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N. B. About the time that the following speech

was written, the town was much pestered with Street-robbers; who, in a barbarous manner, would seize on gentlemen, and take them into remote corners, and, after they had robbed them, would leave them bound and gagged. It is remarkable, that this speech bad so good an effect, that there have been very few robberies of that kind committed fince.

THE

L A S T SPEECH

AND

DYING WORDS

OF

EBENEZER ELLISTON,

Who was executed the ad of May, 1722.

Published, at his desire, for the common good,

I

AM now going to suffer the just punishment for my crimes, prescribed by the

law of God and my country. I know it is the constant custom, that those who come to this place should have {peeches made for them, and cried about in their own hearing, VOL. XI.

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as they are carried to execution; and truly they are such speeches, that, although our fraternity be an ignorant illiterate people, they would make a man ashamed to have fuch nonsense and false English charged upon him, even when he is going to the gallows. They contain a pretended account of our birth and family, of the fact for which we are to die, of our sincere repentance, and a declaration of our religion. I cannot expect to avoid the same treatment with my predecessors. However, having had an education one or two degrees better than those of my rank and profession; I have been considering, ever fince my commitment, what it might be proper for me to deliver upon this occasion.

And first, I cannot lay from the bottom of my heart, that I am truly forry for the of. fence I have given to God and the world but I am very much fo, for the bad success of my villanies, in bringing me to this untimely end. For it is plainly evident, that, after having some time ago obtained a pardon from the crown, I again took up my old trade; my evil habits were fo rooted in me, and I was grown so unfit for any other kind of em. ployment. And therefore, although, in compliance with my friends, I resolve to go to the gallows after the usual manner, kneeling, with a book in my hand, and my eyes lift up; yet I shall feel no more devotion in my heart than I have observed in my comrades, who have been drunk among common whores. the very night before their execution. I can

fay

fay farther, from my own knowledge, that two of my fraternity, after they had been hanged, and wonderfully came to life, and made their escapes, as it sometimes happens, proved afterwards the wickedest rogues I ever knew, and so continued until they were hanged again for good and all; and yet they had the impudence, at both times they went to the gallows, to smite their breasts, and lift up their eyes to heaven all the way.

Secondly, From the knowledge I have of my own wicked dispositions, and that of my comrades, I give it as my opinion, that nothing can be more unfortunate to the publick, than the mercy of the government in ever pardoning or transporting us; unless when we betray one another, as we never fail to do, if we are fure to be well paid, and then a pardon may do good; by the same rule, That it is better to bave but one fox in a farm than three or four. But we generally make a shift to return after being transported, and are ten times greater rogues than before, and much more cunning. Besides, I know it by experience, that some hope we have of finding mercy, when we are tried, or after we are condemned, is always a great encouragement to us,

Thinlly, Nothing is more dangerous to idle young fellows than the company of those odious common whores we frequent, and of which this town is full: these wretches put us upon all mischief to feed their lufts and extravagancies: they are, ten times more

bloody

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