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Sir John Kobinson named the Oxford Act; but in a moment Penn showed him that the law so called could not apply to him. Driven to their kennel, the two Dogberries brought out the oath of allegiance, and Sir John cried out abruptly and angrily, 'Wilt thou take the oath V 'This is not to the purpose/ replied Penn, in the midst of an ingenious protest against their endeavour to apply to his case fragments of different and dissimilar laws. 'Read him the oath,' roared the lieutenant. Penn refused to swear; alleging as his reason that his conscience forbade him to take up arms at all, much more against his sovereign.
Robinson: 'I am sorry you put me upon this severity. It is no pleasant work to me.'
Penn: 'These are but words. It is manifest that this is a prepense malice. Thou hast several times laid the meetings for me, and this day particularly.'
Robinson: 'No. I profess I could not tell you would be there.'
Penn: 'Thine own corporal told me that you had intelligence at the Tower, that I should be at Wheeler Street to-day, almost as soon as I knew it myself. This is disingenuous and partial. I never gave thee occasion for such unkindness.'
Robinson: 'I knew no such thing; but if I had, I confess I should have sent for thee.'
Penn: 'That confession might have been spared. I do heartily believe it.'
Robinson: 'I vow, Mr. Penn, I am sorry for you. You are an ingenious gentleman; all the world must allow that; and you have a plentiful estate. Why should you render yourself unhappy by associating with such a simple people?'
Penn: 'I confess I have made it my choice to relinquish the company of those that are ingeniously wicked, to converse with those who are more honestly simple.'
Robinson: 'I wish thee wiser.'
Penn: 'I wish thee better.'
Robinson: 'You have been as bad as other folks.'
Penn: 'When and where? I charge thee to tell the company to my face.'
Robinson: 'Abroad—and at home too.'
Sheldon: * No, no, Sir John. That's too much.'
Penn: 'I make this bold challenge to all men, justly to accuse me with ever having heard me swear, utter a curse, or speak one obscene word— much less that I make it my practice. . . . Thy words shall be my burden, and I trample thy slander under my feet.'
Robinson: 'Well, Mr. Penn, I have no ill-will towards you. Your father was my friend, and I have a great deal of kindness for you.'
Penn: 'Thou hast an ill way of expressing it. . . .'
Robinson: 'Well, I must send you to Newgate for six months, and when they are expired you will come out.'
Penn: 'Is that all? Thou well knowest a longer imprisonment has not daunted me. Alas, you mistake your interests; this is not the way to compass your ends.'
Robinson: 'You bring yourself into trouble.
You will be heading of parties, and drawing people after you.'
Penn: 'Thou mistakest. There is no such way as this to render men remarkable.'
Robinson: 'I wish your adhering to these things do not convert you to something at last.'
Penn: 'I would have thee and all men know that I scorn that religion which is not worth suffering for, and able to sustain those that are afflicted for its
sake Thy religion persecutes, mine forgives.
I desire God to forgive you all that are concerned in my commitment, and I leave you all in perfect charity.'
Robinson: 'Send a corporal with a file of musqueteers with him.'
Penn: 'No, no; send thy lacquey. I know the way to Newgate.'
During the whole of his long period of six months in jail, Penn was busily employed in writing; and as the results of this labour, not less than four important treatises came from his hand: 1. The Great Case of Liberty of Conscience. 2. Truth rescued from Imposture. 3. A Postscript to Truth exalted. 4. An Apology for the Quakers. Three of these works are of considerable length; and one of them, 'The Great Case of Liberty of Conscience,' is not only in itself a noble piece of work, but, from the nature of its subject, one which ought to be familiar to every one. Besides these larger works, the prisoner wrote many letters on public and private business. The young lady of Chalfont, from whom he had so lately parted, would naturally
occupy hot a few of his thoughts; but the cause in which they were jointly embarked had the first claim on his services. Besides long letters written to a Catholic who had taken offence at his ' Caveat against Popery,' and to the Sheriffs of London on the state of Newgate, and the abuses practised by the jailers on such as either could not, or from scruples of conscience would not, buy their favours; he wrote a dignified and temperate letter to the High Court of Parliament, then known to be contemplating a more rigorous enforcement of the act against conventicles, explaining the principles of his body as to civil and political aftairs, proving that the freedom they claimed was in no way dangerous to the State.
When his term of imprisonment was up, he went abroad for a time; at first into Holland, and afterwards into Germany, neither of which countries he had seen in his earlier travels. He could speak the Low Dutch pretty well, and made some converts to his opinions. Embden was one of the cities in which he made a great impression The first meeting was held in the house of Dr. Haesbert, who was deeply struck with the new doctrines proposed by the English missionary; and after giving the matter three months' consideration, Haesbert openly embraced them, and was the first Quaker in that part of the continent. About twelve months later Frau Haesbert joined him, and a godly meeting was in course of time formed in Embden, which looked to Penn with the feelings of a converted country to the apostle of its conversion. In the days of persecution which soon came upon them—when the members of the new sect were flogged in public, cast into loathsome dungeons, fed on bread and water, mulcted in heavy fines, and even banished from their native land—his voice was ever raised in their defence, and his influence used for their protection.
There were at this time many other religious communities in Holland in which Penn took a deep interest—various members of the great Puritan party of England, who had crossed over into that country on the return of the Stuarts, with the intention of ultimately migrating to the new world. To all these exiled sects America was the land of promise, the subject of their daily talk and nightly dreams. Many ships filled with emigrants had already gone out. At religious meetings and in domestic circles the accounts sent home by the adventurers of the perils of the sea-voyage, of the beauty and fertility of the new country, were read and re-read; and hardly a year passed by that did not witness the departure of a fresh band of these devout and sturdy founders of the great republic. The stories told by those who for a time were left behind of the trials from which they and their fellows had fled, of their unconquerable desire to found a free state in the depths of the wilderness, where every man should be able to worship God according to his conscience, of the dangers which their predecessors in the good work encountered and overcame, of their own anxiety to follow them to their new home— all this was deeply interesting to Penn, and served to revive the romantic dreams in which he had found