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or fish-selling or both. Co-operative credit, with the publicity of its juster terms, may be relied upon to put an end to this abominable system of skimming the financial cream off fishing.

But State aid and care-the preservation and development of fisheries and fishing methods, scientific research, the provision of harbourage, and the installation of motor power—will prove useless to the fisherman himself, perhaps worse than useless, unless he can be placed in a position to secure his due share of the increase. At present he is not even in a position to secure the fruits of his labour, such as they are. To the Departmental Committee only one remedy appeared feasible. At a considerable number of inshore fishing stations it is admitted that practically the whole of the fish-buying is in the hands of one man, without competition. . . . Under such conditions the only check on the power of the buyer is that, to live himself, he must let the fishermen live. . . . We are left with a strong impression that the inshore fisherman's means and methods of disposing of his fish are highly unsatisfactory. We believe that the only remedy is the improved organisation of fishermen with co-operation as its basis; and we may remark, in passing, that fish merchants who are at present giving the fishermen a proper price for their fish can have little to fear from it.'...


Finally the Committee recommended :

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"The immediate formation of a Fisheries Organisation Society for the purpose of spreading among fishermen the principles of co-operation for credit, for better business in fishing and marketing, and for other purposes incidental to fishery development. In the first instance, at all events, the formation of such a propagandist society should be assisted, if not entirely financed, by national funds, and its work assisted by the Resident Local Inspectors above recommended.'

At the end of its Report, the Departmental Committee added the following passage, unique in official reports, though not a bit too strong for the occasion :

• We trust that the foregoing recommendations will be carried into effect without delay. Former Committees on fisheries have made important recommendations in the interests of the inshore and general sea fisheries which have been ignored. Our considered judgment is that our recommendations represent the minimum of what is necessary to be done, and to be done quickly, if the inshore fisheries are to be preserved and developed.'

Most of the Report requires legislation to carry it into effect, and legislation of the constructive rather than of the probibitory variety, no matter how urgent, is hard to obtain. Meanwhile, the Fisheries Organisation Society has been established at Queen Anne's Chambers, Westminster, with a staff experienced in co-operation, and a grant from the Development Fund of 20001. Subscribers are needed to help shove off the boat, and local workers to put their backs into the oars. The F.O.S. is prepared to initiate co-operative schemes, and to knock them into shape; but one of the most pressing necessities in fisheries, as in agriculture, is a trust or guarantee fund for financing co-operative undertakings in their initial stages.

It will be uphill work, but highly interesting and abundant in reward. Nothing can be more inspiriting than the revival of a fishery. It pervades the whole

a atmosphere of a port, as if the air itself were full of life. In the Devon and Cornwall Report there occurs a description of St Ives as it was about two years ago :

Men of years and experience have left and are leaving the fishing, and young men are going into other occupations. Some ship in trading vessels, others go to the mines, and large numbers are emigrating. The men that are actively engaged in the fisheries of these ports are despondent and disheartened, even beyond making the best of the chances they still possess. On a grey Sunday afternoon, near about sundown, we walked to Lelant, where the St Ives boats are laid up. There, on one side of the broad sand and mud flats of Hayle Harbour, we saw a fleet of seventy or eighty boats, mostly luggers, moored up with old chains and rotting ropes to rusty railway lines of the old broad gauge on a grass-grown quay. In local phrase, they were the St Ives boats that have died. The unpainted hulls of many were ripe and rotten. On their still standing masts, the running gear, left as it returned from sea for another season that never came, had flapped in the wind till it parted. Only one boat of all the laid-up fleet was being repaired, perhaps not for the St Ives fishing. The picture of that silent dead boats' graveyard

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remains vividly in our minds. It impressed upon us—more than all the sometimes contradictory representations we had heard, far more than angry protests—the decline of the West Cornish Fisheries. In no light spirit we began our investigations. With a deep sense of the tragedy of the present situation we ended them.'

Last autumn, however, the herrings came properly into St Ives Bay, the first time for years; and prices were high. They went as high, some days, as thirteen to fifteen shillings a long hundred. Boats returned laden from sea.

Men staggered up the beach inside the harbour under the weight of the hand-barrows, or 'gurries, of fine full herrings. The women were out counting the fish, or standing by their menfolk's catches. Salesmen and merchants shouted prices; half the town, it seemed, was down along chackling. Ponies strained into their collars, and went at it with a run, to drag the packed barrels up over the steep hill to the station. The gulls shrieked joyously overhead, over the masts, over the beach and the town. People greeted one in the street with news of the latest big catch, the latest price. One motor fisherman came home with 1701. worth; and long enough he had waited for such luck. Money was coming into the town, good fish money; and long years, too, the town had waited. Men would be back from the mines, and, if it went on, sons and brothers from America and South Africa. It was as if the most brilliant sunshine imaginable had suddenly come out over the grey little town in its wonderful bay, and over the grey people, who had been 'hanging on tough,' grimly, patiently, with waning hope, and only determined not themselves to expose their poverty.

May such seasons continue! True, it was the war which was responsible for raising the fresh herring prices to a record height. Such a combination of circumstances can seldom occur, though prices, without doubt, can otherwise be raised-and without raising them to the consumer. The revival of the inshore fisheries will be hard slogging work, not without its setbacks, but all the greater will be the satisfaction if some success can be achieved.



1. Vita di Torquato Tasso. By Angelo Solerti. Three

vols. Turin: Loescher, 1895. 2. Tasso. By E. J. Hasell. Edinburgh : Blackwood, 1882. 3. Tasso and his Times. By W. Boulting. London:

Methuen, 1907. 4. 'Lycidas.' By the Rev. W. Tuckwell. London:

Murray, 1911. WHEN endeavouring to estimate the permanent value of a famous poet's work-and, like a renewable lease, every claim to immortality comes up periodically for confirmation-we at once ask what his countrymen think and say, and also what they are doing, in this respect. So regarded, there can be little doubt that Tasso is still a living force in literature. Carefully commentated editions of the Gerusalemme Liberata' and other works appear from time to time; the tercentenary in 1895 was adequately celebrated ; and one of the most accomplished scholars of our day-also the severest critic of that portion of the verse which now concerns us, and author of the biography standing first on our list-has devoted many of his most fruitful years to a minute investigation of every record bearing on Tasso's career, and the still unsolved riddle of his imprisonment. Carducci, also, in that summing up of his country's literature which has almost the authority of a judicial decision, finds in Tasso the inspiration for some of his happiest pages, associating his name with that of Dante more closely than would carry assent in the case of any other poet. The passage in which this estimate occurs sheds considerable light on our subject, and we give it as quoted by Solerti in the concluding pages of the Life' of Tasso : * The Cinquecento has no figure at once so grave and gentle as that of Torquato Tasso. He is the legitimate heir to Dante Alighieri; he believes, and reasons upon his belief like a philosopher; he loves, and comments learnedly on love; he is an artist, and writes dialogues full of scholastic speculation intended to be Platonic. Like Dante, he has always something to reproach himself with, in his conscience, as a Catholic; his poem, essentially devotional and chivalric, is presided over by a moral allegory; and yet, he is ever in dread lest he should have made it too profane; he reconstructs it, and presents it in a purified form ; still, not entirely satisfied, he concludes with the poem of the Creation.

“Tasso is the only Christian of our Renaissance; with the spirit of which, on the other hand, he is so saturated that sensualism and mysticism are ever blending in his work ; whereat he grieves, and repents, while others delight in it. But of this duality in his existence, fluctuating between ideality and sensualism, between mysticism and art, of this discordance in the life to which he was condemned---he, a paladin of the dark ages, a scholastic of the 18th century, Dante's successor, lost in the later Renaissance between Ariosto and Machiavelli, between Rabelais and Cervantes-of this duality, this discord, he, innocent victim, must bear the pain; at which he becomes disheartened, even to madness. The cry of distress which breaks from him so melodiously amidst the martial strains of his great epic declares him, in this mingling of melancholy and voluptuousness, the first, in point of time, of modern poets. Like Chateaubriand, Byron and Leopardi, Tasso has the malady of the ages of transition.' *

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The continued interest thus shown in the author of the Gerusalemme' and the “Mondo Creato' may of course partly depend on his name yet standing for certain principles, which his critics desire to maintain or overthrow. Those of socialistic tendencies see in the earlier of these poems a misleading glorification of the Prince' of the 'super-' or 'archic' man; in the later, a plea for old-world beliefs to which they are bitterly opposed; and they refuse authority to the writer, whatever his poetic eminence, on the ground of incipient or actual insanity. Others, less convinced of the elevating influence on humanity of teaching the many to despoil and oppress the few, are glad to find in one who had learnt to estimate 'values' during the vicissitudes and contrasts of a strangely varied career, and whose genius compels attention, so powerful an advocate of fairer ideals. For, as Beni said in his memorial lines, and in this he was a true prophet:

'Industry, virtue, honour were here manifested that future

* *Dello svolgimento della letteratura nazionale.' 'Opere di Carducci,' Bologna (Zanichelli), 1889 ; vol. I, pp. 182-3.

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