Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/124

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6. That the levying of forces against the personal commands of the King (though accompanied with his presence) is not levying war against the King, but the levying of war against *his politic person,* viz., his laws, &c., though not *accompanied with* his person, is levying war against the King: 7. That treason cannot be committed against his person, otherwise than as he is entrusted with the kingdom and discharges that trust; and that they have a power to judge whether he *have* discharged this trust or not: 8. That they may dispose of the King when they will.

B. This is plain dealing and without hypocrisy. Could the city of London swallow this?

A. Yes; and more too, if need be. London, you know, has a great belly, but no palate nor taste of right and wrong. In the Parliament-roll of Henry IV., amongst the articles of the oath the King at his coronation took, there is one runs thus: Concedes justas leges et consuetudines esse tenendas; et promittis per te eas esse protegendas, et ad honorem Dei corroborandas, quas vulgus elegerit. Which the Parliament urged for their legislative authority, and therefore interpret quas vulgus elegerit, which the people shall choose; as if the King should swear to protect and corroborate laws before they were made, whether they be good or bad; whereas the word signifies no more, but that he shall protect and corroborate such laws as they have chosen, that is to say, the Acts of Parliament then in being. And in the records of the Exchequer it is thus: “Will you grant to hold and keep the laws and rightful customs which the commonalty of this your kingdom have, and will you defend and uphold them? &c.” And this was the answer his Majesty made to that point.

B. And I think this answer very full and clear. But if the words were to be interpreted in the other sense, yet I see no reason why the King should be bound to swear to them. For Henry IV. came to the Crown by the votes of a Parliament not much inferior in wickedness to this Long Parliament, that deposed and murdered their lawful King;