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still the foremost man in the war of words. Laud and Williams were both overthrown by his fervid eloquence; and when the court threatened to dissolve the uncomplying parliament, at the conclusion of a powerful harangue, he cried out, “I protest, as I am a gentleman, if my fortune be ever again to meet in this honourable assembly, that where I now leave off I will begin again.” And he was a man to keep his word. The court now saw plainly enough that Eliot must be silenced at any price, or all its designs against the liberties and properties of the subject must come to nought. Only over his corpse could the citadel of freedom be assailed with effect. It was a memorable day in the history of England, the day when these words were spoken. As Eliot resumed his seat, the Speaker rose, and said he had the king's command to adjourn the House. Charles intended it should meet no more : but the House declared that it had pressing matter to attend to, and refused to adjourn. The pressing matter was the tonnage and poundage, and the great orator rose again to submit a remonstrance to the assembly, declaratory that the receiving of those and other imposts, not granted by parliament, was against the fundamental statutes of the realm. The Speaker refused to put the motion ; a violent scene ensued; Selden tried, but in vain, to reason the tumult down. At length, Hollis réad three protestations, to the effect, (1.) That whosoever caused an innovation in religion—(2.) Whosoever should advise the levying of the obnoxious and unsanctioned imposts—And (3.) whosoever voluntarily paid them, would be a capital enemy of the nation, and a traitor to its liberties. While the storm was at the loudest, a messenger from the king appeared, sent to carry away the mace : he went away as he came. Soon after, the usher of the black rod knocked at the door, with a more peremptory message : he was refused admission. Charles now lost his temper, and sent for a troop of horse to force a clearance ; but before they arrived, the House had adopted the proposals read by Hollis, and risen. This outrage was the prelude to yet graver events : for eleven years, the gentlemen of England met no more as of old to watch over the welfare of their country.

Eliot, with Selden, Hollis, and many others, was thrown into the Tower, and ordered to be kept in close confinement, relieved only by his examinations before the council. But neither solitude nor privation could bend the pride of his lofty soul. When questioned as to his doings in Parliament, he boldly replied,—“Whatever was said or done by me in that place, and at that time, was performed by me as a public man, and as a member of that house ; and I am, and always shall be, ready to give an account of my sayings and doings there, whenever I shall be called unto it by that house ; where, as I take it, it is only to be questioned.” Hollis answered with equal intrepidity, as did the others. Such men were worthy to be the champions of English rights. They were all committed, and refused to be allowed to give bail, in flagrant violation of law and justice.

Charles had already determined to keep Eliot in prison for life, or crush his patriotic spirit; and he was as good as his thought. The latter he could not do, with all his cruelties; the former he could, and did. For several months the orator was denied the solace of a book; no one was permitted to see him except his gaolers ; his letters were all held back; and pens and papers were carefully kept out of his reach. It is hard to realize the misery of such a position. Eliot would feel the horrors of seclusion all the more from its contrast with the excitement of his last few years ; but he knew the eyes of all his countrymen were turned in high, if for the moment unavailing, sympathy towards his lonely dungeon ; he felt that the cause in which he had embarked his life needed martyrs ; and these thoughts supported him in his darkest hours. Foreseeing the evil times which were at hand, he had long ago assigned over his estate in trust for his children : he knew that for himself he would be unable to endure the yoke of the court, and he expected to be made its victim.

After a trial, which was a mockery, the patriots were sentenced to be confined until they acknowledged themselves in the wrong, and gave security for their good behaviour. Some of them, after various periods of imprisonment, gave way, paid their fines, found sureties to answer for them, and made submission. Hollis paid a thousand marks ; Valentine, five hundred pounds ; Selden and Eliot refused to admit the justice of their sentences, and


remained in prison. When the latter was told that he had been sentenced to pay a fine of two thousand pounds, he remarked, "I have two cloaks, two suits, two pair of boots and galoches, and a few books; that is all my present substance; and if they can pick out of that, two thousand pounds, much good may it do them.” When it became evident the captive would never make submission, the court, feeling that it had got him secured for life, relaxed its cruelties so far as to allow him books and writing materials, which he employed in composing his vigorous treatise, called the “Monarchy of Man," and in writing letters to Hampden and other friends, as also to his children. All this prison-born literature is profoundly interesting. The correspondence with his sons is described as truly noble and pathetic. He exhorted them to stand firmly by the principles for which he was gradually falling a sacrifice : a trust lay upon them as upon himself. He says, no enemy had ever been able to “wound his mind;" and so long as his children remained true to their political faith, he could hold the last great grief at a distance. For himself, his health was suffering severely from the wretchedness of his cell—the monotony of the scene—the want of air and generous he was growing faint and feeble, but still he says he should not bate a jot of heart or hope.

That the nation was not indifferent to its champion's fate is certain. His native county petitioned in his favour; and the whole country beheld his fortitude in so trying a time with enthusiastic admi


ration. Now, when he was dying, beyond all hope, the king put forth his royal arts to induce him to submit and accept a pardon. With this view, it seems to have been hinted to him, that he had only to ask his life at his master's hands to receive it. He accordingly wrote a manly application to the lord chief-justice. That functionary replied, “Though brought low in body, Sir John is as high and lofty in mind as ever,” and that he must write to the king. Eliot thereupon wrote an equally manly letter to his majesty ; to which he returned for answer, “ It is not humble enough.” It was then changed as to its phrase ; but nothing was said in it which could be construed into a triumph by the court. No answer was vouchsafed.

His fate was then sealed. Charles had promised himself the pleasure of humbling his republican virtue ; and when he found all the arts employed to that end completely baffled, his resentment knew no bounds. Sir John lingered on a few months more, and then died, as he had lived, with the expression of an unconquerable love of freedom on his lips. I am sorry to relate what followed. When the patriot was no more, it might have been expected that the hatred of his murderer would have been appeased; but it was not so ; the Stuarts never knew what it was to forgive. When his children begged to be allowed to inter the ashes of their father in the same vault with his ancestors, the ruthless king replied, “ Let him be buried where he died.” And so he was. But the unsated tyrant missed his object.

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