friends killed forty-nine trout in one day, that the smallest was over one pound weight, the largest within a few ounces of twelve pounds, and the average was over three pounds, I think some idea may be formed by my readers of the sport to be had in this locality.

The eels of this lake are famed all over the kingdom. Who has not heard of Killaloe bacon? What has Killaloe bacon to do with eels? perhaps will be inquired. The answer is simple-Killaloe bacon is made of eels! In the month of November, on the first wild stormy night, the eels of this lake, or a portion of them, com. mence their migration to the sea, for the purpose of spawning, and are taken in tons' weight by means of eel-weirs which are erected, and for the liberty to do so the Shannon Commissioners receive large annual rents on various parts of the river from the lake to Limerick. £200 per annum was the rent for one large weir, called the Bishop's Weir, which originally stood at the foot of the lake. The quantity of eels taken there was enormous, some of them weighing from twelve to sixteen pounds; these large ones were split, the bone taken out of them, then corned, spiced, and rolled up into a solid body, and so saved. This was called, when in that state, "Killaloe bacon."

Ellis, the fisherman, tells a story which, from his constant repetition of it, is so impressed on his mind as truth, that he is prepared to swear to it. Whether my readers will believe it the more from this circumstance is another question; at all events, I give it as I heard it last May, and previously two-and-twenty years ago. This is the story


"My father was removing his goods-household furniture and one little thing or another-from the bailiffs that were on the search for them in consequence of a warrant for a fine of £50 for making pottheen, and he took his household traps from the Clare shore in a fishing-cot for the purpose of carrying them to Holy Island. Well! it came to blow great guns; and as he was getting round the Lusshoughs the boat upset, and with great difficulty he saved his life; but all his little odds and ends, pots and kettles, were sunk to the bottom. Would you believe it, sir? Several years after that, I was fishing with him on a very calm day at the very place where the boat upset; and I threw out the line with a bait for a pike, and let it lie on the bottom. It was not long there when I got a pull; and on rising my hand I was fast in something. I tried all I could, but the deuce a bit could I stir whatever I had. My father said I was fast in a rock. Well, he took the line, which was a strong salmon line, and began to pull. At last he found it give way; and after a great deal of caution and heavy dragging it came up by degrees. Well, what do think was the first thing we saw? It was a gridiron-then a pot! The long handle of the gridiron was through the handle of the pot, and an eel was so tangled, and holding on by the gridiron, round which he wound himself, that we took the eel, and the pot, and the gridiron into the boat together; and as sure as you are there before me, the eel weighed fourteen pounds; and we boiled part of him that day for dinner in the pot, and fried the rest of him that night for

Illicit whiskey.


supper on the gridiron. I have the same pot and gridiron at home. They were my grandfather's; and when I die, my grandson-this boy here in the boat-will have them as the only property worth anything which I have to leave; it will be the poor man's legacy."

Ellis mentioned "Holy Island" in his story. The angler who comes to this lake should not leave it without visiting this charming spot. It is but a small patch of land a few hundred yards from the Galway shore of the lake, and does not contain more than twenty or five-and-twenty acres. But the perpetual evergreen of the island proclaims its richness. It is a perfect emerald gem, set in the blue waters of Scariff Bay, which the lake forms at this point. It is also called Inniscalthra, or the Island of the Seven Churches, the ruins of each of which, showing considerable elegance of design, can be seen in various parts of the island. There is also one of those buildings, which, if they were not erected to puzzle the present generation as to their intent by our learned ancestors, at all events have succeeded in that point most wonderfully. A round tower, in excellent preservation stands, like the great chimney of a manufactory between the churches; it is called the Anchorite's Tower, St. Cosgorth, the anchorite, having made it his abode, and died in it, in the tenth century. The first church built on the island, which can be distinguished by the extent of its ruins, was called the Abbey of Teampul Camin. History informs us that in the latter end of the seventh or early in the eighth century, the Danes from Limerick ravaged the island and destroyed the abbey. There must have been some valuables there, or I suppose they would not have gone so far to throw down a building. However, in those times, riots, fighting, ravaging towns and abbeys, and rebuilding them, are reported to have been the chief amusement of the Irish; and they seem to have been pretty well amused. Here Brien Boru came on a healing mission. We find that in 1027 he rebuilt what the Danes overthrew; and his history shows that he made up for his repairing this by sacking and pulling down castles and abbeys belonging to other of the old Irish kings, in the course of his turbulent career.

There is no doubt but about this time-that is, between the eighth and eleventh centuries-Ireland was the abode of religion and learning in the midst of all its turbulence and bloodshed. Saint Camin, the founder of the abbey of Teampul Camin, wrote in his day (the eighth century) a commentary on the Psalms, which he collated with the Hebrew text. Another abbot of the same church wrote a life of St. Bridget, in Latin verse; and Abbot Corcran, who was the most celebrated scholar in Western Europe, was also the head of the ecclesiastics here in the early part of the eleventh century.

A legend of Mungret near Limerick will give my readers an idea of what tradition has handed down in reference to the learning of the early Irish. The abbey of Mungret was founded in the fourth century, prior to the arrival of St. Patrick in Munster. The Psalter of Cashel states that this abbey had within its walls six churches, and that, exclusively of its scholars, of which it had numerous from various parts of Europe, as well as the native Irish, it had one thousand five hundred monks. Five hundred of these were preachers, five hundred psalmists, and five hundred solely employed in spiritual

exercises. The fame of the abbots of Mungret travelled far and wide; and the monks in Spain having heard of their great learning, sent a challenge to them to meet, and, by a fair trial of debates in the various tongues-Italian, Greek, Latin, and Hebrew-to decide whether they or the Irish were the greatest scholars. A deputation of the most learned Spanish monks arrived in Galway, and travelled thence to Limerick, where their arrival was soon made known to the priests in Mungret. Upon receiving the account, they dressed up several young priests in women's clothes, and practised a ruse to get rid of the importunity of the Spaniards, and thus preserve their own name for learning. That the fear of being beaten in a competition may have induced them to adopt the following is not stated; but if it occurred at all, it is most likely. I had the story from a dear old friend, now no more, who related many legends of my couutry to me, which he delighted in telling.

On the Spanish monks arriving at the ford of a small river which crosses the road at the Limerick side of Mungret, they perceived a number of (apparently) women washing linen and various household articles, tubs and such things; and they asked them "how far they were from Mungret?" The first they asked replied in Greek: they were surprised; and on inquiry of a second, the answer was given in Hebrew. Another inquiry received an answer in Chaldeo-Syriac, and so on. They entered into conversation with them in each language, and found them faultless. The Spaniards stopped-hesitated (he who hesitates is lost!-so in this instance). Then they held a consultation, at which they arrived at the conclusion that, if the common women of the country around Mungret were so educated as to be able to hold conversation in Hebrew, Greek, and Chaldeo-Syriac, in such pure and grammatic style, surely they had no chance of a literary engagement with the monks, their masters and teachers. They then gave the word," Right about face!" and marched back to Galway, asserting that "they had not found out the abbey of Mungret, high or low." This was true, as they did not go any further.

(To be continued.)


THE LAW OF THE FARM. By Henry Hall Dixon, Barrister-atLaw. Stevens and Norton, London. 1858. Price 14s. A cursory perusal of the table of the contents of this book was sufficient to inform us that it was entitled to receive a careful perusal, and candid expression of our opinion, for the benefit of our readers. Hence some delay has necessarily taken place, a closely-printed legal treatise of some six hundred pages not being perused with the same facility as sketches by Dickens, or an essay by Macaulay.

We take the appearance of this book as highly significant. It marks, as it were, the progress which the science of agriculture must

have made, and is daily making. The honour is due to Mr. Dixon, of being the first legal author who has reduced the innumerable decisions affecting agriculture into a scientific treatise. The scope and plan of the work are conceived with breadth and clearness, and executed in their details with an earnestness of purpose and a patience of research which demonstrate how much the author liked the work he was about, how deeply he appreciated its importance, and, consequently, how much he felt the responsibility which devolved upon him in its execution. Henceforth, on any legal question connected with the farm, reference will, we doubt not, be made to this work. Instead of going from Woodfall's "Treatise on Landlord and Tenant" to "Gale on Easements," from "Ferard on Fixtures" to "Eagle on Tithes," from "Oliphant on Horses" to "Chitty on Contracts," from report to report, and from statute to statute, the legal practitioner and the man of business will in this work find every case and statute affecting the agriculturist, his farm-stock, and produce.

We think that we shall best acquaint our readers with the great value of this work, by giving what must necessarily be a short and imperfect resumé of its contents. Chapter I. gives a definition of "tenant-right," and explains the agricultural customs in the different counties of England and Wales. Chapter II. defines interests in land, and eliminates the principles upon which the numerous cases in the fourth section of the Statute of Frauds have been decided. Chapter III. treats of the important question of easements, including questions as to right of water, and rights of way for agricultural and other purposes. Chapter IV. deals with "trees and fences," and refers, with great ingenuity, to every case which has arisen in courts of law in reference to them. The property in trees and bushes, the rating of saleable underwood, the removing and cutting down decayed trees, the sale of trees and delivery and acceptance of timber under the Statute of Frauds, the rule as to ditching, the duty of occupiers to repair fences, the obligation to fence against another, the liability of railway companies to make and repair fences, and numerous other branches of the subject, are discussed, and the decisions thereon reviewed. Chapter V., on "dangerous animals," points out the liability of persons keeping dangerous animals accustomed to attack and injure mankind. The propensities of house-dogs to deal summarily with intruders on their masters' premises, of Skye terriers to snap at ladies' ankles, and the aversion of bulls to red garments, appear to have frequently undergone consideration in courts of law. Chapter VI. treats on water, and the right of landowners to appropriate running streams; on the diversion of water, the erection of dams, on artificial and natural watercourses, on irrigation, the use of streams for water-meadows, undue detention of water for irrigation, &c., &c. Chapter VII. relates to "servants;" contracts for hiring; magistrates' jurisdiction; settlement by hiring; bailiff's power to bind a master by his contract; masters' liability for servants' trespass, negligence, or incompetence; fraudulent drovers; liability of licensed drovers, &c. Chapter VIII.-on the conveyance of horses and cattle -reviews the numerous cases which, since the establishment of railways, have arisen, on the liability of companies for injuries to horses

and cattle during their conveyance. The common-law liability of these companies has now been so restricted by the special conditions which, under the Railway Traffic Act, they are empowered to make, that to obtain a decision in Westminster Hall, for injuries to cattle in their transmission, appears to be the exception to what, under the common-law liability, was the general rule. Chapter IX.-on "distress" discusses the right to distrain cattle damage feasant, the duties of a pound-keeper, the treatment of animals in pound, tender of amends, the time for making a distress, what things distrainable, distraining for penalties, distraining growing crops for arrears of rent-charge, selling distress in conformity with agricultural covenants, irregular distress, remedy for excessive distress, &c. Chapter X. is peculiarly valuable, as all the decisions on "husbandry covenants" are brought under consideration. The following are some amongst many other branches of the subject: Construction of covenants to cultivate in a workmanlike manner, acts of farm waste, encouraging improvements under promise of a lease, ploughing penalties, cropping covenants, over-cropping and non-cultivation, custom of the country as to paying for tillages, evidence to prove the custom of the country, away-going crop and right of tenant to enter and take away, compensation for drainage, valuations, bringing on dung in exchange for hay, toll exemptions, &c., &c. Chapter XI.-on trespass-might well have formed the subject of a separate treatise, so numerous are the questions upon which it treats. Amongst other interesting topics, the following are considered: Title to bring trespass and trover, right of gleaning, right to dig turf and peat, setting fire to ricks, damaging thrashing machines, firing stacks by sparks from railway engines, careless burning of weeds, apprehension for malicious trespass, foxhunting trespass, liability of a huntsman, shooting and seizing dogs for worrying sheep, &c., night poaching, right of seizing game, authority to destroy hares, grant of privilege of sporting, liberty of hunting and hawking, free warren, birds of tenure, rooks, compensation to tenant for damage by rabbits, setting traps for dogs, dogspears, spring-guns. Chapter XII.-on "landlord and tenant" deals concisely with every branch of this most important division of jurisprudence. Chapter XIII. treats of tithes; Chapter XIV., of contracts, sales, the rule of buying by sample, the Statute of Frauds. Chapter XV., which terminates the work, contains an able exposition of the law on horses and cattle, and explains the oftmooted question of warranty, the present rule for horse-dealing, warranty by servant, rule as to unsoundness, what diseases constitute unsoundness, doctoring a warranted or hired horse, bequest to animals, when warranty may be sued, &c. In the appendix is given a copy of what is now known as a great fact in the annals of farming-viz., Lord Yarborough's lease. There are also several other models for agricultural leases, which appear to have been prepared with much care, and contain provisions for the calculation of allowances for unexhausted improvements. The index of the contents we would recommend to the attention of every author. It occupies no less than 102 pages, and offers an immediate reference to any subject on which the reader may wish to refer. However valuable a legal treatise may be, its usefulness is made dependent

« VorigeDoorgaan »