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fame*—active, wealthy, leather-scented Danvers and central, hill-girt, quiet Topsfield.
Now let the visual ray trace as with luminous radius, the curved outline of our sea-coast :—from old Newbury (which of course includes its Port) through ancient Rowley and Ipswich-through Chebacco— lost, but venerated name!-- by Squam, Sandy Bay, Pigeon Cove and the Harbor-where Queen Anne's craggy promontory juts out into the seathrough villa-bordered Manchester - bean-loving Beverlywitch-haunted Salem ;-over that populous, piscatory ledge, formerly and still I suppose known to its hardy occupants by the name of “Mobblehead”-to rocky, marshy, manystitching, many-pegging Lynn, redeemed from monotony by picturesque and delightful Nahant.
In this survey, the eye has swept full half-circle roundover more than fifty miles of coast :-a coast of creeks and coves and harbors and headlands -- of pleasant sea-beaches and rugged sea-cliffs and better still, a coast dotted all along with populous and prosperous towns.
Citizens of Essex-men of its interior-sigh not idly for remote, and to you, it may be, inaccessible displays of what is beautiful and grand in the natural world, when an hour's ride will place any of you face to face with one of the fairest, most glorious creations of the Infinite Hand--face to face with old Ocean himself-capricious, indeed, but ever beautiful, ever grand, whether he kisses the shore with soft whispers of affection-or lashes and shakes it in his loud yet impo
No one familiar with the Seasons of Thomson, can have forgotten his description of the prospect from Richmond Hill. For me—a boy—it had an unwearying charm—and often as I dwelt in imagination on the poet's picture, the wish and the hope arose that I might, one day, look on the original. The portraitures of Fancy, though aided by the liveliest description, do indeed often lead to disappointment when the
real objects come actually before' us. I confess, however, to no such feeling in reference to that charming bit of English landscape. Gazing, as it has been 'my happiness to gaze, more than once, on that portion of tne Thames' valley which extends thirty miles west from London, I could heartily reecho the exclamation of the Bard:
Heavens! what a goodly prospect spreads around,
The evidence everywhere visible of high cultivation—the all-pervading charm of neatness and beauty—the broad, rich fields unmarred by cross-fences - the long hedge-rows of quick set, loaded in Spring-time with bloom and fragrancethe grand, old parks, whose giant trees date back perhaps to the Norman conquest—the close-shaven lawn, on whose green velvet pile, it is a luxury to look, a luxury to tread—the shrubbery, the vines, the flowers, which cluster so profusely round the abodes of the middling classes, and which so generally adorn even the humblest cottage—the perfect roads over which you may roll in unjolted comfort, and the narrow lanes through which you walk, to get a nearer view, and to compare their rural sights and sounds with impressions long since derived from your reading of English poetry or romance ;—these are features, which, as yet, are almost wholly denied to our Essex landscape. Yet, who can doubt that
ith advancing husbandry, improving taste, and increasing wealth, all desirable beauties and advantages will also come?
There are, indeed, other objects visible from Richmond Hill-objects of no common interest, but which look far better there, than they would look here. We have no reason to regret that it is necessary to cross three thousand miles of sea, if we would behold an over-grown metropolis like London-or look on such resting-places of royalty as Hampton was and Windsor is-or follow and fee some " half-groom,
half-seneschal”—as he bows us through the splendid halls, saloons, and galleries of his lord's palatial mansion.
If it be a dictate of genuine philanthropy-nay of common humanity—that we should seek the greatest good of the greatest number,-a principle of action which few among us will question—no true American can look on the lovely scenery of England with unmixed satisfaction. To his mind's eye one essential element of beauty is wanting there. He cannot forget that all the fair domain in sight, belongs to the few, and not to the many ; that the occupants of those farmhouses are not the owners of them; and that neither the farmer, nor the laborer, whose skill and toil have wrought such wonders, possesses an acre of the land which his hands have transformed into a second Eden.
The population of Great Britain is nearly equal to that of the United States. If I remember rightly the whole of her territory—not quite so large as ours—belongs to about 30,000 persons. If this unequal distribution of property suits the people of that country, there is no reason why it should disquiet us. It certainly has no tendency either in its nature, or its workings, to make us dissatisfied with our own condition in that respect. No, my friends, as we look down from yonder heights, on farm, village, and town—the cheerful prospect owes its highest charm to our knowledge of the fact, that these cultured lands,—these comfortable homes,-these busy workshops—are held, with scarce an exception, by men who are tenants in fee, and not tenants at will: the fact, that no broad seignories, honors, or manors, granted in feudal days, and locked up by laws of entail and primogeniture, in the hands of a small and privileged class, are here to be seen, usurping and engrossing that soil, which should be free to the heritage, or, at least, to the acquisition of all.
In a discourse which purports to have, at least, something to do with agriculture, I feel bound to notice here, an argument which is confidently urged by some of our English friends, in behalf of their unequal system. Briefly, then, it
is, they, say, absolutely necessary to agricultural progress and improvement. It is only where the land is parceled out in large estates, and belongs to men of wealth and intelligence, that experimental husbandry can be successfully carried on. Experiments and novel processes, to yield a general and reliable result, should be conducted on a large scale. They require a liberal outlay-with a capital which can afford to wait long for profitable returns, and which will not be seriously impaired though the experiments should fail. They demand concentrated, harmonious, persevering action—and such action can be expected only where ample means are wielded by a single mind and single will.
And it is, we are told, just this condition of things,-it is the existence in Great Britain of large, enlightened landowners, that has made her agriculture what it is. While in France, and other countries, where the land is owned by millions of small proprietors in little strips and parcels, there is no visible improvement in the husbandry, and from the nature of the case, never can be.
Such, substantially, is the reasoning of the English landlord. To a certain degree, and in an important sense, I think he is right. The broad lands—the long purse—the single purpose~and the persistent action-do offer a very great advantage in experimental agriculture. On our small farms and with our moderate capitals, the grand operations of English farming are simply impossible—and there must be great changes in our social and general condition, before we shall see a tract of 5000 acres—the property of an individualreceiving the benefit of drainage, under one grand, systematic and scientific operation from a force of several engineers, and of several hundred men. What would here be thought of such an experiment as that of Mr. Walker on his farm of Newbold Range—where he takes the entire sewage of the town of Rugby-lifts it by steam-power to a height of sixty feet-sends it through more than five miles of iron pipe to all parts of his land and then, by means of hydrants and
of hose, scatters the fragrant spray over every rod of the ground?
Undoubtedly the science and the art of agriculture are largely indebted for their present advanced condition to the liberal and skillful farming of the English nobility and gentry—to their ample domains and their abundant resources. Let them have all the credit they deserve. But even this unquestioned good may be bought too dear. If agricultural improvement can be expected only where the land belongs to a small and powerful aristocracy-and if such an arrangement involves—(as in England it certainly does seem to involve)—the degradation of the masses—then I think we should say—let improvement take care of itself. Surely it is far better that we should get a smaller yield of grass and ruta-bagas, than that man should wither and decay.
But though we have conceded something to the British argument--let it not be supposed that we give up the whole ground-or that we despair of all progress and improvement in agriculture, because our farms and our pecuniary resources are of so limited extent. On the contrary, there has been, as you know, a substantial advance, in our American agriculture, and the signs of a still more auspicious era for the farmer, multiply and brighten on every hand. Meanwhile our generous and well-wishing brethren across the water will, of course, continue their magnificent and praise.worthy .operations, not, we trust, without an occasional thrill of disinterested pleasure in the thought, that the class of small farmers in other lands (a class, by the way, which outnumbers them, a thousand to one) though unable to add anything of consequence to the sum of agricultural knowledge and skill, can yet avail themselves of what others are doing, and are not likely either to starve or to freeze, so long as England is there to show them how to raise wheat, and turnips, and wool.*
*John Stuart Mill in his chapters on Peasant Proprietors (Political Economy, Vol. I. Book II. 7, 8) gives many facts of great interest and value in regard to the condition and character of the small land-owners in Nor