Page images
PDF
EPUB

form a great, and I hope united, family, in which we gladly recognize the foundation of our social state.

Science and mechanical improvement have in these days changed the mere practice of cultivating the soil into an industrial pursuit, requiring capital, machinery, industry, and skill, and perseverance in the struggle of competition. This is another great change, but we must consider it a great progress, as it demands higher efforts and a higher intelligence.

Conscious of these changes, we Agriculturists of England assemble together in this annual meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society, in order to communicate to each other our various experiences, to exhibit the progress that some may have made in the applications of science, and others in the adaptation of machinery, or in the successful rearing of animals.

Feeling, as I do, a great interest in these noble pursuits and their paramount importance, and having myself experienced the pleasures and the little pangs attending them, I feel highly gratified that it should have been confided to me to propose to you the toast of the day, “ Success to “ the Royal Agricultural Society of England;" and I trust that you will heartily respond to it.

AT THE LAYING THE FIRST STONE

OF THE

GREAT GRIMSBY DOCKS.

[APRIL 18TH, 1849. ]

ve

ma.

My Lord,* — T THANK you most sincerely for the kind

terms in which you have proposed my health, and you, gentlemen, for the cordial manner in which you have received it.

The act which has this day been performed, and in which you were kind enough to desire that I should take the chief part, could not but make a deep impression upon me.

We have been laying the foundation not only of a Dock, as a place of refuge, safety, and refitment for mercantile shipping, and calculated even to receive the largest steamers in Her Majesty's Navy, but it may be, and I hope it will be, the foundation of a great commercial port, destined in after times, when we shall long have quitted this scene, and when our names even may be forgotten, to form another centre of life to the

* The late Earl of Yarborough, Lord Lieutenant of the county of Lincoln.

2

vast and ever-increasing commerce of the world, and an important link in the connection of the East and the West. Nay, if I contemplate the extraordinary rapidity of development which characterizes the undertakings of this age, it may not even be too much to expect that some of us may live yet to see this prospect in part realized.

This work has been undertaken, like almost all the national enterprises of this great country, by private exertion, with private capital, and at private risk; and it shares with them likewise that other feature so peculiar to the enterprises of Englishmen, that, strongly attached as they are to the institutions of their country, and gratefully acknowledging the protection of those laws under which their enterprises are undertaken and flourish, they love to connect them, in some manner, directly with the authority of the Crown and the person of their Sovereign; and it is the appreciation of this circumstance which has impelled me at once to respond to your call, as the readiest mode of testifying to you how strongly Her Majesty the Queen values and reciprocates this feeling.

I have derived an additional gratification from this visit, as it has brought me for the first time to the county of Lincoln, so celebrated for its agricultural pursuits, and showing a fine example of the energy of the national character, which has, by dint of perseverance, succeeded in transforming unhealthy swamps into the richest and most fertile soil in the kingdom. I could not have witnessed finer specimens of Lincolnshire farming than have been shown to me on his estates by your Chairman, my noble host, who has made me acquainted, not only with the agricultural improvements which are going on amongst you, but with that most gratifying state of the relation between Landlord and Tenant which exists here, and which I hope may become an example, in time to be followed throughout the country. Here it is that the real advantage and the prosperity of both do not depend upon the written letter of agreements, but on that mutual trust and confidence which has in this country for a long time been held a sufficient security to both, to warrant the extensive outlay of capital, and the engagement in farming operations on the largest scale.

Let me, in conclusion, propose to you as a toast, “Prosperity to the Great Grimsby Docks ;" and let us invoke the Almighty to bestow His blessing on this work, under which alone it can prosper.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

THE object for which we have assembled here

to-day is not one of charity, but of friendly advice and assistance to be tendered to a large and important class of our fellow-countrymen.

Who would not feel the deepest interest in the welfare of their Domestic Servants ? Whose heart would fail to sympathize with those who minister to us in all the wants of daily life, attend us in sickness, receive us upon our first appearance in this world, and even extend their cares to our mortal remains, who live under our roof, form our household, and are a part of our family ?

And yet upon inquiry we find that in this metropolis the greater part of the inmates of the workhouse are domestic servants.

I am sure that this startling fact is no proof

« EelmineJätka »