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in it, is of very little prejudice to it: another great improvement is the planting apple-trees in the rows, which might entirely save the allotting any ground to barley. These points of rural economy, and many others, would render the two islands thus divided into small freeholds, I am fully satisfied, even more populous than I have supposed; twenty acres of the medium land, between the best and worft
, in proportion to the total quantity of each, would be highly fufficient to maintain fix people, and the share of the surplus 8,000,000; and this calculation supposes six people, on every twenty acres, dependent on the agriculture, and not only cultivating the laod, but supplying the class of supernumeraries (the 8,000,000) with hands to keep up their numbers; which they otherwise would be unable to do, especially as all the waste of war, &c. &c. comes from them. Thus the soil would not only keep up its own numbers, but supply the deficiency of the supernumeraries. I have stated this case merely with an eye to multiplication, as to the politics of it, with respect to the principles of the British constitution, that is another question
With what eafe might a certainty be gathered in these matters, if some gentleman who has property in poor, and commonly called barren foils, would try the experiment, by turning twenty acres of his poorest land into a little farm, and either give the property of it to fome industrious labourer, with a wife and four children, or at leaft a lease of 99 years at a shilling rent? The capability of such a portion of land's maintaining such a family would then be rendered clear-and the experiment would be perfect, if such farm was thrown into the proper order, by dividing it into several fields, well fenced with the hedge shrubs most proper for the soil; and if any artificial grass is discovered that will really grow luxuriantly on such land, to lay down a field with it; by these means, such poor tracts would be made to turn to the belt account poffible.'
In the following section, in which our Author estimates the proportionate value of several kinds of grain and roots, confidered as food for man, he condemns oats in the strongest terms.
This impoverishing grain, says he, which fouls and exhausts the land more than any other, is of no real use. Oatmeal is not to be compared to bread made of buckwheat, nor is it so good a food as potatoes; and as to the utility of feeding horses, it is only a means of multiplying a species of cattle which alone may depopulate a nation; and which are already attended with an exceeding bad effect in that respect on England. There is no really necessary work which oxen will not perform ; and what a difference is there between encreasing an animal whose fesh is food for man, and another whose Carcase is eaten by nothing but dogs. The consumption of oats is 400,000 quarters inore than that of wheat, in England and Wales ; an immense quantity! The whole consumption aniounts by calculation to 4,250,000 quarters; and the disproportion in Scotland is
Our Author would incoduce cyder in the place of beer.—As to planting trees in hedge rows, see the objections to this pra&ice, in oer last month's Review, p. 26.
If G 2
If the increase of animals depends in any proportion upon the increase of the food proper to support them, our policy seems to aim at the extirpation of the human race, and to give up the country to tie intire poffillion of the Houyhnhnms. Buc while there is a demand for oats, that grain will certainly be cultivated by the farmer, who must make the most of his land in order to p'y his rent. The evil of keeping such vast multitudes of bories is generally acknowledged : but we do not remember to have seen any effectual remedy proposed.
It seems to be good policy in general to encourage the exportation of such articles and commodities as we would with to increase; because the exportation is a conftant encouragement to produce, manufacture, or breed them: and upon the fame princ pie we should imagine it mult be very bad policy in this kingdom to permit the exportation of horses, as it has a tendency to multiply the producion of the species, and to encourage a trade by which the nation must lofe greatly; for what is the price of a horse, exported just when he begins to be fit for labour, cimpared with the value of the food he has confuned, if that food had been applied to the support of more profitable animals ?
We apprehend, therefore, it would help, in some measure, to remove this evil, if the exportation of horses was prohibited. But the great and effectual relief, in this case, is only to be expected from some plan of æconomy that will in general render the use of horses less neceffary, and when a considerable part of the business they now do shall come to be performed by some other means.
If it could, by a bounty or otherwise, be made the apparent interest of the farmer to use oxen more generally instead of horses, this would be a very valuable improvement in our national economy; and as oxen are now used in some places, without any public inducement, we imagine the private advantage of using horses cannot so much overbalance that of using oxen, but that a small addition in favour of the latter would turn the scale.
From these two measures considerable relief may reasonably be expected: but it is with great pleasure we have observed the commencement and spirited progress of a plan of public improvement which will, beyond all others, advance the essencial interests of this kingdom, in a variety of respects; and which, when carried to its full extent, will prove a very complete and effectual remedy of the evil under confideration. We mean that great fystein of navigable canals now carrying into execution chiefly in the West of England; and which will, doubtless, be cxtended in a few years through the whole kingdom, to the unspeakable benefit of every rank of its inhabitants.
Upon these canals all the heavy goods will be conveyed that are now carried in waggons, and drawn through the country by multitudes of devouring horses.-One horse can draw upon these fluid roads more than forty can draw upon land. --Let this fall be considered, with its evident consequences, and then it cannot but appear to every unprejudiced reader, that from there canals we may expect an effectual remedy for the evil complained of: and that the advantages attending these magnificent and truly noble undertakings will make so great a balance in favour of those parts of the kingdom that have had fenetration and spirit enough to set the example, that unless other parts adopt the fame measures, they must unavoidably be drained of their manufactures and inhabitants; and the land owners will have an opportunity of seeing what their lands are worth without trade, and without the people who depend upon it for their support.
The relief would still be more effectual and complete if the proprietors of these canals could make conveniencies for tra. velling by water as in Holland ; and, as it is a subject of great national consequence; we beg leave to recomiend this improvement to their serious confideration.
These canals will also greatly promote the object of our Author's next section, which is the riches that might be brought into the nation by agriculture; as they will give the most inland parts of the kingdom the benefit of fea-ports, and thereby greatly facilitate ihe exportation of their products.
* Before I conclude this lection, says he, I cannot omit observing what vast riches inight be made to flow into this nation, from improvements in agriculture for the purposes of exportation. I say, for the purposes of exportation ; because if they were answered, population, by means of the hone consumption being regularly supplied, would follow of course. Whoever makes a trade of corn will never want it to eat. Upon this principle, what tracts of uncultivated land are there in Great Britain and Ireland, which might be made to freight whole fieets of merchantmen : Nothing can be a stronger proof that the domestic policy of this nation is, in these respects, very far removed from perfeétion, than seeing such a large portion of the soil uncultivated it may be said, that all extensive countries are in the fame circumstances, and most in a greater degree than ours: this may be the case most certainly, but it is a weak argument at best. This nation enjoys another kind of liberty than is common in exten five kingdoms, and therefore ought not to be contented with such a degree of improvement as others enjoy-Its constitution requires more: besides, we are in a train of political economy, which, if properly pursued, would carry improvements of this fort to a higher pitch ; of this the bounty on exported corn is a striking infance; even the allowance of exportation at all is scarcely known in other countries, after it has been used with success fo many years in England. What a fund of wealth would an universal application of this measure, with some few well contrived laws, produce in these islands!
Political management most certainly might be carried to such a height (and without offe ding one established custom) that not an acre of wafte land thould be found in the three kingdoms.'
In the fifth section our Author gives a pretty extensive view of the present state of agriculture in the British dominions, wherein he appears to be a very able advocate for breaking up uncultivated lands, and for inclosures. He then proceeds to treat of the various kinds of manures, and other improvements, such as burning, draining. &c. and afterwards recommends the cultivation of several vegetables, not so generally cultivated as they ought to be. Among these he speaks of sainfoin in the following manner :
SA NF IN; One of the finest grases in the world, and much sown in many parts of England: for poor light soils it has not an equal; lasts many years, and yields very fine crops of most excellent hay: I have seen two, and tivo and half, and three tons of hay the product of one acre, in foils that cid not let for above half a crown, which, in such, is the ne plus ultra of their improvement: no tillage I apprehend can make them turn to so great account. Sainfoin thrives vigorously on all roils that are not wet; sand, gravel, and dry loams; but on clay or any other wet foil the weeds presently de.
In the eastern parts of the kingdom it is very little fown, which is very surprising, as it is introduced even by a few farmers. In the West of England vast quantities of it are to be seen every where. In Gloucestershire, Oxfordihire, Wiltshire, &c. they understand the advantages of it, and use it accordingly; and in Kent upon their chalky soils they fow it more than any other grass.
• It is greatly to be regretted that the culture of sainfoin is not extended to many parts of these islands where it is scarcely known ; it would prove a much greater benefit to the husbandry of several coun. ties, than almost any acquisition they could make.
· The variations of the culture of sainfoin are but few: the principal one is the fowing it with a drill plough, which was introduced by the famous Tull, who found it greatly superior to the broad-caft method; and in Yorkshire Sir Digby Legard has made many experiments upon it, which prove that the method is likewise upon his land fuperior.
. I mould not omit remarking that few of those gentlemen who have amused themselves with experimental agriculcure, have made any variety of trials upon this plant; and yet its natural excellence is such as might have induced them to have given it great attention, Mr. Tull understood its culture better than any one that has succeeded him; and yet but little precise and determinate knowledge of it is to be gained from his writings any more than from Sir Digby Legard's. The author of the E/jays on Husbandry says, it likes the fame foil, exposure, and culture as lucerne ; and the experiments upor. it in the Culture des Terres justify the affertion : we want therefore to be informed by comparative experiments, the difference of cultivating it in the common broad-cait
, and in the drill methods and the rows in the latter to be at various distances, and likewise
in the transplanting way, in the same manner as lucerne is managed. A series of such experiments would be attended with great use.'
Upon considering the degree of encouragement which agri. culture at present meets with in England, our Author makes the following judicious observations on the advantage of good roads, and inland navigations :
Convenience of carriage, resulting from inland navigations and improved roads, are public works of great benefit, but defigned for other purposes besides the encouragement of husbandry. The cultivation of the earth cannot be carried near to perfection without this ease of moving the product of it. For while agriculture was exerted only for the feeding and supporting a small neighbourhood, it was impossible it should flourish ; as all exportation, even from county to county, or from district to district, must depend on the means of conveyance. When the roads were excellive bad, and no rivers are tificially navigable, the expence of carriage was greater than the vafue of the commodity, and consequently all exportation from inland parts impracticable ; but when the bounty was given, which proved fuch a noble encouragement, and the improvements which an increase of riches spread over the country, co-operated in rendering an éase of conveyance every where an universal necessary of life, rivers were daily made navigable, and all the roads of the kingdom wonderfully improved. The shape of the island is peculiarly beneficial for exporting its produce : scarce a village in it is more than seventy miles distant from the sea; and, at present, by means of numerous inland navigations, and good hard roads every where to their banks, no farmer in the kingdom need be at, any loss for even a foreign market for his corn; which, when ill judged and hafty prohibitions on exportation do not abound, is so noble and vigorous an encouragement, that every village in the kingdom is publicly benefited by it; and every landlord enriched by a rile in the rent of his farms, which has been regular for near a century.'
When these inland navigations are extended through all parts of the kingdom ; and we are blessed with a judicious permanent law to regulate the exportation and importation of grain, this kingdom will enjoy a degree of power, independency, and solid wealth, that few of its present inhabitants have any idea of ! With these advantages it may rival the felicity of ancient Egypt, when it was the prolific granary of the neighbouring nations.
In the last section of this essay, 'on the possible and probable improvements of British agriculture,' our Author recommends, first, the gaining a competent knowledge of the soil and culture; secondly, breaking up wastes; thirdly, applying each soil to its proper use; and, fourthly, perfecting mechanics. We thall conclude our extracts from this excellent essay, by laying before our Readers what the Author says upon
Breaking up walles. * There can be little doubt but the converting of waste tracts of land into profitable farms ought to be one of the firit undertakings