that there is scarcely an honest shilling in all England
Nor is this all: the present titles of all Europe
, and Northern Africa
, are traceable, more or less remotely, to a source equally cruel and unjust!
Thus there is an end pretty much to all honesty, as to the possessions of the civilized world!
Surely, the absurdity of this conclusion is sufficient to invalidate the soundness of the doctrine from which it arises.
Now we are far from affirming that wrong
--which is the negative of right
--can ever become, by circumstances or any thing else, otherwise than it is, that is, wrong
, namely, not right
. But the state
which, under one set of circumstances, is wrong
may, under other circumstances, become right
. It is not the wrong
in itself which, in such a case, changes to right; but, by a change of circumstances, the wrong
no longer inheres, but the right inheres in that which formerly involved the wrong; and therefore the state or thing which was before wrong, now becomes right
. Hence, although it be admitted that the land-titles of the civilized world were originally founded in wrong
, and therefore were unjust titles, it may not follow that those who now hold them, do so by an unjust title, because the original title was unjust.
The facts may be thus stated in regard to the most of them.
The titles were originally acquired by