Hutchinson -DA407 .H9 H7 1806

.56 their freedomes against all those usurping lords, that scorn'd to allow them liberty. The nobillity of the realme having at first the greate ballance of the lands, and retaining some of that free honorable vertue,· for which they were exalted above the vulgar, ever stood up in the people's defence and curb'd the wild ambition of the tyrants, whom they sometimes reduc'd to· moderation, and sometimes depos'd for their misgovernments, till a t length, the kings, eager to. breake this yoake, had insensibly worne out the interest of the nobillity, by drawing them to their eourts, where luxuries melted away the greate estates of some, others were · destroy'd by confiscations in divers civill WatTs, and others otherwaycs mould'red with time. While the kings were glad to see the abate-. ment of that power, which had bene such a check to their exorbi-. tancies, they perceiv'd not the growing of another more dangerous to them, and that when the nobillity shrunk into empty names, the throne lost its supporters, and had no more but a little puffe of wind to beare it up, when the full body of the people came rolling· in upon it.' The interest of the people, which had bene many yeares growing, made an extraordinary progresse in the dayes of. King Henry the eighth, who returning the vast revenues of the · church into. the body of the people, cast the ba.llance clem:e on.their· 1 It is wonderful that the experience of"so many ages and so many other states had . not been sufficient to warn the princes of the House of Bourbon of this fatal error! ~ l"rom the moment of Cardinal Riche]ien's coming into power under Louis the XIIIth,_ to Neckar's return to power after his rustication under Louis the, the plan of ]owering the power of the noblesse of France had been systematically pursued. The, }ast stroke was given to it when this delusive and deltul ed mini ster advised that unfortunate monarch to give to the commons a double number of representatives in the States General, and to blend. the noblesse with them. It was in vain that the Prince · of Conty gave him a short note of admonition, written on the spur.of the occasion upon, his hat-u Sire, the moment you sign this arret your throne is overturned." He rejected the advice, an<i betrayed the author.