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probability nothing more than the fruit of momentary irritation, or, seeing he had not by pleading guilty obtained that pardon he expected, an attempt to give dignity and consistency to his character, for it has been remarked by one who was but
disappointment. The guards opened the doors; and I went down stairs with him, still conjuring him to make all possible dispatch. As soon as he cleared the door, I made him walk before me, for fear the centinel should take notice of his walk; but I still continued to press him to make all the dispatch he possibly could. At the bottom of the stairs, I met my dear Evans, into whose hands I confided him. I had before engaged Mr. Mills to be in readiness be. fore the Tower, to conduct him to some place of safety in case we succeeded. He looked upon the affair so very improbable to succeed, that his astonishment when he saw us, threw him into such consternation, that he was almost out of himself; which Evans perceiving, with the greatest presence of mind, without telling him any thing, lest he should mistrust them, conducted him to some of her own friends, on whom she could rely, and so secured him, without which, we should have been undone. When she had conducted him, and left him with them, she returned to find Mr. Mills, who by this time had recovered himself from his astonishment. They went home together, and having found a place of security, they conducted him to it.
In the meanwhile, as I had pretended to have sent the young lady on a message, I was obliged to return up stairs, and go back to my lord's room, in the same feigned anxiety of being too late, so that every body seemed sincerely to sympathise with my distress. When I was in the room, I talked to him as if he had been really present, and answered my own questions in my lord's voice as nearly as I could imitate it. I walked up and down, as if we were conversing together, till I thought they had time enough thoroughly to clear themselves of the guards. I then thought proper to make off also. I opened the door, and stood half in it, that those in the outward chamber might hear what I said; but held it so close, that they could not look in. I bid my lord a formal farewell for that night; and added, that something more than usual must have happened, to make Evans negligent on this important occasion, who had always been so punctual on the smallest trifles; that I saw no other remedy than to go in person; that if the Tower were still open when I finished my business, I would return that night; but that he might be assured I would be with him as early in the morning, as I could gain admittance into the Tower; and I flattered myself I should bring favourable news. Then before I shut the door, I pulled through the string of the latch, so that it could only be opened on the inside. I then shut it with some degree of force, that I might be sure of its being well shut. I said to the servant as I passed by, who was ignorant of the whole transaction, that he need not carry in candles to bis master till my lord sent for him, as he desired to finish some prayers first. I went down stairs and called a coach. As there were several on the stand, I drove home to my lodgings, where poor Mr. M'Kenzie had been waiting to carry the petition, in case my attempt had failed. I told him there was no
too well acquainted with the circumstances of the case, “that this lord did not join either so heartily or so premeditately in the affair as was expected; for there is no doubt but he inight have brought far greater numbers of men into the field
need of any petition, as my lord was safe out of the Tower, and out of the hands of his enemies, as I hoped; but that I did not know where he was. I discharged the coach, and sent for a sedan chair, and went to the dutchess of Biiccleugh, who expected me about that time, as I had begged of her to present the petition for me; having taken my precautions against all events, and asked if she were at home; and they answered that she expected me, and had another dutchess with her. I refused to go up stairs, as she had company with her, and I was not in a condition to see any other company. I begged to be shown into a chamber below stairs, and that they would have the goodness to send her grace's maid to me, having something to say to her. I had discharged the chair, lest I might be pursued and watched. When the maid came in, I desired her to present my most humble respects to her grace, who, they told me, had company with her, and to acquaint her, that this was my only reason for not coming up stairs. I also charged her with my sincerest thanks for her kind offer to accompany me when I went to present my petition. I added, that she might spare herself any further trouble, as it was now judged more advisable to present one general petition in the name of all. However, that I should never be unmindful of my particular obligations to her grace, which I would return very soon to acknowledge in person.
I then desired one of the servants to call a chair, and I went to the dutchess of Montrose, who had always borne a part in my distresses. When I arrived, she left her company, to deny herself, not being able to see me under the affliction wbich she judged me to be in. By mistake, however, I was admitted ; so there was no remedy. She came to me; and, as my heart was in an ecstasy of joy, I expressed it in my countenance as she entered the room. I ran up to her in the transport of my joy. She appeared to be extremely shocked and frighted; and has since confessed to me, that she apprehended my trouble had thrown me out of myself, till I communicated my happiness to her. She then advised me to retire to some place of security; for that the king was highly displeased, and even enraged at the petition that I had presented to him, and had complained of it severely. I sent for another chair, for I always discharged them immediately, lest I might be pursued. Her grace said she would go to court, to see how the news of my lord's escape were received. When the news was brought to the king, he flew into an excess of passion, and said he was betrayed; for it could not have been done without some confederacy. He instantly dispatched two persons to the Tower, to see that the other prisoners were well secured, lest they should follow the example. Some threw the blame upon one, some upon another; the dutchess was the only one at court who knew it.
When I left the dutchess, I went to a bouse, which Evans had found out for me, and where she promised to acquaint me where my lord was. She
than he did; the great estate he possessed, the money he could command, his interest among the gentlemen, and which was above all, his being so well beloved as he was, could not have failed to have procured him many hundreds of followers
got thither some few minutes after me, and told me, that when she had seen him secure, she went in search of Mr. Mills, who, by the time had recovered himself from his astonishment; that he had returned to her house, where she had found him; and that he had removed my lord from the first place, where she had desired him to wait, to the house of a poor woman, directly opposite to the guard house. She had but one small room, up one pair of stairs, and a very small bed in it. We threw ourselves upon the bed, that we might not be heard walking up and down. She left us a bottle of wine and some bread, and Mrs. Mills brought us some more in her pocket the next day. We subsisted on this provision from Thursday till Saturday night, when Mrs. Mills came and conducted my lord to the Venetian ambassador's. We did not communicate the affair to his excellency; but one of his servants concealed him in his own room till Wednesday, on which day the ambassador's coach and six was to go down to Dover to meet his brother. My lord put on a livery, and went down in the retinue, without the least suspicion, to Dover, where Mr. Mitchell, (which was the name of the ambassador's servant) hired a small vessel, and immediately set sail for Calais. The passage was so remarkably short, that the captain threw out this reflection, that the wind could not have served better if his passengers bad been flying for their lives, little thinking it to be really the case. Mr. Mitchell night have easily returned, without being suspected of having been concerned in my lord's escape; but my lord seemed inclined to have him continue with him, which he did, and has at present a good place under our young master.
This is as exact and as full an account of this affair, and of the persons concerned in it, as I could possibly give you, to the best of my memory, and you may rely on the truth of it.
For my part, I absconded to the house of a very honest man in Drury Lane, where I remained till I were assured of my lord's safe arrival on the continent. I then wrote to the dutchess of Buccleugh, (every body thought till then that I was gone off with my lord to tell her that I understood I was suspected of having contrived my lord's escape as was very natural to suppose; that if I could have been happy enough to have done it, I should be flattered to have the merit of it attributed to me; but that a bare suspicion without proof, could never be a sufficient ground for my being punished for a supposed offence, though it might be motive enough to me to provide a place of security; so I entreated her to procure leave for me to go with safety about my business. So far from granting my request, they were resolved to secure me if possible. After several debates, Mr. Solicitor General, who was an utter stranger to me, had the humanity to say, that since I showed so much respect to government as not to appear in public, it would be cruel to make any search after me: upon which it was decided, that if I remained concealed,