oraganized – The criminals that Mountain was associated with wherever he went were always organized and maintained a level of professionalism that compared to the military’s. Respect was a must and was valued above all else when Mountain went on his missions to plunder and rob people.
experience – Those who had experience in the field were those that survived long enough to benefit from their spoils. Mountain preferred to work with those who had experience because they planned things out, and could carry out the plans they laid out.
Justification- Frost admits to killing two people in his narrative. The first, his father, he says that he killed because “I ever thought my father had no affection for her, and used her ill; this induced me to kill him” (337). It seems that Frost sees his father’s poor treatment of his mother as not only a reason for murdering him but as a valid justification. The murder of Mr. Allen, however, has no justification or even real reason, other than he watches over Frost’s estate.
Regret- We see absolutely no regret in Frost’s narrative for either murder he commits, and after his account of how the murder is committed there is no mention of his feelings about it or any sort of remorse. He never mentions the death of his father again or any feelings he has about the crimes he’s committed.
Honesty- Frost, like Mount, seems to be a very honest character, although while Mount’s narrative was honest, Frost seems both honest in his narrative4 and his life. He states that he has a great aversion to both stealing and lies, and the later third person account of his life also states that he was an extremely honest man, refusing to plead not guilty even when instructed to.
Accomplice- Thomas Mount, along with Herman Rozencrantz, seemed more than willing to sell out his friends for his own gain—a thing that even the most despicable criminals have been proud of avoiding. He states that “I was found guilty but received no punishment by reason I promised to inform of all of those persons…and how the house was set on fire” (320). He does this despite belonging to a close-knit group of thieves (with their own bizarre language) that in many way shapes his identity. He even warns common people how they can discover thieves themselves and turn them in.
Honesty- After going through the mandatory warning to others and request for mercy, Thomas Mount “secondly” goes into what seems to be the most sincere and honest account that was have read about the criminal’s feelings about death and the afterlife. He is perhaps the first one to admit that he doesn’t want to die and is afraid of what will happen to him when he does. He also admits that he isn’t sure that he is reformed at all and might return to stealing if he had the chance.
Harshness- Mount echoes the sentiment of Mountain, who stated that he had been punished early enough to petty crimes it might have reformed him. Mount similarly says: “the mercy of government in pardoning thieves is no mercy at all to them, for every pardon they get hardens them” (323).
Touched- Mountain uses touched for robbed throughout the narrative. It seems strange, but it sort of fits in with the modern use of untouchable as someone who is beyond reproach or invulnerable. The people who could be touched were vulnerable enough that it was safe to rob them.
Pride- Although Mountain claims to be ashamed of his past life, his speech suggests that he is proud of it. He describes himself as an able thief who had experienced teachers. He describes presenting his plunder to a group of highwaymen fondly, saying “I will never forget with what joy I was received. The house rang with praises of Mountain. An elegant supper was provided, and he placed at the head of the table. Notwithstanding the darkness of his complexion, he was complimented as the finest of his profession, and qualified for the most daring enterprises.” In the criminal world in England, Mountain could demonstrate his talents and be recognized in a way that was impossible among polite society, especially in America. He seems to be in crime as much for the recognition as for the wealth.
Humiliation- Humiliation is especially important in this story because it causes a drastic change in Mountain. He goes from a thief who is not especially vindictive to a merciless rapist because he is so shocked and outraged that someone of his stature could be publicly beaten for a relatively small offense. He says “no event in my antecedent life produced such mortification as this; that a highwayman of the first eminence, who had robbed in most of the capital cities in Europe,.. that he should be punished for such a petty offence, in such an obscure part of the country, was truly humiliating.”
vagabond – Mount like many of the criminals we have encountered during this class is a man that is constantly on the run. He never seems to stay in the same place, being tired of situations easily or needing to flee from the authority, a career criminal cannot settle down. They live a life above the law constantly running for new plunder or sanctuary. These criminals live by the moment and almost certainly know their fates while committed their acts of treachery even prior to capture.
list – The evidence of the importance of lists in these early crime narratives can easily been throughout mount’s story. The entire thing is a list of where he has been and what crimes has was commiting while in these places. There is no rhythm to this just a bombardment of details which include mention he sole a large quantity of nutmeg at one point. This seems rather trivial but all these actions contribute to the habitual nature of sin and crime as viewed by society in these times.
pardon – At the end of the mount narrative the criminal has become a man afraid to die who now has a warning for all to hear. In this he includes his acknowledgment that he deserves his punishment and implores people not to let acts of theft go with a slap on the wrist. He believes this leniency is what hardened him into the career criminal that he became. He even says that thieves relay their “wonderful escapes of justice” while they get drunk after the fact. The pardoning will do nothing but lead to more criminal acts.
psychotic – Frost provides an incredible chilling narrative, he begins with the savage murder of his own father whom he attributed with responsibility for his mother’s death . He details how he beats his father’s brains out as he does later in the text with Mr. Allen. Then while he was in jail it is said that “…he believed his father and Allen had a very tough time of it- Being asked why he had thought so, he said he had been beating his head against the walls of the prison in order to know how they felt whilst he was killing them.” This self proclaimed act shows a disturbing vision of a madman who had already beaten justice once.
brutal creation – Frost felt absoluetly no remorse for the crimes he committed and it was said that “He appears to have been a being cast in a different mould from those of mankind in general.” His acts were so savage and his lack of remorse forced this text to portray him as a beast not a man. Due to the brutal nature of his crimes it is not hard to see why Frost conjures up a notion of “brutal creation”.
acquittal – Frost begins the narrative by immediately relaying the fact that he murdered his father and was very surprised by the verdict, as was I at the time being. But at the end of this text we become aware of reasoning for the acquittal which was the fact that the jury had found him to be insane. I knew it before they told me based on the head banging and brain talk but it is also important to note these inner workings of the justice who once found him insane and freed him, to then not caring whether he was insane because he murdered “again”.
profession – Mountain, the son of a black woman and a mulatto father, claims to have always had a disposition towards being “susceptible of almost any impression”. This means that he had a natural inclination towards a life of crime and after a while he even begins to call his highway robbery his profession. Not being a modest man Mountain even claims to be at the “head of the profession”.
systematic – The process of robbery in Mountain’s life becomes a systematic and simplistic form of crime. He and his partners in crime would simply run upon someone on foot and take over a carriage. The robbery would be accomplished by presenting the victim with a pistol and would say the words, “Deliver or death”. This is a very cut and dry method of robbery which is perhaps why mountain was able to live “very freely” inhis chosen calling.
stage – Mountain uses this word to describe the destinations of his robberies implying that there is something fundamentally entertaining in his pursuits by linking it to a performance of some sort. All of England seemed to be a stage upon which Mountain was capable of creating a thoroughly entertaining crime narrative that was tinged with a bit of sensationalism as is evident when Mountain begins to change the old message of robbery(“deliver or death”) into such new forms as “Deliver or I’ll cool your porridge.” The elements of a preformative act can also be seen when Mountain comments on a man’s watch then promptly saying that he knew his profession and it was time yet again to “deliver”.
Notorious– “Notorious” seems to be thrown in the title of Frasier’s narrative to attract readers. The seeds of the sensationalism of later works seem to be in place here. Although he seems to be a prolific thief, there is little evidence of his notoriety among the general public given here. The inclusion of the word seems to be more to create notoriety than describe a preexisting state.
Lenity– He is thankful for the lenity of his judges in postponing his sentence, but most of the narratives we have read ending in execution involve more heinous crimes than he commits, like infanticide. Like earlier narratives, this thankfulness seems a bit forced rather than spontaneous.
Inconsequential– At times, Frasier seems more like a petty thief than one that would be considered notorious. He describes stealing cheese, stockings, and handkerchiefs. He seems almost to be stealing to survive rather than on a grand scale.
woman – In these time women were not received well and their testimony wasn’t worth much in court. Even after Wilson attesting that her children were killed by her lover who did not have the strength to man up and accept his responisbility no one would take her word for it without hard evidence. Instead they considered her the guilty party before going into trial and were determined to not be convinced otherwise.
trial – Now in our times every man is supposed to receive a fair and speedy trial. This law wasn’t practiced back in the days when Wilson lived. Often times many people went into trial already knowing based on their gender, status, and race what the verdict and sentence would be. This proves to be the case of Wilson.
repentance – Repentance exists in Wilson’s narrative but its not direct. It comes from a sorrow from a mother who has lost her children and can’t get them back. Her pain is taken as regret by those who view it from outside of the cell bars while she serves out her prison sentence, and thus to them it seems as if she is guilty and only telling a different story to get out of her punishment.
1. retribution– “he thought it no great crime to kill such as he supposed treated him very ill-and did not appear to have a just conception of the heinous crime of murder.” frost’s concept of murder is very unlike a “normal” person’s sense of the crime. he felt that it was okay to kill someone if he thought they had done something wrong against him. his mentality is even more profound considering the way he organizes degrees of crime in his head: that dishonesty was far worse than murdering someone. it is completely opposite of how we think. this suggests that maybe our justice system has, by their decisions of what crimes are worse than others based on the type of punishment decided for each crime, has created the sense we have of why murder is worse than stealing or lying.
2. honesty– honesty, to frost, was very important. he felt that being dishonest was, in fact, what made someone a bad person. his murdering men was not wrong to him- however, if he were to lie about it, that would be the unjust act. “he had high notions of honesty, and appeared much offended when his honesty was suspected.” “he was told that he might plead not guilty, was urged so to do, and was remanded to prison, in order that he might consider of the plea he had made…he persisted in pleading guilty.”
3. death– this narrative shows how frost thought death to be an experience much like a sane person would think about jumping into a cold pool or getting a shot if they had never had one; curious of the feeling it produces. his interest in people dying is comparable to the interest readers had in these narratives. he wanted to see the unknown. he wanted an explanation for something the human mind could not fathom. “being asked why he thought so, he said he had been beating his head against the walls of the prison, in order to know how they felt whilst he was killing them.”