“King of England, France, &c.”
NOTHING can be more empty and ridiculous than the title which our monarchs assume of—“The Kings of France.” It would characterize a great prince to eraze from his true honours this fictitious one. An English monarch should not suffer his dignity to be exposed to the smile of the philosopher.
Charpentier very temperately states the only two principles by which our kings can assume this title. The first, from Edward the Third being son of Isabella of France, who was sister to three Kings of France—Louis Hutin, Philip the Long, and Charles the Fair, who died without children: so that Edward, their nephew, disputed the crown of France with Philip de Valois, on the foundation of the Salique law, which had never yet been agitated. This law says, that the kingdom of France ne tombant point en quenouille: i.e. “The sceptre of France shall never degenerate into a distaff.” The children of the daughters of France can never succeed to it. As the present monarchs of England are not descendants of this Edward, they cannot have any pretensions to the crown of France, if it had not been a maxim with them, that the rights once devolved on the crown are for ever unalienable and imprescriptible. The second principle is, the donation which Charles the Sixth made of the crown of France to our Henry the Fifth, his son-in-law, to the exclufion of his son Charles the Seventh.
We may add here, that Cromwell offered to sell Cardinal Mazarine all the vouchers for France, which are preserved in the Tower, for a hundred thousand crowns. It was at this price he rated the claims of England to the crown of France; but the Cardinal wisely deemed even that sum too high a price.
If it be a maxim with our crown, of which I am ignorant, that the rights once devolved upon it, are unalienable and imprescriptible, it may be said that we possess the United States of America; but, I believe, this sovereignty would not be so easily permitted as that of the French monarchy.