Walter Harte

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Walter Harte (1709–1774) was an English poet and historian. He was a friend of Alexander Pope, and a noted writer on husbandry.


Essays on Husbandry (1764)[edit]

Walter Harte. Essays on Husbandry (1764).

  • Samuel Hartlib, a celebrated writer on husbandry in the last century, a gentleman much beloved and esteemed by Milton, in his preface to the work, commonly called his Legacy, laments greatly that no public director of husbandry was established in England By Authority; and that we had not adopted the Flemish custom of letting farms upon improvement... Cromwell, in consequence of this admirable performance, allowed Hartlib a pension of 100l. a year ; and Hartlib afterwards, the better to fulfil the intentions of his benefactor, procured Dr. Beati's excellent annotations on the Legacy, with other valuable pieces from bis numerous correspondents.
    • p. 3.
  • Rome was ruined more by neglect of agriculture, and giving no attention to useful trade and commerce, than by the invasion of barbarians.
    • p. 11; Cited in: Joe Bord (2009) Science and Whig Manners: Science and Political Style in Britain, C.1790-1850.
  • Industry is the vis motrix of husbandry, and therefore an ancient English writer observes, "that a single uncultivated acre is a real physical evil in any state."
    • p. 12.
  • From the multitude of books published on the subject of cultivating the earth, one would have imagined the art to have been more studied, than it really has been; since upon the whole it continued in. a sort of declining condition from the days of Virgil and Columella, till the time of Constantine IV. and then lay in a kind of dormant state till about the middle of Henry VIIIth's reign, when it was rather revived,, than improved.
    Indeed, about that time, Judge Fitzherbert, in England (better known among us, as author of another/ excellent work, called Natura Brevium) Tatti, Stefano, Agostino Gallo, Sansovino, Lauro, Tarello, &c. in Italy, published several considerable books in Agriculture; but our countryman was the first, if we except Crescenzio dell' Agricoltura, (whose fine performance was printed at Florence in 1478) and Pier Marino the translator of Palladius de Re Rustica, who made his work public in the year 1528.
    • p. 41-42.

About Walter Harte[edit]

  • Harte was excessively vain. He put copies of his book (the History of Gustavus Adolphus) in manuscript into the hands of lord Chesterfield and lord Granville, that they might revise it. Now how absurd was it to suppose that two such noblemen would revise so big a manuscript. Poor man! He left London the day of the publication of his book, that he might be out of the way of the great praise he was to receive; and he was ashamed to return, when he found how ill his book had succeeded. It was unlucky in coming out on the same day with Robertson's History of Scotland. His husbandry, however, is good.
  • He was fitter for that (meaning Husbandry) than for heroick history: he did well when he turned his sword into a ploughshare.

External links[edit]

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