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leave the chair, but was again held down by Holles, Valentine, and Long-Holles stoutly swearing" by God's wounds” that he should sit there so long as it was their pleasure. A third appeal was made to him, and Selden gravely warned him that such obstinacy must not go unpunished, lest it should be made an evil precedent; while Hayman disowned him for a Kentishman, hotly denounced bim as a disgrace to his family and a reproach to his country, and proposed that a new Speaker be chosen in his place. The stir and turmoil continued to increase, until fierce blows were exchanged; force met force, and ready hands sought their sword-hilts. “Let all," exclaimed William Strode, “who desire this declaration read and put to the vote stand up.” With a fierce “ Aye, aye !” the great body of members instantly rose, and Eliot flung his paper into the midst of them on the floor of the House.
Soon afterwards, the Serjeant-at-Arms attempted to lift the mace from the table, which in itself would have involved a suspension of the proceedings; but Sir Miles Hobart wrested it from him, and also shut and locked the door of the House, putting the key into his pocket. At this moment Sir John Eliot came forward with a shorter declaration, which he read amid a tumult of applause ; and thereafter Denzil Holles, while Black Rod was knocking at the door, produced the following resolutions, and standing close to the chair, in which, sullen and silent, still sat the Speaker, cried out in a loud voice that he there and then put it to the question :
First, “Whoever shall bring in innovation in religion, or by favour seek to extend or introduce Popery or Arminianism, or other opinions disagreeing from the true and orthodox Church, shall be reputed a capital enemy to this kingdom and commonwealth."
With repeated “Aye, aye !” the Commons signified their assent.
Second, “Whoever shall advise the levying of the subsidies of tonnage and poundage, not being granted by Parliament, or shall be an actor or instrument therein, shall be likewise reputed an innovator in the government, and a capital enemy to the kingdom and commonwealth.'
This too was ratified by general acclamation."
And third, “If any merchant or other person whatsoever, shall voluntarily yield or pay the said subsidies, not being granted by Parliament, he shall likewise be reputed a betrayer of the liberty of England.”
For a third time the House rang with approving cries of “Aye, aye !" and Hobart, having flung open the door, the members swept forth pell mell, carrying with them a king's officer, who, with a guard of pensioners, had been despatched by Charles to force an entrance.
Thus came to a close the Third Parliament of Charles 1. ; and for upwards of eleven years no Parliament met in England.
Charles proceeded to inflict his vengeance on the leaders of the Opposition. Sir John Eliot, Holles, Selden, Hayman, Hobart, Langton, Valentine, Strode, and Long, were examined before the Privy Council, on the 13th of March, and committed to the Tower, because they refused to answer out of Parliament for what they had done under its protection. For more than three months they were detained in rigid confinement, being denied even the use of books and writing materials. Eventually, all but Sir John Eliot sued out their writs of habeas corpus. They were then brought before the King's Bench, and in accordance with one of the provisions of the Bill of Rights, the cause of their commitment was specified. Littleton, their counsel, pointed out that the offence alleged against them was bailable ; but the judges, through the influence of the Crown, fixed the bail upon terms which the patriots declined to accept. They next took up the ground that no court had a right to interfere with actions done in Parliament. To this the judges assented, but decided that the members had been charged with sedition and taking part in a riot, and that riot and sedition could not be regarded as parliamentary proceedings. Eliot and his companions still held firm, and sentence was finally pronounced against them, to the effect that they should be imprisoned during the king's pleasure, that none should be released without giving security for good behaviour and making submission and acknowledgment of their offence.
After an imprisonment of eight months, the patriots were again offered their liberty on their giving sureties for their good behaviour; and again, through Selden, who acted as their mouthpiece, they refused. The rigour of their confinement, however, was somewhat relaxed ; and Selden, on application, was transferred by habeas corpus to the Marshalsea, and subsequently to the Gatehouse. Here his imprisonment was almost nominal, and he was even allowed to visit his friend the Earl of Kent, at his country-seat. When this incident came to the knowledge of his judges, he was remanded to the Marshalsea ; but, ultimately, at the intercession of the Earls of Arundel and Pembroke, was released upon bail. In 1634, he received his full discharge.
Selden then returned to his literary and antiquarian pursuits; and in 1636, produced his famous work, the Mare Clausum, which, originally designed only as an answer to the Mare Liberum of Grotius, had expanded
into a full and elaborate demonstration of England's claim to the sovereignty of the seas. It had been written some nineteen years before, and submitted in MS. to James I. Disputes on the question of maritime supremacy arising with the Dutch in 1635, Selden's treatise seems to have been brought to the notice of Charles, who immediately ordered its publication. It was dedicated to the king, and by him was so highly esteemed that he gave directions for copies of it to be preserved in the council-chest, in the Court of Exchequer, and in the Court of Admiralty. In 1652, it was translated into English by Marchmont Needbam, and also by J. H., probably James Howell (the author of the quaint Epistola Ho-Eliance).
To the famous Long Parliament, which assembled on the 3rd of November, 1640, Selden was returned as one of the members for the University of Oxford ; a proof that, notwithstanding his former career in the House, he was not regarded as hostile to the royal cause. He behaved, however, with perfect consistency; and cast in his lot with the popular party so long as they kept within the lines of constitutional action. He sat and acted on the committee for inquiring into the arbitrary proceedings of the Earl Marshal's court ; as also on the committee for preparing the remonstrance on the state of the nation. In this conduct he was countenanced, however, by Lord Falkland and Lord Digby, who afterwards became the most loyal of the king's followers; and in truth, opinion in the Lower House was as yet almost unanimous, and all parties were agreed in resisting the encroachments of the Crown. He joined in the proceedings which led to the impeachment of Strafford, because he believed him to have violated the law; but when the majority in the Commons dropped the impeachment and introduced a bill of attainder, Selden strongly opposed it, because that too was, in his opinion, illegal and arbitrary. The measure of Selden's attachment to the popular cause can easily be attained : he was prepared to support it only so long as it respected the ancient usages; and we can therefore understand that, sooner or later, a time must come when the swift expansion of reform into revolution would separate him from the party of progress.
That time had not come as yet; Selden sat on the committee appointed to examine into the unconstitutional decision of the Court of Exchequer on the subject of ship-money; and though, as a friend of the Church of England, he opposed the abolition of Episcopacy, he was appointed a member of the committee which drew up articles of impeachment against Archbishop Laud. It was, perhaps, with the view of detaching from the popular party a man of so much weight and learning that Charles proposed, when Sir Thomas Littleton was unwell, to confer the Great Seal upon Selden ; but he was dissuaded from making the offer by Lords Falkland and Clarendon, who assured him that it would be rejected. “They concluded," says Clarendon, “that he would absolutely refuse the place if it were offered to him. He was in years, and of a tender constitution ; he had for many years enjoyed his ease, which he loved; he was rich, and would not have made a journey to York, or have come out of his bed for any preferment which he had never affected.” It is probable, however, that he would have been actuated also by higher motives, for of the sincerity of his attachment to the principle of constitutional reform there can be no question.
Selden was one of the majority which carried the