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Wesley Seized for a Soldier

Wednesday, 3.—I waited till nine; but no Mr. Eustick came. I then desired Mr. Shepherd to go and inquire for him at the house wherein he had lodged; he met him, coming, as he thought, to our inn. But after waiting some time, we inquired again and learned he had turned aside to another house in the town. I went thither and asked, “Is Mr. Eustick here?” After some pause, one said, “Yes,” and showed me into the parlor. When he came down he said, “O sir, will you be so good as to go with me to the doctor’s?” I answered, “Sir, I came for that purpose.”  “Are you ready, sir?” I answered, “Yes.” “Sir, I am not quite ready. In a little time, sir, in a quarter of an hour, I will wait upon you. I will come to William Chenhall’s.”

In about three quarters of an hour he came, and finding there was no remedy, he called for his horse and put forward toward Dr. Borlase’s house; but he was in no haste, so that we were an hour and a quarter riding three or four measured miles. As soon as we came into the yard he asked a servant, “Is the doctor at home?” upon whose answering, “No, sir, he is gone to church,” he presently said, “Well, sir, I have executed my commission. I have done, sir; I have no more to say.”

About noon Mr. Shepherd and I reached St. Ives.  After a few hours’ rest, we rode to Gwennap. Finding the house would not contain one fourth of the people, I stood before the door. I was reading my text when a man came, raging as if he had just broken out of the tombs; and, riding into the thickest of the people, seized three or four, one after another, none lifting up a hand against him. A second (gentleman, so called) soon came after, if possible more furious than he, and ordered his men to seize on some others, Mr. Shepherd in particular. Most of the people, however, stood still as they were before and began singing a hymn.

Upon this Mr. B. lost all patience and cried out with all his might, “Seize him, seize him. I say, seize the preacher for his Majesty’s service.” But no one stirring, he rode up and struck several of his attendants, cursing them bitterly for not doing as they were bidden. Perceiving still that they would not move, he leaped off his horse, swore he would do it himself, and caught hold of my cassock crying, “I take you to serve his Majesty.” A servant taking his horse, he took me by the arm, and we walked arm in arm for about three quarters of a mile. He entertained me all the time with the “wickedness of the fellows belonging to the society.” When he was taking breath, I said, “Sir, be they what they will, I apprehend it will not justify you in seizing me in this manner and violently carrying me away, as you said, to serve his Majesty.” He replied, “I seize you! And violently carry you away! No, sir, no. Nothing like it. I asked you to go with me to my house, and you said you were willing; and if so, you are welcome; and if not, you are welcome to go where you please.” I answered, “Sir, I know not if it would be safe for me to go back through this rabble.” “Sir,” said he, “I will go with you myself.” He then called for his horse, and another for me, and rode back with me to the place from whence he took me.

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