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soft and oily; whereas, the other was rather rough, severe and sharp. Yet at the winding up, I found Fotherly my truest friend.
When I had told Sir Benjamin Tichborn that I came from justice Fotherly, and requested him to give him a meeting, to consider of my business, he readily, without any hesitation, told me he would go with me to Rickmansworth (from which his house was distant about a mile ;) and calling for his horses, mounted immediately; and to Rickmansworth we rode.
After they had been a little while together, I was called in before them; and in the first place they examined me, what was my intention and design in writing that book. I told them, the introductory part of it, gave a plain account of it, viz. That it was to get ease from the penalties of a severe law, often ex. ecuted with too great a severity, by unskilful officers, who were driven on beyond the bounds of their duty, by the impetuous threats of a sort of insolent fellows (as needy as greedy) who, for their own advantage, sought our ruin. To prevent which was the design and drift of that book; by acquainting such officers how they might safely demean themselves, in the execution of their offices, towards their honest and peaceable neighbours, without ruin. ing either their neighbours or themselves, to enrich some of the worst of men. And that I humbly conceived it was neither unlawful, nor unreasonable for a sufferer to do this, so
long as it was done in a fair, sober and peace.
They then put me in mind of the plot; told me it was a troublesome and dangerous time, and my book might be construed to import sedition, in discouraging the officers from putting the laws in execution, as by law and by their oath they were bound. And in fine brought it to this issue, That they were directed to secure me, by a commitment to prison, until the assize, at which I should receive a further charge, than they were provided now to give me; but because they were desirous to forward my visit to Madam l'enn, they told me they would admit me to bail; and therefore, if I would enter a recognizance, with sufficient sureties for my appearance at the next assize, they would leave me at liber. ty to go on my journey.
I told them I could not do it. They said they would give me as little trouble as they eould, and therefore they would not put me to seek bail, but would accept those two friends of mine, who were then present, to be bound with me for my appearance.
I let them know my strait lay not in the difficulty of procuring sureties; for I did suppose myself to have sufficient acquaintance and credit in that place, if, on such an occasion I could be free to use it; but as I knew. myself to be an innocent man, I had not satisfaction in myself to desire others to be bound for me, nor to enter myself into a recognizance ;
that carrying in it, to my apprehension, a reflection on my innocency, and the reputation of my christian profession.
Here we stuck and struggled about this a pretty while ; till at length, finding me fixed in my judgnient, and resolved rather to go to prison than give bail, they asked me, If I was against appearing, or only against being bound with sureties to appear. I told them I was not against appearing; which as I could not avoid if I would, so I would not if I might, but was ready and willing to appear, if required, to answer whatsoever should be charged against me. But in any case of a religious na. ture, or wherein my christian profession was concerned, (which I took this case to be) I could not yield to give any other, or further security, than my word or promise, as a christian.
They, unwilling to commit me, took hold of that; and asked if I would promise to appear. I answered, Yes; with due limitations. What do you mean by due limitations ? said they; I mean, replied I, if I am not disabled, or prevented by sickness, or imprisonment. For, added I, as you allege that it is a troublesome time, I perhaps may find it so. I may, for aught I know, be seized and imprisoned else. where, on the same account for which I now stand here before you ; and if I should, how then could I appear at the assize in this county ? Oh, said they, these are due limitations, indeed ! sickness or in prisonment are lawful excuses; and if either of these befal you, we
shall not expect your appearance here; but then you must certify us that you are so disabled by sickness or restraint.
But, said I, how shall I know, when and where I shall wait upon you again, after my return from Sussex? You need not, said they, trouble yourself about that, we will take care to give you notice of both time and place; and till
hear from us, you may dispose yourself as you please.
Well then, said I, I do promise you, that when I shall have received from you a fresh command to appear before you, I will, if the Lord permit me life, health and liberty, appear when and where you shall appoint.
It is enough, said they, we will take your word : and, desiring me to give their hearty respects and service to Madam Penn, they dismissed me with their good wishes for a good journey.
I was sensible, that in this they had dealt very favourably and kindly with me; therefore, I could not but acknowledge to them the sense I had thereof. Which done, I took leave of them, and mounting, returned hoine with what haste I could, to let my wife know how I had sped. And having given her a summary account of the business, I took horse again, and went so far that evening towards Worminghurst, that I got thither pretty early next morning, and to my great satisfaction, found my friend in an hopeful way towards a recovery,
I stayed some days with her; and then findîng her illness wear daily off, and some other Friends being come from London to visit her, I, mindful of my engagement to the justices, and unwilling by too long an absence to give them occasion to suspect I was willing to avoid their summons, leaving those other Friends to bear her company longer, took my leave of her and them, and set my face homewards; carrying with nie the welcome account of my friend's recovery:
Being returned home, I waited in daily ex pectation of a command from the justices, to appear again before them, but none came. I spake with those Friends who had been with me, when I was before them, and they said, They had heard nothing of it from them, although they had since been in company with them. At length the assize came, but no notice was given to me, that I should appear there ; in fine, they never troubled themselves, nor me, any further about it.
Thus was a cloud that looked black, and threatened a great storm, blown gently over by a providential breath ; which I could not but with a thankful mind, acknowledge to the all-great, all-good, all-wise Disposer, in whose hand, and at whose command, the hearts of all men, even the greatest are, and who turns their counsels, disappoints their purposes, and defeats their designs and con. trivances as he pleases. For if my dear friend Guli Penn had not fallen sick, if I had not