S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
Those civil constitutions which promote industry are such as facilitate the acquisition, secure the holding, enable the fixing, and suffer the alienation of property. Every law which obstructs it in any part of this distribution is, in proportion to the force and extent of the obstruction, a discouragement to industry. For a law against property is a law against industry,the latter having always the former, and nothing else, for its object.
The desire of acquisition is always a passion of long views. Contine a man to momentary possession, and you at once cut off that laudable avarice which every wise state has cherished as one of the first principles of its greatness. Allow a man but a temporary possession, lay it down as a maxim that he never can have any other, and you immediately and infallibly turn him to temporary enjoyments: and these enjoyments are never the pleasures of labour and free industry, whose quality it is to famish the present hours and squander all upon prospect and futurity; they are, on the contrary, those of a thoughtless, loitering, and dissipated life.
It is not necessary for me in this place to go through the arguments which prove beyond dispute that on the security of property civilization depends; that where property is insecure no climate however delicious, no soil however fertile, no conveniences for trade and navigation, no natural endowments of body or of mind, can prevent a nation from sinking into barbarism; that where, on the other hand, men are protected in the enjoyment of what has been created by their industry and laid up by their self-denial, society will advance in arts and in wealth notwithstanding the sterility of the earth and the inclemency of the air, notwithstanding heavy taxes and destructive wars.
Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay: Speech on the Peoples Charter, May 3, 1842.
Property communicates a charm to whatever is the object of it. It is the first of our abstract ideas: it cleaves to us the closest and the longest. It endears to the child its plaything, to the peasant his cottage, to the landholder his estate. It supplies the place of prospect and scenery. Instead of coveting the beauty of distant situations, it teaches every man to find it in his own. It gives boldness and grandeur to plains and fens, tinge and colouring to clays and fallows.