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either annihilate the poacher's trade, or reduce his prices so much, that it would be hardly worth his while to carry it on. What poulterer in London, or in any of the large towns, would deal with poachers, and expose himself to indictment for receiving stolen goods, when he might supply his customers at fair prices by dealing with the lawful proprietor of game? Opinion is of more power than law. Such conduct would soon become infamous; and every respectable tradesman would be shamed out of it. The consumer himself would rather buy his game of a poulterer at an increase of price, than pick it up clandestinely, and at a great risk, though a somewhat smaller price, from porters and boothkeepers. Give them a chance of getting it fairly, and they will not get it unfairly. At present, no one has the slightest shame at violating a law which every body feels to be absurd and unjust.
Poultry-houses are sometimes robbed;—but stolen poultry is rarely offered to sale ;-at least, nobody pretends that the shops of poulterers, and the tables of monied gentlemen, are supplied by these means. Out of one hundred geese
that are consumed at Michaelmas, ninety-nine come into the jaws of the consumer by honest means ;-and yet, if it had pleased the country gentlemen to have Goose Laws as well as Game Laws ;-if goosekeepers had been appointed, and the sale and purchase of this savoury bird prohibited, the same enjoyments would have been procured by the crimes and convictions of the poor; and the periodical gluttony of Michaelmas have been rendered as guilty and criminal, as it is indigestible and unwholesome. Upon this subject we shall quote a passage from the very sensible and spirited Letters before us.
• In favourable situations, game would be reared and preserved for the express purpose of regularly supplying the market in fair and open competition ; which would so reduce its price, that I see no reason why a partridge should be dearer than a rabbit, or a hare and pheasant than a duck or goose. This is about the proportion of price which the animals bear to each other in France, where game can be legally sold, and is regularly brought to market; and where, by the way, game is as plentiful as in any cultivated country in Europe. The price so reduced would never be enough to compensate the risk and penalties of the unlawful poacher, who must therefore be driven out of the market. Doubtless, the great poulterers of London and the commercial towns, who are the principal instigators of poaching, would cease to have any temptation to continue so, as they could fairly and lawfully procure game for their customers at a cheaper rate from the regular breeders. They would, as they now do for rabbits and wild-fowl, contract with persons to rear and preserve them for the regular supply of their shops, which would be a
much more commodious and satisfactory, and less hazardous way for them, than the irregular and dishonest and corrupting methods now pursued. It is not saying very much in favour of human nature to assert, that men in respectable stations of society had rather procure the same ends by honest than dishonest means. Thus would all the temptations to offend against the Game Laws, arising from the change of society, together with the long chain of moral and poli. tical mischiefs, at once disappear.
• But then, in order to secure a sufficient breed of game for the supply of the market, in fair and open competition, it will be necesa sary to authorize a certain number of persons, likely to breed game for sale, to take and dispose of it when reared at their expense. For this purpose, I would suggest the propriety of permitting by law, occupiers of land to take and kill game, for sale or otherwise, on their own occupations only, unless (if tenants) they are specifically prohibited by agreement with their landlord; reserving the game and the power of taking it to himself (as is now frequently done in kases.). This permission should not, of course, operate during the current leases, unless by agreement. With this precaution, nothing could be fạirer than such an enactment; for it is certainly at the expense of the occupier that the game is raised and maintained : and unless he receive an equivalent for it, either by abatement of rent upon agreement, or by permission to take and dispose of it, he is certainly an injured man. Whereas it is perfectly just that the owner of the land should have the option either to increase his rent by leavó ing the disposal of his game to his tenant, or vice versa. Game would be held to be (as in fact it is) an outgoing from the land, like tithe and other burdens, and therefore to be considered in a bargain';: and land would either be let game-free, or a special reservation of it made by agreement.
• Moreover, since the breed of game must always depend upon the occupier of the land, who may, and frequently does, destroy every head of it, or prevent its coming to maturity, unless it is considered in his rent; the license for which I am now contending, by afiording an inducement to preserve the breed in particular spots, would evidently have a considerable effect in increasing the stock of game in other parts, and in the country at large. There would be introduced a general system of protection depending upon individual interest, instead of a general system of destruction. i have, there.. fore, very little doubt that the provision here recommended would, upon the whole, add facilities to the amusements of the sportsman, rather than subtract from them. · A sportsman without land might also hire from the occupier of a large tract of land the privilege of shooting over it, which would answer to the latter as well as sending his game to the market. In short, he might in various ways get a fair return, to which he is well entitled for the expense and trouble: incurred in rearing and preserving that particular species of stock. upon his land.' p. 337---339.
There are sometimes 4:00 or 500 head of game killed in great manors on a single day. We think it highly probable, the greater part of this harvest (if the Game Laws were altered) would go to the poulterer, to purchase poultry or fish for the ensuing London season. Nobody is so poor and so distressed as men of very large fortunes, who are fond of making an unwise display to the world; and if they had recourse to these means of supplying game, it is impossible to suppose that the occupation of the poacher could be continued. The smuggler can compete with the spirit-merchant, on account of the great duty imposed by the Revenue; but where there is no duty to be saved, the mere thief-the man who brings the article to market with an halter round his neck--the man of whom it is disreputable and penal to buy-who hazards life, liberty, and property to procure the articles which he sells; such an adventurer can never be long the rival of him who honestly and fairly produces the articles in which he deals.-Fines, imprisonments, concealment, loss of character, are great deductions from the profits of any trade to which they attach, and great discouragements to its pursuit.
It is not the custom at present for gentlemen to sell their game; but the custom would soon begin, and public opinion soon change. It is not unusual for men of fortune to contract with their gardeners to supply their own table, and to send the residue to market, or to sell their venison; and the same thing might be done with the manor. If game could be bought, it would not be sent in presents:--barn door fowls are never so sent, precisely for this reason.
The price of game would, under the system of laws of which we are speaking, be further lowered by the introduction of foreign game, the sale of which, at present prohibited, would tend very much to the preservation of English game by underselling the poacher. It would not be just, if it were possible, to confine any of the valuable productions of nature to the use of one class of men, and to prevent thein from becoming the subject of barter, when the proprietor wished so to exchange them. It would be just as reasonable that the consumption of salmon should be confined to the proprietors of that sort of fishery--that the use of charr should be limited to the inhabitants of the lakes-that maritime Englishmen should alone eat oysters and lobsters, as that every other class of community than the land owners should be prohibited from the acquisition of game.
It will be necessary, whenever the Game Laws are revised, that some of the worst punishments now inflicted for an infringement of these laws, should be repealed.- To transport a man for seven years, on account of partridges, and to harass a poor
wretched peasant in the Crown Office, are very preposterous punishments for such offences: Humanity revolts against them they are grossly tyrannical—and it is disgraceful that they should be suffered to remain on our statute books. But the most singular of all abuses, is the new class of punishments which the Squirarchy have themselves enacted against depredations on game. The law says, that an unqualified man who kills a pheasant, shall
pay five pounds; but the Squire says he shall be shot ;and accordingly he places a spring-gun in the path of the poacher, and does all he can to take away his life. The more humane and mitigated Squire mangles' him with traps; and the suprafine country gentleman only detains him in machines, which prevent his escape, but do not lacerate their captive. Of the gross illegality of such proceedings, there can be no reasonable doubt. Their immorality and cruelty are equally clear. If they are not put down by some declaratory law, it will be absolutely necessary that the Judges, in their invaluable circuits of Oyer and Terminer, should leave two or three of his Majesty's Squires to a fate too vulgar and indelicate to be alluded to in this Journal.
Men have certainly a clear right to defend their property; but then it must be by such means as the law allows :—their houses by pistols, their fields by actions for trespass, their game by information. There is an end of law, if every man is to measure out his punishment for his own wrong. Nor are we able to distinguish between the guilt of two persons,—the one of whom deliberately shoots a man whom he sees in his fields—the other of whom purposely places such instruments as he knows will shoot trespassers upon his fields: Better that it should be lawful to kill a trespasser face to face, than to place engines which will kill him. The trespasser may be a child-a woman—a son or friend :-The spring-gun cannot accommodate itself to circumstances,--the Squire or the gamekeeper may.
These, then, are our opinions respecting the alterations in the Game Laws, which, as they now stand, are perhaps the only system which could possibly render the possession of game so very insecure as it now is. We would give to every man an absolute property in the Game upon his land, with full power to kill—to permit others to kill—and to sell ;—we would punish any violation of that property by summary conviction, and pecuniary penalties-rising in value according to the number of offences. This would of course abolish all qualifications; and we sincerely believe, it would lessen the profits of selling Game illegally, so as very materially to lessen the number of poachers. It would make Game, as an article of food, accessible to all classes, without infringing the laws. It would limit the amuse
ments of country gentlemen within the boundaries of justiceand would enable the Magistrate cheerfully and conscientiously to execute laws, of the moderation and justice of which he must be thoroughly convinced. To this conclusion, too, we have no doubt we shall come at the last. After many years of scutigeral folly-loaded prisons *-nightly battles-poachers temptedand families ruined, these principles will finally prevail
, and make law once more coincident with reason and justice.
ART. III. Mémoires de Chirurgerie Militaire, et Campagnes :
Du Baron D. J. LARREY, Premier Chirurgien-en-Chef de l'Hôpital de la Garde Royale, &c. &c. &c. 8vo. Paris. Tomes 1, 2, 3. 1812. pp. 1394.-Tome 4. 1817. pp. 500.
for we shall not follow the author through the formidable details of wounds and surgical operations, upon which, with the true zeal of his profession, he delights to dwell. These things, we have always thought, are better left to the Medical Journals; but there is quite enough of general information in this work, to render it deserving of our notice. It is an account, chirurgical and military, of most of the French campaigns, from the year 1792 to the end of 1814,-of course including those in which Bonaparte had a share, from the commencement of his extraordinary career, to the first capture of Paris by the Allies :-And it contains, besides the medical occurrences, a lively narrative of all that fell within the author's observation, during the transactions of that eventful period. There is one point of view, however, in which even its professional details are of deep and universal interest. It is good, we think, to show, again and again, to those who see nothing in war but images of gallantry and splendour, that the picture has a reverse:-And the volumes before us furnish the most copious evidence, as to the dreadful amount and variety of misery which great armies, in their hostile operations, are doomed to suffer, as well as to inflict.
M. Larrey, who is a native of the south of France, began the study of his profession at Toulouse at the age of thirteen : and went from thence to Paris in 1787. He obtained the appoint
* In the course of the last year, no fewer than twelve hundred per. sons were committed for offences against the Game; besides those who ran away from their families for the fear of commitment. This is ng slight quantity of misery.