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· which conferred a right of protection, and and a neife, or a villein and a free-woman, raise the tenant to a kind of estate superior the issue followed the condition of the to downright Navery, but inferior to every father, being free if he was free, and villein other condition. This they called villenage, if he was villein ; contrary to the maxim of and the tenants villeins, either from the word civil law, that partus fequiter ventrem. But vilis, or else, as Sir Edward Coke tells us, no bastard could be born a villein, because à villa; because they lived chiefly in villa- by another maxim of our law he is nullius ges, and were employed in rustic works of filius : and as he can gain nothing by inhe. the most sordid kind: like the Spartan helotes, ritance, it were hard that he should lose his to whom alone the culture of the lands was natural freedom by it. The law however consigned; their rugged masters, like our protected the persons of villeins, as the northern ancestors, esteeming war the only king's subjects, against atrocious injuries of honourable employment of mankind. the lord: for he might not kill or maim his
These villeins, belonging principally to villein; though he might beat him with im. lords of manors, were either villeins regar- punity, since the villein had no action or redant, that is, annexed to the manor or land; medy at law against his lord, but in case of or else they were in gross, or at large, that the murder of his ancestor, or the maim of is, annexed to the person of the lord, and his own persor. Neifes indeed had also an transferrable by deed from one owner to appeal of rape, in case the lord violated · another. They could not leave their lord them by force. without his permission; but if they ran Villeins might be enfranchised by manuaway, or were purloined from him, might million, which is either express or implied: be claimed and recovered by action, like express; as where a man granted to the beasts or other chattels. They held indeed villein a deed of manumission : implied; as finall portions of land, by way of sullaining where a man bound himself in a bond to his themselves and families; but it was at the villein for a sum of money, granted him an mere will of the lord, who might difpofiess annuity hy deed, or gave him an eitate in them whenever he pleased; and it was uron fee, for life or years: for this was dealing villein services, that is, to carry out dung, with his villein on the footing of a freeman; to hedge and ditch the lord's demesnes, and it was in some of the instances giving him any other the meanest offices; and there fer- an action againit his lord, and in others veftvices were not only base, but uncertain both ing an ownership in him entirely inconsistent as to their time an. quantity. A villein, in with his former state of bondage. So also if short, was in much the same state with us, the lord brought an action against his villein, as lord Molesworth describes to be that of this enfranchised him; for, as the lord might the boors in Denmark, and Stiernhook at have a short remedy against this villein, by tributes also to the traals or slaves in Swe seizing his goods (which was more than den; which confirms the probability of their equivalent to any damages he could recover) being in some degree monuments of the the law, which is always ready to catch at Danish tyranny. A villein could acquire any thingin favour of liberty, presumed, that no property either in lands or goods; but, by bjinging this action he meant to set his if he purchased either, the lord might enter villein on the same footing with himself, and upon them, oust the villein, and seize them therefore held it an implied manumiflion. to his own use, unless he contrived to dif- But in case the lord indi&ted him for felony, pose of them again before the lord had seiz- it was otherwisc; for the lord could not ined them; for the lord had then loft his op. Aiat a capital punishment on his villein, withportunity.
out calling in the assistance of the law. In many places also a fine was payable to Villeins, by this and many other means, the lord, if the villein presumed to marry in process of time gained considerable his daughter to any one without leave from ground on their lords; and in particular the lord: and, by the common law, the lord Itrengthened the tenure of their estates to might also bring an action against the hus- that degree, that they came to have in "band for damages in thus purloining his them an interest in many places full as property. For the children of villeins were good,,in others better than their lords. also in the same state of bondage with their for the good-nature and benevolence of parents, whence they were called in Latin, many lords of manors, having, cime out of nativi, which gave rise to the female ap- mind, permitted their villeins and their pellation of a villein, who was called a neile, children to enjoy their posfellions without In case of a marriage between a frecm in interruption, ia a regular course of delcent,
the common law, of which custom is the for they also had a scruple in conscience to life, now gave them title to prescribe against empoverish and despoil the church so much, the lords; and, on performance of the same as to manumit such as were bond to their services, to hold their lands, in spite of any churches, or to the manors which the church determination of the lord's will. For, had gotten; and so kept their villeins still.”. though in general they are still said to hold By these several means the generality of their estates at the will of the lord, yet it is villeins in the kingdom have long ago such a will as is agreeable to the custom of sprouted up into copy holders: their persons the manor; which customs are preserved being enfranchised by manumiflion or long ånd evidenced by the rolls of the several acquiescence; but their etates in strict. courts-baron in which they are entered, or nels, remaining subject to the same ferkept on foot by the constant inimemorial vile conditions and forfeitures as before; usage of the several manors in which the though, in general, the villein services are lands lie. And, as such tenants had no. usually commuted for a small pecuniary thing to shew for their citates but these quit-rent. cuftoms, and admillions in pursuance of As a further confequence of what has them, entered on those rolls, or the copies been premised, we may collect these two of such entries witnefled by the steward; main principles, which are held to be the they now began to be called tenants by supporters of a copyhold tenure, and withcopy of court roll,' and their tenure itself out which it cannot exist: 1. That the lands "a copyhold.
be parcel of, and situate within, that maThus copyhold tenures; as Sir Edward nor, under which it is held. 2. That they Coke observes, although very meanly de. have been demised, or demiseable, by copy fcended, yet come of an ancient house; of court-roll immemorially. For immefor, from what has been premised, it ap- morial custom is the law of all tenures by pears, that copyholds are in truth no other copy: fo that no new copyhold can, ftri&tly but villeins, who, by a long series of im- speaking, be granted at this day. memorial encroachments on the lord, have In some manors, where the custom hath at last established a customary right to those been to permit the heir to succeed the anestates, which before were held absolutely . cestor in his tenure, the estates are stiled at the lord's will: which affords a very copyholds of inheritance; in others, where fubftantial reason for the great variety of the lords have been more vigilant to maincustoms that prevail in different manors, tain their rights, they remain copy holds with regard both to the descent of the for life only : for the custom of the manor estates, and the privileges belonging to the has in both cases so far superseded the will tenants. And these encroachments grew of the lord, that, provided the services be to be so universal, that when tenure in vil. performed or stipulated for by fealty, he lenage was 'abolished (though copyholds cannot, in the first instance, refuse to admit were reserved) by the statute of Charles II. the heir of his tenant upon his death; nor, there was hardly a pure villein left in the in the second, can he remove his present nation. For Sir Thomas Smith testifies, tenant so long as he lives, though he holds that in all his time (and he was secretary nominally by the precarious tenure of his to Edward VI.) he never knew any villein lord's will. in gross throughout the realm; and the The fruits and appendages of a copy. few villeins regardant that were then re, hold tenure, that it hath in common with maining were such only as had belonged free tenures, are fealty, services, (as weil to bishops, monasteries, or other ecclefiafti. in rents as otherwise) reliefs, and escheats. cal corporations, in the preceding times of The two latter belong only to copyholds of popery. For he tells us, that “the holy inheritance; the former to those for life fathers, monks, and friars, had, in their also. But, besides these, copy holds have confessions, and specially in their extreme also heriots, wardihip, and fines. Heriots, and deadly fickness, convinced the laity which I think are agreed to be a Danish how dangerous a practice it was, for one custom, are a render of the best beast or
Christian man to hold another in bondage: other good (as the custom may be) to the - so that temporal men by little and little, by lord on the death of the tenant. This is
reason of that terror in their consciences, plainly a relic of villein tenure; there be. were glad to manumit all their villeins. ing originally less hardship in it, when all But the said holy fathers, with the abbots. the goods and chattels belonged to the ar.d priors, did not in like fort by theirs; lord, and he might have seized them even
in the villein's life-time. These are inci- suffers the utmost severity of censure, or the dent to both species of copyhold; but more afflictive severity of neglect. wardship and fines to those of inheritance But words are only hard to those who do only. Wardship, in copyhold estates, par- not understand them; and the critic ought takes both of that in chivalry and that in always to enquire, whether he is incom. socage. Like that in chivalry, the lord is moded by the fault of the writer, or by the legal guardian, who usually asligns his own. some relation of the infant tenant to act in Every author does not write for every his stead : and he, like guardian in socage, reader; many questions are such as the illiis accountable to his ward for the profits. terate part of mankind can have neither Of fines, some are in the nature of primer interest nor pleasure in discusling, and seisins, due on the death of each tenant, which therefore it would be an useless enothers are mere fines for alienation of the deavour to levy with common minds, by lands: in some manors only one of these tiresome circumlocutions or laborious exforts can be demanded, in some both, and planations; and many subjects of general in others neither. They are sometimes use may be treated in a different manner, arbitrary and at the will of the lord, fome- as the book is intended for the learned or times fixed by custom: but, even when the ignorant. Diffusion and explication arbitrary, the courts of law, in favour of are necessary to the instruction of those the liberty of copyholders, have tied them who, being neither able nor accustomed to down to be reasonable in their extent; think for themselves, can learn only what is otherwise they might amount to a difheris expressiy taught; but they who can form son of the estate. No fine therefore is al- ' parallels, discover confequences, and mullowed to be taken upon descents and aliena. tiply conclusions, are beit pleased with intions (unless in particular circumstances) volution of argument and compression of of more than two years improved value of thought; they defire only to receive the the estate. From this initance we may seeds of knowledge which they may branch judge of the favourable disposition, that out by their own power, to have the way the law of England (which is a law of li- to truth pointed out which they can then berty) hath always shewn to this species of follow without a guide. tenants; by removing, as far as possible, The Guardian directs one of his pupils every real badge of slavery from them, “ to think with the wise, but speak with however fome nominal ones may continue. the vulgar.” This is a precept specious It suffered custom very early to get the enough, but not always practicable. Difbetter of the exprefs terms upon which they ference of thoughts will produce difference held their lands; by declaring, that the of language. He that thinks with more will of the lord was to be interpreted by the extent than another will want words of custom of the manor; and, where no cur. larger meaning; he that thinks with more tom has been suffered to grow up to the fabtilty will seek for terms of more nice prejudice of the lord, as in this case of ar. discrimination; and where is the wonder, bitrary fines, the law itself interposes in an fince words are but the images of things, equitable method, and will not suffer the that he who never knew the originals lord to extend his power so far as to difin- should not know the copies ? herit the tenant.
Yet vanity inclines us to find faults any Blackstone's Commentaries. where rather than in ourselves. He that
reads and grows wiser, feldom suspects his $ 58. Hard Words defended.
own deficiency; but complains of hard Few faults of style, whether real or ima. words and obscure sentences, and aks why ginary, excite the malignity of a more nu- books are written which cannot be undermerous class of readers, than the use of stood. hard words.
Among the hard words which are no If an author be supposed to involve his longer to be used, it has been long the custhoughts in voluntary obscurity, and to ob. toin to number terms of art. '« Every man ttruct, by unnecessary difficulties, a mind (lays Swift) is more able to explain the eager in pursuit of truth; if he writes not to subject of an art than its professors; a farmake others learned, but to boast the learn- mer will tell you in two words, that he ing which he poffeffes himself, and wishes to has broken his leg; but a surgeon, after a be admired rather than understood, he coun- long discourse, mall leave you as ignorant teracts the first end of writing, and justly as you were before." This could only
have been said but by such an exact ob- circulation of the rap, the writers whom server of life, in gratification of malignity, either shall consult are very little to be or in oftentation of acuteness. Every hour blamed, though it should sometimes happroduces instances of the necessity of terms pen that they are read in vain. Idler. of art. Mankind could never conspire in uniform affectation; it is not but by neces.
© § 59. Discontent, the common Lot of all
$ 59. Discontent, the fity that every science and every trade has
Mankind. its peculiar language. They that content Such is the emptiness of human enjoy. themselves with general ideas may rest in ments, that we are always impatient of the general terms; but those whose studies or present. Attainment is followed by neg. employments force them upon closer in. lect, and possession by disgust; and the maspection, must have names for particular licious remark of the Greek epigrammatilt parts, and words by which they may ex- on marriage, may be applied to every other press various modes of combination, such course of life, that its two days of happi. as none but themselves have occasion to ness are the first and the last. consider.
Few moments are more pleasing than Artists are indeed sometimes ready to sup- those in which the mind is concerting meapose, that none can be strangers to words fures for a new undertaking. From the to which themselves are familiar, talk to first hint that wakens the fancy to the hour an incidental enquirer as they talk to one of actual execution, all is improvement and another, and make their knowledge ridicu- progress, triumph and felicity. Every hour lous by injudicious obtrusion. An art can brings additions to the original scheme, not be taught but by its proper terms, but suggests some new expedient to secure suc. it is not always necessary to teach the art. cess, or discovers confequential advantages
That the vulgar express their thoughts not hitherto foreseen. While preparations clearly is far from true; and what perfpi- are made and materials accumulated, day cuity can be found among them proceeds glides after day through elysian prospects, not from the easiness of their language, but and the heart dances to the song of hope. the shallowness of their thoughts. He that Such is the pleasure of projecting, that sees a building as a common spectator, con- many content themselves with a succession tents himself with relating that it is great of visionary schemes, and wear out their al. or little, mean or splendid, lofty or low; all lotted time in the calm amusement of con. these words are intelligible and common, triving what they never attempt or hope but they convey no diftin&t or limited ideas; to execute. if he attempts, without the terms of archi- Others, not able to feast their imagina. tecture, to delineate the parts, or enume- tion with pure ideas, advance somewhat rate the ornaments, his narration at once nearer to the grossness of action, with great becomes unintelligible. The terms, in- diligence collect whatever is requisite to deed, generally displease, because they are their design, and, after a thousand reunderstood by few ; but they are little un- searches and consultations, are snatched derstood only, because few that look upon away by death, as they stand in procinetu an edifice examine its parts or analyse its waiting for a proper opportunity to begin. columns into their members.
If there were no other end of life, than The state of every other art is the fame; to find some adequate solace for every day, as it is cursorily surveyed or accurately exa- I know not whether any condition could be mined, different forms of expression become preferred to that of the man who involves proper. In morality it is one thing to dif. himself in his own thoughts, and never sufcuss the niceties of the casuiit, and another fers experience to show him the vanity of to direct the practice of common life. In fpeculation; for no sooner are notions reagriculture, he that instructs the farmer to duced to practice, than tranquillity and plough and low, may convey his notions confidence forsake the breast; every day without the words which he would find ne.. brings its task, and often without bringing cessary in explaining to philosophers the abilities to perform it: difficulties embarprocess of vegetation; and if he, who has raís, uncertainty perplexes, oppofition renothing co do but to be honeit by the Morte tards, censure exasperates, or neglcet deeit way, will perplex his mind with subtle presses. We proceed, because we have bespeculations; or if he whole task is to reap gun; we complete our design, that the laand thrash, will not be contented without bour already spent may not be vain : but examining the evolution of the feed and as expectation gradually dies away, the
3 K 3
gay smile of alacrity disappears, we are find ourselves so desirous to finish, as in neceffitated to implore severer powers, and the latter part of our work, or so impatrust the event to patience and constancy. tient of delay, as when we know that de
When once our labour has begun, the lay cannot be long. Part of this unseacomfort that enables us to endure it is the sonable importunity of discontent may be prospect of its end; for though in every justly imputed to langour and weariness, long work there are some joyous intervals which must always opprefs us more as of self-applause, when the attention is re- our toil has been longer continued; but created by unexpected facility, and the ima- the greater part usually proceeds from gination soothed by incidental excellencies frequent contemplation of that ease which not comprised in the first plan, yet the toil we now consider as near and certain, and with which performance struggles after which, when it has once fattered our idea, is so irksome and disgusting, and so hopes, we cannot suffer to be longer with frequent is the neceflity of resting below held.
Rambler. that perfection which we imagined within our reach, that feldom any man obtains § 60. Feodal System; History of its Rise more from his endeavours than a painful
and Progress.. conviction of his defects, and a continual The constitution of feuds had its origi, resuscitation of defires which he feels him- nal from the military policy of the Norself unable to gratify.
thern or Celtic nations, the Goths, the .. So certainly is weariness and vexation Hunns, the Franks, the Vandals, and the
the concomitant of our undertakings, that Lombards, who, all migrating from the every man, in whatever he is engaged, fame officina gentium, as Craig very juftly consoles himself with the hope of change, intitles it, poured themselves in vatt quanHe that has made his way by asliduity and tities into all the regions of Europe, at the vigilance to public employment, talks declenfion of the Roman empire. It was among his friends of nothing but the de- brought by them from their own countries, light of retirement: he whom the neceflity and continued in their respective colonies of solitary application secludes from the as the most likely means to secure their world, listens with a beating heart to its new acquisitions: and, to that end, large diftant noises, longs to mingle with living districts or parcels of land were allotted by beings, and resolves, when he can regulate the conquering general to the superior ofhis hours by his own choice, to take his fillficers of the aliny, and by them dealt out of merriment and diversions, or to display again in smaller parcels or allotments to his abilities on the universal theatre, and the inferior officers and most deserving enjoy the pleasure of distinction and ap- foldiers. There allotments were ca'led plause.
feoda, feuds, fiets, or fees; which last apEvery defire, however innocent or na- pellation, in the northern languages, fignitural, grows dangerous, as by long indul. fies a conditional flipend or reward. Regence it becomes ascendant in the mind. wards or ftipends they evidently were: When we have been much accustomed to and the condition annexed to them was, consider any thing as capable of giving that the poffeffor should do service faithhappiness, it is not easy to restrain our ar- fully, both at home and in the wars, 10 dour, or to forbear some precipitation in him by whom they were given; for which our advances, and irregularity in our pur- purpole he took the juramentum fidelitatis, suits. He that has long cultivated the tree, or oath of fealty: and in case of the breach watched the swelling bud and opening of this condition and oath, by not performblossom, and pleased himself with com- ing the stipulated fervice, or by deserting puting how much every sun and shower the lord in battle, the lands were again to added to its growth, scarcely stays till the revert to him who granted them. fruit has obtained its maturity, but defeats Allotments thus acquired, paturally en. his own cares by eagernels to reward gaged such as accepted them to defend them. When we have diligently laboured them: and, as they all sprang from the for any purpose, we are willing to believe same right of conquelt, no part could lubthat we have attained it; and because we fit independent of the whole; wherefore all have already done much, too suddenly con- givers, as well as reccivers, were mutually flude that no more is to be done. bound to defend each other's possessions.
All att action is encreased by the ap- But, as that could not effe&tually be done proach of the attracting body. We never in a tunultuous, irregular way, goverð.