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the Magi declared that the child would be a male; whereupon the royal ensigns were brought forth, they were placed on her majesty's belly, and the princes and the satrapes, prostrate, recognized the embrio monarch,
Some authors would have it believed, that when a family has been once admitted, and an hereditary right to the crown once recognised in it, that right cannot be forfeited, nor that throne become vacant as long as any heir of the family remains. How much more agreeable to truth and to common sense would these authors have written, if they had maintained, that every prince who comes to a crown in the course of succession, were he the last of five hundred, comes to it under the same conditions under which the first took it, and that royal blood can give no right. The first and the last hold by the same tenure.
The notions concerning the divine institution and right of kings, as well as the absolute power belonging to their office, have no foundation in fact or reason, but have risen from an old alliance between ecclesiastical and civil policy. The characters of king and priest have been sometimes blended together: and when they have been divided, as kings have found the great effects wrought in government by the empire which priests obtain over the consciences of mankind, so priests have been taught by experience, that the best method to preserve their own rank, dignity, wealth, and power, all raised upon a supposed
divine right, is to communicate the same pretension to kings, and, by a fallacy common to both, impose their usurpations on a silly world. This they have done, and in the state, as in the church, these pretensions to a divine right have been generally. carried highest by those who have had the least pretension to the divine favour.
A divine right to govern ill, is an absurdity; to assert it, is blasphemy.
SOME are born kings,
Made up of three parts fire; so full of heaven,
Know 'em as soon as seen, by sure instinct,
DRYDEN. Cleomenes, act ii.
Not all the water in the rough rude sea Can wash the balm from an anointed king; The breath of worldly men cannot depose The deputy elected by the Lord!!
Richard II. act iñi.
LET him go, Gertrude; do not fear our person; There's such divinity doth hedge a king,
That treason can but peep to what it would,
Hamlet, act iv.
ARE the lives
Of my misguided people held so light,
That thus thou'dst push them on the keen rebuke Of guarded majesty; where justice waits,
All awful and resistless, to assert
The impervious rights, the sanctitude of kings,
Gustavus. Justice, sanctitude,
And rights! O patience! rights! what rights, thou tyrant ?
Yes, if perdition be the rule of power,
If wrongs give right, O then, supreme in mischief,
Thou wert the lord, the monarch of the world!
Of frank election,
Not even the high anointed hand of Heaven
On reason build misrule, or justly bind
Howe'er his own commence, can never be
But an usurper.
Gustavus Vasa, act ii.
PREROGATIVE! what's that? the boast of
A borrow'd jewel glittering in the crown
Earl of Warwick, act iii.
GRANT she be [a tyrant, an
When from the conqueror we hold our lives
Raymond (his father). Why can you think I
Because he took it not by lawless force?
Torrismond. Not to maintain, but bear 'em un
Kings titles commonly begin by force,
Which time wears off and mellows into right:
Raymond. So diseases are.
Should not a ling'ring fever be remov❜d,
Because it long has rag'd within our blood?
O baseness, to support a tyrant throne,
To espouse the tyrant's person and her crimes,
Spanish Friar, act iv.
THE man, who finds an unknown country out,