soil

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SOIL. The superficies of the earth on which buildings are erected, or may be erected.
     2. The soil is the principal, and the building, when erected, is the accessory. Vide Dig. 6, 1, 49.

References in classic literature ?
Not if there was a good strong man about--a man who wanted to cultivate the soil and give the rose a pretty place in which to bloom.
They have followed my advice, and the land is well cultivated; but there had been no previous errors in agriculture, and the soil was good to begin with, so that it has been easy to introduce the five-ply shift, artificial grasses, and potatoes.
This question between us is a question of soils and seasons, and patience and pains, Mr.
Here and there, on the bottom, were to be seen the evidences of a hasty and imperfect culture of such indigenous vegetables as were of a quick growth, and which were known to flourish, without the aid of art, in deep and alluvial soils.
His dress was of threadbare velveteen--a faded, rusty, whitened black, like the ashes of a pipe or a coal fire after a day's extinction; discoloured with the soils of many a stale debauch, and reeking yet with pot-house odours.
He had the air of a stranger; and seemed, by a certain haggardness in his look, as well as by the dusty soils on his dress, to have travelled some distance.
The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognised it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison.
We passed through one of the town gates, and went about three miles into the country, where I saw many labourers working with several sorts of tools in the ground, but was not able to conjecture what they were about: neither did observe any expectation either of corn or grass, although the soil appeared to be excellent.
The light, which lit the soil thirty feet below the surface of the ocean, astonished me by its power.
The soil was humid and glittering with the rain which had recently fallen, and the refreshed herbs sent forth their perfume with additional energy.
In close vicinity to the sacred edifice appeared that important engine of Puritanic authority, the whipping-post--with the soil around it well trodden by the feet of evil doers, who had there been disciplined.
When the plough passes over the soil, it turns up here and there a mouldering bone.