Page:An Old English Home and Its Dependencies.djvu/43

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CHAPTER II.


AS every circle has its centre, so had every manor its hall, the centre of its organization, the heart whence throbbed the vital force through the district, and to which it returned. The hall was not merely the place where the lord lived, for he did not always occupy it, but it was the gathering place of the courts leet and baron.

It is the fashion to hold that land was originally held in common, and that private proprietorship in land is an encroachment on the public rights.

That was, no doubt, the case with the Celt, and it has been fatal to his ever taking a lead among the nations; it has so eaten into

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