“Why, in the first place,” said Forester, “the fact that cotton and sugar can be cultivated by hired overseers, with slaves to do the work, enables rich men to carry on great plantations without laboring themselves. But a great grass farm could not be managed so. A man may have one thousand acres for his plantation at the south, and with a good overseer and good hands, it will all go on very well, so far as his profit is concerned. They will produce a great amount of cotton, which may be sent to market and sold, and the planter realize the money, so as to make a large profit after paying all his expenses. But if a man were to buy a thousand acres of grass land, and employ an overseer and slaves to cultivate it, every thing would go to ruin. The hay would get wet and spoiled,—the carts, wagons, and complicated tools necessary, would get broken to pieces,—the lambs would be neglected and die, and the property would soon go to destruction. Even when a rich man attempts to carry on a moderate farm by hired laborers, taking the best that he can find, he seldom succeeds.”
“Does he ever succeed?” said Marco.
“Yes,” replied Forester, “sometimes. There is Mr. Warner, who lives near my father’s; he was brought up on a farm, and is practically acquainted with all the work. He has been very successful, and has a very large farm. He works now very little himself, but he watches every thing with the greatest care, and he succeeds very well. He has a great stock. He cuts fifty tons of hay.”
“I should like to see his farm,” said Marco.
“We’ll go some day,” replied Forester.
“So you see,” continued Forester, “that the work of a cotton or sugar plantation, is comparatively simple and plain, requiring little judgment or mental exertion, and a great deal of plain straightforward bodily labor; while on a northern stock farm the labors are endlessly varied. Every month, every week, and almost every day brings some change. New emergencies are constantly arising, which call for deliberation and judgment. It is necessary to have a great variety of animals, in order to consume all the different productions of the farm to advantage. I can explain it all to you better, when you come to see Mr. Warner’s farm.”
As Nero traveled very fast, they began by this time to draw near to the place where they had left the sailor. When they came up to the house, they fastened the horse to a post, and went in. The man who lived there had gone away, but the woman said that the sailor was somewhat hurt, and asked them to come in and see him. They found him in the kitchen, with his foot up in a chair. He seemed to be in some pain. There was a great bruise on his ankle, made by the cork of one of the horses’ shoes. These corks, as they are called, are projections, made of steel, at the heel of a horse-shoe, to give the horse a firm footing. They are made quite sharp in the winter season, when there is ice