View of the State of Europe During the Middle Ages, Volume 2

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J. Murray, 1822 - Europe - 1666 pages

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Page 425 - No Freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any otherwise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful Judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.
Page 425 - The institutions of positive law, the far more important changes which time has wrought in the order of society, during six hundred years subsequent to the great charter, have undoubtedly lessened its direct application to our present circumstances. But it is still the key-stone of English liberty. All that has since been obtained is little more than as a confirmation or commentary; and if every subsequent law were to be swept away, there would still remain the bold features that distinguish a free...
Page 425 - It has been lately the fashion to depreciate the value of Magna Charta, as if it had sprung from the private ambition of a few selfish barons, and redressed only some feudal abuses.
Page 422 - ... reigns we must have recourse to historians ; whose language, though vague, and perhaps exaggerated, is too uniform and impressive to leave a doubt of the tyrannical character of the government. The intolerable exactions of tribute, the rapine of purveyance, the iniquity of royal courts, are continually in their mouths. " God sees the wretched people," says the Saxon Chronicler, "most unjustly oppressed ; first they are despoiled of their possessions, then butchered.
Page 192 - Many churches possessed seven or eight thousand mansi ; one with but two thousand passed for only indifferently rich. But it must be remarked, that many of these donations are of lands uncultivated and unappropriated. The monasteries acquired legitimate riches by the culture of these deserted tracts, and by the prudent management of their revenues, which were less exposed to the ordinary means of dissipation than those of the laity. Their wealth, continually accumulated, enabled them to become the...
Page 156 - O prophet, I am the man : whosoever rises against thee, I will dash out his teeth, tear out his eyes, break his legs, rip up his belly. O prophet, I will be thy vizir over them.
Page 425 - ... the right of every subject to demand it. That writ, rendered more actively remedial by the Statute of Charles II, but founded upon the broad basis of Magna Charta, is the principal bulwark of English liberty ; and if ever temporary circumstances or the doubtful plea of political necessity shall lead men to look on its denial with apathy, the most distinguishing characteristic of our Constitution will be effaced.
Page 195 - The rural churches, erected successively as the necessities of a congregation required, or the piety of a landlord suggested, were in fact a sort of chapels dependent on the cathedral, and served by itinerant ministers at the bishop's discretion.
Page 8 - Since nothing makes us forget the arbitrary distinctions of rank so much as participation in any common calamity, every man who had escaped the great shipwreck of liberty and religion in the mountains of Asturias, was invested with a personal dignity, which gave him value in his own eyes and those of his country. It is probably this sentiment, transmitted to posterity, and gradually fixing the national character, that has produced the elevation of manner, remarked by travellers, in the Castilian...
Page 360 - No unbiassed observer, who derives pleasure from the' welfare of his species, can fail to consider the long and uninterruptedly increasing prosperity of England, as the most beautiful phenomenon in the history of mankind. Climates more propitious may impart more largely the mere enjoyments of existence, but in no other region have the benefits that political institutions can confer been diffused over so extended a population, nor have any people so well reconciled the discordant elements of wealth,...

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