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cold in autumn, a succession of new flowers will be produced for nearly three months, in favourable seasons. It has been a common error, that this plant does not flower till it is 100 years old: the truth is, that the flowering depends on its growth; so that in hot countries it will flower in a few years; but in colder climates the growth is slower, and it will be much longer before it shoots up a stem. The first that flowered in England is said to have been Mr. Cowell's, at Hoxton, in 1729, but they have occurred so often since that time, that they are now scarcely considered as rarities. Few of the variety with yellow-edged leaves have yet blossomed. There are hedges of the common agave in Spain, Portugal, Sicily, and Calabria; it flourishes also about Naples, and in other parts of Italy. The juice of the leaves, strained, and reduced to a thick consistence, by being exposed to the sun, may be made up into balls, by means of lyeashes. It will lather with salt water, as well as fresh. The leaves, instead of passing between the rollers of a mill, may be pounded in a wooden mortar, and the juice brought to a consistence by the sun, or by boiling. A gallon of juice will yield about a pound of soft extract. The leaves are also used for scouring pewter, or other kitchen utensils, and floors. In Algarvia, where pasture is scarce, they are cut in thin transverse slices, and given to cattle. The inward substance of the decayed stalk will serve for tinder. The fibres of the leaves, separated by bruising and steeping in water, and afterwards beating them, will make a thread for common uses. Varieties of the common Americanagave, with gold and silver striped leaves, are not now uncommon in the English gardens. The Karatto agave is a variety brought from St. Christopher's, and the name is given to other species of this genus, and has leaves from 24 to 3 feet long, and about 3 inches broad, ending in a black spine, and more erect than those of the others. This sort has not flowered in England. Linnaeus has separated this genus from the aloe, because the stamina and style are extended much longer than the corolla, and the corolla rests upon the germ. Besides, all the agaves have their central leaves closely folding over each other, and embracing the flower-stem in the centre; so that these never flower till all the leaves are expanded, and when the flower is past the plants die. Whereas the flower-stem of the aloe is produced on one side of the centre, annually from the same plant, and
the leaves are more expanded than in this genus. AGE, in horsemanship, makes a considerable point of knowledge; the horse being an animal that remarkably shews the progress of his years, by correspondent alterations in his body. We have the chief characteristics from his teeth. The first year he has only small grinders and gatherers, of a brightish colour, which are called foal's teeth. The second year he changes his four foremost teeth, viz. two above and two below, and they appear browner and bigger than the rest. The third year he changes the teeth next these, leaving no apparent foal's teeth before, but two above, and two below, on each side, which are all bright and small. The fourth year he changes the teeth next these, and leaves no more foal's teeth before, but one above and below on each side. The fifth year his foremost teeth are all changed, and the tushes on each side are complete; and those which succeed the last foal's teeth are hollow, with a small black speck in, the middle, which is called the mark in a horse's mouth, and continues till he is eight years old. The sixth year there appear new tushes, near which is visible some young flesh, at the bottom of the tush ; the tushes being white, small, short, and sharp. The seventh year his teeth are at their full growth, and the mark in his mouth appears very plain. At eight all his teeth are full, plain, and smooth, and the black mark but just discernible; the tushes looking more yellow than ordimary. The ninth, his foremost teeth shew longer, broader, yellower, and fouler than before, the mark quite disappearing, and the tushes bluntish. At ten no holes are felt on the inside of the upper tushes, which, till then, are easily felt. At eleven his teeth are very long, yellow, black, and foul, and stand directly opposite each other. At twelve the teeth of his upper jaw liang over those of his under. At thirteen his tushes are worn almost close to his chaps, if he has been much ridden; otherwise they will be long, black, and foul. Age likewise denotes certain periods of the duration of the world. Thus, among christian chronologers, we meet with the age of the law of nature, which comprehends the whole time between Adam and Moses; the age of the Jewish law, which takes in all the time from Moses to Christ; and lastly, the age of grace, or the number of years elapsed since the birth of Christ. Among aucient historians, the duration of the world is also subdivided into certain periods, called ages; of which they reckon three: the first, reaching from the creation to the deluge, which happened in Greece, during the reign of Ogyges, is called the obscure or uncertain age; the history of mankind, during that period, being altogether uncertain. The second, called the fabulous or heroic, terminates at the first olympiad; where the third, or historical age, commences. The ancient poets also divided the duration of the world into four ages, or periods; the first of which they called the golden age, the second the silver age, the third the brazen age, the fourth the iron age. Not unlike these are the four ages of the world as computed by the East Indians, who extend them to a monstrous length. Age, in law, signifies certain periods of life, when persons of both sexes are enabled to do certain acts, which for want of years and discretion they were incapable of before. Thus, a man at twelve years of age ought to take the oath of allegiance to the king, in a leet: at fourteen, which is his age of discretion, he may consent to marriage, choose his guardian, and claim his lands held in socage. Twenty-one is called full age, a man or woman being then capable of acting for themselves, of managing their affairs, making contracts, disposing of their estates, and the like; which before that age they could not do. A woman is dowable at nine years of age, may consent to marry at twelve, and at fourteen choose her guardian, and at twenty-one may alienate her lands. Age, in military affairs. A young man must be fourteen years of age, before he can become an officer in the line, or be entered as a cadet at Woolwich. Persons may be enlisted as soldiers from sixteen to fortyfive; after the latter age every inhabitant is exempted from serving in the militia. AGENT, in law, a person appointed to transact the business of another. It is a principle of law, that whenever a man has a power, as owner, to do a thing, he may, as consistent with his right, do it by deputy, either as agent, factor, or servant. If a person be appointed a general agent, the principal is bound by all his acts. But an agent, specially appointed cannot bind his principal by an act whereby he exceeds his authority. AGERATUM, maudlin, in botany, a genus of the Syngenesia Polygamia HEqualis class of plants, with a monopetalous perso
mated flower; and an oblong membranaceous fruit, divided into two cells, which contain a number of minute seeds, affixed to a placenta. There are two species. AGGREGATE, in botany, is a term used to express those flowers which are composed of parts or florets, so united or incorporated by means either of the receptacle or calyx, that no one of them can be taken away without destroying the form of the whole. They are opposed to simple flowers, that have no such common part, which is either the receptacle or the calyx, and are usually divided into seven kinds, viz. the aggregate, properly so called, whose receptacle is dilated, and whose florets are supported by foot-stalks; such are the blue daisy, thrift, or sea-pink, &c.: the compound, which consist of several florets, that are placed, without partial peduncles, on a common dilated receptacle, and within a common perianthium; and where each floret hath its proper calyx; it is also a perianthium : umbellate, when the flower consists of many florets placed on fastigate peduncles, proceeding from the same stem or receptacle; and which, though of different lengths, rise to such a height as to form a regular head or umbel, flat, convex, or concave : cymous, when several fastigate peduncles proceed from the same centre, like the umbel, and rise to nearly an even height; but unlike the umbel, the secondary or partial peduncles proceed without any regular order, as in sambucus, viburnum, &c. : amentaceous, which have a long common receptacle, along these are disposed squamae or scales, which form that sort of calyx called the Amentum: glumose, which proceed from a common husky calyx belonging to grasses, called Gluma, many of which flowers are placed on a common receptacle called Rachis, collecting the florets into the spike, as triticum, hordeum, bolium, &c.: and spadiceous, which have a common receptacle, protruded from within a common calyx, called Spatha, along which are disposed several florets. Such a receptacle is called a Spadix, and is either branched, as in phoenix; or simple, as in narcissus, &c. In this last case, the florets may be disposed all around it, as in calla, draconitum, &c.; on the lower part of it, as in arum, &c.; or on one side, as in zostera, &c. These flowers have generally no partial calyx. AGGREGATE, in the Linnaean system of botany, is one of the natural methods of classing plants, and comprehending those which have aggregate flowers.
AGGREGATION, in chemistry, denotes the adhesion of parts of the same kind. Thus, pieces of sulphur united by fusion form an aggregate. AGIO, in commerce, a term chiefly used in Holland and at Venice, where it denotes the difference between the value of bank stock and the current coin. Money in bank is commonly worth more than specie: thus, at Amsterdam, they give 103 or 104 florins for every 100 florins in bank. At Venice, the agio is fixed at 20 percent. See Exchange. Agio is also used for the profit arising from the discounting a note, bill, &c. Agio of assurance, is the same with what we call policy of assurance. See Assur Ance. AGREEMENT, in law, signifies the consent of several persons to any thing done or to be done. There are three kinds of agreement. First, an agreement already executed at the beginning, as when money is paid, or other satisfaction made for the thing agreed to. Secondly, an agreement after an act done by another, to which a person agrees: this is also executed. Thirdly, an agreement executory, or to be executed in time to coine. An agreement put in writing does not change its nature, but if it be sealed and delivered, it becomes still stronger, nay, any writing under hand and seal, or a proviso amounting to an agreement, is equivalent to a covenant. AGRICULTURE is the science which explains the means of making the earth produce, in plenty and perfection, those vegetables which are necessary to the subsistence or convenience of man. Its practice demands a considerable knowledge of the relations subsisting between the most important objects of nature. It is eminently conducive to the advantage of those actively engaged in it, by its tendency to promote their health, and to cherish in them a manly and ingenuous character; and every improvement made in the art must be considered as of high utility, as it facilitates the subsistence of a greater proportion of rational and moral agents; or, if we suppose the number to be unincreased, furnishes them with greater opportunities than could be possessed before, of obtaining that intellectual and moral enjoyment which is the most honourable characteristic of their nature. The strength of nations is in proportion to their skilful cultivation of the soil; and their independence is secured, and their patriotism animated, by obtaining from
their native spot all the requisites for easy and vigorous subsistence. Not only to raise vegetables for the use of man, but those animals also which are used for food, is obviously therefore part of the occupation of the husbandman; and to assist him in his operations, other animals are to be reared and fed by him, to relieve his labours by their strength and endurance of exertion. In cold and comparatively infertile climates the services of these creatures are particularly important, if not absolutely indispensable, and their health and multiplication become, consequently, objects of great and unremitted attention. The period of the introduction of agriculture into Britain is unknown. Pliny observes that at the time of the Roman invasion, the inhabitants were acquainted with certain manures, particularly marl. During the possession of the island by the Romans, great quantities of grain were exported from it, and it cannot be doubted that, as in various other respects, the rude inhabitants derived advantage from their enlightened conquer. ors; they were entinently benefited by their agricultural experience. Amidst the series of contests and confusions which followed the final abandonment of Britain by the Romans, the art and practice of husbandry must be presumed to have become retrograde. From the Norman conquest, how. ever, it derived fresh vigour, as a consider. able number of Flemish farmers, by this revolution, became proprietors of British estates, and introduced that knowledge of the means of cultivation for which their own country had been long distinguished. Before the sixteenth century few data are afforded with respect to the details of agricultural practice in this island. At this period it derived a valuable impulse from the exertions of Fitzherbert, a judge of the common pleas, whose treatises on the sub. ject were read with avidity, and, while they abounded in instruction, excited a taste and emulation for the pursuits of husbandry, Sir Hugh Platt followed this path of genuine patriotism with great assiduity, modesty, and public advantage, treating particularly on the subject of manuring. Gabriel Plattes held out to his countrymen the light of genius, guided by experience. Capt. Blyth, in 1652, published a judicious treatise, containing directions for watering lands. And Hartlib, the friend of Millan, in a work called the Legacy, suggested the establishment of a national institution for the encouragement of husbandry, and stimulated to the practice of it a number of country gentlemen, whom the violence and changes of the times had reduced to a situation in which they found it requisite to avail themselves of all means and resources to extricate themselves from comparative impoverishment. Evelyn and Jethro Tull were, at a somewhat later period, of eminent service in directing the attention of their contemporaries from the grossness and pollutions of voluptuousness, to this most valuable department of art; the former by his treatise on plants, the latter by his recommendation of the practice of drill husbandry. Since their successful and ingenious efforts, a series of valuable experimentalists and writers have performed to their country very essential service, by communicating the most useful information, and exciting a spirit of acute research and unwearied exertion. In France the political expedience of guarding against that scarcity which, in time of war, either necessitated the yielding to harsh terms from the enemy, or exposed to the miseries and horrors of famine, by continued hostilities, induced the government, in the late reigns, to bestow on the subject of agriculture considerable attention, and to hold out numerous encouragements to it. The court was present at various experiments in husbandry. Prize questions were proposed at Lyons, Bourdeaux, and Amiens, for its promotion, and no less than fifteen societies for the express purpose of advancing agriculture were established with the approbation, probably at the suggestions, of the governing powers. But, notwithstanding all those efforts, which, however, can by no means be presumed to have been totally useless, French husbandry continued in a very deplorable state, ascribable in a great degree to that tenure of lands, by which through the greater part of the kingdom the landlord contributed the stock, and the occupier the labour; dividing the profits in certain proportioned shares. This circumstance, with several others, operated to keep the cultivation of this country in an extremely low state, and a comparative estimate of the produce of an English and of a French estate, of precisely similar natural advantages, at the period when this practice prevailed, would shew that, in consequence, principally, of so absurd and perverse a regulation, the superiority of the former to the latter was at least in the ratio of 36 to 25. But the revolution of France, changing every thing, has swept away, with
many excellent individuals, and some valuable institutions, a practice so impolitic and injurious; and although our intercourse with that country, since this event, has scarcely been such as to afford accurate and detailed information of the present state of its husbandry, it cannot easily be doubted that the repeated transfers of landed property, the annihilation of partial burdens upon cultivation, the researches of ingenious chemists, and the general view of government to the productiveness of its territory, and to the promotion of its arts and sciences, must be connected with considerable improvement in this most valuable of national concerns. In Germany lectures have for many years been given on this subject, in various states of it; and several princes in the empire, particularly the present King of Bavaria, have directed to it their particular attention and patronage. In Russia the late Empress gave it every facility which could be applied in the semibarbarous state of her dominions, and sent gentlemen into this and other countries, with a view to acquire information on rural economy, for the benefit of their own. In the Dutchy of Tuscany the Archduke Leopold recently diffused the active spirit of improvement by which he was himself animated, and an academy was endowed for the promotion of agriculture. A society for the same purpose was instituted about the year 1759 at Berne, in Switzerland, consisting of men of great political influence, and also of great personal experience in rural economics. The Stockholm Memoirs sufficiently evince that Sweden, under the influence of the great Linnaeus, applied to this science with extraordinary success and advantage. Even the indolence and pride of Spain were roused to exertion on this interesting subject, and the government of that country made overtures to the Swedish Philosopher for the superintendance of a college directed to the advance of natural history and the art of husbandry. In our own country, however, from a happy combination of circumstances, the exertions of individuals, societies, #: vernment, have been directed, within the last thirty years, to the subject under consideration, with more energy and effect than have been displayed in any other part of Europe. The gentry and mobility have liberally patronized, and many of them judiciously and successfully practised it. The Royal Society, the Society of Arts, and various others, have been of distinguished service in cellecting and diffusing information, and in promoting a spirit of emulation, with respect to the management and productions of their native soil. The names of Kaims and Hunter, of Anderson and Marshall, of Sinclair and Young, are celebrated by publications, exhibiting a union of philosophical sagacity and patient experiment; the results of which have been of incalculable advantage; and to the efforts of these and other individuals, it may be ascribed that a board of agriculture was established by the government in 1793, whose exertions in procuring and publishing intelligence on the objects of its establishment have intitled it to the highest credit. By its agricultural surveys, by its diffusion of rewards for important discoveries, and of premiums for valuable treatises, and by its exertions at critical periods of scarcity, its utility and merit may be considered not only as decided, but distinguished. It has the power of directing public attention to any topics particularly requiring practical research or illustration, and possesses the means of most advantageously diffusing its collections, circumstances of high importance to the utility of the establishment. It must be regarded as its privilege as well as duty, to suggest, from time to time, to the legislature means for removing various impediments still existing to the perfection of the art, for the promotion of which it is expressly instituted.
ON INCLOSING AND DRAINING
Inclosing of lands must be considered as the grand foundation of all improvements. When remaining open, litigations between neighbours are perpetually occurring, and the ingenuity of any individual proprietor is of little use to him, as he is obliged to follow the practice pursued by the ignorant and obstinate occupiers of the common property in which he shares. In connection with inclosures may be considered the practice of draining lands, which is the next step in rendering them productive. The superabundance of water is no less injurious to vegetation than the absolute want of it; and, whether arising from rain stagnating on the surface, or from springs in the interior of the earth, it is one of the most important objects of the farmer to prevent its pernicious consequences. For this purpose open or visible drains are in many cases adopted, while in others, hollow ones, so called from their being concealed in covered trenches are preferred. The width and depth of open drains must be regulated by the
variety of soil, and situation to which they are applied. To prevent, however, the sides from falling in, they must at top be three times the width they have at bottom; while their direction must obviously, and of neces. sity, be descending, it should at the same time not be steep, as this would form inequalities, and bear down their sides by the rapid rush of the water. All open drains should be cleared, at least, once in every year; which regular repairs may, in some cases, render them in the end more expensive than those denominated hollow, which will sometimes last for several gene. ations unimpaired, but demand originally a far greater sum for their completion. The practice of hollow draining was known by the Roman writers on agriculture, and is particularly mentioned by them. In stiff clays it is of little service, and it is practised with desired effect only where the soil is of that porous substance which easily admits the passage of the water through it. Opinions differ with regard to the season for carrying these works into execution, some with plausible reason preferring the summer, and others having nearly as much to state in recommendation of winter for the purpose. The depth of the drain from the surface of the land should generally be from twenty-six inches to thirty-two; and the principal rule for their depth is, that they should be secured from receiving injury from the feet of horses or cattle ploughing on the spot under which they are made. It is desirable to constitute the drain in such a manner that the stones may lean towards each other, so as to form a triangle, of which the bottom of the drain forms the base; in which case the width of a foot may be regarded as sufficient for them. The ditches constructed for these drains must be executed with great neatness and care; and with respect to filling them up, which they should be about ten inches deep, if stones are plentifully at hand they should be applied for this purpose. But in many places faggot-wood, horns, bones, straw, fern, and even turf, laid in like a wedge, are all used in different situations, and drains constructed of these materials, thirty years ago, are found in several places effectually to answer their purpose still. By many persons, straw twisted into a very large rope, has been successfully laid in the bottom of the ditch; and by others, after twenty years experience, the white thorn has been recommended as answering better than all other materials.