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Haut de page. Signes de mode. Signes politiques. Vernis —. Toque Bonnet. Broderie, impressions. Blonde puis noire. She brought her husband a very large dowry, and no inconsiderable portion of this handsome jointure seems to have been swallowed up in the speculations of her son, one of the greatest agriculturists and least successful practical farmers who ever lived.
We can easily understand Arthur Young's love of rural life and keen appreciation of scenery, after a visit to Bradfield, reached from Mark's Tey on the Great Eastern Railway. It is a sweet spot, in the near neighbourhood of much of the beautiful country with which Gainsborough has familiarized us.
Alighting at the quiet little station of Whelnetham, we follow a Edition: current; Page: [ xxx ] winding road overhung with lofty elms, that leads to the village; or in summer, knee-deep in wild flowers and waving grasses, we may take a traverse through the meadows, their lofty hedges a tangle of eglantine and honeysuckle, on every side stretches of rich pasture, cornfields, and woods. The place has a very old-world look; here and there, between the trees, peeps a whitewashed cottage, with overhanging thatched roof, or a farmhouse of equally rustic appearance, very little modernization having taken place in these regions.
The Suffolk farmer, as Arthur Young modestly calls himself, was in reality a country squire. His old home has been replaced by a Gothic mansion, but nothing can be more squirarchal than the well-wooded park, ornamental water with its swans, Queen Anne's garden and stately avenues, leading to church and lodge, which remain as they were in his own time. Opposite the gates of Bradfield Hall stands the village ale-house, no quainter, more antiquated hostelry in rural England. Between park and village, consisting of church, rectory-house, and a dozen cottages, lies the broad, elm-bordered road leading to the railway station.
This is the old London coach road followed by our traveller when setting forth on his French travels a hundred years ago, enterprises regarded by his family mad as those of Don Quixote himself. Entrancing as were these adventuresome journeys, we can fancy with what pleasure he hailed the first glimpse of Bradfield on returning home safe and sound from one expedition after another.
As happens with so many men of genius, Arthur Young owed little to schools or schoolmasters. He was first sent to the grammar school at Lavenham—that exquisitely clean, picturesque village, with its noble cathedral—no other name befits the church—lying between Sudbury and Whelnetham. My mother soon bought me a little white pony, which was sent every Saturday to bring me home, and though the plan was that of returning every Monday morning, yet the weather or some other circumstance would often occasion delays, not a little injurious.
The latter part of the time I had a pointer and a gun, and went out with the master. I had also a room to myself and a neat collection of books, and I remember beginning to write a history of England, thinking that I could make a good one out of several others. How early began my literary follies! I seemed to have a natural propensity to writing books. All readers of the "Travels in France" will remember Arthur Young's love of music and the drama.
His diary shows at what an early age those tastes were fostered. In his thirteenth year, he tells us, he is taken to London, sees Garrick in tragedy, and hears the Messiah. Another characteristic, equally familiar to us, is his deep admiration of personal beauty, and his delight in the society of graceful, attractive women. This, too, we find a feature of his somewhat precocious boyhood. Two of these in succession made terrible havoc with my heart. The first was a Miss Betsey Harrington, a Lavenham grocer's daughter, who was admitted by all who saw her to be truly beautiful.
On quitting Lavenham, his destiny remained for a moment undecided. His father wished him to be sent to Eton, and thence to one of the Universities. He wrote of this resolve in a strain of regret those who come after him cannot share. Had paternal influence prevailed, he tells us, his life might have been very different. Originality is nowhere more refreshing than in the Church. It is pleasant to fancy Arthur Young a bishop.
But what other pen would have given us that inimitable picture of rural France on the eve of the great Revolution? Who else would have fought so valiantly the cause of the farmer at home? She was of a pleasing figure, with fine black, expressive eyes; danced well, and performed on the harpsichord, as she received instructions from Mr. Burney Dr. Burney, the author of 'The History of Music' , then a person in the highest estimation for his powers of conversation and agreeable manners.
His extraordinary—we are almost tempted to say abnormal—energy becomes apparent in these early days. The future author of a history of agriculture in ten folio volumes was already busy with the pen, writing pamphlets "On the Theatre of the Present War in America," and kindred topics, for each of which he received the value of ten pounds in books—an arrangement between publisher and literary aspirant that might, perhaps, be judiciously followed in these days. In , being just twenty, he left Lynn, "without education, pursuits, profession, or employment," he writes despondingly.
His father died during the same year. Somewhat later, whilst at Bristol recruiting from illness, his skill in chess-playing attracted the attention of a military authority, who offered him a commission in a cavalry regiment. If we could ill have spared Arthur Young for the Church, still more should we have begrudged him to the army. Again his mother interfered, and posterity owes her a debt of gratitude.
Pour une information personnalisée
Instead of exchanging bullets and sabre thrusts with his French neighbours, Arthur Young was now destined to the more pacific international give-and-take of roots and seeds. He became from that time a farmer. So situated, I could hardly fail of following the maternal advice, to try what farming could do. I rented a small farm of my mother's, and farmed from to Having taken a second farm that was in the hands of a tenant, I gained some Edition: current; Page: [ xxxiii ] knowledge, but not much; and the painful effect was to convince me that, to understand the business in any perfection, it was necessary to continue my exertions for many years.
And the circumstance, perhaps, of all others in my life which I most deeply regretted, and considered as a sin of the blackest dye, was my publishing the result of my experiences during these four years, which, speaking as a farmer, was nothing but ignorance, folly, presumption, and rascality.
The only use which resulted from these years was to enable me to view the farms of other men with an eye of more discrimination than I could possibly have done without that practice. It was also the occasion of my going on the Southern Tour in , the Northern Tour in , and the Eastern in , extending through much the greater part of the kingdom; and the execution of these tours was considered by all who read them and they were very generally read to be of most singular utility to the general agriculture of the kingdom.
It will not escape observation that these jottings of old age, interesting at they are, err on the side of redundancy and epexegesis. We wholly miss the vivacity, terseness, and vigour of the French Travels. The marriage brought him an enviable connection—troops of friends, a passport into brilliant circles, but no fireside happiness. The lady was evidently of a captious disposition, shrewish temper, and narrow sympathies. A few years later Arthur Young became famous. Courted by the great, a conspicuous figure in society, handsome, witty, versatile, he certainly found a London salon more to his taste than a dull farmhouse—a day's outing with the Burneys more congenial than heavy land-farming in wet weather.
Young entered the room. Oh, how glad we were to see him! He was in extremely good spirits. Talking of happiness, sensibility, and a total want of feeling, my mamma said, turning to me, 'Here's a girl will never be happy, never whilst she lives, for she possesses, perhaps, as feeling a heart as ever girl had.
Young, 'my friend Fanny possesses a very feeling heart? In the meantime he was making one disastrous attempt at practical farming after another, like a desperate gamester doubling the stakes with every loss. For a year or two after his marriage he remained at Bradfield, farming a copyhold of twenty acres, his sole fortune, and eighty more, the property of his mother. His successor, a practical farmer, made a good deal of money out of the concern, probably as much as Arthur Young had lost by it, so hampering to worldly success is the possession of original ideas!
One of his farms he describes as "a devouring wolf," an epithet that need not surprise us when we consider that he made 3, experiments on his Suffolk holding alone. The superstitious might see in the pertinacity with which Mrs. Young encouraged her son's ventures some preternatural foreshadowing of his career. Again and again she advertised for a farm for him, and nothing better offering itself, he hired some land in Hertfordshire, which ere long he anathematized as a "hungry vitriolic gravel, a Nabob's fortune would sink in the attempt to raise good, arable crops to any extent in such a country.
One of the most curious incidents in a career that detractors might well call Quixotic, is the origin of the famous English Tours. Will it be believed that just as Cervantes' half-mad hero set out in search of chivalrous adventure, and Dr. Syntax in search of the picturesque, this thrice-ruined farmer determined Edition: current; Page: [ xxxv ] to explore the entire country till he could find land that would pay?
Whenever he put pen to paper he was successful. Whenever he turned to experimental farming he almost ruined himself. These narratives of home travel from an agricultural point of view were a novelty, and also supplied an actual want. Not only did he give a succinct picture of farming as carried on at that time in various parts of England, but much information valuable to the general reader. The three works were largely sold, yet the author grew poorer and poorer.
In Fanny Burney gives a vivacious, jaunty picture of her uncle, as she used to call him. She describes him as most absurdly dressed for a common visit, being in light blue, embroidered with silver, having a bag and sword, and walking in the rain. A year later we have a very different account. Young have been in town for a few days," scribbled the girl-diarist.
Young, whose study and dependence is agriculture, has half undone himself by experiments. His writings upon this subject have been amazingly well received by the public, and in his tours through England he has been caressed and assisted almost universally. Indeed, his conversation and appearance must ever secure him welcome and admiration. But, of late, some of his facts have been disputed, and though I believe it to be only by envious and malignant people, yet reports of that kind are fatal to an author, whose sole credit must subsist on his veracity. In short, by slow but sure degrees, his fame has been sported with and his fortune destroyed His children, happily, have their mother's jointure settled upon them.
He has some thoughts of going abroad, but his wife is averse to it. Young is not well, and appears almost overcome with the horrors of his situation; in fact, he is almost destitute. This is a dreadful trial for him, yet I am persuaded he will still find some means of extricating himself from his distresses, at least if genius, spirit, and enterprise can avail. His own diary for this year contains the following entry: Edition: current; Page: [ xxxvi ] "The same unremitting industry, the same anxiety, the same vain hopes, the same perpetual disappointment, no happiness, nor anything like it.
But three months after that last sorrowful mention of her favourite, Fanny Burney once more strikes a cheerful note. Young had dined with her sister and herself, she wrote. Fortune, she hoped, smiled on him again, for he again smiled on the world. The originator of three thousand unsuccessful experiments was hardly the man to lose faith in himself. If occasional fits of dejection overtook him, he was ready an hour after to enter upon a history of agriculture throughout all ages and in all countries, make gigantic schemes in the interest of English husbandry, or to hire four thousand acres of Yorkshire moorland with the intention of turning the wilderness into a garden.
His powers of work, of hoping against hope, of throwing heart and soul into new interests and undertakings, were phenomenal. Of the year he writes: "Labour and sorrow, folly and infatuation: here began a new career of industry, new hopes, and never-failing disappointment. We happened to be alone in the parlour, and either from confidence in my prudence, or from an entire and unaccountable carelessness of consequences, he told me that he was the most miserable fellow breathing, and almost directly said that his connexions made him so, and most vehemently added that if he was to begin the world again, no earthly thing should prevail with him to marry!
That now he was never easy but when he was in a plow-cart, but that happy he could never be. I am very sorry for him, but cannot wonder. In June, , after a passage of twenty-four hours, he landed in Ireland. His stay did not extend over three years, and during a part of the time he was occupied in managing Lord Kingsbury's estate in County Cork.
The result, nevertheless, was a survey of the country, and an inquiry into the condition of the people, which for accuracy, fulness of detail, and acuteness of observation, render it invaluable to this day. An accession of fame does not always mean an increase of fortune, and the future was as hard a problem to the popular author, now in the prime of life and the fulness of powers, as to the ambitious stripling of twenty.
On his return from Ireland he wrote, "I arrived at Bradfield on the first of January, and had then full time to reflect upon what should be the pursuit of my life, and upon what plan I could devise for that fresh establishment of myself which should at the same time prevent any relapse into those odious dependencies and uncertainties which from to had been the perpetual torment of my life. Whilst I was hesitating what plan to follow, an emigration to America crossed my mind, and much occupied my thoughts.
Henceforth his home was Bradfield, of which a few years later he became owner. Four children had been born to him, two daughters and a son, and after an interval of thirteen years, his youngest and best-beloved child, the little girl familiar to readers of the French Travels. Whilst he appears to have been an affectionate and conscientious father, all the passionate depth and tenderness of his nature were lavished on this latest born, his "darling child," his "lovely Bobbin. This exquisite child—for the adoring praise of her father is amply substantiated by others—was the supreme joy and consolation Edition: current; Page: [ xxxviii ] of a life often steeped in uncommon bitterness, and when she died, there went forth a wail from an utterly desolated heart, that moves us to tears after the long lapse of years.
This awful shadow is as yet far off. The existence of his darling corresponded to the most brilliant years of Arthur Young's career. Glancing at the entries made between and , that is to say, between the Irish and French journeys, we find many a stirring episode, and much evidence of indefatigable, even colossal labours, undertaken in a hopeful spirit.
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Some of these memoranda are passing humorous: he tells us, for instance, how whilst at Petworth, on a visit to Lord Egremont, he went into a bath at four o'clock a. It had none, he complacently adds, except that of increasing strength and activity. From another note we learn that he had been busy on stanzas to a lady. The year opens with the project of the "Annals of Agriculture," which he calls, as well he might do, one of the greatest speculations of his life.
Literary contributions were invited from all sides, and the work was launched under royal patronage. Arthur Young not only acted as editor, but wrote voluminously for its pages. The "Annals" consist of forty-five quarto volumes, and although much of the information therein contained has been superseded, they form, in the words of a competent authority, "a noble addition to any library.
It is here, as a statesman, that Arthur Young stands pre-eminent. On questions of home or international trade, on commerce, or prices, on monopolies, on religious bigotry, on class arrogance and insolence, on endowed charities, on the poor laws, on the law of settlement, on taxation direct and indirect, on bounties and drawbacks, he knew as much as Cobden, and has written as wisely. That which his great contemporary Adam Smith reasoned out, Arthur Young seems to have reached with electric despatch by instinct.
The "Annals" made a noise in the world; even Dr. Burney Edition: current; Page: [ xxxix ] wrote enthusiastically about them. Would he were ten years younger, he said, he would take Arthur Young's white house and as much land as he could spare, and enter himself as his scholar. From far and near came testimonies equally flattering, and from remote quarters of Europe, flocked disciples and pupils to sit at the feet of the modern Varro.
Among those who found their way to Bradfield were three young Russians, sent by the Empress Catherine to study farming under his care. He gives an amusing account of their examination. One of the three was so much awed that he resolutely refused to open his lips, for which offence, adds the narrator, I sincerely hope he was not sent to Siberia. Later came the nephew of the Polish ambassador, "a heavy, dull man, with a Tartar countenance; his intention was to learn agriculture, but he made poor progress. In the midst of these multifarious and engrossing occupations the scheme of an agricultural survey of France was gradually taking shape in his mind.
Whilst contributing largely to the "Annals," making a variety of experiments with the aid of Priestley, holding what may be called a professorial chair in his own home, he was full of new projects. In he had crossed to Calais with his son Arthur, "just to say that he had been in France. My darling child, my lovely Bobbin, I left in perfect health, the rest of my family well and provided for in every respect as they had themselves chalked out, the 'Annals' lodged in the hand of a man on whose friendship and abilities I could entirely confide.
Think of your wife and children," his brother had written, and much more in the same strain, working himself up into a veritable frenzy of panic. An expedition to Patagonia, or a journey round the world, could hardly have inspired this Edition: current; Page: [ xl ] timid counsellor with livelier terrors. He certainly never expected to see the foolhardy traveler again.
Arthur Young's mother had died two years before, and the event is thus noted in his journal: "My ever dear and venerated mother died. Happy, happy spirit. It is a curious and interesting fact that these French journeys exactly realized a plan of travel laid down in an early work. If we turn to the last chapter of that well-written and characteristic little book, "The Farmer's Letters to the People of England" second edition, , we shall find his own agricultural survey of France anticipated in every point.
The nobility and men of large fortune travel, he writes, but no farmers; unfortunately those who have this peculiar and distinguishing advantage, the noble opportunity of benefitting themselves and their country, seldom inquire or even think about agriculture. Then follows the sketch of a farmer's tour in routes laid down for his imaginary traveller, being precisely those he was himself to follow a decade later. French Flanders must be visited, Lorraine and the adjoining provinces, Champagne and Burgundy.
All the noble improvements of the Marquis de Turbilly in that province ought to be viewed with the most attentive eyes. To few of us is granted in middle age such entire fulfilment of the worthiest aspirations of youth. Little, perhaps, did the writer foresee that he was himself to be "that wise and honest traveller," who should describe rural France on the eve of the Revolution, not only for his own countrymen and his own epoch, but for all Europe and generations to come.
We are gratified to find him at Turbilly, warmly received by its noble owner, and inspecting his farm, as he begged to be allowed to do, with the oldest surviving labourer of the late marquis. He had left no anxieties behind him when setting out for France, but his heart is ever with his adored child.
The fond Edition: current; Page: [ xli ] letters he wrote to her in his large, clear, enviable handwriting have all been preserved.
From Moulins, August 7, , he writes, Bobbin being then four years old: "I think it high time to inquire how you do, pass your time, how the Mag magpie does, and the four kittens. I hope you have taken care of them, and remembered your papa wants cats. Do the flowers grow in your garden? Are you a better gardener than you used to be? The Marquis de Guerchy's little girls have a little house on a little hill, and on one side a little flower garden, on the other side a little kitchen garden, which they manage themselves and keep very clean from weeds.
Bobbin would much like to see it. God send her well and free from accidents. I hope she does not go alone near hedges for fear of snakes. We must pass briefly over these rich, happy, dazzling years. No one had done the same thing before, and now it was done to perfection. The author's name was soon in everybody's mouth. He received invitations to half-a-dozen courts. All the learned societies of Europe and America enrolled him as a member. His work was translated into a score of languages, and princes, statesmen, political economists, wits—not only of his own nationality, but from various parts of the world—paid a visit to Bradfield.
Never, perhaps, had been seen in Suffolk such distinguished international gatherings. The Burneys were, of course, frequent visitors at the pleasant country house described in "Camilla. At an early hour the guests arrived. The fishponds in the park were dragged, and after a long animated Edition: current; Page: [ xlii ] morning spent by both sexes out of doors, the party sat down to a four o'clock dinner, degustating the fish just caught. Travelling on the continent was now out of the question, but the home journeys were continued.
He also visited Norfolk, Bedfordshire, and Essex. Meantime the pen was as busy as ever. In the year the editor contributed twenty-five papers to the "Annals" on various subjects: Mr. Pitt's speech; the abolition of the slave trade; turnips in Germany; a Spanish merino ram, inter alia. The merino ram was a present from the king, and is thus commented upon in the journal: "This year His Majesty had the goodness to present me with a present of a Spanish ram. The world is full of those who consider military glory as the proper object of the ambition of monarchs, who measure regal merit by the millions that are slaughtered, by the public robbery and plunder that are dignified by the title of dignity and conquest, and who look down on every exertion of peace and tranquillity as unbecoming those who aim at the epithet great, and unworthy the aim of men that are born for masters of the globe.
My ideas are cast in a very different mould, and I believe the period is advancing with accelerated pace that shall exhibit character in a light totally new, and shall rather brand than exalt the virtues hitherto admired, that shall pay more homage to the prince who gave a ram to a farmer than for wielding the sceptre. It is hardly necessary to remind the reader that these reminiscences belong to old age. No one could write more agreeable English than the Suffolk squire in his prime.
Such were the ultimate rewards of a man of splendid talents, one who had rendered signal services to his country! Seldom, indeed, is the irony running through human fortunes so forcibly brought home to us, the lesson of the poet's words, so humiliatingly borne out—. In the Board of Agriculture was established by Act of Parliament. Here Arthur Young saw the realization of a Edition: current; Page: [ xliii ] darling scheme, and as secretary he was certainly the right man in the right place.
Yet he felt doubtful of nomination, and even laid a wager of books with his friend, Sir John Sinclair, a set of the "Annals" against the "Statistical History of Scotland," that some one else would be chosen for the post.
He lost his wager, and thus wrote of his appointment: "What a change in the destinies of a man's life! Instead of entering the solitary lord of 4, acres in allusion to his former purchase of Yorkshire moorland in the keen atmosphere of lofty rock and mountain torrent, with a little creation rising gradually around me, making the black wilderness smile with cultivation and grouse give way to industrious population, active, energetic, though remote and tranquil, and every instant of my existence making two blades of grass grow where one was found before, behold me at a desk in the smoke, the fog, the din of Whitehall.
The business of the new board was carried on with the utmost assiduity. Whilst directing several clerks and organizing schemes innumerable, he found time for literary undertakings that would have appalled the soul of any but Varro himself. It is odd that these two great authorities on agriculture, removed from each other by twelve centuries, should be among the most voluminous writers on record. Arthur Young had already begun his history of agriculture, the opus magnum, the crowning achievement of his life, destined as he hoped to be his legacy to the nation.
We hardly know which to admire most, the industry of author or compiler. Were a third enthusiast to take the matter in hand, and pare down the abridgment by yet a sixth, we should doubtless have a compendium of husbandry adapted to every library, Edition: current; Page: [ xliv ] and perhaps the only work of the kind ever produced by a single pen. Meantime honours and distinctions continued to pour in.
The Empress Catherine sent him a magnificent gold snuff-box, with two rich ermine cloaks for his wife and eldest daughter. From her representative at Moscow came a second snuff-box, set with diamonds, and inscribed with the words in Russian, "From a pupil to his master.
The Salford Agricultural Society offered a special medal, on which was engraved, "for his services to his country. And Fanny Burney paid him her prettiest compliments, which very likely he valued far more than gold snuff-boxes or medals. In a letter preserved at Bradfield occurs the following:—"P.
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Will Honeycomb says, if you would know anything of a lady's meaning, always provided she has any when she writes to you, look at the postscript. Now, pray, dear Sir, how came you ever to imagine what you are pleased to blazon to the world with all the confidence of self-belief that you think farming the only thing worth manly attention? You who, if taste, rather than circumstances, had been your guide, might have found wreaths and flowers almost any way you had turned, as fragrant as those of Ceres. The enforced residence in London had many attractions. He dined out, he tells us, from twenty-five to thirty times in one month, and had received during the same period, "forty invitations from people of the highest rank and consequence.
I was very eager, he writes, in listening to every word that fell from her lips, though not nearly so much so as I should have been many years after; an allusion explained by the last pages of this memoir. In he visited Burke, and this entry is too interesting to be passed by. The pair had corresponded on agriculture and had met before.
It was a "most able, useful, and reasonable pamphlet. Burke's before breakfast," writes Young, "and had every reason Edition: current; Page: [ xlv ] to be pleased with my reception. Young,' said Burke, 'it is many years since I saw you, and to the best of my recollection you have not suffered the smallest change. You look as young as you did sixteen years ago. You must be very strong. You have no belly. Your form shows lightness. You have an elastic mind. I almost thought that I had come to see the greatest genius of the age in vain.
The conversation was remarkably desultory, a broken mixture of agricultural observations, French madness, price of provisions, the death of his son, the absurdity of regulating labour, the mischief of our poor laws, the difficulty of our cottagers keeping cows, an argumentative discussion of any opinion seemed to distress him, and I therefore avoided it.
Speaking on public affairs he said: 'I never read a newspaper, but if anything happens to occur which they think will interest me, I am told of it. He observed that the supposed scarcity was extremely ill understood, and that the consumption of the people was clear proof of it. This in his neighbourhood was not lessened, as he had learned by a very careful examination of many bakers, butchers, and excisemen, nor had the poor been distressed further than what resulted immediately from that improvidence which was occasioned by the poor laws. After breakfast he took me a sauntering walk for five hours over his farm, and to a cottage where a scrap of land had been stolen from the waste.
I was glad to find his farm in good order, and doubly so to hear that it was his only amusement except the attention he paid to a school for sixty children of noble French emigrants. Crewe arrived just before dinner, and though she exerted herself with that brilliance of imagination which renders her conversation so interesting, it was not sufficient to raise the Edition: current; Page: [ xlvi ] drooping spirits of Mr. Yet he tried once or twice to rally, and once even to pun. Crewe observing that Thelwel was to stand for Norwich, observed that it would be horrid for Mr. Wyndham to be turned out by such a man.
Burke replied, 'that would not tell well. Somebody said it was a fair one. Burke said, 'It was neither very bad nor very good. I am glad once more to have seen and conversed with the man who I hold to possess the greatest and most brilliant parts of any person of the age he lived in.
But to behold so great a genius so depressed with melancholy, stooping with infirmity of body, feeling the anguish of a lacerated mind, and sinking into the grave under accumulated misery—to see all this in a character I venerate, and apparently without resource or comfort, wounded every feeling of my soul, and I left him next day almost as low-spirited as himself.
The clouds were already gathering about his own horizon. A year later, and he too was a grief-stricken, desolated, prematurely aged man. His second daughter Elizabeth, married to a son of Hoole, the translator of Ariosto, had died of consumption in Signs of the same terrible disease now began to show themselves in his bright, his adored Bobbin. In the midst of his engrossing occupations we find him constantly thinking of her, writing long letters, fulfilling her childish commissions.
Bobbin has expressed a wish for a workbox, and he bestows as much attention on the purchase as if he were in treaty for 4, acres of moorland. He had looked at a good many, he wrote, but could find none under twenty-five shillings, or at still higher prices; he hears, however, that good ones are to be had at a lower figure, and will continue his researches.
He shows the most painful eagerness about her health. She is to tell him every particular as to appetite, sleep, pulse, thirst. One of these letters ends thus: "I cannot read half your mother's letter, but enough to see that she is very angry with me for I know not what. Miss Patty is to ride out in the chaise or on double horse when Bonnet a bailiff is not obliged to be absent from the farm. If he is at market, when the days are long and Miss Patty rises early, she Edition: current; Page: [ xlvii ] can have a ride before breakfast.
Bonnet is to pay Miss Patty a shilling a week. In another note he reasons with the little patient on the childishness of demurring at medicines. She is ordered steel, and only takes it under protest. He urges her by the love she bears her father to follow out the doctor's orders in every particular. Change of air was tried, but the precious life could not be saved. She died about twelve months after his visit to Burke. He never recovered from the blow.
In his overpowering grief he could not bear to part with the mortal remains of his darling. When, at last, he consented to interment, the coffin was placed under the family pew, her heart lying where he knelt in prayer. He wept himself blind; the terrible calamity that now gradually overtook him being indeed imputed to excess of weeping. Sorrow mastered, unmanned a nature singularly hopeful and elastic.
He became a prey to morbid introspection, to the gloomiest views of human life. He fell at last into the mood that incites men to write or read such works as "Baxter's Saints' Rest," or in our own day, to join the Salvation Army. The blindness came on by slow degrees, and for some time he remained at his post. I go to no amusements, and read some Scripture every day. I never lay aside my good books but for business. He still continues to see old friends, however, and his former interest in public affairs does not wholly desert him. During the same year he visits Pitt several times at Holwood, and throws heart and soul into new enterprises.
The loss of his child has awakened pity for suffering childhood. In one month alone we find seven dinners given to about forty-eight poor children each time. Another entry is to this effect: "Dinner to fifteen poor children, eleven shillings, another dinner, do. Perhaps the following note may have something to do with these charities. Sold copyright of Edition: current; Page: [ xlviii ] my travels for guineas.
The business of the Board was still carried on as laboriously as before, but in he writes that his sight is so indifferent he is afraid of writing at all, and further on, "My eyes grow worse and worse. For me to read a letter of two sheets and a half would be a vain attempt. I pick out as much as they will let me. Three years later he was operated upon for cataract, and from a curious and interesting letter written by his wife, we learn the cause, or supposed cause, of failure.
All seemed going on well with the somewhat intractable patient, and the oculists held out good hope of recovery on one condition. He must remain calm. Weeping would be fatal. Wilberforce paid him a visit as he sat bandaged in a dark room. The visitor had been cautioned on no account whatever to agitate him, but either underrating his friend's susceptibility or his own, he began in his soft gentle voice, "The Duke of Grafton is dead," and went on to speak of the duke's death so touchingly that the other burst into tears. The mischief was done past recall.
The last twelve years of life were spent by Arthur Young in total blindness. They were busier for all that than those of many men in the meridian. He was now chiefly at Bradfield, where the indefatigable veteran severely taxed the energies of his comparatively youthful associates. Besides his secretary, M. Croix, he often enjoyed the friendly services of a granddaughter of Dr. Burney's, Miss Francis by name, a lady who, like Mezzofanti, was "a monster of languages, a Briareus of parts of speech, a walking polyglot. In a letter to her brother, Mary Young, the only surviving daughter, amusingly describes one of these long, well-filled days.
When at Bradfield, she tells us, Miss Francis slept over the servant's hall with a packthread round her wrist, this packthread passing through the keyhole communicated with Arthur Young's room, and when he wanted to awake her, which was generally between four or five o'clock in the morning, he pulled Edition: current; Page: [ xlix ] it, on which she immediately rose. The pair would then sally forth for a two hours' walk on the turnpike road, stopping at some farmhouse to take milk, and afterwards distributing religious tracts at the cottages by the way, Miss Francis questioning the people upon their principles, reading to them, and catechizing the children.
Croix gets up, who finds it quite enough to read and write for two hours and a half before breakfast. After breakfast the three adjourn to the library till one, when Mr. Croix takes his walk for an hour, Miss Francis and my father read, write, or walk till three o'clock.
He puts children to school at Bradfield, Cockfield, and Stanningfield, and every Sunday they meet and are catechized.
Solutions de production d’énergie et de motorisation
Every Sunday night a hundred meet, when Mr. Croix reads a sermon and chapter, and my father explains for an hour, after which a prayer dismisses them. Last Sunday they Arthur Young and the linguist went to church at Acton. Every Sunday they go to Acton or Ampton, each church ten miles out and ten home, besides teaching the schools and the meeting in the hall. Bradfield , as there is an assembly of people which would have been liable to information.
The Sunday evening services made a deep impression on the country folks. The villagers of Bradfield and the neighbourhood still talk of the blind old Squire who was a great preacher. They know little or nothing of his literary fame. The achievement by which he will be remembered is to them a sealed book. But he lives in local memory as a second Wesley, a wonderful stirrer-up of men's consciences, an unrivalled expounder of the Gospel.
There is still living at Bury St. Edmunds a nonagenarian who has a vivid recollection of Arthur Young's sermons. In his vehemence the orator would move to and fro till he gradually had his back turned to the congregation, whereupon his daughter or secretary would gently place their hands upon his shoulders and restore him to the proper position.
It is a touching figure we now take leave of, that blind, fervid, silver-haired preacher, a hundred eager faces fixed upon Edition: current; Page: [ l ] his own, the rapt silence of the crowded meeting-place only broken by his trembling, impassioned tones. For the story of Arthur Young's life is mainly told. The world had not yet lost sight of him. He was from time to time pleasantly reminded of the conspicuous part he had played in it. He tells us how, in , when breakfasting with Wilberforce, he met General Macaulay, who, recently travelling from Geneva to Lyons, had visited a French farm, where he found everything "in the highest style of management, and so much superior to all the rest of the country, that he inquired into the origin of such superiority.
The answer of the owner was, 'My cultivation is entirely that of Monsieur Arthur Young, whose recommendations I have carried into practice with the success you see. He bore his privations and infirmities with resignation, and retained full possession of his faculties to the last. He died at Sackville Street on the 20th April, , and was buried at Bradfield. The handsome tomb in the form of a sarcophagus erected to his memory stands close to the roadside, over against the entrance to his old home.
Passers-by may read the some-what stilted yet veracious inscription on the outer slab:—. In France such a man would have had his statue long ago. Perhaps this more modest tribute were more to his taste. That a native of his beloved Suffolk, herself a frequent wayfarer throughout the length and breadth of France, should edit his French Travels a hundred years after they were written, would surely have pleased Arthur Young well. Of his children two survived him, his daughter Mary, who died unmarried, and his son Arthur, whose son, the present owner of Bradfield, is the last of Arthur Young's race and name.
London, Second edition, enlarged, Third edition, A Six Months' Tour through the North of England, containing an account of the present state of Agriculture, Manufactures, and Population in several counties of this kingdom. The Farmer's Tour through the East of England; being a Register of a Journey through various counties, to inquire into the state of Agriculture, Manufactures, and Population. Tour in Ireland; with general observations on the present state of that kingdom in Dublin, Travels during the years , , , and , undertaken more particularly with a view of ascertaining the Cultivation, Wealth, Resources, and National Prosperity of the Kingdom of France.
Bury St. Edmunds, Reprinted, Dublin, London, , With plans. Political Arithmetic, or Observations on the present state of Great Britain, and the principles of her policy in the Encouragement of Agriculture. The Farmer's Kalendar. Edited and extended by J. London, Routledge, , bds. Advantages which have resulted from the Board of Agriculture. Inquiry into the progressive value of money, as marked by the price of Agricultural Products. An Inquiry into the propriety of applying Wastes to the better maintenance of the Poor. IT is a question whether modern history has anything more curious to offer to the attention of the politician, than the progress and rivalship of the French and English empires, from the ministry of Colbert to the revolution in France.
In the course of those years, both have figured with a degree of splendour that has attracted the admiration of mankind. The survey which I made, some years past, of the agriculture of England and Ireland the minutes of which I published under the title of Tours , was such a step towards understanding the state of our husbandry as I shall not presume to characterise; there are but few of the European nations that do not read these Tours in their own language; and, notwithstanding all their faults and deficiencies, it has been often regretted, that no similar description of France could be resorted to, either by the Edition: current; Page: [ lvi ] farmer or the politician.
Indeed it could not but be lamented, that this vast kingdom, which has so much figured in history, were likely to remain another century unknown, with respect to those circumstances that are the objects of my enquiries. An hundred and thirty years have passed, including one of the most active and conspicuous reigns upon record, in which the French power and resources, though much overstrained, were formidable to Europe. How far were that power and those resources founded on the permanent basis of an enlightened agriculture? How far on the more insecure support of manufactures and commerce?
How far have wealth and power and exterior splendour, from whatever cause they may have arisen, reflected back upon the people the prosperity they implied? Very curious inquiries; yet resolved insufficiently by those whose political reveries are spun by their firesides, or caught flying as they are whirled through Europe in post-chaises.
A man who is not practically acquainted with agriculture, knows not how to make those inquiries; he scarcely knows how to discriminate the circumstances productive of misery, from those which generate the felicity of a people; an assertion that will not appear paradoxical, to those who have attended closely to these subjects. At the same time, the mere agriculturist, who makes such journies, sees little or nothing of the connection between the practice in the fields, and the resources of the empire; of combinations that take place between operations apparently unimportant, and the general interest of the state; combinations so curious, as to convert, in some cases, well cultivated fields into scenes of misery, and accuracy of husbandry into the parent of national weakness.
These are subjects that never will be understood from the speculations of the mere farmer, or the mere politician; they demand a mixture of both; and the investigation of a Edition: current; Page: [ lvii ] mind free from prejudice, particularly national prejudice; from the love of system, and of the vain theories that are to be found in the closets of speculators alone. God forbid that I should be guilty of the vanity of supposing myself thus endowed! I know too well the contrary; and have no other pretension to undertake so arduous a work, than that of having reported the agriculture of England with some little success.
Twenty years experience, since that attempt, may make me hope to be not less qualified for similar exertions at present. The clouds that, for four or five years past, have indicated a change in the political sky of the French hemisphere, and which have since gathered to so singular a storm, have rendered it yet more interesting, to know what France was previously to any change.
It would indeed have been matter of astonishment, if monarchy had risen, and had set in that region, without the kingdom having had any examination professedly agricultural. The candid reader will not expect, from the registers of a traveller, that minute analysis of common practice, which a man is enabled to give, who resides some months, or years, confined to one spot; twenty men, employed during twenty years, would not effect it; and supposing it done, not one thousandth part of their labours would be worth a perusal.
Some singularly enlightened districts merit such attention; but the number of them, in any country, is inconsiderable; and the practices that deserve such a study, perhaps, still fewer: to know that unenlightened practices exist, and want improvement, is the chief knowledge that is of use to convey; and this rather for the statesman than the farmer. No reader, if he knows anything of my situation, will expect, in this work, what the advantages of rank and fortune are necessary to produce—of such I had none to exert, and could combat Edition: current; Page: [ lviii ] difficulties with no other arms than unremitted attention, and unabating industry.
Had my aims been seconded by that success in life, which gives energy to effort, and vigour to pursuit, the work would have been more worthy of the public eye; but such success must, in this kingdom, be sooner looked for in any other path than in that of the plough; the non ullus aratro dignus honos, was not more applicable to a period of confusion and bloodshed at Rome, than one of peace and luxury in England.
One circumstance I may be allowed to mention, because it will shew, that whatever faults the ensuing pages contain, they do not flow from any presumptive expectation of success: a feeling that belongs to writers only, much more popular than myself: when the publisher agreed to run the hazard of printing these papers, and some progress being made in the journal, the whole MS. The publisher would have printed the whole; but whatever faults may be found with the author, he ought at least to be exempted from the imputation of an undue confidence in the public favour; since, to expunge was undertaken as readily as to compose.
The revolution in France was a hazardous and critical subject, but too important to be neglected; the details I have given, and the reflections I have ventured, will, I trust, be received with candour, by those who consider how many authors, of no inconsiderable ability and reputation, have failed on that difficult theme: the course I have steered is so removed from extremes, that I can hardly hope for the approbation of more than a few; and I may apply to myself, in this instance, the words of Swift:—"I have the ambition, common with other reasoners, to wish at least that both parties may think me in the right; but if that is not to be hoped for, my next wish should be, that both might think me in the wrong; which I would understand as an ample justification of myself, and a sure ground to believe that I have proceeded at least with impartiality, and perhaps with truth.
THERE are two methods of writing travels; to register the journey itself, or the result of it. In the former case, it is a diary, under which head are to be classed all those books of travels written in the form of letters. The latter usually falls into the shape of essays on distinct subjects.