinguished member of the French Institute and Chef de Bureau D'Agriculture in the home department of the government,—should have equally contented themselves with mere reports of the experiments of others, without offering any theory of their own, on the operation of salt as a manure. Though it is not for us to approach a mystery, of which Scavans, like these, have been so shy-still we may be permitted, without, we hope, incurring the imputation of presumption, to make one or two remarks, which connect themselves with the subject.

Vegetables, like animals, are organized beings, possessing the means of receiving and digesting their food. But the organs employed in these processes, are subject to alteration, and frequently, as Physiologists have observed, become languid and unhealthy,requiring for their recovery and well being, the application, not merely of substances affording nutrition, (properly so called) but of others, possessing the power of stimulating or exciting them into new or increased action. To this class of manures, salt has hitherto been confined-but taking for granted the fact admitted, as well by Mr. Parke as by Mr. Silvestre, that its operation was most active and certain on soils abounding in vegetable food (as boggy or marshy land) we are authorized to conclude, that it is not merely a stimulant but a dissolvant also-a caterer, for the very appetite itself creates. But, on this supposition, in what does it differ from Lime?

ART. III. Naval History of the United States, from the commencement of the Revolutionary War to the present time. By THOMAS CLARK, 2 Vols. 12mo. pp. 594. Philadelphia, 1814.

It is the misfortune of the author of this book, to be ignorant of the profession, connected with the events, which he has attempted to record. Sea-faring men are proverbial for their love of the marvellous; and too much of the historical matter of the work, rests on the testimony of those, whose very pursuits, we greatly fear, tend to lessen the obligations of morality, and in many of whom, the lust for gain has overcome the restraints of education. We speak of Privateers-men.-In no country of the civilized world, excepting our own, are men of this description held in any other estimation, than that of a necessary evil: Their wealth may sometimes obtain for them a mercenary consideration; but it is reserved for Christian America, to distinguish these legalized freebooters, by office and commendation. In justice, however, to Mr. Clark, and as an avowal, in some measure due to this portion of the community, we willingly admit, that, owing to the smallness of our regular, and perhaps to the superior attainments of those who compose the mercantile marine, the privateering system, as practised by our own countrymen, has been more creditable to those engaged in it, and, in proportion to their numbers, marked with fewer scenes of profligacy, than that of any other nation. Still, it is idle to expect results, which can only proceed from conduct emanating from principles of honour and integrity, to be often produced among men whose daily business is rapine and plunder; and it is ridiculous to record the desperate struggles of cupidity in retaining its ill-gotten hordes, as the high and chivalrous courage, which prompts a man to lay down his life in maintaining the honour of his country,a The historical facts which are only supported by such testimony, must ever be received with distrust, and the bare-faced boastings of this class of men, during the late war, are too recent in our memories, not to bring with them the recollection of similar vapourings of their achievements, among the private warriors of the enemy-and frequently applied to the same combat. It happened more than once, that an English private-armed ship entered the ports of her country, proudly exhibiting the injuries received in a desperate conflict with a regular American cruizer, which she had beaten off with great loss, and their admiring countrymen were yet in the zenith of their applause, when a paper appears from the western continent, giving the exact counterpart of the tale, with this trifling difference-that the regular pendant

a We are happy to except the conspicuous and disinterested gallantry displayed by the General Armstrong,'' Decatur,' Comet,' and one or two others.

« ForrigeFortsæt »