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of such forms of confiscation, which in the
reign of Louis the Fourth was defended by
M. de Tourreil, a distinguished lawyer, by
the express declaration, that " You must stab
the heart of the father in the bosom of the

As we have fallen among kings we may as
well go on to make a note or two upon the old
judicial view of treason, concerning which it
may be said first, that there has been some
confusion in the interpretation of the old
word. Imagine, in the declaration that it is
treason, among other things, to imagine the
king's death. It used to mean simply to plot,
and in this sense the Psalmist is translated,
"Why do the people imagine a vain thing?"
In this sense Chaucer speaks of such
imagining as a thing visible to the eyes:

"There saw I all the dark imagining
Of felony, and all the compassing,
The spoiler with the knife," &c.

We will speak only of high treason, not of
the petit treason, which is murderous rebellion
of a wife against her lord and husband; of a
servant against his master, and so on; though
as a memorial of the domestic suavity for which
it was thought worth while to take thought
specifically by our forefathers, we may
mention one of Sir Matthew Hale's statements;
that if a wife throws a poker at her maid's
head, which by accident lights on her
husband's head and kills him, that is petit treason.
This sort of offence was only abolished
in the time of George the Fourth, and classed
with ordinary murder. We speak only of
high treason, and of the good old punishment
of traitors, who were to be hanged, cut down
alive, embowelled while still living, then
finally be quartered. This sentence was only
humanised in the time of George the Third
by the exertions of Sir Samuel Romilly; which
were, for a long time, baffled by the protest
of the crown officers, that he was breaking
down "the bulwarks of the constitution."
May we be pardoned a few terrible lines to
show the old judicial state of things, as
concerned treason, in all its horror? In Sir
Matthew Hale's time, the regicide Harrison,
when the executioner was in the act of
disembowelling him, rose and gave that
functionary a blow in the face. Hugh Peters,
after being carried on a sledge to the scaffold,
was made to sit thereon within the rails, to
behold the execution of Cook, who had been
attorney of the Commonwealth, and we are
told that when Cook was cut down alive, and
brought to be quartered, Colonel Turner
ordered the sheriff's men to bring Peters
near, that he might see it; and by-and-by
the hangman came to him all besmeared in
blood, and rubbing his bloody hands together,
he tauntingly asked; Come, how do you like
this work, Mr. Peters? how do you like it?
He replied, Friend, you do not well to
trample on a dying man.

More mildly, Shenstone, in his ballad of
Jemmy Dawson, executed for the Scotch
Rebellions, tells what reads like a true
history of his sweetheart's following him to

And severed was that beauteous neck,
Round which her arms had fondly closed;
And mangled was that faithful breast
On which her love-sick head reposed.
And ravished was that constant heart,
She did to every heart prefer;
For though it could its king forget,
'Twas true and loyal still to her.
Amid those unrelenting flames,
She bore his constant heart to see.

These couplets on treason are more
harmless than a certain treasonable couplet
made by a poor schoolmaster named Collynbore,
who was in the reign of Richard the Second
beheaded and quartered, as the chronicler
Grafton tells, " for making a small ryme."
His misfortune was that the exigency of his
verse compelled him to put hog when he
meant boar; he could not help it for the life
of him, and paid his life as penalty. Thus
ran the small ryme:

The Rat, the Cat, and Lovell our Dog
Rule all England under the Hog;

"meaning by the Hog," says Grafton, " the
dreadful wild Bore which was the King's
cognisance, and because the first line ended
in dog, the metrician could not, observing the
regiment of meeter, ende the second verse in
Bore, but called the Bore an Hogge."

When a traitor was condemned to be hung,
drawn, and quartered, that sentence was
commonly preceded by the order that he should be
carried on a hurdle to the place of execution.
This hurdle was a merciful invention of the
monks. The original sentence had been that
the object of a royal vengeance should be
dragged at the tail of a horse over the stones
and through the mud, and so brought, already
bruised and bleeding, to his death. In this
way Prince David was drawn through
Shrewsbury, and Wallace through London.
Monks seem to have suggested the humane
interposition of a hurdle, for in the reign
of Edward the Third a judge, in condemning
a criminal, is reported to have given especial
order that "neither friars nor others" should
dare to help the culprit with anything to rest
upon in the drawing to the gallows.

We add only one more note from Professor
Amos's suggestive book, and that must be
about the affixing of the heads of traitors
upon Temple Bar. The heads of the persons
convicted of the Scotch Rebellion in seventeen
forty-five were affixed on Temple Bar, until
the place was so full, that the remaining heads
were sent to Carlisle for a like exhibition.
In the newspaper called the Post Boy, is the
following notice for May the eighteenth,
seventeen hundred and twenty-three, respecting
Layer's head: "his head was carried to
Newgate in order to be parboiled, and
afflixed upon Temple Bar this day."