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to diffemble it before God. I know my lord the danger, the hell that I should plunge myself headlong into; I know I shall soon answer for the truth I am now about to say, before a higher tribunal, and a more discerning judge than your lordship, which is only in heaven; that I did not take the advantage to kill Mr. Sayer, by a thought or apprehension that I could do it under the umbrage of the laws, or with impunity, and nothing was more distant from my thoughts, than to remove him out of the world to enjoy his wife (as was suggested) without molestation. Nor could any one have greater reluctance or remorse, from the time of the fact to the hour of my trial, than I have had, though the prosecutors reported to the contrary, for which I heartily forgive them.
“ My council obliged me to say on my trial, that I heard Mr. Sayer's voice before he broke open
the door; I told them, as I now tell your lordship, that I did not know it was him, till he was breaking in at the door, and then, and not before, was my sword drawn, and the wound given, which wound, as Dr. Garth informed me, was so very night, that it was a thousand to one chat he died of it.
" When I gave the wound, I insensibly quitted the sword, by which means I left myself open for him to have done what was proved he attempted, and was so likely for him to have effected, viz. to have Itabbed me : which are circumstances that manifest the greatness of my surprise.
" When I heard the company run up stairs, I was alarmed, and in fear; the landlord telling me instantly thereupon, that the house was beset, either for me or himself, added to my confusion. VOL. I. No. A.
I then never thought or intended to do mischief, but first bolted the fore door, and then bolted and padlocked the back door, which was glazed, and began to faster the shutters belonging to it, designing only to screen iyself from the violence of the tumult. When he broke open the door, and not till then, I perceived and knew he was present: and his former threats and attempts, which I so fully proved on my trial, and could have proved much fuller, had not Mrs. Salisbury's evidence been taken from me, made my fear fo great, and the apprehension of my danger fo near, than what I did was the natural motion of self-defence, and was too sudden to be the result of
precedent malice; and I solemnly declare, that I did not hear or know from Twyford the landlord or otherwise, that any constable attended the de. ceased, till after the misfortune happened. It was my misfortune, that what I said as to hearing the deceased's voice was turned to my disadvantage by the council against me, and that I was not intitled to any assistance of council to enforce the evidence given for me, or to remark upon the evidence given against me; which I don't doubt would have fully satisfied your lordship and the jury, that what happened was more my misfoto tune, than my design or intention.
" If I had been able, under the concern, to remark upon the evidence against me, that Mr.
Sayer was but the tenth part of a minute in :. breaking open the door, it could not then well be
supposed by the jury, that I was preparing myself, or putting myself in order to do mischief, which are acts of fore-thought and consideration, which require much more time than is pretended I could have had from the time I discovered Mr. Sayer, for even from his entry into the house, to
the time of the accident, did not amount, as I am informed, to more than the space of three minutes. But I did not discover him before the door gave way
“I wish it had been my good fortune, that the jury had applied that to me which your lordship remarked in favour of the ladies, that the matter was fo very sudden, so very accidental and unexpected, that it was impossible to be a contrivance and confederacy, and unlikely that they could come to a resolution in fo short a time. I don't remember your lordship distinguished my case, as to that particular, to be different from theirs, nor was there room for it; for it is impoflible for your lordship to believe that I dreamt of Mr. Sayer's coming there at that time, but on the contrary I fully proved to your lordship, that I went there upon another occasion, that was lawful and beneficial to the deceased; and I had no more time to think or contrive, than the ladies had to agree or consent. If any thing could be construed favourably on the behalf of such an unfortunate wretch as myself, I think the design I had sometime before began, and was about finishing that day, might have taken away all fufpicion of malice against Mr. Sayer.
“ Must it be thought, my lord, that I only am such a sinner that I cannot repent and make reparations to the persons I have injured ? It was denięd; bụt I strongly folicited a reconciliation between Mr. Sayer and his lady, and if this had tended to procurę mę an easier access to Mrs. Sayer, it would have been such a matter of aggravation to me, that it could not have escaped the remark of the council against me, nor the sharpmess of the prosecutors present in court; with both I transacted, and to both I appealed, particularly to Mr. Nott, to whom, but the day before the accident, I manifested my desire of having them live together again, and therefore, my lord, it should be presumed I laboured to be reconciled to, and not to revenge myself on, Mr. Sayer.
“ Your lordship, I hope, will observe so much in my favour, that it was fo far from being a clear fact in the opinion of the jury, that they sat up all night, and believing there was no malice at that time, told your lordship they intended, and were inclined to find it manslaughter, and, doubting the legality of the warrant, to find it special.
“ I hope this will touch your lordship's heart so far, as not to think me so ill a man as to deserve (what the best of Christians are taught to pray against) a sudden death,
« I confess I am unprepared; the hopes of my being able to make a legal defence, and my endeavours therein having taken up my time, which I wish I had better employed : I beg leave to asfure your lordship, upon the words of a dying man, that as none of the indirect practices to get or fupprefs evidence were proved upon me, so they never sprang from me: and I can safely say, that my blood in a great measure will lie at their door that did, because it drew me under an ill imputation of defending myself by subornation of perjury.
I would be willing to do my duty towards my neighbour, as well as God, before I die ; I have many papers and concerns (by reason of my profeffion) of my clients in my hands, and who will suffer if they are not put into some order : and nothing but these two considerations could make life desirable, under this heavy load of irons, and restless remorse of confcience for my sins. A short reprieve for these purposes I hope will be
agrecable to your lordship’s humanity and Christian virtue, whereupon your lordship's name shall be bleft with my last breath, for giving me an opportunity of making peace with my conscience and God Almighty.”.
The last request that Noble made was granted. He was allowed some time to settle his spiritual and temporal concerns, and at length was executed at Kingston on the 28th of March, 1713, exhibiting marks of genuine repentance.
With regard to the women, they were no sooner acquitted than they set out for London, taking one of the turnkeys with them, to protect them from the assaults of the populace, who were incensed in the highest degree at the fingular enormity of their crimes.
Little need be added, by way of reflection, to this long and interesting narrative. Those who do not fee and abhor the extreme wickedness of these abandoned women; are not likely to be influenced by any arguments; we can use. The situation of Mr. Sayer is pitiable in a high degree. He was distractedly fond of a woman who defpised him ; who despised every thing that bore but the semblance of virtue,
The fate of Noble was no other than what he merited by a long and obstinate perseverance in a course of vice and ingratitude : his baseness is al. most unexampled. We hope the force of the following advice of the wise king Solomon will be felt by all our readers. “ Enter not into the ' “ path of the wicked, and go not in the way of * evil men,
Avoid it, pass not by it; turn from “ it, and pass away. For they neep not except “ they have done mischief ; and their deep is “ taken away, unless they cause some to FALL."