William has just been sentenced to hang to death for attacking his
Death! No--since I first trod the king's oak, he has been about me--I have slept near him, wacthed near him--he has looked upon my face, and saw I shrunk not--in the storm I have heeded him not--in the fury of the battle I've thought not of him--had I been mowed down by ball or cutlass, my shipmates, as they had thrown me to the sharks, would have given me a parting look of friendship, and over their grog have said I did my duty--this, your honour, would not have been death, but lying up in ordinary--but to be swayed up like a wet jib, to dry.--The whole fleet--nay, the folks of Deal, people that knew me, used to pat me on the head when a boy--all these looking at me.--Oh! thank heaven, my mother's dead.
Douglas Jerrold, "Black-Ey'd Susan" in Nineteenth-Century Plays, ed. George Rowell, Oxford University Press, 1987, pp.39.
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