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ToWM. WILBERFORCE, Efq. M.P. March 11.
SIR, THE part which you have taken in the late debates in the Houfe of Commons, on the prefent high price of provifions, has been fuch as to fecure you a continuance of the good opinion of the friends of this country, together with its natural confequence, the hatred and abufe of its irreconcileable enemies; and I have no doubt but, to a mind like yours, the motive will be a fufficient apology for the obtrufion of this addrefs on the fame important fubject.
There are, fir, at this moment, many thoufand, I believe many hundred thoufand, acres of arable land in this kingdom, which are intended by their occupiers to lie fallow during the enfuing fummer.
If a certain proportion of every field fo circumftanced were to be well covered with long dung, frefl from the ftable, and planted with potatoes, would it not be an object of immenfe confequence in the prefent circumftances of the country?
The produce might be gathered early enough in Autumn to admit of the next crop of wheat being fown in proper time; and it is prefumeable that thofe portions of each field, on which the potatoes have been cultivated, would produce as good, if not a better, crop of wheat than the other parts which are to remain fallow and unproductive during the fummer. At all events, it would be a welltimed, grand, national, agricultural experiment, to determine a very important point, viz. whether or no the earth actually requires periodical featons of reft. This is certain, the Chinese, who are the oldeft, the greateft, and the moft induftrious, perhaps the beft land-labouring, nation in the world, laugh at the idea, and are aftonifhed when, informed that fuch an opinion and practice prevail in Europe. They cannot believe it to be poffible that any arable field can more require to lie fallow than a garden.
That they may be right, as far at least as concerns the prefent object of enquiry, is probable from the following reafons.
Long dung, fresh from the ftable, is particularly acceptable to and proper for, encouraging the growth of potatoes; and by the end of the fummer the fame dung would become equally proper for the enfuing crop of wheat:
The potatoe being a vegetable that requires the ufe of the hoe, all noxious weeds might be eradicated during its growth nearly as well as by the Summer ploughing and fallowing.
Digging and gathering a crop of potatoes would alfo feparate the dung, deftroy any remaining weeds, and fo break and comminute the glebe, as to bring it into a fine tilth for the wheat.
The common fields, or Lammas land as it is called, appear to be particularly well calculated for this provident purpofe; and they are by their tenure obliged to be thrown open every third year for the ufe of the poor; which is, perhaps, one great reason why they do lie fo frequently fallow and unproductive.
If this be really the cafe, would it not be right that the crop of potatoes produced on fuch land fhould, in every parish, be fold to the poor exclusively at a very mederate price?
Farmers in general will object to the propofal from an erroneous notion, that it would impoverish their land, and injure the following crop; and they appeal to ex perience: but the error lies either in their parfimony, or their inability to procure it, preventing them from allowing a proper quantity of dung,
The potatoe is a plant fo exten fively ufeful, that it is almost im poffible to cultivate too great a quantity. They are now found to fupply the place of turnips for feeding milch-cows; and it is alfo a fact, perhaps not fo generally
known, that horfes will eat them with avidity either raw or boiled. I have a horfe at this time in very good condition, that has done his work well, and without intermifhion, every day throughout the winter; and which, except good hay, has feldom eaten any thing but the refufe potatoe, half a peck every morning, unwashed, and exactly in the fame itate as when dug out of the ground.
Extenfive as this experiment would be if generally adopted, it would in each particular inftance have all the advantage of one conducted on a small scale, without any poffible lofs or inconvenience..
God forbid that we fhould ever feel the moft diftant approach towards famine! We hear much of the fcarcity of corn, and the price of bread is certainly great; but, to a perfon who was prefent during the whole season of famine in Bengal, in the year 1770, the word Scarcity, as applied to this country, is an expreffion at which the philanthropist mult fmile. I am, fir, with all due respect, your moft obedient fervant, The Author of the MEDICAL SPECTATOR.
Jan. 23. EING out of England in 1792, I did not at the time fee your Magazine for July in that year. Lately, happening to look over the volume, I was a gooddeal ftruck with your correfpondent H. B. Peacock's account of a Bible once in the poffeflion of Milton; and I fhall be much obliged to him if he will have the goodness to communicate to you, or your printer, either privately or publickly, whofe property it now is. As I am rather enthuliaftic in whatever relates to Milton, I may be tempted to make a prigrimage, for the purpofe of inspecting. In the mean time, I fhall be thankful to know what the fize of it is. Your correfpondent C. L. (p. 789 of the fame vol.) doubts the fact of the Bible ever having been Milton's; and one of the argu:
He might well alfo write himfelf Miltonius; as his great Italian friend Manfo, Marquis of Villa, in the complimentary diftich addreffed to him, infcribes it ad Joanem Miltonium Anglum.
Another objection made by C. L. is, that Milton was not born at Oxford. But, query, might not born at Oxford refer to the father, with a little addition of punétuation, in which Milton was habitually negligent and sparing ? It has, I believe, been a matter of queftion, where Milton's father was born; and I think I have feen it afferted, that he was born abroad. This then might ferve to fettle the point. That he was born at Oxford is indeed highly probable, as his father and mother lived in the neighbourhood, where his father was keeper of Shotover forest.
If the authenticity of the Bible having belonged to Milton can be well established, the date of 1639, at Canterbury city, is well worth attending to. Milton muft then have been on his return to London, after having landed on the Kentish coaft, from his travels abroad. He returned, we know, about the time of the king's fecond expedition against the Scots (I believe in Auguft, 1639); and his defeription of the times, "this year of very dreadful commotion, and, I weea, will enfue murderous times of conflicting fight," feeming to mark a material portion of the year being elapfed, though by no means the whole, agrees well with the particular time. language of this brief defeription might be thewed alfo to be highly Miltonic. If this Bible, therefore,
Pullips's Life of Milton.
is of a tolerably portable fize, I would fuppofe it to have been the companion of his travels; a circumftance highly confonant to his devout difpofition and unremitting ftudy of the. Scriptures. What books and mufick he collected abroad (we are exprefly told by his nephews), were fhipped in chefts, and left to follow him to England. This book was, perhaps, the only one, that he carried from home, and brought back with him. So that we may characterize Milton, as Mr. Hayley, in the juftly-admired epitaph, has his countryman Collins;
*Pleas'd on one book hisquearied mind to reft, He wifely judg'd the book of God the best.”I fhall be very thankful to any of your Miltonic correfpondents who may illuftrate the line in Milton's Lycidas,
"Looks towards Namancos or Bayona's hold,"
by fuggefting what place in Spain Milton intended by NamanI can find no place on the coaft of Spain, or even more inland, the name of which at all refembles it. T. Warton takes no
notice of it whatever. I fufpect Milton picked up the name in fome
Mr. URBAN, Southwell, March 8.
you to infert the following article in your valuable Magazine. Dr. Soëmmering, of Franckfort on the Mayne, having read the life of Mr. Charles Darwin in my Biographia Medica (in which a pailage is quoted from an ingenious Thefis on Hectic Fever by Dr. Cappe, of York), thinks himfelf ill used in being accufed of publishing a falfity, by faying, in a Treatife of his on Diabetes, that Mr. Charles Darwin had not in
fact made the experiments on pus mucus, for which the firit prize medal was allotted to him at Edinburgh, but that he wrote thofe experiments from imagination.
Dr. Semmering, in a letter which I lately received from him,
afferts, that he was fo informed by Mr. Fyfe; and hopes that the paffage in the Biographia Medica alluded to may be contradicted in fome refpectable publication, or otherwife omitted in a future edition of that work.
I have, therefore, troubled you, Mr. Urban, with this account; but beg leave to add, that Dr. Cappe, of York, and Dr. Ryan, of Dublin, reported Mr. Charles Darwin's experiments, and found fimilar refults with those described by him; and alfo, that Dr. Soëmmering muft ftill continue the propagator, though not the inventor, of the affertion contained in bis Treatife on Diabetes. This circumftance reflects no credit on the very ingenious German phyfiologist, as the contrary facts ought to be eftablished by repeated experiments, not by hearfay evidence.
Directions to Gaolers for Prisoners on
to be brought into the court at one time. Their heads to be combed or fhaved. Their faces and hands to be washed; foap allowed for it.-Their feet to be washed in falted water.
The above rules are worthy attending to, particularly at time, as the Lent Aflizes are fo nearly at hand; and at this period of the year the fevers of the putrefcent tribe are generally more The directions prevalent. plain and fimple, but fufficiently efficacious for the purpose. The ineftimable value of the lives of judges, magifirates, and counfellors, of this kingdom, at all times, to the publick, calls forth the aid and arm of protection from every good fubject, and every good Chrifti, Jew, or Mahometan; and as fuch, I wish the infertion of the above fhort documents in your extenfive and useful Monthly Publication, from a medical friend related to Mr. Urban by urbanity.
V. & B. Mr.