Previous Chapter Next Contents Index Previous Frame Next

These were my first reflections; but I soon learned that Mr. Kirwin had [shewn] <shown> me extreme kindness. He had caused the best room in the prison to be prepared for me (wretched indeed was the best); and it was he who had provided a physician and a nurse. It is true, he seldom came to see me; for, although he ardently desired to relieve the sufferings of every human creature, he did not wish to be present at the agonies and miserable ravings of a murderer. He came, therefore, [sometimes to] <sometimes, to> see that I was not neglected; but his visits were short, and [at] <with> long intervals.

One day, [when] <while> I was gradually recovering, I was seated in a chair, my eyes half open, and my cheeks livid like those in [death, I] <death. I> was overcome by gloom and misery, and often reflected I had better seek death than <desire to> remain [miserably pent up only to be let loose] in a world <which to me was> replete with wretchedness. At one time I considered whether I should not declare myself guilty, and suffer the penalty of the law, less innocent than poor Justine had been. Such were my thoughts, when the door of my apartment was opened, and Mr. Kirwin entered. His countenance expressed sympathy and compassion; he drew a chair close to mine, and addressed me in French--

"I fear that this place is very shocking to you; can I do any thing to make you more comfortable?"

"I thank you; but all that you mention is nothing to me: on the whole earth there is no comfort which I am capable of receiving."

"I know that the sympathy of a stranger can be but of little relief to one borne down as you are by so strange a misfortune. But you will, I hope, soon quit this melancholy abode; for, doubtless, evidence can easily be brought to free you from the criminal charge."

Previous Next Commentary 1818 1831 Collation Previous Next