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mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. When he rose up, the executioner begged his forgiveness: 'Why do you talk of forgiveness?' replied More; 'you are doing me the greatest kindness {74} I ever received from man.' He desired the man not to be afraid to do his office, and remarked that his neck was very short. With his own hands he fastened a bandage over h

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is eyes, and then laid his head on the block. The executioner, holding the axe, was preparing to strike, when More stopped him, and putting his beard carefully on one side, said: 'This at least has not committed treason.' Such words, almost jesting, no doubt, startle us at such a moment; but strong men have often been observed to manifest the calmness of their souls in such a manner. More probably feared that his long beard would embarrass the executioner,