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that when the matter is thoroughly rotten and most offensive, a more rapid and visible result is produced, notwithstanding that the total result is probably less than if it had been applied to the ground at once. It is certain that putrescible matter intended for manure must waste more above ground than when buried immediately beneath it. Rich farmers are now building sheds over their yards to prevent the access of rain to the manure, and are providing tanks for the reception of liquid which drains away. This involves a very great expense, and it is at least doubtful whether the result is better than that got by the immediate application of such matters to the soil-a process which involves no extra expenditure of any kind-a most important matter, because the only acceptable test of good husbandry is the balance sheet.

Mr. Warington, F.R.S., in his valuable little book on “The Chemistry of the Farm," says, "The most complete return to the land would be accomplished by manuring it with the excrements of the men and animals consuming the crops" (p. 28); and again, "Farmyard manure is a 'general' manure; that is, it supplies all the essential elements of plant food. The effect of farmyard manure is spread over a considerable number of years, its nitrogen being chiefly present not as ammonia, but in the form of carbonaceous compounds, which decompose but slowly in the soil."

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The immediate return is often less than when artificial manure, consisting of soluble nitrates and phosphates is used, but the important point seems to be that the return is tolerably sure to come in the long run.

The late Professor Voelcker, in the article, "manure," in the "Encyclopædia Britannica," gives an interesting table of the experiments of Sir John Lawes and Dr. Gilbert, spreading over a period of 24 years, in which is shown the effect of different manures on crops. The most successful results with artificial manure were got by applying nearly 1,400 lbs. weight per acre of mixed ammonia salts, superphosphate and sulphates (potash, soda, and magnesia). With this manure there was an average production of 37 bushels of wheat, weighing on an average 59 lbs. per bushel, and multiplying these two figures together we may say that the production of wheat averaged 2,212-5 lbs. The production of barley averaged 41 bushels, weighing 533 lbs., and multiplying these figures we may say that the average production was 2,588 lbs. Where the land was manured with 14 tons of farmyard manure the average production of wheat was 35 bushels, weighing 60 lbs., giving a figure of 2,115 lbs., and of barley, 48 bushels, weighing 548 lbs., giving a figure of 2,650 lbs.

This farmyard manure, when used for wheat growing, gave a yield of 97 lbs. less than when the best artificial manure was used; and when used for barley growing it gave 62 lbs. more than when artificial manure was used. These figures are certainly not such as should discourage us in the use of farmyard manure, especially when we remember that the average agriculturist is not likely to apply his artificial manures with the knowledge and judgment of Messrs. Lawes and Gilbert; and that in the use of farmyard manure it is not easy for him to go very wrong. Again, farmyard manure is stuff which must be used, while chemicals are things which must be bought, and need to be analysed when bought.

It is a great mistake to suppose that farming is in any way comparable to a chemical experiment. In experiments conducted in the laboratory the chemist is able to control all the conditions of the experiment, but in farming the condition which above all others influences the result, viz., the weather, cannot be controlled.

When chemical manures are used with judgment and applied at the right moment, and when the weather is favourable, there is no doubt that the result is often surprising and gratifying. When however the weather is unfavourable, when the drought is so great that the chemicals cannot be dissolved, or when the rain is so heavy that they are washed out of the soil, the result is not encouraging. If organic manures are used, they do not waste in bad seasons, and much remains in the ground for next year's crop. The farmer however who applies chemicals in a bad season, gets neither crop nor residuum of manure for next year. Mr. Warington says that "farmers have a prejudice in favour of the latter (i.e., organic) manures, but it is clear that the quickest return for capital invested is afforded by the former class" (i.e., inorganic).

Surely we have no right to blame the farmers for their prejudice, which seems to be in all respects reasonable. The doctrine has obtained in this country of late years that it is good economy to waste all our home-grown organic manure, and to import chemicals from South America for the purposes of agriculture. This is a strange doctrine; but as most of our farmers are now too near bankruptcy to pursue this course, we may hope that ere long they will begin to clamour for that which we now waste so wickedly.

One more word before I bring my remarks on farming to a close, remarks for which I make no apology, for I feel sure you must already recognise their bearing on the subject of sanitation.

The remark I have to make is this, that in the hands of Lawes and Gilbert farmyard manure gave better results with

barley than with wheat. May not the fact that farm animals are largely fed with barley-meal, have something to do with this. There are experiments which show that minimal ingredients in manures are not without effects which are often surprising. There are a priori grounds for thinking that the best manure for barley must be the excrement of a barleyeating animal, for in that excrement must be all that is necessary for barley. I wish some agriculturist would make the experiment of growing wheat with the excrement of a wheat-eating or bread-eating animal. As a gardener I have grown potatoes with the excrement of a potato-eating animal, and certainly the result has been most encouraging.

I have been obliged to draw my illustrations as to the practical result of burying organic matter from the agricultural employment of farmyard manure, because facts based upon exact experiments with the organic refuse of our towns is not forthcoming.

What I want to insist upon is this, that the proper destiny of organic refuse is immediate burial just below the surface of the soil.

Most of the shortcomings of modern sanitary methods are due to the fact that in our dealing with organic refuse we commit a scientific error, i.e., we pursue a course which is in opposition to natural law.

This error consists in mixing organic refuse with water.

When organic refuse is mixed with water, it undergoes changes which differ widely from the changes which it undergoes when mixed with earth.

According to Wollny whose paper I have quoted previously, the process of oxidation of organic matter and the formation of nitrate takes place most readily when a moderate amount of moisture is present. The most favourable amount is about 33 per cent., and if the moisture rise above or sink below this amount, the process of nitrification and the formation of carbonic acid is hindered. When water is in excess the amount of free oxygen is insufficient to favour the growth of mould fungi, the schizomycetes (Bacteria and Micrococci) are formed, and in place of oxidation, putrefaction takes place with the formation. of ammonia, free nitrogen, carbonic acid, and carburetted hydrogen. Under these unfavourable circumstances it is possible that the nitrates which may have been formed may be again reduced.

This process of de-oxidation takes place in mixtures of putrescible matter with water, and takes place also, it is said, in soil which is thoroughly soaked with sewage (i.e., putrescible matter mixed with water). In the face of these facts it is not to be

wondered at that "sewage farming," which is farming under acknowledged difficulties, has not proved a commercial success. We must indeed be in doubt whether, when the circumstances are more than usually unfavourable, it exercises any very great purifying action upon the putrescible mixture. In the treatment of putrescible refuse, so that it shall not be a danger or annoyance, what we have to aim at is nitrification rather than putrefaction, and it is certain that by mixing with water putrefaction is encouraged and nitrification delayed.

It certainly seems to be almost incontestable that the proper course to pursue with regard to organic refuse-putrescible matter is the very reverse of that which we do pursue. We clearly ought to encourage oxidation, and make putrefaction impossible.

Putrefaction is certainly a great cause of ill health. It was the putrefaction of wounds (now happily almost unknown) which converted our hospitals into something little better than charnel houses. It is the putrefaction of organic refuse mixed with water in cesspools and sewers that causes that long list of ailments which we ascribe to the inhalation of “

sewer air."

The opinion is held by many that the dejecta of typhoid patients and cholera patients do not become dangerous to others until putrefaction has set in, and such an acute observer as was the late Dr. Murchison held the opinion that common putrefactive changes taking place in dejecta were a sufficient cause of typhoid, independently of the admixture of any specific poison.

The putrefaction of organic refuse, when mixed with water, has I think been the chief cause of the development of modern sanitary "progress." Our forefathers were not given to this method of treating putrescible matter. House-slops trickled along open gutters, and excremental matters were deposited in dry pits. At the beginning of this century the water-closet

came into use.

Mr. W. Haywood, quoted by Dr. Farr, says, "Water-closets were invented about 1813, and became general in the better class of houses about 1828-33. The custom at first obtained of building cesspools having overflow drains put below their doming, by which means the solid matters were retained, and the supernatant liquid only ran off.

"In the year 1849, what may be said to be an organic change in the system took place. In 1848 the City Commission of Sewers obtained its Act for sanitary purposes, which became operative on January 1st, 1849, and then for the first time was discharge into the sewers legalised. Previously a penalty might have been enforced for such a usage of them, but henceforth within the City of London those incurred a penalty who

failed, upon notice, to construct the drainage of premises in such a manner as not to discharge all waste waters and focal matters directly into the public sewers [i.e., directly into the sources of water supply] of which the full utility was therefore for the first time recognised by statute. This Act was speedily followed by others for the remaining area of the metropolis and for the entire country."

"It will be noticed," says Dr. Farr, "that the deaths from cholera and diarrhoea increased in London in 1842, increased still more in 1846, when the potatoe crop was blighted, and in 1849 culminated in the epidemic of cholera.

Dr. Farr says further, "a system of sewerage is the necessary complement of a water-supply."

"Almost coincidently with the first appearance of epidemic cholera, and with the striking increase of diarrhoea in England, was the introduction into general use of the water-closet system, which had the advantage of carrying night soil out of the houses, but the incidental and not necessary disadvantage of discharging it into the rivers from which the water-supply was drawn."

Mortality per 1000 from diarrhoea in London (Dr. Farr):—

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Thus in the decade 1871-80, 33,168 persons died of diarrhoea in London, the death-rate from this cause being 94

If the death-rate of 1838 (215) had obtained in the decade 1871-80, the deaths from this cause would have numbered only 7,600, and there would have been a saving of 25,568 lives.

Since the introduction of the water closet, and I believe as a direct consequence of it, we have had four severe epidemics of cholera, a disease not previously known, and enteric or typhoid

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