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Request a demo. 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. 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.

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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.

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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.

Guide La chanson de ma vie (Les Cahiers Rouges) (French Edition)

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.

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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.

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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.