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cited to the omission, and the attention Is turned to other objects. Thus habitual idleness gains too much power to be conquered, and the soul shrinks from the idea of intellectual labour and intenseness of meditation^
That those ,who profess to advance learning sometimes obstruct it, cannot be denied; the continual multiplication of books not only distracts choice, but disappoints enquiry. To him that has moderately stored his mind with images, few writers afford any novelty; or what little they have to add to the common stock of learning is so buried in the mass of general notions, that, like silver mingled with the ore of lead, it is too little to pay for the labour of separation; and he that has often been deceived by the promise of a title, at last grows wearv of examining, and is temped to consider all as equally fallacious. Idler.
§ 59. Mankind, a Portrait of.
Vanity bids all her sons to be generous and brave,——and her daughters to be chaste and courteous.—But why
do we want her instructions? Ask
the comedian who is taught a part he feels not.-
Js it that the principles of religion want strength, or that the real passion for what is good and worthy will not
carry us high enough? God ! thou
knowest they carry us too high we
want not to be but to seem.—
Look out of your door,—take notice of that man: fee what disquieting, intriguing, and shifting, he is content to go through, merely to be thought a tnan of plain dealing: ... three grains of honesty would save him all this trouble: alas! he has them not.
Behold a second, under a shew of piety hiding the impurities of a debauched life: ■ he is jult entering the house of God: would hewas more
pure—or less pious!—but then he could not gain his point.
Observe a third going almost in the same track,with what an inflexible sanctity of deportment he sustains himself as he advances!—every line in his face
Writes abstinence; every stride looks
like a check upon his desires: fee, I
beseech you, how he is cloak'd up with sermons, prayers, and sacraments ; and so bemuftied with the externals of reli-, gion, that he has not a hand to spare; for a worldly purpose ;—he has armour at least-«.Why does he put it on? Is there no serving God withqut all this? Must the garb of religion be extended so wide to the danger of it's rending 1 Yes, truly, or it will not hide the secret ■and, What is that?
»—That the faint has no religiqa
But here com.es Generosity;
giving—not to a decayed artist—but to the arts and sciences themselves.-Ti See,— he builds net a chamber in tie <y>all apart for the prophets \ but whole schools and colleges for those who come after. Lord! now they will magnify
his name!- 'tis in capitals already;
the first,—the highest, in the gilded rent-roll of every hospital and asylum
One honest tear shed in private over the unfortunate, is worth it all.
What a problematic set of creatures does simulation make us! Who would divine that all the anxiety and concern so visible in the airs of one half of that great assembly should arise from nothing else, but that the other half of it may think them to be men of consequence, penetration, parts, and conduct ?—Whata noise amongst the claim-,, ants about it? Behold humility, put of mere pride—and honesty almost out of knavery : — Chastity, never once in
harm's way; and courage, like a
Spanish soldier upon an Italian lbigc—? a bladder full of wind.—
Hark! that, the sound of that
trumpet,-. let not my soldier run,
'tis some good Christian giving
alms. Opity, thou gentlest of human passions! soft and tender are thy notes, and ill accord they with so loud an instrument. Sterne's Sermons.
€ 60. Manors; their Origin, ?faturef and Services.
Manors are in substance as ancient as the Saxon constitution, though perhaps differing a little, in some immaterial circumstances, from those that exist at tVis dayi just as was observed of seuds, that tjiey were partly known to our ancestors, even before the Norman conquest. A manor, manerium, a manendo, because the usual residence of the owner, seems to have been a district of ground, held by lords or great personages; who kept in their own hands so jnuch land as was necessary for the use of their families, which were called terrtdominicaks, or demesne lands ; being occupied by the lord, or domintts manerii, •nd his servants. The other tenemental lands they distributed among their tenants ; which from the different modes of tenure were called and distinguished by two different names. First, book land, or charter land, which was held by deed under certain rents and free, services, and in effect differed nothing from free socage lands: and from hence have arisen all the free-hold tenants which hold of particular manors, and owe suit and service to the same. The other species was called folk land,which was held by no assurance in writing, but distributed among the common folk or people at the pleasure of the lord, and resumed at his discretion; being indeed land held in villenage, which we (hall presently describe more at large. The residue of the manor, being uncultivated, was termed the lord's waste, and served for public roads, and for common of pasture to the lord and his tenants. Manors were formerly called baronies, as they still are lordships i and each lord or baron was empowered to hold a domestic court, called the court-baron, for redressing misdemeanors and nuisances within the manor, and for settling disputes of property among- the tenants. This court is an inseparable ingredient of every manor; and if the number of suitors (hould so fail, as not to leave sufficient to make a jury or homage, that is, two tenants at the least, the manor itself is lost.
Before the statute of quia empttres, 18 Edward I. the king's greater barons, who had a large extent of territory held under the crown, granted out frequently smaller manors to inferior persons to be held of themselves ; which do therefore now continue to be held
under a superior lord, who is called in such cases the lord paramount over all these manors: and his seigniory is frequently termed an honour, not a manor, especially if it hath belonged to an ancient feodal baron, or hath been at any time in the hands of the crown. In imitation whereof, these inferior lord? began to carve out and grant to others still more minute estates, to be held as of themselves, and were so proceeding downwards in infinitum; till the superior lords observed, that by this /foethod of subinseudation they lost all their feodal profits, of wardships, marriages, and escheats, which fell into the hands of these mesne or middle lords, who were the immediate superiors of the terretenant, or him who occupied the land. This occasioned the statute of Westm. 3. or quia ems tores, 18 Edw. I. to be made; which directs, that upon all (ales or feoffments of land, the feoffee shall hold the fame, not of his immediate feoffer, but of the chief lord of the fee, of whom such feoffer himself held it. And from hence it is held, that all manors existing at this day must have existed by immemorial prescription; or at least ever since the 18th Edw. I. when the statute of quia emptores was made. For no new manor can have been created since that statute: because it is essential to a manor, that there be tenants who hold of the lord, and that statute enacts, that for the future no subject (hall create any new tenants to hold of himself.
Now with regard to the folk land, or estates held in viilenage, this was a species of tenure neither strictly feodal, Norman, or Saxon; but mixed and compounded of them all: and which also, on account of the heriots that attend it, may seem to have somewhat Danish in its composition. Under the Saxon government there were, as Sir William Temple speaks, a sort of people in a condition of downright servitude, used and employed in the most servile works, and belonging, both they, their children, and effects, to the lord of the soil, like the rest of the cattle or stock upon it. These seem to have been those who held what'was called the folk land, from which they were removeable at the lord's pleasure. t)n the arrival of the Normans here, it /reins not improbable, that they, who were strangers to any other than a feodal state, might give some sparks of enfranchisement to such wretched persons as fell to their ihare, by admitting them, as well as others, to the oath of fealty; which conferred a right of protection, and raised the tenant to a kind of estate superior to downright flavery, but inferior to every other condition. This they called villenage, and the tenants villeins, either from the word •uilis, or else, as Sir Edward Coke tells us, a villa; because they lived chiefly in villages, and were employed in rustic works of the most sordid kind: like the Spartan beJetcs, to whom alone the culture os the lands was consigned; their rugged mailers, like our northern, ancestors, esteeming war the only honourable employment of mankind.
These villeins, belonging principally to lords of manors, were either villein) regardant, that is, annexed to the manor or land; or else they were in gross, or at large, that is, annexed to the person of the lord, and transferrable by deed from, one owner to another. They could not leave their lord without his permission; but if they ran away, or were purloined from him, might be claimed and recovered by action, like beasts or other chattels. They held indeed small portions of land by way of sustaining themselves and families; but it was at the mere will of the lord, who might dispossess them whenever he pleased; and it was upon villein services, that is, to carry out dung, to ledge and ditch the lord's demesnes, and any other the meanest offices: and these services were not only base, but uncertain both as to their time and quantity. A villein, in short, was in much the fame state with us, as lord Molesworth describes to be that of the boors in Denmark, and Stiernhook attributes also to the traals or slaves in Sweden ; which confirms the probability of their being in iome degree monuments of the Danish tyranny. A villein could acquire no property either in land* or goods; but, if he purchased either, the lord might enter upon them,
oust the villein, and seize them to hi* own use, unless he contrived to dispose os them again before the lord had seized them; for the lord had then lost his opportunity.
In many places also a fine was payable to the lord, if the villein presumed, to marry his daughter to any one without leave from the lord: and, by the common law, the lord might also bring an action against the huiband for damages in thus purloining his property. For the children of villeins were also in the fame state of bondage with their parents; whence they were called in Latin, nati-ui, which gave rise to the female appellation of a villein, who was called a neife. In case of a marriage between a freeman and a neise, or a villein and a freewoman, the issue followed the condition of the father, being free if he was free, and villein if he was villein; contrary to the maxim of civil law, that partus fequitur tilutrem. But no bastard could be born a villein, because by another maxim of our law he is mdiiui filius; and as he can gain nothing by inheritance, it were hard that he should lose his natural freedom by it. The law however protected the persons of villeins, as the king's subjects, against atrocious injuries of the lord: for he might not kill or maim his villein; though he might beat him with impunity, since the villein had no action or remedy at law against his lord, but in case of the murder of his ancestor, or the maim of his own person. Neifes indeed had also an appeal of rape, in case the lord violated them by force.
Villeins might be enfranchised by manumission, which is either express or implied: express; as where a man granted to the-villein a deed of manumiflion : implied ;3s where a man bound himself in a bond to his villein for a sum of money, granted him an annuity by deed, or gave him an estate in fee, for life, or years: for this was dealing with his villein on the footing of a freeman ; it was in some of the instances giving him an action against his lord, and in others vesting an ownership in him entirely inconsistent with his former state of bondage. So also if the lord brought
an. an action against his villein, this enfranchised him; for, as the lord might have a short remedy against his villein, by seizing his goods (which was more than equivalent to any damages he could recover) the law, which is always ready to catch at any thing in favour of liberty, presumed that by bringing this action he meant to fc*t his villein on the fame footing with himself, and theresore held it an implied manumission. But, in case the lord indicted him for felony, it was otherwise; for the lord could not inflict a capital punishment on his villein, without calling in the assistance of the law.
Villeins, by this and many other means, in process of time gained considerable ground on their lords; and in particular strengthened the tenure of their estates to that degree, that they came to have in them an interest in many places full as good, in others better than their lords. For the good-nature and benevolence of many lords of manors having, time out of mind, permitted their villeins and their children to •njoy their possessions without interruption, in a regular course of descent, the common law, of which custom is the life, now gave them title to prescribe against the lords ; and, on performance of the fame services, to hold their lands, in spite of any determination of the lord's will. For, though in general they are still said to hold their estates at the will of the lord, yet it is such a will as is agreeable to the custom of the manor; which customs are preserved and evidenced by the rolls of the several courts baron in which they are entered, or kept on foot by the constant immemorial usage of the several manors in which the lands lie. And, as such tenants had nothing to shew for their estates but these customs, and admissions in pursuance of them, entered on those rolls, or the copies of such entries witnessed by the steward,; they now began to be called • tenants by copy of court roll,' and their tenure itself a copyhold.
Thus copyhold tenures, as Sir Edward Coke observes, although very meanly descended, yet come of an ancient nouse; for, from what has been
premised it appears, that copyholders ar* in truth no other but villeins, who, by a long series of immemorial encroachments on the lord, have at last established a customary right to those estates, which before were held absolutely at the lord's will. Which affords a very substantial reason for the great variety of customs that prevail in different manors, with regard both to the descent os the estates> and the privileges belonging to the tenants. And these en. croachments grew to be so universal, that when tenure in villenage was abolished (though copyholds were reserved) by the statute of Charles II. there was hardly a pure villein left in the nation. For Sir Thomas Smith testifies, that in all his time (and he was secretary to Edward VI.) he never knew any villein in gross throughout the realm; and the few villeins regardant that were then remaining were such only as had belonged to bisliops, monasteries, or other ecclesiastical corporations, in the preceding times of popery. For he tells us, that '* the holy fathers, monks, and friars, had in their confessions, and specially in their extreme and deadly sickness, convinced the laity how darigerous a practice it was, for one Christian man to hold another in bondage: so that temporal men by little and little, by reason of that terror in their consciences, were glad to manumit all their villeins. But the said holy fathers, with the abbots and priors, did not in like sort by theirs; for they also had a scruple in conscience toempoverish and despoil the church so much, as to manumit such as were bond to their churches, or to the manors which the church had gotten; and so kept their villeins still." By these several means the generality of villeins in the kingdom have long ago sprouted up into copyholders: their persons being enfranchised by manumission or long acquiescence ; but their estates, in strictness, remaining subject to the same servile conditions and forfeitures as before; though, in general, the villein services are usually commuted for a small pecuniary quit-rent.
As a farther consequence of what hat
been premised, we may collect these
two main principles, which we held to
Z a be be the supportefs of a copyhold tenure, and without which it cannot exist: I. That the lands be parcel of, and situate within, that manor, under which it is held; z. That they have been demised, or demiseable, by copy of court roll immemorially. For immemorial custom is the life of all tenures by copy: so that no new copyhold can, strictly speaking, be granted at this day.
In some manors, where the custom hath been to permit the heir to succeed the ancestor in his tenure, the estates are styled copyholds of inheritance; in others, where the lords have been more vigilant to maintain their rights, they remain copyholds for life only : for the custom of the manor has in both cafes so far superseded the. will of the lord, that, provided the services be performed or stipulated for by fealty, he cannot, in the first instance, refuse to admit the heir of his tenant upon his death; nor, in the second, can he remove his present tenant so long as he lives, though he holds nominally by the precarious te
■ nure of his lord's will.
The fruits and appendages of a copyhold tenure, that it tyath in common with free tenures, are fealty, services (as well in rents as otherwise) reliefs, and escheats. The two latter belong only to copyholds of inheritance; the former to those for life also. But, besides tKese, copyholds have also hciiots, wardship, and fines. Heriots, which I
, think are agreed to be a Danisti custom, are a render of the best beast or other good (as the custom may be) to the lord on the death of the tenant. This is plainly a relic of villein tenure; tfiere being originally less hardstiip in it, when all the goods and chattels belonged to the lord, and he might have seized them even in the villein's lifetime. These are incident to both species of copyhold; bnt wardship and lines to those ofinheritanceonly. Wardship, in copyhold estates, partakes both of that in chivalry and that in socage. Like that in chivalry, the lord is the legal guardian, who usually assigns some relation of the infant tenant to act in his stead : and he, like-guardian in socage, is accountable to his ward for the profits. Of fines, some axe in the nature
of primer seisins, due on the death of each tenant, others are mere fines for alienation of the lands; in some manors only one of these sorts can be demanded, in some both, and in others neither. They are sometimes arbitrary and at the will of the lord, sometimes fixed by custom: but, even when arbitrary, the courts of law, in favour of the liberty of copyholders, have tied them down to be reasonable in their extent; otherwise they might amount to a disherison of the estate. No fine therefore is allowed to be taken upon descents and alienations (unless in particular circumstances) of more than two years improved value of the estate. From this instance we may judge of the favourable disposition, that the law of England (which is a law of liberty) hath, always (hewn to this species of tenants; by removing, as far as possible, every real badge of slavery from them, however some nominal ones may continue. It suffered custom very early to get the better of the express terms upon which they held their lands; by declaring, that the will of the lord was to be interpreted by the custom of the manor: and, where no custom has been suffered to grow up to the prejudice of the lord, as in this case of arbitrary fines, the law itself interposes in an equitable method, and will not suffer the lord to extendhis power so far as to disinherit the tenant. I Black/lone*s Commentaries.
§ 6l. Hard Words defended.
Few faults of style, whether real or imaginary, excite the malignity of a more numerous class of readers, than the use of hard words.
If an author be supposed to involve his thoughts in voluntary obscurity, and to obstruct, by unnecessary difficulties, a mind eager in pursuit of truth; if he writes not to make others learned, but to boast the learning which he possesses himself, and wistres to be admired rather than understood, he counteracts the first end of writing, and justly suffers the utmost severity of censure, or the more afflictive severity of neglect.
But words are only hard to those who do not understand them, and the critic