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not say be happy and blessed as I am at this dear hour, my beloved mother,
"Your most affectionate,
On the 24th October the king's warrant was despatched from the Admiralty, granting a full and free pardon to Heywood and Morrison, a respite for Muspratt, which was followed by a pardon; and for carrying the sentence of Ellison, Burkitt, and Millward into execution, which was done on the 29th, on board his majesty's ship Brunswick, in Portsmouth harbour. On this melancholy occasion Captain Hamond reports that "the criminals behaved with great penitence and decorum, acknowledged the justice of their sentence for the crime of which they had been found guilty, and exhorted their fellow-sailors to take warning by their untimely fate, and whatever might be their hardships, never to forget their obedience to their officers, as a duty they owed to their king and country." The captain adds, "A party from each ship in the harbour and at Spithead attended the execution, and from the reports I have received, the example seems to have made a great impression upon the minds of all the ships' companies present."
The same warrant that carried with it affliction to the friends of these unfortunate men was the harbinger of joy to the family and friends of young Heywood. The happy intelligence was communicated to his affectionate Nessy on the 26th, who instantly despatched the joyful tidings to her anxious mother in the following characteristic note :—
Friday, 26th October, four o'clock. 66 Oh, blessed hour!-little did I think, my beloved friends, when I closed my letter this morning, that before night I should be out of my senses with joy! -this moment, this ecstatic moment, brought the
enclosed.* I cannot speak my happiness; let it be sufficient to say, that in a very few hours our angel Peter will be FREE! Mr. Graham goes this night to Portsmouth, and to-morrow, or next day at farthest, I shall be-oh, heavens! what shall I be? I am already transported, even to pain; then how shall I bear to clasp him to the bosom of your happy, ah! how very happy, and affectionate,
"I am too mad to write sense, but 'tis a pleasure I would not forego to be the most reasonable being on earth. I asked Mr. Graham, who is at my elbow, if he would say any thing to you, 'Lord!' said he, 'I can't say any thing; he is almost as mad as myself."+
* Information that the pardon was gone down to Portsmouth.
† She had received, previous to this, information of what the event would be, and thus gives vent to her feelings.
"On receiving_certain Intelligence that my most amiable and beloved Brother, Peter Heywood, would soon be restored to Freedom.
"Oh, blissful hour!-oh moment of delight!
Mr. Graham writes, "I have however my senses sufficiently about me not to suffer this to go without begging leave to congratulate you upon, and to assure you that I most sincerely sympathize and participate in, the happiness which I am sure the enclosed will convey to the mother and sisters of my charming and beloved Nessy."
This "charming" girl next writes to Mr. Const, who attended as counsel for her brother, to acquaint him with the joyful intelligence, and thus concludes: "I flatter myself you will partake in the joy which, notwithstanding it is so excessive at this moment as almost to deprive me of my faculties, leaves me however sufficiently collected to assure you of the eternal gratitude and esteem with which I am, &c.”
To which Mr. Const, after congratulations and thanks for her polite attention, observes, "Give me leave, my dear Miss Heywood, to assure you that the intelligence has given me a degree of pleasure which I have not terms to express, and it is even increased by knowing what you must experience on the event. Nor is it an immaterial reflection, that although your brother was unfortunately involved in the general calamity which gave birth to the charge, he is uncontaminated by the crime; for there was not a credible testimony of the slightest fact against him that can make the strictest friend deplore any thing that has passed, except his sufferings; and his uniform conduct under them only proved how little he deserved them."
Mr. Graham's impatience and generous anxiety to
Teach me to bend beneath thy bounteous hand,
And oh let sorrow's shafts ne'er wound him more. "London, October 15th, 1792, midnight. "NESSY HEYWOOD."
give the finishing stroke to this joyful event would not permit him to delay one moment in setting out for Portsmouth, and bringing up to his house in town the innocent sufferer, where they arrived on the morning of the 29th October. Miss Heywood can best speak her own feelings.
"Great Russell-street, Monday morning, 29th October, half past ten o'clockthe brightest moment of my existence ! "My dearest mamma,-I have seen him, clasped him to my bosom, and my felicity is beyond expression! In person he is almost even now as I could wish; in mind you know him an angel. I can write no more, but to tell you, that the three happiest beings at this moment on earth are your most dutiful and affectionate children, "NESSY HEYWOOD. "PETER HEYWOOD. "JAMES HEYWOOD.
"Love to and from all ten thousand times."
The worthy Mr. Graham adds, "If, my dearest madam, it were ever given for mortals to be supremely blest on earth, mine to be sure must be the happy family. Heavens! with what unbounded extravagance have we been forming our wishes! and yet how far beyond our most unbounded wishes we are blest! Nessy, Maria,* Peter, and James, I see, have all been endeavouring to express their feelings. I will not fail in any such attempt, for I will not attempt any thing beyond an assurance that the scene I have been witness of, and in which I am happily so great a sharer, beggars all description. Permit me, however, to offer my most sincere congratulations upon the joyful occasion."
This amiable young lady, some of whose letters have been introduced into this narrative, did not long
* Mr. Graham's daughter.
survive her brother's liberty. This impassioned and most affectionate of sisters, with an excess of sensibility which acted too powerfully on her bodily frame, sunk, as is often the case with such suscepti ble minds, on the first attack of consumption. She died within the year of her brother's liberation. On this occasion the following note from her afflicted mother appears among the papers from which the letters and poetry are taken. "My dearest Nessy was seized, while on a visit at Major Yorke's, at Bishop's Grove, near Tunbridge Wells, with a violent cold, and not taking proper care of herself, it soon turned to inflammation on her lungs, which carried her off at Hastings, to which place she was taken on the 5th September, to try if the change of air, and being near the sea, would recover her; but alas! it was too late for her to receive the wishedfor benefit, and she died there on the 25th of the same month, 1793, and has left her only surviving parent a disconsolate mother, to lament, while ever she lives, with the most sincere and deep affliction, the irreparable loss of her most valuable, affectionate, and darling daughter."*
* Several elegiac stanzas were written on the death of this accomplished young lady. The following are dated from her native place, the Isle of Man, where her virtues and accomplishments could best be ap preciated.
"How soon, sweet maid! how like a fleeting dream
Has fate decreed thee to the joyless tomb!
Too early lost! from friendship's bosom torn,