Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

the love of justice, in those who are to administer those laws, we deprive them of their loving fervour, and they take no root in the respect and affections of the people." Legal pursuits need not alone engross a man's attention ; as they do not open and liberalise the mind exactly in the same proportion. Mr. Raithby justly remarks “I protest I do not know any pursuit in life that requires such various powers: taste, imagination, eloquence.” Of course these qualifications are only looked for in the higher ranks of the profession. It is expected a first rate advocate is acquainted with the leading details of the mechanical arts and sciences, of trade, commerce and manufactures ; of the correlative professions ; of the amusements and accomplishments of society, because in all of these questions are constantly arising which require the decision of a court of justice, for which purpose their most hidden concerns must be laid bare before the eyes of counsel, who is expected to be quite master of them. Sudden death, marriage, bankruptcy, or separation of one of the parties concerned rear up, in an instant, oftentimes, the most complex problems in human life, and if an advocate, with rapidity and skill, adjust conflicting rights with precision, he may be styled a benefactor to society.

G. R., the writer in Land and Water, in 1872, fairly enough observes that “the Game Laws do not perhaps represent the perfection of human wisdom, as evidenced by human legislation, nor is their operation at all times satisfactory; but they possess this merit—they are not only clear as to their meaning and intent, but equally so as to their objects. When Hodge is brought before the Bench for wiring a hare, or stealing a hatful of pheasant's eggs, no plea is placed on record that the animal in question was a

But we

see

now,

polecat or a hedgehog ; no scientific witnesses are brought to prove that the eggs are those of the jay or pie. In this element of certainty the Game Laws are immeasurably in advance of the Salmon Laws.

The author of this work believes that if all parties adopted the word "moderation," as their motto, fish disputes would cease as well as game disputes. The constant pursuit of pleasure carries on its front something insolent and unfit for frail human beings. oftentimes, that nothing is aimed at, in angling, but rivalry and self gratification. The writer already alluded to, G. R., uses these significant and strong words: “In another month thousands and tens of thousands of fry will be left in small puddles, by the efflux of the water. They are seen by shepherds, artizans, boys, and all who frequent the banks of the river, and as a rule are left to their fate—to die and rot, or to be picked up by herons and gulls. If the shepherd could hope for a gift kelt at odd times, if the artizan could look forward to the fun of angling for the smolts, if the boys were permitted to catch his few fish for supper, they would one and all, as they used to do, ladle the fish out with their hands, or dig channels to permit of their escape to the body of the stream.Such sentiments and ideas are by no means fantastic. The author knows of a case in the Carse of Gowrie, Perthshire, in a measure, illustrating the truth of them. Mr. John Allan was

a West India merchant, and returned to this country opulent. He purchased the estates of Errol and Inchmartin, in the middle of last century. They were in a great measure bog or marsh, affording fine wild duck and snipe shooting, and without almost any roads through the lands. Mr. Allan set himself at once to work the lands into proper order by drainage and road making. Having accomplished that, and got proper tenants for his farms, he superintended the steadings and repairs thereof, at his own expense, and intimated to the said tenants that they had only to let him know when anything further was wanted, and he would be his own surveyor. This genial spirit brought its own reward. When Mr. Allan saw what was asked, and that it was requisite, he gave instructions to artificers to do the needful work at once. He and his tenants lived on the most cordial terms—no complaints were heard of passing through the lands in search of game. Mr. Allan, of course, like' every other landed proprietor, had his private friends occasionally with him, and when they went on a shooting excursion Mr. Allan and his friends sent into the farmer's house, before leaving that particular farm, where they found game, a hare and two or three brace of partridges as a present, which cemented the good feeling existing. Mr. Allan died at Errol on 8th January, 1795, as is betokened by an inscription on a gold breast pin with a lock of his hair enclosed therein given to a relative of the author's, and which pin lies before him while writing these few lines.

Parr, Salmon, Whitling, and Yellow

Fin Controversy.

THE
HE subject of this work mainly relates to legal questions

raised as to whether anglers are entitled to fish for and take what are called parr, without contravening the laws appertaining to salmon fishing. There is also involved the deeper question, whether parr, under the character of salmon fry, is entitled to a higher position than salmon-to be protected at all seasons against all persons. The discussion will likewise embrace some practical points bearing on the out-door amusement and healthful recreation of the humbler classes of the community, as well as the general features of the piscatory art.

Probably the reader may discover, after finishing the perusal of the work, that it comprehends topics which highly concern, not merely anglers, but the public at large. Moreover, to an intelligent mind the proceedings of a Court of Justice are always worth a scrutiny, as they present, in an authentic form, the dealings in a country betwixt man and man, attest and explain laws and customs, and show how the principles of law and equity are applied by the judges of the land. Last century almost all classes of society took an active interest in this description of literature, as may be seen from Arnot's Reports of Criminal Trials, from the year 1536 to the year 1784, where, among the list of subscribers to the publication, may be observed English, Irish, and Scottish judges, barristers, nobility, landed proprietors, clergymen, medical men, attornies, and solicitors, and tradesmen of all grades. Lord Brougham, in his book titled the British Constitution, takes occasion to remark that the people, to be benefited, “must read for the sake of instruction, not for the momentary satisfaction of having their merriment excited, or their spleen gratified,” (p. 118). Lord Kames, in the 4th edition of his Principles of Equity (Introduction, pages 27 and 28), dwells on the same subject, and insists on the benefit society at large would derive from the common people possessing a knowledge of those rational principles upon which law is founded. His words to that purpose are excellent words, and I will here set them down :-"Ignorance of law hath a most unhappy effect: we all regard with partiality our own interest; and it requires knowledge no less than candour to resist the thought of being treated unjustly when a Court pronounces against us. Thus peevishness and discontent arise, and are vented against the judges of the land. This, in a free government, is a dangerous and infectious spirit, to remedy which we cannot be too solicitous. Knowledge of those rational principles upon which law is founded, I venture to suggest as a remedy not less efficacious than palatable. Were such knowledge universally spread, judges who adhere to rational principles, and who, with superior understanding, can reconcile law to common sense, would be revered by the whole society. The

« ForrigeFortsett »