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Charles Dickens
A Child's History of England 35 Part 2
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CHAPTER XXXV
SECOND PART


THAT the Merry Monarch might be very merry indeed, in the merry
times when his people were suffering under pestilence and fire, he
drank and gambled and flung away among his favourites the money
which the Parliament had voted for the war. The consequence of
this was that the stout-hearted English sailors were merrily
starving of want, and dying in the streets; while the Dutch, under
their admirals DE WITT and DE RUYTER, came into the River Thames,
and up the River Medway as far as Upnor, burned the guard-ships,
silenced the weak batteries, and did what they would to the English
coast for six whole weeks. Most of the English ships that could
have prevented them had neither powder nor shot on board; in this
merry reign, public officers made themselves as merry as the King
did with the public money; and when it was entrusted to them to
spend in national defences or preparations, they put it into their
own pockets with the merriest grace in the world.

Lord Clarendon had, by this time, run as long a course as is
usually allotted to the unscrupulous ministers of bad kings. He
was impeached by his political opponents, but unsuccessfully. The
King then commanded him to withdraw from England and retire to
France, which he did, after defending himself in writing. He was
no great loss at home, and died abroad some seven years
afterwards.

There then came into power a ministry called the Cabal Ministry,
because it was composed of LORD CLIFFORD, the EARL OF
ARLINGTON, the DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM (a great rascal, and the King's
most powerful favourite), LORD ASHLEY, and the DUKE OF LAUDERDALE,
C. A. B. A. L. As the French were making conquests in Flanders, the
first Cabal proceeding was to make a treaty with the Dutch, for
uniting with Spain to oppose the French. It was no sooner made
than the Merry Monarch, who always wanted to get money without
being accountable to a Parliament for his expenditure, apologised
to the King of France for having had anything to do with it, and
concluded a secret treaty with him, making himself his infamous
pensioner to the amount of two millions of livres down, and three
millions more a year; and engaging to desert that very Spain, to
make war against those very Dutch, and to declare himself a
Catholic when a convenient time should arrive. This religious king
had lately been crying to his Catholic brother on the subject of
his strong desire to be a Catholic; and now he merrily concluded
this treasonable conspiracy against the country he governed, by
undertaking to become one as soon as he safely could. For all of
which, though he had had ten merry heads instead of one, he
richly deserved to lose them by the headsman's axe.

As his one merry head might have been far from safe, if these
things had been known, they were kept very quiet, and war was
declared by France and England against the Dutch. But, a very
uncommon man, afterwards most important to English history and
to the religion and liberty of this land, arose among them, and for
many long years defeated the whole projects of France. This was
WILLIAM OF NASSAU, PRINCE OF ORANGE, son of the last Prince of
Orange of the same name, who married the daughter of Charles
the First of England. He was a young man at this time, only just of
age; but he was brave, cool, intrepid, and wise. His father had
been so detested that, upon his death, the Dutch had abolished
the authority to which this son would have otherwise succeeded
(Stadtholder it was called), and placed the chief power in the
hands of JOHN DE WITT, who educated this young prince. Now, the
Prince became very popular, and John de Witt's brother CORNELIUS
was sentenced to banishment on a false accusation of conspiring to
kill him. John went to the prison where he was, to take him away
to exile, in his coach; and a great mob who collected on the
occasion, then and there cruelly murdered both the brothers. This
left the government in the hands of the Prince, who was really the
choice of the nation; and from this time he exercised it with the
greatest vigour, against the whole power of France, under its
famous generals CONDE and TURENNE, and in support of the
Protestant religion. It was full seven years before this war ended
in a treaty of peace made at Nimeguen, and its details would occupy
a very considerable space. It is enough to say that William of
Orange established a famous character with the whole world; and
that the Merry Monarch, adding to and improving on his former
baseness, bound himself to do everything the King of France liked,
and nothing the King of France did not like, for a pension of one
hundred thousand pounds a year, which was afterwards doubled.
Besides this, the King of France, by means of his corrupt
ambassador - who wrote accounts of his proceedings in England,
which are not always to be believed, I think - bought our English
members of Parliament, as he wanted them. So, in point of fact,
during a considerable portion of this merry reign, the King of
France was the real King of this country.

But there was a better time to come, and it was to come (though
his royal uncle little thought so) through that very William, Prince of
Orange. He came over to England, saw Mary, the elder daughter of
the Duke of York, and married her. We shall see by-and-by what
came of that marriage, and why it is never to be forgotten.

This daughter was a Protestant, but her mother died a Catholic.
She and her sister ANNE, also a Protestant, were the only survivors
of eight children. Anne afterwards married GEORGE, PRINCE OF
DENMARK, brother to the King of that country.

Lest you should do the Merry Monarch the injustice of supposing
that he was even good humoured (except when he had everything
his own way), or that he was high spirited and honourable, I will
mention here what was done to a member of the House of Commons,
SIR JOHN COVENTRY. He made a remark in a debate about taxing the
theatres, which gave the King offence. The King agreed with his
illegitimate son, who had been born abroad, and whom he had made
DUKE OF MONMOUTH, to take the following merry vengeance. To
waylay him at night, fifteen armed men to one, and to slit his nose
with a penknife. Like master, like man. The King's favourite, the Duke
of Buckingham, was strongly suspected of setting on an assassin to
murder the DUKE OF ORMOND as he was returning home from a dinner;
and that Duke's spirited son, LORD OSSORY, was so persuaded of his
guilt, that he said to him at Court, even as he stood beside the
King, 'My lord, I know very well that you are at the bottom of this
late attempt upon my father. But I give you warning, if he ever
come to a violent end, his blood shall be upon you, and wherever I
meet you I will pistol you! I will do so, though I find you standing
behind the King's chair; and I tell you this in his Majesty's presence,
that you may be quite sure of my doing what I threaten.' Those were
merry times indeed.

There was a fellow named BLOOD, who was seized for making, with
two companions, an audacious attempt to steal the crown, the globe,
and sceptre, from the place where the jewels were kept in the Tower.
This robber, who was a swaggering ruffian, being taken, declared
that he was the man who had endeavoured to kill the Duke of Ormond,
and that he had meant to kill the King too, but was overawed by the
majesty of his appearance, when he might otherwise have done it,
as he was bathing at Battersea. The King being but an ill-looking
fellow, I don't believe a word of this. Whether he was flattered,
or whether he knew that Buckingham had really set Blood on to
murder the Duke, is uncertain. But it is quite certain that he
pardoned this thief, gave him an estate of five hundred a year in
Ireland (which had had the honour of giving him birth), and
presented him at Court to the debauched lords and the shameless
ladies, who made a great deal of him - as I have no doubt they
would have made of the Devil himself, if the King had introduced
him.

Infamously pensioned as he was, the King still wanted money, and
consequently was obliged to call Parliaments. In these, the great
object of the Protestants was to thwart the Catholic Duke of York,
who married a second time; his new wife being a young lady only
fifteen years old, the Catholic sister of the DUKE OF MODENA. In
this they were seconded by the Protestant Dissenters, though to
their own disadvantage: since, to exclude Catholics from power,
they were even willing to exclude themselves. The King's object
was to pretend to be a Protestant, while he was really a Catholic;
to swear to the bishops that he was devoutly attached to the
English Church, while he knew he had bargained it away to the King
of France; and by cheating and deceiving them, and all who were
attached to royalty, to become despotic and be powerful enough to
confess what a rascal he was. Meantime, the King of France,
knowing his merry pensioner well, intrigued with the King's
opponents in Parliament, as well as with the King and his friends.

The fears that the country had of the Catholic religion being
restored, if the Duke of York should come to the throne, and the
low cunning of the King in pretending to share their alarms, led to
some very terrible results. A certain DR. TONGE, a dull clergyman
in the City, fell into the hands of a certain TITUS OATES, a most
infamous character, who pretended to have acquired among the
Jesuits abroad a knowledge of a great plot for the murder of the
King, and the re-establishment if the Catholic religion. Titus
Oates, being produced by this unlucky Dr. Tonge and solemnly
examined before the council, contradicted himself in a thousand
ways, told the most ridiculous and improbable stories, and
implicated COLEMAN, the Secretary of the Duchess of York. Now,
although what he charged against Coleman was not true, and
although you and I know very well that the real dangerous Catholic
plot was that one with the King of France of which the Merry Monarch
was himself the head, there happened to be found among Coleman's
papers, some letters, in which he did praise the days of Bloody
Queen Mary, and abuse the Protestant religion. This was great
good fortune for Titus, as it seemed to confirm him; but better still
was in store. SIR EDMUNDBURY GODFREY, the magistrate who had
first examined him, being unexpectedly found dead near Primrose Hill,
was confidently believed to have been killed by the Catholics. I think
there is no doubt that he had been melancholy mad, and that he
killed himself; but he had a great Protestant funeral, and Titus
was called the Saver of the Nation, and received a pension of
twelve hundred pounds a year.

As soon as Oates's wickedness had met with this success, up started
another villain, named WILLIAM BEDLOE, who, attracted by a reward
of five hundred pounds offered for the apprehension of the
murderers of Godfrey, came forward and charged two Jesuits and
some other persons with having committed it at the Queen's desire.
Oates, going into partnership with this new informer, had the
audacity to accuse the poor Queen herself of high treason. Then
appeared a third informer, as bad as either of the two, and accused
a Catholic banker named STAYLEY of having said that the King was
the greatest rogue in the world (which would not have been far from
the truth), and that he would kill him with his own hand. This
banker, being at once tried and executed, Coleman and two others
were tried and executed. Then, a miserable wretch named PRANCE,
a Catholic silversmith, being accused by Bedloe, was tortured into
confessing that he had taken part in Godfrey's murder, and into
accusing three other men of having committed it. Then, five
Jesuits were accused by Oates, Bedloe, and Prance together, and
were all found guilty, and executed on the same kind of
contradictory and absurd evidence. The Queen's physician and three
monks were next put on their trial; but Oates and Bedloe had for
the time gone far enough and these four were acquitted. The public
mind, however, was so full of a Catholic plot, and so strong
against the Duke of York, that James consented to obey a written
order from his brother, and to go with his family to Brussels,
provided that his rights should never be sacrificed in his absence
to the Duke of Monmouth. The House of Commons, not satisfied with
this as the King hoped, passed a bill to exclude the Duke from ever
succeeding to the throne. In return, the King dissolved the
Parliament. He had deserted his old favourite, the Duke of
Buckingham, who was now in the opposition.

To give any sufficient idea of the miseries of Scotland in this
merry reign, would occupy a hundred pages. Because the people
would not have bishops, and were resolved to stand by their solemn
League and Covenant, such cruelties were inflicted upon them as
make the blood run cold. Ferocious dragoons galloped through the
country to punish the peasants for deserting the churches; sons
were hanged up at their fathers' doors for refusing to disclose
where their fathers were concealed; wives were tortured to death
for not betraying their husbands; people were taken out of their
fields and gardens, and shot on the public roads without trial;
lighted matches were tied to the fingers of prisoners, and a most
horrible torment called the Boot was invented, and constantly
applied, which ground and mashed the victims' legs with iron
wedges. Witnesses were tortured as well as prisoners. All the
prisons were full; all the gibbets were heavy with bodies; murder
and plunder devastated the whole country. In spite of all, the
Covenanters were by no means to be dragged into the churches,
and persisted in worshipping God as they thought right. A body of
ferocious Highlanders, turned upon them from the mountains of their
own country, had no greater effect than the English dragoons under
GRAHAME OF CLAVERHOUSE, the most cruel and rapacious of all their
enemies, whose name will ever be cursed through the length and
breadth of Scotland. Archbishop Sharp had ever aided and abetted
all these outrages. But he fell at last; for, when the injuries of
the Scottish people were at their height, he was seen, in his
coach-and-six coming across a moor, by a body of men, headed by
one JOHN BALFOUR, who were waiting for another of their
oppressors. Upon this they cried out that Heaven had delivered him
into their hands, and killed him with many wounds. If ever a man
deserved such a death, I think Archbishop Sharp did.

It made a great noise directly, and the Merry Monarch - strongly
suspected of having goaded the Scottish people on, that he might
have an excuse for a greater army than the Parliament were willing
to give him - sent down his son, the Duke of Monmouth, as
commander-in-chief, with instructions to attack the Scottish
rebels, or Whigs as they were called, whenever he came up with
them. Marching with ten thousand men from Edinburgh, he found
them, in number four or five thousand, drawn up at Bothwell Bridge,
by the Clyde. They were soon dispersed; and Monmouth showed a
more humane character towards them, than he had shown towards
that Member of Parliament whose nose he had caused to be slit
with a penknife. But the Duke of Lauderdale was their bitter foe,
and sent Claverhouse to finish them.

As the Duke of York became more and more unpopular, the Duke of
Monmouth became more and more popular. It would have been
decent in the latter not to have voted in favour of the renewed bill for
the exclusion of James from the throne; but he did so, much to the
King's amusement, who used to sit in the House of Lords by the
fire, hearing the debates, which he said were as good as a play.
The House of Commons passed the bill by a large majority, and it
was carried up to the House of Lords by LORD RUSSELL, one of the
best of the leaders on the Protestant side. It was rejected there,
chiefly because the bishops helped the King to get rid of it; and
the fear of Catholic plots revived again. There had been another
got up, by a fellow out of Newgate, named DANGERFIELD, which is
more famous than it deserves to be, under the name of the MEAL-TUB
PLOT. This jail-bird having been got out of Newgate by a MRS.
CELLIER, a Catholic nurse, had turned Catholic himself, and
pretended that he knew of a plot among the Presbyterians against
the King's life. This was very pleasant to the Duke of York, who
hated the Presbyterians, who returned the compliment. He gave
Dangerfield twenty guineas, and sent him to the King his brother.
But Dangerfield, breaking down altogether in his charge, and being
sent back to Newgate, almost astonished the Duke out of his five
senses by suddenly swearing that the Catholic nurse had put that
false design into his head, and that what he really knew about,
was, a Catholic plot against the King; the evidence of which would
be found in some papers, concealed in a meal-tub in Mrs. Cellier's
house. There they were, of course - for he had put them there
himself - and so the tub gave the name to the plot. But, the nurse
was acquitted on her trial, and it came to nothing.

Lord Ashley, of the Cabal, was now Lord Shaftesbury, and was strong
against the succession of the Duke of York. The House of Commons,
aggravated to the utmost extent, as we may well suppose, by
suspicions of the King's conspiracy with the King of France, made a
desperate point of the exclusion, still, and were bitter against
the Catholics generally. So unjustly bitter were they, I grieve to
say, that they impeached the venerable Lord Stafford, a Catholic
nobleman seventy years old, of a design to kill the King. The
witnesses were that atrocious Oates and two other birds of the same
feather. He was found guilty, on evidence quite as foolish as it
was false, and was beheaded on Tower Hill. The people were opposed
to him when he first appeared upon the scaffold; but, when he had
addressed them and shown them how innocent he was and how
wickedly he was sent there, their better nature was aroused, and
they said, 'We believe you, my Lord. God bless you, my Lord!'

The House of Commons refused to let the King have any money until
he should consent to the Exclusion Bill; but, as he could get it
and did get it from his master the King of France, he could afford
to hold them very cheap. He called a Parliament at Oxford, to
which he went down with a great show of being armed and protected
as if he were in danger of his life, and to which the opposition
members also went armed and protected, alleging that they were in
fear of the Papists, who were numerous among the King's guards.
However, they went on with the Exclusion Bill, and were so earnest
upon it that they would have carried it again, if the King had not
popped his crown and state robes into a sedan-chair, bundled
himself into it along with them, hurried down to the chamber where
the House of Lords met, and dissolved the Parliament. After which
he scampered home, and the members of Parliament scampered
home too, as fast as their legs could carry them.

The Duke of York, then residing in Scotland, had, under the law
which excluded Catholics from public trust, no right whatever to
public employment. Nevertheless, he was openly employed as the
King's representative in Scotland, and there gratified his sullen
and cruel nature to his heart's content by directing the dreadful
cruelties against the Covenanters. There were two ministers named
CARGILL and CAMERON who had escaped from the battle of Bothwell
Bridge, and who returned to Scotland, and raised the miserable but
still brave and unsubdued Covenanters afresh, under the name of
Cameronians. As Cameron publicly posted a declaration that the
King was a forsworn tyrant, no mercy was shown to his unhappy
followers after he was slain in battle. The Duke of York, who was
particularly fond of the Boot and derived great pleasure from
having it applied, offered their lives to some of these people, if
they would cry on the scaffold 'God save the King!' But their
relations, friends, and countrymen, had been so barbarously
tortured and murdered in this merry reign, that they preferred to
die, and did die. The Duke then obtained his merry brother's
permission to hold a Parliament in Scotland, which first, with most
shameless deceit, confirmed the laws for securing the Protestant
religion against Popery, and then declared that nothing must or
should prevent the succession of the Popish Duke. After this
double-faced beginning, it established an oath which no human being
could understand, but which everybody was to take, as a proof that
his religion was the lawful religion. The Earl of Argyle, taking
it with the explanation that he did not consider it to prevent him
from favouring any alteration either in the Church or State which
was not inconsistent with the Protestant religion or with his
loyalty, was tried for high treason before a Scottish jury of which
the MARQUIS OF MONTROSE was foreman, and was found guilty.
He escaped the scaffold, for that time, by getting away, in the
disguise of a page, in the train of his daughter, LADY SOPHIA
LINDSAY. It was absolutely proposed, by certain members of the
Scottish Council, that this lady should be whipped through the
streets of Edinburgh. But this was too much even for the Duke, who
had the manliness then (he had very little at most times) to remark
that Englishmen were not accustomed to treat ladies in that manner.
In those merry times nothing could equal the brutal servility of
the Scottish fawners, but the conduct of similar degraded beings
in England.

After the settlement of these little affairs, the Duke returned to
England, and soon resumed his place at the Council, and his office
of High Admiral - all this by his brother's favour, and in open
defiance of the law. It would have been no loss to the country, if
he had been drowned when his ship, in going to Scotland to fetch
his family, struck on a sand-bank, and was lost with two hundred
souls on board. But he escaped in a boat with some friends; and
the sailors were so brave and unselfish, that, when they saw him
rowing away, they gave three cheers, while they themselves were
going down for ever.

The Merry Monarch, having got rid of his Parliament, went to work
to make himself despotic, with all speed. Having had the villainy
to order the execution of OLIVER PLUNKET, BISHOP OF ARMAGH,
falsely accused of a plot to establish Popery in that country by means
of a French army - the very thing this royal traitor was himself trying
to do at home - and having tried to ruin Lord Shaftesbury, and
failed - he turned his hand to controlling the corporations all
over the country; because, if he could only do that, he could get
what juries he chose, to bring in perjured verdicts, and could get
what members he chose returned to Parliament. These merry times
produced, and made Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench, a
drunken ruffian of the name of JEFFREYS; a red-faced, swollen,
bloated, horrible creature, with a bullying, roaring voice, and a
more savage nature perhaps than was ever lodged in any human
breast. This monster was the Merry Monarch's especial favourite,
and he testified his admiration of him by giving him a ring from
his own finger, which the people used to call Judge Jeffreys's
Bloodstone. Him the King employed to go about and bully the
corporations, beginning with London; or, as Jeffreys himself
elegantly called it, 'to give them a lick with the rough side of
his tongue.' And he did it so thoroughly, that they soon became
the basest and most sycophantic bodies in the kingdom - except the
University of Oxford, which, in that respect, was quite pre-eminent
and unapproachable.

Lord Shaftesbury (who died soon after the King's failure against
him), LORD WILLIAM RUSSELL, the Duke of Monmouth, LORD HOWARD,
LORD JERSEY, ALGERNON SIDNEY, JOHN HAMPDEN (grandson of the
great Hampden), and some others, used to hold a council together
after the dissolution of the Parliament, arranging what it might be
necessary to do, if the King carried his Popish plot to the utmost
height. Lord Shaftesbury having been much the most violent of this
party, brought two violent men into their secrets - RUMSEY, who had
been a soldier in the Republican army; and WEST, a lawyer. These
two knew an old officer of CROMWELL'S, called RUMBOLD, who had
married a maltster's widow, and so had come into possession of a
solitary dwelling called the Rye House, near Hoddesdon, in
Hertfordshire. Rumbold said to them what a capital place this
house of his would be from which to shoot at the King, who often
passed there going to and fro from Newmarket. They liked the idea,
and entertained it. But, one of their body gave information; and
they, together with SHEPHERD a wine merchant, Lord Russell,
Algernon Sidney, LORD ESSEX, LORD HOWARD, and Hampden, were
all arrested.

Lord Russell might have easily escaped, but scorned to do so, being
innocent of any wrong; Lord Essex might have easily escaped, but
scorned to do so, lest his flight should prejudice Lord Russell.
But it weighed upon his mind that he had brought into their
council, Lord Howard - who now turned a miserable traitor - against
a great dislike Lord Russell had always had of him. He could not
bear the reflection, and destroyed himself before Lord Russell was
brought to trial at the Old Bailey.

He knew very well that he had nothing to hope, having always been
manful in the Protestant cause against the two false brothers, the
one on the throne, and the other standing next to it. He had a
wife, one of the noblest and best of women, who acted as his
secretary on his trial, who comforted him in his prison, who supped
with him on the night before he died, and whose love and virtue and
devotion have made her name imperishable. Of course, he was found
guilty, and was sentenced to be beheaded in Lincoln's Inn-fields,
not many yards from his own house. When he had parted from his
children on the evening before his death, his wife still stayed
with him until ten o'clock at night; and when their final
separation in this world was over, and he had kissed her many
times, he still sat for a long while in his prison, talking of her
goodness. Hearing the rain fall fast at that time, he calmly said,
'Such a rain to-morrow will spoil a great show, which is a dull
thing on a rainy day.' At midnight he went to bed, and slept till
four; even when his servant called him, he fell asleep again while
his clothes were being made ready. He rode to the scaffold in his
own carriage, attended by two famous clergymen, TILLOTSON and
BURNET, and sang a psalm to himself very softly, as he went along.
He was as quiet and as steady as if he had been going out for an
ordinary ride. After saying that he was surprised to see so great
a crowd, he laid down his head upon the block, as if upon the
pillow of his bed, and had it struck off at the second blow. His
noble wife was busy for him even then; for that true-hearted lady
printed and widely circulated his last words, of which he had given
her a copy. They made the blood of all the honest men in England
boil.

The University of Oxford distinguished itself on the very same day
by pretending to believe that the accusation against Lord Russell
was true, and by calling the King, in a written paper, the Breath
of their Nostrils and the Anointed of the Lord. This paper the
Parliament afterwards caused to be burned by the common hangman;
which I am sorry for, as I wish it had been framed and glazed and
hung up in some public place, as a monument of baseness for the
scorn of mankind.

Next, came the trial of Algernon Sidney, at which Jeffreys
presided, like a great crimson toad, sweltering and swelling with
rage. 'I pray God, Mr. Sidney,' said this Chief Justice of a merry
reign, after passing sentence, 'to work in you a temper fit to go
to the other world, for I see you are not fit for this.' 'My
lord,' said the prisoner, composedly holding out his arm, 'feel my
pulse, and see if I be disordered. I thank Heaven I never was in
better temper than I am now.' Algernon Sidney was executed on
Tower Hill, on the seventh of December, one thousand six hundred
and eighty-three. He died a hero, and died, in his own words, 'For
that good old cause in which he had been engaged from his youth,
and for which God had so often and so wonderfully declared
himself.'

The Duke of Monmouth had been making his uncle, the Duke of York,
very jealous, by going about the country in a royal sort of way,
playing at the people's games, becoming godfather to their
children, and even touching for the King's evil, or stroking the
faces of the sick to cure them - though, for the matter of that, I
should say he did them about as much good as any crowned king
could have done. His father had got him to write a letter, confessing
his having had a part in the conspiracy, for which Lord Russell had
been beheaded; but he was ever a weak man, and as soon as he
had written it, he was ashamed of it and got it back again. For this,
he was banished to the Netherlands; but he soon returned and had
an interview with his father, unknown to his uncle. It would seem
that he was coming into the Merry Monarch's favour again, and that
the Duke of York was sliding out of it, when Death appeared to the
merry galleries at Whitehall, and astonished the debauched lords
and gentlemen, and the shameless ladies, very considerably.

On Monday, the second of February, one thousand six hundred and
eighty-five, the merry pensioner and servant of the King of France
fell down in a fit of apoplexy. By the Wednesday his case was
hopeless, and on the Thursday he was told so. As he made a
difficulty about taking the sacrament from the Protestant Bishop of
Bath, the Duke of York got all who were present away from the bed,
and asked his brother, in a whisper, if he should send for a
Catholic priest? The King replied, 'For God's sake, brother, do!'
The Duke smuggled in, up the back stairs, disguised in a wig and
gown, a priest named HUDDLESTON, who had saved the King's life
after the battle of Worcester: telling him that this worthy man in
the wig had once saved his body, and was now come to save his soul.

The Merry Monarch lived through that night, and died before noon on
the next day, which was Friday, the sixth. Two of the last things
he said were of a human sort, and your remembrance will give him
the full benefit of them. When the Queen sent to say she was too
unwell to attend him and to ask his pardon, he said, 'Alas! poor
woman, SHE beg MY pardon! I beg hers with all my heart. Take back
that answer to her.' And he also said, in reference to Nell Gwyn,
'Do not let poor Nelly starve.'

He died in the fifty-fifth year of his age, and the twenty-fifth of
his reign.


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