Page images
PDF
EPUB

enamelled with the heart-blood of thy hated wife, my beloved daughter! What say'st thou to this evidence ? is't not sharp? does 't not strike home? thou canst not answer honestly, and without a trembling heart, to this one point, this terrible bloody point.

Win. I beseech you, sir,
Strike him no more ; you see he's dead already.

Car. Oh, sir! you held his horses ; you are as arrant a rogue as he: up go you too.

Frank. As you 're a man, throw not upon that

woman

Your loads of tyranny, for she is innocent.

Car. How ? how ? a woman!
Win. I am not as my disguise speaks me, sir, his

page;
But his first, only wife, his lawful wife.

Car. How ? how? more fire i' the bed-straw !!
Win. The wrongs which singly fell upon your

daughter,
On me are multiplied; she lost a life;
But I a husband and myself must lose,
If you call him to a bar for what he has done.

Car. He has done it then ?
Win. Yes, 't is confess'd to me.
Frank. Dost thou betray me ?
Win. Oh pardon me, dear heart! I am mad to

lose thee,
And know not what I speak; but if thou didst,
I must arraign this father for two sins,
Adultery and murder.

Re-enter KATHERINE.
Kath. Sir, they are come.

Car. Arraign me for what thou wilt, all Middlesex knows me better for an honest man, than the middle

1 More fire i the bed-straw !! A proverbial expression for more comecealed mischief !--GIFFORD.

of a marketplace knows thee for an honest woman. Rise, sirrah, and don your tacklings; rig yourself for the gallows, or I'll carry thee thither on my back: your trull shall to the jail with you; there be as fine Newgate birds as she, that can draw him in: out on's wounds! Frank. I have serv'd thee, and my wages now are

paid; Yet my worst punishment shall, I hope, be stayed.

[Exeunt.

[blocks in formation]

The Witch's Cottage.

Enter Mother SAWYER. Saw. Still wrong'd by every slave! and not a dog Bark in his dame's defence! I am call'd witch, Yet am myself bewitch'd from doing harm. Have I giv'n up myself to thy black lust Thus to be scorn'd? Not see me in three days! I'm lost without my Tomalin; prithee come: Revenge to me is sweeter far than life: Thou art my raven, on whose coal-black wings Revenge comes flying to me. Oh my best love! I am on fire, even in the midst of ice, Raking my blood up, till my shrunk knees feel Thy curl'd head leaning on them; come, then, my

darling; If in the air thou hover'st, fall upon me In some dark cloud; and as I oft have seen

1 Revenge to me is sweeter far than life.]

At vindicta bonum vita jucundius. I have already observed on the incongruous language pat into the mouth of our village witch. Either of the poets could have written down to her vulgar estimation, but they appear to entertain some indistinct notion of raising her character. This soliloquy, which is a very Ane one, might have been pronounced by a sagana, or a Canidis GIFFORD,

Show but his swarth cheek to me, let earth

cleave

Dragons and serpents in the elements,
Appear thou now so to me! Art thou i' the sea ?
Muster up all the monsters from the deep,
And be the ugliest of them; so that my bulcho
And break from hell, I care not ! -could I run
Like a swift powder-mine beneath the world,
Up would I blow it all, to find out thee,
Though I lay ruin'd in it. Not yet come!
I must then fall to my old prayer :-
Sanctibicetur nomen tuum.
Not yet come! the worrying of wolves, biting of mad
dogs, and the-

Enter Dog, white.
Dog. How now! whom art thou cursing ?

Saw. Thee!
Ha! no, 't is my black cur I am cursing,
For not attending on me.

Dog. I am that cur.
Saw. Thou liest: henee! come not nigh me.
Dog. Bow, wow!

Saw. Why dost thou thus appear to me in white, As if thou wert the ghost of my dear love ?

Dog. I am dogg?d, and list not to tell thee ;-yet, -to torment thee,-my whiteness puts thee in mind of thy winding-sheet.

Saw. Am I near death? Dog. Yes, if the dog of hell be near thee; when the Devil comes to thee as a lamb, have at thy throat !

Saw. Off, cur !

Dog. He has the back of a sheep, but the belly of an otter; devours by sea and land. “Why am I in white ?" didst thou not pray to me?

Saw. Yes, thou dissembling hell-hound; Why now in white more than at other times?

1 So that my bulch.)-Literally, a calf; sometimes used, as here, as an expression of kindness; but generally indicative of familiarity and contempt.-GIFFORD.

Dog. Be blasted with the news ! whiteness is day's footboy, a forerunner to light, which shows thy old riveli'd face : villanies are stripp'd naked; the witch must be beaten out of her cockpit. Saw. Must she? she shall not; thou’rt a lying

spirit:
Why to mine eyes art thou a flag of truce ?
I am at peace with none; 't is the black colour
Or none, which I fight under: I do not like
Thy puritan paleness; glowing furnaces
Are far more hot than they which flame outright.
If thou my old dog art, go and bite such
As I shall set thee on.

Dog. I will not.
Saw. I'll sell myself to twenty thousand fiends,
To have thee torn in pieces then.

Dog. Thou canst not; thou art so ripe to fall into hell, that no more of my kennel will so much as bark at him that hangs thee.

Saw. I shall run mad.

Dog. Do so, thy time is come to curse, and rave, and die; the glass of thy sins is full, and it must run out at gallows.

Saw. It cannot, ugly cur, I 'll confess nothing; And not confessing, who dare come and swear I have bewitch'd them? I'll not confess one

mouthful.
Dog. Choose, and be hang'd or burn'd.

Saw. Spite of the Devil and thee,
I'll muzzle up my tongue from telling tales.

Dog. Spite of thee and the Devil, thou 'lt be condemn'd.

Saw. Yes! when ?

Dog. And ere the executioner catch thee full in's elaws, thou 'lt confess all.

Saw. Out, dog!

Dog. Out, witch! thy trial is at hand:
Our prey being had, the Devil does laughing stand.

[Goes aside.

Enter Old BANKS, RATCLIFFE, and Countrymen. Banks. She's here; attach her. Witch, you must go with us.

[They seize her. Saw. Whither? to hell ?

Banks. No, no, no, old crone; your mittimus shall be made thither, but your own jailers shall receive you. Away with her! Saw. My Tommy! my sweet Tom-boy; oh, thou

dog ! Dost thou now fly to thy kennel and forsake me! Plagues and consumptions [She is carried off.

Dog. Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Let not the world witches or devils condemn;
They follow us, and then we follow them.

[Exit Dog.

SCENE II.

London.The neighbourhood of Tyburn. Enter JUSTICE, Sir ARTHUR, SOMERTON, WARBECK,

CARTER, and KATHERINE. Just. Sir Arthur, though the bench hath mildly censured your errors, yet you have indeed been the instrument that wrought all their misfortunes; I would wish you paid down your fine speedily and willingly,

Sir Ar. I shall need no urging to it.

Car. If you should, 't were a shame to you; for, if I should speak my conscience, you are worthier to be hang’d of the two, all things considered: and now make what you can of it; but I am glad these gentlemen are freed.

War. We knew our innocence.
Som. And therefore fear'd it not.
Kath. But I am glad that I have you safe.

[.A noise within
Just. How now ? what noise is that?
VOL. II.-19

« PreviousContinue »