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trade (as the boat-owners, and part of their crews, in Skerries or Balbriggan), or partly in fishing, and partly in collecting sea-weed for manure (as the boat-owners, with a portion of their crews, in Galway).
*3. Those who, while not employed in fishing, are occupied in agriculture, either as landholders or labourers.
* 4. Those who have not any employment on sea or land, when the boats to which they belong are engaged in carrying general freights or sea-weed.'-Report, p. vi.
The Commissioners state that the last class of fishermen occasionally suffer very great distress, as their earnings, when employed, are either insufficient for their maintenance through the year, or are not providently used; and that those who are the third in the classification, and who occupy land, are affected, like all other Irish agriculturists, by evils of their own. A good deal of difference of opinion seems to have been manifested relative to the advantages or disadvantages of the union of agriculture with fishing in Ireland; and the Commissioners, on a careful review of the whole subject, think, that wherever agriculture is pursued with ordinary industry and success, it is a more profitable occupation than fishing; excepting only a few stations where the demand is constantly large :
' In point of fact, the fishermen of Ireland usually depend more on the land than on the sea ; and their condition is mainly determined by the local circumstances of agriculture. Where these are good, the fisherman will generally be found comparatively at his ease, on the combined earnings of farming and fishing; while, in poor and remote districts, the occupation at sea rarely proves a sufficient substitute for agricultural employment.
Those who follow fishing more constantly, but yet cultivate a small portion of land, partake probably of the general condition of the neighbouring peasantry, or are in some places perhaps a little above it: and lastly, those who have not this resource either want capital altogether (whether for agriculture or for fishing), or they inhabit the most barren districts, or are deficient in that industry and enterprise which are universally necessary to worldly success. With very few exceptions this class are represented as struggling for the lowest rate of remuneration, badly clothed, and living in miserable cabins. Opinions, of course, differ as to the immediate causes of this distress. Some refer it to the suppression of bounties and the consequent laying-up of boats; others to the want of local encouragement; but the far greater number ascribe it to the want of proper boats and gear, and to an ignorance of the best modes of fishing-Ibid., p. vii.
The Commissioners add, however, that in some places the wellequipped, skilful, and prudent fisherman is able to support a family without land, on a scale of comfort superior to that of other labourers. (Report, p. vii.) That'prudent' is a pithy epithet. Among the remedial measures or means suggested, we would
earnestly call attention to the Grants for Fishermen's Harbours : this, in our opinion, is a vital point. The subjects of Grants to Fishermen, and Loans to Fishermen, require deep consideration; the danger to be avoided being the lessening of that selfdependence without which no man nor body of men ever became prosperous. We cannot find space for the remarks on Fishing and Curing Stations, which should be studied, as well as that branch of the subject which relates to the combination of agriculture and fishing, with the great Sutherland case steadily kept in view, nor the observations on the Inspecting and Branding in the Herring Trade. With regard to that part of the Report which relates to the complaints of those who condemn Trawling as destructive, we venture to give it as our decided opinion that, in the open sea-fishing, the fairly-constructed trawl can do little if any injury. It is by the small-meshed and double nets, and, above all, by the cow-hide-lined pouch, which suffers nothing to escape, that the mischief is done.
Neither must we involve our readers in the meshes of Trammel Nets, nor in the question of Restriction relating to Seasons; but a Fishery Protection is of high importance.
We now turn to the new Act of Parliament concerning the Irish Fisheries. This statute appears to us to be carefully drawn and well digested. It begins by repealing twenty-six Acts, so far as any of them relate to the fisheries of Ireland, from the 5th Edw. IV. c. 6, to the 1st and 2nd Vict. c. 76, both inclusive, at one swoop—and a good riddance. It enables fishermen and others to use waste shores, and pass over uncultivated lands, for the purpose of carrying on any herring or other sea fishing, and also to draw up and spread their nets and land their fish upon any such beach, strand, or waste; but they are forbidden to erect any fixtures thereon, or moor floating-nets save as is provided in the Act; and, on the other hand, persons resisting or obstructing the fishermen in using such shores are to be subjected to a penalty.
The regulations regarding the sea-nets are wisely conceived, and the very first of them strikes at the destructive cow-hide, for it provides that no net covered with canvas, hide, or other material, by which unsizeable and young fish may be taken or destroyed, shall be used on the sea-coast, or within any estuary, under penalties of not less than one, nor more than ten pounds. In order to encourage persons to erect stores and buildings for the curing and preserving of fish, a power is given to all bodies corporate, &c., and to persons seized in fee-tail or for life, with remainder to their issue, and to trustees or guardians, to demise lands for the
purposes of the Act. The rights of persons possessed of several fisheries are declared, so as to extinguish existing doubts, and
they are empowered to erect stake and other nets, with a saving of the right of the crown and of all other persons to the use of the shore; proper regulations are added touching the extent, structure, and locality of the same; and there is a clause for the protection of persons fishing, or proceeding to fish, in a legal
The close season for salmon is appointed from the 20th of August to the 12th of February; that for trout from the Ist of October to the 12th of February; and no fixed nets or engines for the taking of eels are permitted to be set in inland riyers between the 10th of January and the 1st of July; but this is not all. There is a wise provision, that the Commissioners to be appointed under the Act shall be empowered to alter the close season in any river or district, upon inquiry had, and proof that such alteration is expedient, and they are to publish their decision as to such altered season. This of course enables the Commissioners to ascertain the periods at which the fish come up to spawn in different rivers, and if necessary to alter the season accordingly, so that Nature may not be expected to shape her proceedings by an Act of Parliament, as it seems she is expected to do where one season only is fixed for all rivers however comparatively late or early. There is a provision for the Saturday's Slap, and we hope that those who have to look after the cruives (the openings of which are regulated) will take care that weeds, furze, &c., shall not be suffered to accumulate, as we know that they have been in some instances, so as to operate as a barrier and neutralize the efficiency of the provision. The free-gap, or Queen's share, required to be left in all salmon and other weirs, is another good help for the preservation of the breed. Ample provisions are made for clearing natural obstructions in rivers, and every facility given to the public, while the rights of private fisheries are protected. Penalties are to be enforced for burning the water, and for throwing poisonous matters, or even allowing them to flow, into rivers or lakes.
Such are the heads of this excellent bill, which, thanks to the firmness of the government, has now become law, notwithstanding the mutterings of certain chartered proprietors, as they have been termed, and some hints as to the violation of the sacred rights of property. These topics are always captivating ; but it would puzzle the most astute lawyer to make out vested rights in the free marine gifts offered by bounteous Nature.
Art. VII.-Histoire du Chien chez tous les Peuples du Monde.
Par Elzéar Blaze. Paris. 8vo. 1843. IT. T is somewhat singular that the dog, who is the universal
favourite and companion of man, should not have found a pen among his myriad admirers to trace his history with the fulness it deserves. He has, indeed, in addition to the place that he occupies in the various works on natural history, been frequently made the subject of specific treatises. But all the books that we have seen are poor, when contrasted with the abundance of the materials with the innumerable anecdotes that are scattered on every side, and the rare opportunity that is presented for original observation by an animal who accompanies us from the cradle to the grave, and who lives with us nearly upon the footing of our fellow-man-semi-homo canis. It was, therefore, with unusual pleasure that we saw the announcement of the work of M. Blaze, which professes to be a history of the dog among all the nations of the world ; and the expectation raised by the title was increased tenfold by the preface, in which we are told that the book is the fruit of twenty years of study and attention. Unhappily there is an utter disproportion between the result and the time and labour expended. Twenty months would have been an ample allowance for what has cost M. Blaze as many years. He has brought together some curious matter on the different uses to which the dog has been put by the superstition, ignorance, and cruelty, as well as by the gratitude and intelligence of man—the more welcome that it is frequently derived from antiquated authors who are little known, and not at all read. But even this part of the subject is far from being exhausted, while all that relates to the habits and instincts of the canine race is, relatively to its importance, extremely meagre. It is strange that M. Blaze, who is evidently a sportsman rather than a man of science, should have neglected the things in which he might be supposed to be most interested and best informed. A graver fault than that of omission is the insertion of some altogether gratuitous strokes of irreverence and indelicacy, which must be as injurious to the work as they are disgraceful to the author. For the rest M. Blaze writes throughout with French vivacity, and often, inspired by his love for the dog, with eloquence. Whatever his defects, he possesses at least that prime requisite for his task-a true enthusiasm for his hero.
If we were to take our notions of the dog from most of the words derived from his name, or proverbs and comparisons into which he enters, we should imagine that he was among the lowest of the brute creation. From the Greek xuwy, a dog, proceeded
nuviros, or cynic, one who snarls like a dog; and sundry compounds, such as ruvoeidos, impudent as a dog, abundantly testify that the canine family, like some of higher pretensions, gains nothing in respectability by pursuing its genealogy into distant ages. The Romans were not more complimentary than the Greeks;
and to come at once to our own time we have the French canaille and cagnard, both derived from the Latin canis, and applied the first to the scum of the population, the second to an idle and slothful man that only cumbers the earth. Comparisons, it is said, are odious, and the whole canine race, without distinction of species, must be entirely of that opinion. They have been the standing similitude for things that are mean, hateful, and disgusting-the type of contentiousness, impudence, avarice, lust, gluttony-of furies, demons, parasites, thieves, lawyers, and last of all, with a sad want of gallantry to one party and injustice to both, of women. The married man, says one classical sage, needs no watch-dog at his gate
"Non opus est, uxor latrat in æde tuâ,' &c. &c. M. Blaze has collected a variety of these forms of speech, and has generally defended his client with zeal and success from the imputations they convey. Is the dog called filthy ?—he is much less so,' he replies, 'than certain men of your acquaintance and mine.' Is he exclaimed against as greedy ?—'I should like to see you,' retorts his advocate, “if you had only a single mess for your dinner, and some one attempted to snatch it away.' St. Chrysostom speaks of the dog as fawning on you when you face him, and slyly biting you when your back is turned. I ask pardon of St. Chrysostom,' says M. Blaze, “but he has libelled the dog. I have known, and still know, many men of this description, but never a dog. At least, then, he is a thief. No,' answers M. Blaze, because he has no idea of meum and tuum, and if
you will but teach him, you may leave him to sleep when he is famished near a roasted fowl. Moreover he is often accused of thefts he has never committed. The servants charge him with their iniquities, and he has no tongue to defend himself.'
Whatever praise has been ascribed to the dog in proverbial expressions, is the exception and not the rule; and why-since the individual is always thought and spoken of with love-has the race been selected for comparison with what is odious and offensive? The simple reason, we imagine, is their domesticity, which constantly exposing all their actions to the view of man, they form the prominent image when we see in our kind the qualities of brutes, whose appropriate instincts may be vices in But as words break no bones, and, where you cannot