The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37
Laws and Customs
Laws and Customs.
The laws and customs of a country show clearly what was the manner of living and the occupation of the original inhabitants of it.
Thus where we find that the eldest sons succeed to the whole or greatest part of the estate, we may be sure that we see traces of feudal notions of a military life and a monarchical government, in which a prince is better served by one powerful vassal than by several weak ones. [Primogeniture.]
When the children succeed equally, it is a mark of a state having been addicted to husbandry, and inclined to a popular equal government. [Gavelkind.]
And where the youngest succeeds we may take it for granted that the people formerly lived a pastoral and wandering life, in which it is natural for the eldest to be provided for and disposed of the first, and the youngest to take what is left—a manner of life which requires and admits of little or no regular government. [Borough English.]