« ForrigeFortsett »
the proprietor, or lord; being he who fate before him; and there who retained the dominion or ul. profeffog that " he did become timate property of the feud or "s his man, from that day forth, fee: and the grantee, who had “ of life and limb and earthly hoonly the use and poffeffion, ac- " nour:" and then he received a cording to the terms of the grant, kiss from his lord. Which cere. was styled the feudatory or valjal, mony was denominated bomagium, which was only another name for or manbood, by the feudifts, from the tenant or holder of the lands; the stated form of words, devenia though, on account of the preju. vefter bomo. dices we have juftly conceived. When the tenant had thus proagainst the doctrines ihat were af. fessed himself to be the man of his terwards grafted on this system, superior or lord, the next considewe now use the word vasal oppro- ration was concerning the service, briously, as synonymous to save or which, as such, he was bound to bondman. The manner of the render, in recompence for che land grant was by words of gratuitous he held. This, in pure, proper, and pure donation, dedi et concelli; and original feuds, was only twowhich are still the operative words fold: to follow, or do fuit to, the in our modern infeodations, or · lord in his courts in time of peace; deeds of feoffment. This was and in his armies or warlike, reperfected by the ceremony of cor- tinue, when neceflity called him to poral investiture, or open and no- the field. The lord was, in early torious delivery of pofseflion in the times, the legislator and judge over presence of the other vaflals, all his feudatories : and there. which perpetuated among them fore the vaftals of the inferior lords the aera of the new acquisition, at were bound by their fealty to at a time when the art of writing tend their domestic courts baron, was very little known; and there. (which were instituted in every fore the evidence of property was manos or barony, for doing speedy reposed in the memory of the and effectual juftice to all the toneighbourhood; who, in case of nants) in order as well to answer a disputed title, were afterwards such complaints as might be al. called upon to decide the difference, ledged against themselves, as to not only according to external form a jury or homage for the trial proofs, adduced by the parties of their fellow.tenants; and upon litigant, but also by the internal this account, in all the feodal in. testimony of their own private ftitutions both here and on the knowledge.
continent, they are distinguished Besides an oath of fealty, or pro- by the appellation of the peers of feflion of faith to the lord, which the court; pares curtis, or para was the parent of our oath of als curiae. In like manner the barons legiance, the vallal or tenant upon themselves, or lords of inferior investiture did usually homage to diftricts, were denominated peers his lord ; openly and humbly of the king's court, and were kneeling, being ungirt, uncover- bound to attend him upon funed, and holding up his hands both mons, to hear causes of greater together between ihose of the lord, consequence is the king's prefence and under the direction of tivated began naturally to arise in." his grand justiciary : till in many the tillers : a more permanent decountries the power of that officer gree of property was introduced, was broken and diftributed into and feuds began now to be grant... other courts of judicature, the ed for the life of the feudatory. peers of the king's court ftill re. But still feuds were not yet hereserving to themselves (in almoft ditary; though frequently granted, every feodal government) the by the favour of the lord to the right of appeal from those subor children of the former pofleflor; dinate courts in the last resort. till in process of time it became The military branch of service unusual, and was therefore thought confifted in attending the lord to hard, to reject the heir, if he the wars, if called upon, with such were .capable to perform the sera retinue, and for such a number vices : and therefore infants, woof days, as were ftipulated at the men, and professed monks, who firft donation, in proportion to the were incapable of bearing arms, quantity of the land.'
were also incapable of succeeding At the first introduction of to a genuine feud. But the heir, feuds, as they were gratuitous, so when admited to the feud which also they were precarious, and held his ancestor poffeffed, used gene. at the will of the lord, who was rally to pay a fine of acknowledge the sole judge whether his vassal ment to the lord, in horses, arms, performed his services faithfully. money, and the like, for such reThen they became certain, for one newal of the feud: which was or more years. Among the an. called a relief, because it re-eftacient Germans they continued only blished the inheritance, or, in the from year to year; an annual dil. words of the feodal writers," inta tribution of lands being made by « certam et caducam heriditatem re. their leaders in their general coun. « levebat." This relief was af, cils or assemblies. This was pro. terwards, when feuds became abfeffedly done, left their thoughts solutely hereditary, continued on should be diverted from war to the death of the tenant, though agriculture ; left the strong should the original foundation of it had encroach upon the poffefsions of ceased, the weak; and left luxury and For in process of time feuds avarice should be encouraged by came by degrees to be universally the erection of permanent houses, extended, beyond the life of the and too curious an attention to firit vaffal, to his fons, or perhaps convenience and the elegant fu. to such one of them as the lord perfluities of life. But, when should name; and in this case the general migration was pretty the form of the donation was well over, and a peaceable pof. ftri&tly observed : for if a feud session of their new acquired fet. was given to a man and his fons, tlements had introduced new curs all his fons succeeded him in equal toms and manners; when the 'fer: portions ; and as they died off, rility of the foil had encouraged their thares reverted to the lord, the study of husbandry, and an af. and did not descend to their chil fection for the spots they had cul. dren, 'or even to their surviving bro. Vol. X.
'hers, as not being specified in the without the confent of the lord. donation. But when such a feud For, the reason, of conferring the was given to a man and his heirs, feud being the personal abilities of in general terms, then a more ex. the feudatory to serve in war, it teoded rule of succession took was not fit he should be at liberty place; and when a feudatory died, to transfer this gift, either from his male descendents in infinitum himself, or his posterity, who were were admitted to the fucceflion. presumed to inherit his valour, lo When any such descendent, who others who might prove less able. thus had succeeded, died, his male And, as the feodal obligation was descendents were also admitted in looked upon as reciprocal the fep. the first place : and, in defect of datory being entitled to the lord's them, fuch of his male collateral protection, in return for his own kindred as were of the blood or fealty and services therefore the lineage of the firft feudatory, but lord could no more transfer, bis no others. For this was an unalter. seignosy of protection without the able maxim in feodal succession, consent of his vassal, than the vallal that, « none was capable of in- could his feud withogt consent of “ heriting a feud, but such as was his lord : it being equally unrea. “ of the blood of, that is, lineally sonable, that the lord hould ex. "descended from, the first feuda- tend his protection to a person to ritory” And the descent, being whom he had exceptions, and that thus confined to males, originally the raffal Tould owe subjection to extended to all the males alike; a superior not of his own chasing. all the sons, without any distinction There were the principal, and of primogeniture, fucceeding to very simple qualities of the geequal portions of the father's nuine or original feuds; being then feud. But this being found, upon all of a military nature, and in many accounts, inconvenient, (par.. the hands of military persoas : ticularly, by dividing the services, though the feudatories being unand thereby weakening the strength der frequent incapacities of col. of the feodal union) and honorary tivacing and manuring their feuds (or titles of nobility) being own lands, soon found it neceflary now introduced, which were not to commit part of them to infeof a divisible nuture, but could rior tenagts; obliging them to only be inherited by the eldest such returna in service, corn, car. fon : in imitation of these, mili- tle, or money, as might enable the tary feuds (or those we are now de chief feudatories to attend their fcribing) began also in moft coun- military duties without distraction: tries to descend according to the which returns, or reditus, were the fame rule of primogeniture, to the original of rents. -- And by this eldest son, in exclusion of all the means the feodal policy was greatly reft.
extended, there inferior feudaco. Other qualities of feuds were, ries (who held what are called in that the feudatory could not aliene the Scots law * rere fiets") being or dispose of his feud ; neither under similar obligations of feaky, could he exchange, nor yet mort- to do fuit of court, to answer he gage, por even de vise it, by will, ftipulated renders, or reos service,
and to promote the welfare of their mazes of metaphysical' jargon, be.
immediate superiors or lords. But gan also to exert its influence on to this at the same time demolished this copious and fruitful subject :
the ancient fimplicity of feuds ; in pursuance of which, the most
and an inroad being once made refined and oppreflive conse. **?upon their 'conftitution, it sub.' quences were drawn from what ejected them, in a course of time, originally was a plan of fimplicity
to great varieties and innovations. and liberty, equally beneficial to • Feuds came to be bought and fold, both lord and renant,'and pru
and deviations were made from the dently calculated for their mutual old fundamental rules of tenure protection and defence. From
and fuccellion; which were held this one foundation, in different 1: no longer facred, when the feuds countries of Europe, very different - themselves no longer continued to superstructures have been raised :
be purely military. Hence these what effect it has produced on the o tenures began now to be divided landed property of England, will Tinto feoda propria et impropria, appear in the following chapters. I proper and improper feuds ; under - the former of which divifions were - Comprehended fuch, and such only, An Eru on the Hiftory of Civil Sow of which we have before spoken; • ciety, by Adam Ferguson, L. S. D.
and under that of improper or de Professor of Moral Philofophy in the Dirivative feuds were comprized all University of Edinburgh. In one
such as do not fall within the other volume quarto. . ., is. defeription : such, for instance, -"as were originally bartered and IT concerns man fo 'much to -fold to the feudatory for a price ; I know himself well, and he is at
such as were held upon base or less the same time fo various á being, honourable fervices, or upon a that he cannot be exhibited to him. rent, in lieu of military service ; self, by too many observers, and in
fuch as were in themselves alien. 'too 'many situations. There is not .able, without mutual license;' and indeed any condition, whether of
such as might defeend indifferently riches or poverty, figure or obeither to males or females. But, fcurity, society or folitariness, ci. where a difference was not ex. vilization or rudeness, in which pressed in the creation, such new. fomething useful may not be glean.
created feuds did in all other ed towards the improvement and *- respects follow the nature of an exertion, we may even say the dif
original, genuine, -- and proper covery of those powers with which • feud. .. . :wica nature has fo liberally endowed
- But as foon as the feodal fyftem him. Nor is there any observer,
came to be confidered in the light (and we are all observers of one - of a civil establishment, rather another) from the fedentary her. "
than as a "military plan, the in- mit, to the giddieft of the multi. 5 genuity of the fame ages, which tude, who has not, perhaps, made , perplexed all theology with the fome obferyation which was before • fubtilty of scholaftic difquifitions, unnoticed. The subject is so ex. > and bewildered philosophy in the tensive that it can never be ex
hauftea, and the reelöfe himself out any sacrifice from method, i, may hit upon some peculiarity in such as was due to the dignity of
the human frame, 'bý an acquaint. the subject, and might have been rance with which the rest of man expected from his rank in the re. kind may be greatly benefited.'. public of letters. Di
Civil society is now, whatever » The work is divided into fix it might have been originally, the parts, each of which branches into general state of man ; so that it is several fections. The firft pate the most interesting situation, that treats of the general characteritics he can possibly be considered in. of human nature the second, of There is a peculiar propriety, in the history of rude nations"; "the this consideration's becoming the third, of the history of policy and ohject of a moral philosopher's arts; the fourth, of coufequences discussion, - No one can be more that result from the advancement
fitly calculated for examining of civil and commercial arts; the · thoroughly into, and describing, fifth, of the decline of nations ; expressively; man in that state, the fixth, of corruption and po. than he who is chosen by a learned litical slavery. 1. The propriety of body, as the most fit to point out this division is too obvious to'rė. and enforce those moral duties, of quire its being pointed out; and which the social form so principal that of the several parts into feca part. The learned author has tions does not yield to it... accordingly, handled this subject " Many of the authors who have in the most masterly manner; the written on man, and those too work abounds with subtle thought, fome of the most ingenious, have ingenious sentiment, and extensive set out by confidering him as an knowledge, and is written with a animal, folitary by nature; and force, perspicuity, and elegance, * others, not satisfied with this which is feldom met with in mo. blindness to what we read and fee dern performances. * r *.. of his condition, in almost all ages
Strong as this teftimony in and countries, have no Jess pre. favour of the subject before us, pofteroolly made him a mischiev. and this prejudice in favour of ous one. Nay; one in particular, the author who has handled it, has thrown bout doubts of his may appear; the reading of a having been originally a monkey very few pages of the work will, or baboon. v791996 ! we think, fufficiently justify our . Mr. Fergufon, inftead of adopt. opinion. Mr. Ferguson has given ing either of those capital miftakts, us almost every thing relative to · (by which, we mean the two furt, this subject, which has been al. the last being too ridiculous for ico ready advanced by others, fexcept rious animadversion) has refused their whims and caprices) in such them both in the most masterly a light as to make it almost-en. manner; by which he has al zirely his own. · He has added · schieved more for the dignity of many things, originally his own, human nature, as well as for the which would alone be sufficient to interests of mankind, than had entitle him to the praise of a very been done by all the writers who deep and subtle investigator of had gone before " him in this the human mind. The style, with walk.