Uncle Nicholas Noyes
It was at Martha Corey's examination
that one typical behavior first appeared. She bit her lip, and several of the afflicted children complained that they were
bitten. She was charged with biting her lip, and she quite naturally asked what harm there was in it. The Reverend Mr. Nicholas
Noyes of Salem
Town explained: "I believe it is apparent she practiseth Witchcraft in the congregation;
there is no need of images."
.... Alden began to speak
of the Providence of God in suffering these creatures in accusing innocent persons.
Mr. Noyes asked Alden why he would offer to speak of the Providence of God. "God
by his Providence," said Mr. Noyes, "governs the world and keeps it in peace,"
and so went on with discourse and stopped Alden's mouth as to that.
.... At the gallows the Reverend
Nicholas Noyes called on Sarah Good to confess, telling her she was a Witch and she knew she was a Witch. Her reply is justly
famous. "You are a liar," she told him. "I am no more a Witch than you are a Wizard, and if you take away my life God will
give you blood to drink."
.... But tradition has it
that twenty-five years later, when Nicholas Noyes lay dying, he choked upon the blood that poured copiously from his mouth.....This
is, of course, the incident Hawthorne adapted for The House of the Seven Gables.
After the execution Nicholas
Noyes, "turning him to the bodies, said, 'What a sad thing it is to see eight firebrands of Hell hanging there.' "
Hale of Beverly and Nicholas Noyes of Salem, saw their error relatively early, frankly and openly acknowledged it, were accordingly
reconciled to those in their parish who had been injured, and lived useful and productive lives thereafter.