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daily bread business (we mean Peel's Drainage
Loan), retentive soils regained a certain degree
of favour. With the help of pipe tiles corn
could be secured even in wet seasons, and sheep
fed where sheep were unknown in the days of
shallow bush drains. But retentive clay soils, in
spite of systematic drainage, had, and have, a
disadvantage which was little felt a hundred years
ago, when a farmer could afford to go to sleep
for half the year, before "rapid concentrative,"
or what the French happily call intensive culture,
was known. It requires extra horse power to
work it; it can scarcely be worked at all when
it is damp; and in damp weather the treading of
horses' feet on clay does incalculable damage.
Modern requirements insist on every acre being
continually under crop, or seed, or labour. Clay
districts, from their peculiarity, have fewer
working days than less retentive soils. Clays,
modern experience tells, as shown above, should
be cultivated deeply, and in the autumn, as they
are neither mellow nor clean in the spring, and
the clay farmer who misses his autumn is running
after his work all the following year, and never
overtakes it.

It is not then necessary to enter into the question
affirmed by the Royal Agricultural Society's
Judges at Chester, and disputed by some sceptics,
that steam cultivation is cheaper than horse
labouralthough we believe it; but we may rest
the success, the triumph, the progress of steam
cultivation on the fact that it can do an essential
work of deep autumnal cultivation, which no
number of horses practically yokable could do
at all, with the rapidity peculiar to steam power,
and without the enormous disadvantage of the
consolidation of trampling horses' feet. Thus
the drill saves the dry days of the sowing season,
the reaping machine saves the harvest season, the
threshing machine saves and supplies the market,
and the steam cultivating engine saves the
cultivating season and multiplies by six or eight fold
the value of every day, dry enough to stir the soil
on the old plan at the rate of an acre a day:
thus increasing the crops to a degree that
it is scarcely safe to state. With that
unanswerable conclusion we will conclude content
although inclined to agree with the Farmer
of Wolston that on most farms of three hundred
acres and upwards, of tolerably level land, a well-
applied steam-engine will save one-third of the
horse power, and do the work twice as well as
horses can do it, even on light land.

A friend inquires, "What about Halkett's
Guide system of steam agriculturethe railway-
farm system?" Why, this onlythat it
is perfectly practicable, but would cost to apply
about one-third more than the fee simple of most


     I HAVE a bitter thought: a snake
     That used to sting my life to pain;
     I tried to cast it far away,
     But every night, and every day,
     It crawl'd back to my heart again.

     It was in vain to strive or try
     To live, or sleep, to work, or pray;
     At last I bade this thing accursed
     Gnaw at my heart, and do its worst:
     And so I let it have its way.

     "Thus," said I, "I shall never fall
     Into a false and dreaming peace,
     And then awake, with sudden start,
     To feel it biting at my heart,
     Since now the pain will never cease."

     But I gained more; for I have found
     That such a snake's envenomed charm
     Must always, always find a part,
     Deep in the centre of my heart,
     Which it can never wound or harm.

     It is coiled round my heart to-day
     It sleeps at times, this cruel snake,
     And while it sleeps it never stings.
     Hush! let us talk of other things,
     Lest it should hear me and awake.


"WELL, yes, jolly Yorkshire coachman with
the apple-face, to the Valley of Desolation!"

We are tired of Ben Rhydding and wet sheets;
we know all the illustrated whimsicalities of the
water-cure by heart; the gossip and scandal of
peaceful Ilkley falls dead, now, upon our ears.
We have eaten trout enough; we have climbed
Rumbles Moor amid the black-faced sheep,
through the slate-coloured quagmire, over the
brown gorse, to the disturbance of grouse; we
have halted half-way up the mountain to drink
from the peerless pool; we have lit a pipe, sitting
upon the wreck of the old beacon, and we have
stood upon the crowning height of the Cow and
Calf, whence we have seen stretching, to the west
far off, Arthur's seat, that slopes from the ruins of
Bolton Abbey; to the east, the winding Wharfe,
rushing to the Humber. Yes, we have seen the
stone bridge under which the boiling stream
roars. Thank you, we are not interested in Sir
Timothy's seat, although Sir Timothy is a Bart.
No; to the Valley of Desolation be it.

Ay, wondrously varied is this craven valley.
Be careful down this slope, where the Wharfe
rolls past, some hundreds of feet below, into the
boiling waters of which a slip of the horse would
cast us, note-book and all. It is a gusty day.
At the top of the hill we shall catch the squalls.
Ay, coachman, that was a stout blow. You are
right, there must have been a fresh hand at the
bellows then. Rattle through the white toll-bars
(I wonder when they will disappear from the
face of merry England); swing round over
Bolton-bridge, past the emerald meadows where
the black sheep are gravely nibbling, with milk-
white lambs at their side. To the little thatched
inn, decidedly; not to the fashionable little hotel
for visitors.

Welcome? Thank you, we see we're welcome,
Mrs. Winterburn, and we pass nimbly over your
chalked steps, under the creaking, weather-beaten
Red Lion. Into your kitchen, roofed with hams
(they never keep them four years now, to mellow,