12 SEPTEMBER 1846, Page 6


The fifty-third annual general meeting and show of the Highland and Agri- cultural Society of Scotland was held at Inverness, on the 1st, 2d, and 3d. instant. The exhibition of stock and implements took place in the Acade- my Park; and a spacious pavilion was prepared for the dinner-party.

The proceedings commenced with a breakfast in the Northern Meeting- room; where Mr. J. B. Fraser of Reilig presided. Thus fortified, the busi- ness of discussion commenced; and Professor Johnston interested the assembled members with a lecture on the beat food for cattle, and the best mode of supplying it. Some conversation followed, in which Mr. Smith of Deanston took part. The meeting seemed surprised at a remark by Professor Johnston, to the effect that the cattle-feeders of England were making more rapid progress in this department of agricultural science than the breeders of stock in Scotland.

The show of implements in the yard was a poor one. There were few new inventions exhibited; the most novel and important being a plough for digging potatoes; but the universal destruction of that root detracted from the interest which the ingenious machine would otherwise have ex- cited, and it was passed over with little remark. Among the things exhi- bited were two ploughs, or rather a plough and a spade, used by the ancient Caledonians, side by side with some of the finest specimens of modern inventions for the tillage of the ground: the rude stock and half- forged grubber contrasted oddly but instructively with the finely-moulded plough, polished stock, and swordlike coulter of the present day. The day's transactions closed with a lecture delivered by Mr. Smith of Deanston on "thorough draining." On the next morning at eleven, the show-yard was thrown open to the public; and at one o'clock, the rate of admission being reduced from 2s. 6d. to Is., "a rush and scramble" enabled upwards of five thousand persons to become spectators. The show-ground occupies about ten acres of land; and so good were the arrangements, that although nearly a thousand ahi- mals of one kind and another were exhibited, some of them restive or rest- less enough, not the slightest accident occurred. In one instance the visit-. ore sustained a fright. The extra stock of West Highland oxen were en- closed in a square of temporary barricades. One of the animals accident- ally displaced a portion of the planking, and finding himself unexpectedly at liberty, showed every disposition to escape. He plunged this way and that way, now tearing the grass with his horns, and now tossing his head in the air, until at length his keeper coolly seized him behind the ear and walked him quietly to his stall.

The exhibition of cattle, "porkers," sheep, and especially horses, was capital. As has recently been the case in England, "the prizes were carried chiefly by the stock of practical farmers," and were given for sym- metry instead of bulk. At six o'clock, the members, to the number of a thousand, dined together in the pavilion. The Duke of Montrose presided, the Earl of Selkirk act- ing as Vice-Chairman Among the company were, the Earl of Egmont, the Earl of Leicester, the Earl of Cawdor' Lord Berridale, and Lord Lovate The speeches were chiefly of a formal character: the most notable was that of Mr. Atchison, who in returning thanks on behalf of the " Tenant- Farmers," touched upon a delicate subject—

Reference had been made to "recent circumstances," and a hope expressed that the tenant- farmers would stand fast to the association. For himself he had no- thing to fear; and if "recent circumstances' would but teach the landlord that may between the proprietor and his tenant is the best bond of mutual prosperity, they will have accomplished a great good. He hoped he might remind those noble- men and gentlemen who referred to "recent circumstances," that the farmers of this country must not now look to law-makers, but to lease-givers, for that legi- mate support which would enable them to carry out the improvements which would enable this country to compete with the productions of a more congenial clime; and if this fact were realized in the spirit of mutual confidence, Scotland would yet be the pride and envy of surrounding nations and the admiration of the world.

The business of the last day consisted of a public breakfast, a discourse on the composition and uses of artificial manures, delivered by Professor John- ston, and a sale of pure stock by auction.

A correspondent of the Times thus calls attention to the dreary prospects of the Scottish Islands-

" The poor inhabitants of this inland (Mall) are reduced to a state of great destitution by the total failure of the potato crops; and unless some immediate steps be taken for their relief, famine and pestilence must ensue. Many families here are actually subsisting on shell-ash, the only food they can obtain with the exception of that which is given them by charitably-disposed persons who witness their misery. As a means of alleviating this urgent distress, it has been sug- gested, (and the plan appears a good one,) that Government should immediately, by loans, enable the poor to be employed in making roads, which are much re- quired in this part of the country. Road-making, which has never yet been effected in this island, would be an occupation at once salutary to the people and beneficial to the country. The Duke of Argyll has large property on the island, but is getting it fast into sheep-walks. The young Marquis, who passed a day or two m Mall not long ago, suggested the making of about two miles of road on his property, and granted a site for a Free Church, and at the same time strongly recommended emigration to the lower orders; but such a recommendation can be of little service to people who have not the means of following it. The fact is, that without emigration, (a course most .painful to the feelings of the people,) the inhabitants of this island might be immediately supplied with employment and food by the adoption of the plan of loans and assessments for road-making here, as in Ireland."