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

1683                              JOHN   EVELYN                                181

strange; but more, that having passed the jugulars lie
should have strength to proceed so far, that an execu-
tioner could hardly have done more with an ax. There
were odd reflections upon it.

The fatal news coming to Hicks's Hall upon the article
of my Lord Russell's trial, was said to have had no little
influence on the Jury and all the Bench to his prejudice.
Others said that he had himself on some occasions hinted
that in case he should be in danger of having his life
taken from him by any public misfortune, those who
thirsted for his estate should miss of their aim; and that
he should speak favorably of that Earl of Northumber-
land,* and some others, who made away with themselves;
but these are discourses so unlike his sober and prudent
conversation that I have no inclination to credit them.
What might instigate him to this devilish act, I am not
able to conjecture. My Lord Clarendon, his brother-in-law,
who was with him but the day before, assured me he was
then very cheerful, and declared it to be the effect of his
innocence and loyalty; and most believe that his Majesty
had no severe intentions against him, though he was alto-
gether inexorable as to Lord Russell and some of the rest.
For my part, I believe the crafty and ambitious Earl of
Shaftesbury had brought them into some dislike of the
present carriage of matters at Court, not with any design
of destroying the monarchy (which Shaftesbury had in
confidence and for unanswerable reasons told me he
would support to his last breath, as having seen and felt
the misery of being under mechanic tyranny), but perhaps
of setting up some other whom he might govern, and
frame to his own platonic fancy, without much regard to
the religion established under the hierarchy, for which he
had no esteem; but when he perceived those whom he
had engaged to rise, fail of his expectations, and the day
past, reproaching his accomplices that a second day for
an exploit of this nature was never successful, he gave
them the slip, and got into Holland, where the fox died,
three months before these unhappy Lords and others were
discovered or suspected. Every one deplored Essex and
Russell, especially the last, as being thought to have been

* Henry Percy, eighth Earl of Northumherland, shot himself in the
Tower, to which he had been committed on a charge of high treason, in
June, 1585.n