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The Clergymen. 307
compromised; he (remember) speaking as to a spiritual comforter."
"The Puritan Jesuit!"
'' These things reduced to paper, signed—as was said (though in what name now ?)—were i' the Secretary's hands anon—to what end and use you may admire." . "Those other reverend Gentlemen, Dr. Barlow, Dr. Mountford, are they of the brethren?"
"Whom else? I learn they have so worked upon the excited feelings of the man—his tender conscience—that he speaks of his act as (leprosy'—' a disease whereby he hath infected many'—and so forth!"
"Oh! fie, fie! to train the poor sick soul to such confession as was just needed"
"Ay,.to convict others."
"To uphold their own packs and practices."
"And justify the Queen's severity."
"Tis most foul!"
"And the Clergymen, who ought"
"Then to frighten with the terrors of Hell him whose vexed spirit they were bid speed to Heaven!"
"'Tis their constant use."
"And, believe me, 'tis not at end. That was a false
and pre-written speech foisted about at his"
"Truly, was it so! I myself heard him say what I have shewn you. Not a word more spake he, on my life!"
"I faith, sirs, and they will foist more confession on him still, if need be; none shall be lacking. They have the manner of it now."
"Doth this sort travail to shed blood ?—innocent blood?" "They be labouring hard to enhance themselves." "Yes! 'twas the policy of Leicester first to draw these forth, so to overawe Sussex, hold on Burghley, and, it may be, keep a check on Majesty itself. They have gained power since—know it, and its worth—will not lend themselves hereafter but at their own price—to wit, the submission of the Church to them. In an evil hour his distemperature, raising imaginary terrors in his soul, did this man hope to stay on them."
"Leicester played with the egg: our unhappy friend hath put the full-grown cockatrice in his bosom." "Twill sting him to the death!"
Essex his last Thoughts. 309
"His body subjugated by sickness—his spirit quelled by disappointment—his very soul humbled and mortified, for that his life was now made useless by his act. He, feeling himself as one contemned—thrown out of the world—cast up, as it were, for unwholesome, mischievous, and vile: his fair name dishonoured—his nobility and blood attaint—his wife and children left widow and orphan—ruined besides. —The solemn sense of going—unprepared as the best be —to meet his God. These things, I say, were enough to bring him to that pass when they could practise on him. They bade him fear and hope just as they listed: terrified him with texts—puzzled him with prophecies"
"He took them for the Ministers of God, sent"
"This sort, sir, think naught can be true religion but with a brave excitement of imagination"
"Methinks your sanctified Cause should have a more sanctified course."
"Truly, sir, they be not such cunning Alchemists as to run their base metal into true gold."
"Oh, your miraculous conversions!"
"And this will pass for such?"
"Why, sir, our super-Protestants shall have their saints as well as the Papists, I hope."
"Tis but fair; but I misdoubt the quality."
"There's some odds between the demure look of the one and the mortified limbs of the other."
"Now 'tis my fear they'll first paint this man evil, very evil —dark as Beelzebub, scaly as Apollyon: then, by their infallible recipe, prank him (as by an enchantment) to an angel of light—Lo, the reverend Gentlemen their triumph!"
"Methinks most, 'twas a base thing coming between him and his family with instances of God's jealousy"
"Tis reported, when he would see his Lady and their little ones, some said he should not now mind earthly things :—his treasure"
"I 'faith, they'll break down his heart!"
"Yes! and his honour too (if they be believed)."
"Call ye these preachers? The kingdom they advance is Satan's."
"Be they Divines ?—nay, devils!"
"Humanity was low in him; why will they not raise it up, that it may approach more nearly the Image it was made in?"
"Nay! they would abase that soul which is about to be the comrade of celestial spirits, so they could work out a seeming benefit to their Cause."
"'Tis so, sir—'tis. The Cause! the Cause! Touch that, you are an enemy—Jew, Turk, Atheist, Papist! Smile on't, you are i' the odour of sanctity! your garments be holy! Honour, and truth, and justice, what are they to the Cause?"
Of all his enemies, you, Master Ashton, you Doctor Barlow, you Doctor Mountford, be the very worst! As is the spirit to the body, so be ye to Cobham, Cecyl, Ralegh! As you have been most trusted, so have ye been the most base. Under the sacred bonds of your calling, did you work out the ends of an earthly policy, and your own selfish ends too. Thereupon are ye the most pernicious and contemptible! You are, moreover, the most dangerous of all; as the secret asp is more to be feared than the manifest crocodile. For, as you tried hard to prejudice his character with posterity; so, by degrading his piety to a mere enthusiasm— with your canting whines and shibboleths—you went near to thrust him from that hereafter he had trusted in.