« ПретходнаНастави »
Blacks : each of them adapted to distinct purposes of use or pleasure.
52. Hogs are severally of Berkshire, Hampshire, Shropshire, Gloucestershire, Chinese, white, and swingtailed breeds; all different in their shapes and character.
53. Numerous other productive animals are also objects of the farmer's care; as poultry for eggs; geese, ducks, turkeys, Guinea-fowls, and pigeons; bees for honey; and fish stocked in ponds. Farmers likewise extract cyder from apples : perry from pears; and delicious British wines from various fruits.
54. Every farm house is provided with its kitchengarden, for the cultivation of vegetables and fruits. The art of gardening forms also, one of the most useful and delightful branches of rural employment. Besides kitchen-gardens for raising vegetables, there are fruit-gardens, or orchards, flower-gardens, and pleastre-gardens.
55. By the art of gardening, the fruits of one part of the world, are propagated and cultivated in other climates, to which, at first, they seemed to be ill-adapted.*
Thus, in England, the principal native fruits, are, the whortleberry, the strawberry, the cranberry, various sorts of plums, hazel-nuts, the acorn, the blackberry, the alder-berry, hips and haws; but we now have gooseberries, currants, apples, pears, superior plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines, and grapesmost of them exotics, and first cultivated in England, about three hundred
since. 56. Within the last seven years, the bread-fruit tree has been transplanted from the islands of the South Seas to the West Indies; and all the rare spices, natives of the East-Indies, are now cultivated in the West-Indies.
* In the present edition, the long paragraphs have been purposely broken, for the ease of jnnior stadents ; but the nuinbers remain the sume.
57. The potatoe, so considerable and wholesome a portion of our food, was unknown in Europe, about two centuries ago: but was brought from America by Raleigh. The period is on record (500 years before CHRIST), when the first wheat was brought into Europe, from Asia Minor. Peas, beans, and all other grain, are exotics in England.
58. Such, also, is the art of man, that he improves whatever he cultivates. By grafting buds of superior fruits on ordinary stocks, he amends, and even alters, the natural produce of the tree; and by managing and selecting his seeds, he improves and enlarges every vegetable production.
59. By the art of gardening, two, three, or four, persons may derive ample subsistence, from every acre of ground in cultivation; but there is, in no ¡country, without cultivation, above one human inhabtant to two square miles; and even on that space, subsistence is obtained with difficulty ; such are the triumphs of art over nature !
60. In England and Wales there are ten.'miHions of inhabitants; and thirty-seven millions of acres of ground; of which, nearly thirty millions are cultivated, or are employed in grazing cattle; the other seven are waste.
There are, consequently, three acres of cultivated ground to every person ; and nearly another acre of that which is uncultivated.
Obs.--It having been ascertained, that an acre of land employed as a garden, will produce regular subsistence for four persons; it follows, that if the ground in England was tisus cultivated, it would support a population of 120 millions; and with various allowances, at least 100 millions, or ten times its present number. The ground still uncultivated, might, perhaps, be made to maintain the present number of inhabitants in plenty.
61. Each of the people consume in every year, one quarter of wheat, being the produce of half an acre; three bushels of barley in beer, being the growth
of the eighth of an acre; one sheep, one-eighth of an ox, one-third of a lamb, calf, and pig, being the produce of two acres; and in vegetables and fruits, the produce of the eighth of an acre.
Obs.--Hence, every human inhabitant uses the produce of three acres ; and the remainder of his share is consumed by horses; or engaged for buildings, roads, bedge-rows, and pleasure grounds, or occupied in water.
62. Of the thirty millions of cultivated land, nine millions, are employed in arable farming; fifteen millions, in grazing cattle; one million and a half in woods and hedge-rows; one million and a half, in roads, water, and buildings; and one million, in hopenclosures, gardens, and pleasure-grounds; and the rmaining three millions lie in fallow.
Obs.--The seren millions of waste consists chiefly of commons or heaths; and it is computed, that four millions of them are equal to any purpose of cultivation; the other three, are in mountains ; or have no depth of vegetable soil.
63. The number of bullocks killed, annually, in England and Wales, is at least a million ; of sheep, nine millions; and of lambs, calves and pigs, nine millions; besides thirty millions of poultry and game; and innumerable small birds and fishes.
The number of horses is nearly two millions ; of which a million and a half are employed in agriculture and commerce.
Obs.--It is calculated, that horses consume one-fifth of the entire produce of the land ; i. e. the produce of four acres per horse on the whole of the land, or two acres each, of that nine millions employed in raising corn.
64. On an average, each man, woman, and child, consumes ten ounces per day, of animal food, or 220 lbs. in the year; which, in animal food, is the annual produce of two acres of land.
It is found, however, that the same two acres cultivated in potatoes, would yield on an average, upwards of ten tons per acre, or forty-four thousand pounds weight; and, consequently afford one hundred
and twenty pounds of potatoes, per day, the year round!
65. If cultivated in wheat, the produce of the same two acres (which produce but 220 pounds of animal food), would produce 4,000 pounds weight of grain; or afford ten pounds of wheat, per day, leaving sufficient for seed.
Peas and beans yield in the same proportion, turnips and carrots are as productive as potatoes! but parsnips actually double the weight of potatoes !
Obs.--Mr. Middleton well observes, “ that every acre pould support its man well, on vegetable food ; but,” says be, only let him change his diet to one meal per day, of animal rood; and he will require the produce of four acres !" The same author observes also, “that the starch, or nourishment of a potatoe, is one fourth of its entire weight; and that the quantity of starch, or nutriment, on an acre of potatoes is four times greater than on an acre of wheat!” Those, who seek further information on agricultural subjects, should casuIt Young's Farmer's Kalendar ; a work which ought to be found in every farm-house.
IV. Metallurgy. 66. Before man could till the ground, dig it, hoe it, or plough it, he required the aid of something harder than the ground itself; that is to say, he wanted iron or metals. Without iron, he could have no very usefol, sharp instrument;-such as the spade, hoe, plough, scythe, or sickle.
67. Hence, till they had discovered the means of olstaining and working iron, men were found to depend for food, on the spontaneous productions of the earth, and on the flesh of animals. Holy writ tells us that Tubal-cain (or Vulcan), was the instructor of all those who, before the flood, worked in brass and iron.
68. Viewing the metals in ordinary use, we consider them common productions; but no art is so curious, as that of extracting metals from the earth, or oar in
which they are buried or concealed ; and no discovery or invention was ever more wonderful.
69. Metals are very seldom found in a pure state; but perhaps the first discoverer, having found some metal in a detached or pure state, was led to make experiments on those lumps of shapeless and coarse, but heavy earth ; which consist of a mixture of earth and metal, and which are called ores.
70. Gold-dust is frequently found in the sand of rivers; whither it is washed by the rains from the mountains. This itself might lead to the discovery of metals. Much of the gold used in England, is collected out of the rivers in Guinea, on the coast of Africa.
71. Workers of metals imitate nature when they beat and wash their ores; and, having cleared them, in that
way, of much of the earth, they then burn them in various ways; and, at length, get the metal by itself in
72. No one, on looking at most of the metallic ores, would suspect them to contain metal : they are apparently, the roughest, coarsest, and least desirable stones, or earths; but, on being broken, repeatedly washed, and burnt, (or, roasted, as it is called), they yield gold, silver, copper, iron, aud other metals.
73. These ores are found in the veins of mountains, or between the strata, or divisions of rocks: generally beneath the surface of the ground; and the pitts or wells, dug in search of the ore, are called mines. The well itself, is called the shaft of the mine. Pits, from which stone only is extracted, are calied stone-quarries.
74. The deepest mines are in Hungary; and are about three-quarters of a mile below the surface. Many mines are like towns under ground; and many miners pass their whole lives in them. The want of fresh air, and the influx of water, prevent mines from sinking deeper.