From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
Great improvements have been made in the breed of cattle; the short-horned stock appears to be a decided favourite. A cross between the Durham and the long-horned native breed grows to a good size, and fattens well. Although this is not a sheep-feeding country, the breed of that useful and profitable animal has not been neglected; the New Leicester is decidedly a favourite with all the large landholders, but a cross between it and the small short-woolled sheep of the country suits the light and upland soils better.
The horses are chiefly of a slight active breed, well adapted for light harness, but not equal as saddle-horses to those of Roscommon, Galway, and Sligo. Pigs are universally kept, and of every possible variety of breed; they are fattened for the merchants and curers of Longford, who ship great quantities of pork and bacon for Dublin, London, and Liverpool. Dairies upon an extensive scale are not very general, but great quantities of butter are made and chiefly sold in Longford and Ballymahon for the English markets.
The meadows in the lower districts produce hay in great abundance, but it is much mixed with rushes and other aquatic plants, and it is everywhere cut too late in the season, the mowing seldom beginning till September, and is badly managed. Woods are very rare, although the land is everywhere well adapted to the growth of timber, and in many places throws up shoots spontaneously, particularly of oak, hazel, alder, and birch, which only require the protecting hand of man to attain their full growth; but cattle are everywhere suffered to browse upon them, and hence nothing but brushwood and stunted bushes remain.
There is some good old timber at Castle Forbes, which, together with the plantations around Newtown-Forbes, shews to great advantage; there are also some good plantations at Edgeworthstown, others near Granard, on the shores of the lakes, on the road between Longford and Edgeworthstown, and in a few other places. The fences are generally good, being for the most part ditches faced with sods or stones, and having quickset hedges planted on the breast. Draining and irrigation appear to be quite unknown here, although no district in the province requires them more.
The scented myrtle is found in all the bogs, which everywhere present an ample field for the pursuits of the botanist, as the plants are numerous and many rare species are found, particularly in the barony of Longford. Orchards and gardens are sometimes seen near the small farm-houses, and add greatly to their comfortable appearance and domestic economy.
From a sad, comfortless childhood Giles Truelove developed into a reclusive and uncommunicative man whose sole passion was books. For so long they were the only meaning to his existence. But when fate eventually intervened to have the outside world intrude upon his life, he began to discover emotions that he never knew he had.
A story for the genuine booklover, penned by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St. John Featherstonehaugh.
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