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´╗┐Title: Giles Corey, Yeoman - A Play
Author: Freeman, Mary Eleanor Wilkins, 1852-1930
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Giles Corey, Yeoman - A Play" ***

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Giles Corey, Yeoman

A Play

Mary E. Wilkins


New York
Harper & Brothers Publishers

Cast of Characters.

  Giles Corey.
  Paul Bayley, _Olive Corey's lover._
  Samuel Parris, _minister in Salem Village._
  John Hathorne, _magistrate._
  Jonathan Corwin, _magistrate._
  Olive Corey, _Giles Corey's daughter._
  Martha Corey, _Giles Corey's wife._
  Ann Hutchins, _Olive's friend and one of the Afflicted Girls._
  Widow Eunice Hutchins, _Ann's mother._
  Phoebe Morse, _little orphan girl, niece to Martha Corey._
  Mercy Lewis, _one of the Afflicted Girls._
  Nancy Fox, _an old serving-woman in Giles Corey's house._
  _Afflicted Girls, Constables, Marshal, People of Salem Village,
  Messengers, etc._

Act I.

Scene I.--_Salem Village. Living-room in_ Giles Corey's _house._
Olive Corey _is spinning._  Nancy Fox, _the old servant, sits in the
fireplace paring apples. Little_ Phoebe Morse, _on a stool beside
her, is knitting a stocking._

_Phoebe_ (_starting_). What is that? Oh, Olive, what is that?

_Nancy._  Yes, what is that? Massy, what a clatter!

_Olive_ (_spinning_). I heard naught. Be not so foolish, child. And
you, Nancy, be of a surety old enough to know better.

_Nancy._  I trow there was a clatter in the chimbly. There 'tis
again! Massy, what a screech!

_Phoebe_ (_running to_ Olive _and clinging to her_). Oh, Olive, what
is it? what is it? Don't let it catch me. Oh, Olive!

_Olive._  I tell you 'twas naught.

_Nancy._  Them that won't hear be deafer than them that's born so.
Massy, what a screech!

_Phoebe._  Oh, Olive, Olive! Don't let 'em catch me!

_Olive._  Nobody wants to catch you. Be quiet now, and I'll sing to
you. Then you won't think you hear screeches.

_Nancy._  We won't, hey?

_Olive._  Be quiet! This folly hath gone too far. [_Sings spinning


  "I'll tell you a story; a story of one,
  'Twas of a great prince whose name was King John.
  A great prince was he, and a man of great might
  In putting down wrong and in setting up right.
  To my down, down, down, derry down."

_Nancy._  Massy, what screeches! [_Screams violently._

_Phoebe._  Oh, Nancy, 'twas you screeched then.

_Nancy._  It wasn't me; 'twas a witch in the chimbly. (_Screams
again._)  There, hear that, will ye? I tell ye 'twa'n't me. I 'ain't
opened my mouth.

_Olive._  Nancy, I will bear no more of this. If you be not quiet, I
will tell my mother when she comes home. Now, Phoebe, sing the rest
of the song with me, and think no more of such folly. [_Sings with_

  "This king, being a mind to make himself merry,
  He sent for the Bishop of Canterbury.
  'Good-morning, Mr. Bishop,' the king did say.
  'Have you come here for to live or to die?'
  To my down, down, down, derry down.

  "'For if you can't answer to my questions three,
  Your head shall be taken from your body;
  And if you can't answer unto them all right,
  Your head shall be taken from your body quite.'
  To my down, down, down, derry down."

_Nancy_ (_wagging her head in time to the music_). I know some words
that go better with that tune.

_Phoebe._  What are they?

_Nancy._  Oh, I'm forbid to tell.

_Phoebe._  Who forbade you to tell, Nancy?

_Nancy._  The one who forbade me to tell, forbade me to tell who
told me.

_Olive._  Don't gossip, or you won't get your stints done before
mother comes home.

_Phoebe_ (_sulkily_). I won't finish my stint. Aunt Corey set me too
long a stint. I won't. Oh, there she is now! [_Knits busily._

_Enter_ Ann Hutchins.

_Olive_ (_rising_). Well done, Ann. I was but now wishing to see
you. Sit you down and lay off your cloak. Why, how pale you look,
Ann! Are you sick?

_Ann._  You know best.

_Olive._  I? Why, what mean you, Ann?

_Ann._  You know what I mean, in spite of your innocent looks. Oh,
open your eyes wide at me, if you want to! Perhaps you don't know
what makes them bigger and bluer than they used to be.

_Olive._  Ann!

_Ann._  Oh, I mean nothing. I am not sick. Something frightened me
as I came through the wood.

_Olive._  Frightened you! Why, what was it?

_Phoebe._  Oh, what was it, Ann?

_Ann._  I know not; something black that hustled quickly by me and
raised a cold wind.

_Phoebe._  Oh, oh!

_Olive._  'Twas a cat or a dog, and your own fear raised the cold
wind. Think no more of it, Ann. Wait a moment while I go to the
north room. I have something to show you. [_Exit_ Olive _with a

_Phoebe._  What said the black thing to you, Ann?

_Ann._  I know not.

_Nancy._  Said it not: "Serve me; serve me?"

_Ann._  I know not. I was deaf with fear.

_Phoebe._  Oh, Ann, did it have horns?

_Ann._  I tell you I know not. You pester me, child.

_Phoebe._  Did it have hoofs and a tail?

_Ann._  Be quiet, I tell you, or I'll cuff your ears.

_Nancy._  She needn't be so topping. It will be laying in wait for
her when she goes home. I'll warrant it won't let her off so easy.

_Enter_ Olive, _bringing an embroidered muslin cape. She puts it
gently over_ Ann's _shoulders._

_Ann_ (_throwing it off violently_). Oh! oh! Take it away! take it

_Olive._  Why, Ann, what ails you?

_Ann._  Take it away, I say! What mean you by your cursed arts?

_Olive._  Why, Ann! I have been saving a long time to buy it for
you. 'Tis like my last summer's cape that you fancied so much. I
sent by father to Boston for it.

_Ann._  I need it not.

_Olive._  I thought 'twould suit well with your green gown.

_Ann._  'Twill suit well enough with a green gown, but not with a
sore heart.

_Nancy._  I miss my guess but it 'll suit well enough with her heart
too. I trow that's as green as her gown; green's the jealous color.

_Olive._  You be all unstrung by your walk hither through the wood,
Ann. I'll fold the cape up nicely for you, and you can take it when
you go home. And mind you wear it next Sabbath day, sweet. Now I
must to my wheel again, or I shall not finish my stint by nine

_Ann._  Your looks show that you were up later than nine o'clock
last night.

_Phoebe._  Oh, Ann, did you see the light in the fore room?

_Ann._  That did I. I stood at my chamber and saw it shine through
the wood.

_Nancy._  You couldn't see so far without spectacles.

_Ann._  It blinded me. I could get no sleep.

_Nancy._  You think your eyes are mighty sharp. Maybe your ears are
too? Maybe you heard 'em kissing at the door when he went home?

_Olive._  Nancy, be quiet!

_Nancy._  You needn't color up and shake your head at me, Olive.
They stood kissing there nigh an hour, and he with his arm round her
waist, and she with hers round his neck. They'd kiss, then they'd
eye each other and kiss again. I know I woke up and thought 'twas
Injuns, and I peeked out of my chamber window. Such doings! You'd
ought to have seen 'em, Ann.

_Phoebe._  Oh, Nancy, why didn't you wake me up?

_Olive._  Nancy, I'll have no more of this.

_Nancy._  That's what she ought to have said last night--hadn't she,
Ann? But she didn't. Oh, I'll warrant she didn't! I know you would,

_Olive._  Nancy! [_A noise is heard outside._

_Phoebe._  Oh, what's that noise? What is coming?

_Enter_ Giles Corey, _panting. He flings the door to violently and
slips the bolt._

_Nancy._  Massy! what's after ye?

_Phoebe._  Oh, Uncle Corey, what's the matter?

_Giles._  The matter is there be too many evil things abroad
nowadays for a man to be out after nightfall. When things that can
be hit by musket balls lay in wait, old Giles Corey is as brave as
any man; but when it comes to devilish black beasts and black men
that musket balls bound back from--What! you here, Ann Hutchins?
What be you out after dark for?

_Ann._  I came over to see Olive, Goodman Corey.

_Giles._  You'd best stayed by your own hearth if you've got one.
Young women have no call to be out gadding after dark in these

_Phoebe._  Oh, Uncle Corey, something did frighten Ann as she came
through the wood. A black beast, with horns and a tail and eyes like
balls of fire, jumped out of the bushes at her, and bade her sign
the book in a dreadful voice.

_Giles._  What! Was't so, Ann?

_Ann._  I know not. There was something.

_Olive_ (_laughing_). 'Twas naught but Ann's own shadow that her
fear gave a voice and a touch to. Say naught to frighten Ann,
father; she is the most timorous maid in Salem Village now.

_Giles._  There is some wisdom in fear nowadays. You make too light
of it, lass.

_Olive_ (_laughing_). Nay, father, I'll turn to and hang up my own
shadow in the chimbly-place for a witch, an you say so.

_Giles._  This be no subject for jest. Said you the black beast
spoke to you, Ann?

_Ann._  I know not. Once I thought I heard Olive calling. I know not
what I heard.

_Giles._  You'd best have stayed at home. Where is your mother,

_Olive._  She has gone to Goodwife Bishop's with a basket of eggs.

_Giles._  Gone three miles to Goodwife Bishop's this time of night?
Is the woman gone out of her senses?

_Olive._  She is not afraid.

_Giles._  I'll warrant she is not afraid. So much the worse for her.
Mayhap she's gone riding on a broomstick herself. How is the cat?

_Olive._  She is better.

_Giles._  She was taken strangely, if your mother did make light of
it. And the ox, hath he fell down again?

_Olive._  Not that I have heard.

_Giles._  The ox was taken strangely, if your mother did pooh at it.
The ox was better when she went out of the yard.

_Phoebe._  There's Aunt Corey now. Who is she talking to?

_Enter_ Martha Corey.

_Phoebe._  Who were you talking to, Aunt Corey?

_Martha._  Nobody, child. Good-evening, Ann.

_Phoebe._  I heard you talking to somebody, Aunt Corey.

_Martha._  Be quiet, child. I was talking to nobody. You hear too
much nowadays. [_Takes off her cloak._

_Nancy._  Mayhap she hears more than folk want her to. I heard a
voice too, a gruff voice like a pig's.

_Giles._  I thought I heard talking too. Who was it, Martha?

_Martha._  I tell you 'twas no one. Are you all out of your wits?
[_Gets some knitting-work out of a cupboard and seats herself._

_Phoebe._  Weren't you afraid coming through the wood, Aunt Corey?

_Martha_ (_laughing_). Afraid? Why, no, child. Of what should I be

_Giles._  I trow there's plenty to be afraid of. How did you get
home so quick? 'Tis a good three miles to Goody Bishop's.

_Martha._  I walked at a good speed.

_Giles._  I thought perhaps you galloped a broomstick.

_Martha._  Nay, goodman, I know not how to manage such a strange

_Giles._  I thought perhaps one had taught you, inasmuch as you have
naught to say against the gentry that ride the broomstick of a

_Martha._  Fill not the child's head with such folly. How fares your
mother, Ann?

_Ann._  Well, Goodwife Corey.

_Giles._  She lacks sense, or she would have kept her daughter at
home. Out after nightfall, and the woods full of the devil knoweth

_Martha._  Nay, goodman, there be no danger. The scouts are in the

_Giles._  I meant not Injuns. There be worse than Injuns. There be
evil things and witches!

_Martha_ (_laughing_). Witches! Goodman, you are a worse child than
Phoebe here.

_Giles._  I tell ye, wife, you talk like a fool, ranting thus
against witches. I would you had been where I have been to-night,
and heard the afflicted maids cry out in torment, being set upon by
Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn. I would you had seen Mercy Lewis
strangled almost to death, and the others testifying 'twas Sarah
Good thus afflicting her. But I'll warrant you'd not have believed

_Martha_ (_laughing_). That I would not, goodman. I would have said
that the maids should be sent home and soundly trounced, then put to
bed, with a quart bowl of sage tea apiece.

_Giles._  Talk so if you will. One of these days folk will say you
be a witch yourself. You were ever hard-skulled, and could knock
your head long against a truth without being pricked by it. Hold out
if you can, when only this morning the ox and the cat were took so
strangely here in our own household.

_Martha._  Shame on you, goodman! The ox and the cat themselves
would laugh at you. The cat ate a rat, and it did not set well on
her stomach, and the ox slipped in the mire in the yard.

_Nancy._  'Twas more than that. I know, I know.

_Giles._  Laugh if you will, wife. Mayhap you know more about it
than other folk. You never could abide the cat. I am going to bed,
if I can first go to prayer. Last night the words went from me
strangely! But you will laugh at that. [_Lights a candle. Exit._

_Phoebe._  Aunt Corey, may I eat an apple?

_Martha._  Not to-night. 'Twill give you the nightmare.

_Phoebe._  No, 'twill not.

_Martha._  Be still!

_There is a knock._  Olive _opens the door. Enter_ Paul Bayley. Ann
_starts up._

_Paul._  Good-evening, goodwife. Good-evening, Olive. Good-evening,
Ann. 'Tis a fine night out.

_Ann._  I must be going; 'tis late.

_Olive._  Nay, Ann, 'tis not late. Wait, and Paul will go home with
you through the wood.

_Ann._  I must be going.

_Paul_ (_hesitatingly_). Then let me go with you, Mistress Ann! I
can well do my errand here later.

_Ann._  Nay, I can wait whilst you do the errand, if you are speedy.
I fear lest the delay would make you ill at ease.

_Martha_ (_quickly_). There is no need, Paul. I will go with Ann. I
want to borrow a hood pattern of Goodwife Nourse on the way.

_Paul._  But will you not be afraid, goodwife?

_Martha._  Afraid, and the moon at a good half, and only a short way
to go?

_Paul._  But you have to go through the wood.

_Martha._  The wood! A stretch as long as this room--six ash-trees,
one butternut, and a birch sapling thrown in for a witch spectre.
Say no more, Paul. Sit you down and keep Olive company. I will go,
if only for the sake of showing these silly little hussies that
there is no call for a gospel woman with prayer in her heart to be
afraid of anything but the wrath of God. [_Puts a blanket over her

_Ann._  I want no company at all, Goodwife Corey.

_Phoebe._  Aunt Corey, let me go, too; my stint is done.

_Martha._  Nay, you must to bed, and Nancy too. Off with ye, and no

_Nancy._  I'm none so old that I must needs be sent to bed like a
babe, I'd have you know that, Goody Corey. [_Sets away apple pan;
exit, with_ Phoebe _following sulkily._

_Martha._  Come, Ann.

_Ann._  I want no company. I have more fear with company than I have

_Martha._  Along with you, child.

_Olive._  Oh, Ann, you are forgetting your cape. Here, mother, you
carry it for her. Good-night, sweetheart.

_Ann._  I want no company, Goodwife Corey. [Martha _takes her
laughingly by the arm and leads her out._

_Paul._  It is a fine night out.

_Olive._  So I have heard.

_Paul._  You make a jest of me, Mistress Olive. Know you not when a
man is of a sudden left alone with a fair maid, he needs to try his
speech like a player his fiddle, to see if it be in good tune for
her ears; and what better way than to sound over and over again the
praise of the fine weather? What ailed Ann that she seemed so
strangely, Olive?

_Olive._  I know not. I think she had been overwrought by coming
alone through the woods.

_Paul._  She seemed ill at ease. Why spin you so steadily, Olive?

_Olive._  I must finish my stint.

_Paul._  Who set you a stint as if you were a child?

_Olive._  Mine own conscience, to which I will ever be a child.

_Paul._  Cease spinning, sweetheart.

_Olive._  Nay.

_Paul._  Come over here on the settle, there is something I would
tell thee.

_Olive._  Tell it, then. I can hear a distance of three feet or so.

_Paul._  I know thou canst, but come.

_Olive._  Nay, I will not. This is no courting night. I cannot idle
every night in the week.

_Paul._  Thou wouldst make a new commandment. A maid shall spin flax
every night in the week save the Sabbath, when she shall lay aside
her work and be courted. There be young men here in Salem Village,
though you may credit it not, Olive, who visit their maids twice
every week, and have the fire in the fore room kindled.

_Olive._  My mother thinks it not well that I should sit up oftener
than once a week, nor do I; but be not vexed by it, Paul.

_Paul._  I love thee better for it, sweetheart.

_Olive._  My stint is done.

_Paul._  Then come. (_She obeys._)  Now for the news. This morning I
bought of Goodman Nourse his nine-acre lot for a homestead. What
thinkest thou of that?

_Olive._  It is a pleasant spot.

_Paul._  'Tis not far from here, and thou wilt be near thy mother.

_Olive._  Was it not too costly?

_Paul._  I had saved enough to pay for it, and in another year's
time, and I have the help of God in it, I shall have saved enough
for our house. What thinkest thou of a gambrel-roof and a lean-to,
two square front rooms, both fire-rooms, and a living-room? And
peonies and hollyhocks in the front yard, and two popple-trees, one
on each side of the gate?

_Olive._  We shall need not a lean-to, Paul, and one fire-room will
serve us well; but I will have laylocks and red and white roses as
well as peonies and hollyhocks in the front yard, and some mint
under the windows to make the house smell sweet; and I like well the
popple-trees at the gate.

_Paul._  The house shall be built of fairly seasoned yellow pine
wood, with a summer tree in every room, and fine panel-work in the
doors and around the chimbleys.

_Olive._  Nay, Paul, not too fine panel-work; 'twill cost too high.

_Paul._  Cupboards in every room, and fine-laid white floors.

_Olive._  We need a cupboard in the living-room only, but I have
learned to sand a floor in a rare pattern. [Paul _attempts to
embrace_ Olive. _She repulses him._

_Paul._  I trow you are full provident of favors and pence, Olive.

_Olive._  I would save them for thee, Paul.

_Paul._  And thou shalt not be hindered by me to any harm,
sweetheart. Was't thy mother taught thee such wisdom, or thine own
self, Olive?

_Olive._  'Twas my mother.

_Paul._  Nay, 'twas thine own heart; that shall teach me, too.
[_Nine-o'clock bell rings._

_Olive._  Oh, 'tis nine o'clock, and 'tis not a courting night.
Paul, be off; thou must! [_They jump up and go to the door._

_Paul_ (_putting his arm around_ Olive). Give me but one kiss,
Olive, albeit not a courting night, for good speed on my homeward
walk and my to-morrow's journey.

_Olive._  Where go you to-morrow, Paul?

_Paul._  To Boston, for a week's time or more.

_Olive._  Oh, Paul, there may be Injuns on the Boston path! Thou
wilt be wary?

_Paul_ (_laughing_). Have no fear for me, sweetheart. I shall have
my musket.

_Olive._  A week?

_Paul._  'Tis a short time, but long enough to need sweetening with
a kiss when folk are absent from one another.

_Olive_ (_kisses him_). Oh, be careful, Paul!

_Paul._  Fear not for me, sweetheart, but do thou too be careful,
for sometimes danger sneaks at home, when we flee it abroad. Keep
away from this witchcraft folly. Good-by, sweetheart. [_They part._
Olive _sets a candle in the window after_ Paul's _exit. Nine-o'clock
bell still rings as curtain falls._

Scene II.--_Twelve o'clock at night. Living-room at_ Giles Corey's
_house, lighted only by the moon and low fire-light. Enter_ Nancy
Fox _with a candle,_ Phoebe _following with a large rag doll._
Nancy _sets the candle on the dresser._

_Nancy._  Be ye sure that Goody Corey is asleep, and Goodman Corey?

_Phoebe_ (_dances across to the door, which she opens slightly, and
listens_). They be both a-snoring. Hasten and begin, I pray you,

_Nancy._  And Olive?

_Phoebe._  She is asleep, and she is in the south chamber, and could
not hear were she awake. Here is my doll. Now show me how to be a
witch. Quick, Nancy!

_Nancy._  Whom do you desire to afflict?

_Phoebe_ (_considers_). Let me see. I will afflict Uncle Corey,
because he brought me naught from Boston to-day; Olive, because she
gave that cape to Ann instead of me; and Aunt Corey, because she set
me such a long stint, because she would not let me eat an apple
to-night, and because she sent me to bed. I want to stick one pin
into Uncle Corey, one into Olive, and three into Aunt Corey.

_Nancy._  Take the doll, prick it as you will, and say who the
pricks be for. [Phoebe _sticks a pin into the doll._

_Phoebe._  This pin be for Uncle Corey, and this pin be for Olive,
and this pin for Aunt Corey, and this pin for Aunt Corey, and this
pin for Aunt Corey. Pins! pins!! pins!!! (_Dances._)  In truth,
Nancy, 'tis rare sport being a witch; but I stuck not in the pins
very far, lest they be too sorely hurt.

_Nancy._  Is there any other whom you desire to afflict?

_Phoebe._  I fear I know not any other who has angered me, and I
could weep for 't. Stay! I'll afflict Ann, because she hath the
cape; and I'll afflict Paul Bayley, because I'm drove forth from the
fore room Sabbath nights when he comes a-courting; and I'll afflict
Minister Parris, because he put me too hard a question from the
catechism; that makes three more. Oh, 'tis rare sport! (_Seizes the
doll and sticks in three pins._)  This pin be for Ann, this pin be
for Paul, and this pin be for Minister Parris. Deary me, I can think
of no more! What next, Nancy?

_Nancy._  I'll do some witchcraft now. I desire to afflict your aunt
Corey, because she doth drive me hither and thither like a child,
and sets no value on my understanding; Olive, because she made a
jest of me; and Goody Bishop, because she hath a fine silk hood.

_Phoebe._  Here is the doll, Nancy.

_Nancy._  Nay, I have another way, which you be too young to
understand. [Nancy _takes the candle, goes to the fireplace, and
courtesies three times, looking up the chimney._

_Nancy._  Hey, black cat! hey, my pretty black cat! Go ye and sit on
Goody Corey's breast, and claw her if she stirs. Do as I bid ye, my
pretty black cat, and I'll sign the book.

_Phoebe._  Oh, Nancy, I hear the black cat yawl!

_Nancy_ (_after courtesying three times_). Hey, black dog! hey, my
pretty black dog! Go ye and howl in Mistress Olive's ear, so she be
frighted in her dreams, and so get a little bitter with the sweet.
Do as I bid ye, my pretty black dog, and I'll sign the book.

_Phoebe._  Oh, Nancy, I hear the black dog howl!

_Nancy_ (_after courtesying three times_). Hey, yellow bird! hey, my
pretty yellow bird! Go ye and peck at Goody Bishop's fine silk hood
and tear it to bits. Do as I bid ye, my pretty yellow bird, and I'll
sign the book.

_Phoebe._  Oh, Nancy, I hear the yellow bird twitter up chimbly!

_Nancy._  'Tis rare witchcraft.

_Phoebe._  Is that all, Nancy?

_Nancy._  All of this sort. I've given them all they can do

_Phoebe._  Then sing the witch song, Nancy.

_Nancy._  I'll sing the witch song, and you can dance on the table.

_Phoebe._  But 'tis sinful to dance, Nancy!

_Nancy._  'Tis not sinful for a witch.

_Phoebe._  True; I forgot I was a witch. [_Gets upon the table and
dances, dangling her doll, while_ Nancy _sings._


(Same air as Spinning Song.)

  "I'll tell you a story, a story of one;
  'Twas of a dark witch, and the wizard her son.
  A dark witch was she, and a dark wizard he,
  With yellow birds singing so gay and so free.
  To my down, down, down, derry down.

  "The clock was a-striking, a-striking of one.
  The witches came out, and the dancing begun.
  They courtesied so fine, and they drank the red wine--
  The wizards were three and the witches were nine.
  To my down, down, down, derry down.

  "Halloo, the gay dancers! Halloo, I was one;
  The goody that prayed and the maiden that spun!
  The yellow birds chirped in the boughs overhead,
  And fast through the bushes the black dog sped.
  To my down, down, down, derry down."
  [_A noise is heard._  Phoebe _jumps down from the table._

_Phoebe._  Oh, Nancy, something's coming! Run, run quick, or it 'll
catch us! [_Both run out. Curtain falls._

Act II.

_Best room in the house of_ Widow Eunice Hutchins, Ann's _mother._
John Hathorne _and_ Minister Parris _enter, shown in by_ Widow

_Hutchins._  I pray you, sirs, to take some cheers the while I go
for a moment's space to my poor afflicted child. I heard her cry out
but now. [_Exit._

[Hathorne _and_ Parris _seat themselves, but_ Hathorne _quickly
springs up, and begins walking._

_Hathorne._  I cannot be seated in this crisis. I would as lief be
seated in an onset of the savages. I must up and lay about me. We
have heretofore been too lax in this dreadful business; the powers
of darkness be almost over our palisades. I tell thee there must be
more action!

_Parris_ (_pounding with his cane_). Yea, Master Hathorne, I am with
thee. Verily, this last be enough to make the elect themselves quake
with fear. This Martha Corey is a woman of the covenant.

_Hathorne._  There must be no holding back. The powers of darkness
be let loose amongst us, and they that be against them must be up.
We must hang, hang, hang, till we overcome!

_Parris._  Yea, we must not falter, though all the woods of
Massachusetts Bay be cut for gallows-trees, and the country be like
Sodom. Verily, Satan hath manifested himself at the head of our
enemies; the colonies were never in such peril as now. We must
strive as never before, or all will be lost. The wilderness full of
malignant savages, who be the veritable servants of Satan, closes us
in, and the cloven footmark is in our midst. There must be no
dallying as we would save the colonies. Widow Hutchins saith her
daughter is grievously pressed. (_A scream._)  There, heard you

_Hathorne._  It is dreadful, dreadful, that an innocent maid should
be so tormented by acts which her guileless fancy could never

_Parris._  Verily, malignity hath ever cowardice in conjunction with
it. Satan loveth best to afflict those who can make no defence, and
fastens his talons first in the lambs.

_Enter_ Widow Hutchins _with the embroidered cape._

_Hutchins._  Here, your worships, is the cape.

_Hathorne_ (_examines it_). I have seen women folk wear its like on
the Sabbath day. I can see naught unwonted about it.

_Parris._  It looketh like any cape.

_Hutchins._  I fear it be not like any cape. Had your worships seen
my poor child writhe under it, and I myself, when I would try it on,
bent down to my knees as under a ton weight, your worships would not
think it like any cape.

_Parris._  I suspect there be verily evil work in the cape, and a
witch's bodkin hath pierced these cunning eyelets. It goeth so fast
now that erelong every guileless, senseless thing in our houses,
down to the tinder-box and the candle-stick, will find hinges and
turn into a gate, whereby witchcraft can enter. You say, Widow
Hutchins, that Olive Corey gave this cape to your daughter?

_Hutchins._  That did she. Yesterday evening Ann went down to Goody
Corey's house for a little chat; she and Olive have been gossips
ever since they were children, though lately there hath been
somewhat of bitterness betwixt them.

_Parris._  How mean you?

_Hutchins._  I have laid it upon my mind ere now to tell you, being
much wrought up concerning it, and thinking that you might give me
somewhat of spiritual consolation and advice. It was in this wise.
Paul Bayley, who, they say, goeth every Sabbath night to Goody
Corey's house and sitteth up until unseemly hours with Olive, looked
once with a favorable eye upon my daughter Ann. Had your worships
seen him, as I saw him one day in the meeting-house, look at Ann
when she wore her green paduasoy, you had not doubted. Youths look
not thus upon maidens unless they be inclined toward them. But this
hussy Olive Corey did come between Paul and my Ann, and that not of
her own merits. There is nobody in Salem Village who would say that
Olive Corey's looks be aught in comparison with my Ann's, but I trow
Goody Corey hath arts which make amends for lack of beauty. I trow
all ill-favored folk might be fair would they have such arts used
upon them.

_Hathorne._  What mean you by that saying?

_Hutchins._  I mean Goody Corey hath devilish arts whereby she
giveth her daughter a beauty beyond her own looks, wherewith she may
entice young men.

_Hathorne._  You say that this cape caused your daughter torment?

_Hutchins._  Your worships, it lay on her neck like a fire-brand,
and she thought she should die ere she cast it off.

_Hathorne._  Widow Hutchins, will you now put on the cape?

_Hutchins._  Oh, your worship, I dare not put it on! I fear it will
be the death of me if I do.

_Hathorne._  Minister Parris, wilt thou put on the cape?

_Parris._  Good Master Hathorne, it would ill behoove a minister of
the gospel to put himself in jeopardy when so many be depending upon
him to lead them in this dreadful conflict with the powers of
darkness. But do thou put on the mantle the while I go to prayer to
avert any ill that may come of it.

_Hathorne._  Nay, I will make no such jest of my office of
magistrate as to put this woman's gear on my shoulders. I doubt if
there be aught in it. Prithee, Widow Hutchins, when did this torment
first come upon the young woman?

_Hutchins._  Your worship, she went, as I have said, to Goody
Corey's yester-evening to have a little chat with her gossip, Olive,
and Paul Bayley came in also, and some of them did talk strangely
about this witchcraft, Olive and Goody Corey nodding and winking,
and making light of it. And then when Ann said she must be home,
Paul rose quickly and made as though he would go with her, but Goody
Corey would not let him, and herself went with Ann. And she did
practise her devilish arts upon my poor child all the way home, and
when my poor child got on the door-stone she burst open the door,
and came in as though all the witches were after her, and she hath
not been herself since. She hath ever since been grievously
tormented, being set upon now by Goody Corey, and now by Olive,
being choked and twisted about until I thought she would die, and so
I fear she will, unless they be speedily put in chains. It seemeth
flesh and blood cannot endure it. Mercy Lewis is just come in, and
she saw Goody Corey and Olive upon her when she opened the door.

_Hathorne._  This evil work must be stopped at all hazards, and this
monstrous brood of witches gotten out of the land.

_Parris._  Yea, verily, although we have to reach under the covenant
for them. [_Screams._

_Hutchins._  Oh, your worships, my poor child will have no peace
until they be chained in prison.

_Hathorne._  They shall be chained in prison before the sun sets. I
will at once go forth and issue warrants for the arrest of Martha
Corey and her daughter. [_More violent screams and loud voices

_Parris._  Would it not be well, good Master Hathorne, for us to see
the afflicted maid before we depart?

_Hutchins._  Oh, I pray you, sirs, come up stairs to my poor child's
chamber and see yourselves in what grievous torment she lies. She
hath often called for Minister Parris, saying they dared not so
afflict her were he there.

_Hathorne._  It would perchance be as well. Lead the way, if you
will, Widow Hutchins. [_Exeunt. Screams continue._

_Enter_ Nancy Fox _and_ Phoebe Morse _stealthily from other door._
Phoebe _carries her rag doll._

_Nancy._  Massy sakes, hear them screeches!

_Phoebe_ (_clinging to_ Nancy). Oh, Nancy, won't they catch us too!
I'm afraid!

_Nancy._  They can't touch us; we're witches too.

_Phoebe._  Massy sakes! I forgot we were witches.

_Nancy._  Hear that, will ye? Ain't she a-ketchin' it?

_Phoebe._  Nancy, do you suppose it's the pin I stuck in my doll
makes Ann screech that way?

_Nancy._  Most likely 'tis. Stick in another, and see if she
screeches louder.

_Phoebe._  No, I won't. I'll pull the pin out; 'twas this one in my
doll's arm. (_Pulls out pin and flings it on the floor._)  I won't
have Ann hurt so bad as that if Olive did give her the cape. Why
don't she stop screeching now, Nancy? Oh, Nancy, somebody's coming!
I hear somebody at the door. Crawl under the bed--quick! quick!

[Phoebe _gets down and begins to crawl under the bed._  Nancy _tries
to imitate her, but cannot bend herself._

_Nancy._  Oh, massy! I've got a crick in my back, and I can't double
up. What shall I do? (_Tries to bend._)  I can't; no, I can't! 'Tis
like a hot poker. Massy! what 'll I do?

_Phoebe._  You've got to, Nancy. Quick! the latch is lifting. Quick!
quick! I'll push you. No; I'll pull you. Here!

[_Pulls_ Nancy _down upon the floor, and rolls her under the bed;
gets under herself just as the door is pushed open._

_Enter_ Giles Corey _in great excitement._

_Giles_ (_running across the room, and listening at the door leading
to the chamber stairs_). Devil take them! why don't they put an end
to it? Why do they let the poor lass be set upon this way?
Screeching so you can hear her all over Salem Village! There! hear
that, will ye? Out upon them! Widow Hutchins! Widow Hutchins! Can't
you give her some physic? Sha'n't I come up there with my musket?
Why don't they find out who is so tormenting her and chain her up in
prison? 'Tis some witch or other. Oh, I'd hang her; I'd tie the rope
myself. Poor lass! poor lass! [_The door is pushed open, and_ Giles
_starts back._

_Enter_ John Hathorne, Minister Parris, _and_ Widow Hutchins.

_Giles._  Good-day, Widow Hutchins. Shall I go up there with my

_Parris._  I trow there be too many of thy household up there now.

_Giles._  I'd lay about me till I hit some of 'em. I'll warrant I
would. Oh, the poor lass! hear that!

_Parris._  She is a grievous case.

_Giles._  I heard the screeches out in the wood, and I ran in
thinking I might do somewhat. I would Martha were here. I'll be
bound she'd laugh and scoff at it no longer!

_Hathorne._  Laugh and scoff, say you?

_Giles._  That she doth. Martha acts as if the devil were in her
about it. She doth nothing but laugh at and make light of the
afflicted children, and saith there be no witches. She would not
even believe 'twas aught out of the common when our ox and cat were
took strangely. If she were herself a witch she could be no more

_Parris._  Doth she go out after nightfall?

_Giles._  That she doth, in spite of all I can say. She hath no fear
that an honest gospel woman should have in these times. She went out
last night, and I was so angered that I charged her with galloping a
broomstick home.

_Hathorne._  Did she deny it?

_Giles._  She laughed as she is wont to do. She even made a jest
on't, when I could not when I would go to prayer, and the words
stayed beyond my wits. I would she could be here now, and hear this!

_Parris._  Perchance she doth.

_Giles._  I'll warrant she'd lose somewhat of her stiff-neckedness.
Hear that! Can't ye chain up the witch that's tormenting the poor
lass! Is't Goody Osborn?

_Hathorne._  The witch will be chained and in prison before
nightfall. Come, Minister Parris, we can do no good by abiding
longer here. Methinks we have sufficient testimony.

_Parris._  Verily the devil hath played into our hands. [_They turn
to leave._

_Hutchins._  Oh, your worships, ye will use good speed for the sake
of my poor child.

_Giles._  Ay, be speedy about it. Put the baggage in prison as soon
as may be, and load her down well with irons.

_Hathorne._  I will strive to obey your commands well, Goodman
Corey. Good-day, Widow Hutchins; your daughter shall soon find

_Parris._  Good-day, Widow Hutchins, and be of good cheer.

[_Exeunt_ Hathorne _and_ Parris, _while_ Widow Hutchins

_Giles._  Well, I must even be going too. I have my cattle to water.
I but bolted in when I heard the poor lass screech, thinking I might
do somewhat. But good Master Hathorne will see to it. Hear that! Do
ye go up to her, widow, and mix her up a bowl of yarb tea, till they
put the trollop in prison. I'm off to water my cattle, then devil
take me if I don't give the sheriffs a hand if they need it. Goody
Osborn's house is nigh mine. Good-day, widow. [_Exit_ Giles.

_Hutchins_ (_laughing_). Give the sheriffs a hand, will he?
Perchance he will, but I doubt me if 'tis not a fisted one. He sets
his life by Goody Corey, however he rate her. (_A scream from above
of_ "Mother! Mother!")  Yes, Ann, I'm coming, I'm coming! [_Exit._

_Phoebe_ (_crawls out from under the bed_). Now, Nancy, we've got a
chance to run. Come out, quick! Oh, if Uncle Corey had caught us

_Nancy._  I can't get out. Oh! oh! The rheumatiz stiffened me so I
couldn't double up, and now it has stiffened me so I can't undouble.
No, 'tis not rheumatiz, 'tis Goody Bishop has bewitched me. I can't
get out.

_Phoebe._  You must, Nancy, or some body 'll come and catch us.
Here, I'll pull you out.

[_Tugs at_ Nancy's _arms, and drags her out, groaning._

_Nancy._  Here I am out, but I can't undouble. I'll have to go home
on all-fours like a cat. Oh! oh!

_Phoebe._  Give me your hands and I'll pull you up. Think you 'tis
witchcraft, Nancy?

_Nancy._  I know 'tis. 'Tis Goody Bishop in her fine silk hood
afflicts me. Oh, massy!

_Phoebe._  There, you are up, Nancy.

_Nancy._  I ain't half undoubled.

_Phoebe._  You can walk so, can't you, Nancy? Oh, come, quick! I
think I hear somebody on the stairs. (_Catches up her doll and
seizes_ Nancy's _hand._)  Quick! quick!

_Nancy._  I tell ye I can't go quick; I ain't undoubled enough.
Devil take Goody Bishop!

[_Exit, hobbling and bent almost double,_ Phoebe _urging her along.
Curtain falls._

Act III.

_The Meeting-house in Salem Village. Enter_ People of Salem Village
_and take seats. The_ Afflicted Girls, _among whom are_ Ann Hutchins
_and_ Mercy Lewis, _occupy the front seats._  Nancy Fox _and_
Phoebe. _Enter the magistrates_ John Hathorne _and_ Jonathan Corwin
_with_ Minister Parris, _escorted by the_ Marshal, Aids, _and four_
Constables. _They place themselves at a long table in front of the

_Hathorne_ (_rising_). We are now prepared to enter upon the
examination. We invoke the blessing of God upon our proceedings, and
call upon the Marshal to produce the bodies of the accused.

[_Exeunt_ Marshal _and_ Constables. Afflicted Girls _twist about and
groan. Great excitement among the people._

_Enter_ Marshal _and_ Constables _leading_ Martha _and_ Olive Corey
_in chains._  Giles _follows. The prisoners are placed facing the
assembly, with the_ Constables _holding their hands._  Giles _stands
near. The_ Afflicted Girls _make a great clamor._

_Ann._  Oh, they are tormenting! They will be the death of me! I
will not! I will not!

_Giles._  Hush your noise, will ye, Ann Hutchins!

_Parris._  Peace, Goodman Corey!

_Hathorne._  Martha Corey, you are now in the hands of authority.
Tell me now why you hurt these persons.

_Martha._  I do not. I pray your worships give me leave to go to

_Hathorne._  We have not sent for you to go to prayer, but to
confess that you are a witch.

_Martha._  I am no witch. I am a gospel woman. There is no such
thing as a witch. Shall I confess that I am what doth not exist? It
were not only a lie, but a fool's lie.

_Mercy._  There is a black man whispering in her ears.

_Hathorne._  What saith the black man to you, goodwife?

_Martha._  I pray your worships to ask the maid. Perchance, since
she sees him, she can also hear what he saith better than I.

_Hathorne._  Why do you not tell how the devil comes in your shape
and hurts these maids?

_Martha._  How can I tell how? I was never acquaint with the ways of
the devil. I leave it to those wise maids who are so well acquaint
to tell how. Perchance he hath whispered it in their ears.

_Afflicted Girls._  Oh, there is a yellow bird! There is a yellow
bird perched on her head!

_Hathorne._  What say you to that, Goodwife Corey?

_Martha._  What can I say to such folly?

_Hathorne._  Constables, let go the hands of Martha Corey.

[_The_ Constables _let go her hands, and immediately there is a
great outcry from the_ Afflicted Girls.

_Afflicted Girls._  She pinches us! Hold her hands! Hold her hands
again! Oh! oh!

_Ann._  She is upon me again! She digs her fingers into my throat!
Hold her hands! Hold her hands! She will be the death of me!

_Giles._  Devil take ye, ye lying trollop! 'Tis a pity somebody had
not been the death of ye before this happened!

_Hathorne._  Constables, hold the hands of the accused.

[Constables _obey, and at once the afflicted are quiet._

_Hathorne._  Goodwife Corey, what do you say to this?

_Martha._  I see with whom we have to do. May the Lord have mercy
upon us!

_Hathorne._  What say you to the charges that your husband, Giles
Corey, hath many a time brought against you in the presence of
witnesses--that you hindered him when he would go to prayer, causing
the words to go from him strangely; that you were out after
nightfall, and did ride home on a broomstick; and that you scoffed
at these maids and their affliction, as if you were a witch

_Giles._  I said not so! Martha, I said it not so!

_Hathorne._  What say you to your husband's charge that you did
afflict his ox and cat, causing his ox to fall in the yard, and the
cat to be strangely sick?

_Giles._  Devil take the ox and the cat! I said not that she did
afflict them.

_Hathorne._  Peace, Goodman Corey; you are now in court.

_Martha._  I say, if a gospel woman is to be hung as a witch for
every stumbling ox and sick cat, 'tis setting a high value upon oxen
and cats.

_Giles._  I would mine had all been knocked in the head, lass, and
me too!

_Hathorne._  Peace! Ann Hutchins, what saw you when Goodwife Corey
went home with you through the wood?

_Ann._  Hold fast her hands, I pray, or she will kill me. The trees
were so full of yellow birds that it sounded as if a mighty wind
passed over them, and the birds lit on Goody Corey's head. And black
beasts ran alongside through the bushes, which did break and
crackle, and they were at Goody Corey and me to go to the witch
dance on the hill. And they said to bring Olive Corey and Paul
Bayley. And Goody Corey told them how she and Olive would presently
come, but not Paul, for he never would sign the book, not even
though Olive trapped him by the arts they had taught her. And Goody
Corey showed me the book then, and besought me to sign, and go with
her to the dance. And when I would not, she and Olive also afflicted
me so grievously that I thought I could not live, and have done so
ever since.

_Hathorne._  What say you to this, Goodwife Corey?

_Martha._  I pray your worship believe not what she doth charge
against my daughter.

_Corwin._  Mercy Lewis, do you say that you have seen both of the
accused afflicting Ann Hutchins?

_Mercy._  Yes, your worship, many a time have I seen them pressing
her to sign the book, and afflicting when she would not.

_Corwin._  How looked the book?

_Mercy._  'Twas black, your worship, with blood-red clasps.

_Corwin._  Read you the names in it?

_Mercy._  I strove to, your worship, but I got not through the C's;
there were too many of them.

_Hathorne._  Let the serving-woman, Nancy Fox, come hither.

[Nancy Fox _makes her way to the front._

_Hathorne._  Nancy, I have heard that your mistress afflicts you.

_Nancy._  That she doth.

_Hathorne._  In what manner?

_Nancy._  She sendeth me to bed at first candlelight as though I
were a babe; she maketh me to wear a woollen petticoat in
winter-time, though I was not brought up to't; and she will never
let me drink more than one mug of cider at a sitting, and I nigh
eighty, and needing on't to warm my bones.

_Corwin._  Hath she ever afflicted you? Your replies be not to the
point, woman.

_Nancy._  Your worship, she hath never had any respect for my
understanding, and that hath greatly afflicted me.

_Hathorne._  Hath she ever shown you a book to sign?

_Nancy._  Verily she hath; and when I would not, hath afflicted me
with sore pains in all my bones, so I cried out, on getting up, when
I had set awhile.

_Hathorne._  Hath your mistress a familiar?

_Nancy._  Hey?

_Hathorne._  Have you ever seen any strange thing with her?

_Nancy._  She hath a yellow bird which sits on her cap when she

_Hathorne._  What else have you seen with her?

_Nancy._  A thing like a cat, only it went on two legs. It clawed up
the chimbly, and the soot fell down, and Goody Corey set me to
sweeping on't up on the Lord's day.

_Giles._  Out upon ye, ye lying old jade!

_Hathorne._  Silence! Nancy, you may go to your place. Phoebe Morse,
come hither.

[Phoebe Morse _approaches with her apron over her face, sobbing. She
has her doll under her arm._

_Hathorne._  Cease weeping, child. Tell me how your aunt Corey
treats you. Hath she ever taught you otherwise than you have learned
in your catechism?

_Phoebe_ (_weeping_). I don't know. Oh, Aunt Corey, I didn't mean
to! I took the pins out of my doll, I did. Don't whip me for it.

_Hathorne._  What doll? What mean you, child?

_Phoebe._  I don't know. I didn't stick them in so very deep, Aunt
Corey! Don't let them hang me for it!

_Hathorne._  Did your aunt Corey teach you to stick pins into your
doll to torment folk?

_Phoebe_ (_sobbing convulsively_). I don't know! I don't know! Oh,
Aunt Corey, don't let them hang me! Olive, you won't let them! Oh!

_Corwin._  Methinks 'twere as well to make an end of this.

_Hathorne._  There seemeth to me important substance under this
froth of tears. (_To_ Phoebe.)  Give me thy doll, child.

_Phoebe_ (_clutching the doll_). Oh, my doll! my doll! Oh, Aunt
Corey, don't let them have my doll!

_Martha._  Peace, dear child! Thou must not begrudge it. Their
worships be in sore distress just now to play with dolls.

_Parris._  Give his worship the doll, child. Hast thou not been
taught to respect them in authority?

[Phoebe _gives the doll to_ Hathorne, _whimpering._  Hathorne,
Corwin, _and_ Parris _put their heads together over it._

_Hathorne_ (_holding up the doll_). There be verily many pins in
this image. Goodwife Corey, what know you of this?

_Martha._  Your worship, such a weighty matter is beyond my poor

_Hathorne._  Know you whence the child got this image?

_Martha._  Yes, your worship. I myself made it out of a piece of an
old homespun blanket for the child to play with. I stuffed it with
lamb's wool, and sewed some green ravellings on its head for hair. I
made it a coat out of my copperas-colored petticoat, and colored its
lips and cheeks with pokeberries.

_Hathorne._  Did you teach the child to stick in these pins
wherewith to torment folk?

_Martha._  It availeth me naught to say no, your worship.

_Mercy_ (_screams_). Oh, a sharp pain shoot through me when I look
at the image! 'Tis through my arms! Oh!

_Hathorne_ (_examining the doll_). There is a pin in the arms.

_Ann._  I feel sharp pains, like pins, in my face; oh, 'tis

_Hathorne_ (_examining the doll_). There are pins in the face.

_Phoebe_ (_sobbing_). No, no! Those are the pins I stuck in for Aunt
Corey. Don't let them hang me, Aunt Corey.

_Parris._  That is sufficient. She has confessed.

_Hathorne._  Yes, methinks the child hath confessed whether she
would or no. Goodwife Corey, Phoebe hath now plainly said that she
did stick these pins in this image for you. What have you to say?

_Martha_ (_courtesying_). Your worship, the matter is beyond my poor

[Hathorne _tosses the doll on the table,_ Phoebe _watching

_Hathorne._  Go to your place, child.

_Phoebe._  I want my doll.

_Parris._  Go to thy place as his worship bids thee, and think on
the precepts in thy catechism. [Phoebe _returns sobbing._

_Afflicted Girls._  Oh, Goody Corey turns her eyes upon us! Bid her
turn her eyes away!

_Ann._  Oh, I see a black cat sitting on Goody Corey's shoulder, and
his eyes are like coals. Now, now, he looks at me when Goody Corey
does! Look away! look away! Oh, I am blind! I am blind! Sparks are
coming into my eyes from Goody Corey's. Make her turn her eyes away,
your worships; make her turn her eyes away!

_Hathorne._  Goody Corey, fix your eyes upon the floor, and look not
at these poor children whom you so afflict.

_Martha._  May the Lord open the eyes of the magistrates and
ministers, and give them sight to discover the guilty!

_Parris._  Why do you not confess that you are a witch?

_Martha_ (_with sudden fervor_). I am no witch. There is no such
thing as a witch. Oh, ye worshipful magistrates, ye ministers and
good people of Salem Village, I pray ye hear me speak for a moment's
space. Listen not to this testimony of distracted children, this
raving of a poor lovesick, jealous maid, who should be treated
softly, but not let to do this mischief. Ye, being in your fair wits
and well acquaint with your own knowledge, must know, as I know,
that there be no witches. Wherefore would God let Satan after such
wise into a company of His elect? Hath He not guard over His own
precinct? Can He not keep it from the power of the Adversary as well
as we from the savages? Why keep ye the scouts out in the fields if
the Lord God hath so forsaken us? Call in the scouts! If we believe
in witches, we believe not only great wickedness, but great folly of
the Lord God. Think ye in good faith that I verily stand here with a
black cat on my shoulder and a yellow bird on my head? Why do ye not
see them as well as these maids? I would that ye might if they be
there. Black cat, yellow bird, if ye be upon my shoulder and my
head, as these maids say, I command ye to appear to these
magistrates! Otherwise, if I have signed the book, as these maids
say, I swear unto ye that I will cross out my name, and will serve
none but the God Almighty. Most worshipful magistrates, see ye the
black cat? See ye any yellow bird? Why are ye not afflicted as well
as these maids, when I turn my eyes upon ye? I pray you to consider
that. I am no saint; I wot well that I have but poorly done the will
of the Lord who made me, but I am a gospel woman and keep to the
faith according to my poor measure. Can I be a gospel woman and a
witch too? I have never that I know of done aught of harm whether to
man or beast. I have spared not myself nor minded mine own
infirmities in tasks for them that belonged to me, nor for any
neighbor that had need. I say not this to set myself up, but to
prove to you that I can be no witch, and my daughter can be no
witch. Have I not watched nights without number with the sick? Have
I not washed and dressed new-born babes? Have I not helped to make
the dead ready for burial, and sat by them until the cock crew? Have
I ever held back when there was need of me? But I say not this to
set myself up. Have I not been in the meeting-house every Lord's
day? Have I ever stayed away from the sacrament? Have I not gone in
sober apparel, nor wasted my husband's substance? Have I not been
diligent in my household, and spun and wove great store of linen?
Are not my floors scoured, my brasses bright, and my cheese-room
well filled? Look at me! Can I be a witch?

_Ann._  A black man hath been whispering in her ear, telling her
what to say.

_Hathorne._  What say you to that, Goody?

_Martha._  I say if that be so, he told me not to his own advantage.
I see with whom I have to do. I pray you give me leave to go to

_Hathorne._  You are not here to go to prayer. I much fear that your
many prayers have been to your master, the devil. Constables, bring
forward the body of the accused.

[Afflicted Girls _shriek._  Constables _lead_ Olive _forward._
Martha _is led to one side._

_Martha._  Be of good cheer, dear child.

_Giles._  Yes, be not afraid of them, lass; thy father is here.

_Hathorne._  Silence! Olive Corey, why do you so afflict these other

_Olive._  I do not, your worship.

_Ann._  She is looking at me. Oh, bid her look away, or she will
kill me!

_Olive._  Oh, Ann, I do not! What mean you, dear Ann?

_Hathorne._  I charge you, Olive Corey, keep your eyes upon the

_Giles._  Look where you please, lass, and thy old father will
uphold thee in it; and I only wish your blue eyes could shoot pins
into the lying hussies.

_Hathorne._  Goodman, an ye disturb the peace again, ye shall be
removed from court. Ann Hutchins, you have seen this maid hurt you?

_Ann._  Many a time she hath hurt me nigh to death.

_Olive._  Oh, Ann, I hurt thee?

_Ann._  There is a flock of yellow birds around her head.

[Olive _moves her head involuntarily, and looks up._

_Afflicted Girls._  See her look at them!

_Hathorne._  What say you to that, Olive?

_Olive._  I did not see them.

_Hathorne._  Ann Hutchins, did you see this maid walking in the wood
with a black man last week?

_Ann._  Yes, your worship.

_Hathorne._  How did he go?

_Ann._  In black clothes, and he had white hair.

_Hathorne._  How went the accused?

_Ann._  She went in her flowered petticoat, and the flowers stood
out, and smelt like real ones; her kerchief shone like a cobweb in
the grass in the morning, and gold sparks flew out of her hair.
Goody Corey fixed her up so with her devilish arts to trap Paul

_Hathorne._  What mean you?

_Ann._  To trap the black man, your worship. I knew not what I said,
I was in such torment.

_Hathorne._  Olive Corey, did your mother ever so change your
appearance by her arts?

_Olive._  My mother hath no arts, your worship.

_Ann._  Her cheeks were redder than was common, and her eyes shone
like stars.

_Hathorne._  Olive, did your mother so change your looks?

_Olive._  No, your worship; I do not know what Ann may mean. I fear
she be ill.

_Hathorne._  Mercy Lewis, did you see Olive Corey with the black

_Mercy._  Yes, your worship; and she called out to me to go with
them to the dance, and I should have the black man for a partner;
and when I would not she afflicted me, pulling my hair and pinching

_Hathorne._  How appeared she to you?

_Mercy._  She was dressed like a puppet, finer than I had ever seen

_Hathorne._  Olive, what did you wear when you walked with the black

_Olive._  Your worship, I walked with no black man.

_Ann._  There he is now, standing behind her, looking over her

_Hathorne._  What say you to that, Olive?

_Olive_ (_looking in terror over her shoulder_). I see no one. I
pray you, let my father stand near me.

_Parris._  Nay; the black man is enough for you.

_Giles_ (_forcing his way to his daughter_). Here I be, lass; and it
will go hard if the hussies can see the black man and old Giles in
one place. Where be the black man now, jades?

_Hathorne_ (_angrily_). Marshal!

_Corwin_ (_interposing_). Nay, good Master Hathorne, let Goodman
Corey keep his standing. The maid looks near swooning, and albeit
his manner be rude, yet his argument hath somewhat of force. In
truth, he and the black man cannot occupy one place. Mercy Lewis,
see you now this black man anywhere?

_Mercy._  Yes, your worship.

_Corwin._  Where?

_Mercy._  Whispering in your worship's ear.

_Parris._  May the Lord protect his magistrates from the wiles of
Satan, and maintain them in safety for the weal of his afflicted

_Hathorne._  This be going too far. This be presumption! Who of you
now see the black man whispering to the worshipful esquire Jonathan

_Mercy._  He is gone now out of the meeting-house. 'Twas but for a
moment I saw him.

_Corwin._  Speak up, children. Did any other of ye see the black man
whispering to me?

_Afflicted Girls._  No! no! no!

_Corwin._  Mercy Lewis, you say of a truth you saw him?

_Mercy._  Your worship, it may have been Minister Parris's shadow
falling across the platform.

_Corwin._  This is but levity, and hath naught to do with the trial.

_Hathorne._  We will proceed with the examination. Widow Eunice
Hutchins, produce the cape.

[Widow Hutchins _comes forward, holding the cape by a corner._

_Hathorne._  Put it over your daughter's shoulders.

_Hutchins._  Oh, your worships, I pray you not! It will kill her!

_Ann._  Oh, do not! do not! It will kill me! Oh, mother, do not! Oh,
your worships! Oh, Minister Parris!

_Parris._  Why put the maid to this needless agony?

_Corwin._  Put the cape over her shoulders.

[Widow Hutchins _approaches_ Ann _hesitatingly, and throws the cape
over her shoulders._  Ann _sinks upon the floor, shrieking._

_Ann._  Take it off! Take it off! It burns! It burns! Take it off!
Have mercy! I shall die! I shall die!

_Hathorne._  Take off the cape; that is enough. Olive Corey, what
say you to this? This is the cape you gave Ann Hutchins.

_Olive._  Oh, mother! mother!

_Martha_ (_pushing forward_). Nay, I will speak again. Ye shall not
keep me from it; ye shall not send me out of the meeting-house!
(_The afflicted cry out._)  Peace, or I will afflict ye in earnest!
I _will_ speak! If I be a witch, as ye say, then ye have some reason
to fear me, even ye most worshipful magistrates and ministers. It
might happen to ye even to fall upon the floor in torment, and it
would ill accord with your offices. Ye shall hear me. I speak no
more for myself--ye may go hang me--I speak for my child. Ye shall
not hang her, or judgment will come upon ye. Ye know there is no
guile in her; it were monstrous to call her a witch. It were less
blasphemy to call her an angel than a witch, and ye know it. Ye know
it, all ye maids she hath played with and done her little kindnesses
to, ye who would now go hang her. That cape--that cape, most
worshipful magistrates, did the dear child earn with her own little
hands, that she might give it to Ann, whom she loved so much.
Knowing, as she did, that Ann was poor, and able to have but little
bravery of apparel, it was often on her mind to give her somewhat of
her own, albeit that was but scanty; and she hath toiled overtimes
at her wheel all winter, and sold the yarn in Salem, and so gained a
penny at a time wherewithal to buy that cape for Ann. And now will
it hang her, the dear child?

Dear Ann, dost thou not remember how thou and my Olive have spent
days together, and slept together many a night, and lain awake till
dawn talking? Dost thou not remember how thou couldst go nowhere
without Olive, nor she without thee, and how no little junketing
were complete to the one were the other not there? Dost thou not
remember how Olive wept when thy father died? Mercy Lewis, dost thou
not remember how my Olive came over and helped thee in thy work that
time thou wert ailing, and how she lent thee her shoes to walk to

Oh, dear children, oh, maids, who have been playmates and friends
with my dear child, ye will not do her this harm! Do ye not know
that she hath never harmed ye, and would die first? Think of the
time when this sickness, that is nigh to madness, shall have passed
over, and all is quiet again. Then will ye sit in the meeting-house
of a Lord's day, and look over at the place where my poor child was
wont to sit listening in her little Sabbath best, and ye will see
her no more, but will say to yourselves that ye have murdered her.
And then of a week-day ye will see her no more spinning at her wheel
in the doorway, nor tending the flowers in her garden. She will come
smiling in at your doors no more, nor walk the village street, and
ye will always see where she is not, and know that ye have murdered
her. Oh, poor children, ye are in truth young, and your minds, I
doubt not, sore bewildered! If I have spoken harshly to ye, I pray
ye heed it not, except as concerns me. I wot well that I am now done
with this world, and I feel already the wind that bloweth over
Gallows Hill in my face. But consider well ere ye do any harm to my
dear child, else verily the day will come when ye will be more to be
pitied than she. Oh, ye will not harm her! Ye will take back your
accusation! Oh, worshipful magistrates, oh, Minister Parris, I pray
you have mercy upon this child! I pray you mercy as you will need
mercy! [_Falls upon her knees._

_Hathorne._  Rise, woman; it is not now mercy, but justice that has
to be considered.

_Parris._  In straits like this there is no mercy in the divine
will. Shall mercy be shown Satan?

_Corwin._  Mercy Lewis, is it in truth Olive Corey who afflicts you?

_Mercy_ (_hesitating_). I am not so sure as I was.

_Other Afflicted Girls._  Nor I! nor I! nor I!

_Mercy._  Last time I was somewhat blinded and could not see her
face. Methinks she was something taller than Olive.

_Ann_ (_shrieks_). Oh, Olive is upon me! The sun shines on her face!
I see her, she is choking me! Oh! oh!

_Mercy_ (_to_ Ann). Hush! If she be put away you'll not get Paul
Bayley; I'll tell you that for a certainty, Ann Hutchins.

_Ann._  Oh! oh! she is killing me!

_Mercy._  I see her naught; 'tis a taller person who is afflicting
Ann. (_To_ Ann.)  Leave your outcries or I will confess to the
magistrates. [Ann _becomes quiet._

_Corwin._  Ann Hutchins, saw you in truth Olive Corey afflicting

_Ann_ (_sullenly_). It might have been Goody Corey.

_Corwin._  Mercy Lewis, saw you of a certainty Olive Corey walking
in the wood with a black man?

_Mercy._  It was the wane of the moon; I might have been mistaken.
It might have been Goody Corey; their carriage is somewhat the same.

_Corwin._  Give me the cape, Widow Hutchins. (Widow Hutchins _hands
him the cape; he puts it over his shoulders._)  Verily I perceive no
great inconvenience from the cape, except it is an ill fit.

[_Takes it off and lays it on the table. The two magistrates and_
Minister Parris _whisper together._

_Hathorne._  Having now received the testimony of the afflicted and
the witnesses, and duly weighted the same according to our judgment,
being aided to a decision, as we believe, by the divine wisdom which
we have invoked, we declare the damsel Olive Corey free and quit of
the charges against her. And Martha Corey, the wife of Giles Corey,
of Salem Village, we commit unto the jail in Salem until--

_Giles._  Send Martha to Salem jail! Out upon ye! Why, ye be gone
clean mad, magistrates and ministers and all! Send Martha to jail!
Why, she must home with me this night and get supper! How think ye I
am going to live and keep my house? Load Martha down with chains in
jail! Martha a witch! Then, by the Lord, she keeps His company
overmuch for one of her trade, for she goes to prayer forty times a
day. Martha a witch! Think ye Goodwife Martha Corey gallops a
broomstick to the hill of a night, with her decent petticoats
flapping? Who says so? I would I had my musket, and he'd not say so
twice to Giles Corey. And let him say so twice as 'tis, and meet my
fist, an he dares. I be an old man, but I could hold my own in my
day, and there be some of me left yet. Who says so twice to old
Giles Corey? Martha a witch! Verily she could not stop praying long
enough to dance a jig through with the devil. Martha! Out upon ye,
ye lying devil's tool of a parson, that seasons murder with prayer!
Out upon ye, ye magistrates! your hands be redder than your fine
trappings! Martha a witch! Ye yourselves be witches, and serving
Satan, and he a-tickling in his sleeve at ye. Send Martha in chains
to Salem jail, ye will, will ye? (_Forces his way to_ Martha, _and
throws his arm around her._)  Be not afraid, good lass, thy man will
save thee. Thou shalt not go to jail! I say thou shalt not! I'll cut
my way through a whole king's army ere thou shalt. I'll raise the
devil myself ere thou shalt, and set him tooth and claw on the whole
brood of them. I'll--(_One of the afflicted shrieks._  Giles _turns
upon them._)  Why, devil take ye, ye lying hussies, ye have done
this! Ye should be whipped through the town at the tail of a cart,
every one of ye. Ye ill-favored little jades, puling because no man
will have ye, and putting each other up to this d-- mischief for
lack of something better. Out upon ye, ye little--

_Mercy_ (_jumping up and screaming in agony_). Oh, Giles Corey is
upon me! He is afflicting me grievously! Oh, I will not! Chain him!
chain him! chain him!

_Ann._  Oh, this is worse than the others! This is dreadful! He's
strangling me! I--Oh--your--worships! Oh--help!--help! [_Falls upon
the floor._

_Afflicted Girls._  Chain him! chain him!

_Hathorne._  Marshal, take Giles Corey into custody and chain him.

[Marshal _and_ Constables _advance. Tableau--Curtain falls._

Act IV.

_The living-room in_ Giles Corey's _house._  Nancy Fox _and the
child_ Phoebe Morse _sit beside the hearth; each has her apron over
her face, weeping._

_Phoebe_ (_sobbing_). I--want my Aunt--Corey and--my Uncle Corey.
Why don't they come? Oh, deary me!

[Phoebe _jumps up and runs to the window._

_Nancy._  See you anybody coming?

_Phoebe._  There is a dame in a black hood coming past the
popple-trees. Oh, Nancy, come quick; see if it be Aunt Corey!

_Nancy._  Where be my spectacles--where be they? (_Runs about the
room searching._)  Oh Lord, what's the use of living to be so old
that you're scattered all over the house like a seed thistle! Having
to hunt everywhere for your eyes and your wits whenever you want to
use 'em, and having other folks a-meddling with 'em! Where be the
spectacles? They be not in the cupboard; they be not on the dresser.
Where be they? I trow this be witch-work. I know well enough what
has become of my good horn spectacles. Goody Bishop hath witched
them away, thinking they would suit well with her fine hood. I know
well that I--

_Phoebe_ (_sobbing aloud_). Oh, Nancy, it is not Aunt Corey. It is
only Goodwife Nourse.

_Nancy._  May the black beast catch her! Be you sure?

_Phoebe._  Yes; she is passing our gate. Oh, Nancy, what shall we
do? what shall we do?

_Nancy._  I would that I had my fingers in old man Hathorne's fine
wig. I would yank it off for him, and fling it to the pigs.
A-sending master and mistress to jail, and they no more witches than
I be!

_Phoebe._  Oh, Nancy, be we witches? They have not sent us to jail.

_Nancy._  I know not what we be. My old head will not hold it all.
It is time they came home. There is not a crumb of sweet-cake in the
house, and the stopple is so tight in the cider-barrel that I cannot
stir it a peg. [_Weeps._

_Phoebe._  Nancy, did they send Aunt Corey and Uncle Corey to jail
because I stuck the pins in my doll?

_Nancy._  I know not. I tell ye my old head spins round like a
flax-wheel; when I put my finger on one spoke 'tis another one.
These things be too much for a poor old woman like me. It takes
folks like their worships the magistrates and Minister Parris to
deal with black men and witches, and keep their wits in no need of

_Phoebe._  Oh, Nancy, I know what I will do! Oh, 'tis well I
snatched my doll off the meeting-house table that day after the
trial, and ran home with it under my apron! (_Runs to the settle,
takes up the doll, which is lying there, and kisses it._)  Here is
one kiss for Aunt Corey, here is another kiss for Aunt Corey, here
is another, and another, and another. Here is one kiss for Uncle
Corey, and here is another kiss for Uncle Corey, and here is
another, and another, and another. There, Nancy! will not this do
away with the pin pricks, and they be let out of jail?

_Nancy._  I know not. My old head bobs like a pumpkin in a pond. I
would master and mistress were home. These be troublous times for an
old woman. I would I could stir the stopple in the cider-barrel.
Look again, and see if mistress be not coming up the road.

_Phoebe._  It is of no use. I have looked for a whole week, and she
has not come in sight. I want my Aunt Corey! Nancy, have I not done
away with the pin pricks? Tell me, will she be not let out of jail?
Oh, there's Paul coming past the window! He's got home! Olive!

_Enter_ Paul Bayley. Phoebe _runs to him._

_Phoebe._  Oh, Paul, they've put Aunt Corey and Uncle Corey in Salem
jail while you were gone! Can't you get them out, Paul, can't you?

_Paul._  Where is Olive?

_Phoebe._  She is in her chamber. She stays there all the time at
prayer. Olive! Olive! Paul is come.

[_Calls at the foot of chamber stairs._

_Paul._  Olive!

Olive _comes slowly down the stairs and enters._

_Paul_ (_seizing her in his arms_). Oh, my poor lass, what is this
that hath come to thee?

_Olive._  This is what thou feared when we parted, Paul, and more.

_Paul._  I but heard of it as I came through Salem on my way hither.
Oh, 'tis devilish work!

_Olive._  They let me loose, but father and mother are in Salem

_Paul._  Poor lass!

_Olive._  Can you do naught to help them, Paul?

_Paul._  Olive, I will help them, if there be any justice or
unclouded minds left in the colony.

_Olive._  Thou art in truth here, Paul; it is thy voice.

_Paul._  Whose voice should it be, dear heart?

_Olive._  I know not. For a week I have thought I heard so many
voices. The air seemed full of voices a-calling me, but I heeded
them not, Paul. I kept all the time at prayer and heeded them not.

_Paul._  Of course thou didst not. There were no voices to heed.

_Olive._  Sometimes I thought I heard birds twittering, and
sometimes I thought there was something black at my elbow, and in
the night-time faces at my window. Paul, was there aught there?

_Paul._  No, no; there was naught there. Birds and black beasts and
faces! This be all folly, Olive!

_Olive._  They saw a black man by my side in the meeting-house--Ann
saw him. She cried out that the cape I gave her put her to dreadful
torment. Can I have been a witch unknowingly, and so done this great
evil to my father and mother? Tell me, Paul.

_Paul._  Call up thy wits, Olive! I tell thee thou art no witch.
There was no black man at thy side in the meeting-house. Black man!
I would one would verily lay hands on that lying hussy. Thou art no

[Phoebe _rushes to_ Olive, _and clings to her, sobbing._

_Phoebe._  You are not a witch, Olive. You are not. If Ann says so I
will pinch her and scratch her. I will! yes, I will--I will scratch
her till the blood runs. You are not a witch. I was the one that got
them into jail. I stuck pins into my doll, but I have made up for it
now. They'll be let out. Don't cry, Olive.

_Nancy._  Don't you fret yourself, Olive. I trow there's no
witch-mark on you. It's Goody Bishop in her fine silk hood that's at
the bottom on't. I know, I know. Perchance Paul could loose the
stopple in the cider-barrel. I am needful of somewhat to warm my old
bones. This witch-work makes them to creep with chills like long

_Olive._  They say my mother will soon be hanged, and I perchance a
witch, and the cause of it. I cannot get over it. (_Moves away from
them._)  If I be a witch, I shall hurt thee, as I perchance have
hurt them. [_Weeps._

_Paul._  Olive Corey, what is that?

_Olive_ (_looking up_). What? What mean you, Paul? [Nancy _and_
Phoebe _stare._

_Paul._  There, over the cupboard. Is it--Yes, 'tis--cobwebs. I
trow I never saw such a sight in Goodwife Corey's house before.

_Olive._  I will brush them down, Paul.

_Paul_ (_looking at the floor_). And I doubt me much if the floor
has been swept up this week past, and the hearth is all strewn with
ashes. I trow Goodwife Corey would weep could she see her house

_Olive._  I will get the broom, Paul.

_Paul._  I know well thou hast not spun this last week, that the
cream is too far gone to be churned, and the cheeses have not been

_Nancy._  'Tis so, Paul; and there's no sweet-cake in the house,

_Paul._  Thou art no such housewife as thy mother, Olive Corey! One
would say she had not taught thee. I trow she was a good housewife,
and notable among the neighbors; but this will take from her
reputation that she hath so brought thee up. I trow could she see
this house 'twould give her a new ache in her heart among all the

_Olive._  I will mind the house, Paul.

_Paul._  Ay, mind the house, poor lass! Know you, Olive, that there
is a rumor abroad in Salem that your father will refuse to plead,
and will stand mute at his trial?

_Olive._  Wherefore will he do that?

_Paul._  I scarcely know why. Has he made a will, 'twill not be
valid were he to plead at a criminal trial; there will be an
attainder on it. They say that is one reason, and that he thinks
thus to show his scorn of the whole devilish work, and of a trial
that is no trial.

_Olive._  What is the penalty if he stand mute?

_Paul._  'Tis a severe one; but he shall not stand mute.

_Phoebe._  Oh, Paul, get Aunt Corey out of jail! Can't you get Aunt
Corey out of jail?

_Nancy._  Perchance you could pry up the hook of the jail door with
the old knife. It will be dark to-night. There is no moon until
three o'clock in the morning.

_Olive._  Paul, think you not that my father's sons-in-law might do
somewhat? They are men of influence. Their wives are but my
half-sisters, but they are his own daughters. I marvel they have not
come to me since this trouble.

_Paul._  Olive, his sons-in-law have sent in their written testimony
against him and your mother.

_Olive._  Paul, it cannot be so!

_Paul._  They have surely so testified. There is no help to be had
from them. I have a plan.

_Olive._  All is useless, Paul. His sons-in-law, his own daughters'
husbands, have turned against him! There is no help anywhere. My
mother will soon be hanged. Minister Parris said so last night when
he came. And he knelt yonder and prayed that I might no longer
practise witchcraft. My father and mother are lost, and I have
brought it upon them. Talk no more to me, Paul.

_Paul._  Then, perchance your mother be a witch, Olive Corey.

_Olive._  My mother is not a witch.

_Paul._  Doth not Minister Parris say so? And if he speak truth when
he calls you a witch, why speaks he not truth of your mother also? I
trow, if you be a witch, she is.

_Olive._  My mother is no witch, and I am no witch, Paul Bayley!

_Paul._  Mind you stick to that, poor lass! Now, I go to Boston to
the Governor. There lies the only hope for thy parents.

_Olive._  Think you the Governor will listen? Oh, he must listen!
Thou hast a masterful way with thee, Paul. When wilt thou start? Oh,
if I had not thee!

_Paul._  I would I could make myself twenty-fold 'twixt thee and
evil, sweet. I will get Goodman Nourse's horse and start to-night.

_Olive._  Then go, go! Do not wait!

_Paul._  I will not wait. Good-by, dear heart. Keep good courage,
and put foolish fancies away from thee. [_Embraces her._

_Olive_ (_freeing herself_). This is no time for love-making, Paul.
I will mind the house well and keep at prayer. Thou need'st not
fear. Now, haste, haste! Do not wait!

_Paul._  I will be on the Boston path in a half-hour. Good-by,
Olive. Please God, I'll bring thee back good news. [_Exit_ Paul.

[Olive _stands in the door watching him depart._  Phoebe _steals up
to her and throws her arms around her._  Olive _turns suddenly and
embraces the child._

_Olive._  Come, sweet; while Paul sets forth to the Governor, we
will go to prayer. Nancy, come, we will go to prayer that the
Governor may lend a gracious ear, and our feet be kept clear of the
snares of Satan. Come, we will go to prayer; there is naught left
for us but to go to prayer!

_Tableau--Curtain falls._

Act V.

_Six weeks later._  Giles Corey's _cell in Salem jail. It is early
morning._  Giles, _heavily chained, is sleeping upon his bed. A
noise is heard at the door._  Giles _stirs and raises himself._

_Giles._  Yes, Martha, I'm coming. (_Noise continues._)  I'm coming,
Martha. (_Stares around the cell._)  God help me, but I thought
'twas Martha calling me to supper, and 'tis a month since she died
on Gallows Hill. I verily thought that I smelt the pork frying and
the pan-cakes.

_The door is opened and the_ Guard, _bringing a dish of porridge,
enters; he sets it on the floor beside the bed, then examines_
Giles's _chains._

_Giles._  Make sure they be strong, else it will verily go hard with
the hussies. They will screech louder yet, and be more like
pin-cushions than ever. Art sure they be strong? 'Twere a pity such
guileless and tender maids should suffer, and old Giles Corey's
hands be rough. He hath hewn wood and handled the plough for nigh
eighty years with them, and now these pretty maids say he hurts
their soft flesh. In truth, they must be sore afflicted. Prithee are
the chains well riveted? I thought last night one link seemed
somewhat loose as though it might be forced, and old Giles Corey
hath still some strength; and hath he witchcraft, as they say, it
might well make him stronger. Be wary about the chains for the sake
of those godly and tender maids.

[_Exit_ Guard. Giles _takes the dish of porridge and eats._

_Giles_ (_making a wry face_). This be rare porridge; it be rare
enough to charge the cook on't with witchcraft. It might well have
been scorched in some hell-fire. I trow Martha would have flung it
to the pigs. I verily thought 'twas Martha calling me to supper, and
I smelt the good food cooking, and Martha hung a month since on
Gallows Hill. Who's that at the door now?

Guard _opens the door and_ Paul Bayley _enters._  Giles _takes
another spoonful of porridge._

_Paul._  Good-day, Goodman Corey.

_Giles._  Taste this porridge, will ye.

_Paul_ (_tastes the porridge_). 'Tis burned.

_Giles._  It be rare food to keep up the soul of an old man who hath
set himself to undergo what I have set myself to undergo. But it
matters not. I trow old Giles Corey may well have eat all his life
unknowingly to this end, and hath now somewhat of strength to fall
back upon. He needs no dainty fare to make him strong to undergo
what he hath set himself. How fares my daughter?

_Paul._  As well as she can fare, poor lass! I saw her last evening.
She is now calmer in her mind, and she goeth about the house like
her mother.

_Giles._  Her mother set great store by her. She would often strive
in prayer that she should not make an idol of her before the Lord.

_Paul._  Goodman, it goes hard to tell you, but I had an audience
yesterday again with Governor Phipps, an' 'twas in vain.

_Giles_ (_laughing_). In vain, say ye 'twas in vain? Why, I looked
to see the pardon sticking out of your waistcoat pocket! Why went ye
again to Boston? Know ye not that this whole land is now a bedlam,
and the Governors and the magistrates swell the ravings? Seek ye in
bedlam for justice of madmen? It is not now pardon or justice that
we have to think on, but death, and the best that can be made out
on't. Know ye that my trial will be held this afternoon?

_Paul._  Yes, Goodman Corey.

_Giles._  Sit ye down on this stool. I have much I would say to ye.

[Paul _seats himself on a stool._  Giles _sits on his bed._

_Giles._  Master Bayley, ye have been long a-courting my daughter.
Do ye propose in good faith to take her to wife?

_Paul._  With the best faith that be in me.

_Giles._  Then I tell ye, man, take her speedily--take her within
three weeks.

_Paul._  I would take her with all my heart, goodman, would she be

_Giles._  She must needs be willing. Why, devil take it! be ye not
smart enough to make her willing? It will all go for naught if she
be not willing. Tell her her father bids her. She hath ever minded
her father.

_Paul._  I will tell her so, goodman.

_Giles._  Tell her 'tis the last command her father gives her. If
she say no, hear it yes. Do not ye give it up if ye have to drag her
to 't. Why, she must not be left alone in the world. It be a hard
world. Old Giles hath gone far in it, and found it ever a hard
world. Verily it be not cleared any more than the woods of
Massachusetts. It be hard enough for a man; a young maid must needs
have somebody to hold aside the boughs for her. Wed her, if she will
or no. I have somewhat to show ye, Master Bayley. (_Draws a document
from his waistcoat._)  See ye this?

[Paul _takes the document and examines it._

_Giles._  See ye what 'tis?

_Paul._  It is a deed whereby you convey all your property to me, so
I be Olive's husband. Wherefore?

_Giles._  It be drawn up in good form. It be duly witnessed. You see
that it be all in good form, Paul.

_Paul._  I see. But wherefore?

_Giles._  It will stand in law; there will be no getting loose from
it. It be a good and trusty document. But--so be it that this
afternoon I stand trial for witchcraft, and plead guilty or not
guilty, this same good and trusty document will be worth less than
the parchment 'tis writ on. 'Tis so with the law. There will be an
attainder on't. My sons-in-law that testified to the undoing of
Martha and me will have their share, and thou and Olive perchance
have naught in this bedlam. I bear no ill will toward my sons-in-law
and my daughters, who have been put up by them to deal falsely with
Martha and me, but I would not that they have my goods. I bear no
ill will; it becometh not a man so near death to bear ill will. But
they shall not have my goods; I say they shall not. There shall be
no attainder on this document. I will stand mute at my trial.

_Paul._  Goodman Corey, know you the penalty?

_Giles._  I trow I know it better than the catechism. 'Tis to be
pressed beneath stone weights until I be dead.

_Paul._  I say you shall not do this thing. What think you I care
for your goods? I'll have naught to do with them, nor will Olive.
This is madness!

_Giles._  'Tis not all for the goods. I would Olive had them, and
not those foul traitors; but 'tis not all. Were there no goods and
no attainder, I would still do this thing. Paul, they say that
Martha spake fair words when they had her there on Gallows Hill.

_Paul._  She spake like a martyr at the door of heaven.

_Giles._  Did they let her speak long?

_Paul._  They cut her short, Minister Parris saying, "Let not this
firebrand of hell burn longer."

_Giles._  Then they put the rope to her neck. Martha had a fair neck
when she was a maid. Did she struggle much?

_Paul._  Not much.

_Giles._  Then they left her hanging there a space. It was a wet
day, and the rain pelted on her. I remember it was a wet day. The
rain pelted on her, and the wind blew, and she swung in it. I swear
to thee, lass, I will make amends! I will suffer twenty pangs for
thy one.

_Paul._  'Tis not you who should make amends.

_Giles._  I tell ye I did Martha harm. When she chid my folly and
the folly of others, I did bawl out at her, and say among folk
things to her undoing, though I meant it not as they took it. Now I
will make amends, and the King himself shall not stop me. Martha was
a good wife. I know not how I shall make myself seemly for the court
this afternoon. My coat has many stitches loose in it. She was a
good wife. I will make amends to thee, lass; I swear I shall make
amends to thee! I will come where thou art by a harder road than the
one I made thee go.

_Paul._  It was not you, goodman. You overblame yourself. Those
foul-mouthed jades did it, and those bloodthirsty magistrates.

_Giles._  I tell ye I did part on't. I was wroth with her that she
made light of this witch-work over which I was so mightily wrought
up, and I said words that they twisted to her undoing. Verily, words
can be made to fit all fancies. 'Twere safer to be mute--as I'll be
this afternoon.

_Paul._  Goodman Corey, you must not think of this thing. There is
still some hope from the trial. They will not dare murder you too.

_Giles._  There be some things in this world folks may not bear, but
there be no wickedness they'll stick at when they get started on the
way to 't. 'Tis death in any case, and what would ye have me do?
Stand before their mad worships and those screeching jades, and
plead as though I were before folk of sound mind and understanding?
Think ye I would so humble myself for naught?

_Paul._  But Olive! I tell you 'twill kill her! There may be a
chance yet, and you should throw not away however small a one for
Olive's sake. She can bear no more.

_Giles._  There is no chance, and if there were--I tell ye if I had
a hundred daughters, and every one such a maid as she, and every one
were to break her heart, I would do this thing I have set myself to
do. There be that which is beyond human ties to force a man, there
be that which is at the root of things.

_Paul._  We will have none of your goods, I tell you that, Giles

_Giles._  Goods. The goods be the least of it! Old Giles Corey be
not a deep man. I trow he hath had a somewhat hard skull, but when a
man draws in sight of death he hath a better grasp at his wits than
he hath dreamed of. This be verily a mightier work than ye think. It
shall be not only old Giles Corey that lies pressed to death under
the stones, but the backbone of this great evil in the land shall be
broke by the same weight. I tell ye it will be so. I have clearer
understanding, now I be so near the end on't. They will dare no more
after me. To-day shall I stand mute at my trial, but my dumbness
shall drown out the clamor of my accusers. Old Giles Corey will have
the best on't. 'Tis for this, and not for the goods, I will stand
mute; for this, and to make amends to Martha.

_Paul._  Giles Corey, you shall not die this dreadful death. If
death it must be, and it may yet not be, choose the easier one.

_Giles._  Think ye I cannot do it? (_Rises._)  Master Paul Bayley,
you see before you Giles Corey. He be verily an old man, he be over
eighty years old, but there be somewhat of the first of him left. He
hath never had much power of speech; his words have been rough, and
not given to pleasing. He hath been a rude man, an unlettered man,
and a sinner. He hath brawled and blasphemed with the worst of them
in his day. He hath given blow for blow, and I trow the other man's
cheek smarted sorer than old Giles's. Now he be a man of the
covenant, but he be still stiff with his old ways, and hath no
nimbleness to shunt a blow. Old Giles Corey hath no fine wisdom to
save his life, and no grace of tongue, but he hath power to die as
he will, and no man hath greater.

_Paul._  Goodman Corey, I-- [Guard _opens the door._

_Guard._  Here is your daughter to see you, Goodman Corey.

_Giles._  Tell her I will see her not. What brought her here? I
know. Minister Parris hath sent her, thinking to tempt me from my
plan. I will see her not.

_Olive_ (_from without_). Father, you cannot send me away.

_Giles._  Why come you here? Go home and mind the house.

_Olive._  Father, I pray you not to send me away.

_Paul._  If you be hard with her, you will kill her.

_Giles._  Come in.

_Enter_ Olive.

_Olive._  What is this you will do, father?

_Giles._  My duty, lass.

_Olive._  Father, you will not die this dreadful death?

_Giles._  That will I, lass.

_Olive._  Then I say to you, father, so will I also. The stones will
press you down a few hours' space, and they will press me down so
long as I may live. You will be soon dead and out of the pains, but
you will leave your death with the living.

_Giles._  Then must the living bear it.

_Olive._  Father, you may yet be acquitted. Plead at your trial.

_Giles._  Work the bellows in the face of the north wind. Oh, lass,
why came you here? 'Tis worse than the stones. Talk no more to me,
good lass; womenkind should meddle not with men's plans. But promise
me you will wed with Paul here within three weeks.

_Olive._  I will never wed.

_Giles._  Ye will not, hey? Ye will wed with Master Paul Bayley
within three weeks. 'Tis the last command your father gives thee.

_Olive._  Think you I can wed when you--

_Giles._  Ay, I do think so, lass, and so ye will.

_Olive._  Father, I will not. But if you plead I will, I promise you
I will.

_Giles._  I will not, and you will. Lass, since you be here, I pray
you set a stitch in this seam in my coat. I would look tidy at the
trial, for thy mother's sake. Hast thou thy huswife with thee?

_Olive._  Yes, father.

[Olive _threads a needle, and standing beside her father, sets the
stitch; weeps as she does so._

_Giles._  Know you every tear adds weight to the stones, lass?

_Olive._  Then will I weep not. [_Mends._

_Giles._  Be the child and the old woman well?

_Olive._  Yes, father.

_Giles._  Look out for them as you best can. And see to 't the
little maid's linen chest is well filled, as your mother would have.

[Olive _breaks off the thread._

_Giles._  Be the stitch set strong?

_Olive._  Yes, father.

_Giles_ (_turning and folding her to his arms_). Oh, my good lass,
the stones be naught, but this cometh hard, this cometh hard! Could
they not have spared me this?

_Olive._  Father, listen to me, listen to me--

_Giles._  Lass, I must listen to naught but the voice of God. 'Tis
that speaks, and bids me do this thing. Thou must come not betwixt
thy father and his God.

_Olive._  Father! father!

_Giles._  Go, Olive, I can bear no more. Tell me thou wilt wed as I
command you.

_Olive._  As thou wilt, father! father! but I will love no man as I
love thee.

_Giles._  Go, lass. Give me a kiss. There, now go! I command thee to
go! Paul, take her hence. I charge ye do by her when her father be
dead and gone, as ye would were he at thy elbow. Take her hence. I
would go to prayer.

[_Exeunt_ Paul _and_ Olive.

_Olive_ (_as the door closes_). Father! father!

Giles Corey _stands alone in cell. Curtain falls._

Act VI.

_Three weeks later. Lane near Salem overhung by blossoming
apple-trees. Enter_ Hathorne, Corwin, _and_ Parris.

_Corwin._  'Tis better here, a little removed from the field where
they are putting Giles Corey to death. I could bear the sight of it
no longer.

_Hathorne._  You are fainthearted, good Master Corwin.

_Corwin._  Fainthearted or not, 'tis too much for me. I was brought
not up in the shambles, nor bred butcher by trade.

_Parris._  Your worship, you should strive in prayer, lest you
falter not in the strife against Satan.

_Corwin._  I know not that I have faltered in any strife against

_Parris._  Perchance 'tis but your worship's delicate frame of body
causeth you to shrink from this stern duty.

_Hathorne._  This torment of Giles Corey's can last but a little
space now. He hath still his chance to speak and avert his death,
and he will do it erelong. They have increased the weights mightily.
Fear not, good Master Corwin, Giles Corey will not die; erelong his
old tongue will wag like a millwheel.

_Corwin._  I doubt much, good Master Hathorne, if Giles Corey speak.
And if he does not speak, and so be put to death, as is decreed, I
doubt much if the temper of the people will stand more. There are
those who have sympathy with Giles Corey. I heard many murmurs in
the streets of Salem this morning.

_Hathorne._  Let them murmur.

_Parris._  Ay, let them murmur, so long as we wield the sword of the
Lord and of Gideon.

_Enter first_ Messenger.

_Hathorne._  Here comes a man from the field. How goes it now with
Giles Corey?

_Messenger._  Your worship, Giles Corey has not spoken.

_Parris._  And he hath been under the weights since early light.
Truly such obstinacy is marvellous. [_Exit_ Messenger.

_Hathorne._  Satan gives a strength beyond human measure to his

_Enter_ Olive _and_ Paul Bayley, _appearing in the distance._  Olive
_wears a white gown and white bonnet._

_Hathorne._  Who is that maid coming in a bride bonnet?

_Corwin._  'Tis Corey's daughter. I marvel that Paul lets her come
hither. 'Tis no place for her, so near. Master Hathorne, let us
withdraw a little way. I would not see her distress. I am somewhat
shaken in nerve this morning.

[Corwin, Hathorne, _and_ Parris _exeunt at other end of lane._

_Olive_ (_as she and_ Paul _advance_). Who were those men, Paul?

_Paul._  The magistrates and Minister Parris, sweet.

_Olive._  Are they gone?

_Paul._  Yes, they are quite out of sight. Oh, why wouldst thou come
here, dear heart?

_Olive._  Thou thinkest to cheat me, Paul; but thou canst not cheat
me. Three fields away to the right have they dragged my father this
morning. I knew it, I knew it, although you strove so hard to keep
it from me. I'll be as near my father's death-bed on my wedding-day
as I can.

_Paul._  I pray thee, sweetheart, come away with me. This will do no

_Olive._  Loyalty doth good to the heart that holds it, if to no
other. Think you I'll forsake my father because 'tis my wedding-day,
Paul? Oh, I trow not, I trow not, or I'd make thee no true wife.

_Paul._  It but puts thee to needless torment.

_Olive._  Torment! torment! Think of what he this moment bears! Oh,
my father, my father! Paul Bayley, why have I wedded you this
dreadful day!

_Paul._  Hush! Thy father wished it, sweetheart.

_Olive._  I swear to you I'll never love any other than my father. I
love you not.

_Paul._  Thou needst not, poor lass!

_Olive_ (_clinging to him_). Nay, I love thee, but I hate myself for
it on this day.

_Paul_ (_caressing her_). Poor lass! Poor lass!

_Olive._  Why wear I this bridal gear, and my father over yonder on
his dreadful death-bed? Why could you not have gone your own way and
let me gone mine all the rest of my life in black apparel,
a-mourning for my father? That would have beseemed me. This needed
not have been so; it needed never have been so.

_Paul._  Never? I tell thee, sweet, as well say to these apple
blossoms that they need never be apples, and to that rose-bush
against the wall that its buds need not be roses. In faith, we be
far set in that course of nature, dear, with the apple blossoms and
the rose-buds, where the beginning cannot be without the end. Our
own motion be lost, and we be swept along with a current that is
mightier than death, whether we would have it so or not.

_Olive._  I know not. I only know I would be faithful to my poor
father. But 'twas his last wish that I should wed thee thus.

_Paul._  Yes, dear.

_Olive._  He said so that morning before his trial. Oh, Paul, I can
see it now, the trial! I have been to the trial every day since.
Shall I go every day of my life? Perchance thou may often come home
and find thy wife gone to the trial, and no supper. I will go on my
wedding-day; my father shall have no slights put upon him. I can see
him stand there, mute. They cry out upon him and mock him and lay
false charges upon him, and he stands mute. The judge declares the
dreadful penalty, and he stands mute. Oh, my father, my poor father!
I tell ye my father will not mind anything. The Governor and the
justices may command him as they will, the afflicted may clamor and
gibe as they will, and I may pray to him, but he will not mind, he
will stand mute. I tell ye there be not power enough in the colony
to make him speak. Ye know not my father. He will have the best of

_Paul._  Thou speakest like his daughter now. Keep thyself up to
this, sweet. The daughter of a hero should have some brave stuff in
her. Thy father does a greater deed than thou knowest. His dumbness
will save the colonies from more than thou dreamest of. 'Twill put
an end to this dreadful madness; he himself hath foretold it. [_A
clamor is heard._

_Olive._  Paul, Paul, what is that?

_Paul._  Naught but some boys shouting, sweet.

_Olive._  'Twas not. Oh, my father, my father!

_Paul._  Olive, thou must not stay here.

_Olive._  I must stay. Who is coming? [Paul _and_ Olive _step

_Enter second_ Messenger. Hathorne, Corwin, _and_ Parris _advance to
meet him._

_Hathorne._  How goes it now with Giles Corey?

_Messenger._  Your worship, Giles Corey hath not spoken.

_Hathorne._  What! Have they not increased the weights?

_Messenger._  They have doubled the weights, your worship.

_Parris._  I trow Satan himself hath put his shoulder under the
stones to take off the strain. [_Exit_ Messenger.

_Hathorne._  'Tis a marvel the old tavern-brawler endures so long,
but he'll soon speak now.

_Corwin._  Hush, good master, his daughter can hear.

_Hathorne._  Let her then withdraw if it please her not. I'll
warrant he cannot bear much more; he will soon speak.

_Parris._  Yea, he cannot withstand the double weight unless his
master help him.

[Corwin _speaks aside to_ Paul _and motions him to take_ Olive
_away._  Paul _takes her by the arm. She shakes her head and will
not go._

_Hathorne._  I trow 'twill take other than an unlettered clown like
Giles Corey to stand firm under this stress. He'll speak soon.

_Parris._  Yea, that he will. He can never hold out. He hath not the
mind for it.

_Hathorne._  It takes a man of finer wit than he to undergo it. He
will speak. Oh yes, fear ye not, he will speak.

_Olive_ (_breaking away from_ Paul). My father will _not_ speak!

_Hathorne._  Girl!

_Olive._  My father will _not_ speak. I tell ye there be not stones
enough in the provinces to make him speak. Ye know not my father. My
father will have the best of ye all.

_Enter third_ Messenger, _running._

_Hathorne._  How goes it now with Giles Corey?

_Messenger._  Giles Corey is dead, and he has not spoken.

Olive _clings to_ Paul _as curtain falls._


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