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« vice and Authority. Pliny, lib. 6. cap. 22. makes mention of the like practice in the Island of Taprobana , where the King had thirty Advisers appointed by the People ; by whose Counsel' he was to be guided in the Government of the Commonwealth ; “ For fear (says “ he ) left the King (in case he had an unli
mited Power ) shou'd efteem his Subjects no ss otherwise than as his Slaves or his Cattel.
Furthermore, we find the very fame Form of Administration of the Kingdom of England, in Polydore Virgil's History of England, lib. 11. where he has this passage in the Life of Henry the First. --- " Before this time the Kings used " to summon a publick Convention of the " People in order to consult with them, but “seldom: So that we may in some manner “ say, that the Institution derived its Original “from Henry; which took such deep root, that “ it has always continued ever since, and still “ does so; viz. That whatever related to the "Well - governing or Conservation of the “ Commonwealth, ought to be debated and de" termin'd by the great Council. And that if
either the King or the People shou'd act any
thing alone, it shou'd be esteemed invalid, and " as nothing, unless it were first approved and
establish'd by the Authority of that Council. “ And for fear this Council fhou'd be cumbred “ with the Opinions of an unskilful Multitude,
(whose custom it is to distinguish nothing
juftly) it was at first establish'd by a certain “ Law, what sort of Persons, and what num
bers either of the Priests or the People shou'd " be called to this Council, which, after a French
Name, they commonly call A Parliament ; i to which every King at the beginning of his
inte either o this Coumonly beginning
up a per present a kinwhom they
" Reign uses to hold, and as often afterward as “ he pleases, or as occasion requires. Thus far Polydore Virgil.
But among all the Laws and Customs of this kind, there is none so remarkable as that of the Spaniards; who, when they ele&t a King in the Common-Council of Arragon, (in order to keep up a perpetual Remembrance of their Privileges) represent a kind of Play, and introduce a certain Personage, whom they call by the name of The Law of Arragon*, whom (by a pub- ' Laindia lick Decree ), they declare to be greater and tia di Armore Powerful than their King; and after- ragon. wards they harangue the King (who is elected upon certain terms and conditions) in words which (because of the Remarkable Virtue and Fortitude of that Nation in repressing the unbridled Will of their Prince,) we will here fet down at length. --- “ Nos que valemos tanto “ come vos, ii podemos mas que vos ; vos ele
gimos Reii con estas ii estas condiciones; “ intra vos ii nos un que manda mas que vos : “ That is, We, who are of as great Value as
you, and can do more than you, do elect “ you to be our King, upon such and such
conditions : Between you and us there is “ one of greater Authority than you.
. Seeing then that the Case is so, and that this has always been a constant and universal Law of all Nations, that are govern'd by a Kingly, and not by a Tyrannical Power. 'Tis very plain, that this most valuable liberty of holding a CommonCouncil of the Nation, is not only a part of the People's Right; but that all Kings, who by Evil Arts do oppress or take away this Sacred Right, ought to be esteemed Violaters of the Law of Na. tions ; and being no better than Enemies of Hus
mane Society, must be consider'd not as Kings, but as Tyrants.
But to return to the Matter in hand. Our Commonwealth being constituted by the Laws of our Ancestors, upon the bottom above-mention'd, and participating of all the three kinds of Government; it was ordain'd, that once every Year (and as much oftner as important Occasions shou'd make it neceffary ) a Solemn General Council shou'd be held: which, for that reason, was called a Parliament of the Three Estates. By that word was meant a Convention, or Meeting of Men out of several Parts of the Country to one place, there to confer and deliberate concerning the Publick Wel-' fare: And therefore all Conferences (tho? between Enemies) in order to a Peace or Truce, are always in our Chronicles called by the name of Parliaments. Now of this Council, the King sitting in his Golden Tribunal, was chief; next to him were the Princes and MagiArates of the Kingdom ; in the third place were the Representatives of the several Towns and Provinces, commonly called the Deputies : For as soon as the Day prefix'd for this Assembly was come, the King was conducted to the Parliament-House with a sort of Pomp and Ceremony, more adapted to Popular Moderation, than to Regal Magnificence : which I shall not fcruple to give a juft account of out of our own Publick Records ; it being a fort of Piety to be pleas'd with the Wisdom of our Ancestors; tho' in these most profligate Times, I doubt not but it wou'd appear ridiculous to our flattering Courtiers. The King chen was feated in a Waggon, and drawn by Oxen, which a Waggoner drove with his Goad to
the Place of Assembly: But as soon as he was ', arrived at the Court, or rather indeed the Venerable Palace of the Republick, the Nobles conducted the King to the Golden Throne; and the rest took their Places (as we said before) according to their Degrees. This State, and in this Placc, was what was called Regia Majeftas, Royal Majesty. Of which we may even at this day observe a signal Remain in the King's Broad Seal, commonly called the Chancery Seal. Wherein the King is not represented in a military Posture a Horse-back, or in a Triumphant manner drawn in his Chariot by v Horses, bur Sitting in his Throne Robe'd and Crown'd, holding in his Right Hand the Royal Sceptre, in his Left the Sceptre of Justice, and presiding in his Solemn Council. And indeed, in that Place only it can be said that Royal Majesty does truly and properly reside, where the great Affairs of the Commonwealth are transacted ; and not as the unskilful Vulgar use to profane the Word; and whether the? King plays or dances, or prattles with his } Women , always to stile him YOUR' MAJESTY.
Of all these Matters, we shall give only a few Proofs, out of many which we could produce. First, out of Eginarthus, who was Chancellor to Charles the Great, and wrote his Life. These are his Words : “ Wherever he “ went (speaking of Charlemagn) about the -“ publick Affairs, he was drawn in a Waggon
by a pair of Oxen, which an ordinary
Waggoner drove after his rustical manner. CC Thus he went to the Courts of Justice, Śc thus to the Place of the Publick Convention of his people, which every Year was
“ celebrated for the Good of the Realm ; ... and thus he used to return Home again.
Foannes Nauclerus gives us an Account of the very same thing, in almost the same Words, 'in Chron. Generat. 26. So does the Author of the Great Chronicle, in the Beginning of his Life of Charlemagn, Fol. 77. Neither ought this to seem so great a Wonder to any, who considers it was the Fashion in those Days for our Kings and Queens, and the Royal Family, to be drawn by Oxen; of 'which we have one Instance in Greg. Turon. lib. 3. cap.26. “ Deuteria, (says he) Wife of King Childebert, “ seeing her Daughter by a former Husband
grown to Woman's Estate, and fearing left
lye with her, caused her to be put into a “ sort of Litter with untamed Oxen, and “ thrown headlong off a Bridge. Aimoinus, lib. 4. cap. 30. makes mention of the Golden Throne, where he speaks of King Dagobert: io “ He proclaimed, says he, Generale P L A" CITU M iu loco nuncupato Bigargio, a Great “ Council in a Place named Bigargium : To “ which all the Great Men of France affem
bling with great Diligence on the Kalends “ of May, the King thus began his Speech şs to them fitting on his Golden Throne. Also in his 41st Chapter , speaking of King Clo, doveus -- Sitting in the midst of them, on his Golden Throne, he spoke in this manner, &c. Sigebertus in Chron. Anni 662. ---- 'Tis the An$c cient Custom (says he) of the Kings of the “ Franks, every Kalends of May, to preside in “a Convention of all the People, to falute Śc and be faluted, to receive Homage, and “ give and take Presents. Georgius Cedrenus .