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fattened a calf annually to better profit than could have been secured by selling milk or making butter. The litters from a single sow he fattened and sold. The manure he needed was manufactured on the farm, and its efficiency greatly increased by keeping it under cover. While these curious results were being annually realized, Mr. Sillett contrived to build a dwelling-house, cow-house, and piggery, and was contemplating underdraining.
But other benefits accrued from his undertaking.
“Besides the greatest of all benefits that I have derived, in restoring a sickly constitution to perfect health, I felt delighted at the thought of being independent of the harassing cares of business. Of all the feelings which we possess, none is dearer than consciousness of independence; and this no man who earns his living by the favor of the public, can be said to enjoy in an equal degree with the husbandman. In trade there is a great jealousy and competition existing, and a submission to the public which is galling to the spirit. But since I have given my attention to the cultivation of the soil, I find I have no competition to fear, have nothing to apprehend from the success of my neighbor, and owe no thanks for the purchase of my commodities. Possessing on my land all the necessaries of life, I am under no anxiety regarding my daily subsistence."
Spade husbandry means, and in reality is, thorough cultivation of the soil. Our gardens are all perpetual illustrations of its superior value. There is a man at Javington, in England, Dumbrel hy name, with a wife and several children, very poor,
and so afflicted by disease as to disable him from working a whole day through. An acre of land was let to him on condition of his stall-feeding a cow, building a shed for her, and making a tank for her liquid manure. At first his neighbors ridiculed him for keeping his cow under shelter all the year round, saying it would be unhealthy. But his answer was that some one had lent him £5 toward buying a cow on these conditions, and he would try them. Eminent agriculturists, hearing of this poor man's case, went to see how he was succeeding with his cow. They found her perfectly healthy, after being stall-fed three years and a half, and that from the butter he had sold he had soon paid off the loan of £5, and had got a second cow on half an acre of pasture, but he told them he had had to apply twice to the farrier for the pastured cow, but never for that which was stall-fed, while she gave a third more butter than the other. This land was worked with the spade, and thus was made to yield a succession of green and succulent crops for summer use, with abundant store for winter consumption, besides supporting a large family. Dumbrel's condition was improving annually. Yet in his case there was a combination of two exceedingly discouraging elements--ill-health, and spade-husbandry, the most laborious description of agricultural toil. Its superior value was manifest in making a sick man entirely comfortable.
More remarkable than any of these cases is that of a farmer who rose from nothing into absolute in dependence, though born without either hands or
arms. This man was William Kingston, the son of a laboring woman, and was ushered into this world poor and helpless, for he had neither hands, arms, por shoulders. But nature had blessed him with longer toes, and greater flexibility of feet and legs, which by constant use made up for the deficiency of hands and arms. He shaved himself regularly, wrote plainly and distinctly, and in dressing and undressing required assistance in buttoning and unbuttoning only certain portions of his dress. He was at no loss at meals; tea, coffee, and food were conveyed by his feet with equal facility as by hand. In the hayfield he was as active as any other in securing the crop, and performed every duty in the haymaking process, except mowing and pitching. Few were better milkers—he worked at all the requirements of a dairy-farm, with the aforesaid exceptions. He could cut the hay at the stack, and take it to the cows and fodder them as well as others did.
But this deficient body was furnished with a capacious head in which a mighty brain was stored. When a mere boy, some compassionate neighbor gave him a hen and chicken, then another gave him a lamb. These fractions of a capital he nursed and multiplied until he was able to procure a colt. In the end he became possessed of a dairy-farm, and died independent. It would seem clear that his success depended exclusively on his head, seeing that he was destitute of arms.
Few facts could show more conclusively than this, that he who is striving for success in life must
be his own right hand-man. A writer who is unknown to me, lays it down as a rule that “people who have been bolstered up and levered all their lives, are seldom good for any thing in a crisis. When misfortune comes, they look around for somebody to cling to or lean upon. If the prop is not there, down they go. Once there, they are as helpless as capsized turtles, or unhorsed men in armor, and they cannot find their feet again without assist
. Such silken fellows no more resemble selfmade men, who have fought their way to position, making difficulties their stepping stones, and deriving determination from defeat, than vines resemble oaks, or sputtering rushlights the stars of heaven. Efforts persisted to achievements train a man to self-reliance; and when he has proven to the world that he can trust himself, the world will trust him. It must therefore be unwise to deprive young men of the advantages which result from energetic action, by buoying them over obstacles which they ought to surmount alone. No one ever swam well who placed his confidence in a cork jacket; and if, when breasting the sea of life, we cannot buoy ourselves up, and try to force ourselves ahead by dint of our own energies, we must go to the bottom."
“We must all learn," he adds, "to conquer circumstances, thus becoming independent of fortune. The men of athletic minds, who left their marks on the age in which they lived, were all trained in a rough school. They did not mount into their high positions by the help of leverage. They leaped
into chasms, grappled with the opposing rocks, avoided avalanches, and when the goal was reached, felt that but for the toil that strengthened them as they strove, it could never have been attained.”
The question whether it is better to have a small, well-cultivated farm, or a large one poorly cultivated, or not cultivated at all, and whether men with small holdings are not usually most successful, has often been discussed. It would be out of place to reopen the debate here. But as the subject of small farms is now before us, I quote from the Country Gentleman the following remarks of Mr. O. S. Leavitt, of Detroit, as bearing on the question
“ The general broad proposition, without qualification, that small farms are preferable to large ones, is a fallacy. A great deal of nonsense has been written and spoken in favor of it, and, in my judgment, no one error of opinion is more wide-spread or more injurious. The real arguments, pro and con, lie within a very narrow compass. All will admit that it requires a great deal of science, knowledge, industry, tact, and agricultural skill, to conduct even a farm of 20 acres in the best manner, or in an excellent manner. Very few farmers can do it. The cases are rare, indeed, where a small farm or a large one either, is well managed. I am not writing to flatter the farmers; I would rather tell the truth. Are all the small farms well managed ? Far from it. Probably more large farms, in proportion, are well managed than small ones. If a farmer is to do all his work himself, he of course should have a small farm; but it is absurd to say that a man who thoroughly understands farming, say one farmer out of a hundred, should do this. A good farmer would greatly benefit the public, as well as himself,