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as the only security; and branding those who had hindered it passing."
This motion brought on a debate upon expedients. A proposal of Sir J. Markham, that the Crown should be settled on the Prince of Orange, jointly with the Duke, was laughed at by the House. Sir L. Jenkins, and Mr. D. Finch, were the only other members who argued in favour of expedients. They were opposed by all the men of ability in the House, and particularly by Colonel Titus; who said, that to accept of expedients, after such a King had mounted the throne, would be as strange as if there were a lion in the lobby, and they should vote to secure themselves by letting him in, and chaining him, instead of keeping him out.
The resolutions passed were the same in substance as those moved by Mr. Booth. By one of these, the House voted an address to the King, to remove the Marquis of Worcester, the Earl of Clarendon, the Earl of Feversham, Mr. L. Hyde, and Mr. Seymour, from his presence and councils for ever: by another they declared, that till the Exclusion Bill were passed, they could not grant the King any manner of supply: by two other resolutions, they voted that those who should lend money to the Crown upon the customs, excise, or hearth money, or by any tally, or anticipation upon any branch of the King's revenue, should be adjudged to hinder the sitting of Parliament, and be responsible for the same in Parliament.
The House of Commons seem to have been iully aware that this conduct would bring on a breach with the King. Sir H. Capel declared in the debate, that he never expected to have another opportunity of speaking in that House. Jan. 10. On the 10th of January, the King 1681. came to the House and prorogued them. A quarter of an hour before, the Commons passed, in a loose and disorderly manner, a resolution, declaring whoever advised the King to prorogue Parliament, was a betrayer of the King, the Protestant religion, and the kingdom of England. In other resolutions they declared the Duke of Monmouth had been removed by the Duke of York's influence, and that they would make an application to restore him to his former power.
A few days afterwards, the Lord Mayor and Common Council presented a petition to the King, that he would be pleased to call Parliament together on the day appointed, that they might finish the important business on which they were engaged. This petition was answered by a dissolution of the Parliament, which was proclaimed on the 18th January, and a new one summoned to meet at Oxford the 21st of March. The Duke of York, about this time, sent Mr. Churchill, (afterwards Duke of Marlborough,) on a mission to the King, to advise him to prorogue Parliament for a considerable time, to give up his alliance with Holland and Spain, in order to form one with France, and to grant his own recall. The King was averse to all his proposals, excepting that of an alliance with France *, which he allowed him to negociate.
During the interval of Parliament, the Duke of York was indicted as a recusant, before a grand jury of the county of Middlesex, who found a true bill against him. The cause was removed by certiorari into the King's Bench. The elections went generally in favour of the Whigs. The city of London voted thanks to their old members for their conduct, especially for their support of the Exclusion Bill, and concluded by declaring they would stand by them with their lives and fortunes. We are told by Rapin that this example was followed by most places in the kingdom.
I do not know that I can conclude this chapter in a .more entertaining manner, than by giving a satirical description from North, a bitter
* Life of James.
enemy of the Whigs, of a political club which they frequented about this time : —
"The gentlemen of that worthy society held their evening sessions continually at the King's Head Tavern, over-against the Inner-Temple gatebut, upon occasion of the signal of a green ribbon agreed to be worn in their hats in the days of street engagements, they were called also the Green Ribbon Club. Their seat was in a sort of carfour at Chancery-Lane end, a centre of business and company, most proper for such anglers of fools. The house was double-balconied in the front, as may be yet seen, for the clubsters to issue forth in fresco, with hats and no perruques, pipes in their mouths, meny faces, and dilated throats, for vocal encouragement of the canaglio below,, at bonfires on usual and unusual occasions.
"The resolves of the more retired councils and ministry of the faction were brought in here, and orally insinuated to the company, whether it were lies, defamations, projects, &c. and so, like water diffused, spread all over the town, whereby that which was digested at the club over-night, was like nourishment at £very assembly, male and female, the next day; and thus the young boys tasted of political administration, and took themselves for notable counsellors.
"The pastime of this meeting, called The Club, was very engaging to young gentlemen; and one who had once tasted the conversation, could scarce ever quit it; for some or others were continually coming and going to import or export news and stories. There it was known, in half an hour, what any member said at the committee of ejections, or in the House, if it sate late; and every post conveyed the news and tales legitimated there; as also the malign constructions of all the good actions of the government, especially to places where elections were depending, to shape men's characters into fit qualifications to be chosen or rejected.
"They were carriers up and down of seditious talk all over the town ; so that a puisne politician, from the universal harmony of discourse, would think the grossest fablings to be truth in perfection."