Page:Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 2.djvu/328

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Mr. Taylor on the Economy

it produces to discover ore and to raise it cheaply, as already noticed, and on account of the perfect state to which the arrangements with the working miners under this head have been brought.

Dressing contracted for at the surveys is seldom for more than the waste or leavings of the tributors, the ores raised on tribute being made merchantable under the same contract; but as the men working on the terms usually made, cannot often afford to dress the coarser parts of what they raise, they reject it, and it is let to others who stamp and clean it, having a proportional price likewise in the way of tribute.

The tutwork is divided into lots, called bargains; each bargain requiring a certain set of men, and the gang so employed is always called a pair of men, let the number be what it may. Shafts have from 4 to 12 men, levels from 2 to 6 men in a pair: one usually agrees for the whole, and he is called the taker.

The tribute is set in pitches, each including at certain defined space of ground, limited very accurately, and each pitch employs from 2 to 6 men.

Dressing is set in bargains, and generally each to one man who employs the women and boys who assist him.

The day or two before the setting is occupied by the captains in measuring all the work done on tutwork in the shafts, levels, &c. and in carefully viewing the tribute pitches, so as to estimate nearly what each ought to set at. From these observations an accurate list and statement is made cut, which the managing captain refers to in conducting the setting.

About the middle of the day the men are summoned and assemble in considerable numbers, as not only those who worked in the mine the former two months, but all such as are in want of employ attend on these occasions, which indeed is the cause of the competition so often observed.