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Full text of "The Diary Of John Evelyn Vol-2"

1680                               JOHN EVELYN

155

quently (as he pretended) trusted; I say, that the wit-
ness of such a profligate wretch should be admitted
against the life of a peer,—this my Lord looked upon as
a monstrous thing, and such as must needs redound to
the dishonor of our religion and nation. And verily I
am of his Lordship's opinion: such a man's testimony
should not be taken against the life of a dog. But the
merit of something material which he discovered against
Coleman, put him in such esteem with the Parliament,
that now, I fancy, he stuck at nothing, and thought every-
body was to take what he said for Gospel. The consid-
eration of this, and some other circumstances, began to
stagger me; particularly how it was possible that one who
went among the Papists on such a design, and pretended
to be " intrusted with so many letters and commissions
from the Pope and the party,—nay, and delivered them to
so many great persons,— should not reserve one of them
to show, nor so much as one copy of any commission,
which he who had such dexterity in opening letters
might certainly have done, to the undeniable conviction
of those whom he accused; but, as I said, he gained
credit on Coleman. But, as to others whom he so madly
flew upon, I am little inclined to believe his testimony,
he being so slight a person, so passionate, ill bred, and of
such impudent behavior; nor is it likely that such pierc-
ing politicians as the Jesuits should trust him with so
high and so dangerous secrets.

yth. December, 1680. On Tuesday, I was again at the
trial, when judgment was demanded; and, after my Lord
had spoken what he could in denying the fact, the man-
agers answering the objections, the Peers adjourned to
their House, and within two hours returned again. There
was, in the meantime, this question put to the judges,
<( whether there being but one witness to any single crime,
or act, it could amount to convict a man of treason.J) They
gave an unanimous opinion that in case of treason they all
were overt acts for though no man should be condemned
by one witness for any one act, yet for several acts to
the same intent, it was valid; which was my Lord's case.
This being past, and the Peers in their seats again, the
Lord Chancellor Pinch (this day the Lord High-Steward)
removing to the woolsack next his Majesty's state, after
summoning the Lieutenant of the Tower to bring forthy, I was commodiouslyh expectation