J. Forbes (John Forbes) Royle.

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considered a modern European invention. The
native peasant, according to Mr. Colebrookc;,
" feels a superstitious predeliction for the trees
planted by his ancestors, and derives comfort^
and even profit from their fruit," while " the
clumps of bamboos M'hich, when once planted,
continue to flourish as long as they are not
too abruptly thinned," supply him materials for


GardensinBen- the coiistruction of liis cottage, at the same time
that they are sources of profit.

The Hindoos also grow useful plants near their
houses, and are attached to the culture of flowers,
for offerings at the shrines of their gods, or for
throwing into their sacred streams, as well as
for adorning their persons, as in the form of
necklaces of jessamine and of the night-blowing
nyctanthes. Yet Gardening seems never to have
made much progress, as Dr.Wallich describes the
gardens of the natives in Bengal, and many will
recognize the truth of the description, as consist-
ing of an assemblage of straight and narrow rows
of arecas, planted at right angles ; beds of endless
tagetes, and a few others of the most common
flowers ; with wildernesses of inferior sorts of
plantains and some other ordinary fruits ; also
the mangoe in its natural state, the guava, and
Gardens in N. In the north- west of India, where the customs
*" of the Mahomedan conquerors chiefly prevail,

the gardens partake of the Persian character, but
with the intermixture of the usual Indian with
some northern plants. The gardens are generally
laid out in squares, divided by imperfectly kept
roads, which are bordered with water-courses for
irrigation. These are also agreeable for the cool-
ness they create ; and are sometimes formed of
stone, and at others, as in the palaces, of marble.
The trees often consist of rows of cypress, or of
oranges and limes, with fine peaches, the pome-


granate, apple, grape-vine, and mulberry ; in- Gardens in n.
different mangoes, plantains, with the guava
and custard-apple, Indian jujube, and curounda.
The Melon tribe is extensively cultivated, and
also some of the more ordinary vegetables. The vegetables.
usual flowers consist of the rose, jessamine, and Flowers,
tuberose, with the hyacinth, narcissus, crinum,
some flowering arborescent bauhinias and cassias,
with a few trees, such as the neem and bukayun,
with the simbhaloo, used like the others medici-

The gardens of India usually disappoint a Eu-
ropean, accustomed to the rich variety of English
gardens, yet that the natives are much attached
to such institutions, is evident by their having
been established, and also villages assigned for
their maintenance, by the native governments at
Agra, Secundra, and Saharunpore. The gardens
at Delhi, especially that called Shalimar, were Delhi.
formerly of great repute ; but that of the palace of
the king is alone kept up with any care. Here
the shady trees, surrounded by the lofty palace
wall, and constant irrigation from a branch of
the Canal flowing through the garden, produce
an artificial climate, which is cooler, moister, and
more equable than that of the surrounding coun-
try. This accounts for the existence there in the
open air, of a tree, found only in the southern
parts of India, and which is allied in nature to,
and requires a similar climate with the tropical



Progress of The Romans, who practised successfully the
ESipl*""" '" ^^^^ ^^ culture in their own country, also intro-
duced them perseveringly into those which they
conquered, sometimes stimulating them by the ex-
action of tribute in corn. But as their influence
declined, and that of their barbarous successors
became paramount, no prospect of improvement
could be entertained, and the utmost to be
hoped for, was the preservation of that which
had already been taught. This was, in some
measure, insured by the establishment of numer-
ous religious communities throughout uncivi-
lized Europe, who, building churches, founding
abbeys, relieving the sick, and providing food
for the poor, promoted the civilization of the
people among whom they took up their abode.
As the lands which these establishments pos-
sessed required to be cultivated, not only for
their own maintenance, but also for that of their
poorer neighbours, some of the body studied the
precepts of Agriculture in the works of the
Agriculture. Romans, and practised the art with a success
to which historians have borne testimony, in their
statement of the church lands being always the
best cultivated. Gardening moreover was pur-
sued with a skill which was unknown in ancient,
and unsurpassed until very modern times.

Early stages of. ..,,,.. ,

Agriculture bemg in tlie present day so exten-


sively practised, and highly patronized through- Agricuiture-
oiit Europe, we find a difficulty in representing
to ourselves a state of society in which it was
not so. But by referring to the records of history,
we find that it often required the interference of
the sovereign to induce the subject to cultivate
that which was not only for his own advantage,
but also for the improvement of his country.
Thus, Charlemagne, in the eighth century, in France.
directed the cultivation in France of no less than
seventy-three kinds of fruit-trees and of medi-
cinal plants. The ordonance which he pub-
lished, is referred to by Montesquieu, as a monu-
ment of prudent economy and good administra-
tion. He even opened a correspondence with
Haroon-al-Rashid, and by that means procured for
France the best sorts of pulse, melons, peaches,
figs, and other fruits.* From his era, therefore,
dates the introduction of many of the best fruits
for which France is famous, as well as the esta-
blishment of orchards and vineyards.

The revival of learning and the Culture of Arts in itaiy.
having taken place in Italy, it was there that
agriculture and gardening were first regarded
with any thing like the attention they had excited
in earlier times. Crescenzio, a senator of Bologna,
wrote his work on Rural Affairs and Gardening
in the early part of the fourteenth century, though
not printed till 1471 at Florence. Irrigation had,

• The Abbe Schinde Mag. Eneye, as quoted by Mr. Loudon,
in his Encyclopaedia of Gardening.


Agriculture in however, been practised previously to 1037, and

Silk-worms were imported from Greece into Sicily

First Botanic in 1146. The first Botanic Garden was established

Garden. _^. . -r* i •

at Fisa m 1543, and the next at Fadua m 1545.
The greatest agricultural improvements took place
Improvements in Tuscany and Lombardy. In the former, the
Italy. * culture of the Vine and of the Olive were brought
to great perfection ; and the Oil of Lucca, and
the Wines of Florence became celebrated. Lom-
bardy excelled also in the management of com
and cattle, and the pastures were the most pro-
ductive in the world, having the advantages of a
climate so temperate in winter, that the grass
grows all the year; a soil naturally rich, and
an abundant supply of river water for irrigation.
HoUand. Though gardening was first brought into no-

tice in Italy, it attained perfection in Holland and
the Netherlands : the climate and soil being singu-
larly favourable for Horticulture and Flower-
gardening. The garden of Leyden was began in
1577, when the magistrates, learned men, and
citizens, all patronized the introduction of new
plants, and the captains of ships were directed
to bring them, and seeds from all parts of the
world ; so that the garden soon contained not
less than six thousand species of plants. Before
the middle of the seventeenth century, gardens
were established in all the provinces ; and this
century was distinguished by the rage for flowers,
which has been denominated Florin^ania, when
particular kinds were sold for such enormous


prices. Harte, in his Essays, considers Agriculture Arts of Culture

to have been brought at an early period from Italy

to Basle, the Economical Society of that city being

among the oldest in Europe, and the husbandry

of its neighbourhood the most perfect on the


In France the garden of Montpelier was esta- Gardens in
blished in 1597, and that of Paris completed in
1634, after eighteen years of prosecution, and six
of culture, according to the description of one
of its early superintendents. Since 1786 it has
been much improved, and still more so within the
last few years, and being connected with aUniver-
sity, forms a school of Horticulture and of Plant-
ing, as well as of Agriculture and of Medicine.
Other gardens are established in different parts of
France, and which pay attention to the Botany
and Horticulture of the several districts.

In no country, however, of Europe, or indeed in Great Bri-
of the world, have the Arts of Culture, including

in these terms both Horticulture and Agriculture,
been carried to higher perfection than in Great
Britain. But even here we observe, that they
were long in an apparently stationary state, that
their advance was slow, and that it is only in com-
paratively recent times that they have made great
progress ; the impulse having been given either Agriculture
by the patronage of the sovereign, the works of
remarkable individuals, the institution of Socie-
ties, or by some extraneous circumstance. The
Romans no doubt introduced their Agriculture,


In Great Bri- soiiie of their vesfetables, and also a few of their

tain. . . . . .

fruits, but attention to such subjects declined with

their departure. It, however, was revived by the

Improved by Norman Barons, and especially by the Clersfy,

Normans. , . .

who both paid great attention to the improvement
of the land, and the latter to the introduction also
of fruits, and the practice of gardening.

Early authors. It is curious that many to whom improve-
ments in Agriculture are traced were not profes-
sional farmers, but men engaged in other pur-
suits, who, with cultivated minds turned their
attention also to this subject. Thus, the first
English Treatise on Husbandry was written by

Sir A. Fitzher- Sir A. Fitzhcrbert, Judge of the Common Pleas
in 1534, and from this, Harte, Canon of "Windsor,
in his Essays on Agriculture, dates the revival

Tusser. of Agriculture in England. Tusser, the author

of " Five Hundred Points of Husbandry," pub-
lished in 1562, was a scholar of Eton, and after-
wards of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, before he

Sir R. Weston, applied to Farming and Literature. Sir R.Weston,
who was Ambassador from England to the Elec-
tor Palatine and King of Bohemia in 1619,
introduced Clover into England; his Discourse
on the Husbandry of Brabant and Flanders was
published in 1645, and is said to mark the dawn
of the vast improvements which have since been

Evelyn. effected in Britain. Evelyn, who is considered one

of the greatest encouragers of improvements that
had ever appeared, was, as is well known, a
gentleman attached to literature and science, and


often employed in the public service. He pub- rn Great BiI-
lished, in 1664, his " Sylva, or a Discourse on
Forest-trees and the Propagation ofTimberinhis
Majesty's dominions," with many other works,
which had a great influence in the improvement
of the country. Jethro Tull, who introduced the Tuii.
Drill Husbandry, and published his work on
Horse-hoeing Husbandry in 1731, was bred a
barrister ; he first made experiments on his own
estate, and then practised farming.

Scotland, now so remarkable for careful cul- Scotland.
ture and successful farming, was in a most de-
pressed state in these respects, even so late as
the end of the seventeenth century. The impulse
to improvement was given by such men as Lord
Kaimes, the Earl of Stair, and Mr. Cockburn
of Ormiston, who instigated a number of land-
holders to form themselves into a " Society of improvers of
Improvers in the Knowledge of Agriculture in
Scotland." As this association did not continue
more than twenty years, another was established
in 1784, and well known as the Highland So- Highland So.
ciety, whose beneficial influence in improving the ^"
Agriculture and the landed property of the coun-
try is so universally acknowledged.

In England, the Society of Arts, established ^n's^^^"^
in 1753, have also displayed very laudable zeal
in encouraging, and have therefore greatly pro-
moted planting, in the colonies, as well as in Great
Britain. The Board of Agriculture was esta-
blished in 1 793, and though not effecting all that





Improvers of


was expected, yet produced the publication of the
" County Agricultural Surveys," which have been
fruitful of information. Besides these, numerous
Agricultural societies have been established in
several counties of England, and even very re-
cently " The English Agricultural Society" in the
metropolis ; the mode in which, and the per-
sons by whom, these are supported, are indi-
cations of the value entertained for the labours
of such institutions.

From the above very cursory examination, it
is evident that the improvements have proceeded
from the amateurs and patrons of Agriculture,
rather than from those who are best acquainted
with all the practical details of the art. The
latter, indeed, have in general been found rather
throwing obstructions in the way of, than for-
warding any innovations, which interfered with
the routine methods which they had been led to
consider as essential to success. But in the pro-
gress of society, education becoming more diffused,
Practical men. and practical men, enjoying in their youth the
advantages of a liberal education, have the power,
as well as the inclination, to profit by the instruc-
tions of their predecessors ; and thus being enabled
to combine principles with practice, they them-
selves obtain important results, which have an
influence on their own, as well as on future
times, as has been evinced in the case of Mr.
Dawson of Trogden. But even within the last
half century, the principal writers, whose in-

Mo«lern au-


stroctions form the practice of the times, have
belonged to the former, rather than to the lat-
ter class ; as the celebrated Arthur Young, who Arthur Young.
commenced a series of useful and excellent
publications in 1767, and continued them until
1810. Dr. Dickson's Practical Agriculture ap- Dr. Dickson.
peared in 1806, and may be considered as giv-
ing a most complete view of the Agriculture
of the time ; while Sir John Sinclair's Code of sir j. Sinclair.
Agriculture is an epitome of the Art of Farming.
"The Farmer's Magazine," Mr. Loudon, to whose Farmer's Ma-

_ gazine.

Encyclopaedias we are indebted for many of the
above details, states " has done more to en-
lighten both the proprietors and tenantry of Scot-
land, than any work which has appeared." This
was first conducted by R.Brown, a farmer of Mar-
kle, and Dr. Somerville, a Physician of Hadding-
ton, thus uniting the advantage of a judicious com-
bination of Science with Art. The establishment
of a Professorship of Agriculture in the Univer- Professorsbip

, . °^ Agriculture.

sity of Edinburgh in 1790, indicates the necessity
which began to be felt of the combination of
Principle with the Practice of Agriculture, as is
well displayed in the Elements of Agriculture of
Professor Low, the successor of Dr. Coventry,
who had been appointed the first Professor.

If we examine the progress of that department Gardening in
of Culture which is called Gardening or Horti-
culture, we find that even what is now considered
a national taste, namely, that for Florist's Flowers,
is supposed by some to have been introduced

D 2


Flowers— into England by the Flemish manufacturers of

^ * °^' worsted, and into Scotland by the French weavers.

From Norwich the taste for the culture of Flowers
spread to other manufacturing towns, and it is
still indulged in by the weavers of Spitalfields,
and the operatives of Manchester, and until of late,
very conspicuously so by those of Birmingham.

culture of; Quc of the earliest notices of the culture of
Flowers is that at Sion House, the property of the
Duke of Somerset, under the care of Dr. Turner,
whom Pulteney considers the Father of Eng-
lish Botany, and who had studied at Pisa and

introduction of Boloffua. Duriua: the seventeenth century nu-

froni the East. .

merous plants were introduced from the East,

through Constantinople, as well as from the

East and West Indies. The Oxford Botanic

Establishment Garden was established in 1632, and that of Edin-

of Botanic

Gardens. burgh in 1680 ; in 1673 Sir Hans Sloane gave
the ground of the Chelsea Garden to the Society
of Apothecaries, on condition of their presenting
fifty new plants annually to the Royal Society.
The Cambridge and Kew Gardens were estab-
lished about the middle of the eighteenth century.
The writings of Bradley, Professor of Botany at
Cambridge, and of Miller, the celebrated Curator
of the Garden at Chelsea, had great influence on
the improvement of Horticulture. The Liverpool
Botanic Garden owes its origin, in 1803, to the
celebrated Roscoe, who, in the relaxation from
commercial pursuits, found leisure for Literature,
as well as for Botany. The example of Liverpool


has been followed in all the great commercial Gardens in
towns, as in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol,
and Hull.

It is curious in reading; the early accounts of Depreciation of

1^1 /. 1 • 1 ' 1 English Soil

the Culture of this country, to observe the want and ciimate in

,.,.,. . ™ 1 , former times.

or skill, apparent m want of success, and now
frequently this is ascribed to unfruitfulness in the
soil or to unsuitableness in the climate of Eng-
land, so that then even " Kitchen Garden wares
were imported from Holland, and Fruits from
France." Dr. Boleyn ascribes the inferiority to
want of cultivation ; and Oldys, alluding to the
depreciation of the English soil and climate,
by some adducing the fine garden of Gerrard,
says, hence it would appear that " our ground
could produce other fruits besides hips and haws,
acorns and pisfnuts." In the present day we are i" t»'e present

. ^ , . . ^ "^ day of India,

in the habit of hearing similar statements respect-
ing the unsuitableness of the Indian soil, at one
time for the production of Cotton, at another for
that of Sugar and of Tobacco ; while Indian Coffee
is hardly thought of, and its Hemp despised. Its
Opium is undervalued in comparison with that of
Turkey, and even all its Rice is thought, almost
necessarily, inferior to that of America, because
most of that is so which is imported here. Its
Spices and its Indigo are, perhaps, alone acknow-
ledged to be superior to that of other parts of
the world. It will not, however, be difficult to owing to hasty
prove that in India, as formerly in England, hasty
genemlizations have ascribed to poverty of soil.


tive'^uS%f ^^^^ "^^^^^ ^^ ^^'*^^ todeficiency of skill. There-

^vbted'' ^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^y reasonably hope, as we shall en-
deavour to show, that by following the course
which has been so successfully pursued in civi-
lized Europe, that is, the application of Principles
to Practice, we may entertain a rational certainty
of obtaining equally successful results.

m"uwT^"^ Improvements in the Arts of Culture have
taken place, as we have seen, at different periods,
but in none so conspicuously as in the present
century, when the improvements in Horticulture
have been reflected on Agriculture ; and those
made in the latter have equally advanced the
practise of the former. This is in consequence of
both having been founded on the principles of

from attention Scicncc. It is Only of late years that the pecu-

to Science. . . /. /~^i'

liarities of Climate have been studied, m conjunc-
tion with the Physiology of Vegetation; and the
assistance of Chemistry has been called in to
explain the nature of Soils, and the changes
effected in the Atmosphere. From the writings
of Brown and of Humboldt, we have learnt the
true distribution of Plants on the surface of the
globe ; and from those of the latter, the influence
Sciences con- of Climate ou Vegretation, as well as the zones of

nected with °

Arts of cui- Temperature best suited to different Cultures.
The discovery of Dr. Wells of the production of
Cold and of Dew, in consequence of Radiation ;
and Professor Daniells' observations on Evapo-
ration, on Dryness, and Moisture, and on " Cli-
mate with regard to Horticulture," have had



the most important and extended influence on
the practice of Gardening. Davy has shown
us, in his Lectures on Agriculture, the Che- Sciences con.

.- ,_ . . nected with the

micai nature and uses of soils. Ihe intimate Arts of Cuu
knowledge of Vegetable Physiology possessed by
the late Mr. Knight, the first President of the
Horticultural Society, which was founded in 1 805,
his happy combination of Science with Art, and
his constant application of the former to practice,
have had the most beneficial effect in introducing
just views respecting the influence of external
agents on Vegetation, and consequently in im-
proving the Arts of Culture.

Arts of Culture in the Colonies and
Extra-European Countries.

Considering how long and how perseveringly Arts of Culture
the Sister Arts of Horticulture and of Agri-
culture have been pursued by the people, and
patronized by the Governments of Europe, it was
but reasonable to expect that they would endea-
vour to introduce them wherever their influence
extended. This was still more to be expected
where they were interested in improving the pro-
ductiveness of the land, as is the case in their
diff*erent Colonies.

The Spaniards and Portuguese, though paying The Spaniards
little attention to such subjects in the present day, guesc"
at one time took considerable pains in introducing
into the New World some of the more valued pro-




ot Plants.

Tlie French.

spanianis and ducts of the aiicieiit Continents. The former in-
ortuguese. tj-oduccd the Pinc-applc and Tobacco into Spain.
The West-Indies and South America were in-
debted to both of them for the Orange, Lemon,
Plantain, and Tamarind, as well as for the Sugar-
cane, Grape-vine, Fig, Melon, and Pomegranate.
The Portuguese probably introduced into India
some of the richest products of America, as the
Maize or Indian Corn, the Capsicum, together
with the Guava, Custard, — and Pine-apple.

The French have generally shown themselves
more sensible than other nations of the importance
of such introductions, as is evident by their con-
stant endeavours to transplant valuable plants of
other countries into their own Colonies. Thus
they established, in 1630, a Botanic Garden at
Cayenne, to which the British West- India islands
have been indebted for some of the useful
plants of the Old World. The Coffee was intro-
duced by them into Martinique, from a plant from
the hot-houses of Amsterdam, which was pre-
sented by the Dutch to Louis the Fourteenth.
They also introduced Ginger, Pepper, and Cloves,
which now form articles of export from that
part of the world. The Bourbon Cotton is so
named from having been early introduced into
that island by the French, though identical with
the Barbadoes Cotton of the West- Indies.

In the British West-India islands, Gardens
were also established, as in Jamaica and St.
Vincent's. The former consisted of seventy

West- India Is-


acres, and had for one of its objects the preser- Gardens esta-
vation of the productions of different climates,
without artificial means. For this purpose a
site was chosen on the side of the Liguane
mountain, the summit of which is 3,600 feet
above the level of the sea, and where at different
elevations suitable localities are found for the
useful products of various countries ; but this
garden was sold by the government in 1812,
though much remained to be done in introducing
plants suited to the island from other parts of
the world. The Garden at St. Vincent's was
established by General Melville, and we have

Online LibraryJ. Forbes (John Forbes) RoyleEssay on the productive resources of India [electronic resource] → online text (page 3 of 32)