There was one that lined a hatcase with a paper of Benlowes' poetry; Prynne bought it by chance and put a new demi-castor into it.
AN HARANGUER Is one that is so delighted with the sweet sound of his own tongue, that William Prynne will sooner lend an ear than he to anything else.
[Footnote 2: Fiennes, to clear himself from the imputation of cowardice, demanded a court-martial, and Prynne and Walker, who had accused him in their publications, became the prosecutors.
Perhaps they meant only to intimidate; but his enemies seized the opportunity; a committee was appointed; and the task of collecting and preparing evidence was committed to Prynne, whose tiger-like revenge still thirsted for the blood of his former persecutor.
In support of these, every instance that could be raked together by the industry and ingenuity of Prynne, was brought forward.
After the second reading[b] of the ordinance, they sent for the venerable prisoner to their bar, and ordered Brown, one of the managers, to recapitulate in his [Footnote 1: Compare his own daily account of his trial in History, 220-421, with that part published by Prynne, under the title of Canterburies Doome, 1646; and Rushworth, v. 772.]
Vane drew a most unfavourable portrait of the king, and represented all his promises and professions as hollow and insincere; Fiennes became for the first time the royal apologist, and refuted the charges brought by his fellow commissioner; and Prynne, the celebrated adversary of Laud, seemed to forget his antipathy to the court, that he might lash the presumption and perfidy of the army.
The risks and the temptations of the profession at the present day are quite as dangerous to its usefulness, its dignity, and its virtue, as the shears and branding-irons that frightened every barrister from signing Prynne's defence, or the writ that sent Maynard to the Tower.
The discovery of an old manuscript by a former surveyor, and a rag of scarlet cloth, which, on careful examination, assumed the shape of a letterthe capital Agave a reasonably complete explanation of the whole affair of "one Hester Prynne, who appeared to have been rather a noteworthy personage in the view of our ancestors."
The young woman was tall, and those who had known Hester Prynne before were astonished to perceive how her beauty shone out.
Preceded by the beadle, and attended by an irregular procession of stern-browed men and unkindly visaged women, Hester Prynne set forth towards the place appointed for her punishment.
One man, small in stature, and of a remarkable intelligence in his features, who stood on the outskirts of the crowd, attracted the notice of Hester Prynne, and he in his turn bent his eyes on the prisoner till, seeing she appeared to recognise him, he slowly raised his finger and laid it on his lips.
Then, touching the shoulder of a townsman who stood next to him, he said, "I pray you, good sir, who is this woman, and wherefore is she here set up to public shame?" "You must needs be a stranger, friend," said the townsman, "else you would surely have heard of Mistress Hester Prynne, and her evil doings.
But the magistracy, in their great mercy and tenderness of heart, have doomed Mistress Prynne to stand only a space of three hours on the platform of the pillory, and for the remainder of her natural life to wear a mark of shame upon her bosom.
But he will be knownhe will be known!" Directly over the platform on which Hester Prynne stood was a kind of balcony, and here sat Governor Bellingham, with four sergeants about his chair, and ministers of religion.
"Hester Prynne," said he, "if thou feelest it to be for thy soul's peace, I charge thee to speak out the name of thy fellow-sinner and fellow-sufferer.
"Wondrous strength and generosity of a woman's heart!" Hester Prynne kept her place upon the pedestal of shame with an air of weary indifference.
Let thy husband be to the world as one already dead, and breathe not the secret, above all, to the man thou wottest of?" "I will keep thy secret, as I have his." II.A Pearl of Great Price When her prison-door was thrown open, and she came forth into the sunshine, Hester Prynne did not flee.
" The affair being so satisfactorily concluded, Hester Prynne, with Pearl, departed.
One night in early May, driven by remorse, and still indulging in the mockery of repentance, the minister sought the scaffold, where Hester Prynne had stood.
And now Hester Prynne resolved to do what might be in her power for the victim whom she saw in her former husband's grip.
"And I thee," answered Hester Prynne, "for the hatred that has transformed a wise and just man to a fiend!
" IV.Revelation A week later Hester Prynne waited in the forest for the minister as he returned from a visit to his Indian converts.
According to these highly respectable witnesses the minister's confession implied no part of the guilt of Hester Prynne, but was to teach us that we were all sinners alike.
Prynne, William, b. 1600, at Swainswick; Presbyterian pamphleteer; wrote "Histriomastix" (directed against stage-plays); several times pilloried; d. 1669.