Графични страници
PDF файл

asleep as at any time in his life. As he awoke, he asked what o'clock it was; but whilst his servant was preparing his things for him to dress, he fell asleep again. Dr. Burnet coming in woke him, saying, "What, my lord! asleep?" "Yes, Doctor," he said; "I have slept heartily since one o'clockt" He then desired him to go to his wife, to say that he was well, and had slept well, and hoped she had done so. He remembered himself kindly to her, and prayed for her. He dressed himself with the same care as usual; and said, he thanked God he felt no sort of fear or hurry in his thoughts. He prayed several times with Dr. Burnet, and afterwards with Dean Tillotson; and, at intervals, went into his chamber, and prayed by himself. Once he came out, and said he had been much inspired in his last prayer, and wished he could have written it down and sent it to his wife. He gave Dr. Burnet several commissions to his relations; but none more earnest than to one of them, against all revenge for what had been done to himself: he told Burnet he was to give him his watch; and as he wound it up, he said, " I have done with time: now eternity comes."

About half an hour before he was called on by the sheriffs, he took Dr. Burnet aside, and said that he meant to say something of the dangers of Slavery as well as Popery; but Oh Dr. Burnet's telling him it would look like resentment, and begging him to let it alone, he .smiled, and said he would do so.

As he came down, he met Lord Cavendish, and took leave of him; but remembering something of importance, he went back to him, and spoke to him with great earnestness. He pressed him anxiously to apply himself more to religion; and told him what great comfort and support he felt from it now in his extremity. Such was his last advice and farewell to his dearest friend. He went into his coach with great cheerfulness. Dr. Tillotson and Dr. Burnet accompanied him. As they were going, he looked about him, and knew several persons. Some he saw staring on him, who knew him, and did not put off their hats. He said, there was great joy in some, but that did not touch him so much as the tears he observed in the eyes of others; for that, he said, made him tender. He sung within himself as he went along; and Dr. Burnet asking him what he was singing, he said it was the HQth psalm; but he should sing better very soon. As the carriage turned into Little Queen Street, he said, " I have often turned to the other hand with great comfort, but now I turn to this with greater." As he said this, he looked to

-wards his own house, and Dr. Tillotson saw a tear drop from his eye.

Just as they were entering Lincoln's-InnFields, he said, " This has been to me a place of sinning, and God now makes it the place of my punishment." He wondered to see so great a crowd assembled. He had before observed, that it rained, and said to his companions, "This rain may do you hurt that are bare-headed."

After all was quiet, he spoke to the sheriff as follows:

"Gentlemen *,

"I expected the noise would be such, that I should not be very well heard. I was never fond of much speaking, much less now; therefore I have set down in this paper all that I think fit to leave behind me. God knows how far I was always from designs against the King's person, or of altering the government. And I still pray for the preservation of both, and of the Protestant religion. Mr. Sheriff, I am told, that Captain Walcot yesterday said some things


* The night before he died, he thought of the shor he was to make on the scaffold. Instead of t "Mr. Sheriff," he resolved to begin, "Gentlemen;" because, he said, he was not truly sheriff. He accordingly did so; but he did not think it worth while to make the same alteration in the paper that was to be printed.—Burnet, MSS.

concerning my knowledge of the plot: I know not whether the report is true or not."

Mr. Sheriff. "I did not hear him name your lordship."

Writer. "No, my lord, your lordship was not named by any of them."

Lord Russell. "I hope it is not true; for, to my knowledge, I never saw himj nor spake with him, in my whole life: and, in the words of a dying man, I profess I know of no plot, either against the King's life or the government. But I have now done with this world, and am going to a better: I forgive all the world heartily, and I thank God I die in charity with all men; and I wish all sincere Protestants may love one another, and not make way for Popery by their animosities. I pray God forgive them, and continue the Protestant religion amongst them, that it may flourish so long as the sun and moon endure. I am now more satisfied to die than ever I have been."

Then he desired the Dean to pray. After that he spoke a word to the Dean, and gave him his ring, and gave Dr. Burnet his watch, and bid him go to Southampton-House, and to BedfordHouse, and deliver the commissions he had given him in charge. In these his last moments, one of his commissions was a message of kind remembrance to one who held the principles in opposition to which he was about to sacrifice his life. This was Mr. Kettlewell, a clergyman, who, for his religious zeal, had been introduced as chaplain into the Earl of Bedford's family, but who held, to their farthest extent, the doctrines of unlimited obedience, and the illegality of resistance under any pretence whatsoever. And he lost no opportunity of explaining and defending these opinions to Lord Russell. "But," says his biographer, " although this unfortunate Lord had no very favourable opinion of the English clergy in general, as thinking them, for the most part, a set of men too much bigotted to slavish principles, and not zealous enough for the Protestant religion, or the common interest of a free nation; yet it is worthy of observation, that the meek and Christian behaviour of Mr. Kettlewell would not suffer him not to have an esteem for him, which he failed not to express, even in his last moments, by sending a message to him from the scaffold, of his kind remembrance of him." *

He then knelt down and prayed three or four minutes by himself. When that was done» he took off his coat and waistcoat. He had brought a night-cap in his pocket, fearing his servant might not get up to him. He undressed himself,

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »