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in its faults, if there is merit in a piquancy which the reader relishes while he condemns. Beyond a certain perception of the beauties of Nature, there is an entire absence of elevating sentiment. His ideas for improving the condition of the peasantry, about which he talked so much and so furiously, usually centre in fat bacon and strong beer, the superiority of which to Christian instruction is one of his favourite vaunts. The ministers of religion of all sects had a determined opponent in him, and he classes them among the pests of society. Coming,' he says in his 'Rural Rides, through the village of Benenden, I heard a man at my right talking very loud about houses ! houses! houses ! It was a Methodist parson in a house close by the road-side. I pulled up, and stood still, in the middle of the road, but looking, in silent soberness, into the window (which was open) of the room in which the preacher was at work. I believe my stopping rather disconcerted him, for he got into shocking repetition. Scarcely had I proceeded a hundred yards from the place where this fellow was bawling when I came to the very situation which he ought to have occupied—I mean the stocks. And then he proceeds to bawl himself upon the uselessness of stocks unless the legs of Methodist parsons are seen peeping out of them. This was the toleration of a man who assumed to himself a greater licence in speaking and writing than any other person of his age, not even excepting O'Connell, and who was always demanding unbounded liberty to say anything, however extreme. in any language, however virulent. But his inconsistencies of opinion and conduct were endless. I got clear of Tunbridge Wells,' he relates in one part of his · Rural Rides,' by making a great stir in rousing waiters and boots and maids, and by leaving behind me the name of a noisy, troublesome fellow.' This seems to have been his pride in his works as well as his travels, and, provided he could be noisy and troublesome, he cared not at all to be just or decent. Devoting a large portion of his life to agriculture, and having won by his talents and his pungency the ear of the public, he did nothing whatever to advance the science. His powerful and reckless pen was chiefly employed in maintaining errors; and while Young, by the accurate record of impartial observations, has left his footmark deeply printed upon the soil, the turbulent cleverness of Cobbett was like a wind which makes a great stir at the moment, and then is hushed for ever. The name of Arthur Young will always be mentioned with gratitude in every record of British farming ; the name of Cobbett, if it is mentioned at all, will only be quoted as a warning. On recurring to his “Rural Rides,' we have found them next to a blank upon the subject of which they
profess profess to treat; and though abuse, egotism, conceit, dogmatism, and prejudice, when set off by vivacity, may make amusing reading, they contribute nothing to the promotion of agriculture,
Foremost among the men whose merits Arthur Young helped to make known to his contemporaries and hand down to posterity, was Robert Bakewell of Dishley; a man of genius in his way, for he laid down the principles of a new art. He founded the admirable breed of Leicester sheep, which still maintains a high reputation throughout Europe and the United States of America; and although he failed in establishing his breed of Long-horn cattle' and of black cart-horses,' he taught others how to succeed. The yeoman farmer had not yet removed to a parlour,' and Bakewell sat in the huge chimney-corner of a long kitchen hung round with the dried joints of his finest oxen, preserved as specimens of proportion, "a tall, stout, broad-shouldered man of brown-red complexion, clad in a brown loose coat and scarlet waistcoat, leather breeches, and top-boots. There he entertained
Russian princes, French and German Royal dukes, British peers and farmers, and sight-seers of every degree.' Whoever were his guests, they were all obliged to conform to his rules. Breakfast at eight o'clock, dinner at one, supper at nine, bed at eleven o'clock; at half-past ten o'clock, let who would be there, he knocked out his last pipe.' There he talked on his favourite subject, breeding, with earnest yet playful enthusiasm ;' there, ‘utterly indifferent to vulgar traditional prejudices,' he enumerated those axioms which must ever be the cardinal rules of the improvers of live stock. He chose the animals of the form and temperament which showed signs of producing most. fat and muscle,' declaring that in an ox all was useless that was not beef ;' that he sought, by pairing the best specimens, to make the shoulders comparatively little, the hind-quarters large;' to produce a body 'truly circular, with as short legs as possible, upon the plain principle that the value lies in the barrel and not in the legs,' and to secure a 'small head, small neck, and small bones. As few things escaped his acute eye, he remarked that quick fattening depended much upon amiability of disposition, and he brought his bulls by gentleness to be as docile as dogs. In sheep his object was mutton, not wool, disregarding mere size,' a vulgar test of merit. Dr. Parkinson told Paley that Bakewell had the power of fattening his sheep in whatever part of the body he chose, directing it to shoulder, leg, or neck as he thought proper, and this, continued Parkinson, is the great problem of his art.' 'It's a lie, sir,' re
' plied Paley, and that's the solution of it.' The account of
Parkinson was, indeed, a mistake as to the mode by which Bakewell produced his fat stock, but it was no exaggeration as to the result. *
The great physiologist, John Hunter, confirmed in one essential particular the observations of Bakewell, for he asserted that in the human subjects he had examined he found small bones a usual concomitant of corpulence. Mr. Clive, the celebrated surgeon, who paid much attention to the breeding of cattle, also came to the conclusion that extremely large bones indicated a defect in the organs of nutrition. But ' fine-boned' animals were in fashion when Bakewell commenced his career, and to the majority of people it seemed a step backwards to prefer wellmade dwarfs to uncouth giants. One or two enlightened persons having suggested at Ipswich fair that a piece of plate should be presented to Arthur Young for the public service he had rendered in introducing the Southdown sheep into Suffolk, a farmer determined to put forth the counter-proposition, that he was an enemy to the county for endeavouring to change the best breed in England for a race of rats.' The tenantry of that period were strong in the self-confidence of ignorance. "To attempt to reason with such fellows,' said Young of some of those he met with in his tours, 'is an absurdity,' and he longed to seize a hedge-stake in order to break it about their backs. Even if they were persuaded to try some improvement to which they were not previously inclined, they reported that their experience' was unfavourable to it—their experience being in reality the foregone conclusion which was antecedent to experience, and which blinded them to the results of experience itself. The graziers who adhered to the old huge-skeletoned race of stock were accustomed to give as the reason for their preference that a beast could not get fat unless there was room to lay the fat on.' It would have been just as rational to argue that none but farmers of large stature could have felt Young's proposed application of the hedge-stake, because in smaller men there would not be room to lay it on, Numbers of short, round, tub-like agriculturists, who uttered the current excuse for breeding bones in preference to
Archbishop Whately has adduced Bakewell's discovery to illustrate a position in his treatise on . Logic,' and he puts in such a clear light one portion of the great cattle-breeder's mode of proceeding that we quote the passage: He observed in a great number of individual beasts a tendency to fatten readily ; and in a great number of others the absence of this constitution: in every individual of the former he observed a certain peculiar make, though they differed widely in size, colour, etc. Those of the latter description differed no less in various points, but agreed in being of a different make from the others: these facts were his data.
His principal merit consisted in making the observations, and in so combining them as to abstract from each of a multitude of cases, differing widely in many respects, the circumstances in which they all agreed.'
flesh, were living representatives of the fallacy of their assertion. But there were others who were not slow to see the truth. A Southdown ram belonging to Arthur Young got by accident to a few Norfolk ewes of a neighbouring farmer. When the butcher came in the summer to select some lambs, he drew every one of the Southdown breed, which, he said, were by much the fattest in the flock. The owner instantly took the hint. Upon the whole the principles of Bakewell were more favourably received than most innovations in that day, and some of the pupils succeeded in improving upon the stock of the master. The brothers Collinges in Durham established the Durham or Teeswater breed, now known as the Short-horn,' which soon superseded the Long-horn, and every other kind where both flesh and milk were required. It is this which furnishes the true meat for the million; and it appears from the account of Mr. Robert Morgan,
cattle salesman, who sells about 400 beasts a-week, that, while other favourite breeds are on the decline, this, with its crosses, has increased upwards of 10 per cent. Quartley successfully applied himself to improving the curly coated North-Devon. Price took up the Hereford, and Ellman of Glynde the Southdown sheep, then little better than half-adozen other heathland kinds. The emulation gave rise to the forerunner of the modern fat cattle show, in single oxen of monstrous size, dragged round the country in vans, and with such success that in 1800 a Mr. Day refused 20001. for the Durham ox he had purchased two months previously for 2501. Graziers who were not able to join the sheep-shearings of Holkham or Woburn, who did not read the agricultural works of Arthur Young, and would not have been convinced if they had, found their prejudices in favour of local breeds shaken by a personal interview with gigantic specimens of the Teeswater ox.
In 1798 the Duke of Bedford, Lord Somerville, and others, with Arthur Young as honorary secretary, established the · Little Smithfield Club, for exhibiting fat stock at Christmas time, in competition for prizes, with a specification of the food on which each animal had been kept. This society has rendered essential service by making known the best kinds of food, and by educating graziers and butchers in a knowledge of the best form of animal. We smile now on reading that in 1806, in defiance of Mr. Coke's toast, Small in size and great in value,' a 'prize was given to the tallest ox.' Length of leg has long been counted a serious fault; for it is the most unprofitable part of the beast. In 1856 a little Devon ox, of an egg-like shape, which is the modern beau-ideal, gained the Smithfield gold medal in competition with gigantic short-horns and Herefords of ele
phantine proportions ; and in 1854 a large animal of Sir Harry Verney's was passed over without even the compliment of a "commendation, because he carried on his carcase too much offal and more threepenny than ninepenny beef.
But the fattening qualities and early maturity of the improved stock would have been of little value beyond the few rich grazing districts of the Midland counties, without an addition to the supply of food. The best arable land of the kingdom had been exhausted by long years of cultivation, and the barren fallow, which annually absorbed one-third of the soil, failed to restore its fertility. A new source of agricultural wealth was discovered in turnips, which, as their important qualities became known, excited in many of their early cultivators much the same sort of enthusiasm as they did in Lord Monboddo, who on returning home from a circuit went to look at a field of them by candle-light. Turnips answered the purpose of a fallow crop
a which cleaned and rested old arable land ; turnips were food for fattening cattle in winter; turnips, grown on light land and afterwards eaten down by sheep which consolidated it by their feet, prepared the way for corn-crops on wastes that had previously been given up to the rabbits. By this means the heaths and wolds of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, with the help of marling in certain districts, the blowing sands of Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, and Bedfordshire, were gradually reclaimed and colonised by the race of farmers who have been foremost to adopt all the great improvements in English agriculture for the last century. This new system required a capital on the part of both landlord and tenant. It required from the landlord barns and yards, and houses fit for first-class farmers. Mr. Coke of Holkham laid out above a hundred thousand pounds in 20 years on dwellings and offices. It required the tenant to expend a considerable sum on flocks and herds, and, above all, in labour for the years before the wild land began to yield a profit. Mr. Rodwell
, in Suffolk, sunk 50001. in merely marling 820 acres, with a lease of only 28 years. Such spirited proceedings demanded no mean amount of intelligence to conduct them with discretion and profit. The value of Mr. Rodwell's produce during the 28 years of his occupancy was 30,0001. greater than in the 28 years wbich preceded his improvements. No needy race of peasant cultivators, no rack-rent absentee line of landowners, could have achieved this conquest over the English wilderness, then far from ports, manufacturing towns, and markets.
This great advance in arable farming took its rise in Norfolk. The king of Brobdingnag gave it as his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn or two blades of grass to grow upon