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girl was seized with a convulsion, and so were the others, so that the trial had to be suspended for a few minutes, until quiet was restored.
Charles Stevens, who was present, remarked, loud enough to be heard:
“If they had a stick well laid about their backs, I trow it would cure them of such devil's capers." “Have a care, Charles.
Take heed of your hasty speech,” said a by-stander.
Mrs. Putnam, fearful that her first deposition would not convict the woman, who had dared speak boldly against her beloved pastor, again took the stand and testified:
“Once, when Rebecca Nurse's apparition appeared unto me, she declared that she had killed Benjamin Houlton, John Friller, and Rebecca Shepherd, and that she and her sister Cloyse, and Edward Bishop's wife, had killed John Putnam's child. Immediately there did appear to me six children in winding-sheets, which called me aunt, which did most grievously affright me; and they told me they were my sister Baker's children of Boston, and that Goody Nurse, Mistress Corey of Charlestown and an old deaf woman at Boston murdered them, and charged me to go and tell these things to the magistrates, or else they would tear me to pieces, for their blood did cry for venge
Also there appeared to me my own sister
Bayley and three of her children in winding-sheets, and told me that Goody Nurse had murdered them."
This evidence was followed by the afflicted chil. dren bearing testimony to being grievously tormented by defendant, who came sometimes in the shape of a black cat, a dog, or a pig, and who was sometimes accompanied by a black man. Louder next related his experience of being changed to a horse and ridden to a witches' ball, and of seeing Rebecca Nurse ride through the air on a broomstick. The West Indian negro man John, the husband of Tituba and servant of Mr. Parris, was next put on the witness stand. The magistrate asked him:
“John, who hurt you?”
“John, tell the truth. Who hurt you? Have you been hurt?"
“The first was a gentleman I saw." “But who hurt you next?”
“Goody Nurse. She choke me and brought me de book."
“Where did she take hold of you?”
Upon my throat, to stop my breath.” “What did this Goody Nurse do?”
“She pinch me until de blood came."
At this, Ann Putnam had a fit and was carried out. Abigail Williams was called to the stand and asked:
“Abigail Williams, did you see a company at Mr. Parris' house eat and drink?"
“Yes sir; that was their sacrament.”
Goody Cloyse and Goody Good were their deacons."
" What was it?"
"They said it was our blood, and they had it twice that day.”
Have you seen a white man?” “Yes sir, a great many times.”
What sort of a man was he?" “A fine, grave man, and when he came, he made all the witches to tremble."
“Did you see the party of witches at Deacon Ingersol's?” “I did."
Who was there?” “Goody Cloyse, Goody Corey, Goody Nurse and Goody Good.”
Then the examining magistrate turned to the old, infirm and unfortunate prisoner, and asked:
“What do you say, Goody Nurse, to these things?"
The old, sick woman, summoning up all her energies, answered:
“I take God to be my witness, that I know nothing of it, no more than the child unborn."
The jury did not consider the evidence strong enough for hanging an old lady, who had been the ornament of their church and the glory of their village and its society, and they brought in a verdict of “not guilty."
The momentary rejoicing of the triumphant defendants was drowned by the howls of the afflicted and the upbraiding of Mr. Parris. One judge declared himself dissatisfied; another promised to have ber tried anew; and the chief justice pointed out a phrase used by the prisoner, which might be made to signify that she was one of the accused gang in guilt, as well as in jeopardy. It might really seem as if the authorities were all scheming together, when we see the ingenuity and persistence with which they discussed the three words “of our company," as used by the accused.
The poor old woman offered an explanation, which ought to have been satisfactory.
“I intended no otherwise than as they were prisoners with us, and therefore did then, and yet do judge them not legal evidence against their fellow-prisoners. And I, being something hard of hearing and full of grief, none informing me how
the court took up my words, therefore had no opportunity to declare what I intended when I said they were of our company."
The foreman of the jury would have taken a favorable view of this matter, and have allowed full consideration, while other jurymen were eager to recall the mistake of the verdict; but the prisoner's silence from failing to hear, when she was expected to explain, turned the foreman against her, and caused him to declare: Whereupon
these words were to me a principal evidence against her." Still it was too monstrous to hang the poor
After her condemnation, the governor reprieved her, probably on the ground of the illegality of setting aside the first verdict of the jury, in the absence of any new evidence; but Mr. Parris, the power behind the people, caused such an outcry against executive clemency to be raised, that the governor withdrew his reprieve.
Next Sunday after the sentence, there was a scene in the church, the record of which was afterward annotated by the church members in grief and humiliation. After the sacrament, by a vote, it was unanimously agreed, that sister Nurse, being convicted as a witch by the court, should be excominunicated in the afternoon of the same day. Charles Stevens, impelled by a morbid curiosity,