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taking away the King's life, to bring it within the statute of Edw. III., I shall give this true and clear account:—I never was at Mr. Sheppard's with that company but once, and there was no undertaking then of securing or seizing the guards, nor any appointed to view or examine them. Some discourse there was of the feasibleness of it; and several times by accident, in general discourse elsewhere, I have heard it mentioned as a thing might easily be done, but never consented to as a thing fit to be done. And I remember particularly, at my Lord Shaftesbury's, there being some general discourse of this kind, I immediately flew out and exclaimed against it; and asked, if the thing succeeded, what must be done next, but mastering the guards, and killing them in cold blood? which I looked upon as a detestable thing, and so like a popish practice, that I could not but abhor it. And at the same time the Duke of Monmouth took me by the hand, and told me very kindly, ** My lord, i" see you and I are of a temper; did you ever hear so horrid a thing?" And I must needs do him justice to declare, that I ever observed in him an abhorrence of all base things.
"As to my going to Mr. Sheppard's, I went with an intention to taste sherry; for he had promised to reserve for me the next very good piece he met with when I went out of town; and if be recollects himself, he may remember 1 asked him about it, and he went and fetched d bottle; but when I tasted it, I said it was hot in the mouth, and desired, that whenever he met with a choice piece, he would keep it for me, which he promised. I enlarge the more upon this, because Sir Geoxge Jeffreys insinu. ated to the jury, as if I had made a story about going thither; but I never said that was the only reason. I will now truly and plainly add the rest.
"I was, the day -before this meeting, come to town for two or three days, as I had done once or twice before, having a very near and dear relation lying in a languishing and desperate condition; and the Duke of Monmouth came to me, and told me, he 'was extremely glad I was come to town, for my Lord SJiaftesbury, and some hot men, would undo us all. How >so, my lord? (I said) — Why (answered he) they will certainly do some disorderly thing or other, if great care be not taken; and tlterefore, for God's sake, use your endeavour with your friends to prevent any thing of this kind. He told me that there would be company at Mr. Sheppard's that Jiight, and desired me to be at home in the evening, and he would call on me4 which he did. And when I came into the room, I saw Mr. Rumsey by the chimney, though he swears he came in afterwards; and there were things said by some, with much more heat than judgment, which I did sufficiently disapprove: and yet for these things I stand condemned; but, I thank God, my part was sincere and well meant. It is, I know, inferred from hence, and pressed to me, that I was acquainted with these heats and ill designs, and did not discover them. But this could be but misprision of treason, at most; so I die innocent of the crime I stand condemned for. I hope no body will imagine that so mean a thought should enter into me, as to go about to save myself by accusing others: the part that some have acted lately of that kind, has not been such as to invite me to love life at such a rate.
"As for the sentence of death passed upon me, I cannot but think it a very hard one; for nothing was sworn against me (whether true or false I will not now examine), but some discourses about making some stirs; and this is not levying war against the King, which is treason by the statute of Edward III., not the consulting and discoursing about it, which was all that is witnessed against me; but, by a strange fetch, the design of seizing the guards was construed a design of killing the King; and so 1 was in that cast.
"And now I have truly and sincerely told what my part was in that which cannot be more than a bare misp-ision; and yet I am condemned as guilty of a design of killing the King. I pray God lay not this to the charge neither of the King, council, nor judges, nor sheriffs, nor jury; and for the witnesses, I pity them, and wish them well. I shall not reckon up the particulars wherein they did me wrong; 1 had rather their own consciences would do that; to which and the mercies of God, I leave them; only I shall aver, that what I said of my not hearing Colonel Riimsey deliver any message from my Lord Shaftesbury was true; for I always detested lying, though never so much to my advantage. I hope none will be so unjust and uncharitable, as to think I would venture on it in these my last words, for which I am soon to give an account to the great God, the searcher of hearts and judge of all things.
*« From the time of chusing sheriffs, I concluded the heat in that matter would produce something of this kind; and I am not much surprised to find it fall upon me; and I wish what is done to me may put a stop, and satiate some people's revenge, and that no more innocent blood be shed; for I must, and do still look upon mine to be such, since I know I was guilty of no treason; and therefore would not betray my innocency by flight, (though much pressed to it,) of which I do not, I thank God, yet repent, how fatal soever it may have seemed to have proved to me; for I looked upon my death in this manner (I thank God) with other eye* than the world does. . I know I said but little at the trial, and I suppose it looks more like innocence than guilt. I was also advised not to confess matter of fact plainly, since that certainly must have brought me within the guilt of misprision; and being thus restrained from dealing frankly and openly, I chose rather to say little, than to depart from that ingenuity that, by the grace of God, I had carried along with me in the former part of my life; and so could easier be silent, and leave the whole matter to the consciences of the jury, than to make the last and solemnest part of my life so different from the course of it, as the using little tricks and evasions must have been: nor did I ever pretend to any great readiness in speaking. I wish those gentlemen of the law, who have it, would make more conscience in the use of it, and not run men down, and, by strains and fetches, impose on easy and willing juries, to the ruin of innocent men: for, to kill by forms and subtilties of the law, is the worst sort of murder. But I wish the rage of hot men, and the partiality of juries, may be stopped with my blood, which I would offer up with so much the more