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and truly religious, there is a very good reason why it should not be spoken of; so he charged me never to speak of it, unless I heard it talked of, and then he left me to my discretion. I confess, when he began with a charge of secrecy, I thought it was something relating to the public; and I told him, I could not promise it. But it was wholly of another nature.
He continued in this temper till the last: he called for tea, and drank two dishes; and about half an hour before he expected to be called on, he drank a glass of sherry, and ate a mouthful of bread. He asked the Dean how Sir Richard Corbet (who he heard was sick) did, and when he saw Colonel Titus, and desired to be remembered to him; and was asking if they were taking up any more, just as Captain Richardson told him the Sheriffs were come. So he withdrew for half a quarter of an hour, and then came out, with no alteration in his looks.
As he came down, my Lord Cavendish was below, and he took leave of him; but when he left him, he remembered of somewhat of great importance, and went back to him, and spake to him with great earnestness. He told me what it was in general, and wished me to second it. He went out to his coach with his ordinary cheerfulness, and wondered to see so great a crowd.
As we were going, he looked about him still, 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 other people's eyes; for that, he said, made him tender. I observed he was singing often within himself, but could not hear the words. I asked him what he sang. He said it was the beginning of the 119th psalm; but he should sing better very soon. And observing the crowd, he said, he should soon see a greater and better company. As we came by WarwickHouse, observing all shut up there, he asked if my Lord Clare was out of town. I told him he could not think any windows would be open there upon this occasion.
As we came to turn 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, and looked towards his own house; and then, as the Dean of Canterbury, who sat over against him, told me, he saw a tear or two fall from him.
When he came into the field, he wondered to see such a crowd. I remember it rained as we were on the way; and he said to us, this rain may do you hurt that are bare-headed. And the night before, at supper, when he heard it rain heavily, he said it would spoil the show to-morrow, if the rain should continue; for a show in a rainy day was a very dull thing. After all was quiet, he spake to the sheriffs what he intended, of which he read the greater part. Then he desired the Dean to pray. After that he spake a word to the Dean, and gave him his ring, and gave me his watch, and bid me go to Southampton-House and BedfordHouse, and deliver the commissions that he had given me in charge. Then he kneeled down, and prayed about three or four minutes by himself; afterwards he undressed himself. He had brought a night-cap in his own pocket, fearing lest his man might not get up to him. But on the way he observed him walking very sad by the coach, and said, "Taunton has been a faithful servant to me; and I hope, if my son lives, he shall serve him as long as he has done me."
He threw off his periwig, and put on his nightcap, and then unbuttoned his coat, and let it be drawn off. After that, he took off his cravat; and all this without the least change of countenance. And with the same courage, after he had given the executioner what he had intended him, (which he had forgot to do at first,) he laid himself along, and said he would give no sign. But when he had lain down, I looked once at him and saw no change in his looks; and though he was still lifting up his hands, there was no trembling; though, in the moment in which I looked the executioner happened to be laying his axe to his neck, to direct him to take aim. I thought it touched him; but I am sure he seemed not to mind it. — This is a punctual and true relation of all that I can remember between him and me.
APPENDIX, No. IX.
REMARKS ON A PASSAGE IN ECHARD'S HISTORY.
We are told in Echard's Appendix to his History, that Dr. Tillotson informed the King that Lord Russell had declared to him, that he was satisfied the King had never done any thing to justify any one in rebelling against him. That he had never any such thought himself, and only kept company with those unhappy men to prevent the Duke of Monmouth from being led into any rash undertaking by them, and more particularly the Earl of Shaftesbury. Being then asked, why Lord Russell did not discover their design to the King? he answered, that Lord Russell had said he could not betray his friends, nor turn informer against them, while he saw there was no danger: but if things had come to a crisis, he would have contrived that some notice should have been given to the King; and in case of violence, would himself have been ready to oppose them sword in hand.