[Milton-L] Merit and Regicide was Merit, birthright regicide was RE: Not Milton, but a Miltonist in the NYT . . .
Carol Barton, Ph.D., CPCM
cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Thu Aug 4 16:25:00 EDT 2016
Well, yes, Carrol Cox: in an ironic sense, that's true, in Charles' case.
When he was young, he was so fastidious that the ladies at court suspected
him of impotence (at best), a far cry from the conduct of his notoriously
licentious and lascivious father. And in our own era, we have seen men and
women of presumed (or at least supposed) merit fall. But Charles was by
birth rather than by merit rais'd, as was James, and as his father did, he
would have reigned until he died of natural causes, had Cromwell's men not
executed him, bad king or not--so I'm not sure where you were going with
Best to all,
From: Carrol Cox
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2016 2:08 PM
To: 'John Milton Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Merit and Regicide was Merit,birthright regicide was
RE: Not Milton, but a Miltonist in the NYT . . .
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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