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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/611

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REPRESENTATIVE BODIES.

Quite early we may see foreshadowed a tendency to part, determined by unlikeness of functions. In the Carlovingian period in France there were two annual gatherings: a larger, which all the armed freemen had a right to attend; and a smaller, formed of the greater personages and deliberating on more special affairs.

If the weather was fine, all this passed in the open air; if not, in distinct buildings. . . . When the lay and ecclesiastical lords were. . . separated from the multitude, it remained in their option to sit together, or separately, according to the affairs of which they had to treat.

And that unlikeness of functions is the cause of separation we find evidence in other places and times. Describing the armed national assemblies of the Hungarians, originally mixed, Lévy writes: "La dernière reunion de ce genre eut lieu quelque temps avant la bataille de Mohacs; mais bientôt après, la diète se divisa en deux chambres: la table des magnats et la table des députés." In Scotland, again, in 1367-'68, the three estates having met, and wishing, for reasons of economy and convenience, to be excused from their functions as soon as possible, "elected certain persons to hold parliament, who were divided into two bodies, one for the general affairs of the king and kingdom, and another, a smaller division, for acting as judges upon appeals." In the case of England we find that though, in the writs calling together Simon de Montfort's Parliament, no distinction was made between magnates and deputies, yet when, a generation after, Parliament became established, the writs made a distinction, "counsel is deliberately mentioned in the invitation to the magnates, action and consent in the invitation to representatives." Indeed, it is clear that since the earlier-formed body of magnates was habitually summoned for consultative purposes, especially military, while the representatives afterward added were summoned only to grant money, there existed from the outset a cause for separation. Sundry influences conspired to produce it. Difference of language, still to a considerable extent persisting and impeding joint debate, furnished a reason. Then there was the effect of class-feeling, of which we have definite proof. Though in the same assembly, the deputies from boroughs "sat apart both from the barons and knights, who disdained to mix with such mean personages"; and probably these deputies themselves, little at ease in presence of imposing superiors, preferred sitting separately. Moreover, it was customary for the several estates to submit to taxes in different proportions; and this tended to entail consultation among the members of each body by themselves. Finally, we read that "after they (the deputies) had given their consent to the taxes required of them, their business being then finished, they separated, even though the Parliament still continued to sit, and to canvass the national business." In which last fact we are clearly shown that, though aided by other causes, unlikeness of duties was the essential cause which at length