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hangman an executioner: “the hangman's axe,” THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, iv. 1. 125. (So in Fletcher'sProphetess, act iii. sc. 1, Dioclesian, who had stabbed Aper, is called “the hangman of Volusius Aper;” and in Jacke Drum's Entertainment, Brabant Junior, being prevented by Sir Edward from stabbing himself, declares that he is too wicked to live:
“And therefore, gentle knight, let mine owne hand
Be mine own hangman.” Sig. H 3 verso, ed. 1616; compare, too, a play of a much later date, the Duke of Buckingham's Rehearsal, where Bayes says: “I come out in a long black veil, and a great huge hangman behind me, with a furr'd cap, and his sword drawn; and there tell 'em plainly, that if, out of good nature, they will not like my play, I'gad, I'll e'en kneel down, and he shall cut my head off.” Buckingham's Works, vol. i. p. 21, ed. 1775.)

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