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much the easy means of making a proper advantage of the bounteous gifts of nature, in almost every country, have been strangely neglected and overlooked : for nothing has been delivered in any book, concerning the kinds of plants proper for. the different kinds of cattle: the consequence of which inata tention frequently is, that the farmer, by not distinguishing and selecting the seeds of proper, grasses, fills his pastures with weeds, or, which is here equivalent to them, with bad graffes, unfit for the nourishment of the creatures which he intends to rear*!
In SeEt. 2. of this Chap. he gives us the names and culture of the Several grales fittest for pastures. And, after justly çensuring the common way of proceeding to lay down land to grass, by taking the seeds indiscriminately-froin a foul hay-rick; by which sovenly method, the ground is often filled with weeds, he advises (after Mr. Stillingfleet, in his Observations on Grullis) to have a few clean feeds gathered by hand; for 'wculd but the farmer be at the pains of separating, once in his life, half a pint, or a pint, of the different kinds of grass-feeds, and take care to row them separately; in a very little time he would have wherewithal to stock his farm properly, according to the nature of cach foil.' . * It is then added, how easy Mr. Stillingfleet found it to procure the creeping bent, the fine-bent, the sheep's fescue, the erested dog-tail, and other valuable gralles, (of which drawings are given) by employing children of ten or eleven years old, ia gather the seeds' for him ; which, he says, they did, without making any mistakes, after he had once thewn them, the forts ! . Wherever farmers act in this indiftinguishing manner, their management mult be allowed, indeed, to be very bad. But still we are siot entirely without our doubts, whether even the present work 'will be fufficient for their full instruction in this useful branch of Husbandry, For though the Author attempts to lay down rules for the farmer's guidance in this interelling concerns yet they feem not to be altogether so clear as might be willies. But this defect may, perhaps, be owing to the contraditions he met wiib in the writers from whom she rules he delivers are chiefly selected. Thus, p. 303, we are told, from Linnæus, that horses cably distinguish wholesome from noxious food; and that some of those animals (in one of his journeys) when so very lun. gry, as even to devour most sorts of plants they happened to meet with in a wood, (where he'stopt to search for boranical curiosities) would pot, however, eat monk's beod, and some other species of plants.--But noi. withítanding this, we are told, in the very next page, viz. 309. (from the Swedil-Pan) that monk's.hood kiils a goat, but will not hurt a boite :
as how indeed should it, if he car nou, even by the severelt hunger, be broughi to tale it? We think thiát füch apparent contradictions as the above, and some others that we have occasionally met witli, Diould not have been inserted, without an alien pt, at leait, to reconcilc them.
Thea dozen, double would beit be obvion
he wanted. -- 'Tis also no bad method to leave a small part of a meadow, where the grasses are heft, and least mixed, unmowed. till the seeds are quite ripe; and fit for gathering.. ; The number of grasses fit for the farmer is very small; perhaps half a dozen, or half a score, are all he need to cultivate; and how finall the trouble would be of collecting the seeds of thefe, and how great the benefit, must be obyious at first sight.'
In SeEl. 3. our Author treats of the improvement of pastures already under grass. Many meadows and pasture-grounds, he observes, are lo over-run with bushes, weeds, ant-hills, &c. that great part of them is loft to the husbandman, whose first care, therefore, should be, the removing of these obstacles : for the more effectual doing of which, several useful directions are given.
—Worn-out lands are commonly over-run with moss : buc whatever restores the pasture to a good heart, will (he says) destroy the mofs.'
But the most effectual way of improving old grass-grounds, is by means of M. de Chateauvieux's three.coulter'd plough, which is to be used thus : « In November, or December, the whole surface must be cut with that plough, into flips three inches wide, which is the distance between each of the coulters. This will have two effects; first, the coulters will tear up great part of the moss with which all old pastures are infected, and gradually destroy it : and secondly, the coulters, piercing five or fix inches deep into the earth, cut the extremities of many of the roots of the grass, and those cut or broken roots afterwards, produce new ones, which will give fresh strength and vigour to the plants, and, as it were, renew them, and make them young again.'.
To render this improvement ftill more perfect, as soon as the whole surface is cut, dung must be carried on, and spread as, soon after as possible. The smaller the dung is broken, the more useful it will be : because its minute particles will then be best carried by the rain into the traces which the plough has cut, and give surprising strength to the plants. This method of repairing and improving poor or worn out meadows and pasture-grounds, does not require any great quantity of dung: one load of it will go as far, in this practice, as three would in the common way ; and be much more beneficial to the grass. M. de Chateauvieux has tried it for some years, with all the success he could defire. He thinks that one acre thus cultivated, will produce as much grass as ten in the common way.'.
The necessity of water, in pastures, is so evident; that Mr. Mills has given drawings of various machines for raising it, where it cannot otherwise be had : an excellent wheel for which purpose is represented by Fig. 7, Plate IV. This engine was invented by M. de la Faye, and is now used with great success by
the the Hon. Mr. Hamilton, at his seat at Pain's-bill in Surry., This machine consists of a wheel, which turns upon its axis, and has four curved pipes fixed to it. The mouth of the pipe ascends as the wheel is turned round by the stream, and the water [therein) descends, till the wheel has made half* a turn', when it is discharged into the axle-tree, which is hollow, from an opening at the end of which it is conducted by troughs, or other channels, to wherever it is wanted.
We have next some very judicious observations and directions for watering of ground, in order to increase the quantity of grass ; but for these, and some very useful remarks upon haymaking, we must refer to the book.
Chap. V. treats OF INCLOSING of land : a part of Husban. dry,' (as Mr. Mills observes) in which the English have hitherto greatly excelled every other people ;- from which we daily reap fuch vast advantages, as leave room only to wonder, that there thould yet remain among us prodigious tracts of now abfolutely waste, though in fact, highly improveable, land. How immensely might the power and wealth of this nation, the fplendor and revenues of the crown, and that most important object, population, the true bulwark of the strength and glory, of a state, be increased, by inclosing, and cultivating, many parts of the extensive forests, heaths, and commons, in this puissant kingdom! The infinite benefits that would accrue therefrom, are evident to a demonftration.”
In particular ;-inclosures ascertain to every man bis just property, and prevent trespasses, and litigation. They keep the land warm, and thereby add to its fertility. They afford fhade in the summer, and shelter in the winter, for cattle. Their cuttings afford fuel ; and are an encouragement tu. good Husbandry, and a remedy against beggary, by employing many poor people in the labour which the making, or mending, of them constantly requires, [but] which is amply repaid by the increase of crops : • for it has been remarked, not only that well inclosed countries generally maintain treble the number of inhabitantst, or more, than the champaign; but also, that those in
* So says Mr. Mills ;—but whoever views the draught of the wheel in the plate, and considers the structure of the pipes, will foon be con. vinced that it is absolutely impossible for the water to be discharged at all, when the wheel has made only half a turn; and that a whole revolution must be performed, to produce that effect. . . . † The inclosing of heaths, commons, and, what are commonly called, waste grounds, is undoubtedly a great benefit to the public, and a manifest help to population.; and therefore to be encouraged. But where large, open corn-fields are inclosed, we are not quite clear thai the crops will be thereby much, if at all, increased and we are
habitants are much better fed, and clad, than the common run of people in uninclosed lands.'
Mr. Mills advises every gentleman whose estate is not yet inclosed, to begin with having a map of it drawn, that he may portion it out with the greater propriety, so as to render it mot pleasing to the eye, and most convenient to each farmer. And he very truly remarks, what is deserving of all such gentlemen's notice, that — small farms have always been observed to yield the greatest proportional rent.'-[How then shall we account for that ruinous practice, which prevails in too many places, of letting a whole township to two or three overgrown farmers, who are thereby enabled to hoard up the annual gifts of provide dence, and in the midft of plenty, produce an artificial scarcity, to the enriching indeed of themselves, but to the unspeakable des triment of their poor neighbours; who, notwithstanding their utmost industry, are forced to crouch to these unfeeling masters, at the same time that they pay them an exorbitant price, for that corn which is required for the daily bread of themselves and families.
This grievance could never have arrived at the height it has done, if the Act of 31 Eliz. Cap. 7. Sect. 1. had been observed, which requires four acres of ground to be laid to very cottage (with some few exceptions only) erected since that time. But alas! where will you find any coitage at all, with such a quantity of land oceupied therewith, at this day?]
As to the methods of raising different kinds of fences, for inclosing land, we must refer to the book; and proceed to the last Chap. of this Vol. which treats of the situation of farms and farma boufes :-a subject (as Mr. Mills observes) truly interesting to every inhabitant of the country, as the health, and consequently the welfare, of them all must greatly depend on the choice of proper situations to live in.
Besides the healthiness of the situation, the air, water, and foil, should be particularly attended to in the choice of a farm 'or estate. • The air should be pure and temperate; the water wholsome and easily come at; and the soil rich.'
The buildings on the farm should be proportioned to the produce, especially as to store-rooms. The house should be be built on the most healthy spot of the farm, in a temperate air, such as the middle of a hill commonly enjoys, where it is neither Qiling in the summer, nor exposed to the rage of winds and storms in the winter.
But as it is impossible for all houses to be thus situated, we
pretty well persuaded that the number of people will be greatly lefened by Such a practice ; for no small share of that land which mult be arabl.. while in an open field, will be laid down to grass, when inclosed. And every one knows that grass-land is managed with much fewer hands than arabe ;--and who will employ more than they want?
tions at may be a title attentive
afterwards meet with several judicious methods of guarding, in foine measure, against such inconveniences of situation, as can not wholly be removed, or avoided. The following Observations appearing just, as well as philosophical, we presume the extract may be acceptable to our Rcaders. , • We are too little attentive to the situation of houses with regard to rivers; though a judicious choice in this must be of great consequence to the health of the inhabitants. A quick Howing stream, with a clean channel and dry banks, will rather add to the beauty and healthiness of a country : but oozy banks over-run with weeds, or other strong coarse grass, should be carefully avoided, as being a fhelter to all manner of putrid filth, from whence unfalutary vapours must arise. It is a general opinion, that it is safer to dwell on the north, than on the south, fide of such a river. Yet it has been observed by a most ingenious gentleman, whose long residence in warm climates has afforded him ample opportunities of knowing the truth, that an cozy, flow-moving river, or a putrid marsh, is least hurtful on the north-fide of a dwelling-place. The reason assigned by him is, that the southerly winds being warm, putrefaction is thereby promoted and increased in such a river, or marsh, and the va-, pours are also more copiously raised. These vapours do not rise high into the air, rendered light by the warmth of the foutli wind, but rather glide along the surface of the earth, where they are moved by a gentle breeze, and so are brought into the houses, and breathed by the inhabitants, to the injuring of whose health their mischief is not confined; for they also hurt their furniture, and even their utensils of Husbandry: whereas when the north-wind blows, the air is generally cool, putrefaction is checked, fewer' vapours arise, and these, by the greater density of the air, are sooner railed High and diffipated. Northerly winds are allo generally brisker; and therefore the air has lefs time to be tainted in pafling over such river or marsh.
The same quantity of vapour arising in any given time, is diluted as it were, and its power weakened, by being mixed with å greater quantity of air. Add to this, that, poflibly, the hu. man body, being more relaxed when the warm and southerly winds blow, may then be more susceptible of the injuries occafioned by these moist and putrid exhalations.'
This volume concludes with some observations on the great public evils attending the practice of landlords throwing their estates into very large farms : but as we have already introduced our own opinion upon this point, which cntirely agrees with that of Mr. Mills, we tco fhall conclude with putting the landed gentlemen of this nation in mind of Virgil's direction,
Laudato ingentia rura,
Georg. Lib. II. 412.