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machines as the ship of the sailor, the mill of the kind of reputation.' His Poor Richard's Almanack, fuller, or even the loom of the weaver, let us consi- containing some homely and valuable rules of life, der only what a variety of labour is requisite in was begun in 1732. Between the years 1747 and order to form that very simple machine, the shears 1754 he communicated to his friend, Peter Collinwith which the shepherd clips the wool. The miner, son, a series of letters detailing New Experiments the builder of the furnace for smelting the ore, the feller of the timber, the burner of the charcoal to be made use of in the smelting-house, the brickmaker, the bricklayer, the workmen who attend the furnace,
the millwright, the forger, the smith, must all of | them join their different arts in order to produce
them. Were we to examine in the same manner all the different parts of his dress and household furniture, the coarse linen shirt which he wears next his skin, the shoes which cover his feet, the bed which he lies on, and all the different parts which compose it, the kitchen-grate at which he prepares his victuals, the coals which he makes use of for that purpose, dug from the bowels of the earth, and brought to him, perhaps, by a long sea and a long land-carriage, all the other utensils of his kitchen, all the furniture of his table, the knives and forks, the earthen or pewter plates upon which he serves up and divides his victuals, the different hands employed in preparing his bread and his beer, the glass window which lets in the heat and the light, and keeps out the wind and the rain, with all the knowledge and art requisite for preparing that beautiful and happy invention, without which these northern parts of the world could scarce have afforded a very comfortable habitation, together with the tools of all the different workmen employed in producing
Benjamin Franklin. those different conveniences; if we examine, I say, all these things, and consider what a variety of and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia, labour is employed about each of them, we shall be in which he established the scientific fact, that sensible that, without the assistance and co-opera- electricity and lightning are the same. His experition of many thousands, the very meanest person in ments, as described by himself, have an air of wonder a civilised country could not be provided, even ac- and romance. He made a kite of a silk handkercording to
, what we very falsely imagine, the easy chief, and set it up into the air, with a common key and simple manner in which he is commonly accom- fastened to the end of a hempen string, by which he modated. Compared, indeed, with the more extra- held the kite in his hand. His son watched with vagant luxury of the great, his accommodation must him the result; clouds came and passed, and at no doubt appear extremely simple and easy; and length lightning came; it agitated the hempen get it may be true, perhaps, that the accommoda- cord, and emitted sparks from the key, which gave tion of a European prince does not always so much him a slight electrical shock. The discovery was exceed that of an industrious and frugal peasant, as thus made; the identity of lightning with electrithe accommodation of the latter exceeds that of city was clearly manifested; and Franklin was so many an African king, the absolute masters of the overcome by his feelings at the discovery, that he lives and liberties of ten thousand naked savages.' said he could willingly at that moment have died !
The political, miscellaneous, and philosophical works DB BENJAMIN FRANKLIN-WILLIAM MELMOTH
of Franklin, were published by him in 1779, and WILLIAM HARRIS- JAMES HARRIS-WILLIAM
were afterwards republished, with additions, by his grandson, in six volumes. His memoir of himself is
the most valuable of his miscellaneous pieces ; his As Adam Smith taught how the wealth of nations essays scarcely exceed mediocrity as literary compomight be accumulated and preserved, Dr BENJAMIN sitions, but they are animated by a spirit of benevoFRANKLIN (1706-1790), with a humbler aim, but lence and practical wisdom. with scarcely less practical sagacity, applied the The refined classical taste and learning of WILLIAM same lessons to individuals. By his admirable writ- MELMOTH (1710-1799) enriched this period with a ings, and still more admirable life, he inculcated the translation of Pliny's Letters, which Warton, a virtues of industry, frugality, and independence of highly competent judge, pronounced to be one of the thought, and may be reckoned one of the benefactors few translations that are better than the original. of mankind. Franklin was a native of Boston in Under the assumed name of Fitzosborne, Melmoth America, and was brought up to the trade of a also published a volume of Letters on Literary and printer. By unceasing industry and strong natural Moral Subjects, remarkable for elegance of style. talents (which he assiduously cultivated), he rose to the same author translated Cicero's Letters to be one of the representatives of Philadelphia, and several of his friends, and the treatises De Amicitia after the separation of America from Britain, he and De Senectute, to which he appended large and was ambassador for the states at the court of France. valuable annotations. Melmoth was an amiable, Several important treaties were negotiated by him, accomplished, and pious man, and his character and in all the fame and fortunes of his native coun- shines forth in all his writings. His translations try-its struggles, disasters, and successes-he bore are still the best we possess ; and his style, though a prominent part. The writings of Franklin are sometimes feeble from excess of polish and ornanot numerous; he always, as he informs us, 'set a ment, is generally correct, perspicuous, and musical greater value on a doer of good than on any other | in construction.
life, we may have occasion, perhaps, to remark that [On Thinking.)
thinking is no less uncommon in the literary than the [From Melmoth's Letters.]
civil world. The number of those writers who cali,
with any justness of expression, be terned thinking If one would rate any particular merit according to authors, would not form a very copious library, though its true valuation, it may be necessary, perhaps, to one were to take in all of that kind which both ancient consider how far it can be justly claimed by mankind and modern times have produced. Necessarily, I in general. I am sure, at least, when I read the very imagine, must one exclude from a collection of this uncommon sentiments of your last letter, I found their sort all critics, commentators, translators, and, in judicious author rise in my esteem, by reflecting that short, all that numerous under-tribe in the common ! there is not a more singular character in the world wealth of literature that owe their existence merely than that of a thinking man. It is not merely having to the thoughts of others. I should reject, for the a succession of ideas which lightly skim over the mind, same reason, such compilers as Valerius Maximus and that can with any propriety be styled by that deno- Aulus Gelliús: though it must be owned, indeed, their mination. It is observing them separately and dis- works have acquired an accidental value, as they pretinctly, and ranging them under their respective serve to us several curious traces of antiquity, which classes; it is calmly and steadily viewing our opinions time would otherwise have entirely worn out. Those on every side, and resolutely tracing them through all teeming geniuses, likewise, who have propagated the their consequences and connections, that constitutes fruits of their studies through a long series of tracts, the man of reflection, and distinguishes reason from would have little pretence, I believe, to be admitted as fancy. Providence, indeed, does not seem to have writers of reflection. For this reason I cannot regret formed any very considerable number of our species the loss of those incredible numbers of compositions for an extensive exercise of this higher faculty, as the which some of the ancients are said to have produced: thoughts of the far greater part of mankind are necessarily restrained within the ordinary purposes of ani
Quale fuit Cassi rapido ferventius amni
Ingenium; capsis quem fama est esse, librisque mal life. But even if we look up to those who
Ambustum propriis.-Hor. more in much superior orbits, and who have opportunities to improve, as well as leisure to exercise Thus Epicurus, we are told, left behind him three their understandings, we shall find that thinking hundred volumes of his own works, wherein he had is one of the least exerted privileges of cultivated not inserted a single quotation; and we have it upon humanity.
the authority of Varro's own words, that he himself It is, indeed, an operation of the mind which meets composed four hundred and ninety books. Seneca with many obstructions to check its just and free assures us that Didymus the grammarian wrote no direction; but there are two principles which prevail less than four thousand ; but Origen, it seems, was yet more or less in the constitutions of most men, that
more prolific, and extended his performances even to particularly contribute to keep this faculty of the soul six thousand treatises. It is obvious to imagine with unemployed; I mean pride and indolence. To des- what sort of materials the productions of such expecend to truth through the tedious progression of well- ditious workmen were wrought up: sound thought examined deductions, is considered as a reproach to and well-matured reflections could have no sbare, we the quickness of understanding, as it is much too may be sure, in these hasty performances. Thus are laborious a method for any but those who are possessed books multiplied, whilst authors are scarce; and so of a vigorous and resolute activity of mind. For this much easier is it to write than to think! But shall reason the greater part of our species generally choose I not myself, Palamedes, prove an instance that it is either to seize upon their conclusions at once, or to take so, if I suspend any longer your own more important them by rebound from others, as best suiting with their reflections, by interrupting you with such as mine! vanity or their laziness. Accordingly, Mr Locke observes, that there are not so many errors and wrong
[On Conversation.] opinions in the world as is generally imagined. Not that he thinks mankind are by any means uniform in
[From the same.] embracing truth ; but because the majority of them, It is with much pleasure I look back upon that he maintains, have no thought or opinion at all philosophical week which I lately enjoyed at about those doctrines concerning which they raise the as there is no part, perhaps, of social life which affords greatest clamour. Like the common soldiers in an more real satisfaction than those hours which one army, they follow where their leaders direct, without passes in rational and unreserved conrersation. The knowing or even inquiring into the cause for which free communication of sentiments amongst a set of they so warmly contend.
ingenious and speculative friends, such as those you This will account for the slow steps by which truth gave me the opportunity of meeting, throws the mind has advanced in the world on one side, and for those into the most advantageous exercise, and shows the absurd systems which at different periods have had strength or weakness of its opinions, with greater force a universal currency on the other; for there is a of conviction than any other method we can enploy. strange disposition in human nature either blindly to That “it is not good for man to be alone,' is true tread the same paths that have been traversed by in more views of our species than one ; and society others, or to strike out into the most devious extrava- gives strength to our reason, as well as polish to our gances: the greater part of the world will either manners. The soul, when left entirely to her own totally renounce their reason, or reason only from the solitary contemplations, is insensibly drawn by a sort wild suggestions of a heated imagination.
of constitutional bias, which generally leads her From the same source may be derived those divi- opinions to the side of her inclinations. Hence it is sions and animosities which brenk the union both of that she contracts those peculiarities of reasoning, and public and private societies, and turn the peace and little habits of thinking, which so often confirm her harmony of human intercourse into dissonance and in the most fantastical errors ; but nothing is more contention. For, while men judge and act by such likely to recover the mind from this false bent than measures as have not been proved by the standard of the counter-warmth of impartial debate. Conversedispassionate reason, they must equally be mistaken tion opens our views, and gives our faculties a more in their estimates both of their own conduct and that vigorous play; it puts us upon turning our notions on of others.
every side, and holds them up to a light that discorers If we turn our view from active to contemplative those latent flaws which would probably have lain
concealed in the gloom of unagitated abstraction. volent man, published in 1744 treatises on art, on Accordingly, one may remark that most of those wild music and painting, and on happiness. He afterdoctrines which have been let loose upon the world, wards (1751) produced his celebrated work, Hermes, hare generally owed their birth to persons whose cir- or a Philosophical Inquiry concerning Universal Gramcumstances or dispositions have given them the fewest mar. The definitions of Harris are considered arbiopportunities of canvassing their respective systems trary and often unnecessary, and his rules are comin the way of free and friendly debate. Had the plicated; but his profound acquaintance with Greek authors of many an extravagant hypothesis discussed literature, and his general learning, supplying nutheir principles in private circles, ere they had given merous illustrations, enabled him to produce a vent to them in public, the observation of Varro had curious and valuable publication. Every writer on never perhaps been made (or never, at least, with so the history and philosophy of grammar must consult much justice), that there is no opinion so absurd, Hermes. Unfortunately the study of the ancient but has some philosopher or other to produce in its dialects of the northern nations was little prevalent support.'
at the time of Mr Harris, and to this cause (as was Upon this principle I imagine it is that some of the case also with many of the etymological distincthe finest pieces of antiquity are written in the dia- tions in Johnson's Dictionary) must be attributed logue manner. Plato and Tully, it should seem, some of his errors and the imperfection of his plan. thought truth could never be examined with more Mr Harris was a man of rank and fortune: he sat advantage than amidst the amicable opposition of several years in parliament, and was successively a well-regulated converse. It is probable, indeed, that lord of the admiralty and lord of the treasury. In subjects of a serious and philosophical kind were more 1774 he was made secretary and comptroller to the frequently the topics of Greek and Roman conversations than they are of ours; as the circumstances of queen, which he held till his death in 1780. His the world had not yet given occasion to those pruden- plete edition of his works in two volumes quarto.
son, Lord Malmesbury, published, in 1801, a comtial reasons which may now perhaps restrain a more free exchange of sentiments amongst us.
Harris relates the following interesting anecdote of There was
a Greek pilot, to show that even among the present something, likewise, in the very scenes themselves Greeks, in the day of servitude, the remembrance of where they usually assembled, that almost unavoid their ancient glory is not extinct :- When the late ably turned the stream of their conversations into this Mr Anson (Lord Anson's brother) was upon his useful channel. Their rooms and gardens were gene- travels in the East, he hired a vessel to visit the rally adorned, you know, with the statues of the Isle of Tenedos. His pilot, an old Greek, as they greatest masters of reason that had then appeared in the world; and while Socrates or Aristotle stood in
were sailing along, said with some satisfaction,
“There 'twas our fleet lay.” Mr Anson demanded, their view, it is no wonder their discourse fell upon
“ What fleet?" “What fleet!" replied the old man, those subjects which such animating representations a little piqued at the question, “why, our Grecian would naturally suggest.
It is probable, therefore, fleet at the siege of Troy." that many of those ancient pieces which are drawn up in the dialogue manner were no imaginary conversa- searches illustrate the history of their native country,
Two distinguished antiquarian writers, whose retions invented by their authors, but faithful transcripts from real life. And it is this circumstance, 1765), who published Itinerarium Curiosum, or an
may be here mentioned-WILLIAM STUKELEY (1687perhaps
, as much as any other, which contributes to Account of the Antiquities and Curiosities of Great rality of modern compositions which have been formed Britain, An Account of Stonehenge, &c. &c. Stukeley upon the same plan. I am sure, at least, I could studied medicine, but afterwards took orders, and scarcely name more than three or four of this kind at the time of his death, was rector of St George
EDWARD KING which have appeared in our language worthy of church, Queen Square, London. notice. My Lord Shaftesbury's dialogue, entitled "The (1735-1807), an English barrister, published Obser. dioralists, Mr Addison's upon Ancient Coins, Mr vations on Ancient Castles, and an elaborate work, in Spence's upon the Odyssey, together with those of my of English architecture anterior to the Norman
three folio volumes, Munimenta Antiqua, descriptive very ingenious friend, Philemon to Hydaspes, are almost the only productions in this way which have Conquest. hitherto come forth amongst us with advantage. These, indeed, are all master-pieces of the kind, and written in the true spirit of learning and politeness. The conversation in each of these most elegant perfor
SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE's Commentaries on the mances is conducted, not in the usual absurd method Laws of England, published in 1765, exhibit a logical of introducing one disputant to be tamely silenced by position. They formed the first attempt to popu
and comprehensive mind, and a correct taste in comwhere a just contrast of characters is preserved larise legal knowledge, and were eminently successthroughout, and where the several speakers support ful
. Junius and others have attacked their author their respective
sentiments with all the strength and for leaning too much to the side of prerogative, and spirit of a well-bred opposition.
abiding rather by precedents than by sense and
justice; yet in the House of Commons, when BlackWILLIAM HARRIS (1720-1770), a dissenting di- stone was once advocating what was considered yine in Devonshire, published historical memoirs of servile obedience, he was answered from his own James I., Charles I., Oliver Cromwell, and Charles book! The Commentaries have not been supII. These works were written in imitation of the planted by any subsequent work of the same kind, manner of Bayle, the text being subordinate to the but various additions and corrections have been notes and illustrations. Very frequently only a made by eminent lawyers in late editions. Blacksingle line of the memoir is contained in the page, stone thus sums up the relative merits of an the rest being wholly notes. As depositories of ori- elective and hereditary monarchy :-* It must ginal papers, the memoirs of Harris (which are still be owned, an elective monarchy seems to be the to be met with in five volumes) are valuable: the most obvious, and best suited of any to the raoriginal part is trifling in extent, and written with- tional principles of government and the freedom out either merit or pretension.
of human nature; and, accordingly, we find from JAMES HARRIS of Salisbury, a learned and bene- history that, in the infancy and first rudiments of
SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE.
almost every state, the leader, chief magistrate, or manners of many American nations, when first disprince, hath usually been elective. And if the in- covered by the Europeans; and from the ancient medividuals who compose that state could always con- thod of living among the first Europeans themselves, tinue true to first principles, uninfluenced by passion if we may credit either the memorials of them preor prejudice, unassailed by corruption, and unawed served in the golden age of the poets, or the uniform by violence, elective succession were as much to be accounts given hy historians of those times wherein desired in a kingdom as in other inferior commu- erant omnia commiunia et indirisa omnibus, veluti unum nities. The best, the wisest, and the bravest mancunctis patrimonium esset. Not that this communion would then be sure of receiving that crown which of good seems ever to have been applicable, eren in his endowments have merited ; and the sense of an the earliest ages, to aught but the substance of the unbiased majority would be dutifully acquiesced in thing, nor could be extended to the use of it. For, by the few who were of different opinions. But by the law of nature and reason, he who first began to history and observation will inform us that elections use it acquired therein a kind of transient property, that of every kind, in the present state of human nature, lasted so long as he was using it, and no longer; or, are too frequently brought about by influence, par- to speak with greater precision, the right of possession tiality, and artifice; and even where the case is continued for the same time only that the act of posotherwise, these practices will be often suspected, session lasted. Thus the ground was in common, and and as constantly charged upon the successful, by a no part of it was the permanent property of any man splenetic disappointed minority. This is an evil to in particular; yet, whoever was in the occupation of which all societies are liable; as well those of a pri- any determinate spot of it, for rest, for shade, or the vate and domestic kind, as the great community of like, acquired for the time a sort of ownership, from the public, which regulates and includes the rest.
which it would have been unjust, and contrary to the But in the former there is this advantage, that such law of nature, to have driven him by force; but the suspicions, if false, proceed no farther than jealousies instant that he quitted the use or occupation of it
, and murmurs, which time will effectually suppress;
another might seize it without injustice. Thus also & and, if true, the injustice may be remedied by legal vine or other tree might be said to be in common, as means, by an appeal to those tribunals to which all men were equally entitled to its produce; and yet every member of society has (by becoming such) any private individual might gain the sole property of
the fruit, which he had gathered for his own repast; virtually engaged to submit. Whereas in the great
a doctrine well illustrated by Cicero, who compares and independent society which every nation composes, there is no superior to resort to but the law of the world to a great theatre, which is common to the nature; no method to redress the infringements of public, and yet the place which any man has taken is that law but the actual exertion of private force. for the time his own. As, therefore, between two nations complaining of ambition, it became necessary to entertain conceptions
But when mankind increased in number, craft, and mutual injuries, the quarrel can only be decided by of more permanent dominion; and to appropriate to the law of arms, so in one and the same nation, individuals not the immediate use only, but the very wben the fundamental principles of their common substance of the thing to be used. Otherwise, innuunion are supposed to be invaded, and more especially merable tumults must have arisen, and the good order when the appointment of their chief magistrate is of the world been continually broken and disturbed, alleged to be unduly made, the only tribunal to which while a variety of persons were striving who should the complainants can appeal is that of the God of get the first occupation of the same thing, or disputing battles; the only process by which the appeal can
which of them had actually gained it. As human life be carried on is that of a civil and intestine war. also grew more and more refined, abundance of conA hereditary succession to the crown is therefore veniences were devised to render it more easy, com. now established in this and most other countries, in modious, and agreeable, as habitations for shelter and order to prevent that periodical bloodshed and safety, and raiment for warmth and decency. But no misery which the history of ancient imperial Rome, man would be at the trouble to provide either, so long and the more modern experience of Poland and as he had only a usufructuary property in them, Germany, may show us are the consequences of which was to cease the instant that he quitted posseselective kingdoms.'
sion ; if, as soon as he walked out of his tent, or pulled
off his garment, the next stranger who came by would [On the Right of Property.]
have a right to inhabit the one, and to wear the other. [From Blackstone's Commentaries.]
In the case of habitations, in particular, it was natu
ral to observe, that even the brute creation, to whom In the beginning of the world, we are informed by ererything else was in common, maintained a kind of holy writ, the all-bountiful Creator gave to man permanent property in their dwellings, especially for
dominion over all the earth, and over the fish of the the protection of their young ; that the birds of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living air had nests, and the beasts of the field had carems, thing that moveth upon the earth.' This is the only the invasion of which they esteemed a very flagrant true and solid foundation of man's dominion over injustice, and would sacrifice their lives to preserve external things, whatever airy metaphysical notions them. Hence a property was soon established in every may have been started by fanciful writers upon this man's house and homestall, which seem to have been subject. The earth, therefore, and all things therein, originally mere temporary huts or morable cabins, are the general property of all mankind, exclusive of suited to the design of Providence for more speedily other beings, from the immediate gift of the Creator. peopling the earth, and suited to the wandering life And while the earth continued bare of inhabitants, of their owners, before any extensive property in the it is reasonable to suppose that all was in common soil or ground was established. And there can be no among them, and that every one took from the public doubt but that movables of every kind became sooner stock to his own use such things as his immediate appropriated than the permanent substantial soil; necessities required.
partly because they were more susceptible of a long These general notions of property were then suffi- occupance, which might be continued for months tocient to answer all the purposes of human life; and gether without any sensible interruption, and at length might, perhaps, still have answered them, had it been by usage ripen into an established right; but princi. possible for mankind to have remained in a state of pally because few of them could be fit for use, till primeval simplicity; as may be collected from the improved and meliorated by the bodily labour of the
occupant; which bodily, labour, bestowed upon any habited countries, it kept strictly within the limits of subject which before lay in common to all men, is uni- | the law of nature. But how far the seizing on counversally allowed to give the fairest and most reason- tries already peopled, and driving out or massacring able tiile to an exclusive property therein.
the innocent and defenceless natives, merely because The article of food was a more immediate call, and they differed from their invaders in language, in relitherefore a more early consideration. Such as were gion, in customs, in government, or in colour; how
contented with the spontaneous product of the far such a conduct was consonant to nature, to reason, earth, sought for a more solid refreshment in the flesh or to Christianity, deserved well to be considered by of beasts, which they obtained by hunting. But the those who have rendered their names immortal by thus frequent disappointments incident to that method of civilising mankind. provision, induced them to gather together such ani- As the world by degrees grew more populous, it mals as were of a more tame and sequacious nature; daily became more difficult to find out new spots to and to establish a permanent property in their flocks inhabit, without encroaching upon former occupants ; and herds, in order to sustain themselves in a less pre- and, by constantly occupying the same individual carious manner, partly by the milk of the dams, and spot, the fruits of the earth were consumed, and its partly by the flesh of the young. The support of spontaneous produce destroyed, without any provision these their cattle made the article of water also a very for a future supply or succession. It therefore beimportant point. And therefore the book of Genesis came necessary to pursue some regular method of (the most venerable monument of antiquity, considered providing a constant subsistence; and this necessity merely with a view to history) will furnish us with produced, or at least promoted and encouraged, the frequent instances of violent contentions concerning art of agriculture, by a regular connection and consewells
, the exclusive property of which appears to have quence; introduced and established the idea of a been established in the first digger or occupant, even more permanent property in the soil than had hitherto in such places where the ground and herbage remained been received and adopted. It was clear that the yet in common. Thus we find Abraham, who was but earth would not produce her fruits in sufficient quana sojourner, asserting his right to a well in the country tities, without the assistance of tillage ; but who of Abimelech, and exacting an oath for his security, would be at the pains of tilling it, if another might 'because he had digged that well.' And Isaac, about watch an opportunity to seize upon and enjoy the ninety years afterwards, reclaimed this his father's product of his industry, art, and labour? Had not, property; and after much contention with the Philis- therefore, a separate property in lands, as movables, tines, was suffered to enjoy it in peace.
been vested in some individuals, the world must have All this while the soil and pasture of the earth re- continued a forest, and men have been mere animals mained still in common as before, and open to every of prey ; which, according to some philosophers, is occupant; except perhaps in the neighbourhood of the genuine state of nature. Whereas now (s0 towns, where the necessity of a sole and exclusive graciously has Providence interwoven our duty and property in lands (for the sake of agriculture) was our happiness together) the result of this very necesearlier felt, and therefore more readily complied with. sity has been the ennobling of the human species, by Otherwise, when the multitude of men and cattle had giving it opportunities of improving its rational consumed every convenience on one spot of ground, it faculties, as well as of exerting its natural. Necessity was deemed a natural right to seize upon and occupy begat property; and, in order to insure that property, such other lands as would more easily supply their recourse was had to civil society, which brought along necessities. This practice is still retained among the with it a long train of inseparable concomitants wild and uncultivated nations that have never been states, government, laws, punishments, and the public formed into civil states, like the Tartars and others exercise of religious duties. Thus connected together, in the East, where the climate itself, and the bound- it was found that a part only of society was sufficient less extent of their territory, conspire to retain them to provide, by their manual labour, for the necessary still in the same savage state of vagrant liberty which subsistence of all; and leisure was given to others to Was universal in the earliest ages, and which Tacitus cultivate the human mind, to invent useful arts, and informs us continued among the Germans till the de- to lay the foundations of science. cline of the Roman empire. We have also a striking The only question remaining is, how this property example of the same kind in the history of Abraham became actually vested; or what it is that gave a and bis nephew Lot. When their joint substance man an exclusive right to retain in a permanent became so great, that pasture and other conveniences manner that specific land which before belonged grew scarce, the natural consequence was, that a strife generally to everybody, but particularly to nobody! arose between their servants, so that it was no longer And as we before observed, that occupancy gave the practicable to dwell together. This contention Abra- right to the temporary use of the soil, so it is agreed ham thus endeavoured to compose : - Let there be no upon all hands that occupancy
gave also the original strife, I pray thee, between thee and me. Is not the right to the permanent property in the substance of whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, the earth itself
, which excludes every one else but the from me. If thou wilt take the left hand, then will owner from the use of it. There is, indeed, some 1.go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, difference among the writers on natural law concernthen will I go to the left.' This plainly implies an ac- ing the reason why occupancy should convey this knowledged right in either to occupy whatever ground right, and invest one with this absolute property; he pleased, that was not pre-occupied by other tribes. Grotius and Puffendorf insisting that this right of And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain occupancy is founded upon a tacit and implied of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, even assent of all mankind, that the first occupant should as the garden of the Lord. Then Lot chose him all become the owner; and Barbeyrac, Titius, Mr Locke, the plain of Jordan, and journied east, and Abraham and others, holding that there is no such implied dwelt in the land of Canaan.'
assent, neither is it necessary that there should be ; for Upon the same principle was founded the right of that the very act of occupancy alone being a degree migration, or sending colonies to find out new habita- of bodily labour, is, from a principle of natural justions, when the mother-country was overcharged with tice, without any consent or compact, sufficient of inhabitants ; which was practised as well by the Phoe- itself to gain a title ; a dispute that savours too nicians and Greeks, as the Germans, Scythians, and much of nice and scholastic refinement! However, other northern people. And so long as it was con both sides agree in this, that occupancy is the thing fined to the stocking and cultivation of desert, unin- by which the title was in fact originally gained;