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Phosphoric acid, it must be borne in mind, is a mineral substance that is abso-
Now, some soils contain a greater abundance of phosphorus than others, to be sure, but no matter how large a percentage a soil may contain, if any particular class of plants is to be grown upon it repeatedly, and the crop removed, the necessity of greater supplies will be more and more apparent, and an artificial application will be needed.
The most economical source of this supply is bones. These are composed chiefly of phosphate of lime, or lime and phosphoric acid, but in this form the substance is still insoluble in water.. Phosphoric acid is what is known in chemistry as a tri-basic acid. Each atom is capable of uniting with three atoms or molecules of a salt as its base, and in bones this base is always lime, that is, the phosphoric acid in bones is always united with lime in the proportion of one atom of the former to three of the latter. Now, if we can replace two of these three parts of lime by water, that is, put two parts of water in the place of two parts of lime, we change the nature and character of the whole substance. And this is just what we do when we treat the bones with sulphuric acid, or the common oil of vitriol of commerce. When water takes the place of two parts of lime in the molecular structure of phosphate of lime, the substance becomes easily soluble in water. It is converted into a soluble condition, and in this form it is available as the food of plants, and is called superphosphate. If there is an abundance of sulphuric acid used, the two parts of lime which are removed from the combination with phosphoric acid will unite with the surplus, and form sulphate of lime, which is common plaster or gypsund, so that most true superphosphates contain more or less plaster.
The difference, then, between a phosphate of lime, as we find it in bones, and superphosphate, is, that in the one form the phosphoric acid with lime is insoluble in water, and in the other it is soluble. In the first form it is not available as food for plants. Unless it is decomposed by the action of sulphuric acid, the plant cannot yet hold of it till it goes through the long process of natural decay. Treatment with sulphuric acid brings it into a condition to be easily and quickly available, and it is one of the most important discoveries of modern science, so far as its connection with agricultural chemistry is concerned.
Law of Commercial Fertilizers.
The regulation by law has been attempted in many of the states, though not
The Legislature of Massachusetts of 1874 took hold of the matter in earnest, and enacted a law which requires every manufacturer or importer of commercial fertilizers to take out a license at the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, paying therefor fifty dollars annually for each kind of fertilizer offered for sale, at the same time filing with the Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture a paper giving the names of his principal agents, and the name and composition of the fertilizer made or imported by him. He is also required to have the article analyzed, and to give the percentage of nitrogen, of ankydrous potassium oxide, or its
equivalent in potassium, in any form or combination soluble in distilled water, and of phosphoric oxide, in any form or combination soluble in a neutral solution of citrate of ammonia at a temperature not exceeding one hundred degrees Fahrenheit; and also the percentage of phosphoric acid not soluble as above with the material from which it is obtained. A copy of the analysis must also accompany every parcel sold or offered for sale. The penalty for a violation of the law is fixed at fisty dollars for the first offence, and one hundred for each subsequent offence.
The chemist of the State Board of Agriculture is made State Inspector of Fertilizers, and it is made his duty to analyze one or more specimens of every kind of commercial fertilizer coming within the cognizance of the law; and he is authorized to take from any package of fertilizers in the hands of any dealer, samples not exceeding one pound each. He is required to report the results of his inspection annually to the State Board of Agriculture. It is also made the duty of the Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture to institute proceedings against all parties violating the act, on being informed of such violation by the Inspector,
This law, if faithfully enforced, ought to furnish ample protection.
Our Agriculture. Few persons, probably, are aware of the amazing growth which the agriculture of this country has made during the last thirty or forty years, or since the opening of canals and railroads to the West. Previous to 1825, when the Erie Canal was opened, there were no lines of railway to facilitate the transportation of merchandise. 'í'he increase after that date was slow at first, as compared with some recent periods; but the yield of Indian corn had risen, by 1840, to about 380,000,000 of bushels. In the ten years following, the increase of this cereal was quite marvellous, for in 1850 it amounted to about 600,000,000 bushels, occupying 31,000,000 acres of land. It was a gain of 57 per cent. in ten years, while the increase of population in the same time was only 35 per cent. It formed about three sixteenths of the whole agricultural production of the country, and amounted to over 25% bushels for each inhabitant. This truly American product, the king of cereals, reached the enormous figure of about 840,000,000 of bushels in 1860.
The increase in the production of wheat was scarcely less astonishing. From about 85,000,000 of bushels in 1840, it has risen to nearly 300,000,000 in 1870, and has entered very largely into the exports of the country, and become of vast commercial importance. At the same time, our ability to increase the production is capable of almost unlimited expansion, by the occupation of new lands, the introduction and use of machinery, and the spread of population.
Taking, therefore, these two great staples together, it appears that we raise very nearly 1,200,000,000 of bushels à year, or enough to give a bushel apiece to every man, woman, and child on the face of the globe. It is to be borne in mind, also, that the agricultura terests of the country involve a vast amount of capital, give employment to myriads of men, and produce, annually, the enormous income of twenty five hundred millions of dollars.
THE PUBLIC DEBT. Statement of the Public Debt, September 1, 1874, not including bonds issued in aid of the Pacific Railroad Corporations. Debt bearing interest in coin
$1,724,253,250 00 Debt bearing interest in currency
14,678,000 00 Matured debt
2,578,410 26 Debt bearing no interest
515,705,573 37 Total principal
$2,257,215,263 63 Total accrued interest
$2,286,571,775 12 Cash in the Treasury Coin
$146,393,160 E8 TOTAL DEBT less amount of cash in the Treasury $2,140,178,614 24
POETRY, ANECDOTES, ETC.
EXAMPLE. AROUND this lovely valley rise
WHATEVER you wish your child to be, The purple hills of Paradise.
be it yourself. If you wish it to be hap0, softly on yon banks of haze
py, healthy, sober, truthful, affectionate, ller rosy face fair Summer lays !
honest, and godly, be yourself all these.
If you wish it to be lazy, and sulky, and Becalmed along the azure sky,
a liar, and a thief, and a drunkard, and a The argosies of cloudland lie,
swearer, be yourself all these. As the Whose shores, with many a sliining rift, old cock crows, the young cock learns. Far off their pearl-white peaks uplift. You will remember who said, " Train up Through all the long mid-summer day
a child in the way he should go, and The meadow sides are sweet with hay.
when he is old he will not depart from I seek the coolest sheltered seat,
And you may, as a general rule, as Just where the field and forest meet,
soon expect to gather grapes froin thorns, Where grow the pine trees tall and or figs from thistles, as get good, healtlıy, bland,
happy children from diseased, and lazy, The ancient oaks austere and grand,
and wicked parents. And fringy roots and pebbles fret
DR. JOHN BROWN, of Edinburgh. The ripples of the rivulet.
WHEN WILL THE END COME? I watch the mowers as they go Through the tall grass, a white-sleeved WHEN legislators keep the law, row;
When banks dispense with doors and With even stroke their scythes they
When berries,-whortle, rasp, and straw, In tune their merry whetstones ring; Grow bigger downward through the Behind the nimble youngsters run,
box; And toss the thick swaths in the sun;
When he that selleth house or land The cattle graze; while, warin and still, Slopes the broad pasture, basks the hill, when haberdashers choose the stand
Shows leak in roof, or flaw in right; And bright, when summer breezes break,
Whose window has the broadest light; The green wheat crinkles like a lake. J. T. TROWBRIDGE. When lawyers take what they would
give, VALUE OF A GOOD EDUCATION. And doctors give what they would DR. Joux FORBES, in speaking of his
take; success in life, after giving several rea
When city fathers eat to live,
Save when they fast for conscience sons for it, concludes thus:
sake; “ Lastly and principally, because the good man to whom I owe my existence, When one that hath a horse on sale had the foresight to know what would be
Shall bring his merit to the proof, best for his children. He had the wis
Without a lie for every nail dom, and the courage, and the exceeding That holds the iron on the hoof: love, to bestow all that could be spared of his worldly, means to purchase for Till then let Cuming blaze away, his sons that which is beyond price, ED- And Miller's saints blow up the globe; UCATION; well judging that the means But when you see that blesséd day; so expended, if hoarded for future use, Then order your ascension robe. would be, if not valueless, certainly eva.
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES. nescent, while the precious treasure for which they were exchanged, a cultivated
WORDS OF WISDOM. and instructed mind, would not only last through life, but might be the fruitful
“Never value anything as profitable to source of treasures far more precious thyself which shall compel thee to break than itself. So equipped, he sent them thy promise, to lose thy self-respect, to forth into the world to tight life's battle,
hate any man, to suspect, to curse, to leaving the issue in the hand of God; act the hypocrite, to desire anything contident, however, that though they which needs walls and curtains."
M. ANTONINUS. might fail to achieve renown, or to conquer fortune, they possessed that which, " What will it avail thee to dispute it rightly used, could win for them the profoundly about the Trinity, if thou be yet higher prize of HAPPINESS."
void of humility, and art thereby dis
pleasing to the Trinity ? Surely, high TRUST.
words do not make a man holy and just;
but a virtuous life maketh him dear to IT fortifies my soul to know
TIIOMAS A'KEMPIS. That, though I perish, truth is so; That, howsoe'er I stray and range,
" Be able to be alone. Lose not the Whate'er I do, Thou dost not change. advantage of solitude, and the society of I steadier step when I recall
thysell; nor be only content, but delight That, if I slip, Thou dost not fall. to be alone and single with OmnipresARTHUR H. CLOUGH. eney."
SIR THOMAS BROW'NE.
GOD IN NATURE, WE tread the paths their feet have worn,
FOR I have learned We sit beneath their orchard trees,
To look on Nature not as in the hour We hear like them the luin of bees Of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftenAnd rustle of the bladed corn;
times We turn the pages that they read, The still sad music of humanity, Their written words we linger o'er; Nor harsh, nor grating, though of ample But in the sun they cast no shade,
power No voice is heard, no sign is made, To chasten and subdue. And I have felt No step is on the conscious floor!
A presence that disturbs me with the joy Yet love will dream, and faith will trust, Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime Since He who knows our need is just, Of something far more deeply interfused, That somehow, somewhere, meet we Whose dwelling is the light of setting must. J. G. WHITTIER.
And the round ocean, and the living air, SIMPLICITY.
And the blue sky, and in the mind of
man; SIMPLICITY is that rectitude of soul A motion and a spirit that impels which forbids a too anxious attention to All thinking things, all objects of all ourselves and our own actions. This
thought, amiable virtue is very different from sin- And rolls through all things. cerity, and far excels it; for we often see
WORDS WORTII. very sincere persons who are devoid of simplicity. They would not pass, indeed, MARK TWAIN'S HINTS ABOUT but for what they are, but they are con
WORK tinually apprehensive of appearing to be what they are not. The child of simplici
The days are getting longer, and the
sun does not set as soon as it did in Janty affects neither virtue nor truth, and is ever inattentive to that self of which the
uary, therefore farmers have ample opgenerality are so jealous. FENELON.
portunity to put in the seed for an early crop of clothes-pins.
Turnips should never be pulled - it IMMORTALITY.
injures them. It is much better to send THE ship may sink,
a boy up, and let him shake the tree. And I may drink
Cows, in wet and slushy weather, A hasty death in the bitter sea;
should not be allowed to leave their But all that I leave
rooms, otherwise a sudden attack of inIn the ocean grave fluenza may dry up their milk.
Be care Can be slipped and spared, and no loss to ful, also, not to give them vinegar with me.
their pickles. A simple diet of soup, plain
roast beef and potatoes, and rice pudding, What care I
is the proper thing to make cows thrive. Though falls the sky,
It is evident that we are to have a backAnd the shrivelling earth to a cinder turn? ward season for grain. Therefore it will No fires of doom
be well for the farmer to begin setting Can ever consume
out his cornstalks and planting his buckWhat never was made nor meant to burn.
wheat cake in May instead of August.
The pumpkin is the only esculent of Let go the breath,
the orange family that will thrive in the There is no death
North, except the gourd, and one or two To the living soul, nor loss, nor harm.
varieties of the squash. But the custom Not of the clod
of planting it in the front yard, with the Is the life of God;
shrubbery, is fast going out of vogue: Let it mount, as it will, from form to
for it is now generally conceded that the form. CHARLES G. AMES.
pumpkin, as a shade tree, is a failure.
ALWAYS have a book within your reach which you may catch up at odd minutes, Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. Give fifteen minutes every day; it will be felt at the end of the year.
After a day like this;
The evening brings no kiss.
Rest and refuge and home;
Unto the Book I come.
The love that blossoms through
Out in the meadow dew,
Their faith is simply to be.
ONE of our most respected citizens got up a few mornings since, and in looking out of the window put out both of his
FLOWERS WITHOUT FRUIT. ANSWERS TO ENIGMAS, CONUNPRUNE thou thy words, the thoughts
DRUMS, &C., IN LAST YEAR'S
ALMANAC. control, That o'er thee swell and throng:
ANSWERS TO ENIGMAS. – They will condense within thy soul,
2. Cod. And change to purpose strong.
ANSWER TO CHARADE.-Peerless, But he who lets his feelings run
ANSWER ΤΟ GEOMETRICAL QUES.
Tion, -Six circles will enclose another In soft, luxurious flow, Shrinks when hard service must be done, equilateral triangles can be constructed
circle of equal radius. For only six And faints at every woe.
around the centre of the imper circle as Faith's meanest deed more favor bears,
an apex. Each side of the triangle will Where hearts and wills are weighed,
be twice the radius of the given circle. Than brightest transports, choicest ANSWER TO PROBLEM. - - The unlucky prayers,
hatter lost $12 and the hat. That bloom their hour and fade.
ANSWERS TO CONUNDRUMS.
1. Your mother.
2. A ditch. A TRAVELLER, on his arrival in the 3. What does Y ES spell ? city, stopped for a moment to examine a 4. When they make 22. coat hanging in front of a clothing-store, 5. Just before eve. when the proprietor rushed out, and asked, “Wouldn't you try on
ENIGMAS. coats » "I dunno but I would," re
1. sponded the traveller, consulting his
i always murmur, yet I never weep; time-killer; and he went in and began to work. No matter how often he found
I always lie in bed, yet never sleep; his fit, he called for more coats, and after
My mouth is wide, and larger than my
head, he had tried on thirty, he looked at his And much disgorges, though 'tis never watch, again resumed his own garment,
fed. and walked off, saying, “: I won't charge
I have no legs nor feet, yet swiftly run, a cent for what I've done.
If I'm ever around this way again, and you've got
And the more falls I get, more faster on.
2. any inore coats to try on, I'll do all I can to help you."
Enough for Cue, too much for two, and
nothing at si for three. A SCHOOL-BOY, being requested to
CHARADES. write a composition upon the subject of
1. “ Pins," produced the following : " Pins are very useful. They have saved the | My first is tall, and lean, and thin, lives of inany men, women, and children,
My second once was Eve, in fact, whole families." “ How so?"
My whole smokes on the farmer's board; asked the puzzled teacher; and the boy
'Tis not of sheep or becve. replied, " Why, by not swallowing Rich, brown, and luscious, tender fare them.” This matches the story of the For every worthy soul; other boy, who defined salt as “the stuff You and your second, when you dine, that makes potatoes taste bad when you
Should never first my whole. don't put on any."
If you are able to do my first as well Josh BILLINGS was asked, “How fast as my second can, you will soon be a good does sound travel ?" His idea is, that it player at my whole. depends a good deal upon the noise you
3. are talking about. " The sound of a din
In my first, my second sat; my third ner horn, for instance, travels half a mile
and fourth I ate. in a second, while an invitashun tew get up in the morning I have known to be
LOGOGRAPH. three quarters uv an hour going two
Take away one letter, and I murder; pairs uv stairs, and then not hev strength enuff left to be heard."
take away two, and I am dying, if the whole does not save me.
A POLITICIAN, in writing a letter of condolence to the widow of a deceased member of the legislature, says, “I cannot tell you how pained 'I was to hear that your husband had gone to heaven. We were bosom friends; but now we shall never meet again."
GEOMETRICAL PROBLEM. A pavement is to be formed of tiles of the same regular figure. Show what are the only figures that can be used.
IF your neighbor's hens are troublesome,
And steal across the way,
But fix a place for them to lay.
2. What word is that to which, if you add a syllable, it will make it shorter ?
3. Why does a miller wear a white hat ?
4. Which letter of the alphabet is most us ful to a deaf old woman?