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profligate popish priest to a lieutenant general, and colonel of a regiment of horse, was at laft forced to drop him for shame.
Had fuch an accident happened under that ministry, and to fo confiderable a member of it, they would have immediately charged it upon the whole body of thofe, they are pleased to call the faction. This would have been ftyled a high-church principle; the clergy would have been accufed, as promoters and abbettors of the fact; committees would have been sent to promise the criminal his life, provided they might have liberty to direct and dictate his confeffion; and a black lift would have been printed of all those, who had been ever feen in the murderer's company. But the present men in power hate and despise all fuch deteftable arts, which they might now turn upon their adverfaries with much more plaufibility, than ever these did their honourable negotiations with Greg*
* In the beginning of the year 1708, William Greg an under clerk to Mr. fecretary Harley, was detected in a correspondence with monfieur Chamillard one of the french
king's ministers, to whom he tranfinitted the proceedings of hoth houfes of parliament with refpect to the augmentation of the british forces, and other papers of great importAnd
And here it may be worth obferving, how unanimous a concurrence there is between fome perfons once in great power and a french papist; both agreeing in the great end of taking away Mr. Harley's life, though differing in their methods; the first proceeding by fubornation, the other by violence; wherein Guifcard seems to have the advantage, as aiming no further than his life; while the others defigned to destroy at once both that and his reputation. The malice of both against this gentleman feems to have rifen from the fame cause, his discovering defigns against the government. It was Mr. Harley, who detected the
ance. Greg, when he was indicted of this treafon, pleaded guilty, which gave occafion to Mr. Harley's enemies to infinuate, that he was privy to Greg's practices, and had by affurances of pardon prevailed upon him to plead guilty, in order to prevent the examination of witneffes: the house of lords appointed a committee of feven, of whom lord Sunderland was manager, to enquire into the affair; the committee presented an addrefs to the queen, in which complaint was made, that all Mr. Harley's papers had been long expofed
to the meaneft clerks in his office; and it was requested, that more caution might be used for the future. Upon this addrefs the execution of Greg was deferred a month; during which time he was folicited, threatened, and promised, but ftill perfifting to take the whole guilt upon himself, he was at length executed, having, in a paper which he left behind him, juftified Mr. Harley in particular; which he would scarce have thought neceffary, if no particular attempt had been made against him.
treasonable correspondence of Greg, and fecured him betimes; when a certain great man, who shall be namelefs, had, out of the depth of his politicks, fent him a caution to make his escape, which would certainly have fixed the appearance of guilt upon Mr. Harley: but when that was prevented, they would have enticed the condemned criminal, with promise of a pardon, to write and fign an accufation against the secretary: but to use Greg's own expreffion, his death was nothing near fo ignominious, as would have been fuch a life, that must be faved by proftituting his confcience. The fame gentleman now lies stabbed by his other enemy, a popish Spy, whose treafon he hath difcovered. God preserve the rest of her majesty's ministers from fuch proteftants, and from fuch papifts!
I fhall take occafion to hint at fome particularities in this furprifing fact, for the fake of those at a distance, or who may not be thoroughly informed. The murderer confeffed in Newgate, that his chief defign was against Mr. fecretary St. John, who happened to change feats with Q 2
Mr. Harley for more convenience of examining the criminal: and being asked what provoked him to stab the chancellor, he faid, that not being able to come at the secretary as he intended, it was fome fatiffaction to murder the perfon, whom he thought Mr. St. John loved beft *.
And here if Mr. Harley hath ftill any enemies left, whom his blood spilt in the publick fervice cannot reconcile, I hope they will at least admire his magnanimity, which is a quality esteemed even in an enemy: and I think there are few greater inftances of it to be found in ftory. After the wound was given, he was observed neither to change his countenance, nor discover any concern or diforder in his fpeech. He rose up and walked about the room while he was able, with the greatest tranquillity, during the heighth of the confufion. When the furgeon came, he took him afide, and defired he would inform him freely whether the wound were mortal, because in that cafe, he faid, he had fome affairs to fettle relating to his family.
*How much he was miftaken appears by lord Boling
broke's letter to fir William Wyndham.
The blade of the penknife, broken by the violence of the blow against a rib within a quarter of an inch of the handle, was dropt out (I know not whether from the wound, or his cloaths) as the furgeon was going to drefs him: he ordered it to be taken up, and wiping it himself, gave it fome body to keep, faying, he thought it now properly belonged to him. He fhewed no fort of refentment, nor fpoke one violent word against Guifcard, but appeared all the while the leaft concerned of any the company. A state of mind, which in fuch an exigency nothing but innocence can give, and is truly worthy of a chriftian philofopher.
If there be really fo great a difference in principle between the high-flying whigs and the friends of France, I cannot but repeat the question, how came they to join in the destruction of the same man? Can his death be poffibly for the interest of both? or have they both the fame quarrel against him, that he is perpetually dif covering and preventing the treacherous defigns of our enemies? However it be, this great mininster may now fay with St. Q3 Paul,