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open to conviction, unfettered by prejudice, cultivates his lands to the best advantage, is a meritorious character; and, as such, is the life blood, the ornament, of any state.
On the other hand, the dolt, shall I call him, who, with the means of reclaimation in his
whether from narrowness of mind or sluggish apathy of soul, robs the labourer of his hire and the nation of its bread, by allowing his acres to lie comparatively sterile, drowned in water and covered with weeds, scattering filth and infection over the land with every wind that blows, is, to say the least of it, neither a friend to himself, to his race, nor to his country. The fact is, that you may send ship after ship upon the ocean-you may add house to house upon the land—you have plenty of elbow room, but you cannot stretch out the map of your country, and plant additional farms thereon. To allow lands, therefore, to lie in a comparative state of sterility-where advantageously susceptible of reclaimation, whether by planting or otherwise, more particularly where a poor man is in want of employment,-is committing a robbery on mankind, and ought to be taken particular cognizance of by the legislature. And be it observed and kept in mind, that though laws may be framed to the contrary, it is certainly the undoubted right, preferable to all others, of every one in the British dominions, to have a share of the produce of the earth sufficient for his sustenance, provided he is willing to exert his energies in contributing to the general stock of industry.
To the moss proprietor the draining tile is invaluable; by proper management the capillary attraction of the moss will soon be got under, and a valuable soil formed, created, I may say, out of nothing—at the same time making a full and immediate and lasting return for the outlay. In the draining of moss, however, it may be best to have the drains probably not less than three feet in depth, to allow for its subsiding, and to lay the tiles in some material, (lime for example), calculated to repel or counteract the approaches of the moss into their cavities.
There can be no difference in opinion on this, that there is no operation in British rural economy of equal importance to that of draining, and that could an efficient, and at the same time, something like a permanent system, and simple in its application, be generally introduced, such would be valuable beyond all price. The judicious pursuit assuredly bestows wealth, and it also promotes health ; for vegetation will not proceed without a sufficient supply of moisture. Yet where water is stagnant, where a superabundance exists, it is, if not fatal, at any rate highly prejudicial to the perfect production of such plants as are generally useful, as constituting the food of animals. But it is also prejudicial to the health, the comfort of every living thing in its vicinity, except snipes and such vermin as live upon suction, and which, for any thing I know to the contrary, man could get on without.
Draining is therefore valuable, not only as adding beauty to the landscape, as laying the foundation of every well executed agricultural improvement, thereby supplying the necessaries, the comforts, the luxuries of life, of the best quality, and greatest abundance; but it is also truly valuable as materially promoting the health and comfort of man, and also that of the animals dependent on him. And moreover, can a more heartgladdening scene be presented to the eye of an agriculturist of observation and enterprize, than a field rescued by his own exertions, from the unprofitable dominion of stagnant water, heath, and rushes, and in their stead, supplied with a mantle of mellow earth, or luxuriant crops. The laurels that a Cæsar won were perfect weeds compared with the simple, unalloyed pleasure that must vibrate through the heart of him that performs such works.
Can man, then, in sober thought, be more honourably, more usefully, or more satisfactorily employed, than in prosecuting such works; and convinced I am, that where judgment of circumstances guides the helm, money cannot be lodged in a better bank ; in average cases, can nowhere be so safely, and, at the same time, so profitably employed.
The draining tile pays no king's duty; any person of common brain may make them ; the art of burning which, with coals, might, I think, be performed in stack kilns, and will not be found difficult. When many, however, are to be done, a proper kiln will be found advantageous, and an experienced burner will ultimately be a saving. The great point for consideration, in giving the proper finish, consists in bringing a given heat upon the material when it is in a given state, and keeping that heat up for a specified time, or until it assumes certain appearances ; when this is not understood, though you may occasionally, as if by accident, succeed in producing a durable article, on the other hand, you run a great risk of either running the whole of your labour into one vitrified mass, or leaving it in that state that all the fuel in the kingdom will not bring it to that tile fabric so as to stand the atınospheric air.
I have only to add, that with a view to economy, particularly where gravel, or such like, for topping the drains, is difficult to be had, a narrow spade, and also a clawt or hoe, are absolutely necessary for giving the proper finish to the bottom of the drain, which should be of a width just sufficient freely to admit the tile.
When a large stream is to be carried off, tiles of a requisite size may be had at the works, and by dispensing with the soles and forming a pipe of the circulars, an excellent drain or conduit may be constructed, at an expence comparatively trifling, which, in point of neatness, efficacy, and permanency, will admit of no competition.
The charge for executing a chain of tile drain, must, of course, vary according to circumstances. In average cases, however, supposing the depth of the soil not to exceed two feet, the materials on the field, and the operation judiciously gone about, 5s. will cover all and every outlay (taking even the manufacturers' price for tiles) ; when the soles are not used—a practice not commendable—one shilling less will pay the piper.
In a strong clay bottom, however, there are certainly great inducements to this saving, and I will not presume altogether to condemn the economical feeling, though it is evident to me, that when the sole is used the water has readier access into the cavity of the draining tile; it flows off more freely—affords less probability of sanding up-and, moreover, leaves no possible reception for vermin.
In the hope that the foregoing observations may meet with your approbation, and be favoured with a place in your esteemed periodical, I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
J. C. P. Avenue Road, Regent's Park,
28th February, 1837.
We agree with our correspondent in considering draining an important object in rural economy; and hope that the example he lias shown, by recording his experience and observations, will induce other practical men to do likewise. The communications of those who have gleaned their knowledge from observant practice, though clad in homely language, possess an intrinsic value that must ever exceed the most polished effusions of the mere theorist.—Cond.
NEW SERIES, VOL. I, NO, I.
AGRICULTURAL AND COMMERCIAL STATISTICS.
ON THE STATE OF THE COUNTRY; OR, THE STATISTIC HISTORY OF 1836.
The year 1836 has been with us, and, I believe, generally upon the Continent, a very strange, stormy, ungenial, and unfavourable year, in point of climate or weather, and the products of the soil have, in many districts, felt the injurious effects very severely. It has, however, very fortunately been with us, in point of employment, price rates, and the corresponding comforts, the most favourable year since the peace; or, certainly since the high-priced and well-remunerating prosperous year, 1824.
There was a considerable difference in the prices of some portions of agricultural produce in the course of the year. The prices of wool and cattle were, in general, during the whole year, fair, and even good; but, in the great article of corn, especially wheat, they varied in an unusual degree. The price of wheat, on the first of January, was as low as 36s. the quarter; and on the twenty-fifth of November it had risen 25s. 9d., or to 6ls. 9d., that is, above 70 per cent. During the March quarter the average was 4ls.; during the June 49s.; much the same in the September ; but during the December quarter it had risen to 54s. 7., that is, 13s. 7d. on the January quarter, or 33 per cent.* And yet, during the whole of the year, there was no change whatever in our standard of money, and scarcely any in the price of gold. So much for the visionary notions of our bullionists and standard raisers, that these are the great regulators of prices.
The real cause of the rise was the badness and backwardness of the harvest season in our northern districts, which exposed so much of the crop to hazard, and the operation of this on the minds of buyers and sellers, while they paid no attention to the price of the bank-note or of gold whatever. They took the plain fact for granted, that the bank-note was always of the same value, and that the sovereign was a sovereign, and a shilling a shilling. But under the circunıstances and prospects the sellers thought they must and could ask more, while the buyers, under the same, thought it prudent to give the higher price.
* The average for the year was 48s. 4d.
+ In consequence of the failure of the crops, various parts of the Highlands of Scotland are in much distress. I trust government will pay full attention to the sufferings of the brave, but peaceable and patient portion of our population in those districts.
Since December there has been rather a tendency in the price of wheat to fall; but it is still 56s. 2d.
The prices of barley and of oats have been fair : the price of the latter in particular. During the December quarter both were rather above what is reckoned an average remunerating price.
Manufactures and Commerce.
The manufacturing classes have been almost universally wellemployed; and there has been an improvement of prices in some of the lines. But the silk weavers still feel the depressing effect of the wild economistical measure of letting in the the French manufacturer upon them.
During the December quarter, there appears to have been a general slackness in some of the lines, particularly in the woollen and cotton. This is owing chiefly to the various lines having been more than usually productive of a supply in the former portions of the year, and to the failure and derangement of influential banking houses in the northern manufacturing districts of England. The accommodations of one of these, a joint stock bank, were upon a most extensive scale.
The first cause is one which our enterprising manufacturers are but too apt to bring into action. Not that they theoretically hold the foolish fancy, which some economists have sported, that the supply creates the demand, and therefore must, in a considerable degree, regulate it. The uniformly pernicious results of an over-supply, stagnation and depression of prices, teach them home a different doctrine. But they are all ready to do as much as ever they can ; and, while the demand continues, they, in their high spirits, dream they can never do too much. This is calculated to bring on stagnation through oversupplying. I have repeatedly warned the manufacturers, that at these busy times, when they are so sanguine, they should be particularly on their guard, and allow the demand rather to head the supply, by keeping somewhat near the average amount of