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Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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TRIAL OF HENRY ROBSON.                   33
" Well," said Robson, " I had, indeed, ratsbane, but what of that ? "
"Why didst thou deny it then?" asked the Recorder. "It shows a guilty conscience. But what didst thou with it ? And to what intent didst thou buy it ? "
"Why," replied Robson, "the Courthouse is full of rats, and I bought it to kill them."
" That is not so," said the Recorder, " But the devil is the father of lies, and I fear thou art his son. Confess the truth of what thou didst with it?"
" Well," answered Robson, "if you will needs know, I will truly resolve you. I have been long in prison, and I have often heard that poison will break open any iron lock, and therefore I bought it thinking thereby to get my liberty. Now I have told the truth, I hope you will pardon me."*
" No," said the Recorder, " thou hast not told the truth, for with it and glass mingled together thou didst poison thy wife ; and therefore as thou lookest for any favour at our hands, confess how and in what manner thou didst it and who was thy counsellor in it ? "
" Well then " replied Robson, " I perceive you
* A very curious bit of folk-lore.
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