A booke called the Foundacion of Rhetorike Part 20

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You maie as in _Thesis_, whiche was the Oracion before, vse a contradiction or obiection: and to that make an answere or solucion.

-- A confutacion of that Lawe, whiche suffered adultrie to bee punished with death, no iudgement giuen thereupon.

[Sidenote: The moste rigorous and moste cruell lawe of Solo[n][.]]

SOlon, who was a famous Philosopher, in the time of Cresus king of Lidia, and a lawe giuer to the Athenians: by whose Lawes and G.o.dlie meanes, the Athenians were long and prospe- rouslie gouerned. Emong many of his lawes, this Solon set forthe againste adulterers. _Fas esse deprehen- denti maechum in ipso adulterio interficere_: it shalbee lawfull saieth he, who so taketh an adulterer in his beastlie facte, to kill hym. Solon beyng a wise man, was more rigorous and cruell, in this one Lawe, then he ought to be. A meruailous [Fol. lx.r]

matter, and almoste vncredible, so wise, so n.o.ble and worthy a Lawe giuer, to bruste out with soche a cruell and bloodie lawe, that without iudgement or sentence giuen, the matter neither proued nor examined, adulterie to be death. Where- fore, reason forceth euery manne, to Iudge and ponder with [Sidenote: Adulterie a horrible vice.]

hymself, that either adulterie is a moste horrible vice, moste beastlie & pestiferous, and not mete to tary vpon the censure, and sentence of a Iudge: or Solon was not so wise, discrete, and a politike persone, but a rashe and fonde lawe giuer, that in soche a terrible voice, he should burste out, as adulterie so horrible, as not worthie to be pondered, examined and boul- ted of in Iudgemente. The Athenians receiued that Lawe, thei did also obaie his other lawes. Their dominions there- by in felicitee was gouerned: there was no populous nom- ber of adulterers, to let that Lawe, thei liued moste G.o.dlie, a straunge worlde, a rare moderacion of that age and people.

[Sidenote: Plato aga- inste adultrie made a lawe.]

Plato the G.o.dlie Philosopher, who lefte in his woorkes, and monumentes of learnyng, greate wisedome and also G.o.dlie Lawes in his bookes: int.i.teled vpon Lawes, and gouerne- ment of a common wealth, did not pa.s.se by in silence, to giue and ordain a Lawe against adulterie. Who also as it semed Iudged adulterie as moste horrible and detestable, in his .ix.

booke _de Legibus_. This is the Lawe. _Adulteram deprehen- sam impune occidi a viro posse._ The adultrous woman saith he, taken in the crime, her housbande maie without daunger of death, or feare of punishement slea her. A straunge matter twoo so n.o.ble, so famous for wisedome, to make adulterie present death, no Iudgement or sentence of Magistrate, pro- cedyng to examine and iudge, vpon the state of the cause. A man maie saie, O goodlie age, and tyme in vertue tempered, eche state as seemeth brideled and kepte vnder, and farre fro[m]

voluptuousnes remoued. There was no stewes or Baudes houses, where soche Lawes and Lawmakers were. Sobrie- tee was in maides, and chast.i.tee harboured in matrones and wedded wiues, a harte inuiolable to honeste conuersacion.

[Fol. lx.v]

Where adulterie is cutte of, there many detestable vices, [Sidenote: Catos sen- tence vpon adulterie.]

and execrable purposes are remoued. Cato the sage Peere of Rome, indued with like seueritee, did fauour that lawe and highlie extolled it. Although adulterie bee a detestable vice horrible, yea, although it be worthie death, better it were by iudgemente, and the sentence of the Magistrate, the faute to [Sidenote: Lawe.]

bee determined: then at the will of euery manne, as a Lawe by death to bee ended, the common wealthe shalbee in more quiet state, when the horrible factes of wicked menne, by the [Sidenote: The Iudge, a liuely lawe.]

Lawe made worthie of deathe: are neuerthelesse by a liuelie Lawe, whiche is the Iudge, p.r.o.nounced and condemned, ac- cordyng to the Lawe. Els many mischiues might rise in all kyngdomes and common wealthes, vnder a colour of lawe, many a honeste persone murthered: and many a murtherer, by cloke of a Lawe, from daunger saued. In Rome somtime a Lawe there was ordained againste adulterie, whiche was called _Lex Iulia_, this Lawe Octauius Augustus set foorthe.

The Lawe was thus, _Gladio iussit animaduerti in adulteros_[.]

The lawe commaunded adulterers to be hedded. The chro- nicles of aunciente tymes herein doe shew, and the decrees of auncient elders also, how horrible a thing adulterie is, when thei punishe it with death. Who knoweth not emo[n]g the Is- raelites, and in the olde lawe thei wer stoned to death. Well as Magistrates are in common wealthes remoued, or as ti- mes chaunge, lawes also are chaunged and dissolued: and as the Prouerbe is, _Lex vt Regio_, the Lawes are accordyng to the Region. Afterwarde Ualerius Publicola, a man ascen- dyng to high n.o.bilitee of honour, and fame emong, the Ro- maines gaue this Lawe. _Qua neminem licebat indicta causa necare._ By this lawe it was not lefull, any manne to be put [Sidenote: A G.o.dly law.]

to death, their cause not examined in Iudgemente, this was a goodlie Lawe. Then afterwarde, Lawe giuers rose in the common wealth, that with more facilitee tolerated that vice, then wickednesse flowed, adulterie not punished by death.

And sence that, the Romaine Empire, wrapped and snared [Fol. lxj.r]

with soche mischiues hath decaied, in fame, n.o.bilitee and ver- tue. Many a parte of their dominion plagued, deuoured, and [Sidenote: The good manne.]

destroied. The good and G.o.dlie menne, nede not to feare any Lawe G.o.dlie, their life beyng in vertue and G.o.dlines nurtu- red. The terrible sentence of a lawe, forceth the good and G.o.d- lie, to perseuere and continue in G.o.dlines. The terrible sen- [Sidenote: Lawe.]

tence of a Lawe, cutteth of the wicked enterprises of pestife- rous menne. Uice where lawe is not to correcte, will inure it [Sidenote: Uice as a lawe by cu- stome.]

self by custome as a Lawe, or borne and tolerated againste a [Sidenote: Adulterie.]

Lawe. Therefore as adulterie without Iudgemente, to bee punished worthie of death is vnG.o.dlie: so it ought not to bee pa.s.sed ouer, or tolerated in any Region or common wealth, as no lawe seuerely to punishe thesame.

-- The contrarie.

AL other lawes doe differ, from that rigorous lawe of Solon and Plato herein, yea, and though thei be vices horrible, yet thei ar not determined, with out the sente[n]ce of the Magistrate and Iudge. But this cruell Lawe of Solon, doeth repugne all lawes, stabli- [Sidenote: The lawe v- niuersall and equall to all menne.]

shed in all Citees and common wealthes. And sithe the lawe is of hymself vniuersall, with equitee, giuing and tempering to all states. Fonde muste that Lawe bee of Solon, whiche rashely, without consideracion of iudgement doeth procede, no man ought in his own cause, to be his own iudge or Ma- gistrate. This is argument sufficient to confounde the lawe of Solon. All Lawes are repugnaunte to that, because with Iudgement thei procede against vices moste pestiferous. In [Sidenote: Thefte.]

common wealthes Theft is by lawe, p.r.o.nounced worthie of death, whereupon also the Magistrate and Iudge, determi- neth the matter, and heareth of bothe the action of the case, before he condempneth, so in all other mischiues.

But you maie saie, many mischiues riseth of adulterie.

Although it so be, the Iudge determineth vpon Murder, whiche is in like sort horrible, soche also as dooe seeke to caste into perill their countree, and by treason to destroie thesame, [Fol. lxj.v]

Iudgemente proceadeth by determinacion of the Lawe and Iudge. And so in all other wicked factes, and mischiuous en- terprises, the Iudgement in euery cause procedeth, as Lawe [Sidenote: The Iudge a liuely lawe.]

and right willeth, from the mouthe of the Iudge, he beyng a liuelie Lawe, to the Lawe written. The cruell Lawe of So- lon, is like to the phantasie and wille of a tyraunte, who, as phantasie and will leadeth, murdereth at his pleasure, whose will is alwaies a sufficient Lawe to hymself, as who should [Sidenote: The will of a tyraunte his owne lawe.]

saie, so I wille, so I commaunde, my wille shall stande for a Lawe: but G.o.dlie lawes doe iustlie, accordyng to reason and vertue, tempereth the cause of euery man. No G.o.dlie Lawe, maketh the accuser his owne Iudge.

-- Lawfull.

[Sidenote: Lawes were made for two causes.]

WHo so by Lawe is iudged, and the offence proued, there is no excuse in the malefactour, nor suspicion seing that, accordyng to lawe, the fact is punished, and as Demosthenes saieth, twoo thynges moued the wise Elders to make Lawes, that the wicked should bee hindered, and cutte of from their purpose, and that good men seyng by a lawe, the actes of pestiferous men kepte vnder, by the terrour of them, are afraied to commit the like facte. This was euen accordyng to lawe. The terrible sentence of a law executed, vpon moste wicked persones, doe kepe vnder many a mischiuous enterprise, whiche through the dolefull and la- mentable ende of the wicked, doe driue and force all other to all G.o.dlines.

-- Iuste.

THe accuser by Lawe and Iudge, is able to defende hymself, whe[n] his cause is ended accordyng to law.

Uertue thereby vpholded, when by order of lawe, vice is condempned. The malifactour hath no ex- cuse, all staie and colour remoued, the accuser by iuste Lawe pleateth, when the law is thereby supported and saued. And herein a greate parte of Iustice is placed, when the fauour of the Iudge or frendship, is onely on the cause, the persone nec- [Fol. lxij.r]

lected, that is Iustice, to giue to euery one his owne.

-- Profitable.

IT must be profitable to the whole bodie of the com- mon wealthe, when by the Iustice of G.o.dlie lawes, vertue is in high price aduaunced, vice by the open sentence, and manifeste profe conuicted, the malefa- ctour shall be knowen, the sincere and G.o.dlie deliuered, and from tyme to tyme maintained. Lawes as thei be vniuersall so thei openlie ought to giue sentence.

-- Possible.

THen without lawe to procede, and iudgemente of the Magistrate, as Solon did in this lawe, it were not possible, any common wealthe to florishe ther- by. Therefore in Iudgemente ought the cause of euery one to be pleated and examined, that thereby all suspi- cion, & greuous enormitees, maie be put of. Uice is not there- fore tolerated, because for a tyme, Iudgemente ceaseth, but hereupon vices are more depely rooted out, all people know- yng the determinacion of the lawe, and the manifest sente[n]ce of the Iudge heard. A terrour ensueth to al malefactours and pestiferous men, good men are incensed to all G.o.dlines, whe[n]

vice by Lawe is condempned, cutte of, and destroied. Good menne by Lawe and aucthoritee, vpholded and maintained.

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A booke called the Foundacion of Rhetorike Part 20 summary

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