and the stalk and leaves were oat
certainly, is a mystery. The barley sown on
this field was the first-born offspring of oats.
And the whole process by which this wonderful transformation
is wrought, is simply this, and nothing more:—The
oats are sown about the last week in June; and, before
coming into ear, they are cut down within one inch
and a half of the ground. This operation is repeated
a second time. They are then allowed to stand
through the winter, and the following season the produce
. This is the plain statement
of the case in the very words of the originator of
this process, and of this strange transmutation.
The only practical result of it which he claims is
this: that the straw of the barley thus produced
is stouter, and stands more erect, and, therefore,
less liable to be beaten down by heavy wind or rain.
Then, perhaps, it may be added, this oat straw headed
with barley is more valuable as fodder for live stock
than the natural barley straw. But the value
of this result is nothing compared with the issue
of the experiment as proving the existence of a principle
or law hitherto undiscovered, which may be applied
to all kinds of plants for the use of man and beast.
If any English reader of these notes is disposed
to inquire more fully into this subject, I am sure
he may apply without hesitation to Mr. John Ekins,
of Bruntisham, near St. Ives, who will supply any additional
information needed. He presented me with a little
sample bag of this oat-born barley, which I hope to
show my agricultural neighbors on returning to America.
THE MILLER OF HOUGHTON—AN HOUR IN HUNTINGDON—OLD
WHITEWASHED TAPESTRY AND WORKS OF ART—“THE
OLD MERMAID” AND “THE
GREEN MAN”—TALK WITH AGRICULTURAL
LABORERS—THOUGHTS ON THEIR
CONDITION, PROSPECTS, AND POSSIBILITIES.
After a little more than a week’s visit in St.
Ives and neighboring villages, I again resumed my
staff and set out in a westerly direction, in order
to avoid the flat country which lay immediately northward
for a hundred miles and more. Followed the north
bank of the Ouse to Huntingdon. On the way,
I stopped and dined with a gentleman in Houghton whose
hospitality and good works are well known to many
Americans. The locality mentioned is so identified
with his name, that they will understand whom I mean.
There was a good and tender-hearted man who lived
in our Boston, called Deacon Grant; and I hope he
is living still. He was so kind to everybody
in trouble, and everybody in trouble went to him so
spontaneously for sympathy and relief, that no one
ever thought of him as belonging to a single religious
congregation, but regarded him as Deacon of the whole
of Boston—a kind of universal father, whose
only children were the orphans and the poor men’s
sons and daughters of the city. The Miller of
Houghton, as some of my readers will know, is just