ARTICLE I. MESSRS. EDITORS—Taking, as a citizen, a deep interest in the welfare of the present and future inhabitants of this great commonwealth, I embrace with much pleasure the opportunity of bringing before the readers of your valuable paper, the views of a professional German forester—Charles Bertholdi—on a most important branch of national economy, namely, the culture of trees. Mr. B. recently traveled through the United States, and he treats his subject without any prejudice. He believes that if the present reckless destruction of timber is continued for a number of years longer, the United States will have to bear the disastrous consequences of that destruction. The bases of his conclusions are stubborn facts taken from the history of ancient and modern nations, such as the Persians, Greeks, Romans and Germans. He considers Persia to be one of the most remarkable illustrations of his views, and he says that there are in this piro cet three periods to be compared. The ii.it is the time anterior to Persia's flourishing as a great empire, when ignorance and recklessness were dominant for the immense destruction of forests and woods ; the second period is the time of its prosperity and greatness, when no difficulties were considered great enough to obstruct an extensive cultivation of trees ; and the third period—which extends down to the present time—is that of relaxation in efforts to cultivate and preserve timber. During the middle period, even on the very verges of vast deserts where no rivers or brooks existed, every available source of water was used to supply aqueducts for producing the humidity necessary to the growth of trees. The contrast of desolate deserts and timber land impressed the Persians with a natural love for the cultivation of timber. Religious and political law-makers were so wise as to impose on the people a sacred duty of planting and of promoting the plantations of trees, and its fulfillment was shown to be the only way to be blessed in this and in the world to come. Kings and vice kings, or satraps, early in their infancy, were taught this duty. Thus we understand why every wealthy Persian applied his riches to the transformation of barren land into gardens and groves of fruit trees; and Persia, in the time of its might and power, was covered with gardens, woods, parks, and groves, and thereby the Vandalic destructions of former time disappeared. This love of the Persians for woods accompanied them to other countries in their strife for conquest, and when their dominions extended to the Black and Mediterranean Seas, the same laws for the cultivation of trees were maintained. Generally, the Persian kings appointed wood overseers in their new provinces. The Israelites had to petition their conqueror Artaxerxes, the Persian king, for an order commanding the royal overseers of woods to allow th^m (the Israelites) to take timber from Mount Lebanon, to be used in the construction of their temple at Jerusalem, an account of which is given in the Bible. (Nehemiah, chap. 2.) As many cold parts of Persia were densely populated, there ws a large annual consumption of timber. In Greece there were provinces which were covered with woods, such as the mountainous regions of Tiber, Boetia, and Thessalonia. But in the province of Attica, with an extent of only forty square miles, and a number of inhabitants amounting to half a million, the people had to plant their trees so as to provide for ship and house-building, and even for their mines. Under government care was placed the cultivation of the fig and olive trees, devoted respectively to their deities, Ceres and Mercury. In Greece, too, religious influence was exerted to keep sacred the temple groves, in which only the decayed trees were allowed to be cut down. The only State forest being at a great distance from the city, trees were planted on the adjacent mountains. Almost every village had its woods, which were under the supervision of the government. Under the rule of the Romans, the stringent laws for the cultivation and preservation of trees much resembled those of Greece, even to the extent of consecrating the groves surrounding their temples. Each farm was generally fenced with woods, which, together with the beautiful fruit and other trees in the gardens within the farms, imparted much beauty to the country residences. As to Germany, the country was covered with dense forests a long time before the great nations mentioned disappeared from the scene of action ; gigantic trees were found in these forests. Already in the seventh century of the Christian era, the increase of population and its need of agricultural productions caused the clearing of forests. But this clearance did not assume so large proportions as might be supposed, as rigid laws were in force to properly limitate the natural instinct of the peasantry for the destruction of woods. In the course of time, however, this regulation became perfectly tyrannical ; large forests being in possession of individuals—kings, nobles, and clergy. The first French revolution checked despotism in this direction ; but on the other hand, the destruction of forests became at this period so prevailing, that a perfect barrenness of the soil was created in some parts of Germany ; and it took many years of hard labor and the expenditure of much money to restore the fertility of these barren mountains, which restoration was also owing to the development of a better and more enlightened public spirit, which counteracted the effect of vile passions and ignorance. At present, in all parts of Germany, laws and regulations for the cultivation of timber are enforced, which laws are unsurpassed in respect of having yielded the greatest possible quantity of wood, and at the same time provided for a most extensive growth in the future. L. R. BREISACH. Literary Notices A TREATISE UPON THE SALE AND MANAGEMENT OP PATENTS, ETC —We have received a book bearing this title, having neither the author's or pnblisher's name attached, but we presume it is the one advertised by Cornwall Brothers, of Hartford, Conn. At any rate it is full of varied and valuable information, and as to what it says upon the subject of its title we see nothing that is not consonant with common sense, and the advice which it gives to inventors is very good, There are some short biographies of eminent inventors at the end of the volume which serve to relieve the business portions of the work. LIFE THOUGHTS.—Messrs. Phillips, Sampson & Co., of Boston, have sent us a volume, through Messrs. Rudd & Carlton, of New York, bearing the above title. It is made up of brief off-hand ideas and illustrations thrown off by Henry Ward Beecher in the course of his ministry for two years past. They were taken down by a laay m his congregation—Miss Proctor—and are original, acute and oft times exceedingly happy illustrations of great Christian truths. Mr. Beecher is undoubtedly a man of genius, and has an orig inal way of speaking his mind. He is known as a radical thinker and his views are generally well understood. The "Life Thoughts" bear mainly upon the Christian religion. PEAOTICAI. MEOHANICS' JOUENAL. Wiley & Halsted, 351 Broadway.—We have received the January, February and March numbers of this useful publication, and perused much of their contents with great interest and satisfaction. They contain descriptions and illustrations of recent patented and other inventions, contributions from able correspondents, and proceedings of scientific societies, in all of which is embraced such matter as cannot fail to be interesting and instructive to the general reader. ADELE. By Julia Kayanagh. D. Appleton & Co., New York.—The authoress of this pleasing work of fiction is a great and powerful delineator of female character, and she shows her power and truthful apprciation of the motives that govern human action in a marked manner. It is, if not her beat book, at least equal to anything she has written, and that is no small praise for it. The story is pretty, the plot interesting, and the whole is well told. No one will waste their time by reading such a book as this in their idle hours. AET OF HOUSE PAINTING__This is the title of a very practical little work by S. N. Dodge, No. 189 Chatham street, this city. It contains very useful information relating to the mixing and application of paints, also instructions in graining, to imitate various woods. Opinions arrived at from thirty years observations in painting are given by Mr. Dodge, and his experience seems to bear out the conclusions derived from the experiments of Mr. Ewen, described on page 187, this Vol., SCIENTIFIC AMEEIOAN. LITTELL'S LIVING AGE. Littell, Son & Co., Boston ; Stanford & Delisser,637 Broadway* New York.—This well known periodical has just commenced an enlarged series, each number containing eighty pages instead of sixty-four as formerly. We are glad that, for the success of the magazine, the New York publishers have been so judiciously selected. The subscription is only $6 per annum, and each number is a small library in itself. THE EEASON WHY. Dick & Fitzgerald, New York.— "This is a careful collection of many hundreds of reasons for things which, though generally believed, are imperfectly understood. A book of condensed scientific knowledge for the million." So says the title page, and after a careful examination of the interior our only remark is, that ''it is quite true." BIBLEOTHECA SACEA. Warren F. Draper, Andover, Mass.—The number of this profound theological review for this month contains nine able essays on various subjects. The first essay is on the " English Translations of the Bible," and is deeply interesting . and instructive. HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. Conducted by Chas. Dickens. 1 Jansen & Co.. New York.—The May number contains f many interesting and amusing sketches, the ones enti- ) tied "Little Constance's Birthday" and "Civilization J, in California,1 ' being particularly worthy of mention.
This article was originally published with the title "Can there be a Great Scarcity of Timber in the United States ?"