Imatges de pÓgina

America if the change of climate does not kill him. So will a farmer who emigrates early with some capital. But any person with tolerable prosperity here had better remain where he is. There are considerable evils, no doubt, in England: but it would be madness not to admit, that it is, upon the whole, a very happy country, --and we are much mistaken if the next 20 years will not bring with it a great deal of internal improvement. The country has long been groaning under the evils of the greatest foreign war we were ever engaged in ; and we are just beginning to look again into our home affairs. Political economy has made an astonishing progress since they were last investigated; and every session of Parliament brushes off some of the cobwebs and dust of our ancestors. * The Apprentice Laws have been swept away; the absurd nonsense of the Usury Laws will probably soon follow ; Public Education and. Saving Banks have been the invention of these last ten years; and the strong fortress of Bigotry has been rudely assailed. Then, with all its defects, we have a Parliament of inestimable value. If there be a place in any country where 500 well educated men can meet together, and talk with impunity of public affairs, and if what they say is published, that country must improve. It is not pleasant to emigrate into a country of changes and

revolution, the size and integrity of whose empire no man can predict. The Americans are a very sensible, reflecting people, and have conducted their affairs extremely well; but it is scarcely possible to conceive that such an empire should very long remain undivided, or that the dwellers on the Columbia should have common interest with the navigators of the Hudson and the Delaware.

England is, to be sure, a very expensive country; but

* In a scarcity which occurred little more than 20 years ago, every judge, (except the Lord Chancellor, then Justice of the Common Pleas, and Serjeant Remington,) when they charged the Grand Jury, attributed the scarcity to the combinations of the farmers; and complained of it as a very serious evil. Such doctrines would not now be tolerated in the mouth of a schoolboy. VOL. II.


a million of millions has been expended in making it habitable and comfortable ; and this is a constant source of revenue, or, what is the same thing, a constant diminution of expense to every man living in it. The price an Englishman pays for a turnpike road is not equal to the tenth part of what the delay would cost him without a turnpike. The New River Company brings water to every inhabitant of London, at an infinitely less price than he could dip for it out of the Thames. No country, in fact, is so expensive as one which human beings are just beginning to inhabit ;— where there are no roads, no bridges, no skill, no help, no combination of powers, and no force of capital.

How, too, can any man take upon himself to say, that he is so indifferent to his country that he will not begin to love it intensely, when he is 5000 or 6000 miles from it? And what a dreadful disease Nostalgia must be on the banks of the Missouri ! Severe and painful poverty will drive us all any where : but a wise man should be quite sure he has só irresistible a plea before he ventures on the Great or the Little Wabash. He should be quite sure that he does not go there from ill temper-or to be pitied—or to be regretted --or from ignorance of what is to happen to him— or because he is a poet—but because he has not enough to eat here, and is sure of abundance where he is going.

GAME LAWS. (E. Review, 1819.)

Three Letters on the Game Laws. Rest Fenner, Black & Co.

London, 1818.

The evil of the Gaine Laws, in their present state, has long been felt, and of late years has certainly rather increased than diminished. We believe that they cannot long remain in their present state ; and we are anxious to express our opinion of those changes which they ought to experience.

We thoroughly acquiesce in the importance of encouraging those field sports which are so congenial to the habits of Englishmen, and which, in the present state of society, afford the only effectual counterbalance to the allurements of great towns. We cannot conceive a more pernicious condition for a great nation, than that its aristocracy should be shut up from one year's end to another in a metropolis, while the mass of its rural inhabitants are left to the management of factors and agents. A great man returning from London to spend his summer in the country diffuses intelligence, improves manners, communicates pleasure, restrains the extreme violence of subordinate politicians, and makes the middling and lower classes better acquainted with, and more attached to their natural leaders. At the same time, a residence in the country gives to the makers of laws an opportunity of studying those interests which they may afterwards be called

Nor is it unimportant to the character of the higher orders themselves, that they should pass a considerable part of the year in the midst of these their larger families; that they should occasionally be thrown among simple, laborious, frugal people, and be stimulated to resist the prodigality of Courts, by viewing with their own eyes the merits and the wretchedness of the poor.

upon to


protect and

Laws for the preservation of Game are not only of importance, as they increase the amusements of the country, but they may be so constructed as to be

perfectly just.



land feeds is certainly mine; or, in other words, the game which all the land feeds certainly belongs to all the owners of the land: and the only practical way of dividing it is, to give to each proprietor what he can take on his own ground. Those who contribute nothing to the support of the animal, can have no possible right to a share in the distribution. To say of animals, that they means only, that the precise place of their birth and nurture is not known. How they shall be divided, is a matter of arrangement among those whose collected property certainly has produced and fed them : but the case is completely made out against those who have no land at all, and who cannot therefore have been in the slightest degree instrumental to their production. If a large pond were divided by certain marks into four parts, and allotted to that number of proprietors, the fish contained in that pond would be, in the same sense, feræ Naturâ. Nobody could tell in which particular division each carp had been born and bred. The owners would arrange their respective rights and pretensions in the best way they could: but the clearest of all possible propositions would be, that the four proprietors, among them, made a complete title to all the fish; and that nobody but them had the smallest title to the smallest share. This we say, in answer to those who contend that there is no foundation for any system of Game Laws; that animals born wild are the property of the public; and that their appropriation is nothing but tyranny and usurpation.

In addition to these arguments, it is perhaps scarcely necessary to add, that nothing which is worth having, which is accessible, and supplied only in limited quantities, could exist at all, if it was not considered as the property of some individual. If every body might take game wherever they found it, there would soon be an end of every species of game. The advantage would not be extended to fresh classes, but be annihilated for all classes. Besides all this, the privilege of killing game could not be granted, without the privilege of trespassing on landed property; -an intolerable evil, which would entirely destroy the comfort and privacy of a country life.

But though a system of Game Laws is of great use in promoting country amusements, and may, in itself, be placed on a footing of justice, its effects, we are sorry to say, are by no means favourable to the morals of the poor.

It is impossible to make an uneducated man understand in what manner a bird hatched, nobody knows where-to-day living in my field, to-morrow in yours

should be as strictly property as the goose whose whole history can be traced, in the most authentic and satisfactory manner, from the egg to the spit. The arguments upon which this depends are so contrary to the notions of the poor-so repugnant to their passions and, perhaps, so much above their comprehension, that they are totally unavailing. The same man who would respect an orchard, a garden, or a hen-roost, scarcely thinks he is committing any fault at all in invading the game covers of his richer neighbour; and as soon as he becomes wearied of honest industry, his first resource is in plundering the rich magazine of hares, pheasants, and partridges—the top and bottom dishes, which on every side of his village are running and flying before his eyes. . As these things cannot be done with safety in the day, they must be done in the night ;-and in this manner a lawless marauder is often formed, who proceeds from one infringement of law and property to another, till he becomes a thoroughly bad and corrupted member of society.

These few preliminary observations lead naturally to the two principal considerations which are to be kept in view, in reforming the Game Laws;—to preserve, as far as is consistent with justice, the amusements of the rich, and to diminish, as much as possible, the temptations of

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