Зображення сторінки

which your committee have not equally affect the entire commuthought it requisite to allude, have nity. not been unobserved by them; but Your committee conceive, that seeing that they are merely sup- in the present state of society plementary to those to which your there is little probability that the eommittee has maile reference, laws above referred to can conthey have not felt it important to tinue ailequate to the object for enter into a detail of their enact- which they originally were enments.

acted. The commercial prosperity Your committee cannot but of the country, the immense acconclude, that by the common cumulation of personal property, law, every possessor of land has and the consequent habits of luxan exclusive right ratione soli to ury and indulgence, operate as all the animals feræ naturæ found constant excitement to their inupon his land, and that he may fraction, which no legislative inpursue and kill them himself, or terference that your committee authorize any other person to could recommend appears likely pursue or kill them ; and that he to counteract. may now by the common law, It appears, that under the prewhich in so far continues unre- sent system, those possessors of strained by any subsequent sta- land who fall within the statutable tute, support an action against disqualifications, feel little or no any person who shall take, kill, interest in the preservation of the or chase them.

game; and that they are less acThe statutes to which your tive in repressing the baneful committee have referred have, in practice of poaching than if they limitation of the common law, renained entitled to kill and enjoy subjected to penalties persons, the game found upon their own who, not having certain qualifica- lands. Nor is it unnatural to tions, shall exercise their common suppose, that the injury done to law right ; but they have not di- the crops in those situations vested the possessor of his right, where game is superabundant nor have they given power to any may induce the possessors of land other person to exercise that right thus circumstanced, rather to enwithout the consent of the pos- courage than to suppress illegal sessor.

modes of destroying it. It appears to your committee, The expediency of the present that the 22 and 23 C. II. has restraints upon the possessors of merely the effect of exempting land appears further to your comfrom those liabilities, which were mittee extremely problematical. previously enacted against un- The game is maintained by the qualified persons, such game- produce of the land, and your keepers as shall receive exemption committee is not aware of any from them by the lords of manors valid grounds for continuing to (and which exemption the said withhold from the possessors of lords of manors are thereby em- land the enjoyment of that propowered to give), but that the perty which has appe:ired by the restraints upon the sale of game common law to belong to them.

The The present system of game The Select Committee appointed laws produces the effect of en- to inquire whether it be expecouraging its illegal and irregular dient that the Collection mendestruction by poachers, in whom tioned in the Earl of Elgin's an interest is thereby created to Petition, presented to the House obtain a livelihood by systematic on the 15th day of February and habitual infractions of the list, should be purchased on law. It can hardly be necessary, behalf of the Public, and if so, for your committee to point out what Price it may be reasonable the mischievous influence of such to allow for the same, a state upon the moral conduct of Consider the subject referred those who addict themselves to to them, as divided into four such practices; to them may be principal heads; readily traced many of the irregu- The first of which relates to the larities, and most of the crimes, authority by which this collection which are prevalent among the was acquired : lower orders in agricultural dis- The second to the circumstances tricts.

under which that authority was Your committee hesitate to re- granted : commend, at this late period of The third to the merit of the the session, the introduction of marbles as works of sculpture, an immediate measure upon a and the importance of making subject which affects a variety of them public property, for the interests ; but they cannot ab- purpose of proinoting the study stain from expressing a sanguine of the fine arts in Great Britain ; expectation, that by the future and adoption of some ineasure, found- The fourth to their value as obed upon the principle recognized, jects of sale; which includes the as your committee conceive, by consideration of the expense which the common law, much of the has attended the removing, transevils originating in the present porting, and bringing them to system of the game laws may be England. ultimately removed,

To these will be added some Upon mature consideration of general observations upon what the premises, your committee is to be found, in various authors, have come to the following reso- relating to these marbles. lution :

1. When the Earl of Elgin ResolvedThat it is the opi- quitted England upon his mission nion of this committee, that all to the Ottoman Porte, it was his game should be the property of original intention to make that the person upon whose lands such appointment beneficial to the progame should be found.

gress of the fine arts in Great Britain, by procuring accurate

drawings and casts of the valuable Report from the Select Committee remains of sculpture and archi

of the House of Commons on the tecture scattered throughout Earl of Elgin's Collection of Greece, and particularly concenSculptured Marbles.

trated at Athens.

With this view he engaged Sig. pected alteration, obtained, in the nor Lusieri, a painter of reputa- summer of 1801, access to the tion, who was then in the service Acropolis for general purposes, of the King of the Two Sicilies, with permission to draw, model, together with two architects, two and remove ; to which was added modellers, and a figure painter, a special licence to excavate in whom Mr. Hamilton (now Under a particular place. Lord Elgin Secretary of State) engaged at mentions in his evidence, that he Rome, and despatched with Lu- was obliged to send from Athens sieri, in the summer of 1800, to Constantinople for leave to rem from Constantinople to Athens. move a house ; at the same time

They were employed there remarking, that, in point of fact, about nine months, from August all permissions issuing from the 1800 to May 1801, without hav- Porte to any distant provinces, ing any sort of facility or accom- are little better than authorities modation afforded to them : nor to make the best bargain that can was the Acropolis accessible to be made with the local magistrathem, even for the purpose of cies. The applieations upon this taking drawings, except by the subject, passed in verbal converpayment of a large fee, which sations ; but the warrants or ferwas exacted daily.

mauns were granted in writing, The other five artists were addressed to the chief authorities withdrawn from Athens in Janu. resident at Athens, to whom they 1803, but Lusieri has continued were delivered, and in whose there ever since, excepting during hands they remained : so that the short period of our hostilities your Committee had no opportuwith the Ottoman Porte.

nity of learning from Lord Elgin During the year 1800, Egypt himself their exact tenor, or of was in the power of the French: ascertaining in what terms they and that sort of contempt and dis- noticed, or allowed, the displacing, like which has always character- or carrying away of these Marbles. ized the Turkish government and But Dr. Hunt, who accompanied people in their behaviour towards Lord Elgin as chaplain to the emevery denomination of Christians, bassy, has preserved, and has now prevailed in full force.

in his possession, a translation of The success of the British arms the second fermaun, which exin Egypt, and the expected resti. tended the powers of the first ; tution of that province to the but as he had it not with him in Porte, wrought a wonderful and London, to produce before your instantaneous change in the dis- committee, he stated the subposition of all ranks and descrip- stance, accordirg to his recollections of people towards our na- tion, which was, “That in order tion. Universal benevolence and to show their particular respect good-will appeared to take place to the ambassador of Great Briof suspicion and aversion. No- tain, the august ally of the Porte, thing was refused which was ask- with whom they were now and ed; and Lord Elgin availing him- had long been in the strictest alself of this favourable and unex- liance, they gave to his Excel



lency and to his secretary, and who visited the Acropolis, tempt. the artists employed by him, the ed the soldiers and other people most extensive permission to view, about the fortress to bring them draw, and model the ancient tem- down beads, legs, or arms, or ples of the Idols, and the sculp- whatever other pieces they could tures upon them, and to make carry off. excavations, and to take away A translation of the fermaun any stones that might appear in- itself has since been forwarded teresting to them." Ye stated by Dr. Hunt, which is printed in further, that no remoustrance the appendix. was at any time made, nor any II. Upon the second division, displeasure shown by the Turkish it must be premisel, that antecegovernment, either at Constanti- dently to Lord Flgin's departure nople or at Athens, against the for Constantinople, he communi

. extensive interpretation which cated his intentions of bringing was put upon this fermaun ; and home casts and drawings from although the work of taking Athens, for the benefit and aildown and removing, was going vancement of the fine arts in this on for months, and even years, country, to Mr. Pitt, Lord Grenand was conducted in the most ville, and Mr. Dundas, suggesting public manver, numbers of native to them the propriety of considerlabourers, to the amount of some ing it as a national object, fit to hundreds, being frequently em- be undertaken, and carried into ployed, not the least obstruction effect at the public expense ; but was ever interposed, nor the that this recommendation was in smallest uneasiness shown after no degree encouraged, either at the granting of this second fer- that time or afterwards.

Among the Greek popu- It is evident, from a letter of lation and inhabitants of Athens, Lord Elgin to the Secretary of it occasioned no sort of dissatis- State, 13 January, 1803, that he faction ; but, as Mr. Hamilton, considered himself as having no an eye-witness, expresses it, so sort of claim for his disbursefar from exciting any unpleasant ments in the prosecution of these sensation, the people seenied to pursuits, though he stated, in the feel it as the means of bringing same despatch, the heavy expenses foreigners into their country, and in which they had involved him, of having money spent among so as to make it extremely inconthem. The Turks showed a total venient for him to forego any of indifference and apathy as to the the usual allowances to which preservation of these remains, ambassadors at other courts were except when in a fit of wanton entitled. It cannot, therefore, be destruction, they sometimes car- doubted, that he looked upon ried their disregard so far as to himself in this respect as acting do mischief by firing at them. in a character entirely distinct The numerous travellers and ad. from his official situation. But mirers of the arts committed whether the Government from greater waste, from a very differ whom he obtained permission did, ent motive; for many of those or could so consider him, is a




question which can be solved only dividual could have accomplished by conjecture and reasoning, in the removal of the remains which the absence and deficiency of all Lord Elgin obtained : and Doctor positive testimony. The l'urkish Hunt, who had better opportuniministers of that day are, in fact, ties of information upon this point the only persons in the world ca- than any other person who has pable (if they are still alive) of been examined, gave it as his deciding the doubt ; and it is decided opinion, that " a British probable that even they, if it were subject not in the situation of possible to consult them, might ambassador, could not have been be unable to form any very dis- able to obtain from the Turkish tinct discrimination as to the government a ferwaun of such character in consideration of extensive powers." which they acceded to Lord El. It may not be unworthy of regin's request. The occasion made mark, that the only other piece thein, beyond all precedent, pro- of sculpture which was ever repitious to whatever was desired moved froin its place for the purin behalf of the English nation; pose of export was taken by they readily, therefore, complied Mr. Choiseul Gouffier, when he with all t..at was asked by Lord ambassador from France Elgin. He was an Englishman to the Porte; but whether he did of high rank ; he was also am- it by express permission, or in bassador from our Court: they some less ostensible way, no granted the same permission to means of ascertaining are within no other individual : but then, as the reach of your committee. It Lord Elgin observes, no other was undoubtedly at various times individual applied for it to the an object with the French gosame extent, nor had indeed the vernment to obtain possession of same unlimited means for carry.. some of these valuable remains, ing such an undertaking into exe- and it is probable, according to cution. The expression of one the testimony of Lord Aberdeen of the most intelligent and distin. and others, that at no great disguished of the British travellers, tance of time they might liave who visited Athens about the been removed by that government same period, appears to your from their original site, if they Committee to convey as correct a had not been taken away, and sejudgment as can be formed upon cured for this country by Lord this question, which is incapable Elgin. of being satisfactorily separated, III. The third part is involved and must be taken in the aggre. in much less intricacy; and algate.

though in all matters of taste The Earl of Aberdeen, in an- there is room for great variety swer to an inquiry, whether the and latitude of opinion, there will authority and influence of a public be found upon this branch of the situation was in his opinion ne- subject much more uniformity cessary for accomplishing the re- and agreement than could have moval of these Marbles, answered been expected. The testimony of that he did not think a private in several of the most eminent artists Vol. LVIII.

9 G


« НазадПродовжити »