By the time that I arrived at the rising mound—for a force mightier than prudence drove me to see the end—the head of the great concourse was beginning to arrive. Across the street from side to side stretched the company, all tramping together and murmuring like the sound of the sea. It was as if all London town was gone mad: for I do not believe there were above twenty men in that great mob, who were not persuaded that here was the corroboration of all that had been said upon the matter of the plot; and that the guilt of the Papists was made plain. Some roared, as they came, threats and curses upon the Pope, the Jesuits, and every Catholic that drew breath; but the most part marched silently, and more terribly, as it appeared to me. The street was becoming as light as day, for torches were being kindled as they came; and, at the last, came the great coach, swaying upon its swings, in which the body was borne.
I craned my head this way and that to see; and, as the coach passed beneath me, I saw into its interior, and how there lay there, supported by two men, the figure of another man whose face was covered with a white cloth.
It would occupy too much space, were I to set down in detail all that passed between the finding of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey’s body, and the being brought to trial of the Jesuit Fathers. But a brief summary must be given.
The funeral of Sir Edmund was held three or four days later in St. Martin’s, and the sermon was preached by Dr. Lloyd, his friend, who spoke from a pulpit guarded by two other thumping divines, lest he should be murdered by the Papists as he did it. There was a concourse of people that cannot be imagined; and seventy-two ministers walked in canonicals at the head of the procession. Dr. Lloyd spoke of the dead man as a martyr to the Protestant religion.
By the strangest stroke of ill-fortune Parliament met ten days before the funeral, which happened on the thirty-first of October; so that the excitement of the people—greatly increased by the exhibition of the dead body of Sir Godfrey—was ratified by their rulers—I say their rulers, since His Majesty, it appeared, could do nothing to stem the tide. It was my Lord Danby who opened the matter in the House of Peers that he might get what popularity he could to protect him against the disgrace that he foresaw would come upon him presently for the French business; and every violent word that he spoke was applauded to the echo. The House of Commons took up the cry; a solemn fast was appointed for the appeasing of God Almighty’s wrath; guards were set in all the streets, and chains drawn across them, to prevent any sudden rising of the Papists; and all Catholic householders were bidden to withdraw ten miles from London. (This I did not comply with; for I was no householder.) Besides all this, both men and women went armed continually—the men