I think it is Linnaeus, who says, that while the swine is rooting for acorns, he is planting acorns.
Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed--a, to me, equally mysterious origin for it. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders. I shall even believe that the millennium is at hand, and that the reign of justice is about to commence, when the Patent Office, or Government, begins to distribute, and the people to plant the seeds of these things.'
In the spring of 1857, I planted six seeds sent to me from the Patent Office, and labelled, I think, "_Poitrine jaune grosse,_" large yellow squash. Two came up, and one bore a squash which weighed 123-1/2 pounds, the other bore four, weighing together 186-1/4 pounds. Who would have believed that there was 310 pounds of _poitrine jaune grosse_ in that corner of my garden? These seeds were the bait I used to catch it, my ferrets which I sent into its burrow, my brace of terriers which unearthed it. A little mysterious hoeing and manuring was all the _abra cadabra presto-change,_ that I used, and lo! true to the label, they found for me 310 pounds of _poitrine jaune grosse_ there, where it never was known to be, nor was before. These talismen had perchance sprung from America at first, and returned to it with unabated force. The big squash took a premium at your fair that fall, and I understood that the man who bought it, intended to sell the seeds for ten cents a piece. (Were they not cheap at that?) But I have more hounds of the same breed. I learn that one which I despatched to a distant town, true to its instinct, points to the large yellow squash there, too, where no hound ever found it before, as its ancestors did here and in France.
Other seeds I have which will find other things in that corner of my garden, in like fashion, almost any fruit you wish, every year for ages, until the crop more than fills the whole garden. You have but little more to do, than throw up your cap for entertainment these American days. Perfect alchemists I keep, who can transmute substances without end; and thus the corner of my garden is an inexhaustible treasure-chest. Here you can dig, not gold, but the value which gold merely represents; and there is no Signor Blitz about it. Yet farmers' sons will stare by the hour to see a juggler draw ribbons from his throat, though he tells them it is all deception. Surely, men love darkness rather than light.