Imágenes de página

Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breast With regal ornament; the middle pair Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold And colors dipt in heav'n; the third his feet Shadowed from either heel with feathered mail, Sky-tinctured grain. Like Maia's son he stood, 5 And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance filled The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands Of angels under watch; and to his state, And to his message high, in honor rise; For on some message high they guessed him bound. Their glittering tents he passed, and now is come Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh, And flowering odors, cassia, nard, and balm; A wilderness of sweets; for Nature here Wantoned as in her prime, and played at will 6 Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet, Wild above rule or art-enormous bliss. Him through the spicy forest onward come, Adam discerned, as in the door he sat

Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun
Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm
Earth's inmost womb; more warmth than Adam needs:
And Eve within, due at her hour prepared
For dinner savory fruits, of taste to please
True appetite, and not disrelish thirst

7 Of nectarous draughts between, from milky stream,
Berry or grape; to whom thus Adam called:

"Haste hither, Eve, and, worth thy sight, behold, Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape Comes this way moving! seems another morn Ris'n on mid-noon: some great behest from heaven To us, perhaps, he brings, and will vouchsafé This day to be our guest. But go with speed, And what thy stores contain bring forth, and pour Abundance, fit to honor and receive

8 Our heav'nly stranger: well we may afford
Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow
From large bestowed, where nature multiplies
Her fertile growth, and by disburd'ning grows
More fertile; which instructs us not to spare."

To whom thus Eve: " Adam, earth's hallowed mould, Of God inspired, small store will serve, where store, All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk; Save what by frugal storing firmness gains To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes: 9 But I will haste, and from each bough and brake, Each plant and juciest gourd, will pluck such choice To entertain our Angel guest, as he Beholding shall confess, that here on earth, God hath dispensed his bounties as in heaven."


The History of Property.-PALEY.

i THE first objects of property were the fruits which a man gathered, and the wild animals he caught; next to these, the tents or houses which he built, the tools he made use of to catch or prepare his food; and afterwards weapons of war and offerce. Many of the savage tribes in North America have advanced no farther than this yet; for they are said to reap their harvest and return the produce of their market with foreigners, into the common hoard or treasury of the tribe. Flocks and herds of tame animals soon became property. Abel, the second from Adam, was 2 a keeper of sheep; sheep and oxen, camels and asses, composed the wealth of the Jewish patriarchs, as they do still of the modern Arabs. As the world was first peopled in the East, where there existed a great scarcity of water, wells probably were next made property; as we learn from the frequent and serious mention of them in the Old Testament; the contentions and treaties about them; and from its being recorded, among the most memorable achievements of very eminent men, that they dug or discovered a well. Land, which is now so important a part 3 of property, which alone our laws call real property, and regard upon all occasions with such peculiar attention, was probably not made property in any country, till long after the institution of many other species of property, that is, till the country became populous, and tillage began to be thought of. The first partition of an estate which we read

of, was that which took place between Abrain and Lot, and was one of the simplest imaginable: "If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then will I go to the left." There 4 are no traces of property in land in Cæsar's account of Britain; little of it in the history of the Jewish patriarchs; none of it found amongst the nations of North America: the Scythians are expressly said to have appropriated their cattle and houses, but to have left their land in common.

Property in immoveables, continued at first no longer than the occupation; that is, so long as a man's family continued in possession of a cave, or whilst his flocks depastured upon a neighboring hill, no one attempted, or thought he had a right to disturb or drive them out: but, when the 5 man quitted his cave, or changed his pasture, the first whe found them unoccupied, entered upon them, by the same title as his predecessor's; and made way in his turn for any one that happened to succeed him. All more permanent property in land was probably posterior to civil government and to laws; and therefore settled by these, or according to the will of the reigning chief.


Use of the Institution of Property.-PALEY.


THE principal advantages of the institution of property are, First, It increases the produce of the earth. The earth, in climates like ours, produces little without cultivation; and none would be found willing to cultivate the ground, if others were to be admitted to an equal share of the produce. The same is true of the care of flocks and herds of tame animals. Crabs and acorns, red deer, rabbits, game, and fish, are all which we should have to subsist upon in this country, if we trusted to the spontaneous productions of the soil and it fares not much better with other countries. A nation of North American savages, consisting of two or three hundred, will take up, and be half starved upon a tract of land, which in Europe, and with European management, would be sufficient for the maintenance of as many thousands. In some fertile soils, together with great



abundance of fish upon their coasts, and in regions where clothes are unnecessary, a considerable degree of population may subsist without property in land; which is the case in the islands of Otaheite: but in less favored situations, as in the country of New-Zealand, though this sort 3 of property obtain in a small degree, the inhabitants, for want of a more secure and regular establishment of it, are driven oftentimes by the scarcity of provision to devour one another.

Second, It preserves the produce of the earth to maturity. We may judge what would be the effects of a community of right to the productions of the earth, from the trifling specimens which we see of it at present. A cherry-tree in a nedge-row, nuts in a wood, the grass of an unstinted pasture, are seldom of much advantage to any body, because people do not wait for the proper season of reaping them. Corn, if any were sown, would never ripen ; lambs and calves would never grow up to sheep and cows, because the first person that met them would reflect, that he had better take them as they are, than leave them for


Third, 1 pierents contests. War and waste, tumult and contusion, must be unavoidable and eternal, where there is not enough for all, and where there are no rules to adjust the division.


Fourth, It improves the conveniency of living. This it does two ways. It tuables mankind to divide themselves into distinct professions; which is impossible, unless a man can exchange the productions of his own art for what he wants from others; and exchange implies property. Much of the advantages of civilized over savage life depends upon this. When a man is from necessity his own tailor, tentmaker, carpenter, cook, huntsman, and fisherman, it is impossible that he will be expert at any of his callings. Hence the rude habitations, furniture, clothing, and imple6 ments of savages; and the tedious length of time which all their operations require. It likewise encourages those arts, by which the accommodations of human life are supplied, by appropriating to the artists the benefit of his discoveries and improvements; without which appropriation, ingenuity will never be exerted with effect.

Upon these several accounts we may venture, with a

few exceptions, to pronounce, that even the poorest and the worst provided, in countries where property and the consequences of property prevail, are in a better situation, 7 with respect to food, raiment, houses, and what are called the necessaries of life, than any are in places where most things remain in common.

The balance, therefore, upon the whole, must preponderate in favor of property with a manifest and great excess. Inequality of property, in the degree in which it exists in most countries of Europe, abstractedly considered, is an evil; but it is an evil which flows from those rules concerning the acquisition and disposal of property, by which men are incited to industry, and by which the object of their industry is rendered secure and valuable. If there be any great inequality unconnected with this origin, it ought to be corrected.


The Rich Man and the Poor Man.-KHEMNITZER. 1 So goes the world;-if wealthy, you may call This friend, that brother;-friends and brothers all; Though you are worthless-witless-never mind it: You may have been a stable boy-what then? "Tis wealth, good sir, makes honorable men. You seek respect no doubt, and you will find it.

2 But if you are poor,Heaven help you! though your sire
Had royal blood within him, and though you
Possess the intellect of angels too,

"Tis all in vain ;—the world will ne'er inquire
On such a score :-Why should it take the pains?
'Tis easier to weigh purses, sure, than brains.

3 I once saw a poor fellow, keen and clever,
Witty and wise :—he paid a man a visit,
And no one noticed him, and no one ever
Gave him a welcome. Strange," cried I," whence is it?"
He walked on this side, then on that,
He tried to introduce a social chat;


« AnteriorContinuar »