|SCENE I.King Street, in front of the town-house. KEMPTHORN in the pillory. MERRY and a crowd of lookers-on.|
KEMPTHORN (sings). THE WORLD is full of care,
| Much like unto a bubble;|
| Women and care, and care and women,|
| And women and care and trouble.|
|Good Master Merry, may I say confound?|| 5|
MERRY.Ay, that you may.
KEMPTHORN. Well, then, with your permission,
|Confound the Pillory!|
MERRY. That s the very thing
|The joiner said who made the Shrewsbury stocks.|
|He said, Confound the stocks, because they put him|
|Into his own. He was the first man in them.|| 10|
KEMPTHORN.For swearing, was it?
MERRY. No, it was for charging;
|He charged the town too much; and so the town,|
|To make things square, set him in his own stocks,|
|And fined him five pound sterling,just enough|
|To settle his own bill.|
KEMPTHORN. And served him right;
|But, Master Merry, is it not eight bells?|
KEMPTHORN. For, do you see? I m getting tired
|Of being perched aloft here in this cronest|
|Like the first mate of a whaler, or a Middy|
|Mast-headed, looking out for land! Sail ho!|| 20|
|Here comes a heavy-laden merchantman|
|With the lee clews eased off, and running free|
|Before the wind. A solid man of Boston.|
|A comfortable man, with dividends,|
|And the first salmon, and the first green peas.|
A gentleman passes.
|He does not even turn his head to look.|
|He s gone without a word. Here comes another,|
|A different kind of craft on a taut bowline,|
|Deacon Giles Firmin the apothecary,|
|A pious and a ponderous citizen,|| 30|
|Looking as rubicund and round and splendid|
|As the great bottle in his own shop window!|
DEACON FIRMIN passes.
|And here s my host of the Three Mariners,|
|My creditor and trusty taverner,|
|My corporal in the Great Artillery!|| 35|
|He s not a man to pass me without speaking.|
COLE looks away and passes.
|Dont yaw so; keep your luff, old hypocrite!|
|Respectable, ah yes, respectable,|
|You, with your seat in the new Meeting-house,|
|Your cow-right on the Common! But who s this?|| 40|
|I did not know the Mary Ann was in!|
|And yet this is my old friend, Captain Goldsmith,|
|As sure as I stand in the bilboes here.|
|Why, Ralph, my boy!|
Enter RALPH GOLDSMITH. Why, Simon, is it you?
|Set in the bilboes?|
KEMPTHORN. Chock-a-block, you see,
|And without chafing-gear.|
GOLDSMITH. And what s it for?
KEMPTHORN.Ask that starbowline with the boat-hook there,
|That handsome man.|
MERRY (bowing). For swearing.
KEMPTHORN. In this town
|They put sea-captains in the stocks for swearing,|
|And Quakers for not swearing. So look out.|| 50|
GOLDSMITH.I pray you set him free; he meant no harm;
|T is an old habit he picked up afloat.|
MERRY.Well, as your time is out, you may come down.
|The law allows you now to go at large|
|Like Elder Olivers horse upon the Common.|| 55|
KEMPTHORN.Now, hearties, bear a hand! Let go and haul.
KEMPTHORN is set free, and comes forward, shaking GOLDSMITHS hand.
KEMPTHORN.Give me your hand, Ralph. Ah, how good it feels!
|The hand of an old friend.|
GOLDSMITH. God bless you, Simon!
KEMPTHORN.Now let us make a straight wake for the tavern
|Of the Three Mariners, Samuel Cole commander;|| 60|
|Where we can take our ease, and see the shipping,|
|And talk about old times.|
GOLDSMITH. First I must pay
|My duty to the Governor, and take him|
|His letters and dispatches. Come with me.|
KEMPTHORN.I d rather not. I saw him yesterday.
GOLDSMITH.Then wait for me at the Three Nuns and Comb.
KEMPTHORN.I thank you. That s too near to the town pump.
|I will go with you to the Governors,|
|And wait outside there, sailing off and on;|
|If I am wanted, you can hoist a signal.|| 70|
MERRY.Shall I go with you and point out the way?
GOLDSMITH.Oh no, I thank you. I am not a stranger
|Here in your crooked little town.|
MERRY. How now, sir?
|Do you abuse our town? [Exit.|
GOLDSMITH. Oh, no offence.
KEMPTHORN.Ralph, I am under bonds for a hundred pound.
GOLDSMITH.Hard lines. What for?
KEMPTHORN. To take some Quakers back
|I brought here from Barbadoes in the Swallow.|
|And how to do it I dont clearly see,|
|For one of them is banished, and another|
|Is sentenced to be hanged! What shall I do?|| 80|
GOLDSMITH.Just slip your hawser on some cloudy night;
|Sheer off, and pay it with the topsail, Simon! [Exeunt.|
|SCENE II.Street in front of the prison. In the background a gateway and several flights of steps leading up terraces to the Governors house. A pump on one side of the street. JOHN ENDICOTT, MERRY, UPSALL, and others. A drum beats.|
JOHN ENDICOTT.Oh shame, shame, shame!
MERRY. Yes, it would be a shame
|But for the damnable sin of Heresy!|
JOHN ENDICOTT.A woman scourged and dragged about our streets!
MERRY.Well, Roxbury and Dorchester must take
|Their share of shame. She will be whipped in each!|
|Three towns, and Forty Stripes save one; that makes|
|Thirteen in each.|
JOHN ENDICOTT. And are we Jews or Christians?
|See where she comes, amid a gaping crowd!|| 90|
|And she a child. Oh, pitiful! pitiful!|
|There s blood upon her clothes, her hands, her feet!|
Enter MARSHAL and a drummer, EDITH, stripped to the waist, followed by the hangman with a scourge, and a noisy crowd.
EDITH.Here let me rest one moment. I am tired.
|Will some one give me water?|
MERRY. At his peril.
UPSALL.Alas! that I should live to see this day!
A WOMAN.Did I forsake my father and my mother
|And come here to New England to see this?|
EDITH.I am athirst. Will no one give me water?
JOHN ENDICOTT (making his way through the crowd with water).In the Lords name!
EDITH (drinking). In his name I receive it!
|Sweet as the water of Samarias well|| 100|
|This water tastes. I thank thee. Is it thou?|
|I was afraid thou hadst deserted me.|
JOHN ENDICOTT.Never will I desert thee, nor deny thee.
MERRY. O Master Endicott,
|Be careful what you say.|
JOHN ENDICOTT. Peace, idle babbler!
MERRY.You ll rue these words!
JOHN ENDICOTT. Art thou not better now?
EDITH.They ve struck me as with roses.
JOHN ENDICOTT. Ah, these wounds!
|These bloody garments!|
EDITH. It is granted me
|To seal my testimony with my blood.|| 110|
JOHN ENDICOTT.O blood-red seal of mans vindictive wrath!
|O roses of the garden of the Lord!|
|I, of the household of Iscariot,|
|I have betrayed in thee my Lord and Master!|
WENLOCK CHRISTISON appears above, at the window of the prison, stretching out his hands through the bars.
CHRISTISON.Be of good courage, O my child! my child!
|Blessed art thou when men shall persecute thee!|
|Fear not their faces, saith the Lord, fear not,|
|For I am with thee to deliver thee.|
A CITIZEN.Who is it crying from the prison yonder?
MERRY.It is old Wenlock Christison.
|Him who was scourged, and mocked, and crucified!|
|I see his messengers attending thee.|
|Be steadfast, oh, be steadfast to the end!|
EDITH (with exultation). I cannot reach thee with these arms, O father!
|But closely in my soul do I embrace thee|| 125|
|And hold thee. In thy dungeon and thy death|
|I will be with thee, and will comfort thee!|
MARSHAL.Come, put an end to this. Let the drum beat.
The drum beats. Exeunt all but JOHN ENDICOTT, UPSALL, and MERRY.
CHRISTISON.Dear child, farewell! Never shall I behold
|Thy face again with these bleared eyes of flesh;|| 130|
|And never wast thou fairer, lovelier, dearer|
|Than now, when scourged and bleeding, and insulted|
|For the truths sake. O pitiless, pitiless town!|
|The wrath of God hangs over thee; and the day|
|Is near at hand when thou shalt be abandoned|| 135|
|To desolation and the breeding of nettles.|
|The bittern and the cormorant shall lodge|
|Upon thine upper lintels, and their voice|
|Sing in thy windows. Yea, thus saith the Lord!|
JOHN ENDICOTT.Awake! awake! ye sleepers, ere too late,
|And wipe these bloody statutes from your books! [Exit.|
MERRY.Take heed; the walls have ears!
UPSALL. At last, the heart
|Of every honest man must speak or break!|
Enter GOVERNOR ENDICOTT with his halberdiers.
ENDICOTT.What is this stir and tumult in the street?
MERRY.Worshipful sir, the whipping of a girl,
|And her old father howling from the prison.|
ENDICOTT (to his halberdiers).Go on.
CHRISTISON. Antiochus! Antiochus!
|O thou that slayest the Maccabees! The Lord|
|Shall smite thee with incurable disease,|
|And no man shall endure to carry thee!|| 150|
MERRY.Peace, old blasphemer!
CHRISTISON. I both feel and see
|The presence and the waft of death go forth|
|Against thee, and already thou dost look|
|Like one that s dead!|
MERRY (pointing). And there is your own son,
|Worshipful sir, abetting the sedition.|| 155|
ENDICOTT.Arrest him. Do not spare him.
MERRY (aside). His own child!
|There is some special providence takes care|
|That none shall be too happy in this world!|
|His own first-born.|
ENDICOTT. O Absalom, my son!
[Exeunt; the Governor with his halberdiers ascending the steps of his house.
|SCENE III.The Governors private room. Papers upon the table. ENDICOTT and BELLINGHAM.|
ENDICOTT.There is a ship from England has come in,
|Bringing dispatches and much news from home.|
|His Majesty was at the Abbey crowned;|
|And when the coronation was complete|
|There passed a mighty tempest oer the city,|
|Portentous with great thunderings and lightnings.|| 165|
BELLINGHAM.After his fathers, if I well remember,
|There was an earthquake, that foreboded evil.|
ENDICOTT.Ten of the Regicides have been put to death!
|The bodies of Cromwell, Ireton, and Bradshaw|
|Have been dragged from their graves, and publicly|| 170|
|Hanged in their shrouds at Tyburn.|
ENDICOTT.Thus the old tyranny revives again!
|Its arm is long enough to reach us here,|
|As you will see. For, more insulting still|
|Than flaunting in our faces dead mens shrouds,|| 175|
|Here is the Kings Mandamus, taking from us,|
|From this day forth, all power to punish Quakers.|
BELLINGHAM.That takes from us all power; we are but puppets,
|And can no longer execute our laws.|
ENDICOTT.His Majesty begins with pleasant words,
|Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well;|
|Then with a ruthless hand he strips from me|
|All that which makes me what I am; as if|
|From some old general in the field, grown gray|
|In service, scarred with many wounds,|| 185|
|Just at the hour of victory, he should strip|
|His badge of office and his well-gained honors,|
|And thrust him back into the ranks again.|
Opens the Mandamus and hands it to BELLINGHAM; and, while he is reading, ENDICOTT walks up and down the room.
|Here, read it for yourself; you see his words|
|Are pleasant wordsconsideratenot reproachful|| 190|
|Nothing could be more gentleor more royal;|
|But then the meaning underneath the words,|
|Mark that. He says all people known as Quakers|
|Among us, now condemned to suffer death|
|Or any corporal punishment whatever,|| 195|
|Who are imprisoned, or may be obnoxious|
|To the like condemnation, shall be sent|
|Forthwith to England, to be dealt with there|
|In such wise as shall be agreeable|
|Unto the English law and their demerits.|| 200|
|Is it not so?|
BELLINGHAM (returning the paper). Ay, so the paper says.
ENDICOTT.It means we shall no longer rule the Province;
|It means farewell to law and liberty,|
|Authority, respect for Magistrates,|
|The peace and welfare of the Commonwealth.|| 205|
|If all the knaves upon this continent|
|Can make appeal to England, and so thwart|
|The ends of truth and justice by delay,|
|Our power is gone forever. We are nothing|
|But ciphers, valueless save when we follow|| 210|
|Some unit; and our unit is the King!|
|T is he that gives us value.|
BELLINGHAM. I confess
|Such seems to be the meaning of this paper,|
|But being the Kings Mandamus, signed and sealed,|
|We must obey, or we are in rebellion.|| 215|
ENDICOTT.I tell you, Richard Bellingham,I tell you,
|That this is the beginning of a struggle|
|Of which no mortal can foresee the end.|
|I shall not live to fight the battle for you,|
|I am a man disgraced in every way;|| 220|
|This order takes from me my self-respect|
|And the respect of others. T is my doom,|
|Yes, my death-warrant, but must be obeyed!|
|Take it, and see that it is executed|
|So far as this, that all be set at large;|| 225|
|But see that none of them be sent to England|
|To bear false witness, and to spread reports|
|That might be prejudicial to ourselves.|
|There s a dull pain keeps knocking at my heart,|
|Dolefully saying, Set thy house in order,|| 230|
|For thou shalt surely die, and shalt not live!|
|For me the shadow on the dial-plate|
|Goeth not back, but on into the dark! [Exit.|
|SCENE IV.The street. A crowd, reading a placard on the door of the Meeting-house. NICHOLAS UPSALL among them. Enter JOHN NORTON.|
NORTON.What is this gathering here?
UPSALL. One William Brand,
|An old man like ourselves, and weak in body,|| 235|
|Has been so cruelly tortured in his prison,|
|The people are excited, and they threaten|
|To tear the prison down.|
NORTON. What has been done?
UPSALL.He has been put in irons, with his neck
|And heels tied close together, and so left|| 240|
|From five in the morning until nine at night.|
NORTON.What more was done?
UPSALL. He has been kept five days
|In prison without food, and cruelly beaten,|
|So that his limbs were cold, his senses stopped.|
UPSALL. And is this not enough?
NORTON. Now hear me.
|This William Brand of yours has tried to beat|
|Our Gospel Ordinances black and blue;|
|And, if he has been beaten in like manner,|
|It is but justice, and I will appear|
|In his behalf that did so. I suppose|| 250|
|That he refused to work.|
UPSALL. He was too weak.
|How could an old man work, when he was starving?|
NORTON.And what is this placard?
UPSALL. The Magistrates,
|To appease the people and prevent a tumult,|
|Have put up these placards throughout the town,|| 255|
|Declaring that the jailer shalt be dealt with|
|Impartially and sternly by the Court.|
NORTONDown with this weak and cowardly concession,
(tearing down the placard).
|This flag of truce with Satan and with Sin!|
|I fling it in his face! I trample it|| 260|
|Under my feet! It is his cunning craft,|
|The masterpiece of his diplomacy,|
|To cry and plead for boundless toleration.|
|But toleration is the first-born child|
|Of all abominations and deceits.|| 265|
|There is no room in Christs triumphant army|
|For tolerationists. And if an Angel|
|Preach any other gospel unto you|
|Than that ye have received, Gods malediction|
|Descend upon him! Let him be accursed! [Exit.|| 270|
UPSALL.Now, go thy ways, John Norton! go thy ways,
|Thou Orthodox Evangelist, as men call thee!|
|But even now there cometh out of England,|
|Like an oertaking and accusing conscience,|
|An outraged man, to call thee to account|| 275|
|For the unrighteous murder of his son! [Exit.|
|SCENE V.The Wilderness. Enter EDITH.|
EDITH.How beautiful are these autumnal woods!
|The wilderness doth blossom like the rose,|
|And change into a garden of the Lord!|
|How silent everywhere! Alone and lost|| 280|
|Here in the forest, there comes over me|
|An inward awfulness. I recall the words|
|Of the Apostle Paul: In journeyings often,|
|Often in perils in the wilderness,|
|In weariness, in painfulness, in watchings,|| 285|
|In hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness;|
|And I forget my weariness and pain,|
|My watchings, and my hunger and my thirst.|
|The Lord hath said that He will seek his flock|
|In cloudy and dark days, and they shall dwell|| 290|
|Securely in the wilderness, and sleep|
|Safe in the woods! Whichever way I turn,|
|I come back with my face towards the town.|
|Dimly I see it, and the sea beyond it.|
|O cruel town! I know what waits me there,|| 295|
|And yet I must go back; for ever louder|
|I hear the inward calling of the Spirit,|
|And must obey the voice. O woods, that wear|
|Your golden crown of martyrdom, bloodstained,|
|From you I learn a lesson of submission,|| 300|
|And am obedient even unto death,|
|If God so wills it. [Exit.|
JOHN ENDICOTT (within). Edith! Edith! Edith!
|It is in vain! I call, she answers not;|
|I follow, but I find no trace of her!|
|Blood! blood! The leaves above me and around me|| 305|
|Are red with blood! The pathways of the forest,|
|The clouds that canopy the setting sun|
|And even the little river in the meadows|
|Are stained with it! Whereer I look, I see it!|
|Away, thou horrible vision! Leave me! leave me!|| 310|
|Alas! yon winding stream, that gropes its way|
|Through mist and shadow, doubling on itself,|
|At length will find, by the unerring law|
|Of nature, what it seeks. O soul of man,|
|Groping through mist and shadow, and recoiling|| 315|
|Back on thyself, are, too, thy devious ways|
|Subject to law? and when thou seemest to wander|
|The farthest from thy goal, art thou still drawing|
|Nearer and nearer to it, till at length|
|Thou findest, like the river, what thou seekest? [Exit.|| 320|