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hopes and ruined fortunes those cities are built upon, and how very small the chances are for obtaining fair and honorable success. Think how many wanderers there are from their father's house and their native State, who would be glad to-day to seek peace and rest in the paternal mansion, and who would to-day rejoice to be the recipients of the peaceful independence of the farmer's life in the good State of Maine.
But such is the haste to become rich in this country, and so strong the hope of reaping large rewards by trade and speculation, and such the desire to live without labor, it matters not to many on whose industry, that men, more especially young men, are constantly enticed away from their homes and those industrial pursuits which are sure to bring a liberal supply for all our temporal wants. They join that large throng of adventurers who are constantly rushing toward our large towns and cities in search of employment and bread, or float about the country without any distinct plan or object in view. A large percentage of these young men who go out from their native towns, and in most cases from their native State, are from our agricultural districts. They leave the old homestead, the pleasant hillside with its pure air and exhilerating health, the beautiful valley, with its songs of birds and fragrance of flowers, to become mechanics and manufacturers, toilers in the counting. house, to encounter the dangers of the mariner's life on the sea and in the tropical climates, to become rash speculators rushing upon bankruptcy, or often, far too often mere adventurers without definite aim or object, floating waifs upon the currents of life.
How vastly important then, that these young men should be well fitted by educating the moral sense, or conscience, and the affections, as well as the head, to encounter the battles of life. As the best and only safeguard midst temptation they must have that high moral tone, that sincere religious trust, that unswerving honesty, that devoted patriotism, that will prove the only security against compromising justice, honor or country for gold or power. Besides a good English education, as a necessity for success and true manhood, they need a father's constant good example, sound counsel and watchful care in their moral training, and a mother's pure love and devoted affection to instill pure principles and elevate the soul to a love of the holy and true. Give your sons and daughters these high attainments, my friends, and you will give them that which will prove better than name or fortune, the best
possible panoply of protection against temptation, vice and dishonor. But I do not wish to be understood that I would have
bestow these high mental and moral attainments upon those who go out from among you to the neglect, or detriment of those who remain. As I before remarked nearly one-half of the population of the free States is engaged in the pursuit of agriculture. It is from our agricultural districts that the country is furnished with its best models of physical, intellectual and moral manhood and womanhood. By their moderation, prudence, healthy example, and by their power at the ballot box, the farmers of the country exercise a controlling influence over its character and destiny. As a whole class they should be well prepared by education and general intelligence to exert this power in the way best calculated to advance the interest and welfare of our whole country. When we reflect that our government and its benign institutions are upheld, and can only be upheld and borne on to the future by the intelligence, virtue and patriotism of the people, we see and realize the magnitude of the duties and responsibilities which the American people have undertaken. We owe it to ourselves, to our country, to the age in which it is our good fortune to live, and to that liberal free spirit which is advancing to the conquest of the world, that these responsibilities be fully met, these duties well performed. Education or general information then is one of the necessities of the American people, and it is both the duty and interest of our rural districts to make the best provision for good free schools that the circumstances by which they are surrounded will permit. Although the good industrious farmer will always find something useful and profitable to do about his farm, and need never have any surplus time to waste away in idleness, he can spare more leisure hours for mental culture, for studying the science and best modes of agriculture, and for general reading than any other of all the industrial classes into which communities are divided. If we could all realize more fully the immense value of time, how rapidly it draws us to our journey's end, how much we ought to learn to enable us to perform our various duties even decently, we should be far more eager to seize the passing moments, and so use them as to make us better and more capable men and citizens, and our lives a living illustration of the benefit and happiness conferred by time well spent. The first duty of the farmer is to make himself master of his
chosen pursuit. This I presume can be done by observation and practice; by reading the best works and papers on agriculture; by meeting in farmer's clubs where questions relating to agriculture can be freely discussed, and the benefit of each others knowledge and experience obtained ; and by adopting all real improvements, wherever made, which can be applied to our soil and climate. After all these duties have been well performed there will be much time left for general culture. This time it would be an abuse of God's gift to man, of the absolute wants of our nature, of our best means of happiness, and an unpardonable neglect of our duty as citizens and intelligent beings, to trifle away in useless or pernicious pursuits.
Labor-saving machinery is now extensively applied to agricultural labor, and is doing much to enable the farmer to do his work easier, better, and more of it in the same space of time, than under the old methods, and with the old tools of years gone by. Much of the genius and inventive power of the nation have for many years been devoted to improving the form and working of hand tools, and to inventing machines worked by hand, horse or steam power to perform more rapidly and cheaply the various branches of agricultural labor. A great variety of labor saving machines has been the result. Plows, planters, rakes, mowers, reapers, shellers, threshers, and hundreds of other inventions, applied to a great many different purposes are continually asking public favor, until recently the steam plow has appeared at the great National and other agricultural fairs, tearing up the ground at the rate of three and a half acres per hour. In this field of invention the future will be more prolific, and more sure of results than the past, discovering and perfecting until machinery shall be made a substitute for human muscle in nearly all cases where much hard labor is required. Let no one be content to plod on in the old fashioned way of half a century ago, but wherever we find an improvement adapted to our wants, one that will lighten our labor and do our work as well, or better and more of it, adopt it at once as so much added to your capital or the laboring force of your farms. .
Great improvements have been made in all branches of agriculture, horticulture and pomology, during the present century, more particularly during the last few years, and those leading branches of human industry are now deservedly receiving a much larger share of public attention than ever before. Our great National Agricultural Fair, and the State and county Fairs, held during the
autumnal months of each year, especially in the free States, are doing a good service for this essential interest and are turning the attention of the country more and more each passing year to its vast importance. It has now been a little over five years since the organization of the Sagadahoc Agricultural Society, and its fifth yearly exhibition is about drawing to a close. As you have thus year after year driven up your best samples of farm stock, and laid the best products of a generous soil and a patient industry before the public eye for inspection none can have failed to notice from the first a steady improvement in all the leading features of the exhibitions. The most careless and indifferent must admit that this annual, public display of the capacity of our soil and climate, and the skill of our farmers are having a most salutary effect on the agriculture of this vicinity. I mean agriculture in its largest sense, including horticulture, pomology, poultry and stock raising and the dairy. The mechanical and artistical departments, needle work, bread making, and other branches of the house-wife skill, to which I should be glad to give more than a passing allusion did time permit, add much to the interest of these occasions.
These exhibitions are so full of instruction, so full of gratifying . and profitable results, that all who come within the territorial limits of this Society, young and old, men and women, should see to it that the interest in them does not abate, but that at, or near the return of each harvest moon, as the departing year prepares its shroud of beautifully tinted leaves and makes ready to lie down with its hoary companions in the past, lulled to rest by the requiem of autumnal winds, a still more choice collection is brought together, culled from the storehouses of nature and art, and a still wider interest awakened to all branches of industry here represented. A walk through this building and these fair grounds on exhibition days teaches us a useful lesson. The most thoughtless may be forcibly impressed with our complete dependence on our mother earth for all the necessaries, comforts and luxuries of life, and with what ought to be our true position on earth and in relation to each other. Although we here see that earth is a generous and bountiful mother, and can upply all our real wants with a liberal hand, we can also see that a tax is imposed by the God of Nature on all who would enjoy her bounties. She has formed rich ores and minerals in the earth, placed fish in the sea, given to seeds the germinating principle, to soils their life nourishing power—in short, she has given to man control over the vegetable, animal and
mineral kingdoms, the raw materials for the gratification of all our wants, but she has not given us metals and minerals wrought into forms for use, she has not given us shelter, food, raiment, and articles of necessity and luxury, all prepared for our enjoyment. The tax she imposes to prepare them for use is labor. She has provided nothing that will satisfy the wants of civilized or savage life without labor. She yields nothing to idleness, and has therefore provided for no drones in her system. They are interlopers, excresences on her plan of human economy, living on the industry of others and fill no place in that economy. Labor is Nature's universal law; it is a condition of existence which must be obeyed by all who live in harmony with her laws. It is an ordinance of God himself, dignified and made honorable by the divine judgment and the divine will, and he who shirks from it and escapes his just share of the world's toil, throwing it upon others, practically sets the will of his Maker at defiance, and creates disorder and discord in human society. I do not intend to convey the idea that the amount of physical labor now performed by the nations called civilized, will be necessary or desirable in the highest condition of the human
We are living in an age of labor, emphatically a mammon worshipping age. Wealth, luxury and useless show are the great objects of desire and the leading ideas of the age through which the nations most highly civilized are now passing. A large portion of the world's labor is now employed in providing superfluities and luxuries which a more civilized people, in some future age, will dispense with, and the valuable time now consumed on them, be put to better and higher uses. People and nations rise from barbarism by successive steps, as a child rises in his education, from the alphabet through all the stages of advancement to the ripest scholarship. This exclusively material age will surely, in its turn, draw to a close, and an era of higher moral and social development dawn upon man. The coming ages will exhibit a people of few and simple material wants, of generous and noble character, refined, of high intellectual and moral attainments, and whose lives will be in continual harmony with the laws of their being. The human race will then come nearer filling the position for which it was designed, and to which it is slowly advancing. When this higher civilization comes-as come it surely will—human toil will be lighter, more equally divided, and its performance made a pleasure.
With the pursuits of the farmer more especially can be mingled the highest pleasure and profit. With an enlarged and elevated