Welcome to PhiloLogic  
   home |  the ARTFL project |  download |  documentation |  sample databases |   
Child, Lydia Maria Francis, 1802-1880 [1824], Hobomok (Cummings, Hilliard & Co., Boston) [word count] [eaf041].
To look up a word in a dictionary, select the word with your mouse and press 'd' on your keyboard.

Previous section

Next section

Main text

-- 005 --


How daur ye try sic sportin,
As seek the foul thief ony place,
For him to spae your fortune?
Nae doubt but ye may get a sight!
Great cause ye hae to fear it;
For mony a ane has gotten a fright,
An' liv'd and died deleeret.

[figure description] Page 005.[end figure description]

I NEVER view the thriving villages of New England,
which speak so forcibly to the heart, of happiness
and prosperity, without feeling a glow of national
pride, as I say, “this is my own, my native
land.” A long train of associations are connected
with her picturesque rivers, as they repose in their
peaceful loveliness, the broad and sparkling mirror of
the heavens,—and with the cultivated environs of her
busy cities, which seem every where blushing into a
perfect Eden of fruit and flowers. The remembrance
of what we have been, comes rushing on the heart in
powerful and happy contrast. In most nations the
path of antiquity is shrouded in darkness, rendered
more visible by the wild, fantastic light of fable;
but with us, the vista of time is luminous to its remotest
point. Each succeeding year has left its footsteps
distinct upon the soil, and the cold dew of our chilling
dawn is still visible beneath the mid-day sun. Two
centuries only have elapsed, since our most beautiful

-- 006 --

[figure description] Page 006.[end figure description]

villages reposed in the undisturbed grandeur of nature;—
when the scenes now rendered classic by literary
associations, or resounding with the din of commerce,
echoed nought but the song of the hunter, or
the fleet tread of the wild deer. God was here in his
holy temple, and the whole earth kept silence before
him! But the voice of prayer was soon to be heard in
the desert. The sun, which for ages beyond the memory
of man had gazed on the strange, fearful worship
of the Great Spirit of the wilderness, was soon to
shed its splendor upon the altars of the living God.
That light, which had arisen amid the darkness of
Europe, stretched its long, luminous track across the
Atlantic, till the summits of the western world became
tinged with its brightness. During many long,
long ages of gloom and corruption, it seemed as if the
pure flame of religion was every where quenched in
blood;—but the watchful vestal had kept the sacred
flame still burning deeply and fervently. Men, stern
and unyielding, brought it hither in their own bosom,
and amid desolation and poverty they kindled it on the
shrine of Jevovah. In this enlightened and liberal
age, it is perhaps too fashionable to look back upon
those early sufferers in the cause of the Reformation,
as a band of dark, discontented bigots. Without
doubt, there were many broad, deep shadows in their
characters, but there was likewise bold and powerful
light. The peculiarities of their situation occasioned
most of their faults, and atoned for them. They were
struck off from a learned, opulent, and powerful nation,
under circumstances which goaded and lacerated
them almost to ferocity;—and it is no wonder that
men who fled from oppression in their own country, to
all the hardships of a remote and dreary province,
should have exhibited a deep mixture of exclusive,
bitter, and morose passions. To us indeed, most of

-- 007 --

[figure description] Page 007.[end figure description]

the points for which they so strenuously contended,
must appear exceedingly absurd and trifling; and we
cannot forbear a smile that vigorous and cultivated
minds should have looked upon the signing of the
cross with so much horror and detestation. But the
heart pays involuntary tribute to conscientious, persevering
fortitude, in what cause soever it may be displayed.
At this impartial period we view the sound
policy and unwearied zeal with which the Jesuits endeavored
to rebuild their decaying church, with almost
as much admiration as we do the noble spirit of
reaction which it produced. Whatever merit may be
attached to the cause of our forefathers, the mighty
effort which they made for its support is truly wonderful;
and whatever might have been their defects,
they certainly possessed excellencies, which peculiarly
fitted them for a van-guard in the proud and rapid
march of freedom. The bold outlines of their character
alone remain to us. The varying tints of domestic
detail are already concealed by the ivy which
clusters around the tablets of our recent history.
Some of these have lately been unfolded in an old,
worn-out manuscript, which accidentally came in my
way. It was written by one of my ancestors who fled
with the persecuted nonconformists from the Isle of
Wight, and about the middle of June, 1629, arrived at
Naumkeak on the eastern shore of Massachusetts.
Every one acquainted with our early history remembers
the wretched state in which they found the
scanty remnant of their brethren at that place. I
shall, therefore, pass over the young man's dreary account
of sickness and distress, and shall likewise take
the liberty of substituting my own expressions for his
antiquated and almost unintelligible style.

“After a long and wearisome voyage,” says he, “we
gladly welcomed the peninsula of Shawmut, which, as it

-- 008 --

[figure description] Page 008.[end figure description]

lay stretched out in the distance, proclaimed the vicinity
of Naumkeak. But the winds seemed resolved to
show the full extent of their tantalizing power. All
the livelong day we watched the sails as they fluttered
loosely round the mast, and listened to the hoarse
creaking of the shrouds. Evening at length came on
in her softened beauty; and I shall never forget the
crowd of sensations which it brought upon my mind.
I was in a new world, whose almost unlimited extent
lay in the darkness of ignorance and desolation.
Earth, sea, and air, seemed in a profound slumber,—
and not even the dash of the oar broke in upon their
silence. A confusion of thoughts came over my mind,
till I was lost and bewildered in their immensity. The
scene around me owed nothing of its unadorned beauty
to the power of man. He had rarely been upon these
waves, and the records of his boasted art were not
found in these deserts. I viewed myself as a drop in
the vast ocean of existence, and shrunk from the contemplation
of human nothingness. Thoughts like
these flitted through my mind, till they were lost in
dreaming indistinctness. The glittering forehead of
the sun was just visible above the waves when I
awoke. The wind being fair, the sails were soon
spread, and our vessel passed through the waters with
a rapid and exhilarating motion. Various accounts
had reached us with regard to the New England
plantations. The friends of the London company had
represented it as a second Canaan; while Mr. Lyford,
and other discontented members of the Plymouth
church, spoke of it as bleak and sterile,—the scene
of tumultuous faction, and domineering zeal. During
our voyage I had endeavored to balance these contradictory
reports, and to prepare my mind for whatever
the result might be; but my philosophy nearly
forsook me when I saw our captain point to six

-- 009 --

[figure description] Page 009.[end figure description]

miserable hovels, and proclaim that they constituted the
whole settlement of Naumkeak. The scene altogether
was far worse than my imagination had ever conceived.
Among those who came down to the shore to meet
us, there were but one or two who seemed like Englishmen.
The remainder, sickly and half starved, presented
a pitiful contrast to the vigorous and wondering
savages who stood among them. I dashed a tear
from my eye as the remembrance of England came
before me, and jumping upon the beach, I eagerly
sought out my old acquaintance, Mr. Conant. He
gave me a cordial welcome; but after the numerous
greetings had passed, as I slowly walked by his side,
I thought his once cheerful countenance had assumed
an unusual expression of harshness. He had indeed
met with much to depress his native buoyancy of
heart. In his younger days he had aspired to the
hand of a wealthy and noble lady. Young, volatile,
and beautiful, at an age when life seemed all cloudless
before her, she left the magnificent halls of her
father, and incurred his lasting displeasure by uniting
her fortunes with her humble lover. Years rolled on,
and misfortune and poverty became their lot. Frustrated
in his plans, thwarted by his rivals, misanthropy
and gloom sunk deep down into the soul of the disappointed
man. It was then the spirit of God moved
on the dark, troubled waters of his mind. The stream
of life gushed from the fountain within him; but it
received the tinge of the dark, turbid soil, through
which it passed; and its clear, silent course became
noisy amid the eddies of human pride. One by one
all the associations connected with the religion of his
fathers, were rent away, till kneeling became an
abomination, and the prayers of his church a loathing.
The arm of royal authority then held a firm
grasp on the consciences of men, and England was no

-- 010 --

[figure description] Page 010.[end figure description]

place for him who spoke against the religion of his
king. So their children were called together, and the
gay young beauty who had sparkled awhile in the
court of king James, slept in a rude shelter on a
foreign soil. Two boys, the pride of their father's
heart, had fallen victims to sickness and famine; and
their youngest little blooming fairy had been lately
recalled from the home which her grandfather's pity
had offered, to watch the declining health of her
mother. But the love of woman endured through
many a scene of privation and hardship, even after
the character of its object was totally changed; and
the rigid Calvinist, in that lone place, surrounded by
his lovely family, seemed like some proud magnolia
of the south, scathed and bared of its leaves, adorned
with the golden flowers of the twining jessamine.

“Breakfast was on the board when I first entered,
and after the usual salutations had passed, I with
several of my companions, sat down to partake of it.
It consisted only of roasted pumpkin, a plentiful supply
of clams, and coarse cakes made of pounded
maize. But unpalatable as it proved, even to me, it
was cheerfully partaken by the noble inmates of that
miserable hut. As for Mary, her eye sparkled as
brightly, and the rich tones of her voice were as
merry, as they could have been when her little aerial
foot danced along the marble saloon of her grandfather.
My eye rested on her, with a painful mixture
of sadness and admiration, as in rapid succession
she inquired about the scenes of her youth. Even
the rough sailors, who were with me, softened their
rude tones of voice, and paid to gentleness and beauty
the involuntary tribute of respect. Whether the
father felt any uneasiness as to the effect of this silent
flattery on the young heart of his daughter, or whether
habitual asperity had triumphed over natural

-- 011 --

[figure description] Page 011.[end figure description]

affection I know not; but he replied in an angry tone,
“Wherefore, Mary, do you ask about those, who bow
the knee to Baal, and utter the mummery of common
prayer? Methinks it is enough that the hawk has already
brought hither a sprig from their tree of corruption,
wherewithal to beguile your silly heart.”

A blush, which seemed to partake of something more
unpleasant than mere embarrassment, passed over the
face of the maiden as she answered, “It surely is not
strange that I should think often of places where I
have enjoyed so much, and should now be tempted to
ask questions concerning them, of those who have
knowledge thereof.”

“Aye, aye,” replied the stern old man, “encamped
as you are in Elim, beside palm-trees and fountains,
you are no doubt looking back for the flesh-pots of
Egypt. You'd be willing enough to leave the little
heritage which God has planted here, in order to
vamp up your frail carcase in French frippery. But
I would have you beware, young damsel. Wot ye
not that the idle follower of Morton, who was drowned
in yonder bay, was inwardly given to the vain
forms of the church of England?—and know ye not,
that was the reason his God left him, and Satan became
his convoy?”

His voice grew louder towards the close, and I saw
Mrs. Conant lay her hand upon his, with a beseeching
look. Her husband understood the meaning, for
he smiled half reluctantly, and rejoined in a subdued
tone, “You know it is enough to provoke any body
who has a conscience.” I was at the time surprised
at his sudden change of manner; but during the
whole of my intercourse with him afterwards, I noticed
that a spirit of tenderness toward his sick wife
had survived the wreck of all his kindest feelings. It
was indeed but oil upon the surface. The stream

-- 012 --

[figure description] Page 012.[end figure description]

pursued its own course, and a moment after it would
boil and fret at every obstruction. Willing to change
the current of his thoughts, I asked whether he had

“No,” replied he; “but I believe neighbour Oldham
hath some; and I will straightway send to him.
But by the way, I have been thinking you'd bring us
a stock. To my mind, among all king James' blunders
with regard to his colonies, (and they were many,
God rest his soul,) he never committed a greater, than
that of discountenancing the culture of the `base weed
tobacco.' ”

“We have a little on board,” answered I, “but we
have especial orders to see that none be planted in
the colony, unless it be some small quantity for mere
necessity, and for physic to preserve health, and
that is to be partaken by ancient men, and none

My friend looked as if he disliked such tokens of
restraint. He even went so far as to whisper in my
ear, that the “colonies would never do well as long as
their prosperity could be hindered by their papistical
step-mother from the court of France; and that to be
uxorious was a very virtuous vice among common
folks, but a very vicious and impolitic virtue in a

There were several sailors present who were soon
to return to the mother country, and there was little
safety in speaking aloud of the king's blind and foolish
passion for his Romish queen. So I was fain to
speak of the good wishes of my sovereign, and to lament
their decrease of numbers, and their late dissatisfaction
with the Plymouth elders.

“I have little to say about our troubles,” replied
Mr. Conant; “but as for numbers, the besom of disease
and famine hath been among us, and we are now

-- 013 --

[figure description] Page 013.[end figure description]

as an olive tree `with two or three berries in the top
of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost
fruitful branches thereof.' The Lord's will be done.
He hath begun his work, and he will finish it. But it
grieveth me to see the strange slips which are set upon
our pleasant plants; and when I think thereof, I marvel
not that they wither.”

“I have heard that Mr. Brown and his brother
have been among you some weeks,” said I,—“forasmuch
as they are staunch Episcopalians, you may
refer to them.”

“Whom should I mean,” rejoined he, “but the two
men who like Nabab and Abihu have offered strange
incense to the Lord, which he commanded them not?
Verily, in due time he will send forth his fire and destroy
them from the face of the earth.”

As I saw the tears start in Mary's eyes, I felt a
vague suspicion that the conversation was, in some
way or other, painful to her; and I perceived that the
entrance of Mr. Oldham with his tobacco was a relief
to her.

“Ah,” said the jocular old man, “it's a discrepant
way of doing business, to put a neighbour's paw into the
fire, instead of helping one's self. Here's Good-man
Conant would fain have a fair name on 'tother side
the water; but after all, he hath much likeness to
Rachel of old, only he keepeth the images in another's
tent. But come, let's fill a pipe and talk of byepast

All that I could relate concerning our godly brethren
in Europe, was amply repaid by Mr. Oldham's
humorous description of his own wanderings, mistakes,
and sufferings. I had heard that he would speak of
his own disgraces with the most shameless effrontery,
and laugh at them more loudly than any other man;
and I knew that many pious men had doubted the

-- 014 --

[figure description] Page 014.[end figure description]

vitality of his religion, and had felt themselves darkened
by intercourse with him;—but although I was
shocked at the blasphemous lightness of his speech, I
could hardly refrain from countenancing his ludicrous
expressions and gestures by a smile.

“I can give you no idea of that guantlet at Plymouth,”
said he, “when I passed through a band as
long as the laws of the Levites, and every man gave
me a tug with the butt of his musket. But after all
you may think, it was a season of comfortable outpouring.
Two passages of Scripture came to my
mind, and I was gifted with great light thereupon.
David hath it, `By thee have I passed through a
troop;'—and Amos speaketh at a time when, `If a man
fled from a lion, a bear met him; and if he laid his
hand upon the wall, a serpent bit him.' Well, it was
much the same with me: but as I told you, it was a
time of great light, though it was nothing like the first
dawning. I'll tell you how that was. I was sitting
thus, with my mug of flip before me, and one hand
upon each knee, looking straight into the fire, when
suddenly I bethought that I was like that smoking
brand, with none to pluck it from the burning. So I
took a draught of the good stuff, and all at once a light
streamed around me, ten times brighter than the earl
of Warwick's big lamp.”

“Hush,” said Mr. Conant. “I cannot have you
profane the mysteries of godliness after this fashion.
You may mean well,—God grant that you say it not
in a spirit of devilish mirth, but forasmuch as you are
in my house, I would beg of you to forbear such discourse.”

I willingly omit the altercation which followed,
which is given at full length in the manuscript; and I
likewise pass over the detailed business of the day,
such as the unlading of vessels, the delivery of

-- 015 --

[figure description] Page 015.[end figure description]

letters, &c. &c., and lastly the theological discussions of
the evening.

After much holy and edifying discourse, continues
the narration, the family had all retired to rest. But
notwithstanding the fatigues of the day, my conflicting
feelings would not suffer me to sleep. At length,
wearied with the effort, I arose from the bed of straw,
and cautiously lifting the wooden latch, I stepped into
the open air. As I stood gazing on the reflection of
the moon, which reposed in broken radiance on the
bay beyond, I tried to think soberly of the difficulties
to which I and my oppressed brethren were exposed,
and to decide how far I could conscientiously purchase
peace and prosperity by conforming to mummeries
which my soul detested. Human weakness
prompted me to return, and again, when I had most
decidedly concluded to stay in New England, the
childish witchery of Mary Conant would pass before
me, and I felt that the balance was weighed down by
earthly motives. I looked out upon the surrounding
scenery, and its purity and stillness were a reproach
upon my inward warfare. The little cleared spot
upon which I was placed, was every where surrounded
by dark forests, through which the distant water
was here and there gleaming, like the fitful flashes of
reason in a disordered mind; and the trees stood forth
in all the beauty of that month which the Indians
call the “moon of flowers.” By degrees the tranquil
beauty of the scene, and the mysterious effect of the
heavenly host performing their silent march in the
far-off wilderness of light, called up the spirit of devotion
within me;—and at that moment, forgetful of
forms, I knelt to pray that my heart might be kept
from the snares of the world.

A shadow was for one moment cast across the
bright moonlight; and a slender figure flitted by the

-- 016 --

[figure description] Page 016.[end figure description]

corner of the house. All that I had heard of visitants
from other worlds fell coldly on my heart. For a
while, I was afraid to ascertain the cause of my fear;
but after the person had proceeded a few hesitating
steps, she paused and looked back, as if apprehensive
of danger. The rays of the full moon rested on her
face, and I at once perceived that it was Mary Conant.
Had my first fears been realized, I know not that I
should have felt more surprise. Among all my conjectures,
I could not possibly imagine for what purpose
she could be making an excursion at that lonely
hour of the night. I remembered the hint, which her
father had given, concerning the beguilement of her
silly heart, and I could not but suspect that this walk
was, in some way or other, connected with the young
Episcopalian. Whatever was her project, she seemed
half fearful of performing it; for she cast a keen,
searching glance behind, and a long, fearful look, at
the woods beneath, before she plunged into the thicket.
After a moment's consideration, I resolved to follow
her, and stepping from behind the tree which
had afforded me concealment, I cautiously proceeded
along the path which she had taken. She had stopped
near a small brook, and when I first discovered
her, she had stooped beside it, and taking a knife
from her pocket, she opened a vein in her little arm,
and dipping a feather in the blood, wrote something
on a piece of white cloth, which was spread before
her. She rose with a face pale as marble, and looking
round timidly, she muttered a few words too low
to meet my ear; then taking a stick and marking out a
large circle on the margin of the stream, she stept
into the magic ring, walked round three times with
measured tread, then carefully retraced her steps
backward, speaking all the while in a distinct but

-- 017 --

[figure description] Page 017.[end figure description]

trembling voice. The following were the only words
I could hear,

Whoever's to claim a husband's power,
Come to me in the moonlight hour.
And again,—

Whoe'er my bridegroom is to be,
Step in the circle after me.

She looked round anxiously as she completed the
ceremony; and I almost echoed her involuntary
shriek of terror, when I saw a young Indian spring
forward into the centre.

“What for makes you afraid of Hobomok,” said
the savage, who seemed scarcely less surprised than

“Wherefore did you come hither,” replied the
maiden, after the tones of his voice had convinced her
that he was real flesh and blood.

“Hobomok much late has been out to watch the
deer tracks,” answered the Indian; “and he came
through the hollow, that he might make the Manitto
Asseinah* green as the oak tree.”

As he spoke this he threw a large bough upon the
heap of rocks to which he had pointed, and looking
up to the moon, he uttered something in the Indian
tongue, which seemed like a short incantation or
prayer. Just as he turned to follow Mary, who was
retreating from the woods, a third person made his appearance,
in whom I thought I recognized young
Brown, specified by Mr. Conant as the strange slip
on their pleasant plants. Mary eagerly caught his
arm, and seemed glad amid her terror and agitation,
to seek the shelter of his offered protection. A few

-- 018 --

[figure description] Page 018.[end figure description]

friendly words of recognition passed between him and
the savage, and the young couple proceeded homewards.
A mixed feeling of diffidence and delicacy,
had induced me to remain concealed from Mary while
I watched over her safety; and the same feeling
prompted me to continue where I was until she and
her favoured lover were far out of sight and hearing.
Hobomok looked after them with a mournful expression
of countenance, as he said, “Wonder what for
be here alone when the moon gone far away toward
the Iroquois. What for sqaw no love like white
woman.” He stood silent for a short time, and then,
taking a large knife from his belt, he cut down two
young boughs from the adjoining trees, and threw
them, one after another, on the sacrifice heap of his
God, as he muttered, “Three times much winnit Abbamocho
* said; three times me do.”

It seemed but an instant after, that the sound of his
heavy tread was lost in the distance.


In court or hamlet, hut or grove,
Where woman is, there still is love.
Whate'er their nation, form, or feature,
Woman's the same provoking creature.
—M. S.

A letter from Governor Craddock to Governor Endicott,
which had reached them the April before, had
given them timely notice of the intended recruits; in
which were the following orders. “The desire of the
London Company is that you doe endeavour to gett

-- 019 --

[figure description] Page 019.[end figure description]

convenient houseings for the cattell against they doe
come; and withal we doe desire whatever bever or
fishe can be gotten readie. There hath nott bine a
tyme for sale of tymber, these twoe seven years, like
unto the present; therefore pittie the shipps should
come backe emptye. I wish alsoe that there bee
some sassafras and sassaparilla sent us, alsoe goode
store of shoemacke, silke grasse, and aught else that
may bee useful for dyinge or physicke.”

To comply with these various orders, necessarily
produced a good deal of hurry and bustle in the infant
settlement; and for a long while the sound of the axe
was busy and strong among them. And when at
length the expected vessels did arrive, and their fine
flock of horses, cows, sheep, and goats were well provided
for, there was still enough to employ the kind-hearted
and healthy, in administering comfort and
support to those who had landed among them, weary
and sick unto death. My ancestor had already witnessed
many of his companions depart this life, exulting
that though they were absent from kindred and
friends, they were going far beyond the power and
cruelty of prelates. Wearied with the wretchedness
of the scene, on the 28th of June he departed from
Naumkeak, which had now taken the name of Salem,
in memory of the peaceful asylum which it it afforded
the fugitives. Whether the suspicion of Mary's
attachment had any thing to do with the old bachelor's
final arrangements, he saith not; but when he
again visited America, although he brought a young
wife with him, I find he has not failed to speak of her
wayward fate with frequent and deep-toned interest.

These brief and scattered hints have now become
almost illegible from their age and uncouth spelling,
and it was with difficulty I extracted from them materials
for the following story.—In a situation so

-- 020 --

[figure description] Page 020.[end figure description]

remote, and circumscribed, it may well be supposed
that the arrival or departure of a vessel was considered
as an affair of great importance, and felt through
every fibre of the community. On the occasion I
have just referred to, most of the white people from
the neighbouring settlements had collected on the
beach, together with an almost equal number of the
dark children of the forest. Mary had sprung upon
a jutting rock, and her sylph-like figure afforded a
fine contrast to the decaying elegance of her mother,
who was leaning on her arm, the cheerful countenance
of Mr. Oldham's buxom daughter, and the tall, athletic
form of Hobomok, who stood by her side, resting
his healthy cheek upon the hand which supported
his bow. By them, and all the motley group around
them, the departure of the English vessel was viewed
with keen, though varied emotion. The uniform
gloom of Mr. Conant's countenance received for one
moment a deeper tinge. It was but a passing shadow
of human weakness, quickly succeeded by a flush of
conscious exultation. His wife, who had left a path
all blooming with roses and verdure, and cheerfully
followed his rugged and solitary track, pressed back
the ready tears, as the remembrance of England came
hurrying on her heart. Mary's eyes overflowed with
the intense, unrestained gush of youthful feeling. But
amid all the painful associations of that moment, the
deep interest displayed by my ancestor did not pass
unnoticed; and surely the vanity which prompted a
lingering look of kindness, might be forgiven, in one
growing up in almost unheeded loveliness. “Farewell,”
said she, as she placed a letter in his hand.
“Give this to my grandfather; and many, many kind
wishes to good old England.”

“Yes,” interrupted her father, “many kind wishes
to the godly remnant who are among them. And

-- 021 --

[figure description] Page 021.[end figure description]

since Naumkeak has become old enough to receive a
christian name, say ye to them that `in Salem is his
tabernacle, and his dwelling-place in Zion. Here he
will break the arrows of the bow, the shield, the
sword, and the battle.' But to them who are yet
given to the pride of prelacy, and the abomination of
common prayer, and likewise to them who are weather-waft
up and down with every eddying wind of
every new doctrine, say ye to them, that their damnation
sleepeth not, and the mist of darkness is reserved
for them forever, being of old ordained to condemnation.”

This speech was fiercely answered by a dark, lowering
looking savage, who stood among the crowd.

“That is Corbitant,” said Mary,—“What is it that
he says?”

“Your father say Indian arrow be broken at Naumkeak,”
replied Hobomok,—“Corbitant say the feather
be first red with white man's blood.”

He would have added more, but the vessels were
now sweeping past the rock on which they stood, and
every eye was fixed on their motion. Many a hearty
salutation, and blunt compliment were paid to Sally
Oldham, and many a hat was waved in respectful
adieu to Mrs. Conant and her daughter. The loud
response which the sailors gave to the kind farewells
of their friends on shore, was soon lost in the distance,
and one by one the people slowly dispersed. Mrs.
Conant took the arm of her husband, and Mary lingered
far behind, in hopes of obtaining a conference
with Sally Oldham. But one Mr. Thomas Graves
seemed to have been deeply smitten with the comely
countenance of the latter damsel; and never for a
moment doubting that the fascination was reciprocal,
he became somewhat obtrusively officious. It was
singular to observe the difference of deportment

-- 022 --

[figure description] Page 022.[end figure description]

between him and the Indian. Whenever Hobomok
gazed upon Mary, it was with an expression in which
reverence was strikingly predominant. And now, with
more than his usual taciturnity, he walked at a short
distance before them, and eagerly pointed with his
bow, when it was necessary to obviate any little difficulties
in their path. But he from the Isle of Wight,
seemed resolved that one of the young ladies should
be aware of the presence of a noisy admirer, and with
abundance of stammering awkwardness, he began,
“You are Mr. Oldham's daughter, I think?”

“I have been told so, sir,” replied the mischievous

“The world is dark and dismal enough in any
place,” continued the man of a wo-begone countenance,—
“more especially when we think of the regiments
of sin which are marching up and down in its
borders; but I should think it would be ten times
darker to a well-favored young woman, here in this

“If you mean me,” answered the maiden, “I pass
my time merry enough, in the long run; but there is
no danger of our forgetting the dolors while we have
your visage amongst us.”

“I sha'nt be called to give an account of my looks,”
replied the offended suitor, “inasmuch as God made
them in such form and likeness as pleased him. But
I perceive you have no savor of goldliness about you,
and are clean carried away by the crackling thorns
of worldly mirth.”

“My friend is like Rachel of old,” interrupted her
smiling companion. “She feedeth her cattle and
draweth them water, and waiteth for some Jacob to
journey hither.”

“And what would you say, damsel, if he were at
your very door,” rejoined Mr. Graves, with an

-- 023 --

[figure description] Page 023.[end figure description]

uncouth distension of his jaws, which was doubtless
meant for one of love's gentle, insinuating smiles.
“And when Jacob knew Rachel he kissed her,” continued
he, as he courageously put his arm round her
neck, to suit his action to the words.

“I have had enough of that from the sanctified Mr.
Lyford,” said the resolute maiden, as she gave him a
blow, which occasioned a sudden and involuntary retreat.

“Well done, Sally,” said the hoarse voice of her
father, who just then stept from among the trees, half
choked with laughter, and for a moment forgetful of
the decorum which he usually maintained in her presence.
“Why, fellow, thou'rt smitten indeed; but it
ill beseemeth thee to put on a rueful face at this disaster.
The damsel is not worth the tears, which an
onion draweth forth.”

Sally gladly left her discomfited lover to recover
himself as he could, and bidding a hasty good-morning
to Hobomok, as he stood laughing and muttering
to himself, she followed Mary, who with an air of girlish
confidence had beckoned her into a narrow footpath
which led through the woods. For a few moments
the girls united in almost convulsive fits of

“Did you ever see such a fellow?” said Sally.
“Every day since they landed, he has been at my
elbow, trying to make love by stammering and stuttering
about the crackling thorns of worldly mirth;
and I verily think he believes that I have been greatly
delighted therewith. A plague on all such sanctified
looking folks. There was Mr. Lyford, (I don't care
if he was a minister) he was always talking about faith
and righteousness, and the falling-off of the Plymouth
elders, and yet many a sly look and word he'd give
me, when his good-woman was out of the way. I

-- 024 --

[figure description] Page 024.[end figure description]

marvel that fools can always find utterance, inasmuch
as some men of sense are so dumb.”

“Men of sense will speak all in good time, if you will
wait patiently,” answered Mary. “But you don't know
how glad I am that it happened to be your father, instead
of mine, who saw you strike Mr. Graves.”

“So am I,” replied her companion. “Though he
is your father, to my thinking he is over fond of keeping
folks in a straight jacket; and I'm sure our belt is
likely to be buckled tight enough by the great folks
there in London. In my poor judgment it is bad
enough that we've come over into this wilderness to
find elbow room for our consciences, without being
told how long a time we may have to stop and breathe
in. Every bout I knit in my stocking is to be set
down in black and white, and sent over to the London
Company forsooth. I suppose by and by the
drops we drink and the mouthfuls we eat must be
counted, and their number sent thither.”

“I am sure,” replied Mary, “when you remember
how many Indians we have lately met, whom Morton's
unthinking wickedness has armed with powder
and firelocks, you will be glad that we have three
hundred more defenders around us, whatever price we
may pay therefor. Indeed Sally, I'm weary of this
wilderness life. My heart yearns for England, and
had it not been for my good mother, I would gladly
have left Naumkeak to-day.”

“I can't but admire ye've been content so long,
Miss Mary, considering what ye left behind you. If
you'd staid there, who knows but you might have been
Lady Lincoln? But as for this purlieu of creation, I
know of no chance a body has for a husband, without
they pick up some stray Narraganset, or wandering

“O, don't name such a thing,” said Mary, shuddering.

-- 025 --

[figure description] Page 025.[end figure description]

“Why, what makes you take me in earnest?” answered
Sally. “But perhaps since there are so many
young folks to pick and choose among, you'll be
weary of my crackling mirth, as that stupid Graves
calls it.”

“No, Sally, these new comers won't make me forget
how kind you have always been in sickness and
health; but, to tell you the truth, there is something
troubles me—and if you'll promise not to tell of it, I'll
tell you.”

“O, I'll promise that, and keep it too. If I was disposed
to tell your secrets, I don't know any body but
owls and bats I should tell them too.”

“Well then, you must know, the other night I did
a wicked thing. It frightens me to think thereof.
You know the trick I told you about? Well, a few
weeks ago, I tried it; and just as I was saying over
the verses the third time, Hobomok, the Indian, jumped
into the circle.”

“Hobomok, the Indian!”

“Yes;—and I screamed when I saw him.”

“I believe so indeed. But was it he, real flesh
and blood?”

“It was he himself; though I thought at first, it
must be his ghost?”

“But how came he there, at that time of night?”

“That's more than I can tell. He said he came
to throw a bow on the sacrifice heap, down in Endicott's
hollow; but I don't know what should put it
into his head just at that time. What do you suppose

“I'm sure I don't know, Mary. I think it is an awful
wicked thing to try these tricks. There's no telling
what may come of asking the devil's assistance. He
is an acquaintance not so easily shook off, when you've
once spoke with him, to my certain knowledge. My

-- 026 --

[figure description] Page 026.[end figure description]

father says he's no doubt the Lord has given Beelzebub
power to choose many a damsel's husband, to recompense
her for such like wickedness. I'm sure I
have been curious enough to know, but I never dared
to speak to Satan about the matter.”

“I believe it is a sin to be repented of; but what
could I do? Father won't suffer me to see Charles
any where, if he can help it; and if I dared to be disobedient
to him, I wouldn't do it while my poor mother
was alive, for I know it would break her heart.
But there are two things more about this affair which
puzzle me. Just as I came out of the hollow, I met
Charles. He said he dreamed I was in danger there,
and he could not help coming to see whether I was
there or not. So I told him how foolish I had been,
and he laughed, and said he should be my husband
after all. But the strangest thing of all, is, that Englishman
you saw me give a letter to, to-day, whispered
in my ear never to try a trick again, for fear worse
should come of it. I wonder how he knew any thing
concerning it?”

“Likely as not, he followed you. Or may be Hobomok
told him. But I am glad Mr. Brown dreamed
about it. After all, I guess he is to be the one; and
Hobomok only came that way after some stray fox
or squirrel he caught sight of.”

“I don't know how it was,” replied Mary, with a
deep sigh. “I suppose I must submit to whatever is
fore-ordained for me. Folks who have the least to do
with love are the best off. The longer you keep as
free from it as you are now, the happier you”ll be.”

“May be you don't know how free that is,” rejoined
Sally. “If you had half an eye for other folks' affairs,
you would remember something about a young
man in Plymouth who used to help me milk my cows,
inasmuch as you have often heard me speak of him.

-- 027 --

[figure description] Page 027.[end figure description]

Do you know I spoke to him on the beach this morning?
I should have had a good opportunity to have
seen him again, if it had not been for that everlasting
fellow, talking about `crackling thorns;' I would not
care an'he had one of them in his tongue. Howsomever,
if I guess right concerning Mr. Collier, he did'nt
come up to see the cattle. But I can't stop to say
any more, for the cows an't milked yet; and now
these new orders have come from London, and there
are so many sick folks from the vessels, we shall have
enough to do. So, good bye,” said the roguish damsel,
as she sprung over the log inclosure, into her
father's farm-yard.


I would not wish
Any companion in the world but you;
Nor can imagination form a shape,
Beside yourself, to like of.

Notwithstanding her increase of avocations, and
the many wearisome nights she had spent in tending
the sick who had come among them, there was no one
more heartily rejoiced at the new order of things than
Sally Oldham, whom I find mentioned in the manuscript
as “a promp and jolly damsell, much given to
lightnesse of speeche, but withal virtuous.” The merry
maiden, amid all the labours and privations necessarily
attendant upon their lonely situation at Plymouth,
had found means to put on the airs of rustic coquetry
with considerable success; and therefore she
had felt no little regret when her father's passionate

-- 028 --

[figure description] Page 028.[end figure description]

and unjustifiable conduct toward the ruling elders, had
subjected him to the shameful punishment referred to
in the first chapter, and driven his family from their
comparatively comfortable home. Her only consolation
during this period was in recounting to Mary
the numerous acts of gallantry she had received from
her Plymouth lovers. The young man whom she had
seen upon the beach, on the morning of the 28th, had
a kinder remembrance than all his competitors; and
when she heard that he had walked from Plymouth,
with Hobomok for his guide, in the true spirit of female
vanity, she judged that nothing but her own
pretty face was the object of his journey. Still it
seemed she had some fears about his diffidence, for
when she had taken her milking-pail and quietly seated
herself beside the miserable pile of logs and
boughs, which she dignified with the name of a cow-house,
she muttered to herself, “I wish Collier was a
little easier to take a hint.” Her cogitations were interrupted
by a well known voice, which had become
associated in Sally's mind with nought but “the crackling
of thorns.” “What brought you hither, Mr.
Graves?” inquired the maiden.

“I thought,” replied he, as he stood scratching his
head with one hand, and holding out the other in
token of amity, “I thought, may be, you'd repent
your rashness this morning, inasmuch as husbands
don't grow on every tree in these deserts.”

Notwithstanding this cogent argument, well backed
with humble gestures, the offered peace was rejected;
and his clammy hand remained awkwardly upraised
in the air, like the quivering claw of a dying lobster.

“I tell you sir,” rejoined the angry damsel, “that
I am weary of your unsavory discourse; and if husbands
like you, grew by hundreds on the lowest
boughs of the trees, they might stay there till doomsday
before I'd stop to pluck 'em therefrom.”

-- 029 --

[figure description] Page 029.[end figure description]

“But you'll let me take the milk across for you,”
continued the persevering suitor, as she stept upon a
narrow board that was laid across a deep ditch. Sally,
in the wickedness of her heart, held out the pail to
him; but just as he was in the act of taking it, she
managed by a gentle motion, to place him ancle-deep
in the mud below; then turning round for an instant,
with a loud and provoking laugh, she soon disappeared.

As Mr. Graves rose, and struck off the mud from
his clothes, he murmured, “It is plain she is given
over to a reprobate mind;” and it was noticed he never
afterwards darkened Mr. Oldham's dwelling.

To Sally the day seemed to pass tardily away, for
she had predicted, that the evening would bring a
visit from Mr. Collier; and accordingly the manuscript
states, that “the curtains of nighte were but
halfe shut, when he seated himselfe beside Mr. Oldham,
who was turning down many a dropp of the bottell,
and burning tobacco with all the ease he could,
discoursing between whiles of the dolorous beginning
of the settlement, when their cups of beer ran as small
as water in a sandie landie, and they were forced to
lengthene out their own foode with acorns; and anon
talking of the greate progress they would make with
their fellowe labourers, now the summer sun had
changed the earth's white-furred gowne into a green

“I must say,” observed the young man, “that it is
a bosom-breaking thing to me, when I think the gulf
atween us and old England is too wide to leap over
with a lope-staff. I am the last who would put my
hand to the plough, and then look back; but I must
say, could I have cast up, in the beginning, what this
wilderness work would have cost us, I should have
been staggered much, and very hardly have set sail.”

-- 030 --

[figure description] Page 030.[end figure description]

“Why, to my thinking, Mr. Collier,” replied Oldham,
“England is no place now-a-days for christian
folks to live within. They talk about their reformed
church, but I tell you their bishops, their deans, and
their deacons, are all whelps from the Roman litter;
and tame 'em as you can, the nature of the beast will
shew itself. It is a sad pity that king Charles (I mean
no disrespect to his majesty) should suffer those black
coats from the ninneversities to get upon his royal
back—I trow they'll ride him to destruction. But, as
I was saying, England is full of malignant enemies to
the true faith; and after all, a body can as pithily
practise the two great precepts of the gospel in this, as
well as in any other place; which precepts I take to
be mortification and sanctification.”

“Nobody can doubt there is room enough to practise
the first, father,” interrupted Sally, who had all
along been quietly knitting in the corner, and who had
begun to be weary of such sober discourse.

“You talk like a prating ideot, as you are,” replied
her father, furiously. “What with your own hankering
after French gew-gaws, and the grand stories of
your Moabitish companion, you have your head clean
turned from sound sense and sober godliness.”

“You know, Goodman,” rejoined his wife, “that
howsomever gracious and obedient our children may
be, there have been no small hardships during our sojourning
here, both for their young hearts and limbs
too. Besides, Sally is included in the covenant with
her parents, and to my mind, no member of Christ's
body should be wrested from his church by harsh

“You utter the sayings of a foolish woman,” answered
her angry spouse. “I'm far from being clear
whether the covenant we entered into is binding.
Them ruling elders there at Plymouth, brought an

-- 031 --

[figure description] Page 031.[end figure description]

abundance of pragmatical zeal, and rigid separation
from the Netherlands. They've clapped a vizor on
their own traditions, and placed them cheek-by-jowl
with revealed truth; and many an honest man will
be puzzled to distinguish 'em therefrom. And still
more am I in the dark whether this stray imp, laughing
with every idle fellow she meets, (the better for
her that she meets few of them)”—Just at that moment,
recollecting the discomfiture of Mr. Graves, his
natural propensity to fun overcame his resentment,
and he placed both his hands upon his sides, and burst
into a broad laugh. The look of surprise which his wife
and Mr. Collier glanced towards him, and the drollery
which was peeping out of the corners of Sally's
mouth, recalled him to decorum; and looking towards
his daughter with an expression that seemed to say,
“You'd no right to understand me,” he passed his
hand over his face and resumed, “I say, I am much
in the dark whether she be implied in the covenant
with us. It is not every child of a righteous man who
is among the elect; nor is the offspring of the wicked
always fore-ordained to damnation. If there be a
good child in Jeroboam's family, he is specified; and
if there be a cursed Ham among the children of Noah,
he hath his brand.”

“Well,” Goodman Oldham, interrupted his guest,
“it is not for us to tell who is among the elect, and
who not, forasmuch as we cannot enter into the counsels
of the Most High. And surely when the hearts
of stout men grow faint in this enterprise, we need not
marvel that women, and young women too, should betimes
think of their hardships, and complain thereof.
Jacob was regardful of the weakness of the women
and little ones of his land.”

“I'm sure I never murmured when worst came to

-- 032 --

[figure description] Page 032.[end figure description]

worst,” said Sally, as she glanced an eye of moist
gratitude on her kind advocate.

“I tell you,” said Mr. Oldham, without noticing her
interruption, “you don't know as much about these
weaker vessels as I do; and mayhap you feel concerning
them as I used to in by-gone times. But I
tell you they are the source of every evil that ever
came into the world. I don't refer in special manner
to that great tree of sin planted by Eve; but I say
they are the individual cause of every branch and
bud from that day downwards. I charge you enter
not into their path, for destruction layeth wait therein.”

“You are one of the last men who should say so,”
answered his companion, as he looked towards his
care-worn and uncomplaining wife.

“She is as good as any of her kind, to be sure,”
said the rigid old man, as he took his tobacco from his
mouth, and drank a hearty draught of cider from the
stone mug; then replacing his tobacco, and drawing
his sleeve across his mouth, he passed the beverage
to Mr. Collier, as he said, “It is a long time since I
have tasted the like of this. It's as good as was ever
tipped over the tongue of king Charles, God help him,
and Satan leave off helping the queen and his bishops.
I'd fain stay and argue with you a bit, Mr. Collier,
inasmuch as I've been told you are falling into
some Antinomian notions; but I must go up to Governor
Endicott's awhile, to see how the cattle are to be
divided atween us; and I must stop to see a few of
the poor sick souls about us. So if you want, you can
draw more upon the cider, and may be my good woman
will give you a bit of bread and cheese. We have
plenty of provisions since the ships were sent hither,
the Lord be thanked.” So saying, the old man took

-- 033 --

[figure description] Page 033.[end figure description]

down his hat from the wooden peg on which it always
hung, and closed the door after him.

“Mr. Oldham is a strange talking man,” observed
his wife; “but he barks worse than he bites.”

“I know his ways,” answered Mr. Collier. “It is
a pity he strikes fire so quick; but it proveth there is
good metal in him. And now, Sally, I have a present
for you,” continued he, as he placed a letter in her
hand, which she received with blushing curiosity, and
read as follows:

“Deere Maidene,

“This comes to reminde you of one you sometime
knew at Plimouth. One to whome the remembrance
of your comely face and gratious behaviour, hath
proved a very sweete savour. Many times I have
thought to write to you, and straightnesse of time only
hath prevented. There is much to doe at this seasone,
and wee have reason to rejoyce, though with fier
and trembling, that we have wherewithal to worke.

“Forasmuch as it is harde to saye unto a damsell,
wilt thou bee my wife? I have chosene the rather to
place it upon pure white paper, the embleme of your
hearte. Which if you will pleese soe to answer, you
will much oblige your dutyfull servante. For as Jacob
loved Rachelle, and toyled many yeers for her,
so loveth

Your trew freynde,
James Hopkins.

Mrs. Oldham, with a slight tincture of the modern
policy of mothers, had gone out to “neighbour Conant's,”
when Sally first began to read the foregoing;
and luckily she was not there to witness the vexed
and disappointed looks of her daughter.

“I suppose I know the writer,” said Mr. Collier,
smiling as she laid down the paper, “What answer
shall I carry thereto?”

“It is from that screech-owl of a Hopkins, who used

-- 034 --

[figure description] Page 034.[end figure description]

to be forever bawling Old Hundred in my ears,” replied
the maiden; “and you may say to him that I
have much more kindness for his sheep than for

“Peradventure you are in sport,” said her astonishished
visitor. “You'll find few men in this wilderness
of more respectability than my good friend Hopkins.”

“Well, if he can find a Rachel, assuredly I have
no objection to his toiling for her; but if I should be
very near her, I should verily whisper in her ear to
give him twice a fourteen years' tug.”

“So you are really going to break poor James'
heart?” inquired her friend, after a moment's pause.

“If so be there is such a thing as a heart in his big
carcase of clay,” rejoined the maiden, “I'm willing it
should be shattered a bit.”

“Poor fellow, what will he think of all this?” inquired
the young man, thoughtfully.

“There's divers things he might think,” answered
the damsel, who began to be out of patience with his
stupid modesty. “He might think, if he wanted a wife
again, that she was worth the trouble of coming after;
or peradventure he can send to king James' plantation
and buy one, for a hundred pounds of tobacco.
Think you that Isaac would have had good speed
with the daughter of Bethuel, with all his jewels of
silver and gold, if he had sent by so clever a messenger
as yourself, John?”

If one might judge from the expression of the
young man's face, he did at length begin to have a
faint perception of the truth. An awkward silence
followed, till Sally, struck with the ludicrous situation
of them both, burst into her usual laugh. “I tell you
what, Mr. Collier,” said she, “to my thinking, you are
the stupidest fellow I ever looked upon; and when
you set out upon other men's business, I advise you

-- 035 --

[figure description] Page 035.[end figure description]

to do it faithfully, but nevertheless to keep an eye
upon your own.”

The young man rested one hand upon his knee,
turned his bright blue eyes and sun-burnt face towards
her, and seemed lost in utter bewilderment.

“But,—hem—but what can I do?” said he.

“I know what you can do; but what you will do,
is of your own choosing. I have heretofore told you
what to say to Hopkins; and I now tell you, John
Collier, if you had sent by him, instead of he by you,
and my father had said to me, `wilt thou go unto this
man?' I should verily have said, `I will go.' ”

“And I,” rejoined the Plymouth messenger, smiling
as he rose and laid his hand upon her shoulder, “I
would assuredly have come out to meet thee, and
bring thee into my tent. But what perplexes me most
is, how I am to account for this to my friend Hopkins
and the church.”

“You may tell James,” replied she, “that you was
blind, till I would put eyes into your head; and as
for the church, it is enough for them to square and
clip our consciences without putting a wedge atwixt
folk's hearts.”

“It is not well to give away to lightness of speech
in speaking of the dignities of the church,” observed
her lover, “though I know well you mean no harm.”

What farther passed between the young people, before
the return of the family, is not specified in the
manuscript; but an asterisk points to the bottom of
the page, where it saith that “the matteer was made
knowne to her parents, wherewithall they were welle
pleased; more especially as they founde he was nott
given to the dreadfull herese of the Antinomians.”

Mr. and Mrs. Oldham returned shortly, at least it
seemed so to those they had left behind. The old
man replaced his hat upon its accustomed peg, drew

-- 036 --

[figure description] Page 036.[end figure description]

to the fire his large oaken chair, the pride and ornament
of his house, and, after a few discontented remarks
about the intended division of the cattle, he
took down the big Bible from the shelf, which had
been nailed up on purpose for its reception, and read
in a loud monotonous tone the 9th chapter of Romans.
The prayer which followed was in somewhat too harsh
and austere a tone for the voice christian entreaty,
but in that rude place it was impressive in its solemn
simplicity. The family devotions were concluded
with the favourite tune of the great Reformer, in which
the clear, rich, native melody of the daughter, contrasted
finely with the deep, heavy bass of the father.
Soon after, Sally and her mother closed the door
which separated their humble little apartment from
the outer room, leaving Mr. Oldham and his visitor
to discourse about the Antinomians, Anabaptists, and
sundry other sects, which even at that early period
began to trouble the Seceding Church.


Know ye the famous Indian race?
How their light form springs, in strength and grace,
Like the pine on their native mountain side,
That will not bow in its deathless pride;
Whose rugged limbs of stubborn tone,
No plexuous power of art will own,
But bend to Heaven's red bolt alone!

Jacob's heart could not have swelled with more exultation,
when he journeyed from Padan-aram with
his two bands, than was evinced by our forefathers,
when they exhibited their newly arrived riches to the

-- 037 --

[figure description] Page 037.[end figure description]

wondering natives. As for the poor, unlettered Indians,
it exceeded their comprehension how buffaloes,
as they termed them, could be led about by the horns,
and be compelled to stand or move at the command
of men; and they could arrive at no other conclusion
than that the English were the favorite children of the
Great Spirit, and that he had taught them words to
speak to them. To these, and similar impressions,
may be ascribed the astonishing influence of the
whites over these untutored people. That the various
tribes did not rise in their savage majesty, and crush
the daring few who had intruded upon their possessions,
is indeed a wonderful exemplification of the superiority
of intellect over mere brutal force. At the
period of which we speak, the thoughtless and dissipated
Morton, whom we find mentioned so frequently
in our early history, had done much to diminish their
reverence for the English. Partly from avarice, and
partly from revenge of Governor Endicott's spirited
proceedings against his company at Merry Mount, he
had sold them rifles, and taught them to take a steady
and quick-sighted aim; so that they now boasted they
could speak thunder and spit fire as well as the white
man. Of late, too, their councils became dark and
contentious, for their princes began to fear encroachments
upon their dominions, and their prophets were
troubled with rumors of a strange God. The Pequods
looked with hatred upon the English, as an obstacle
to their plan of universal dominion; the Narragansets
stood trembling between the increasing power
of their new neighbours, and the haughty threats of
their enemies; some of the discontented sachems of
Mount Haup had broken out in open rebellion; and
even the firm faith of Massasoit himself had, at times,
been doubted. In such a state of things, embassies
and presents were frequently necessary to support

-- 038 --

[figure description] Page 038.[end figure description]

the staggering friendship of the well disposed tribes.
Accordingly, the second day after his arrival from
Plymouth, Hobomok proceeded to Saugus, carrying
presents from the English, and a message from Massasoit
to Sagamore John. At this wigwam he met
Corbitant, a stubborn enemy to the Europeans, and
all who favored them. He had been among the Pequods
of late, and was exasperated beyond measure
that he had in vain offered their war-belt (in token of
alliance against the English) to Miantonimo, the great
sachem of the Narragansets. Possessed of a mind
more penetrating, and a temper even more implacable
than most of his brethren, his prophetic eye foresaw
the destruction of his countrymen, and from his
inmost soul he hated the usurpers. Besides, there
was a personal hostility between him and Hobomok
concerning an affair of love, in which Corbitant
thought one of his kindred had been wronged and insulted;
and more than once they had sought each
other's life. At the moment Hobomok entered, he
was engaged in eager conversation with Sagamore
John, concerning his connexion with the English, and
scarcely was he seated, ere he exclaimed,

“Shame on you, Hobomok! The wolf devours not its
own; but Hobomok wears the war-belt of Owanux,* and
counts his beaver for the white man's squaw. Oh cursed
Owanux! The buffalo will die of the bite of a wasp, and
no warrior will pluck out his sting. Oh cursed Owanux!
And yet Miantonimo buckles on their war belt, and
Massasoit says, their pipe smokes well. Look to the
east, where the sun rises among the Taratines; to the
west, where he sets among the valiant Pequods: then
look to the south, among the cowardly Narragansets,

-- 039 --

[figure description] Page 039.[end figure description]

and the tribes of Massasoit, thick as the trees of his
forests; then look far to the north, where the Great
Spirit lifts his hatchet* high above the head of the
Nipnet! And say, are not the red men like the stars
in the sky, or the pebbles in the ocean? But a few
sleeps more, let Owanux such the blood of the Indian,
where be the red man then? Look for yesterday's
tide, for last year's blossoms, and the rainbow that has
hid itself in the clouds! Look for the flame that has
died away, for the ice that's melted, and for the snow
that lights on the waterfall! Among them you will
find the children of the Great Spirit. Yes, they will
soon be as an arrow that is lost in its flight, and as
the song of a bird flown by.”

This was uttered with a smile of bitter irony, and
in a tone so loud and fierce, that every eye was fixed
on the speaker. Sagamore John laid down his pipe
to listen; his squaw shook her head mournfully as he
uttered his predictions; and his sons stood gazing
upon Corbitant, till the fire flashed from their young
eyes, and their knives were half drawn from the belt.
Even Hobomok, whose loves and hates had become
identified with the English, admired the eloquence of
his enemy, and made a melancholy pause ere he answered,
“Corbitant knows well that the arm of Hobomok
is not weak, nor his cheek pale in time of
battle; but if the quiver of the Narragansets be filled
against the Yengees†, know you not, that they themselves
will be trodden down, like snow, in the warpath
of the Pequods?”

“That's the song of the lame bird, to lead from its
nest,” replied Corbitant, sarcastically. “Would Hobomok
weep, if the Pequod should lift his head to the

-- 040 --

[figure description] Page 040.[end figure description]

clouds, and plant one foot among the Taratines, and
the other far, far away among the Caddoques? Would
he utter one groan, if the hatchet of Sassacus were
buried deep in the brains of Pokanecket's child?
No! and yet Hobomok asked that the child of Pokanecket
might be his squaw; but his beaver skins
were not brought, and she cooked the deer for Ninigret's
son.* Hobomok saves his tears for the white-faced
daughter of Conant, and his blood for the arrow
of Corbitant, that his kinswoman may be avenged.”

Hobomok lifted his tomahawk in wrath, as his adversary
uttered these insulting words. “Who dares
speak of groans and tears,” said he, “to him whose
heart has been calm in the fight, and whose eye winked
not at the glancing of arrows?”

Corbitant answered by a scornful laugh, and the
hatchet would have descended on his head, had not
Sagamore John stept between them, as he said,
“Listen to the words of an ancient chief. The Great
Spirit loves not the sacrifice of young blood, when it
is shed in quarrel. Smoke the pipe of peace, my
children; and I will tell you of days that are gone by,
when the war-whoop of John was heard the loudest
among his tribe, and his arrow brought down the deer
at her swiftest speed.”

To have refused to listen to the stories of an old
man would have been contrary to all rules of Indian
decorum; but before the fierce, young spirits composed
themselves to respectful silence, a challenge of
proud looks was exchanged, as Corbitant muttered,
“When the big sea-bird up yonder, go back to their
great land-chief, king Charles, the white squaw's father,
say Indian arrow be broken at Naumkeak. Let him
look to't that the wolf be not near his wigwam.”

-- 041 --

[figure description] Page 041.[end figure description]

Hours passed away while the young sons sat devouring
the words of their father, and even his guests
seemed to have forgotten their own hatred, in the
eager reverence with which they listened to him. His
squaw, in the mean time, had taken her coarse, roasted
cakes from the fire, and placed some cold venison
before her visitors, and pointed to it with a look of
pride, as she said, “The arm of my sanup is old, but
you see his arrow is yet swifter than the foot of the
deer. May his sons bring him food in his old age.”

The hospitable meal was gratefully partaken, and
all John's exploits in war and hunting being told, Hobomok,
having found means to transact the business for
which he came, arose to depart. Corbitant, too, threw
his quiver over his shoulder, and tightened his belt,
as if preparing for a journey. Sagamore John, laying
his hand upon his arm, whispered something in
his ear, and he reluctantly resumed his seat. In the
height of gratitude for some recent favor, he had promised
to obey the old chief in his first request, provided
it had no connexion with the English; and now
that twenty minutes of his time were asked, he would
gladly have given all the animals he ever caught, to
be released from his promise. However, his word
was unbroken; and Hobomok went forth alone. For
a few moments he hesitated whether or not to go back
and seek satisfaction for the insults he had received
from the kinsman of his once betrothed bride. But
he remembered what Corbitant had said about the
Indian arrows being broken at Naumkeak, and though
he did not exactly understand the import of his words,
he well knew that an Indian never spoke thus, without
some deep laid plan of vengeance. An undefined apprehension
of danger to Mr. Conant's family passed
over his heart, and after a few reluctant steps

-- 042 --

[figure description] Page 042.[end figure description]

backward, he turned round hastily and walked forward,
as he said, “It isn't the love of life,—but if I should
be killed in these woods, who will be left to tell her of
her danger? 'Twould be pity so young a bird should
be brought down in its flight.”

As he walked on in a hurried, irregular pace, love,
resentment, and wounded pride, were all busy at his
heart-strings. He had left Pokanecket's daughter,
because he loathed the idea of marriage with her;
but he never had thought, and till now he never had
been told, that Mary Conant was the cause. Soon
after her arrival at Plymouth, Mary had administered
cordials to his sick mother, which restored her to
life after the most skilful of their priests had pronounced
her hopeless; and ever since that time, he
had looked upon her with reverence, which almost
amounted to adoration. If any dregs of human feeling
were mingled with these sentiments, he at least,
was not aware of it; and now that the idea was forced
upon him, he rejected it, as a kind of blasphemy.
With these thoughts were mixed a melancholy presentiment
of the destruction of his race, and stern,
deep, settled hatred of Corbitant.

As he came in sight of the seacoast, the sun was
just setting behind the ledge of rocks which stretched
along to his right; and the broad blue harbour of
Salem lay full in his view, as tranquil as the slumbers
of a young heart devoid of crime. The spring birds
were warbling among the trees, or floating along so
lightly, that they scarcely dipped their wing in the
still surface of the water. There was something in
the unruffled aspect of things, which tended to soothe
the turbulence of human passion. By degrees the
insults of Corbitant, the remembrance of Pokanecket's
child, the clouds which imagination had seen lowering
over the fate of his nation, and even the danger

-- 043 --

[figure description] Page 043.[end figure description]

of his English friends, became more dim and fleeting;
till at length, the spirit of devotion sat brooding over
the soul of the savage. The star, which had arisen
in Bethlehem, had never gleamed along his path; and
the dark valley of the shadow of death had never
been illuminated with the brightness of revealed truth.
But though the intellect be darkened, there are rays
from God's own throne, which enter into the peacefulness
and purity of the affections, shedding their
mild lustre on the ignorance of man.

Philosophy had never held up her shield against
the sun, and then placed her dim taper in his hand,
while she pointed to the “mundane soul,” in which all
human beings lost their identity; nor had he ever
read of that city “whose streets were of gold, and
her gates of pearl, in the light of which walked the
nations of them which were saved;” but there was
within him a voice loud and distinct, which spoke to
him of another world, where he should think, feel,
love, even as he did now. He had never read of
God, but he had heard his chariot wheels in the distant
thunder, and seen his drapery in the clouds. In
moods like these, thoughts which he could not grasp,
would pass before him, and he would pause to wonder
what they were, and whence they came. It was
with such feelings that he stopped, and resting his
head againt a large hemlock, which lifted its proud
branches high above the neighboring pines, he gazed
on the stars, just visible above the horizon. He stood
thus some moments, when a rustling sound broke in
upon the stillness, and an arrow whizzed past him,
and caught in the corner of his blanket. He turned
round suddenly, and saw Corbitant advancing towards
him with an uplifted hatchet.

“Ha! said he, with his accustomed laugh of scorn,
I thought Hobomok winked not at the glancing of

-- 044 --

[figure description] Page 044.[end figure description]

arrows. When did Corbitant flee to the woods, to save
life, when he had been dared to the fight?”

Few words passed between them, and desperate
was the struggle which ensued. For awhile it seemed
doubtful who would get the victory, amid the
fierceness of their savage warfare; till at length a
violent blow on the temple laid Corbitant senseless
on the ground.

“Love your enemy,” was a maxim Hobomok had
never learned, and the tomahawk was already raised
above the head of his stupified victim, when the
sound of voices was heard in the thicket, and springing
into his former path, he pursued his way homeward,
as fleetly as some wild animal of the forest.
A few moments brought in view the settlement of
Salem; and amid the lights, which here and there
twinkled indistinctly through the trees, he quickly distinguished
the dwelling of Mary Conant.


The light within enthusiasts, who let fly
Against our pen-and-ink divinity;
Who boldly do pretend, (but who'll believe it?)
If Genesis were lost they could retrieve it.
Nicholas Noyles.

During their solitary stay at Naumkeak, wasted as
the young colony had been with sickness, famine, and
fearful apprehension, the buoyant spirits and kind
heart of Sally Oldham, had proved an almost solitary
source of enjoyment to Mary Conant. True,
there were few points of congeniality either in native
character, or habitual tendency of mind. The nobler

-- 045 --

[figure description] Page 045.[end figure description]

principles of the soul may long remain latent amid the
depressing atmosphere of circumstance and situation;
but the rich-toned instrument needs but a skillful
hand to produce the finest combinations of harmony,
and even to the rude touch of the winds, it will occasionally
yield its sweet response of wayward melody.
Indeed it seemed as if the chilling storms, which had
lowered over the young life of Mary Conant, had not
only served to call forth the fervid hues of feeling in
their full perfection, but had likewise strengthened her
native elegance of mind. The intellectual, like the
natural sun, sheds its own bright and beautiful lustre
on the surrounding gloom, till every object on which
it shines seems glowing into life; and amid all the
dreariness of poverty, and the weight of affliction (the
heavier, that it was borne far from the knowledge and
sympathy of the world), Mary found much to excite
her native fervor of imagination. The stars were
there, in their silent, sparkling beauty, and the fair-browed
moon smiled on the hushed, still loveliness of
nature. The monarch of day paused ere he gathered
around him his brilliant drapery of clouds, and
gazed on these wild dominions with as much pride as
upon fairer and warmer climes. But all associations
of this nature formed a “sanctum sanctorum” in the
recesses of Mary's heart, and Sally Oldham was one
of the last to penetrate it. She thought nothing of the
stars but of their luckly or unlucky influences, viewed
the moon as a well-favored planet, that had much to
do with the weather, and saw nothing in the setting
sun but a hint to do her out-door work. But whether
the understanding finds reciprocation or not, the heart
must have sympathy; and amid the depression of
spirits, naturally induced by the declining health of
her mother, and the disheartening influence of the
stern, dark circle in which she moved, Mary found a

-- 046 --

[figure description] Page 046.[end figure description]

welcome relief in unlocking all her hopes, fears, and
disappointments to her untutored friend. Her usual
placid state of feeling had been restored by the ample
confession she had made concerning an action, which
she more than half feared would call down the vengeance
of Heaven upon her; and when Hobomok entered
the room, after the excursion mentioned in the
last chapter, she was quietly seated amid the circle,
which had assembled at her father's house. It was
indeed a scene of varied character. The mother and
daughter, as we have already observed, possessed
that indefinable outline of elegance, which is seldom
entirely effaced from those of high birth and delicate
education. In immediate contrast were the stern,
hard features of Mr. Conant, and the singular countenance
of Mr. Oldham, which reminded one of gleams
of light through a grated window, for the deep furrows
of passion, and the shadows of worldly disappointment,
were in vain cast over its natural drollery
of expression. Then there was the fine, bold expression
of Governor Endicott, and the dolorous visage of
Mr. Graves, which seemed constantly to say, “the
earth is a tomb and man a fleeting vapour;' and lastly
the manly beauty of Hobomok, as he sat before
the fire, the flickering and uncertain light of a few decaying
embers falling full upon his face. This Indian
was indeed cast in nature's noblest mould. He was
one of the finest specimens of elastic, vigorous elegance
of proportion, to be found among his tribe. His long
residence with the white inhabitants of Plymouth had
changed his natural fierceness of manner into haughty,
dignified reserve; and even that seemed softened as
his dark, expressive eye rested on Conant's daughter.

“We have heard somewhat of an alliance between
the Pequods and Narragansets,” said Governor

-- 047 --

[figure description] Page 047.[end figure description]

Endicott, as Hobomok seated himself. “What says Sagamore
John concerning this matter?”

“He said it was a cloud gone by,” was the laconic

“And do you think the Pequods will ever prevail
on them to join against us, Hobomok?”

“The quivers of the Pequod is full of arrows,” replied
the Indian; “his belt is the skin of a snake, and
he suffers no grass to grow upon his war-path. He
needs not the sinew of the Narraganset to draw the
arrow to the head.”

“When you were among the Narragansets what
was their speech thereupon?” inquired the chief magistrate.

“Miantonimo called king Charles his good English
father,” answered Hobomok. “He wore not the belt
of the Pequod, and his sachems smoked not the pipe
of Sassacus. But that was a few sleeps ago. A
man may tell the changes of the moon, but it is not so
with the word of a Narraganset.”

He rose as he said this, and stood for some moments
at the aperture which admitted the light, gazing
intently on the surrounding woods; but if there was
any thing like anxiety in his mind, it was cautiously
concealed from the view of others.

“Well,” said Mr. Conant, interrupting the silence,
“even if Massasoit joins himself unto them, we are
strong in numbers and doubly strong in the Lord of

“The sachem of Mount Haup is true as the course
of the sun,” rejoined the Indian, somewhat indignant
that his friendship should be doubted. “If an arrow
comes among us, it comes from Corbitant's quiver.
But though the rattlesnake's death be on its feather,
the wise man must aim it, and the Good Spirit must
wing it to the mark. When you pray to the

-- 048 --

[figure description] Page 048.[end figure description]

Englishman's God, he sends your corn drink, and you say he
make the waters in two tribes, for the white man to
pass through. Is he not bigger than the Pequods and
the Mohegans, the Narragansets and the Tarateens?”

Without waiting for an answer, he took up the cap
which lay on the floor beside him, and left the house.

“It is a shame on us that an Indian must teach us
who is `our shield and our buckler,” observed Mr.
Conant. “To my mind there is more danger of Satan's
killing us with the rat's-bane of toleration, than
the Lord's taking us off with the Indian arrows. It
behoveth the watchmen of Israel to be on their guard,
for false prophets and false Christs are abroad in the
land. `One saith he is in the desert, and another saith
he is in the secret chambers;' and much reason have
the elect to laud the God of Israel, that his right hand
upholdeth them in slippery places.”

“I am much in the dark whether you can clearly
prove, from Scripture, that the elect are always upheld
in slippery places,” said Mr. Oldham. “What
do you make of the falling off of Judas Iscariot?”

“What do I make of it, man? Why that he never
was among the elect. Christ saith, “none of them
have I lost but the son of perdition, that the Scriptures
might be fulfilled.”

“Why, Paul himself seems not to have been clear
upon the subject,” continued Mr. Oldham; “for he
says, `lest when I have preached unto others, I should
myself prove a cast-away.' And know you not that
God's chosen people staid so long in Egypt that they
forgot the name of Jehovah? And what with the
brick bondage of spiritual Egypt on the one hand,
and the flesh-pots on the other, I think there is much
danger that the elect may so lose the sound of his
voice, that they will not know it, when it calls them
from the four winds of heaven.”

-- 049 --

[figure description] Page 049.[end figure description]

“I have found by experience,” said Governor Endicott,
“that the more doubts we let in at the floodgate,
the faster gripe Satan hath upon our souls. St. Augustine
hath it, `Nullum malum pejus libertate errandi;
' and I believe he is in the right.”

“I don't know any thing about your outlandish
tongue,” replied Mr. Oldham; “and, I mean no disrespect
to your Honor, but I think it savors of Babylon
to be calling on the name of this saint and that
saint. I marvel when christians have turned the pope
out of doors, they don't send his rags out of the window.
To my thinking, the devil will send him back
again after his duds, forasmuch as they are suffered
to remain in the church.”

“Augustine was a holy man,” rejoined Governor
Endicott; “though in many things, the Lord suffered
him to remain in darkness. He it was, who left a
burning coal upon the altar, wherewithal Calvin and
Luther lighted up the great fire of the Reformation;
a fire which burneth yet, and which will burn, until
Babylon be consumed, with her robes and her mitres,
her cross and her staff, her bishops and her prelates,
her masses and her mummeries. Yea, let the disciples
of the hell-born Loyola strive against it as they
will. But as for St. Augustine, my friend, you'll acknowledge
the spirit of the matter to be good, though
it is clothed in outlandish dress, when I tell you that
it meaneth, `there is no evil worse than the liberty of

“There is much truth in that, no doubt,” replied
Mr. Graves; “but I maintain it is contrary to the declarations
of Scripture, unless you can prove that it
appertains to the unpardonable sin.”

“St. Augustine probably wrote it without any especial
reference to that passage,” said the Governor.

-- 050 --

[figure description] Page 050.[end figure description]

“And I maintain that it's popish blasphemy to write
any thing without an especial reference to the declarations
of Scripture,” replied his antagonist, who seemed
to stand on the battle ground of controversy, calling
out, like Goliah, `Choose you a man for you, and let
him come down to me that I may fight him.' “And as
for you, Mr. Oldham, if you have such doubts as
you've been speaking of, it is because you have sinned
yourself into them; and I marvel if it be not by
the leaven of idle words, and levity of speech.”

“God gave us laughter as well as reason, to my apprehension,”
rejoined Mr. Oldham, “Solomon saith,
`there is a time for all things;' and the commentary
that I put upon the text is, that there is a time to
smoke a pipe and crack a joke, as well as to preach
and pray.”

“You know not what you say, nor whereof you affirm,”
answered Mr. Conant. “Recreation is no
doubt good to oil the wheels as we travel along a rugged
road; but a wise man will do as Jonathan, who
only tasted a little honey on the end of his rod. As
for that text of Solomon, it is a sort of flaming cherubim
that turneth every way, and many a man hath it

“I'm thinking at any rate,” retorted Oldham, “that
a scythe cuts the better, if a man stops to whet it
atween whiles.”

“That's true enough,” replied he from the Isle of
Wight, “but what would you say to see a man whetting
his scythe the whole day instead of mowing? I
tell you, Mr. Oldham, he that gives up, even for an hour;
the blessed comforts of the gospel and the inward out-pouring
of prayer, for the mere crackling thorns of
worldly mirth, does but exchange his pearls for old

-- 051 --

[figure description] Page 051.[end figure description]

“I think,” interrupted Governor Endicott, “that
there is much appertaining to error implied in the
doctrine of inward outpouring. That egg was laid
in the Netherlands, and if it be kept warm, I've a suspicion
that the viper will hereafter spring out of its
shell, and aim at the vitals of the church. It is a
wandering meteor of human pride, and doth but serve
to lead from the true light of revelation.”

“Ah, it is a sad thing,” observed Mr. Conant, “that
before we have got the church of Christ well balanced,
Satan, seeing the dominion of the beast going down in
one quarter, straightway sendeth forth his ministers
to and fro in the earth, and teacheth them to cry
down Antichrist as much as the boldest of us, at the
same time that they lead poor souls into more horrid
blasphemies than the papist. These gross errors,
broached in the dark, are sliding like the plague into
the veins of the church; but in none of them the devil
so plainly sheweth his horns, as in this doctrine of
inward light.”

“According to my notions,” said Mr. Graves, scripture
would be but a dead letter without inward light.
I'm thinking a clock would be but a sorry thing, with
its clever-figured face, if there was no wheel-work to
set it agoing.”

“Your comparison hath no savor of similitude,” replied
the Governor. “I grant there is a concealed
life and spirit in the letter of the Bible; but God hath
hidden it, and it is not for man to penetrate into the
mysteries of godliness. The index of the clock sufficeth
to do our daily work by, and is of no further use
to him that knows the wheels which move it, than to
him who never thought thereupon.”

This probably would have paved the way for fresh
controversy, had not the entrance of Hobomok interrupted
the conversation. His appearance betrayed

-- 052 --

[figure description] Page 052.[end figure description]

no marks of agitation, nor was any surprise excited
when he stooped and spoke to the Governor, who immediately
followed him out of the room. As soon as
they were out of hearing, Hobomok told him his suspicions
of Corbitant, and added that he was certain
there were a number of Indians in ambush in the
woods below. The chief magistrate determined at
once that a company should be collected silently and
speedily. Hobomok was deputed to give orders to
several individuals to proceed to his house with as
little appearance of alarm as possible; and the Indian
set forth upon the expedition; first requesting the
Governor not to lose sight of Mr. Conant's house.
When Governor Endicott returned to the company he
had left, he stated the fears of their Indian friend as
gently as possible; but cautiously as they were told,
it proved too much for the weak nerves of Mrs. Conant.
Since her residence in the wilderness, alarms
of this kind had been frequent, and she had borne
them with fortitude; but now the body weighed down
the firmness of the soul; and her husband was obliged
to leave his fainting wife to the care of her daughter,
with an assurance that their safety should be cared
for. They were indeed well protected; for Hobomok,
the moment his errands were hastily delivered,
had returned to guard them with the quick eye of
love, and the ready arm of hatred.

The company so suddenly collected, pursued a circuitous
rout, and came at once upon the unguarded
enemy. The band which they discovered consisted
of twenty Indians, most of whom were petty sachems
of Massasoit, who had been wrought upon by the eloquence
of Corbitant, for the purpose of setting fire to
Mr. Conant's house, and murdering the inhabitants, if

From his own account, it seemed that Mr. Conant's

-- 053 --

[figure description] Page 053.[end figure description]

quotation with regard to the arrows being broken at
Salem, had been construed by Corbitant into a defiance
of the neighbouring tribes; and that he had taken
this step to revenge the insult; however, it is probable
that the blow was aimed, through them, at the
heart of Hobomok. Ambush and stratagem are the
pride of Indian warfare, and now that their designs
were so completely traversed, they attempted no resistance.
The captives were placed in an enclosed
piece of public land, and a guard of thirty men set
over them. Mr. Conant returned to his family, and
Mary, inured to such occurrences, slept peacefully
within their humble dwelling, unconscious that Hobomok
watched it the livelong night, with eyes that
knew no slumber. Every man saw that his gun was
loaded and his pistols within reach; and at midnight
nothing was seen in motion but the sentinels, as they
passed backward and forward, their arms gleaming in
the moon.


If heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare,
One cordial in this melancholy vale,
'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,
In other's arms breathe out the tender tale,
Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening gale.

The dawn presented a scene unusual to the inhabitants
of Salem. The prisoners, some standing erect,
some seated on the ground, and others leaning upon
their bows, wore one uniform expression of defiance
and rage. The Englishmen who stood around them,
resting on their loaded guns, had that look of

-- 054 --

[figure description] Page 054.[end figure description]

peculiar ghastliness which the light of morning gives to
men who have passed a sleepless and anxious night.
However, the sun had hardly placed his golden circlet
on the summit of the highest eastern hills, before
the deep rolling of the drum was heard along the
street, and fresh recruits passed on, to take the place
of their companions. In the mean time a council was
called at the chief magistrate's, to determine what
should be done with the prisoners.

“My countrymen,” said Governor Endicott, “you all
know for what purpose you are now called hither. Well
it is for us that our brethren from the Isle of Wight
have arrived among us; inasmuch as the wickedness
of Morton hath made these savages very daring of
late. But, as I was about to say, while we were sitting
in the house of Mr. Conant, talking of God, and
the things appertaining to salvation, Hobomok came
among us and gave warning of a party of Indians in
the hollow; forasmuch as he, whom we all know the
Lord hath gifted with great quickness of ear, heard a
low whoop therefrom. You know how the thing hath
proved, and how wonderfully we have been saved
from the malice and stratagems of our enemies; and
now I would fain ask your judgment concerning what
is best to be done in this matter.”

After some discussion it was determined that Mr.
Conant should take with him a strong guard, and
convey the captives to their head sachem, Massasoit.
Upon which, their godly minister, Mr. Higginson,
arose and desired them to join with him in a petition
to the throne of grace. Every hat was reverently
laid aside, and a short, impressive prayer was made
with the involuntary eloquence of recent gratitude. A
strong guard was equipped, and as they passed in review
before the Governor, the ensign stepped out and

-- 055 --

[figure description] Page 055.[end figure description]

delivered the colors of the red cross, which had been
unfurled the night before.

“It is marvellous in my eyes that the Lord fighteth
on our side, while we march under such a badge
of Antichrist,” said Governor Endicott. “It as much
beseemeth a christian to carry the half-moon of Mahomet,
as such an emblem of popish victory. However,
the pleasure of the king be obeyed.”

Hobomok, who had been waiting for “the council
fire to be extinguished,” fell into the rear of the company,
and re-conducted Mr. Collier to Plymouth.

During several hours the settlement continued in
that state of excitement which might naturally be
supposed to follow an alarm so unexpected. All the
people that were near, called at Mr. Conant's, one
after another, to hear the extent of the danger to which
they had been exposed, till Mary and her mother
were weary of repeating the story.

“I have come hither to find out the root of the matter,”
Madam Conant, said a neighbouring widow. “I
heard last night that there was three hundred Indians
found in Endicott's Hollow; and there I sat trembling
afraid to venture out, till Jacob came home and told
me something about the business.”

“And I,” observed another, “heard that Corbitant
shot Governor Endicott in the mouth. Oh, it was a
woful night to us women folks who have just come
among you. We never hear of such like proceedings
in our island.”

“The matter hath no doubt been much magnified,”
replied Mrs. Conant. “We have reason to be thankful
the Indians were few and easily surprised. But
here is neighbour Oldham, who was one of the company.
He can tell you every thing connected therewith.”

-- 056 --

[figure description] Page 056.[end figure description]

“There was but one arrow fired,” said Mr. Oldham;
“and, as the Lord would have it, that stuck fast
in a bit of cheese rind in my jacket pocket. Which,
I think, proveth good the old saying, that `a little armour
serveth a man if he knoweth where to put it.'
But, after all our affrightment, this hath proved a
small matter. The Lord hath merely given us a jog
on the elbow at this time; that we may remember the
dangers wherewithal we are surrounded, and wake up
our sluggish souls, that have become somewhat perfunctory
in his service.”

“That's what my good man said, when he was
dying,” rejoined the widow. “Poor soul, the Indian
shot him through and through, when he was digging
for clams in the sands down there at Plymouth; and
when I pulled out the arrow and bound up his wounds,
he told me, it was all a chastisement of the Lord, in
that we had fallen into rebellious ways.”

“And I remember as well as if it was but yesterday,”
said another, “how my poor Joseph looked in
them dreadful times. A bright and handsome boy
he was once, but he overworked himself; and then
he grew poor, and pale as a ghost, and what was
worst of all, I hadn't food wherewithal to keep life in
his body.”

“Ah there is nobody knows the troubles and distresses
of a new settlement, but those who have tasted
thereof,” observed Mrs. Conant; and she paused and
sighed deeply, as the painful remembrance of her
own lost sons passed before her. “But one must not
talk of their own griefs at such a time,” continued she.
“There is great commotion throughout the world; and
it is plain to perceive that Jehovah is shaking the
heavens above our head, and the earth beneath our

-- 057 --

[figure description] Page 057.[end figure description]

“Ay, ay,” answered Oldham, “these are fearsome
times in church and state, when the domineering
bishop of London, whom no godly man ever yet
knew without giving laud to the devil by reason of the
acquaintance. I say it is fearful times when such like
men have power to drive God's heritage into the wilderness,
where they must toil hard for a scanty bread,
and that too with daily jeopardy of life and limb.”

“And they tell me likewise,” rejoined Mrs. Conant
“that Sir Ferdinando Gorges is likely to make difficulty
about the Massachusetts patent; and that the
Lord, for further trial of our faith, hath suffered more
enemies to be stirred up against us in England, who
are ready, like Amalek of old, to smite Israel while
they are weak and unable for defence.”

“Oh yes,” replied Mr. Oldham; “and the Earl of
Warwick, and divers other great folks who hold possessions
here, `sit under their vine and their fig-tree,
with none to molest or make them afraid,' and little
know they concerning our troubles, and never a hand
of theirs would ward off a blow, unless where the matter
of filthy lucre was concerned.”

“Nevertheless,” said Mrs. Conant, “the work will
prosper. Though there appeareth now but a little
cloud, about the bigness of a man's hand; yet the
Lord Christ is in it, and out of it shall shine the perfection
of beauty.”

“I could listen to your edifying discourse all the
day long, but there is no time for folding of hands
now-a-days,” interrupted the widow, as she threw her
cloak over her shoulders. “My red cardinal is over
warm for the season to be sure, but then I think it is
but decent to have something over a body's head.”

“I marvel that you should think it decent to call a
christian garment by a name that appertains to the
scarlet woman of Babylon,” said Mr. Oldham.

-- 058 --

[figure description] Page 058.[end figure description]

“It's no name of my making, Goodman; nor did I
know that evil was signified thereby,” answered the
widow. “But I must be stirring homewards. The
Lord bless you all.”

The other visitors gradually followed her example,
and quietness and order were soon restored to the

“Mother,” said Mary, after their guests had all
departed, “you know father has gone to Plymouth
for two or three days?”

“To be sure I do, my child,” replied Mrs. Conant,
smiling. “And what then?” Mary hesitated a few moments
ere she added, “I have seen Charles Brown this
morning; and he is coming here this evening, that is,
if you have no objection thereto.”

“You well know my heart, my dear Mary,” replied
her mother, “but I ought not to do wrong because
your father is absent.”

“You don't think it is wrong—in your conscience
you can't think it's wrong,” said Mary, as she kissed
her forehead, and looked up archly in her face. “So
do say he may come.”

“You have sacrificed much for me, my child,” answered
the indulgent parent. And, pausing a moment,
she continued, “Perhaps I do wrong thus to violate
the injunctions of my husband, but I know you are
prudent, and you may e'en follow your own dictates
concerning this matter.”

The young man to whom we have so often referred,
was a graduate at Oxford, and of no ordinary note in
his native kingdom. He had known Mary before she
left the mansion of her noble grandfather; and the
remembrance of the little fairy just blushing into womanhood
had proved powerful enough to draw the
ambitious young lawyer from the fair hopes of distinction
in England, to the wild and romantic scheme

-- 059 --

[figure description] Page 059.[end figure description]

of establishing the Episcopal mitre in the forests of
America. The state in which he found things on his arrival,
induced him to abandon his favorite project; and
prudence for awhile enabled him to conceal his high
church principles. But the crown and the mitre were
interwoven with every association of his heart, and in
that hot-bed of argument he found the attempt at neutrality
was in vain. Notwithstanding the first settlers
at Naumkeak had taken the liberty of nonconforming
to the rules of their mother church, and to the established
regulations of the Plymouth elders, Mr. Brown
soon found that they complained loudly of the spirit
of the times. Mr. Conant in particular, stated that
New England was likely to become “a cage for every
unclean bird. A free stable-room and litter for all
kinds of consciences.” Such expressions extorted
from Brown an involuntary reproach upon those false
guides who had first taught men to wander from the
true church. This was, of course, the watch-word of
animosity; and from that time the young man was
considered as Ishmael in the house of Abraham.
However, long after the old man discovered the abomination
of his sentiments, he continued a daily visitor
at Mr. Conant's, who `felt it his duty to controvert
the matter with him, inasmuch as the Lord might
please to make him the instrument of his redemption.”
But it could not long remain concealed that metal
more attractive than the iron glove of controversy,
had drawn him to their fire-side; and, with more
anger than Mrs. Conant had ever before seen him
manifest, he forbade him the house forever.

With all Mary's habitual sweetness of disposition,
this course of conduct did serve to diminish her filial
respect and affection. She had no sympathy with
her father's religious scruples, for her heart very naturally
bowed down before the same altar with the

-- 060 --

[figure description] Page 060.[end figure description]

man she loved. None could form an idea of the depth
and fervor of her affection, who had not, like her, left
a bright and sunny path, to wander in the train of
misery, gloom, and famine. During her stay at her
grandfather's, she had become familiar with much
that was beautiful in painting, and lovely in sculpture,
as well as all that was elegant in the poetry of that
early period; and their rich outline was deeply impressed
upon her young heart. For her mother's
sake, she endured the mean and laborious offices
which she was obliged to perform, but she lived only
in the remembrance of that fairy spot in her existence.
Alone as she was, without one spirit that came
in contact with her own, she breathed only in the regions
of fancy; and many an ideal object had she invested
with its rainbow robe. When at length she
found a being who understood her feelings, and who
loved, as she had imagined love, her whole soul was
rivetted. The harshness of her father tended to increase
this, by rendering the stream of affection more
undivided in its source. In such a state of things,
their interviews must of course be transient and unfrequent;
but when they did occur, the cup of joy,
so seldom tasted, sparkled to the brim. Let the philosopher
say what he will about these humbler blossoms
of the heart, earth has nothing like them, for
loveliness and fragrance. And he, who through the
dim lapse of years, remembers the time when two
full, gushing tides of young affection, were mingled in
one common stream, will hardly be willing to acknowledge
that the world is altogether “vanity and
vexation of spirit.”

The remembrance of her own thwarted inclinations
wrought powerfully on the mind of Mary's gentle and
affectionate mother, and she at length gave their meeting
her unqualified consent. The bowl of chocolate

-- 061 --

[figure description] Page 061.[end figure description]

was prepared that night with even more careful fondness
than usual; and as Mrs. Conant at an early hour
laid her head upon the pillow, she was just preparing
to say, “I fear I do wrong, my child,” but Mary kissed
away the sentence.

The absence of so many of the inhabitants, and the
fear of some fresh alarm, made it expedient that the
outskirts of the settlement should be guarded, and
Mary well knew that Brown was on that duty. In
expectation of his arrival, she stationed herself at the
door, and looked out upon the still brightness around.
The lonely spot was fair and tranquil, and earth, sea,
and sky, beneath the unvaried radiance of the moon,
“seemed just waking from some heavenly dream.”
The evening star was sailing along its peaceful course,
and seemed, amid the stainless sanctity of the heavens,
like a bright diadem on the brow of some celestial
spirit. “Fair planet,” thought Mary, “how various are
the scenes thou passest over in thy shining course.
The solitary nun, in the recesses of her cloister, looks
on thee as I do now; mayhap too, the courtly circle
of king Charles are watching the motion of thy silver
chariot. The standard of war is fluttering in thy
beams, and the busy merchantman breaks thy radiance
on the ocean. Thou hast kissed the cross-crowned
turrets of the Catholic, and the proud spires of the
Episcopalian. Thou hast smiled on distant mosques
and temples, and now thou art shedding the same
light on the sacrifice heap of the Indian, and the rude
dwellings of the Calvinist. And can it be, as my
father says, that of all the multitude of people who
view thy cheering rays, so small a remnant only are
pleasing in the sight of God? Oh, no. It cannot be
thus. Would that my vision, like thine, could extend
through the universe, that I might look down unmoved

-- 062 --

[figure description] Page 062.[end figure description]

on the birth and decay of human passions, hopes, and

These thoughts were interrupted by the appearance
of Brown, as he came whistling along the footpath,
the light of evening resting full upon his handsome

“The moon has seemed to rise slowly and wearily
since I have been looking out for you,” said the maiden,
as her lover gaily imprinted a kiss upon her hand.

“I could wish she would stop her shining course
awhile,” replied he; “for, setting aside the expectation
of meeting you, it is one of the brightest nights I
ever looked upon.”

“I have been watching it,” answered Mary, “till it
hath almost made me sad. At this moment she is
shining on the lordly palaces and blooming gardens
of good old England, is she not?”

“Ah yes; and such thoughts make even my heart
sicken within me. But it is not so when I think of
you. Love `maketh the desert to blossom as the
rose.' Besides, my dear Mary, I trust we shall both
live in England again.”

“Never while my mother lives, Charles. I would
not leave her even for you. But she will soon go
from us to be no more. I picked a little shivering
violet the other day, and it seemed the sweeter for
the cold dew that was on it. And I thought it was so
like to my mother; for the sicker she is, the more she
seemeth like an angel.”

I know not why it is, but, in minds of a certain tone,
the richest melody of love is always mingled with
notes of sadness; and, in the full communion of unreserved
tenderness, the maiden leaned her head upon
the shoulder of the young man, and wept in silence.

“My dear Mary,” said Brown, “it is not well to be
melancholy. We both ought to recollect that there

-- 063 --

[figure description] Page 063.[end figure description]

is One above who will defend us, though every earthly
friend be taken. As for your father, he may be
conscientious in this matter; but I more than half suspect
that he cares more about having his own way, than
he does for all the prayers and churches in christendom.
If so, I know your kind mother will use all her
influence to overcome his obstinacy.”

“I know it too,” replied Mary; “but her counsels
have little weight with him when he has determined
upon a course. However, he loves her; and I believe
she loves him as well as she ever could in her earliest

“Do you think you could endure so much for me,
Mary?” asked her lover, while his bright dark eye
rested with more than usual admiration on the passive
beauty of her countenance.

“A cold heart may make promises and protestations,”
she replied; “and when we dream of love we
are always too apt to think of the paradise, rather
than the thorny hedge which the sin of Adam has
placed around it; but let the storm come upon you,
Charles, and see if my head shrink from the tempest.”

“I know by experience how hard it is to escape
from the entanglements of the heart,” answered
Brown. “My life was full of enjoyment before I met
you in Lincolnshire; and now, when I try to think of
any source of happiness in which you have no share,
I am forced to acknowledge that you are, in some way
or other, connected therewith. You remember that
those who entered Spencer's shady grove,

Whose loftie trees yelad with sommer's pride,
Did spred so broad, that heaven's light did hide,
Not perceable with power of any starr;
When weening to returne whence they did straye,
They cannot finde that path which once was showne,
But wander to and fro in waies unknowne.
“And isn't it so with the path of love, my Mary?”

-- 064 --

[figure description] Page 064.[end figure description]

A smiling glance from the bright eye of the maiden
gave an answer of silent eloquence. The interview
was prolonged to a late hour; and the conversation of
the lovers became gradually more and more marked
by that tenderness of expression, which, “like the rich
wines of the south, is so delicious in its native soil;
so tasteless in the transportation.”


“The church was umpire then.”

Among all the varieties of human character, from the
refined enthusiast in classic literature, down to the ignoramus
who signs a cross in behoof of his name, there
are very few who have strength enough to resist the
flattering suffrage of exclusive preference. Gratified
vanity proves a powerful pleader in most hearts upon
such occasions; and if love itself be not induced, the
resemblance passes for awhile as current coin. I say
for awhile, for most of the unhappy marriages which
have come under my own observation, have originated
in this mistake. However, I shall not stop to moralize
upon the subject. Suffice it to say, that Collier,
under the dominion of such feelings, returned to Plymouth
with a lightsome and happy heart; nothing
disturbed, save by his anticipated eclaircissement
with Hopkins. Much as he dreaded the interview, he
found his friend even more unwilling to relinquish his
claims, than he had expected.

-- 065 --

[figure description] Page 065.[end figure description]

The low, flat-roofed fort of Plymouth, and the adjacent
wigwam of Hobomok, were just rising on the
sight, when the anxious young man came out to meet

“What's the news, John?” inquired he.

“That twenty Indians have been surprised in a plan
of setting fire to the house of that wise and godly man,
Mr. Roger Conant,” rejoined the traveller. “They
are this day sent, under guard, to the sachem of
Mount Haup; and with them we came some ways in

“Ah, indeed,” replied Hopkins. “I thought the
Indians were quiet enough of late; but it is plain there
will be no peace in the land while Corbitant is therein.
That sachem is a hot-headed fellow, and implacable
withal. Albeit,” continued he, as they entered
the house, “I will hear your Indian stories at a more
convenient season. What did Sally say, when she
found she had been thought of these three years, and
she all the while knew nothing about the matter?”

“Why, to speak the truth, James, I have no very
pleasant duty to perform in this business; for the
damsel hath expressly declared, she doth not look
upon you with as favorable eyes as upon some

“That's what they always say,” answered the confident
lover. “Peradventure she thinks that dear
bought goods are most valued. I tell you, man, she
hath expressed her liking for me a hundred times,
and would now, if you had been bold in the business.”

“Hath she?” inquired his messenger. “Bethink
you, Hopkins; hath she ever told you she loved you
before others?”

“A hundred times,” replied he. “That is, I mean,—
you know I don't mean,—I would'nt say it if I did—

-- 066 --

[figure description] Page 066.[end figure description]

that she hath done so unbecoming a thing as to tell
me she would marry me, before she knew whether I
would or no; but, nevertheless, I repeat she hath said
it a hundred times over, by her looks and actions.
And I should like to know, forsooth, whom she may
prefer to me, in this wilderness? Haven't I loved her
these three years? And didn't I do all I could for 'em
when the elders saw fit to dismiss her father? And
haven't I put up the best house in Plymouth, wherewithal
to please her?”

“I know all that,” rejoined his friend; “and assuredly
I thought your suit would be favorably received.
I marvel that it was not; but I had as good tell it at
once, as not.—The maiden hath declared she loveth
another man better.”

“And I should like to know who it might be?”
said the indignant lover.

The young man judged by his countenance, that he
was “nursing his wrath to keep it warm,” and he felt
more and more the awkwardness of his ungracious
mission. He blushed, stammered, hesitated, and finally
answered, “The maiden told me in express words,
that if you and I had changed places, the messenger
would have returned with `yea' in his mouth.”

Mr. Hopkins turned his face toward the window,
and bit his thumb some time, without speaking a word.

“I suppose you will take it unkind,” observed Collier,
interrupting the silence. “But what could be
done in such a case?”

“Talk to me no more about it,” replied the disappointed
suitor. “I am not the man to break my heart
about a foolish damsel. If she pleases to shape her
course in this way, I can assure her there is no love
lost between us. But after all, Collier, this is a confounded
unfriendly job, on your part; and I shall
state as much to the church.”

-- 067 --

[figure description] Page 067.[end figure description]

“I beg of you not to make the the affair public,”
said his friend; “if you will hear to reason, you
will see I could not have done otherwise than I have.”

“I don't want to hear any reasons about it,” retorted
his offended companion. “I tell you once more,
I don't care a pin concerning the matter; but when I
see wolves walking about in sheep's clothing, I'll e'en
strip off their fleece.” And without waiting for an
answer, he took up his hat and walked out of the
house. He had said and thought that he cared nothing
about his disappointment; but when he was alone,
and all restraint of manly pride was removed, he found
that the thread, so unexpectedly broken, was interwoven
with the whole web of his existence; and spite
of himself, a few reluctant tears rolled down his weather-beaten
face. However, resentment was uppermost;
and the following day his rival was summoned
to appear before the church, to answer certain
charges brought against him by James Hopkins. Collier
would gladly have avoided a public conference
on such a subject, but under existing circumstances,
there was but one alternative. He must either suffer
under a suspicion of his good faith, or he must candidly
state events as they happened. In these degenerate
times, when even plighted love is broken
with such frequent impunity, it would excite a smile
to have seen the elderly men assembled at Mr. Brewster's,
and with serious aspects discussing so important
an affair. But in those days, the church kept careful
watch upon the out-goings and in-comings of her children,
and suffered not the pollution of a butterfly's
feather to rest upon her garments.

After the disputants were seated, the worthy clergyman

“It is with much grief we notice the falling out of
two godly young men, sons of right worthy gentlemen

-- 068 --

[figure description] Page 068.[end figure description]

among us. Especially as one is accused of having
dealt treacherously with the other, and spoken deceitful
words unto him.”

Then Mr. Collier answered; “I feel it is an unpleasant
duty to vindicate myself from this aspersion,
inasmuch as Mr. Hopkins is my valued friend, and
hath been somewhat too hasty in this matter, refusing
to hear explanations which I have sought to give unto
him. I likewise think that the things appertaining to
love are of too light a nature to be brought before the
church, that they should discuss thereupon. But that
you may know that in nothing have I dealt treacherously
with my friend, you shall hear the conclusion
of the whole matter. Hearing that the vessels were
soon to leave Naumkeak, and having business wherewithal
they were connected, I had a mind to take Hobomok
for my guide, and journey thither. Whereupon
Mr. Hopkins gave me a letter for Mr. Oldham's
daughter (whom you all know is a comely damsel,
and, withal of a cheerful behaviour); which letter I
delivered to the same, and asked an answer thereto.
Then she said to me, that had I sent by Mr. Hopkins,
instead of he by me, she should verily have said,
`I will go.' I spoke much to her concerning my
friend's merits, but finding her mind was determined in
this matter, I e'en told her I would have come out to
meet her, as Isaac of old, when he brought the daughter
of Bethuel into his tent. The maiden, you know, is well
to look upon, and altogether such an one as no man
need be averse to, as an help-meet. Now whether or
not guile be found in me, I leave to your judgments;
and if you so decide, I'm willing to be lopped off, as
an unworthy member, from the church of Christ
gathered in this place.”

“Hear him,” interrupted Hopkins. “He saith not
a word about relinquishing the damsel. It seems he

-- 069 --

[figure description] Page 069.[end figure description]

had even rather be cast out as `an heathen and a
publican.' His love must have grown up wonderous
sudden; for he denieth that he bewitched her with
love potions, and implieth that when he went to
Naumkeak he had no thoughts save of procuring her
for my wife.”

“I not only imply it,” answered Collier, “but I expressly
declare that I then had no thought respecting
her wherewithal you were not connected. And now
I do truly say, that I had rather be sent out from
among my brethren, although it would be very grievous
unto me, than to dismiss the maiden, whom of a
surely, I do regard with much complacency since she
hath so declared her sentiments.”

“Of a truth, I see nothing wherein you have erred,
according to your own account,” observed elder
Brewster; “but there is a gentleman soon going to
Naumkeak, to convey a letter from our honorable
chief magistrate to the reverend Mr. Higginson, respecting
the baptism of his son, and, for the further
satisfaction of Mr. Hopkins, it may be well that he
return with a written statement of facts. Till which
time, we do defer our decision.”

Poor Sally was in great consternation when the
Plymouth messenger arrived, and informed her of the
serious aspect which the business had assumed.

“Oh, Mary,” said she, “what shall I do? You
know that Mr. Hopkins who bawled himself into love
with me, and had'nt courage to sing the last note after
all? Well, he has made a great fuss between Mr.
Collier and the church, and they have sent to me to
write all that I said concerning him.”

“I always wondered how you could have spoken to
Mr. Collier after such a fashion,” replied Mary. “I
see nothing you can do but to write the whole truth.”

“Will you write it for me?”

-- 070 --

[figure description] Page 070.[end figure description]

“Oh, yes, if you'll provide words to the purpose.”

So the pen and ink was brought forward, and Mary
wrote a letter which she indited as follows:

“Reverende Sirs,

“Wheras Mr. Collier hathe beene supposed to
blame concerning some businesse he hath of late endeavoured
to transacte for Mr. Hopkins, this cometh
to certifie that he did faithfully performe his dutie,
and moreover that his great modestie did prevente his
understanding many hints, until I spoke even as he
hath represented. Wherefore, if there be oughte unseemly
in this, it lieth on my shoulders.

“With all dutie and respecte,
Sally X Oldham.
“Her marke.”

N. B. “Sence my Dawter hathe shewed mee this
Yepistall I dwoe furthere righte with my owne Hande
a feu wordes of Add vice untwoe you att Plimouth,
respecting Churche Govermente. Twoe my thinking
you runn ewer Horses over harde, draweinge the
Ranes soe tite, thatt maybee thale rair upp and caste
thare rideers intwoe the mudd. U may rubb folkse
Nose on the Grinnstone thinking to ware them twoe
the Gristell, and in the eende you maye make them
twoe Sharppe for ewer owne cumfurt. Dwoe nott
constrew this intwoe Dishrespecte from hymm whoe
hathe mutch Occashun to remember thatt you awl
gave hymm a helping Hande in the Race he runn
among you
. U sea by this thatt I am noe Skribe and
you new heretoefore thatt I was noe Farisee.

“john Oldham.”

Upon the receipt of this document, the elders
thought fit to take no notice of Mr. Oldham's advice,

-- 071 --

[figure description] Page 071.[end figure description]

though all thought it contained too much of his accustomed
impudence. Sally's testimony was so simple
and decisive, that Mr. Brewster at once gave a
concluding answer.

“Although we deem it unseemly for young women
to pursue such like courses (indeed were she within
our jurisdiction, we should give her public reproof
therefor), and though we do fear that the daughter
hath much of the corrupt leaven of the father, yet we
do not see that we have a right to constrain the consciences
of men in these particulars, especially as the
apostle saith `the believing husband may sanctify
the unbelieving wife.' Therefore, we do leave Mr.
Collier to pursue whatsoever course he deemeth expedient,
trusting that, whatever he doth, he will do it in
the name of the Lord. Moreover, we do think it proper
that Mr. Hopkins make an apology to him, inasmuch
as he hath not been slow to anger, nor charitable
concerning his brother in the church.”

The penance was performed with as good a grace
as could be expected, and the young men returned to
their respective employments.


Take her, she's thy wife.


It may easily be imagined how things continued at
Salem for several succeeding weeks. Mr. Collier was
as frequent a visitor as distance and difficulty of

-- 072 --

[figure description] Page 072.[end figure description]

travelling would permit; Hobomok divided his time almost
equally between his mother's wigwam, and the
dwelling of Mr. Conant; and Mary obtained a “paradisaical
interview” with Brown, as often as possible;
Mrs. Conant, sinking in a slow, but certain decline,

“Like a spirit who longs for a purer day,
And is ready to wing her flight away;”
her husband, prudent, moderate, and persevering in
public affairs,—at home, sometimes passionate, and
always unyielding; and Mr. Oldham, the same as
ever, an odd mixture of devotion and drollery.

The manuscript mentions numerous controversies
between Mr. Higginson, Mr. Conant, Mr. Oldham,
and Mr. Graves; but their character is so similar to
those I have already quoted, that I forbear to repeat
them. One maintained justification by faith, and another
by works; and the light-within-enthusiast, from
the Isle of Wight, continued to defend his doctrine of
the inward outpouring of prayer, and eventually became
one of the most celebrated among the Familists.

Sally listened to all their arguments with heedless
gaiety; Mary heard their wild war of words, with increased
weariness; and as her noble mother approached
the confines of another world, and received
its calm, heavenly influence, she looked with compassion
on the wild and ever-varying light of human

But while things remained unaltered in these two
families, the spirit of improvement was rapidly extending
in the village, and the young English lawyer
had commenced his efforts for the establishment of
the Episcopal church. He met with a hearty co-operation
from his brother Samuel, who had been a merchant
of high respectability in his native land, and

-- 073 --

[figure description] Page 073.[end figure description]

from Mr. Blackstone, the solitary hermit at Tri-Mountain,
who originally came to America with the same
design. These movements, of course, called forth all
the energy of the non-conformists, and consequently
the number of Brown's adherents increased; for the
love of excitement is a fundamental principle in the
human mind, and men will seek it wherever it is to
be found;—whether in the contests of gladiators, the
clashing of arms, the painful power of tragic representation,
or the tumultuous zeal of jarring sectaries.

Things were in this state, when it was announced
in three successive meetings,

“Be it known unto all, that John Collier of Plymouth,
and Sally Oldham of Salem, are about to enter
into the holy state of wedlock. If any man hath objection,
let him proclaim it publicly.”

No man, excepting Mr. Thomas Graves, had any
objection, and on the 5th of August a small company
collected at Mr. Oldham's, to witness the bridal.
Mrs. Conant claimed the privilege of giving the wedding
gown, a beautiful chintz, adorned with flowers
even larger than life, which had been a favorite morning
dress with the Lady Mary before her marriage.
Governor Endicott, likewise, “though he approved
not of the drinking of wine, and had abolished it at
his own table, yet he could not forbear sending a
little on this occasion, inasmuch as it was the first
wedding they had had among them.” The manuscript
mentions the chief magistrate as “bolde and undaunted,
yet sociable, and of a cheerful spirite, loving
or austere, as occasion served.” On the day of
the wedding he unbent his stateliness more than usual,
and held much courteous discourse with Mr. Conant's
and Mr. Oldham's families, while the young couple
sat beside each other, silently and timidly waiting for
the arrival of Mr. Higginson. Mary sat on the left

-- 074 --

[figure description] Page 074.[end figure description]

hand of the bride, and their countenances, both interesting,
presented a striking contrast of beauty. Sally's
clear, rosy complexion was becomingly heightened
by the excitement of her wedding day; her bright,
roguish blue eyes sparkled; and her round, Hebe
form appeared to the utmost advantage in her handsome
dress. In short she seemed the living, laughing
representation of health. But Mary's slender figure,
her large, dark eyes, with their deep, melancholy
fringe, and the graceful carriage of her neck and
shoulders, brought before the mind a Parian statue,
or one of those fair visions which fancy gives to slumber.
The old men gazed on them in their loveliness,
and turned away with that deep and painful sigh,
which the gladness of childhood, and the transient
beauty of youth, are so apt to awaken in the bosom
of the aged. “Alas, that things so fair should be so
fleeting,” has been repeated thousands of times; and
yet how keenly it still enters into the soul, when early
fascinations have faded away, and imagination has
scattered her garland to the winds. Who has looked
on young, sunny smiles, and listened to loud, merry
tones, without a feeling almost amounting to anguish,
when he has thought of the temptations which would
infest their path, and the disappointments which would
inevitably crush their budding hopes? Perhaps these
ideas, under various modifications, might be the reason
of the general silence, for every one seemed fearful
of hearing his own voice. Even Sally's giddy
temper seemed to be wholly subdued by the solemnity
of the vow she was about to take. She sat reserved and
diffident, and a crowd of thoughts pressed upon her
mind, till she hardly knew whether they were pleasant
or painful. At length, however, she ventured to
raise her hand to her mouth, and whisper to Mary,
“I asked Brown to come to-day; and then I told him

-- 075 --

[figure description] Page 075.[end figure description]

not to come; because it would make trouble for you.”
The ice once broken, whispers were soon heard
around the room, and presently Mr. Conant rose and
took two or three turns through the apartment, and
looked out of the window, as he said, “We shall have
a favorable day for our ordination to-morrow, God
willing. But they tell me we are to be pestered with
the presence of the papistical Mr. Blackstone.”

“Well, if he cometh hither, I'll give him the plague,
if I can catch it for him,” said Mr. Oldham. “They
tell me he giveth much countenance to Brown's untoward

“It was said in Lincolnshire,” observed Mary, who
was anxious to change the conversation, “that love
was the occasion of his coming hither; and that if a
young lady in Huntingdonshire had smiled upon him,
he had not been thus wedded to his canonical robe.”

“I never heard of a man's being crazy, or in any
wise straying from the common path,” replied Mr.
Oldham, “but that some pretty piece of Eve's flesh,
with a head as empty as a New England purse (and
it cannot well be emptier), hath straightway supposed
herself the cause thereof. Their vanity is as long as
the polar nights, and as broad as a Puritan's shoulders
need to be. Here is Sally now, who for a wonder is
as demure as you please, has thought her carcass such
a valuable cargo that every body she sees must needs
want the freight. And her head, no doubt is somewhat
higher with her Egyptian garments.”

“Say nothing about the dress, my friend,” interrupted
the Governor. “A goodly book should have
a comely covering; and as for these women, it is as
well to let them alone. It is meet they should stand
by themselves, like Quæ Genus in the Grammar;
being deficients or redundants, not to be brought under
any rule whatsoever.”

-- 076 --

[figure description] Page 076.[end figure description]

“Yes, there is many a queer genius among 'em,”
answered Mr. Oldham; “and deficient enough in all
conscience. But as to the subject that we were speaking
of, I am wearied with these Episcopalians, who
have come hither to make God's temple a dancing
school for the devil.”

“No doubt they will work their own destruction,
and be caught in their own snare,” said the Governor.

“Oh yes;” replied Oldham, “the devil will get out
of breath with them in good time. I trow, he is broken-winded
already with their prelatical galloping.
I wish somebody would give them such a helping
hand as I had during my race at Plymouth. I believe
I have told you, Governor Endicott, concerning
the comforting passages of scripture which the butt
end of their muskets brought to my mind. It isn't
every man who finds such a boost to his heavy heels.
I mean no offence to you, Mr. Collier, but I am thinking
if they buckle the girth much tighter, the horse
will grow kickish. Come, laugh and be jolly, man—
It is your wedding day—and such a day does not
often come in a body's pilgrimage. But here cometh
Mr. Higginson at last.”

The reverend clergyman apologized for his delay,
and entered into a conversation concerning the necessary
preparations for the anticipated ordination. Mr.
Oldham was evidently disposed for a merry-making;
but a glance from his matronly dame, and the solemn
tones of Mr. Higginson's voice, served to counteract
the propensity.

He threw one knee over the other, drew in his
lips, and passed his hand over his face, to cover it
with the coat of sobriety. But the attempt was in
vain, for in his most serious moods his mouth looked
as if it contained an imprisoned laugh, which was

-- 077 --

[figure description] Page 077.[end figure description]

struggling hard to make its escape from his small,
black, piercing eyes.

The bride and bridegroom were soon requested to
“stand before the holy man,” and pronounce the vow
which was to fix the coloring of their future lives.
Sally went through the ceremony with modest propriety,
and when they were pronounced “man and
wife,” many a one said, “They're a comely couple;
and no doubt the Lord will bless them.” Mr. Higginson
sat in front of the young couple, and gave them
much fatherly advice; which by the way is never
less attended to, than at such a period. The bride
sat picking the corner of her handkerchief, and seemed
to listen with becoming reverence, though in fact
she thought not a word about the discourse excepting
to wish in mercy that it was concluded. At length,
however, the friendly admonitions of the good man
were exhausted, and wine, which had never before
been drunk in that cottage, was handed to the guests.
The older part of the company soon retired, and the
young visitors gave themselves up to something like


I seek divine simplicity in him,
Who handles things divine.

Such a settlement as Salem during the summer of
1629, would seem insignificant enough to modern eyes;
but compared with what it had been, it seemed rich
and populous. Instead of the six miserable hovels,

-- 078 --

[figure description] Page 078.[end figure description]

which it presented in June, there were now to be seen
a number of comfortable dwellings, and a respectable
edifice which served for various public uses. To Mr.
Conant and his three solitary associates, were now added
a large number of robust men, with their sober
matrons and blooming daughters. And the place
which a few months before had only echoed the occasional
sound of the axe, or the shrill whoop of the
hunter, was now busy with the hum of industry, and
the clear, loud laughter of youth. With a decorum
which characterized all the New England villages,
they early began to arrange matters for the regular
organization of a church. Two silenced non-conformists,
Mr. Francis Higginson and Mr. Skelton, had arrived
in the same vessel with my ancestor. Since
that period they had been engaged in a controversial
discussion with the Plymouth elders respecting church
discipline, and at length, their jarring opinions being
carefully balanced, on the 6th of August one was ordained
teacher, and the other pastor of the church in
Salem. Numerous were the preparations, both important
and minute, for the solemnities of that day.
Governor Bradford and his assistants, together with
the clergy, were invited from Plymouth. Birds were
brought down from their flight, and beasts slain for the
occasion. The loaded fire-places sent forth a savory
incense; and despite of the admonitions of their parents,
there was as much “outward adorning, plaiting
of the hair,” &c. as the slender wardrobe of the maidens
would permit. The day was rich in cloudless, autumnal
beauty. It seemed as if radiant spirits were
gazing from the battlements of heaven upon a bright
and happy world. It is astonishing with what facility
we accommodate all the scenes of nature to our
own state of feeling; so that beauty seems almost
like an ideal outline, changing beneath the capricious

-- 079 --

[figure description] Page 079.[end figure description]

hand of association,—meeting the eye, but to take its
coloring from the heart. The feelings of the young
bride involuntarily danced in sympathetic buoyancy
with the season, though she saw nothing in it save
promised abundance. To Mary, its full maturity
seemed but the shadow of coming decay; and her
dark eye rested upon Brown, as he walked before her
in manly elegance, with a chastened tenderness that
partook of sadness. Many a stolen glance was exchanged
between the young men and maidens on their
way to church, and with many a low courtesy and
reverential bow, were the gentlemen in black saluted
as they passed along. The assembly were at length
collected, and with serious, staid deportment, awaited
the commencement of the services. The Plymouth
elders, detained by contrary winds, had not yet arrived,
and there was a long pause of expectation, during
which nothing was heard except the occasional
movements of the sentinel, as he stood at the open
door of the building. It was, indeed, a strange sight
to see men in the house of God with pistols in their
sword belts; but alarms from the Indians were then so
much to be dreaded, that the protection of the Bible
needed the aid of dagger and firelock. However,
the expected brethren arrived not, and wearied with
the delay, Mr. Higginson arose and made a solemn
and impressive prayer. A psalm was then read by
Mr. Skelton; and though in the music which followed
there was no deep-toned organ to dive down into the
recesses of the soul, and carry from thence man's
warmest aspirations after heaven, yet there were some
fine tones, which struck upon the ear in their bold
harmony. And now every one was preparing to give
earnest and devout attention to the reverend speaker,
who was about to name his text; for in those days a
sermon was an exhilarating draught, though

-- 080 --

[figure description] Page 080.[end figure description]

converted by the impious chemistry of modern times into a
soporific drug. Notwithstanding it was loaded with
some dozens of doctrines, and more uses than twenty
sermons of these days will ever arrive at, and an
improvement at the close, and a finally at the end of
that, yet the manuscript asserts, that “the eies of men
slumbered nott, neither were they wearie with hearing.”
Indeed the appearance of the learned and pious
minister predisposed the mind to attention. His manner
was dignified and simple; and as he rose to
speak, he seemed bowed down with a humble and
conscientious sense of his own unworthiness. Encumbered
as I have mentioned, it cannot be supposed
that the whole sermon would be interesting even to
the antiquarian; but as a specimen of the eloquence
of those times, I cannot forbear a few extracts.

“My text,” said he, “is in the 105th Psalm, 43d
verse. `He brought forth his people with joy, and
his chosen with gladness.' And who, my hearers,
hath more need than ourselves to bring to remembrance
this passage? Surely he hath brought us out
`with a mighty hand and a stretched-out arm.' And
shall we not find the wilderness sweet, fed as we are
with the manna of his grace? And is there not abundant
cause to fill the vessels of our affections daily
therewith? Yea, though God hath brought us out
from among the horsemen and chariots of Pharaoh,
though he hath sweetened the waters of Marah, and
given us Elim wherein to encamp, yet may not the
name of Jehovah be forgotten in the desert, as well as
in Egypt? Yes, even in these days when heaven and
earth are trembling at the voice of Almighty wrath, I
fear there are many drowsy souls among us. Oh,
awaken, I pray you; lest Satan have a commission
from God to rock you, and you be lost forever! It is
fearful to think how you may fall asleep on the brink

-- 081 --

[figure description] Page 081.[end figure description]

of a precipice, and dream that you are created a king,
and guarded with a goodly train of ancient nobles,
and stately palaces, and enriched with the revenues,
majesty, and magnificence of a mighty kingdom,—and
after all, the thunder of divine vengeance may sound
in your ears, and starting up at the terrible noise
thereof, you may fall into the raging sea of fire which
burneth forever. There must be no halt, between
christians among us. We must be zealous. But look
unto thine heart, set a watch over thy tongue, beware
of wildfire in thy zeal. There is much need of this
caution in these days, when tongue is sharpened
against tongue, and pen poisoned against pen, and
pamphlets come out with more teeth to bite, than arguments
to convince. This is but to betray the truth,
and do the devil's service under God's colors. There
are some among us, (and he looked full upon Brown,
as he spoke,) who are violent and impatient in matters
of religion,—given to vain forms, and traditions of
men; adhering with a blind, pertinacious zeal to the
customs of their progenitors. Of such I would have
you beware. Nor would I have you roaming about,
giving your ear to every new doctrine. Liberty of
conscience is the gilded bait whereby Satan has caught
many souls. The threshold of hell is paved with
toleration. Leave hidden matters with God, and difficult
texts of scripture with the elders of the church.
I cannot, if I would, tell you the value of a godly, exemplary
ministry among you. May we prove to you
`a savour of life unto life, and not of death unto
death.' God, in his mercy, hath brought us out of
England, which I fear is becoming sadly degenerate,
and planted us among his heritage here; and the first
use I would make of the office wherewithal I am honored,
is to say to you, talk little about religion, and feel
much of its power. Follow the light which is given

-- 082 --

[figure description] Page 082.[end figure description]

you. `Commune with your own heart, and be still.'
Be constantly preparing something for others to copy.
`Nulla dies sine lineâ.' The more of heaven there is
seen in your daily deportment, the more is God glorified.
Carry yourselves as if your business was with
eternity, your trade and traffic there; like the citiizens
of the New Jerusalem, `having your conversation
in heaven, looking for the coming of the Lord Jesus
Christ.' But what shall I say to you who have
lusts too strong for your light, and corruption too
strong for your convictions,—who go to hell just by
heaven? I do humbly hope that I may so discharge
the duties of mine office, that my hands may be washed
of your damnation. But I beseech you to think
in time. Consider if all your idle talk and wicked
thoughts were written, what volumes of vanity and
blasphemy it would make. However, angels take
note, and conscience books them all. As for you who
are careless and profane among us, who had rather
dance round the May-pole of Morton, bedecked with
ribbons and lascivious verses, than be hearing the
wholesome and lion-like truths of the gospel,—you
might laugh at me, were I to charge you not to meet
me out of Christ; but I do charge you not to do it,
and let him laugh who wins.”

As Mr. Higginson drew toward the close of his discourse,
shadows were noticed on the sunny threshold
of the meetinghouse, and the honorable gentlemen
from Plymouth walked in, and took their seats
beside the speaker. The charge was given by elder
Brewster, in which he principally dwelt on the awful
responsibilities of his office, and the high honor Christ
had done them, in sending them forth as laborers in
his vineyard. Governor Bradford gave the right
hand of fellowship with the dignified formality which
was said to characterize him on public occasions.

-- 083 --

[figure description] Page 083.[end figure description]

“Well, what do you think of the sermon?” said Mr.
Conant, as they mingled with the departing throng.

“Why, I think his tongue will never owe his mouth
a penny's rent, if he never preaches such another,”
answered Mr. Oldham. “I trow that any godly man
would be willing to lend his ears, scotfree, to such a
sermon as that, seven days out of a week.”

“I am suspicious some ears did not receive it very
well,” quoth another. “Didn't you see that Brown
and his seditious company were vexed therewithal?”

“It's wosome to think,” rejoined Mr. Oldham,
“that there will so soon be difficulties among us.
Here is Mr. Brown, now, whom I take to be a very
comely sort of a personage in other respects, encouraging
his people to chew the ratsbane of Satan, in
that he privately readeth unto them the book of common

“Those were very savory words, which Mr. Higginson
addressed to him,” observed Mr. Conant. “I
marvel that the Lord doth not send forth his javelin,
and hurry such fellows from the earth.”

“He is not given, like some people that I know of, to
the abominable heresy of falling off from grace,” interrupted
Mr. Graves; “and he seemeth not to meddle
with other people's matters.”

“I tell you,” returned Mr. Conant, “that whosoever
is willing to tolerate any false religion, or discrepant
way of religion, that his own may be tolerated,
will for a need hang God's Bible on the devil's girdle.
And as for other people's matters, I should like to
know if God's glory is other people's matters;—and
therefore to be given into the hands of the heathen
and the papist? I should like to have Mr. Higginson
hear such like sentiments.”

“It is a small matter to me who heareth my sentiments,”
replied Mr. Graves; “forasmuch as I and my

-- 084 --

[figure description] Page 084.[end figure description]

people are about to remove to Shawmut. They say
the shipping hath far access into the land in that
place; and that the woods are well stored with white
oak, not a jot below our English timber.”

“A new broom sweepeth clean,” answered Mr. Conant;
“but there is one thing I can tell you,—ours
wore to a stub very quick. The Lord's work will go
on at a grand rate, carried on as it is by a race of
wandering Jacobites, taking dislike at every little difficulty.
The ploughable plains, forsooth, are too dry
and sandy for them; and the rocky places, although
more fruitful, yet to eat their bread with toil of hand,
they deem it insupportable; and so away they hie to
their new possessions. I tell you, Mr. Graves, bad
as you found us, you know nothing at all, as it were,
of the terrors of a new plantation.”

“I think I have had some occasion to remember
sickness and hard labor, though I have known but
little concerning scarcity of bread,” replied the man
of dolorous countenance. “But though the Lord putteth
his people to some trials, he upholdeth them in
time of danger, and comforteth them in time of need.
After all, it maketh but little difference what part of
this wilderness a man chooseth. It all seems dismal
enough to a body from the old countries.”

“Yes,” rejoined Mr. Oldham. “I often think of
what a witty man at Plymouth once said. Quoth he,
`it may be said of the two Englands, as our Saviour
said of the wine, “no man having tasted the old
straightway desireth the new; for he saith the old is

All this while, Mary, who had taken a cross path
with Mr. and Mrs. Collier, found means to linger behind,
and hear many kind things from Brown. It was
likewise observed, that Hopkins dined with his rival;
although, as some said, Sally's eyes sparkled with

-- 085 --

[figure description] Page 085.[end figure description]

malicious exultation when his stentorian voice was
heard far out of time and tune in his favorite Old
Hundred. Buildings were not numerous enough to
give shelter to all their visitors; so tents were erected
in the fields, and the multitude were furnished with
provisions, plentiful enough, though coarse, and homely
in the preparation.

Various were the discussions which were held that
day. Some sat apart and talked of state policy, in
dark hints and mysterious insinuations; while others
loudly and boldly deprecated the high-handed course
of the second Stuart. Some dwelt on the great goodness
of God in raising them up from their low estate,
to the enjoyment of outward comfort, and gospel privileges;
or entered into theological controversies, in
which a penetrating eye might discover the embryo
forms of Familism, Gortonism, and divers other long
forgotten sects, which in their day and generation had
a reason for the faith that was in them. Many a
rough, untutored swain paid his blunt compliments to
a rosy cheek, and many a ruddy damsel “whispered,
in biblical phrase, her soft words of encouragement
and welcome.”


Their judge was conscience, and her rule their law.


Men so entirely uncongenial as Brown and his companions
could not long tolerate each other. To the
talents and virtues of many of them he gave a voluntary
tribute of respect and admiration; but some of

-- 086 --

[figure description] Page 086.[end figure description]

them were so far below his intellectual standard,
that nothing could have saved them from his contempt,
save the strong bond of religious unity; and
under no circumstances, and in no situation whatever,
could Brown have been a Puritan. Perhaps he and
his adversaries equally mistook the pride of human
opinion, for conscientious zeal; but their contradictory
sentiments owed their origin to native difference of
character. Spiritual light, like that of the natural
sun, shines from one source, and shines alike upon all;
but it is reflected and absorbed in almost infinite variety;
and in the moral, as well as the natural world,
the diversity of the rays is occasioned by the nature
of the recipient.

Brown had gradually grown more daring in the
declaration of his belief; but it was not until the Sabbath
after ordination that he publicly evinced his adherence
to the rites of the Episcopal church. A
meeting was held in a vacant building which had been
erected as a common house until more convenient
dwellings could be procured. Here a considerable
number were collected; and the English ritual was
read, and the sacrament administered by Mr. Blackstone
in his full, canonical robes, according to the
ceremonies prescribed by James and his Bishops at
the council of Hampton House.

This was a thing not to be passed over. Mr. Blackstone
living alone in his solitary hut at Tri-Mountain,
was out of their jurisdiction; but Brown and his brother
were the next morning ordered to appear before
an assembly of the elders, to answer the charges
brought against them. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon
the inhabitants of Salem were seen again collecting at
their meetinghouse to hear what could be said in defence
of the culprits.

-- 087 --

[figure description] Page 087.[end figure description]

After a suitable pause, the Governor arose, as he
said, “You Mr. Charles and Samuel Brown are accused
of fomenting disturbance among the people, forasmuch
as you have taught them that under the shadow
of the mitre is the only place where men ought to
worship. Do you plead guilty thereto?”

“That I bow with reverence before the holy mitre,
is most true, Governor Endicott; but in no respect
whatever have I bred disturbance among the people.”

“Have you not,” interrupted Mr. Conant, “have
you not made them drink of the wine of Babylon?
Yea, have you not made them drunk with her fornication?
Have you not, like the red dragon, pursued
the church into the wilderness, and poured out a flood
after her, that you might cause her to be destroyed?”

“My answers are to Governor Endicott, and the
elders of what you term the church,” replied Brown,
with respectful coldness.

“Mr. Conant,” said the Governor, “these things
should be done decently, and in order. It is the business
of men in authority to inquire into this matter.
Have you, young man, upheld the ritual of the first-born
daughter of the church of Rome, and maintained
that the arm of royal authority ought to enforce obedience

“I have said,” replied Brown, “that `Religio docenda
est, non coercenda,' was a bad maxim of state
policy; and that `Hæresis dedocenda est, non permittenda,
' was a far better. If by the first-born
daughter of Rome, you mean that church descended
in a direct line from Jesus Christ and his Apostles, a
church at the feet of which the most sacred and virtuous
Elizabeth bowed down her majestic head, and
beneath the shelter of whose mighty arm the learned
king James, and our liege prince Charles, have

-- 088 --

[figure description] Page 088.[end figure description]

reposed their triple diadem—if you mean this church,
I do say, her sublime ritual should be enforced, till
every fibre of the king's dominions yields a response
thereto. Saints have worn her white robe, and her
mitre has rested on holy men. The sacred water
hath been on my unworthy head, and therewithal
have their hands signed the mystic symbol of redemption.
And I would rather,” continued he, raising
the tones of his fine, manly voice, “I would rather
give my limbs to the wolves of your desert, than see
her sceptre broken by men like yourselves.”

“Think you,” said Governor Endicott, smiling,
“that king James cared aught for the church, save
that he considered it the basis of the throne? You
forget his open declaration in the assembly at Edinburgh.
`The church of Geneva,' saith he, `keepeth
pasche and yule; what have they for them? They
have no institution. As for our neighbour kirk of
England, their service is an evil said mass in English.
They want none of the mass but the liftings.' ”

“King James had not then come to the English
throne,” answered Brown. “He found cause to alter
his opinion after he had felt the blessed influence of
that church, and seen many of her corner stones, elect
and precious.”

“Nay, Mr. Brown,” rejoined the Governor, “there
is enow wherewithal to convince your reason, for you
are not wanting in the light which leadeth astray,
that it was `king craft,' which made James turn his
back upon a church whereunto he had given the name
of the `sincerest kirk in the whole world;' and, with
all reverence to his royal memory, I cannot but think
that his love of forms and ceremonies was but a taint
of hereditary evil from his Moabitish mother. Forasmuch
as I am a loyal subject of king Charles, it is
neither wise nor safe for me to find specks and

-- 089 --

[figure description] Page 089.[end figure description]

blemishes in his government; but to my thinking, there is
but a fine-spun thread between the crosier and the
liturgy, the embroidered mantle and the bishop's
gown; and who does not know that the heart of the
king is fastened to the rosary of Henrietta Maria?
And that the mummeries of Rome are, at her instigation,
heard within the palace of St. James? But after
all, Mr. Brown, there is one higher than princes. It
was a cardinal truth, which Cardinal Pole spake
unto Henry the Eighth, `Penes reges inferre bellum,
penes autem Deum terminare.' ”

“And I marvel that men of sense, like yourself,
Governor Endicott, can expect the sword of the Lord
to be quiet in its scabbard, when the robe of religion
is torn, and her altars overturned,” replied Brown;
“and that too, by men unto whom you give your countenance—
a parcel of separatists and anabaptists,
covering their sins with the cloak of religion, and concealing
their own factious and turbulent spirit there-with.”

Upon this Mr. Higginson and Mr. Skelton arose
and made answer:

“Neither as factious men affecting a popular parity
in the church, nor as schismatics aiming at the dissolution
of the church ecclesiastical, but as faithful ministers
of Christ, and liege subjects of king Charles,
did we come hither. We have suffered much for nonconformity
in our native land, and after much tribulation
have we come to this place of liberty. Here
the cap and the gown may not be urged upon us, for
we consider these things as sinful abominations in the
sight of God. So may the Almighty prosper us, as
we have, in all humility, spoken the truth.”

“Credat Judæus, non ego,” replied Brown, scornfully.
“It is easy to talk about conscience and

-- 090 --

[figure description] Page 090.[end figure description]

humility, but wherein have you shown it, in that you
judge the consciences of your brethren?”

“We have but testified against what we conceived
to be the errors and abuses of the church,” answered
Mr. Higginson. “We have been made the humble
instruments to begin the good work, which God will
go on to perfect for his own praise and his people's.
peace. Let good men sit still and behold his salvation.
He that sitteth in the heavens, laugheth at the
pride of men. The Most High hath them in derision;
and their folly shall certainly be made known unto

“Mr. Brown,” said the Governor, “you need not
reply to this; for disrespectful words like unto those
you have spoken, must not be repeated in my presence.
Inasmuch as gentle means have been in vain
used to convince you of your errors, it is our opinion
that New England is no place for such haughty spirits
to dwell within. Therefore, in the first vessel which
departeth from these shores, we do order you to return
from whence you came; and, in the meantime,
we do command you to desist from convening the people
together at any time; or in any wise calling their
attention to common prayer.”

“Let them that scorn the mitre, fear the crown,”
replied the angry young man. “Who is it that has
wrought upon the minds of the people, persuading
them that they should not march under the king's colors,
pretending that his conscience is wounded by the
popish sign of the cross, and thereby concealing his
traitorous purposes against his sovereign? Mayhap
you had spoken less freely within the court of St.
James; but the sceptre can reach you even here, and
you may yet tremble at its touch. There are those
who can tell of your evil practices, and they shall be
told in a voice of thunder.”

-- 091 --

[figure description] Page 091.[end figure description]

So saying, the young man and his brother, with
stately step, departed from the house.

“The council will sit some time longer,” said
Brown to his brother; “for they have other heretical
matters to discuss. If you will give me notice when
they begin to disperse, I will go directly to Mr. Conant's;
for I must see Mary to-night.”

“I could hardly stoop to woo the daughter of that
dogmatical rascal,” replied Samuel; “though I will
acknowledge, she is the very queen of women.”

“Pride can endure much in such a cause,” rejoined
his brother; “but I must away.”

The young man sprung over the log enclosure, ran
across a mendow to conceal his intended route from
those within the dwelling, and in a few moments coming
out into the open footpath, he hurried along with
the rapid pace of a man in whose bosom painful
thoughts are struggling and busy.

“Well,” thought he, “I shall at least see England
again—again tread on her classic ground, and gaze
on her antique grandeur and cultivated beauty. But,
oh, to leave her in such a place, is the bitterest
thought of all. And what would be her lot, if far
away from her, I should go to `that bourne from
whence no traveller returns?' ”

But the heart of youth rebounds from the pressure
of despondency—and presently brighter scenes were
passing swiftly before him. One moment he was invested
in the civil gown, the applause of princes and
nobles resounding in his ears;—and the next presented
Mary restored to her original rank, and shining
amid the loveliest and proudest of the land. She too,
had had many bitter thoughts; for she well knew the
temper of the souls about her, and she felt that the
decree of the assembly could not be otherwise than
it had proved. When Brown entered, he received a

-- 092 --

[figure description] Page 092.[end figure description]

cordial grasp both from the mother and daughter, as
they anxiously inquired,

“What have they done?”

“A vessel sails for England in a week,” replied
Brown; “and Samuel and I depart from America,
perhaps forever.”

Whenever Mary thought of the possibility of separation,
and of late she had frequently feared that the
time would soon come, she had felt that the youth
was still dearer and dearer to her heart. And now
when she heard him announce the speedy certainty
of this, her pale lip quivered, and in the silent unreserve
of hearts long wedded to each other, she threw
herself sobbing on his neck, her slender arms clinging
around him, in all the energy of grief.

“I know not,” said Mrs. Conant, dashing the tears
from her cheek, “I know not that I ought to allow
this. Remember, dear Mary, what I owe to your

“Madam Conant,” replied Brown, “we have loved
each other too long, and too purely, to stand upon
idle ceremonies at this painful moment. Had I been
treated with more moderation, perhaps I might never
have been so hasty as to declare my religious opinions.
Then these unhappy differences had never
arisen, and with my Mary, I could happily have shared
a log hut in the wilderness. But I have been
spurned, goaded, trampled on, as a heretic—and worse
than all, I have been doomed to hear every thing
blasphemed which I held most sacred. As it is, you
cannot deny us this sorrowful alleviation of our lot.”

“It is the duty of woman to love and obey her husband,”
answered Mrs. Conant; “but had you known
whereunto my heart has been inclined in this matter—”
she would have said more, but something
unbidden rose and prevented her utterance.

-- 093 --

[figure description] Page 093.[end figure description]

“I do know it,” rejoined the young man; “and
wherever I go, you will be in my pleasantest and most
grateful thoughts. But, Mary, it will not be always
thus—You will come to England and be my wife.”

Mary looked at her mother and sighed.

“It may as well be said as not, my child,” observed
Mrs. Conant. “I shall not long hang a dead
weight upon your young life. Nay, do not weep,
Mary; I know that you are willing to bear the burden,
and that you have been kind and cheerful beneath
it; but the shadows of life are fleeting more
dimly before me, and I feel that I must soon be gathered
to my fathers.”

The expression brought with it a flash of painful

“No,” continued she, “like the wife of Abraham, I
must be buried far from my kindred. If my greyhaired
father could but shed one tear upon my grave,
methinks it would furnish wherewithal to cheer my
drooping heart. I loved my husband,—nor have I
ever repented that I followed him hither; but oh,
Mary, I would not have you suffer as I have suffered,
when I have thought of that solitary old man. `The
heart knoweth its own sorrows, and a stranger intermeddleth
not with its grief.”'

“Dear mother,” replied Mary, “you know that
grandfather loves you, and has long since forgiven
you. I have told you how often he used to take me
in his lap and kiss me, as he said how much I looked
like his dear child.”

The mournful smile of consumption passed over the
pale face of Mrs. Conant,—one of those smiles in
which the glowing light of the etherial inhabitant
seemed gleaming through its pale and broken tenement.

-- 094 --

[figure description] Page 094.[end figure description]

“Well, Mr. Brown,” said she, “Mary will write a
letter to her grandfather, and when you deliver it,
give him therewith the duty and affection of his dying
daughter. I could wish that Mary might be always
with her father. He loves her, notwithstanding his
conscientious scruples cause him to seem harsh; and
perhaps she might feel happier when her days are
numbered like mine. But I don't know—It is no
doubt a painful sacrifice.”

“Wherever I am,” replied Brown, “my home shall
be most gladly shared with Mary's father. Besides,”
continued he, smiling, “the prayer book should be
hid, and not another word said about the surplice.”

“I am glad to hear you speak so,” interrupted
Mary. “I was afraid you would be angry, inasmuch
as I knew they would speak irreverently of our holy

“I was angry,” answered Brown; “and I threatened
that the king should be informed of heresy and

“Oh, Charles, don't stir up their enemies in England,”
said Mary. “There are a great many good
men among them; and I am sure they have difficulties
enough already.”

“I would not hurt a hair of their heads, if I could,”
rejoined her lover; “and sorry am I that my unruly
tongue led me far beyond my reason in this matter.
As you say, I believe some of them are conscientious;
though the arch enemy of souls hath led them far
from the true path of safety.”

“I cannot think with you and Mary,” observed
Mrs. Conant, “about forms and ceremonies. But it
appears to me that an error in judgment is nothing, if
the life be right with God. I have lately thought
that a humble heart was more than a strong mind, in
perceiving the things appertaining to divine truth.

-- 095 --

[figure description] Page 095.[end figure description]

Matters of dispute appear more and more like a vapor
which passeth away. I have seldom joined in them;
for it appears to me there is little good in being convinced,
if we are not humbled; to know every thing
about religion, and yet to feel little of its power—
yea, even to feel burdened with a sense of sin and
misery, and yet be content to remain in it.”

“Why, I must say,” replied Brown, “that I think
the Bible is clear enough, as explained by our holy
bishops. But to my mind, the view of God's works
brings more devotion than any thing relating to controversy.”

“Ah, Mr. Brown, the Bible is an inspired book;
but I sometimes think the Almighty suffers it to be a
flaming cherubim, turning every way, and guarding
the tree of life from the touch of man. But in creation,
one may read to their fill. It is God's library—
the first Bible he ever wrote.”

“Bless me,” exclaimed Mary, “here is father at
the very doors.”

Her lover hastily relinquished her hand, and she
sprang from his side; but there was no chance for
him to retreat. Mrs. Conant's pulse throbbed high,
for she saw that her husband was already in no pleasant
humor. The old gentleman hung up his hat, and
drew his chair forward, without being aware of the
presence of any one but his own family, till Brown
rose and stood before him. The countenance of Mr.
Conant was flushed with anger, when he saw the bold

“Mr. Brown,” said he, stamping his foot violently,
“how came you hither?”

Why, I came hither, you already know,” replied
the youth calmly; “and most gladly would I have
had my last visit here, a peaceable one.”

-- 096 --

[figure description] Page 096.[end figure description]

The tyrannical man opened the door, and pointed
to it, as he said, “A man may not touch pitch, and
remain undefiled. I marvel if you bring not a curse
on the whole house.”

“I was about to depart,” answered his guest; “but
there is one thing I would say before I go. In my
anger I spoke disrespectfully to men older and better
than myself. It is a matter of choice as well as of
necessity to leave New England, and be no more
among you; and now, Mr. Conant, for the sake of
those who are dear to me, I would fain have our parting,
not that of churchman and non-conformist, but of

“Out with you, and your damnable doctrines, you
hypocritical son of a strange woman,” exclaimed Mr.

Pride was struggling hard for utterance, as Brown
moved towards the door; but for Mary's sake it was
repressed—and before the old man was aware of his
purpose, he stept back and took the hand of the mother
and daughter, as he said,

“God bless you both. To me you have been all

He then made a formal, stately bow to Mr. Conant,
who muttered,

“Take my curse with you,” and slammed the door
after him.

Mary rushed into her apartment, and hiding her
face in the bed clothes, gave free vent to her tears.

But the poor may not long indulge their grief. Her
father's supper must be prepared, and her mother's
wants must not be neglected; and, with as much serenity
as she could assume, she again appeared in his
presence. The tears of his sickly wife had allayed
the first gust of passion, and perhaps even the heart of
that rigid man reproached him for its violence.

-- 097 --

[figure description] Page 097.[end figure description]

However that might be, pride would suffer no symptoms of
remorse to appear before his family. Every thing
went wrong through the whole evening. The cake
was burned,—and the milk was not sweet,—and there
had been too much fire to prepare their little repast;
till wearied out with his continual fretfulness, they
both retired to their beds at an early hour, and Mary
sobbed herself into an uneasy slumber.


Oh, in that word—that fatal word—howe'er
We promise—hope—believe—there breathes despair.

The interim between Brown's sentence and his departure,
seemed like “a hideous dream.” In vain Mary
tried to recognize its certainty enough to prepare the
letter which he was to convey. It was not until the
day before the dreaded event, that the solicitations of
her mother prevailed on her to commence the task;
and when she did, the pen remained uplifted, and the
stainless sheet lay for a long time before her, while
she pressed her hand upon her brow in a bewilderment
of misery. She wrote “Deare Grandfather,”—
but could proceed no further. The name of that
fond, doting relation was encircled with painful
thoughts. By him she had been reared with more
than tenderness, like some fair and slender blossom in
his gardens. There she had been the little idol of

-- 098 --

[figure description] Page 098.[end figure description]

the brilliant circle. There too, she had first seen
Charles Brown, and mingled with him in the graceful
evolutions of the dance, while her young heart in vain
strove to be proof against the intoxicating witchery of
light and motion. And there, as she gazed on his
lofty forehead, stamped with the proud, deep impress
of intellect, and watched the changeful lustre of his
dark, eloquent eyes, that alternately beamed with
high or tender thoughts, she too became covetous of
mental riches, and worshipped at the shrine of genius.
Amid this fairy dream, the stern voice of duty was
heard commanding her to depart from her country
and her kindred, and to go to a land of strangers. It
recks not how many sighs and tears it cost, the sacrifice
was made; and Heaven in reward gave to her
solitude the only being that could enliven its dreariness.

What was she now? A lily weighed down by the
pitiless pelting of the storm; a violet shedding its
soft, rich perfume on bleakness and desolation; a
plant which had been fostered and cherished with
mild sunshine and gentle dews, removed at once from
the hot-house to the desert, and left to unfold its delicate
leaves beneath the darkness of the lowering
storm. And of the two, for whom she had cheerfully
endured this change, one was already within sight of
the mansions of the blest—and the other was soon to
be like a bright and departed vision. 'Twas bitterness,
all bitterness, and she bowed down her head and

“It must not be thus,” said she, as she thoughtfully
walked across the room. The painful sacrifice was
made with serenity; and none shall say, that I at last
shrunk from the trial—” and with steadier nerve, she
wrote as follows:

-- 099 --

[figure description] Page 099.[end figure description]

“Deare Grandfather,

“I againe take up my penn to write upon the same
paper you gave me when I left you, and tolde me
thereupon to write my thoughts in the deserte. Alas,
what few I have, are sad ones. I remember you once
saide that Shakspeare would have beene the same
greate poet if he had been nurtured in a Puritan wildernesse.
But indeed it is harde for incense to rise
in a colde, heavy atmosphere, or for the buds of fancie
to put forth, where the heartes of men are as harde
and sterile as their unploughed soile. You will wonder
to hear me complain, who have heretofore beene
so proud of my cheerfulnesse. Alas, howe often is
pride the cause of things whereunto we give a better
name. Perhaps I have trusted too muche to my owne
strengthe in this matter, and Heaven is nowe pleased
to send a more bitter dispensation, wherewithal to
convince me of my weakness. I woulde tell you
more, venerable parente, but Mr. Brown will conveye
this to your hande, and he will saye much, that I cannot
finde hearte or roome for. The settlement of this
Western Worlde seemeth to goe on fast now that soe
many men of greate wisdome and antient blood are
employed therein. They saye much concerning our
holie church being the Babylone of olde, and that
vials of fierce wrath are readie to be poured out upon
her. If the prophecies of these mistaken men are to
be fulfilled, God grante I be not on earthe to witnesse
it. My dear mother is wasting awaye, though I hope
she will long live to comforte me. She hath often
spoken of you lately. A fewe dayes agone, she said
she shoulde die happier if her grey-haired father
coulde shed a tear upon her grave. I well know that
when that daye does come, we shall both shed many
bitter tears. I must leave some space in this paper
for her feeble hande to fill. The Lord have you in

-- 100 --

[figure description] Page 100.[end figure description]

His holie keeping till your dutifull grandchilde is
againe blessed with the sighte of your countenance.

“With all love and reverence,

“Your Affectionate and Dutifull Childe,
Mary Conant.

“Deare and Venerable Sire,

“I knowe nott wherewithal to address you, for my
hearte is full, and my hande trembleth with weaknesse.
My kinde Mary is mistaken in thinking I shall
long sojourne upon Earthe. I see the grave opening
before me, but I feel that I cannot descend thereunto
till I have humbly on my knees asked the forgiveness
of my offended father. He who hath made man's
hearte to suffer, alone knoweth the wretchedness of
mine when I have thought of your solitary old age.
Pardon, I beseech you, my youthfull follie and disobedience,
and doe not take offence if I write that the
husbande for whose sake I have suffered much, hath
been through life a kinde and tender helpe-meete; for
I knowe it will comforte you to think upon this, when
I am dead and gone. I would saye much more, but
though my soule is strong in affection for you, my
body is weake. God Almighty bless you, is the
prayer of

“Your loving Daughtere,
Mary Conant.

The letter once finished, how was it to be delivered
to the young man? Mr. Conant had given commands
which his wife dared not disobey, and seemed
more than ever inclined to keep watch upon Mary's
motions. In this dilemma she resolved to tax the
ready wit of her friend Sally; but when she sought
Mrs. Collier for that purpose, she found her ready
equipped for a journey.

-- 101 --

[figure description] Page 101.[end figure description]

“What, are you going to Plymouth so soon?” asked
Mary. “I thought you told me you did go not till

“And so I supposed then,” answered Sally; “but
John hath heard that the boat will sail this afternoon,
and he is coming for me shortly. I was just stepping
in, to bid you good-bye.”

“And you are going away from Salem then, for—
always,” said Mary, as the tears came to her eyes.
“What shall I do, when you are gone?”

“You used to tell me to trust in God,” replied her
friend, “and perhaps I did wrong that I did not think
more of such sober talk. I declare, I did not suppose
any thing would have made me so sorry to go back
to Plymouth,” added she, and the ready tears of sympathy
trickled down her cheeks.

“Well, good-bye,” said Mary, as she threw her
arms round her neck in the full tide of girlish affection.
“I shall always love you for your kindness to
me and my good mother. Peradventure when we
are both ancient women, there will be a road cut
through from hence, and I shall come and see you.”

At another time Mary would have mourned bitterly
over the loss of her old associate; but now in the selfishness
of more weighty sorrows, she hardly expended
a thought upon it. Her whole mind was occupied
in devising a method of seeing Brown, free from interruption.
We know that love now usually finds means
to effect his purpose, and it seems he laughed as loudly
at locksmiths in 1629, as he does in these degenerate
days. At the instigation of Mr. Brown, the widow
Willet (whose red cardinal gave such offence to Mr.
Oldham), was induced to request Mary's company
through the night, under pretence of her son's absence.
The lonely woman had frequently asked the
same favor, and it was, of course, granted without

-- 102 --

[figure description] Page 102.[end figure description]

hesitation. Once arrived within her dwelling, the sorrowful
young couple were left to an undisturbed discourse
upon their present prospects and future plans.
The night passed rapidly away, and the sun rose
brightly on the pale and agitated pair, as if no hearts
were there, to meet his rays with sickening desolation.
Brown rested his arm upon Mary's shoulder, and
pointed to the rising light, as he said,

“It is the signal of separation. The vessel sails at
early sunrise. Would it had never been day.”

“Oh,” replied Mary, “were it not for the hope of
speedy re-union, how gladly would I now lay down
my aching head deep, deep, in the cold earth.”

“Talk not so sadly, Mary,” answered her lover.
“If your mother lives long, I shall again come to
America, at least for a season; and if she dies, you
will soon return to your grandfather, who will make
us both happy.”

“Alas, Charles,” replied she, “it makes me shudder
to think of the wickedness of such devoted love.
I did even wish to night that mother's earthly trials
were all over, and I at liberty to follow you wheresoever
you went, through storms or sunshine. It was
a wicked thought, and I struggled till I overcame it.”

“Be ever thus, my own dear girl,” rejoined the
young man. “I could not love you if you were otherwise.
May the atmosphere of your mind be always
so pure that a passing cloud has power wherewithal
to disturb it.”

For some moments he stood silently clasping her to
his heart. He moved from her, and made a reluctant
motion toward the table where he had placed his
hat—walked across the room again and again—looked
out upon the increasing light, and cursed its swiftness;
at length, a loud, shrill blast came upon the

-- 103 --

[figure description] Page 103.[end figure description]

morning air; “'Tis the last signal for all to be on
board,” exclaimed he; “and now I must depart.”

She sprung to his embrace, and his arms twined
round her, “and clung as they would cling forever.”
One deep, painful pause, one fervent, long
protracted kiss on that cold brow, and he was gone.

The maiden slowly returned to her father's house,
sick, exhausted, and weary of life. The household
duties were silently and serenely performed; and no
outward token of anguish could be discovered save a
death-like paleness. Two hours elapsed, and yet the
gay pennon of the Queen Elizabeth was seen fluttering
in the air. Mary could not follow the multitude
to the beach, and give the sacredness of her grief to
the vulgar gaze; but she sought a woody, retired hill,
and watched the departure of her lover's vessel, which
with spreading sails, was soon seen wheeling from the
shore. A handkerchief was waving from the quarter
deck; it was a farewell signal, and was speedily answered.
It again waved toward the thicket, and
Mary knew that her last token of love had not passed
unobserved. Her intense and eager gaze was never
turned from the object, until the red-cross flag indistinctly
mingled with the horizon. Mary looked on
the bright, blue expanse of water before her. The
deep furrows, which had so lately marred its beauty,
had all passed away, as suddenly as the tribulations
of boyhood; and as she turned away from that
smooth surface, she, for the first time, realized what
she had as yet shrunk from acknowledging, the cheerless,
utter solitude of the heart.

-- 104 --


Erewhile, where yon gay spires their brightness rear,
Trees waved, and the brown hunter's shouts were loud
Amid the forest; and the bounding deer
Fled at the glancing plume, and the gaunt wolf yelled near.

[figure description] Page 104.[end figure description]

During the long and dreary winter which followed,
there was nothing to break the monotony of the scene,
except the occasional visits of Hobomok, who used
frequently to come up from Plymouth and join the
hunters in their excursions. At such seasons, he was
all vigor and elasticity; and none returned more heavily
laden with furs and venison, than the tawny chieftain.
The best of these spoils were always presented
to the “child of the Good Spirit,” as he used to
call Mary; and never to Squantam or Abbamocho
had he paid such unlimited reverence.

A woman's heart loves the flattery of devoted attention,
let it come from what source it may. Perhaps
Mary smiled too complacently on such offerings;
perhaps she listened with too much interest, to descriptions
of the Indian nations, glowing as they were
in the brief, figurative language of nature. Be that
as it may, love for Conant's daughter, love deep and
intense, had sunk far into the bosom of the savage.
In minds of a light and thoughtless cast, love spreads
its thin, fibrous roots upon the surface, and withers
when laid open to the scorching trials of life; but in
souls of sterner mould, it takes a slower and deeper
root. The untutored chief knew not the strange visitant
which had usurped such empire in his heart; if

-- 105 --

[figure description] Page 105.[end figure description]

he found himself gazing upon her face in silent eagerness,
'twas but adoration for so bright an emanation
from the Good Spirit; if something within taught
him to copy, with promptitude, all the kind attentions
of the white man, 'twas gratitude for the life of his
mother which she had preserved. However, female
penetration knew the plant, though thriving in so wild
a soil; and female vanity sinfully indulged its growth.
Sometimes a shuddering superstition would come over
her, when she thought of his sudden appearance in
the mystic circle, and she would sigh at the vast distance
which separated her from her lover; but the
probability of Brown's return, would speedily chase
away such thoughts.

Hobomok seldom spoke in Mr. Conant's presence,
save in reply to his questions. He understood little
of the dark divinity which he attempted to teach, and
could not comprehend wherein the traditions of his
fathers were heathenish and sinful; but with Mary
and her mother, he felt no such restraint, and there
he was all eloquence.

It was in the middle of the “cold moon,” by which
name he used to designate January, that he arrived
in Salem, on one of his numerous visits, bringing with
him some skins of the beautiful grey fox of the Mississippi.

“Hobomok brought you fur for moccassins,” said
he, as he handed them to Mary.

“How very soft it is,” said she, showing it to
her mother. “It seems like the handsome fur, which
grandfather had from Russia. You did not kill it
yourself, Hobomok?”

The Indian shook his head. “His tracks are toward
the setting sun,” replied he. “Hobomok give
beaver skins like sand to a warrior come in from the
west. He say they call it Muzaham Shungush.

-- 106 --

[figure description] Page 106.[end figure description]

There is a council-fire at Mount Haup. The chiefs
think the hunter came not to trade for beaver skins,
but to find how heavy the red men of Ossamequin,
Sassacus, Miantonimo, and Uncas.”

“Have none of them been hither, heretofore?” inquired

“One warrior came among us in the moon of flowers,
* and spread his blanket with us through the hunting
moon.† I talked with him, like as with the Yengees.
He told big stories about his tribe; but he say
Great Spirit lay between us, and his back bone so
high, make foot of the Indian weary. The chiefs said
he counted red men then; but the cloud passed over.”

“Well,” rejoined Mary, “I hope they'll bring more
such handsome fur hither. If they come to count
the red men, peradventure they'll find them too
heavy. You see I am going to make you a wampum
belt of the shells you brought, and I want you to tell
me how to put them together.”

“Hobomok glad,” replied the Indian, his eyes
sparkling with joy at such a proof of gratitude. “You
see that shell, the color of the sky when the sun goes
down? Put him in the big moose there,” pointing to
the middle of the belt. “Him like the rainbow, put on
the back of the deer; and him like the heaped snow,
put on the big snake. That's like Tatobam's wampum.
Tatobam kill snakes—make great spirit snake
very angry—That's reason the Indian from the west
call him Tongoomlishcah.”

“And who is he?” asked Mary.

“The grass has now grown on Tatobam's grave, and
trees are planted thereon,” answered the savage. “He
was the father of Sassacus, great Sachem of the Pequods.
In council, cunning as the beaver, and quick-sighted

-- 107 --

[figure description] Page 107.[end figure description]

as the eagle. His tribe were like swallows before a
storm, and his wrath like the rising of a thunder
cloud. Furious as a wounded buffalo in the fight, but
true to his love as the star of the north.”

“And was she good enough for so great a warrior?”
rejoined Mary.

“His Mohegan squaw was bright and handsome as
the wakon-bird of the west. Her voice cheered the
sachem, like the song of the muck-a-wiss, that tells of
frost gone by. In the dance she was nimble as the
deer, and quick as the diving loon. But the quiver
of Mohegan was sent to the Pequod, and it was wound
with the skin of the snake.”

“And then he made war upon his squaw's tribe, I

“Tatobam's men were thick as leaves in autumn,
his quiver was full, his bow was strong, and his arrow
sharp as the lightning, when the Great Spirit sends it
forth in his anger. There would have been few left
among the Mohegans to black their faces for the
dead. The voice of his tribe was for battle. The
hunter heard their war-song far away in the desert,
like the notes of the woodpecker, which tell of the
tempest. So the council-fire was extinguished. The
face of Tatobam was anointed, and his belt buckled
for the fight. But Indian can love,” said he, as he
stooped low, and looked up in Mary's face.

“How did Tatobam prove it?” inquired Mrs. Conant.

“Grass never grows in the war-path of the Pequod.
His warriors said they would bring home the scalps
of their enemies before the rising of the sun. They
called on Tatobam to lead to the fight, that they
might drink the blood of Mohegan. Before the moon
went behind the hills, his tracks were upon the sand;
the rising tide washed them away. He rose up at

-- 108 --

[figure description] Page 108.[end figure description]

the call of his tribe, and they knew not he had been
forth alone. They found not a sleeping enemy. The
ambush of the Pequod was broken. The tomahawk
was changed for the peace pipe, and the marriage
dance was seen in the wigwam of Tatobam.”

“Hobomok,” interrupted Mr. Conant, who entered
at this moment, “it is a pity you were not out with
your bow, forasmuch as a fine deer just ran through
the settlement.”

“There's a tribe of 'em, out on the plains to night,”
answered the Indian. “Their tracks are thick as
flies in the Sturgeon moon.* Sagamore John's men
are coming out with—with—” and unable to think of
the English word, he pointed to the candle.

“Oh, they are coming out by torch-light,” exclaimed
Mary, “as Hobomok says the western Indians do.
How I do wish I could see them hunt by torch-light.”

“I shall go out with you,” said Mr. Conant, “to
see what success the Lord giveth us in this matter. I
have heard wonderful stories appertaining to the taking
of deer after this fashion. They say that in the
lightest night that ever was made, the creatures are so
bewitched, that they'll not move a jot, after they once
get sight of the fire.”

“And wherefore shouldn't I go, father?” asked

“A pretty sight truly,” replied the old man, “to
see you out at midnight with twenty hunters.”

“But,” rejoined his wife, “two or three horses can
be procured; and if a few of the young folks will go,
assuredly I see no harm therein; more especially as
you will accompany Mary. You must remember,”
continued she, in an insinuating tone, “that there are
few such like gratifications in this wilderness.”

-- 109 --

[figure description] Page 109.[end figure description]

“No doubt there is enough of them; wherewithal
to entice their wandering hearts,” answered her husband;
“but if you think it fitting the girl should go,
verily I have no objection thereto.”

Preparations were accordingly made. The window
Willet agreed to come up and stay with Mrs. Conant;
and a few young women readily consented to accompany
Mary, on such horses as the settlement could
afford. As for Hobomok, he was all eagerness to
display his skill. His arrows were carefully selected,
and the strength of his bow was tried again and
again, as he occasionally turned to Mary, and boasted
of the service it had always done him, in field and

Winter seldom presents a night of such glittering
beauty, as the one they chose for their expedition.
The mellow light of moon and star looked down upon
the woods, and as the trees danced to the shrill music
of the winds, their light was reflected by ten thousand
undulating motions, in all the rich varieties of
frost work. It seemed as if the sylphs and fairies,
with which imagination of old, peopled the mountain
and the stream, had all assembled to lay their diamond
offerings on the great altar of nature. Silently
Mary gazed on the going down of that bright planet,
and tree and shrub bowed low their spangled plumes
in homage to her retiring majesty, till her oblique
rays were only to be seen in faint and scattered radiance,
on the cold, smooth surface of the earth.

At length the party were in motion, proceeding
through the woods by the twinkling lustre of the stars.
Mr. Conant held the rein of Mary's horse, and guided
his footsteps along the rough and narrow path. Hobomok
walked by her side, as silent and thoughtful
as he usually was in the presence of her father. They
soon came out upon the open plain; and a few

-- 110 --

[figure description] Page 110.[end figure description]

moments after, six neighboring Indians were seen winding
along from the opposite woods, with their torches
carried upon poles high above their heads, casting
their lurid glare on the mild, tranquil light of the evening.
As they drew up, a few inquiries were made
by Hobomok in his native tongue, and answered by
his companions in scarcely an audible tone, as they
significantly placed their fingers upon their lips. Mr.
Conant and his ten associates formed a line and fell
into the rear, while the Indians who carried the poles,
did the same, and placed themselves forward. It was
indeed a strange, romantic scene. The torches sent
up columns of dense, black smoke, which vainly endeavoured
to rise in the clear, cold atmosphere. Hobomok
stood among his brethren, gracefully leaning
on his bow, and his figure might well have been mistaken
for the fabled deity of the chase. The wild,
fitful light shone full upon the unmoved countenance of
the savage, and streamed back unbroken upon the
rigid features of the Calvinist, rendered even more
dark in their expression by the beaver cap which
deeply shaded his care-worn brow. The pale loveliness
of Mary's face, amid the intense cold of the
night, seemed almost as blooming as her ruddy companions;
and the frozen beauty of the surrounding
woods again flashed brightly beneath the unwonted
glow of those artificial rays.

There, in that little group, standing in the loneliness
and solitude of nature, was the contrast of heathen
and christian, social and savage, elegance and
strength, fierceness and timidity. Every eye bent
forward, and no sound broke in upon the stillness, excepting
now and then, the low, dismal growl of the
wolf was heard in the distance. Whenever this fearful
sound came upon the ear, the girls would involuntarily
move nearer to their protectors, who

-- 111 --

[figure description] Page 111.[end figure description]

repeatedly assured them that wolves would never approach a
fire. Presently a quick, light step was heard, and a
deer glided before them. The beautiful animal, with
rapid and graceful motion, was fast hurrying to the
woods, when his eye seemed caught by the singular
light which gleamed around him. He paused, and
looking back, turned his pert, inquiring gaze full upon
the hunters. He saw the forms of men, and knew
they were his enemies; but so powerful was the fascination
of the torches, that his majestic antlers seemed
motionless as the adjacent shrubbery.

The arrow of Hobomok was already drawn to the
head, when Mary touched his shoulder, as she said,
“Don't kill it, Hobomok—don't;” but the weapon
was already on the wing, and from his hand it seldom
missed its mark. The deer sprung high into the air,
its beautiful white breast was displayed for an instant,
a faint, mournful sound was heard—and Hobomok
stept forward to seize the victim he had wounded.
As he brought it up to Mary, the glossy brown of its
slender sides was heaving with the last agonies of
life, and she turned away from the painful sight.

But a short space ensued, ere another was seen
sweeping across the plain. He too noticed the unnatural
brightness, and stood bound by the same bewitching
spell. One of the Indians gave his torch to
Hobomok, and placing his eye on a level with his
bow, took steady and deliberate aim. However, it
seemed he had not effected his purpose entirely; for
the creature uttered a piercing cry, and bounded forward
with incredible swiftness. The next Indian
handed his torch to one of the white men, and rushing
before his companion, he buried his knife deep in
the bosom of the wounded deer. A loud laugh of
derision followed.

-- 112 --

[figure description] Page 112.[end figure description]

“It's mine,” exclaimed he, in Indian language, “It's
mine, for I killed it.”

“'Tisn't yours,” retorted the other, furiously; “the
deer hadn't run ten rods; and a hunter never gave up
a beast under that.”

The girls could not understand what was spoken
by the contending savages; but they saw that a quarrel
was likely to ensue, and Mary whispered to her
father to guide them homeward. The route they had
taken was a short one, and the difficulties in retracing
it were few. The maidens gladly welcomed their
own quiet apartments, and Mr. Conant returned to
the plain. The Indian who had first wounded the
animal, had proudly relinquished his claim, and stood
by, in sullen, offended majesty. The others were
preparing a new set of flambeaux for a fresh attack.


Strong was the love to heaven, which bare
From their dear homes and altars far,
The old, the young, the wise, the brave,
The rich, the noble, and the fair,
And led them o'er the mighty wave,
Uncertain peril's front to dare.

Notwithstanding the occasional excitements which
we have mentioned, the winter passed wearily away;
and to Mary, the moral as well as the natural atmosphere,
was chill and heavy. The earth, in this cold,
northern climate, wore one uniform robe of state—

-- 113 --

[figure description] Page 113.[end figure description]

her spotless ermine, studded with jewels. Even in
this dress, she displayed much to excite a poetic imagination
and a devotional heart; but the souls of
men were not open to the influence of nature. Little
thought they, amid the fierce contests of opinion, of
the latent treasures of mind or the rich sympathies of
taste. Still, their stern piety was lofty and genuine,
though deeply colored with the ignorance and superstition
of the times. A sound, doctrinal exposition of
Romans brought more religious warmth into their
hearts, than the nightly exhibition of the numerous
hosts shining in the broad belt of the heavens, those
mighty apostles, which God has sent forth to proclaim
throughout creation, his majesty and power. Mary
grew more and more weary of the loneliness of unreciprocated
intellect; and when she thought of Brown,
it seemed as if winter would never depart. But
though the wings of time appeared clogged, and folded
about him in heaviness, he wheeled the same course
through the sky; and Spring was soon seen peeping
from the sunny gates of heaven, and strewing her
wild-flower wreath along the woods.

Intelligence had reached New England that a large
company of godly brethren were coming out early in
the season, among whom was Mrs. Johnson, the favorite
sister of the Earl of Lincoln. Mary had known
the lady Arabella in Lincolnshire, and she now kept
an almost constant watch upon the seashore, in the
eager anticipation of meeting with her friend. Perhaps
even that friend was frequently forgotten in the
thoughts of one still dearer; for she had heard nothing
from Brown since his departure, and her heart
grew sick with “hope deferred.”

It was late in May, when, as she was walking by
the seashore, gazing on the bright scene, to her so
painfully associated, she espied two vessels under full

-- 114 --

[figure description] Page 114.[end figure description]

sail, and her spirits danced with the certainty of intelligence
from her lover, if not his actual presence.
The news was hastily communicated, and all felt disappointed
when they were discovered to be under
foreign colors. The suspicion at once arose that they
were Dunkirkers, and, of course, enemies to the English.
The alarm was given, and every man seized
his loaded gun, and prepared to give them a hostile
reception. Luckily, however, the precaution was
found unnecessary. The ships rode quietly into port,
and proved to be merchantmen from the Netherlands,
bringing a large supply of provisions and utensils of
various kinds, to exchange for beaver skins. Another
fortnight passed slowly away, and it was rumored
that one of the Arabella company had safely arrived
at Shawmut; but still there came no intelligence to
hush the tumult of Mary's hopes and fears. At length,
on the 12th of June 1630, the settlers had scarcely
swung their axes over their shoulders, or fastened the
plough to their oxen, at early sunrise, before the tall
mast of the Arabella was seen careering above the
waves, bending her prow, and “walking the waters
like a thing of life.” And as she came within hearing,
the cheerful note of the trumpet, proclaiming, “Capt.
Millburn of the Arabella—sixty-five days from Yarmouth,
Isaac Johnson, Esq. and the Lady Arabella
on board,” was answered by three loud and hearty
shouts of welcome. A tall, dignified looking lady descended
from the vessel, and scarcely had the exclamations,
“My dear Mary,” and “My dear Lady Arabella,”
escaped their lips, ere they were fast locked in
each other's arms.

“Come,” said Mary, “I know you will be glad to
enter any dwelling, after this voyage; and my dear
mother will be impatient to be introduced to you.”

“Then she is yet spared?” asked Mrs. Johnson.

-- 115 --

[figure description] Page 115.[end figure description]

“Yes,” replied Mary; “but she is sinking away,
like a decaying lamp.”

“This is my mother,” continued she, as she entered
and placed Lady Arabella's hand within Mrs. Conant's.

“I am glad to welcome you to New England, Lady
Arabella,” said the mother; “though perhaps we have
both been used to better apartments,” added she, as
her eye glanced round the humble room, with a look
of pride, which ill assorted with her broken fortunes.

“No doubt, no doubt, Lady Mary,” answered her
guest; “but there are strong hands and firm hearts,
as well as noble blood, engaged in this cause. I have
heard my husband say that our own mighty kingdom
was once a remote province of the Roman empire,—
and who knows whereunto these small beginnings
may arrive?”

“It's little that I have to do with the thoughts of
kings, empires, and nobles in these days,” replied Mrs.
Conant; “but I would fain ask whether the old man,
my father, is yet alive?”

“The Earl of Rivers is alive and well,” said the
Lady Arabella. “When my chest arrives I can give
you some further news.”

“Well, Madam Conant,” said Mr. Johnson, whom
Mr. Conant introduced a few moments after, “I have
taken the liberty of bringing my lady hither; inas-much
as there are no conveniences for us at Shawmut,
whither we propose shortly to depart. Lady
Arabella chose the rather to abide with you, on account
of her sometime acquaintance with your daughter.”

“Right glad we are to have a hand in helping forward
the work of the Lord,” replied Mr. Conant.

“Such as we have, we gladly give unto you,” interrupted
his wife; “but you see our velvet cushions

-- 116 --

[figure description] Page 116.[end figure description]

are wooden benches, and our tapestry the rough bark
of the forest tree. However, `it is better to be a door-keeper
in the house of the Lord, than to dwell in the
tents of the wicked.' ”

“And is Mary cheerful under all these privations?”
inquired Mr. Johnson. “Two or three years' residence
so far from the busy world hath made her matronly
before her time. Bless me, Lady Arabella,
what would the Earl of Lincoln say to see his young
favorite now?”

“How I wish I could see him,” said Mary. “Is he

“No,” answered Mrs. Johnson; “but he is shortly
to be united to the virtuous daughter of Lord Say;
and a great blessing she will prove to our family, no
doubt. It is said that Lord Say and Lord Brook
are thinking of a settlement in New England.”

“Yes,” said her husband, “many godly men are
turning their faces hitherward; and many of the
wealthy and noble of our land are devoting their
riches to the building up of Zion.”

“And no doubt they'll be prospered,” rejoined
Mr. Conant. “ `Media movent bonitate finis.' Well
may they come out of England, when Episcopacy
hath become such a religious jewel in the state that
the king will sell all his coronets, caps of honor, and
blue garters, for six and twenty cloth caps. And who
cannot see the tempter which hath led him astray? I
am bold to say, Mr. Johnson, that though the king
sitteth highest on the bench, his papistical queen
sitteth in a chair above; and though he is placed in
the saddle, she hath her hand upon the bridle.”

“Yes,” replied his guest, “it is a great pity that
`no bishop, no king' hath become such an oraculous
truth with him, that he is willing to pawn his crown
and life thereupon. His oppression gallops so hard,

-- 117 --

[figure description] Page 117.[end figure description]

that it outstrips the patience of his subjects; but it is
well for princes to remember that preces et lachrymœ
are not the only weapons of the people. Have you
heard that bishop Laud is made Chancellor of Oxford?”

“Assuredly I have not,” answered Mr. Conant;
“and well pleased should I be, never to have heard
thereof; but it is plain enough to see that there is
nothing to which he and my Lord Treasurer Weston
may not aspire in the kingdom. What is to become
of poor old England, when the despotic Lewis and the
subtle Richelieu have so powerful an emissary in the
very bosom of king Charles?”

“It's a dolorous truth indeed,” replied Mr. Johnson.
“But as I was saying, the Bishop of London
came to the vacancy last April; and even before I
departed, he straightway instituted copes, railings,
and crucifixes within the university. St. Katherine's
church, which was repaired as late as bishop Mountain's
time, must likewise be closed, until his
successor seeth fit to revive the ceremony of consecration
therein; which he did, with many popish ceremonies;
such as bowing and kneeling before the altar, wearing
of hood and surplice, and so on; but the worst of the
whole blasphemy you have yet to hear. As Laud
approached the doors of the church, his attendants
opened them wide, crying with a loud voice, `Open,
ye everlasting gates, that the King of Glory may come
in.' ”

“No doubt this was like sugar in the mouth of the
queen,” rejoined Mr. Conant. “If the church of England,
as it is in these days, be not the whorish woman
of Babylon, I declare it requireth more than ordinary
spirit of discerning to distinguish between them. Peradventure
it may be the second beast, seen by St.
John, who `exerciseth all the power of the one

-- 118 --

[figure description] Page 118.[end figure description]

before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell
therein, to worship the first beast whose deadly wound
was healed.' ”

“There is much reason to fear that `God will soon
put in his sickle and gather the vine of the earth, to
cast into the great wine-press of his wrath,' ” observed
Mr. Johnson. “I am glad that I have come out
from among them; and I have no doubt we shall go
on to complete the good work, though there are enemies
on every side—yea, though Morton, and divers
others, daily increase in zeal against us.”

“Charles Brown found there was a Phinehas among
us, to stand up and stay the plague,” said Mr. Conant;
“and no doubt he hath wielded his sword in
the ranks of our adversaries?”

“I understand the testimony of Mr. Brown hath always
been honorable to the colonies,” answered Mr.
Johnson; “and as for the mischief intended by others,
he who discovered the plottings of the Assyrian king,
even in his bed chamber, will no doubt turn it aside.”

Mary's face flushed with conscious triumph, at this
mention of her lover's honorable conduct; and even
her father was surprised into something like respect.
However, that unyielding pride, which was at once
the source of his greatest virtues and his greatest
faults, prevented his making any reply.

“Well,” said Mr. Johnson, after a moment's pause,
“how do you succeed, outwardly and spiritually, in
this heritage?”

“We speed as we can, as men must, who are no
better shod,” rejoined Mr. Conant. “As for worldly
wisdom, we have been obliged to pay pretty roundly
to dame experience for filling our heads with a little
of her active after-wit; and as for the church, sects
are springing up among us, like vipers in the sun.

-- 119 --

[figure description] Page 119.[end figure description]

Many an honest mind hath been led away by sore
temptations, and embittered by constant disputations.”

“Weak wine becometh sour by fermentation, and
strong wine is made better,” replied Mr. Johnson.
“I marvel if the Lord often suffereth the devices of
Satan to lead away those who are firm in the faith;—
I believe they are strengthened thereby. After all,
most of the carping and controversy in the world is
about matters of small moment, which tend much to
the neglecting of the soul's salvation. 'Tis like unto
a man's diving into a well to see the stars in broad

“And what hath he for his pains, but to be blinded
when he cometh from thence?” said Mr. Conant.
“The fact is, passengers to heaven are in haste, and
will walk one way or the other. If a man doubts of
his way, Satan is always ready at hand to help him
to a new set of opinions at every stage; and if his infernal
Majesty hath too much employment, he can
always find helpers in such like men as Mr. Graves
and Mr. Blackstone.”

“Do you have any trouble with the latter gentleman,
now-a-days?” asked Mr. Johnson.

“I know nothing concerning him,” answered Mr.
Conant, “except that he came hither at the instigation
of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and that he made
Israel to sin. I'll tell you a very singular story, Mr.
Johnson, wherein the Lord shewed his indignation
against the pride of prelacy. This Mr. Blackstone,
living immured there at Tri-Mountain, hath not much
communication with any one on the earth or above
it; but those who have been within his dwelling, say
that he hath many books, forgetting the excellent advice
of Pliny, `Multum legendum est, non multa.'
This man, in the sinful pride of his heart, had the
book of common prayer, that dud of the devil, bound

-- 120 --

[figure description] Page 120.[end figure description]

up with the Testament of our blessed Lord. Now
look at the miraculous manner in which God pointed
out his sin unto him. There were many rats in the
room wherein these books lay, but among three hundred,
none were touched save the one I have mentioned.
No, not even the Testament which was bound
therewith. But the book of common prayer was probably
savory to such filthy vermin, for it was clean

“And had he no prickings of conscience on the occasion?”
inquired Mr. Johnson.

“I doubt whether the minions of Babylon have a
conscience,” rejoined Mr. Conant. “If so be they
have, you might as well skin a flint, as stick a pin

“It is a matter of rejoicing that they are all in the
hands of the Lord,” observed Mr. Johnson. “In due
time, he will no doubt `drive the Canaanite out of
the land.' ”

“There is no reason to despair thereof,” replied
Mr. Conant; “but I marvel that England, which hath
always been the staple of truth to the whole world,
doth not rise and give him a helping hand. And now
I think on't, can you tell me how the Protestant cause
goes on in Europe?”

“You have heard of the success of Ferdinand
the II. He has overrun all Saxony, and seems like to
subdue the Protestants entirely. Urban hath swords
and pens enough in his unrighteous service. Powerful
kings are fighting in his cause; the Jesuits are
stretching their arms north, south, east, and west, to
hold up the reins of the falling church—and king
Charles has caught the beast, and christened it Episcopacy,
a cunning way, truly, to save him from the
pursuit of his enemies. But Gustavus dares to stand

-- 121 --

[figure description] Page 121.[end figure description]

out firmly against him; and I understand he is even
now in arms, at the call of the reformers.”

“I wish he had plenty of such men as Governor
Endicott among his army,” replied Mr. Conant.
“Though I am verily sorry that there is likely to be
difficulty concerning what he hath said of the king's
popish colors. Assuredly I am of his opinion that it
is a sinful and shameful abomination among us. The
Governor is a bold man, and withal discreet. He
sheweth that he hath the fear of God in this matter,
though he hath none for man or devil.”

“And yet,” said Mary, “he is very courteous, and
when he unbends the bow, you would think loving
was all his trade. But come, Lady Arabella, your
breakfast is, at last, ready. I have honored you
more than we ever did any guests in America, for see
mother's damask cloth is spread over our pine table.”

“I have come into the wilderness too,” rejoined her
friend; “and I must learn to eat hominy and milk,
and forget the substantial plum puddings of England.
But `sweet is a dinner of herbs where love is,' ” said
she, as her eye rested on her husband, with all the
pride of woman's affection. She touched a sensitive
chord, and Mary hastily turned away, to conceal the
starting tears.

“Come, move to the table, Mr. Johnson,” said her
father; “and you too, Lady Arabella; and after we
have craved a blessing thereon, we will partake of
pilgrims' fare.”

“I am sure this venison is good enough for an alderman,”
observed his guest. “Will you taste some,
Lady Arabella?”

“No, thank you,” answered his wife. “I am going
to try some of Mary's pumpkin and milk.”

“That's right, Lady Arabella,” rejoined Mr. Conant.
“They are a kind of food which has been

-- 122 --

[figure description] Page 122.[end figure description]

much despised, but I trust hereafter nobody will speak
disrespectfully of pumpkins, inasmuch as it hath pleased
the Lord to feed his people thereupon for many
years. Ah, Mr. Johnson, you have come among us
in good time, for the Dutch ships you heard us speak
of, not only brought comforting tidings from our godly
brethren in the Netherlands, but likewise much that
was needful for the sustenance of the body. But the
time has been when our bread was measured out to
us, and scanty weight too. And comfortless as you
may think this hut looketh now, it hath been far worse;
for there was a season that we had no doors wherewithal
to keep out the Indians—but though their hunters
used to come in among us, `very mooch hungry,'
as they would say, the Lord so disposed them, that
they never harmed a hair of our heads.”

Mr. Johnson looked at his wife, and smiled half
mournfully, as if he was doubtful whether she could
endure such trials; but he met the answering smile
of a mind aware of its difficulties, and fortified against

“I have heard great reports about Hobomok,” said
she, turning to Mr. Conant. “They say he is a clever
Indian and comely withal, and that he hath been of
great use to our Plymouth brethren.”

“You must ask Mary about him,” replied Mrs. Conant,
smiling. “She loves to hear his long stories
about the Iroquois, which he learned of one of their
chiefs who came hither many years ago; and his account
of the ancestors of some neighboring tribe, who,
as he saith, were dropped by an eagle on an island to
the south.”

“It's little I mind his heathenish stories,” rejoined
her husband; “but I have sat by the hour together,
and gazed on his well fared face, till the tears have
come into mine eyes, that the Lord should have raised

-- 123 --

[figure description] Page 123.[end figure description]

us up so good a friend among the savages. Good
morning to your honor,” continued he, as Governor Endicott
entered. “I trust you have not come to take
our guests from us?”

“I have come in behalf of my good woman,” answered
the Governor, after he had returned the salutation
of the strangers, “entreating that the Lady
Arabella will abide with us during her stay in Salem.”

“I shall most assuredly see madam Endicott, before
I depart from hence,” replied the noble lady; “but I
chose the rather to abide with Lady Mary, as long as
my husband seeth fit I should sojourn here, inasmuch
as her daughter and I were some time acquainted
across the water.”

“It shall be as your ladyship says,” rejoined the
Governor; “but there are many godly women at my
house, who came with you, and right glad should I
be to have you added to them. At any event, I must
carry away your good husband for the present, forasmuch
as I have many important things whereof to inquire.”

The gentlemen rose, and prepared to depart, and
the ladies having returned the formal salutations of the
courteous chief magistrate, were soon left to themselves.

-- 124 --


_____Epistles, wet
With tears that trickled down the writer's cheeks
Fast as the periods from his fluent quill,
Or charg'd with am'rous sighs of absent swains.

[figure description] Page 124.[end figure description]

On this day there was business and rejoicing
through every corner of the settlement. Among all
the daring souls, who left honor, comfort, and independence,
for the sake of worshipping God according
to the dictates of their own consciences, there was no
one more highly or more deservedly respected than
Mr. Johnson. In the bloom of life, a gentleman, a
scholar, and nearly allied to a noble family, he left
his own wise, wealthy, and happy land, to join a poor,
despised, and almost discouraged remnant in this western
wilderness. Could his prophetic eye have foreseen
that the wild and desolate peninsula where he
first purchased, would become the proud and populous
emporium of six flourishing states; could he have
realized that the transfer of government from London
to Massachusetts, was but the embryo of political
powers, which were so soon to be developed before
the gaze of anxious and astonished Europe; how
great would have been the reward of the high-minded
Englishman. But his self-denying virtue had not these
powerful excitements. Who in those days of poverty
and gloom, could have possessed a wand mighty
enough to remove the veil which hid the American
empire from the sight? Who would have believed
that in two hundred years from that dismal period,

-- 125 --

[figure description] Page 125.[end figure description]

the matured, majestic, and unrivalled beauty of England,
would be nearly equalled by a daughter, blushing
into life with all the impetuosity of youthful vigor?
But though Johnson and his associates could not foresee
the result of the first move which they were unconsciously
making in the great game of nations—a
game which has ever since kept kings in constant
check—he, at least, was amply rewarded by an approving
conscience, and the confiding admiration of
his brethren, which almost amounted to idolatry. All
was life and activity during the day of his arrival.
In one place might be seen boats, passing and repassing
from the vessel, the ripples breaking against their
oars, as they glistened in the sun. In another, the
hearty interchange of salutation between seamen and
landsmen; or a group of gentlemen, busy in the delivery
of letters, and already eagerly engaged in discussions
concerning the extent of the government
wherewith they had been entrusted.

While all this bustle was going on without doors,
there were questions enough to be asked and answered
by the female inmates of Mr. Conant's dwelling.
Several hours past before the Lady Arabella's chest
was brought on shore; and though Mary's heart was
throbbing high with expectation, she made no inquiries
concerning letters from England. At length, however,
a sailor arrived with the long expected treasures.

“This is from your father, Lady Mary,” said Mrs.
Johnson as she placed a letter in her hand. With
provoking delay, she handed another package to
Mary, as she said, “This is from brother George.”

It was a neat edition of Spenser's Fairy Queen,
written within, in his lordship's own hand, “To Miss
Mary Conant. This cometh to reminde her of bye
past daies, from her olde friende George—Earl

-- 126 --

[figure description] Page 126.[end figure description]

“And this,” continued Lady Arabella, “is likewise
from Earl Rivers, who desired that Mary would open
it in her own apartment.”

Every one acquainted with the mazes of love, is
aware of a strange perversity in the female heart with
regard to such matters. Mary half suspected that
her friend noticed the painful suffusion which covered
her face and neck, and the package which she supposed
contained news, to her more important than any
thing else in the world, was placed in her little bedroom
with affected indifference, and was not touched
till every article of household work was completed
with even more deliberate neatness than usual. Not
so Mrs. Conant—she eagerly caught her letter, and
tearing open the envelope, devoured with painful
pleasure the only words which her father had addressed
to her since her marriage. They were as

“Deare Daughtere,

“Manie thoughts crowde into my hearte, when I
take upp my pen to write to you. Straightwaye my
deare wife, long in her grave, cometh before me, and
bringeth the remembrance of your owne babie face,
as you sometime lay suckling in her arms. The
bloode of anciente men floweth slow, and the edge of
feeling groweth blunte: but heavie thoughts will rise
on the surface of the colde streame, and memorie will
probe the wounded hearte with her sharpe lancett.
There hath been much wronge betweene us, my deare
childe, and I feel that I trode too harshlie on your
young hearte: but it maye nott be mended. I have
had many kinde thoughts of you, though I have locked
them up with the keye of pride. The visit of Mr.
Brown was very grievious unto me, inasmuch as he
tolde me more certainly than I had known before.

-- 127 --

[figure description] Page 127.[end figure description]

that you were going downe to the grave. Well, my
childe, `it is a bourne from whence no traveller returns.
' My hande trembleth while I write this, and I
feel that I too am hastening thither. Maye we meete
in eternitie. The tears dropp on the paper when I
think we shall meete no more in time. Give my fervente
love to Mary. She is too sweete a blossom to
bloome in the deserte. Mr. Brown tolde me much
that grieved me to hear. He is a man of porte and
parts, and peradventure she maye see the time when
her dutie and inclination will meete together. The
greye hairs of her olde Grandefather maye be laide
in the duste before that time; but she will finde he
hath nott forgotten her sweete countenance and gratious
behaviour. I am gladd you have founde a kinde
helpe-meete in Mr. Conant. May God prosper him
according as he hath dealte affectionately with my
childe. Forgive your olde father as freelie as he forgiveth
you. And nowe, God in his mercie bless you,
dere childe of my youthe. Farewell.

“Your Affectionate fathere,

“N.B. I have sente you a Bible, (which please
to accept as a token of love) by Mr. Isaac Johnson;
whome I esteeme a right honorable gentleman, though
it grieveth me to see the worthies and nobles of the
lande giving their countenance to the sinn of Non-conformitie.”

The unqualified kindness of her repenting father
proved too much for the weak nerves of his disobedient
child; and for a long time Mary and her friend
hung over her in a fearful anxiety, lest the blow
should hasten a departure, which they all saw must
soon come. Lady Arabella brought forward some

-- 128 --

[figure description] Page 128.[end figure description]

cordials which she had brought with her, and presently
her highly excited system sunk exhausted into
slumber. Mrs. Johnson laid herself down beside the
sleeping invalid, and gladly sought repose after the
fatigue of a long and wearisome voyage. Mary
willingly improved this opportunity to examine the
contents of her package. A prayer book, bound in
the utmost elegance of the times, first met her view.
It was ornamented with gold clasps, richly chased;
the one representing the head of king Charles, the
other the handsome features of his French queen;
and the inside of both adorned with the arms of England.
Mary hardly paused to look at the valuable
present in her eagerness to read the following lines.

“Deare Mary,

“How many times I should have written to you,
could I have devised any waye for it to come safely
into your hands, I leave your own hearte to judge.
God knoweth howe much more I have beene in the
deserte since I came hither, than while I was in the
wildernesse of Newe England. It was a trial I needed,
to showe me howe very deare you were unto my
soule. I often think of the sicknesse, wante, and misery
I founde you in, when Hobomok first guided me
from Plymouth to Naumkeak; and although since the
company hathe sente many vessels, there hathe been
an alteration in the state of affairs, yet my hearte is
readie to burste when I thinke to what you are nowe
exposed. God willing, I would have shared any difficulties
with you, soe as I might have called you
wife; but I loved you the better in that you forgot
not your dutie to your mother in your love for me. I
live only on the hope of againe seeing the lighte of
your countenance, but I nowe feare it cannot be until
a yeare from hence. Before this reacheth you, I

-- 129 --

[figure description] Page 129.[end figure description]

shall be on my waye to the East Indies, where wealthe
promiseth to pour forth many treasures. For your
sake I will toyle for the glittering duste, and many
hardships would I endure so as I might throwe it at
your feete, and saye, 'Tis all for thee. Your grandfather
received your letter with much kindnesse. He spoke
with greate love, of your mother, but made no remarks
concerning your father. He shooke his head
mournfully when I parted from him, and saide, when
he was in the grave peradventure you would finde
you had not been forgotten by the olde Earle: and
he added, `I hope you will live long and be happie
together.' You see there is no need of having any
heavy thoughts; for in the Spring I shall return unto
you, if God spares my life: and whenever it pleaseth
him to take your goode mother (and I sincerely hope
it be not soone, much as I desire to call you mine),
you will come and share my home, in England or
America, as circumstances may be. To that home your
father will alwayes have a wellcome, and if he chooseth
not to accept it, I know nott that your dutie extendeth
furthere. Some time or other I maye make
New England my abode. My hearte woulde incline
to staye here; but England, like the pelican we have
read of, is mangling her owne bosome: though unlike
that birde, she doth not give nourishment to her childrene.
The Protestants banished by Mary, thirste
for the bloode of Charles; sending out their poisoned
arrows from Geneva and the Netherlands with all the
acrimonie of exile. Our goode king Charles and his
beautiful consorte are perplexed and embarrassed on
every side, and it needeth no very keene eye to see
that a terrible crisis draweth neare. For these reasons
I would fain seeke tranquillity on the other side
of the vaste ocean, if so be that an Episcopalian dove,
flying from the deluge which he seeth approaching,

-- 130 --

[figure description] Page 130.[end figure description]

and bringing an olive branch in his mouthe, maye
there finde refuge. My hearte bleedeth for olde England,
torne with religious commotions, as she hath
beene, from the time of the second Tudor: but my
feeble hande may not stop her wounds, gushing
though they be at every pore. In the Spring I shall
more certainlie knowe concerning what I have mentioned
in general terms: but wheresoever I may
abide, my hearte leapeth for joye, when I think I
shall then be permitted to kiss your hande. I have
sent a pipe to Hobomok, inasmuch as I thoughte it
mighte please him to knowe that I remembered him
in the big island across the water. In remembrance
of our last interview at dame Willet's, I have likewise
sent her a Bible, which I thought she would value
more than anything wherewith I coulde furnish her.
And to you my dear girle, I sende what I knowe will
be more wellcome than anything but myself. Remember
me kindly to Sally and dame Willet, and with
much dutifull love to your mother. I remaine through

“Your affectionate and humble servante,
Charles Brown.”

A pipe gaudily decorated, and carefully enveloped
in several wrappings of paper, accompanied this package.
Another contained a largely lettered Bible,
written within “For my olde friende Mistress Willet.”
On the outside of the third parcel was written, “I had
almoste forgotten my promise to Sally: if she be at
Plimouth, sende this to her.” It contained a handsome
gown, which Brown had once playfully promised
her for a wedding dress. A letter from the Earl of
Rivers was bound up with the prayer book which he
sent to his “Deare grandedaughtere;” but the import
of it was so similar to her mother's, that I forbear to

-- 131 --

[figure description] Page 131.[end figure description]

copy it. Last of all, though the first opened, was a
miniature likeness of Brown; and Mary gazed upon
it till the eyes seemed laughing and beaming, in all
the brilliancy of life, then turned away and wept that
the mockery of the pencil had such power to cheat
the heart. There was a strange contrast between
these presents, and every thing around them. A
small rough box placed upon a trunk, was all Mary's
toilette. And now there reposed upon it the miniature
of her lover, in its glittering enclosure; and a
splendid prayer-book printed for the royal family.
As Mary looked upon them, and thought of her present
situation, she felt that it was ill-judged kindness
thus forcibly to remind her of what she had left. Her
meditations were interrupted by the sound of Lady
Arabella's footsteps, and she hastily removed the rich
articles which covered her table. However, the precaution
was needless; for Mr. Johnson and his wife
were perfectly aware of Brown's reciprocated attachment;
and both supposed that the earl's private parcel
contained intelligence from him. No one could
have more conscientious horror of the form of church
worship established by the first defender of the faith,
and either from opinion or policy, supported by three
successive monarchs; but personal respect for Mr.
Brown, and affectionate interest in Mary, overcame
in some degree the narrow prejudices of the times,
and the secret was faithfully preserved.

In the evening Mr. Johnson brought up another
package from the Earl of Rivers. It contained, as he
had mentioned, a large, handsome Bible, written within,
in the trembling hand of age, “For my beloved
daughtere, the Ladye Mary.” Beneath, a blistered
spot announced that the name had aroused the cold
sympathies of advanced years, and given to the stainless
page the peace-offering of a father's heart. It

-- 132 --

[figure description] Page 132.[end figure description]

were but mockery of nature's power, to define the
complicated tissue of pain and pleasure, in the mind
of mother or daughter. Even the stern nerves of
Mr. Conant relaxed a little, when he read the old
gentleman's letter. He turned to the window, and
drummed a psalm tune for a few moments, then cast
round an inquiring glance, too see if any one had noticed
this moment of weakness. He met the anxious
look of Mary, who was timidly watching the changes
of his countenance. From his softened mood she argued
that her grandfather's expressions concerning
Brown, had met with no very unfavorable reception;
but however the old man's worldly pride might have
been affected by such honorable mention of his name,
it was all concealed, beneath a deep shade of rigidity,
as he said,

“I have but two things whereof to complain,—the
one in the letter, the other in the book; and they are
both things which my soul hateth. I mean the standing
of the Apocrypha in the Bible, and what is said
concerning that son of Belial.”

-- 133 --


Her eye still beams unwonted fires,
With a woman's love and a saint's desires;
And her last, fond, lingering look is given
To the love she leaves, and then to heaven,—
As if she would bear that love away,
To a purer world and a brighter day.

[figure description] Page 133.[end figure description]

During several weeks Mr. Johnson continued almost
constantly at Shawmut* and Tri-Mountain,† full
of zeal and perseverance in his new enterprise. Lady
Arabella in the mean time remained at Salem, and entered
with enthusiasm into all the plans of her honored
husband. She never spoke of the reverse in her situation,
and scarcely seemed to think of it. Her character
was indeed all that her countenance indicated.
The expression of her eyes was gentle, but her high
forehead, aquiline nose, and the peculiar construction
of her mouth, all spoke intellect and fortitude, rather
than tenderness. Firmness of purpose had been her
leading trait from childhood; and now she tasked it
to the utmost. But it was soon evident that the soul,
in the consciousness of its strength, had too heavily
taxed its frail, earth-born companion. The decline of
each day witnessed a bright, shadowy spot upon her
cheek, too delicate to be placed there by the pencil
of health—her lips grew pale—and her eyes had lost
all their lustre, save a transient beam of tenderness
when she welcomed the return of her beloved partner.
These changes could not escape the watchful

-- 134 --

[figure description] Page 134.[end figure description]

eye of affection. The important business in which
Mr. Johnson was engaged, rendered his frequent presence
at Shawmut absolutely necessary; but notwithstanding
the solitary and wearisome distance between
them, evening seldom returned without seeing him by
the side of Lady Arabella. Mrs. Conant too was fast
drooping, and there seemed but a hair's breadth between
her and the grave. It was interesting to observe
the contrast between the two invalids. One,
always weak and gentle, bended to the blast, and
seemed to ask support from every thing around her.
The other, struggling against decay, seemed rather
to give assistance, than to require it. Their husbands
watched over them, with the tender solicitude
of a mother over her sickening infant. Mr. Conant,
stern as he was, felt that a sigh or groan from the woman
whom he had so long and sincerely loved, had
power to stir up those deep recesses of feeling, which
had for years been sealed within his soul; and Mary's
heart was ready to burst with keen and protracted
anguish, when she saw death standing with suspended
dart, taking slow, but certain aim, at two endeared
victims. But medicine, anxiety, and kindness, were
alike unavailing; and soon they both retired to the
same apartment, and laid themselves down on the beds
from which they were never more to rise. Their
feeble hold upon life daily grew more precarious,
till at length nothing could tempt their anxious husbands
from the pillow. Neither of them had spoken
much for several days, when on the 24th of August
the faint voice of Mrs. Conant was heard, as she

“Roger—My dear Roger.”

In a moment he was at her side.

“What would you say, Mary?” asked he.

“There are many things I would have spoken,” she

-- 135 --

[figure description] Page 135.[end figure description]

replied; “but I fear I have not strength wherewith to
utter them. If Brown comes back, you must remember
our own thwarted love, and deal kindly with Mary.
She hath been a good child; and verily the God who
had mercy on our unconverted souls, will not forsake
her. Will you promise?”

“I will,” answered the old man, in an agitated
voice. “Verily, my dear wife, your dying request
shall be obeyed.”

“I would fain turn to the light,” said she, “for I
feel that my departure draweth nigh.”

Mary and her father gently raised her, and turned
her toward the little window. She looked on her
husband, with the celestial smile of a dying saint, as
she said,

“I die happy in the Lord Jesus. Sometimes I
would fain tarry longer for your sake; but the Lord's
will be done.”

The agonized man pressed back the crowding tears,
as he said,

“If in the roughness of my nature, I have sometimes
spoken too harshly; say that you forgive me.”

“I have nothing to forgive,” she replied. “To me
you have been uniformly kind.”

She reached out her hand to Mary—“For my
sake,” added she, “be as dutiful to your good father
as you have been to me.”

“I will—I will,” answered Mary, as she, sobbing,
hid her face in the bedclothes.

She spoke no more for several hours. At length,
Mr. Conant, who remained close by her side, heard
her whisper, in low and broken tones, “My dear husband.”
She attempted to extend her hand toward
him, but the blindness of death was upon her, and it
feebly sunk down by her side. As her husband
placed it within his, she murmured, “I cannot see

-- 136 --

[figure description] Page 136.[end figure description]

you, dear Roger. Kiss me before I die.” He stooped
down—and oh, how deeply painful was that last
embrace. Mary likewise bent over her, and kissed
her cold cheek.

“My child—God—bless”—was heard from the lips
of that dying mother; but the utterance was troubled
and indistinct. Her breathings soon became shorter
and more disturbed, and the last agonies seemed passing
over her. No sound was heard in the room, till
presently a short, quick gasp announced the soul's
departure. Mr. Conant placed his hand upon her
heart—its pulse no longer throbbed. He held the
taper before her mouth—no breath was there to move
the steady flame. Mary uttered an involuntary shriek,
and sunk upon her knees. There is nothing like the
chamber of death to still the turbulence of passion,
and overcome the loftiness of pride. What now was
the shame of human weakness to that bereaved old
man? He stood by the corpse of her, who for twenty
years had lain in his bosom, and he heeded not that
the big, bright tears fell fast upon the bed. Nothing
now remained but the last, sad offices of friendship;
and they were silently performed. Not a word was
spoken by father or daughter. The sheet was carefully
drawn over that pale face; and both bowed
down their weary, aching heads upon the pillow, in
still communion with their own souls.

During this time, the Lady Arabella had sunk into
a slumber so deep and tranquil that she seemed almost
like her departed companion. Mr. Johnson remained
with her hand clasped in his, half doubtful
whether it was not indeed the sleep of death. Towards
morning she awoke; and resting her eyes upon
her husband with a look of unutterable love, she
feebly returned the pressure of his hand, as she said,

-- 137 --

[figure description] Page 137.[end figure description]

“You are always near me, dear Isaac.” After a
thoughtful pause, she asked, “Is not the Lady Mary

“She is,” answered Mr. Johnson.

“Assuredly I so thought,” continued she. “I dreamed
that angels came for her, and she said they must
wait for me. They are standing by her bed-side
now. Don't you see the light of their garments?
Well, I shall soon be ready.”

“My God, my God,” exclaimed the young husband,
“would that the bitterness of this cup might pass from

“But it may not pass,” rejoined his wife, calmly;
“and you must drink it like a christian. Let your
whole trust be on the Rock of Ages.”

“I could bear all, Arabella,” replied he, “had I
not brought you into trials too mighty for your
strength. But for my selfish love, you might now be
living in ease and comfort.”

“My dear Isaac, does this sound like a follower of
the Lamb?” said she. “The time of my departure
hath come, and what matters it whether it be in England
or America? In the short space we have been
allowed to sojourn together, I have enjoyed more than
all my life beside; and let this remembrance comfort
you when I am gone. Remember me most kindly to
my good brother. May his earthly union be as happy
and more permanent than mine.”

For a long time she seemed exhausted by the effort
she had made. Then, taking the ring from her

“Give this to Mary” said she; “and when she
looks thereon, bid her think to what all human enjoyment
must come. I know you will always wear
my miniature. It would have been a great comfort,
had I been permitted to leave a living image of

-- 138 --

[figure description] Page 138.[end figure description]

myself; but it hath pleased the Lord to order otherwise.
Faint not in the enterprise whereunto our blessed
Lord has called you; and remember we meet
again in Jesus.”

The heart of her husband was too full to speak;
and he could only kiss her emaciated hand in reply.
She fixed her dying gaze upon him, and a faint smile
hovered round her lips, shedding its unearthly light
over her whole countenance, as she said, “I hear the
angels singing. 'Tis time for me to go.” Her look was
still towards her husband, when her lids closed as if
in peaceful slumber. All was hushed. The flickering
lamp of life was extinguished.

There, in that miserable room, lay the descendants
of two noble houses. Both alike victims to what has
always been the source of woman's greatest misery—
love—deep and unwearied love. The Lady Mary
had in her life time been so still and fair, that the
smile on her placid countenance seemed but a mockery
of death; and whoever looked upon the Lady
Arabella would have judged that thought was still
busy beneath those closed eye-lids.

The next day all was still in that house of mourning.
Each one spoke in a subdued tone, and moved
with light and cautious tread, as if fearful of awakening
the repose of the dead. All had passed a sleepless
night, and as they arose from the pillow which
had for hours received their tears, a silent grasp of
the hand, strong in the first desperation of grief, was
their only salutation.

“My friend,” said Mr. Conant, “it becometh not
christians to be cast down in time of tribulation. Let
us pray to Him who is always a present help in time
of trouble.”

Mary handed down the Bible; and her father read
the 88th Psalm, without evincing any other emotion

-- 139 --

[figure description] Page 139.[end figure description]

than the slight quivering of his lip and the gathering
moisture of his eye. Mr. Johnson rose to prayer,
and for awhile his voice was clear and undisturbed;
but in a few moments sobs were alone audible. Even
his exalted piety sunk in that dreadful conflict of feeling.
One burst of weakness, earth claimed as its
own—the rest he gave to heaven. His brethren
were all eager to speak words of comfort. He thanked
them for their kindness, and tried to hear them
calmly; but the mourner only can tell how painful
at such seasons, are well-meant offers of consolation.

Few honors could there be paid to deceased nobility.
The bodies were placed in rough coffins, covered
with black, and supported side by side, even as
they had expired. The procession stopped on a
neighbouring eminence, and after Mr. Higginson had
dwelt long on the sufferings and virtues of the departed,
the earth closed over them forever.

Grief, like all violent emotions, is still when deepest.
Mr. Johnson returned from that sad funeral,
and not a sigh or tear was seen to escape him. The
next day, he went to Shawmut, mingled in the debates
of his associates, encouraged the settlers, and
surveyed the tract he had purchased at Tri-Mountain.
How to build up the church seemed to occupy
his whole thoughts; and to that purpose he directed his
active and constant exertions. But in the midst of
this artificial strength, it was plain enough to be seen,
that his heart was broken.

A few weeks after Lady Arabella's death, he was
seen slowly proceeding through the forest, on his way
to Salem. He paused not to rest his weary footsteps
till he reached the place where he had last seen the
features of his adored wife. Silently he laid down
his head upon the ground, and wept. He arose, and
for awhile rested his melancholy gaze on the bright

-- 140 --

[figure description] Page 140.[end figure description]

sun and verdant earth. Then kneeling beside the
grave, he prayed, “Heavenly Father, I beseech thee
to forgive this worship of an earthly idol; and if it so
pleaseth thee, take me from this world of sin and

He entered Mr. Conant's dwelling, and slightly partook
of the food which Mary's assiduous kindness
prepared for him. No expostulations could prevail
upon him to remain through the following day. He
retraced his solitary path to Shawmut, and it soon became
evident that the hand of death was upon him.

The day before his decease, he called Governor
Winthrop to his bed-side.

“Let not the laborers of the vineyard mourn that I
am removed,” said he. “Tell them to go on, like
brave soldiers of Christ Jesus, until they perfect the
work wherewithal he hath entrusted them. I bless
the Lord that he has called me to lay down my life
in his service, inasmuch as he has suffered me to witness
the gathering of one church in apostolic purity.
I have but one request to make unto you. Bury me
in the lot which I have laid out at Tri-Mountain;*
that at the great judgment-day I may rise among the
heritage which I have feebly endeavored to build up.
I would fain have the Lady Arabella placed by my
side; but it is a wearisome ways to Salem, and wheresoever
our bodies may be, our souls will be united.
God forgive me, if in sinful weakness, I have loved
that dear woman even better than his righteous

The excellent man soon after followed his young
wife to the mansions of eternal rest; and on the same
day that the news arrived at Salem, the pious and

-- 141 --

[figure description] Page 141.[end figure description]

revered Mr. Higginson was likewise numbered with
the dead. Misfortunes and discouragements seemed
crowding upon the infant colonies, which had so lately
been rejoicing at their prosperity and increase.
“In all their streets was the voice of lamentation and
wo.” The countenances of men became disconsolate,
and mournfully they passed each other, as they said,
“Ichabod! Ichabod! Verily the Lord hath sorely
smitten us.”


Nor think to village swains alone
Are these unearthly terrors known;
For not to rank nor sex confined
Is this vain ague of the mind.

Independent of universal public depression, a peculiar
and settled gloom pervaded Mr. Conant's dwelling;
and on every account it was a sad home for one
in the freshness of existence. True, Mr. Conant seldom
spoke with his former harshness, and even the
tones of his voice had become more gentle; still his
feelings were too rigid and exclusive to sympathize
with a young heart almost discouraged by surrounding
difficulties. One after an another, she had been
deprived of the cheering influence of Sally Oldham,
the firm support of Lady Arabella, and the mild, soothing
spirit of her mother; and no one was left to supply
their place. As for Mrs. Oldham, the whole circle
of her ideas might be comprised in one sentence,
viz. “People will marry whom they are

-- 142 --

[figure description] Page 142.[end figure description]

fore-ordained to marry, and die when they are appointed to die.”
The facetiousness of Mr. Oldham was sometimes amusing;
but his feelings were blunt, and his wit too often
partook of coarseness and vulgarity. There were
some in the settlement in whom Mary might have
found as much sympathy as she ever met from her
old associate, but she knew them not; and when the
heart is oppressed with many sorrows, it shrinks from
the task of initiating a stranger into all its mysteries
of thought and feeling. With none therefore, had
Mary any thing like communion. Even Hobomok
came unnoticed, and went away unheeded. Sometimes
she would think of asking her father's permission
to return to England; and then the prospect of
Brown's arrival the ensuing spring, would determine
her to await his motions. This hope enabled her to
discharge her daily duties with tolerable cheerfulness;
but twilight generally saw the melancholy maiden
seated by her mother's grave. At such seasons
her imagination would be busy with the light, silvery
clouds, as they hurried along the sky in every variety
of form and hue. In one place might be seen a group
rising side by side, like the sacred groves of the ancients;
here, a stupendous column stood alone, like
the magnificent pillar of some ruined edifice; and
there, a large, shadowy cloud rested upon the horizon,
like the aerial drapery of an angel's couch. It
was a mild evening at the commencement of October,
when, as she had seated herself as usual to pursue this
fanciful amusement, her attention was suddenly arrested
by the singular appearance of one of those capricious
forms. It was a vessel—so perfect and distinct
that the shrouds seemed creaking in the wind,
and the canvass fluttering to the breeze. It slowly
floated along the atmosphere, till it came over the place
whe she stood, when it gradually descended and melted

-- 143 --

[figure description] Page 143.[end figure description]

into air. Mary had no small share of the superstition of
the times, and shuddering at the fatal omen she hastily
ran to inform her father. The figure was again seen
in the west, and to Mr. Conant, it seemed even more
plain than it had to his daughter. Mr. Oldham and
two or three neighbours were now called in; and a
third time did the strange appearance rise, sink, and
disperse, even as at first.

“I marvel if some mishap be not about to befall the
shipping which is coming hither,” said Mr. Conant.
“Forerunners like this, seldom appear but to warn
us of some coming disaster.”

“That's true enough,” rejoined Mr. Oldham. “Don't
you remember the story that Capt. Thurston told us
about the Castor and Pollux lights on the mast
of the Jewel, the night before she run against the Ambrose?
A sad mishap that. They say the Jewel
would assuredly have been torn in pieces, had it not
been for the discreet counsel of Mr. Johnson. God
rest his soul; he was the wisest and best man in the
whole fleet; and no disparagement to them who are
left behind.”

“Them Castor and Pollux lights are bad things
when one of them is seen alone,” quoth another; “but
they are nothing to what I have seen and heard in
the line of forewarnings. The night before the godly
Mr. Higginson died, I heard the tolling of a bell by
the hour together, as plain as if I had been within
bow-shot of St. Paul's.”

“I'm thinking it could be no bell in this world that
echoed in this wilderness,” replied Mr. Oldham; “unless
the devil is sexton now-a-days, and has the ringing
of their English bells, which I trow is no very
unlikely thing, while Bishop Laud sitteth at the

-- 144 --

[figure description] Page 144.[end figure description]

“It's not well to use lightness of speech concerning
such things,” said his companion. “I knew a man in
England who laughed at the power which it hath
pleased the Lord to give unto Satan, and the self-same
night a blow was heard on the side of his house as
loud as a clap of thunder, and it was cracked to the
very foundation, though none of his neighbours heard
the report thereof.”

“England has come to a dreadful pass in these
days,” observed Mr. Conant. “I have known some
of their scholars who would fain judge of the doings
of their Maker by their own reason, and they say that
all such like things are the cunning devices of man's

“I should like to have such folks see a sight that I
can tell them of,” said a third. “On the night that
Mr. Johnson died, though he was at Shawmut, and of
course I couldn't know that his end drew near, I saw a
light on the foot of my bed, about two in the morning.
It burned a few minutes, and then went out.
My wife straightway said `You may depend upon it,
the pious Mr. Johnson hath departed,' and sure
enough, as nigh as I can discover, he died just at that

The relation of such wonders continued for a long
time, and perhaps would never have known an end,
had not the lateness of the hour reminded them it was
time to depart.

There is a great facility in appropriating any thing
uncommon to our own situation and circumstances.
Mary readily believed that the extraordinary phantom
was meant for herself only; and she immediately
conjectured it foreboded evil tidings from her lover.
The more she indulged these thoughts, the more their
power increased, till their unquiet influence entirely
deprived her of rest. At that credulous period, it is

-- 145 --

[figure description] Page 145.[end figure description]

not surprising that superstition exerted her full force
over a mind so prone to revel in the etherial visions
of imagination. And who, even in these enlightened
days, when reason sits almost sole arbiter of the human
mind, has not felt similar influences powerful and
strong within him? Who among the wisest and the
best, has not experienced states of feeling when the
light sigh of the summer breeze, or the gentle pattering
of midnight rain, or mayhap a passing shadow on
the moonlight floor, or the rustling of the trees, as they
bowed their foliage to the evening gale, has had power
to quicken the pulse, and restrain the motion of the
breath? But there are moments of weakness, which
pride would hardly deign to bring before the tribunal
of reason; and which, if brought there, would doubtless
be found to originate in causes merely physical.
Whatever is their source, they sometimes come suddenly
upon the mind, striking with magic force, “the
electric chain wherewith it's darkly bound;” and in
this instance, Mary's fearful augury was too soon realized.
The next week Hobomok came to Salem, bearing
a letter for Mr. Conant, and another for Governor
Endicott. The first contained information of the death
of Earl Rivers, written by his grandson; the other
mentioned that an East India ship had been lately
wrecked, with the loss of her whole crew and cargo;
and added that Charles Brown, formerly of Salem,
was among the passengers. No sooner had the news
passed the lips of the Governor, than it spread through
the whole settlement, like an electric shock through
an united circle. The circumstance of Mary's attachment
was well known, and the matrons and maidens
paid a passing tribute of grief, as they asked,

“How will the poor damsel bear this? The Lord
support her; for whatsoever be her errors in doctrine,

-- 146 --

[figure description] Page 146.[end figure description]

she hath a sweet-favored face, and a disposition like
an angel.”

“Hold your blasphemous tongues,” replied their
rigid listeners. “Because the children of Belial have
a comely form, a smooth skin, and noble blood, you
forsooth straightway liken them to angels of light.
Wot you not that all these things pass away as if
they had never been? As for the untimely end of
him who hath bred so much disturbance among us, 'tis
but the visitation of the Lord, for his sinful upholding
of the domineering prelates.”

While people were busy with similar observations,
an officious neighbour eagerly carried the unwelcome
news to Mary.

For a moment her heart reeled, and the blow threatened
to suspend her faculties. The next, there was a
ray of hope. She had become accustomed to false
alarms, and she trusted this would prove to be one.
Fallacious as she felt this hope, she could not, and
would not relinquish it. Whatever were her feelings,
they were but briefly exposed to the unfeeling curiosity
of her guest. Her father's supper was left half
prepared, her cloak hastily thrown on, and an instant
after, she entered Governor Endicott's.

“The Lord help you,” exclaimed Mrs. Endicott,
“how pale you look, and how you tremble. Do be
seated, and let me give you some cordial.”

“Has his Honor received a letter from England?”
inquired the anxious girl, without taking notice of her
kind offer.

“Bless your young heart,” replied Mrs. Endicott,
as she put the corner of her apron to her eyes, “I'm
expecting him home every minute. But do take a
drop of cordial. It grieves me to death to see you
look so.”

-- 147 --

[figure description] Page 147.[end figure description]

Her importunities were all useless, and the good woman
would have attempted words of comfort, had not
the misery of Mary's countenance made such an emphatic
appeal to her forbearance. Mary spoke not;
but fixed her wild and anxious gaze on the door, until
the Governor entered, when she suddenly rose and inquired.

“Have you received a letter from Plymouth to

She had always been a great favorite with the
chief magistrate, for, zealous as he was, he was not the
man to look on so fair and young a creature, and hate
her for her creed. Her question awakened his deepest
sympathy, and he cast a pitying glance upon her,
as he replied,

“It is all too true, Mary.”

There are things which the heart can never realize,
be they ever so long in prospect. Come when they
will, they come with crushing, agonizing power. The
mother may listen for weeks, to the hushed moan of
her dying infant; the bridegroom may watch the hectic
flush, daily settling more deeply on the cheek of
his young bride; but the chain is rivetted closer and
closer, and terrible must be the force which rends it

Mary answered not. She pressed her hand hard
upon her brow, and she who had been so gentle and
childlike that a rough word would draw tears from
her eyes, now neither wept nor sighed. She was
about to depart, but the Governor grasped her hand
affectionately as he said,

“Forgive me, my good girl, I know that your heart
is full; but I would fain remind you that we are only
sojourners in this world until we can find a better;
and that whatsoever befalleth us, is meant for our

-- 148 --

[figure description] Page 148.[end figure description]

eternal good. Cast therefore the burthen of your
sorrows at the feet of Jesus.”

Mary appreciated his kindness, but she could not
attend to him; and, struggling to release her hand,
she muttered an indistinct answer, and hastily quitted
the house, to hide her grief from his view. She rested
her head on a young tree which grew in the path,
and tried to pray; but, in that whirl of feeling, she
could not even think, and scarcely knowing what she
did, she proceeded homeward.

Her father had finished his supper, and though he
had found it unprepared, he uttered no complaint.
He well knew the occasion of this neglect; and his
own thoughts were not unmixed with bitterness. Conscience,
cool and unbiassed, inquired whether he had
not in some measure mistaken obstinacy and pride
for conscientious zeal; and in the humbleness of
the moment, he acknowledged that christians were
too apt to mistake the voice of selfishness for the voice
of God. His earliest enemies had been of the English
church, and he had seen his wife drooping and
dying amid the poverty which his religious opinions
had brought upon her, and yet he tried hard to be
convinced, and did at last verily believe, that earthly
motives had nothing to do with his hatred of Episcopacy.
He still retained all his abhorrence of Brown's
sentiments, but since the death of his wife, he had
thought, with a good deal of concealed pleasure, how
very graciously he would make a sacrifice to the
peace of her only child; and now that there was no
hope of making this atonement for his past harshness,
he felt more of disappointment than he would have
been willing to acknowledge. In this softened state
of feeling, one gentle expostulation would have driven
him to the bosom of his child, there to impart comfort,
and seek forgiveness. He did indeed speak

-- 149 --

[figure description] Page 149.[end figure description]

feelingly of the death of her grandfather, and told her of
the God who was alike the support of the young and
the aged. While he dwelt upon the excellence of religious
consolation, he called her “my dear child,”
and more than once his eyes filled with tears. Unfortunately,
Mary was too absent, too distressed, to
receive these tardy proofs of affection with the gratitude
which kindness was always wont to excite; so
after one or two efforts to mention the painful subject,
he did as he too often had done—stifled the voice
of nature, and hid all his better feelings beneath the
cold mask of austerity. Mary, tortured with thoughts
she could no longer endure in his presence, observed
that she was going to dame Willet's, and then left him
to his meditations.


The tempter speaks, when all is still,
And phantoms in the mind will raise,
That haunt the path of after days.
* * * * * *
On one sad night she left her home;
She parted with the tawny chief,
And left me lonely in my grief.

The same restlessness which had led Mary to dame
Willet's, soon made that scene of former happiness insupportable.
The loquacious old woman did not understand
the nature of the human heart so well as the
friends of Job, who “sat down on the ground, and
none spake a word to him; for they saw that his
grief was very great.” Mary could not endure the

-- 150 --

[figure description] Page 150.[end figure description]

good dame's blunt sympathy; beside, every object
which there met her view, did but remind her of her
lover's farewell interview; so she drew her cloak
around her, and prepared to depart. The old lady
followed her, and gently taking hold of her arm, looked
in her face as if fearful of expressing her doubts.

“Mary,” said she, “I have done all I could to comfort
you; but verily, my dear child, I fear you are
not altogether yourself.”

“Assuredly I am,” replied Mary; “but I cannot
stay here, for when I stand at that little window, it
seems as if I could see him as he looked the last time
I ever saw him.”

Notwithstanding this declaration, there was a partial
derangement of Mary's faculties. A bewilderment
of despair that almost amounted to insanity.
She sat down by her mother's grave, and wished to
weep. The sorrow that can be exhausted, however
keen it may be, has something of luxury in it, compared
with grief when her fountains are all sealed,
and her stormy waters are dashing and foaming within
the soul. Mary's heart refused to overflow, and
she laid down her head on the cold sod, in hopes it
would cool the burning agony of her brain. As she
sat thus, insensible of the autumnal chilliness, she felt
something lightly thrown over her. She looked up,
and perceived that it was Hobomok, who had covered
her with his blanket, and silently removed a short distance
from her. He approached when he saw her

“It's a cold night for Mary to be on the graves,”
said he.

“Ah, Hobomok,” she replied, “I shall soon be in
my own grave.”

The savage turned away his head for some time,
as if struggling with some violent emotion.

-- 151 --

[figure description] Page 151.[end figure description]

“How Hobomok wish he could make you happy,”
at length said he.

There was a chaos in Mary's mind;—a dim twilight,
which had at first made all objects shadowy, and
which was rapidly darkening into misery, almost insensible
of its source. The sudden stroke which had
dashed from her lips the long promised cup of joy,
had almost hurled reason from his throne. What
now had life to offer? If she went to England, those
for whom she most wished to return, were dead. If
she remained in America, what communion could she
have with those around her? Even Hobomok, whose
language was brief, figurative, and poetic, and whose
nature was unwarped by the artifices of civilized life,
was far preferable to them. She remembered the
idolatry he had always paid her, and in the desolation
of the moment, she felt as if he was the only
being in the wide world who was left to love her.
With this, came the recollection of his appearance in
the mystic circle. A broken and confused mass followed;
in which a sense of sudden bereavement,
deep and bitter reproaches against her father, and a
blind belief in fatality were alone conspicuous. In
the midst of this whirlwind of thoughts and passions,
she turned suddenly towards the Indian, as she said,

“I will be your wife, Hobomok, if you love me.”

“Hobomok has loved you many long moons,” replied
he; “but he loved like as he loves the Great

“Then meet me at my window an hour hence,” said
she, “and be ready to convey me to Plymouth.”

She returned home; and Hobomok, overjoyed at
this unexpected fortune, prepared to obey her injunctions.
Her father was absent when she entered,
and lighting a taper, she sat down in the solitary
room, and alternately attempted to fix her attention

-- 152 --

[figure description] Page 152.[end figure description]

on the prayer book and Bible. In a few moments
Mr. Conant returned. He spoke but little; but his
prayer that evening evinced much parental tenderness
as well as lofty piety. Fervently did he beseech
that God would heal the wounded and broken heart,
and lead back all those who were wandering in errors
to the true fold of Christ Jesus.

When Mary thought that she was perhaps hearing
that venerable voice for the last time, her heart relented.
She acknowledged that a sort of desperate
resentment towards him, had partly influenced her late
conduct; and she asked herself,

“What if he has been harsh and restrained in
his intercourse with me? It is cruel to wrench from
him his last earthly tie; and to prostrate the soul of
a parent, because my own lies bleeding in the dust.”

Perhaps this effort of dawning reason and gentler
feeling would have prevailed; but her father angrily
seized the prayer book, which she had carelessly
left in his way, and would have thrown it upon the
fire, had she not caught his arm and rescued it from
his grasp.

“Have it out of my sight,” exclaimed the old man,
in a violent tone. “My soul abhorreth it, as it doth
the spirits of the bottomless pit.”

That single act decided the fluctuating fate of his
child. Who can look back upon all the important
events of his life, without acknowledging that the balance
of destiny has sometimes been weighed down by
the most trivial touch of circumstance. Mary's mind
was just in that vacillating state when a breath would
have turned her from her purpose, or confirmed it
forever. Her heart writhing and convulsed as it was,
was gentle still; and it now craved one look of tenderness,
one expression of love. That soothing influence
she in vain sought; and the feelings which had

-- 153 --

[figure description] Page 153.[end figure description]

harrowed up her soul to that fatal resolution, again returned
in their full force. In the unreasonableness of
mingled grief and anger, she accused her father as the
sole cause of her present misery; and again she sunk
under the stupifying influence of an ill directed belief
in the decrees of heaven, and the utter fruitlessness
of all human endeavour. It was strange that trouble
had power to excite her quiet spirit to so much irascibility;
and powerful indeed must have been the superstition,
which could induce so much beauty and
refinement, even in a moment of desperation, to exchange
the social band, stern and dark as it was, for
the company of savages. Mary retired to her own
room, resolved on immediate departure; but she was
not sufficiently collected to make any necessary arrangements;
she even neglected taking a change of
apparel. However, Brown's miniature was not forgotten;
and as it lay before her, she could think of
nothing, only that the form, which once could boast
so much dignified beauty, was now unshrouded and
uncoffined in the deep, deep ocean,—and imagination
shuddered over the thoughts which followed. She
placed the miniature in her bosom, and looked out
upon the scenes she was so soon to leave. Her eye
first rested upon Endicott's Hollow, where, as she supposed,
it had been first revealed to her that Hobomok
was to be her husband; and falling on her knees,

“Oh, Charles,” murmured she, “if thy pure spirit
is looking down upon this action, forgive me, in that
I do but submit to my fate.”

Presently the low whistle of Hobomok was heard.
She obeyed the signal, and in a few moments she was
by his side, walking toward the seashore. Almost every
thing in their path was, in some way or other, connected
with Brown; and she would frequently pause,
as she uttered some mournful and incoherent

-- 154 --

[figure description] Page 154.[end figure description]

soliloquy. The Indian had witnessed the dreadful ruins
of mind in his own tribe, and the fear of her insanity
more than once occurred to him; then again her
brief answers to his questions would be so prompt and
rational, that he could not admit the doubt.

“She is communing with the Good Spirit,” thought

And now might be seen the dark chieftain seated
in his boat, exulting in his prize, and rowing with his
whole strength, while the rays of a bright October
moon shone full upon the contrast of their countenances.
Neither of them spoke, save when Hobomok
stooped on his oar, and drawing the blanket more
closely around her, asked whether or not the cold
was uncomfortable. He would often raise his loud,
clear voice in some devotional boat-song, alternately
English or Indian, among which the following seemed
to be a favorite.

“Lend me, oh, moon, lend me thy light, that I may
go back to my wigwam, and my wakon bird may rest
there in safety. I will rise with the sun, to see his
fire consume the morning couds. I will come back
to my wakon-bird, laden with beaver and deer.”

The whole scene was singularly melancholy. Nothing
but the face of the Indian wore an expression of
gladness. Mary, so pale and motionless, might have
seemed like a being from another world, had not her
wild, frenzied look revealed too much of human wretchedness.
The moon, it is true, pursued her heavenly
path as bright and tranquil as ever; but the passing
clouds made her appear hurried and perturbed, even
as the passions of men float before the mild rays of
the Gospel, making them seem as troubled and capricious
as their own. Nature too, was in her saddest
robe; and the breeze, as it swept along the variegated
foliage, sounded like the dismal roarings of the

-- 155 --

[figure description] Page 155.[end figure description]

distant ocean. Mary's meditations were more dull, and
cold, and dreary still. It is difficult to tell what the
feelings could have been, half bewildered as they
were, which led her to persevere in so strange a purpose.
It is even doubtful if their victim could have
defined them. But whatever they were, they were
endured and cherished, until the boat drew up on the
shore of Plymouth. Fortunately for Hobomok, none
of the inhabitants had risen, and he guided her to his
wigwam unobserved. In a few words, he explained
to his mother the occasion of the visit. Full of astonishment,
the grateful squaw danced, sung, and
caressed Mary, with every demonstration of frantic
joy. Hobomok endeavoured to calm her transports,
and urged the necessity of forwarding the marriage
immediately; for the savage had many fears that
Mary would yet shrink from the strange nuptials.
His arguments were readily assented to, and Hobomok
asked his intended bride whether she was willing
to be married in the Indian form.

“Yes,” answered she, and turned from him, as if
a sudden pang had passed through her heart.

“She is mad,” whispered the old squaw.

Her son hesitated a moment, then taking some wine,
which Governor Bradford had once given his sick
mother, he offered it to her, as he said,

“If Mary sick, this will make her well.”

“I am not sick,” was the laconic reply.

Hobomok again convinced of her rationality, went
forth to make arrangements for his marriage. In the
course of an hour, he returned with four of his relations.
They spoke no English, but each one lifted
his hands as he looked at Mary, and seemed to utter
some exclamation of surprise. Presently they joined
in a dance, singing in a low tone, for fear of exciting
the suspicion of their white neighbours. After this

-- 156 --

[figure description] Page 156.[end figure description]

was concluded, Hobomok stept out, and looked cautiously
in every direction, to see that none were approaching,
then taking Mary by the hand, he led her
round the wigwam, and again entered. In the mean
time, a mat had been placed in the centre of the room,
and thither the Indian led his bride. The eldest of
the company then presented him with a witch-hazel
wand of considerable length, and having placed one
end of it in Mary's hand, the bridegroom stood waiting
for the ceremony. The oldest Indian then uttered
some short harangues, in which he dwelt upon the
duty of a husband to hunt plenty of deer for his wife,
to love her, and try to make her happy; and that the
wife should love her husband, and cook his venison
well, that he might come home to his wigwam with a
light heart. To this Hobomok responded in a tone
half way between singing and speaking,

“Hobomok love her like as better than himself.
Nobody but Great Spirit know how well he loveth

The priest then looked toward Mary, as if waiting
for her answer.

“Tell how well you love him,” said the Indian woman,
as she touched her arm. Mary raised her head
with a look, which had in it much of the frightful expression
of one walking in his sleep, as she replied,

“I love him better than any body living.”

Hobomok then took the rod, which they had held,
and breaking it into five pieces, gave one to each of
the witnesses. The married couple still continued
standing, and the company formed a circle and danced
round them three times, singing their marriage
song. When this was finished, Hobomok took out his
pipe and handed it to the priest. It was the one
which Brown had sent, and when Mary saw it, she
uttered a piercing shriek, as she pointed to it, and

-- 157 --

[figure description] Page 157.[end figure description]

said, “Send it away! Send it away!” Her husband
understood her meaning, and returning it to his pocket,
he produced another. After each one had smoked,
they again formed a ring, and danced and sung as before,
each one, as he came near the door, dancing
backward, and disappearing. After they had all
gone, Hobomok went out and buried Brown's beautiful
present in the earth. Mary continued listless and
unmoved, apparently unconscious of any change in
her situation. But the ceremony of that morning
was past recall; and Mary Conant was indeed the
wife of Hobomok.


It was strange for him to show
Such outward signs of inward wo.

The next morning Mr. Conant arose, and, as usual,
went out to his labors. He came in at his accustomed
time, and found that no preparations had been
made for their scanty morning meal. He knocked
at Mary's door. No one answered. With dreadful
apprehension he looked into her apartment. The
lifeless object which he had expected, did not meet
his view; and he saw at a single glance, that the bed
had been unoccupied. A suspicion even more painful
than the first, then flashed upon him, that his child
had been driven to suicide. “Oh God,” thought he,
“have I likewise been called to offer my last remaining
child upon thine altar.” Then came the question,

-- 158 --

[figure description] Page 158.[end figure description]

“Might I not have performed the work of the Lord
as well, and shown less rigour to that poor thoughtless
girl?” He felt that he had, in reality, known very
little of Mary, except through the medium of her
mother; and he now blamed himself that he had not
given her his confidence and sympathy, instead of
compelling her so cautiously to conceal her feelings.
The words of his dying wife seemed to resound in his
ears, as she said, “Be kind to Mary for my sake;”
and with this remembrance came the sting of self-reproach,
the keenest that can enter the human soul.
For a few moments the old man sat down, and rested
his head upon his hand, with more positive wretchedness
than he had ever before felt, crushed as his heart
had been in the battle of life. He stood for some
time hesitating between the consciousness that something
must be done, and a perplexity as to what course
to pursue. At length the idea that she might have
slept at Mr. Oldham's, or Dame Willet's, occurred to
his mind, and though he gave it little credence, it afforded
a moment's relief.

Mr. Conant had persevered in his resolution to continue
at Naumkeak, when but three of his discontented
companions remained to share his poverty, and
even those three threatened to desert him; when his
family, unable to endure such hardships, were obliged
to consent to a temporary separation; and when
his young, vigorous boys were bowed down to the
grave by labor and famine. In the midst of all these
difficulties, the MS. states that “he made a vow to
abide in Naumkeake as long as the Lorde pleased to
spare his life, if he coulde finde a clam on the seacoaste,
or an acorne on the trees.” This same inflexible
self-command had ever since made him the
“very soul of counsel,” in all times of danger; and it
now induced him to chasten his heart, that its agitated

-- 159 --

[figure description] Page 159.[end figure description]

feelings might not be betrayed to the wondering gaze
of his neighbours. With his usual calm appearance
he entered Mr. Oldham's dwelling, and inquired
whether they had seen any thing of Mary the preceding

“Bless me, no,” answered Mrs. Oldham. “I may
safely say she has scarcely darkened my doors since
the day Sally was married. But is she missing, Goodman?”

Mr. Conant briefly answered that she had not slept
at home, and went out as he added,

“Peradventure she abode with Dame Willet.”

“Poor man,” said Mrs. Oldham. “I always knowed
it would be so, from the very minute I heard of
Brown's death. I said then she'd never live through
it. There never any good come of crossing folks in
love, to my knowledge. I'm sure I never would have
said a word, if Sally had taken it into her head to
marry a Pequod.”

“I'm sure I would, though,” rejoined her husband.
“A pretty piece of business it would be of a truth, to
have a parcel of tawny grandchildren at your heels,
squeaking powaw, and sheshikwee, and the devil knoweth
what all.”

“I hope you don't mean that folks have a free will
of their own in such matters,” said his wife.

“To be sure I do. 'Tan't much that I should have
done in the business, if I hadn't had my own way,” rejoined
he. “But now I have made out to get on my
boots, I'll go out and inquire concerning this matter.
Mary was as sweet a creature as ever man looked
upon; and if she be indeed missing, the boats must be
had out.”

“You're a sinful wicked man to talk, considering
you're a christian,” said his wife, as he departed.

-- 160 --

[figure description] Page 160.[end figure description]

The application at dame Willet's was equally unsuccessful,
and the report that Mary Conant was
dead, spread like wildfire through the village. She
had been so humble, kind, and cheerful among them,
and had so seldom evinced any aversion to their sentiments,
that she was a universal favorite. The young
admired her as the loveliest being they had ever beheld;
and the old, even while they held up her errors
of doctrine as a warning to their children, could not
refrain from adding,

“Assuredly, in many things she hath borne herself
worthy of a woman professing godliness.”

For some minutes, the settlement was one scene of

“Have out the boats—have out the boats,” said

“Fire guns over the water,” said another.

These orders were complied with, and boats were
ordered out in several directions. As Mr. Oldham
was entering one of these, he espied a ring lying close
to the water's edge, and stepping back, he asked Mr.
Conant if he had ever seen it.

“The Lady Arabella gave it to my child,” answered
the disconsolate father; and without further pause
he passed through the crowd, who readily made way
for him. He entered his desolate home, fastened the
door of his little apartment, and threw himself down
beside the bed. Hours passed away before the bitterness
of affliction could be in any degree overcome;
but at length the tears flowed plentifully, and fervently
did he pray for support and assistance, to that
God who had never forsaken him in his hour of need.

In the meantime the search of his brethren had of
course proved useless, though the supposition that
Mary was drowned amounted almost to absolute certainty.
Now that the opinion was apparently so well

-- 161 --

[figure description] Page 161.[end figure description]

proved, every one, as usual, had something to give as
additional evidence. Mrs. Endicott made exaggerated
reports of the wildness and paleness of her looks,
when she came to inquire concerning the letter. Another
remembered to have seen her go to her mother's
grave at sun-down, and remain there till after the
night closed in.

“For my part,” says Dame Willet, “I couldn't go
quietly to my bed till I went up and looked into Mr.
Conant's to see that Mary was at home with her
father; for she came down to my house in the evening,
and she took hold of my hand till I thought it
had been in a vice and she had a dreadful wild look
about her. Poor creature, I couldn't help foreboding
that all was not right, when she sighed so, and said
that she little thought my house was the last place
where she should ever see him; for you must know,”
continued she, “I gave the young folks a meeting
without Goodman Conant's knowing of the same.”

“And you should take shame and sorrow to yourself
for such an action,” replied Mr. Skelton. “I
grant the maiden had many charms, and much seeming
goodness in speech and behaviour, but so had that
idolatrous woman of the house of Stuart, whom it
pleased the Lord, in his righteousness, to bring to the
block. I tell you, woman, the Most High will visit
their iniquity upon the heads of all such as bow the
knee to Baal, and worship the golden calf of Episcopacy.
Wot ye not that Mr. Conant was led by the
fear of God in this matter?”

“Assuredly I think so,” answered the dame; “but
a body couldn't look upon the girl without loving her,
and I meant no harm, your Reverence.”

“I don't suppose you did, good woman; but it behoves
us to give little heed to natural affection, when
we are engaged in the work of the Lord Jesus.

-- 162 --

[figure description] Page 162.[end figure description]

Forasmuch as it seems useless to waste more time and
powder in this melancholy search, I will even go up
and speak a word to Mr. Conant, in his troubles;
though I doubt not he bears them like a christian.”

When Mr. Skelton arrived on his errand of consolation,
he distinctly heard the voice of his friend as he

“If in this thing, O Lord, I have acted from my
own pride, rather than from zeal for thy glory, I beseech
thee, spare me not—but pour out the vials of
thy wrath upon my unworthy head, so that the sins
of my child may be forgiven.”

The voice ceased—and a few moments after Mr.
Skelton knocked for admission. No answer was returned,
until he said,

“I have come to see you, Mr. Conant, thinking it
might comfort you to unite in prayer during this season
of distress.”

“I have much reason to thank you,” replied Mr.
Conant; “but I trust your Reverence will not be offended
if I tell you that I would fain be left with
God and my own heart for a season.”

Before evening Mr. Conant had regained his wonted
manner. All his necessary avocations were performed,
and at night he went into Mr. Oldham's and
said with his customary calmness, “I will partake of
whatever you have for supper, if you are so inclined;”
and at nine o'clock he performed the family devotions,
in a voice so distinct and untroubled, that all
who heard him wondered at the strength wherewith
it pleased the Lord to support him. But quiet as all
seemed on that unruffled surface, there was a tempest
beneath, which threatened to uptear the very roots of
existence; and even when his lips were opened in
prayer at the footstool of divine grace, his thoughts
were deep in the cold wave. Whatever were his

-- 163 --

[figure description] Page 163.[end figure description]

concealed feelings, before three days had elapsed, none
could judge by the most trifling external sign, that
the waters of affliction had passed over him. During
this time, he had invited Dame Willet and her son
Jacob to take up their abode at his house, and they
now constituted his whole family. On the third evening
after Mary's departure, the good woman and her
son were absent, and Mr. Conant seated alone by his
solitary fire, when Mr. Collier arrived at Mr. Oldham's,
bringing news of the lamentable fact. All
were eager to ascertain how, when, and where, it had
been discovered.

“It's a dismal story to tell her old father,” observed
Mr. Collier; “but my good woman hath seen her
with her own eyes, and heard her acknowledge that
she was married to Hobomok, so there can be no mistake
about it. Our knowledge of the matter came
after this fashion. Sally went in to see Hobomok's
mother, as is often her custom, inasmuch as she is old,
and frequently alone. The squaw had stept out when
she first went in; but seeing somebody in the bed,
Sally thought she had been sick, and so went up to
speak to her, when behold, she found it was Mary Conant.
She said she was so stupid that she did not
seem to know her, and she wouldn't speak a word;
only when she asked if what the old squaw said, was
true, she answered, Yes. My good woman came home
and went to bed sick about it, and she desired me
straightway to come up and deliver the tidings.”

Considerable altercation ensued, concerning who
should inform Mr. Conant. Mr. Oldham and his wife
were as eager to undertake the unwelcome task, as
their son-in-law was willing to decline it. Mr. Oldham
was just preparing to execute the mission, when
Mr. Skelton entered, and having heard the story, he

-- 164 --

[figure description] Page 164.[end figure description]

put an end to all interfering claims, by saying that he
thought it was his duty to impart the same.

As Mr. Conant sat alone, ruminating on the many
sad events in his chequered life, a few reluctant tears
had forced their way, and lay cold and undisturbed
upon his furrowed cheek. Perhaps had he known
the near approach of his minister, they had never
been shed; as it was, they were hastily brushed away,
when he returned the pressure of his hand.

“I'm glad to see you have borne this heavy affliction
as becomes a follower of Christ Jesus,” said Mr.

“It doth but cause our enemies to blaspheme, when
christians, who of all men ought to glory in affliction,
are disposed to murmur at the weight thereof,” replied
Mr. Conant. “Whatsoever dispensation the
Lord may send in his anger, I hope he will always
give me strength to say, `My trust is in thee, and in
the shadow of thy wings will I take refuge.' Besides,
Mr. Skelton, how would it beseem me to talk of my
own sorrows, when the Lord hath so sorely smitten
us all?”

“Of a truth,” rejoined the clergyman, “he hath
removed many goodly pillars from the land. Much
could I wish that the godly Mr. Higginson were alive
this day; inasmuch as he had a soul-ravishing, a soulsaving,
and a soul-comforting speech. Alas, that he
left not his mantle behind him.”

“No doubt he was taken away from the evil to
come,” answered Mr. Conant. “But we have abundant
need of his pious reproofs among us, notwithstanding
you carry yourself much for the edification of
those unto whom you are called to minister. These
are trying times among us. Numbers are swept off
by sickness; and the blight and mildew in our corn
seemeth to forbode a famine; and as for the colony

-- 165 --

[figure description] Page 165.[end figure description]

at Shawmut, I verily fear, their joyful beginning will
have but a dolorous end.”

“If every man bears his part of the public calamities
as well as you have borne the death of your
child, I have no doubt the Lord will smile upon our
undertakings; though for a season `He feedeth us
with the bread of tears, and giveth us tears to drink
in great measure,”' rejoined Mr. Skelton.

“Why, I trust, I have not in vain heard your godly
exhortations from the pulpit,” said Mr. Conant; “nor
yet the dying admonitions of Mr. Higginson, who told
us in all times of trouble to lean upon the Lord of
Hosts. Verily I will rest upon His promises, though
`mine own familiar friend, in whom my soul trusted,
who did eat of my bread, should lift up his heel
against me;' yea, though `lover and friend be put far
from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.”'

“But what would you say,” asked Mr. Skelton, “if
Mary was yet alive?”

“What would I say?” exclaimed he, starting up
eagerly. Then with more composure he added,
“Verily, I would thank the Lord, in that the bitter
cup had passed from me. Have you heard any

“Mary is alive and well at Plymouth,” answered
Mr. Skelton.

“God be praised,” said Mr. Conant—and now indeed
the tears fell fast and unrestrained. He seized
Mr. Skelton's hand, and repeated again and again,
“The Lord be praised—The Lord be praised for all
his goodness.”

A stern, unbending sense of duty, a gloomy experience
of human nothingness, all his strange obliquities
of character had left him a father still. The clergyman
said nothing to interrupt this burst of feeling, until
Mr. Conant paused and inquired,

-- 166 --

[figure description] Page 166.[end figure description]

“But why went she thither without my knowledge?”

“That is what will be the hardest for you to bear
like a christian,” rejoined Mr. Skelton; “and I would
not tell you thereof till you have strengthened your
mind for the worst.”

“I can bear any thing, if so be she is alive,” answered
the distressed father. “I beseech you, let me
hear the worst.”

“She is married to Hobomok,” replied Mr. Skelton.

The unexpected information fell like a deadly blow
on the heart of the old man; and those cheeks and
lips grew pale, which no man had ever before seen
blanched since his boyhood. He stood at the window
a moment, firmly compressing his lips, to keep
back some choking emotion; but finding the effort ineffectual,
he took up his hat and went forth to seek a
solitude where he might pour out his sorrows before
his Maker. An hour elapsed before he returned,
and could Mary have foreknown the agony of that
hour, she had never left the parental roof. When he
again entered his house, he found his friend still waiting
for his return. He took his offered hand, as he

“I am more calm now, Sir. God forgive me, if in
aught I have rebelled against his holy will; but assuredly
I find I could more readily have covered her
sweet face with the clods, than bear this; but the
Lord's will be done.”

“It behoves you to think what would have become
of her unconverted soul if she had died in such
a state,” replied the minister. “Goodman Collier
thinks she was bereaved of reason, when she did this
deed; and peradventure the Lord may yet raise her
up to be `a burning and a shining light.”'

-- 167 --

[figure description] Page 167.[end figure description]

“For her soul's salvation, God grant she may not
be in her right mind,” answered Mr. Conant. “I
would fain have the poor stray lamb returned to the

“Had you no suspicions concerning Hobomok's
visits heretofore?” asked Mr. Skelton.

“I knew he was grateful to us for much we had
done for him at Plymouth,” rejoined Mr. Conant;
“but verily, had I been told it extended further, I
had never believed so unlikely a thing. I knew that
Mary loved to hear his long stories, abounding as they
were with metaphors, but then the thoughtless child
was always given to vain imaginations, which profit
not. Her good mother told me, the day before she
died, that Mary's heart would always hanker after
him who is now lost in the bowels of the ocean; and
I promised that I would give my assent to their marriage.
Peradventure this chastisement hath come
upon me, because I thought in my heart, to countenance
the doings of the unrighteous.”

“Well,” replied Mr. Skelton, “it is a mercy to receive
the reward of our sins, in some sort, during this
life; but you must not be tempted to forget Him in
whom you said you would put your trust, `though
darkness overshadowed you, and the waters compassed
you about.”'

Mr. Conant shook his head despairingly. “I had
made up my mind to her watery grave,” said he;
“but to have her lie in the bosom of a savage, and
mingle her prayers with a heathen, who knoweth not
God, is hard for a father's heart to endure.”

“Let us unite in prayer,” said Mr. Skelton. “Verily
at all seasons it is the best balm for a wounded

Mr. Conant was indeed soothed and strengthened
by the exercise. The next day saw him busy in his

-- 168 --

[figure description] Page 168.[end figure description]

daily employments;—weeks and months past on, and
witnessed the same unvaried fortitude. But the heart
of the old man was bowed down within him. The
widow Willet said, she often heard him groan bitterly
in the night; and his neighbours frequently noticed
him leaning upon his axe or his hoe, by the hour together,
apparently lost in melancholy reflections.


Yes—it was love—if thoughts of tenderness,
Tried in temptation, strengthened by distress—
Which nor defeated hope, nor baffled wile,
Could render sullen, were she ne'er to smile,
Nor rage could fire, nor sickness fret to vent
On her one murmur of his discontent—
If there be love in mortals—this was love!

For several weeks Mary remained in the same stupified
state in which she had been at the time of her
marriage. She would lie through the livelong day,
unless she was requested to rise; and once risen,
nothing could induce her to change her posture. Language
has no power to shadow forth her feelings as
she gradually awoke to a sense of her situation. But
there is a happy propensity in the human mind to
step as lightly as possible on the thorns which infest
a path we are compelled to tread. It is only when
there is room for hope, that evils are impatiently
borne. Desolate as Mary's lot might seem, it was
not without its alleviations. All the kind attentions
which could suggest themselves to the mind of a savage,
were paid by her Indian mother. Hobomok

-- 169 --

[figure description] Page 169.[end figure description]

continued the same tender reverence, he had always
evinced, and he soon understood the changing expression
of her countenance, till her very looks were
a law. So much love could not but awaken gratitude;
and Mary by degrees gave way to its influence,
until she welcomed his return with something
like affection. True, in her solitary hours there were
reflections enough to make her wretched. Kind as
Hobomok was, and rich as she found his uncultivated
mind in native imagination, still the contrast between
him and her departed lover, would often be remembered
with sufficient bitterness. Beside this, she
knew that her own nation looked upon her as lost and
degraded; and, what was far worse, her own heart
echoed back the charge. Hobomok's connexion with
her was considered the effect of witchcraft on his part,
and even he was generally avoided by his former
friends. However, this evil brought its own cure.
Every wound of this kind, every insult which her husband
courageously endured for her sake, added romantic
fervor to her increasing affection, and thus
made life something more than endurable. While
all her English acquaintances more or less neglected
her, her old associate, Mrs. Collier, firmly and boldly
stemmed the tide, and seemed resolved to do all in
her power to relieve the hardships of her friend. For
a long time her overtures were proudly refused; for
Mary could not endure that the visits of one, who had
been so vastly her inferior, should now be considered
an honor and obligation. However, persevering kindness
did in time overcome this feeling, and in less than
a year, Sally became a frequent inmate of her wigwam.
To this, was soon likely to be added another
source of enjoyment. Before two years passed away,
she became the mother of a hopeful son. Under
such circumstances, his birth was no doubt entwined

-- 170 --

[figure description] Page 170.[end figure description]

with many mournful associations; still the smiles of
her infant brought more of pleasure than of pain. As
Mary looked on the little being, which was “bone of
her bone, and flesh of her flesh,” she felt more love
for the innocent object, than she thought she should
ever again experience.

During the period before his birth, nothing occurred
of any importance to our story, excepting that Mr.
Conant had written two letters to his daughter. The
first conjured her not to consider a marriage lawful,
which had been performed in a moment of derangement,
and invited her to return to the arms of a parent
who tenderly loved her. The second informed
her of a considerable legacy left to her by the Earl
of Rivers, and again offered her a welcome home and
oblivion of all the past. Mary's heart was melted at
these proofs of affection, when she had so little expected
them; but she well knew she should only be
considered an outcast among her brethren, and she
could not persuade herself that her marriage vow to
the Indian was any less sacred, than any other voluntary
promise. So she wrote to her father, implored
his forgiveness, hinted at the deplorable state of mind
which had led her to this extremity, stated many reasons
which now rendered it impossible for her to return,
even if she were so disposed, and concluded by
urging him to appropriate her property to his own
comfort, as she should probably never be in a situation
to enjoy it.

After this general view of things, we must now pass
over to the 16th of September, 1633, and leave the
interim to the reader's imagination. The old squaw
had lately died of a fever, and symptoms of the same
disorder began to appear in her little grandson, now
nearly two years old. On the morning we have mentioned,
Mrs. Collier took her own little blooming

-- 171 --

[figure description] Page 171.[end figure description]

daughter in her arms, and went into the wigwam to
inquire concerning the health of the boy. No sooner
was she steated, than the children, accustomed to see
each other, began to peep in each other's faces,
and look up to their mothers, their bright, laughing
eyes beaming with cherub love. Hobomok entered,
and for a moment stood watching with delighted attention,
the bewitching sports of childhood. He
caught up the infant, and placing his little feet in the
centre of his hand, held him high above his head.

“My boy, my brave hunter's boy,” said he, and
pressing him in his arms he half suffocated him with
caresses. He placed him in his mother's lap, and
took down his quiver, as he said, “Hobomok must
be out hunting the deer.” The child jumped down
upon the floor, and tottling up to him, took hold of his
blanket and looked in his face, as he lisped, “Fader
come back gin to see 'ittle Hobomok.”

Again the father stooped and kissed him, as he answered

“Hobomok very much bad, if he didn't come back
always to see little Hobomok, and his good Mary.”

He went out, but soon returned and lifting the
blanket, which served for a door, he again looked at
his boy, who would alternately hide his head, and
then reach forward to catch another glimpse of his

“Good bye, Hobomok—Good bye, Mary”—said
the Indian. “Before the sun hides his face, I shall
come home loaded with deer.”

“Take care of yourself,” said his wife, affectionately;
“and see that Corbitant be not in your path.”

“Sally, you have never said one word about my
marrying Hobomok,” continued she; “and I have no
doubt you think I must be very miserable; but I speak

-- 172 --

[figure description] Page 172.[end figure description]

truly when I say that every day I live with that kind,
noble-hearted creature, the better I love him.

“I always thought he was the best Indian I ever
knew,” answered Sally; “and within these three
years he has altered so much, that he seems almost
like an Englishman. After all, I believe matches are

“I don't know concerning that,” rejoined Mary.
“I am sure I am happier than I ever expected to be
after Charles' death, which is more than I deserve,
considering I broke my promise to my dying mother,
and deserted my father in his old age.”

While conversation of this nature was going on at
home, Hobomok was pursuing his way through the
woods, whistling and singing as he went, in the joyfulness
of his heart. He had proceeded near half a
mile in this way, when he espied an eagle, soaring
with a flight so lofty, that he seemed almost like a
speck in the blue abyss above. The Indian fixed his
keen eye upon him, and as he gradually lowered his
flight, he made ready his arrow, and a moment after
the noble bird lay fluttering at his feet.

“A true aim that, Hobomok,” said a voice which
sounded familiar to his ears. He raised his head to
see from whence it proceeded. Charles Brown stood
by his side! The countenance of the savage assumed
at once the terrible, ashen hue of Indian paleness.
His wounded victim was left untouched, and he hastily
retreated into the thicket, casting back a fearful
glance on what he supposed to be the ghost of his
rival. Brown attempted to follow; but the farther
he advanced, the farther the Indian retreated, his
face growing paler and paler, and his knees trembling
against each other in excessive terror.

“Hobomok,” said the intruder, “I am a man like
yourself. I suppose three years agone you heard I

-- 173 --

[figure description] Page 173.[end figure description]

was dead, but it has pleased the Lord to spare me in
captivity until this time, and to lead me once more to
New England. The vessel which brought me hither,
lieth down a mile below, but I chose the rather to be
put on shore, being impatient to inquire concerning
the friends I left behind. You used to be my good
friend, Hobomok, and many a piece of service have
you done for me. I beseech you feel of my hand,
that you may know I am flesh and blood even as yourself.”

After repeated assurances, the Indian timidly approached—
and the certainty that Brown was indeed
alive, was more dreadful to him than all the ghosts
that could have been summoned from another world.

“You look as if you were sorry your old friend
had returned,” said the Englishman; “but do speak
and tell me one thing—Is Mary Conant yet alive?”

Hobomok fixed his eyes upon him with such a
strange mixture of sorrow and fierceness, that Brown
laid his hand upon his rifle, half fearful his intentions
were evil. At length, the Indian answered with deliberate

“She is both alive and well.”

“I thank God,” rejoined his rival. “I need not
ask whether she is married?”

The savage looked earnestly and mournfully upon
him, and sighed deeply, as he said,

“The handsome English bird hath for three years
lain in my bosom; and her milk hath nourished the
son of Hobomok.”

The Englishman cast a glance of mingled doubt
and despair towards the Indian, who again repeated
the distressing truth. Disappointed love, a sense of
degradation, perhaps something of resentment, were
all mingled in a dreadful chaos of agony, within the
mind of the unfortunate young man; and at that

-- 174 --

[figure description] Page 174.[end figure description]

moment it was difficult to tell to which of the two, anguish
had presented her most unmingled cup. The
Indian gazed upon his rival, as he stood leaning his
aching head against a tree; and once and again he
indulged in the design of taking his life.

“No,” thought he. “She was first his. Mary
loves him better than she does me; for even now she
prays for him in her sleep. The sacrifice must be
made to her.”

For a long time, however, it seemed doubtful whether
he could collect sufficient fortitude to fulfil his resolution.
The remembrance of the smiling wife and
the little prattling boy, whom he had that morning
left, came too vividly before him. It recks not now
what was the mighty struggle in the mind of that dark
man. He arose and touched Brown's arm, as he

“'Tis all true which I have told you. It is three
snows since the bird came to my nest; and the Great
Spirit only knows how much I have loved her. Good
and kind she has been; but the heart of Mary is not
with the Indian. In her sleep she talks with the
Great Spirit, and the name of the white man is on her
lips. Hobomok will go far off among some of the red
men in the west. They will dig him a grave, and
Mary may sing the marriage song in the wigwam of
the Englishman.”

“No,” answered his astonished companion. “She
is your wife. Keep her, and cherish her with tenderness.
A moment ago, I expected your arrow
would rid me of the life which has now become a
burden. I will be as generous as you have been. I
will return from whence I came, and bear my sorrows
as I may. Let Mary never know that I am alive.
Love her, and be happy.”

-- 175 --

[figure description] Page 175.[end figure description]

“The purpose of an Indian is seldom changed,” replied
Hobomok. “My tracks will soon be seen far
beyond the back-bone of the Great Spirit. For
Mary's sake I have borne the hatred of the Yengees,
the scorn of my tribe, and the insults of my enemy.
And now, I will be buried among strangers, and none
shall black their faces for the unknown chief. When
the light sinks behind the hills, see that Corbitant be
not near my wigwam; for that hawk has often been
flying round my nest. Be kind to my boy.”—His voice
choked, and the tears fell bright and fast. He hastily
wiped them away as he added, “You have seen
the first and last tears that Hobomok will ever shed.
Ask Mary to pray for me—that when I die, I may go
to the Englishman's God, where I may hunt beaver
with little Hobomok, and count my beavers for

Before Brown had time to reply, he plunged into
the thicket and disappeared. He moved on with astonishing
speed, till he was aware he must be beyond
the reach of pursuit; then throwing himself upon the
grass, most earnestly did he hope that the arrow of
Corbitant would do the office it had long sought, and
wreck upon his head deep and certain vengeance.
But the weapon of his enemy came not. He was
reserved for a fate that had more of wretchedness. He
lay thus inactive for several hours, musing on all he
had enjoyed and lost. At last, he sprung upon his
feet, as if stung with torture he could longer endure,
and seizing his bow, he pursued with delirious eagerness
every animal which came within his view.

The sun was verging towards the western horizon,
when he collected his game in one spot, and selecting
the largest deer, and several of the handsomest smaller
animals, he fastened them upon a pole and proceeded
towards Plymouth.

-- 176 --

[figure description] Page 176.[end figure description]

It was dark, and the tapers were lighted throughout
the village, when he entered Governor Winslow's
dwelling. Whatever was the purpose of his visit, it
was not long continued; and soon after, the deer was
noiselessly deposited by the side of Mr. Collier's
house, with a slip of paper fastened on his branching
horns. Hobomok paused before the door of his wigwam,
looked in at a small hole which admitted the
light, saw Mary feeding her Indian boy from his little
wooden bowl, and heard her beloved voice, as she
said to her child, “Father will come home and see
little Hobomok presently.”

How much would that high-souled child of the
forest have given for one parting embrace—one kind
assurance that he should not be forgotten. Affection
was tugging hard at his heart strings, and once his
foot was almost on the threshold.

“No,” said he; “it will distress her. The Great
Spirit bless 'em both.”

Without trusting another look, he hurried forward.
He paused on a neighboring hill, looked toward his
wigwam till his strained vision could hardly discern
the object, with a bursting heart again murmured his
farewell and blessing, and forever passed away from
New England.

-- 177 --


God, the best maker of all marriages,
Combine your hearts in one.
King Henry V.

[figure description] Page 177.[end figure description]

Charles Brown had listened with respect and admiration
to the farewell address of the Indian, and
forgetful of every other sentiment, he eagerly pursued
him, with the intention of restoring the happiness
he had so nobly sacrificed. But there were few of
the swiftest animals of the forest could outstrip the
speed of Hobomok. His step was soon out of hearing,
and Brown having at length lost sight of his track,
reluctantly gave over the pursuit. In his anxiety to
overtake the savage, and in the bewilderment of his
own brain, he lost the path; and the sun was nearly
setting, when he regained the road he had left. He
seated himself upon a rock, in hopes of again meeting
Hobomok, should he attempt to return to Plymouth.
No sound was heard in those lone forests, save
the rustling of the leaves as they bowed to the autumnal
wind, or the shriek of some solitary bird as
he flapped his wings above the head of the traveller.
To these was now and then added the monotonous
sound of the whippowill, answered by a strain of
wild and varied melody from some far-off songster of
the woods. The foliage of the trees was every where
so thickly interlaced, excepting the narrow footpath
which opened before him, that scarcely a single ray
of light could be discerned among the branches. The
brightness of the sun had already gone beyond the

-- 178 --

[figure description] Page 178.[end figure description]

view, and a long train of sable clouds were gathering
in the west, as if mourning his departure. The
conflicting feelings of the young man were settled in
deep melancholy; and the aspect of nature “suited
the gloomy habit of his soul.”

“Thus,” thought he, “has been my ambitious
course. Thus did the dawning rays of hope and imagination
send forth their radiance, till the world seemed
all light and joy. I have struggled through the
clouds which have gathered around me, cheered by
the thought that Mary's love would render the evening
of my days tranquil and happy. Desperate must
have been the temptations which beset the dear girl's
mind, when she took the cruel step which has forever
wrenched that hope from me. But the deed is done,
and God forbid that my resentment should rest on
her unhappy head. Existence must now be as sad as
those dull clouds which are so fast gathering.”

The evening grew more dark, and still nothing betokened
the approach of the hunter; and the dismal
hooting of the owls, and the distant growling of the
wolf, warned the traveller to seek safety in the haunts
of men. He proceeded along his journey uninterrupted;
and soon the well known wigwam of Hobomok
met his view. He started with a sudden pang,
and walked along rapidly, whistling lest he should
hear the sound of that voice so dear to his memory.
Immediately after the painful spot was passed, he met
a little boy, hieing homeward, as merry and hardy
as youth and poverty could make him.

“My boy,” said he, “can you tell me where Mr.
Collier lives?”

The child pointed to a new house that was hard by,
and scampered home to tell his father there was a
stranger in the settlement. Mr. Brown already had
his hand upon the latch, when the recollection of

-- 179 --

[figure description] Page 179.[end figure description]

Hobomok's terror induced him to ascertain who were
the inmates of the dwelling, before he ventured to
enter. Stepping round cautiously he looked in at the
window. Sally sat there knitting by a dim taper, her
foot gently moving the white pine cradle, which contained
her sleeping infant.

“I shall no doubt alarm her if I go in so suddenly,”
thought he.

While he was deliberating, he heard the noise of
coming footsteps, and presently a man stumbled, and
fell directly before him.

“What have we here?” muttered the stranger,
springing on his feet and looking back. “I'll go in
and ask Sally for a light.”

“Who are you, sir?” inquired he, as he noticed
Brown standing before his door.

“Mr. Collier,” replied the young man, “I would not
willingly alarm you, therefore give me your hand, before
I tell you my name. You suppose Charles
Brown to be dead, but he is alive, and you now have
him by the hand.”

“Charles Brown of Salem!” exclaimed Mr. Collier.

“The same,” answered his visitor.

“If you are really the living Mr. Brown,” said the
other, “why do you stand outside of my door? Don't
you suppose you'd have a welcome within, after all
that's past and gone?”

This was the first expression of kindness which the
disconsolate wanderer had heard since his arrival,
and he shook the hand of his old acquaintance so
cordially, that he could have no remaining doubts
whether he was real flesh and blood.

“I knew I should frighten your wife,” replied he.
“I saw she was alone, and inasmuch as I knew she
supposed me to be dead, I thought best to await your

-- 180 --

[figure description] Page 180.[end figure description]

return. But if you will prepare her to see me, I will
gladly enter, for I am overcome with weariness.”

Mr. Collier entered, and drawing his chair towards
the cardle, he looked in upon his infant, and smiled, as
he said,

“Sally, I have some strange news to tell you, if
you'll promise not to be frightened.”

“What is it? What is it?” asked his wife, eagerly.
I'm sure you don't look as if it was very terrifying.”

“It's bad enough though, for some folks that you
love,” replied he, thoughtfully. “Charles Brown is

“Charles Brown alive!” screamed Sally. “Tell
me how you know it.”

“I have seen him, shook hands with him, and talked
with him,” rejoined her husband.

“What will poor Mary do?” asked his wife.

“That's the first thing I thought of,” answered Mr.
Collier. “Poor fellow, he little knoweth what is in
reserve for him; but the Lord overruleth all things in
infinite wisdom. I have one thing more to tell you;
and you must be calm about it, for peradventure I
should have been sorely frightened had I seen his
face before he spoke. He standeth even now at the

“It can't be true,” exclaimed she, jumping up, and
looking out of the window.

The door opened, and Brown stood before her.

“Do you believe it now, Sally?” said he.

“Yes, I do; and I am glad to see you,” she replied;
“and since my good-man is here, I will kiss your

She looked him in the face till the multitude of
thoughts in her kind heart broke forth in tears.

“Do tell us,” said Mr. Collier, “for I was so

-- 181 --

[figure description] Page 181.[end figure description]

surprised that I never thought of it until now, how came
you hither?”

“I came in an English vessel, which lies two miles
below waiting for wind. My story is no uncommon
one for an East India passenger. Our vessel was
wrecked, and for nearly three years I have been a
prisoner on the coast of Africa. How I effected my
escape, I have neither strength nor spirits to tell you

“How wonderful are the doings of Providence,”
rejoined Mr. Collier; and he looked at his wife, as if
he would add, “Poor fellow, his hardest fortune is
yet to come.”

“You need not look thus mournfully on each other,
my good friends,” observed the young man. “Had
I not known the worst, I had not so long refrained
from asking after my dear Mary.”

“How could you have heard so soon?” inquired

“I met Hobomok soon after I landed,” replied
Brown; “and I have waited a long while, trusting to
see him again as he returned; but if he came he must
have taken a different route. He himself told me
that Mary was his wife, and the mother of an Indian

“Is it possible you have met Hobomok alone, and
yet live to tell thereof?” asked Mr. Collier.

“I met him alone in the woods, and sincerely did I
wish he would take my life,” answered the young
man. “I have a story to tell of that savage, which
might make the best of us blush at our inferiority,
Christians as we are; but I cannot tell it now.”

“Speaking of hunting, makes me think of what I
stumbled over, when I met you,” replied Mr. Collier.
“I'll take a light and go out to see what it was; for

-- 182 --

[figure description] Page 182.[end figure description]

assuredly I thought it seemed like some large animal.”

He soon returned, bringing in the pole, which had
been left there by Hobomok.

“This is strange,” exclaimed he. “Here is as
handsome a deer as ever I put eyes on; and three
clever foxes.”

“What's that paper, fastened on the horns?” asked
his wife.

Her husband untied it; and when opened, it proved
to be as follows:

“This doth certifie that the witche hazel sticks,
which were givene to the witnesses of my marriage
are all burnte by my requeste: therefore by Indian
laws, Hobomok and Mary Conant are divorced. And
this I doe, that Mary may be happie. The same will
be testified by my kinsmen Powexis, Mawhalissis, and
Mackawalaw. The deere and foxes are for my goode
Mary, and my boy. Maye the Englishmen's God
bless them all.

The marke of Hobomok.

“Written by me, at the instigatione of the above
Indian, who hath tolde me all, under an injunctione of
secresie for three daies.

Edward Winslow.
Governor of the jurisdictione of New Plimouth.”

“His conduct is all of a piece, noble throughout,”
observed Brown. And he repeated to his friends, his
singular interview with the Indian.

The behavior of the savage naturally drew forth
many expressions of wonder and admiration; and the
next question was, “How is Mary to be informed of

-- 183 --

[figure description] Page 183.[end figure description]

all this? She will, no doubt, be alarmed at the absence
of Hobomok.”

“I am going to prepare some food for Mr. Brown,”
replied Sally; “and after I have done that, if you
will take care of little Mary, I will go and spend the
night with her. It is so near the fort, there can't be
any danger when there are two of us; and perhaps
to-morrow she will see Mr. Brown.”

The young man insisted that he needed no food;
and that he himself would stand sentinel near Mary's
wigwam, and guard her through the night. Sally represented
the impracticability of this plan, and the terrible
alarm it would give Mary, should she chance to
discover him; and after a good deal of friendly altercation,
she carried her point. A small repast was set
before Brown, and Mrs. Collier, having made all necessary
arrangements for the comfort of her family,
and having received repeated cautions, both from her
husband and her guest, departed to the dwelling of
her friend. She found her, as she expected, anxiously
looking out for the hunter.

“What can be the reason he does not return?” said
she, as Sally entered. “I was just thinking of coming
in to ask you about him.”

“Perhaps he did not find game plenty,” replied
Mrs. Collier.

“You know he seldom fails to find something,” rejoined
his anxious wife; “and besides he always
comes home at night, whether he has been lucky or
unlucky. He never would trust me and his boy to
the mercy of Corbitant, after the night closed in; but
perhaps, like every thing else that I ever loved, he is
snatched away from me.”

“I have thought a great deal of that trick you tried
at Naumkeak,” observed her friend. “It would be

-- 184 --

[figure description] Page 184.[end figure description]

strange if Hobomok should die, and Brown should yet
return alive and well; and yet we do sometimes hear
of things as wonderful as that.”

“How wildly you talk, dear Sally,” she replied.
“Charles has been dead these three years, and it is
wicked in me to think of him so much as I do; for if
ever a wife owed love to a husband, heathen or christian,
I do to Hobomok. But have you heard any
thing about my husband, that made you speak thus?”

Slowly did her friend prepare her mind for the reception
of the tidings, and cautiously and gradually
did she impart them, until she was made to comprehend
the return of her lover, his meeting with Hobomok,
and the exalted course which her husband had

The singular circumstances were so prudently revealed,
and Mary had been so much accustomed to
excitement, that no violent tumult was raised within
her bosom; but she sobbed till Mrs. Collier thought
her heart must break.

“I would willingly go down to the grave,” said she,
“willingly forfeit my hopes of heaven, if I could know
they were both happy; but to have Hobomok a
wanderer, for my sake, and to have him die among
strangers, without one relation to speak those words
of comfort and kindness, which he has so often uttered
to me, I cannot—I cannot endure it.” “I only have
sinned; and yet all the punishment has fallen upon his
head. No; not quite all; for I know Brown must despise

Sally tried every gentle art to soothe her perturbed
feelings, and before she departed, she extorted a
promise that she would see Brown towards evening.
A thousand times did Mary repent this resolution,
notwithstanding her eagerness for the interview.

-- 185 --

[figure description] Page 185.[end figure description]

Alternately would she weep, and then pray that blessings
might rest on the head of him who had so lately
been her husband; and if she regained any thing like
composure, little Hobomok, who wandered about unused
to such neglect, would ask, “What for make
mamy ky so 'bout fader;” and his tone of infant melancholy
would call forth all her sorrows afresh. At
length the day drew toward a close; and Mary's
pulse throbbed high when she heard those well-known
footsteps approaching. In an instant she was at the
feet of her lover, clasping his knees with a pale imploring
countenance, as she said,

“Can you forgive me, Charles,—lost and humbled
as I have been?”

“The Lord judge you according to your temptations,
my dear Mary,” replied he, as he raised her to
his bosom, and wept over her in silence.

For a time both seemed afraid to trust each other
with a second word or look.

“My temptations were many,” said Mary, interrupting
the silence. “I cannot tell you all now. But
at home all was dark and comfortless; and when I
heard you too were gone, my reason was obscured.
Believe me I knew almost as little as I cared, whither
I went, so as I could but escape the scenes wherewith
you were connected; but to this hour, my love has
never abated.”

“I believe it, Mary; but where is your boy?”

The child moved before his mother, as he lisped,
“Here's little Hobomok.”

Mary caught him to her heart and kissed him,
while the tears fell fast upon his cheeks.

“He is a brave boy,” observed Brown, as he passed
his fingers through the glossy black hair of the
fearless young Indian.

-- 186 --

[figure description] Page 186.[end figure description]

“Those were the last words his father said to him,”
rejoined Mary, and she placed him in his arms, and
turned away to conceal her emotion.

“Let's talk no more concerning this subject,” said
the young man. “The sacrifice that has been made
is no doubt painful to us both; more especially to
you, who have so long known his goodness; but it cannot
now be remedied. You must go to Mr. Collier's
to night; but will you first say that you will be my
wife, either here or in England?”

“I cannot go to England,” she replied. My boy
would disgrace me, and I never will leave him; for
love to him is the only way that I can now repay my
debt of gratitude.”

“What is his name?” asked Brown.

“According to the Indian custom, he took the name
of his mother,” answered Mary. “I called him
Charles Hobomok Conant.”

“He shall be my own boy,” exclaimed the young
man. “May God prosper me according to my kindness
towards him. But, my dear Mary, will you, as
soon as possible, be my wife?”

“If you do not utterly despise me,” rejoined she,
in an agitated tone. “You well know how dear you
are to my soul.”

Mary and her son removed to Mrs. Collier's; and
a letter was immediately despatched to Mr. Conant,
informing him of existing circumstances, and requesting
that the marriage might be performed at his house.
The old gentleman returned this brief answer.

“Come to my arms, by deare childe; and maye
God forgive us both, in aughte wherein we have transgressed.”

The necessary arrangements were made; and a few
days after, Mr. Brown, accompanied by Mary and

-- 187 --

[figure description] Page 187.[end figure description]

her son, returned to Salem. It was the first time
Mary had seen the town since her departure with the
savage; and on many accounts the meeting could not
be otherwise than one of mingled pain and pleasure.

Her father clasped her in a long, affectionate embrace,
and never to the day of his death, referred to
a subject which was almost equally unpleasant to
both. A few weeks after their arrival, Mr. Skelton
was sent for, and Mary stood beside her bridegroom,
her hand resting on the sleek head of that swarthy
boy. He, all unconscious of what was going forward,
gave little heed to the hand which was intended to
restrain his restless motions; for now he would be
wholly concealed behind his mother's dress, and now,
one rougeish black eye would slily peep out upon his
favorite companion, the laughing little Mary Collier.

Charles Brown and Mary Conant were pronounced
husband and wife, in the presence of her father and
Dame Willet, Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, and her two
constant friends from Plymouth.

A new house was soon after erected near Mr. Conant's;
and through the remainder of his life, the
greater part of his evenings were spent by that fireside.
Disputes on matters of opinion would sometimes
arise; but Brown seldom forgot his promises of
forbearance, and they were always brought to an
amicable termination. Partly from consciousness of
blame, and partly from a mixed feeling of compassion
and affection, the little Hobomok was always a peculiar
favorite with his grandfather. At his request,
half the legacy of Earl Rivers was appropriated to his
education. He was afterwards a distinguished graduate
at Cambridge; and when he left that infant
university, he departed to finish his studies in England.
His father was seldom spoken of; and by

-- 188 --

[figure description] Page 188.[end figure description]

degrees his Indian appellation was silently omitted. But
the devoted, romantic love of Hobomok was never
forgotten by its object; and his faithful services to
the “Yengees” are still remembered with gratitude;
though the tender slip which he protected, has since
become a mighty tree, and the nations of the earth
seek refuge beneath its branches.

Previous section

Next section

Child, Lydia Maria Francis, 1802-1880 [1824], Hobomok (Cummings, Hilliard & Co., Boston) [word count] [eaf041].
Powered by PhiloLogic