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Soak over night in cold water, having first scrubbed the ham with a small brush to remove all the pepper, saltpetre, etc., left from the curing process.

Put on to boil next morning in tepid water, skin downwards, letting it simmer on back of stove, never to boil hard. This takes about four hours (or until it is done, when the ham is supposed to turn over, skin upwards, of its own accord, as it will if the boiler is large enough). Set aside over another night in the water it has boiled in.

The following day, skin and bake in the oven, having covered the ham well with brown sugar, basting at intervals with cider. When it is well baked, take it out of the oven and baste another ten to twenty minutes in the pan on top of the stove. The sugar crust should be quite brown and crisp when done.

To be thoroughly appreciated a ham should be carved on the table, by a pretty woman. A thick slice of ham is a crime against good breeding.]

[Footnote 42: It is interesting that Varro has realized the hope, here expressed, that his wisdom might survive for the benefit of the "uttermost generations of men" chiefly in the case of this treatise on Husbandry among the many monuments of his industry and learning. Petrarch in his Epistle to Varro in that first delightful book of Letters to Dead Authors (de rebus familiaribus XXIV, 6) rehearses the loss of Varro's books and, adapting the thought here expressed in the text, regrets for that reason that Varro cannot be included in that company of men "whom we love even after their death owing to the good and righteous deeds that live after them, men who mold our character by their teaching and comfort us by their example, when the rest of mankind offends both our eyes and our nostrils; men who, though they have gone hence to the common abode of all (as Plautus says in Casina), nevertheless continue to be of service to the living." If Petrarch had been a farmer he might have saved some of his regret, for Varro is surely, by virtue of the Rerum Rusticarum, a member of the fellowship Petrarch describes.]

[Footnote 43: Varro was essentially an antiquary and it is amusing to observe that he is unable to suppress his learning even in his prayers. One is reminded of the anecdote of the New England minister, who, in the course of an unctuous prayer, proclaimed, with magisterial authority, "Paradoxical as it may appear, O Lord, it is nevertheless true, etc."]

[Footnote 44: Following Plato and Xenophon and Cicero, Varro cast his books into the form of dialogues to make them entertaining ("and what is the use of a book," thought Alice in Wonderland, "without pictures or conversations."): for the same reason he was careful about his local colour. Thus the scene of this first book, which relates to agriculture proper, is laid at Rome in the temple of Earth on the festival of the Seed Sowing, and the characters bear names of punning reference to the tilling of the soil. Varro was strong on puns, avowing (Cicero Acad. I, 2) that that form of humour made it easier for people of small intelligence to swallow his learning.]

[Footnote 45: The story is that when Scipio captured Carthage he distributed the Punic libraries among the native allies, reserving only the agricultural works of Mago, which the Roman Senate subsequently ordered to be translated into Latin, so highly were they esteemed. Probably more real wealth was brought to Rome in the pages of these precious volumes than was represented by all the other plunder of Carthage. "The improving a kingdom in matter of husbandry is better than conquering a new kingdom," says old Samuel Hartlib, Milton's friend, in his Legacie. It is a curious fact that as the Romans derived agricultural wisdom from their ancient enemies, so did the English. Cf. Thorold Rogers' Six Centuries of Work and Wages. "We owe the improvements in English agriculture to Holland. From this country we borrowed, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the cultivation of winter roots, and, at that of the eighteenth, the artificial grasses. The Dutch had practised agriculture with the patient and minute industry of market gardeners. They had tried successfully to cultivate every thing to the uttermost, which could be used for human food, or could give innocent gratification to a refined taste. They taught agriculture and they taught gardening. They were the first people to surround their homesteads with flower beds, with groves, with trim parterres, with the finest turf, to improve fruit trees, to seek out and perfect edible roots and herbs at once for man and cattle. We owe to the Dutch that scurvy and leprosy have been banished from England, that continuous crops have taken the place of barren fallows, that the true rotation of crops has been discovered and perfected, that the population of these islands has been increased and that the cattle and sheep in England are ten times what they were in numbers and three times what they were in size and quality."]

[Footnote 46: The Roman proverb which Agrius had in mind reminds one of the witty French woman's comment upon the achievement of St. Denis in walking several miles to Montmartre, after his head had been cut off, (as all the world can still see him doing in the verrières of Notre Dame de Chartres): "en pareil cas, ce n'est que le premier pas qui coûte."]

[Footnote 47: To this glowing description of agricultural Italy in the Augustan age may be annexed that of Machiavelli on the state of Tuscany in his youth: "Ridotta tutta in somma pace e tranquillità, coltivata non meno ne' luoghi più montuosi e più sterili che nelle pianure e regioni più fertili...." It is our privilege to see the image of this fruitful cultivation of the mountain tops not only in Machiavelli's prose, but on the walls of the Palazzo Riccardi in Gozzoli's Journey of the Magi, where, like King Robert of Sicily, the Magi crossed

"Into the lovely land of Italy
Whose loveliness was more resplendent made By the mere passing of that cavalcade."

It seems almost a pity to contrast with these the comment of a careful and sympathetic student of the agricultural Italy of the age of King Umberto: "To return to the question of the natural richness of agricultural Italy," says Dr. W.N. Beauclerk in his Rural Italy (1888), "we may compare the words of the German ballad: 'In Italy macaroni ready cooked rains from the sky, and the vines are festooned with sausages,' with the words today rife throughout the Kingdom, 'Rural Italy is poor and miserable, and has no future in store for her.' The fact is that Italy is rich in capabilities of production, but exhausted in spontaneous fertility. Her vast forests have been cut down, giving place to sterile and malarious ground: the plains and shores formerly covered with wealthy and populous cities are now deserted marshes: Sardinia and other ancient granaries of the Roman Empire are empty and unproductive: two-thirds of the Kingdom are occupied by mountains impossible of cultivation, and the remainder is to a large extent ill-farmed and unremunerative. To call Italy the 'Garden of Europe' under these circumstances seems cruel irony."]

[Footnote 48: As we may assume that the yields of wine of which Fundanius boasts were the largest of which Varro had information in the Italy of his time, it is interesting to compare them with the largest yields of the most productive wine country of France today. Fifteen cullei, or three hundred amphorae per jugerum, is the equivalent of 2700 gallons per acre: while according to P. Joigneaux, in the Livre de la Ferme, the largest yields in modern France are in the Midi (specifically Herault), where in exceptional cases they amount to as much as 250 hectolitres to the hectare, or say 2672 gallons per acre. It may be noted that the yields of the best modern wines, like Burgundy, are less than half of this, and it is probable that the same was true of the vinum Setinum of Augustus, if not of the Horatian Massic.]

[Footnote 49: The modern Italian opinion of farming in a fertile but unhealthy situation is expressed with a grim humour in the Tuscan proverb: "in Maremma s'arricchisce in un anno, si muore in sei mesi."]

[Footnote 50: This is Keil's ingenious interpretation of an obscure passage. We may compare the English designation of a church yard as "God's acre." What Licinius Crassus actually did was, while haranguing from the rostra, to turn his back upon the Comitium, where the Senators gathered, and address himself directly to the people assembled in the Forum. The act was significant as indicating that the sovereignty had changed place.]

[Footnote 51: Tremelius Scrofa was the author of a treatise on agriculture, which Columella cites, but which has not otherwise survived.]

[Footnote 52: "It was a received opinion amongst the antients that a large, busy, well peopled village, situated in a country thoroughly cultivated, was a more magnificent sight than the palaces of noblemen and princes in the midst of neglected lands." Harte's Essays on Husbandry, p. 11. This is a delightful book, the ripe product of a gentleman and a scholar. In the middle of the eighteenth century it advocated what we are still advocating--that agriculture, as the basis of national wealth, deserves the study and attention of the highest intelligence; specifically it proposed the introduction of new grasses and forage crops (alfalfa above all others) to enable the land to support more live stock. It was published in 1764, just after France had ceded to England by the Treaty of Paris all of her possessions in America east of the Mississippi River; and not the least interesting passages of Harte's book are those proposing an agricultural development of the newly acquired territory between Lake Illinois (Michigan) and the Mississippi, which he suggests may be readily brought under cultivation with the aid of the buffaloes of the country. He shrewdly says: "Maize may be raised in this part of Canada to what quantity we please, for it grows there naturally in great abundance." It happened, however, that a few years later, in 1778, Col. George Rogers Clark of Virginia made a certain expedition through the wilderness to the British outpost at Vincennes, which saved England the trouble of taking Harte's advice, but that it has not been neglected may be evident from the fact that less than a century and a half later, or in 1910, the State of Illinois produced 415 million bushels of maize, besides twice as much oats and half as much wheat as did old England herself in the same year of grace.

Harte was the travelling governor of that young Mr. Stanhope, to whom my lord Chesterfield wrote his famous worldly wise letters. He was the author also of a Life of Gustavus Adolphus, which was a failure. Dr. Johnson, who liked Harte, said: "It was unlucky in coming out on the same day with Robertson's History of Scotland. His Husbandry, however, is good." (Boswell, IV, 91). With this judgment of Dr. Johnson there has been, and must be, general concurrence.]

[Footnote 53: Pliny records (H.N. XVIII, 7) that at Lucullus' farm there was less ground for ploughing than of floor for sweeping.]

[Footnote 54: Eggs were the first course, as apples were the last, at a Roman dinner, hence the saying "ab ovo usque ad mala."]

[Footnote 55: Cf. Gilbert Murray's version of Euripides' Troades, 799:

In Salamis, filled with the foaming Of billows and murmur of bees,
Old Telamon stayed from his roaming, Long ago, on a throne of the seas; Looking out on the hills olive laden, Enchanted, where first from the earth. The gray-gleaming fruit of the Maiden Athena had birth.

The physical reason why the olive flourished in Attica, as Theophrastus points out (C.P.V. II, 2), was because it craves a thin soil, and that of Attica, with its out-croppings of calcareous rock, suits the olive perfectly, while fit for little else agricultural.]

[Footnote 56: In the Geoponica (XIII, 15) there has been preserved a remedy for a similar evil, which, in all fairness, should be credited to Saserna. In any event, it is what the newspapers used to call "important, if true," viz: "If ever you come into a place where fleas abound, cry Och! Och! ([Greek: och, och]) and they will not touch you."]

[Footnote 57: The editor of an Iowa farm journal, who has been making a study of agricultural Europe, has recently reported an interesting comparison between the results of extensive farming as practised in Iowa and intensive farming as practised in Bavaria. He begins with the thesis that the object of agriculture is to put the energy of the sun's rays into forms which animals and human beings can use, and, reducing the crop production of each country to thermal units, he finds "that for every man, woman and child connected with farming in Iowa 14,200 therms of sun's energy were imprisoned, while for every man, woman and child connected with farming in Bavaria only 2,600 therms were stored up. In other words, the average Iowa farmer is six times as successful in his efforts to capture the power of the sun's rays as the average Bavarian farmer. On the other hand, the average acre of Iowa land is only about one-seventh as successful as the average acre of Bavarian land in supporting those who live on it. If we look on land as the unit, then the Bavarians get better results than we in Iowa, but if we look on human labor as the unit, then the Iowa farmers are far ahead of those of Bavaria."

It may be remarked that if the Iowa farmer, who gets his results by the use of machinery, was to adopt also the intensive practice of the Bavarian farmer, he would secure at once the greatest efficiency per acre and per man, and that is the true purpose of agriculture.]

[Footnote 58: It is one of the charms of Varro's treatise that he always insists cheerfully on the pleasure to be derived from the land. It is the same spirit which Conington has remarked cropping out in many places in Virgil's Georgics--the joy of the husbandman in his work, as in the "iuvat" of

"iuvat Ismara Baccho Conserere, atque olea magnum vestire Taburnum."

This is the blessed "surcease of sorrow" of which the crowded life of the modern city knows nothing: but, as the practical Roman indicates, it will not support life of its own mere motion. Cf. Dr. Johnson's picture of Shenstone: "He began from this time to entangle his walks and to wind his waters: which he did with such judgment and such fancy as made his little domain the envy of the great and the admiration of the skillful. His house was mean, and he did not improve it: his care was of his grounds.... In time his expences brought clamours about him, that overpowered the lambs' bleat and the linnets' song; and his groves were haunted by beings very different from fawns and fairies."]

[Footnote 59: Walter of Henley, in thirteenth century England, drove home a shrewd comment on the country gentleman who farms without keeping accounts and thinks he is engaged in a profitable industry. "You know surely," he says, "that an acre sown with wheat takes three ploughings, except lands which are sown yearly, and that one with another each ploughing is worth six pence, and harrowing a penny, and on the acre it is necessary to sow at least two bushels. Now two bushels at Michaelmas are worth at least twelve pence, and weeding a half penny and reaping five pence, and carrying in August a penny: the straw will pay for the threshing. At three times your sowing you ought to have six bushels, worth three shillings; and the cost amounts to three shillings and three half pence, and the ground is yours and not reckoned."

Of Walter of Henley little is known, but it is conjectured that he was the bailiff of the manors near Henley which belonged to the Abbey of Canterbury. His curious and valuable Dite de Hosebondrie, which is as original in its way as Cato's treatise, being entirely free from mere literary tradition, is now available to the modern reader in a translation, from the original barbarous English law French, by Elizabeth Lamond, made for the Royal Historical Society in 1890.]

[Footnote 60: This was just before Pharsalia, and the army was that of Pompey which Varro had joined after surrendering to Caesar in Spain.]

[Footnote 61: In this enumeration of trees Varro does not include the chestnut which is now one of the features of the Italian mountain landscape and furnishes support for a considerable part of the Italian population, who subsist on necci, those indigestible chestnut flour cakes, just as the Irish peasants do on potatoes. The chestnut was late in getting a foothold in Italy but it was there in Varro's day. He mentions the nuts as part of the diet of dormice (III, 15).

By the thirteenth century chestnuts had become an established article of human food in Italy. Pietro Crescenzi (1230-1307) describes two varieties, the cultivated and the wild, and quotes the Arabian physician Avicenna to the effect that chestnuts are "di tarda digestione ma di buono nuttimento." It is perhaps for this very reason that chestnut bread is acceptable to those engaged in heavy labor. Fynes Moryson says in his Itinerary (1617) that maslin bread made of a mixture of rye and wheat flour was used by labourers in England because it "abode longer in the stomach and was not so soon digested with their labour."

Crescenzi, who was a lawyer and a judge, says in his preface that he had left his native Bologna because of the civil strifes, had taken foreign service in several parts of Italy, and so had opportunity to see the world. He wrote his book on agriculture because, as he says, of all the things he learned on his travels there was nothing "piu a bondevole, niuna piu dolce, et niuna piu degna de l'huomo libero," a sentiment which Socrates had expressed sixteen hundred years earlier and which was echoed six hundred years later by another far-sighted Italian, the statesman Cavour.]

[Footnote 62: The white chalk which Scrofa saw used as manure in Transalpine Gaul, when he was serving in the army under Julius Caesar, was undoubtedly marl, the use of which in that region as in Britain was subsequently noted by Pliny (H.N. XVII, 4).

There were no deposits of marl in Italy, and so the Romans knew nothing of its use, from experience, but Pliny's treatment of the subject shows a sound source of information. In England, where several kinds of marl are found in quantities, its use was probably never discontinued after the Roman times. Walter of Henley discusses its use in the thirteenth century, and Sir Anthony Fitzherbert continues the discussion in the sixteenth century. In connection with the history of the use of marl in agriculture may be cited the tender tribute which Arthur Young recorded on the tombstone of his wife in Bradfield Church. The lady's chief virtue appears to have been, in the memory of her husband, that she was "the great-grand-daughter of John Allen, esq. of Lyng House in the County of Norfolk, the first person according to the Comte de Boulainvilliers, who there used marl."

The Romans did not have the fight against sour land which is the heritage of the modern farmer after years of continuous application to his land of phosphoric and sulphuric acid in the form of mineral fertilizers. What sour land the Romans had they corrected with humus making barnyard manure, or the rich compost which Cato and Columella recommend. They had, however, a test for sourness of land which is still practised even where the convenient litmus paper is available. Virgil (Georgic II, 241) gives the formula: "Fill a basket with soil, and strain fresh water through it. The taste of water strained through sour soil will twist awry the taster's face."]

[Footnote 63: This sounds like the boast of the modern proprietor of an old blue grass sod in Northern Virginia or Kentucky. On the general question of pasture vs. arable land, cf. Hartlib's Legacie: "It is a misfortune that pasture lands are not more improved. England abounds in pasturage more than any other country, and is, therefore, richer. In France, acre for acre, the land is not comparable to ours: and, therefore, Fortescue, chancellor to Henry VI, observes that we get more in England by standing still (alluding to our meadows) than the French do by working (that is, cultivating their vineyards and corn lands)."

We may permit Montesquieu (Esprit des Lois II, 23, 14) to voice the French side of this question. "Les pais de pâturage sont pen peuplês. Les terres à bled occupent plus d'hommes et les vignobles infiniment d'avantage. En Angleterre on s'est souvent plaint que l'augmentation des pâturage diminuoit les habitans."

In the introduction to his Book Two (post, p. 179) Varro states the sound conclusion, that the two kinds of husbandry should be combined on the same land. Sir Anthony Fitzherbert knew this: "An housbande can not well thryue by his corne without he haue other cattell, nor by his cattell without corne. For els he shall be a byer, a borrower or a beggar."]

[Footnote 64: This is the explanation of why Aesop's fox found the grapes to be sour which grew on a trellis, for he had expected to find them of easy access on the ground. Aesop was a Phrygian, and, while Bentley has proved that Aesop never wrote the existing fables which go by that name, yet it is recognized that they are of Oriental origin and it is evident that that of the Fox and the Grapes came out of Asia, where, as Varro says, the grapes were usually allowed to grow on the ground.]

[Footnote 65: One is tempted to include here Pliny's observations upon the tests of good soil if only for the sake of his description of one of the sweetest sensations of the farmer every where, the aroma of new ploughed fertile land:--

"Those unguents which have a taste of earth are better," says Cicero, "than those which smack of saffron," it seeming to him more to the purpose to express himself by the word taste than smell. And such is the fact no doubt, that soil is the best which has the savour of a perfume. If the question should be put to us, what is this odour of the earth that is held in such estimation; our answer is that it is the same that is often to be recognized at the moment of sunset without the necessity even of turning up the ground, at the spots where the extremities of the rainbow have been observed to meet the earth: as also, when after long continued drought, the rain has soaked the ground. Then it is that the earth exhales the divine odour that is so peculiarly its own, and to which, imparted to it by the sun, there is no perfume however sweet that can possibly be compared. It is this odour which the earth, when turned up, ought to emit, and which, when once found, can never deceive any person: and this will be found the best criterion for judging of the quality of the soil. Such, too, is the odour that is usually perceived in land newly cleared when an ancient forest has been just cut down; its excellence is a thing that is universally admitted.]

[Footnote 66: The actus was the head land or as much land as a yoke of oxen could plough at a single spell without stopping, and measured 120 feet in length and four feet in width. Cf. Pliny, H.N. XVIII, 3. Hence the square of the head land became the basis of the Roman land measure. With the derivation of the actus may be compared that of the English furlong (furrow-long) and the French arpent (literally, head land).]

[Footnote 67: On the socialistic principle of Strepsiades in Aristophanes' Clouds that the use of geometry is to divide the land into equal parts.]

[Footnote 68: As it is difficult to appreciate that the Roman Campagna was formerly populous with villas, when one contemplates its green solitudes today, so when one faces the dread malaria which there breeds, one wonders how the Romans of the Republic maintained so long their hardy constitutions. It is now agreed that there was no malaria in the Land of Saturn so long as the volcanos in the Alban hills were active, because their gases purified the air and kept down the mosquitoes, and geology tells us that Monte Pila was in eruption for two or three centuries after the foundation of Rome. By the beginning of the second century B.C. the fever seems to have become endemic. Plautus and Terence both mention it and Cato (CLVII) describes its symptoms unmistakably. In his book on the effect of malaria in history, W.H. Jones expresses the opinion that the malady was brought into Italy from Africa by Hannibal's soldiers, but it is more probable that it was always there. See the discussion in Lanciani's Wanderings in the Roman Campagna. In Varro's time the Roman fever had begun to sap the vitality of the Roman people, and the "animalia minuta" in this passage suggests that Varro had a curious appreciation of what we call the modern science of the subject. Columella (I, 5, 6) indeed specifically mentions mosquitoes (infestis aculeis armata animalia) as one of the risks incident to living near a swamp.]

[Footnote 69: In the thirteenth century Ibn-al-Awam, a learned Moor, wrote at Seville his Kitab al-felahah, or Book of Agriculture, which has preserved for us not only the wisdom of the Moorish practice in agriculture and gardening which made Spain an enchanted paradise, but also the tradition of the Arabs in such matters, purporting to go back, through the Nabataeans to the Chaldaean books, which recorded the agricultural methods that obtained "by the waters of Babylon." Ibn-al-Awam's book has, therefore, a double interest for us, and we are fortunate in having it available in an admirable French translation from the Arabic by J.J. Clement-Mullet (Paris, Librairie

  1. Franck, 1864). Not the least profitable chapters in this book are those devoted to the preparation of manure in composts, to be ripened in pits as Varro advises in the text. They show a thoroughness, a care and an art in the mixing of the various animal dungs, with straw, woodsearth and cinders, which few modern gardeners could equal. German scholarship has questioned the Chaldaean origin of the authorities quoted, but there is internal evidence which smacks of an oriental despotism that might well be Babylonian. In a recipe for a rich compost suitable for small garden plants, we are advised (I, 2, I, p.
  1. , without a quiver, to mix in blood--that of the camel or the sheep if necessary--but human blood is to be preferred!]

[Footnote 70: What Varro describes as the military fence of ditch and bank was doubtless the typical Herefordshire fence of modern England which Arthur Young, in The Farmers' Letters, recommends so highly as at once most effective and most economical. The bank is topped with a plashed hedge of white thorn in which sallow, ash, hazel and beech are planted for "firing." The fencing practice of the American farmer has followed the line of least resistance and is founded on the lowest first cost: the original "snake" fences of split rails, upon the making of which a former generation of pioneer American boys qualified themselves for Presidential campaigns, being followed by woven wire "made by a trust" and not the most enduring achievement of Big Business. The practical farmer, as well as the lover of rural scenery, has cause for regret that American agricultural practice has not yet had the patience to enclose the land within live hedges and ditches.]

[Footnote 71: The kind of fence which Varro here describes as "ex terra et lapillis compositis in formis" is also described by Pliny (H.N.

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