Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be an object, land/real estate or intellectual property. Ownership involves multiple rights, collectively referred to as title, which may be separated and held by different parties. The concept of ownership has existed for thousands of years and in all cultures. Over the millennia, however, and across cultures what is considered eligible to be property and how that property is regarded culturally is very different. Ownership is the basis for many other concepts that form the foundations of ancient and modern societies such as money, trade, debt, bankruptcy, the criminality of theft and private vs. public property. Ownership is the key building block in the development of the capitalist socio-economic system.
- I die,—but first I have possess'd,
And come what may, I have been bless'd.
- Lord Byron, The Giaour (1813), line 1,114.
- A man has not possession of that of the existence of which he is unaware.
- Cow, J., The Queen v. Ashwell (1885), L. R. 16 Q. B. 201; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 199.
- Altera figlia
Di quel monarca a cui
Nè anco, quando annotta, il Sol tramonta.
- Possession is very strong; rather more than nine points of the law.
- Lord Mansfield, Corporation of Kingston-upon-Hull v. Horner (1774), Lofft. 591; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 199.
- It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.
- Bertrand Russell, Principles of Social Reconstruction (1917).
- That what we have we prize not to the worth
Whiles we enjoy it, but being lack'd and lost,
Why, then we rack the value, then we find
The virtue that possession would not show us
While it was ours.
- I ne'er could any lustre see
In eyes that would not look on me;
I ne'er saw nectar on a lip
But where my own did hope to sip.
- Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Duenna (1775), Air, Act I, scene 2.
- For why? because the good old rule
Sufficeth them, the simple plan
That they should take, who have the power,
And they should keep, who can.
- William Wordsworth, Memorials of a Tour in Scotland (1803), Rob Roy's Grave; motto of Scott's Rob Roy.
- Nothing but what has visible substance, is capable of actual possession.
- Yates, J., Millar v. Taylor (1769), 4 Burr. Part IV. 2384; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 199.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 615-17.
- When I behold what pleasure is Pursuit,
What life, what glorious eagerness it is,
Then mark how full Possession falls from this,
How fairer seems the blossom than the fruit,—
I am perplext, and often stricken mute,
Wondering which attained the higher bliss,
The wing'd insect, or the chrysalis
It thrust aside with unreluctant foot.
- Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Sonnet, Pursuit and Possession.
- La propriété exclusive est un vol dans la nature.
- Exclusive property is a theft against nature.
- Jacques Pierre Brissot.
- Quand on n'a pas ce que l'on aime,
Il faut aimer ce que l'on a.
- When we have not what we love, we must love what we have.
- Bussy-Rabutin, Lettre à Mme. de Sevigné (1667).
- Britannia needs no bulwarks, no towers along the steep:
Her march is o'er the mountain waves; her home is on the deep.
- Thomas Campbell, Ye Mariners of England.
- Providence has given to the French the empire of the land, to the English that of the sea, to the Germans that of—the air!
- Thomas Carlyle, Essays, Richter.
- This is the truth as I see it, my dear,
Out in the wind and the rain:
They who have nothing have little to fear,
Nothing to lose or to gain.
- Madison Cawein, The Bellman.
- Male parta, male dilabuntur.'
- What is dishonorably got, is dishonorably squandered.
- Cicero, Philippicæ, II. 27.
- As having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
- II Corinthians, VI. 10.
- Ah, yet, e'er I descend to th' grave,
May I a small House and a large Garden have.
And a few Friends, and many Books both true,
Both wise, and both delightful too.
And since Love ne'er will from me flee,
A Mistress moderately fair,
And good as Guardian angels are,
Only belov'd and loving me.
- Abraham Cowley, The Wish, Stanza 2.
- Of a rich man who was mean and niggardly, he said, "That man does not possess his estate, but his estate possesses him."
- Property has its duties as well as its rights.
- Thomas Drummond, letter to the Tipperary Magistrates (May 22, 1838). Letter composed jointly by Drummond, Wolfe and Pigot. Phrase quoted by Gladstone, also by Disraeli, Sybil, Book I, Chapter 11.
- My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
- Robert Frost, Mending Wall.
- It maybe said of them [the Hollanders], as of the Spaniards, that the sun never sets upon their Dominions.
- Thomas Gage, New Survey of the West Indies, Epistle Dedicatory (London, 1648). Alexander the Great claimed the same for his dominions. See Williams—Life—Chapter XIII. Howell—Familiar Letters claimed for Philip II. Also in Fuller—Life of Drake; in The Holy State, and in Camden—Summary of Career of Philip, II. Annals. Ed. Hearne, p. 778. Claimed for Portugal by Camoens—Luciad. I. 8. Claimed for Rome by Claudian, XXIV. 138. Minutius Felix—Octavius, VI. 3. Ovid—Fasti, II. 136. Rutilius. I. 53. Tibullus—Elegiæ, Book II. V. Vergil, Æneid (29-19 BC), VI. 795.
- Denn was man schwarz auf weiss besitzt
Kann man getrost nach Hause tragen.
- Wouldst thou both eat thy cake and have it?
- George Herbert, The Church, The Size.
- Possession means to sit astride the world
Instead of having it astride of you.
- Charles Kingsley, Saint's Tragedy, I. 4.
- Un tiens vaut, ce dit-on, mieux que deux tu l'auras.
L'un est sûr, l'autre ne l'est pas.
- It is said, that the thing you possess is worth more than two you may have in the future. The one is sure and the other is not.
- Jean de La Fontaine, Fables, V. 3.
- Les Anglais, nation trop fière,
S'arrogent l'empire des mers;
Les Français, nation légère,
S'emparent de celui des airs.
- The English, a spirited nation, claim the empire of the sea; the French, a calmer nation, claim that of the air.
- Louis XVIII, when Comte de Provence (1783). Impromter sur nos decouverte ærostatiques. Year of the aeronautical experiments of the brothers Montgolfier, Pilatre de Rozier, and Marquis d'Arlandes.
- Aspiration sees only one side of every question; possession, many.
- James Russell Lowell, Among my Books, New England Two Centuries Ago.
- Cleon hath ten thousand acres,—
Ne'er a one have I;
Cleon dwelleth in a palace,—
In a cottage I.
- Charles Mackay, Cleon and I.
- Property in land is capital; property in the funds is income without capital; property in mortgage is both capital and income.
- Extra fortunam est, quidquid donatur amicis;
Quas dederis, selas semper habebis opes.
- Who gives to friends so much from Fate secures,
That is the only wealth for ever yours.
- Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), V. 42.
- Who gives to friends so much from Fate secures,
- Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?
- Matthew, XX. 15.
- Unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
- Matthew, XXV. 29.
- Ce chien est à moi, disaient ces pauvres enfants; c'est là ma place au soleil. Voilà le commencement et l'image de l'usurpation de toute la terre.
- That dog is mine said those poor children; that place in the sun is mine; such is the beginning and type of usurpation throughout the earth.
- Blaise Pascal, La Pensées, Chapter VII. 1.
- Male partum, male disperit.
- Badly gotten, badly spent.
- Plautus, Pœn, IV. 2. 22.
- What is yours is mine, and all mine is yours.
- Plautus, Trinummus, Act II, scene 2. Riley's translation.
- on tibi illud apparere si sumas potest.
- If you spend a thing you can not have it.
- Plautus, Trinummus, II. 4. 12.
- Nihil enim æque gratum est adeptis, quam concupiscentibus.
- An object in possession seldom retains the same charms which it had when it was longed for.
- Pliny the Younger, Epistles, II, 15.
- La propriété, c'est le vol.
- Property, it is theft.
- Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Principle of Right, Chapter I. Attributed to Fournier by Louis Blanc, Organization du Travail.
- The goods we spend we keep; and what we save
We lose; and only what we lose we have.
- Ich heisse
Der reichste Mann in der getauften Welt;
Die Sonne geht in meinem Staat nicht unter.
- I am called the richest man in Christendom. The sun never sets on my dominions.
- Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlos, I, 6, 60.
- The king of Spain is a great potentate, who stands with one foot in the east and the other in the west; and the sun never sets that it does not shine on some of his dominions.
- Balthasar Schuppius, Abgenötigte Ehrenrettung (1660).
- The sun never sets on the immense empire of Charles V.
- Walter Scott, Life of Napoleon, Chapter LIX.
- Why should the brave Spanish soldiers brag? The sunne never sets in the Spanish dominions, but ever shineth on one part or other we have conquered for our king.
- Captain John Smith, Advertisements for the Unexperienced, etc., Massachusetts Historical Society Collection, Third Series, Volume III, p. 49.
- Possession, they say, is eleven points of the law.
- Jonathan Swift, Works, Volume XVII, p. 270. Colley Cibber—Woman's Wit, Act I.
- Others may use the ocean as their road;
Only the English make it their abode.
- Edmund Waller, On a War with Spain.
- A power which has dotted over the surface of the whole globe with her possessions and military posts, whose morning drum-beat, following the sun, and keeping company with the hours, circles the earth with one continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of England.
- Daniel Webster, speech, The Presidential Protest (May 7, 1834).
- Germany must have her place in the sun.
- Attributed to Wilhelm II, German Kaiser, July, 1908.
- People may have too much of a good thing:
Full as an egg of wisdom thus I sing.
- John Wolcot (Peter Pindar), Subjects for Painters, The Gentleman and his Wife.
- Lord of himselfe, though not of lands,
And having nothing, yet hath all.
- Sir Henry Wotton, The Character of a Happy Life, Stanza 6.