|SCENE I.The Court of Assistants. ENDICOTT, BELLINGHAM, ATHERTON, and other magistrates. KEMPTHORN, MERRY, and constables. Afterwards WHARTON, EDITH, and CHRISTISON.|
ENDICOTT.CALL Captain Simon Kempthorn.
MERRY. Simon Kempthorn,
|Come to the bar!|
KEMPTHORN comes forward. You are accused of bringing
|Into this Jurisdiction, from Barbadoes,|
|Some persons of that sort and sect of people|| 5|
|Known by the name of Quakers, and maintaining|
|Most dangerous and heretical opinions;|
|Purposely coming here to propagate|
|Their heresies and errors; bringing with them|
|And spreading sundry books here, which contain|| 10|
|Their doctrines most corrupt and blasphemous,|
|And contrary to the truth professed among us.|
|What say you to this charge?|
KEMPTHORN. I do acknowledge,
|Among the passengers on board the Swallow|
|Were certain persons saying Thee and Thou.|| 15|
|They seemed a harmless people, mostways silent,|
|Particularly when they said their prayers.|
ENDICOTT.Harmless and silent as the pestilence!
|You d better have brought the fever or the plague|
|Among us in your ship! Therefore, this Court,|| 20|
|For preservation of the Peace and Truth,|
|Hereby commands you speedily to transport,|
|Or cause to be transported speedily,|
|The aforesaid persons hence unto Barbadoes,|
|From whence they came; you paying all the charges|| 25|
|Of their imprisonment.|
KEMPTHORN. Worshipful sir,
|No ship eer prospered that has carried Quakers|
|Against their will! I knew a vessel once|
ENDICOTT.And for the more effectual performance
|Hereof you are to give security|| 30|
|In bonds amounting to one hundred pounds.|
|On your refusal, you will be committed|
|To prison till you do it.|
KEMPTHORN. But you see
|I cannot do it. The law, sir, of Barbadoes|
|Forbids the landing Quakers on the island.|| 35|
ENDICOTT.Then you will be committed. Who comes next?
MERRY.There is another charge against the Captain.
ENDICOTT.What is it?
MERRY. Profane swearing, please your Worship.
|He cursed and swore from Dock Square to the Court-house.|
ENDICOTT.Then let him stand in the pillory for one hour.
[Exit KEMPTHORN with constable.
|Who s next?|
MERRY. The Quakers.
ENDICOTT. Call them.
MERRY. Edward Wharton,
|Come to the bar!|
WHARTON. Yea, even to the bench.
ENDICOTT.Take off your hat.
WHARTON. My hat offendeth not.
|If it offendeth any, let him take it;|
|For I shall not resist.|
ENDICOTT. Take off his hat.
|Let him be fined ten shillings for contempt.|
MERRY takes off WHARTONS hat.
WHARTON.What evil have I done?
ENDICOTT. Your hair s too long;
|And in not putting off your hat to us|
|You ve disobeyed and broken that commandment|
|Which sayeth Honor thy father and thy mother.|| 50|
WHARTON.John Endicott, thou art become too proud;
|And lovest him who putteth off the hat,|
|And honoreth thee by bowing of the body,|
|And sayeth Worshipful sir! T is time for thee|
|To give such follies over, for thou mayest|| 55|
|Be drawing very near unto thy grave.|
ENDICOTT.Now, sirrah, leave your canting. Take the oath.
WHARTON.Nay, sirrah me no sirrahs!
ENDICOTT. Will you swear?
WHARTON.Nay, I will not.
ENDICOTT. You made a great disturbance
|And uproar yesterday in the Meeting-house,|| 60|
|Having your hat on.|
WHARTON. I made no disturbance;
|For peacefully I stood, like other people.|
|I spake no words; moved against none my hand;|
|But by the hair they haled me out, and dashed|
|Their books into my face.|
ENDICOTT. You, Edward Wharton,
|On pain of death, depart this Jurisdiction|
|Within ten days. Such is your sentence. Go.|
WHARTON.John Endicott, it had been well for thee
|If this days doings thou hadst left undone.|
|But, banish me as far as thou hast power,|| 70|
|Beyond the guard and presence of my God|
|Thou canst not banish me!|
ENDICOTT. Depart the Court;
|We have no time to listen to your babble.|
|Who s next? [Exit WHARTON.|
MERRY. This woman, for the same offence.
EDITH comes forward.
ENDICOTT.What is your name?
EDITH. T is to the world unknown,
|But written in the Book of Life.|
ENDICOTT. Take heed
|It be not written in the Book of Death!|
|What is it?|
EDITH. Edith Christison.
ENDICOTT (with eagerness). The daughter
|Of Wenlock Christison?|
EDITH. I am his daughter.
ENDICOTT.Your father hath given us trouble many times.
|A bold man and a violent, who sets|
|At naught the authority of our Church and State,|
|And is in banishment on pain of death.|
|Where are you living?|
EDITH. In the Lord.
ENDICOTT. Make answer
|Without evasion. Where?|
EDITH. My outward being
|Is in Barbadoes.|
ENDICOTT. Then why come you here?
EDITH.I come upon an errand of the Lord.
ENDICOTT.T is not the business of the Lord you re doing;
|It is the Devils. Will you take the oath?|
|Give her the Book.|
MERRY offers the book. You offer me this Book
|To swear on; and it saith, Swear not at all,|
|Neither by heaven, because it is Gods Throne,|
|Nor by the earth, because it is his footstool!|
|I dare not swear.|
ENDICOTT. You dare not? Yet you Quakers
|Deny this Book of Holy Writ, the Bible,|| 95|
|To be the Word of God.|
EDITH (reverentially). Christ is the Word
|The everlasting oath of God. I dare not|
ENDICOTT.You own yourself a Quaker,do you not;
EDITH.I own that in derision and reproach
|I am so called.|
ENDICOTT. Then you deny the Scripture
|To be the rule of life.|
EDITH. Yea, I believe
|The Inner Light, and not the Written Word,|
|To be the rule of life.|
ENDICOTT. And you deny
|That the Lords Day is holy.|
EDITH. Every day
|Is the Lords Day. It runs through all our lives,|| 105|
|As through the pages of the Holy Bible,|
|Thus saith the Lord.|
ENDICOTT. You are accused of making
|An horrible disturbance, and affrighting|
|The people in the Meeting-house on Sunday.|
|What answer make you?|
EDITH. I do not deny
|That I was present in your Steeple-house|
|On the First Day; but I made no disturbance.|
ENDICOTT.Why came you there?
EDITH. Because the Lord commanded.
|His word was in my heart, a burning fire|
|Shut up within me and consuming me,|| 115|
|And I was very weary with forbearing;|
|I could not stay.|
ENDICOTT. T was not the Lord that sent you;
|As an incarnate devil did you come!|
EDITH.On the First Day, when, seated in my chamber,
|I heard the bells toll, calling you together,|| 120|
|The sound struck at my life, as once at his,|
|The holy man, our Founder, when he heard|
|The far-off bells toll in the Vale of Beavor.|
|It sounded like a market bell to call|
|The folk together, that the Priest might set|| 125|
|His wares to sale. And the Lord said within me,|
|Thou must go cry aloud against that Idol,|
|And all the worshippers thereof. I went|
|Barefooted, clad in sackcloth, and I stood|
|And listened at the threshold; and I heard|| 130|
|The praying and the singing and the preaching,|
|Which were but outward forms, and without power.|
|Then rose a cry within me, and my heart|
|Was filled with admonitions and reproofs.|
|Remembering how the Prophets and Apostles|| 135|
|Denounced the covetous hirelings and diviners,|
|I entered in, and spake the words the Lord|
|Commanded me to speak. I could no less.|
ENDICOTT.Are you a Prophetess?
EDITH. Is it not written,
|Upon my handmaidens will I pour out|| 140|
|My spirit, and they shall prophesy?|
|For out of your own mouth are you condemned!|
|Need we hear further?|
THE JUDGES. We are satisfied.
ENDICOTT.It is sufficient. Edith Christison,
|The sentence of the Court is, that you be|| 145|
|Scourged in three towns, with forty stripes save one,|
|Then banished upon pain of death!|
EDITH. Your sentence
|Is truly no more terrible to me|
|Than had you blown a feather into the air,|
|And, as it fell upon me, you had said,|| 150|
|Take heed it hurt thee not! Gods will be done!|
WENLOCK CHRISTISON (unseen in the crowd). Woe to the city of blood! The stone shall cry
|Out of the wall; the beam from out the timber|
|Shall answer it! Woe unto him that buildeth|
|A town with blood, and stablisheth a city|| 155|
|By his iniquity!|
ENDICOTT. Who is it makes
|Such outcry here?|
CHRISTISON (coming forward). I, Wenlock Christison!
ENDICOTT.Banished on pain of death, why come you here?
CHRISTISON.I come to warn you that you shed no more
|The blood of innocent men! It cries aloud|| 160|
|For vengeance to the Lord!|
ENDICOTT. Your life is forfeit
|Unto the law; and you shall surely die,|
|And shall not live.|
CHRISTISON. Like unto Eleazer,
|Maintaining the excellence of ancient years|
|And the honor of his gray head, I stand before you;|| 165|
|Like him disdaining all hypocrisy,|
|Lest, through desire to live a little longer,|
|I get a stain to my old age and name!|
ENDICOTT.Being in banishment, on pain of death,
|You come now in among us in rebellion.|| 170|
CHRISTISON.I come not in among you in rebellion,
|But in obedience to the Lord of Heaven.|
|Not in contempt to any Magistrate,|
|But only in the love I bear your souls,|
|As ye shall know hereafter, when all men|| 175|
|Give an account of deeds done in the body!|
|Gods righteous judgments ye cannot escape.|
ONE OF THE JUDGES.Those who have gone before you said the same,
|And yet no judgment of the Lord hath fallen|
CHRISTISON. He but waiteth till the measure
|Of your iniquities shall be filled up,|
|And ye have run your race. Then will his wrath|
|Descend upon you to the uttermost!|
|For thy part, Humphrey Atherton, it hangs|
|Over thy head already. It shall come|| 185|
|Suddenly, as a thief doth in the night,|
|And in the hour when least thou thinkest of it!|
ENDICOTT.We have a law, and by that law you die.
CHRISTISON.I, a free man of England and freeborn,
|Appeal unto the laws of mine own nation!|| 190|
ENDICOTT.There s no appeal to England from this Court!
|What! do you think our statutes are but paper?|
|Are but dead leaves that rustle in the wind?|
|Or litter to be trampled under foot?|
|What say ye, Judges of the Court,what say ye?|| 195|
|Shall this man suffer death? Speak your opinions.|
ONE OF THE JUDGES.I am a mortal man, and die I must,
|And that erelong; and I must then appear|
|Before the awful judgment-seat of Christ,|
|To give account of deeds done in the body.|| 200|
|My greatest glory on that day will be,|
|That I have given my vote against this man.|
CHRISTISON.If, Thomas Danforth, thou hast nothing more
|To glory in upon that dreadful day|
|Than blood of innocent people, then thy glory|| 205|
|Will be turned into shame! The Lord hath said it!|
ANOTHER JUDGE.I cannot give consent, while other men
|Who have been banished upon pain of death|
|Are now in their own houses here among us.|
ENDICOTT.Ye that will not consent, make record of it.
|I thank my God that I am not afraid|
|To give my judgment. Wenlock Christison,|
|You must be taken back from hence to prison,|
|Thence to the place of public execution,|
|There to be hanged till you be deaddead,dead!|| 215|
CHRISTISON.If ye have power to take my life from me,
|Which I do question,God hath power to raise|
|The principle of life in other men,|
|And send them here among you. There shall be|
|No peace unto the wicked, saith my God.|| 220|
|Listen, ye Magistrates, for the Lord hath said it!|
|The day ye put his servitors to death,|
|That day the Day of your own Visitation,|
|The Day of Wrath, shall pass above your heads,|
|And ye shall be accursed forevermore!|
To EDITH, embracing her.
|Cheer up, dear heart! they have not power to harm us.|
[Exeunt CHRISTISON and EDITH guarded. The Scene closes.
|SCENE II.A street. Enter JOHN ENDICOTT and UPSALL.|
JOHN ENDICOTT.Scourged in three towns! and yet the busy people
|Go up and down the streets on their affairs|
|Of business or of pleasure, as if nothing|
|Had happened to disturb them or their thoughts!|| 230|
|When bloody tragedies like this are acted,|
|The pulses of a nation should stand still;|
|The town should be in mourning, and the people|
|Speak only in low whispers to each other.|
UPSALL.I know this people; and that underneath
|A cold outside there burns a secret fire|
|That will find vent, and will not be put out,|
|Till every remnant of these barbarous laws|
|Shall be to ashes burned, and blown away.|
JOHN ENDICOTT.Scourged in three towns! It is incredible
|Such things can be! I feel the blood within me|
|Fast mounting in rebellion, since in vain|
|Have I implored compassion of my father!|
UPSALL.You know your father only as a father;
|I know him better as a Magistrate.|| 245|
|He is a man both loving and severe;|
|A tender heart; a will inflexible.|
|None ever loved him more than I have loved him.|
|He is an upright man and a just man|
|In all things save the treatment of the Quakers.|| 250|
JOHN ENDICOTT.Yet I have found him cruel and unjust
|Even as a father. He has driven me forth|
|Into the street; has shut his door upon me,|
|With words of bitterness. I am as homeless|
|As these poor Quakers are.|
UPSALL. Then come with me.
|You shall be welcome for your fathers sake,|
|And the old friendship that has been between us.|
|He will relent erelong. A fathers anger|
|Is like a sword without a handle, piercing|
|Both ways alike, and wounding him that wields it|| 260|
|No less than him that it is pointed at. [Exeunt.|
|SCENE III.The prison. Night. EDITH reading the Bible by a lamp.|
EDITH.Blessed are ye when men shall persecute you,
|And shall revile you, and shall say against you|
|All manner of evil falsely for my sake!|
|Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great|| 265|
|Is your reward in heaven. For so the prophets,|
|Which were before you, have been persecuted.|
Enter JOHN ENDICOTT.
EDITH. Who is it that speaketh?
JOHN ENDICOTT. Saul of Tarsus:
|As thou didst call me once.|
EDITH (coming forward). Yea, I remember.
|Thou art the Governors son.|
JOHN ENDICOTT. I am ashamed
|Thou shouldst remember me.|
EDITH. Why comest thou
|Into this dark guest-chamber in the night?|
|What seekest thou?|
JOHN ENDICOTT. Forgiveness!
EDITH. I forgive
|All who have injured me. What hast thou done?|
JOHN ENDICOTT.I have betrayed thee, thinking that in this
|I did God service. Now, in deep contrition,|
|I come to rescue thee.|
EDITH. From what?
JOHN ENDICOTT. From prison.
EDITH.I am safe here within these gloomy walls.
JOHN ENDICOTT.From scourging in the streets, and in three towns!
EDITH.Remembering who was scourged for me, I shrink not
|Nor shudder at the forty stripes save one.|
JOHN ENDICOTT.Perhaps from death itself!
EDITH. I fear not death,
|Knowing who died for me.|
JOHN ENDICOTT (aside). Surely some divine
|Ambassador is speaking through those lips|
|And looking through those eyes! I cannot answer!|| 285|
EDITH.If all these prison doors stood opened wide
|I would not cross the threshold,not one step.|
|There are invisible bars I cannot break;|
|There are invisible doors that shut me in,|
|And keep me ever steadfast to my purpose.|| 290|
JOHN ENDICOTT.Thou hast the patience and the faith of Saints!
EDITH.Thy Priest hath been with me this day to save me,
|Not only from the death that comes to all,|
|But from the second death!|
JOHN ENDICOTT. The Pharisee!
|My heart revolts against him and his creed!|| 295|
|Alas! the coat that was without a seam|
|Is rent asunder by contending sects;|
|Each bears away a portion of the garment,|
|Blindly believing that he has the whole!|
EDITH.When Death, the Healer, shall have touched our eyes
|With moist clay of the grave, then shall we see|
|The truth as we have never yet beheld it.|
|But he that overcometh shall not be|
|Hurt of the second death. Has he forgotten|
|The many mansions in our fathers house?|| 305|
JOHN ENDICOTT.There is no pity in his iron heart!
|The hands that now bear stamped upon their palms|
|The burning sign of Heresy, hereafter|
|Shall be uplifted against such accusers,|
|And then the imprinted letter and its meaning|| 310|
|Will not be Heresy, but Holiness!|
EDITH.Remember, thou condemnest thine own father!
JOHN ENDICOTT.I have no father! He has cast me off.
|I am as homeless as the wind that moans|
|And wanders through the streets. Oh, come with me!|| 315|
|Do not delay. Thy God shall be my God,|
|And where thou goest I will go.|
EDITH. I cannot.
|Yet will I not deny it, nor conceal it;|
|From the first moment I beheld thy face|
|I felt a tenderness in my soul towards thee.|| 320|
|My mind has since been inward to the Lord,|
|Waiting his word. It has not yet been spoken.|
JOHN ENDICOTT.I cannot wait. Trust me. Oh, come with me!
EDITH.In the next room, my father, an old man,
|Sitteth imprisoned and condemned to death,|| 325|
|Willing to prove his faith by martyrdom;|
|And thinkest thou his daughter would do less?|
JOHN ENDICOTT.Oh, life is sweet, and death is terrible!
EDITH.I have too long walked hand in hand with death
|To shudder at that pale familiar face.|| 330|
|But leave me now. I wish to be alone.|
JOHN ENDICOTT.Not yet. Oh, let me stay.
EDITH. Urge me no more.
JOHN ENDICOTT.Alas! good-night. I will not say good-by!
EDITH.Put this temptation underneath thy feet.
|To him that overcometh shall be given|| 335|
|The white stone with the new name written on it,|
|That no man knows save him that doth receive it,|
|And I will give thee a new name, and call thee|
|Paul of Damascus and not Saul of Tarsus.|
[Exit ENDICOTT. EDITH sits down again to read the Bible.