Riots that almost reached the proportions of petty civil wars were liable to arise at any moment between one section of the poorer citizens and another. The horrors of the Brownrigg case show to what extent lust of cruelty could go.
A prince, to have been such as this monster, must been bred amongst a cruel people: a cruel people, as by other experience we know them to be, naturally produce an inhuman prince, and such a prince reproduces his own corrupters. Vengeance, however, was now at hand: a better and more martial governor, Sir Robert Brownrigg, was in the field since 1812.
Before we started, I said to Mr Brownrigg for I could not rest till I had said it "Mr Brownrigg, I spoke in heat when I came up to you, and I am sure I did you wrong. I am certain you had no improper motive in not making me acquainted with your proceedings. You meant no harm to me. But you did very wrong towards Mr Templeton. I will try to show you that when I am well again; but "
They did so. "Now," I said, "carry it back into the house." "Why, sir," interposed Mr Brownrigg, "it's all right." "Yes," I said, "as right as the devil would have it." "I assure you, sir, I have done everything according to law." "I'm not so sure of that.
The Arabs, the number of whom is variously estimated at from fifteen to twenty-five, then jumped into the pinnace with drawn swords and clubbed guns. Captain Brownrigg and his steward were the only two left, and both were in the after-part of the boat.
But the farmer liai given me good reason to hope some progress in him after the way he had given in about Jane Rogers. Positively I had caught his eye during the sermon that very day. And, besides but I will not be a hypocrite; and seeing I did not certainly take the same interest in Mr Brownrigg, I will at least be honest and confess it.
"It's my property, now," interposed the broker. "I've bought it of the churchwarden, and paid for it." I turned to Mr Brownrigg. "How much did he give you for it?" I asked. "Twenty shillings," returned he, sulkily, "and it won't pay expenses." "Twenty shillings!" I exclaimed; "for a table that cost three times as much at least! What do you expect to sell it for?"
But there can be no doubt that he was a much less depraved man than Wild. The deed for which Mrs.Brownrigg was hanged sinks into nothing, when compared with theconduct of the Roman who treated the public to a hundred pair of gladiators. Yet we should greatly wrong such a Roman if we supposed that his disposition was as cruel as that of Mrs. Brownrigg.
It carried him back, upon the instant, to a certain fair day in a fishers' village: a gray day, a piping wind, a crowd upon the street, the blare of brasses, the booming of drums, the nasal voice of a ballad singer; and a boy going to and fro, buried over head in the crowd and divided between interest and fear, until, coming out upon the chief place of concourse, he beheld a booth and a great screen with pictures, dismally designed, garishly coloured: Brownrigg with her apprentice; the Mannings with their murdered guest; Weare in the death-grip of Thurtell; and a score besides of famous crimes.
"If I were you, I would make no difference. See her as often as you used, which I suppose was as often as you could. I don't think, I say, that her mother will interfere. Her father is all on your side." I called on Mr Brownrigg; but, as his son had forewarned me, I could make nothing of him.