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of vegetating temperature, the supply of grass is much more early and infinitely more abundant, than could be obtained on the land of such a farm, under common circumstances. The
which first shews itself in the spring, in the watered meadows, is the Festuca fluitans, the long and broadish leaves of which are known to float on the surface of water, in ditches, &c. The cattle are very fond of this grass, and on being first turned into these meadows, run with eagerness to get it.
These water meadows were well de signed and executed under the direction of Mr. Smith, the engineer, and celebrated geologist; but at a very considerable expense. Mr. Coke, who has given a long lease of the farm to Mr. Beck, is said to have been at half of the expense ; and, in addition to it, he has built him an excellent house, on a rising ground, and at a proper distance from the water, which is here as much a feature of decoration and beauty, as in any gentleman's ground; and the whole would form a pic turesque scene, were more trees growing on the opposite side of the water.
I have had another opportunity of visiting Holkham ; I have again been gratified in seeing one of the first places in the kingdom, whose scenery, combining the different picturesque beauties of rich, varied, and highly decorated ground, of magnificent wood, expanded water, and extended prospect, including occasional views
the sea, cannot but delight every lover of nature, and more than meet the high raised expectations of the admiring stranger. But it has a character even surpassing the highest natural beauty; it has a moral character which leaves a more lasting and a more satisfactory impression, onthe benevolent mind, than woods and waters, green fields, and the most highly decorated grounds. It exhibits man under his best features, and in his happiest state ; it is the field of human industry, and it shews its rich reward ;--talent and invention,--science and experiment,--the principles of mechanics,—the discoveries of chemistry, and the investigations of natural history, are all here applied to the promotion of the first and most important of human arts. The labors of agriculture are facilitated, its processes are improved, its valuable products greatly increased, and its various benefits widely extended. Society at Large,--the proprietor of the soil,--the farmer who occupies and cultivates it, and the laborer and artisan who work upon it, all share in these benefits,--all partake of the great good which bounteous nature, from the bosom of the earth, returns to the skill and industry of man.
It is gratifying to contemplate the general good thus created and thus disseminated, and the gratification rises in the contemplation of the mass of human evil averted, as well as the positive good com
municated, in the ameliorated condition of a class of society, in too many instances, suffering under privation, and exposed to moral degradation. I am, indeed, unable to express the high moral satisfaction I experienced in witnessing the enviable state of the laboring classes in Mr. Coke's parish. On the day before the late sheepshearing, July 5, 1818, I had again the pleasure and advantage of accompanying Mr. Coke over his farms, where I again met much, very much, to excite both surprise and admiration; but if any where these feelings predominated, if any where they were peculiarly grateful, it was in visiting the well-built cottages of the various laborers employed on his farms. I was at once struck by their inside neatness, and their being well furnished, for I observed, in almost all of them, articles not very common in a poor man's cottage, but of which, when able to procure them, the poor man is very laudably proud. It was their dinner-hourg--I saw their tables neatly spread, and not sparingly covered; I saw their gardens, conveniently and liberally annexed to each cottage, every inch well cultivated, and well stored with valuable esculents for their own tables, and even their pigs' troughs; and I was particularly pleased to observe an arrangement, suggested by Mr. Coke or Mr. Blaikie, to save every particle ofmanure produced around them: small depôts were formed for each garden, into which this material, so necessary to make them productive, was daily thrown, and which soon accumulated to a degree that would be little expected by those who are not accustomed thus rigidly to economise it. It was Sunday,– I saw them in their best apparel,-clean, healthy, and cheerful. I saw them also at church, forming, with their families around them, in numbers, no inconsiderable part of the congregation, and in their appearance and demeanor, even in Holkham church, a respectable
part of it.
On the following day, Monday, July 6, 1818, commenced the Holkham Sheep-shearing : it was the forty-second anniversary of this most extraordinary and incalculably useful meeting, and many circumstances combined to render it by far the most interesting and most brilliant that has yet been recorded. It was the first time I had witnessed it, and I should find it difficult to express, and even to arrange the various impressions excited in me by the multifarious, diversified, and quickly succeeding circumstances of the three proud days of its continuance, were I not greatly assisted by the accounts in the neighboring provincial papers, communicated by intelligent persons who were present at Holkham, for the express purpose of reporting ; and I may here observe, that the yearly arrangements made by the several editors of these papers to give early and circumstantial details of what passes on these occasions, sufficiently prove the increased interest in the subject excited in their readers.
The first morning's ride began with viewing a machine at work in the hay-field, which is well calculated to spread short hay, and appears to work most effectually in rather a light crop : it does the labor of a great many hands, but notwithstanding this, and the greatly increased population in Holkham and its neighborhood, there was still a deficiency of hay-makers, and the hay appeared to suffer injury from being too long exposed to an ardent sun.
The company then proceeded to Longlands, Mr. Coke's principal farm, to view the agricultural implements, the prize boars, and the sheep-shearing. It had already accumulated to several hundreds, many of whom were in carriages of different kinds, but the greatest number were on horse-back. It was a goodly and cheering sight; Mr. Coke was at their head, and led the way with an ani. mating activity, instantly comrnunicated to his numerous fol!owers. The implements consisted of the inverted horse hoes, the grubber, to tear up weeds by their roots, a manure drill, a self-sowing dibble, and the improved trench plough for drilling potatoes, with a horse hoe for cleaning between the rows, and subsequently, with a different share or scraper, for moulding them up. In this latter implement the principle of the inverted hoes is fully adopted ; and both are admirably calculated for facilitating potatoe planting and moulding. The drill was invented by Mr. Frost, late of Saham.
It was objected to by some as being too heavy; it is indeed large, being calculated to drill a great breadth at once; but on investigating its construction, it will be found to follow the horses even more easily than the common ones, the coulters requiring no pressing weight, while they cut a groove in the earth, two inches wide, to any depth, being regulated by a small chain, rackwheel, and screw; the common drills making a groove not more than a quarter of an inch wide at the bottom, in which the seed is huddled together, and the manure, if any, not at all spread.
With the drill in common use, the seed deposited varies in quantity in going up or down hill, and though by very great attention in the person who works it, and which is not always to be calculated upon, it may be somewhat regulated, it is effected in Mr. Frost's completely and accurately without any extra attention in the drill man; the hoppers swinging on a centre, are always perpendicular, and receive the seed equably on level or unlevel ground in going up or going down hill.
To vary the quantity of seed regularly and accurately, parallel spoons are substituted for cups, the length of which being about two inches, admits of their being readily adjusted by screws, at each end of the spindle, without any alteration of toothed wheels, so as to project more or less over the mouths of the hoppers, and
to deliver a larger or smaller quantity of seed, as may be required, even to a very minute difference.
Each individual set of cups or spoons may, also, be singly adjusted, so as to make them deliver more or less seed, or manure, in any single groove, which, obviously, must be well adapted to comparative experiments upon new seeds of different kinds of manure.
The common drills have been found little applicable to strong and wet lands, which are necessarily laid on ridges of unequal surface; and this
one reason why their use is still so limited. This drill may, however, be so adjusted as to be as readily adapted to such land, as those in common use are to flat and dry land.
The different shape of the coulters in the respective drills is worthy of notice, as they make a material, and certainly a not unimportant difference in the shape of the groove made by them in the soil ; the common drill making, by pressure, only a tapering or conical one, while Mr. Frost's cuts a parallel one ; with this difference in the two operations, that the common drill, particularly on strong land, injures the soil by the pressure exerted in forming the groove, thereby converting it, to some distance on each side of the groove, from a loose friable state, to a consistence approaching that of tempered brick earth, leaving the bottom narrow and glazed, and if a drought comes on, very hard ; while the other forms the groove by cutting it out, leaving the bottom and sides in a perfectly loose and friable state, having a bottom two inches wide, on which the seed is equally distributed, while in the conical one it must, obviously, as before observed, lie in a too crowded heap. The superiority in the form of Mr. Frost's coulter is, indeed, at once, obvious from inspection, and on the very principle which gives such a superiority to the coulters in Mr. Coke's lately adopted
implement, the grubber, over those of the common scarificator, in their cutting the land deeper, and by passing under their roots, grubbing up the weeds completely.
The drill appears, therefore, altogether, to be worthy the attention of the farmer, and particularly of the strong land farmer.
The boars exhibited for the prize were sent by the following gentlemen :-Mr. S. Taylor, of Ditchingham ; Mr. Brett, of Burnham Overy ; Mr. Overman, of Burnham ; Mr. C. Harvey, of Aldborough ; and Mr. Read, of Hevingham. There were also two boars of the wild breed, belonging to Mr. Coke, and a sow of Mr. S. Taylor's, as extra stock.
The sheep were sheared in one of the large barns, and to those who, like myself, had never seen the process on such a scale, it was a striking sight; and I could not but admire the expert quickness and perfect evenness with which the wool was clipped, the little injury done to it or to the skin of the animal, the very neat
and uniform manner in which it was gathered together and rolled up to be placed in the wool chambers.
In passing through the principal straw-yard at Longlands, and to which the horses from the stables have constant access, I noticed an admirable contrivance for supplying the stock with water. There is a large trough in the middle of the yard, covered with a pent-house roof, which is constantly, “ without overflowing, full.” The water is supplied from a pit behind the stables, the communication being made through earthen tubes, something like chimney-pots, of Holkham manufacture, joined together, laid into the lower part of the pond, and brought through the stable, under ground, to the lower part of the trough, where, on the obvious principle of hydrostatics, finding its level, the water in the trough is always as high as the surface of the pond.
The company then viewed, in an adjoining field, an excellent piece of wheat, sown without manure, but on which pulverised rape cake, in the proportion of a ton to six acres, had been drilled between the lines in the spring. By this method, and which is considered by Mr. Hart, of Billingford, the first who practised it, as preferable to drilling the manure and seed together in autumn, the expense of manuring was only thirty shillings an acre, which would have been much exceeded in common dunging. By this is not meant that dung should not be used, but that cultivation may be extended beyond the reach of farm-yard manure, without losing sight of economy.
From hence they proceeded, in an increased cavalcade, to the farm of Mr. Denny, of Egmere, noticing a variety of crops and the general state of the land as they passed along. “Mr. Denny's is a noble farm, and admirably farmed ; - it does equal honor to both landlord and tenant. Having partaken of some refreshment, which the hospitality of Mr. Denny had amply provided for a numerous party, and inspected the several parts of a roomy and commodious house, lately erected for him by Mr. Coke, they returned by a circuitous route, and visited the farms at Quarles and Brenthill. Considering the extreme dryness of the season, the crops, particularly the wheat, were excellent. The Devon cattle were not only beautiful, but, by the state of their flesh, they betrayed no marks of the prevailing drought, it being a peculiar excellenceof this stock that they will keep themselves in good condition in moderate pastures.
The flocks of Southdown sheep appear to be every year improving, shewing the judicious and unceasing attention paid to them.
About three o'clock the company returned to the hall, and not fewer than three hundred persons sat down to dinner in the statue gallery, Mr. Coke presiding at one table and the Earl of Albemarle at the other.
Among the guests were the following noblemen