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

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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

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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.

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“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

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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,

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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