Hope Leslie, Volume 2
by Catharine Maria Sedgwick
"Here stood the Indian chieftain, rejoicing in his glory!
How deep the shade of sadness that rests upon his story:
For the white man came with power—like brethren they met—
But the Indian fires went out, and the Indian sun has set!
"And the chieftain has departed—gone is his hunting ground.
And the twanging of his bow-string is a forgotten sound:—
Where dwelleth yesterday? and where is Echo's cell?
Where has the rainbow vanished?—there does the Indian dwell.
"There's nothing I have done yet o' my conscience,
Deserves a corner: would all other women
Could speak this with as free a soul as I do."
— Henry VIII.
While Hope Leslie was deeply engaged in the object of her secret
expedition, Governor Winthrop's household was thrown into alarm at her
Jennet was the only member of the family who did not admit that
there was real cause of uneasiness. "Miss Hope," she said, "was always
like a crazed body of moonlight nights; there was never any keeping her
within the four walls of a house."
But a moonlight night it soon ceased to be. The clouds that had
been scudding over the heavens, gathered in dark and terrific masses. A
spring storm ensued; a storm to which winter and summer contribute all
their elemental power— rain, lightning, wind, and hail.
Governor Winthrop naturally concluded, (for all persons not deeply
interested are apt to be rational,) that Miss Leslie had taken refuge
under some safe covert, and he summoned his family totheir evening
devotions. Both the Fletchers excused themselves, and braved the storm
in quest of their lost treasure; and even old Cradock, in spite of Mrs.
Grafton's repeated suggestions that he was a very useless person for
such an enterprise, sallied forth; but all returned in the space of an
hour to bring their various reports of fruitless inquiry and search.
Everell remained but long enough to learn that there were no tidings of
Hope, and was again rushing out of the house, when he met the object of
his apprehensions at the hall door. "Thank heaven!" he exclaimed, on
seeing her, "you are safe. Where have you been?—we were all in the
most distressful alarm about you."
Hope had, by this time, advanced far enough into the entry for
Everell to perceive, by the light of the lantern, that she was muffled
in Sir Philip Gardiner's cloak. His face had kindled with joy at her
appearance; all light now vanished from it, and he stood eyeing Hope
with glances that spoke, though his lips refused again to move; while
she, without observing or suspecting his emotion, did not reply to him,
and was only intent on disengaging herself from the cloak. "Do help me,
Everell," she said, impatiently; and he endeavoured to untie the string
that fastened it, but in his agitation, instead of untying, he doubled
"Oh, worse and worse!" she exclaimed, and, without any farther
ceremony, she broke the string and running back to the door, gave the
cloak to Sir Philip, who stood awaiting it, till then unperceived by
Everell, in the shadows of the portico.
Everell again looked at Miss Leslie in the natural expectation of
some explanation, but she appeared only concerned to escape to her own
apartment without any inquiries from the family. Her face was extremely
pale; and her voice, still affected by recent agitation, trembled as
she said to Everell, "be kind enough to tell your father, and all of
them, that I have come in drenched with the rain, and have gone to my
own room—that I am wearied, and shall throw off my wet garments, and
get to bed as soon as possible;" and then adding, a "good night,
Everell," and without awaiting any answer, she was springing up the
stairs when the parlour-door was thrown open, and half-a-dozen voices
exclaimed, in the same breath, "oh, Hope!"—"Hope Leslie!"—"Miss Hope
Leslie! is it you?"
"Come back, my child, and tell me where you have been," said Mr.
"Yes, Miss Leslie," said Governor Winthrop, but in a tone of
kindness rather than authority, "render an account of thyself to thy
"Yes, come along Hope," said Mrs. Grafton, "and make due apologies
to Madam Winthrop. A pretty hubbub you have put her house in, to be
sure—though, I make no doubt, you can show good reason for it, and
also for leaving Sir Philipand me in that rantipole way, which I must
say was peculiar."
"For heaven's sake," said Hope to Esther, who had just joined her,
"do go in and make an apology for me. Say I am wet and tired—say any
thing you please, I care not what—will you?— that's a dear good
"No, Hope—come in yourself—aunt Winthrop looked a little
displeased—you had best come—I know she will expect it."
Thus beset, Hope dared not any longer hesitate, and with that
feeling, half resolution and half impatience to have a disagreeable
thing over which often impelled her, she descended the stairs as
hastily as she had ascended them, and was in the parlour, confronting
all the inquirers, before she had devised any mode of relieving herself
from the disagreeable predicament of not being able to satisfy their
"Verily, verily," exclaimed Cradock, who was the only one of the
groupe, not even excepting Everell, whose sympathy mastered his
curiosity— "verily, the maiden hath been in peril; she is as white as
a snow-wreath, and as wet as a drowned kitten."
"Yes, Master Cradock, quite as wet," replied Hope, rallying her
spirits, "and with almost as little discretion left, or I should not
have entered the parlour in this dripping condition. Madam Winthrop, I
beg you will have the goodness to pardon me for the trouble I have
"Certainly, my dear, as I doubt not you will make it plain to us
that you had sufficient reason for what appears so extraordinary, as a
young woman wandering off by herself after nine o'clock on Saturday
Our heroine had never had the slightest experience in the nice art
of diplomacy—that art that contrives to give such a convenient
indistinctness to the boundary line between truth and falsehood. After
a moment's reflection, her course seemed plain to her. To divulge the
real motive of her untimely walk, was impossible—to invent a false
excuse, to her, equally impossible. She turned to Governor Winthrop and
said, with a smile, that Everell, at least, thought might have softened
the elder Brutus—"I surrender myself to the laws of the land, having
no hope, but from the mercy of our magistrates. I have offended, I
know; but I should commit a worse offence—an offence against my own
conscience and heart—if I explained the cause of my absence."
Governor Winthrop was not accustomed to have his inquisitorial
rights resisted by those of his own household, and he was certainly
more struck than pleased by Hope's moral courage.
Mrs. Grafton half muttered, half spoke, what she meant to be an
apology for her favourite. "It was not every body," she said, "that
thought as the Governor did about Saturday night."
"True, true," said Cradock, eagerly, "it is a doubtful point with
divines and gifted men."
"Master Cradock," said the Governor, "thou art too apt to measure
thy orthodoxy by thy charity. Saturday night is allowed to be, and
manifestly is, holy time; and therefore to be applied, exclusively, to
acts of mercy and devotion." Then turning to the impatient culprit, he
added, "I am bound to say to thee, Hope Leslie, that thou dost take
liberties unsuitable to thy youth, and in violation of that deference
due to the rule and observances of my household, and discreditable to
him who hath been entrusted with thy nurture and admonition."
Hope received the first part of this reproof with her eyes rivetted
to the floor, and with a passiveness that had the semblance of
penitence; but at the implied reproach of her guardian, for whom she
had an affection that had the purity of filial and the enthusiasm of
voluntary love, she raised her eyes—their mild lustre, for an instant,
gave place to the passage of a flash of indignation direct from her
heart. Her glance met Everell's— he stood in a recess of the window,
leaning his head against the casement, looking intently on her. 'He too
suspects me of evil,' she thought, and she could scarcely command her
voice to say, as she turned and put her hand in the elder Fletcher's,
"I have done nothing to dishonour you. You believe me—do you not?"
"Yes, yes, my dear child; I must believe you, for you never
deceived me—but be not so impatient of reproof."
"I am not impatient for myself," she said; "I care not how
sternly—how harshly I am judged; but I see not why my fault, even if I
had committed one, should cast a shadow upon you."
Madam Winthrop now interposed her good offices to calm the troubled
waters. "There is no shadow any where, Miss Leslie, if there is
sunshine in the conscience; and I can answer for the Governor, that he
will overlook the disturbance of this evening, provided you are
discreet in future. But we are wrong to keep you so long in your wet
garments. Robin," she said, turning to a servant, "light a little fire
in the young ladies' room, and tell Jennet to warm Miss Leslie's bed—
let her strew a little sugar in the pan—an excellent thing, Mrs.
Grafton, to take soreness out of the bones."
Madam Winthrop was solicitous to remove the impression from her
guests that Miss Leslie was treated with undue strictness. Hope thanked
her for her kindness; and protesting that she had no need of fire, or
warming-pan, she hastily bade good-night, and retired to her own
Miss Downing lingered a moment after her, and ventured to say, in a
low timid tone, "that she trusted her uncle Winthrop would harbour no
displeasure against her friend—she was sure that she had been on some
errand of kindness; for, though she might sometimes indulge in a
blameable freedom of speech, she had ever observed her to be strict in
all duties and offices of mercy."
"You are right—right—marvellously right, Miss Downing," cried
Cradock, exultingly rubbing his hands—and then added, in a lower tone,
"a discerning young woman, Miss Esther."
"Humph!" said Mrs. Grafton, "I don't see any thing so marvellously
right in what Miss Esther says—it's what every body knows, who knows
Hope, that she never did a wrong thing."
Governor Winthrop suppressed a smile, and said to the good lady,
"we should take heed, my worthy friend, not to lay too much stress on
doing or not doing—not to rest unduly on duties and performances, for
they be unsound ground."
Mrs. Grafton might have thought if she had enough such ground to
stand on, it were terra firma to her; but, for once, she had the
discretion of silence.
Neither Everell nor his father spoke, probably because they felt
more than all the rest; and Madam Winthrop, feeling the awkwardness of
the scene, mentioned the hour, and proposed a general dispersion.
Everell followed Miss Downing to the staircase. "One word, Miss
Downing," he said—Esther turned her face towards him, her pale face,
for that instant illuminated—"did you," he asked, "in your apology for
your friend, speak from knowledge or from generous faith?"
"From faith," she replied, "but not generous faith, for it was
founded on experience."
Everell turned, disappointed, away. 'Faith,'he thought, 'there
might be without sight—but faith against sight, never.' "Trifles light
as air" are proverbially momentous matters to lovers. Everell had too
noble a mind to indulge in that fretful jealousy which is far more the
result of egregious self-love than love of another. But he had
cherished for Hope a consecrating sentiment —he had invested her with
a sacredness which the most refined, the purest, and most elevated love
throws around the object of its devotion.
"On magic ground that castle stoode,
And fenc'd with many a spelle."
Were these "spelles" to be dissolved by the light of truth? 'Why
should one,' thought Everell, 'who seemed so pure that she might dwell
in light—so artless, confiding, and fearless—why should she permit
herself to be obscured by mystery? If her meeting with Sir Philip
Gardiner was accidental, why not say so?—But what right have I to scan
her conduct?—What right to expect an explanation?—It is evident she
feels nothing more for me than the familiar affection of her childhood.
How she talked to me this evening of Esther Downing!—'if she had a
brother, she would select her friend from all the world for his
wife'—'Esther was not precise, she was only discreet'—'she was not
formal, but timid.' Perhaps she sees I love her, and thus delicately
tries to give a different bent to my affections; but that is
impossible—every hope—every purpose has been concentrated in her. My
affectionsmay be blighted, but they cannot be transferred—Perhaps it
is true, as some satirists say, that a woman's heart is wayward,
fantastic, and capricious. This vagrant knight has scarcely turned his
eyes from Hope since he first saw her, and I know he has addressed the
most presumptuous flattery to her. Perhaps she favours his pretensions.
I shrink even from his gazing on her, as if there were something
sullying in the glance of his eye; and yet she violates the customs of
the country—she braves severe displeasure—to walk alone with
him—with him she is insensible to a gathering storm. He is incapable
of loving her—he is intoxicated with her beauty —he seeks her
fortune—Her fortune! I had forgotten that my father made that a bar
between us. Fortune!—I never thought of any thing so mean as wealth in
connexion with her. I would as soon barter my soul, as seek any woman
for fortune—and Hope Leslie!—oh, I should as soon think of the dowry
of a celestial spirit, as of your being enriched by the trappings of
These disjointed thoughts, and many others that would naturally
spring up in the mind of a young lover, indicated the ardor, the
enthusiasm, the disinterestedness of Everell's passion, and the
restless and fearful state into which he had been plunged by the events
of the evening.
While he was pursuing this train of fancies, in which some
sweetness mingled with the bitter, Esther had followed Hope to her
apartment, and having shut the door, turned on her friend a look of
speaking inquiry and expectation, to which Hope did not respond, but
continued in a hurried manner to disrobe herself, throwing her drenched
shawl on one side, and her wet dress on the other.
Esther took a silver whistle from the toilet, and was opening the
door to summon Jennet with its shrill call, when Hope, observing her
intention, cried out, "If you love me, Esther, don't call Jennet
to-night; I wish at least to be spared her croaking."
"As you please," replied Esther, quietly reclosing the door; "I
thought Jennet had best come, and take care of your apparel, as, if
your mind was not otherwise occupied, you would not choose to leave it
in such disorder." While Esther spoke, she stood by the toilet,
smoothing her kerchief, and restoring it to the laundress' folds.
"Yes," said Hope, "I prefer any disorder to the din of Jennet's
tongue. I cannot, Esther—I cannot always be precise."
"Precision, I know, is not interesting," said Esther, with a slight
tremulousness of voice; "but if you had a little more of it, Hope, it
would save yourself, and your friends a vast deal of trouble."
"Now, do not you reproach me, Esther!—that is the drop too much!"
said Hope, turning her face to the pillow, to hide the tears that
gushed from her eyes: "I know I am vexed and cross— but I did not mean
that you was too precise;—II do not know what I meant. I feel
oppressed and wearied—and I want sympathy, and not reproof."
"Unburthen your heart then, to me," said Esther, kneeling by the
bed-side, and throwing her arm over Hope: "most gladly would I pay back
the debt of sympathy I owe you."
"And never, dear Esther, did a poor creditor receive a debt more
joyfully than I should this. But others are concerned in my secret; a
sacred promise requires me to preserve it inviolate. The Governor, and
your aunt, and all of them might have known—and, most of all,
Everell"—she continued, raising herself on her elbow—"they might have
known, that I should not have been roaming about such a pitiless night
as this, without good reason;—and Everell, I am sure, knows that I
despise the silliness of making a secret out of nothing. I don't care
so much for the rest; but it was very, very unkind of Everell!—I am
sure my heart has been always open as the day to him."
Perhaps Miss Downing was not quite pleased with Hope's
discriminating between the censure of Everell, and the rest of the
family; for she said, with more even than her ordinary gravity— "There
is but one thing, Hope, that ought to make you independent of the
opinion of any of your friends."
"And what is that?"
"The acquittal of your conscience."
"My conscience!—Oh, my dear Esther, no mother Lois, nor
grandmother Eunice, ever had a more quiet conscience than I have at
this moment;—and I really wish that my tutors, governors—good friends
all—would not think it necessary to keep quite so strict a guard over
"Hope Leslie," said Esther, "you do allow yourself too much liberty
of thought and word: you certainly know that we owe implicit deference
to our elders and superiors;—we ought to be guided by their advice,
and governed by their authority."
"Esther, you are a born preacher," exclaimed Hope, with a sort of
half sigh, half groan of impatience. "Nay, my dear friend, don't look
so horridly solemn: I am sure, if I have wounded your feelings, I
deserve to be preached to all the rest of my life. But really I do not
entirely agree with you about advice and authority. As to advice, it
needs to be very carefully administered, to do any good, else it's like
an injudicious patch, which, you know, only makes the rent worse;— and
as to authority, I would not be a machine, to be moved at the pleasure
of anybody that happened to be a little older than myself. I am
perfectly willing to submit to Mr. Fletcher, for he never"—and she
smiled at her own sophistry— "he never requires submission. Now,
Esther, don't look at me so, as if I was little better than one of the
wicked. Come, kiss me good night;and when you say your prayers, Esther,
remember me, for I need them more than you think."
This last request was made in a plaintive tone, and with unaffected
seriousness, and Esther turned away to perform the duty, with a deep
feeling of its necessity; for Hope, conscious of her integrity, had
perhaps been too impatient of rebuke; and if to a less strict judge
than Esther, she seems to have betrayed a little of the spoiled child,
to her she appeared to be very far from that gracious state, wherein
every word is weighed before it is uttered, and every action measured
before it is performed.
"Those well seene natives in grave Nature's hests,
All close designs conceal in their deep brests."
It would be highly improper any longer to keep our readers in
ignorance of the cause of our heroine's apparent aberration from the
line of strict propriety. After her conversation with Everell, in which
we must infer, from its effect on his mind, that she manifested less
art than zeal in her friend's cause, she was retiring to her own
apartment, when on passing through the hall, she saw an Indian woman
standing there, requesting the servant who had admitted her, "to ask
the young ladies of the house if they would look at some rare
Miss Leslie was arrested by the uncommon sweetness of the
stranger's voice; and fixing her eye on her, she was struck with the
singular dignity and grace of her demeanor, a certain air indicating an
"inborn royalty of soul," that even the ugly envelope of a blanket did
The stranger seemed equally interested in Miss Leslie's appearance,
and fixing her eye intentlyon her—"Pray try my moccasins, lady," she
"Oh, certainly, I should of all things like to buy a pair of you,"
said Hope, and advancing, she was taking them from her shoulder, over
which they were slung, when she, ascertaining by a quick glance that
the servant had disappeared, gently repressed Miss Leslie's hand,
saying at the same time, "Tell me thy name, lady."
"My name!—Hope Leslie. But who art thou?" Hope asked in return, in
a voice rendered almost inarticulate by the thought that flashed into
The stranger cast down her eyes, and for an half instant hesitated,
then looking apprehensively around, she said, in low distinct accents,
"Hope Leslie—I am Magawisca."
"Magawisca!" echoed Hope. "Oh, Everell!" and she sprang towards the
parlour door to summon Everell.
"Silence—stay," cried Magawisca, with a vehement gesture, and at
the same time turning to escape should Hope prosecute her intention.
Hope perceived this, and again approached her. "It cannot then be
Magawisca," she said, and she trembled as she spoke, with doubts,
hopes, and fears.
Magawisca might have at once identified herself, by opening her
blanket, and disclosing her person; but that she did not, no one will
wonder who knows that a savage feels more even thanordinary sensibility
at personal deformity. She took from her bosom a necklace of hair and
gold entwined together. "Dost thou know this?" she asked. "Is it not
like that thou wearest?"
Hope grasped it, pressed it to her lips, and answered by exclaiming
passionately—"My sister! my sister!"
"Yes—it is a token from thy sister. Listen to me, Hope Leslie—my
time is brief—I may not stay here another moment; but come to me this
evening at nine o'clock at the burial place, a little beyond the clump
of pines, and I will give thee tidings of thy sister; keep what I say
in thine own bosom; tell no one thou hast seen me; come alone, and fear
"Oh, I have no fear," exclaimed Hope, vehemently, "but tell
Magawisca put her finger on her lips in token of silence, for at
this instant the door was again opened; not by the servant who had
before appeared, but by Jennet. Magawisca instantly recognised her, and
turned as if in the act of departing.
Time had indeed wrought little change on Jennet, save imparting a
shriller squeak to her doleful voice, and a keener edge to her sharp
features. "Madam Winthrop," she said, "is engaged now, but says you may
call some other time with your moccasins; and I would advise you to let
it be any other than the fag end of a Saturday; a wrong season for
While Jennet was uttering this superfluous counsel, Hope sprang off
the steps after Magawisca, anxious for some farther light on her
dawning expectations. "Stay, oh stay," she said, "one moment, and let
me try your moccasins."
At the same instant Mrs. Grafton appeared from the back parlour,
evidently in a great flurry. "Here, you Indian woman," she screamed,
"let me see your moccasins."
Thus beset, Magawisca was constrained to retrace her steps, and
confront the danger of discovery. She drew her blanket closer over her
head and face, and re-ascending the steps, threw her moccasins on the
floor, and cautiously averted her face from the light. It was too
evident to her, that Jennet had some glimmering recollections; for
while she affected to busy herself with the moccasins, she turned her
inquisitorial gray eye towards her, with a look of sharp scrutiny. Once
Magawisca with a movement of involuntary disdain returned her glance.
Jennet dropped the moccasins as suddenly as if she had received a blow,
hemmed as if she were choking, and put her hand on the nob of the
"Oh," thought Magawisca, "I am lost!" but Jennet, confused by her
misty recollections, relinquished her purpose, whatever it was, and
returned to the examination of the moccasins. In the meanwhile Hope
stood behind her aunt and Jennet; her hands clasped, and her beautiful
eyes bent on Magawisca with a supplicating inquiry.
Mrs. Grafton, as usual, was intent on her traffic. "It was odd
enough of Madam Winthrop," she said, "not to let me know these
moccasins were here; she knew I wanted them; at least she must know I
might want them; and if I don't want them, that's nothing to the
purpose. I like to look at every thing that's going. It is a diversion
to the mind. A neat article," she continued, "I should like you to have
a pair, Hope. Sir Philip said yesterday, they gave a trig look to a
pretty foot and ankle. How much does she ask for them?"
"I do not know," replied Hope.
"Do not know! that's peculiar of you, Hope Leslie; you never
inquire the price of any thing. I dare say, Tawney expects enough for
them to buy all the glass beads in Boston. Ha, Tawney?"
Mrs. Grafton now, for the first time, turned from the articles to
their possessor: she was struck with an air of graceful haughtiness in
her demeanor, strongly contrasting with the submiss, dejected
deportment of the natives whom she was in the habit of seeing, and
dropping the moccasins and turning to Hope, she whispered—"Best buy a
pair, dearie—by all means buy a pair—pay her any thing she asks—best
keep peace with them, 'never affront dogs, nor Indians.' "
Hope wanted no urging, but anxious to get rid of the witnesses that
embarrassed her, and quick of invention, she directed Jennet to go for
herpurse, "which she would find in a certain basket, or drawer, or some
where else;" and reminded her aunt that she had promised to call in at
Mrs. Cotton's, on her way to lecture, to look at her hyacinths, and
that she had no time to lose.
Jennet obeyed, and Mrs Grafton said, "that's true, and it's
thoughtful of you to think of it, Hope; but," she added, lowering her
voice, "I would not like to leave you alone, so I'll just open the
Before Hope could intercept her, she set the door ajar, and through
the aperture Magawisca had a perfect view of Everell, who was sitting
musing in the window seat. An involuntary exclamation burst from her
lips; and then shuddering at this exposure of her feelings, she hastily
gathered together the moccasins that were strewn over the floor,
dropped a pair at Hope's feet, and darted away.
Hope had heard the exclamation and understood it. Mrs. Grafton
heard it without understanding it, and followed Magawisca to the door,
calling after her—"Do stay and take a little something; Madam Winthrop
has always a bone to give away. Ah! you might as well call after the
wind; she has already turned the corner. Heaven send she may not bear
malice against us! What do you think, Hope?" Mrs. Grafton turned to
appeal to her niece, but she, foreseeing endless interrogatories, had
made good her retreat, and escaped to her own apartment.
Jennet, however, came to the good lady's relief; listened to all
her conjectures and apprehensions, and reciprocated her own.
Jennet could not say what it was in the woman, but she had the
strangest feeling all the time she was there; a mysterious beating of
her heart that she could not account for; as to her disappearing so
suddenly, that she did not think much of; the foresters were always
impatient to get to their haunts; they were like the "wild ass," that
the scripture saith, "scorneth the multitude of a city."
But we leave Mrs. Grafton and Jennet to their unedifying
conference, to follow our heroine to the privacy of her own apartment.
There, in the first rush of her newly awakened feelings, till then
repressed, she wept like a child, and repeated again and again, "Oh, my
sister! my sister!" Her mind was in a tumult; she knew not what to
believe—what to expect—what to hope.
But accustomed to diffuse over every anticipation the sunny hue of
her own happy temperament, she flattered herself that she should even
that night meet her sister—that she would be for ever restored to
her—that the chord, severed by the cruel disaster at Bethel, would be
refolded about their hearts. She had but a brief space to compose
herself, and that was passed in fervent supplications for the blessing
of God upon her hopes. She must go to the lecture, and after that trust
to her ingenuity to escape to the rendezvous. The thought of danger or
exposurenever entered her mind, for she was not addicted to fear; and
as she reflected on the voice and deportment of the stranger, she was
convinced she could be none other than Magawisca, the heroine of
Everell's imagination, whom he had taught her to believe, was one of
"Without arte's bright lampe, by nature's eye,
Keep just promise, and love equitie."
Almost as impatient to go to the lecture, as she was afterwards to
escape from it, (we trust our readers have absolved her for her
apparent indecorum in the sanctuary,) she had tied and untied her hat
twenty times before she heard the ringing of the bell for the
assembling of the congregation. She refused, as has been seen, the
escort of Everell, for she dared not expose to him, emotions which she
could not explain.
After the various detentions, which have been already detailed, she
arrived at the appointed rendezvous, and there saw Magawisca, and
Magawisca alone, kneeling before an upright stake, planted at one end
of a grave. She appeared occupied in delineating a figure on the stake,
with a small implement she held in her hand, which she dipped in a
shell placed on the ground beside her.
Hope paused with a mingled feeling of disappointment and awe;
disappointment that her sister was not there—and awe inspired by the
solemnity of the scene before her—the spirit-stirring figure of
Magawisca—the duty she was performing—the flickering light—the
monumental stones —and the dark shadows that swept over them, as the
breeze bowed the tall pines. She drew her mantle, that fluttered in the
breeze, close around her, and almost suppressed her breath, that she
might not disturb, what she believed to be an act of filial devotion.
Magawisca was not unconscious of Miss Leslie's approach; but she
deemed the office in which she was engaged, too sacred to be
interrupted. She accompanied the movement of her hand with a low chant
in her native tongue; and so sweet and varied were the tones of her
voice, that it seemed to Hope they might have been breathed by an
When she had finished her work, she leaned her head for a moment
against the stake, and then rose and turned to Miss Leslie; a moonbeam
shot across her face; it was wet with tears, but she spoke in a
tranquil voice. "You have come— and alone?" she said, casting a
searching glance around her.
"I promised to come alone," replied Hope.
"Yes—and I trusted you; and I will trust you further, for the good
deed you did Nelema."
"Nelema then lived to reach you?"
"She did—wasted, faint, and dying, she crawled into my father's
wigwam. She had but scant time, and short breath; with that she cursed
your race, and she blessed you, Hope Leslie; her daywas ended—the hand
of death pressed her throat, and even then she made me swear to perform
her promise to you."
"And you will, Magawisca," cried Hope impetuously; "you will give
me back my sister."
"Nay, that she never promised—that I cannot do. I cannot send back
the bird that has mated to its parent nest; the stream that has mingled
with other waters to its fountain."
"Oh, do not speak to me in these dark sayings," replied Hope; her
smooth brow contracting with impatience and apprehension, and her
hurried manner and convulsed countenance contrasting strongly with the
calmness of Magawisca; "what is it you mean?—where is my sister?"
"She is safe—she is near to you—and you shall see her, Hope
"But when?—and where, Magawisca? Oh, if I could once clasp her in
my arms, she never should leave me—she never should be torn from me
"Those arms," said Magawisca, with a faint smile, "could no more
retain thy sister, than a spider's web. The lily of the Maqua's valley,
will never again make the English garden sweet."
"Speak plainer to me," cried Hope, in a voice of entreaty that
could not be resisted. "Is my sister?"—she paused, for her quivering
lips could not pronounce the words that rose to them.
Magawisca understood her, and replied. "Yes, Hope Leslie, thy
sister is married to Oneco."
"God forbid!" exclaimed Hope, shuddering as if a knife had been
plunged in her bosom. "My sister married to an Indian!"
"An Indian!" exclaimed Magawisca, recoiling with a look of proud
contempt, that showed she reciprocated with full measure, the scorn
expressed for her race. "Yes—an Indian, in whose veins runs the blood
of the strongest, the fleetest of the children of the forest, who never
turned their backs on friends or enemies, and whose souls have returned
to the Great Spirit, stainless as they came from him. Think ye that
your blood will be corrupted by mingling with this stream?
Long before Magawisca ceased to pour out her indignation, Hope's
first emotion had given place to a burst of tears; she wept aloud, and
her broken utterance of, "Oh, my sister! my sister!—My dear mother!"
emitted but imperfect glimpses of the ruined hopes, the bitter feelings
that oppressed her.
There was a chord in Magawisca's heart, that needed but the touch
of tenderness to respond in harmony; her pride vanished, and her
indignation gave place to sympathy. She said in a low soothing
voice—"Now do not weep thus; your sister is well with us. She is
cherished as the bird cherishes her young. The cold winds may not blow
on her, nor the fierce sun scorch her; nor a harsh sound ever be spoken
to her; she is dear to Mononotto as if his own blood ran in her veins;
and Oneco—Oneco worships and servesher as if all good spirits dwelt in
her. Oh, she is indeed well with us."
"There lies my mother," cried Hope, without seeming to have heard
Magawisca's consolations, "she lost her life in bringing her children
to this wild world, to secure them in the fold of Christ. Oh God!
restore my sister to the christian family."
"And here," said Magawisca, in a voice of deep pathos, "here is my
mother's grave; think ye not that the Great Spirit looks down on these
sacred spots, where the good and the peaceful rest, with an equal eye;
think ye not their children are His children, whether they are gathered
in yonder temple where your people worship, or bow to Him beneath the
green boughs of the forest?"
There was certainly something thrilling in Magawisca's faith, and
she now succeeded in rivetting Hope's attention. "Listen to me," she
said; "your sister is of what you call the christian family. I believe
ye have many names in that family. She hath been signed with the cross
by a holy father from France; she bows to the crucifix."
"Thank God!" exclaimed Hope fervently, for she thought that any
christian faith was better than none.
"Perhaps ye are right," said Magawisca, as if she read Hope's
heart; "there may be those that need other lights; but to me, the Great
Spirit is visible in the life-creating sun. I perceive Him in the
gentle light of the moon that steals in through the forest boughs. I
feel Him here," she continued, pressing her hand on her breast, while
her face glowed with the enthusiasm of devotion. "I feel Him in these
ever-living, ever-wakeful thoughts—but we waste time. You must see
"When, and where?" again demanded Hope.
"Before I answer you, you must promise me by this sign, and she
pointed to the emblem of her tribe, an eagle, which she had rudely
delineated on the post, that served as a head-stone to her mother's
grave; "you must promise me by the bright host of Heaven, that the door
of your lips shall be fast; that none shall know that you have seen me,
or are to see me again."
"I promise," said Hope, with her characteristic precipitancy.
"Then, when five suns have risen and set, I will return with your
sister. But hush," she said, suddenly stopping, and turning a
suspicious eye towards the thicket of evergreens.
"It was but the wind," said Hope, rightly interpreting Magawisca's
quick glance, and the slight inclination of her head.
"You would not betray me?" said Magawisca, in a voice of mingled
assurance and inquiry. "Oh, more than ever entered into thy young
thoughts, hangs upon my safety."
"But why any fear for your safety? why not come openly among us? I
will get the word ofour good Governor, that you shall come and go in
peace. No one ever feared to trust his word."
"You know not what you ask."
"Indeed I do—but you, Magawisca, know not what you refuse—and why
refuse? are you afraid of being treated like a recovered prisoner? Oh
no! every one will delight to honour you, for your very name is dear to
all Mr. Fletcher's friends—most dear to Everell."
"Dear to Everell Fletcher! Does he remember me? Is there a place in
his heart for an Indian?" she demanded, with a blended expression of
pride and melancholy.
"Yes—yes, Magawisca—indeed is there," replied Hope, for now she
thought she had touched the right key. "It was but this morning, that
he said he had a mind to take an Indian guide, and seek you out among
the Maquas." Magawisca hid her face in the folds of her mantle, and
Hope proceeded with increasing earnestness. "There is nothing in the
wide world, there is nothing that Everell thinks so good, and so noble
as you. Oh, if you could but have seen his joy, when after your parting
on that horrid rock, he first heard you was living. He has described
you so often and so truly, that the moment I saw you, and heard your
voice, I said to myself, 'this is surely Everell's Magawisca.' "
"Say no more, Hope Leslie—say no more," exclaimed Magawisca,
throwing back the envelope from her face, as if she were ashamed
toshelter emotions she ought not to indulge. "I have promised my
father—I have repeated the vow here on my mother's grave, and if I
were to go back from it, those bright witnesses," she pointed to the
heavens, "would break their silence. Do not speak to me again of
"Oh, yes—once again, Magawisca; if you will not listen to me, if
you will but give me this brief, mysterious meeting with my poor
sister, at least let Everell be with me; for his sake—for my sake
—for your own sake, do not refuse me."
Magawisca looked on Hope's glowing face for a moment, and then
shook her head with a melancholy smile. "They tell me," she said, "that
no one can look on you and deny you aught; that you can make old men's
hearts soft, and mould them at your will; but I have learned to deny
even the cravings of my own heart; to pursue my purpose like the bird
that keeps her wing stretched to the toilsome flight, though the
sweetest note of her mate recalls her to the nest. "But ah! I do but
boast," she continued, casting her eyes to the ground. "I may not trust
myself; that was a childish scream, that escaped me when I saw Everell;
had my father heard it, his cheek would have been pale with shame. No,
Hope Leslie, I may not listen to thee. You must come alone to the
meeting, or never meet your sister— will you come?
Hope saw in the determined manner of Magawisca, that there was no
alternative but to accept the boon on her own terms, and she no longer
withheld her compliance. The basis of their treaty being settled, the
next point to be arranged, was the place of meeting. Magawisca had no
objections to venture again within the town; but then it would be
necessary to completely disguise Faith Leslie; and she hinted that she
understood enough of Hope's English feelings, to know that she would
wish to see her sister with the pure tint of her natural complexion.
Hope had too much delicacy, and too much feeling, even
inadvertently to appear to lay much stress on this point; but the
experience of the evening made her feel the difficulty of arranging a
meeting, surrounded as she was by vigilant friends, and within the
sphere of their observation. Suddenly it occurred to her, that Digby,
her fast friend, and on more than one occasion her trusty ally, had the
superintendence of the Governor's garden, on an island in the harbor,
and within three miles of the town. The Governor's family were in the
habit of resorting thither frequently. Digby had a small habitation
there, of which he and his family were the only tenants, and indeed
were the only persons who dwelt on the island. Hope was certain of
permission to pass a night there, where she might indulge in an
interview with her sister of any length, without hazard of
interruption; and having explained her plan toMagawisca, it received
her ready and full acquiescence.
Before they separated, Hope said, "you will allow me, Magawisca, to
persuade my sister, if I can, to remain with me."
"Oh yes—if you can—but do not hope to persuade her. She and my
brother are as if one life-chord bound them together; and besides, your
sister cannot speak to you and understand you as I do. She was very
young when she was taken where she has only heard the Indian tongue;
some, you know, are like water, that retains no mark; and others, like
the flinty rock, that never loses a mark." Magawisca observed Hope's
look of disappointment; and in a voice of pity, she added, "your sister
hath a face that speaketh plainly, what the tongue should never speak,
her own goodness."
When these two romantic females had concerted every measure they
deemed essential to the certainty and privacy of their meeting,
Magawisca bowed her head, and kissed the border of Hope's shawl, with
the reverent delicacy of an oriental salutation; she then took from
beneath her mantle some fragrant herbs, and strewed them over her
mother's grave, then prostrated herself in deep and silent devotion,
feeling (as others have felt on earth thus consecrated) as if the clods
she pressed were instinct with life. When this last act of filial love
was done, she rose, muffled herself closely in her dark mantle, and
Hope lingered for a moment. "Mysteriously," she said, as her eye
followed the noble figure of Magawisca, till it was lost in the
surrounding darkness, "mysteriously have our destinies been interwoven.
Our mothers brought from a far distance to rest together here—their
children connected in indissoluble bonds!"
But Hope was soon aware that this was no time for solitary
meditation. In the interest of her interview with Magawisca, she had
been heedless of the gathering storm. The clouds rolled over the moon
suddenly, like the unfurling of a banner, and the rain poured down in
torrents. Hope had no light to guide her, but occasional flashes of
lightning, and the candle, whose little beam proceeding from Mr.
Cotton's study window, pierced the dense sheet of rain.
Hope hurried her steps homewards, and as she passed the knot of
evergreens, she fancied she heard a rattling of the boughs, as if there
were some struggling within, and a suppressed voice saying,
"hist—whish." She paused, and with a resolute step, turned towards the
thicket; "we have been overheard," she thought, "this generous creature
shall not be betrayed." At this instant a thunder-bolt burst over her
head, and the whole earth seemed kindled with one bright illumination.
She was terrified, and, perhaps, as much convinced by her fears, as her
reason, that it was both imprudent, and useless, to make any further
investigation, she again bent her quicksteps towards home. She had
scarcely surmounted the fence, which she passed more like a winged
spirit, than a fine lady, when Sir Philip Gardiner joined her.
"Miss Leslie!" he exclaimed, as a flash of lightning revealed her
person. "Now, thanks to my good stars, that I am so fortunate as to
meet you; suffer me to wrap my cloak about you; you will be drenched
with this pitiless rain."
"Oh, no, no," she said, "the cloak will but encumber me. I am
already drenched, and I shall be at home directly," and she would have
left him, but he caught her arm, and gently detained her, while he
enveloped her in his cloak.
"It should not be a trifle, Miss Leslie, that has kept you out,
regardless of this gathering storm," Sir Philip said inquiringly. Miss
Leslie made no reply, and he proceeded. "You may have forgotten it is
Saturday night—or, perhaps, you have a dispensation."
"Neither," replied Hope.
"Neither! then I am sure you are abroad in some godly cause, for
you need to be one of the righteous, who, we are told, are as bold as a
lion, to confront the Governor's family after trespassing on holy
"I have no fears," said Hope.
"No fears! that is a rare exemption, for a young lady; but I would
that you possessed one still more rare; she who is incapable of fear,
should never be exposed to danger; and if I had a charmedshield, I
would devote my life to sheltering you from all harm—may not—may not
love be such an one?"
"It's useless talking, Sir Philip," replied Hope; if that could be
deemed a reply, which seemed to have rather an indirect relation to the
previous address. "It is useless talking in this rattling storm, your
words drop to the ground with the hail-stones."
"And every word you utter," said the knight, biting his lips with
vexation, "not only penetrates my ear, but sinks into my heart;
therefore, I pray you to be merciful, and do not make my heart heavy."
"The hail-stones melt as they touch the ground, and my words pass
away as soon, I fancy," said Hope, with the most provoking nonchalance.
Sir Philip had no time to reply; they were just turning into the
court in front of Governor Winthrop's house, when a flash of lightning,
so vivid that its glare almost blinded them, disclosed the figure of
the mysterious page leaning against the gate-post, his head inclined
forward as if in the act of listening, his cap in his hand, his dark
curls in wild disorder over his face and neck, and he apparently
unconscious of the storm. They both recoiled—Hope uttered an
exclamation of pity. "Ha, Roslin!" burst in a tone of severe reproach
from Sir Philip; but instantly changing it for one of kindness, he
added, "you should not have waited for me, boy, in such a storm."
"I cared not for the storm—I did not feel it," replied the lad, in
a penetrating voice, which recalled to Miss Leslie all he had said to
her, and induced her to check her first impulse to bid him in; she
therefore passed him without any further notice, ascended the steps,
and as has been related in the preceding chapter, met Everell in the
It is necessary to state briefly to our readers, some particulars
in relation to the re-appearance of Magawisca, which events have not as
Her father, from the hour of his expulsion from his own dominion,
had constantly meditated revenge. His appetite was not sated at
Bethel—that massacre seemed to him but a retaliation for his private
wrongs. The catastrophe on the sacrifice-rock disordered his reason for
a time; and the Indians, who perceived something extraordinary in the
energy of his unwavering and undivided purpose, never believed it to be
perfectly restored. But this, so far from impairing their confidence,
converted it to implicit deference, for they, in common with certain
oriental nations, believe that an insane person is inspired; that the
Divinity takes possession of the temple which the spirit of the man has
abandoned. Whatever Mononotto predicted, was believed— whatever he
ordered, was done.
He felt that Oneco's volatile unimpressive character was unfit for
his purpose, and he permitted him to pursue without intermission, his
own pleasure—to hunt and fish for his 'white bird,' as he called the
little Leslie. But Magawisca was the constant companion of her father;
susceptible and contemplative, she soon imbibed his melancholy, and
became as obedient to the impulse of his spirit, as the most faithful
are to the fancied intimations of the Divinity. She was the priestess
of the oracle. Her tenderness for Everell, and her grateful
recollections of his lovely mother, she determined to sacrifice on the
altar of national duty.
In the years 1642 and 1643 there was a general movement among the
Indians. Terrible massacres were perpetrated in the English settlements
in Virginia; the Dutch establishments in New-York were invaded, and
rumours of secret and brooding hostility kept the colonies of
New-England in a state of perpetual alarm. Mononotto determined to
avail himself of this crisis, that appeared so favourable to his
design, of uniting all the tribes of New-England in one powerful
combination. He first applied to Miantunnomoh, hoping by his personal
influence to persuade that powerful and crafty chief to sacrifice to
the general good, his private feud with Uncas, the chief of the
Mononotto eloquently pressed those arguments, which, as is allowed
by the historian of the Indianwars, "seemed to right reason, not only
pregnant to the purpose, but also most cogent and invincible," and for
a time, they prevailed over the mind of Miantunnomoh.
Vague rumours of conspiracy reached Boston; and the Governor
summoned Miantunnomoh to appear before his court, and abide an
examination there. The chief accordingly, (as has been seen) came to
Boston; but so artfully did he manage his cause, as to screen from the
English every just ground of offence. Their suspicions, however, were
not removed; for Hubbard says, "though his words were smoother than
oil, yet many conceived in his heart were drawn swords."
It may appear strange, that while prosecuting so hazardous and
delicate an enterprise, Mononotto should have encumbered himself with
his family. Magawisca was necessary to him; and he submitted to be
accompanied by Oneco and his bride, from respect to the dying
declaration of Nelema, that his plans could never be accomplished till
her promise to Hope Leslie had been redeemed—till, as she had sworn to
her preserver, the sisters had met.
Had the Indians been capable of a firm combination, the purpose of
Mononotto might have been achieved, and the English have been then
driven from the American soil. But the natives were thinly scattered
over an immense tract of country—the different tribes divided by petty
rivalships, and impassable gulfs of long transmittedhatred. They were
brave and strong, but it was brute force without art or arms: they had
ingenuity to form, and they did form, artful conspiracies, but their
best concerted plans were betrayed by the timid, or the treacherous.
But to return to our individual concerns. Mononotto trusted to his
daughter the arrangement of the meeting of the sisters, which from his
having a superstitious notion that it was in some way to influence his
political purposes, he was anxious to promote. Magawisca left her
companions at an Indian station on the Neponset river, and proceeded
herself to Boston, to seek a private interview with Hope Leslie. The
appearance of an Indian woman in Boston excited no observation, the
natives being in the habit of resorting there daily with game, fish,
and their rude manufactures. Aware of the necessity of disguising every
peculiarity, she unbound her hair from the braids in which it was
usually confined, and combed it thick over her forehead, after the
fashion of the aborigines in the vicinity of Boston, whom Eliot
describes as wearing this 'maiden veil.' She enveloped herself in a
blanket that concealed the rich dress which it was her father's pride,
(and perhaps her pleasure) that she should wear. Thus disguised, and
favoured by the kind shadows of twilight, she presented herself at
Governor Winthrop's, and was, as has already appeared, successful in
"I could find in my heart to disgrace my man's apparel, and to cry
like a woman."
— As you like it
Sir Philip Gardiner, by the kind offices of Governor Winthrop, had
obtained lodgings at one Daniel Maud's, the 'first recorded
school-master' in Boston. Thither he went, followed by his moody page,
after receiving his cloak from our thankless heroine.
Not one word passed between him and his attendant; and after they
reached their apartment, the boy, instead of performing the customary
servile duties of his station, threw himself on a cushion, and covering
his face with his hands, he seemed lost in his own sorrowful
There had been a little fire kindled on the hearth, on account of
the inclemency of the night. Sir Philip laid the fallen brands
together, lighted the candles, arranged his writing materials on the
table, and without permitting himself to be interrupted, or in the
least affected by the sobs that, at intervals, proceeded from his
companion, he indited the following epistle.
"To my good and trusty Wilton,
"'In the name of Heaven, what sends you to New-England?' were your
last words to me. I had not time to answer your question then, and
perhaps, when I have finished, you will say I have not ability now; but
who can explain the motives of his conduct? Who can always say, after
an action is done, that he had sufficient motive? Not one of us,
Wilton, sons of whim and folly that we are! But my motives, such as
they were, are at your service—so here you have them.
"I was tired of playing a losing game; even rats, you know, have an
instinct by which they flee a falling house. I had some compunctious
visitings at leaving my king when he hath such cruel need of loyal
servants—jeer not, Wilton,— I had my scruples. It was a saying of
Father Baretti, that when Lucifer fell, conscience, that once guided,
remained to torment him. My assertion thus modestly illustrated, have I
not a right to say, I had scruples? I was wearied with a series of
ill-luck, and as other men are as good to fill a ditch, I have retired
till dame fortune shall see fit to give her wheel a turn in my
royalmaster's favour. Butwhy come hither?—to submit to 'King Winthrop
and all his inventions—his Amsterdam fantastical ordinances—his
preachings, marryings, and other abusive ceremonies?'—Patience, my
good gossip, and I will tell thee.
"You have heard of my old friend and patron,Thomas Morton of
Furnival's Inn; and you know he was once master of a fine domain here,
at Mount Wollaston, for which his revels obtained the name of the
'Merry Mount.' The ruling saintships of this "New-English Canaan" were
so scandalized, because forsooth, he avowed and followed the free
tastes of a gentleman, that they ejected him from his own territory.
"He once well-nigh obtained redress from the king, and a decree in
his favour passed the privyseal, but the influence of his enemies
finally prevailed. He has had the consolation of sundry retaliations on
his opponents; now, as he said, 'uncasing Medusa's head, and raising
the old ghost of Sir F. George's patent,' and then thrusting home the
keen point of his satiric verse. However, though this was a bitter
draught to his adversaries, it was but lean satisfaction to him; and
having become old, and poor, and lost his spirit, he came hither once
more, last winter, in the hope of obtaining an act of oblivion of all
past grievances, and a restitution of his rights.
"Immediately after his arrival, he wrote to me that 'Joshua had
promised to restore to him, and to his tribe, their lot in the
inheritance of the faithful—that he was again to be king of the revels
on the 'merry mount,' where he invited me to live with him, his prime
minister, and heir apparent.' The letter came to hand at a moment when
I was wearied with a bootless service, and willing to grasp any
novelty; and accordingly Iclosed with the offer, but lo! on my arrival,
I found that Morton, instead of being reinstated at Mount Wollaston, is
in jail, and in honest opinion, is reputed crazy—as, doubtless, he is!
Laugh at me, Wilton, even as the foul fiends laugh when their master is
entangled in his own meshes—I defy your laugh; for though a dupe, I am
not a victim; and Cæsar and his fortunes shall yet survive the storm.
"I have done with Morton; no one here knows or suspects our former
alliance. My name is not like to reach his ear, and if it should, who
would take the word of a ruined man, against an approved candidate for
membership with the congregation, for such even, am I—a 'brother,' in
this community of saints.
"Luckily, Morton, with that cunning incident to madness, cautioned
me against appearing in this camp without the uniform of the
church-militant, alleging, that we must play the part of pilgrims, till
we were quite independent of the favour of the saints. Accordingly, I
assumed the puritan habit, bearing, and language that so much amused
you at our last meeting. But why, you will ask, prolong this dull
masquerade? For an object, my good Wilton, that would make you or me,
saint or devil, or any thing else whereby we might secure it—the most
provoking, bewitching, and soul-moving creature that ever appeared in
the form of woman, is my tempter. She is the daughter and sole heir of
Sir WalterLeslie, who you may remember was noted for his gallantry in
that mad expedition of Buckingham to the Isle of Rhée.
"Is it not a shame that youth and beauty should be thrown away upon
these drivelling, canting, preaching, praying, liberty-loving,
lecture-going, pilgrims! Would it not be a worthy act to tear this
scion of a loyal stock from these crabs of the wilderness, and set her
in our garden of England? And would it not be a knightly feat to win
the prize against a young gallant, a pink of courtesy, while the
unfledged boy is dreaming of love's elysium?
"Marvel as you please, Wilton, goodly prospects are dawning on
me—fortune smiles, as if inclined to pay the good turn she has so long
owed me. I am in prime credit with guardians and governors—the
beau-ideal of duenna-aunts and serving maids. Time and chance favour
me—but— but there is always some devilish cross upon my line of luck.
"Rosa came with me to this barbarous land— a fit Houri, you will
say, for a Mahometan saint, but an odd appendage to a canting
roundhead— even so she is, but what was to be done! She had no shelter
but my protection. I had still some lingering of love for her, and pity
(don't scoff!); and besides, Morton's representations had led me to
believe that she would not be an inconvenient member of the household
at Merry Mount, so I permitted her to disguise herself, and comeover
the rough seas with me. She is a fantastical wayward child, and a true
woman withal. She loves me to distraction, and would sacrifice any to
me but the ruling passion of her sex, her vanity; but in spite of my
entreaties and commands, she persists in wearing a velvet Spanish hat,
with a buckle and feathers, most audaciously cocked on one side; and
indeed her whole apparel would better suit a Queen's page, than the
humble serving-boy of a self-denying puritan.
"Luckily she is sad and dumpish, and does not incline to go abroad,
but whenever she does appear I perceive, she is eyed with curiosity and
suspicion; and suspicion once thoroughly awakened, discovery is
inevitable, for you know her face gives the lie to her doublet and
Diana's lip is not more smooth and rubious,
Her small pipe is as the maiden's organ, sound and shrill;
And all is semblative a woman's part.
"If we should be detected, I know not what punishment may be
inflicted by the Draco-laws of these saints—a public whipping of poor
Rosa—cropping of my ears—imprisonment—per haps death, if
peradventure some authority therefor should be found in the statutes of
the land— that is to say, in the old Jewish records.
"But why expose myself to such peril? Ah! Wilton, you would not ask
why if you could see my enchantress—but without seeing her, no man
knows better than you, that
"Love is a sweet intice,
'Gainst whom the wisest wits as yet
Have never found devise."
"If I could but persuade Rosa to be prudent till we may both cast
off these odious disguises; but she disdains all caution, and fears
nothing but being supplanted in my favour."
"She is still in the fever of love—all eye and ear—irritable,
jealous, watchful, and suspicious. One moment passionate, and the next
dissolved in tears. So intense a flame must purify or consume the
sentiment her beauty inspired—it cannot be purified and—the
alternative—it is consumed.
"I cannot rid myself of her—I cannot control her, and in this
jeopardy I stand; but I abandon all to my destiny. Even Jupiter, you
know, was ruled by fate. It is folly to attempt to shape the events of
life; as easily might we direct the course of the stars—those very
stars, perhaps, govern the accidents of our being. The stars—
destiny—Providence, what are they all but various terms for the same
invisible, irresistible agency! But Heaven forbid I should lose myself
in the bewildering mazes of these high speculations! It is a enough for
me that I am a knight of the holy sepulchre, that I wear my crucifix,
pray to all the saints and eat no flesh on Fridays. By the way, on the
very first day of my arrival here, I came nigh to winning the crown of
martyrdom by my saintly obedience to the canons ofholy church. The
Leslie, in simplicity or mischief, remarked on my confining myself to
fish on Friday—rebel conscience, in spite of me tinged my cheeks, but
thanks to my garb of hypocrisy, panoply of steel never did better
service,—the light thrust glanced off and left me unharmed.
"You and I, Wilton, are too old to make, like dreaming boys, an
Eldorado of our future, and you will ask me what are my rational
chances of success in my present enterprise. I will not remind you of
success on former similar occasions, for my vanity has been abated of
its presumption this very evening by the indifference, real or
affected, of this little sprite.
"Ladies must have lovers—idols must have worshippers, or they are
no longer idols. I have but one rival here, and he, I think, is
appointed by his wise guardians to another destiny; and being a right
dutiful youth, he, no doubt, with management, and good fortune on my
part, may be made to surrender his preference, (which by the way is
quite obvious) and pass under the yoke of authority. Besides, the
helpmate selected by these Judges in Israel, for the good youth might
be, if she were a little less saint and more woman, a queen of love and
beauty. But she is not to my taste. I covet not smiles cold as a
sun-beam on arctic snows. Nothing in life is duller than mathematical
virtue—nothing more paralyzing to the imagination than unaffected
prudery. I detest a woman like a walled city, that can never be
approached without your being reminded that it is inaccessible—a woman
whose measured premeditated words sound always like the sentinel-cry,
'all is well!'
"Now the Leslie has a generous rashness, a thoughtless impetuosity,
a fearlessness of the sanctimonious dictators that surround her, and a
noble contempt of danger that stimulates me at least, to love and
"My hope is bold, Wilton—my ambition is to win her heart—my
determination to possess her hand; by fair means, if I can, but if
fortune is adverse, if, as I sometimes fear, when I shrink from the
falcon glance of her bright eye, as if the spear of Ithuriel touched
me, if she has already penetrated my disguise, and persists in
disregarding my suit, why then, Necessity! parent of all witty
inventions, come thou to my aid.
"Our old acquaintance Chaddock is riding in the harbour here, owner
and commander of a good pinnace. I have heard him spoken of in the
godly companies I frequent, as a 'notorious contemner of ordinances,'
from which I infer he is the same bold desperado we knew him. My word
for it, it does not require more courage to march up to the cannon's
mouth, than to claim the independence of a gentleman in this pharasaic
land. Now I think if I should have occasion to smuggle any precious
freight, and convey it over the deep waters, convenient opportunity and
fit agents will not be wanting. Time will ripen orblast my budding
hopes; if ripen, why then I will cast my slough here, and present my
beautiful bride to my royal master, or if, perchance, royalty should be
in eclipse in England, there are, thank heaven, other asylums for
beauty and fortune.
"Farewell, Wilton, yours in good faith, "Gardiner."
As Sir Philip signed his name to this epistle, he felt Rosa's head
drop upon his shoulder, an action that indicated, too truly, that she
had been looking over the last paragraphs, at least, of his letter.
Fury flashed from his eyes, and he raised his hand to strike her,
but before he had executed the unmanly act, she burst into a wild
hysteric laugh, that changed his resentment to fear. "Rosa—Rosa," he
said, in a soothing tone, "for Heaven's sake be quiet—you will be
overheard— you will betray all."
She seemed not to hear him, but wringing her hands, she repeated
again and again, "I wish I were dead! I wish I were dead!"
"Hush! foolish, mad child, or you will be discovered, and may
indeed bring death upon yourself."
"Death! I care not; death would be heaven's mercy to what I suffer;
what is death to shame!— to guilt! to the bitterness of
disappointment!—to the rage of jealousy!—why should not I die!"
shecontinued, overpowering Sir Philip's vain attempts to calm her; "why
should not I die?— there is nobody to care for me if I live—and there
is nobody to weep for me if I die."
"Patience! my patience is worn out; I am tired of this dreary
world. Oh, that Lady Lunford had left me in my convent—I should have
been happy there. She did not love me. Nobody has loved me since I left
the good nuns—nobody but my poor little Canary bird, Mignonne; and she
always loved me, and would always sing to me, and sing sweetest when my
lady was cruellest. Cruel as my lady was, her cruelty was kindness to
thine, Sir Philip. Oh, that you had left me with her!"
"You came to me with your own good-will, Rosa."
"Ay, Sir Philip—and will not the innocent babe stretch its arms to
the assassin if he does but smile on it? You told me you loved me, and
I believed you. You promised always to love me, and I believed that
too; and there was nobody else that loved me, but Mignonne; and now I
am all alone in the wide world, I do wish I were dead." She sunk down
at Sir Philip's feet, laid her head on his knee, and sobbed as if her
heart were breaking. "Oh, what shall I do," she said, "where shall I
go! if I go to the good, they will frown on me, and despise me; and I
cannot go to the wicked,—they have no pity."
Sir Philip's heart, depraved as it was, felt some motions of
compassion as he looked on this young and beautiful creature, bowed to
the earth with remediless anguish; some touches of remorse and pity,
such as Milton's fallen angel felt, when he contemplated those
"millions of spirits, for his fault amerc'd of Heav'n." "Poor child!"
he said, laying his hand on her smooth brow, "would to God you had
never left your convent!"
Rosa felt the blistering tears that flowed from the relicts of his
better nature, drop on her cheek. She raised her heavy lids, and a ray
of pleasure shot from her kindling eye. Then you do love me," she said,
"you would not weep only for pity —you do love me still?"
Sir Philip perceived the eagerness with which she caught at the
first glimmering of returning tenderness, and well knew how to draw his
advantage from it. He soothed her with caresses and professions, and
when he had restored her to composure, he endeavoured to impress her
with the necessity, for both their sakes, of more prudent conduct. He
convinced her that their happiness, their safety, and perhaps their
lives, depended on their escaping detection; and after explaining the
defeat of his hopes in relation to Morton, he averred that the part of
his letter relating to Miss Leslie, was mere badinage, written for his
friend's amusement; and he concluded with reiterated promises, that he
would return with her in the first ship bound to England.
Rosa was credulous—at least, she wished to believe—she was
grateful for restored tenderness; and without daring to confess how
nearly she had already betrayed him to Miss Leslie, she promised all
the circumspection that Sir Philip required.
"I should have been more strange I must confess,
But that thou overheard'st me, ere I was 'ware
My love's true passion: therefore, pardon me,
And not impute this yielding to light love."
— Romeo And Juliet
The week that succeeded Hope Leslie's interview with Magawisca, was
one of anxiety to most of the members of Governor Winthrop's family.
The habitual self-possession of the Governor himself seemed
somewhat disturbed; he was abstracted and thoughtful; frequently held
secret conferences with Sir Philip Gardiner in his study; and in
relation to this stranger, he appeared to have departed from his usual
diplomatic caution, and to have admitted him to the most confidential
intimacy. There were frequent private meetings of the magistrates; and
it was quite evident from the external motions of these guardians of
the colony, that some state secret was heaving in their bosoms.
The Governor was in the habit of participating with his wife his
most secret state-affairs; moved to this confidence, no doubt, by his
strict views of her rights as his help-mate; for it cannot besupposed,
even for a moment, that one of the superior sex should find pleasure in
telling a secret.
But in this instance, he communicated nothing to his trust-worthy
partner, excepting some obscure intimations, that might be gathered
from the significant utterance of such general truths as, "that it was
impossible for human foresight to foresee every thing; that those who
stood at the helm of state could not be too vigilant; that ends were
often brought about by unexpected means;" and similar truisms, which,
enunciated by grave and dignified lips, are invested with importance
from the source whence they proceed.
Madam Winthrop was happily too much absorbed with the feminine
employment of watching the developement of her niece's affairs, to have
much curiosity in relation to cabinet secrets. She naturally concluded
that some dangerous adherent of that arch-heretic Gorton, had been
discovered; or, perhaps, some new mode of faith had demanded
magisterial interference; whatever her mental conclusions were, it is
certain her thoughts all ran in another channel. In all ages of the
world, in every condition, and at every period of life, a woman's
interest in the progress of a love affair, masters every other feeling.
Esther Downing was a favourite of her aunt; and as it had been
urged by Mr. Downing, as an objection to his removal to New-England,
that his daughters would have small chance of being eligibly married
there, it became a point of honourwith Madam Winthrop, after he had
been persuaded to overlook this objection, to prove to him that it was
Madam Winthrop was too upright, intentionally to do a wrong to any
one; but, without being herself conscious of it, she was continually
setting off the lights of her niece's character, by what she deemed the
shades of Hope Leslie's. Our heroine's independent temper, and careless
gaiety of heart, had more than once offended against the strict notions
of Madam Winthrop, who was of the opinion, that the deferential manners
of youth, which were the fashion of the age, had their foundation in
Nothing was farther from Miss Leslie's intention, than any
disrespect to a woman whom she had been taught to venerate; but
unfortunately, she would sometimes receive what Madam Winthrop meant
for affability, as if it were simply the kindness of an equal; she had
been seen to gape in the midst of the good lady's most edifying
remarks; and once she ran away to gaze on a brilliant sunset, at the
moment Madam Winthrop was condescendingly relating some very important
particulars of her early life. This was certainly indecorous; but her
offences were trifling, and were probably forgotten by Madam Winthrop
herself, long before their effects were effaced from her mind.
Esther was always respectful, always patient; always governed by
the slightest intimation ofher aunt's wishes; and it must be confessed,
that even to those who were less partial and prejudiced than Madame
Winthrop, Miss Downing appeared far more lovely than our heroine during
the week, when she was suffering the extremes of anxiety and
apprehension. No one, who did not know that there was a secret and
sufficient cause for her restlessness, her seeming indifference to her
friends, and to every thing about her, could have escaped the
conclusion, that forced itself on Everell's mind; that fortune, and
beauty, and indulgence, had had their usual and fatal effect on Hope
Leslie. In the bitterness of his disappointment, he wished he had never
returned to have the vision of her ideal perfection expelled from his
imagination by the light of truth.
With the irritable feeling of a lover, he watched the devoted
attentions of Sir Philip Gardiner to Hope, which she, almost
unconscious of them, received passively, but as Everell thought,
favourably. Utterly engrossed in one object, she never reflected that
there had been any thing in her conduct to excite Everell's distrust;
and feeling more than ever, the want of that sympathy and undisguised
affection which she had always received from him, she was hurt at his
altered conduct; and her manner insensibly conforming to the coldness
and constraint of his, he naturally concluded that she designed to
repel him, and he would turn from her, to repose in the calm and
twilight quiet that was shed about the gentle Esther, whom heknew to be
pure, disinterested, humble, and devoted.
Poor Hope, the subject of his unjust condemnation, was agitated,
not only by impatience for the promised meeting with her unfortunate
sister, but by fear that some unforeseen circumstance might prevent it.
She was also harassed with a sense of conflicting duties. She sometimes
thought that the duty of restoring her sister to the condition in which
she was born, was paramount to the obligation of her promise to
Magawisca. She would waver and resolve to disclose her secret
appointment; but the form of Magawisca would rise to her recollection
with its expression of truth and sweetness and confidence, as if to
check her treacherous purpose.
A thousand times she condemned herself for the rashness of her
promise to Magawisca, by which she had reduced herself, surrounded as
she was by wise and efficient friends, to act without their counsel and
aid. Had Everell treated her with his accustomed kindness, the habitual
confidence of their intercourse might have led her to break through the
restriction of her promise, but she dared not deliberately violate her
word so solemnly pledged. Oppressed with these anxieties, the hours
rolled heavily on; and when Friday, the appointed day arrived, it
seemed to Hope that an age had intervened since her interview with
She had taken care previously to propose an excursion on Friday to
the Governor's garden; and contrary to usual experience, when a long
projected pleasure is to be realized, every circumstance was
propitious. The day was propitious, one of nature's holidays—the
governor too was propitious, and even promoted the party with
After various delays, which, however trifling, had increased Hope's
nervous impatience, they were on the point of setting forth, when Madam
Winthrop, who was not one of the party, came into the parlour, and
said, after a slight hesitation, "I am loath, my young friends, to
interfere with what you seem to have set your hearts on—but
"Really what, Ma'am?" asked Hope impatiently.
Madam Winthrop was not inclined to be spurred by Miss Leslie, and
she answered very deliberately, "I have a feeling as if something were
to happen to-day. I am a coward on the water, at all times, more than
becomes one who fully realizes that the same Providence that watches
over us on the land, follows us on the great deep."
"But your fears, Madam," said Sir Philip, "did not prevent your
crossing the stormy Atlantic."
"Nay, Sir Philip, and I know not what metal that woman is made of,
that would not go handin hand with her husband in so glorious a cause
"Are we not all ready?" asked Hope, anxious to escape before Madam
Winthorp proposed, as she apprehended she was about to do, a
postponement of the party.
"Yes, all ready, I believe, Miss Leslie, but not all too impatient
to await a remark I was about to make, namely, Sir Philip, that a party
of pleasure is very different from a voyage of duty."
"Certainly, madam," replied Sir Philip, who trusted that assent
would end the conversation, "widely different."
"It is not necessary for me," resumed Madam Winthrop, "to state all
the points of difference."
"Oh! not in the least, Ma'am," exclaimed Hope.
"Miss Leslie!" said Madam Winthrop, in a tone of surprise, and then
turning her eye to Everell, who was standing next Esther, she said,
resuming her measured tone, "my responsibility is so great to my
brother Downing—I had an uncommon dream about you, Esther, last
night— and if any thing should happen to you—"
"If it is me, you are concerned about, aunt," said Esther, untying
her bonnet, "I will remain at home,—do not let me detain you," she
added, turning to Hope, "another moment."
Nothing seemed to Hope of any importance, in comparison with the
prosecution of her plans, and nodding a pleased assent to Esther, she
took her aunt's arm in readiness to depart.
"How changed," thought Everell, as his eye glanced towards her,
"thus selfishly and impatiently to pursue her own pleasure without the
slightest notice of her friend's disappointment." His good feelings
were interested to compensate for the indifference of Hope. "If," he
said to Madam Winthrop, "you will commit Miss Downing to my care, I
will promise she shall encounter no danger that my caution may avoid,
or my skill overcome."
Madam Winthrop's apprehensions vanished. "If she is in your
particular charge, Mr. Everell," she said, "I shall be greatly
relieved. I know, I am of too anxious a make. Go, my dear Esther, Mr.
Everell will be constantly near you; under Providence, your safe-guard.
I believe it is not right to be too much influenced by dreams. See that
she keeps her shawl round her, Mr. Everell, while on the water. I feel
quite easy in confiding her to your care."
Everell bowed, and expressed his gratitude for Madam Winthrop's
confidence, and Esther turned on him a look of that meek and pleased
dependence, which it is natural for woman to feel, and which men like
to inspire, because—perhaps —it seems to them an instinctive tribute
to their natural superiority.
"Miss Leslie has become so sedate of late," continued Madam
Winthrop, with a very significantsmile, "that I scarcely need request
that no unwonted sounds of revelry and mirth may proceed from any
member of the governor's family, which ever has been, as it should be,
a pattern of gospel sobriety to the colony."
Mrs. Grafton dropped a bracelet she was clasping on her niece's
arm, but Madam Winthrop's remark—half reproof, and half admonition,
excited no emotion in Hope, whose heart was throbbing with her own
secret anxieties, and who was now in some measure relieved, by Sir
Philip making a motion for their departure, by adroitly availing
himself of this first available pause, and offering her his arm.
As soon as they were fairly out of the house, "revelry and mirth,"
exclaimed Mrs. Grafton, as if the words blistered her tongue, "revelry
and mirth indeed! I think poor Hope will forget how to laugh, if she
stays here much longer. I wonder, Sir Philip, if it is such a mighty
offence to use one's laughing faculties, what they were given for?"
"I believe, madam," replied the knight, with well sustained
gravity, "that ingenious theologians impute this convulsion of the
muscles to some disorganization occasioned by Adam's transgression, and
in support of their hypothesis, they maintain that there is no allusion
to laughter in scripture. Madam Winthrop, I fancy, intends that her
house shall be a little heaven on earth."
Honest Cradock, who had taken his favourite station at Miss
Leslie's side, replied, without in the least suspecting the knight's
irony. "Now, Sir Philip, I marvel whence you draw that opinion. I have
studied all masters in theology, from the oldest down to the youngest,
and, greatest of all, Master Calvin, with whose precious sentences I
'sweeten my mouth always before going to bed,' yet did I never see that
strange doctrine concerning laughter. To me it appears—the Lord
preserve me from advancing novelties—but to me it appears, that there
is no human sound so pleasant and so musical as the laugh of a little
child—and of such are the kingdom of heaven. I have heard the walls at
Bethel ring with bursts of laughter from Miss Hope, and the thought
came to me, (the Lord forgive me, if I erred therein,) that it was the
natural voice of innocence, and therefore, pleasing to him that made
Hope was touched with the pure sentiment of her good tutor, and she
involuntarily slipped her arm into his. Sir Philip was also touched,
and for once, speaking without forethought, he said, "I would give a
kingdom for one of the laughs of my boyhood."
"I dare say, Sir Philip," said Cradock, "for truly there is no
heart-work in the transgressor's laugh."
"Sir!" exclaimed Sir Philip angrily.
The simple man started as if he had receiveda blow, and Hope said,
"you did not mean to call Sir Philip a transgressor."
"Oh, certainly not, in particular, certainly not; Sir Philip's
professions are great, and I doubt not, practice correspondent; but all
of us add daily transgression to transgression, which, I doubt not, Sir
Philip will allow."
"Yes," said Hope archly, "it is far easier, as is said in one of
your good books, Master Cradock, 'to subscribe to a sentence of
universal condemnation, than to confess individual sins.' "
"What blessed times we have fallen on," retorted Sir Philip, "when
youthful beauties, instead of listening to the idle songs of
troubadours, or the fantastic flatteries of vagrant knights, or
announcing with their ruby lips the rewards of chivalry, are exploring
the mines of divinity with learned theologians like Master Cradock, and
bringing forth such diamond sentences, as the pithy saying Miss Leslie
"Heaven preserve us! Sir Philip," exclaimed Mrs. Grafton, "Hope
Leslie study theology! you are as mad as a March hare—all her theology
she has learned out of the Bible and common prayer-book, which should
always go together, in spite of what the Governor says. It is peculiar
that a man of his commodity of sense, should bamboozle himself with
that story he told at breakfast. Oh, you was not there, Sir
Philip—well, he says, that in his son's library, there are a thousand
books, and among them, a Bible and prayer- book bound together—one
jewel in the dung-hill —but that is not what he says—it seems this
unlucky prayer-book is gnawed to mince-meat by the mice, and not
another book in the library touched. I longed to commend the instinct
of the little beasts, that knew what good food was; but every body
listened with such a solemn air, and even you, Hope Leslie, who are
never afraid to smile, even you, did not move your lips."
"I did not hear it," said Hope.
"Did not hear it! that is peculiar—why it was just when Robin was
coming in with the rolls— just as I had taken my second cup—just as
Everell gave Ester Downing that bunch of rose-buds; did you take notice
"Yes," replied Hope, and a deep blush suffused her cheek. She had
noticed the offering with pain, not because her friend was preferred,
but because it led her mind back to the time when she was the object of
all Everell's little favors, and impressed her with a sense of his
The tell-tale blush did not escape the watchful eye of Sir Philip,
and determined to ascertain if the "bolt of Cupid," had fallen on this
"little western flower," he said, "I perceive Miss Leslie is aware that
rose-buds, in the vocabulary of lovers, are made to signify a
declaration of the tender passion."
Secret springs of the heart are sometimes suddenly touched, and
feelings disclosed, that have been hidden even from our own
self-observation. Hope had been moved by Miss Downing's story, and
taking a generous interest in her happiness, she had, with that ardent
feeling with which she pursued every object that interested her,
resolved to promote it in the only mode by which it could be attained.
But now, at the first intimation that her romantic wishes were to be
fulfilled, strange to tell, and still stranger to her to feel, there
was a sudden rising in her heart of disappointment—a sense of loss,
and, we shrink from recording it, but the truth must be told, tears,
honest tears, gushed from her eyes. Oh, pardon her, all ye youthful
devotees to secret self-immolation!—all ye youthful Minervas, who hide
with an impenetrable shield of wisdom and dignity, the natural workings
of your hearts! Make all due allowance for a heroine of the seventeenth
century, who had the misfortune to live before there was a system of
education extant, who had not learned, like some young ladies of our
enlightened days, to prattle of metaphysics—to quote Reid, and
Stewart, and Brown, and to know (full as well as they perhaps) the
springs of human action—the mysteries of mind —still profound
mysteries to the unlearned.
Hope Leslie was shocked, not that she had betrayed her feelings to
her companions, but at her own discovery of their existence—not that
they had appeared, but that they were. Thechange had been so gradual,
from her childish fondness for Everell, to a more mature sentiment, as
to be imperceptible even to herself. She made no essay to explain her
emotion. Mrs. Grafton, though not remarkably sagacious, was aware of
its obvious interpretation, and of the pressing necessity of offering
some ingenious reading. "What a miserable nervous way you have fallen
into, Hope," she said, "since you was caught out in that storm; she
must have taken an inward cold, Sir Philip."
"The symptoms," replied the knight significantly, "would rather, I
should think, indicate an internal heat."
"Heat or cold, Hope," continued Mrs. Grafton, "I am determined you
shall go through a regular course of medicine; valerian tea in the
morning, and lenitive drops at night. You have not eaten enough for the
last week to keep a humming-bird alive. Hope has no kind of faith in
medicine, Sir Philip, but I can tell her it is absolutely necessary, in
the spring of the year, to sweeten the blood."
Sir Philip looked at Hope's glowing face, and said, "he thought
such blood as mantled in Miss Leslie's cheek, needed no medical art to
Hope, alike insensible to the good natured efforts of her aunt, and
the flatteries of Sir Philip, was mentally resolving to act most
heroically; toexpel every selfish feeling from her heart, and to live
for the happiness of others.
The experienced smile sorrowfully at the generous impulses, and
fearless resolves of the young, who know not how costly is the
sacrifice of self-indulgence—how difficult the ascent to the heights
of disinterestedness; but, let not the youthful aspirant be
discouraged; the wing is strengthened by use, and the bird that drops
in its first flutterings about the parent nest, may yet soar to the
Our heroine had rallied her spirits, by the time she joined her
companions in the boat that was awaiting them at the wharf; and in the
effort to veil her feelings, she appeared to Everell extravagantly gay;
and he, being unusually pensive, and seeing no cause for her apparent
excitement, attributed it to Sir Philip's devotion—a cause that
certainly had no tendency to render the effect agreeable to him.
When they disembarked, they proceeded immediately to the single
habitation on the island— Digby's neat residence. The faithful fellow
welcomed Everell with transports of joy. He had a thousand questions to
ask, and recollections to recall; and while Everell lingered to listen,
and Hope and Esther, from a very natural sympathy, to witness the
overflowings of the good fellow's affectionate heart, their companions
left them to stroll about the island.
As soon as his audience was thus reduced"it seems but a day," he
said, "since you, Mr. Everell, and Miss Leslie, were but children."
"And happy children, Digby, were we not?" said Everell with a
suppressed sigh, and venturing a side glance at Hope; but her face was
averted, and he could not see whether Digby had awakened any
recollections in her bosom responding to his own.
"Happy! that were you," replied Digby, "and the lovingest," he
continued, little thinking that every word he uttered was as a talisman
to his auditors; "the lovingest that ever I saw. Young folks for the
most part, are like an April day, clouds and sunshine: there are my
young ones, though they look so happy, now they have your English
presents, Mr. Everell, yet they must now and then fall to their little
battles; show out the natural man, as the ministers say; but with you
and Miss Hope, it was always sunshine: it was not strange either,
seeing you were all in all to one another, after that terrible sweep
off at Bethel. It is odd what vagaries come and go in a body's mind;
time was, when I viewed you as good as mated with Magawisca; forgive me
for speaking so, Mr. Everell, seeing she was but a tawny Indian after
"Forgive you, Digby! you do me honour, by implying that I rightly
estimated that noble creature; and before she had done the heroic deed,
to which I owe my life—Yes, Digby, I might have loved her—might have
forgotten that nature had put barriers between us."
"I don't know but you might, Mr. Everell, but I don't believe you
would; things would naturally have taken another course after Miss Hope
came among us; and many a time, I thought it was well it was as it was,
for I believe it would have broken Magawisca's heart, to have been put
in that kind of eclipse by Miss Leslie's coming between you and her.
Now all is as it should be; as your mother—blessed be her
memory—would have wished, and your father, and all the world."
Digby seemed to have arranged every thing in his own mind,
according to what he deemed natural and proper; and too self-complacent
at the moment, to receive any check to his garrulity, from the silence
of his guests, he proceeded. "The tree follows the bent of the twig;
what think you, Miss Esther, is not there a wedding a brewing?" Miss
Downing was silent—Digby looked round and saw confusion in every face,
and feeling that he had ventured on forbidden ground, he tried to
stammer out an apology. "I declare now," he said, "it's odd—it's a
sign I grow old; but I quite entirely forgot how queer young people
feel about such things. I should not have blundered on so, but my wife
put it into my head; she is equal to Nebuchadnezar for dreaming dreams;
and three times last night she waked me, to tell me about her dreaming
of a funeral, and that, she said, was a sure forerunner of a wedding,
and it was natural I should go on thinking whose wedding was
coming—was not it, Miss Esther?"
Everell turned away to caress a chubby boy. Miss Downing fidgetted
with her bonnet strings, threw back her shawl, and disclosed the
memorable knot of rose-buds. If they had a meaning, they seemed also to
have a voice, and they roused Hope Leslie's resolution. Some pride
might have aided her, but it was maidenly pride, and her feelings were
as near to pure generosity as our infirm nature can approach.
"Digby," she said, "it was quite natural for you both to think and
speak of Mr. Everell's wedding; we are to have it, and that right soon,
I hope; you have only mistaken the bride; and as neither of the parties
will speak to set you right," and she glanced her eyes from Esther to
Everell, "why, I must."
Esther became as pale as marble. Hope flew to her side, took her
hand, placed it in Everell's, threw her arm around Esther, kissed her
cheek, and darted out of the house. Digby half articulated an
expression of disappointment and surprise, and impelled by an instinct
that told him this was not a scene for witnesses, he too disappeared.
Never were two young people left in a more perplexing predicament.
To Everell, it was a moment of indescribable confusion and
embarrassment. To Esther, of overwhelming recollections, of
apprehension, and hope, and above all, shame.
She would gladly have buried herself in thedepths of the earth.
Everell understood her feelings. There was no time for
deliberation—and with emotions that would have made self-immolation at
the moment easy, and impelled, as it seemed to him, by an irresistible
destiny, he said something about the happiness of retaining the hand he
Miss Downing confused by her own feelings, misinterpreted his. She
was, at the moment, incapable of estimating the disparity between his
few, broken, disjointed, half-uttered words, and the natural, free,
full expressions of an ardent and happy lover. She only spoke a few
words, to refer him to her aunt Winthrop; but her hand, passive in his,
her burning cheeks, and throbbing heart, told him what no third person
could tell, and what her tongue could not utter.
Thus had Hope Leslie, by rashly following her first generous
impulses, by giving to "an unproportioned thought its act," effected
that, which the avowed tenderness of Miss Downing, the united instances
of Mr. Fletcher and Governor Winthrop, and the whole colony and world
beside, could never have achieved. Unconscious of the mistake by which
she had put the happiness of all parties concerned in jeopardy, she was
exulting in her victory over herself, and endeavouring to regain in
solitude the tranquillity which she was surprised to find had utterly
forsaken her; and to convince herself that the disorder of her spirits,
which in spite of all her efforts, filled her eyes with tears, was
owing to the agitating expectation of seing her long-lost sister.
The eastern extremity of the island being sheltered by the high
ground on the west, was most favourable for horticultural experiments,
and had, therefore been planted with fruit trees and grape vines; here
Hope had retired, and was flattering herself she was secure from
interruption and observation, when she was startled by a footstep, and
perceived Sir Philip Gardiner approaching. "I am fortunate at last," he
said. "I have just been vainly seeking you, where I most unluckily
broke in upon the lovers, at a moment of supreme happiness, if I may
judge from the faces of both parties; but what are you doing with that
vine, Miss Leslie?" he continued, for Hope had stooped over a grape
vine, which she seemed anxiously arranging.
"I am merely looking at it," she said; "it seems drooping."
"Yes—and droop and die it must. I am amazed that the wise people
of your colony should hope to rear the vine in this cold and sterile
land; a fit climate it is not for any delicate plant."
The knight's emphasis and look gave a particular significance to
his words; but Miss Leslie, determined to take them only in their
literal sense, coldly replied, "that it was not the part of wisdom to
relinquish the attempt to cultivate so valuablea production, till a
fair experiment had been made."
"Very true, Miss Leslie. The Governor himself could not have spoken
it more sagely. Pardon me for smiling—I was thinking what an admirable
illustration of your remark, your friend, Miss Downing, afforded you.
Who would have hoped to rear such a hot-bed plant as love, amidst her
frosts and ice? Nay, look not so reproachfully. I admit there are
analogies in nature—in my rambles in the Alpine country, I have seen
her bage and flowers fringing the very borders of perpetual snows."
"Your analogy does not suit the case, Sir Philip," replied Miss
Leslie coldly, "but I marvel not at your ignorance of my friend; the
waters gushed from the rock only at the prophet's touch"— Hope
hesitated; she felt that her rejoinder was too personal, and she added,
in a tone of calmer defence, "surely she who has shown herself capable
of the fervour of devotion, and the tenderness of friendship, may be
susceptible of an inferior passion."
"Most certainly; and your philosophy, fair reasoner, agrees with
experience and poetry. An old French lay well sets forth the harmony
between the passions; thus it runs, I think"—and he trilled the
"Et pour verité vous record
Dieu et amour sont d'un accord,
Dieu aime sens et honorance,
Amour ne l'a pas en viltance;
Dieu hait orgueil et fausseté,
Et Amour aime loyauté
Dieu aime honneur et courtoisie
Et bonne Amour ne hait-il mie;
Dieu écoute belle prière
Amour ne la met pas arrière."
Sir Philip dropped on his knee, and, seizing Hope's hand, repeated,
"Dieu écoute belle prière
Amour ne le met pas en arriére."
At this moment, when Hope stood stock still from surprise,
confusion, and displeasure, Everell crossed the walk. The colour
mounted to his cheeks and temples, he quickened his footsteps, and
almost instantly disappeared. This apparition, instead of augmenting
Miss Leslie's embarrassment, restored all her powers. "Reserve your
gallantries, Sir Philip," she said, quietly withdrawing her hand, "and
your profane verses for some subject to whom they are better suited; if
you have aught of the spirit of a gentleman in you, you must feel that
I have neither invited the one, nor provoked the other."
Sir Philip rose mortified and disconcerted, and suffered Miss
Leslie to walk slowly away from him without uttering a word to urge or
defend his suit. He would have been better pleased if he had excited
more emotion of any sort; he thought he had never seen her, on any
occasion, so calm and indifferent. He was piqued, as a man of
gallantry, to be thus contemptuouslyrepelled; and he was vexed with
himself that by a false step, he had retarded, perhaps endangered, the
final success of his projects. He had been too suddenly elated by the
removal of his rival; he deemed his path quite clear; and with due
allowance for natural presumption and self-love, it was not perhaps
strange that an accomplished man of the world should, in Sir Philip's
circumstances, have counted sanguinely on success.
He remained pulling a rose to pieces, as a sort of accompaniment to
his vexed thoughts, when Mrs. Grafton made an untimely appearance
before him. "Ah ha!" she said, picking up a bracelet Hope had
unconsciously dropped, "I see who has been here—I thought so—but, Sir
Philip, you look downcast." Sir Philip, accustomed as he was to
masquerade, had not been able to veil his feelings even from the good
dame, whose perceptions were neither quick nor keen; but what was
defective in them, she made up in abundant good nature. "Now, Sir
Philip," she said, "there is nothing but the wind so changeful as a
woman's mind; that's what every body says, and there is both good and
bad in it: for if the wind is dead ahead, we may look for it to turn."
Sir Philip bowed his assent to the truism, and secretly prayed that
the good lady might be just in her application of it. Mrs. Grafton
continued, "Now, what have you been doing with that rose, Sir Philip?
one would think it had done you an ill turn, by your picking it to
pieces; I hope you did not follow Everell's fashion; such a way of
expressing one's ideas should be left to boys." Sir Philip most
heartily wished that he had left his sentiments to be conveyed by so
prudent and delicate an interpreter; but, determined to give no aid to
Mrs. Grafton's conjectures, he threw away the rose-stem, and plucking
another, presented it to her, saying, that 'he hoped she would not
extend her proscription of the language of flowers so far as to prevent
their expressing his regard for her.'
The good lady curtsied, and said, 'how much Sir Philip's ways did
remind her of her dear deceased husband.'
The knight constrained himself to say, 'that he was highly
flattered by being thus honourably associated in her thoughts.'
"And you may well be, Sir Philip," she replied, in the honesty of
her heart, "for my poor dear Mr. Grafton was called the most elegant
man of his time; and the best of husbands he proved: for, as Shakspeare
says, he never let the winds of heaven visit me." She paused to wipe
away a genuine tear, and then continued, "it was not for such a man to
be disheartened because a woman seemed a little offish at first. Nil
desperandum was his motto; and he, poor dear man, had so many rivals!
Here, you know, the case is quite different. If any body were to fall
in love with any body—I am only making a supposition,Sir Philip—there
is nobody here but these stiffstarched puritans—a thousand pardons,
Sir Philip—I forgot you was one of them. Indeed, you seem so little
like them, that I am always forgetting it."
Sir Philip dared not trust Mrs. Grafton's discretion so far as to
cast off his disguises before her, but he ventured to say that 'some of
his brethren were over zealous.'
"Ay, ay, quite too zealous, aren't they? a kind of mint, anise, and
Sir Philip smiled—'he hoped not to err in that particular; he must
confess a leaning of the heart towards his old habits and feelings.'
"Quite natural; and I trust you will finally lean so far as to fall
into them again—all in good time—but as I was saying—skittishness
isn't a bad sign in a young woman. It was a long, long time before I
gave poor dear Mr. Grafton the first token of favour; and what do you
surmise that was, Sir Philip? Now just guess—it was a trick of fancy,
really worth knowing."
Sir Philip was wearied beyond measure with the old lady's
garrulity, but he said, with all the complaisance he could assume,
'that he could not guess—the ingenuity of a lady's favour baffled
"I thought you would not guess; well, I'll tell you. There's a
little history to it, but, luckily, we've plenty of time on hand. Well,
to begin at the beginning, you must know I had a fan—aFrench fan, I
think it was—there were two cupids painted on it; and exactly in the
middle, between them, a figure of hope—I don't mean Hope Leslie," she
continued, for she saw the knight's eye suddenly glancing towards the
head of the walk, past which Miss Leslie was just walking, in earnest
conversation with Everell Fletcher.
Sir Philip felt the urgent necessity, at this juncture of affairs,
of preventing, if possible, a confidential communication between Miss
Leslie and Fletcher; and his face expressed unequivocally that he was
no longer listening to Mrs. Grafton.
"Do you hear, Sir Philip," she continued, "I don't mean Hope
"So I understand, Madam," replied the knight, keeping his face
towards her, but receding rapidly in the direction Miss Leslie had
passed, till almost beyond the sound of her voice, he laid his hand on
his heart, bowed, and disappeared.
"Well, that is peculiar of Sir Philip," muttered the good lady;
then suddenly turning to Cradock, who appeared, making his way through
some snarled bushes—"What is the matter now, master Cradock?" she
asked. Cradock replied by informing her that the tide served for their
return to town, and that the Governor had made it his particular
request that there might be no delay.
Mrs. Grafton's spirit was always refractory to orders from
head-quarters; but she was too discreet or too timid for any overt act
of disobedience, and she gave her arm to Cradock, and hastened to the
When Sir Philip had emerged from the walk, he perceived the parties
he pursued at no great distance from him, and was observed by Hope, who
immediately, and manifestly to avoid him, motioned to Everell to take a
path which diverged from that which led to the boat, to which they were
now all summoned by a loud call from the boatmen.
We must leave the knight to digest his vexation, and follow our
heroine, whose face could now claim nothing of the apathy that had
mortified Sir Philip.
"You are then fixed in your determination to remain on the island
to-night?" demanded Fletcher.
"And is Digby also to have the honour of Sir Philip's company?"
"Everell!" exclaimed Hope, in a tone that indicated surprise and
"Pardon me, Miss Leslie."
"Miss Leslie again! Everell, you are unkind; you but this moment
promised you would speak to me as you were wont to do."
"I would, Hope: my heart has but one language for you, but I dare
not trust my lips. I may—I must now speak to you as a brother; and
before we part, let me address a caution to you, which that sacred,
and, thank God, permittedlove, dictates. My own destiny is fixed—fixed
by your act, Hope; heaven forgive me for saying so. It is done. For
myself, I can endure any thing, but I could not live to see you the
prey of a hollow-hearted adventurer." The truth flashed on Hope; she
was beloved—she loved again—and she had rashly dashed away the
happiness within her grasp. Her head became dizzy; she stopped, and
gathering her veil over her face, she leaned against a tree for
support. Everell grievously misunderstood her agitation.
"Hope," he said, with a faltering voice, "I have been slow to
believe that you could thus throw away your heart. I tried to shut my
eyes against that strange Saturday night's walk— that mysterious,
unexplained assignation with a stranger—knowing, as I did, that his
addresses had received the Governor's full approbation—my father's, my
poor father's reluctant assent; I still trusted that your pure heart
would have revolted from his flatteries. I believe he is a heartless
hypocrite. I would have told you so, but I was too proud to have my
warning attributed, even for a moment, to the meanness of a jealous
rival. I have been accused of seeking you from"—interested motives, he
would have added; but it seemed as if the words blistered his tongue,
and he concluded, "it matters not now; now I may speak freely, without
distrusting myself, or being distrusted by others. Hope, you have cast
away my earthly happiness, trifle not with your own."
Hope perceived that events, conspiring with her own thoughtless
conduct, had rivetted Everell's mistake—but it was now irremediable.
There was no middle path between a passive submission to her fate, and
a full, and now useless explanation. She was aware that plighted
friendship and troth were staked on the resolution of the moment; and
when Everell added, "Oh, I have been convinced against my will—against
my hopes—what visions of possible felicity have you dispersed—what
"Dreams—dreams all," she exclaimed, interrupting him, and throwing
back her veil, she discovered her face drenched with tears. "Hark—they
call you; let the past be forgotten; and for the future—the future,
Everell—all possible felicity does await you, if you are true to
yourself; true to—" her voice faltered, but she articulated, "Esther,"
and turning away, she escaped from his sight, as she would have rushed
from the brink of a precipice.
"Oh!" thought Everell, as his eye and heart followed her, with the
fervid feeling of love, "Oh, that one, who seems all angel, should have
so much of woman's weakness!" while he lingered for a moment to subdue
his emotion, and obtain a decent composure to fit him to appear before
Esther, and less interested observers, Sir Philip joined him,
apparently returning from the boat. "Your friends stay for you, sir,"
he said, and passed on.
"Then he does remain with her," concludedEverell; and the
conviction was forced more strongly than ever on his mind, that Hope
had lent a favourable ear to Sir Philip's suit. "The illusion must be
transient," he thought; "vanity cannot have a lasting triumph over the
noble sentiments of her pure heart." This was the language of his
affection; but we must confess, that the ardor of his confidence was
abated by Miss Leslie's apparently wide departure from delicate
reserve, in permitting (as he believed she had) her professed admirer
to remain on the island with her.
He now hastened to the boat, in the hope that he should hear some
explanation of this extraordinary arrangement; but no such consolation
awaited him. On the contrary, he found it the subject of speculation to
the whole party. Faithful Cradock expressed simple amazement. Mrs.
Grafton was divided between her pleasure in the probable success of her
secret wishes, and her consciousness of the obvious impropriety of her
niece's conduct, and her flurried and half articulated efforts at
explanation, only served, like a feeble light, to make the darkness
visible; and Esther's downcast and tearful eye intimated her concern
and mortification for her friend.
"The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time.
For parting us—Oh, and is all forgot?"
— Midsummer Night's Dream
On quitting Everell, our heroine, quite unconscious that she was
the subject of painful suspicion or affectionate anxiety, sought a
sequestered spot, where she might indulge and tranquilize her feelings.
It has been said that the love of a brother and sister is the only
platonic affection. This truth, (if it be a truth) is the conviction of
an experience far beyond our heroine's. She had seen in Esther the
pangs of repressed and unrequited love, and mistaking them for the
characteristic emotions of that sentiment, it was no wonder that she
perceived no affinity to it, in the joyous affection that had animated
her own soul. "After a little while," she said, "I shall feel as I did
when we lived together in Bethel; if all that I love are happy, I must
be happy too." If the cold and selfish laugh to scorn what they think
the reasoning of ignorance and inexperience, it is because they have
never felt, that to meditate the happinessof others, is to enter upon
the ministry, and the joy of celestial spirits. Not one envious or
repining thought intruded into the heaven of Hope Leslie's mind. Not
one malignant spirit passed the bounds of that paradise, that was
filled with pure and tender affections, with projects of goodness, and
all their cheerful train.
Hope was longer absorbed in her reverie than perhaps was quite
consistent with her philosophy; and when she was roused from it by
Digby's voice, she blushed from the consciousness that her thoughts had
been too long withdrawn from the purpose of her visit to the island.
Digby came to say that his wife's supper-table was awaiting Miss
Leslie. Hope embraced the opportunity, as they walked together towards
his dwelling, to make her arrangements for the evening. "Digby," she
said, "I have something to confide to you, but you must ask me no
"That's crossing human nature," replied the good fellow; "but I
think I can swim against the current for you, Miss Hope."
"Thank you, Digby. Then, in the first place, you must know, I
expect some friends to meet me here this evening; all that I ask of you
is, to permit me to remain out unmolested as long as I may choose. You
may tell your wife that I like to stroll in the garden by moonlight—or
to sit and listen to the waves breaking on the shore—as you know I do,
"Yes, Miss Hope, I know your heart always linked into such things;
but it it will be heathen Greek to my wife—so you must make out a
better reason for her."
"Then tell her, that I like to have my own way."
"Ah, that will I," replied Digby chuckling, "that is what every
woman can understand. I always said, Miss Hope, it was a pure mercy you
chose the right way, for you always had yours."
"Perhaps you think, Digby, I have been too headstrong in my own
"Oh, no! my sweet mistress—no—why this having our own way, is
what every body likes; it's the privilege we came to this wilderness
world for; and though the gentles up in town there, with the Governor
at their head, hold a pretty tight rein, yet I can tell them, that
there are many who think what blunt Master Blackstone said, 'that he
came not away from the Lordsbishops, to put himself under the
Lord's-brethren.' No, no, Miss Hope, I watch the motions of the
straws—I know which way the wind blows. Thought and will are set free.
It was but the other day, so to speak, in the days of good queen Bess,
as they called her, when, if her majesty did but raise her hand, the
parliament folks were all down on their knees to her; and now, thank
God, the poorest and the lowest of us only kneel to Him who made us.
Times are changed—there is a new spirit in the world—chains are
broken—fetters are knocked off—and the liberty set forth in the
blessed word, is now felt to be every man's birth-right. But shame on
my prating tongue, that wags so fast when I might hear your nightingale
Hope's mind was pre-occupied, and she found it difficult to listen
to Digby's speculations with interest, or to respond with animation;
but she was too benignant to lose herself in sullen abstraction, and
when they arrived at the cottage, she roused her faculties to amuse the
children, and to listen to the mother's stories of their ominous
smartness. She commended the good wife's milk and cakes, and sat for an
half hour after the table was removed, talking of the past, and
brightening the future prospects of her good friends, with predictions
of their children's prosperity and respectability—predictions, which,
Digby afterwards said, the sweet young lady's bounty brought to pass.
Suddenly she sprang from her chair—"Digby," she exclaimed, "I
think the east is lighting up with the rising moon—is it not?"
"If it is not, it soon will," replied Digby, understanding and
favouring her purpose.
"Then," said Hope, "I will take a walk round the island, and do not
you, Betsy, sit up for me." Betsy, of course, remonstrated. The night
air was unwholesome; and though the sky overhead was clear, yet she had
heard distant thunder; the beach birds had been in flocks on shore all
theday; and the breakers on the east side of the island made a boding
sound. These, and other signs, were urged as arguments against the
unseasonable walk. Of course they were unheeded by our heroine, who,
declaring that with shelter so near she was in no danger, muffled
herself in her cloak, and sallied forth. She bent her steps around the
cliff which rises at the western extremity of the island, leaving at
its base a few yards of flat rocky shore, around which the waters of
the bay sweep, deeply indenting it, and forming a natural cove or
harbour for small boats. As Hope passed around a ledge of rocks, she
fancied she saw a shadow cast by a figure that seemed flying before
her. "They are here already," she thought, and hastened forward,
expecting to catch a glimpse of them as soon as she should turn the
angle of the rock—but no figure appeared; and though Hope imagined she
heard stones rattling, as if displaced by hurried steps, she was soon
convinced the sound was accidental. Alive only to one expectation, she
seated herself, without any apprehension, to await in this solitude the
coming of her sister.
The moon rose unclouded, and sent her broad stream of light across
the beautiful bay, kindling in her beams the islands that gemmed it,
and disclosing, with a dim indefinite light, the distant town rising
over this fair domain of sea and land—hills, heights, jutting points,
and islands, then unknown to fame, but now consecrated in domestic
annals, and illustrious in the patriot's story.
Whatever charms the scene might have presented to our heroine's eye
at another moment, she was now only conscious of one emotion of
feverish impatience. She gazed and listened till her senses ached; and
at last, when anticipation had nearly yielded to despair, her ear
caught the dash of oars; and at the next moment, a canoe glanced around
the headland into the cove; she darted to the brink of the water—she
gazed intently on the little bark—her whole soul was in that look. Her
sister was there. At this first assurance, that she really beheld this
loved, lost sister, Hope uttered a scream of joy; but when, at a second
glance, she saw her in her savage attire, fondly leaning on Oneco's
shoulder, her heart died within her; a sickening feeling came over her,
an unthought of revolting of nature; and instead of obeying the first
impulse, and springing forward to clasp her in her arms, she retreated
to the cliff, leaned her head against it, averted her eyes, and pressed
her hands on her heart, as if she would have bound down her rebel
Magawisca's voice aroused her. "Hope Leslie," she said, "take thy
Hope stretched out her hand, without lifting her eyes; but when she
felt her sister's touch, the energies of nature awoke, she threw her
armsaround her, folded her to her bosom, laid her cheek on hers, and
wept as if her heart would burst in every sob.
Mary (we use the appellative by which Hope had known her sister,)
remained passive in her arms. Her eye was moistened, but she seemed
rather abashed and confounded, than excited; and when Hope released
her, she turned towards Oneco with a look of simple wonder. Hope again
threw her arm around her sister, and intently explored her face for
some trace of those infantine features that were impressed on her
memory. "It is—it is my sister!" she exclaimed, and kissed her cheek
again and again. "Oh! Mary, do you not remember when we sat together on
mother's knee? Do you not remember, when with her own burning hand, the
very day she died, she put those chains on our necks? Do you not
remember when they held us up to kiss her cold lips?" Mary looked
towards Magawisca for an explanation of her sister's words. "Look at
me, Mary—speak to me," continued Hope.
"No speak Yengees," replied Mary, exhausting in this brief
sentence, all the English she could command.
Hope, in the impetuosity of her feelings, had forgotten that
Magawisca had forewarned her not to indulge the expectation that her
sister could speak to her; and the melancholy truth, announced by her
own lips, seemed to Hope to open a new and impassable gulf between
them.She wrung her hands; "Oh what shall I do! what shall I say?" she
Magawisca now advanced to her, and said in a compassionate tone,
"Let me be thy interpreter, Hope Leslie; and be thou more calm. Dost
thou not see thy sister is to thee as the feather borne on the
"I will be more calm, Magawisca; but promise me you will interpret
truly for me."
A blush of offended pride overspread Magawisca's cheek. "We hold
truth to be the health of the soul," she said: "thou mayest speak,
maiden, without fear that I will abate one of thy words."
"Oh, I fear nothing wrong from you, Magawisca—forgive me—forgive
me—I know not what I say or do." She drew her sister to a rock, and
they sat down together. Hope knew not how to address one so near to her
by nature, so far removed by habit and education. She thought that if
Mary's dress, which was singularly and gaudily decorated, had a less
savage aspect, she might look more natural to her; and she signed to
her to remove the mantle she wore, made of birds' feathers, woven
together with threads of the wild nettle. Mary threw it aside, and
disclosed her person, light and agile as a fawn's, clothed with skins,
neatly fitted to her waist and arms, and ambitiously embellished with
bead work. The removal of the mantle, instead of the effect designed,
only served to make morestriking the aboriginal peculiarities; and
Hope, shuddering and heart-sick, made one more effort to disguise them
by taking off her silk cloak and wrapping it close around her sister.
Mary seemed instantly to comprehend the language of the action, she
shook her head, gently disengaged herself from the cloak, and resumed
her mantle. An involuntary exclamation of triumph burst from Oneco's
lips. "Oh tell her," said Hope to Magawisca, "that I want once more to
see her in the dress of her own people—of her own family—from whose
arms she was torn to be dragged into captivity."
A faint smile curled Magawisca's lip, but she interpreted
faithfully Hope's communication, and Mary's reply, "'she does not like
the English dress,' she says."
"Ask her," said Hope, "if she remembers the day when the wild
Indians sprung upon the family at Bethel, like wolves upon a fold of
lambs?— If she remembers when Mrs. Fletcher and her innocent little
ones were murdered, and she stolen away?"
"She says, 'she remembers it well, for then it was Oneco saved her
Hope groaned aloud. "Ask her," she continued with unabated
eagerness, "if she remembers when we played together, and read
together, and knelt together at our mother's feet; when she told us of
the God that made us, and the Saviour that redeemed us?"
"She remembers something of all this, but she says, 'it is faint
and distant, like the vanishing vapour on the far-off mountain.' "
"Oh, tell her, Magawisca, if she will come home and live with me, I
will devote my life to her. I will watch over her in sickness and
health. I will be mother, sister, friend to her—tell her, that our
mother, now a saint in heaven, stoops from her happy place to entreat
her to return to our God, and our father's God."
Mary shook her head in a manner indicative of a more determined
feeling than she had before manifested, and took from her bosom a
crucifix, which she fervently pressed to her lips.
Every motive Hope offered was powerless, every mode of entreaty
useless, and she leaned her head despondently on Mary's shoulder. The
contrast between the two faces thus brought together, was most
striking. Hope's hat had slipped back, and her rich brown tresses fell
about her neck and face; her full eye was intently fixed on Mary, and
her cheek glowing with impassioned feeling. She looked like an angel
touched with some mortal misery; while Mary's face, pale and
spiritless, was only redeemed from absolute vacancy by an expression of
gentleness and modesty. Hope's hand was lying on her sister's lap, and
a brilliant diamond ring caught Mary's attention. Hope perceived this,
and instantly drew it from her own finger and placed it on Mary's; "and
here is another—and another—and another," she cried, making the same
transfer of all her rings. "Tell her, Magawisca, if she will come home
with me, she shall be decked with jewels from head to foot, she shall
have feathers from the most beautiful birds that wing the air, and
flowers that never fade—tell her that all I possess shall be hers."
"Shall I tell her so?" asked Magawisca, with a mingled expression
of contempt and concern, as if she herself despised the lure, but
feared that Mary might be caught by it, for the pleased girl was
holding her hand before her, turning it, and gazing with child-like
delight on the gems, as they caught and reflected the moon-beams.
"Shall I ask your sister to barter truth and love, the jewels of the
soul, that grow brighter and brighter in the land of spirits, for these
poor perishing trifles?—Oh, Hope Leslie, I had better thoughts of
"I cannot help it, Magawisca; I am driven to try every way to win
back my sister—tell her, I entreat you, tell her what I have said."
Magawisca faithfully repeated all the motives Hope had urged, while
Hope herself clasped her sister's hand, and looked in her face with a
mute supplication, more earnest than words could express. Mary
hesitated, and her eye turned quickly to Oneco, to Magawisca, and then
again rested on her sister. Hope felt her hand tremble in hers. Mary,
for the first time, bent towards her, and laid her cheek to Hope's.
Hope uttered ascream of delight, "Oh, she does not refuse, she will
stay with me," she exclaimed. Mary understood the exclamation, and
suddenly recoiled, and hastily drew the rings from her fingers. "Keep
them—keep them," said Hope, bursting into tears, if "we must be
cruelly parted again, they will sometimes speak to you of me."
At this moment, a bright light as of burning flax, flamed up from
the cliff above them, threw a momentary flash over the water, and then
disappeared. Oneco rose, "I like not this light," he said, "we must
begone, we have redeemed our promise," and he took Hope's cloak from
the ground, and gave it to her as a signal that the moment of
separation had arrived.
"Oh, stay one moment longer," cried Hope. Oneco pointed to the
heavens, over which black and threatening clouds were rapidly
gathering, and Magawisca said, "do not ask us to delay, my father has
waited long enough." Hope now for the first time observed there was an
Indian in the canoe, wrapped in skins, and listlessly waiting in a
recumbent position the termination of the scene. "Is that Mononotto?"
said she, shuddering at the thought of the bloody scenes with which he
was associated in her mind; but before her inquiry was answered, the
subject of it sprang to his feet, and uttering an exclamation of
surprise, stretched his hand towards the town. All at once perceived
the object towards which he pointed. A bright strong light streamed
upwardfrom the highest point of land, and sent a ruddy glow over the
bay. Every eye turned inquiringly to Hope. "It is nothing," she said to
Magawisca, "but the light that is often kindled on Beacon-Hill to guide
the ships into the harbour. The night is becoming dark, and some vessel
is expected in—that is all, believe me."
Whatever trust her visitors might have reposed in Hope's good
faith, they were evidently alarmed by an appearance which they did not
think sufficiently accounted for; and Oneco hearing, or imagining he
heard, approaching oars, said in his own language to Magawisca, "we
have no time to lose—I will not permit my white bird to remain any
longer within reach of the net."
Magawisca assented: "We must go," she said; "we must not longer
hazard our father's life." Oneco sprang into the canoe, and called to
Mary to follow him.
"Oh, spare her one single moment!" said Hope, imploringly to
Magawisca, and she drew her a few paces from the shore, and knelt down
with her, and in a half articulate prayer, expressed the tenderness and
sorrow of her soul, and committed her sister to God. Mary understood
her action, and feeling that their separation was for ever, nature for
a moment asserted her rights; she returned Hope's embrace, and wept on
While the sisters were thus folded in one another's arms, a loud
yell burst from the savages; Magawisca caught Mary by the arms, and
Hope turning, perceived that a boat filled with armed men, had passed
the projecting point of land, and borne in by the tide, it instantly
touched the beach, and in another instant Magawisca and Mary were
prisoners. Hope saw the men were in the uniform of the Governor's
guard. One moment before she would have given worlds to have had her
sister in her power; but now, the first impulse of her generous spirit,
was an abhorrence of her seeming treachery to her friends. "Oh, Oneco,"
she cried, springing towards the canoe, "I did not—indeed I did not
know of it." She had scarcely uttered the words, which fell from her
neither understood nor heeded, when Oneco caught her in his arms, and
shouting to Magawisca to tell the English, that as they dealt by Mary,
so would he deal by her sister; he gave the canoe the first impulse,
and it shot out like an arrow, distancing and defying pursuit.
Oneco's coup-de-main seemed to petrify all present. They were
roused by Sir Philip Gardiner, who, coming round the base of the cliff,
appeared among them; and learning the cause of their amazement, he
ordered them, with a burst of passionate exclamation, instantly to man
the boat, and proceed with him in pursuit. This, one and all refused.
"Daylight, and calm water," they said, "would be necessary to give any
hope to such a pursuit, and the storm was now gathering so fast, as to
render it dangerous to venture out at all."
Sir Philip endeavoured to alarm them with threats of the Governor's
displeasure, and to persuade them with offers of high reward; but they
understood too well the danger and hopelessness of the attempt to risk
it, and they remained inexorable. Sir Philip then went in quest of
Digby, and at the distance of a few paces met him. Alarmed by the rapid
approach of the storm, he was seeking Miss Leslie; when he learned her
fate from Sir Philip's hurried communication, he uttered a cry of
despair. "Oh! I would go after her," he said, "if I had but a cockle
shell; but it seems as if the foul fiends were at work: my boat was
this morning sent to town to be repaired. And yet what could we do?" He
added, shuddering, "the wind is rising to that degree, that I think no
boat could live in the bay; and it is getting as dark as Egypt—Oh, God
save my precious young lady!—God have mercy on her!" he continued. A
sudden burst of thunder heightened his alarm—"man can do nothing for
her. Why in the name of heaven," he added, with a natural desire to
appropriate the blame of misfortune, "why must they be for ever
meddling; why not let the sisters meet and part in peace?"
'Oh! why not?' thought Sir Philip, who would have given his right
hand to have retraced the steps that had led to this most unlooked for
and unhappy issue of the affair. They were now joined by the guard with
their prisoners. Digbywas requested to lead them instantly to a
shelter. He did so; and, agitated as he was with fear and despair for
Miss Leslie, he did not fail to greet Magawisca, as one to whom all
honour was due. She heeded him not—she seemed scarcely conscious of
the cries of Faith Leslie, who was weeping like a child, and clinging
to her. The treachery that had betrayed her wrapt her soul in
indignation, and nothing roused her but the blasts of wind and flashes
of lightning, that seemed to her the death-knell of her father.
The storm continued for the space of an hour, and then died away as
suddenly as it had gathered. In another hour, the guard had safely
landed at the wharf, and were conveying their prisoners to the
Governor. He, and his confidential counsellors, who had been awaiting
at his house, the return of their emissaries, solaced themselves with
the belief that all parties were safely sheltered on the island; and
probably would remain there during the night. While they were
whispering this conclusion to one another, at one extremity of the
parlour, Everell sat beside Miss Downing, in the recess of a window,
that overlooked the garden. The huge projecting chimney formed a
convenient screen for the lovers. The evening was warm—the window-sash
thrown up. The moon had come forth, and shed a mild lustre through the
dewy atmosphere; the very light that the young and sentimental—and
above all, young and sentimentallovers, most delight in. But in vain
did Everell look abroad for inspiration; in vain did he turn his eyes
to Esther's face, now more beautiful than ever, flushed as it was with
the first dawn of happiness; in vain did he try to recall his truant
thoughts, to answer words to her timid but bright glances; he would
not—he could not say what he did not feel; and the few sentences he
uttered fell on his own ear like the cold abstractions of philosophy.
While he was in this durance his father was listening—if a man
stretched on a rack can be said to listen—to Madam Winthrop's
whispered and reiterated assurances of her entire approbation of her
This was the position of all parties, when a bustle was heard in
the court, and the guard entered. The foremost advanced to the Governor
and communicated a few sentences in a low tone. The Governor manifested
unusual emotion, turned round suddenly, and exclaimed, "here, Mr.
Fletcher—Everell;" and then motioning to them to keep their places, he
said in an under voice to those near to him, "we must first dispose of
our prisoner—come forward, Magawisca."
"Magawisca!" echoed Everell, springing at one bound into the hall.
But Magawisca shrunk back, and averted her face. "Now God be praised!"
he exclaimed, as he caught the first glance of a form never to be
forgotten—"it is— it is Magawisca!" She did not speak, but drew away,
and leaned her head against the wall. "What means this?" he said, now
for the first time espying Faith Leslie, and then looking round on the
guard, "what means it, sir?" he demanded, turning somewhat imperiously
to the Governor.
"It means, sir," replied the Governor coldly, "that this Indian
woman is the prisoner of the Commonwealth."
"It means that I am a prisoner, lured to the net, and betrayed."
"You a prisoner—here, Magawisca!" Everell exclaimed—"impossible;
justice, gratitude, humanity, forbid it. My father—Governor Winthrep,
you will not surely suffer this outrage."
The elder Fletcher had advanced, and scarcely less perplexed and
agitated than his son, was endeavouring to draw forth Faith Leslie, who
had shrunk behind Magawisca. Governor Winthrop seemed not at all
pleased with Everell's interference. "You will do well, young Mr.
Fletcher, to bridle your zeal; private feelings must yield to the
public good; this young woman is suspected of being an active agent in
brewing the conspiracy forming against us among the Indian tribes; and
it is somewhat bold in you to oppose the course of justice—to
intermeddle with the public welfare—to lift your feeble judgment
against the wisdom of Providence, which has led by peculiar means, to
the apprehension of the enemy. Conduct your prisoner to the jail," he
added, turningto the guard; "and bid Barnaby have her in close and safe
keeping, till further orders."
"For the love of God, sir," cried Everell, "do not this injustice.
At least suffer her to remain in your own house, on her promise—more
secure than the walls of a prison." Governor Winthrop only replied by
signing to the guards to proceed to their duty.
"Stay one moment," exclaimed Everell; "permit her, I beseech you,
to remain here; place her in any one of your apartments, and I will
remain before it, a faithful warder, night and day. But do not—do not,
I beseech you, sully our honour by committing this noble creature to
"Listen to my son, I entreat you," said the elder Fletcher, unable
any longer to restrain his own feelings—"certainly we owe much to this
"You owe much, undoubtedly," replied the Governor, "but it yet
remains to be proved, my friend, that your son's redeemed life is to be
put in the balance against the public weal."
Esther, who had observed the scene with an intense interest, now
overcame her timidity so far, as to penetrate the circle that
surrounded the Governor, and to attempt to enforce Everell's prayer.
"May not Magawisca," she said, "share our apartment, Hope's and mine;
she will then, in safe custody await your further pleasure."
"Thanks, Esther—thanks," cried Everell, withan animation that
would have rewarded a far more difficult effort; but all efforts were
unavailing but not useless, for Magawisca said to Everell "you have
sent light into my darkened soulyou have truth, and gratitude, and for
the rest, they are but what I deemed them. Send me," she continued,
proudly turning to the Governor, "to your dungeon—all places are alike
to me, while I am your prisoner; but for the sake of Everell Fletcher,
let me tell you, that she, who is dearer to him than his own soul, if
indeed she has lived out the perils of this night, must answer for my
"Hope Leslie!" exclaimed Everell; "what has happened—what do you
"She was the decoy bird," replied Magawisca calmly; "and she too is
caught in the net."
"Explain, I beseech you!" The Governor answered Everell's appeal by
a brief explanation. A bustle ensued—every other feeling was now lost
in concern for Hope Leslie; and Magawisca was separated from her
weeping and frightened companion, and conducted away without further
opposition; while the two Fletchers, as if life and death hung on every
instant, were calling on the Governor to aid them in the way and means
of pursuit. But as we hope our readers sympathise in their
apprehensions, we must leave them to return to our heroine.
"But, oh, that hapless virgin, our lost sister,
Where may she wander now, whither betake her?"
Hope Leslie, on being forced into the canoe, sunk down, overpowered
with terror and despair. She was roused from this state by Oneco's loud
and vehement appeals to his father, who only replied by a low
inarticulate murmur, which seemed rather an involuntary emission of his
own feelings, than a response to Oneco. She understood nothing but the
name of Magawisca, which he often repeated, and always with a burst of
vindictive feeling, as if every other emotion were lost in wrath at the
treachery that had wrested her from him. As the apparent contriver, and
active agent in this plot, Hope felt that she must be the object of
detestation, and the victim of vengeance; and all that she had heard or
imagined of Indian cruelties, was present to her imagination; and every
savage passion seemed to her to be embodied in the figure of the old
chief, when she saw his convulsed frame and features, illuminated by
the fearful lightning that flashed athwart him. "It is possible," she
thought, "thatOneco may understand me;" and to him she protested her
innocence, and vehemently besought his compassion. Oneco was not of a
cruel nature, nor was he disposed to inflict unnecessary suffering on
the sister of his wife; but he was determined to retain so valuable a
hostage, and his heart was steeled against her, by his conviction that
she had been a party to the wrong done him; he, therefore, turned a
deaf ear to her entreaties, which her supplicating voice and gestures
rendered intelligible, though he had nearly forgotten her language. He
made no reply by word or sign, but continued to urge on his little bark
with all his might, redoubling his vigorous strokes as the fury of the
Hope cast a despairing eye on her receding home, which she could
still mark through the mirky atmosphere, by the lurid flame that blazed
on Beacon-hill. Friends were on every side of her, and yet no human
help could reach her. She saw the faint light that gleamed from Digby's
cottage-window, and on the other hand, the dim ray that, struggling
through the misty atmosphere, proceeded from the watch-tower on
Castle-Island. Between these lights from opposite islands, she was
passing down the channel, and she inferred that Oneco's design was to
escape out of the harbour. But heaven seemed determined to frustrate
his purpose, and to show her how idle were all human hopes and fears,
how vain "to cast the fashion of uncertain evils."
The wind rose, and the darkness deepened at every moment; the
occasional flashes of lightning only serving to make it more intense.
Oneco tasked his skill to the utmost to guide the canoe; he strained
every nerve, till exhausted by useless efforts, he dropped his oars,
and awaited his resistless fate. The sublime powers of nature had no
terrors for Mononotto. There was something awe-striking in the fixed,
unyielding attitude of the old man, who sat as if he were carved in
stone, whilst the blasts swept by him, and the lightnings played over
him. There are few who have not at some period of their lives, lost
their consciousness of individuality—their sense of this shrinking,
tremulous, sensitive being, in the dread magnificence—the "holy
mystery" of nature.
Hope, even in her present extremity, forgot her fear and danger in
the sublimity of the storm. When the wild flashes wrapped the bay in
light, and revealed to sight the little bark leaping over the "yesty
waves," the stern figure of the old man, the graceful form of Oneco,
and Hope Leslie, her eye upraised, with an instinctive exaltation of
feeling, she might have been taken for some bright vision from another
sphere, sent to conduct her dark companions through the last
tempestuous passage of life. But the triumphs of her spirit were
transient; mortal danger pressed on life. A thunderbolt burst over
their heads. Hope was, for a moment, stunned. The next flash showed the
old man struck down senseless.Oneco shrieked—raised the lifeless body
in his arms, laid his ear to the still bosom, and chafed the breast and
limbs. While he was thus striving to bring back life, the storm
abated—the moonbeams struggled through the parting clouds, and the
canoe, driven at the mercy of the wind and tide, neared a little
island, and drifted on to the beach. Oneco leaped out, dragged his
father's lifeless body to the turf, and renewed and redoubled his
efforts to restore him; and Hope, moved by an involuntary sympathy with
the distress of his child, stooped down and chafed the old man's palms.
Either from despair, or an impulse of awakened hope, Oneco suddenly
uttered an exclamation, stretched himself on the body, and locked his
arms around it. Hope rose to her feet, and seeing Mononotto
unconscious, and Oneco entirely absorbed in his own painful anxieties
and efforts, the thought occurred to her, that she might escape from
She looked at the little bark: her strength, small as it was, might
avail to launch it again; and she might trust the same Providence that
had just delivered her from peril, to guide her in safety over the
still turbulent waters. But a danger just escaped, is more fearful than
one untried; and she shrunk from adventuring alone on the powerful
element. The island might be inhabited. If she could gain a few moments
before she was missed by Oneco, it was possible she might find
protection and safety. She did not stop todeliberate; but casting one
glance at the brightening heavens, and ejaculating a prayer for aid,
and ascertaining by one look at Oneco that he did not observe her, she
bounded away. She fancied she heard steps pursuing her; but she pressed
on without once looking back, or faltering, till she reached a slight
elevation, whence she perceived, at no great distance from her, a light
placed on the ground; and on approaching a little nearer, she saw a man
lying beside it; and at a few paces from him several others stretched
on the grass, and, as she thought, sleeping. She now advanced
cautiously and timidly, till she was near enough to conclude that they
were a company of sailors, who had been indulging in a lawless revel.
Such, in truth, they were; the crew belonging to the vessel of the
notorious Chaddock. The disorders of both master, and men, had given
such offence to the sober citizens of Boston, that they had been
prohibited from entering the town; and the men having been on this
occasion allowed by their captain to indulge in a revel on land, they
had betaken themselves to an uninhabited island, where they might give
the reins to their excesses, without dread of restraint or penalty. As
they now appeared to the eye of our heroine, they formed a group from
which a painter might have sketched the triumphs of Bacchus.
Fragments of a coarse feast were strewn about them, and the ground
was covered with wrecks of jugs, bottles, and mugs. Some of them had
thrown off their coats and neck-cloths in the heat of the day, and had
lain with their throats and bosoms bared to the storm, of which they
had been unconscious. Others, probably less inebriated, had been
disturbed by the vivid flashes of lightning, and had turned their faces
to the earth. While Hope shuddered at the sight of these brutalized
wretches, and thought any fate would be better than
"To meet the rudeness and swilled insolence
Of such late wassailers."
One of them awoke, and looked up at her. He had but imperfectly
recovered his senses, and he perceived her but faintly and
indistinctly, as one sees an object through mist. Hope stood near him,
but she stood perfectly still; for she knew from his imbecile smile,
and half articulated words, that she had nothing to fear. He laid his
hand on the border of her cloak, and muttered, "St. George's
colours—Dutch flag— no, d—n me, Hanse, I say—St. George's—St.
George's—nail them to the mast head—I say, Hanse, St. George's—St.
George's"—and then his words died away on his tongue, and he laughed
in his throat, as one laughs in sleep.
While Hope hesitated for an instant, whether again to expose
herself to the thraldom from which she had with such joy escaped, one
of the other men, either aroused by his comrade'svoice, or having
outslept the fumes of the liquor, started up, and, on perceiving her,
rubbed his eyes, and stared as if he doubted whether she were a vision
of his sleep or a reality. Hope's first impulse was to fly; but, though
confused and alarmed, she was aware that escape would be impossible if
he chose to pursue, and that her only alternative was to solicit his
"Friend," she said, in a fearful, tremulous voice, "I come to beg
"By the lord Harry, she speaks," exclaimed the fellow, interrupting
her—"she is a woman— wake boys—wake!"
The men were now roused from their slumbers: some rose to their
feet, and all stared stupidly, not one, save him first awakened, having
the perfect command of his senses. "If ye have the soul of a man," said
Hope imploringly, "protect me—convey me to Boston. Any reward that you
will ask or take shall be given to you."
"There's no reward could pay for you, honey," replied the fellow,
advancing towards her.
"In the name of God, hear me!" she cried; but the man continued to
approach with a horrid leer on his face. "Then save me, heaven!" she
screamed, and rushed towards the water. The wretch was daunted; he
paused but for an instant, then calling on his comrades to join him,
they all, hooting and shouting, pursued her.
Hope now felt that death was her only deliverance; if she could but
reach the waves that she saw heaving and breaking on the shore—if she
could but bury herself beneath them. But though she flew as if she were
borne on the wings of the wind, her pursuers gained on her. The
foremost was so near, that she expected at every breath his hand would
grasp her, when his foot stumbled, and he fell headlong, and as he
fell, he snatched her cloak. By a desperate effort she extricated
herself from his hold, and again darted forward. She heard him
vociferate curses, and understood he was unable to rise. She cast one
fearful glance behind her—she had gained on the horrid crew. 'Oh! I
may escape them,' she thought; and she pressed on with as much
eagerness to cast away life, as ever was felt to save it. As she drew
near the water's edge, she perceived a boat attached to an upright post
that had been driven into the earth at the extremity of a narrow stone
pier. A thought like inspiration flashed into her mind: she ran to the
end of the pier, leaped into the boat, uncoiled the rope that attached
it to the post, and seizing an oar, pushed it off. There was a strong
tide; and the boat, as if instinct with life, and obedient to her
necessities, floated rapidly from the shore. Her pursuers had now
reached the water's edge, and finding themselves foiled, some vented
their spite in jeers and hoarse laughs, and others in loud and bitter
curses. Hope felt that heaven had interposed forher, and sinking on her
knees, she clasped her hands, and breathed forth her soul in fervent
thanksgivings. Whilst she was thus absorbed, a man, who had been lying
in the bottom of the boat, unobserved by her, and covered by various
outer garments, which he had so disposed as to shelter himself from the
storm, lifted up his head, and looked at her with mute amazement. He
was an Italian, and belonged to the same ship's company with the
revellers on the shore; but not inclining to their excesses, and
thinking, on the approach of the storm, that some judgment was about to
overtake them, he had returned to the boat, and sheltered himself there
as well as he was able. When the tempest abated, he had fallen asleep,
his imagination probably in an excited state; and on awaking, and
seeing Hope in an attitude of devotion, he very naturally mistook her
for a celestial visitant. In truth, she scarcely looked like a being of
this earth: her hat and gloves were gone; her hair fell in graceful
disorder about her neck and shoulders, and her white dress and blue
silk mantle had a saint-like simplicity. The agitating chances of the
evening had scarcely left the hue of life on her cheek; and her deep
sense of the presence and favour of heaven heightened her natural
beauty with a touch of religious inspiration.
"Hail, blessed virgin Mary!" cried the catholic Italian, bending
low before her, and crossing himself: "Queen of heaven!—Gate of
paradise! —and Lady of the world!—O most clement!— most pious! and
most sweet virgin Mary! bless thy sinful servant." He spoke in his
native tongue, of which Hope fortunately knew enough to comprehend him,
and to frame a phrase in return. The earnestness of his countenance was
a sure pledge of his sincerity; and Hope was half inclined to turn his
superstition to her own advantage; but his devotion approached so near
to worship, that she dared not; and she said, with the intention of
dissipating his illusion, "I am not, my friend, what you imagine me to
"Thou art not, thou art not, holy queen of virgins, and of all
heavenly citizens—then most gracious lady, which of all the martyrs
and saints of our holy church art thou? Santa Catharina of Siena, the
blessed bride of a holy marriage?" Hope shook her head. "Santa Helena
then, in whose church I was first signed with holy water? nay, thou art
not?—then art thou, Santa Bibiani? or Santa Rosa? thy beauteous hair
is like that sacred lock over the altar of Santa Croce."
"I am not any of these," said Hope with a smile, which the
catholic's pious zeal extorted from her.
"Thou smilest!" he cried exultingly; "thou art then my own peculiar
saint—the blessed lady Petronilla. Oh, holy martyr! spotless mirror of
purity!" and he again knelt at her feet and crossedhimself. "My life!
my sweetness! and my hope! to thee do I cry, a poor banished son of
Eve—what wouldst thou have thy dedicated servant, Antonio Batista, to
do, that thou hast, oh, glorious lady! followed him from our own sweet
Italy to this land of heathen savages and heretic English?"
This invocation was long enough to allow our heroine time to make
up her mind as to the course she should pursue with her votary. She had
recoiled from the impiety of appropriating his address to the holy
mother, but protestant as she was, we hope she may be pardoned for
thinking that she might without presumption, identify herself with a
catholic saint. "Good Antonio," she said, "I am well pleased to find
thee faithful, as thou hast proved thyself, by withdrawing from thy
vile comrades. To take part in their excesses would but endanger thine
eternal welfare—bear this in mind. Now, honest Antonio, I will put
honour on thee; thou shalt do me good service. Take those oars and ply
them well till we reach you town, where I have an errand that must be
"Oh, most blessed lady! sacred martyr, and sister of mercy! who,
entering into the heavenly palace, didst fill the holy angels with joy,
and men with hope, I obey thee," he said, and then taking from his
bosom a small ivory box, in which, on opening it, there appeared to be
a shred of linen cloth, he added, "but first, most gracious
lady.vouchsafe to bless this holy relic, taken from the linen in which
thy body was enfolded, when, after it had lain a thousand years in the
grave, it was raised therefrom fresh and beautiful, as it now appeareth
Our saint could not forbear a smile at this startling fact in her
history, but she prudently took the box, and unclasping a bracelet from
her arm, which was fastened by a small diamond cross, she added it to
the relic, whose value though less obvious, could not be exceeded in
Antonio's estimation. "I give thee, this," she said, "Antonio, for thy
spiritual and temporal necessities, and shouldst thou ever be in
extreme need, I permit thee to give it into the hand of some cunning
artificer, who will extract the diamonds for thee, without marring that
form which thou rightly regardest as blessed." Antonio received the box
as if it contained the freedom of Paradise, and replacing it in his
bosom, he crossed himself again and again, repeating his invocations
till his saint, apprehensive that in his ecstasy he would lose all
remembrance of the high office for which she had selected him, gently
reminded him that it was the duty of the faithful to pass promptly from
devotion to obedience; on this hint he rose, took up the oars, and
exercised his strength and skill with such exemplary fidelity, that in
less than two hours, his boat touched the pier which Hope designated as
the point where she would disembark.
Before she parted from her votary, she said, "I give thee my
blessings and my thanks, Antonio, and I enjoin thee, to say nought to
thy wicked comrades, of my visitation to thee; they would but jeer thee
and wound thy spirit by making thy lady their profane jest. Reserve the
tale, Antonio, for the ears of the faithful who marvel not at
Antonio bowed in token of obedience, and as long as Hope saw him,
he remained in an attitude of profound homage.
Our heroine's elastic spirit, ever ready to rise when pressure was
removed, had enabled her to sustain her extempore character with some
animation, but as soon as she had parted from Antonio, and was no
longer stimulated to exertion by the fear that his illusion might be
prematurely dissipated, she felt that her strength had been over-taxed
by the strange accidents and various perils of the evening. Her
garments were wet and heavy, and at every step, she feared another
would be impossible. Her head became giddy, and faintness and
weariness, to her, new and strange sensations, seemed to drag her to
the earth. She looked and listened in vain for some human being to call
to her assistance: the streets were empty and silent; and unable to
proceed, she sunk down on the steps of a warehouse, shut her eyes, and
laid down her head to still its throbbings.
She had not remained thus many minutes, when she was started by a
voice saying, "Ha! lady, dost thou too wander alone?—is thy cheek
pale—thy head sick—thy heart fluttering?—yet thou art not guilty nor
Hope looked up, and perceived she was addressed by Sir Philip
Gardiner's page. She had repeatedly seen him since their first meeting,
but occupied as she had been with objects of intense interest to her,
she thought not of their first singular interview, excepting when it
was recalled by the supposed boy's keen, and as she fancied, angry
glances. They seemed involuntary, for when his eye met hers, he
withdrew it, and his cheek was dyed with blushes. There was now a
thrilling melancholy in his tone; his eye was dim and sunken; and his
apparel, usually elaborate, and somewhat fantastical, had a neglected
air. His vest was open; his lace ruff, which was ordinarily arranged
with a care that betrayed his consciousness how much it graced his fair
delicate throat, had now been forgotten, and the feathers of his little
Spanish hat dangled over his face. Hope Leslie was in no condition to
note these particulars; but she was struck with his haggard and
wretched appearance, and was alarmed when she saw him lay his hand on
the hilt of a dagger that gleamed from beneath the folds of his vest.
"Do not shrink, lady," he said, "the pure should not fear death,
and I am sure the guilty need not dread it—there is nothing worse for
them thanthey may feel walking on the fair earth with the lights of
heaven shining on them. I had this dagger of my master, and I think,"
he added with a convulsive sob, "he would not be sorry, if I used it to
rid him of his troublesome page."
"Why do you not leave your master, if he is of this fiendish
disposition towards you?" asked Hope, "leave him and return to your
"Friends!—friends!" he exclaimed; "the rich —the good—the
happy—those born in honour, have friends. I have not a friend in the
"Poor soul!" said Hope, losing every other thought in compassion
for the unhappy boy; and some notion of his real character and relation
to Sir Philip darting into her mind, "then leave this wretched man, and
trust thyself to heaven."
"I am forsaken of heaven, lady."
"That cannot be. God never forsakes his creatures: the miserable,
the guilty, from whom every human face is turned away, may still go to
him, and find forgiveness and peace. His compassions never fail."
"Yes—but the guilty must forsake their sinful thoughts, and I
cannot. My heart is steeped in this guilty love. If my master but looks
kindly on me, or speaks one gentle word to me, I again cling to my
chains and fetters."
"Oh, this is indeed foolish and sinful; how can you love him, whom
you confess to be so unworthy?"
"We must love something," replied the boy in a faint voice, his
head sinking on his bosom. "My master did love me, and nobody else ever
loved me. I never knew a mother's smile, lady, nor felt her tears. I
never heard a father's voice; and do you think it so very strange that
I should cling to him who was the first, the only one that ever loved
me?" He paused for a moment, and looked eagerly on Hope, as if for some
word of encouragement; but she made no reply, and he burst into a
passionate flood of tears, and wrung his hands, saying, "Oh, yes, it
is—I know it is foolish and sinful, and I try to be penitent. I say my
pater-nosters," he added, taking a rosary from his bosom, "and my
ave-maries, but I get no heart's ease; and betimes my head is wild, and
I have horrid thoughts. I have hated you, lady; you who look so like an
angel of pity on me; and this very day, when I saw Sir Philip hand you
into that boat, and saw you sail away with him over the bright water so
gay and laughing, I could have plunged this dagger into your bosom; and
I made a solemn vow that you should not live to take the place of
honour beside my master, while I was cast away a worthless thing."
"These are indeed useless vows, and idle thoughts," said Hope. "I
cannot longer listen to you now, for I am very sick and weary; but do
not grieve thus,—come to me to-morrow, and tell me all your sorrows,
and be guided by me."
"Oh, not to-morrow!" exclaimed the boy,grasping her gown as she
rose to depart; "not to-morrow—I hate the light of day—I cannot go to
that great house—I have no longer courage to meet the looks of the
happy, and answer their idle questions; stay now, lady, for the love of
heaven! my story is short."
Hope had no longer the power of deliberation, she did not even hear
the last entreaty. At the first movement she made, the sensation of
giddiness returned, every object seemed to swim before her, and she
sunk, fainting, into Roslin's arms. The page had now an opportunity to
gratify his vindictive passions if he had any; but his mad jealousy was
a transient excitement of feelings in a disordered, almost a distracted
state, and soon gave way to the spontaneous emotions of a gentle and
tender nature. He carefully sustained his burden, and while he pressed
his lips to Hope's cold brow, with an undefinable sensation of joy that
he might thus approach angelic purity, he listened eagerly to the sound
of footsteps, and as they came nearer, he recognised the two Fletchers,
with a company of gentlemen, guards, and sailors, whom, with the
Governor's assistance, they had hastily collected to go in pursuit of
Everell was the first to perceive her. He sprang towards her, and
when he saw her colourless face, and lifeless body, he uttered an
exclamation of horror. All now gathered about her, listening eagerly to
Roslin's assurance that she had just fainted, complainingof sickness
and extreme weariness. He, as our readers well know, could give no
further explanation of the state in which Miss Leslie was found;
indeed, her friends scarcely waited for any. Everell wrapped her in his
cloak, and assisted by his father, carried her in his arms to the
nearest habitation, whence she was conveyed, as soon as a carriage
could be obtained, to Governor Winthrop's.
"He that questions whether God made the world, the Indian will
teach him. I must acknowledge I have received in my converse with them,
many confirmations of those two great points; first, that 'God is;'
second, 'that he is a rewarder of all them that diligently seek him.' "
— Roger Williams
Our readers' sagacity has probably enabled them to penetrate the
slight mystery, in which the circumstances that led to the apprehension
of Magawisca have been shrouded. Sir Philip Gardiner, after attending
Mrs. Grafton home on the Saturday night, memorable in the history of
our heroine, saw her enter the burial-place. Partly moved by his desire
to ascertain whether there was any cause for her running away from him
that might soothe his vanity, and partly, no doubt, by an irresistible
attraction towards her; he followed at a prudent distance, till he saw
her meeting with Magawisca; he then secreted himself in the thicket of
evergreens, where he was near enough to hear and observe all that
passed; and where, as may be remembered, he narrowly escaped being
exposed by his dog.
Sir Philip had heard the rumour of a conspiracy among the natives;
and when he saw Magawisca'sextreme anxiety to secure a clandestine
interview with Miss Leslie, the probable reason for her secresy at once
occurred to him. If he conjectured rightly, he was in possession of a
secret that might be of value to the state, and of course, be made the
means of advancing him in the favour of the Governor. But might he not
risk incurring Miss Leslie's displeasure by this inter-position in her
affairs, and thus forfeit the object of all his present thoughts and
actions? He believed not. He saw that she yielded reluctantly, and
because she had no alternative, to Magawisca's imposition of secresy.
With her romantic notions, it was most probable that she would hold her
promise inviolate; but would she not be bound in everlasting gratitude
to him, who by an ingenious manœuvre should, without in the least
involving her honour, secure the recovery of her sister? Thus he
flattered himself he should, in any event, obtain some advantage. To
Miss Leslie he would appear solely actuated by zeal for her happiness;
to the Governor, by devotion to the safety and welfare of the
Accordingly, on the following Monday morning, he solicited a
private interview with the magistrates, and deposed before them, "that
on returning to his lodgings on Saturday night, he had seen Miss Leslie
enter the burying-ground alone; that believing she had gone to visit
some spot consecrated by the interment of a friend, and knowing the
ardent temper of the young lady, hefeared she might forget, in the
indulgence of her feelings, the lateness of the hour. He had,
therefore, with the intention of guarding her from all harm, without
intruding on her meditations,(which though manifestly unseasonable,
might, he thought, tend to edifying by withdrawing her thoughts from
worldly objects,) followed her, and secluded himself in the copse of
evergreens, where, to his astonishment, he had witnessed her interview
with the Indian woman." The particulars of their conversation he gave
Unfortunately for Magawisca, Sir Philip's testimony coincided with
the story of a renegado Indian, formerly one of the counsellors and
favourites of Maintunnomoh. This savage, stung by some real or fancied
wrongs, deserted his tribe, and vowing revenge, he repaired to Boston,
and divulged to the Governor the secret hostility of his chief towards
the English; which, he said, had been stimulated to activity by the old
Pequod chief, and the renowned maiden Magawisca.
He stated also, that the chiefs of the different tribes, moved by
the eloquence and arguments of Mononotto, were forming a powerful
combination. Thus far the treacherous savage told the truth; but he
proceeded to state plots and underplots, and artfully to exaggerate the
number and power of the tribes. The magistrates lent a believing ear to
the whole story. They were aware that the Narragansetts, ever since
they had witnessed the defeat and extinction of their ancient enemies
the Pequods, had felt a secret dread and jealousy of the power and
encroachments of the English, and that they only waited for an
opportunity to manifest their hostility. Letters had been recently
received from the magistrates of Connecticut, expressing their belief
that a general rising of the Indians was meditated. All these
circumstances combined to give importance to Sir Philip's and the
Indian's communications. But the Governor felt the necessity of
Miantunnomoh had been the faithful friend and ally of the English.
He is described by Winthrop, as a "sagacious and subtle man, who showed
good understanding in the principles of justtice and equity, and
ingenuity withal." Such a man it was obviously the policy of the
English not unnecessarily to provoke; and the Governor hoped, by
getting possession of the Pequod family, to obtain the key to
Miantunnomoh's real designs, and to crush the conspiracy before it was
We have been compelled to this digression, in order to explain the
harsh reception and treatment of Magawisca; to account for the zeal
with which the Governor promoted the party to the garden; and for the
signal which guided the boat directly to the Pequod family, and which
Sir Philip remained on the island to give. The knight had now gotten
very deep into the councils and favour of the magistrates, who saw in
himthe selected medium of a special kindness of Providence to them.
He took good care,
"That all his circling wiles should end
In feigned religion, smooth hypocrisy;"
and by addressing his arts to the predominant tastes and principles
of the honest men whom he deluded, he well sustained his accidental
It would be vain to attempt to describe the various emotions of
Governor Winthrop's family at the return of Hope Leslie. Madam
Winthrop, over excited by the previous events of the evening, had
fortunately escaped any further agitation by retiring to bed, after
composing her nerves with a draught of valerian tea. Mrs. Grafton, who
had been transported with joy at the unlooked for recovery of Faith
Leslie, was carried to the extreme of despair, when she saw the
lifeless body of her beloved niece borne to her apartment. Poor old
Cradock went like the bird of poetic fame, "up stairs and down stairs,"
wringing his hands, and sobbing like a whipt boy. The elder Fletcher
stood bending in mute agony over the child of his affections, whom he
loved with even more than the tenderness of a parent. His tears, like
those of old and true Menenius, seemed "salter than a younger man's,
and venemous to his eyes;" and his good friend Governor Winthrop, when
he saw his distress, secretly repentedthat he had acquiesced in a
procedure that had brought such misery upon this much enduring man.
Jennet bustled about, appearing to do every thing, and doing nothing;
and hoping 'to goodness' sake, the young lady would come to herself,
long enough, at least, to tell what had befallen her'—'she always
thought, she did, what her harem-scarem ways would bring her to at
last.' Miss Downing, without regarding, or even hearing, these and many
other similar mutterings, proceeded with admirable presence of mind to
direct and administer all the remedies that were at hand; while
Everell, almost distracted, went in quest of medical aid.
A delirious fever succeeded to unconsciousness; and for three days
Hope Leslie's friends hung over her in the fear that every hour would
be her last. For three days and nights, Esther Downing never quitted
her bedside, except to go to the door of the apartment to answer
Everell's inquiries. Her sweet feminine qualities were now called into
action: she watched and prayed over her friend; and, though her cheek
was pale, and her eye dim, she had never appeared half so lovely to
Everell, as when in her simple linen dressing gown, she for an instant
left the invalid to announce some favourable symptom. On the fourth
morning, Hope's fever abated; her incoherent ravings ceased, and she
sunk, for the first time, into a tranquil sleep. Esther sat perfectly
still by her bedside, fearing to move, lest theslightest noise should
disturb her—she heard Everell walking in the entry, as he had done
incessantly, and stopping, at every turn, to listen at the door. Till
now, all her faculties had been in requisition—her mind and body
devoted to her friend—she had not thought of herself; and if sometimes
the thought of Everell intruded, she blushed at what she deemed the
unsubdued selfishness of her heart. "Alas!" she said, "I am far from
that temper which leads us to 'weep with those that weep,' if I suffer
thoughts of my own happy destiny to steal in when my friend is in this
extremity." But these were but transient emotions: her devotion to Hope
was too sincere and unremitting to afford occasion of reproach even to
her watchful and accusing conscience. But now, as she listened to
Everell's perturbed footsteps, a new train of thoughts passed through
her mind. "Everell has scarcely quitted that station. With what
eagerness he has hung on my words when I spoke of Hope! What a mortal
paleness has overspread his face at every new alarm! It would not,
perhaps, have been right—but, methinks, it would have been
natural—that he should have expressed some concern for me—I cannot
remember that he has. How often has he said to me, 'dear Esther, you
will not leave her?' and, 'for the love of heaven, trust her not a
moment to the discretion of her aunt'—'do not confide in
Jennet'—'Madam Winthrop has too many cares for so delicate a
charge—all depends onyou, dear Esther.' Yes—he said dear Esther; but
how many times he has repeated it, as if his life were suspended by the
same thread as hers. If I were in Hope's condition, would he feel thus?
I could suffer death itself for such proofs of tenderness. Sinful worm
that I am, thus to doat on any creature." The serenity of her mind was
disturbed—she rose involuntarily—as she rose, her gown caught in her
chair, and overthrew it. The chair fell against a little stand by the
bedside, covered with phials, cups, and spoons, and all were
overthrown, with one of those horrible clatters, that are as startling
in a sick-room as the explosion of a magazine at midnight.
Everell, alarmed by the unwonted noise, instinctively opened the
door—Hope awoke from her profound sleep, and drew aside the curtain—
she looked bewildered; but it was no longer the wildness of fever:
thronging and indistinct recollections oppressed her; but after an
instant, a perfect consciousness of the past and the present returned;
she covered her eyes, and sunk back on the pillow, murmuring, "thank
God!" and tears of gratitude and joy stole over her cheeks.
Esther lost every other emotion in unmixed joy. She went to the
door to Everell, who was still standing there, as if he were
transfixed. "It is as you see," she said, "the danger is past—she has
slept sweetly for three hours, and was now only disturbed by my
carelessness; go to your fatherwith the good news; your face will tell
it even if your lips refuse, as they do now, to move."
They did now move, and the joy of his heart broke forth in the
exclamation, "You are an angel, Esther! my father owes to you the
preservation of his dearest treasure; and I—I—my life, Esther, shall
prove to you my sense of what I owe you."
There was an enthusiasm in his manner, that for the first time
satisfied Esther's feelings; but her religious sentiments habitually
predominating over every other, "I have been a poor but honoured
instrument," she said; "let us all carry our thansgivings to that altar
where they are due." Then, after allowing Everell to press her hand to
his lips, she closed the door, and returned to Hope's bedside. Hope
again put aside the bed-curtain—"Is not my sister here?" she asked;
"she must be here, and yet I can scarcely separate my dreams from the
strange accidents of that night."
"She is here, safe and well, my dear Hope; but for the present, you
must be content not to see her; you have been very ill, and need
"I feel that I need it, Esther, but I must first know how it has
fared with Magawisca; she came on my solemn promise—I trust she has
been justly dealt by—she has been received as she deserved, Esther?"
Esther hesitated—but seeing Hope's lip quiveringwith apprehension,
and fearing the effects, in her weak state, of any new agitation, she,
for the first time in her life, condescended to an equivocation,
solacing herself with thinking that she ought to believe that perfectly
right which her uncle Winthrop appointed: she said, "Magawisca has had
a merited reception—now ask no more questions, Hope, but compose
yourself again to sleep." If Hope had had the will, she had not the
power to disobey, for nature will not be rifled of her dues. But we
must leave her to the restoring influence of the kindest of all
nature's provisions, to visit one from whom care and sorrow banished
At an advanced hour of the following evening, Sir Philip Gardiner
repaired to the town jail, and was admitted by its keeper, Barnaby
Tuttle. The knight produced a passport to the cell of Thomas Morton,
and pointing to the Governor's signature and seal, "you know that,
friend," he said.
"As well as my own face; but I am loath to lead a gentleman of your
bearing to such an unsavory place."
"Scruple not, honest master Tuttle, duty takes no note of time and
"You shall be served, sir; and with the better will, since you seem
to be, as it were, of a God-serving turn,—but walk in, your worship,
and sit down in my bit of a place; which, though a homely one, and
within the four walls of a jail, is,I thank the Lord, like that into
which Paul and Silas were thrust, a place where prayers and praises are
Barnaby now lighted a candle, and while Sir Philip was awaiting his
dilatory preparations, he could not but wonder that a man of his
appearance should have been selected for an office that is usually
supposed to require a muscular frame, strong nerves, and a hardy
spirit. Barnaby Tuttle had none of these; but, on the contrary, was a
man of small stature, meagre person, and a pale and meek countenance,
that bespoke the disposition that lets "I dare not, wait upon I would."
"Have you been long in this service of jailer?" asked Sir Philip.
"Six years, an please your worship, come the 10th day of next
October, at 8 o'clock of the morning. I had been long a servant in the
Governor's own household; and he gave me the office, as he was pleased
to say, because he knew me trust worthy, and a merciful man."
"But mercy, master Barnaby, is not held to be a special
qualification for those of your calling."
"It is not sir? Well, I can tell your honour, there's no place it's
more wanted; and here, in our new English colony, we have come, as it
were, under a new dispensation. Our prisoners are seldom put in for
those crimes that fill the jails in Old England. Since I have been
keeper —six years next October, as I told you it is—I have had but
few in for stealing, and one for murder; and that was a disputed case,
there being no clear testimony; but as he was proved to have lived an
atheist life, he was condemned to die, and at the last confessed many
sore offences, which, as Mr. Cotton observed in his sermon, preached
the next Lord's day, were each and all held worthy of death by the laws
of Moses. No sir, our prisoners are chiefly those who are led astray of
the devil into divers errors of opinions, or those who commit such sins
as are named at length in the Levitical law."
"Ah," said Sir Philip, with a well pitched groan, "the depravity of
man will find a channel: stop it at one place and it will out at
another. But come, friend Barnaby—time is going on— I'll follow you."
The jailer now led the way through a long narrow passage, with doors on
each side, which opened into small apartments. "Hark!" said Barnaby,
laying his hand on Sir Philip's arm—"hear you that? It's Gorton
praying; he and his company are all along in these wards; and betimes I
hear them calling on the Lord, like Daniel in the lion's den, for hours
together. I hope it's not a sin to feel for such woful heretics, for I
have dropped salt tears for them. Does not your honour think our
magistrates may have some way opened up for their pardon?"
"I see not how they can, master Barnaby, unless these sore revilers
should renounce their heresies, or—"he added, with an involuntary
sneer,fortunately for him, unobserved by his simple companion, "or,
their title to the Indian lands."
They had now arrived at one extremity of the passage, and Barnaby
selected a key from his bunch; but before putting it in the lock, he
said, "Morton is in a little room within the Indian woman's, taken the
"So I understand; and by your leave, master Tuttle, I would address
a private admonition to this Indian woman, who, as report saith, is an
"I suppose she is, your honour; they that should know, say so. But
she hath truly a discreet and quiet way with her, that I would was more
common among Christian women. But as you say you wish to speak in
private, I must beg your honour's pardon for turning my bolt on you. I
will give you the light, and the key to the inner room; and when you
desire my attendance, you have but to pull a cord that hangs by the
frame of the door inside, and rings a bell in the passage —one word
more, your honour—be on your guard when you go into Morton's cell. He
raves, betimes, as if all the fiends possessed him; and then again, he
sings and dances, as if he were at his revels on the merry mount; and
betimes he cries —the poor old man—like a baby, for the twentyfour
hours round; so that I cannot but think a place in the London hospital
would be fitter for him than this."
"Your feelings seem not to suit with the humour of your profession,
"May be not, sir; but there is a pleasure in a pitiful feeling, let
your outward work be ever so hard, as, doubtless, your worship well
Sir Philip felt that conscience sent a burning blush to his
hardened cheek; and he said, with an impatient tone, "I have my
instructions—let me pass in, master Tuttle." Barnaby unlocked the
door, gave him the candle, and then turned the bolt upon him.
Magawisca was slowly pacing the room, to and fro; she stopped, and
uttered a faint exclamation at the sight of her visitor, then turned
away, as if disappointed, and resumed her melancholy step. Sir Philip
held up his candle to survey the apartment. It was a room of ordinary
size, with one small grated window; and containing a flock-bed, and a
three-legged stool, on which stood a plate of untasted provisions.
"Truly," said he, advancing into the room, "generous entertainment
this, for a hapless maiden." Magawisca made no reply, and gave no heed
to him, and he proceeded, "a godly and gallant youth, that Everell
Fletcher, to suffer one who risked her life, and cast away a precious
limb for him, to lie forgotten here. Methinks if he had a spark of thy
noble nature, maiden, he would burn the town, or batter down this
prison wall, for you." An irrepressible groan escaped from Magawisca,
but she spoke not.
"He leaves you here alone and helpless to await death," continued
the knight; thus venting hismalignity against Everell, though he saw
that every word was a torturing knife to the innocent maiden. "Death,
the only boon you can expect from these most christian magistrates,
while he, with a light heart and smirking face, is dancing attendance
on his lady love."—
"On whom?" interrupted Magawisca, in a tone of fearful impatience.
"On her who played so faithfully the part of decoy-pigeon to thee."
"Hope Leslie!—my father then is taken," she screamed.
"Nay, nay, not so; thy father and brother, both, by some wondrous
"Dost thou speak truth?" demanded Magawisca in a thrilling voice,
and looking in Sir Philip's face as if she would penetrate his soul—
"I doubt thee."
The knight opportunely bethought himself of having heard Magawisca
during her interview with Hope Leslie, allude to the Romish religion;
he took a crucifix from his bosom and pressed it to his lips. "Then by
this holy sign," he said, "of which if you know aught, you know that to
use it falsely would bring death to my soul, I swear I speak truly."
Magawisca again turned away, and drawing her mantle, which, in her
emotion, had fallen back, close over her shoulders, she continued to
pace the apartment, without bestowing even a look on Sir Philip, who
felt himself in an awkward predicament, and found it difficult to rally
his spirits to prosecute the object of his visit. But habitually
confident, and like all bad men, distrusting the existence of
incorruptible virtue, he soon shook off his embarrassment, and said, "I
doubt, maiden, you would breathe more freely in the wild wood than in
this stifling prison; and sleep more quietly on the piled leaves of
your forests, than on that bed that christian love has spread for you."
Magawisca neither manifested by word or sign that she heard him, and he
proceeded more explicitly,—"Do you sigh for the freedom of
nature?—would you be restored to it?"
"Would I! would the imprisoned bird return to its nestlings?" she
now stopped, and looked with eager inquiry on Sir Philip.
"Then listen to me, and you shall learn by what means, and on what
terms you may escape from this prison, and beyond the reach of your
enemies. Here," he continued, producing from beneath his cloak, a
rope-ladder, and a file and wrench, "here are instruments by which you
can remove those bars, and by which you may safely descend to the
"Tell me," cried Magawisca, a ray of joy lighting her eyes, "tell
me how I shall use them."
Sir Philip explained the mode, enjoined great caution, and then
proceeded to say,—"By tomorrow night at twelve you can remove the
bars; the town will then be still; proceed directly to the point where
you last landed, and a boatshall there be in readiness, well manned, to
convey you beyond danger."
"Well—well," she replied, with breathless eagerness, "now tell me
what I am to do; what a poor Indian prisoner can do to requite such a
favour as this?"
Sir Philip began a reply—stammered, and paused. He seemed to turn
and turn his purpose, and endeavoured to shelter it in some drapery
that should hide its ugliness; but this was beyond his art, and
summoning impudence to his aid, he said, "I have a young damsel with
me, who for silly love followed me out of England. Now you foresters,
maiden, who live according to the honesty of nature, you could not
understand me, if I were to tell you of the cruel laws of the world,
which oblige this poor girl to disguise herself in man's apparel, and
counterfeit the duties of a page, that she may conceal her love. She
hath become somewhat troublesome to me: all that I ask as the price of
your liberty is, that she may be the companion of your flight."
"Doth she go willingly?"
"Nay, not willingly; but she is young, and like a tender twig, you
can bend her at will; all I ask is, your promise that she return not."
"But if she resist?"
"Act your pleasure with her; yet I would not that she were harmed.
You may give her to your brother in the place of this fair-haired
damsel they have stolen from him; or," he added, forhe saw that
Magawisca's brow contracted, "or, if that suits not you, nor him, you
may take her to your western forests, and give her to a Romish priest,
who will guide her to the Hotel Dieu, which our good lady of Bouillon
has established in Canada." Magawisca dropped at his feet the
instruments which she had grasped with such delight. "Nay, nay, bethink
you, maiden, it is a small boon to return for liberty and life; for,
trust me, if you remain here, they will not spare your life."
"And dost thou think," she replied, "that I would make my heart as
black as thine, to save my life?—life! Dost thou not know, that life
can only be abated by those evil deeds forbidden by the Great Master of
life?—The writing of the Great Spirit has surely vanished from thy
degraded soul, or thou wouldst know, that man cannot touch life! Life
is nought but the image of the Great Spirit—and he hath most of it,
who sends it back most true and unbroken, like the perfect image of the
clear heavens, in the still lake."
Sir Philip's eye fell, and his heart quailed before the lofty
glance, and unsullied spirit of the Indian maiden. Once he looked
askance at her, but it was with such a look as Satan eyed the sun in
his "high meridian tower." With a feeling of almost insupportable
meanness he collected, and again concealed beneath his cloak the ladder
and other instruments, which he had been at no small pains to procure,
and was turning to summonBarnaby by ringing the bell, when he suddenly
recollected, that Thomas Morton had been the ostensible motive of his
visit, and that it was but a prudent precaution to look in upon him for
an instant; and feeling too, perhaps, a slight curiosity to see the
companion of his former excesses, he changed his purpose, turned to
Morton's door, unlocked and opened it.
The old man seemed to have shrunk away as if frightened, and was
gathered up almost into a ball in one corner of his miserable little
squalid den. A few remnants of his garments hung like shreds about him.
Every particle of his hair had dropped out; his grisly beard was matted
together; his eyes gleamed like sparks of fire in utter darkness. Sir
Philip was transfixed. 'Is this,' he thought, 'Morton! the
gentleman—the gallant cavalier—the man of pleasure—Good God! the
girl hath truly spoken of life!' While he stood thus, the old man
sprang on him like a cat, pulled him within the door, and then, with
the action of madness, swift as thought, he seized the key, locked the
door on the inside, and threw the key through the bars of the window
without the prison. The candle had fallen and was extinguished, and Sir
Philip found himself immured with his scarcely human companion in total
darkness, without any means of rescue, excepting through Magawisca. His
first impulse was to entreat her to ring the bell, but he delayed for
amoment, lest he should heighten the old man's paroxysm of madness.
In this interval of silence, Magawisca fancied she heard a sound
against her window, and on going to it, perceived, though the night was
extremely dark, a ladder resting against the bars; she listened and
heard a footstep ascending; then there was a wrestling in Morton's
room; and screams—"He'll kill me—ring the bell." Again all was still,
and she heard from the ground below, "Come down, Mr. Everell, for the
love of heaven come down." The words were uttered in a tone hardly
above a whisper.
"Hush, Digby, I will not come down."
"Then you are lost; those cries will certainly alarm the guard."
"Hush! the cries have ceased." Everell mounted quite to the window,
quick as if he had risen on wings.
'He is true!' thought Magawisca, and it seemed to her that her
heart would burst with joy, but she could not speak. He applied an
instrument to one of the iron bars, and wrenched it off. Repeated and
louder cries of "murder!—help— ring the bell!" now proceeded from
Gardiner, and the old maniac seemed determined to outroar him. Again
the noise ceased, and again Digby spoke in a more agitated voice than
before. "Oh, they are stirring in the yard—come away, Mr. Everell."
"I will not—I had rather die—stand fast, Digby—one bar more, and
she is free;" and again he applied the instrument.
"Are you mad?" exclaimed Digby, in a more raised and eager voice;
"I tell you the lights are coming; if you do not escape now, nothing
can ever be done for her."
This last argument had the intended effect: Everell felt that all
hope of extricating Magawisca depended on his now eluding discovery;
and with an exclamation of bitter disappointment, he relinquished the
enterprise for the present, and, descending a few rounds of the ladder,
leaped to the ground, and, with Digby, disappeared before the guard
reached the spot of operations. Magawisca saw two of the men go off in
pursuit, while the other remained picking up the implements that
Everell had dropped, and muttering something of old Barnaby sleeping as
if he slept his last sleep.
Relieved from the sad conviction of Everell's desertion and
ingratitude, Magawisca seemed for a moment to float on happiness, and
in her exultation to forget the rocks and quicksands that encompassed
her. Another outcry from Sir Philip recalled her thoughts, and obeying
the first impulse of humanity, she rang the bell violently. Barnaby
soon appeared with a lamp and keys, and learning the durance of Sir
Philip, he hastened to his relief. A key was found to unlock the door,
and on opening it, the knight's terror and distresswere fully
explained. Morton had thrown him on his back, and pinned him to the
floor, by planting his knee on Sir Philip's breast, and had interrupted
his cries, and almost suffocated him, by stuffing his cloak into his
mouth. At the sight of his keeper, the maniac sprang off, and with a
sort of inarticulate chattering and laughing, resumed his old station
in the corner, apparently quite unconscious that he had moved from it.
Sir Philip darted out and shut the door, as if he were closing a
tiger's cage; and then, in wrath that overswelled all limits, he turned
upon poor Barnaby, and, shaking him till his old bones seemed to rattle
in their thin casement, he poured out on him curses deep and loud, for
leading him into that 'devil's den.' Magawisca interposed, but instead
of calming his wrath, she only drew it on herself. He swore 'he would
be revenged on her, d—d Indian that she was, to stand by and not lift
her hand, when she knew he was dying by torture.' Magawisca did not
vouchsafe any other reply to this attack, than a look of calm disdain;
and Barnaby, now recovering from the fright and amazement into which
Sir Philip's violence had thrown him, held up his lamp, and
reconnoitring the knight's face and person, "It is the same," he said,
resolving his honest doubts, "the same I let in—circumstances alter
cases—and men too, I think; why, I took him for as godly a seeming man
as ever I laid my eyes on; a yea and nay pilgrim; but such profane
swearing exceedethChaddock's men, or Chaddock either, or the master
"Prate not, you canting villain; why did not you come when you
heard my cries? or where was you that you heard them not?"
"Just taking a little nap in my rocking chair; and I said to
myself, as I set myself down, 'now Barnaby, if you should happen to
fall out of your meditation into sleep, remember to wake at the ringing
of the bell;' and, accordingly, at the very first touch of it I was on
my feet, and coming hitherward."
Sir Philip's panic and wrath had now so far subsided, that he
perceived there was an alarming discordance between his extempore
conduct, and his elaborate pretensions; and re-assuming his mask, with
an awkward suddenness, he said, "Well, well, friend Barnaby, we will
both forgive and forget. I will say nothing of your sleeping soundly at
your post, when you have such dangerous prisoners in ward, that the
Governor has thought it necessary to give you a guard; and you, good
Barnaby, you will say nothing of my having for a moment lost the
command of my reason; though being so sorely bestead, and having but a
poor human nature, I think I should not be hardly judged by merciful
"As to forgiving and forgetting, your worship," replied the
good-natured fellow, "that I can do as easily as another man, but not
from any dread of your tale-bearing; for I think the Governor hath sent
the guard here partly in consideration of my age and feebleness; and I
fear not undue blame. Therefore, not for my own by-ends will I keep
close, but that I hold it not neighbourly to speak to another's hurt;
and I well know it is but the topmost saints that are always in the
exercise of grace. But I marvel, your worship, that ye spoke those evil
words so glibly: it seemed like one casting away stilts, and going on
his own natural feet again."
"All the fault of an ungodly youth, worthy master Tuttle," replied
Sir Philip, rolling up his eyes sanctimoniously, "and he who ensnared
my soul, thy miserable prisoner there, is now reaping the Lord's
"I think it is not profitable," said the simple man, as he led the
way out of the prison, "to cast up judgments at any one; we are all—as
your worship has just suddenly and wofully experienced —we are all
liable to falls in this slippery world; and I have always thought it a
more prudent and Christian part, to lend a helping hand to a fallen
brother, than to stand by, and laugh at him, or flout him."
Sir Philip hurried away; every virtuous sentiment fell on his ear
like a rebuke. Even in an involuntary comparison of himself with the
simple jailer, he felt that genuine goodness, dimmed and sullied though
it may be by ignorance and fanaticism, like a good dull guinea, rings
true at every trial; while hypocrisy, though it show aface fair and
bright, yet, like a new false coin, betrays at every scratch the base
Perhaps no culprit ever turned his back on a jail with a more
thorough conviction that he deserved there to be incarcerated, than did
Sir Philip. Detection in guilt is said marvellously to enlighten men's
consciences: there may be a kindred virtue in disappointment in guilty
projects. The knight had become impatient of his tedious masquerade. He
was at first diverted with a new, and, as it seemed to him, a
fantastical state of society; and amused at the success with which he
played his assumed character. He soon became passionately enamoured of
Hope Leslie, and pursued her with a determined, unwavering resolution,
that, vacillating as he had always been, astonished himself. In the
eagerness of the chase, he underrated the obstacles that opposed him,
and above all, the insuperable obstacle, the manifest indifference of
the young lady; which his vanity (must we add, his experience) led him
to believe was affectation, whim, or accident—any or all of these
might be successfully opposed and overcome. He had tried to probe her
feelings in relation to Everell, and though he was puzzled by the
result, and knew not what it meant, he trusted it did not mean love.
But if it did, what girl of Hope Leslie's spirit, he asked himself,
would remain attached to a drivelling fellow, who, from complaisance to
the wishes of prosing old men, had preferred to her such a statue of
formalityand puritanism as Esther Downing? and Everell removed, Sir
Philip feared no other competitor; for he counted for nothing those
gentlemen who might aspire to Miss Leslie's hand, but whose strict
obedience to the canons of puritanism left them, as he thought, few of
the qualities that were likely to interest a romantic imagination. For
himself, determined not to jeopard his success by wearing his
sanctimonious mask to Hope, he played the magician with two faces, and
to her he was the gay and gallant chevalier; his formality, his
preciseness, and every badge and insignia of the puritan school, were
dropped, and he talked of love and poetry like any carpet knight of
those days, or drawing-room lover of our own. But this was a dangerous
game to play, and must not be protracted. Some untoward accident might
awaken the guardians of the colony from their credulous confidence; and
to this danger his wayward page continually exposed him.
As our readers are already acquainted with the real character of
this unhappy victim of Sir Philip's profligacy, it only remains to give
the few untold circumstances of her brief history. She was the natural
child of an English nobleman. Her mother was a distinguished French
actress, who, dying soon after her birth, committed the child to some
charitable sisters of the order of St. Joseph. Her father on his death
bed, seized with pangs of remorse, exacted a promise from his sister,
the Lady Lunford, that she would receivethe orphan under her
protection. The lady performed the promise à la lettre, and no more.
She withdrew the unfortunate Rosa from her safe asylum, but she kept
from her, and from all the world, the secret of their relationship, and
made the dependence and desolateness of the poor orphan, a broad
foundation for her own tyranny. Lady Lunford was a woman of the
world—a waning; Rosa, a ripening beauty. Her house was the resort of
men of fashion. Sir Philip paid his devotions there ostensibly to the
noble mistress, but really to the young creature, whose melting eyes,
naiveté, and strong and irrepressible feelings, enchanted him. Probably
Lady Lunford found the presence of the young beauty inconvenient. She
certainly never threw any obstacle in Sir Philip's way; indeed, he
afterwards cruelly boasted to Rosa, that her patroness had persuaded
him to receive her; but this was long after; for many months he treated
her with the fondest devotion; and she, poor credulous child, was first
awakened from dreams of love and happiness by pangs of jealousy.
From her own confessions, Sir Philip learned how far she had
divulged her sorrows to Hope Leslie; and from that moment, he meditated
some mode of secretly and suddenly ridding himself of her; and finally,
determined on the project which, as we have seen, was wofully defeated;
and he was compelled to retreat from Magawisca's prison, with the
tormenting apprehension that he might himself fall into the pit he had
Let those who have yet to learn in what happiness consists, and its
actual independence of external circumstances, turn from the gifted and
accomplished man of the world, to the Indian prisoner; from the baffled
tempter, to the victorious tempted. Magawisca could scarcely have been
made happier if Everell had achieved her freedom, than she was by the
certain knowledge of his interposition for her. The sting of his
supposed ingratitude had been her sharpest sorrow. Her affection for
Everell Fletcher had the tenderness, the confidence, the sensitiveness
of woman's love; but it had nothing of the selfishness, the
expectation, or the earthliness of that passion. She had done and
suffered much for him, and she felt that his worth must be the sole
requital for her sufferings. She felt too, that she had received much
from him. He had opened the book of knowledge to her—had given
subjects to her contemplative mind, beyond the mere perceptions of her
senses; had in some measure dissipated the clouds of ignorance that
hung over the forest-child, and given her glimpses of the past and the
distant; but above all, he had gratified her strong national pride, by
admitting the natural equality of all the children of the Great Spirit;
and by allowing that it was the knowledge of the Englishman—an
accidental superiority that forced from the uninstructed Indian the
exclamation, "Manittoo!—Manittoo!"—he is a God.
—"My heart is wondrous light,
Since this same wayward girl is so reclaimed."
— Romeo and Juliet
The next morning opened on Boston with that boon to all small
societies, a new topic of interest and conversation. The attempt on the
prison the preceding night, was in every one's mouth; and as the
community had been much agitated concerning the heresies and trial of
Gorton and his company, they did not hesitate to attribute the criminal
outrage to some of his secret adherents, who, as the sentence that had
passed on the unfortunate men, was the next day to take effect, had
made this desperate effort to rescue them. It was not even surmised by
the popular voice, that the bold attempt had been made on account of
the Indian woman. The magistrates had very discreetly refrained from
disclosing her connection with state affairs, as every alarm about the
rising of the Indians, threw the colony, especially the women and
children, into a state of the greatest agitation. The imprisonment of
Magawisca was, therefore, looked upon as a transient and prudential and
domiciliary arrangement, to prevent the possibility of any concert
betweenher and the recovered captive, Faith Leslie, who was known to be
pining for her Indian friends.
That the Governor's secret conclusions were very different from
those of the people, was indicated by a private order, which he sent to
Barnaby Tuttle, to remove the Indian maiden from the upper apartment,
to the dungeon beneath the prison; but by no means to inflict any other
severity on her, or to stint her of any kindness consistent with her
safe keeping. Gorton's company were, on the same day, removed from the
prison; and, as is well known to the readers of the chronicles of the
times, distributed separately to the towns surrounding Boston, where,
notwithstanding they were jealously guarded and watched, they proved
dangerous leaven, and were soon afterwards transported to England.
Whatever secret suspicions the Governor entertained in relation to
Everell Fletcher, his kind feelings, and the delicate relation in which
he stood to that young man, as the son of his dearest friend, and the
betrothed husband of his niece, induced him to keep them within his own
bosom; without even intimating them to his partners in authority, who,
he well knew, whatever infirmities they, frail men, might have of their
own, were seldom guilty of winking at those of others.
But to return to our heroine, whom we left convalescing; the
energies of a youthful and unimpaired constitution, and the unwearied
care of her gentle nurse, restored her in the space of twodays, to such
a degree of strength, that she was able to join the family in the
parlour at the evening meal, to which we cannot give the convenient
designation of "tea," as Asia had not yet supplied us with this best of
all her aromatic luxuries.
Hope entered the parlour leaning on Esther's arm. All rose to
welcome her, and to offer their congratulations, more or less formal,
on her preservation and recovery. Everell advanced with the rest, and
essayed to speak, but his voice failed him. Hope with natural frankness
gave him her hand, and all the blood in her heart seemed to gush into
her pale cheeks, but neither did she speak. In the general movement
their reciprocal emotion passed unobserved, excepting by Esther; she
noted it. After the meal was finished, and the Governor had returned
thanks, in which he inserted a clause expressive of the general
gratitude "for the mercies that had been vouchsafed to the maiden near
and dear to many present, in that she had been led safely through
perils by water, by land, and by sickness," Madame Winthrop kindly
insisted that Hope should occupy her easy-chair, but Hope declined the
honour, and seating herself on the window-seat, motioned to her sister
to come and sit by her. The poor girl obeyed, but without any apparent
interest, and without even seeming conscious of the endearing
tenderness with which Hope stroked back her hair, and kissed her cheek.
"What shall wedo with this poor home-sick child?" she asked, appealing
to her guardian.
"In truth, I know not," he replied. "All day, and all night, they
tell me, she goes from window to window, like an imprisoned bird
fluttering against the bars of its cage; and so wistfully she looks
abroad, as if her heart went forth with the glance of her eye."
"I have done my best," said Mrs. Grafton, now joining in the
conversation, "to please her, but it's all working for nothing, and no
thanks. In the first place, I gave her all her old play-things, that
you saved so carefully, Hope, and shed so many tears over, and at first
they did seem to pleasure her. She looked them over and over, and I
could see by the changes of her countenance as she took up one and
another, that some glimmerings of past times came over her; but as ill
luck would have it, there was among the rest, in a little basket, a
string of bird's eggs, which Oneco had given her at Bethel. I
remembered it well, and so did she, for as soon as she saw it, she
dropped every thing else, and burst into tears."
"Poor child!" said Mr. Fletcher, "these early affections are deeply
rooted." Everell, who stood by his father, turned and walked to the
other extremity of the apartment; and Hope involuntarily passed her
hand hastily over her brow; as she did so, she looked up and saw
Esther's eye fixed on her. Rallying her spirits, "I am weak
yet,Esther," she said, "and this sudden change from our still room
confuses me." Mrs. Grafton did not mark this little interlude, and
replying to Mr. Fletcher's last observation, "Poor child! do you call
her?" I call it sheer foolishness. Her early affections indeed! you
seem to forget she had other and earlier than for that Indian boy; but
this seems to be the one weed that has choked all the rest. Hope, my
dear, you have no idea what a non compos mentis she has got to be. I
showed her all my ear-rings, and gave her her choice of all but the
diamonds that are promised for your wedding gift, dearie, you know, and
do you think, she scarcely looked at them? while she won't let me touch
those horrid blue glass things she wears, that look so like the
tawnies, it makes me all of a nerve to see them. And then just look for
yourself, though I have dressed her up in that beautiful Lyon's silk of
yours, with the Dresden tucker, she will—this warm weather too—keep
on her Indian mantle in that blankety fashion."
"Well, my dear aunt, why not indulge her for the present? I suppose
she has the feeling of the natives, who seem to have an almost
superstitious attachment to that oriental costume."
"Oriental fiddlestick! you talk like a simpleton, Hope. I suppose
you would let her wear that string of all coloured shells round her
neck, would you not," she asked, drawing aside Faith's mantle, and
showing the savage ornament, "insteadof that beautiful rainbow necklace
of mine, which I have offered to her in place of it?"
"If you ask me seriously, aunt, I certainly would, if she prefers
"Now that is peculiar of you, Hope. Why, Miss Esther Downing, mine
is a string of stones that go by sevens—yellow, topaz—orange, onyx—
red, ruby—and so on, and so on. Master Cradock wrote the definitions
of them all out of a latin book for me once; and yet, though it is such
a peculiar beauty, that silly child will not give up those horrid
shells for it. Now," she continued, turning to Faith, and putting her
hand on the necklace, "now that's a good girl, let me take it off."
Faith understood her action, though not her words, and she laid her
own hand on the necklace, and looked as if obstinately determined it
should not be removed.
Hope perceived there was something attached to the necklace, and on
a closer inspection, which her position enabled her to make, she saw it
was a crucifix; and dreading lest her sister should be exposed to a new
source of persecution, she interposed: "Let her have her own way at
present, I pray you, aunt: she may have some reason for preferring
those shells that we do not know; and if she has not, I see no great
harm in her preferring bright shells to bright stones; at any rate, for
the present we had best leave herto herself, and say nothing at all to
her about her dress or ornaments."
"Well—very well, take your own way, Miss Hope Leslie."
Hope smiled—"Nay, aunt," she said, "I cannot be Miss Hope Leslie
till I get quite well again."
"Oh, dearie, I meant nothing, you know," said the good lady, whose
displeasure never held out against one of her niece's smiles. "If Miss
Esther Downing," she added, lowering her voice, "had told me to say
nothing of dress and ornaments, I should not have been surprised; but
it is an unheard of simpleness for you, Hope. Dress and ornaments! they
are the most likely things in the world to take the mind off from
trouble. Till I came to this New English colony, where every things
seems, as it were, topsy turvy, I never saw that woman whose mind could
not be diverted by dress and ornaments."
"You strangely dishonor your memory, mistress Grafton, or Hope's
noble mother," said the elder Fletcher; "methinks I have heard you
often say that Alice Fletcher had no taste for these vanities."
"No, you never heard me say that, Mr. Fletcher. Vanities!—no,
never, the longest day I had to live; for I never called them
vanities—no—I did say Alice always went as plain as a pike staff,
after you left England; and a great pity it was, I always thought; for
when queen Henrietta came from France, we had such a world of beautiful
new fashions, it would have cured Alice of moping if she would have
given her mind to it. There was my lady Penyvére, how different it was
with her after her losses: let's see, her husband, and her son Edward,
heir to the estate; and her daughter-in-law—that was not so much—but
we'll count her; and Ulrica, her own daughter— all died in one week.
And for an aggravation, her coachman, horses, coach and all, went off
London Bridge, and all were drowned—killed— smashed to death; and
yet, in less than a week, my lady gave orders for every suit of
mourning— and that is the great use of wearing mourning, as she said:
it takes the mind off from trouble."
Hope felt, and her quick eye saw, that her aunt was running on
sadly at her own expense; and to produce an effect similar to the
painter, when, by his happy art, he shifts his lights, throwing defects
into shadow, and bringing out beauties, she said, "You are very little
like your friend, lady Penyvére, dear aunt, for I am certain, if, as
you feared, I had lost my life the other day, all the mourning in the
king's realm would not have turned your thoughts from trouble."
"No, that's true—that's true, dearie," replied the good lady,
snuffling, and wiping away the tears that had gathered at the bare
thought of the evil that had threatened her. "No, Hope, touch you,
touch my life; but then," she added,lowering her voice for Hope's ear
only, "I can't bear to have you give in to this outcry against dress;
we have preaching and prophesying enough, the Lord knows, without your
taking it up."
Lights were now ordered, and after the bustle, made by the ladies
drawing around the table, and arranging their work, was over, Governor
Winthrop said, "if your strength is equal to the task, Miss Leslie, we
would gladly hear the particulars of your marvellous escape, of which
Esther has been able to give us but a slight sketch; though enough to
make us all admire at the wonderful Providence that brought you safely
The elder Fletcher, really apprehensive for Hope's health, and
still more apprehensive that she might, in her fearless frankness,
discredit herself with the Governor, by disclosing all the particulars
of her late experience, which he had already heard from her lips, and
permitted to pass uncensured, interposed, and hoped to avert the evil,
by begging that the relation might be deferred. But Hope insisted that
she felt perfectly well, and began by saying, 'she doubted not her kind
friends had made every allowance for the trouble she had occasioned
them. She was conscious that much evil had proceeded from the rash
promise of secresy she had given.' She forbore to name Magawisca, on
her sister's account, who was still sitting by her; the Governor, by a
significant nod, expressed that he comprehended her;and she went on to
say, 'that she trusted she had been forgiven for that, and for all the
petulant and childish conduct of the week that followed it.' "I
scarcely recollect any thing of those days, that then seemed to me
interminable," she said, "but that I tried to mask my troubled spirit
with a laughing face, and in spite of all my efforts I was rather cross
than gay. I believe, Madam Winthrop, I called forth your censure, and I
pray you to forgive me for not taking it patiently and thankfully, as I
Madam Winthrop, all astonishment at Hope's exemplary humility and
deference, graces she had not appeared to abound in, assured her with
unassumed kindness, that she had her cordial forgiveness; though,
indeed, she was pleased to say, 'Hope's explanation left her little to
"And you, sir," said Hope, turning to the Governor, "you, I trust,
will pardon me for selecting your garden for a secret rendezvous."
"Indeed, Hope Leslie, I could pardon a much heavier transgression
in one so young as thee; and one who seems to have so hopeful a sense
of error," replied the Governor, while the goodwill beaming in his
benevolent face, shewed how much more accordant kindness was with his
nature, than the austere reproof which he so often believed the letter
of his duty required from him.
"Then you all—all forgive me; do you not?" Hope asked; and
glancing her eye around the room, it involuntarily rested, for a
moment, onEverell. All but Everell, who did not speak, were warm in
their assurances that they had nothing to forgive; and the elder
Fletcher tenderly pressed her hand, secretly rejoicing that her
graceful humility enabled her to start with her story from vantage
"I did not see you, I believe, Esther," continued Hope, "after we
parted at Digby's cottage?"
"Speak a trifle louder, if you please, Miss Leslie," said the
Governor. Hope was herself conscious that her voice had faltered, at
the recollection of the definitive scene in Digby's cottage, and making
a new effort, she said in a firmer and more cheerful tone, "you,
Esther, were happily occupied. I was persecuted by Sir Philip Gardiner,
whose ungentlemanly interference in my concerns, will, I trust, relieve
me from his society in future."
"Pardon me, Miss Leslie, said the Governor, interrupting Hope, "our
friend, Sir Philip, hath deserved you thanks rather than your censure.
There are, as you well know, duties paramount to the courtesies of a
gentleman, which are, for the most part, but a vain show: mere dress
and decoration;" and he vouchsafed a smile, as he quoted the words of
Mrs. Grafton, "Sir Philip believed he was consulting your happiness,
when he took measures to recover your sister, which your promise
forbade your taking."
"Sir Philip strangely mistakes me," replied Hope, "if he thinks any
thing could console me for apparently betraying one who trusted me, to
sorrowful, fearful imprisonment."
There was a pause, during which Mrs. Winthrop whispered to Esther,
"then she knows all about it?"
"Yes—she would not rest till she heard all."
Hope proceeded. "I believe I am not yet strong enough to speak on
this point." She then went on to narrate circumstantially all that took
place after she was parted from Magawisca, till she came to Antonio.
Cradock, when she began, had laid aside a little Greek book, over which
he was conning, and had at every new period of her relation given his
chair a hitch towards her, till he sat directly before her, on the edge
of his chair, his knees pressed close together, and his palms resting
upright on them, his head stooped forward, so as to be at right angles
with his body, and his parting lips creeping round to his ears, with an
expression of complacent wonder. Thus he sat and looked, while Hope
described her politic acquiescence in Antonio's error, and repeated her
first reply to him in Italian. At this the old man threw his head back,
and burst into a peal of laughter, that resembled the neighing of a
horse more than any human sound; and as soon as he could recover his
voice, "did not I teach her the tongues?" he asked, with a vehement
gesture to the company— "did not I teach her the tongues?"
"Indeed you did, kind master Cradock," said Hope, laying her hand
on his; "and many a weary hour it cost you."
"Never—never one—thou wert always a marvellous quick witted
damsel." He then resumed his seat and his former attitude, and, closing
his eyes, said in his usual low, deliberate tone, "I bless the Lord
that the flower and beauty of my youth were spent in Padua: a poor
blind worm that I am, I deemed it a loss, but it hath saved her most
precious and sweet life." And here he burst into a paroxysm of tears
and sobbing, almost as violent as his laughter had been: his organs
seemed moved by springs which, if touched by an emotion, were quite
beyond his control, and only ceased their operation when their
mechanical force was exhausted.
Hope had little more to relate: she prudently suppressed the
private concerns of Sir Philip's page, and attributed their accidental
meeting to his having come abroad, as in truth he had, in quest of his
master. When she had finished, the Governor said, "Thou hast indeed
been brought through many dangers, Hope Leslie; delivered from the hand
of thy strong enemy, and thy feet made like hinds' feet; and I joy to
say, that thy experience of the Lord's mercies seemeth to have wrought
a becoming sobriety in thee. I would fain pass over that last passage
in thy evening's adventures without remark, but duty bids me say, thou
didst err, lamentably, in permitting, for amoment, the idol worship of
that darkened papistical youth."
"Worship, sir!" said Hope: "I did not esteem it worship; I thought
it merely an affectionate address to one who—and I hope I erred not in
that—might not have been a great deal better than myself."
"I think she erred not greatly," said Mr. Fletcher, who at this
moment felt too tenderly for Hope, patiently to hear her rebuked; "the
best catholic doctors put this interpretation on the invocations to
"Granted," replied the Governor, "but did she right to deepen and
strengthen the superstition of the Romish sailor?"
"It does not appear to me," said Mr. Fletcher, "that it was a
seasonable moment for meddling with his superstitions. We do not read
that Paul rebuked the Melitans, even when they said he was a god." This
was but negative authority; but while the Governor hesitated how he
should answer it, Mr. Fletcher turned to Esther: "Miss Downing," he
said, "thou art the pattern maiden of the commonwealth,—in Hope's
condition, wouldst thou have acted differently? out of thy mouth she
shall be justified or condemned."
"Speak, dear Esther," said Hope; "why do you hesitate? If I were to
choose an external conscience, you should be my rule; though I think
the stern monitor could never be embodiedin so gentle a form. Now tell
us, Esther, what would you have done?"
"What I should have done, if left to my own strength, I know not,"
replied Esther, speaking reluctantly.
"Then, Esther, I will put the question in a form to spare your
humility; I will not ask what you would have done, but what I ought to
Esther's strictness was a submission to duty; and it cost her an
effort to say, "I would rather, Hope, thou hadst trusted thyself wholly
to that Providence that had so wonderfully wrought for thee thus far."
"I believe you are quite right, Esther," said Hope, who was
disposed to acquiesce in whatever her friend said, and glad to escape
from any further discussion; and, moreover, anxious to avert Esther's
observation from Everell, who, during the conversation, had been
walking the room, his arms folded, to and fro, but had narrowly watched
Esther during this appeal; and when she announced her opinion, had
turned disappointed away.
Mrs. Grafton now arose with a trifling apparent vexation, and,
taking Faith by the arm, she signified her intention to retire to her
own apartment. While crossing the room she said, "It is not often I
quote scripture, as you all know; because, as I have said before, I
hold a text from scripture, or a sample of chintz, to be a deceptive
kindof specimen; but I must say now, that I think the case of David, in
eating the shew bread, instead of looking for manna, upholds Hope
Leslie in using the means the Lord chose to place in her hands."
Having the last word is one of the tokens of victory, and the good
lady, content with this, withdrew from the field of discussion.
Governor Winthrop retired to his study. Hope followed him thither, and
begged a few moments audience; which was, of course, readily granted.
When the door was closed, and he had seated himself, and placed a large
arm-chair for her, all the tranquillity which she had just before so
well sustained, forsook her; she sunk, trembling, on her knees, and was
compelled to rest her forehead on the Governor's knee: he laid his hand
kindly on her head, "what does this mean?" he asked; "I like not, and
it is not fitting, that any one should kneel in my house, but for a
holy purpose,—rise, Hope Leslie, and explain yourself —rise, my
child," he added in a softened tone, for his heart was touched with her
distress; "tyrants are knelt to—and I trust I am none."
"No, indeed, you are not," she replied, rising and clasping her
hands with earnest supplication; "and therefore, I hope—nay, I
believe, you will grant my petition for our poor Indian friend."
"Well, be calm—what of her?"
"What of her! Is she not, the generous creature, at this moment in
your condemned dungeon?is she not to be tried to-morrow—perhaps
sentenced to death—and can I, the cause of bringing her into this
trouble—can I look calmly on?"
"Well, what would you have, young lady?" asked the Governor, in a
quiet manner, that damped our heroine's hopes, though it did not abate
"I would have your warrant, sir," she replied boldly, "for her
release; her free passage to her poor old father, if indeed he lives."
"You speak unadvisedly, Miss Leslie. I am no king; and I trust the
Lord will never send one in wrath on his chosen people of the new
world, as he did on those of old. No, in truth, I am no king. I have
but one voice in the commonwealth, and I cannot grant pardons at
pleasure; and besides, on what do you found your plea?"
"On what?" exclaimed Hope. "On her merits, and rights."
"Methinks, my young friend, you have lost right suddenly that
humble tone, that but now in the parlour graced you so well. I trusted
that your light afflictions, and short sickness, had tended to the
edification of your spirit."
"I spoke then of myself, and humility became me; but surely you
will permit me to speak courageously of the noble Magawisca."
"There is some touch of reason in thy speech, Hope Leslie," replied
the Governor, his lips almost relaxing to a smile. "Sit down, child,
andtell me of these merits and rights, for I would be possessed of
every thing in favour of this unhappy maiden."
"I have not to tell you, sir," said Hope, struggling to speak in a
dispassionate tone, "but only to remind you of what you were once the
first to speak of—the many obligations of the English to the family of
Mononotto—a debt, that has been but ill paid."
"That debt, I think, was cancelled by the dreadful massacre at
"If it be so, there is another debt that never has been—that
scarce can be cancelled."
"Yes, I know to what you allude: it was a noble action for a
heathen savage; and I marvel not that my friend Fletcher should think
it a title to our mercy; or, that young Mr. Everell, looking with a
youthful eye on this business, should deem it a claim on our justice.
They have both spoken much and often to me, and it were well, if
Everell Fletcher were content to leave this matter with those who have
the right to determine it." Hope perceived the Governor looked very
significantly, and she apprehended that he might think her intercession
was instigated by Everell.
"I have not seen Everell Fletcher," she said, "till this evening,
since we parted at the garden; and you will do both him and me the
justice to believe, I have not now spoken at his bidding."
"I did not think it. I know thou art ever somewhat forward to speak
the dictates of thy heart,"he continued with a smile; "but now let me
caution you both, especially Everell, not to stir in this matter, any
private interference will but prejudice the Pequod's cause. They have
ever been a hateful race to the English. And as the old chief and his
daughter are accused, and I fear justly, of kindling the enmity of the
tribes against us, and attempting to stir up a war that would lay our
villages in ruins, it will be difficult to make a private benefit
outweigh such a public crime. At any rate, the prisoner must be tried
for her life; afterwards, we may consider if it be possible, and
suitable, to grant her a pardon." Hope rose to withdraw: the sanguine
hopes that had sustained her were abated, her limbs trembled, and her
lips quivered, as she turned to say "good-night." The Governor took her
hand, and said compassionately,—"Be not thus disquieted, my child;
cast thy care upon the Lord, He can bring light out of this darkness."
'And he alone,' she thought, as she slowly crept to her room. A
favourite from her birth, Hope had been accustomed to the gratification
of her wishes; innocent and moderate they had been; but uniform
indulgence is not a favourable school, and our heroine had now to learn
from that stern teacher experience, that events and circumstances
cannot be moulded to individual wishes. She must sit down and passively
await the fate of Magawisca. 'She had done all she could do, and
without any effect—had she done all?' While she still meditated on
this last clause of her thoughts, Esther entered the room. Absorbed in
her own reverie, Hope did not, at first, particularly observe her
friend, and when she did, she saw that she appeared much disturbed.
Esther, after opening and shutting drawers and cupboards, and seeking
by these little devices to conceal or subdue her agitation, found all
unavailing, and throwing herself into a chair, she gave way to
This in almost any young lady would have been a common expression
of romantic distress; but in the disciplined, circumspect Esther,
uncontrolled emotion was as alarming, to compare small things to great,
as if an obedient planet were to start from its appointed orbit.
Hope hastened to her, and folding her arms around her tenderly,
inquired what could thus distress her? Esther disengaged herself from
her friend, and turned her face from her.
"I cannot bear this," said Hope, "I can bear any thing better than
this: are you displeased with me, Esther?"
"Yes, I am displeased with you—with myself— with every body—I am
"What do you mean, Esther? I have done nothing to offend you; for
pity's sake tell me what you mean? I have never had a feeling or
thought that should offend you."
"You have most cruelly, fatally injured me, Hope Leslie."
"Here is some wretched mistake," cried Hope; "for heaven's sake
explain, Esther: if I had injured you knowingly, I should be of all
creatures most guilty; but I have not. If I have innocently injured
you, speak, my dear friend, I beseech you," she added, again putting
her arm around Esther; "have not you yourself, a thousand times, said
there should be no disguises with friends; no untold suspicions; no
Again Esther repressed Hope. "I have been unfairly dealt by," she
said. "I have been treated as a child."
"How—when—where—by whom?" demanded Hope impetuously.
"Ask me no questions now, Hope. I will answer none. I will no
longer be played upon."
"Oh, Esther, you are cruel," said Hope, bursting into tears. "You
are the one friend that I have loved gratefully, devotedly,
disinterestedly, and I cannot bear this."
There was a pause of half an hour, during which Esther sat with her
face covered with her handkerchief, and sobbing violently, while Hope
walked up an down the room; her tender heart penetrated to the very
core with sorrow, and her mind perplexed with endless conjectures about
the cause of her friend's emotions.
She sometimes approached near the truth, but that way she could not
bear to look. At last Esther became quiet, and Hope ventured once more
to approach her, and leaned over her withoutspeaking. Esther rose from
her chair, knelt down, and drew Hope down beside her, and in a low, but
perfectly firm voice, supplicated for grace to resist engrossing
passion, and selfish affections. She prayed they might both be assisted
from above, so that their mutual forgiveness, and mutual love, might be
perfected, and issue in a friendship which should be a foretaste of
heaven. She then rose, and folded her arms around her friend, saying,
"I have given way to my sinful nature; but I feel already an earnest of
returning peace. Do not say any thing to me now, Hope —the future will
There was an authority in her manner, that Hope could not, and did
not, wish to resist. "If you speak to me so, Esther," she said, "I
would obey you, even though it were possible obedience should be more
difficult. Now we will go to bed, and forget all this wearisome
evening; but first kiss me, and tell me you love me as well as ever."
"I do," she replied; but her voice faltered; and governed by the
strictest law of truth, she changed her form of expression—"I mean
that I shall again love you as well—I trust better than ever—be
content with this, for the present, Hope, and try me no further."
Once, while they were undressing, Esther said, but without any
emotion in her voice,—her face was averted from Hope,—"Everell has
been proposing to me to assist him in a clandestine attempt to get
Magawisca out of prison."
"To get her out!" exclaimed Hope, with the greatest animation—"to
"To-night or to-morrow night."
"And is there any hope of effecting it?"
"I thought it not right for me to undertake it," Esther replied in
the same tone, quite calm, but so deliberate, that Hope detected the
effort with which she spoke, and dared not venture another question.
They both went to bed, but not to sleep; mutual and secret
anxieties kept them for a long time restless, and a strange feeling of
embarrassment, as distant as the width of their bed would allow; but,
finally, Hope, as if she could no longer bear this estrangement,
nestled close to Esther, folded her arms around her, and fell asleep on
Madam Winthrop had very considerately, in the course of the
evening, left Everell and her niece alone together; and he had availed
himself of this first opportunity of private communication, to inform
her, that after being frustrated in all his efforts for Magawisca's
rescue, he had, at length, devised a plan which only wanted her
co-operation to insure it success. Her agency would certainly, he
believed, not be detected; and, at any rate, could not involve her in
any disagreeable consequences.
'Any consequences to herself,' Esther said, 'she would not fear.'
Everell assured her, that he was certain she would not; but he was
anxious she should see he would not expose her to any, even to attain
an object for which he would risk or sacrifice his own life. He then
went on eagerly to detail his plan of operations, till Esther summoned
courage to interrupt him. Perhaps there is not on earth a more
difficult duty, than for a woman to place herself in a disagreeable
light before the man she truly loves. Esther's affections were deep,
fixed, and unpretending, capable of any effort, or any sacrifice, that
was not proscribed by religious loyalty; but no earthly consideration
could have tempted her to waver from the strictest letter of her
religious duty, as that duty was interpreted by her conscience. It cost
her severe struggles, but after several intimations, which Everell did
not understand, she constrained herself to say, 'that she thought they
had not scripture warrant for interfering between the prisoner and the
"Scripture warrant!" exclaimed Everell with surprise and vexation
he could not conceal. "And are you to do no act of mercy, or
compassion, or justice, for which you cannot quote a text from
"Scripture hath abundant texts to authorise all mercy, compassion,
and justice, but we are not always the allowed judges of their
application; and in the case before us we have an express rule, to
which, if we submit, we cannot err; for thou well knowest, Everell, we
are commanded in the first of Peter, 2d chapter, to 'submit ourselvesto
every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king,
as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for
the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well.'
"But surely, Esther, there must be warrant, as you call it, for
sometimes resisting legitimate authority, or all our friends in England
would not be at open war with their king. With such a precedent, I
should think the sternest conscience would permit you to obey the
generous impulses of nature, rather than to render this slavish
obedience to the letter of the law."
"Oh, Everell! do not seek to blind my judgment. Our friends at home
are men who do all things in the fear of the Lord, and are, therefore,
doubtless guided by the light of scripture, and the inward testimony.
But they cannot be a rule for us, in any measure; and for me, Everell,
it would be to sin presumptuously, to do aught, in any way, to
countervail the authority of those chosen servants of the Lord, whose
magistracy we are privileged to live under."
Everell tried all argument and persuasion to subdue her scruples,
but in vain; she had some text, or some unquestioned rule of duty, to
oppose to every reason and entreaty.
To an ardent young man, there is something unlovely, if not
revolting, in the sterner virtues; and particularly when they oppose
those objects which he may feel to be authorised by the mostgenerous
emotions of his heart. Everell did not mean to be unjust to Esther—his
words were measured and loyal—but he felt a deep conviction that there
was a painful discord between them; that there was, to use the modern
German term, no elective affinity. In the course of their conversation,
he said, "you would not, you could not, thus resist my wishes, if you
"Everell," she replied, "those who love you need not know this
maiden, to feel that they would save her life at the expense of their
own, if they might do it;" and then blushing at what she feared might
seem an empty boast, she added, "but I do know Magawisca; I have
visited her in her prison every day since she has been there."
"God bless you for that, Esther—but why did you not tell me?"
"Because my uncle only permitted me access to her, on condition
that I kept it a secret from you."
"Methinks that prohibition was as useless as cruel."
"No, Everell; my uncle, doubtless, anticipated such applications as
you have made to-night, and he was right to guard me from temptation."
'He might securely have trusted you to resist it,' thought Everell.
But he tried to suppress the unkind feeling, and asked Esther 'if she
hadany motive in visiting Magawisca thus often, beyond the
gratification of her compassionate disposition?'
"Yes," replied Esther, "I heard my uncle say, that if Magawisca
could be induced to renounce her heathenish principles, and promise,
instead of following her father to the forest, to remain here, and join
the catechised Indians, he thought the magistrates might see it to be
their duty to overlook her past misdemeanors, and grant her Christian
privileges." Esther paused for a moment, but Everell made no comment,
and she proceeded, in a tone of the deepest humility: "I knew I was a
poor instrument, but I hoped a blessing on the prayer of faith, and the
labour of love. I set before her, her temporal and her eternal
interest— life, and death. I prayed with her—I exhorted her—but, oh!
Everell, she is obdurate; she neither fears death, nor will believe
that eternal misery awaits her after death!"
To Esther's astonishment, Everell, though he looked troubled,
neither expressed surprise or disappointment at the result of her
labours, but immediately set before her the obvious inference from it.
"You see, yourself," he said, "by your own experience, there is but one
way of aiding Magawisca."
"It is unkind of you, Everell," she replied, with a trembling
voice, "to press me further; that way, you know, my path is hedged up;"
and without saying any thing more, she abruptly leftthe room; but she
had scarcely passed the threshold of the door, when her gentle heart
reproached her with harshness, and she turned to soften her final
refusal. Everell did not hear her returning footsteps; he stood with
his back to the door; and Esther heard him make this involuntary
apostrophe. "Oh, Hope Leslie! how thy unfettered soul would have
answered such an appeal! why has fate cruelly severed us?"
Esther escaped hastily, and without his observation; and the scene
already described, in the apartment of the young ladies, ensued.
Everell Fletcher must not be reproached with being a disloyal
knight. The artifices of Sir Philip Gardiner, the false light in which
our heroine had been placed by her embarrassments with Magawisca—the
innocent manœuvrings of Madam Winthrop, and finally, the generous
rashness of Hope Leslie, had led him step by step, to involve himself
in an engagement with Miss Downing; that engagement had just been made
known to her protectors, and ratified by them, when the denouement of
the mysterious rendezvous at the garden, explained his fatal mistake.
When he recurred to all that had passed since his first meeting with
Hope Leslie, and particularly to their last interview at the garden,
when he had imputed her uncontrollable emotion to her sensibility in
relation to Sir Philip, he had reason to believe, he was beloved by the
only being he had ever loved. But in what cruel circumstance didthis
discovery find him! His troth plighted to one whose pure and tender
heart he had long possessed. There was but one honourable course for
him to pursue, and on that he firmly resolved; to avoid the presence of
Hope Leslie—to break the chain of affection wrought in youth, and
rivetted in manhood, and whose links seemed to him, to encompass and
sustain his very life; in fine, to forget the past—but alas! who can
convert to Lethe the sweetest draughts of memory?
Hope's dangerous illness had suspended all his purposes; he could
not disguise his interest—and indeed, its manifestation excited
neither surprise nor remark, for it seemed sufficiently accounted for
by their long and intimate association. While Hope's life was in peril,
even Magawisca was forgotten; but the moment Hope's convalescence
restored the use of his faculties, they were all devoted to obtaining
Magawisca's release, and he had left no means untried, either of open
intercession, or clandestine effort; but all as yet was without effect.
"What trick, what device, what starting hole canst thou now find
out, to hide thee from this open and apparent shame?"
— Henry IVth.
The day appointed for Magawisca's trial, arose on Boston one of the
brightest and most beautiful of summer. There are moments of deep
dejection and gloom in every one's experience, when the eye closes
against the beauty of light, when the silence of all those great powers
that surround us, presses on the soul like the indifference of a
friend, and when their evolving glories overpower the wearied spirit,
as the splendours of the sun offend the sick eye. In this diseased
state of mind, Everell wandered about Boston, till the ringing of the
bell, the appointed signal, gave notice that the court was about to
open for the trial of the Indian prisoner. He then turned his footsteps
towards the house where the sittings of the magistrates were held; and
on reaching it, he found a crowd had already assembled in the room
assigned for the trial.
At one extremity of the apartment was a platform of two or three
feet elevation, on which sat the deputies and magistrates, who
constituted thecourt; and those elders who had, as was customary on
similar occasions, been invited to be present as advisory counsel. The
New-England people have always evinced a fondnesss for asking advice,
which may, perhaps, be explained by the freedom with which it is
rejected. A few seats were provided for those who might have claims to
be selected from the ordinary spectators; two of these were occupied by
the elder Fletcher, and Sir Philip Gardiner. Everell remained amidst
the multitude unnoticed and unnoticing; his eye roving about in that
vague and inexpressive manner that indicates the mind holds no
communion with external objects, till he was roused by a buz of "there
she comes!" and a call of "make room for the prisoner." A lane was
opened, and Magawisca appeared, preceded and followed by a constable. A
man of middle age walked beside her, whose deep set and thoughtful eye,
pale brow, ascetic complexion, and spare person, indicated a life of
self-denial, and of physical and mental labour; while an expression of
love, compassion, and benevolence, seemed like the seal of his Creator
affixed to declare him a minister of mercy to His creatures. Everell
was struck with the aspect and position of the stranger, and inquired
of the person standing next to him, "who he was?"
The man turned on him a look of astonishment which expressed, "who
are you that ask so strange a question?" and replied,—"That gentleman,
sir, is the 'apostle of New-England,' though it much offendeth his
modesty to be so called."
'God be praised!' thought Everell. 'Eliot, (for he was familiar
with the title, though not with the person of that excellent man) my
father's friend! this augurs well for Magawisca."
"I marvel," continued his informant, "that Mr. Eliot should, in a
manner, lend his countenance to this Jezabel. See, with what an air she
comes among her betters, as if she were queen of us all."
There was certainly nothing of the culprit, or suitor in the aspect
of Magawisca: neither guilt, nor fearfulness, nor submission. Her eyes
were downcast, but with the modesty of her sex—her erect attitude, her
free and lofty tread, and the perfect composure of her countenance, all
expressed the courage and dignity of her soul. Her national pride was
manifest in the care with which, after rejecting with disdain the
Governor's offer of an English dress, she had attired herself in the
peculiar costume of her people. Her collar—
bracelet—girdle—embroidered moccasins, and purple mantle with its
rich border of bead-work, had been laid aside in prison, but were now
all resumed and displayed with a feeling resembling Nelson's, when he
emblazoned himself with stars and orders to appear before his enemies,
on the fatal day of his last battle.
The constable led her to the prisoner's bar. There was a slight
convulsion of her face perceptible as she entered it, and when her
attendant signed to her to seat herself, she shook her head and
remained standing. Everell moved by an irresistible impulse, forced his
way through the crowd, and placed himself beside her. Neither
spoke—but the sudden flush of a sun-beam on the October leaf is not
more bright nor beautiful than the colour that overspread Magawisca's
olive cheek. This speaking suffusion and the tear that trembled on her
eye-lids, but no other sign, expressed her consciousness of his
presence. The Magistrates looked at Everell, and whispered together,
but they appeared to come to the conclusion that this expression of his
feeling was natural and harmless, and it was suffered to pass
The Governor, as chief Magistrate, now rose and requested Mr. Eliot
to supplicate divine assistance in the matter they were about to enter
on. The good man accordingly performed the duty with earnestness and
particularity. He first set forth the wonder-working providence of God
in making their enemies to be at peace with them. He recounted in the
narrative style, then much used in public devotions, the various
occasions on which they had found their fears of the savages
groundless, and their alarms unfounded. He touched on divers instances
of 'kindness and neighbourlike conduct that had been shown themby the
poor heathen people, who having no law, were a law unto themselves. He
intimated that the Lord's chosen people had not now, as of old, been
selected to exterminate the heathen, but to enlarge the bounds of God's
heritage, and to convert these strangers and aliens, to servants and
children of the most High! He alluded to the well known and signal
mercies received from the mother of the prisoner, and to that valiant
act of the prisoner herself, whereby she did redeem from death, and
captivity worse than death, the child— the only child, of a sorely
bereaved man. He hinted at the authorities for the merciful requital of
these deeds in the promises of the spies of Joshua to the heathen woman
of Jericho, that when the Lord had given them the land, they would deal
truly with her, and show kindness to her, and to her father's house;
and in the case of David's generosity to Mephibosheth, the son of
Jonathan, the son of Saul, wherein he passed by the evil that Saul had
done him, and only remembered the favours of Jonathan. He alluded to
the ruined chief, the old father, on whom 'the executed wrath of God
had fallen so heavily, that, as divers testified, the light of reason
was quite put out, and he was left to wander up and down among the
tribes, counselling revenges to which none listened.' And finally, he
dwelt on 'the gospel spirit of forgiveness as eminently becoming those
who, being set on a hill in the wilderness, were to show their light to
the surroundingnations," and concluded with the prayer that on this
occasion, justice and mercy might be made publicly to kiss each other.
When he had done, all eyes turned again on Magawisca, and many who
had regarded her with scorn, or at best, idle curiosity, now looked at
her with softened hearts, and moistened eyes. Not so Sir Philip, who
had his own reasons for being apprehensive of any advance Magawisca
might make in the favour of her Judges. He whispered to a Magistrate
near whom he sat, "is it not a singular procedure thus to convert a
prayer into an ex parte statement of the case?"
"Very singular," replied the good man, with an ominous shake of the
head, "but brother Eliot hath an overweening kindness towards the
barbarians. We shall set all right," he added with one of those
sagacious nods, so expressive of soi-disant infallibility. The Governor
now proceeded to give an outline of the charges against Magawisca, and
the testimony that would be adduced to support them. He suppressed
nothing, but gave a colour to the whole, which plainly indicated his
own favourable dispositions, and Everell felt lightened of half his
fears. Sir Philip was then requested to relate the circumstances that
had, through his instrumentality, led to the taking of the prisoner,
and so much of the conversation he had heard between her and Miss
Leslie, as might serve to elucidate the testimony of the Indian, who
had pretended, by his information, to reveal a direful conspiracy. Sir
Philip rose, and Magawisca, for the first time, raised her eyes, and
fixed them on him; his met hers, and he quailed before her glance. As
if to test the power of conscience still further, at this critical
moment, his unhappy page, poor Rosa, pressed through the crowd, and
giving Sir Philip a packet of letters just arrived from England, she
seated herself on the steps of the platform, near where the knight
Sir Philip threw the packet on the table before the Governor, and
stood for a few moments silent, with his eyes downcast, in profound
meditation. The trial was assuming an unexpected and startling aspect.
Sir Philip now feared he had counted too far on the popular prejudices,
which he knew were arrayed against Magawisca, as one of the diabolical
race of the Pequods. He perceived that all the weight of Eliot's
influence would be thrown into the prisoner's scale, and that the
Governor was disposed, not only to an impartial, but to a merciful
investigation of her case.
Reposing confidently on the extraordinary favour that had been
manifested towards him by the magistrates, he had felt certain of being
able to prevent Magawisca's disclosure of their interview in the
prison, or to avert any evil consequence to himself, by giving it the
air of a malignant contrivance, to be expected from a vengeful savage,
against one who had been the providentialinstrument of her detection.
But he now felt that this might be a difficult task.
He had at first, as has been seen, enlisted against Magawisca, not
from any malignant feeling towards her, but merely to advance his own
private interests. In the progress of the affair, his fate had, by his
own act, become singularly involved with hers. Should she be acquitted,
he might be impeached; perhaps exposed and condemned by her testimony.
Alliances like his with Rosa, were by the laws of the colony, punished
by severe penalties. These would be aggravated by the discovery of his
imposture. At once perceiving all his danger, he mentally cursed the
fool-hardiness with which he had rushed, unnecessarily and unwittingly,
to the brink of a precipice.
He had observed Magawisca's scrutinizing eye turn quickly from him
to Rosa, and he was sure from her intelligent glances, that she had at
once come to the conclusion, that this seeming page was the subject of
their prison interview. Rosa herself appeared to his alarmed
imagination, to be sent by heaven as a witness against him. How was he
to escape the dangers that encompassed him? He had no time to
deliberate on the most prudent course to be pursued. The most obvious
was to inflame the prejudices of Magawisca's judges, and by
anticipation to discredit her testimony; and quick of invention, and
unembarrassed by the instincts of humanity, he proceeded,
afterfaithfully relating the conversation in the churchyard, between
the prisoner and Miss Leslie, to detail the following gratuitous
He said, 'that after conducting Miss Leslie to the Governor's door,
he had immediately returned to his own lodgings, and that induced by
the still raging storm to make his walk as short as possible, he took a
cross-cut through the burial ground; that on coming near the upper
extremity of the enclosure, he fancied he heard a human voice mingling
with the din of the storm; that he paused, and directly a flash of
lightning discovered Magawisca kneeling on the bare wet earth, making
those monstrous and violent contortions, which all who heard him, well
knew characterized the devil-worship of the powwows; he would not— he
ought not repeat to christian ears, her invocations to the Evil-one to
aid her in the execution of her revenge on the English; nor would he,
more particularly describe her diabolical writhings and beatings of her
person. His brethren might easily imagine his emotions at witnessing
them by the sulphureous gleams of lightning, on which, doubtless, her
prayers were sped.'
Sir Philip had gained confidence as he proceeded in his testimony,
for he perceived by the fearful and angry glances that were cast on the
prisoner, that his tale was credited by many of his audience, and he
hoped by all.
The notion that the Indians were the children of the devil, was not
confined to the vulgar; andthe belief in a familiar intercourse with
evil spirits, now rejected by all but the most ignorant and credulous,
was then universally received.
All had, therefore, listened in respectful silence to Sir Philip's
extraordinary testimony, and it was too evident that it had the effect,
to set the current of feeling and opinion against the prisoner. Her few
friends looked despondent; but for herself, true to the spirit of her
race, she manifested no surprise, nor emotion of any kind.
The audience listened eagerly to the magistrate, who read from his
note-book, the particulars which had been received from the Indian
informer, and which served to corroborate and illustrate Sir Philip's
testimony. All the evidence being now before the court, the Governor
asked Magawisca, "if she had aught to allege in her own defence."
"Speak humbly maiden," whispered Mr. Eliot, "it will grace thy
cause with thy judges."
"Say," said Everell, "that you are a stranger to our laws and
usages, and demand some one to speak for you."
Magawisca bowed her head to both advisers, in token of
acknowledgment of their interest, and then raising her eyes to her
judges, she said, —"I am your prisoner, and ye may slay me, but I deny
your right to judge me. My people have never passed under your
yoke—not one of my race has ever acknowledged your authority."
"This excuse will not suffice thee," answered one of her judges:
"thy pride is like the image of Nebuchadnezar's dream—it standeth on
feet of clay—thy race have been swift witnesses to that sure word of
prophecy. 'Fear thou not, O Jacob, my servant, for I am with thee, and
I will make a full end of the people whither I have driven thee'—thy
people truly—where are they?"
"My people! where are they?" she replied, raising her eyes to
heaven, and speaking in a voice that sounded like deep-toned music,
after the harsh tones addressed to her,—"my people are gone to the
isles of the sweet south-west; to those shores that the bark of an
enemy can never touch: think ye I fear to follow them?"
There was a momentary silence throughout the assembly; all seemed,
for an instant, to feel that no human power could touch the spirit of
the captive. Sir Philip whispered to the magistrate who last
spoke,—"Is it not awful presumption for this woman thus publicly to
glory in her heathen notions?"
The knight's prompting had the intended effect. "Has this Pequod
woman," demanded the magistrate, "never been instructed in the
principles of truth, that she dares thus to hold forth her heathenisms
before us? Dost thou not know, woman," he continued, holding up a
Bible, "that this book contains the only revelation of a future
world—the only rule for the present life?"
"Certainly—require the oath of him," whispered Everell to
Magawisca bowed her assent to the Governor.
Sir Philip would not probably have been so prompt in his false
testimony, if he had anticipated being put on his oath; for he was far
enough from having one of those religious consciences that regard truth
as so sacred that no ceremonies can add to its authority. But now, his
word being questioned, it became necessary for him to recede from it,
or to maintain it in the usual legal form; and, without hesitating, he
advanced to the table, raised his hand, and went through the customary
form of the oath. The collectedness and perfect equanimity of
Magawisca, to this moment, had seemed to approach to indifference to
her fate; but the persevering falsehood of Sir Philip, and the implicit
faith in which it was apparently received, now roused her spirit, and
stimulated that principle of retaliation, deeply planted in the nature
of every human being, and rendered a virtue by savage education. She
took a crucifix from her bosom—Everell whispered, "I pray thee hide
that, Magawisca, it will ruin thy cause." Magawisca shook her head, and
held up the crucifix.
"Put down that idolatrous sign," said the Governor.
"She hath, doubtless, fallen under popish enchantments," whispered
one of the deputies; "the French priests have spread their nets
throughout the western forests."
Magawisca, without heeding the Governor's command, or observing the
stares of astonishment that her seeming hardihood drew upon her,
addressed herself to Sir Philip: "This crucifix," she said, "thou didst
drop in my prison. If, as thou saidst, it is a charmed figure, that
hath power to keep thee in the straight path of truth, then press it to
thy lips now, as thou didst then, and take back the false words thou
hast spoken against me."
"What doth she mean?" asked the Governor, turning to Sir Philip.
"I know not," replied the knight, his reddening face and
embarrassed utterance indicating he knew that which he dared not
confess—"I know not; but I should marvel if this heathen savage were
permitted, with impunity, to insult me in your open court. I call upon
the honourable magistrates and deputies," he continued, with a more
assured air, "to impose silence on this woman, lest her uttered
malignities should, in the minds of the good people here assembled,
bring scandal upon one whose humble claims to fellowship with you, you
have yourselves sanctioned."
The court were for a moment silent: every eye was turned towards
Magawisca, in the hope that she would be suffered to make an
explanation; and the motions of curiosity coinciding with the dictates
of justice, in the bosoms of the sage judges themselves, were very like
to counteractthe favour any of them might have felt for Sir Philip.
Everell rose to appeal to the court to permit Magawisca to invalidate,
as far as she was able, the testimony against her, but Mr. Eliot laid
his hand on his arm, and withheld him. "Stay, my young friend," he
whispered, "I may speak more acceptably." Then, addressing the court,
he 'prayed the prisoner might be allowed liberty to speak freely,
alleging that it was for the wisdom of her judges to determine what
weight was to be attached to her testimony;' and glancing his eye at
Sir Philip, he added, "the upright need not fear the light of truth."
Sir Philip again remonstrated; he asked 'why the prisoner should be
permitted further to offend the consciences of the godly? Surely,' he
said, 'none of her judges would enforce her demand; surely, having just
sworn before them in the prescribed form, they would not require him to
repeat his oath on that symbol of popish faith, that had been just
styled an idolatrous sign.'
"This, I think, brother Eliot, is not what thou wouldst ask?" said
"Nay, God forbid that I should bring such scandal upon our land. It
is true, I have known many misguided sons of the Romish church who
would swear freely on the holy word, what they dared not verify on the
crucifix; which abundantly showeth that superstition is with such,
stronger than faith. But we, I think, have no warrant for using such a
test—neither do we need it. The prisoner hath asserted that this
symbol belongethto Sir Philip Gardiner, and that he did use it to
fortify his word; if so, the credit of his present testimony would be
mainly altered; and it seemeth to me but just, that the prisoner should
not only be allowed, but required, to state in full that to which she
hath but alluded."
A whispered consultation of the magistrates followed this
proposition, during which Sir Philip seemed virtually to have changed
places with the prisoner, and appeared as agitated as if he were on the
verge of condemnation: his brow was knit, his lips compressed, and his
eye, whose movement seemed beyond his control, flashed from the bench
of magistrates to Magawisca, and then fixed on Rosa, as if he would
fain have put annihilation in its glance. This unhappy girl still sat
where she had first seated herself; she had taken off her hat, laid it
on her lap, and rested her face upon it.
There was a vehement remonstrance, from some of the members of the
court, against permitting the prisoner to criminate one who had shown
himself well and zealously affected towards them. And it was urged,
with some plausibility, that the hints she had received of the
advantage to be gained by disqualifying Sir Philip, would tempt her to
contrive some crafty tale that might do him a wrong, which they could
not repair. The Governor answered this argument by suggesting that
they, being forewarned, were forearmed, and might certainly rely on
their own sagacity to detectany imposture. Of course, no individual was
forward to deny, for himself, such an allegation, and the Governor
proceeded to request Magawisca to state the circumstances to which she
alluded as having transpired in the prison. Magawisca now, for the
first time, appeared to hesitate, to deliberate, and to feel
"Why dost thou falter, woman?" demanded one of her judges; "no time
shall be allowed now to contrive a false testimony—proceed— speak
"Fear not to speak, Magawisca," whispered Everell.
"I do fear to speak," she replied aloud; "but it is such fear as he
hath, who, seeing the prey in the eagle's talons, is loath to hurl his
arrow, lest, perchance, it should wound the innocent victim."
"Speak not in parables, Magawisca," said Governor Winthrop, "but
let us have thy meaning plainly.
"Then," replied Magawisca, "let me first crave of thy mercy, that
that poor youth, (pointing to Rosa,) withdraw from this presence."
All eyes were now directed to Rosa, who, herself, conscious that
she had become the object of attention, raised her head, threw back the
rich feminine curls that drooped over her face, and looked wildly
around her. On every side her eye encountered glances of curiosity and
suspicion; her colour deepened, her lips quivered, and, likea
bewildered, terrified child, that instinctively flies to its mother's
side, she sprang up the steps, grasped Sir Philip's cloak, as if she
would have hidden herself in its folds, and sunk down at his feet. Sir
Philip's passions had risen to an uncontrollable pitch; "Off boy," he
cried, spurning her with his foot. A murmur of "shame! cruelty!" ran
through the house. The unhappy girl rose to her feet, pressed both her
hands on her forehead, stared vacantly about, as if her reason were
annihilated, then darting forward, she penetrated through the crowd,
There were few persons present so dull as not to have solved
Magawisca's parable, at the instant the clue was given by Rosa's
involuntary movements. Still, all they had discovered was, that the
page was a disguised girl; and a hope darted on Sir Philip, in the
midst of his overwhelming confusion, that if he could gain time, he
might escape the dangers that menaced him. He rose, and, with an
effrontery that, with some, passed for the innocence he would fain have
counterfeited, said, 'that circumstances had just transpired in that
honourable presence, which, no doubt, seemed mysterious; that he could
not then explain them without uselessly exposing the unhappy; for the
same reson, namely, to avoid unnecessary suffering, he begged that no
interrogatories might, at the present time, be put to the prisoner, in
relation to the hints she had thrown out; that if the Governor would
vouchsafe him a private interview, he would, on the sure word of a
Christian man, clear up whatever suspicions had been excited by the
dark intimations of the prisoner, and the very singular conduct of his
The Governor replied, with a severe gravity, ominous to the knight,
'that the circumstances he had alluded to certainly required
explanation; if that should not prove satisfactory, they would demand a
public investigation. In the mean time, he should suspend the trial of
the prisoner, who, though the decision of her case might not wholly
depend on the establishment of Sir Philip's testimony, was yet, at
present, materially affected by it.'
'He expressed a deep regret at the interruption that had occurred,
as it must lead,' he said, 'to the suspension of the justice to be
manifested either in the acquittal or condemnation of the prisoner.
Some of the magistrates being called away from town on the next
morning, he found himself compelled to adjourn the sitting of the court
till one month from the present date.'
"Then," said Magawisca, for the first time speaking, with a tone of
impatience, "then, I pray you, send me to death now. Any thing is
better than wearing through another moon in my prison-house, thinking,"
she added, and cast down her eye-lids, heavy with tears, "thinking of
that old man—my father. I pray thee," she continued, bending low her
head, "I pray thee now to set my spirit free. Wait not for his
testimony"—she pointed to Sir Philip—"as well may ye expect the green
herb to spring up in your trodden streets, as the breath of truth to
come from his false lips. Do you wait for him to prove that I am your
enemy? Take my own word, I am your enemy; the sun-beam and the shadow
cannot mingle. The white man cometh—the Indian vanisheth. Can we grasp
in friendship the hand raised to strike us? Nay—and it matters not
whether we fall by the tempest that lays the forest low, or are cut
down alone, by the stroke of the axe. I would have thanked you for life
and liberty; for Mononotto's sake I would have thanked you; but if ye
send me back to that dungeon—the grave of the living, feeling,
thinking soul, where the sun never shineth, where the stars never rise
nor set, where the free breath of heaven never enters, where all is
darkness without and within"—she pressed her hand on her breast —"ye
will even now condemn me to death, but death more slow and terrible
than your most suffering captive ever endured from Indian fires and
knives." She paused—passed unresisted without the little railing that
encompassed her, mounted the steps of the platform, and advancing to
the feet of the Governor, threw back her mantle, and knelt before him.
Her mutilated person, unveiled by this action, appealed to the senses
of the spectators. Everell involuntarily closed his eyes, and uttered a
cry of agony, lost indeed in themurmurs of the crowd. She spoke, and
all again were as hushed as death. "Thou didst promise," she said,
addressing herself to Governor Winthrop, "to my dying mother, thou
didst promise, kindness to her children. In her name, I demand of thee
death or liberty."
Everell sprang forward, and clasping his hands exclaimed, "In the
name of God, liberty!"
The feeling was contagious, and every voice, save her judges,
shouted "liberty!—liberty! grant the prisoner liberty!"
The Governor rose, waved his hand to command silence, and would
have spoken, but his voice failed him; his heart was touched with the
general emotion, and he was fain to turn away to hide tears more
becoming to the man, than the magistrate.
The same gentleman who, throughout the trial, had been most forward
to speak, now rose; a man of metal to resist any fire. "Are ye all
fools, and mad!" he cried; "ye that are gathered here together, that
like the men of old, ye shout 'great is Diana of the Ephesians!' For
whom would you stop the course of justice? for one who is charged
before you, with having visited every tribe on the shores and in the
forests, to quicken the savages to diabolical revenge!—for one who
flouts the faith once delivered to the saints, to your very faces!—for
one who hath entered into an open league and confederacy with Satan
against you!—for one who, as ye have testimony within yourselves, in
that her looks and words do so prevail over your judgments, is
presently aided and abetted by the arch enemy of mankind!—I call upon
you, my brethren," he added, turning to his associates, "and most
especially on you, Governor Winthrop, to put a sudden end to this
confusion by the formal adjournment of our court."
The Governor bowed his assent. "Rise, Magawisca," he said, in a
voice of gentle authority, "I may not grant thy prayer; but what I can
do in remembrance of my solemn promise to thy dying mother, without
leaving undone higher duty, I will do."
"And what mortal can do, I will do," said Everell, whispering the
words into Magawisca's ear as she rose. The cloud of despondency that
had settled over her fine face, for an instant vanished, and she said
aloud,—"Everell Fletcher, my dungeon will not be, as I said, quite
dark, for thither I bear the memory of thy kindness."
Some of the magistrates seemed to regard this slight interchange of
expressions between the prisoner and her champion as indecorous: the
constables were ordered immediately to perform their duty, by
re-conducting their prisoner to jail; and Magawisca was led out,
leaving in the breasts of a great majority of the audience, a strange
contrariety of opinion and feelings. Their reason, guided by the best
lights they possessed, decidingagainst her—the voice of nature crying
out for her.
Before the parties separated, the Governor arranged a private
interview with Sir Philip Gardiner, to take place at his own house
"Ye're like to the timmer o' yon rotten wood,
Ye're like to the bark o' yon rotten tree,
Ye'll slip frae me like a knotless thread,
And ye'll crack your credit wi' mae nor me."
At the period of our history, twelve o'clock was the hour appointed
for dinner: we believe in the mother country—certainly in the colony
then, as now, every where in the interior of our states, this natural
division of time was maintained. Our magistrates did not then claim any
exemption from the strict rules of simplicity and frugality that were
imposed on the humble citizens, and Governor Winthrop's meridian meal,
though it might have been somewhat superior in other luxuries, had no
more of the luxury of time bestowed on it, than that of the honest
artisans and tradesmen about him.
In order to explain what follows, it is necessary to state to our
readers, that adjoining the parlour of Governor Winthrop's mansion, was
that sine qua non of all thrifty housekeepers, an ample pantry. In the
door of this pantry, was a glazed panel, over the parlour side of
which, hung a green curtain. The glass, as glasses will, hadbeen
broken, and not yet repaired; and let house-wives take the admonition
if they like, on this slight accident depended life and death.
The pantry beside the door already described, had another which
communicated with the kitchen; through this, Jennet, (who in housewife
skill resembled the "neat-handed Phillis" of poetic fame, though, in
other respects, prosaic enough) had entered to perform within the
sanctum certain confidential services for Madam Winthrop.
It now drew near the hour of two, the time appointed for the
interview of the Governor with Sir Philip; the dinner was over, the
table removed, and all orderly and quiet in the parlour, when Jennet,
in her retreat, heard Miss Leslie and Mr. Everell Fletcher enter, and
though the weather was warm, close the door after them. A slight hint
is sufficient for the wary and wise, and Jennet, on hearing the door
shut, forbore to make any noise, which should apprise the parties of
The young people, as if fearful of being overheard without,
withdrew to the furthest extremity from the entry door, and came into
the corner adjoining the pantry. They spoke, though in low tones, yet
in the most earnest and animated manner; and Jennet, tempted beyond
what she was able to bear, drew nigh to the door with a cat's tread,
and applied her ear to the aperture, where the sounds were only
slightly obstructed by the silk curtain.
While speakers and listener stood in this interesting relation to
each other, Sir Philip Gardiner was approaching the mansion, his bad
mind filled with projects, hopes, and fears. He had, after much painful
study, framed the following story, which he hoped to impose on the
credulity of the Governor, and through him, of the public. His sole
care was to avoid present investigation and detection; like all who
navigate winding channels, he regarded only the difficulties directly
He meant that, in the first place, by way of a coup de grace, the
Governor should understand he had intentionally acquiesced in the
discovery of Rosa's disguise. He would then, as honest Varney did,
confess there had been some love-passages between the girl and himself,
in the days of his folly. He would state, that subsequent to his
conversion, he had placed her in a godly school in England, and that to
his utter confusion, he had discovered after he had sailed from London,
that she had, in the disguise she still wore, secreted herself on board
the ship. He had, perhaps, felt too much indulgence for the girl's
youth, and unconquerable affection for him; but he should hope that was
not an unpardonable sin. He had been restrained from divulging her real
character on ship-board, from his reluctance to expose her youth to
result, or further temptation. On his arrival, he war conscious it was
a manifest duty, to have delivered her over to the public authorities,
but pity—pity still had ruled him. He scrupled—perhaps that was a
temptation of the enemy who knew well to assail the weakest points; he
scrupled to give over to public shame one, of whose transgressions he
had been the cause. Besides, she had been bred in France a papist; and
he had hoped—trusting, perhaps, too much in his own strength—that he
might convert her from the error of her ways; snatch the brand from the
burning; he had indeed felt a fatherly tenderness for her, and weakly
indulging that sentiment, he had still, when he found her obstinately
persisting in her errors, devised a plan to shelter her from public
punishment; and in pursuance of it, he had taken advantage of the
opportunity afforded him by his visit to Thomas Morton, to propose to
Magawisca, that in case she should obtain her liberty from the clemency
of her judges, she should undertake to convey Rosa to a convent in
Montreal, of the order to which she had been in her childhood attached.
He meant to plead guilty, as he thought he could well afford to do,
if he was exculpated on the other points, to all the sin of
acquiescence in Rosa's devotion to an unholy and proscribed religion;
and to the crucifix Magawisca had produced, and which he feared would
prove a "confirmation strong," to any jealousies the Governor might
still harbour against him, he meant to answer, that he had taken it
from Rosa to explainto Magawisca that she was of the Romish religion.
With this plausible tale, not the best that could have been
devised, perhaps, by one accustomed to all the sinuosities of the human
mind and human affairs, but the best that Sir Philip could frame in his
present perplexity, he bent his steps towards the Governor's, a little
anticipating the appointed hour, in the hope of obtaining a glimpse of
Miss Leslie, whom he had not seen since their last interview at the
island; and who was still the bright cynosure by which, through all the
dangers that beset him, he trusted to guide himself to a joyous
Never was he more unwelcome to her sight, than when he opened the
parlour door, and interrupted the deeply interesting conversation in
which we left her engaged. She coldly bowed without speaking, and left
him, without making any apology, in the midst of his flattering
compliments on the recovery of her health.
Sir Philip and Everell were much on the terms of two unfriendly
dogs, who are, by some coercion, kept from doing battle, but who never
meet without low growls and sullen looks, that intimate their deadly
enmity. Everell paced the room twice or thrice, then snatched up his
hat, left the house, and sauntered up the street.
No sooner had he disappeared, than Jennet emerged from her
seclusion, her hands uplifted, and her eyes upturned—"Oh, Sir Philip!
SirPhilip!" she said, as soon as she could get her voice, a delay never
long with Jennet—"truly is the heart deceitful—and the lips too. Oh!
who would have thought it?—such a daring, presumptuous, and secret
sin, too! Where is the Governor? he must know it. But first, Sir
Philip, I will tell you—that will do—as you and the Governor are one
'Heaven grant we may be so,' thought Sir Philip, and he closed the
door, and turned to Jennet, eager to hear her communication; for her
earnestness, and still more the source whence the intelligence
emanated, excited his curiosity.
Jennet drew very close to him, and communicated her secret in a
At first, the listener's face did not indicate any particular
emotion, but merely that courteous attention that a sagacious man would
naturally lend to intelligence which the relator deemed of vital
importance. Suddenly a light seemed to flash across him; he started
away from Jennet, stood still for a moment, with a look of intense
thought, then turning to his informer, he said, "Mrs. Jennet, I think
we had best, for to-day, confine within our own bosoms the knowledge of
this secret. As you say, Mr. Everell's is a presumptuous sin; but it
will not be punished unless it proceeds to the overt act."
"Overt act! what kind of act is that?" inquired Jennet.
Sir Philip explained, and Jennet soon comprehended the difference,
in its consequences to the offender, between a meditated, and an
executed crime. Jennet hesitated for a few moments; she had a sort of
attachment to the family she had long served, much like that of an old
cat for its accustomed haunts, but towards Everell she had a feeling of
unqualified hostility. From his boyhood, he had been rebellious against
her petty domiciliary tyranny, and had never manifested the slighest
deference for her canting pretensions. Still she was loath in any way
to be accessory to an act that would involve the family, with which she
was herself identified, in any disgrace or distress. Sir Philip divined
the cause of her hesitation, and, impatient for her decision, he
essayed to resolve her doubts: "Of course, Mrs. Jennet," he said, "you
are aware that any penalty Mr. Everell Fletcher would incur, will not
be of a nature to touch life or limb."
"Ay—that's what I wanted to know; and that being the case, it
appears to me plain duty to let him bake as he has brewed. Faithful are
the wounds of a friend, Sir Philip; and this may prove a timely rebuke
to his youth, and to this quicksilver, fear-nought, Hope Leslie. But
you will take care to have your hand come in in time, for if there
should be any miss in the matter, it would prove a heavy weight to our
"Oh certainly, certainly," said Sir Philip, with undisguised
exultation, "I shall, you know, commandthe springs, and can touch them
at pleasure. Now, Mrs. Jennet, will you favour me with pen and ink; and
do me still another favour"— and he took a guinea from his purse—'
expend this trifle in some book for your private edification; I hear
much of a famous one just brought from England, entitled, 'Food for
saints, and Fire for sinners.' "
"Many thanks, Sir Philip," replied Jennet, graciously accepting the
gift; "such savory treatises are as much wanted among us just now, as
rain upon the parched earth: it's but a sickly and a moral time with
us. You put me in mind, Sir Philip," she continued, while she was
collecting the writing materials, "you put me in mind of Mr. Everell's
oversight; or, rather, I may say, of his making me a mark in that
unhandsome way that I can never forget. When he came from England,
there was not, save myself, one of the family—no, nor an old woman or
child, in Springfield but what he had some keepsake for; not that I
care for the value of the thing—as I told Digby, at his wedding, when
he saluted every woman in the room but me. But, then, one does not like
to be slighted."
Sir Philip, by this time, was fortunately bending over his paper,
and Jennet did not perceive his smile at her jumble of selfish, and
feminine resentments; and observing that he had at once become quite
abstracted from her, she withdrew, half satisfied herself that she had
acted conscientiouslyin her conspiracy against her young master, and
quite sure that she should appear a pattern of wisdom and duty.
Sir Philip, mentally thanking heaven that he had not yet
encountered Governor Winthrop, addressed a hasty note to him, saying
that he had come to his house, true to his appointment, and impatient
for the explanation, which, he might say without presumption, he was
sure would remove the displeasure under which he (Sir Philip) was at
this moment suffering; but that, in consequence of a sudden and severe
indisposition, the effect of the distressful agitation of his feelings,
he found himself obliged to return to his lodgings, and defer their
interview till the next day; till then, he humbly hoped the Governor
would suspend his judgment. He then directed the note, and left it on
the table, and passed the threshold of the Winthrop mansion, as he
believed, and hoped, for the last time.
"This murderous shaft that's shot,
Hath not yet lighted; and our safest way
Is to avoid the aim. Therefere to horse,
And let us not be dainty of leave-taking."
The Greeks and Romans had their lucky and unlucky days; and
whatever name we give to the alternations of life, we believe that the
experence of every family, and individual, will attest the clustering
of joys or woes at marked periods. The day of Magawisca's trial was
eventful, and long remembered in the annals of the Fletcher family.
Indeed, every one in any way associated with them, seems to have
participated in the influences of their ruling star. Each member of
Governor Winthrop's household appeared to be moving in a world of his
own, and to be utterly absorbed in his own projects and hopes.
Miss Downing was for a long time closeted with her uncle and aunt;
then a great bustle ensued, and emissaries went to and fro, from Madam
Winthrop's apartment; Madam Winthrop herself forgot her usual
stateliness and dignified composure, and hurried from one apartment to
another with quick footsteps and a disturbed countenance. The Governor
was heard pacing up and down his study, in earnest conversation with
the elder Fletcher. Everell had gone out, leaving directions with a
servant to say to his father, or any one who should inquire for him,
that he should not return till the next day. Hope Leslie resisted all
her aunt's efforts to interest her in a string of pearls, which she
intended for a wedding gift for Esther; "but," Mrs. Grafton said,
wreathing them into Hope's hair, "her heart misgave her, they looked so
much prettier peeping out from among Hope's wavy locks, than they would
on Esther's sleek hair." The agitation of Hope's spirits was manifest,
but (we grieve to unveil her infirmities) that, in her, excited no more
attention than a change of weather in an April day. She read one
moment—worked the next—and the next, was devoting herself with
earnest affection to the amusement of her pining sister; then she would
suddenly break off from her, and take a few turns in the garden: in
short, confusion had suddenly intruded within the dominion of order,
and usurped the government of all his subjects.
In the evening the surface of affairs, at least, bore a more
tranquil aspect. The family all assembled in the parlour as usual,
excepting Miss Leslie and Cradock, who had retired to the study, to
look over a translation from the Italian, which Hope just recollected
her tutor had never revised.
Faith Leslie sat on a cushion beside the door, in a state of
vacancy and listlessness, into whichshe seemed to have hopelessly sunk,
after the first violent emotions that succeeded her return. The ladies
were plying their needles at the table: Miss Downing, pale as a statue,
moved her hand mechanically, and Mrs. Grafton had just remarked, that
she had seen her put her needle twelve times in the same place, when
fortunately for her, any further notice of her abstraction was averted
by a rap at the outer door, and a servant admitted a stranger who,
without heeding a request that he would remain in the portico till the
Governor should be summoned, advanced to the parlour door. He sent a
keen scrutinizing glance around the room, and on every individual in
it, and then fixing his eye on the Governor, he bent his head low, with
an expression of deferential supplication.
His appearance was that of extreme wretchedness, and, as all who
saw him thought, indicated a shipwrecked sailor. His face and figure
were youthful, and his eye bright, but his skin was of a sickly ashen
hue. He had on his head a sailor's woollen cap, drawn down to his eyes
in part, as it seemed, to defend a wound he had received on his temple,
and about which, and to the rim of his cap that covered it, there
adhered clotted blood. His dress was an over-coat of coarse frieze
cloth, much torn and weather beaten, and strapped around his waist with
a leathern girdle; his throat was covered with a cotton handkerchief,
knotted in sailor-fashion, and his legs and feet were bare.
To the Governor's inquiry of "who are you, friend?" and "what do
you want?" he replied, in an unknown language, and with a low rapid
enunciation. At the first sound of his voice, Faith Leslie sprang to
her feet, but instantly sunk back again on the cushion, and apparently
returned to her former abstraction.
Governor Winthrop eyed the stranger narrowly. "I think, brother
Fletcher," he said, "this man has the Italian lineaments; perhaps,
Master Cradock may understand his language, as he is well versed in all
the dialects of the kingdoms of Italy. Robin," he added, "bid Master
Cradock come hither."
"Master Cradock has gone out, sir, an please you, some minutes
since, with Miss Leslie."
"Gone out—with Miss Leslie—whither?"
"I do not know, sir. The young lady bid me say she had gone to a
friend's, and should not return till late. She begged Mrs. Jennet might
be in waiting for her."
"This is somewhat unseasonable," said the Governor, looking at his
watch; "it is now almost nine; but I believe," he added, in kind
consideration of Mr. Fletcher's feelings, "we may trust your wild-wood
bird; her flights are somewhat devious, but her instincts are safer
than I once thought them."
"Trust her—yes, indeed," exclaimed Mrs. Grafton, catching the word
that implied distrust. "But I wonder," she added, going to the window,
and looking anxiously abroad, "that she should venture out this dark
night, with nobody but that blind beetle of a Cradock to attend her;
however, I suppose she is safe, if she but keep on the main land, as I
think you say the wolves come no more over the neck."
"They certainly will not come any where within the bounds that our
lamb is likely to stray," said Mr. Fletcher.
The Governor's care again recurred to the mendicant stranger, who
now signified, by intelligible gestures, that he both wanted food and
sleep. Every apartment in the Governor's house was occupied; but it was
a rule with him, that admitted of no exception, that his shelter should
never be denied to the wanderer, nor his charities to the poor; and,
accordingly, after some consultation with the executive department of
his domestic government, a flock-bed was ordered to be spread on the
kitchen floor, and a meal provided, on which, we observe en passant,
the stranger did extraordinary execution.
When the result of these charitable deliberations was signified to
him, he expressed his gratitude by the most animated gestures, and,
seeming involuntarily to recur to the natural organ of communication,
he uttered, in his low and rapid manner, several sentences, which
appeared, from the direction of his eye, and his repeated bows, to be
addressed to his benefactor.
"Enough, enough," said the Governor, interpreting his words by a
wave of his hand, which signified to the mendicant that he was to
follow Robin to the kitchen. There we must leave him to achieve, in due
time, an object involving most momentous consequences, while we follow
on the trail of our heroine, whose excursive habits have so often
compelled us to deviate from the straight line of narration.
Hope had retired to the study with Master Cradock, where she
delighted her tutor with her seemingly profound attention to his
criticisms on her Italian author. "You see, Miss Hope Leslie," he said,
intent on illustrating a difficult passage, "the point here lies in
this, that Orlando hesitates whether to go to the rescue of Beatrice."
"Ah, stop there, Master Cradock, you speak an admonition to me. You
have yourself told me, the Romans believed that words spoken by those
ignorant of their affairs, but applicable to them, were good or bad
"True, true—you do honour your tutor beyond his deserts, in
treasuring these little classical notices, that it hath been my rare
privilege to plant in your mind. But how were my words an admonition to
you, Miss Hope Leslie?"
"By reminding me of a duty to a friend who sadly needs my help—and
thine too, my good tutor."
"My help!—your friend! It shall be as freelygranted as Jonathan's
was to David, or Orpheus' to Eurydice."
"The task to be done," said Hope, while she could not forbear
laughing at Cradock's comparing himself to the master of music, "is not
very unlike that of Orpheus." But we have no time to lose—put on your
cloak, Master Cradock, while I tell Robin what to say if we are
"My cloak! you forget we are in the summer solstice; and the
evening is somewhat over sultry, so that even now, with my common
habiliments, I am in a drip."
"So much the more need to guard against the evening air," said
Hope, who had her own secret and urgent reasons for insisting on the
cloak; "put on the cloak, Master Cradock, and move quick, and softly,
for I would pass out without notice from the family."
A Moslem would as soon have thought of resisting fate, as Cradock
of opposing a wish of his young mistress, which only involved his own
comfort, so he cloaked himself, while Hope flew to the kitchen, gave
her orders, and threw on her hat and shawl, which she had taken care to
have at hand. They then passed through the hall, and beyond the court,
without attracting observation.
Cradock was so absorbed in the extraordinary happiness of being
selected as the confidential aid and companion of his favourite, that
he would have followed her to the world's end, withoutquestion, if she
had not herself turned the direction of his thoughts.
"It is like yourself," she said, "my good tutor, to obey the call
of humanity, without inquiring in whose behalf it comes; and I think
you will not be the less prompt to follow the dictates of your own
heart, and my wishes, when I tell you that I am leading you to poor
"Ah! the Indian woman, concerning whom I have heard much colloquy.
I would, in truth, be fain to see her, and speak to her such
comfortable words and counsels, as may, with a blessing, touch the
heathen's heart. You have, doubtless, Miss Hope, provided yourself with
a passport from the Governor," he added, for almost the first time in
his life looking at the business part of a transaction.
"Master Cradock, I did not esteem that essential."
"Oh! but it is; and if you will abide here one moment, I will
hasten back and procure it," he said, in his simplicity never
suspecting that Miss Leslie's omission was any thing other than an
"Nay, nay, Master Cradock," she replied, laying her hand on his
arm, "it is too late now: my heart is set on this visit to the unhappy
prisoner —and if you were to go back, Madam Winthrop, or my aunt, or
somebody else, might deem the hour unseasonable. Leave it all to me—I
will manage with Barnaby Tuttle; and when we return, be assured, I will
take all the blame, if there is any, on myself."
"No, that you shall not—it shall fall on my grey head, where there
should be wisdom, and not on your youth, which lacketh
discretion"—'and lacketh nought else,' he murmured to himself; and,
without any further hesitation, he acquiesced in proceeding onward.
They arrived, without hindrance, at the jail, and knocked a long
time for admittance at that part of the tenement occupied by our friend
Barnaby, without his appearing. Hope became impatient, and bidding
Cradock follow her, she passed through the passage, and opened the door
of Barnaby's apartment.
He was engaged in what he still called his 'family exercise;'
though, by the death of his wife, and the marriage of his only child,
he was the sole remnant of that corporation. On seeing our heroine, he
gave her a familiar nod of recognition, and by an equally intelligible
sign, he demonstrated his desire that she should seat herself, and join
in his devotions, which he was just closing, by singing a psalm,
versified by himself; for honest Barnaby, after his own humble fashion,
was a disciple of the tuneful Nine. Hope assented, and, with the best
grace she could command, accompanied him through twelve stanzas of
long, and very irregular metre, which he, obligingly, gave out, line by
line. When this, on Hope's part, extempore worship was finished,
"Welcome here, and many thanks, Miss Leslie," said Barnaby, "it's a
good sign to find a prepared heart and ready voice. Service to you,
Master Cradock, you are not gifted in psalmody, I see."
"Not in the outward manifestation, but the inward feeling is, I
trust, vouchsafed to me. My heart hath taken part in the fag end of
"A pretty similitude truly, Master Cradock, and a token for good is
it when the appetite is always sharp set for such a feast. But come,
Miss Leslie," raking open the embers, "draw up your chair, and warm
your dear little feet. She looks pale yet after her sickness, ha,
Master Cradock? You should not have come forth in the evening air—not
but what I am right glad to see you—the sight of you always brings to
mind your kindness to the dead and the living. You have not been here,
I think, since the night of Ruthy's wedding—that puts me in mind that
I got a letter from Ruthy to-day. I'll read it to you," he continued,
taking off his spectacles, and giving them a preparatory wipe—"Ruthy
is quite handy with her pen—takes after the Tuttles in that: you know,
Miss Leslie, my great-grandfather wrote a book."
"Yes," said Hope, interrupting him, and rising "and I trust his
great-grandson will live to write another."
"Sit down, Miss Leslie—it may be—those of as humble a degree as
Barnaby Tuttle have writtenbooks; and writing runs in families, like
the king's evil"—and Barnaby laughed at his own witty
illustration—"but sit down, Miss Leslie, I must read Ruthy's letter to
"Not now, good Barnaby; let me take it home with me; it is getting
late, and I have a favour to ask of you."
"A favour to ask of me!—ask any thing, my pretty mistress, that's
in the power of Barnaby Tuttle to grant. Ah! Mr. Cradock, there's
nobody knows what I owe her—what she did for my wife when she laid on
her death-bed, and all for nothing but our thanks and prayers."
"Oh, you forget that your wife had once been a servant to my dear
"Yes, yes, but only in the common way, and there's few that would
have thought of it again. It's not my way to speak with flattering
lips, but truly, Miss Hope Leslie, you seem to be one of those that
does not to others that it may be done to you again."
"Oh, my good friend Barnaby, you speak this praise in the wrong
time, for I have even now come, as I told you, to beg a favour on the
score of old friendship."
"It shall be done—it shall be done," said Barnaby, snapping his
fingers, his most energetic gesture; "be it what it may, it shall be
"Oh, it is not so very much, but only, Barnaby, I wish it quickly
done, that we may return. I want you to conduct Master Cradock and
myselfto your Indian prisoner, and leave us in her cell for a short
"Is that all! certainly—certainly," and anxious to make up for the
smallness of the service by the avidity of his compliance, Barnaby
prepared his lamp with unwonted activity. "Now we are ready," he said,
"just show me your permit, and we'll go without delay."
Hope had flattered herself, that her old friend in his eagerness to
serve her, would dispense with the ceremony of a passport from the
Governor. Agitated by this new and alarming obstacle, she commanded her
voice with difficulty to reply in her usual tone. "How could I think it
necessary to bring a permit to you, who know me so well, Barnaby?"
"Not necessary! that was an odd thought for such an all-witted
damsel as thou art, Miss Hope Leslie. Not necessary, indeed! why I
could not let in the king if he were to come from his throne— the king
truly, he is but as his subjects now; but if the first parliament man
were to come here, I could not let him in without a permit from the
Hope walked up and down the room, biting her lips with vexation and
disappointment. Every moment's delay hazarded the final success of her
project. Poor Cradock now interposed with one of his awkward movements
which, though made with the best will in the world, was sure to
overturn the burden he essayed to bear. "Be comforted, Miss Hope
Leslie," he said, "I am not so nimble as I was in years past, but it is
scarce fifteen minutes walk to the Governor's, and I will hasten
thither, and get the needful paper."
"Ay, ay, so do," said Barnaby, "that will set all right."
"No," cried Hope; "no, Master Cradock, you shall not go. If Barnaby
cannot render me this little kindness, there is an end of it. I will
give it up. I shall never ask another favour of you, Barnaby," and she
sat down, anxious and disappointed, and burst into tears. Honest
Barnaby could not stand this. To see one so much his superior—one who
had been an angel of mercy to his habitation—one who had a right to
command him in all permitted service, thrown into such deep distress by
his refusal of a favour which, after all, there could be no harm in
granting, he could not endure.
"Well, well," he said, after hesitating and jingling his keys for a
moment, "dry up your tears, my young lady; a 'wayward child,' they say,
'will have its way;' and they say too, 'men's hearts melt in women's
tears,' and I believe it; come, come along, you shall have your way."
Hope now passed to the extreme of joy and gratitude. "Bless
you—bless you, Barnaby," she said, "I was sure you would not be cross
"Lord help us, child, no, there's no denying you; but I do wish you
was as thoughtful as Miss Esther Downing; she never came without a
permit—a good thing is consideration—you have made me to do that
which I trust not to do again —step aside from known duty—but we're
Hope had the grace to pause one instant, and to meditate a retreat
before she had involved others in sinning against their consciences;
but she had the end to be attained so much at heart, and the faults to
be committed by her agents were of so light a dye, that the scale of
her inclinations soon preponderated, and she proceeded. When they came
to the door of the dungeon,— "Hark to her," said Barnaby; "is not that
a voice for psalmody?" Magawisca was singing in her own language, in
the most thrilling and plaintive tones. Hope thought there could not be
darkness or imprisonment to such a spirit. "It is in truth, Barnaby,"
she replied, "a voice fit to sing the praises of God." Barnaby now
turned the bolts and opened the door, and as the feeble ray of his lamp
fell athwart the dungeon's gloom, Hope perceived Magawisca sitting on
her flock bed, with a blanket wrapped around her. On hearing their
voices she had ceased her singing, but she gave no other sign of her
consciousness of the presence of her visitors.
Miss Leslie took the lamp from Barnaby. "How much time will you
allow us?" she asked.
"Ten minutes! oh, more than that I pray you, good Barnaby."
"Not one second more," replied Barnaby, resolute not to concede
another inch of ground. "There may be question of this matter—you must
consider, my dear young lady."
"I will—always in future, I will, Barnaby; now you may leave me."
"Yes, yes, I understand," said Barnaby, giving a knowing nod. "You
mind the scripture rule about the right and the left hand—some
creature comfort to be given to the prisoner. I marvel that ye bring
Master Cradock with you, but in truth, he hath no more eye nor ear than
"Marvel not at any thing, Barnaby, but leave me, and let my ten
minutes be as long as the last ten minutes before dinner."
Hope, quick as she was in invention and action, felt that she had a
very brief space to effect her purposed arrangements, and while she
hesitated as to the best mode of beginning, Cradock, who nothing
doubted he had been brought hither as a ghostly teacher, asked whether
"he should commence with prayer or exhortation?"
"Neither—neither, Master Cradock—do just as I bid you; you will
not hesitate to help a fellow creature out of deep, unmerited
distress?" this was uttered in a tone of half inquiry and
half-assertion, that enforced by Hope's earnest imploring manner,
quickened Cradock's slow apprehension. She perceived the light was
dawning on his mind, and she turned from him to Magawisca: "Magawisca,"
she said, stooping over her, "rouse yourself—trust me—I have come to
release you." She made no reply, nor movement: "Oh! there is not a
moment to lose. Magawisca, listen to me—speak to me."
"Thou didst once deceive and betray me, Hope Leslie," she replied,
without raising her head.
Hope concisely explained the secret machinations of Sir Philip, by
which she had been made the unconscious and innocent instrument of
betraying her. "Then, Hope Leslie," she exclaimed, rising from her
abject seat, and throwing off her blanket, "thy soul is unstained, and
Everell Fletcher's truth will not be linked to false-hood."
Hope would have explained that her destiny and Everell's were not
to be interwoven, but she had neither time nor heart for it. "You are
too generous, Magawisca," she said, in a tremulous tone, "to think of
any one but yourself, now—we have not a breath to lose—take this
ribbon," and she untied her sash; "bind your hair tight with it, so
that you can draw Master Cradock's wig over your head—you must
exchange dresses with him."
"Nay, Hope Leslie, I cannot leave another in my net."
"You must not hesitate, Magawisca—you will be freed—he runs no
risk, will suffer no harm— Everell awaits you—speed, I pray you."
Sheturned to Cradock, "now, my good tutor," she said, in her most
persuasive tones, "lend me your aid, quickly—Magawisca must have the
loan of your wig, hat, boots, and cloak, and you must sit down there on
her bed, and let me wrap you in her blanket."
Cradock retreated to the wall, planted himself against it, shut his
eyes, and covered his ears with his hands, that temptation might, at
every entrance, be quite shut out. "Oh! I scruple, I scruple," he
articulated in a voice of the deepest distress.
"Scruple not, dear Master Cradock," replied Hope, pulling down one
of his hands, and holding it between both hers, "no harm can, no harm
shall befall you."
"Think not, sweet Miss Hope, it's for the perishing body I am
thoughtful; for thy sake I would bare my neck to the slayer; to thy
least wish I would give the remnant of my days; but I scruple if it be
lawful for a Christian man to lend this aid to an idolater."
"Oh! is that all? we have no time to answer such scruples now, but
to-morrow, master Cradock, I will show you that you greatly err;" and
as she said this, she proceeded, without any further ceremony, to
divest the old man of his wig, which she very carefully adjusted on
Magawisca's head. Both parties were passive in her hands, Magawisca not
seeming to relish much better than Cradock, the false character she was
assuming. Such was Cradock's habitual deference to his young mistress,
that it was morally impossible for him to make any physical resistance
to her movements: but neither his conscience, nor his apprehensions for
her, would permit him to be silent when he felt a conviction that she
was doing, and he was suffering, an act that was a plain transgression
of a holy law.
"Stay thy hand," he said, in a beseeching voice, "and let not thy
feet move so swiftly to destruction."
"Just raise your foot, while I draw off this boot, Master Cradock."
He mechanically obeyed, but at the same time continued his
admonition: "Was not Jehoshaphat reproved of Micaiah the prophet, for
going down to the help of Ahab?"
"Now the other foot, Master Cradock—there, that will do. Draw them
on, Magawisca, right over your moccasins—quick, I beseech you."
"Was not the good king Josiah reproved in the matter of
"Oh, Magawisca! how shall I ever make your slender shoulders and
straight back look any thing like Master Cradock's broad, round
shoulders? One glance of Barnaby's dim old eyes will detect you. Ah!
this will do—I will bind the pillow on with the sheet." While she was
uttering the device, she accomplished it. She then threw Magawisca's
mantle over her expanded shoulders, and Cradock's cloak over all;
and,finally, the wig was surmounted by the old man's steeple-crowned
hat. "Now," she said, almost screaming with joy at the transformation
so suddenly effected, "now, Magawisca, all depends on yourself: if you
will but contrive to screen your face, and shuffle a little in your
gait, all will go well."
The hope of liberty—of deliverance from her galling
imprisonment—of escape beyond the power and dominion of her enemies,
had now taken full possession of Magawisca; and the thought that she
should owe her release to Everell and to Hope, who in her imagination
was identified with him, filled her with emotions of joy, resembling
those a saint may feel, when she sees in vision the ministering angels
sent to set her free from her earthly prison: "I will do all thou shalt
command me, Hope Leslie; thou art indeed a spirit of light, and love,
"True, true, true," cried Cradock, losing, in the instincts of his
affection, the opposition he had so valorously maintained, and his
feelings flowing back into their accustomed channel, "Thou woman in
man's attire, it is given to thee to utter truth, even as of old, lying
oracles were wont to speak words of prophecy."
Hope had not, as may be imagined, stood still to listen to this
long sentence, uttered in her tutor's deliberate, entrecoupé manner,
but in the meanwhile she had, with an almost supernatural celerity of
movement, arranged every thing topresent the same aspect as when
Barnaby first opened the door of the dungeon. She drew Cradock to the
bed, seated him there, and wrapped the blanket about him as it had
enveloped Magawisca. "Oh! I hear Barnaby," she exclaimed; "dear Master
Cradock, sit a little straighter— there—that will do—turn a little
more side ways, you will not look so broad—there—that's better."
"Miss Hope Leslie, ye have perverted the simple-minded."
"Say not another word, Master Cradock; pray do not breathe so like
a truimpet; ah, I see it is my fault." She readjusted the blanket,
which she had drawn so close over the unresisting creature's face as
almost to suffocate him. "Now, Magawisca, sit down on this stool—your
back to the door, close to Master Cradock, as if you were talking with
him." All was now arranged to her mind, and she spent the remaining
half instant in whispering consolations to Cradock: "Do not let your
heart fail you, my good kind tutor—in one hour you shall be relieved."
Cradock would have again explained that he was regardless of any
personal risk, but she interrupted him: "Nay, you need not speak; I
know that is not your present care, but do not be troubled; we are
commanded to do good to all—the rain falleth on the just and the
unjust—and if we are to help our enemy's ox out of the pit, much more
our enemy. This best of all thy kind services shall be requited. I will
be a child to thy old age—hush— there's Barnaby."
She moved a few steps from the parties, and when the jailer opened
the door, she appeared to be awaiting him: "Just in season, good Master
Tuttle; my tutor has nothing more to say, and I am as impatient to go,
as you are to have me gone."
"It is only for your own sake that I am impatient, Miss Hope; let
us make all haste out." He took up the lamp which he had left in the
cell, trimmed it, and raised the wick, that it might better serve to
guide them through the dark passage.
Hope was alarmed by the sudden increase of light—"lend me the
lamp, Barnaby," she said, "to look for my glove—where can I have
dropped it? It must be somewhere about here. I shall find it in a
minute, Master Cradock, you had best go on while I am looking."
Magawisca obeyed the hint, while Hope in her pretended search, so
skilfully managed the light, that not a ray of it touched Magawisca's
face. She had passed Barnaby—Hope thought the worst danger escaped.
"Ah, here it is," she said, and by way of precaution, she added, in the
most careless tone she could assume, "I will carry the lamp for you,
"No, no, thank you, Miss Leslie, I always like to carry the light
myself; and besides, I must take a good look at you both before I lock
the door. It is a rule I always observe in such cases, lest I should be
left to 'brood the eggs the fox has sucked.' It is a prudent rule I
assure you, always to be sure you take out the same you let in. Here,
Master Cradock, turn round, if you please, to the light, just for
Magawisca had advanced several steps into the passage, and Hope's
first impulse was to scream to her to run, but a second, and happier
thought prevailed, and taking her shawl, which was hanging negligently
over her arm, she contrived in throwing it over her head, to sweep it
across Barnaby's lamp, in such a way as to extinguish the light beyond
the possibility of recovery, as Barnaby proved, by vainly trying to
blow it again into a flame.
"Do not put yourself to any further trouble about it, Barnaby, it
was all my fault; but it matters not, you know the way—just give me
your arm, and Master Cradock can take hold of my shawl, and we shall
grope through this passage without any difficulty."
Barnaby arranged himself as she suggested, and then hoping her
sudden action had broken the chain of his thoughts, and determined he
should not have time to resume it, she said,—"When you write to Ruth,
Barnaby, be sure you commend me kindly to her; and tell her, that I
have done the baby linen I promised her, and that I hope littleBarnaby
will prove as good a man as his grandfather."
"Oh, thank ye, Miss Hope, I trust, by the blessing of the Lord,
much better; but they do say," added the old man, with a natural
ancestral complacency, "they do say he favours me; he's got the true
Tuttle chin, the little dog!"
"You cannot tell yet whether he is gifted in psalmody, Barnaby?"
"La, Miss Hope, you must mean to joke. Why little Barnaby is not
five weeks old till next Wednesday morning, half past three o'clock.
But I'm as sure he will take to psalmody as if I knew; there never was
a Tuttle that did not."
Our heroine thus happily succeeded in beguiling the way to the top
of the staircase, where a passage diverged to the outer door, and there
with many thanks, and assurances of future gratitude, she bade Barnaby
good night; and anticipating any observation he might make of Cradock's
silence, she said, "my tutor seems to have fallen into one of his
reveries; but never mind, another time he will remember to greet and
Barnaby was turning away from the door, when he recollected that
the sudden extinction of the candle had prevented his intended
professional inspection. "Miss Hope Leslie," he cried, "be so good as
to stay one moment, while I get a light; the night is so murky that I
cannot see, even here, the lineaments of Master Cradock's complexion."
"Pshaw, Barnaby, for mercy's sake do not detain us now for such an
idle ceremony; you see the lineaments of that form, I think; we must
have been witches indeed, to have transformed Magawisc's slender person
into that enormous bulk; but one sense is as good as another—speak,
Master Cradock," she added, relying on Magawisca's discretion. "Oh, he
is in one of his silent fits, and a stroke of lightning would scarcely
bring a sound from him, so good night, Barnaby," she concluded, gently
putting him back and shutting the door.
'It is marvellous,' thought Barnaby, as he reluctantly acquiesced
in relinquishing the letter of his duty, 'how this young creature spins
me round, at her will, like a top. I think she keeps the key to all
With this natural reflection he retired to rest, without taking the
trouble to return to the dungeon, which he would have done, if he had
really felt one apprehension of the fraud that had been there
At the instant the prison door was closed, Magawisca divested
herself of her hideous disguise, and proceeded on with Hope, to the
place where Everell was awaiting them, with the necessary means to
transport her beyond the danger of pursuit. But while our heroine is
hastening onward, with a bounding step and exulting heart, we must
acquaint our readers with the cruel conspiracy that was maturing
"Sisters! weave the web of death:
Sisters! cease; the work is done."
— The Fatal Sisters
The conversation overheard by the faithless Jennet, and
communicated with all its particulars to Sir Philip Gardiner, was, as
must have been already conjectured by our readers, the contrivance for
Magawisca's liberation. It appeared by her statement, that Hope and
Magawisca unattended, would, at a late hour of the evening, pass
through an uninhabited and unfrequented part of the town near the
water-side, and that Everell, with assistants, would be in waiting for
them at a certain landing-place. Before they reached there, Sir Philip
knew there were many points where they might be intercepted, without
the possibility of Everell's coming to their rescue.
Sir Philip was entangled in the meshes of his own weaving;
extrication was possible—nay, he believed probable; but there was a
fearful chance against him. He had now to baffle well-founded
suspicions—to disprove facts—to double his guard over his assumed and
tiresome character— and after all, human art could not secure himfrom
accidents, which would bring in their train immediate disgrace and
defeat. His passion for Miss Leslie had been stimulated by the
obstacles which opposed it. His hopes were certainly abated by her
indifference; but self-love, and its minister vanity, are inexhaustible
in their resources; and Sir Philip trusted for better success in future
to his own powers, and to feminine weakness; for he, like other
profligates, believed that there was no woman, however pure and lofty
her seeming, but she was commanded
"By such poor passion as the maid that milks, And does the meanest
yet this process of winning the prize was slow, and the result,
Jennet's information suggested a master-stroke by which he could at
once achieve his object; a single coup de main by which he could carry
the citadel he had so long and painfully besieged. If an evil spirit
had been abroad on a corrupting mission, he could not have selected a
subject more eager to grasp temptation than Sir Philip; nor a fitter
agent than Jennet, nor have contrived a more infernal plot against an
"innocent and aidless lady," than that which we must now disclose.
Chaddock (whose crew had occasioned such danger and alarm to Miss
Leslie) was stillriding in the bay with his vessel. Sir Philip had
formerly some acquaintance with this man. He knew him to be a desperate
fellow—that he had oncebeen in confederacy with the bucaniers of
Tortuga—the self-styled "brothers of the coast," and he believed that
he might be persuaded to enter upon any new and lawless enterprise.
Accordingly, from Governor Winthrop's he repaired to Chaddock's
vessel, and presented such motives to him, and offered such rewards, as
induced the wretch to enter heartily into his designs. Fortunately for
their purposes, the vessel was ready for sea, and they decided to
commence their voyage that very night. All Miss Leslie's paternal
connexions were on the royal side—her fortune was still in their
hands, and subject to their control. "If the lady's reluctance to
accept his hand was not subdued before the end of the voyage," (a
chance scarcely worth consideration) Sir Philip said, "she must then
submit to stern necessity, which even a woman's will could not oppose."
After their arrival in England, he meant to abandon himself to the
disposal of fortune; but he promised Chaddock, that he, with certain
other cavaliers, whom he asserted had already meditated such an
enterprise, would, with the remnant of their fortunes, embark with him,
and enrol themselves among the adventurers of Tortuga.
It may be remembered by our readers, that early in our history,
some glimmerings of a plot of this nature appear, from a letter of Sir
Philip's, even then to have dawned on his mind; but other purposes had
intervened and put it off till now,when it was ripened by sudden and
The detail of operations being all settled by these worthy
confederates, Sir Philip, at nightfall, went once more to the town,
secretly withdrew his baggage from his lodgings, and bidding Rosa, who,
in sorrow and despair, mechanically obeyed, to follow, he returned to
the vessel, humming, as he took his last look at the scene where he had
played so unworthy a part,
"Kind Boston, adieu! part we must, though 'tis pity, But I'm made
for mankind—all the world is my city."
Sir Philip, in his arrangements with Chaddock, excused himself from
being one of the party who were to effect the abduction of Miss Leslie.
Perhaps the external habits of a gentleman, and it may be, some little
remnant of human kindness, (for we would not believe that man can
become quite a fiend,) rendered him reluctant to take a personal part
in the cruel outrage he had planned and prepared. Chaddock himself
commanded the enterprise, and was to be accompanied by four of the most
daring of his crew.
The night was moonless, and not quite clear. "It is becoming dark,
extremely dark, Captain," Sir Philip said, in giving his last
instructions, "but it is impossible you should make a mistake. Miss
Leslie's companion, as I told you, may be disguised—she may wear a
man's or woman's apparel, but you have an infallible guide in
herheight: she is at least a half head taller than Miss Leslie. It may
be well, when you get to the wharf, to divide your party, agreeing on
the signal of a whistle. But I rely on your skill and discretion."
"You may rely on it," replied the hardy desperado. "He who has
boarded Spanish Galleons, stormed castles, pillaged cities, violated
churches, and broken open monasteries, may be entrusted with the
capture of a single defenceless girl."
Sir Philip recoiled from trusting his prey in the clutches of this
tiger; but there was no alternative. "Have a care, Chaddock," he said,
"that she is treated with all due and possible gentleness."
"Ay, ay, Sir Philip—kill, but not wound"—a smile of derision
accompanied his words.
"You have pledged me the honour of a gentheman," said Sir Philip,
in an alarmed tone.
"Ay—the only bond of free souls. Remember, Sir Philip," he added,
for he perceived the suspicion the knight would fain have hidden in his
inmost soul, "remember our motto, 'Trusted, we are true—suspected, we
betray.' I have pledged my honour, better than parchment and seal—if
you confide in it."
"Oh, I do—entirely—implicitly—I have not the shadow of a doubt,
my dear fellow."
Chaddock turned away, laughing contemptuously at the ineffectual
hypocrisy of Sir Philip, and ordered his men, who were to be left in
charge of the vessel, to have every thing in readiness to sail at the
moment of his return. "And whither bound, Captain?" demanded one of his
"To hell," was his ominous reply. This answer, seemingly
accidental, was long remembered and repeated, as a proof that the
unhappy wretch was constrained, thus involuntarily, to pronounce his
Once more, before he left the vessel, Sir Philip addressed him: "Be
in no haste to return," he said; "the lady was not to leave Governor
Winthrop's before half-past eight—she may meet with unforeseen
detentions—you will reach the dock a few minutes before nine. Take
your stations as I have directed, and fortune cannot thwart us, if you
are patient—wait till ten—eleven—twelve, or one, if need be. Again,
I entreat there may be no unnecessary haste; I shall have no
apprehensions—I repose on your fidelity."
"D—n him," muttered Chaddock, as he turnaway, "he reposes on my
fidelity!—while he has my vessel in pledge."
Sir Philip remained standing by the side of the vessel, listening
to the quick strokes of the oars, till the sounds died away in the
distance, then he spoke aloud and exultingly, "shine out my good star,
and guide this prize to me."
"Oh! rather," exclaimed Rosa, who stood unobserved beside him,
"rather, merciful heaven,let thy lightnings blast her, or thy waves
swallow her. Oh, God!" she continued, sinking on her knees, and
clasping her hands, "shield the innocent—save her from the hand of the
Sir Philip recoiled, it seemed to him there was something prophetic
in the piercing tones of the unhappy girl, and, for a moment, he felt
as if her prayer must penetrate to heaven, but soon collecting courage,
"hush that mockery, Rosa," he said, "your words are scorpions to me."
Rosa remained for a few moments on her knees, but without again
giving voice to her feelings, then rising, and sobbing as she spoke, "I
thought," she said, "no prayer of mine would ever go upward again. I
have tried to pray, and the words fell back like stones upon my heart;
but now I pray for the innocent, and they part from me winged for
heaven." She folded her arms, looked upwards, and continued to speak as
if it were the involuntary utterance of her thoughts: "How wildly the
stars shoot their beams through the parting clouds! I have sometimes
thought that good spirits come down on those bright rays to do their
messages of love. They may even now be on their way to guard a pure and
helpless sister—God speed them!"
Sir Philip's superstitious fears were awakened: "What do you mean,
Rosa?" he exclaimed; "what, are you talking of stars! I see nothing but
this cursed hazy atmosphere, that hangs likea pall over the water.
Stars indeed! are you mad, Rosa?"
Rosa replied, with a touching simplicity, as if the inquiry were
made in good faith, "Yes—betimes I think I am mad. Thoughts rush so
fast, so wildly through my poor head—and then, again, all is vacancy.
Yes," she continued, as if meditating her case, "I think my brain is
touched; but this—this, Sir Philip, is not madness. Do you not know
that all the good have their ministering spirits? Why, I remember
reading in the 'Legends of the Saints,' which our good Abbess gave me,
of a chain, invisible to mortal senses, that encompassed all the
faithful, from the bright spirits that wait around the throne of
heaven, to the lowliest that walk upon the earth. It is of such
exquisite temper that nought but sin can harm it; but if that but touch
it, it falls apart like rust-eaten metal."
"Away with these fantastic legends, inventions of hypocritical
priests and tiresome old women. You must curb these foolish vagaries of
your imagination, Rosa. I have present and urgent work for you; do but
this good service for me, and I will love you again, and make you as
happy as you were in your brightest days."
"You make me happy, Sir Philip! Alas! alas! there is no happiness
without innocence; if that be once lost, like the guilty Egyptian's
pearl, you told me of, melted in the bowl of pleasure, happiness cannot
"As you please, girl—if you will not be happy, you may play the
penitent Magdalen the rest of your life. You shall select your own
convent, and tell your beads, and say your prayers, and be as demure
and solemn as any seeming saint of them all. I will give you a penance
to begin with,—nay, I am serious—hear me. In spite of your prayers,
and visions, and silly fancies, Miss Leslie must soon be here; the
snare is too well prepared to be escaped. After this one violence, to
which she and cruel fate have driven me, I will be a true knight, as
humble and worshipful as any hero of chivalry."
"But she does not now love you, and do you not fear she will hate
you for this outrage?"
"Ay, but there is a potent alchymy at work for us in the hearts of
you women, that turns hate to love. You shall yet hear her say, like
the lady of Sir Gawaine, 'Oh! how it is befallen me, that now I love
him whom I before most hated of all men living.' But you must aid me,
Rosa—this proud queen must have her maid of honour."
"And I must be the poor slave to do her bidding!" said Rosa,
impatiently, interrupting him, and all other feelings giving way to the
rising of womanly pride.
"Nay, not so, Rosa," replied Sir Philip; and added, in a voice
which he hoped might soothe her petulance, "render to her all maidenly
service; for a little while do the tasks of the bondwoman, and you
shall yet have her wages—nay, start not—you remember the good
Patriarch's affections manifestly leaned to the side of Hagar."
"Yes, yes—and I remember too what her fate was—the fate of all
who followin her footsteps—to be cast out to wander forth in a desert,
where there is not one sign of God's bounty left to them."— She burst
into tears, and added, "I would give my poor life, and a thousand more,
if I had them, to save Hope Leslie, but I will never do her menial
Sir Philip continued to offer arguments and entreaties, but nothing
that he said had the least effect on Rosa; he could not extort a
promise from her, nor perceive the slightest indication of conformity
to his wishes. But trusting that when the time came she would of
necessity submit to his authority, he relinquished his solicitations,
and quitting her side, he paced the deck with hurried impatient
There is no solitude to the good or bad. Nature has her ministers
that correspond with the world within the breast of man. The words, "my
kingdom is within you," are worth all the metaphysical discoveries ever
made by unassisted human wisdom. If all is right in that "kingdom,"
beautiful forms and harmonious voices surround us, discoursing music;
but if the mind is filled with guilty passions—recollections of sin
—and purposes of evil, the ministering angels of nature are converted
into demons, whose"monstrous rout are heard to howl like stable
wolves." Man cannot live in tranquil disobedience to the law of virtue,
inscribed on his soul by the finger of God. "Our torments" cannot
"become our elements." To Sir Philip's disordered imagination the heavy
mist seemed like an infolding shroud—there was a voice of sullen
menace in the dashing of the waves against the vessel—the hooting of
the night-bird was ominous—and Rosa's low sobs, and the horrid oaths
of the misruled crew, rung in his ears like evil prophecies.
Time wore away heavily enough till ten, the earliest moment he had
calculated on the return of the boat, but after that it appeared to
stand stock-still. He ordered the signal lights attached to the mast to
be doubled—he strained his eyes in the vain attempt to descry an
approaching object, and then cursed the fog that hemmed in his sight.
Suddenly a fresh breeze came off the shore, the fog dispersed, and he
could discern the few lights that still glimmered from the habitations
of the town, but no boat was seen or heard. "What folly," he repeated
to himself a hundred times, "to be thus impatient; they certainly have
not failed in their object, or relinquished it, for in that case they
would have been here—it is scarcely time to expect them yet;" but, as
every one must have experienced, when awaiting with intense anxiety an
expected event, the suggestions of reason could not calm the
perturbations of impatience. For another hour he continued to stride
the deck, approaching the light at every turn to look at his watch. The
sailors now began to fret at the delay. "Every thing was ready," they
said, "good luck had sent them a fair breeze, and the tide had just
turned in their favor." And in Sir Philip's favour too, it appeared,
for at this moment the longed-for boat was both heard and seen rapidly
nearing the vessel. He gazed towards it, as if it contained for him a
sentence of life or death—and life it was, for he soon perceived a
female form wrapped in Chaddock's watch-cloak.
The boat came to the side of the vessel.— "Has the scoundrel dared
to put his arm around Hope Leslie?" thought the knight, as he saw the
captain's arm encircling the unfortunate girl; but a second reflection
told him that this, which seemed even to him profanity, was but a
necessary precaution! "He dared not trust her—she would have leaped
into the waves rather than have come to me—ungracious girl!"
"What hath kept you?" called out one of the sailors.
"The devil and Antonio," replied the captain. "We left him with the
boat, and while we were grappling the prize he ran away. I had to be
chains and fetters to the prisoner—we had not hands to man our oars,
so we waited for the fellow, but he came not, and has, doubtless, ere
this, given the alarm. Weigh your anchor andspread your sails,
boys—starting with this wind and tide we'll give them a devil of a
chace, and bootless at last."
While this was saying, the unhappy victim was lifted up the side of
the vessel, and received in Sir Philip's arms. She threw back the hood
that had been drawn over her head, and attempted to speak, but was
prevented by her shawl, which the ruffians had bound over her face to
prevent the emission of any sound. Sir Philip was shocked at the
violence and indignity she had suffered. "Did I not order you,
Chaddock," he said, "to treat the lady with all possible respect?"
"D—n your orders," replied the captain, "was I to let her scream
like forty sea-mews, and raise the town upon us."
"A thousand—thousand pardons!" whispered Sir Philip, in a low
imploring voice, and then aloud to Chaddock, "but after you left the
town, captain, you surely should have paid more respect to my earnest
and repeated injunctions."
"D—n your injunctions. John Chaddock is yet master of his vessel
and boat too. I tell you when the fishing-smacks hailed us, that even
with that close-reefed sail, she made a noise like a creaking mast in a
"Oh forgive—forgive," whispered Sir Philip, "this
horrible—necessary outrage. Lean on me, I will conduct you away from
these wretches—a room is prepared for you—Rosa shall attend you —you
are queen here—you command us all. Forgive—forgive—and fear nothing.
I will not remove your skreen till you are beyond the lawless gaze of
these fellows—here, Roslin!" he called, for he still kept up the farce
of Rosa's disguise in the presence of the ship's company, "here,
Roslin!—take the lamp, and follow me."
Rosa obeyed, her bosom heaving with struggling emotions, and her
hand trembling so that she could scarcely hold the lamp. "Bear the
light up, and more steadily, Roslin. Nay, my beloved—adored mistress,
do not falter; hasten forward—in one minute more we shall be below, in
your own domain, where you may admit or exclude me at pleasure. Do not
struggle thus— you have driven me to this violence—you must forgive
the madness you have caused. I am your slave for life."
They had just passed down the steps that served as a companion way,
when Sir Philip observed on his right hand, an uncovered barrel of
gun-powder. It had been left in this exposed situation by a careless
fellow, entrusted with the preparation of the fire arms for the
expedition to the town. "Have a care," cried Sir Philip to Rosa, who
was just coming down the stairs; "stay where you are—do not approach
that gunpowder with the light." He heard a footstep above. "Here,
friend," he called, "lend us a hand; come down and cover this powder.
We cannot discretely move an inch." The footsteps ceased, but there was
no reply to the call. "I cannotleave Miss Leslie," continued Sir
Philip, "she leans on me as if she were fainting. Set down your lamp,
Rosa, and come yourself, and cover the barrel."
Rosa did not set down the lamp, but moved forward one or two steps
with it in her hand, and then paused. She seemed revolving some
dreadful purpose in her mind. Her eyes glanced wildly from Sir Philip
to his helpless victim—then she groaned aloud, and pressed her hand
upon her head as if it were bursting.
Sir Philip did not observe her—he was intent upon his companion.
"She is certainly fainting," he said, "it is the close air and this
cursed shawl." He attempted to remove it, but the knot by which it was
tied baffled his skill, and he again shouted to Rosa, "Why do you not
obey me? Miss Leslie is suffocating—set down the lamp, I say, and call
assistance. Damnation!" he screamed, "what means the girl?" as Rosa
made one desperate leap forward, and shrieking, "it cannot be worse for
any of us!" threw the lamp into the barrel.
The explosion was instantaneous—the hapless, pitiable girl—her
guilty destroyer—his victim—the crew—the vessel, rent to fragments,
were hurled into the air, and soon engulfed in the waves.
"And how soon to the bower she loved, they say,
Returned the maid that was borne away
From Maquon, the fond and the brave."
After Miss Leslie's escape from Oneco on the island, he remained
for some time unconscious of her departure, and entirely absorbed in
his efforts to quicken the energy of reviving life in his father; and
when he discovered that his prisoner had left him, he still deemed her
as certainly within his power on the sea-girt island, as if she had
been enclosed by the walls of a prison. He felt that his father's life
depended on his obtaining an asylum as soon as possible, and he
determined to abandon his plan of going to Narragansett, and instead,
to cross the bay to Moscutusett, the residence of the son and successor
of Chicetabot, an avowed ally of the English, but really, in common
with most of the powerful chiefs, their secret enemy.
If, availing himself of the sheltering twilight of the morning, he
could convey his father safely to the wigwam of his friend, Oneco
believed he might securely remain there for the present. Inthe mean
time, he should himself be at liberty to contrive and attempt the
recovery of his wife. The instrumentality of Hope Leslie might be
important to effect this object, and she also might remain in safe
custody with the Indian chief.
Thus having digested his plans, before the morning dawned, and by
the sufficient light of the moon, he went in quest of his prisoner, but
was destined, as our readers know, to be disappointed.
He encountered Chaddock's crew, much in the situation in which they
were first discovered by Miss Leslie, for after having been baffled in
their pursuit of her, they returned and recomposed themselves to await
the light of day, when they might give a signal to some boat to take
them off the island.
Oneco apprehending that in the prosecution of his search over the
island, he might meet with some straggler from this gang, very
prudently disguised himself in certain of the cast-off garments
belonging to the men, which would enable him to escape, at least,
immediate detection. This disguise, though useless then, proved
afterwards of important service to him.
Compelled by the approach of day to abandon his search, he returned
to his canoe, placed his father in it, and rowed him to Sachem's-head,
where he was kindly received and cherished, though with the utmost
secresy, for the Indians had long ere this been taught, by painful
experience, to guard against the most dispiriting of all dangers—a
danger to which the weak, in the neighbourhood of a powerful and
comparatively rich foe, are always exposed—the treachery of their own
The chief of Moscutusett obtained, from day to day, intelligence of
whatever transpired in Boston; and in this way Mononotto was apprised
of the imprisonment and probable fate of Magawisca. This was the last
drop in his cup of bitterness; worse, far worse, than to have borne on
his body the severest tortures ever devised by human cruelty. Magawisca
had obtained an ascendency over her father's mind by her extraordinary
gifts and superior knowledge. He loved her as his child—he venerated
her as an inspired being. He might have endured to have had her cut off
by the chances of war, but to have her arraigned before the tribunal of
his enemies, as amenable to their laws—to have her die by the hands of
the executioner, as one of their own felon subjects, pierced his
national pride as well as his affection, and he resigned himself to
overwhelming grief. Oneco sorrowed for himself, and he sorrowed for the
old man's tears, but he felt nothing very deeply but the loss of his
All his ingenuity was employed to devise the means of her escape.
After having painted his face, hands, and legs, so as effectually to
conceal his tawny hue, he appeared a foreignsailor, in Madam Winthrop's
parlour. All succeeded better than his most sanguine expectations. He
contrived to give every necessary hint to Faith Leslie; and so happily
veiled his language by his indistinct and rapid utterance, that
Governor Winthrop, familiar as he was with the sound of the Indian
dialects, did not suspect him. The family retired immediately after
their evening devotions: he laid himself down on the bed that had been
hospitably spread for him, and soon feigned himself asleep. He watched
the servants make their last preparations for bed—the lights were
extinguished, and the fire raked up, though enough still glimmered
through the ashes, to afford him a competent light when he should need
it. The menials withdrew—their footsteps had hardly ceased to vibrate
on his ear, when his wife, impatient of any further delay, stole from
her aunt's side, threw on her dress, and with the light bounding tread
of a fawn, passed down the stairs, through the hall, and into the
kitchen. Oneco started up, and in a transport of joy would have locked
her in his arms, when Jennet—Jennet, our evil genius, appeared. She,
like some other disagreeable people, seemed to be gifted with ubiquity,
and always to be present where happiness was to be interrupted, or
mischief to be done.
She stood for an instant, her hands uplifted in silent amazement,
hesitating whether to alarm the family with her outcries, or more
quietly to give them notice of the character of their guest.Oneco put a
sudden end to her deliberations. He first darted to the door and closed
it; then drew a knife from his bosom, and pointing it at Jennet's
heart, he told her in very bad English, but plainly interpreted by his
action, that if she moved or uttered a sound, his knife should taste
Jennet saw determination in his aspect, and she stood as still as
if she were paralyzed or transfixed, while Oneco proceeded to tell her,
that to make all sure, she should go with him to his canoe. He bade her
calm her fears, for then he would release her, provided that in the
mean time, she made no effort, by voice or movement, to release
There was no alternative, but she did beg to be allowed to go to
her room to get her bonnet and shawl. Oneco smiled deridingly at the
weak artifice by which she hoped to elude him; but deigning no other
reply to it, he caught a shawl which hung over a chair, threw it over
her, and without any further delay, compelled her to follow him.
Oneco took care to avoid the danger, slight though it was, of
encountering any passengers, by directing his way through an
unfrequented part of the town. Impatience to be beyond the bounds of
danger, and the joy of escape and reunion, seemed to lend wings to
Jennet's companions, while she followed breathless and panting, enraged
at her compelled attendance, and almostbursting with spite, to which
she could not give its natural vent by its customary outlet the tongue,
the safety-valve of many a vexed spirit.
They had arrived very near to the cove where Oneco had moored his
canoe. He good naturedly pointed towards it, and told Jennet that there
she should be released. But the hope of release by a mode much more
satisfactory to her feelings, inasmuch as it would involve her
companions in danger, had dawned on Jennet. She had just perceived some
men, (how many she could not tell, for the night was then dark) who
were, unobserved by Oneco, stealing towards them. She withdrew a few
inches, as far as she dared from his side, lest he should execute
sudden vengeance with the weapon which he still held in his hand. Her
conjectures were now converted to certainty, and she already mentally
exulted in the retaliation she should inflict on her companions, but
"Esser vicino al lido
Molti fra naufragar;"
or, to express the same truth by our vernacular adage,—"There's
many a slip between the cup and the lip." The men did approach, even to
her side, and without listening to her protestations of who she was,
and who her companions were— without even hearing them, they seized on
her, and suffering the other parties to escape without any annoyance,
they bound her shawl over her head and face, and as our readers have
already anticipated, conveyed her to that awful destiny, which she had
herself indirectly prepared.
It may excite some surprise that Chaddock, forewarned as he had
been, that the lady whom he was to intercept would have no male
attendant, should not have hesitated when he saw Oneco. But that may be
explained by Oneco wearing the dress of the ship's crew, and the
natural conclusion on Chaddock's part, that Antonio, whom he had left
in the boat, had come on shore, and probably just joined these females.
Chaddock's only care was, to select the shortest of the two women, and
obscure as the night was, their relative height was apparent.
"Basta cosi t'intendo
Già ti spiegasti a pieno;
E mi diresti meno
Se mi dicessi più."
We trust we have not exhausted the patience of our readers, and
that they will vouchsafe to go forth with us once more, on the eventful
evening on which we have fallen, to watch the safe conduct of the
The fugitives had not proceeded many yards from the jail, when
Everell joined them. This was the first occasion on which Magawisca and
Everell had had an opportunity freely to interchange their feelings.
Everell's tongue faltered when he would have expressed what he had felt
for her: his manly, generous nature, disdained vulgar professions, and
he feared that his ineffectual efforts in her behalf had left him
without any other testimony of the constancy of his friendship, and the
warmth of his gratitude.
Magawisca comprehended his feelings, and anticipated their
expression. She related the scene with Sir Philip, in the prison; and
dwelt long on her knowledge of the attempt Everell then madeto rescue
her. "That bad man," she said, "made me, for the first time, lament for
my lost limb. He darkened the clouds that were gathering over my soul;
and, for a little while, Everell, I did deem thee like most of thy
race, on whom kindness falls like drops of rain on the lake, dimpling
its surface for a moment, but leaving no mark there— but when I found
thou wert true," she continued in a swelling, exulting voice—"when I
heard thee in my prison, and saw thee on my trial, I again rejoiced
that I had sacrificed my precious limb for thee; that I had worn away
the days and nights in the solitudes of the forest musing on the memory
of thee, and counting the moons till the Great Spirit shall bid us to
those regions where there will be no more gulfs between us, and I may
hail thee as my brother."
"And why not now, Magawisca, regard me as your brother? True,
neither time nor distance can sever the bonds by which our souls are
united, but why not enjoy this friendship while youth, and as long as
life lasts? Nay, hear me, Magawisca —the present difference of the
English with the Indians, is but a vapour that has, even now, nearly
passed away. Go, for a short time, where you may be concealed from
those who are not yet prepared to do you justice, and then—I will
answer for it—every heart and every voice will unite to recall you;
you shall be welcomed with the honour due to you from all, and always
cherished with the devotion due from us."
"Oh! do not hesitate, Magawisca," cried Hope, who had, till now,
been only a listener to the conversation in which she took a deep
interest. "Promise us that you will return and dwell with us—as you
would say, Magawisca, we will walk in the same path, the same joys
shall shine on us, and, if need be that sorrows come over us, why, we
will all sit under their shadow together."
"It cannot be—it cannot be," replied Magawisca, the persuasions of
those she loved, not, for a moment, overcoming her deep invincible
sense of the wrongs her injured race had sustained. "My people have
been spoiled—we cannot take as a gift that which is our own—the law
of vengeance is written on our hearts—you say you have a written rule
of forgiveness—it may be better—if ye would be guided by it—it is
not for us—the Indian and the white man can no more mingle, and become
one, than day and night."
Everell and Hope would have interrupted her with further entreaties
and arguments: "Touch no more on that," she said, "we must part—and
for ever." Her voice faltered for the first time, and, turning from her
own fate to what appeared to her the bright destiny of her companions,
"my spirit will joy in the thought," she said, "that you are dwelling
in love and happiness together. Nelema told me your souls were
mated—she said your affections mingled like streams from thesame
fountain. Oh! may the chains by which He, who sent you from the spirit
land, bound you together, grow brighter and stronger till you return
She paused—neither of her companions spoke —neither could
speak—and, naturally, misinterpreting their silence, "have I passed
your bound of modesty," she said, "in speaking to the maiden as if she
were a wife?"
"Oh, no, Magawisca," said Everell, feeling a strange and
undefinable pleasure in an illusion, which, though he could not for an
instant participate, he would not for the world have dissipated—"oh,
no, do not check one expression, one word, they are your last to us."
'And may not the last words of a friend, be, like the sayings of a
death-bed, prophetic?' he would have added, but his lips refused to
utter what he felt was the treachery of his heart.
To Hope it seemed that too much had already been spoken. She could
be prudent when any thing but ner own safety depended on her
discretion. Before Magawisca could reply to Everell, she gave a turn to
the conversation: "Ere we part, Magawisca," she said, "cannot you give
me some charm, by which I may win my sister's affections? she is
wasting away with grief and pining."
"Ask your own heart, Hope Leslie, if any charm could win your
affections from Everell Fletcher?"
She paused for a reply. The gulf from which Hope had retreated,
seemed to be widening before her, but, summoning all her courage, she
answered with a tolerably firm voice, "yes—yes, Magawisca, if virtue,
if duty to others required it, I trust in heaven I could command and
direct my affections."
We hope Everell may be forgiven, for the joy that gushed through
his heart when Hope expressed a confidence in her own strength, which
at least implied a consciousness that she needed it. Nature will
rejoice in reciprocated love, under whatever adversities it comes.
Magawisca replied to Hope's apparent meaning: "Both virtue and
duty," she said, "bind your sister to Oneco. She hath been married
according to our simple modes, and persuaded by a Romish father, as she
came from Christian blood, to observe the rites of their law. When she
flies from you, as she will, mourn not over her, Hope Leslie—the wild
flower would perish in your gardens—the forest is like a native home
to her—and she will sing as gaily again as the bird that hath found
They now approached the place where Digby, with a trusty friend,
was awaiting them. A light canoe had been provided, and Digby had his
instructions from Everell to convey Magawisca to any place she might
herself select. The good fellow had entered into the confederacy with
hearty good will, giving, as a reason for his obedience tothe impulse
of his heart, 'that the poor Indian girl could not commit sins enough
against the English to weigh down her good deed to Mr. Everell.'
Everell now inquired of Magawisca whither he should direct the
boat: "To Moscutusett," she said; "I shall there get tidings, at least,
of my father."
"And must we now part, Magawisca? must we live without you?"
"Oh! no, no" cried Hope, joining her entreaties, "your noble mind
must not be wasted in those hideous solitudes."
"Solitudes!" echoed Magawisca, in a voice in which some pride
mingled with her parting sadness. "Hope Leslie, there is no solitude to
me; the Great Spirit, and his ministers, are every where present and
visible to the eye of the soul that loves him; nature is but his
interpreter; her forms are but bodies for his spirit. I hear him in the
rushing winds—in the summer breeze—in the gushing fountains—in the
softly running streams. I see him in the bursting life of spring—in
the ripening maize—in the falling leaf. Those beautiful lights," and
she pointed upward, "that shine alike on your stately domes and our
forest homes, speak to me of his love to all,—think you I go to a
solitude, Hope Leslie?"
"No, Magawisca; there is no solitude, nor privation, nor sorrow, to
a soul that thus feels the presence of God," replied Hope. She
paused—it was not a time for calm reflection or protracted
solicitation; but the thought that a mind so disposed to religious
impressions and affections, might enjoy the brighter light of Christian
revelation—a revelation so much higher, nobler, and fuller, than that
which proceeds from the voice of nature—made Hope feel a more intense
desire than ever to retain Magawisca; but this was a motive Magawisca
could not now appreciate, and she could not, therefore, urge: "I cannot
ask you," she said, "I do not ask you, for your sake, but for ours, to
return to us."
"Oh! yes, Magawisca," urged Everell, "come back to us and teach us
to be happy, as you are, without human help or agency."
"Ah!" she replied, with a faint smile, "ye need not the lesson, ye
will each be to the other a full stream of happiness. May it be fed
from the fountain of love, and grow broader and deeper through all the
passage of life."
The picture Magawisca presented, was, in the minds of the lovers,
too painfully contrasted with the real state of their affairs. Both
felt their emotions were beyond their control; both silently appealed
to heaven to aid them in repressing feelings that might not be
Hope naturally sought relief in action: she took a morocco case
from her pocket, and drew from it a rich gold chain, with a clasp
containing hair, and set round with precious stones: "Magawisca," she
said, with as much steadiness of voice as she could assume, "take this
token with you, it will serve as a memorial of us both, for I have put
in the clasp a lock of Everell's hair, taken from his head when he was
a boy, at Bethel—it will remind you of your happiest days there."
Magawisca took the chain, and held it in her hand a moment, as if
deliberating. "This is beautiful," she said, "and would, when I am far
away from thee, speak sweetly to me of thy kindness, Hope Leslie. But I
would rather—if I could demean myself to be a beggar"—she hesitated,
and then added, "I wrong thy generous nature in fearing thus to speak;
I know thou wilt freely give me the image when thou hast the living
Before she had finished, Hope's quick apprehension had comprehended
her meaning. Immediately after Everell's arrival in England, he had, at
his father's desire, had a small miniature of himself painted, and sent
to Hope. She attached it to a ribbon, and had always worn it. Soon
after Everell's engagement to Miss Downing, she took it off to put it
aside, but feeling, at the moment, that this action implied a
consciousness of weakness, she, with a mixed feeling of pride, and
reluctance to part with it, restored it to her bosom. While she was
adjusting Magawisca's disguise in the prison, the miniature slid from
beneath her dress, and she, at the time, observed that Magawisca's eye
rested intently on it. She must not now hesitate—Everell must not
seeher reluctance, and yet, such are the strange contrarieties of human
feeling, the severest pang she felt in parting with it, was the fear
that Everell would think it was a willing gift. Hoping to shelter all
her feelings in the haste of the action, she took the miniature from
her own neck, and tied it around Magawisca's. "You have but reminded me
of my duty," she said; "nay, keep them both, Magawisca, do not stint
the little kindness I can show you."
Digby had at this moment come up to urge no more delay; and we
leave to others to adjust the proportions of emotion that were
indicated by Hope's faltering voice, and an irrepressible burst of
tears, between her grief at parting, and other and secret feelings.
All stood as if they were rivetted to the ground, till Digby again
spoke, and suggested the danger to which Magawisca was exposed by this
delay. All felt the necessity of immediate separation, and all shrunk
from it as from witnessing the last gasp of life. They moved to the
water's edge, and, once more prompted by Digby, Everell and Hope, in
broken voices, expressed their last wishes and prayers. Magawisca
joined their hands, and bowing her head on them,—"The Great Spirit
guide ye," she said, and then turning away, leaped into the boat,
muffled her face in her mantle, and in a few brief moments disappeared
for ever from their sight.
Everell and Hope remained immoveable, gazingon the little boat till
it faded in the dim distance; for a few moments, every feeling for
themselves was lost in the grief of parting for ever from the admirable
being, who seemed to her enthusiastic young friends, one of the noblest
of the works of God—a bright witness to the beauty, the independence,
and the immortality of virtue. They breathed their silent prayers for
her; and when their thoughts returned to themselves, though they gave
them no expression, there was a consciousness of perfect unity of
feeling, a joy in the sympathy that was consecrated by its object, and
might be innocently indulged, that was a delicious spell to their
Strong as the temptation was, they both felt the impropriety of
lingering where they were, and they bent their slow, unwilling
footsteps homeward. Not one word during the long protracted walk was
spoken by either; but no language could have been so expressive of
their mutual love and mutual resolution, as this silence. They both
afterwards confessed, that though they had never felt so deeply as at
that moment, the bitterness of their divided destiny, yet neither had
they before known the worth of those principles of virtue, that can
subdue the strongest passions to their obedience. An experience worth a
As they approached Governor Winthrop's, they observed that instead
of the profound darknessand silence that usually reigned in that
exemplary mansion at eleven o'clock, the house seemed to be in great
bustle. The doors were open, and they heard loud voices, and lights
were swiftly passing from room to room. Hope inferred, that
notwithstanding her precautions, the apprehensions of the family had
probably been excited in regard to her untimely absence, and she passed
the little distance that remained with dutiful haste. Everell attended
her to the gate of the court, and pressing her hand to his lips, with
an emotion that he felt he might indulge for the last time, he left her
and went, according to a previous determination, to Barnaby Tuttle's,
where, by a surrender of himself to the jailer's custody, he expected
to relieve poor Cradock from his involuntary confinement.
"Quelque rare que soit le véritable amour il l'est encore moins que
la véritable amitié."
Hope Leslie met Mr. Fletcher at the threshold of the door. He was
sallying forth with hasty steps and disordered looks. He started at the
sight of her, and then clasping her in his arms, exclaimed, "My child!
my child! my precious child!"
At the sound of his voice the whole family rushed from the parlour.
"Praised be the Lord for thy deliverance, Hope Leslie," cried Governor
Winthrop, clasping his hands with astonishment. Mrs. Grafton gave vent
to her feelings in hysterical sobbings, and inarticulate murmurs of
joy. Madam Winthrop said,—"I thought it was impossible—I told you the
Lord would be better to you than your fears:" and Esther Downing
embraced her friend with deep emotion, whispering as she did so, "the
Lord is ever better to us than our fears, or our deservings."
It was obvious to our heroine, that all this excitement and
overflowing of tenderness could not be occasioned merely by her
unseasonable absence, and she begged to know what had caused so much
The Governor was beginning, in his official manner, a formal
statement, when, as if the agitations of this eventful evening were
never to end, the explosion of Chaddock's vessel broke in upon their
returning tranquillity, and spread a panic through the town of Boston.
The occurrence of the accident, at this particular moment, was
fortunate for Magawisca, as it prevented a premature discovery of her
escape; a discovery by which the Governor would have felt himself
obliged to take measures for her recapture, that might then have proved
effectual. The explosion of course withdrew his attention from all
other subjects, and both he and Mr. Fletcher went out to ascertain
whence it had proceeded, and what ill consequences had ensued.
In the mean time, Hope learned the following particulars from the
ladies. The family had retired to bed at the accustomed time, and about
half an hour before her return, were alarmed by a violent knocking at
the outer door. The servant first awakened let in a stranger, who
demanded an immediate audience of the Governor, concerning matters of
life and death. The stranger proved to be Antonio, and his
communication, the conspiracy with which our readers are well
acquainted, or rather, as much of it as had fallen within the knowledge
of the subordinate agents. Antonio declared, that having within the
harbour of Boston been favoured with an extraordinaryvisitation from
his tutelar saint, who had vouchsafed to warn him against his sinful
comrades, he had determined from the first, that he would, if possible,
prevent the wicked designs of the conspirators; and for that purpose,
had solicited to be among the number who were sent on shore, intending
to give notice to the Governor, in time for him to counteract the
wicked project: he averred that after quitting the boat, he had heard
the screams of the unhappy girl, when she was seized by the sailors; he
had been spurred to all possible haste, but unhappily, ignorant of the
town, he had strayed out of his way in coming from the cove, and
finally, had found it almost impossible to rouse any of the sleeping
inhabitants to guide him to the Governor's.
Antonio knew the name of the author of this guilty project to be
Sir Philip Gardiner, and its victim, Miss Leslie. These names were
fearful hints to the Governor, and had prevented his listening with
utter incredulity to the tale of the stranger. As the easiest means of
obtaining its confirmation or refutation, a messenger was despatched to
Sir Philip's lodgings, who almost instantly returned with the
intelligence, that he, his page, and baggage, had clandestinely
disappeared during the evening. This was a frightful coincidence; and
while the Governor's orders that all the family should be called were
executing, he made one further investigation.
He recollected the packet of letters which Rosahad given to her
master during the trial. Sir Philip had laid them on the table, and
forgetting them in the confusion that followed, the Governor had taken
possession of them, intending to restore them at the first opportunity.
He felt himself now, not only authorised to break the seals, but
compelled to that discourtesy. The letters were from a confidential
correspondent, and proved, beyond a doubt, that Sir Philip had formerly
been the protegé, and ally of Thomas Morton, the old political enemy of
the colony; that he was a Roman catholic; of course, that the Governor
and his friends had been duped by his religious pretensions; and in
short, that he was an utter profligate, who regarded neither the laws
of God nor man.
And into the power of this wretch the friends of Miss Leslie were
left, for a few agonizing moments, to believe she had fallen; and their
joy at her appearance was, as may be believed, commensurate with their
Some of the minor incidents of the evening now transpired. One of
the servants reported that the young sailor had disappeared; and Mrs.
Grafton suddenly recollected to have observed that Faith Leslie was not
with her when she was awakened, a circumstance she had overlooked in
her subsequent agitation. By a single clew an intricate maze may be
threaded. Madam Winthrop now recalled Faith Leslie's emotion at the
first sound of the sailor's voice, and the ladies soon arrivedat the
right conclusion, that he was in reality Oneco, and that they had
effected their escape together. Jennet (if Jennet had survived to hear
it, she never would have believed the tale,) the only actual sufferer,
was the only one neither missed nor inquired for. Good Master Cradock
was not forgotten; but his friends were satisfied with Miss Leslie's
assurance that he was safe, and would, probably, not return before the
The final departure of her sister cost Hope many regrets and tears.
But an inevitable event, of such a nature, cannot seriously disturb the
happiness of life. There had been nothing in the intercourse of the
sisters to excite Hope's affections. Faith had been spiritless,
woe-begone— a soulless body—and had repelled, with sullen
indifference, all Hope's efforts to win her love. Indeed, she looked
upon the attentions of her English friends but as a continuation of the
unjust force by which they had severed her from all she held dear. Her
marriage, solemnized as it had been by prescribed Christian rites,
would probably have been considered by her guardian, and his friends,
as invalidated by her extreme youth, and the circumstances which had
led to the union. But Hope took a more youthful, romantic, and,
perhaps, natural view of the affair; and the suggestions of Magawisca,
combining with the dictates of her own heart, produced the conclusion
thatthis was a case where 'God had joined together, and man might not
All proper (though it may be not very vigorous) measures were taken
by Governor Winthrop, on the following day, to discover the retreat of
the fugitives; but the secret was faithfully kept while necessary to
The return of his children, and, above all, of Magawisca, seemed to
work miracles on their old father: his health and strength were
renewed, and, for a while, he forgot, in the powerful influence of her
presence, his wrongs and sorrows. He would not hazard the safety of his
protector, and that of his own family, by lingering a single day in the
vicinity of his enemies.
Before the dawn of the next morning, this little remnant of the
Pequod race, a name at which, but a few years before, all within the
bounds of the New-England colonies—all, English and Indians, 'grew
pale,' began their pilgrimage to the far western forests. That which
remains untold of their story, is lost in the deep, voiceless obscurity
of those unknown regions.
The terrors her friends had suffered, on account of our heroine,
induced them to overlook every thing but the joy of her safety. She was
permitted to retire with Esther to their own apartment, without any
inquisition being made into the cause of her extraordinary absence.
Even her friend, when they were alone together, made no allusion to it,
and Hope rightly concluded thatshe was satisfied with her own
conjectures as to its object.
Hope could scarcely refrain from indulging the natural frankness of
her temper, by disclosing, unsolicited, the particulars of her
successful enterprise; and she only checked the inclinations of her
heart from the apprehension that Esther might deem it her duty to
extend her knowledge to her uncle, and thus Magawisca might be again
endangered. 'She certainly conjectures how it is,' thought Hope, making
her own mental comments on Esther's forbearance; 'and yet she does not
indicate the least displeasure at my having combined with Everell to
render the delightful service that her severe conscience would not
allow her to perform.' 'She never spoke to me with more tenderness—how
could I ever suspect her of jealousy, or distrust?—she is incapable of
either—she is angelic—far, far more deserving of Everell than I am.'
At this last thought, a half stifled, but audible, sigh escaped
her, and reached her friend's ear. Their eyes met. A deep, scorching
blush suffused Hope's cheeks, brow, and neck. Esther's face beamed with
ineffable sweetness and serenity. She looked as a mortal can look only
when the world and its temptations are trampled beneath the feet, and
the eye is calmly, steadily, immovably fixed on heaven. She folded Hope
in her arms, and pressed her fondly to her heart, but not a word, tear,
or sigh escaped her. Her soulwas composed to a profound stillness,
incapable of being disturbed by her friend's tears and sobs, the
involuntary expression of her agitated, confused, and irrepressible
Hope turned away from Esther, and crept into her bed; feeling, like
a condemned culprit, selfcondemned. It seemed to her that a charm had
been wrought on her; a sudden illumination had flashed from her
friend's face into the most secret recesses of her heart, and
exposed—this was her most distressful apprehension—to Esther's eye,
feelings whose existence, till thus revealed to another, (and the last
person in the world to whom they should be revealed,) she had only, and
reluctantly, acknowledged to herself.
Deeply mortified and humbled, she remained wakeful, weeping and
lamenting this sudden exposure of emotions that she feared could never
be explained or forgotten, long after her friend had encircled her in
her arms, and fallen into a sweet and profound sleep.
We must leave the apartment of the generous and involuntary rivals,
to repair to the parlour, where Governor Winthrop, after having
ascertained that Chaddock's vessel had been blown up by the explosion,
was listening to Barnaby Tuttle's relation of the transaction at the
The simple jailer, on learning from Everell's confessions how he
had been cajoled, declined increasing his responsibilities by making
the exchange Everell proposed, but very readily acceded to his next
proposition, namely, that he should be permitted to share the
imprisonment of Cradock. On entering the dungeon, they found the good
old man sleeping as soundly on Magawisca's pallet, as if he were in his
own apartment; and Everell rejoicing that he had suffered so little, in
the good cause to which it had been necessary to make him accessory,
and exulting in the success of his enterprise, took possession of his
dark and miserable cell, with feelings that he would not have bartered
for those of a conqueror mounting his triumphal car.
Barnaby had a natural feeling of vexation at having been outwitted
by Hope Leslie's stratagems; but it was a transient emotion, and not
strong enough to check the habitual current of his gratitude and
affection for her, nor did it at all enter into his relation of the
facts to the Governor. On the contrary, his natural kind-heartedness
rendered the statement favourable towards all parties.
He did not mention Magawisca's name without a parenthesis,
containing some commendation of her deportment in the prison. He spoke
of Hope Leslie, as the "thoughtless child," or, the "feeling young
creature." Master Cradock was, "the poor witless old gentleman;" and
"for Mr. Everell, it was not within the bounds of human nature, in his
peculiar case, not to feel as he did; and as to himself, he was but an
old dotard, ill fitted to keep bars and bolts, when a child—theLord
and the Governor forgive her!—could guide him with a wisp of straw."
Nothing was further from Barnaby Tuttle's thoughts, than any
endeavour to blind or pervert a ruler's judgment; but the Governor
found something infectious in his artless humanity. Besides, he had one
good, sufficient, and state reason for extenuating the offence of the
young conspirators, and of this he made a broad canopy to shelter his
secret and kind dispositions towards them. A messenger had that day
arrived, from the chief of the Narragansetts, with the information that
a war had broken out between Miantunnomoh and Uncas, and an earnest
solicitation that the English would not interfere with their domestic
To our ancestors, it appeared their melancholy policy to promote,
rather than to allay these feuds among the tribes; and a war between
these rival and powerful chieftains assured, while it lasted, the
safety of the English settlements. It became, therefore, very important
to avoid any act that might provoke the universal Indian sentiment
against the English, and induce them to forego their civil quarrel, and
combine against the common enemy. This would be the probable effect of
the condemnation of the Pequod girl, whose cause had been espoused by
several of the tribes: still, on a further investigation of her case,
the laws might require her condemnation—andthe puritans held firmly to
the principle, that good must be done, though evil ensue.
Governor Winthrop perceived that Magawisca's escape relieved them
from much and dangerous perplexity; and though Everell Fletcher's
interposition had been unlawful and indecorous, yet, as Providence had
made him the instrument of certain good, he thought his offence might
be pardoned by his associates in authority.
He dismissed Barnaby, with an order to appear before him with his
prisoners, at six o'clock the following morning. At that hour he
assembled together such of the magistrates and deputies as were in
Boston, deeming it, as he said, proper to give them the earliest notice
of the various important circumstances that had occurred since the
morning of the preceding day.
He opened the meeting with a communication of the important
intelligence received from the Narragansett chief; intimated the
politic uses to which the wisdom of his brethren might apply it; then,
after some general observations on the imperfection of human wisdom,
disclosed at full the iniquitous character and conduct of Sir Philip
Gardiner; lamented in particular, that he had been grievously deceived
by that crafty son of Belial—and then dwelt on the wonderful
interposition of Providence in behalf of Hope Leslie, which clearly
intimated, as he said, and all his auditors acknowledged, that the
young maiden's life was precious in the sight of the Lord, andwas
preserved for some special purpose. He called their attention to the
light thrown on the testimony of Sir Philip against the Indian prisoner
by his real character—and last of all, he communicated the escape of
Magawisca, and the means by which it had been accomplished, with this
comment simply, that it had pleased the Lord to bring about great good
to the land by the rash act of two young persons, who seemed to have
been wrought upon by feelings natural to youth; and the foolishness of
an old man, whose original modicum of sense was greatly diminished by
age, and excess of useless learning; for, he said, Master Cradock not
only wrote Greek and Latin, and talked Hebrew like the Rev. Mr. Cotton,
but he was skilled in Arabic, and the modern tongues.
The Governor then proceeded to give many and plausible reasons,
with the detail of which it is not necessary to weary the patience of
our readers, why this case, in the absence of a precise law, should be
put under the government of mercy. His associates lent a favourable ear
to these suggestions. Most of them considered the offence very much
alleviated by the youth of the two principal parties, and the strong
motives that actuated them. Some of the magistrates were warm friends
of the elder Fletcher, and all of them might have been quickened in
their decision, by the approach of the breakfast hour; for as modern
philosophy has discovered, the mind and sensibilities are much under
the dominion of these periodical returns of the hours of refection.
The conclusion of the whole matter was, that Miss Leslie and Master
Cradock should receive a private admonition from the Governor, and a
free pardon; and that Mr. Everell Fletcher should be restored to
liberty, on condition that, at the next sitting of the court, he
appeared in the prisoner's bar, to receive a public censure, and be
admonished as to his future carriage. To this sentence Everell
submitted at the proper time, with due humility, and a very becoming,
and, as said the elders, edifying modesty.
Throughout the whole affair, Governor Winthrop manifested those
dispositions to clemency, which were so beautifully illustrated by one
of the last circumstances of his life, when being, as is reported of
him, upon his death-bed, Mr. Dudley pressed him to sign an order of
banishment of an heterodox person, he refused, saying,—"I have done
too much of that work already."
Everell and Master Cradock, who had awaited in an adjoining
apartment the result of these deliberations, were now informed of the
merciful decision of their judges, and summoned to take their places at
the breakfast-table. While all this business was transpiring, Hope
Leslie, wearied by the fatigues, agitations, and protracted vigil of
the preceding night, was sleeping most profoundly. She awoke with a
confused sense of her last anxious waking thoughts, and naturallyturned
to look for Esther, but Esther had already risen. This excited no
surprise, for it must be confessed that our heroine was often
anticipated in early-rising, as in other severe duties, by her friend.
Admonished by a broad sun-beam that streamed aslant her apartment, that
she had already trespassed on the family breakfast hour, she rose, and
despatched her toilet duties. Her mind was still intent on Esther, and
suddenly she missed some familiar objects: Esther's morocco
dressing-case and Bible, that always laid at hand on the
dressing-table. Hope was at that moment adjusting her hair; she dropped
her comb—cast a hasty survey around the room. Esther's trunks,
bandboxes, every article belonging to her had disappeared. "What could
this mean?" Some solution of the mystery might have dawned from the
recollections of the preceding night, but impatient for a full
explanation, she seized her whistle, opened the door, and blew for
Jennet, till its shrill notes had penetrated every recess of the house.
But no Jennet appeared; and without waiting to adjust her hair, which
she had left in what is called disorder, but according to the natural
and beautiful order of nature, and with a flushed cheek and beating
heart she hastily descended to the parlor, and dispensing with the
customary morning salutations, eagerly demanded—"Where is Esther?"
The family were all assembled at the breakfast-table. Her sudden
appearance producedan apparent sensation—every eye turned towards her.
Mrs. Grafton would have impulsively answered her question, but she was
prevented by an intimation from Madam Winthrop. Everell's eye, on
seeing her, flashed a bright intelligent glance, but at her
interrogatory it fell, and then turned on Madam Winthrop inquiringly,
indicating that he now, for the first time, perceived that there was
something extraordinary in the absence of her niece.
Hope still stood with the door half open, her emotions in no degree
tranquillized by the reception of her inquiry.
Governor Winthrop turned to her with his usual ceremony. "Good
morning, Miss Hope Leslie— be good enough to close the door—the wind
is easterly this morning. You are somewhat tardy, but we know you have
abundant reason; take your seat, my child—apologies are unnecessary."
Madam Winthrop beckoned to Hope to take a chair next her, and Hope
moved to the table mechanically, feeling as if she had been paralyzed
by some gorgon influence. Her question was not even adverted to—no
allusion was made to Esther. Hope observed that Madam Winthrop's eyes
were red with weeping, and she also observed that in offering the
little civilities of the table, she addressed her in a voice of unusual
She dared not look again at Everell, whose unexpected release from
confinement would, at any other time, have fully occupied her thoughts;
and her perplexity was rather increased by seeing her guardian's eyes
repeatedly fill with tears while they rested on her with even more than
their usual fondness.
Impatient, and embarrassed as she was, it seemed to her the
breakfast would never end; and she was in despair when her aunt asked
for her third, and her fourth cup of chocolate, and when the dismissal
of the table awaited old Cradock's discussion of a replenished plate of
fish, from which he painfully and patiently abstracted the bones. But
all finite operations have their period—the breakfast did end, the
company rose, and all left the parlour, one after another, save the two
Fletchers, Madam Winthrop, and our heroine.
Hope would have followed her aunt—any further delay seemed
insupportable, but Madam Winthrop took her hand, and detained her.—
"Stay, my young friend," she said, "I have an important communication
which could not be suitably made till this moment." She took a sealed
letter from her pocket. "Nay, Hope Leslie, grow not so suddenly pale,
no blame is attached to thee—nor to thee, Mr. Everell Fletcher, who
art even more deeply concerned in this matter. Both the Governor and
myself have duly weighed all the circumstances, and have mostheartily
approved of that which she hath done, who near and dear as she is to us
in the flesh, is still nearer and dearer by those precious gifts and
graces that do so far exalt her (I would offend none present,) above
all other maidens. Truly, "if many do virtuously," Esther "excelleth
Hope was obliged to lean against the wall for support. The elder
Fletcher looked earnestly at Madam Winthrop, as if he would have said—
"for Heaven's sake do not protract this scene." Perhaps she understood
his glance—perhaps she took counsel from her own womanly feelings.—
"This letter, my young friends," she said, "is addressed to you both,
and it was my niece's request that you should read it at the same
Madam Winthrop kindly withdrew. Everell broke the seal, and both he
and Hope, complying faithfully with Miss Downing's injunction, read
together, to the very last word, the letter that follows:
"To my dear and kind friends, Everell Fletcher and Hope Leslie.
"When you read these lines, the only bar to your earthly happiness
will be removed. With the advice and consent of my honoured uncle and
aunt, I have taken passage in the "Lion," which, as you know, is on the
eve of sailing for London. With God's blessing on my present purposes,
Ishall remain there, with my father, till he has closed his affairs in
the old world, and then come hither again.
"Do not think, my dear friends, I am fleeing away, because, as
matters stand between us, I cannot abide to stay here. For your sakes,
for I would not give you needless pain, I go for a little while. For
myself, I have contentment of mind. It hath pleased God to give me
glimpses of christian happiness, the foundations of which are not laid
on the earth, and therefore cannot be removed or jostled by any of the
cross accidents of life.
"There have been some notable errors in the past. We have all
erred, and I most of all. My error hath been exceeding humbling to the
pride of woman; yours, Hope Leslie, was of the nature of your
disposition—rash and generous; and you, Everell, (I speak it not
reproachfully, but as being truth-bound,) have not dealt with gospel
sincerity. I appeal to thine own heart—would it not have been better,
as well as kinder, to have said, "Esther, I do not love thee," than to
have permitted me to follow my silly imaginings, and thereby have
sacrificed my happiness for this world—and thine—and Hope
Leslie's?—for I think, and am sure, you never did me the wrong to
believe I would knowingly have taken thy hand without thy
affections—all of them (at least such measure as may be given to an
earthly friend,)being poor and weak enough to answer to the many calls
"It is fitting, that, having been guided to a safe harbour by the
good providence of God, we should look back—not reproachfully—God
forbid—but with gratitude and humility, on the dark and crooked
passages through which we have passed. Neither our virtue—I speak it
humbly—nor our happiness, have been wrecked. Ye will in no wise wonder
that I speak thus assuredly of your happiness, but, resting your eye on
the past, you might justly deem that, for myself, I have fallen into
the 'foolishness of boasting'—not so. In another strength than mine
own, I have overcome, and am of good cheer, and well assured that, as
the world hath not given me my joy, the world cannot take it away.
"For the rest, I shall ever rejoice that my affections settled on
one worthy of them—one for whom I shall hereafter feel a sister's
love, and one who will not withhold a brother's kindness. And to thee,
my loving—my own sweet and precious Hope Leslie—I resign him. And may
He, who, by his signal providence, hath so wonderfully restored in you
the sundered affections of your parents, knitting, even from your
childish years, your hearts together in love—may He make you his own
dear and faithful children in the Lord.
"Thus—hoping for your immediate union, and worldly
well-being—ever prays your true and devoted friend,
Hope Leslie's tears fell, like rain drops, on her friend's letter;
and when she had finished it, she turned and clasped her arms around
her guardian's neck, and hid her face on his bosom. Feelings for which
words are too poor an expression, kept all parties for some time
silent. To the elder Fletcher it was a moment of happiness that
requited years of suffering. He gave Hope's hand to Everell: "Sainted
mothers!" he said, raising his full eyes to heaven, "look down on your
children, and bless them!" And, truly, celestial spirits might look
with complacency, from their bright spheres, on the pure and perfect
love that united these youthful beings.
Mr. Fletcher withdrew, and we, following his example, must permit
the curtain to fall on this scene, as we hold it a profane intrusion
for any ear to listen to the first confessions of reciprocated, happy
Events have already meted 'fit retribution' to most of the parties
who have figured in our long story. A few particulars remain.
There was one man of Chaddock's crew left alive to tell the tale;
the same whose footsteps, it may be recollected, Sir Philip heard, and
on whom he had vainly called for assistance. This man was lingering to
observe the principal actors in the tragedy, when the explosion took
place, and, with the rest, was blown into the air; but he escaped with
his life, gained the boat, and came, the next day, safely to the shore,
where he related all he knew, to the great relief of the curiosity of
the good people of Boston.
Strict search was, by the Governor's order, made for the bodies of
the unhappy wretches who had been so suddenly sent to their doom.
Jennet's was one of the first found: the shawl that had been bound
over her head still remained, the knot which defied Sir Philip's skill
having also resisted the lashing of the waves. When this screen was
removed, and the body identified, the mystery of her disappearance was
at once explained. "Death wipes out all scores." And even Jennet, dead,
was wrapped in the mantle of charity; but all who had known her living,
mentally confessed that Death could not have been more lenient in
selecting a substitute for the precious life he had menaced.
Poor Rosa's remains were not
"Left to float upon their wat'ry bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind."
Her youth, her wrongs and sufferings, combined with the pleadings
of Hope Leslie, obtained for her the rites of a separate and solemn
burial. Tears, of humility and pity, were shed over her grave; a fit
tribute, from virtuous and tender woman, to a fallen, unhappy sister.
All the bodies of the sufferers were finally recovered, except that
of Sir Philip Gardiner; and the inference of our pious forefathers,
that Satan had seized upon that as his lawful spoil, may not be deemed,
by their skeptical descendants, very unnatural.
We leave it to that large, and most indulgent class of our readers,
the misses in their teens, to adjust, according to their own fancy, the
ceremonial of our heroine's wedding, which took place in due time, to
the joy of her immediate friends, and the entire approbation of all the
inhabitants of Boston, who, in those early times, manifested a friendly
interest in individual concerns, which is said to characterise them to
the present day.
The elder Fletcher remained with his children, and permitted
himself to enjoy, to the full, the happiness which, it was plain,
Providence had prepared for him. The close of his life was as the clear
shining forth of the sun after a stormy and troubled day.
Dame Grafton evinced some mortification at the discovery of the
fallibility of her judgment in relation to Sir Philip Gardiner; but she
soon dubbed him Sir Janus; a name that implied he had two faces, and
her sagacity was not at fault if she judged by the one presented to
her. Her trifling vexation was soon forgotten in her participation in
her niece's felicity, and in her busy preparations for the wedding; and
after that event, she was made so happy by the dutiful care of Hopeand
Everell, that she ceased to regret Old England, till, falling into her
dotage, her entreaties, combining with some other motives, induced them
to visit their mother country, where the old lady died, and was buried
in the tomb of the Leslies, the church burial service being performed
by the bishop of London. Her unconsciousness of this poetic justice
must be regretted by all who respect innocent prejudices.
We hope that class of our readers, above alluded to, will not be
shocked at our heroine's installing Master Cradock as a life-member of
her domestic establishment. We are sure their kind hearts would
reconcile them to this measure if they could know with what fidelity,
and sweetness, and joy to the good man, she performed the promise she
gave in Magawisca's prison, "that she would be a child to his old age.'
If they are still discontented with the arrangement, let them perform
an action of equal kindness, and they will learn from experience that
our heroine had her reward.
Digby never ceased, after the event had verified them, to pride
himself on his own presentiments, and his wife's dreams. A friendship
between him, and Everell and Hope subsisted through their lives, and
descended, a precious legacy, through many generations of their
descendants, fortified by favours, and gratitude, and reciprocal
Barnaby Tuttle, and his timely compliancewith her wishes, were not
forgotten by our heroine. Persuaded by her advice, and enabled by an
annual stipend from her to do so, he retired from his solitary post of
jailer, and passed his old age comfortably with his daughter Ruth,
versifying psalms, and playing with the little Tuttles.
After the passage of two or three years, Miss Downing returned to
New-England, and renewed her intercourse with Everell and Hope, without
any other emotions, on either side, than those which belong to warm and
tender friendship. Her personal loveliness, Christian graces, and the
high rank she held in the colony, rendered her an object of very
Her hand was often and eagerly sought, but she appears never to
have felt a second engrossing attachment. The current of her purposes
and affections had set another way. She illustrated a truth, which, if
more generally received by her sex, might save a vast deal of misery:
that marriage is not essential to the contentment, the dignity, or the
happiness of woman. Indeed, those who saw on how wide a sphere her
kindness shone, how many were made better and happier by her
disinterested devotion, might have rejoiced that she did not
"Give to a party what was meant for mankind."