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...pity him, but thou shalt surely kill him, And thine own hand shall be the first upon him To slay him.
ENDICOTT. Four already have been slain; And others banished upon pain of death. But they come back again to meet their doom, Bringing the linen for their winding-sheets. We must not go too far. In truth, I shrink From shedding of more blood. The people murmur At our severity.
NORTON. Then let them murmur! Truth is relentless; justice never wavers;The greatest firmness is the greatest mercy.The noble order of the Magistracy Cometh immediately from God, and yet This noble order of the Magistracy Is by these Heretics despised and outraged.
ENDICOTT. To-night they sleep in prison. If they die, They cannot say that we have caused their death. We do but guard the passage, with the sword Pointed towards them; if they dash upon it, Their blood will be on their own heads, not ours.
NORTON. Enough. I ask no more. My predecessor Coped only with the milder heresies Of... Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
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