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of Haha, in Southern Morocco, that some of the local saints punish thieves who approach their sanctuaries, even though the theft was committed elsewhere ; being constantly appealed to in oaths taken by persons suspected of theft, they have become the permanent enemies of thieves. We can, further, understand why in some cases certain offences against property have actually assumed the character of a sacrilege, even apart from such as are committed in the proximity of a supernatural being. Curses are sometimes personified and elevated to the rank of divine agents ; this, as we have seen, is the origin of the Erinyes of parents, beggars, and strangers, and of the Roman divi parentum and dii hospitales ; and this is also in all probability the origin of the god Terminus. Or the curse may be transformed into an attribute of the chief god, not only because he is frequently appealed to in connection with offences of a certain kind, but also because such a god has a tendency to attract supernatural forces which are in harmony with his general nature. This explains the origin of conceptions such as Zeus 'opos and Jupiter Terminalis, as well as the extreme severity with which Yahweh treated the removal of landmarks. In all these cases there are indications of a connection between the god and a curse.

Apart from other evidence to be found in Semitic antiquities, there is the anathema of Deuteronomy, “Cursed be he that re

“ moveth his neighbour's landmark.” ? That the boundary stones dedicated to Zeus ópios were originally charged with imprecations appears from a passage in Plato's • Laws ' quoted above, as also from inscriptions made on them. The Etruscans cursed anyone who should touch or displace a boundary mark :—Such a person shall be condemned by the gods; his house shall disappear ; his race shall be extinguished ; his limbs shall be covered with ulcers and waste away ; his land shall no longer produce

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1 Cf. Festus, op. cit. ' Termino':- 3 Plato, Leges, viii. 843 : 有 “Numa Pompilius statuit eum, qui σμικρών λίθον ορίζοντα φιλαίν και έχθραν terininum exarasset, et ipsum, et boves ένορκον παρά θεών.”

• Xenophon, Anabasis, v. 3. 13. 2 Deuteronomy,

Cf. Hermann, Disputatio de terminis apud Genesis, xxxi. 44 sqq.

Gracos, p. 11.

sacros esse.”

xxvii.

17.

fruits ; hail, rust, and the fires of the dog-star shall destroy his harvests. Considering the important part played by blood as a conductor of imprecations, it is not improbable that the Roman ceremony of letting the blood of a sacrificial animal flow into the hole where the landmark was to be placed ? was intended to give efficacy to a curse. In some parts of England a custom of annually “beating the bounds” of a parish has survived up to the present time, and this ceremony was formerly accompanied by religious services, in which a clergyman invoked curses on him who should transgress the bounds of his neighbour, and blessings on him who should regard the landmarks.»

The practice of cursing a thief may possibly even lie at the bottom of the belief of some savages that such a person will be punished after death. In a following chapter we shall notice instances where the efficacy of a curse is supposed to extend beyond the grave. But we shall also find other reasons for savage doctrines of retribution in the world to come. In the cases referred to above it is not expressly said that the post mortem punishment of the thief is inflicted by a god.

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I have here only dealt with rules relating to property which have been recognised by custom or law. But the established principles of ownership have not always been admitted to be just : in the civilised countries of the West they have called forth an opposition which is rapidly gaining in strength. The limited scope of the present work does not allow me to attempt a detailed account of this movement, with its variety of arguments and its multitudinous schemes of reform. The main reasons for complaint are :—first, that our actual law of

property

does not ensure to every labourer the whole produce of his labour ; secondly, that it does not provide for every want

! Rei agraria auctores legesque varie, 3 Dibbs, ‘Beating the Bounds,' in edited by Geesius, p. 258 sq.

Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, N.S. Siculus Flaccus, . De conditionibus XX. (1853) 49 sqq.' Trumbull, The agrorum,' in Rei agrarie autores, Threshold Covenant, p. 174 sq. p. 5.

a satisfaction proportionate to the available means. However much the opinions of the different schools of socialists may vary, every socialist organisation of property aims either at guaranteeing to the working-classes the entire product of their industry, or at reducing to just proportions individual needs and existing means of satisfaction by recognising the claim of every member of society to the commodities and services necessary to support existence, in preference to the satisfaction of the less pressing wants of others. These aims are greatly hampered by the present system, in which land and capital are the property of private individuals freely struggling for increase of wealth, and especially by the legally recognised existence of unearned income ? —the “rent” of the Saint-Simonians, the “surplus value” (Mehrwert) of Thompson and Marx,- for which the favoured recipient returns no personal equivalent to society, and which he is able to pocket because the wage labourer receives in money-wages less than the full value of the produce of his work. We have here a conflict between different principles of acquisition. Both the rule that the owner of a thing also owns what results from it, and the law of inheritance, leading as they do to unearned income, are intruding upon the principle of labour as a source of property. They, moreover, interfere with the right to subsistence, which in some measure, though often insufficiently, is recognised in all human societies ; : for, as Marx observed, the accumulation of wealth at one pole means the accumulation of misery at the opposite pole. This conflict between different principles or rights, all of which have deep foundations in human nature and the conditions of social life, has been brought about by certain

3

2 The

| See Menger, Right to the whole Produce of Labour, p. 5 599.; Goos, op. cit. ii. 61.

term “unearned income” (arbeitsloses Einkommen) has been proро Menger (op. cit. p. 3).

3 See supra, ch. xxiii., vol. i. 526 s99. Among the Eskimo about Behring Strait (Nelson, in Ann. Rep. Bur.

Ethn. xviii. 294) and the Greenlanders (Rink, Eskimo Tales, p. 29 sq.), if a man borrows an article from another and fails to return it, the owner is not entitled to claim it back, as they con. sider that when a person has enough property to enable him to lend some of it he has more than he needs.

Marx, Capital, p. 661.

facts inherent in progressive civilisation. In simple societies the unearned income is small, because no fortunes exist, and the wants of those who are incapable of earning their own livelihood are provided for by the system of mutual aid. Progress in culture, on the other hand, has been accompanied by a more unequal distribution of wealth, and also by a decrease of social solidarity as a result of the increase and greater differentiation of the social unit. The unearned income has grown larger, the disproportion between the returns on capital and the reward for labour has in many cases become enormous, and hand in hand with the opulence of some goes the destitution of others. At the same time the injustice of prerogatives based on birth or fortune is keenly felt, the dignity of labour is recognised, and the working-classes are every day becoming more conscious both of their power and their rights. All this has resulted in a strong and wide-spread conviction that the actual law of property greatly differs from the ideal law. But much struggle will no doubt be required to bring them in harmony with one another. The present rights of property are supported not only by personal interests, but also by a deep-rooted feeling, trained in the school of tradition, that it would be iniquitous of the State to interfere with individuals' long-established claims to use at their pleasure the objects of wealth. The new scheme, on the other hand, derives strength from the fact that it aims at rectifying legal rights in accordance with existing needs, and that it lays stress on a method of acquisition which more than any other seems to appeal to the natural sense of justice in man. We are utterly unable to foresee in detail the issue of this struggle. But that the law of property will sooner or later undergo a radical change must be obvious to every one who realises that, though ideas of right and wrong may for some time outlive the conditions from which they sprang, they cannot do so for ever.

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CHAPTER

XXX

THE REGARD FOR TRUTH AND GOOD

FAITH

The regard for truth implies in the first place that we ought to abstain from lying, that is, a wilful misrepresentation of facts, by word or deed, with the intention of producing a false belief. Closely connected with this duty is that of good faith or fidelity to promises, which requires that we should make facts correspond with our emphatic assertions as to our conduct in the future. Within certain limits these duties seem to be universally recognised, though the censure passed on the transgressor varies extremely in degree. But there are also many cases in which untruthfulness and bad faith are looked upon with indifference, or even held laudable or obligatory.

Various uncivilised races are conspicuous for their great regard for truth ; of some savages it is said that not even the most trying circumstances can induce theni to tell a lie. Among others, again, falsehood is found to be a pre

. vailing vice and the successful lie a matter of popular admiration.

All authorities agree that the Veddahs of Ceylon are models of veracity. They “are proverbially truthful and honest.” 1 They think it perfectly inconceivable that any person should say anything which is not true. Mr. Nevill writes, “I never knew a true Vaedda to tell a lie, and the Sinhalese give them the same character." 3 Messrs. Sarasin had a similar ex

1 Bailey, Wild Tribes of the ? Hartshorne, in Indian Antiquary, Veddahs of Ceylon,' in Trans. Ethn. Soc. N.S. ii. 291.

3 Nevill, in Taprobanian, i. 193

viii. 320.

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