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"that Percy should seize him, or assassinate him. "The princess Elizabeth, a child likewise, was kept at lord Harrington's house in Warwickshire; "and Sir Everard Digby, Rookwood and Grant, being let into the conspiracy, engaged to as“semble their friends, on pretence of a hunting "match; and seizing that princess, immediately "to proclaim her queen. So transported were "they with rage against their adversaries, and so 66 charmed with the prospect of revenge, that they forgot all care of their own safety; and trusting "to the general confusion, which must result from "so unexpected a blow, they foresaw not that the
fury of the people, now unrestrained by any au"thority, must have turned against them; and "would probably have satisfied itself by an uni"versal massacre of the catholics.
"The day, so long wished for, now approached, "on which the parliament was appointed to "assemble. The dreadful secret, though com"municated to above twenty persons, had been "religiously kept, during the space of near a 66 year and a half. No remorse, no pity, no fear "of punishment, no hope of reward, had, as yet, "induced any one conspirator, either to abandon "the enterprise, or make a discovery of it. The "holy fury had extinguished in their breast every other motive; and it was an indiscre"tion at last, proceeding chiefly from these very bigoted prejudices and partialities, which saved
"Ten days before the meeting of parliament,
“ lord Monteagle, a catholic, son to lord Morley, “ received the following letter, which had been “ delivered to his servant, by an unknown hand :
My lord, out of the love I bear to some of your friends, I have a care of your preservation. “ Therefore I would advise you, as you tender your “ life, to devise some excuse to shift off “ tendance at this parliament. For God and man “ have concurred to punish the wickedness of this “ time. And think not slightly of this advertise“ ment; but retire yourself into your country, where
you may expect the event in safety. For, though “there be no appearance of any stir, yet, I say, " “ they will receive a terrible blow, this parliament, " and yet they shall not see who hurts them. This “ counsel is not to be contemned; because it may “ do you good, and can do you no harm. For, the “ danger is past, as soon as you have burned the “ letter. And, I hope, God will give you grace to “ make good use of it, unto whose holy protection “ I commend you.'
“ Monteagle knew not what to make of this “ letter; and, though inclined to think it a foolish “ attempt to frighten and ridicule him, he judged “ it safest to carry it to Cecil, who had been created “ earl of Salisbury, and made secretary of state.
Though Salisbury, too, was inclined to pay little
attention to it, he thought proper to lay it before “the king, who came to town a few days after. To " the king it appeared not so light a matter; and “ from the serious earnest style of the letter, he “conjectured, that it implied something dangerous
" and important*. A terrible blow, and yet the “ authors concealed; a danger so sudden, and yet
so great ; these circumstances seemed all to de5 note some contrivance by gunpowder, and it was
thought advisable to inspect all the vaults below “ the houses of parliament. This care belonged " to the earl of Suffolk, lord chamberlain ; who “purposely delayed the search, till the day before “ the meeting of parliament. He remarked those
great piles of wood and faggots, which lay in the “ vault, under the upper house; and he cast his
eye upon Fawkes, who stood in a dark corner, * and passed himself for Percy's servant. That
daring and determined courage, which so much
distinguished this conspirator, even among those “ heroes in villainy, was fully painted in his coun"tenance, and was not passed unnoticed by the “ chamberlain. Such a quantity also of fuel, for “the use of one, who lived so little in town as
Percy, appeared a little extraordinary; and, upon comparing all circumstances, it was resolved, that
a more thorough inspection should be made. “ About midnight, sir Thomas Knivet, a justice of
peace, was sent, with proper attendants; and
* The merit of justly conjecturing the true nature of the threatened outrage has been denied to James ; but his constitutional timidity would suggest the danger, and his father's murder would readily present to his imagination its nature and horrors. This is observed by Mr. Laing (Hist. of Scotland, lib.i.) It is, however, highly probable that his majesty was led to the conjecture by Cecil: we shall afterwards show, that the minister was apprised of it, before lord Monteagle 'received the letter which immediately occasioned the discovery.
“ before the door of the vault, finding Fawkes, who “ had just finished all his preparations, he imme
diately seized him; and turning over the fag- . gots, discovered the powder. The matches, and every thing proper for the setting fire to the train,
were taken in Fawkes's pocket; who, finding his “ guilt now apparent, and seeing no refuge but in “ boldness and despair, expressed the utmost regret “ that he had lost the opportunity of firing the “powder at once, and of sweetening his own death
, by that of his enemies. Before the council, he displayed the same intrepid firmness, mixed even with scorn and disdain, refusing to discover his
accomplices, and showing no concern, but for the .“ failure of the enterprise. This obstinacy lasted “ two or three days. But, being confined to the “ Tower, left to reflect on his guilt and danger, and “the rack being shown to him, his courage, fa
tigued with so long an effort, and unsupported
by hope or society, at last failed him, and he “ made a full discovery of all the conspirators.
“ Catesby, Percy, and the other criminals, who " “ who were in London, though they had heard of ~ the alarm taken at the letter sent to Monteagle, “ though they heard of the chamberlain's search,
yet were resolved to persist to the utmost, and “ never abandon their hopes of success. But, at “ last hearing that Fawkes was arrested, they hur“ried down to Warwickshire; where sir Everard
Digby, thinking himself assured that success had « attended his confederates, was already in arms,
in order to seize the princess Elizabeth. She had
escaped into Coventry ; and they were obliged " to put themselves on their defence against the
country, who were raised from all quarters, and “armed by the sheriff. The conspirators, with all “their attendants, never exceeded the number of
eighty persons; and being surrounded on every "side, could no longer entertain hopes either of
prevailing or escaping. Having, therefore, con“ fessed themselves, and received absolution, they "boldly prepared for death ; and resolved to sell “ their lives as dear as possible to the assailants. “ But, even this consolation was denied them. “Some of their powder took fire; and disabled “them for defence. The people rushed in upon “them. Percy and Catesby were killed by one “shot. Digby, Rookwood, Winter, and others,
being taken prisoners, were tried, confessed their “ guilt, and died, as well as Garnett, by the hands “ of the executioner.
“ The lords Mordaunt and Stourton, two catho“ lics, were fined, the former 10,000l. the latter,
4,000l. by the star-chamber, because their ab“sence from parliament had begotten a suspicion of “their being acquainted with the conspiracy. The “ earl of Northumberland was fined 30,000l.; and
detained, several years, prisoner in the Tower; because, not to mention other grounds of sus
picion, he had admitted Percy into the number " of gentlemen pensioners, without his taking the “ requisite oaths.
“ The king, in his speech to the parliament, ob"served, that though religion had engaged the