[Milton-L] Merit and Regicide was Merit, birthright regicide was RE: Not Milton, but a Miltonist in the NYT . . .
cbcox at ilstu.edu
Thu Aug 4 14:08:02 EDT 2016
Carrol: it’s just to deprive him of his rule—which is why England then and we now have the impeachment process—but not, in most cases, his life. They deprived Charles of his head not because he was having “a bad hair day,” Carl—but because they proved (to their own satisfaction, anyway) that he had committed treason in a variety of ways. So no: in and of itself, the passage Carrol cites does not justify regicide—though it does point up a significant difference between a divine right king, who had God’s sanction to rule even if he were a horrible tyrant (God sending a scourge upon a wayward people) and a King who rules not simply because it’s his birthright as the Son, but is by merit rais’d, because, like the tribal leaders of old, he has defended and protected his people.
My eyes won't let me consult my text of this, but I think the following couplet (from memory) is close:
But Merit will by turns desert them all
Would you know when? Exactly when they fall.
Epilogue to the Satires Dia. II
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