Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

tinually re-acting causes—all tending to the to be "in each other's way," an indiscrimisame general result he will agree that nate levelling-a free use of fire and axe, the evil rapidly grows threatening.

The

were matters of course inseparable from the author of that most unfairly abused and conditions and therefore justifiable. But ridiculed book ever written on this conti- those conditions long ago disappeared,--the nent, “What I know of Farming," quaintly method, the habit then formed, continues observes : “ It seems to me that destroying still. Herein lies the evil.

It is the same a forest because we want timber, is like which attends all human progress, that of smothering a hive of bees because we want persisting in a custom or policy belonging to honey." This expresses precisely what we a dead time. There should have been a are doing; and indicates the (certainly un- reform in the methods pursued for obtaining looked for,) end and sum of the great bulk timber a generation ago. It seems incomof our industries. Unconscious of the prehensible that no one could draw the future in the competitive scramble for pre- simple inference from the plain fact, which sent wealth, we are imitating Esau, faint certainly was not unperceived, that the timfrom the field, and selling his birth-right for ber was being cut away faster than the a mess of pottage. Elsewhere, the same natural growth could replace it. As a class, work contains another, and a most signifi- the ship-builders, had they been actuated by cant assertion, "to wit: “Vermont sold white the positive intention of leaving for their pine abundantly to England, through Can- successors as little material as possible, ada, within my day; she is now supplying could scarcely have done more mischief. her own wants from Canada, at a cost of Yet more incomprehensible is it, that notnot less than five times the price she sold withstanding the growing apprehensions of a for, and she will be paying still higher rates failure in the supply, no one seems to perbefore the close of this century.” He con ceive it yet; but persistently follows the cludes a chapter on trees and timber-growing same old system, or rather no-system, which with this excellent piece of advice: “I en- entails so much wastefulness. This pernitreat our farmers--not to preserve every cious example is followed by the pursuers of tree, good, bad and indifferent, that they may other industries, equally without any referhappen to have growing on their lands—ence to the inevitable result--everybody but, outside of the limited districts wherein “goes into the woods” bent on unlimited the primitive forest must still be cut away, slaughter ; and the potent axe is becoming in order that land may be obtained for cul now more the weapon of a race bent on tivation, to plant and rear at least two better retrogression, than the implement of pioneer trees for every one they may be impelled to cut civilization. down.

Surely something can be done to stop this In Nova Scotia, the ship-builders inau: waste and confusion. Just now there is a gurated the system of wastefulness, and they slackening in the work of destruction ; owing are now beginning to feel its first effects. In chiefly to the sparseness of timber near the many quarters, the cry that the supply of ship-building and other industrial centres ; ship-timber is about exhausted begins to be and its consequent enhancement of costheard. This, indeed, is far from being true, which is also the true cause of the apprebut since the alarm will undoubtedly lead to hensions previously spoken of—and a term, an economization, to at least some extent, to which there are now indications of a of the remaining resources, it may be well close, of unusual dullness in maritime matnot to quarrel with it absolutely. When ters, on this side of the globe in particular. men were few, and trees were so plenty as Whatever be decided upon should be done

quickly, for the present is the critical time. ident at a glance, has been split from trunks For as yet, the real difficulty is not any very of respectable size; and is it not equally serious inroad upon the forest as a whole, patent that the very varieties which are most seeing that above one-third of the total area sought for fuel, also produce the best timof the province is still richly wooded ; but ber? In a land where coal is so cheap and only the denudation of those districts which so good, this is a condition of things which are well provided with easy facilities for is simply intolerable. communication. But when we reflect that! More than any other single particular, this breathing-spell will be utilized—indeed, the new rage for “extract of hemlock-bark" to some extent has beenin improving or needs regulating. This species of fir is creating, the means of transportation to and most ignorantly and mischievously set down from those remoter sections which, for lack in the popular mind as worthless. “Hemof them yet remain practically untouched ; lock is no good," is the universal persuasion, the question assumes a grave aspect at once -“ it is a mere cumberer of the ground,

-a seriousness which, after all, is perhaps it is an unlooked-for good fortune that even latent in this vague popular uneasiness on the bark is fit for something;" and to it they our topic. This feeling is, in that case, go, felling right and left, taking only the bark assuredly germane to that instinctive sense and leaving the timber to rot! It is not of the coming event always distinguishable even utilized for fuel, to any noteworthy examong the masses on the eve of all broad tent. This precious economy the writer has and radical changes, be they commercial, but once seen paralleled. In certain dissocial, or political.

tricts of the largest of the Phillipine Islands For then the war of extermination will be where wild cattle are abundant, the natives renewed and waged with redoubled vigour. slaughter the “cariboo" for the hides onlyIt is only the outworks that are now levelled ; leaving the beef to perish. It is not advisbut in this finishing campaign our dendro- able to place any restrictions upon the supkopti will attack the citadel. Then we shall ply of hemlock-bark indeed; but something enter upon a period of “unprecedented ac- should be done that would lead to a utiliza

We shall treble our tonnage, quad- tion of the wood. What increases the abruple our lumber exports, quintuple our surdity, is the fact that ever since 1863, manufacture of "essence" of hemlock-bark British Lloyds', proverbially cautious in con--and then, collapse ! Nor is the time proba- ceding the merits of British North American bly so remote that many can enjoy the sel- material, as that society has ever been—has fish consolation of saying "After us the del been extending a "character,'-'A 1,'for uge.” Some good measures looking to an four years, to ships built of this much deimmediate establishment of forest conser- spised wood. And the Cape Colonies, (to vance ought to be adopted forthwith. which Nature has denied forests, and even The condition of Nova Scotia, as des- trees of respectable size, and durability cribed, is also, in posse, that of her sister when wrought,--their sparse clusters of witprovinces.

teboom and spekeboom attaining an average There is the question of wood fuel. Un- growth of less than thirty feet, yielding a der the most economic management it de- timber almost valueless from its softness stroys fine young trees which should be al- and inability to retain “fastening, ") posilowed to grow into heavy timber; here, tively suffer from the want of just such lumhowever, it destroys the latter as well. Who ber-at once cheap and highly durable—as does not see everywhere, and every day, the wasted hemlock logs might be sawed piles of cord-wood, much of which, it is ev- | into ; and for which they would pay with

tivity.”

their fine wool, skins, pure wines, raisins, and railroads have gone through the land, devasother dried fruits, etc., etc.

tating the timber right and left in the vicinThe question of questions, however, is age of the track. There was no more rethat of railways. Perhaps all other agencies gard to the future, than if there was no fucombined do not more rapidly dissipate the ture. The proprietors of the intersected forest resources of a nation than they do. lands were lamentably deficient in the inUntil railways were introduced into India, telligence needed for the proper appreciaall other demands upon her forests were tion and care for this species of property. borne unconsciously. Yet these included Hitherto it had been looked upon as an enat once the domestic supply of her dense cumbrance-no second railway, it was arpopulation, ship-building upon a large scale gued, could ever be constructed near that and steady, heavy exportation. That was already in hand; consequently the most was in 1854. Railway extension, held in check to be made of an opportunity never to be by the mutiny, did not begin until 1861; repeated. No regular Department of Woods and in '62 we saw the government partially and Forests existing, the timber question was awake to the necessity of establishing a con- the concern of nobody in particular, and the servation. Prompt measures then would owners themselves would undoubtedly have have obviated the necessity of stringent looked upon any effort to rescue their own and unpopular enactments in ’65, and sub- property from their own destroying axes, as sequently; and, it may be, by this time, an interference of the most unwarrantable have removed the difficulty.

kind. Down went the trees, all “ along the In Nova Scotia, where coal is so abundant whole line"—wherever they stood most conand accessible, the locomotives still con- venient—wherever they stood in the way of sume much wood. How, then, will it be others more particularly wanted—in any and along the more extended lines of Canadian every stage of growth—at seasons when railway? Judging from the rate of move- felling is equivalent to extirpation, or otherment of the Intercolonial, it will probably wise, as occasion might decide, and with no be some time before that, and others pro- regard whatever to the chances of renewal. jected, reach their maximum of consump. It is certainly sufficiently perceptible that if tion of fuel; but whenever they do, the this stolid and unthinking recklessness prequestion of what proportion of it must be vails a few years longer, we shall be unable of wood, will become vitally important, to build either ships, railroads, or dwellings particularly when we keep in mind that the without deriving every splinter of material experience of American roads proves that from foreign sources. On the other hand, an average of about thirty-five acres of it is equally obvious, that, with the needful woodland are necessary to supply one mile care, there will be abundance for all, as long of railway. Besides, fuel is not the only as an abundance will be required. feature of the question. The mode of sup To attempt to show how forest conservaplying the needful timber is, if possible, tion should be established, would carry this more absurd and thriftless than in the cases paper far beyond its limits. But it may not already specified. The people who under- be amiss to summarize the principal difficultake this work observe but one rule of con- ties with which such legislation must grapduct : namely—to deliver at as little ex- ple : pense as possible, the beams, sleepers, ist. — The proprietors of the woodlands, bridge-stringers, or other material engaged (as a class,) have no adequate conception of for, in order to clear the widest practicable the prospective value of this species of propmargin of present profit. Consequently our Ierty: nor the wish to take care of it. 2nd. —

All the broad tracts that have been stripped wasteful devastators upon the public lands, (referring only to those not intended for fuel, etc., etc. 5th.-Influence of railways. tillage, which are the great majority,) are There are also certain reforms in ship-buildleft without any effort to encourage a sec- ing, which—if carried out would lessen maond growth. 3rd. — There is a general use of terially the demand of that branch of ininsufficiently seasoned materials—especially dustry. The class of vessels known as in house building. In an extreme climate “composite” could be most advantageously like ours, we may remark, this is a particu- substituted for the present wooden product larly mischievous practice, since such stuff of our ship-yards—in every respect being does not last half the time it should, and, cheaper, considered with reference to their therefore calls for correspondingly frequent superior classification, as well as better, and renewal. Perhaps, the exportation of green, forming the natural and easy stage of transiand partly-seasoned timber, and deals might tion to the production of iron tonnage. be worth some consideration also ; though Such a substitution would at once cut down possibly this objection is in a large measure the shipwrights' demand on our rapidly dineutralized by the more careful management minishing woodlands, by at least four-sevand economization of the consumers. 4th.– enths. Fires, free axes, and the incursions of our

[blocks in formation]

W course we had a quite a number really made me feel as if I had received a

No lark shall spring, on dewy wing,

Thy matin hymn to pour :
No cuckoo's voice shall shout “ Rejoice !"

For thou art Queen no more.
Beneath thy flower-encircled wand

No peasant trains advance ;
No more they lead with sportive tread,

The merry, merry dance.
The violet blooms with modest grace

Beneath her crest of leaves ;
The primrose shows her pale, pale face;

Her wreaths, the woodbine weaves.
The cowslip bends her golden head,

And daisies deck the lea:
But, ah! no more, in grove or bower,

The Queen of May we'll see.
Weep, weep, then virgin Queen of May,

Thy ancient reign is o'er :
Thy vot'ries now are lowly laid-

And thou art Queen no more.
LAKEFIELD.

MY TIGER-CLAW BRACELET.

BY W. H. F.
HEN John and I were married—of a speech when she presented them, and

of presents from our various friends, and silver tea-service at the very least; while equally, of course, those of the least value dear old Mr. Harty sent a lovely little were made the most fuss about.

epergne, with just a few lines of congratulaOld Mrs. Stingyton, for instance, who gave tion. us a set of doyleys, which she said she had But of all our presents that which Uncle knitted herself; although I am quite sure she Robert sent was by far the most beautiful. bought them at some cheap sale ; made quite | It was a bracelet made of tiger claws,

« AnteriorContinuar »