Page images
PDF
EPUB

tility is derived from the honours of their ancestry;

66

a long descended race,

And wealth, and dignity, and power, and place,
Make gentlemen."

In this class must be included all who have barely failed in establishing their legal right to the title of esquire.

2nd, Gentlemen of coat-armour, who are not gentlemen by blood; these are such as are created by grants of coats of arms from the heralds; and their issue in the third generation constitutes a gentleman by blood.

3rd, Gentlemen created by conferring knighthood upon yeomen.

4th, Gentlemen created by conferring a spiritual dignity upon a yeoman.

But all these distinctions fail in giving any definite limits to the class, and the present acceptation of the word really appears to designate those who do not live by manual labour, or follow a mean occupation; but are unable to establish an indefeasible right to the title of esquire in the legal acceptation of that word; for it is hardly necessary to observe, that all who are considered gentlemen receive the addition of esquire to their names by the common courtesy of society.

PART IV.

OFFICIAL AND PROFESSIONAL RANKS.

THE STATE, THE LAW, THE CHURCH, THE ARMY, THE NAVY, THE UNIVERSITIES, CORPORATE AND COUNTY AUTHORITIES, &c.

OFFICIAL AND PROFESSIONAL

RANKS.

THE PRIVY COUNCIL.

I sat beside

A throned king, and was his councillor ;
And we knit laws together."

Pandemonium.

THE Privy Council is an eminent body of advisers, which includes the responsible ministers of the Crown, the majority of the judges, numerous distinguished diplomatists, with certain peers and commoners, whose service to the state, or whose political influence, has given them a claim to the honours of this assembly. The constitution of the Privy Council derives, however, no essential element from any of the above classes; it is constructed at the pleasure of the Sovereign, and no individual is necessarily included among its members. But without the immediate advisers of the Crown, and the judges, its high functions could not be effectively discharged; and from all the above mentioned classes therefore its members are usually selected.

To advise the Sovereign respecting the prorogation, dissolution, or summoning of a parliament, to

R

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »