NOTES ON THE PREFACE.


REASONABLE to expect that an apology will be required for writing, &c. --- p. 1, 1. 4.} For the Equivocal Society to charge me with audacious brags and pretensions to infallibility is very vile ; and the reader will see that the contrary to their accusation is true. But if he reads the Society's two volumes, he will see more of that kind, than is to be found, I believe, in any author, some of which I beg leave here to insert, viz., in p. ii. of their Dedication of their first Volume, they say of their treatise, that it is " one of the completest Systems of Agriculture that was ever yet published." In Preface to April, has " already obliged the world with some scraps." --- p. vi., " A complete Set or System of agriculture ; and being entirely new and deduced from practice, will be of great use to the public." In Introduction to April, " Shall publish something more to the purpose on Husbandry and Planting, than has yet been done, and from which (it is to be hoped) a more complete System of these Sciences may in a little time be formed, than has yet appeared in the world." In Preface to May, p. i., ii., " The authors, upon a serious and impartial view of all that has ever yet appeared, and well knowing their own integrity and designs, are not in the least intimidated from offering the following papers, till a general System is finished ; not doubting but that the world (though tired as it were with that numerous pest of books with which the press has been long crowded) will yet do justice to this or any other undertaking, which in so visible a manner appears to be calculated for the public good, and wrote in a much more useful, well as more agreeable, style and method, that has yeat appeared," &c. In p. iii. of the
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same Preface, " The author living much more in the country than in town, being of consequence much better able to judge of the ignorance of all country farmers," &c. In p. iv., " And from the knowledge of us, who are the authors of these Memoirs, we can affirm that the major part of the farmers of this kingdom, and we can almost say gentlemen too, know little or nothing," &c. In essay for May, p. 137, " And though Mr. Miller hath gone a great way, the reader will find more for his instruction in this, than in any other book yet extant." In Dedication to Vol. II. " The authors, free from all sordid, servile views, think themselves very happy," &c. In Preface to July, p. iii., " Wherein not only the Practice, but the Theory also of those useful Sciences will be set in a stronger and more conspicuous light than they have ever theretofore been," &c. Much more of this sort of brags, arrogance, and presumption, may be found in the works of those authors.
  The solicitations by letters from persons of rank, &c. ---- p. 1, 1. 12.} Equivocus insinuates, that I write to show myself a great man and a fine gentleman by the conceitedness of my own opinions, and the like, which he would have the world believe the only motives of my writing.
  Of the many persons that persuaded me to write, the Commentator and Translator of Virgil's Georgics was the first, who, both by word and a great number of letters, which I have, and by other inducements which I do not care to mention, solicited me to put my thoughts upon husbandry, &c., into writing ; he often telling me, that he knew nothing in the world that would be of more general use, than my Drill, &c., if made public ; there never having been any other of the kind that would perform that work to any purpose, as he believed, and he had read all the books he could
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obtain likely to discover them, if there had been any such instruments. He said the Sembrador was the nearest ; but of a structure very different from my drill, and upon full trials was found useless for planting in rows, it being only designed for planting corn deep in land that was level, and so fine that neither clods or stones remained in it. He showed me the cut of Mr. Worledge's drill, which he said was only a proposal, and never made but in the cut. He also told me, that he himself had been endeavoring to get such an instrument made, and had employed a worthy Reverend projector, who put him to an expense of 25l. in making one for him, which, when finished, would perform nothing.
  He afterwards desired, that my workmen might make him a drill of my sort for St.-Foin, and another for turnip-seed, which was done ; and then he advised me to make that part of metal that was before of box-tree wood, and is in my plates described as made of brass.
  It is to that ingenious Antidrydenian critic, that I chiefly owe my misfortunes of the press, which have been more and greater than I believe ever happened to any author on the same subject.
  Terhaps you will say, I might have avoided these misfortunes by suppressing what I had writ ; and, indeed, after the Specimen was published, I was come to a resolution of printing no more, for several reasons ; the chief of which was, my apprehension of the mischief that would be done by pretenders, who were setting up in London ; and that, when I heard my Specimen was reprinted in Ireland, I expected the whole book would be so too. But I was prevailed on to change my design by several letters, one of which I here make bold to insert, hoping the noble peer who wrote them will not take it amiss, since it is to obviate an objection injurious to the design of the same letter ; which is as follows :
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  " MY DEAR SIR, London, February 8, 1732.

  ---- showed me your letter to him of the 3d of this month. I am extremely sorry to observe from it, that you are under great discouragements at present. I hope you will believe I am very sincere, when I tell you I am much interested in your preservation, from the happiness I have of a personal acquaintance with you, as well as from the concern I think the public has in a person who has laboured so successfully for its service. I would fain hope, that the apprehensions you had from your spitting of blood are long before this time removed, by its having ceased. If that is the case, I must conjure you for the sake of your own glory, and for that of your country's benefit, to apply heartily, and without loss of time, to the publishing of your work. If you cannot get an amanuensis from Oxon speedily, pry let ---- send you one from hence. I am persuaded the subscription-money will go far towards printing your book ; but if any thing should be wanting, you may be assured that your friends here will contribute towards having a work so beneficial communicated to the country, and in a way that the profit arising from the sale of your books shall return to yourself. The hardship that has happened you from the reprinting your book at Dublin might easily have been prevented, if we had foreseen that the thing was to have happened ; but now that we are aware of that inconvenience, you may depend upon it, your friends will either get a stop put to the printing from hence, or by the means of the authority of my Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

I am ever, with great esteem,
My dear Sir,
Your, &c. ---- ."
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  " Glory is the reward of warrior, attained in the field of battle ; but in our arable fields, the master of them must be a slave to those people who are under the greatest obligations to serve him ; and slavery is opposite to victory. Indeed glory will belong to the Legislature, when it shall please to deliver masters from that slavery, which is so injurious to the public, and beneficial to no honest person. Until which happy time, we may say with the Poet,

- - - - Non ullus aratro
Dignus honos - - - -

  " For my part, I pretend to no other merit, but my endeavours to answer the desires of my friends, whose expectations, I am persuaded, were as reasonable as their promises were sincere, of which I am now able to make no better return, than by my acknowledgments and this Supplement.
  " If they had not believed the performance of those promises feasible, they would not have made them.
  " Then I was honoured with those letters, I was (in all appearance) going out of the world, and far from having an ambition of acquiring any reputation, except that which nobody who regards truth can take from me, viz., that of being sincere ; and for being so in too great a degree through the whole course of my life, my friends have often reproved me, as it is a bar to most worldly acquisitions (though I should not have had other impediments), and since this is rather looked on by the polite as a disgrace, I have no apprehension of drawing envy upon me, but contempt on that account.
  " I likewise here insert one of the letters I received from Ireland ; it was from a Member of Parliament there. I only set the initial letters of his name.
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  " SIR, Dublin, March 4, 1731.

  " There is just now a Society formed of near two hundred of the chief gentlemen of the kingdom for the Improvement of Husbandry and Manufactures ; but principally the first, in order to introduce the best method of tillage and improving land ; and as you have been so great a benefactor to the public by the Specimen you have published, one of which I had from you last June, when I went to wait on you, and at the same time so obliging to walk and show me the proof of your method, which, as well as I could remember, I related to the Society, and had several of your Specimens reprinted here, which has raised a desire in every body that reads it to see the Treatise at large, with the several plans of the tools ; this alone will not be sufficient without a person be sent over that will show the use of them, who would meet with due encouragement. I am now desired by this Society to write to you, to have your consent to enter your name amongst us ; and to beg the favour of your assistance, to communicate your thoughts on the subject we are engaged in. The Earl of Halifax has done us this favour. The chief benefit proposed is to promote your good work among all the farmers of this kingdom, which is by nature very well adapted to all kinds of tillage, having all kinds of soils you have in England, except the chalk, of which here is none. You had a servant, when I was last in England, to wait on you, that did understand your method of tillage : if you can spare him, which I understood by you would be convenient about this time, he shall have what wages you think he deserves ; and he may at the same time bring over with him an entire set of tools. I desire the favour of your answer as soon as possible, directed to me at the Parliament House here, and you will much oblige,
Sir,
Your most obedient, humble servant,
G. M. "
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  " In answer, I returned my thanks for the offer, and the reasons why I could not accept of it. And that there was not a conveniency of sending the engines from hence ; neither would the man venture his health in Ireland.
  " At length, overcome by the importunities of noblemen and gentlemen of South and North Britain, as well as of Ireland, I unwillingly printed and published my humble Essay, against which the Secret Society have exerted the utmost stretch of their dirty wit and invective : but it happens, their wit is so much inferior to their malice, that the sting of their satire (they designed against me) points only against themselves ; particularly their witticisms in the scurrilous Preface to August, p. xxxiii., &c.
  " I know nothing that could have induced noblemen and gentlemen to desire a thing so unreasonable of a person in my circumstances, as to become an author, except the reasons given in their letters, viz., that upon their ocular inspection of my husbandry, they were convinced it would be of general use, if publicly known and described ; which, on account of the newness of it, and of the instruments with which it was performed, they judged was impossible to be described by any other than myself.
  " From all this it may appear, that if mountainous expectations have been raised, it was by others ; and if they had produced only a mouse (as Equivocus would have it) I should not have been answerable for such a production's being disproportionable to those expectations, unless I had fallen short of what I had promised in my proposals, or the title of my Essay, as to both which I hope I may be justified, if such allowances be made, as every candid reader makes to the inadvertencies that sometimes happen to the pen of a person in pain ; because he cannot write but in a hurry.
  "The following are all the articles of my proposals relating to the account of the work, viz.,
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  I. In treating of roots it is proved, that they extend horizontally to a much greater distance from the stem than it is commonly
thought ; and that they are in this, and in all other respects, by nature, adapted to receive the benefits of the horse-hoeing husbandry.
  II. The natural and artificial pasture of plants are described.
  III. It is shown how this artificial pasture is raised by dung and by tillage, and what difference there is between the one and the other means of raising it.
  IV. That deep and proper hoeing is a sort of tillage that can supply the use of dung ; and that it is for want of this tillage, that few plants are brought to their full perfection.
  V. The rules for putting this husbandry into practice are shown, as far as the author's experience reacheth.
  VI All the particular instruments, necessary for that purpose, are described in cuts by the inventor, with direction how to make and use them.
  Had I failed of performance in any of these articles, though nobody else had taken notice of it, Equivocus would have been sure to upbraid me with it ; and for what I have done more than my proposals required on the subject, I hope my readers will not accuse me of breach of promise, for having exceeded it.
  But as far as the sincerity of persons of honour and learning will go, and I hope that cannot be doubted, abating for some compliments of the polite, my Essay has their approbation ; at least the contrary had not come to my knowledge.
  Of many letters I have received of the same purport, I will here insert one that I would not have mentioned upon any other account than to show that Equivocus imposes a falsehood upon the public. The letter is from a noble peer, since deceased, who having had much experience of drilling, and practised it, as I have heard, upon
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hundreds, or rather thousands of acres, beginning it for wheat, against my advice, almost as early as myself, had seen (by listening too much to his agents and servants) most of the errors in the practice ; which (as I have been informed) were more than I could have imagined possible to be committed, though sometimes they did well ; the different experience of right and wrong had enabled his lordship to form a juster judgment of the scheme in general, than any other could.

  " SIR, September 19, 1733.

  " I have the pleasure to be studying your book ; I have three of them, which Mr. ---- shall account with you for ; but I think there is a great deal due (besides the price) for so great a treasure. My own thanks, as well as those of all England, will yet be too little, for what much better judges than myself esteem as the finest piece of natural philosophy that ever was wrote, besides the addition of your own experience and most admirable invention.
  " The more I read, the more I am convinced, that there is no other way of raising wheat to any advantage (or without loss) but by the drill and the hoe-plough. I am now strongly resolved to do what I have been too careless of.
Dear Sir, your, &c. ---- "

  I am informed that the Dublin Society, mentioned in the inserted letter from Ireland, consisting of Lords spiritual and temporal, and gentlemen of the first rank, are such a body that for learning and other qualifications was never equalled by any society formed for the improvement of agriculture in any part of the world.
  My Essay has the approbation of that honourable Society, as appears on the title page of the copies reprinted by their order, and published in Dublin.
NOTES ON THE PREFACE.428

  From the best judges, I beg leave to descend to the worst, in order to confront my enemies, the Equivocal Society, with their own approbation of the Essay they are hired to vilify and defame.
  See the Practical Husbandman and Planter, p. iv. of Preface to August : ---- " We are very far from animadverting upon (much less censuring) every thing which that voluble author of horse-hoeing has advanced on the subject of husbandry and planting ; having, on the contrary, made use of his arguments and authority, wherever we have found them agreeable to reason and experience ; and in particular (as is to be found in the Preface to the last Monthly Essay) have quoted a good deal from him on the vegetable palates or tastes of plants, which the late Mr. Bradley and several other virtuosos have for several years last past entertained the world with, it being," &c. He they spend several pages in transcribing from my 16th chapter. In p. x of their Preface to July, they intimate, that a late voluble author, Jethro Tull, Esq., confuted an error of Mr. Bradley and Dr. Woodward, both of them F. R. S., and of the French author of " Spectacle de la Nature." In p. xii. of the same Preface, my antagonists own they are obliged to conclude with the author of the Horse-hoeing Husbandry, &c., quoting my essay. In p. 25 of their Essay for July they have these words : " And here indeed the voluble author of the Horse-hoeing Husbandry has in all probability got the advantage of these two gentlemen {Mr. Bradley and Dr. Woodward}, since as he argues with great probability of truth," &c. they here proceed to quote my authority in another material point in theory.
  In many places of their Treatise, they commend the practice of drilling and hoeing, particularly in Essay for April, p. 32 and in p. 77, they say, " The new invention of drilling is of great use," &c.
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And the reason they give for it is, That weeds may be better hoed out, and the land kept cleaner from weeds between rows, than among that which is sown on a broad cast." In p. 80 of Essay for April, they talk of turnips being generally drilled in by the drill-plough ; and ask, why the roots of lucerne may not be hoed and set at equal distances as well as turnips ? In Essay for May, p. 145, "And this [drilling] is indeed the best practice that hath been used, provided you can get the instruments proper for drilling and horse-hoeing." In p. 149, of the same Essay, "Mr. Tull's horse-hoe plough does the work very expeditiously." In Essay for July, p. 134, "But if the farmer would drill in his wheat by a plough made for that purpose, one bushel [to an acre] will be sufficient, it being a truth, even beyond a peradventure, that wheat, especially on good land, is generally sowed too thick.
  In Preface to September, they insert the following letter from a gentleman, part whereof I have extracted.

" B----, Essex, July 12, 1732.
  Mr. SWITZER,
  In answer to yours concerning the planting or setting of corn with proper instruments, and for introducing a kind of vineyard-culture to our fields, I acquaint you, that I have made diligent search amongst ancient authors, but cannot find any thing which seems to point that way, although it must be acknowledged to be a very pleasant, useful, advantageous method, in all well-cultivated soils ; and in those years especially when corn and grass seeds of all kinds are dear, provided that there could be such instruments found out, which would be regular and punctual in the delivery of the seed at equal distances, being fully convinced, that the sowing of grain at random, and so thick as it used to be (whatever it is in grass), is yet in bread and other corn a very bad practice."
NOTES ON THE PREFACE.430

  But this gentleman says, he hath found amongst the modern authors Gabriel Platt (whom I have never read) to have fallen into this way of thinking. He relates from Platt the prodigious benefit of this sort of husbandry, which appears to be only the setting of corn by hand ; and as it seems to me his instruments were a sort of setting-sticks of iron, which in some places are called dibbles. Whatever they were, they could have no resemblance of mine, as the practice was inferior, as may easily appear by the gentleman's relation of it. He has the following paragraph.
  " And this method, which was partly put into practice in the year 1601 (when a little treatise of that kind was published), was in great repute ; but afterwards, when the price of wheat grew cheap, and labourers' wages grew higher, that practice ceased for want of more expeditious ways by instruments, which want the author of the Horse-hoeing Husbandry (with what success we are not able at present to say) has lately endeavored to supply."
  The letter concludes thus :
  " I have read what Worledge and the author of the Horse-hoeing Husbandry have wrote on this subject ; which with my own observations shall be the subject of some other letter.

" I am your assured friend and servant, I.K."

  " I hope this judgment of both strangers and enemies may be sufficient to justify the solicitations that procured my Essay to be written and published.
Much of the speculative part left out, if it had been more, it had been no great matter. --- p.2, 1. 17.} Not that too much of it is possible to be written ; but because I had started more points than I had time and opportunity to write of so fully as I desired ; for in
NOTES ON THE PREFACE.431

this matter I am of an opinion quite contrary to Mr. Evelyn's, who blames the writers on husbandry for being too full in particulars, and for not writing on more points : he would have them be more in generals, and less full in particulars ; which seems to me to have been the fault of every writer on this subject ; and it is not much better than to be aliquod in omnibus, in singulis nihil.
  But indeed many points started may, when enlarged on, serve from framing more hypotheses, as well as for strengthening those already framed : and they are so useful for discoveries in natural philosophy, that though they should be all of them in some part false, yet amongst them they bring truths to light, which without hypotheses might have never appeared.
  I beg pardon of the learned writers from whom I am forced to differ in opinion, &c. ---- p. 3, 1. 21.] The Equivocal Society accuse me with condemning all authors, pretending that I say in my Treatise, that all their books are fit for nothing but to be thrown into the fire ; and that, in imitation of a certain nobleman, I had carried them on a hand-barrow and burnt them.. But as I never have said any such thing, this falsity is a mere invention of that Society.
  The story of the hand-barrow inserted in my Preface to the Specimen, being first told me of a Lord Chancellor, eminent both for eloquence and justice, by a person of rank, and since confirmed by others, I have no reason to doubt the truth of it : but for my part, I was so far from passing sentence on those authors, that I had, when this was first told me, read none of them, and not many of them yet ; nor had I ever an inclination to burn any writings of agriculture, except my own, which I had certainly done, instead of publishing them, for my dislike of the style and manner of expression, different from the elegance of other authors, had it not been for the truths they contained, which, as I apprehend, were extant in no other.
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  I had no prejudice against the person of any author ; and have made no objection to their opinions without giving my reasons, which happen to be such as this bragging, boasting Society have not been able to answer in any one particular ; for which I appeal to the judicious reader of their two volumes.
  But how differently this Society treat authors and their books, appears in many places of their Treatise, of which I will quote some, viz., in the Introduction to Vol I. p. xiv., they say, " Lord Bacon, Hartlib, Blithe, Houghton and Mortimer fall extremely short," &c.--p. xv., " Want of experience in Mr. Laurence, who hath fallen very short of the title of his book." " Mr. Bradley's trifling repetitions of what was of little use," &c.--p. xxii., " Dr. Woodward, a closet philosopher." --p. xlvii., " Much rubbish in the translated foreign authors ; and in the Transactions of the Royal society, and in Hougton's, Mortimer's, Laurence's, and Bradley's Works." In p. liv., " Mr. Evelyn is so full of erudition and learning, that there is scarce room left for practice ; besides the works of Mr. Evelyn, how much soever we revere them, are somewhat immethodical and confused," &c. In essay for July, p. 20, " The ancients were whimsically extravagant." And in p. 22, " Lord bacon copied after them." In Essay for Aug., p. 14, " Dr. Lister speaks in such dubious, unintelligible terms, that it is difficult to collect any thing from him," &c. In essay for September, p. 91, " Modern conceited coxcombs ;" --p. 92, " Empty conceited noddles," &c.
  All this ill treatment of authors is little in comparison to what may be found in those pages wherein the books of all authors (I think none excepted) are affirmed to be worse than those of that Society ; or, which is the same thing, that the Society's books are better than theirs : this being a greater slander than any of the
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former, and fully ; proves by the judgment of the Equivocal Society, that the sentence of the nobleman was just, which he caused to be executed on those books, with the hand-barrow and fire.
  These System writers do not only vilify authors, but countries too ; as in their Preface to July, p. xv., viz., they say, " For as they [the French nation] are a people of no solid attention to things, but run away with every plausible notion, it is no wonder they err so often as the do." In Essay for June, p. 78, " Fit only for Irishmen and clowns." In Essay for Aug., p. 27, " Only a detail of Irish jargon." In Advertisement to Vol. II., sots and ignoramus's are terms applied to the British nation by this Equivocal Society, who pretend to so much politeness.
  These pretenders to agriculture, in Introduction to April, pp. xlviii. and xlix., presumptuously take upon them to direct the education of noblemen and gentlemen ; they censure the Universities, condemn their learning, and opprobriously call their volumes of logic, ethics, physics, metaphysics, &c., learned lumber, in which they say, " Time is spent to little or no purpose, and how well many young noblemen and gentlemen mend the matter by their travels abroad is but too obvious to most people who converse with them after their return ; from whence, instead of fine well turned Englishmen, they appear like dancing-masters, and formed only as if they were designed for theatrical performances."
  But the greatest slander (except affirming themselves to be gentlemen) is the criminal charge of being my abettors, which crime they impute to noblemen and gentlemen of the first rank, who they say were my encouragers : their lawyer sure might have told his brethren of the society, that an abettor is a heinous criminal, that formerly used to be punished with death.
NOTES ON THE PREFACE.434

  These authors have also had the presumption to prefix the names and titles of noblemen as patrons of their infamous libel, to which they are either ashamed or afraid to subscribe their own names ; as if defamation, scurrility, and notorious falsehoods would be defended by persons of the nicest honour, politeness, and veracity.
  The ill manners of these latent authors make it improbable that they are acquainted with the conversation of noblemen or gentlemen, any more than with university learning, which they term learned lumber, and so much despise that they seldom make use of any ther logic, than that of Billingsgate in their system ; instead of arguing against me like men, they fall to calling me names, -- atheist, infidel, fool, mente captus, madman, ass, owl, viper, carping insect, &c. These are the feminine arguments of scurrility with which my antagonists endeavour to confute me. They scold like oyster-women, but never argue like philosophers, so great is their contempt of learning and the manner of all learned writers.
  His partiality I have no reason to apprehend ; because, &c. --p. 4, 1. 3.] I did not then apprehend that any one man, much less a Society, could have had an interest sufficient to bias them in this decision.
  Here it may not be amiss to inquire, what sort of men the Equivocal Society consists of ? And the reader will easily discern them to be such who for want of (or perhaps being unfit for) more honest employments, have enlisted themselves in the service of certain tradesmen ; and are, as Mr. Miller (in his proposals for printing his Dictionary) says, " Set to work by such whose business it is to watch and please the various tastes of their customers, and who never fail to oblige the world with treatises enough, upon whatever subjects they find most in vogue ; and seem to think they have nothing more to do, than after having formed a title page that may strike the reader's attention, to procure an author to write
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to it, however qualified he may be for that particular subject, and who, on that occasion generally takes his helps from what has been written before, being entirely unacquainted with the practice either of the past or present times."
  They have, it seems, a numerous retinue of these hirelings, which they muster together in a band and call them a Society, when any considerable mischief is to be attempted by them ; and such their masters allowed their undertaking to be, when they declared the purpose for which their army of penmen was raised, viz., to damn the Essay on Horse-hoeing, which, they afterwards said, they did not fear but would be effected ; for that the best pens were at work in writing an answer to it ; and this they soon published under the title of " The Practical Husbandman and Planter."
  The cause the shopmen pretended for menacing war, was in effect this, that they thought they had a sort of right to the publishing of all books in their names ; and to have the profit of selling them (if any be) which they seldom own, but generally complain of loss by them.
  But the reason of this extraordinary indignation is given in the beginning of the Pref. to Aug. in the following works. " Amongst all the Essays which have for these many years last past been wrote on husbandry, there is none that has raised the expectations of the curious to that great height before it came out, as that of the Horse-hoeing Husbandry, said to be wrote by Jethro Tull, Esq. of,"&c.
  They seem to take great liberties, because there is no Dedication of my Essay ; the reason of which omission was, the Queen having done me the honour to subscribe to my book, I could not dedicate it to any other person ; and her Majesty's royal virtues being too far above any panegyric I was able to write. I chose rather to leave it to the protection of the royal license and the laws.
NOTES ON THE PREFACE.436

  If you would have the true character of these boasted able
penmen ; see in the last page of their Preface to July, their dubious description of themselves in the following words. " Nor can we guess whether of the two, those who pick a pocket, or pirate another man's works (without acknowledging from whence they extract it) are the most notorious criminals."
  It would not be difficult to prove the Secret Society guilty of pirating other men's works, without acknowledging from whence they extract it, and in particular some of Dr. Woodward's, and some of mine.
  They also are no better than pirates, who publish a considerable part of another man's works, in prejudice to the sale of his book : in this manner have the Society pirated a great part of the Rev. Mr. Hales's vegetable Statics, and some of his Plates. And if all they have taken from others in this manner were extracted from their two volumes, I believe nothing would remain of their boasted system, except the relation of false facts which they affirm to be true, and the true ones they pretend to be false, their opprobrious, scurrilous language, and nonsense ; for they have not only renounced common honesty, but common sense too.
  By the manner of their proceedings, they seem to resemble a modern gang of footpads more than pickpockets ; they are not content with robbing a man of his property, but they use him barbarously too ; they wound or murder his reputation, which, to a gentleman, is more valuable than life ; whereas pickpockets are generally content with handkerchiefs, snuff-boxes, or such trifles ; they are therefore less notorious criminals than the Secret society.
  A libel is a crime against the peace, as it is a provocation to the breach of it ; but the Secret Society conceal their own names whilst they level slander at mine : like the cowardly Italian banditti, who
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conceal their own persons behind a rock when they discharge their volleys at a defenceless traveller.
  As to their pretended General System of Agriculture, they made the most mountainous promises that ever were heard of ; but what have they brought forth ? Why, not a mouse, indeed, but a scorpion ; which is a poisonous insect, the wounds of whose venomous teeth are cured by the juices expressed from its bruised body : so the (libel or) Equivocal scorpion is full of contradictions, one of which, if rightly extracted, is an antidote against the poison of its opposite : a short specimen of those contradictions here follows, viz., They accuse my Husbandry of novelty and of being crazy and new-fangled, and yet say it was put in practice above 130 years ago. They extol the conduct of the ancients, and yet say they were whimsically extravagant. They say I am a mente captus, and yet quote my authority, and pirate part of my book. They pretend to prove by an inserted letter of J.K. that I am not the inventor of my husbandry instruments, but that very letter proves that I am.
  The Practical Husbandman contradicts the title of his book, when in p. x. of his Pref. to Aug. he shows that he doth not know ploughing from harrowing, and it may be thence inferred he doth not know a plough from a harrow ; as it may be inferred from p. xxxii. of the same Preface, that he doth not know my drill from Platt's setting-stick, nor my hoe-plough from the sheim of Kent. His title should have been The cockney Husbandman, who never practised agriculture out of the sound of Bow-bells : as appears in the system which yet the Society affirm, in p. ii. of Pref. to April, is not collected out of books, but is chiefly the result of practice itself.
  Note, I do not suppose any of their letter-writers to be of the Secret Society, except the lawyer I. B. who owns himself (a degenerate to his profession !) to have had a share in writing the scurrilous Preface to August.
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  The matter of fact I have related. --p. 5, 1. 13.] It would have been rather against my interest than for it, to relate any fact
falsely ; none being acted at so great a distance, or with such privacy, but that any one who would take the pains might satisfy himself, as several noblemen and many gentlemen did by ocular inspection
  It is true an ipse dixigt in speculative matters is of little weight ; but of such matters of fact as Equivocus says (if he says true) that nobody knows but myself, what other proof could I give ?
  Or if he doubt, it cannot cost much to satisfy himself by proper trials. --p. 6, 1. 8.] But then he must take special care that his trials be proper. I do not advice any one to be at the expense of my instruments for that purpose, but to imitate them in pulverising and all other directed operations by the spade and common hoes. His ridges of experiment need be no longer than six feet. Instead of a drill make use of a triangular piece of wood, seven feet long, and four or five inches thick, with one edge of which made channels, and place the seed regularly even into them, by hand, and cover it with the same piece of wood ; but if the earth be so wet as to cling to the piece, then make use of it only as a ruler whereby to made the channels straight with a stick.
  Let some of the ridges have double rows, others triple ; and let some have triple rows half way, and leave out the middle row in the other half, to show whether the double row or the triple row produce the better crop.
  Then for the first time of hoeing, the spade much work with its back towards the row. The second time in turning the earth to the row, the spade's face must be towards it. These two, and several other hoeings should be deep ; but when the roots are large (and the hoeing is near the plants) the spade must go shallow, and neither
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the face nor the back of it must be towards the row, except when the earth is turned towards it, and ten the face must be always towards it ; but for the rest of the last hoeings, the spade should work with its face towards one or other of the ends of the intervals, that the fewer of the roots may be cut off, and the more of them removed and covered again. Let the spits be thin for the better pulverising of the mould. The hand-hoe will sometimes be useful in the intervals, as well as in the partitions.
  Four or five perches of land may suffice for making proper trials.
  The expense of this will be little, though perhaps ten times more than that which is done by the proper instruments for the same proportion of land.
  But I must give this caution, that no part of it be done out of the reach of the master's eye ; for if it should, he may expect to be disappointed.
  The richer the land, the thinner it must be planted to prevent the lodging of corn.
  The master ought to compute the quantity of seed due to each perch at the rate of five or six gallons to an acre, by weighing &c., as I have shown in my Essay.
  I cannot commend more than two partitions in a row, or more than one when the intervals are narrow ; because the broader the row it, the more earth will remain unpulverised, under the partitions ; too much of which earth being whole, will disappoint, at least, one of the differences mentioned in my nineteenth chapter.
  Indifferent land I think most proper whereon to make the experiment, and the most improper for corn is barren land, as the best brings the largest crops.
  To ascertain the quantity of the crop, take a yard in the middle of a ridge, and weight its produce.
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  Every year leave one interval unhoed, to prove the difference of that side of a double or triple row next to it, from the other side next to the hoed interval.
  But it must be noted, that the spade does not always pulverise so much as the plough or hoe-plough ; therefore there may be occasion for more diggings than there would be of horse-hoeings.
  One of the observations that put me upon trials of wide intervals, and horse-work for corn, was the following, viz., One half of a poorish field was sown with barley, the other half drilled with turnips, the rows thirty inches asunder, at the proper season, and twice hoed with a sort of horse-hoe contrived for that purpose (but nothing like that I have described), the drill beginning next to the barley, left an interval of the same thirty-inch breadth between the first row of turnips and the barley, which being sown on large furrows came up in a sort of rows, as is common for barley to come when sown on such wide furrows. This interval between the barley and the turnips had the same hoeings as the rest, and had this effect on the broad row of barley next to it, viz., each plant had many stalks, it was of a very deep flourishing colour, grew high, the ears very long, and in all respects the barley was as good as if it had been produced by the richest land. The next row of barley had some little benefit on the side next to the strong row ; but all the rest of the barley, either by the too late sowing of it, the poverty of the soil (not being in any manner dunged), or else by the coldness of the land, or coldness of the summer, or by all of these causes, though pretty free from weeds, was exceeding poor, yellow, low, thin, and the ears were very short and small.
  I intended to have taken the exact difference there was between the produce of this outside row and one of those that stood out of the reach of the hoed interval, but I was disappointed by my neighbour's heard of cows, that in the night broke in just before
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harvest, and ate off almost all the ears of the rich row, doing very little damage to the rest, except by treading it. It must be from the different tastes, the one being sweet and the other bitter, that they make their election to eat the one and refuse the other.
  This accidental observation was sufficient to demonstrate the efficacy of deep hoeing, which I look upon as synonymous to horse-hoeing.
  I immediately set about contriving my limbered hoe, finding all other sorts insufficient for the exactness required in this hoeing operation : those drawn in any other manner, when they went too far from the row, and the holder went to lift the plough nearer, it would fly back again, like the sally of a bell, and go at no certainty, not being subject to the guidance of the holder, as the limber-hoe-plough is. The Michaelmas following I began my present horse-hoeing scheme, which has never yet deceived my expectations, when performed according to the directions I have given my readers. And the practice of this scheme proves the advantage of deep hoeing, by the ends of the ridges and intervals : for there, whilst the drawing cattle go on the headland that is higher, the furrows are shallower, and the corn of the rows is always there visibly poorer in proportion to that shallowness.
  Another proof of the difference there is between deep hoeing and shallow is in the garden, where a square perch of cabbages, the rows of which are three feet asunder, the middle row of them having the intervals on each side of it deeply and well dug by the spade at the same proper time, when the rest of the intervals are hand-hoed ; this middle row will show the difference of those two operations ; but in this must be observed what I have before mentioned, of turning the back of the spade to the plants, to avoid the total removing them, especially in very dry weather.
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  This experiment has been tried, and always succeeds, with every one that has made the trials.
  But before any one makes his trials of my field scheme, I would advise him to be master of the Treatise, by making an Index himself to it : this will both direct him in his proceedings, and show him the rashness of those who go into the practice of my husbandry without the necessary preparation ; for they that do so now, seem to act as rashly as they that went into it before the Treatise was published. It is reasonable to presume that such their practice must be either different from or contrary to mine.
  This Index may be also useful for discovering pretenders by an examination, without which gentlemen are liable to be imposed on by them, as I am afraid too many have been ; for amongst all those who have undertaken the management of my scheme for noblemen or others, I declare I do not know one person that sufficiently understands it : there may be some who have seen, or perhaps performed, some of the mechanical part ; but I do not think it can be properly performed without a thorough knowledge of the principles, which cannot be expected of such illiterate persons, and yet is necessary for the proper applications in different cases, which cannot be distinguished by pretenders ; therefore until the scheme becomes common, the management must be under the direction of the master himself, or of one who has part his examination, and is faithful.
  The particular scheme, &c. --p. 7, 1. 10.] There is now the eleventh crop of wheat on the same field (except that in the ninth year, by accident of having contracted to let my farm, it was drilled with white oats), and I do not as yet see any reason against its being continued for wheat annually, as long as it is kept in this culture.
A single crop. --p. 7, 1. 34.] Is one which is not to be repeated the following year by another crop of wheat.
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  Two shares, thirty inches asunder, &c. --p. 8, 1.2.] But if due care be taken by the driller to guide his horse as he ought, there will be no occasion of any other drill for that purpose than the triple one, taking out its foremost sheat, and setting the two beams at the same distance from each other's middle, that the partition is to have breadth ; and setting the marking wheels to the size of the ridges. And this I have fully experienced since I wrote my Essay.
  Other vegetables, such as, &c. --p. 9, 1. 10.] Such seeds as are until for drilling whilst in the husk, must be taken out of the husk by the mill or the flail.
  What pretenders or impostors have taught or said of this husbandry, &c. --p. 9, 1. 15.] Both these have been very injurious to it. By pretenders, I mean such who, having seen somewhat of the drilling scheme, without understanding it, set up for masters, made great numbers of my engines (whether any were very good I know not), gave directions for using them, and took upon themselves the who management, in opposition to me, who they knew was not able to appear against them. To some the pretended to be inventors, and tho those who knew the contrary they pretended they acted by my consent and approbation. I could not but foresee the mischief likely to ensue from their follies when I heard of them.
  They advised the drilling of St.Foin upon land that was wet too near the surface in winter, and had been planted before with that grass, and it died in the winter, and so did that which they drilled. This was great folly in the pretenders, because every new thing that miscarries in any part is a disparagement, though the miscarriage be not from the thing itself, but from the misapplication of it : so was this, for the cause was in the improper land, not in the drill (if I was told truth) ; the St.-Foin came up very well and even, and that is all that can be reasonably expected from the engine. Their directions about drilling of corn were likely to be as vain and
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ineffectual. To prevent the ill consequences of their their proceedings, I did all that was in my power by letters ; but for want of being present in person, those endeavours proved unsuccessful, though backed by a noble lord, who knew my integrity, and the vanity of those pretenders, by his own experience ; and what was the worst misfortune of all, one of the pretenders (I may say the chief) was a person, for opposing of whom I was blamed and ill thought of even by those I would have secured against suffering by his follies, which I opposed.
  They who had made trials by the directions of any pretenders before my Essay was published, can have made no trial of my husbandry ; and consequently could not reasonably expect the success of it, unless by a miracle the effect should be produced without the cause ; and who have been thus deceived, may, through a causeless disgust, as rashly desist (and deter others) from proceeding further when they have my directions, as they began without them.
  I saw in one of Mr. Ellis's books an account of an experiment, which to the best of my remembrance, was as follows ; viz., A farmer ploughed his ground in furrows at eight feet asunder, and into them sowed beans by hand ; then he hoed these monstrous intervals with a wheel-plough, which could not, I am confident, plough much nearer than two feet from the rows ; so that the bean roots were not likely to reach the hoed earth through such a distance of unhoed hard land, which was sufficient to produce weeds that would starve the beans ; and for the rows themselves, they were probably so broad and irregularly planted, that it must be difficult to pull the weeds and grass from amongst the beans : they could have no more benefit from such hoeing than if it had been performed in an adjoining field : the event of such rash proceedings in not hard to guess at, though Mr. Ellis had told us that a very indifferent crop of
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beans was produced ; and yet this is by the ignorant judged as a trial of horse-hoeing.
  As I live obscure from the world, I am not apprised of all such trials that have been made, nor of any but by accident : yet I am persuaded that he who consults my Essay will judge all examples of equal rashness to be for want of consulting it.
  To send them servants to instruct therm in it, &c. --p. 9, 1. 25.] Since I began my scheme I have not had one whom I could recommend for that purpose. Hired servants are arrived at such a pitch of exorbitant power and conceit, that they think it an affront to be put out of their way, and therefore pretend they cannot do what they are only unwilling to do.
  An instance of this, I am informed, happened in the case of a nobleman (well skilled in agriculture) who had two arable estates in his hands ; on that which was near the place of his lordship's residence the four-coultered ploughs had been used with success ; his lordship therefore sent some of the same sort to his other estate, which was a day or two's journey distant, with orders for his servants to use them there in like manner ; but a while after, my lord going down to see how those ploughs had been there employed, he found that not one furrow had been ploughed with them. It was in vain to be angry at the disappointment ; for bailiff and servants, steward and all, affirmed, that though those ploughs might be used on the other estate, yet the land of this was so different, it was impossible to plough with them here. No argument his lordship could urge to convince them of their mistake prevailed, because they were resolved not to be convinced ; till at last my lord came into the field, set the four-coulters with the wedges himself, threw off his coat (and ensigns of honour), then ploughed a whole land, or great part of one, with this plough ; at this the ploughmen were so ashamed, that they condescended to plough well with the four-
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coultered ploughs. It was their will, not their skill, that was wanting before. Also several farmers have had these ploughs, and their ploughmen can easily plough with them ; but when the master is out of sight, they either throw the three foremost coulters into the hedge, tie them up under the beam, or else set their points above the ground : in which last case, if they see the master coming, they stop their horses, and pretend o be wedging the coulters. By this may be guessed what will be the case with my other instruments, where the master expects to be taught by servants.
  That few gentleman can keep their lands, &c. --p. 9, 1. 32.] But it is feared the three statutes, which now in a manner prohibit them to occupy their lands, will ere long compel them to it, by prohibiting renters, whose patience and substance are so much diminished, that a scarcity of tenants that can pay their rent is already complained of.
  The disreputation, &c. --p. 10, 1. 16.] To gentlemen are owing all (or most of) our improvements in agriculture, notwithstanding the disadvantages they have in respect of their price of labour different from that of the labouring farmers, it being a common maxim, that the rent of arable land is the odds between saying to the hirelings, " Go, do it," and saying, " Come, let us do it." And the disadvantage even of the farmer, now is to pay (if he hires it) two years' rent for the same labour that forty years ago was reckoned at but one year's rent, though the price of corn and other provisions be lower now than it was then ; and indeed we find that the price of labour rises in proportion to the cheapness of corn ; the lower that is, the higher is the price of labour ; and when those hirelings have raised their price, they seldom or never abate of it. I wish therefore (as far as is consistent with the public good) gentlemen had such automata, until the three statutes that make them needful are made effectual to the purposes for which they were designed ; and that it is feared
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will be impossible, without first repealing them, and then making all three into one, to be so executed that gentlemen and other freeholders may not be wronged in person, lands, or goods, by trials at discretion, against the common law.
  Make the improvement by St.-Foin the greater. --p. 12, 1. 1.} What added to this improvement was the exorbitant price of labour, of which a vast quantity is necessary to corn more than St.-Foin, though the product of the latter was of more value ; but there is now a great alteration in both, as to the quantity of labour, and the price of the product. At present the labour of making hay costs triple to what it did formerly, whereas the labour of arable land costs only double. The haymakers, till within these few years past, used to work on the hay as late in the evening as was convenient for the well making of it, which is often till between seven and eight o'clock, which is the time expressed by the statute : but now they have taken upon them to make what laws they please in this
matter ; and have limited the hour for leaving work to six o'clock ; and thus, when they have a fancy to leave off, they say it is six o'clock, though but five ; and I have seen them gong home at four, when they did not begin till nine or ten in the morning, and rest a good part of the day besides.
  This only increases the price of labour ; but, what is much worse, the hay is in great danger of being spoiled by the neglect that loseth the benefit of the evening sun. And although the hay be all spoiled by such neglect, the wages, how extravagant soever, must be immediately paid, or the owner will risk being sent to the house of correction, as the law now stands.
  Another thing that lessens this improvement in the country where I live, is, that artificial grasses are grown so common, that hay which used in dry years to be sold at three pounds per ton, is now not vendible, nor ever likely to be again in any considerable
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quantity. St.-Foin seed, too partakes of the fate of hay. I had planted fifty acres of St.-Foin on purpose for seed, in a manner that would have delivered me from the greatest inconveniences that attended the management of a large quantity, the worst of which was the danger of being by moist weather kept in the field until corn-harvest. To avoid this, I planted it in double rows, with partitions of eight inches, and intervals of about thirty inches for horse-hoeing, by which means the plants being very strong, bring their ears all of a pretty equal height, so that they may be reaped off as soon as ripe, at a small expense, and easily dried and laid up long enough before harvest, as well as the hay mowed, which, keeping the leaves on, must needs be much better than that which is thrashed. This would have brought me four times the rent of the land, but now most farmers know how to cure this seed, and raise it themselves for their own use, and seed is no more vendible than hay : therefore I have neglected to hoe these fifty acres, which yet supply me with hay enough for my cattle, and I have ploughed up all the rest ; and when I have planted more in a proper manner for hay, I shall plough up this too, and depend upon corn only, as the best product of my farm, since more hay than enough for my working cattle and necessary milch kine is of no value to me, as I do not understand the difficult art of a grazier. If any one upon view of this should be offended at the wide intervals, he is here advertised, that it was not so planted on purpose for hay only, but for seed : and yet when the grass is ready to be mowed, the intervals of the greatest part of this St.-Foin are scarce visible, and the crop is good.
  May also hand-hoe between the nearest rows, &c. --p. 12, 1. 16.} By this means the farmer may, if he has plenty of hands, remedy the only evil (except the expense) of his dunghill. But I can tell him upon full experience, that if he drills his rows nearer than at a competent distance, his crop will be diminished, as well as his labour increased.
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ANSWERS TO OBJECTIONS, &c.

  I am yet apprised of no other objections as to the husbandry itself, material enough to deserve an answer ; but there are several objections which indirectly relate to the putting it in practice, which do not justly belong to the husbandry, viz., it is said that workmen do dot care to undertake the making of the drill, though it is by all allowed to be fully described. How then can it be difficult for a gentleman to direct the making of it by these descriptions, when one but meanly qualified took it from the organ, and thus fully described it ?
  It is said hat gentlemen's servants, and bailiffs, do not care to put the husbandry in execution. Why should not their servants execute it better than mine do, since a person in health may better command his, and attend them oftener than I can mine ?
  It is objected that gentlemen will not take the trouble of studying it. The same objection may be made to algebra, navigation, or any other art of science ; yet can be no reasonable objection against it, but only against the unreasonableness of him who would understand it without the necessary trouble of studying it.
  Some have thought it an objection against the husbandry, if all the neighbourhood were it is practised do not immediately come into
it ; on this inquiry they lay a great stress : but they may as well inquire why the people of Madrid or Lisbon do not turn Protestants when some English live there and converse with them ; for there doth not seem to be more prejudice (especially amongst the vulgar) in matters of religion than of agriculture ; in both the question is not, whether a different religion or a different agriculture is most reasonable, but only whether it be different ; and if it be, those who practice that which the opposers call new, are sure to be treated as
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the Secret Society treat me ; or as Protestants are treated in Popish countries, where the priests, unable to confute their arguments, misrepresent both their principles and their persons ; they term them heretics, and paint them as monsters with toad's claws, instead of hands and feet (this have I seen in the Jesuits Church at Naples.)
  The Secret Society likewise are not content with abusing my vegetable principles, and terming me an Atheist, but also describe me by the similitude of the most odious, despicable, and pestiferous animals. They also usurp the power of the Inquisition of damning books because not their own.
  Besides, it may be difficult to find the truth of facts upon such an inquiry ; the persons in possession of tenets, be they ever so false, will endeavour to support them by any methods of misrepresenting their opposites, rather than quit the notions they have received from long custom, perhaps without ever inquiring into the reason of them.
  Whatever accident, even from the heavens, as lightning, tempest, a wet harvest, or from cattle, or the like, happens to drilled corn, it is sure to be imputed to he drilling ; though sown corn be as much or more damaged by it.
  But the oldest misrepresentation was to the eyes of a stranger, who was shown a field for drilled wheat which was neither drilled nor sown, but shattered at harvest, and ploughed in before the leasers had picked up the ears ; it was about six or seven years ago, after a general blight, which had made the straws rotten, so that many ears were broken off in reaping ; but in some parts of the field more than in others. The intervals being ploughed at two furrows, for a succeeding crop of wheat, were found too narrow for that purpose ; and therefore the whole piece was left with design to be planted with barley in the spring : but the shattered wheat coming
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up pretty thick in most places, it was, instead of ploughing, horse-hoed, but not properly, because the wheat coming up irregularly all over the two furrows, there was not half room enough for proper hoeing,though much of the wheat was unavoidably ploughed up by the hoe-plough ; but yet by being thus hoed pretty often, the remainder of the wheat that was not ploughed out become strong ; and was such a crop, that at the price wheat was then at, did more than answer the expense and rent of the land : but it was abominable for any one to show it to a stranger as a crop of drilled wheat, on purpose to deceive him. Many more of the like misrepresentations may be expected from people who are enemies to every thing that is different to what they are accustomed to practise.
  As to what concerns my own interest, I know no odds it will be to me, whether any body except myself shall practise any parts of my husbandry, or not : I never went about to make proselytes to my principles, except by what I have written at the request of others. But as yet I do not find any objection has been made against them ; besides those in the Supplement answered ; which is all, I hope, that is incumbent upon me to do for them who desire to practise.
  Some who, if I should name them, would be allowed as good judges of such matters, have, upon a full view and examination of the practice of it, far distant from me, declared their opinion, that it would one day become the general husbandry of England : but whether it may or not, I cannot pretend to divine ; nor doth it any way concern me. If it be ever common it must be made so by gentlemen, as other improvements have been ; the chief whereof is, I think, said to be the introduction of sowing foreign grasses, and which was so long before it become common amongst farmers, that though Mr. Blithe wrote of it in Cromwell's time, yet but thirty years ago, when any farmer in the country where I live was advised
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to sow clover, he was certain to say, gentlemen might sow it, if they pleased ; but they [the farmers] must take care to pay their rent. As if the sowing of clover would disable them from paying it ; and now the case is so much altered, that they cannot pretend to pay their rent without sowing it, though the profit of it was vastly greater before it was common than since ; nor was there any difficultly in the practice of it, any more than the sowing of seed among their corn, as they saw done for gentlemen, for fifty years before them ; and the improvement itself was at the first no more than doing the same thing on this side the water, than was done before on the other. The same was the case of St.-Foin, as of clover, St.-Foin having been in England almost one hundred years, and is become common but very lately. The drilling husbandry seems likely to have a much speedier progress, if my enemies, the Secret Society, are right, when they, in Essay of April, p. 86, talk of "drilling lucerne by the drill-plough, as turnips generally are." If turnips are generally drilled already, drilling has made a quick progress ; for there never was (that I can hear of) any engine made for drilling of turnips, clover, or other small seeds, before the year 1720. And it was some years later that my vineyard culture was first begun to be practised on wheat ; which is not a fourth part of the time that the clover improvement was commonly neglected after begun.
  And this sort of new hoeing-husbandry being so different from the old husbandry, it may be expected (like most other inventions) to be imperfect in the beginnings, especially when practised by those who are strangers to it. The greatest reason I have to believe it may be common thereafter, is, that no good reason has been given (which I am apprised of) why this hoeing should not be beneficial to corn and other vegetables upon the same accounts as it is to vines. I am sure in all my experience of the practice I can find none.
  Among the answers of this Note, I am afraid one will be expected,
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why I answer anonymous writers of scurrility. Perhaps I should not have taken any notice of them, if my name had been set to my Essay ; but I have now taken notice of them for two reasons. First, To prevent their imposing upon the public, especially the vulgar. Secondly, As their wages is supposed to be low, their masters find them in tools to work with, their shops being fully stocked with books of all the authors who have writ on my subject, an account of which the journeymen have published ; I have taken this opportunity to answer all their opinions that interfere with any material part of my theory or practice : those books are so numerous, that it would have cost me too much money to purchase them, though I should have had a catalogue of them, as I never had heard of half their names or titles.

  My Preface to the Specimen published in 1730-1, not being reprinted in England, is not likely to be in the hands of every reader of my Essay ; therefore I insert some parts of it ; First, to show that what I have said of the hand-barrow has been misrepresented by my enemies. Secondly, the part that relates to the drill ; and Thirdly, some of the cautions I have given against going rashly into the practice of the horse-hoeing husbandry. The first is as follows :
  Writing and ploughing are two different talents ; and he that writes well must have spent in his study that time, which is necessary to be spent in the fields, by him who will be master of the art of cultivating them.
  To write then effectually of ploughing, one must be qualified to write learnedly.
  Scarce any subject has had more of the ornaments of learning bestowed on it, than agriculture has, by ancient and modern
writers ; but a late great man, who was the Cicero of this age, having perused all their books of husbandry, ordered them,
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notwithstanding all their eloquence, to be carried upon a hand-barrow out of his study, and thrown into the fire ; lest others should lose their time in reading them, as he had done.
  He declared he could not for his life guess what those authors would be at ; for they treated of an art wherein they had formed no manner of principles.
  Now if these learned volumes, so elegantly written, and so little to the purpose, had done nothing but mischief, it is time that something should be written different from them in both respects.
  How far I am capable of performing such a task in one of these respects, this part of my Essay will show ; but what I have done different from them in the other of the two respects, cannot be fairly judged of before the whole appears.

(The Second Part concerning the Drill.)

  I should not trouble the reader with an account how accidentally it (the drill) was discovered, were it not to show, that the knowledge of a thing which seems despicable or impertinent, may unexpectedly become useful at one time or other.
  When I was young, my diversion was music : I had also the curiosity to acquaint myself thoroughly with the fabric of every part of my organ ; but as little thinking that ever I should take from thence the first rudiments of a drill, as that I should ever have occasion of such a machine or practise agriculture ; for it was accident, not choice, that made me a farmer, or rather many accidents which could not then possibly be foreseen.
  It was my chance afterwards to have a large farm in hand, which I could not well dispose of ; and it being about the time when plough servants first began to exalt their dominion over their masters, so that a gentleman farmer was allowed to make but little profit of his
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arable lands ; and almost all mine being of that sort, I resolved to plant my whole farm with St.-Foin ; but the seed of it being scarce, and dear, and very little of it good, I found it would be very difficult to procure a sufficient quantity to sow, at seven bushels to each acre, which were usually sown. Whereupon I began to examine whether so great a quantity of seed was absolutely necessary ; and whether the greatest part of the seed sown did not commonly miscarry, either by its badness, or from being buried too deep, or else lying on the ground uncovered : and I observed in several fields of St.-Foin, sown with that proportion of the seed, that in those parts of them which produced the best crop, there were (as I counted them when the crop was taken off) but about one plant for each square foot of surface : and yet the number of seeds in seven bushels sown on each acre, being calculated, amounted to one hundred and forty to each square foot ; and what was yet more observable, in other parts of the same fields, where a much less number of seeds had miscarried, the crop was less. Then after I had learned perfectly to distinguish good seeds from bad, and had, by many trials, found that scarce any, even of the best, could succeed, unless covered at a certain exact depth (especially in my strong land) and had also found the reason of this nicety, I employed people to make channels, and sow a very small proportion therein and cover it exactly.
  This way succeeded to my desire, and was in seed and labour but a fourth part of the expense of the common way, and yet the ground of seed was better planted.
  Ten acres being so well done, I did not doubt but a thousand might have been as well done in the same manner ; but the next year as soon as I began to plant I discovered that these people had conspired to disappoint me for the future, and never to plant a row tolerably well again : perhaps jealous, that if a great quantity of
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land should be taken from the plough, it might prove a diminution of their power : I was forced to dismiss my labourers, resolving to quit my scheme, unless I could contrive an engine to plant St.-Foin more faithfully than such hands would do.
  To that purpose I examined and compared all the mechanical ideas that ever had entered my imagination, and at last pitched upon a groove, tongue, and spring in the sound-board of the organ. With these a little altered, and some part of two other instruments as foreign to the field as the organ is, added to them, I composed my machine. It was named a drill ; because when farmers used to sow their beans and peas into channels or furrows by hand, they called that action drilling.
  It planted that farm much better than hands could have done, and many hundred acres besides ; and thirty years' experience shows, that St.-Foin, thus planted, brings better crops, and lasteth longer than sown St.-Foin.
  This drill has also been used almost as long in planting most sorts of corn for hand-hoeing ; and these last nine years for horse-hoeing.
  I am surprised to hear that some gentlemen pretend I brought the instrument from France or Italy, when it is well known it had planted two farms with St.-Foin before I traveled, which was not till April, 1711, being above ten years after making and using my drill. The praised commentator on the Georgic can testify this, he having twenty-seven years ago seen the fields of my last farm planted in rows by it. I gave one to a neighbour, who used it in his fields every year whilst I was abroad ; and it would be strange if I should bring it from countries where it never was.
  I could bring a multitude of undeniable testimonies to prove myself the sole inventor ; but as I am no patentee, nor can have nay benefit, but rather loss by publishing the invention, I should not care who took it upon himself, were I not apprehensive that some
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ignorant impostor, pretending himself the inventor, might by that means impose upon the world in vending a false useless engine for a true one ; his conceited workmen will be still improving one part or other of it, till it will perform nothing, after having performed well for almost forty years. And then the invention being lost, who will have recourse to my cuts for restoring it, if I am not known to be the inventor ?
  But I own I took the first hints of my horse-hoeing culture from the ploughed vineyards near Frontigan and Setts in Languedoc ; and after my return to England, having land come to my hands, I improved those hints, by observing that the same sort of vineyard tillage bestowed on potatoes and turnips had the same effect on them as it had on these vines. And then the mentioned row of barley adjoining to the horse-hoed turnips confirmed me in the principles, which, by arguing from effects to their causes, I had formed to myself ; and my practice ever since has been a further confirmation to me of the truth of the same principles.
  Thus I must acknowledge to owe my principles and practice originally to my travels, as I owe my drill to my organ.

(The Third Part is of the Cautions, as follows :)

  For my part, if I knew any substantial objection against this husbandry itself, I would not conceal it ; but I declare I know on none such. Yet I know there are many objections against its being practised by those who do not understand it, therefore I have never advised them to attempt it ; but I have dissuaded them as much as I could against drilling great quantities of wheat, before their own practice, in small pieces, have made them perfect in this method, by having the principles which are necessary to direct them in it ; for as wheat is generally the most profitable crop, so it requires the greatest circumspection in the management.
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  For some other crops, such directions might be given that would require no more but faith to execute them ; but so many various circumstances usually occur in the long time that wheat ought to live, that I think one can give no bare directions in them all, before they happen, but what may endanger the deceiving of the person they are intended to serve, unless the principles themselves accompany those directions.
  Some perhaps may suppose these principles to be very numerous and prolix, because they cannot be written so easily as directions which result from them ; though, in truth, they are not so, for a few lines would contain them all, if they had received the approbation of proper judges. In the mean time, they are either so new or paradoxical, that I cannot without great reluctancy write any of them separately from the arguments I bring to support them ; and no man can judge so impartially in his own cause, or of his own arguments, as another who is unconcerned may. However, when they are published, every farmer that approves them makes them his own ; and then, whether he uses or abuses them, he cannot, I hope justly blame me for his conduct.
  What I most apprehend is, the rashness of those who shall enter upon the practice of drilling wheat, before they are sufficiently informed concerning it, for they cannot avoid being liable to many errors.
  I would gladly save my brother drillers the expense of weeding their rows of wheat, before the land has been cleansed by fallow or otherwise ; but this cannot be done whilst any spurious seeds remain in it ; unless weeds had such an antipathy to the drill as the ancients fancied their herba medica had to iron, so that they might refuse to grow, because the drill had passed over them. But it is so far otherwise, that weeds will not only grow in the rows, but also, if not taken out, receive as much vigour from the hoeing as the corn will.
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  Having accidentally heard that drills have been made and sent a great way to strangers who are going into this practice, without any experience or knowledge of it, I could think of no better way at present to serve them and others who may do the same, than by giving them these cautions ; and assuring them, that in my opinion, if by any whatever mismanagement they fail of success, the fault will be imputed to the husbandry itself ; though if such mismanagement (contrary to them) should have succeeded, it must have been an argument against the truth of the principles whereon the husbandry is founded. And that it may not be thus unjustly disparaged, nor the well-wishers to it inured by their own rashness, is what has induced me to publish these papers, and my own imperfections, I fear, too precipitately ; on which account I hope the reader will pardon the oversights I may have made, and also some which may seen such, until further explained.
  I need not say writing is none of my business ; but I hope the farmer will not regard the roughness of the style, because he knows a plough will go never the better for being polished, though much the cheaper for not being besmeared with dung : yet I must confess that I have much less aversion to dung in the field, than I have to the expense of buying and carrying it thither ; and I do not doubt but many farmers will hate that as much as I do, when they are convinced by their own experience they can go on very well without it.
  Here I should be wanting in my duty to the horse-hoeing husbandry, and to those who might successfully practise it, if I did not take notice of the wrong done to both, by some who, in opposition to these cautions, either of their own heads, or by the instigation of ignorant pretenders (who had no further aim than to get money by imposing on them), bought instruments of those pretenders, and went into practice, in which they were so hasty as
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to give judgement before my Essay was published, wherein are all my directions ; and the judgment they gave was not against their own rashness, as in justice it ought only, but against my scheme, which they could not perform, unless they had staid till it was published ; for my Chapter of Wheat had never been seen by any mortal till just as it went to the press, which was but a little before they pronounced their judgement, viz., that they had made trial of it, and it did not answer, and they believed it never would answer. The error was in the word it, which can be justly applied to no other practice but their own phantasies, yet they expressed themselves in such a manner that the it was understood by the hearers as if it had been my scheme, the principles whereof they must have been strangers to, unless they had been conjurors. What their practice was I know nobody that knows, nor perhaps did they themselves know much more of the performance of it than what their bailiffs (whose word in these matters is scarce ever to be relied on) told therm : I only know it negatively that it could not be mine.
  Their rash practice, and judgement more rash and unique, joined with the common prejudice, which truths that seem new generally meet with, must have been a disparagement to this husbandry.
  Besides, the word answer is of such a large extent, that though they should have had success in their project, it might not have answered their expectation ; they might not only have expected that weeds sould not presume to grow on the land over which the drill had passed, but also that it should transmute the clods to gold without study or trouble ; that is the only scheme would please them.
  They seem to have entered on their project as a trick to get money ; and if they have made it a trick to lose money, what could I have done more to caution them against the rashness of their judgment, and the loss of their money ? And so grateful were they
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for those cautions, that if the pretenders could have directed them in my scheme, they would have forestalled my Essay ; for what occasion would there have been to publish it, if those pretenders had been masters of it ? But since they have prejudged my scheme, before they knew what it was, I hope they will not disparage it further now it is published, as their conduct is likely to do, if they meddle with it : it is better that they leave their agriculture to be managed at the direction of their bailiffs, who generally know how to deal with such masters.
  A gentleman of discretion will, before he gives judgement, or enters upon a large practice, make the index and trials I have herein recommended ; and if among my arguments he finds one demonstration, as I believe he will, for proof of each fundamental principle whereon the scheme is founded, he may be sure it cannot fail of success but by some misapplication or defect in the execution, which he will take care to have rectified in every (necessary) particular ; and then he will see the scheme duly performed. How long a time may be required for him to accomplish this, and to become an expert practiser, will depend upon his conduct and the docibility of his servants.
  A gentleman who consults with his bailiff about entering upon a new scheme of husbandry, is likely to have the same encouragement as a Papist having a mind to turn Protestant would have, by asking the opinion of his confessor.
  Whoever they are who go into this practice without the forementioned precautions, they ought not to wonder that they cannot perform it properly, since this is a new scheme, the directions for which are given but from ten or eleven years' practice (in wheat), and written in a language whereof the writer has in a manner lost the idiom, when the old scheme has been described
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with the greatest eloquence of both dead and living languages, and practised above three thousand years, and there are very many practisers that do not perform it properly yet, as is agreed, I believe, by most writers of agriculture.
  But a new scheme founded upon true principles, though at first it may seem difficult to perform, will become easy when the hands that are to perform it are reconciled to it.
  If I had ever advised others to practise this scheme, I could not have been justly accused of insincerity in recommending to them what I did not practise myself ; I have not had an acre of sown wheat these nine or ten last years, and have at this time a hundred acres of drilled wheat ; all upon wheat-stubble and black oat-stubble, except nineteen acres ; and upon the same farm where the tenant used to sow twenty-five of wheat, and rarely could compass to sow thirty ; and part of that was generally spoiled by poppies, and the rest not very good.
  My 100 acres are all of white-cone wheat drilled in double rows, the partitions, some a foot, some ten inches wide. I have not seen any of it, being confined within doors by many diseases, several of which are adjudged to be the most cruel of any incident to a human body. Therefore having no overseer in whom I can confide, I am not certain how my crop is or may be managed ; but it is certain if the principles are not followed, it will not be the scheme ; but I hope this will not be so far from it, as that whereon the above-mentioned fallacious equivocal judgment was given, and which has been much more injurious to the true scheme than the Equivocal Society could ever have been ; because these are evidently infamous writers, and of no credit, hired on purpose to cry it down ; but those mal-practisers, or at least some of them, are said, and (which I am sorry to believe) known to be gentlemen. They have indeed by their bare words (though as rash and inconsiderate as their practice) hindered
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the truths that support the vegetable principles from being brought into a method whereby agriculture might have been treated on more properly as a science ; for every true demonstration is self-evident : I am far from saying all my arguments are such, or any of them, if they had not had the approbation of proper judges ; and now it is upon their judgment more than my own that I depend upon the validity of most of them : and I do not in the least doubt, but that the unexpensive trials I have recommended, being properly made and repeated, will so fully confirm those truths, that no prejudice whatever shall afterwards be strong enough to prevail against them.
Why our moderns (to say no more of the ancients) have treated of the subject very superficially, a reason may be given, viz., Mr. Evelyn wrote no treatise of agriculture, Mr. Laurence was a divine, Mr. Bradley an academic, Dr. Woodward a physician, Mr. Houghton an apothecary ; these for want of practice could not have the true theory : and the writers who are acquainted with the common practice, as Mr. Mortimer, &c. (whether for want of leisure, or not being qualified, I do not know) have said very little of any theory, except such as the author quoted by Equivocus writes, when he recommends the dunging of land with malt. And if regular planting (contrary to random be the true practice, yet it cannot be practised in great quantities without proper instruments to lessen the human labour of it ; as one drill will regularly plant in very near rows, more land in a day, than fifty men can set, at the same distances and exactness ; and as without the plough very little of the fields can be tilled, so without the drill as little of them can be regularly planted. Therefore a person must be well acquainted with the practice, theory, and proper instruments, before he can treat of agriculture as a science. But whether he may be the better qualified for that purpose, by being unacquainted with ancient and modern Treatises de Re Rustica, the reader may judge.
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  True principles may be useful to every good scheme of husbandry, as they are absolutely necessary to this of horse-hoeing : but I think no other new scheme has been so much as proposed of late, except that of Mr. Laurence for introducing assa-foetida into our fields into the room of clover and St.-Foin ; on what principle that scheme is founded, I am ignorant ; yet perhaps it may be as acceptable to some as one founded upon the most approved and truest principles, be it ever so practical, unless it would immediately enrich them, without the study and trouble that are first necessary for their servants to perform it properly : but yet it is probable there may be others of a different way of thinking from these, enough to make the horse-hoeing common in time to come, if not presently ; this being in many particulars preferable to the other schemes of regular planting, which at present in many places get ground in reputation beyond the random agriculture.
  But when the best scheme once obtains, though it cannot last as long as the truth which supports it, because that is, (like all truths) eternal ; yet it may probably last as long as the earth continues to be cultivated by tillage.
  The last answer I have to make, and with which I conclude, is to the objection of singularity, and of this I cannot be guilty, if what Equivocus affirms be true, viz., That Platte fell into the same way of thinking, and that his scheme was like mine, which then must have been a sort of vineyard culture ; and if Mr. Worlidge or any other fell into the same way of thinking, when they aimed at contriving an instrument for regular planting, which Equivocus says, was like my drill, I am not singular ; for without doubt Platte must have taken his hints from the vineyards as I did ; and if Mr. Worlidge or any other had taken their hints for a drill from the organ as I did, they would have saved me a good deal of trouble and expense ; and what is more, would have saved me from the
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misfortune of being an author. I am sure I always like my thoughts best when they agree with other men's, except when reason (according to my notion of it) compels me to think otherwise ; and whilst I apprehended them to be singular, I had no design of putting them into writing ; but being by irresistible importunities and solicitations pressed to publish my own thoughts upon husbandry, I have done it to the best of my poor abilities, and faithfully.
  But what I have said of the rash judgment, I would not be understood to complain of any person's conduct who at any time has made trials of whatever kind, for his own curiosity, with regard to any caution whatsoever : every man having right to lay out his money in what manner and by what advice he pleases ; and if thereby a better scheme than mine should be found, I shall be glad of it.
  The judgment was given by a few, and of whom, according to my information, only two or three were gentlemen ; their names I neither know nor desire to know, but they were enough to raise a report which did the wrong I complained of, and I appeal to their honour (which is inherent to all gentlemen) against that judgment when they are better informed ; for I hope no gentleman will persist in a wrong, when he knows it, especially in matters that so nearly concern his country as agriculture doth. The injury done to me, how great soever, in inconsiderable in comparison of the least done to the public ; and he that will do any thing for its service, as I have endeavored to do, may expect to be a sufferer. If I ad refused to say any thing of the horse-hoeing scheme (which my reason and experience convinces me is the best), and had published only my instruments and general principles of agriculture, perhaps I might have suffered less : and whether I had not then gone further in these two articles than any author that has writ on the subject before me, is not proper for me to say, but for the reader to judge.
THE END.