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to which that occupation condemns them, necessarily throws the burthen of procuring provisions on the active young men. As soon, therefore, as a man is unable to pursue the chase, he begins to withdraw something from the precarious supplies of the tribe. Still, however, his counsels may compensate his want of activity; but in the next stage of infirmity, when he can no longer travel from camp to camp, as the tribe roams about for subsistence, he is then found to be a heavy burthen. In this situation they are abandoned among the Siorix, Assiniboins, and the hunting tribes on the Missouri. As they are setting out for some new excursion where the old man is unable to follow, his children or nearest relations place before him a piece of meat and some water, and telling him that he has lived long enough, that it is now time for him to go home to his relations, who could take better care of him than his friends on earth, leave him without remorse to perish when his little supply is exhausted. The same custom is said to prevail among the Minnetarees, Abnahawes, and Ricaras, when they are attended by old men on their hunting excursions. Yet in their villages we saw no want of kindness to old men. On the contrary, probably because in villages the means of more abundant subsistence renders such cruelty unnecessary, the old people appear to be treated with attention, and some of
their feasts, particularly the buffalo dances, were intended chiefly as a contribution for the old and infirm.”—Lewis and Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. p. 421.
There have existed too, in all the countries in civilized Europe which have ever been subjected to the feudal system, after emancipation from subjection, and in the absence and defect of support and subsistence from the feudal and superior lord, associations of equals founded on the principles of mutual assistance. To this we owe the Guilds, and the Fraternities of Artists and Tradesmen, united for the occasional relief and constant defence of their members. From hence arose Companies and Corporations; and in more modern days, Benefit Societies, common to most nations in Europe under different denominations. There is good reason for believing that similar societies were of ancient date and contributed essentially to civilization*.
From the foregoing historical view, which, if further extended, would present only the recurrence of similar features differently modified, it appears that the modes of relief, which have been applied to indigence in various ages and states of civil society, exclusive of the ever-acting princi
* See Aristot. de Republica, vol. 1-10. quoted by Micali. Italia avaute il dominio dei Romani. I. 204, in speaking of the Enotrians.
ple of direct voluntary charity, and the concurrence of unlicensed mendicity, resolve themselves into a classification, which has taken place nearly in the following order:
Prædial Servitude, in its absolute and its modified state:
Ecclesiastical and Lay Establishments, supported by fixed and appropriated revenues, or occasional voluntary donations:
Licensed Mendicity :
The Revenues of the State, derived from various external and internal sources, or raised by direct or indirect taxation, and applied in the defect of voluntary charity, or in aid of it.
THEORY OF INDIGENCE.
HISTORY has been styled Philosophy teaching by example. Philosophy may with equal propriety be denominated History condensed into precept. The general course of human actions, directed into a particular channel, and regulated by legislation, has never had a tendency contrary to the general course of human feeling. From the practice of individuals and states, moralists and jurists have deduced their theories; and it is the intention of this part of the present Essay to review the Theory of Indigence in the works of the most eminent writers on morality and jurisprudence. These writers have found in nature, and in the history of civil society, the existence of two separate, and as they seem to have considered them, opposite interests;
The Right of Property; and
The Right of Self-preservation.
The right of property implies uninterrupted possession, subject to the unlimited intrusion of no other right. The right of self-preservation implies, that all other rights whatsoever must give way to it.
Property is the creature of civil society; it assumes, and exists only under the protection of, a sovereign power. Self-preservation is an unalienable right, existing independent of civil society, and consequently independent of all sovereign power.
To reconcile these co-existent rights, Grotius saw, or thought he saw, another law, which he called the law of necessity. "This law of necessity (says he) was foreseen in the first division of property; and therefore a right of revoking this division was tacitly reserved, and a power of again throwing all things into common, if the claims of self-preservation should ever have a stronger right to be attended to than the claims of property*." This explanation seems rather cutting the knoț than untying it. The successor of Grotius in this branch of science, Puffendorf, doubted the justness of the conclusion as to the implied original condition, and therefore adopted a refinement of another nature to reconcile the two opposite in
"To assist the indigent in ordinary cases is a duty of imperfect obligation, but in case of extreme necessity it becomes a duty of perfect obligation."-Puffendorf, b. ii. c. 6. sect. 6.
Paley has adopted Puffendorf's definition of perfect and imperfect obligation, for which he is * De Jure Belli et Pacis, lib. ii. c. 3. s. 6.