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Som. A good moral made plain by history.
i Clown. Strike up, father Sawgut, strike up.

Saw. E'en when you will, children.—[Cuddy mounts
the hobby.]-Now-the best foot forward !--[Endea-
vours to play; but the fiddle gives no sound.)-How
now! not a word? I think, children, my instrument
has caught cold on the sudden.
Cud. My ningle's knavery : black Tom's doing.

[Aside. All. Why, what mean you, father Sawgut ?

Cud. Why, what would you have him do ? you hear his fiddle is speechless.

Saw. I'll lay mine ear to my instrument, that my poor fiddle is bewitched. I play'd The Flowers in May e'en now, as sweet as a violet; now 't will not go against the hair.

Cud. Let me see, father Sawgut ;-(takes the fiddle.]
-say once you had a brave hobby-horse, that you
were beholden to. I'll play and dance too. Ningle,
away with it.'-[Gives it to the Dog, who plays the
morris.]
All. Ay, marry, sir!

THE DANCE.
Enter a Constable and Officers.
Con. Away with jollity! 't is too sad an hour.
Sir Arthur Clarington, your own assistance,
In the king's name, I charge for apprehension
Of these two murderers, Warbeck and Somerton.

Sir Ar. Ha! flat murderers ?
Som. Ha, ha, ha! this has awaken'd my melan-

choly.

1 Among the properties of our ald stage was "a roobe for to goe in. visabel.” Whatever it was, it operated as a conventional hint to our easy ancestors not to see the person who wore it.-Whether the urchin who played Torn had any signal of this kind can hardly be told; but he frequently runs in and out, and bustles among the dramatis persons without being discovered by them. In the present case, however, he was probably concealed from all but Puddy by the long trappings of the kobby-horse. -GIFFORD.

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War. And struck my mirth down flat.-Murderers ?

Con. The accusation 's flat against you, gentlemen. Sir, you may be satisfied with this. [Shows his warrant. I hope you'll quietly obey my power: 'T will make your cause the fairer.

Both. Oh, with all our hearts, sir.

Cud. There's my rival taken up for hangman's meat; Tom told me he was about a piece of villany. Mates and morris-men, you see here's no longer piping, no longer dancing; this news of murder has slain the morris. You that go the foot-way, fare ye well; I am for a gallop. Come, ningle. -¿Canters off with the hobby, and Dog.)

Saw. [Strikes his fiddle, which sounds as before.] Ay? nay, an my fiddle be come to himself again, I

I think the Devil has been abroad among us to-day; I'll keep thee out of thy fit now, if I can.

[Exit with the morris-dancers.
Sir Ar. These things are full of horror, full of pity.
But if this time be constant to the proof,
The guilt of both these gentlemen I dare take
On mine own danger! yet, howsoever, sir,
Your power must be obey'd.

War. Oh, most willingly, sir,
'Tis a most sweet affliction ; I could not meet
A joy in the best shape with better will:
Come, fear not, sir; nor judge nor evidence
Can bind him o'er, who's freed by conscience.

Som. Mine stands so upright to the middle zone, It takes no shadow to't, it goes alone. · [Exeunt.

care not.

ACT IV. SCENE I.

Edmonton.The Street. Enter Old Banks, and several Countrymen. Banks. My horse this morning runs most piteously of the glanders, whose nose yesternight was as clean

as any man's here now coming from the barber's; and this, I'll take my death upon’t, is long of this jadish witch, mother Sawyer. Enter W. Hamluc, with thatch and a lighted link. Ham. Burn the witch, the witch, the witch, the

witch! All. What has 't got there?

Ham. A handful of thatch, pluck'd off a hovel of hers; and they say when it is burning, if she be a witch, she 'll come running in.

Banks. Fire it, fire it; I'll stand between thee and home, for any danger. [Ham. sets fire to the thatch,

Enter Mother SAWYER, running. Saw. Diseases, plagues, the curse of an old woman Follow and fall upon you!

All. Are you come, you old trot?

1 Coun. This thatch is as good as a jury to prove she is a witch. All. Out, witeh! beat her, kick her, set fire on

her. Saw. Shall I be murdered by a bed of serpents ? Help, help!

Enter Sir ARTHUR CLARINGTON, and a JUSTICE. All. Hang her, beat her, kill her! Just. How now! forbear this violence. Saw. A crew of villains, a knot of bloody hang

men, Set to torment me, I know not why.

Just. Alas, neighbour Banks, are you a ringleader in mischief? fy, to abuse an aged woman!

Banks. Woman! a she-hellcat, 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.
Banks. I'll break it worse.
Saw. Wilt thou ?

Just. Go, go; pray vex her not; she is a subject,
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.

1 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 note.

Banks. So, sir, ever since, having a dun cow tied up in 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.

sust. 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 ?

Sir Ar. And you, to be revenged,
Have sold your soul to the Devil.

Saw. Keep thine own from him.
Just. You are too saucy and too bitter.

Saw. 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.

Men in gay
clothes,
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, hring a 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

ear? 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

wares,

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