Field And Hedgerow By Richard Jefferies




























































































 -  Children who have
suffered from whooping-cough are often sent out with the hop-pickers;
they play about on the - Page 100
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Children Who Have Suffered From Whooping-Cough Are Often Sent Out With The Hop-Pickers; They Play About On The Bare Ground In The Most Careless Manner, And Yet Recover.

Air and hops are wonderful restoratives.

After passing an afternoon with the drier in the kiln, seated close to a great heap of hops and inhaling the odour, I was in a condition of agreeable excitement all the evening. My mind was full of fancy, imagination, flowing with ideas; a sense of lightness and joyousness lifted me up. I wanted music, and felt full of laughter. Like the half-fabled haschish, the golden bloom of the hops had entered the nervous system; intoxication without wine, without injurious after-effect, dream intoxication; they were wine for the nerves. If hops only grew in the Far East we should think wonders of so powerful a plant. At hop-picking a girl can earn about 10 - s - . a week, so that it is not such a highly paid employment as might be supposed from the talk there is about it. The advantages are sideways, so to say; a whole family can work at the same time, and the sum-total becomes considerable. Hopping happily comes on just after corn harvest, so that the labourers get two harvest-times. The farmers find it an expensive crop. It costs 50 - l - . or 60 - l - . to pick a very small garden, and if the Egyptian plague of insects has prevailed the price at market will not repay the expenditure.

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