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as any man's here now coming from the barber's; and this, I 'll take my death upon’t, is long of this jadish witch, mother Sawyer. Enter W. Hamluc, with thatch and a lighted link. Ham. Burn the witch, the witch, the witch, the

witch! All. What has 't got there?

Ham. A handful of thatch, pluck'd off a hovel of hers; and they say when 't is burning, if she be a witch, she 'll come running in.

Banks. Fire it, fire it; I'll stand between thee and home, for any danger. [Ham. sets fire to the thatch.

Enter Mother Sawyer, running. Saw. Diseases, plagues, the curse of an old woman Follow and fall upon you!

All. Are you come, you old trot?

i Coun. This thatch is as good as a jury to prove she is a witch. All, Out, witch! beat, her, kick her, set fire on

her. Saw. Shall I be murdered by a bed of serpents ? Help, help!

All. Hang her, beat her, kill her!
Just. How now! forbear this violence.
Saw. A crew of villains, a knot of bloody hang-

Set to torment me, I know not why.

Just. Alas, neighbour Banks, are you a ringleader in mischief? fy, to abuse an aged woman !

Banks. Woman! a she-hellcat, a witch ! To prove her one, we no sooner set fire on the thatch of her house, but in she came running, as if the Devil had sent her in a barrel of gunpowder.

Just. Come, come; firing her thatch ? ridiculous ! Take heed, sirs, what you do ; unless your proofs


Come better arm’d, instead of turning her
Into a witch you'll prove yourselves stark fools.

All. Fools ?
Just. Arrant fools.

Banks. Pray, master Justice what-do-you-call-'em, hear me but in one thing. This grumbling devil owes me, I know, no good-will ever since I fell out with her.

Saw. And brak'st my back with beating' me.
Banks. I'll break it worse.
Saw. Wilt thou?'

Just. Go, go; pray vex her not; she is a subject,
And you must not be judges of the law,
To strike her as you please.
All. No, no, we'll find cudgel enough to strike her.

[Exeunt Banks and Countrymen. Just. Here's none now, mother Sawyer, but this

Myself, and you; let us, to some mild questions,
Have your mild answers: tell us honestly,
And with a free confession (we'll do our best
To wean you from it), are you a witch, or no?

Saw. I am none.
Just. Be not so furious.

Saw. I am none.
None but base curs so bark at me; I am none.
Or would I were! if every poor old woman
Be trod on thus by slaves, reviled, kick’d, beaten,
As I am daily, she to be revenged
Had need turn witch.

1 The consequences of this beating to poor Banks were of too ludicrous a nature to be entirely omitted, though a few alterations will be necessary to make them available even in a note.

Banks. So, sir, ever since, having a dun cow tied up in my back-yard, let me go thither, for but cast mine eye at her, and if I should be hang'd, Í cannot choose, though it be ten times in an hour, but run to the cow, and, taking up her tail, kiss (saving your worship’s reverence) my cow behind, that the whole town of Edmonton has been ready to split itself with laughing me to scorn.

Just. And this is long of her?

Banks. Who the devil else? for is any man such an ass to be such a "baby, if he were not bewitch'd ?

Sir Ar. And you, to be revenged,
Have sold your soul to the Devil.

Saw. Keep thine own from him.
Just. You are too saucy and too bitter.

Saw. Saucy ?
By what commission can he send my soul
On the Devil's errand more than I can his ?
Is he a landlord of my soul, to thrust it
When he list out of door?

Just. Know whom you speak to.
Saw. A man; perhaps ‘no man. Men in gay

Whose backs are laden with titles and honours,
Are within far more crooked than I am ;
And if I be a witch, more witch-like.
I defy thee.

Sir Ar. Go, go;
I can, if need be, bring a hundred voices,
E'en here in Edmonton, that shall loud proclaim
Thee for a secret and pernicious witch.

Saw. Ha, ha!
Just. Do you laugh! why laugh you?

Saw. At my name,
The brave name this knight gives me, witch.
Just. Is the name of witch so pleasing to thine

ear? Sir Ar. Pray, sir, give way; and let her tongue gallop on.

Saw. A witch! who is not ? Hold not that universal name in scorn then. What are your painted things in princes' courts, That, by enchantments, can whole lordships change To trunks of rich attire; turn ploughs and teams To Flanders mares and coaches; and huge trains Of servitors, to a French butterfly? Are not these witches? Have you not city wives too, who can turn Their husbands’ wares, whole standing shops of


*To sumptuous tables, gardens of stolen sin;
In one year wasting what scarce twenty win?
And what are these but witches ?

Just. Yes, yes; but the law
Casts not an eye on these.

Saw. Why then on me,
Or any lean old beldam ? Reverence once
Had wont to wait on age; now an old woman,
Ill-favour'd grown with years, if she be poor,
Must be call?d hag or witch. Such so abused
Are the coarse witches; t other are the fine,
Spun for the Devil's own wearing.
Sir Ar. And so is thine.
Saw. She, on whose tongue a whirlwind sits to

A man out of himself, from his soft pillow,
To lean his head on rocks and fighting waves,
Is not that scold a witch? The man of law
Whose honey'd hopes the credulous client draw
(As bees by tinkling basins) to swarm to him,
From his own hive, to work the wax in his;
He is no witch, not he!

Sir Ar. But these men-witches
Are not in trading with hell's merchandise,
Like such as you, that for a word, a look,
Denial of a coal of fire, kill men,
Children, and cattle.

Saw. Tell them, sir, that do'so :
Am I accus'd for such a one ?

Sir Ar. Yes, 't will be sworn.

Saw. Dare any swear I ever tempted maiden With golden hooks flung at her chastity, To come and lose her honour ? and being lost, To pay not a denier for 't? Some slaves have done it." Men-witches can, without the fangs of law

1 This is wormwood, and Sir Arthur feels it. Our authors have furnished their old woman with language far above the capacity of those poor creatures who were commonly accused of witchcraft, and strangely moonsistent with the mischievous frivolity of her conduct. --GIFFORD.

Drawing once one drop of blood, put counterfeit

Away for true gold.

Sir Ar. By one thing she speaks,
I know now she's a witch, and dare no longer
Hold conference with the fury.

Just. Let's then away.
Old woman, mend thy life, get home and pray.

(Exeunt Sir ARTHUR and JUSTICE. Saw. For his confusion.

Enter Dog.
My dear Tom-boy, welcome!
I'm torn in pieces by a pack of curs
Clapp'd all upon me, and for want of thee:
Comfort me.

Dog. Bow, wow, wow !

Saw. I am dried up With cursing and with madness; and have yet No blood to moisten these sweet lips of thine. Stand on thy hind-legs up-kiss me, my Tommy, And rub away some wrinkles on my brow, By making my old ribs to shrug for joy Of thy fine tricks. What hast thou done ? let's

Hast thou struck the horse lame as I bid thee?

Dog: Yes;
And nipp'd the sucking child.

Saw. Ho, ho, my dainty,
My little pearl ! no lady loves her hound,
Monkey, or paroquet, as I do thee.

Dog: The maid has been churning butter nine hours, but it shall not come.

Saw. Let 'em eat cheese and choke.

Dog. I had rare sport
Among the clowns if the morris.

Saw. I could dance
Out of my skin to hear thee. But, my curl-pate,
That jade, that foul tongued quean, Nan Ratcliffe,

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