|SCENE I.Daybreak. Street in front of UPSALLS house. A light in the window. Enter JOHN ENDICOTT.|
JOHN ENDICOTT.O SILENT, sombre, and deserted streets,
|To me ye re peopled with a sad procession,|
|And echo only to the voice of sorrow!|
|O houses full of peacefulness and sleep,|
|Far better were it to awake no more|| 5|
|Than wake to look upon such scenes again!|
|There is a light in Master Upsalls window.|
|The good man is already risen, for sleep|
|Deserts the couches of the old.|
Knocks at UPSALLS door. Who s there?
UPSALL (at the window).
JOHN ENDICOTT.Am I so changed you do not know my voice?
UPSALL.I know you. Have you heard what things have happened?
JOHN ENDICOTT.I have heard nothing.
UPSALL. Stay; I will come down.
JOHN ENDICOTT.I am afraid some dreadful news awaits me!
|I do not dare to ask, yet am impatient|
|To know the worst. Oh, I am very weary|| 15|
|With waiting and with watching and pursuing!|
UPSALL.Thank God, you have come back! I ve much to tell you.
|Where have you been?|
JOHN ENDICOTT. You know that I was seized,
|Fined, and released again. You know that Edith,|
|After her scourging in three towns, was banished|| 20|
|Into the wilderness, into the land|
|That is not sown; and there I followed her,|
|But found her not. Where is she?|
UPSALL. She is here.
JOHN ENDICOTT.Oh, do not speak that word, for it means death!
UPSALL.No, it means life. She sleeps in yonder chamber.
|Listen to me. When news of Leddras death|
|Reached England, Edward Burroughs, having boldly|
|Got access to the presence of the King,|
|Told him there was a vein of innocent blood|
|Opened in his dominions here, which threatened|| 30|
|To overrun them all. The King replied,|
|But I will stop that vein! and he forthwith|
|Sent his Mandamus to our Magistrates,|
|That they proceed no further in this business.|
|So all are pardoned, and all set at large.|| 35|
JOHN ENDICOTT.Thank God! This is a victory for truth!
|Our thoughts are free. They cannot be shut up|
|In prison walls, nor put to death on scaffolds!|
UPSALL.Come in; the morning air blows sharp and cold
|Through the damp streets.|
JOHN ENDICOTT. It is the dawn of day
|That chases the old darkness from our sky,|
|And fills the land with liberty and light. [Exeunt.|
|SCENE II.The parlor of the Three Mariners. Enter KEMPTHORN.|
KEMPTHORN.A dull life this,a dull life anyway!
|Ready for sea; the cargo all aboard,|
|Cleared for Barbadoes, and a fair wind blowing|| 45|
|From nor-nor-west; and I, an idle lubber,|
|Laid neck and heels by that confounded bond!|
|I said to Ralph, says I, What s to be done?|
|Says he: Just slip your hawser in the night;|
|Sheer off, and pay it with the topsail, Simon.|| 50|
|But that wont do; because, you see, the owners|
|Somehow or other are mixed up with it.|
|Here are King Charless Twelve Good Rules, that Cole|
|Thinks as important as the Rule of Three.|
|Make no comparisons; make no long meals.|| 55|
|Those are good rules and golden for a landlord|
|To hang in his best parlor, framed and glazed!|
|Maintain no ill opinions; urge no healths.|
|I drink the Kings, whatever he may say,|
|And, as to ill opinions, that depends.|| 60|
|Now of Ralph Goldsmith I ve a good opinion,|
|And of the bilboes I ve an ill opinion;|
|And both of these opinions I ll maintain|
|As long as there s a shot left in the locker.|
Enter EDWARD BUTTER with an ear-trumpet.
BUTTER.Good morning, Captain Kempthorn.
KEMPTHORN. Sir, to you.
|You ve the advantage of me. I dont know you.|
|What may I call your name?|
BUTTER. That s not your name?
KEMPTHORN.Yes, that s my name. What s yours?
BUTTER. My name is Butter.
|I am the treasurer of the Commonwealth.|
KEMPTHORN.Will you be seated?
BUTTER. What say? Who s conceited?
KEMPTHORN.Will you sit down?
BUTTER. Oh, thank you.
KEMPTHORN. Spread yourself
|Upon this chair, sweet Butter.|
BUTTER (sitting down). A fine morning.
KEMPTHORN.Nothing s the matter with it that I know of.
|I have seen better, and I have seen worse.|
|The wind s norwest. That s fair for them that sail.|| 75|
BUTTER.You need not speak so loud; I understand you.
|You sail to-day.|
KEMPTHORN. No, I dont sail to-day.
|So, be it fair or foul, it matters not.|
|Say, will you smoke? There s choice tobacco here.|
BUTTER.No, thank you. It s against the law to smoke.
KEMPTHORN.Then, will you drink? There s good ale at this inn.
BUTTER.No, thank you. It s against the law to drink.
KEMPTHORN.Well, almost everything s against the law
|In this good town. Give a wide berth to one thing,|
|You re sure to fetch up soon on something else.|| 85|
BUTTER.And so you sail to-day for dear Old England.
|I am not one of those who think a sup|
|Of this New England air is better worth|
|Than a whole draught of our Old Englands ale.|
KEMPTHORN.Nor I. Give me the ale and keep the air.
|But, as I said, I do not sail to-day.|
BUTTER.Ah yes; you sail to-day.
KEMPTHORN. I m under bonds
|To take some Quakers back to the Barbadoes;|
|And one of them is banished, and another|
|Is sentenced to be hanged.|
BUTTER. No, all are pardoned,
|All are set free, by order of the Court;|
|But some of them would fain return to England.|
|You must not take them. Upon that condition|
|Your bond is cancelled.|
KEMPTHORN. Ah, the wind has shifted!
|I pray you, do you speak officially?|| 100|
BUTTER.I always speak officially. To prove it,
|Here is the bond.|
Rising and giving a paper. And here s my hand upon it.
|And, look you, when I say I ll do a thing|
|The thing is done. Am I now free to go?|
KEMPTHORN. I say, confound the tedious man
|With his strange speaking-trumpet! Can I go?|
BUTTER.You re free to go, by order of the Court.
|Your servant, sir. [Exit.|
KEMPTHORN (shouting from the window). Swallow, ahoy! Hallo!
|If ever a man was happy to leave Boston,|
|That man is Simon Kempthorn of the Swallow!|
BUTTER.Pray, did you call?
KEMPTHORN. Call? Yes, I hailed the Swallow.
BUTTER.That s not my name. My name is Edward Butter.
|You need not speak so loud.|
KEMPTHORN (shaking hands). Good-by! Good-by!
BUTTER.Your servant, sir.
KEMPTHORN. And yours a thousand times! [Exeunt.
|SCENE III.GOVERNOR ENDICOTTS private room. An open window. ENDICOTT seated in an arm-chair. BELLINGHAM standing near.|
ENDICOTT.O lost, O loved! wilt thou return no more?
|O loved and lost, and loved the more when lost!|
|How many men are dragged into their graves|
|By their rebellious children! I now feel|
|The agony of a fathers breaking heart|
|In Davids cry, O Absalom, my son!|| 120|
BELLINGHAM.Can you not turn your thoughts a little while
|To public matters? There are papers here|
|That need attention.|
ENDICOTT. Trouble me no more!
|My business now is with another world.|
|Ah, Richard Bellingham! I greatly fear|| 125|
|That in my righteous zeal I have been led|
|To doing many things which, left undone,|
|My mind would now be easier. Did I dream it,|
|Or has some person told me, that John Norton|
BELLINGHAM. You have not dreamed it. He is dead,
|And gone to his reward. It was no dream.|
ENDICOTT.Then it was very sudden; for I saw him
|Standing where you now stand, not long ago.|
BELLINGHAM.By his own fireside, in the afternoon,
|A faintness and a giddiness came oer him;|| 135|
|And, leaning on the chimney-piece, he cried,|
|The hand of God is on me! and fell dead.|
ENDICOTT.And did not some one say, or have I dreamed it,
|That Humphrey Atherton is dead?|
|He too is gone, and by a death as sudden.|| 140|
|Returning home one evening, at the place|
|Where usually the Quakers have been scourged,|
|His horse took fright, and threw him to the ground,|
|So that his brains were dashed about the street.|
ENDICOTT.I am not superstitious, Bellingham,
|And yet I tremble lest it may have been|
|A judgment on him.|
BELLINGHAM. So the people think.
|They say his horse saw standing in the way|
|The ghost of William Leddra, and was frightened.|
|And furthermore, brave Richard Davenport,|| 150|
|The captain of the Castle, in the storm|
|Has been struck dead by lightning.|
ENDICOTT. Speak no more.
|For as I listen to your voice it seems|
|As if the Seven Thunders uttered their voices,|
|And the dead bodies lay about the streets|| 155|
|Of the disconsolate city! Bellingham,|
|I did not put those wretched men to death.|
|I did but guard the passage with the sword|
|Pointed towards them, and they rushed upon it!|
|Yet now I would that I had taken no part|| 160|
|In all that bloody work.|
BELLINGHAM. The guilt of it
|Be on their heads, not ours.|
ENDICOTT. Are all set free?
BELLINGHAM.All are at large.
ENDICOTT. And none have been sent back
|To England to malign us with the King?|
BELLINGHAM.The ship that brought them sails this very hour,
|But carries no one back.|
A distant cannon. What is that gun?
BELLINGHAM.Her parting signal. Through the window there,
|Look, you can see her sails, above the roofs,|
|Dropping below the Castle, outward bound.|
ENDICOTT.O white, white, white! Would that my soul had wings
|As spotless as those shining sails to fly with!|
|Now lay this cushion straight. I thank you. Hark!|
|I thought I heard the hall door open and shut!|
|I thought I heard the footsteps of my boy!|
BELLINGHAM.It was the wind. There s no one in the passage.
ENDICOTT.O Absalom, my son! I feel the world
|Sinking beneath me, sinking, sinking, sinking!|
|Death knocks! I go to meet him! Welcome, Death!|
Rises, and sinks back dead; his head falling aside upon his shoulder.
BELLINGHAM.O ghastly sight! Like one who has been hanged!
|Endicott! Endicott! He makes no answer!|
Raises ENDICOTTS head.
|He breathes no more! How bright this signet-ring|
|Glitters upon his hand, where he has worn it|
|Through such long years of trouble, as if Death|
|Had given him this memento of affection,|
|And whispered in his ear, Remember me!|| 185|
|How placid and how quiet is his face,|
|Now that the struggle and the strife are ended!|
|Only the acrid spirit of the times|
|Corroded this true steel. Oh, rest in peace,|
|Courageous heart! Forever rest in peace!|| 190|