Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Christus: A Mystery



JOHN ENDICOTT          Governor.
JOHN ENDICOTT          His son.
RICHARD BELLINGHAM     Deputy Governor.
JOHN NORTON            Minister of the Gospel.
EDWARD BUTTER          Treasurer.
WALTER MERRY           Tithing-man.
NICHOLAS UPSALL        An old citizen.
SAMUEL COLE            Landlord of the Three Mariners.

RALPH GOLDSMITH        Sea-Captains.

EDITH, his daughter
EDWARD WHARTON         Quakers
    Assistants, Halberdiers, Marshal, etc.

    The Scene is in Boston in the year 1665.


To-night we strive to read, as we may best,
This city, like an ancient palimpsest;
And bring to light, upon the blotted page,
The mournful record of an earlier age,
That, pale and half effaced, lies hidden away
Beneath the fresher writing of to-day.

Rise, then, O buried city that hast been;
Rise up, rebuilded in the painted scene,
And let our curious eyes behold once more
The pointed gable and the pent-house door,
The Meeting-house with leaden-latticed panes,
The narrow thoroughfares, the crooked lanes!

Rise, too, ye shapes and shadows of the Past,
Rise from your long-forgotten graves at last;
Let us behold your faces, let us hear
The words ye uttered in those days of fear
Revisit your familiar haunts again,--
The scenes of triumph, and the scenes of pain
And leave the footprints of your bleeding feet
Once more upon the pavement of the street!

Nor let the Historian blame the Poet here,
If he perchance misdate the day or year,
And group events together, by his art,
That in the Chronicles lie far apart;
For as the double stars, though sundered far,
Seem to the naked eye a single star,
So facts of history, at a distance seen,
Into one common point of light convene.

"Why touch upon such themes?" perhaps some friend
May ask, incredulous; "and to what good end?
Why drag again into the light of day
The errors of an age long passed away?"
I answer: "For the lessons that they teach:
The tolerance of opinion and of speech.
Hope, Faith, and Charity remain,--these three;
And greatest of them all is Charity."

Let us remember, if these words be true,
That unto all men Charity is due;
Give what we ask; and pity, while we blame,
Lest we become copartners in the shame,
Lest we condemn, and yet ourselves partake,
And persecute the dead for conscience' sake.

Therefore it is the author seeks and strives
To represent the dead as in their lives,
And lets at times his characters unfold
Their thoughts in their own language, strong and bold;
He only asks of you to do the like;
To hear hint first, and, if you will, then strike.


SCENE I. -- Sunday afternoon.  The interior of the Meeting-house.

On the pulpit, an hour-glass; below, a box for contributions.
JOHN NORTON in the pulpit.  GOVERNOR ENDICOTT in a canopied seat,
attended by four halberdiers.  The congregation singing.

  The Lord descended from above,
    And bowed the heavens high;
  And underneath his feet He cast
    The darkness of the sky.

  On Cherubim and Seraphim
    Right royally He rode,
  And on the wings of mighty winds
    Came flying all abroad.

NORTON (rising and turning the hourglass on the pulpit).
I heard a great voice from the temple saying
Unto the Seven Angels, Go your ways;
Pour out the vials of the wrath of God
Upon the earth.  And the First Angel went
And poured his vial on the earth; and straight
There fell a noisome and a grievous sore
On them which had the birth-mark of the Beast,
And them which worshipped and adored his image.
On us hath fallen this grievous pestilence.
There is a sense of terror in the air;
And apparitions of things horrible
Are seen by many; from the sky above us
The stars fall; and beneath us the earth quakes!
The sound of drums at midnight from afar,
The sound of horsemen riding to and fro,
As if the gates of the invisible world
Were opened, and the dead came forth to warn us,--
All these are omens of some dire disaster
Impending over us, and soon to fall,
Moreover, in the language of the Prophet,
Death is again come up into our windows,
To cut off little children from without,
And young men from the streets.  And in the midst
Of all these supernatural threats and warnings
Doth Heresy uplift its horrid head;
A vision of Sin more awful and appalling
Than any phantasm, ghost, or apparition,
As arguing and portending some enlargement
Of the mysterious Power of Darkness!

EDITH, barefooted, and clad in sackcloth, with her hair hanging
loose upon her shoulders, walks slowly up the aisle, followed by
WHARTON and other Quakers.  The congregation starts up in

EDITH (to NORTON, raising her hand).

Anathema maranatha!  The Lord cometh!

Yea, verily He cometh, and shall judge
The shepherds of Israel who do feed themselves,
And leave their flocks to eat what they have trodden
Beneath their feet.

           Be silent, babbling woman!
St. Paul commands all women to keep silence
Within the churches.

              Yet the women prayed
And prophesied at Corinth in his day;
And, among those on whom the fiery tongues
Of Pentecost descended, some were women!

The Elders of the Churches, by our law,
Alone have power to open the doors of speech
And silence in the Assembly.  I command you!

The law of God is greater than your laws!
Ye build your church with blood, your town with crime;
The heads thereof give judgment for reward;
The priests thereof teach only for their hire;
Your laws condemn the innocent to death;
And against this I bear my testimony!

What testimony?

             That of the Holy Spirit,
Which, as your Calvin says, surpasseth reason.

The laborer is worthy of his hire.

Yet our great Master did not teach for hire,
And the Apostles without purse or scrip
Went forth to do his work.  Behold this box
Beneath thy pulpit.  Is it for the poor?
Thou canst not answer.  It is for the Priest
And against this I bear my testimony.

Away with all these Heretics and Quakers!
Quakers, forsooth!  Because a quaking fell
On Daniel, at beholding of the Vision,
Must ye needs shake and quake?  Because Isaiah
Went stripped and barefoot, must ye wail and howl?
Must ye go stripped and naked? must ye make
A wailing like the dragons, and a mourning
As of the owls?  Ye verify the adage
That Satan is God's ape!  Away with them!

Tumult.  The Quakers are driven out with violence, EDITH
following slowly.  The congregation retires in confusion.

Thus freely do the Reprobates commit
Such measure of iniquity as fits them
For the intended measure of God's wrath
And even in violating God's commands
Are they fulfilling the divine decree!
The will of man is but an instrument
Disposed and predetermined to its action
According unto the decree of God,
Being as much subordinate thereto
As is the axe unto the hewer's hand!

He descends from the pulpit, and joins GOVERNOR ENDICOTT, who
comes forward to meet him.

The omens and the wonders of the time,
Famine, and fire, and shipwreck, and disease,
The blast of corn, the death of our young men,
Our sufferings in all precious, pleasant things,
Are manifestations of the wrath divine,
Signs of God's controversy with New England.
These emissaries of the Evil One,
These servants and ambassadors of Satan,
Are but commissioned executioners
Of God's vindictive and deserved displeasure.
We must receive them as the Roman Bishop
Once received Attila, saying, I rejoice
You have come safe, whom I esteem to be
The scourge of God, sent to chastise his people.
This very heresy, perchance, may serve
The purposes of God to some good end.
With you I leave it; but do not neglect
The holy tactics of the civil sword.

And what more can be done?

                  The hand that cut
The Red Cross from the colors of the king
Can cut the red heart from this heresy.
Fear not.  All blasphemies immediate
And heresies turbulent must be suppressed
By civil power.

          But in what way suppressed?

The Book of Deuteronomy declares
That if thy son, thy daughter, or thy wife,
Ay, or the friend which is as thine own soul,
Entice thee secretly, and say to thee,
Let us serve other gods, then shalt thine eye
Not pity him, but thou shalt surely kill him,
And thine own hand shall be the first upon him
To slay him.

         Four already have been slain;
And others banished upon pain of death.
But they come back again to meet their doom,
Bringing the linen for their winding-sheets.
We must not go too far.  In truth, I shrink
From shedding of more blood.  The people murmur
At our severity.

                Then let them murmur!
Truth is relentless; justice never wavers;
The greatest firmness is the greatest mercy;
The noble order of the Magistracy
Cometh immediately from God, and yet
This noble order of the Magistracy
Is by these Heretics despised and outraged.

To-night they sleep in prison.  If they die,
They cannot say that we have caused their death.
We do but guard the passage, with the sword
Pointed towards them; if they dash upon it,
Their blood will be on their own heads, not ours.

Enough.  I ask no more.  My predecessor
Coped only with the milder heresies
Of Antinomians and of Anabaptists.
He was not born to wrestle with these fiends.
Chrysostom in his pulpit; Augustine
In disputation; Timothy in his house!
The lantern of St. Botolph's ceased to burn
When from the portals of that church he came
To be a burning and a shining light
Here in the wilderness.  And, as he lay
On his death-bed, he saw me in a vision
Ride on a snow-white horse into this town.
His vision was prophetic; thus I came,
A terror to the impenitent, and Death
On the pale horse of the Apocalypse
To all the accursed race of Heretics!

SCENE II. -- A street. On one side, NICHOLAS UPSALL's house; on
the other, WALTER MERRY's, with a flock of pigeons on the roof.
UPSALL seated in the porch of his house.

O day of rest!  How beautiful, how fair,
How welcome to the weary and the old!
Day of the Lord! and truce to earthly cares!
Day of the Lord, as all our days should be!
Ah, why will man by his austerities
Shut out the blessed sunshine and the light,
And make of thee a dungeon of despair!

WALTER MERRY (entering and looking round him).
All silent as a graveyard!  No one stirring;
No footfall in the street, no sound of voices!
By righteous punishment and perseverance,
And perseverance in that punishment,
At last I have brought this contumacious town
To strict observance of the Sabbath day.
Those wanton gospellers, the pigeons yonder,
Are now the only Sabbath-breakers left.
I cannot put them down.  As if to taunt me,
They gather every Sabbath afternoon
In noisy congregation on my roof,
Billing and cooing.  Whir! take that, ye Quakers.

Throws a stone at the pigeons.  Sees UPSALL.

Ah! Master Nicholas!

                     Good afternoon,
Dear neighbor Walter.

                     Master Nicholas,
You have to-day withdrawn yourself from meeting.

Yea, I have chosen rather to worship God
Sitting in silence here at my own door.

Worship the Devil!  You this day have broken
Three of our strictest laws.  First, by abstaining
From public worship.  Secondly, by walking
Profanely on the Sabbath.

                        Not one step.
I have been sitting still here, seeing the pigeons
Feed in the street and fly about the roofs.

You have been in the street with other intent
Than going to and from the Meeting-house.
And, thirdly, you are harboring Quakers here.
I am amazed!

             Men sometimes, it is said,
Entertain angels unawares.

                          Nice angels!
Angels in broad-brimmed hats and russet cloaks,
The color of the Devil's nutting-bag.  They came
Into the Meeting-house this afternoon
More in the shape of devils than of angels.
The women screamed and fainted; and the boys
Made such an uproar in the gallery
I could not keep them quiet.

                     Neighbor Walter,
Your persecution is of no avail.

'T is prosecution, as the Governor says,
Not persecution.

                Well, your prosecution;
Your hangings do no good.

                      The reason is,
We do not hang enough.  But, mark my words,
We'll scour them; yea, I warrant ye, we'll scour them!
And now go in and entertain your angels,
And don't be seen here in the street again
Till after sundown!  There they are again!

Exit UPSALL.  MERRY throws another stone at the pigeons, and then
goes into his house.

SCENE III. -- A room in UPSALL'S house.  Night.  EDITH, WHARTON,
and other Quakers seated at a table.  UPSALL seated near them,
Several books on the table.

William and Marmaduke, our martyred brothers,
Sleep in untimely graves, if aught untimely
Can find place in the providence of God,
Where nothing comes too early or too late.
I saw their noble death.  They to the scaffold
Walked hand in hand.  Two hundred armed men
And many horsemen guarded them, for fear
Of rescue by the crowd, whose hearts were stirred.

O holy martyrs!

             When they tried to speak,
Their voices by the roll of drums were drowned.
When they were dead they still looked fresh and fair,
The terror of death was not upon their faces.
Our sister Mary, likewise, the meek woman,
Has passed through martyrdom to her reward;
Exclaiming, as they led her to her death,
"These many days I've been in Paradise."
And, when she died, Priest Wilson threw the hangman
His handkerchief, to cover the pale face
He dared not look upon.

                       As persecuted,
Yet not forsaken; as unknown, yet known;
As dying, and behold we are alive;
As sorrowful, and yet rejoicing always;
As having nothing, yet possessing all!

And Leddra, too, is dead.  But from his prison,
The day before his death, he sent these words
Unto the little flock of Christ: "What ever
May come upon the followers of the Light,--
Distress, affliction, famine, nakedness,
Or perils in the city or the sea,
Or persecution, or even death itself,--
I am persuaded that God's armor of Light,
As it is loved and lived in, will preserve you.
Yea, death itself; through which you will find entrance
Into the pleasant pastures of the fold,
Where you shall feed forever as the herds
That roam at large in the low valleys of Achor.
And as the flowing of the ocean fills
Each creek and branch thereof, and then retires,
Leaving behind a sweet and wholesome savor;
So doth the virtue and the life of God
Flow evermore into the hearts of those
Whom He hath made partakers of His nature;
And, when it but withdraws itself a little,
Leaves a sweet savor after it, that many
Can say they are made clean by every word
That He hath spoken to them in their silence."

EDITH (rising and breaking into a kind of chant).
Truly we do but grope here in the dark,
Near the partition-wall of Life and Death,
At every moment dreading or desiring
To lay our hands upon the unseen door!
Let us, then, labor for an inward stillness,--
An inward stillness and an inward healing;
That perfect silence where the lips and heart
Are still, and we no longer entertain
Our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions,
But God alone speaks in us, and we wait
In singleness of heart, that we may know
His will, and in the silence of our spirits,
That we may do His will, and do that only!

A long pause, interrupted by the sound of a drum approaching;
then shouts in the street, and a loud knocking at the door.

Within there! Open the door!

              Will no one answer?

In the King's name!  Within there!

                      Open the door!

UPSALL (from the window).
It is not barred.  Come in.  Nothing prevents you.
The poor man's door is ever on the latch.
He needs no bolt nor bar to shut out thieves;
He fears no enemies, and has no friends
Importunate enough to need a key.

Enter JOHN ENDICOTT, the MARSHAL, MERRY, and a crowd.  Seeing the
Quakers silent and unmoved, they pause, awe-struck.  ENDICOTT
opposite EDITH.

In the King's name do I arrest you all!
Away with them to prison.  Master Upsall,
You are again discovered harboring here
These ranters and disturbers of the peace.
You know the law.

             I know it, and am ready
To suffer yet again its penalties.

Why dost thou persecute me, Saul of Tarsus?


SCENE I. -- JOHN ENDICOTT's room.  Early morning.

"Why dost thou persecute me, Saul of Tarsus?"
All night these words were ringing in mine ears!
A sorrowful sweet face; a look that pierced me
With meek reproach; a voice of resignation
That had a life of suffering in its tone;
And that was all!  And yet I could not sleep,
Or, when I slept, I dreamed that awful dream!
I stood beneath the elm-tree on the Common,
On which the Quakers have been hanged, and heard
A voice, not hers, that cried amid the darkness,
"This is Aceldama, the field of blood!
I will have mercy, and not sacrifice!"

Opens the window and looks out.

The sun is up already; and my heart
Sickens and sinks within me when I think
How many tragedies will be enacted
Before his setting.  As the earth rolls round,
It seems to me a huge Ixion's wheel,
Upon whose whirling spokes we are bound fast,
And must go with it!  Ah, how bright the sun
Strikes on the sea and on the masts of vessels,
That are uplifted, in the morning air,
Like crosses of some peaceable crusade!
It makes me long to sail for lands unknown,
No matter whither!  Under me, in shadow,
Gloomy and narrow, lies the little town,
Still sleeping, but to wake and toil awhile,
Then sleep again.  How dismal looks the prison,
How grim and sombre in the sunless street,--
The prison where she sleeps, or wakes and waits
For what I dare not think of,--death, perhaps!
A word that has been said may he unsaid:
It is but air.  But when a deed is done
It cannot be undone, nor can our thoughts
Reach out to all the mischiefs that may follow.
'T is time for morning prayers.  I will go down.
My father, though severe, is kind and just;
And when his heart is tender with devotion,--
When from his lips have fallen the words, "Forgive us
As we forgive,"--then will I intercede
For these poor people, and perhaps may save them.

SCENE II. -- Dock Square.  On one side, the tavern of the Three
Mariners.  In the background, a quaint building with gables; and,
beyond it, wharves and shipping.  CAPTAIN KEMPTHORN and others
seated at a table before the door.  SAMUEL COLE standing near

Come, drink about!  Remember Parson Melham,
And bless the man who first invented flip!

They drink.

Pray, Master Kempthorn, where were you last night?

On board the Swallow, Simon Kempthorn, master,
Up for Barbadoes, and the Windward Islands.

The town was in a tumult.

                       And for what?

Your Quakers were arrested.

                   How my Quakers?

These you brought in your vessel from Barbadoes.
They made an uproar in the Meeting-house
Yesterday, and they're now in prison for it.
I owe you little thanks for bringing them
To the Three Mariners.

            They have not harmed you.
I tell you, Goodman Cole, that Quaker girl
Is precious as a sea-bream's eye.  I tell you
It was a lucky day when first she set
Her little foot upon the Swallow's deck,
Bringing good luck, fair winds, and pleasant weather.

I am a law-abiding citizen;
I have a seat in the new Meeting-house,
A cow-right on the Common; and, besides,
Am corporal in the Great Artillery.
I rid me of the vagabonds at once.

Why should you not have Quakers at your tavern
If you have fiddlers?

                 Never! never! never!
If you want fiddling you must go elsewhere,
To the Green Dragon and the Admiral Vernon,
And other such disreputable places.
But the Three Mariners is an orderly house,
Most orderly, quiet, and respectable.
Lord Leigh said he could be as quiet here
As at the Governor's.  And have I not
King Charles's Twelve Good Rules, all framed and glazed,
Hanging in my best parlor?

                       Here's a health
To good King Charles.  Will you not drink the King?
Then drink confusion to old Parson Palmer.

And who is Parson Palmer?  I don't know him.

He had his cellar underneath his pulpit,
And so preached o'er his liquor, just as you do.

A drum within.

Here comes the Marshal.

MERRY (within).
         Make room for the Marshal.

How pompous and imposing he appears!
His great buff doublet bellying like a mainsail,
And all his streamers fluttering in the wind.
What holds he in his hand?

                       A proclamation.

Enter the MARSHAL, with a proclamation; and MERRY, with a
halberd.  They are preceded by a drummer, and followed by the
hangman, with an armful of books, and a crowd of people, among
whom are UPSALL and JOHN ENDICOTT.  A pile is made of the books.

Silence, the drum!  Good citizens, attend
To the new laws enacted by the Court.

MARSHAL (reads).
"Whereas a cursed sect of Heretics
Has lately risen, commonly called Quakers,
Who take upon themselves to be commissioned
Immediately of God, and furthermore
Infallibly assisted by the Spirit
To write and utter blasphemous opinions,
Despising Government and the order of God
In Church and Commonwealth, and speaking evil
Of Dignities, reproaching and reviling
The Magistrates and Ministers, and seeking
To turn the people from their faith, and thus
Gain proselytes to their pernicious ways;--
This Court, considering the premises,
And to prevent like mischief as is wrought
By their means in our land, doth hereby order,
That whatsoever master or commander
Of any ship, bark, pink, or catch shall bring
To any roadstead, harbor, creek, or cove
Within this Jurisdiction any Quakers,
Or other blasphemous Heretics, shall pay
Unto the Treasurer of the Commonwealth
One hundred pounds, and for default thereof
Be put in prison, and continue there
Till the said sum be satisfied and paid."

Now, Simon Kempthorn, what say you to that?

I pray you, Cole, lend me a hundred pounds!

MARSHAL (reads).
"If any one within this Jurisdiction
Shall henceforth entertain, or shall conceal
Quakers or other blasphemous Heretics,
Knowing them so to be, every such person
Shall forfeit to the country forty shillings
For each hour's entertainment or concealment,
And shall be sent to prison, as aforesaid,
Until the forfeiture be wholly paid!"

Murmurs in the crowd.

Now, Goodman Cole, I think your turn has come!

Knowing them so to be!

                     At forty shillings
The hour, your fine will be some forty pounds!

Knowing them so to be!  That is the law.

MARSHAL (reads).
"And it is further ordered and enacted,
If any Quaker or Quakers shall presume
To come henceforth into this Jurisdiction,
Every male Quaker for the first offence
Shall have one ear cut off; and shall be kept
At labor in the Workhouse, till such time
As he be sent away at his own charge.
And for the repetition of the offence
Shall have his other ear cut off, and then
Be branded in the palm of his right hand.
And every woman Quaker shall be whipt
Severely in three towns; and every Quaker,
Or he or she, that shall for a third time
Herein again offend, shall have their tongues
Bored through with a hot iron, and shall be
Sentenced to Banishment on pain of Death."

Loud murmurs.  The voice of CHRISTISON in the crowd.

O patience of the Lord!  How long, how long,
Ere thou avenge the blood of Thine Elect?

Silence, there, silence!  Do not break the peace!

MARSHAL (reads).
"Every inhabitant of this Jurisdiction
Who shall defend the horrible opinions
Of Quakers, by denying due respect
To equals and superiors, and withdrawing
From Church Assemblies, and thereby approving
The abusive and destructive practices
Of this accursed sect, in opposition
To all the orthodox received opinions
Of godly men shall be forthwith commit ted
Unto close prison for one month; and then
Refusing to retract and to reform
The opinions as aforesaid, he shall be
Sentenced to Banishment on pain of Death.
By the Court.  Edward Rawson, Secretary."
Now, hangman, do your duty.  Burn those books.

Loud murmurs in the crowd.  The pile of books is lighted.

I testify against these cruel laws!
Forerunners are they of some judgment on us;
And, in the love and tenderness I bear
Unto this town and people, I beseech you,
O Magistrates, take heed, lest ye be found
As fighters against God!

Upsall, I thank you
For speaking words such as some younger man,
I, or another, should have said before you.
Such laws as these are cruel and oppressive;
A blot on this fair town, and a disgrace
To any Christian people.

MERRY (aside, listening behind them).
                     Here's sedition!
I never thought that any good would come
Of this young popinjay, with his long hair
And his great boots, fit only for the Russians
Or barbarous Indians, as his father says!

Woe to the bloody town!  And rightfully
Men call it the Lost Town!  The blood of Abel
Cries from the ground, and at the final judgment
The Lord will say, "Cain, Cain! Where is thy brother?"

Silence there in the crowd!

UPSALL (aside).
                      'T is Christison!

O foolish people, ye that think to burn
And to consume the truth of God, I tell you
That every flame is a loud tongue of fire
To publish it abroad to all the world
Louder than tongues of men!

KEMPTHORN (springing to his feet).
                Well said, my hearty!
There's a brave fellow!  There's a man of pluck!
A man who's not afraid to say his say,
Though a whole town's against him.  Rain, rain, rain,
Bones of St. Botolph, and put out this fire!

The drum beats. Exeunt all but MERRY, KEMPTHORN, and COLE.

And now that matter's ended, Goodman Cole,
Fetch me a mug of ale, your strongest ale.

KEMPTHORN (sitting down).
And me another mug of flip; and put
Two gills of brandy in it.
                         [Exit COLE.

                         No; no more.
Not a drop more, I say.  You've had enough.

And who are you, sir?

                  I'm a Tithing-man,
And Merry is my name.

                  A merry name!
I like it; and I'll drink your merry health
Till all is blue.

            And then you will be clapped
Into the stocks, with the red letter D
Hung round about your neck for drunkenness.
You're a free-drinker,--yes, and a free-thinker!

And you are Andrew Merry, or Merry Andrew.

My name is Walter Merry, and not Andrew.

Andrew or Walter, you're a merry fellow;
I'll swear to that.

            No swearing, let me tell you.
The other day one Shorthose had his tongue
Put into a cleft stick for profane swearing.

COLE brings the ale.

Well, where's my flip?  As sure as my name's Kempthorn--

Is your name Kempthorn?

             That's the name I go by.

What, Captain Simon Kempthorn of the Swallow?

No other.

MERRY (touching him on the shoulder).
   Then you're wanted.  I arrest you
In the King's name.

            And where's your warrant?

MERRY (unfolding a paper, and reading).
Listen to me.  "Hereby you are required,
In the King's name, to apprehend the body
Of Simon Kempthorn, mariner, and him
Safely to bring before me, there to answer
All such objections as are laid to him,
Touching the Quakers."  Signed, John Endicott.

Has it the Governor's seal?

                        Ay, here it is.

Death's head and cross-bones.  That's a pirate's flag!

Beware how you revile the Magistrates;
You may be whipped for that.

               Then mum's the word.


There's mischief brewing!  Sure, there's mischief brewing.
I feel like Master Josselyn when he found
The hornet's nest, and thought it some strange fruit,
Until the seeds came out, and then he dropped it.

Scene III. -- A room in the Governor's house, Enter GOVERNOR

My son, you say?

           Your Worship's eldest son.

Speaking against the laws?

                    Ay, worshipful sir.

And in the public market-place?

                             I saw him
With my own eyes, heard him with my own ears.


          He stood there in the crowd
With Nicholas Upsall, when the laws were read
To-day against the Quakers, and I heard him
Denounce and vilipend them as unjust,
And cruel, wicked, and abominable.

Ungrateful son!  O God! thou layest upon me
A burden heavier than I can bear!
Surely the power of Satan must be great
Upon the earth, if even the elect
Are thus deceived and fall away from grace!

Worshipful sir! I meant no harm--

                           'T is well.
You've done your duty, though you've done it roughly,
And every word you've uttered since you came
Has stabbed me to the heart!

                         I do beseech
Your Worship's pardon!

             He whom I have nurtured
And brought up in the reverence of the Lord!
The child of all my hopes and my affections!
He upon whom I leaned as a sure staff
For my old age!  It is God's chastisement
For leaning upon any arm but His!

Your Worship!--

    And this comes from holding parley
With the delusions and deceits of Satan.
At once, forever, must they be crushed out,
Or all the land will reek with heresy!
Pray, have you any children?

                         No, not any.

Thank God for that.  He has delivered you
From a great care.  Enough; my private griefs
Too long have kept me from the public service.

Exit MERRY, ENDICOTT seats himself at the table and arranges his

The hour has come; and I am eager now
To sit in judgment on these Heretics.

A knock.

Come in.  Who is it? (Not looking up).

                    It is I.

ENDICOTT (restraining himself).
                            Sit down!

JOHN ENDICOTT (sitting down).
I come to intercede for these poor people
Who are in prison, and await their trial.

It is of them I wished to speak with you.
I have been angry with you, but 't is passed.
For when I hear your footsteps come or go,
See in your features your dead mother's face,
And in your voice detect some tone of hers,
All anger vanishes, and I remember
The days that are no more, and come no more,
When as a child you sat upon my knee,
And prattled of your playthings, and the games
You played among the pear trees in the orchard!

Oh, let the memory of my noble mother
Plead with you to be mild and merciful!
For mercy more becomes a Magistrate
Than the vindictive wrath which men call justice!

The sin of heresy is a deadly sin.
'T is like the falling of the snow, whose crystals
The traveller plays with, thoughtless of his danger,
Until he sees the air so full of light
That it is dark; and blindly staggering onward,
Lost and bewildered, he sits down to rest;
There falls a pleasant drowsiness upon him,
And what he thinks is sleep, alas! is death.

And yet who is there that has never doubted?
And doubting and believing, has not said,
"Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief"?

In the same way we trifle with our doubts,
Whose shining shapes are like the stars descending;
Until at last, bewildered and dismayed,
Blinded by that which seemed to give us light,
We sink to sleep, and find that it is death,


Death to the soul through all eternity!
Alas that I should see you growing up
To man's estate, and in the admonition
And nurture of the law, to find you now
Pleading for Heretics!

                    In the sight of God,
Perhaps all men are Heretics.  Who dares
To say that he alone has found the truth?
We cannot always feel and think and act
As those who go before us.  Had you done so,
You would not now be here.

                 Have you forgotten
The doom of Heretics, and the fate of those
Who aid and comfort them?  Have you forgotten
That in the market-place this very day
You trampled on the laws?  What right have you,
An inexperienced and untravelled youth,
To sit in judgment here upon the acts
Of older men and wiser than yourself,
Thus stirring up sedition in the streets,
And making me a byword and a jest?

Words of an inexperienced youth like me
Were powerless if the acts of older men
Were not before them.  'T is these laws themselves
Stir up sedition, not my judgment of them.

Take heed, lest I be called, as Brutus was,
To be the judge of my own son.  Begone!
When you are tired of feeding upon husks,
Return again to duty and submission,
But not till then.

                I hear and I obey!
Oh happy, happy they who have no children!
He's gone!  I hear the hall door shut behind him.
It sends a dismal echo through my heart,
As if forever it had closed between us,
And I should look upon his face no more!
Oh, this will drag me down into my grave,--
To that eternal resting-place wherein
Man lieth down, and riseth not again!
Till the heavens be no more, he shall not wake,
Nor be roused from his sleep; for Thou dost change
His countenance and sendest him away!


SCENE I. -- The Court of Assistants, ENDICOTT, BELLINGHAM,
ATHERTON, and other magistrates.  KEMPTHORN, MERRY, and
constables.  Afterwards WHARTON, EDITH, and CHRISTISON.

Call Captain Simon Kempthorn.

                   Simon Kempthorn,
Come to the bar!

KEMPTHORN comes forward.

          You are accused of bringing
Into this Jurisdiction, from Barbadoes,
Some persons of that sort and sect of people
Known by the name of Quakers, and maintaining
Most dangerous and heretical opinions,
Purposely coming here to propagate
Their heresies and errors; bringing with them
And spreading sundry books here, which contain
Their doctrines most corrupt and blasphemous,
And contrary to the truth professed among us.
What say you to this charge?


                    I do acknowledge,
Among the passengers on board the Swallow
Were certain persons saying Thee and Thou.
They seemed a harmless people, mostways silent,
Particularly when they said their prayers.

Harmless and silent as the pestilence!
You'd better have brought the fever or the plague
Among us in your ship!  Therefore, this Court,
For preservation of the Peace and Truth,
Hereby commands you speedily to transport,
Or cause to he transported speedily,
The aforesaid persons hence unto Barbadoes,
From whence they came; you paying all the charges
Of their imprisonment.

                      Worshipful sir,
No ship e'er prospered that has carried Quakers
Against their will!  I knew a vessel once--

And for the more effectual performance
Hereof you are to give security
In bonds amounting to one hundred pounds.
On your refusal, you will be committed
To prison till you do it.

                         But you see
I cannot do it.  The law, sir, of Barbadoes
Forbids the landing Quakers on the island.

Then you will be committed.  Who comes next?

There is another charge against the Captain.

What is it?

Profane swearing, please your Worship.
He cursed and swore from Dock Square to the Court-house,

Then let him stand in the pillory for one hour.

[Exit KEMPTHORN with constable.

Who's next?

       The Quakers.

               Call them.

                   Edward Wharton,
Come to the bar!

              Yea, even to the bench.

Take off your hat.

                My hat offendeth not.
If it offendeth any, let him take it;
For I shall not resist.

                       Take off his hat.
Let him be fined ten shillings for contempt.

MERRY takes off WHARTON'S hat.

What evil have I done?

                 Your hair's too long;
And in not putting off your hat to us
You've disobeyed and broken that commandment
Which sayeth "Honor thy father and thy mother."

John Endicott, thou art become too proud;
And loved him who putteth off the hat,
And honoreth thee by bowing of the body,
And sayeth "Worshipful sir!"  'T is time for thee
To give such follies over, for thou mayest
Be drawing very near unto thy grave.

Now, sirrah, leave your canting.  Take the oath.

Nay, sirrah me no sirrahs!

                      Will you swear?

Nay, I will not.

         You made a great disturbance
And uproar yesterday in the Meeting-house,
Having your hat on.

              I made no disturbance;
For peacefully I stood, like other people.
I spake no words; moved against none my hand;
But by the hair they haled me out, and dashed
Their hooks into my face.

                 You, Edward Wharton,
On pain of death, depart this Jurisdiction
Within ten days.  Such is your sentence.  Go.

John Endicott, it had been well for thee
If this day's doings thou hadst left undone
But, banish me as far as thou hast power,
Beyond the guard and presence of my God
Thou canst not banish me.

                     Depart the Court;
We have no time to listen to your babble.
Who's next?                [Exit WHARTON.

   This woman, for the same offence.

EDITH comes forward.

What is your name?

          'T is to the world unknown,
But written in the Book of Life.

                            Take heed
It be not written in the Book of Death!
What is it?

          Edith Christison.

ENDICOTT (with eagerness).
                        The daughter
Of Wenlock Christison?

                    I am his daughter.

Your father hath given us trouble many times.
A bold man and a violent, who sets
At naught the authority of our Church and State,
And is in banishment on pain of death.
Where are you living?

                In the Lord.

                        Make answer
Without evasion.  Where?

                   My outward being
Is in Barbadoes.

             Then why come you here?

I come upon an errand of the Lord.

'Tis not the business of the Lord you're doing;
It is the Devil's.  Will you take the oath?
Give her the Book.

MERRY offers the Book.

               You offer me this Book
To swear on; and it saith," Swear not at all,
Neither by heaven, because it is God's Throne,
Nor by the earth, because it is his footstool!"
I dare not swear.

      You dare not?  Yet you Quakers
Deny this book of Holy Writ, the Bible,
To be the Word of God.

EDITH (reverentially).
                  Christ is the Word,
The everlasting oath of God.  I dare not.

You own yourself a Quaker,--do you not?

I own that in derision and reproach
I am so called.

          Then you deny the Scripture
To be the rule of life.

                       Yea, I believe
The Inner Light, and not the Written Word,
To be the rule of life.

                       And you deny
That the Lord's Day is holy.

                            Every day
Is the Lords Day.  It runs through all our lives,
As through the pages of the Holy Bible,
"Thus saith the Lord."

           You are accused of making
An horrible disturbance, and affrighting
The people in the Meeting-house on Sunday.
What answer make you?

                      I do not deny
That I was present in your Steeple-house
On the First Day; but I made no disturbance.

Why came you there?

      Because the Lord commanded.
His word was in my heart, a burning fire
Shut up within me and consuming me,
And I was very weary with forbearing;
I could not stay.

   'T was not the Lord that sent you;
As an incarnate devil did you come!

On the First Day, when, seated in my chamber,
I heard the bells toll, calling you together,
The sound struck at my life, as once at his,
The holy man, our Founder, when he heard
The far-off bells toll in the Vale of Beavor.
It sounded like a market bell to call
The folk together, that the Priest might set
His wares to sale.  And the Lord said within me,
"Thou must go cry aloud against that Idol,
And all the worshippers thereof."  I went
Barefooted, clad in sackcloth, and I stood
And listened at the threshold; and I heard
The praying and the singing and the preaching,
Which were but outward forms, and without power.
Then rose a cry within me, and my heart
Was filled with admonitions and reproofs.
Remembering how the Prophets and Apostles
Denounced the covetous hirelings and diviners,
I entered in, and spake the words the Lord
Commanded me to speak.  I could no less.

Are you a Prophetess?

                    Is it not written,
"Upon my handmaidens will I pour out
My spirit, and they shall prophesy"?

For out of your own mouth are you condemned!
Need we hear further?

                      We are satisfied.

It is sufficient.  Edith Christison,
The sentence of the Court is, that you be
Scourged in three towns, with forty stripes save one,
Then banished upon pain of death!

                       Your sentence
Is truly no more terrible to me
Than had you blown a feather into the the air,
And, as it fell upon me, you had said,
Take heed it hurt thee not!"  God's will he done!

WENLOCK CHRISTISON (unseen in the crowd).
Woe to the city of blood!  The stone shall cry
Out of the wall; the beam from out the timber
Shall answer it!  Woe unto him that buildeth
A town with blood, and stablisheth a city
By his iniquity!

                  Who is it makes
Such outcry here?

CHRISTISON (coming forward).
                I, Wenlock Christison!

Banished on pain of death, why come you here?

I come to warn you that you shed no more
The blood of innocent men!  It cries aloud
For vengeance to the Lord!

                     Your life is forfeit
Unto the law; and you shall surely die,
And shall not live.

                    Like unto Eleazer,
Maintaining the excellence of ancient years
And the honor of his gray head, I stand before you;
Like him disdaining all hypocrisy,
Lest, through desire to live a little longer,
I get a stain to my old age and name!

Being in banishment, on pain of death,
You come now in among us in rebellion.

I come not in among you in rebellion,
But in obedience to the Lord of heaven.
Not in contempt to any Magistrate,
But only in the love I bear your souls,
As ye shall know hereafter, when all men
Give an account of deeds done in the body!
God's righteous judgments ye cannot escape.

Those who have gone before you said the same,
And yet no judgment of the Lord hath fallen
Upon us.

       He but waiteth till the measure
Of your iniquities shall be filled up,
And ye have run your race.  Then will his wrath
Descend upon you to the uttermost!
For thy part, Humphrey Atherton, it hangs
Over thy head already.  It shall come
Suddenly, as a thief doth in the night,
And in the hour when least thou thinkest of it!

We have a law, and by that law you die.

I, a free man of England and freeborn,
Appeal unto the laws of mine own nation!

There's no appeal to England from this Court!
What! do you think our statutes are but paper?
Are but dead leaves that rustle in the wind?
Or litter to be trampled under foot?
What say ye, Judges of the Court,--what say ye?
Shall this man suffer death?  Speak your opinions.

I am a mortal man, and die I must,
And that erelong; and I must then appear
Before the awful judgment-seat of Christ,
To give account of deeds done in the body.
My greatest glory on that day will be,
That I have given my vote against this man.

If, Thomas Danforth, thou hast nothing more
To glory in upon that dreadful day
Than blood of innocent people, then thy glory
Will be turned into shame!  The Lord hath said it!

I cannot give consent, while other men
Who have been banished upon pain of death
Are now in their own houses here among us.
Ye that will not consent, make record of it.
I thank my God that I am not afraid
To give my judgment.  Wenlock Christison,
You must be taken back from hence to prison,
Thence to the place of public execution,
There to he hanged till you be dead--dead,--dead.

If ye have power to take my life from me,--
Which I do question,--God hath power to raise
The principle of life in other men,
And send them here among you.  There shall be
No peace unto the wicked, saith my God.
Listen, ye Magistrates, for the Lord hath said it!
The day ye put his servitors to death,
That day the Day of your own Visitation,
The Day of Wrath shall pass above your heads,
And ye shall he accursed forevermore!

To EDITH, embracing her.

Cheer up, dear heart! they have not power to harm us.

[Exeunt CHRISTISON and EDITH guarded.  The Scene closes.

SCENE II. -- A street.  Enter JOHN ENDICOTT and UPSALL.

Scourged in three towns! and yet the busy people
Go up and down the streets on their affairs
Of business or of pleasure, as if nothing
Had happened to disturb them or their thoughts!
When bloody tragedies like this are acted,
The pulses of a nation should stand still
The town should be in mourning, and the people
Speak only in low whispers to each other.

I know this people; and that underneath
A cold outside there burns a secret fire
That will find vent and will not be put out,
Till every remnant of these barbarous laws
Shall be to ashes burned, and blown away.

Scourged in three towns!  It is incredible
Such things can be!  I feel the blood within me
Fast mounting in rebellion, since in vain
Have I implored compassion of my father!

You know your father only as a father;
I know him better as a Magistrate.
He is a man both loving and severe;
A tender heart; a will inflexible.
None ever loved him more than I have loved him.
He is an upright man and a just man
In all things save the treatment of the Quakers.

Yet I have found him cruel and unjust
Even as a father.  He has driven me forth
Into the street; has shut his door upon me,
With words of bitterness.  I am as homeless
As these poor Quakers are.

                  Then come with me.
You shall be welcome for your father's sake,
And the old friendship that has been between us.
He will relent erelong.  A father's anger
Is like a sword without a handle, piercing
Both ways alike, and wounding him that wields it
No less than him that it is pointed at.

SCENE III. -- The prison.  Night.  EDITH reading the Bible by a

"Blessed are ye when men shall persecute you,
And shall revile you, and shall say against you
All manner of evil falsely for my sake!
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great
Is your reward in heaven.  For so the prophets,
Which were before you, have been persecuted."



      Who is it that speaketh?

                       Saul of Tarsus:
As thou didst call me once.

EDITH (coming forward).
                      Yea, I remember.
Thou art the Governor's son.

                         I am ashamed
Thou shouldst remember me.

                    Why comest thou
Into this dark guest-chamber in the night?
What seekest thou?


                           I forgive
All who have injured me.  What hast thou done?

I have betrayed thee, thinking that in this
I did God service.  Now, in deep contrition,
I come to rescue thee.

                   From what?

                         From prison.
I am safe here within these gloomy walls.

From scourging in the streets, and in three towns!

Remembering who was scourged for me, I shrink not
Nor shudder at the forty stripes save one.

Perhaps from death itself!

                      I fear not death,
Knowing who died for me.

                   Surely some divine
Ambassador is speaking through those lips
And looking through those eyes!  I cannot answer!

If all these prison doors stood opened wide
I would not cross the threshold,--not one step.
There are invisible bars I cannot break;
There are invisible doors that shut me in,
And keep me ever steadfast to my purpose.

Thou hast the patience and the faith of Saints!

Thy Priest hath been with me this day to save me,
Not only from the death that comes to all,
But from the second death!

                        The Pharisee!
My heart revolts against him and his creed!
Alas! the coat that was without a seam
Is rent asunder by contending sects;
Each bears away a portion of the garment,
Blindly believing that he has the whole!

When Death, the Healer, shall have touched our eyes
With moist clay of the grave, then shall we see
The truth as we have never yet beheld it.
But he that overcometh shall not be
Hurt of the second death.  Has he forgotten
The many mansions in our father's house?

There is no pity in his iron heart!
The hands that now bear stamped upon their palms
The burning sign of Heresy, hereafter
Shall be uplifted against such accusers,
And then the imprinted letter and its meaning
Will not be Heresy, but Holiness!

Remember, thou condemnest thine own father!

I have no father!  He has cast me off.
I am as homeless as the wind that moans
And wanders through the streets.  Oh, come with me!
Do not delay.  Thy God shall be my God,
And where thou goest I will go.

                              I cannot.
Yet will I not deny it, nor conceal it;
From the first moment I beheld thy face
I felt a tenderness in my soul towards thee.
My mind has since been inward to the Lord,
Waiting his word.  It has not yet been spoken.

I cannot wait.  Trust me.  Oh, come with me!

In the next room, my father, an old man,
Sitteth imprisoned and condemned to death,
Willing to prove his faith by martyrdom;
And thinkest thou his daughter would do less?

Oh, life is sweet, and death is terrible!

I have too long walked hand in hand with death
To shudder at that pale familiar face.
But leave me now.  I wish to be alone.

Not yet.  Oh, let me stay.

                     Urge me no more.

Alas! good-night.  I will not say good-by!

Put this temptation underneath thy feet.
To him that overcometh shall be given
The white stone with the new name written on it,
That no man knows save him that doth receive it,
And I will give thee a new name, and call thee
Paul of Damascus, and not Saul of Tarsus.

[Exit ENDICOTT.  EDITH sits down again to read the Bible.


SCENE I. -- King Street, in front of the town-house.  KEMPTHORN
in the pillory.  MERRY and a crowd of lookers-on.

KEMPTHORN (sings).
  The world is full of care,
    Much like unto a bubble;
  Women and care, and care and women,
    And women and care and trouble.

Good Master Merry, may I say confound?

Ay, that you may.

      Well, then, with your permission,
Confound the Pillory!

                That's the very thing
The joiner said who made the Shrewsbury stocks.
He said, Confound the stocks, because they put him
Into his own.  He was the first man in them.

For swearing, was it?

               No, it was for charging;
He charged the town too much; and so the town,
To make things square, set him in his own stocks,
And fined him five pounds sterling,--just enough
To settle his own bill.

                  And served him right;
But, Master Merry, is it not eight bells?

Not quite.

   For, do you see?  I'm getting tired
Of being perched aloft here in this cro' nest
Like the first mate of a whaler, or a Middy
Mast-headed, looking out for land!  Sail ho!
Here comes a heavy-laden merchant-man
With the lee clews eased off and running free
Before the wind.  A solid man of Boston.
A comfortable man, with dividends,
And the first salmon, and the first green peas.

A gentleman passes.

He does not even turn his head to look.
He's gone without a word.  Here comes another,
A different kind of craft on a taut bow-line,--
Deacon Giles Firmin the apothecary,
A pious and a ponderous citizen,
Looking as rubicund and round and splendid
As the great bottle in his own shop window!


And here's my host of the Three Mariners,
My creditor and trusty taverner,
My corporal in the Great Artillery!
He's not a man to pass me without speaking.

COLE looks away and passes.

Don't yaw so; keep your luff, old hypocrite!
Respectable, ah yes, respectable,
You, with your seat in the new Meeting-house,
Your cow-right on the Common!  But who's this?
I did not know the Mary Ann was in!
And yet this is my old friend, Captain Goldsmith,
As sure as I stand in the bilboes here.
Why, Ralph, my boy!


                  Why, Simon, is it you?
Set in the bilboes?

                 Chock-a-block, you see,
And without chafing-gear.

                   And what's it for?

Ask that starbowline with the boat-hook there,
That handsome man.

MERRY (bowing).
              For swearing.


                      In this town
They put sea-captains in the stocks for swearing,
And Quakers for not swearing.  So look out.

I pray you set him free; he meant no harm;
'T is an old habit he picked up afloat.

Well, as your time is out, you may come down,
The law allows you now to go at large
Like Elder Oliver's horse upon the Common.

Now, hearties, bear a hand!  Let go and haul.

KEMPTHORN is set free, and comes forward, shaking GOLDSMITH'S

Give me your hand, Ralph.  Ah, how good it feels!
The hand of an old friend.

                God bless you, Simon!

Now let us make a straight wake for the tavern
Of the Three Mariners, Samuel Cole commander;
Where we can take our ease, and see the shipping,
And talk about old times.

                      First I must pay
My duty to the Governor, and take him
His letters and despatches.  Come with me.

I'd rather not.  I saw him yesterday.

Then wait for me at the Three Nuns and Comb.

I thank you.  That's too near to the town pump.
I will go with you to the Governor's,
And wait outside there, sailing off and on;
If I am wanted, you can hoist a signal.

Shall I go with you and point out the way?

Oh no, I thank you.  I am not a stranger
Here in your crooked little town.

                         How now, sir?
Do you abuse our town?          [Exit.

                     Oh, no offence.

Ralph, I am under bonds for a hundred pound.

Hard lines.  What for?

            To take some Quakers back
I brought here from Barbadoes in the Swallow.
And how to do it I don't clearly see,
For one of them is banished, and another
Is sentenced to be hanged!  What shall I do?

Just slip your hawser on some cloudy night;
Sheer off, and pay it with the topsail, Simon!

SCENE II. -- Street in front of the prison.  In the background a
gateway and several flights of steps leading up terraces to the
Governor's house.  A pump on one side of the street.  JOHN
ENDICOTT, MERRY, UPSALL, and others.  A drum beats.

Oh shame, shame, shame!

             Yes, it would be a shame
But for the damnable sin of Heresy!

A woman scourged and dragged about our streets!

Well, Roxbury and Dorchester must take
Their share of shame.  She will he whipped in each!
Three towns, and Forty Stripes save one; that makes
Thirteen in each.

      And are we Jews or Christians?
See where she comes, amid a gaping crowd!
And she a child.  Oh, pitiful! pitiful!
There's blood upon her clothes, her hands, her feet!

Enter MARSHAL and a drummer.  EDITH, stripped to the waist,
followed by the hangman with a scourge, and a noisy crowd.

Here let me rest one moment.  I am tired.
Will some one give me water?

                         At his peril.

Alas! that I should live to see this day!

Did I forsake my father and my mother
And come here to New England to see this?

I am athirst.  Will no one give me water?

JOHN ENDICOTT (making his way through the crowd with water).
In the Lord's name!

EDITH (drinking.

               In his name I receive it!
Sweet as the water of Samaria's well
This water tastes.  I thank thee.  Is it thou?
I was afraid thou hadst deserted me.

Never will I desert thee, nor deny thee.
Be comforted.

              O Master Endicott,
Be careful what you say.

                   Peace, idle babbler!

You'll rue these words!

             Art thou not better now?

They've struck me as with roses.

                   Ah, these wounds!
These bloody garments!

                    It is granted me
To seal my testimony with my blood.

O blood-red seal of man's vindictive wrath!
O roses in the garden of the Lord!
I, of the household of Iscariot,
I have betrayed in thee my Lord and Master.

WENLOCK CHRISTISON appears above, at the window of the prison,
stretching out his hands through the bars.

Be of good courage, O my child! my child!
Blessed art thou when men shall persecute thee!
Fear not their faces, saith the Lord, fear not,
For I am with thee to deliver thee.

Who is it crying from the prison yonder.

It is old Wenlock Christison.

Him who was scourged, and mocked, and crucified!
I see his messengers attending thee.
Be steadfast, oh, be steadfast to the end!

EDITH (with exultation).
I cannot reach thee with these arms, O father!
But closely in my soul do I embrace thee
And hold thee.  In thy dungeon and thy death
I will be with thee, and will comfort thee

Come, put an end to this.  Let the drum beat.

The drum beats.  Exeunt all but JOHN ENDICOTT, UPSALL, and MERRY.

Dear child, farewell!  Never shall I behold
Thy face again with these bleared eyes of flesh;
And never wast thou fairer, lovelier, dearer
Than now, when scourged and bleeding, and insulted
For the truth's sake.  O pitiless, pitiless town!
The wrath of God hangs over thee; and the day
Is near at hand when thou shalt be abandoned
To desolation and the breeding of nettles.
The bittern and the cormorant shall lodge
Upon thine upper lintels, and their voice
Sing in thy windows.  Yea, thus saith the Lord!

Awake! awake! ye sleepers, ere too late,
And wipe these bloody statutes from your books!

Take heed; the walls have ears!

                    At last, the heart
Of every honest man must speak or break!

Enter GOVERNOR ENDICOTT with his halberdiers.

What is this stir and tumult in the street?

Worshipful sir, the whipping of a girl,
And her old father howling from the prison.

ENDICOTT (to his halberdiers).
Go on.

       Antiochus!  Antiochus!
O thou that slayest the Maccabees!  The Lord
Shall smite thee with incurable disease,
And no man shall endure to carry thee!

Peace, old blasphemer!

                    I both feel and see
The presence and the waft of death go forth
Against thee, and already thou dost look
Like one that's dead!

MERRY (pointing).
            And there is your own son,
Worshipful sir, abetting the sedition.

Arrest him.  Do not spare him.

MERRY (aside).
                        His own child!
There is some special providence takes care
That none shall be too happy in this world!
His own first-born.

                  O Absalom, my son!

[Exeunt; the Governor with his halberdiers ascending the steps of
his house.

SCENE III. -- The Governor's private room.  Papers upon the


There is a ship from England has come in,
Bringing despatches and much news from home,
His majesty was at the Abbey crowned;
And when the coronation was complete
There passed a mighty tempest o'er the city,
Portentous with great thunderings and lightnings.

After his father's, if I well remember,
There was an earthquake, that foreboded evil.

Ten of the Regicides have been put to death!
The bodies of Cromwell, Ireton, and Bradshaw
Have been dragged from their graves, and publicly
Hanged in their shrouds at Tyburn.


Thus the old tyranny revives again.
Its arm is long enough to reach us here,
As you will see.  For, more insulting still
Than flaunting in our faces dead men's shrouds,
Here is the King's Mandamus, taking from us,
From this day forth, all power to punish Quakers.

That takes from us all power; we are but puppets,
And can no longer execute our laws.

His Majesty begins with pleasant words,
"Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well;"
Then with a ruthless hand he strips from me
All that which makes me what I am; as if
From some old general in the field, grown gray
In service, scarred with many wounds,
Just at the hour of victory, he should strip
His badge of office and his well-gained honors,
And thrust him back into the ranks again.

Opens the Mandamus and hands it to BELLINGHAM; and, while he is
reading, ENDICOTT walks up and down the room.

Here, read it for yourself; you see his words
Are pleasant words--considerate--not reproachful--
Nothing could be more gentle--or more royal;
But then the meaning underneath the words,
Mark that.  He says all people known as Quakers
Among us, now condemned to suffer death
Or any corporal punishment whatever,
Who are imprisoned, or may be obnoxious
To the like condemnation, shall be sent
Forthwith to England, to be dealt with there
In such wise as shall be agreeable
Unto the English law and their demerits.
Is it not so?

BELLINGHAM (returning the paper).
             Ay, so the paper says.

It means we shall no longer rule the Province;
It means farewell to law and liberty,
Authority, respect for Magistrates,
The peace and welfare of the Commonwealth.
If all the knaves upon this continent
Can make appeal to England, and so thwart
The ends of truth and justice by delay,
Our power is gone forever.  We are nothing
But ciphers, valueless save when we follow
Some unit; and our unit is the King!
'T is he that gives us value.

                             I confess
Such seems to be the meaning of this paper,
But being the King's Mandamus, signed and sealed,
We must obey, or we are in rebellion.

I tell you, Richard Bellingham,--I tell you,
That this is the beginning of a struggle
Of which no mortal can foresee the end.
I shall not live to fight the battle for you,
I am a man disgraced in every way;
This order takes from me my self-respect
And the respect of others.  'T is my doom,
Yes, my death-warrant, but must be obeyed!
Take it, and see that it is executed
So far as this, that all be set at large;
But see that none of them be sent to England
To bear false witness, and to spread reports
That might be prejudicial to ourselves.
                     [Exit BELLINGHAM.

There's a dull pain keeps knocking at my heart,
Dolefully saying, "Set thy house in order,
For thou shalt surely die, and shalt not live!
For me the shadow on the dial-plate
Goeth not back, but on into the dark!

SCENE IV. -- The street.  A crowd, reading a placard on the door
of the Meeting-house.  NICHOLAS UPSALL among them.  Enter John

What is this gathering here?

                   One William Brand,
An old man like ourselves, and weak in body,
Has been so cruelly tortured in his prison,
The people are excited, and they threaten
To tear the prison down.

                 What has been done?

He has been put in irons, with his neck
And heels tied close together, and so left
From five in the morning until nine at night.

What more was done?

          He has been kept five days
In prison without food, and cruelly beaten,
So that his limbs were cold, his senses stopped.

What more?

         And is this not enough?

                        Now hear me.
This William Brand of yours has tried to beat
Our Gospel Ordinances black and blue;
And, if he has been beaten in like manner,
It is but justice, and I will appear
In his behalf that did so.  I suppose
That he refused to work.

                     He was too weak.
How could an old man work, when he was starving?

And what is this placard?

                      The Magistrates,
To appease the people and prevent a tumult,
Have put up these placards throughout the town,
Declaring that the jailer shall be dealt with
Impartially and sternly by the Court.

NORTON (tearing down the placard).
Down with this weak and cowardly concession,
This flag of truce with Satan and with Sin!
I fling it in his face!  I trample it
Under my feet!  It is his cunning craft,
The masterpiece of his diplomacy,
To cry and plead for boundless toleration.
But toleration is the first-born child
Of all abominations and deceits.
There is no room in Christ's triumphant army
For tolerationists.  And if an Angel
Preach any other gospel unto you
Than that ye have received, God's malediction
Descend upon him!  Let him be accursed!

Now, go thy ways, John Norton, go thy ways,
Thou Orthodox Evangelist, as men call thee!
But even now there cometh out of England,
Like an o'ertaking and accusing conscience,
An outraged man, to call thee to account
For the unrighteous murder of his son!

SCENE V. -- The Wilderness.  Enter EDITH.

How beautiful are these autumnal woods!
The wilderness doth blossom like the rose,
And change into a garden of the Lord!
How silent everywhere!  Alone and lost
Here in the forest, there comes over me
An inward awfulness.  I recall the words
Of the Apostle Paul: "In journeyings often,
Often in perils in the wilderness,
In weariness, in painfulness, in watchings,
In hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness;"
And I forget my weariness and pain,
My watchings, and my hunger and my thirst.
The Lord hath said that He will seek his flock
In cloudy and dark days, and they shall dwell
Securely in the wilderness, and sleep
Safe in the woods!  Whichever way I turn,
I come back with my face towards the town.
Dimly I see it, and the sea beyond it.
O cruel town!  I know what waits me there,
And yet I must go back; for ever louder
I hear the inward calling of the Spirit,
And must obey the voice.  O woods that wear
Your golden crown of martyrdom, blood-stained,
From you I learn a lesson of submission,
And am obedient even unto death,
If God so wills it.             [Exit.

                 Edith! Edith! Edith!

He enters.

It is in vain!  I call, she answers not;
I follow, but I find no trace of her!
Blood! blood!  The leaves above me and around me
Are red with blood!  The pathways of the forest,
The clouds that canopy the setting sun
And even the little river in the meadows
Are stained with it!  Where'er I look, I see it!
Away, thou horrible vision!  Leave me! leave me!
Alas! you winding stream, that gropes its way
Through mist and shadow, doubling on itself,
At length will find, by the unerring law
Of nature, what it seeks.  O soul of man,
Groping through mist and shadow, and recoiling
Back on thyself, are, too, thy devious ways
Subject to law? and when thou seemest to wander
The farthest from thy goal, art thou still drawing
Nearer and nearer to it, till at length
Thou findest, like the river, what thou seekest?


SCENE I. -- Daybreak.  Street in front of UPSALL's house. A light
in the window.  Enter JOHN ENDICOTT.

O silent, sombre, and deserted streets,
To me ye 're peopled with a sad procession,
And echo only to the voice of sorrow!
O houses full of peacefulness and sleep,
Far better were it to awake no more
Than wake to look upon such scenes again!
There is a light in Master Upsall's window.
The good man is already risen, for sleep
Deserts the couches of the old.

Knocks at UPSALL's door.

UPSALL (at the window).
                        Who's there?

Am I so changed you do not know my voice?

I know you.  Have you heard what things have happened?

I have heard nothing.

               Stay; I will come down.

I am afraid some dreadful news awaits me!
I do not dare to ask, yet am impatient
To know the worst.  Oh, I am very weary
With waiting and with watching and pursuing!


Thank God, you have come back!  I've much to tell you.
Where have you been?

          You know that I was seized,
Fined, and released again.  You know that Edith,
After her scourging in three towns, was banished
Into the wilderness, into the land
That is not sown; and there I followed her,
But found her not.  Where is she?

                          She is here.

Oh, do not speak that word, for it means death!

No, it means life.  She sleeps in yonder chamber.
Listen to me.  When news of Leddra's death
Reached England, Edward Burroughs, having boldly
Got access to the presence of the King,
Told him there was a vein of innocent blood
Opened in his dominions here, which threatened
To overrun them all.  The King replied.
"But I will stop that vein!" and he forthwith
Sent his Mandamus to our Magistrates,
That they proceed no further in this business.
So all are pardoned, and all set at large.

Thank God!  This is a victory for truth!
Our thoughts are free.  They cannot be shut up
In prison wall, nor put to death on scaffolds!

Come in; the morning air blows sharp and cold
Through the damp streets.

                It is the dawn of day
That chases the old darkness from our sky,
And tills the land with liberty and light.

SCENE II. -- The parlor of the Three Mariners.  Enter KEMPTHORN.

A dull life this,--a dull life anyway!
Ready for sea; the cargo all aboard,
Cleared for Barbadoes, and a fair wind blowing
From nor'-nor'-west; and I, an idle lubber,
Laid neck and heels by that confounded bond!
I said to Ralph, says I, "What's to be done?"
Says he: "Just slip your hawser in the night;
Sheer off, and pay it with the topsail, Simon."
But that won't do; because, you see, the owners
Somehow or other are mixed up with it.
Here are King Charles's Twelve Good Rules, that Cole
Thinks as important as the Rule of Three.


"Make no comparisons; make no long meals."
Those are good rules and golden for a landlord
To hang in his best parlor, framed and glazed!
"Maintain no ill opinions; urge no healths."
I drink to the King's, whatever he may say
And, as to ill opinions, that depends.
Now of Ralph Goldsmith I've a good opinion,
And of the bilboes I've an ill opinion;
And both of these opinions I'll maintain
As long as there's a shot left in the locker.

Enter EDWARD BUTTER, with an ear-trumpet.

Good morning, Captain Kempthorn.

                        Sir, to you.
You've the advantage of me.  I don't know you.
What may I call your name?

              That's not your name?

Yes, that's my name.  What's yours?

                 My name is Butter.
I am the treasurer of the Commonwealth.

Will you be seated?

      What say?  Who's conceited?


Will you sit down?

              Oh, thank you.

                      Spread yourself
Upon this chair, sweet Butter.

BUTTER (sitting down).
                       A fine morning.

Nothing's the matter with it that I know of.
I have seen better, and I have seen worse.
The wind's nor'west.  That's fair for them that sail.

You need not speak so loud; I understand you.
You sail to-day.

                 No, I don't sail to-day.
So, be it fair or foul, it matters not.
Say, will you smoke?  There's choice tobacco here.

No, thank you. It's against the law to smoke.

Then, will you drink?  There's good ale at this inn.

No, thank you.  It's against the law to drink.

Well, almost everything's against the law
In this good town.  Give a wide berth to one thing,
You're sure to fetch up soon on something else.

And so you sail to-day for dear Old England.
I am not one of those who think a sup
Of this New England air is better worth
Than a whole draught of our Old England's ale.

Nor I.  Give me the ale and keep the air.
But, as I said, I do not sail to-day.

Ah yes; you sail today.

                    I'm under bonds
To take some Quakers back to the Barbadoes;
And one of them is banished, and another
Is sentenced to be hanged.

                  No, all are pardoned,
All are set free by order of the Court;
But some of them would fain return to England.
You must not take them.  Upon that condition
Your bond is cancelled.

             Ah, the wind has shifted!
I pray you, do you speak officially?

I always speak officially.  To prove it,
Here is the bond.

Rising and giving a paper.

          And here's my hand upon it,
And look you, when I say I'll do a thing
The thing is done.  Am I now free to go?

What say?

     I say, confound the tedious man
With his strange speaking-trumpet!  Can I go?

You're free to go, by order of the Court.
Your servant, sir.

KEMPTHORN (shouting from the window).
              Swallow, ahoy!  Hallo!
If ever a man was happy to leave Boston,
That man is Simon Kempthorn of the Swallow!

Re-enter BUTTER.

Pray, did you call?

      Call!  Yes, I hailed the Swallow.

That's not my name.  My name is Edward Butter.
You need not speak so loud.

KEMPTHORN (shaking hands).
                  Good-by!  Good-by!

Your servant, sir.

        And yours a thousand times!

SCENE III. -- GOVERNOR ENDICOTT'S private room.  An open window.

ENDICOTT seated in an arm-chair.  BELLINGHAM standing near.

O lost, O loved! wilt thou return no more?
O loved and lost, and loved the more when lost!
How many men are dragged into their graves
By their rebellious children!  I now feel
The agony of a father's breaking heart
In David's cry, "O Absalom, my son!"

Can you not turn your thoughts a little while
To public matters?  There are papers here
That need attention.

                 Trouble me no more!
My business now is with another world,
Ah, Richard Bellingham!  I greatly fear
That in my righteous zeal I have been led
To doing many things which, left undone,
My mind would now be easier.  Did I dream it,
Or has some person told me, that John Norton
Is dead?

  You have not dreamed it.  He is dead,
And gone to his reward.  It was no dream.

Then it was very sudden; for I saw him
Standing where you now stand, not long ago.

By his own fireside, in the afternoon,
A faintness and a giddiness came o'er him;
And, leaning on the chimney-piece, he cried,  
"The hand of God is on me!" and fell dead.

And did not some one say, or have I dreamed it,
That Humphrey Atherton is dead?

He too is gone, and by a death as sudden.
Returning home one evening, at the place
Where usually the Quakers have been scourged,
His horse took fright, and threw him to the ground,
So that his brains were dashed about the street.

I am not superstitions, Bellingham,
And yet I tremble lest it may have been
A judgment on him.

                 So the people think.
They say his horse saw standing in the way
The ghost of William Leddra, and was frightened.
And furthermore, brave Richard Davenport,
The captain of the Castle, in the storm
Has been struck dead by lightning.

                       Speak no more.
For as I listen to your voice it seems
As if the Seven Thunders uttered their voices,
And the dead bodies lay about the streets
Of the disconsolate city!  Bellingham,
I did not put those wretched men to death.
I did but guard the passage with the sword
Pointed towards them, and they rushed upon it!
Yet now I would that I had taken no part
In all that bloody work.

                         The guilt of it
Be on their heads, not ours.

                       Are all set free?

All are at large.

        And none have been sent back
To England to malign us with the King?

The ship that brought them sails this very hour,
But carries no one back.

A distant cannon.

                     What is that gun?

Her parting signal.  Through the window there,
Look, you can see her sails, above the roofs,
Dropping below the Castle, outward bound.

O white, white, white!  Would that my soul had wings
As spotless as those shining sails to fly with!
Now lay this cushion straight.  I thank you.  Hark!
I thought I heard the hall door open and shut!
I thought I beard the footsteps of my boy!

It was the wind.  There's no one in the passage.

O Absalom, my son!  I feel the world
Sinking beneath me, sinking, sinking, sinking!
Death knocks!  I go to meet him!  Welcome, Death!

Rises, and sinks back dead; his head failing aside upon his

O ghastly sight!  Like one who has been hanged!
Endicott!  Endicott!  He makes no answer!

Raises Endicott's head.

He breathes no more!  How bright this signet-ring
Glitters upon his hand, where he has worn it
Through such long years of trouble, as if Death
Had given him this memento of affection,
And whispered in his ear, "Remember me!"
How placid and how quiet is his face,
Now that the struggle and the strife are ended
Only the acrid spirit of the times
Corroded this true steel.  Oh, rest in peace,
Courageous heart!  Forever rest in peace!