The character and characteristics of charitable uses have been thus summarized in a recent treatise on this subject:2

" 'Charitable' uses, in the language of English Other Public Uses," by Courtney S. Kenny, L.L. M. (Essay which won the Yorke Prize of the University of Cambridge.) law, are simply a class of public uses. To be public - that is, to benefit indefinite individuals - is essential to the legal idea of charity. A gift of a shilling to a poor neighbor, or of a hundred pounds to set up a grandchild in business, may be beneficent, and beneficent in the fuller sense of exceeding those reasonable expectations of his which it would be an act of mere justice to satisfy. In every ordinary sense it may be an act of 'charity.' But such gifts, or even a gift of money for such ten poor curates as the Bishop of London may select, would not be called 'charitable' by English lawyers, since each recipient is an ascertained person, or readily can be rendered such.

1 43 Eliz., C. 4.

2 "The True Principles of Legislation with Regard to Property Given for Charitable Uses or

"Now as it is this characteristic of indefiniteness that distinguishes public from private uses, it is upon it that whatever is necessarily peculiar and anomalous in the legal treatment of public gifts must depend. There is no definite person who can claim the due application of the gift. Then the law must supply peculiar and anomalous means for securing that due application. Some measure of supervision is needed in the case of property devoted to public uses, which is unnecessary for private property.

"Gifts to public uses, again, are almost always characterised by a real or apparent meritoriousness. Some rare instances may indeed be found - like gifts for diminishing the national debt, or for setting up a monument to the donor - in which the object is so futile or so personal that the gift will not inspire gratitude or admiration in even the most unreflecting observer. But in almost all cases a public gift has at least the semblance of a public benefit, and its donor is regarded by the majority of mankind with the reverence due to a 'pious founder.' This attribute of meritoriousness, again, demands the attention of the jurist. The desire of public applause, the hope of divine favor, the impulse of benevolent zeal, may blind the founder to primary but commonplace obligations. As there is this special hazard of his being generous before he is just, the law may have to supply peculiar and anomalous means for limiting his generosity. Some measure of restriction is needed - at any rate in certain stages of a nation's spiritual development - in the case of property devoted to perpetual public uses, which is unnecessary for private property.

"But there is a third and still more remarkable attribute, which, though far from being an essential characteristic of gifts to public uses, is nevertheless attached to the great majority of them, and to all that are of any considerable value. It is that of perpetuity. A charitable foundation is usually intended to escape the fate of all other human institutions, and to continue its work of benficence forever."

"Some measure of revision is needed in the case of property devoted to perpetual public uses which is unnecessary for private property.

1 'Indefiniteness, meritoriousness, perpetuity - these, then, are the three peculiarities which make public endowments require a correspondingly peculiar treatment at the hands of the legislator."