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feasted upon ruin and landscape, and our minds have recalled the associations with which they are fraught? Now that the pleasure-loving and curious propensity has been gratified, what permanent good has been ingrafted upon the immortal soul, by thus moving amid the beauties of nature and of art, under the twilight of antiquity? Are these objects but the chance scribblings and frolicksome creations of the dead past, meaningless and indifferent in this present time? Is there no lesson of beauty to be learned from a perception and a study of these Gothic piles, in the witchery of their ruins? Comes there no admonition to patience and devotion, as we recall from their graves the form of monk and friar, and think how, day after day, and night after night, they fought within the cloister the logomachies of Aristotle, under the command of Scotus or Aquinas? Oh, yes! Here, in these homes of the studious and learned, there burned altars to truth and goodness, although their fires were dim and sepulchral. When all else was ignorance profound, with vestal vigilance the light was kept bright, until it burst into the full radiance of a better civilization. When baronial insolence ruled its serfs with iron sway, and ran riot in the worst passions of our sinful nature, there was found in these abbeys a refuge, where peace and good-will hedged the innocent round about with protection, and where the religion of Jesus kindled its hope of celestial beatitude, high and aloof from the troubles and turmoils of the world.
English Busbandry, and the Beauty of Chatsworth.
"Each one contends, with all her might and main,
Each day a higher verdant crown to gain."
COWLEY'S Poem on Plants.
HIS northern part of England, around York, is checkered
with railroads so completely, that it is impossible to look out upon the landscape without seeing the swift-rushing car. From Newburg to Sheffield, at all angles,-obtuse, acute, and right, these vehicles are every moment darting, freighted with coal and coke, iron and humanity. The country after night seems alive with fires from furnaces and coke-ovens; while by day, deep, dark holes, 'into which the mild sunbeam hath not power to pierce,' and into which only the lightning could dart illumination, open on every side like entrances to Hades, out of which machinery is shelling coal by the ton. And yet here, as in every arable part of Great Britain that we have seen, Agriculture seems to gather as rich a harvest, and to take as nice a heed in the cultivation of the soil, as in other less manufacturing districts. The harvest-time was just at its middle point. Two months later than in Ohio, they gather their wheat. It is mostly done by Irish, who come up from Liverpool, and even across the Channel, thus to reap their little harvest of shillings. We saw them at York, these laborers, packed by twenties and fifties, into unventilated cars (used for cattle on ordinary occasions) all somewhat intoxicated, all armed with scythe and sickle, but so closely packed, that in the biggest hullabaloo imaginable, they could hardly use their gougers,' much less their instruments of
husbandry. One poor fellow was, by some fatality, placed in our car. He had his bundle, his sickle, and the never-failing resource of an Irishman, his pipe. He told me that he received from eight to ten shillings an acre, and "that it took him four days to cut an acre, and right heavy crops they were too." When assured that an American swung a cradle to the tune of five acres a day, he took a long whiff, and opened his eyes, while his mouth, too, opened to exclaim in consternation, "that he would like to see one of them—(is it creedles ye call thim?) at work." He thought that if a company of Americans should come over here, with their "creedles," that they would make a good harvest of shillings, at ten per acre. In very deed, it would pay almost as well as working in a Sacramento digging. Ten dollars a day and found; what do our farmers think of that? They would not, however, wonder at it, if they could go into an English harvest-field, and observe the women and men lazily gathering the straws and cutting them by handfulls! Why, an ox with any thing like a tongue could clip a field about as soon as one of these sickles. No wonder McCormick's reaper created such delightful surprise among farmers here, where even the cradle was unknown. No wonder that he has made an arrangement, by which $25,000 for the first year is guarantied to him for the privilege of selling five hundred of his reapers, with a proportionate increase on an increased number sold. No wonder the London Times claimed the Reaper as an equivalent to Protection.
But one thing must be said in commendation of the English farming. There is a completeness and cleanliness in the way a field is attended to, whether pasture, woodland or wheat field, that leaves nothing to be done. Ruth would have found scanty gleanings in the wake of an English husbandman. So with re gard to the hay-stack and the straw-stack. They are all laid up with the precision of architecture, and nicely thatched. No a straw is out of place. The wheat is stacked upon frames some feet above the ground, so as to preserve the grain from mice
Nothing is wasted. The manure is cared for as sedulously as if it were wheat. Yet with all this nicety and completeness of cultivation, Ohio flour can be seen, (I can tell its brand as the face of an old friend), at any hour, unloading at Liverpool, swinging upward to its high-storied wareroom, or being waggoned through the streets for the depôt, there to be distributed among these very districts where the fields are heavy with a better than placer gold.
An English farmer generally rents of the landed proprietor. The latter is called a gentleman in England, the farmer is not. Gentility is here dependent on the relation of the person to the Earth, whether it be as freeholder, or leaseholder. These proprietors number only thirty thousand in all England. The rent paid is from five to ten dollars per acre, according to the quality of the soil. In addition, there is the tithe and poor-rate. The farmer is not allowed to cultivate in wheat each year, more than a third or a quarter of the land rented; because the soil must be kept up; and to this end, there must be a rotation of crops. The first crop taken after the ground is manured, consists of some root, as the beet or turnip; and is called the hoed crop. After this, comes barley, oats, and beans; and then the wheat. Almost every thing raised is fed to stock (of which a farm is rarely without), except the wheat and barley. In the case of a grazing farm, this rotation would not apply. When a part of it is sown in grass, it is suffered to remain in pasture for three years, more or less, which supersedes artificial manuring. Our farmers cannot realize, without an inspection of English farming, the immense outlay of expenditure, and the capital required to carry on a farm here. The manures are the largest item. They are mostly manufactured near London. Bone dust is a principal article. It is nothing unusual to put upon one acre twenty-five dollars worth of manure. The amount of capital actually required to carry on a farm cannot fall short of fifty dollars an acre, by which I mean the expense of stock, implements, manure, and labor required to keep the land in good cultivable con
dition. A farmer with one thousand acres, must be worth fifty thousand dollars, in order to carry on his farm as it is here carried on.
Whatever may be the expense attending agriculture in England compared to America, there is one regard in which England may claim the palm of excellence. It is in the tasteful and even elegant mode in which the fields, parks, and gardens are arranged and displayed. God never intended that man should for ever sweat over the furrow and in the harvest field, to obtain his daily bread. By creating the beauty of flowers which enamel the meads, the trees which waver in the wind and give charm to the landscape, the waters which plash in fountains and circle in eddies, the varieties of hill and dale, rocky eminences and green lawns; by bending over all this regalia of Nature, His Empyrean of azure, does He not teach, that there is an inner spirit which is not gratified, and cannot be satisfied merely with utilities; but which looks out inquiringly through the senses, for the objects of admiration and love? Life would be an uneasy and desperate thraldom, unless Beauty enfranchised its activities, and led it along its own 'primrose path of dalliance.'
How little do we in America, especially in Ohio, think of these sentiments practically! How rarely do we find around our log-cabins and country residences any thing to attract, except its genial hospitality! Yet how much does prodigal nature lay at the feet of our people, which, with little pruning and care, would displace the few flag-stones, the wood-pile, the mud-puddle and cow-resort before the threshold, and array our residences in fragrant vines, surround them with trees and flowers native to our woods, and make home sweeter and dearer by these ministrations to Beauty! Would the young man just out of his teens be looking after a quarter section in Illinois and Iowa, if the roof-tree of home thus blossomed ? In England it is otherwise. Time hath here left legacy after legacy of garniture to each cot