« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
viz., from S. E. by way of S. to N. W. Thus, you perceive, we are ia a sort of a bend in the river. Most of the marshes are just "a wash" at low water, parts of them are bare when the tide is out, and all of them, in the early summer, are covered with a rauk growth of grass and weeds, which begins to decay in August. This is the commeneeuieut, too, of the sickly season, and a few minutes' walk about the grounds of the Observatory after sunset has been found sufficient to bring upon strangers an attack of ague and fever. The place is so unhealthy that my family are compelled to desert it for four or five months every year. Last year they broke up early in May, and did not return till November.
"healthy" to have them. This was so much more in favor of making the experiment with sun-flowers.
An acre of sunflowers will absorb during their growth many thousand gallons of water more than are supplied by the rains. They are great absorbents. They are of easy cultivation, are' more rank than hops—they require no poles and the seed are very valuable. I paid $8 a bushel for them. This plant, therefore, apparently offered to fulfil all the conditions required to satisfy the problem ; for if the supposition that the ague and fever poison be imparted to the atmosphere by the decaying vegetable matter in the marshes, and if this poison is set free during the process of decay, why should not the sun
Now, I am not going into a dissertation con-! flowers in their rank growth absorb it and again
cerning malaria or miasm, for, bo the seeds of the pestilence what they may, those of these in termittents are supposed to be due in a great
elaborate it iuto vegetable matter, and so fix it, at least for a while, and until cold weather? I consulted upon this subject with one of the most
measure to the marshes of the Potomac. The j useful men this country ever produced—the late decay of the vegetable matter upon them infects A. J. Downing, of Newburgh—and he thought the air with impurities of some kind, which pre- the idea a good one.
dispose to chills and fevers—such is the popular i Finally, I resolved to make the experiment.
belief, at any rate.
This brings me to the history of the sunflower experiment. A process of reasoning like the following led me to try it.
If it be the decay of vegetable matter on the marshes that produces the sickness on the hill, then the sickness must be owing to the deleterious effects of some gas, miasm or effluvium, that is set free during the decomposition, and if Bo, the poisonous matter, or the basis of it, whatever it be, must have been elaborated during the growth of the weeds, and set free in their decay. Now, if this reasoning be good, why might we not, by planting other vegetable matter between us and the marshes, and by bringing it into vigorous growth just about the time that that of the marshes begins to decay, bring fresh forces of the vegetable kingdom again to play upou this poisonous matter, and elaborate it again into vegetable tissue, and so purify the air?
This reasoning appeared plausible enough to justify the trouble and expense of experiment, and 1 was encouraged to expect more or less success from it, in the circumstance that everybody said, "plant trees between you and the marshes—they will keep off the chills." But as to the trees, it so happens that at the very time when the decomposition on the marshes is going on most rapidly, the trees, for the most part, have stopped their growth to prepare for the winter, and though trees might do some good, yet a rank growth of something got up for the occasion might do more. Hops climb high; they are good absorbents, and of a rank growth, but there were objections to hops on account of stakes, poles, &c. I recollected that I had often seen sun-flowers growing about the cabins in the West, and had heard, in explanation, that it was
at the risk of spoiling the looks of a beautiful lawn. Accordingly, in the fall of 1855, the gardener trenched up to the depth of two and a half feet a belt about forty-five feet broad around the Observatory on the marshy side, and from lf)0 to 200 yards from the buildings. The conditions of the theory I was about to try required rich ground, tall sunflowers and a rank growth. Accordingly, after being well manured from the stable yard, the giound was properly prepared and planted in sunflowers last spring. They grew finely; the sickly season was expected with more than the usual anxiety. Finally it set in, and there was shaking at the President's House and other places as usual, but for the first time since the Observatory was built the watchmen about it weathered the summer clear of chills and fevers. These men, being most exposed to the night air, suffer most, and heretofore two or three relays of them would be attacked during the season ; for as one falls sick another is employed in his place, who, in turn being attacked, would in like manner give way to a fresh hand. And, last year, attacks of ague and fever were more than usually prevalent in the neighboring parts of the city.
Here is encouragement, not discovery or proof —but it is worth further trial, at any rate. Accordingly the gardener is making ready to try the experiment again this year, but with variations. The seeds are not to be planted quite as early as in the first instance; and, in the next place there are to be two plantings, so that the last crop may be caught by the frost while yet the plants are flowering, and therefore, in full and vigorous growth during the season of actire decay in the marshes.
Suppose the fact should be established that a hedge of sunflowers between the dwellings of farmers and the ponds or marshes and standing pools would generally keep ague and fever away, the discovery that such a simple contrivance would constitute an impassable barrier to "the pestileuce that walketh in darkness" would be an achievement worth recording.
"The destruction that wasteth at noonday" may form the subject of another communication, if you can find room for it. Indeed, other remarks upon the subject in hand are suggesting themselves, but with your leave, I will reserve them for the next number of the Rural. In the mean time, I hope that all who can, but especially those who live in noted ague and fever districts, will prepare to try the sunflower experiment this summer.
The readers of the Rural are mostly in the region of westerly winds, and that the results of each experiment should throw light upon the rest, it is desirable to know, approximately at least, in each case, the situation of the dwelling, its distance from and height above the supposed region of miasma, as well as its distance from the hedge of sunflowers, their height, &o. We know that one of the oflices of the vegetable kingdom is to preserve the purity of the atmosphere ; and that during their growth many plants take up from the air and fix for awhile various noxious vapors. In the southern country it is common to see among the negro quarters sunflowers growing about the pig sty; and the negro, if asked why he plants them in such a place, will reply, "He make it healthy, Massa."
The Rural boasts of the intelligence of its patrons, their cleverness and love of the useful, and why should not those of them who are in a condition to do so try this experiment, and so let each have the benefit of all the rest to guide us next year.
P. S. Since writing the foregoing I have been conversing with Mr. Watt, the gardener, upon the subject. He informs me that many years ago similar experiments were made in France with like success. Accounts of them have been published in the Cultivator. With these facts and other circumstances to which I shall allude in my next, still further to inspire faith in the proposed preventive, I hope all of your "ague and fever" readers will be encouraged to try this simple sunflower experiment. Those who live apon the prairies, in the ague and fever districts of Illinois and other western states, would do well to surround their dwellings with the plants having the thickest part of the hedge on the west side.
The Use Op Little Time.—One of the hours, each day wasted on trifles or indolence, saved, and daily devoted to improvement, is enough to make an ignorant man wise in ten years; to provide the luxury of intelligence to a
mind torpid from lack of thought; to brighten up and strengthen faculties perishing with rust; to make life a fruitful field, and death a harvest of glorious deeds.
In olden time, when land planted in a slovenly manner produced from three to ceven hundred bushels of potatoes to the aero, and the farmer thought himself a lucky man if he found a purchaser of his crop at a shilling a bushel, for such has been the case within easy distance of this city, not too long ago for us to remember, any direction how to plant so as to get a greater crop would not have been found particularly interesting to the agricultural reader. But such a change has come over the spirit of their dreams since, in Western parlance, the crop is "powerful onsartin," and the product brings from $1 to $2 a bushel, instead of a shilling, perhaps they will be willing to listen to a few general rules, well calculated to increase the yield and improve the quality.
Do not select muddy soil, or ground that was manured high last year with unfermented stable or hog pen manure; and do not use either of these manures on the crop. Use none but the very best compost, or guano, thoroughly mixed with the soil; and do use lime, plaster and salt, one or all. Twenty bushels of salt, or 50 bushels of lime, per acre, would not frighten the potatoes out of one year's growth; and a handful of plaster upon each hill would tell you a most interesting story.
But to begin with, plow your ground—don't scratch it and call it plowed. We should prefer the Michigan plow, run twelve inches deep, with a sub-soil plow following in each furrow, twelve inches deeper; and the potatoes planted and cultivated on the level system, the work all being done by horse-hoes instead of hand hoes.
For seed, we should use medium-sized tubers; and as for the quantity per acre, no specific directions can be given as to the right number of bushels, because one kind has four times as many eyes as another kind, and it is the number of eyes and not the number of tubers that must be counted to get the exact right quantity per acre. Again, opinions differ as to the quantity of seed proper to be used. In our opinion, too much rather than too little is generally used in each hill, particularly where whole tubers are used. We are in favor of planting potatoes in drills, as well as almost every other farm crop. If whole tubers arc planted, twenty stalks to a hill may often be counted, and invariably they are not vigorous, and produce small potatoes and a poor yield.
The seed end of potatoes, we have no doubt, is equally valuable as any other part for planting, if cut so as not to have too many eyes and sprouts huddled together; yet we have known some over nice planters cut off and throw away the seed end as worthless, just as some do the butt ends of ears of corn, without being able to assign the reason wherefore. To sura up : Plant potatoes on dry land, deep plowed and subsoiled, manured with compost in the drill, or covered and mixed with all the surface soil with a cultivator harrow. Plant medium-sized tubers, in medium quantities, cut so as to divide the eyes equally, and take pains to drop them carefully and with regularity. Use salt and lirae broadcast at the first or second tending, mixing with the soil by the cultivator. The plaster may be put on at any time after the vines are well grown. Take care to keep the field clear of weeds, cost what it will, and you cau grow potatoes in these latter days, with more profit than you ever did in ancient times of great crops and low prices. Even if the crop of 1857 should be large, you need not fear low prices—that day has passed away. But we do urge you to increase the potato erop, and trust to Providence and extra care that the epidemic that has so long afliicted anu discouraged farmers can be overcome.
HOW WATCHES ARE MADE IN SWITZERLAND.
A hirgc proportion of the work bestowed upon the manufacture of watches in Switzerland is done by cottagers, who cultivate tbe earth in the Summer, and ia the Winter shut themselves up with their families during the inclement season, which lasts three or four months. The whole family then devote themselves to the work of making watch movements. Not only the children work, but the dog turns a wheel, and puts in motion a lathe or a pair of bellows. First, the rough part of the movement is made by water power. Particular parts are assigned to the young members of the family, while others are cmpJoj cd in putting the plates and wheels together. When a sufficient number have been prepared, the master transports them on the back of a mule to some town or village, where he sells them to little master watchmakers, who complete the movements, or else they are sold to travelling agents, who case them in silver or gold.
INDIAN SUMMER OF LIFE.
In the life of the good man there is an Indian Summer more beautiful than that of the season; richer, sunnier, and more sublime than the most glorious Indian Summer the world ever knew— it is the Indian Summer of the soul. When the glow of youth has departed, when the warmth of middle age is gone, and the buds and blossoms of Spring are changing to the sear and yellow leaf, then the mind of the good man, still ripe and vigorous, relaxes his labors, and the memories of a well-spent life gush forth from their
secret fountains, enriching, rejoicing, and fertilizing; then the trustful resignation of tht Christian sheds around asweetand holy warmth, and the soul assuming a heavenly lustre, is no longer restricted to the narrow confines of business but soars beyond the Winter of a hoary age, and dwells peacefully and happily upon that bright Spring and Summer which await him within the gates of paradise evermore. Let u.strive for and look trustingly forward to an Indian Summer like this.
Be Chabitable.—When the veil of death has been drawn between us and the objects of our regard, how quicksighted do we become to their merits, and how bitterly do we remember words, or even looks of unkindness, which may have escaped in our intercourse with them! How careful should such thoughts render us in the fulfilment of those offices of affection which may yet be iu our power to perform; for who cau tell how soon the moment may arrive when repentance cannot be followed by reparation!
Discussion.—Whoever is afraid of submitting any question, civil or religious, to the test of lree discussion, is more in love with his own opinion than with truth.—Bishop Watson.
PHILADELPHIA MARKETS Flouk Awd Meal.—Flour is firm but inactive. Good brands are still held at $7 SO per bbl., and brand;, lor home consumption at $7 75 a $8 00, and extra act fancy brands at $8 25 a 8 75. There is very little demand lor export, and little stock to operate in. Rye Flour is dull at .$5 00 per barrel. List sales o( Pennsylvania Corn Meal at $4 00 per barrel.
Grain.— Wheat is quite dull and little offerihg. Las; sales ol prime Pennsylvania red were made at $1 7tt * $1 80, and ifcl 90 lor good white. Rye is scarce. Penna. is selling at #1 10. Com is lest active at 88 a 90c tor Southern yellow in store. Oats are steady: sales of Pennsylvania and Delaware at 60c per bu.
UUiMMER RETREAT AT HIGH LAND DALE. O The season of tbe year is at band, when many cilizens leave their homes for the benefit of pure air; the attention of the readers of the Intelligencer is called to the pleasant Retreat of Charlks anil Catharine P. Fovlkk, who have again enlarged theit premises, and are prepared as heretofore to receive summer boarders.
Their farm and residence is near the crown of one of tbe mountain ridges in MonroeCounty, Pennsylvania, about two miles from Stioudsburg, the county town, and three mires from the Delaware Water Gap, in one of the healthiest situations to be found in Pennsylvania.
Un this high elevation and near the domicile is a large spring of excellent water, which supplies a Bath House attached to the premises,—while within doors there is much to give comfort and create a home feeling, and make this a very desirable mountain Retreat.
The cars leave Camden in the morning and arrive at the Stroudsburg station within two and a halt miles of High Land Dale, early in the afternoon.
5th mo. 16- 6t. T. B. L.
Merrihow A Thompson, Prs., Lodge St., North side Penna.Iiaak.
PHILADELPHIA, SIXTH MONTH 20, 1857.
EDITED BY AN ASSOCIATION OF FRIENDS.
PCBLISHED BY WM. W. MOORE, No. 324 Sonth Fifth Street, PHILADELPHIA, Every Seventh day at Two Dollars per annum, payabl» in advance. Three copies sent to one address for Five Dollars,
Communications must be addressed to the Publisher, free of expense, to whom all payments are to be made.
An account of the life, travel*, and Christian r.xperiencesin the work of the ministry of Samxiel Boirnns.
(Continned from page 193.)
I have been more particular in the relation of this day's work than I otherwise should have been, as containing in it such signal marks of Providence; first, That we should be detained in hold, just till the people from the country were come in. Secondly, and then set at liberty to say what the Lord gave us. And thirdly, That we had so seasonable an opportunity to explain our practice as to the ministers, viz. *he conduct of the Society towards them; and likewise the service of our Monthly Meetings respecting the poor, marriages, admonishing offenders, making up differences, granting of certificates to such as saw cause to remove themselves from one Monthly Meeting to another, as well as to ministers. Which by their shewing so much kindness, and raising no objection to any thing said on these heads, did plainly demonstrate their good liking and satisfaction therewith.
The next morning we set out for England, and by the evening got amongst Friends in the border, within the compass of Sowport meeting, and had some few meetings, as at the border, Scotby, Carlisle, and some others. I came to my old master Famuel Parrot's having no place to retire to as a home, but sometimes I was at Sedgwick, and sometimes quartered with my friend Kobert Chambers, and sometimes at Kendal, and at Qatesidc, at honest William Simpson's, where I did sometimes help them in their business, he being a blacksmith. But I was now preparing myself for a journey into America, and was near ready. And I had an opportunity to take my leave of the neighboring meetings, as Dent, Garsdale, Sedburg, Grayrigg, Kendal, Preston, with divers other neighboring meetings thereabouts; but that at Preston was the most mem
orable and solid, the sense whereof continued with me all over America, at times; I went thence to Yellaod, and many Friends came to that meeting from divers places to take leave of me, so that it was a very large and living meeting; and I parted with my brethren in great love and unity. I then came by Wray, Bentham, Settle and Airton, that great and good man William Ellis being then living, and full of power, having great and solid experience concerning the work of the mini.-sy, who w<ij very edifying to me, by the wholcscme counsel he gave. James Wilson was tli^n with me, who was not at that time a pub!:o minister, yet of great service in visiting families, being closely engaged in spirit for the maintaining good order and discipline; and we being both very young in these things, this worthy Friend gave such advice to us both, with respect to a faithful coming up in our services, that we could with good reason say, that his words were like "apples of gold in pictures of silver;" for a long time after, the sense and virtue of them dwelt on my mind, to my great advantage. We stayed with him one night, and had a small meeting, in .which the preference and value I had for him, together with an awe that was on my spirit concerning his great services and experience as a minister, took such place in my mind, that I was silent before him.
Next day we took our leave, and he brought us on our way a little, heartily praying at parting, that I might be preserved in my place, and return with safety.
James Wilson came with me as far as Leeds, and then we parted, and I went through Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, visiting sundry meetings, (where some time before I met with great trials and afflictions in mind, as already hinted) and some were convinced. My mind was strongly engaged to see them in my way, and I had good satisfaction in that visit. ,
Having done this, I'wentby the way of Hitching and Hertford, visiting sundry meetings, finding encouragement to go on: But I still expected that I should be stopt by the morning meeting, for want of a companion. I came to London the latter end of the Tenth month, 1701, being by letters advised the ships would sail in a week's time, or very shortly; but a war breaking out between England and France, an embargo was laid on all shipping for two months, so that there was no expectation of getting off. I staid in London about three weeks, visiting all the meetings in and about the city, which gave the brethren a thorough taste of my service; some of my best friends advising, that 1 should not lay my concern before the meeting, that I designed for America, until the general or Monthly Meeting of ministers did come round, and in that time my service as a minister would be generally known. I readily complied; and when the time came, I went in great fear to lay my concern before that meeting, being still apprehensive I should not be permitted to proceed, for want of a suitable companion; but as no object did arise, they perused the certificates that I had from the Monthly and Quarterly Meetings, and did well approve thereof; and a minute was made, appointing some Friends to prepare a certificate against the next meeting; which was accordingly done, brought there, and signed.
All things now being clear for my going the first opportunity, it was thought proper to see for a ship, which by the assistance of some Friends was done, but no likelihood of going quickly, by reason of the embargo.
I had some desire to visit the west, in particular Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, and Wilts, but at a loss for a horse, having sold my own soon after I came to London; but the friend to whom I sold him offered that I should have him that journey, which I accepted, and so set out, having in company a young man that hud been bred at a college, his name was Samuel Crisp, a pretty meek spirited youth, and rightly convinced. When we got forty or fifty miles from London, he had strong inclinations to go back. I made a kind of a running visit; and when I was at Bristol, my friends there were exceeding kind, and would willingly have had me gone from thence; but my prior engagement at London would not permit it.
I staid there two weeks at least, and taking my leave, sundry Friends brought me on my way to Bath, Bradford, &c. They returned, and I went on for London, and quartering at an inn at Hungerford, (not being easy to take any more meetings till I came to London) I fell in company with a couple of tradesmen, who, when we sat down to supper, complimented each other about which should crave a blessing, at last they pulled off their hats, and one of them did it in some sort; but my sitting with my hat on was such an offence, that they began to reprove me very sharply. I said but very little for some time, until they had spent their reproach upon me, and then I spoke to this effect, " that the appearance they made, just before supper was brought to the table, was so very void of grace in their hearts, that I could not think it my place to pull off my hat to their formal prayer. And besides, as soon as the words were out of their mouths and over,.it appeared to me that
they were the same, and I saw by their conduct that they did not understand the nature of true prayer, which is to be performed both with the spirit and understanding; and if you had not wanted both, you could not pass such silly compliments on each other about it." I was now very quiet, and they said no more to me. But as soon as supper was over, and the reckoning paid^they left me with free consent, for our company was unsuitable.
Next day I went towards London by Newbury, where I stopt at a fuueral. and so to Reading, and by Maidenhead to the city, but found the embargo not yet taken off. It being now pretty near the middle of the First month, I visited some parts of Hertfordshire, having my dear friend John Tompkins part of the time, and Saml. Crisp, who was a sweet companion, having received the knowledge of the truth the right way.
About a week or two in the Second month, orders were given for the merchants to get ready, and a convoy was to go with them. But for all this, it was the latter end of the Third month before we got off; so I had an opportunity to visit the greatest part of Kent. And after we sailed from the Downs, we were put into Portsmouth harbor by contrary winds, and lay there two or three weeks, which was very tiresome. But all this time 1 never considered any danger of being taken by the French; it did not so much as enter into my mind, until I came into Philadelphia, where hearing that Thomas Story, Richard Groves, and others, were takeu some time before, and carried into Maitinico, a French Island, I thought of it more closely.
I left England in the Third month, 1702, about the time of the Yeirly Meeting, with inward satisfaction and peace of mind, and wrote a few lines to be sent to the meeting of ministers in Kendal, or elsewhere, in Westmoreland, my native place; which I here insert, being the first fruits of that kind to my brethren.
To the meeting of Ministers at Kendal, in Westmoreland. These. My dearly beloved Brethren and Sisters,
In that love which in time past we have enjoyed together, do I heartily salute you, having in mind some few things to impart, as counsel and caution to us all, including myself therein.
We who apprehend ourselves called into this public station of preaching, ought closely to wait on our Guide, to put us forth in the work. And dear friends, I see great need for us to carefully mind our openings, and go on as we are led by the Spirit; for if we overrun our Guide and openings, we shall be confused, not knowing where, or how to conclude: But if we begin and go on with the spirit, we shall conclude so, that all who are truly spiritual will sensibly feel that we are right. Thus will our ministry edify them that hear it.