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No favourable change has taken place in the state of the weather since last report. Much snow and rain have fallen, and the ground is so drenched with wet, that little or no work can be done in the fields, except on light sandy soils, so that the farmer has once more the unpleasant prospect of having to struggle with a late seed time, besides the disadvantages always resulting from a wet cold winter, which renders the land more unfit for yielding good crops, than if the season had been dry and frosty.
Those who occupy large tracts of ground, and have much tillage to perform, will be under the necessity of setting about it before the soil is in a proper state for ploughing; it may be well if they avoid hinting the furrows until the weather becomes dry, or near the time of sowing, because if heavy rains fall before it is sown, a great deal of the fine mould raised by the plough will be washed away, and either fill up the furrows at the bottom of the fields, or be carried into the ditches, whilst the unhinted furrows being solid, resist the current of the water, and will:ooner dry and break up finer at the sowing season.
It is a fact well established by the experience of every intelligent farmer, that much wet is extremely injurious to land occupied in tillage, and in this humid climate, where the crops are oftener hurt by wet than dry seasons, it is particularly necessary that the farmer should attend to the laying up his land in such a manner as would most effectually carry off all superfluous moisture, during the rainy seasons, and to avoid as much as possible letting his cattle range through his fields during the winter, because their feet at that time injures the land exceedingly, by trampling it into holes, in which the water lodges, sours the soil, and unfits it for producing a crop.
The linen market in Dublin has not been good, although it turned out better than had been expected. A large quantity of goods were sold, but at reduced prices. There was no demand from the United States of North America, owing to our unsettled political relations with that, country. Not a buyer attended from London, and very few from Scotland. Some goods were bought for Manchester, and to supply the north of England, and some have been made up for Spain. If the ports of America were open, we might expect a demand for fine linens from that quarter; but owing to the high prices of coarse linens with us, and the increase of American manufactures, but few of the lower descriptions are requi red in that country to be imported, except those they receive from Germany and Russia, and which are preferred to ours.
It is hoped that flaxseed will be on reasonable terms, and in sufficient abundance this season. Much remained from last year, and arrivals are daily taking place from America. Little importation from Riga, and other ports in the Baltic can be expected.
A letter from Liverpool gives the following dull account of trade in that gerat commercial mart. The many failures there, and at Manchester, have spread a general gloom, and show the depressed state of our commercial interests, the errors of overdriven speculation, and the insecurity of our paper fabric, while all these evils are increased by an exclusion from the continent.
“During the last fortnight, the demand for British Plantation Sugars, has been very dull, and the prices have declined, in the course of that period, about 2 a 3 per cwt.
BELFAST MAG. NO. XXXI.
This reverse is, in some measure, owing to the unhapppy character of the times, which has rendered it necessary for the Importers to require immediate payment, instead of granting the usual terms of credit. The stock, in this market, is now moderate, and as no arrivals of consequence will soon take place, the prospect is considered to be more favourable, but much will depend on the course which may be adopted, with regard to the distilleries. A few trifling sales of foreign sugars have been made to speculators, at very low prices, but, while there is so little prospect of an export opening, it cannot be expected that any thing of moment will be done. Should a change, however, take place in the commercial policy of the belligerents, tending to facilitate our intercourse with the continent of Europe, we might calculate upon a revival in the export demand, and a consequeut improvement in the prices, particularly as our stock is now estimated, at 1000 tons less than it was at the commencement of the last year.--Notwithstanding the extremely low prices at which coffee can now be purchased, the home consumption has not, apparently, become more extensive, and the export demand continues as limited as it has been at any former period. The demand, for the low qualities of rum, is very limited, but Jamaica, of good flavour and strength, goes off pretty regularly.Of Pimento it is scarcely possible to effect a sale upon almost any terms.For Cocoa there is no enquiry.Ginger remains stationary.
"Scarcely, at any former period, have we witnessed a greater and more uniform depression than has prevailed in our Cotton-market, for several weeks past. The demand has continued unusually limited, and being quite inadequate to the quantity offered for sale, several parcels have been forced off at reduced prices. In the manufacturing towns, trade is, at present, upon the decline, and the state of affairs here, we are sorry to say, is such, that we know not when to look for the restoration of commercial confidence. Ashes of good quality, have not, of late, experienced much alteration, and the demand, though not extensive, is, upon the whole, tolerably regular.
"Several cargoes of timber have lately arrived, very little of which can be sold, as the dealers, from the limited nature of the country demand, have no encouragement to become purchasers. One cargo of New England Pine has been sold at 2s. 10d. and some of the importers, for prompt payment, would be induced to accept of 2s. 9d. per foot.- -Fine Quercitron Bark continues scarce, and may be quoted from 45s. a 50s. per cwt.
"The comparatively low prices to which Barilla has fallen, has not yet afforded any inducement to purchasers, and the demand continues as limited as it has been for some time past.- -Our state of credit is increasingly low, and no one knows when he is safe. Our distresses are most serious here and in London."
Such is the state of trade in England. The mighty overgrown Leviathan is wounded. In Ireland, things are not better. The revenue in Belfast, as well as in other places, is said latterly to have considerably decreased.
Exchange has remained, through this month, without much variation, at 9 per cent. Discount on bank notes has risen to 3 per cent.
From the 20th of January to the 20th of February.
Sparkling in the moon beams pale,
And round thee shower's the polish'd hail;
Bids't the dark vapors fall in flakes of lucid snow.
There are so many mysterious effects connected with the act of freezing, that no theory accounts in a satisfactory manner for many of the phenomena which appear; and its effects on animal and vegetable substances are not always reducible to the same
principles of action: cover a plant above, as is the practice of gardeners when their wall-trees are in flower, and it escapes uninjured, when others, with which this precaution is not taken, are killed. We may often observe during intense cold, that when clouds intervene between the earth and the superior part of the atmosphere, the freezing ceases, and the thermometer begins to ascend as soon as the stars are hid from our view; and from some experiments, I have reason to believe that this effect is not produced by any diminution of electrical matter: knowing this salutary effect of covering, I have often protected several very tender plants, and preserved them uninjured from intense frost. By this means the dark-eyed Cistus (Cistus Formosus) and Sage-leaved Cistus (Cistus Salvifolius) have been preserved from the severe cold of the 28th, 29th, and 30th of January. The Japanese Rose, (Camellia Japonica) Wing-podded Sophora (Sophora Tetraptera) Small-leaved Sophora, (Sophora Microphylla) trained against a wall; the Blush Chinese Rose (Rosa Semperflorens) and Green Tea (Thea Viridis) in the open ground have survived without injury.
It may, however, be observed, that plants in general have suffered much less by the late severe weather, than they do with far less severe cold, when it comes in the month of November, when their wood is not so well hardened, and a greater quantity of sap is in the branches.
Jan. 22...Some flowers blown of common Primrose and Crimson Variety (Primula Vulgaris)-Redbreast, Wood-lark and common Wren, singing.
25...Common Thrush (Turdus Musicus) began to sing.
28-Saw one of the Black-billed Awk (Alca Pica) shot in Belfast Lough. Feb. 6...The Hedge Sparrow (Motacilla modularis) singing.
10 The Chaffinch (Fringilla Celebs) singing-Snow-drops (Galanthus nivalis) not yet in full blow.
11...Common Lark (Alauda arvensis) singing.
Since the 25th of December, 1796, when the Thermometer was at 154 degrees, at 8 A. M. we have had no cold approaching that of the 30th of January. In 1796, accounts from London mentioned the thermometer having been five degrees below 0.
Fine day with frost.
Dark day with some small rain.
Snow showers with frost.
Frosty, fine bright day.
Very cold days, with snow falling. Such was
Thawing during the day, rain towards night.
Fine dry day.
Very wet morning.
Frosty fine day.
Frosty morning, wet afternoon.
Gentle snow showers, afterwards rain.
Heavy fall of snow in the morning, afterwards
rain at night.
The range of the thermometer during this period has been greater than is often observed in the same time. On the 28th, at 8, A.M,...18 at 9, P.M. 17°...on the 29th, at 8, A.M. 19°,...at 9, 19°...at 12, 24°...at 9, P.M. 19°...on the 30th, at 8, A.M.159... ...at 9 22...at 11 338...at 10, P.M.32o. On February 6, at 9 A.M. 45...on the 8th, at 9, A.M. 46.
Range of the Barometer has also, at particular times, been considerable; on the 24th of January it was as high as 30.5; and on the 1st of Feb. it was as low as 28.4.
The winds have been extremely variable, and often blown with unusual violence; it is somewhat remarkable, that however calm it was during the day, it regularly began to blow at night.
The wind was observed S.W. 13...N.W. 5...W. 1....S.E.6....S. 1...N.E. 5...and North 1 time.
Some time ago a letter was sent to us said to be found among the papers of a physician deceased, containing an attack on the character of a person in this town. Whether the reflections are ill or well founded, we will not suffer our pages to be the ve hicle of abuse on individuals, or permit them to be defiled by the malignant passions of those, who may seek thus to vent their ill will. Of public measures, and public men, we will speak freely, but we will not aid the attack on private characters, or suffer the satirist under our shelter, to fire on his victims at random; sometimes indeed it may happen against the guilty, but frequently against the innocent. Our correspondent is mistaken, if he suppose that the permitting such a practice, would aid the liberty of the press. Dr. Franklin in his humourous account of the highest court of judicature in Pensylvania, the court of the press, has well pourtrayed the dangers arising from the licentiousness of the press, attacking the characters of private persons. We refer our correspondent to it, particularly to the 2nd and Sd articles. A continuation of the Ramb e, by S. S. has been received.
Page 84-1st col.-21 line, for meat read meal.
82-1st col.-27 line, for manufactories read manufactures.
BELFAST MONTHLY MAGAZINE.
MARCH 31, 1911.
COMMUNICATIONS ORIGINAL AND SELECTED.
For the Belfast Monthly Magazine.
ON THE STUDY.OF GRAMMAR.
TiE study of grammar, formerly thought of so much importance, as the foundation stone of the noble art of oratory, seems of late to have fallen into some disrepute. We daily hear it pronounced, in the most grave and imposing manner, that our attention ought to be given not to words, but to things. It is said, that the study of grammar is only the study of words; that none but pedants would pay a minute attention to it; that a blockhead can never be assisted by it, and a man of abilities does not need its assistance, in the acquisition of knowHelge, or the cominunication of it to others.
Those who object against this science, that it is merely employed upon words, are far from bringing forward so heavy a charge as they imagine for it would be strange to assert that words are unworthy of attention. Words stand for ideas; and those who are unacquainted with the exact import of the words they employ, and the proper manner of arranging them in a sentence, will be far from thinking clearly, or expressing themselves elegantly. They will, in a peculiar manner, be liable to mistake the meaning of others, and imperfectly to communicate their own. If their minds be in any degree fertile, they will be overburthened by the weight of their own ideas. If they be ardent lovers of truth, they will find
BELFAST MAG. NO. XXXII,
The calumniators of this science seem to consider its utmost effort to he the right placing of some insignificant particle, or the proper formation of a verb or pronoun; but they ought to be told, that "if they penetrate into the innermost parts of this temple of science, they will there discover such refinement and subtility of inatter, as are not only proper to sharpen the understandings of young persons, but sufficient to give exercise for the most profound knowledge and erudition.”
It is only by the grossest misapplication of language, that the epithet of pedantry can be attached to the study of what forms one of the noblest characteristics of our nature. The man who is imperfectly acquainted with his native tongue, is the most likely to be a pedant, for he must be the slave of language. But he who is master of it, will be able to use it as he pleases; he can mould it at his will, and give it whatever form and expression may best suit his purpose.
The science of grammar cannot indeed give sense to the blockhead, any more than the art of dancing can teach the lame to walk; but the