Royal clemency is frequently shown, often, perhaps, with want of judgment.
In 1869 an Irish lad, O'Connor, was sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment and a whipping for presenting a pistol at the queen, with a petition, in St James's Park; but this time it was the queen herself who privately remitted the corporal punishment, and she even pushed clemency to the length of sending her aggressor to Australia at her own expense.
Stern and ambitious he certainly was, but his aims can scarcely be said to have exceeded his prerogatives as emperor; and though he had sometimes recourse when in straits to expedients almost diabolically ingenious in their cruelty, yet his general conduct was marked by a clemency which in that age was exceptional.
It is a proof of the wisdom of Aurelius's clemency that he had little or no trouble in pacifying the provinces which had been the scene of rebellion.
But the English leaders were treated with politic clemency, and the Danish leader, Jarl Osbiorn, was bribed to withdraw his fleet.