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The Agriculture of Massachusetts.
WHATEVER may be thought of the farming interests of Massachusetts, it is certain that the ninth census-that for 1870-does not represent them fairly, or even give us an approximation to their comparative condition; that is, the statistics of the census do not enable us to show whether they have advanced or declined, as compared with 1850 or 1860; and any deductions, based on these statistics, to support the one or the other proposition, are false and deceptive. For it is evident enough that a large number of farms must have been entirely overlooked in gathering the statistics; and it is plain enough to see that, if any number of farms fail to appear in the census, the omission carries with it all the cattle and the products of those farms.
That such is the case, and that many farms must have been overlooked, appears from the fact that the total number of acres recognized in the census, including all improved and unimproved land of every description, and all woodland, is but little more than one half the actual acreage of the State. The area of this Commonwealth, for example, is about 5,000,000 of acres, or more nearly 4,992,000 acres, while the total number of acres included in the census returns is only 2,730,000 acres, a discrepancy of over 2,260,000 acres. Such are the facts.
If we examine the statistics a little more closely, this discrepancy is still more apparent. The census for 1850 returns the number of farms as 34,069; that for 1860 as 35,601; while that for 1970 gives us only 26,500 — a difference of 9101 farms since 1860. Now we know that the same causes were operating to increase the number of farms from 1860 to 1870 as from 1850 to 1860, the same causes, in fact, which have been in operation for half a century or more; but apart from this, we know that the selectmen and assessors of taxes in each town are far more likely to be correct than the assistant marshals appointed to take the census, since the jurisdiction of these latter officials extended over several towns, often embracing a large area of territory. The Statistics of Industry of 1865, made up from official returns of the selectmen of each town to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, gave the number of farms in the State at that date as 46,904, which would leave the number overlooked in gathering the census of 1870 still greater than that stated, or more than 20,000 instead of 9,000.
Now, with respect to several items, we have a still better means of comparison, for the assessors of taxes in May, 1870, returned the number of cows taxed in the State as 161,185, and in May, 1871, as 162,782; while the census of 1870, taken during the same month, returns only 114,771-a discrepancy of very nearly 50,000. And so of horses. The assessors in 1870 returned the number of horses as 107,198, and in 1871 as 112,782; while the census gives the number of horses on farms as only 41,039, and estimates the number not on farms as 45,227, making in all 86,266, and leaving a discrepancy of no less than 26,516. The same results will be found, on a comparison, with other important items.
The inference, therefore, that our agriculture is declining, so readily taken up and reiterated by the public press throughout the country, is not justified by the actual facts, nor indeed by the returns of the census itself. Our agriculture is undoubtedly changing somewhat, and adapting itself to local markets and the growth of manufacturing towns and villages, but there is no evidence that it is on the decline.
THE PUBLIC DEBT.
Statement of the Public Debt, September 1, 1873, not including bonds issued in aid of the Pacific Railroad Corporations.
Total Debt, less amount in Treasury, September 1, 1872. $2,177,322,020 55
1, 1873.. 2,140,695,365 33
THE tides are caused by the action of the Sun and Moon- especially the latter upon the ocean. As the particles of water are free to move, they are drawn towards the moon by its attraction. From a reference to the figure it will be plain that the moon has the greatest effect on the water by drawing it away from those parts of the earth where it is in the horizon, as at those places the action is to draw it along
the surface, while its action at the point directly under it must be to lift it directly away from the earth; it is also evident that as the moon draws the water away from these points, it must leave a smaller high tide on the opposite side of the earth; consequently there will be two high tides in each lunar day. If the earth were all covered with water, the effect would be that there would be a wave following the moon, and another smaller one twelve hours later, with an intermediate low water, the amount of this wave would be only a few inches, and it is only when it is interrupted by approaching a line of coast that large tides are developed. It is evident that the most favorable places for large tides must be those where the coast is indented by wide bays, becoming gradually narrower as they proceed inland. As we have stated, the principal part of the tide is produced by the moon, as that body is so near the earth. The effect of the sun on the tides is shown by increasing them when its action is in the same direction as that of the moon, that is, at the times of new and full moon, and by diminishing them when its action is opposed to that of the moon, as it is at the quarters. It is this action of the sun which causes the principal part of the variation in the height of the tides, causing what are called high and low tides. There are, however, several other causes which operate to vary the height of the tides. As the moon is at different distances from the earth in different parts of its orbit, and its effect on the tides varies with its distance, it is evident that this will cause high and low tides, the tides being highest when the moon is in Perigee, and lowest when in Apogee. As the tide always flows towards that part of the earth which has the moon in Its zenith, it is evident that the tides will vary with the changing declination of the moon, and for a point north of the equator, for example, the tides will be higher when the moon is north of the equator, er runs high, than when she is south, or runs low. The preceding are the principal astronomical causes of the variation of the tides, and it is plain that the result of them all is to make the tides quite irregular. It may be seen, however, that if the new or full moon comes at the time of the Perigee, there will be a very high tide, and if the quarter comes at the time of Apogee, there will be a very low tide; whereas, should the reverse of these conditions occur, the two tides would nearly balance each other, and there would be only moderately high or low tides. There are, however, other causes which affect the tides, and which it is not possible to predict in advance, on account of which the calculated tides are liable to be considerably out; the principal cause is the direction and force of the wind. For example, an easterly wind at the time of high tide at Boston will cause the tide to rise higher and to occur later than if it was calm; a west wind, on the contrary, will diminish the height of the tide. The height of the barometer also has an effect on the tides, the water being highest when the barometer is lowest, a variation of an inch in the barometer making a difference of about a foot in the height of the water. Distant storms, earthquakes, and varying ocean currents may have more or less effect on the tides, the relations of which are not yet fully understood.
The tides given in the Calendar pages are for the port of Boston.
The following table contains the approximate difference between the time of High Water at Boston and several other places. The reader is warned that this table will not always give the exact time of the tide, as the difference varies from day to day. It is hoped, however, it will be near enough to be useful. The difference, if preceded by + is to be added to, or if preceded by -1 subtracted from, the time as given in the Calendar pages.
Beaufort, N. C.
h.m. +7 30 Key West, Fla...........1 59 +0 44 Nantucket, Mass. ......+0 55 .....4 03 Newburyport, Mass......0 07 -0 18 Newcastle, Del..........+0 29 Cape Henry, Va. -3 34 New Haven, Conn.......0 13 Cape May, N. J. 3 10 New London, Conn.... 206 Charleston, S. C. ... -405 Newport, R. I.... 3 44 City Point, Va...... +8 08 New Rochelle, N. Y. 0 07 Cold Spring, N. J. ......3 57 New York, Gov. Island.. 3 22 Eastport, Me.... ...-0 21 Norfolk, Va.... 2 16 Edgartown, Mass........ +0 47 Philadelphia, Pa.........+2 15 Holmes Hole, Mass...... +0 14 Plymouth, Mass.........-0 10
Point Judith, R. I........—3 57
HINTS FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
Proper Mode of Extinguishing Kerosene Lamps. Explosions of kerosene lamps are frequently produced in the attempt to extinguish them by blowing down the chimney. This is a very dangerous practice, and should always be avoided. The desired result will be accomplished much more certainly and safely by giving a sharp and rather prolonged puff exactly at right angles to the top of the chimney. (That is, blow across the top of the chimney.) The draft thus created draws the flame away from the wick, when the carbonic acid immediately below the departing flame also extinguishes the red-hot charred end of the wick.
To Wash Blankets. Provide a quantity of boiling water. Take a large tub, and fill it half full of boiling water; dissolve and stir thoroughly into it two tablespoonfuls of powdered borax, and sufficient soap to make a good lather, but on no account rub soap on the blankets. Put into the tub but one blanket at a time. Shake it to and fro with the clothes-stick till perfectly wet through, then press it under the water, to remain till cool enough to use your hands in it, when each part should be examined very carefully, gently rubbing or squeezing the suds through it. Hard rubbing fulls woollens. When sure that all spots or dirt are removed, wring it into a second tub of boiling water, into which you have thorougly stirred some bluing. If your first suds are strong enough, the blanket will retain sufficient soap for the rinsing water, which in woollens requires a little soap. Shake the blanket up and down in this water with the clothes-stick, till it has flowed through every part. Then, while the water is still hot, wring it. It requires two persons to wring and shake out a bed-blanket. They should take it by the ends and snap vigorously, to remove all the water. Then carry it to the line, throw it over and pull it smooth, bringing the hems straight and true, and pin on to the line strongly. When half dry, turn it lengthwise on the line, and pull the selvages together in a straight line, so that no part may draw up in cockles, or full unevenly. It requires a fine day, and a brisk wind is desirable to dry blankets nicely. When the blanket is perfectly dry, fold very evenly, but never press or iron it.
To make Butter Cool in Hot Weather. -Set it on a bit of brick, cover with a flower-pot, and wrap a wet cloth around the pot. The evaporation cools it as well as ice.
To Remove Iron Rust.— Mix fine salt and cream of tartar, moisten with water and lay on the stain; expose to the sun, and repeat the application if necessary.
To Dry Umbrellas Properly. After the umbrella has drained, stand it on the handle and let it dry in that position.
- Rub them thorough
To Cleanse White Worsted Hoods and Clouds. ly with wheat flour, then shake well to remove the flour, and they will look nearly as well as when new.
To Cure Warts.- Dissolve as much common washing soda as the water will take up; wash the warts with this for a minute or two, and let them dry without wiping. This repeated, will, it is said, gradually destroy the largest wart. Another remedy is to rub them frequently with castor oil.
For the Sting of a Bee or Wasp.- Wet a small quantity of cut tobacco, and lay it at once on the place which was stung, holding it on tightly for four or five minutes, and the pain and swelling will be at once removed. Spirits of turpentine will reduce the swelling immediately; or, if neither that nor tobacco is at hand, honey or molasscs, or fresh butter will give relief. Spirits of ammonia, too, is a good remedy.
For Chapped Hands. - Wash the hands thoroughly in cider vinegar, and let it dry in, just before going to bed. It is rather harsh the first time, but after a few applications the hands become soft and smooth. Another remedy is to smear a drop of honey over the hands after washing, and lightly wiping them.
To Relieve Chilblains. Put some red-hot coals into an old pan, and throw a handful of corn meal upon the coals. Hold the foot in the dense smoke which will rise. One or two applications will greatly relieve the chilblains, and a persistent use of the remedy is said to cure them. Another remedy for chilblains, is to rub them every night and morning with camphorated oil, if they are unbroken, or with a mixture of one part of spirits of turpentine to three of camphorated oil. Then cover with a piece of lint or linen. To prevent chilblains, let a child always wear, in winter, warm woollen stockings, and good shoes, and avoid warming the feet by the fire, and bathing them in hot water.
Improvement in Boiling Potatoes. — After the potatoes have boiled till they are half cooked, pour off the water, and fill again with boiling water from another kettle, and finish boiling them. It is said to make them more mealy.
Oatmeal Porridge. — Take six tablespoonfuls of oatmeal and soak it over night in a pint and a half of water. In the morning stir it up well, and put the pail into a kettle of boiling water; let it boil for half an hour as hard as possible; then stir in a cupful of milk, and let it boil fifteen minutes. Season with salt, and eat it with cream. If soaked over night, it requires much less cooking than it would
Oatmeal Breakfast Cake. - Take one pint of oatmeal, a pinch of salt, and just warm water enough to stir it up into a batter, like griddle-cakes. Pour it into a shallow baking-pan, and bake for twenty minutes in a hot oven. Or if you prefer, bake it in small cakes on the griddle-iron, first putting in a handful of wheat flour and a little more water.
Oatmeal Cracknels, or Scotch Bannocks.— Take the finest quality of oatmeal and stir in barely enough water to wet it through; add a pinch of salt; let it stand for ten minutes to swell; then roll it out a quarter of an inch in thickness, first flouring the board and rolling-pin with wheat flower; cut it with a biscuit cutter, and bake in a moderate oven, as these cakes burn quickly, and only require to be of the lightest brown. If put into a close jar, they will keep for several months. Gems, made with Milk and Eggs. - Break into a quart of milk four eggs (two will answer) without beating, stir in flour till as thick as waffles. Beat till smooth, and fill the "gem" pans half full. Bake quick in a hot oven. No salt, soda, or cream of tartar. Graham gems can be made with one egg to a quart of milk or water. The " gem "" pans should be well buttered, and set into the oven to get quite hot, while the batter is being prepared, and when you are filling them, set the pan on the top of the stove to keep hot. When filled, set it immediately into the oven.
The Queen of all Puddings.- Soak a teacup of tapioca (or sago) and a teaspoonful of salt in three tumblerfuls of warm (not hot) water, for an hour or two, till softened. Take away the skins and cores of apples without dividing them, put them in the dish with sugar in the holes, and spice, if the apples are without flavor, not otherwise. Add a cup of water, and bake till the apples are softened, turning them to prevent drying, and then pour over the tapioca, and bake a long time, till all looks a brownish yellow. Eat with a hard sauce. Do not fail to bake a long time. This can be extensively varied by mixing chopped apples, or quinces, or rhubarb (pie-plant), or oranges, or peaches, or any kind of berries with the tapioca; and then sugar must be added according to the acid of the fruit, though some would prefer it omitted, when the sauce is used. The beauty may be increased by a cover of sugar beaten into the whites of eggs, and then turned to a yellow in the oven. Several such puddings can be made at once, kept in a cool place, and when wanted warmed over; many relish it better when very cold.-CATHERINE E. BEECHER.
CARRIAGE FARES IN BOSTON.
For one adult, from one place to another within the city proper (except as hereinafter provided), 50 cents. Each additional adult, 50 cents.
For one adult, from any place in the city proper, south of Dover Street and west of Berkeley Street, to any place north of State, Court, and Cambridge Streets, or from any place north of State, Court, and Cambridge Streets, to any place south of Dover Street and West of Berkeley Street, One Dollar. For two or more adults, 50 cents each.
Children under four years, with an adult, no charge.
Children between four and twelve years old, with an adult, 25 cents each. From twelve at night to six in the morning, the fare for one adult is double the preceding rates, and 50 cents for each additional adult.
BE NOT ANXIOUS OVER MUCH.
- You cannot hope for anything like contentment so long as you continue to attach that ridiculous degree of importance to the events of this life which so many people are inclined to do. Observe the effect which it has upon them; they are most uncomfortable if their little projects do not turn out according to their fancy; nothing is to be angular to them; they regard external things as the only realities; and as they have fixed their abode here, they must have it arranged to their mind. In all they undertake they feel the anxiety of a gambler, and not the calmness of a laboring man. It is, however, the success or failure of their efforts, and not the motives for their endeavor, which gives them this concern. "It will be all the same a hundred years hence; " so says the Epicurean as he saunters by. The Christian exhorts them to extend their hopes and their fears to the far future. But they are up to their lips in the present, though_they taste it none the more for that. And so they go on, fretting and planning and contending, until an event, about which, of all their anxieties, they have felt the least anxious, sweeps them and their cobwebs away from the face of the earth.- ARTHUR HELPS.
ECONOMY OF TIME. - Men of business are accustomed to quote the maxim that time is money; but it is much more: the proper improvement of it is self-culture, self-improvement, and growth of character. An hour wasted daily on trifles, or in indolence, would, if devoted to self-improvement, make an ignorant man wise in a few years; and, employed in good works, would make his life fruitful and death a harvest of worthy deeds. Fifteen minutes a day devoted to self-improvement will be felt at the end of the year. Good thoughts and carefully garnered experience take up no room, and are carried about with us as companions everywhere, without cost or incumbrance. An economical use of time is the true mode of securing leisure; it enables us to get through business and carry it forward, instead of being driven by it.
(Cur. Sept., 1873, by Wm. Brooks, P. O. Boston, from documents furnished by the P. O. Department.) Domestic Letters. — The rate of postage on all domestic letters not exceeding one half oz. is 3 cts.; and an additional rate of 3 cts, for each additional half oz., or fraction thereof, to be in all cases prepaid by postage stamps,weight limited to 4 lbs. DROP or LOCAL LETTERS, 2 cts. per each half oz., at offices where free delivery by carrier is established; at other offices 1 ct., prepaid by stamps. IRREGULAR MATTER, part writing and part print: Letter rates are to be charged on such matter, except as hereinafter provided. REGISTERED LETTERS: The fee for registered letters is 15 ets. per letter in addition to the regular rate of 3 cts. for each half oz., or fraction. POSTAL CARDS, with postage stamp imprinted upon them, 1 ct. each. CIRCULARS, in an unsealed envelope, 1 ct. for each 2 oz. or fraction; 1ct. each if to be delivered by carrier.
Foreign Letters should indicate on the outside the route by which they are to be sent, as the difference by various routes is very great. The rate given is for 1⁄2 oz. or under, unless otherwise stated. A star (*) against the rate denotes that prepayment is optional, except for registered letters; where there is no star, the postage must be prepaid. Great Britain and Ireland, *6c. France, including Algeria, via England, oz. or under, *10c.; 1⁄2 oz. or under, *16c.; oz. or under, *20c.; 1 oz. or under *26c.; by direct steamer, 10c. Belgium, *8c. via England, via direct steamer, *6c. Holland, *10c. Portugal, via England, %4 oz. or less, 16c.; 1⁄2 oz. or less, 28c. Spain, via N. Ger. Un. direct, *11c.; via N. Ger. Un., closed mail, via England, *12c. Italy, via N. Ger. Un. direct, *10c.; via N. Ger. Un., closed mail, via England, *11c.; closed mail, *10c. Prussia, Austria, and German States, via N. Ger. Un. direct, *6c.; via N. Ger. Un. closed mail, via England, *7c.; via Stettin, *6c.; open mail,via England, *10c. Switzerland, via Bremen or Hamburg, 8c.; closed mail, *10c. Norway, via N. Ger. Un. direct, prepaid, 10c., unpaid, *13c.; via N. Ger. Un. closed mail, via England, prepaid, 11c., unpaid, *14c.; via direct steamers, *6c. Denmark, via N. Ger. Un. direct, prepaid, 9c., unpaid, *12c.; via N. Ger. Un. closed mail, via England, prepaid, 10c., unpaid, *13c.; via Stettin, 7c.; closed mail, via Bremen or Hamburg, *7c. Sweden, via N. Ger. Un. direct, prepaid, 10c., unpaid, *12c.; via N. Ger. Un. closed mail, via England, prepaid, 11c., unpaid, *13c; via Stettin, 10c.; direct steamers, *6c. Russia, via N. Ger. Un. direct, prepaid, 10c., unpaid, *14c.; via N. Ger. Un. closed mail, via England, prepaid, 11c., unpaid, *15c. Greece, via N. Ger. Un. direct, *14c.; via N. Ger. Un. closed mail, via England, *15c.; via England, *20c. Con stantinople, via N. Ger. Un. direct, *10c.; via N. Ger. Un. closed mail, via England, *11c.; via England and French packet, 20c. Canada, including New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, prepaid 6c., unpaid, *10c. Newfoundland, 6c. West Indies, 18c., except islands at which mail steamers touch, where the rate is 10c. Mexico, Panama, Aspinwall, 10c. Brazil, by American packet, 15c.; via England, 28c. Sandwich Islands, 6c. East Indies, by British mail, via Southamp ton, 22c.; via Brindisi, 28c.; via N. Ger. Un. direct, 23c.; via N. Ger. Un. closed mail, via England, 24c.; via San Francisco, *10c. China, by British mail, via Southampton, 28c.; via Brindisi, 34c.; via N. Ger. Un. direct, 23c.; via N. Ger. Un. closed mail, via England, 24c.; via San Francisco, 10c.
Newspapers, Magazines, &c. (Regular subscribers.)- Newspaper, or second-class postage, is, for papers not over four ounces each, per quarter, weekly, 5 cts.; semi-weekly, 10 cts.; tri-weekly, 15 cts.; six times a week, 30 cts.; seven times a week, 35 cts., paid quarterly or yearly in advance, either at the mailing office or office of delivery. On newspapers and periodicals issued less often than once a week, not exceeding four ounces in weight, semi-monthly, 6c.; monthly, 3c.; quarterly, 1c., to be paid quarterly or yearly in advance.
BILLS AND RECEIPTS for subscription may be enclosed in papers, and go free; any other written enclosure imposes letter postage.
Books. Two cents for each two ounces or fraction, not to exceed four pounds in weight; prepaid by postage stamps.
Merchandise. - Samples of metals, ores, minerals, and small packages of merchandise, flexible patterns, sample cards, phonographic paper, letter envelopes, postal envelopes and wrappers, imprinted cards, plain and ornamental paper, and photographs, not exceeding twelve ounces in weight, can now pass through the mails at the rate of two cents for each two ounces or fraction.
Miscellaneous. - Including pamphlets, occasional publications, transient newspapers, magazines, handbills, posters, prospectuses, book manuscripts, proof-sheets of books, maps, prints, engravings, lithographs and blanks; also seeds, cuttings, bulbs, roots, and scions, 1 ct. for each 2 oz. or fraction, prepaid by stamps.
Money Orders. For any amount not exceeding $50 on one order, are issued in the principal offices, on payment of the following fees: Orders not exceeding $10, 5 cts.; over $10 and not exceeding $20, 10 cts.; over $20 and not exceeding $30, 15 cts.; over $30 and not exceeding $40, 20 cts.; over $40 and not exceeding $50, 25 cts. Three orders of $50 each may be issued the same day. Foreign Money Orders, for Great Britain and the continent, are issued at rates and amounts varying with the different countries for which they are issued. The maximum to England is