It is a strange, strange fate, and now, as I stand face to face with death I feel just as if they were going to kill a boy. For I feel like a boy—and my hands so free from blood and my heart always so compassionate and pitiful that I cannot comprehend how anyone wants to hang me.
Roger Casement (1864–1916), Irish colonial administrator, nationalist. (written Aug. 1916). Quoted in The Lives of Roger Casement, ch. 30, B.L. Reid (1976).
Casement's final letter, written from his condemned cell in Pentonville Prison, London; he was executed after attempting to overthrow, with German help, British rule in Ireland. From an incomplete copy: the original was destroyed by the prison authorities.