« PreviousContinue »
into a war by which all may be lost, and nothing can be gained which was not their own before. The Romans took not this salutary course; the mischief was grown up before they perceived, or set themselves against it. And when the effects of pride, avarice, cruelty, and lust were grown to such a height, that they could no longer be endured, they could not free themselves without a war. And whereas upon other occasions their victories had brought them increase of strength, territory, and glory, the only reward of their virtue in this was, to be delivered from a plague they had unadvisedly suffered to grow up among them. I confess, this was most of all to be esteemed: for if they had been overthrown, their condition under Tarquin would have been more intolerable, than if they had fallen under the power of Pyrrhus or Annibal, and all their following prosperity was the fruit of their recovered liberty. But it had been much better to have reformed the state after the death of one of their good kings, than to be brought to fight for their lives against that abominable tyrant. Our author, in pursuance of his aversion to all that is good, disapproves this; and wanting reasons to justify his dislike, according to the custom of impostors and cheats, has recourse to the ugly term of a . back-door, sedition, and faction:' as if it were not as just for a people to lay aside their kings, when they receive nothing but evil, and can rationally hope for no benefit by them, as for others to set them up in expectation of good from them. But if the truth be examined, nothing will be found more orderly than the changes of government, or of the persons and races of those that governed, which have been made by many nations.
When Pharamond's grandson seemed not to deserve the crown he had worn, the French gave it to Meroveus, who more resembled him in virtue. In process of time, when this racé also degenerated, they were rejected, and Pepin advanced to the throne: and the most remote in blood of his descendents having often been preferred before the nearest, and bastards before the legitimate issue, they were at last all laid aside; and the crown remains to this day in the family of Hugh Capet, on whom it was bestowed upon the rejection of Charles of Lorrain. In like manner the Castilians took Don Sancho, surnamed the Brave, second son to Alphonso the Wise, before Alphonso el Desheredado, son of the elder brother Ferdinand. The states of Arragon preferred Martin, brother to John I., before Mary his daughter married to the Count de Foix, though females were not excluded from the succession : and the house of Austria now enjoys that crown from Joan daughter to Ferdinand. In that and many other kingdoms, bastards have been advanced before their legitimate brothers. Henry Count of Transtamara, bastard to Alphonso XI. King of Castile, received the crown, as a reward of the good service he had done to his country against his brother Peter the Cruel, without any regard had to the house of La Cerda descended from Alphonso el Desheredado, which to this day never enjoyed any greater honour than that of Duke de Medina Celi. Not long afterward the Portuguese, conceiving a dislike of their King Ferdinand and his daughter married to John King of Castile, rejected her and her uncle by the father's side, and gave the crown to John, a knight of Calatrava and bastard to an uncle of Ferdinand their King. About the beginning of this age the Swedes deposed their King Sigismund for being a papist, and made Charles his uncle King. Divers examples, of the like nature, in England have been already mentioned. All these transportations of crowns were acts performed by assemblies of the three estates in the several kingdoms; and these crowns are to this day enjoyed under titles derived from such, as were thus brought in by the deposition or rejection of those, who according to descent of blood had better titles than the present possessors. The acts, therefore, were lawful and good, or they can have no title at all; and they, who made them, had a just power so to do.
If our author can draw any advantage from the resemblance of regality that he finds in the Roman consuls, and Athenian archons, I shall without envy leave him the enjoyment of it; but I am much mistaken, if that do not prove my assertion, that those governments “ were composed of the three simple species.” For if the monarchical part was in them, it cannot be denied that the aristocratical was in the senate, or Areopagitæ, and the democratical in the people. But he ought to have remembered, that if there was something of monarchical in those governments, when they are said to have been popular, there was something of aristocratical and democratical in those that were called regal; which justifies my proposition on both sides, and shows, that the denomination was taken from the part that prevailed. And if this were not so, the governments of France, Spain, and Germany might be called democracies," and those of Rome and Athens monarchies;' because the people have a part in the one, and an image of monarchy was preserved in the other.
* If our author will not allow the cases to be altogether equal, I think he will find no other difference, than that the consuls and archons were regularly made by the votes of the consenting people, and orderly resigned their power, when the time was expired for which it was given. Whereas Tarquin, Dionysius, Agathocles, Nabis, Phalaris, Cæsar, and almost all his successors, whom he takes for complete monarchs, came in by violence, fraud, and corruption, by the help of the worst men, by the slaughter of the best, and most commonly (when the method was once established) by that of their predecessors, who, if our author say true, were · fathers of their country!' This was the root and foundation of the only government, that deserves praise. This is that which stamped the divine character upon Agathocles, Dionysius, and Cæsar, and that had bestowed the same upon Manlius, Marius, or Catiline, if they had gained the monarchies they affected. But I suppose that such as God has blessed with better judgement, and a due regard to justice and truth, will say that all those, who have attained to such greatness, as destroys all manner of good in the places where they have set up themselves by the most detestable villainies, came in by a “ back-door;" and that such magistrates, as were orderly chosen by a willing people, were the true shepherds, who came in by the gate of the sheepfold, and might justly be called the ministers of God, so long as they performed their duty in providing for the good of the nations committed to their charge.”
DUKE OF ORMOND. #
JAMES BUTLER, the seventh Earl and first Duke of Ormond, was born in 1610, and at the age of three years was carried over to Ireland. His father Viscount Thurles, being drowned in 1619, in his passage to England, he returned with his mother (Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Poyntz) from Ireland, and in the following year resided for a short time with a Popish schoolmaster; who educated him in the errors of the Romish Church, till he was placed by King James, as a ward of the crown, in the house of Archbishop Abbot: his Majesty, though he had at that time seized upon his grandfather's estate, granting him only 40l. per ann. for the support of himself and his servant, and making the Primate no allowance for his maintenance or education,
* AUTHORITIES. Rapin's History of England, Salmon's Chronological Historian, Leland's History of Ireland, Clarendon's History of the Great Rebellion, and Biographia Britan. nica.