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rags. The value of this latter preparation
may be estimated, when it is known that one
manufacturer of linen in the north of Ireland
throws aside " refuse tow " to the yearly
value of five thousand pounds sterling; all of
which, at present, is utterly useless.

From what has been stated, it is evident
that the objection held against this process, of
its converting a dear article into a cheap one,
does not hold. Not only is the value of the
British cotton greatly enhanced by being
rendered capable of spinning at the low cost of
ordinary cotton goods, but the yield of
marketable fibre is much increased, and at a
much less cost of time and labour than was
needed under the old method. The new
fibre is so completely assimilated in character
to cotton, that it readily receives the rich
dyes imparted to the latter, and is, in short,
capable of being printed or dyed in a precisely
similar manner.

At the Stepney model factory we examined
specimens of flannel, felt, and woollen cloth,
manufactured of equal parts of British cotton
and wool; also, a felt that was composed
entirely of the former material. All of those
goods had a remarkably stout feel, and
appeared to be strong in their body.

Combined with silk, British cotton may be
worked up with great ease on the existing
silk machinery, and when so wrought, is
capable of receiving the same colours in dying,
and materially adding to the strength of the
fabric manufactured.

We saw two other substances, which, it
appears, are quite as susceptible of being
"cottonised" as flax: one was a coarse
species of China silk, at present of little value;
the other was " Jute," or Indian hemp. Both
of these fibres were materially improved in
appearance and feel, and are, no doubt, in
their new form, adapted to purposes for
which they were not at all available,

Looking at this " Flax Movement " in an
agricultural point of view, we shall find as
many advantages likely to arise from it in
that direction as in any other. Hitherto it
has been a most prevalent opinion that flax
crops were exceedingly exhaustive in their
effect upon the soil. Experiments fairly
carried out have shown this to be a fallacy.
Chemical analysis of the plant, and a series
of flax crops taken from the same land, have
proved beyond doubt, that not only does
this cultivation not weaken the soil, but
tends to keep it in a state of great

An examination of the structure of the
plant demonstrates that those portions of
it which absorb the alkalies and the
nutritive properties of the soil, are those
which are not required for the purpose of
manufacture; namely, the woody part, the
resinous matter, and the seed. The fibres
derive their elements almost entirely from the
atmosphere, one hundred parts containing not
more than two parts of mineral matters.
Under the old process of steeping, the
nutritive portions contained in the wood and
gum, as well as the whole of the seed, were
lost in the fermentation during steeping; so
that nothing whatever was restored to the
land. By the new method, these properties are
capable of being returned whence they were
taken. The seed may be either employed in
feeding cattle, or crushed for oil; the oil-
cake being in that case returned for the

Estimates, based upon several years of
actual experience, go to show that, by this
cultivation, the farmer may realise a yearly
profit of from fifteen pounds to eighteen
pounds the acre, and that, too, upon land which
has been just previously heavily cropped in
cereals. Many thousands of acres which
hitherto have yielded but indifferent and
uncertain crops, or which have scarcely been
worth cultivation, may be brought under flax
without any fear of the result. Hitherto, the
absence of linen manufactures, and the
consequent want of markets, in so many parts of
England and Scotland, have proved a serious
obstacle to any attempts at extending flax
culture. But now that every grower may, by
the purchase of an inexpensive and simply
constructed machine, convert the flax-straw
into a fit condition for economical and
convenient transport to a market, and now that
conveyance is so much lessened in cost, and
that the patent process will before long be in
active operation in every agricultural county
of Great Britain and Ireland, it is to be hoped
that a widely extended cultivation of this
article may take place, affording active
employment to a vast number of persons of all

Already the patent has been taken in hand
in Scotland: arrangements are in progress for
a similar undertaking in Ireland; and, should
the like activity be manifested in England,
there can be little doubt that two most
important results will have been attainedthe
providing a great portion of our poorer
population with good employment, and rendering
our manufacturers less dependent upon the
United States for the supply of flax and


FAR where the smooth Pacific swells,
Beneath an arch of blue,
Where sky and wave together meet,
A coral reeflet grew.

No mortal eye espied it there,
Nor sea-bird poised on high;
Lonely it sprang, and lonely grew,
The nursling of the sky.

With soft-caressing touch, the wind
In summer round it play'd;
And murmuring through its tiny caves,
Unceasing music made.