« ForrigeFortsett »
ner of proceeding adopted by infidels. We notice it thus fully for the purpose of teaching our young readers especially, to be aware of it, and to abhor it.
Dr. Campbell informs us (says Mr. Somerville) that it excited much surprise in his days, that Hume continued to publish one edition after another of his Essays, without taking the least notice of the answer, though he had, in a letter to the author, expressed himself in terms very different from those of contempt, concerning that work, It has excited no less surprise, at present, that the Reviewer has republished Hume's doctrine, and maintained as profound a silence about the answer to it, as if none had ever been made. But there is no occasion for any surprise. ihey wish to produce a certain effect, and that effect is to be produced by promulgating their own doctrines, not by noticing the answers. They have perhaps taken the hint from those persevering personages, the quack doctors, who continue year after year to advertise their nostrums, long after their pernicious effects have been detected. They persevere, because they hope that many will read and believe, and purchase and swallow, who never heard of the detection.'
We must just glance at one passage more, and then take our leave of this interesting pamphlet.
An Infidel, we know, may be so destitute of common honesty, as to declare his belief of the Bible, and even of the Scottish Confession of Faith, for a church living, or a professorship.'
Surely this is not meant to convey the idea that there are infidel Professors in the Scotch Universities, much less to insinuate that the lucubrations of such infidel Professors adorn the pages of the Edinburgh Review. Be this, however, as it may, the passage suggests a caution which we cannot, consistently with our duty, suppress. If there be Professors in any of the Scotch Universities, who disbelieve Christianity, and who, either anonymously or otherwise, impugn its principles and doctrines, we trust that English Dissenters, many of whom send their sons north of the Tweed to finish their education, will take especial care to select those Universities, in which the religious, as well as the literary and scientific character of the Professors, is unquestionable.
Art. XI. The Angler's Guide, being a complete Practical Treatise
on Angling: containing the whole Art of Trolling, Bottom Fishing, Fly Fishing, and Trimmer Angling, founded on forty Years' Practice and Observation. Second Edition, with very considerable Additions, Local Descriptions, Glossary of Technical Terms, and Index. Illustrated with wood engravings. By T. F. Salter, Gent.
8vo. pp. xxxi. 300. Price 10s. 6d. Tegg. 1815. WHEN the mind has been long occupied, whether it be in
close study, or in the harassing employments of more active life, it is quite natural that it should seek for some change of pursuit, something that it can call recreation. Among the motley erowd of things termed pleasures, that offer their services in the way of relaxation for the above classes, in common with the mere triflers of time, rural sports have never failed to excite a considerable share of attention.
Of late years, in consequence of the game laws being so very strict, the certificate so enormously expensive, and country gentlemen so very tenacious of their privileges, and covetous in regard to game, so much so indeed, as almost to incur, in some cases, the charge which Scripture attaches to that chilling, selfish vice, fishing has become an object of more frequent and general pursuit, as of much more easy attainment. A new treatise on angling is eagerly sought after, and as eagerly studied. It would seem desirable, therefore, that some good moral hints should be mixed with this kind of scientific lore, that if people will spend their time in angling, their minds may be led to indulge some correct reflections, and not be wholly given up to inaneness, or left to the dangers so frequently attendant on a state of solitude.
Under this view of the case, Isaac Walton conferred no small benefit on this class of sporting gentlemen in his day, by his lively, good-humoured, moral dialogues on angling-a recreation much followed, it would seem, by some of the best men of that day. Even in our own times, it has had its advocates among persons of no inferior rank in the scale of intellect. Dr. Paley, in his Essay on the Goodness of the Deity, informs us that he had been a great follower of fishing, and in its cheerful solitude, had passed many happy hours.
Yet it may fairly be inquired, In what consists-in what can consist the pleasure of angling? This would not be the place to pursue the inquiry, even were we so inclined. We will, however, make one quotation from the Archdeacon on this subject. It may reasonably be asked, (he says) why is any thing a pleasure and I know no answer which can be returned to the question, but that which refers it to appointment. We can give no account whatever of our pleasures
in the simple and original perception ; and, even when phy< sical sensations are assumed, we can seldom account for thera
in the secondary and complicated shapes, in which they take the name of diversions. I never yet met with a sportsman, who
could tell me in what the sport cousisted; who could resolve • it into its principle, and state that principle. I have been a
great follower of fishing myself, and in its cheerful solitude have passed some of the happiest hours of a sufficiently happy life ; but, to this moment, I could never trace out the source of the pleasure which it afforded me.'*
Is angling a lawful pursuit ? --And this question reminds us of the Treatise before us, of which we had almost lost sight. Mr. Salter anticipates this objection against the subject on which he write, and has thonglit it necessary to give us a page or two of ' Apology for Anglers.'
Ought we (he says) to abandon the Cod-fisheries on the score of humanity? Yet what is the Cod-fishery but angling on a larger scale? Every cod that smokes upon our board has been caught by a line and hook, and every turbot has been obtained by the same means. Surely, then, if it is not a crime to angle for fish of a larger class, inhabitants of the ocean, it cannot be criminal to take the smaller kinds that abound in our rivers. The nursery which the Newfoundland Codfishery affords of hardy seamen, accustomed to danger, and, in the hour of adversity, our best hope, may be reckoned as no trifling advantage resulting from the use of the baited hook. Few would willingly have it abandoned because the fish may suffer pain when they are hooked'
In these remarks Mr. S. seems to have inverted the apophthegm : with him what is nationally right, cannot be morally wrong
He afterwards proceeds to shew that angling is justifiable, and may be practised without offence to God or man; and among other things he remarks,
• That in various parts of the Old and New Testament, fishermen, angles and hooks, are mentioned, but in no instance is the practice condemned, even by implication.
• In order to convince the most incredulous that catching fish with hooks was never considered a sinful pursuit, I shall quote our Saviour's order given to the apostle St. Peter : “Go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up."
This last argument would seem almost decisive : it goes near to preclude the propriety, of offering any thing in the way of an objection regard to its lawfulness.
Mr. S. next sets himself to combat the charge advanced on the plea of alleged
* Paley's Natural Theology, 9th edit. pp. 531, 2. VOL.IH. N.S.
cruelty, and here, on the subject of live baits, he acquits himself in a very unsatisfactory manner. The questions are, however, quite distinct. Most river fish may be taken by artificial, and by dead baits. Indeed, we have heard that some who esteem themselves true anglers, actually reject the use of live baits.
With respect to the Treatise itself, it seems fully adequate to every purpose which it pro!esses to teach. It is principaliy distinguished from others on the same subject, in being more particularly adapted to the angler in the neighbourhood of London, so much so indeed, that a map of twenty miles round London would be no unserviceable addition to it. The city angler, unlike the city sportsman, as being certainly the most skilful of the fraternity, will thank Mr. S. for the sections of the rivers Thames and Lea, and for the particular local inforination connected with them. The wood-engravings are sufficiently illustrative of the various modes of baiting.
The poetry—for what is a “ Treatise on Angling” without poetry—is vile: we mean that which we suppose is given as original. Anglers, however, need not be poets, if they may be anglers. Thomson's inimitable description of the taking of an old cautious trout, the monarch of the brook, by the fly angler, could have been written only by a most skilful hand in each department.
At the end of the work Mr. S. has very judiciously given the rules prescribed by the Royal Humane Society for the recovery of drowned persons. By making himself acquainted with these rules, the angler may render a much greater benefit to his fellow creatures, than that of sharing his day's produce with the cottager who may have kindly afforded him shelter from the story, or with the wearied peasani, returning home from his day's labour. In the low meadows in many counties, the adjoining river is a great temptation to the heated haymaker to batbe, and the consequence is too often fatal ; deep pits, weeds, and even in shallow places, the cramp, rendering it impossible for him to regain the shore. And if the unbappy man be taken out in a state of suspended animation, the distance from medical aid precludes all hope of restoration. Here the well-instructed angler may render the most essential service.
It might be well worthy the attention of the Royal Humane Society, to print their instructions on cards, and distribute them to the shops, to be put into the books of tackle as a constant appendage to them. The angler indeed will do well always to provide bimself with a few copies, and in his excursions to distribute them at the various places of refreshment he may. visit.
There is another case in which the angler may do good service to society, we mean in the way of distributing tracts, but
more particularly, tracts on poaching, as he is very liable to receive the sauntering visits of those idle persons who probably that very morning spoiled the river of the fish he is ardently hoping to catch. And we would suggest to persons who are qualified to write tracts, the propriety of two separate tracts on this subject, discriminating between the mere siy pilfering poacher, and the desperate marauder-the armed villain who goes out with his life in his hand. Human nature is ever ready tostifle conscience, and to seize every thing that offers itself in the way of palliation. The lesser criminal hardly recognises his own character as involved in that of the confirmed, determined poacher; he draws a contrast highly satisfactory to his own mind, and thus the very means used io awaken serious concern, actually becomes a source of pleasing self-gratulation.
In order to do the utmost attainable good, the doublings and evasions of the mind should be accurately studied and opposed, Persons who have been accustomed to visit malefactors and prisoners, might seem particularly qualified for this purpose; and it is certainly desirable that tracts should be suited to different degrees of vice, that no contrast tending to allay any rising misgivings of conscience may be drawn at the moment of reading them.
Mr. Salter has added some directions by which to judge of the weather, and a few cautions in regard to health, certainly very necessary,-but none levelled at the morals, still more necessary in all circumstances. Cotton has left it on record, that bis attachment to fishing never broke is on the sanctity of the Christian Sabbath. The bridges up the Thames, and the banks of the Lea, frequently present, we fear, on that day, an awful and melancholy testimony of the obdurate wickedness of the human heart. What can these despisers of the moral law expect, but that their profaneness will draw down upon them the utmost severity of the doom denounced against the despising Egyptians in the days of Isaiah :-“ l'he fishers shall mourn, and all they “ that cast angle into the brooks shall lament” Art. XII. Original Lines and Translations. Foolscap 8vo. pp. 106.
48. Murray, 1815. , WE know not whether we have any right to attach a name
to a volume of poems, which its Author has preferred to send forth unaccredited : nevertheless, those wlio are initiated into the mysteries of publication, will easily infer the name of the present Author from the works advertised at the end of the work. And if they have chanced to meet with an ingenious Prophetical Romance, (reviewed in our Number for January last,) they will have less difficulty in appreciating the