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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe


had taken any of them up in my hand it could not be concluded
that I intended to steal them, for that I never carried them
farther than the door to look on them with the better light.

The Court would not allow that by any means, and made a
kind of a jest of my intending to buy the goods, that being no
shop for the selling of anything, and as to carrying them to the
door to look at them, the maids made their impudent mocks
upon that, and spent their wit upon it very much; told the
Court I had looked at them sufficiently, and approved them
very well, for I had packed them up under my clothes, and
was a-going with them.

In short, I was found guilty of felony, but acquitted of the
burglary, which was but small comfort to me, the first bringing
me to a sentence of death, and the last would have done no
more. The next day I was carried down to receive the dreadful
sentence, and when they came to ask me what I had to say
why sentence should not pass, I stood mute a while, but
somebody that stood behind me prompted me aloud to speak
to the judges, for that they could represent things favourably
for me. This encouraged me to speak, and I told them I had
nothing to say to stop the sentence, but that I had much to say
to bespeak the mercy of the Court; that I hoped they would
allow something in such a case for the circumstances of it;
that I had broken no doors, had carried nothing off; that
nobody had lost anything; that the person whose goods they
were was pleased to say he desired mercy might be shown
(which indeed he very honestly did); that, at the worst, it was
the first offence, and that I had never been before any court
of justice before; and, in a word, I spoke with more courage
that I thought I could have done, and in such a moving tone,
and though with tears, yet not so many tears as to obstruct my
speech, that I could see it moved others to tears that heard me.

The judges sat grave and mute, gave me an easy hearing, and
time to say all that I would, but, saying neither Yes nor No to
it, pronounced the sentence of death upon me, a sentence that
was to me like death itself, which, after it was read, confounded
me. I had no more spirit left in me, I had no tongue to speak,
or eyes to look up either to God or man.

My poor governess was utterly disconsolate, and she that was
my comforter before, wanted comfort now herself; and sometimes
mourning, sometimes raging, was as much out of herself, as to
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe



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