This is a short picture of the life I have led, which is more miserable than that of the poorest labourer who works for fourpence a day; and yet custom is so strong that I am confident, if I could make escape at the foot of the gallows, I should be following the same course this very evening. Upon the whole, we ought to be looked upon as the common enemies of mankind, whose interest it is to root us out like worms, and other mischievous vermin, against which no fair play is required. If I have done service to men in what I have said, I shall hope to have done service to God, and that will be better than a silly speech made by me full of whining and canting, which I utterly despise, and have never been used to yet such a one I expect to have my ears tormented with as I am passing along the streets.
Good people, fare ye well;
bad as I am, I leave many worse behind
me, and I hope you shall see me die like a man, though a death
The Life of JAMES DALTON, a Thief
The character of this criminal is already so infamous, and his crimes so notorious that I may spare myself any introductory observation which I have made use of as to most of the rest with respect to his birth. He was so unfortunate as to have the gallows hereditary to his family, his father, who was by birth an Irishman, and in the late Wars in Flanders a sergeant, coming over here was indicted and hanged for a street robbery. After his death, Dalton’s mother married a butcher, who, not long before Dalton’s death, was transported, and she herself for a like crime shared in the same punishment.