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than a part of it; and in this respect he shows himself superior to the great majority of tour-writers. The tendency of all his remarks is to refute the popular error, that, because much has been repeated over and over again, therefore all has been said which can be said of Italy. Let the travelled reader take his map or his handbook, and note the cities, each once the seat of government, and possessing a school of art of its own, which he has never visited, and of which he can obtain no detailed account, and let him calculate the vast tracts of the most romantic scenery—the most interesting ruins of antiquity and of the middle ages which are unknown to him, and he may forın some idea of what remains to be done. In the places best known, if he desires to enter minutely into details, he will be surprised to find how little is ready prepared to his hands, how much he must search out for himself, and what tedious and laborious work it is to hunt for facts which he fancied must be notorious, in the lettered wilderness of libraries and archives. We wish that our remarks on the unavoidable shortcomings of ordinary tourists may induce such of our countrymen as have lived long in Italy, and have devoted themselves to the study of its history and antiquities, to give the result of their labours to the public. They would thus put on record information to which time will only give additional value, and every year makes it more difficult to obtain.

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Art. IV.-1. Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of

England. Vols. I. to XVIII. 2. Gisborne's Essays on Agriculture. London, 1854. 3. Journal d'Agriculture Pratique. Paris, 1857. 4. The Smithfield_Club: a Condensed History of its Origin and

Progress. By B. T. Brandreth Gibbs, Honorary Secretary of

the Club. London, 1857. 5. Journal of the Society of Arts, Vol. VI., No. 264: On the

Progress of the Agricultural Implement Trade,' by S. Sidney. 6. Report on the Metropolitan Market, for the French Minister of

Agriculture. By Mr. Robert Morgan. (Unpublished.)
N the year 1856 a few Englishmen accepted the invitation of

live-stock and implements, entered into competition with the picked agricultural and mechanical skill of continental Europe, and found themselves by a long interval first in the arts and sciences required for producing meat and corn in the most economical manner, under a climate not eminently favourable,


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and on land which has long lost its virgin fertility. This is the problem which modern cultivators have to solve.

The live-stock of the British islands are distinguished for three merits—the early period at which they become ripe for the butcher, the great amount of food they produce in return for the food they consume, and the large proportion of prime meat which they yield.

The agricultural implements of England are distinguished for solidity of construction, simplicity of details, and economy in price, as well as for the rapidity and completeness with which they execute their work—especially that class of work which in other countries is more imperfectly and expensively performed by the labour of men or cattle.

The best evidence of the superiority of British live-stock and agricultural machinery will be found, not in the premiums and medals awarded to them in Vienna or Paris, but in the constantly increasing exportation of both to every part of the world where scientific cultivation has superseded the rude expedients of earlier times. As to implements, said the Earl of Carlisle, in addressing an agricultural gathering of Yorkshiremen, 'I saw on the plains of Troy the clodcrusher of Crosskill, the drills, the horse-hoes of Garrett, and the ploughs of Howard and Ransome.' On the banks of the Danube, the Scheldt, and the Po, of the Mississippi and the Amazon, on the shores of the Baltic and the Black Sea, in the new continent of Australia, or in Flanders, the cradle of modern agriculture, English implements have the same preference as on the plains of Troy.

Farmers are prosperous, landlords are intent on improving their estates, labourers have ceased to hate the drill and the threshing machine ; during the past harvest the reaping machine has come into working use; and competent judges are of opinion that an economical steam-cultivator has been almost perfected. The time seems propitious for reviewing the series of events which during the last hundred years have combined to place English agriculture in the position which it now by universal consent enjoys. Different men and different means have, in important particulars, founded the agricultural prosperity of Scotland, although the two kingdoms have more than once exchanged improvements. A Scotchman only can do justice to the unwritten history of Scotch agriculture.

There is rarely a great invention received by the world of which the

germ is not to be found in some preceding age. This is the case with the system of artificial manures, which has recently worked such wonders in agriculture, and which is touched upon as follows in • The new and admirable Arte of Vol. 103.—No. 206.

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Setting Setting Corne,' by H. Platte, Esquire, published in 1601 by Peter Shorte, dwelling at ye signe of ye Starne on Bred Street Hill:'


* Shanvings of horne, upon mine owne experience, I must of necessity commende, by means whereof I obtagned a more flourishing garden at Bishopshal, in a most barren and unfruitful plot of grounde, which none of my predeces

essors could ever grace or beautifie either with knots or flowers. I have had good experience, with singular good success, by strewing the waste sope ashes upon a border of summer barley. Malte duste may here also challenge his place, for foure or five quarters thereof are sufficient for an acre of ground. And sal armoniake, being a volatile salt first incorporated and rotted in common earth, is thought to bee a rich mould to plant or set in. Dogges and cattes and other beastes, and generally all carrion, buried under ye rootes of trees, in due time will make them flourish and bring forth in great abundance.'

Thus we find that so long as two hundred and fifty-seven ago an Englishman had discovered the utility of ammonia in bones and flesh. Even in agricultural implements great inventions were suggested, and forgotten, because the farmers of England were not prepared to receive them. The reapingmachine carries us back to the agriculture of the Gauls. The horse-boe, the drill, and the water or wind driven threshing machines were employed in a few obscure localities, but it was not until necessity made farmers adventurous, and facilities of communication rendered one district conversant with the doings of another, that they grew into general use. Whatever, therefore, might have been effected on particular estates, the condition of English agriculture at the close of the eighteenth century nearly resembled that of the greater part of continental Europe at the present time. Wheat in many districts was rarely cultivated and rarely eaten by the labouring classes. Rye, oats, and barley were the prevailing crops : a naked fallow, that is to say, a year of barrenness, which was too often a year of exhausting weeds, was the ordinary expedient for restoring the fertility of soil. Farm-yard dung, exposed to the dissolving influence of rain, and carelessly applied, was almost the only manure. Artificial grasses, with beans, peas, and cabbages, were rarely grown, and turnips were confined to a few counties, where they were sown broadcast. Cultivation (except ploughing and harrowing) was performed almost entirely by manual labour; the rude implements were usually constructed on the farm, and often in a way to increase labour instead of to economise it. The cattle were chiefly valued for their dairy qualities or for their powers of draught, and were only fatted when they would milk or draw no longer. The greater number of breeds were large-boned and ill-shaped, greedy eaters, and slow in arriving at maturity: while as very little


winter food, except hay, was raised, the ineat laid on by grass in the summer was lost, or barely maintained, in winter. Fresh meat for six months of the year was a luxury only enjoyed by the wealthiest personages. Within the recollection of many now living, first-class farmers in Herefordshire salted down an old cow in the autumn, which, with flitches of fat bacon, supplied their families with meat until the spring. Esquire Bedel Gunning, in his · Memorials of Cambridge,' relates that, when Dr. Makepeace Thackeray settled in Chester about the beginning of the present century, he presented one of his tenants with a bull-calf of a superior breed. On his inquiring after it in the following spring, the farmer gratefully replied, “Sir, he was a noble animal; we killed him at Christmas, and have lived upon him ever since.'

The reclaiming wild sheep-walks, an improvement in the breeds of live stock, an increase in the quantity of food grown on arable land for their support, and a better rotation of crops, are the events which distinguish the progress of English agriculture during the last century. The next step, after some advance had been made, was to break down the barriers which separated the farmers of that day, and which left them nearly as ignorant of what was going on in every district besides their own as of what was passing in China or Japan. The active agent in this work was the son of a prebendary of Canterbury—the well-known Arthur Young, one of the most useful and sagacious, if not one of the most brilliant of men. Within the last twenty years, railways, the penny postage, and a cloud of newspapers have rendered personal and written communication universal. Let a superior animal be bred, an ingenious machine invented, or a new kind of manure be discovered, and in a few days the particulars are circulated through the press round the whole kingdom, and bring visitors or letters of inquiry from every quarter. But in the time of Arthur Young the most advanced counties communicated with the metropolis and each other by thoroughfares which could hardly be traversed except by a well-mounted horseman or a broad-wheeled waggon drawn by twelve horses, while as “ not one farmer in five thousand read anything at all,' the printing-press could not supply the place of personal inspection. Norfolk, with a subsoil which allowed the rain to filter through, boasted her natural roads, and the inhabitants quoted with pride a saying of Charles II., that the county ought to be cut up to make highways for the rest of the kingdom. But this only proved how deplorable was the condition of the other parts of the country, for when Young visited Norfolk he did not meet with a single mile of good road. In Essex he found lanes so narrow that not



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a mouse could pass a carriage, ruts of an incredible depth, and chalk-waggons stuck fast till a line of them were in the same predicament, and it required twenty or thirty horses to be tacked to each to draw them out one by one. The thoroughfares in fact were ditches of thick mud cut up by secondary ditches of irregular depth. In attempting to traverse them, Young had sometimes to alight from his chaise, and get the rustics to assist him in listing it over the hedge. Such was the state of things when, in 1767, he abandoned the farm in which he had experimented too much to be successful, and, availing himself of the frank hospitality which has in every age been the characteristic of our farmers and country gentlemen, made those celebrated •Tours,' which are absolute photographs of agricultural England, and are models of what all such reports should be-graphic, faithful, picturesque, and philosophical! His work, however, affords numerous instances of the danger of any man pronouncing opinions upon subjects which he has never studied. His candid confession that he has no technical knowledge of the fine arts does not diminish the absurdity of the judgments he frequently passes upon the houses and paintings he met with in his journeys. He viewed the human form in much the same light that he regarded cattle for the butcher, for, after enumerating three pictures by Rubens at the seat of Sir Gregory Page on Blackheath, he adds, “They are fine in his general style; the females capitally plump.' Of a poulterer's shop in the same collection he says, *The exact imitation of the basket will make you smile with pleasure.' Nothing more can be required to show that he looked at paintings with the eye of an agriculturist.

About half a century after Young bad published his principal English tours another celebrated man copied his example, and made his · Rural Rides' through various counties between the years 1821 and 1832. It would be natural to refer to this entertaining work of Cobbett to discover the changes which had taken place in the interval, but scarce a notion can be gleaned from it of the condition of agriculture. Superior to Young in talent, in force of language, and in liveliness of style, though not surpassing him in lucidity, which was impossible, he is, beyond comparison, inferior to him in information and candour. The • Rural Rides' are little better than a collection of reckless invectives, hardy assertions, and insolent bigotry. Clever as is Cobbett's abuse, it derives much of its amusement from its effrontery and its ludicrous disproportion to the occasions which excite it, like the fits of passion of Sir Anthony Absolute. His very prejudices raise a smile by their extravagance, and it is no paradox to assert that a large part of the merit of the book is


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