Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


“Ten acres and a mule.”
American phrase indicating the expectations of emancipated slaves. (1862).

Three acres and a cow.
Bentham—Works. Vol. VIII. P. 448. Quoted from Bentham by Lord Rosebery. Monologue on Pitt, in Twelve English Statesmen. Referred to by Sir John Sinclair Code of Agriculture, Miscellaneous Essays, 1802. Same idea in Defoe’s Tour through the whole Islands of Britain, 6th Ed. Phrase made familiar by Hon. Jesse Collings in the House of Commons, 1886, “Small Holdings amendment.”

Look up! the wide extended plain
Is billowy with its ripened grain,
And on the summer winds are rolled
Its waves of emerald and gold.
Wm. Henry Burleigh—The Harvest Call. St. 5.

Arbores serit diligens agricola, quarum adspiciet baccam ipse numquam.
The diligent farmer plants trees, of which he himself will never see the fruit.
Cicero—Tusculanarum Disputationum. I. 14.

He was a very inferior farmer when he first begun,… and he is now fast rising from affluence to poverty.
S. L. Clemens (Mark Twain)—Rev. Henry Ward Beecher’s Farm.

Oculos et vestigia domini, res agro saluberrimas, facilius admittit.
He allows very readily, that the eyes and footsteps of the master are things most salutary to the land.
Columella—De Re Rustica. IV. 18.

The first farmer was the first man, and all historic nobility rests on possession and use of land.
Emerson—Society and Solitude. Farming.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield:
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke:
How jocund did they drive their team a-field!
How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
Gray—Elegy in a Country Churchyard. St. 7.

Beatus ille qui procul negotiis,
Ut prisca gens mortalium,
Paterna rura bpbus exercet suis,
Solutus omni fænore.
Happy he who far from business, like the primitive race of mortals, cultivates with his own oxen the fields of his fathers, free from all anxieties of gain.
Horace—Epodon. Bk. II. 1.

Ye rigid Ploughmen! bear in mind
Your labor is for future hours.
Advance! spare not! nor look behind!
Plough deep and straight with all your powers!
Richard Hengist Horne—The Plough.

Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.
Douglas Jerrold—A Land of Plenty. (Australia.)

The life of the husbandman,—a life fed by the bounty of earth and sweetened by the airs of heaven.
Douglas Jerrold—Jerrold’s Wit. The Husbandman’s Life.

Cujus est solum, ejus est usque ad cœlum.
He who owns the soil, owns up to the sky.
Law Maxim.

When the land is cultivated entirely by the spade, and no horses are kept, a cow is kept for every three acres of land.
John Stuart Mill—Principles of Political Economy. Bk. II. Ch. VI. Sec. V. (Quoting from a treatise on Flemish husbandry.)

Adam, well may we labour, still to dress
This garden, still to tend plant, herb, and flower.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. IX. L. 205.

Continua messe senescit ager.
A field becomes exhausted by constant tillage.
Ovid—Ars Amatoria. III. 82.

Majores fertilissium in agro oculum domini esse dixerunt.
Our fathers used to say that the master’s eye was the best fertilizer.
Pliny the Elder—Historia Naturalis. XVIII. 84.

Where grows?—where grows it not? If vain our toil,
We ought to blame the culture, not the soil.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. IV. L. 13.

Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labour when the end was rest,
Indulg’d the day that hous’d their annual grain,
With feasts, and off’rings, and a thankful strain.
Pope—Second Book of Horace. Ep. I. L. 241.

Here Ceres’ gifts in waving prospect stand,
And nodding tempt the joyful reaper’s hand.
Pope—Windsor Forest. L. 39.

And he gave it for his opinion, “that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.”
Swift—Voyage to Brobdingnag.

In ancient times, the sacred Plough employ’d
The Kings and awful Fathers of mankind:
And some, with whom compared your insect-tribes
Are but the beings of a summer’s day,
Have held the Scale of Empire, ruled the Storm
Of mighty War; then, with victorious hand,
Disdaining little delicacies, seized
The Plough, and, greatly independent, scorned
All the vile stores corruption can bestow.
Thomson—The Seasons. Spring. L. 58.

Ill husbandry braggeth
To go with the best:
Good husbandry baggeth
Up gold in his chest.
Tusser—Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry. Ch. LII. Comparing Good Husbandry.

Ill husbandry lieth
In prison for debt:
Good husbandry spieth
Where profit to get.
Tusser—Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry. Ch. LII. Comparing Good Husbandry.

E’en in mid-harvest, while the jocund swain
Pluck’d from the brittle stalk the golden grain,
Oft have I seen the war of winds contend,
And prone on earth th’ infuriate storm descend,
Waste far and wide, and by the roots uptorn,
The heavy harvest sweep through ether borne,
As the light straw and rapid stubble fly
In dark’ning whirlwinds round the wintry sky.
Vergil—Georgics. I. L. 351. Sotheby’s trans.

Laudato ingenua rura,
Exiguum colito.
Praise a large domain, cultivate a small state.
Vergil—Georgics. II. 412.

Blessed be agriculture! if one does not have too much of it.
Chas. Dudley Warner—My Summer in a Garden. Preliminary.

When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.
Daniel Webster—Remarks on Agriculture, Jan. 13, 1840. P. 457.

But let the good old corn adorn
The hills our fathers trod;
Still let us, for his golden corn,
Send up our thanks to God!
Whittier—The Corn-Song.

Heap high the farmer’s wintry hoard!
Heap high the golden corn!
No richer gift has Autumn poured
From out her lavish horn!
Whittier—The Corn-Song.