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press their belief that no visible change, to the same purpose, could have been effected by the landscape-gardener, which could have had effect before it had cost the proprietor three times the
Mr. Laing Meason, who had personally attended some operations on Allanton park, mentions the transplantation of two trees, from twenty to thirty years old. The workmen began their operations at six o'clock in the morning. The first tree was, by measurement, twenty feet; the second, thirty-two feet high, the girth from twenty-four to thirty-six inches. The one was moved a mile, the other about a hundred yards, and the whole operation was concluded before six in the evening. The wages of the men amounted to fifteen shillings, so that each tree cost seven shillings and sixpence. Adding the expense of a pair of horses, the sum could not exceed twelve shillings, and we must needs profess, that the mere pleasure of witnessing such a wonderful transmigration successfully accomplished, was, in our opinion, worth half the money. Mr. Laing Meason proceeds to say,
that if a comparison was to be drawn between the above expense and that of planting groups of plants from the nursery, keeping inclosures up for twenty years, and losing the rent on the ground occupied, the Allanton system is much preferable on the point of economy.'
The evidence of various gentlemen who have already adopted Sir Henry Steuart's system on their own estates, is given at length in the book before us :-Mr. Smith, of Jordanhill in Lanarkshire, appears to have made the largest experiments next to the inventor himself; and he states the results as uniformly successful. Before his workmen attained proficiency in the art, the individual trees cost from fifteen to eighteen shillings each, when transported about a mile; but in his later operations the charge was reduced to eight shilling for very handsome subjects, and six shillings for those of an inferior deseription.
Mr. Mac Call, of Ibroxhill, another gentleman in the same neighbourhood, estimates the cost of his operations on trees, from eighteen to twenty-eight feet high, at eight shillings and tenpence per tree. Mr. Watson of Linthouse, in Renfrewshire, reckons that his trees, being on an average thirty feet high, cost him fourteen shillings the tree. Sir Charles Macdonald Lockhart, of Lee, and Sir Walter Scott, of Abbotsford, mention their expenses as trifling; and Mr. Elliot Lockhart (M.P. for Selkirkshire) states ten shillings as the average cost on transplanting trees from twenty-four to thirty-five feet in height. All these gentlemen attest the success of their operations, and their thorough belief in the soundness of their ingenious master's doctrine. It
It ought to be observed, that no special account seems, in any of these cases, to have been kept of the after treatment of the transplanted tree, by watering and manuring, which must differ very much, according to circumstances. Something, however, must be added on this account to almost all the prices quoted by the experimentalists above-mentioned.
We now come to Sir Henry's account of his own expenses, which, with the laudable and honourable desire to be as communicative and candid as possible, he has presented under various forms. The largest trees which Sir Henry Steuart himself has been in the habit of removing
'being from twenty-five to thirty-five feet high, may be managed,' he informs us, by expert and experienced workmen, for from 10s. to 13s. each, at half a mile's distance; and the smallest, being from eighteen to five-and-twenty feet, for from 6s. to 8s. With workmen awkward or inexperienced, it will not seem surprising, that it should require a third part, or even a half more, fully to follow out the practice which has been recommended. As to wood for close plantations, or for bush-planting in the park, the trees may be transferred for about 3s. 6d., and the stools of underwood for from 1s. to 2s. per stool.'— p. 341.
In another view of his expenditure, Sir Henry Steuart fixes on a very considerable space of ground, which he had fully occupied with wood during a period of eight years, and shows data for rating his annual expenditure at fifty-eight pounds ten shillings yearly; a sum certainly not too extravagant to be bestowed on any favourite object of pursuit, and far inferior in amount to that which is, in most instances, thrown away on a pet-farm. We have dwelt thus long on the subject of expense, because it forms the most formidable objection to every new system, is most generally adopted, and most completely startling to the student. But where so many persons, acting with the very purpose of experiment, after allowance has been made for difference of circumstances, are found to come so near each other in their estimates, and that twelve shillings for the expense of transplanting a tree of thirty feet high forms the average of the calculation, it will not surely be deemed an extraordinary tax on so important an operation.
But, although we have found the system to be at once original, effectual, and attended with moderate expense, we are not sanguine enough to hope that it will at once find general introduction. The application of steam and of gas to the important functions which they at present perform, was slowly and reluctantly adopted, after they had been opposed for many years by the prejudices of the public. Yet these were supported by such effective arguments ad crumenam, as might, one would have thought, have ensured their advocates a favourable hear
ing. The present discoverer is a gentleman of liberal fortune, who, after having ornamented his own domain, has little interest whether his neighbours imitate his example or no. The system, too, must be subjected to the usual style of sneering misrepresentation which is applied to all innovators, until they gain the public to their side, and rise above the reach of detraction. We have also to anticipate the indifference of country-gentlemen, too indolent to conquer the difficulty of getting the fitting and indispensable machinery, or to procure the assistance of experienced workmen. Even in the cases in which the new system may be brought to a trial, it may fall under discredit from the haste of the proprietor, or the no less formidable conceit and prejudices of the workman. The one may be disposed to leave out or hurry over some of the details, which are peculiarly slow and gradual, though producing such an immediate effect when completed; the other, unless closely watched, will assuredly revert to his own ancient practice, in despite of every charge to the contrary. In either case, the failure which may ensue will be imputed to the Allanton system, though it should be rather attributed to departure from its rules.
Notwithstanding all these obstacles, the principle is so good, and the application so successful, that we shall be much surprised if, ere long, some professional person does not make himself master of the process, and proceed to strive for that eminence which he cannot fail to achieve when it is found he possesses the art of changing the face of nature, like the scenes in a theatre, and can convert, almost instantly, a desert to an Eden. Nurserymen and designers will then find it for their interest to have the necessary machinery, and gangs of experienced workmen, to enable them to contract for raising, transferring, and upholding any particular number of trees, which a country-gentleman of moderate fortune may desire to place in groups, or singly, in his park. The alteration will be thus effected without the proprietor, who wishes but to transplant some score or two of trees, being obliged to incur the full expenses of providing and instructing superintendents, as if he meant to countermarch the whole advance of Birnam wood to Dunsinane. Earlier or later, this beautiful and rational system will be brought into general action, when it will do more to advance the picturesque beauty of the country in five years than the slow methods hitherto adopted can attain in fifty.
Our readers are now enabled to answer with confidence the question of Macbeth :
Who can impress the forest? Bid the tree
But the subject, though to ourselves of special interest, has al-
Non omnes ar-
ART. II.-Report from the Select Committee on the Salmon Fisheries of the United Kingdom, June 17, 1824. Ditto, March 30, 1825. Ditto, June 3, 1825. Ditto, May 31, 1827.
THE HE peculiar circumstances of Britain, in reference to a limited soil, contrasted with extensive sea-coasts, and numerous rivers and lakes, intimate to her population the expediency of obtaining a large portion of their sustenance from the waters. These are known to teem with life, and to furnish a supply of agreeable and nourishing food, which may be pronounced inexhaustible. National industry has, accordingly, been directed to the fisheries, by the offer of bounties to encourage enterprise, and by statutary enactments to protect property. Yet, in spite of these public acknowledgments of the importance of this storehouse of our national wealth, the true character of our fisheries, and the bearings of their various interests, seem, in general, to be imperfectly comprehended. There are many who can justly and learnedly expatiate on the vast importance of Agriculture, as a main pillar of the state; on the circumstances which long retarded its progress; and on the advantages which it has derived from societies and journals having collected the results of experience, and diffused a knowledge of the improvements which have taken place in its different departments. There are likewise many who can point out the value of our Mines in the scale of our national resources, and the important aids which the sciences of chemistry and geology have recently furnished. But how seldom do we hear of our Fisheries, in reference to the capital occupied, the population employed, or the supply to our wants and comforts which they yield! In point of fact, there is an apparent indifference towards the subject, as one of public interest, the sources of which it may be worth while to investigate.
It is in the power of any individual, even with little labour, to become acquainted with the more ordinary operations of agriculture, in regard to the rearing both of corn and cattle. It is not even a matter of difficulty to descend a coal-pit or a copper-mine, and trace the whole series of those operations by which the bowels of the earth furnish necessaries and comforts to man. But when the same observer repairs to the boat of the fisherman, he meets with difficulties which he cannot overcome: he may view the lines, the hooks, and the baits, or the various nets to be employed, but he cannot accompany them on their errand of slaughter: he may, indeed, contemplate the returns in the boat, and if he can so far restrain his prejudices, as to examine the cold and slimy cargo, he may gain a knowledge of the kind and condition of its
contents. But there is still an intervening stage of the process concealed from his inspection. It may be imagined, perhaps, that any individual who has examined the preparations of the fisherman, as he goes forth to his labour, and the spoils with which he has returned, might form some just conceptions, or plausible conjectures, of the intermediate and concealed operations, and be able to make the public nearly as well acquainted with the rationale of our fisheries, as with our agriculture and mining. To execute this task, however, there would be required a competent knowledge of the science of zoology, to qualify for estimating the value of the detached facts and observations which the subject only furnishes, and to trace the connexion of these by the help of analogies presented by the other and more perfectly comprehended departments of the animal kingdom. But, unfortunately, there is a defect in our national system of education, the evils resulting from which are here experienced to a painful extent. There is not a professor of zoology in any of our venerable universities, so that the science, as a branch of general education, is unknown, and the few who endeavour to trace the great laws of the animal kingdom, and the details of ichthyology in particular, are compelled to undertake a private course of irksome study. It need not, therefore, occasion surprise, that the subject of our fisheries should appear so uninteresting, it being so little understood, or that the clamours of the most sordid should excite a sympathy in their favour, in quarters which, if enlightened by the truths of science, would have been inaccessible.
We are aware that the subject of the salmon fisheries, to which we intend, in the present article, chiefly to confine our observations, has long excited keen discussions in the courts of law, and must continue to do so, while the absurd and unequal enactments of our statute-book continue in force. These have been ordained in various periods, and under very different circumstances, and generally in the absence of a scientific acquaintance with the subject. Some rivers, for example, are fenced (fishing of salmon prohibited) during several months in the year, for the avowed purpose of preserving the breeding fish and the helpless fry, while in other streams all such protection is withheld. The fence months, even in contiguous districts, vary in the period of their commencement, from the middle of August to the end of December; and in that of their conclusion, from the end of November to the middle of May, being a range, at both seasons, of upwards of four months; and all this variety in the absence of a proof, or even a presumption, of a difference in the physical condition of the rivers thus subjected to the management of such dissimilar tutorage. In some estuaries, certain engines for catching fish are