Sir Robert Filmer, The Anarchy of a Limited or Mixed Monarchy (10 April, 1648)

Sir Robert Filmer (1588โ€“1653)  


Note: This is part of the Leveller Collection of Tracts and Pamphlets.

See Leslie Stephen's entry on Filmer in the Dictionary of National Biography.

See Filmer's major work in defence of absolute monarchy: Patriarcha; of the Natural Power of Kings (1680) [HTML]


Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.141 [1648.04.10] Sir Robert Filmer, The Anarchy of a Limited or Mixed Monarchy (10 April, 1648).

Full title

Sir Robert Filmer, The Anarchy of a Limited or Mixed Monarchy. Or, A succinct examination of the fundamentals of monarchy, both in this and other kingdoms, as well about the right of power in kings, as of the originall or naturall liberty of the people. A question never yet disputed, though most necessary in these times.

Lucan. Lib. 3. Libertas (–) Populi quem Regna cohercent Libertate Perit: – Neq, enim libertas gratior ulla est Quam Domino servire bono. Claudian.

Printed in the year, 1648.

Estimated date of publication

10 April, 1648.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 611; Thomason E. 436. (4.).

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)




The Preface.

WE do but flatter our selves, if we hope ever to be governed without an Arbitrary power. No: we mistake, the question is not, whethher there shall be an Arbitrary power; but the only point is, who shall have that Arbitrary power, whether one man or many: there never was, nor never can be any people governed without a power of making Laws, and every power of making Laws must be Arbitrary: for to make a Law according to Law, is contradictio in adjecto: It is generally confessed that in a Democratie, the Supream or Arbritrary power of making Laws is in a multitude; and so in an Aristocracy the like Legislative or Arbitrary power is in a few, or in the Nobility. And therefore by a necessary consequence in a Monarchy the same Legislative power must be in one; according to the rule of Aristotle, who saith, Government is in One, or in a Few, or in Many.

This antient Doctrine of Government, in these latter daies hath been strangly refined by the Romanists, and wonderfully improved since the reformation especially in point of Monarchy, by an opinion that the people have originally a power to create severall sorts of Monarchy, to limit and compound them with other formes of Government, at their pleasure.

As for this naturall power of the people, they find neither Scripture, reason, or practice to justifie it: for though severall Kingdomes have severall and distinct Laws one from an other: yet that doth not make severall sorts of Monarchy: Nor doth the difference of obtaining the Supreame power, whether by Conquest, election, succession, or by any other way make different sorts of Government. It is the difference onely of the Authors of the Laws, and not of the Laws themselves that alters the forme of government, that is, whether one man, or more then one make the Laws.

Since the growth of this new doctrine of the Limitation and Mixture of Monarchy, it is most apparent that Monarchy hath bin crucified (as it were) between two Theeves, the Pope and the People; for what principles the Papists make use of for the power of the Pope above Kings; the very same by blotting out the word Pope, and putting in the word People, the Plebists take up to use against their Soveraignes.

If we would truly know what Popery is, we shall find by the Lawes, and Statutes of the Realme, that the main, and indeed, the only point of Popery is the alienating and withdrawing of Subjects from their obedience to their Prince, to raise Sedition and Rebellion: if Popery and Popularity agree in this point, The Kings of Christendome that have shaken off the power of the Pope have made no great bargain of it, if in place of one Lord abroad, they get many Lords at home within their own Kingdoms.

I cannot but reverence that form of Government which was allowed and made use of for Gods own people, and for all other Nations. It were impiety, to think, that God who was carefull to appoint Judiciall lawes for his chosen people would not furnish them with the best forme of government: or to imagine that the rules given in divers places in the Gospel by our blessed Saviour and his Apostles for obedience to Kings should now, like Almanacks out of date, be of no use to us because it is pretended we have a Forme of Government now, not once thought of in those daies. It is a shame and scandal for us Christians to seek the originall of Government from the inventions or fictions of Poets, Orators, Philosophers, and heathen Historians, who all lived thousands of years after the Creation, & were (in a manner) ignorant of it: and to neglect the Scriptures which have with more authority most particularly given us the true grounds and principles of Government.

These Considerations caused me to scruple this moderne piece of Politicks touching Limited and Mixed Monarchy, and finding no other that presented us with the nature and meanes of Limitation and Mixture, but an anonymus Authour: I have drawn a few brief observations upon the most considerable part of his Treatise, in which I desire to receive satisfaction from the Author himself if it may be, according to his promise in his Preface; or if not from him, from any other for him.


THere is scarce the meanest man of the multitude but can now in these daies tell us that the Government of the Kingdome of England is a Limited and Mixed Monarchy: And it is no mervail since all the disputes and arguments of these distracted times both from the Pulpit and the Presse do tend and end in this Conclusion.

The Author of the Treatise of Monarchy hath copiously handled the nature and manner of Limited and Mixed Monarchy, and is the first and onely man (that I know) hath undertaken the task of describing it, others onely mention it as taking it for granted.

p. 3. Doctor Ferne gives the Author of this Treatise of Monarchy this testimony, that the Mixture of government is more acurately delivered and urged by this Treatise then by the Author of the Fuller Answer. And in another place Doctor Ferne saith, he allows his distinction of Monarchy into Limited and Mixed.

p. 13. I have with some diligence looked over this Treatise, but cannot approve of these distinctions which he propounds, I submit the reasons of my dislike to others judgements. I am somewhat confident that his doctrine of Limited and Mixed Monarchy is an opinion but of yesterday, and of no antiquity, a meer innovation in policy, not so old as New England, though calculated properly for that Meridian. For in his first part of the Treatise which concerns Monarchy in Generall, there is not one proof, text, or example in Scripture that he hath produced to justifie his conceit of Limited and Mixed Monarchy. Neither doth he afford us so much as one passage or reason out of Aristotle, whose books of Politicks, and whose naturall reasons are of greatest authority and credit with all rationall men next to the sacred Scripture: Nay, I hope I may affirme, and be able to prove that Arist. doth confute both limited and mixed Monarchy, howsoever Doctor Ferne think these new opinions to be raised upon Arist. principles.p. 6. As for other Polititians or Historians, either divine or humane, ancient or modern, our Author brings not one to confirm his opinions, nor doth he, nor can he shew that ever any Nation or people were governed by a limited or mixed Monarchy.

Machivell is the first in Christendome that I can find that writ of a Mixed Government, but not one syllable of a Mixed Monarchy: he, in his discourses or disputations upon the Decades of Livy falls so enamored with the Roman Common-wealth, that he thought he could never sufficiently grace that popular government, unlesse he said, there was something of Monarchy in it: yet he was never so impudent as to say, it was a mixed Monarchy. And what Machivell hath said for Rome, the like hath Contarene for Venice; But Bodin hath layed open the errors of both these, as also of Polibius, and some few others that held the like opinions. As for the Kingdome of England if it have found out a form of Government (as the Treatise layeth it down) of such perfection as never any other people could; It is both a glory to the Nation, and also to this Author who hath first decipher’d it.

I now make my approach to the Book it self: The title is, A Treatise of Monarchy. The first part of it is, of Monarchy in Generall: Where first, I charge the Author, that he hath not given us any definition or description of Monarchy in Generall: for by the rules of method he should have first defined, and then divided: for if there be severall sorts of Monarchy, then in something they must agree, which makes them to be Monarchies, and in something they must disagree and differ which makes them to be severall sorts of Monarchies: in the first place he should have shewed us in what they all agreed which must have been a definition of Monarchy in Generall, which is the foundation of the Treatise; and except that be agreed upon, we shal argue upon we know not what; I presse not this maine omission of our Author out of any humor of wrangling, but because I am confident that had he pitched upon any definition of Monarchy in Generall, his own definition would have confuted his whole Treatise: Besides I find him pleased to give us a handsome definition of Absolute Monarchy, from whence I may infer, that he knew no other definition that would have fitted all his other sorts of Monarchy, it concerned him to have produced it, lest it might be thought there could be no Monarchy but Absolute.

What our Author hath omitted, I shall attempt to supply, and leave to the scanning. And it shall be a reall as well as nominall definition of Monarchy. A Monarchy is the government of one alone. For the better credit of this definition, though it be able to maintain it self, yet I shall deduce it from the principles of our Author of the Treatise of Monarchy.

We all know that this word Monarch is compounded of two Greek words, Monos and arkhos, arkhos is imperare, to govern and rule, Monos signifies one alone. The understanding of these two words may be picked out of our Author.p. 1. First, for government he teacheth us, it is Potestatis exercitium, the exercise of a morall power; next he grants us,p. 12. that every Monarch (even his limited Monarch) must have the Supream power of the State in him, so that his power must no way be limited by any power above his, for then he were not a Monarch, but a subordinate Magistrate. Here we have a fair confession of a supreame unlimited power in his limited Monarch: if you will know what he meanes by these words supream power, turn to his 36 page, there you will find, Supream power is either Legislative, or Gubernative, and that the legislative power is the chief of the two, he makes both supream, and yet one chief: the like distinction he hath before, where he saith, The power of Magistracy, in respect of its degrees, is Nomotheticall or Architectonicall:p. 5. and Gubernative or Executive: by these words of Legislative, Nomotheticall and Architectonicall power, in plain English, he understands, a power of making Laws; and by Gubernative and Executive, a power of putting those Laws in execution by judging and punishing offenders.

The result we have from hence is, that by the Authors acknowledgment, every Monarch must have the Supream power, and that supream power is, a power to make laws: and howsoever the Author makes the Gubernative and Executive power a part of the Supream power; yet he confesseth the Legislative to be chief, or the highest degree of power, for he doth acknowledge degrees of Supream power;p. 40. nay, he afterwards teacheth us, that the Legislative power is the height of power, to which the other parts are subsequent and subservient, if Gubernative be subservient to Legislative, how can Gubernative power be supream?

p. 12.Now let us examine the Authors Limited Monarch by these his own rules, he tells us, that in a moderated, limited, stinted, conditionate, legall or allayed Monarchy, (for all these tearms he hath for it) the Supream power must be restrained by some Law according to which this power was given, and by direction of which this power must act, when in a line before he said, that the Monarchs power must not be limited by any power above his: yet here he will have his Supream power restrained; not limited, and yet restrained; is not a restraint, a limitation? and if restrained, how is it supream? and if restrained by some law, is not the power of that law, and of them that made that law above his supream power? and if by the direction of such law only he must govern, where is the Legislative power which is the chief of Supream power? when the Law must rule and govern the Monarch, and not the Monarch the Law, he hath at the most but a Gubernative or Executive power:p. 14. if his authority transcends its bounds, if it command beyond the Law, and the Subject is not bound legally to subjection in such cases, and if the utmost extent of the Law of the land be the measure of the Limited Monarchs power, and Subjects duty, where shall we find the Supream power that Culimen or apex potestatisp. 16. that prime apsgrrhosymbolχ[illegible letter], which our Author saith, must be in every Monarch: The word apsgrrhocedgrχ[illegible letter], which signifies, principality and power, doth also signifie, principium, beginning; which doth teach us, that by the word Prince, or principality, the principium or beginning of Government is meant; this, if it be given to the Law, it robs the Monarch, and makes the Law the primum mobile, and so that which is but the instrument, or servant to the Monarch, becomes the master. Thus much of the word apsgrrhosymbolχlunatesigmaipergrν.

The other word is Μόν[illegible letter], solus, one alone: the Monarch must not only have the Supream power unlimited,p. 15. but he must have it alone (without any companions.) Our Author teacheth us, He is no Monarch if the Supream power be not in one. And again he saith, if you put the apex potestatis, or supream power,p. 17. in the whole body, or a part of it, you destroy the being of Monarchy.

p. 25.Now, let us see if his mixed Monarchy be framed according to these his own principles: First, he saith, in a mixed Monarchy the soveraign power must be originally in all three Estates. And again, his words are, the three Estates are all sharers in the Supream power———the primity of share in the supream power is in One. Here we find, that he that told us the supream power must be in one, will now allow his mixed Monarch but one share only of the supream power, and gives other shares to the Estates: thus he destroies the being of Monarchy by putting the Supream power or culinen potestatis, or a part of it in the whole body, or a part thereof, and yet formerly he confesseth,p. 5. that the power of Magistracy cannot well be divided, for it is one simple thing or indivisable beam of divine perfection, but he can make this indivisable beam to be divisable into three shares. I have done with the word Μόν[illegible letter], solus, alone.

I have dwelt the longer upon this definition of Monarchy, because the apprehending of it out of the Authors own grounds quite overthrows both his Monarch Limited by law, and his Monarch Mixed With the States. For to Govern, is to give a Law to others; and not to have a Lave given to Govern, and limit him that Governs: And to govern alone is not to have sharers or companions mixed with the Governor. Thus the two words of which Monarchy is compounded contradict the two sorts of Monarchy which he pleads for; and by consequence his whole Treatise, for these two sorts of limited and mixed Monarchy take up (in a manner) his whole Book.

I will now touch some few particular passages in the Treatise.

p. 2.Our Author first confesseth, it is Gods expresse ordinance there should be Government, and he proves it by Gen. 3. 16. where God ordained Adam to rule over his Wife, and her desires were to be subject to his; and as hers, so all theirs that should come of her. Here we have the originall grant of Government, & the fountain of all power placed in the father of all mankind, accordingly we find the law for obedience to government given in the tearms of honor thy Father: not only the constitution of power in generall, but the limitation of it to one kind (that is, to Monarchy, or the government of one alone) and the determination of it to the individual person & line of Adam are all three ordinances of God. Neither Eve nor her Children could either limit Adams power, or join others with him in the government, and what was given unto Adam was given in his person to his posterity. This paternal power continued monarchicall to the Floud, and after the Floud to the confusion of Babel when Kingdomes were first erected, planted, or scattered over the face of the world; we find Gen. 10. 11. It was done by Colonies of whole families, over which, the prime Fathers had supream power, and were Kings, who were all the sons or grand-children of Noah, from whom they derived a fatherly and regall power over their families. Now if this supream power was setled and founded by God himself in the fatherhood, how is it possible for the people to have any right or title to alter and dispose of it otherwise? what commission can they shew that gives them power either of limitation or mixture? It was Gods ordinance, that supremacy should be unlimited in Adam, and as large as all the acts of his will: and as in him, so in all others that have supream power, as appears by the judgement and speech of the people to Joshuah when he was supream Governour, these are their words to him, All that thou commandest us wee will do, whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandement, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shal be put to death: we may not say that these were evill Counsellours or flattering Courtiers of Joshuah, or that he himself was a Tyrant for having such arbitrary power. Our Author, and all those, who affirm, that power is conveyed to persons by publick consent, are forced to confesse, that it is the fatherly power that first inables a people to make such conveyance, so that admitting (as they hold) that our Ancestors did at first convey power, yet the reason why we now living, doe submit to such power is, for that our Fore-fathers every one for himself, his family, and posterity, had a power of resigning up themselves and us to a supream power. As the Scripture teacheth us, that supream power was originally in the fatherhood without any limitation, so likewise reason doth evince it, that if God ordained that Supremacy should be, that then supremacy must of necessity be unlimited, for the power that limits must be above that power which is limited, if it be limited it cannot be supream: so that if our Author will grant supream power to be the ordinance of God, the supream power will prove it self to be unlimited by the same ordinance, because a supream limited power is a contradiction.

The monarchicall power of Adam the Father of all flesh, being by a general binding ordinance setled by God in him & his posterity by right of fatherhood, the form of Monarchy must be preferr’d above other forms, except the like ordinance for other forms can be shewed: neither may men according to their relations to the form they live under to their affections and judgments in divers respects prefer, or compare any other form with Monarchy. The point that most perplexeth our Author and many others is, that if Monarchy be allowed to be the ordinance of God, an absurdity would follow, that we should uncharitably condemn all the comunities which have not that form, for violation of Gods ordinance, and pronounce those other powers unlawfull: if those who live under a Monarchy can justifie the form they live under to be Gods ordinance, they are not bound to forbear their own justification, because others cannot do the like for the form they live under; let others look to the defence of their own government: if it cannot be proved or shewed that any other form of government had ever any lawfull beginning, but was brought in, or erected by rebellion, must therefore the lawfull and just obedience to Monarchy be denied to be the ordinance of God.

To proceed with our Author, in the 3 page, he saith, the Higher Power is Gods ordinance: That it resideth in One or more, in such or such a way, is from humane designment, God by no word binds any people to this or that form, till they by their own act bind themselves. Because the power and consent of the people in government is the burden of the whole Book, and our Author expects it should be admitted as a magisteriall postulation without any other proof then a naked supposition, and since others also maintain that originally Power, was or now is in the People, and that the first Kings were chosen by the People: they may not be offended, if they be asked in what sense they understand the word [People] because this, as many other words hath different acceptions, being sometimes taken in a larger, other whiles in a stricter sense. Literally, and in the largest sense the word People signifies the whole multitude of mankind, but figuratively and synecdochecally it notes many times the major part of a multitude, or sometimes the better, or the richer, or the wiser, or some other part; and oftentimes a very small part of the people, if there be no other apparent opposite party hath the name of the people by presumption.

If they understand that the entire multitude, or whole people have originally by nature power to chuse a King, they must remember that by their own principles, and rules by nature all mankind in the world makes but one People, who they suppose to be born alike to an equall freedome from subjection, and where such freedome is, there all things must of necessity be common, and therefore without a joynt consent of the whole people of the world, no one thing can be made proper to any one man, but it will be an injury, and an usurpation upon the common right of all others; From whence it follows, that naturall freedome being once granted, there cannot be any one man chosen a King without the universall consent of all the people of the world at one instant, nemine contradicente. Nay, if it be true that nature hath made all men free; though all mankind should concur in one vote, yet it cannot seem reasonable, that they should have power to alter the law of nature; for if no man have power to take away his own life without the guilt of being a murtherer of himself, how can any people confer such a power as they have not themselves upon any one man, without being accessories to their own deaths; and every particular man become guilty of being felo de se?

If this generall signification of the word People be disavowed, and men will suppose that the people of particular Regions, or Countries have power and freedome to chuse unto themselves Kings; then let them but observe the consequence: Since nature hath not distinguished the habitable world into Kingdomes, nor determined what part of a people shall belong to one Kingdome, and what to another, it follows that the originall freedome of mankind being supposed, every man is at liberty to be of what Kingdome he please, and so every petty company hath a right to make a Kingdome by it self, and not only every City, but every Village, and every Family; nay, and every particular man a liberty to chuse himself to be his owne King if he please, and he were a mad man that being by nature free would chuse any man but himself to be his own Governour. Thus to avoid the having but of one King of the whole world, we shall run into a liberty of having as many Kings as there be men in the world, which upon the matter, is to have no King at all, but to leave all men to their naturall liberty, which is the mischief the Pleaders for naturall liberty do pretend they would most avoid.

But if neither the whole People of the world, nor the whole people of any part of the world be meant: but only the major part, or some other part, of a part of the world: yet, still the objection will be the stronger. For besides that nature hath made no partition of the world, or of the people into distinct Kingdomes, and that without an universal consent at one and the same instant no partition can be made: yet if it were lawfull for particular parts of the world by consent to chuse their Kings, neverthelesse, their elections would bind none to subjection but only such as consented; for the major part never binds, but where men at first either agree to be so bound, or where a higher power so commands: Now there being no higher power then nature, but God himself; where neither nature nor God appoints the major part to bind, their consent is not binding to any but only to themselves who consent.

Yet, for the present to gratifie them so far as to admit that either by nature, or by a generall consent of all mankind, the world at first was divided into particular Kingdomes, and the major part of the people of each Kingdom assembled, allowed to chuse their King: yet it cannot truly be said that ever the whole people, or the major part, or indeed any considerable part of the whole people of any nation ever assembled to any such purpose; For except by some secret miraculous instinct they should all meet at one time, and place; what one man, or company of men lesse then the whole people hath power to appoint either time, or place of elections, where all be alike free by nature? and without a lawfull summons it is most unjust to bind those that be absent. The whole people cannot summon it self, one man is sick, another is lame, a third is aged, and a fourth is under age of discretion: all these at some time or other, or at some place or other might be able to meet, if they might chuse their own time and place, as men naturally free should.

In Assemblies that are by humane politique constitution, the superior power that ordains such assemblies, can regulate and confine them both for time, place, persons, and other circumstances: but where there is an equality by nature, there can be no superior power, there every Infant at the hour it is born in hath a like interest with the greatest and wisest man in the world. Mankind is like the sea, ever ebbing or slowing, every minute one is borne, another dies, those that are the people, this minute, are not the people the next minute, in every instant and point of time there is a variation: no one time can be indifferent for all mankind to assemble, it cannot but be mischievous alwaies, at the least to all Infants, and others under age of discretion; not to speak of women, especially Virgins, who by birth have as much naturall freedome as any other, and therefore ought not to lose their liberty without their own consent.

But in part to salve this, it will be said that Infants and Children may be concluded by the votes of their Parents. This remedy may cure some part of the mischief, but it destroies the whole cause: and at last stumbles upon the true originall of government. For if it be allowed, that the acts of Parents bind the Children, then farewell the doctrine of the naturall freedome of mankind, where subjection of Children to Parents is naturall, there can be no naturall freedome. If any reply, that not all children shall be bound by their Parents consent, but onely those that are under age: It must be considered, that in nature there is no nonage, if a man be not borne free, she doth not assigne him any other time when he shall attaine his freedome: or if she did, then Children attaining that age should be discharged of their Parents contract. So that in conclusion, if it be imagined that the people were ever but once free from subjection by nature, it will prove a meer impossibility ever lawfully to introduce any kind of government whatsoever without apparent wrong to a multitude of people.

It is further observable, that ordinarily Children and Servants are far a greater number then Parents and Masters, and for the major part of these to be able to vote and appoint what government or Governours their Fathers and Masters shall be subject unto, is most unnaturall, and in effect to give the Children the government over their Parents.

To all this it may be opposed, what need dispute how a People can chuse a King, since there be multitude of examples that Kings have been, and are now adaies chosen by their People? The answer is. 1. The question is not of the fact, but of the right, whether it have been done by a naturall, or by an usurped right. 2. Many Kings are, and have bin chosen by some small part of a People, but by the whole, or major part of a Kingdom not any at all. Most have been elected by the Nobility, Great men, and Princes of the bloud, as in Poland, Denmarke, and in Sweden; not by any collective or representative body of any Nation: sometimes a factious or seditious City, or a mutinous Army hath set up a King, but none of all those could ever prove they had right or just title either by nature, or any otherwise for such elections: we may resolve upon these two propositions. 1. That the People have no power or right of themselves to chuse Kings. 2. If they had any such right, it is not possible for them any way lawfully to exercise it.

You will say, There must necessarily be a right in some body to elect, in case a King die without an Heir. I answer, No King can die without an Heir as long as there is any one man living in the world, it may be the Heir may be unknown to the people, but that is no fault in nature, but the negligence or ignorance of those whom it concerns. But if a King could die without an Heir, yet the Kingly power in that case shal not escheat to the whole people, but to the supream Heads and Fathers of Families; not as they are the people, but quatenus, they are Fathers of people, over whom they have a supream power divolved unto them after the death of their soveraign Ancestor, and if any can have a right to chuse a King, it must be these Fathers by conferring their distinct fatherly powers upon one man alone. Chief fathers in Scripture are accounted as all the people, as all the Children of Israel, as all the Congregation, as the Text plainly expounds it self, 2 Chr. 1.2. where Solomon speaks to All Israel, that is, to the Captains, the Judges, and to every Governour, the Chief Of The Fathers, and so the Elders of Israel are expounded to be the chief of the Fathers of the Children of Israel, 1 King. 8.1. and the 2 Chr. 5.2.

If it be objected, That Kings are not now (as they were at the first planting or peopling of the world) the Fathers of their People, or Kingdoms, and that the fatherhood hath lost the right of governing. An answer is, That all Kings that now are, or ever were; are, or were either Fathers of their People, or the Heirs of such Fathers, or Usurpers of the right of such Fathers: It is a truth undeniable that there cannot be any multitude of men whatsoever, either great, or small, though gathered together from the severall corners and remotest regions of the world, but that in the same multitude considered by it self, there is one man amongst them that in nature hath a right to be the King of all the rest, as being the next Heir to Adam: and all the others subject unto him, every man by nature is a King, or a Subject: the obedience which all Subjects yeild to Kings is but the paying of that duty which is due to the supream fatherhood: Many times by the act either of an Usurper himself, or of those that set him up, the true Heire of a Crown is dispossessed, God using the ministry of the wickedest men for the removing and setting up of Kings: in such cases the Subjects obedience to the fatherly power must go along and wait upon Gods providence who only hath right to give, and take away Kingdomes, and thereby to adopt Subjects into the obedience of another fatherly power: according to that of Arist: πά[illegible letter]rhocedgrιkappaveegrgr γagrgrrhosymbol apsgrrhocedgrχeegrgr β[illegible letter]λε[illegible letter] eedagr βασιλέια epsgr[illegible letter]. A Monarchy or Kingdome will be a fatherly government. Ethic. l. 8. c. 12.

However the naturall freedome of the People be cried up as the sole means to determine the kind of government, and the Governours: yet in the close, all the favourers of this opinion are constrained to grant, that the obedience which is due to the fatherly power is the true and only cause of the subjection, which we that are now living give to Kings, since none of us gave consent to government, but only our Fore-fathers act and consent hath concluded us.

Whereas many confesse that government only in the abstract is the ordinance of God, they are not able to prove any such ordinance in the Scripture, but only in the fatherly power, and therefore we find the Commandement that enjoynes obedience to Superiours given in the tearms of Honour thy Father: so that not onely the power or right of government, but the form of the power of governing, and the person having that power, are all the ordinance of God, the first Father had not onely simply power, but power Monarchicall as he was a Father immediately from God; For by the appointment of God as soon as Adam was Created he was Monarch of the World, though he had no Subjects; for though there could not be actuall government untill there were Subjects, yet by the right of nature it was due to Adam to be Governour of his posterity: though not in act, yet at least in habit Adam was a King from his Creation: And in the state of innocency he had been Governour of his Children, for the integrity or excellency of the Subjects doth not take away the order or eminency of the Governour. Eve was subject to Adam before he sinned, the Angels who are of a pure nature are subject to God: which confutes their saying, who in disgrace of civill government or power say it was brought in by sin: Government as to coactive power was after sin, because coaction supposeth some disorder which was not in the state of innocency: But as for directive power the condition of humane nature requires it, since civil society cannot be imagined without power of Government: for although as long as men continued in the state of innocency they might not need the direction of Adam in those things which were necessarily and morally to be done, yet things indifferent that depended meerly on their free will might be directed by the power of Adams command.

If we consider the first plantations of the world which were after the building of Babel when the confusion of tongues was, we may find the division of the earth into distinct Kingdomes and Countries by severall families, whereof the Sons or Grand-children of Noah were the Kings or Governours by a fatherly right, and for the preservation of this power and right in the Fathers, God was pleased upon severall Families to bestow a Language on each by it self, the better to unite it into a Nation or Kingdome, as appears by the words of the Text, Gen. 10. These are the Families of the Sons of Noah, after their generations in their Nations, and by these were the Nations divided in the earth after the floud. Every one after His Tongue After Their Families in their Nations.

The Kings of England have been gratiously pleased to admit, and accept the Commons in Parliament as the representees of the Kingdom, yet really and truly they are not the representative body of the whole Kingdom.

The Commons in Parliament are not the representative body of the whole Kingdome, they do not represent the King who is the head and principall member of the Kingdome, nor do they represent the Lords who are the nobler and higher part of the body of the Realme, and are personally present in Parliament, and therefore need no representation. The Commons onely represent a part of the lower or inferior part of the body of the People, which are the Free-holders worth 40 s. by the year, and the Commons or Free-men of Cities and Burroughs, or the major part of them. All which are not one quarter, nay, not a tenth part of the Commons of the Kingdome, for in every Parish for one Free-holder there may be found ten that are no Free-holders: and anciently before Rents were improved there were nothing neer so many Free-holders of 40 s. by the year as now are to be found.

The scope and Conclusion of this discourse and Argument is, that the people taken in what notion, or sense soever, either diffusively, collectively, or representatively, have not, nor cannot exercise any right or power of their own by nature either in chusing or in regulating Kings. But whatsoever power any people doth lawfully exercise, it must receive it from a supreame power on earth, and practice it with such limitations as that superior power shall appoint. To returne to our Author.

He divides Monarchy into {Absolute,

p. 6.Absolute Monarchy (saith he) is, when the Soveraignty is so fully in one, that it hath no limits or bounds under God but his owne will. This definition of his I embrace; And as before I charged our Author for not giving us a definition of Monarchy in general, so I now note him for not affording us any definition of any other particular kind of Monarchy but onely of absolute, it may peradventure make some doubt that there is no other sort but only that which he calls absolute.

Concerning absolute Monarchy, he grants, that such were the antient Eastern Monarchies, and that of the Turk and Persian at this day, herein he saith very true. And we must remember him though he doe not mention them that the Monarchs of Judah and Israel must be comprehended under the number of those he calls the Eastern Monarchies: and truly if he had said that all the antient Monarchies of the world had been absolute I should not have quarreld at him, nor doe I know who could have disproved him.

Next it follows, that Absolute Monarchy is, when a people are absolutely resigned up, or resigne up themselves to be governed by the will of One man——where men put themselves into this utmost degree of subjection by oath and contract, or are borne and brought unto it by Gods providence. In both these places he acknowledgeth there may be other means of obtaining a Monarchy besides the contract of a Nation,p. 12. or peoples resigning up themselves to be governed, which is contrary to what he after saies, that the sole mean or root of all Soveraignty is the consent and fundamentall contract of a Nation of men.

Moreover the Author determins, that Absolute Monarchy is a lawfull government, and that men may be borne and brought unto it by Gods providence, it binds them, and they must abide it because an oath to a lawfull thing is obligatory. This position of his I approve, but his reason doth not satisfie, for men are bound to obey a lawfull Governour, though neither they, nor their Ancestors ever took oath.

p. 7.Then he proceeds, and confesseth that in Rom. 13. the power which then was, was Absolute: yet the Apostle not excluding it, calls it Gods ordinance, and commands subjection to it; so Christs commands Tribute to be paid, and paies it himselfe; yet it was an arbitrary tax, the production of an absolute power. These are the loyall expressions of our Author touching absolute or arbitrary Monarchy: I doe the rather mention these passages of our Author, because very many in these daies doe not stick to maintain, that an arbitrary or Absolute Monarch not limited by law, is all one with a Tyrant, and to be governed by one mans will, is to be made a slave: It is a question whether our Author be not of that mind when he saith, absolute subjection is servitude, and thereupon a late friend,p. 54. to limited Monarchy, affirmes in a discourse upon the question in debate between the King and Parliament, That to make a King by the standard of Gods word is to make the Subjects slaves for conscience sake. A hard saying, and I doubt whether he that gives this censure can be excused from blasphemy. It is a bold speech to condemn all the Kings of Judah for Tyrants, or to say all their Subjects were slaves. But certainly the man doth not know neither what a Tyrant is, or what a Slave is: indeed the words are frequent enough in every mans mouth, & our old English Translation of the Bible useth sometimes the word Tyrant, but the Authors of our new Translation have been so carefull as not once to use the word, but onely for the proper name of a man, Act. 19. 9. because they find no Hebrew word in the Scripture to signifie a Tyrant, or a slave. Neither Arist: Bodin, nor Sir Walter Rawleigh (who were all men of deep judgement) can agree in a definition or description of tyranny, though they have all three laboured in the point. And I make some question whether any man can possibly describe what a Tyrant is, and then tell me any one man that ever was in the world that was a Tyrant according to that description.

I return again to our Treatise of Monarchy, where I find three Degrees of absolute Monarchy:

  • 1Where the Monarch, whose will is the law, doth set himself no law to rule by, but by commands of his own judgement as he thinks fit.
  • 2When he sets a law, by which he will ordinarily governe, reserving to himself a liberty to vary from it as oft as in his discretion he thinks Fit, and in this the Soveraign is as free as the former.
  • 3Where he not only sets a rule, but promiseth in many cases not to alter it, but this promise or engagement is an after condiscent or act of grace not dissolving the absolute Oath of subjection which went before it.

For the first of these three, there is no question but it is a pure absolute Monarchy; but as for the other two, though he say, they be absolute, yet in regard, they set themselves limits or laws to govern by, if it please our Author to term them limited Monarchs, I will not oppose him, yet I must tell him that his third degree of absolute Monarchy is such a kind, as I believe, never hath been, nor ever can be in the world. For a Monarch to promise and engage in many cases not to alter a law, it is most necessary that those many cases should be particularly expressed at the bargain making: Now he that understands the nature and condition of all humane laws, knows that particular cases are infinite and not comprehensible within any rules or laws, and if many cases should be comprehended, and many omitted, yet even those that were comprehended would admit of variety of interpretations and disputations, therefore our Author doth not, nor can tell us of any such reserved cases promised by any Monarch.

Again, where he saith, An after condiscent or Act of grace doth not dissolve the absolute Oath of subjection which went before it, though in this he speak true, yet still he seems to insinuate, that an Oath only binds to subjection, which Oath, as he would have us believe, was at first arbitrary: whereas Subjects are bound to obey Monarchs though they never take oath of subjection, as wel as children are bound to obey their parents, though they never swear to do it.

Next, his distinction between the rule of power, and the exercise of it, is vain; for to rule, is to exercise power:p. 7. for himself saith, that Government is, potestatis exercitium,p. 1. the exercise of a morall power.

Lastly, whereas our Author saith, a Monarch cannot break his promise without sin: let me adde, that if the safety of the people, salus populi, require a breach of the Monarchs promise, then the sin, if there be any, is rather in the making, then breaking of the promise, the safety of the people is an exception implied in every Monarchicall promise.

p. 12.But it seems these three degrees of Monarchy do not satisfie our Author, he is not content to have a Monarch have a law or rule to govern by, but he must have this limitation or law to be ab externo, from somebody else, and not from the determination of the Monarchs own will, and therefore he saith, by originall constitution the society publick confers on one man a power by limited contract, resigning themselves to be governed by such a law, also before he told us,p. 13. the sole means of Soveraignty is the consent and fundamentall contract, which consent puts them in their power, which can be no more nor other then is conveyed to them by such contract of subjection. If the sole means of a limited Monarchy be the consent and fundamentall contract of a Nation, how is it that he saith, A Monarch may be limited by after condiscent? is an after condiscent all one with a fundamentall contract with originall and radicall constitution? why ye: he tells us, it is a secundary originall constitution, a secundary originall, that is, a second first: And if that condiscent be an act of grace, doth not this condiscent to a limitation come from the free determination of the Monarchs will? If he either formally, or virtually (as our Author supposeth) desert his absolute or arbitrary power which he hath by conquest, or other right.

p. 8.And if it be from the free will of the Monarch, why doth he say the limitation must be ab externo? he told us before, that subjection cannot be dissolved or lessen’d by an Act of grace comming afterwards, but he hath better bethought himself, and now he will have acts of grace to be of two kinds, and the latter kind may amount (as he saith) to a resignation of absolute Monarchy. But can any man believe that a Monarch who by conquest or other right hath an absolute arbitrary power, will voluntarily resigne that absolutenesse, and accept so much power only as the people shall please to give him, and such laws to govern by as they shall make choice of? can he shew that ever any Monarch was so gratious or kind-hearted as to lay down his lawfull power freely at his Subjects feet? is it not sufficient grace if such an absolute Monarch be content to set down a law to himself by which he will ordinarily govern, but he must needs relinquish his old independent commission, & take a new one from his Subjects clog’d with limitations?

Finally, I observe, that howsoever our Author speak big of the radicall, fundamentall, and originall power of the people as the root of all Soveraignty: yet in a better moode he will take up and be contented with a Monarchy limited by an after condiscent and act of grace from the Monarch himself.

Thus I have briefly touched his grounds of Limited Monarchy; if now we shall aske, what proof or examples he hath to justifie his doctrine, he is as mute as a fish: only Pythagoras hath said it, and we must believe him, for though our Author would have Monarchy to be limited, yet he could be content his opinion should be absolute, and not limited to any rule or example.

The maine Charge I have against our Author now remaines to be discussed, and it is this, That instead of a Treatise of Monarchy, he hath brought forth a Treatise of Anarchy, and that by his owne confessions shall be made good.

First, he holds, A limited Monarch transcends his bounds if he commands beyond the law, and the Subject legally is not bound to subjection in such cases.

Now if you aske the Author who shall be judge, whether the Monarch transcends his bounds, and of the excesses of the soveraigne power. His answer is,p. 16. There is an impossibility of constituting a judge to determine this last controversie ——— I conceive in a limited legall Monarchy there can be no stated internall Judge of the Monarchs actions,p. 17. if there grow a fundamentall variance betwixt him and the community ——— there can be no Judge legall and constituted within that form of government. In these answers it appears, there is no Judge to determine the Soveraignes or the Monarchs transgressing his fundamentall limits: yet our Author is very cautelous, and supposeth onely a fundamentall variance betwixt the Monarch and the Community, he is ashamed to put the question home. I demand of him if there be a variance betwixt the Monarch and any of the meanest person of the Community, who shall be the Judge? for instance, The King commands me, or gives judgment against me: I reply, His commands are illegall, and his judgment not according to law: who must judge? if the Monarch himself judge, then you destroy the frame of the State, and make it absolute, saith our Author, and he gives his reason: for to define a Monarch to a law, and then to make him judge of his owne deviations from that law, is to absolve him from all law. On the other side, if any, or all the people may judge, then you put the Soveraignty in the whole body, or part of it, and destroy the being of Monarchy. Thus our Author hath caught himself in a plaine dilemma: if the King be judge, then he is no limited Monarch. If the people be judge, then he is no Monarch at all. So farewell limited Monarchy, nay farewell all government if there be no Judge.

p. 14.Would you know what help our Author hath found out for this mischief? First, he saith, that a Subject is bound to yeild to a Magistrate, when he cannot, de jure, challenge obedience, if it be in a thing in which he can possibly without subversion, and in which his act may not be made a leading case, and so bring on a prescription against publike liberty:p. 17. Again, he saith, if the act in which the exorbitance or transgression of the Monarch is supposed to be, be of lesser moment, and not striking at the very being of that Government, it ought to be borne by publick patience, rather then to endanger the being of the State.p. 49. The like words he uses in another place, saying, if the will of the Monarch exceed the limits of the law, it ought to be submitted to, so it be not contrary to Gods law, nor bring with it such an evill to our selves, or the publick, that we cannot be accessary to it by obeying. These are but fig-leaves to cover the nakednesse of our Authors limited Monarch formed upon weak supposals in cases of lesser moment. For if the Monarch be to govern only according to law, no transgression of his can be of so small moment if he break the bounds of law, but it is a subversion of the government it self, and may be made a leading case, and so bring on a prescription against publick liberty, it strikes at the very being of the Government, and brings with it such an evill, as the party that suffers, or the publick cannot be accessory to: let the case be never so small; yet if there be illegality in the act, it strikes at the very being of limited Monarchy which is to be legall: unlesse our Author will say, as in effect he doth, That his limited Monarch must governe according to law in great and publick matters onely, and that in smaller matters which concerne private men or poor persons, he may rule according to his own will.

p. 17.Secondly, our Author tells us, if the Monarchs act of exorbitancy or transgression be mortall, and such as suffered dissolves the frame of Government and publick liberty, then the illegality is to be set open and redresment sought by petition, which if failing prevention by resistance ought to be, and if it be apparent and appeale be made to the consciences of mankind, then the fundamentall laws of that Monarchy must judge and pronounce the sentence in every mans conscience, and every man (so farre as concernes him) must follow the evidence of Truth in his own soul to oppose or not to oppose, according as he can in conscience acquit or condemne the act of the governour or Monarch.

Whereas my Author requires, that the destructive nature of illegall commands should be set open: Surely his mind is, That each private man in his particular case should make a publique remonstrance to the world of the illegall act of the Monarch, and then if upon his Petition he cannot be relieved, according to his desire, he ought, or it is his duty to make resistance. Here I would know, who can be the judge, whether the illegality be made apparent; it is a maine point, since every man is prone to flatter himselfe in his owne cause, and to think it good, and that the wrong or injustice he suffers is apparent, when other moderate and indifferent men can discover no such thing: and in this case the judgement of the common people cannot be gathered or known by any possible meanes; or if it could, it were like to be various and erronious.

Yet our Author will have an appeale made to the conscience of all Man-kind, and that being made, he concludes, the fundamentall Lawes must judge and pronounce sentence in every mans conscience. Whereas he saith, The Fundamentall Lawes must judge,p. 18. I would very gladly learne of him, or of any other for him, what a Fundamentall Law is, or else have but any one Law named me that any man can say is a Fundamentall Law of the Monarchy:p. 38. I confesse he tells us, that the Common Lawes are the foundation, and the Statute Laws are superstructive; yet I think he dares not say that there is any one branch or part of the Common Law but that it may be taken away by an Act of Parliament: for many points of the Common Law (de facto) have, and (de jure) any point may be taken away. How can that be called Fundamentall, which hath and may be removed, and yet the Statute Lawes stand firme and stable? it is contrary to the nature of Fundamental, for the building to stand when the foundation is taken away.

Besides, the Common Law is generally acknowledged to be nothing else but common usage or custome, which by length of time onely obtaines authority: So that it followes in time after government, but cannot got before it, and be the rule to Government, by any originall or radicall constitution.

Also the Common Law being unwritten doubtful and difficult, cannot but be an uncertaine rule to governe by, which is against the nature of a rule, which is and ought to be certaine.

Lastly, by making the Common Law onely to be the foundation, Magna Charta is excluded from being a Fundamentall Law, and also all other Statutes from being limitations to Monarchy, since the Fundamentall Lawes onely are to be judge.

Truly the conscience of all Man-kind is a pretty large Tribunall for the Fundamentall Lawes to pronounce sentence in. It is very much that Lawes which in their owne nature are dumb, and alwayes need a Judge to pronounce sentence, should now be able to speak, & pronounce sentence themselves: such a sentence surely must be upon the hearing of one party onely, for it is impossible for a Monarch to make his defence and answer, and produce his witnesses, in every mans conscience, in each mans cause, who will but question the legality of the Monarchs Government? Certainly the sentence cannot but be unjust, where but one mans tale is heard. For all this the conclusion is, Every man must oppose or not oppose the Monarch according to his owne conscience. Thus at the last, every man is brought by this Doctrine of our Authors, to be his owne judge. And I also appeal to the consciences of all mankinde, whether the end of this be not utter confusion, and Anarchy.

p. 18.Yet after all this, the Author saith, this power of every mans judging the illegall acts of the Monarch, argues not a superiority of those who judge over him, who is judged; and he gives us a profound reason for it; his words are, it is not authorative and civill, but morall residing in reasonable creatures, and lawfull for them to execute. What our Author meanes by these words, (not authorative and civill, but morall) perhaps I understand not, though I think I doe; yet it serves my turne that he saith, that resistance ought to be made, and every man must oppose or not oppose, according as in conscience he can acquit or condemn the acts of his governour; for if it inable a man to resist and oppose his Governour, without question tis authorative and civill, whereas he addes, that morall judgement is residing in reasonable creatures, and lawfull for them to execute; he seemes to imply that authorative, and civill judgement doth not reside in reasonable creatures, nor can be lawfully executed: Such a conclusion fits well with Anarchy, for he that takes away all Government, and leaves every man to his owne conscience, and so makes him an Independent in State, may well teach that authority resides not in reasonable creatures, nor can be lawfully executed.

I passe from his absolute and limited Monarchy, to his division or partition (for he allowes no division) of Monarchy into simple and mixed, viz. of a Monarch, the Nobility and Community.

p. 25.Where first, observe a doubt of our Authors, whether a firme union can be in a mixture of equality, he rather thinks there must be a priority of order in one of the three, or else there can be no unity. He must know that priority of order doth not hinder, but that there may be an equality of mixture if the shares be equall, for he that hath the first share may have no more then the others: so that if he will have an inequality of mixture, a primity of share will not serve the turne: the first share must be greater or better then the others, or else they will be equall, and then he cannot call it a mixed Monarchy where only a primity of share in the Supream power is in one: but by his own confession he may better call it a mixed Aristocracy or mixed Democracy, then a mixed Monarchy,p. 56. since he tells us, the Houses of Parliament sure have two parts of the greatest legislative authority, and if the King have but a third part, sure their shares are equall.

The first step our Author makes, is this, The soveraigne power must be originally in all three; next he finds, that if there be an equality of shares in three Estates, there can be no ground to denominate a Monarch, and then his mixed Monarch might be thought but an empty title:p. 25. Therefore in the third place he resolves us, that to salve all, A power must be sought out wherewith the Monarch must be invested, which is not so great as to destroy the mixture, nor so titular as to destroy the Monarchy, and therefore he conceives it may be in these particulars.

p. 26.First, a Monarch in a mixed Monarchy may be said to be a Monarch (as he conceives) if he be the head & fountain of the power which governs & executes the established Laws, that is, a man may be a Monarch though he doe but give power to others to govern and execute the established Laws, thus he brings his Monarch one step or peg lower still then he was before: at first he made us believe his Monarch should have the Supream power, which is the legislative; then he falls from that, and tells us, A limited Monarch must govern according to law onely; thus he is brought from the legislative to the gubernative or executive power only; nor doth he stay here, but is taken a hole lower, for now he must not govern, but he must constitute Officers to govern by laws; if chusing Officers to govern be governing, then our Author will allow his Monarch to be a Governour, not else: and therefore he that divided Supream power into legislative and gubernative, doth now divide it into legislative and power of constituting Officers for governing by Laws, and this he saith is left to the Monarch. Indeed you have left him a faire portion of power, but are we sure he may enjoy this? it seems our Author is not confident in this neither,p. 38. and some others doe deny it him: our Author speaking of the government of this Kingdome, saith, The choice of the Officers is intrusted to the judgement of the Monarch for ought I know, he is not resolute in the point, but for ought he knows; and for ought I know his Monarch is but titular, an empty title, certaine of no power at all.

The power of chusing Officers only, is the basest of all powers; Aristotle (as I remember) saith, The common people are fit for nothing but to chuse Officers, and to take accompts: and indeed, in all popular governments the multitude perform this work: and this work in a King puts him below all his Subjects, and makes him the onely Subject in a Kingdome, or the onely man that cannot Govern: there is not the poorest man of the multitude but is capable of some Office or other, and by that means may sometime or other perhaps govern according to the laws, onely the King can be no Officer but to chuse Officers, his Subjects may all Governe, but he may not.

Next, I cannot see how in true sense our Author can say, his Monarch is the head, and fountain of power, since his doctrine is, that in a limited Monarchy, the publick society by originall constitution confer on one man power, is not then the publick society the head and fountain of power, and not the King?

Again, when he tels us of his Monarch, that both the other States as well conjunctim as divisim be his sworn subjects, and owe obedience to his commands: he doth but flout his poor Monarch, for why are they called his Subjects and his Commons? he (without any complement) is their Subject, for they as Officers, may governe and command according to Law: but he may not, for he must judge by his judges in Courts of Justice onely: that is, he may not judge or governe at all.

2. As for the second particular, the sole or chiefe power in capacitating persons for the Surpeame power. And

3. As to this third particular, the power of convocating such persons, they are both so far from making a Monarch, that they are the only way to make him none, by choosing and calling others to share in the Supreame power.

4. Lastly, concerning his Authority being the last and greatest in the establishing every Act, It makes him no Monarch, except he be sole that hath that Authority: neither his primity of share in the Supreame power, nor his Authority being last, no, nor his having the greatest Authority doth make him a Monarch, unlesse he have that Authority alone.

Besides, how can he shew that in his mixed Monarchy the Monarchs power is the greatest? The greatest share that our Author allowes him in the legislative power is a negative voice, and the like is allowed to the Nobility and Commons: And truly a negative voice is but a base tearme to expresse a Legislative power, a Negative voice is but a privative power, or indeed no power at all to do any thing, onely a power to hinder an Act from being done.

p. 26.Wherefore I conclude not any of his four, nor all of them put into one person makes the state Monarchicall.

This mixed Monarchy just like the limited ends in confusion & destruction of all Government: you shall hear the Authors confession: That one inconvenience must necessarily be in all mixed Governments, which I shewed to be in limited Governmẽts,p. 28. there can be no constituted legall Authorative Judge of the fundamentall controversies arising between the three Estates: If such do rise it is the fatall disease of those Governments for which no salve can be applied. It is a case beyond the possible provision of such a Government, of this question there is no legall judge. The accusing side must make it evident to every mans conscience ——— the appeale must be to the community, as if there were no Government, and as by evidence consciences are convinced they are bound to give their assistance. The wit of man cannot say more for Anarchy.

Thus have I picked out the flowers out of his Doctrine about limited Monarchy, and presented them with some brief Annotations, it were a tedious worke to collect all the learned contradictions, and ambiguous expressions that accur in every page of his platonique Monarcy, the booke hath so much of fancy that it is a better piece of Poetry then Policy.

Because many may thinke that the maine doctrine of limited and mixed Monarchy may in it self be most authenticall and grounded upon strong and evident reason; although our Author perhaps have failed in some of his expressions, and be liable to exceptions. Therefore I will be bold to enquire whether Aristotle could find either reason or example of a limited or mixed Monarchy, and the rather because I find our Author altogether insists upon a rationall way of justifying his opinion. No man I thinke will deny but that Aristotle was sufficiently curious in searching out the severall formes of Common-wealths and Kingdomes, yet I do not find that he ever so much as dreamed of either a limited or mixed Monarchy: Severall other sorts of Monarchies he reckons up. In the third booke of his Politiques he spends three whole Chapters together upon the severall kindes of Monarchy.

First, in his fourteenth Chapter he mentions four kindes of Monarchy.

  • The Laconique or Lacedemonian.
  • The Barbarique.
  • The Æsymneticall.
  • The Heroique.

The Laconique or Lacedemonian King (saith he) had only Supreame power when he was out of the bounds of the Lacedemonian territories, then he had absolute power, his Kingdome was like to a perpetuall Lord Generall of an Army.

The Barbarique King (saith Aristotle) had a power very neere to tyranny, yet they were lawfull and paternall, because the Barbarians are of a more servile nature then the Grecians, and the Asiatiques then the Europeans, they do willingly without repining live under a masterly Government, yet their government is stable, and safe because they are paternall and lawfull Kingdomes, and their guardes are Royall and not tyrannicall, for Kings are guarded by their owne Subjects, and Tyrants are guarded by strangers.

The Æsymneticall King (saith Arist.) in old time in Greece, was an elective Tyrant, and differed only from the Barbarian Kings in that he was elective and not paternall, these sorts of Kings because they were tyrannicall were Masterly: but because they were over such as voluntarily elected them they were Regall.

The Heroique were those (saith Aristotle) which flourished in the heroicall times, to whom the people did willingly obey, and they were paternall and lawfull, because these Kings did deserve well of the multitude either by teaching them arts, or by warring for them, or by gathering them together when they were dispersed, or by dividing lands amongst them: These Kings had Supreame power in war, in sacrifices, in Judicature.

These four sorts of Monarchy hath Aristotle thus distinguished, and after summes them up together, and concludes his Chapter as if he had forgot himself, and reckons up a fift kind of Monarchy, which is saith he, when one alone hath Supreame power of all the rest, for as there is a domesticall Kingdome of one house, so the Kingdome of a City, or of one or many Nations is a family.

These are all the sorts of Monarchy that Aristotle hath found out, and he hath strained hard to make them so many: First for his Lacedemonian King, himselfe confesseth that he was but a kind of military Commander in war, and so in effect no more a King then all Generals of Armies: And yet this No-King of his was not limited by any Law, nor mixed with any companions of his Government, when he was in the wars out of the confines of Lacedemon, he was as Aristotle stiles him Αupsgrγοkappavrhocedgrάτωrhocedgr, of full and absolute command, no Law, no companion to govern his Army but his owne will.

Next for Aristotles Æsymneticall King, it appears he was out of date in Aristotles time, for he saith, he was amongst the ancient Greekes epsgrν τοipergrς apsgrrhocedgrχαίοις epsgrUCλλησιν. Aristotle might well have spared the naming him (if he had not wanted other sorts) for the honour of his owne Nation: for he that but now told us the Barbarians were of a more servile nature then the Græcians, comes here and tels us that these old Greeke Kings were elective tyrants. The Barbarians did but suffer tyrants in shew, but the old Græcians choose tyrants indeed: which then must we thinke were the greater slaves, the Greeks or the Barbarians? Now if these sorts of Kings were tyrants, we cannot suppose they were limited either by Law, or joyned with companions: Indeed Arist. saith some of these tyrants were limited to certaine times and actions, for they had not all their power for terme of life, nor could meddle but in certaine businesses, yet during the time they were tyrants, and in the actions whereto they were limited, they had absolute power to do what they list, according to their owne will, or else they could not have been said to be tyrants.

As for Aristotles Heroicke King, he gives the like note upon him that he did upon the Æsymnet, that he was in old time χτι παigrgr eepsgrgrrhocedgrωιkappav[illegible letter]ς χ[illegible letter][illegible letter]ν[illegible letter]ς in the heroick times. The thing that made these heroicall Kingdomes differ from other sorts of Kingdomes, was only the meanes by which the first Kings obtained their Kingdomes, and not the manner of Government, for in that they were as absolute as other Kings were without either limitation by law, or mixture of companions.

Lastly as for Arist. Barbaricke sort of Kings, since he reckoned all the world Barbarians except the Græcians, his Barbaricke King must extend to all other sorts of Kings in the world, besides those of Greece, and so may go under Aristotles fift sort of Kings, which in generall comprehends all other sorts, and is no speciall forme of Monarchy.

Thus upon a true accompt it is evident that the five severall sorts of Kings, mentioned by Aristotle are at the most but different, and accidentall meanes of the first obtaining or holding of Monarchies; and not reall or essentiall differences of the manner of Government, which was alwayes absolute, without either limitation or mixture.

I may be thought perhaps to mistake, or wrong Aristotle in questioning his diversities of Kings: but it seemes Aristotle himselfe was partly of the same minde, for in the very next Chapter when he had better considered of the point, he confessed that to speake the truth, there were almost but two sorts of Monarchies worth the considering, that is his first or Laconique sort, and his fift or last sort where one alone hath Supreame power over all the rest: thus he hath brought his five sorts to two. Now for the first of these two, his Lacedemonian King he hath confessed before, that he was no more then a Generalissimo of an Army, and so upon the mater no King at all; and then there remaines onely his last sort of Kings, where one alone hath the Supreame power. And this in substance is the finall resolution of Aristotle himself, for in his sixteenth Chapter where he delivers his last thoughts touching the kindes of Monarchy, he first dischargeth his Laconick King from being any sort of Monarchy: and then gives us two exact rules about Monarchy, and both these are point blanke against limited and mixed Monarchy, therefore I shall propose them to be considered of, as concluding all Monarchy to be absolute and arbitrary.

Arist. pol. l. 3. c. 16.1. The one rule is, that he that is said to be a King according to Law, is no sort of government or Kingdome at all: opsgrUC [illegible letter]τι νόμον [illegible letter]αοιλegrgrυς upsgrkappav epsacgrςigrgrν epsgrigrgrδ[illegible letter] πολο[illegible letter]ίιας.

2. The second rule is, that a true King is he that ruleth all according to his owne will, [illegible letter]τι τeegrgrν apsgrυ[illegible letter][illegible letter] β[illegible letter]ληοιν.

This latter frees a Monarch from the mixture of partners or sharers in government, as the former rule doth from limitation by lawes.

Thus in briefe I have traced Aristotle in his crabbed and broken passages touching diversities of Kings, where first he findes but four sorts, and then he stumbles upon a fift, and in the next Chapter contents himselfe onely with two sorts of Kings, but in the Chapter following concludes with one, which is the true perfect Monarch who rules all by his own will: In all this we find nothing for a regulated or mixed Monarchy, but against it.

Moreover whereas the Author of the treatise of Monarchy affirmes it as a prime principle that all Monarchies (except that of the Jewes) depend upon humane designment, when the consent of a society of men, and a fundamentall contract of a Nation, by originall or radicall constitution confers power. He must know that Arist. searching into the originall of government shewes himselfe in this point a better Divine then our Author, and as if he had studied the book of Genesis, teacheth that Monarchies fetch their petigree from the right of fathers, and not from the gift or contract of people, his words may thus be englished. At the first Cities were Governed by Kings, and so even to this day are Nations also: for such as were under Kingly Government did come together, for every house is governed by a King who is the eldest, and so also Colonies are governed for kindred sake. And immediately before he tels us that the first society made of many houses is a village, which naturally seemes to be a Colonie of a house, which some call fosterbrethren, or Children, and Childrens Children.

So in conclusion we have gained Aristotles judgement in three maine, and essentiall points.

  • 1A King according to Law makes no kind of Government.
  • 2A King must rule according to his own will.
  • 3The originall of Kings, is from the right of Fatherhood.

What Aristotles judgement was two thousand years since, is agreeable to the doctrine of the great modern politician Bodin: Heare him touching limited Monarchy; Unto Majesty or Soveraignty (saith he) belongeth an absolute power not subject to any Law. ——— chief power given unto a Prince with condition is not properly Soveraignty or power absolute: Except such conditions annexed to the Soveraignty, be directly comprehended within the laws of God and nature. ——— Albeit by the sufferance of the King of England, controversies between the King and his people are sometimes determined by the high Court of Parliament, and sometimes by the Lord Chief Justice of England: yet all the estates remaine in full subjection to the King, who is no wayes bound to follow their advise, neither to consent to their requests. ——— It is certaine that the lawes, priviledges, and grants of Princes have no force but during their life, if they be not ratified by the expresse consent, or by sufferance of the Prince following, especially Priviledges. ——— Much lesse should a Prince be bound unto the Laws he maketh himself, for a man may well receive a Law from an other man, but impossible it is in nature for to give a Law unto himself, no more then it is to command a mans self in a matter depending of his owne will. The Law saith, Nulla obligatio consistere potest, qua à voluntate promittentis statum capit. The Soveraigne Prince may derogate unto the laws that he hath promised and sworn to keep, if the equity thereof be ceased, and that of himself without the consent of his subjects, ——— the Majesty of a true Soveraigne Prince is to be known when the estates of all the people assembled in all humility present their requests and supplications to their Prince, without having power in any thing to command, determine or give voice, but that that which it pleaseth the King to like, or dislike, to command or bid is holden for Law: wherein they which have written of the duty of Magistrates have deceived themselves in maintaining that the power of the people is greater then the Prince: a thing which causeth oft true subjects to revolt from their obedience to their Prince, and ministreth matter of great troubles in Common-wealths, of which their opinion there is neither reason nor ground, for if the King be subject unto the assemblies and decrees of the people, he should neither be King nor Soveraigne, and the Common-wealth neither Realme nor Monarchy, but a meer Aristocracy ——— So we see the principall point of Soveraigne Majesty and absolute power to consist principally in giving Laws unto the Subjects in generall without their consent. Bodin de Rep. l. 1. c. 8.

To confound the state of Monarchy, with the popular or Aristocratically estate is a thing impossible, and in effect incompatible, and such as cannot be imagined for Soveraignty being of it self indivisible, how can it at one and the same time be divided betwixt one Prince, the Nobility, and the people in Common? The first marke of Soveraigne Majesty is to be of power to give Laws, and to command over them unto the subjects, and who should those subjects be that should yeild their obedience to the Law, if they should have also power to make the Laws? who should he be that could give the Law? being himself constrained to receive it of them unto whom himself gave it? so that of necessity we must conclude, that as no one in particular hath the power to make the Law in such a state, that then the state must needs be a state popular. ——— Never any Common-wealth hath been made of an Aristocracie, and popular estate much lesse of the three estates of a Common-weal ——— such states wherein the rights of Soveraignty are divided, are not rightly to be called Common-weals, but rather the corruption of Common-weals, as Herodotus has most breifly, but truly written ——— Common-weales which change their state, the Soveraigne right and power of them being divided find no rest from Civill wars and broiles, till they againe recover some one of the three formes, and the Soveraignty be wholy in one of the states or other ——— where the rights of the Soveraignty are divided betwixt the Prince and his Subjects, in that confusion of state there is still endlesse stirs and quarrels for the superiority, untill that some one, some few or altogether have got the Soveraignty. Id. lib. 2. c. 1.

This Judgment of Bodins touching Limited and Mixed Monarchy is not according to the mind of our Author, nor yet of the Observator, who useth the strength of his wit to overthrow Absolute and Arbitrary Government in this Kingdome, and yet in the main body of his discourse lets fall such truths from his pen as give a deadly wound to the Cause he pleads for, if they be indifferently waighed and considered, I will not pick a line or two here and there to wrest against him, but will present a whole Page of his Book, or more together, that so we may have an entire prospect upon the Observators mind, Without society (saith the Observator) men could not live, without Laws men could not be sociable; and without Authority somewhere to judge according to Law, Law was vaine: It was soone therefore provided, that Laws according to the dictate of reason should be ratified by common consent: when it afterward appeared, that man was yet subject to unnaturall distruction by the tyranny of entrusted Magistrates, a mischief almost as fatall as to be without all Magistracy. How to provide a wholsome remedy therefore was not so easie to be invented, it was not difficult to invent Laws for the limiting of Supream Governors, but to invent how those laws should be executed, or by whom interpreted, was almost impossible, Nam quis Custodiet ipsos Custodes, to place a Superior above a Supream was held unnaturall; yet what a lifelesse thing would Law be without any Judge to determine and force it? If it be agreed upon, that limits should be prefixed to Princes and Judges to decree according to those limits, yet an other inconvenience will presently affront us: for we cannot restrain Princes too far, but we shall dis-able them from some good: long it was ere the world could extricate it selfe out of all these extremities, or find out an orderly means whereby to avoid the danger of unbounded Prerogative on this hand, and to excessive liberty on the other, and scarce has long experience yet fully satisfied the minds of all men in it. In the Infancy of the world when man was not so artificiall and obdurate in cruelty and oppression as now, and policy most rude. Most Nations did chuse rather to subject themselves to the meer discretion of their Lords, then rely upon any limits, and so be ruled by Arbitrary Edicts then written Statutes. But since tyranny being more exquisite, and policy more perfect, especially where learning and Religion flourish, few Nations will endure the thraldome which usually accompanies unbounded and unconditionate Royalty: Yet long it was ere the bounds and conditions of Supream Lords was so wisely determined or quietly conserved as now they are: for at first when as Euphori, Tribuni, Curatores, &c. were erected to poise against the seale of Soveraignty, much blood was shed about them, and States were put into new broiles by them, and some places the remedy proved worse then the disease. In all great distresses the body of the people were ever constrained to rise, and by force of the Major party to put an end to all intestine strifes, and make a redresse of all publike grievances: But many times calamities grew to a strange height before so cumbersome a body could be raised, and when it was raised, the motions of it were so distracted and irregular, that after much spoile and effusion of blood, sometimes only one tyranny was exchanged for another: till some was invented to regulate the motions of the peoples molimenous body. I think arbritrary rule was most safe for the world: But Now since most Countries have found an art and peaceable order for publick Assemblies, whereby the people may assume its owne power to do it selfe right without disturbance to it self or injury to Princes: He is very unjust that wil oppose this art or order. That Princes may not be Now beyond all limits and laws, nor yet to be tied upon those limits by any private parties: The whole community in its underived Majesty shall convene to do justice, and that the convention may not be without intelligence, certaine times and places, and formes, shall be appointed for it reglement, and that the vastnesse of its own bulke may not breed confusion, by vertue of election and representation, a few shall act for many, the wise shah consent for the simple, the vertue of all shall redound to some, and the prudence of some shall redound to all: and surely as this admirably composed Court which is now called a Parliament, is more regularly and orderly formed then when it was called mickle Synod of Wittena-gemot, or when this reall body of the people did throng together at it: so it is not yet perhaps without some defects which by art and policy might receive farther amendment: some divisions have sprung up of late between both Houses, and some between the King and both Houses by reason of incertainty of jurisdiction, and some Lawyers doubt how far the Parliament is able to create new formes and precedents, and has a jurisdiction over it self: All these doubts would be solemnly solved: But in the first place the true priviledges of Parliament belonging not only to the being and efficacy of it, but to the honor and complement of it would be clearly declared, for the very naming of priviledges of Parliament, as if they were chimeras to the ignorant sort, and utterly unknown unto the learned, hath been entertained with soorne since the beginning of this Parliament.

In this large passage taken out of the Observator which concernes the originall of all Government, two notable Propositions may be principally observed.

First, our Observator confesseth arbitrary or absolute government to be the first, and the safest government for the world.

Secondly, he acknowledgeth that the jurisdiction is uncertaine and the priviledges not cleerely declared of limited Monarchy.

These two evident truths delivered by him, he labours mainely to disguise. He seemes to insinuate that arbitrary Government was but in the infancy of the World, for so he termes it, but if we enquire of him, how long he will have this infancy of the world to last, he grants it continued above three thousand years, which is an unreasonable time for the world to continue under age: for the first opposers he doth find of arbitrary power were the ephori, tribuni, curatores, &c. The ephori were above three thousand years after the Creation, and the tribuni were later; as for his curatores I know not whom he meanes, except the Master of the Court of Wards. I cannot English the word curator better. I doe not believe that he can shew that any curatores or et cæteras which he mentions were so ancient as the ephori. As for the tribuni he mistakes much if he thinkes they were erected to limit and bound Monarchy, for the state of Rome was at the least Aristocraticall (as they call it) if not popular, when tribunes of the people were first hatched. And for the Ephori, their power did not limit or regulate Monarchy, but quite take it away; for a Lacedemonian King in the judgement of Aristotle was no King indeed, but in name onely, as Generalissimo of an Army, and the best polititians reckon the Spartan Common-wealth to have been Aristocraticall and not Monarchicall, and if a limited Monarchy cannot be found in Lacedemon, I doubt our Observator will hardly find it any where else in the whole World; and in substance he confesseth as much when he saith, Now most Countries have found out an art and peaceable order for publique Assemblies, as if it were a thing but new done, and not before, for so the word Now doth import.

The observator in confessing the Jurisdiction to be incertaine and the priviledges undetermined of that Court that should bound and limit Monarchy, doth in effect acknowledge there is no such Court at all: for every Court consists of Jurisdictions and Priviledges, it is these two that create a Court, and are the essentials of it: If the admirably composed Court of Parliament have some defects which may receive amendment, as he saith, and if those defects be such as cause divisions both between the Houses, and between the King and both Houses, and these divisions be about so maine a matter as Jurisdictions, and Priviledges, and power to create new Priviledges, all which are the fundamentals of every Court, (for untill they be agreed upon, the act of every Court may not onely be uncertaine, but invalid, and cause of tumults and sedition:) And if all these doubts & divisions have need to be solemnly solved, as our Observator confesseth: Then he hath no reason at all to say that Now the conditions of Supream Lords are wisely determined and quietly conserved, or that Now most Countries have found out an art, and peaceable order for publick affaires, whereby the people may resume its own power to do it self right without injurie unto Princes, for how can the underived Majesty of the people by assuming its own power, tell how to do her selfe right, or how to avoid doing injury to the Prince, if her jurisdiction be uncertain, and Priviledges undetermined?

He tels us Now most Countries have found an art, and peaceable order for publick Assemblies: and to the intent, that Princes may not be Now beyond all limits and Laws, the whole community in its underived Majesty shall convene to do Justice. But he doth not name so much as one Country or Kingdome that hath found out this art, where the whole Community in its underived Majesty did ever convene to do Justice. I challenge him or any other for him to name but one Kingdome that hath either Now or heretofore found out this art or peaceable order; We do hear a great rumor in this age of moderated and limited Kings, Poland, Sweden, and Denmark are talked of for such; and in these Kingdomes, or no where is such a moderated Government, as our Observator meanes, to be found. A little enquiry would be made into the manner of the Government of these Kingdomes, for these Northern people, as Bodin observeth, breathe after liberty.

First for Poland, Boterus saith, that the Government of it, is elective altogether, and representeth rather an Aristocracie then a Kingdome: the Nobility who have great authority in the Diets, chusing the King, and limiting His Authority, making His Soveraignty but a slavish Royalty: these diminutions of regality began first by default of King Lewis, and Jagello, who to gaine the succession in the Kingdome contrary to the Laws, one for his daughter, and the other for his son, departed with many of his Royalties and prerogatives, to buy the voices of the Nobility. The French Author of the book called the Estates of the world, doth informe us that the Princes Authority was more free, not being subject to any Laws, and having Absolute Power, not onely of their estates, but also of life, and death: Since Christian Religion was received, it began to be moderated, first by holy admonitions of the Bishops and Clergy: and then by services of the Nobility in war: Religious Princes gave many Honours, and many liberties to the Clergy and Nobility, and quit much of their Rights, the which their successors have continued. The superiour dignity is reduced to two degrees, that is, the Palatinate and the Chastelleine, for that Kings in former times did by little and little call those men to publike consultations, notwithstanding that they had absolute power to do all things of themselves, to command, dispose, recompence and punish of their own motions: since, they have ordained that these dignities should make the body of a Senate. The King doth not challenge much right and power over His Nobility, nor over their estates, neither hath he any over the Clergy. And though the Kings Authority depends on the Nobility for His election, yet in many things it is absolute after he He is chosen: He appoints the Diets at what time and place He pleaseth, He chooseth Lay Councelors, and nominates the Bishops and whom He will have to be His Privy Counsell: He is absolute disposer of the Revenews of the Crown: He is absolute establisher of the decrees of the Diets: it is in His power to advance and reward whom He pleaseth He is Lord immediate of His Subjects, but not of His Nobility: He is Soveraigne Judge of His Nobility in criminall causes. The power of the Nobility daily encreaseth, for that in respect of the Kings election they neither have law, rule, nor forme to do it, neither by writing nor tradition. As the King governs His Subjects which are immediately His with absolute Authority, so the Nobility dispose immediately of their vassals, over whom every one hath more then a regall power, so as they entreat them like slaves. There be certaine men in Poland who are called Earthly Messengers or Nuntios, they are as it were Agents of Jurisdictions, or circles of the Nobility: these have a certaine Authority, and as Poterus saith, in the time of their Diets these men assemble in a place neer to the Senate House, where they choose two Marshals by whom but with a tribune-like authority they signifie unto the Counsell what their requests are. Not long since their authority and reputation grew so mightily, that they now carry themselves as heads and governours, rather then officers and ministers of the publike decrees of the State: One of the Counsell refused his Senators place to become one of these officers. Every Palatine, the King requiring it cals together all the Nobility of His Palatinate, where having propounded unto them the matters whereon they are to treate, and their will being known, they choose four or six out of the company of the Earthly Messengers, these deputies meet and make one body, which they call the order of Knights.

This being of late years the manner and order of the government of Poland, it is not possible for the Observator to find among them that the whole community in its underived Majesty doth ever convene to do Justice: nor any election or representation of the Community, or that the people assume its owne power to do it self right. The Earthly Messengers though they may be thought to represent the Commons, and of late take much upon them, yet they are elected and chosen by the Nobility as their agents and officers. The Community are either vassals to the King, or to the Nobility, and enjoy as little freedome or liberty as any Nation. But it may be said perhaps, that though the Community do not limit the King, yet the Nobility do, and so he is a limited Monarchy. The Answer is, that in truth though the Nobility at the choosing of their King do limit his power, and do give him an oath: yet afterwards they have alwayes a desire to please him and to second his will, and this they are forced to do to avoid discord, for by reason of their great power they are subject to great dissentions, not only among themselves, but between them and the order of Knights which are the earthly messengers: yea the Provinces are at discord one with another: and as for Religion, the diversity of Sects in Poland bred perpetuall jars and hatred among the people, there being as many Sects as in Amsterdam it self, or any popular government can desire. The danger of sedition is the cause, that though the Crown depends on the election of the Nobility; yet they have never rejected the Kings successour, or transferred the Realme to any other family but once, when deposing Ladistaus for his idlenesse (whom yet afterward they restored) they elected Wencelaus King of Bohemia. But if the Nobility do agree to hold their King to his conditions, which is not to conclude any thing but by the advise of his Counsell of Nobles, nor to choose any wife without their leaves, then it must be said to be a Common-weal, not a Royalty, and the King but only the mouth of the Kingdome, or as Queen Christina complained that Her Husband was but the shadow of a Soveraigne.

Next, if it be considered how the Nobility of Poland came to this great power; it was not by any originall contract, or popular convention, for it is said they have neither Law, rule nor forme written or unwritten for the election of their King; they may thanke the Bishops and Clergy: for by their holy admonitions and advise, good and Religious Princes to shew their piety were first brought to give much of their Rights and Priviledges to their Subjects, devout Kings were meerely cheated of some of their Royalties. What power soever generall Assemblies of the Estates claime, or exercise over and above the bare naked act of Counselling, they were first beholding to the Popish Clergy for it: it is they first brought Parliaments into request and power: I cannot find in any Kingdome but onely where Popery hath been, that Parliaments have been of reputation, and in the greatest times of Superstition they are first mentioned.

As for the Kingdome of Denmarke I read that the Senators who are all chosen out of the Nobility, and seldome exceed the number of 28, with the cheif of the Realme do choose their King. They have alwaies in a manner set the Kings eldest Son upon the Royall Throne. The Nobility of Denmarke withstood the Coronation of Frederick 1559, till he sware not to put any Noble man to death untill he were judged of the Senat, & that all Noble men should have power of life and death over their Subjects without appeal, and the King to give no office without consent of the Councell. There is a Chancelour of the Realme before whom they do appeal from all the Provinces and Islands, and from him to the King himselfe. I hear of nothing in this Kingdome that tends to popularity; no Assembly of the Commons, no elections, or representation of them.

Sweden is governed by a King heretofore elective, but now made hereditary in Gustavus time: it is divided into Provinces: an appeale lieth from the Vicount of every teritory to a Soveraigne Judge called a Lamen, from the Lamens to the Kings Councell, and from this Councell, to the King himself.

Now let the Observator bethinke himself, whether all, or any of these three Countries have found out any art at all whereby the people or community may assume its owne power, if neither of these Kingdomes have, most Countries have not, nay none have. The people or Community in these three Realms are as absolute vassals as any in the world; the regulating power if any be, is in the Nobility: Nor is it such in the Nobility as it makes shew for. The election of Kings is rather a formality then any real power, for they dare hardly choose any but the Heire, or one of the blood Royall: if they should choose one among the Nobility, it would prove very factious; if a stranger, odious, neither safe. For the Government though the Kings be sworne to raigne according to the Laws, and are not to do any thing without the consent of their Councell in publick affaires: yet in regard they have power both to advance and reward whom they please, the Nobility and Senators do comply with their Kings, and Boterus concludes of the Kings of Poland, who seem to be most moderated, that such as is their valour, dexterity, & wisdome, such is their Power, Authority, and Government. Also Bodin saith, that these three Kingdomes are States changeable and uncertaine, as the Nobility is stronger then the Prince, or the Prince then the Nobility, and the people are so far from liberty, that he saith, Divers particular Lords exact not only customes, but tributes also, which are confirmed and grow stronger, both by long prescription of time, and use of Judgements.

The End.