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THE FARMER'S MAGAZINE,

JULY, 1862.

PLATE I.

A SHORTHORN STEER:

“ THE GOLD MEDAL Ox,” AT THE BIRMINGHAM AND SMITHFIELD CLUB CATTLE Shows,

DECEMBER, 1861.

This steer was bred by Mr. Christopher Clark, the New Cattle Market, and it was intended to of Hunmanby, Yorkshire, and calved on Decem- have entered him for further honours at Poissy, ber 24th, 1858. He was got by Young Emperor but “the transfer” took place too late to allow of out of Mayflower, by Richmond, her dam the animal's being sent across the channel, where Cherry Blossom, by Richmond.

his success would have been certain. We thus The steer was purchased when very young by wrote of him when we first had the pleasure Mr. George Taylor, of Sewerby Cottage, Bridling of meeting the gold medalist in Bingley Hall : ton Quay, who took the first prize of bis class at "The Durhams opened so strongly, with such a Bridlington with him in 1860, and another first steer as has been rarely seen of late years. Mr. prize again at Bridlington, with a similar one at George Taylor, of Sewerby, near Bridlington, is a Driffield, in the summer of 1861. The beast was new man in these parts, although a recognized then in careful preparation for the Great Christmas good judge in his own district, where his ox has Shows, and was brought on to Birmingham in already been a winner. And the wonder if he had December. He won here the first prize of £10 as not been, for he is quite a picture to look uponthe best Shorthorn steer, the extra prize of £20 as deep and massive; a very model of level feeding the best Shorthorn in the Show, and the Gold and true symmetry; with a sweet head, a rare foreMEDAL as the best Ox or Steer in the yard, Mr. Alank, a grand back, and other advantages that, McCombie's polled heifer alone beating him for with time,' would even still further develope. the cup as the best animal in Bingley Hall. In His colour, a very light roan, is rather against his own proper class Mr. Samuel Wiley's sleer was him; and his touch was not quite so firm as it second, while those exhibited by the Duke of should be; but the beast was evidently weary with Beaufort

, Mr. Holland, M.P., Mr. Langston, M.P., travel, and he did not carry himself as well as he and Mr. H. Sanders were commended.

would had he been a little fresher. Still, he was a In the week following, at the Smithfield Club long way the best of his class.” Show Mr. Taylor's steer took the first prize of It is only fair to say that this softness of touch £25 as the best of the Shortborn Steers, and the has been otherwise accounted for. Fed, by the GOLD MEDAL as the best steer or ox in any of entry, “on Swede turnips, linseed cake, peameal, the classes, Mr. Clark duly receiving here and at hay, and milk,” the prize steer 'is said to have Birmingham the silver medals' as some slight almost lived upon milk, from the time when Mr. tribute for having bred so good a beast. In Taylor bought him as a fat calf. Statists declare Baker-street he beat Mr. Wortley's steer, the sec. that it takes some four hundred pounds to bring a ond prize, Mr. John Shaw's the third, with a steer colt to the post for the Derby, and it might be of Mr. A. G. Chapman's highly commended, and the not altogether an unprofitable study to see how Duke of Beaufort's and Lord Radnor's commended. much it costs to get a prize steer “ placed” for the Mr. Taylor here sold his steer to Mr. Harris, of judges.

(VOL. LIL-No. 2.

OLD SERIES.)

B

PLATE II.

THE PYRAMID.

We have here a scene in the desert, where an Emir, or some other public personage.

This Arabian stallion is led out by his groom for the attestation contains the names of the horse and inspection of the cool, scrutinizing gentleman mare, and a complete history of their pedigrees. quietly smoking his hookah under the sacred When the mare has foaled, witnesses are again shade of the neighbouring pyramids. Mr. Cooper called, and another attestation is made, including might have introduced an English dealer on a sum- a description of the foal and the day of its birth. mer tour, in these times of Overland Routes, with The Arabs generally ride upon mares, having an eye may be to an Arabian for improving the learned from experience that mares endure fatigue, breed of our weight-carrying cobs. “There is hunger, and thirst better than horses, and we not an Arabian, however poor,” says Buffon, “who should say make better bed-fellows for their wives has not his horse," and they are as fond of them and children. The popular prestige amongst the as the Irish are of their pigs—the same tent serv- English in favour of Arab blood and crosses is ing for mare and foal, husband, wife, and children. fast dying away. For speed they have no place They pig altogether—the infants often lying on by the side of our own thorough-bred horses; and the body, or on the neck of the mare and foal, even for endurance, the most authentic trials have without receiving any injury. The Arabs are all tended to show only how much we surpass the great in pedigree, like ourselves, often knowing favourite child of the desert. Such breeders as more about the race of their horses than they do have persevered here with them, have proved of their neighbours. When a family have no noble little more than a negative. The Arabian can now stallions, they borrow one of a friend to serve do little for the race-horse, although his handsome their mares, a ceremony which is performed in the head and altogether showy appearance may tell presence of witnesses, who give an attestation of in a park hack, a light charger, or a lady's pranit, signed and sealed, before the Secretary of the cing palfrey.

FLOOD WATERS,

BY CUTUBERT W. JOHNSON, ESQ., F.R.S.

It is only when an irruption of the flood waters banks, and, in later times, to imitate these great disturbs the peaceful order of things, that we think works of nature. earnestly of our extensive lands whose level is below The fertilizing effect of the mud deposited by the that of ihe tidal or other waters. At a period when river waters was, indeed, one of the first practical the great value of these low-lying districts is now remarks made by the cultivator of the soil. In more and more engaging the cultivator's attention, choosing the most advantageous site for a farm, the it

may be useful if we inquire a little into their his- lands lying near to the banks of rivers were those tory. It is more than probable that, so far from our the first selected by mankind—the most readily agriculturists being arrested in their efforts to enlarge seized upon for enclosure. These were not only these fields by occasional heavy losses through de- already rich from the mechanically suspended matfective sluices or breaches in dykes, still greater ters deposited in them in bygone ages, but the ferthings will yet be accomplished in recovering from tile soils thus formed were annually replenished by the waters partially-submerged lands. The em- the same kind of enriching substances left by subbankment of the Lincolnshire Wash, now progress- sidence from the flood waters. Such were, and are, ing—the proposed enclosure of more than 20,000 the lands of Egypt-such the lands at the mouth of acres of salterns on the banks of the Swin, in Essex, almost all the rivers of both the old world and the all indicate the importance which the landowner new. The alluvial soils of the valleys of the Thames, attaches to diluvial soils. Such lands are com- the Humber, the Nile, and the Ganges find a counmonly, in fact, composed of the very richest mixtures terpart in the lands similarly placed, as in those of which dame Nature offers for our service. They the Orinoco, the Ohio, and the Mississippi

. It was are usually formed of the most finely-divided mate- only when all these naturally rich soils of the old world rials--earths and organic matters, deposited either had been occupied, that men began to consider the by the tidal waters of the sea, or the fresh-water cause of the riches of these lands; a fertility in the floods which pour down from more elevated adjacent earliest ages attributed to the magic arts of some lands.

imaginary deity. Reason, however, at length taught When men first began to cultivate the earth, they them to seek a more practical explanation in the soon found out the value of these naturally fertile deposited mud, and then ceasing to be deceived by soils—they very early began to protect them by the wanderings of their imagination, they speedily

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began to consider how these great efforts of nature has been well described by Mr. J. A. Clarke, in his might be profitably imitated. These led to the pro- prize report on the Great Level of the Fens (Jour. cess of irrigating poor soils with river water sur-Roy. Ag. Soc. vol. viii., p. 80). It is a portion only, charged with mud--a mode called “colmata" in however, of this district which has been recently so Carniola, but " warping” in the north of England. seriously injured, the entire level lying princiThe process adopted in Carniola is alludod to by Mr. pally between Lynn and Wisbech, comprising sevenHerepath (Jour. R.A.S., vol. ii., p. 94): In the teen parishes, and containing about 30,000 acres of Val di Chiana, he tells us, fields that are too low are of fine land. raised and fertilized by the process called "colmata, The soil of this valuable district is composed

to which is done in the following manner : The field is employ Mr. Clarke's own words of the subsidence surrounded by an embankment, to confine the waters. of the muddy tidal water, which the agitation of the The dyke of the rivulet is broken down so as to ad- sea had removed from the adjoining estuary, or mit the maddy waters of the high floods. The wash, which forms the great mouth of two very con, Chiana is too powerful a body of water for this pur-siderable rivers. It is a mixture of sea sand and pose; it is only the streams that flow into the mud, which is of so argillaceous a quality, probably Chiana that are used. This water is allowed to de- owing to the stiff upland country through which the posit its mud upon the field. The water is then let Ouse and the Nene flow, that the surface soil which off into the river at the lower end of the field by a covers the land is strong and tenacious enough to discharging source called “scola," and in French be regarded as clay. The whole country having "canal d'écoulement.” The watercourse which con- been a present from the ocean, there still remains duets the water from a river, either to a field for ranges of banks at a distance from each other, showirrigation or a mill, is called "gora." In this man- ing the progressive advances which industry, has her a field will be raised 51, and sometimes 71 feet, effected, ever eager to seize the spoils which so in ten years. If the dyke is broken down to the dreaded an enemy has relinquished. One of these bottom, the field will be raised to the same height in banks is called, "from its constructors, " The Roseven years; but then in this case gravel is also man;" its distance from the shore is not so great carried in along with the mud. In a field of twenty- as it would have been, had the sea, in all ages, been fire acres, which had been six years under the pro- as liberal as in this. The whole country was liable, cess of “ colmata," in which the dyke was broken upon a breach occurring in the outermost or

Sea down to within three feet of the bottom, the process Dyke” bank, to be inundated ; and history furnishes was seen to be so far advanced, that only another numerous instances of such disasters, the most year was requisite for its completion. The flood in terrible of these being that of 1613. On the 1st of this instance had been much charged with soil. The November, “late in the night, the sea broke in, water which comes off cultivated land completes the through the violence of a N.E. wind meeting with a process sooner than that which comes off hill and spring-tide, and oveflowed all the marsh land, with woodland. Almost all of the Val di Chiana has been the town of Wisbeach, both on the north and south raised by the process of “colmata."

sides, and almost the whole country round about,” Valuable, however, as are these low-lying districts, the loss of property amounting to £37,000. So their cultivation is ever attended with certain con- wide was the devastation of the waves, that besides siderable risks. It is only, in fact, when men begin thousands of cattle and sheep, swept away by the to cultivate the sorts of lands below the level of rage of the sea, hundreds of houses were utterly dethe adjoining waters that their great risks of floods stroyed, numbers of people being drowned in their commence. It is then that dykes and other great beds. Át Terrington, where the breach was made, the works are necessary to keep out the waters. And people fled for refuge to the church, to haystacks, not only do sach embankments need great skill in and other erections; and had not the mayor and their construction, but incessant watchfulness is alderman of Lynn compassionately sent them beer also necessary to keep these in repair ; a failure in and food by boat, many had perished. These boats

, this vigilance has too frequently led to disastrous it seems, came the direct way over the submerged results. We have all had our attention very re- land from Lymn to Terring ton. cently directed to this fact in the case of the breach Mr. Rose has given the followirg as the series of in a bank near Lyon. This is not the first instance the deposits of soil found in cutting the Eau brink where the tidal waters have made very extensive drainage, near Lynn.

ft. in. inroads in the banks which encircle our great Fen 1. Surface soil brown clay, with sand.. 4 0 lands. Camden notices former great foods by in- 2. Blue clay (having fresh water stalls) 3 0 roads of the sea in Lincolnshire A.D. 245; and minor 3. Peat containing bones of ruminants 2 21 floods have since occurred down to June 1819. And 4. Blue clay like No. 2...

8 0 these great overflowings of the tide were small, com- 5. Peat, with alder and hazel bushes; pared with those which have in bygone times devas- the lower portion clay, containing tated the dyke-encircled Hollanders. By one of roots of marsh plants

3 0 these, on 17th April, 1446, the sea breaking in near 6. Dark blue clay, not cut through a Dort, the Zuyder Zee was formed, 72 villages were marine silt. destroyed, and it was calculated that nearly 100,000 persons were drowned. We are told that for ages

20 2 afterwards the tops of village towers and steeples But we need not go from London, were seen rising from the water of the Zuyder Zee. stance of the results of inattention to our marsh

The land which has been, during these last few walls. In descending the Thames, we pass on our weeks, flooded in the marsh land district of Norfolk, I left hand the little village of Dagenham; and here,

an in

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