Why are we dawdling? All the heads are up,
Steepled on spikes above the Scottish Gate,—
Some of the rebels rarely handsome too.
Mary. Won’t it be rather horrible?
Of chopt-off heads sitting on spikes—ugh!
And I daresay blood dribbling here and there.
Mary. Don’t, Jean! I am going back. I was Forbid the gate.
And so was I.
Katrina. But a mere peep at them?
Yes, come on, Mary.
Mary. We might just see how horrible they are.
Jean. Sure, they will make us shudder;
Or else cry.
[A MAN meets them.
Man. Are you for the show, my girls?
We aren’t your girls.
Katrina. Do you mean the heads upon the Scottish Gate?
Man. Ay, that’s the show, a pretty one.
The rebels’ heads set up?
All, all; their cause
Is fallen flat; but go you on and see
How wonderly their proud heads are elate.
Katrina. Do any look as if they died afeared?
Man. Go and learn that yourselves. And when you mark How grimly addled all the daring is Now in those brains, do as your hearts shall bid you, And that is weep, I hope.
O let’s go back.
Jean. We have no friends spiked on the Scottish Gate.
Man. No? Well, there’s quite a quire of voices there, Blessing the King’s just wisdom for his stern Strong policy with the rebels.
Who are those?—
I think it’s fiendish to have killed so many.
Man. The chattering birds, my lass, and droning flies: They’re proper Whigs, are birds and flies,—or else The Whigs are proper crows and carrion-bugs.
[He goes on past them.
Katrina. A Jacobite?
That’s it, I warrant you.
One of the stay-at-homes.
Now promise me,
We’ll only take a glimpse, girls, a short glimpse.
Jean (laughing). Yes, just to see how horrible they are.
[They go on towards the gate.
The Scottish Gate, Carlisle. Among the crowd.
Mary. O why did we come here?
One, two, three, four—
A devil’s dozen of them at the least.
Katrina. Poor lads! They did not need to set them up So high, surely. Which is the one you’ld call Prettiest, Jean?