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carried to the extreme, upon any occasion not of the last importance to national interests and honor. We live in an age when nations, as well as individuals, are subject to a moral responsibility. Neither governments nor people — thank God for it! — can now trifle with the general sense of the civilized world; and I am sure that the civilized world would hold your country and my country to a very strict account, if, without very plain and apparent reason, deeply affecting the independence and great interests of the nation, any controversy between them should have other than an amicable issue. I will venture to say that each country has intelligence enough to understand all that belongs to its just rights, and is not deficient in means to maintain them; and if any controversy between England and America were to be pushed to the extreme of force, neither party would or could have any signal advantage over the other, except what it could find in the justice of its cause and the approbation of the world. With respect to the occasion which has called us together, I beg to repeat the gratification which I have felt in passing a day in such a company, and to conclude with the most fervent expression of my wish for the prosperity and usefulness of the Agricultural Society of England.
THE AGRICULTURE OF ENGLAND.”
MR. Webster has at all periods of life cherished a strong attachment to agricultural pursuits. Of late years, when not obliged to be at Washington, in the discharge of his public duties, he has resided wholly on his farm at Marshfield, Massachusetts. The condition of the agriculture of England was one of the objects which most received his attention, during his short visit to that country in 1839. On his return to the United States in January, 1840, a strong desire was entertained by his friends to meet him on some public occasion, and a wish was expressed, particularly by many members of the Legislature of Massachusetts, who were in the habit of holding occasional meetings for the discussion of agricultural subjects, to learn the result of his observations on the present state of English agriculture. These wishes were communicated to Mr. Webster, and an early day was appointed for a meeting, at which the following remarks were made by him.
MR. ChairMAN, I would observe in the outset of these remarks, that I regard agriculture as the leading interest of society; and as having, in all its relations, a direct and intimate bearing upon human comfort and the national prosperity. I have been familiar with its operations in my youth; and I have always looked upon the subject with a lively and deep interest. I do not esteem myself to be particularly qualified to judge of the subject in all its various aspects and departments; and 1 neither myself regard, nor would I have others regard, my opinions as authoritative. But the subject has been one of careful observation to me, both in public and private life; and my visit to Europe, at a season of the year particularly favorable for this purpose, has given me the opportunity of seeing
* Remarks on the Agriculture of England, made at a Meeting of the Legislature of Massachusetts, and others interested in Agriculture, held at the StateHouse in Boston, on the Fvening of the 13th of January, 1840.