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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!

All. Hang her, beat her, kill her!
Just. How now ? forbear this violence.
Saw. A crew of villains, a knot of bloody hang-

Set to torment me, I know not why.

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 !
Take heed, sirs, what you do; unless your proofs
Come better arm’d, instead of turning her
Into a witch, you'll prove yourselves stark fools.

All. Fools?
Just. Arrant 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.

* 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.
Saw. Wilt thou ?
Just. Go, go; pray vex her not; she is a sub-

And you must not be judges of the law,
To strike her as you please.

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.
Just. Be not so furious.

Saw. I am none.
None but base curs so bark at me; I am none.
Or would I were! if every poor old woman
Be trod on thus by slaves, reviled, kick’d, beaten,
As I am daily, she to be revenged
Had need turn witch.

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

San. Saucy?
By what commission can he send my soul
On the devil's errand more than I can his?
Is he a landlord of my soul, to thrust it
When he list out of door?

Just. Know whom you speak to.
Saw. A man; perhaps no man.

Whose backs are laden with titles and honours,
Are within far more crooked than I am ;
And if I be a witch, more witch-like.
I defy thee.

Sir Ar. Go, go ;
I can, if need

be, bring an hundred voices, E'en here in Edmonton, that shall loud proclaim Thee for a secret and pernicious witch.

Saw. Ha, ha!
Just. Do you laugh? why laugh you?

Saw. At my name,
The brave name this knight gives me, witch.

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

ear ?

Their husbands' wares, whole standing shops of

To sumptuous tables, gardens of stolen sin ;
In one year wasting, what scarce twenty win ?
And what are these but witches ?

Just. Yes, yes; but the law
Casts not an eye on these.

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

A man out of himself, from his soft pillow,
To lean his head on rocks and fighting waves,
Is not that scold a witch? The man of law
Whose honey'd hopes the credulous client draw,
(As bees by tinkling basons) to swarm to him,
From his own hive, to work the wax in his ;
He is no witch, not he!

Sir Ar. But these men-witches
Are not in trading with hell's merchandize,
Like such as you, that for a word, a look,
Denial of a coal of fire, kill men,
Children and cattle.

Saw. Tell them, sir, that do so :
Am I accus'd for such a one ?

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

it. *

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,
I know now she's a witch, and dare no longer
Hold conference with the fury.

Just. Let's then away.
Old woman, mend thy life, get home and pray.

[Exeunt Sir Arthur and JUSTICE. Saw. For his confusion.

Enter Dog.

My dear Tom-boy, welcome!
I'm torn in pieces by a pack of curs
Clapt all upon me, and for want of thee:
Comfort me.

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.

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