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thrive. And I think it may justly be said that the Show in your yards this afternoon has given good proof that even the weather of last year has not impaired the vigour, or the beauty, or the lusty proportions of the Irish stock. I think no one can have witnessed the exhibition of this day without feeling an increased confirmation of the conviction which we must have long entertained of the progressive character of Irish agriculture. The agricultural returns which are collected every year, while they record the material changes in various crops, and the general condition of agriculture, uniformly exhibit a steady increase in the quantity of live stock. It is true that these returns, while they tell us of quantity, are necessarily silent with respect to quality. It is to general observation and to advancing prices that we must look for information in that particular; and such Shows as those of Baker-street in London, or in Kildare-street here, give the very best opportunities for this purpose, taken in conjunction with the circulating visits of the agricultural societies through the various counties of the land. It seems to me-and I wish we could have had fuller testimony from those who could speak with authority on the subject-that the very highest excellence marked the exhibition to-day throughout its various departments, from the lordly bull down to the less grand but far more loquacious poultry. It is obvious that the increase of skill and the application of science to agriculture must tend to make us more and more independent of weather. The increase of agricultural machinery both enables us to save many crops which the accidents of a precarious climate would otherwise only damage and destroy, and it further enables us to improve our labourers in methods which call forth thought and develope skill. And there is no one circumstance connected with the whole subject more important and more gratifying than the certainty that the introduction of machinery, so far from injuring the labouring classes, advances them in the scale of society. To appeal to the most obvious test, the rate of their wages throughout this country already exhibits a very considerable increase. All the departments of agriculture, you may depend upon it, hang together; and in improving the whole, we improve every part of it, and also the condition of those who contribute to its respective branches. I have alluded, Gentlemen, to the return of agricultural statistics, the possession of which places this country in a much more advantageous position, so far as that is concerned, than the sister countries (and for them we are mainly indebted
to the wise foresight of my distinguished predecessor, the Earl of Clarendon); but over and above the numbering of our oxen, our sheep, our horses, and our swine, we are all about to undergo the process of being numbered
"The diapason ended full in man."
I believe the agricultural returns contain particulars of the respective ages of our yearlings and our two-year olds. I understand that a scrupulous degree of accuracy will be directed to ascertaining the ages of our ladies. However, Gentlemen, the census, when completed, will tell us what the exact number of our population is, and also will enable us to infer with tolerable accuracy the extent of the emigration going on amongst us. Now, I am not one of those who consider with any uneasiness the general results of emigration. Of course, when exile from home is occasioned by suffering and privation, it must be an object of regret to all well-constituted minds; but considered in its broad results, I believe that, while emigration fulfils the general destiny of our race in peopling the whole earth, it ordinarily will be found to improve the condition of those who go and of those who remain. It is possible that the approaching census to which I have referred may exhibit some slight diminution of the population; but as the strength of an army does not depend so much on its mere numbers as on its discipline and its organization, so, depend upon it, the good condition of a country results far less from its actual increase in numbers than from its command of the comforts of life, its industry, its intelligence, and its moral character. Well, Gentlemen, I feel I am justified in heartily congratulating the friends and promoters of Irish agriculture generally, and the members of the Royal Dublin Society specially, upon the exhibition of this week. The members of this Society bring together the peaceful pursuits, the industry, and the arts of this country into close and immediate proximity, thus symbolizing the real interdependence and connexion which they have with each other. Already, as Mr. Foot has intimated to you upon your ample Lawn here, which has so long been devoted to agricultural displays, and where the live stock, the implements, and the husbandry of the country in all its branches have now met in friendly rivalry—already on one flank we see the fair length of the Museum of Natural History, and on the other flank there is approaching to its completion a corresponding building, destined to be a National
Gallery for Painting and for Sculpture. But I agree with Mr. Foot that these last pursuits seem to require something placid and composed for their immediate framework. We have heard that there was a time when the flock strayed in the centre of the Roman forum, but that was before its pillared arcades became the centre of business and of worship. So I rejoice to know that it is sought to guard with additional sanctity the Lawn of Leinster House; and that there is a hope, to which I shall willingly give any efforts of my own, to contribute to provide a separate and still more convenient site for the general agricultural displays closely adjacent to the recently constructed handsome covered hall. But whatever your own exertions, or whatever the help of the State may enable to be accomplished, you will still do well to remember that the real interests, and success, and glory of all such exhibitions consist in the intrinsic merits of what is exhibited; and I trust that all present on this occasion will often meet here to renew-I cannot venture to say to increase the admiration which the exhibition of this week has now kindled.
THE ROYAL DUBLIN SOCIETY'S SPRING CATTLE
ANNUAL SPRING EXHIBITION.
EVENING MEETING FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF PRIZES.
[APRIL 22ND, 1862.]
THE EARL OF CLANCARTY, as senior Vice-President, said, that it became his duty to convey to His Excellency the thanks of the Society for his attendance that evening, and for the interest which he had evinced in the success of their Exhibition. The Society had a great advantage in being presided over by one so capable of appreciating the value of their work, and who on all occasions so cordially associated himself in the efforts there made to develope the resources of the country, its industry, its artistic talent, and above all, its agriculture, for the promotion of which latter object the Society was originally established and endowed by Parliament. Within the walls of that Society the
works of Irish manufacturers had more than once been submitted to the discerning judgment of His Excellency; the students of art had frequently received the kindly encouragement of one who was peculiarly qualified to appreciate artistic taste; and on this, as on other occasions, His Excellency had not failed to afford the agricultural department of the Society the advantage and honour of his inspection. I am glad to find that specimens of peat fuel, which may prove so useful to the country, have found a place in the Shows. Ireland is mainly dependent for her wealth and social improvement on the development of her agricultural resources. I feel that the diminished cultivation of cereal crops in Ireland is not a matter of regret; and I believe that the poor are better off now than ever they were before, being better clothed, better housed, and better fed-that the destitute are all provided for-and that the condition of the country generally has undergone a great improvement. His Lordship concluded by moving a vote of thanks to the Lord Lieutenant.
He felt bound
J. W. NAPER, Esq., D. L., seconded the motion. to express the gratitude which he felt as an Irishman to an English nobleman and gentleman who had for so many years applied his mind and his talents to the advancement of the prosperity of this country. The attention which His Excellency had given to Irish affairs had caused men of his (Mr. Naper's) age and experience to have the greatest confidence in his opinion. In the course of some further observations, Mr. Naper said that it had taken twenty-five years to bring the breeding stock in Ireland to its present state of excellence; and he believed it would take twenty-five years more to bring the people of the country to a similar condition. This was a subject in which they all had the deepest interest, and it was their duty to do everything in their power to elevate the condition of the humbler classes. He trusted that some of them would live to see the people of Ireland enjoying those comforts in which they were now so deficient-occupying better houses, and living on more nutritious food.
If I may assume that the consent of this meeting to this motion which the noble Earl has moved will be given, I now beg to return my
sincere thanks to this numerous and distinguished meeting for the honour which they have just been pleased to pay me; and I can assure you it is with even more than usual satisfaction that I find that I need not depart on this occasion from that uniform strain of compliment and congratulation which it has hitherto been my happy privilege to address to the members of the Royal Dublin Society at the period of their annual Easter meetings; for I will own to you that I was not without some degree of misgiving on this subject. I knew that the recent cycles of seasons through which we have passed have been of the most trying and unpropitious character. In the year 1859 there was a feature which has certainly since been very amply, too amply, atoned for-there was a prolonged absence of rain, which materially injured our pasture. In the years 1860, '61, I need hardly remind you there was a great excess of rain, which did infinite damage to the country-which covered our plains with inundations, not yet wholly subsided, and which added a severe scarcity of fuel to the diminished production of food. Of course these results could not take place without occasioning much partial distress. I naturally should not think of entering now upon any controversy as to the extent and amount of that distress. Most trying it is, indeed, to those who are intrusted with any discretion or responsibility at such periods to refrain from having resort to the most obvious and immediate methods of relief; and I believe there have been-and until very lately have been-conditions of Irish society in which there might have been an overpowering necessity for applying the most inartificial and blundering efforts of relief. The land was, to a great extent, divided between a sinking proprietary and a pauper peasantry. But now, except in very rare instances, it is in the district in which it is effected by the persons who are themselves interested-it is by spontaneous and independent effort that the struggle is made, and for the most part made successfully. Of course, we must still reckon upon encountering the occasional rigour of the seasons, just as in the sister countries probably still wider ravages are being now inflicted by the shocks of foreign conflicts and the stoppage of raw materials. But I trust it will prove to be with the passions and the wrath of man as we know it will be with the strife and turbulence of the elements-since nature is always found to remedy her own excesses-and in sufficient periods to maintain her own averages. However, I entirely agree with the general bearing of the remarks which have been made by the Earl of Clancarty-that, whether