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mon civilities of the day passed between us, but nothing more. We never visited. I understood he possessed a great singularity of character; but he was ever polite and civil to me. Early in September, 1803, I frequently heard a great swearing and noise in his chambers, and, on meeting his laundress on the stairs, I asked her the cause of the disturbance I had heard. She answered, that she believed her master was out of his mind, for his conduct in every respect proved him so; and that she was greatly afraid that in his delirium he would do himself or her an injury. She said she had taken him his dinner the day before, but that he had not touched it, and that he never ate animal food. She was then going to him, but expressed a fear that he would burst into a rage, and abuse her as I had heard him before. The last time she was in the chambers, he had shut himself up; however, she left his dinner upon the table, and was then going to see if he had eaten it. I said, as she had expressed herself fearful, I would go with her to her master, which I accordingly did. I saw his dinner on the table, but he was still shut up in his room. I asked the laundress whether he had any relations in town. She said he had not; but that he had a nephew somewhere in the North, who had lived with him for many years, but that Mr. Ritson had turned him out of his house for eating animal

food. I desired her to endeavour to find out some of his relations or friends, and to apprize them of his unhappy situation, and in the meantime to be very careful of him.

"On the 10th of September, about nine o'clock in the evening, on my return to my chambers, my servant told me that Mr. Ritson had been making a great noise, and that there was a great light in his room, which had alarmed the people in the Steward's office. I went immediately to the Steward's office, and looking from his window, I saw Mr. Ritson's room strewed with books and loose papers, some of which he was gathering up and throwing on the fire, which occasioned the great blaze they had seen. He had a lighted candle in his hand, which he carried about in a very dangerous manner. The Steward not being at home, I sent for him to represent to him Mr. Ritson's extraordinary conduct. However, being much alarmed, I went to Mr. Ritson's chambers, and knocked at the door several times, but could get no admission. At last a key was obtained from the laundress; and Mr. Quin, the steward, and myself, with two porters, entered his chambers. He appeared much confused on seeing us, and asked how we came in? We told him by means of the laundress's key. He then asked what we wanted? Mr.

Quin told him, we came in consequence of the great blaze that appeared in his chambers, believing them to be on fire. He answered, that his fire had gone out, and that he was lighting it to make horse-radish tea. Mr. Quin then represented to him the great danger of making his fire with loose papers, particularly as there were so many scattered about the room, some of which had actually taken fire. Mr. Quin therefore begged he would permit the portersto collect them together, and to put them

away, and to do any thing he wanted; upon which he said, no! no! and in the most peremptory manner ordered them to leave his chambers, saying they were only servants to the Society, and had no business in his chambers. Mr. Quin observed, that consistently with his duty as Steward of the Inn, he could not leave his chambers in that dangerous situation. Mr.. Ritson then appearing much enraged, swore he would make them, for that they came to rob him, and immediately went to his bed-room, and returned with a drawn dagger in his hand; at sight of which, Mr.. Quin and the porters immediately left the chambers, Mr. Ritson pursuing them along the passage, and they in their hurry shut the outer door, leaving me in the room. On his return I disarmed him, and begged him to sit down while. I explained every thing. He

was then very complaisant, and said he did not mean to offend me, but swore vengeance against those who' had left the room. He insisted on my going into his best apartment, which I did, and found his books and papers scattered on the floor, as they were in the other chamber. He asked me to drink with him, which I refused. He paid me some compliments as a neighbour, and said he would give me a history of his life. He told me he had a great passion for books, of which he possessed the finest collection in England. That he had written upon many subjects, and had confuted many who had written upon law and theology. He said he was then writing a pamphlet proving Jesus Christ an impostor! but that something had lately discomposed him, and he was therefore resolved to destroy many of his manuscripts, for which purpose he was then sorting his papers. I heard him patiently for an hour and an half, when I advised him to go to bed, which he said he would do, and I left him seemingly composed. About an hour after, he became very violent and outrageous, throwing his furniture about his chambers and breaking his windows. I then went to him again, and endeavoured to pacify him, but without effect. He had a dagger in one hand and a knife in the other, though I had taken the other dagger from him, and

carried it to my own chambers. He raved for a considerable time, till, being quite exhausted, he went to sleep. A person was then sent for from Hoxton to take care of him, who remained with him five days, and said that his derangement was incurable. I visited him every day, when he appeared very glad to see me, and said, 'Here comes my friend, who will set me at liberty;' but violently abused his keeper, and said, the devil would torment him for his cruelty in keeping him so confined. It was thought proper by his friends to remove him to a mad-house, where I understand he died in a few days. I have since learned that his malady was a family disorder, and that his sister died mad."

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