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country" among the pupils of the
The annual social gatherings of the society on the nineteenth of April and the various meetings it has held have always been marked by speeches of a high order by representative men, whose patriotic utterances, free from partisan influences, have contributed much to form that esprit de corps and that ready response to the calls of pa
triotism for which the society is noted and which it has demonstrated practically in many a field of endeavor. The tribute which it annually pays to the memory of the country's honored dead who labored in the hall of the Continental Congress or fought upon the field of battle, by placing wreaths upon the statues erected in commemoration of their services and the graves where their ashes repose in peace, is
but illustrative of the spirit which animates the patriot sons of patriot sires. The constant readiness to secure in the halls of legislation laws to protect the flag from dishonor, or the erection of public memorials to keep alive in the hearts of the people the memory of some patriot, ever eager to inspire all who love their country with the "spirit of '76," the spirit of patriotism, devotion, heroism and sacrifice, promulgating practical patriotism—such is the mission of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution.
"The only good from such orders as the Sons of the Revolution," said President Chase, at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Society in 1895, "may be the highest good, if we realize the sacred trust of duties, a proud legacy committed to our faithful keeping, to preserve in their purity. to broaden and ennoble by our own selfsacrifice and transmit to those who come after us with no spot or stain, unless it be our holy privilege to pour our blood upon the altar of American liberty and go to our God and our fathers with the only crown we revere, that of martyrdom for principles which have dignified and elevated living, and will shed eternal lustre over dying to maintain and perpetuate."
ENANTLESS stands the old log house, save for the phoebe's nest,
No sound of life but the whir of wings and the call of the
The pink wild rose has clambered up till it meets the roof at the
And there in the open door is the place where the goodwife
used to wait
When the day was done and the echoes told no more of the woodman's blow;
For this was the home where grandsire lived when he was a lad, you know.
There was a fireplace, grandsire said, and a crane where the kettle hung,
A ladder reaching up to the loft that he climbed when he went to bed.
"When shepherds watched their flocks by night," was a hymn that his mother sung
After the chores were finished and the evening prayers were
And grandsire told of the wolves that came so near he could hear
And the owls that perched in the tops of trees and hooted out in
Back of the cabin I saw to-day a little old apple tree,-
A honeysuckle down by the wall was flaunting its flowers to me. Beside a spreading lilac bush that told of the long ago,
Till I almost saw up the hillside path fresh steps in the sandy loam,
Where grandsire came at the set of sun and followed the bell-cow home.
Empty the log house stands to-day, for the years have passed since then;
The door swings back and the crannying wind goes sighing in heedless quest;
The ones who dwelt in the cabin home have followed the paths of
But a charm still lingers about the place that no other spot can
For dear to my heart is the old log house where grandsire used
AN ELECTRICAL FARM.
By George Ethelbert Walsh.
HE rapid advances in the application of electricity as a mechanical power has revolutionized many industries; but the effect upon agriculhas only been incidentally felt until quite recently. When the substitution of electricity for horses as motive power on street railroads became general a few years ago, the farmer experienced the greatest loss, for it practically closed up the most profitable market for the light horses he had been accustomed to breed for the trade; but otherwise the sudden inauguration of the age of electricity brought comparatively few changes in the quiet life of the farm. It cheapened the lighting of cities, increased the power of machinery, abolished the horse cars, and performed a thousand and one services for the mechanical world at less than half the former cost; and yet the farmer plodded on as before, content to reap his harvests and sow his seed without the aid of this new invisible force that was creating such a revolution all around him.
But science has never known any limit to its field, and it has invaded the province of the farmer with a persistent energy that never acknowledges defeat. It has trained its corps of professors and students in the agricultural colleges until they have become adepts in the science of farming, and then, with a blessing upon their heads, it has bidden them go forth into the field of practical husbandry to coöperate with the weary toilers of the farm. Science has erected barriers in the path of the devastating armies of insect pests, and told them to go so far and no farther; it has studied the relations of the soil
and water to plant life, and laid bare the secret processes of food assimilation and plant growth; it has analyzed the component parts of the soil and fertilizers, and formulated rules for the guidance of the farmer; it has brought seeds from the uttermost parts of the earth, and increased the yield of each acre tenfold; it has lightened the labor of all who would listen to its tale of discovery and invention, and scattered broadcast throughout the land mechanical contrivances to help man in his fight against the forces of nature.
Young men now go forth from the agricultural colleges equipped with all the knowledge necessary to make them masters of the soil, and in the greatest laboratory of nature they study the wonderful problems of life, growth and maturity, while they earn their bread by the sweat of their brow. Under their scientific direction the face of the earth is transformed; the revolution in the trades. and industries of our cities is a mere bagatelle in comparison. The farm teems with life and activity as of yore, but behind it there is a power that guides, directs, measures and analyzes; nothing is haphazard, everything is exact. Primitive methods are no longer tolerated on the farm of the East or West; modern inventions have made such conditions a pecuniary impossibility.
But the age of electricity is more than likely to create as great changes in ten years as plodding science accomplished in fifty. With a full equipment of past knowledge and inventions, the scientific farmer of today finds electricity brought to his door to open up new fields that he never dreamt of before even in the youthful days of his most ardent am
bition. Electricity as a generative and motive force is older than the
hills, but its application to-day on the farm is new, wonderful and mystifying. It promises to bring the agricultural millennium nearer by two centuries; it opens the door to Elysian fields that may attract our youth back to the farms of their forefathers, to re-create and rejuvenate as none ever before prophesied.
Myriads of wonderful agricultural inventions have carried primitive farming from its early conditions up to a state of progress and perfection that worthily entitles it to the dignity of a science; but in view of the present outlook these useful creations of man's brain and hands were merely the preparations for the grand revolution. Without them the application of electricity to the farm would be delayed another quarter of a century. They were the first essential steps in the emancipation of agriculture from the ban of senseless ridicule and opprobrium that had been heaped upon it by a generation of scoffers. While the world laughed in its ignorance, the farmer cast off the shackles that had bound him and emerged from the darkness as the chief representative of useful, practical, applied science. There he stands to-day on his model farm, hampered by inheritances from the past, it is true, but bravely overcoming all difficulties and advancing into the front ranks of the world's pioneer leaders.
The model farm of the future is presaged to-day in a few isolated examples, for it combines many old and new inventions, and includes others that have barely been tested absolutely; but it is so simple and practical in its workings that none can call it a fanciful picture. Electricity is the motive power and the great secret of the whole change. No city has ever been installed with a more complete electrical plant than the model farm. Here the force re-creates and stimulates life as well as drives the machinery and agricultural implements. It
dominates every part of the farm life, and makes the owner of the place a king among men. Old methods have passed away in every sense of the word, and mute, obedient machinery does the work that hired hands formerly performed so clumsily. The horse is no longer a beast of burden; his entire absence on the farm is the most conspicuous evidence that electricity has supplanted him in the humblest walk of life.
Experiments with electricity for forcing the growth of plant life were made more than ten years ago. Spechneff applied the electric current to the seeds of plants, and afterward to the soil, and caused ordinary radishes to attain a length of seventeen inches and a diameter of over five. Lemstrom, pursuing independent investigations in the same field, demonstrated that the wheat plants on a given tract of land could be made to double their yield by judiciously applying the electric current to the seeds and soil. Following these discoveries, the directors of Cornell University installed a forcing house with electricity, and carried the experiments one step further. They applied the electric light to the plants at night, and endeavored to ascertain the effect upon the flowers, fruits and vegetables. The forcing house was divided. into two compartments, one-half being subjected to the ordinary conditions of light and darkness, and the other half receiving the sunlight by day and the electric light at night. It took several years to arrive at any definite conclusions. But these important results were obtained and verified by repeated experiments at Cornell and other places: that the electric light greatly accelerated the growth of plants, and deepened and intensified the colors of some flowers, and faded others. In the case of some plants, such as spinach, radishes and lettuce, the light placed within five feet of them stimulated their growth. so that they ran to seed even before edible leaves were formed. Others