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feeding stall-feeding increases manure, which is the surest staple of tillage; and I believe it to be true, notwithstanding the decrease for the last few years in the value of crops, still that all the processes and methods of agriculture in Ireland are exhibiting continued improvement. Much capital has been devoted to drainage; and whether we consider the character of the crops, the soil, or the climate, there is no doubt that agricultural speculation could not take a more beneficial direction. The late Report of the Commissioners of Public Works shows that in Ireland on 200,000 acres thorough draining, in a great part subsoiling, has been carried into succcessful operation since 1848. The amount expended in the last few years was, in 1859, £30,000; in 1860, £32,000; in 1861, £36,000; and in the first half of the present year, £32,000. In the county of Limerick alone the gross expenditure contemplated and in progress under the last improvements has been £188,000, of which £9,000 has been for labourers' dwellings. This quota is above the average of the other Irish counties, and is only exceeded by Cork and Kerry. Now, this process of drainage naturally gives room for the introduction of improved implements, such as we saw with pleasure at the Show-yard to-day, by which, being enabled to conduct all the operations of agriculture more rapidly, we may render ourselves less dependent on climate or weather, or, in the literal words of the old proverb, we may be thus enabled to "make hay while the sun shines." I am aware to what disadvantage the cutting of hay and corn, and the stacking of turf must be exposed in some of the rainy seasons with which we are so often visited; but I cannot help thinking that by a more vigilant and determined attention to such opportunities as present themselves, even in the most untoward seasons, a great deal of that which is now lost might be made comparatively safe. I have admitted, then, that there is certainly something of gloom in the circumstances which have of late surrounded us; but I feel sure that every lesson borrowed both from the past, the present, and the future, warns us against giving way to despondency. Even now, in many crops, and in many districts, there are manifest signs of progress and improvement. I earnestly trust that a fine autumn may give us a turning point in the character of the late seasons. There are some, though I cannot pretend to dive into their mysteries, who, from magnetic and electrical observations, feel justified in assuming that they will be able to ascertain more accurately those general laws which regulate the character of the seasons, and of the wea
ther; but I trust that in any case the agriculturists of Ireland will profit by experience in the same way in which they so largely did after the disastrous period which intervened from 1845 to 1849. In the remarks which I have thus taken the liberty to address to you, I have mainly confined myself, as I was bound to do, to the topics and prospects of Irish agriculture, but both within and without their range there has been of late no lack of disturbing causes. Europe, Asia, and above all America, have heaved and are heaving with convulsions. We have sustained one famine in Ireland; we are now suffering in some degree, though in a very mitigated degree, from deficient harvests. The wealthiest district of England seems now all but paralyzed by the sudden withdrawal of its most vital element. The commerce of the world has altered its laws and its actions. Steam and railways have changed the whole condition of transit. Such changes, so extensive-such shocks, so violent defy all calculation; but they should not shake our confidence in Him who gives the sunshine as well as the storm-the fertilizing rain as well as the drought-manna, the milk and the honey, as well as the stony rock and the sandy desert—who from evil bringeth good, and in judgment remembers mercy.
ROYAL DUBLIN SOCIETY'S SPRING CATTLE SHOW.
MEETING FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF PRIZES.
[APRIL 8TH, 1863.]
ORD DUNLO moved a vote of thanks to His Excellency for his kindness in attending on that occasion, as well as on every other occasion when the industrial resources of the country could possibly be forwarded. It was the good fortune of the Society on such occasions to be aided by the presence of those who held the high position of Viceroy; and he was proud to say that amongst them none did more than His Excellency to promote agricultural progress. It was gratifying to the Society to find His Excellency still entertained a good feeling towards them, because it still required a good deal of assistance, both private and public. He had much pleasure in moving the marked thanks of the Society to His Excellency.
F. MACDONOGH, Esq., Q. C., M. P., seconded the motion. Unexpected as the honour was, he discharged it with pleasure, because he thought no Irish gentleman could avoid expressing his deep sense of the services rendered to the industrial resources of Ireland by Lord Carlisle. Every man who knew Lord Carlisle, and his devotion to the interests of this country, should acknowledge that his attendance there that night was but one of his many gracious acts towards Ireland. He would say of Lord Carlisle that he believed, if he were not born in the purple, that he would, by his talents and by the invariable course of conduct which his noble nature would have prompted him to pursue, have been raised to the highest dignity.
I beg to return my very sincere thanks for the vote which has been so kindly moved, seconded, and accepted. I confess it seems to me, Gentlemen, that we have come here together under somewhat cheering circumstances. In the first place, the Show itself, which is the proper and main business of the place and time, has been eminently successful. This is a topic which I always leave to those who are more specially cognizant of the subject, and who therefore are enabled to render it more accurate justice. That has been very clearly and ably set forth by Mr. Maunsell, in his opening address. He was pleased to refer to some rather delicate, and not very peaceful functions of an ancestor of mine. Well, Gentlemen, it was the business of Belted Will, to whom he refers, to keep peace upon the Border-a mere imaginary line. It will be a happier and more cheering duty for his descendant, if he could hope to join his efforts to those of so many others in promoting feelings of the utmost good will and unity between the two spirited nations on either side of the broad Irish Channel. I quite agree with my noble friend, Lord Dunlo, as to the pleasure that most of us feel in finding that the accommodation for this exhibition furnished upon the premises of the Royal Dublin Society has received such ample extension and development. Indeed, the accommodation seems to me now to be so nearly complete as to leave little more to be desired. Great credit is due to those gentlemen who so nobly stepped forward to supply the deficiency; and I wish, in common with some who have gone before me, that we had an opportunity of informing Sir Richard Griffith to his face how kindly we feel his exertions and public spirit. The accom
plished Secretary of the Dublin Society, Dr. Steele, has furnished you with a most striking catalogue of many useful and spirited undertakings which have been effected, or are in course of progress, under the fostering care of this Society; and I join with him and others in wishing that this undertaking may receive in all quarters adequate recognition and encouragement. We cannot, Gentlemen, have advanced thus far in the year 1863 without permitting ourselves to congratulate one another upon the very improved character of the season as far as we have hitherto had experience of it. I know, Gentlemen, that upon almost all human things there are two parties-one which takes the best possible view, and the other the worst possible view of everything. This has been the case with respect to the condition and general prospects of Ireland. The truth generally may be found to lie between the two extremes; but I think no one upon either side-the pessimus or the optimus side-will be found to differ as to the extreme ungeniality and untoward character of the three summers through which we have passed; and it is not to be denied that bad effects naturally resulted in all departments of industry-our corn crops, green crops, our herds and our flocks. I am far from attempting to dogmatize or prophesy upon so mysterious and subtle a matter as the weather; but I do believe there is a growing persuasion, partly derived from the actual observation of the seasons, and partly from independent scientific speculations -among the rest, from observations upon the spots of the sun, and from magnetic currents upon the earth-which tend to bring about the belief that there is some law which regulates the recurrences of cycles of more or less favourable weather; and therefore, when we have hitherto experienced a spring which in its warm dryness and its early bloom reminds us of what we all imagine to be the springs of our youth, we cannot help indulging in further visions of bright summers, golden harvests, and overflowing granaries. One point, however, is clearthat until we obtain a more accurate knowledge of the laws which regulate the seasons and the conditions of climate, and can act more securely upon them, our caution ought to keep close company with our ignorance; and, gratifying as has been the sight presented to us in our yards to-day-these long ranges of well-limbed, even-backed, silkskinned cattle, these pens of soft and snowy fleeces, these ingenious marvels of machinery-and fresh as I am from admiring and even handling the "Royal Butterfly" and "Soubadar," yet I must not forget that I
have heard within a few days a piteous complaint from my own country (Yorkshire), respecting diseased cattle from various parts of Ireland. I will just read the extract from the letter of my correspondent :-" We have been suffering very serious loss for some time past-I have, no doubt, not been alone, but throughout the whole neighbourhood--on account of the diseased state of the imported Irish cattle. I have thought the cause arose from the treatment they received on shipboard, and in being driven about to different parts; but, although I have no doubt that that increases the complaint, I have been informed from a reliable source that the foundation was laid in Ireland, in want of care on the part of the breeders in not providing proper shelter for them during the winter seasons. . . . The severe seasons have, no doubt, something to do in laying the foundation of the disease in question." I have always, not without incurring some reproach, laid great stress upon the adaptabilities of the Irish soil and climate to pasture, and the rearing of flocks and herds. I shall not now in any way depart from that creed; but it is obvious that it must be a damaging and selfpunishing process to multiply, or in any way extend the growth and rearing of flocks and herds, without taking care that due provision is made both for a sufficient quantity of green crops for their feeding, and for shelter against any unusual rigour and severity of climate. There is nothing like caution and care in preventing these ills, which I will not say the caprices, but the irregularities of nature must expose us all to. There is one other still more grave and more inveterate drawback to Irish agriculture, and indeed to Irish prosperity generally, which I do not like to pass entirely without noticing, though I feel it is not the proper time and opportunity to dwell upon it; but I cannot help observing upon an evil which is more mischievous and damaging than the damp of the moistest summers, or the blast of the chilliest winters-I mean the spread of disaffection to the laws, and of recourse to deeds of violence and agrarian crime. Comparing, however, Ireland of to-day with Ireland as it once was, and indeed as I myself remember it, it would be gross injustice not to admit that rapid and manifest progress has been made, not merely in the material improvements, and in those varied processes to which your Exhibition has borne such splendid testimony, but also both in the condition and character of the people, and the feelings of the different classes towards each other.