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with which we started, and assert, that a copyholder may have (by the custom of the manor) a freehold interest, though he has not a freehold tenure.
When, in the course of the following pages, we shall have occasion to speak of " freehold," we are to be understood as signifying a certain quantity of interest in land, be the land itself of what nature or kind it may. And a freehold is this: an indeterminate legal duration of right to enjoy some immovable thing, or the issues and profits of some immovable thing --as an estate (i. e., an interest) for a man's own life, or during the life of another, in land, or in rent issuing out of land. For the duration of existence of this right is indeterminate (it being uncertain how long the man may live,) and the enjoyment is to be of that which is immovable, or of what is to issue of that which is immovable, viz., land. Therefore, also, an estate in land for one thousand years iş no freehold; but only a chattel: for there is a certain prefixed time beyond which the estate cannot possibly exist; although as the estate is an immovable thing, it is denominated a chattel real. By the same name, and for the same reason, an estate for a certain number of years in rent, tithes, and the like, is known, And it may be laid down, that all which is not real estate, or which is not chattets real, is termed, in the law, personal, or personalty; with which we shall, at this time, have nothing to do.
Estates of freehold are either of inheritance or for life. Estates of inheritance are either in fee-simple or fee-tail. ,
We have shown, in our last number, the necessity of the word “ heirs” in all grants, in order to create an estate in fee-simple; and that if a man by deed convey " to a man for ever," “ to have and to hold to him and his assigns for ever," only an estate for life passes, for the lack of this word “heirs."
The civil law divided the land into a right to the profits, termed usufruct, which was generally an estate for life, and the absolute property termed nomen. A simple gift of the land passed the latter; but the former estate was, in order to pass, particularly described. This mode, obviously the more simple and natural, has not obtained, in our law, at least, since the introduction of tenures. So that at this day, the great absurdity prevails of language not having the effect in law which with regard to every other subject it is allowed to possess. For who in their senses, whose minds are not imbued with a knowledge of tenures, could at this day suppose, that a grant to a man to hold to him for ever, would not pass the absolute interest to him in the subject of the grant. Yet in order to prevent this absurdity, in a case which ·law declares w one of great hardship, from being carried
resorted to. In the case of wills, this > form of words, provided they be have the effect of passing the feeof construction in our law wholly construction, adopted with respect they call it) which would otherwise fitne of the maker of the will, has
requently more uncertainty,
ce of the rule it was in