ページの画像
PDF
ePub

fact, the French even now (January, 1836) are only pos-, both cases. Hardiness of constitution is hereditary, like sessed of the city of Algiers and a small district around, and other qualities; and the manner in which the young are of the towns of Oran and Bona, and one or two more points reared tends greatly to confirm or diminish this. An animal on the coast. All the rest is in possession of the bey of of which the breed originally came from a warm climate, Constantina, and of the Arabs and Kabyles, who are at like a tender exotic plant, wants artificial warmth for the war with the French.

healthy growth of its limbs; while the indigenous and more Bredow wrote also a 'Chronicle of the 19th Century,' in hardy breeds may be left exposed to the elements. An which he spoke of Napoleon's power, then at its height, abundance of wholesome food and pure water is essential with a boldness that acquired him a name among the da to the healthy state of every animal, as well as exercise triots of Germany:

proportioned to its strength. These are circumstances BREEDING' is the art of multiplying the domestic which it is obvious must be carefully attended to. There animals rapidly, and at the same time improving their are others, the result of long experience, which are equally qualities.

necessary to be known, but which are not so obvious. These Any breed of animals will perpetuate itself provided there vary according to the species and variety of the animals is a sufficiency of proper food for them; and the varieties bred ; and it is seldom that the same breeder is equally found in a wild state must depend in some degree on the successful in rearing different species of animals. climate and the products of the country in which they ar In the animals selected to breed from there are points, as found. Care and domestication also produce varieties, they are called, which are peculiar conformations, some of which are much more useful or profitable than the wild which are connected with the natural formation of the skelebreeds; and in the selection of the best individuals to pro- ton, and others appear to be the result of an association pagate a useful race, and in the rearing of the young, con- derived from the known qualities of certain individuals, and sists the art of the breeder.

of which no very good physiological account can be given, Without entering into particulars, which vary with every That high withers and a freely moving shoulder-blade in a species of animal, and with the different varieties of the horse are connected with his speed is readily perceived, same species, we shall lay down certain principles which and that the length of the muscles of the quarter, and the experience has proved to be correct, and which being manner of their insertion, should affect his power is equally attended to will greatly promote the improvement of all evident; but it is not so apparent that the manner in which the different animals usually bred for the use of man, the ears are placed on the head, the shape of the nose or whiether for his sustenance or for his pleasure. The first jaw, and the insertion of the tail higher or lower, has an thing which is to be kept in view is the chief purpose for important effect on the value of the animal, independently which the animal is reared, whether for labour and to assist of any arbitrary idea of beauty. A breeder who should not human strength, or for speed, to convey us rapidly from one attend to these circumstances in the animals chosen to perplace to another ;--whether merely for a supply of animal petuate the breed would find, to his cost, that it is more food, or to produce the raw materials of manufacture. In ihan mere taste which has determined these points. It is each of these cases distinct qualities are required; and it is the result of observation and experience that certain breeds seldom that two of these objects can be combined in the are invariably distinguished by certain peculiarities, and greatest perfection.

that these are almost as invariably connected with good Having then determined the purpose for which any species qualities, apparently quite independent of the parts on which of domestic animal is designed, every quality must be at- these points appear. tended to which furthers this view; and except under very There is an indication of the disposition of an animal in peculiar circumstances the animals intended to keep up the eye, in the shape of the head, and in the manner in the stock by their produce must be chosen with those quali- which it is carried, which seldom deceives an experienced ties in the greatest perfection which are essential to the judge. He will not risk introducing a vicious or sulky disend. In all animals a perfect conformation of the bodily position into his breed, which might counterbalance all the frame is essential to the due performance of the vital func- good qualities the animal might possess, and introduce a tions. The skeleton of the animal should therefore be as greater hereditary fault than any imperfection of form. perfect as possible. The capacity of the chest, and the But nothing is so deceitful as the prejudices which exist healthy nature of the lungs are points which must never be with respect to peculiarities and colours. In some countries overlooked, whatever may be the purpose for which the no ox or cow would be thought good of its kind that was not animal is bred; for although a defect may in some measure red or brown without spots; in others a certain portion of be counteracted by a judicious choice of the individual white is essential. In Suffolk no cart-horse is prized which coupled with the defective animal, it is only where there is no is not chestnut; in Northamptonshire he must be black; in alternative or choice that any defect in the bodily frame of Yorkshire brown or bay. This is owing to the common an animal kept for breeding should be overlooked. In spite colour of the breeds most esteemed in each county. In of every care the defect will appear in the offspring ; some- Belgium, whence the Suffolk breed originally came, but times not till after several generations. If it were possible which has degenerated in its native country, a chestnut horse, to find individuals without fault or defect, no price would be with a white mane and tail, as well as a red cow, are detoo great for them; and for those that have been carefully spised. Here the reason of the prejudice is the association selected for several generations it is real economy to give of the colour with some defect, and those who breed for profit a very liberal price. In horses bred for racing or for the by sale must be ruled by the taste of their customers. The chase experience has fully proved the truth of this rule ; rational mode of proceeding is to be well acquainted with and no one who pretends to breed race-horses would breed the anatomy of the kind of animal which we make the subfrom a inare which had a natural defect, or a horse whose ject of our attention ; to learn by experience what are the whole pedigree was not free from fault. For mere swiftness peculiar qualities of the different breeds, distinguished by the shape of the animal, whether horse or greyhound, must any particular feature, and whether these qualities have any combine strength with great activity. The chest must be apparent connexion with the peculiarity in make or colour. deep, the lungs free, and the digestive organs sound but We may then be guided by the knowledge thus acquired in small, to add as little weight to the body as is consistent our choice of individuals, to perpetuate the breed, and not with the healthy functions of nature. The legs should be only preserve the useful qualities which they already poslong and slender, and the bones compact and strong ; but sess, but gradually improve them. No greater mistake can the principal thing to be attended to is the courage, and no be committed than that of making what are called violent quality is so hereditary. A horse or hound of a good breed, crosses, such as coupling a very spirited male with a slugif in health, will die of exertion sooner than give up the gish female, an animal with large bones with one of very chace. Any defect in courage in an animal intended for slender make, a long-limbed animal with a compact one. great occasional exertion renders him unfit to be selected to By such crosses the first produce has often appeared much continue an improved breed ; and whatever may be his improved; but nature is not to be forced, and if the breed is pedigree he has degenerated.

continued, innumerable deformities and defects are certain With respect to animals whose strength and endurance to follow. The safe way is to choose the animals as nearly are their most desirable qualities, a greater compactness of alike in their general qualities as possible, taking care that form is required, a greater capacity of the digestive organs, where there is a defect in one it exist not in the other, whick: and, according to the climate to which they may be exposed, would infallibly perpetuate it. A defect can never be rea more suitable covering. Whether it be to ward off cold or medied by means of another of an opposite kind, but, by great heat, a thick covering of hair is equally serviceable in great attention, it may be diminished gradually, and at last

disappear entirely. This refers however to defccts, not to this respect chiefly that certain breeds of sheep and cattle peculiar qualities. Cows, for example, may produce either are so far superior to others. The principles which apply milk or fat in abundance from similar food ; and a species to cattle are equally applicable, mutatis mutandis, to sheep. of cow, which secretes too much fat, so as to be deficient in In no case are strong bones or horns of much importance to the milk necessary to rear the calf, may be improved by the sheep in its domestic state. The principal objects are selecting individuals which give more milk, and by crossing wool and flesh, which appear to be dependant on distinct the breed with these; but we must be careful not to choose and perhaps incompatible qualities. The attempt to unite individuals which differ much in shape from the breed to be the two is perhaps the reason why the Spanish breed, which improved. A cross between a Herefordshire cow and an has been improved when transported into Saxony, has deAlderney bull might possibly produce a good cow, but the generated in England; so that even its crosses are not in breed of this cow would probably be of inferior quality, whether repute. It is a matter of mere calculation, whether sheep for fattening or for the dairy, and nothing but ill-formed kept for their wool chiefly are more profitable than cows, deficient in milk, and slow-feeding oxen, are likely to those which give an increase of meat at the expense result from it. Every attempt to unite opposite qualities is of the quality of the wool. A breeder of sheep who generally attended with a bad result. If a breed has too attends only to the quality of the wool, will not have great an aptitude to fatten, so as to endanger the fecundity his attention taken off from the main object by any defiof the mother or the health of the offspring, the only remedy ciency in the carcase, or the disposition of the animal to is to diminish the food ; and if, on the other hand, a diffi- increase in flesh and fat. It is possible that mixed breeds culty is found in fattening cows which are of a peculiarly may be more profitable than the pure. Fine wool may not good breed for the dairy, such as the Alderney cows and repay the breeder and rearer of sheep so well as moderate other small breeds, the loss on the old cow sold half fat will wool and good meat. But the principle we contend for is, have been amply repaid by the milk she has given; and that of producing the most perfect animal of any one vathe bull-calves which are not wanted to rear for bulls, if they riety existing, by correcting individual defects gradually, are not profitable to fatten as oxen, must be fatted off young and avoiding fanciful crosses, which may destroy in one and sold for veal. But it is not a necessary consequence generation all the advantages obtained in a great many. of an abundant produce of milk, that the cow, when dry, Hence it is a matter of great importance to consider well will not fatten readily; although a great propensity to the qualities of the individuals with which you begin your fatten renders the breed less fit for the dairy. The Ayr- improvement, and to know that these qualities have existed shire, which are good milkers, fatten well when dry, and the in their progenitors, and are not merely accidental. If oxen of that breed are as kind feeders as any.

crossing appear necessary, let it be done very gradually and Many breeders have an idea that coupling animals which cautiously. No experienced breeder would ever expect to are nearly allied in blood produces a weak race ; others con- improve the fleece of a sheep of the Leicester breed or the sider it as a prejudice, and among those who held the latter carcase of the Merino by a direct cross between these two opinion was the famous breeder Bakewell. Without de- breeds. The offspring would most probably lose all the ciding this point, we should recommend avoiding too near a good qualities for which each breed is noted, and produce a relationship, provided individuals equally perfect can be mongrel breed worth little in comparison. But a cross of found of the same breed more distantly related. Every Merinos with South Downs, or Leicester with Cotswold, individual has some peculiar defect, and his descendants might produce new and useful breeds, and these, carefully have a tendency to this defect. If two immediate descend selected, as has been done, have produced mixed breeds, ants are coupled, this defect will probably be confirmed, which by great attention may become very valuable. whereas by uniting the descendants of different individuals When it is determined what breed of animals you wish to the defect of either of the parents may never break out; but perpetuate and improve, the individuals which are to be sooner than retrograde by coupling an inferior animal with the parents of the stock cannot be too carefully selected. one in an improved state, we should not hesitate to risk the The more nearly they are alike in form, colour and exterior consequences supposed to arise from what is called breeding appearance, the more likely they are to produce a distinct in and in, that is coupling animals nearly related in blood, race. They should neither be above nor under the usual especially if only on one side, such as the produce of the size. They should be of such an age as to have entirely same male by different females, or of a female by different ceased growing, and be arrived at perfect maturity; and, sires. The qualities which distinguish animals in which the whatever may be their good qualities, they should not be muscles and bones are required to be much exercised, as selected, if they are the produce of very aged parents, at dogs, horses, and working oxen, are very different from least on the female side. those of animals destined to accumulate mere tender flesh In horses and horned cattle many breeders prefer a male and fat for human food. In the former there must be spirit, rather less in size than the female, and pretend that the activity, and quick digestion; in the latter, indolence and fætus has more room to develope its members in what they proneness to sleep are advantageons. In the first, the lungs term a roomy female.* There may be some truth in this, but must play with ease, and the muscles be strong, and not equality of size, or rather the due proportion established in encumbered with fat. In the second, the lungs must be nature, seems most likely to produce a well-formed offspring. sound, as they are essential to all the secretions, and the Any considerable deviation from this is generally attended digestive power must be good, but slow. The food must with defect. Nothing is more common than for a country not be accelerated through the bowels by exercise, but the gentleman who has a useful favourite mare, not particularly absorbent vessels of the intestines must draw all the nourish- well bred, when any accident has rendered her unfit for ment from the digested food. The more the muscles are work, to have her covered by some very high-bred stallion, impeded with fat, the better the animal will repay the food expecting to have a very superior foal. Sometimes this sucgiven him. To choose an animal to breed from, whose ceeds, but in general it ends in disappointment, especially if produce shall get fat readily, we must attend to this part of the mare be small. A much more certain way is to choose the constitution, and care little about spirit and activity. a half-bred stallion, nearly of the size of the mare, and The tendency to secrete bone, and those parts which are having those good points which the mare already possesses. called offal by the butchers, as being of inferior value, is In this case there is every probability of rearing a well-proa defect. Good flesh and fat are the great objects. portioned and useful animal, instead of a cross made one,

The manner in which the more solid parts of the body as the breeders call them, probably from the very circumare formed, and the greater consumption of food, in propor- stance of these crosses not succeeding in general. We tion to the increase of weight which takes place in young advert to this as a fact which many of our readers may animals, while bones and horns are growing, prove that it know from experience. is much more expensive to produce bone than flesh, and To give in a few words the rules which result from what muscular fibre than fat. Hence it is evident that the we have very briefly stated greater profit is in fattening animals that have finished Choose the kind of animal which you wish to breed from, their growth; and also that there is a superiority in those having distinguishing qualities; keep these constantly in breeds which have small bones and no horns. This is an view and reject all individuals in which they are not as perimportant point to be attended to by a breeder; as is also fect at least as in the parents. Select the most perfect the time when the bony secretion is completed. A breed forms and let the defects be corrected gradually. Have paof animals that will cease to grow, or have attained their tience and perseverance and avoid all attempts at any sudfull size of bone at an early age, will be much more profit den alteration by bold crosses. If possible, breed two or able to the grazier than one of slower growth. It is in * See communications to the Board of Agriculture, by Mr. Cline, vol. iv.

Aici.

more families of the same kind, keeping them distinct, and thentic, but the labour of translating, methodizing, and only occasionally crossing the one with the other. In this illustrating them must be that of years ; so that nothing manner a very improved breed may be produced. The more can be here effected than to give such an outline of nearer you approach to perfection the more difficult will the social system of the old Irish under these laws as their be the selection, and the greater the danger of retrograding. available fragments, compared with the general history of the Hence in very highly bred stocks it is often almost impos-country, would point out to the reader of the various accessible to keep up the perfection of the breed, and a fluctuation sible authorities on the subject. in the quality of the produce will take place. The more The present division of Ireland into provinces, counties, improved the breed is, therefore, the greater attention must baronies, and townlands would appear to correspond pretty be paid in the selection of those which are to continue it. nearly with the old territorial distinctions of minor kingAnd for want of this, almost every breed, however reputed ships, lordships of countries, chiefries of clans, and presiit may have been at one time, gradually degenerates, and dencies (if we may use the term) of villages; all subject to loses its great superiority.

the dominion of the Ard Righ, or supreme king, and tribuAs every farmer and occupier of land is more or less a tary, one to another, among themselves. breeder, if he be only a breeder of pigs, these observations The law governing this community is distinguishable into may be useful. In the articles on each partienlar species of the common and, so to speak, the statute law. And, first, animal, these general principles are applied and more parti- as to the common law, or immemorial custom of the country, cular directions are given.

our information is necessarily scanty, as being derived BREGENZ, CIRCLE OF (also called the circle of chiefly from the reference made to such usages in the reVorarlberg), forms part of the Austrian earldom of the maining fragments of the written law; for at this day Tyrol, and is bounded on the N. and N.E. by Bavaria, on There remains scarce any oral tradition available on this the S. and W. by Switzerland, and on the N.W. by the subject in Ireland. The constitution of the bulk of solake of Constanz. Its area, according to Von Lichtenstern, ciety in antient Ireland was patriarchal and pastoral. By is about 1560 sq. m., within which there are 3 towns, 7 m. t., the common law of the tribes, the ground belonging and 412 vil. Being traversed by the lofty range of the to each seeins to have been divided into common pasture Adler (or Eagle mountains), an offset of the Rhæiian Alps, lands, common tillage lands, private demesne lands, and which separates it from the Tyrol, it is a mountainous demesne land of the tribe. Each man of the tribe had country, and full of forests: it possesses also fine tracts of then the right to pasture as many cattle as he possessed on pasture land, the grazing of which forms the principal occu these common grazing lands; and in proportion to the pation of the inh., and it produces abundance of wine, number of cattle thus pastured by each was the share of fruit, and potatoes, but not grain enough for domestic con the common tillage lands assigned to him on the annual sumption. Independently of the Rhine, which skirts it partition or hotch-potch of the lands. The private defor a distance of about 20 m. from Bange to the spot where mesne lands were the distinct property of individuals who the Rhine falls into the lake of Constan2, Bregenz is were entitled to acquire and transmit such possessions by watered by the Aach or Ache, which runs into that lake, certain qualifications not very clearly explained. The dethe lesser Tussach, which has the same outlet, and the II,

of this work; but the reader who wishes to investigate the subject is referred a stream tributary to the Rhine. Cotton stuffs are woven to the el. borate essays of Callancey and O'Reilly (a), while we here cite a in most parts; and mining, ship building, the manufacture

lew ouly of the more interesting testimonies which may be adduced.

bishop t'sher, in his ' Discourse, showing when and low the imperial liw of articles of wood, felling and preparing timber, &c. con came to be received by the old Irish,' speaks of the Brehon laws as bring stitute other branches of industry. The three towns of this contained in his day in large volumes still extant in their own (i. e, in tlie circle are Bregenz, Felilkirch (1590 ini.), and Pludenz or

Irish language.' Sir John Davies, their greai opponent and final subverter,

while he a serts, in his famous historical essay, that these laws were bar. Bludenz (about 1900 inh.), both on the Ill. The pop. is barous, because ural, admits, in his letter ic the Earl of Salisbury, detailing about 89,600. Bregenz, the capital, is an open, busy town,

his proceedings in Brenny O'Reilly (the present county of Cavan) and Fer

managh, in the year 1000, that a brehon who was brought before him Ly beautifully situated on an eminence at the entrance of the force to give evidence as to the estates of Maguire, the lord of the latter Aach into the lake of Constanz: it is one of the oldest towns country, had in his possession the antient written title deeds, appointmevt, in Germany, is well built, and is divided into the old town,

and rental of that principality. Sir Richard Cox declares, in his Apparatus'

pr fixed to the well known history of Ireland that 'there was no writien law, which occupies the sides of the eminence, and the lower no digested or well compiled rule of right; no, it was only the will of their town, which spreads along the shores of the lake. Bregenz

brehon or lord.' «The manner of deciding controversies,' says he, was equally

ridiculous with the law they judged by--without clerks, registrars, or records.' contains the head school of the chicle (Haupt-schule), three • We may be sure,' he adults, that some of these hereditary judges and doctors churches, two monastic establishments, an orphan asylum, were very sad tools, and perhaps all of them will justly fall under suspicion,

unless their advocates can show some antient learned tracts on law or physic a military school of natation, about 360 houses, and 2300

which might remain as monuments on record.' First, as regards medical inh. The productions of the immediate vicinity are corn, tracts in the Irish langlaze, they are very nearly as umerous, and fully fruit, wine, butter, and cattle; the townsmen spin tax and

as antique, as those on law (b); and, secondly, with regard to the point at

issue, the following extract from the letters of Thaildeus Roddy, a gentknan cotton yarns, weave cottons, bleach wax, sell considerable of the county of Leitrim, who lived in the beginning of the last centur:, is numbers of articles of wood, frameworks, and complete peculiarly illustrative of the question and its merits. I have thirty biw ks

of our law,' says Roddy, although my honoured friend, Sir Richard Cus, fittings of wood for houses, and export Alpine huts ready

was once of opinion that our law was arbitrary, and uot fixed or written, till for erection to the adjoining Swiss cantons. The yearly satisfied him to the coutiary in the summer of 1699, by showing him one amount of the commercial transactions of the town has

of these old law books (); yet Cox has taken no step to rectify that material

error in his writings.' This ill-founded increduliny, joined to the dilliculty of been estimated at nearly 200,0001, sterling. The old castle removing it by adequate translations, and sustained, perhaps, by a weak exhibits vestiges of Roman construction, and appears to

though prevalent apprehension of danger to the settlement of estatis, by have formerly been a place of considerable strength. Theings of the native Irish, has hitlierto prevented that honourable use to wtih

giving publicity to documeris which can in any way excite the national feel. Gerhardsberg, a high mountain, on which stand the ruins of the once spacious stronghold of the counts of Montfort, is turued; so that the words of Bishop Nicholson, afer the lapse of more t'nin

it century, are still as applicable as when first penned. I dlare promise the in the neighbourhood. 4730' N. lat, 9° 42' E. long. antiquarians and historians of this kingdom, that if they (the Brelon law BREHON LAWS. The antient laws of the Irish, so MSS.) fall into the hands of as skiiful a publisher as the Welsh laws are in

(he alludes to Wotton, whese · Leges Wallica,' or laws of Howel Dha, we called from being expounded by judges, named in the Irish

shall have occasion to reter tw above), we shall have a very delightful and ia. language Breitheamhuin, or Brehons. Feineachas however structive view of many antient rites and ceremonies of this country, which, is and Breitha-neimeadh, words signifying

yet, have continued in the almost darkness and obscurity' (d). Yet while the respectively an.

subject has thus lain in itbeyance, the materials for a better elucidation of it tient laws and sacred ordinations, are the terms commonly have been increasing. A collection which now fills tho large quarto volumes applied to the collection of these writings by the native is deposited in the library of th. Royal Irish Academy.other matter of

considerable value solicits the exertions of the legal antiquary at Stowe; aud writers.

while the most importaut of several private collections can still be traced to Prior to the Anglo-Norman invasion, Ireland was wholly their several owners, the transactions of the learned body alluded to (o)line governed by the Brehon law; and, notwithstanding the

lately been enriched by transcripts of upwards of thirty deeds and law

instruments in the Irishi language of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth statements of Spenser, Davies, Cox, and others, that this centuries, rude, it is true, and e: incing a very primitive state of seeiety, but was an unwritten and barbarous corle, there is abundant still, for the greater pari, the work of bretons, conformable to brelon law,

and indisputable evideuce that the native Irislı not only possessed a fixed and evidence to prove that some of the collections of the Breitha

written code by which to regulate the judgments of their brolions, but also neimeadh are of equal antiquity with the oldest manuscripts that these functionaries duly committed these juryments, such as they were. of Irish history, whether civil or ecclesiastical, an antiquity of either record has been alınst universa:ly received as true. which carries us safely back to the earlier ages of the Chris

(a) Colleet. de Reb. Hib. vols. i. and ini.; and Trans. R. Irish Acad. vol. xiv. tian æra. The extant collections are numerous and au. See also Lynch, Cambrensis Eversus, p. 157.

(6) See Catalogues of VSS, in Bril. Mus.; in Bod. Lib. Oxon ; in Trin. These terms are still the subjes t of etymological dispute: the translations Col. Dub.; ndio R. Irish Acad. given are those most generally received.

(C) Collect, de Reb. Hib. vol. i. + To enter at large into these proofs would be incompatible with the design (d) Hist. Lib, for Ireland. (e) Trans, R. I. Acad. vol. xv.

mesne lands of the tribe were set apart for the maintenance | members holding in common. But co-existent with the first of the chief, the chief elect, the bard, doctor, and brehon. practical development of such a system, if not actually con

With regard to the nature of the property enjoyed in templated in its very rudiments, arises the necessity of prothese several estates, the tribe at large possessed what is viding for those members of the community who, either by called the allodial or original indefeasible property in all the chance, or choice, or compulsion, have been separated from lands, and could not be ejected out of them in consequence their particular kindreds, and have thus no proper Finné of any arrears of tribute, inasmuch as the superior lord with whom to claim a share. Such individuals could not lifteil only a proportion of the increase of stock upon the expect to participate in the rights of blood enjoyed by those pastures, and was bound to take the same away at certain tribes among whom they might be dispersed, neither could seasons: this rent was precisely a lay tithe, being one-tenth they be received by the commonalty of those tribes as of the increase. As to the common tillage lands, every tenants on their fluctuating possessions. To provide for member of the tribe possessed a life interest in them, pro- them, it was necessary that a certain portion of the land portioned to his stock in cattle. In the private demesne should be set apart for the reception of strangers. To lands individuals had a permanent inheritable interest. prevent the confusion of many landlords, the profits of these In his separate portion of the demesne lands of the tribe, tenements were allotted to the chief who could thus afforia the chief had a life interest, of which the reversion lay with to exact a lighter tribute from the Finné of his tribe. To the tanist, i.e., the second man, or chief elect, and in like induce the better sort of strangers to settle among them, the manner the tanist, bard, &c. possessed life interests in chief was empowered to grant some of these tenements in their several portions.

perpetuity, but the greater portion was usually let at will. The personal distinctions of the tribe, corresponding to As for those who had only their labour to offer in lieu of the the above territorial divisions, were, so far as can be gathered chief's protection, they were received on bis private demesne from the very confused authorities on this head, the In-finné, lands and became his serfs. Admission to the upper class deholders in common; and the Dathaig-finné, those indivi- pended on the stranger's ability to pay the entrance fine on duals alluded to above who were entitled to separate inherit- one or more of the disposable tenements. These tenements able possessions. The In-finné, or commonalty of this consisted of a homestead with a certain scope of ground pastoral corporation, appear to have been of one rank: but annexed. The homestead was denominated a Rath; to the Dathuig-finnć were divided into several classes, of which constitute a legitimate rath five things were requisite, viz., a the three most intelligible were the Deirbh finnć or class, as welling-house, an ox-stall, a hog-sty, a sheep-pen, and a the commentators explain it, nearest the succession, who calf-house: these buildings were generally surrounded by had the right to inherit the whole patrimony of their kin a ditch and rampart, and formed if necessary a place of dewithout deduction; the Gall-finné, who inherited three- fence as well as of residence. There is one very prevalent fourths of their patrimonial estates; and the lar-finné, error with regard to raths in Ireland ; viz., that they were whose right of inheritance extended to only one-fourth of Danish erections, and designed solely for military occuthe property left by their relations. These privileged classes pation. The term 'Danish rath' is altogether a misnomer. were, in erery tribe limited in number; but it does not exactly The original titles of raths, according to the classification of appear what was the qualification for admission, or the rule the brehon law, were drawn solely from the circumstance of of exclusion, or whether the Deirbh-finné, for instance, be their erection and occupation by the natives themselves ; as came disqualified on the election of a tanist less nearly for example, among many others, the Finné-rath, a homerelated to them than to others, although it is evident that a stead occupied by the original kindred; a Mer-rath, one man might rise from the condition of a tenant of common rented by stranger tenants for the first time ; an lar-ruth, tillage to that of a freeholder, or vice versâ, descend from the one occupied by stranger serfs on the chief s demesne lands; higher class to the lower. As to the chief himself, he was a Saer-rath, one of which the stranger tenant enjoyed the usually elected before the death of his predecessor, and the perpetuity ; a Forgu-rath, a secondary tenement appurrule seems to have been invariably, that the eldest of the tenant to the Saer-rath, &c. &c. The entrance fine of such candidates, if not incapacitated by age or infirmity, should a tenement was denominated fal, and for the legitimate rath have the preference, the brother being commonly chosen in- amounted to fifty head of cattle. But the most important stead of the son, and the son rather than the nephew. His term in this vocabulary is that applied to the stranger tenant revenue arose, as has been said, from the tenths of the in- himself. As distinguished from the finné, or original clanscrease of cattle, and from the revenues of his demesne lands. man, the stranger tenant was called Fuidhir, and his tenure In addition he had certain claims of entertainment for him- Fuidh. Now these terms are pronounced respectively Feuer self and household at stated times in the houses of his tenants, and Feu, the identical words still employed in Scottish law to in the same manner as his superiors, at certain seasons, indicate the freeholder and his freehold. Hence that they quartered themselves or their soldiers upon him. These are the radical form of the other feudal derivatives, such as claims were sometimes compromised by both for an equiva- fief, fee, &c., seems more than probable ; and when we lent in tribute ; but, as a portion, more or less, by way of come to consider more closely the relative situation of the homage, was generally reserved, and as the reservation, ac- Irish ree-fouer, it will appear that there is something in it cording to its extent, would seem to have had a special very analogous indeed to the older forms of pure feudal denomination, we have an explanation of the perplexing tenure. First, the allodium of the soil vested in the repremultiplicity of exactions which has so frequently called sentative of the tribe, so that the tenure of the ree-feuer down the censure of our early writers, who seem to consider | holding of the chief might be considered as in capite, with a coyne, living, bonaght, sohoran, cuddy, &c. &c., as so many power in many cases of granting mesne tenures to others. separate taxes, leviable on one and the same holding-an Secondly, at the death of the chief a stated fine was paid to his extortion apparently monstrous, and really impracticable, successor. Thirdly, females could not inherit. Fourthly, raths since there are as many denominations of tribute, according were liable to escheat; and, Fifthly, the tenant was bound to its reserved extent, as, if added together, would amount to serve the chief in war, and to diet certain numbers of his. to perhaps three times the value of the whole land,

soldiery at all seasons. Of the more minute characteristics So far of the Finné, or original members of the kindred, of the perfect feud as introduced by the Normans into Engwho constituted the great majority of the tribe. But in land, such as escuage, wardship, ransom, &c. &c., there are every tribe there was another class, less numerous and gene- so far few discoverable traces, but enough has been shown to rally less honourable, but in many respects peculiarly inte- give good ground for considering the Irish law of feuers, conresting and important, particularly as regards the origin of nected as it necessarily was with the pastoral constitution of the feudal low. The subject of feudal tenures has occupied their society, as the original form of feudal tenure among all the attention of the most distinguished English lawyers the Celtic nations. Feuers were classified according to the cirand historians. The origin of the system has been in all cumstances of their migration; as those who had voluntarily cases referred more or less to the necessities of military con- | left their former tribe to seek their fortunes; those whose quest, and its genius has been invariably considered as quite tribe had been dispersed in war, and those who had tled or distinct from that of any pastoral constitution. The remains been expelled their tribe for debt, for robbery, for piracy, of the brehon law however would go far to show that the or murder. The first three classes only had the privilege of feudal and pastoral systems, if not to some extent identical, becoming ree-feuers; criminal fugitives were admitted only have been in their origin closely and necessarily connected to a temporary protection, which they paid for by cattle or The system laid down above is so far calculated for the hand-service, on the private demesne lands of the chief, until government of a society composed of tribes, cach tribe pos- he should compound with his prosecutors, after which they sessing the allodium of its own district, and the mass of its usually became his serfs or bondsmen, Bond-feuers were

attached to the soil; the lands to which they were assigned | nymous terms in their respective languages. In England being denominated Betagh lands, and they themselves being at the time of the Conquest, every man had his value ; in frequently granted with the soil, as appears in many Wales, even to the time of its incorporation with England, not antient deeds, where they are specified under the name of only had every man his own value in gross, but the partiBetaghs.

cular value of all his members severally laid down by law; Thus then it would appear that the country was occupied as six oxen and ten shillings for the two hands, a like sum by kindreds called Finné, holding for the most part in for the two eyes, half that sum for one of either pair, so conimon, and by Feuers, who were either tenants by rent much for the ears, lips, nostrils, &c., and these again and service, or vassals of the chief. The tributes of chief varied with the rank of the maimed individual *. It is not to superior chief, up to the supreme king of the whole then to be considered either unexampled or monstrous to island, were regulated by established precedents. The collec- find an Irish chieftain requesting of the lord deputy to fix tion of these rules for the kingdom of Munster is entitled his sheriff's eric, that he might know what he should have • The Book of Rights,' and is still extant.

to pay, in case of that officer coming by his death at the So far of the common law; next as to the statute law of hands of any of his people. The amount of these erics, the Irish Whether these particular enactments were the different persons liable for their payment and entitled decreed by a general assembly, as asserted by some, to their receipt, the proportions of these claims and liabior by local chiefs, as affirmed by others, is a question not at lities, the adjustment of value and the living money by present capable of satisfactory consideration. The books which the various proportions of the mulct were paid, these containing them, of whatever age, profess to be but tran- and the further punishment of the offender in each case scripts and collections, with frequent references to similar required a very minute and complicated system of enactcompilations of still older date; but the text appears ments. That' the old Irish were acquainted with coined to be original, as its dialect is so antiquated as to require money is asserted by numerous authorities; that they used the assistance of frequent glosses, themselves very diffi- large quantities of the precious metals as a medium of cult to be deciphered, and even when translated not by any value is unquestionable ; but as none save chiefs and lords means easily understood. The collections are interspersed of territories were required to pay tribute in metal, the with numerous moral sentences, occasionally also with su- dealings of the mass of the people were calculated for the perstitious dogmas: as an instance of the first, `Heaven standard of living money as closely as the nature of the is like a chariot on wheels, the more you push against it medium would permit. Cattle were accordingly classified ; the farther it flies from you;' and as an example of the and no doubt it would raise a smile ou the countenance of second, “There are seven witnesses against a wicked king; a modern merchant to be told of calves, yearlings, heifers, viz., division in his councils, strained interpretation of the strippers, in-calf cows, &c. representing the fractional parts laws in his court, dearth, barrenness of cattle or lack of milk, of the standard of currency, but such has been the original a blight of fruit, and a blight of seed sown in the ground : pecuniary at substitute in every country; and when we have these are as lighted candles to expose the misgovernment the learned Selden declaring that pounds and shillings of every king *.

were not abundant in England in 1004, but paid in truck The number seven would seem to have been held in and cattle 1,' we can consider the practice in a less intolerant much the same esteem as the mystic number three. There spirit than those who, writing but a few centuries after the are, for instance, seven classes of persons whose anger is use of coined money, had become common among their own not to be resented ; viz. bards, commanders, women, pri- countrymen, have represented the barbarism of the Irish soners, drunken persons, druids, and kings in their own in this respect as a thing almost unheard of before. It has dominions. There are again three deaths not to be be- been seen that in proportion to the number of cattle posmoaned; the death of a fat hog, the death of a thief, and sessed by each member of the tribe was his share of the the death of a proud prince : three things again which ad- common tillage lands. Thus cattle were not only the vance the subject; to be tender to a good wife, to serve a standard of value, but the qualification for, and a necessary good prince, and to be obedient to a good governort.' In concomitant of, property. The land was thus by a sort of this last example the same idea is repeated in order to legal fiction an appurtenance of the stock ; so that to say complete the triad. What virtue can have been supposed of a person under this system that he possessed a hunto reside in these peculiar forms of expression it is hard to dred cows, implied not only that his herds amounted to so conceive. The only assignable reason for their use seems many head of cattle, but that in addition, and as a neto be that they were thus more easily committed to memory. cessary appurtenance of his estate in them, he' also posThe system however does not appear to have been used to sessed the grazing of a hundred cows, and the share proany such extent in Ireland as in Wales; triads, in fact, portioned to a hundred cows in the common tillage lands of form the bulk of Howell Dhu's laws, and those of the his tribe. Every addition to the number of a man's cattle most arbitrary and absurd description.

was therefore a virtual accession of land and produce, and But to proceed with the more practical and intelligible vice versâ; and thus a mulct of cattle fell as heavily on portion of these collections, the laws defining specific crimes the granary as on the larder or dairy of the fined individual ; and their punishments. It is said that previous to the reign for these proportionate partitions of the land took place at of Felimy Reachtair, or the Lawgiver, the lex talionis pre- stated periods, and each man's harvest fluctuated with his vailed in Ireland, and that he altered that code for a system herds as they bore a greater or a less ratio to the aggregate of retribution by mulct about A.D. 164. Parricide, rape, of all the cattle of the rest. The division of the ground and murder, under certain circumstances, still remained into portions so uncertain precluded the use of permanent punishable by death; but whether in consequence of this fences on those arable commons which were probably separeform in the old law, or by immemorial custom, all other rated from the pasture by only one exterior circumvallation, offences were thenceforth provided against in the brehon while each man knew the portion that was to fall to his parlaw by definite_fines. The retribution thus exacted was ticular reaping-hook within. The adjustment of these pordenominated Eneclan or Eric, terms applicable also to tions must have been a matter of some difficulty; from an rents, prices, and value in general. This system of erics account of a partition of this kind given by Sir Henry Piers, has been justly censured by all English writers on the who wrote a history of the county of Westmeath in the year history of Ireland. But in this, as in most other instances, 1682, § it would appear that the plan usually pursued was the censurers of the Irish have exaggerated the evil by con- this. The land was divided into equal shares, in the prosidering it as peculiar to that people. So far however from portion, each to the whole, of the herd of the least proprietor being confined to the Irishı, this mode of retribution by eric to the whole creaght or common stock of all their cattle. has been practised at one time or other by almost all the These shares were drawn for by lot, in order to give to all nations of Europe. The Greeks, the Romansg, the old an equal chance of getting the worse or better land. He Germansl, the Franks 1, the Saxons**, the Welsh, fope all then, it is supposed, whose herds were thrice as numerous punished our present capital offences by a fine. The only as those of the least proprietor, drew three such aliquot difference lies in the word to express it, poine (poena), parts; he possessing ten times as many, ten such, and so mulcta, weregild, manbote, Sarhaad, and Eric being syno- on, the shares being taken here and there as they turned

up, and every man cropping his own portion as he thought Among the antient Britons, kings were likewise liable to be deposed on account of failure in the crops during their reigns.-Ammian. Marcell, lib. xviii.

fit. The system is still remembered in some parts of the + Book of Ballymote, quoted by Hardiman.-Irish Minstrelsy, vol ii. country, and a mode of expressing the extent of land Homer, Iliad. ix. 632; xviii

. 493, &c. Sext. Pomp, verbo Ovibus, among the Munster peasantry is still to say 'So much as and Noct. Attic, l. xi. c. I. | Tacit. de Mor. Germ. l. xii. and xxi. Leges ** Leges Athelst, apud Blackstone, b. iv, 11 Wotton, Leges Wotton, Leges Wallicæ.

Pecunia, money: from pecus, Wallicæ,

# Discourse on the origin of feuds. { Collech de Reb. Hib, vol. I,

Sa ic. tit. xliv.

« 前へ次へ »