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the highest possible state of purity.- Cavana; this is divided into as many His Majesty was therefore anxious to subdivisions as there are thousands of procure specimens from some flock sheep belonging to it; each sheep, bea which enjoyed a high reputation in sides being sear-marked in the face with
a hot iron when young, is branded after Spain. It may not be improper to in- every shearing, with a broad pitch brand, troduce here the account given by Sir generally of the first letter of the name Joseph Banks, of the manner in which of the proprietor, and each subdivision this establishment is kept up in that is distinguished from the rest, by the country.
part of the sheep's body on which this
mark is placed. A considerable part of Estremadura, By the laws of the Mesta, each Ca. Leon, and the neighbouring provinces vana must be governed by an officer of Spain, is appropriated to the mainten- called Mayoral; for each subdivision of ance of the Merino flocks, called by the a thousand sheep, five shepherds and Spaniards, Trashumantes, as are also four dogs are appointed. Some of these broad green roads, leading from one inferior shepherds obtain the office of province to the other, and extensive Rabadan, the duty of which is to give resting-places, where the sheep are bait. a general superintendance under the ed on the road. So careful is the police controul of the Mayoral, also to preof the country to preserve them, during scribe and administer medicines to the their journeys fro all ard of sick sheep. At the time of travelling, bance or interruption, that no person, and when the ewes are yeaning, one or not even a foot passenger, is suffered to two extra shepherds are allowed for each travel upon these roads while the sheep thousand sheep. are in motion, unless he belongs to the The number of Merino sheep in Spain, flocks.
is estimated by Burgoyne at 6,000,000 ; The country on which the sheep are these of course must be attended by depastured, both in the southern and 30,000 shepherds, and 24,000 dogs at the northern parts, is set out into divi- ordinary times, and they find occasional sions, separated from each other by land- employment for s or 10,000 additional marks only, without any kind of fences: persons in the seasons of lambing, and each of these is called a Dehesa, and is of travelling. of a size capable of maintaining a flock In their journey, each subdivision is of about a thousand sheep, a greater attended by its own shepherds and dogs, number, of course, in the south country, and kept separate as far as may be from where the lambs are reared, and fewer all others. The duty of the dogs is to in the north country, where the sheep chase the wolves, who are always on arrive after the flock has been called. the watch when the sheep are upon the
Every proprietor must possess as road, and are more wily than our foxes ; many of these in each province as will they are taught also, when a sick sheep maintain his dock. In the temperate lags behind unobserved by the shepherds, season of winter and spring, the flocks to stay with and defend it, till some one remain in Estremadura, and there the returns back in search of it. There are ewes bring forth their lambs in Decem- besides in each subdivision about six ber. As soon as the increasing heats tame weathers, called Mansos; these of April and May have scorched
up the wear bells, and are obedient to the voice grass, and rendered the pasturage scan. of the shepherds, who frequently give ty, they commence their march towards them small pieces of bread; some of the the mountains of Leon, and after having shepherds lead, the Mansos are always been shorn on the road, at vast estab. near them, and this disposes the flock to lishments called Esquileos, erected for follow. that purpose, pass the summer in the Every sheep is well acquainted with elevated country, which supplies them the situation of the Dehesa to which its with abundance of rich grass; and they subdivision belongs, and will at the end do not leave the mountains till the frost of the journey go straight to it, without of September begin to damage the her. the guidance of the shepherds : here the bage.
flock grazes all the day under the eyes A flock in the aggregate is called a of thë attendants; when the evening comes on, the sheep are collected toge. year killed as soon as they are yeaned, ther, and they soon lie down to rest ; and each of those preserved is made to the shepherds and their dogs then lié suck two or three ewes : the shepherds down on the ground round the flock, say, that the wool of an ewe, that brings and sleep, as they term it, under the up her lamb without assistance, is restars, or in huts that afford little shelter duced in its value. from inclement weather; and this is their At shearing time the shepherds, sheacustom all the year, except that each is rers, washers, and a multitude of unneallowed, in his turn, an absence of about cessary attendants, are fed upon the flesh a month, which he spends with his fa. of the culled sheep; and it seems that mily; and it is remarkable, that the the consumption occasioned by this seafamilies of these shepherds reside entire- son of feasting, is sufficient to devour ly in Leon.
the whole of the sheep that are draughThe shepherds who came with his ted from the flock. Mutton in Spain is Majesty's fock, were questioned on the not a favourite food; it is not in that subject of giving salt to their sheep; country prepared for the palate as it is they declared that this is only done in in this ; we have our lamb-fairs, our the hottest season of the year, when the hog.fairs, our shearling-fairs, our fairs sheep are on the mountains; that in for culls, and our markets for fat sheep, September it is left off ; and that they where themuttun, having passed through dare not give salt to ewes forward with these different stages of preparation, lamb, being of opinion that it causes a. each under the care of men, whose soil bortion.
and whose skill is best suited to the part It is scarcely credible, though it ap- they have been taught by their interest pears on the best authority to be true, to assign to themselves, is offered for that under the operation of the laws of sale; and if fat and good, it seldom fails the Mesta, which confide the care of the to command a price by the pound, from sheep to the management of their shep. S to so per cent dearer than that of herds, without admitting any interference beef. In Spain, they have no such sheep. on the part of the proprietor, no profit fairs calculated to sub-divide the educa. of the flock comes to the hands of the tion of each animal, by making it pass owner, except what is derived from the through many hands, as works of art do wool; the carcases of the culled sheep in a manufacturing concern, and they are consumed by the shepherds*, and it have not any fat sheep markets that at does not appear that any account is ren- all resemble ours: the low state of dered by them to their employers, of grazing of Spain ought not therefore to the value of the skins, the tallow, &c.; be wondered at, nor the poverty of the the profit derived by a proprietor from Spanish farmers : they till a soil sufa fock, is estimated on an average at ficiently productive by nature, but are about one shilling a head, and the pro. robbed of the reward due to the occu. duce of a capital vested in a flock is said pier, by the want of an advantageous to fluctuate betweeen five and ten per market for their produce, and the bene
fit of an extensive consumption : till the The sheep are always low kept. It manufacturing and mercantile parts of is the business of each Mayoral, to in- the community become opulent enough crease his flock to as large a number as to pay liberal prices, the agricultural part the land allotted to it can possibly main. of it cannot grow rich by selling. tain; when it has arrived at that pitch, That the sole purpose of the jour. all further increase is useless, as there is neys taken annually by these sheep, is no sale for these sheep, unless some to seek food in places where it can be neighbouring flock has been reduced by found, and that these emigrations would mortality below its proper number; the not be undertaken, if, either in the most of the lambs are therefore every northern or southern provinces, a suf* The shepherds on discovering the drift ed during the whole year, appears
ficiency of good pasture could be obtain. of the questions put to them on this head, said, that in settling the wages of the shea
matter of certainty. That change of rers and washers, at the Esquileos, allow. pasture has no effect upon their wool, ance is made for the muccon with which is clear, from all the other experiments they are fed
tried in other countries, and in Spain
also ; for Burgoyne tells us, that there seems to be the inferiority of the casare stationary flocks, both in Leon and
case; an inferiority which, though Estremadura, which produce wool quite not universally admitted, seems yet as fine as that of ihe Trashumantes. Through an application ne by dence. In this country, where the va
established by a great weight of eviLord Auckland, five rams and thirty- lue of the carcase is so much greater five ewes were obtained, of the flock
than that of the fleece, this is a very known by the name of Negrette, considered one of the purest in Spain.
serious consideration, since the loss on
the one would probably more than His Majesty paid the most laudable attention to preserve this breed in perfect There seems reason however to think,
counterbalance the gain on the other. purity, and prevent any foreign admixture; and the result seeins to bave been, that by a judicious blending of the that the wool remained as completely to suit the English market, without
two ruces, the carcase may be brought good, as it was at the first impor; the fleece suffering. This circumtation. The dealers, at first, viewed it with suspicion, merely, it would ap- considerably the extension of the new
stance however, threatens to retard pear, from the circumstance of its being produced at home, and an appre- with several letters addressed to the
breed. We are afterwards presented hension that it miglit bave some se
author by Sir James Montgomery and cret defect, not manifest to the senses. These prejudices however gradually
General Robertson, af Lude, which
give an idea of the capacity of these vanished before repeated evidence.
sheep to stand our more northern It appears moreover, that by a succession of crossing, of Spanish with Bri- climate. The result of their observatish sheep, wool may be produced Sir James placed them, with some o
tions seems to have been favourable. scarcely distinguishable from the best Spanish wool. It is not, however, till thers, upon a range of hills from 70 the fourth cross, that it'arrives at this to 1800 feet high. There they conperfection. The following is stated tinued healthy, and one of them was to be the ratio in which the improve
noted as the best Snow-breaker of the
whole flock. Gen. Robertson considers ment goes on. The first cross
them as equally hardy, and sets still breed gives to the half
greater value upon them. Nay, such is of the lamb's blood, or
the conviction of their hardiness, that
50 per cent The second gives.
Mr Mal. Laing has taken a flock of The third
them to Orkney, where it is supposed The fourth
they will answer extreinely well; as in
asituation so remote from markets, the
inferiority in that respect, as well as riginal standard, without ever absolute. the attachment of the breeders to foi
mer habits, seem likely, for a long ly coming up to it.
Dr Parry, an eminent physician of time, to impede their general use. Bath, who appears to have particu- A memorable era in the history of larly devoted himself to the cultiva- Merino sheep in this country has been tion of wool, has given some curious formed by the present received by observations respecting the various his Majesty from the Spanish governmixtures and modifications of these ment, in gratitude for the liberal asbreeds, for which, however, we must sistance recently afforded them. The for our readers to the work itself. following particulars of this affair are e great objection to this breed given by Sir Joseph Banks :
The sheep lately presented to his it is much to be feared more will die, Majesty are of the Cavana of Paular, notwithstanding the great care taken of one of the very finest in point of pile, them by his Majesty's shepherds. A and esteemed also above all others for few have died of the rot. This disease the beauty of carcase. In both these must have been contracted by Walting opinions, Mr Lasteycie, a French writer on some swampy district, in their jourun sheep, who lived many years in Spain, ney from the mountains to the sea at and paid diligent attention to the Meri- Gijon, where they were embarked, as no sheep, entirely agrees; he also tells one sheep died rotten at Portsmouth; us, that the Cavana of Negrete, from there is every reason however to hope, whence the sheep imported by his Ma. that the disease will not spread, as the jesty, in the year 1791, were selected, land on which they are now kept has is not only one of the finest piles, but never been subject to its ravages, being produces also the largest carcased sheep of a very light and sandy texture. P.171. of all the Merinos. Mr Burgoyne agrees' with him in asserting, that the
This volume suffers somewhat from piles of Paular, Negrete, and Escurial, the want of tables of contents, and have been withheld from exportation, from several other defects of arrangeand retained for the royal manufactory ment, arising probably from the adof Guadalaxara, ever since it was first thor's inexperience, but which we established. The Cavana of Paular consists of hope to see corrected in a subsequent
edition. 36,000 sheep; it originally belonged to the rich Carthusian Monastery of that name, near Segovia ; soon after the Prince of the Peace rose into power, he II. British Georgics. By James purchased the flock from the Monks, Grahame. 4to. 11. Ils. 6d. with the land belonging to it, both in Estremaduran and incheon at a priced. MR Grahame's poetry has, for a 16s. 8d. English. All the sheep lately to the public; nor is this the first time arrived are marked with a large M. the that we have had occasion to intromark of Don Manuel.
The number sent from Spain to the duce it to their notice. Their opiniKing was 2000, equal to two sub-divi- on as to its general merits is likely to sions of the original Cavana : to make be pretty much fixedWe conceive, the present the more valuable, these therefore, that we shall be rendering were selected by the shepherds from them a more acceptable service, as eight sub-divisions, in order to choose
well as one better suited to the nayoung, well shaped, and fine woolled
ture of our miscellany, by presenting animals. This fact is evident, from the márks which are placed on eight differ them early with a brief analysis and ent parts of the bodies of the sheep now
occasional specimens of it, than by
delaying till we can form an elaborate The nuraber embarked was 2,214 ; of estimate of its comparative merits. these, 214 were presented by the Spa
The title of Georgics sufficiently in niards to some of his Majesty's Minis- timates the work to relate to the ope. ters, and 427 died on the journey, ei. ther at sea, or on their way from Ports: rations of farming. Mr Grahame, mouth to Kew. His Majesty was gra- however, though this has been a fas ciously pleased to take upon himself vourite study with him, does not make the whole of the, loss, which reduced it his principal object to convey inthe royal flock to 1573 ; several more formation with regard to the mysteries have since died. As the time of giving of that art. He aims to amuse, more the ram in Spain is July, the ewes were
than to instruct; to embellish, rather full of lamb when they embarked, several of them cast their lambs when the than to illustrate. He directs a parweather was bad at sea, and are render. ticular attention to the situation and ed so weak and inñsm by abortion, that manners of the Scottish peasantry; to
those customs and amusements which
Throughout this month are now rapidly decaying, but which Much it imports your fences to survey ; his attachment to that form of saciety for oft the heifers, tempted by the
view with which they are connected, leads him to look back upon with regret,
Of some green spot, where springs ooze
out, and thaw This work, like Spenser's Calendar, The falling flakes as fast as they alight, or like Mr Grahame's own Rural Ca- Bound o'er the hedge, or at neglected lendar, is divided into twelve parts, gaps, each of which relates to one month of Burst scrambling through, and widen the year, and details the operations to
every breach. be performed,
A stake put timely in, or whinny bush,
Until the season come, when living and the sports and festivals then cele
May fill the vacant space, much harm January, as the first month, natu
prevents. rally begins the series. The author,
Some husbandmen deem fences only after a general enunciation of his sub- formed, ject, begins an address to Night, To guard their field from trespass of which appears to us very poetical.
Or neighbour's herd or flock; and lightHail, Night! pavilioned 'neath the ray
The benefits immense which shelter I love thy solemn state, profoundly brings. dark ;
Mark how, within the shelter of a hedge, Thy sable pall; thy lurid throne of The daisy, long ere Winter quits the clouds,
plain, Viewless, save by the lightning's flash; Opens its yellow bosom to the sun.
thy crown, That boasts no stary gem; thy various
hedge full grown, if with a hedge. voice,
row joined, That to the heart, with eloquence di. Or circling belt, the climate of your
field vine, Now in soft whispers, now in thunder Improves, transmutes from bleak and speaks.
shivering cold Nor undelightful is thy reign to him
To genial warmth ; no graduated scale Who wakeful gilds, with reveries bright, is needed to demonstrate this plain thy gloom,
truth, Or listens to the music of the storm,
Obvious as true ; for there a vivid green And meditates on Him who
Tinges your early sward, there lingers sways its
long, Thy solemn state I love, yet joyful Whep winter winds have blanched the
neighbouring lee. greet The long-expected dawn's ambiguous
Some fences tend but little to abate light
The biting cold ;-the wall,
unless That faintly pencils out the horizon's round verge.
A narrow field, or raised of towering This introduces the acoount of the
height, mirth and joyful welcome of New But small degree of sheltering warmth
affords. Year morning: Our author then pro. It is by artificial calm that fields ceeds to the few agricultural opera. Are warmed ; and walls but slightly tions which this season admits of. check He begins with the guarding of fen- The sweeping blast. The liquid air is
ruled ces, and what he says upon this point may form a pretty correct specimen
By laws analogous to those which sway
The watery element. of his manner of treating the business part of his subject
Our author next proceeds to the