AGRICULTURE

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AGRICULTURE is the art of cultivating the earth in such a manner as to cause itto produce, in the greatest plenty and perfection, those vegetables which are useful to man, and to the animals which he has subjected to his dominion. This art is the basis of all other arts, and in all countries coeval with the first dawn of civilization. Without agriculture, mankind would be savages, thinly scattered through interminable forests, with no other habitations than caverns, hollow trees or huts, more rude and inconvenient than the most ordinary hovel or cattleshed of the modern cultivator. It is the most universal as well as the most ancient of the arts, and requires the greatest number of operators. It employs seveneighths of the population of almost every civilized community.Agriculture is not only indispensable to national prosperity, but is eminently conducive to the welfare of those who are engaged in it. It gives health to the body, energy to the mind, is favorable to virtuous and temperate habits, and to knowledge and purity of moral character, which are the pillars of good government and the true support of national independence.With regard to the history of agriculture, we must confine ourselves to slight sketches. The first mention of agriculture is found in the writings of Moses. From them we learn that Cain was a " tiller of the ground," that Abel sacrificed the "firstlings of his flock," and that Noah "began to be a husbandman, and planted a vineyard." The Chinese, Japanese, Chaldeans, Egyptians and Phoenicians appear to have held husbandry in high estimation. The Egyptians were so sensible of its blessings, that they ascribed its invention to superhuman agency, and even carried their gratitude to such an absurd excess as to worship the ox, for his services as a laborer. The Carthaginians carried the art of agriculture to a nigher degree than other nations, their contemporaries. Mago, one of their most famous generals, wrote no less than twentyeight books on agricultural topics, which, according to Columella, were translated into Latin by an express decree of the Roman senate.Hesiod, a Greek writer, supposed to be contemporary with Homer, wrote a poem on agriculture, entitled Weeks and Days, which was so denominated because husbandry requires an exact observance of times and seasons. Other Greek writers wrote on rural economy, and Xenophon among the number, but their works have been lost in the lapse of ages.The implements of Grecian agriculture were veiy few and simple. Hesiod mentions a plough, consist ing of three partsthe sharebeam, the draughtpole and the ploughtail; but antiquarians are not agreed as to its exact form; also a cart with low wheels, and ten spans (seven feet six inches) in width; likewise the rake, sickle and oxgoad; but no description is given of the mode in which they were constructed. The operations of Grecian culture, according to Hesiod, were neither numerous nor complicated. The ground received three ploughingsone in autumn, another in spring, and a third immediately before sowing the seed. Manures were applied, and Pliny ascribes their invention to the Grecian king Augeas. Theophrastus mentions six different species of manures, and adds, that a mixture of soils produces the same effect as manures. Clay, he observes, should be mixed with sand, and sand with clay. Seed was sown by hand, and covered with a rake. Grain was reaped with a sickle, bound in sheaves, threshed, then winnowed by wind, laid in chests, bins or granaries, and taken out as wanted by the family, to be pounded in mortars or quern mills into meal.The ancient Romans venerated the plough, and, in the earliest and purest times of the republic, the greatest praise which could be given to an illustrious character was to say that he was an industrious and judicious husbandman. M. Cato, the censor, who was celebrated as a statesman, orator and general, having conquered nations and governed provinces, derived his highest and most durable honors from having written a voluminous work on agriculture. In the Georgics of Virgil, the majesty of verse and the harmony of numbers add dignity and grace to the most useful of all topics. The celebrated Columella flourished in the reign of the emperor Claudius, and wrote twelve books on husbandry, which constituted a complete treatise on rural affairs. Varro, Pliny and Palladius were likewise among the distinguished Romans who wrote on agricultural subjects.With regard to the Roman implements of agriculture, we learn that they used a great many, but their particular forms and uses are very imperfectly described. From what we can ascertain respecting them, they appear more worthy of the notice of the curious antiquarian, than of the practical cultivator. The plough is represented by Cato as of two kindsone for strong, the other for light soils. Varro mentions one with two mouldboards, with which, he says, "when they plough, after sowing the seed, they are said to ridge." Pliny mentions a plough with one mouldboard, and others with a coulter, of which he says there were many kinds.Fallowing was a practice rarely deviated from by the Romans. In most cases, a fallow and a year's crop succeeded each other. Manure was collected from nearly or quite as many sources as have been resorted to by the moderns. Pigeons' dung was esteemed of the greatest value, and, next to that, a mixture of night soil, scrapings of the streets and urine, which were applied to the roots of the vine and olive.The Romans did not bind their corn into sheaves. When cut, it was sent directly to the area to be threshed, and was separated from the chaff by throwing it from one part of the floor to the other. Feeding down grain, when too luxuriant, was practised. Virgil says, " What commendation shall I give to him, who, lest his corn should lodge, pastures it, while young, as soon as the blade equals the furrow!" (Geor., lib. i, 1. 111.) Watering on a large scale was applied both to arable and grass lands. Virgil advises to "bring down the waters of a river upon the sown corn, and, when the field is parched and the plants drying, convey it from the brow of a hill in channels." (Geor., lib. i, 1. 106.)The farm management most approved of by the scientific husbandmen of Rome was, in general, such as would meet the approbation of modern cultivators. The importance of thorough tillage is illustrated by the following apologue: A vinedresser had two daughters and a vineyard; when his oldest daughter was married, he gave her a third of his vineyard for a portion, notwithstanding which he had the same quantity of fruit as formerly. When his youngest daughter was married, he gave her half of what remained ; still the produce of his vineyard was undiminished. This result was the consequence of his bestowing as much labor on the third part left after his daughters had received their portions, as he had been accustomed to give to the whole vineyard.The Romans, unlike many conquerors, instead of desolating, improved the countries which they subdued. They seldom or never burned or laid waste conquered countries, but labored to civilize the inhabitants, and introduce the arts necessary for promoting their comfort and happiness. To facilitate communications from one district or town to another, seems to have been a primary object with them, and their works of this kind are still discernible in numerous places. By employing their troops in this way, when not engaged in active service, their commanders seem to have had greatly the advantage over our modern generals. The Roman soldiers, instead of loitering in camps, or rioting in towns, enervating their strength, and corrupting their morals, were kept regularly at work, on objects highly beneficial to the interests of those whom they subjugated.In the ages of anarchy and barbarism which succeeded the fall of the Roman empire, agriculture was almost wholly abandoned. Pasturage was preferred to tillage, because of the facility with which sheep, oxen, &c. can be driven away or concealed on the approach of an enemy.The conquest of England by the Normans contributed to the improvement of agriculture in Great Britain. Owing to that event, many thousands of husbandmen, from the fertile and wellcultivated plains of Flanders and Normandy, settled in Great Britain, obtained farms, and employed the same methods in cultivating them, which they had been accustomed to use in their native countries. Some of the Norman barons were great improvers of their lands, and were celebrated in history for their skill in agriculture. The Norman clergy, and especially the monks, did still more in this way than the nobility. The monks of every monastery retained such of their lands as they could most conveniently take charge of, and these they cultivated with great care under their own inspection, and frequently with their own hands. The famous Thomas a Becket, after he was archbishop of Canterbury, used to go out into the field with the monks of the monastery where he happened to reside, and join with them in retting their corn and making their hay. The implements of agriculture, at this period, were similar to those in most common use in modern times. The various operations of husbandry, such as manuring, ploughing, sowing, harrowing, reaping, threshing, winnowing, &c. are incidentally meiirtioned by the writers of those days, but it is impossible to collect from them a definite account of the manner in which those operations were performed.The first English treatise on husbandry was published in the reign of Henry VIII, by sir A. Fitzherbert, judge of the common pleas. It is entitled the Book of Hus* bandry, and contains directions for draining, clearing and enclosing a farm, for enriching the soil, and rendering it fit for tillage. Lime, marl and fallowing are strongly recommended. " The author of the Book of Husbandry," says Mr. Lou don, " writes from his own experience of more than forty years, and, if we except his biblical allusions, and some vestiges of the superstition of the Roman writers about the influence of the moon, there is very little of his work which should be omitted, and not a great deal that need be added, in so far as respects the culture of corn, in a manual of husbandry adapted to the present time."Agriculture attained some eminence during the reign of Elizabeth. The principal writers of that period were Tusser, Googe and sir Hugh Piatt. Tusser's Five Hundred Points of Husbandry W£? published in 1562, and conveys much useful instruction in metre. The treatise of Barnaby Googe, entitled Whole Art of Husbandly, was printed in 1558. Sir Hugh Piatt's work was entitled Jewel Houses of Art and Nature, and was printed in 1594. In the former work, says Loudon, are many valuable hints on the progress of husbandry in the early part of the reign of Elizabeth. Among other curious things, he asserts that the Spanish or Merino sheep was originally derived from England.Several writers on agriculture appeared in England during the commonwealth, whose names, and notices of their works, may be seen in Loudon's Encyclopaedia of Agriculture. From the restoration down to the middle of the eighteenth century, agriculture remained almost stationary. Immediately after that period, considerable improvement in the process of culture was introduced by Jethro Tull, a gentleman of Berkshire, who began to drill wheat and other crops about the year 1701, end whose Horsehoeing Husbandry was published in 1731. Though this writer's theories were in some respects erroneous, yet even his errors were of service, by exciting inquiry, and calling the attention of husbandmen to important objects. His hostility to manures, and attempting, in all cases, to substitute additional tillage in their place, were prominent defects in his system. After the time of Tull's publication, no great alteration in British agriculture took place, till Robert Bakewell and others effected some important improvements in the breed of cattle, sheep and swine. By skilful selection at first, and constant care afterwards to breed from the best animals, Bakewell at last obtained a variety of sheep, which, for early maturity and the property of returning a great quantity of mutton for the food which they consume, as well as for the small proportion which the weight of the offal bears to the four quarters, were without precedent. Culley, Cline, lord Somerville, sir J. S. Sebright, Darwin, Hunt, Hunter, Young, &c. &c. have all contributed to the improvement of domestic animals, and have left little to be desired in that branch of rural economy.Among other works on agriculture, of distinguished merit, may be mentioned the Farmer's Letters, Tour in France, Annals of Agriculture, &c. &c. by the celebrated Arthur Young; Marshall's numerous and excellent works, commencing with Minutes of Agriculture, published in 1787, and ending with his Review of the Agricultural Reports in 1816; Practical Agriculture, by Dr. R. W. Dickson, &c. &c. The writings of Kaimes, Anderson and Sinclair exhibit a union of philosophical sagacity and patient experiment, which have produced results of great importance to the British nation and to the world. To these we shall only add the name of John Loudon, F. L. S. H. S., whose elaborate Encyclopaedia of Gardening and Encyclopaedia of Agriculture have probably never been surpassed by any similar works in any language.The establishment of a national board of agriculture was of very great service to British husbandry. Hartlib, a century before, and lord Kaimes, in his Gentleman Farmer, had pointed out the utility of such an institution, but it was left to sir John Sinclair to carry their ideas into execution. To the indefatigable exertions of that worthy and eminent man the British public are indebted for an institution, whose services cannot be too highly appreciated. " It made farmers, residing in different parts of the kingdom, acquainted with one another, and caused a rapid dissemination of knowledge amongst the whole profession. The art of agriculture was brought into fashion, old practices were amended, new ones introduced, and a degree of exertion called forth heretofore unexampled among agriculturists in this island."We shall now make a few remarks on the agriculture of different countries of Europe and of the U. States. French agriculture began to flourish early in the 17th century, under Henry IV, and a work on that subject was published by Olivier deSerres. In 1761, there were 13 agricultural societies in France, and 19 auxiliary societies. Those of Paris, Amiens and Bourdeaux have distinguished themselves by their memoirs. Du Hamel and Buffon made the study of rural economy fashionable, and other writers contributed to the advance ment of husbandry. M. de Trudaine introduced the Merino breed of sheep in 1776, and count Lasteyrie has written a valuable work on sheephusbandry. The celebrated Arthur Young made an agricultural survey of France in 1787- 89. Since that time, several French and English writers have given the statistics of different districts, and the mode of cultivation there in use, and the abbe Rosier and professor Thouin have published general views of the whole kingdom. Buonaparte established many new agricultural societies and professorships, botanical and economical gardens, for the exhibition of. different modes of culture, and the dissemination of plants. He also greatly enlarged and enriched that extensive institution, the National Garden, whose professor of culture, the chevalier Thouin, is one of the most scientific agriculturists in Europe.The lands in France are not generally enclosed and subdivided by hedges or other fences. Some fences occur near towns, but, in general, the whole country is open, the boundaries of estates being marked by slight ditches or ridges, with occasional stones or heaps of earth, trees in rows or thinly scattered. Depredations from passengers on the highways are prevented by gardes champdtres, which are established throughout all France.Since the time of Colbert, the French have paid attention to sheep, and there are considerable flocks of Merinos owned by individuals, besides the national flocks. That of Rambouillet, established in 1786, is, or lately was, managed by M. Tessier, an eminent writer on agriculture. Sheep are generally housed, or kept in folds and little yards or enclosures. Mr. Birkbeck considers the practice of housing or confining sheep as the cause of footrot, a disease very common among them in France, Where flocks remain out all night, the shepherd sleeps in a small thatched hut, or portable house, placed on wheels. He guides the flock by walking before them, and his dog guards them from wolves, which still abound in some parts of the country. In the south part of France, the ass and the mule are of frequent use in husbandry. A royal stud of Arabian horses has been kept up at Aurillac, in Limousin, for more than a century, and another has been more recently established near Nismes. Poultry is an important article in French husbandry. Mr. Birkbeck thinks that the consumption of poultry in towns may be equal to that of mutton. The breed of swine is in general bad; but fine hams are made in Bretagne from hogs reared on acorns, and fatted with Indian corn.The French implements of agriculture are generally rude and unwieldy, and the operations of husbandry unskilfully performed.The vine is cultivated in France in fields and on terraced hills, in a way different from that which prevails elsewhere. It is planted in hills, like Indian corn, kept low, and managed like a plantation of raspberries. The white mulberry tree is very extensively cultivated for feeding the silkworm. It is not placed in regular plantations, but in corners, in rows by the sides of roads, &c. The trees are raised from the seed in nurseries, and sold, generally, at five years' growth, when they have strong stems. They are planted, staked, and treated as pollards. The eggs of the silkworm are hatched in rooms heated by means of stoves to 18° of Reaumur (72£ Fah.) One ounce of eggs requires one hundred weight of leaves, and will produce from 7 to 9 pounds of raw Silk. The hatching commences about the end of April, and, with the feeding, is over in about a month. Second broods are procured in some places. The silk is wound off the cocoons, in little balls, by women and children. The olive, the fig, the almond and various other fruits are also extensively cultivated in France. Agriculture in Germany, The earliest German writer on husbandry was Conradus Heresbachius, who lived and died in the 16th century. His work, De Re Rustica, was an avowed compilation from all the authors who had preceded him. No other books on agriculture, of any note, appeared previous to the 17th century. With regard to the present state of agriculture in Germany, we would remark, that the country is very extensive, and presents a great variety of soils, surface, climate and culture. Its agricultural produce is, for the most part, consumed within its limits; but excellent wines are exported from Hungary and the Rhine, together with flax, hams, geese, . silk, &c. The culture of the mulberry and the rearing of the silkworm are carried on as far north as Berlin. The theoretical agriculturists are well acquainted with all the improved implements of Great Britain, and some of them have been introduced, especially in Holstein, Hanover and Westphalia; but, generally, speaking the ploughs, wagons, &c. are unwieldy and inefficient. Fish are carefully bred and fattened m some places, espe cially in Prussia, and poultry is every where attended to, particularly in the neighborhood of Vienna. The culture of forests likewise receives particular attention in that country as well as in France. The common agriculture of Germany is every where improving. Government, as well as individuals, have formed institutions for the instruction of youth in its principles. The Imperial Society of V enna, the Georgical Institution at Presburg, and that of professor Thaer, in Prussia, may be numbered among recent institutions of this description. Agriculture in Italy. The climate, soil and surface of Italy are so various as to have given rise to a greater diversity of culture than is to be found in the whole of Europe besides. Corn, grass, butcher's meat, cheese, butter, rice, silk, cotton, wine, oil and fruits of all kinds are found in perfection in this fertile country. Loudon asserts that only onefifth of the surface of Italy is considered sterile, while only a fifth of the surface of France is considered fertile. The population of Italy is greater, in proportion to its surface, than that of either France or Great Britain. Among the writers on the rural economy of Italy are, Arthur Young, in 1788, Sismondi, in 1801, and Chateauvieux, in 1812.In Lombardy, the lands are generally farmed by metayers (from meta, half). The landlord pays the taxes and repairs the buildings. The tenant provides cattle, implements and seeds, and the produce is divided. The irrigation of lands, in Lombardy, is a remarkable feature of Italian husbandry. All canals taken from rivers are the property of the state, and may be carried through any man's land, provided they do not pass through a garden, or within a certain distance of a mansion, on paying the value of the ground occupied. Water is not only employed for grasslands (which, when fully watered, are mowed four and sometimes five times a year, and, in some cases, as early as March), but is conducted between the narrow ridges of cornlands, in the hollows between drilled crops, among vines, or to flood lands, to the depth of a foot or more, which are sown with rice. Water is also used for depositing a surface of mud, in some places where it is charged with that material. The details of watering, for these and other purposes, are given in various works, and collected in those of professor Re. In general, watered lands let at one third higher price than those not irrigated.The imple ments and operations of agriculture in Lombardy are both imperfect. The plough is a rude contrivance, with a handle 13 or 14 feet long. But the cattle are fed with extraordinary care. They are tied up in stalls, bled once or twice, cleaned and rubbed with oil, afterwards combed and brushed twice a day. Their food in summer is clover or other green herbage ; in winter, a mixture of elmleaves, cloverhay, and pulverized walnutcake, over which boiling water is poured, and bran and salt added. In a short time, the cattle cast their hair, grow smooth, round and fat, and so improved as to double their value to the butcher.The tomato or loveapple {solarium lycopersicum), sc extensively used in Italian cookery, forms an article of fieldculture near Pompeii, and especially in Sicily, from whence it is sent to Naples, Rome and several towns on the Mediterranean sea. Agriculture of the U. States of America. The territory of the U. States is very extensive, and presents almost every variety of soil and climate. The agriculture of this widespread country embraces all the products of European cultivation, together with some (such as sugar and indigo) which are rarely made objects of tillage in any part of Europe. A full description of the agriculture of these states would require a large volume. We shall confine ourselves to such sketches as we may deem of most practical importance to those who are or intend to become cultivators of North American soil.The farms of the Eastern, Northern and Middle States consist, generally, of from 50 to 200 acres, seldom rising to more than 300, and generally falling short of 200 acres. These farms are enclosed, and divided either by stone walls, or rail fences made of timber, hedges not being common. The building first erected on a "new lot," or on a tract of land not yet cleared from its native growth of timber, is what is called a loghouse. This is a hut or cabin made of round, straight logs, about a foot in diameter, lying on each other, and notched in at the corners. The intervals between the logs are filled with slips of wood, and the crevices generally stopped with mortar made of clay. The fireplace commonly consists of rough stones, so placed as to form a hearth, on which wood may be burned. Sometimes these stones are made to assume the form of a chimney, and are carried up through the roof; and sometimes a hole in the roof is the only substitute for a chimney. The roof is made of rafters, forming an acute angle at the summit of the erection, and is covered with shingles, commonly split from pinetrees, or with bark, peeled from; the hemlock (pinus canadensis).When the occupant or "first settler" of this " new land" finds himself in " comfortable circumstances," he builds what is styled a kt frame house," composed of timber, held together by tenons, mortises and pins, and boarded, shingled and clapboarded on the outside, and often painted white, sometimes red. Houses of this kind generally contain a diningroom and kitchen and three or four bedrooms on the same floor. They are rarely destitute of good cellars, which the nature of the climate renders almost indispensable. The farmbuildings consist of a barn, proportioned to the size of the farm, with stalls for horses and cows on each side, and a threshingfloor in the middle; and the more wealthy farmers add a cellar under the barn, a part of which receives the manure from the stalls, and another part serves as a storeroom for roots, &c. for feeding stock. What is called a cornbarn is likewise very common, which is built exclusively for storing the ears of Indian corn. The sleepers of this building are generally set up four or five feet from the ground, on smooth stone posts or pillars, which rats, mice or other vermin cannot ascend.With regard to the best manner of clearing forestland from its natural growth of timber, the following observations may be of use to a " first settler." In those parts of the country where wood is of but little value, the trees are felled in one of the summer months, the earlier in the season the better, as the stumps will be less apt to sprout, and the trees will have a longer time to dry. The trees lie till the following spring, when such limbs as are not veiy near the ground should be cut off, that they may burn the better. Fire must be put to them in the driest part of the month of May, or, if the whole of that month prove wet, it may be applied in the beginning of June. Only the bodies of the trees will remain after burning, and some of them will be burned into pieces. Those which require to be made shorter are cut in pieces nearly of a length, drawn together by oxen, piled in close heaps, and burned, such trees and logs being reserved as may be needed for fencing the lot The heating of the soil so destroys the green roots, and the ashes made by the burning are so beneficial as manure to the land, that it will produce a good crop of wheat or Indian corn without ploughing, hoeing or manuring.If new land lie in such a situation that its natural growth may turn to better account, whether for timber or firewood, it will be an unpardonable waste to burn the wood on the ground. But if the trees be taken offJ the land must be ploughed after clearing, or it will not produce a crop of any kind. The following remarks on this subject are extracted from some observations by Samuel Preston, of Stockport, Pennsylvania, a very observing cultivator. They were first published in the New England Farmer, Boston, Massachusetts, and may prove serviceable to settlers on uncleared lands. Previous to undertaking to clear land, Mr. Preston advises," 1st. Take a view of all large trees, and see which way they may be felled for the greatest number of small trees to be felled alongside or on them. After felling the large trees, only lop down their limbs; but all such as are felled near them should be cut in suitable lengths for two men to roll and pile about the large trees, by which means they may be nearly all burned up, without cutting into lengths, or the expense of a strong team, to draw them together. 2d. Fell all the other trees parallel, and cut them into suitable lengths, that they may be readily rolled together without a team, always cutting the largest trees first, that the smallest may be loose on the top, to feed the fires. 3d. On hillsides, fell the timber in a level direction; then the logs will roll together; but if the trees are felled down hill, all the logs must be turned round before they can be rolled, and there will be stumps in the way. 4th. By following these directions, two men may readily heap and burn most of the timber, without requiring any team ; and perhaps the brands and the remains of the logheaps may all be wanted to burn up the old, fallen trees. After proceeding as directed, the ground will be clear for a team and sled to draw the remains of the heaps where they may be wanted round the old logs. Never attempt either to chop or draw a large log, until the size and weight are reduced by fire. The more fireheaps there are made on the clearing, the better, particularly about the old logs, where there is rotten wood. The best time of the year to fell the timber in a great measure depends on the season's being wet or dry. Most people prefer having it felled in the month of June, when the leaves are of full size. Then, by spreading the leaves and brush over the ground (ib+ they should not be heaped), if there should be a very dry time the next May, fire may be turned through it, and will burn the leaves, limbs and top of the ground, so that a very good crop of Indian corn and pumpkins may be raised among the logs by hoeing. After these crops come oft', the land may be cleared and sowed late with rye and timothy grass, or with oats and timothy in the spring. If what is called a good burn cannot be had in May, keep the fire out until some very dry time in July or August; then clear off the land, and sow wheat or rye and timothy, harrowing several times, both before and after sowing; for, after the fire has been over the ground, the scd of timothy should be introduced as soon as the other crops will admit, to prevent briers, alders, firecherries, &c. from springing up from such seeds as were not consumed by the fire. The timothy should stand four or five years, either for mowing or pasture, until the small roots of the foresttrees are rotten; then it may be ploughed; and the best mode which I have observed is, to plough it very shallow in the autumn; in the spring, crossplough it deeper, harrow it well, and it will produce a firstrate crop of Indian corn and potatoes, and, the next season, the largest and best crop of flax that I have ever seen, and be in order to cultivate with any kinds of grain, or to lay down again with grass.These directions are to be understood as applying to what are generally called beech lands, and the chopping may be done any time in the winter, when the snow is not too deep to cut low stumps, as the leaves are then on the ground. By leaving the brush spread abroad, I have known such winter choppings to burn as well in a dry time in August as that which had been cut the summer before."The agricultural implements and farming operations of the U. States are, in most particulars, very similar to those of Great Britain. Circumstances, however, require variations, which the sagacity of the American cultivator will lead him to adopt, often in contradiction to the opinions of those who understand the science better than the practice of husbandry. In Europe, land is dear and labor cheap; but in the U. States, the reverse is the case. The European cultivator is led, by a regard to his own interest, to endeavor to make the most of his land; the American cultivator has the same inducement to make the most of his labor. Perhaps, however, this principle, in America, is generally earned to an unprofitable extreme, ana the farmers would derive more benefit from their land, if they were to limit their operations to such parts of their possessions as they can afford to till thoroughly and to manure abundantly. A man may possess a large landed estate, without being called on by good husbandry to hack and scratch over the whole, as evidence of his title. He may cultivate well those parts which are naturally most fertile, and suffer the rest to remain woodland, or, having cleared a part, lay it down to permanent pasture, which will yield him an annual profit, without requiring much labor.The climate and soil of the U. States are adapted to the cultivation of Indian corn, a very valuable vegetable, which, it has been supposed, could not be raised to advantage in Great Britain.* This entirely and very advantageously supersedes the field culture of the horsebean (vicia /aba), one of the most common fallow crops in that island. The root husbandry, or the raising of roots for the purpose of feeding cattle, is likewise of less importance in the U. States than in Great Britain. The winters are so severe in the northern section of the Union, that turnips can rarely be fed on the ground, and all sorts of roots are with more difficulty preserved and dealt out to stock, in this country, than in those which possess a milder climate. Besides, hay is more easily made from grass in the U States than in Great Britain, owing to the season for haymaking being generally more dry, and the sun more powerful. There are many other circumstances which favor the American farmer, and render his situation more eligible than that of the European. He is generally the owner as well as the occupier of the soil which he cultivates; is not burthened with tithes; his taxes are light; and the product of his labors will command more of the necessaries, comforts and innocent luxuries of life.The American public seem, at present, fully aware of the importance of spirited and scientific agriculture. The state of Massachusetts has appropriated considerable sums to add to the funds of the agricultural societies in that commonwealth. Institutions for the promotion of husbandry, cattleshows and exhibitions of manufactures are common in every part of the Union.* Mr. Cobbett has lately attempted to raise Indian corn in England. In a book which he published in London, 1828, (A Treatise on Cobbett7s Corn,) heprofesses to have met with much success in the cul tare of it.A periodical publication, entitled the American Farmer, is established at Baltimore, and another, called the New England Farmer, is published in Boston. Men of talents, wealth and enterprise have distinguished themselves by their laborious and liberal efforts for the improvement of American husbandry. Merino sheep have been imported by general Humphreys, chancellor Livingston and others, and are now common in the U. States. The most celebrated breeds of British cattle have been imported by colonel Powel of Powelton, near Philadelphia; and there prevails a general disposition, among men of intelligence and high standing in the community, to promote the prosperity of American agriculture.We shall conclude with a few brief notices of some of the most prominent benefits and improvements which modern science has contributed to the art of agriculture. The husbandmen of antiquity, as well as those of the middle ages, were destitute of many advantages enjoyed by the modern cultivator. Neither the practical nor the theoretical agriculturists of those periods had any correct knowledge of geology, mineralogy, chemistry, botany, vegetable physiology or natural philosophy; but these sciences have given the modern husbandman the command of important agents, elements and principles, of which the ancients had no idea. The precepts of their writers were conformable to their experience; but the rationale of the practices they prescribed they could not, and rarely attempted to explain. Nature's most simple modes of operation were to them inexplicable, and their ignorance of causes often led to erroneous calculations with regard to effects. We are indebted to modern science for the following among other improvements: viz. 1. A correct knowledge of the nature and properties of manures, mineral, animal and vegetable ; the best modes of applying them, and the particular crops for which particular sorts of manures are best suited. 2. The method of using all manures of animal and vegetable origin while fresh, before the sun, air and rain, or other moisture, has robbed them of their most valuable properties. It was formerly the practice to place barnyard manure in layers or masses for the purpose of rotting, and turn it over frequently with the plough or spade, till the whole had become a mere caput mortuum, destitute of almost all its original fertilizing substances, and deteriorated in quality almost as much as it was reduced in quantity. 3. The knowledge and means of chemically analyzing soils, by which we can ascertain 'their constituent parts, and thus learn what substances are wanted to increase their fertility. 4. The introduction of the root husbandry, or the raising of potatoes, turnips, mangelwurzel, &c. extensively, by field husbandry, for feeding cattle, by which a given quantity of land may be made to produce much more nutritive matter than if it were occupied by grain or grass crops, and the health as well as the thriving of t&e unsnais in the winter season greatly promoted. 5. Laying down lands to grass, either for pasture or mowing, with a greater variety of grasses, and with kinds adapted to a greater variety of soils ; such as orchardgrass [dadylis glomerata), for dry land, foulmeadowgrass {agrostis stricta), for very wet land; herds'grass or timothy (phleum pratense), for stiff, clayey soils, &c. &c. 6. The substitution of fallow crops (or such crops as require cultivation and stirring of the ground while the plants are growing), in the place of naked fallows, in which the land is allowed to remain without yielding any profitable product, in order to renew its fertility. Fields may be so foul with weeds as to require a fallow, but not what is too often understood by that term in this country. " In England, when a farmer is compelled to fallow a field, he lets the weeds grow into blossom, and then turns them down; in America, a fallow means a field where the produce is a crop of weeds running to seed, instead of a crop of grain." 7. The art of breeding the best animals and the best vegetables, by a judicious selection of individuals to propagate from.These improvements, with others too numerous to be here specified, have rendered the agriculture of the present period very different from that of the middle ages when it had sunk far below the degree of perfection which it had reached among the Romans. AGRIGENTUM, in ancient geogr.; now Girgenti or Agrigenti; a town in Sicily, in the valley of Mazara. about three miles from the coast. The modern town is near the ruins of the ancient one, is a bishop's see, and lies on the river St. Blaise, 47 miles S. Palermo; long. 13° 33' E.; lat. 37° 22', N : pop. 11,876.A. was much renowned among the ancients. Different stories are told of its foundation, among which is the fabulous tale, that Dasdalus, who fled to Sicily from the resentment of Minos, erected it. Its situation was peculiarly strong and imposing, standing as it feet above the level of the gea. To this military advantage, the city added those of a commercial nature, being near to the sea, which afforded the means of an easy intercourse with the ports of Africa and the south of Europe. The soil of A. was very fertile. By means of these advantages, the wealth of A. became very great. It was therefore considered the second city in Sicily, and Polybius says (1. ix.) that it surpassed in grandeur of appearance, on account of its many temples and splendid public buildings, most of its contemporaries. Among the most magnificent of these buildings were the temples of Minerva, of Jupiter Atabyris, of Hercules, and of Jupiter Olympius; the latter, which vied in size and grandeur of design with the finest buildings of Greece, is said by Diodorus (Sic. 1. xiii.) to have been340 feet long, 60 broad, and 120 high, the foundation not being included, which was itself remarkable for the immense arches upon which it stood. The temple was ornamented with admirable sculpture. But a war prevented the completion of it, when the roof only remained unfinished. Near the city was an artificial lake, cut out of the solid rock, about a mile in circuit, and thirty feet deep; from which fish were obtained in abundance for the public feasts. Swans and other waterfowl frequented it. Afterwards, the mud having been suffered to accumulate in this basin, it was turned into a remarkably fruitful vineyard. Both the temple of Jupiter Olympius and the lake wrere the work of a number of Carthaginian captives. The people of Agrigentum were noted for their luxurious and extravagant habits. Their horses were also famous. (Virgil, Mn. 1. iii. v. 705.) After the expulsion of the Carthaginians from Sicily, it fell, with little resistance, under the power of the Romans. Diodorus states the population, in its best days, to have been not less than 120,000 persons. Many of the modern writers describe minutely this interesting spot. Christian churches have there, as in many other places, been erected out of the remains of temples.