A VOICE FROM THE DUNGEON.
The die is now cast, the sword of Justice has been bared, and is
about to descend on his devoted head. His days are numbered, the
sixth day of March being the one fixed for execution.
On that day his life will be offered up to atone for the laws he has
broken, committed no doubt while in a state of intoxication, we may
here briefly advert to the leading circumstances of the murder. Mr
E. T. Salt was by trade a Tailor, but by some means he obtained a
situation in the Excise someyears ago. He is a stout, mild, good
looking man, and has not one particle of ferocity in his demeanor,
he wears a moustache and beard, and is the most unlikely man, as far
as appearances go, capable of committing such a crime. He is a native
of Staffordshire in England. He and his wife lived on the very worse
of terms. Her habits of intemperance constantly spoiling the har-
mony of the family. He more than once was heard to say that he
would kill her, especially on one occasion when the woman Janet
Wallace, a publican said, " If you kill her then you'll be hanged,''
how fearfully her prediction has been verified.
It is of no use now to refer to the murder, it was perpetrated in
such a manner that human nature recoils from the horrors and beastly
depravity of the crime for which he has forfeited his life.
He is now confined in a cell in the the new prison. Two men
have been appointed to sit up with him, one during the day the other
at night. The prisoner speaks often and with much annimation con-
cerning his deceased partner.
In the cold silent cell, dejected he lay
O'erwhelmed with terror afraid for to pray,
For his crimes he did weep, and his sufferings severe,
While his face was suffused with the penitent's tear.
Soon sweet gentle sleep o'er his vision did steal
When his woes and his sufferings he ceased to feel
He dreamed of his home and relations so dear,
Who now tranquil do sleep, and strangers to fear.
And he dreamed of his home, and of his dear wife
Ere the demon intemperance had embittered his life ;
When affection and love in their bosoms did dwell,
Alas now exchanged for the doomed felous cell.
O Salt we mourn thy misfortune,
Although that we cannot approve of thy crime
But thousands will weep on that fatal morning
To see thee cut off in the height of thy prime.
So kind hearted people pray don't be exulting,
O'er the fate of this culprit whose time draweth near
When we think of his crimes think too of his sufferings
And for him in pity drop one gentle tear.
A popular author when writing on capital punishment, describes
the last night of the condemned felon in his solitary cell: He alter-
nately lay down in his bed or sat on a small box ; he attempted to
enter into conversation with the gruff, stern, unfeeling warden of the
prison. At this time he hears a bell striking an hour from one of
the public clocks. He counts,-'tis eleven, he muttered to himself.
You are mistaken, sir, replied the guard; 'tis twelve. I am tired,
observed the condemned man. So am I, said the keeper; I hate
to be sent to a job like this, it is so melancholy ; and he began in
a low voice to hum a song about Dick Turpin. The object of their
solicitude undressed and got into bed. My life has been forfeited,
I am doomed unfit to live - I am now well guarded-I am attended
by the ministers of religion-they are desirous of making me a good
man, and after their task has been completed, I am to be led out
and put to death. From man I have no mercy to expect; 'tis from
God alone that it can be obtained. Filled with such reflections he
lay down and slept soundly. Poor man, another night and your
sleep will be sound indeed.
We understand that the wretched man is conducting himself with
the greatest properity under his impending fate. By his own request,
he has been visited by the Rev. Mr Drummond of St. Thomas' Chapel,
and listens with great attention to his instructions. He was visited
yesterday forenoon by his four children. He exhorted his eldest
child, a fine boy of ten years of age, totally to eschew drink, and as
far as in him lay to act as guardian to his brother and sisters, now
deprived of both parents. Indeed, the secne, especially of their part-
ing, was a most affecting one. He expressed a wish to see them all
once more before his execution, which we have no doubt will be grant-
ed. He was much surprised at the growth of his youngest child,
whom he had not seen since his committal.
Every kindness is shown him by the excellent Governor of the
prison, and we need scarcely say that the " bread and water" part of
the sentence is disregarded. A turnkey remains in the cell day and
night. We believe the report of the judge, with the recommendation
of the jury, has been sent to the Secretary of State ; but there is not
the remotest expectation that the recommendation will be listened to.
In fact it is felt that, if the sentence were remitted in this case, it
would be all but tanatomount to an abrogation of capital punishment.
The poor man himself seems to entertain feeble hope of a change in
the sentence. We rejoice however that the true spirit is among the
people. A petition has been got up and is numerously signed, pray-
ing for a mitigation of the sentence, which we hope may be successful.
We heard a lady-looking wretch say yesterday on the mound, that
she would sign the petition if it would hang the dog, so much for the
fine feelings of the ladies of Edinburgh.
M'Intosh & Co., Printers, Edinburgh.
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Probable period of publication:
1838-1842 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(211)
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