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nion may be extended as far from the Irish shores to the westward in any proportion that the ocean bears to the Mediterranean, the Gulph of Venice, the Euxine, Sound, Belt or White Sea, which are possessed by several princes or states, who restrain those respective dominions; the Queen of Great Britain may take in many more leagues than any of them do miles; or, if they claim by virtue of being possessed of opposite shores, her Majesty may, by the same rule, claim the western ocean beyond Ireland.** When Sir William Temple boasted that by the treaty concluded in 1673, between King Charles II and the States General, the flag was carried to all the height his Majesty could wish, because it was stipulated in the 4th article of that treaty,' that the States General of the United Provinces, in due acknowledgment on their part of the King of Great Britain's right to have his flag respected in any of the seas from Cape Finisterre to the middle point of the land Van Staten in Norway, agree, &c. that their ships shall strike their flag and lower their topsail, &c. Sir Philip Meadows asked,' what has England to do with the bay of Biscay or sea of Norway? From Cape Finisterre to Van Staten is a greater stride than the British seas, (as in former treaties the article stood,) but then it weakens our standing. The limits fixed between the two capes are too wide for dominion, too narrow for respect. The crown of England claims no dominion in any seas but the British only, yet it claims respect every where and in all seas.'+

More moderate as well as more rational were the ideas of King James I. as to sea dominion and marine jurisdiction. It appears from Selden, that in the year 1504, the second of his reign, he caused twelve sworn men well skilled in maritime affairs to trace out on a map the sea coasts of England, on which were drawn straight lines from one promontory or headland to another, and all that was intercepted and included within these lines was called the king's chambers and royal ports. With this sea chart was published a royal proclamation, in which they are stiled' the places of the king's dominion and jurisdiction.' Sir Leonine Jenkins calls them those ancient sanctuaries where by the law all merchantmen are in safegard, and all hostilities whatsoever are to cease, and where all parties, though in enmity with one another, are equally to pay reverence to, and enjoy the benefit of, his Majesty's protection.'

This act of King James has been considered as impolitic, because it implied that he had no right, or, if he had, that he relinquished it altogether, beyond that boundary. It was soon evident however, that he had no intention to limit his right of the fisheries within such narrow bounds, as we have already seen by his pro

*Admiralty Records.

Letter from Sir P. Meadows to Mr. Secretary Pepys. Pepysian Papers.


clamation five years afterwards, prohibiting foreigners from fishing on any of the coasts and seas of Great Britain and Ireland without a licence. In fact, in the very same year that he caused the said sea-chart to be drawn, the commissioners appointed to conclude an union between the two kingdoms of England and Scotland, among other things concerning the trade, mutually agreed that the fishing within the friths and bays of Scotland and in the seas within fourteen miles distance from the coasts of that realm, where neither English nor other strangers have used to fish, should be reserved and appropriated to Scotchmen only; and reciprocally Scotchmen to abstain from fishing within the like distances off the coasts of England.' In the same reign, Lord Carlton, the English ambassador at the Hague, was informed, that a communication had been made to the United States commissioners in London, that their subjects would then and in future be prohibited from fishing within fourteen miles of his Majesty's coasts.* The Dutch however paid little attention to this notice. They out-numbered us in their merchant shipping in the proportion of 10 to 1,† and their navy as to number and tonnage was far superior to ours. It was manifest indeed that they were determined to try with us a vigorous contest for naval superiority, and King James did not find it prudent to provoke it at that time.

Since then no good precedent can be advanced to establish the right of Great Britain to impose on her opposite neighbours either a limited or a licenced fishery, even in her own seas, the obvious policy on her part would be that of forming a numerous and expert body of fishermen, while the war continues, which has given us the unrivalled commerce of the world, as we have long been the uncontrouled masters of the sea. We know of no other effectual mode of retarding the progress of the enemy in a rivalship of the fisheries, than that of a prior occupation of them; for, peace once restored, in vain we should endeavour to exclude them from our fishing grounds; the very attempt to do it would involve us in endless disputes and difficulties. If, in the midst of war, we are so indulgent or so indifferent as to permit them to fish half Channel over, they will not scruple to visit our bays and harbours in time of peace. We permit even to our enemies the enjoyment of a benefit which, under a change of circumstances, they would peremptorily refuse to us. We allow them to come out and fish without molestation, notwithstanding that fishery not only feeds their markets, but supplies their blockaded fleets with a succession of seamen-almost the only seamen whom they have the opportunity of making.


* Sir P. Meadows on the Sovereignty of the Seas. Pepysian MS.

+ Hume.

We did indeed, on one occasion, seize some fifteen or sixteen of the Dutch schuyts, because, on the loss of the Flora frigate in 1808, the surrounding fishing boats, instead of assisting the suf ferers, inhumanly made away from the wreck and left them to perish; about the same time too the Dutch had broken a cartel which they had concluded with Great Britain. But what was the consequence? The Dutch fishermen found in our easy philanthropy an amnesty for the loss of those brave men of the Flora, who had perished through their inhumanity; the schuyts and fishermen were restored, the order rescinded, and the Dutch fish as before without molestation.

The immense advantages to be derived from establishing a national fishery on a grand scale, must plead our excuse for extending the present article to so great a length. Happy shall we be if we have succeeded in drawing the attention of those to the subject, through whose influence and exertions alone those advantages can be obtained.

ART. II. An Essay towards a Theory of Apparitions. By John Ferriar, M.D.

THE 'HE observation of Dr. Johnson, that the belief in apparitions could become universal only by its truth, and that those who deny it with their tongues, confess it with their fears, has perhaps received more consideration than it is fairly entitled to. The last remark will not carry very far at any rate, nor is it of much avail even in the very small extent to which it is applicable; for the fear of ghosts may well survive the belief in them, and is much oftener the effect of habit, than the result of conviction. It was said of a certain officer, the early part of whose life had been passed in extraordinary shifts and distresses, that a reverse of fortune, which brought plenty and ease, never could put him above the fear of bailiffs, at sight of whom he invariably fled; and it may perhaps be averred that there scarcely lives a person who does not retain a more or less painful impression from some dauger which no longer exists. The first part of the sentence has however more weight, and though the universality of the creed respecting spirits cannot be argued as a proof of their visitation, it at least proves the existence of some universal causes, which must have led to such a belief. A discussion of these forms the subject of the work at present under our consideration.

The author prefaces it by declaring that he is about to open a new and unbeaten field to the composer of romance, and to present an effectual antidote to the terrors of the ghost-seer, assuring those


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whom he invites to his 'enchanted castle' that the door will not be opened to them by a grinning demon, but by a very civil person in a black cap.' Instead however of ushering in his guests with the method and solemnity, which such a description implies, he has scarcely admitted them before away goes this grave personage with a hop, step and a jump, which might almost baffle the activity of Mr. Scott's goblin-page. We will tax our muscles to accompany him in elasticity and irregularity of movement. He begins by allowing that impressions have been made upon the senses of persons of credit, which were apparently præternatural;-that by such the forms of the dead and the absent have been seen and their voices have been heard.' Proposing to explain these reputed prodigies by physical means, he states it to be a known fact that, in cases of delirium and insanity, spectral delusions take place and often continue during several days; but says it has not been generally noticed that similar effects may have been produced by a partial and undelected affection of the brain. Deducing all fantastic apparitions from this source, he, for greater perspicuity, as he states, distributes his matter under the three following divisions:-1st. The general law of the system to which spectral impressions may be referred; 2d, the proof of the existence of morbid impressions of this nature without any sensible external agency; 3d, the application of these principles to the best authenticated histories of apparitions,' but he soon loses sight of his arrangement.


Having thus announced the plan of the author, we shall follow him as we can; but feel that we give no very favourable earnest of our activity by being stopped, at the very threshold, by this bold proposition. It is a well known law of the human economy, that the impressions produced on some of the external senses, especially on the eye, are more durable than the application of the impressing cause.' The author first illustrates this position by the description of a faculty, which he had himself possessed, in his youth, of recalling,

the dark, any interesting object that he had seen in the course of the day, and colouring the copy with all the brilliancy and force of the original; and then in confirmation of his system, cites an insinuation of Dr. Darwin in his Zoonomia, that this error, like the deceptions of perspective, is only corrected by experience. To this principle he attributes dreams, the supposed spectacles exhibited in the aurora borealis, and other natural illusions, illustrated by different examples. But were the impression made upon the organs of sight not, what it certainly is, a mere repetition, effected we know not how, through the force of imagination, but, in fact, permanent, and only corrected by experience; we should perceive in children the first dawn and progress of observation, as well with respect to this, as to the illusions of perspective, the process of which is easily


traced. Were the impression, of which the author treats, other than imaginary, why need he have resorted to a dark room in order to renew the images with which he had been previously amused? These would have been still visible, according to his theory, (unless he means to argue yet more whimsically, that this uneffaced picture of things once seen operates to the exclusion of what is before our eyes,) though confused with the objects of his immediate view. He would have enjoyed his romantic prospects in mid-day and in a garret; the only inconvenience might have been the having his green fields dotted with a tester bed, high-back chairs and bu reaus.* This principle too is insufficient, as he afterwards virtually admits, to the establishment of his system respecting apparitions; for those who have sleeping or waking dreams, do not only. copy, they imitate and compound. We confess that we have the more delight in battering this new and extraordinary proposition, because we think the doctrine singularly uncomfortable. Other ' of the external senses,' we are informed, may be capable of this real secondary affection. Now though there are many impressions which all would willingly reproduce, we believe that no one covets a second edition of squalls and broken bones. Vous ne devez pas dire que vous avez reçu des coups de bâton, mais qu'il vous semble d'en avoir reçu, may be a very unsatisfactory suggestion to a man who has been just cudgelled, but it is more cruel, and not a whit more philosophical, after admitting his first misfortune, to persuade him that it will be renewed at a time when there is not a twig in sight, or an arm to brandish one; especially if he has not been bastinadoed often enough for him to have corrected this impression by dint of experience. Such is the consolation afforded by 'a very civil person,' who professes to annihilate the tyranny of the imagination.

The manager, having now explained the nature of his machinery, draws up the curtain and exhibits his phantasmagoria, which presents us with legions of spirits, black, white, blue and grey. One trick in the puppetshow deserves to be recorded. One of the mortal dramatis personæ in imagination swallows the devil; a case which, in our opinion, should be referred to a confused association of ideas. From the most generous motives he resisted,' says Dr. Ferriar,' the calls of nature during several days, lest he should set the foul fiend at liberty. I overcame his resolution, however,' he adds, by

* We do not mean to deny the retina, in some cases, retaining, for a few seconds, the impressions which it has received; but we deny the extent in which this fact has been maintained, and the inferences which have been drawn from it. Such instances are, we believe, rare, and usually considered by medical men as arising from some debility, or morbid affection of the organ.


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