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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!
Enter Sir ARTHUR CLARINGTON, and a JUSTICE.
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
All. 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.
Just. Go, go; pray vex her not; she is a subject,
[Exeunt Banks and Countrymen. Just. Here's none now, mother Sawyer, but this
Saw. I am none.
Saw. I am none.
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,
Saw. Keep thine own from him.
Saw. Saucy ?
Just. Know whom you speak to.
Sir Ar. Go, go;
Saw. Ha, ha!
Saw. At my name,
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;
Just. Yes, yes; but the law
Saw. Why then on me,
Sir Ar. But these men-witches
Saw. Tell them, sir, that do'so :
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
Sir Ar. By one thing she speaks,
Just. Let's then away.
(Exeunt Sir ARTHUR and JUSTICE. Saw. For his confusion.
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
Saw. Ho, ho, my dainty,
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
Saw. I could dance