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nec mancipiorum tertiam nec duas terrarum partes ex eo loco, in quo ei hospitalitas fuerat delegata, requireret. But, when this regulation was made, if beneficiary lands could have been resumed at pleasure, or had returned to the Crown on the death of the person who held them, the Leudes of Burgundy must have been in a worse condition than the alodial proprietors, though superior to them in rank and dignity. If this anomaly ever existed, which we can hardly believe, it must have been of short duration. The same code informs us, that at the time when it was promulgated, beneficiary lands had become hereditary property in Burgundy. Among the Visigoths, the Fideles were secured in their benefices and these declared to be their hereditary property, by the decrees of the 5th and 6th Councils of Toledo.
The revolutions of Italy, which, according to the plan adopted by Mr Hallam, follow his account of the feudal system in France, are too numerous and two complicated to be treated with interest and perspicuity in an abridgement like this. Mr Hallam may be forgiven for not accomplishing, in 150 pages, what it has cost M. Sismondi ten volumes to execute. There are, nevertheless, fine passages and interesting details in this chapter; and throughout we find the same spirit of liberality and impartial regard to justice, which are so conspicuous in the other parts of his book. His account of the great struggle between Frederick Barbarossa and the Lombard cities, is given with spirit and animation; and the concluding remarks exhibit an adinirable specimen of the true lessons to be drawn from history.
The successful insurrection of Lombardy,' he observes,' is a memorable refutation of that system of policy to which its advocates give the appellation of vigorous, and which they perpetually hold forth as the only means through which a disaffected people are to be restrained. By a certain class of statesmen, and by all men of harsh and violent disposition, measures of conciliation, adherence to the spirit of treaties, regard to antient privileges, or to those rules of moral justice which are paramount to all positive right, are always treated with derision. Terror is their only specific; and physical inability to rebel, their only security for allegiance. But if the razing of cities, the abrogation of privileges, the impoverishment and oppression of a nation could assure its constant submission, Frederic Barbarossa would never have seen the militia of Lombardy arrayed against him at Legnano. Whatever may be the pressure on a conquered people, there will come a moment of their recoil. Nor is it material to allege, in answer to the present instance, that the acci
* Lex Burgund. Tit. 54.
dental destruction of Frederic's army by disease, enabled the cities of Lombardy to succeed in their resistance. The fact may well be disputed; since Lombardy, when united, appears to have been more than equal to a contest with any German force that could have been brought against her; but, even if we admit the effect of this circumstance, it only exhibits the precariousness of a policy, which collateral events are always liable to disturb.
His account of the feuds and internal dissensions of the Ita lian republics, is written in the same excellent spirit. Their implacable animosities-their merciless proscriptions-the partiality, violence, and ingratitude of their factions, he censures as they deserve; but in comparison with the benefits which liberty conferred upon them, the disorders that ruffled their surface appear slight and momentary. The men and institutions of the fourteenth century are to be measured by their contemporaries. Who would not rather have been a citizen of Florence, than a subject of the Visconti? In a superficial review of history, we are sometimes apt to exaggerate the vices of free states, and to lose sight of those inherent in tyrannical power. The bold censoriousnes of republican historians, and the cautious servility of writers under an absolute monarchy, conspire to mislead us as to the relative prosperity of nations. Acts of outrage and tumultuous excesses in a free state, are blazoned in minute detail, and descend to posterity; the deeds of tyranny are studiously and perpetually suppressed. strongly is he impressed with the evils attendant on slavery, that, in a subsequent passage, he states it as a doubtful problem, whether the sum of general happiness has lost more in the last three centuries, through arbitrary power, than it has gained through regular police and suppression of disorder. '
Florence, the most democratic of the great Italian republics, preserved her freedom, and maintained her station as protector of the general liberties of Italy; while neighbouring cities, less fortunate, or less wisely administered, sunk under the yoke of tyrants, or shrunk into jealous oligarchies. Her turn came at last. Her free constitution fell a sacrifice to the cunning arts of the Medici, whose patronage of letters and encouragement of the arts cannot redeem their name from the infamy of having subverted the most splendid republic that has existed since the days of Athens. It was by the exercise of some virtues, and the affectation of others, that the Medici obtained that fatal popularity which enabled them to cheat their fellow-citizens of their liberties. The hour of their victory was the last of the moderation they had affected. No revolution at Florence was followed by more numerous exiles, polluted by more extensive
confiscations, disgraced by more permanent exclusions, or stained with more noble blood, than the success of the pretended father of his country. Their predecessors, though guilty of occasional acts of violence, had in general respected the legal forms of their free republic; the Medici made all their government conducive to hereditary monarchy.' From the moment this family of profligate hypocrites obtained the supreme authority, the character of Florence was as much changed as that of Rome by the dominion of the Cæsars. The external politics of the State became low and selfish. To secure their own power was the sole object of its new rulers. The republic had been the constant enemy of the Visconti. The Medici became the friends and allies of the Sporzas. The degradation of individuals followed the decline of public principle in the State; and Florence sunk into that abyss of infamy and corruption, from which it has never since emerged.
Mr Hallam seems to have considered the annals of the Visigoths as unworthy his attention; and to this prepossession we must ascribe the mistakes and omissions, into which he has fallen, in his account of Castile. He tells us, for instance, that Roderic of Toledo, one of the earliest Spanish historians,' flourished in the beginning of the 13th century. But, if he had taken the same trouble with the history of Spain, which he has bestowed on the transactions of France, he would have known, that there is a regular succession of Spanish chronicles, and some of them curious and valuable, from Idatius in the 6th century, to the annals of Compostella, and the Latin chronicle of Alonso VIIth in the 12th. He would also have avoided a mistake in his chapter on ecclesiastical usurpations, where he relates the deposal of one Wamba, a King of the Visigoths in Spain, as the first instance of the deposition of a sovereign Prince, by authority of the Church. If he had consulted the Spanish historians, he would have found, that Wamba, being supposed on the point of death, had received the tonsure as a preparation for a better world; and that having submitted to this ceremony, he was rendered incapable of resuming the sceptre by a previous law of the 6th council of Toledo, which enacted, that no person sub religionis habitu detonsus should wear the crown. The successor of Wamba was suspected of having caused his illness, by administering to him certain poisonous drugs; and it was even said, that when Wamba submitted to the tonsure, he was unconscious of what was done to him. It might have been a question, therefore, whether the transaction was not fraudulent, and on that ground Wamba might have reclaimed the crown, if he had been so disposed; but there can be no doubt, that by the existing law, supposing him to
have been fairly tonsured, he was no longer capable of holding he sceptre. Wamba abdicated, or was deposed in 680. The law, by which he was excluded, had been passed in 638, in a council composed, as usual, of Bishops and Palatines. These are not the only mistakes into which Mr Hallam has been led by his contempt of the Spanish historians. He represents Ferdinand I. of Leon and Castile, as master of the whole Hispano-Gothic monarchy.' But, so far from this being true, there were at that time independent Spanish Kings in Navarre, Sobrarbe and Arragon; and, so far from a cessation of hostilities between the Christian States,' enabling the latter to direct their united force against the Moors, there was a sanguinary contest between Ferdinand and his brother Garcia, King of Navarre, in which the latter lost his life, and a considerable part of his dominions.
In this part of his book, Mr Hallam has made excellent use of the valuable works of Marina, of which we gave some account in our former Numbers. He has not scrupled, however, to dissent from that author, when he thinks him in the wrong. Marina, led away by the popular humour prevalent at Cadiz when he published his book, has exerted himself to prove, that after the 13th century, the nobility and clergy ceased to be constituent parts of the Cortes. Mr Hallam combats this opinion as highly improbable, and contrary to the general spirit of the mixed monarchies of Europe. The exclusion of the prelates and nobility from the Cortes, can hardly have been defensible on any constitutional rule, and must, one would imagine, have affected the legality of those few assemblies where it occurred.' This reasoning is plausible, and not entirely to be rejected; but Mr Hallam is not aware of certain peculiarities in the constitution of Castile, which makes it less applicable to that State, than to any other monarchy founded on the free principles brought from the woods of Germany by our ances
The supreme legislative power in Castile was vested in the king, with advice and consent of his subjects; but there seems to have been no fixed or certain rule to determine the class or description of persons, with whose advice and consent he was to exercise this authority. We find, in fact, the greatest possible irregularity in the composition as well as in the forms of proceeding of the legislative assemblies of that kingdom. In early times, after a recital of the persons present in Cortes, the laws are said to have been enacted by the king de universorum consensu; or con consejo e con acuerdo of the princes of the
* In 1208.
blood, prelates, ricos omes, knights of the military orders, and good men of the towns, and other good men there assembled. + But so early as 1286, in the Cortes of Palencia, there are laws enacted on the petition, and by the advice of the deputies of the towns, without any mention of the nobles and clergy, who appear not to have been convoked on that occasion. At the Cortes of Valladolid, in 1293, various important laws were made on the petition of the deputies of the towns of Leon, con acuerdo of the prelates and nobles summoned to Cortes; and
years afterwards, laws are said to be enacted in Cortes, held at the same place, con otorgamiento of the prelates, nobles, and good men of the towns, though none but the last were in fact consulted. In 1299 and 1325, none appear to have been summoned to Cortes except the deputies of the towns; and laws are made, at their petition, by the king, without any mention of the higher orders. But in 1329 we have a very full meeting of Cortes, attended by the prelates, the masters of the military orders, the ricos omes, infanzones, knights, esquires, and deputies of the towns, to whom the king addressed himself as his natural friends, requesting and commanding them to advise and direct him in the government of his kingdom, which he was desirous to administer and reform by their advice. All the members of this assembly appear to have deliberated together, and to have given their joint opinion on the form of petitions, to which in general the king gave his full assent. The Cortes of Burgos in 1301, those of Valladolid in the same year, the Cortes of Medina del Campo in 1305, and those of Valladolid in 1307, had been composed of the same classes of persons; and laws had been enacted by the advice and consent of the whole assembly. But, notwithstanding these precedents, we find Cortes at Burgos in 1338, in which many important laws were passed, attended by the nobles alone, the ricos omes, infanzones and knights, and members of the king's council; and in the following year we have Cortes at Madrid, to which none but deputies of the towns appear to have been summoned. In 1348 we have the beginning of a very important innovation, which was afterwards to make a great and fundamental change in the constitution of Castile. The deputies of all the cities and towns were summoned to meet the king in Cortes at Alcala de Henares; but no letters of convocation were sent to the absent nobles or prelates, none of whom appear to have attended this meeting, except those who were about the person of the king. In 1349 the same practice was followed at the Cortes of Leon.
In 1252 and 1258.