« PreviousContinue »
Enter Old THORNEY, and WINNIFREDE weeping.
Thor. Here let our sorrows wait him; to press
The place of his sad death, some apprehensions May tempt our grief too much, at height al
ready;Daughter, be comforted.
Win. Comfort and I
War. Poor woman, 'twas not thy fault; I grieve to see thee weep for him that hath my pity too. Win. My fault was lust, my punishment was
Thor. Daughter, grieve not
Win. My griefs are strong upon me;
[A great cry within.]—Away with her! Hang
Enter to Execution Mother SAWYER; Officers with
halberts, 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 dog-pigs, at Bartholomew-fair, as ever great-belly'd ale-wife longed for. Saw. These dogs will mad me; I was well re
solu'd To die in my repentance. Though 'tis 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 conjuror 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
Frank. Good sirs, turn from me;
Thor. Oh, Frank, Frank !
Would I had sunk in mine own wants, or died But one bare minute ere thy fault was acted! Frank. To look upon your sorrows executes
Win. Let me pray you, sir-
sigh for thee,
Thor. Let it be thine too. Untimely lost young man.
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 compellid 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,
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
to be nam'd; yet they are monstrous. 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 Of thy loved memory,
I will preserve it With a religious care, and pay thy ashes A widow's duty, calling that end best, Which, though it stain the name, makes the soul
blest. Frank. Give me thy hand, poor woman; do
not weep : Farewell! thou dost forgive me?
Win. 'Tis my part To use that language.