Hissing in the House.'
From time to time the behaviour of Members of Parliament is condemned as too rowdy and rude. I can remember hearing of such complaints as long as I can remember hearing of Parliament, and it has often been said that the behaviour grew worse after the Commons' sittings began to be televised. I haven't heard much recently, but problems like this seem to go on and on; is it useless to appeal for better behaviour?
Perhaps not; while I was looking for something else in the Journals of the House of Commons from the Parliament of 1604, I happened upon a most indignant motion:
Mr. Hext moveth against Hissing in the House; as not beseeming the Gravity of the Assembly, derogating from the Dignity of it, and from the Privileges, more than any other Abuse whatsoever.*
It must have worked. I can't recall any recent complaints about hissing in the house. But was hissing really worse than any other abuse?
*From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 1: 26 March 1604 (2nd scribe)', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 1: 1547-1629 (1802). URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=9611. Date accessed: 16 September 2008.