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unless where a man is so situated, as not to have it in his power to command a sufficient number of labourers at once to carry on the other method of levelling properly, or is peculiarly confined by some other circumstances, I would always advise the other method to be adopted in preference to it. But this is infinitely better than any of the common methods practised by means of machinery.
By either of these two methods, the farmer has the satisfaction of getting his ground reduced to a proper evenness at once, so as to reap the full benefit of a summer-fallow, or any other operation that he may think proper. But, as the earth below the surface must, for some time, be unequally firm, as has been already showed, it will be necessary to lay it into narrow ridges for some years at first, and keep the furrows perfectly open and clean, to prevent as much as may be the water from stagnating too much among the loose porous earth that fills up the old fur-.
rows, rows. With this view, the two-bout ridges, as they are called, such as are commonly made in Essex, which are about two and a half feet wide, would be the most eligible, if they could be properly formed by the farmer's ordinary apparatus and servants.—But, If this cannot be by them executed in the most perfeff manner ^ it will be much better for him not to attempt it, but content himself with laying his fields into ridges of nine or ten feet broad, or any thing under, that he may incline; which may be in all casses laboured with his ordinary implements in a proper manner, and will sufficiently answer the purpose wanted in the present case.
And here it may not be improper to give young improvers one caution, which may be of use to them in this case, as well as on many other occasions; which is, to adopt that method of labouring, and those kind of implements that seem best adapted to the state of his farm and other circumstances,
and and to adhere to these, without attempting to adopt others, even where he is convinced that they might in some particular cases be more proper than his own; for nothing brings on a more unperceived, altho' certain expence, than a variety of implements; nor does any thing contribute more effectually to diminish the produce of a farm than imperfect culture, which must ever be the consequence of trying new modes of labouring with implements that are not thoroughly known by those who use them: For, as there is a certain nicety in knowing exactly the particular trim of every labouring utensil, that can only be acquired by practice, the best of these, when put into unskilful hands, perform their work in an imperfect manner: And the work performed by a man who is > thoroughly acquainted with the implement he uses, even where it is not of the very best construction, will be executed with surprising accuracy and perfection. On these accounts,
it ought always to be the study of the farmer, to have as little variety of utensils as possible; and, in his choice of these, he ought to adopt those that are fitted to perform the greatest part of the work that his farm may require, although he may, perhaps, be satisfied, that one or two particular fields might admit of being dressed by implements of a more perfect construction than those he employs, and even at a smaller expence; but, unless he has as much ground in this state as to admit of keeping a particular set of servants constantly to practise that mode of culture, and manage this set of implements akxie, he had better stick to that with which his servants are acquainted, and bend his chief endeavours to moderate or correct the principal defects to which these are liable.— Thus, for example, supposing a man should be thoroughly convinced, from the most irrefragable proofs, that the implements and mode of culture usually practised in Essex, F f were were the very best and least expensive that could be practised on a soil in such order and situation as is usually met with there, and although he should be able to bring one or two of his own fields into a condition as similar to these as could be imagined, it would, nevertheless, be extremely imprudent in him to get a set of implements from Essex for these few fields, or to endeavour to force his servants to use them, instead of those that they have been accustomed to, and for which they have contracted a sort of partial fondness. For, were we even to suppose that men could be brought to drop their deep rooted prejudices against any innovation in practice, and serioufly set themselves in good earnest to learn to handle these unknown implements properly; before they could learn the niceties of practice,—before they began to handle them with any fort of dexterity or ease, the field would be finished, and the implements laid up till another season, when