Ultimately the murderer was reprieved on the ground that he had gone mad after the sentence. Fitzjames had then, he says, an uncomfortable feeling as if he were partly responsible for the blood of the murdered girl. The criminal soon afterwards committed suicide, and so finished the affair. I turn now to the literary work which filled every available interstice of time.
Having thus changed the current of his angry mood, he proceeded to expostulate with him in a friendly way; and the poor beast was reprieved, for that time, at least. He could imitate the Irish brogue very perfectly; and it was a standing jest with him to make every Irish stranger believe he was a countryman.
The Governor of Jamaica, however, upon receiving a confession from Deane and frequent petitions for pardon, had reprieved the pirate a month before the letter from the council reached him. The incident had good effect in persuading the freebooters to come in, and that result assured, the governor could afford to bend to popular clamour in favour of the culprit.
And now Raleigh’s misfortunes culminated. He had been sentenced to death for treason in 1603, but had been reprieved. The king had him arrested again on the old charge, and the king of Spain demanded that he should be punished for the attack on St. Thomas in times of peace.
He was trembling as he threw the thing from him, and had barely reached his own room and closed the door when a sudden faintness overcame him. The weight he had laid on his nerves was gone and the laughter had departed from his face. He stood looking back at what he had escaped as a man reprieved at the steps of the gallows turns his head to glance at the rope he has cheated.
In these circumstances reprieved and pardoned convicts were bestowed in about equal proportions, according to their calling and election, upon the army and the navy. The practice was one of very respectable antiquity and antecedents.
The Doctor doubts the assertion, giving as his reason that highwaymen and housebreakers seldom frequent the playhouse, and that it was not possible for any one to imagine that he might rob with safety, because he saw Macheath reprieved upon the stage.
Tomson, indicted and proved, and begged by the Spanish ambassador, and since taken by command of the councell of state, and is now in Newgate. Andrew White, indicted, proved, reprieved before judgment, and banished. Richard Copley, condemned and banished. Richard Worthington, found guiltie and banished. Edmond Cole, Peter Wright, and William Morgan, indicted, proved, and sent beyond sea.
No saint or confessor ever went to martyrdom with more assured confidence of heaven, than was expressed by those criminals, even when the terrors of immediate death, joined to many indignities, were set before them. The rest of the king's judges, by an unexampled lenity, were reprieved; and they were dispersed into several prisons.
Afar off another entered gallanting a calabash "Look out for my toe, you hound!" During all this, the attendants tenderly nursed him. And in good time, with its thousand fangs, the gout-fiend departed for a while. Reprieved, the old king brightened up; by degrees becoming jolly as ever.