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All. Out, witch! beat her, kick her, set fire on her.
San. 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? fie! to abuse an aged woman!
Banks. Woman! a she-hell-cat, 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 !
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.
* 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
Banks.—So, sir, ever since, having a dun cow tied up in
Banks. I'll break it worse.
All. No, no, we'll find cudgel enough to strike her.
[Exeunt Banks and Countrymen. Just. Here's none now, mother Sawyer, but this
gentleman, 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.
Saw. I am none.
Sir Ar. And you to be revenged Have sold your soul to th’ devil.
Saw. Keep thine own from him.
Just. You are too saucy and too bitter. my back-yard, let me go thither, or but cast mine eye at her, and if I should be hang’d, I 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 ?
Men in gay
Just. Know whom you speak to.
Sir Ar. Go, go ;
be, bring an hundred voices, E'en here in Edmonton, that shall loud proclaim Thee for a secret and pernicious witch.
Saw. Ha, ha!
Saw. At my name,
Just. Is the name of witch so pleasing to thine
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
Just. Yes, yes; but the law
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
Sir Ar. But these men-witches
Saw. Tell them, sir, that do so :
Sir Ar. Yes, 'twill 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,
not a denier for't? Some slaves have done
Men-witches can, without the fangs of law Drawing once one drop of blood, put counterfeit
pieces Away for true gold.
Sir Ar. By one thing she speaks,
Just. Let's then away.
[Exeunt Sir Arthur and JUSTICE. Saw. For his confusion.
My dear Tom-boy, welcome!
Dog. Bow, wow, wow!
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
* 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 inconsistent with the mischievous frivolity of her conduct.ĞIFFORD.