The sixteenth-century interest in the original form of the French monarchy, its "ancient constitution," has received considerable attention from historians, although the French side has never elicited the same sustained study that English historians have devoted to the ancient constitution in early Stuart England. 2 Two things seem apparent from a comparative examination of the French and English contexts. First, John Pocock, and more recently and emphatically Glen Burgess, have stressed the early Stuart vision of the English constitution as a living thing. The ancient constitution, although immemorial, evolved in tandem with the changing circumstances of the commonwealth, always perfectly suited to the English people. New or modified customs could be accommodated without altering the fundamental nature of the constitution. In contrast, French writers such as Franr;ois Hotman and Theodore Beza possessed a much more static interpretation of the French constitution. These authors acknowledged that changes had taken place over the centuries since the days of Clovis, most notably the institutional alterations that had accompanied the transfer of authority from the Merovingians to the Carolingians and later to the Capetians. They nevertheless insisted not only on an awareness of origins but also on an outright return to the institutions that were the concrete manifestation of the original constitution. For them, change to a great degree equalled perversion and degeneration.