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OF
THE PRESENT STATE

OF THE :
SALMON

AND

CHANNEL-FISHERIES,

AND OF THE
STATUTE LAWS
BY WHICH THEY ARE REGULATED;

SHOWING, THAT IT IS TO
THE DEFECTS OF THE LATTER THAT THE PRESENT SCARCITY OF

THE FISH IS TO BE ATTRIBUTED.

COMPREHENDING ALSO
THE NATURAL HISTORY AND HABITS OF THE SALMON,

* WITH

SOME OF ITS PECULIARITIES HITHERTO UNDESCRIBED.

TOGETHER WITH

THE FORM OF A NEW ACT,
DESIGNED TO REMEDY THE EVILS SO GENERALLY COMPLAINED OF;

AND AN ABSTRACT OF
THE EVIDENCE BEFORE THE COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE

OF COMMONS UPON THE SUBJECT,

WITH NOTES.

By ”. CORNISH, Esq.

Truth needs no ornament : in my opinion what she borrows of the pencil
is deformity.

JUNIUS.
Then consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds. Judges, xix, 30.

.

LONDON:

FRINTED FOR
LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, BROWN, AND GREEN,

PATERNOSTER-ROW.

LONDON: Printed by A. & R. Spottiswoode,

New-Street-Square:

PREFACE.

It is fortunate for a person who publishes a book wanting in its title-page that passport' to public favor which lies in a name, that his subject requires no such adventitious aid."

On certain subjects of an elementary and scientific nature, a writer's name has great weight; but with a work of this kind, consisting of a mere detail of facts, and a chain of reasoning, and therefore resting upon its own intrinsic merits, a name ought to have no more influence than in a court of justice is allowed to character against clear and positive testimony. Facts are substantiated by evidence, not by opinions; and reasons are enforced by principles and comparison. This work aspires to no other merit than facts and reasoning possess; and as far as the interests of the subject are concerned, it is, perhaps, better that it should have no weightier or more specious recommendation. A narne may promote circulation, but it should never command confidence ; nothing should be taken for granted; and a habit of admitting the dicta of others, rather than of judging for ourselves, is and has been productive of interminable mischief. The student of human nature has a problem to solve which will furnish him with employment and vex. ation all his life, or terminate in disappointment. The question in the present case is, are the facts true of false ? - is the reasoning just or incorrect ? Of this every one can judge for himself. Let not, then, the public be cheated of their own judgment by the naked opinion of any man, however bright his reputation for literature or science. With respect to those points which constitute the leading features of this undertaking, whatever may be advanced to legalize the fish-locks and stakenets, or to prove that salmon peal are not young salmon, let the public rather judge of these questions by the evidence of facts, experiments, and comparative reasoning, than be influenced by assertions without proof, and opinions without aú

thority. The following pages are written by one who has not only long witnessed the scenes of abuse which they expose, but who, if he did not first kindle the flame that is now blazing from one end of the kingdom to the other, has contributed, he believes, to light it. He has, nevertheless, no other motive in having so done, and in publishing a true state of the case, than that some good may arise out of it to the community. If this cannot be effected to the extent of procuring a new law, at least it may be partly obtained, by putting the old ones in force, as far as they are practicable. Still, legislative authority without executive power, is like a highly finished lock without a key, for want of which it can nei. ther be opened or shut; or applied to any practical advantage. I have said thus much, in order to prove that as the name of a person who is unknown would neither further the credit of this work, nor propagate its circulation; so it ought not to be less worthy of consideration from being nameless. .

Let me now seriously call the attention of the public to the propriety of forming County Associations, for first ascertaining the meaning and extent of the present laws, and then for putting them in force, I do not here descant upon the advantage which

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