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THE AGRICULTURE OF ENGLAND.

THE AGRICULTURE OF ENGLAND.*

MR. WEBSTER has at all periods of life cherished a rong attachment to agricultural pursuits. Of late years, when not obliged to be at Washington, in the discharge of his public duties, he has resided wholly on his farm at Marshfield, Massachusetts. The condition of the agriculture of England was one of the objects which most received his attention, during his short visit to that country in 1839. On his return to the United States in January, 1840, a strong desire was entertained by his friends to meet him on some public occasion, and a wish was expressed, particularly by many members of the Legislature of Massachusetts, who were in the habit of holding occasional meetings for the discussion of agricultural subjects, to learn the result of his observations on the present state of English agriculture. These wishes were communicated to Mr. Webster, and an early day was appointed for a meeting, at which the following remarks were made by him.

Mr. CHAIRMAN, I would observe in the outset of these remarks, that I regard agriculture as the leading interest of society; and as having, in all its relations, a direct and intimate bearing upon human comfort and the national prosperity. I have been familiar with its operations in my youth; and I have always looked upon the subject with a lively and deep interest. I do not esteem myself to be particularly qualified to judge of the subject in all its various aspects and departments; and 1 neither myself regard, nor would I have others regard, my opinions as authoritative. But the subject has been one of careful observation to me, both in public and private life; and my visit to Europe, at a season of the year particularly favorable for this purpose, has given me the opportunity of seeing its improved husbandry, and as far as it may be interesting, or can have a bearing upon the subject of the evening's discussion, the agriculture of Massachusetts, I will, as the meeting appear to expect, say a few words upon what has attracted my notice.

* Remarks on the Agriculture of England, made at a Meeting of the Legislature of Massachusetts, and others interested in Agriculture, held at the StateHouse in Boston, on the Evening of the 13th of January, 1840.

How far, in a question of this kind, the example of other countries is to be followed, is an inquiry worthy of much consideration. The example of a foreign country may be too closely followed. It will furnish a safe rule of imitation only as far as the circumstances of the one country correspond with those of the other.

The great objects of agriculture, and the great agricultural products of England and of Massachusetts, are much the same. Neither country produces olives, nor rice, nor cotton, nor the sugar-cane. Bread, meat, and clothing are the main productions of both. But, although the great productions are mainly the same, there are many diversities of condition and circumstances, and various modes of culture.

The primary elements which enter into the consideration of the agriculture of a country are four, — climate, soil, price of land, and price of labor. In any comparison, therefore, of the agriculture of England with that of Massachusetts, these elements are to be taken particularly into view.

The climate of England differs essentially from that of this country. England is on the western side of the eastern, and we on the eastern side of the western continent. The climate of all countries is materially affected by their respective situations in relation to the ocean. The winds which prevail most, both in this country and in England, are from the west. It is known that the wind blows, in our latitude, from some point west to some point east, on an average of years, nearly or quite three days out of four. These facts are familiar. The consequences resulting from them are, that our winters are colder and our summers much hotter than in England. Our latitude is about that of Oporto, yet the temperature is very different. On these accounts, therefore, the maturing of the crops.in England, and the power of using these crops, creates a material difference between its agriculture and ours. It may be supposed that our climate must resemble that of China in the same latitudes; and this fact may have an essential bearing upon that branch of agriculture which it is proposed to introduce among us, the production of silk.

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