Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/56

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odious, if they had declared what they intended. They must have some colour or other to make it believed that the King made war first upon the Parliament. And besides, they had not yet sufficiently disgraced him and his actions in sermons and pamphlets, nor removed from about him those they thought could best counsel him. Therefore they resolved to proceed with him like skilful hunters; first to single him out, by men disposed in all parts to drive him into the open field *with their noise,* and then in case he should but seem to turn head, to call that a making of war against the Parliament.

And first they called in question such as had either preached or written in defence of any of those rights, which, belonging to the Crown, they meant to usurp, and take from the King to themselves: whereupon some few preachers and writers were imprisoned.[1] The King not protecting these, they proceeded to call in question some of the King’s own actions in his ministers, whereof they imprisoned some, and some went beyond sea. And whereas certain persons, having endeavoured by books and sermons to raise sedition, and committed other crimes of high nature, had therefore been censured by the King’s council in the Star-chamber, and imprisoned; the Parliament by their own authority, to try, it seems, how the King and the people would take it (for their persons were inconsiderable), ordered their setting at liberty; which was accordingly done, with great applause of the people, that flocked about them in London, in manner of a triumph. This being done, without resistance, *they called in question* the King’s right to ship-money—

B. Ship-money! what’s that?

A. The Kings of England, for the defence of the sea, had power to tax all the counties of England, whether they were maritime or not, for the building and furnishing of ships; which tax the King had then lately found cause to impose, and the Parliament exclaimed against it as an oppression.

  1. After “imprisoned” follows in Edd. “or forced to fly.” These words have been erased in the MS. by the amanuensis.