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hands of the sovereign, and became a powerful promoter of those discontents in the colonies, which broke out in open rebellion in 1775.
The peace of Ryswick was of short duration. Aspirants for power again tormented the people with the evils of war. King James II. died in France, September, 1701. He had been shielded by Louis after his flight from his throne to France, and now the French monarch acknowledged James' son, James Francis Edward (known in history as the pretender) to be the lawful king of England. This act greatly offended the English, because the crown had been settled upon Anne, James's second Protestant daughter. Louis, in addition, had offended the English by placing his grandson, Philip of Anjou, on the throne of Spain, so increasing the influence of France among the dynasties of Europe. King William was enraged and was preparing for war, when a fall from his horse, while hunting, caused his death. He was succeeded by Anne, and a war ensued, which lasted almost a dozen years and is known in history as Queen Anne's War. We have, however, too long dwelt on the general history of the country. It will be essential to our story that we return to the village of Salem where superstition was reigning, while the chief characters of our story were resting in security at Boston, not daring to go abroad by day.
The awful tragedy was through,
AFTER the escape of Mrs. Stevens and Cora Waters, a wave of superstition swept over the village of Salem with such irresistible fury, that it seemed in greater danger than the frontier settlements did from the French and Indians. The Nurse family and all their relatives came in for a greater share than any other. Mrs. Cloyse was second of the family to be accused by Parris and his minions. Mrs. Cloyse drew ill-will upon herself at the outset by doing as her brother and sister Nurse did. They all absented themselves from, the examinations in the church, and, when the interruptions of the services became too flagrant, from Sabbath worship. They declared that they took that course, because they disapproved of the permission given to the profanation of the place
and the service. At last Mrs. Cloyse, or Goody Cloyse, as she was called in the records of the day, was arrested. Mary Easty and Elizabeth Proctor were also arrested. Mary Easty, sister of Mrs. Nurse, was tried and condemned. On her condemnation and sentence, she made an affective memorial while under sentence of death, and fully aware of the hopelessness of her case, addressing the judges, the magistrates and the reverend ministers, imploring them to consider what they were doing, and how far their course in regard to accused persons was inconsistent with the principles and rules of justice.
“I ask nothing for myself,” she said. satisfied with my own innocence and certain of my doom on earth and my hope in Heaven. What I do desire, is to induce the authorities to take time, and to use caution in receiving and strictness in sifting testimony; and so shall they ascertain the truth, and absolve the innocent, the blessing of God being upon your conscientious endeavors."
No effect was produced by her warnings or remonstrances. Before setting forth from the jail to the Witches' Hill on the day of her death, she serenely bade farewell to her husband and many children, and many of her friends, some of whom afterward related that “her sayings were so serious, religious, distinct and affectionate as could
well be expressed, drawing tears from the eyes
of all present.”
The subject of witchcraft grew more interesting after the execution of Mary Easty, and to examine Elizabeth Proctor and Sarah Cloyse, or Cloyce, as Mr. Bancroft spells the name, the deputy governor and five magistrates went to Salem. It was a great day. Several ministers were present. Parris officiated, and, by his own record, it is plain that he himself elicited every accusation. His first witness John, the West India negro servant, husband to Tituba, was rebuked by Sarah Cloyse as a grievous liar. Abigail Williams, the niece to Parris, was also at hand with her wonderful tales of sorcery. She swore she had seen the prisoner at the witches' sacrament.
Struck with horror at such bold perjury, Sarah Cloyse called for water and swooned away before it could be brought her. Upon this, Abigail Williams, her brother's wife, Sarah Williams, Parris' daughter and Ann Putnam shouted:
“Her spirit is gone to prison to her sister!”
Against Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail Williams related stories that were so foolish that one wonders how any sensible person could believe them. Among other things she told how the accused had invited her to sign the Devil's book.
“Dear child!” exclaimed the accused, in her
THE WITCH OF SALEM.
Тcн о agony,
" it is not so. There is another judgment, dear child,” and her accusers, turning toward her husband, declared that he, too, was a wizard. All three were committed. Examinations and commitments multiplied. Giles Corey, a stubborn old man of more than four-score years, could not escape the malice of his minister and his angry
neighbors, with whom he had quarrelled. Parris had had a rival in George Burroughs, a graduate of Harvard College, who, having formerly preached in Salem village, had friends there desirous of his return. He was a skeptic on the subject of witchcraft, and Parris determined to have his
revenge on him, and, through LIEUT.-Gov. STOUGHTON.
his many agents and instru
ments, had him accused and committed. Thus far there had been no success in obtaining confessions, though earnestly solicited. It had been strongly hinted that a confession was an avenue of safety. At last, “Deliverance Hobbs owned every thing that was asked of her,” and left unharmed. The gallows was to be set up, not for those who professed themselves witches, but for those who rebuked the delusion.