done,’ she added, falling on her knees, ‘was done by
my means, I am most guilty; let me bear the punishment; let me be hanged, but let my husband be pardoned.’
She spoke truth: but the governor angrily cried, ‘Away!’
adding reproach to the purity of her nuptial bed. Proud insolence!
As if woman would die for one she had dishonored!1
As the power of Berkeley
increased, his passions were whetted by the opportunity of indulgence.
Nothing is so merciless as offended pride; a former affront is remembered as proof of weakness; and it seeks to restore self-esteem by a flagrant exercise of recovered power.
Avarice also found delight in fines and confiscations; no sentiment of clemency was tolerated.
From fear that a jury would bring in verdicts of acquittal, men were hurried to death from courts martial.2
‘You are very welcome,’ cried the
, with a low bow, on meeting William Drummond
, as his prisoner; ‘I am more glad to see you than any man in Virginia
; you shall be hanged in half an hour.’
The patriot, avowing boldly the part he had acted, was condemned at one o'clock, and hanged at four.
His children and wife were driven from their home, to depend on the charity of the planters.3
At length it was deemed safe to resort to the civil tribunal, where the judges proceeded with the virulence of accusers.
Of those who put themselves on trial, none escaped being convicted and hanged.
A panic paralyzed the juries, there was in most men so much guilt or fear.4