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us, that has known him before he committed the offence, that shall take upon him to say he can sit down coolly and pen a dispassionate description of a murderer? The tales of our nursery, -the reading of our youth,—the ill-looking man that was hired by the Uncle to dispatch the Children in the Wood,—the grim ruffians who smothered the babes in the Tower,—the black and beetle-browed assassin of Mrs. Ratcliffe, — the shag-haired villain of Mr. Monk Lewis,—the Tarquin tread, and mill-stone dropping eyes, of Murder in Shakspeare,—the exaggerations of picture and of poetry,—what we have read and what we have dreamed of,-rise up and crowd in upon us such eye-scaring portraits of the man of blood, that our pen is absolutely forestalled ; we commence poets when we should play the part of strictest historians, and the

blackness of horror which the deed calls up, serves as a cloud to screen the doer. The fiction is blameless, it is accordant with those wise prejudices with which nature has guarded our innocence, as with impassable barriers, against the commission of such appalling crimes; but meantime, the criminal escapes ; or if,—owing to that wise abatement in their expectation of deformity, which, as I hinted at before, the officers of pursuit never fail to make, and no doubt in cases of this sort they make a more than ordinary allowance,-if, owing to this or any accident, the offender is caught and brought to his trial, who that has been led out of curiosity to witness such a scene, has not with astonishment reflected on the difference between a real committer of a murder, and the idea of one which he has been collecting and heightening all his life out of books, dreams, &c. The fellow, perhaps, is a sleek, smug-looking man, with light hair and eye-brows,—the latter by no means jutting out or like a crag,—and with none of those marks which our fancy had pre-bestowed upon him.


I find I am getting unawares too serious ; the best way on such occasions is, to leave off, which I shall do by generally recommending to all prosecuting advertisers not to confound crimes with ugliness; or rather, to distinguish between that physiognomical deformity, which I am willing to grant always accompanies crime, and mere physical ugliness,—which signifies nothing, is the exponent of nothing, and may exist in a good or bad person indifferently.





To the Editor of the Reflector. SIR, I am one of those unhappy persons whose misfortunes, it seems, do not entitle them to the benefit of pure pity. All that is bestowed upon me of that kindest alleviator of human miseries, comes dashed with a double portion of contempt. My griefs have nothing in them that is felt as sacred by the bystanders. Yet is my affliction in truth of the deepest grain. The heaviest task that was ever given to mortal patience to sustain. Time, that wears out all other sorrows, can never modify or soften mine.

Here they must continue to gnaw, as long as that fatal mark

Why was I ever born? Why was innocence in my person suffered to be branded with a stain which was appointed only for the blackest guilt? What had I done, or my parents, that a disgrace of mine should involve a whole posterity in infamy? I am almost tempted to believe, that, in some pre-existent state, crimes to which this sublunary life of mine hath been as much a stranger as the babe that is newly born into it, have drawn down upon me this vengeance, so disproportionate to my actions on this globe.

My brain sickens, and my bosom labours to be delivered of the weight that presses upon it, yet my conscious pen shrinks from the avowal. But out it must

0, Mr. Reflector ! guess at the wretch's misery who now writes this to you, when, with tears and burning blushes, he is obliged to confess, that he has been


Methinks I hear an involuntary exclamation burst from you, as your imagination presents to you fearful images of your correspondent unknown, -hanged !

Fear not, Mr. Editor. No disembodied spirit has the honour of addressing you. I am flesh and blood, an unfortunate system of bones, muscles, sinews, arteries, like yourself.

Then, I presume, you mean to be pleasant-That expression of yours, Mr. Correspondent, must be taken somehow in a metaphorical sense

In the plainest sense, without trope or figure Yes, Mr. Editor ! this neck of mine has felt the fatal noose,—these hands have tremblingly held up the corroborative prayer-book,-these lips have sucked the moisture of the last consolatory orange,—this tongue has chaunted the doleful cantata which no performer was ever called upon to repeat,—this face has had the veiling nightcap drawn over it

But for no crime of mine.-Far be it from me to arraign the justice of my country, which, though tardy, did at length recognise my inno

It is not for me to reflect upon judge or jury, now that eleven years have elapsed since the erroneous sentence was pronounced. Men will always be fallible, and perhaps circumstances did appear at the time a little strong

Suffice it to say, that after hanging four minutes, (as the spectators were pleased to compute it,

;-a man that is being strangled, I know from experience, has altogether a different measure of


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