« PreviousContinue »
part, it is situated upon the side of some declivity. This bed of clay reaches to a great depth, without any variation, and is intermixed with a considerable quantity of small round stones.
Many soils of the sort now described, are apt to be continually moist and full of water during the winter season. But, when the dry weather of summer sets in, the moisture is diminished, and the surface becomes hard; and it is rent into many large gaps, which allow free admission to the sun and air, so as to scorch up almost every plant that is sowed upon it. And, as these soils are usually in themselves naturally fertile when drained, it were to be wished that some method could be discovered that would be less expensive than what is usually practised with regard to some soils of this kind in Essex, where they make covered drains of two and a half feet deep, running diagonally through the whole field, at the distance of twenty feet from each other.
Were I to indulge myself in conjecturing, I might here offer some remarks tending to show the probable cause of this phaenomenon, and point out an easier method of cure. But, as it is extremely dangerous, for one who pretends to instruct others, to give way to the tempting seductions of a warm imagination, I shall content myself with having pointed out this evil to those who may have it in their power to examine into the causes of this particular malady, and to point out to others the easiest and most efficacious cure.