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Car. Young Frank is going the wrong way.-Alas, poor youth! now I begin to pity him.
Enter Old THORNEY and WINNIFREDE, weeping. Thor. Here let our sorrows wait him ; to press
Win. Comfort and I
Thor. Daughter, grieve not
Win. My griefs are strong upon me; My weakness scarce can bear them. (A great cry within.)--Away with her! Hang her,
witch! Enter to execution Mother Sawyer; Officers with hal
berts, followed by a crowd of country people. Car. The witch, that instrument of mischief! Did not she witch the devil into my son-in-law, when he kill'd my poor daughter? Do you hear, mother Sawyer? Saw. What would
have? Cannot a poor old woman have your leave To die without vexation ?
Car. Did not you bewitch Frank, to kill his wife? He could never have done 't without the devil.
Saw. Who doubts it? but is every devil mine? Would I had one now whom I might command To tear you all in pieces! Tom would have done 't, Before he left me.
Car. Thou didst bewitch Ann Ratcliffe to kill herself.
Saw. Churl, thou liest; I never did her hurt: would you were all as near your ends as I am, that gave evidence against me for it!
Coun. I'll be sworn, master Carter, she bewitch'd Gammer Washbowl's sow to cast her pigs a day before she would have farrowed: yet they were sent up to London, and sold for as good Westminster dogpigs, at Bartholomew fair, as ever ale-wife longed for.
Saw. These dogs will mad me; I was well resolv'd To die in my repentance. Though 't is true I would live longer if I might, yet since I cannot, pray torment me not; my conscience Is settled as it shall be: all take heed How they believe the Devil; at last he'll cheat you.
Car. Thou ’dst best confess all truly.
Saw. Yet again? Have I scarce breath enough to say my prayers, And would you force me to spend that in bawling? Bear witness, I repent all former evil; There is no damned conjurer like the Devil. All. Away with her, away! [She is led off.
Enter Frank to execution, Officers, &c. Thor. Here's the sad object which I yet must meet With hope of comfort, if a repentant end Make him more happy than misfortune would Suffer him here to be.
Frank. Good sirs, turn from me;
Thor. Oh, Frank, Frank;
Frank. To look upon your sorrows executes me Before my execution.
Win. Let me pray you, sir-
For that he leaves thee in it unprovided,
Thor. Let it be thine too,
Frank. He is not lost, Who bears his peace within him: had I spun My web of life out at full length, and dream'd Away my many years in lusts, in surfeits, Murthers of reputations, gallant sins Commended or approved; then, though I had Died easily, as great and rich men do, Upon my own bed, not compell’d by justice, You might have mourn’d for me indeed; my miseries Had been as everlasting as remediless : But now the law hath not arraign'd, condemn'd With greater rigour my unhappy fact, Than I myself have every little sin My memory can reckon from my childhood: A court hath been kept here, where I am found Guilty ; the difference is, my impartial judge Is much more gracious than my faults are mon
strous. Thor. Here's comfort in this penitence.
Win. It speaks How truly you are reconciled, and quickens My dying comfort, that was near expiring With my last breath: now this repentance makes
thee As white as innocence; and my first sin with thee, Since which I knew none like it, by my sorrow Is clearly cancell'd. Might our souls together Climb to the height of their eternity, And there enjoy what earth denied us, happiness!
But since I must survive, and be the monument
Win. 'Tis my part To use that language.
Frank. Oh! that my example Might teach the world hereafter what a curse Hangs on their heads, who rather choose to marry A goodly portion than a dower of virtues ! Are you there, gentlemen ? there is not one Among you whom I have not wrong'd; you most ;
To CARTER. I robb'd you of a daughter ;-but she is In heaven; and I must suffer for it willingly.
Car. Ay, ay, she's in heaven, and I am glad to see thee so well prepared to follow her. I forgive thee with all my heart; if thou hadst not had ill counsel, thou wouldst not have done as thou didst; the more shame for them!
Som. Spare your excuse to me, I do conceive What you would speak! I would you could as
easily Make satisfaction to the law, as to My wrongs: I am sorry for you.
War. And so am I, And heartily forgive you.
Kath. I will pray for you, For her sake, who, I'm sure, did love you dearly.
Sir Ar. Let us part friendly too; I am asham'd of my part in thy wrongs.
Frank. You are all merciful, And send me to my grave in peace. Sir Arthur, Heaven send you a new heart !-lastly, to you, sir; And though I have deserv'd not to be call'd
Your son, yet give me leave, upon my knees,
Frank. Let me beseech you, gentlemen, To comfort my old father, keep him with you; Love this distressed widow; and as often As you remernber what a graceless man I was, remember likewise that these are Both free, both worthy of a better fate, Than such a son or husband as I have been. , All help me with your prayers. On, on; 't is just That law should purge the guilt of blood and lust.
[He is led off by the Officers. Car. Go thy ways; I did not think to have shed one tear for thee, but thou hast made me water my plants spite of my heart. Master Thorney, cheer up, man; while I can stand by you, you shall not want help to keep you from falling: we have lost our chil. dren both on 's the wrong way, but we cannot help it; better or worse, it is now as 't is.
Thor. I thank you, sir; you are more kind than I Have cause to hope or look for.
Car. Master Somerton, is Kate yours or no?
Kath. And but my faith is pass'd, I should fear to be married, husbands are so cruelly unkind. Excuse me that I am troubled.
Som. Thou shalt have no cause.
Sir Ar. Which I will soon' discharge. 1 The character of Sir Arthur Clarington is sustained, as Mr. Gifford observes, with care and ability. Terrified, but not reclaimed from his profligacy, by the law, he is every where equally odious; and ends the same mean, heartless, avaricious wretch he showed himself at first.