David Hume

The History of England, Volume I

veratodorovahas quotedlast year
Britain either was originally peopled, or was subdued, by the migration of inhabitants from Gaul, and Ireland from Britain: the position of the several countries is an additional reason that favours this conclusion. It appears also probable, that the migration of that colony of Gauls or Celts, who peopled or subdued Ireland, was originally made from the north-west parts of Britain
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
Though these acts of violence against the Jews proceeded much from bigotry, they were still more derived from avidity and rapine. So far from desiring in that age to convert them, it was enacted by law in France, that if any Jew embraced Christianity, he forfeited all his goods, without exception, to the king, or his superior lord. These plunderers were careful, lest the profits, accruing from their dominion over that unhappy race, should be diminished by their conversion
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
King John, his father, once demanded ten thousand marks from a Jew of Bristol; and on his refusal, ordered one of his teeth to be drawn every day till he should comply. The Jew lost seven teeth, and then paid the sum required of him [g]. One talliage paid upon the Jews in 1243 amounted to sixty thousand marks [h]; a sum equal to the whole yearly revenue of the crown.
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
They decreed, that it was unlawful to try ecclesiastics by secular judges; that the clergy were not to regard any prohibitions from civil courts; that lay patrons had no right to confer spiritual benefices; that the magistrate was obliged, without farther inquiry, to imprison all excommunicated persons; and that ancient usage, without any particular grant or charter, was a sufficient authority for any clerical possessions or privileges [p]. About a century before, these claims would have been supported by the court of Rome beyond the most fundamental articles of faith: they were the chief points maintained by the great martyr, Becket; and his resolution in defending them had exalted him to the high station which he held in the catalogue of Romish saints. But principles were changed with the times: the pope was become somewhat jealous of the great independence of the English clergy, which made them stand less in need of his protection, and even imboldened them to resist his authority, and to complain of the preference given to the Italian courtiers, whose interests, it is natural to imagine, were the chief object of his concern.
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
Alexander IV., who succeeded him in the papal throne, continued the same policy; and Henry was surprised to find himself on a sudden involved in an immense debt, which he had never been consulted in contracting. The sum already amounted to one hundred and thirty-five thousand five hundred and forty-one marks, besides interest [y]; and he had the prospect, if he answered this demand, of being soon loaded with more exorbitant expenses; if he refused it, of both incurring the pope's displeasure, and losing the crown of Sicily, which he hoped soon to have the glory of fixing on the head of his son.
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
On pretence of remedying these abuses, Pope Honorius, in 1226, complaining of the poverty of his see as the source of all grievances, demanded from every cathedral two of the best prebends, and from every convent two monks' portions, to be set apart as a perpetual and settled revenue of the papal crown: but all men being sensible that the revenue would continue for ever, the abuses immediately return, his demand was unanimously rejected. About three years after, the pope demanded and obtained the tenth of all ecclesiastical revenues, which he levied in a very oppressive manner; requiring payment before the clergy had drawn their rents or tithes, and sending about usurers, who advanced them the money at exorbitant interest. In the year 1240, Otho, the legate, having in vain attempted the clergy in a body, obtained separately, by intrigues and menaces, large sums from the prelates and convents, and on his departure is said to have carried more money out of the kingdom than he left in it.
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
The avarice, however, more than the ambition, of the see of Rome, seems to have been in this age the ground of general complaint. The papal ministers, finding a vast stock of power amassed by their predecessors, were desirous of turning it to immediate profit which they enjoyed at home, rather than of enlarging their authority in distant countries, where they never intended to reside. Every thing was become venal in the Romish tribunals; simony was openly practised; no favours, and even no justice, could be obtained without a bribe; the highest bidder was sure to have the preference, without regard either to the merits of the person or of the cause; and besides the usual perversions of right in the decision of controversies, the pope openly assumed an absolute and uncontrolled authority of setting aside, by the plenitude of his apostolic power, all particular rules, and all privileges of patrons, churches, and convents.
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
the death of Richard in 1231, the monks elected Ralph de Neville, Bishop of Chichester; and though Henry was much pleased with the election, the pope, who thought that prelate too much attached to the crown, assumed the power of annulling his election [n]. He rejected two clergymen more, whom the monks had successively chosen; and he at last told them, that, if they would elect Edmond, treasurer of the church of Salisbury, he would confirm their choice; and his nomination was complied with. The pope had the prudence to appoint both times very worthy primates; but men could not forbear observing his intention of thus drawing gradually to himself the right of bestowing that important dignity. [FN [m] M. Paris, p. 224. [n] Ibid. p. 254.]
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
When objections were made to this novelty, he replied, that the pope exercised that authority; and why might not he imitate the example? But the abuse which the pope made of his dispensing power, in violating the canons of general councils, in invading the privileges and customs of all particular churches, and in usurping on the rights of patrons, was more likely to excite the jealousy of the people, than to reconcile them to a similar practice in their civil government.
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
he obliged his opulent subjects, particularly the citizens of London, to grant him loans of money; and it is natural to imagine, that the same want of economy which reduced him to the necessity of borrowing, would prevent him from being very punctual in the repayment
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
Though the religion of that age can merit no better name than that of superstition, it served to unite together a body of men who had great sway over the people, and who kept the community from falling to pieces, by the factions and independent power of the nobles; and what was of great importance, it threw a mighty authority into the hands of men, who, by their profession, were averse to arms and violence; who tempered by their mediation the general disposition towards military enterprises; and who still maintained, even amidst the shock of arms, those secret links, without which it is impossible for human society to subsist.
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
pope and his courtiers were foreigners to most of the churches which they governed; they could not possibly have any other object than to pillage the provinces for present gain; and as they lived at a distance, they would be little awed by shame or remorse, in employing every lucrative expedient which was suggested to them.
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
These ideas of chivalry infected the writings, conversation, and behaviour of men, during some ages; and even after they were, in a great measure, banished by the revival of learning, they left modern GALLANTRY and the POINT OF HONOUR, which still maintain their influence, and are the genuine offspring of those ancient affectations
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
The great independence of men made personal honour and fidelity the chief tie among them; and rendered it the capital virtue of every true knight, or genuine professor of chivalry.
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
The feudal institutions, by raising the military tenants to a kind of sovereign dignity, by rendering personal strength and valour requisite, and by making every knight and baron his own protector and avenger, begat that martial pride and sense of honour, which, being cultivated and embellished by the poets and romance-writers of the age, ended in chivalry. The virtuous knight fought not only in his own quarrel, but in that of the innocent, of the helpless, and, above all, of the fair, whom he supposed to be for ever under the guardianship of his valiant arm.
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
Eling, the dean, paid one hundred marks, that his whore and his children might be let out upon bai
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
The Abbot of Hyde paid thirty marks, to have the king's letters of request to the Archbishop of Canterbury, to remove certain monks that were against the abbot.
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
Danegelt was another species of land-tax levied by the early Norman kings, arbitrarily, and contrary to the laws of the Conqueror
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
was believed to have sent an embassy to the Miramoulin, or Emperor of Morocco, and to have offered to change his religion and become Mahometan, in order to purchase the protection of that monarch. But though this story is told us, on plausible authority, by Matthew Paris [f], it is in itself utterly improbable; except that there is nothing so incredible but may be believed to proceed from the folly and wickedness of John.
veratodorovahas quotedlast year
The pope assumed a despotic power over all the churches: their particular customs, privileges, and immunities, were treated with disdain: even the canons of general councils were set aside by his dispensing power: the whole administration of the church was centered in the court of Rome: all preferments ran of course in the same channel: and the provincial clergy saw, at least felt, that there was a necessity for limiting these pretensions. The legate, Nicholas, in filling those numerous vacancies which had fallen in England during an interdict of six years, had proceeded in the most arbitrary manner; and had paid no regard, in conferring dignities, to personal merit, to rank, to the inclination of the electors, or to the customs of the country. The English church was universally disgusted;
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