See what he is!--Look at him!'
Barnaby had moved towards the door, and stood beckoning him to follow.
'If this was not faith, and strong belief!' cried Hugh, raising his right arm aloft, and looking upward like a savage prophet whom the near approach of Death had filled with inspiration, 'where are they! What else should teach me--me, born as I was born, and reared as I have been reared--to hope for any mercy in this hardened, cruel, unrelenting place! Upon these human shambles, I, who never raised this hand in prayer till now, call down the wrath of God! On that black tree, of which I am the ripened fruit, I do invoke the curse of all its victims, past, and present, and to come. On the head of that man, who, in his conscience, owns me for his son, I leave the wish that he may never sicken on his bed of down, but die a violent death as I do now, and have the night-wind for his only mourner. To this I say, Amen, amen!'
His arm fell downward by his side; he turned; and moved towards them with a steady step, the man he had been before.
'There is nothing more?' said the governor.
Hugh motioned Barnaby not to come near him (though without looking in the direction where he stood) and answered, 'There is nothing more.'
'--Unless,' said Hugh, glancing hurriedly back,--'unless any person here has a fancy for a dog; and not then, unless he means to use him well. There's one, belongs to me, at the house I came from, and it wouldn't be easy to find a better. He'll whine at first, but he'll soon get over that.--You wonder that I think about a dog just now, he added, with a kind of laugh. 'If any man deserved it of me half as well, I'd think of HIM.'
He spoke no more, but moved onward in his place, with a careless air, though listening at the same time to the Service for the Dead, with something between sullen attention, and quickened curiosity. As soon as he had passed the door, his miserable associate was carried out; and the crowd beheld the rest.
Barnaby would have mounted the steps at the same time--indeed he would have gone before them, but in both attempts he was restrained, as he was to undergo the sentence elsewhere. In a few minutes the sheriffs reappeared, the same procession was again formed, and they passed through various rooms and passages to another door--that at which the cart was waiting. He held down his head to avoid seeing what he knew his eyes must otherwise encounter, and took his seat sorrowfully,--and yet with something of a childish pride and pleasure,--in the vehicle. The officers fell into their places at the sides, in front and in the rear; the sheriffs' carriages rolled on; a guard of soldiers surrounded the whole; and they moved slowly forward through the throng and pressure toward Lord Mansfield's ruined house.
It was a sad sight--all the show, and strength, and glitter, assembled round one helpless creature--and sadder yet to note, as he rode along, how his wandering thoughts found strange encouragement in the crowded windows and the concourse in the streets; and how, even then, he felt the influence of the bright sky, and looked up, smiling, into its deep unfathomable blue. But there had been many such sights since the riots were over--some so moving in their nature, and so repulsive too, that they were far more calculated to awaken pity for the sufferers, than respect for that law whose strong arm seemed in more than one case to be as wantonly stretched forth now that all was safe, as it had been basely paralysed in time of danger.
Two cripples--both mere boys--one with a leg of wood, one who dragged his twisted limbs along by the help of a crutch, were hanged in this same Bloomsbury Square. As the cart was about to glide from under them, it was observed that they stood with their faces from, not to, the house they had assisted to despoil; and their misery was protracted that this omission might be remedied. Another boy was hanged in Bow Street; other young lads in various quarters of the town.