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you that you will send them unto me as soon as they
return hither. But, I assure you, on the word of a
king, I never did intend any force, but shall proceed
against them in a legal and fair way, for I never
meant any other. And now, since I see I cannot do
what I came for, I think this no unfit occasion to
repeat what I have said formerly, that whatsoever I
have done in favour, and to the good of my subjects,
I do mean to maintain it, I will trouble you no more,
but tell you I do expect, as soon as they come to the
House, you will send them to me; otherwise I must
take my own course to find them." To that closing
sentence, the note left by Sir Ralph Verney makes a
not unimportant addition, which, however, appears
nowhere in Rushworth's report": " For their treason
was foul, and such an one as they would all thank
him to discover." If altered, it was an escape of angry
assertion from amid forced and laboured apologies,
and so far would agree with what D'Ewes observed
of his change of manner at the time: " After he had
ended his speech, he went out of the House in a more
discontented and angry passion than he came in,
going out again between myself and the south end
of the clerks' table, and the Prince Elector after him."
But he did not leave as he had entered, in silence.
Low mutterings of fierce discontent broke out as he
passed along, and " many members cried out aloud,
so as he might hear them, Privilege! Privilege!"
With these words, ominous of ill, ringing in his ear,
he repassed to his palace through the lane, again
formed, of his armed adherents, and amid audible
shouts of as evil augury from desperadoes
disapointed of their prey. Eagerly in that lobby had
the word been waited for which must have been the
prelude to a terrible scene. Lady Carlisle alone had
prevented it.

That night of storm, and tumult, and
madness, Charles put forth a proclamation
commanding all the ports to be closed against the
accused, if so be that they should attempt to
leave the kingdom; and the next day he went
into the City to find them. He had some friends
yet at Guildhall, and royalty had still something
of its old awful power in the sight of the people;
but the awakening sense of danger and of liberty
was greater than either private friendship or old
tradition. The people pressed round his coach,
crying, "Privilege of Parliament! Privilege of
Parliament!" and one citizen, bolder, perhaps
more fanatic, than the rest, flung a paper
in at the window, whereon was written, " To
your tents, Israel!" (He expiated his
offence at the next sessions.) The sheriffs and
officers received the king at Guildhall with
decorum and respect, but through all this pleasant
external form, which it was neither wise nor
right to fling aside, the king was made bitterly
conscious that his power was gone, like
Samson's, and gone for ever. He made a gracious
speech, and invited himself to dine with Sheriff
Garrett, no particular friend of his; but on his
return he was still assailed with, " Privilege of
Parliament! Privilege of Parliament!"—a few
feeble voices answering at intervals, " God bless
the King!" All was substantially lost; " he
had thrown and lost the stake," attempted twice
and twice failed.

In spite of this lesson, so hardly given, his
first act on his return to Whitehall was to draw
up a proclamation, which was to have been
published next day, accusing afresh of high treason,
and other misdemeanours pointing scaffoldward,
the five members already under ban. All sorts
of flying rumours filled the citizens with alarm
and dread; and the extreme of agitation and
confusion prevailed everywhere. Reports got
abroad, of an intended attack by Charles's men,
when citizens were to be slaughtered without
mercy, and the town fired. The Commons
assembled, armed, and with closed doors; then
adjourned to the 11th, meanwhile appointing a
committee to sit in Guildhall because of the
greater freedom and security to be had in the
City than at Westminster. The next day, the
6th of January, the committee voted it a breach
of privilege to arrest the five members, and by
that night the whole City was under arms. On
the 7th, the committee took evidence of the
attempt; and, as the result of their inquiry,
invited the accused five members to come among
them again on Monday; which defiance of his
authority so exasperated the king, that he sent
them word he intended to pay them (the
committee) a visit. Whereupon they intimated
their dutiful readiness to receive him with all
due honour, by ordering the full attendance of
their train bands and guards. It was a dignified
and polite manner of reply, and " of course
nothing more was heard of a visit from the king."
This was on the 8th, and on the same day
Charles put forth a fresh proclamation,
commanding the magistrates to seize and convey
the five members to the Tower. An hour after
publication, the committee had pronounced the
proclamation " false, scandalous, and illegal."
The game was coming too close now for many
courtesies to be possible, and it was time to
strike out, if men would strike for any good.

On the 9th, which was Sunday, London was
filled with crowds of stout Buckinghamshire
yeoman gentlemen, who had ridden up to defend
their glorious representative, John Hampden.
Strangers grasped each other's hands in the
streets, like loving brothers; forms of society
and conventional rules were flung aside; and
men spoke out in the fulness of their hearts, as
if each speaker were a prophet and each listener
a hero. Church, chapel, and tabernacle,
overflowed with eager multitudes, drinking in the
brave words that exhorted to godliness and
freedom, and the steadfast standing by the
truth; while such a crowd as had not gathered
together since Strafford's execution, surrounded
Whitehall, ready to defend Pym. On Monday,
the 10th, the committee, sitting in Grocers' Hall,
could scarce get to their seats for the throng of
loving citizens that pressed around them; and
all men knew that the crisis was at hand. The
five members, answering to invitation, joined
the committee, when it was agreed that the
House would make preparations for reassembling
at Westminster to-morrow, according to
the date of their adjournment, carrying back
with them the accused in triumph.

Before four o'clock that afternoon, the king
fled from Whitehall. He expected soon to return
to it, the unopposed master of his dominions;