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L E T T E R

LVIII.

To CHARLES

Era.

Tothil-fialde. 8 April, 17790

I am alive and she is dead. I shot her, and not myself. Some of her blood and brains is still upon my cloaths. . I don't ask you to speak to me, I don't ak you to look at me. Only come hither, and bring me a little poison ; such as is strong enough. Upon my knees, I beg, if your friendship for me ever was fincere, do, de, bring me some poison.

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Your note just now; and the long letter I received at the same time, which should have found me the day bfore yesterday, have changed my resolution. The K2

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promise you desire, I most folemnly give you.

I will make no attempt upon my life. Had I received your comfortable letter when you meant I should. I verily do not think this would have happened.

Pardon what I wrote to you about the poison. Indeed I am too composed for any such thing now. Nothing should tempt me. My death is all the recompence I can make to the laws of my country. Dr. V.. has sent ine some excellent advice, and Mr. H. has refuted all my false arguments. Even such a being as I finds friends.

Oh, that my feelings and his feelings would let me see my dearest friend. Then I would tell you how this happened.

L E T T ER L Ε Τ Τ Ε R

LX

To the Same.

Newgate, 14 April, 1779.

My best thanks for all your goodness since this day se'nnight.

Oh, Charles, this is about the time. I cannot write.

My trial comes on either Friday or Saturday. It will be indeed a trial. God (whom I have so outraged) can alone tell how I shall go through it. My resolution is not fixed as yet about pleading guilty: The arguments by which they tell me I may escape that death so much my due, I certainly will not suffer to be used. My present situation of mind you may collect from the enclosed copy of what I mean to say, if I continue in the resolution, in which I yesterday wrote you word I was, of pleading not guilty.

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“ My “ My Lord,

I should not have troubled the Court with the examination of witnesses to support the charge against me, had I not thought the pleading guilty to the indictment would give an indication of contemning death, not suitable to my present condition ; and would, in some measure, make me acceffary to a second peril of my life. And I likewise thought that the justice of my country ought to be fatisfied, by suffering my offences to be proved, and the fact to be established by evidence.

I stand here the most wretched of human beings! and confefs myself criminal in a high degree. I acknowledge with shame and repentance that my determination against my owu life was formal and complete. I proteft, with that regard to truth which becomes my fituation, that the will to destroy her, who was ever dearer to me than life, was never mine until a momentary frenzy overcame me, and induced me to commit the deed I deplore.—The letter which I meant for my brother-in-law, after my decease, will have its due weight, as to this point, with good men.

Before this dreadful act, I truft, nothing will be found in the tenor of my life, which the commoni charity of mankind will not readily excuse. I have no wish to avoid the punishment which the laws of my country appoint for my crime; but, being already too unhappy to feel a punifliment in death, or a fatisfaction in life, I submit myself to the disposal and judgment of Almighty God, and to the consequences of this enquiry into my conduct and intention."

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Whatever the world may think, you, I know, believe that I had no intention against her till the very inftant. The account I wrote to you of the shocking business since it happened, was the real truth. All Tuesday, after I had finished my letter to you, I in vain fought for an opportunity to destroy myself in her presence. So, again, on the Wednesday, all the morning. In the afternoon, after dining at poor B.'s, I saw Lord S.'s coach pass by. the Cannon Coffee-house, where I was watching for it. I followed it to G.'s (inhuman, and yet not guilty G. !) From her house I faw it take them to the play. Now, I was determined ; and went to my lodgings, for my pistols, where I wrote a letter to B. which I put into my pocket, intending to send it ; but, as I forgot it, the letter was found there. When I returned to

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