Mark the amazing increase of the small fruits. Take, for instance, the Strawberry. Within the memory of many of this assembly, we were dependent almost wholly upon the wild species of the field, or the few which had been transplanted to our gardens. It is only about thirty years since the first attempt, we believe, was made on this continent to raise from seed a new and improved variety - thanks to the enterprise of Mr Hovey, which gave us a fruit that has stood the test for a whole generation of men. Compare the small, dry, seedy, red, and white-wood Strawberries of our youth with the numerous larger luscious varieties which have come to notice in our day. Not only have the latter increased to hundreds of varieties within this time, but the quantity produced is in a still greater ratio. What would our fathers have said at the despatch from a single railroad station in the Western States, where fifty years ago the emigrant had scarcely set his foot, of one thousand bushels of Strawberries daily to market, or from another depot on the unoccupied lands of New Jersey, taken up within fifteen years, a similar quantity sent to the New York market daily; or, still more remarkable, from Norfolk, in Virginia, where seventeen years ago the cultivation of this fruit had not commenced, and from whence during the present season three millions of quarts have been sent to the Northern markets!

Thirty years ago we possessed only two good varieties of the Raspberry, the Red and White Antwerp; now we have numerous fine kinds; and where a man thought himself fortunate to gather a saucerful, it is raised, as by our friend William Parry of New Jersey, by hundreds or thousands of bushels for the market. So of the Currant and Blackberry. Of the latter not a single variety had then been introduced into our gardens or catalogues; now we have many new kinds, and the product is equally great.

Such is the onward march of civilisation and refinement in our own day. How cheering and inspiring the omens of the future! Our illustrations in some particulars may seem to be too highly coloured and too hopeful, but we think time will prove them to be substantially correct. Such is our rapid progress, that if any apparent over-statement has been made, its correctness will be verified or even exceeded while we yet speak.

How would our eyes have been gladdened, and our hopes have been encouraged^ if in our early exhibitions we could have had a vision of the extended displays of the present time, where, instead of two baskets of fruit, presented at the first exhibition of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society by Robert Manning, the great Eastern pioneer, were afterwards brought from the same garden nearly three hundred varieties of the Pear, not to speak of other fruits! And how would our confidence have been strengthened and our zeal have been excited, if any prophetic eye could have pictured to us a view of such magnificent exhibitions as those witnessed at St Louis at our last session, or could even have foreshadowed the cornucopial display in the grand Philadelphia temple of horticulture on the present occasion!

And how would the founders of the Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Horticultural Societies, the first, and for many years the only, societies on this continent for the promotion of horticulture, have rejoiced in the anticipation of the multiplication of institutions, all of which recognise fruit culture as a prominent object. The first agricultural society and the first horticultural society in this country were established in this city, the former in 1785, the latter in 1827. Truly, "a little one has become a thousand," there being now enumerated on the books of the Department of Agriculture at Washington more than thirteen hundred organisations, including State, county, and town societies, for promoting the culture of the soil.

The first agricultural newspaper printed in America, the ' American Farmer,' made its appearance in 1820, less than fifty years ago. How would the enterprise and ambition of its valiant editor, John S. Skinner, have been excited by the idea that within half a century some of its successors would enroll on their subscription-lists the names of one hundred and fifty thousand persons, thereby exciting the surprise and admiration of the Old World! Magazines, periodicals, and papers devoted to horticulture, furnish testimony equally gratifying; and where, within the knowledge of some present, there was but one horticultural journal published in our country, there are now numerous monthlies and periodicals, whose columns of editorial and other appropriate matter compare favourably with the best European publications of the day. Nor is this all. Thousands of secular and even religious papers have special columns on these subjects, without which their success would be doubtful.

Some are here to-day who remember the condition of the few nurseries on our eastern shores fifty years ago - for there were scarcely any in other States. These were limited to a few hundred acres in all. Those in New England, from whence emanated so much of the early interest of our country in fruit culture, were not, in total extent, half so large as that of a single establishment in Western New York at the present time, supposed to be the largest in the world. Nurseries of large extent are now distributed throughout the length and breadth of our domain, sending out annually an amount of trees and plants that would then have been deemed fabulous; single towns, like Eochester or Geneva, possessing three thousand acres or more devoted to the nursery business. Nor should I omit to mention in this connection the improved methods of cultivation, the novel processes of propagation, the wonderful multiplication of trees, plants, and vines, and the never-ending desire to possess everything new, from whatever source it may come, and the universal zeal to ascertain the true value of all new productions.

The ingenious methods of gathering, preserving, and packing of fruits, and the improved means of safe transmission to distant markets, are among the most important advances in this new era. To such perfection have these been brought, that not only our small tender fruits come to us a hundred or a thousand miles in good order, but the Grape and the Pear travel from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast. While penning this address, Pears and other fruits have come to our own hands from California in perfect condition; and, to add to our surprise, the Pears of that State are finding a market in Japan! Our cheap and convenient postal facilities for the transmission of seeds, scions, and plants, promoting the introduction of new fruits into the remotest parts of the land, are such as no other nation has ever enjoyed, yet not more than commensurate with the demands of our extensive territory; and we trust the day is not distant when we shall have equal facilities for such reciprocal advantages with the whole world.