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method is usual, and saves some trouble to the parties concerned, and perhaps too, some strife.
The overseers are parish officers, whose business it is to collect and lay out the rates, or moneys levied for the support of the poor. . These vary in amount, according to circumstances. Sometimes they are equal to a fourth, sometimes to three-fourths of the whole rent ; so that the farmer who pays the landlord £400 a-year, may have to find also £150 for the clergyman, and one, two, or three hundred for the poor — those only (it should be) who are unable, by their labour, to support themselves on their wages. This brings us to another branch of his expenditure.
The wages of men cannot long be fixed; they depend on the season of the year, the
demand for labour, the price of corn, and the kind of employment. I think I may say that a person who farms four hundred acres will have ten or a dozen men to pay on the Saturday night, at the rate of perhaps from ten to fourteen shillings apiece. The man in the print does not look as if he were receiving less than he had fairly earned.
With regard to the purchase of stock and materials; the charge for machines and implements; carpenters', builders', wheelers, and blacksmiths' bills; the cost, or worth, of his own produce for the cattle and horses which he is obliged to keep; we cannot state particular
All I can say is, that these payments, added to rent, tithes, rates, and taxes, are such as to make farming, now that only a comparatively low price can be obtained for the pro
duce, at best a hazardous and in many cases a ruinous concern.
But, let the times be what they may, the farmer can never succeed who has not judgment, industry, experience, and perseverance. His payments must be heavy; and they will exceed his receipts, if he makes a bad bargain with his landlord, mismanages and neglects his land, and buys and sells imprudently. Before he can deal to advantage, he ought to know well and judge accurately of the real quality and value of the commodity, according to the markets. He ought to understand something of many trades connected with his own—as those of the miller, the salesman, the butcher, the grazier, the cattle and horse-dealer, the land-agent, the builder, and even the lawyer, as far as his kind of property is concerned.
He who is thus qualified, has talents and knowledge, which would make a man respectable, and most likely successful, in any other sphere or profession,
But the farmer is subject to numerous misfortunes, which none can prevent or foresee: dripping seasons, blight and mildew, diseases in cattle, sudden falls in the value of produce, a vexatious and unprincipled landlord. A few of these circumstances occurring together may reduce his profits to nothing, and compel him to waste his capital, and, when that is gone, to trade with other men's money; so that, at last, he may sink to ruin.
For ourselves, we have not been quite so unfortunate, though we have had our losses. We contrive to keep our thousand or two of capital together, and make the business sup