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the life of his king, and preserve him from mortal peril. he does no “nefas,” but acquits himself of his duty toward his sovereign lord. “Et homo est nefas, et perditio, et iniquitas;’ and therefore he who kills such a one, by watching a proper opportunity, does it to save
the life of his king. In regard to that passage which says, “Non facias aliis, &c alterum.
non laedere,’ &c. I reply, that it makes against the tyrant, and in favour of him who slays him; for he (the tyrant) does against his king that which he would not have to be done against himself, “et ipsum regem injuriatur et ladit.' For which reason, he who has put to death such a person, according to his deserts, has done nothing contrary to the laws, but has preserved the meaning of them, namely, true equity and loyalty towards his king and sovereign lord. “To the other quotation from the laws that says, “Hominem occidere capitale esse, omnis usus armorum,’ &c. I answer, that there are no laws nor usages so very general but that there may be some exceptions made from them. I say, that the case of killing a tyrant is exempted, more especially when he is guilty of the crimes before mentioned. How ca: any greater cause of exemption be shown than that, when the murder is done through necessity, to save the king from being put to death ? Even when conspiracies against his royal person have been so far carried by witchcraft and otherwise, that he is disabled from administering justice; and the tyrant being found deserving of that punishment, the king, from weakness of intellect, cannot, or will not, punish him, the killing of him, in such cases, is not against the law, properly speaking, for all laws have two meanings: the first is the textual signification, the other is the “quo animo,'—the person committing a crime has done it, and the law, as intended by those who made it, is to be explained according to the intent of its framers, and not always according to the literal sense. “Thus the philosopher brings forward the example of citizens who made a law for the defence of their city, that no one, under pain of death, should mount the ramparts, because their city was besieged ; and they were afraid, should strangers mount the walls with the inhabitants there might arise danger to them, from these strangers, at a proper opportunity, joining their enemies, or at least making them signs to show where they might the more easily attack the town. It happened, that this town was attacked at several places, when the strangers and pilgrims who were within it, observing the enemy were much superior to the inhabitants, armed themselves and mounted the walls at the weaker parts, when they repulsed the enemy, and saved the town. The philosopher then asks, Since these pilgrims have mounted the walls contrary to the express words of the law, they have infringed it, and should they not be punished 2 I say no; for although they have acted contrary to the literal text of the law, they have not disobeyed the spirit of it, which was the saving of the town, for had they not mounted the walls in its defence, it must have been taken. “As to the laws which declare, that none ought to administer justice but the prince, nor do any deeds of arms without his license,_I maintain, that these laws were made for the preservation of the king's honour and person, and for the public good. Should there exist a tyrant of great power and authority, who is continually practising, by witchcraft and other means, the death of the king, and to deprive him of his kingdom, and should that king, from weakness of intellect or want of force, be unable to punish him, and should he permit him to go on in his wickedness, I should disregard, in this case, the law that forbids me to bear arms without the king's license, or to take the authority into my own hands in a general sense only. What have I to do with the literal sense of it? Am I to leave my king in such peril 7 By no means. I am bound to defend my king, and put to death the tyrant; for should I, by thus acting, do contrary to the text of the law, I follow the spirit of it, and the object it was directed to, namely, the preservation of the honour and life of my king; and I should think myself more deserving of praise than if I had suffered the tyrant to live on in his wickedness. I ought therefore to be rewarded, and not punished, for having done a meritorious deed, tending to a good purpose, for which end all laws were made. “St. Paul says, “Littera occidit, charitas autem aedificat; which means, that to follow the literal sense of the holy Scriptures is death to the soul, but that we ought to obey the true meaning in all charity, that is to say, to mark and accomplish the end for which the divine laws were made. Spiritual edification is a goodly thing. Item, the laws divine, natural and human, give me authority for so doing, and by so doing I am a minister of the divine law; and it is plain, that the objections I have started, as probably to be made against what I have said, are not of any weight. “I come now to my three instances from the holy Scriptures, to confirm the truth of my third fact. In the first place, Moses, without any authority whatever, slew the Egyptian who tyrannised over the Israelites. At this period, Moses had no authority to judge the people of Israel, for this power was not given to him until forty years after the perpetration of this act. Moses, however, was much praised for having done it. ‘Ut patet auctoritate Exodiii. quia tanquam minister legis hoc facit. Ita in proposito in hoc faciendo ego ero minister legis.’ The second instance is that of Phineas, who, without any orders, slew the duke Zambry, as has been related. Phineas was not punished for this, but on the contrary praised, and greatly requited in affection, honour, and riches. In the affection that God showed him, greater than before. In honour, “Quia reputatum est ei adjustitiam,' &c In riches, “Quia per hoc acquisivit actum sacerdotii sempiternum non tantum pro se, sed pro tota tribu sua.” The third instance is that of St. Michael the archangel, who, without waiting for any commands from God, or others, but solely from his natural love, killed the disloyal traitor to his God and Sovereign Lord, because Lucifer was conspiring to invade the sovereignty and honour of God. St. Michael was rewarded for his action in love, honour and wealth. In love, in that God had a stronger affection for him than any other, and confirmed him in his love and grace. In honour, “Quia fecit eum militiae coelestis principem in aeternum.” That is to say, He made him the prince of his angelic chivalry for ever. In wealth, for he gave him riches and glory to his satisfaction Tantum quantum erat capax, de quibus loquitur, “O altitudo divitiarum sapientiae et scientiae Dei, quam incomprehensibilia sunt judicia ejus, et investigabiles via ejus.’ Ad Rom. xi. “Thus my third fact has been proven by twelve reasons. The fourth is, That it is more meritorious, honourable and legal, that a tyrant should be slain by one of the king's relations than by a stranger no way connected with him by blood, by a duke than by a count, by a baron than by a simple knight, and by a knight than by a common subject. “I thus prove my proposition. He who is related to the king has an interest to guard his honour and life against every injurious attempt, and is bounden so to do more than any stranger; and, in like manner, descending from those of high rank to the common subject. Should he fail in this his duty, the more deserving is he of punishment; while, on the contrary, by performing it, he gains the greater honour and renown. “Item in hoc magis relucent amor et obedientia occisoris, vel occidere praecipientis ad principem et dominum suum quia est magis honorabile si fuerit praepotens dux vel comes. Item in hoc magis relucet potentia regis quod est honorabile et quanto occisor vel dictae occisionis praeceptor non fuerit vilior et potentior tanto magis,' &c. In regard to alliances, oaths, promises, and confederations, made between one knight and another, in whatever manner they be, should they be intended to the prejudice of the prince or his children, or the public welfare, no one is bound to keep them ; for, in so doing, he would act contrary to the laws, moral, natural, and divine. I shall now prove the truth of this. Arguendo sic: Bonam acquitatem (dictamen rectae rationis) et legem divinam boni principes in persona publica servare, et utilitatem reipublicae debent praeferre, et praesupponere in omnibus talibus promissionibus, juramentis, et confederationibus: immo excipiuntur implicite secundum dictamen rectae rationis: bonam aequitatem et charitatis ordinem quia alias essetlicitum non obedire principi immo rebellare contra principes, quod est expresse contra sacram Scripturam, quae sic dicit: “Obedite principibus vestris, licet etiam discolis.’ Et alibi: “Subjecti estote regi praecellenti, sive judicibus, tanquam ab eo missis ad vindictam malefactorum, laudem vero bonorum.” 1 Pet. ii. ut sep. allegatum est. Ex illo arguitur sic: Quandocunque occurrunt du obligationes ad invicem contrariae major tenenda est, et minor dissolvenda quantum adhoc sed in casu nostro concurrunt dua obligationes. Et cum obligatio ad principem sit major, et alia minor obligatio ad principem tenenda est, et alia non in tali casu. Item arguendo eandem quaestionem, quandocunque aliquis facit quod est melius quamvis juravit se id non facturum, non est perjurium, sed perjurio contrarium: ut expresse ponit magister senten. tiarum ultima dicti tertii: sed in casu nostro melius est tyrannum in praefato casu occidere quamvis juravit se non occisurum quam presentem vivere ut tactum est superius: ergo occidere tyrannum in praefato casu quamvis juravit se non occisurum non perjurium facit, sed perjurio contrarium. Et consequenter Isidorus in libro de summo bono sic dicit: ‘Id non est observandum sacramentum et juramentum quo malum incaute remittitur, sed in casu nostro male et incaute promittitur. Sed non tenent promissiones jurata vel confoederationes contra principem, uxorem principis, liberos, vel reipublica utilitatem.’ “Seventhly, If any of the above confederations and alliances should turn out to the prejudice of the person so engaging, of his wife or his children, he is not obliged to abide by them. ‘Patet hic veritas per rationes tactas prius et cum hoc probatur sic, quia observare in illo casu confoederationes contra legem charitatis qua quis magis sibi ipsi uxori propriae vel liberis quam posset obligari cuicunque alteri virtute talis promissionis et omnia praecepta et consimilia in ordine ad charitatem patent per apostolum sic dicentem. Finis praecepti est charitas, quia in omnibus casibus et promissionibus intelligitur hoc, si in fide observaverit juxta illud frangenti fidem, &c. Item, subintelligitur si domino placuerit sed certum est quod non placeret Deo cum foret contra legem charitatis, ideo,' &c. “In regard to the seventh proposition, namely, that it is lawful and meritorious for any subject to put to death a traitor that is disloyal to his king, by waylaying him, and whether it be lawful for him to dissemble his purposes, I shall prove it first by the authority of that moral philosopher Boccacio, already quoted, in his second book De Casibus Virorum illustrium, who, in speaking of a tyrant, says, “Shall I honour him as prince 7 shall I preserve my faith to him as my lord? By no means: he is an enemy, and I may employ arms and spies against him.’ This act of courage is holy and necessary; for there cannot be a more agreeable sacrifice to God than the blood of a tyrant. I prove this from holy writ, in the instance of Jehu : ‘Occident te sacerdotes et cultores Baal, ut habetur secundo Reg. x., ubisic dicitur Jehu, “Acab parum coluit Baal, ego autem colam eum amplius.' Et paululum post: Porro Jehu licet insidiose ut disperdat cultores Baal, dicit, Sanctificate diem solennem Baal, &c. et laudatur de hoc. Item de Athalia regina vidente filium suum mortuum “surrexit, et interfecit onne semen regium, ut regnaret,' et Joyadas summus sacerdos insidiose feeit eam occidi. Et de hoc laudatur ut superius tactum est ad longum. Item, Judith occidit Holofernem per insidias. Et etiam de hoc landatur pater familias quod ad zizaniae eradicationem non voluit expectare tempus messis ne triticum simul cum zizaniis eradicaretur, &c. ‘Quod intelligitur in occision etyrannorum per insidias sed et bonam cautelam et debet expectari loci et temporis opportunitas et expleri ne boni eradicentur,’ &c. This is the proper death for tyrants: they ought to be slain by waylaying, or other means improper to be used toward good men; and for this reason, we are bound, in many instances, to preserve our faith to our capital enemy, but not to tyrants. As the reasons for this, urged by doctors, are common, and of some length, I shall pass them over.
“As to witchCRAFT.
“Eighthly, Any subject and vassal who shall imagine and practise against the health of his king and sovereign lord, to put him to death by a languishing disorder, through covetousness to gain his crown and kingdom, -any one who shall cause to be consecrated, or, more properly speaking, to be directed against him swords, daggers, knives, golden rods or rings, dedicated, by means of necromancy, to the devils, or shall make invocations with characters, sorceries, charms, after having thrust sharp instruments into the bodies of dead men hung on a gibbet, and then into the mouths of such malefactors, leaving them there for the space of several days, to the horror of all who detest these abominable practices; and, beside these arts, shall wear near their bodies a piece of cloth, containing the powder of some of the bones of malefactors, sewed up, or tied, with the hair from the secret parts: I say, such as shall commit any crimes similar to the above, are not only guilty of human high treason, in the first degree, but are disloyal traitors to God their Creator, and to their king.
“As idolaters, and false to the catholic faith, they are worthy of the double death, here and in the world to come, even when such sorceries and witchcraft shall fail of then intended effect on the king's person. Quia dicit dominus Bonaventura, lib. ii. d. 6. ‘Diabolus nunquam satisfacit voluntati talium, nisi antequam infidelitas idololatriae immisceatur, sicut enim ad divina miracula plurimum facit fides, &c. Et ideo experientia de effectu praedictarum superstitionum secuta in personam praefati regis probat clare ibi fuisse idololatriam et fidem perversam. Item diabolus nihil faceret ad voluntatem talium in tali casu nisi exhiberetur ei dominium quod multum affectat nec se exhibet ad tales invocationes ipsis invocantibus eum, nisi ipsum adorent et sacrificia et oblationes offerant, aut pacta cum ipsis daemonibus faciant.’ Item, doctor sanctus secunda secundae in xi. articulo secundo dicit ‘quod tales invocationes nunquam sortiuntur effectum nisi fuerit falsa corruptio fidei idololatria et pactio cum daemonibus.” Ejúsdem opinionis videtur esse Alexander de Hallis, Ricardus de Media-villa et Astensis in summa. Et communiter omnes doctores qui de hac materia locuti sunt, et sicut falsarii monetae et pecuniarum regis, &c. “I thus perceive that all the doctors in theology agree in saying, that such sorceries, charms, and witchcraft, can only succeed by the work of the devil, or by his false means;– and that these sorceries, and such like superstitions, have not of themselves the power of hurting any one, but that the devils have the ability to injure any person so far only as shall be permitted them by God. The devils will not do anything for those that call on them, unless they perform three things, namely, pay them divine honour, which ought solely to be paid to God, by offering them homage and adoration, proving themselves false to the holy catholic faith,-and the doing of which makes them guilty of the crime of high treason. “Primum Corollarium. Should it happen, that for the circumstances above stated, any of these invocators of the devil, idolaters, and traitors to the king, should be confined in prison, and that during the time that their process is carried to judgment, any accomplice of their crimes should deliver or cause them to be delivered from prison, he shall be punished just as these idolaters would have been, as guilty of the crime of high treason in the first and fourth degree. “Secundum Corollarium. If any subject who shall give, or promise to give, a large sum of money to another for poisoning the king his sovereign lord, and the bargain be proven and the poisons laid, although they may fail to produce their effects, through the interference of the providence of God or other means,—those who have committed this crime are guilty of being traitors and disloyal to their sovereign, and shall suffer the double death for high treason in the first degree. “Tertium Corollarium. Any subject who, by treachery and hypocrisy, shall during any mummeries, through malice aforethought, procure dresses for his king, and, having clothed him in such dresses, shall cause them to be set on fire, with the intent that the king his sovereign may be burnt in them, so that he may obtain his kingdom, commits high treason in the first degree, is a tyrant and disloyal to his king, and is deserving of the double death, even should his sovereign escape, for the noble and valiant persons who may have been burnt to death in exquisite pain through his means. “Quartum Corollarium est: When any subject and vassal to the king shall make alliances with those who are mortal enemies to his sovereign and kingdom, he cannot exculpate himself from being guilty of treason; more especially when he shall send advice to the men-at-arms of the enemy not to surrender any forts they may have gained in the kingdom, —for that when he shall be employed against them he will afford them succour. And beside, when he not only shall prevent the march of any armies against such enemies, but shall encourage them by secret and underhand means, he is a traitor to his king and country, and is deserving of the double death. “Quintum Corollarium est: If any subject or vassal shall, through deceit and false information, sow the seeds of dissension between the king and queen, by telling the latter that the king hates her so mortally he is determined on having her and her children put to death, and that she has no other remedy to prevent this but flying out of the kingdom with her children; advising her strongly at the same time to put this plan into execution, and offering to conduct her out of the realm to any castle she may please, adding with much subtlety, and by way of caution, that the queen must keep this advice very secret, lest she may be prevented from following it; and if, in order to accomplish this plan, he propose to the queen that she should undertake different pilgrimages, until she be in a place of safety, intending by this means to confine her and her children in some of his prisons, and to gloss it over to the king, so that he may succeed him in his crown and kingdom. Any subject guilty of such a crime commits high treason in the second, third, and fourth degrees. This is such an apparent truth that should I wish to prove it, ‘esset adjuvare coelum facibus.’ “Sertum Corollarium est: If any subject or vassal, through ambition to obtain a crown and kingdom, shall visit the pope, and impose on him, by imputing falsely and wickedly crimes and vices against his king and sovereign lord, which would be blots in his royal issue, concluding thence that such a king is unworthy to reign, and his children unfit to succeed him, and requiring most urgently of the pope that he would issue a declaration to the effect of depriving the king and his children of the crown; and likewise declaring, that the kingdom had devolved to him and his race, requesting that the pope would grant absolution to all the vassals of the realm who should adhere to him, giving them a dispensation for the oaths of fidelity that all subjects are obliged to take to their king, such as may commit the above crime are disloyal traitors to their sovereign, and guilty of high treason in the first and second degrees. “Septimum Corollarium est: If any disloyal subject shall hinder (‘animo deliberato') the union of the church, and counteract the conclusions formed by the king and clergy of this realm for the welfare and security of the holy church, and shall use, among other means, that of force, to induce the pope to incline to his iniquitous way of thinking.—such subject is a traitor to his God, to the holy church, to his king and sovereign lord, and ought to be reputed a schismatic and obstinate heretic. He is worthy of the disgraceful death, insomuch that the earth ought to open under him and swallow him up, like to Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, as we read in the Bible, “Aperta est terra sub pedibus eorum, et aperiens os suum devoravit eos cum tabernaculis suis, descenderuntolue viri eorum in infernum operti humo.' Num. xvi. Psal. “Aperta est terra et deglutivit Dathan,’ &c. “Octavum Corollarium est: Any subject or vassal who shall, through ambition to obtain the crown, practise the death of his sovereign and his children by secret means, such as the poisoning their food, is guilty of high treason in the first and third degrees. “Nonum et ultimum Corollarium est: Every subject or vassal who shall raise a body of men-at-arms, who do nothing but pillage and devour the substance of the people, rob and murder whom they please, and force women, and whose captains are posted in the strong places, castles, passes, and fords and bridges of the said kingdom, and shall moreover impose heavy taxes on the people under the pretext of carrying on the war against a foreign enemy, and, when these taxes have been raised and paid into the king's treasury, shall seize on them by force, and distribute the amount among the enemies and illwishers to the king and kingdom, in order to strengthen himself that he may obtain his damnable ends, namely, the crown and kingdom, every subject who thus acts, ought to be punished as a false and disloyal traitor to the king and realm, and as guilty of high treason in the first and fourth degrees, and deserving of the double death. “Thus ends the first part of my justification of my good lord of Burgundy.
“I come now to declare and prove my minor, in which I shall show, that the late Louis duke of Orleans was devoured with covetousness of vain honours and worldly riches: that to obtain for himself and his family the kingdom and crown of France, by depriving our king of them, he studied all sorts of sorcery and witchcraft, and practised various means of destroying the person of the king, our sovereign lord, and his children. So greatly had ambition and covetousness, and the temptation of the hellish adversary, possessed themselves of him, that, as a tyrant to his king and liege lord, he committed the crime of divine and human high treason, in every manner and degree noticed in my major; that is to say, in the first, second, third, and fourth degrees. In regard to the divine high treason, as that concerns the Sovereign Judge in the heavens, I shall not lay any great stress upon this article, but shall touch upon it incidentally, when I speak of human high treason. I shall therefore