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of England. In some parts a ton, or twenty hundred weight, is the quantity.
The manner in which hay is disposed of by the farmer, who sends it to London, is usually this : there are persons at the markets, called salesmen, who receive it as it comes in, and, on the proper market days, treat with the various customers who resort thither to buy. They are then responsible to the farmer, for whom they thus transact on commission, for the money for which it is sold, reserving to themselves five shillings a load for their agency. In this way, the vast quantities of hay seen in Smithfield, Whitechapel, and other markets of London, are rendered to the consumers of the metropolis ; and sometimes so great is the supply, that country-dealers can go to town, buy and carry it home, at a cheaper rate than that at which they could obtain it where it was
SECOND CROPS OF HAY.
grown. Potatoes, fruit, and cattle, are managed in a similar way.
When grass has been cut early, and the season holds fine, a second crop of hay, usually called rowen, may be obtained by the end of August. But, as this after-crop exhausts the sward and soil very much, landlords seldom allow the practice; and the chance of fine weather is not such as to tempt the farmer much to this line of conduct. This second hay, being softer to the mouth than the other, is preferred for cows, who often thrive very well upon it.
THE CORN HARVEST.
I am happy to inform my readers, that, although I found leisure during one wet day to complete my account of hay-making, &c. the weather was remarkably fine afterwards ; so that we have got up the whole without injury, or any considerable delay.
It is now August, and the same sun that dried and made the hay of course matured and ripened the corn; we therefore expect to begin on “Shoulder-of-Mutton Field” on Monday next.
I take an hour this evening to put down a few things, as I can think of them; concluding that the ensuing
THE CORN HARVEST.
harvest will prove the same sort of business that former harvests have been.
Wheat, having a hard and stiffish stem, or straw, is usually reaped, or cut, with an instrument called a sickle. Some mow it, especially in the neighbourhood of London, for the sake of the straw, which is cut longer, by the scythe working nearer the ground.
The little finger of my left hand bears witness to the rash confidence of one, who, like many others, thought that corn was easy enough to cut, and who did not know that fingers' ends were still more easily shorn by unpractised operators. I nearly lost a useful digit at the second joint by an ill-aimed slashing stroke, one memorable harvest-day; for, taking a bundle of wheat in my grasp, I eagerly drew the blade too near under my finger, and paid a penalty in pain and the subsequent inability to use it.
A sickle is made nearly in the form of a half-oval, and has a toothed edge, like a fine
To perform properly with this, the reaper must stoop low, take a large bundle in his left hand, and cut accurately and vigorously with his right. A party of reapers, thus employed, proceed in the same regular