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EXECUTION OF R. PARKER.
ashore; and declared, that it was chiefly owing to bim, that the ships had not been carried into the enemy's ports.
“ At half past eight, he was told the chaplain of the ship was ready to attend him to prayers upon the quarter-deck, which he immediately ascended, uncovered : at his first entrance on the deck, he looked a little paler than common, but soon recovered his usual complexion ; he bowed to the officers, and a chair being allowed him, he sat down a few moments, he then arose, and told the clergyman he wished to attend him : the chaplain informed him he had selected two Psalms appropriate to his situation ; to which The Prisoner assenting, said, 'And, with your permission, Sir, I will add a third,' and named the fifty-first. He then recited each alternáte verse, in a manner peculiarly impressive.
“ At nine o'clock, the preparatory gun was fired from L'Espion, which he heard without the smallest emotion. Prayers being soon after closed, he rose, and asked Captain Moss if he might be indulged with a glass of white wine ; which being immediately granted, he took it, and, lifting up his eyes, exclaimed, ' I drink first to the salvation of my soul! and next to the forgiveness of all my enemies!' Addressing himself to Captain Moss, he said, he hoped he would shake hands with him, which the Captain did; he then desired that he might be remembered to his companions on board the Neptune ; with his lastbreath entreaty to them, to prepare for their destiny,
EXECUTION OF R. PARKER.
and refrain from unbecoming levity! His arms being now bound, the procession moved from the quarterdeck to the forecastle, passing through a double file of marines on the starboard side, to a platform erected on the cat-head, with an elevated projection. Arriving there, he knelt with the chaplain, and joined in some devout ejaculations ; to all of which he repeated loudly, “ Amen!' Rising again, the Admiral's warrant of execution, addressed to Captain Moss, was now read by the clerk, in which the sentence of the courtmartial, order of the Board of Admiralty, and his Majesty's approbation of the whole proceedings, were fully recited, which the prisoner heard with great attention, and bowed his head, as if in assent, at the close of it. He now asked the Captain, whether he might be allowed to speak ; and immediately apprehending his intention might be misconceived, he added—'I am not going, Sir, to address the ship's company !-I wish only to declare, that I acknowledge the Justice OF THE SENTENCE under which I suffer; and I hope my death may be deemed a sufficient atonement, and save the lives of others !'
“He now requested a minute to collect himself, and kpelt down alone about that space of time; then, rising up, said, “I am ready;' and, holding his head up, said to the boatswain's mate, “take off my handkerchief' (of black silk); which being done, the Provost Marshal placed the halter over his head (which had been prepared with grease), but doing it awkwardly, THE PRISONER said, rather pettishly, to the boatswain's
EXECUTION OF R. PARKER.
do it, for he seems to know nothing about it!' The halter was then spliced to the reeverope; all this being adjusted, the Marshal attempted to put a cap on, which he refused; but on being told it was indispensable, he submitted, requesting it might not be pulled over his eyes till he desired it. He then turned round, for the first time, and gave a steady look at his shipmates on the forecastle, and, with an affectionate kind of smile, nodded his head, and said, • Good bye to you! He now said, Captain Moss, is the gun primed ?" • It is.' • Is the match alight ?? • All is ready.' On this he advanced a little and said, “Will any gentleman be so good as lend me a white handkerchief for the signal ? After some little pause, a gentleman stepped forward and gave him one; to whom, bowing, he returned his thanks. He now ascended the platform, repeated the same questions about the gun, then the cap being drawn over his face, walking by firm degrees up to the extremity of the scaffold, he dropped the handkerchief, put his hands in his coat pocket with great rapidity, and at the moment as he was springing off, the fatal bow-gun fired, and the reeve-rope catching him, run him up, though not with great velocity, to the yard-arm! When suspended about midway, his body appeared extremely convulsed for a few seconds, ime mediately after which no appearance of life remained; It being tide of ebb, the starboard yard-arm pointed to the Isle of Grain, where scaffolding was erected
EXECUTION OF R. PARKER.
for spectators on shore. A considerable number of yachts, cutters and other craft, surrounded the Sandwich. The last time THE PRISONER knelt with the Chaplain at the cat-head, though he made his responses regularly, his attention was particularly di. rected the whole time to the armed boats of the fleet, which were plying round on duty! The whole conduct of this awful ceremony was extremely decorous and impressive: it was evident, from the countenance of the crew of the Sandwich, that the general feeling for the fate of their mutinous conductor was such as might be wished; not a word, and scarce a whisper was heard among them.
“ The instant he was visible to THE GARRISON from the yard-arm, the Telegraph was put in motion to announce it to the Admiralty; and from the clearness of the atmosphere and quickness of working, the advice must have been received in seven minutes. He suffered exactly at half-past nine, and was lowered down, after hanging at the yard-arm a full hour; when the yellow flag was struck and his body instantly put into a shell that had been prepared for it, with all his clothes on; and, soon after, it was taken in one of the Sandwich's boats and rowed to the east point of the garrison, and there being landed, was carried to the New Naval Burying-ground, out of the Red Barrier Gate, leading to MINSTER ; the coffin-lid was here taken off to the spectators for a few minutes ; bis countenance appeared not much altered, but his
eyes were wide open! He was interred exactly at NOON."
Arriving opposite SHEERNESS, we found the rest of our little feet drawn up close to the garrison. Here they had rendezvoused, not remaining, as we did, at the Nore. I afterwards found that they imagined we were got upon some sands, whereas our continuing there was for our amusement in fishing, though it ended in disappointment. The MAYOR's yacht, with the other small vessels ranged on each side, and so near the fort, reminded me of a representation attached to Pope's Translation of Homer, of the Grecian vessels drawn up for the attack of Troy! But ours was a harmless expedition, excepting the destruction of a FEW OYSTERS, commemorative of the business of the day.
We yielded ourselves up to the current of the tide, and away we bore HOMEWARDS, parting from the rest of our companions with cheers; they soon followed us. Leaving SHEERNESS and passing Queenborough, we beheld, on the left, those vast ponderous Hulks devoted to the purposes of quarantine; here bales of goods are deposited to prevent the intro. duction of any infectious disease from the eastern parts of the world. They resemble Noah's Ark in form and size; for some writers have asserted, that the ark was not larger than a first rate man of war. But there is this difference, that Noah's ARK