LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON .
NUMBER II. for the said YEAR.
Printed and sold by J. DIXWELL, in St. Martin's-Lane, near Charing-Cross, for the AUTHOR:
Also Sold by M. COOPER, in Pater-noster-Row.
IF there were no other arguments (as there are innumerable and irrefragable) for the truth of divine revelation and the Christian religion, than modern experience, I am persuaded that alone is abundantly sufficient to those who allow themselves leisure rightly to consider and duly to apply it.
To bring this thought to a point, be pleased to look on the example now exhibited to you; while he lost the power and influence of this persuasion, by giving himself up to the waves of doubt and Scepticism, he fell into various dangerous vices and the horrid crime for which he suffered, a reproach to human nature and a terror to civil society!
But when by due instruction and recurring to his own heart by serious reflection, wherein he found the principles of truth early implanted by a good education, h� recovered himself to repentance; he no longer was that horrid monster, dreadful to himself, and dangerous to society: he recovered inward peace, good resolution and composure of soul; in one word, he recovered that peace of God which passeth all understanding, except in those who know and feel it. All which sentiments are the very dictates of the lively oracles of truth.
There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. Isa. lvii. 21.
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Prov. xxviii. 13.
I said I will confess my sins unto the Lord: and so thou forgavest the wickedness of my sin. Ps. xxxii. 6.
O cleanse thou me from my secret faults. Keep thy servant also from presumptuous sins, lest they get the dominion over me, so shall I be undefiled and innocent from the great offence.
Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God: thou that art the God of my salvation. Ps. li. 14.
Thus one proof among many of the truth of the Christian faith may be fixed on the same basis with that of all true and useful science, viz. that of experiment.
Agreeable to that of the Psalmist, O taste and see how gracious the Lord is: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Ps. xxxiv. 8. Thus elegantly paraphrased.
O make but trial of his love;
Experience will decide,
How blest are they, and only they,
Who in his truth confide.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, &c.
BY virtue of the King's commission of the peace, and oyer and terminer, for the city of London, and at the general sessions of gaol delivery of Newgate, holden for the city of London and county of Middlesex at Justice-Hall in the Old Baily, before the Right Honourable Sir Matthew Blakiston, Knt. Lord Mayor , the Right Honourable Lord Mansfield, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, the Honourable Sir Edward Clive, one of the Judges of his Majesty's court of Common Pleas , Sir William Moreton, Knt. Recorder , and others his Majesty's Justices of oyer and terminer for the said city and county; on Wednesday the 1st, Thurday the 2d, and Friday the 3d of April, in the first year of the reign of his Majesty King George the third, Theodore Gardelle, was capitally convicted for the wilful murder of Anne King.
The following narrative being a translation of Mr. Gardelle's manuscript, will give a more just idea of his life and character, together with the occasion and circumstances of the sad event now in view, than could have been formed without this open and full confession.
" As there is nothing material in my first years I need not take notice of them. At the age of fourteen, my father thinking the art of painting not proper to my temper (as it is absolutely necessary for a painter to travel) and intending to put me in a business suitable to the desire he had I should remain in Geneva, bound me apprentice to an engraver and embosser for the term of three years. But I was so impatient to learn the art of painting that I set out for Paris in December 1739, without taking leave of any body. I was then sixteen years and a half old; and as both my parents and my master were satisfied with my conduct, they wrote to their friends at Paris, and recommended me to them that I should have any thing
I might want. A few months after my father ordered me to come back to my own country; I obeyed, and served out the rest of my time to my master, which was about three months; after that time I lived at my father's, employing myself in painting , till the year 1744. I then went again to Paris with my father's consent, and remained there at his expence 'till 1748, to improve myself in that art. My father finding himself in a bad state of health sent me word he should be glad if I would return to him, which I did without delay; but he did not live above two months after my arrival at Geneva. My dear father! how fatal has thy death been to me! We loved one another as intimate friends.
" The ambitious desire to excel in my art, engaged me to come again to Paris, though I hated this noisy and tumultuous city. In the year 1750 I went back again to Geneva, and a little while after I fell in love with a young woman who had been reduced to the care of an hospital at the age of ten years, through the misfortune of her friends, the death of her mother, and her father forsaking her. She lived then with my mother's sister in the next house, and there was a communication betwixt the two houses. After two years of sollicitations, my promises and my intreaties repeated every day, engaged her to consent to my desires. I set out again from Geneva for Paris, in 1756, with this young woman and my brother, who since returned to Geneva, where he died. My friends refused their consent to my marrying this young woman. Unhappily I delayed too long to fulfil this my duty to her, always thinking my friends would at last give a free consent to it.
" I came from Paris to Brussels, not being then determined to come to London: the desire to visit Holland brought me insensibly where such a dreadful fate awaited me, without any tendency in any of my thoughts or actions to the horrid excess to which I have been hurried on in one moment. Since the age of twelve or fifteen, that is, for these five and twenty years past, I never struck, nor wished the death of any body.
" The persons I have lived with in my travels knew my character very well, and I was always welcome to their houses, especially most so where I had lived the longest. I lived always at Paris with the same people, near the royal palace, that was for the space of about seven years, at different times; and after I kept house there I visited them frequently, and they did the same to me. I do not remember ever to have felt any violent degree of anger against any one; and ever since I have been in London I never quarrelled with any person till the unhappy moment, when my reason was confounded by the charge of murder, which it seemed to me this unfortunate woman intended against me, I knew not what I was about; I did not think I was committing a crime when I struck her.
" I lived three months last summer at Mrs. King's: I went after that to live at Knightsbridge, where I staid about the same time; till, sollicited for some pictures which were wanted in haste, I came again to Mrs. King, not intending, at first, to stay there any longer than the time necessary to procure another lodging; and I have employed some of my acquaintances, as well as myself, to look out for and provide one.
" She (Mrs. King) desired I would draw her picture; she wanted it to be very handome, and teized me so much about it, that it produced a quite contrary effect. She railed at me on this occasion, and resented it by some satirical and provoking
expressions, when the fatal moment was come on which she herself had brought about.
" The morning of that day I desired the maid to carry a guinea and a letter, which I had charged her to deliver to a man who keeps a snuff-shop in the Haymarket. She came up to me about half an hour after, as I was at work; I believed she had been there, but she told me, from her mistress, that should she go out, there would be no body to take care of the street door, and to answer if any one should knock. I had given her my Snuffbox to bring me some snuff at the same time; and as I had wanted it since the preceding evening, I desired she would go by all means, telling her, I would take care to answer the door: she went accordingly, and five or six minutes after, I went down to the parlour to be at hand for that purpose. I went to take up a book from a table that stood near the door of her bedchamber: she heard somebody walking, and said, Who's there? and opening her door, came into the parlour. She began to abuse me with insulting words; for want of a less improper expression, I told her she was an Impertinent Woman; on this she gave me a violent blow on the breast with her fist; I was still in the same place whither I went to take the book, which was in my hand; I laid it down directly, and pushed her scornfully from me, by putting my hand against her shoulder; her foot being either entangled in the carpet, or stopped by the side of the door, she fell backwards, and struck her head against the bed-post; I went directly to take her up, but she repulsed me, and by her cries gave me room to think she intended to prosecute me as a murderer. I offered several times to assist her, but she still refusing, I was tempted, and my reason hurried away at the thoughts of the Judge condemning me on her accusation. In this moment, the most interesting moment of my life, I should have had recourse to God, he would have helped me; the magistrates must have discerned, that I had only too much passion to answer for. Good God, what a dreadful error did I fall into! I seized a sharp instrument that was on her toilet [This was no other than an ivory comb, with a sharp taper point continued from the back, for composing the curls of the hair.] I gave a blow with it, and committed a murder to prevent being prosecuted as a murderer, when I was still innocent. Her blood flowing then more abundantly from her mouth, stopped her voice, and I drew over her the bed-cloaths, to prevent the blood spreading on the floor, and to hide her from my sight. I stood motionless by her, and soon fell down by her side in a swoon. When I came to myself again, I perceiv'd the maid was come home, I went out of the room; my fright and my faltering steps occasioned me to strike my head against several places of the Wainscot.
" The state I was in all the while I staid in that house after this, was no better than an alienation of mind. I knew neither what I did, nor what I said. I was not able to follow any scheme to secure my life: at last I took foolish measures, and thought to bury this body, which I could not do without dividing it into several pieces.
" Some acquaintances observing in me something extraordinary, which they took for dejection of spirits and melancholy, brought me what they thought a remedy for that distemper, a woman of the town; this happened the third day after this horrid action; I was seized with a fresh horror at the sight of her; I would fain have desired that she should not be admitted, but dared not; I could find no words to beg they would excuse
me for not letting her come into the house. They asked her to stay a few days; this terrified me still more; but not being able to say a word to the contrary, she staid.
" They who have lived in London know to what a pitch these women carry their impudence and their sollicitations. I left her up two-pair-of-stairs, and came down full of my project to carry out some parts of the dead body; but she getting out of the bed, soon followed me down stairs; whether moved by desires or curiosity I at last complied with her entreaties, and went up stairs to the same bed with her.
" I cannot make an end of this account for want of time; I declare it is written exactly according to the truth.
At Newgate in London, March 28, 1761.
There is no doubt but this intended palliative of his melancholy and lowness of spirits, prescribed by some of his companions rather merry than wise, instead of healing, served only to inflame and aggravate his disorder, so that he felt the bad effects of this dangerous prescription, in more ways than one, almost to his last hour. This, added to the load of his deep guilt so recently contracted, rendered the burthen intolerable; insomuch that he tried means still more pernicious to rid himself at once of that and his life.
This happened soon after the discovery of the murder and his committal to New Prison, where having in his own custody a small box of opium, reserved by him for several years past to ease the toothach, or procure sleep in case of necessity; and having been deprived of that balmy, refreshment ever since the fatal fact, he first took about a grain to give him repose; that not succeeding, he took a somewhat larger quantity about an hour after, neither of which had the desired effect. It then came into his mind, that, possibly, he might die by what he had taken, a thought at that instant no way disagreeable to him: he indulged it, therefore, farther, and took all he had got, about forty grains; which was so far from causing death, that it did not procure him common sleep, which he was deprived of, in the whole, for about a month, viz. from Feb. 19, to March 18. Such were the tumults and horrors of guilt that haunted his breast.
This failing, he tried another expedient, by swallowing some halfpence, to the number of eight or twelve at most; which it is manifest did not bring on death, whatever other pains or disorders they might have caused during the wretched remains of his life.
These two attempts were made during the two days he was confined in New-Prison, before he was under any care or direction that might turn his thoughts to better means of hope, peace, and repose. These attempts occasioned the magistrates who committed him to Newgate to give strict orders that he might be watched and guarded continually, and never left alone; a caution which was duly observed.
As soon as he was brought to Newgate, March the 2d, he desired to be visited by the Ordinary, which was complied with the same day. A person was met returning from his cell, whom curiosity, rather than better motives, seem to have drawn thither to see him and enquire into his case.
The prisoner then told me his name, his birth place, his occupation, and several circumstances and consequences of the fact, as before delivered in his manuscript.
As he neither understood nor could speak much of our language, I was obliged to endeavour to discourse and
pray with him in the French, all which I perceived he well understood; and kneeling down he joined seriously and devoutly in prayers for a person troubled in mind or conscience; in the 51st Psalm and other devotions selected for his purpose, which he acknowledged to be very proper, and to give him some gleam of consolation. He declared to me he had never before been guilty of any fact approaching to the guilt of murder; he wished he had been in the place of the deceased, and fallen instead of her; the horror of his crime affected him greatly when he spoke of it; in other respects he behaved with calmness, and a right sense of his condition. I lent him Drelincourt on Death, and a Common Prayer Book, both in French, and pointed out to him proper psalms and prayers, for which he was very thankful and promised to use them day and night.
It was also recommended to him to offer up the dictates of a penitent and contrite heart in his own words and thoughts, and pray earnestly for grace to repent truly. He told me he had read Drelincourt many years ago, and knew it conveyed excellent advice and prayers. He was charged to avoid the wicked conversation and customs of those about him.
In a day or two after, he began to be visited by two worthy ministers of the French congregations in this city, sometimes together and sometimes alternately, which they charitably continued twice or thrice a week till the day before his Execution; they approved of the books lent him, and what had been done for him.
When ever he was able, he willingly went up to chapel, and by the help of a French Common Prayers Book and Bible, he was taught to understand and join in our divine service; and when unable thus to attend, which was so for the most part, he was visited, prayed with and instructed in his chamber or cell.
When ever strangers visited him he behaved with great humility and marks of real sorrow and contrition, as well as with openness and courtesy toward them.
About the eighth of March he was charitably visited by several of his countrymen, by whose assistance he forwarded a letter which he had written to his intended wife at Paris, full of penitential prayers and sentimens of tenderness for her and their two orphan children, the one about four, the other one year old; with these he advised her to return to Geneva, left they should be taken upon some charitable foundation and bred up Roman Catholics at Paris. This advice he mingled with many expressions of remorse and anguish of soul for having seduced her and left her in so deplorable a situation, and with earnest prayers for God's boundless goodness to provide for and protect her; so that the substance of his letter was in effect a prayer for his wife and helpless orphans.
About the same time he wrote and forwarded a letter to his mother at Geneva of which he left me a copy in French, a translation of which follows.
Most dear, honoured, but unhappy mother;
rendered unhappy by an undutiful son!
" After having intreated pardon from God for my numberless sins and the great crime which I have lately committed, with a heart oppressed with sorrows and full of terrors, suing for the mercy of Christ and beseeching his intercession with God for the same; I acknowledge, with the most pungent grief, that I have not obeyed your commands nor conformed myself to your wholsome advice and prudent counsels, so oft repeated; which were, in effect, the dictates of heaven pronounced by your mouth. I went astray from God,
by departing from you; I went far, as if to seek for a crime with the punishment due to it, - and to be the occasion of fresh sorrows to you! But do not, do not abandon yourself to them. It is I who ought to bear them. You have discharged all the duties of a wise mother, while I hearkened to nothing but my own passions. Great God! have mercy upon me. I acknowledge, but too late indeed, my errors.
" I make the like request to my sisters as to you, that they will not afflict themselves; my crime was merely accidental, not done with a criminal intention; let them and my relations be so good as to join with you, and vouchsafe, altogether, to be reconciled to me, however unworthy of it.
" O great God! that I may be reconciled to thee also, through the excellent power of the mediation between thee and men, through Jesus Christ, presenting himself to thy divine justice for every penitent sinner who believes in his name; having disarmed that justice, by giving himself a ransom for us. There is henceforth no condemnation to those that are in him. They need only to pass from death to a new life.
" In this momentary space of time which God allows me to make my peace with him, and direct all my thoughts to him; I cannot however avoid imparting some of my disquietudes to you, with my prayers, that your heart may be touched with the lot of two souls innocent of the sins of their father; who in the country where they now are [at Paris] may fall into the hands of the priests, unless you from a principle of charity find yourself moved with compassion towards them, not meaning you should do any thing for them above your ability; I commit them to God as a deposit with which he was intrusted me; he will take care of them, and repay you for whatever kindness you shew them. My sad lot, and the dreadful image of it ever present to their minds, will be a check and a bridle to all their passions. I direct the same request to all the family. May it please God to excite the same compassion in them toward these children; and that their mother may not be an object of aversion in your eyes, but rather pity and lament her lot in this world, as a victim to the unhappy man, who, by a long pursuit and poisonous insinuations, seduced her innocence; from whom I have too long withheld that just right of marriage which I owed her, that I might not displease you. To you I made her a sacrifice, against the advice of many pious and prudent people. But as I have managed matters, her days are like to be sorrow and bitterness.
" Happy were it for my acquaintance and kindred, had I been content to abide in my own country, in an honest ignorance of things unnecessary to salvation, without the ambition of running to seek an empty name: or, if true to my duty and promises, I had continued with a new family, in a city, however large and busy, without travelling in search of a dreadful reproach to those who never deserved it, and to leave my own name, hateful and barbarian, to a people so remarkable as the English are for such goodness and humanity, as extends itself even to the prison of the unhappy criminal."
The honour here given to the goodness and humanity of the English nation, is best illustrated by comparing the treatment which such a murder would have met with in France and some other countries; where he must have been chained down in a dungeon, his friends and all other company excluded, and he perhaps
put to repeated tortures, till he expired in the midst of the most dreadful of them.
But to entitle our nation more extensively to this amiable character, it is much to be wished that the conduct and reformation of our prisons, and the greater solemnity and decency of our executions, were more regarded.
In a day or two after, he was again sent for and examined by the Justices, to whom he made a full confession of his crime, which it is said he was willing to sign; but it was not permitted; probably for the like reasons as the plea he offered at his arraignment was understood to amount to the same as Not Guilty; since he denied any malice aforethought, and asserted some provocation, by a violent stroke given by the deceased.
Whatever truth there might have been in the charge, or surmises, of his doubt or misbelief of the great principles of his rereligion, such doubts or misbelief, whatever they were, seem all vanquished and given up when he wrote the preceding letter to his mother; and also very explicitly in his professions to the visiting ministers and the Ordinary, as well during his confinement, as at the hour of death: and then a man will be sincere, or never.
It must be owned, that the night after his trial and sentence were passed, he was greatly staggered in his mind, impatient, and even outrageous in his behaviour: but he was happily recovered, and brought to a calm and resigned temper, when visited next morning by a worthy minister, accompanied by the Ordinary. He acknowledged his misbehaviour, and was deeply afflicted for it; imputed it, in great degree, to weakness of body, through fasting, and hurry of spirits on he trial, as well as to disappointment, and a sudden removal from a tolerably convenient chamber to a cell, whereinto none could be admitted that night, to support and comfort him; and though still impatient, and unfit for the intended administration next morning, after a visit or two he was wonderfully composed, and brought to a fixed habit of piety and resignation, in which he improved to the last.
Being one day asked, why he had not made his escape in ten days space between the fact and his being apprehended? he made answer to this effect: that he feared some innocent person might have been taken up and suffer for it; and therefore he staid to prevent so great an aggravation of his guilt.
In serious conversation on the subject of preparing for the holy communion, he was asked whether he had ever received it; he answered, that he used to receive it three or four times yearly. That, I suppose, was in your own country, where you had an opportunity of your own manner of worship? He replied, not only there, but at Paris and in Flanders; for that he went from Paris to Brussels on some affairs of his own, without any view of coming to England, till he had been some time at Brussels, and then he took a resolution to visit London.
It was farther enquired of him, whether he had any design of robbing the unfortunate deceased when he committed the murder? he answered, not at all, but that he only put some of her things out of the way to give credit to the story of her departure for Bath; that he never had sold or alienated any of them, but deposited them in safe hands (which was so far confirmed by their being produced at his trial against him) and that the cash he found in her house was a very trifling matter. In farther vindication of himself he urged, that he never was tempted, from his own disposition, to pilfer or steal, from his childhood.
Among his curious visitors, several persons enquired whether he was not a lover of the deceased? This he denied; adding, so far from it, that he never liked her, which the former maid servant could testify. And it must be acknowledged, that, notwithstanding all the surmises of his having sentiments of love and jealousy relative to Mrs. King, the thoughts he declared several times, particularly on his trial, to have risen in his mind at the moment before his crime, seem to indicate something very different toward her, viz. that she was rather a nuisance than a benefit to the world. This was no excuse; for if he did in truth judge so of her, it was certainly less seasonable, more uncharitable, and more criminal in him to cut her off suddenly.
On the morning of Execution.
When visited, he was found to be well composed and resigned; he said, when asked, that he had slept three or four hours, and read and prayed the rest of his time. He went up to chapel, for the first time after a long interval of illness and weakness, joined in the prayers and Liturgy (performed in French) received the holy communion with serious attention and devotion. During which the Commandments being read in course, and after he had used the prescribed responsive prayer for mercy and pardon for the past, and grace for the future, at the end of each Commandment he was asked by me, Whether he truly repented of all his transgressions, of each of these, and particularly of the 6th and 8th commandment? he answered, as I had spoke to him in French, " Je suis penetr� de la " plus vive douleur pour le crime de " tuer cette femme la & pour toutes " mes autres pech�s." " I am pierced " with the most sensible sorrow for the " crime of killing that woman, and for " all my other sins."
As to the taking the goods of the deceased, he said he did not well know what he did in the confusion and disorder of his mind, and that he had sold none of them. That as to coveting her house, it never entered into his thoughts.
After he came down from chapel, a friend of his, who had often visited him in his affliction, and communicated with us this morning, was called and spoken to by him while his irons were knocked off, and his hands and arms tied up; his friend being much surprised at his uncommon composure and submission, was desired by him to acquaint all who enquired about him, the reason of it, which, in his own words, was, " Parce que J�i " fait ma paix avec mon Dieu. " Because I have made my peace with my " God." Are you certain of that? replied his friend: " Yes, I am very sure " of it." At the same time his countenance and behaviour bore witness to the truth of his words, which were mingled with some tears of joy and tenderness; and he really appeared as if the divine image was restored in him.
When I went up to pray with him at the place of execution, he kept his countenance and temper unmoved, and his mind undisturbed. Finding himself a little too strait tied up to join in prayer and make responses, he complained of it to me, and was a little relaxed by the executioner; and then joined above half an hour, attentively, and with good understanding, in the proper prayers, some of
them prepared and translated into French for that occasion.
At intervals, he declared that he rejoiced he had not fled nor escaped from justice, but came to be an example for the warning of others, that he might more surely obtain mercy; and that the quarrel did not arise from any criminal intention in him.
He expressed a lively sense of gratitude for all the good offices done him during his unhappy confinement, and particularly for this last attendance at the place of execution. When at parting he was desired to repeat and keep the last prayer in his mouth; he answered, he would keep it in his heart; " Lord Jesus receive my spirit." - He was carried out of the prison about half an hour after eight, and turned off a little before ten. His last request was, that he might speedily be put out of pain, left he should fall from his good thoughts and resolutions: agreeable to that prayer which had oft been offered up for him, and with him.
" - O holy and merciful Saviour, " thou most worthy judge eternal, suffer " us not at our last hour, for any pains " of death, to fall from thee."
The following letter was communicated to the Ordinary by an authentic hand:
An extract of a letter from a gentleman at Paris, dated March 18, 1761.
" I was before half informed, my dear Sir, of the afflicting news you sent me. Mrs. - , and every one about her, has heard it; and although I have the proof of it before my eyes, I still doubt whether the most generous, gentle, and most humane of mortals, could be capable of such an excess. - Great God! by changing his climate, has he changed his nature? for in him, both his moral and natural disposition seemed to be equally contrary to such a crime. I have seen him many Times affected with the bare mention of a light hurt. In other respects, his heart was beneficent, and his soul exceeding tender. If the judge could for a moment quit the compass of the law, to shew mercy to the best of sinful mankind, I should be in no fear for his life; I should pronounce with confidence, this is the person preferred before them all. What more can I say; I know not whether I awake or dream, ever since I heard this dreadful and incredible news. - Gardelle was dear to me, and equally so to all his particular acquaintance; if there wanted a stream of blood to save his, he would find it in the hearts of all his friends. It was probably a vicious passion hurried him to this dreadful extremity. - Favour me, Sir, with the particulars of this unhappy story, without disguise. Assure him, I intreat you, with regard to his wife and children, that we are doing every thing to induce his family to acknowledge and take care of them. In the mean time we shall take care that those unhappy objects shall be kept in ignorance, as much as possible, of the occasion that has deprived them of a parent and a spouse."
Extract of a Letter from the above gentleman to Mr. Gardelle, of the same date.
Dear unfortunate Gardelle!
" Your misfortune very sensibly afflicts all your friends, though they still retain the same tender sentiments which attached them to you; and though they can do you no service for yourself, depend, dear friend, they will direct their care to your wife and children. Be not uneasy about their lot; it will effectually contribute to
their greater advantage. 'Tis in this case, dear Gardelle, you must summon up your ancient virtue: one single moment of your life has eclipsed it, but can't destroy it; that is a piece of justice which must certainly be paid you; as you ought, without murmuring, to pay the laws that which they expect from you, my dear friend."
This is all the account given by
Ordinary of Newgate.
WHEREAS a certain anonymous collector of money, by illegal means, and on false pretences *, has insinuated a charge of being under undue and corrupt influence against the writer of the account of John Ayliffe, Esq; executed for forgery, &c. Nov. 19, 1759.
Which charge, as it lurks in the dark, conscious of black calumny, the said writer could never yet see, nor has heard of, but by the report of some worthy and honoured gentlemen who seem anxious for the writer's character: This is to assure the publick in general, and his honoured friends in particular, that the said account was written truly and impartially, according to the best of the writer's knowledge and information, uninfluenced by see or reward, otherwise than by the fair sale of his account at the usual price; being conscious, that not even malice or slander can prove the contrary against him, in that, or any other instance.