Графични страници
PDF файл

almost forced him to admit my Lord Howard to a meeting at his house. For when he saw the Lord Howard, Colonel Sydney, and Mr. Hampden coming in, he said to the Earl of Essex, who was come before, “ What have we to do with this R——- P” and would have gone out, but the Earl of Essex made him stay. Yet he said, having that mistrust, he said very little. And (to put all that belongs to this matter together) the night before his death, he said to me, in my lady’s hearing, that my Lord Howard, in

many particulars, had sworn falsely, and done'

him wrong. But I did not reckon them up. He added, concerning the Earl of Essex, that the day before he, seeing his window open, looked towards it through the glass in the head of his

stall; and saw him leave the window as soon as

he appeared, and go into the room. So that he believed his condition gave the fatal crisis to his melancholy. He spoke often of him to me, and very largely, the day before his death : he said, he was the worthiest, the justest, the sincerest, and most concerned for the public of any man he ever knew. And he also told me, that my Lord of Essex was afterwards much troubled for ad- mitting the Lord Howard to their meetings, and thought he would betray them; upon which he answered, he had ventured upon the confidence the other had in him, for,‘ added he, if

[ocr errors]

you should betray me, every body would blame you, and not me ; but if we should let such a man as my Lord Howard betray us, every body would blame us, as much as him. These discourses lasted about half an hour, till my lady was gone with the letter, and then he entered upon the most serious discourses I ever heard. He told me, for death, he thanked God as a man, he never was afraid of it, and did not consider it

with so much apprehension as the drawing of a,

tooth. But he said he found the courage of' a man, that could venture in the heat of blood, was very different. from the courage of a dying Christian, and dying in cold blood. That must come from an inward peace of conscience and assurance of the mercy of God; and that he had to such a degree, that though from the first day of his imprisonment he reckoned he was a dead man, it had never given him any sort of‘ trouble. He added, that God knows the trouble I saw him in some weeks ago, when his son was ill, had gone nearer his heart, and taken more of his rest from him, than his' present condition had done. And he remembered of a colic he had lately, which had filled him with so much pain, and so oppressed his spirits, that he saw howlittle a man could do, if he came to die in. such a manner ;, whereas he had now all his thoughts perfectly about him, and had no other apprehen» sions of death, but being a little gazed at by his friends and enemies, and a moment’s pain. He said that though he had been guilty of many defects and failings, (amongst which be reckoned his seldom receiving the sacrament,) yet he thanked God, he had a clear conscience, not only in relation to the public, (in which he had gone so sincerely, that he was sure he had nothing to answer for, but the sense of ignorance, and some indecent discourses, in which he had, been generally more guilty by hearing them, and being pleased with them, than by much speaking,) but in relation to all his other concerns, he


had spent much, but it was in no ill way. He could '

never limit his bounty to his condition ; and all the thoughts he had of the great estate that was to descend upon him, was to do more good with it; for he had resolved not to live much above the pitch he was then at. He thanked God, that now for these many years he had made great conscience of all he did ; so that the sins of omission were the chief things he had tohmswer for. God knew the sincerity of his heart, that he could not go into a thing he thought ill, nor could he tell a lie. After an hour’s discourse; we prayed together. Then he came to talk of his condition ;, he then thought the sentence would, perhaps, be executed by hanging; but he said if his friends could-bear that as well as by

[ocr errors]

could, it was no matter. He next fell to speak. of a paper to be left behind him ; he was resolved to say very little'on the scaffold, but to leave a larger paper. So he went over the heads he thought fit to speak to, which I perceived he had considered much. He said he had much leisure in the Tower, and had always looked for this; for that he did not doubt but the sheriff would take care to return such a jury as was resolved to condemn him, if the King's council should bid them ; so he had been forming in his mind what was fit for him to do in this matter ; for in most of the particulars, he expressed himself very near in the same words that are in his paper. So I lefi: him for‘x that night. He desired me to come again the next day at noon; and, in his modest way, desired as much of my time as I could conveniently spare. ' Next day I came to him, and found him in

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic]

have done. The thing is as it is, and I will neither say what I approved or disapproved ; but this I will add, that all the critical and nicer parts were very well weighed, to an exactness in the choice of every word. He thought it was incumbent upon him to write all he had written; but he promised me to consider every thing that I had offered to him. When this was done, he ran out into a long discourse of the providence of God in this matter. Rumsey and Lord Howard were two men he had always a secret horror at. Shepherd he thought better of; till he waS told he had betrayed Walcotte. Then he said he wondered not he had sworn falsely of him; but till then he thought he had forgot himself. ‘His coming up to town occasionally; his being called by the Duke of Monmouth with so good an intention ; his not going to a formal meeting where Rumsey was not, but to that where he was present; and the fatal melancholy of the Earl of Essex that morning ; all had such marks of a providence of God, that he was fully satisfied it was well ordered by God for some good ends, that it should be as it was. After two hours’ discourse my Lady came. He dined, ate, and drank as heartily, and did every thing in as cheerful a manner as he used to do. Then he heard (though but doubtfully), that Saturday was the day‘; so he wished to ‘ have two' days

« ПредишнаНапред »