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BARLEY–BREAK—BARLOW

British Pharmacopoeia, which is of value as a demulcent and emollient drink in febrile and inflammatory disorders.

Cultivation.—Apart from the growth-habits of the plant itself, the consideration that chiefly determines the routine of barley cultivation is the demand on the part of the maltster for uniformity of sample. Less care is required in its cultivation when it is intended for feeding live-stock. It is essential that the grains on the maltster's floor should germinate simultaneously, hence at the time of reaping, the whole crop must be as nearly as possible in the same stage of maturity. On rich soils the crop is liable to grow too rapidly and yield a coarse, uneven sample, consequently the best barley is grown on light, open and preferably calcareous soils, while if the condition of the soil is too high it is often reduced by growing wheat before the barley.

Barley (see Agriculture, Crops and Cropping) is a rapidly-growing and shallow-rooted plant. The upper layer of the soil must therefore be free from weeds, finely pulverized and stocked with a readily-available supply of nutriment. In most rotations barley is grown after turnips, or some other "cleaning" crop, with or without the interposition of a wheat crop. The roots are fed off by sheep during autumn and early winter, after which the ground is ploughed to a depth of 3 or 4 in. only in order not to put the layer of soil fertilized by the sheep beyond reach of the plant. The ground is then left unworked and open to the crumbling influence of frost till towards the end of winter, when it is stirred with the cultivator followed by the harrows, or in some cases ploughed with a shallow furrow. The seed, which should be plump, light in colour, with a thin skin covered by fine wrinkles, is sown in March and early April[1] at the rate of from 8 to 12 pecks to the acre and lightly harrowed in. As even distribution at a uniform depth is necessary, the drill is preferred to the broadcast-seeder for barley sowing. In early districts seeding may take place as early as February, provided a fine tilth is obtainable, but it rarely extends beyond the end of April. If artificial manures are used, a usual dressing consists of 2 or 3 cwt. of superphosphate to the acre at the time of sowing, followed, if the ground is in poor condition, by 1 cwt. of nitrate of soda when the plant is showing. Nitrogen must, however, be applied with caution as it makes the barley rich in albumen, and highly albuminous barley keeps badly and easily loses its germinating capacity. Farm-yard manure should also be avoided. After-cultivation may comprise rolling, harrowing (to preserve the fineness of the tilth) and in some districts hoeing. Barley is cut, either with scythe or machine, when it is quite ripe with the ears bending over. The crop is often allowed to lie loose for a day or two, owing to the belief that sunshine and dews or even showers mellow it and improve its colour. It may even be stacked without tying into sheaves, though this course involves greater expenditure of labour in carrying and afterwards in threshing. There is a prejudice against the use of the binder in reaping barley, as it is impossible to secure uniformity of colour in the grain when the stalks are tightly tied in the sheaf, and the sun has not free access to those on the inside. In any case it must not be stacked while damp, and if cut by machine is therefore sometimes tied in sheaves and set up in stocks as in the case of wheat. The above sketch indicates the general principles of barley-cultivation, but in practice they are often modified by local custom or farming exigencies.

Barley is liable to smut and the other fungus diseases which attack wheat (q.v.), and the insect pests which prey on the two plants are also similar. The larvae of the ribbon-footed corn-fly (Chlorops taeniopus) caused great injury to the barley crop in Great Britain in 1893, when the plant was weakened by extreme drought. A fair crop of barley yields about 36 bushels (56 lb to the bushel) per acre, but under the best conditions 40 and 50 bushels may be obtained. The yield of straw is from 15 to 20 cwt. per acre. Barley-straw is considered inferior both as fodder and litter.


BARLEY-BREAK, an old English country game frequently mentioned by the poets of the 17th and 18th centuries. It was played by three pairs composed of one of each sex, who were stationed in three bases or plots, contiguous to each other. The couple occupying the middle base, called hell or prison, endeavoured to catch the other two, who, when chased, might break to avoid being caught. If one was overtaken, he and his companion were condemned to hell. From this game was taken the expression "the last couple in hell," often used in old plays.


BARLEY-CORN, a grain of barley, and thus a measure taken from the length of a grain of barley, three of which (sometimes four) were considered to make up an inch. The barley-corn has been personified as representing the malt liquor made from barley, as in Burns's song "John Barleycorn."


BARLOW, SIR GEORGE HILARO (1762-1847), Anglo-Indian statesman, was appointed to the Bengal Civil Service in 1778, and in 1788 carried into execution the permanent settlement of Bengal. When the marquess of Cornwallis died in 1805, Sir George Barlow was nominated provisional governor-general, and his passion for economy and retrenchment in that capacity has caused him to be known as the only governor-general who diminished the area of British territory; but his nomination was rejected by the home government, and Lord Minto was appointed. Subsequently Barlow was created governor of Madras, where his want of tact caused a mutiny of officers in 1809, similar to that which had previously occurred under Clive. In 1812 he was recalled, and lived in retirement until his death in February 1847. He was created a baronet in 1803.


BARLOW, JOEL (1754-1812), American poet and politician, born in Redding, Fairfield county, Connecticut, on the 24th of March 1754. He graduated at Yale in 1778, was a post-graduate student there for two years, and from September 1780 until the close of the revolutionary war was chaplain in a Massachusetts brigade. He then, in 1783, removed to Hartford, Connecticut, established there in July 1784 a weekly paper, the American Mercury, with which he was connected for a year, and in 1786 was admitted to the bar. At Hartford he was a member of a group of young writers including Lemuel Hopkins, David Humphreys, and John Trumbull, known in American literary history as the "Hartford Wits." He contributed to the Anarchiad, a series of satirico-political papers, and in 1787 published a long and ambitious poem, The Vision of Columbus, which gave him a considerable literary reputation and was once much read. In 1788 he went to France as the agent of the Scioto Land Company, his object being to sell lands and enlist immigrants. He seems to have been ignorant of the fraudulent character of the company, which failed disastrously in 1790. He had previously, however, induced the company of Frenchmen, who ultimately founded Gallipolis, Ohio, to emigrate to America. In Paris he became a liberal in religion and an advanced republican in politics. He remained abroad for several years, spending much of his time in London; was a member of the obnoxious "London Society for Constitutional Information"; published various radical essays, including a volume entitled Advice to the Privileged Orders (1792), which was proscribed by the British government; and was made a citizen of France in 1792. He was American consul at Algiers in 1795-1797, securing the release of American prisoners held for ransom, and negotiating a treaty with Tripoli (1796). He returned to America in 1805, and lived near Washington, D.C., until 1811, when he became American plenipotentiary to France, charged with negotiating a commercial treaty with Napoleon, and with securing the restitution of confiscated American property or indemnity therefor. He was summoned for an interview with Napoleon at Wilna, but failed to see the emperor there; became involved in the retreat of the French army; and, overcome by exposure, died at the Polish village of Zarnowiec on the 24th of December 1812. In 1807 he had published in a sumptuous volume the Columbiad, an enlarged edition of his Vision of Columbus, more pompous even than the original; but, though it added to his reputation in some quarters, on the whole it was not well received, and it has subsequently been much ridiculed. The poem for which he is now best known is his mock heroic Hasty Pudding (1793). Besides the writings mentioned above, he published Conspiracy of Kings, a Poem addressed to

  1. Barley is occasionally sown in autumn to provide keep for sheep in the following spring.