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to it, the dirty leggings, the shoes, and the linen.
The often-quoted reason for a man being
respectable "because he kept a horse and gig"
occurred during this trial; and when Probert's
cook was asked whether the supper at Gill's
Hill Cottage was "postponed," she answered,
"No. It was pork."

Thurtell's speech in his own defence was written
for him by his counsel, Mr. Phillips. He had
learnt it by heart, and spoke it in a deep,
measured, and unshaken tone, with studied
and theatrical action. He denied that he
was a callous, remorseless villain, depraved,
profligate, and gratuitously cruel. He had
fought and bled for his country (he had been
in the Marines); but to raise the assassin's arm
against an unsuspecting friend was horrid,
monstrous, and incompatible with every feeling
of his heart. He then enumerated a great
many cases of persons who had suffered death
innocently, from mistaken circumstantial
evidence. He talked of his unstained and happy
home, quoted St. Paul, entreated the jury not
to cut him off in the very summer of his
life (he was just thirty-one), wept, and
concluded in these words, which he oratorically
emphasised with appropriate and impassioned
gesture: "I stand before you as before my God,
overwhelmed with misfortunes, but unconscious
of crime; and while you decide on my future
destiny, I earnestly entreat you to remember
my last solemn declarationI am innocent, so
help me God." "The studied, slow, and
appalling tone," remarks a writer who was present,
"in which Thurtell rang out these last words
can never be imagined by those who were not
auditors of it." He clung to every separate
word with indescribable earnestness. The final
exclamation, "God!" was thrown up with an
almost gigantic energy. Yet, from first to last
the whole was a performance that had been
carefully premeditated.

Hunt, who was condemned to death with
Thurtell, but was afterwards respited and
transported for life, confessed that Thurtell had
planned many murders, and had been hired by
gamblers to get obnoxious men out of the
way. He had tried to kill, with an air-gun,
Mr. Osborne Springfield, a silk merchant, of
Norwich, and also Mr. Barber Beaumont. He
had decoyed Mr. Woods to his house in
Manchester-buildings, and there waited for
him with a large dumb-bell. Woods was
frightened, and escaped. He had then planned
to shoot him in bed, and pass it off as a suicide.
He had also boasted that, when a lieutenant
of marines, in the Bellona, he stabbed a wounded
Polish officer at St. Sebastian, and took from
his body one hundred and forty doubloons.

Hunt spent the night before execution with
Thurtell. The prisoner shook him cordially by
the hand at parting, and said, "God bless you.
You have brought me to this situation, but I
freely forgive you, and hope you will be
reprieved and live to repent of your past errors.
If you had had nerve like us, none of us would
have been convicted of this crime; but I forgive
you from the bottom of my heart."

One account, which describes this implacable
ruffian as resigned and penitent, and as having
read a sermon on the last judgment during the
night before he was hung, does not harmonise
with his well-known anxiety about the prize-
fight between Spring and Langham, which took
place on the previous day. "I know it to be a
fact," reports one gentleman,* "that Thurtell
said, about seven hours before his execution,
'It is perhaps wrong in my situation; but I
own I should like to read Pierce Egan's account
of the great fight yesterday.'"

* In the London Magazine for February, 1824.

He slept soundly till called; remarking, he
never had had dreams "connected with this
affair." He then breakfasted, prayed, it is
said, received the sacrament, and parted with
Hunt, hoping he would go abroad, live long,
and die a happy man. He thanked the chaplain,
and bade the under-sheriff and jailer good-bye.

The executioner and turnkey came and
took off his hat and cravat, drew the white
nightcap over his face, and put the cord round
his neck. He merely said to the hangman,
"Give me rope enough." To which the man
replied, "Never fear; there is quite enough."
The turnkey left the scaffold; the hangman,
mechanically pressed the prisoner's hand according
to form, and left also. The next instant
the platform fell with Thurtell. The body was
then taken to the chapel, and in the evening
put into a sack and driven in a gig (that day
eleven weeks from the murder) to
Bartholomew's Hospital, where Abernethy dissected it.

A cast of the murderer's powerful back, bowed
as when the strangling bent it convulsively, we
have seen in studios side by side with Madame
Vestris's foot and the hand of Lucrezia Borgia.

Probert did not take his narrow escape much
to heart, for only a year later he was hung at
the Old Bailey for horse-stealing; the judges
being only too glad to catch him tripping.

Years after the murder of Mr. Weare, the driver
of the St. Alban's coach invariably slackened
the speed of his horses when he crossed the
bridge by Elstree, and point with his whip to
the deep, lonely, roadside slough where the
murdered man's body was found.



IT would be impossible to describe Josef
Kester's anger and consternation when Kätchen
confessed to him the result of her interview
with Ebner. He stormed and raved in onethe
ungovernable and rare fits of fury which now
and then broke the calm of his phlegmatic nature.
And then, when his passion had spent itself, he
tried to coax his wayward daughter. She had
changed her mind once, and might change it
again. But it was in vain.

"He spoke so harshly to me," said Kätchen,
taking refuge in an air of being injured.

"Harshly? And no wonder!"

"But he said such shameful things; called
me cruel, and heartless, and dishonourable. If