« السابقةمتابعة »
Husbandman will not admit of these Vices. The honeft Farmer lives in a wife and bappy State, which inclines him to Justice, Temperance, Sobriety, Sincerity, and every Virtue that can dignify the human Nature. This gave Room for the Pocts to feign, that Area, the Goddess of Justice, had ber last Residence among Husbandmen, before me quita ted the Earth. Hefiod and Virgil have brought the Afistance of the Muses in Praise of Agriculture. Kings, Generals, and Philosophers, have not thought it unworthy their Birth, Rank, and Genius, to leave Precepts to Posterity upon the Utility of the Huta bandman's Profession. Hiero, Attalus, and Archelaus, Kings of Syrachse, Pergamus, and Cappadocia, have composed Books for supporting and augmenting the Fertility of their different Countries. . The Carthaginian General, Mago, wrote twenty-eight Volumes upon this Subject; and Cato, the Cenfor, followed his Example. Nor have Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle, omitted this Article, which makes an efiential Part of their Politicks. And Cicero, speaking of the Writings of Xenophon, says, 'How fully and
excellently does he, in that Book called his Oecono* mics, set out the Advantages of Husbandry, and a country Life?'
When Britain was subject to the Romans, she annually supplied them with great Quantities of Corn; and the Isle of Anglesea was then locked upon as the Grainary for the Western Provinces: But the Britons, both under the Romans and Saxons, were employed like Slaves at the Plough. On the Intermixture of the Danes and Normans, Poflessions were better regulated, and the State of Vaffalage gradually declined, till it was entirely wore off under the Reigns of Henry VII. and Edward VI. for they hurt the old Nobility by favouring the Commons, who grew rich by Trade, and purchased Estates.
The Wines of France, Portugal, and Spain, aro now the best; while Italy can only boast of the Wine made in Tuscany. The Breeding of Cattle is now chiefly confined to Denmark and Ireland. The Corn of Sicily is still in great Esteem, as well as what is produced in the Northern Countries : But England is the happiest Spot in the Universe for all the principal Kinds of Agriculture, and especially its great Produce of Corn.
The Improvement of our landed Estates, is the Enrichment of the Kingdom: For, without this, how could we carry on our Manufactures, or profecute our Commerce? We should look
the English Farmer as the most useful Member of So. ciety. His arable Grounds not only supply his Fellow-subjects with all kinds of the best Grain, but his Industry enables him to Export great Quantities to other Kingdoms, which might otherwise starve ; particularly Spain and Portugal : For, in one Year, there have been exported 51,520 Quarters of Barley, 219,781 of Malt, 1920 of Oatmeal, 1329 of Rye, and 153,343 of Wheat ; the Bounty on which amounted to 72,433 Pounds. What a Fund of Treasure arises from his pasture Lands, which breed such innumerable Flocks of Sheep, and afford fuch fine Herds of Cattle, to feed Britons, and cloath Mankind? He rears Flax and Hemp for the making of Linen; while his Plantations of Apples and Hops supply him with generous kinds of Liquors.
The Land-tax, when at four Shillings in the Pound, produces 2,000,000 Pounds a Year. This arises from the Labour of the Husbandman : It is a great Sum: But how greatly is it increased by the Means it furnishes for Trade? Without the Industry of the Farmer, the Manufacturer could have no Goods to supply the Merchant, nor the Merchant find any Employment for the Mariners : Trade
would be ftagnated ; Riches whould be of no Advantage to the Great ; and Labour of no Service to the Poor.
The Romans, as Historians all allow,
AVIGATION, like other Arts, has been
perfected by Degrees. It is not easy to conceive that any Age or Nation was without fome Veffel, in which Rivers might be passed by Travellers, or Lakes frequented by Fitermen ; but we have no Knowledge of any Ship that could endure the Violence of the Ocean, before the Ark of Noah.
As the Tradition of the Deluge has been transmitted to almost all the Nations of the Earth ; it must be supposed that the Memory of the Means by which Noah and his Family were preserved, would be continued long among their Descendants, and that the Poflibility of palling the Seas could never be doubted.
What Men know to be practicable, a thousand Motives will incite them to try ; and there is Reason to believe, that from the Time that the Generations of the postdiluvian Race spread to the Sea Shores, there were always Navigators that ventured upon the Sea, though, perhaps, not willingly beyond the Sight of Land.
Of the ancient Voyages little certain is known, and it is not necessary to lay before the Reader such Conjectures as learned Men have offered to the World. The Romans by conquering Carthage, put a Stop to a great Part of the Trade of diftant Nations with one another, and because they thought only on War and Conqueft, as their Empire en
creased, creased, Commerce was discouraged; till under the latter Emperors, Ships seem to have been of little other Ule than to transport Soldiers,
Navigation could not be carried to any great Degree of Certainty, without the Compass; which was unknown to the Ancients. The wonderful Quality by which a Needle, or small Bar of Steel, touched with a Loadstone or Magnet, and turning freely by Equilibration on a Point, always preserves the Meridian, and directs its two Ends North and South, was discovered according to the common Opinion in 1299, by John Gola of Amalphi, a Town in Italy.
From this Time it is reasonable to suppose that Navigation made continual, though slow, Improvements, which the Confusion and Barbarity of the Times, and the Want of Communication between Orders of Men so distant as Sailors and Monks, hindered from being distinctly and successively recorded.
It seems, however, that the Sailors still wanted either Knowledge or Courage, for they continued for two Centuries to creep along the Coast, and considered every Headland as unpassable, which ran far into the Sea, and against which the Waves broke with uncommon Agitation.
The First who is known to have formed the Design of new Discoveries, or the First who had Power to execute his Purposes, was Don Henry the Fifth, Son of John the First, King of Portugal, and Philippina, Sister of Henry the Fourth of England. Don Henry having attended his Father to the Conquest of Ceuta, obtained by Conversation with the Inhabitants of the Continent, fome Accounts of the interior Kingdoms and southern Coast of Africa; which, though rude and indistinct, were sufficient to raise his Curiosity, and convince him that there were Countries yet unknown and worthy of Discovery.