« EdellinenJatka »
to be a fool, and let them triumph over me, than by my weakness give them advantage to triumph over the Truth. And my spirit being closely exercised in a deep travail towards the Lord, I earnestly begged of him, that he would be pleased to keep me faithful to the testimony he had committed to me, and not suffer me to be taken in any of the snares which the enemy laid for me. And blessed be his holy name, he heard my cries, and preserved me out of them.
When the justices saw they could not bow me to their wills, they told me they must send me to prison. I told them I was contented to suffer whatsoever the Lord should suffer them to inflict upon me. Whereupon they withdrew into the parlour, to consult together what to do with me, leaving me meanwhile to be gazed on in the hall,
After a pretty long stay, they came forth to me again, with great shew of kindness; telling me, they were very unwilling to send me to gaol but would be as favourable to me, as possibly they could; and that, if I would take the oaths, they would pass by all the other matter which they had against me. I told them I knew they could not justly have any thing against me, for I had neither done, nor intended any thing against the government, or against them, And as to the oaths, I assured them, that my refusing them was merely matter of conscience to me, and that I durst not take any oath what soever, if it were to save my life.
When they heard this, they left me again, and went and signed a mittimus to send me to prison at Oxford, and charged one of the troopers that brought me thither (who was one of the newly raised militia-troop) to convey me safe to Oxford. But before we departed, they called the trooper aside, and gave him private instructions what he should do with me, which I knew nothing of till I came thither, but ex. pected I should go directly to the castle.
It was almost dark when we took horse, and we had about nine or ten miles to ride, the weather thick and cold; for it was about the beginning of the twelfth month, and I had no boots, being snatched away from home suddenly; which made me not care to ride very fast. And my guard, who was a tradesman in Thame, having confidence in me, that I would not give him the slip, jogged on without heeding how I followed him,
When I was gone about a mile on the way, I overtook my father's man, who, without my knowledge, had followed me at a distance, to Weston; and waited there abroad in the sta. bles, till he understood by some of the servants that I was to go to Oxford; and then ran before, resolving not to leave me, till he saw what they would do with me.
I would have had him return home; but he desired me not to send him back, but let him run on till I came to Oxford. I considered that it was a token of the fellow's affectionate kindness to me, and that possibly I might send
my horse home by him ; and thereupon, stopping my horse, I bid him, if he would go on, get up behind me.
He modestly refused, tell. ing me he could run as fast as I rode. But when I had told him, if he would not ride he should not go forward, he, rather than leave me, leaped up behind me, and on we went.
But he was not willing I should have gone at all. He had a great cudgel in his hand, and a strong arm to use it; and being a stout fel. low, he had a great mind to fight the trooper and rescue me. Wherefore he desired me to turn my horse, and ride off. And if the troop. er offered to pursue, leave him to deal with him,
I checked him sharply for that, and charged him to be quiet, and not think hardly of the poor trooper, who could do no other nor less than he did ; and who, though he had an ill journey in going with me, carried himself civilly to me. I told him also, that I had no need to fly, for I had done nothing that would bring guilt or fear upon me, neither did I go with an ill will; and this quieted the man. So on we went, but were so far cast behind the trooper, that we had lost both sight and hearing of him, and I was fain to mend my pace to get up to him again.
We came pretty late into Oxford, on the seventh-day of the week, which was the market day, and contrary to my expectation, which was to have been carried to the castle, my trooper stopped in the high-street, and
calling at a shop, asked for the master of the house, who coming to the door, he delivered to him the mittimus, and with it a letter from the deputy-lieutenants, or one of them; which when he had read, he asked where the prisoner was. Whereupon the soldier pointing to me, he desired me to alight and come in, which when I did, he received me civilly,
The trooper being discharged of his prison. er, marched back ; and my father's man see. ing me settled in better quarters than he ex. pected, mounted my horse and went off with him.
I did not presently understand the quality of my keeper, but I found him a genteel, courteous man, by trade a linnen-draper; and, as I afterwards understood, he was the city. marshall, had a command in the county troop, and was a person of good repute in the place; his name was -- Galloway.
Whether I was committed to him out of regard to my father, that I might not be thrust into a common gaol, or out of a politic design to keep me from the conversation of my friends, in hopes that I might be drawn to abandon this profession, which I had but lately taken up, I do not know, But this I know, that though I wanted no civil treatment, nor kind accommodations where I was, yet after once I understood that many friends were pri. soners in the castle, and amongst the rest Tho. mas Loe, I had much rather have been among them there, with all the inconveniences they
underwent, than where I was, with the best en. tertainment. But this was my present lot, and therefore with this I endeavoured to be content.
It was quickly known in the city that a Qua. ker was brought in prisoner, and committed to the marshall. Whereupon (the men friends being generally prisoners already in the castle) some of the women friends came to inquire after me and to visit me; as Silas Norton's wife, and Thomas Loe's wife, who were sisters, and another woman friend, who lived in the same street where I was; whose husband was not a Quaker, but was kindly affected towards them, a baker by trade, and his name as I remember, Ryland,
By some of these an account was soon given to the Friends, who were prisoners in the cas. tle, of my being taken up, and brought prisoner to the marshall's. Whereupon it pleased the Lord, to move on the heart of my dear Friend Thomas Loe, to salute me with a very tender and affectionate letter in the following terms,
My BELOVED FRIEND,
In the truth, and love of the Lord Jesus, by which life and salvation is revealed in the saints, is my dear love unto thee, and in much tenderness do I salute thee. And dear heart, a time of trial God hath permitted to come upon us, to try our faith and love to him; and this. will work for the good of them, that through patience endure to the end. And I believe