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Be not continually chiding your servants. It can answer no purpose beyond giving exercise to your lungs at the expense of your servants' patience.
Never make a verbal agreement, when it can be reduced to writing.
A good politican keeps his own secrets and steals yours.
An author deserves pity whose poverty obliges him to write, when his genius has fled.
Learn to fence with both hands; as when the sword is used you will have a great superiority, whether you fight with a right, or a left handed man.
AN AUTHOR'S EVENINGS--FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
I Have often wished, for the sake of the reputation of the learned, that, after a lapse of years, when local, crude, or hastý productions had lost all the gloss of novelty, and all the favour that popularity could bestow, some rigid critic, with plenary powers, should arise, and boldly expunge from the most favourite author such passages in his works as not only dishonour his memory, but are disgraceful or injurious to the commonwealth of learning. Whereas the ordinary practice of publishing the whole works, even of a man of genius, is become such an established custom, that the most slovenly and the most stupid of an author's pages are preserved with a sort of religious care, merely because they are his. For example; and, as a strong case, we will take a standard writer. I have before me a magnificent and a complete edition of Thomson. I am delighted with his “Scasons.” His “Castle of Indolence" I survey with rapture. The loves of “Tancred
and Sigismunda” are not forgotten, and even “ Agamemnon” is not without his applause. But, to the disgrace of the genius and the principles of the poet, he must needs go wildly out of his way, to play the patriot forsooth, and produce, to the confusion of his readers, a dull and most despicable declamation in honour of “ Liberty.” Between this woful stuff and the imperishable “Castle of Indolence" a greater contrast can scarcely be imagined.
In the desultory book of an eccentric writer we find a familiar phrase well illustrated by a classical quotation.
Naked truth: a story told without ornament, and unattended with remarks or reflections. Horace describes the goddess in the same manner: nudaque veritas.
Mr. Thicknesse remarks that physicians are but lightly esteemed in France, which, probably, may be owing, in part, to the satirical strokes of their comic poet, Moliere. It is likewise a memorable fact, that all the writings of Le Sage teem with sarcasms against the medical tribe, and that sneering author, whenever he describes any of his heroes as ill, always makes Death and the doctor inseparable companions. Hence the profession of physic has been exceedingly low in Spain, and the name of Sangrado is a sort of hereditary bugbear. From these two examples, operating with such force in countries, by no means unilluminated, we may learn not to undervalue the votaries of Esculapius, whom we love and honour, but to perceive the terrible energy of a man of genius, when roused to exercise all his lampooning power.
(From Ackermann's Repository.)
ACCOUNT OF THE MERINO SHEEP, AND OF THEIR TREATMENT
The following observations on the management of Merino sheep, the breeding of which has, within these few years, occupied the attention of the most distinguished agriculturists in the British empire, were originally written in Spanish, by an English gentleman many years resident in Spain, for his own private use. Having recently returned to his native country, he translated them, in compliance with the wishes of some of his friends, and they are here presented to the public in his own language. The value of such a communication, derived from so authentic a source, will be duly appreciated by every practical farmer.
There are two sorts of sheep in Spain: some have coarse wool, and are never removed out of the province to which they belong; the others, after spending the summer in the northern mountains, descend in winter to the milder regions of Estremadura and Andalusia, and are distributed into districts therein. These are the Merino sheep, of which there are computed to be about four or five millions, as stated underneath :
The Duke of Infantado's flocks contain about . . . . . .
30,000 The Paular Convent
30,000 The Escurial Convent . The Convent of Guadalupe .
30,000 The Marquis Perales . .
30,000 The Duke of Bejar . . . . . . . . .
30,000 Ten flocks, containing about 20,000 each, belonging to sundry persons 200,000 All the other flocks in the kingdom taken collectively, about · · 3,800,000
The word Merino is Spanish; it signifies governor of a small province, and likewise him who has the care of the pasture or cattle in general. The Merino mayor is always a person of rank, and appointed by the king: the Duke of Infantado is the present Merino mayor. The mayors have a separate jurisdiction over the flocks in Estremadura, which is called the Mesta ; and there the king is the Merino mayor. Each flock generally consists of 10,000 sheep, with a mayoral or head shepherd, who must be an active man, well versed in the nature of pasture, as well as in the diseases incident to his flock. Under this person there are 50 inferior shepherds, with 50 dogs; five of each to a tribe. The principal shepherd receives about 751. English money for his annual wages, and has a fresh horse every year: the inferior
servants are paid small annual wages, with an allowance of two pounds · of good bread per day for each dog. The places where these sheep are to be seen in the greatest numbers, are in the Motana and in the Molina de Arrogan, in the summer; and in the province of Estremadura in the winter. The Molina is to the east, and the Montana to the north of Estremadura, the most elevated part of Spain. Estremadura abounds with aromatic plants, but the Montana is entirely without them. The first care of the shepherd in coming to the spot where the sheep are to spend the summer, is to give the ewes as much salt as they will eat : for this purpose they are provided with 25 quintals of salt (a Spanish quintal contains 110 pounds weight Spanish, 104 Spanish pounds are equal to 112 English) for every thousand sheep, which is all consumed in less than five months; but they do not eat any salt while on their journey, or during the winter. The method of giving the salt to them is as follows: the shepherd places fifty or sixty flat stones, about five steps distant from each other; he strews some salt on each stone, then leads his fiock slowly by them, and every sheep eats at pleasure: this practice is frequently repeated, observing not to let them feed, on those days, on any spot where there is limestone. When they have eaten up all the salt, then they are led to some argillaceous spots, where, from the craving they have acquired by eating the salt, they devour every thing they meet with, and return to the salt with redoubled ardour. At the end of July, each shepherd distributes the lambs among the ewes, five or six rams being sufficient for one hundred ewes : these rams are taken from the flocks and kept apart, and after a proper time are again separated from tlie ewes. The rams give a greater quantity of wool, though not so fine as the ewes ; for the fleeces of the rams will weigh 25 pounds, and it requires five fleeces of the ewes to produce the same. The disproportion of their age is known by their teeth ; those of the rams not falling before tiveir eighth year, while the ewes, from delicacy of frame, or other causes, lose their teeth after five years. About the middle of September they are marked, which is done by rubbing their loins which ochre (these earths are of various colours, such as red, yellow, blue, green, and black). It is said that the earth incorporates with the grease of the wool, and forms a kind of varnish, which protects the sheep from the inclemency of the weather: others pretend that the pressure of the ochre keeps the wool short, and prevents its being of an ordinary quality : others again imagine that the ochre acts as an absorbent, and sucks up the excess of transpiration, which would render the wool ordinary and short.
Towards the end of September these Merino flocks begin their march to a warmer climate; the whole of their rout has been regulated by laws and customs from time immemorial: they have a free
· passage through pastures and commons belonging to villages; but as
they must go over such cultivated lands as lie in their way, the inhabitants are obliged to leave them an opening ninety paces wide, through which these flocks must pass rapidly, going sometimes six or seven leagues a day, in order to reach open and less inconvenient places, where they may find good pasture, and enjoy some repose. In such open places they seldom exceed two leagues a day, following the shepherd, and grazing as they go along. Their whole journey, from the Montana to the interior parts of Estremadura, may be about 155 leagues, which they perform in about forty days, being equal to eleven or twelve English miles per day.
The first care of the shepherd is to lead them to the same pasture in which they have lived the winter before, and in which the greatest part of them were brought forth: this is no difficult task; for if they were not to conduct them, they would discover the grounds exactly, by the sensibility of their olfactory organs, to be different from the contiguous places; or, were the shepherds so inclined, they would find it no easy matter to make them go farther.
The next business is to order and regulate the folds, which are made by fixing stakes, fastened with ropes one to the other, to prevent their escape and being devoured by the wolves, for which also the dogs are stationed without as guards. The shepherds build themselves huts with stakes and boughs ; for the raising of which huts, as well as to supply them with fuel, they are allowed to lop or cut off a branch from every tree that grows convenient to them: this law in their favour, is the real cause of so many trees being rotten and hollow in the places frequented by these flocks of sheep.
A little before the ewes arrive at their winter quarters, is the time of their yeaning or bringing forth their young, when the shepherd must be particularly careful of them. The barren ewes are separated from breeders, and placed in a less advantageous spot, reserving the best pasture for the most fruitful, removing them in proportion to their forwardness; the last lambs are put into the richest pasture, that they may improve the sooner, and acquire sufficient strength to perform their journey along with the early lambs.
In March, the shepherds have four different operations to perform with the lambs that were yeaned in the winter: the first is, to cut off their tails, five fingers breadth below the rump, for cleanliness; the second is, to mark them on the nose with a hot iron; the third is, to saw off the tips of their horns, in order that they may not hurt one another in their frolics ; fourthly, and finally, they castrate such lambs as are doomed for bell-wethers to walk at the head of the tribe ; which