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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : CHAPTER EIGHT. INDIAN AGRICULTURE.

Old Daniel by Thomas Hodson

CHAPTER EIGHT. INDIAN AGRICULTURE.

We may imagine that the first plough ever used in India was a crooked branch of a tree; and we may also imagine that when a suitable branch could not be found, the skill of the best mechanic in the locality was called into exercise to make something that would do as well as a crooked branch. Then, in the course of years, some original genius improved upon nature by adding, when needed, a harder substance than wood; and hence the bit of iron now added to form the Indian ploughshare. Beyond this the farmer who lived a thousand years since in the Mysore country did not venture to go; and the present race of cultivators, relying with implicit confidence on the wisdom of the ancients, look with suspicion on all proposed improvements. This primitive instrument, represented in the engraving, having been tied to a bar of wood laid across the neck of two bullocks, and placed under the management of a ploughboy, the ground is scratched a few inches deep after every shower. This process prepares the ground for the seed, and nature being generous, a very fair crop is produced. In the Mysore country the farmers were never so prosperous as they are at the present day. Thanks to English authority, the people are not oppressed as they were under the despotic rule of their own native princes. The Government is the great landlord; the rent of round has not been very much increased; the taxes have been reduced, and the produce of the soil fetches three times the price it did forty years ago.

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