had been no true minister; insisting on his guilt, and
hinting that the devil could sometimes assume the appearance of an angel of light: and the hanging
Meantime, the confessions of the witches began to be directed against the Anabaptists.
was dipped by the devil.
The court still had work to do. On the ninth, six women were condemned; and more convictions followed.
, the octogenarian, seeing that all were convicted, refused to plead, and was condemned to be pressed to death.
The horrid sentence, a barbarous usage of English law, never again followed in the colonies, was executed forthwith.
On the twenty-second of September, eight persons were led to the gallows.
Of these, Samuel Wardwell
had confessed, and was safe; but, from shame and penitence, he retracted his confession, and, speaking the truth boldly, he was hanged, not for witchcraft, but for denying witchcraft.
was, before execution, visited in prison by Parris
, the two deacons, and another member of his church.
The church record tells that, self-sustained, she ‘imperiously’ rebuked her destroyers, and ‘they pronounced the dreadful sentence of excommunication against her.’
In the calmness with which Mary Easty
exposed the falsehood of those who had selected from her family so many victims, she joined the noblest fortitude with sweetness of temper, dignity, and resignation.
But the chief judge
was positive that all had been done rightly, and
‘was very impatient in hearing any thing that looked another way.’—‘There hang eight firebrands of hell,’ said Noyes
, the minister of Salem
, pointing to the bodies swinging on the gallows.
Already twenty persons had been put to death for