Page:Studies of a Biographer 1.djvu/208

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194
STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

knows as little of any other employment as he does of agriculture, has made an unpromising start in life. But those who may have made such a prophecy had not taken into account Young's marvellous elasticity. He was one of the men who, if in the depths of depression at one moment, are sure to be at the height of exhilaration in the next. Nothing could permanently suppress or daunt him. Compensations were sure to turn up. If his wife was for the most part a thorn in his flesh, he was at least a most affectionate father. His own farming operations were as little successful as though his lot had been cast in the worst days of depression; but they entitled him to set up almost at once as an authority upon the theory of agriculture. He made tours, and published accounts of his observations. The result of his own experience was, as he puts it, 'nothing but ignorance, folly, presumption, and rascality' (the rascality, we hope, in spite of the grammar, was that of his neighbours); but he learned to judge of other people's farms, and his books were of most singular 'utility to the general agriculture of the kingdom.' He failed at his native place, after a short time, and immediately took a larger farm, and had to pay £100 to another man to take it off his hands, when his