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THE EMPEROR'S MODEL FARM AT…

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THE EMPEROR'S MODEL FARM AT VINCENNES. The farm is a comfortable-looking place, without any attempt at superiority in point of building or picturesqueness, and the division between the fields is a sunk dry ditch, or a rough paling. The nrst_ thing we visited was the principal byre or cow-house, containing 200 cows. It is a long, straight, and rather wide building-high, well-lighted, and well ventilated. The cows face each other, having a space 6ft. wide between them, 4ft. of which is a deep asphalted trough. Each cow had a considerable space allotted to her, and was fastened by a leather strap round the neck with a ring and chain; at the other end of the chain is a second ring, that slips easily up and down an iron bar placed horizontally at the head of each stall-an arrangement we had often seen before. The cows could lie down or stand in any position, and were prevented from actually crossing the trough by a couple of iron bars run across the top of their stalls, so wide apart that the animals could get well for- ward to drink. Low racks on one side of their stalls were full and beet1 t ar<3 uPon tnat, chopped mangold wurzel, Turnips grow too badly and scantily in that part of France to be available. The divisions between the stalls were low, and of neatly-painted wood; a grating allowed all liquid manure to drain down into a subdram with a good incline, which carried it completely out of the building to a huge tub placed at a con- venient distance from the byre. At certain hours a cask of water at one extremity of the byre floods the trough and it was an interesting sight to see such a number of animals drink- ing at once, splashing up the water in each other's faces, and evidently enjoying themselves. It is scarcely possible to give an accurate idea of the fine appearance of the cows, or of the variety represented in that one place. The Emperor never does anything by halves, and he has agents all over Europe, who have the means of outbidding all competi- tors, the result of which is to bring together stock that, as a whole, are quite unequalled. There were Ayrshires and Short- horns that had carried off prizes at the principal agricultural shows in Scotland, England, Ireland, and France red Durhams and superb black polled Angus cows. The Devons were facing magnificent Swiss animals, with their enormous frames and huge udders; Brittany cows with their deer-like heads; hardy Highland cows, scarcely to be distinguished in shape and make from the sturdy little north country French animals; Dutch cows, with their ungainly rounded backs, and good milking qualities even the gazelle-eyed Brahmin cows were there, and all evidently quite at home. In some of the stalls newly-born calves were happy with their mothers, to whom they are taken at stated times, and with whom they remain during the night for the first few weeks. In a building close by were the bulls of the different breeds comfortably housed in loose boxes. We asked the manager which breed gave the best milk, on the whole, and at the same time gave the largest quantity. He said the Swiss, and that the average quantity was six to nine English quarts at a time. They are milked twice a uav. Looking at their immense udders and great size, one can quite believe the statement. He said their milk was very nearly as rich as that of the Aldemey cows, and he gave us some to drink, which cer- tainly verified his assertion. These large cows are great feeders, and are quite distinct from the small, active cows that are met with all over Switzerland; and it is from this large and profitable breed that the famous Swiss cheeses are made." After lingering in this place of byres, we went to see the sheep they were also well housed, chiefly in wooden buildings, but with spacious paddocks in front. There were Soutlidowns, Leicesters, Cheviots and various other kinds, of which the black-faced Highland breed and a small species from the Pyrenees (the prettiest as far as shape went) were the most conspicuous. There were also some very good specimens of the only fine breed to be found in France, the pre sale from around and below the Pas de Calais. We next inspected the pigs. They were all inside a building in small loose boxes, the ventilation more than imperfect. The stench was dreadful; nothing but a firm determination to see all enabled us to go patiently from pen to pen. Here, as in other things, the Emperor has laid all Europe under tribute. Im- proved Berkshire and great Yorkshire pigs improved Suffolks, with the shortest possible snouts the large Westphalian breed, and the smaller kind from Austria, with numberless other sorts, made it a very interesting collection; but the place of honour was filled by an English pig, called "Fairhope," which had gained many a prize in its own country. After recovering a little in the fresh air, we next bent our steps to a large shed where some old-fashioned and cumbersome machinery was kept in motion by the ceaseless round of a huge blindfolded Swiss ox. The object of this was simply to chop the mangel wurzel, Ac., for the cows, as not fifty yards off there was a blazing fire, used solely for steaming food for pigs; we could not help considering how speedily a Scotch farmer would have combined economy and efficiency, and done away with this waste of time and labour. A man was in charge of the ox, two men in charge of the fire, and at least twelve men and women were feeding the machine, and this with coals at 50s. a ton. We inquired of the manager why the pigs were warmly housed an-I so warmlv fed. He said They are kept so warm in England, and in order that they should thrive, we continue it." We asked the exact acreage of the farm, and the manager said, "it depends upon the stock; sometimes we have to hire a few fields, and sometimes not. We always have to buy food." Does the farm pay, then ?" Well, it generally covers its expenses. We never make butter; we sell the milk in Paris and it always sells well, and the young stock, being valuable, fetch high prices." In fact it is simply a breeding farm, in which expense is no object. The word "model" is a complete misnomer. There is a very pretty rustic summer house in a small garden, where the Empress and her ladies some- times go to drink milk out of Sevres cups with the Imperial crown upon them. The most curious thing in such a poultry-loving country as France is the absence of everything in the shape of poultry- there are even no pigeons. The manager saidâ" We used to have an enormous quantity, but they were stolen so continuously that we were obliged to give them up. They were very valuable, and it was, of course, a great temptation." [This was added in an apologetic tone.] Insensibly, as it were, we looked towards the fortress of Vincennes; the manager caught our glance, and gave a satirical smile and the inevitable French shrug. The only horses on the establishment are the white Norman breed for the farm work. They are heavy and powerful, and well adapted for the soil they have to work. Almost all the farm implements have the names of English makers. The stock on this model farm is assuredly well worth seeing, but most of our readers will agree in the opinion that none of our clear- headed, practical north-country farmers would approve alto- gether of the management. There appeared, for instance, to be a great deal of waste. Owing to the racks in the cow byre being so low, the animals trod a good deal under foot; and the hay being cut over ripe, the trough in the cowbyrewas strewed with the seed, which in our own country and in Holland is used with such advantage mixed with other things. We saw it swept away before the animals were entered, and asked if they. made any use of it. The manager smiled again, and seemed quite amused by such an economical idea. As we returned to Paris, we talked with our friend over what had most struck us. He had been both in England and Scotland, and admired the farms and man- agement exceedingly. We spoke of a probable time when France would support the Emperor's efforts more heartily, and take a greater interest in agriculture; but our friend seemed very incredulous, and said that though there were Isolated cases of agricultural pursuits being adopted by proprietors, so long as a man could work an ox during its best days, and then sell it well (French cooks having the talent of disguising inferior meat), he was not likely to give high prices for stock. And there is another reason. We are naturally fond of our centreâParis. Out of Paris we do not existâwe vegetate; and I do not believe that the pursuit of agriculture will ever attract usâit is not in the people. The Emperor is filling the country with a better breed of animals, and in that he does all that he is ever likely to accomplish." But the saving of money ?" Bah, mon cher," he said, there are three things against the realisation of your dreamâwant of taste for it, want of capital, and want of habit. After all, what does it signify?" And with this morsel of French philosophy or pococurantism we conclude.âIuverness Courier.

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TWO GOOD DAYS WITH SIR WATKIN…

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