Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

242" 333422*** 1. A2 TETES {****Hurs 32+1+2in éée : Se 20+ saecu kering, 20 Zozisz is De 16:00 ST. ***** *6.zie z tatt. 221 verso: 7 of the sun V** a ****50 de ociscese te privat, tot 12. to us eritet ind i to <a cccnica4.**.**.*nt to exte izaci reteria *** ex part . * 02 data, at the coocsis that

WTH Wine as it artu- Lad been d373 besesco by be bos awer Offre, ant s'ha rates a searing-albea, 1936 ETA of uur**14, ker wisie 285339 be easily of the isso **** . 2:54, iba , the tzverb: formand to prove the tail IATE - bosi wapan Tety is Sear, be gare stierace to ly !!*41.5 ... nat. tio duendant a withering torrest of irrective actuar *** 116* grib sib Erlebt of the cam, in which the character of tbe pain Cast and irocratie programs to base witness shired ard li kened nbirb kohal kvenn mind during the like paper in a fame. Then - Earing wine of his married. Of thes. Loro been eight hours on his feet – te began ever, the rat belerate and guarded use to avail Linself of that last dangerous rewas to be made ; because, while it was source which genius only may use, – the Die bussary, by exjmp.l.g the true character final arrow in the lawyer's quiver, which and habitual violence of his wife, to re- is so hard to handie rigbuly, and, failing, livse the prinner of that loul of public in- may prove worse than useless, bat, sped dignation which has been excited against by a strong hand and true aim, often teils li's on wroint of his alloped brutality, decisively on a hesitating jury,— we mean it was even more important that no strong a direct appeal to their feelings. Like a 76.43'rent should be supprad to have skilful leader who gathers all his exhaustgrown up on his part again-t bis tormen- ed squadrons when he sees the crisis of tor. This delicate task was managed by battle approaching, the great advocate the attorney with Eurh consummate skill, seemed now to summon every overtaxed that, when the evidence on both sides power of body and spirit to his aid, as he was cloud, public sympathy, if not pub- felt that the moment was come when he lic conviction, hail undergone a very per- must wring an acquittal from the hearts ceptible change. The prosecutors, aware of his hearers. Nor did either soul or of this, felt the success of their case en- intellect fail at the call. Higher and dangered, and exerted themselves to the stronger surged the tide of passionate eloutmost to prevent the tide, now almost quence, until every one felt that the icy in equilibrium, from ebbing back with barrier was beginning to yield, -for tears a violence proportionate to that of its were already seen on more than one of flow. But the argument even of their the faces now leaning breathlessly forablest champion, John -, seemed al- ward from the jury-box to listen, - when most prerile, in comparison with this, the all at once a dead silence fell throughout last effort of George

- an effort

the hall: the voice whose organ-tones had which was long remembered, even less been filling its remotest nook suddenly on account of its melancholy termination died away in a strange gurgle. Several than for its extraordinary eloquence. The physicians present immediately divined Kentuckians of that day were accustom- what had happened; nor were the multied to hear Breckenridge, Clay, Talbot, tude near kept long in doubt; for all saw, Allen, and Grundy, all men of singular at the next moment, a crimson stream

[ocr errors]

welling forth from those lips just now was one of the most extensive and influso eloquent, — checking their eloquence, ential in the State, the whole of which inalas, forever! It was quickly reported fluence was thrown into the scale against through the assembly that the speaker mercy and justice. With what result had ruptured one of the larger blood- was seen, when, on the morning of the vessels in the lungs. The accident was of April, 17—, the prison-doors were too dangerous for delay, and George — opened for the last time for his passage, was borne almost insensible from the and Cyril Wilde was led forth to the exscene of his struggles and his triumphs, ecution of an iniquitous sentence, though, to reënter, as it proved, no more. He liv- even while the sad cart was moving slowed but three days longer, — long enough, ly, very slowly, through the crowded, however, to learn that he had sacrificed strangely silent street, some of the very his life in vain, the jury having, after a men who had pronounced it were implorlengthened consideration, affirmed the ing the Governor almost on their knees former verdict against his friend and that it might be stayed. The prisoner client.

alone seemed impatient to hasten the The unfortunate man stood up to re

reluctant march, and meet the final caceive this second sentence with the same tastrophe. He knew of the eforts that face of impassive misery with which he were making to save him, and the confeshad listened to the first. To the sol- sion on which they were founded. He had emn mockery, “If he had anything to listened to hopeful words and confident urge why sentence of death should not predictions; but no expression of hope be passed upon him,” he shook his head had thereby been kindled for an instant wearily, and answered, “Nothing." It on his pale, dejected face. The ominous was evident that his mind was failing premonition which had come upon him fast under the overwhelming weight of

at the moment of that first overpowercalamity. It was sad to see this high- ing realization of his danger continued to born, but ill-fated gentleman thus bow gain strength with every successive stroke ing humbly to a felon's doom; and the of untoward Fate, until it had become the remembrance of that scene must have ruling idea of his mind, in which there been a life-long remorse to his judges, grew up the sort of desperate impatience when the events of a few weeks reveal- with which we long for any end we know ed to them the terrible truth, that he to be inevitable. The waters of his life was innocent of the crime for which they had been so mingled with gall, and the had condemned him.

bitter draught so long pressed to his lips, We will not dwell upon the events al- that now he seemed only eager to drain luded to; for even at the distance of near- at once the last dregs, and cast the hated ly three-quarters of a century they are cup from him forever,-impatient to find too painful and humiliating. Suffice it to peace and rest in the grave, even if it say, that, when the murderess discovered were the grave of a felon, and at the foot that her beloved master was to suffer for of the gallows. her crime, and that no other chance Here let the curtain fall upon the sad of salvation remained, she made a full closing scene. We will only remark, in confession of the whole matter. But the conclusion, that the name and family of sentence had been pronounced, and the this ill-fated victim of false and circumpower of suspending its execution rested stantial evidence have long since disapwith the Governor; and that dignitary peared from the land where they had – let his name, in charity, remain un- known such disgrace; and but few persaid - was about to be a candidate for re- sons are now living who can recall the election to the office which he disgraced, foregoing details of the once celebrated while the family of the murdered lady“Wilde Tragedy.”



LONG I owe a song, my Brother, to thy dear and deathless claim; Long I've paused before thy ashes, in my poverty and shame: Something stirs me now from silence, with a fixed and awful breath; 'T is the offspring of thy genius, that was parent to thy death.

They were murderous, these statues; as they left thy teeming brain,
Their hurry and their thronging rent the mother-mould in twain :
So the world that takes them sorrowful their beauties must deplore;
From the portals whence they issued lovely things shall pass no more.

With a ghostly presence wait they in a stern and dark remorse,
As the marbles they are watching were sepulchral to thy corse;
Nay, one draws his cloak about him, and the other standeth free
With his patriot arms uplifted to the grasp of Liberty.

Shall I speak to you, ye silent ones? Your father lies at rest,
With the mighty impulse folded, like a banner, to his breast;
Ye are crowned with remembrance, and the glory of men's eyes;
But within that heart, low buried, some immortal virtue lies.

When with heavy strain and pressure ye were lifted to your height, Then his passive weight was lowered to the vaults of sorrowing Night: They who lifted struggled sorely, ere your robes on high might wave; They who lowered with a spasm laid such greatness in its grave.

In the moonlight first I saw you, — with the dawn I take my leave;
Others come to gaze and wonder, — not, like me, to pause and grieve:
Sure, whatever heart doth hasten here, of master or of slave,
This aspect of true nobleness makes merciful and brave.

But I know the spot they gave him, with the cool green earth above,
Where I saw the torchlight glitter on the tears of widowed love,
And we left his garlands fading ; – to redeem that moment's pain,
Would that ye were yet in chaos, and your master back again !

No! the tears have Nature's passport, but the wish is poor and vain,
Since every noblest human work such sacrifice doth gain;
God appoints the course of Genius, like the sweep of stars and sun :
Ilonor to the World's rejoicing, and the Will that must be done !



all our guns on the other side to give her

a heel, & sent the boat ashore for the DocWe left our privateer, the Revenge, tor, a man having been hurt by the lightCaptain Norton, of Newport, Rhode Isl- ning. When we got her on a heel, we and, making sail for New Providence, tried the pumps, not being able to do it with her lately captured prize. There before, for our careful carpenter had ne'er was an English Court of Admiralty es- a pump box rigged or fit to work; so, had tablished on this island, and here the it not been for the kind assistance of the prize was to be condemned and sold. man of war's people, who came off as soon The Journal begins again on Monday, as they heard of our misfortune, & put 10th August, 1741.

our guns on board the prize, we must

certainly have sunk, most of our own Monday, 10th. Fine breeze of wind hands being ashore. This day, James at N. W., with a large sea. At 5 A. M. Avery, our boatswain, was turned out for saw Hog Island & the island of Provi- neglect of duty. dence. Fired a gun & lay to for a pilot Friday, 14th. This morning came on to take us in. At 8 a pilot boat came board Cap' Frankland to see the misforoff, & Jeremiah Harman, Master of our tune we had suffered the night before, & prize, in her, having arrived the day be- offered to assist us in all he could. He fore. Passed by the Rose man of war, sent his carpenter, who viewed the mast stationed here. We saluted her with 7 & said he thought he could make it do guns, & she returned us 5. Ran aground again. The Cap', hearing of a piece of for’ard & lay some time off of Major Stew- timber for his purpose, waited on bis Exart's house, but the man of war sent his cellency to desire him to lay his comboat to carry out an anchor for us, and mands on Mr Thompson to spare it him. we got off. The Capi went ashore to wait He sent Mr Scott, Judge of the Admiralon his Excellency, & sent the pinnace off ty, to get it in his name, promising to make for the prisoners, who were immediately it good to him in case of any trouble put in jail.

arising from the timber not belonging to Thursday, 131. Landed all our corn, him. Unloaded all our provisions & put and made a clear hole of the prize. At them on board the prize, in order to get 9 P. m. it began to thunder & lighten very ready for the carpenters to repair the hard. Our sloop received great damage sloop. from a thunderbolt that struck our mast Saturday, 15th. A court was called at & shivered it very much, besides tear- 4 o'clock P. M., Cap Norton's petition ing a large piece off the bounds. As it read, and an agent appointed for the fell, it tore up the bitts, broke in the hatch

The Company's Quartermaster way, and burst through both our sides, & myself were examined, with John Evstarting the planks under her wale, melt- ergin & Samuel Eldridge, the two Enging several cutlasses & pistols, and firing lish prisoners, concerning the prize, and off several small arms, the bullets of so the court was adjourned till Monday, which stuck in her beam. It was some at 10 of the clock, A. M. time before we perceived that she leaked, Monday, 17h. The court met accordbeing all thunder struck; but when the ing to adjournment. Jean Baptiste Domas Master stepped over the side to examine was examined concerning the freedom of her, he put his foot on a plank that was the prisoners, and his deposition taken in started, and all this time the water had writing. All the evidence and deposibeen pouring in. We immediately brought tions were then read in court, sworn to, VOL. VIII.




in the West has always been against cap- to prove that circumstantial evidence has ital penalties, and it is next to impossible murdered more innocent men than all the to carry such penalties into effect against false witnesses and informers who ever a popular favorite. In a country like this disgraced courts of justice by their preswe might as soon expect to see the hands ence; and the slightest reflection will conof a clock move in a direction contrary vince us that this shallow sophism contains to the machinery by which it is govern- even less practical truth than the general ed, as a jury to run counter to plainly de- mass of proverbs and maxims, proverbiclared popular feelings. There may now ally false though they be. For not only and then be instances of their acquitting is the chance of falsehood, on the part of contrary to the general sentiment, where the witness who details the circumstances, that sentiment is unimpassioned; but greater,--since a falsc impression can be we much doubt whether there has ever conveyed with far less risk of detection occurred a single example of a jury by distortion and exaggeration of a fact convicting a person in whose favor the than by the invention of a direct lie, sympathy of a whole community was but there is the additional danger of an warmly and earnestly expressed. Of honest misconception on his part; and such sympathy Captain Wilde had none; every lawyer knows how hard it is for a for to the great majority he was known dull witness to distinguish between the only as the exciseman, and as such was facts and his impressions of them, and an object of hostility. Not that this hos- how impossible it often is to make a wittility at any time took the form of insult ness detail the former without interpoand abuse, – for we are proud to say that lating the latter. But the greatest risk outside of the large towns such disgraceful of all is that the jury themselves may exhibitions of feeling are unknown, - but misconstrue the circumstances, and draw it left the minds of the general mass liable unwarranted conclusions therefrom. It is to be operated on by all the suspicious an awful assumption of responsibility to circumstances of the case, and by the leap to conclusions in such cases, and the slanders of the personal enemies of the leap too often proves to have been made in accused.

the dark. God help the wretch who is arOn the 23d of November, an immense raigned on suspicious appearances before crowd of people, both men and women, a jury who believe that “circumstances were assembled in the court-house at won't lie”! for the Justice that presides to witness a trial which was to fix a dark at such a trial is apt to prove as blind stain on the judicial annals of Kentucky, and capricious as Chance herself. In reand in which, for the thousandth time, a viewing the present trial in particular, court of justice was to be led fatally astray one may well feel puzzled to decide which by the accursed thing called Circumstan- of these deities presided over its conduct. tial Evidence, and made the instrument A Greek or Roman would have said, Neiof that most deplorable of all human trag- ther, - but a greater than either,- Fate; edies, a formal, legalized murder. It is and we might almost adopt the old heathen one of the most glaring inconsistencies notion, as we watch the downward course of our law, that it admits, in a trial where of the doomed gentleman from this point, the life of a citizen is at stake, a species and note how invariably every attempt to of testimony which it regards as too in- ward off destruction is defeated, as if by conclusive and too liable to misconstruc- the persevering malice of some superior tion to be allowed in a civil suit involv- power. We shall soon see the most poping, it may be, less than the value of a sin- ular and influential attorney of the State gle dollar. True, it is a favorite maxim driven from the case by an awkward misof prosecutors, that "circumstances will understanding; another, hardly inferior, not lie"; but it requires little acquaint- expire almost in the very act of pleading ance with the history of criminal trials it; and, finally, when the real criminal

« AnteriorContinuar »