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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 solustion 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 public 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 manure.
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 6 land manured with salt, was much greater than that to which 6 stable dung alone (though in an extraordinary quantity) had “ been applied; the difference being 58 kilogrammes, 8 grammes, a 66 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 use6 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 Silvestre, 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 s 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 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 manure.
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.
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. The historical facts which are only supported by such testimony, must ever be received with distrust, and the båre-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 was transferred from Jonathan to John Bull. We remember one marked instance of this discrepant testimony, where the Englishman--happening to go into a distant port in the East, and where the refutation of his statement has probably never been seen to this day-was honoured with municipal distinctions for his bravery, with the usual accompaniments of an address and a gold-box : His ship probably owed her escape from capture, to the sagacity of tbe yankee who commanded the privateer opposed to him, and who abandoned the combat, upon discovering that should he be successful, he was likely to verify the boyish proverb, of receiving “ more cuffs than coppers :'—And yet the hero had the modesty to select for his opponent, in a protracted fight of several hours, the sloop of war Wasp, and commanded by the regretted Blakely -a ship and commander, that twice settled the controversy with enemy's regular cruisers within the short space of one half hour.
a We are happy to except the conspicuous and disinterested gallantry displayed by the General Armstrong,''Decatur,'· Comet,' and one or two others.
Too much of the volume before us, rests upon similar statements; and we regret that Mr. Clark had not confined himself to the acts of Congress, which now compose so large a part of his book, and the official documents of the regular service--it would then have formed a valuable work for reference, and been untainted with a profusion of matter, which, to say the least, is of very doubtful authority. As the author wrote his book during the war, instead of awaiting the termination of the struggle, it is necessarily incomplete ; and we hope that, should he determine to continue it to the close of the contest, he will reject all but such matter as can be supported by the evidence of men, whose lives are not so repugnant to the discovery of truth, as are those of some of the heroes whom he has dignified with niches in his temple of Fame.
Mr. Clark, appears also to have fallen into the common error of his countrymen, that the trident of Neptune has passed from the grasp of Britannia to that of Columbia ; and that it is enough to insure success, to have the Stars and Stripes flying over the quarterdeck, or the pendent of an American Commodore abroad from the main-top-gallant-mast head.—This desire to monopolize the glory of marine warfare to our own people, is however less extravagant in the author than in most of his cotemporary writers : it is not accompanied with any very material assertions, that have met our eyes, which are not true ; though we think in many instances, he might have more ingenuously accounted for the result, by explicitly stating the force of the respective combatants, than by suffering the reader to infer, that our victories were owing to causes, inherent either in our physical or political constitutions. There is much idle talking in this country, of the effects produced on our seamen, by the freedom of our institutions. Liberty and equality may have their merited estimation in the minds of our citizens on shore-but we apprehend that neither of these popular deities, are
admitted to an abiding place on board a vessel of war. Our successes have been owing to very different, if not very opposite causes-for successes we have had, and under circumstances that give us a title to an honest fame-which make the exaggerated boastings of many among us, as unnecessary to our reputation, as they may eventually be ruinous to our service. It was the confidence generated by the indiscriminating and besotted plaudits of the British nation, that induced the neglect, which left their ships unprepared to cope with a brave, enterprising and acute enemy; and which destroyed in an hour, the charm of invincibility, that had supported them for a century.
The declaration of warin 1812, found the navy of the United States, consisting only of seventeen sea-worthy vessels, exclusive of one or two small Schooners and Gun-boats. Of this number, seven were Frigates, and the remainder Corvettes and Brigs-most of the latter very light. This was a fearful odds, with which to adventure against the most formidable marine in the world ; and the chances were, that blockade or capture would soon drive the American flag from the ocean. The adventure was made, however, and we beg the patience of the reader for a few minutes, while we endeavour te show with strict impartiality, with what success.
There is something deceptive in the ordinary manner of rating vessels, but in a less degree than is generally supposed. It is not among the smallest of our triumphs, that we have driven our late enemy to an alteration of a mode which had been sanctioned by long usage, and to the adoption of another, more wide of conveying a comparative idea of the true force of vessels, and which is knowingly and grossly perverted under the patronage of official authority. There was none of the Bulletins of Napoleon more framed for the deception of the people, than is the present authorized list of the British navy.-If we go back half a century, we find vessels of war carrying the actual number of guns at which they were rated : The invention of carronades has since gradually introduced an alteration in the upper deck, which is tolerably uniform, and commonly gives to vessels, over the grade of sloops of war, ten guns more than the rate by which they are called. Formerly the quarter-deck and forecastle were much smaller than at present, and only connected by a narrow passage on each side of the ship, called gang-ways :since the introduction of short guns, and spar decks, the number of guns has been increased ; so that a ship which once carried 28 long eighteens on her gun-deck, and 8 nines, or twelves, on her quarter-deck, with two of similar calibre on her forecastle, rated at what she carried, 38 guns; but now, a ship of the same rate, will carry 28 eighteen pounders below-14 thirtytwo pound carronades on her quarter-deck, and 8 of the latter on her forcastle, or perhaps in the room of two of them,