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the scientific classification of plants is not without value to him, as it shows the natural relation which one species bears to another, the limits within which a certain class of experiments must necessarily be confined, and the probable fitness of food and treatment for new plants which may be introduced to his notice.

Botany, in its broader sense, is understood to include vegetable physiology, already alluded to, and the importance of which can hardly be over-estimated. Says Prof. Lindley:

“ There is scarcely an operation in the art of agriculture which does not depend upon the knowledge of the phenomena which are explained by vegetable physiology ; and no man can understand the principles on which he acts, unless he has made himself master of its fundamental laws. All the great improvements in the preparation of land for cropping were proposed in the first instance by vegetable physiologists; or depend essentially upon the operation of laws which they have explained. Applied, in the first instance, to gardening, and tested there, they have gradually extended themselves to the field, where their true origin has been forgotten, and men no longer remember how their improved practice came to be thought of. Draining is an example of this : its beneficial effects depend upon circumstances with which vegetable physiologists have long been familiar. The improvement of the races of plants, the preservation of purity in their propagation, the mode of manuring them, the effect of it when well or ill applied, and a thousand other things of like nature, are wholly influenced by laws which it is impossible to understand correctly in the absence of a familiarity with the principles of vegetable physiology independent of chemistry.

A person desirous of studying agriculture upon scientific principles, the only principles that are safe, requires to know the circumstances which effect the germination of seeds: why in some seasons they will not grow, while in others their success is perfect. His attention must be drawn to the conditions most favorable or unfavorable to the progress of the seedling plant, to the gradual consolidation of its parts, to the development of the wondrous organs which the Creator has given it to feed with and multiply. The circumstances most favorable to the perfect action of these organs, to the formation of the flower, the fertilization of the seed, the preservation or deterioration of the peculiar properties which skill has fixed in those artificial forms of vegetation which constitute the majority of cultivated plants, are other matters of fundamental importance, the ignorance of which degrades cultivation to the level of empiricism, and deprives agriculture of those noble attributes which have placed it, by common consent, at the head of all human occupations. They are all most important subjects of consideration with those who would study agriculture philosophically, or who expect to introduce improvements of moment into ordinary practice : for although it may be true that accident has

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led to more discoveries than science, yet there can be no doubt that such discoveries would have been long anticipated, had science been consulted ; and that many of the most valuable improvements in modern agriculture have either been exclusively suggested or materially assisted by physiological science.”

The other branch of Physiology, viz., that relating to animals, perhaps connected somewhat with Zoology, (for what we speak of as distinct branches of science are frequently so related to, or blended with one another, that it is impossible clearly to define their dividing lines,) will do for the farmer in the case of his flocks and herds, just what vegetable physiology has been shown to be able to do in the case of plants and crops; guides him to economical practice and enables him to avoid expensive errors.

VETERINARY SCIENCE, which regards the diseases of domestic animals, is near of kin to animal physiology, and is of the very first importance wherever healthy action gives place to disease.

I might go on to mention other branches of science which it concerns the farmer to know, as, for instance, that of ENTOMOLOGY, the branch of natural history which treats of insects, and so may give us a clue to the ways and means of controlling the ravages of such as are noxious. These at times, are of the most serious character. To name but one: the apparently insignificant creature called the midge, has destroyed wheat enough in the United States, in years past, to endow perpetually, an institution of learning in every State of the Union, which should be to the agriculturist what West Point is for the soldier—or perhaps several such—for its ravages have destroyed property to the amount of scores, if not of hundreds of millions of dollars. To man, at the Creation, was given dominion over "every living creature that moveth upon the face of the earth.” Man has more signally failed to assert that dominion over the insect tribes, than over any other, and he will never approach success in asserting it, until thoroughly conversant with their natural history and habits. But enough has already been brought to view, to show that the complete mastery of all the principles by which agricultural practice should be guided and directed, is a most herculean task, and fitter for the work of a life-time, than for a few brief

years of preparation for active employment upon a farm; and the question naturally arises, cannot a man be a good farmer, without such extensive knowledge? If he cannot, agriculture would

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seem to be the most hopeless of all human callings; whereas we know it was not only the first occupation of man, but that millions of men, during many centuries before these sciences had so much as a name, sowed and reaped and gathered into barns, and were fed from the fruit of their labors. It may also be asked, if any special education in particular branches of science would be of real benefit to the farmer, why has not the demand produced the supply? Why a system of agricultural education has not long ago grown up to supply the necessity? It may help us here, to consider the history and position of agriculture compared with other arts. The art of agriculture is a great deal older than its own philosophy, and during very many centuries, practice was gradually improving, very slowly indeed, and perhaps scarcely perceptible from one generation to another, but still on the whole, gaining something from experience and observation, until at last, when science was born, she had an immense labor to perform before she could catch up with the then existing condition of the art, and explain fully the why and the wherefore of what was already known of successful practice. On some points science has not only done this, but has shot far ahead of practice, and can in these respects, teach improved methods. Upon others, it is doubtful if such is yet the case, but no doubt exists that she can and will do so.

With many other pursuits with which agriculture has had to compete in these latter times, the case is far different: instead of beginning with centuries of practice, during which men's wits were sharpened by the necessity of having food to eat, these were born of science itself, and the same science which gave them birth, has steadily nurtured and watched over and strengthened them. Men engaged in these occupations, sit down at the very outset to study the principles involved; while with agriculture, its practice to this day, with the great mass of farmers, is so thoroughly empirical that science is scarcely yet recognized as having any legitimate connexion with it, and it is manifestly unreasonable to expect that a system of agricultural education would grow up until the necessity for it was felt.

On the other point, viz., the hopelessness of acquiring complete scientific knowledge, it may suffice to say, that no one contends that the farmer must obtain a perfect mastery of all the sciences which

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have been named before he may venture upon the practice of agriculture. What we argue for, is, that he should obtain such a degree of elementary acquaintance with the sciences related to his calling as will enable him to avoid gross errors, to detect plausible humbugs, to improve upon what is merely traditional and empirical in practice, and, more than all, to qualify himself for prosecuting inquiries and investigations as opportunity may arise, to put himself into a teachable attitude, and to profit by the researches and discoveries of the men who devote their whole lives to the prosecution of the several branches of science; and this, it is believed, is something which is practicable; and whenever the necessity for it is generally felt, the means of securing it will be provided as soon as methods shown to be feasible are presented.

Regarding the preferable method by which agricultural education may be secured among us, I do not feel prepared to speak with positiveness. A

Agricultural Schools are numerous in Europe and they include great variety both as to the courses of study and the methods of instruction employed, but none of them seem exactly adapted to the wants and genius of our people. Institutions have also been established in this country from which the happiest results may be confidently anticipated, but they are of too recent a date to be cited as absolute proof. Until more fully advised regarding a distinct institution for teaching agriculture, I would incline to favor the introduction of the study of natural science into all schools now existing of a grade high enough to warrant such an introduction ;—the 'extent and thoroughness of the instruction to vary according to the grade of the school. To the more advanced classes in our district schools enough might be imparted to draw attention to its importance, and to awaken an interest regarding the wonderful objects and operations of nature by which the pupils are daily surrounded, and to excite the desire for further knowledge. The introduction of these studies into our common schools would be a recognition of their value and importance, and a generation would soon grow up, imbued with new and enlarged views and realizing the necessity of such education as their fathers never did.

But it is to our high schools, academies and other seminaries of learning, whence the instruction is to be looked for, which is more fully to meet this great want; and these, with qualified instructors and suitable apparatus might accomplish great good.

The movement now making in connection with the Maine State Seminary at Lewiston is of the character indicated. Its aim is to enlarge very materially the facilities already secured for imparting to young men who may desire it, such a scientific training as shall best prepare them for the successful pursuit of agriculture, and it is hoped, that not only may this be carried into effect, but that all similar institutions may do likewise.

With regard to our Colleges, it is believed that however well they may have met the requirements of the times when they were instituted, few of them, if any, have sufficiently modified their course of instruction to retain equal adaptation to present educational wants, now that so great changes have since passed upon men and things.

The time was, when there were abundant and satisfactory reasons why classical studies should occupy the prominent position and demand the large proportion of the term of study which was accorded to them. In a word, experience had proved their utility and so it was fitting and proper;—and it would be as erroneous as it would be illjudged and unnecessary, to depreciate the benefits which may accrue to the scholar from their pursuit at the present day, some of which can hardly be secured by any other method. But at the same time it is to be remembered, that changes of great magnitude have taken place; great enlargements of the boundaries of knowledge have been made; new interests have arisen, and these, as well as pursuits formerly carried on in a purely empirical manner, like agriculture for example, now see the importance of scientific research, and demand both the further prosecution of its investigations and the diffusion of so much scientific knowledge as has been already acquired and possesses a practical bearing on their business. Science now asks for the prominence formerly given to the classics, and for the same reason, to wit-experience has proved its utility and its adaptation to the wants of the age. The day has passed when the dead languages may hold undisputed supremacy in College halls. In due proportion with other subjects, according to the relative importance of each, long may they hold the place they justly merit. We would not discard the old to introduce the new. The aim is not to supercede but to re-arrange; and if possible to enlarge the sphere of education. Without interfering with other fields, Natural Science presents a peculiar field of its own; new, rich and varied,

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