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“ It is a fact of universal notoriety, that the manufacturing population of England, as a class, work for half, or less than half, the wages of our own. The cost of machinery there, also, is but about half as much as the cost of the same articles with us ; while our capital, when loaned, produces nearly double the rate of English interest. Yet, against these grand adverse circumstances, our manufacturers, with a small percentage of tariff, successfully compete with English capitalists, in many branches of manufacturing business. No explanation can be given of this extraordinary fact, which does not take into the account the difference of education between the operatives in the two countries. Yet where, in all our Congressional debates upon this subject, or in the discussions and addresses of National Conventions, has this fundamental principle been brought out, — and one, at least, of its most important and legitimate inferences displayed, viz. that it is our wisest policy, as citizens, -if indeed it be not a duty of self-preservation as men, — to improve the education of our whole people, both in its quantity and quality. I have been told by one of our most careful and successful manufacturers, that, on substituting, in one of his cotton mills, a better for a poorer educated class of operatives, he was enabled to add twelve or fifteen per cent. to the speed of his machinery, without any increase of damage or danger from the acceleration. How direct and demonstrative the bearing, which facts like this have upon the wisdom of our law respecting the education of children in manufacturing establishments! What prominency and cogency do they give to the argument for obeying it, if not from motives of humanity, at least from those of policy and self-interest! I am sorry to say, that this benignant and parental law is still, in some cases, openly disregarded ; and that there are employers amongst us, who say, that if their hands come punctually to their work, and continue at it during the regular hours, it is immaterial to them what private character they sustain, and whether they attend the evening school or the lyceum lecture on the week day, or go to church on the Sabbath.
- The number of females in this State, engaged in the various manufactures of cotton, straw-platting, &c., has been estimated at forty thousand ; and the annual value of their labor, at one hundred dollars each, on an average, or four millions of dollars for the whole. From the facts stated in the letters of Messrs. Mills and Clark, above cited, it appears that there is a differsnugly away in the garret! Nature will not abate one tittle of her laws, even io the mightiest earthly sovereign; but when the humblest individual obtains a knowledge of their exact and immutable operations, she protects him with her ægis, and enriches him with all her bounties."
ence of not less than fifty per cent. between the earnings of the least educated and of the best educated operatives,
between those who make their marks, instead of writing their names, and those who have been acceptably employed in school-kee, ing. Now suppose the whole forty thousand females engaged in the various kinds of manufactures in this Commonwealth to be degraded to the level of the lowest class, it would follow that their aggregate earnings would fall at once to two millions of dollars. But, on the other hand, suppose them all to b elevated by mental cultivation to the rank of the highest, and their earnings would rise to the sum of six millions of dollars annually.
“ I institute no comparison in regard to the company imported from England, who, though accustomed to work in the mills of Manchester, could not earn their living here.
“ These remarks, in regard to other States or countries, emanate from no boastful or vain-glorious spirit. They come from a very different mood of mind, for I have the profoundest conviction, and could fill much space with facts that would justify it, -that other communities do not fall short of our own, so much as we fall short of what we might easily be
- pp. 108 - 112.
We congratulate the friends of this cause upon two important measures of the last General Court of Massachusetts ; the provisions made for the support of Normal Schools, and for the establishment of School District Libraries. Three years ago, Mr. Edmund Dwight, of Boston, offered ten thousand dollars to the Commonwealth, on the condition that an equal sum should be furnished from the Treasury, for the maintenance, for three years, of three Normal Schools, for the instruction of common-school teachers. The plan went prosperously into effect, and, the original means being now exhausted, ihe Legislature, at its last session, appropriated six thousand dollars a year, for continuing these schools three years longer. This gives opportunity for the experiment to justify itself by a full trial, and accordingly, in our opinion, amounts to an establishment of them in perpetuity. The other scheme, that of the establishment of School District Libraries, Massachusetts has not the praise of originating ; but, next to the merit of setting a good example, is that of following it promptly. New York established its common schools only thirty years ago, and already there is a small library in each of the ten or eleven thousand school dis
tricts of that State, embracing in the aggregate nearly a million of volumes, so that a traveller cannot be stopped anywhere within its wide bounds, without being within two or three miles of some good reading. The appropriation, just made by Massachusetts for the same purpose, amounts to between thirty and forty thousand dollars, which is doubled by means of the condition, that each district shall contribute an equal sum to that furnished from the public fund.
ART. X.- Organic Chemistry in its Applications to Ag
riculture and Physiology, by Justus LIEBIG, M. D.,
We welcome the appearance of a second American edition of this work, as indicative of the general interest attached to scientific views of agriculture in this country, as well as of the determination of the public to second the efforts of scientific men in making their knowledge and studies useful to mankind ; and the decidedly favorable reception, by all classes, in various parts of the world, of such a treatise, is a proof how extremely desirable had become the developement of some sound general principles of action in agriculture, and how difficult or impossible it had hitherto been to deduce such useful general principles from the mere customs which have obtained, or from the experiments of the practical farmer, unassisted by the severe discriminations, or the matured experience and judgment, of science.
The great value of the coöperation of science consists in the concentration of all the powers of the mind on one specific object. The chemist never undertakes an experiment without a certain definite end always kept in view, and he takes every measure his ingenuity and experience can suggest to obtain clear and decisive results ; watching at the same time with the utmost care, any appearances which may lead to further information unconnected with this end.
The farmer, on the other hand, tries various experiments without sufficient examination of the primary conditions, without keeping careful watch on their progress, and with comparatively uncertain judgments on the results.
Thus if the chemist wished to produce muscle on an animal, he would first examine the constituent parts, and if nitrogen were ascertained as a chief ingredient, he would endeavour to procure such agreeable food for the animal as would yield the largest portion of nitrogen with its other materials. Again, if it be required to find this vegetable, containing a large quantity of nitrogen, he would analyze various kinds of vegetables fit for the nutriment of the animal, and select the one proper for his trial; and in treating the soil for the luxuriant production of this vegetable, he would take care that it should contain a superabundance of nitrogen from which the growing plant would supply itself. His experiment might succeed or might fail; but it is clear that this method of inductive reasoning, this preparation of conditions, would afford a better chance of success than the blind operations of the farmer.
Hence, such works as the present are highly valuable not only as means of disseminating knowledge, but also as means of inducing those habits and trains of thinking among agriculturists, which may enable them to act and judge for themselves on objects of advantage to them, and readily to discern between true knowledge and empiricism.
It is evident, however, that we are but just entering on a field of inquiry of immense extent, and of infinite value.
The scheme of analysis of various vegetables has hitherto been shaped by the chemist chiefly for philosophical purposes and research ; that which is formed for agricultural purposes must evidently vary from this considerably.
Simple incineration will give the fixed alkalies and the earths, incineration in contact with deutoxide of copper will give the carbon, and the ultimate principles into which vegetables can be resolved ; treatment with alcohol and ether will give the gums, resins, and the other proximate principles into which they may be separated, many of which, as quinine, morphia, &c., are useful to mankind. “But the vegetable juices existing in the living plant are so exceedingly delicate, so very susceptible of transformation, by the addition or abstraction of minute portions of oxygen, &c., and by the action of heat and light, VOL. LIV.
- No. 115. 61
that only very general and indefinite ideas on the subject of their nutriment can be obtained from these sources.
The future developement of the science of vegetable analysis will no doubt exhibit the means of examining the fresh juices of plants, expressed from their various parts, both previously and subsequently to their alteration by the functions of the leaves or flowers ; for it is certain, that the nearer we approximate the examination of these juices to their absorption from the earth by the roots, the more clear ideas we shall obtain of the requisites and conditions for their formation and production.
The following extract from the concluding lecture of M. Dumas, in his Course at the School of Medicine in Paris, which has excited general admiration, will show the attention now paid to Liebig's comparatively new views of the relations of the vegetable kingdom.
“Have we not proved in fact, by a multitude of results, that animals constitute, in a chemical point of view, a real apparatus for combustion, by means of which burnt carbon incessantly returns to the atmosphere under the form of carbonic acid ; in which hydrogen, burnt without ceasing, on its part continually engenders water ; whence, in fine, free azote is incessantly exhaled by respiration, and azote in the state of oxide of ammonium by the urine ?
“ Thus from the animal kingdom, considered collectively, constantly escape carbonic acid, water, in the state of vapor, azote, oxide of ammonium ; simple substances, and few in number, the formation of which is strictly connected with the history of the air itself. Have we not, on the other hand, proved that plants, in their normal life, decompose carbonic acid for the purpose of fixing its carbon, and of disengaging its oxygen ; that they decompose water to combine with its hydrogen, and to disengage also its oxygen ; that, in fine, they sometimes borrow azote directly from the air, and sometimes indirectly from the oxide of ammonium or from nitric acid, thus working, in every case, in a manner the inverse of that which is peculiar to animals?
If the animal kingdom constitutes an immense apparatus for combustion, the vegetable kingdom, in its turn, constitutes an immense apparatus for reduction, in which reduced carbonic acid yields its carbon, reduced water its hydrogen, and in which also reduced oxide of ammonium and nitric acid yield their ammonium or their azote.
" If animals, then, continually produce carbonic acid, water,