+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

drill myself in the virtue of punctuality, by
indulging my imagination in the opposite


IF there be no city called Hippesford
among the north-western towns of England,
let it be there, whither I went five years ago
to see the Italian hung. The name under
which he suffered was supposed to be a
feigned one; the crime which he expiated
was that of murder; the slaying of his
master and his benefactor as he slept, for the
taking of a sum of money which, in all
probability, he might have had for the
asking. One of those atrocities, to give
a reason for which baffles the student
of human nature. The defence set up for
Mavoranci was that of insanity: there being
no doubt whatever as to his having
committed the deed; but this plea was, in my
opinion, very properly set aside. His advocate
happened to be an intimate friend of
mine; and it was through the interest
morbid and reprehensible I am well aware
with which he had inspired me in the
unhappy criminal, that I found myself among
that crowd in front of Hippesford Gaol. I
heard something going on near me, a little
too jocose for the occasion.

"You cruel-hearted ruffian, if you dare to
mock the poor wretch like that again," cried
a deep, low voice, "I'll save Mr. Calcraft
some trouble in your case."

The speaker was a fine, powerfully-built
sailor, towering by half a head above the
throng; and, under his flashing eyes and
threatening brows, the fellow who had
provoked his wrath subsided at once into
mutterings, and presently into sullen silence.
Having achieved this end, he made no
further observation, but kept his looks intently
fixed upon the ghastly preparations above us.
He alone, amidst the hum and noise of the
crowd, maintained an inviolable silence,
and strained his eyes upon the scaffold above,
as though he would have numbered every
nail in it: the extreme anxiety of his face
was remarkable even amongst those thousand
eager and expectant countenances. Not
caring to look upon the dreadful sight
directly, I watched that face when the death-
bell began to toll, as though it were a mirror,
feeling sure that I should see reflected in it
whatever was happening. It was burning
and quivering with excitement, when the
wretched criminal was carried up by three
or four persons into view. Immediately
after he came in sight, this fixed expression
vanished as completely as though a curtain
had been drawn over some picture; and, as
the sailor cast his looks upon the ground, I
heard him mutter, in a solemn whisper, his
thanks to Heaven.

As the sailor and I were borne along
together by the resistless human tide, I said
to him, secure of sympathy, "This is a sad
sight, my friend, is it not?"

"Yes, sir," said he, " a terrible sight,
indeed; but it might have been worse."

"How so?" said I.

"Well, it's a long story," he replied,
"but if you like to listen to it, and to take
a cup of tea with me (of which I feel the
need) at my lodgings, I shall be pleased
enough. It will be a relief to me, I feel, to
tell it even to a stranger."

So we two went up into a little room
overlooking the scene, and which had been let (as
had been agreed upon when he took the apartment)
throughout that morning to a party of
five gentlemen (!) and a lady (!!), who had
only just evacuated it. And there he told me
this story:

"You must excuse me if I am a little slow,
at first, for yon throng has fairly dazzled and
dumfounded me. I am quite new to sights
of this sort, thank God; nor have I ever seen,
so great a crowd before. I live upon the south-
east coast, where the folks are not so many as
in these parts, and my own employment is a
particularly solitary one: I am a lighthouse
man. I sometimes pass whole weeks without
seeing any other face than that of my mate,
without hearing any other voice save his, and
that of the sea-gull, and of the baffled wave
which beats for ever against our rock. Even
my holiday time is spent among people who
pass almost as lonely lives as I do. My friends
dwell at a coast-guard station, far away from
any town, and indeed from me, only they can
see every night our lantern burning steadily
out to sea, which my mother and sister says is
a great comfort to them when father is from
home. It is lonesome, you see, for them to
know that there is no human being save
themselves within miles of them, the next
post being a long distance beyond the headland,
whither often on the darkest nights, my
father has to go feeling for the white chalk
heaps that are laid down to mark the road
betwixt the stations, the direction of which
in old times, they say, the smugglers used to
alter, so that the poor revenue men were
guided over the precipice, into the arms of
death below. Twelve years ago, a vessel was
cast ashore, and went to pieces one wintry
night at the cliff-foot, beneath our guardhouse,
and all the crew, save one, were thrown
by the scornful sea upon the shore, dead men;
save one——." The sailor gave an involuntary
look towards the thing that hung upon
the high gaol-wall there, motionless, with its
ghastly cowl drawn over it "and that man
was an Italian foreigner. My people took
him in, and acted towards him as Christian
people should do, and he was grateful, and
stayed with us, making himself as useful as
he could, for weeks, for months. When he
had been our guest for near upon a year, the
man who was then my mate in the lighthouse,
died; and, mainly through my father's
recommendation, the Italian was appointed

Profile Information

Application afterLoad: 0.000 seconds, 0.28 MB
Application afterInitialise: 0.017 seconds, 1.00 MB
Application afterRoute: 0.022 seconds, 2.05 MB
Application afterDispatch: 0.069 seconds, 3.65 MB
Application afterRender: 0.114 seconds, 3.99 MB

Memory Usage


21 queries logged

  1. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = '7ef4580614e6183e92291aaf22e87a1e'
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE ( TIME < '1657156105' )
  3. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = '7ef4580614e6183e92291aaf22e87a1e'
  4. INSERT INTO `jos_session` ( `session_id`,`time`,`username`,`gid`,`guest`,`client_id` )
      VALUES ( '7ef4580614e6183e92291aaf22e87a1e','1657157905','','0','1','0' )
  5. SELECT *
      FROM jos_components
      WHERE parent = 0
  6. SELECT folder AS TYPE, element AS name, params
      FROM jos_plugins
      WHERE published >= 1
      AND access <= 0
      ORDER BY ordering
  7. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-467'
  8. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-467'
  9. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id = '528'
  10. UPDATE jos_toc_pages
      SET hits = ( hits + 1 )
      WHERE id='528'
  11. SELECT template
      FROM jos_templates_menu
      WHERE client_id = 0
      AND (menuid = 0 OR menuid = 95)
      ORDER BY menuid DESC
      LIMIT 0, 1
  12. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-467'
      AND id_volume = 19
  13. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_volumes
      WHERE id = '19'
  14. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE id = '411'
  15. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE  id_volume = 19
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  16. SELECT id, DATE, id_page
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE  id_volume = 19
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  17. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  18. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  19. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 19
      AND ordering > 475
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
      LIMIT 1
  20. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 19
      AND ordering < 475
      ORDER BY ordering DESC
      LIMIT 1
  21. SELECT id, title, module, POSITION, content, showtitle, control, params
      FROM jos_modules AS m
      LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm
      ON mm.moduleid = m.id
      WHERE m.published = 1
      AND m.access <= 0
      AND m.client_id = 0
      AND ( mm.menuid = 95 OR mm.menuid = 0 )
      ORDER BY POSITION, ordering

Language Files Loaded

Untranslated Strings Diagnostic


Untranslated Strings Designer