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the advantages in the cultivation of dry and drained lands, over wet and undrained, is briefly :
First.—The vicissitudes of the seasons do not affect the several operations of the farm, or the crops themselves, to any thing like the same extent as on wet land. The ploughing and sowing for all the crops is consequently more regular, and the system adopted can be pursued with almost scrupulous exactness.
Second.-An actual extra produce of from thirty to *a hundred per cent., with a general evenness in the crops not otherwise obtainable : and also a saving of from twenty to fifty per cent. in the preparation of the land.
Third.—Putting the land into a condition to grow tgreen crops, and reducing the proportion of summer fallows; thereby affording ample food for an increased number of stock, and consequently a proportionate increase of tillage made on the farm, and in many instances on the land itself, by eating the turnips off with sheep, a result of which there are numerous instances.
Fourth.—The improvement of the climate many degrees, for
*"The greatest and quickest return I know of, was where part of a piece of land was furrow-drained with tiles, by a kinsman of mine, in the vale of Gloucester ; the whole piece was planted with barley, and the extra crop on the part that was drained, more than paid the whole expense, besides the extra straw. Now if it had such an effect one year why not another, and be still paying cent. per cent. Now this was not on bog or waste land, but on a good wheat and bean soil, of which there is such a large extent in this country, that would pay, if not cent. per cent., something near it.”—Prize Essty, Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, page 336.
+ “I have no doubt that I speak within compass in saying that it would produce an increase of four bushels of wheat per acre ; to say nothing of the increase of stock the land would be able to carry by improved culture of green crops instead of naked fallou, which is necessary before draining in order to keep it all clean.”—Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, Prize Essay, page 310.
warding the harvest materially, and causing the grain to ripen with a uniformity previously unknown : besides conducing most surprisingly to the sound health, and good condition, of all the domestic animals, * for there are many localities from which the rot in sheep has been entirely removed, by proper drainage. In fact, throughout the entire course of operations on a drained farm, a degree of confidence is felt in the result, which the occupier of undrained land never dares to anticipate. And depend upon it that so long as this great preparative remains unexecuted, so long will all the application of Manures be but to
“spread the compost on the weeds To make them ranker.” Such are the immediate benefits to the Occupier, and I need hardly say how directly they affect the best interests of the Owner, by ensuring a prosperous and contented Tenantry, with rents regularly paid, and a mutual reciprocation of attachment and good feeling. + The Timber, too, upon an estate thoroughly drained, will soon be perceivably improved in its growth ; and as for plantations, it is in vain to expect them to thrive in undrained land, unless, indeed, they are planted with the most worthless of trees. The Sportsman also comes in for his share of the benefit: a sound country is crossed with confidence and safety; and as respects Game, it is always more abundant in well drained districts. Sir WILLIAM COOKE gave me an instance of the effect of drainage in this respect, last summer during the meeting of the Yorkshire
* “Now, after being thoroughly drained, I am in hopes of preventing the rot, and can feed my flock off winter and summer; and grow turnips where they never were planted before ; in short, make it, as far as the nature of the soil will admit, a dry healthy stock farm.”—Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, Prize Essay, page 336.
+ See West on the management of Timber and Plantations.
Agricultural Society at Doncaster, by assuring me that over the portion of his estate which was not drained the coveys seldom contained more than six or eight birds, but that as soon as it was drained, sixteen and eighteen became as common a number.
There is another most important advantage too which I must not pass over in silence; and that is, the conservation of the drainage water, and its application to purposes of power and irrigation. There are numerous localities in which these can be effected with the greatest benefit, and at a trifling cost; and the well known instance on Lord Hatherton's estate, where both these purposes are most effectually served, may suffice to shew the necessity of making provision for such an application, wherever the levels and other circumstances permit. Thanks to the talent and energy of its great advocates, Mr. Pusey and Mr. BAILEY DENTON, it is probable that in the coming Session we may see it made a prominent feature in a comprehensive legislative measure for the promotion of general drainage.
All these are indeed “Great Facts,"—facts pregnant with results the most important at this juncture, not only to the Landed and Agricultural Interest, but to the entire Community; the effect upon whose general condition we proceed in conclusion briefly to notice.
The main considerations which present themselves to my mind under this head, as instruments whereby the moral and physical condition of the people may be promoted by a more general extension of drainage of all descriptions, are the secure Investment it affords to the Capitalist, and the steady and permanent Employment it will give to the able-bodied rural Population. At this moment the superabundance of unemployed Capital.is excessive : Consols are fast verging upon par * ; the amount of Bullion in the coffers
* Since this was written, Consols have reached 1004.
of the Bank of England approaches thirteen Millions*; and in the Provinces large sums are laying idle, so much so that almost any amount may be obtained at three-and-a-half per cent. on landed security for terms of years certain. What, then, I would ask, is to hinder some portion of it being as safely and as advantageously embarked in the permanent improvement of our own soil, by the employment of our own labourers, as sent out of the country and invested in foreign loans and foreign railways ? † No ! let patriotism and profit for once go hand in hand ; and as surely as we improve the condition of the soil and its immediate dependents, so surely will there be conferred on the community at large an almost incalculable benefit by the proportionate increase of labour and food.
“ It is a strange phenomenon in the agricultural world,” said Lord EBRINGTON on a late occasion, “that the greatest deficiency of employment should be observable in those very districts where there is the greatest field for it ;—some of the most pauperised districts of the country are precisely those which stand most in need of draining.” And then he adds, “education will never find encouragement unless employment is sufficiently abundant to insure the labourer enough for his own and his family's wants.” . And in one of those powerful and incontrovertible articles which alike do honor to the head and heart of their writer, and to the spirit of independence of that great organ of their circulation the Times, speaking of the condition of the Agricultural Labourer, it is remarked, “No rational or reflecting man can doubt that the Agricultural Population is the mainstay of the country, as being
* Now upwards of 16 millions. + It is estimated that a proportion of about one-half the Capital of the Continental Railways is English Money.
the one from which every other industrial class is recruited by perpetual supplies. And the condition of all who earn their bread by the sweat of their brow,—their moral and social condition—is, if not absolutely dependent on, at least affected by, that of the Agricultural Labourer. Let him, therefore, be comfortably housed, and competently paid ; look to his hut and his wages,—render the one habitable and the other adequate. Make him contented, and do what you can to induce others to follow his example. Let him feel that his happiness is not uncared for by his superiors. And do not let him be half-starved, and then tell him he is the pride of his country, for this sounds too much like mockery,—but feed him. A man who is the mainstay of any thing at all, should have calves that do not shrink from inspection, and sinews somewhat stouter than a weaver's. Work ! employment ! as Mr. Somerville says, This is what is wanted. This, and this alone, is calculated to make the labourer a moral, a religious, and therefore, we will add, a happy man".
In further confirmation of its effects on the population, I must refer you to a paper in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, (Vol. 4, Part 1,) by Mr. CHADWICK, on the Sanitary Effects of Land Draining, who says, “In considering the circumstances external to the residence which affect the sanitary condition of the population, the importance of a general landdrainage is developed by the inquiries as the causes of the prevalent diseases, to be of a magnitude of which no conception had been formed at the commencement of the investigation ; its importance is manifested, by the severe consequences of its neglect in every part of the country, as well as by its advantages in the increasing salubrity and productiveness, wherever the drainage has been skilful and effectual.* Evidence is then given from a host of
* “ The Rev. Professor Buckland, at a public meeting held in Oxford last week, said that in the parish of St. Margaret, Leicester, containing 22,000