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I seen a most useful creature made indocile by hasty treatment, hampered and spoiled! Experience is certainly the best mistress : de cries aloud, that the instances of cows vicious with ties are numerous in the North, without them scarce here.'
Our humane Author has another remark with respect to the treatment of these valuable creatures, which deserves to be repeated, and circulated as much as pollibie. • One execrable milmanagement of any stalled catile, especially milk-cows, is . che obling them to drink at a dirty pond, whither run all the drainings of dunghills, &c. It is amazing that any man, raised one degree above the brute which he tends, can think of forcing an animal so naturally delicate as a cow, whose smelling is exquisite, to allay that thirst which the dry winter-meat occasions, and her pregnancy heightens, with a collection of every filth! If the public suffered not with him, he would deserve to he punished for his barbarity, by the loss of his poor imprisoned cow, under any of those disorders which such loathsome drink may occasion !!
Our Author next adverts to the following points, with re. Spect to the management of theep ; viz. of theep, as generally a lofing article ; of summering and wintering sheep; of running to the Itack; of wintering without hay, &c. and he concludes, with regard to the best methods of wintering sheep, that, to him, • it appears a most evident truth, that without adopting Mr. Young's system of providing green food * for a part of winter, and for all spring, it is scarcely possible to keep any flock of sheep with profit, nay, without considerable loss.
Mr. C. subjoins fome remarks on the culture of turnips, cabbages, carrots, and cole; and declares his resolution of trying the experiment suggested by Mr. Young, viz. the transplanting of carrois; which, if it succeeds, promises to live much expence in the culture.'—It is undoubtedly commendable to try every experiment that may be suggested by men of thought and skill; and we shall be glad, though somewhat surprized, to hear of the good success of transplanting these tap-rooted vegetables.
Our Author proceeds to recommend several improvements in the breeding and management of sheep; and then he again introduces the much controverted and very important subject of ox draughts. The preference of oxen, to horses, for this purpole, is much infilted on by some writers and farmers ; while Others manifest an equal parciality for the horse. Mr. C. is a Itrenuous advocate for the ox. He informs us, that a considerable part of his paternal estate, in Yorkshire, was occupied by his parents, who changed the ox draughts, which their te
Such as turnips, cabbages, &c. or early grasses, as burnet, &c.
pants had used, into horse ones; but rerurned to the old custom through conviction, and for many years kept at least fix pairs of oxen, of their own breed. ' In my youth, fay, our Author, I had full opportunity of seeing the effects of these o, posite measures, and can avow the following truths, confirmed by all my observations since. First, in any given foil, oxen do all kinds of horie- work, much cheaper than, and equally well with, horses. Secondly, oxen, well fod, do all roa!works, in countries not very billy, much cheaper than, and equally well with, horses, except in droughts, when the sand is apt to hurt their lungs and eyes. Thirdly, oxen seem to do better in harness and collars, than in yokes, and single than double. Fourthiy, oxen properly used will pay for their work, and leave all the profit of their growth ciear gains.'- If it be objected that oxes are not fit for draught in hilly countries (which Mr. C. seems to allow, as above) he obferves, in a note to this parfage,' that in hilly countries no draught can be well used; and that going down steep hills is as prejudicial to horses as to oxen.'
We come, now, to our Reverend Improver's observations on wool, on the high price of mutton, and on corn land. Mr. C. profeffes bimself to be a 'warm partizan for inclosures, as a publick good,' although, says he, I am a sufferer by the iniquity of commillioners. He adds, ' I remember, that two general objections againit them were, first, that " the breed of thecp must decrease in consequence of them, and conlequcntly the woollen manufactures perish.” Secondly, that corn would become so cheap, that we must pay an high bounty to take it off our hands.” After such numerous acts for inclosures paflcd every feffion of parliament, behold! the price of wool declines considerably, and that of corn rises !
As our Author's remarks on white thorn fences, appear to be of some consequence, we think it may be doing service to the public, to lay before our country readers an abftract of what he has offer'd on this subject.
After a very just censure of the negligent or erroneous manner in which some farmers in his neighbourhood manage their hedges, he concludes his long epistle to Mr. Peacocke; but refumes this subject in a postscript.
The practice of setting old thick sets of white-thorn, he obo' serves, • was long pursued, as a fure method of quickly effecting a good hedge: but experience,' he adds, ' tau ht practisioners, that they could not depend on the thickness of the ftems of their sets for quickness of growth of their fences, but sa her the contrary; as many of there were ftunied in their growth, and young small fets foon overtook them in growth, and left them. It has, therefore, ben a practice, for some
vears, over all the kingdom, I believe, to set no thorns but such as had young small items; and in general, the method has succeeded well.'
But now, says Mr. C.' we seem running into the extreme, contrary to the old [method) as it usually happens; and sets too small are now frequently planted. There must be a medium, which is the properest size * for sets of white-thorn ; and he who plants as small as I have lately seen, will certainly be one year backwarder in the growth of his hedge, than his neighbour who sets stronger wood.'
Our Author acknowledges himself to be an advocate for the practice of planting quicks in a single row; founding his opinion on this theory, that the roots of thorns set in double rows near each other, will certainly encounter and retard, if not destroy, their mutual progress; and in this idea he is confirmed by the practice in Yorkihire, where ' single rows make a fine hedge, both in channelly or gravelly and clayey foils.'
Another, and worse error than double rows, is here pointed out by our Author, viz. 'the setting of plants thick in the same row;' and he mentions an instance wherein he observed no less than 13 fets, in the line, within the extent of his walking cane, which was of the usual length. Here the rows being double, Mr. C. pronounces 3-4ths of the wood to be wasted, or worse than wafted, as doing harm, instead of good: and he exclaims · when fuch a superabundance of wood is employed, who can wonder that the price of quicksets is raised fo extravagantly as they are in some parts of the kingdom !' It is said that the growth of this commodity, for some late years, has not anTwered by any means, to the demand, and that the hips + have been so poor a crop of late, that future inclosures niust be delayed, till a supply of quicksets can be procured. Who can wonder that such a waste as this which is just now mentioned, fhould be followed by want! The quick-leller encourages the sale of more than are wanted, that he may enhance the price of what remains on hand ; – the quick-setter recommends the planting of more than are wanted, that he may be better paid for extraordinary trouble; and thus the quick-grower is chous'd out of his money, and pays for what he had better want.'
The proper time for planting quicksets, being a point much disputed, Mr. C. gives us his opinion on this head; and we think it well founded. The generality, says he, . are for plant
• Should not the Author have particularly mentioned what he deems the proper fize? Miller recommends the size of a goose-quill; which Mri'c. will, no doubt, think too small.
+ Does not the Author mean baws? The hip, we apprehend to be the fruit of the dog.rose.
ing early in the spring; but experience will soon teach them, that when frosts continue so long as they usually do, and so late as they continued in this spring, particularly, the roots and life of their plants will suffer greatly; and if they plant them late in the spring, the dry weather will frequently kill this plant, which naturally shoots early. Experience will shew, that the best time of planting white-thorn is between lviiihaelmas and Martinmas, but then a quantity of short half decayed litter should be laid along the line, as in gardens, on many beds, By this means the roots of the plants will be preserved from the frosts, and take easily, and shoot vigorously; and in the ensuing summer the earth, especially if clayey, will be preserves from baking by fun and wind, and moisture will be preserved. The progress of the plants in the first year, will amaze the planter.'
Our Author recommends good weeding in the first summer, as essential to the success of these plants; and if the season be droughty, a line of fresh litter, he observes, will cost but a trifle, and effectually prevent the drought's hurting the roots ; or if it be very violent, one plentiful watering, with a wateringpan, will preserve the roots from any damage, and the litter will prevent the moisture from being exhaled by the sun.
With respect to the time of shortening the item, by cutting down the quick, this must, Mr. C. juftly observes, be determined by circumstances ; chiefly their quick growth. • Most people, says he, perform that operation after the second year; but I am inclined to think this too early a period : especially if the quicksets be small. To cut down the main upright ftem before it has gained a good size, in order to make it Thoot laterally, is counterading nature, and the design of planting a quick-hedge. This point ought to be determined by experiments.' No
young trees, of any fort, ought, in our Author's opinion, to be set in the line of quick-wood; because the quicks are apt to fmother them, and they, when grown up, ruin the fence. If a planier will have trees near his hedges, let them, says Mr. C. be set when 10 or 12 feet high, and at several feet distance from the quicks; and well fenced off. The roots of trees, when strong, destroy the quick-wood, and when themselves are felled, they commonly and irreparably destroy the fence in which they stand' He farther declares against the growth of all kinds of trees in hedge-rows, as they afford means for trespassers to climb over, and lodging for birds of prey; they also Ihade the crops of corn, and are incommodious to the plough. He rather advises to plant trees, of whatever fort the proprietor chufes, in a corner of his field, or of his eftate, and in proportion to the natural wants of that field or eftate.
On the whole, he expresses his with that the Society for Aris, &c. would offer a premium for experiments on setting of white thorns of different thickness in the item, at different dir. tances in the same row, of single and double rows, and at different times of planting ; also on different soils ; so that the best method of this important work may be determined by fact,
He concludes the poftfcript with a remark on the method of feeding oxen with oil.cakes, which, he says, is practised by many principal graziers : and that the price of this commodity is raised from 2), 10 $. per thousand to 101. 10 s. and he exclaims, if the practice be ftill profitable, as they confess, what must it bave been! It is however, he observes, alleged, that the manure from this food is so valuable as to be alone a sufficient profit; and that Mr. Young's Eastern Tour seems to evince the truth of this position :- he adds, What would our fathers have Said to the prediction, that their sons would judge the dung from oil-cakes a sufficient profit for feeding oxen with that expensive food !'
This tract is finally closed by a letter to Dr. Hunter, of York, editor of the Georgical Essays, and author of most of the pieces contained in that publication. In this epiftle Mr. Comber gives a curious account of a distemper to which theep are Jiable, called the Rickets.
• Till he came to settle in Huntingdonshire, our Author says, he never heard of this distemper, either by its particular name, or its general description ; although it appears to be such as must render sheep a much more precarious stock than they have hitherto been usually thought.
In Huntingdonshire, Mr. C. observes, this disease is generally known by sheep-masters, either from their own sad experience, or from the accounts of their complaining friends. It is distinguished by a peculiar name, the Rickets, very different from what we know in Yorkshire by the name of either water in the head, or crook t. It appears, says our Author, to be more formidable than the scab or rot, as those distempers are now well known, and many successful remedies for them are applied ; whereas this continuing unknown in its causes, not one remedy
* Not even among the Yorkshire farmers, with whom our Author had been much conversant; and who, as he observes, are many of them) very knowing, with respect to this valuable animal.
+ In a note referring to this passage, our Author intimates fome degree of doubt whether the crook is a distemper diftinct from the yspoze anos ; yet intimating his apprehension that it is so, and to have its feat in the neck of the sheep: perhaps he has expresied himself with too much diffidence on this head.