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CHAPTER II.: THE PARLIAMENT IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY—THE STATES-GENERAL OF 1302, 1355, AND 1356. - Augustin Thierry, The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État, or Third Estate in France vol. 1 
The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État, or Third Estate in France, translated from the French by the Rev. Francis B. Wells, Two volumes in One (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1859).
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THE PARLIAMENT IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY—THE STATES-GENERAL OF 1302, 1355, AND 1356.
Summary: Revival of the Royal Authority—New Judicial Institutions—Civil Law of the Bourgeoisie—Revival of the Roman Law—The King’s Court or the Parliament—Political Doctrines of the Civilians—Their Revolutionary Action—States-General of the Kingdom—Accession of the Tiers Etat—Its Principles, its Ambition—States-General of 1355 and 1356—Etienne Marcel, Prévôt des Marchands of Paris—His Character, his Designs—The Jacquerie—Fall and Death of Etienne Marcel—Royalty under Charles V.—Point at which our social History takes a regular Course.
Municipal cities restored, cities under the government of the consulate, of the commune, or simply of the citizens, towns and villages enfranchised, a multitude of small states, more or less complete, asylums opened to shelter the life of industry under the protection of political, or perhaps of only civil liberty—such were the foundations that were laid in the twelfth century for an order of things which, developing itself up to our times, has grown into the form of modern society. These elements of social renovation did not possess within themselves the means of mutual alliance, or of subduing the adverse influences which surrounded them; the power which had created them was only able to preserve them more or less intact in their original isolation. It was necessary that a power, at once external and superior, should come to their assistance by openly attacking that territorial aristocracy, which had borrowed its last form from the conquest and usages of the Germans.
After the feudal dismemberment, Royalty looked round in vain for its proper position. German by origin, but taking its shape in Gaul, and imbued with imperial traditions, it had never forgotten its Roman principle—equality before itself and before the law. That principle vainly asserted by the Merovingians against the insuperable pride of the Frankish conquerors received its final rebuff at the decline of the second race. At that time two ideas, which are, as it were, the poles of all really civil society, the idea of the prince and that of the people, disappeared; and, under the name of State, there appeared nothing more than a hierarchy of local sovereigns, each master of a part or parcel of the national territory. The revival of an urban society re-opened the ways of civilization preserved by tradition, and prepared everything for the renovation of political society. The King of France found in the cities—reconstituted in municipal form, what the citizen renders to the State, but what the barons would not or could not render—a real submission, regular subsidies, a militia capable of discipline.* It was by this assistance that, before the end of the twelfth century, the Crown, overstepping the limits within which the feudal system had restricted it, made of its supreme seigneurial powers, till then almost inert, an authority active and militant, for the defence of the weak and the maintenance of the public peace.†
I do not mean to assert that the revival of the royal authority was caused solely and immediately by the revolution which gave rise to the communes. These two important events were produced independently of one another, from tradition rendered fruitful by propitious circumstances; they encountered, and simultaneously influenced each other. Their coincidence was marked by a kind of impulse towards all that constitutes public prosperity; the resumption of improvement in the state of the material objects of life speedily accompanied the accession of a new class of freemen. In the twelfth century, a clearance of forests and wastes, unheard of till then, was effected. The ancient cities grew into importance, new cities arose and were peopled by families escaped from serfdom; * it was then, lastly, that the movement commenced towards a territorial re-adjustment, which was destined to restore royalty to its power, and to conduct it one day to unity.
In the following century appear the judicial and legislative reforms; they break in upon the feudal law, and inaugurate a new civil law which passed from the sphere of the municipalities into the high sphere of the State. Originating in the charters of the communes, and in the customs drawn up for the cities or the boroughs, this law of the bourgeoisie, opposed to that of the nobles, was distinguished from it by its very essence. It had for its basis natural equity, and regulated according to its principles the condition of individuals, the constitution of the family, and the transmission of hereditary property. It established the division of paternal or maternal property, real or personal, between all the children, the equality of brothers and sisters, and, in the case of married persons, the common right in property acquired during marriage.† Thus we find, under a rude form, and marked on the one hand with the stamp of semi-barbarous customs, on the other with a more decided tinge of Christian influences, the same spirit of justice and reason which had once traced the grand features of Roman law.
The social revolution was also accompanied and maintained in its development by a scientific revolution, by the revival of the study of the Roman laws, and other monuments of that ancient and admirable jurisprudence. The impulse was here also given by Italy, where the public teaching of the law never ceased during the whole course of the Middle Ages, and maintained an obscure existence at Ravenna before it reflourished at Bologna. From the twelfth century, numerous students, in their travels passing the Alps, carried into France the new doctrine of the commentators on the civil law; and that law was soon professed concurrently with the canon law in many cities of the South, and also at Angers and Orleans.* It became raison écrite in that portion of the country whose customs had preserved but a small part of the Roman law; it became droit écrit in those where the Roman law, intermixed and not uprooted by contact with the laws of the Barbarians, had passed into their usages and still existed in the form of the law of custom. The maxims and rules drawn from the imperial codes by minds ardent and anxious for truth and justice found their way from the schools into practice; and, under their influence, a whole class of civilians and politicians, the head and soul of the bourgeoisie, sprung up, and commenced in the upper courts the struggle of the common law and equity against custom, privileges of class, and actions illegal and unjust.
The King’s Court or the Parliament, the supreme tribunal and council of State, became, by the introduction of these new men, the focus of the most active spirit of reform. There, proclaimed and applied day after day, the theory of the imperial power, of the public authority, one and absolute, equal towards all, the sole source of justice and law, reappeared. The civilians following the letter, if not the tradition, upwards even to the Roman times, placed themselves in idea at that point, and thence contemplated the civil and political order of their own times. In looking at the influence which they exercised upon the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, we might say that they had gathered from their studies this conviction, that in the then existing state of society only two things were lawful, the crown and the bourgeoisie. We might even say that they anticipated the historical destiny of these two institutions, and that, in putting the seal of law upon them, they marked beforehand the two points to which everything was to be brought back. It is certainly the fact that the civilians of the Middle Ages—judges, counsellors, officers of the crown—have for six centuries prepared the way of future revolutions. Impelled by their professional instincts, by that spirit of bold logic which follows up from inference to inference the application of a principle, they commenced, without measuring its extent, that immense task to which, after them, the labour of succeeding centuries applied itself—to re-unite in one single hand the sovereignty which had been parcelled out, to lower all that was above them to the classes of the bourgeoisie, and to raise to their level all that was below.
That war of equity against existing law, of ideas against facts, which breaks out at intervals in human societies, has always two periods of a very dissimilar character: the first, when the reforming spirit prescribes to itself limits, and modifies itself of its own accord by the sense of equity; the second, when it is hurried on and dashes to pieces without control every object which opposes it. Two famous reigns which, following so close together, form one of the most remarkable contrasts that history can present, the reigns of Louis IX. and Philippe le Bel, correspond to these two successive periods in the politico-judicial reform with which the administrative era of the French monarchy commenced.
This revolution, begun with so much mildness and caution by the king, at once a saint and a great man, appeared in the hands of his grandson harsh, violent, arbitrary, and even iniquitous. From the manner in which the measures, whose ultimate object was an order of things better and fairer for all, were pursued, it had not the power, in spite of its spirit and its tendency, to excite the affections of the people: no burst of hope and joy accompanied it in its progress—there was no uproar, no scenes of popular enthusiasm—all was coldly worked out in a secret laboratory; it was the labour of the miner who pursues his work in silence till the hour when the assault is made. Never, perhaps, was there a social crisis of an aspect more gloomy than that: for the privileged classes there was spoliation and retribution; for the masses, all the burden of a rude attempt at administrative government, having more of cunning than of power, maintaining itself by expedients and extortions, costing much and giving nothing. Only above that disorder, pregnant with ruin and suffering, but the cradle of future order, a voice was heard from time to time, the voice of an absolute king, who in the name of the law of nature proclaimed the right of liberty to all, and in the name of the law of God rebuked the institution of serfdom.*
The civilians of the fourteenth century, the founders and ministers of the royal aristocracy, met with the fate common to great revolutionists: the bolder of them perished under the reaction of those interests which they had injured, and the customs whose course they had impeded.* More than once Royalty flinched in its new career, and was forced backwards by the resistance of the powers and privileges of feudality. But in spite of these inevitable relapses, and of the concessions made under feeble reigns, two things continued to increase without check, the number of free men under the denomination of bourgeoisie and the movement which led this class to place itself under the immediate protection and justice of the king. A revolution, less striking and less spontaneous than the communal revolution, subsequently adopted, as its substructure, the results of the latter; and, by slow but uninterrupted efforts, succeeded in making of a multitude of small and separate states one single society, connected with one sole centre of jurisdiction and government.
In the first place, it was laid down as a principle that no commune could be established without the consent of the king; next, that the king alone had power to create communes; next, that all the cities, communal or consulate, were ipso facto under his immediate seigniory.* When this last point was gained, Royalty made a step in advance; it assumed the right of creating bourgeois through all the kingdom, on the domains of others as well as its own. By a strange fiction, the privilege of the bourgeois, a right essentially belonging to property, attached to the dwelling and conferred by the occupation of it, became a kind of personal privilege. The bourgeois could change his jurisdiction without changing his residence—declare himself a freeman and citizen without quitting the seigneurial soil; and, as the ancient acts express themselves, disavow his own lord and avow himself the bourgeois of the king.* In this way the enrolment into the corporation of the inhabitants of a privileged city ceased to be the only mode of obtaining the full enjoyment of civil rights. The privilege was no longer merely local, but became personal; and, by the side of the bourgeoisie of the cities and the communes, it imperceptibly created a new class of free commoners (roturiers), to whom might be given by way of distinction the denomination of citizens of the kingdom.†
All these circumstances resulted from a new social principle, from a right subversive of existing rights; and none of them was established without a protest and a struggle. It was not so with the famous institution which made the bourgeoisie a political order, represented by its deputies in the great assemblies of the kingdom. These assemblies, the tradition of which had passed from German customs into the system of the feudal monarchy, were composed of deputies elected respectively by the nobility and clergy, and forming either one common body or two separate chambers.* From the time that a third order of men, with the full enjoyment of freedom and property, was formed by the revival of the municipal towns, and the enfranchisement of the boroughs, this order, although inferior to the two others, shared in its own sphere the political rights of the ancient orders; it was summoned to give counsel in important matters, and to deliberate upon the imposition of fresh taxes.
The cities, by their privileges, which they had acquired by open force, or which were conceded to them by good will, were become, like the castles, an integral part of the feudal hierarchy, and feudality recognised in all its members the right of free consent in the grant of taxes and subsidies. It was one of the old usages, and the best principle of that system. The urban population enjoyed this privilege without the necessity of claiming it, and without its being disputed by any party. The convocation of the representatives of his bonnes villes* by the king took place in an isolated manner, on rare and special occasions only; and the circumstance, however novel it might be, did not appear at the time worthy of interest. The formulas of certain royal charters are the sole witness which remains of them before the reign of Philippe le Bel,† and we must descend as low as that reign in order to see it assume a striking position, and take its place among the great facts of our national history.
The increase of expenses and the wants of royalty, which made it necessary to call fresh means of administration into existence, in the midst of which the fourteenth century commenced, must have naturally led to more frequent and regular summonses of the representatives of the cities and communes. Some important events which occurred in the first year of the century gave an unusual solemnity and the character of a national representation to convocations, which were up to that time partial, and which took place one after the other without attracting much attention. The court of Rome, in violation of the regulations and treaties which limited its power in France, claimed a right of temporal supremacy over the affairs of the kingdom. On this point an open struggle commenced between Pope Boniface VIII. and Philippe le Bel: the Pope summoned a general council; and the King a general assembly of deputies of the three States—the clergy, nobility, and bourgeoisie of the cities.* Those of the north sent their échevins, those of the south their consuls, and the voice of the commons was listened to as of the same right as that of the barons and dignitaries of the Church. “From you,” said the representatives of the bourgeoisie, in their address to the King, “from you, Sire, our most honoured Prince, Philip, by the grace of God, King of France, the people of your kingdom beg and request, so far as belongs to them, that provision be made to enable you to preserve the sovereign independence of your kingdom, which is such that you could not recognise in your temporal character any sovereign on earth except God.”* This vow of independence in behalf of the crown and country nobly marks the first appearance of a political spirit in the commonalty beyond the circle of their interests and their municipal rights; it became afterwards one of the fundamental maxims which, originating from the popular instinct and transmitted from generation to generation, formed what we may call the tradition of the Tiers Etat.†
This name of Tiers Etat, when used in its ordinary sense, properly comprises only the population of the privileged cities, but in effect it extends much beyond this; it includes not only the cities, but the villages and hamlets—not only the free commonalty, but all those for whom civil liberty is a privilege still to come. However restricted, too, by its exclusively municipal character, the representation of the third order might be, it had always the merit of believing itself charged with the duty of pleading, not the cause of this or that section, of this or that class of the people, but that of the mass, as distinguished from the nobles, that of the people without distinction of freemen or serfs, of citizens or peasants.* It must, however, be admitted that the bourgeoisie itself did not at first attach much value to the right of being consulted, like the two first orders, upon the general affairs of the kingdom.† This right, which it scarcely ever exercised without some kind of inconvenience, was a subject of suspicion, because every convocation of the States naturally terminated with some new demands of the treasury. Its part was subordinate and undefined in the States-General, which succeeded those of 1302, under Philippe le Bel and his successors, up to the end of the fourteenth century, and which were generally convoked on the occurrence of wars, or of a new reign. But in the reign of John, the public distress and the unusual amount of national calamity caused an outburst of feeling and ambition in the communes of France which made them attempt projects unheard of up to that time, and lay hold of all at once and for a moment that preponderance of the Tiers Etat which could not be established beyond danger of relapse till after five centuries of efforts and progress.
The two centuries which had passed since the revival of the municipal liberties had given to the rich bourgeois of the cities the experience of political life, and had taught them to know and desire all that constitutes a well-regulated society, either within the circle of the city walls or over a wider extent. As regarded the cities and communes, whatever might be the form of their government, order, regularity, economy, care of the general weal formed not only a principle, a maxim, a tendency, but a fact of every day’s experience, guaranteed by institutions of every kind, in the management of which each functionary or responsible person was constantly overlooked and controlled. Without doubt the representatives of the bourgeoisie in the first States-General, when summoned to vote subsidies, and to see how they were dispensed, were forcibly struck with the contrast there exhibited between the royal administration with its rash measures, its crafty expedients, its old or fresh abuses, and the urban administration, following its immemorial laws, scrupulous, upright, just, whether of its own accord or in spite of itself. Among those men of clear and active intelligence, the most enlightened would naturally conceive the idea of introducing into the centre of the State the system which they had seen practised under their own eyes, which they had practised themselves in accordance with the local tradition and the example of their predecessors. This idea, timidly expressed at first in the presence of royalty, which did not pay attention to it, and of the privileged bodies which did not look beyond themselves for counsel, was openly declared when extraordinary necessities, brought on by war from without and by ruin from within, compelled the king and his ministers to look for assistance at any sacrifice, and showed clearly their own inability to remedy the public misfortunes.
From this position of circumstances arose the spirit of reform which burst forth so suddenly and energetically in the States-General of 1355. The resolutions of that assembly, which immediately received the force of law by a royal ordinance, contain, and in some points even exceed, the modern guarantees of which the system of constitutional monarchy consists. We there see the authority divided between the king and the three estates representing the nation, and represented themselves by a commission of nine members; the power of adjourning to a stated time vested in the assembly itself; taxes assessed on all classes of persons, and reaching to the king himself; the right of collecting the taxes, and the control of the financial administration given to the states acting by their deputies at Paris and in the provinces;* the establishment of a national militia by an injunction issued to each to arm himself according to his condition; lastly, the prohibition to remove any case whatever from the ordinary court of justice into another jurisdiction, the abolition of seizure or compulsory requisition for the royal service, and the suppression of monopolies carried on under the name of middle-men (tierces personnes) by the officers of the king or of the seigneurs.* Here we perceive, as it were, the breath of municipal democracy, something more methodical and more enlarged in point of liberty than the aristocratic opposition of the nobility and clergy. The initiative of the Tiers Etat prevailed, by the force of good sense and administrative experience, in those deliberations which, as far as outward appearance is concerned, were common to the three orders.* The same thing took place with much more serious consequences in the States-General of 1356—a fatal year, when, in consequence of a battle imprudently hazarded, the king was made prisoner, the greater part of the nobles killed or taken prisoners in the confusion of flight, the forces of the kingdom annihilated, the government dissolved in the midst of foreign war, intestine discords, and general irritation of feeling.
The disaster of Poitiers excited in the minds of the people a sentiment of national grief, mixed with indignation and scorn at the nobility who had fled before an army so inferior in number. Those nobles who passed through the cities and towns on their return from the battle were pursued with imprecations and outrages.† The Parisian bourgeoisie, animated with enthusiasm and courage, took upon itself at all risks the charge of its own defence; whilst the eldest son of the king, a youth of only nineteen, who had been one of the first to fly, assumed the government as lieutenant of his father. It was at the summons of this prince that the states assembled again at Paris before the time which they had appointed. The same deputies returned to the number of 800, of whom 400 were of the bourgeoisie; and the work of reform, rudely sketched in the preceding session, was resumed under the same influence, with an enthusiasm which partook of the character of revolutionary impulse. The assembly commenced by concentrating its action in a committee of twenty-four members, deliberating, as far as appears, without distinction of orders; it then intimated its resolutions under the form of petitions, which were as follow: The authority of the states declared supreme in all affairs of administration and finance, the impeachment of all the counsellors of the king, the dismissal in a body of the officers of justice, and the creation of a council of reformers taken from the three orders; lastly, the prohibition to conclude any truce without the assent of the three states, and the right on their part to re-assemble at their own will without a royal summons.*
The lieutenant of the king, Charles Duke of Normandy, exerted in vain the resources of a precocious ability to escape these imperious demands: he was compelled to yield everything. The States governed in his name; but dissension, springing from the mutual jealousy of the different orders, was soon introduced into their body. The preponderating influence of the bourgeois appeared intolerable to the nobles, who, in consequence, deserted the assembly and retired home. The deputies of the clergy remained longer at their posts, but they also withdrew at last; and, under the name of the States-General, none remained but the representatives of the cities, alone charged with all the responsibilities of the reform and the affairs of the kingdom.* Bowing to a necessity of central action, they submitted of their own accord to the deputation of Paris; and soon, by the tendency of circumstances, and in consequence of the hostile attitude of the Regent, the question of supremacy of the states became a Parisian question, subject to the chances of a popular émeute and the guardianship of the municipal power.†
At this point appears a man whose character has grown into historical importance in our days from our greater facilities of understanding it, Etienne Marcel, prévôt des marchands—that is to say, mayor of the municipality of Paris. This échevin of the fourteenth century, by a remarkable anticipation, designed and attempted things which seem to belong only to recent revolutions. Social unity, and administrative uniformity; political rights, co-extensive and equal with civil rights; the principle of public authority transferred from the crown to the nation; the States-General changed, under the influence of the third order, into a national representation; the will of the people admitted as sovereign in the presence of the depositary of the royal power;* the influence of Paris over the provinces, as the head of opinion and centre of the general movement; the democratic dictatorship, and the influence of terror exercised in the name of the common weal; new colours assumed and carried as a sign of patriotic union and symbol of reform;† the transference of royalty itself from one branch of the family to the other, with a view to the cause of reform and the interest of the people* —such were the circumstances and the scenes which have given to our own as well as the preceding century their political character. It is strange to find the whole of it comprised in the three years over which the name of the Prévôt Marcel predominates.* His short and stormy career was, as it were, a premature attempt at the grand designs of Providence, and the mirror of the bloody changes of fortune through which those designs were destined to advance to their accomplishment under the impulse of human passions. Marcel lived and died for an idea—that of hastening on, by the force of the masses, the work of gradual equalisation commenced by the kings themselves; but it was his misfortune and his crime to be unrelenting in carrying out his convictions. To the impetuosity of a tribune who did not shrink even from murder he added the talent of organization; he left in the grand city, which he had ruled with a stern and absolute sway, powerful institutions, noble works, and a name which two centuries afterwards his descendants bore with pride as a title of nobility.†
While the bourgeoisie, formed under the influences of municipal liberty, raised itself by a sudden but transient enthusiasm to the spirit of national liberty, and in some measure anticipated the future, a strange and hideous spectacle was exhibited by the demiservile population of the villages and hamlets. We mean the Jacquerie; its dreadful excesses, and its no less dreadful repression. In those days of crisis and agitation, the general vibration of society affected the peasantry, and encountered among them the passions of hatred and vengeance which had been accumulated and bayed back during centuries of oppression and misery. The cry of the French populace, “The nobles dishonour and betray the kingdom,” became a signal for the extermination of those of gentle birth in the cottages of Beauvoisis. Peasants armed with clubs and knives rose and marched in bands, increasing as they advanced, attacking the castles with sword and flame, murdering all they found in them—men, women, and children; and, like the barbarians of the great invasion, unable to give an account of the objects which they sought, or the motive which instigated them.* This savage force, master of all the flat country between the Oise and Seine, was organized under a leader, who offered his alliance to the cities which were agitated by the spirit of reform. Beauvais, Senlis, Amiens, Paris, and Meaux, accepted it, either as assistance, or as a diversion in their favour. In spite of the acts of barbarity committed by the rebel peasants, almost everywhere the urban population, and principally the poor, sympathised with them.* Rich citizens, men of political character, were seen mixing with them, directing them, and restraining their thirst for blood, till the day when they disappeared, slain by thousands in their conflicts with the armed nobles, decimated by executions, or dispersed by terror.†
The destruction of the Jacques* was followed almost immediately by the failure of the revolution of the bourgeoisie in Paris itself. Those two movements, different as they were, of the two great classes of the commonalty, terminated simultaneously—one to revive and carry all before it when its time should come; the other to leave nothing behind it but an odious name, and sad recollections. The attempt of Etienne Marcel and his party to found a democratic monarchy on the confederation of the cities in the north and centre of France failed, because Paris, feebly supported, was left alone to maintain a twofold struggle against all the forces of the crown joined to those of the nobles, as well as against the popular dejection.* The leader of that daring attempt was slain at the moment when he was pushing it to extremities, and setting up a king of the bourgeoisie in the face of the legitimate monarch. With him perished the persons who had represented the city in the council of the states, as well as those who had ruled as chiefs or ringleaders of the municipal council.† The Tiers Etat, displaced from the dominant position which it had prematurely won, resumed its ordinary part of patient industry, less pretentious ambition, and slow but uninterrupted progress.
Nevertheless, all was not lost in that first and unfortunate trial. The Prince, who struggled two years against the Parisian bourgeoisie, borrowed something of its political tendencies, and learnt a lesson in the school of those whom he had conquered. He annulled what the States-General had decreed, and constrained him to do for the reform of abuses; but the violence of that reaction lasted but a few days, and Charles V., as King, undertook of his own accord a part of the task which, as Regent, he had been forced to execute. His government was arbitrary but regular, economical, imbued with the spirit of order, and, above all, with the spirit of nationality. Trained early to patience and statecraft in a position of peril and difficulty, he had none of the eager and chivalrous impetuosity of his predecessors, but a calculating and practical mind. In him royalty presents a new character, which separates it from the Middle Ages and connects it with modern times. He was the first of those kings who appeared as the redressers of wrong after a period of danger, devoted to business, placing consideration before action, able and persevering—princes eminently politic, whose type re-appeared more strikingly under different aspects in Louis XI. and Henry IV.*
We have reached a point where our social history, disengaged from its origin and complete in its elements, unfolds itself in a simple and regular form, like a river which, rising from many sources, collects its waters as it advances into one single mass, contained within the same banks. At this point the powers, whose action, simultaneous or divergent, has constituted up to our times the drama of political revolutions, display themselves in their definitive character. Royalty is seen advancing uninterruptedly along the way, pointed out by the traditions of imperial Rome, favouring the spirit of civilisation, but opposed to the spirit of liberty, innovating with reluctance, and with the jealous anxiety of superintending everything itself; the nobility preserving and cherishing their inheritance of German usages softened down by Christianity, opposing to the dogma of an absolute monarchy that of a seigneurial sovereignty, fostered by a feeling of pride and honour, prescribing to itself the duty of courage, and believing that political rights belonged to itself alone—egotistical in its independence, and haughty in its self-sacrifices—at once turbulent and without occupation, despising labour, little inquisitive about science, but contributing to the general progress by its appreciation, continually increasing in keenness, of the refinements of luxury, of the elegance and the delights of the arts;* lastly, the bourgeoisie—i. e., the middle class of the nation, and upper class of the Tiers Etat—continually increased in numbers by the accession of the inferior classes, and continually approaching the nobility by the exercise of public duties, and the value of their real property; attached to royalty as the source of reforms and social changes, ready to seize all the means of raising itself, all the offices, advantages of every kind, whether collectively or individually; devoted to the cultivation of the intellect in its vigorous and important applications; resigned habitually to await with patience a better state of things, but capable at intervals of a desire for immediate action, and of a revolutionary outbreak.
Such is the state of society; with regard to its institutions, royalty, in its unlimited prerogative, regains and embraces them all, except one only, the States-General, whose power, ill-defined, a shadow of the national sovereignty, makes its appearance at seasons of crisis, to condemn present evil and to pave the way to future good. From 1355 to 1789, the States, although rarely assembled, although without regular influence on the government, played a considerable part as an organ of public opinion. The cahiers* of the three orders were the source from which the great ordinances and the great measures of administration flowed; and in this general influence of the States the third bore its special part. The commonalty had its principles, which it never lost an opportunity of proclaiming with an indefatigable perseverance—principles which had their origin in the good sense of the people, in conformity with the spirit of the Gospel and the spirit of the Roman law. The reformation of the laws and customs by the infusion of civil liberty and equality, the overthrow of all the barriers raised by privilege, the extension of the common law to all classes—such was the perpetual plea, and, if we may use the expression, the voice of the Tiers Etat. We can follow this voice speaking more loudly from age to age in proportion as time advances and progress is accomplished. It is this which during five centuries has stirred the great currents of opinion. The initiative which the Tiers Etat took in conceiving and projecting reforms is the fact, which is most intimately connected with the social movement, of which we have lived to see, if not the final close, at least a glorious and decisive phase—a movement continued under remarkable vicissitudes, whose progress resembles that of the rising tide, which seems to advance and recede without interruption, but which still gains ground and reaches its destined point.
[* ]The citizens were everywhere organised into companies, regularly armed, and exercised in bow and cross-bow practice.
[† ]See the Histoire de la Civilisation en France, by M. Guizot, t. iv., p. 107 and following.
[* ]Hinc est quod sub ipso (Ludovico VII.), pace vigente, tot novæ villæ conditæ sunt et veteres amplificatæ, tot excisa nemora et exculta, ordinesque diversi diversis in locis multipliciter propagati. . . . (Chronologia Roberti, Monachi Altissiodorensis, apud Script rer gallic. et francic., t. xii., p. 299).—Quasdam villas novas ædificavit, per quas plures ecclesias et milites de propriis suis hominibus, ad eas confugientibus exheredasse non est dubium. . . . (Fragmentum Historicum de Vitâ Ludovici VII., ibid, p. 286.)
[† ]See the two works of M. Edouard Laboulaye, Histoire de la Propriété au Moyen Age, conclusion, and Recherches sur la Condition civile et politique des Femmes, depuis les Romains jusqu’à nous, liv. iv., sec. ii. and iii.
[* ]See the Histoire du droit Romain au Moyen Age, by Savigny, t. i., and the Histoire Littéraire de la France, t. xvi., p. 85.
[* ]Seeing that every human creature who is formed in the image of our Lord ought universally to be free by natural right, and in some countries that natural liberty and freedom is effaced and obscured by the yoke of slavery, which is so hateful seeing that the men and women who dwell in the places and countries above-mentioned are considered in their lifetime as if dead . . . (Ordinance of Philippe le Bel , Recueil des Ordonn. des rois de France, t xii., p. 387.)—As according to the law of nature everyone must be born free; and by some usages and customs, which from great antiquity have been introduced and retained up to the present in our kingdom, and perhaps by the fault of their predecessors, many persons of our common people are fallen into the bonds of slavery and of various conditions which much displease us: we considering that our kingdom is called and named the kingdom of the free (le Royaume des Francs), and anxious that the thing should really be in accordance with the name. . . (Ordinance of Louis le Hutin [1315, 3 July], ibid, t. i., p. 583.)—Ordinance of Philippe le Long (1318, 23 January), ibid, p. 653.
[* ]Enguerrand de Marigny, hanged at Montfaucon in the reign of Louis X; Pierre de Latilly, Chancellor of France, and Raoul de Presle, avocat du roi in the Parliament, both subjected to torture in the same reign; Gerard de la Guette, Minister of Philippe le Long, killed on the rack in 1322; Pierre Frémy, Minister of Charles le Bel, hanged in 1328.
[* ]Hinc est quod, cum ad dominum nostrum et nos in solidum pertineat creare et constituere consulatus et communitates. . . . (Ordinance of Charles, Regent of the kingdom during the captivity of King John [November, 1358], Recueil des Ordonn. des rois de France, t iii., p. 305.)
[* ]See the Glossaire du Droit Français, by Laurière, and the Dissertation by Bréquigny on the bourgeoisies, at the beginning of t. xii., Recueil des Ordonnances des rois de France.
[† ]Cum in comitatu Brene, feodis, retrofeodis et gardiis ipsius comitatus et aliis terris quas dilectus et fidelis consanguineus noster, Galtherus, dux Athenarum et comes dicti comitatus, habet in comitatu Campanie, sint plures homines et femine, burgenses nostri albani superventi aliunde et alii qui se advoaverunt et advoant nostros homines et feminas de jurata, ac etiam plures homines et femine dicti consanguinei, suorum feodorum, retrofeodorum et gardiarum, qui eos deadvoaverunt et se advoaverunt et advoant homines et feminas nostros de dicta jurata; nitendo se eximere a servitute qua sunt ipsi consanguineo nostro et suis feodatis, retrofeodatis et gardiis, ut dicunt, astricti. . . . . (Ordinance of King John [1355, November], Recueil des Ordonn. des rois de France, t. iv., p. 724.) . . . . Cum a predecessoribus nostris Francie regibus, vasallorum et dominorum aliorum utilium seu immediatorum subditis in senescaliis Tholose, Carcassonne et Bellicadri, per dictos suos dominos, suos justiciarios seu officiarios oppressis subvenire volentibus et ipsos a gravaminibus relevare, ductis et excitatis ad hoc ex frequenti querela subditorum ipsorum, fuerit ab antiquo, previa consilii deliberatione matura, laudabiliter ordinatum, ut quicunque taliter oppressi cujuscunque status et conditionis existerint, dimissa dicti sui immediati dominii subjectione, subjectionem nostram ingredi et nostri burgenses effici possent, et ad hoc admitterentur libere, cessante contradictione quacunque. . . . . (Ordinance of Charles V. [1373, July 29]; ibid., t. v., p. 627.)
[* ]See the account of the election of Charles of Valois, as King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona. Rymer, Fædera, Conventiones, Litteræ, &c., t. i., p. 639.
[* ]See below, note 2, p. 61. Particular cities were thus honourably distinguished by the kings of France.—Translator’s note.
[† ]See the Ordinance of St. Louis, 1262, countersigned by three bourgeois of Paris, three of Provins, two of Orléans, two of Sens, and two of Laon. Recueil des Ordonn des rois de France, t. i., p. 93.—The origin of the States in particular provinces is the same as that of the States-General of the kingdom.
[* ]The three States of France were convoked at Nôtre-Dame in Paris on the 10th of April, 1302.
[* ]Rex autem. . . . Parisiis convocans ad concilium universos regni Franciæ barones, prælatos, duces et comites, abbates et procuratores capitulorum suorum, decanos et custodes ecclesiarum collegiatarum, vice-dominos, castellanos, majores et scabinos communiarum. . . . (Chronique de Guillaume de Nangis, t. i., édition de Géraud, p. 314.)
[† ]Chronologie des Estats généraux, by J. Savaron (Caen, 1788), p. 94. See the Report of my brother, Amédée Thierry, on the competition for the prize of History decreed in 1844 by the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.
[* ]The words gens de tiers et commun état are found in many acts of the fifteenth century. The expressions tiers état, commun état, and le commun, are used indifferently.
[† ]The elections of deputies of the Tiers Etat, limited during the fourteenth century and great part of the fifteenth, to what were called the bonnes villes, were towards the end of the fifteenth century extended to cities which were not protected by walls and to simple villages. See below the States-General of 1484.
[* ]Est ordonné que des trois estaz dessus diz seront ordennez et depputez certaines personnes bonnes et honnestes, solables et loyauls et sans aucun souspeçon, qui par les pays ordenneront les choses dessus dittes, qui auront receveurs et ministres, selon l’ordenance et instruction qui sera faite sur ce; et oultre les commissaires ou depputez particuliers des pays et des contrées, seront ordennez et establiz par les trois estats dessus dits neuf personnes bonnes et honnestes: c’est assavoir de chascun estat trois qui seront généraulx et superintendenz sur tous les autres, et qui auront deux receveurs généraux prud’hommes et bien solables, pour ce que lesdiz superintendens ne seront chargiez d’aucune recepte, ne de faire compte aucun. (Ordinance of 28 December, 1355, art. 2. Recueil des Ordonn. des rois de France, t. iii., p. 22.)
[* ]Et ne seront lesdites aydes et ce qui en ystra levées ne distribuées par nos genz, par noz trésoriers, ne par noz officiers, mais par autres bonnes genz, saiges, loyauls et solables, ordonnez, commis et depputez par les trois estaz dessusdiz, tant aux frontières comme aillieurs où il les conviendra distribuer. (Ibid, art 5.)—Ibid, art. 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, et 52.
[* ]Furent assemblés à Paris, par le mandement du roy, les prélats, les chapitres, les barons, et les villes du royaume de France, et leur fist le roy exposer en sa présence l’estat des guerres. . . Lesquels respondirent, c’est assavoir: le clergié, par la bouche de maistre Jehan de Craon, lors arcevesque de Rains, les nobles, par la bouche du duc d’Athènes, et les bonnes villes, par Estienne Marcel, lors prévost des marchans à Paris, que il estoient tous prests de vivre et de mourir avec le roy, et de mettre corps et avoir en son service, et délibéracion requistrent de parler ensemble, laquelle leur fu ottroiée. (Chroniques de Saint-Denis, édit de M. Paulin Paris, t. vi., p. 19.)
[† ]Avec tout ce, les chevaliers et les écuyers qui retournés étoient de la bataille, en étoient tant hais et si blâmés des communes que envis ils s’embatoient ès bonnes villes. Si parlementoient et murmuroient ainsi les uns sur les autres. (Chron. de Froissart, t. i., 2e partie, ch. 52.
[* ]Ordinance of 3 March, 1357 (1356, old style), art. 1, 2, 5, 11, 39, 42, et 43; Recueil des Ordonn. des rois de France, t. iii., p. 128. . . .—Il esmut, enduit et enorta les députez dessusdiz à ce qu’il esleussent vingt-huit personnes des trois estas, c’est assavoir: quatre prélas, douze chevaliers, et douze bourgois, qui averoient tout le gouvernement du royaume, qui ordeneroient la chambre de parlement, des comptes et de touz autres offices, et y metteroient telles personnes comme bon leur sembleroit. Et par ce appert clérement que le gouvernement, l’auctorité et la puissance de gouverner le royaume il vouloit oster au roy et à monseigneur le duc, ou au moins leur en vouloit si petit laissier comme niant, car, toute l’auctorité de fait feust aus vingt-huit esleuz, et n’en eust le roy ne le duc fors nom tant seulement. (Articles against Robert le Coq, Bishop of Laon: manuscript published by M. Douet d’Arcq, in the Bibliothèque de l’Ecole des chartes t. ii., p. 365, art. 52.)—Froissart says that the council of the States ought to be composed of thirty-six persons; but a list which may be received as authentic assigns twenty-four members to this council, viz.:—six nobles, eleven ecclesiastics, and seventeen bourgeois. Thus the representation of the communes was then equal in number to those of the nobles and clergy united. See in tom. ii. of the Bibliothèque de l’Ecole des chartes, the document cited above.
[* ]Or vous dis que les nobles du royaume de France et les prélats de sainte église se commencèrent à tanner de l’emprise et ordonnance des trois états. (Chroniq. de Froissart, liv. 1er, 2e partie, ch. 62.)—Le huitiesme jour d’après Noel l’an dessusdit, fu l’assemblée à Paris des bonnes villes, mais il n’y ot aucuns nobles et pou y ot de gens d’église. Et tous les jours assembloient et sine povoient estre à accort. Et toutes voies ils demourèrent à Paris jusques au vingt-quatriesme ou vingtcinquiesme jour de Janvier. (Chron. de Saint-Denis, t. vi., p. 80.)—Le dimenche devant karesme prenant, onziesme jour de Février, se rassemblèrent à Paris pluseurs des bonnes villes et du clergié, mais il n’y vint nul noble. Et par pluseurs journées se assemblèrent, si comme il avoient accoustumé. (Ibid, p. 86.)
[† ]Le samedi ensuivant, vingt-quatriesme jour dudit moys, fu monseigneur le duc en la chambre de parlement, et avec lui aucuns de son conseil qui lui estoient demourés. Et là allèrent à luy ledit prévost et pluseurs autres avec luy, tant armés comme non armés, et requistrent à monseigneur le duc que il feist tenir et garder, sans enfraindre, toutes les ordenances lesquelles avoient esté faites par les trois estas, l’an précédent, et que il les laissast gouverner, si comme autrefois avoit esté fait . . . et pour ce que le peuple se tenoit trop mal content de moult de choses qui estoient faites au conseil de monseigneur le duc contre ledit peuple, il voulsit mettre en son grand conseil trois ou quatre bourgeois que l’en lui nommeroit, toutes lesquelles choses monseigneur le duc leur octroya. (Ibid, p. 92.)
[* ]Et quand ledit prévost fu en ladite chambre, et pluseurs armés de sa compaignie avec luy, il dit audit monseigneur le duc que il ne se meist point à mésaise de ce qui estoit advenu, car il avoit esté fait de la volenté du peuple, et pour eschiévier greigneurs périls. . . . Et requist ledit prévost à monseigneur le duc que il voulsist ratifier ledit fait et estre tout un avec eux. (Chron. de Saint-Denis, t. vi., p. 88 et 89.)
[† ]La première semaine de Janvier ensuivant, ceux de Paris ordenèrent qu’il auroient tous chapperons partis de rouge et de pers, et fu commandé par les ostels, de par le prévost des marchans, que on preist tels chapperons. (Ibid. p. 73.)—Le prévost des marchans et les eschevins envoièrent lettres closes par les bonnes villes du royaume, par lesquelles il leur faisoit savoir le fait qu’il avoient fait, et leur requéroient que il se voulsissent tenir en viaie union avec eux, et que il voulsissent prendre de leurs chapperons partis de pers et de rouge, si comme avoient le duc de Normendie et pluseurs autres du sanc de France, si comme èsdites lettres estoit contenu. Et en vérité, ledit monseigneur le duc, le roy de Navarre, le duc d’Orléans, frère dudit roy de France, et le comte d’Estampes, qui tous estoient des fleurs de lis, portoient lesdits chapperons. (Ibid. p. 94.)
[* ]Ledit roi de Navarre vint en la maison de la ville et prescha, et entre les autres choses dist que il aimoit moult le royaume de France et il y estoit moult bien tenu, si comme il disoit. Car il estoit des fleurs de lis de tous costés, et eust esté sa mère roy de France se elle eust esté homme; car elle avoit esté seule fille du roy de France. Et si lui avoient les bonnes villes du royaume, par espécial celle de Paris, fait trés grans biens et haus honneurs, lesquels il taisoit, et pour ce estoit-il prest de vivre et de mourir avecques eux. . . . Si fu alors esleu ledit roy en capitain de la ville de Paris; et lui fu dit, de par le prévost des marchands de Paris, que ceux de Paris escriproient à toutes les bonnes villes du royaume, afin que chascun se consentist à faire ledit roy capitain universal par tout le royaume de France. (Ibid, p. 116.)—Præpositus mercatorum, cummultis de majoribus civibus per quos tota civitas regi videbatur . . . iverunt ad regem Navarræ dominum Carolum de Ebroicis, qui antea per eos tamquam capitaneus vocatus fuerat . . . ordinaverunt secrete ut iterum per ipsos vocaretur . . . et tandem, cum ipse rex Navarræ esset de linea et prosapia regia, ad sceptrum regale et regnum Franciæ ascenderet et regnaret Nam dictus rex Navarræ ad hoc totis viribus anhelabat. . . . (Chron. de Guillaume de Nangis, 2e continuat., t. ii., p. 268 and 269.)
[* ]Etienne Marcel had, as an associate in his struggle with the Government and in his projects of reform, a member of the clergy, who, by his birth and studies, belonged to the bourgeoisie—Robert le Coq, Bishop of Laon, an able jurist, first an advocate, then maître des requêtes, and lastly président clerc of the Parliament.
[† ]See l’Histoire de l’Hôtel de Ville de Paris, by M. Leroux de Lincy, liv. iii., ch. 1er, p. 58 à 60.—Si mit ouvriers en œuvre quant qu’il en put avoir et recouvrer de toutes parts, et fit faire grands fossés autour de Paris, et puis chaingles, murs et portes, et y ouvroit-on nuit et jour, et y eut le terme d’un an tous les jours trois mille ouvriers. Dont ce fut un grand fait que de fermer sur une année et d’enclorre et avironner de toute défense une telle cité comme Paris est et de tel circuit. Et vous de que ce fut le plus grand bien que oncques le prévôt des marchands fit en toute sa vie; car autrement elle eût été depuis courue, gâtée et robée par trop de fois. (Chron. de Froissart, liv. 1er, 2e partie, chap. 66.)—Dictes-nous que pas un des Clercs, de Marle, Marcel ne des Bourciers . . . souffre que le fils d’un Italien, d’un Anglois, d’un Lorrain ou Esconçois se die aussi bon François que luy. (Du grand et loyal devoir, fidélité et obéissance de messieurs de Paris envers le roy et couronne de France, pamphlet contre le cardinal de Guise, petit in-8o, 1565, p. vii.)
[* ]Aucunes gens des villes champêtres, sans chef, s’assemblèrent en Beauvoisin, et ne furent mie cent hommes les premiers, et dirent que tous les nobles du royaume de France, chevaliers et écuyers, honnissoient et trahissoient le royaume, et que ce seroit grand bien qui tous les détruiroit. Et chacun d’eux dit: “Il dit voir! il dit voir! honni soit celui par qui il demeurera que tous les gentilshommes ne soient détruits!” Lors se assemblèrent et s’en allèrent sans autre conseil et sans nulles armures, fors que de bâtons ferrés et de couteaux. . . . Et multiplierent tant que ils furent bien six mille; et partout là où ils venoient, leur nombre croissoit; car chacun de leur semblance les suivoit. (Chron. de Froissart, liv. 1er, 2e partie, chap. 62.)—Mais ils étoient jà tant multipliés que, si il fussent tous ensemble, ils eussent bien été cent mille hommes. Et quand on leur demandoit pourquoi ils faisoient ce, ils répondoient qu’ils ne savoient, mais ils le veoient aux auties faire, si le faisoient aussi. (Ibid, chap. 66.)
[* ]Et firent un capitaine que on appeloit Guillaume Cale, et alèrent à Compiègne; mais ceux de la ville ne les y laissièrent entrer. Et depuis ils alèrent à Senlis, et firent tant que ceux de ladite ville alèrent en leur compaignie. Et abattirent toutes les forteresces du pays, Armenonville, Tiers, et une partie du chastel de Beaumont-sur-Oyse. (Chron. de Saint-Denis, t. vi., p. 110.)—Puis s’assemblèrent autres paisans en plusieurs lieux en Beauvaisis, et ailleurs en France; et mesmes ceux de Beauvais estoient contre les nobles hommes: et en mena-on plusieurs à Beauvais, qui y furent occis par le consentement du commun de la ville, et aussi le maire d’Amiens envoya cent hommes du commun à l’aide des vilains. (La Chron. de Flandres, publiée par D. Sauvage [Lyon, 1562], chap. 94, p. 196.)—Plusieurs qui estoient partis de la ville de Paris, jusques au nombre de trois cens ou environ, desquels gens estoit capitain un appelé Pierre Gille, espicier de Paris, et environ cinq cens qui s’estoient assemblés à Cilly en Mucien, desquels estoit capitain un appelé Jehan Vaillant, prévost des monnoies du roy, alèrent à Meaux. . . . Et toutes voies, avoit lors pou de villes, cités ou autres en la langue d’Oyl qui ne fussent meues contre les gentilshommes, tant en faveur de ceux de Paris qui trop les haoient, comme pour le mouvement du peuple. (Chron. de Saint-Denis, t. vi., p. 113.)
[† ]Et en ces assemblées avoit gens de labour le plus, et si y avoit de riches hommes, bourgois et autres. (Ibid, p. 112.)—En ce temps alèrent ceux de Paris à Ermenonville et as saillirent le chastel et le prirent par force. Là estoit Robert de Loreis, qui, pour peur de la mort renia gentillesse, et dit qu’il aimoit mieux la bourgeoisie de Paris (dont il estoit né) que chevalerie, et par ce fut il sauvé et sa femme et ses enfans. (La Chron. de Flandres, chap. 94, p. 197.)—Et aussi tuoient les gentilshommes tous ceux que il povoient trouver qui avoient esté de la compagnie des Jacques, c’est-à-dire, des communes qui avoient tué les gentilshommes, leur femmes et leur enfans et abattues maisons; et tant que on tenoit certainement que l’en en avoit bien tué dedans le jour de la S.-Jean Baptiste vint mil et plus. (Chron. de Saint-Denis, t. vi., p. 117.)—Depuis cette déconfiture qui fut faite à Meaux, ne se rassemblèrent ils nulle part; car le jeune sire de Coucy, qui s’appeloit messire Enguerrand, avoit grand foison de gentilshommes avec lui, qui les mettoient à fin partout où ils les trouvoient, sans pitié et sans merci. (Chron. de Froissart, liv. i., 2e partie, chap. 68.)
[* ]The villagers in revolt applied to themselves the contemptuous sobriquets which the nobles gave to the people: “Tunc temporis nobiles, derisiones de rusticis et simplicibus facientes, vocabant eos Jacque Bonhome.” (Chron. de Guillaume, de Nangis, 2e continuat., t. ii., p. 238.)—Le duc de Normandie . . . s’en alla à Provins et . . . d’illec vers Chasteautierry et vers Gandelus, où l’en disoit qu’il y avoit grande assemblée de ces communes que l’en appeloit Jacques Bonhommes. (Chron. de Saint-Denis, t. vi., p. 117.)
[* ]The summons of the States-General to Paris on the 7th of November was issued conjointly by the Duke of Normandy, who despatched his letters under the seal of the regency, and by the Prévôt des Marchands, who despatched his own under the seal of the city: “Et envoia ces lettres aux gens d’églyse, aux nobles et aux bonnes villes, et les manda. Et aussi envoia ledit prévost des marchans ses lettres aux dessusdis, avec les lettres dudit monseigneur le duc” (Chron. de Saint-Denis, t. vi., p. 62.)
[† ]The murder of Etienne Marcel, by Jean Maillart, took place on the 31st of July, 1358; his brother Gilles Marcel, greffier of the Hôtel de Ville, and Charles Toussac échevin, like him deputy of Paris and member of the council of the States, were slain; the one assassinated on the 31st of July, and the other beheaded on the 2nd of August. Simon le Paonnier, Philippe Giffart, and Jean de l’Isle, members of the municipal council, were slain; the two first with the prévôt, and the third with his brother. Five other bourgeois, counsellors or officers of the city, were condemned to death, and executed the following week. Nicolas le Chauceteur and Colart de Courliègis, deputies of Abbeville and Laon in the States-General, and members of the council of the states, met with the same fate.—Plures capti sunt et quæstionibus appositi, et infra certum diem ad forum tracti fuerunt et judicialiter decollati. Et isti fuerunt illi qui cum prædicto præposito villam antea gubernabant et de quorum consilio in omnibus agebatur; inter quos fuerunt aliqui burgenses multum solemnes et eloquentes quamplurimum et edocti. (Chron. de Guill. de Nangis, 2e continuat., t. ii., p. 273.)
[* ]See below, Chapters III. and VI.
[* ]The principles of German law in civil matters continued a long time, together with German manners, in the families of nobles, the baronage was imbued with traditions of the conquest. See the Recherches of M. Edouard Laboulaye on the civil and political condition of women from the days of the Romans to our own.—Anno igitur mccclvi. fastus et dissolutio in multis personis nobilibus et militaribus quamplurimum molevit Nam cum habitus antea decurtatos, ut supra dixi, et breves nimis accepissent, hoc anno tamen adhuc magis se incœperunt sumptuose deformare, perlas et margaritas in capuciis et zonis deauratis et argenteis deportare, gemmis diversis et lapidibus preciosis se per totum curiosius adornare; et in tantum se curiose omnes, a magno usque ad parvum, de talibus lasciviis cooperiebant, quod perlæ et lapides magno pretio vendebantur et vix Parisiis poterant reperiri. . . . Incœperunt etiam tunc gestare plumas avium in pileis adaptatas. (Chron. de Guill. de Nangis, 2e continuat, t. ii., p. 237.)
[* ]The manner in which the cahier—a statement of grievances and petition for reforms—was prepared for the Tiers Etat, is described in the second paragraph from the end of chap. vi.; and a specimen of one, as prepared by the village of Blaigny, is given in appendix iii. at the end of vol. ii.—Translator’s Note.