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ropean intrigue; and even Kämpfer notices that the European ships of war formed the practical breach, through which the Japanese entered, and perpetrated that massacre, to which it would appear they had been originally prompted by others.
That the negociations from England on a former occasion should not have been more successful than the late attempt from Russia, may easily be accounted for, when we reflect on the possibility of the favoured factor having said to them, “ Forty years ago your throne has been all but overturned by the intrigue of these heretics ; this embassy comes from the king who has married the daughter of the
head of that caste;' and from whom you can expect nothing less than an irruption still more fatal to your tranquillity.” Such an argument, pushed by a narrow-minded and interested factor, could not but carry weight with the Japanese, accustomed to respect and to place all confidence in their western visitors.
They are not averse to the indulgence of social excess; and, on these occasions, give a latitude to their speech which one would hardly suppose they dared to do in Japan.
It is an extraordinary fact, that for seven years past, since the visit of Captain Pellew, notwithstanding the determination of the empire not to enter into foreign commerce, the English language has, in obedience to an edict of the emperor, been cultivated with considerable success by the younger members of the College of Interpreters, who indeed were found eager in their inquiries after English books.
While the commissioner was at Nanggasaki, there arrived a large detachment of officers of rank, who had been out nearly four years and not yet completed one-fourth of a survey on which they were engaged. These officers were attended by a numerous and splendid retinue, and were employed in making an actual survey of every foot of the empire and the dependent isles. The survey appeared to be conducted on a scientific principle, to be most minute and accurate in its execution, and to have for its object the completion of a regular geographical and statistical description of the country.
In a word, the opinion of Dr. Ainslie is, that the Japanese are a people with whom the European world might hold intercourse without compromise of character. For the Japanese themselves, they are wonderfully inquisitive in all points of science, and possess a mind curious and anxious to receive information, without inquiring from what quarter it comes. In the same spirit let us hope, that now, when
That spell upon the minds of men
Break n ver tupile again no withering policy may blast the fair fruits of that spirit of research which has gone forth from this hall ; nor continue, under any cha cumstances, to shut out one half of the world from the intelligence which the other half may possess.
MILDEW OF WHEAT,
Choice of Seed Corn,
IN REFERENCE TO AN HYPOTHESIS.
SIR JOSEPH BANKS, K. B.
&c. &c. &c.
MILDEW OF WHEAT,
THE physician investigates the nature of his patient's case before he prescribes for it: if he misunderstands the disorder, he is not very likely to be successful in its cure. But I am not about to as, sume the character and perform the functions of the physician. I have no remedy to propose for this formidable disease, THE MILDEW, believing it to be utterly irremediable, and that Doctor Solomon himself, in all his glory, cannot offer a specific. What cannot be remedied, however, may possibly be prevented. If the nature of the mildew, its origin, and its cause be rightly understood, means may be suggested by some ingenious observer, not to mitigate its effects perhaps, but possibly to resist its encroachment. In the present year [1811,] this Dæmon has taken a wide and destructive flight, shedding poison from its wings, and blasting with its breath the promise of the spring. I would not give a groundless alarm wantonly; but it is better that the public should suffer from an imaginary evil than a real one, from the apprehension of a deficiency in the wheat crop, than the existence of it. If the mildew has not extended its ravages so widely as I fear it has, all the better : the alarm is groundless, perhaps useless, but at any rate not mischievous, for it can do no harm to take timely precautions against
an uncertain evil. The very precautions may repel the evil which, without them, would invade us. As the interval between the last harvest and the present was little more than eleven months, we may expect that the interval between the present harvest and the next will be nearly thirteen. Harvest is unusually early this year; but this circumstance, added to the abundant crop and fine quality and weight of the last year's wheats, gives us reason to believe that the stock in hand is considerable. To economize this stock until the quality of the present year's produce is ascertained cannot be bad policy, nor can any alarm be injurious which promotes an economy of consumption. The accounts from Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Somerset, Essex, Kent, Buckinghamshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk, and many parts of Scotland, concur in representing the wheat crop as deficient in quantity, and injured as to its quality.
A few years ago Sir Joseph Banks published “ A short account of the causes of the diseases in corn, called by the farmers the Blight, the Mildew, and the Rust.” Without the assistance of the plates which accompany this ingenious paper, I shall scarcely be able to do justice to its contents. Botanists, says Sir Joseph, have long known that the blight in corn is occasioned by the growth of a minute parasitic fungus or mushroom on the leaves, stems, and glumes of the living plants. Of this fungus, in its different stages of growth and maturity, Mr. Bauer, botanical painter to the King, has made drawings from the original, very highly magnified, representing its destructive agency; in order to understand which, it is necessary to premise that the striped appearance of the surface of a straw is caused by alternate longitudinal partitions of the bark, the one imperforate and the other furnished with one or two rows of pores, which are shut in dry, open in wet weather. The intention of this arrangement, or the final cause, as some philosophers would call it, seems to be that whatever moisture is suspended in the atmosphere may be imbibed by the orifices when open, and afterwards that it may be retained by having the mouths of them closed. Through these pores it is presumed that the seeds of the
See Pamphleteer, No. XII. p. 401. ? A very curious and striking instance of a similar arrangement is exhibited in the Nepenthes Distillatoria, or Pitcher Plant, indigenous in the island of Java. Mr. Barrow gives the following account of it:-“ Perhaps there is not," says he,“ among the numerous exa nples that occur of the provident econoniy of nature in the vegetable part of the creation a more remarkable instance of contrivance adapted to circumstances, of means suited to the end, than what is evidently displayed in this wonderful plant. Being the inhabitant of a tropical climate, and found on the most stony and arid situations, nature has furnished it with the means of an ample supply of moisture, without which it would have withered and perished. To