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betwixt two of the officers of justice, and placed beneath the halter ; but he sunk from their grasp at the instant that loud peal of thunder shook the heavens; and he may be sa to have been literally dead with fear at the time the execk tioner performed the sad office of adjusting the rope roun his neck; which, indeed, he appeared to have considerata difficulty in accomplishing, owing to something of a budy nature for which I was unable to account.
In fact, his pearance could not fail to remind those who had read of iragical exit of that' prince of murderers Robespierre, of concluding scene of a monster, whose crimes ranked him hist in the annals of blood". Another peal from heaven's del artillery' seemed to awaken the criminal from his fit, just a the cap was about to be drawn over his face, for he locked fearfully around; but the hangman having done his duty
, and the attendants having retired, whether from accident, that they thought they had had sufficient trouble with him als ready, i know not, but without waiting for the appointed signal the drop fell, and after a few convulsive struggles the unhappy youth, cut off for his crimes in the midst of his days, went, indeed, to meet his JUDGE !
The rain, now pouring down in torrents, dispersed the crowd, which gave me an easier passage out, and I found 10 difficulty to regain my lodgings before the unfortunate li was cut down, in order to undergo the latter part of his sertence. I looked up to the inanimate corpse as I passed the scaffold, and could not help thinking, that the clothes, in which the unhappy wretch met his fate, had in part assume! somewhat of a bloody appearance:
On arriving at my lodging, I threw myself down on a radu, a prey to the keenest emotions; and in this state I had con tinued for some hours, giving myself up to the bitterness grief, and indulging in a train of melancholy reflections, wlun a rap at the door disturbed my reverie, and a gentleman *** announced as wishing to be introduced. On his entering immediately recognized the benevolent clergyman who been so assiduous in his attentions to the unfortunate youille He informed me that his name was MEANWELL; that he got notice where I resided, from our mutual friend Bailieand finding his mind, after witnessing the awful catastry unhinged for other studies, he wished to spend the rest sin conversation with me. I told him he could not haven more opportunely, for I wished much to have the particeira
* ROBESPIERRE had attempted suicide by shooting himselfs * bead; but the wound did not prove iminediately fatal, and be Feed to the scaffold with his head bound up.
the last moments of poor BRAGWELL, remarking: “As I d left you together in jail, and observed you on the scafe d, I was just thinking of calling at your house, from a nviction that you was the most likely person to be able to ve me the desired information." He said that he would feel mself gratified in giving me every information in his power, d as he had also some enquiries to make, which he thought e competent to answer, the obligation would likely become utual. “ You will recollect," said he, “ that you left BRAGWELL sterday in a very exhaustei state, and so he continued alost the whole time that I remained with him, answering ime few questions that I put to him only by monosyllables, id then sinking again into a listless indifference. This I as the more surprised at, from the wonderful change your ormer visit appeared to have wrought on him; for when I ntered the prison but the day before, he conversed more eely than I had witnessed for some time, and seemed rather alkative than otherwise. This free manner of talking, indeed, had not been accustomed to from the day of his trial; for he moment the awful sentence of the law was pronounced an çainst him, he became silent and reserved, except when he vould break out into the most frantic lamentations, accoma sanied with tears. You witnessed the state in which he met leath this afternoon, and had you been present at his trial, and beheld how he was affected by his sentence, you would have agreed with me, that it was just what might have been expected. Few culprits, perhaps, ever came to the bar of an earthly tribunal, with more confidence than Tom BRAGWELL., and none I believe ever afforded a more convincing proof of the vanity of the hopes of the hypocrite, and the precarious tenure of the refuge of lies. He laid the whole blame of the murder and robbery, in which he was implicated, on his associate, (who I have just heard is also in custody,) and seemed to calculate on the cool indifference which he attempted to assume, to bear him out; but when he learned the verdiet of the jury, and heard the judge pronounce the dreadful words, that HE WAS - TO BE HANGED BY THE NECK TILL DEAD, AND HIS BODY AFTERWARDS DELIVERED FOR DISSECTION,' his courage in a moment forsook him, and he was carried to the jail the same passive being as he was to-day when frightened to death (at what he must have considered the voice of an incensed Deity,) under the hands of the executioner on the scaffold.
“ Next day, when I visited him, I found him thoughtful and reserved, and in this state, with a few intervals, in which Y y 2
he could not suppress his emotions, he may be said to have remained until the day before your arrival, when I had to mournful task to fulfil of announcing to him the death of father. At this intelligence he broke out into the most out rageous ravings, exclaiming: He is not dead !-He did not die a natural death! I am a murderer !-And a murderer of the worst kind I have killed my father! It is not trur that he died in his bed- I killed him I killed him, Simon Frisk!-Simon Frisk! I may thank you for this. O that I had never gone home with my uncle! Fron part of the letter that conveyed the mournful intelligence, which I did not think it prudent at the time to communicate, I could not but comprehend what he meant by saying that he had killed his father, but who this SIMON Frisk is, who he si pathetically exclaimed against, I could not make out, and this piece of information I am the more anxious to obtain the name of this person has been so often repeated since he made the dreadful attempt last night; and, indeed, accom. panied with imprecations, was among the last words he ute! teret, when led out to execution this morning." “ Dreadful attempt last night," interrupted I.
16 What dreadful attempt?” Here the Robespierrian appearance he made on the scaffold crossed my recollection, and I involuna tary exclaimed " Has he really made an attempt on his life? But how did he get an opportunity ?-How, found he themeans ?”
" Those that are bent upon any desperate enterprise," said the worthy clergyman, are seldom at a loss for means and opportunity; and from what I am about to relate, you will soon discover that this unfortunate wretch not only found the means in a most unexpected manner, but had, but for you he said, accomplished his purpose." Quite at a loss to understand his meaning, I impatiently desired him to proceed, and he went on. “I have already called to your recollection the exliausted condition in which you left the poor lad yesterday, and mentioned the situation in which he continued while I remained with him, which was the greater part of the day, striving by every means to rouse bin from the lethargy into which he had fallen, and exercing myself to the utmost to engage his affections to lay hold on the hope set before him in the gospel, but all to no purpose :--and when his dinner was brought at the usual hour, so little notice did he take of it (although his bumane keeper in pity to his dejected state, and to fit him the better to be able to undergo the last approaching conflict, had exceeded his duty by substituting a piece of butcher-meat instead of the bread and water upon which he was condemned to be fed,) that after allowing it to stand
nsiderable time, it was at length taken away untouched. en I left him in the afternoon, I begged the jailer as ime out, to make another attempt, and to endeavour, if ible, to get him to eat a little in the evening, and after last visitant for the day left him, it appears this man not been unmindful of the injunction. But in setting piece of beef before him, just as the clock struck eleven, he cutiously furnished him with a knife to cut for himself, and. just reached the door to suffer him to eat his repast at lei. 2 when he was alarmed by a loud shriek, and turning quickoundo horror! observed that tl.e unhappy wretch had wn the knife across his throat, from which the blood. ved profusely. He had just time to hear him exclaim: hat will Frisk say now and observed him throw the fe on the floor in an agony of despair, when he rushed out i desired one of his family to run for a surgeon, and anor to bring me with the greatest expedition. I was in bed, I took some little time to hurry on my clothes, but when rrived at the jail I found the surgeon busy sewing up the und, which he soon satisfied me was almost, but not quite, ortal, especially if the patient could be kept easy. I cona ued with him the greater part of the night, and from what could learn from the jailer, who was quite distracted at hat had happened, it appeared that when he returned toe jail it was just in time to observe the poor unfortunate row the bloody knife from him the second time, but with eater force, and to a greater distance than he had done fore. He was, however, agreeably surprised to find that e had done himself no further harm, and being a good deal omposed, though he still continued to bleed, he learned from im that when he ran out, and, in the confusion of the moient, left the fatal knife behind him, within reach of the risoner, the poor wretch seized it with eagerness, on finding. hat death did not come so soon as expected, and was in the ct of raising it to complete his horrid purpose, when the ollowing sentence, which it seems you had made use of in cour first visit, rushed to his remembrance : IT IS A FEARFUL THING TO FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THE LIVING GOD, BUT WHAT MUST IT BE TO RUSH INTO HIS PRESENCE WITH ALL ONE'S SINS, AND IMPERFECTIONS ON HIS HEAD ! This so com.. pletely,” he said, “disarmed him of his intention, that lie. threw the knife in agony from him just as the jailer returned, who having questioned him as to the motive that tempted. him to commit so rash an act, answered, that it was his evit genius Simon FRISK, and had not the words just alluded to: come seasonably to his aid, there was not a doubt but he would have completed it.”
THE LAST NIGHT OF TOM BRAGWELL.
“ After the surgeon had dressed the wound, he left us with pressing request, that his patient might be watched, but të turbed as little as possible; this we endeavoured to attend with the most scrupulous exactness, sitting beside the naked and cheerless bed of straw, in mournful silence, the great part of the night; but such a night may I never again w ness, for, not withstanding the weak and enfeebled state which he was reduced by the loss of blood, the unbappy ject before us seemed strong in feeling and in suffering. Tv terrors of a guilty conscience were visibly depicted on every feature ;-the flames of the devouring fire glanced from bed: eyes ;-the worm that dieth not seemed already at work, preying upon his vitals; yet discordant sentences of blaspberry often interrupted the silence of the night, and, accompaniet by the name of Simon Frisk, escaped from his lips.
“ If it be desirable to die the death of the righteous; if the prophet solicited that his last end might be like his :- what reason had we that night to send up to the Throne of Grace the most devout and heartfelt ejaculations that ours might not be the death of the wicked. Dr. Young justly remarks: tlat AGONISING PROFLIGATE, THOUGH SILENT, OUTPREACHES THE MOST CELEBRATED PULPIT HE EVER KNEW; BUT IF HE SPEAKS, HIS WORDS MIGHT INSTRUCT THE BEST INSTRUCTORS OF MANKIND. Here such an instructor lay before us !-at the awful hour of midnight too !--and in the dark low vault of a gloomy cell; where nothing was heard to distract the attention from the fearful wailings of Jespair; where no distant prospect arose to draw off the view from the affecting monitor that lay before us. Oh! what fearful glances ! what convulsive agonies ! what dreadful startings! what sighs and groans, and piteous moans, escaped this u« happy victim of early depravity; while he exhibited before us, in glowing colours, the black and fatal consequences
ma guilt, until nature worn out at last gave way to a short dis
• turbed slumber, just as daylight had begun to shoot throug the prison bars, alas! not to bring deliverance, but to announce that THE LAST DAY OF TOM BRAGWELL HAD ARRIVED! I embraced the opportunity to endeavour to get a few hours repose, or at least to compose and prepare myself to see him again in the morning before he was led out to execution; for all sleep was banished from my eyes, and ! returned to the prison before any of the other clergymen hal attended.”
“And how," interrupted I, “ did he conduct himself in his last moments? Did he give no greater evidence of reconci: ment with his Redeemer and his Judge, before he mai launched into eternity?"