Fen sketches

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Hall, Virtue, 1852 - 271 pages

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Page 18 - To men of other minds my fancy flies, Embosom'd in the deep where Holland lies. Methinks her patient sons before me stand, Where the broad ocean leans against the land, And, sedulous to stop the coming tide, Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride, Onward methinks, and diligently slow, The firm connected bulwark seems to grow; Spreads its long arms amidst the wat'ry roar, Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore...
Page 193 - The wisdom of a learned man cometh by opportunity of leisure: and he that hath little business shall become wise. How can he get wisdom that holdeth the plough, and that glorieth in the goad, that driveth oxen, and is occupied in their labours, and whose talk is of bullocks?
Page 134 - Often it was only by toiling on his glebe, by feeding swine, and by loading dungcarts, that he could obtain daily bread; nor did his utmost exertions always prevent the bailiffs from taking his concordance and his inkstand in execution.
Page 136 - The yellowbreasted martin was still pursued in Cranbourne Chase for his fur, reputed inferior only to that of the sable. Fen eagles, measuring more than nine feet between the extremities of the wings, preyed on fish along the coast of Norfolk.
Page 18 - While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile, Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile : The slow canal, the yellow-blossomed vale. The willow-tufted bank, the gliding sail, The crowded mart, the cultivated plain , A new creation rescued from his reign. Thus while around the wave-subjected soil Impels the native to repeated toil, Industrious habits in each bosom reign, And industry begets a love of gain. Hence all the good from opulence that springs, With all those ills superfluous treasure brings...
Page 135 - In the year 1685 , the value of the produce of the soil far exceeded the value of all the other fruits of human industry. Yet agriculture was in what would now be considered as a very rude and imperfect state. The arable land and pasture land were not supposed by the best political arithmeticians of that age to amount to much more than half the area of the kingdom.* The remainder was believed to consist of moor, forest, and fen.
Page 96 - Behold the great design, which they do now determine, Will make our bodies pine, a prey to crows and vermine: For they do mean all Fens to drain, and waters overmaster, All will be dry, and we must die, 'cause Essex calves want pasture.
Page 133 - ... abuse were uttered with the broadest accent of his province. It was easy to discern from the first words which he spoke whether he came from Somersetshire or Yorkshire. He troubled himself little about decorating his abode, and, if he attempted decoration, seldom produced anything but deformity. The litter of a farm-yard gathered under the windows of his bed-chamber, and the cabbages and gooseberry bushes grew close to his hall door.
Page 96 - Come, brethren of the water, and let us all assemble, To treat upon this matter, which makes us quake and tremble, For we shall rue it, if t be true, the Fens be undertaken, And where we feed in fen and reed, they'll feed both beef and bacon.
Page 133 - London and Londoners he felt an aversion which more than once produced important political effects. His wife and daughter were in tastes and acquirements below a housekeeper or a stillroom maid of the present day. They stitched and spun, brewed gooseberry wine, cured marigolds, and made the crust for the venison pasty.

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