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appetites of some about him. He put all Italy upon their guard, by the seizing and holding of Ostia, and the protecting of the liberty of Pisa : which made all men suspect, that his purposes looked farther than his title of Naples. He fell too soon at difference with Ludovico Sfortia, who was the man that carried the keys which brought him in, and shut him out. He neglected to extinguish some relicks of the war. And lastly, in regard of his easy passage through Italy without resistance, he entred into an overmuch despising of the arms of the Italians; whereby he left the realm of Naples at his departure so much the less provided. So that not long after his return, the whole kingdom revolted to Ferdinando the younger, and the French were quite driven out. Nevertheless Charles did make both great threats, and great preparations to re-enter Italy once again. Wherefore at the instance of divers of the states of Italy, and especially of Pope Alexander, there was a league concluded between the said Pope, Maximilian King of the Romans, Henry King of England, Ferdinando and Isabella King and Queen of Spain, for so they are constantly placed in the origiral treaty throughout, Augustino Barbadico duke of Venice, and Ludovico Sfortia duke of Milan, for the common defence of their estates : wherein though Ferdinando of Naples was not named as principal, yet, no doubt, the kingdom of Naples was tacitly included as a fee of the church.
There died also this year Cecile duchess of York, mother to King Edward the fourth, at her castle of Barkhamsted, being of extreme years, and who had lived to see three Princes of her body crowned, and four murdered. She was buried at Foderingham, by her husband.
This year also the King called his parliament, where many laws were made of a more private and vulgar nature, than ought to detain the reader of an history. And it may be justly suspected by the proceedings following, that as the King did excel in good commonwealth laws, so nevertheless he had, in secret, a design to make use of them, as well for collecting of treasure, as for correcting of manners; and so meaning thereby to harrow his people, did accumulate them the rather.
The principal law that was made this parliament, was a law of a strange nature ; rather just than legal; and more magnanimous than provident. This law did ordain; That no person that did assist in arms, or otherwise, the King for the time being, should after be impeached therefore, or attainted, either by the course of the law, or by act of parliament. But if any
such act of attainder did happen to be made, it should be void and of none effect; for that it was agreeable to reason of estate, that the subject should not inquire of the justness of the King's title, or quarrel; and it was agreeable to good conscience, that, whatsoever the fortune of the war were, the subject should not suffer for his obedience. The spirit of this law was wonderful pious and noble, being like, in matter of war, unto the spirit of David in matter of plague; who said, If I have sinned,strikeme; but what havethese sheep done? Neither wanted this law parts of prudent and deep foresight; for it did the better take away occasion for the people to busy themselves to pry into the King's title ; for that howsoever it fell, their safety was already provided for. Besides, it could not but greatly draw unto him the love and hearts of the people, because he seemed more careful for them than for himself. But yet nevertheless it did take off from his party that great tie and spur
of necessity, to fight and go victors out of the field; considering their lives and fortunes were put in safety and protected, whether they stood to it or ran away. But the force and obligation of this law was in itself illusory, as to the latter part of it, by a precedent act of parliament to bind or frustrate a future. For a supreme and absolute power cannot conclude itself, neither can that which is in nature revocable be made fixed, no more than if a man should appoint or declare by his will
, tnat if he made any latter will it should be void. And for the case of the act of parliament, there is a notable precedent of it in King Henry the eighth's time; who doubting he might die in the minority of his son, procured an act to pass, That no statute made during the minority of a King, should bind him or his successors, except it were confirmed by the King under his great seal at his full age. But the first act that passed in King Edward the sixth's time, was an act of repeal of that former act; at which time nevertheless the King was minor. But things that do not bind, may satisfy for the time.
There was also made a shoaring or under-propping act for the benevolence: to make the sums which any person had agreed to pay, and nevertheless were not brought in, to be leviable by course of law. Which act did not only bring in the arrears, but did indeed countenance the whole business, and was pretended to be made at the desire of those that had been forward to pay.
This parliament also was made that good law, which gave the attaint upon a false verdict between party and party, which before was a kind of evangile, irremediable. It extends not to causes capital, as well because they are for the most part at the King's suit; as because in them, if they be followed in course of indictment, there passeth a double jury, the indictors, and the triers; and so not twelve men, but four and twenty. But it seemeth that was not the only reason; for this reason holdeth not in the appeal. But the great reason was, lest it should tend to the discourageinent of jurors in cases of life and death; if they should be subject to suit and penalty, where the favour of life maketh against them. It extendeth not also to any suit, where the demand is under the value of forty pounds; for that in such cases of petty value it would not quit the charge, to go about again. • There was another law made against a branch of ingratitude in women, who having been advanced by their husbands, or their husbands ancestors, should alien, and thereby seek to defeat the heirs, or those in remainder, of the lands, whereunto they had been so advanced. The remedy was, by giving power to the next, to enter for a forfeiture.
There was also enacted that charitable law, for the admission of poor suitors in forma pauperis, without fee to counsellor, attorney, or clerk, whereby poor men became rather able to vex than unable to sue. There were divers cther good laws" made that parliament, as we said before; but we still observe our mannery in selecting out those, that are not of a vulgar nature.
The King this while, though he sat in parliament, as in full peace, and seemed to account of the designs of Perkin, who was now returned into Flanders, but as a may-game; yet having the composition of a wise King, stout without, and apprehensivewithin, had given order for the watching of beacons upon the coasts, and erecting more where they stood too thin, and had a careful eye where this wandering cloud would break. But Perkin, advised to keep his fire, which hitherto burned as it were upon green wood, alive with continual blowing; sailed again into Ireland, whence he had formerly departed, rather upon the hopes of France, than upon any unreadiness or discouragement he found in that people. But in the space of time between, the King's diligence and Poyning's commission had so settled things there, as there was nothing left for Perkin, but the blustering affection of wild and naked people. Wherefore he was advised by his council, to seek aid of the King of Scotland, a Prince young and valorous, and in good terms with his nobles and people, and ill affected to King Henry. At this time also both Maximilian and Charles of France began to bear no good will to the King: the one being displeased with the King's prohibition of commerce with Flanders; the other holding the King for suspect, in regard of his late entry into league with the Italians. Wherefore, besides the open aids of the duchess of Burgundy, which did with sails and oars put on and advance Perkin's designs, there wanted not some secret tides from Maximilian and Charles, which did further his fortunes : insomuch as they, both by their secret letters and méssages, recommended him to the King of Scotland.
Perkin therefore coming into Scotland upon those hopes, with a well-appointed company, was by the King of Scots, being formerly well prepared, honourably welcomed, and soon after his arrival admitted to his presence, in a solemn manner : for the King re
ceived him in state in his chamber of presence, accompanied with divers of his nobles. And Perkin well attended, as well with those that the King had sent before him, as with his own train, entered the room where the King was, and coming near to the King,'and bowing a little to embrace him, he retired some paces back, and with a loud voice, that all that were present might hear him, made his declaration in this manner:
High and mighty King, your grace, and these your nobles here present, may be pleased benignly “ to bow your ears, to hear the tragedy of a young “ man, that by right ought to hold in his hand the " ball of a kingdom; but by fortune iş made himself
a ball, tossed from misery to misery, and from place " to place. You see here before you the spectacle of
a Plantagenet, who hath been carried from the nur
sery to the sanctuary; from the sanctuary to the “ direful prison; from the prison to the hand of the “ cruel tormentor; and from that hand to the wide “ wilderness, as I may truly call it, for so the world “ hath been to me. So that he that is born to a great “ kingdom, hath not ground to set his foot upon, “ more than this where he now standeth by your
princely favour. Edward the fourth, late King of
England, as your grace cannot but have heard, left “ two sons, Edward, and Richard duke of York, both
very young. Edward the eldest succeeded their fa" ther in the crown, by the name of king Edward the * fifth : but Richard duke of Glocester, their unna“ tural uncle, first thirsting after the kingdom, through
ambition, and afterwards thirsting for their blood, out “ of desire to secure himself, employed an instrument " of his, confident to him, as he thought, to murder
them both. But this man that was employed to “ execute that execrable tragedy, having cruelly slain
King Edward, the eldest of the two, was moved
partly by remorse, and partly by some other means, “ to save Richard his brother; making a report never“ theless to the tyrant, that he had performed his com", mandment to both brethren. This report was ac
cordingly believed, and published generally: so that