Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/135

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


only seventeen—one bull, three oxen, one heifer (soon to calve), and a goat. What would Robinson Crusoe have been without the latter?

I cut down several trees, and split rails for fencing-in a cattle-pen, twenty-eight feet square; with a thatched house, twenty-eight feet by ten feet, forming one side of it. This house, experience has taught me, is essentially necessary, as I lost my cow last winter by not having shelter for her when she calved. There is great pleasure in viewing the gradual improvement of a wilderness:

But we labour rather for posterity: however, so it is with every one who is the artificer of his own fortune. I can look forward to having, at no very distant period, orange groves and vineyards—and really this grant of mine is a pretty spot; and I am quite fond of it.

Have I ever before enumerated my building and garden appendages?—They consist of a dwelling-house, kitchen, and servants' room; cattle-pens, sheds, pig-yards, and fowl-house; garden and field, fenced.

The river runs within seventy or eighty yards of the house, and is yet salt; but the frost will freshen it. We shall have in this settlement this year 435 acres under grain (last year 160), producing on an average fifteen bushels per acre; and probably shall be soon independent of imported corn. Some lands yield abundantly; a small patch on Captain Irwin's flat produced last year (sown in October and reaped in December) at the rate of 48s. a bushel per acre, an amazing produce, without manure or fallowing; it was merely dug up and sown immediately after. Few lands, however, are so good: perhaps twenty bushels would be a safe average to calculate on.