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result have been the same as far back as the ancient coins of Greece and Rome take us, many of which represent this noted agricultural machine, drawn by cattle and guided by a man, as now.
We cannot go farther into the history of the plough at present. As it was found that the more the soil is loosened, stirred, and broken, the greater are its powers of production, it became needful to contrive some means of performing this operation on a large scale, in the most expeditious and successful manner. Spade husbandry, as it is called, does as well, perhaps better, where it can be accomplished ; but millions of acres cannot thus be tilled.
In order, therefore, to move as much soil in as little time as possible, the plough was constructed. It consists of many parts; as the coulter, the share and breast, the handles, rail, chains, &c. The plough-share and breast, which are the principal acting parts in turning over the soil, consist of a broad and smooth surface of iron, having a sharp and taper toe, which enters, like a wedge, and heaves the earth off towards the right side. The coulter is a sort of knife, which is placed before the share, to cut the ground and detach the por
tion ready for it there. The engraving represents one of the common sort.
The terms ‘ploughman' and clodhopper' are used in a sneering and vulgar way by many who do not possess nearly the skill and knowledge of the humble peasant who guides this important machine. In the first place, the parts of it are by him adjusted to a very great nicety, with screws, hooks, and wedges, according to the kind of furrow required ;-and then the direction of this in straight and parallel courses; the management, by the voice, of the horses, although a boy helps to guide them; the turning and returning correctly ; and the arranging of the furrows in slightly rising curves, or lands, as they are sometimes called, to lay them dry, with water-courses between ;-all these duties require the ploughman to have a correct eye, a strong and steady
hand, and a clear head for his business which qualifications make such a man as none but extremely ignorant persons can despise.
Ploughing is often repeated, in various ways, before the land is sufficiently stirred and broken to make a good tilth. For this purpuse, the field is sometimes crossed and recrossed in different directions; if not, the ends of the furrows must be made good by a few cross-furrows, called head-lands. But, after all that the plough can do, the clods are still by far too rough and large to receive the seed until another machine has been employed.
This is the Harrow, a strong and heavy frame of wood, having a number of iron spikes fixed in it, to form a kind of rake for the surface. Three or four of these are frequently chained together, and, drawn by two or more horses, they produce a great effect in cutting, crumbling, and levelling the clods, which are also, in some cases, further broken down by the action of a ponderous wooden roller.