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practice, we have not, as a nation, been deficient in theoretic husbandry.
The recent introduction of two new subjects of culture into the United States, will, if carried out successfully, produce a marked epoch in American agriculture—we mean the manufacture of sugar from the beet root, and also that of silk. The manufacture of sugar from the beet root was first introduced into France under the auspices of Napoleon, in 1811, and has been since carried on in that country with brilliant success. So great is the interest felt, and so auspicious is the prospect for the successful production of that article in the United States, than an association of gentlemen in Philadelphia have despatched an agent, Mr. Pedder, to France, in order to procure from that country all the information respecting the process which can be obtained. So far as returns have been received they are satisfactory, and there is every reason to hope that a successful experiment will soon be tried here. If it should succeed, the vast tracts of fertile soil which we possess would afford almost inexhaustible resources for that object.
The production of domestic silk seems to be a subject of no less importance than the manufacture of sugar, and we rejoice that public attention is awakening to this object. The consumption of that article is so great in our country, that its domestic production, superseding the necessity of its importation from abroad, would save a vast amount of expense, and at the same time produce the most beneficial consequences to the system of domestic industry. Rapid advances in this work are beginning to be made, and the Congress of the United States has caused to be printed and distributed a valuable treatise on its cultivation and manufacture. We understand, that, besides other improvements, an establishment for the manufacture of silk has recently been commenced in Dedham, Massachusetts, which, when in full operation, will run 1600 spindles, and employ 100 females. To those sections of the country which produce the mulberry tree in abundance, the manufacture of silk would doubtless be the most productive kind of labour which could be undertaken.
The immense resources of our country, and the geographical features, as well as productions of her different parts, seem to lay a natural foundation for a complete American system, which shall make us independent of the globe. The north, south and west have each peculiar advantages which do not seem to interfere, and which might be made materially to aid each other. It is hardly to be imagined that New England will ever be a great agricultural region, as this is prevented by the natural barrenness of her soil. Her prosperity must depend mainly on her commerce and manufactures. Nor do the pro
ductions of the south come in collision with those of the north and west, for they cannot be yielded by these regions. It is equally clear that the west must, in the end, become the great agricultural section of the country, as its natural advantages of soil place it above competition with the east in this respect. It is only by a system of internal improvement, acting upon these advantages, and by the encouragement of domestic industry, that the greatest good can be secured for all parts of the country.
We have endeavoured in this article-avoiding all minute sp.cification and statistical detail-- to exhibit briefly the general progress of agriculture, and its condition in the United States. Nature has provided us with the resources of a great agricultural nation-in our vast tracts of fertile soil, untouched by the hand of man; forests, beneath whose shade the nations of Europe might find shelter and support; and giant lakes, connecting distant regions, as with inland seas, upon whose broad bosoms the navies of the earth might float. We have also navigable rivers of immense magnitude, running almost the whole length and breadth of the continent, and rail-roads and canals are in process of construction, which will connect the remote sections of the Mississippi Valley with the Atlantic frontier. These great public works, while they furnish channels of transportation for our agricultural products, are like so many iron chains, which bind together the local interests of different sections, and make, as it were, a single neighbourhood of the republic. We possess water power enough to employ all the machinery which can be manufactured, and to work up all the products which can be furnished by the soil. But more than all, we possess a free government, which grants to labour a certain and sure reward. All we want is concentrated, intelligent, vigorous industry. Give us but this, and we may be independent of the world, and become an exporting instead of an importing nation. The establishment of this true American system, would equally benefit every section of the country; the commerce and manufactures of the east, the rice, cotton, sugar, tobacco, and gold, of the south, and the agricultural products of the west. But the soil is the most certain source of support. "The Goth, the Christian, time, war, flood, or fire," cannot destroy it. To the earthquake alone will it yield. The glorious epoch of that golden age which is to dawn upon the world, has been described as the period when mankind shall rest in peace, beneath their own vines and fig-trees, with their spears beaten into pruning hooks, and their swords into ploughshares. If, as political economy informs us, labour is the source of wealth, experience also teaches that agricultural labour is the solid foundation of national permanence and independence. VOL. XXI.- NO. 41.
ART. II.-The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man.
By the author of " Hope Leslie,” &c. New York: 1836.
The gifted authoress of the above little book has conferred no small favour upon the community in which she lives, by its publication. Her former, more ambitious productions have abundantly testified her capacity for what are falsely considered the higher walks of fictitious composition. That she can charm the imagination and please the fancy, has been manifested by her efforts in the path of novel writing ; an art which now-a-days seldom aspires to, or is at least successful in answering more than these purposes. To do practical goodto make the rising generation wiser or better-or to conduce to the amelioration of the lot of suffering humanity—is above and beyond the aim of the novelist. To originate and effectuate such an object, an ardent love of one's kind must be implanted in the heart of the writer, and, what is equally important, there must co-exist with it, a knowledge of the proper mode of putting it into practice.
One chief reason of the growing distaste of the reflecting and judicious for works of mere fancy, arises from their total inefficiency for any good ; not to mention the positively bad results attendant upon the reading of very many of these productions, from the circumstance of their ministering to the worst passions of the human breast. They originate no virtuous feelingthey lead to no self-examination, no conviction of one's own worthlessness-no desire to improve either the physical or moral condition of one's neighbour: on the contrary, they pamper a sickly appetite for excitement never conducive to action; they nourish a profitless sentimentality as foreign from true benevolence or charity as cruelty itself; they feed a spirit of false honour destructive of the repose of society. They are suited, generally, to the atmosphere of the so-called higher classes, and upon them they work no beneficial effect. The humbler citizens, the labouring poor, who constitute the mass of our population, and whose children may one day occupy the places of their now wealthy neighbours, are beneath the notice of these ambitious writers. For these they take not up the pen—they strive not to lessen the load which they must bear through life, or to present a loftier aim for their struggles. They offer no consolations that may impart to their state an unction of which it is fully capable, and which their prouder brethren might sigh for in vain.
Far otherwise has Miss Sedgwick been impelled in preparing the simple and touching scenes before us. She seems to have become sensible of higher claims upon one of her talents than
merely to furnish the amusement of an idle hour-claims which the condition of our country is every day rendering more imperative upon those gifted with the brighter endowments of nature—an attention to which, too, seems of the more value as the instances of it are so rare.
We have elsewhere remarked upon the character of the literature of our country; for the most part, how ephemeral and superficial ! and have endeavoured to attract attention to the necessity of rendering it as pure and beneficial as possible. Apart from newspapers, many of which are little circulating libraries, scattering through the country injurious trash at an almost incredibly cheap rate, the current literature of the day appears in the shape of weekly or semi-monthly journals, containing the reprint of novels, or other light material, from the British press; sometimes, it may be, the pestilent progeny of French romancers. If even a better supply is found in voyages, travels, or biographies, and works on science or politics—upon
the numerous class of persons we before referred to, these confer no benefit. They leave their hearts and feelings untouched, and their heads as really vacant as before--for the superficial information these works may impart is worse thar. entire ignorance upon such subjects. There must be system-a commencement from the foundation-in education as in every thing else, to ensure success; and ideas picked up in a desul. tory way, without examination and without reflection, can answer no good purpose, and in all probability will be conducive to a bad one.
Reading forms an essential part of education—in our country, especially, is the remark correct, and will continue to be so. Every effort should be made, therefore, to render the class of reading-books for the people inviting, and at the same time wholesome. As there is no time for extended investigations into any branch, either of science, literature, or art, in a land where the great mass of the population are called upon to secure their own bread by their own labours, it is of infinitely more importance to promote the growth of correct moral and religious principles which will serve as a guide through all the devious paths of after life, than to sprinkle a little science or belles lettres among those whose totally diverse pursuits will ever render more than a mere smattering upon such topics entirely out of the question. To disseminate superficial views of politics, manners, science, or the fine arts, is not to educate the people-to teach them their duties to themselves, their families, their neighbours, to society, and to their God, is eminently so. The first is a labour, which, like the sickly and untimely fruit of the tree, will yield but disappointment and sorrow: the latter will produce an increase here, imparting both nourishment
and joy, and continuing to bloom and flourish even through the ages of eternity.
A full appreciation by the poorer and humbler classes (we of course use this latter term in no invidious sense) of their proper station in the social economy, their responsibilities and advantages, is what is needed. In them a spirit of contentment, not of ambition, should be fostered. The Creator has given to such, sources of enjoyment peculiar to their condition, which others, in their different spheres, know not of. But to realize these blessings, virtue must settle upon the hearth of him who receives but the frowns of fortune. In such case it is his to be free from the corroding cares of ambition and rivalry—the aching head and the feverish hand-his to press his pillow with a mind at ease, and to rise with thankfulness for a night's repose--to eat his scanty, it may be, but wholesome food, with a grateful heart, and a readiness to share his little portion with any commended by honesty and misfortune even to his limited charity.
Blessed with such feelings, and governed by such motives, even worldly advantages—if these should enter the mind of him we have described-would, in the end, be surely attained. Honest industry, strict integrity, and Christian charity, would not come short of their reward in our land; and the deserving father would see his children enjoying those means of extended usefulness which he was denied in his youth, and which they, fortified with religious principles, will know so well how to use.
To show, in the words of Scripture, that “there is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches;” and to inculcate the true principles by which the goods of this life are to be estimated, and our conduct regulated, is the aim of Miss Sedgwick in this little work, and she has most fully succeeded to the permanent increase of her own reputation, and, we trust, the good of her species. She has adopted, as the means for this excellent purpose, a very simple story, in which apposite reflections are naturally intermingled with the incidents; and the whole expressed in phraseology perfectly adapted to the sphere of those for whose benefit the book is intended. Two individuals are selected to illustrate her views, (who may be considered as the principals in her little tale, as they ultimately form the married couple,) educated in the country, of humble parentage, and blessed with early religious instruction. It is this last which carries them triumphantly through all their temptations. An interesting example of the success of equal virtue under trials of a different, probably of a severer, description, is offered in the person of another young girl whom accident had disabled in infancy, and