Judicial Dramas: Or the Romance of French Criminal Law

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Tinsley Brothers, 1872 - Crime - 423 pages
 

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Page 176 - ... scourged till he was flayed, then sown up in a sack, together with a dog, a cock, a viper, and an ape, and so thrown headlong to the bottom of the sea. It is a great stain on the character of the more recent ages of the world, that the crime should ever...
Page 118 - Amphytrion than did the retumed traveller Martin Guerre. Whether or not the wife ever suspected that she was the victim of a daring imposture, can never be ascertained. It was deemed impossible that some or other of those almost imperceptible yet positive differences, that must always exist between man and man, should not have at times awakened her suspicions. The probability is that they did so; and that her continued acquiescence in this singular connection was the result, partly of personal liking...
Page 130 - She laid part of the blame upon her sisters - in - law, who had so readily accepted the imposture, but more upon her own warm love for her absent husband, and that eager longing for his actual return which had contributed to the self-deceit. She averred, that no sooner had she become conscious of her error, than, but for the dread of God's anger, she would have concealed her grief and dishonour in the grave. In place of this she determined on revenge, and, as all the world knew, had pursued to the...
Page 132 - ... him to do penance before the church of Artigues, on his knees, in his shirt, with head and feet bare, a halter round his neck, and a burning taper in his hand, asking pardon of God, and the king, Martin Guerre, and Bertrande de Rols his wife ; that he should then be handed over to the common executioner, who should conduct him through the most public ways to the house of Martin Guerre, in front of which, upon a scaffold purposely prepared, he should be executed by hanging, and his body burned....
Page 127 - ... be hardly acceptable at Westminster in ours. Such was the conflict of reason and of evidence with which the judges of Toulouse were called upon to deal. All sources of information seemed to be now fairly exhausted. It was necessary to arrive at some conclusion ; and the court, according to M. Coras, were upon the very point of pronouncing the accused to be Martin Guerre, when there occurred an event so unexpected, so singularly timed, and so decisive, that the spectators may be excused for regarding...
Page 118 - ... he undertook to personate.' But Coras, whose narrative we follow, and whose information must have been far superior to Pasquier's, contradicts this. Madame Guerre, whose attachment to her lord had never wavered or diminished in his absence, received his representative with every token of the fondest affection ; returning to her quiet wifely habits as before, and, in the period of three years during which they lived together, presenting the supposed Martin with two children, one of whom, however,...
Page 132 - September i2th, 1560. While under condemnation in the prison at Artigues, Arnaud made a full confession, declaring that the imposture had first suggested itself to him on his being mistaken by intimate friends of Martin Guerre for that individual himself. From them and others he had gleaned all necessary particulars of the past life and ways of the man he proposed to personate. He denied having had recourse to any magic more powerful than natural cunning and a retentive memory; but made no scruple...
Page 119 - Bertrande accused him of having falsely and treacherously personated her husband, Martin Guerre, and demanded that he should be condemned to do penance in the usual public form, should pay a fine to the king, and make compensation to herself in the sum of ten thousand livres. The accused made an eloquent defense, maintaining stoutly his identity with Martin Guerre; and complaining bitterly of the cruelty of his wife and relatives, who, for interested purposes, had resolved upon his ruin. He then...
Page 126 - Guerre had two teeth in the left lower jaw broken, a drop of extravasated blood in the left eye, the nail of the left forefinger missing, and three warts on the left hand, one being on the little finger. All these peculiarities existed in the accused. It was moreover proved that the prisoner, on arriving at Artigues, recognised and saluted as old friends all those who had been intimate with Guerre ; that, in conversation with his wife, he recalled to her memory incidents which could have been only...
Page 331 - You have been convicted of many offences ?" "Once, only." " How, once only ? We have here the record of two convictions, at least. You have no means, yet you do no work. You have borne the character of a vagabond at war with society." "Since I became the associate of those two wretches" (the fictitious persons), "it has, indeed, been as you say.

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