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The Past, the Present, and the Future

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Pages: 302

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Henry Charles Carey

Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. WEALTH. The first cultivator commences his operations on the hillside. Below him are lands upon which have been carried, by force of water, the richer portions of those above, as well as the leaves of trees, and the fallen trees themselves : all of which have there, from time immemorial, rotted and become incorporated with the earth, and thus have been produced soils fitted to yield the largest returns to labour: yet for this reason are they inaccessible. Their character exhibits itself in the enormous trees with which they are covered, and in their power of retaining the water necessary to aid the process of decomposition : but the poor settler wants the power either to clear them of their timber, or to drain them of the superfluous moisture. He begins on the hill-side, but at the next step we find him descending the hill, and obtaining larger returns to labour. He has more food for himself, and he has now the means of feeding a horse or an ox. Aided by the manure that is thus yielded to him by the better lands, we see him next retracing his steps, improving the hill-side, and compelling it to yield a return double that which he at first obtained. With each step down the hill, he obtains still larger reward for his labour, and at each he returns, with increased power, to the cultivation of the original poor soil. He has now horses and oxen, and while, by their aid, he extracts from the new soils the manure that had accumulated for ages, he has also carts and wagons to carry it up the hill: and at each step his reward is increased, while his labours are lessened. He goes back to the sandand raises the marl, with which he covers the surface : or he returns to the clay and sinks into the limestone, by aid of which he doubles its product. He is all the time making ...  

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