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There be of us- -but 'tis no matter :—forget the hobby-horse !
1 Cl. Cuddy Banks !-have you forgot since he paced it from Enfield Chase to Edmonton ?-Cuddy, honest Cuddy, cast thy stuff.*
Cud. Suffer may ye all! it shall be known, I can take my ease as well as another man. Seek your hobby-horse where you can get him.
1 Cl. Cuddy, honest Cuddy, we confess, and are sorry for, our neglect.
2 Cl. The old horse shall have a new bridle.
1 Cl. The snaffle and the bosses new saffroned over.
1 Cl. Kind,
Cud. To show I am not flint, but affable as you say, very well stuft, a kind of warm dough or puffpaste, I relent, I connive, most affable Jack. Let the hobby-horse provide a strong back, he shall not want a belly when I am in him—but (seeing the witch)-uds me, mother Sawyer!
1 Cl. The old witch of Edmonton !--ifour mirth be not cross'd-
* Cast thy stuff.] The context might lead us to suppose, that the author's word was snuff, did not Cuddy subsequently advert to it. Cuddy's anger arises from the unlucky question asked by 3d Clown. “How shall we do for a good hobby-horse?”—as he apparently expected, from his former celebrity in that respectable character, to have been appointed by acclamation.-Gif
But query: is not the word cast used here in its old sense of to cast up; and stuff meant for that troublesome “stuff which weighs about the heart” ?
2 Cl. Bless us, Cuddy, and let her curse her t'other eye out.
What dost now? Cud. “ Ungirt, unblest,” says the proverb; but my girdle shall serve for a riding knot; and a fig for all the witches in Christendom! What wouldst thou ?
1 Cl. The devil cannot abide to be crossed. 2 Cl. And scorns to come at any man’s whistle. 3 Cl. Away4 Cl. With the witch ! All. Away with the Witch of Edmonton!
[Exeunt in strange postures. Saw. Still vex'd! still tortured! that curmud
geon Banks Is ground of all
I am shunn'd And hated like a sickness ; made a scorn To all degrees and sexes. I have heard old bel
dams Talk of familiars in the shape of mice, Rats, ferrets, weasels, and I wot not what, That have appear’d, and suck’d, some say, their
blood; But by what means they came acquainted with
them, I am now ignorant. Would some power, good or
Revenge upon this miser, this black cur,
blood Of me, and of my credit. To be a witch, as to be counted one: Vengeance, shame, ruin light upon that canker!
'Tis all one,
Enter a BLACK Dog.* Dog. Ho! have I found thee cursing ? now thou
art Mine own.
Saw. Thine! what art thou ?
Dog. He thou hast so often Importuned to appear to thee, the devil.
Enter a Bluck Dog.] “ A great matter," Dr. Hutchinson says, “had been made at the time of the said commission (1697) of a black dog, that frequently appeared to Somers, and persuaded him to say he had dissembled; and when they asked him, why he said he counterfeited ? he said: A dog, a dog! And as odd things will fall in with such stories, it happened that there was a black dog in the chamber, that belonged to one Clark, a spurrier. Some of the commissioners spying him, thought they saw the devil! one thought his eyes glared like fire! and much speech was afterwards made of it.” p. 260. This was under Elizabeth, whose reign, if we may trust the competent authorities, was far more infested with witches, than that of James I. when the Black Dog again made his appearance among the Lancashire witches. The audiences of those days, therefore, were well prepared for his reception, and probably viewed him with a sufficient degree of fearful credulity to create an interest in his feats. But there is nothing new under the sun.' The whole machinery of witchcraft was as well known to Lucan as to us; and the black dogs of Mother Sawyer and Mother Demdike had their origin in the inferna canes of the Greek and Latin poets, and descended, in regular succession, through all the demonology of the dark ages, to the times of the Revolution, when they quietly disappeared with the sorcerers, their employers.-GIFFORD.
Saw. Bless me! the devil ?
Saw. May I believe thee?
Dog. To confirm't, command me
Saw. Out, alas!
Dog. And that instantly, And seal it with thy blood; if thou deniest, I'll tear thy body in a thousand pieces. Saw. I know not where to seek relief: but
Dog. Ha, ha ! silly woman!
Saw. Then I am thine; at least so much of me As I can call mine own
Saw. All thine.
arm, which he sucks.—Thunder and lightning,
See! now I dare call thee mine!
churl, One Banks Dog. That wrong'd thee: he lamed thee, call’d
thee witch. Saw. The same ; first upon him I'd be re
venged. Dog. Thou shalt; do but name how? Saw. Go, touch his life. Dog. I cannot. Saw. Hast thou not vow'd ? Go, kill the slave! Dog. I will not. Saw. I'll cancel then my gift. Dog. Ha, ha!
Saw. Dost laugh! Why wilt not kill him?
Dog. Fool, because I cannot. Though we have power, know, it is circumscribed, And tied in limits; though he becurst to thee, * Yet of himself, he is loving to the world, And charitable to the poor; now men, that, As he, love goodness, though in smallest mea
sure, Live without compass of our reach : his caitle And corn I'll kill and mildew ; but his life
though he be curst to thee) i. e. cross, splenetic, abusive.-GIFFORD. " His elder sister is so curst and shrewd, that” &c. Tum. Shr, i. 1. “They (i. e. bears) are never curst (i.e. savage) but when they are hungry.” Wint. Tale, iii. 3.