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again address you on this particular point; and, if not, doubtless some of your racing readers will communicate their sentiments.
The value of the Derby Stakes was 24501.-pretty nibbling this for the Duke.
The DENBIES was won by the same Anticipation filly that won the Durdains: and Mr. Morton's Margery, a three-year-old, by Rasping, won the County Members' Plate, at two heats, beating Macassar and Jane, but without either occasioning the least interest; for who could look at such wretched performances after so grand a DERBY?
FRIDAY.-The OAKS, though a race of great interest and importance to the Racing World, does not command the attention of the Derby; nor is there the money laid out on this race, owing to the uncertainty of fillies coming to the post, at this season, in the condition that colts usually do. For this great Stakes the North country had sent up two to contend, but Sarah fell amiss, and did not start. The following came to the post, viz.:Turquoise Ruby..
rode by J. Day.
Sister to Benedict
Wheatley. ..Robinson. ...H.Edwards.
The start was not so well managed as yesterday; there were many false ones; but, once off, Ruby took the lead, and made very strong running-Zoe, Delta, and Lestelle alone living with her.
At Tattenham Corner she shot away lengths a-head, and here is where she ought to have had a gentle pull. However, the others found they must make running, or lose all chance. Turquoise, most judiciously rode, came up at the road, and got a-head of the others; she made a fine race, beating Ruby by two lengths; Lisette was third; Rosalia, Ridicule, and Trampoline were beat early in the race; Zoe was in distress at the top of the hill; the rest without any sort of chance. It was a slow run race compared with last year, and the losers tailed from the winning to the distance post: they must be a wretched lot. Ruby coughed amazingly; but a steady pull coming down the hill must, I think, have given her the race. Turquoise looked bad, and is worse, though her previous public running at the distance is possibly the best of the year. I incline to think the Oaks was never won by so indifferent a filly before. The value of this Stakes was 21501., a nice little sum towards his Grace's stable expenses for the year, and what he never could have calculated upon. It is singular these two precious jewels should have been first and second.
Both races must have suited the betting men. I don't hear of more than two of them being hit hard, and I doubt the truth of that at any rate, they are not hurt in pocket, I am sure.
I have but an observation about the start. For such great races there should never be more than three; and I doubt whether it would not be better to determine there should only be one. Sir B. Graham, when Steward at Doncaster the year the Duchess won, shewed what is to be done; and his plan ought, in my judgment,
THE GAME LAWS. (Concluded from our last Number, page 67.)
IN the course of my last communication, I was led to the conclusion that the privilege of shooting ought in justice to be extended, not only to all proprietors of land, but to all who have the permission of any proprietor. To such an extension of the right it was not to be supposed that there would not be some opposition. One set of oppositionists are quick to take alarm, lest the landed interest, as it is termed, should be injured in its property. What! exclaim they-and I believe your Correspondent NIMROD is to be reckoned amongst the number will you
take from the land-owners one of the oldest privileges which they enjoy? Will you rob them of rights established centuries ago by the Common Law of the land, and handed down to them in a long line of succession from their ancestors? Their property, say they, is already sufficiently burthened. It is the land which supports the church and maintains the poor; it is at the expense of land that roads are made and gaols and bridges are built: and will you make a farther attack upon a property already so oppressed? It might, perhaps, be shewn that such a statement is not without exaggerations. However, I am ready to admit, that to me it has always appeared, that the landowners in this kingdom have borne more than their due proportion of the necessary expenses of the country; and when any feasible plan shall be proposed for effecting a more equal distribution of the burden, I shall be one of the first to give VOL. XXII. N. S.-No. 129.
it the hearty support of my humble concurrence. But in the mean time, what are these boasted rights, and when were they established ? I have shewn in my former communications, that, by the Common Law of England, every one was equally entitled to pursue game, whether a proprietor of land or not; nor was there any limit to the privilege, except in so far as one was created by the acknowledged law of trespass. What rights then are they that are said to be taken from the landowners? Put the case in the strongest light for them, it will but stand thusoriginally every one had a right to shoot; afterwards certain classes were, either properly or improperly, deprived of that right: now it is sought to restore the very right so taken away. Whose property then, or whose privileges have been invaded? The property and privileges of those only who were so deprived of their original right. And the only question must be, whether the general good to be produced by depriving certain classes of such their right overbalances the necessary evil arising to those classes from the privation.
Another asks, would you remove all distinction between landlord and tenant, and place them on a level as to their pursuits and amusements? There is nothing, say they, better established than the necessity of the existence of different ranks and classes of society, in order to preserve the wellbeing of a State; and different ranks must have different amuse, I
ments: but it may be asked in return, is there no distinction to be found in existence, none to be created, between the pursuits of the diffe rent classes of proprietors of land, unless there be conferred upon the higher orders of such proprietors an exclusive privilege to kill game? Is it nothing, that their rank and fortune enables them to dedicate to the cultivation of the mind those years of their youth which others must give to more humble but more profitable employment? that they have both the means and the leisure to gain distinction in the acquirement and diffusion of knowledge, and to attain to excellence in the advancement of the Liberal Sciences? Is it nothing, that all the treasures of the Fine Arts are open to them, in which the property they inherit enables them to encourage merit, whilst their education has given them taste and judgment to appreciate it? Are the polished manners, the liberal principles, the refined but manly feelings, the enlightened understanding, no sufficient mark of distinction? Woe to the country whose Nobles can make to themselves no other line of partition from the Yeoman, than in the artificial privileges which they may contrive to secure to themselves! The claim thus put forward, not by them, but on their behalf, they themselves would be the first to disclaim. Their distinction is the distinction of mind. Far be it from their thoughts indeed to give up the manly sports of their country! but let it not be deemed an intrusion upon their privileges, if the honest yeoman seek to partake of them also. Let it be remembered that he too has his merit. It is his plain straightforward manliness of character,
his just sense of right and wrong, and upright independence, which constitute much of the moral worth, as they do much of the political strength, of the kingdom.
"Nolumusleges Angliæ mutari," cries a third set, and takes the opportunity of paying a passing compliment to the sturdy manner in which the Barons of old persevered in resisting all innovation. But innovation is bad then only when it is unnecessary. And how little do those, who thus adopt the unanimous exclamation of the Barons in the reign of Henry the Third, reflect upon the occasion upon which it was uttered! Those sturdy Barons, as they are called, did not object to any specific alteration of the law where evil was shewn to be occasioned by it; all they contended against was, the substitution of the Canon Law for the Municipal Law of the kingdom in governing the rules of descent. They were unwilling, and well they might be so, that the illegi timate offspring of low connections, ungardedly formed in the wantonness of youth,should, under any circumstances, inherit their honours, to the exclusion of the pure blood of their heirs, born in lawful wedlock from the daughters of their compeers. Still less do they reflect, that if those privileges, which they at first possessed only in common with others, have for a time been enjoyed by them to the exclusion of those others, they have owed that exclusion only to changes and innovations which have been made long after the celebrated exclamation to which they appeal.
Consider, says a fourth, the consequences which must follow, if every petty proprietor or occupier of land is to be at liberty to carry
his gun at his pleasure: the attention which is required by his farm will be given to his sport, and such will be the destruction of game that in a short time there will be none left. But the yeoman who lives upon his own land, and whose income is derived from the cultivation of it, has too much at stake, and knows his own interest far too well, to neglect the business of his farm for the pleasures of the field. Occasionally indeed he may take up his gun, particularly if he live in what-is called a game country; but whilst he confines himself to his own ground, who can in justice complain? And so far from this tending to the destruction of game, I believe that many great landowners are so sensible of the advantage to be derived from it, that they rather like to see the yeomen of the bet ter sort indulge in an occasional day's sport, well knowing that it tends to keep up in them a feeling of interest in the game, in common with the more regular sportsman, and leads them to preserve it on their farms with greater care, and consequently to increase the stock. Certainly, little doubt can be entertained but that this is the more probable effect.
We hear of no scarcity of game in France; and yet there the only qualification required is, not the possession of a certain quantity of land, but the permission to shoot, over it. Obtain that permission, and a porte d'armes will be granted. It is true, the municipal regulations of that country, which scarcely accord with our high notions of freedom, may create some little trouble on the first application. Many of our countrymen have, I know, complained of it. They have also in numerous instances,
vented their anger against the oc casional interruption of the gens d'armerie inquiring for the porte d'armes, or of the gardes cham pêtres asking by whose permission they were shooting upon any par ticular ground. But for my own part, I have shot several seasons, or rather parts of seasons, in France, and I have pleasure in acknowledging that I have met with excellent sport, and experienced the greatest civility. My permission included a wide range; and as I am "No Poacher" myself, I shot only where that permission extended. It is but justice to add, that so far from considering the gardes champêtres troublesome, I found them at all times extremely civil and obliging, and often very useful in communicating where they had marked any birds. To the trespasser, doubtless they may be troublesome; but so will the keeper be here. I am told that in Nancy last year, out of a popula tion of thirty thousand, no less than one thousand took out a porte d'armes; and yet I certainly saw not, nor do I hear of any scarcity of game in that country.
In Scotland too the effect is much the same. There, any man who has a certain quantity of land may either shoot himself, or give permission to others to shoot over it; and the permission is a suffi cient qualification: and yet, in Scotland, it is acknowledged on all hands, that game in general, and in particular pheasants, have very much increased of late years.
If the yeoman can ill spare time from his farm, still less can he who occupies land as a tenant do so; who, besides making a profit to sup port himself and family, has a high rent to pay to his landlord. His own interest will in most cases