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Title: Cottage Economy - To Which Is Added The Poor Man's Friend
Author: Cobbett, William, 1763-1835
Language: English
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COTTAGE ECONOMY;

CONTAINING

INFORMATION RELATIVE TO THE BREWING OF BEER, MAKING OF BREAD,
KEEPING OF COWS, PIGS, BEES, EWES, GOATS, POULTRY, AND RABBITS,
AND RELATIVE TO OTHER MATTERS DEEMED USEFUL IN THE CONDUCTING
OF THE AFFAIRS OF A LABOURER'S FAMILY; TO WHICH ARE ADDED,
INSTRUCTIONS RELATIVE TO THE SELECTING, THE CUTTING AND THE
BLEACHING OF THE PLANTS OF ENGLISH GRASS AND GRAIN, FOR THE
PURPOSE OF MAKING HATS AND BONNETS; AND ALSO INSTRUCTIONS
FOR ERECTING AND USING ICE-HOUSES, AFTER THE VIRGINIAN MANNER.


TO WHICH IS ADDED

THE POOR MAN'S FRIEND;
OR,
A DEFENCE OF THE RIGHTS OF THOSE WHO DO THE WORK,
AND FIGHT THE BATTLES.


BY WILLIAM COBBETT.



New York:
Published by John Doyle, 12, Liberty-St.
Stereotyped by Conner & Cooke.
1833.

Entered according to act of Congress, in the year of our Lord 1833, by
John Doyle, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern
District of New-York.



CONTENTS.


  No.

     I.--Introduction. To the Labouring Classes of this
         Kingdom--Brewing Beer,                                        5

    II.--Brewing Beer, continued,                                     23

   III.--Making Bread,                                                41

    IV.--Making Bread, continued--Brewing Beer--Keeping Cows,         59

     V.--Keeping Cows, continued,--Keeping Pigs,                      73

    VI.--Keeping Pigs, continued--Salting Mutton, and Beef,           86

   VII.--Bees, Geese, Ducks, Turkeys, Fowls, Pigeons, Rabbits,
         Goats, and Ewes, Candles and Rushes, Mustard, Dress
         and Household Goods, and Fuel, Hops, and Yeast,              98

  VIII.--Selecting, Cutting and Bleaching the Plants of English
         Grass and Grain, for the purpose of making Hats and
         Bonnets--Constructing and using Ice-houses,                 122

  ADDITION.--Mangel Wurzel--Cobbett's Corn,                          151

  INDEX,                                                             158



COTTAGE ECONOMY.



No. I.

INTRODUCTION.

TO THE LABOURING CLASSES OF THIS KINGDOM.


1. Throughout this little work, I shall _number_ the Paragraphs, in order
to be able, at some stages of the work, to refer, with the more facility,
to parts that have gone before. The last Number will contain an _Index_,
by the means of which the several matters may be turned to without loss of
time; for, when _economy_ is the subject, _time_ is a thing which ought by
no means to be overlooked.

2. The word _Economy_, like a great many others, has, in its application,
been very much abused. It is generally used as if it meant parsimony,
stinginess, or niggardliness; and, at best, merely the refraining from
expending money. Hence misers and close-fisted men disguise their
propensity and conduct under the name of _economy_; whereas the most
liberal disposition, a disposition precisely the contrary of that of the
miser, is perfectly consistent with economy.

3. ECONOMY means _management_, and nothing more; and it is generally
applied to the affairs of a house and family, which affairs are an object
of the greatest importance, whether as relating to individuals or to a
nation. A nation is made powerful and to be honoured in the world, not so
much by the number of its people as by the ability and character of that
people; and the ability and character of a people depend, in a great
measure, upon the _economy_ of the several families, which, all taken
together, make up the nation. There never yet was, and never will be, a
nation _permanently great_, consisting, for the greater part, of wretched
and miserable families.

4. In every view of the matter, therefore, it is desirable; that the
families of which a nation consists should be happily off: and as this
depends, in a great degree, upon the _management_ of their concerns, the
present work is intended to convey, to the families of the _labouring
classes_ in particular, such information as I think may be useful with
regard to that management.

5. I lay it down as a maxim, that for a family to be happy, they must be
well supplied with _food_ and _raiment_. It is a sorry effort that people
make to persuade others, or to persuade themselves, that they can be happy
in a state of _want_ of the necessaries of life. The doctrines which
fanaticism preaches, and which teach men to be _content_ with _poverty_,
have a very pernicious tendency, and are calculated to favour tyrants by
giving them passive slaves. To live well, to enjoy all things that make
life pleasant, is the right of every man who constantly uses his strength
judiciously and lawfully. It is to blaspheme God to suppose, that he
created man to be miserable, to hunger, thirst, and perish with cold, in
the midst of that abundance which is the fruit of their own labour.
Instead, therefore, of applauding "_happy_ poverty," which applause is so
much the fashion of the present day, I despise the man that is _poor_ and
_contented_; for, such content is a certain proof of a base disposition, a
disposition which is the enemy of all industry, all exertion, all love of
independence.

6. Let it be understood, however, that, by _poverty_, I mean _real want_,
a real insufficiency of the food and raiment and lodging necessary to
health and decency; and not that imaginary poverty, of which some persons
complain. The man who, by his own and his family's labour, can provide a
sufficiency of food and raiment, and a comfortable dwelling-place, is not
a _poor man_. There must be different ranks and degrees in every civil
society, and, indeed, so it is even amongst the savage tribes. There must
be different degrees of wealth; some must have more than others; and the
richest must be a great deal richer than the least rich. But it is
necessary to the very existence of a people, that nine out of ten should
live wholly by the sweat of their brow; and, is it not degrading to human
nature, that all the nine-tenths should be called _poor_; and, what is
still worse, _call themselves poor_, and be _contented_ in that degraded
state?

7. The laws, the economy, or management, of a state may be such as to
render it impossible for the labourer, however skilful and industrious, to
maintain his family in health and decency; and such has, for many years
past, been the management of the affairs of this once truly great and
happy land. A system of paper-money, the effect of which was to take from
the labourer the half of his earnings, was what no industry and care could
make head against. I do not pretend that this system was adopted _by
design_. But, no matter for the _cause_; such was the effect.

8. Better times, however, are approaching. The labourer now appears likely
to obtain that hire of which he is worthy; and, therefore, this appears to
me to be the time to press upon him the _duty_ of using his best exertions
for the rearing of his family in a manner that must give him the best
security for happiness to himself, his wife and children, and to make him,
in all respects, what his forefathers were. The people of England have
been famed, in all ages, for their _good living_; for the _abundance of
their food_ and _goodness of their attire_. The old sayings about English
roast beef and plum-pudding, and about English hospitality, had not their
foundation in _nothing_. And, in spite of all refinements of sickly minds,
it is _abundant living_ amongst the people at large, which is the great
test of good government, and the surest basis of national greatness and
security.

9. If the labourer have his fair wages; if there be no false weights and
measures, whether of money or of goods, by which he is defrauded; if the
laws be equal in their effect upon all men: if he be called upon for no
more than his due share of the expenses necessary to support the
government and defend the country, he has no reason to complain. If the
largeness of his family demand extraordinary labour and care, these are
due from him to it. He is the cause of the existence of that family; and,
therefore, he is not, except in cases of accidental calamity, to throw
upon others the burden of supporting it. Besides, "little children are as
arrows in the hands of the giant, and blessed is the man that hath his
quiver full of them." That is to say, children, if they bring their
_cares_, bring also their _pleasures_ and _solid advantages_. They become,
very soon, so many assistants and props to the parents, who, when old age
comes on, are amply repaid for all the toils and all the cares that
children have occasioned in their infancy. To be without sure and safe
friends in the world makes life not worth having; and whom can we be so
sure of as of our children? Brothers and sisters are a mutual support. We
see them, in almost every case, grow up into prosperity, when they act the
part that the impulses of nature prescribe. When cordially united, a
father and sons, or a family of brothers and sisters, may, in almost any
state of life, set what is called misfortune at defiance.

10. These considerations are much more than enough to sweeten the toils
and cares of parents, and to make them regard every additional child as an
additional blessing. But, that children may be a blessing and not a curse,
care must be taken of their _education_. This word has, of late years,
been so perverted, so corrupted; so abused, in its application, that I am
almost afraid to use it here. Yet I must not suffer it to be usurped by
cant and tyranny. I must use it: but not without clearly saying what I
mean.

11. _Education_ means _breeding up_, _bringing up_, or _rearing up_; and
nothing more. This includes every thing with regard to the _mind_ as well
as the _body_ of a child; but, of late years, it has been so used as to
have no sense applied to it but that of _book-learning_, with which, nine
times out of ten, it has nothing at all to do. It is, indeed, proper, and
it is the duty of all parents, to teach, or cause to be taught, their
children as much as they can of books, _after_, and not before, all the
measures are safely taken for enabling them to get their living by labour,
or for _providing them a living without labour_, and that, too, out of the
means obtained and secured by the parents out of their own income. The
taste of the times is, unhappily, to give to children something of
_book-learning_, with a view of placing them to live, in some way or
other, _upon the labour of other people_. Very seldom, comparatively
speaking, has this succeeded, even during the wasteful public expenditure
of the last thirty years; and, in the times that are approaching, it
cannot, I thank God, succeed at all. When the project has failed, what
disappointment, mortification and misery, to both parent and child! The
latter is spoiled as a labourer: his book-learning has only made him
conceited: into some course of desperation he falls; and the end is but
too often not only wretched but ignominious.

12. Understand me clearly here, however; for it is the duty of parents to
give, if they be able, book-learning to their children, having _first_
taken care to make them capable of earning their living by _bodily
labour_. When that object has once been secured, the other may, if the
ability remain, be attended to. But I am wholly against children wasting
their time in the idleness of what is called _education_; and particularly
in schools over which the parents have no control, and where nothing is
taught but the rudiments of servility, pauperism and slavery.

13. The _education_ that I have in view is, therefore, of a very different
kind. You should bear constantly in mind, that nine-tenths of us are, from
the very nature and necessities of the world, born to gain our livelihood
by the sweat of our brow. What reason have we, then, to presume, that our
children are not to do the same? If they be, as now and then one will be,
endued with extraordinary powers of mind, those powers may have an
opportunity of developing themselves; and if they never have that
opportunity, the harm is not very great to us or to them. Nor does it
hence follow that the descendants of labourers are _always_ to be
labourers. The path upwards is steep and long, to be sure. Industry, care,
skill, excellence, in the present parent, lay the foundation of _a rise_,
under more favourable circumstances, for his children. The children of
these take _another rise_; and, by-and-by, the descendants of the present
labourer become gentlemen.

14. This is the natural progress. It is by attempting to reach the top at
a _single leap_ that so much misery is produced in the world; and the
propensity to make such attempts has been cherished and encouraged by the
strange projects that we have witnessed of late years for making the
labourers _virtuous_ and _happy_ by giving them what is called
_education_. The education which I speak of consists in bringing children
up to labour with _steadiness_, with _care_, and with _skill_; to show
them how to do as many useful things as possible; to teach them to do them
all in the best manner; to set them an example in industry, sobriety,
cleanliness, and neatness; to make all these _habitual_ to them, so that
they never shall be liable to fall into the contrary; to let them always
see a _good living_ proceeding from _labour_, and thus to remove from them
the temptation to get at the goods of others by violent or fraudulent
means; and to keep far from their minds all the inducements to hypocrisy
and deceit.

15. And, bear in mind, that if the state of the labourer has its
disadvantages when compared with other callings and conditions of life, it
has also its advantages. It is free from the torments of ambition, and
from a great part of the causes of ill-health, for which not all the
riches in the world and all the circumstances of high rank are a
compensation. The able and prudent labourer is always _safe_, at the
least; and that is what few men are who are lifted above him. They have
losses and crosses to fear, the very thought of which never enters his
mind, if he act well his part towards himself, his family and his
neighbour.

16. But, the basis of good to him, is _steady and skilful labour_. To
assist him in the pursuit of this labour, and in the turning of it to the
best account, are the principal objects of the present little work. I
propose to treat of brewing Beer, making Bread, keeping Cows and Pigs,
rearing Poultry, and of other matters; and to show, that, while, from a
very small piece of ground a large part of the food of a considerable
family may be raised, the very act of raising it will be the best possible
foundation of _education_ of the children of the labourer; that it will
teach them a great number of useful things, _add greatly to their value
when they go forth from_ their father's home, make them start in life with
all possible advantages, and give them the best chance of leading happy
lives. And is it not much more rational for parents to be employed in
teaching their children how to cultivate a garden, to feed and rear
animals, to make bread, beer, bacon, butter and cheese, and to be able to
do these things for themselves, or for others, than to leave them to prowl
about the lanes and commons, or to mope at the heels of some crafty,
sleekheaded pretended saint, who while he extracts the last penny from
their pockets, bids them be contented with their misery, and promises
them, in exchange for their pence, everlasting glory in the world to come?
It is upon the hungry and the wretched that the fanatic works. The
dejected and forlorn are his prey. As an ailing carcass engenders vermin,
a pauperized community engenders teachers of fanaticism, the very
foundation of whose doctrines is, that we are to care nothing about this
world, and that all our labours and exertions are in vain.

17. The man, who is doing well, who is in good health, who has a blooming
and dutiful and cheerful and happy family about him, and who passes his
day of rest amongst them, is not to be made to believe, that he was born
to be miserable, and that poverty, the natural and just reward of
laziness, is to secure him a crown of glory. Far be it from me to
recommend a disregard of even outward observances as to matters of
religion; but, can it be _religion_ to believe that God hath made us to be
wretched and dejected? Can it be _religion_ to regard, as marks of his
grace, the poverty and misery that almost invariably attend our neglect to
use the means of obtaining a competence in worldly things? Can it be
_religion_ to regard as blessings those things, those very things, which
God expressly numbers amongst his curses? Poverty never finds a place
amongst the _blessings_ promised by God. His blessings are of a directly
opposite description; flocks, herds, corn, wine and oil; a smiling land; a
rejoicing people; abundance for the body and gladness of the heart: these
are the blessings which God promises to the industrious, the sober, the
careful, and the upright. Let no man, then, believe that, to be poor and
wretched is a mark of God's favour; and let no man remain in that state,
if he, by any honest means, can rescue himself from it.

18. Poverty leads to all sorts of evil consequences. _Want_, horrid want,
is the great parent of crime. To have a dutiful family, the father's
principle of rule must be _love_ not _fear_. His sway must be gentle, or
he will have only an unwilling and short-lived obedience. But it is given
to but few men to be gentle and good-humoured amidst the various torments
attendant on pinching poverty. A competence is, therefore, the first thing
to be thought of; it is the foundation of all good in the labourer's
dwelling; without it little but misery can be expected. "_Health_,
_peace_, and _competence_," one of the wisest of men regards as the only
things needful to man: but the two former are scarcely to be had without
the latter. _Competence_ is the foundation of happiness and of exertion.
Beset with wants, having a mind continually harassed with fears of
starvation, who can act with energy, who can calmly think? To provide a
_good living_, therefore, for himself and family, is the _very first duty_
of every man. "Two things," says AGUR, "have I asked; deny me them not
before I die: remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty
nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full and deny
thee; or lest I be poor and steal."

19. A _good living_ therefore, a _competence_, is the first thing to be
desired and to be sought after; and, if this little work should have the
effect of aiding only a small portion of the Labouring Classes in securing
that competence, it will afford great gratification to their friend

WM. COBBETT.

_Kensington, 19th July, 1821._


BREWING BEER.

20. Before I proceed to give any directions about brewing, let me mention
some of the inducements to do the thing. In former times, to set about to
show to Englishmen that it was good for them to brew beer in their houses
would have been as impertinent as gravely to insist, that they ought to
endeavour not to lose their breath; for, in those times, (only forty years
ago,) to have a _house_ and not to brew was a rare thing indeed. Mr.
ELLMAN, an old man and a large farmer, in Sussex, has recently given in
evidence, before a Committee of the House of Commons, this fact; that,
_forty years ago_, there was not a labourer in his parish that did not
_brew his own beer_; and that _now_ there is _not one that does it_,
except by chance the malt be given him. The causes of this change have
been the lowering of the wages of labour, compared with the price of
provisions, by the means of the paper-money; the enormous tax upon the
barley when made into _malt_; and the increased tax upon _hops_. These
have quite changed the customs of the English people as to their drink.
They still drink _beer_, but, in general, it is of the brewing of _common
brewers_, and in public-houses, of which the common brewers have become
the owners, and have thus, by the aid of paper-money, obtained a
_monopoly_ in the supplying of the great body of the people with one of
those things which, to the hard-working man, is almost a necessary of
life.

21. These things will be altered. They must be altered. The nation must be
sunk into nothingness, or a new system must be adopted; and the nation
will not sink into nothingness. The malt now pays a tax of 4_s._ 6_d._[1]
a bushel, and the barley costs only 3_s._ This brings the bushel of malt
to 8_s._ including the maltster's charge for malting. If the tax were
taken off the malt, malt would be sold, at the present price of barley,
for about 3_s._ 3_d._ a bushel; because a bushel of barley makes more than
a bushel of malt, and the tax, besides its amount, causes great expenses
of various sorts to the maltster. The hops pay a tax of 2_d._[2] a pound;
and a bushel of malt requires, in general, a pound of hops; if these two
taxes were taken off, therefore, the consumption of barley and of hops
would be exceedingly increased; for double the present quantity would be
demanded, and the land is always ready to send it forth.

22. It appears impossible that the landlords should much longer submit to
these intolerable burdens on their estates. In short, they must get off
the malt tax, or lose those estates. They must do a great _deal more_,
indeed; but that they must do at any rate. The paper-money is fast losing
its destructive power; and things are, with regard to the labourers,
coming back to what they were _forty years ago_, and therefore we may
prepare for the making of beer in our own houses, and take leave of the
poisonous stuff served out to us by common brewers. We may begin
_immediately_; for, even at _present prices_, home-brewed beer is the
_cheapest_ drink that a family can use, except _milk_, and milk can be
applicable only in certain cases.

23. The drink which has come to supply the place of beer has, in general,
been _tea_. It is notorious that tea has no _useful strength_ in it; that
it contains nothing _nutritious_; that it, besides being _good_ for
nothing, has _badness_ in it, because it is well known to produce want of
sleep in many cases, and in all cases, to shake and weaken the nerves. It
is, in fact, a weaker kind of laudanum, which enlivens for the moment and
deadens afterwards. At any rate it communicates no strength to the body;
it does not, in any degree, assist in affording what labour demands. It
is, then, of no _use_. And, now, as to its _cost_, compared with that of
_beer_. I shall make my comparison applicable to a year, or three hundred
and sixty-five days. I shall suppose the tea to be only five shillings the
pound; the sugar only sevenpence; the milk only twopence a quart. The
prices are at the very lowest. I shall suppose a tea-pot to cost a
shilling, six cups and saucers two shillings and sixpence, and six pewter
spoons eighteen-pence. How to estimate the firing I hardly know; but
certainly there must be in the course of the year, two hundred fires made
that would not be made, were it not for tea drinking. Then comes the great
article of all, the _time_ employed in this tea-making affair. It is
impossible to make a fire, boil water, make the tea, drink it, wash up the
things, sweep up the fire-place, and put all to rights again, in a less
space of time, upon an average, than _two hours_. However, let us allow
_one hour_; and here we have a woman occupied no less than three hundred
and sixty-five hours in the year, or thirty whole days, at twelve hours in
the day; that is to say, one month out of the twelve in the year, besides
the waste of the man's time in hanging about waiting for the tea! Needs
there any thing more to make us cease to wonder at seeing labourers'
children with dirty linen and holes in the heels of their stockings?
Observe, too, that the time thus spent is, one half of it, the best time
of the day. It is the top of the morning, which, in every calling of life,
contains an hour worth two or three hours of the afternoon. By the time
that the clattering tea tackle is out of the way, the morning is spoiled;
its prime is gone; and any work that is to be done afterwards lags heavily
along. If the mother have to go out to work, the tea affair must all first
be over. She comes into the field, in summer time, when the sun has gone a
third part of his course. She has the heat of the day to encounter,
instead of having her work done and being ready to return home at any
early hour. Yet early she must go, too: for, there is the fire again to
be made, the clattering tea-tackle again to come forward; and even in the
longest day she must have _candle light_, which never ought to be seen in
a cottage (except in case of illness) from March to September.

24. Now, then, let us take the bare cost of the use of tea. I suppose a
pound of tea to last twenty days; which is not nearly half an ounce every
morning and evening. I allow for each mess half a pint of milk. And I
allow three pounds of the red dirty sugar to each pound of tea. The
account of expenditure would then stand very high; but to these must be
added the amount of the tea tackle, one set of which will, upon an
average, be demolished every year. To these outgoings must be added the
cost of beer at the public-house; for some the man will have, after all,
and the woman too, unless they be upon the point of actual starvation. Two
pots a week is as little as will serve in this way; and here is a dead
loss of ninepence a week, seeing that two pots of beer, full as strong,
and a great deal better, can be brewed at home for threepence. The account
of the year's tea drinking will then stand thus:

                                  _L._ _s._ _d._

  18lb. of tea                     4    10   0
  54lb. of sugar                   1    11   6
  365 pints of milk                1    10   0
  Tea tackle                       0     5   0
  200 fires                        0    16   8
  30 days' work                    0    15   0
  Loss by going to public-house    1    19   0
                                  ------------
                             _L._ 11     7   2[3]

25. I have here estimated every thing at its very lowest. The
entertainment which I have here provided is as poor, as mean, as miserable
as any thing short of starvation can set forth; and yet the wretched thing
amounts to a good third part of a good and able labourer's wages! For this
money, he and his family may drink good and wholesome beer; in a short
time, out of the mere savings from this waste, may drink it out of silver
cups and tankards. In a labourer's family, _wholesome_ beer, that has a
little life in it, is all that is wanted in _general_. Little children,
that do not work, should not have beer. Broth, porridge, or something in
that way, is the thing for them. However, I shall suppose, in order to
make my comparison as little complicated as possible, that he brews
nothing but beer as strong as the generality of beer to be had at the
public-house, and divested of the poisonous drugs which that beer but too
often contains; and I shall further suppose that he uses in his family two
quarts of this beer every day from the first of October to the last day of
March inclusive: three quarts a day during the months of April and May;
four quarts a day during the months of June and September; and five quarts
a day during the months of July and August; and if this be not enough, it
must be a family of drunkards. Here are 1097 quarts, or 274 gallons. Now,
a bushel of malt will make eighteen gallons of better beer than that which
is sold at the public-houses. And this is precisely a gallon for the price
of a quart. People should bear in mind, that the beer bought at the
public-house is loaded with a _beer tax_, with the tax on the public-house
keeper, in the shape of license, with all the taxes and expenses of the
brewer, with all the taxes, rent, and other expenses of the publican, and
with all the _profits_ of both brewer and publican; so that when a man
swallows a pot of beer at a public-house, he has all these expenses to
help to defray, besides the mere tax on the malt and on the hops.

26. Well, then, to brew this ample supply of good beer for a labourer's
family, these 274 gallons, requires _fifteen_ bushels of malt and (for let
us do the thing well) _fifteen pounds of hops_. The malt is now eight
shillings a bushel, and very good hops may be bought for less than a
shilling a pound. The _grains_ and yeast will amply pay for the labour and
fuel employed in the brewing; seeing that there will be pigs to eat the
grains, and bread to be baked with the yeast. The account will then stand
thus:

                       _L._ _s._ _d._

  15 bushels of malt    6    0    0
  15 pounds of hops     0   15    0
  Wear of utensils      0   10    0
                        -----------
                   _L._ 7    5    0[4]

27. Here, then, is the sum of four pounds two shillings and twopence saved
every year. The utensils for brewing are, a brass kettle, a mashing tub,
coolers, (for which washing tubs may serve,) a half hogshead, with one end
taken out, for a tun tub, about four nine-gallon casks, and a couple of
eighteen-gallon casks. This is an ample supply of utensils, each of which
will last, with proper care, a good long lifetime or two, and the whole of
which, even if purchased new from the shop, will only exceed by a few
shillings, if they exceed at all, the amount of the saving, arising _the
very first year_, from quitting the troublesome and pernicious practice of
drinking tea. The saving of each succeeding year would, if you chose it,
purchase a silver mug to hold half a pint at least. However, the saving
would naturally be applied to purposes more conducive to the well-being
and happiness of a family.

28. It is not, however, the _mere saving_ to which I look. This is,
indeed, a matter of great importance, whether we look at the amount
itself, or at the ultimate consequences of a judicious application of it;
for _four pounds_ make a great _hole_ in a man's wages for the year; and
when we consider all the advantages that would arise to a family of
children from having these four pounds, now so miserably wasted, laid out
upon their backs, in the shape of a decent dress, it is impossible to look
at this waste without feelings of sorrow not wholly unmixed with those of
a harsher description.

29. But, I look upon the thing in a still more serious light. I view the
tea drinking as a destroyer of health, an enfeebler of the frame, an
engenderer of effeminacy and laziness, a debaucher of youth, and a maker
of misery for old age. In the fifteen bushels of malt there are 570 pounds
weight of _sweet_; that is to say, of nutricious matter, unmixed with any
thing injurious to health. In the 730 tea messes of the year there are 54
pounds of sweet in the sugar, and about 30 pounds of matter equal to sugar
in the milk. Here are 84 pounds instead of 570, and even the good effect
of these 84 pounds is more than over-balanced by the corrosive, gnawing
and poisonous powers of the tea.

30. It is impossible for any one to deny the truth of this statement. Put
it to the test with a lean hog: give him the fifteen bushels of malt, and
he will repay you in ten score of bacon or thereabouts. But give him the
730 tea messes, or rather begin to give them to him, and give him nothing
else, and he is dead with hunger, and bequeaths you his skeleton, at the
end of about seven days. It is impossible to doubt in such a case. The tea
drinking has done a great deal in bringing this nation into the state of
misery in which it now is; and the tea drinking, which is carried on by
"dribs" and "drabs;" by pence and farthings going out at a time; this
miserable practice has been gradually introduced by the growing weight of
the taxes on malt and on hops, and by the everlasting penury amongst the
labourers, occasioned by the paper-money.

31. We see better prospects however, and therefore let us now rouse
ourselves, and shake from us the degrading curse, the effects of which
have been much more extensive and infinitely more mischievous than men in
general seem to imagine.

32. It must be evident to every one, that the practice of tea drinking
must render the frame feeble and unfit to encounter hard labour or severe
weather, while, as I have shown, it deducts from the means of replenishing
the belly and covering the back. Hence succeeds a softness, an
effeminacy, a seeking for the fire-side, a lurking in the bed, and, in
short, all the characteristics of idleness, for which, in this case, real
want of strength furnishes an apology. The tea drinking fills the
public-house, makes the frequenting of it habitual, corrupts boys as soon
as they are able to move from home, and does little less for the girls, to
whom the gossip of the tea-table is no bad preparatory school for the
brothel. At the very least, it teaches them idleness. The everlasting
dawdling about with the slops of the tea tackle, gives them a relish for
nothing that requires strength and activity. When they go from home, they
know how to do nothing that is useful. To brew, to bake, to make butter,
to milk, to rear poultry; to do any earthly thing of use they are wholly
unqualified. To shut poor young creatures up in manufactories is bad
enough; but there, at any rate, they do something that is useful; whereas,
the girl that has been brought up merely to boil the tea-kettle, and to
assist in the gossip inseparable from the practice, is a mere consumer of
food, a pest to her employer, and a curse to her husband, if any man be so
unfortunate as to fix his affections upon her.

33. But is it in the power of any man, any good labourer, who has attained
the age of fifty, to look back upon the last thirty years of his life,
without cursing the day in which tea was introduced into England? Where is
there such a man, who cannot trace to this cause a very considerable part
of all the mortifications and sufferings of his life? When was he ever
_too late_ at his labour; when did he ever meet with a frown, with a
turning off, and pauperism on that account, without being able to trace it
to the tea-kettle? When reproached with lagging in the morning, the poor
wretch tells you that he will make up for it by _working during his
breakfast time_! I have heard this a hundred and a hundred times over. He
was up time enough; but the tea-kettle kept him lolling and lounging at
home; and now, instead of sitting down to a breakfast upon bread, bacon,
and beer, which is to carry him on to the hour of dinner, he has to force
his limbs along under the sweat of feebleness, and at dinner time to
swallow his dry bread, or slake his half-feverish thirst at the pump or
the brook. To the wretched tea-kettle he has to return at night, with legs
hardly sufficient to maintain him; and thus he makes his miserable
progress towards that death, which he finds ten or fifteen years sooner
than he would have found it had he made his wife brew beer instead of
making tea. If he now and then gladdens his heart with the drugs of the
public house, some quarrel, some accident, some illness, is the probable
consequence; to the affray abroad succeeds an affray at home; the
mischievous example reaches the children, corrupts them or scatters them,
and misery for life is the consequence.

34. I should now proceed to the _details_ of brewing; but these, though
they will not occupy a large space, must be put off to the _second
number_. The custom of brewing at home has so long ceased amongst
labourers, and, in many cases, amongst tradesmen, that it was necessary
for me fully to state my reasons for wishing to see the custom revived. I
shall, in my next, clearly explain how the operation is performed; and it
will be found to be so _easy a thing_, that I am not without hope, that
many _tradesmen_, who now spend their evenings at the public house, amidst
tobacco smoke and empty _noise_, may be induced, by the finding of better
drink at home, at a quarter part of the price, to perceive that home is by
far the pleasantest place wherein to pass their hours of relaxation.

35. My work is intended chiefly for the benefit of _cottagers_, who must,
of course, have some _land_; for, I purpose to show, that a large part of
the food of even a large family may be raised, without any diminution of
the labourer's earnings abroad, from forty rod, or a quarter of an acre,
of ground; but at the same time, what I have to say will be applicable to
larger establishments, in all the branches of domestic economy: and
especially to that of providing a family with _beer_.

36. The _kind of beer_, for a labourer's family, that is to say, the
_degree of strength_, must depend on circumstances; on the numerousness of
the family; on the season of the year, and various other things. But,
generally speaking, beer _half_ the strength of that mentioned in
paragraph 25 will be quite strong enough; for that is, at least, one-third
stronger than the farm-house "_small beer_," which, however, as long
experience has proved, is best suited to the purpose. A judicious labourer
would probably always have some _ale_ in his house, and have small beer
for the general drink. There is no reason why he should not keep
_Christmas_ as well as the farmer; and when he is _mowing_, _reaping_, or
is at any other hard work, a quart, or three pints, of _really good fat
ale_ a-day is by no means too much. However, circumstances vary so much
with different labourers, that as to the _sort_ of beer, and the number of
brewings, and the times of brewing, no general rule can be laid down.

37. Before I proceed to explain the uses of the several brewing utensils,
I must speak of the _quality_ of the materials of which beer is made; that
is to say, the _malt_, _hops_, and _water_. Malt varies very much in
quality, as, indeed, it must, with the quality of the barley. When good,
it is full of flour, and in biting a grain asunder, you find it bite
easily, and see the _shell thin_ and filled up well with flour. If it bite
_hard_ and _steely_, the malt is bad. There is _pale_ malt and _brown_
malt; but the difference in the two arises merely from the different
degrees of heat employed in the drying. The main thing to attend to is,
the _quantity of flour_. If the barley was bad; _thin_, or _steely_,
whether from unripeness or blight, or any other cause, it will not _malt_
so well; that is to say, it will not send out its roots in due time; and a
part of it will still be barley. Then, the world is wicked enough to
think, and even to say, that there are maltsters who, when they send you a
bushel of malt, _put a little barley amongst it_, the malt being _taxed_
and the barley _not_! Let us hope that this is seldom the case; yet, when
we _do know_ that this terrible system of taxation induces the
beer-selling gentry to supply their customers with stuff little better
than poison, it is not very uncharitable to suppose it possible for some
maltsters to yield to the temptations of the devil so far as to play the
trick above mentioned. To detect this trick, and to discover what portion
of the barley is in an unmalted state, take a handful of the _unground_
malt, and put it into a bowl of cold water. Mix it about with the water a
little; that is, let every grain be _just wet all over_; and whatever part
of them _sink_ are not good. If you have your malt _ground_, there is not,
as I know of, any means of detection. Therefore, if your brewing be
considerable in amount, _grind your own malt_, the means of doing which is
very easy, and neither expensive nor troublesome, as will appear, when I
come to speak of _flour_. If the barley be _well malted_, there is still a
variety in the quality of the malt; that is to say, a bushel of malt from
fine, plump, heavy barley, will be better than the same quantity from thin
and light barley. In this case, as in the case of wheat, the _weight_ is
the criterion of the quality. Only bear in mind, that as a bushel of
wheat, weighing _sixty-two_ pounds, is better worth _six_ shillings, than
a bushel weighing _fifty-two_ is worth _four_ shillings, so a bushel of
malt weighing _forty-five_ pounds is better worth _nine_ shillings, than a
bushel weighing _thirty-five_ is worth _six_ shillings. In malt,
therefore, as in every thing else, the word _cheap_ is a deception, unless
the quality be taken into view. But, bear in mind, that in the case of
_unmalted_ barley, mixed with the malt, the _weight_ can be no rule; for
barley is _heavier_ than malt.



No. II.

BREWING BEER--(_continued._)


38. As to using _barley_ in the making of beer, I have given it a full and
fair trial twice over, and I would recommend it to neither rich nor poor.
The barley produces _strength_, though nothing like the malt; but the
beer is _flat_, even though you use half malt and half barley; and flat
beer lies heavy on the stomach, and of course, besides the bad taste, is
unwholesome. To pay 4_s._ 6_d._ tax upon every bushel of our own barley,
turned into malt, when the barley itself is not worth 3_s._ a bushel, is a
horrid thing; but, as long as the owners of the land shall be so dastardly
as to suffer themselves to be thus deprived of the use of their estates to
favour the slave-drivers and plunderers of the East and West Indies, we
must submit to the thing, incomprehensible to foreigners, and even to
ourselves, as the submission may be.

39. With regard to _hops_, the quality is very various. At times when some
sell for 5_s._ a pound, others sell for _sixpence_. Provided the purchaser
understand the article, the quality is, of course, in proportion to the
price. There are two things to be considered in hops: the _power of
preserving beer_, and that of giving it a _pleasant flavour_. Hops may be
_strong_; and yet not _good_. They should be _bright_, have no _leaves_ or
bits of branches amongst them. The hop is the _husk_, or _seed-pod_, of
the hop-vine, as the _cone_ is that of the fir-tree; and the _seeds_
themselves are deposited, like those of the fir, round a little soft
stalk, enveloped by the several folds of this pod, or cone. If, in the
gathering, leaves of the vine or bits of the branches are mixed with the
hops, these not only help to make up the _weight_, but they give a _bad
taste_ to the beer; and indeed, if they abound much, they spoil the beer.
Great attention is therefore necessary in this respect. There are, too,
numerous _sorts_ of hops, varying in size, form, and quality, quite as
much as _apples_. However, when they are in a state to be used in brewing,
the marks of goodness are an absence of _brown colour_, (for that
indicates perished hops;) a colour _between green_ and _yellow_; a great
_quantity of the yellow farina_; seeds _not too large nor too hard_; a
_clammy feel_ when rubbed between the fingers; and a _lively_, pleasant
smell. As to the _age_ of hops, they retain for twenty years, probably,
their _power of preserving beer_; but not of giving it a pleasant flavour.
I have used them at _ten years old_, and should have no fear of using
them at twenty. They lose none of their _bitterness_; none of their power
of preserving beer; but they lose the other quality; and therefore, in the
making of fine ale, or beer, new hops are to be preferred. As to the
_quantity_ of hops, it is clear, from what has been said, that that must,
in some degree depend upon their _quality_; but, supposing them to be good
in quality, a pound of hops to a bushel of malt is about the quantity. A
good deal, however, depends upon the length of time that the beer is
intended to be kept, and upon the season of the year in which it is
brewed. Beer intended to be kept a long while should have the full pound,
also beer brewed in warmer weather, though for present use: half the
quantity may do under an opposite state of circumstances.

40. The _water_ should be soft by all means. That of brooks, or rivers, is
best. That of a _pond_, fed by a rivulet, or spring, will do very well.
_Rain-water_, if just fallen, may do; but stale rain-water, or stagnant
pond-water, makes the beer _flat_ and difficult to keep; and _hard water_,
from wells, is very bad; it does not get the sweetness out of the malt,
nor the bitterness out of the hops, like soft water; and the wort of it
does not ferment well, which is a certain proof of its unfitness for the
purpose.

41. There are two descriptions of persons whom I am desirous to see
brewing their own beer; namely, _tradesmen_, and _labourers_ and
_journeymen_. There must, therefore, be two _distinct scales_ treated of.
In the former editions of this work, I spoke of a _machine_ for brewing,
and stated the advantages of using it in a family of any considerable
consumption of beer; but, while, from my desire to promote _private
brewing_, I strongly recommended the _machine_, I stated that, "if any of
my readers could point out any method by which we should be more likely to
restore the practice of private brewing, and especially to the _cottage_,
I should be greatly obliged to them to communicate it to me." Such
communications have been made, and I am very happy to be able, in this new
edition of my little work, to avail myself of them. There was, in the
_Patent Machine_, always, an objection on account of the _expense_; for,
even the machine for _one bushel of malt_ cost, at the reduced price,
_eight pounds_; a sum far above the reach of _a cottager_, and even above
that of a small tradesman. Its _convenience_, especially in _towns_, where
room is so valuable, was an object of great importance; but there were
_disadvantages_ attending it which, until after some experience, I did not
ascertain. It will be remembered that the method by the brewing machine
requires the malt to be put into _the cold water_, and for the water to
make the malt _swim_, or, at least, to be in such proportion as to prevent
the fire beneath from burning the malt. We found that our beer was _flat_,
and that it did _not keep_. And this arose, I have every reason to
believe, from this process. The malt should be put _into hot water_, and
the water, at first, should be but just sufficient in quantity to _stir
the malt in_, and _separate it well_. Nevertheless, when it is merely to
make _small beer_; beer _not wanted to keep_; in such cases the brewing
machine may be of use; and, as will be seen by-and-by, a moveable _boiler_
(which has nothing to do with the _patent_) may, in many cases, be of
great convenience and utility.

42. The two _scales_ of which I have spoken above, are now to be spoken
of; and, that I may explain my meaning the more clearly, I shall suppose,
that, for the tradesman's family, it will be requisite to brew eighteen
gallons of ale and thirty-six of small beer, to fill three casks of
eighteen gallons each. It will be observed, of course, that, for larger
quantities, larger utensils of all sorts will be wanted. I take this
quantity as the one to give directions on. The utensils wanted here will
be, FIRST, a _copper_ that will contain _forty gallons_, at least; for,
though there be to be but thirty-six gallons of small beer, there must be
space for the hops, and for the liquor that goes off in steam. SECOND, a
_mashing-tub_ to contain sixty gallons; for the malt is to be in this
along with the water. THIRD, an _underbuck_, or shallow tub to go under
the mash-tub, for the wort to run into when drawn from the grains.
FOURTH, a _tun-tub_, that will contain thirty gallons, to put the ale into
to work, the mash-tub, as we shall see, serving as a tun-tub for the small
beer. Besides these, a couple of _coolers_, shallow tubs, which may be the
heads of wine buts, or some such things, about a foot deep; or if you have
_four_ it may be as well, in order to effect the cooling more quickly.

43. You begin by filling the copper with water, and next by making the
water _boil_. You then put into the mashing-tub water sufficient _to stir
and separate the malt in_. But now let me say more particularly what this
mashing-tub is. It is, you know, to contain _sixty gallons_. It is to be a
little broader at top than at bottom, and not quite so deep as it is wide
across the bottom. Into the middle of the bottom there is a hole about two
inches over, to draw the wort off through. In this hole goes a stick, a
foot or two longer than the tub is high. This stick is to be about two
inches through, and _tapered_ for about eight inches upwards at the end
that goes into the hole, which at last it fills up closely as a cork. Upon
the hole, before any thing else be put into the tub, you lay a little
bundle of _fine birch_, (heath or straw _may_ do,) about half the bulk of
a birch broom, and well tied at both ends. This being laid over the hole
(to keep back the grains as the wort goes out,) you put the tapered end of
the stick down through into the hole, and thus _cork_ the hole up. You
must then have something of weight sufficient to keep the birch steady at
the bottom of the tub, with a hole through it to slip down the stick;
otherwise when the stick is raised it will be apt to raise the birch with
it, and when you are stirring the mash you would move it from its place.
The best thing for this purpose will be a _leaden collar_ for the stick,
with the hole in the collar plenty large enough, and it should weigh three
or four pounds. The thing they use in some farm-houses is the iron box of
a wheel. Any thing will do that will slide down the stick, and lie with
weight enough on the birch to keep it from moving. Now, then, you are
ready to begin brewing. I allow _two bushels_ of malt for the brewing I
have supposed. You must now put into the mashing-tub as much boiling water
as will be sufficient to _stir the malt in_ and _separate it well_. But
here occur some of the nicest points of all; namely, the _degree of heat_
that the water is to be at, before you put in the malt. This heat is _one
hundred and seventy degrees_ by the thermometer. If you have a
thermometer, this is ascertained easily; but, without one, take this rule,
by which so much good beer has been made in England for hundreds of years:
when you can, by looking down into the tub, _see your face clearly in the
water_, the water is become cool enough; and you must not put the malt in
before. Now put in the malt and _stir it well in the water_. To perform
this stirring, which is very necessary, you have a stick, somewhat bigger
than a broom-stick, with two or three smaller sticks, eight or ten inches
long, put through the lower end of it at about three or four inches
asunder, and sticking out on each side of the long stick. These small
cross sticks serve to search the malt and separate it well in the stirring
or _mashing_. Thus, then, the _malt is in_; and in this state it should
continue for about a quarter of an hour. In the mean while you will have
filled up your copper, and made it _boil_; and now (at the end of the
quarter of an hour) you put in boiling water sufficient to give you your
eighteen gallons of _ale_. But, perhaps, you must have thirty gallons of
water in the whole; for the grains will retain at least ten gallons of
water; and it is better to have rather too much wort than too little. When
your proper quantity of water is in, stir the malt again well. Cover the
mashing-tub over with _sacks_, or something that will answer the same
purpose; and there let the mash stand for _two hours_. When it has stood
the two hours, you draw off the wort. And now, mind, the mashing-tub is
placed on a _couple of stools_, or on something, that will enable you to
put the _underbuck_ under it, so as to receive the wort as it comes out of
the hole before-mentioned. When you have put the underbuck in its place,
you let out the wort by pulling up the stick that corks the whole. But,
observe, this stick (which goes six or eight inches through the hole) must
be raised by degrees, and the wort must be let out _slowly_, in order to
keep back the _sediment_. So that it is necessary to have something to
_keep the stick up_ at the point where you are to raise it, and wish to
fix it at for the time. To do this, the simplest, cheapest and best thing
in the world is a _cleft stick_. Take a _rod_ of ash, hazel, birch, or
almost any wood; let it be a foot or two longer than your mashing-tub is
wide over the top; _split_ it, as if for making hoops; tie it round with a
string at each end; lay it across your mashing-tub; pull it open in the
middle, and let the upper part of the wort-stick through it, and when you
raise that stick, by degrees as before directed, the cleft stick _will
hold it up_ at whatever height you please.

44. When you have drawn off the _ale-wort_, you proceed to put into the
mashing tub water for the _small beer_. But, I shall go on with my
directions about the _ale_ till I have got it into the _cask_ and
_cellar_; and shall then return to the small-beer.

45. As you draw off the ale-wort into the underbuck, you must lade it out
of that into the tun-tub, for which work, as well as for various other
purposes in the brewing, you must have a _bowl-dish_ with a handle to it.
The underbuck will not hold the whole of the wort. It is, as before
described, a shallow tub, to go _under_ the mashing-tub to draw off the
wort into. Out of this underbuck you must lade the ale-wort into the
_tun-tub_; and there it must remain till your _copper_ be emptied and
ready to receive it.

46. The copper being empty, you put the wort into it, and put in after the
wort, or before it, _a pound and a half of good hops_, well rubbed and
separated as you put them in. You now make the copper boil, and keep it,
with the lid off, at a good _brisk_ boil, for a _full hour_, and if it be
an hour and a half it is none the worse.

47. When the boiling is done, put out your fire, and put the liquor into
the _coolers_. But it must be put into the coolers _without the hops_.
Therefore, in order to get the hops out of the liquor, you must have a
_strainer_. The best for your purpose is a small _clothes-basket_, or any
other wicker-basket. You set your coolers in the most convenient place. It
may be in-doors or out of doors, as most convenient. You lay a couple of
sticks across one of the coolers, and put the basket upon them. Put your
liquor, hops and all, into the basket, which will _keep back the hops_.
When you have got liquor enough in one cooler, you go to another with your
sticks and basket, till you have got all your liquor out. If you find your
liquor deeper in one cooler than the other, you can make an alteration in
that respect, till you have the liquor so distributed as to cool equally
fast in both, or all, the coolers.

48. The next stage of the liquor is in the _tun-tub_, where it is _set to
work_. Now, a very great point is, the _degree of heat_ that the liquor is
to be at when it is set to working. The proper heat is seventy degrees; so
that a thermometer makes this matter sure. In the country they determine
the degree of heat by merely putting a finger into the liquor. Seventy
degrees is but _just warm_, a gentle _luke-warmth_. Nothing like _heat_. A
little experience makes perfectness in such a matter. When at the proper
heat, or nearly, (for the liquor will cool a little in being removed,) put
it into the _tun-tub_. And now, before I speak of the act of setting the
beer to work, I must describe this _tun-tub_, which I first mentioned in
Paragraph 42. It is to hold _thirty gallons_, as you have seen; and
nothing is better than an old _cask_ of that size, or somewhat larger,
with the head taken out, or cut off. But, indeed, any tub of sufficient
dimensions, and of about the same depth proportioned to the width as a
cask or barrel has, will do for the purpose. Having put the liquor into
the tun-tub, you put in the _yeast_. About _half a pint_ of good yeast is
sufficient. This should first be put into a thing of some sort that will
hold about a gallon of your liquor; the thing should then be nearly filled
with liquor, and with a stick or spoon you should mix the yeast well with
the liquor in this bowl, or other thing, and stir in along with the yeast
a handful of _wheat or rye flour_. This mixture is then to be poured out
clean into the tun-tub, and the whole mass of the liquor is then to be
agitated well by lading up and pouring down again with your bowl-dish,
till the yeast be well mixed with the liquor. Some people do the thing in
another manner. They mix up the yeast and flour with some liquor (as just
mentioned) taken out of the coolers; and then they set the little vessel
that contains this mixture down _on the bottom of the tun-tub_; and,
leaving it there, put the liquor out of the coolers into the tun-tub.
Being placed at the bottom, and having the liquor poured on it, the
mixture is, perhaps, more perfectly effected in this way than in any way.
The _flour_ may not be necessary; but, as the country people use it, it
is, doubtless, of some use; for their hereditary experience has not been
for nothing. When your liquor is thus properly put into the tun-tub and
set a working, cover over the top of the tub by laying across it a sack or
two, or something that will answer the purpose.

49. We now come to the _last stage_; the _cask_ or _barrel_. But I must
first speak of the place for the tun-tub to stand in. The place should be
such as to avoid too much warmth or cold. The air should, if possible, be
at about 55 degrees. Any cool place in summer and any _warmish_ place in
winter. If the weather be _very cold_, some cloths or sacks should be put
round the tun-tub while the beer is working. In about six or eight hours,
a _frothy_ head will rise upon the liquor; and it will keep rising, more
or less slowly, for about forty-eight hours. But, the _length of time_
required for the working depends on various circumstances; so that no
precise time can be fixed. The best way is, to take off the froth (which
is indeed _yeast_) at the end of about twenty-four hours, with a common
skimmer, and put it into a pan or vessel of some sort; then, in twelve
hours' time, take it off again in the same way; and so on till the liquor
has _done working_, and sends up no more yeast. Then it is _beer_; and
when it is _quite cold_ (for _ale_ or _strong beer_) put it into the
_cask_ by means of a _funnel_. It must be cold before you do this, or it
will be what the country-people call _foxed_; that is to say, have a rank
and disagreeable taste. Now, as to the _cask_, it must be _sound_ and
_sweet_. I thought, when writing the former edition of this work, that the
_bell-shaped_ were the best casks. I am now convinced that that was an
error. The bell-shaped, by contracting the width of the top of the beer,
as that top descends, in consequence of the draft for use, certainly
prevents the _head_ (which always gathers on beer as soon as you begin to
draw it off) from breaking and mixing in amongst the beer. This is an
advantage in the bell-shape; but then the bell-shape, which places the
widest end of the cask uppermost, exposes the cask to the admission of
_external air_ much more than the other shape. This danger approaches from
the _ends_ of the cask; and, in the bell-shape, you have the _broadest_
end wholly exposed the moment you have drawn out the first gallon of beer,
which is not the case with the casks of the common shape. Directions are
given, in the case of the bell-casks, to put _damp sand_ on the top to
keep out the air. But, it is very difficult to make this effectual; and
yet, if you do not keep out the air, your beer will be _flat_; and when
flat, it really is good for nothing but the pigs. It is very difficult to
_fill_ the bell-cask, which you will easily see if you consider its shape.
It must be placed on the _level_ with the greatest possible _truth_, or
there will be a space left; and to place it with such truth is, perhaps,
as difficult a thing as a mason or bricklayer ever had to perform. And
yet, if this be not done, there will be an _empty space_ in the cask,
though it may, at the same time, run over. With the common casks there are
none of these difficulties. A common eye will see when it is well placed;
and, at any rate, any little vacant space that may be left is not at an
_end_ of the cask, and will, without great carelessness, be so small as to
be of no consequence. We now come to the act of putting in the beer. The
cask should be placed on a stand with legs about a foot long. The cask,
being round, must have a little wedge, or block, on each side to keep it
steady. _Bricks_ do very well. Bring your beer down into the cellar in
buckets, and pour it in through the funnel, until the cask be full. The
cask should _lean a little on one side_, when you fill it; because the
beer will _work again_ here, and send more yeast out of the bung-hole;
and, if the cask were not a little on one side, the yeast would flow over
both sides of the cask, and would not descend in _one stream_ into a pan,
put underneath to receive it. Here the bell-cask is extremely
inconvenient; for the yeast works up all _over the head_, and _cannot run
off_, and makes a very nasty affair. This _alone_, to say nothing of the
other disadvantages, would decide the question against the bell-casks.
Something will _go off in this working_, which may continue for two or
three days. When you put the beer in the cask, you should have a _gallon
or two left_, to keep filling up with as the working produces emptiness.
At last, when the working is completely over, _right_ the cask. That is to
say, block it up to its level. Put in a handful of _fresh hops_. Fill the
cask quite full. Put in the bung, with a bit of _coarse linen_ stuff round
it; hammer it down tight; and, if you like, fill a coarse bag with sand,
and lay it, well pressed down, over the bung.

50. As to the length of time that you are to keep the beer before you
begin to use it, that must, in some measure, depend on taste. _Such beer_
as this _ale_ will keep almost any length of time. As to the mode of
_tapping_, that is as easy almost as _drinking_. When the cask is _empty_,
great care must be taken to cork it _tightly up_, so that no air get in;
for, if it do, the cask is _moulded_, and when once moulded, it is
_spoiled for ever_. It is never again fit to be used about beer. Before
the cask be used again, the grounds must be poured out, and the cask
cleaned by several times scalding; by putting in _stones_ (or a _chain_,)
and rolling and shaking about till it be quite clean. Here again the round
casks have the decided advantage; it being almost impossible to make the
bell-casks thoroughly clean, without _taking the head out_, which is both
troublesome and expensive; as it cannot be well done by any one but a
_cooper_, who is not always at hand, and who, when he is, must be _paid_.

51. I have now done with the _ale_, and it remains for me to speak of the
_small beer_. In Paragraph 47 (which now see) I left you drawing off the
_ale-wort_, and with your copper full of boiling water. Thirty-six gallons
of that boiling water are, as soon as you have got your ale-wort out, and
have put down your mash-tub stick to close up the hole at the bottom; as
soon as you have done this, thirty-six gallons of the boiling water are to
go into the mashing-tub; the grains are to be well stirred up, as before;
the mashing-tub is to be covered over again, as mentioned in Paragraph 43;
and the mash is to stand in that state for _an hour_, and not two hours,
as for the ale-wort.

52. When the small beer mash has stood its hour, draw it off as in
Paragraph 47, and put it into the tun-tub as you did the ale-wort.

53. By this time your copper will be _empty_ again, by putting your
ale-liquor to cool, as mentioned in Paragraph 47. And you now put the
small beer wort _into the copper_, with the hops that you used before, and
with _half a pound of fresh hops_ added to them; and this liquor you boil
briskly for _an hour_.

54. By this time you will have taken the grains and the sediment clean out
of the mashing-tub, and taken out the bunch of birch twigs, and made all
clean. Now put in the birch twigs again, and put down your stick as
before. Lay your two or three sticks across the mashing-tub, put your
basket on them, and take your liquor from the copper (putting the fire out
first) and pour it into the mashing-tub through the basket. Take the
basket away, throw the hops to the dunghill, and leave the small beer
liquid _to cool in the mashing-tub_.

55. Here it is to remain to be _set to working_ as mentioned for the ale,
in Paragraph 48; only, in this case, you will want _more yeast in
proportion_; and should have for your thirty-six gallons of small beer,
three half pints of good yeast.

56. Proceed, as to all the rest of the business, as with the ale, only, in
the case of the small beer, it should be put into the cask, not _quite
cold_, but a _little warm_; or else it will not work at all in the barrel,
which it ought to do. It will not work so strongly or so long as the ale;
and may be put in the barrel much sooner; in general the next day after it
is brewed.

57. All the utensils should be well cleaned and put away as soon as they
are done with; the _little_ things as well as the great things; for it is
_loss of time_ to make new ones. And, now, let us see the _expense_ of
these utensils. The copper, _new_, 5_l._; the mashing-tub, _new_, 30_s._;
the tun-tub, not new, 5_s._; the underbuck and three coolers, not new,
20_s._ The whole cost is 7_l._ 10_s._ which is ten shillings less than the
_one bushel machine_. I am now in a farm-house, where the _same set_ of
utensils has been used for _forty years_; and the owner tells me, that,
with the same use, they may last for _forty years longer_. The machine
will not, I think, last _four years_, if in any thing like regular use. It
is of sheet-iron, _tinned on the inside_, and this tin _rusts_
exceedingly, and is not to be kept clean without such _rubbing_ as must
soon take off the tin. The great advantage of the machine is, that it can
be _removed_. You can brew without a _brew-house_.--You can set the boiler
up against any fire-place, or any window. You can brew under a cart-shed,
and even out of doors. But all this may be done with _these utensils_, if
your _copper_ be moveable. Make the boiler of _copper_, and not of
sheet-iron, and fix it on a stand with a fire-place and stove-pipe; and
then you have the whole to brew out of doors with as well as in-doors,
which is a very great convenience.

58. Now with regard to the _other_ scale of brewing, little need be said;
because, all the principles being the same, the utensils only are to be
proportioned to the _quantity_. If only one sort of beer be to be brewed
at a time, all the difference is, that, in order to extract the whole of
the goodness of the malt, the mashing ought to be at _twice_. The two
worts are then put together, and then you boil them together with the
hops.

59. A Correspondent at _Morpeth_ says, the whole of the utensils used by
him are a twenty-gallon _pot_, a mashing-tub, that also answers for a
tun-tub, and a shallow tub for a cooler; and that these are plenty for a
person who is any thing of a contriver. This is very true; and these
things will cost no more, perhaps, than _forty shillings_. A nine gallon
cask of beer can be brewed very well with such utensils. Indeed, it is
what used to be done by almost every labouring man in the kingdom, until
the high price of malt and comparatively low price of wages rendered the
people too poor and miserable to be able to brew at all. A Correspondent
at Bristol has obligingly sent me the model of utensils for _brewing on a
small scale_; but as they consist chiefly of _brittle ware_, I am of
opinion that they would not so well answer the purpose.

60. Indeed, as to the country labourers, all they want is the ability to
_get the malt_. Mr. ELLMAN, in his evidence before the Agricultural
Committee, said, that, when he began farming, forty-five years ago, there
was not a labourer's family in the parish that did not brew their own beer
and enjoy it by their own fire-sides; and that, _now, not one single
family did it, from want of ability to get the malt_. It is the _tax_ that
prevents their getting the malt; for, the barley is cheap enough. The tax
causes a monopoly in the hands of the maltsters, who, when the tax is
_two_ and _sixpence_, make the malt, cost 7_s._ 6_d._, though the barley
cost but 2_s._ 6_d._; and though the malt, tax and all, ought to cost him
about 5_s._ 6_d._ If the tax were taken off, this _pernicious monopoly_
would be destroyed.

61. The reader will easily see, that, in proportion to the quantity wanted
to be brewed must be the size of the utensils; but, I may observe here,
that the above utensils are sufficient for three, or even four, bushels of
malt, if stronger beer be wanted.

62. When it is necessary, in case of falling short in the quantity wanted
to fill up the ale cask, some may be taken from the small beer. But, upon
the _whole brewing_, there ought to be no falling short; because, if the
casks be not _filled up_, the beer will not be good, and certainly will
not _keep_. Great care should be taken as to the _cleansing_ of the
_casks_. They should be made perfectly _sweet_; or it is impossible to
have good beer.

63. The cellar, for beer to keep any length of time, should be cool. Under
_a hill_ is the best place for a cellar; but, at any rate, a cellar of
good depth, and _dry_. At certain times of the year, beer that is kept
long will ferment. The vent-pegs must, in such cases, be loosened a
little, and afterwards fastened.

64. Small beer may be tapped almost directly. It is a sort of joke that it
should _see a Sunday_; but, that it may do before it be two days old. In
short, any beer is better than water; but it should have some strength and
some _weeks_ of age at any rate.

65. I cannot conclude this Essay without expressing my pleasure, that a
law has been recently passed to authorize the general retail of beer. This
really seems necessary to prevent the King's subjects from being
_poisoned_. The brewers and porter quacks have carried their tricks to
such an extent, that there is _no safety_ for those who drink brewer's
beer.

66. The best and most effectual thing is, however, for people to _brew
their own beer_, to enable them and induce them to do which, I have done
all that lies in my power. A longer treatise on the subject would have
been of no use. These few plain directions will suffice for those who have
a disposition to do the thing, and those who have not would remain unmoved
by any thing that I could say.

67. There seems to be a _great number of things to do_ in brewing, but the
greater part of them require only about a _minute_ each. A brewing, such
as I have given the detail of above, may be completed in _a day_; but, by
the word _day_, I mean to include the _morning_, beginning at four
o'clock.

68. The putting of the beer into barrel is not more than an hour's work
for a servant woman, or a tradesman's or a farmer's wife. There is no
_heavy_ work, no work too heavy for a woman in any part of the business,
otherwise I would not recommend it to be performed by the women, who,
though so amiable in themselves, are never quite so amiable as when they
are _useful_; and as to beauty, though men may fall in love with girls at
_play_, there is nothing to make them stand to their love like seeing them
at _work_. In conclusion of these remarks on beer brewing, I once more
express my most anxious desire to see abolished for ever the accursed tax
on _malt_, which, I verily believe, has done more harm to the people of
England than was ever done to any people by plague, pestilence, famine,
and civil war.

69. In Paragraph 76, in Paragraph 108, and perhaps in another place or two
(of the last edition,) I spoke of the _machine_ for brewing. The work
being _stereotyped_, it would have been troublesome to alter those
paragraphs; but, of course, the public, in reading them, will bear in mind
what has been _now_ said relative to the _machine_. The inventor of that
machine deserves great praise for his efforts to promote private brewing;
and, as I said before, in certain confined situations, and where the beer
is to be merely _small beer_, and for _immediate use_, and where _time_
and _room_ are of such importance as to make the _cost_ of the machine
comparatively of trifling consideration, the machine may possibly be found
to be an useful utensil.

70. Having stated the inducements to the brewing of beer, and given the
plainest directions that I was able to give for the doing of the thing, I
shall, next, proceed to the subject of _bread_. But this subject is too
large and of too much moment to be treated with brevity, and must,
therefore, be put off till my next Number. I cannot, in the mean while,
dismiss the subject of _brewing beer_ without once more adverting to its
many advantages, as set forth in the foregoing Number of this work.

71. The following instructions for the making of _porter_, will clearly
show what sort of stuff is sold at _public-houses_ in London; and we may
pretty fairly suppose that the public-house beer in the country is not
superior to it in quality, "A quarter of malt, with these ingredients,
will make _five barrels of good porter_. Take one quarter of high-coloured
malt, eight pounds of hops, nine pounds of _treacle_, eight pounds of
_colour_, eight pounds of sliced _liquorice-root_, two drams of _salt of
tartar_, two ounces of _Spanish-liquorice_, and half an ounce of
_capsicum_." The author says, that he merely gives the ingredients, as
_used by many persons_.

72. This extract is taken from a _book on brewing_, recently published in
London. What a curious composition! What a mess of drugs! But, if the
brewers _openly avow_ this, what have we to expect from the _secret
practices_ of them, and the _retailers_ of the article! When we know, that
_beer-doctor_ and _brewers'-druggist_ are professions, practised as openly
as those of _bug-man_ and _rat-killer_, are we simple enough to suppose
that the above-named are the _only_ drugs that people swallow in those
potions, which they call _pots of beer_? Indeed, we know the contrary; for
scarcely a week passes without witnessing the detection of some greedy
wretch, who has used, in making or in _doctoring_ his beer, drugs,
forbidden by the law. And, it is not many weeks since one of these was
convicted, in the Court of Excise, for using potent and dangerous drugs,
by the means of which, and a suitable quantity of water, he made _two buts
of beer into three_. Upon this occasion, it appeared that no less than
_ninety_ of these worthies were in the habit of pursuing the same
practices. The drugs are not unpleasant to the taste; they sting the
palate: they give a present relish: they communicate a momentary
exhilaration: but, they give no force to the body, which, on the contrary,
they enfeeble, and, in many instances, with time, destroy; producing
diseases from which the drinker would otherwise have been free to the end
of his days.

73. But, look again at the receipt for making porter. Here are _eight_
bushels of malt to 180 gallons of beer; that is to say, twenty-fire
gallons from the bushel. Now the malt is eight shillings a bushel, and
eight pounds of the very _best hops_ will cost but a shilling a pound. The
malt and hops, then, for the 180 gallons, cost but _seventy-two
shillings_; that is to say, only a little more than _fourpence three
farthings a gallon_, for stuff which is now retailed for _sixteen pence a
gallon_! If this be not an abomination, I should be glad to know what is.
Even if the treacle, colour, and the drugs, be included, the cost is not
_fivepence a gallon_; and yet, not content with this enormous extortion,
there are wretches who resort to the use of other and pernicious drugs, in
order to increase their gains!

74. To provide against this dreadful evil there is, and there can be, no
_law_; for, it is _created by the law_. The _law_ it is that imposes the
enormous tax on the _malt_ and _hops_; the _law_ it is that imposes the
_license tax_, and places the power of granting the license at the
discretion of persons appointed by the government; the _law_ it is that
checks, in this way, the private brewing, and that prevents _free and fair
competition_ in the selling of beer, and as long as the _law_ does these,
it will in vain endeavour to prevent the people from being destroyed by
slow poison.

75. Innumerable are the benefits that would arise from a repeal of the
taxes on malt and on hops. Tippling-houses might then be shut up with
justice and propriety. The labourer, the artisan, the tradesman, the
landlord, all would instantly feel the benefit. But the _landlord_ more,
perhaps, in this case, than any other member of the community. The four or
five pounds a year which the day-labourer now drizzles away in tea-messes,
he would divide with the farmer, if he had untaxed beer. His wages would
_fall_, and fall to his _advantage_ too. The fall of wages would be not
less than 40_l._ upon a hundred acres. Thus 40_l._ would go, in the end, a
fourth, perhaps to the farmer, and three-fourths to the landlord. This is
the kind of work to _reduce poor-rates_, and to restore _husbandry to
prosperity_. Undertaken this work _must_ be, and _performed too_; but
whether we shall see this until the estates have passed away from the
_present race_ of landlords, is a question which must be referred to
_time_.

76. Surely we may hope, that, when the American farmers shall see this
little Essay, they will begin seriously to think of leaving off the use of
the liver-burning and palsy-producing _spirits_. Their _climate_, indeed,
is something: _extremely hot_ in one part of the year, and _extremely
cold_ in the other part of it. Nevertheless, they may have, and do have,
very good beer if they will. _Negligence_ is the greatest impediment in
their way. I like the Americans very much; and that, if there were no
other, would be a reason for my not hiding their faults.



No. III.

MAKING BREAD.


77. Little time need be spent in dwelling on the necessity of _this_
article to all families; though, on account of the modern custom of using
_potatoes_ to supply the place of _bread_, it seems necessary to say a few
words here on the subject, which, in another work I have so amply, and, I
think, so triumphantly discussed. I am the more disposed to revive the
subject for a moment, in this place, from having read, in the evidence
recently given before the Agricultural Committee, that many labourers,
especially in the West of England, use potatoes _instead_ of bread to a
very great extent. And I find, from the same evidence, that it is the
custom to allot to labourers "_a potatoe ground_" in part payment of their
wages! This has a tendency to bring English labourers down to the state of
the Irish, whose mode of living, as to food, is but one remove from that
of the pig, and of the ill-fed pig too.

78. I was, in reading the above-mentioned Evidence, glad to find, that
Mr. EDWARD WAKEFIELD, the best informed and most candid of all the
witnesses, gave it as his opinion, that the increase which had taken place
in the cultivation of potatoes was "_injurious to the country_;" an
opinion which must, I think, be adopted by every one who takes the trouble
to reflect a little upon the subject. For leaving out of the question the
slovenly and beastly habits engendered amongst the labouring classes by
constantly lifting their principal food at once out of the earth to their
mouths, by eating without the necessity of any implements other than the
hands and the teeth, and by dispensing with everything requiring skill in
the preparation of the food, and requiring cleanliness in its consumption
or preservation; leaving these out of the question, though they are all
matters of great moment, when we consider their effects in the rearing of
a family, we shall find, that, in mere quantity of food, that is to say of
_nourishment_, bread is the preferable diet.

79. An acre of land that will produce 300 bushels of potatoes, will
produce 32 bushels of wheat. I state this as an average fact, and am not
at all afraid of being contradicted by any one well acquainted with
husbandry. The potatoes are supposed to be of a _good sort_, as it is
called, and the wheat may be supposed to weigh 60 pounds a bushel. It is a
fact clearly established, that, after the _water_, the _stringy_
substance, and the _earth_, are taken from the potatoe, there remains only
one _tenth_ of the rough raw weight of nutritious matter, or matter which
is deemed equally nutritious with bread, and, as the raw potatoes weigh
56lb. a bushel, the acre will yield 1,830lb. of nutritious matter. Now
mind, a bushel of wheat, weighing 60lb. will make of _household bread_
(that is to say, taking out only the _bran_) 65lb. Thus, the acre yields
2,080lb. of bread. As to the _expenses_, the seed and act of planting are
about equal in the two cases. But, while the potatoes _must_ have
cultivation during their growth, the wheat needs none; and while the wheat
straw is worth from three to five pounds an acre, the haulm of the
potatoes is not worth one single truss of that straw. Then, as to the
expense of gathering, housing, and keeping the potatoe crop, it is
enormous, besides the risk of loss by frost, which may be safely taken, on
an average, at a tenth of the crop. Then comes the expense of _cooking_.
The thirty-two bushels of wheat, supposing a bushel to be baked at a time,
(which would be the case in a large family,) would demand _thirty-two
heatings of the oven_. Suppose a bushel of potatoes to be cooked every day
in order to supply the place of this bread, then we have _nine hundred
boilings of the pot_, unless _cold potatoes_ be eaten at some of the
meals; and, in that case, the diet must be _cheering_ indeed! Think of the
_labour_; think of the _time_; think of all the peelings and scrapings and
washings and messings attending these _nine hundred boilings of the pot_!
For it must be a considerable time before English people can be brought to
eat potatoes in the Irish style; that is to say, scratch them out of the
earth with their paws, toss them into a pot without washing, and when
boiled, turn them out upon a dirty board, and then sit round that board,
peel the skin and dirt from one at a time and eat the inside. Mr. Curwen
was delighted with "_Irish hospitality_," because the people there receive
no parish relief; upon which I can only say, that I wish him the exclusive
benefit of such hospitality.

80. I have here spoken of a large quantity of each of the sorts of food. I
will now come to a comparative view, more immediately applicable to a
labourer's family. When wheat is _ten_ shillings the bushel, potatoes,
bought at best hand, (I am speaking of the country generally,) are about
_two_ shillings (English) a bushel. Last spring the average price of wheat
might be _six and sixpence_, (English;) and the average price of potatoes
(in small quantities) was about _eighteen-pence_; though, by the
wagon-load, I saw potatoes bought at a _shilling_ (English) a bushel, to
give to sheep; then, observe, these were of the coarsest kind, and the
farmer had to fetch them at a considerable expense. I think, therefore,
that I give the advantage to the potatoes when I say that they sell, upon
an average, for full a _fifth_ part as much as the wheat sells for, per
bushel, while they contain four pounds less weight than the bushel of
wheat; while they yield only five pounds and a half of nutritious matter
equal to bread; and while the bushel of wheat will yield _sixty-five
pounds of bread_, besides the ten pounds of bran. Hence it is clear, that,
instead of that _saving_, which is everlastingly dinned in our ears, from
the use of potatoes, there is a _waste of more than one half_; seeing
that, when wheat is _ten shillings_ (English) the bushel, you can have
_sixty-five pounds of bread for the ten shillings_; and can have out of
potatoes only five pounds and a half of nutritious matter equal to bread
for _two shillings_! (English.) This being the case, I trust that we shall
soon hear no more of those _savings_ which the labourer makes by the use
of potatoes; I hope we shall, in the words of Dr. DRENNAN, "leave Ireland
to her _lazy_ root," if she choose still to adhere to it. It is the root,
also, of slovenliness, filth, misery, and slavery; its cultivation has
increased in England with the increase of the paupers: both, I thank God,
are upon the decline. Englishmen seem to be upon the return to beer and
bread, from water and potatoes: and, therefore, I shall now proceed to
offer some observations to the cottager, calculated to induce him to bake
his own bread.

81. As I have before stated, sixty pounds of wheat, that is to say, where
the Winchester bushel weighs sixty pounds, will make sixty-five pounds of
bread, besides the leaving of about ten pounds of bran. This is household
bread, made of flour from which the bran only is taken. If you make fine
flour, you take out pollard, as they call it, as well as bran, and then
you have a smaller quantity of bread and a greater quantity of offal; but,
even of this finer bread, bread equal in fineness to the baker's bread,
you get from _fifty-eight to fifty-nine_ pounds out of the bushel of
wheat. Now, then, let us see how many quartern loaves you get out of the
bushel of wheat, supposing it to be fine flour, in the first place. You
get thirteen quartern loaves and a half; these cost you, at the present
average price of wheat (seven and sixpence a bushel,) in the first place
7_s_. 6_d._;[5] then 3_d._ for yeast; then not more than 3_d._ for
grinding; because you have about thirteen pounds of offal, which is worth
more than a 1/2_d._ a pound, while the grinding is 9_d._ a bushel. Thus,
then, the bushel of bread of fifty-nine pounds costs you _eight
shillings_; and it yields you the weight of thirteen and a half quartern
loaves: these quartern loaves _now_ (Dec. 1821) sell at Kensington, at the
baker's shop, at 1_s._ 1/2_d._; that is to say, the thirteen quartern
loaves and a half cost 14_s._ 7-1/2_d._ I omitted to mention the salt,
which would cost you 4_d._ more. So that, here is 6_s._ 3-1/2_d._ saved
upon the baking of a bushel of bread. The baker's quartern loaf is indeed
cheaper in the country than at Kensington, by, probably, a penny in the
loaf; which would still, however, leave a saving of 5_s._ upon the bushel
of bread. But, besides this, pray think a little of the materials of which
the baker's loaf is composed. The _alum_, the _ground potatoes_, and other
materials; it being a notorious fact, that the bakers, in London at least,
have _mills_ wherein to grind their potatoes; so large is the scale upon
which they use that material. It is probable, that, out of a bushel of
wheat, they make between _sixty_ and _seventy_ pounds of bread, though
they have no more _flour_, and, of course, no more nutritious matter, than
you have in your fifty-nine pounds of bread. But, at the least, supposing
their bread to be as good as yours in quality, you have, allowing a
shilling for the heating of the oven, a clear 4_s._ saved upon every
bushel of bread. If you consume half a bushel a week, that is to say about
a quartern loaf a day, this is a saving of 5_l._ 4_s._ a year, or full a
sixth part, if not a fifth part, of the earnings of a labourer in
husbandry.

82. How wasteful, then, and, indeed, how shameful, for a labourer's wife
to go to the baker's shop; and how negligent, how criminally careless of
the welfare of his family, must the labourer be, who permits so scandalous
a use of the proceeds of his labour! But I have hitherto taken a view of
the matter the least possibly advantageous to the home-baked bread. For,
ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the fuel for heating the oven costs
very little. The hedgers, the copsers, the woodmen of all descriptions,
have fuel for little or nothing. At any rate, to heat the oven cannot,
upon an average, take the country through, cost the labourer more than
6_d._ a bushel. Then, again, fine flour need not ever be used, and ought
not to be used. This adds six pounds of bread to the bushel, or nearly
another quartern loaf and a half, making nearly fifteen quartern loaves
out of the bushel of wheat. The finest flour is by no means the most
wholesome; and, at any rate, there is more nutritious matter in a pound of
household bread than in a pound of baker's bread. Besides this, rye, and
even barley, especially when mixed with wheat, make very good bread. Few
people upon the face of the earth live better than the Long Islanders. Yet
nine families out of ten seldom eat wheaten-bread. Rye is the flour that
they principally make use of. Now, rye is seldom more than two-thirds the
price of wheat, and barley is seldom more than half the price of wheat.
Half rye and half wheat, taking out a little more of the offal, make very
good bread. Half wheat, a quarter rye and a quarter barley, nay, one-third
of each, make bread that I could be very well content to live upon all my
lifetime; and, even barley alone, if the barley be good, and none but the
finest flour taken out of it, has in it, measure for measure, ten times
the nutrition of potatoes. Indeed the fact is well known, that our
forefathers used barley bread to a very great extent. Its only fault, with
those who dislike it, is its sweetness, a fault which we certainly have
not to find with the baker's loaf, which has in it little more of the
_sweetness_ of grain than is to be found in the offal which comes from
the sawings of deal boards. The nutritious nature of barley is amply
proved by the effect, and very rapid effect, of its meal, in the fatting
of hogs and of poultry of all descriptions. They will fatten quicker upon
meal of barley than upon any other thing. The flesh, too, is sweeter than
that proceeding from any other food, with the exception of that which
proceeds from _buck wheat_, a grain little used in England. That
proceeding from Indian corn is, indeed, still sweeter and finer; but this
is wholly out of the question with us.

83. I am, by-and-by, to speak of the _cow_ to be kept by the labourer in
husbandry. Then there will be _milk_ to wet the bread with, an exceedingly
great improvement in its taste as well as in its quality! This, of all the
ways of using skim milk, is the most advantageous: and this great
advantage must be wholly thrown away, if the bread of the family be bought
at the shop. With milk, bread with very little wheat in it may be made far
better than baker's bread; and, leaving the milk out of the question,
taking a third of each sort of grain, you would get bread weighing as much
as fourteen quartern loaves, for about 5_s._ 9_d._ at present prices of
grain; that is to say, you would get it for about 5_d._ the quartern loaf,
all expenses included; thus you have nine pounds and ten ounces of bread a
day for about 5_s._ 9_d._ a week. Here is enough for a very large family.
Very few labourers' families can want so much as this, unless indeed there
be several persons in it capable of earning something by their daily
labour. Here is cut and come again. Here is bread always for the table.
Bread to carry a field; always a hunch of bread ready to put into the hand
of a hungry child. We hear a great deal about "_children crying for
bread_," and objects of compassion they and their parents are, when the
latter have not the means of obtaining a sufficiency of bread. But I
should be glad to be informed, how it is possible for a labouring man, who
earns, upon an average, 10_s._ a week, who has not more than four
children (and if he have more, some ought to be doing something;) who has
a garden of a quarter of an acre of land (for that makes part of my plan;)
who has a wife as industrious as she ought to be; who does not waste his
earnings at the ale-house or the tea shop: I should be glad to know how
such a man, while wheat shall be at the price of about 6_s._ a bushel,
_can possibly have children crying for bread_!

84. Cry, indeed, they must, if he will persist in giving 13_s._ for a
bushel of bread instead of 5_s._ 9_d._ Such a man is not to say that the
bread which I have described is _not good enough_. It was good enough for
his forefathers, who were too proud to be paupers, that is to say, abject
and willing slaves. "Hogs eat barley." And hogs will eat wheat, too, when
they can get at it. Convicts in condemned cells eat wheaten bread; but we
think it no degradation to eat wheaten bread, too. I am for depriving the
labourer of none of his rights; I would have him oppressed in no manner or
shape; I would have him bold and free; but to have him such, he must have
bread in his house, sufficient for all his family, and whether that bread
be fine or coarse must depend upon the different circumstances which
present themselves in the cases of different individuals.

85. The married man has no right to expect the same plenty of food and of
raiment that the single man has. The time before marriage is the time to
lay by, or, if the party choose, to indulge himself in the absence of
labour. To marry is a voluntary act, and it is attended in the result with
great pleasures and advantages. If, therefore, the laws be fair and equal;
if the state of things be such that a labouring man can, with the usual
ability of labourers, and with constant industry, care and sobriety; with
decency of deportment towards all his neighbours, cheerful obedience to
his employer, and a due subordination to the laws; if the state of things
be such, that such a man's earnings be sufficient to maintain himself and
family with food, raiment, and lodging needful for them; such a man has
no reason to complain; and no labouring man has reason to complain, if the
numerousness of his family should call upon him for extraordinary
exertion, or for frugality uncommonly rigid. The man with a large family
has, if it be not in a great measure his own fault, a greater number of
pleasures and of blessings than other men. If he be wise, and _just_ as
well as wise, he will see that it is reasonable for him to expect less
delicate fare than his neighbours, who have a less number of children, or
no children at all. He will see the justice as well as the necessity of
his resorting to the use of coarser bread, and thus endeavour to make up
that, or at least a part of that, which he loses in comparison with his
neighbours. The quality of the bread ought, in every case, to be
proportioned to the number of the family and the means of the head of that
family. Here is no injury to health proposed; but, on the contrary, the
best security for its preservation. Without bread, all is misery. The
Scripture truly calls it the staff of life; and it may be called, too, the
pledge of peace and happiness in the labourer's dwelling.

86. As to the act of making bread, it would be shocking indeed if that had
to be taught by the means of books. Every woman, high or low, ought to
know how to make bread. If she do not, she is unworthy of trust and
confidence; and, indeed, a mere burden upon the community. Yet, it is but
too true, that many women, even amongst those who have to get their living
by their labour, know nothing of the making of bread; and seem to
understand little more about it than the part which belongs to its
consumption. A Frenchman, a Mr. CUSAR, who had been born in the West
Indies, told me, that till he came to Long Island, he never knew _how the
flour came_: that he was surprised when he learnt that it was squeezed out
of little grains that grew at the tops of straw; for that he had always
had an idea that it was got out of some large substances, like the yams
that grow in tropical climates. He was a very sincere and good man, and I
am sure he told me truth. And this may be the more readily believed, when
we see so many women in England, who seem to know no more of the
constituent parts of a loaf than they know of those of the moon. Servant
women in abundance appear to think that loaves are made by the baker, as
knights are made by the king; things of their pure creation, a creation,
too, in which no one else can participate. Now, is not this an enormous
evil? And whence does it come? Servant women are the children of the
labouring classes; and they would all know how to make bread, and know
well how to make it too, if they had been fed on bread of their mother's
and their own making.

87. How serious a matter, then, is this, even in this point of view! A
servant that cannot make bread is not entitled to the same wages as one
that can. If she can neither bake nor brew; if she be ignorant of the
nature of flour, yeast, malt, and hops, what is she good for? If she
understand these matters well; if she be able to supply her employer with
bread and with beer, she is really _valuable_; she is entitled to good
wages, and to consideration and respect into the bargain; but if she be
wholly deficient in these particulars, and can merely dawdle about with a
bucket and a broom, she can be of very little consequence; to lose her, is
merely to lose a consumer of food, and she can expect very little indeed
in the way of desire to make her life easy and pleasant. Why should any
one have such desire? She is not a child of the family. She is not a
relation. Any one as well as she can take in a loaf from the baker, or a
barrel of beer from the brewer. She has nothing whereby to bind her
employer to her. To sweep a room any thing is capable of that has got two
hands. In short, she has no useful skill, no useful ability; she is an
ordinary drudge, and she is treated accordingly.

88. But, if such be her state in the house of an employer, what is her
state in the house of a _husband_? The lover is blind; but the husband has
eyes to see with. He soon discovers that there is something wanted
besides dimples and cherry cheeks; and I would have fathers seriously
reflect, and to be well assured, that the way to make their daughters to
be long admired, beloved and respected by their husbands, is to make them
skilful, able and active in the most necessary concerns of a family.
Eating and drinking come three times every day; the preparations for
these, and all the ministry necessary to them, belong to the wife; and I
hold it to be impossible, that at the end of two years, a really ignorant,
sluttish wife should possess any thing worthy of the name of love from her
husband. This, therefore, is a matter of far greater moment to the father
of a family, than, whether the Parson of the parish, or the Methodist
Priest, be the most "_Evangelical_" of the two; for it is here a question
of the daughter's happiness or misery for life. And I have no hesitation
to say, that if I were a labouring man, I should prefer teaching my
daughters to bake, brew, milk, make butter and cheese, to teaching them to
read the Bible till they had got every word of it by heart; and I should
think, too, nay I should know, that I was in the former case doing my duty
towards God as well as towards my children.

89. When we see a family of dirty, ragged little creatures, let us inquire
into the cause; and ninety-nine times out of every hundred we shall find
that the parents themselves have been brought up in the same way. But a
consideration which ought of itself to be sufficient, is the contempt in
which a husband will naturally hold a wife that is ignorant of the matters
necessary to the conducting of a family. A woman who understands all the
things above mentioned, is really a skilful person; a person worthy of
respect, and that will be treated with respect too, by all but brutish
employers or brutish husbands; and such, though sometimes, are not very
frequently found. Besides, if natural justice and our own interest had not
the weight which they have, such valuable persons will be treated with
respect. They know their own worth; and, accordingly, they are more
careful of their character, more careful not to lessen by misconduct the
value which they possess from their skill and ability.

90. Thus, then, the interest of the labourer; his health; the health of
his family; the peace and happiness of his home; the prospects of his
children through life; their skill, their ability, their habits of
cleanliness, and even their moral deportment; all combine to press upon
him the adoption and the constant practice of this branch of domestic
economy. "Can she _bake_?" is the question that I always put. If she can,
she is _worth a pound or two a year more_. Is that nothing? Is it nothing
for a labouring man to make his four or five daughters worth eight or ten
pounds a year more; and that too while he is by the same means providing
the more plentifully for himself and the rest of his family? The reasons
on the side of the thing that I contend for are endless; but if this one
motive be not sufficient, I am sure, all that I have said, and all that I
could say, must be wholly unavailing.

91. Before, however, I dismiss this subject, let me say a word or two to
those persons who do not come under the denomination of labourers. In
London, or in any very large town where the space is so confined, and
where the proper fuel is not handily to be come at and stored for use, to
bake your own bread may be attended with too much difficulty; but in all
other situations there appears to me to be hardly any excuse for not
baking bread at home. If the family consist of twelve or fourteen persons,
the money actually saved in this way (even at present prices) would be
little short of from twenty to thirty pounds a year. At the utmost here is
only the time of one woman occupied one day in the week. Now mind, here
are twenty-five pounds to be employed in some way different from that of
giving it to the baker. If you add five of these pounds to a woman's
wages, is not that full as well employed as giving it in wages to the
baker's men? Is it not better employed for you? and is it not better
employed for the community? It is very certain, that if the practice were
as prevalent as I could wish, there would be a large deduction from the
regular baking population; but would there be any harm if less alum were
imported into England, and if some of those youths were left at the
plough, who are now bound in apprenticeships to learn the art and mystery
of doing that which every girl in the kingdom ought to be taught to do by
her mother? It ought to be a maxim with every master and every mistress,
never to employ another to do that which can be done as well by their own
servants. The more of their money that is retained in the hands of their
own people, the better it is for them altogether. Besides, a man of a
right mind must be pleased with the reflection, that there is a great mass
of skill and ability under his own roof. He feels stronger and more
independent on this account, all pecuniary advantage out of the question.
It is impossible to conceive any thing more contemptible than a crowd of
men and women living together in a house, and constantly looking out of it
for people to bring them food and drink, and to fetch their garments to
and fro. Such a crowd resemble a nest of unfledged birds, absolutely
dependent for their very existence on the activity and success of the old
ones.

92. Yet, on men go, from year to year, in this state of wretched
dependence, even when they have all the means of living within themselves,
which is certainly the happiest state of life that any one can enjoy. It
may be asked, Where is the mill to be found? where is the wheat to be got?
The answer is, Where is there not a mill? where is there not a market?
They are every where, and the difficulty is to discover what can be the
particular attractions contained in that long and luminous manuscript, a
baker's half-yearly bill.

93. With regard to the mill, in speaking of families of any considerable
number of persons, the mill has, with me, been more than once a subject of
observation in print. I for a good while experienced the great
inconvenience and expense of sending my wheat and other grain to be ground
at a mill. This expense, in case of a considerable family, living at only
a mile from a mill, is something; but the inconveniency and uncertainty
are great. In my "Year's Residence in America," from Paragraphs 1031 and
onwards, I give an account of a horse-mill which I had in my farm yard;
and I showed, I think very clearly, that corn could be ground cheaper in
this way than by wind or water, and that it would answer well to grind for
sale in this way as well as for home use. Since my return to England I
have seen a mill, erected in consequence of what the owner had read in my
book. This mill belongs to a small farmer, who, when he cannot work on his
land with his horses, or in the season when he has little for them to do,
grinds wheat, sells the flour; and he takes in grists to grind, as other
millers do. This mill goes with three small horses; but what I would
recommend to gentlemen with considerable families, or to farmers, is a
mill such as I myself have at present.

94. With this mill, turned by a man and a stout boy, I can grind six
bushels of wheat in a day and dress the flour. The grinding of six bushels
of wheat at ninepence a bushel comes to four and sixpence, which pays the
man and the boy, supposing them (which is not and seldom can be the case)
to be hired for the express purpose out of the street. With the same mill
you grind meat for your pigs; and of this you will get eight or ten
bushels ground in a day. You have no trouble about sending to the mill;
you are sure to have your _own wheat_; for strange as it may seem, I used
sometimes to find that I sent white Essex wheat to the mill, and that it
brought me flour from very coarse red wheat. There is no accounting for
this, except by supposing that wind and water power has something in it to
change the very nature of the grain; as, when I came to grind by horses,
such as the wheat went into the hopper, so the flour came out into the
bin.

95. But mine now is only on the petty scale of providing for a dozen of
persons and a small lot of pigs. For a farm-house, or a gentleman's house
in the country, where there would be _room_ to have a walk for a horse,
you might take the labour from the men, clap any little horse, pony, or
even ass to the wheel; and he would grind you off eight or ten bushels of
wheat in a day, and both he and you would have the thanks of your men into
the bargain.

96. The cost of this mill is twenty pounds. The dresser is four more; the
horse-path and wheel might, possibly, be four or five more; and, I am very
certain, that to any farmer living at a mile from a mill, (and that is
less than the average distance perhaps;) having twelve persons in family,
having forty pigs to feed, and twenty hogs to fatten, the savings of such
a mill would pay the whole expenses of it the very first year. Such a
farmer cannot send less than _fifty times_ a year to the mill. Think of
that, in the first place! The elements are not always propitious:
sometimes the water fails, and sometimes the wind. Many a farmer's wife
has been tempted to vent her spleen on both. At best, there must be horse
and man, or boy, and, perhaps, cart, to go to the mill; and that, too,
observe, in all weathers, and in the harvest as well as at other times of
the year. The case is one of imperious necessity: neither floods nor
droughts, nor storms nor calms, will allay the cravings of the kitchen,
nor quiet the clamorous uproar of the stye. Go, somebody must, to some
place or other, and back they must come with flour and with meal. One
summer many persons came down the country more than fifty miles to a mill
that I knew in Pennsylvania; and I have known farmers in England carry
their grists more than fifteen miles to be ground. It is surprising, that,
under these circumstances, hand-mills and horse-mills should not, long
ago, have become of more general use; especially when one considers that
the labour, in this case, would cost the farmer next to nothing. To grind
would be the work of a wet day. There is no farmer who does not at least
fifty days in every year exclaim, when he gets up in the morning, "What
shall I set _them_ at to-day?" If he had a mill, he would make them pull
off their shoes, sweep all out clean, winnow up some corn, if he had it
not already done, and grind and dress, and have every thing in order. No
scolding within doors about the grist; no squeaking in the stye; no boy
sent off in the rain to the mill.

97. But there is one advantage which I have not yet mentioned; and which
is the greatest of all; namely, that you would have the power of supplying
your married labourers; your blacksmith's men sometimes; your
wheelwright's men at other times; and, indeed, the greater part of the
persons that you employed, with good flour, instead of their going to
purchase their flour, after it had passed through the hands of a Corn
Merchant, a Miller, a Flour Merchant, and a Huckster, every one of whom
does and must have a profit out of the flour, arising from wheat grown
upon, and sent away from, your very farm! I used to let all my people have
flour at the same price that they would otherwise have been compelled to
give for worse flour. _Every Farmer_ will understand me when I say, that
he ought to pay for nothing in _money_, which he can pay for in any thing
but money. His maxim is to keep the money that he takes as long as he can.
Now here is a most effectual way of putting that maxim in practice to a
very great extent. Farmers know well that it is the Saturday night which
empties their pockets; and here is the means of cutting off a good half of
the Saturday night. The men have better flour for the same money, and
still the farmer keeps at home those profits which would go to the
maintaining of the dealers in wheat and in flour.

98. The maker of my little mill is Mr. HILL, of Oxford-street. The expense
is what I have stated it to be. I, with my small establishment, find the
thing convenient and advantageous; what then must it be to a gentleman in
the country who has room and horses, and a considerable family to provide
for? The dresser is so contrived as to give you at once, meal, of four
degrees of fineness; so that, for certain purposes, you may take the very
finest; and, indeed, you may have your flour, and your bread of course, of
what degree of fineness you please. But there is also a _steel mill_, much
less _expensive_, requiring _less labour_, and yet quite sufficient for a
_family_. Mills of this sort, very good, and at a reasonable price, are to
be had of Mr. PARKES, in _Fenchurch-street_, London. These are very
complete things of their kind. Mr. PARKES has, also, excellent Malt-Mills.

99. In concluding this part of my Treatise, I cannot help expressing my
hope of being instrumental in inducing a part of the labourers, at any
rate, to bake their own bread; and, above all things, to abandon the use
of "Ireland's _lazy_ root." Nevertheless, so extensive is the erroneous
opinion relative to this villanous root, that I really began to despair of
checking its cultivation and use, till I saw the declaration which Mr.
WAKEFIELD had the good sense and the spirit to make before the
"AGRICULTURAL COMMITTEE." Be it observed, too, that Mr. WAKEFIELD had
himself made a survey of the state of Ireland. What he saw there did not
encourage him, doubtless, to be an advocate for the growing of this root
of wretchedness. It is an undeniable fact, that, in the proportion that
this root is in use, as a _substitute for bread_, the people are wretched;
the reasons for which I have explained and enforced a hundred times over.
Mr. WILLIAM HANNING told the Committee that the labourers in his part of
Somersetshire were "almost wholly supplied with potatoes, _breakfast_ and
_dinner_, brought them _in the fields_, and nothing but potatoes; and that
they used, in better times, to get a certain portion of bacon and cheese,
which, on account of their "poverty, they do not eat now." It is
impossible that men can be _contented_ in such a state of things: it is
unjust to desire them to be contented: it is a state of misery and
degradation to which no part of any community can have any show of right
to reduce another part: men so degraded have no protection; and it is a
disgrace to form part of a community to which they belong. This
degradation has been occasioned by a silent change in the value of the
money of the country. This has purloined the wages of the labourer; it has
reduced him by degrees to housel with the spider and the bat, and to feed
with the pig. It has changed the habits, and, in a great measure, the
character of the people. The sins of this system are enormous and
undescribable; but, thank God! they seem to be approaching to their end!
Money is resuming its value, labour is recovering its price: let us hope
that the wretched potatoe is disappearing, and that we shall, once more,
see the knife in the labourer's hand and the loaf upon his board.

[This was written in 1821. _Now_ (1823) we have had the experience of
1822, when, for the first time, the world saw a considerable part of a
people, plunged into all the horrors of _famine_, at a moment when the
government of that nation declared _food to be abundant_! Yes, the year
1822 saw Ireland in this state; saw the people of whole parishes receiving
the _extreme unction_ preparatory to yielding up their breath for want of
food; and this while large exports of meat and flour were taking place in
that country! But horrible as this was, disgraceful as it was to the name
of Ireland, it was attended with this good effect: it brought out, from
many members of Parliament (in their places,) and from the public in
general, the acknowledgment, that the _misery_ and _degradation_ of the
Irish were chiefly owing to the _use of the potatoe as the almost sole
food of the people_.]

100. In my next number I shall treat of the _keeping of cows_. I have said
that I will teach the cottager how to keep a cow all the year round upon
the produce of a quarter of an acre, or, in other words, _forty rods_, of
land; and, in my next, I will make good my promise.



No. IV

MAKING BREAD--(CONTINUED.)


101. In the last number, at Paragraph 86, I observed that I hoped it was
unnecessary for me to give any directions as to the mere _act_ of making
bread. But several correspondents inform me that, without these
directions, a conviction of the utility of baking bread at home is of _no
use to them_. Therefore, I shall here give those directions, receiving my
instructions here from one, who, I thank God, does know how to perform
this act.

102. Suppose the quantity be a bushel of flour. Put this flour into a
_trough_ that people have for the purpose, or it may be in a clean smooth
tub of any shape, if not too deep, and if sufficiently large. Make a
pretty deep hole in the middle of this heap of flour. Take (for a bushel)
a pint of good fresh yeast, mix it and stir it well up in a pint of _soft_
water milk-warm. Pour this into the hole in the heap of flour. Then take a
spoon and work it round the outside of this body of moisture so as to
bring into that body, by degrees, flour enough to make it form a _thin
batter_, which you must stir about well for a minute or two. Then take a
handful of flour and scatter it thinly over the head of this batter, so as
to _hide_ it. Then cover the whole over with a cloth to keep it _warm_;
and this covering, as well as the situation of the trough, as to distance
from the fire, must depend on the nature of the place and state of the
weather as to heat and cold. When you perceive that the batter has risen
enough to make _cracks_ in the flour that you covered it over with, you
begin to form the whole mass into _dough_, thus: you begin round the hole
containing the batter, working the flour into the batter, and pouring in,
as it is wanted to make the flour mix with the batter, soft water
milk-warm, or milk, as hereafter to be mentioned. Before you begin this,
you scatter the _salt_ over the heap at the rate of _half a pound_ to a
bushel of flour. When you have got the whole _sufficiently moist_, you
_knead it well_. This is a grand part of the business; for, unless the
dough be _well worked_, there will be _little round lumps of flour in the
loaves_; and, besides, the original batter, which is to give fermentation
to the whole, will not be duly mixed. The dough must, therefore, be well
worked. The _fists_ must go heartily into it. It must be rolled over;
pressed out; folded up and pressed out again, until it be completely
mixed, and formed into a _stiff_ and _tough dough_. This is _labour_,
mind. I have never quite liked baker's bread since I saw a great heavy
fellow, in a bakehouse in France, kneading bread with his _naked feet_!
His feet looked very _white_, to be sure: whether they were of that colour
_before he got into the trough_ I could not tell. God forbid, that I
should suspect that this is ever done _in England_! It is _labour_; but,
what is _exercise_ other than labour? Let a young woman bake a bushel once
a week, and she will do very well without phials and gallipots.

103. Thus, then, the dough is made. And, when made, it is to be formed
into a lump in the middle of the trough, and, with a little dry flour
thinly scattered over it, covered over again to be kept warm and to
ferment; and in this state, if all be done rightly, it will not have to
remain more than about 15 or 20 minutes.

104. In the mean while _the oven is to be heated_; and this is much more
than half the art of the operation. When an oven is properly heated, can
be known only by _actual observation_. Women who understand the matter,
know when the heat is right the moment they put their faces within a yard
of the oven-mouth; and once or twice observing is enough for any person of
common capacity. But this much may be said in the way of _rule_: that the
fuel (I am supposing a brick oven) should be _dry_ (not _rotten_) wood,
and not mere _brush-wood_, but rather _fagot-sticks_. If larger wood, it
ought to be split up into sticks not more than two, or two and a half
inches through. Bush-wood that is _strong_, not green and not too old, if
it be hard in its nature and has some _sticks_ in it, may do. The _woody_
parts of furze, or ling, will heat an oven very well. But the thing is, to
have a _lively_ and yet _somewhat strong_ fire; so that the oven may be
heated in about 15 minutes, and retain its heat sufficiently long.

105. The oven should be hot by the time that the dough, as mentioned in
Paragraph 103, has remained in the lump about 20 minutes. When both are
ready, take out the fire, and wipe the oven out clean, and, at nearly
about the same moment, take the dough out upon the lid of the baking
trough, or some proper place, cut it up into pieces, and make it up into
loaves, kneading it again into these separate parcels; and, as you go on,
shaking a little flour over your board, to prevent the dough from adhering
to it. The loaves should be put into the oven as _quickly_ as possible
after they are formed; when in, the oven-lid, or door, should be fastened
up _very closely_; and, if all be properly managed, loaves of about the
size of quartern loaves will be sufficiently baked in about _two hours_.
But they usually take down the _lid_, and _look_ at the bread, in order to
see how it is going on.

106. And what is there worthy of the name of _plague_, or _trouble_, in
all this? Here is no dirt, no filth, no rubbish, no _litter_, no _slop_.
And, pray, what can be pleasanter to _behold_? Talk, indeed, of your
pantomimes and gaudy shows; your processions and installations and
coronations! Give me, for a beautiful sight, a neat and smart woman,
heating her oven and setting in her bread! And, if the bustle does make
the sign of labour glisten on her brow, where is the man that would not
kiss that off, rather than lick the plaster from the cheek of a duchess.

107. And what is the _result_? Why, good, wholesome food, sufficient for a
considerable family for a week, prepared in three or four hours. To get
this quantity of food, fit to be _eaten_, in the shape of potatoes, _how
many fires_! what a washing, what a boiling, what a peeling, what a
slopping, and what a messing! The cottage everlastingly in a litter; the
woman's hands everlastingly wet and dirty; the children grimed up to the
eyes with dust fixed on by potato-starch; and ragged as colts, the poor
mother's time all being devoted to the everlasting boilings of the pot!
Can any man, who knows any thing of the labourer's life, deny this? And
will, then, any body, except the old shuffle-breeches band of the
Quarterly Review, who have all their lives been moving from garret to
garret, who have seldom seen the sun, and never the dew except in print;
will any body except these men say, that the people ought to be taught to
use potatoes as a _substitute for bread_?


BREWING BEER.

108. This matter has been fully treated of in the two last numbers. But
several correspondents wishing to fall upon some means of rendering the
practice beneficial to those who are _unable to purchase_ brewing
utensils, have recommended the _lending_ of them, or letting out, round a
neighbourhood. Another correspondent has, therefore, pointed out to me _an
Act of Parliament_ which touches upon this subject; and, indeed, what of
Excise Laws and Custom Laws and Combination Laws and Libel Laws, a human
being in this country scarcely knows what he dares do or what he dares
say. What father, for instance, would have imagined, that, having brewing
utensils, which two men carry from house to house as easily as they can a
basket, _he dared not lend them to his son, living in the next street, or
at the next door_? Yet such really is the law; for, according to the Act
5th of the 22 and 23 of that honest and sincere gentleman Charles II.,
there is a penalty of 50_l._ for lending or letting brewing utensils.
However, it has this limit; that the penalty is confined to _Cities_,
_Corporate Towns_, and _Market Towns_, WHERE THERE IS A PUBLIC BREWHOUSE.
So that, in the first place, you may let, or lend, in _any_ place where
there is _no public brewhouse_; and in all towns not _corporate or
market_, and in all villages, hamlets, and scattered places.

109. Another thing is, can a man who has brewed beer at his own house in
the country, bring that beer into town to his own house, and for the use
of his family there? This has been asked of me. I cannot give a positive
answer without reading about _seven large volumes in quarto of taxing
laws_. The best way would be to _try it_; and, if any penalty, pay it by
_subscription_, if that would not come under the law of _conspiracy_!
However, I _think_, there can be no danger here. So monstrous a thing as
this can, surely, not exist. If there be such a law, it is daily violated;
for nothing is more common than for country gentlemen, who have a dislike
to die by poison, bringing their home-brewed beer to London.

110. Another correspondent recommends _parishes to make their own malt_.
But, surely, the landlords mean to get rid of the _malt and salt tax_!
Many dairies, I dare say, pay 50_l._ a year each in salt tax. How, then,
are they to contend against Irish butter and Dutch butter and cheese? And
as to the malt tax, it is a dreadful drain from the land. I have heard of
labourers, living "in _unkent places_," making their _own malt_, even now!
Nothing is so easy as to make your own malt, if you were permitted. You
soak the barley about three days (according to the state of the weather.)
and then you put it upon stones or bricks _and keep it turned_, till the
root _shoots out_; and then to know when to _stop_, and to put it to dry,
take up a corn (which you will find nearly transparent) and look through
the skin of it. You will see the _spear_, that is to say, the shoot that
would come out of the ground, pushing on towards the _point_ of the
barley-corn. It starts from the bottom, where the root comes out; and it
goes on towards the other end; and would, if _kept moist_, come out at
that other end when the root was about an inch long. So that, when you
have got the _root to start_, by soaking and turning in heap, the spear is
_on its way_. If you look in through the skin, you will see it; and now
observe; when the _point of the spear_ has got along as far as the
_middle of the barley-corn_, you should take your barley and _dry it_. How
easy would every family, and especially every farmer, do this, if it were
not for the punishment attached to it! The persons in the "unkent places"
before mentioned, dry the malt in their _oven_! But let us hope that the
labourer will soon be able to get malt without exposing himself to
punishment as a _violater of the law_.


KEEPING COWS.

111. As to the _use_ of _milk_ and of that which proceeds from milk, in a
family, very little need be said. At a certain age bread and milk are
_all_ that a child wants. At a later age they furnish one meal a day for
children. Milk is, at all seasons, good to _drink_. In the making of
puddings, and in the making of _bread_ too, how useful is it! Let any one
who has eaten none but baker's bread for a good while, taste bread
home-baked, mixed with milk instead of with water; and he will find what
the difference is. There is this only to be observed, that in _hot
weather_, bread mixed with milk will not _keep so long_ as that mixed with
water. It will of course turn _sour_ sooner.

112. Whether the milk of a cow be to be consumed by a cottage family in
the shape of milk, or whether it be to be made to yield butter, skim-milk,
and buttermilk, must depend on circumstances. A woman that has no child,
or only one, would, perhaps, find it best to make _some butter_ at any
rate. Besides, skim-milk and bread (the milk being boiled) is quite strong
food enough for any children's breakfast, even when they begin to go to
work; a fact which I state upon the most ample and satisfactory
experience, very seldom having ever had any other sort of breakfast myself
till I was more than ten years old, and I was in the fields at work full
four years before that. I will here mention that it gave me singular
pleasure to see a boy, just turned of _six_, helping his father to _reap_,
in Sussex, this last summer. He did little, to be sure; but it was
_something_. His father set him into the ridge at a great distance before
him; and when he came up to the place, he found a _sheaf_ cut; and, those
who know what it is to reap, know how pleasant it is to find now and then
a sheaf cut ready to their hand. It was no small thing to see a boy fit to
be trusted with so dangerous a thing as a reap-hook in his hands, at an
age when "young masters" have nursery-maids to cut their victuals for
them, and to see that they do not fall out of the window, tumble down
stairs, or run under carriage-wheels or horses' bellies. Was not this
father discharging his duty by this boy much better than he would have
been by sending him to a place called a _school_? The boy is in a school
here; and an excellent school too: the school of useful labour. I must
hear a great deal more than I ever have heard, to convince me, that
teaching children to _read_ tends so much to their happiness, their
independence of spirit, their manliness of character, as teaching them to
_reap_. The creature that is in _want_ must be a _slave_; and to be
habituated _to labour cheerfully_ is the only means of preventing
nineteen-twentieths of mankind from being in want. I have digressed here;
but observations of this sort can, in my opinion, never be too often
repeated; especially at a time when all sorts of mad projects are on foot,
for what is falsely called _educating_ the people, and when some would do
this by a _tax_ that would compel the single man to give part of his
earnings to teach the married man's children to read and write.

113. Before I quit the _uses_ to which milk may be put, let me mention,
that, as mere _drink_, it is, unless perhaps in case of heavy labour,
better, in my opinion, than any beer, however good. I have drinked little
else for the last five years, at any time of the day. Skim-milk I mean. If
you have not milk enough to wet up your bread with (for a bushel of flour
requires about 16 to 18 pints,) you make up the quantity with water, of
course; or, which is a very good way, with water that has been put,
boiling hot, upon _bran_, and then drained off. This takes the goodness
out of the bran to be sure; but _really good bread_ is a thing of so much
importance, that it always ought to be the very first object in domestic
economy.

114. The cases vary so much, that it is impossible to lay down rules for
the application of the produce of a cow, which rules shall fit all cases.
I content myself, therefore, with what has already been said on this
subject; and shall only make an observation on the _act of milking_,
before I come to the chief matter; namely, the _getting of the food for
the cow_. A cow should be milked _clean_. Not a drop, if it can be
avoided, should be left in the udder. It has been proved that the half
pint that comes out _last_ has _twelve times_, I think it is, as much
butter in it, as the half pint that comes out _first_. I tried the milk of
ten Alderney cows, and, as nearly as I, without being very nice about the
matter, could ascertain, I found the difference to be about what I have
stated. The udder would seem to be a sort of milk-pan in which the cream
is uppermost, and, of course, comes out last, seeing that the outlet is at
the bottom. But, besides this, if you do not milk clean, the cow will give
less and less milk, and will become dry much sooner than she ought. The
_cause_ of this I do not know, but experience has long established the
fact.

115. In providing food for a cow we must look, first, at the _sort of
cow_; seeing that a cow of one sort will certainly require more than twice
as much food as a cow of another sort. For a cottage, a cow of the
smallest sort common in England is, on every account, the best; and such a
cow will not require above 70 or 80 pounds of good moist food in the
twenty-four hours.

116. Now, how to raise this food on 40 rods of ground is what we want to
know. It frequently happens that a labourer has _more_ than 40 rods of
ground. It more frequently happens, that he has some _common_, some
_lane_, some little out-let or other, for a part of the year, at least. In
such cases he may make a different disposition of his ground; or may do
with less than the 40 rods. I am here, for simplicity's sake, to suppose,
that he have 40 rods of clear, unshaded land, besides what his house and
sheds stand upon; and that he have nothing further in the way of means to
keep his cow.

117. I suppose the 40 rods to be _clean_ and _unshaded_; for I am to
suppose, that when a man thinks of 5 quarts _of milk a day_, on an
average, all the year round, he will not suffer his ground to be
encumbered by apple-trees that give him only the means of treating his
children to fits of the belly-ache, or with currant and gooseberry bushes,
which, though their fruit do very well to _amuse_, really give nothing
worthy of the name of _food_, except to the blackbirds and thrushes. The
ground is to be _clear_ of trees; and, in the spring, we will suppose it
to be _clean_. Then, dig it up _deeply_, or, which is better, _trench_ it,
keeping, however, the top _spit_ of the soil _at the top_. Lay it in
_ridges_ in April or May about two feet apart, and made high and sharp.
When the weeds appear about three inches high, turn the ridges into the
furrows (_never moving the ground but in dry weather_,) and bury all the
weeds. Do this as often as the weeds get three inches high; and by the
fall, you will have really clean ground, and not poor ground.

118. There is the ground then, ready. About the 26th of August, but _not
earlier_, prepare a rod of your ground; and put some _manure_ in it (for
_some_ you must have,) and sow one half of it with Early York Cabbage
Seed, and the other half with Sugar-loaf Cabbage Seed, both of the _true_
sort, in little drills at 8 inches apart, and the seeds thin in the drill.
If the plants come up at two inches apart (and they should be thinned if
thicker,) you will have a plenty. As soon as fairly out of ground, hoe the
ground nicely, and pretty deeply, and again in a few days. When the plants
have six leaves, which will be very soon, dig up, make fine, and manure
another rod or two, and prick out the plants, 4000 of each in rows at
eight inches apart and three inches in the row. Hoe the ground between
them often, and they will grow fast and be _straight_ and strong. I
suppose that these beds for plants take 4 rods of your ground. Early in
November, or, as the weather may serve, a little earlier or later, lay
some manure (of which I shall say more hereafter) between the ridges, in
the other 36 rods, and turn the ridges over on this manure, and then
transplant your plants on the ridges at 15 inches apart. Here they will
stand the winter; and you must see that the slugs do not eat them. If any
plants fail, you have plenty in the bed where you prick them out; for your
36 rods will not require more than 4000 plants. If the winter be very
hard, and bad for plants, you cannot _cover_ 36 rods; but you may the
_bed_ where the rest of your plants are. A little litter, or straw, or
dead grass, or fern, laid along between the rows and the plants, not to
cover the leaves, will preserve them completely. When people complain of
_all_ their plants being "_cut off_," they have, in fact nothing to
_complain_ of but their own extreme carelessness. If I had a gardener who
complained of _all_ his plants being cut off, I should cut him off pretty
quickly. If those in the 36 rods fail, or fail in part, fill up their
places, later in the winter, by plants from the bed.

119. If you find the ground dry at the top during the winter, hoe it, and
particularly near the plants, and rout out all slugs and insects. And when
March comes, and the ground _is dry_, hoe deep and well, and earth the
plants up close to the lower leaves. As soon as the plants begin to
_grow_, dig the ground with a spade clean and well, and let the spade go
as near to the plants as you can without actually _displacing the plants_.
Give them another digging in a month; and, if weeds come in the
mean-while, _hoe_, and let not one live a week. Oh! "what a deal of
_work_!" Well! but it is for _yourself_, and, besides, it is not all to be
done in a day; and we shall by-and-by see what it is altogether.

120. By the first of June; I speak of the South of England, and there is
also some difference in seasons and soils; but, generally speaking, by the
first of June you will have _turned-in cabbages_, and soon you will have
the Early Yorks _solid_. And by the first of June you may get your cow,
one that is about to calve, or that has just calved, and at this time such
a cow as you will want will not, thank God, cost above five pounds.

121. I shall speak of the place to keep her in, and of the manure and
litter, by-and-by. At present I confine myself to her mere food. The 36
rods, if the cabbages all stood till they got _solid_, would give her food
for 200 days, at 80 pounds weight per day, which is more than she would
eat. But you must use some, at first, that are not solid; and, then, some
of them will split before you can use them. But you will have pigs to help
off with them, and to gnaw the heads of the stumps. Some of the
sugar-loaves may have been planted out in the spring; and thus these 36
rods will get you along to some time in September.

122. Now mind, in March, and again in April, sow more _Early Yorks_, and
get them to be fine stout plants, as you did those in the fall. Dig up the
ground and manure it, and, as fast as you cut cabbages, plant cabbages;
and in the same manner and with the same cultivation as before. Your last
planting will be about the middle of August, with _stout plants_, and
these will serve you into the month of November.

123. Now we have to provide from _December to May inclusive_; and that,
too, out of this same piece of ground. In November there must be, arrived
at perfection, 3000 turnip plants. These, _without the greens_, must
weigh, on an average, 5 pounds, and this, at 80 pounds a day, will keep
the cow 187 days; and there are but 182 days in these six months. The
greens will have helped put the latest cabbages to carry you through
November, and perhaps into December. But for these six months, you must
_depend_ on nothing but the Swedish turnips.

124. And now, how are these to be had _upon the same ground that bears_
the cabbages? That we are now going to see. When you plant out your
cabbages at the out-set, put first a row of Early Yorks, then a row of
Sugar-loaves, and so on throughout the piece. Of course, as you are to use
the Early Yorks first, you will cut every other row; and the Early Yorks
that you are to plant in summer will go into the intervals. By-and-by the
Sugar-loaves are cut away, and in their place will come Swedish turnips,
you digging and manuring the ground as in the case of the cabbages: and,
at last, you will find about 16 rods where you will have found it too
late, and _unnecessary_ besides, to plant any second crop of cabbages.
Here the Swedish turnips will stand in rows at two feet apart, (and always
a foot apart in the row,) and thus you will have three thousand turnips;
and if these do not weigh five pounds each on an average, the fault must
be in the _seed_ or in the management.

125. The Swedish turnips are raised in this manner. You will bear in mind
the _four rods_ of ground in which you have sowed and pricked out your
cabbage plants. The plants that will be left there will, in April, serve
you for _greens_, if you ever eat any, though bread and bacon are very
good without greens, and rather better than with. At any rate, the pig,
which has strong powers of digestion, will consume this herbage. In a part
of these four rods you will, in March and April, as before directed, have
sown and raised your Early Yorks for the summer planting. Now, in the
_last week of May_, prepare a quarter of a rod of this ground, and sow it,
precisely as directed for the Cabbage-seed, with Swedish turnip-seed; and
sow a quarter of a rod _every three days_, till you have sowed _two rods_.
If the _fly appear_, cover the rows over in the _day-time_ with cabbage
leaves, and take the leaves off at night; hoe well between the plants; and
when they are safe from the fly, _thin_ them to four inches apart in the
row. The two rods will give you nearly _five thousand plants_, which is
2000 more than you will want. From this bed you draw your plants to
transplant in the ground where the cabbages have stood, as before
directed. You should transplant none much _before_ the middle of July, and
not much _later_ than the middle of August. In the two rods, whence you
take your turnip plants, you may leave plants to come to perfection, at
two feet distances each way; and this will give you _over and above_, 840
pounds weight of turnips. For the other two rods will be ground enough for
you to sow your cabbage plants in at the end of August, as directed for
last year.

126. I should now proceed to speak of the manner of harvesting,
preserving, and using the crops; of the manner of feeding the cow; of the
shed for her; of the managing of the manure, and several other less
important things; but these, for want of room here, must be reserved for
the beginning of my next Number. After, therefore, observing that the
Turnip plants must be transplanted in the same way that Cabbage plants
are; and that both ought to be transplanted in _dry_ weather and in ground
just _fresh digged_, I shall close this Number with the notice of two
points which I am most anxious to impress upon the mind of every reader.

127. The first is, whether these crops give an _ill taste_ to milk and
butter. It is very certain, that the taste and smell of certain sorts of
cattle-food will do this; for, in some parts of America, where the wild
_garlick_, of which the cows are very fond, and which, like other
bulbous-rooted plants, springs before the grass, not only the milk and
butter have a strong taste of garlick, but even the _veal_, when the
calves suck milk from such sources. None can be more common expressions,
than, in Philadelphia market, are those of _Garlicky Butter_ and _Garlicky
Veal_, I have distinctly tasted the _Whiskey_ in milk of cows fed on
distiller's wash. It is also certain, that, if the cow eat _putrid_ leaves
of cabbages and turnips, the butter will be offensive. And the
white-turnip, which is at best but a poor thing, and often half putrid,
makes miserable butter. The large _cattle-cabbage_, which, when loaved
hard, has a strong and even an offensive smell, will give a bad taste and
smell to milk and butter, whether there be putrid leaves or not. If you
boil one of these rank cabbages, the water is extremely offensive to the
smell. But I state upon positive and recent experience, that Early York
and Sugar-loaf Cabbages will yield as sweet milk and butter _as any food
that can be given to a cow_. During this last summer, I have, with the
exception about to be noticed, kept, from the 1st of May to the 22d of
October, _five cows_ upon the grass _of two acres and a quarter of ground,
the grass_ being generally _cut up for them_ and given to them in the
stall. I had in the spring 5000 cabbage plants, intended for my pigs,
eleven in number. But the pigs could not eat _half_ their allowance,
though they were not very small when they began upon it. We were compelled
to resort to the aid of the cows; and, in order to see _the effect on the
milk and butter_, we did not _mix_ the food; but gave the cows two
_distinct spells_ at the cabbages, each spell about 10 _days in duration_.
The cabbages were cut off the stump with little or no care about _dead
leaves_. And sweeter, finer butter, butter of a finer colour, than these
cabbages made, never was made in this world. I never had better from cows
feeding in the sweetest pasture. Now, as to _Swedish turnips_, they do
give a little taste, especially if boiling of the milk pans be neglected,
and if the greatest care be not taken about _all_ the dairy tackle. Yet we
have, for months together, had the butter so fine from Swedish turnips,
that nobody could well distinguish it from grass-butter. But to secure
this, there must be no _sluttishness_. Churn, pans, pail, shelves, wall,
floor, and all about the dairy, must be clean; and, above all things, the
pans must be _boiled_. However, after all, it is not here a case of
delicacy of smell so refined as to faint at any thing that meets it except
the stink of perfumes. If the butter do taste a little of the Swedish
turnip, it will do very well where there is plenty of that sweet sauce
which early rising and bodily labour are ever sure to bring.

128. The _other point_ (about which I am still more anxious) is the
_seed_; for if the seed be not _sound_, and especially if it be not _true
to its kind_, all your labour _is in vain_. It is best, if you can do it,
to get your seed from some friend, or some one that you know and can
trust. If you save seed, observe all the precautions mentioned in my book
on _Gardening_. This very year I have some Swedish turnips, _so called_,
about 7000 in number, and should, if my seed had been _true_, have had
about _twenty tons_ weight; instead of which I have about _three_! Indeed,
they are not _Swedish turnips_, but a sort of mixture between that plant
and _rape_. I am sure the seedsman did not wilfully deceive me. He was
deceived himself. The truth is, that seedsmen are compelled to _buy_ their
seeds of this plant. _Farmers_ save it; and they but too often pay very
little attention to the manner of doing it. The best way is to get a dozen
of fine turnip plants, perfect in all respects, and plant them in a
situation where the smell of the blossoms of nothing of the cabbage or
rape or turnip or even _charlock_ kind, can reach them. The seed will keep
perfectly good for _four years_.



No. V

KEEPING COWS--(_continued._)


129. I have now, in the conclusion of this article, to speak of the manner
of _harvesting_ and _preserving_ the _Swedes_; of the place _to keep the
cow in_; of the _manure_ for the land; and of the _quantity of labour_
that the cultivation of the land and the harvesting of the crop will
require.

130. _Harvesting and preserving the Swedes._ When they are ready to take
up, the tops must be cut off, if not cut off before, and also the _roots_;
but neither tops nor roots should be cut off _very close_. You will have
room for ten bushels of the _bulbs_ in the house, or shed. Put the rest
into ten-bushel heaps. Make the heap _upon_ the ground in a _round form_,
and let it rise up to a point. Lay over it a little litter, straw, or dead
grass, about three inches thick, and then earth upon that about six inches
thick. Then cut a thin round _green turf_, about eighteen inches over, and
put it upon the crown of the heap to prevent the earth from being washed
off. Thus these heaps will remain till wanted for use. When given to the
cow, it will be best to _wash_ the Swedes and cut each into two or three
pieces with a spade or some other tool. You can take in ten bushels at a
time. If you find them _sprouting_ in the spring, open the remaining
heaps, and expose them to the sun and wind; and cover them again slightly
with straw or litter of some sort.[6]

131. _As to the place to keep the cow in_, much will depend upon
_situation_ and circumstances. I am always supposing that the cottage is a
real _cottage_, and not a house in a town or village street; though,
wherever there is the quarter of an acre of ground, the cow _may_ be kept.
Let me, however, suppose that which will generally happen; namely, that
the cottage stands by the side of a road, or lane, and amongst fields and
woods, if not on the side of a common. To pretend to tell a country
labourer how to build a shed for a cow, how to stick it up against the end
of his house, or to make it an independent erection; or to dwell on the
materials, where poles, rods, wattles, rushes, furze, heath, and
cooper-chips, are all to be gotten by him for nothing or next to nothing,
would be useless; because a man who, thus situated, can be at any loss for
a shed for his cow, is not only unfit to keep a cow, but unfit to keep a
cat. The warmer the shed is the better it is. The floor should _slope_,
but not too much. There are _stones_, of some sort or other, every-where,
and about six wheel-barrow-fulls will _pave_ the shed, a thing to be by no
means neglected. A broad trough, or box, fixed up at the head of the cow,
is the thing to give her food in; and she should be fed three times a day,
at least; always at _day-light_ and at _sun-set_. It is not _absolutely
necessary_ that a cow ever quit her shed, except just at calving time, or
when taken to the bull. In the former case the time is, nine times out of
ten, known to within forty-eight hours. Any enclosed field or place will
do for her during a day or two; and for such purpose, if there be not room
at home, no man will refuse place for her in a fallow field. It will,
however, be good, where there is no _common_ to turn her out upon, to have
her led by a string, two or three times a week, which may be done by a
child only five years old, to graze, or pick, along the sides of roads and
lanes. Where there is a _common_, she will, of course, be turned out in
the day time, except in very wet or severe weather; and in a case like
this, a smaller quantity of ground will suffice for the keeping of her.
According to the present practice, a miserable "_tallet_" of bad hay is,
in such cases, the winter provision for the cow. It can scarcely be called
food; and the consequence is, the cow is both _dry_ and _lousy_ nearly
half the year; instead of being dry only about fifteen days before
calving, and being sleek and lusty at the end of the winter, to which a
_warm lodging_ greatly contributes. For, observe, if you keep a cow, any
time between September and June, out in a field or yard, to endure the
chances of the weather, she will not, though she have food precisely the
same in quantity and quality, yield above _two-thirds_ as much as if she
were lodged in house; and in _wet_ weather she will not yield _half_ so
much. It is not so much the _cold_ as the _wet_ that is injurious to all
our stock in England.

132. _The Manure._ At the _beginning_ this must be provided by collections
made on the road; by the results of the residence in a cottage. Let any
man clean out _every place_ about his dwelling; rake and scrape and sweep
all into a heap; and he will find that he has a _great deal_. Earth of
almost any sort that has long lain on the surface, and has been trodden
on, is a species of manure. Every act that tends to neatness round a
dwelling, tends to the creating of a mass of manure. And I have very
seldom seen a cottage, with a plat of ground of a quarter of an acre
belonging to it, round about which I could not have collected a very large
heap of manure. Every thing of animal or vegetable substance that comes
into a house, must _go out of it again_, in one shape or another. The very
emptying of vessels of various kinds, on a heap of common earth, makes it
a heap of the best of manure. Thus goes on the work of _reproduction_; and
thus is verified the words of the Scripture, "_Flesh is grass_, and there
is _nothing new under the sun_." Thus far as to the _outset_. When you
have _got the cow_, there is no more care about manure; for, and
especially if you have a _pig_ also, you must have enough annually for _an
acre_ of ground. And let it be observed, that, after a time, it will be
unnecessary, and would be injurious, to manure _for every crop_; for that
would produce more stalk and green than substantial part; as it is well
known, that wheat plants, standing in ground too full of manure, will
yield very thick and long _straws_, but grains of little or no substance.
You ought to depend more on the spade and the hoe than on the dung-heap.
Nevertheless, the greatest care should be taken to preserve the manure;
because you will want _straw_, unless you be by the side of a common which
gives you rushes, grassy furze, or fern; and to get straw you must give a
part of your dung from the cow-stall and pig-sty. The best way to preserve
manure, is to have a pit of sufficient dimensions close behind the
cow-shed and pig-sty, for the run from these to go into, and from which
all runs of _rain water_ should be kept. Into this pit would go the
emptying of the shed and of the sty, and the produce of all sweepings and
cleanings round the house; and thus a large mass of manure would soon grow
together. Much too large a quantity for a quarter of an acre of ground.
One good load of wheat or rye straw is all that you would want for the
winter, and half of one for the summer; and you would have more than
enough dung to exchange against this straw.

133. Now, as to _the quantity of labour_ that the cultivation of the land
will demand in _a year_. We will suppose the whole to have _five complete
diggings_, and say nothing about the little matters of sowing and planting
and hoeing and harvesting, all which are a mere trifle. We are supposing
the owner to be _an able labouring man_; and such a man will dig 12 rods
of ground in a day. Here are 200 rods to be digged, and here are little
less than 17 days of work at 12 hours in the day; or 200 _hours'_ work, to
be done in the course of the long days of spring and summer, while it is
light long before _six_ in the morning, and long after six at night. What
_is it_, then? Is it not better than time spent in the ale-house, or in
creeping about after a miserable hare? Frequently, and most frequently,
there will be a _boy_, if not two, big enough to help. And (I only give
this as a _hint_) I saw, on the 7th of November last (1822,) _a very
pretty woman_, in the village of _Hannington, in Wiltshire, digging_ a
piece of ground and planting it with Early Cabbages, which she did as
handily and as neatly as any gardener that ever I saw. The ground was
_wet_, and therefore, _to avoid treading the digged ground in that state_,
she had her line extended, and put in the rows as she advanced in her
digging, standing _in the trench_ while she performed the act of planting,
which she did with great nimbleness and precision. Nothing could be more
skilfully or beautifully done. Her clothes were neat, clean, and tight
about her. She had turned her handkerchief down from her neck, which, with
the glow that the work had brought into her cheeks, formed an object which
I do not say would have made me _actually stop my chaise_, had it not been
for the occupation in which she was engaged; but, all taken together, the
temptation was too strong to be resisted. But there is the _Sunday_; and I
know of no law, human or divine, that forbids a labouring man to dig or
plant his garden on Sunday, if the good of his family demand it; and if
he cannot, without injury to that family, find other time to do it in.
Shepherds, carters, pigfeeders, drovers, coachmen, cooks, footmen,
printers, and numerous others, work on the Sundays. Theirs are deemed by
the law _works of necessity_. Harvesting and haymaking are allowed to be
carried on on the Sunday, in certain cases; when they are always carried
on by _provident farmers_. And I should be glad to know the case which is
more a _case of necessity_ than that now under our view. In fact, the
labouring people _do work on the Sunday_ morning in particular, all over
the country, at something or other, or they are engaged in pursuits a good
deal less religious than that of digging and planting. So that, as to _the
200 hours_, they are easily found, without the loss of any of the time
required for constant daily labour.

134. And what a _produce_ is that of a cow! I suppose only an average of
5 _quarts of milk a day_. If made into butter, it will be _equal every
week to two days of the man's wages_, besides the value of the skim milk:
and this can hardly be of less value than another day's wages. What a
thing, then, is this cow, if she earn half as much as the man! I am
greatly under-rating her produce; but I wish to put all the advantages at
the lowest. To be sure, there is work for the wife, or daughter, to milk
and make butter. But the former is done at the two ends of the day, and
the latter only about once in the week. And, whatever these may subtract
from the _labours of the field_, which all country women ought to be
engaged in whenever they conveniently can; whatever the cares created by
the cow may subtract from these, is amply compensated for by the
_education_ that these cares will give to the children. They will _all_
learn to milk,[7] and the girls to make butter. And which is a thing of
the very first importance, they will all learn, from their infancy, to
_set a just value upon dumb animals_, and will grow up in the _habit_ of
treating them with gentleness and feeding them with care. To those who
have not been brought up in the midst of rural affairs, it is hardly
possible to give an adequate idea of the importance of this part of
_education_. I should be very loth to intrust the care of my horses,
cattle, sheep, or pigs, to any one whose father never had cow or pig of
his _own_. It is a general complaint, that servants, and especially
farm-servants, are not _so good as they used to be_. How should they? They
were formerly the sons and daughters of _small farmers_; they are now the
progeny of miserable property-less labourers. They have never seen an
animal in which they had any interest. They are careless by habit. This
monstrous evil has arisen from causes which I have a thousand times
described; and which causes must now be speedily removed; or, they will
produce a dissolution of society, and give us a _beginning afresh_.

135. The circumstances vary so much, that it is impossible to lay down
precise rules suited to all cases. The cottage may be on the side of a
forest or common; it may be on the side of a lane or of a great road,
distant from town or village; it may be on the skirts of one of these
latter: and then, again, the family may be few or great in number, the
children small or big, according to all which circumstances, the extent
and application of the cow-food, and also the application of the produce,
will naturally be regulated. Under some circumstances, half the above crop
may be enough; especially where good commons are at hand. Sometimes it may
be the best way to sell the calf as soon as calved; at others, to fat it;
and, at others, if you cannot sell it, which sometimes happens, to knock
it on the head as soon as calved; for, where there is a family of small
children, the price of a calf of two months old cannot be equal to the
half of the value of the two months' milk. It is pure weakness to call it
"_a pity_." It is a much greater pity to see hungry children crying for
the milk that a calf is sucking to no useful purpose; and as to the cow
and the calf, the one must lose her young, and the other its life, after
all; and the respite only makes an addition to the sufferings of both.

136. As to the pretended _unwholesomeness_ of milk in certain cases; as to
its not being adapted to _some constitutions_, I do not believe one word
of the matter. When we talk of the _fruits_, indeed, which were formerly
the chief food of a great part of mankind, we should recollect, that those
fruits grew in countries that had a _sun to ripen_ the fruits, and to put
nutritious matter into them. But as to _milk_, England yields to no
country upon the face of the earth. Neat cattle will touch nothing that is
not wholesome in its nature; nothing that is not wholly innoxious. Out of
a pail that has ever had grease in it, they will not drink a drop, though
they be raging with thirst. Their very breath is fragrance. And how, then,
is it possible, that unwholesomeness should distil from the udder of a
cow? The milk varies, indeed, in its quality and taste according to the
variations in the nature of the food; but no food will a cow touch that is
any way hostile to health. Feed young puppies upon _milk from the cow_,
and they will never die with that ravaging disease called "_the
distemper_." In short, to suppose that milk contains any thing essentially
unwholesome is monstrous. When, indeed, the appetite becomes vitiated:
when the organs have been long accustomed to food of a more stimulating
nature; when it has been resolved to eat ragouts at dinner, and drink
wine, and to swallow "a devil," and a glass of strong grog at night; then
milk for breakfast may be "_heavy_" and disgusting, and the feeder may
stand in need of tea or laudanum, which differ only as to degrees of
strength. But, and I speak from the most ample experience, milk is not
"_heavy_," and much less is it _unwholesome_, when he who uses it rises
early, never swallows strong drink, and never _stuffs_ himself with flesh
of any kind. Many and many a day I scarcely taste of meat, and then
chiefly at _breakfast_, and that, too, at an early hour. Milk is the
natural food of _young people_; if it be too rich, _skim_ it again and
again till it be not too rich. This is an evil easily cured. If you have
now to _begin_ with a family of children, they may not like it at first.
But _persevere_; and the parent who does not do this, having the means in
his hands, shamefully neglects his duty. A son who prefers a "devil" and a
glass of grog to a hunch of bread and a bowl of cold milk, I regard as a
pest; and for this pest the father has to thank himself.

137. Before I dismiss this article, let me offer an observation or two to
those persons who live in the vicinity of towns, or in towns, and who,
though they have _large gardens_, have "_no land to keep a cow_," a
circumstance which they "_exceedingly regret_." I have, I dare say,
witnessed this case at least a thousand times. Now, how much garden ground
does it require to supply even a large family with _garden vegetables_?
The market gardeners round the metropolis of this wen-headed country;
round this Wen of all wens;[8] round this prodigious and monstrous
collection of human beings; these market gardeners have about _three
hundred thousand families to supply with vegetables_, and these they
supply well too, and with summer fruits into the bargain. Now, if it
demanded _ten rods to a family_, the whole would demand, all but a
fraction, _nineteen thousand acres of garden ground_. We have only to cast
our eyes over what there is to know that there is not a _fourth_ of that
quantity. A _square mile_ contains, leaving out parts of a hundred, 700
acres of land; and 19,000 acres occupy more than _twenty-two square
miles_. Are there twenty-two square miles covered with the Wen's market
gardens? The very question is absurd. The whole of the market gardens from
Brompton to Hammersmith, extending to Battersea Rise on the one side, and
to the Bayswater road on the other side, and leaving out loads, lanes,
nurseries; pastures, corn-fields, and pleasure-grounds, do not, in my
opinion, cover _one square mile_. To the north and south of the Wen there
is very little in the way of market garden; and if, on both sides of the
Thames, to the eastward of the Wen, there be _three square miles_ actually
covered with market gardens, that is the full extent. How, then, could the
Wen be supplied, if it required _ten rods_ to each family? To be sure,
potatoes, carrots, and turnips, and especially the first of these, are
brought, for the use of the Wen, from a great distance, in many cases.
But, so they are for the use of the persons I am speaking of; for a
gentleman thinks no more of raising a large quantity of these things in
his _garden_, than he thinks of _raising wheat there_. How is it, then,
that it requires half an acre, or eighty rods, in a _private_ garden to
supply a family, while these market gardeners supply all these families
(and so amply too) from ten, or more likely, five rods of ground to a
family? I have shown, in the last Number, that nearly fifteen tons of
vegetables can be raised in a year upon forty rods of ground; that is to
say, _ten loads for a wagon and four good horses_. And is not a fourth, or
even an eighth, part of this weight, sufficient to go down the throats of
a family in a year? Nay, allow that only _a ton_ goes to a family in a
year, it is more than _six pound weight a day_; and what sort of a family
must that be that really _swallows_ six pounds weight a day? and this a
market gardener will raise for them upon less than _three rods_ of ground;
for he will raise, in the course of the year, even more than fifteen tons
upon forty rods of ground. What is it, then, that they _do_ with the
eighty rods of ground in a private garden? Why, in the first place, they
have _one crop_ where they ought to have _three_. Then they do not half
_till_ the ground. Then they grow things that are _not wanted_. Plant
cabbages and other things, let them stand till they be good for nothing,
and then wheel them to the rubbish heap. Raise as many radishes, lettuces,
and as much endive, and as many kidney-beans, as would serve for ten
families; and finally throw nine-tenths of them away. I once saw not less
than three rods of ground, in a garden of this sort, with lettuces all
bearing _seed_. Seed enough for half a county. They cut a cabbage _here_
and a cabbage _there_, and so let the whole of the piece of ground remain
undug, till the _last_ cabbage be cut. But, after all, the produce, even
in this way, is so great, that it never could be gotten rid of, if the
main part were not _thrown away_. The rubbish heap always receives
four-fifths even of the _eatable_ part of the produce.

138. It is not thus that the market gardeners proceed. Their rubbish heap
consists of little besides mere cabbage stumps. No sooner is one crop _on_
the ground than they settle in their minds what is to follow it. They
_clear as they go_ in taking off a crop, and, as they clear they dig and
plant. The ground is never without seed in it or plants on it. And thus,
in the course of the year, they raise a prodigious bulk of vegetables from
eighty rods of ground. Such vigilance and industry are not to be expected
in a _servant_; for it is foolish to expect that a man will exert himself
for another as much as he will for himself. But if I was situated as one
of the persons is that I have spoken of in Paragraph 137; that is to say,
if I had a garden of eighty rods, or even of sixty rods of ground, I would
out of that garden, draw a sufficiency of vegetables for my family, and
would make it yield enough for a _cow_ besides. I should go a short way to
work with my gardener. I should put _Cottage Economy_ into his hands, and
tell him, that if he could furnish me with vegetables, and my cow with
food, he was my man; and that if he could not, I must get one that could
and would. I am not for making a man toil like a slave; but what would
become of the world, if a well-fed healthy man could exhaust himself in
tilling and cropping and clearing half an acre of ground? I have known
many men _dig_ thirty rods of garden ground in a day; I have, before I was
fourteen, digged twenty rods in a day, for more than ten days
successively; and I have heard, and believe the fact, of a man at Portsea,
who digged forty rods in one single day, between daylight and dark. So
that it is no slavish toil that I am here recommending.


KEEPING PIGS.

139. Next after the _Cow_ comes the _Pig_; and, in many cases, where a cow
cannot be kept, a pig or pigs may be kept. But these are animals not to be
ventured on without due consideration as to the means of _feeding_ them;
for a starved pig is a great deal worse than none at all. You cannot make
bacon as you can milk, merely out of the garden. There must be _something
more_. A couple of flitches of bacon are worth fifty thousand Methodist
sermons and religious tracts. The sight of them upon the rack tends more
to keep a man from poaching and stealing than whole volumes of penal
statutes, though assisted by the terrors of the hulks and the gibbet. They
are great softeners of the temper, and promoters of domestic harmony. They
are a great blessing; but they are not to be had from _herbage_ or _roots_
of any kind; and, therefore, before a _pig_ be attempted, the means ought
to be considered.

140. _Breeding sows_ are great favourites with Cottagers in general; but I
have seldom known them to answer their purpose. Where there is an outlet,
the sow will, indeed, keep herself by grazing in summer, with a little
_wash_ to help her out: and when her pigs come, they are many in number;
but they are a heavy expense. The sow must live as well as a _fatting
hog_, or the pigs will be good for little. It is a great mistake, too, to
suppose that the condition of the sow _previous to pigging_ is of no
consequence; and, indeed, some suppose, that she ought to be rather _bare
of flesh_ at the pigging time. Never was a greater mistake; for if she be
in this state, she presently becomes a mere rack of bones; and then, do
what you will, the pigs will be poor things. However fat she may be before
she farrow, the pigs will make her lean in a week. All her fat goes away
in her milk, and unless the pigs have a _store_ to draw upon, they pull
her down directly; and, by the time they are three weeks old, they are
starving for want; and then they never come to good.

141. Now, a cottager's sow cannot, without great expense, be kept in a way
to enable her to meet the demands of her farrow. She may _look_ pretty
well; but the flesh she has upon her is not of the same nature as that
which the _farm-yard_ sow carries about her. It is the result of grass,
and of poor grass, too, or other weak food; and not made partly out of
corn and whey and strong wash, as in the case of the farmer's sow. No food
short of that of a fatting hog will enable her to keep her pigs _alive_;
and this she must have for _ten weeks_, and that at a great expense. Then
comes the operation, upon the principle of _Parson Malthus_, in order to
_check population_; and there is some risk here, though not very great.
But there is the _weaning_; and who, that knows any thing about the
matter, will think lightly of the weaning of a farrow of pigs! By having
nice food given them, they seem, for a few days, not to miss their mother.
But their appearance soon shows the want of her. Nothing but the very best
food, and that given in the most judicious manner, will keep them up to
any thing like good condition; and, indeed, there is nothing short of
_milk_ that will effect the thing well. How should it be otherwise? The
very richest cow's milk is poor, compared with that of the sow; and, to be
taken from this and put upon food, one ingredient of which is _water_, is
quite sufficient to reduce the poor little things to bare bones and
staring hair, a state to which cottagers' pigs very soon come in general;
and, at last, he frequently drives them to market, and sells them for less
than the cost of the food which they and the sow have devoured since they
were farrowed. It was, doubtless, pigs of this description that were sold
the other day at Newbury market, for _fifteen pence a piece_, and which
were, I dare say, dear even as a gift. To get such a pig to _begin_ to
grow will require _three months_, and with good feeding too in winter
time. To be sure it does come to be a hog at last; but, do what you can,
it is a dear hog.

142. The _Cottager_, then, can hold no competition with the _Farmer_ in
the _breeding_ of pigs, to do which, with advantage, there must be _milk_,
and milk, too, that can be advantageously applied to no other use. The
cottager's pig must be bought ready weaned to his hand, and, indeed, at
_four months old_, at which age, if he be in good condition, he will eat
any-thing that an old hog will eat. He will graze, eat cabbage leaves, and
almost the stumps. Swedish turnip tops or roots, and such things, with a
little wash, will keep him along in very good growing order. I have now to
speak of the time of purchasing, the manner of keeping, of fatting,
killing, and curing; but these I must reserve till my next Number.



No. VI.

KEEPING PIGS--(_continued._)


143. As in the case of cows so in that of pigs, much must depend upon the
situation of the cottage; because all pigs will _graze_; and therefore, on
the skirts of forests or commons, a couple or three pigs may be kept, if
the family be considerable; and especially if the cottager brew his own
beer, which will give him grains to assist the wash. Even in _lanes_, or
on the sides of great roads, a pig will find a good part of his food from
May to November; and if he be _yoked_, the occupiers of the neighbourhood
must be churlish and brutish indeed, if they give the owner any annoyance.

144. Let me break off here for a moment to point out to my readers the
truly excellent conduct of Lord WINCHILSEA and Lord STANHOPE, who, as I
read, have taken great pains to make the labourers on their estates
comfortable, by allotting to each a piece of ground sufficient for the
keeping of a cow. I once, when I lived at Botley, proposed to the
copyholders and other farmers in my neighbourhood, that we should petition
the Bishop of Winchester, who was lord of the manors thereabouts, to grant
titles to all the numerous persons called _trespassers on the wastes_; and
also to give titles to others of the poor parishioners, who were willing
to make, on the skirts of the wastes, enclosures not exceeding an acre
each. This I am convinced, would have done a great deal towards relieving
the parishes, then greatly burdened by men out of work. This would have
been better than digging holes one day to fill them up the next. Not a
single man would agree to my proposal! One, a bullfrog farmer (now, I
hear, pretty well sweated down,) said it would only make them _saucy_! And
one, a true disciple of _Malthus_, said, that to facilitate their rearing
of children _was a harm_! This man had, at the time, in his own
occupation, land that had formerly been _six farms_, and he had, too, ten
or a dozen children. I will not mention names; but this farmer will _now_,
perhaps, have occasion to call to mind what I told him on that day, when
his opposition, and particularly the ground of it, gave me the more pain,
as he was a very industrious, civil, and honest man. Never was there a
greater mistake than to suppose that men are made saucy and idle by just
and kind treatment. _Slaves_ are always lazy and saucy; nothing but the
lash will extort from them either labour or respectful deportment. I never
met with a _saucy_ Yankee (New Englander) in my life. Never servile;
always civil. This must necessarily be the character of _freemen living in
a state of competence_. They have nobody to envy; nobody to complain of;
they are in good humour with mankind. It must, however, be confessed, that
very little, comparatively speaking, is to be accomplished by the
individual efforts even of benevolent men like the two noblemen before
mentioned. They have a strife to maintain against the _general tendency of
the national state of things_. It is by general and indirect means, and
not by partial and direct and positive regulations, that so great a good
as that which they generously aim at can be accomplished. When we are to
see such means adopted, God only knows; but, if much longer delayed, I am
of opinion, that they will come too late to prevent something very much
resembling a dissolution of society.

145. The cottager's pig should be bought in the spring, or late in winter;
and being then four months old, he will be a year old before killing time;
for it should always be borne in mind, that this age is required in order
to insure the greatest quantity of meat from a given quantity of food. If
a hog be more than a year old, he is the better for it. The flesh is more
solid and more nutritious than that of a young hog, much in the same
degree that the mutton of a full-mouthed wether is better than that of a
younger wether. The pork or bacon of young hogs, even if fatted on corn,
is very apt to _boil out_, as they call it; that is to say, come out of
the pot smaller in bulk than it goes in. When you begin to fat, do it by
degrees, especially in the case of hogs under a year old. If you feed
_high_ all at once, the hog is apt to _surfeit_, and then a great loss of
food takes place. Peas, or barley-meal is the food; the latter rather the
best, and does the work quicker. Make him _quite fat_ by all means. The
last bushel, even if he sit as he eat, is the most profitable. If he can
walk two hundred yards at a time, he is not well fatted. Lean bacon is the
most wasteful thing that any family can use. In short, it is uneatable,
except by drunkards, who want something to stimulate their sickly
appetite. The man who cannot live on _solid fat_ bacon, well-fed and
well-cured, wants the sweet sauce of labour, or is fit for the hospital.
But, then, it must be _bacon_, the effect of barley or peas, (not beans,)
and not of whey, potatoes, or _messes_ of any kind. It is frequently said,
and I know that even farmers say it, that bacon, made from corn, _costs
more than it is worth_! Why do they take care to have it then? They know
better. They know well, that it is the very _cheapest_ they can have; and
they, who look at both ends and both sides of every cost, would as soon
think of shooting their hogs as of fatting them on _messes_; that is to
say, for _their own use_, however willing they might now-and-then be to
regale the Londoners with a bit of potato-pork.

146. About _Christmas_, if the weather be coldish, is a good time to kill.
If the weather be very mild, you may wait a little longer; for the hog
cannot be too fat. The day before killing he should have no food. To kill
a hog nicely is so much of a profession, that it is better to pay a
shilling for having it done, than to stab and hack and tear the carcass
about. I shall not speak of _pork_; for I would by no means recommend it.
There are two ways of going to work to make bacon; in the one you take off
the hair by _scalding_. This is the practice in most parts of England, and
all over America. But the _Hampshire_ way, and the best way, is to _burn
the hair off_. There is a great deal of difference in the consequences.
The first method slackens the skin, opens all the pores of it, makes it
loose and flabby by drawing out the roots of the hair. The second tightens
the skin in every part, contracts all the sinews and veins in the skin,
makes the flitch a solider thing, and the skin a better protection to the
meat. The taste of the meat is very different from that of a scalded hog;
and to this chiefly it was that Hampshire bacon owed its reputation for
excellence. As the hair is to be _burnt_ off it must be _dry_, and care
must be taken, that the hog be kept on dry litter of some sort the day
previous to killing. When killed he is laid upon a narrow bed of straw,
not wider than his carcass, and only two or three inches thick. He is then
covered all over thinly with straw, to which, according as the wind may
be, the fire is put at one end. As the straw burns, it burns the hair. It
requires two or three coverings and burnings, and care is taken, that the
skin be not in any part burnt, or parched. When the hair is all burnt off
close, the hog is _scraped_ clean, but never touched with _water_. The
upper side being finished, the hog is turned over, and the other side is
treated in like manner. This work should always be done _before
day-light_; for in the day-light you cannot so nicely discover whether the
hair be sufficiently burnt off. The light of the fire is weakened by that
of the day. Besides, it makes the boys get up very early for once at any
rate, and that is something; for boys always like a bonfire.

147. The _inwards_ are next taken out, and if the wife be not a slattern,
here, in the mere offal, in the mere garbage, there is food, and delicate
food too, for a large family for a week; and hog's puddings for the
children, and some for neighbours' children, who come to play with them;
for these things are by no means to be overlooked, seeing that they tend
to the keeping alive of that affection in children for their parents,
which, later in life, will be found absolutely necessary to give effect to
wholesome precept, especially when opposed to the boisterous passions of
youth.

148. The butcher, the next day, cuts the hog up; and then the house is
_filled with meat_! Souse, griskins, blade-bones, thigh-bones, spare-ribs,
chines, belly-pieces, cheeks, all coming into use one after the other, and
the last of the latter not before the end of about four or five weeks. But
about this time, it is more than possible that the Methodist parson will
pay you a visit. It is remarked in America, that these gentry are
attracted by the squeaking of the pigs, as the fox is by the cackling of
the hen. This may be called slander; but I will tell you what I did know
to happen. A good honest careful fellow had a spare-rib, on which he
intended to sup with his family after a long and hard day's work at
coppice-cutting. Home he came at dark with his two little boys, each with
a nitch of wood that they had carried four miles, cheered with the thought
of the repast that awaited them. In he went, found his wife, the Methodist
parson, and a whole troop of the sisterhood, engaged in prayer, and on the
table lay scattered the clean-polished bones of the spare-rib! Can any
reasonable creature believe, that, to save the soul, God requires us to
give up the food necessary to sustain the body? Did Saint Paul preach
this? He, who, while he spread the gospel abroad, _worked himself_, in
order to have it to give to those who were unable to work? Upon what,
then, do these modern saints; these evangelical gentlemen, found their
claim to live on the labour of others.

149. All the other parts taken away, the two sides that remain, and that
are called _flitches_, are to be cured for _bacon_. They are first rubbed
with salt on their insides, or flesh sides, then placed, one on the other,
the flesh sides uppermost, in a salting trough which has a gutter round
its edges to drain away the _brine_; for, to have sweet and fine bacon,
the flitches must not lie sopping in brine; which gives it that sort of
taste which barrel-pork and sea-jonk have, and than which nothing is more
villanous. Every one knows how different is the taste of fresh, dry salt,
from that of salt in a dissolved state. The one is savoury, the other
nauseous. Therefore, _change the salt often_. Once in four or five days.
Let it melt, and sink in; but let it not lie too long. Change the
flitches. Put that at bottom which was first put on the top. Do this a
couple of times. This mode will cost you a great deal more in salt, or
rather in _taxes_, than the _sopping mode_; but without it, your bacon
will not be sweet and fine, and _will not keep so well_. As to the _time_
required for making the flitches sufficiently salt, it depends on
circumstances; the thickness of the flitch, the state of the weather, the
place wherein the salting is going on. It takes a longer time for a thick
than for a thin flitch; it takes longer in dry, than in damp weather; it
takes longer in a dry than in a damp place. But for the flitches of a hog
of twelve score, in weather not very dry or very damp, about six weeks may
do; and as yours is to be _fat_, which receives little injury from
over-salting, give time enough; for you are to have bacon till Christmas
comes again. The place for salting should, like a dairy, always be cool,
but always admit of a _free circulation of air_: _confined_ air, though
_cool_, will taint meat sooner than the mid-day sun accompanied with a
breeze. Ice will not melt in the hottest sun so soon as in a close and
damp cellar. Put a lump of ice in _cold water_, and one of the same size
before a _hot fire_, and the former will dissolve in half the time that
the latter will. Let me take this occasion of observing, that an ice-house
should never be _under ground_, or _under the shade of trees_. That the
bed of it ought to be three feet above the level of the ground; that this
bed ought to consist of something that will admit the drippings to go
instantly off; and that the house should stand in a place _open to the sun
and air_. This is the way they have the ice-houses under the burning sun
of Virginia; and here they keep their fish and meat as fresh and sweet as
in winter, when at the same time neither will keep for twelve hours,
though let down to the depth of a hundred feet in a well. A Virginian,
with some poles and straw, will stick up an ice-house for ten dollars,
worth a dozen of those ice-houses, each of which costs our men of taste as
many scores of pounds. It is very hard to imagine, indeed, what any one
should want ice _for_, in a country like this, except for clodpole boys to
slide upon, and to drown cockneys in skaiting-time; but if people must
have ice in summer, they may as well go a right way as a wrong way to get
it.

150. However, the patient that I have at this time under my hands wants
nothing to cool his blood, but something to warm it, and, therefore, I
will get back to the flitches of bacon, which are now to be _smoked_; for
smoking is a great deal better than merely _drying_, as is the fashion in
the dairy countries in the West of England. When there were plenty of
_farm_-houses there were plenty of places to smoke bacon in; since farmers
have lived in gentleman's houses, and the main part of the farm-houses
have been knocked down, these places are not so plenty. However, there is
scarcely any neighbourhood without a chimney left to hang bacon up in. Two
precautions are necessary: first, to hang the flitches where no _rain_
comes down upon them: second, not to let them be so near the fire as to
_melt_. These precautions taken, the next is, that the smoke must proceed
from _wood_, not turf, peat, or coal. Stubble or litter might do; but the
trouble would be great. _Fir_, or _deal_, smoke is not fit for the
purpose. I take it, that the absence of wood, as fuel, in the dairy
countries, and in the North, has led to the making of pork and dried
bacon. As to the _time_ that it requires to smoke a flitch, it must depend
a good deal upon whether there be a _constant fire beneath_, and whether
the fire be large or small. A month may do, if the fire be pretty
constant, and such as a farm-house fire usually is. But over smoking, or,
rather, too long hanging in the air, makes the bacon _rust_. Great
attention should, therefore, be paid to this matter. The flitch ought not
be dried up to the hardness of a board, and yet it ought to be perfectly
dry. Before you hang it up, lay it on the floor, scatter the flesh-side
pretty thickly over with bran, or with some fine saw-dust other than that
of deal or fir. Rub it on the flesh, or pat it well down upon it. This
keeps the smoke from getting into the little openings, and makes a sort of
crust to be dried on; and, in short, keeps the flesh cleaner than it would
otherwise be.

151. To keep the bacon sweet and good, and free from nasty things that
they call _hoppers_; that is to say, a sort of skipping maggots,
engendered by a fly which has a great relish for bacon: to provide against
this mischief, and also to keep the bacon from becoming rusty, the
Americans, whose country is so hot in summer, have two methods. They smoke
no part of the hog except the hams, or gammons. They cover these with
coarse linen cloth such as the finest hop-bags are made of, which they sew
neatly on. They then _white-wash_ the cloth all over with _lime_
white-wash, such as we put on walls, their lime being excellent
stone-lime. They give the ham four or five washings, the one succeeding as
the former gets dry; and in the sun, all these washings are put on in a
few hours. The flies cannot get through this; and thus the meat is
preserved from them. The _other_ mode, and that is the mode for you, is,
to sift _fine_ some clean and dry _wood-ashes_. Put some at the bottom of
a box, or chest, which is long enough to hold a flitch of bacon. Lay in
one flitch; then put in more ashes; then the _other flitch_; and then
cover this with six or eight inches of the ashes. This will effectually
keep away all flies; and will keep the bacon as fresh and good as when it
came out of the chimney, which it will not be for any great length of
time, if put on a rack, or kept hung up in the open air. _Dust_, or even
_sand_, very, very _dry_, would, perhaps, do as well. The object is not
only to keep out the flies, but the _air_. The place where the chest, or
box, is kept, ought to be _dry_; and, if the ashes should get damp (as
they are apt to do from the salts they contain,) they should be put in the
fire-place to dry, and then be put back again. Peat-ashes, or turf-ashes,
might do very well for this purpose. With these precautions, the bacon
will be as good at the end of the year as on the first day; and it will
keep two, and even three years, perfectly good, for which, however, there
can be no necessity.

152. Now, then, this hog is altogether a capital thing. The other parts
will be meat for about four or five weeks. The _lard_, nicely put down,
will last a long while for all the purposes for which it is wanted. To
make it keep well there should be some salt put into it. Country children
are badly brought up if they do not like sweet lard spread upon bread, as
we spread butter. Many a score hunches of this sort have I eaten, and I
never knew what poverty was. I have eaten it for luncheon at the houses of
good substantial farmers in France and Flanders. I am not now frequently
so hungry as I ought to be; but I should think it no hardship to eat
_sweet_ lard instead of butter. But, now-a-days, the labourers, and
especially the female part of them, have fallen into the taste of
_niceness_ in food and _finery in dress_; a quarter of a bellyful and rags
are the consequence. The food of their choice is high-priced, so that, for
the greater part of their time, they are half-starved. The dress of their
choice is _showy_ and _flimsy_, so that, to-day, they are _ladies_, and
to-morrow ragged as sheep with the scab. But has not Nature made the
country girls as pretty as ladies? Oh, yes! (bless their rosy cheeks and
white teeth!) and a great deal prettier too! But are they _less_ pretty,
when their dress is plain and substantial, and when the natural
presumption is, that they have smocks as well as gowns, than they are when
drawn off in the frail fabric of Sir Robert Peel,[9] "where tawdry colours
strive with dirty white," exciting violent suspicions that all is not as
it ought to be nearer the skin, and calling up a train of ideas extremely
hostile to that sort of feeling which every lass innocently and
commendably wishes to awaken in her male beholders? Are they prettiest
when they come through the wet and dirt safe and neat; or when their
draggled dress is plastered to their backs by a shower of rain? However,
the fault has not been theirs, nor that of their parents. It is _the
system_ of managing the affairs of the nation. This system has made all
_flashy_ and _false_, and has put all things out of their place.
Pomposity, bombast, hyperbole, redundancy, and obscurity, both in speaking
and in writing; mock-delicacy in manners; mock-liberality, mock-humanity,
and mock-religion. Pitt's false money, Peel's flimsy dresses,
Wilberforce's potatoe diet, Castlereagh's and Mackintosh's oratory, Walter
Scott's poems, Walter's and Stoddart's[10] paragraphs, with all the bad
taste and baseness and hypocrisy which they spread over this country; all
have arisen, grown, branched out, bloomed, and borne together; and we are
now beginning to taste of their fruit. But, as the fat of the adder is, as
is said, the antidote to its sting; so in the Son of the great worker of
Spinning-Jennies, we have, thanks to the Proctors and Doctors of Oxford,
the author of that _Bill_, before which this false, this flashy, this
flimsy, this rotten system will dissolve as one of his father's pasted
calicoes does at the sight of the washing-tub.

153. "What," says the cottager, "has all this to do with hogs and bacon?"
Not directly with hogs and bacon, indeed; but it has a great deal to do,
my good fellow with your affairs, as I shall, probably, hereafter more
fully show, though I shall now leave you to the enjoyment of your flitches
of bacon, which, as I before observed, will do ten thousand times more
than any Methodist parson, or any other parson (except, of course, those
of _our_ church) to make you happy, not only in this world, but in the
world to come. _Meat in the house_ is a great source of _harmony_, a great
preventer of the temptation to commit those things, which, from small
beginnings, lead, finally, to the most fatal and atrocious results; and I
hold that doctrine to be _truly damnable_, which teaches that God has made
any selection, any condition relative to belief, which is to save from
punishment those who violate the principles of _natural justice_.

154. _Some_ other meat you may have; but, bacon is the great thing. It is
always ready; as good cold as hot; goes to the field or the coppice
conveniently; in harvest, and other busy times, demands the pot to be
boiled only on a Sunday; has twice as much strength in it as any other
thing of the same weight; and in short, has in it every quality that tends
to make a labourer's family able to work and well off. One pound of bacon,
such as that which I have described, is, in a labourer's family, worth
four or five of ordinary mutton or beef, which are great part _bone_, and
which, in short, are gone in a moment. But always observe, it is _fat
bacon_ that I am talking about. There will, in spite of all that can be
done, be _some_ lean in the gammons, though comparatively very little; and
therefore you ought to begin at that end of the flitches; for, _old lean
bacon_ is not good.

155. Now, as to the _cost_. A pig (a _spayed sow_ is best) bought in March
four months old, can be had now for fifteen shillings. The cost till
fatting time is next to nothing to a Cottager; and then the cost, at the
present price of corn, would, for a hog of twelve score, not exceed _three
pounds_; in the whole _four pounds five_; a pot of poison a week bought at
the public-house comes to _twenty-six shillings_ of the money; and more
than _three times the remainder_ is generally flung away upon the
miserable _tea_, as I have clearly shown in the First Number, at Paragraph
24. I have, indeed, there shown, that if the tea were laid aside, the
labourer might supply his family well with beer all the year round, and
have a fat hog of even _fifteen score_ for the _cost of the tea_, which
does him and can do him _no good at all_.

156. The feet, the cheeks, and other bone, being considered, the _bacon
and lard_, taken together, would not exceed _sixpence a pound_. Irish
bacon is "_cheaper_." Yes, _lower-priced_. But, I will engage that a pound
of mine, when it comes _out_ of the pot (to say nothing of the _taste_,)
shall weigh as much as a _pound and a half_ of Irish, or any dairy or
slop-fed bacon, when that comes out of the pot. No, no: the farmers joke
when they say, that their bacon _costs them more than_ they could buy
bacon for. They know well what it is they are doing; and besides, they
always forget, or, rather, remember not to say, that the fatting of a
large hog yields them three or four load of dung, really worth more than
ten or fifteen of common yard dung. In short, without hogs, farming _could
not go on_; and it never has gone on in any country in the world. The hogs
are the great _stay_ of the whole concern. They are _much in small space_;
they make no _show_, as flocks and herds do; but with out them, the
cultivation of the land would be a poor, a miserably barren concern.


SALTING MUTTON AND BEEF.

157. _VERY FAT_ Mutton may be salted to great advantage, and also smoked,
and may be kept thus a long while. Not the shoulders and legs, but the
_back_ of the sheep. I have never made any flitch of _sheep-bacon_; but I
will; for there is nothing like having a _store_ of meat in a house. The
running to the butchers daily is a ridiculous thing. The very idea of
being fed, of a _family_ being fed, by daily supplies, has something in it
perfectly _tormenting_. One half of the time of a mistress of a house,
the affairs of which are carried on in this way, is taken up in talking
about what is to be got for dinner, and in negotiations with the butcher.
One single moment spent at table beyond what is absolutely necessary, is a
moment very shamefully spent; but, to suffer a system of domestic economy,
which unnecessarily wastes daily an hour or two of the mistress's time in
hunting for the provision for the repast, is a shame indeed; and when we
consider how much time is generally spent in this and in equally absurd
ways, it is no wonder that we see so little performed by numerous
individuals as they do perform during the course of their lives.

158. _Very fat parts of Beef_ may be salted and smoked in a like manner.
Not the _lean_; for that is a great waste, and is, in short, good for
nothing. Poor fellows on board of ships are compelled to eat it, but it is
a very bad thing.



No. VII.

BEES, FOWLS, &C. &C.


159. I now proceed to treat of objects of less importance than the
foregoing, but still such as may be worthy of great attention. If all of
them cannot be expected to come within the scope of a labourer's family,
some of them must, and others may: and it is always of great consequence,
that children be brought up to set a just value upon all useful things,
and especially upon all _living things_; to know the _utility_ of them:
for, without this, they never, when grown up, are worthy of being
entrusted with the _care_ of them. One of the greatest, and, perhaps, the
very commonest, fault of servants, is their inadequate care of animals
committed to their charge. It is a well-known saying that "the _master's
eye_ makes the horse fat," and the remissness to which this alludes, is
generally owing to the servant not having been brought up to feel _an
interest_ in the well-being of animals.


BEES.

160. It is not my intention to enter into a history of this insect about
which so much has been written, especially by the French naturalists. It
is the _useful_ that I shall treat of, and that is done in not many words.
The best _hives_ are those made of clean unblighted _rye-straw_. Boards
are too cold in England. A swarm should always be put into a _new_ hive,
and the sticks should be _new_ that are put into the hive for the bees to
work on; for, if the hive be old, it is not so _wholesome_, and a thousand
to one but it contain the embryos of _moths_ and other insects injurious
to bees. Over the hive itself there should be a cap of thatch, made also
of clean rye straw; and it should not only be _new_ when first put on the
hive; but a new one should be made to supply the place of the former one
every three or four months; for when the straw begins to get rotten, as it
soon does, insects breed in it, its smell is bad, and its effect on the
bees is dangerous.

161. The hive should be placed on a bench, the legs of which mice and rats
cannot creep up. Tin round the legs is best. But even this will not keep
down _ants_, which are mortal enemies of bees. To keep these away, if you
find them infest the hive, take a green stick and twist it round in the
shape of a ring to lay on the ground round the leg of the bench, and at a
few inches from it; and cover this stick with _tar_. This will keep away
the ants. If the ants come from one home, you may easily _trace them to
it_; and when you have found it, pour _boiling water_ on it in the night,
when all the family are at home.

This is the only effectual way of destroying ants, which are frequently so
troublesome. It would be cruel to cause this destruction, if it were not
necessary to do it, in order to preserve the honey, and indeed the bees
too.

162. Besides the hive and its cap, there should be a sort of shed, with
top, back, and ends, to give additional protection in winter; though in
summer hives may be kept _too hot_, and in that case the bees become
sickly and the produce becomes light. The _situation_ of the hive is to
face the South-east; or, at any rate, to be sheltered from the _North_ and
the _West_. From the North always, and from the West in winter. If it be a
very dry season in summer, it contributes greatly to the success of the
bees, to place clear water near their home, in a thing that they can
conveniently drink out of; for if they have to go a great way for drink,
they have not much time for work.

163. It is supposed that bees live only a year; at any rate it is best
never to keep the same stall, or family, over two years, except you want
to increase your number of hives. The swarm of _this summer_ should always
be taken in the autumn of next year. It is whimsical to _save_ the bees
when you take the honey. You must _feed_ them; and, if saved, they will
die of old age before the next fall; and though young ones will supply the
place of the dead, this is nothing like a good swarm put up during the
summer.

164. As to the things that bees make their collections from, we do not,
perhaps, know a thousandth part of them; but of all the blossoms that they
seek eagerly that of the _Buck-wheat_ stands foremost. Go round a piece of
this grain just towards sunset, when the buck-wheat is in bloom, and you
will see the air filled with bees going home from it in all directions.
The buck-wheat, too, continues in bloom a long while; for the grain is
dead ripe on one part of the plant, while there are fresh blossoms coming
out on the other part.

165. A good stall of bees, that is to say, the produce of one, is always
worth about _two bushels of good wheat_. The _cost_ is nothing to the
labourer. He must be a stupid countryman indeed who cannot make a
bee-hive; and a lazy one indeed if he _will_ not, if he can. In short,
there is nothing but _care_ demanded; and there are very few situations in
the country, especially in the south of England, where a labouring man may
not have half a dozen stalls of bees to take every year. The main things
are to keep away insects, mice, and birds, and especially a little bird
called the bee-bird; and to keep all clean and fresh as to the hives and
coverings. Never put a swarm into an _old hive_. If wasps, or hornets,
annoy you, watch them home in the day time; and in the night kill them by
fire, or by boiling water. Fowls should not go where bees are, for they
eat them.

166. Suppose a man get three stalls of bees in a year. Six bushels of
wheat give him bread for an _eighth part of the year_. Scarcely any thing
is a greater misfortune than _shiftlessness_. It is an evil little short
of the loss of eyes or of limbs.


GEESE.

167. They can be kept to advantage only where there are _green commons_,
and there they are easily kept; live to a very great age; and are amongst
the hardiest animals in the world. If _well kept_, a goose will lay a
hundred eggs in a year. The French put their eggs under large hens of
common fowls, to each of which they give four or five eggs; or under
turkies, to which they give nine or ten goose-eggs. If the goose herself
sit, she must be well and _regularly fed_, at, or near to, her nest. When
the young ones are hatched, they should be kept in a warm place for about
four days, and fed on barley-meal, mixed, if possible, with milk; and then
they will begin to _graze_. Water for them, or for the old ones to _swim_
in, is by no means _necessary_, nor, perhaps, ever even _useful_. Or, how
is it, that you see such fine flocks of fine geese all over Long Island
(in America) where there is scarcely such a thing as a pond or a run of
water?

168. Geese are raised by _grazing_; but to _fat_ them something more is
required. Corn of some sort, or boiled Swedish turnips. Some corn and some
raw Swedish turnips, or carrots, or white cabbages, or lettuces, make the
best fatting. The modes that are resorted to by the French for fatting
geese, _nailing_ them down by their webs, and other acts of cruelty, are,
I hope, such as Englishmen will never think of. They will get fat enough
without the use of any of these unfeeling means being employed. He who can
deliberately inflict _torture_ upon an animal, in order to heighten the
pleasure his palate is to receive in eating it, is an abuser of the
authority which God has given him, and is, indeed, a tyrant in his heart.
Who would think himself safe, if at the _mercy_ of such a man? Since the
first edition of this work was published, I have had a good deal of
experience with regard to geese. It is a very great error to suppose that
what is called a Michaelmas goose is _the thing_. Geese are, in general,
eaten at the age when they are called green geese; or after they have got
their full and entire growth, which is not until the latter part of
October. Green geese are tasteless squabs; loose flabby things; no rich
taste in them; and, in short, a very indifferent sort of dish. The
full-grown goose has solidity in it; but it is _hard_, as well as solid;
and in place of being _rich_, it is strong. Now, there is a middle course
to take; and if you take this course, you produce the finest birds of
which we can know any thing in England. For three years, including the
present year, I have had the finest geese that I ever saw, or ever heard
of. I have bought from twenty to thirty every one of these years. I buy
them off the common late in June, or very early in July. They have cost me
from two shillings to three shillings each, first purchase. I bring the
flock home, and put them in a pen, about twenty feet square, where I keep
them well littered with straw, so as for them not to get filthy. They have
one trough in which I give them dry oats, and they have another trough
where they have constantly plenty of clean water. Besides these, we give
them, two or three times a day, a parcel of lettuces out of the garden. We
give them such as are going to seed generally; but the better the lettuces
are, the better the geese. If we have no lettuces to spare, we give them
cabbages, either loaved or not loaved; though, observe, the white cabbage
as well as the white lettuce, that is to say, the loaved cabbage and
lettuce, are a great deal better than those that are not loaved. This is
the food of my geese. They thrive exceedingly upon this food. After we
have had the flock about ten days, we begin to kill, and we proceed once
or twice a week till about the middle of October, sometimes later. A great
number of persons who have eaten of these geese have all declared that
they did not imagine that a goose could be brought to be so good a bird.
These geese are altogether different from the hard, strong things that
come out of the stubble fields, and equally different from the flabby
things called a green goose. I should think that the cabbages or lettuces
perform half the work of keeping and fatting my geese; and these are
things that really cost nothing. I should think that the geese, upon an
average, do not consume more than a shilling's worth of oats each. So that
we have these beautiful geese for about four shillings each. No money will
buy me such a goose in London; but the thing that I can get nearest to it,
will cost me _seven_ shillings. Every gentleman has a garden. That garden
has, in the month of July, a wagon-load, at least, of lettuces and
cabbages to throw away. Nothing is attended with so little trouble as
these geese. There is hardly any body near London that has not room for
the purposes here mentioned. The reader will be apt to exclaim, as my
friends very often do, "Cobbett's Geese are all _Swans_." Well, better
that way than not to be pleased with what one has. However, let gentlemen
try this method of fatting geese. It saves money, mind, at the same time.
Let them try it; and if any one, who shall try it, shall find the effect
not to be that which I say it is, let him reproach me publicly with being
a deceiver. The thing is no _invention_ of mine. While I could buy a goose
off the common for half-a-crown, I did not like to give seven shillings
for one in London, and yet I wished that geese should not be excluded from
my house. Therefore I bought a flock of geese, and brought them home to
Kensington. They could not be eaten all at once. It was necessary,
therefore, to fix upon a mode of feeding them. The above mode was adopted
by my servant, as far as I know, without any knowledge of mine; but the
very agreeable result made me look into the matter; and my opinion, that
the information will be useful to many persons, at any rate, is sufficient
to induce me to communicate it to my readers.


DUCKS.

169. No water, to _swim_ in, is necessary to the old, and is _injurious_
to the very young. They never should be suffered to swim (if water be
near) till _more than a month old_. The old duck will lay, in the year, if
_well kept_, ten dozen of eggs; and that is her best employment; for
common hens are the best mothers. It is not good to let young ducks out in
the morning to eat _slugs_ and _worms_; for, though they like them, these
things kill them if they eat a great quantity. Grass, corn, white
cabbages, and lettuces, and especially buck-wheat, cut, when half ripe,
and flung down in the haulm. This makes fine ducks. Ducks will feed on
garbage and all sorts of filthy things; but their flesh is _strong_, and
bad in proportion. They are, in Long Island, fatted upon a coarse sort of
_crab_, called a horse-foot fish, prodigious quantities of which are cast
on the shores. The young ducks grow very fast upon this, and very fat; but
wo unto him that has to _smell_ them when they come from the spit; and, as
for _eating_ them, a man must have a stomach indeed to do that!

170. When young, they should be fed upon barley-meal, or _curds_, and kept
in a warm place in the night-time, and not let out _early_ in the morning.
They should, if possible, be kept from water to _swim_ in. It always does
them harm; and, if intended to be sold to be killed _young_, they should
never go near ponds, ditches, or streams. When you come to fat ducks, you
must take care that they get at _no filth_ whatever. They will eat garbage
of all sorts; they will suck down the most nauseous particles of all those
substances which go for manure. A dead rat three parts rotten is a feast
to them. For these reasons I should never eat any ducks, unless there were
some mode of keeping them from this horrible food. I treat them precisely
as I do my geese. I buy a troop when they are young, and put them in a
pen, and feed them upon oats, cabbages, lettuces, and water, and have the
place kept very clean. My ducks are, in consequence of this, a great deal
more fine and delicate than any others that I know any-thing of.


TURKEYS.

171. These are _flying_ things, and so are _common fowls_. But it may
happen that a few hints respecting them may be of use. To raise turkeys in
this chilly climate, is a matter of much greater difficulty than in the
climates that give great warmth. But the great enemy to young turkeys (for
old ones are hardy enough) _is the wet_. This they will endure in _no
climate_; and so true is this, that, in America, where there is always "_a
wet spell_" in April, the farmers' wives take care never to have a brood
come out until that spell is passed. In England, where the wet spells come
at haphazard, the first thing is to take care that young turkeys never go
out, on any account, except in dry weather, till the _dew be quite off the
ground_; and this should be adhered to till they get to be of the size of
an old partridge, and have their backs well covered with feathers. And, in
wet weather, they should be kept under cover all day long.

172. As to the _feeding_ of them, when young, various nice things are
recommended. Hard eggs chopped fine, with crumbs of bread, and a great
many other things; but that which I have seen used, and always with
success, and for all sorts of young poultry, is milk _turned into curds_.
This is the food for young poultry of all sorts. Some should be made
_fresh every_ day; and if this be done, and the young turkeys kept warm,
and especially _from wet_, not one out of a score will die. When they get
to be strong, they may have meal and grain, but still they always love
the curds.

173. When they get their _head feathers_ they are hardy enough; and what
they then want is _room_ to prowl about. It is best to breed them under a
_common hen_; because she does not _ramble_ like a hen-turkey; and it is a
very curious thing that the turkeys bred up by a hen of the common fowl,
_do not themselves ramble much when they get old_; and for this reason,
when they buy turkeys for _stock_, in America, (where there are such large
woods, and where the distant rambling of turkeys is inconvenient,) they
always buy such as have been bred under the hens of the common fowl; than
which a more complete proof of the great powers of _habit_ is, perhaps,
not to be found. And ought not this to be a lesson to fathers and mothers
of families? Ought not they to consider that the habits which they give
their children are to stick by those children during their whole lives?

174. The _hen_ should be fed _exceedingly well_, too, while she is
_sitting_ and _after_ she has hatched; for though she does not give
_milk_, she gives _heat_; and, let it be observed, that as no man ever yet
saw healthy pigs with a poor sow, so no man ever saw healthy chickens with
a poor hen. This is a matter much too little thought of in the rearing of
poultry; but it is a matter of the greatest consequence. Never let a poor
hen sit; feed the hen well while she is sitting, and feed her most
abundantly when she has young ones; for then her _labour_ is very great;
she is making exertions of some sort or other during the whole twenty-four
hours; she has no rest; is constantly doing something or other to provide
food or safety for her young ones.

175. As to _fatting_ turkeys, the best way is, never to let them be poor.
_Cramming_ is a nasty thing, and quite unnecessary. Barley-meal, mixed
with skim-milk, given to them, fresh and fresh, will make them fat in a
short time, either in a coop, in a house, or running about. Boiled carrots
and Swedish turnips will help, and it is a change of sweet food. In
France they sometimes _pick turkeys alive_, to make them _tender_; of
which I shall only say, that the man that can do this, or order it to be
done, ought to be skinned alive himself.


FOWLS.

176. These are kept for two objects; their _flesh_ and their _eggs_. As to
_rearing them_, every thing said about rearing turkeys is applicable here.
They are best _fatted_, too, in the same manner. But, as to _laying-hens_,
there are some means to be used to secure the use of them in _winter_.
They ought not to be _old hens_. Pullets, that is, birds hatched in the
foregoing spring, are, perhaps, the best. At any rate, let them not be
more than _two years old_. They should be kept in a _warm_ place, and not
let out, even in the day-time, in _wet_ weather; for one good sound
wetting will keep them back for a fortnight. The dry cold, even in the
severest cold, if _dry_, is less injurious than even a little _wet_ in
winter-time. If the feathers get wet, in our climate, in winter, or in
short days, they do not get dry for a long time; and this it is that
spoils and kills many of our fowls.

177. The French, who are great egg-eaters, take singular pains as to the
_food_ of laying-hens in winter. They let them out very little, even in
their fine climate, and give them very stimulating food; barley boiled,
and given them warm; curds, _buck-wheat_, (which, I believe, is the best
thing of all except curds;) parsley and other herbs chopped fine; leeks
chopped in the same way; also apples and pears chopped very fine; oats and
wheat cribbled; and sometimes they give them hemp-seed, and the seed of
nettles; or dried nettles, harvested in summer, and boiled in the winter.
Some give them ordinary food, and, once a day, toasted bread sopped in
wine. White cabbages chopped up are very good in winter for all sorts of
poultry.

178. This is taking a great deal of pains; but the produce is also great
and very valuable in winter; for, as to _preserved_ eggs, they are things
to run _from_ and not after. All this supposes, however, a proper
_hen-house_, about which we, in England, take very little pains. The
_vermin_, that is to say, the _lice_, that poultry breed, are the greatest
annoyance. And as our wet climate furnishes them, for a great part of the
year, with no _dust_ by which to get rid of these vermin, we should be
very careful about _cleanliness_ in the hen-houses. Many a hen, when
sitting, is compelled to quit her nest to get rid of the lice. They
torment the young chickens. And, in short, are a great injury. The
fowl-house should, therefore, be very often cleaned out; and sand, or
fresh earth, should be thrown on the floor. The nest should not be on
_shelves_, or on any-thing fixed; but little flat baskets, something like
those that the gardeners have in the markets in London, and which they
call _sieves_, should be placed against the sides of the house upon pieces
of wood nailed up for the purpose. By this means the nests are kept
perfectly clean, because the baskets are, when necessary, taken down, the
hay thrown out, and the baskets washed; which cannot be done, if the nest
be made in any-thing forming a part of the building. Besides this, the
roosts ought to be cleaned every week, and the hay changed in the nests of
laying-hens. It is good to _fumigate_ the house frequently by burning dry
herbs, juniper wood, cedar wood, or with brimstone; for nothing stands so
much in need of cleanliness as a fowl-house, in order to have fine fowls
and plenty of eggs.

179. The _ailments_ of fowls are numerous, but they would seldom be seen,
if the proper care were taken. It is useless to talk of _remedies_ in a
case where you have complete power to prevent the evil. If well fed, and
kept perfectly clean, fowls will seldom be sick; and, as to old age, they
never ought to be kept more than a couple or three years; for they get to
be good for little as layers, and no _teeth_ can face them as food.

180. It is, perhaps, seldom that fowls can be kept conveniently about a
cottage; but when they can, three, four, or half a dozen hens to lay in
_winter_, when the wife is at _home_ the greater part of the time, are
worth attention. They would require but little room, might be bought in
November and sold in April, and six of them, with proper care, might be
made to clear every week the price of a gallon of flour. If the labour
were great, I should not think of it; but it is _none_; and I am for
neglecting nothing in the way of pains in order to ensure a hot dinner
every day in winter, when the man comes home from work. As to the
_fatting_ of fowls, information can be of no use to those who live in a
cottage all their lives; but it may be of some use to those who are born
in cottages, and go to have the care of poultry at richer persons' houses.
Fowls should be put to fat about a fortnight before they are wanted to be
killed. The best food is barley-meal wetted with milk, but not wetted too
much. They should have clear water to drink, and it should be frequently
changed. Crammed fowls are very nasty things: but "_barn-door_" fowls, as
they are called, are sometimes a great deal more nasty. _Barn_-door would,
indeed, do exceedingly well; but it unfortunately happens that the
_stable_ is generally pretty near to the barn. And now let any gentleman
who talks about sweet barn-door fowls, have one caught in the yard, where
the stable is also. Let him have it brought in, killed, and the craw taken
out and cut open. Then let him take a ball of horse-dung from the
stable-door; and let his nose tell him how very small is the difference
between the smell of the horse-dung, and the smell of the craw of his
fowl. In short, roast the fowl, and then pull aside the skin at the neck,
put your nose to the place, and you will almost think that you are at the
stable door. Hence the necessity of taking them away from the barn-door a
fortnight, at least, before they are killed. We know very well that ducks
that have been fed upon fish, either wild ducks, or tame ducks, will scent
a whole room, and drive out of it all those who have not pretty good
constitutions. It must be so. Solomon says that all flesh is grass; and
those who know any-thing about beef, know the difference between the
effect of the grass in Herefordshire and Lincolnshire, and the effect of
turnips and oil cake. In America they always take the fowls from the
farm-yard, and shut them up a fortnight or three weeks before they be
killed. One thing, however, about fowls ought always to be borne in mind.
They are never good for any-thing when they have attained their full
growth, unless they be _capons_ or _poullards_. If the poulets be old
enough to have little eggs in them, they are not worth one farthing; and
as to the cocks of the same age, they are fit for nothing but to make soup
for soldiers on their march, and they ought to be taken for that purpose.


PIGEONS.

181. A few of these may be kept about any cottage, for they are kept even
in towns by labourers and artizans. They cause but little trouble. They
take care of their own young ones; and they do not scratch, or do any
other mischief in gardens. They want feeding with tares, peas, or small
beans; and buck-wheat is very good for them. To _begin_ keeping them, they
must not have _flown at large_ before you get them. You must keep them for
two or three days, shut into the place which is to be their home; and then
they may be let out, and will never leave you, as long as they can get
proper food, and are undisturbed by vermin, or unannoyed exceedingly by
lice.

182. The common dove-house pigeons are the best to keep. They breed
oftenest, and feed their young ones best. They begin to breed at about
_nine months old_, and if well kept, they will give you eight or nine pair
in the year. Any little place, a shelf in the cow shed; a board or two
under the eaves of the house; or, in short, any place under cover, even on
the ground floor, they will sit and hatch and breed up their young ones
in.

183. It is not supposed that there could be much _profit_ attached to
them; but they are of this use; they are very pretty creatures; very
interesting in their manners; they are an object to delight _children_,
and to give them the _early habit_ of fondness for animals and of
_setting a value_ on them, which, as I have often had to observe before,
is a very great thing. A considerable part of all the _property_ of a
nation consists of animals. Of course a proportionate part of the cares
and labours of a people appertain to the breeding and bringing to
perfection those animals; and, if you consult your experience, you will
find that a labourer is, generally speaking, of value in proportion as he
is worthy of being intrusted with the care of animals. The most careless
fellow cannot _hurt_ a hedge or ditch; but to trust him with the _team_,
or the _flock_, is another matter. And, mind, for the _man_ to be
trust-worthy in this respect, the _boy_ must have been in the _habit_ of
being kind and considerate towards animals; and nothing is so likely to
give him that excellent habit as his seeing, from his very birth, animals
taken great care of, and treated with great kindness by his parents, and
now-and-then having a little thing to _call his own_.


RABBITS.

184. In this case, too, the chief use, perhaps, is to give children those
habits of which I have been just speaking. Nevertheless, rabbits are
really profitable. Three does and a buck will give you a rabbit to eat for
_every three days in the year_, which is a much larger quantity of food
than any man will get by spending half his time in the pursuit of _wild_
animals, to say nothing of the toil, the tearing of clothes, and the
danger of pursuing the latter.

185. Every-body knows how to knock up a rabbit hutch. The does should not
be allowed to have more than _seven litters_ in a year. Six young ones to
a doe is all that ought to be kept; and then they will be fine. _Abundant
food_ is the main thing; and what is there that a rabbit will _not eat_? I
know of nothing _green_ that they will not eat; and if hard pushed, they
will eat bark, and even wood. The best thing to feed the young ones on
when taken from the mother, is the _carrot_, wild or garden. Parsnips,
Swedish turnips, roots of dandelion; for too much green or _watery_ stuff
is not good for _weaning_ rabbits. They should remain as long as possible
with the mother. They should have oats once a-day; and, after a time, they
may eat any-thing with safety. But if you give them too much _green_ at
first when they are weaned, they _rot_ as sheep do. A _variety_ of food is
a great thing; and, surely, the fields and gardens and hedges furnish this
variety! All sorts of grasses, strawberry-leaves, ivy, dandelions, the
_hog-weed_ or _wild parsnip_, in root, stem, and leaves. I have fed
working horses, six or eight in number, upon this plant for weeks
together. It is a tall bold plant that grows in prodigious quantities in
the hedges and coppices in some parts of England. It is the _perennial
parsnip_. It has flower and seed precisely like those of the parsnip; and
hogs, cows, and horses, are equally fond of it. Many a half-starved pig
have I seen within a few yards of cart-loads of this pig-meat! This arises
from want of the early habit of attention to such matters. I, who used to
get hog-weed for pigs and for rabbits when a little chap, have never
forgotten that the wild parsnip is good food for pigs and rabbits.

186. When the doe has young ones, feed her most abundantly with all sorts
of greens and herbage and with carrots and the other things mentioned
before, besides giving her a few oats once a-day. That is the way to have
fine healthy young ones, which, if they come from the mother in good case,
will very seldom die. But do not think, that because she is a small
animal, a little feeding is sufficient! Rabbits eat a great deal more than
cows or sheep in proportion to their bulk.

187. Of all animals rabbits are those that _boys_ are most fond of. They
are extremely pretty, nimble in their movements, engaging in their
attitudes, and always completely under immediate control. The produce has
not long to be waited for. In short, they keep an interest constantly
alive in a little chap's mind; and they really _cost nothing_; for as to
the _oats_, where is the boy that cannot, in harvest-time, pick up enough
along the _lanes_ to serve his rabbits for a year? The _care_ is all; and
the habit of taking care of things is, of itself, a most valuable
possession.

188. To those gentlemen who keep rabbits for the use of their family (and
a very useful and convenient article they are,) I would observe, that when
they find their rabbits die, they may depend on it, that ninety-nine times
out of the hundred _starvation_ is the malady. And particularly short
feeding of the doe, while, and before she has young ones; that is to say,
short feeding of her _at all times_; for, if she be poor, the young ones
will be good for nothing. She will _live_ being poor, but she will not,
and cannot breed up fine young ones.


GOATS AND EWES.

189. In some places where a cow cannot be kept, a goat may. A
correspondent points out to me, that a Dorset ewe or two might be kept on
a common near a cottage to give milk; and certainly this might be done
very well; but I should prefer a goat, which is hardier and much more
domestic. When I was in the army, in New Brunswick, where, be it observed,
the snow lies on the ground seven months in the year, there were many
goats that _belonged to the regiment_, and that went about with it on
shipboard and every-where else. Some of them had gone through nearly the
whole of the _American War_. We _never fed_ them. In summer they picked
about wherever they could find grass; and in winter they lived on
cabbage-leaves, turnip-peelings, potatoe-peelings, and other things flung
out of the soldiers' rooms and huts. One of these goats belonged to me,
and, on an average throughout the year, she gave me more than three
half-pints of milk a day. I used to have the kid killed when a few days
old; and, for some time, the goat would give nearly or quite, two quarts
of milk a day. She was seldom dry more than three weeks in the year.

190. There is one great inconvenience belonging to goats; that is, they
bark all young trees that they come near; so that, if they get into a
_garden_, they destroy every thing. But there are seldom trees on commons,
except such as are too large to be injured by goats; and I can see no
reason against keeping a goat where a cow cannot be kept. Nothing is so
hardy; nothing is so little nice as to its food. Goats will pick peelings
out of the kennel and eat them. They will eat mouldy bread or biscuit;
fusty hay, and almost rotten straw; furze-bushes, heath-thistles; and,
indeed, what will they not eat, when they will make a hearty meal on
_paper_, brown or white, printed on or not printed on, and give milk all
the while! They will lie in any dog-hole. They do very well clogged, or
stumped out. And, then, they are very _healthy_ things into the bargain,
however closely they may be confined. When sea voyages are so stormy as to
kill geese, ducks, fowls, and almost pigs, the goats are well and lively;
and when a dog of no kind can keep the deck for a minute, a goat will skip
about upon it as bold as brass.

191. Goats do not _ramble_ from home. They come in regularly in the
evening, and if called, they come like dogs. Now, though ewes, when taken
great care of, will be very gentle, and though their milk may be rather
more delicate than that of the goat, the ewes must be fed with nice and
clean food, and they will not do much in the milk-giving way upon a
common; and, as to _feeding them_, provision must be made pretty nearly as
for a cow. They will not endure _confinement_ like goats; and they are
subject to numerous ailments that goats know nothing of. Then the ewes are
done by the time they are about six years old; for they then lose their
teeth; whereas a goat will continue to breed and to give milk in abundance
for a great many years. The sheep is _frightened_ at everything, and
especially at the least sound of a dog. A goat, on the contrary, will
_face a dog_, and if he be not a big and courageous one, beat him off.

192. I have often wondered how it happened that none of our labourers kept
goats; and I really should be glad to see the thing tried. They are
pretty creatures, domestic as a dog, will stand and watch, as a dog does,
for a crumb of bread, as you are eating; give you no trouble in the
milking; and I cannot help being of opinion, that it might be of great use
to introduce them amongst our labourers.


CANDLES AND RUSHES.

193. We are not permitted to make candles ourselves, and if we were, they
ought seldom to be used in a labourer's family. I was bred and brought up
mostly by _rush-light_, and I do not find that I see less clearly than
other people. Candles certainly were not much used in English labourers'
dwellings in the days when they had meat dinners and Sunday coats.
Potatoes and taxed candles seem to have grown into fashion together; and,
perhaps, for this reason: that when the pot ceased to afford _grease_ for
the rushes, the potatoe-gorger was compelled to go to the chandler's shop
for light to swallow the potatoes by, else he might have devoured peeling
and all!

194. My grandmother, who lived to be pretty nearly ninety, never, I
believe, burnt a candle in her house in her life. I know that I never saw
one there, and she, in a great measure, brought me up. She used to get the
meadow-rushes, such as they tie the hop-shoots to the poles with. She cut
them when they had attained their full substance, but were still _green_.
The rush at this age, consists of a body of _pith_ with a green _skin_ on
it. You cut off both ends of the rush, and leave the prime part, which, on
an average, may be about a foot and a half long. Then you take off all the
green skin, except for about a fifth part of the way round the pith. Thus
it is a piece of pith all but a little strip of skin in one part all the
way up, which, observe, is necessary to hold the pith together all the way
along.

195. The rushes being thus prepared, the _grease_ is melted, and put in a
melted state into something that is as _long_ as the rushes are. The
rushes are put into the grease; soaked in it sufficiently; then taken out
and laid in a bit of bark taken from a young tree, so as not to be too
large. This bark is fixed up against the wall by a couple of straps put
round it; and there it hangs for the purpose of holding the rushes.

196. The rushes are carried about _in the hand_; but to sit by, to work
by, or to go to bed by, they are fixed in _stands_ made for the purpose,
some of which are high to stand on the ground, and some low, to stand on a
table. These stands have an iron port something like a pair of _pliers_ to
hold the rush in, and the rush is shifted forward from time to time, as it
burns down to the thing that holds it.

197. Now these rushes give a _better light_ than a common small
dip-candle; and they cost next to nothing, though the labourer may with
them have as much light as he pleases, and though, without them he must
sit the far greater part of the winter evenings _in the dark_, even if he
expend _fifteen shillings_ a year in candles. You may do any sort of work
by this light; and, if reading be your taste, you may read the foul
libels, the lies and abuse, which are circulated gratis about _me_ by the
"Society for promoting _Christian Knowledge_," as well by rush-light, as
you can by the light of taxed candles; and, at any rate, you would have
one evil less; for to be deceived and to pay a tax for the deception are a
little too much for even modern loyalty openly to demand.


MUSTARD.

198. Why _buy_ this, when you can _grow_ it in your garden? The stuff you
buy is half _drugs_; and is injurious to health. A _yard square_ of
ground, sown with common Mustard, the crop of which you would grind for
use, in a little mustard-mill, as you wanted it, would save you _some
money_, and probably save your _life_. Your mustard would look _brown_
instead of _yellow_; but the former colour is as good as the latter: and,
as to the _taste_, the _real_ mustard has certainly a much better than
that of the _drugs_ and flour which go under the name of mustard. Let any
one _try_ it, and I am sure he will never use the drugs again. The drugs,
if you take them freely, leave _a burning at the pit of your stomach_,
which the real mustard does not.


DRESS, HOUSEHOLD GOODS, AND FUEL.

199. In Paragraph 152, I said, I think, enough to caution you, the English
labourer, against the taste, now too prevalent, for _fine_ and _flimsy_
dress. It was, for hundreds of years, amongst the characteristics of the
English people, that their taste was, in all matters, for things solid,
sound, and good; for the _useful_, and _decent_, the _cleanly_ in dress,
and not for the _showy_. Let us hope that this may be the taste again; and
let us, my friends, fear no troubles, no perils, that may be necessary to
produce a return of that taste, accompanied with full bellies and warm
backs to the labouring classes.

200. In _household goods_, the _warm_, the _strong_, the _durable_, ought
always to be kept in view. Oak tables, bedsteads and stools, chairs of oak
or of yew tree, and never a bit of miserable deal board. Things of this
sort ought to last several lifetimes. A labourer ought to inherit from his
great grandfather something besides his toil. As to bedding, and other
things of that sort, all ought to be good in their nature, of a durable
quality, and plain in their colour and form. The plates, dishes, mugs, and
things of that kind, should be of _pewter_, or even of wood. Any-thing is
better than crockery-ware. Bottles to carry a-field should be of wood.
Formerly, nobody but the gypsies and mumpers, that went a hop-picking in
the season, carried glass or earthen bottles. As to _glass_ of any sort, I
do not know what business it has in any man's house, unless he be rich
enough to live on his means. It pays a tax, in many cases, to the amount
of two-thirds of its cost. In short, when a house is once furnished with
sufficient goods, there ought to be no renewal of hardly any part of them
wanted for half an age, except in case of destruction by fire. Good
management in this way leaves the man's wages to provide an _abundance of
good food and good raiment_; and these are the things that make happy
families; these are the things that make a good, kind, sincere, and brave
people; not little pamphlets about "loyalty" and "content." A good man
will be contented fast enough, if he be fed and clad sufficiently; but if
a man be not well fed and clad, he is a base wretch to be contented.

201. _Fuel_ should be, if possible, provided in summer, or at least some
of it. Turf and peat must be got in summer, and some _wood_ may. In the
woodland countries, the next winter ought to be thought of in _June_, when
people hardly know what to do with the fuelwood; and something should, if
possible, be saved in the bark-harvest to get a part of the fuel for the
next winter. Fire is a capital article. To have no fire, or a bad fire, to
sit by, is a most dismal thing. In such a state man and wife must be
something out of the common way to be in good humour with each other, to
say nothing of colds and other ailments which are the natural consequence
of such misery. If we suppose the great Creator to condescend to survey
his works in detail, what object can be so pleasing to him as that of the
labourer, after his return from the toils of a cold winter day, sitting
with his wife and children round a cheerful fire, while the wind whistles
in the chimney and the rain pelts the roof? But, of all God's creation,
what is so miserable to behold or to think of as a wretched, half-starved
family creeping to their nest of flocks or straw, there to lie shivering,
till sent forth by the fear of absolutely expiring from want?


HOPS.

202. I treated of them before; but before I conclude this little Work, it
is necessary to speak of them again. I made a mistake as to the _tax_ on
the Hops. The positive tax is 2_d._ a pound, and I (in former editions)
stated it at 4_d._ However, in all such cases, there falls upon the
_consumer_ the _expenses_ attending the paying of the tax. That is to say,
the cost of interest of capital in the grower who pays the tax, and who
must pay for it, whether his hops be cheap or dear. Then the _trouble_ it
gives him, and the rules he is compelled to obey in the drying and
bagging, and which cause him great _expense_. So that the tax on hops of
our own English growth, may _now be reckoned_ to cost the _consumer_ about
3-1/4_d._ a pound.


YEAST.

203. Yeast is a great thing in domestic management. I have once before
published a receipt for making _yeast-cakes_, I will do it again here.

204. In Long Island they make _yeast-cakes_. A parcel of these cakes is
made _once a year_. That is often enough. And, when you bake, you take one
of these cakes (or more according to the bulk of the batch) and with them
raise your bread. The very best bread I ever ate in my life was lightened
with these cakes.

205. The materials for a good batch of cakes are as follows:--3 ounces of
good fresh Hops; 3-1/2 pounds of Rye Flour; 7 pounds of Indian Corn Meal;
and one Gallon of Water.--Rub the hops, so as to separate them. Put them
into the water, which is to be boiling at the time. Let them boil half an
hour. Then strain the liquor through a fine sieve into an earthen vessel.
While the liquor is hot, put in the Rye-Flour; stirring the liquor well,
and quickly, as the Rye-Flour goes into it. The day after, when it is
working, put in the Indian Meal, stirring it well as it goes in. Before
the Indian Meal be all in, the mess will be very stiff; and it will, in
fact, be _dough_, very much of the consistence of the dough that bread is
made of.--Take this dough; knead it well, as you would for _pie-crust_.
Roll it out with a rolling-pin, as you roll out pie-crust, to the
thickness of about a third of an inch. When you have it (or a part of it
at a time) rolled out, cut it up into cakes with a tumbler glass turned
upside down, or with something else that will answer the same purpose.
Take a clean board (a _tin_ may be better) and put the cakes _to dry in
the sun_. Turn them every day; let them receive _no wet_; and they will
become as hard as ship biscuit. Put them into a bag, or box, and keep them
in a place _perfectly free from damp_. When you bake, take two cakes, of
the thickness above-mentioned, and about 3 inches in diameter; put them
into hot water, _over-night_, having cracked them first. Let the vessel
containing them stand near the fire-place all night. They will dissolve by
the morning, and then you use them in setting your sponge (as it is
called) precisely as you would use the yeast of beer.

206. There are _two things_ which may be considered by the reader as
obstacles. FIRST, where are _we_ to get the _Indian Meal_? Indian Meal is
used merely because it is of a _less adhesive_ nature than that of wheat.
White pea-meal, or even barley-meal, would do just as well. But SECOND, to
_dry_ the cakes, to make them (and _quickly_ too, mind) _as hard as ship
biscuit_ (which is much harder than the timber of Scotch firs or Canada
firs;) and to do this _in the sun_ (for it must not be _fire_,) where are
we, in this climate, to _get the sun_? In 1816 we could not; for, that
year, melons rotted in the _glazed frames_ and never ripened. But, in
every nine summers out of ten, we have in June, in July, or in August, _a
fortnight of hot sun_, and that is enough. Nature has not given us a
_peach-climate_; but we _get peaches_. The cakes, when put in the sun, may
have a _glass sash_, or a _hand-light_, put over them. This would make
their birth _hotter_ than that of the hottest open-air situation in
America. In short to a farmer's wife, or any good housewife, all the
little difficulties to the attainment of such an object would appear as
nothing. The _will_ only is required; and, if there be not that, it is
useless to think of the attempt.


SOWING SWEDISH TURNIP SEED.

207. It is necessary to be a little more full than I have been before as
to the _manner of sowing_ this seed; and I shall make my directions such
as to be applied on a small or a large scale.--Those that want to
transplant on a large scale will, of course, as to the other parts of the
business, refer to my larger work.--It is to get plants for
_transplanting_ that I mean to sow the Swedish Turnip Seed. The _time_ for
sowing must depend a little upon the nature of the situation and soil. In
the north of England, perhaps early in April may be best; but, in any of
these southern counties, any time after the _middle of April and before
the 10th of May_, is quite early enough. The ground which is to receive
the seed should be made very _fine_, and manured with wood-ashes, or with
good compost well mixed with the earth. Dung is not so good; for it breeds
the fly more; or, at least, I think so. The seed should be sown in drills
_an inch deep_, made as pointed out under the head of _Sowing_ in my book
on _Gardening_. When deposited in the drills _evenly_ but _not thickly_,
the ground should be raked across the drills, so as to fill them up; and
then the whole of the ground should be _trodden hard_, with shoes not
nailed, and not very thick in the sole. The ground should be laid out in
four-feet _beds_ for the reasons mentioned in the "_Gardener_." When the
seeds come up, thin the plants to two inches apart as soon as you think
them clear from the fly; for, if left thicker, they injure each other even
in this infant state. Hoe frequently between the rows even before thinning
the plants; and when they are thinned, hoe well and frequently between
them; for this has a tendency to make them strong; and the hoeing _before
thinning_ helps to keep off the fly. A rod of ground, the rows being eight
inches apart, and plants two inches apart in the row, will contain about
_two thousand two hundred_ plants. An acre in rows four feet apart and the
plants a foot apart in the row, will take about ten thousand four hundred
and sixty plants. So that to transplant an acre, you must sow about _five
rods of ground_. The plants should be kept very clean; and, by the last
week in June, or first in July, you put them out. I have put them out (in
England) at all times between 7th of June and middle of August. The first
is certainly earlier than I like; and the very finest I ever grew in
England, and the finest I ever saw for a large piece, were transplanted on
the 14th of July. But one year with another, the last week in June is the
best time. For size of plants, manner of transplanting, intercultivation,
preparing the land, and the rest, see "_Year's Residence in America_."



No. VIII.

_On the converting of English Grass, and Grain Plants cut green, into
Straw, for the purpose of making Plat for Hats and Bonnets._


KENSINGTON, MAY 30, 1823.

208. The foregoing Numbers have treated, chiefly, of the management of the
affairs of a labourer's family, and more particularly of the mode of
disposing of the money earned by the labour of the family. The present
Number will point out what I hope may become _an advantageous kind of
labour_. All along I have proceeded upon the supposition, that the wife
and children of the labourer be, as constantly as possible, employed _in
work of some sort or other_. The cutting, the bleaching, the sorting, and
the platting of straw, seem to be, of all employments, the best suited to
the wives and children of country labourers; and the discovery which I
have made, as to the means of obtaining the necessary materials, will
enable them to enter at once upon that employment.

209. Before I proceed to give my directions relative to the performance of
this sort of labour, I shall give a sort of history of the discovery to
which I have just alluded.

210. The practice of making hats, bonnets, and other things, of _straw_,
is perhaps of very ancient date; but not to waste time in fruitless
inquiries, it is very well known that, for many years past, straw
coverings for the head have been greatly in use in England, in America,
and, indeed, in almost all the countries that we know much of. In this
country the manufacture was, only a few years ago, _very flourishing_; but
it has now greatly declined, and has left in poverty and misery those whom
it once well fed and clothed.

211. The cause of this change has been, the importation of the straw hats
and bonnets from _Italy_, greatly superior, in durability and beauty, to
those made in England. The plat made in England was made of the straw of
_ripened grain_. It was, in general, _split_; but the main circumstance
was, that it was made of the straw of _ripened grain_; while the Italian
plat was made of the straw of grain, or grass, _cut green_. Now, the straw
of ripened grain or grass is brittle; or, rather, rotten. It _dies_ while
standing, and, in point of toughness, the difference between it and straw
from plants cut green is much about the same as the difference between a
stick that has _died on the tree_, and one that has been _cut from the
tree_. But besides the difference in point of toughness, strength, and
durability, there was the difference in beauty. The colour of the Italian
plat was better; the plat was brighter; and the Indian straws, being
_small whole_ straws, instead of small straws made by the splitting of
large ones, here was a _roundness_ in them, that gave _light and shade_ to
the plat, which could not be given by our flat bits of straw.

212. It seems odd, that nobody should have set to work to find out how the
Italians _came_ by this fine straw. The importation of these Italian
articles was chiefly from the port of LEGHORN; and therefore the bonnets
imported were called _Leghorn Bonnets_. The straw manufacturers in this
country seem to have made no effort to resist this invasion from Leghorn.
And, which is very curious, the Leghorn _straw_ has now began to be
imported, and to be _platted in this country_. So that we had _hands_ to
plat as well as the Italians. All that we wanted was the _same kind of
straw_ that the Italians had: and it is truly wonderful that these
importations from Leghorn should have gone on increasing year after year,
and our domestic manufacture dwindling away at a like pace, without there
having been any inquiry relative to the way in which the Italians _got
their straw_! Strange, that we should have imported even _straw_ from
Italy, without inquiring whether similar straw could not be got in
England! There really seems to have been an opinion, that England could no
more produce this straw than it could produce the sugar-cane.

213. Things were in this state, when in 1821, a Miss WOODHOUSE, a farmer's
daughter in CONNECTICUT, sent a straw-bonnet of her own making to the
_Society of Arts_ in London. This bonnet, superior in fineness and beauty
to anything of the kind that had come from Leghorn, the maker stated to
consist of a sort of grass of which she sent along with the bonnet some of
the _seeds_. The question was, then, would these precious seeds _grow and
produce plants in perfection in England_? A large quantity of the seed had
not been sent: and it was therefore, by a member of the Society, thought
desirable to get, with as little delay as possible, a considerable
quantity of the seed.

214. It was in this stage of the affair that my attention was called to
it. The member just alluded to applied to me to get the seed from America.
I was of opinion that there could be no sort of grass in Connecticut that
would not, and that _did not_, grow and flourish in England. My son JAMES,
who was then at New-York, had instructions from me, in June 1821, to go to
Miss WOODHOUSE, and to send me home an account of the matter. In
September, the same year, I heard from him, who sent me an account of the
cutting and bleaching, and also a specimen of the plat and grass of
Connecticut. Miss WOODHOUSE had told the Society of Arts, that the grass
used was the _Poa Pratensis_. This is the _smooth-stalked meadow-grass_.
So that it was quite useless to send for _seed_. It was clear, that we had
_grass enough_ in England, if we could but make it into straw as handsome
as that of Italy.

215. Upon my publishing an account of what had taken place with regard to
the American Bonnet, _an importer of Italian straw_ applied to me to know
whether I would _undertake to import American straw_. He was in the habit
of importing Italian straw, and of having it platted in this country; but
having seen the bonnet of Miss WOODHOUSE, he was anxious to get the
American straw. This gentleman showed me some Italian straw which he had
imported, and as the seed heads were on, I could not see what plant it
was. The gentleman who showed the straw to me, told me (and, doubtless, he
believed) that the plant was one that _would not grow in England_. I
however, who looked at the straw with the eyes of a farmer, perceived that
it consisted of dry _oat_, _wheat_, and _rye_ plants, and of _Bennet_ and
other _common grass_ plants.

216. This quite settled the point of _growth in England_. It was now
certain that we had the plants in abundance; and the only question that
remained to be determined was, Had we SUN to give to those plants the
beautiful colour which the American and Italian straw had? If that colour
were to be obtained by _art_, by any chemical applications, we could
obtain it as easily as the Americans or the Italians; but, if it were the
gift of the SUN solely, here might be a difficulty impossible for us to
overcome. My experiments have proved that the fear of such difficulty was
wholly groundless.

217. It was late in September 1821 that I obtained this knowledge, as to
the kind of plants that produced the foreign straw. I could, at that time
of the year, do nothing in the way of removing my doubts as to the _powers
of our Sun_ in the bleaching of grass; but I resolved to do this when the
proper season for bleaching should return. Accordingly, when the next
month of _June_ came, I went into the country for the purpose. I made my
experiments, and, in short, I proved to demonstration, that we had not
only the _plants_, but the _sun_ also, necessary for the making of straw,
yielding in no respect to that of America or of Italy. I think that, upon
the whole, we have greatly the advantage of those countries; for grass is
more abundant in this country than in any other. It flourishes here more
than in any other country. It is here in a greater variety of sorts; and
for _fineness_ in point of size, there is no part of the world which can
equal what might be obtained from some of our _downs_, merely by keeping
the land ungrazed till the month of July.

218. When I had obtained the straw, I got some of it made into plat. One
piece of this plat was equal in point of colour, and superior in point of
fineness, even to the plat of the bonnet, of Miss WOODHOUSE. It seemed,
therefore, now to be necessary to do nothing more than to _make all this
well known to the country_. As the SOCIETY OF ARTS had interested itself
in the matter, and as I heard that, through its laudable zeal, several
_sowings of the foreign grass-seed_ had been made in England, I
communicated an account of my experiments to that Society. The first
communication was made by me on the 19th of February last, when I sent to
the Society, specimens of my straw and also of the plat. Some time after
this I attended a committee of the Society on the subject, and gave them a
verbal account of the way in which I had gone to work.

219. The committee had, before this, given some of my straw to certain
_manufacturers_ of plat, in order to see what it would produce. These
manufacturers, with the exception of one, brought _such_ specimens of plat
as to induce, at first sight, any one to believe that it was nonsense to
think of bringing the thing to any degree of perfection! But, was it
_possible_ to believe this? Was it possible to believe that it could
_answer_ to import straw from Italy, to pay a twenty per cent. duty on
that straw, and to have it platted here; and that it would _not answer_
to turn into plat straw of just the same sort grown in England? It was
impossible to believe _this_; but possible enough to believe, that persons
now making profit by Italian straw, or plat, or bonnets, would rather that
English straw should come to shut out the Italian and to put an end to the
Leghorn trade.

220. In order to show the character of the reports of those manufacturers,
I sent some parcels of straw into Hertfordshire, and got back, in the
course of five days, _fifteen specimens of plat_. These I sent to the
Society of Arts on the 3d of April; and I here insert a copy of the letter
which accompanied them.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY OF ARTS.

KENSINGTON, April 3, 1823.

SIR,--With this letter I send you sixteen specimens of plat, and also
eight parcels of straw, in order to show the sorts that the plat is made
out of. The numbers of the plat correspond with those of the straw; but
each parcel of straw has two numbers attached to it, except in the case of
the first number, which is the _wheat straw_. Of each kind of straw a
parcel of the _stoutest_ and a parcel of the _smallest_ were sent to be
platted; so that each parcel of the straw now sent, except that of the
wheat, refers to _two of the pieces of plat_. For instance, 2 and 3 of the
plat is of the sort of straw marked 2 and 3; 4 and 12 of the plat is of
the sort of straw marked 4 and 12; and so on. These parcels of straw are
sent in order that you may know the _kind_ of straw, or rather, of grass,
from which the several pieces of plat have been made. This is very
_material_; because it is by those parcels of straw that the _kinds of
grass_ are to be known.

The piece of plat No. 16 is _American_; all the rest are from my straw.
You will see, that 15 is the _finest plat of all_. No. 7 is from the
_stout_ straws of the same _kind_ as No. 15. By looking at the parcel of
straw Nos. 7 and 15, you will see what sort of grass this is. The next, in
point of beauty and fineness combined, are the pieces Nos. 13 and 8; and
by looking at the parcel of straw, Nos. 13 and 8, you will see what sort
of grass that is. Next comes 10 and 5, which are very beautiful too; and
the sort of grass, you will see, is the _common Bennet_. The wheat, you
see, is too coarse; and the rest of the sorts are either _too hard_ or
_too brittle_. I beg you to look at Nos. 10 and 5. Those appear to me to
be the thing to supplant the Leghorn. The colour is good, the straws _work
well_, they afford a great _variety of sizes_, and they come from the
common _Bennet grass_, which grows all over the kingdom, which is
cultivated in all our fields, which is in bloom in the fair month of June,
which may be grown as fine or as coarse as we please, and ten acres of
which would, I dare say, make ten thousand bonnets. However, 7 and 15, and
8 and 13, are very good; and they are to be got in every part of the
kingdom.

As to _platters_, it is to be too childish to believe that they are not to
be got, when I could send off these straws, and get back the plat, in the
course of five days. Far _better work_ than this would have been obtained
if I could have gone on the errand myself. What then will people not do,
who regularly undertake the business for their livelihood?

I will, as soon as possible, send you an account of the manner in which I
went to work with the grass. The card or plat, which I sent you some time
ago, you will be so good as to give me back again some time; because I
have now not a bit of the American plat left.

I am, Sir, your most humble and most obedient servant,

WM. COBBETT.

221. I should observe, that these written communications, of mine to the
Society, _belong_, in fact, to it, and will be published in its
PROCEEDINGS, a volume of which comes out every year; but, in this case,
there would have been _a year lost_ to those who may act in consequence of
these communications being made public. The grass is to be got, in great
quantities and of the best sorts, only in _June_ and _July_; and the
Society's volume does not come out till _December_. The Society has,
therefore, given its consent to the making of the communications public
through the means of this little work of mine.

222. Having shown what sort of plat could be produced from English
grass-straw, I next communicated to the Society an account of the method
which I pursued in the cutting and bleaching of the grass. The letter in
which I did this I shall here insert a copy of, before I proceed further.
In the original the paragraphs were _numbered_ from _one_ to _seventeen_:
they are here marked by _letters_, in order to avoid confusion, the
paragraphs of the work itself being marked by _numbers_.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY OF ARTS.

KENSINGTON, April 14, 1823.

A.--SIR,--Agreeably to your request, I now communicate to you a statement
of those particulars which you wished to possess, relative to the
specimens of straw and of plat which I have at different times sent to you
for the inspection of the Society.

B.--That my statement may not come too abruptly upon those members of the
Society who have not had an opportunity of witnessing the progress of this
interesting inquiry, I will take a short review of the circumstances which
led to the making of my experiments.

C.--In the month of June, 1821, a gentleman, a member of the Society,
informed me, by letter, that a Miss WOODHOUSE, a farmer's daughter, of
Weathersfield, in Connecticut, had transmitted to the Society a
straw-bonnet of very fine materials and manufacture; that this bonnet
(according to her account) was made from the straw of a sort of grass
called _poa pratensis_; that it seemed to be unknown whether the same
grass would grow in England; that it was desirable to ascertain whether
this grass would grow in England; that, at all events, it was desirable
to get from America some of the seed of this grass; and that, for this
purpose, my informant, knowing that I had a son in America; addressed
himself to me, it being his opinion that, if materials similar to those
used by Miss WOODHOUSE could by any means be _grown in England_, the
benefit to the nation must be considerable.

D.--In consequence of this application, I wrote to my son James, (then at
New York,) directing him to do what he was able in order to cause success
to the undertaking. On the receipt of my letter, in July, he went from New
York to Weathersfield, (about a hundred and twenty miles;) saw Miss
WOODHOUSE; made the necessary inquiries; obtained a specimen of the grass,
and also of the plat, which other persons at Weathersfield, as well as
Miss WOODHOUSE, were in the habit of making; and having acquired the
necessary information as to cutting the grass and bleaching the straw, he
transmitted to me an account of the matter; which account, together with
his specimens of grass and plat, I received in the month of September.

E.--I was now, when I came to see the specimen of grass, convinced that
Miss WOODHOUSE'S materials could be _grown in England_; a conviction
which, if it had not been complete at once, would have been made complete
immediately afterwards by the sight of a bunch of bonnet-straw _imported
from Leghorn_, which straw was shown to me by the importer, and which I
found to be that of two or three sorts of our common grass, and of oats,
wheat, and rye.

F.--That the grass, or plants, could be _grown in England_ was, therefore,
now certain, and indeed that they were, in point of commonness, next to
the earth itself. But before the grass could, with propriety, be called
materials for bonnet-making, there was the _bleaching_ to be performed;
and it was by no means certain that this could be accomplished by means of
an _English sun_, the difference between which and that of Italy or
Connecticut was well known to be very great.

G.--My experiments have, I presume, completely removed this doubt. I think
that the straw produced by me to the Society, and also some of the pieces
of plat, are of a colour which no straw or plat can surpass. All that
remains, therefore, is for me to give an account of the manner in which I
cut and bleached the grass which I have submitted to the Society in the
state of straw.

H.--First, as to the _season_ of the year, all the straw, except that of
one sort of couch-grass, and the long coppice-grass, which two were got in
Sussex, were got from grass cut in Hertfordshire on the 21st of June. A
grass head-land, in a wheat-field, had been mowed during the forepart of
the day, and in the afternoon I went and took a handful here and a handful
there out of the swaths. When I had collected as much as I could well
carry, I took it to my friend's house, and proceeded to prepare it for
bleaching, according to the information sent me from America by my son;
that is to say, I put my grass into a shallow tub, put boiling water upon
it until it was covered by the water, let it remain in that state for ten
minutes, then took it out, and laid it very thinly on a closely-mowed lawn
in a garden. But I should observe, that, before I put the grass into the
tub, I tied it up in small bundles, or sheaves, each bundle being about
six inches through at the butt-end. This was necessary, in order to be
able to take the grass, at the end of ten minutes, out of the water,
without throwing it into a confused mixture as to tops and tails. Being
tied up in little bundles, I could easily, with a prong, take it out of
the hot water. The bundles were put into a large wicker basket, carried to
the lawn in the garden, and there taken out, one by one, and laid in
swaths as before-mentioned.

I.--It was laid _very thinly_; almost might I say, that no stalk of grass
covered another. The swaths were _turned_ once a day. The bleaching was
completed at the end of _seven days_ from time of scalding and laying
out. June is a fine month. The grass was, as it happened, cut on the
_longest day in the year_; and the weather was remarkably fine and clear.
But the grass which I afterwards cut in Sussex, was cut in the first week
in August; and as to the weather my journal speaks thus:--

  August, 1822.

    2d.--Thunder and rain.--_Began cutting grass._
    3d.--Beautiful day.
   4th.--Fine day.
   5th.--Cloudy day--_Began scalding grass, and laying it out._
   6th.--Cloudy greater part of the day.
   7th.--Same weather.
   8th.--Cloudy and rather misty.--_Finished cutting grass._
   9th.--Dry but cloudy.
  10th.--Very close and hot.--_Packed up part of the grass._
  11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th.--Same weather.
  15th.--Hot and clear.--_Finished packing the grass._

K.--The grass cut in Sussex was as _well bleached_ as that cut in
Hertfordshire; so that it is evident that we never can have a summer that
will not afford sun sufficient for this business.

L.--The part of the straw used for platting; that part of the stalk which
is _above the upper joint_; that part which is between the _upper joint_
and the seed-branches. This part is taken out, and the rest of the straw
thrown away. But the _whole plant must be cut and bleached_; because, if
you were to take off, _when green_, the part above described, that part
would wither up next to nothing. This part must die in company with the
whole plants, and be separated from the other parts after the bleaching
has been performed.

M.--The time of cutting must vary with the seasons, the situation, and the
sort of grass. The grass which I got in Hertfordshire, than which nothing
can, I think, be more beautiful, was, when cut, generally in _bloom_; just
in bloom. The _wheat_ was in full bloom; so that a good time for getting
grass may be considered to be that when the _wheat is in bloom_. When I
cut the grass in Sussex, the _wheat was ripe_, for reaping had begun; but
that grass is of a very backward sort, and, besides, grew in the _shade_
amongst coppice-wood and under trees, which stood pretty thick.

N.--As to the sorts of grass, I have to observe generally, that in
proportion as the colour of the grass is _deep_; that is to say, getting
further from the _yellow_, and nearer to the _blue_, it is of a deep and
_dead yellow_ when it becomes straw. Those kinds of grass are best which
are, in point of colour, nearest to that of wheat, which is a fresh pale
green. Another thing is, the quality of the straw as to _pliancy_ and
_toughness_. Experience must be our guide here. I had not time to make a
large collection of sorts; but those which I have sent to you contain
three sorts which are proved to be good. In my letter of the 3d instant I
sent you _sixteen_ pieces of plat and _eight_ bunches of straw, having the
seed heads on, in order to show the sorts of grass. The sixteenth piece of
plat was American. The first piece was from _wheat_ cut and bleached by
me; the rest from _grass_ cut and bleached by me. I will here, for fear of
mistake, give a list of the names of the several sorts of grass, the straw
of which was sent with my letter of the 3d instant, referring to the
numbers, as placed on the plat and on the bunches of straw.

   PIECES         BUNCHES        SORTS
  OF PLAT.       OF STRAW.      OF GRASS.

  No 1.--         No. 1.        --Wheat.

      2.}                       { Melica Cærulea; or, Purple Melica
      3.}       2 and 3         { Grass.

      4.}                       { Agrostis Stolonifera; or, Fiorin Grass;
     12.}       4 and 12        { that is to say, one sort of Couch-grass.

      5.}
     10.}       5 and 10          Lolium Perenne; or Ray-grass.

      6.}                       { Avena Flavescens; or, Yellow Oat
     11.}       6 and 11        { grass.

      7.}                       { Cynosurus Cristatus; or Crested
     15.}       7 and 15        { Dog's-tail grass.

      8.}                       { Anthoxanthum Odoratum; or, Sweet
     13.}       8 and 13        { scented Vernal grass.

      9.}                       { Agrostis Canina; or, Brown Bent
     14.}       9 and 14        { grass.

O.--These names are those given at the Botanical Garden _at Kew_. But the
same English names are not in the country given to these sorts of grass.
The _Fiorin grass_, the _Yellow Oat-grass_, and the _Brown-Bent_, are all
called _couch-grass_; except that the latter is, in Sussex, called _Red
Robin_. It is the native grass of the _plains_ of Long Island; and they
call it _Red Top_. The _Ray-grass_ is the common field grass, which is,
all over the kingdom, sown with clover. The farmers, in a great part of
the kingdom, call it _Bent_, or _Bennett_, grass; and sometimes it is
galled _Darnel-grass_. The _Crested Dog's-tail_ goes, in Sussex, by the
name of _Hendonbent_; for what reason I know not. The _sweet-scented
Vernal-grass_ I have never, amongst the farmers, heard any name for. Miss
WOODHOUSE'S grass appears, from the _plants_ that I saw in the Adelphi, to
be one of the sorts of Couch-grass. Indeed, I am sure that it is a
Couch-grass, if the plants I there saw came from her seed. My son, who
went into Connecticut, who saw the grass growing, and who sent me home a
specimen of it, is now in England: he was with me when I cut the grass in
Sussex; and he says that Miss WOODHOUSE'S was a Couch-grass. However, it
is impossible to look at the specimens of straw and of plat which I have
sent you, without being convinced that there is no want of the raw
material in England. I was, after my first hearing of the subject, very
soon convinced that the grass grew in England; but I had great doubts as
to the capacity of our _sun_. Those doubts my own experiments have
completely removed; but then I was not aware of the great effect of the
_scalding_, of which, by the way, Miss WOODHOUSE had said nothing, and the
knowledge of which we owe entirely to my son James' journey into
Connecticut.

P.--Having thus given you an account of the time and manner of cutting the
grass, of the mode of cutting and bleaching; having given you the best
account I am able, as to the sorts of grass to be employed in this
business; and having, in my former communications, given you specimens of
the plat wrought from the several sorts of straw, I might here close my
letter; but as it may be useful to speak of _the expense_ of cutting and
bleaching, I shall trouble you with a few words relating to it. If there
were a field of _Ray-grass_, or of _Crested Dog's-tail_, or any other good
sort, and nothing else growing with it, the expense of _cutting_ would be
very little indeed, seeing that the _scythe_ or _reap-hook_ would do the
business at a great rate. Doubtless there _will be_ such fields; but even
if the grass have to be cut by the handful, my opinion is, that the
expense of cutting and bleaching would not exceed _fourpence_ for straw
enough to make a large bonnet. I should be willing to contract to supply
straw, at this rate, for half a million of bonnets. The _scalding_ must
constitute a considerable part of the expense; because there must be
_fresh water_ for every parcel of grass that you put in the tub. When
water has scalded one parcel of cold grass, it will not scald another
parcel. Besides, the scalding draws out the _sweet matter_ of the grass,
and makes the water the colour of that horrible stuff called London
porter. It would be very good, by-the-by, to give to pigs. Many people
give _hay-tea_ to pigs and calves; and this is _grass-tea_. To scald a
large quantity, therefore would require means not usually at hand, and the
scalding is an essential part of the business. Perhaps, in a large and
convenient farm-house, with a good brewing copper, good fuel and water
handy, four or five women might scald a wagon load in a day; and a wagon
would, I think, carry straw enough (in the rough) to furnish the means of
making a thousand bonnets. However, the scalding _might_ take place _in
the field itself_, by means of a portable boiler, especially if water were
at hand; and perhaps it would be better to carry the water to the field
than to carry the grass to the farm-house, for there must be _ground to
lay it out upon the moment it has been scalded_, and no ground can be so
proper as the newly-mowed ground where the grass has stood. The _space_,
too, must be _large_, for any considerable quantity of grass. As to all
these things, however, the best and cheapest methods will soon be
discovered when people set about the work with a view to profit.

Q.--The Society will want nothing from me, nor from any-body else, to
convince it of the importance of this matter; but I cannot, in concluding
these communications to you, Sir, refrain from making an observation or
two on the consequences likely to arise out of these inquiries. The
manufacture is alone of considerable magnitude. Not less than about _five
millions_ of persons in this kingdom have a dress which consists partly of
manufactured straw; and a large part, and all the most expensive part, of
the articles thus used, now come from abroad. In cases where you can get
from abroad any article at _less expense than you can get it at home_, the
wisdom of fabricating that article at home may be doubted. But, in this
case, you get the raw material by labour performed at home, and the cost
of that labour is not nearly so great as would be the cost of the mere
carriage of the straw from a foreign country to this. If our own people
had all plenty of employment, and that too more profitable to them and to
the country than the turning of a part of our own grass into articles of
dress, then it would be advisable still to import Leghorn bonnets; but the
facts being the reverse, it is clear, that whatever money, or money's
worth things, be sent out of the country, in exchange for Leghorn bonnets,
is, while we have the raw material here for next to nothing, just so much
thrown away. The Italians, it may be said, take some of our manufactures
in exchange; and let us suppose, for the purpose of illustration, that
they take cloth from Yorkshire. Stop the exchange between Leghorn and
Yorkshire, and, does Yorkshire _lose part of its custom_? No: for though
those who make the bonnets out of English grass, prevent the Leghorners
from buying Yorkshire cloth, they, with the money which they now get,
instead of its being got by the Leghorners, buy the Yorkshire cloth
themselves; and they wear this cloth too, instead of its being worn by the
people of Italy; ay, Sir, and many, now in rags, will be well clad, if the
laudable object of the Society be effected. Besides this, however, why
should we not _export_ the articles of this manufacture? To America we
certainly should; and I should not be at all surprised if we were to
export them to Leghorn itself.

R.--Notwithstanding all this, however, if the manufacture were of a
description to require, in order to give it success, the _collecting of
the manufacturers together in great numbers_, I should, however great the
wealth that it might promise, never have done any thing to promote its
establishment. The contrary is happily the case: here all is not only
performed _by hand_, but by hand _singly_, without any combination of
hands. Here there is no power of machinery or of chemistry wanted. All is
performed out in the open fields, or sitting in the cottage. There wants
no coal mines and no rivers to assist; no water-powers nor powers of fire.
No part of the kingdom is unfit for the business. Every-where there are
grass, water, sun, and women and children's fingers; and these are all
that are wanted. But, the great thing of all is this; that, to obtain the
materials for the making of this article of dress, at once so gay, so
useful, and in some cases so expensive, there requires not _a penny of
capital_. Many of the labourers now make their own straw hats to wear in
summer. Poor rotten things, made out of straw of ripened grain. With what
satisfaction will they learn that straw, twenty times as durable, to say
nothing of the beauty, is to be got from every hedge? In short when the
people are well and clearly informed of the facts, which I have through
you, Sir, had the honour to lay before the Society, it is next to
impossible that the manufacture should not become general throughout the
country. In every labourer's house a pot of water can be boiled. What
labourer's wife cannot, in the summer months, find time to cut and bleach
grass enough to give her and her children work for a part of the winter?
There is no necessity for all to be _platters_. Some may cut and bleach
only. Others may prepare the straw, as mentioned in paragraph L. of this
letter. And doubtless, as the farmers in Hertfordshire now sell their
straw to the platters, grass collectors and bleachers and preparers would
do the same. So that there is scarcely any country labourer's family that
might not derive some advantage from this discovery; and, while I am
convinced that this consideration has been by no means over-looked by the
Society, it has been, I assure you, the great consideration of all with,

  Sir, your most obedient and
  most humble Servant,
  WM. COBBETT.

223. In the last edition, this closing part of the work, relative to the
straw plat, was not presented to the public as a thing which admitted of
no alteration; but, on the contrary, it was presented to the public with
the following concluding remark: "In conclusion I have to observe, that I
by no means send forth this essay as containing opinions and instructions
that are to undergo no alteration. I am, indeed, endeavouring to teach
others; but I am myself only a learner. Experience will, doubtless, make
me much more perfect in a knowledge of the several parts of the subject;
and the fruit of this experience I shall be careful to communicate to the
public." I now proceed to make good this promise. Experience has proved
that very beautiful and very fine plat can be made of the straw of divers
kinds of _grass_. But the most ample experience has also proved to us that
it is to the straw of _wheat_, that we are to look for a manufacture to
supplant the Leghorn. This was mentioned as a strong suspicion in my
former edition of this work. And I urged my readers to sow wheat for the
purpose. The fact is now proved beyond all contradiction, that the straw
of wheat or rye, but particularly of wheat, is the straw for this purpose.
_Finer_ plat may be made from the straw of grass than can possibly be made
from the straw of wheat or rye: but the grass plat is, all of it, more or
less _brittle_; and none of it has the beautiful and uniform colour of the
straw of wheat. Since the last edition of this work, I have received
packets of the straw _from Tuscany_, all of _wheat_; and, indeed, I am
_convinced_ that no other straw is any-thing like so well calculated for
the purpose. Wheat straw bleaches better than any other. It has that fine,
pale, golden colour which no other straw has; it is much more simple, more
pliant than any other straw; and, in short, this is the material. I did
not urge in vain. A good quantity of wheat was sowed for this purpose. A
great deal of it has been well harvested; and I have the pleasure to know
that several hundreds of persons are now employed in the platting of
straw. One more year; one more crop of wheat; and another Leghorn bonnet
will never be imported in England. Some great errors have been committed
in the sowing of the wheat, and in the cutting of it. I shall now,
therefore, availing myself of the experience which I have gained, offer to
the public some observations on the _sort of wheat_ to be sowed for this
purpose; on the _season_ for sowing; on the _land_ to be used for the
purpose; on the _quantity of seed_, and the _manner_ of sowing: on the
_season_ for cutting; on the manner of _cutting_, _bleaching_, and
_housing_; on the _platting_; on the _knitting_, and on the _pressing_.

224. The SORT OF WHEAT. The Leghorn plat is all made of the straw of the
spring wheat. This spring wheat is so called by us, because it is sowed in
the spring, at the same time that barley is sowed. The botanical name of
it is TRITICUM ÆSTIVUM. It is a small-grained bearded wheat. It has very
fine straw; but experience has convinced me, that the little brown-grained
winter wheat is just as good for the purpose. In short, any wheat will do.
I have now in my possession specimens of plat made of both winter and
spring wheat, and I see no difference at all. I am decidedly of opinion
that the winter wheat is as good as the spring wheat for the purpose. I
have plat, and I have straw both now before me, and the above is the
result of my experience.

225. THE LAND PROPER FOR THE GROWING OF WHEAT. The object is to have the
straw as small as we can get it. The land must not, therefore, be too
rich; yet it ought not to be _very poor_. If it be, you get the straw of
no length. I saw an acre this year, as beautiful as possible, sowed upon a
light loam, which bore last year a fine crop of potatoes. The land ought
to be perfectly clean, at any rate; so that, when the crop is taken off,
the wheat straw may not be mixed with weeds and grass.

226. SEASON FOR SOWING. This will be more conveniently stated in paragraph
228.

227. QUANTITY OF SEED AND MANNER OF SOWING. When first this subject was
started in 1821, I said, in the Register, that I would engage to grow as
fine straw in England as the Italians could grow. I recommended then, as a
first guess, _fifteen_ bushels of wheat to the acre. Since that,
reflection told me that that was not quite enough. I therefore recommended
_twenty_ bushels to the acre. Upon the beautiful acre which I have
mentioned above, eighteen bushels, I am told, were sowed; fine and
beautiful as it was, I think it would have been better if it had had
twenty bushels; twenty bushels, therefore, is what I recommend. You must
sow broad cast, of course, and you must take great pains to cover the seed
well. It must be a good even-handed seedsman, and there must be very nice
covering.

228. SEASON FOR CUTTING. Now, mind, it is fit to cut in just about one
week _after the bloom has dropped_. If you examine the ear at that time,
you will find the grain just beginning to be formed, and that is precisely
the time to cut the wheat: The straw has then got its full substance in
it. But I must now point out a very material thing. It is by no means
desirable to have _all_ your wheat _fit to cut at the same time_. It is a
great misfortune, indeed, so to have it. If fit to cut altogether, it
ought to be cut all at the same time; for supposing you to have an acre,
it will require a fortnight or three weeks to cut it and bleach it, unless
you have a very great number of hands, and very great vessels to prepare
water in. Therefore, if I were to have an acre of wheat for this, purpose,
and were to sow all spring wheat, I would sow a twelfth part of the acre
every week from the first week in March to the last week in May. If I
relied partly upon winter wheat, I would sow some every month, from the
latter end of September to March. If I employed the two sorts of wheat, or
indeed if I employed only the spring wheat, the TRITICUM ÆSTIVUM, I should
have some wheat fit to cut in June, and some not fit to cut till
September. I should be sure to have a fair chance as to the weather. And,
in short, it would be next to impossible for me to fail of securing a
considerable part of my crop. I beg the reader's particular attention to
the contents of this paragraph.

229. MANNER OF CUTTING THE WHEAT. It is cut by a little reap-hook, close
to the ground as possible. It is then tied in little sheaves, with two
pieces of string, one near the butt, and the other about half-way up. This
little bundle or sheaf ought to be six inches through at the butt, and no
more. It ought not to be tied too tightly, lest the scalding should not be
perfect.

230. MANNER OF BLEACHING. The little sheaves mentioned in the last
paragraph are carried to a brewing mash, vat, or other tub. You must not
put them into the tub in too large a quantity, lest the water get chilled
before it get to the bottom. Pour on scalding water till you cover the
whole of the little sheaves, and let the water be a foot above the top
sheaves. When the sheaves have remained thus a full quarter of an hour,
take them out with a prong, lay them in a clothes-basket, or upon a
hurdle, and carry them to the ground where the bleaching is to be
finished. This should be, if possible, a piece of grass land, where the
grass is very short. Take the sheaves, and lay some of them along in a
row; untie them, and lay the straw along in that row as thin as it can
possibly be laid. If it were possible, no one straw ought to have another
lying upon it, or across it. If the sun be clear, it will require to lie
twenty-four hours thus, then to be turned, and lie twenty-four hours on
the other side. If the sun be not very clear, it must lie longer. But the
numerous sowings which I have mentioned will afford you so many chances,
so many opportunities of having fine weather, that the risk about weather
would necessarily be very small. If wet weather should come, and if your
straw remain out in it any length of time, it will be spoiled; but,
according to the mode of sowing above pointed out, you really could stand
very little chance of losing straw by bad weather. If you had some straw
out bleaching, and the weather were to appear suddenly to be about to
change, the quantity that you would have out would not be large enough to
prevent you from putting it under cover, and keeping it there till the
weather changed.

231. HOUSING THE STRAW. When your straw is nicely bleached, gather it up,
and with the same string that you used to tie it when green, tie it up
again into little sheaves. Put it by in some room where there is no
_damp_, and where mice and rats are not suffered to inhabit. Here it is
always ready for use, and it will keep, I dare say, four or five years
very well.

232. THE PLATTING. This is now so well understood that nothing need be
said about the manner of doing the work. But much might be said about the
measures to be pursued by land-owners, by parish officers, by farmers, and
more especially by gentlemen and ladies of sense, public spirit, and
benevolence of disposition. The thing will be done; the manufacture will
spread itself all over this kingdom; but the exertions of those whom I
have here pointed out might hasten the period of its being brought to
perfection. And I beg such gentlemen and ladies to reflect on the vast
importance of such manufacture, which it is impossible to cause to produce
any-thing but good. One of the great misfortunes of England at this day
is, that the land has had _taken away from it those employments for its
women and children which were so necessary to the well-being of the
agricultural labourer_. The spinning, the carding, the reeling, the
knitting; these have been all taken away from the land, and given to the
Lords of the Loom, the haughty lords of bands of abject slaves. But let
the landholder mark how the change has operated to produce his ruin. He
must have the labouring MAN and the labouring BOY; but, alas! he cannot
have these, without having the man's wife, and the boy's mother, and
little sisters and brothers. Even Nature herself says, that he shall have
the wife and little children, or that he shall not have the man and the
boy. But the Lords of the Loom, the crabbed-voiced, hard-favoured,
hard-hearted, puffed-up, insolent, savage and bloody wretches of the North
have, assisted by a blind and greedy Government, taken all the employment
away from the agricultural women and children. This manufacture of Straw
will form one little article of employment for these persons. It sets at
defiance all the hatching and scheming of all the tyrannical wretches who
cause the poor little creatures to die in their factories, heated to
eighty-four degrees. There will need no inventions of WATT; none of your
horse powers, nor water powers; no murdering of one set of wretches in the
coal mines, to bring up the means of murdering another set of wretches in
the factories, by the heat produced from those coals; none of these are
wanted to carry on this manufactory. It wants no _combination_ laws; none
of the inventions of the hard-hearted wretches of the North.

233. THE KNITTING. Upon this subject, I have only to congratulate my
readers that there are great numbers of English women who can now knit,
plat together, better than those famous Jewesses of whom we were told.

234. THE PRESSING. Bonnets and hats are pressed after they are made. I am
told that a proper press costs pretty nearly a hundred pounds; but, then,
that it will do prodigious deal of business. I would recommend to our
friends in the country to teach as many children as they can to make the
plat. The plat will be knitted in London, and in other considerable towns,
by persons to whom it will be sold. It appears to me, at least, that this
will be the course that the thing will take. However, we must leave this
to time; and here I conclude my observations upon a subject which is
deeply interesting to myself, and which the public in general deem to be
of great importance.

235. POSTSCRIPT on _brewing_.--I think it right to say here, that, ever
since I published the instructions for brewing by copper and by wooden
utensils, the beer at _my own house_ has always been brewed precisely
agreeable to the instructions contained in this book; and I have to add,
that I never have had such good beer in my house in all my lifetime, as
since I have followed that mode of brewing. My table-beer, as well as my
ale, is always as clear as wine. I have had hundreds and hundreds of
quarters of malt brewed into beer in my house. My people could always make
it strong enough and sweet enough; but never, except by accident, could
they make it CLEAR. Now I never have any that is not clear. And yet my
utensils are all very small; and my brewers are sometimes one labouring
man, and sometimes another. A man wants showing how to brew the first
time. I should suppose that we use, in my house, about seven hundred
gallons of beer every year, taking both sorts together; and I can
positively assert, that there has not been one drop of bad beer, and
indeed none which has not been most excellent, in my house, during the
last two years, I think it is, since I began using the utensils, and in
the manner named in this book.


ICE-HOUSES.

236. First begging the reader to read again paragraph 149, I proceed here,
in compliance with numerous requests to that effect, to describe, as
clearly as I can, the manner of constructing the sort of Ice-houses
therein mentioned. In England, these receptacles of frozen water are,
generally, _under ground_, and always, if possible, under the _shade of
trees_, the opinion being, that the _main_ thing, if not the _only_ thing,
is to keep away _the heat_. The heat is to be kept away certainly; but
_moisture_ is the great enemy of _Ice_; and how is this to be kept away
either _under ground_, or under the shade of trees? Abundant experience
has proved, that no thickness of _wall_, that no cement of any kind, will
effectually resist _moisture_. Drops will, at times, be seen hanging on
the under side of an arch of any thickness, and made of any materials, if
it have earth over it, and even when it has the floor of a house over it;
and wherever the moisture enters, the ice will quickly melt.

237. Ice-houses should therefore be, in all their parts, _as dry_ as
possible: and they should be so constructed, and the ice so deposited in
them, as to ensure _the running away of the meltings_ as quickly as
possible, whenever such meltings come. Any-thing in way of drains or
gutters, is too slow in its effect; and therefore there must be something
that will not suffer the water proceeding from any melting, to remain an
instant.

238. In the first place, then, the ice-house should stand in a place quite
open to the _sun and air_; for whoever has travelled even but a few miles
(having eyes in his head) need not be told how long that part of a road
from which the sun and wind are excluded by trees, or hedges, or by
any-thing else, will remain wet, or at least damp, after the rest of the
road is even in a state to send up dust.

239. The next thing is to protect the ice against wet, or damp, from
_beneath_. It should, therefore, stand on some spot _from which water
would run in every direction_; and if the natural ground presents no such
spot, it is no very great job to _make it_.

240. Then come the _materials_ of which the house is to consist. These,
for the reasons before-mentioned, must not be bricks, stones, mortar, nor
earth; for these are all affected by the atmosphere; they will become
_damp_ at certain times, and _dampness_ is the great destroyer of ice. The
materials are _wood_ and _straw_. Wood will not do; for, though not liable
to become damp, it imbibes _heat_ fast enough; and, besides, it cannot be
so put together as to shut out air sufficiently. Straw is wholly free from
the quality of becoming damp, except from water actually put upon it; and
it can, at the same time, be placed on a roof, and on sides, to such a
degree of thickness as to exclude the air in a manner the most perfect.
The ice-house ought, therefore, to be made of _posts, plates, rafters,
laths, and straw_. The best form is the _circular_; and the house, when
made, appears as I have endeavoured to describe it in _Fig. 3_ of the
plate.

241. FIG. 1, _a_, is the centre of a circle, the diameter of which is ten
feet, and at this centre you put up a post to stand fifteen feet above the
level of the ground, which post ought to be about nine inches through at
the bottom, and not a great deal smaller at the top. Great care must be
taken that this post be _perfectly perpendicular_; for, if it be not, the
whole building will be awry.

242. _b b b_ are fifteen posts, nine feet high, and six inches through at
the bottom, without much tapering towards the top. These posts stand about
two feet apart, reckoning from centre of post to centre of post, which
leaves between each two a space of eighteen inches, _c c c c_ are
fifty-four posts, five feet high, and five inches through at the bottom,
without much tapering towards the top. These posts stand about two feet
apart, from centre of post to centre of post, which leaves between each
two a space of nineteen inches. The space between these two rows of posts
is four feet in width, and, as will be presently seen, is to contain _a
wall of straw_.

243. _e_ is a passage through this wall; _d_ is the outside door of the
passage; _f_ is the inside door; and the inner circle, of which _a_ is the
centre, is the place in which the ice is to be deposited.

244. Well, then, we have now got _the posts_ up; and, before we talk of
the _roof_ of the house, or of the _bed_ for the ice, it will be best to
speak about the making of the _wall_. It is to be made of _straw_,
wheat-straw, or rye-straw, with no rubbish in it, and made very smooth by
the hand as it is put in. You lay it _in very closely_ and very smoothly,
so that if the wall were cut across, as at _g g_, in FIG. 2 (which FIG.
2 represents _the whole building cut down through the middle_, omitting
the centre post,) the ends of the straws would present a compact face as
they do after a cut of a chaff-cutter. But there requires something _to
keep the straw from bulging out between the posts_. Little stakes as big
as your _wrist_ will answer this purpose. Drive them into the ground, and
fasten, at top, to the _plates_, of which I am now to speak. The plates
are pieces of wood which go all round both the circles, and are _nailed on
upon the tops of the posts_. Their main business is to receive and sustain
the _lower ends of the rafters_, as at _m m_ and _n n_ in FIG. 2. But to
the plates also the _stakes_ just mentioned must be fastened at top. Thus,
then, there will be this space of four feet wide, having, on each side of
it, a row of posts and stakes, not more than about six inches from each
other, to hold up, and to keep in its place, this wall of straw.


[Illustration: _Fig. 1_, _Fig. 2_, _Fig. 3_]


245. Next come the _rafters_, as from _s_ to _n_, FIG. 2. Carpenters best
know what is the _number_ and what the _size_ of the rafters; but from _s_
to _m_ there need be only about half as many as from _m_ to _n_. However,
carpenters know all about this. It is their every-day work. The roof is
forty-five _degrees pitch_, as the carpenters call it. If it were even
_sharper_, it would be none the worse. There will be about _thirty_ ends
of rafters to lodge on the plate, as at _m_; and these cannot _all_ be
fastened to the top of the centre-post rising up from _a_; but carpenters
know how to manage this matter, so as to make all strong and safe. The
_plate_ which goes along on the tops of the row of posts, _b b b_, must,
of course, be put on in a somewhat sloping form; otherwise there would be
a sort of _hip_ formed by the rafters. However, the thatch is to be so
deep, that this may not be of much consequence. Before the thatching
begins, there are _laths_ to put upon the rafters. Thatchers know all
about this, and all that you have to do is, to take care that the thatcher
_tie the straw on well_. The best way, in a case of such deep thatch, is
to have _a strong man to tie for the thatcher_.

246. The roof is now _raftered_, and it is to receive a thatch of _clean_,
_sound_, and well-prepared wheat or rye straw, four _feet thick_, as at _h
h_ in FIG. 2.

247. The house having now got _walls_ and _roof_, the next thing is to
make the _bed_ to receive the ice. This bed is the area of the circle of
which _a_ is the centre. You begin by laying on the ground _round logs_,
eight inches through, or thereabouts, and placing them across the area,
leaving spaces between them of about a foot. Then, _crossways on them_,
poles about four inches through, placed at six inches apart. Then,
_crossways on them_, other poles, about two inches through, placed at
three inches apart. Then, _crossways on them_, rods as thick as your
finger, placed at an inch apart. Then upon these, small, clean, dry,
last-winter-cut _twigs_, to the thickness of about two inches; or, instead
of these twigs, good, clean, strong _heath_, free from grass and moss, and
from rubbish of all sorts.

248. This is the _bed_ for the ice to lie on; and as you see, the top of
the bed will be seventeen inches from the ground. The pressure of the ice
may, perhaps, bring it to fourteen, or to thirteen. Upon this bed the ice
is put, broken and pummelled, and beaten down together in the usual
manner.

249. Having got the bed filled with ice, we have next to _shut it safely
up_. As we have seen, there is a passage (_e_). Two feet wide is enough
for this passage; and, being as long as the wall is thick, it is of
course, four feet long. The use of the passage is this: that you may have
_two doors_, so that you may, in hot or damp weather, shut the outer door,
while you have the inner door open. This inner door may be of hurdle-work,
and straw, and covered, on one of the sides, with sheep-skins with the
_wool on_, so as to keep out the external air. The outer-door, which must
lock, must be of wood, made to shut very closely, and, besides, covered
with skins like the other. At times of great danger from heat, or from
wet, the whole of the passage may be filled with straw. The door (_p._
FIG. 3) should face the North, or between North and East.

250. As to the _size_ of the ice-house, that must, of course, depend upon
the _quantity_ of ice that you may choose to have. A house on the above
scale, is from _w_ to _x_ (FIG. 2) twenty-nine feet; from _y_ to _z_ (FIG.
2) nineteen feet. The area of the circle, of which _a_ is the centre, is
ten feet in diameter, and as this area contains seventy-five superficial
feet, you will, if you put ice on the bed to the height of only five feet,
(and you _may_ put it on to the height of seven feet from the top of the
bed,) you will have _three hundred and seventy-five cubic feet of ice_;
and, observe, a cubic foot of ice will, when broken up, fill much more
than a _Winchester Bushel_: what it may do as to an "IMPERIAL BUSHEL,"
engendered like Greek Loan Commissioners, by the unnatural heat of
"PROSPERITY," God only knows! However, I do suppose, that, without making
any allowance for the "_cold_ fit," as Dr. Baring calls it, into which
"_late_ panic" has brought us; I do suppose, that even the scorching, the
burning dog-star of "IMPERIAL PROSPERITY;" nay, that even DIVES himself,
would hardly call for more than two bushels of ice in a day; for more than
two bushels a day it would be, unless it were used in cold as well as in
hot weather.

251. As to the _expense_ of such a house, it could, in the country, not be
much. None of the posts, except the main or centre-post, need be _very
straight_. The other posts might be easily culled from tree-lops, destined
for fire-wood. The straw would _make all straight_. The _plates_ must of
necessity be short pieces of wood; and, as to the _stakes_, the _laths_,
and the _logs_, _poles_, _rods_, _twigs_, and _heath_, they would not all
cost _twenty shillings_. The straw is the principal article; and, in most
places, even that would not cost more than two or three pounds. If it last
many years, the price could not be an object; and if but a little while,
it would still be nearly as good for litter as it was before it was
applied to this purpose. How often the _bottom of the straw walls_ might
want renewing I cannot say, but I know that the roof would with few and
small repairs, last well for ten years.

252. I have said that the interior row of posts is to be nine feet high,
and the exterior row five feet high. I, in each case, mean, _with the
plate inclusive_. I have only to add, that by way of superabundant
precaution against bottom wet, it will be well to make a sort of _gutter_,
to receive the drip from the roof, and to carry it away as soon as it
falls.

253. Now, after expressing a hope that I shall have made myself clearly
understood by every reader, it is necessary that I remind him, that I do
not pretend to pledge myself for the complete success, nor for any success
at all, of this mode of making ice-houses. But, at the same time, I
express my firm belief, that complete success would attend it; because it
not only corresponds with what I have seen of such matters; but I had the
details from a gentleman who had ample experience to guide him, and who
was a man on whose word and judgment I placed a perfect reliance. He
advised me to erect an ice-house; but not caring enough about _fresh meat_
and _fish_ in summer, or at least not setting them enough above "_prime
pork_" to induce me to take any trouble to secure the former, I never
built an ice-house. Thus, then, I only communicate that in which I
believe; there is, however, in all cases, this comfort, that if the thing
fail as an ice-house, it will serve all generations to come as a model for
a pig-bed.


ADDITION.

_Kensington, Nov. 14th, 1831._

MANGEL WURZEL.

254. This last summer, I have proved that, as keep for cows, MANGEL WURZEL
is preferable to SWEDISH TURNIPS, whether as to quantity or quality. But
there needs no other alteration in the book, than merely to read _mangel
wurzel_ wherever you find _Swedish turnip_; the time of sowing, the mode
and time of transplanting, the distances, and the cultivation, all being
the same; and the only difference being in the _application of the
leaves_, and in _the time of harvesting_ the roots.

255. The leaves of the MANGEL WURZEL are of great value, especially in dry
summers. You begin, about the third week in August, to take off by a
_downward pull_, the leaves of the plants; and they are excellent food for
pigs and cows; only observe this, that, if given to cows, there must be,
for each cow, _six pounds of hay a day_, which is not necessary in the
case of the Swedish turnips. These leaves last till the crop is taken up,
which ought to be in the _first week of November_. The taking off of the
leaves does good to the plants: new leaves succeed higher up; and the
plant becomes _longer_ than it otherwise would be, and, of course,
_heavier_. But, in taking off the leaves, you must not approach too near
to the top.

256. When you take the plants up in November, you must cut off the
_crowns_ and the remaining leaves; and they, again, are for cows and pigs.
Then you put the roots into some place to keep them from the frost; and,
if you have no place under cover, put them in _pies_, in the same manner
as directed for the Swedish turnips. The roots will average in weight 10
_lbs. each_. They may be given to cows _whole_, or to pigs either, and
they are better than the Swedish turnip for both animals; and they do not
give any bad or strong taste to the milk and butter. But, besides this use
of the mangel wurzel, there is another, with regard to pigs at least, of
very great importance. The _juice_ of this plant has so much of
_sweetness_ in it, that, in France, they make _sugar_ of it; and have used
the sugar, and found it equal in goodness to West India sugar. Many
persons in England make _beer_ of this juice, and I have drunk of this
beer, and found it very good. In short, the juice is most excellent for
the mixing of moist food for pigs. I am now (20th Nov. 1831) boiling it
for this purpose. My copper holds seven strike-bushels; I put in three
bushels of mangel wurzel cut into pieces two inches thick, and then fill
the copper with water. I draw off as much of the liquor as I want to wet
pollard, or meal, for little pigs or fatting-pigs, and the rest, roots and
all, I feed the _yard-hogs_ with; and this I shall follow on till about
the middle of May.

257. If you give boiled, or steamed, _potatoes_ to pigs, there wants some
liquor to mix with the potatoes; for the water in which potatoes have been
boiled is _hurtful_ to any animal that drinks it. But mix the potatoes
with juice of mangel wurzel, and they make very good food for hogs of all
ages. The mangel wurzel produces _a larger_ crop than the Swedish turnip.


COBBETT'S CORN.

258. IF you prefer _bread_ and _pudding_ to milk, butter, and meat, this
corn will produce, on your forty rods, forty bushels, each weighing 60
_lbs. at the least_; and more flour, in proportion, than the best white
wheat. To make _bread_ with it you must use _two-thirds_ wheaten, or rye,
flour; but in puddings this is not necessary. The puddings at my house are
all made with this flour, except meat and fruit pudding; for the corn
flour is not adhesive or _clinging_ enough to make paste, or crust. This
corn is the very best for hog-fatting in the whole world. I, last April,
sent parcels of the seed into several counties, to be given away to
working men: and I sent them instructions for the cultivation, which I
shall repeat here.

259. I will first describe this _corn_ to you. It is that which is
sometimes called _Indian corn_; and sometimes people call it Indian wheat.
It is that sort of corn which the disciples ate as they were going up to
Jerusalem on the Sabbath-day. They gathered it in the fields as they went
along and ate it green, they being "an hungered," for which you know they
were reproved by the pharisees. I have written a treatise on this corn in
a book which I sell for four shillings, giving a minute account of the
qualities, the culture, the harvesting, and the various uses of this corn;
but I shall here confine myself to what is necessary for a labourer to
know about it, so that he may be induced to raise and may be enabled to
raise enough of it in his garden to fat a pig of ten score.

260. There are a great many sorts of this corn. They all come from
countries which are hotter than England. This sort, which my eldest son
brought into England, is a dwarf kind, and is the only kind that I have
known to ripen in this country: and I know that it will ripen in this
country in any summer; for I had a large field of it in 1828 and 1829; and
last year (my lease at my farm being out at Michaelmas, and this corn not
ripening till late in October) I had about two acres in my garden at
Kensington. Within the memory of man there have not been three summers so
cold as the last, one after another; and no one so cold as the last. Yet
my corn ripened perfectly well, and this you will be satisfied of if you
be amongst the men to whom this corn is given from me. You will see that
it is in the shape of the cone of a spruce fir; you will see that the
grains are fixed round a stalk which is called the _cob_. These _stalks_
or _ears_ come out of the side of the plant, which has leaves like a flag,
which plant grows to about three feet high, and has two or three and
sometimes more, of these ears or bunches of grain. Out of the top of the
plant comes the tassel, which resembles the plumes of feathers upon a
hearse; and this is the flower of the plant.

261. The grain is, as you will see, about the size of a large pea, and
there are from two to three hundred of these grains upon the ear, or cob.
In my treatise, I have shown that, in America, all the hogs and pigs, all
the poultry of every sort, the greater part of the oxen, and a
considerable part of the sheep, are fatted upon this corn; that it is the
best food for horses; and that, when ground and dressed in various ways,
it is used in bread, in puddings, in several other ways in families; and
that, in short, it is the real staff of life, in all the countries where
it is in common culture, and where the climate is hot. When used for
poultry, the grain is rubbed off the cob. Horses, sheep, and pigs, bite
the grain off, and leave the cob; but horned cattle eat cob and all.

262. I am to speak of it to you, however, only as a thing to make you some
bacon, for which use it surpasses all other grain whatsoever. When the
grain is in the whole ear, it is called corn in the ear; when it is rubbed
off the cob, it is called shelled corn. Now, observe, ten bushels of
shelled corn are equal, in the fatting of a pig, to fifteen bushels of
barley; and fifteen bushels of barley, if properly ground and managed,
will make a pig of ten score, if he be not too poor when you begin to fat
him. Observe that everybody who has been in America knows, that the finest
hogs in the world are fatted in that country; and no man ever saw a hog
fatted in that country in any other way than tossing the ears of corn over
to him in the sty, leaving him to bite it off the ear, and deal with it
according to his pleasure. The finest and solidest bacon in the world is
produced in this way.

263. Now, then, I know, that a bushel of shelled corn may be grown upon
one single rod of ground sixteen feet and a half each way; I have grown
more than that this last summer; and any of you may do the same if you
will strictly follow the instructions which I am now about to give you.

1. Late in March (I am doing it now,) or in the first fortnight of April,
dig your ground up _very deep_, and let it lie rough till between the
seventh and fifteenth of May.

2. Then (in dry weather if possible) dig up the ground again, and make it
smooth at top. Draw drills with a line two feet apart, just as you do
drills for peas; rub the grains off the cob; put a little very rotten and
fine manure along the bottom of the drill; lay the grains along upon that
six inches apart; cover the grain over with fine earth, so that there be
about an inch and a half on the top of the grain; pat the earth down a
little with the back of a hoe to make it lie solid on the grain.

3. If there be any danger of slugs, you must kill them before the corn
comes up if possible: and the best way to do this is to put a little hot
lime in a bag, and go very early in the morning, and shake the bag all
round the edges of the ground and over the ground. Doing this three or
four times very early in a dewy morning, or just after a shower, will
destroy all the slugs; and this ought to be done for all other crops as
well as for that of corn.

4. When the corn comes up, you must take care to keep all birds off till
it is two or three inches high; for the spear is so sweet, that the birds
of all sorts are very apt to peck it off, particularly the doves and the
larks and pigeons. As soon as it is fairly above ground, give the whole of
the ground (in dry weather) a flat hoeing, and be sure to move all the
ground close round the plants. When the weeds begin to appear again, give
the ground another hoeing, but always in dry weather. When the plants get
to be about a foot high or a little more, dig the ground between the rows,
and work the earth up a little against the stems of the plants.

5. About the middle of August you will see the tassel springing up out of
the middle of the plant, and the ears coming out of the sides. If weeds
appear in the ground, hoe it again to kill the weeds, so that the ground
may be always kept clean. About the middle of September you will find the
grains of the ears to be full of milk, just in the state that the ears
were at Jerusalem when the disciples cropped them to eat. From this milky
state, they, like the grains of wheat, grow hard; and as soon as the
grains begin to be hard, you should cut off the tops of the corn and the
long flaggy leaves, and leave the ears to ripen upon the stalk or stem. If
it be a warm summer, they will be fit to harvest by the last of October;
but it does not signify if they remain out until the middle of November or
even later. The longer they stay out, the harder the grain will be.

6. Each ear is covered in a very curious manner with a husk. The best way
for you will be, when you gather in your crop to strip off the husks, to
tie the ears in bunches of six or eight or ten, and to hang them up to
nails in the walls, or against the beams of your house; for there is so
much moisture in the cob that the ears are apt to heat if put together in
great parcels. The room in which I write in London is now hung all round
with bunches of this corn. The bunches may be hung up in a shed or stable
for a while, and, when perfectly dry, they may be put into bags.

7. Now, as to the mode of _using_ the corn; if for poultry, you must rub
the grains off the cob; but if for pigs, give them the whole ears. You
will find some of the ears in which the grain is still soft. Give these to
your pig first; and keep the hardest to the last. You will soon see how
much the pig will require in a day, because pigs, more decent than many
rich men, never eat any more than is necessary to them. You will thus have
a pig; you will have two flitches of bacon, two pig's cheeks, one set of
souse, two griskins, two spare-ribs, from both which I trust in God you
will keep the jaws of the Methodist parson; and if, while you are drinking
a mug of your own ale, after having dined upon one of these, you drink my
health, you may be sure that it will give you more merit in the sight of
God as well as of man, than you would acquire by groaning the soul out of
your body in responses to the blasphemous cant of the sleekheaded
Methodist thief that would persuade you to live upon potatoes.

264. You must be quite sensible that I cannot have any motive but your
good in giving you this advice, other than the delight which I take and
the pleasure which I derive from doing that good. You are all personally
unknown to me: in all human probability not one man in a thousand will
ever see me. You have no more power to show your gratitude to me than you
have to cause me to live for a hundred years. I do not desire that you
should deem this a favour received from me. The thing is worth your
trying, at any rate.

265. The corn is off by the middle of November. The ground should then be
well manured, and deeply dug, and planted with EARLY YORK, or EARLY DWARF
CABBAGES, which will be _loaved_ in the _latter end of April_, and may be
either sold or given to pigs, or cows, _before the time to plant the corn
again_. Thus you have two very large crops on the same ground in the same
year.



INDEX.


                                     PARAGRAPH

  Agur                                      18

  Bees                                     160

  Bread, making of                          77

  Brewing Beer                         20, 108
    _See also_ "POSTSCRIPT."

  Brewing-machine                           41

  Brougham, Mr.                             41

  Candles and Rushes                       199

  Castlereagh's and Mackintosh's Oratory   152

  Combination Laws                         108

  Corn, Cobbett                            258

  Cows, keeping                            111

  Cusar, Mr.                                86

  Custom Laws                              108

  Drennen, Dr.                              80

  Dress, Household Goods, and Fuel         199

  Ducks                                    169

  Economy, meaning of the term            2, 3

  Education                                 11

  Ellman, Mr.                           20, 60

  Excise Laws                              108

  Fowls                                    176

  Geese                                    167

  Goats and Ewes                           189

  Hanning, Mr. Wm.                          99

  Hill, Mr.                                 98

  Hops                                     202

  Ice-houses                               236

  Leghorn                                  212

  Libel Laws                               108

  Malthus, Parson                          141

  Mangel Wurzel                            254

  Mustard                                  198

  Parks, Mr.                                98

  Paul, Saint                              148

  Peel's flimsy Dresses                    152

  Pigeons                                  181

  Pigs, keeping                            139

  Pitt's false Money                       152

  Plat, English Straw                      208

  Porter, how to make                       71

  Potatoes                                  77

  Rabbits                                  184

  Salting Mutton and Beef                  157

  Stanhope, Lord                           144

  Swedish Turnips                          207

  Turkeys                                  171

  Walter's and Stoddart's Paragraphs       152

  Walter Scott's Poems                     152

  Want, the Parent of Crime                 18

  Wakefield, Mr. Edward                 78, 99

  Wilberforce's Potatoe-Diet               152

  Winchelsea, Lord.                        144

  Woodhouse, Miss                          213

  Yeast                                    203



  COBBETT'S
  POOR MAN'S FRIEND;

  A DEFENCE OF THE RIGHTS OF THOSE WHO DO
  THE WORK, AND FIGHT THE BATTLES.



COBBETT'S POOR MAN'S FRIEND.



NUMBER I.

TO THE WORKING CLASSES OF PRESTON.


_Burghclere, Hampshire, 22d August, 1826._

MY EXCELLENT FRIENDS,

1. Amongst all the new, the strange, the unnatural, the monstrous things
that mark the present times, or, rather, that have grown out of the
present system of governing this country, there is, in my opinion, hardly
any thing more monstrous, or even so monstrous, as the language that is
now become fashionable, relative to the condition and the treatment of
that part of the community which are usually denominated the POOR; by
which word I mean to designate the persons who, from age, infirmity,
helplessness, or from want of the means of gaining anything by labour,
become destitute of a sufficiency of food or of raiment, and are in danger
of perishing if they be not relieved. Such are the persons that we mean
when we talk of THE POOR; and, I repeat, that amongst all the monstrous
things of these monstrous days, nothing is, in my opinion, so monstrous as
the language which we now constantly hear relative to the condition and
treatment of this part of the community.

2. Nothing can be more common than to read, in the newspapers,
descriptions the most horrible of the sufferings of _the Poor_, in various
parts of England, but particularly in the North. It is related of them,
that they eat horse-flesh, grains, and have been detected in eating out of
pig-troughs. In short, they are represented as being far worse fed and
worse lodged than the greater part of the pigs. These statements of the
_newspapers_ may be false, or, at least, only partially true; but, at a
public meeting of rate-payers, at Manchester, on the 17th of August, Mr.
BAXTER, the Chairman, said, that some of the POOR had been _starved to
death_, and that _tens of thousands were upon the point of starving_; and,
at the same meeting, Mr. POTTER gave a detail, which showed that Mr.
BAXTER'S general description was true. Other accounts, very nearly
official, and, at any rate, being of unquestionable authenticity, concur
so fully with the statements made at the Manchester Meeting, that it is
impossible not to believe, that a great number of thousands of persons are
now on the point of perishing for want of food, and _that many have
actually perished from that cause_; and that this has taken place, and is
taking place, IN ENGLAND.

3. There is, then, no doubt of the existence of the disgraceful and horrid
facts; but that which is as horrid as are the facts themselves, and even
more horrid than those facts, is the cool and _unresentful_ language and
manner in which the facts are usually spoken of. Those who write about the
misery and starvation in Lancashire and Yorkshire, never appear to think
_that any body is to blame_, even when the poor die with hunger. The
Ministers ascribe the calamity to "_over-trading_;" the cotton and cloth
and other master-manufacturers ascribe it to "_a want of paper-money_," or
to the _Corn-Bill_; others ascribe the calamity to the _taxes_. These last
are right; but what have these things to do with the treatment of the
poor? What have these things to do with the horrid facts relative to the
condition and starvation of English people? It is very true, that the
enormous taxes which we pay on account of loans made to carry on the late
unjust wars, on account of a great standing army in time of peace, on
account of pensions, sinecures and grants, and on account of _a Church_,
which, besides, swallows up so large a part of the produce of the land
and the labour; it is very true, that these enormous taxes, co-operating
with the paper-money and its innumerable monopolies; it is very true, that
_these enormous taxes_, thus associated, have produced the ruin in trade,
manufactures and commerce, and have, of course, produced the _low wages_
and the _want of employment_; this is very true; but it is not less true,
that, be wages or employment as they may, the poor are not to perish with
hunger, or with cold, while the rest of the community have food and
raiment more than the latter want for their own sustenance. The LAW OF
ENGLAND says, that there shall be no person to suffer from want of food
and raiment. It has placed _officers_ in every parish to see that no
person suffer from this sort of want; and lest these officers should not
do their duty, _it commands all the magistrates_ to hear the complaints of
the poor, and to compel the officers to do their duty. The LAW OF ENGLAND
has provided ample means of relief for the poor; for, it has authorized
the officers, or overseers, to get from the rich inhabitants of the parish
as much money as _is wanted_ for the purpose, without any limit as to
amount; and, in order that the overseers may have no excuse of inability
to make people pay, the law has armed them with powers of a nature the
most efficacious and the most efficient and most prompt in their
operation. In short, the language of the LAW, to the overseer, is this:
"Take care that no person suffer from hunger, or from cold; and that you
may be sure not to fail of the means of obeying this my command, I give
you, as far as shall be necessary for this purpose, full power over all
the lands, all the houses, all the goods, and all the cattle, in your
parish." To the Justices of the Peace the LAW says: "Lest the overseer
should neglect his duty; lest, in spite of my command to him, any one
should suffer from hunger or cold, I command you to be ready to hear the
complaint of every sufferer from such neglect; I command you to summon the
offending overseer, and to compel him to do his duty."

4. Such being the language of the LAW, is it not a monstrous state of
things, when we hear it commonly and coolly stated, that many thousands of
persons in England are _upon the point of starvation_; that _thousands
will die of hunger and cold next winter_; that many have _already died of
hunger_; and when we hear all this, unaccompanied with one word of
_complaint against any overseer_, or any _justice of the peace_! Is not
this state of things perfectly monstrous? A state of things in which it
appears to be taken for granted, that the LAW is nothing, when it is
intended to operate as a protection to the poor! Law is always law: if one
part of the law may be, with impunity, set at defiance, why not another
and every other part of the law? If the law which provides for the succour
of the poor, for the preservation of their lives, may be, with impunity,
set at defiance, why should there not be impunity for setting at defiance
the law which provides for the security of the property and the lives of
the rich? If you, in Lancashire, were to read, in an account of a meeting
in Hampshire, that, here, the farmers and gentlemen were constantly and
openly robbed; that the poor were daily breaking into their houses, and
knocking their brains out; and that it was expected that great part of
them would be killed very soon: if you, in Lancashire were to hear this
said of the state of Hampshire, what would you say? Say! Why, you would
say, to be sure, "Where is the LAW; where are the constables, the
justices, the juries, the judges, the sheriffs, and the hangmen? Where can
that _Hampshire_ be? It, surely, never can be in Old England. It must be
some savage country, where such enormities can be committed, and where
even those, who talk and who _lament_ the evils, never utter one word in
the way of _blame_ of the perpetrators." And if you were called upon to
pay taxes, or to make subscriptions in money, to furnish the means of
protection to the unfortunate rich people in Hampshire, would you not say,
and with good reason, "No: what should we do this for? The people of
Hampshire have the SAME LAW that we have; they are under the same
Government; _let them duly enforce that law_; and then they will stand in
no need of money from us to provide for their protection."

5. This is what common sense says would be _your_ language in such a case;
and does not common sense say, that the people of Hampshire, and of every
other part of England, will thus think, when they are told of the
sufferings, and the starvation, in Lancashire and Yorkshire! The report of
the Manchester ley-payers, which took place on the 17th of August, reached
me in a friend's house in this little village; and when another friend,
who was present, read, in the speeches of Mr. BAXTER and Mr. POTTER, that
tens of thousands of Lancashire people were _on the point of starvation_,
and that many had already _actually died from starvation_; and when he
perceived, that even those gentlemen uttered not a word of _complaint_
against either overseer or justices of the peace, he exclaimed: "What! are
there _no poor-laws_ in Lancashire? Where, amidst all this starvation, is
the overseer? Where is the justice of the peace? Surely that Lancashire
can never be _in England_?"

6. The observations of this gentleman are those which occur to every man
of sense; when he hears the horrid accounts of the sufferings in the
manufacturing districts; for, though we are all well aware, that the
burden of the poor-rates presses, at this time, with peculiar weight on
the land-owners and occupiers, and on owners and occupiers of other real
property, in those districts, we are equally well aware, that those owners
and occupiers _have derived great benefits_ from that vast population that
now presses upon them. There is _land_ in the parish in which I am now
writing, and belonging to the farm in the house of which I am, which land
would not let for 20_s._ a statute acre; while land, not so good, would
let, in any part of Lancashire, near to the manufactories, at 60_s._ or
80_s._ a statute acre. The same may be said with regard to _houses_. And,
pray, are the owners and occupiers, who have gained so largely by the
manufacturing works being near their lands and houses; are they, _now_, to
complain, if the vicinage of these same works causes a charge of rates
_there_, heavier than exists _here_? Are the owners and occupiers of
Lancashire to enjoy _an age of advantages_ from the labours of the
spinners and the weavers; and are they, when a reverse comes, _to bear
none of the disadvantages_? Are they to make no sacrifices, in order to
save from perishing those industrious and ever-toiling creatures, by the
labours of whom their land and houses have been augmented in value, three,
five, or perhaps tenfold? None but the most unjust of mankind can answer
these questions in the affirmative.

7. But as _greediness_ is never at a loss for excuses for the
hard-heartedness that it is always ready to practise, it is said, that
_the whole of the rents_ of the land and the houses would not suffice for
the purpose; that is to say, that if the poor rates were to be made so
high as to leave the tenant no means of paying rent, even then some of the
poor must go without a sufficiency of food. I have no doubt that, in
particular instances, this would be the case. But for cases like this the
LAW has amply provided; for, in every case of this sort, _adjoining
parishes_ may be made to _assist_ the hard pressed parish; and if the
pressure becomes severe on these adjoining parishes, those _next adjoining
them_ may be made to assist; and thus the call upon adjoining parishes
maybe extended till it reach _all over the county_. So good, so benignant,
so wise, so foreseeing, and so effectual, is this, the very best of all
our good old laws! This law or rather code of laws, distinguishes England
from all the other countries in the world, _except the United States of
America_, where, while hundreds of other English statutes have been
abolished, this law has always remained in full force, this great law of
mercy and humanity, which says, that _no human being that treads English
ground shall perish for want of food and raiment_. For such poor persons
as are _unable to work_, the law provides food and clothing; and it
commands that _work_ shall be provided for such as are able to work, and
_cannot otherwise get employment_. This law was passed more than _two
hundred years_ ago. Many attempts have been made to _chip it away_, and
some have been made to destroy it altogether; but it still exists, and
every man who does not wish to see general desolation take place, will do
his best to cause it to be duly and conscientiously executed.

8. Having now, my friends of Preston, stated what the law is, and also the
reasons for its honest enforcement in the particular case immediately
before us, I will next endeavour to show you that it is founded in the law
of nature, and that, were it not for the provisions of this law, people
would, according to the opinions of the greatest lawyers, have _a right_
to _take_ food and raiment sufficient to preserve them from perishing; and
that _such taking_ would be neither _felony_ nor _larceny_. This is a
matter of the greatest importance; it is a most momentous question; for if
it be settled in the affirmative--if it be settled that it is _not felony,
nor larceny,_ to take other men's goods without their assent, and even
against their will, when such taking is absolutely necessary to the
preservation of life, how great, how imperative, is the duty of affording,
if possible, _that relief which will prevent such necessity_! In other
words, how imperative it is on all overseers and justices to obey the law
with alacrity; and how weak are those persons who look to "_grants_" and
"_subscriptions_," to supply the place of the execution of this, the most
important of all the laws that constitute the basis of English society!
And if this question be settled in the affirmative; if we find the most
learned of lawyers and most wise of men, maintaining the affirmative of
this proposition; if we find them maintaining, that it is neither _felony_
nor _larceny_ to take food, in case of _extreme necessity_, though without
the assent, and even against the will of the owner, what are we to think
of those (and they are not few in number nor weak in power) who, animated
with the savage soul of the Scotch _feelosophers_, would wholly abolish
the poor-laws, or, at least, render them of little effect, and thereby
constantly keep thousands exposed to this dire necessity!

9. In order to do justice to this great subject; in order to treat it with
perfect fairness, and in a manner becoming of me and of you, I must take
the authorities _on both sides_. There are some great lawyers who have
contended that the starving man is still guilty of felony or larceny, if
he take food to satisfy his hunger; but there are a greater number of
other, and still greater, lawyers, who maintain the contrary. The general
doctrine of those who maintain the right to take, is founded on the law of
nature; and it is a saying as old as the hills, a saying in every language
in the world, that "_self-preservation_ is the _first law_ of nature." The
law of nature teaches every creature to prefer the preservation of its own
life to all other things. But, in order to have a fair view of the matter
before us, we ought to inquire how it came to pass, that the laws were
ever made to punish men as criminals, for taking the victuals, drink, or
clothing, that they might stand in need of. We must recollect, then, that
there was a time when no such laws existed; when men, like the wild
animals in the fields, took what they were able to take, if they wanted
it. In this state of things, all the land and all the produce belonged to
all the people _in common_. Thus were men situated, when they lived under
what is called the _law of nature_; when every one provided, as he could,
for his self-preservation.

10. At length this state of things became changed: men entered into
society; they made laws to restrain individuals from following, in certain
cases, the dictates of their own will; they protected the weak against the
strong; the laws secured men in possession of lands, houses, and goods,
that were called THEIRS; the words MINE and THINE, which mean _my own_ and
_thy own_, were invented to designate what we now call _a property_ in
things. The law necessarily made it criminal in one man to take away, or
to injure, the property of another man. It was, you will observe, even in
this state of nature, always _a crime_ to do certain things against our
neighbour. To kill him, to wound him, to slander him, to expose him to
suffer from the want of food or raiment, or shelter. These, and many
others, were crimes in the eye of the law of nature; but, to take share of
a man's victuals or clothing; to go and insist upon sharing a part of any
of the good things that he happened to have in his possession, could be
_no crime_, because there was _no property_ in anything, except in man's
body itself. Now, civil society was formed for the _benefit_ of the whole.
The whole gave up their natural rights, in order that every one might, for
the future, enjoy his life in greater security. This civil society was
intended to change the state of man _for the better_. Before this state of
civil society, the starving, the hungry, the naked man, had a right to go
and provide himself with necessaries wherever he could find them. There
would be sure to be some such necessitous persons in a state of civil
society. Therefore, when civil society was established, it is impossible
to believe that it _had not in view some provision for these destitute
persons_. It would be monstrous to suppose the contrary. The contrary
supposition would argue, that fraud was committed upon the mass of the
people in forming this civil society; for, as the sparks fly upwards, so
will there always be destitute persons to some extent or other, in _every
community_, and such there are to now a considerable extent, even in the
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; therefore, the formation of the civil society
must have been fraudulent or tyrannical upon any other supposition than
that it made provision, in some way or other, for destitute persons; that
is to say, for persons unable, from some cause or other, to provide for
themselves the food and raiment sufficient to preserve them from
perishing. Indeed, a provision for the destitute seems _essential to the
lawfulness_ of civil society; and this appears to have been the opinion of
BLACKSTONE, when, in the first Book and first Chapter of his Commentaries
on the Laws of England, he says, "the law not only regards _life_ and
_member_, and protects every man in the enjoyment of them, but also
_furnishes him with every thing necessary for their support_. For there is
no man so indigent or wretched, but he may _demand_ a supply _sufficient
for all the necessaries of life_ from the more opulent part of the
community, by means of the several statutes enacted for the relief of the
poor; a humane provision _dictated_ by the _principles of society_."

11. No man will contend, that the main body of the people in any country
upon earth, and of course in England, would have consented to abandon the
rights of nature; to give up their right to enjoy all things in common; no
man will believe, that the main body of the people would ever have given
their assent to the establishing of a state of things which should make
all the lands, and all the trees, and all the goods and cattle of every
sort, private property; which should have shut out a large part of the
people from having such property, and which should, at the same time, not
have provided the means of preventing those of them, who might fall into
indigence, from being _actually starved to death_! It is impossible to
believe this. Men never gave their assent to enter into society on terms
like these. One part of the condition upon which men entered into society
was, that care should be taken that no human being should perish from
want. When they agreed to enter into that state of things, which would
necessarily cause some men to be rich and some men to be poor; when they
gave up that right, which God had given them, to live as well as they
could, and to take the means wherever they found them, the condition
clearly was, the "_principle of society_;" clearly was, as BLACKSTONE
defines it, that the indigent and wretched should have a right to
"_demand_ from the rich a supply _sufficient_ for all the _necessities_ of
life."

12. If the society did not take care to act upon this principle; if it
neglected to secure the legal means, of preserving the life of the
indigent and wretched; then the society itself, in so far as that
wretched person was concerned, ceased to have a legal existence. It had,
as far as related to him, forfeited its character of legality. It had no
longer any claim to his submission to its laws. His rights of nature
returned: as far as related to him, the law of Nature revived in all its
force: that state of things in which all men enjoyed all things _in
common_ was revived with regard to him; and he took, and he had a right to
take, food and raiment, or, as Blackstone expresses it, "a supply
sufficient for all the necessities of life." For, if it be true, as laid
down by this English lawyer, that the _principles_ of society; if it be
true, that the very principles, or _foundations_ of society dictate, that
the destitute person shall have a legal demand for a supply from the rich,
sufficient for all the necessities of life; if this be true, and true it
certainly is, it follows of course that the principles, that is, the base,
or _foundation_, of society, is subverted, is gone; and that society is,
in fact, no longer what it was intended to be, when the indigent, when the
person in a state of extreme necessity, cannot, at once, obtain from the
rich such sufficient supply: in short, we need go no further than this
passage of BLACKSTONE, to show, that civil society is subverted, and that
there is, in fact, nothing legitimate in it, when the destitute and
wretched have no certain and legal resource.

13. But this is so important a matter, and there have been such monstrous
doctrines and projects put forth by MALTHUS, by the EDINBURGH REVIEWERS,
by LAWYER SCARLETT, by LAWYER NOLAN, by STURGES BOURNE, and by an
innumerable swarm of persons who have been giving before the House of
Commons what they call "_evidence_:" there have been such monstrous
doctrines and projects put forward by these and other persons; and there
seems to be such a lurking desire to carry the hostility to the working
classes still further, that I think it necessary in order to show, that
these English poor-laws, which have been so much calumniated by so many
greedy proprietors of land; I think it necessary to show, that these
poor-laws are the things which men of property, above all others, _ought
to wish to see maintained_, seeing that, according to the opinions of the
greatest and the wisest of men, they must suffer most in consequence of
the abolition of those laws; because, by the abolition of those laws, the
right given by the laws of nature would revive, and the destitute would
_take_, where they now simply _demand_ (as BLACKSTONE expresses it) in the
name of the law. There has been some difference of opinion, as to the
question, whether it be _theft_ or _no theft_; or, rather, whether it be a
_criminal act_, or _not a criminal act_, for a person, in a case of
extreme necessity from want of food, to take food without the assent and
even against the will, of the owner. We have, amongst our great lawyers,
SIR MATTHEW HALE and SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, who contend (though as we
shall see, with much feebleness, hesitation, and reservation,) that it _is
theft_, notwithstanding the extremity of the want; but there are many, and
much higher authorities, foreign as well as English, on the other side.
Before, however, I proceed to the hearing of these authorities, let me
take a short view of _the origin of the poor laws in England_; for that
view will convince us, that, though the present law was passed but a
little more than two hundred years ago, there had been something to effect
the same purpose ever since England had been called England.

14. According to the Common Law of England, as recorded in the MIRROUR OF
JUSTICES, a book which was written before the Norman Conquest; a book in
as high reputation, as a law-book, as any one in England; according to
this book, CHAPTER 1st, SECTION 3d, which treats of the "First
constitutions made by the antient kings;" According to this work,
provision was made for the sustenance of the poor. The words are these:
"It was ordained, that the poor should be sustained by _parsons_, by
_rectors_ of the church, and by the _parishioners_, so that _none of them
die for want of sustenance_." Several hundred years later, the canons of
the church show, that when the church had become rich, it took upon itself
the whole of the care and expense attending the relieving of the poor.
These canons, in setting forth the manner in which the tithes should be
disposed of, say, "Let the priests set apart the first share for the
building and ornaments of the church; let them distribute the _second to
the poor and strangers, with their own hands, in mercy and humility_; and
let them reserve the third part for themselves." This passage is taken
from the canons of ELFRIC, canon 24th. At a later period, when the tithes
had, in some places, been appropriated to convents, acts of Parliament
were passed, compelling the impropriators to leave, in the hands of their
vicar, a sufficiency for the maintenance of the poor. There were two or
three acts of this sort passed, one particularly in the twelfth year of
RICHARD the Second, chapter 7th. So that here we have the most ancient
book on the Common Law; we have the canons of the church at a later
period; we have acts of Parliament at a time when the power and glory of
England were at their very highest point; we have all these to tell us,
that in England, from the very time that the country took the name, _there
was always a legal and secure provision for the poor, so that no person,
however aged, infirm, unfortunate, or destitute, should suffer from want_.

15. But, my friends, a time came when the provision made by the Common
Law, by the Canons of the Church, and by the Acts of the Parliament coming
in aid of those canons; a time arrived, when all these were rendered null
by what is called the PROTESTANT REFORMATION. This "Reformation," As it is
called, sweeped away the convents, gave a large part of the tithes to
greedy courtiers, put parsons with wives and children into the livings,
and left the poor without any resource whatsoever. This terrible event,
which deprived England of the last of her possessions on the continent of
Europe, reduced the people of England to the most horrible misery; from
the happiest and best fed and best clad people in the world, it made them
the most miserable, the most wretched and ragged of creatures. At last it
was seen that, in spite of the most horrible tyranny that ever was
exercised in the world, in spite of the racks and the gibbets and the
martial law of QUEEN ELIZABETH, those who had amassed to themselves the
property out of which the poor had been formerly fed, were compelled to
_pass a law to raise money, by way of tax, for relieving the necessities
of the poor_. They had passed many acts before the FORTY-THIRD year of the
reign of this Queen Elizabeth; but these acts were all found to be
ineffectual, till, at last, in the forty-third year of the reign: of this
tyrannical Queen, and in the year of our Lord 1601, that famous act was
passed, which has been in force until this day; and which, as I said
before, is still in force, notwithstanding all the various attempts of
folly and cruelty to get rid of it.

16. Thus, then, the present poor-laws are _no new thing_. They are no
_gift_ to the working people. You hear the greedy landowners everlastingly
complaining against this law of QUEEN ELIZABETH. They pretend that it was
_an unfortunate_ law. They affect to regard it as a great INNOVATION,
seeing that no such law existed before; but, as I have shown, a better law
existed before, having the same object in view. I have shown, that the
"Reformation," as it is called, had sweeped away that which had been
secured to the poor by the Common Law, by the Canons of the Church, and by
ancient Acts of Parliament. There was _nothing new_, then, in the way of
benevolence towards the people, in this celebrated Act of Parliament of
the reign of QUEEN ELIZABETH; and the landowners would act wisely by
holding their tongues upon the subject; or, if they be too noisy, one may
look into their GRANTS, and see if we cannot find something THERE to keep
out the present parochial assessments.

17. Having now seen _the origin_ of the present poor-laws, and the justice
of their due execution, let us return to those authorities of which I was
speaking but now, and an examination into which will show the extreme
danger of listening to those projectors who would abolish the poor-laws;
that is to say, who would sweep away that provision which was established
in the reign of QUEEN ELIZABETH, from a conviction that it was absolutely
necessary to preserve the peace of the country and the lives of the
people. I observed before that there has been some difference of opinion
amongst lawyers as to the question, whether it be, or be not, _theft_, to
take without his consent and against his will, the victuals of another, in
order to prevent the taker from starving. SIR MATTHEW HALE and SIR WILLIAM
BLACKSTONE say that it _is theft_. I am now going to quote the several
authorities on both sides, and it will be necessary for me to indicate the
works which I quote from by the words, letters, and figures which are
usually made use of in quoting from these works. Some part of what I shall
quote will be in Latin: but I shall put nothing in that language of which
I will not give you the translation. I beg you to read these quotations
with the greatest attention; for you will find, at the end of your
reading, that you have obtained great knowledge upon the subject, and
knowledge, too, which will not soon depart from your minds.

18. I begin with SIR MATTHEW HALE, (a Chief Justice of the Court of King's
Bench in the reign of Charles the Second,) who, in his PLEAS OF THE CROWN,
CHAP. IX., has the following passage, which I put in distinct paragraphs,
and mark A, B, and C.

19. A. "Some of the casuists, and particularly COVARRUVIUS, Tom. I. _De
furti et rapinæ restitutione_, § 3, 4, p. 473; and GROTIUS, _de jure
belli, ac pacis_; lib. II. cap. 2. § 6, tell us, that in case of extreme
necessity, either of hunger or clothing, the _civil distributions of
property cease_, and by a kind of tacit condition the _first community
doth return_, and upon this those common assertions are grounded:
'_Quicquid necessitas cogit, defendit._' [Whatever necessity calls for, it
justifies.] '_Necessitas est lex temporis et loci._' [Necessity is the law
of time and place.] '_In casu extremæ necessitatis omnia sunt communia._'
[In case of extreme necessity, all things are _in common_;] and,
therefore, in such case _theft is no theft_, or at least not punishable as
theft; and some even of our own lawyers have asserted the same; and very
bad use hath been made of this concession by some of the _Jesuitical_
casuists of _France_, who have thereupon advised apprentices and servants
to rob their masters, where they have been indeed themselves in want of
necessaries, of clothes or victuals; whereof, they tell them, they
themselves are the competent judges; and by this means let loose, as much
as they can, by their doctrine of probability, all the ligaments of
property and civil society."

20. B. "I do, therefore, _take it_, that, where persons live under the
same civil government, _as here in England_, that rule, at least by the
laws of _England_, is false; and, therefore, if a person being _under
necessity for want of victuals_, or clothes, shall, upon that account,
clandestinely, and '_animo furandi_,' [with intent to steal,] steal
another man's goods, it is felony, and a crime, by the laws of _England_,
punishable with death; although, the judge before whom the trial is, in
this case (as in other cases of extremity) be by the laws of _England_
intrusted with a power to reprieve the offender, before or after judgment,
in order to the obtaining the King's mercy. For, 1st, Men's properties
would be under a strange insecurity, being laid open to other men's
necessities, whereof no man can possibly judge, but the party himself.
And, 2nd, Because by the laws of this kingdom [here he refers to the 43
Eliz. cap. 2] sufficient provision is made for the supply of such
necessities by collections for the poor, and by the power of the civil
magistrate. Consonant hereunto seems to be the law even among the Jews; if
we may believe the wisest of kings. Proverbs vi. 30, 31. '_Men do not
despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry, but if
he be found, he shall restore seven-fold, he shall give all the substance
of his house._' It is true, _death_ among them was not the penalty of
theft, yet his necessity gave him _no exception_ from the ordinary
punishment inflicted by their law upon that offence."

21. C. "Indeed this rule, '_in casu extremæ necessitatis omnia sunt
communia_,' does hold, in some measure, in some particular cases, where,
by the tacit consent of nations, or of some particular countries or
societies, it hath obtained. First, among the _Jews_, it was lawful in
case of hunger to pull ears of standing corn, and eat, (Matt. xii. 1;) and
for one to pass through a vineyard, or olive-yard, to gather and eat
without carrying away. Deut. xxiii. 24, 25. SECOND, By the _Rhodian_ law,
and the common-maritime custom, if the common provision for the ship's
company fail, the master may, under certain temperaments, _break open the
private chests of the mariners or passengers_, and _make a distribution_
of that particular and private provision for the _preservation of the
ship's company_." Vide CONSOLATO DEL MARE, cap. 256. LE CUSTOMES DE LA
MERE, p. 77.

22. SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE agrees, in substance, with HALE; but he is, as
we shall presently see, much more eager to establish his doctrine; and, we
shall see besides, that he has not scrupled to be guilty of misquoting,
and of very shamefully _garbling_, _the Scripture_, in order to establish
his point. We shall find him flatly contradicting the laws of England;
but, he might have spared the Holy Scriptures, which, however, he has not
done.

23. To return to HALE, you see he is compelled to begin with acknowledging
that there are great authorities against him; and he could not say that
GROTIUS was not one of the most virtuous as well as one of the most
learned of mankind. HALE does not know very well what to do with those old
sayings about the justification which hard necessity gives: he does not
know what to do with the maxim, that, "in case of extreme necessity all
things _are owned in common_." He is exceedingly puzzled with these
ancient authorities, and flies off into prattle rather than argument, and
tells us a story about "_jesuitical_" casuists in France, who advised
apprentices and servants to rob their masters, and that they thus "let
loose the ligaments of property and civil society." I fancy that it would
require a pretty large portion of that sort of faith which induced this
Protestant judge to send witches and wizards to the gallows; a pretty
large portion of this sort of faith, to make us believe, that the
"_casuists_ of France," who, doubtless, _had servants of their own_, would
teach servants to rob their masters! In short, this prattle of the judge
seems to have been nothing more than one of those Protestant effusions
which were too much in fashion at the time when he wrote.

24. He begins his second paragraph, or paragraph B., by saying, that he
"_takes it_" to be so and so; and then comes another qualified expression;
he talks of civil government "_as here in England_." Then he says, that
the rule of GROTIUS and others, against which he has been contending, "he
takes _to be false_, at _least_," says he, "_by the laws of England_."
After he has made all these qualifications, he then proceeds to say that
_such taking is theft_; that it is _felony_; and it is a crime which the
laws of England punish with _death_! But, as if stricken with remorse at
putting the frightful words upon paper; as if feeling shame for the law
and for England itself, he instantly begins to tell us, that the judge who
presides at the trial is intrusted, "_by the laws of England_," with power
to _reprieve_ the offender, in order to the obtaining of the _King's
mercy_! Thus he softens it down. He will have it to be LAW to put a man to
death in such a case; but he is ashamed to leave his readers to believe,
that an English judge and an English king WOULD OBEY THIS LAW!

25. Let us now hear the reasons which he gives for this which he pretends
to be law. His first reason is, that there would be no security for
property, if it were laid open to the necessities of the indigent, of
which necessities _no man but the takers themselves could be the judge_.
He talks of a "strange insecurity;" but, upon my word, no insecurity could
be half so strange as this assertion of his own. BLACKSTONE has just the
same argument. "Nobody," says he, "would be a judge of the wants of the
taker, but the taker himself;" and BLACKSTONE, copying the very words of
HALE, talks of the "strange insecurity" arising from this cause. Now,
then, suppose a man to come into my house, and to take away a bit of
bacon. Suppose me to pursue him and seize him. He would tell me that he
was starving for want of food. I hope that the bare statement would induce
me, or any man in the world that I do call or ever have called my friend,
to let him go without further inquiry; but, if I chose to push the matter
further, there would be _the magistrate_. If he chose to commit the man,
would there not be a _jury_ and a _judge_ to receive evidence and to
ascertain _whether the extreme necessity existed or not_?

26. Aye, says Judge HALE; but I have another reason, a devilish deal
better than this, "and that is, the act of the 43d year of the reign of
QUEEN ELIZABETH!" Aye, my old boy, that is a thumping reason! "_Sufficient
provision_ is made for the supply of such necessities by _collections for
the poor_, and by the _power of the civil magistrate_." Aye, aye! that is
the reason; and, Mr. SIR MATTHEW HALE, there is _no other reason_, say
what you will about the matter. There stand the overseer and the civil
magistrate to take care that such necessities be provided for; and if they
did not stand there for that purpose, the law of nature would be revived
in behalf of the suffering creature.

27. HALE, not content however with this act of QUEEN ELIZABETH, and still
hankering after this hard doctrine, furbishes up a bit of Scripture, and
calls Solomon the _wisest of kings_ on account of these two verses which
he has taken. HALE observes, indeed, that the Jews did not put thieves to
_death_; but, to restore seven-fold was the _ordinary punishment_,
inflicted by their law, for theft; and here, says he, we see, that the
extreme necessity _gave no exemption_. This was a piece of such flagrant
sophistry on the part of HALE, that he could not find in his heart to send
it forth to the world without a qualifying observation; but even this
qualifying observation left the sophistry still so shameful, that his
editor, Mr. EMLYN, who published the work under authority of the House of
Commons, did not think it consistent with his reputation to suffer this
passage to go forth unaccompanied with the following remark: "But their
(the Jews') ordinary punishment being entirely _pecuniary_, could affect
him _only when he was found in a condition to answer it_; and therefore
the same reasons which could justify that, can, by no means, be extended
to a _corporal_, much less to a _capital_ punishment." Certainly: and this
is the fair interpretation of these two verses of the Proverbs.
PUFFENDORF, one of the greatest authorities that the world knows anything
of, observes, upon the argument built upon this text of Scripture, "It may
be objected, that, in Proverbs, chap. vi. verses 30, 31, he is called a
_thief_, and pronounced obnoxious to the penalty of theft, who steals to
satisfy his hunger; but whoever closely views and considers that text will
find that the thief there censured is neither in such _extreme necessity_
as we are now supposing, nor seems to have fallen into his needy condition
merely by ill fortune, without his own idleness or default: for the
context implies, that he had _a house and goods sufficient_ to make
seven-fold restitution; which he might have either sold or pawned; a
chapman or creditor being easily to be met with in times of plenty and
peace; for we have no grounds to think that the fact there mentioned is
supposed to be committed, either in time of war, or upon account of the
extraordinary price of provisions."

28. Besides this, I think it is clear that these two verses of the
Proverbs do not apply to _one and the same person_; for in the first verse
it is said, that men _do not despise_ a thief if he steal to satisfy his
soul when he is hungry. How, then, are we to reconcile this with
_morality_? Are we not to despise a _thief_? It is clear that the word
_thief_ does not apply to the first case; but to the second case only; and
that the distinction was here made for the express purpose of preventing
the man who took food to relieve his hunger _from being confounded with
the thief_. Upon any other interpretation, it makes the passage contain
nonsense and immorality; and, indeed, GROTIUS says that the latter text
does not apply to the person mentioned in the former. The latter text
could not mean a man taking food from necessity. It is _impossible_ that
it can mean that; because the man who was starving for want of food _could
not have_ seven-fold; _could not have_ any substance in his house. But
what are we to think of JUDGE BLACKSTONE, who, in his Book IV., chap. 2,
really _garbles_ these texts of Scripture. He clearly saw the effect of
the expression, "MEN DO NOT DESPISE;" he saw what an awkward figure these
words made, coming before the words "A THIEF;" he saw that, with these
words in the text, he could never succeed in making his readers believe
that a man ought to be _hanged_ for taking food to save his life. He
clearly saw that he could not make men believe that _God had said this_,
unless he could, somehow or other, get rid of those words about NOT
DESPISING the thief that took victuals when he was hungry. Being,
therefore, very much pestered and annoyed by these words about NOT
DESPISING, what does he do but fairly _leave them out_! And not only leave
them out, but leave out a part of both the verses, keeping in that part of
each that suited him, and no more; nay, further, leaving out one word, and
putting in another, giving a sense to the whole which he knew well never
was intended. He states the passage to be this: "If a thief steal to
satisfy his soul when he is hungry, _he_ shall restore seven-fold, _and_
shall give all the substance of his house." No broomstick that ever was
handled would have been too heavy or too rough for the shoulders of this
dirty-souled man. HALE, with all his desire to make out a case in favour
of severity, has given us the words fairly: but this shuffling fellow;
this smooth-spoken and mean wretch, who is himself _thief_ enough, God
knows, if stealing other men's thoughts and words constitute theft; this
intolerably mean reptile has, in the first place, left out the words
"_men do not despise_:" then he has left out the words at the beginning of
the next text, "_but if he be found_." Then in place of the "_he_," which
comes before the words "_shall give_" he puts the word "_and_;" and thus
he makes the whole apply to the poor creature that takes to satisfy his
soul when he is hungry! He leaves out every mitigating word of the
Scripture; and, in his reference, he represents the passage to be in _one_
verse! Perhaps, even in the history of the conduct of crown-lawyers, there
is not to be found mention of an act so coolly bloody-minded as this. It
has often been said of this BLACKSTONE, that he not only _lied_ himself,
but _made others lie_; he has here made, as far as he was able, a liar of
King Solomon himself: he has wilfully garbled the Holy Scripture; and
that, too, for the manifest purpose of justifying cruelty in courts and
judges; for the manifest purpose of justifying the most savage oppression
of the poor.

29. After all, HALE has not the courage to send forth this doctrine of
his, without allowing that the case of extreme necessity does, "in _some
measure_," and "in _particular cases_," and, "by the _tacit_ or _silent_
consent of nations," _hold good_! What a crowd of qualifications is here!
With what reluctance he confesses that which all the world knows to be
true, that the disciples of JESUS CHRIST pulled off, without leave, the
ears of standing corn, and ate them "_being an hungered_." And here are
two things to observe upon. In the first place this _corn_ was not what
_we call corn_ here in England, or else it would have been very droll sort
of stuff to crop off and eat. It was what the Americans call _Indian
corn_, what the French call _Turkish corn_; and what is called _corn_ (as
being far surpassing all other in excellence) in the Eastern countries
where the Scriptures were written. About four or five ears of this corn,
of which you strip all the husk off in a minute, are enough for a man's
breakfast or dinner; and by about the middle of August this corn is just
as wholesome and as efficient as bread. So that, this was _something_ to
take and eat without the owner's leave; it was something of value; and
observe, that the Pharisees, though so strongly disposed to find fault
with everything that was done by Jesus Christ and his disciples, did not
find fault of their _taking_ the corn to eat; did not call them _thieves_;
did not propose to punish them for _theft_; but found fault of them only
for having _plucked the corn on the Sabbath-day_! To pluck the corn was
_to do work_, and these severe critics found fault of this working on the
Sabbath-day. Then, out comes another fact, which HALE might have noticed
if he had chosen it; namely, that our Saviour reminds the Pharisees that
"DAVID and his companions, _being an hungered_, entered into the House of
God, and did eat the show-bread, to eat which was unlawful in any-body but
the priests." Thus, that which would have been _sacrilege_ under any other
circumstances; that which would have been one of the most _horrible of
crimes against the law of God_, became no crime at all when committed by a
person _pressed by hunger_.

30. Nor has JUDGE HALE fairly interpreted the two verses of DEUTERONOMY.
He represents the matter thus: that, if you be _passing through_ a
vineyard or an olive-yard you may gather and eat, without being deemed a
thief. This interpretation would make an Englishman believe that the
Scripture allowed of this taking and eating, only where there was a
_lawful foot-way_ through the vineyard. This is a very gross
misrepresentation of the matter; for if you look at the two texts, you
will find, that they say that, "when thou _comest into_;" that is to say,
when thou _enterest_ or _goest into_, "thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou
mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure, but thou shalt not put
any in thy vessel;" that is to say, that you should not go and make wine
in his vineyard and carry it away. Then in case of the corn, precisely the
same law is laid down. You may pluck with your _hand_; but not use the
_hook_ or a _sickle_. Nothing can be plainer than this: no distinction can
be wiser, nor more just. HALE saw the force of it; and therefore, as
these texts made very strongly against him, he does not give them at full
length, but gives us a misrepresenting abbreviation.

31. He had, however, too much regard for his reputation to conclude
without acknowledging the right of seizing on the provisions of others _at
sea_. He allows that private chests may be _broken open_ to prevent men
from dying with hunger at sea. He does not stop to tell us why men's lives
are _more precious_ on sea than on land. He does not attempt to reconcile
these liberties given by the Scripture, and by the maritime laws, with his
own hard doctrine. In short, he brings us to this at last: that he will
_not acknowledge_, that it is _not theft_ to take another man's goods,
without his consent, under any circumstances; but, while he will not
acknowledge this, he plainly leaves us to conclude, that no English judge
and no English king will _ever punish_ a poor creature that takes victuals
to save himself from perishing; and he plainly leaves us to conclude, that
it is the _poor-laws_ of England; that it is their existence and _their
due execution_, which deprive everybody in England of the right to take
food and raiment in case of extreme necessity.

32. Here I agree with him most cordially; and it is because I agree with
him in this, that I deprecate the abominable projects of those who would
annihilate the poor-laws, seeing that it is those very poor-laws which
give, under all circumstances, really legal security _to property_.
Without them, cases must frequently arise, which would, according to the
law of nature, according to the law of God, and as we shall see before we
have done, according to the law of England, bring us into a state, or, at
least, bring particular persons into a state, which as far as related to
them, would cause the law of nature to _revive_, and to make _all things
to be owned in common_. To adhere, then, to these poor-laws; to cause them
to be duly executed, to prevent every encroachment upon them, to preserve
them as the apple of our eye, are the duty of every Englishman, as far as
he has capacity so to do.

33. I have, my friends, cited, as yet, authorities only _on one side_ of
this great subject, which it was my wish to discuss in this one Number. I
find that to be impossible without leaving undone much more than half my
work. I am extremely anxious to cause this matter to be well understood,
not only by the working classes, but by the owners of the land and the
magistrates. I deem it to be of the greatest possible importance; and,
while writing on it, I address myself to you, because I most sincerely
declare that I have a greater respect for you than for any other body of
persons that I know any thing of. The next Number will conclude the
discussion of the subject. The whole will lie in a very small compass.
_Sixpence_ only will be the cost of it. It will creep about, by degrees,
over the whole of this kingdom. All the authorities, all the arguments,
will be brought into this small compass; and I do flatter myself that many
months will not pass over our heads, before all but misers and madmen will
be ashamed to talk of abolishing the poor-rates and of supporting the
needy by grants and subscriptions.

  I am,
  Your faithful friend and
  Most obedient servant,
  WM. COBBETT.



NUMBER II.


_Bollitree Castle, Herefordshire, 22d Sept. 1826._

MY EXCELLENT FRIENDS,

34. In the last Number, paragraph 33, I told you, that I would, in the
present Number, conclude the discussion of the great question of _theft,
or no theft_, in a case of taking another's goods without his consent, or
against his will, the taker being pressed by extreme necessity. I laid
before you; in the last Number, JUDGE HALE'S doctrine upon the subject;
and I there mentioned the foul conduct of BLACKSTONE, the author of the
"Commentaries on the Laws of England." I will not treat this unprincipled
lawyer, this shocking court sycophant; I will not treat him as he has
treated King Solomon and the Holy Scriptures; I will not garble, misquote,
and belie him, as he garbled, misquoted, and belied them; I will give the
whole of the passage to which I allude, and which my readers may find in
the Fourth Book of his Commentaries. I request you to read it with great
attention; and to compare it, very carefully, with the passage that I have
quoted from SIR MATTHEW HALE, which you will find in paragraphs from 19 to
21 inclusive. The passage from BLACKSTONE is as follows:

35. "There is yet another case of necessity, which has occasioned great
speculation among the writers upon general law; viz., whether a man in
extreme want of food or clothing may justify stealing either, to relieve
his present necessities. And this both GROTIUS and PUFFENDORF, together
with _many other_ of the foreign jurists, hold in the affirmative;
maintaining by many ingenious, humane, and plausible reasons, that in such
cases the community of goods by a kind of tacit concession of society is
revived. And some even of our own lawyers have held the same; though it
seems to be an unwarranted doctrine, borrowed from the notions of some
civilians: at least it is now antiquated, the law of England admitting no
such excuse at present. And this its doctrine is agreeable not only to the
sentiments of many of the wisest ancients, particularly CICERO, who holds
that 'suum cuique incommodum ferendum est, potius quam de alterius
commodis detrahendum;' but also to the Jewish law, as certified by King
Solomon himself: 'If a thief steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry,
he shall restore seven-fold, and shall give all the substance of his
house:' which was the ordinary punishment for theft in that kingdom. And
this is founded upon the highest reason: for men's properties would be
under a strange insecurity, if liable to be invaded according to the
wants of others; of which wants no man can possibly be an adequate judge,
but the party himself who pleads them. In this country especially, there
would be a peculiar impropriety in admitting so dubious an excuse; for by
our laws such a sufficient provision is made for the poor by the power of
the civil magistrate, that it is impossible that the most needy stranger
should ever be reduced to the necessity of thieving to support nature.
This case of a stranger is, by the way, the strongest instance put by
Baron PUFFENDORF, and whereon he builds his principal arguments; which,
however they may hold upon the continent, where the parsimonious industry
of the natives orders every one to work or starve, yet must lose all their
weight and efficacy in England, where _charity is reduced to a system, and
interwoven in our very constitution_. Therefore, our laws ought by no
means to be taxed with being _unmerciful_, for denying this privilege to
the necessitous; especially when we consider, that the king, on the
representation of his ministers of justice, hath a power to soften the
law, and to extend mercy in cases of peculiar hardship. An advantage which
is wanting in many states, particularly those which are democratical: and
these have in its stead introduced and adopted, in the body of the law
itself, a multitude of circumstances tending to alleviate its rigour. But
the founders of our constitution thought it better to vest in the crown
the power of pardoning peculiar objects of compassion, than to countenance
and establish theft by one general undistinguishing law."

36. First of all, I beg you to observe, that this passage is merely _a
flagrant act of theft_, committed upon JUDGE HALE; next, you perceive,
that which I noticed in paragraph 28, a most base and impudent garbling of
the Scriptures. Next, you see, that BLACKSTONE, like HALE, comes, at last,
to the _poor-laws_; and tells us that to take other men's goods without
leave, is theft, _because_ "charity is here reduced to a system, and
interwoven in our very constitution." That is to say, to relieve the
necessitous; to prevent their suffering from want; completely to render
starvation impossible, makes a part of our very constitution. "THEREFORE,
our laws ought by no means to be taxed with being _unmerciful_ for denying
this privilege to the necessitous." Pray mark the word _therefore_. You
see, our laws, he says, are not to be taxed with being unmerciful in
deeming the necessitous taker _a thief_. And _why_ are they not to be
deemed unmerciful? BECAUSE the laws provide effectual relief for the
necessitous. It follows, then, of course, even according to BLACKSTONE
himself, that if the Constitution _had not_ provided this effectual relief
for the necessitous, then the laws _would have been unmerciful_ in deeming
the necessitous taker a thief.

37. But now let us hear what that GROTIUS and that PUFFENDORF say; let us
hear what these great writers on the law of nature and of nations say upon
this subject. BLACKSTONE has mentioned the names of them both; but he has
not thought proper to notice their arguments, much less has he attempted
to answer them. They are two of the most celebrated men that ever wrote;
and their writings are referred to as high authority, with regard to all
the subjects of which they have treated. The following is a passage from
GROTIUS, on War and Peace, Book II., chap. 2.

38. "Let us see, further, what common right there appertains to men in
those things which have already become the property of individuals. Some
persons, perchance, may consider it strange to question this, as
proprietorship seems to have absorbed all that right which arose out of a
state of things in common. But it is not so. For, it is to be considered,
_what was the intention of those who first introduced private property_,
which we may suppose to have been such, as to deviate as little as
possible from _natural equity_. For if even _written laws_ are to be
construed in that sense, as far as it is practicable, much more so are
_customs_, which are not fettered by the chains of writers.--Hence it
follows, first, that, in case of _extreme necessity_, the _pristine right
of using things revives_, as much as if they had remained in common;
because, in all human laws, as well as in the law of private property,
_this case of extreme necessity appears to have been excepted_.--So, if
the means of sustenance, as in case of a sea-voyage, should chance to
fail, that which any individual may have, should be shared in common. And
thus, a fire having broken out, I am justified in destroying the house of
my neighbour, in order to preserve my own house; and I may cut in two the
ropes or cords amongst which any ship is driven, if it cannot be otherwise
disentangled. All which exceptions are not made in the written law, but
are presumed.--For the opinion has been acknowledged amongst Divines,
that, if any one, in such case of necessity, take from another person what
is requisite for the preservation of his life, _he does not commit a
theft_. The meaning of which definition is not, as many contend, that the
proprietor of the thing be bound to give to the needy upon the principle
of _charity_; but, that all things distinctly vested in proprietors ought
to be regarded as such _with a certain benign acknowledgment of the
primitive right_. For if the original distributors of things were
questioned, as to what they thought about this matter, they would reply
what I have said. _Necessity_, says Father SENECA, _the great excuse for
human weakness, breaks every law_; that is to say, _human law_, or law
made after the manner of man."

39. "But cautions ought to be had, for fear this license should be abused:
of which the principal is, to try, in every way, whether the necessity can
be avoided by any other means; for instance, by making application to the
magistrate, or even by trying whether the use of the thing can, by
entreaties, be obtained from the proprietor. PLATO permits water to be
fetched from the well of a neighbour upon this condition alone, that the
person asking for such permission shall dig in his own well in search of
water as far as the chalk: and SOLON, that he shall dig in his own well
as far as forty cubits. Upon which PLUTARCH adds, _that he judged that
necessity was to be relieved, not laziness to be encouraged_."

40. Such is the doctrine of this celebrated civilian. Let us now hear
PUFFENDORF; and you will please to bear in mind, that both these writers
are of the greatest authority upon all subjects connected with the laws of
nature and of nations. We read in their works the result of an age of
study: they have been two of the great guides of mankind ever since they
wrote: and, we are not to throw them aside, in order to listen exclusively
to Parson HAY, to HULTON OF HULTON, or to NICHOLAS GRIMSHAW. They tell us
what they, and what other wise men, deemed to be right; and, as we shall
by and by see, the laws of England, so justly boasted of by our ancestors,
hold precisely the same language with these celebrated men. After the
following passage from PUFFENDORF, I shall show you what our own lawyers
say upon the subject; but I request you to read the following passage with
the greatest attention.

41. "Let us inquire, in the next place, whether the necessity of
preserving our life can give us any right over other men's goods, so as to
make it allowable for us to seize on them for our relief, either secretly,
or by open force, against the owner's consent. For the more clear and
solid determination of which point, we think it necessary to hint in short
on the causes upon which distinct _properties_ were first introduced in
the world; designing to examine them more at large in their proper place.
Now the main reasons on which _properties_ are founded, we take to be
these two; that the feuds and quarrels might be appeased which arose in
the _primitive communion_ of things, and that men might be put under a
kind of necessity of being industrious, every one being to get his
maintenance by his own application and labour. This division, therefore,
of goods, was not made, that every person should sit idly brooding over
the share of wealth he had got, without assisting or serving his fellows;
but that any one might dispose of his things how he pleased; and if he
thought fit to communicate them to others, he might, at least, be thus
furnished with an opportunity of laying obligations on the rest of
mankind. Hence, when properties were once established, men obtained a
power, not only of exercising commerce to their mutual advantage and gain,
but likewise of dispensing more largely in the works of humanity and
beneficence; whence their diligence had procured them a greater share of
goods than others: whereas before, when all things lay in common, men
could lend one another no assistance but what was supplied by their
corporeal ability, and could be charitable of nothing but of their
_strength_. Further, such is the force of _property_, that the
_proprietor_ hath a right of delivering his goods with his own hands; even
such as he is obliged to give to others. Whence it follows, that when one
man has anything owing from another, he is not presently to seize on it at
a venture, but ought to apply himself to the owner, desiring to receive it
from his disposal. Yet in case the other party refuse thus to make good
his obligation, the power and privilege of _property_ doth not reach so
far as that the things may not be taken away without the owner's consent,
either by the authority of the magistrate in _civil communities_, or in a
_state of nature_, by violence and hostile force. And though in regard to
bare Natural Right, for a man to relieve another in extremity with his
goods, for which he himself hath not so much occasion, be a duty obliging
only _imperfectly_, and not in the manner of a _debt_, since it arises
wholly from the virtue of _humanity_; yet there seems to be no reason why,
by the additional force of a civil ordinance, it may not be turned into a
strict and perfect obligation. And this _Seldon_ observes to have been
done among the _Jews_; who, upon a man's refusing to give such alms as
were proper for him, _could force him to it by an action at law_. It is no
wonder, therefore, that they should forbid _their poor_, on any account,
to seize on the goods of others, enjoining them to take only what private
persons, or the public officers, or stewards of alms, should give them on
their petition. Whence the stealing of what was another's, though upon
extreme necessity, passed in that state for theft or rapine. But now
supposing _under another government the like good provision is not made
for persons in want_, supposing likewise that the covetous temper of men
of substance cannot be prevailed on to give relief, and that the needy
creature is not able, either by his work or service, or by making sale of
anything that he possesses, to assist his present necessity, _must_ he,
_therefore, perish with famine_? Or _can any human institution bind me_
with such a force that, in case another man neglects his duty towards me,
_I must rather die, than recede a little from the ordinary and regular way
of acting_? We conceive, therefore, that such a person doth _not contract
the guilt of theft_, who happening, not through his own fault, to be in
extreme want, either of necessary food, or of clothes to preserve him from
the violence of the weather, and cannot obtain them from the voluntary
gift of the rich, either by urgent entreaties, or by offering somewhat
equivalent in price, or by engaging _to work it out, shall either forcibly
or privily relieve himself out of their abundance_; especially if he do it
with full intention to pay the value of them whenever his better fortune
gives him ability. Some men deny that such a case of _necessity_, as we
speak of, can possibly happen. But what if a man should wander in a
foreign land, unknown, friendless, and in want, spoiled of all he had by
shipwreck, or by robbers, or having lost by some casualty whatever he was
worth in his own country; should none be found willing either to relieve
his distress, or to hire his service, or should they rather (as it
commonly happens,) seeing him in a good garb, suspect him to beg without
reason, must the poor creature starve in this miserable condition?"

42. Many other great foreign authorities might be referred to, and I
cannot help mentioning COVARRUVIUS, who is spoken of by JUDGE HALE, and
who expresses himself upon the subject in these words: "The reason why a
man in extreme necessity may, _without incurring the guilt of theft or
rapine_, forcibly take the goods of others for his present relief, is
because his condition _renders all things common_. For it is the ordinance
and institution of nature itself, that inferior things should be designed
and directed to serve the necessities of men. Wherefore the division of
goods afterwards introduced into the world doth not derogate from that
precept of natural reason, which Suggests, that the _extreme wants of
mankind may be in any manner removed by the use of temporal possessions_."
PUFFENDORF tells us, that PERESIUS maintains, that, in case of extreme
necessity, a man is compelled to the action, by a force which he cannot
resist; and then, that the owner's consent may be presumed on, because
humanity obliges him to succour those who are in distress. The same writer
cites a passage from St. AMBROSE, one of the FATHERS of the church, which
alleges that (in case of refusing to give to persons in extreme necessity)
it is the person who retains the goods who is guilty of the act of wrong
doing, for St. AMBROSE says; "it is the _bread of the hungry_ which you
detain; it is the _raiment of the naked_ which you lock up."

43. Before I come to the English authorities on the same side, let me
again notice the foul dealing of Blackstone; let me point out another
instance or two of the insincerity of this English court-sycophant, who
was, let it be noted, Solicitor-general to the queen of the "good old
King." You have seen, in paragraph 28, a most flagrant instance of his
perversion of the Scriptures. He garbles the word of God, and prefaces the
garbling by calling it a thing "_certified_ by King Solomon himself;" and
this word _certified_ he makes use of just when he is about to begin the
scandalous falsification of the text which he is referring to. Never was
anything more base. But, the whole extent of the baseness we have not yet
seen; for, BLACKSTONE had read HALE, who had quoted the two verses fairly;
but besides this, he had read PUFFENDORF, who had noticed very fully this
text of Scripture, and who had shown very clearly that it did not at all
make in favour of the doctrine of Blackstone. Blackstone ought to have
given the argument of PUFFENDORF; he ought to have given the whole of his
argument; but particularly he ought to have given this explanation of the
passage in the PROVERBS, which explanation I have inserted in paragraph
27. It was also the height of insincerity in BLACKSTONE, to pretend that
the passage from CICERO had anything at all to do with the matter. He knew
well that it had not; he knew that CICERO contemplated no case of extreme
necessity for want of food or clothing; but, he had read PUFFENDORF, and
PUFFENDORF had told him, that CICERO'S was a question of the mere
_conveniences_ and _inconveniences_ of life in general; and not a question
of pinching hunger or shivering nakedness. BLACKSTONE had seen his fallacy
exposed by PUFFENDORF; he had seen the misapplication of this passage of
CICERO fully exposed by PUFFENDORF; and yet the base court-sycophant
trumped it up again, without mentioning PUFFENDORF'S exposure of the
fallacy! In short this BLACKSTONE, upon this occasion, as upon almost all
others, has gone all lengths; has set detection and reproof at defiance,
for the sake of making his court to the government by inculcating
harshness in the application of the law, and by giving to the law such an
interpretation as would naturally tend to justify that harshness.

44. Let us now cast away from us this insincere sycophant, and turn to
other law authorities of our own country. The _Mirrour of Justices_,
(quoted by me in paragraph 14,) Chap. 4, Section 16, on the subject of
arrest of judgment of death, has this passage. Judgment is to be staid in
seven cases here specified: and the seventh is this: "in POVERTY, in which
case you are to distinguish of the poverty of the offender, or of things;
for if poor people, _to avoid famine, take victuals to sustain their
lives, or clothes that they die not of cold_, (so that they perish if they
keep not themselves from cold,) _they are not to be adjudged to death, if
it were not in their power to have bought their victuals or clothes_; for
as much as _they are warranted so to do by the law of nature_." Now, my
friends, you will observe, that I take this from a book which may almost
be called the BIBLE of the law. There is no lawyer who will deny the
goodness of this authority; or who will attempt to say that this was not
always the law of England.

45. Our next authority is one quite as authentic, and almost as ancient.
The book goes by the name of BRITTON, which was the name of a Bishop of
Hereford, who edited it, in the famous reign of EDWARD THE FIRST. The book
does, in fact, contain the laws of the kingdom as they existed at that
time. It may be called the record of the laws of Edward the First. It
begins thus, "Edward by the grace of God, King of England and Lord of
Ireland, to all his liege subjects, peace, and grace of salvation." The
preamble goes on to state, that people cannot be happy without good laws;
that even good laws are of no use unless they be known and understood; and
that, therefore, the king has ordered the laws of England thus to be
written and recorded. This book is very well known to be of the greatest
authority, amongst lawyers, and in Chap. 10 of this book, in which the law
describes what constitutes a BURGLAR, or house-breaker, and the punishment
that he shall suffer (which is that of death,) there is this passage:
"Those are to be deemed burglars who feloniously, in time of peace, break
into churches or houses, or through walls or doors of our cities, or our
boroughs; with _exception_ of children under age, and of _poor people who
for hunger, enter to take any sort of victuals of less value than twelve
pence_; and except idiots and mad people, and others that cannot commit
felony." Thus, you see, this agrees with the MIRROUR OF JUSTICES, and with
all that we have read before from these numerous high authorities. But
this, taken in its full latitude, goes a great length indeed; for a
burglar is a _breaker-in by night_. So that this is not only _a taking_;
but a breaking into a house in order to take! And observe, it is taking to
the value of _twelve pence_; and twelve pence then was the price of _a
couple of sheep_, and of fine fat sheep too; nay, twelve pence was the
price of _an ox_, in this very reign of Edward the First. So that, a
hungry man might have a pretty good belly-full in those days without
running the risk of punishment. Observe, by-the-by, how time has hardened
the law. We are told of the _dark ages_, of the _barbarous customs_, of
our forefathers: and we have a SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH to receive and to
present petitions innumerable, from the most tender hearted creatures in
the world, about "_softening the criminal code_;" but, not a word do they
ever say about a softening of _this law_, which now hangs a man for
stealing the value of a RABBIT, and which formerly did not hang him till
he stole the value of an OX! Curious enough, but still more scandalous,
that we should have the impudence to talk of our _humanity_, and our
_civilization_, and of the barbarousness of our forefathers. But, if a
_part_ of the ancient law remain, shall not the _whole_ of it remain? If
we hang the thief, still hang the thief for stealing to the value of
_twelve pence_; though the twelve pence now represents a rabbit instead of
an ox; if we still do this, would BLACKSTONE take away the benefit of the
ancient law from the starving man? The passage that I have quoted is of
such great importance as to this question, that I think it necessary to
add, here, a copy of the original, which is in the old _Norman-French_, of
which I give the translation above. "Sunt tenus burgessours trestous ceux,
que felonisement en temps de pees debrusent esglises ou auter mesons, ou
murs, ou portes de nos cytes, ou de nos burghes; hors pris enfauntz dedans
age, et poures, que, pur feyn, entrêt pur ascun vitaille de meindre value
q'de xii deners, et hors pris fous nastres, et gens arrages, et autres que
seuent nule felonie faire."

46. After this, _lawyers_, at any rate, will not attempt to gainsay. If
there should, however, remain any one to affect to doubt of the soundness
of this doctrine, let them take the following from him who is always
called the "_pride of philosophy_," the "_pride of English learning_," and
whom the poet POPE calls "_greatest_ and _wisest_ of mankind." It is LORD
BACON of whom I am speaking. He was Lord High Chancellor in the reign of
James the First; and, let it be observed, that he wrote those "_law
tracts_," from which I am about to quote, long after the present poor-laws
had been established. He says (Law Tracts, page 55,) "The law chargeth no
man with default where the act is compulsory and not voluntary, and where
there is not consent and election; and, therefore, if either there be an
impossibility for a man to do otherwise, or so great a perturbation of the
judgment and reason, as in presumption of law a man's nature cannot
overcome, such necessity carrieth a privilege in itself.--Necessity is of
three sorts: necessity of conservation of life; necessity of obedience;
and necessity of the act of God or of a stranger.--First, of conservation
of life; _if a man steal viands (victuals) to satisfy his present hunger_,
this is _no felony_ nor _larceny_."

47. If any man want more authority, his heart must be hard indeed; he must
have an uncommonly anxious desire to take away by the halter the life that
sought to preserve itself against hunger. But, after all, what need had we
of any _authorities_? What need had we even of _reason_ upon the subject?
Who is there upon the face of the earth, except the monsters that come
from across the channel of St. George; who is there upon the face of the
earth, except those monsters, that have the brass, the hard hearts and the
brazen faces, which enable them coolly to talk of the "MERIT" of the
degraded creatures, who, amidst an abundance of food, amidst a
"_superabundance of food_," lie quietly down and receive the extreme
unction, and expire with hunger? Who, upon the face of the whole earth,
except these monsters, these ruffians by way of excellence; who, except
these, the most insolent and hard-hearted ruffians that ever lived, will
contend, or will dare to think, that there ought to be any force under
heaven to compel a man to lie down at the door of a baker's and butcher's
shop, and expire with hunger! The very nature of man makes him shudder at
the thought. There want no authorities; no appeal to law books; no
arguments; no questions of right or wrong: that same human nature that
tells me that I am not to cut my neighbour's throat, and drink his blood,
tells me that I am not to make him die at my feet by keeping from him food
or raiment of which I have more than I want for my own preservation.

48. Talk of barbarians, indeed; Talk of "_the dark_ and _barbarous ages_."
Why, even in the days of the DRUIDS, such barbarity as that of putting men
to death, or of punishing them for taking to relieve their hunger, was
never thought of. In the year 1811, the REV. PETER ROBERTS, A. M.
published a book, entitled COLLECTANEA CAMBRICA. In the first volume of
that book, there is an account of the laws of the ANCIENT BRITONS. Hume,
and other Scotchmen, would make us believe, that the ancient inhabitants
of this country were a set of savages, clothed in skins and the like. The
laws of this people were collected and put into writing, in the year 694
_before Christ_. The following extract from these laws shows, that the
moment civil society began to exist, that moment the law _took care that
people should not be starved to death_. That moment it took care, that
provision should be made for the destitute, or that, in cases of extreme
necessity, men were to preserve themselves from death by taking from those
who had to spare. The words of these laws (as applicable to our case)
given by Mr. ROBERTS, are as follows:--"There are three distinct kinds of
personal individual property, which cannot be shared with another, or
surrendered in payment of fine; viz., a wife, a child, and argyfrew. By
the word _argyfrew_ is meant, clothes, arms, or the implements of a lawful
calling. For without these a man has not the means of support, and it
would be _unjust_ in the law to _unman_ a man, or to _uncall_ a man as to
his calling." TRIAD 53d.--"Three kinds of THIEVES are not to be punished
with DEATH. 1. A wife, who joins with her husband in theft. 2. A youth
under age. And 3. One who, after he has _asked, in vain_, for support, in
_three towns_, and at _nine houses_ in each town." TRIAD 137.

49. There were, then, _houses_ and _towns_, it seems; and the towns were
pretty thickly spread too; and, as to "_civilization_" and "_refinement_,"
let this law relative to a _youth under age_, be compared with the new
_orchard and garden law_, and with the tread-mill affair, and new trespass
law!

50. We have a law, called the VAGRANT ACT, to _punish men for begging_. We
have a law to punish men for _not working to keep their families_. Now,
with what show of justice can these laws be maintained? They are founded
upon this; the first, that begging is disgraceful to the country; that it
is degrading to the character of man, and, of course, to the character of
an Englishman; and, that there is no necessity for begging, _because the
law has made ample provision for every person in distress_. The law for
punishing men for not working to maintain their families is founded on
this, that they are _doing wrong to their neighbours_; their neighbours,
that is to say, the parish, being _bound to keep the family_, if they be
not kept by the man's labour; and, therefore, his not labouring is _a
wrong done to the parish_. The same may be said with regard to the
punishment for not maintaining bastard children. There is some reason for
these laws, as long as the poor-laws are duly executed; as long as the
poor are duly relieved, according to law; but, unless the poor-laws exist;
unless they be in full force; unless they be duly executed; unless
efficient and prompt relief be given to necessitous persons, these acts,
and many others approaching to a similar description, are acts of
barefaced and most abominable tyranny. I should say that they _would be_
acts of such tyranny; for generally speaking, the poor-laws are, as yet,
fairly executed, and efficient as to their object.

51. The law of this country is, that every man, able to carry arms, is
liable to be called on, to serve in the militia, or to serve as a soldier
in some way or other, _in order to defend the country_. What, then, the
man has _no land_; he has _no property_ beyond his mere body, and clothes,
and tools; he has nothing that an enemy can take away from him. What
_justice_ is there, then, in calling upon this man to take up arms and
_risk his life_ in the _defence of the land_: what is the land to him? I
_say_, that it is something to him; I _say_, that he ought to be called
forth to assist to defend the land; because, however poor he may be, _he
has a share in the land_, through the poor-rates; and if he be liable to
be called forth to defend the land, _the land is always liable to be taxed
for his support_. This is what _I say_: my opinions are consistent with
reason, with justice, and with the law of the land; but, how can MALTHUS
and his silly and _nasty_ disciples; how can those who want to abolish the
poor-rates or to prevent the poor from marrying; how can this at once
stupid and conceited tribe look the labouring man in the face, while they
call upon him to take up arms, to risk his life, in defence of the land?
Grant that the poor-laws are just; grant that every necessitous creature
has a right to demand relief from some parish or other; grant that the law
has most effectually provided that every man shall be protected against
the effects of hunger and of cold; grant these, and then the law which
compels the man without house or land to take up arms and risk his life in
defence of the country, is a perfectly just law; but, deny to the
necessitous that legal and certain relief of which I have been speaking;
abolish the poor laws; and then this military-service law becomes an act
of a character such as I defy any pen or tongue to describe.

52. To say another word upon the subject is certainly unnecessary; but we
live in days when "_stern necessity_" has so often been pleaded for most
flagrant departures from the law of the land, that one cannot help asking,
whether there were any greater necessity to justify ADDINGTON for his
deeds of 1817 than there would be to justify a starving man in taking a
loaf? ADDINGTON pleaded _necessity_, and he got a Bill of _Indemnity_.
And, shall a starving man be hanged, then, if he take a loaf to save
himself from dying? When SIX ACTS were before the Parliament, the
proposers and supporters of them never pretended that they did not
embrace a most dreadful departure from the ancient laws of the land. In
answer to LORD HOLLAND, who had dwelt forcibly on this departure from the
ancient law, the Lord Chancellor, unable to contradict LORD HOLLAND,
exclaimed, "_Salus populi suprema lex_," that is to say "_The salvation of
the people is the first law_." Well, then, if the salvation of the people
be the first law, the _salvation of life_ is really and bona fide the
salvation of the people; and, if the ordinary laws may be dispensed with,
in order to obviate a possible and speculative danger, surely they may be
dispensed with, in cases where to dispense with them is visibly,
demonstrably, notoriously, necessary to the salvation of _the lives_ of
the people: surely, bread is as necessary to the lips of the starving man,
as a new law could be necessary to prevent either house of parliament from
being brought into _contempt_; and surely, therefore, _Salus populi
suprema lex_ may come from the lips of the famishing people with as much
propriety as they came from those of the Lord Chancellor!

53. Again, however, I observe, and with this I conclude, that we have
nothing to do but to adhere to the poor-laws which we have; that the poor
have nothing to do, but to apply to the overseer, or to appeal from him to
the magistrate; that the magistrate has nothing to do but duly to enforce
the law; and that the government has nothing to do, in order to secure the
peace of the country, amidst all the difficulties that are approaching,
great and numerous as they are; that it has nothing to do, but to enjoin
on the magistrates to do their duty according to our excellent law; and,
at the same time, the government ought to discourage, by all the means in
their power, all projects for maintaining the poor _by any other than
legal means_; to discourage all begging-box affairs; all miserable
expedients; and also to discourage, and, where it is possible, fix its
mark of reprobation upon all those detestable projectors, who are hatching
schemes for what is called, in the blasphemous slang of the day,
"_checking the surplus population_" who are hatching schemes for
_preventing the labouring people from having children_: who are about
spreading their nasty beastly publications; who are hatching schemes of
_emigration_; and who, in short, seem to be doing every-thing in their
power to widen the fearful breach that has already been made between the
poor and the rich. The government has nothing to do but to cause the law
to be honestly enforced; and then we shall see no starvation, and none of
those dreadful conflicts which the fear of want, as well as actual want,
never fail to produce. The bare thought of _forced emigration_ to a
foreign state, including, as it must, a _transfer of all allegiance_,
which is contrary to the fundamental laws of England; or, exposing every
emigrating person to the danger of committing _high treason_; the very
thought of such a measure, _having become necessary in England_, is enough
to make an Englishman mad. But, of these projects, these scandalous nasty
beastly and shameless projects, we shall have time to speak hereafter; and
in the mean while, I take my leave of you, for the present, by expressing
my admiration of the sensible and spirited conduct of the people of
STOCKPORT, when an attempt was, on the 5th of September, made to cheat
them into an address, _applauding the conduct of the Ministers_! What! Had
the people of STOCKPORT so soon forgotten _16th of August_! Had they so
soon forgotten their townsman, JOSEPH SWAN! If they had, they would have
deserved to perish to all eternity. Oh, no! It was a proposition _very
premature_: it will be quite soon enough for the good and sensible and
spirited fellows of STOCKPORT; quite soon enough to address the Ministers,
when the Ministers shall have proposed a repeal of the several Jubilee
measures, called Ellenborough's law; the poacher-transporting law; the
sun-set and sun-rise transportation law; the tread-mill law; the
select-vestry law; the Sunday-toll laws; the new trespass law; the new
treason law; the seducing-soldier-hanging law; the new apple-felony law;
the SIX ACTS; and a great number of others, passed in the reign of
Jubilee. Quite soon enough to applaud, that is, for the sensible people of
STOCKPORT to applaud, the Ministers, when those Ministers have proposed to
repeal these laws, and, also, to repeal the _malt tax_, and _those other
taxes_, which take, even from the pauper, one half of what the parish
gives him to keep the breath warm in his body. Quite soon enough to
applaud the Ministers, when they have done these things; and when in
addition to all these, they shall have openly proposed _a radical reform
of the Commons House of Parliament_. Leaving them to do this as soon as
they like, and trusting, that you will never, on any account, applaud them
until they do it, I, expressing here my best thanks to Mr. BLACKSHAW, who
defeated the slavish scheme at Stockport, remain,

  Your faithful friend,
  and most obedient servant,
  WM. COBBETT.



NUMBER III.


_Hurstbourne Tarrant (called Uphusband,)_

_Hants, 13th October, 1826._

MY EXCELLENT FRIENDS,

54. In the foregoing Numbers, I have shown, that men can never be so poor
as to have no rights at all: and that, in England, they have a legal, as
well as a natural, _right_ to be maintained, if they be destitute of other
means, out of the lands, or other property, of the rich. But, it is an
interesting question, HOW THERE CAME TO BE SO MUCH POVERTY AND MISERY IN
ENGLAND. This is a very interesting question; for, though it is the doom
of man, that he shall never be certain of any-thing, and that he shall
never be beyond the reach of calamity; though there always has been, and
always will be, poor people in every nation; though this circumstance of
poverty is inseparable from the means which uphold communities of men;
though, without poverty, there could be _no charity_, and none of those
feelings, those offices, those acts, and those relationships, which are
connected with charity, and which form a considerable portion of the
cement of civil society: yet, notwithstanding these things, there are
bounds beyond which the poverty of the people cannot go, without becoming
a thing to complain of, and to trace to the Government as a fault. Those
bounds have been passed, in England, long and long ago. England was always
famed for many things; but especially for its _good living_; that is to
say, for the _plenty_ in which the whole of the people lived; for the
abundance of good clothing and good food which they had. It was always,
ever since it _bore the name of England_, the richest and most powerful
and most admired country in Europe; but, its _good living_, its
superiority in this particular respect, was proverbial amongst all who
knew, or who had heard talk of, the English nation. Good God! How changed!
Now, the very worst fed and worst clad people upon the face of the earth,
those of Ireland only excepted. _How, then, did this horrible, this
disgraceful, this cruel poverty come upon this once happy nation?_ This,
my good friends of Preston, is, to us all, a most important question; and,
now let us endeavour to obtain a full and complete answer to it.

55. POVERTY is, after all, the great badge, the never-failing badge, of
slavery. Bare bones and rags are the true marks of the real slave. What is
the object of Government? To cause men to live _happily_. They cannot be
happy without a sufficiency of _food_ and of _raiment_. Good government
means a state of things in which the main body are well fed and well
clothed. It is the chief business of a government to take care, that one
part of the people do not cause the other part to lead miserable lives.
There can be no morality, no virtue, no sincerity, no honesty, amongst a
people continually suffering from want; and, it is cruel, in the last
degree, to punish such people for almost any sort of crime, which is, in
fact, not crime of the heart, not crime of the perpetrator, but the crime
of his all-controlling necessities.--To what degree the main body of the
people, in England, _are now_ poor and miserable; how deplorably wretched
they now are; this we know but too well; and now, we will see what was
their state before this vaunted "REFORMATION." I shall be very particular
to cite my _authorities_ here. I will _infer_ nothing; I will give no
"_estimate_;" but refer to authorities, such as no man can call in
question, such as no man can deny to be proofs _more_ complete than if
founded on oaths of credible witnesses, taken before a judge and jury. I
shall begin with the account which FORTESCUE gives of the state and manner
of living of the English, in the reign of Henry VI.; that is, in the 15th
century, when the Catholic Church was in the height of its glory.
FORTESCUE was Lord Chief Justice of England for nearly twenty years; he
was appointed Lord High Chancellor by Henry VI. Being in exile, in France,
in consequence of the wars between the Houses of York and Lancaster, and
the King's son, Prince Edward, being also in exile with him, the
Chancellor wrote a series of Letters, addressed to the Prince, to explain
to him the nature and effects of the Laws of England, and to induce him to
study them and uphold them. This work, which was written in Latin, is
called _De Laudibus Legum Angliæ_; or, PRAISE OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND. This
book was, many years ago, translated into English, and it is a book of
Law-Authority, quoted frequently in our courts of this day. No man can
doubt the truth of _facts_ related in such a work. It was a work written
by a famous lawyer for a prince; it was intended to be read by other
contemporary lawyers, and also by all lawyers in future. The passage that
I am about to quote, relating to the state of the English, was _purely
incidental_; it was not intended to answer any temporary purpose. It _must
have been a true account_.--The Chancellor, after speaking generally of
the nature of the laws of England, and of the difference between them and
the laws of France, proceeds to show the difference in their effects, by a
description of the state of the French people, and then by a description
of the state of the English. His words, words that, as I transcribe them,
make my cheeks burn with shame, are as follows: "Besides all this, the
inhabitants of France give every year to their King the _fourth part_ of
all their _wines_, the growth of that year, every vintner gives the fourth
penny of what he makes of his wine by sale. And all the towns and boroughs
pay to the King yearly great sums of money, which are assessed upon them,
for the expenses of his men at arms. So that the King's troops, which are
always considerable, are substituted and paid yearly by those common
people, who live in the villages, boroughs, and cities. Another grievance
is, every village constantly finds and maintains two _cross-bow-men_, at
the least; some find more, well arrayed in all their accoutrements, to
serve the King in his wars, as often as he pleaseth to call them out,
which is frequently done. Without any consideration had of these things,
other very heavy taxes are assessed yearly upon every village within the
kingdom, for the King's service; _neither is there ever any intermission
or abatement of taxes_. Exposed to these and other calamities, the
peasants live in great hardship and misery. Their _constant drink is
water_, neither do they taste, throughout the year, any other liquor,
unless upon some extraordinary times, or festival days. Their clothing
consists of _frocks_, or little short _jerkins_, made of canvass, no
better than common _sackcloth_; they _do not wear any woollens_, except of
the _coarsest sort_; and that only in the garment under their frocks; nor
do they wear any trowse, but from the knees upwards; their legs being
exposed and naked. The women go barefoot, except on holidays. They do _not
eat flesh_, except it be the fat of bacon, and _that in very small
quantities_, with which they make _a soup_. Of other sorts, either boiled
or roasted, _they do not so much as taste_, unless it be of the inwards
and offals of sheep and bullocks, and the like which are killed, for the
use of the better sort of people, _and the merchants_; for whom also
quails, _partridges_, _hares_, and the like, _are reserved, upon pain of
the gallies_; as for their poultry, _the soldiers consume them_, so that
scarce the eggs, slight as they are, are indulged them, by way of a
dainty. And if it happen that a man is observed to thrive in the world,
and become rich, he is _presently assessed to the King's tax_,
proportionably more than his poorer neighbours, _whereby he is soon
reduced to a level with the rest_." Then comes his description of the
ENGLISH, at the same time; those "priest-ridden" English, whom CHALMERS
and HUME, and the rest of that tribe, would fain have us believe, were a
mere band of wretched beggars.--"The King of England cannot alter the
laws, or make new ones, without the express consent of _the whole kingdom
in Parliament assembled_. Every inhabitant is at his liberty fully to use
and enjoy whatever his farm produceth, the fruits of the earth, the
increase of his flock, and the like: all the improvements he makes,
whether by his own proper industry, or of those he retains in his service,
are his own, to use and enjoy, without the let, interruption, or denial of
any. If he be in anywise injured or oppressed, he shall have his amends
and satisfactions against the party offending. Hence it is that the
inhabitants are _rich in gold, silver_, and in all the necessaries and
conveniences of life. _They drink no water_, unless at certain times, upon
_a religious score_, and by way of doing penance. They _are fed, in great
abundance_, with _all sorts of flesh_ and _fish_, of which _they have
plenty every-where_; they are _clothed throughout in good woollens_; their
bedding and other furniture in their houses _are of wool_, and that _in
great store_. They are also well provided with all other sorts of
household goods and necessary implements for husbandry. Every one,
according to his rank, hath _all things which conduce to make life easy
and happy_."--Go, and read this to the poor souls, who are now eating
sea-weed in Ireland; who are detected in robbing the pig-troughs in
Yorkshire; who are eating horse-flesh and grains (draff) in Lancashire
and Cheshire; who are harnessed like horses, and drawing gravel in
Hampshire and Sussex; who have 3_d._ a day allowed them by the magistrates
in Norfolk; who are, all over England, worse fed than the _felons_ in the
jails. Go, and tell them, when they raise their hands from the pig-trough,
or from the grains-tub, and, with their dirty tongues, cry "_No Popery_;"
go, read to the degraded and deluded wretches, this account of the state
of their _Catholic_ forefathers, who lived under what is impudently called
"_Popish superstition and tyranny_," and in those times which we have the
audacity to call "_the dark ages_."--Look at the _then_ picture of the
French; and, Protestant Englishmen, if you have the capacity of blushing
left, blush at the thought of how precisely that picture fits the English
_now_! Look at _all the parts_ of the picture; the _food_, the _raiment_,
the _game_! Good God! If any one had told the old Chancellor, that the day
would come, when this picture, and even a picture more degrading to human
nature, would fit his own boasted country, what would he have said? What
would he have said, if he had been told, that the time was to come, when
the soldier, in England, would have more than twice, nay, more than
thrice, the sum allowed to the day-labouring man; when potatoes would be
carried to the field as the only food of the ploughman; when soup-shops
would be open to feed the English; and when the Judges, sitting on that
very Bench on which he himself had sitten for twenty years, would (as in
the case of last year of the complaints against Magistrates at
NORTHALLERTON) declare that BREAD AND WATER were the general food of
working people in England? What would he have said? Why, if he had been
told, that there was to be a "REFORMATION," accompanied by a total
devastation of Church and Poor property, upheld by wars, creating an
enormous Debt and enormous taxes, and requiring a constantly standing
army; if he had been told this, he would have foreseen our present state,
and would have wept for his country; but, if he had, in addition, been
told, that, even in the midst of all this suffering, we should still have
the ingratitude and the baseness to cry "_No Popery_," and the injustice
and the cruelty to persecute those Englishmen and Irishmen, who adhered to
the faith of their pious, moral, brave, free and happy fathers, he would
have said, "God's will be done: let them suffer."--But, it may be said,
that it was not, then, the _Catholic Church_, but the _Laws_, that made
the English so happy; for, the French had that Church as well as the
English. Aye! But, in England, the Church was the very _basis of the
laws_. The very first clause of MAGNA CHARTA provided for the stability of
its property and rights. _A provision for the indigent_, an effectual
provision, was made _by the laws_ that related to the Church and its
property; and this was not the case in France; and never was the case in
any country but this: so that the English people lost more by a
"Reformation" than any other people could have lost.--Fortescue's
authority would, of itself, be enough; but, I am not to stop with it.
WHITE, the late Rector of SELBOURNE, in Hampshire, gives, in his History
of that once-famous village, an extract from a record, stating that for
disorderly conduct, men were _punished_ by being "compelled to _fast_ a
fortnight on _bread and beer_!" This was about the year 1380, in the reign
of RICHARD II. Oh! miserable "_dark ages_!" This fact _must be true_.
WHITE had no purpose to answer. His mention of the fact, or rather his
transcript from the record, is purely _incidental_; and trifling as the
fact is, it is conclusive as to the general mode of living in those happy
days. Go, tell the harnessed gravel-drawers, in Hampshire, to cry "_No
Popery_;" for, that, if the Pope be not put down, he may, in time, compel
them to _fast_ on _bread and beer_, instead of suffering them to continue
to regale themselves on nice potatoes and pure water.--But, let us come to
_Acts of Parliament_, and, first, to the Act above mentioned of KING
EDWARD III. That Act fixes the _price of meat_. After naming the four
sorts of meat, _beef_, _pork_, _mutton_, and _veal_, the preamble has
these words: "These being THE FOOD OF THE POORER SORT." This is
conclusive. It is an _incidental_ mention of a fact. It is an Act of
Parliament. It _must have been true_; and, it is a fact that we know well,
that even the Judges have declared from the Bench, that _bread alone_ is
_now the food of the poorer sort_. What do we want more than this to
convince us, that the main body of the people have been _impoverished_ by
the "Reformation?"--But I will _prove_, by other Acts of Parliament, this
Act of Parliament to have spoken truth. These Acts declare what the
_wages_ of workmen shall be. There are several such Acts, but one or two
may suffice. The Act of 23d of EDW. III. fixes the wages, without food, as
follows. There are many other things mentioned, but the following will be
enough for our purpose.

                                                    _s._ _d._

  A woman hay-making, or weeding corn, for the day   0    1
  A man filling dung-cart                            0    3-1/2
  A reaper                                           0    4
  Mowing an acre of grass                            0    6
  Thrashing a quarter of Wheat                       0    4

The price of _shoes_, _cloth_, and of _provisions_, throughout the time
that this law continued in force, was as follows:--

                                   _L._ _s._ _d._

  A pair of shoes                   0    0    4
  Russet broad-cloth the yard       0    1    1
  A stall-fed ox                    1    4    0
  A grass-fed ox                    0   16    0
  A fat sheep unshorn               0    1    8
  A fat sheep shorn                 0    1    2
  A fat hog 2 years old             0    3    4
  A fat goose                       0    0    2-1/2
  Ale, the gallon, by proclamation  0    0    1
  Wheat the quarter                 0    3    4
  White wine the gallon             0    0    6
  Red wine                          0    0    4

These prices are taken from the PRECIOSUM of BISHOP FLEETWOOD, who took
them from the accounts kept by the bursers of convents. All the world
knows, that FLEETWOOD'S book is of undoubted authority.--We may then
easily believe, that "beef, pork, mutton, and veal," were "the food of the
_poorer sort_," when a _dung-cart filler_ had more than the price of _a
fat goose and a half for a day's work_, and when a woman was allowed, for
_a day's weeding_, the price of a _quart of red wine_! Two yards of the
cloth made a coat for the _shepherd_; and, as it cost 2_s._ 2_d._, the
reaper would earn it _in 6-1/2 days_; and, the dung-cart man would earn
very nearly a _pair of shoes every day_! this dung-cart filler would earn
a _fat shorn sheep_ in four days; he would earn a _fat hog_, two years
old, in twelve days; he would earn a _grass-fed ox_ in twenty days; so
that we may easily believe, that "beef, pork, and mutton," were "the food
of the _poorer sort_." And, mind, this was "a _priest-ridden people_;" a
people "buried in _Popish superstition_!" In our days of "_Protestant
light_" and of "_mental enjoyment_," the "poorer sort" are allowed by the
Magistrates of Norfolk, 3_d._ a day for a _single man_ able to work. That
is to say, a half-penny _less_ than the Catholic dung-cart man had; and
that 3_d._ will get the "_No Popery_" gentleman about _six ounces_ of old
ewe-mutton, while the Popish dung-cart man got, for his day, rather more
than _the quarter of a fat sheep_.--But, the popish people might work
_harder_ than "_enlightened_ Protestants." They might do _more work in a
day_. This is contrary to all the assertions of the _feelosophers_; for
they insist, that the Catholic religion made people _idle_. But, to set
this matter at rest, let us look at the price of the _job-labour_; at the
_mowing_ by _the acre_, and at the _thrashing_ of wheat by _the quarter_;
and let us see how these _wages are now_, compared with the price of food.
I have no _parliamentary_ authority since the year 1821, when a report was
printed by order of the House of Commons, containing the evidence of Mr.
ELLMAN, of Sussex, as to wages, and of Mr. GEORGE, of Norfolk, as to price
of wheat. The report was dated 18th June, 1821. The accounts are for 20
years, on an average, from 1800 inclusive. We will now proceed to see how
the "popish, priest-ridden" Englishman stands in comparison with the "_No
Popery_" Englishman.

                                 POPISH MAN.      NO POPERY MAN.

                                   _s._ _d._        _s._ _d._

  Mowing an acre of grass           0    6           3    7-3/4
  Thrashing a quarter of Wheat      0    4           4    0

Here are "_waust_ improvements, Mau'm!" But, now let us look at the
relative _price of the wheat_, which the labourer had to purchase with his
wages. We have seen, that the "popish _superstition slave_" had to give
_fivepence_ a bushel for his wheat, and the evidence of Mr. GEORGE states,
that the "_enlightened_ Protestant" had to give 10 _shillings_ a bushel
for his wheat; that is 24 _times_ as much as the "popish _fool_," who
suffered himself to be "priest-ridden." So that the "_enlightened_" man,
in order to make him as well off as the "_dark_-ages" man was, ought to
receive _twelve shillings_, instead of 3_s._ 7-3/4_d._ for mowing an acre
of grass; and he, in like manner, ought to receive, for thrashing a
quarter of wheat, _eight shillings_, instead of the _four shillings_ which
he does receive. If we had the _records_, we should doubtless find, that
IRELAND was in the same state.

56. There! That settles the matter as to _ancient_ good living. Now, as to
the progress of poverty and misery, amongst the working people, during the
last half century, take these facts; in the year 1771, that is, 55 years
ago, ARTHUR YOUNG, who was afterwards Secretary to the Board of
Agriculture, published a work on the state of the agriculture of the
country, in which he gave the allowance for the keeping of _a
farm-labourer, his wife and three children_, which allowance, reckoning
according to the present money-price of the articles which he allows
amounted to 13_s._ 1_d._ He put the sum, at what he deemed the _lowest
possible sum_, on which the people could _exist_. Alas! we shall find,
that they can be made to exist upon little more than _one-half_ of this
sum!

57. This allowance of Mr. ARTHUR YOUNG was made, observe, in 1771, which
was before the Old American War took place. That war made some famous
fortunes for admirals and commodores and contractors and pursers and
generals and commissaries; but, it was not the Americans, the French, nor
the Dutch, that gave the money to make these fortunes. They came out of
_English taxes_; and the heaviest part of those taxes fell upon the
_working people_, who, when they were boasting of "_victories_," and
rejoicing that the "JACK TARS" had got "prize-money," little dreamed that
these victories were purchased by them, and that they paid fifty pounds
for every crown that sailors got in prize-money! In short, this American
war caused a great mass of new taxes to be laid on, and the people of
England became _a great deal poorer than they ever had been before_.
During that war, they BEGAN TO EAT POTATOES, as something to "_save
bread_." The poorest of the people, the very poorest of them, refused, for
a long while, to use them in this way; and even when I was ten years old,
which was just about _fifty years ago_; the poor people would not eat
potatoes, except _with meat_, as they would cabbages, or carrots, or any
other moist vegetable. But, by the end of the American war, their stomachs
had come to! By slow degrees they had been reduced to swallow this
pig-meat, (and bad pig-meat too,) not, indeed, without grumbling; but to
swallow it; to be reduced, thus, many degrees in the scale of animals.

58. At the end of _twenty-four years_ from the date of ARTHUR YOUNG'S
allowance, the poverty and degradation of the English people had made
great strides. We were now in the year 1795, and a new war, and a new
series of "_victories_ and _prizes_" had begun. But who it was that
_suffered_ for these, out of whose blood and flesh and bones they came,
the allowance now (in 1795) made to the poor labourers and their families
will tell. There was, in that year, a TABLE, or SCALE, of allowance,
framed by the Magistrates of Berkshire. This is, by no means, a _hard_
county; and therefore it is reasonable to suppose, that the _scale_ was as
good a one for the poor as any in England. According to this scale, which
was printed and published, and also acted upon for years, the weekly
allowance, for _a man, his wife and three children_, was, according to
present money-prices, 11_s._ 4_d._ Thus it had, in the space of
twenty-four years, fell from 13_s._ 1_d._ to 11_s._ 4_d._ Thus were the
people brought to the _pig-meat_! Food, fit for men, they could not have
with 11_s._ 4_d._ a week for five persons.

59. One would have thought, that to make a human being _live_ upon 4_d._
_a day_, and find _fuel_, _clothing_, _rent_, _washing_, and _bedding_,
out of the 4_d._, besides eating and drinking, was impossible; and one
would have thought it impossible for any-thing not of hellish birth and
breeding, to entertain a wish to make poor creatures, and our _neighbours_
too, exist in such a state of horrible misery and degradation as the
labourers of England were condemned to by this scale of 1795. Alas! this
was happiness and honour; this was famous living; this 11_s._ 4_d._ a week
was _luxury_ and _feasting_, compared to what we NOW BEHOLD! For now the
allowance, according to present money-prices, is 8_s._ a week for the man,
his wife, and three children; that is to say 2-5/7 _d._ In words, TWO
PENCE AND FIVE SEVENTHS OF ANOTHER PENNY, FOR A DAY! There, that is
England now! That is what the base wretches, who are fattening upon the
people's labour, call "the _envy_ of surrounding nations and the
_admiration_ of the world." This is what SIR FRANCIS BURDETT applauds; and
he applauds the mean and cruel and dastardly ruffians, whom he calls, "the
_country gentlemen_ of England," and whose _generosity_ he cries up; while
he well knows, _that it is they_ (and he amongst the rest) who are the
real and only cause of this devil-like barbarity, which (and he well knows
that too) could not possibly be practised without the constant existence
and occasional employment of that species of force, which is so abhorrent
to the laws of England, and of which this Burdett's son forms a part. The
poor creatures, _if they complain_; if their hunger make them _cry out_,
are either punished by even harder measures, or are _slapped into prison_.
Alas! the jail is really become a place of _relief_, a scene of
comparative _good living_: hence the invention of the _tread-mill_! What
shall we see next? _Workhouses, badges, hundred-houses, select-vestries,
tread-mills, gravel-carts, and harness!_ What shall we see next! And what
should we see at last, if this infernal THING could continue for only a
few years longer?

60. In order to form a judgment of the cruelty of making our working
neighbours live upon 2-5/7_d._ a day; that is to say 2_d._ and rather more
than a halfpenny, let us see what the surgeons allow in the hospitals, to
patients with _broken limbs_, who, of course, have no _work_ to do, and
who cannot even take any _exercise_. In GUY'S HOSPITAL, London, the
_daily_ allowance to patients, having _simple fractures_, is this: 6
ounces of meat; 12 ounces of bread; 1 pint of broth; 2 quarts of good
beer. This is the _daily_ allowance. Then, in addition to this, the same
patient has 12 ounces of butter _a week_. These articles, for a week,
amount to not less at present retail prices (and those are the poor man's
prices,) than 6_s._ 9_d._ a week; while the working man is allowed 1_s._
7_d._ a week! For, he cannot and he will not see his wife and children
actually drop down dead with hunger before his face; and this is what he
must see, if he take to himself more than a _fifth_ of the allowance for
the family.

61. Now, pray, observe, that _surgeons_, and particularly those eminent
surgeons who frame rules and regulations for great establishments like
that of Guy's Hospital, _are competent judges_ of what nature requires in
the way of food and of drink. They are, indeed, not only competent judges,
but they are the best of judges: they know precisely what is necessary;
and having the power to order the proper allowance, they order it. If,
then, they make an allowance like that, which we have seen, to a person
who is under a regimen for a broken limb; to a person who does _no work_,
and who is, nine times out of ten, unable to take any exercise at all,
even that of walking about, at least in the open air; if the eminent
surgeons of London deem _six shillings and ninepence worth_ of victuals
and drink, a week, necessary to such a patient; if they think that _nature
calls_ for so much in such a case; what must that man be made of, who can
allow to a _working man_, a man fourteen hours every day in the open air,
_one shilling and seven pence worth_ of victuals and drink for the week!
Let me not however ask what "that _man_" can be made of; for it is a
monster and not a man: it is a murderer of men: not a murderer with the
knife or the pistol, but with the more cruel instrument of starvation. And
yet, such monsters go to _church_ and to _meeting_; aye, and _subscribe_,
the base hypocrites, to circulate that Bible which commands _to do as they
would be done by_, and which, from the first chapter to the last, menaces
them with punishment, if they be hard to the poor, the fatherless, the
widow, or the stranger!

62. But, not only is the patient, in a hospital, thus so much more amply
fed than the working man; the _prisoners in the jails_; aye, even the
_convicted felons_, are fed better, and much better, than the working men
now are! Here is a fine "_Old England_;" that country of "roast beef and
plumb pudding:" that, as the tax-eaters say it is, "envy of surrounding
nations and admiration of the world." Aye; the country WAS all these; but,
it is now precisely the reverse of them all. We have just seen that the
_honest labouring man_ is allowed 2-5/7_d._ a day; and that will buy him
_a pound and a half of good bread a day_, and no more, not a single crumb
more. This is all he has. Well enough might the Hampshire Baronet, SIR
JOHN POLLEN, lately, at a meeting at Andover, call the labourers "_poor
devils_," and say, that they had "_scarcely a rag to cover them_!" A pound
and a half of bread a day, and nothing more, and that, too, _to work
upon_! Now, then, how fare the prisoners in the jails? Why, if they be
CONVICTED FELONS, they are, say the Berkshire jail-regulations, "to have
ONLY BREAD and water, _with vegetables_ occasionally from the garden."
Here, then, they are already better fed than the honest labouring man.
Aye, and this is not all; for, this is only the _week-day_ fare; for, they
are to have, "on Sundays, SOME MEAT _and broth_!" Good God! And the honest
working man can never, never smell the smell of meat! This is "envy of
surrounding nations" with the devil to it! This is a state of things for
Burdett to applaud.

63. But we are not even yet come to a sight of the depth of our
degradation. These Berkshire jail-regulations make provision for setting
the convicted prisoners, in certain cases, TO WORK, and, they say, "if the
surgeon think it necessary, the WORKING PRISONERS may be allowed MEAT AND
BROTH ON WEEK-DAYS;" and on Sundays, of course! There it is! There is the
"envy and admiration!" There is the state to which Mr. Prosperity and Mr.
Canning's best Parliament has brought us. There is the result of
"_victories_" and prize-money and battles of Waterloo and of English
ladies kissing, "Old Blucher." There is the fruit, the natural fruit, of
anti-jacobinism and battles on the Serpentine River and jubilees and
heaven-born ministers and sinking-funds and "public credit" and army and
navy contracts. There is the fruit, the natural, the nearly (but _not
quite_) ripe fruit of it all: the CONVICTED FELON is, if he do not work at
all, allowed, on week-days, some vegetables in addition to his bread, and,
on Sundays, both _meat and broth_; and, if the CONVICTED FELON work, if he
be a WORKING convicted felon, he is allowed _meat and broth all the week
round_; while, hear it Burdett, thou Berkshire magistrate! hear it, all ye
base miscreants who have persecuted men because they sought a reform! The
WORKING CONVICTED FELON is allowed _meat and broth every day in the year_,
while the WORKING HONEST MAN is allowed _nothing but dry bread_, and of
that not half a belly-full! And yet you see the people that seem
_surprised_ that _crimes_ increase! Very strange, to be sure; that men
should like to _work_ upon meat and broth better than they like to work
upon dry bread! No wonder that _new jails_ arise. No wonder that there are
now two or three or four or five jails to one county, and that as much is
now written upon "_prison discipline_" as upon almost any subject that is
going. But, why so good, so generous, to FELONS? The truth is, that they
are _not fed too well_; for, to be _starved_ is no part of their sentence;
and, here are SURGEONS who have something to say! They know very well that
a man may be _murdered_ by keeping necessary food from him. Felons are not
apt to lie down and _die quietly_ for want of food. The jails are in
_large towns_, where the news of any cruelty soon gets about. So that the
felons have many circumstances in their favour. It is in the villages, the
recluse villages, where the greatest cruelties are committed.

64. Here, then, in this contrast between the treatment of the WORKING
FELON and that of the WORKING HONEST MAN, we have a complete picture of
the present state of England; that horrible state, to which, by slow
degrees, this once happy country has been brought; and, I should now
proceed to show, as I proposed in the first paragraph of this present
Number, HOW THERE CAME TO BE SO MUCH POVERTY AND MISERY IN ENGLAND; for,
this is the main thing, it being clear, that, if we do not see the real
causes of our misery, we shall be very unlikely to adopt any effectual
remedy. But, before I enter on this part of my subject, let me _prove_,
beyond all possibility of doubt, that what I say relatively to the
situation of, and the allowances to, the labourers and their families, IS
TRUE. The _cause_ of such situation and allowances I shall show hereafter;
but let me first show, by a reference to indubitable facts, that the
situation and allowances are such as, or worse than, I have described
them. To do this, no way seems to me to be so fair, so likely to be free
from error, so likely to produce a suitable impression on the minds of my
readers, and so likely to lead to some useful practical result; no way
seems to me so well calculated to answer these purposes, as that of taking
_the very village, in which, I, at this moment, happen to be_, and to
describe, with names and dates, the actual state of its labouring people,
as far as that state is connected with steps taken under the poor-laws.

65. This village was in former times a very considerable place, as is
manifest from the size of the church as well as from various other
circumstances. It is now, as a _church living_, united with an adjoining
parish, called VERNON DEAN, which also has its church, at a distance of
about three miles from the church of this parish. Both parishes put
together now contain only _eleven hundred_, and a few odd, inhabitants,
men, women, children, and all; and yet, the _great tithes_ are supposed to
be worth _two or three thousand pounds a year_, and the _small tithes_
about _six hundred pounds a year_. Formerly, before the event which is
called "THE REFORMATION," there were _two Roman Catholic priests_ living
at the parsonage houses in these two parishes. They could not marry, and
could, therefore have no wives and families to keep out of the tithes;
and, WITH PART OF THOSE TITHES, THEY, AS THE LAW PROVIDED, MAINTAINED THE
POOR OF THESE TWO PARISHES; and, the canons of the church commanded them
to distribute the portion to the poor and the stranger, "_with their own
hands_, in _humility_ and _mercy_."

66. This, as to church and poor, was the state of these villages, in the
"_dark ages_" of "_Romish superstition_." What! No poor-laws? No
poor-rates? What horribly _unenlightened_ times! No _select vestries_?
Dark ages indeed! But, how stands these matters now? Why, the two parishes
are moulded into _one church living_. Then the GREAT TITHES (amounting to
two or three thousand a year) belong to some part of the _Chapter_ (as
they call it) of Salisbury. The Chapter leases them out, as they would a
house or a farm, and they are now rented by JOHN KING, who is one of this
happy nation's greatest and oldest _pensioners_. So that, _away go_ the
great tithes, not leaving a single wheat-ear to be spent in the parish.
The SMALL TITHES belong to a VICAR, who is one FISHER, a _nephew of the
late bishop of Salisbury_, who has not resided here for a long while; and
who has a curate, named JOHN GALE, who being the son of a little farmer
and shop-keeper at BURBAGE in Wiltshire, was, by a parson of the name of
BAILEY (very _well known and remembered_ in these parts), put to school;
and, in the fulness of time, became a _curate_. So that, _away go_ also
the small tithes (amounting to about 500_l._ or 600_l._ a year); and, out
of the large church revenues; or, rather, large church-_and-poor_
revenues, of these two parishes; out of the whole of them, there remains
only the amount of the curate, Mr. JOHN GALE'S, salary, which does not,
perhaps, exceed seventy or a hundred pounds, and a part of which, at any
rate, I dare say, he does not expend in these parishes: _away goes_, I
say, all the rest of the small tithes, leaving not so much as a mess of
milk or a dozen of eggs, much less a tithe-pig, to be consumed in the
parish.

67. As to _the poor_, the parishes continue to be _in two_; so that I am
to be considered as speaking of the parish of UPHUSBAND only. You are
aware, that, amongst the last of the acts of the famous JUBILEE-REIGN, was
an act to enable parishes to establish SELECT VESTRIES; and one of these
vestries now exists in this parish. And now, let me explain to you the
nature and tendency of this Jubilee-Act. Before this Act was passed,
_overseers of the poor had full authority to grant relief at their
discretion_. Pray mark that. Then again, before this Act was passed, _any
one justice of the peace might, on complaint of any poor person, order
relief_. Mark that. A select vestry is _to consist of the most
considerable rate-payers_. Mark that. Then, mark these things: this
Jubilee-Act _forbids the overseer to grant any relief other than such as
shall be ordered by the select vestry_: it forbids ONE _justice_ to order
relief, in any case, except in a case of _emergency:_ it forbids MORE
THAN ONE to order relief, except _on oath_ that the complainant has
_applied to the select vestry_ (where there is one,) and has been refused
relief by it; and that, in no case, the justice's order _shall be for more
than a month_; and, moreover, that when a poor person shall appeal to
justices from a select vestry, the justices, in ordering relief, or
refusing, shall have "_regard to the conduct and_ CHARACTER _of the
applicant_!"

68. From this Act, one would imagine, that _overseers_ and _justices_ were
looked upon as being too _soft_ and _yielding_ a nature; _too good, too
charitable, too liberal_ to the poor! In order that the select vestry may
have an agent suited to the purposes that the Act _manifestly has in
view_, the Act authorizes the select vestry to appoint what is called an
"_assistant overseer_," and to _give him a salary out of the poor-rates_.
Such is this Jubilee-Act, one of the last Acts of the Jubilee-reign, that
reign, which gave birth to the American war, to Pitt, to Perceval,
Ellenborough, Sidmouth, and Castlereagh, to a thousand millions of taxes
and another thousand millions of debt: such is the Select Vestry Act; and
this now little trifling village of UPHUSBAND _has a Select-Vestry_! Aye,
and an "ASSISTANT OVERSEER," too, with a _salary_ of FIFTY POUNDS A YEAR,
being, as you will presently see, about a SEVENTH PART OF THE WHOLE OF THE
EXPENDITURE ON THE POOR!

69. The Overseers make out and cause to be _printed_ and _published_, at
the end of every _four weeks_, an account of the disbursements. I have one
of these accounts now before me; and I insert it here, word for word, as
follows:--

70. "The disbursements of Mr. T. Child and Mr. C. Church, bread at 1_s._
2_d._ per gallon. Sept. 25th, 1826.

  WIDOWS.

                                                £.  s.  d.  £.  s.  d.
  Blake, Ann                                    0   8   0
  Bray, Mary                                    0   8   0
  Cook, Ann                                     0   7   6
  Clark, Mary                                   0  10   0
  Gilbert, Hannah                               0   8   0
  Marshall, Sarah                               0  10   0
  Smith, Mary                                   0   8   0
  Westrip, Jane                                 0   8   0
  Withers, Ann                                  0   8   0
  Dance, Susan                                  0   8   0
                                                ---------   4   3   6


  BASTARDS.

  ----  ----                                    0   7   0
  ----  ----                                    0   6   0
  ----  ----                                    0   7   0
  ----  ----                                    0   6   0
  ----  ---- 2 children                         0  12   0
  ----  ---- 2 children                         0  12   0
  ----  ----                                    -  10   0
  ----  ----                                    -   8   0
  ----  ----                                    -   6   0
  ----  ----                                    -   8   0
  ----  ----                                    -   8   0
  ----  ----                                    -   6   0
  ----  ----                                    -   6   0
  ----  ----                                    -   6   0
                                               ----------   5   8   0

  OLD MEN.

  Blake, John                                   0  16   0
  Cannon, John                                  0  14   0
  Cummins, Peter                                0  16   0
  Hopgood, John                                 0  16   0
  Holden, William                               0   6   0
  Marshall, Charles                             0  16   0
  Nutley, George                                0   7   0
                                                ---------   4  11  0

  FAMILIES.

  Bowley, Mary                                  0   4   0
  Baverstock, Elizabeth, 2 children             0   9   4
  Cook, Levi             5 children             0   5   4
  Kingston, John         6 ditto                0  10   0
  Knight, John           6 ditto                0  10   0
  Newman, David          5 ditto                0   5   4
  Pain, Robert           5 ditto                0   5   4
  Synea, William         6 ditto                0  10   0
  Smith, Sarah (Moses)   1 ditto                0   4   8
  Studman, Sarah         2 ditto                0   9   4
  White, Joseph          8 ditto                0  19   4
  Wise, William          6 ditto                0  10   0
  Waldren, Job           5 ditto                0   5   4
  Noyce, M. Batt, 7do. 6 weeks' pay             1   2   0
                                                ---------   6  10  0


  EXTRA IN THIS MONTH.

  Thomas Farmer, ill 3 days                     0   4   0
  Levi Cook, ill 4 weeks and 1 day              1  13   4
  Joseph White's child, 6 weeks                 0   7   0
  Jane Westrip's rent                           0   2   0
  William Fisher, 1 month ill                   1  12   0
  Paid boy, 2 days ill                          0   0   8
  James Orchard, ill                            1   0   2
  James Orchard's daughter, ill                 0   8   0
  Adders and Sparrows                           0   2   3-1/2
  Wicks for Carriage                            0   1   0
  Paid Mary Hinton                              0   4   0
  Joseph Farmer, ill 3 days                     0   2   9
  Thomas Cummins                                0   6   0
  Samuel Day, and son, ill                      0   8   2
                                                ---------   6  11  4

    Total amount for the 4 weeks                           27   3 10-1/2

71. Under the head of "WIDOWS" are, generally, old women wholly unable to
work; and that of "OLD MEN" are men past all labour: in some of the
instances _lodging places_, in very poor and wretched houses, are found
these old people, and, in other instances, they have the bare money; and,
observe, that money is FOR FOUR WEEKS! Gracious God! Have we had no
mothers ourselves! Were we not born of woman! Shall we not feel then for
the poor widow who, in her old age, is doomed to exist on two shillings a
week, or threepence halfpenny a day, and to find herself _clothes_ and
washing and fuel and bedding out of that! And, the poor old men, the very
happiest of whom gets, you see, less than 7_d._ a day, at the end of 70 or
80 years of a life, all but six of which have been years of labour! I have
thought it right to put _blanks_ instead of the names, under the _second
head_. Men of less rigid morality, and less free from all illicit
intercourse, than the members of the Select Vestry of Uphusband, would,
instead of the word "_bastard_," have used the more amiable one of
"_love-child_;" and, it may not be wholly improper to ask these rigid
moralists, whether they be aware, that they are guilty of LIBEL, aye, of
real criminal libel, in causing these poor girls' names to be _printed_
and _published_ in this way. Let them remember, that the greater the truth
the greater the libel; and, let them remember, that the mothers and the
children too, may have _memories_! But, it is under the head of "FAMILIES"
that we see that which is most worthy of our attention. Observe, that
_eight shillings a week_ is _the wages_ for a day labourer in the village.
And, you see, it is only when there are _more than four children_ that the
family is allowed anything at all. "LEVI COOK," for instance, has _five
children_, and he receives allowance for _one_ child. "JOSEPH WHITE" has
_eight children_, and he receives allowance for _four_. There are three
widows under this head; but, it is where there is _a man_, the father of
the family, that we ought to look with attention; and here we find, that
nothing at all is allowed to a family of a man, a wife, and _four
children_, beyond the bare eight shillings a week of wages; and this is
even worse than the allowance which I contrasted with that of the hospital
patients and convicted felons; for there I supposed the family to consist
of a man, his wife and _three children_. If I am told, that the farmers,
that the occupiers of houses and land, are _so poor_ that they cannot do
more for their wretched work-people and neighbours; then I answer and
say, What a selfish, what a dastardly wretch is he, who is not ready to do
all he can to change this disgraceful, this horrible state of things!

72. But, at any rate, is the salary of the "ASSISTANT OVERSEER" necessary?
Cannot that be dispensed with? Must he have as much as _all the widows_,
or _all the old men_? And his salary, together with the charge for
_printing_ and other his various expenses, will come to a great deal more
_than go to all the widows and old men too_! Why not, then, do without
him, and double the allowance to these poor old women, or poor old men,
who have spent their strength in raising crops in the parish? I went to
see with my own eyes some of the "_parish houses_," as they are called;
that is to say, the places where the select vestry put the poor people
into to live. Never did my eyes before alight on such scenes of
wretchedness! There was one place, about 18 feet long and 10 wide, in
which I found the wife of ISAAC HOLDEN, which, when all were at home, had
to contain _nineteen persons_; and into which, I solemnly declare, I would
not put 19 pigs, even if well-bedded with straw. Another place was shown
me by JOB WALDRON'S daughter; another by Thomas Carey's wife. The _bare
ground_, and that in holes too, was the floor in both these places. The
windows broken, and the holes stuffed with rags, or covered with rotten
bits of board. Great openings in the walls, parts of which were fallen
down, and the places stopped with hurdles and straw. The thatch rotten,
the chimneys leaning, the doors but bits of doors, the sleeping holes
shocking both to sight and smell; and, indeed, every-thing seeming to say:
"_These_ are the abodes of wretchedness, which, to be believed possible,
must be seen and felt: _these_ are the abodes of the descendants of those
amongst whom _beef_, _pork_, _mutton_ and _veal_ were the food of the
poorer sort; to _this are come, at last_, the descendants of those common
people of England, who, FORTESCUE tells us, were clothed throughout in
good woollens, whose bedding, and other furniture in their houses, were
of wool, and that in great store, and who were well provided with all
sorts of household goods, every one having all things that conduce to make
life easy and happy!"

73. I have now, my friends of Preston, amply proved, that what I have
stated relative to the present state of, and allowances to, the labourers
is TRUE. And now we are to do all we can to remove the evil; for, removed
the evil must be, or England must be sunk for ages; and, never will the
evil be removed, until its causes, remote as well as near, be all clearly
ascertained. With my best wishes for the health and happiness of you all,

  I remain,
  Your faithful friend, and most obedient servant,
  WM. COBBETT.


THE END.



Footnotes:

[1] 4s. 6d. English, equal to one dollar.

[2] 2d. English, equal to four cents, nearly.

[3] The above items may be converted into United States' money by
reckoning 4s. 6d. to the dollar: Thus As 4_s._ 6_d._ : 1 dollar :: 11_l._
7_s._ 2_d._ : 50 dollars 48 cents.

[4] To convert these sums into United States' money, see page 16.

[5] All the calculations in this work, it must be remembered, are in
English money but may be turned into United States' money as before
directed, page 16.

[6] Be sure, now, _before you go any further_, to go to the end of the
book, and there read about MANGLE WURZLE. Be _sure_ to do this. And there
read also about COBBETT'S CORN. Be sure to do this before you go any
further.

[7] To me the following has happened within the last year. A young man, in
the country, had agreed to be my servant; but it was found _that he could
not milk_; and the bargain was set aside. About a month afterwards a young
man, who said he was _a farmer's son_, and who came from Herefordshire,
offered himself to me at Kensington. "_Can you milk?_" He could not; but
_would learn_! Ay, but in the learning, he might _dry up my cows_! What a
shame to the _parents_ of these young men! Both of them were in _want of
employment_. The latter had come more than a hundred miles in _search of
work_; and here he was left to hunger still, and to be exposed to all
sorts of ills, because he _could not milk_.

[8] London

[9] The father of the present Sir Robert Peel, who gained his fortune as a
cotton weaver by the help of machinery.

[10] Editors of the London Times Newspaper.



      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber's note:

Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

Footnote marker 4 is not in the original text.

Some quotation marks are not matched in the original. Obvious errors
have been silently matched, while those requiring interpretation have
been left unmatched.

The following misprints have been corrected:
  "it" corrected to "is" (page 26)
  "whorthy" corrected to "worthy" (page 51)
  "bady" corrected to "bad" (page 68)
  "buln of the hatch" corrected to "bulk of the batch" (page 119)
  "the the" corrected to "the" (page 123)
  "abuudant" corrected to "abundant" (page 126)
  "pig's" corrected to "pigs" (index)
  "Chancollor" corrected to "Chancellor" (Part 2, page 47)
  "Chanceller" corrected to "Chancellor" (Part 2, page 47)
  "Amecan" corrected to "American" (Part 2, page 55)

Other than the corrections listed above, printer's inconsistencies in
spelling and hyphenation usage have been retained.





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