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me. Elder Noyse, give me your pray- pathy, some with fierce anger in their palers."
lid faces. He shook his fist at them like a A startling murmur, like a passion madman, and whirling on his beel, hurried of smothered ejaculations, burst from the away from the abominable spot. From spectators. It rose again, and gathered this frightful day there were many who to a wail, when Elder George Bur. more or less boldly encouraged him in roughs, once the minister of Salem vil. his lonely struggle against the fanatical lage, ascended the ladder. Moro had supporters of the delusion; and their only talked with this man once; but he sympathy, though uttered for the most had been won by bis noble bearing dur- part in timid whispers, gave him fresh ing tbe trial, and that impression was courage, and made him hardier than quickened by his present demeanor and ever in his denunciations of Juggernaut. oxpressions. It seemed as if there In the mean time, Rachel trembled every were no crowd there, so utter was the time he left the cabin, lest he would silence, when this misjudged victim never return. Mark, too, was anxious, spoke, declaring at once his innocence and tried to persuade him to make a and his forgiving resignation. The journey to Connecticut. Even Goodsame stillness continued as he prayed wife Stanton cried, as she said: “Take with the mildest composure, and ended care, Master More. You ain't half by repeating, with solemn fervency, the enough afeard. Parris, there, is mighty Lord's Prayer. Then, suddenly, an spiteful." angry murmur rose from the multitude, Another week dragged on, ere this and it surged tumultuously toward the contest between a man and a commun. gibbet, as if it would bave attempted a ity came to a crisis. A little before rescue. Hawthorne, drawing his sword, sundown, on a certain blazing August sprang to the foot of the ladder ; while day, the reverend Elders Parris and Curwin's trusty musketeers beat back Noyse, with that Cromwellian Puritan, the people with their heavy gun- Justice Curwin, repaired to the cottage breeches. More bad been standing in of Goody Margaret Cory in the outskirts the rear of the press; but he bounded of Salem village, bent on worrying the forward now, hoping to gain the front antiquated witch into a confession. ranks and lead the spectators to an at. They twisted her shriveled neck and tack
upon the soldiers. The retreating tumbled her gray hair in search of tide of men carried him backward in witch-marks; they entreated her, urged spite of bis strength; and, looking up, her, bullied her, threatened her with ho saw that the ladder had been torn torments, mortal and infernal; they away, and the agony of Burroughs called her a midnight hag, a daughter completed. At the same moment, Cot- of Endor, and a fire-brand from the ton Mather, sitting on his horse by the gulf of perdition. The old creature gallows, looked around with that mai wrung her feeble hands ; tears of terror face of his, so young, yet so austere and ran down the deep wrinkles of ber uopitying, and, uplifting his sonorous cheeks; but she persisted in affirming voice, bade the people desist from op- that she was innocent of sorcery. position to the laws. “I tell you, mon “ What!" roared Parris. of Salem," he proceeded, " that this not a Witch of Endor? Will you say George Burroughs was no true minister, that there was no Witch of Endor? but came among us in some other way How dare you thus deny the Scriptures ? than by the door of holý ordination. If you deny them, you make yourself Ye are moved at the devout expressions a liar, and have your part in the lake of which he has used, and certainly they fire and brimstone. Will you tell me seem to the ear edifying; but how do there is no such lake? I tell you there ye know that the black man stood not is. Woe to you for an infidel and an by, invisibly, and dictated to him? atheist, saying in your heart there is no Certain it is, that Satan himself is often God! Confess, Satan—confess! Thou transformed, in appearance, into an art a woman with a familiar spirit." angel of light."
" I ain't,” sobbed the goody, indige “ Cotton Mather," yelled More, in a pantly, brushing back her disheveled frenzy, “it is thou who art that very locks. “I never see no sperits more Satan."
familiar than you be." People turned round and faced the The noise of this severe discussion reckless speaker, some with warm sym- had attracted to the cabin half a score
"Are you of children, who, like most of the young “I never bewitched 'om, so help me ones of Salem now, had the reputation God," whimpered the poor woman. of being afflicted. They easily dis- “I don't know how they come there no covered what was going on within, by more nor the dead. I done no barm to peeping through the ragged windows nobody. Ob, don't look at me so, and listening at the shabby door. It Master Curwin. I can't bear it; indeed was a capital chance to make a sensa- I can't." tion, and they were not long in improv- “ Don't master bim!" broke in Parris. ing it. A knotty rail, from a neighboring “He is not thy master. Apollyon is fence, furnished a convenient ladder, thy master, thou scholar of the pit.” whereby the little scamps and scamp- “Why can't you let me alone ?" esses conveyed themselves, upseen, to shrieked the goody, driven to desperatbe low back roof of the cabin. The tion. “I'd go away, if you'd let me. boldest then kicked the rail away, and But you keep me here as if you wanted the whole pack opened, at the signal, to make me a witch, and wanted to have in a chorus of shrill yelps and howlings me torment you.
You've taken my which struck Goody Cory speechless, son away from me ; you've got Giles in and started up her three inquisitors in prison; and now you want to take me an ecstasy of amazement and scared there, too. Well, take me. I'm all triumph. Out rushed the two zealous alone. I'm most starvin'. I don't care. elders, and after them leaped the lengthy Take me. Hang me, if you want to. justice, scurrying around to the rear of But don't try to make mo own I'm a the cabin, to see what demon was in the witch. I ain't one, no more nor you, wind now. At sight of their upturned, Jonathan Curwin.” goggling eyes, and arms thrown aloft in "No more than I !” exclaimed the wonder, the children went off into a justice, in amazement at the imperti. louder uproar, writing and kicking, nent comparison. “I am a member of until it seemed as if the crazy roof the church." would give way under the tempest of So's my son's wife, and so was Retheir monkey.shines. Goody Cory becca Nurse, and so was Martha Carcalled us !" they screamed, wringing rier,” replied the old woman.
" But their hands and beating their breasts as what did that help 'em? I wish you'd if in unimaginable agonies. “ Her let me alone." devils brought us here. They brought While this conversation passed inside us through the air. They told us to the cabin, and the children whooped at come to the witch-meeting."
intervals on the roof, More, with a basIs it possible that the small rascals ket of trout on his left arm and a tough were not afraid to play such a shallow lithe fish-pole twelve feet long over his trick as this; not afraid of being lashed right shoulder, was coming down the indigpantly by the grown men whom road alone, on his way home from a fishthey tried to deceive with such a satiric. ing excursion among the brooklets north al impudence of bumbug? No. Why of Salem village. He heard the juvenile should they have any such fears ? À uproar at a considerable distance ; and, thousand impositions as silly had been seeing the children, was at no loss to practiced that summer in Salem, and guess the nature of the disturbance. not one of them had been exposed. Covered by the clumps of bushes which How long did it take our own sagacious fringed the path, he reached the cabin century to discover who broke the Strat- without being discovered by the biped ford crockery, and who rapped on the caterwaulers who enjoyed their wrigRochester floors ?
gles and spasms on the easy slope of the Strong in the faith, refreshed by this hinder roof. Listening a moment at the new example of the power of Beelzebub, door, he satisfied himself perfectly as to the magistrate and elders bolted into wbat was going on, and resolved to inthe cottage again and renewed their terfere after his usual energetic fashion. attack upon the unfortunate old granny. He set down his basket, took his fisb“ Confess!" thundered Curwin. “The pole in bis teeth, and, laying hold of the proof against thee is near and mighty. projecting beams at a corner of the log The prince of the powers of the air has edifice, swung himself up to the roof himself discovered thee. Listen, thou with a few powerful struggles. The rampant witch, to the anguish of thy huge chimney covered his cautious advictims !"
vance, so that he managed to reach the He spun
ridge-board without being discovered by Curwin, unquestionably, knew bis oppo the children. They had ranged them- nent's immense strength; but he was as selves in rows on the mossy slope, brave as a bull-dog, and,when his tompor facing in the other direction, and were was up, would have fought the devil. keeping up a regular tattoo with their For a moment he seemed to throttle feet, diversifying the clamor by barks, More, forcing him back by sheer weight grunts, and screeches. Wetting his and shouting, hoarsely—“Have at ye, right hand, More set the butt of his pole Agag!" But the next instant his hands fast in its iron grasp, and gave a grin were torn from their hold, and he was of vindictive anticipation. The next hurled against the wall of the cottage moment the lithe hickory whistled with a stunning violence. through the air, and quivered, with a round once, reeled against the petrified sharp crash, across the unsuspecting. Noyse, and then came up to the scratch behinds of the four nearest juvenile again, like a good one. The elder also
A scream of childish anguish advanced a little behind him, with both burst forth, in the midst of which the hands extended; although, perhaps, be stinging scourge rose and descended had no other intention than to separate
more with terrible emphasis. the combatants. More seized one by Every little face was turned over its the breast, the other by the neckcloth, owner's shoulder; every one of that and, Ainging them both prostrate, proscore of eyes was fixed in horror on the ceeded to shake them out of their well-known and much-dreaded visage senses. Noyse was pale, speechless, of More; and then, as the fish-pole and unresisting; while · Curwin only swung a third time on its mission of
grew crimson with fury, and struck out castigation, the whole pack plunged for desperately with his fists and heavy ward in headlong fright, and rolled, boots. Ho ceased the useless struggle shrieking and writing, down the roof, after a while, but still glared undismayed like an avalanche of monkeys. The on his assailant, and snarled, like a fall was too slight to hurt any one seri- hyæna, “ Take your heathen hands ously; aside from the mitigating circum- off me. I'll teach you to attack a juststance that a sow and her pigs had justice in his duty.” lain down under the eaves. The whole “ A justice!" said More, still holding litter of afflicted ones—sow, pigs, and him down. “What did you grip me children-picked themselves up, and for? Where is your commitment ?" scattered in all directions, with a most “You'll see my commitment before ludicrous uproar of squeals, grunts, and you are a day older," retorted the unyelpings. More burst into a shout of terrified Puritan. laughter, and stood on the roof, fish- "I will, eh?" sneered More, who, cer. pole in hand, when the three catechists tainly, was not in one of his most genof the cottage rushed out to discover tlemanly moods. “Well, you feel mine the nature of this new and deafening Have you bad enough of it, good phase of the manifestation. The two people ?" elders stared at him with an open- Noyse humbly bogged to be let up, mouthed dismay; but the readier and while Curwin responded with a fierce braver Curwin shouted, savagely: growl. More loosened his hold, and, “What are you about there, you Sad- stepping back, allowed them to rise. ducee?"
The elder was trembling from head to “Breaking the devil's ' spell," an- foot; he brushed his clothes ruefully, swered More, contemptuously, as he and slunk away behind the cottage. leaped down and faced them.
The justice followed him, after shaking " I'll teach you to vex afflicted chil- bis fist at the victor, and saying: "Now, dren,” thundered Curwin, springing for fellow, take care of yourself. I'll follow ward to grapple with the hunter. More you to England for this." stepped aside, and got one swing with More laughed with the impoliteness his fish-pole, making
it absolately double of a man excited by fighting, and turned about Parris's dumpy legs, and sending about to look for Parris. That cauthat heroic divine skipping after the sow tious person, Alanked by five or six and pigs. The next instant, our New urchins, stood tip-toe on a stone wall England Don Quixote, our protector of nearly a quarter of a mile off, bobbing oppressed good-wives, felt the grasp of up and down in an unsatisfactory at. the tall, vigorous, enraged magistrate. tempt to discover how the conflict bad
terminated. The conqueror hallooed at dozon other leading members of the bim, upon which he left his post, church. The aggrieved elder was and resumed his flight toward the speaking angrily of the outrage which village. More now walked into the had been committed ; nor were tho cabin, and made a present of his fish to countenances of his audience marked Goody Cory, who, to his indignation, by any lesser degree of indignation ; was, if anything, more scared than and there was a general start, followed grateful at her deliverance.
by a menacing murmur, as More step
pod in among them. Noyse looked CHAPTER XV.
around, as if to see whether he would
bo protected, and two or three of the As More walked homeward from the boldest advanood between him and the soene of his provocation, his strife, and intruder, while Deacon Bowson overhis victory, he had time to reflect calm- turned a chair as he baoked hastily into ly on the whole circumstance. He was the furthest corner. “ Elder Noyse," glad that he bed trounced the children; said More, “I have come to ask your he could not blame himself for having pardon for my violence toward you this resisted Curwin; he laughed as he fan- afternoon. In the haste of anger-of cied the black and blue streaks on the a riotous scuffle-I treated you as pas legs of Parris; it served them all quite unseemly in a gentleman. It was esright, he thought, to teach them that pecially unseemly thus to touch a minBauce for goose was sauce for gander. ister of the gospel. I beg your forBut he remembered, with a twingo of giveness for it, sir, with my whole shame and regret, his violence toward heart; and I call upon all these gentleNoyse. He had never received any men here present, to witness my bumharm from that man, and he had never ble acknowledgment of wrong." caused him anything but pain. He cer- Noyse tried to speak, but tears of tainly owed him much forbearance, in anger and mortification forced their consideration of the bitter disappoint- way into his eyes, and he could say noment that he had helped to force upon thing. him. He did not consider him a leader " You ought to ask pardon of the in the present delusion; nothing worse, law and the church,” broke in an incertainly, than a silly follower of an ab- dignant somebody. surd publio. He reflected, too, what he " I shall be willing to answer the law bad not thought of in the fury of the before its courts," said More. “What scufie, that the minister, timid as he I do now is, to utter my shame for diswas, could hardly have intended more courtesy toward a man who has always by his advance than to separate the treated me with courtesy. As for those combatants. "I will do what a brave children, I did right in trouncing them; man should do,” he muttered to bimself. and I would do it again. And as for "I will go and ask the elder's pardon.” Justice Curwin, I properly resisted
Ho immediately set about this duty, and chastised his attack upon me.” not even turning off in the first place “But what do you say for your beto his onbin, notwithstanding that havior to Elder Parris ?" asked the Rachel might be alarmed at his long same speaker as before. “I'm from absence. He kept the main road, Salem Village. I don't like my minispushed rapidly onward and entered the ter to be abused like a runaway apprenvillage of Salem. People stared at tice." bim strangely, and some evidently tried “The day will come, Good-man Into avoid meeting him, so that it was gersoll, that you will want to flog Parclear the afternoon's adventure had be- ris yourself," responded More excitedcome public. Without stopping to ly. “ Ho is the Titus Oates of this speak to any one, he hurried forward country. He is the greatest villain unto the house of Noyse. Good-wife hanged.” Bibber, the elder's housekeeper, an- A murmur of indignation ran from swered his knock, and fell back with mouth to mouth, in reply to this bitter both hands raised when she saw who attack on a man who was, for the modemanded admittance. He marched by ment, the chief martyr and apostle of her, and, entering the open door-way of the generation. Noyse plucked up the ministerial study, came full upon courago from the expression of those Noyse, Higginson, Bowson, and balf-a- angry faces, and made a single step of would-be menace toward the bunter. I want you to keep out of harm's way, * Ab, Master More,” said the mild old to take care of Rachel. I would send Higginson, “such violent doings as our little lass to her uncle's; but it's these would make men think ill of the too late now; she would suspect somebest cause in the world."
thing, and wouldn't go. Better sleep “I confess it with shame, reverend at home, lad; but take a run out to the bir," was the reply. “ I have slipped cabin in the morning to see if all is out of myself to-day, But do not right." think ill of me altogether, nor condemn They parted. More looked kindly my belief, because I am imperfect. I after the stalwart young fellow, as he am sure it is enough to drive one furi- entered his mother's gate, and mutterous, to seo a few madmen leading our ed : “A brave lad-a stout lad. He colony to destruction, as they do. But would fight for me well. But it would I will leave you, gentlemen. I have be a pity. It would help little ; and it said all I came to say. I bid you a might bring him to Gallows Hill, and good-evening."
break his mother's heart, not to say-" He saluted them and walked quietly He did not finish the sentence aloud ; out of the house. “He is afraid ; he but we may suppose that be thought of will go, now, and humble himself to Rachel. He found that handnome damMaster Curwin," said one. “No he sel at the cabin, perfectly alone, and in won't,” said Deacon Bowson ; and the considerable tribulation about both himdeacon was right.
self and Margaret Jacobs. She told People saluted More in the street, him that Margaret had gone to Salem but no one addressed him, until he was to visit the family of a brother, and met by Mark Stanton, who came up had promised to return by twilight, but with a face of very serious anxiety. was as yet missing. More wondered, “Sir, this will be a bad case ; I am suspected arrests, but did not think afraid," said he. “Some people think it worth while to go back in search you did right; but very few dare say of the lost servant-maid ; and pres. it. I have heard loud talk of a com. ently asked for his supper, to which mitment to be made out this very night be did the calmest justice. He said not I wish you would quit Salem, sir, for a a word of the occurrences of the afterwhile. Master English has fled to Pro- noon, and Rachel could not remember vidence; perhaps you could reach there, afterwards that he had seemed more too, on horseback. There are no ships silent or anxious than usual. The going for some days; I have been to August evening passed slowly away in the wharves to ask.”
a hot tranquil obscurity; for Rachel “Never fear for me, Mark," said the did not light the tallow candles, lest the hunter. “I am not alone now, as I mosquitoes should accept their glimmer was a fortnight ago. Many a man as an invitation to enter the family cirgives me the hand now secretly, who, cle. They read nothing, therefore, but before another fortnight, will stand with they talked in their usual style, and mo shoulder to shoulder. It never will Moro jested with his habitual gayety. do for Henry More to turn his back just They sat up late, partly because it was as the victory is about to be gained. I too warm to sleep, and partly to keep shall stick it out, and fight it out where open house for Margaret Jacobs. Nei. I am; and if I die, it will be in a good ther of them knew, until the next day, cause. Don't you see, Mark, that it that poor Margaret had been cried out would disgrace all I have done hitherto, upon; had been committed while at her if I should run away now.".
brother's, and was at that moment cryMark said nothing in direct reply, ing and wringing her hands in a room but his face flushed up with a fine sym- of the Cat and Wheel Tavern, where pathy, and he shook More's hand ener- she had been confined, because the prigetically. Then he preferred a request son was already overcrowded. That that he might be allowed to go and was the way people disappeared in the pass that night, at least, in the cabin. earnest old days when table-turning, He would sleep on the floor, anywhere; and so forth, still had a strong hold on and he would bring his good duck gun the faith of the people. along with him. * No, my boy, I don't Rachel passed the evening wondering want your bead broke, too," said the and uneasy, but at last went to bed, bunter. “If anything should happen, and fell asleep. · The house bad three