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he that this wrong hath done, would bear it out by the proof of his own body, that this was done of him in his defence against that other that first had assailed him his words by the said law Imperial, ought to be heard.
Item.-If a man accuseth another that he would have had slain the king or the prince, by poisons or otherwise; and that other saith that he lyeth falsely, and for the same called him to champ of battle, he is holden by the same law Imperial, to answer him and keep him, the day that he shall set for to fight with him.
For what causes did ordain the Lombardish law Champ
So is there another law that is called the Law of Lombardy; wherein be comprised many divers things ; and in the same by especial, the mas'ters that stablished it have thereupon written many causes to which men may give gage for to fight in champ of battle. And out of the same laws are come almost all the judgments of giving of gage ; that is to say, a token of defiance for to befight his enemy within a close field, which men call champ of
* batile. So shall I tell thee some of those causes, that is to wite; If a man accuseth his wife, that she, bath treated or bespoken for to make him die, other by poison, or by some other secret death whereof by some colour, he hath her in suspicion ; but she cannot be to the truth truly attainted: or else when the husband is dead, and his kinsmen putteth upon his wife, that she hath made him to be brought to death if this woman can find a kinsman of her's, or some other friend that will fight for her, bearing out that that which is laid upon her, is falsely said, the Lombardish law will that he shall be received for to fight for her, against whomsoever will blame her.
Iten.-If a man were accused that he had slain another, and that this could not be proved against him; if he casteth his gage against him that accuseth him, the law will that he be received.
Item -Semblably', if he had beat a man under as. surance.
Item.If a man have slain another man, both all alone, and that he woll make a proof by gage of his body, that it was in his defencing, and that the other assailed him first; the said law will that he shall be beard.
Item. If a man, after the decease of some kins: man of his, of whom he ought to have the goods by. succession, as next kin, were accused to have slain
him, for to have his livelihood and his goods, he may defend himself thereof by his body, after the form aforesaid.
Item.--If a man were put upon, and accused to have lain with a man's wife, the which case, after this law, if her husband or kinsman complain to the justice, is capital death ; that is to say, worthy to lose his head for the same; the said law will that this man shall mowe" (to] defend himself by gage of battle.'
Item.In likewise it is of a man's daughter, being yet under the rule of her parents ; if they do complain of some man that hath had fellowship with her, tho' it was with her good will ; this law will that he die, but if he defend himself thereof by champ of battle, in case the thing were so secretly kept that it might not be proved against him: for if manifest or openly known it were, (if the kinsmen will, there were no remedy. And therefore this law should seem well strange in France, and in other place, that a man should die for such a case, seeing that it was by the good will of the woman, wedded or not wedded. And this law is upon such a reason founded, where it is truth that a man taketh death by sentence of the law or of justice, for to have committed a small theft of gold or of silver, a jewel or other thing: of which case whatsoever necessity
kath brought him thereto, shall not mowe excuse him, but that justice shall keep upon him her rigour, if grace, for respect of some piteous case, be not to him imparted and made. Why then shall be spared he that hath despoiled and taken away the honour and worship not only of a woman alone, but of her husband, and of both their lineages ? And because that where this folk that first made and stablished these laws, praise and set much more by. worship, than they did of gold nor of silver; they concluded that yet inuch more ought to have deserved death, he that robbed another of the aforesaid honour, whereby all a whole kindred is reproved, than if he had taken from them whatsomever other thing; and therefore some did say that the law was yet well gracious and piteous to them, when such folk were not more cruelly punished than other that were worthy of death; that is to wit, that it made them not to die of a more cruel death, than for another case: · Another case putteth the said law, that should seem all enough against reason. That is to wit, that if a man had stolen certain lifelode', house or land, or namely, moveable goods, the space of thirty year, er more; and that another should accuse him that through evil and deceivable means he had it, and falsely had possessed it; that if this accuser offered to prove the same only by his body in champ
i livelihood, lifehold.
of battle, he shall be received thereunto. But without fail, notwithstanding this law, 1 tell thee well, that foolish is he that such law accepteth, or such gage. And he that is thereunto called, and that already hath the possession in hand, might answer thus to that other: Fair friend, I have nought to do with thy gage. Fight 'thyself all alone, if you seem it good : for I shall never fight for this cause. So is there no law that may gainsay him in this case : for prescription is approved of all right.
Item.—Saith the same law, that if it happed two men to fall a-debate together, and that their question were brought to judgment, where both of them should produce or bring forth their proofs, to this intention, that if the one party would gainsay the other, and that they could not accord; if he will make it good by proof of his body, he shall be received.
Item._If a man taketh an action upon another for - certain sum of silver or some jewel, or of some
other moveable good, which as he said he lent to his father or mother, and that other denieth him the same; he shall also be received against the other to do champ of battle ; if he proffereth to make it good by the same mean.
Item.- If a man hath be? brought to loss and damage by fortune of fire in his house, or in his grange,