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was owing to his consciousness that God had for. CHAPTER given him his past transgressions, of all which generally he repented with all his soul.

At last the reverend assistants consented to join with him in prayer, but no sooner were they risen from their kneeling posture, than they returned to their charge. Not satisfied with what had passed, they exhorted him to a true and thorough repentance: would he not pray for the King ? and send a dutiful message to his Majesty, to recommend the Dutchess and his children? As you please,” was the reply ;'“ I pray

for him and for all men.” He now spoke to the executioner, desiring that he might have no cap over his eyes, and began undressing. One would have thought that in this last sad ceremony, the poor prisoner might have been unmolested, and that the divines would have been satisfied, that prayer was the only part of their function for which their duty now called upon them. They judged differently, and one of them had the fortitude to request the Duke, even in this stage of the business, that he would address himself to the soldiers then present, to tell them he stood'a sad example of rebellion, and entreat the people to be loyal and obedient to the King, “I - have said I will make no speeches,” repeated Monmouth, in a tone more peremptory than he had

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CHAPTER before been provoked to; “ I will make no speeches. I come to die." "

My Lord, ten words will be enough,” said the persevering divine, to which the Duke made no answer, but turning to the executioner, expressed a hope that he would do his work better now than in the case of Lord Russel. He then felt the axe, which he apprehended was not sharp enough, but being assured that it was of proper sharpness and weight, he laid down his head. In the meantime, many fervent ejaculations were used by the reverend assistants, who, it must be observed, even in these moments of horrour, showed themselves not unmindful of the points upon which they had been disputing; praying God to accept his imperfect and general repentance.

The executioner now struck the blow, but so feebly or unskilfully, that Monmouth, being but slightly wounded, lifted up his head, and looked him in the face as if to upbraid him, but said nothing. The two following strokes were as ineffectual as the first, and the headsman in a fit of horrour, declared he could not finish his work. The sheriffs threatened him; he was forced again to make a further trial, and in two more strokes separated the head from the body.

Thus fell, in the thirty-sixth year of his age,

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Monmouth.

James Duke of Monmouth, a man against whom all CHAPTER that has been said by the most inveterate enemies both to him and his party, amounts to little more Character of than this, that he had not a mind equal to the situations in which his ambition, at different times, engaged him to place himself. But to judge him with candour, we must make great allowances, not only for the temptations into which he was led by the splendid prosperity of the earlier parts of his life, but also for the adverse prejudices with which he was regarded by almost all the cotemporary writers, from whom his actions and character are described. The Tories of course are unfavourable to him; and even anong the Whigs, there seems, in many, a strong inclination to disparage him; some to excuse themselves for not having joined him; others to make a display of their exclusive attachment to their more successful leader, King William. Burnet says of Monmouth, that he was gentle, brave, and sincere: to these praises, from the united testimony of all who knew him, we may add that of generosity; and surely those qualities go a great way in making up the catalogue of all that is amiable and estimable in human nature. One of the most conspicuous features in his character, seems to have been a remarkable, and, as some think, a culpable degree of flexibility.

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Chapter That such a disposition is preferable to its opposite

extreme, will be admitted by all who think that modesty, even in excess, is more nearly allied to wisdom than conceit and self-sufficiency. He who has attentively considered the political, or indeed the general, concerns of life, may possibly go still further, and rank a willingness to be convinced, or in some cases even without conviction, to concede our own opinion to that of other men, among the principal ingredients in the composition of practical wisdom. Monmouth had suffered this flexibility, so laudable in many cases, to degenerate into a habit,

which made him often follow the advice, or yield .. to the entreaties, of persons whose characters by no

means entitled them to such deference. The sagacity of Shaftesbury, the honour of Russel, the genius of Sidney, might, in the opinion of a modest man, be safe and eligible guides. The partiality of friendship, and the conviction of his firm attachment, might be some excuse for his listening so much to Grey; but he never could, at any period of his life, have mistaken Ferguson for an honest man. There is reason to believe, that the advice of the two last mentioned persons had great weight in persuading him to the unjustifiable step of declaring himself King. But far the most guilty act of this unfortunate man's life,

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was his lending his name to the Declaration which CHAPTER was published at Lyme, and in this instance, Ferguson, who penned the paper, was both the adviser and the instrument. To accuse the King of having burnt London, murdered Essex in the Tower, and .finally, poisoned his brother, unsupported by evidence to substantiate such dreadful charges, was calumny of the most atrocious kind; but the guilt is still heightened, when we observe, that from no conversation of Monmouth, nor indeed from any other circumstance whatever, do we collect that he himself believed the horrid accusations to be true. With regard to Essex's death in particular, the only one of the three charges which was believed by any man of common sense, the late King was as much implicated in the suspicion as James. That the latter should have dared to be concerned in such an act, without the privacy of his brother, was too absurd an imputation to be attempted, even in the days of the Popish plot. On the other hand, it was certainly not the intention of the son to brand his father as an assassin. It is too plain, that in the instance of this Declaration, Monmouth, with a facility highly criminal, consented to set his name to whatever Ferguson recommended as advantageous to the cause. Among the many dreadful circumstances attending

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