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In the crowd near the door, there was found upon the ground a hat, in the infide whereof, there was fewed upon the crown a paper, in ' which were writ four or five lines of that declaration made by the Houfe of Commons, in which they had ftiled the duke an enemy to the kingdom; and under it a fhort ejaculation towards a prayer. It was eafily enough concluded, that the hat belonged to the perfon who ' had committed the murder, but the difficulty remained ftill as great, who that person should for the writing discovered nothing of the " name; and whofoever it was, it was very natural to believe, that he was gone far enough not to be found without a hat. In this hurry, one running one way, another another way, a man was feen walking before the door very compofedly without a hat; whereupon one crying out, here's the fellow that killed the duke, upon which others run thither. every body asking which was he; to which the man without the hat very compofedly answered, I am he. Thereupon fome of those who were most fu'rious fuddenly run upon the man with their ' drawn fwords to kill him; but others, who " were at least equally concerned in the lofs, ' and in the fenfe of it, defended him; himself with open arms very calmly and chearfully expofing himself to the fury and fwords of the moft enraged, as being very willing to fall a 'facrifice to their fudden anger, rather than be kept for deliberate juftice, which he knew muft be executed upon him.
He was now enough known, and easily discovered to be that Felton, whom we mentioned before, who had been a lieutenant in the army; he was quickly carried into a private room by
for a more judicial examination, and proceed
6 the perfons of the beft condition, fome whereof were in authority, who first thought fit, fo far ⚫ to diffemble, as to mention the duke only grievously wounded, but not without hopes of recovery. Upon which Felton fmiled, and faid, ⚫ he knew well enough he had given him a blow ⚫ that had determined all their hopes. Being then asked at whofe instigation he had performed that horrid, wretched act, he answered them with a ⚫ wonderful affurance, That they should not trou⚫ble themselves in that enquiry; that no man living had credit or power enough with him to have engaged or difpofed him, to fuch an action, that he had never entrusted his purpose or refolution to any man; that it proceeded from himself, ⚫ and the impulfe of his own confcience, and that the motives thereunto will appear if his hat were found. He fpoke very frankly of what he had done, and bore the reproaches of them ⚫ that spoke to him, with the temper of a man who thought he had not done amifs. But after he had been in prifon fome time, where he was treated without any rigour, and with humanity enough ; and before and at his tryal, which was about four months after, at the King's Bench, he ⚫ behaved himself with great modesty, and wonderful repentance; being as he faid convinced • in his confcience that he had done wickedly, and asked pardon of the King and Duchefs, and all the Duke's fervants, whom he acknowledged he had offended, and very earnestly befought the judges that he might have his hand ftruck off, with which he had performed that impious act, before he should be put to death."
This is the account lord Clarendon gives in the first volume of his history, of the fall of this great favourite, which ferves to throw a melancholy veil over the fplendor of his life,
and demonftrates the extreme vanity of exterior pomp, and the danger thofe are exposed to who move on the precipice of power. It ferves to fhew that of all kind of cruelty, that which is the child of enthusiasm is the worst, as it is founded upon fomething that has the appearance of principles; and as it is more ftedfaft, fo does it diffufe more mischief than that cruelty which flows from the agitations of paffion: Felton blindly imagined he did God fervice by affaffination, and the fame unnatural zeal would perhaps have prompted him to the murder of a thousand more, who in his opinion were enemies to their country.
The above-mentioned hiftorian remarks, that there were several prophecies and predictions fcattered about, concerning the duke's death; and then proceeds to the relation of the most aftonishing story we have ever met with.
As this anecdote is countenanced by fo great a name, I need make no apology for inserting it, it has all the evidence the nature of the thing can admit of, and is curious in itself.
There was an officer in the King's wardrobe in Windfor-Castle of a good reputation for honefty and difcretion, and then about the age of fifty years, or more. This man had been bred in his youth in a fchool in the parish where Sir George Villiers the father of the Duke lived, and had been much cherished and obliged in that feafon of his age, by the said Sir George, whom afterwards he never faw. About fix months before the miferable end of the duke of Buckingham, about midnight, this man, being in his bed, at Windfor, where his office was, and in very good health, there appeared to him, on the fide of his bed, a man of very venerable afpect, 'who fixing his eyes upon him, asked him, if he
knew him; the poor man half dead with fear, ' and apprehenfion, being asked the fecond time, whether he remembered him, and having in that ⚫ time called to his memory, the prefence of Sir. George Villiers, and the very cloaths he used to wear, in which at that time he used to be habited; he answered him, 'That he thought him to be that perfon; he replied, that he was in the right, that he was the fame, and that he expected a fervice from him; which was, that he fhould go from him to his fon the duke of Buckingham, and tell him, if he did not fome'what to ingratiate himself to the people, or at leaft, to abate the extreme malice they had a'gainst him, he would be fuffered to live but a 'fhort time, and after this difcourfe he disappear
ed, and the poor man, if he had been at all waking, flept very well till the morning, when he believed all this to be a dream, and confi⚫dered it no otherwife.
Next night, or fhortly after, the fame perfon appeared to him again in the fame place, and about the fame time of the night, with an aspect a little more fevere than before; and asking him whether he had done as he required him? and perceiving he had not, he gave him very fevere reprehenfions, and told him, he expected more compliance from him; and that if he did not perform his commands, he fhould enjoy no peace of mind, but fhould be always purfued by him: Upon which he propromifed to obey him.
But the next morning waking exceedingly perplexed with the lively representation of all that had paffed, he confidered that he was a person at such a diftance from the duke, that he knew not how to find any admittance into his prefence, much less any hope to be believed in what he should say, fo
• with great trouble and unquietnefs he spent some time in thinking what he should do. The poor · man had by this time recovered the courage to 'tell him, That in truth he had deferred the exe'cution of his commands, upon confidering how
difficult a thing it would be for him to get access to the duke, having acquaintance with no perfon about him; and if he could obtain admiffion to him, he would never be able to perfuade him that he was fent in fuch a manner, but he should at beft be thought to be mad, or to be fet on and employed by his own or the malice of other men to abufe the duke, and fo he should be fure to be undone. The perfon replied, as he had done before, that he fhould never find reft, till he fhould perform "what he required, and therefore he were better
to difpatch it; that the accefs to his fon was ⚫ known to be very easy; and that few men 'waited long for him, and for the gaining him
credit, he would tell him two or three particulars, which he charged him never to mention to any perfon living, but to the duke himself; and he fhould no fooner hear them, but he ⚫ would believe all the reft he fhould fay; and fo repeating his threats he left him.
In the morning the poor man more confirmed by the last appearance, made his journey to • London, where the court then was. He was
very well known to Sir Ralph Freeman, one of the mafters of the requests, who had married
a lady that was nearly allied to the duke, and • was. himself well received by him. To him ⚫ this man went; and tho' he did not acquaint him with all the particulars, he faid enough to him to let him fee there was fomewhat extraordinary in it, and the knowledge he had of the fobriety and difcretion of the man, made the • more impreffion on him. He defired that by