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him thrown into a ditch and covered with stones; for according to the laws of God, all traitors against their fathers and sovereigns were to be put to death and covered with stones. “When David heard of the death of his son, he went into an upper chamber, and wept bitterly, uttering these words: “Fili mi Absalon, fili mi quis mihi tribuat, ut ego moriar prote Absalon fili mi "." It was told to Joab and the other captains, that David was inconsolable for the loss of Absalom, which made them very indignant; and Joab went to David, and said, ‘Confudisti hodie vultus omnium servorum tuorum qui salvam fecerunt animam tuam. Diligis odienteste, et odio habes diligenteste, et ostendisti hodie quia non curas de ducibus tuis, et de servis tuis, et vere cognovi modo quod si Absalon viveret, et nos omnes occubuissemus tunc placeret tibi. Nunc igitur surge et praecede et alloquens satisfac servis tuis : juro enim tibi per dominum, quod si non exieris, ne unus quidem remansurus sit tecum nocte hac ; et pejus erit hoc tibi, quam omnia mala, quae venerunt super te ab adolescentia tua usque in præsens.’ Scribitur 2 Reg. xix. That is to say, the good knight Joab went to the king, and said to him without disguising his sentiments, “Thou hatest those who love thee, and art fond of such as hate thee : thou wouldst that we, who have risked our lives in battle to save thee, had perished, so that Absalom had lived. Thy captains and people are so wroth against thee that, unless thou arise and seat thyself at thy gate to thank them cheerfully as they enter thereat, they will deprive thee of thy kingdom, and choose another king; and no greater misfortune will have befallen thee from thy youth to this day, unless thou dost as I have advised.’ The king, feeling the justice of what Joab had said, went and seated himself at the gate to thank his men-at-arms on their entrance, and made them good cheer. In this example, it is to be noticed, that Joab killed Absalom contrary to the king's express orders, because they were prejudicial to the honour of God, of the king, and of the people. Notwithstanding that Joab slew Absalom, they had always been intimate friends, insomuch that Joab had made peace for him with his father David for a murder which he had committed on the eldest of the king's sons, and for which Absalom had been a fugitive from the kingdom four years. “Some may, however, argue the contrary, because king David, when on his death-bed, charged his son Solomon, who was to succeed him, to punish Joab; but I am sure it was not for the above-mentioned act, for although Joab, at the time he slew Absalom, was a good and loyal knight, he committed two great faults toward the end of his days. The first, when he killed a very good knight and man-at-arms, called Amasa,—and, secondly, by putting that excellent knight Abner to death treacherously, namely, by embracing him, and at the same time thrusting a knife into his body; and as king David had not punished Joab for these two enormous crimes himself, he felt such compunctions of conscience for it on his death-bed, that he ordered king Solomon to have it done when he should be deceased, and punish him in this mortal life, that Joab might escape perpetual damnation, saying thus: ‘Tu scis quae fecerit mihi Joab filius Sarvia quae fecerit duobus principibus exercitus Israel, Abner filio Ner, et Amasa filio Jether, quos occidit, et effudit sanguinem belli in pace. Facias ergo juxta sapientiam tuam, et non deduces canitiem ejus pacifice ad infernos.' Scribitur 3 Reg. ii. Which means, “that the two knights, chiefs of the chivalry of Israel, had been disloyally slain, when at peace with God and man. I am hurt in mind for having been too lenient towards him ; and if thou dost not punish him for these two crimes, thou wilt cause the damnation of his soul.” “I must here remark, that there is no knight so perfect but who may commit a fault, and one indeed so great as to do away all his former good actions. And therefore men do not at justs and at battles cry out, ‘The brave for ever !" (Aur preuw () but men always cry out, ‘The sons of the brave!” (Aur fils de preua () after the deaths of their fathers. For no knight can be judged preuw (valiant, or brave) till after his death f.
* See the 19th chap. 2 Samuel. to do nothing unworthy the noble title given them ; and
+ This is a very striking allusion to a particular custom in many instances it was attended with the most animating at tournaments, and sometimes in actual fight, of which consequences. Saint Palaye gives a most interesting account in the The greatest misfortune attending on a translation of “Memoires sur l'Ancienne Chevaleric.” The exclamation, French chronicles is the total absence in our language “Aux filz des Preux " was evidently used to encourage of an expression answerable to the French word “preux,” young knights to emulate the glories of their ancestors, and which conveys in itself whole volumes of meaning. The
“My third instance shall be of Athalia, queen of Jerusalem, of whom the holy Scriptures say, ‘Athalia vero mater regis Ochosiae, videns filium suum mortuum surrexit et interfecit omne semen regium. Tollens autem Josaba filia regis Joran et soror Ochosiae Joas filium Ochosiae furata est eum de medio filiorum regis qui interficiebantur, et nutricem ejus de triclinio et abscondit eum a facie Athaliae ut non interficeretur,’ &c. 4 Reg. xi. Which, being translated, means, That the wicked Athalia, observing king Ochosias, her son, was dead, and had left but very young children to succeed him, through lust of governing the kingdom, slew all the king's children excepting Joas, who, through the courage of a valiant lady, inspired thereto by the grace of God, was carried away from his cradle, and sent by her secretly to the high-priest, who educated him until he was seven years old. This wicked queen reigned tyrannically for seven years, when the high-priest had her put to death by those who lay in wait for the purpose. He then caused the young child to be anointed king, who, notwithstanding his youth, being only seven years of age, governed his kingdom excellently well, through the advice of the high-priest and other prudent counsellors. The holy Scriptures say, “Joas regnavit 40 annis in Hierusalem, fecitgue rectum coram Domino cunctis diebus quibus docuit eum Joiada sacerdos.' “Thus you have the third example, which shows how the concupiscence of vain honours is nothing more than a disorderly passion, to take by force the possessions of another. This it was that made queen Athalia a murderess, false and disloyal, and induced her to obtain, by a succession of crimes, the government of the kingdom of Jerusalem. You have heard how she was privily slain by such as lay in wait for her, which is a lawful manner of slaying tyrants, and is the death which all such ought to suffer.—With this I conclude the third article of my major. “I come now to my fourth article, to which I propose adding eight facts, by way of conclusion, and eight others as corollaries, the stronger to lay my foundation for the justification of my aforesaid lord of Burgundy. I shall first lay down as law, that any subject-vassal, who by an artful desire of obtaining the realm of his sovereign lord and king, shall employ any witchcraft, or other illegal means, against his corporal safety, sins most grievously, and commits the crime of high treason, in the first degree, and, consequently, is deserving a double death. I secondly prove my proposition, by adding, that any subjectvassal who is an enemy to his sovereign lord sins mortally. My conclusion is therefore true, and that he is a tyrant I shall prove by my lord St. Gregory, who says: “Tyrannus est proprie quinon dominus reputatur. Non juste principatur; aut non principatu decoratur. Nam sicut regnum rectus principatus dicitur. Sic dominium perversum tyrannis nuncupatur.” “It appears plain, that whoever commits the crime of high treason against the person of the prince is guilty of the highest possible offence, and is deserving of a double death. By the first death, I mean the separation of the body from the soul, which causes a perdurable damnation; for St. John the evangelist says, “Qui vivit non morieturnec ladetur a morte secunda;" that is to say, That every human creature who shall obtain a victory over Covetousness and her three daughters, need not to be afraid of the second death, namely, eternal damnation. The second fact is, that in cases where a subject-vassal has been guilty of this crime, he cannot be too severely or too speedily punished; but a man of rank is more deserving of punishment than a simple subject, a baron than a simple knight, a count than a baron, a duke than a count, the cousin to the king than a foreigner, the king's brother than a cousin, the son to the king than his brother. Such is the first part of the second fact, and I thus prove the second part; for as the obligation is greater, by many degrees, to desire to preserve the safety of the king's person and the good of the state, so the punishment of those who act contrary increases according to their rank; and the consequence I draw from it will prove true, namely, that the son is more bounden than the brother, the brother than the cousin, a duke than a count, a count than a baron, a baron poet Spenser ventured to adapt the word in its superlative virtues in one expression. The exclamation was somedegree to the English tongue. He says somewhere “the times varied—“Honneur aux filz, des preux" which than a knight, &c. to guard and preserve the honour of the king and the welfare of the realm ; for to each of these ranks and dignities is a certain corresponding duty attached,— and the higher the rank, the greater the obligation; for the larger the possessions, and the more noble the person, the more he is bounden, as St. Gregory, before quoted, says, “Cum crescunt dona et rationes donorum.' “To continue my argument: the nearer the person is to the king by blood or hereditary honours, should he commit such crimes, it is by far more scandalous than if they were done by others removed at a greater distance from royalty. It is more scandalous for a duke or a potent lord, nearly related to the king, to practise his death, in order to gain his kingdom, than it would be for a poor subject no way related to the king; and being more iniquitous, the more deserving punishment. “I shall, in the third place, prove my proposition by saying, Where there is greater danger there should be a greater degree of punishment; for the machinations of near relations to the king are of far more importance and more perilous than those of poor people. And as they are more dangerous, they are deserving of severer punishment to obviate the perils that may happen, and to check the desires that may arise in such as are so near to the crown, to gain possession of it. For this end, they may exert every influence, by force or otherwise, to grasp it, which a poorer subject would never think of doing, as he could not have any expectations of wearing it. My third truth is, That it is lawful for any subject, without any particular orders from any one, but from divine, moral, and natural law, to slay, or to cause to be slain, such disloyal traitors; I say it is not only lawful for any one to act thus in such cases, but it is also meritorious and highly honourable, particularly when the person is of such high rank that justice cannot be executed by the sovereign himself. I shall prove this truth by twelve reasons, in honour of the twelve Apostles. “The three first reasons are drawn from the authorities of three moral philosophers: three others are from three dogmas of sacred theology of St. Augustin, who says, in the last part of the second book of Sentences: “Quando aliquis dominium sibi per violentiam surripit nolentibus subditis, vel etiam ad consensum coactis: et non est recursus ad superiorem per quem de talijudicium posset fieri. Talis enim qui ad liberationem patriae talem tyrannum occidit, laudem et praemium accissit. Hic primum laudatur. Item debet laudari per quae facit opus dignum laude. Idem licitum praemium et honorabile accipit, et idem debet accipere. Ille facit opus meritorium quia nullum opus est dignum, primo nisi fieret meritorium.' To translate this briefly, the holy doctor declares, that a subject who shall put to death such a tyrant does a work deserving praise and remuneration. My second authority is as follows: Salisberiensis sacrae theologiae eximii doctoris in libro suo Policratiri, lib. ii. cap. 15. Sic dicit:-‘Amico adulari non licet; sed aurem tyranni mulcere licitum est, ei namaue scilicet tyranno licet adulari quem licet occidere;’ that is to say, It is unlawful to flatter a friend, but not so to deceive by fair words the ears of a tyrant; for since it is lawful to put him to death, it is allowable to cheat him by flattering speeches. My third authority is from several doctors, whom I class together, not to exceed the number of three, namely, Ricardi de Media-Villa, Alexandri de Hallis et Astensis, in summa qui conclusionem praefatam ponunt in iii. efforum ; adding, for higher authority, the confirmation of St. Peter the apostle, who says, “Subditi estote regi quasi praecellenti sive ducibus, tanquam ab eo missis ad vindictam malefactorum, laudem vero bonorum, quia sic est voluntas Dei.' Scribitur primae Pet. ii. That is to say, It is the will of God that all should obey the king, as sovereign lord over his kingdom; and the duke, as being sent by the king to punish those who have done ill, and remunerate the good. Hence it follows, that dukes are obliged, to the utmost of their power, to avenge the injuries that are done, or may be intended, against the king's person, and to oppose all such attempts as may come to their knowledge. “I now proceed to the authorities from moral philosophers, the first of which is, “Ante forum principis pluribus locis cuilibet subditorum licitum est occidere tyrannum, et non solum licitum, immo laudabile.' That is to say, It is lawful for any subject to destroy a tyrant, and not only lawful, but even honourable and worthy of praise. Cicero, in libro de Officiis, ‘Laudatis illos qui illum Caesarem interfecerunt quamvis esset sibi familiarium amicus, eo quod jura imperii quasi tyrannus usurpaverat.' That is, Tully writes, in his nob'
prowest knight alive.” In fact, the word “preux" may be seems to be the original expression. tonsidered as summing up the whole catalogue of knightly
book on morality, That those who killed Julius Caesar are praiseworthy, because Julius had usurped the government of Rome as a tyrant. My third authority is from Boccacio, who, in his book De Casibus Virorum illustrium, lib. ii. cap. 15, contra filios tyrannorum, in speaking of the tyrant, says, “Shall I call him king 2 shall I call him prince 2 shall I preserve my allegiance to him : Oh no : he is an enemy to the public welfare. May I employ conspiracies and open force against him : It is very proper and necessary so to do, —for there is not a more agreeable sacrifice than the blood of a tyrant, and it is insupportable to receive blame for having done good.’ “I come now to my three authorities from the civilians. As I am no lawyer, it will suffice if I mention the judgments that have been given without producing them; for in my life I never studied the canon nor civil law more than two years, and twenty years have passed since that time, so that what little I may have learnt I have quite forgotten since the period of my studies. The first authority of the civil law is, That any one may put to death deserters from the laws of chivalry; and who can be a greater deserter from chivalry than he who deserts the person of his king, the fountain of chivalry, and without whom it cannot long exist Secondly, It is lawful for every one to kill thieves and robbers, who infest forests and rob on the highways, because they are particularly the enemies of the public weal, and consequently plotting to destroy all travellers: consequently, it is lawful to kill a tyrant, who is continually practising against his king, the sovereign lord, and against the public good. Thirdly, If it be lawful for any one by the civil and imperial law to put to death a thief found by night in a house, it is much more so to slay a tyrant, who day and night devises the death of his sovereign lord. This consequence clearly follows, and will be apparent to any man of sound understanding, if he consider it, and the antecedent texts from holy writ. “Before I touch on the three examples from the holy Scriptures, I wish to reply to some objections that may be made to what I say, in arguing thus: All murder is forbidden by every law, divine, natural, moral, and civil. Whatever may be said to the contrary, I shall prove it from Scripture: “Non occides, in Ex. xx. is one of the divine commandments, which forbids any kind of murder. That it is forbidden by the natural law, I prove by this quotation,-' Natura enim inter homines quandam cognationem constituit qua hominem homini insidiari nefas est.' I prove it forbidden by the moral law, from “Quia per id: hoc non facias aliis quod tibi non vis fieri: alterum non laedere; jus suum unicuique tribuere: hoc est morale, insuper et de naturalijure.' That the civil and imperial laws forbid murder, those laws shall prove, “Qui hominem occidit capite puniatur, non habita differentia sexus vel conditionis. Item omne bellum omnis usus armorum vitiosus praecipue prohibitus est: nam qui vitio praecipue bellum gerit, laesae majestatis reus est. Item regis proprium furta cohibere, adulteria punire, ipsos de terra perdere: qui enim talia sibi appropriat aut usurpat, principem injuriatur et ladit: quoniam ut dicit lex judiciorum vigor: juris et publica tutela in medio constituta est, nequis de aliquo quantumcunque sceleribus implicito assumere valeat ultionem.’ “To reply to the above arguments: It should be known that theologians and jurists use diversely this word homicidium ; but, notwithstanding, they agree in the same opinion respecting the thing. The theologians say, that to kill a man lawfully is not homicide; for the word homicidium carries with it ‘quod sit justum propter hoc dicunt quod Moyses, Phinees, et Mathathias non commiserunt homicidia, quia juste occiderunt;' but some jurists say, that killing of a man, just or unjust, is homicide,-while others deny it, saying there are two modes of homicide, legal and illegal; and for justifiable homicide no man ought to be punished. I answer, therefore, with the theologians, that the killing of a tyrant is not homicide, inasmuch as it is just and legal. According to the general law, I confess it would be homicide; but if there be shown justifiable cause for it, no punishment, but remuneration, should follow. “With regard to that part of the argument which says, “Quod hominem homini insidiari nefas est, et quae magis insidiatur homini,’ &c. it alludes to a tyrant who is continually practising the death of his king and sovereign lord. ‘Et homo est nefas, et perditio, et iniquitas.” As for him who slays a man, by watching a proper opportunity for it, to save the life of his king, and preserve him from mortal peril, he does no “nefas,” but acquits himself of his duty toward his sovereign lord. ‘Et homo est nefas, et perditio, et iniquitas;’ and therefore he who kills such a one, by watching a proper opportunity, does it to save the life of his king. In regard to that passage which says, “Non facias aliis, &c. alterum non laidere,’ &c. I reply, that it makes against the tyrant, and in favour of him who slays him; for he (the tyrant) does against his king that which he would not have to be done against himself, “et ipsum regem injuriatur et ladit.' For which reason, he who has put to death such a person, according to his deserts, has done nothing contrary to the laws, but has preserved the meaning of them, namely, true equity and loyalty towards his king and sovereign lord. “To the other quotation from the laws that says, “Hominem occidere capitale esse, omnis usus armorum,’ &c. I answer, that there are no laws nor usages so very general but that there may be some exceptions made from them. I say, that the case of killing a tyrant is exempted, more especially when he is guilty of the crimes before mentioned. How can any greater cause of exemption be shown than that, when the murder is done through necessity, to save the king from being put to death 7 Even when conspiracies against his royal person have been so far carried by witchcraft and otherwise, that he is disabled from administering justice; and the tyrant being found deserving of that punishment, the king, from weakness of intellect, cannot, or will not, punish him, the killing of him, in such cases, is not against the law, properly speaking, for all laws have two meanings: the first is the textual signification, the other is the “quo animo,'—the person committing a crime has done it, and the law, as intended by those who made it, is to be explained according to the intent of its framers, and not always according to the literal sense. “Thus the philosopher brings forward the example of citizens who made a law for the defence of their city, that no one, under pain of death, should mount the ramparts, because their city was besieged; and they were afraid, should strangers mount the walls with the inhabitants there might arise danger to them, from these strangers, at a proper opportunity, joining their enemies, or at least making them signs to show where they might the more easily attack the town. It happened, that this town was attacked at several places, when the strangers and pilgrims who were within it, observing the enemy were much superior to the inhabitants, armed themselves and mounted the walls at the weaker parts, when they repulsed the enemy, and saved the town. The philosopher then asks, Since these pilgrims have mounted the walls contrary to the express words of the law, they have infringed it, and should they not be punished 2 I say no ; for although they have acted contrary to the literal text of the law, they have not disobeyed the spirit of it, which was the saving of the town, for had they not mounted the walls in its defence, it must have been taken. “As to the laws which declare, that none ought to administer justice but the prince, nor do any deeds of arms without his license,_I maintain, that these laws were made for the preservation of the king's honour and person, and for the public good. Should there exist a tyrant of great power and authority, who is continually practising, by witchcraft and other means, the death of the king, and to deprive him of his kingdom, and should that king, from weakness of intellect or want of force, be unable to punish him, and should he permit him to go on in his wickedness, I should disregard, in this case, the law that forbids me to bear arms without the king's license, or to take the authority into my own hands in a general sense only. What have I to do with the literal sense of it? Am I to leave my king in such peril 7 By no means. I am bound to defend my king, and put to death the tyrant; for should I, by thus acting, do contrary to the text of the law, I follow the spirit of it, and the object it was directed to, namely, the preservation of the honour and life of my king; and I should think myself more deserving of praise than if I had suffered the tyrant to live on in his wickedness. I ought therefore to be rewarded, and not punished, for having done a meritorious deed, tending to a good purpose, for which end all laws were made. “ St. Paul says, “Littera occidit, charitas autem aedificat; which means, that to follow the literal sense of the holy Scriptures is death to the soul, but that we ought to obey the true meaning in all charity,+that is to say, to mark and accomplish the end for which