Commentaries on the Laws of England. in Four Books Volume 1
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from ... Show synopsis This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1793 edition. Excerpt: ...induced a new fettle-ment of the crown. And fo far as this precedent leads, and no farther, we may now be allowed to lay down the law of redrefs againfl public opprefiion. If therefore any-future prince fnould endeavour to fubvert the conditution by breaking the original contract between king and people, Ihould violate the fundamental laT.vs, and fliould withdraw himfelf out of the kingdom; ve are now authorized to declare that this conjunction of circumftances would amount to an abdication, and the throne would be thereby vacant. But it is not for us to fay that any one, or two, of thefe ingredients would, amount to fuch a filiation v for there our precedent would would fail Us, In thefe therefore, or other-circumflancesj which a fertile imagination may i urniili, Gnce both law and hiftory are filent, it becomes us to be filent too; leaving to future generations, whenever neceflity and the fafety of the1 whole (hall require it, the exertion of thofe inherent (though latent) powers of fociety, which no climate, no time, no conftitution, no contract, can ever deftroy or diminish. 246 II. Besides the attribute of fovereignty the law alfd afcribes to the king, in his political capacity, abfolute per-feffiott. The king can do no wrong; Which antient and fundamental maxim is not to be underftood, as if every thing tranfa&ed by the government was of courfe juft and lawful, but means only two things. Firft, that whatevet is exceptionable in the conduct of public affairs is not to be imputed to the king, nor is he anfwerable for it perfonally to his people: for this do&rine would totally deitroy that constitutional independence of the crown, which is necef-fary for the balance of power i7i our free and active, and therefore compounded, conftitution. And, ..