Oyonale - 3D art and graphic experiments
Image mixer TrueSpam ShakeSpam ThinkSpam


The phrases in their context!


But the same person advancing to pluck an apple, that hangs within his reach, has no reason to complain, if another, more alert, passes him, and takes possession.
What is the reason of this difference, but that immobility, not being natural to the hare, but the effect of industry, forms in that case a strong relation with the hunter, which is wanting in the other?
Here then it appears, that a certain and infallible power of enjoyment, without touch or some other sensible relation, often produces not property: And I farther observe, that a sensible relation, without any present power, is sometimes sufficient to give a title to any object.
The sight of a thing is seldom a considerable relation, and is only regarded as such, when the object is hidden, or very obscure; in which case we find, that the view alone conveys a property; according to that maxim, THAT EVEN A WHOLE CONTINENT BELONGS TO THE NATION, WHICH FIRST DISCOVERED IT.
It is however remarkable that both in the case of discovery and that of possession, the first discoverer and possessor must join to the relation an intention of rendering himself proprietor, otherwise the relation will not have Its effect; and that because the connexion in our fancy betwixt the property and the relation is not so great, but that it requires to be helped by such an intention.
From all these circumstances, it is easy to see how perplexed many questions may become concerning the acquisition of property by occupation; and the least effort of thought may present us with instances, which are not susceptible of any reasonable decision.
If we prefer examples, which are real, to such as are feigned, we may consider the following one, which is to be met with In almost every writer, that has treated of the laws of nature.
Two Grecian colonies, leaving their native country, in search of new feats, were informed that a city near them was deserted by its inhabitants.
To know the truth of this report, they dispatched at once two messengers, one from each colony; who finding on their approach, that their information was true, begun a race together with an intention to take possession of the city, each of them for his countrymen.
One of these messengers, finding that he was not an equal match for the other, launched his spear at the gates of the city, and was so fortunate as to fix it there before the arrival of his companion.
This produced a dispute betwixt the two colonies, which of them was the proprietor of the empty city and this dispute still subsists among philosophers.
For my part I find the dispute impossible to be decided, and that because the whole question hangs upon the fancy, which in this case is not possessed of any precise or determinate standard, upon which it can give sentence.
To make this evident, let us consider, that if these two persons had been simply members of the colonies, and not messengers or deputies, their actions would not have been of any consequence; since in that case their relation to the colonies would have been but feeble and imperfect.
Add to this, that nothing determined them to run to the gates rather than the walls, or any other part of the city, but that the gates, being the most obvious and remarkable part, satisfy the fancy best in taking them for the whole; as we find by the poets, who frequently draw their images and metaphors from them.
Besides we may consider, that the touch or contact of the one messenger is not properly possession, no more than the piercing the gates with a spear; but only forms a relation; and there is a relation, in the other case, equally obvious, tho' not, perhaps, of equal force.
Which of these relations, then, conveys a right and property, or whether any of them be sufficient for that effect, I leave to the decision of such as are wiser than myself.]
But such disputes may not only arise concerning the real existence of property and possession, but also concerning their extent; and these disputes are often susceptible of no decision, or can be decided by no other faculty than the imagination.
A person who lands on the shore of a small island, that is desart and uncultivated, is deemed its possessor from the very first moment, and acquires the property of the whole; because the object is there bounded and circumscribed in the fancy, and at the same time is proportioned to the new possessor.
The same person landing on a desart island, as large as Great Britain, extends his property no farther than his immediate possession; though a numerous colony are esteemed the proprietors of the whole from the instant of their debarkment.
But it often happens, that the title of first possession becomes obscure through time; and that it is impossible to determine many controversies, which may arise concerning it.
In that case long possession or prescription naturally takes place, and gives a person a sufficient property in any thing he enjoys.