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Child, Lydia Maria Francis, 1802-1880 [1824], Hobomok (Cummings, Hilliard & Co., Boston) [word count] [eaf041].
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.”

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“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

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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

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Child, Lydia Maria Francis, 1802-1880 [1824], Hobomok (Cummings, Hilliard & Co., Boston) [word count] [eaf041].
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