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Third, The farmer's fhare 201.
Fourth, As the Farmer himself may ftand for one servant, I ftate only the wages and maintenance of another 121.
Fifth, The maintenance of the four horfes 24 1.
Laftly, The money paid for fhearing, threshing, &c. lumped at 81.
• Thefe deductions amount to 98 1. 18 s. But if the land can be managed with two horfes, the deductions will amount to 82 1. 2s. only, befide faving a driver.'
N. B. Reparation of houses, and other fmall articles, are too minute to enter into a general view. But if any article be thought too high, they may ferve to balance what is fubtracted from that article.
Subtract on the other hand
"The account then ftands thus. On the one hand the pro£155 00 98 18 0
56 21 0
This balance of 561. 2 s. is the landlord's rent.
Suppofing the product to be but four bolls per acre, or 40 s. inde the product £125 a 98 18
Subtract as before
Suppofing the product to be 3 bolls per acre, or 35 s. £. 110 O 0 98 18 0
... **) *
£. 11 2 O
• Here an unexpected difcovery is made of very great importance in farming; which is, that a farm yielding no more but an average of 3 bolls per acre, had better be wholly fet for pafture. For fuppofing it in that shape to yield no more but 5s. per acre, which is 151. for the whole, the clear profit is greater than when the farm is in corn; and the landlord draws more rent: he draws the whole 151. as land fet in pasture is not burdened with any expence. This discovery may be of use to many a poor tenant, who labours and toils at the plough. from year to year, to his own lofs. If his farm produce not more than 3 bolls per acre, better abandon the plough, turn his farm into pasture, and fit idle.'
We give this article as a fpecimen of the ideas entertained by the gentlemen in Scotland of the ftock, &c. neceffary for a farm, and of the manner in which a farmer ought to live. If this be compared with articles of the fame kind in England, many of which occur in Young's Tours, it will ferve to evince
the vast difference between the ftate of a Scotch and an English
As we have not room for a minute detail of what his Lordfhip has written on the theory of agriculture, we shall content ourfelves with informing the Reader that he adopts the opinion that seems, at prefent, to be most univerfally received among the literati in Europe concerning the food of plants, viz. that, water or air, not excluding the fubftances that are contained in them, is the common food of all plants; that, by confequence, foil is only of utility in affording a steady support to plants, and that manures operate chiefly on the foil, by altering its texture, and rendering it more capable of adminiftering the common food to the roots of plants than it naturally would be. In explaining and illuftrating this theory, he employs about one hundred and fifty pages; but as arguments would fuffer by being abridged, we refer the fpeculative reader, who wifhes for farther fatisfaction on this head to the book itfelf: after warning him, that theories in agriculture are, in general, but too apt to mislead the mind, by making it difguife facts-fo as to fuit the favourite idea that has been preconceived.
We cannot avoid, although with regret, reprehending his Lordship for a vague and unphilofophical application of terms, which we think highly blameable. The term Elective Attrac tion is now fufficiently understood by all philofophers, and is univerfally employed to denote that quality in certain bodies by which they are determined to unite with one of two fubftances in preference to another with which it would have united if no other fubftance had been joined with them; but here we find it employed to denote almost every kind of junction of one body with another. Not only all chemical folutions, but even mechanical diffufions are denominated elective attractions-Water is faid to have an elective attraction for falt, and diffolves it Water has alfo an elective attraction for clay; powdered clay, fays he is fufpended in water; but the elective attraction is not fo ftrong as to diffolve the clay: it continues vifible in the mixture and makes the water turbid. Their mutual attraction yields by degrees to the repeated impulfes of gravity: the clay, fubfides, leaving the water tranfparent as originally,' According to this mode of reafoning, all fubftances that admit of being, minutely divided have an elective attraction for water. Gold, by a mechanical process, may be reduced to fuch a degree of fineness, as to be not only fufpended for a time, but even permanently fufpended in water. Even oil, by ftrong agitation, can be fo intimately blended with water as to render the mixture. turbid the mutual attraction, indeed, yields by degrees to the repeated impulfes of gravity: the water fubfides, leaving the oil tran
fparent as originally. Many of the difcoveries of modern times
To this work are fubjoined feveral differtations of a mifcellaneous nature. In the first, the Author points out the principal imperfections in the common husbandry of Scotland. The fecond contains a propofal for improving agriculture in that kingdom: an inftitution which, we think, might be attended with many beneficial confequences. The third treats of the general heads of a leafe for a corn farm, in which it is intended to point out the plan by which both the proprietor and tenant fhould be fecured from injury, and the ground moft perfectly cultivated. As this is an object of the utmoft confequence to a country beginning to improve, which we fuppofe is the cafe with Scotland, it merits particular regard; and, if we are not misinformed, it actually does obtain a very particular degree of attention from the gentlemen of that kingdom.
It appears to us, however, that his Lordship had not confidered this branch of his subject with that degree of attention it required; as feveral of the claufes here enumerated are altogether inconfiftent with one another, and could not take place in the fame leafe; and fome of them would be unneceffary if other parts of the plan were to be executed.
He begins with recommending leafes that fhall have an uncertain iflue; that is, to terminate with the life of the holder of the farm. But to this we fee two great objections. The first is, that a prudent man will be afraid to lay out much money in improving a farm in thefe circumftances, left he should hurt his family by fo doing. It therefore checks industry, and has a tendency to introduce a degree of languor and defpondency, which must ever be prejudicial to the community. The fecond objection is, that it muft often fubject the furviving family to the most cruel hardships when they are leaft able to bear it. The idea is certainly unworthy of a generous mind, as it prompts the landlord to fecure himself by fnatching from the widow and the orphan thofe harvefts that had been prepared for them by the labour of the indulgent hufband and parent, and of driving them out to mifery and want, at that moment when they are deprived of him who alone could have been their ftay and fupport. Is it not enough that they should be deprived of his affiftance in fupplying their wants? Their fufferings ought rather to be alleviated than augmented on this mournful occafion.
REV. Feb. 1778.
In the fequel he approves of reftrictive claufes, limiting the tenant to a certain routine of crops, which he thinks would be beneficial. Were the knowledge of agriculture arrived at the utmost poffible degree of perfection, it might be doubted whether claufes of this nature would be advantageous; but in the present imperfect state of our knowledge in this art, nothing, to us, appears more ridiculously abfurd than fuch a propofal. It is acknowledged that the farmer muft, on many occafions, explore his way in the dark; he is a traveller in an unknown country, where he may meet with many unforeseen obftructions: yet he must be obliged to walk right forward in a line chalked out to him, without either deviating to the right hand or to the left, but at the peril of utter ruin. It is acknowledged that he alone must make the neceffary difcoveries in that unexplored country, yet others, who are themfelves unacquainted with it, prescribe rules which he must on no account tranfgrefs :-was ever any thing more abfurd than fuch a thought!
We reprobate thefe claufes with the lefs referve, because we have it in our power to bestow the most ample applause on another article propofed by his Lordship; an article that entirely fuperfedes the use of these imperfect regulations; which gives to the tenant that effectual fecurity he wants; which tends in the most powerful manner to improve the country, to enrich the proprietor, and render every perfon interested in the tranfaction happy in their feveral ftations, as well as ufeful members of fociety. It is founded on equity, and therefore deferves the highest praise; it is dictated by wildom, and therefore cannot fail to be moft extenfively ufeful. After this exordium the Reader is, no doubt, defirous of knowing what this applauded article is. Nothing can be more fimple or natural. We give it in the Author's words:
The following, fays he, or fome fuch claufe, will excite a tenant's highest industry to improve his farm to the utmost, fuppofing it to be only for nineteen years. At expiry of the leafe, the tenant fhall be entitled to a fecond nineteen years, upon paying a fifth part [or any other proportion, he might have faid, agreed upon by the parties] of more rent; unless the landlord give him ten years purchase of that fifth part. The rent, for example, is 100l. The tenant offers 1201. He is entitled to continue his poffeffion a fecond nineteen years at the advanced rent, unless the landlord pay him 2001. If he offers a ftill higher rent, the landlord cannot turn him out, unless he pay him ten years purchafe of that offer.'
We perfectly agree in opinion that this claufe would excite a tenant's higheft induftry to improve his farm to the utmost, and in confequence would fuperfede the ufe of all other clauses.
We would only propofe this fmall alteration, to render it entirely unexceptionable, viz. that inftead of terminating with the fecond nineteen years, the leafe fhould be renewable at the end of every nineteen years in infinitum, on the tenant's agreeing to pay a like proportional rife; the proprietor always being at liberty to buy the leafe at ten years purchase of the rife of rent, as above, at the renewal of every nineteen years, if he fhould fo incline. In this cafe, it is plain, that the tenant, by confidering his leafe as a perpetuity, would exert himself to the utmoft, to render it worth the rent at which he could infure it to himself and heirs. But if, by accidental circumstances, he fhould find that it could not poffibly bear the additional rent, he is free to give it up whenever that additional rent ought to commence. On the other hand, fhould the proprietor find that, from any cause whatever, the farm would yield a greater rent than was ftipulated by the leafe, he has it in his power to purchase the leafe at the moderate rate of ten years purchase of that additional rent, which he may then lett to another, at the farther additional rent it may be worth. In fhort, turn this claufe how you will, we imagine it impoffible to ftate a cafe in which either the proprietor or tenant could be injured in their intereft: and we make no doubt that if the proprietors of land in Scotland fhould universally agree to adopt this method of letting land, it would foon become the richest and beft improved country on the globe; and the revenues of the landholders be encreafed in a more rapid proportion than has ever been experienced in any other country. In such case juftice would demand that a statue fhould be erected in honour of the beneficent author who firft fuggefted the idea of it.
We beg pardon of the Reader, who may have no taste for the ftudy of agriculture and husbandry, for having dwelt fo long on this Article. The remaining part of the Appendix treats of the propagation of plants and animals, where we meet with feveral entertaining obfervations.
We cannot difmifs the prefent Article without warmly recommending this volume to the notice of every person who has any concern with rural affairs. For although there are a few paffages which we think lefs perfect than others, and which, on account of the fmallness of their number, we have pointed out as we went along; yet it abounds with fuch useful information as cannot fail to render it highly beneficial to those who attentively peruse it.