THRESHING MACHINE - FLOWER SHOW - THE HOLLYHOCK AND ITS SUGGESTIONS - THE LAW OF CO-OPERATIVE ACTIVITIES IN VEGETABLE, ANIMAL, MENTAL, AND MORAL LIFE.
"In all places, then, and in all seasons,
Flowers expand their light and soul-like wings,
Teaching us, by most persuasive reasons,
How akin they are to human things." - LONGFELLOW.
My stay at Babraham was short. It was like a visit to the grave of one of those English worthies whose lives and labors are so well known and appreciated in America. All the external features of the establishment were there unchanged. The large and substantial mansion, with its hall and parlor walls hung with the mementoes of the genius and success that had made it so celebrated; the barns and housings for the great herds and flocks which had been dispersed over the world; the very pens still standing in which they had been folded in for the auctioneer's hammer; all these arrangements and aspects remained as they were when Jonas Webb left his home to return no more. But all those beautiful and happy families of animal life, which he reared to such perfection, were scattered on the wings of wind and steam to the uttermost and most opposite parts of the earth.
The eldest son, Mr. Samuel Webb, who supervises part of the farm occupied by his father, and also carries on one of his own in a neighboring parish, was very cordial and courteous, and drove me to his establishment near Chesterford. Here a steam threshing machine was at work, doing prodigious execution on different kinds of grain. The engine had climbed, a proprii motu, a long ascent; had made its way partly through ploughed land to the rear of the barn, and was rattlingly busy in a fog of dust, doing the labor of a hundred flails. Ricks of wheat and beans, each as large as a comfortable cottage, disappeared in quick succession through the fingers of the chattering, iron-ribbed giant, and came out in thick and rapid streams of yellow grain. Swine seemed to be the speciality to which this son of Mr. Webb is giving some of that attention which his father gave to sheep. There were between 200 and 300 in the barn-yards and pens, of different ages and breeds, all looking in excellent condition.