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“ This is to beg your lordship to let my Lady Russell know, that her lord’s address ‘to the Duke ought to be by way of petition; and that the sooner it is presented, the better.‘ It is said that Captain Richardson is he who has informed that my Lord Russell says his sufferings are but the prosecution of the Popish plot ; but I can scarce believe that true& but being told it, and that that suggestion has much incensed His Majesty against his lordship, I durst not but tell it to your lordship, from whom some good news of the petition, carried by my Lady Russell, would be very welcome to,
' ' “ My lord,
“ Your lordship’s humble Servant,
l i * Burnet.
, T In Dalrymple’s first edition, Charles is made to reply“ Je ne veux pas empecher que M. de Rouvigny ne vienne pas ici.” This answer, however, is omitted in the octavo edition, and there is merely a. reference to Barillon’s letter of the 19th July, 1683. See State Trials, vol. ix. p. 685.
Woburn, a note from the‘ elder, not the younger, Rouvigny, to Lady Russell, dated Paris, it; July, 1688, in which he says:—“ J’ai une grande impatience, ma chere niece, d’etre prés de vous ; il y a tro‘is jours que le Roi est arrivé; il a eu 1e bonté de consentir a mon voyage.” But he does not mention a word of a letter from Lewis; which is almost in itself a contradiction of the story. .
The importunity of his friends, and the deep distress of a wife, whom he so tenderly loved, prevailed upon Lord Russell to take another step to save his life. ‘ This was, to write petitions to the King, and to the Duke of York, offering to live abroad, and never ‘more to meddle in the afl'airs of England. He left it to his friends how the petitions were to be worded. If there was some weakness in thus asking for mercy, there was nothing degrading to his honourable character. Indeed, he does not seem to have entertained any expectation of saving his life; but he did not choose to aiflict his wife by the appearance of a haughty silence towards his sovereign. ‘
The following are the petitions of the Earl of Bedford and ‘Lord Russell, to the King, and Lord Russell’s letter , to the Duke of York :-— . ,
“ To the King’s most Excellent Maj esty, “ The humble Petition of William Earl of Bed. . ford: “ Humbly sheweth ;
“ That could your Petitioner have been ad‘ mitted into your presence, he would have laid himself at your royal feet, in behalf of his unfor. tunate son, himself and his distressed and dis. consolate family, to implore your royal mercy; which he never had the presumption to think could be obtained by any‘indireet means, But shall think himself, wife, and children, much happier to be left but with bread and water, than to lose his dear son for so foul a crime as treason against the best of Princes, for whose lifia he ever did, and ever shall pray more thgn for his own.
‘‘ May God incline Your Majesty’s heart to the prayers of an afilicted old filthef, and not bring grey hairs with sorrow to my grave
mg that he never had the least thought against Your Majesty's life, nor any design to change the government: but humbly and sorrowfully confesses his having been present at those meet, ings, which he is convinced were unlawful and justly provoking to Your Majesty; but being betrayed by ignorance and inadvertence, he did not decline them as he ought to have done, for which he is truly and heartily sorry; and there. fore humbly ofl'ers himself to Your Majesty to be determined to live in any part of the world which you shall appoint, and never to meddle any more in the aflairs of England, but as Your Majesty shall be pleased to command him.
“ May it therefore please Your Majesty, to extend your royal favour and mercy to your .Petitioner, by which he will Ibefior eve; W to pray fin‘ Your Majesty, and to devote his life to your service. . WILLIAH RnssELL.” * l
The following letter of Lord Russell to the Duke, was delivered by Lady Russell to the Duchess of York :
“ May it please Your Highness; “ The opposition I have appeared in to Your Highness’s interest, has been such, as I have
‘I' In the State Paper Otfiee there is another petition from Lord Russell to the King, but it is merely the common petilieu of a condemned person, and of no interest whatever. i