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´╗┐Title: Margaret Smith's Journal, and Tales and Sketches, Complete - Volume V of The Works of John Greenleaf Whittier
Author: Whittier, John Greenleaf, 1807-1892
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Margaret Smith's Journal, and Tales and Sketches, Complete - Volume V of The Works of John Greenleaf Whittier" ***

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THE WORKS OF JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER, Volume V. (of VII)

MARGARET SMITH'S JOURNAL and  TALES AND SKETCHES


By John Greenleaf Whittier


The intelligent reader of the following record cannot fail to notice
occasional inaccuracies in respect to persons, places, and dates; and,
as a matter of course, will make due allowance for the prevailing
prejudices and errors of the period to which it relates.  That there are
passages indicative of a comparatively recent origin, and calculated to
cast a shade of doubt over the entire narrative, the Editor would be the
last to deny, notwithstanding its general accordance with historical
verities and probabilities.  Its merit consists mainly in the fact that
it presents a tolerably lifelike picture of the Past, and introduces us
familiarly to the hearths and homes of New England in the seventeenth
century.

A full and accurate account of Secretary Rawson and his family is about
to be published by his descendants, to which the reader is referred who
wishes to know more of the personages who figure prominently in this
Journal.

1866.


  MARGARET SMITH'S JOURNAL IN THE PROVINCE OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY, 1678-9

     TALES AND SKETCHES

          MY SUMMER WITH DR. SINGLETARY: A FRAGMENT

          THE LITTLE IRON SOLDIER
          PASSACONAWAY
          THE OPIUM EATER
          THE PROSELYTES
          DAVID MATSON
          THE FISH I DID N'T CATCH
          YANKEE GYPSIES
          THE TRAINING
          THE CITY OF A DAY
          PATUCKET FALLS
          FIRST DAY IN LOWELL
          THE LIGHTING UP
          TAKING COMFORT
          CHARMS AND FAIRY FAITH
          MAGICIANS AND WITCH FOLK
          THE BEAUTIFUL
          THE WORLD'S END
          THE HEROINE OF LONG POINT



MARGARET SMITH'S JOURNAL IN THE PROVINCE OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY 1678-9.


BOSTON, May 8, 1678.

I remember I did promise my kind Cousin Oliver (whom I pray God to have
always in his keeping), when I parted with him nigh unto three months
ago, at mine Uncle Grindall's, that, on coming to this new country,
I would, for his sake and perusal, keep a little journal of whatsoever
did happen both unto myself and unto those with whom I might sojourn;
as also, some account of the country and its marvels, and mine own
cogitations thereon.  So I this day make a beginning of the same;
albeit, as my cousin well knoweth, not from any vanity of authorship,
or because of any undue confiding in my poor ability to edify one justly
held in repute among the learned, but because my heart tells me that
what I write, be it ever so faulty, will be read by the partial eye of
my kinsman, and not with the critical observance of the scholar, and
that his love will not find it difficult to excuse what offends his
clerkly judgment.  And, to embolden me withal, I will never forget that
I am writing for mine old playmate at hide-and-seek in the farm-house at
Hilton,--the same who used to hunt after flowers for me in the spring,
and who did fill my apron with hazel-nuts in the autumn, and who was
then, I fear, little wiser than his still foolish cousin, who, if she
hath not since learned so many new things as himself, hath perhaps
remembered more of the old.  Therefore, without other preface, I will
begin my record.

Of my voyage out I need not write, as I have spoken of it in my letters
already, and it greatly irks me to think of it.  Oh, a very long, dismal
time of sickness and great discomforts, and many sad thoughts of all
I had left behind, and fears of all I was going to meet in the New
England!  I can liken it only to an ugly dream.  When we got at last
to Boston, the sight of the land and trees, albeit they were exceeding
bleak and bare (it being a late season, and nipping cold), was like unto
a vision of a better world.  As we passed the small wooded islands,
which make the bay very pleasant, and entered close upon the town, and
saw the houses; and orchards, and meadows, and the hills beyond covered
with a great growth of wood, my brother, lifting up both of his hands,
cried out, "How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy habitations, O
Israel!"  and for my part I did weep for joy and thankfulness of heart,
that God had brought us safely to so fair a haven.  Uncle and Aunt
Rawson met us on the wharf, and made us very comfortable at their house,
which is about half a mile from the water-side, at the foot of a hill,
with an oaken forest behind it, to shelter it from the north wind, which
is here very piercing.  Uncle is Secretary of the Massachusetts, and
spends a great part of his time in town; and his wife and family are
with him in the winter season, but they spend their summers at his
plantation on the Merrimac River, in Newbury.  His daughter, Rebecca,
is just about my age, very tall and lady-looking; she is like her
brother John, who was at Uncle Hilton's last year.  She hath, moreover,
a pleasant wit, and hath seen much goodly company, being greatly admired
by the young men of family and distinction in the Province.  She hath
been very kind to me, telling me that she looked upon me as a sister.
I have been courteously entertained, moreover, by many of the principal
people, both of the reverend clergy and the magistracy.  Nor must I
forbear to mention a visit which I paid with Uncle and Aunt Rawson at
the house of an aged magistrate of high esteem and influence in these
parts.  He saluted me courteously, and made inquiries concerning our
family, and whether I had been admitted into the Church.  On my telling
him that I had not, he knit his brows, and looked at me very sternly.

"Mr. Rawson," said he, "your niece, I fear me, has much more need of
spiritual adorning than of such gewgaws as these," and took hold of my
lace ruff so hard that I heard the stitches break; and then he pulled
out my sleeves, to see how wide they were, though they were only half an
ell.  Madam ventured to speak a word to encourage me, for she saw I was
much abashed and flustered, yet he did not heed her, but went on talking
very loud against the folly and the wasteful wantonness of the times.
Poor Madam is a quiet, sickly-looking woman, and seems not a little in
awe of her husband, at the which I do not marvel, for he hath a very
impatient, forbidding way with him, and, I must say, seemed to carry
himself harshly at times towards her.  Uncle Rawson says he has had much
to try his temper; that there have been many and sore difficulties in
Church as well as State; and he hath bitter enemies, in some of the
members of the General Court, who count him too severe with the Quakers
and other disturbers and ranters.  I told him it was no doubt true; but
that I thought it a bad use of the Lord's chastenings to abuse one's
best friends for the wrongs done by enemies; and, that to be made to
atone for what went ill in Church or State, was a kind of vicarious
suffering that, if I was in Madam's place, I should not bear with half
her patience and sweetness.



Ipswitch, near Agawam, May 12.

We set out day before yesterday on our journey to Newbury.  There were
eight of us,--Rebecca Rawson and her sister, Thomas Broughton, his wife,
and their man-servant, my brother Leonard and myself, and young Robert
Pike, of Newbury, who had been to Boston on business, his father having
great fisheries in the river as well as the sea.  He is, I can perceive,
a great admirer of my cousin, and indeed not without reason; for she
hath in mind and person, in her graceful carriage and pleasant
discourse, and a certain not unpleasing waywardness, as of a merry
child, that which makes her company sought of all.  Our route the first
day lay through the woods and along the borders of great marshes and
meadows on the seashore.  We came to Linne at night, and stopped at the
house of a kinsman of Robert Pike's,--a man of some substance and note
in that settlement.  We were tired and hungry, and the supper of warm
Indian bread and sweet milk relished quite as well as any I ever ate in
the Old Country.  The next day we went on over a rough road to Wenham,
through Salem, which is quite a pleasant town.  Here we stopped until
this morning, when we again mounted our horses, and reached this place,
after a smart ride of three hours.  The weather in the morning was warm
and soft as our summer days at home; and, as we rode through the woods,
where the young leaves were fluttering, and the white blossoms of the
wind-flowers, and the blue violets and the yellow blooming of the
cowslips in the low grounds, were seen on either hand, and the birds all
the time making a great and pleasing melody in the branches, I was glad
of heart as a child, and thought if my beloved friends and Cousin Oliver
were only with us, I could never wish to leave so fair a country.

Just before we reached Agawam, as I was riding a little before my
companions, I was startled greatly by the sight of an Indian.  He was
standing close to the bridle-path, his half-naked body partly hidden by
a clump of white birches, through which he looked out on me with eyes
like two live coals.  I cried for my brother and turned my horse, when
Robert Pike came up and bid me be of cheer, for he knew the savage, and
that he was friendly.  Whereupon, he bade him come out of the bushes,
which he did, after a little parley.  He was a tall man, of very fair
and comely make, and wore a red woollen blanket with beads and small
clam-shells jingling about it.  His skin was swarthy, not black like a
Moor or Guinea-man, but of a color not unlike that of tarnished copper
coin.  He spake but little, and that in his own tongue, very harsh and
strange-sounding to my ear.  Robert Pike tells me that he is Chief of
the Agawams, once a great nation in these parts, but now quite small and
broken.  As we rode on, and from the top of a hill got a fair view of
the great sea off at the east, Robert Pike bade me notice a little bay,
around which I could see four or five small, peaked huts or tents,
standing just where the white sands of the beach met the green line of
grass and bushes of the uplands.

"There," said he, "are their summer-houses, which they build near unto
their fishing-grounds and corn-fields.  In the winter they go far back
into the wilderness, where game is plenty of all kinds, and there build
their wigwams in warm valleys thick with trees, which do serve to
shelter them from the winds."

"Let us look into them," said I to Cousin Rebecca; "it seems but a
stone's throw from our way."

She tried to dissuade me, by calling them a dirty, foul people; but
seeing I was not to be put off, she at last consented, and we rode aside
down the hill, the rest following.  On our way we had the misfortune to
ride over their corn-field; at the which, two or three women and as many
boys set up a yell very hideous to hear; whereat Robert Pike came up,
and appeased them by giving them some money and a drink of Jamaica
spirits, with which they seemed vastly pleased.  I looked into one of
their huts; it was made of poles like unto a tent, only it was covered
with the silver-colored bark of the birch, instead of hempen stuff.  A
bark mat, braided of many exceeding brilliant colors, covered a goodly
part of the space inside; and from the poles we saw fishes hanging, and
strips of dried meat.  On a pile of skins in the corner sat a young
woman with a child a-nursing; they both looked sadly wild and neglected;
yet had she withal a pleasant face, and as she bent over her little one,
her long, straight, and black hair falling over him, and murmuring a low
and very plaintive melody, I forgot everything save that she was a woman
and a mother, and I felt my heart greatly drawn towards her.  So, giving
my horse in charge, I ventured in to her, speaking as kindly as I could,
and asking to see her child.  She understood me, and with a smile held
up her little papoose, as she called him,--who, to say truth, I could
not call very pretty.  He seemed to have a wild, shy look, like the
offspring of an untamed, animal.  The woman wore a blanket, gaudily
fringed, and she had a string of beads on her neck.  She took down a
basket, woven of white and red willows, and pressed me to taste of her
bread; which I did, that I might not offend her courtesy by refusing.
It was not of ill taste, although so hard one could scarcely bite it,
and was made of corn meal unleavened, mixed with a dried berry, which
gives it a sweet flavor.  She told me, in her broken way, that the whole
tribe now numbered only twenty-five men and women, counting out the
number very fast with yellow grains of corn, on the corner of her
blanket.  She was, she said, the youngest woman in the tribe; and her
husband, Peckanaminet, was the Indian we had met in the bridlepath.  I
gave her a pretty piece of ribbon, and an apron for the child; and she
thanked me in her manner, going with us on our return to the path; and
when I had ridden a little onward, I saw her husband running towards us;
so, stopping my horse, I awaited until he came up, when he offered me a
fine large fish, which he had just caught, in acknowledgment, as I
judged, of my gift to his wife.  Rebecca and Mistress Broughton laughed,
and bid him take the thing away; but I would not suffer it, and so
Robert Pike took it, and brought it on to our present tarrying place,
where truly it hath made a fair supper for us all.  These poor heathen
people seem not so exceeding bad as they have been reported; they be
like unto ourselves, only lacking our knowledge and opportunities,
which, indeed, are not our own to boast of, but gifts of God, calling
for humble thankfulness, and daily prayer and watchfulness, that they be
rightly improved.



Newbery on the Merrimac, May 14, 1678.

We were hardly on our way yesterday, from Agawam, when a dashing young
gallant rode up very fast behind us.  He was fairly clad in rich stuffs,
and rode a nag of good mettle.  He saluted us with much ease and
courtliness, offering especial compliments to Rebecca, to whom he seemed
well known, and who I thought was both glad and surprised at his coming.
As I rode near, she said it gave her great joy to bring to each other's
acquaintance, Sir Thomas Hale, a good friend of her father's, and her
cousin Margaret, who, like himself, was a new-comer.  He replied, that
he should look with favor on any one who was near to her in friendship
or kindred; and, on learning my father's name, said he had seen him at
his uncle's, Sir Matthew Hale's, many years ago, and could vouch for him
as a worthy man.  After some pleasant and merry discoursing with us, he
and my brother fell into converse upon the state of affairs in the
Colony, the late lamentable war with the Narragansett and Pequod
Indians, together with the growth of heresy and schism in the churches,
which latter he did not scruple to charge upon the wicked policy of the
home government in checking the wholesome severity of the laws here
enacted against the schemers and ranters.  "I quite agree," said he,
"with Mr. Rawson, that they should have hanged ten where they did one."
Cousin Rebecca here said she was sure her father was now glad the laws
were changed, and that he had often told her that, although the
condemned deserved their punishment, he was not sure that it was the
best way to put down the heresy.  If she was ruler, she continued, in
her merry way, she would send all the schemers and ranters, and all the
sour, crabbed, busybodies in the churches, off to Rhode Island, where
all kinds of folly, in spirituals as well as temporals, were permitted,
and one crazy head could not reproach another.

Falling back a little, and waiting for Robert Pike and Cousin Broughton
to come up, I found them marvelling at the coming of the young
gentleman, who it did seem had no special concernment in these parts,
other than his acquaintance with Rebecca, and his desire of her company.
Robert Pike, as is natural, looks upon him with no great partiality, yet
he doth admit him to be wellbred, and of much and varied knowledge,
acquired by far travel as well as study.  I must say, I like not his
confident and bold manner and bearing toward my fair cousin; and he hath
more the likeness of a cast-off dangler at the court, than of a modest
and seemly country gentleman, of a staid and well-ordered house.
Mistress Broughton says he was not at first accredited in Boston, but
that her father, and Mr. Atkinson, and the chief people there now, did
hold him to be not only what he professeth, as respecteth his
gentlemanly lineage, but also learned and ingenious, and well-versed in
the Scriptures, and the works of godly writers, both of ancient and
modern time.  I noted that Robert was very silent during the rest of our
journey, and seemed abashed and troubled in the presence of the gay
gentleman; for, although a fair and comely youth, and of good family and
estate, and accounted solid and judicious beyond his years, he does,
nevertheless, much lack the ease and ready wit with which the latter
commendeth himself to my sweet kinswoman. We crossed about noon a broad
stream near to the sea, very deep and miry, so that we wetted our hose
and skirts somewhat; and soon, to our great joy, beheld the pleasant
cleared fields and dwellings of the settlement, stretching along for a
goodly distance; while, beyond all, the great ocean rolled, blue and
cold, under an high easterly wind.  Passing through a broad path, with
well-tilled fields on each hand, where men were busy planting corn, and
young maids dropping the seed, we came at length to Uncle Rawson's
plantation, looking wellnigh as fair and broad as the lands of Hilton
Grange, with a good frame house, and large barns thereon.  Turning up
the lane, we were met by the housekeeper, a respectable kinswoman, who
received us with great civility.  Sir Thomas, although pressed to stay,
excused himself for the time, promising to call on the morrow, and rode
on to the ordinary.  I was sadly tired with my journey, and was glad to
be shown to a chamber and a comfortable bed.

I was awakened this morning by the pleasant voice of my cousin, who
shared my bed.  She had arisen and thrown open the window looking
towards the sunrising, and the air came in soft and warm, and laden with
the sweets of flowers and green-growing things.  And when I had gotten
myself ready, I sat with her at the window, and I think I may say it was
with a feeling of praise and thanksgiving that mine eyes wandered up and
down over the green meadows, and corn-fields, and orchards of my new
home.  Where, thought I, foolish one, be the terrors of the wilderness,
which troubled thy daily thoughts and thy nightly dreams!  Where be the
gloomy shades, and desolate mountains, and the wild beasts, with their
dismal howlings and rages!  Here all looked peaceful, and bespoke
comfort and contentedness.  Even the great woods which climbed up the
hills in the distance looked thin and soft, with their faint young
leaves a yellowish-gray, intermingled with pale, silvery shades,
indicating, as my cousin saith, the different kinds of trees, some of
which, like the willow, do put on their leaves early, and others late,
like the oak, with which the whole region aboundeth.  A sweet, quiet
picture it was, with a warm sun, very bright and clear, shining over it,
and the great sea, glistening with the exceeding light, bounding the
view of mine eyes, but bearing my thoughts, like swift ships, to the
land of my birth, and so uniting, as it were, the New World with the
Old.  Oh, thought I, the merciful God, who reneweth the earth and maketh
it glad and brave with greenery and flowers of various hues and smells,
and causeth his south winds to blow and his rains to fall, that seed-
time may not fail, doth even here, in the ends of his creation, prank
and beautify the work of his hands, making the desert places to rejoice,
and the wilderness to blossom as the rose.  Verily his love is over
all,--the Indian heathen as well as the English Christian.  And what
abundant cause for thanks have I, that I have been safely landed on a
shore so fair and pleasant, and enabled to open mine eyes in peace and
love on so sweet a May morning!  And I was minded of a verse which I
learned from my dear and honored mother when a child,--

               "Teach me, my God, thy love to know,
               That this new light, which now I see,
               May both the work and workman show;
               Then by the sunbeams I will climb to thee."

When we went below, we found on the window seat which looketh to the
roadway, a great bunch of flowers of many kinds, such as I had never
seen in mine own country, very fresh, and glistening with the dew.  Now,
when Rebecca took them up, her sister said, "Nay, they are not Sir
Thomas's gift, for young Pike hath just left them."  Whereat, as I
thought, she looked vexed, and ill at ease.  "They are yours, then,
Cousin Margaret," said she, rallying, "for Robert and you did ride aside
all the way from Agawam, and he scarce spake to me the day long.  I see
I have lost mine old lover, and my little cousin hath found a new one.
I shall write Cousin Oliver all about it."

"Nay," said I, "old lovers are better than new; but I fear my sweet
cousin hath not so considered It."  She blushed, and looked aside, and
for some space of time I did miss her smile, and she spake little.



May 20.

We had scarcely breakfasted, when him they Call Sir Thomas called on us,
and with him came also a Mr. Sewall, and the minister of the church, Mr.
Richardson, both of whom did cordially welcome home my cousins, and were
civil to my brother and myself.  Mr. Richardson and Leonard fell to
conversing about the state of the Church; and Sir Thomas discoursed us
in his lively way.  After some little tarry, Mr. Sewall asked us to go
with him to Deer's Island, a small way up the river, where he and Robert
Pike had some men splitting staves for the Bermuda market.  As the day
was clear and warm, we did readily agree to go, and forthwith set out
for the river, passing through the woods for nearly a half mile.  When
we came to the Merrimac, we found it a great and broad stream.  We took
a boat, and were rowed up the river, enjoying the pleasing view of the
green banks, and the rocks hanging over the water, covered with bright
mosses, and besprinkled with pale, white flowers.  Mr. Sewall pointed
out to us the different kinds of trees, and their nature and uses, and
especially the sugar-tree, which is very beautiful in its leaf and
shape, and from which the people of this country do draw a sap wellnigh
as sweet as the juice of the Indian cane, making good treacle and sugar.
Deer's Island hath rough, rocky shores, very high and steep, and is well
covered with a great growth of trees, mostly evergreen pines and
hemlocks which looked exceeding old.  We found a good seat on the mossy
trunk of one of these great trees, which had fallen from its extreme
age, or from some violent blast of wind, from whence we could see the
water breaking into white foam on the rocks, and hear the melodious
sound of the wind in the leaves of the pines, and the singing of birds
ever and anon; and lest this should seem too sad and lonely, we could
also hear the sounds of the axes and beetles of the workmen, cleaving
the timber not far off.  It was not long before Robert Pike came up and
joined us.  He was in his working dress, and his face and hands were
much discolored by the smut of the burnt logs, which Rebecca playfully
remarking, he said there were no mirrors in the woods, and that must be
his apology; that, besides, it did not become a plain man, like himself,
who had to make his own fortune in the world, to try to imitate those
who had only to open their mouths, to be fed like young robins, without
trouble or toil.  Such might go as brave as they would, if they would
only excuse his necessity.  I thought he spoke with some bitterness,
which, indeed, was not without the excuse, that the manner of our gay
young gentleman towards him savored much of pride and contemptuousness.
My beloved cousin, who hath a good heart, and who, I must think, apart
from the wealth and family of Sir Thomas, rather inclineth to her old
friend and neighbor, spake cheerily and kindly to him, and besought me
privately to do somewhat to help her remove his vexation.  So we did
discourse of many things very pleasantly.  Mr. Richardson, on hearing
Rebecca say that the Indians did take the melancholy noises of the
pinetrees in the winds to be the voices of the Spirits of the woods,
said that they always called to his mind the sounds in the mulberry-
trees which the Prophet spake of.  Hereupon Rebecca, who hath her memory
well provided with divers readings, both of the poets and other writers,
did cite very opportunely some ingenious lines, touching what the
heathens do relate of the Sacred Tree of Dodona, the rustling of whose
leaves the negro priestesses did hold to be the language of the gods.
And a late writer, she said, had something in one of his pieces, which
might well be spoken of the aged and dead tree-trunk, upon which we were
sitting.  And when we did all desire to know their import, she repeated
them thus:--

         "Sure thou didst flourish once, and many springs,
          Many bright mornings, much dew, many showers,
          Passed o'er thy head; many light hearts and wings,
          Which now are dead, lodged in thy living towers."

         "And still a new succession sings and flies,
          Fresh groves grow up, and their green branches shoot
          Towards the old and still enduring skies,
          While the low violet thriveth at their root."


These lines, she said, were written by one Vaughn, a Brecknockshire
Welsh Doctor of Medicine, who had printed a little book not many years
ago.  Mr. Richardson said the lines were good, but that he did hold the
reading of ballads and the conceits of rhymers a waste of time, to say
nothing worse.  Sir Thomas hereat said that, as far as he could judge,
the worthy folk of New England had no great temptation to that sin from
their own poets, and did then, in a drolling tone, repeat some verses of
the 137th Psalm, which he said were the best he had seen in the
Cambridge Psalm Book:--

                   "The rivers of Babylon,
                    There when we did sit down,
                    Yea, even then we mourned when
                    We remembered Sion.

                    Our harp we did hang it amid
                    Upon the willow-tree;
                    Because there they that us away
                    Led to captivity!

                    Required of us a song, and thus
                    Asked mirth us waste who laid,
                    Sing us among a Sion's song
                    Unto us as then they said."

"Nay, Sir Thomas," quoth Mr. Richardson, "it is not seemly to jest over
the Word of God.  The writers of our Book of Psalms in metre held
rightly, that God's altar needs no polishing; and truly they have
rendered the words of David into English verse with great fidelity."

Our young gentleman, not willing to displeasure a man so esteemed as Mr.
Richardson, here made an apology for his jesting, and said that, as to
the Cambridge version, it was indeed faithful; and that it was no blame
to uninspired men, that they did fall short of the beauties and richness
of the Lord's Psalmist.  It being now near noon, we crossed over the
river, to where was a sweet spring of water, very clear and bright,
running out upon the green bank.  Now, as we stood thirsty, having no
cup to drink from, seeing some people near, we called to them, and
presently there came running to us a young and modest woman, with a
bright pewter tankard, which she filled and gave us.  I thought her
sweet and beautiful, as Rebecca of old, at her father's fountain.  She
was about leaving, when Mr. Richardson said to her, it was a foul shame
for one like her to give heed to the ranting of the Quakers, and bade
her be a good girl, and come to the meeting.

"Nay," said she, "I have been there often, to small profit.  The spirit
which thou persecutest testifieth against thee and thy meeting."

Sir Thomas jestingly asked her if the spirit she spoke of was not such
an one as possessed Mary Magdalen.

"Or the swine of the Gadarenes?" asked Mr. Richardson.

I did smile with the others, but was presently sorry for it; for the
young maid answered not a word to this, but turning to Rebecca, she
said, "Thy father hath been hard with us, but thou seemest kind and
gentle, and I have heard of thy charities to the poor.  The Lord keep
thee, for thou walkest in slippery places; there is danger, and thou
seest it not; thou trustest to the hearing of the ear and the seeing of
the eye; the Lord alone seeth the deceitfulness and the guile of man;
and if thou wilt cry mightily to Him, He can direct thee rightly."

Her voice and manner were very weighty and solemn.  I felt an awe come
upon me, and Rebecca's countenance was troubled.  As the maiden left us,
the minister, looking after said, "There is a deal of poison under the
fair outside of yonder vessel, which I fear is fitted for destruction."

"Peggy Brewster is indeed under a delusion," answered Robert Pike, "but
I know no harm of her.  She is kind to all, even to them who evil
entreat her."

"Robert, Robert!" cried the minister, "I fear me you will follow your
honored father, who has made himself of ill repute, by favoring these
people."--"The Quaker hath bewitched him with her bright eyes, perhaps,"
quoth Sir Thomas.  "I would she had laid a spell on an uncivil tongue I
wot of," answered Robert, angrily.  Hereupon, Mr. Sewall proposed that
we should return, and in making ready and getting to the boat, the
matter was dropped.



NEWBURY, June 1, 1678.

To-day Sir Thomas took his leave of us, being about to go back to
Boston.  Cousin Rebecca is, I can see, much taken with his outside
bravery and courtliness, yet she hath confessed to me that her sober
judgment doth greatly incline her towards her old friend and neighbor,
Robert Pike.  She hath even said that she doubted not she could live a
quieter and happier life with him than with such an one as Sir Thomas;
and that the words of the Quaker maid, whom we met at the spring on the
river side, had disquieted her not a little, inasmuch as they did seem
to confirm her own fears and misgivings.  But her fancy is so bedazzled
with the goodly show of her suitor, that I much fear he can have her for
the asking, especially as her father, to my knowledge, doth greatly
favor him.  And, indeed, by reason of her gracious manner, witty and
pleasant discoursing, excellent breeding, and dignity, she would do no
discredit to the choice of one far higher than this young gentleman in
estate and rank.



June 10.

I went this morning with Rebecca to visit Elnathan Stone, a young
neighbor, who has been lying sorely ill for a long time.  He was a
playmate of my cousin when a boy, and was thought to be of great promise
as he grew up to manhood; but, engaging in the war with the heathen, he
was wounded and taken captive by them, and after much suffering was
brought back to his home a few months ago.  On entering the house where
he lay, we found his mother, a careworn and sad woman, spinning in the
room by his bedside.  A very great and bitter sorrow was depicted on her
features; it was the anxious, unreconciled, and restless look of one who
did feel herself tried beyond her patience, and might not be comforted.
For, as I learned, she was a poor widow, who had seen her young daughter
tomahawked by the Indians; and now her only son, the hope of her old
age, was on his death-bed.  She received us with small civility, telling
Rebecca that it was all along of the neglect of the men in authority
that her son had got his death in the wars, inasmuch as it was the want
of suitable diet and clothing, rather than his wounds, which had brought
him into his present condition.  Now, as Uncle Rawson is one of the
principal magistrates, my sweet cousin knew that the poor afflicted
creature meant to reproach him; but her good heart did excuse and
forgive the rudeness and distemper of one whom the Lord had sorely
chastened.  So she spake kindly and lovingly, and gave her sundry nice
dainty fruits and comforting cordials, which she had got from Boston for
the sick man.  Then, as she came to his bedside, and took his hand
lovingly in her own, he thanked her for her many kindnesses, and prayed
God to bless her.  He must have been a handsome lad in health, for he
had a fair, smooth forehead, shaded with brown, curling hair, and large,
blue eyes, very sweet and gentle in their look.  He told us that he felt
himself growing weaker, and that at times his bodily suffering was
great.  But through the mercy of his Saviour he had much peace of mind.
He was content to leave all things in His hand.  For his poor mother's
sake, he said, more than for his own, he would like to get about once
more; there were many things he would like to do for her, and for all
who had befriended him; but he knew his Heavenly Father could do more
and better for them, and he felt resigned to His will.  He had, he said,
forgiven all who ever wronged him, and he had now no feeling of anger or
unkindness left towards any one, for all seemed kind to him beyond his
deserts, and like brothers and sisters.  He had much pity for the poor
savages even, although he had suffered sorely at their hands; for he did
believe that they had been often ill-used, and cheated, and otherwise
provoked to take up arms against us.  Hereupon, Goodwife Stone twirled
her spindle very spitefully, and said she would as soon pity the Devil
as his children.  The thought of her mangled little girl, and of her
dying son, did seem to overcome her, and she dropped her thread, and
cried out with an exceeding bitter cry,--"Oh, the bloody heathen!  Oh,
my poor murdered Molly!  Oh, my son, my son!"--"Nay, mother," said the
sick man, reaching out his hand and taking hold of his mother's, with a
sweet smile on his pale face,--"what does Christ tell us about loving
our enemies, and doing good to them that do injure us?  Let us forgive
our fellow-creatures, for we have all need of God's forgiveness.  I used
to feel as mother does," he said, turning to us; "for I went into the
war with a design to spare neither young nor old of the enemy.

"But I thank God that even in that dark season my heart relented at the
sight of the poor starving women and children, chased from place to
place like partridges.  Even the Indian fighters, I found, had sorrows
of their own, and grievous wrongs to avenge; and I do believe, if we had
from the first treated them as poor blinded brethren, and striven as
hard to give them light and knowledge, as we have to cheat them in
trade, and to get away their lands, we should have escaped many bloody
wars, and won many precious souls to Christ."

I inquired of him concerning his captivity.  He was wounded, he told me,
in a fight with the Sokokis Indians two years before.  It was a hot
skirmish in the woods; the English and the Indians now running forward,
and then falling back, firing at each other from behind the trees.  He
had shot off all his powder, and, being ready to faint by reason of a
wound in his knee, he was fain to sit down against an oak, from whence
he did behold, with great sorrow and heaviness of heart, his companions
overpowered by the number of their enemies, fleeing away and leaving him
to his fate.  The savages soon came to him with dreadful whoopings,
brandishing their hatchets and their scalping-knives.  He thereupon
closed his eyes, expecting to be knocked in the head, and killed
outright.  But just then a noted chief coming up in great haste, bade
him be of good cheer, for he was his prisoner, and should not be slain.
He proved to be the famous Sagamore Squando, the chief man of the
Sokokis.

"And were you kindly treated by this chief?" asked Rebecca.

"I suffered much in moving with him to the Sebago Lake, owing to my
wound," he replied; "but the chief did all in his power to give me
comfort, and he often shared with me his scant fare, choosing rather to
endure hunger himself, than to see his son, as he called me, in want of
food.  And one night, when I did marvel at this kindness on his part, he
told me that I had once done him a great service; asking me if I was not
at Black Point, in a fishing vessel, the summer before?  I told him I
was.  He then bade me remember the bad sailors who upset the canoe of a
squaw, and wellnigh drowned her little child, and that I had threatened
and beat them for it; and also how I gave the squaw a warm coat to wrap
up the poor wet papoose.  It was his squaw and child that I had
befriended; and he told me that he had often tried to speak to me, and
make known his gratitude therefor; and that he came once to the garrison
at Sheepscot, where he saw me; but being fired at, notwithstanding his
signs of peace and friendship, he was obliged to flee into the woods.
He said the child died a few days after its evil treatment, and the
thought of it made his heart bitter; that he had tried to live peaceably
with the white men, but they had driven him into the war.

"On one occasion," said the sick soldier, "as we lay side by side in his
hut, on the shore of the Sebago Lake, Squando, about midnight, began to
pray to his God very earnestly.  And on my querying with him about it,
he said he was greatly in doubt what to do, and had prayed for some sign
of the Great Spirit's will concerning him.  He then told me that some
years ago, near the place where we then lay, he left his wigwam at
night, being unable to sleep, by reason of great heaviness and distemper
of mind.  It was a full moon, and as he did walk to and fro, he saw a
fair, tall man in a long black dress, standing in the light on the
lake's shore, who spake to him and called him by name.

"'Squando,' he said, and his voice was deep and solemn, like the wind in
the hill pines, 'the God of the white man is the God of the Indian, and
He is angry with his red children.  He alone is able to make the corn
grow before the frost, and to lead the fish up the rivers in the spring,
and to fill the woods with deer and other game, and the ponds and
meadows with beavers.  Pray to Him always.  Do not hunt on His day, nor
let the squaws hoe the corn.  Never taste of the strong fire-water, but
drink only from the springs.  It, is because the Indians do not worship
Him, that He has brought the white men among them; but if they will pray
like the white men, they will grow very great and strong, and their
children born in this moon will live to see the English sail back in
their great canoes, and leave the Indians all their fishing-places and
hunting-grounds.'

"When the strange man had thus spoken, Squando told me that he went
straightway up to him, but found where he had stood only the shadow of
a broken tree, which lay in the moon across the white sand of the shore.
Then he knew it was a spirit, and he trembled, but was glad.  Ever
since, he told nee, he had prayed daily to the Great Spirit, had drank
no rum, nor hunted on the Sabbath.

"He said he did for a long time refuse to dig up his hatchet, and make
war upon the whites, but that he could not sit idle in his wigwam, while
his young men were gone upon their war-path.  The spirit of his dead
child did moreover speak to him from the land of souls, and chide him
for not seeking revenge.  Once, he told me, he had in a dream seen the
child crying and moaning bitterly, and that when he inquired the cause
of its grief, he was told that the Great Spirit was angry with its
father, and would destroy him and his people unless he did join with the
Eastern Indians to cut off the English."

"I remember," said Rebecca, "of hearing my father speak of this
Squando's kindness to a young maid taken captive some years ago at
Presumpscot."

"I saw her at Cocheco," said the sick man.  "Squando found her in a sad
plight, and scarcely alive, took her to his wigwam, where his squaw did
lovingly nurse and comfort her; and when she was able to travel, he
brought her to Major Waldron's, asking no ransom for her.  He might have
been made the fast friend of the English at that time, but he scarcely
got civil treatment."

"My father says that many friendly Indians, by the ill conduct of the
traders, have been made our worst enemies," said Rebecca.  "He thought
the bringing in of the Mohawks to help us a sin comparable to that of
the Jews, who looked for deliverance from the King of Babylon at the
hands of the Egyptians."

"They did nothing but mischief," said Elnathan Stone; "they killed our
friends at Newichawannock, Blind Will and his family."

Rebecca here asked him if he ever heard the verses writ by Mr. Sewall
concerning the killing of Blind Will.  And when he told her he had not,
and would like to have her repeat them, if she could remember, she did
recite them thus:--

              "Blind Will of Newiehawannock!
               He never will whoop again,
               For his wigwam's burnt above him,
               And his old, gray scalp is ta'en!

              "Blind Will was the friend of white men,
               On their errands his young men ran,
               And he got him a coat and breeches,
               And looked like a Christian man.

              "Poor Will of Newiehawannock!
               They slew him unawares,
               Where he lived among his people,
               Keeping Sabhath and saying prayers.

              "Now his fields will know no harvest,
               And his pipe is clean put out,
               And his fine, brave coat and breeches
               The Mohog wears about.

              "Woe the day our rulers listened
               To Sir Edmund's wicked plan,
               Bringing down the cruel Mohogs
               Who killed the poor old man.

              "Oh! the Lord He will requite us;
               For the evil we have done,
               There'll be many a fair scalp drying
               In the wind and in the sun!

              "There'll be many a captive sighing,
               In a bondage long and dire;
               There'll be blood in many a corn-field,
               And many a house a-fire.

              "And the Papist priests the tidings
               Unto all the tribes will send;
               They'll point to Newiehawannock,--
               'So the English treat their friend!'

              "Let the Lord's anointed servants
               Cry aloud against this wrong,
               Till Sir Edmund take his Mohogs
               Back again where they belong.

              "Let the maiden and the mother
               In the nightly watching share,
               While the young men guard the block-house,
               And the old men kneel in prayer.

              "Poor Will of Newiehawannock!
               For thy sad and cruel fall,
               And the bringing in of the Mohogs,
               May the Lord forgive us all!"

A young woman entered the house just as Rebecca finished the verses.
She bore in her hands a pail of milk and a fowl neatly dressed, which
she gave to Elnathan's mother, and, seeing strangers by his bedside, was
about to go out, when he called to her and besought her to stay.  As she
came up and spoke to him, I knew her to be the maid we had met at the
spring.  The young man, with tears in his eyes, acknowledged her great
kindness to him, at which she seemed troubled and abashed.  A pure,
sweet complexion she hath, and a gentle and loving look, full of
innocence and sincerity.  Rebecca seemed greatly disturbed, for she no
doubt thought of the warning words of this maiden, when we were at the
spring.  After she had left, Goodwife Stone said she was sure she could
not tell what brought that Quaker girl to her house so much, unless she
meant to inveigle Elnathan; but, for her part, she would rather see him
dead than live to bring reproach upon his family and the Church by
following after the blasphemers.  I ventured to tell her that I did look
upon it as sheer kindness and love on the young woman's part; at which
Elnathan seemed pleased, and said he could not doubt it, and that he did
believe Peggy Brewster to be a good Christian, although sadly led astray
by the Quakers.  His mother said that, with all her meek looks, and kind
words, she was full of all manner of pestilent heresies, and did remind
her always of Satan in the shape of an angel of light.

We went away ourselves soon after this, the sick man thanking us for our
visit, and hoping that he should see us again.  "Poor Elnathan," said
Rebecca, as we walked home, "he will never go abroad again; but he is in
such a good and loving frame of mind, that he needs not our pity, as one
who is without hope."

"He reminds me," I said, "of the comforting promise of Scripture, 'Thou
wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.'"



June 30, 1678.

Mr. Rawson and Sir Thomas Hale came yesterday from Boston.  I was
rejoiced to see mine uncle, more especially as he brought for me a
package of letters, and presents and tokens of remembrance from my
friends on the other side of the water.  As soon as I got them, I went
up to my chamber, and, as I read of the health of those who are very
dear to me, and who did still regard me with unchanged love, I wept in
my great joy, and my heart overflowed in thankfulness.  I read the 22d
Psalm, and it did seem to express mine own feelings in view of the great
mercies and blessings vouchsafed to me.  "My head is anointed with oil;
my cup runneth over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the
days of my life."

This morning, Sir Thomas and Uncle Rawson rode over to Hampton, where
they will tarry all night.  Last evening, Rebecca had a long talk with
her father concerning Sir Thomas, who hath asked her of him.  She came
to bed very late, and lay restless and sobbing; whereupon I pressed her
to know the cause of her grief, when she told me she had consented to
marry Sir Thomas, but that her heart was sorely troubled and full of
misgivings.  On my querying whether she did really love the young
gentleman, she said she sometimes feared she did not; and that when her
fancy had made a fair picture of the life of a great lady in England,
there did often come a dark cloud over it like the shade of some heavy
disappointment or sorrow.  "Sir Thomas," she said, "was a handsome and
witty young man, and had demeaned himself to the satisfaction and good
repute of her father and the principal people of the Colony; and his
manner towards her had been exceeding delicate and modest, inasmuch as
he had presumed nothing upon his family or estate, but had sought her
with much entreaty and humility, although he did well know that some of
the most admired and wealthy Young women in Boston did esteem him not a
little, even to the annoying of herself, as one whom he especially
favored."

"This will be heavy news to Robert Pike," said I; "and I am sorry for
him, for he is indeed a worthy man."

"That he is," quoth she; "but he hath never spoken to me of aught beyond
that friendliness which, as neighbors and school companions, we do
innocently cherish for each other."

"Nay," said I, "my sweet cousin knows full well that he entertaineth so
strong an affection for her, that there needeth no words to reveal it."

"Alas!" she answered, "it is too true.  When I am with him, I sometimes
wish I had never seen Sir Thomas.  But my choice is made, and I pray God
I may not have reason to repent of it."

We said no more, but I fear she slept little, for on waking about the
break of day, I saw her sitting in her night-dress by the window.
Whereupon I entreated her to return to her bed, which she at length did,
and folding me in her arms, and sobbing as if her heart would break, she
besought me to pity her, for it was no light thing which she had done,
and she scarcely knew her own mind, nor whether to rejoice or weep over
it.  I strove to comfort her, and, after a time, she did, to my great
joy, fall into a quiet sleep.

This afternoon, Robert Pike came in, and had a long talk with Cousin
Broughton, who told him how matters stood between her sister and Sir
Thomas, at which he was vehemently troubled, and would fain have gone to
seek Rebecca at once, and expostulate with her, but was hindered on
being told that it could only grieve and discomfort her, inasmuch as the
thing was well settled, and could not be broken off.  He said he had
known and loved her from a child; that for her sake he had toiled hard
by day and studied by night; and that in all his travels and voyages,
her sweet image had always gone with him.  He would bring no accusation
against her, for she had all along treated him rather as a brother than
as a suitor: to which last condition he had indeed not felt himself at
liberty to venture, after her honored father, some months ago, had given
him to understand that he did design an alliance of his daughter with a
gentleman of estate and family.  For himself, he would bear himself
manfully, and endure his sorrow with patience and fortitude.  His only
fear was, that his beloved friend had been too hasty in deciding the
matter; and that he who was her choice might not be worthy of the great
gift of her affection.  Cousin Broughton, who has hitherto greatly
favored the pretensions of Sir Thomas, told me that she wellnigh changed
her mind in view of the manly and noble bearing of Robert Pike; and that
if her sister were to live in this land, she would rather see her the
wife of him than of any other man therein.



July 3.

Sir Thomas took his leave to-day.  Robert Pike hath been here to wish
Rebecca great joy and happiness in her prospect, which he did in so kind
and gentle a manner, that she was fain to turn away her head to hide her
tears.  When Robert saw this, he turned the discourse, and did endeavor
to divert her mind in such sort that the shade of melancholy soon left
her sweet face, and the twain talked together cheerfully as had been
their wont, and as became their years and conditions.



July 6.

Yesterday a strange thing happened in the meeting-house.  The minister
had gone on in his discourse, until the sand in the hour-glass on the
rails before the deacons had wellnigh run out, and Deacon Dole was about
turning it, when suddenly I saw the congregation all about me give a
great start, and look back.  A young woman, barefooted, and with a
coarse canvas frock about her, and her long hair hanging loose like a
periwig, and sprinkled with ashes, came walking up the south aisle.
Just as she got near Uncle Rawson's seat she stopped, and turning round
towards the four corners of the house, cried out: "Woe to the
persecutors!  Woe to them who for a pretence make long prayers!  Humble
yourselves, for this is the day of the Lord's power, and I am sent as a
sign among you!"  As she looked towards me I knew her to be the Quaker
maiden, Margaret Brewster.  "Where is the constable?" asked Mr.
Richardson.  "Let the woman be taken out."  Thereupon the whole
congregation arose, and there was a great uproar, men and women climbing
the seats, and many crying out, some one thing and some another.  In the
midst of the noise, Mr. Sewall, getting up on a bench, begged the people
to be quiet, and let the constable lead out the poor deluded creature.
Mr. Richardson spake to the same effect, and, the tumult a little
subsiding, I saw them taking the young woman out of the door; and, as
many followed her, I went out also, with my brother, to see what became
of her.

We found her in the middle of a great crowd of angry people, who
reproached her for her wickedness in disturbing the worship on the
Lord's day, calling her all manner of foul names, and threatening her
with the stocks and the whipping-post.  The poor creature stood still
and quiet; she was deathly pale, and her wild hair and sackcloth frock
gave her a very strange and pitiable look.  The constable was about to
take her in charge until the morrow, when Robert Pike came forward, and
said he would answer for her appearance at the court the next day, and
besought the people to let her go quietly to her home, which, after some
parley, was agreed to.  Robert then went up to her, and taking her hand,
asked her to go with him.  She looked up, and being greatly touched by
his kindness, began to weep, telling him that it had been a sorrowful
cross to her to do as she had done; but that it had been long upon her
mind, and that she did feel a relief now that she had found strength for
obedience.  He, seeing the people still following, hastened her, away,
and we all went back to the meeting-house.  In the afternoon, Mr.
Richardson gave notice that he should preach, next Lord's day, from the
12th and 13th verses of Jude, wherein the ranters and disturbers of the
present day were very plainly spoken of.  This morning she hath been had
before the magistrates, who, considering her youth and good behavior
hitherto, did not proceed against her so far as many of the people
desired.  A fine was laid upon her, which both she and her father did
profess they could not in conscience pay, whereupon she was ordered to
be set in the stocks; but this Mr. Sewall, Robert Pike, and my brother
would by no means allow, but paid the fine themselves, so that she was
set at liberty, whereat the boys and rude women were not a little
disappointed, as they had thought to make sport of her in the stocks.
Mr. Pike, I hear, did speak openly in her behalf before the magistrates,
saying that it was all along of the cruel persecution of these people
that did drive them to such follies and breaches of the peace, Mr.
Richardson, who hath heretofore been exceeding hard upon the Quakers,
did, moreover, speak somewhat in excuse of her conduct, believing that
she was instigated by her elders; and he therefore counselled the court
that she should not be whipped,



August 1.

Captain Sewall, R. Pike, and the minister, Mr. Richardson, at our house
to-day.  Captain Sewall, who lives mostly at Boston, says that a small
vessel loaded with negroes, taken on the Madagascar coast, came last
week into the harbor, and that the owner thereof had offered the negroes
for sale as slaves, and that they had all been sold to magistrates,
ministers, and other people of distinction in Boston and thereabouts.
He said the negroes were principally women and children, and scarcely
alive, by reason of their long voyage and hard fare.  He thought it a
great scandal to the Colony, and a reproach to the Church, that they
should be openly trafficked, like cattle in the market.  Uncle Rawson
said it was not so formerly; for he did remember the case of Captain
Smith and one Kesar, who brought negroes from Guinea thirty years ago.
The General Court, urged thereto by Sir Richard Saltonstall and many of
the ministers, passed an order that, for the purpose of "bearing a
witness against the heinous sin of man-stealing, justly abhorred of all
good and just men," the negroes should be taken back to their own
country at the charge of the Colony; which was soon after done.
Moreover, the two men, Smith and Kesar, were duly punished.

Mr. Richardson said he did make a distinction between the stealing of
men from a nation at peace with us, and the taking of captives in war.
The Scriptures did plainly warrant the holding of such, and especially
if they be heathen.

Captain Sewall said he did, for himself, look upon all slave-holding as
contrary to the Gospel and the New Dispensation.  The Israelites had a
special warrant for holding the heathen in servitude; but he had never
heard any one pretend that he had that authority for enslaving Indians
and blackamoors.

Hereupon Mr. Richardson asked him if he did not regard Deacon Dole as a
godly man; and if he had aught to say against him and other pious men
who held slaves.  And he cautioned him to be careful, lest he should be
counted an accuser of the brethren.

Here Robert Pike said he would tell of a matter which had fallen under
his notice.  "Just after the war was over," said be, "owing to the loss
of my shallop in the Penobscot Bay, I chanced to be in the neighborhood
of him they call the Baron of Castine, who hath a strong castle, with
much cleared land and great fisheries at Byguyduce.  I was preparing to
make a fire and sleep in the woods, with my two men, when a messenger
came from the Baron, saying that his master, hearing that strangers were
in the neighborhood, had sent him to offer us food and shelter, as the
night was cold and rainy.  So without ado we went with him, and were
shown into a comfortable room in a wing of the castle, where we found a
great fire blazing, and a joint of venison with wheaten loaves on the
table.  After we had refreshed ourselves, the Baron sent for me, and I
was led into a large, fair room, where he was, with Modockawando, who
was his father-in-law, and three or four other chiefs of the Indians,
together with two of his priests.  The Baron, who was a man of goodly
appearance, received me with much courtesy; and when I told him my
misfortune, he said he was glad it was in his power to afford us a
shelter.  He discoursed about the war, which he said had been a sad
thing to the whites as well as the Indians, but that he now hoped the
peace would be lasting.  Whereupon, Modockawando, a very grave and
serious heathen, who had been sitting silent with his friends, got up
and spoke a load speech to me, which I did not understand, but was told
that he did complain of the whites for holding as slaves sundry Indian
captives, declaring that it did provoke another war.  His own sister's
child, he said, was thus held in captivity.  He entreated me to see the
great Chief of our people (meaning the Governor), and tell him that the
cries of the captives were heard by his young men, and that they were
talking of digging up the hatchet which the old men had buried at Casco.
I told the old savage that I did not justify the holding of Indians
after the peace, and would do what I could to have them set at liberty,
at which he seemed greatly rejoiced.  Since I came back from Castine's
country, I have urged the giving up of the Indians, and many have been
released.  Slavery is a hard lot, and many do account it worse than
death.  When in the Barbadoes, I was told that on one plantation, in the
space of five years, a score of slaves had hanged themselves."

"Mr. Atkinson's Indian," said Captain Sewall, "whom he bought of a
Virginia ship-owner, did, straightway on coming to his house, refuse
meat; and although persuasions and whippings were tried to make him eat,
he would not so much as take a sip of drink.  I saw him a day or two
before he died, sitting wrapped up in his blanket, and muttering to
himself.  It was a sad, sight, and I pray God I may never see the like
again.  From that time I have looked upon the holding of men as slaves
as a great wickedness.  The Scriptures themselves do testify, that he
that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity."

After the company had gone, Rebecca sat silent and thoughtful for a
time, and then bade her young serving-girl, whom her father had bought,
about a year before, of the master of a Scotch vessel, and who had been
sold to pay the cost of her passage, to come to her.  She asked her if
she had aught to complain of in her situation.  The poor girl looked
surprised, but said she had not.  "Are you content to live as a
servant?" asked Rebecca.  "Would you leave me if you could?"  She here
fell a-weeping, begging her mistress not to speak of her leaving.  "But
if I should tell you that you are free to go or stay, as you will, would
you be glad or sorry?" queried her mistress.  The poor girl was silent.
"I do not wish you to leave me, Effie," said Rebecca, "but I wish you to
know that you are from henceforth free, and that if you serve me
hereafter, as I trust you will, it will be in love and good will, and
for suitable wages."  The bondswoman did not at the first comprehend the
design of her mistress, but, on hearing it explained once more, she
dropped down on her knees, and clasping Rebecca, poured forth her thanks
after the manner of her people; whereupon Rebecca, greatly moved, bade
her rise, as she had only done what the Scriptures did require, in
giving to her servant that which is just and equal.

"How easy it is to make others happy, and ourselves also!"  she said,
turning to me, with the tears shining in her eyes.



August 8, 1678.

Elnathan Stone, who died two days ago, was buried this afternoon.  A
very solemn funeral, Mr. Richardson preaching a sermon from the 23d
psalm, 4th verse: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow
of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy
staff, they comfort me."  Deacon Dole provided the wine and spirits, and
Uncle Rawson the beer, and bread, and fish for the entertainment, and
others of the neighbors did, moreover, help the widow to sundry matters
of clothing suitable for the occasion, for she was very poor, and, owing
to the long captivity and sickness of her son, she hath been much
straitened at times.  I am told that Margaret Brewster hath been like an
angel of mercy unto her, watching often with the sick man, and helping
her in her work, so that the poor woman is now fain to confess that she
hath a good and kind heart.  A little time before Elnathan died, he did
earnestly commend the said Margaret to the kindness of Cousin Rebecca,
entreating her to make interest with the magistrates, and others in
authority, in her behalf, that they might be merciful to her in her
outgoings, as he did verily think they did come of a sense of duty,
albeit mistaken.  Mr. Richardson, who hath been witness to her gracious
demeanor and charity, and who saith she does thereby shame many of his
own people, hath often sought to draw her away from the new doctrines,
and to set before her the dangerous nature of her errors; but she never
lacketh answer of some sort, being naturally of good parts, and well
read in the Scriptures.



August 10.

I find the summer here greatly unlike that of mine own country.  The
heat is great, the sun shining very strong and bright; and for more than
a month it hath been exceeding dry, without any considerable fall of
rain, so that the springs fail in many places, and the watercourses are
dried up, which doth bring to mind very forcibly the language of Job,
concerning the brooks which the drouth consumeth: "What time they wax
warm they vanish; when it is hot they are consumed out of their place.
The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing and perish."
The herbage and grass have lost much of the brightness which they did
wear in the early summer; moreover, there be fewer flowers to be seen.
The fields and roads are dusty, and all things do seem to faint and wax
old under the intolerable sun.  Great locusts sing sharp in the hedges
and bushes, and grasshoppers fly up in clouds, as it were, when one
walks over the dry grass which they feed upon, and at nightfall
mosquitoes are no small torment.  Whenever I do look forth at noonday,
at which time the air is all aglow, with a certain glimmer and dazzle
like that from an hot furnace, and see the poor fly-bitten cattle
whisking their tails to keep off the venomous insects, or standing in
the water of the low grounds for coolness, and the panting sheep lying
together under the shade of trees, I must needs call to mind the summer
season of old England, the cool sea air, the soft-dropping showers, the
fields so thick with grasses, and skirted with hedge-rows like green
walls, the trees and shrubs all clean and moist, and the vines and
creepers hanging over walls and gateways, very plenteous and beautiful
to behold.  Ah me I often in these days do I think of Hilton Grange,
with its great oaks, and cool breezy hills and meadows green the summer
long.  I shut mine eyes, and lo! it is all before me like a picture; I
see mine uncle's gray hairs beneath the trees, and my good aunt standeth
in the doorway, and Cousin Oliver comes up in his field-dress, from the
croft or the mill; I can hear his merry laugh, and the sound of his
horse's hoofs ringing along the gravel-way.  Our sweet Chaucer telleth
of a mirror in the which he that looked did see all his past life; that
magical mirror is no fable, for in the memory of love, old things do
return and show themselves as features do in the glass, with a perfect
and most beguiling likeness.

Last night, Deacon Dole's Indian--One-eyed Tom, a surly fellow--broke
into his master's shop, where he made himself drunk with rum, and,
coming to the house, did greatly fright the womenfolk by his threatening
words and gestures.  Now, the Deacon coming home late from the church-
meeting, and seeing him in this way, wherreted him smartly with his
cane, whereupon he ran off, and came up the road howling and yelling
like an evil spirit.  Uncle Rawson sent his Irish man-servant to see
what caused the ado; but he straightway came running back, screaming
"Murther!  murther!" at the top of his voice.  So uncle himself went to
the gate, and presently called for a light, which Rebecca and I came
with, inasmuch as the Irishman and Effie dared not go out.  We found Tom
sitting on the horse-block, the blood running down his face, and much
bruised and swollen.  He was very fierce and angry, saying that if he
lived a month, he would make him a tobacco-pouch of the Deacon's scalp.
Rebecca ventured to chide him for his threats, but offered to bind up
his head for him, which she did with her own kerchief.  Uncle Rawson
then bade him go home and get to bed, and in future let alone strong
drink, which had been the cause of his beating.  This he would not do,
but went off into the woods, muttering as far as one could hear him.

This morning Deacon Dole came in, and said his servant Tom had behaved
badly, for which he did moderately correct him, and that he did
thereupon run away, and he feared he should lose him.  He bought him,
he said, of Captain Davenport, who brought him from the Narragansett
country, paying ten pounds and six shillings for him, and he could ill
bear so great a loss.  I ventured to tell him that it was wrong to hold
any man, even an Indian or Guinea black, as a slave.  My uncle, who saw
that my plainness was not well taken, bade me not meddle with matters
beyond my depth; and Deacon Dole, looking very surly at me, said I was a
forward one; that he had noted that I did wear a light and idle look in
the meeting-house; and, pointing with his cane to my hair, he said I did
render myself liable to presentment by the Grand Jury for a breach of
the statute of the General Court, made the year before, against "the
immodest laying out of the hair," &c.  He then went on to say that he
had lived to see strange times, when such as I did venture to oppose
themselves to sober and grave people, and to despise authority, and
encourage rebellion and disorder; and bade me take heed lest all such
be numbered with the cursed children which the Apostle did rebuke: "Who,
as natural brute beasts, speak evil of things they understand not, and
shall utterly perish in their corruption."  My dear Cousin Rebecca here
put in a word in my behalf, and told the Deacon that Tom's misbehavior
did all grow out of the keeping of strong liquors for sale, and that he
was wrong to beat him so cruelly, seeing that he did himself place the
temptation before him.  Thereupon the Deacon rose up angrily, bidding
uncle look well to his forward household.  "Nay, girls," quoth mine
uncle, after his neighbor had left the house, "you have angered the good
man sorely."--"Never heed," said Rebecca, laughing and clapping her
hands, "he hath got something to think of more profitable, I trow, than
Cousin Margaret's hair or looks in meeting.  He has been tything of mint
and anise and cummin long enough, and 't is high time for him to look
after the weightier matters of the law."

The selling of beer and strong liquors, Mr. Ewall says, hath much
increased since the troubles of the Colony and the great Indian war.
The General Court do take some care to grant licenses only to discreet
persons; but much liquor is sold without warrant.  For mine own part, I
think old Chaucer hath it right in his Pardoner's Tale:--

         "A likerous thing is wine, and drunkenness
          Is full of striving and of wretchedness.
          O drunken man!  disfigured is thy face,
          Sour is thy breath, foul art then to embrace;
          Thy tongue is lost, and all thine honest care,
          For drunkenness is very sepulture
          Of man's wit and his discretion."



AGAMENTICUS, August 18.

The weather being clear and the heat great, last week uncle and aunt,
with Rebecca and myself, and also Leonard and Sir Thomas, thought it a
fitting time to make a little journey by water to the Isles of Shoals,
and the Agamenticus, where dwelleth my Uncle Smith, who hath strongly
pressed me to visit him.  One Caleb Powell, a seafaring man, having a
good new boat, with a small cabin, did undertake to convey us.  He is a
drolling odd fellow, who hath been in all parts of the world, and hath
seen and read much, and, having a rare memory, is not ill company,
although uncle saith one must make no small allowance for his desire of
making his hearers marvel at his stories and conceits.  We sailed with a
good westerly wind down the river, passing by the great salt marshes,
which stretch a long way by the sea, and in which the town's people be
now very busy in mowing and gathering the grass for winter's use.
Leaving on our right hand Plum Island (so called on account of the rare
plums which do grow upon it), we struck into the open sea, and soon came
in sight of the Islands of Shoals.  There be seven of them in all, lying
off the town of Hampton on the mainland, about a league.  We landed on
that called the Star, and were hospitably entertained through the day
and night by Mr. Abbott, an old inhabitant of the islands, and largely
employed in fisheries and trade, and with whom uncle had some business.
In the afternoon Mr. Abbott's son rowed us about among the islands, and
showed us the manner of curing the dun-fish, for which the place is
famed.  They split the fishes, and lay them on the rocks in the sun,
using little salt, but turning them often.  There is a court-house on
the biggest island, and a famous school, to which many of the planters
on the main-land do send their children.  We noted a great split in the
rocks, where, when the Indians came to the islands many years ago, and
killed some and took others captive, one Betty Moody did hide herself,
and which is hence called Betty Moody's Hole.  Also, the pile of rocks
set up by the noted Captain John Smith, when he did take possession of
the Isles in the year 1614.  We saw our old acquaintance Peckanaminet
and his wife, in a little birch canoe, fishing a short way off.  Mr.
Abbott says he well recollects the time when the Agawams were wellnigh
cut off by the Tarratine Indians; for that early one morning, hearing a
loud yelling and whooping, he went out on the point of the rocks, and
saw a great fleet of canoes filled with Indians, going back from Agawam,
and the noise they made he took to be their rejoicing over their
victory.

In the evening a cold easterly wind began to blow, and it brought in
from the ocean a damp fog, so that we were glad to get within doors.
Sir Thomas entertained us by his lively account of things in Boston, and
of a journey he had made to the Providence plantations.  He then asked
us if it was true, as he had learned from Mr. Mather, of Boston, that
there was an house in Newbury dolefully beset by Satan's imps, and that
the family could get no sleep because of the doings of evil spirits.
Uncle Rawson said he did hear something of it, and that Mr. Richardson
had been sent for to pray against the mischief.  Yet as he did count
Goody Morse a poor silly woman, he should give small heed to her story;
but here was her near neighbor, Caleb Powell, who could doubtless tell
more concerning it.  Whereupon, Caleb said it was indeed true that there
was a very great disturbance in Goodman Morse's house; doors opening and
shutting, household stuff whisked out of the room, and then falling down
the chimney, and divers other strange things, many of which he had
himself seen.  Yet he did believe it might be accounted for in a natural
way, especially as the old couple had a wicked, graceless boy living
with them, who might be able to do the tricks by his great subtlety and
cunning.  Sir Thomas said it might be the boy; but that Mr. Josselin,
who had travelled much hereabout, had told him that the Indians did
practise witchcraft, and that, now they were beaten in war, he feared
they would betake themselves to it, and so do by their devilish wisdom
what they could not do by force; and verily this did look much like the
beginning of their enchantments.  "That the Devil helpeth the heathen in
this matter, I do myself know for a certainty," said Caleb Powell; "for
when I was at Port Royal, many years ago, I did see with mine eyes the
burning of an old negro wizard, who had done to death many of the
whites, as well as his own people, by a charm which he brought with him
from the Guinea, country."  Mr. Hull, the minister of the place, who was
a lodger in the house, said he had heard one Foxwell, a reputable
planter at Saco, lately deceased, tell of a strange affair that did
happen to himself, in a voyage to the eastward.  Being in a small
shallop, and overtaken by the night, he lay at anchor a little way off
the shore, fearing to land on account of the Indians.  Now, it did
chance that they were waked about midnight by a loud voice from the
land, crying out, Foxwell, come ashore! three times over; whereupon,
looking to see from whence the voice did come, they beheld a great
circle of fire on the beach, and men and women dancing about it in a
ring.  Presently they vanished, and the fire was quenched also.  In the
morning he landed, but found no Indians nor English, only brands' ends
cast up by the waves; and he did believe, unto the day of his death,
that it was a piece of Indian sorcery.  "There be strange stories told
of Passaconaway, the chief of the River Indians," he continued.  "I have
heard one say who saw it, that once, at the Patucket Falls, this chief,
boasting of his skill in magic, picked up a dry skin of a snake, which
had been cast off, as is the wont of the reptile, and making some
violent motions of his body, and calling upon his Familiar, or Demon, he
did presently cast it down upon the rocks, and it became a great black
serpent, which mine informant saw crawl off into some bushes, very
nimble.  This Passaconaway was accounted by his tribe to be a very
cunning conjurer, and they do believe that he could brew storms, make
water burn, and cause green leaves to grow on trees in the winter; and,
in brief, it may be said of him, that he was not a whit behind the
magicians of Egypt in the time of Moses."

"There be women in the cold regions about Norway," said Caleb Powell,
"as I have heard the sailors relate, who do raise storms and sink boats
at their will."

"It may well be," quoth Mr. Hull, "since Satan is spoken of as the
prince and power of the air."

"The profane writers of old time do make mention of such sorceries,"
said Uncle Rawson.  "It is long since I have read any of then; but
Virgil and Apulius do, if I mistake not, speak of this power over the
elements."

"Do you not remember, father," said Rebecca, "some verses of Tibullus,
in which he speaketh of a certain enchantress?  Some one hath rendered
them thus:--

         "Her with charms drawing stars from heaven, I,
          And turning the course of rivers, did espy.
          She parts the earth, and ghosts from sepulchres
          Draws up, and fetcheth bones away from fires,
          And at her pleasure scatters clouds in the air,
          And makes it snow in summer hot and fair."

Here Sir Thomas laughingly told Rebecca, that he did put more faith in
what these old writers did tell of the magic arts of the sweet-singing
sirens, and of Circe and her enchantments, and of the Illyrian maidens,
so wonderful in their beauty, who did kill with their looks such as they
were angry with.

"It was, perhaps, for some such reason," said Rebecca, "that, as Mr.
Abbott tells me; the General Court many years ago did forbid women to
live on these islands."

"Pray, how was that?" asked Sir Thomas.

"You must know," answered our host, "that in the early settlement of
the Shoals, vessels coming for fish upon this coast did here make their
harbor, bringing hither many rude sailors of different nations; and the
Court judged that it was not a fitting place for women, and so did by
law forbid their dwelling on the islands belonging to the
Massachusetts."

He then asked his wife to get the order of the Court concerning her stay
on the islands, remarking that he did bring her over from the Maine in
despite of the law.  So his wife fetched it, and Uncle Rawson read it,
it being to this effect,--"That a petition having been sent to the
Court, praying that the law might be put in force in respect to John
Abbott his wife, the Court do judge it meet, if no further complaint
come against her, that she enjoy the company of her husband."  Whereat
we all laughed heartily.

Next morning, the fog breaking away early, we set sail for Agamenticus,
running along the coast and off the mouth of the Piscataqua River,
passing near where my lamented Uncle Edward dwelt, whose fame as a
worthy gentleman and magistrate is still living.  We had Mount
Agamenticus before us all day,--a fair stately hill, rising up as it
were from the water.  Towards night a smart shower came on, with
thunderings and lightnings such as I did never see or hear before; and
the wind blowing and a great rain driving upon us, we were for a time in
much peril; but, through God's mercy, it suddenly cleared up, and we
went into the Agamenticus River with a bright sun.  Before dark we got
to the house of my honored uncle, where, he not being at home, his wife
and daughters did receive us kindly.



September 10.

I do find myself truly comfortable at this place.  My two cousins, Polly
and Thankful, are both young, unmarried women, very kind and pleasant,
and, since my Newbury friends left, I have been learning of them many
things pertaining to housekeeping, albeit I am still but a poor scholar.
Uncle is Marshall of the Province, which takes him much from home; and
aunt, who is a sickly woman, keeps much in her chamber; so that the
affairs of the household and of the plantation do mainly rest upon the
young women.  If ever I get back to Hilton Grange again, I shall have
tales to tell of my baking and brewing, of my pumpkin-pies, and bread
made of the flour of the Indian corn; yea, more, of gathering of the
wild fruit in the woods, and cranberries in the meadows, milking the
cows, and looking after the pigs and barnyard fowls.  Then, too, we have
had many pleasant little journeys by water and on horseback, young
Mr. Jordan, of Spurwiuk, who hath asked Polly in marriage, going with us.
A right comely youth he is, but a great Churchman, as might be expected,
his father being the minister of the Black Point people, and very bitter
towards the Massachusetts and its clergy and government.  My uncle, who
meddles little with Church' matters, thinks him a hopeful young man, and
not an ill suitor for his daughter.  He hath been in England for his
learning, and is accounted a scholar; but, although intended for the
Church service, he inclineth more to the life of a planter, and taketh
the charge of his father's plantation at Spurwink.  Polly is not
beautiful and graceful like Rebecca Rawson, but she hath freshness of
youth and health, and a certain good-heartedness of look and voice, and
a sweetness of temper which do commend her in the eyes of all.  Thankful
is older by some years, and, if not as cheerful and merry as her sister,
it needs not be marvelled at, since one whom she loved was killed in the
Narragansett country two years ago.  O these bloody wars.  There be few
in these Eastern Provinces who have not been called to mourn the loss of
some near and dear friend, so that of a truth the land mourns.



September 18.

Meeting much disturbed yesterday,--a ranting Quaker coming in and
sitting with his hat on in sermon time, humming and groaning, and
rocking his body to and fro like one possessed.  After a time he got up,
and pronounced a great woe upon the priests, calling them many hard
names, and declaring that the whole land stank with their hypocrisy.
Uncle spake sharply to him, and bid him hold his peace, but he only
cried out the louder.  Some young men then took hold of him, and carried
him out.  They brought him along close to my seat, he hanging like a bag
of meal, with his eyes shut, as ill-favored a body as I ever beheld.
The magistrates had him smartly whipped this morning, and sent out of
the jurisdiction.  I was told he was no true Quaker; for, although a
noisy, brawling hanger-on at their meetings, he is not in fellowship
with the more sober and discreet of that people.

Rebecca writes me that the witchcraft in William Morse's house is much
talked of; and that Caleb Powell hath been complained of as the wizard.
Mr. Jordan the elder says he does in no wise marvel at the Devil's power
in the Massachusetts, since at his instigation the rulers and ministers
of the Colony have set themselves, against the true and Gospel order of
the Church, and do slander and persecute all who will not worship at
their conventicles.

A Mr. Van Valken, a young gentleman of Dutch descent, and the agent of
Mr. Edmund Andross, of the Duke of York's Territory, is now in this
place, being entertained by Mr. Godfrey, the late Deputy-Governor.  He
brought a letter for me from Aunt Rawson, whom he met in Boston.  He is
a learned, serious man, hath travelled a good deal, and hath an air of
high breeding.  The minister here thinks him a Papist, and a Jesuit,
especially as he hath not called upon him, nor been to the meeting.  He
goes soon to Pemaquid, to take charge of that fort and trading station,
which have greatly suffered by the war.



September 30.

Yesterday, Cousin Polly and myself, with young Mr. Jordan, went up to
the top of the mountain, which is some miles from the harbor.  It is not
hard to climb in respect to steepness, but it is so tangled with bushes
and vines, that one can scarce break through them.  The open places were
yellow with golden-rods, and the pale asters were plenty in the shade,
and by the side of the brooks, that with pleasing noise did leap down
the hill.  When we got upon the top, which is bare and rocky, we had a
fair view of the coast, with its many windings and its islands, from the
Cape Ann, near Boston, to the Cape Elizabeth, near Casco, the Piscataqua
and Agamenticus rivers; and away in the northwest we could see the peaks
of mountains looking like summer clouds or banks of gray fog.  These
mountains lie many leagues off in the wilderness, and are said to be
exceeding lofty.

But I must needs speak of the color of the woods, which did greatly
amaze me, as unlike anything I had ever seen in old England.  As far as
mine eyes could look, the mighty wilderness, under the bright westerly
sun, and stirred by a gentle wind, did seem like a garden in its season
of flowering; green, dark, and light, orange, and pale yellow, and
crimson leaves, mingling and interweaving their various hues, in a
manner truly wonderful to behold.  It is owing, I am told, to the sudden
frosts, which in this climate do smite the vegetation in its full life
and greenness, so that in the space of a few days the colors of the
leaves are marvellously changed and brightened.  These colors did remind
me of the stains of the windows of old churches, and of rich tapestry.
The maples were all aflame with crimson, the walnuts were orange, the
hemlocks and cedars were wellnigh black; while the slender birches, with
their pale yellow leaves, seemed painted upon them as pictures are laid
upon a dark ground.  I gazed until mine eyes grew weary, and a sense of
the wonderful beauty of the visible creation, and of God's great
goodness to the children of men therein, did rest upon me, and I said in
mine heart, with one of old: "O Lord! how manifold are thy works in
wisdom hast thou made them all, and the earth is full of thy riches."



October 6.

Walked out to the iron mines, a great hole digged in the rocks, many
years ago, for the finding of iron.  Aunt, who was then just settled in
housekeeping, told me many wonderful stories of the man who caused it to
be digged, a famous doctor of physic, and, as it seems, a great wizard
also.  He bought a patent of land on the south side of the Saco River,
four miles by the sea, and eight miles up into the main-land of Mr.
Vines, the first owner thereof; and being curious in the seeking and
working of metals, did promise himself great riches in this new country;
but his labors came to nothing, although it was said that Satan helped
him, in the shape of a little blackamoor man-servant, who was his
constant familiar.  My aunt says she did often see him, wandering about
among the hills and woods, and along the banks of streams of water,
searching for precious ores and stones.  He had even been as far as the
great mountains, beyond Pigwackett, climbing to the top thereof, where
the snows lie wellnigh all the year, his way thither lying through
doleful swamps and lonesome woods.  He was a great friend of the
Indians, who held him to be a more famous conjurer than their own
powahs; and, indeed, he was learned in all curious and occult arts,
having studied at the great College of Padua, and travelled in all parts
of the old countries.  He sometimes stopped in his travels at my uncle's
house, the little blackamoor sleeping in the barn, for my aunt feared
him, as he was reputed to be a wicked imp.  Now it so chanced that on
one occasion my uncle had lost a cow, and had searched the woods many
days for her to no purpose, when, this noted doctor coming in, he
besought him to find her out by his skill and learning; but he did
straightway deny his power to do so, saying he was but a poor scholar,
and lover of science, and had no greater skill in occult matters than
any one might attain to by patient study of natural things.  But as mine
uncle would in no wise be so put off, and still pressing him to his art,
he took a bit of coal, and began to make marks on the floor, in a very
careless way.

Then he made a black dot in the midst, and bade my uncle take heed that
his cow was lying dead in that spot; and my uncle looking at it, said he
Could find her, for he now knew where she was, inasmuch as the doctor
had made a fair map of the country round about for many miles.  So he
set off, and found the cow lying at the foot of a great tree, close
beside a brook, she being quite dead, which thing did show that he was a
magician of no Mean sort.

My aunt further said, that in those days there was great talk of mines
of gold and precious stones, and many people spent all their substance
in wandering about over the wilderness country seeking a fortune in this
way.  There was one old man, who, she remembered, did roam about seeking
for hidden treasures, until he lost his wits, and might be seen filling
a bag with bright stones and shining sand, muttering and laughing to
himself.  He was at last missed for some little time, when he was found
lying dead in the woods, still holding fast in his hands his bag of
pebbles.

On my querying whether any did find treasures hereabout, my aunt
laughed, and said she never heard of but one man who did so, and that
was old Peter Preble of Saco, who, growing rich faster than his
neighbors, was thought to owe his fortune to the finding of a gold or
silver mine.  When he was asked about it, he did by no means deny it,
but confessed he had found treasures in the sea as well as on the land;
and, pointing to his loaded fish-flakes and his great cornfields, said,
"Here are my mines."  So that afterwards, when any one prospered greatly
in his estate, it was said of him by his neighbors, "He has been working
Peter Preble's mine."



October 8.

Mr. Van Valken, the Dutchman, had before Mr. Rishworth, one of the
Commissioners of the Province, charged with being a Papist and a Jesuit.
He bore himself, I am told, haughtily enough, denying the right to call
him in question, and threatening the interference of his friend and
ruler, Sir Edmund, on account of the wrong done him.

My uncle and others did testify that he was a civil and courteous
gentleman, not intermeddling with matters of a religious nature; and
that they did regard it as a foul shame to the town that he should be
molested in this wise.  But the minister put them to silence, by
testifying that he (Van Valken) had given away sundry Papist books; and,
one of them being handed to the Court, it proved to be a Latin Treatise,
by a famous Papist, intituled, "The Imitation of Christ."  Hereupon, Mr.
Godfrey asked if there was aught evil in the book.  The minister said it
was written by a monk, and was full of heresy, favoring both the Quakers
and the Papists; but Mr. Godfrey told him it had been rendered into the
English tongue, and printed some years before in the Massachusetts Bay;
and asked him if he did accuse such men as Mr. Cotton and Mr. Wilson,
and the pious ministers of their day, of heresy.  "Nay," quoth the
minister, "they did see the heresy of the book, and, on their condemning
it, the General Court did forbid its sale."  Mr. Rishworth hereupon said
he did judge the book to be pernicious, and bade the constable burn it
in the street, which he did.  Mr. Van Valken, after being gravely
admonished, was set free; and he now saith he is no Papist, but that he
would not have said that much to the Court to save his life, inasmuch as
he did deny its right of arraigning him.  Mr. Godfrey says the treatment
whereof he complains is but a sample of what the people hereaway are to
look for from the Massachusetts jurisdiction.  Mr. Jordan, the younger,
says his father hath a copy of the condemned book, of the Boston
printing; and I being curious to see it, he offers to get it for me.

Like unto Newbury, this is an old town for so new a country.  It was
made a city in 1642, and took the name of Gorgeana, after that of the
lord proprietor, Sir Ferdinando Gorges.  The government buildings are
spacious, but now falling into decay somewhat.  There be a few stone
houses, but the major part are framed, or laid up with square logs.  The
look of the land a little out of the town is rude and unpleasing, being
much covered with stones and stumps; yet the soil is said to be strong,
and the pear and apple do flourish well here; also they raise rye, oats,
and barley, and the Indian corn, and abundance of turnips, as well as
pumpkins, squashes, and melons.  The war with the Indians, and the
troubles and changes of government, have pressed heavily upon this and
other towns of the Maine, so that I am told that there be now fewer
wealthy planters here than there were twenty years ago, and little
increase of sheep or horned cattle.  The people do seem to me less sober
and grave, in their carriage and conversation, than they of the
Massachusetts,--hunting, fishing, and fowling more, and working on the
land less.  Nor do they keep the Lord's Day so strict; many of the young
people going abroad, both riding and walking, visiting each other, and
diverting themselves, especially after the meetings are over.



October 9.

Goodwife Nowell, an ancient gossip of mine aunt's, looking in this
morning, and talking of the trial of the Dutchman, Van Valken, spake
of the coming into these parts many years ago of one Sir Christopher
Gardiner, who was thought to be a Papist.  He sought lodgings at her
house for one whom he called his cousin, a fair young woman, together
with her serving girl, who did attend upon her.  She tarried about a
month, seeing no one, and going out only towards the evening,
accompanied by her servant.  She spake little, but did seem melancholy
and exceeding mournful, often crying very bitterly.  Sir Christopher
came only once to see her, and Good wife Nowell saith she well remembers
seeing her take leave of him on the roadside, and come back weeping and
sobbing dolefully; and that a little time after, bearing that he had
gotten into trouble in Boston as a Papist and man of loose behavior, she
suddenly took her departure in a vessel sailing for the Massachusetts,
leaving to her, in pay for house-room and diet, a few coins, a gold
cross, and some silk stuffs and kerchiefs.  The cross being such as the
Papists do worship, and therefore unlawful, her husband did beat it into
a solid wedge privately, and kept it from the knowledge of the minister
and the magistrates.  But as the poor man never prospered after, but
lost his cattle and grain, and two of their children dying of measles
the next year, and he himself being sickly, and near his end, he spake
to her of he golden cross, saying that he did believe it was a great sin
to keep it, as he had done, and that it had wrought evil upon him, even
as the wedge of gold, and the shekels, and Babylonish garment did upon
Achan, who was stoned, with all his house, in the valley of Achor; and
the minister coming in, and being advised concerning it, he judged that
although it might be a sin to keep it hidden from a love of riches, it
might, nevertheless, be safely used to support Gospel preaching and
ordinances, and so did himself take it away.  The goodwife says, that
notwithstanding her husband died soon after, yet herself and household
did from thenceforth begin to amend their estate and condition.

Seeing me curious concerning this Sir Christopher and his cousin,
Goodwife Nowell said there was a little parcel of papers which she found
in her room after the young woman went away, and she thought they might
yet be in some part of her house, though she had not seen them for a
score of years.  Thereupon, I begged of her to look for them, which she
promised to do.



October 14.

A strange and wonderful providence!  Last night there was a great
company of the neighbors at my uncle's, to help him in the husking and
stripping of the corn, as is the custom in these parts.  The barn-floor
was about half-filled with the corn in its dry leaves; the company
sitting down on blocks and stools before it, plucking off the leaves,
and throwing the yellow ears into baskets.  A pleasant and merry evening
we had; and when the corn was nigh stripped, I went into the house with
Cousin Thankful, to look to the supper and the laying of the tables,
when we heard a loud noise in the barn, and one of the girls came
running in, crying out, "O Thankful!  Thankful!  John Gibbins has
appeared to us!  His spirit is in the barn!"  The plates dropt from my
cousin's hand, and, with a faint cry, she fell back against the wall for
a little space; when, hearing a man's voice without, speaking her name,
she ran to the door, with the look of one beside herself; while I,
trembling to see her in such a plight, followed her.  There was a clear
moon, and a tall man stood in the light close to the door.

"John," said my cousin, in a quick, choking voice, "is it You?"

"Why, Thankful, don't you know me?  I'm alive; but the folks in the barn
will have it that I 'm a ghost," said the man, springing towards her.

With a great cry of joy and wonder, my cousin caught hold of him: "O
John, you are alive!"

Then she swooned quite away, and we had a deal to do to bring her to
life again.  By this time, the house was full of people, and among the
rest came John's old mother and his sisters, and we all did weep and
laugh at the same time.  As soon as we got a little quieted, John told
us that he had indeed been grievously stunned by the blow of a tomahawk,
and been left for dead by his comrades, but that after a time he did
come to his senses, and was able to walk; but, falling into the hands of
the Indians, he was carried off to the French Canadas, where, by reason
of his great sufferings on the way, he fell sick, and lay for a long
time at the point of death.  That when he did get about again, the
savage who lodged him, and who had taken him as a son, in the place of
his own, slain by the Mohawks, would not let him go home, although he
did confess that the war was at an end.  His Indian father, he said, who
was feeble and old, died not long ago, and he had made his way home by
the way of Crown Point and Albany.  Supper being ready, we all sat down,
and the minister, who had been sent for, offered thanks for the
marvellous preserving and restoring of the friend who was lost and now
was found, as also for the blessings of peace, by reason of which every
man could now sit under his own vine and fig-tree, with none to molest
or make him afraid, and for the abundance of the harvest, and the
treasures of the seas, and the spoil of the woods, so that our land
might take up the song of the Psalmist: "The Lord doth build up
Jerusalem; he gathereth the outcasts of Israel; he healeth the broken in
heart.  Praise thy God, O Zion I For he strengtheneth the bars of thy
gates, he maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest
of wheat."  Oh! a sweet supper we had, albeit little was eaten, for we
were filled fall of joy, and needed not other food.  When the company
had gone, my dear cousin and her betrothed went a little apart, and
talked of all that had happened unto them during their long separation.
I left them sitting lovingly together in the light of the moon, and a
measure of their unspeakable happiness did go with me to my pillow.

This morning, Thankful came to my bedside to pour out her heart to me.
The poor girl is like a new creature.  The shade of her heavy sorrow,
which did formerly rest upon her countenance, hath passed off like a
morning cloud, and her eye hath the light of a deep and quiet joy.

"I now know," said she, "what David meant when he said, 'We are like
them that dream; our mouth is filled with laughter, and our tongue with
singing; the Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad!'"



October 18.

A cloudy wet day.  Goody Nowell brought me this morning a little parcel
of papers, which she found in the corner of a closet.  They are much
stained and smoked, and the mice have eaten them sadly, so that I can
make little of them.  They seem to be letters, and some fragments of
what did take place in the life of a young woman of quality from the
North of England.  I find frequent mention made of Cousin Christopher,
who is also spoken of as a soldier in the wars with the Turks, and as a
Knight of Jerusalem.  Poorly as I can make out the meaning of these
fragments, I have read enough to make my heart sad, for I gather from
them that the young woman was in early life betrothed to her cousin, and
that afterwards, owing, as I judge, to the authority of her parents, she
did part with him, he going abroad, and entering into the wars, in the
belief that she was to wed another.  But it seemed that the heart of the
young woman did so plead for her cousin, that she could not be brought
to marry as her family willed her to do; and, after a lapse of years,
she, by chance hearing that Sir Christopher had gone to the New England,
where he was acting as an agent of his kinsman, Sir Ferdinando Gorges,
in respect to the Maine Province, did privately leave her home, and take
passage in a Boston bound ship.  How she did make herself known to Sir
Christopher, I find no mention made; but, he now being a Knight of the
Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and vowed to forego marriage, as is the
rule of that Order, and being, moreover, as was thought, a priest or
Jesuit, her great love and constancy could meet with but a sorrowful
return on his part.  It does appear, however, that he journeyed to
Montreal, to take counsel of some of the great Papist priests there,
touching the obtaining of a dispensation from the Head of the Church,
so that he might marry the young woman; but, getting no encouragement
therein, he went to Boston to find a passage for her to England again.
He was there complained of as a Papist; and the coming over of his
cousin being moreover known, a great and cruel scandal did arise from
it, and he was looked upon as a man of evil life, though I find nothing
to warrant such a notion, but much to the contrary thereof.  What became
of him and the young woman, his cousin, in the end, I do not learn.

One small parcel did affect me even unto tears.  It was a paper
containing some dry, withered leaves of roses, with these words written
on it "To Anna, from her loving cousin, Christopher Gardiner, being the
first rose that hath blossomed this season in the College garden.  St.
Omer's, June, 1630."  I could but think how many tears had been shed
over this little token, and how often, through long, weary years, it did
call to mind the sweet joy of early love, of that fairest blossom of the
spring of life of which it was an emblem, alike in its beauty and its
speedy withering.

There be moreover among the papers sundry verses, which do seem to have
been made by Sir Christopher; they are in the Latin tongue, and
inscribed to his cousin, bearing date many years before the twain were
in this country, and when he was yet a scholar at the Jesuits' College
of St. Omer's, in France.  I find nothing of a later time, save the
verses which I herewith copy, over which there are, in a woman's
handwriting, these words:


"VERSES

"Writ by Sir Christopher when a prisoner among the Turks in Moldavia,
and expecting death at their hands.

     1.
     "Ere down the blue Carpathian hills
     The sun shall fall again,
     Farewell this life and all its ills,
     Farewell to cell and chain

     2.
     "These prison shades are dark and cold,
     But darker far than they
     The shadow of a sorrow old
     Is on mine heart alway.

     3.
     "For since the day when Warkworth wood
     Closed o'er my steed and I,--
     An alien from my name and blood,--
     A weed cast out to die;

     4.
     "When, looking back, in sunset light
     I saw her turret gleam,
     And from its window, far and white,
     Her sign of farewell stream;

     5.
     "Like one who from some desert shore
     Does home's green isles descry,
     And, vainly longing, gazes o'er
     The waste of wave and sky,

     6.
     "So, from the desert of my fate,
     Gaze I across the past;
     And still upon life's dial-plate
     The shade is backward cast

     7.
     "I've wandered wide from shore to shore,
     I've knelt at many a shrine,
     And bowed me to the rocky floor
     Where Bethlehem's tapers shine;

     8.
     "And by the Holy Sepulchre
     I've pledged my knightly sword,
     To Christ his blessed Church, and her
     The Mother of our Lord!

     9.
     "Oh, vain the vow, and vain the strife
     How vain do all things seem!
     My soul is in the past, and life
     To-day is but a dream.

     10.
     "In vain the penance strange and long,
     And hard for flesh to bear;
     The prayer, the fasting, and the thong,
     And sackcloth shirt of hair:

     11.
     "The eyes of memory will not sleep,
     Its ears are open still,
     And vigils with the past they keep
     Against or with my will.

     12.
     "And still the loves and hopes of old
     Do evermore uprise;
     I see the flow of locks of gold,
     The shine of loving eyes.

     13.
     "Ah me! upon another's breast
     Those golden locks recline;
     I see upon another rest
     The glance that once was mine!

     14.
     "'O faithless priest!  O perjured knight!'
     I hear the master cry,

     'Shut out the vision from thy sight,
     Let earth and nature die.'

     15.
     "'The Church of God is now my spouse,
     And thou the bridegroom art;
     Then let the burden of thy vows
     Keep down thy human heart.'

     16.
     "In vain!--This heart its grief must know,
     Till life itself hath ceased,
     And falls beneath the self-same blow
     The lover and the priest!

     17.
     "O pitying Mother! souls of light,
     And saints and martyrs old,
     Pray for a weak and sinful knight,
     A suffering man uphold.

     18.
     "Then let the Paynim work his will,
     Let death unbind my chain,
     Ere down yon blue Carpathian hill
     The sunset falls again!"


My heart is heavy with the thought of these unfortunates.  Where be they
now?  Did the knight forego his false worship and his vows, and so marry
his beloved Anna?  Or did they part forever,--she going back to her
kinsfolk, and he to his companions of Malta?  Did he perish at the hands
of the infidels, and does the maiden sleep in the family tomb, under her
father's oaks?  Alas!  who can tell?  I must needs leave them, and their
sorrows and trials, to Him who doth not willingly afflict the children
of men; and whatsoever may have been their sins and their follies, my
prayer is, that they may be forgiven, for they loved much.



October 20.

I do purpose to start to-morrow for the Massachusetts, going by boat to
the Piscataqua River, and thence by horse to Newbury.

Young Mr. Jordan spent yesterday and last night with us.  He is a goodly
youth, of a very sweet and gentle disposition; nor doth he seem to me to
lack spirit, although his father (who liketh not his quiet ways and easy
temper, so contrary to his own, and who is sorely disappointed in that
he hath chosen the life of a farmer to that of a minister, for which he
did intend him) often accuseth him of that infirmity.  Last night we had
much pleasant discourse touching the choice he hath made; and when I
told him that perhaps he might have become a great prelate in the
Church, and dwelt in a palace, and made a great lady of our cousin;
whereas now I did see no better prospect for him than to raise corn for
his wife to make pudding of, and chop wood to boil her kettle, he
laughed right merrily, and said he should never have gotten higher than
a curate in a poor parish; and as for Polly, he was sure she was more at
home in making puddings than in playing the fine lady.

"For my part," he continued, in a serious manner, "I have no notion that
the pulpit is my place; I like the open fields and sky better than the
grandest churches of man's building; and when the wind sounds in the
great grove of pines on the hill near our house, I doubt if there be a
choir in all England so melodious and solemn.  These painted autumn
woods, and this sunset light, and yonder clouds of gold and purple, do
seem to me better fitted to provoke devotional thoughts, and to awaken a
becoming reverence and love for the Creator, than the stained windows
and lofty arched roofs of old minsters.  I do know, indeed, that there
be many of our poor busy planters, who, by reason of ignorance, ill-
breeding, and lack of quiet for contemplation, do see nothing in these
things, save as they do affect their crops of grain or grasses, or their
bodily comforts in one way or another.  But to them whose minds have
been enlightened and made large and free by study and much reflection,
and whose eyes have been taught to behold the beauty and fitness of
things, and whose ears have been so opened that they can hear the
ravishing harmonies of the creation, the life of a planter is very
desirable even in this wilderness, and notwithstanding the toil and
privation thereunto appertaining.  There be fountains gushing up in the
hearts of such, sweeter than the springs of water which flow from the
hillsides, where they sojourn; and therein, also, flowers of the summer
do blossom all the year long.  The brutish man knoweth not this, neither
doth the fool comprehend it."

"See, now," said Polly to me, "how hard he is upon us poor unlearned
folk."

"Nay, to tell the truth," said he, turning towards me, "your cousin here
is to be held not a little accountable for my present inclinations; for
she it was who did confirm and strengthen them.  While I had been busy
over books, she had been questioning the fields and the woods; and, as
if the old fables of the poets were indeed true, she did get answers
from them, as the priestesses and sibyls did formerly from the rustling
of leaves and trees, and the sounds of running waters; so that she could
teach me much concerning the uses and virtues of plants and shrubs, and
of their time of flowering and decay; of the nature and habitudes of
wild animals and birds, the changes of the air, and of the clouds and
winds.  My science, so called, had given me little more than the names
of things which to her were familiar and common.  It was in her company
that I learned to read nature as a book always open, and full of
delectable teachings, until my poor school-lore did seem undesirable and
tedious, and the very chatter of the noisy blackbirds in the spring
meadows more profitable and more pleasing than the angry disputes and
the cavils and subtleties of schoolmen and divines."

My cousin blushed, and, smiling through her moist eyes at this language
of her beloved friend, said that I must not believe all he said; for,
indeed, it was along of his studies of the heathen poets that he had
first thought of becoming a farmer.  And she asked him to repeat some of
the verses which he had at his tongue's end.  He laughed, and said he
did suppose she meant some lines of Horace, which had been thus
Englished:--

              "I often wished I had a farm,
               A decent dwelling, snug and warm,
               A garden, and a spring as pure
               As crystal flowing by my door,
               Besides an ancient oaken grove,
               Where at my leisure I might rove.

              "The gracious gods, to crown my bliss,
               Have granted this, and more than this,--
               They promise me a modest spouse,
               To light my hearth and keep my house.
               I ask no more than, free from strife,
               To hold these blessings all my life!"

Tam exceedingly pleased, I must say, with the prospect of my cousin
Polly.  Her suitor is altogether a worthy young man; and, making
allowances for the uncertainty of all human things, she may well look
forward to a happy life with him.  I shall leave behind on the morrow
dear friends, who were strangers unto me a few short weeks ago, but in
whose joys and sorrows I shall henceforth always partake, so far as I do
come to the knowledge of them, whether or no I behold their faces any
more in this life.



HAMPTON, October 24, 1678.

I took leave of my good friends at Agamenticus, or York, as it is now
called, on the morning after the last date in my journal, going in a
boat with my uncle to Piscataqua and Strawberry Bank.  It was a cloudy
day, and I was chilled through before we got to the mouth of the river;
but, as the high wind was much in our favor, we were enabled to make the
voyage in a shorter time than is common.  We stopped a little at the
house of a Mr. Cutts, a man of some note in these parts; but he being
from home, and one of the children sick with a quinsy, we went up the
river to Strawberry Bank, where we tarried over night.  The woman who
entertained us had lost her husband in the war, and having to see to the
ordering of matters out of doors in this busy season of harvest, it was
no marvel that she did neglect those within.  I made a comfortable
supper of baked pumpkin and milk, and for lodgings I had a straw bed on
the floor, in the dark loft, which was piled wellnigh full with corn-
ears, pumpkins, and beans, besides a great deal of old household
trumpery, wool, and flax, and the skins of animals.  Although tired of
my journey, it was some little time before I could get asleep; and it so
fell out, that after the folks of the house were all abed, and still, it
being, as I judge, nigh midnight, I chanced to touch with my foot a
pumpkin lying near the bed, which set it a-rolling down the stairs,
bumping hard on every stair as it went.  Thereupon I heard a great stir
below, the woman and her three daughters crying out that the house was
haunted.  Presently she called to me from the foot of the stairs, and
asked me if I did hear anything.  I laughed so at all this, that it was
some time before I could speak; when I told her I did hear a thumping on
the stairs.  "Did it seem to go up, or down?"  inquired she, anxiously;
and on my telling her that the sound went downward, she set up a sad
cry, and they all came fleeing into the corn-loft, the girls bouncing
upon my bed, and hiding under the blanket, and the old woman praying and
groaning, and saying that she did believe it was the spirit of her poor
husband.  By this time my uncle, who was lying on the settle in the room
below, hearing the noise, got up, and stumbling over the pumpkin, called
to know what was the matter.  Thereupon the woman bade him flee up
stairs, for there was a ghost in the kitchen.  "Pshaw!" said my uncle,
"is that all?  I thought to be sure the Indians had come."  As soon as I
could speak for laughing, I told the poor creature what it was that so
frightened her; at which she was greatly vexed; and, after she went to
bed again, I could hear her scolding me for playing tricks upon honest
people.

We were up betimes in the morning, which was bright and pleasant.  Uncle
soon found a friend of his, a Mr. Weare, who, with his wife, was to go
to his home, at Hampton, that day, and who did kindly engage to see me
thus far on my way.  At about eight of the clock we got upon our horses,
the woman riding on a pillion behind her husband.  Our way was for some
miles through the woods,--getting at times a view of the sea, and
passing some good, thriving plantations.  The woods in this country are
by no means like those of England, where the ancient trees are kept
clear of bushes and undergrowth, and the sward beneath them is shaven
clean and close; whereas here they be much tangled with vines, and the
dead boughs and logs which have fallen, from their great age or which
the storms do beat off, or the winter snows and ices do break down.
Here, also, through the thick matting of dead leaves, all manner of
shrubs and bushes, some of them very sweet and fair in their flowering,
and others greatly prized for their healing virtues, do grow up
plenteously.  In the season of them, many wholesome fruits abound in the
woods, such as blue and black berries.  We passed many trees, well
loaded with walnuts and oilnuts, seeming all alive, as it were, with
squirrels, striped, red, and gray, the last having a large, spreading
tail, which Mr. Weare told me they do use as a sail, to catch the wind,
that it may blow them over rivers and creeks, on pieces of bark, in some
sort like that wonderful shell-fish which transformeth itself into a
boat, and saileth on the waves of the sea.  We also found grapes, both
white and purple, hanging down in clusters from the trees, over which
the vines did run, nigh upon as large as those which the Jews of old
plucked at Eschol.  The air was sweet and soft, and there was a clear,
but not a hot sun, and the chirping of squirrels, and the noise of
birds, and the sound of the waves breaking on the beach a little
distance off, and the leaves, at every breath of the wind in the tree-
tops, whirling and fluttering down about me, like so many yellow and
scarlet-colored birds, made the ride wonderfully pleasant and
entertaining.

Mr. Weare, on the way, told me that there was a great talk of the
bewitching of Goodman Morse's house at Newbury, and that the case of
Caleb Powell was still before the Court, he being vehemently suspected
of the mischief.  I told him I thought the said Caleb was a vain,
talking man, but nowise of a wizard.  The thing most against him, Mr.
Weare said, was this: that he did deny at the first that the house was
troubled by evil spirits, and even went so far as to doubt that such
things could be at all.  "Yet many wiser men than Caleb Powell do deny
the same," I said.  "True," answered he; "but, as good Mr. Richardson,
of Newbury, well saith, there have never lacked Sadducees, who believe
not in angel or spirit."  I told the story of the disturbance at
Strawberry Bank the night before, and how so silly a thing as a rolling
pumpkin did greatly terrify a whole household; and said I did not doubt
this Newbury trouble was something very like it.  Hereupon the good
woman took the matter up, saying she had been over to Newbury, and had
seen with her own eyes, and heard with her own ears; and that she could
say of it as the Queen of Sheba did of Solomon's glory, "The half had
not been told her."  She then went on to tell me of many marvellous and
truly unaccountable things, so that I must needs think there is an
invisible hand at work there.

We reached Hampton about one hour before noon; and riding up the road
towards the meeting-house, to my great joy, Uncle Rawson, who had
business with the Commissioners then sitting, came out to meet me,
bidding me go on to Mr. Weare's house, whither he would follow me when
the Court did adjourn.  He came thither accordingly, to sup and lodge,
bringing with him Mr. Pike the elder, one of the magistrates, a grave,
venerable man, the father of mine old acquaintance, Robert.  Went in the
evening with Mistress Weare and her maiden sister to see a young girl in
the neighborhood, said to be possessed, or bewitched; but for mine own
part I did see nothing in her behavior beyond that of a vicious and
spoiled child, delighting in mischief.  Her grandmother, with whom she
lives, lays the blame on an ill-disposed woman, named Susy Martin,
living in Salisbury.  Mr. Pike, who dwells near this Martin, saith she
is no witch, although an arrant scold, as was her mother before her; and
as for the girl, he saith that a birch twig, smartly laid on, would cure
her sooner than the hanging of all the old women in the Colony.
Mistress Weare says this is not the first time the Evil Spirit hath been
at work in Hampton; for they did all remember the case of Goody
Marston's child, who was, from as fair and promising an infant as one
would wish to see, changed into the likeness of an ape, to the great
grief and sore shame of its parents; and, moreover, that when the child
died, there was seen by more than one person a little old woman in a
blue cloak, and petticoat of the same color, following on after the
mourners, and looking very like old Eunice Cole, who was then locked
fast in Ipswich jail, twenty miles off.  Uncle Rawson says he has all
the papers in his possession touching the trial of this Cole, and will
let me see them when we get back to Newbury.  There was much talk on
this matter, which so disturbed my fancy that I slept but poorly.  This
afternoon we go over to Newbury, where, indeed, I do greatly long to be
once more.



NEWBURY, October 26.

Cousin Rebecca gone to Boston, and not expected home until next week.
The house seems lonely without her.  R. Pike looked in upon us this
morning, telling us that there was a rumor in Boston, brought by way of
the New York Colony, that a great Papist Plot had been discovered in
England, and that it did cause much alarm in London and thereabout.
R. Pike saith he doubts not the Papists do plot, it being the custom of
their Jesuits so to do; but that, nevertheless, it would be no strange
thing if it should be found that the Bishops and the Government did set
this rumor a-going, for the excuse and occasion of some new persecutions
of Independents and godly people.



October 27.

Mr. Richardson preached yesterday, from Deuteronomy xviii. 10th, 11th,
and 12th verses.  An ingenious and solid discourse, in which he showed
that, as among the heathen nations surrounding the Jews, there were
sorcerers, charmers, wizards, and consulters with familiar spirits, who
were an abomination to the Lord, so in our time the heathen nations of
Indians had also their powahs and panisees and devilish wizards, against
whom the warning of the text might well be raised by the watchmen on the
walls of our Zion.  He moreover said that the arts of the Adversary were
now made manifest in this place in a most strange and terrible manner,
and it did become the duty of all godly persons to pray and wrestle with
the Lord, that they who have made a covenant with hell may be speedily
discovered in their wickedness, and cut off from the congregation.  An
awful discourse, which made many tremble and quake, and did quite
overcome Goodwife Morse, she being a weakly woman, so that she had to be
carried out of the meeting.

It being cold weather, and a damp easterly wind keeping me within doors,
I have been looking over with uncle his papers about the Hampton witch,
Eunice Cole, who was twice tried for her mischiefs; and I incline to
copy some of them, as I know they will be looked upon as worthy of,
record by my dear Cousin Oliver and mine other English friends.  I find
that as long ago as the year 1656, this same Eunice Cole was complained
of, and many witnesses did testify to her wickedness.  Here followeth
some of the evidence on the first trial:--

"The deposition of Goody Marston and Goodwife Susanna Palmer, who, being
sworn, sayeth, that Goodwife Cole saith that she was sure there was a
witch in town, and that she knew where he dwelt, and who they are, and
that thirteen years ago she knew one bewitched as Goodwife Marston's
child was, and she was sure that party was bewitched, for it told her
so, and it was changed from a man to an ape, as Goody Marston's child
was, and she had prayed this thirteen year that God would discover that
witch.  And further the deponent saith not.

"Taken on oath before the Commissioners of Hampton, the 8th of the 2nd
mo., 1656.

                                   "WILLIAM FULLER.
                                   "HENRY DOW.

  "Vera copea:
           "THOS. BRADBURY, Recorder.

  "Sworn before, the 4th of September, 1656,

  "EDWARD RAWSON.


"Thomas Philbrick testifieth that Goody Cole told him that if any of his
calves did eat of her grass, she hoped it would poison them; and it fell
out that one never came home again, and the other coming home died soon
after.

"Henry Morelton's wife and Goodwife Sleeper depose that, talking about
Goody Cole and Marston's child, they did hear a great scraping against
the boards of the window, which was not done by a cat or dog.

"Thomas Coleman's wife testifies that Goody Cole did repeat to another
the very words which passed between herself and her husband, in their
own house, in private; and Thomas Ormsby, the constable of Salisbury,
testifies, that when he did strip Eunice Cole of her shift, to be
whipped, by the judgment of the Court at Salisbury, he saw a witch's
mark under her left breast.  Moreover, one Abra. Drake doth depose and
say, that this Goody Cole threatened that the hand of God would be
against his cattle, and forthwith two of his cattle died, and before the
end of summer a third also."


About five years ago, she was again presented by the Jury for the
Massachusetts jurisdiction, for having "entered into a covenant with the
Devil, contrary to the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King, his crown
and dignity, the laws of God and this jurisdiction"; and much testimony
was brought against her, tending to show her to be an arrant witch.  For
it seems she did fix her evil eye upon a little maid named Ann Smith, to
entice her to her house, appearing unto her in the shape of a little old
woman, in a blue coat, a blue cap, and a blue apron, and a white
neckcloth, and presently changing into a dog, and running up a tree, and
then into an eagle flying in the air, and lastly into a gray cat,
speaking to her, and troubling her in a grievous manner.  Moreover, the
constable of the town of Hampton testifies, that, having to supply Goody
Cole with diet, by order of the town, she being poor, she complained
much of him, and after that his wife could bake no bread in the oven
which did not speedily rot and become loathsome to the smell, but the
same meal baked at a neighbor's made good and sweet bread; and, further,
that one night there did enter into their chamber a smell like that of
the bewitched bread, only more loathsome, and plainly diabolical in its
nature, so that, as the constable's wife saith, "she was fain to rise in
the night and desire her husband to go to prayer to drive away the
Devil; and he, rising, went to prayer, and after that, the smell was
gone, so that they were not troubled with it."  There is also the
testimony of Goodwife Perkins, that she did see, on the Lord's day,
while Mr. Dalton was preaching, an imp in the shape of a mouse, fall out
the bosom of Eunice Cole down into her lap.  For all which, the County
Court, held at Salisbury, did order her to be sent to the Boston Jail,
to await her trial at the Court of Assistants.  This last Court, I learn
from mine uncle, did not condemn her, as some of the evidence was old,
and not reliable.  Uncle saith she was a wicked old woman, who had been
often whipped and set in the ducking-stool, but whether she was a witch
or no, he knows not for a certainty.



November 8.

Yesterday, to my great joy, came my beloved Cousin Rebecca from Boston.
In her company also came the worthy minister and doctor of medicine, Mr.
Russ, formerly of Wells, but now settled at a plantation near Cocheco.
He is to make some little tarry in this town, where at this present time
many complain of sickness.  Rebecca saith he is one of the excellent of
the earth, and, like his blessed Lord and Master, delighteth in going
about doing good, and comforting both soul and body.  He hath a
cheerful, pleasant countenance, and is very active, albeit he is well
stricken in years.  He is to preach for Mr. Richardson next Sabhath, and
in the mean time lodgeth at my uncle's house.

This morning the weather is raw and cold, the ground frozen, and some
snow fell before sunrise.  A little time ago, Dr. Russ, who was walking
in the garden, came in a great haste to the window where Rebecca and I
were sitting, bidding us come forth.  So, we hurrying out, the good man
bade us look whither he pointed, and to! a flock of wild geese,
streaming across the sky, in two great files, sending down, as it were,
from the clouds, their loud and sonorous trumpetings, "Cronk, cronk,
cronk!"  These birds, the Doctor saith, do go northward in March to
hatch their broods in the great bogs and on the desolate islands, and
fly back again when the cold season approacheth.  Our worthy guest
improved the occasion to speak of the care and goodness of God towards
his creation, and how these poor birds are enabled, by their proper
instincts, to partake of his bounty, and to shun the evils of adverse
climates.  He never looked, he said, upon the flight of these fowls,
without calling to mind the query which was of old put to Job: "Doth the
hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?  Doth
the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?"



November 12, 1678.

Dr. Russ preached yesterday, having for his text 1 Corinthians, chap.
xiii. verse 5: "Charity seeketh not her own."  He began by saying that
mutual benevolence was a law of nature,--no one being a whole of
himself, nor capable of happily subsisting by himself, but rather a
member of the great body of mankind, which must dissolve and perish,
unless held together and compacted in its various parts by the force of
that common and blessed law.  The wise Author of our being hath most
manifestly framed and fitted us for one another, and ordained that
mutual charity shall supply our mutual wants and weaknesses, inasmuch
as no man liveth to himself, but is dependent upon others, as others be
upon him.  It hath been said by ingenious men, that in the outward world
all things do mutually operate upon and affect each other; and that it
is by the energy of this principle that our solid earth is supported,
and the heavenly bodies are made to keep the rhythmic harmonies of their
creation, and dispense upon us their benign favors; and it may be said,
that a law akin to this hath been ordained for the moral world,--mutual
benevolence being the cement and support of families, and churches, and
states, and of the great community and brotherhood of mankind.  It doth
both make and preserve all the peace, and harmony, and beauty, which
liken our world in some small degree to heaven, and without it all
things would rush into confusion and discord, and the earth would become
a place of horror and torment, and men become as ravening wolves,
devouring and being devoured by one another.

Charity is the second great commandment, upon which hang all the Law
and the Prophets; and it is like unto the first, and cannot be separated
from it; for at the great day of recompense we shall be tried by these
commandments, and our faithfulness unto the first will be seen and
manifested by our faithfulness unto the last.  Yea, by our love of one
another the Lord will measure our love of himself.  "Inasmuch as ye have
done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto
me."  The grace of benevolence is therefore no small part of our
meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light; it is the temper of
heaven; the air which the angels breathe; an immortal grace,--for when
faith which supporteth us here, and hope which is as an anchor to the
tossed soul, are no longer needed, charity remaineth forever, for it is
native in heaven, and partaketh of the divine nature, for God himself is
love.

"Oh, my hearers," said the preacher, his venerable face brightening as
if with a light shining from within, "Doth not the Apostle tell us that
skill in tongues and gifts of prophecy, and mysteries of knowledge and
faith, do avail nothing where charity is lacking?  What avail great
talents, if they be not devoted to goodness?  On the other hand, where
charity dwelleth, it maketh the weak strong and the uncomely beautiful;
it sheddeth a glory about him who possesseth it, like that which did
shine on the face of Moses, or that which did sit upon the countenance
of Stephen, when his face was as the face of an angel.  Above all, it
conformeth us to the Son of God; for through love he came among us, and
went about doing good, adorning his life with miracles of mercy, and at
last laid it down for the salvation of men.  What heart can resist his
melting entreaty: 'Even as I have loved you, love ye also one another.'

"We do all," he continued, "seek after happiness, but too often blindly
and foolishly.  The selfish man, striving to live for himself, shutteth
himself up to partake of his single portion, and marvelleth that he
cannot enjoy it.  The good things he hath laid up for himself fail to
comfort him; and although he hath riches, and wanteth nothing for his
soul of all that he desireth, yet hath he not power to partake thereof.
They be as delicates poured upon a mouth shut up, or as meats set upon a
grave.  But he that hath found charity to be the temper of happiness,
which doth put the soul in a natural and easy condition, and openeth it
to the solaces of that pure and sublime entertainment which the angels
do spread for such as obey the will of their Creator, hath discovered a
more subtle alchemy than any of which the philosophers did dream,--for
he transmuteth the enjoyments of others into his own, and his large and
open heart partaketh of the satisfaction of all around him.  Are there
any here who, in the midst of outward abundance, are sorrowful of
heart,--who go mourning on their way from some inward discomfort,---Who
long for serenity of spirit, and cheerful happiness, as the servant
earnestly desireth the shadow?  Let such seek out the poor and forsaken,
they who have no homes nor estates, who are the servants of sin and evil
habits, who lack food for both the body and the mind.  Thus shall they,
in rememering others, forget themselves; the pleasure they afford to
their fellow-creatures shall come back larger and fuller unto their own
bosoms, and they shall know of a truth how much the more blessed it is
to give than to receive.  In love and compassion, God hath made us
dependent upon each other, to the end that by the use of our affections
we may find true happiness and rest to our souls.  He hath united us so
closely with our fellows, that they do make, as it were, a part of our
being, and in comforting them we do most assuredly comfort ourselves.
Therein doth happiness come to us unawares, and without seeking, as the
servant who goeth on his master's errand findeth pleasant fruits and
sweet flowers overhanging him, and cool fountains, which he knew not of,
gushing up by the wayside, for his solace and refreshing."

The minister then spake of the duty of charity towards even the sinful
and froward, and of winning them by love and good will, and making even
their correction and punishment a means of awakening them to repentance,
and the calling forth of the fruits meet for it.  He also spake of self-
styled prophets and enthusiastic people, who went about to cry against
the Church and the State, and to teach new doctrines, saying that
oftentimes such were sent as a judgment upon the professors of the
truth, who had the form of godliness only, while lacking the power
thereof; and that he did believe that the zeal which had been manifested
against such had not always been enough seasoned with charity.  It did
argue a lack of faith in the truth, to fly into a panic and a great rage
when it was called in question; and to undertake to become God's
avengers, and to torture and burn heretics, was an error of the Papists,
which ill became those who had gone out from among them.  Moreover, he
did believe that many of these people, who had so troubled the Colony of
late, were at heart simple and honest men and women, whose heads might
indeed be unsound, but who at heart sought to do the will of God; and,
of a truth, all could testify to the sobriety and strictness of their
lives, and the justice of their dealings in outward things.  He spake
also somewhat of the Indians, who, he said, were our brethren, and
concerning whom we would have an account to give at the Great Day.  The
hand of these heathen people had been heavy upon the Colonies, and many
had suffered from their cruel slaughterings, and the captivity of
themselves and their families.  Here the aged minister wept, for he
doubtless thought of his son, who was slain in the war; and for a time
the words did seem to die in his throat, so greatly was he moved.  But
he went on to say, that since God, in his great and undeserved mercy,
had put an end to the war, all present unkindness and hard dealing
towards he poor benighted heathen was an offence in the eyes of Him who
respecteth not the persons of men, but who regardeth with an equal eye
the white and the red men, both being the workmanship of His hands.  It
is our blessed privilege to labor to bring them to a knowledge of the
true God, whom, like the Athenians, some of them do ignorantly worship;
while the greater part, as was said of the heathen formerly, do not,
out of the good pings that are seen, know Him that is; neither by
considering the works do they acknowledge the workmaster, but deem the
fire or wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the
violent water, or the lights of heaven, to be the gods who govern the
world.

He counselled against mischief-makers and stirrers up of strife, and
such as do desire occasion against their brethren.  He said that it did
seem as if many thought to atone for their own sins by their great heat
and zeal to discover wickedness in others; and that he feared such might
be the case now, when there was much talk of the outward and visible
doings of Satan in this place; whereas, the enemy was most to be feared
who did work privily in the heart; it being a small thing for him to
bewitch a dwelling made of wood and stone, who did so easily possess and
enchant the precious souls of men.

Finally, he did exhort all to keep watch over their own spirits, and to
remember that what measure they do mete to others shall be measured to
them again; to lay aside all wrath, and malice, and evil-speaking; to
bear one another's burdens, and so make this Church in the wilderness
beautiful and comely, an example to the world of that peace and good
will to men, which the angels sang of at the birth of the blessed
Redeemer.

I have been the more careful to give the substance of Mr. Russ's sermon,
as nearly as I can remember it, forasmuch as it hath given offence to
some who did listen to it.  Deacon Dole saith it was such a discourse as
a Socinian or a Papist might have preached, for the great stress it laid
upon works; and Goodwife Matson, a noisy, talking woman,--such an one,
no doubt, as those busybodies whom Saint Paul did rebuke for
forwardness, and command to keep silence in the church,--says the
preacher did go out of his way to favor Quakers, Indians, and witches;
and that the Devil in Goody Morse's house was no doubt well pleased with
the discourse.  R. Pike saith he does no wise marvel at her complaints;
for when she formerly dwelt at the Marblehead fishing-haven, she was one
of the unruly women who did break into Thompson's garrison-house, and
barbarously put to death two Saugus Indians, who had given themselves up
for safe keeping, and who had never harmed any, which thing was a great
grief and scandal to all well-disposed people.  And yet this woman, who
scrupled not to say that she would as lief stick an Indian as a hog, and
who walked all the way from Marblehead to Boston to see the Quaker woman
hung, and did foully jest over her dead body, was allowed to have her
way in the church, Mr. Richardson being plainly in fear of her ill
tongue and wicked temper.



November 13.

The Quaker maid, Margaret Brewster, came this morning, inquiring for the
Doctor, and desiring him to visit a sick man at her father's house, a
little way up the river; whereupon he took his staff and went with her.
On his coming back, he said he must do the Quakers the justice to say,
that, with all their heresies and pestilent errors of doctrine, they
were a kind people; for here was Goodman Brewster, whose small estate
had been wellnigh taken from him in fines, and whose wife was a weak,
ailing woman, who was at this time kindly lodging and nursing a poor,
broken-down soldier, by no means likely to repay him, in any sort.  As
for the sick man, he had been hardly treated in the matter of his wages,
while in the war, and fined, moreover, on the ground that he did profane
the holy Sabhath; and though he had sent a petition to the Honorable
Governor and Council, for the remission of the same, it had been to no
purpose.  Mr. Russ said he had taken a copy of this petition, with the
answer thereto, intending to make another application himself to the
authorities; for although the petitioner might have been blamable, yet
his necessity did go far to excuse it.  He gave me the papers to copy,
which are as followeth:--


"To the Hon.  the Governor and Council, now sitting in Boston, July 30,
1676.  The Petition of Jonathan Atherton humbly showeth:

"That your Petitioner, being a soldier under Captain Henchman, during
their abode at Concord, Captain H., under pretence of your petitioner's
profanation of the Sabhath, had sentenced your petitioner to lose a
fortnight's pay.  Now, the thing that was alleged against your
petitioner was, that he cut a piece of an old hat to put in his shoes,
and emptied three or four cartridges.  Now, there was great occasion and
necessity for his so doing, for his shoes were grown so big, by walking
and riding in the wet and dew, that they galled his feet so that he was
not able to go without pain; and his cartridges, being in a bag,--were
worn with continual travel, so that they lost the powder out, so that it
was dangerous to carry them; besides, he did not know how soon he should
be forced to make use of them, therefore he did account it lawful to do
the same; yet, if it be deemed a breach of the Sabhath, he desires to be
humbled before the Lord, and begs the pardon of his people for any
offence done to them thereby.  And doth humbly request the favor of your
Honors to consider the premises, and to remit the fine imposed upon him,
and to give order to the committee for the war for the payment of his
wages.  So shall he forever pray. . . . "

11 Aug.  1676.--"The Council sees no cause to grant the petitioner any
relief."



NEWBURY, November 18, 1678.

Went yesterday to the haunted house with Mr. Russ and Mr. Richardson,
Rebecca and Aunt Rawson being in the company.  Found the old couple in
much trouble, sitting by the fire, with the Bible open before them, and
Goody Morse weeping.  Mr. Richardson asked Goodman Morse to tell what he
had seen and heard in the house; which he did, to this effect: That
there had been great and strange noises all about the house, a banging
of doors, and a knocking on the boards, and divers other unaccountable
sounds; that he had seen his box of tools turn over of itself, and the
tools fly about the room; baskets dropping down the chimney, and the
pots hanging over the fire smiting against each other; and, moreover,
the irons on the hearth jumping into the pots, and dancing on the table.
Goodwife Morse said that her bread-tray would upset of its own accord,
and the great woollen wheel would contrive to turn itself upside down,
and stand on its end; and that when she and the boy did make the beds,
the blankets would fly off as fast as they put them on, all of which the
boy did confirm.  Mr. Russ asked her if she suspected any one of the
mischief; whereupon she said she did believe it was done by the seaman
Powell, a cunning man, who was wont to boast of his knowledge in
astrology and astronomy, having been brought tip under one Norwood,
who is said to have studied the Black Art.  He had wickedly accused her
grandson of the mischief, whereas the poor boy had himself suffered
greatly from the Evil Spirit, having been often struck with stones and
bits of boards, which were flung upon him, and kept awake o' nights by
the diabolical noises.  Goodman Morse here said that Powell, coming in,
and pretending to pity their lamentable case, told them that if they
would let him have the boy for a day or two, they should be free of the
trouble while he was with him; and that the boy going with him, they had
no disturbance in that time; which plainly showed that this Powell had
the wicked spirits in his keeping, and could chain them up, or let them
out, as he pleased.

Now, while she was speaking, we did all hear a great thumping on the
ceiling, and presently a piece of a board flew across the room against
the chair on which Mr. Richardson was sitting; whereat the two old
people set up a dismal groaning, and the boy cried out, "That's the
witch!"  Goodman Morse begged of Mr. Richardson to fall to praying,
which he presently did; and, when he had done, he asked Mr. Russ to
follow him, who sat silent and musing a little while, and then prayed
that the worker of the disturbance, whether diabolical or human, might
be discovered and brought to light.  After which there was no noise
while we staid.  Mr. Russ talked awhile with the boy, who did stoutly
deny what Caleb Powell charged upon him, and showed a bruise which he
got from a stick thrown at him in the cow-house.  When we went away,
Mr. Richardson asked Mr. Russ what he thought of it.  Mr. Russ said,
the matter had indeed a strange look, but that it might be,
nevertheless, the work of the boy, who was a cunning young rogue, and
capable beyond his years.  Mr. Richardson said he hoped his brother was
not about to countenance the scoffers and Sadducees, who had all along
tried to throw doubt upon the matter.  For himself, he did look upon it
as the work of invisible demons, and an awful proof of the existence of
such, and of the deplorable condition of all who fall into their bands;
moreover, he did believe that God would overrule this malice of the
Devil for good, and make it a means of awakening sinners and lukewarm
church-members to a sense of their danger.

Last night, brother Leonard, who is studying with the learned Mr. Ward,
the minister at Haverbill, came down, in the company of the worshipful
Major Saltonstall, who hath business with Esquire Dummer and other
magistrates of this place.  Mr. Saltonstall's lady, who is the daughter
of Mr. Ward, sent by her husband and my brother a very kind and pressing
invitation to Rebecca and myself to make a visit to her; and Mr.
Saltonstall did also urge the matter strongly.  So we have agreed to go
with them the day after to-morrow.  Now, to say the truth, I am not
sorry to leave Newbury at this time, for there is so much talk of the
bewitched house, and such dismal stories told of the power of invisible
demons, added to what I did myself hear and see yesterday, that I can
scarce sleep for the trouble and disquiet this matter causeth.  Dr.
Russ, who left this morning, said, in his opinion, the less that was
said and done about the witchcraft the better for the honor of the
Church and the peace of the neighborhood; for it might, after all, turn
out to be nothing more than an "old wife's fable;" but if it were indeed
the work of Satan, it could, he did believe, do no harm to sincere and
godly people, who lived sober and prayerful lives, and kept themselves
busy in doing good.  The doers of the Word seldom fell into the snare of
the Devil's enchantments.  He might be compared to a wild beast, who
dareth not to meddle with the traveller who goeth straightway on his
errand, but lieth in wait for such as loiter and fall asleep by the
wayside.  He feared, he said, that some in our day were trying to get a
great character to themselves, as the old monks did, by their skill in
discerning witcherafts, and their pretended conflicts with the Devil in
his bodily shape; and thus, while they were seeking to drive the enemy
out of their neighbors' houses, they were letting him into their own
hearts, in the guise of deceit and spiritual pride.  Repentance and
works meet for it were the best exorcism; and the savor of a good life
driveth off Evil Spirits, even as that of the fish of Tobit, at
Ecbatana, drove the Devil from the chamber of the bride into the
uttermost parts of Egypt.  "For mine own part," continued the worthy
man, "I believe the Lord and Master, whom I seek to serve, is over all
the powers of Satan; therefore do I not heed them, being afraid only of
mine own accusing conscience and the displeasure of God."

We are all loath to lose the good Doctor's company.  An Israelite
indeed!  My aunt, who once tarried for a little time with him for the
benefit of his skill in physic, on account of sickness, tells me that
he is as a father to the people about him, advising them in all their
temporal concerns, and bringing to a timely and wise settlement all
their disputes, so that there is nowhere a more prosperous and loving
society.  Although accounted a learned man, he doth not perplex his
hearers, as the manner of some is, with dark and difficult questions,
and points of doctrine, but insisteth mainly on holiness of life and
conversation.  It is said that on one occasion, a famous schoolman and
disputer from abroad, coming to talk with him on the matter of the
damnation of infants, did meet him with a cradle on his shoulder, which
he was carrying to a young mother in his neighborhood, and when the man
told him his errand,--the good Doctor bade him wait until he got back,
"for," said he, "I hold it to be vastly more important to take care of
the bodies of the little infants which God in his love sends among us,
than to seek to pry into the mysteries of His will concerning their
souls."  He hath no salary or tithe, save the use of a house and farm,
choosing rather to labor with his own hands than to burden his
neighbors; yet, such is their love and good-will, that in the busy
seasons of the hay and corn harvest, they all join together and help him
in his fields, counting it a special privilege to do so.



November 19.

Leonard and Mr. Richardson, talking upon the matter of the ministry,
disagreed not a little.  Mr. Richardson says my brother hath got into
his head many unscriptural notions, and that he will never be of service
in the Church until he casts them off.  He saith, moreover, that he
shall write to Mr. Ward concerning the errors of the young man.  His
words troubling me, I straightway discoursed my brother as to the points
of difference between them; but he, smiling, said it was a long story,
but that some time he would tell me the substance of the disagreement,
bidding me have no fear in his behalf, as what had displeasured Mr.
Richardson had arisen only from tenderness of conscience.



HAVERHILL, November 22.

Left Newbury day before yesterday.  The day cold, but sunshiny, and not
unpleasant.  Mr. Saltonstall's business calling him that way, we crossed
over the ferry to Salisbury, and after a ride of about an hour, got to
the Falls of the Powow River, where a great stream of water rushes
violently down the rocks, into a dark wooded valley, and from thence
runs into the Merrimac, about a mile to the southeast.  A wild sight it
was, the water swollen by the rains of the season, foaming and dashing
among the rocks and the trees, which latter were wellnigh stripped of
their leaves.  Leaving this place, we went on towards Haverhill.  Just
before we entered that town, we overtook an Indian, with a fresh wolf's
skin hanging over his shoulder.  As soon as he saw us, he tried to hide
himself in the bushes; but Mr. Saltonstall, riding up to him, asked him
if he did expect Haverhill folks to pay him forty shillings for killing
that Amesbury wolf?  "How you know Amesbury wolf?" asked the Indian.
"Oh," said Mr. Saltonstall, "you can't cheat us again, Simon.  You must
be honest, and tell no more lies, or we will have you whipped for your
tricks."  The Indian thereupon looked sullen enough, but at length he
begged Mr. Saltonstall not to tell where the wolf was killed, as the
Amesbury folks did now refuse to pay for any killed in their town; and,
as he was a poor Indian, and his squaw much sick, and could do no work,
he did need the money.  Mr. Saltonstall told him he would send his wife
some cornmeal and bacon, when he got home, if he would come for them,
which he promised to do.

When we had ridden off, and left him, Mr. Saltonstall told us that this
Simon was a bad Indian, who, when in drink, was apt to be saucy and
quarrelsome; but that his wife was quite a decent body for a savage,
having long maintained herself and children and her lazy, cross husband,
by hard labor in the cornfields and at the fisheries.

Haverhill lieth very pleasantly on the river-side; the land about hilly
and broken, but of good quality.  Mr. Saltonstall liveth in a stately
house for these parts, not far from that of his father-in-law, the
learned Mr. Ward.  Madam, his wife, is a fair, pleasing young woman,
not unused to society, their house being frequented by many of the first
people hereabout, as well as by strangers of distinction from other
parts of the country.  We had hardly got well through our dinner (which
was abundant and savory, being greatly relished by our hunger), when two
gentlemen came riding up to the door; and on their coming in, we found
them to be the young Doctor Clark, of Boston, a son of the old Newbury
physician, and a Doctor Benjamin Thompson, of Roxbury, who I hear is not
a little famous for his ingenious poetry and witty pieces on many
subjects.  He was, moreover, an admirer of my cousin Rebecca; and on
learning of her betrothal to Sir Thomas did write a most despairing
verse to her, comparing himself to all manner of lonesome things, so
that when Rebecca showed it to me, I told her I did fear the poor young
gentleman would put an end to himself, by reason of his great sorrow and
disquiet; whereat she laughed merrily, bidding me not fear, for she knew
the writer too well to be troubled thereat, for he loved nobody so well
as himself, and that under no provocation would he need the Apostle's
advice to the jailer, "Do thyself no harm."  All which I found to be
true,--he being a gay, witty man, full of a fine conceit of himself,
which is not so much to be marvelled at, as he hath been greatly
flattered and sought after.

The excellent Mr. Ward spent the evening with us; a pleasant, social old
man, much beloved by his people.  He told us a great deal about the
early settlement of the town, and of the grievous hardships which many
did undergo the first season, from cold, and hunger, and sickness.  He
thought, however, that, with all their ease and worldly prosperity, the
present generation were less happy and contented than their fathers; for
there was now a great striving to outdo each other in luxury and gay
apparel; the Lord's day was not so well kept as formerly; and the
drinking of spirits and frequenting of ordinaries and places of public
resort vastly increased.  Mr. Saltonstall said the war did not a little
demoralize the people, and that since the soldiers cause back, there had
been much trouble in Church and State.  The General Court, two years
ago, had made severe laws against the provoking evils of the times:
profaneness, Sabbath-breaking, drinking, and revelling to excess, loose
and sinful conduct on the part of the young and unmarried, pride in
dress, attending Quakers' meetings, and neglect of attendance upon
divine worship; but these laws had never been well enforced; and he
feared too many of the magistrates were in the condition of the Dutch
Justice in the New York Province, who, when a woman was brought before
him charged with robbing a henroost, did request his brother on the
bench to pass sentence upon her; for, said he, if I send her to the
whipping post, the wench will cry out against me as her accomplice.

Doctor Clark said his friend Doctor Thompson had written a long piece on
this untoward state of our affairs, which he hoped soon to see in print,
inasmuch as it did hold the looking-glass to the face of this
generation, and shame it by a comparison with that of the generation
which has passed.  Mr. Ward said he was glad to hear of it, and hoped
his ingenious friend had brought the manuscript with him; whereupon, the
young gentleman said he did take it along with him, in the hope to
benefit it by Mr. Ward's judgment and learning, and with the leave of
the company he would read the Prologue thereof.  To which we all
agreeing, he read what follows, which I copy from his book:--


     "The times wherein old PUMPKIN was a saint,
     When men fared hardly, yet without complaint,
     On vilest cates; the dainty Indian maize
     Was eat with clam-shells out of wooden trays,
     Under thatched roofs, without the cry of rent,
     And the best sauce to every dish, content,--
     These golden times (too fortunate to hold)
     Were quickly sinned away for love of gold.
     'T was then among the bushes, not the street,
     If one in place did an inferior meet,
     'Good morrow, brother!  Is there aught you want?
     Take freely of me what I have, you ha'n't.'
     Plain Tom and Dick would pass as current now,
     As ever since 'Your servant, sir,' and bow.
     Deep-skirted doublets, puritanic capes,
     Which now would render men like upright apes,
     Was comelier wear, our wise old fathers thought,
     Than the cast fashions from all Europe brought.
     'T was in those days an honest grace would hold
     Till an hot pudding grew at heart a-cold,
     And men had better stomachs for religion,
     Than now for capon, turkey-cock, or pigeon;
     When honest sisters met to pray, not prate,
     About their own and not their neighbors' state,
     During Plain Dealing's reign, that worthy stud
     Of the ancient planter-race before the Flood.

     "These times were good: merchants cared not a rush
     For other fare than jonakin and mush.
     And though men fared and lodged very hard,
     Yet innocence was better than a guard.
     'T was long before spiders and worms had drawn
     Their dingy webs, or hid with cheating lawn
     New England's beauties, which still seemed to me
     Illustrious in their own simplicity.
     'T was ere the neighboring Virgin Land had broke
     The hogsheads of her worse than hellish smoke;
     'T was ere the Islands sent their presents in,
     Which but to use was counted next to sin;
     'T was ere a barge had made so rich a freight
     As chocolate, dust-gold, and bits of eight;
     Ere wines from France and Muscovado too,
     Without the which the drink will scarcely do.
     From Western Isles, ere fruits and delicacies
     Did rot maids' teeth and spoil their handsome faces,
     Or ere these times did chance the noise of war
     Was from our tines and hearts removed far,
     Then had the churches rest: as yet, the coals
     Were covered up in most contentious souls;
     Freeness in judgment, union in affection,
     Dear love, sound truth, they were our grand protection.
     Then were the times in which our Councils sat,
     These grave prognostics of our future state;
     If these be longer lived, our hopes increase,
     These wars will usher in a longer peace;
     But if New England's love die in its youth,
     The grave will open next for blessed truth.

     "This theme is out of date; the peaceful hours
     When castles needed not, but pleasant bowers,
     Not ink, but blood and tears now serve the turn
     To draw the figure of New England's urn.
     New England's hour of passion is at hand,
     No power except Divine can it withstand.
     Scarce hath her glass of fifty years run out,
     Than her old prosperous steeds turn heads about;
     Tracking themselves back to their poor beginnings,
     To fear and fare upon the fruits of sinnings.
     So that this mirror of the Christian world
     Lies burnt to heaps in part, her streamers furled.
     Grief sighs, joys flee, and dismal fears surprise,
     Not dastard spirits only, but the wise.

     "Thus have the fairest hopes deceived the eye
     Of the big-swoln expectants standing by
     So the proud ship, after a little turn,
     Sinks in the ocean's arms to find its urn:
     Thus hath the heir to many thousands born
     Been in an instant from the mother torn;
     Even thus thy infant cheek begins to pale,
     And thy supporters through great losses fail.
     This is the Prologue to thy future woe--
     The Epilogue no mortal yet can know."

Mr. Ward was much pleased with the verses, saying that they would do
honor to any writer.

Rebecca thought the lines concerning the long grace at meat happy, and
said she was minded of the wife of the good Mr. Ames, who prided herself
on her skill in housewifery and cookery; and on one occasion, seeing a
nice pair of roasted fowls growing cold under her husband's long grace,
was fain to jog his elbow, telling him that if he did not stop soon, she
feared they would have small occasion for thankfulness for their spoiled
dinner.  Mr. Ward said he was once travelling in company with Mr.
Phillips of Rowley, and Mr. Parker of Newbury, and stopping all night at
a poor house near the sea-shore, the woman thereof brought into the room
for their supper a great wooden tray, full of something nicely covered
up by a clean linen cloth.  It proved to be a dish of boiled clams, in
their shells; and as Mr. Phillips was remarkable in his thanks for aptly
citing passages of Scripture with regard to whatsoever food was upon the
table before him, Mr. Parker and himself did greatly wonder what he
could say of this dish; but he, nothing put to it, offered thanks that
now, as formerly, the Lord's people were enabled to partake of the
abundance of the seas, and treasures hid in the sands.  "Whereat," said
Mr. Ward, "we did find it so hard to keep grave countenances, that our
good hostess was not a little disturbed, thinking we were mocking her
poor fare; and we were fain to tell her the cause of our mirth, which
was indeed ill-timed."

Doctor Clark spake of Mr. Ward's father, the renowned minister at
Ipswich, whose book of "The Simple Cobbler of Agawam," was much admired.
Mr. Ward said that some of the witty turns therein did give much offence
at the time of its printing, but that his father could never spoil his
joke for the sake of friends, albeit he had no malice towards any one,
and was always ready to do a good, even to his enemies.  He once even
greatly angered his old and true friend, Mr. Cotton of Boston.  "It fell
out in this wise," said Mr. Ward.  "When the arch-heretic and fanatic
Gorton and his crew were in prison in Boston, my father and Mr. Cotton
went to the jail window to see them; and after some little discourse
with them, he told Gorton that if he had done or said anything which he
could with a clear conscience renounce, he would do well to recant the
same, and the Court, he doubted not, would be merciful; adding, that it
would be no disparagement for him to do so, as the best of men were
liable to err: as, for instance, his brother Cotton here generally did
preach that one year which he publicly repented of before his
congregation the next year."

Mr. Saltonstall told another story of old Mr. Ward, which made us all
merry.  There was a noted Antinomian, of Boston, who used to go much
about the country disputing with all who would listen to him, who,
coming to Ipswich one night, with another of his sort with him, would
fain have tarried with Mr. Ward; but he told them that he had scarce hay
and grain enough in his barn for the use of his own cattle, and that
they would do well to take their horses to the ordinary, where they
would be better cared for.  But the fellow, not wishing to be so put
off, bade him consider what the Scripture said touching the keeping of
strangers, as some had thereby entertained angels unawares.  "True,
my friend," said Mr. Ward, "but we don't read that the angels came
a-horseback!"

The evening passed away in a very pleasant and agreeable manner.  We had
rare nuts, and apples, and pears, of Mr. Saltonstall's raising,
wonderfully sweet and luscious.  Our young gentlemen, moreover, seemed
to think the wine and ale of good quality; for, long after we had gone
to our beds, we could hear them talking and laughing in the great hall
below, notwithstanding that Mr. Ward, when he took leave, bade Doctor
Thompson take heed to his own hint concerning the:

               "Wines from France and Muscovado too;"

to which the young wit replied, that there was Scripture warrant for his
drinking, inasmuch as the command was, to give wine to those that be of
heavy heart.  Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his
misery no more; and, for his part, he had been little better than
miserable ever since he heard of Rebecca's betrothal.  A light, careless
man, but of good parts, and as brave a talker as I have heard since I
have been in the Colony.



November 24.

Mr. Ward's negro girl Dinah came for me yesterday, saying that her
master did desire to see me.  So, marvelling greatly what he wanted,
I went with her, and was shown into the study.  Mr. Ward said he had
sent for me to have some discourse in regard to my brother Leonard, who
he did greatly fear was likely to make shipwreck of the faith; and that
Mr. Richardson had written him concerning the young man, telling him
that he did visit the Quakers when at Newbury, and even went over to
their conventicle at Hampton, on the Lord's day, in the company of the
Brewster family, noted Quakers and ranters.  He had the last evening had
some words with the lad, but with small satisfaction.  Being sorely
troubled by this account, I begged him to send for Leonard, which he
did, and, when he did come into the room, Mr. Ward told him that he
might see by the plight of his sister (for I was in tears) what a great
grief he was like to bring upon his family and friends, by running out
into heresies.  Leonard said he was sorry to give trouble to any one,
least of all to his beloved sister; that he did indeed go to the
Quakers' meeting, on one occasion, to judge for himself concerning this
people, who are everywhere spoken against; and that he must say he did
hear or see nothing in their worship contrary to the Gospel.  There was,
indeed, but little said, but the words were savory and Scriptural. "But
they deny the Scriptures," cried Mr. Ward, "and set above them what they
call the Light, which I take to be nothing better than their own
imaginations."  "I do not so understand them," said Leonard; "I think
they do diligently study the Scripture, and seek to conform their lives
to its teachings; and for the Light of which they speak, it is borne--
witness to not only in the Bible, but by the early fathers and devout
men of all ages.  I do not go to excuse the Quakers in all that they
have done, nor to defend all their doctrines and practices, many of
which I see no warrant in Scripture for, but believe to be pernicious
and contrary to good order; yet I must need look upon them as a sober,
earnest-seeking people, who do verily think themselves persecuted for
righteousness' sake."  Hereupon Mr. Ward struck his cane smartly on the
floor, and, looking severely at my brother, bade him beware how he did
justify these canting and false pretenders.  "They are," he said,
"either sad knaves, or silly enthusiasts,--they pretend to Divine
Revelation, and set up as prophets; like the Rosicrucians and Gnostics,
they profess to a knowledge of things beyond what plain Scripture
reveals.  The best that can be said of them is, that they are befooled
by their own fancies, and the victims of distempered brains and ill
habits of body.  Then their ranting against the Gospel order of the
Church, and against the ministers of Christ, calling us all manner of
hirelings, wolves, and hypocrites; belching out their blasphemies
against the ordinances and the wholesome laws of the land for the
support of a sound ministry and faith, do altogether justify the sharp
treatment they have met with; so that, if they have not all lost their
ears, they may thank our clemency rather than their own worthiness to
wear them.  I do not judge of them ignorantly, for I have dipped into
their books, where, what is not downright blasphemy and heresy, is
mystical and cabalistic.  They affect a cloudy and canting style, as if
to keep themselves from being confuted by keeping themselves from being
understood.  Their divinity is a riddle, a piece of black art; the
Scripture they turn into allegory and parabolical conceits, and thus
obscure and debauch the truth.  Argue with them, and they fall to
divining; reason with them, and they straightway prophesy.  Then their
silent meetings, so called, in the which they do pretend to justify
themselves by quoting Revelation, 'There was silence in heaven;' whereas
they might find other authorities,--as, for instance in Psalm 115, where
hell is expressed by silence, and in the Gospel, where we read of a dumb
devil.  As to persecuting these people, we have been quite too
charitable to them, especially of late, and they are getting bolder in
consequence; as, for example, the behavior of that shameless young wench
in Newbury, who disturbed Brother Richardson's church with her antics
not long ago.  She should have been tied to the cart-tail and whipped
all the way to Rhode Island."

"Do you speak of Margaret Brewster?" asked Leonard, his face all
a-crimson, and his lip quivering.  "Let me tell you, Mr. Ward, that you
greatly wrong one of Christ's little ones."  And he called me to testify
to her goodness and charity, and the blamelessness of her life.

"Don't talk to me of the blameless life of such an one," said Mr. Ward,
in aloud, angry tone; "it is the Devil's varnish for heresy.  The
Manichees, and the Pelagians, and Socinians, all did profess great
strictness and sanctity of life; and there never was heretic yet, from
they whom the Apostle makes mention of, who fasted from meats, giving
heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, down to the Quakers,
Dippers, and New Lights of this generation who have not, like their
fathers of old, put on the shape of Angels of Light, and lived severe
and over-strict lives.  I grant that the Quakers are honest in their
dealings, making great show of sobriety and self-denial, and abhor the
practice of scandalous vices, being temperate, chaste, and grave in
their behavior, and thereby they win upon unstable souls, and make
plausible their damnable heresies.  I warn you, young man, to take heed
of them, lest you be ensnared and drawn into their way."

My brother was about to reply, but, seeing Mr. Ward so moved and vexed,
I begged of him to say no more; and, company coming in, the matter was
dropped, to my great joy.  I went back much troubled and disquieted for
my brother's sake.



November 28, 1678.

Leonard hath left Mr. Ward, and given up the thought of fitting for the
ministry.  This will be a heavy blow for his friends in England.  He
tells me that Mr. Ward spake angrily to him after I left, but that, when
he come to part with him, the old man wept over him, and prayed that the
Lord would enable him to see his error, and preserve him from the
consequences thereof.  I have discoursed with my brother touching his
future course of life, and he tells me he shall start in a day or two to
visit the Rhode Island, where he hath an acquaintance, one Mr. Easton,
formerly of Newbury.  His design is to purchase a small plantation
there, and betake himself to fanning, of the which he hath some little
knowledge, believing that he can be as happy and do as much good to his
fellow-creatures in that employment as in any other.

Here Cousin Rebecca, who was by, looking up with that sweet archness
which doth so well become her, queried with him whether he did think to
live alone on his plantation like a hermit, or whether he had not his
eye upon a certain fair-haired young woman, as suitable to keep him
company.  Whereat he seemed a little disturbed; but she bade him not
think her against his prospect, for she had known for some weeks that he
did favor the Young Brewster woman, who, setting aside her enthusiastic
notions of religion, was worthy of any man's love; and turning to me,
she begged of me to look at the matter as she did, and not set myself
against the choice of my brother, which, in all respects save the one
she had spoken of, she could approve with all her heart.  Leonard goes
back with us o-morrow to Newbury, so I shall have a chance of knowing
how matters stand with him.  The thought of his marrying a Quaker would
have been exceedingly grievous to me a few months ago; but this Margaret
Brewster hath greatly won upon me by her beauty, gentleness, and her
goodness of heart; and, besides, I know that she is much esteemed by the
best sort of people in her neighborhood.

Doctor Thompson left this morning, but his friend Doctor Clark goes with
us to Newbury.  Rebecca found in her work-basket, after he had gone,
some verses, which amused us not a little, and which I here copy.

               "Gone hath the Spring, with all its flowers,
               And gone the Summer's pomp and show
               And Autumn in his leafless bowers
               Is waiting for the Winter's snow.

               "I said to Earth, so cold and gray,
               'An emblem of myself thou art:'
               'Not so,' the earth did seem to say,
               'For Spring shall warm my frozen heart.

               "'I soothe my wintry sleep with dreams
               Of warmer sun and softer rain,
               And wait to hear the sound of streams
               And songs of merry birds again.

               "'But thou, from whom the Spring hath gone,
               For whom the flowers no longer blow,
               Who standest, blighted and forlorn,
               Like Autumn waiting for the snow.

               "'No hope is thine of sunnier hours,
               Thy winter shall no more depart;
               No Spring revive thy wasted flowers,
               Nor Summer warm thy frozen heart.'"

Doctor Clark, on hearing this read, told Rebecca she need not take its
melancholy to heart, for he could assure her that there was no danger of
his friend's acting on her account the sad part of the lover in the old
song of Barbara Allen.  As a medical man, he could safely warrant him to
be heart-whole; and the company could bear him witness, that the poet
himself seemed very little like the despairing one depicted in his
verses.

The Indian Simon calling this forenoon, Rebecca and I went into the
kitchen to see him.  He looks fierce and cruel, but he thanked Madain
Saltonstall for her gifts of food and clothing, and, giving her in
return a little basket wrought of curiously stained stuff, he told her
that if there were more like her, his heart would not be so bitter.

I ventured to ask him why he felt thus; whereupon he drew himself up,
and, sweeping about him with his arms, said: "This all Indian land.  The
Great Spirit made it for Indians.  He made the great river for them, and
birch-trees to make their canoes of.  All the fish in the ponds, and all
the pigeons and deer and squirrels he made for Indians.  He made land
for white men too; but they left it, and took Indian's land, because it
was better.  My father was a chief; he had plenty meat and corn in his
wigwam.  But Simon is a dog.  When they fight Eastern Indians, I try to
live in peace; but they say, Simon, you rogue, you no go into woods to
hunt; you keep at home.  So when squaw like to starve, I shoot one of
their hogs, and then they whip me.  Look!"  And he lifted the blanket
off from his shoulder, and showed the marks of the whip thereon.

"Well, well, Simon," said Mr. Saltonstall, "you do know that our people
then were much frightened by what the Indians had done in other places,
and they feared you would join them.  But it is all over now, and you
have all the woods to yourself to range in; and if you would let alone
strong drink, you would do well."

"Who makes strong drink?"  asked the Indian, with an ugly look.  "Who
takes the Indian's beaver-skins and corn for it?  Tell me that,
Captain."

So saying, he put his pack on his back, and calling a poor, lean dog,
that was poking his hungry nose into Madam's pots and kettles, he went
off talking to himself.



NEWBURY, December 6.

We got back from Haverhill last night, Doctor Clark accompanying us,
he having business in Newbury.  When we came up to the door, Effie met
us with a shy look, and told her mistress that Mrs. Prudence (uncle's
spinster cousin) had got a braw auld wooer in the east room; and surely
enough we found our ancient kinswoman and Deacon Dole, a widower of
three years' standing, sitting at the supper-table.  We did take note
that the Deacon had on a stiff new coat; and as for Aunt Prudence (for
so she was called in the family), she was clad in her bravest, with a
fine cap on her head.  They both did seem a little disturbed by our
coming, but plates being laid for us, we sat down with them.  After
supper, Rebecca had a fire kindled in uncle's room, whither we did
betake ourselves; and being very merry at the thought of Deacon Dole's
visit, it chanced to enter our silly heads that it would do no harm to
stop the clock in the entry a while, and let the two old folks make a
long evening of it.  After a time Rebecca made an errand into the east
room, to see how matters went, and coming back, said the twain were
sitting on the same settle by the fire, smoking--a pipe of tobacco
together.  Moreover, our foolish trick did work well, for Aunt Prudence
coming at last into the entry to look at the clock, we heard her tell
the Deacon that it was only a little past eight, when in truth it was
near ten.  Not long after there was a loud knocking at the door, and as
Effie had gone to bed, Rebecca did open it, when, whom did she see but
the Widow Hepsy Barnet, Deacon Dole's housekeeper, and with her the
Deacon's son, Moses, and the minister, Mr. Richardson, with a lantern in
his hand!  "Dear me," says the woman, looking very dismal, "have you
seen anything of the Deacon?"  By this time we were all at the door, the
Deacon and Aunt Prudence among the rest, when Moses, like a great lout
as he is, pulled off his woollen cap and tossed it up in the air, crying
out, "There, Goody Barnet, did n't I tell ye so!  There's father now!"
And the widow, holding up both her hands, said she never did in all her
born days see the like of this, a man of the Deacon's years and station
stealing away without letting folks know where to look for him; and then
turning upon poor Mrs. Prudence, she said she had long known that some
folks were sly and artful, and she was glad Mr. Richardson was here to
see for himself.  Whereupon Aunt Prudence, in much amazement, said, it
was scarce past eight, as they might see by the clock; but Mr.
Richardson, who could scarce keep a grave face, pulling out his watch,
said it was past ten, and bade her note that the clock was stopped.  He
told Deacon Dole, that seeing Goody Barnet so troubled about him, he had
offered to go along with her a little way, and that he was glad to find
that the fault was in the clock.  The Deacon, who had stood like one in
a maze, here clapped on his hat, and snatched up his cane and went off,
looking as guilty as if he had been caught a-housebreaking, the widow
scolding him all the way.  Now, as we could scarce refrain from
laughing, Mr. Richardson, who tarried a moment, shook his head at
Rebecca, telling her he feared by her looks she was a naughty girl,
taking pleasure in other folk's trouble.  We did both feel ashamed and
sorry enough for our mischief, after it was all over; and poor Mistress
Prudence is so sorely mortified, that she told Rebecca this morning not
to mention Deacon Dole's name to her again, and that Widow Hepsy is
welcome to him, since he is so mean-spirited as to let her rule him
as she doth.



December 8.

Yesterday I did, at my brother's wish, go with him to Goodman Brewster's
house, where I was kindly welcomed by the young woman and her parents.
After some little tarry, I found means to speak privily with her
touching my brother's regard for her, and to assure her that I did truly
and freely consent thereunto; while I did hope, for his sake as well as
her own, that she would, as far as might be consistent with her notion
of duty, forbear to do or say anything which might bring her into
trouble with the magistrates and those in authority.  She said that she
was very grateful for my kindness towards her, and that what I said was
a great relief to her mind; for when she first met my brother, she did
fear that his kindness and sympathy would prove a snare to her; and that
she had been sorely troubled, moreover, lest by encouraging him she
should not only do violence to her own conscience, but also bring
trouble and disgrace upon one who was, she did confess, dear unto her,
not only as respects outward things, but by reason of what she did
discern of an innocent and pure inward life in his conversation and
deportment.  She had earnestly sought to conform her conduct in this,
as in all things, to the mind of her Divine Master; and, as respected my
caution touching those in authority, she knew not what the Lord might
require of her, and she could only leave all in His hands, being
resigned even to deny herself of the sweet solace of human affection,
and to take up the cross daily, if He did so will.  "Thy visit and kind
words," she continued, "have removed a great weight from me.  The way
seems more open before me.  The Lord bless thee for thy kindness."

She said this with so much tenderness of spirit, and withal with such an
engaging sweetness of look and voice, that I was greatly moved, and,
pressing her in my arms, I kissed her, and bade her look upon me as her
dear sister.

The family pressing us, we stayed to supper, and sitting down in silence
at the table, I was about to speak to my brother, but he made a sign to
check me, and I held my peace, although not then knowing wherefore.  So
we all sat still for a little space of time, which I afterwards found is
the manner of these people at their meat.  The supper was plain, but of
exceeding good relish: warm rye loaves with butter and honey, and bowls
of sweet milk, and roasted apples.  Goodwife Brewster, who appeared much
above her husband (who is a plain, unlearned man) in her carriage and
discourse, talked with us very pleasantly, and Margaret seemed to grow
more at ease, the longer we stayed.

On our way back we met Robert Pike, who hath returned from the eastward.
He said Rebecca Rawson had just told him how matters stood with Leonard,
and that he was greatly rejoiced to hear of his prospect.  He had known
Margaret Brewster from a child, and there was scarce her equal in these
parts for sweetness of temper and loveliness of person and mind; and,
were she ten times a Quaker, he was free to say this in her behalf.
I am more and more confirmed in the belief that Leonard hath not done
unwisely in this matter, and do cheerfully accept of his choice,
believing it to be in the ordering of Him who doeth all things well.



BOSTON, December 31.

It wanteth but two hours to the midnight, and the end of the year.  The
family are all abed, and I can hear nothing save the crackling of the
fire now burning low on the hearth, and the ticking of the clock in the
corner.  The weather being sharp with frost, there is no one stirring in
the streets, and the trees and bushes in the yard, being stripped of
their leaves, look dismal enough above the white snow with which the
ground is covered, so that one would think that all things must needs
die with the year.  But, from my window, I can see the stars shining
with marvellous brightness in the clear sky, and the sight thereof doth
assure me that God still watcheth over the work of His hands, and that
in due season He will cause the flowers to appear on the earth, and the
time of singing-birds to come, and-the voice of the turtle to be heard
in the land.  And I have been led, while alone here, to think of the
many mercies which have been vouchsafed unto me in my travels and
sojourn in a strange land, and a sense of the wonderful goodness of God
towards me, and they who are dear unto me, both here and elsewhere, hath
filled mine heart with thankfulness; and as of old time they did use to
set up stones of memorial on the banks of deliverance, so would I at
this season set up, as it were, in my poor journal, a like pillar of
thanksgiving to the praise and honor of Him who hath so kindly cared for
His unworthy handmaid.



January 16, 1679.

Have just got back from Reading, a small town ten or twelve miles out of
Boston, whither I went along with mine Uncle and Aunt Rawson, and many
others, to attend the ordination of Mr. Brock, in the place of the
worthy Mr. Hough, lately deceased.  The weather being clear, and the
travelling good, a great concourse of people got together.  We stopped
at the ordinary, which we found wellnigh filled; but uncle, by dint of
scolding and coaxing, got a small room for aunt and myself, with a clean
bed, which was more than we had reason to hope for.  The ministers, of
whom there were many and of note (Mr. Mather and Mr. Wilson of Boston,
and Mr. Corbet of Ipswich, being among them), were already together at
the house of one of the deacons.  It was quite a sight the next morning
to see the people coming in from the neighboring towns, and to note
their odd dresses, which were indeed of all kinds, from silks and
velvets to coarsest homespun woollens, dyed with hemlock, or oil-nut
bark, and fitting so ill that, if they had all cast their clothes into a
heap, and then each snatched up whatsoever coat or gown came to hand,
they could not have suited worse.  Yet they were all clean and tidy, and
the young people especially did look exceeding happy, it being with them
a famous holiday.  The young men came with their sisters or their
sweethearts riding behind them on pillions; and the ordinary and all the
houses about were soon noisy enough with merry talking and laughter.
The meeting-house was filled long before the services did begin.  There
was a goodly show of honorable people in the forward seats, and among
them that venerable magistrate, Simon Broadstreet, who acteth as Deputy-
Governor since the death of Mr. Leverett; the Honorable Thomas Danforth;
Mr. William Brown of Salem; and others of note, whose names I do not
remember, all with their wives and families, bravely apparelled.  The
Sermon was preached by Mr. Higginson of Salem, the Charge was given by
Mr. Phillips of Rowley, and the Right Hand of Fellowship by Mr. Corbet
of Ipswich.  When we got back to our inn, we found a great crowd of
young roysterers in the yard, who had got Mr. Corbet's negro man, Sam,
on the top of a barrel, with a bit of leather, cut in the shape of
spectacles, astride of his nose, where he stood swinging his arms, and
preaching, after the manner of his master, mimicking his tone and manner
very shrewdly, to the great delight and merriment of the young rogues
who did set him on.  We stood in the door a while to hear him, and, to
say the truth, he did wonderfully well, being a fellow of good parts and
much humor.  But, just as he was describing the Devil, and telling his
grinning hearers that he was not like a black but a white man, old Mr.
Corbet, who had come up behind him, gave him a smart blow with his cane,
whereupon Sam cried,--

"Dare he be now!" at which all fell to laughing.

"You rascal," said Mr. Corbet, "get down with you; I'll teach you to
compare me to the Devil."

"Beg pardon, massa!" said Sam, getting down from his pulpit, and rubbing
his shoulder.  "How you think Sam know you?  He see nothing; he only
feel de lick."

"You shall feel it again," said his master, striking at him a great
blow, which Sam dodged.

"Nay, Brother Corbet," said Mr. Phillips, who was with him, "Sam's
mistake was not so strange after all; for if Satan can transform himself
into an Angel of Light, why not into the likeness of such unworthy
ministers as you and I."

This put the old minister in a good humor, and Sam escaped without
farther punishment than a grave admonition to behave more reverently for
the future.  Mr. Phillips, seeing some of his young people in the crowd,
did sharply rebuke them for their folly, at which they were not a little
abashed.

The inn being greatly crowded, and not a little noisy, we were not
unwilling to accept the invitation of the provider of the ordination-
dinner, to sit down with the honored guests thereat.  I waited, with
others of the younger class, until the ministers and elderly people had
made an end of their meal.  Among those who sat at the second table was
a pert, talkative lad, a son of Mr. Increase Mather, who, although but
sixteen years of age, graduated at the Harvard College last year, and
hath the reputation of good scholarship and lively wit.  He told some
rare stories concerning Mr. Brock, the minister ordained, and of the
marvellous efficacy of his prayers.  He mentioned, among other things,
that, when Mr. Brock lived on the Isles of Shoals, he persuaded the
people there to agree to spend one day in a month, beside the Sabhath,
in religious worship.  Now, it so chanced that there was on one occasion
a long season of stormy, rough weather, unsuitable for fishing; and when
the day came which had been set apart, it proved so exceeding fair, that
his congregation did desire him to put off the meeting, that they might
fish.  Mr. Brock tried in vain to reason with them, and show the duty of
seeking first the kingdom of God, when all other things should be added
thereto, but the major part determined to leave the meeting.  Thereupon
he cried out after them: "As for you who will neglect God's worship, go,
and catch fish if you can."  There were thirty men who thus left, and
only five remained behind, and to these he said: "I will pray the Lord
for you, that you may catch fish till you are weary."  And it so fell
out, that the thirty toiled all day, and caught only four fishes; while
the five who stayed at meeting went out, after the worship was over, and
caught five hundred; and ever afterwards the fishermen attended all the
meetings of the minister's appointing.  At another time, a poor man, who
had made himself useful in carrying people to meeting in his boat, lost
the same in a storm, and came lamenting his loss to Mr. Brock.  "Go
home, honest man," said the minister.  "I will mention your case to the
Lord: you will have your boat again to-morrow."  And surely enough, the
very next day, a vessel pulling up its anchor near where the boat sank,
drew up the poor man's boat, safe and whole, after it.

We went back to Boston after dinner, but it was somewhat of a cold ride,
especially after the night set in, a keen northerly wind blowing in
great gusts, which did wellnigh benumb us.  A little way from Reading,
we overtook an old couple in the road; the man had fallen off his horse,
and his wife was trying to get him up again to no purpose; so young Mr.
Richards, who was with us, helped him up to the saddle again, telling
his wife to hold him carefully, as her old man had drank too much flip.
Thereupon the good wife set upon him with a vile tongue, telling him
that her old man was none other than Deacon Rogers of Wenham, and as
good and as pious a saint as there was out of heaven; and it did ill
become a young, saucy rake and knave to accuse him of drunkenness, and
it would be no more than his deserts if the bears did eat him before he
got to Boston.  As it was quite clear that the woman herself had had a
taste of the mug, we left them and rode on, she fairly scolding us out
of hearing.  When we got home, we found Cousin Rebecca, whom we did
leave ill with a cold, much better in health, sitting up and awaiting
us.



January 21, 1679.

Uncle Rawson came home to-day in a great passion, and, calling me to
him, he asked me if I too was going to turn Quaker, and fall to
prophesying?  Whereat I was not a little amazed; and when I asked him
what he did mean, he said: "Your brother Leonard hath gone off to them,
and I dare say you will follow, if one of the ranters should take it
into his head that you would make him a proper wife, or company-keeper,
for there's never an honest marriage among them."  Then looking sternly
at me, he asked me why I did keep this matter from him, and thus allow
the foolish young man to get entangled in the snares of Satan.  Whereat
I was so greatly grieved, that I could answer never a word.

"You may well weep," said my uncle, "for you have done wickedly.  As to
your brother, he will do well to keep where he is in the plantations;
for if he come hither a theeing and thouing of me, I will spare him
never a whit; and if I do not chastise him myself, it will be because
the constable can do it better at the cart-tail.  As the Lord lives, I
had rather he had turned Turk!"

I tried to say a word for my brother, but he cut me straightway short,
bidding me not to mention his name again in his presence.  Poor me!  I
have none here now to whom I can speak freely, Rebecca having gone to
her sister's at Weymouth.  My young cousin Grindall is below, with his
college friend, Cotton Mather; but I care not to listen to their
discourse, and aunt is busied with her servants in the kitchen, so that
I must even sit alone with my thoughts, which be indeed but sad company.

The little book which I brought with me from the Maine, it being the
gift of young Mr. Jordan, and which I have kept close hidden in my
trunk, hath been no small consolation to me this day, for it aboundeth
in sweet and goodly thoughts, although he who did write it was a monk.
Especially in my low state, have these words been a comfort to me:--

"What thou canst not amend in thyself or others, bear thou with patience
until God ordaineth otherwise.  When comfort is taken away, do not
presently despair.  Stand with an even mind resigned to the will of God,
whatever shall befall, because after winter cometh the summer; after the
dark night the day shineth, and after the storm followeth a great calm.
Seek not for consolation which shall rob thee of the grace of penitence;
for all that is high is not holy, nor all that is pleasant good; nor
every desire pure; nor is what is pleasing to us always pleasant in the
sight of God."



January 23.

The weather is bitter cold, and a great snow on the ground.  By a letter
from Newbury, brought me by Mr. Sewall, who hath just returned from that
place, I hear that Goodwife Morse hath been bound for trial as a witch.
Mr. Sewall tells me the woman is now in the Boston jail.  As to Caleb
Powell, he hath been set at liberty, there being no proof of his evil
practice.  Yet inasmuch as he did give grounds of suspicion by boasting
of his skill in astrology and astronomy, the Court declared that he
justly deserves to bear his own shame and the costs of his prosecution
and lodging in jail.

Mr. Sewall tells me that Deacon Dole has just married his housekeeper,
Widow Barnet, and that Moses says he never knew before his father to get
the worst in a bargain.



January 30.

Robert Pike called this morning, bringing me a letter from my brother,
and one from Margaret Brewster.  He hath been to the Providence
Plantations and Rhode Island, and reporteth well of the prospects of my
brother, who hath a goodly farm, and a house nigh upon finished, the
neighbors, being mostly Quakers, assisting him much therein.  My
brother's letter doth confirm this account of his temporal condition,
although a great part of it is taken up with a defence of his new
doctrines, for the which he doth ingeniously bring to mind many passages
of Scripture.  Margaret's letter being short, I here copy it:--

THE PLANTATIONS, 20th of the 1st mo., 1679.

"DEAR FRIEND,--I salute thee with much love from this new country, where
the Lord hath spread a table for us in the wilderness.  Here is a goodly
company of Friends, who do seek to know the mind of Truth, and to live
thereby, being held in favor and esteem by the rulers of the land, and
so left in peace to worship God according to their consciences.  The
whole country being covered with snow, and the weather being extreme
cold, we can scarce say much of the natural gifts and advantages of our
new home; but it lieth on a small river, and there be fertile meadows,
and old corn-fields of the Indians, and good springs of water, so that I
am told it is a desirable and pleasing place in the warm season.  My
soul is full of thankfulness, and a sweet inward peace is my portion.
Hard things are made easy to me; this desert place, with its lonely
woods and wintry snows, is beautiful in mine eyes.  For here we be no
longer gazing-stocks of the rude multitude, we are no longer haled from
our meetings, and railed upon as witches and possessed people.  Oh, how
often have we been called upon heretofore to repeat the prayer of one
formerly: 'Let me not fall into the hands of man.'  Sweet, beyond the
power of words to express, hath been the change in this respect; and in
view of the mercies vouchsafed unto us, what can we do but repeat the
language of David, 'Praise is comely yea, a joyful and pleasant thing it
is to be thankful.  It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, to
sing praises unto thy name, O Most High! to show forth thy loving-
kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.'

"Thou hast doubtless heard that thy dear brother hath been favored to
see the way of truth, according to our persuasion thereof, and hath been
received into fellowship with us.  I fear this hath been a trial to
thee; but, dear heart, leave it in the hands of the Lord, whose work I
do indeed count it.  Nor needest thou to fear that thy brother's regard
for thee will be lessened thereby, for the rather shall it be increased
by a measure of that Divine love which, so far from destroying, doth but
purify and strengthen the natural affections.

"Think, then, kindly of thy brother, for his love towards thee is very
great; and of me, also, unworthy as I am, for his sake.  And so, with
salutations of love and peace, in which my dear mother joins, I remain
thy loving friend,  MARGARET BREWSTER.

"The Morse woman, I hear, is in your jail, to be tried for a witch. She
is a poor, weak creature, but I know no harm of her, and do believe her
to be more silly than wicked in the matter of the troubles in her house.
I fear she will suffer much at this cold season in the jail, she being
old and weakly, and must needs entreat thee to inquire into her
condition.
                      "M. B."



February 10.

Speaking of Goody Morse to-day, Uncle Rawson says she will, he thinks,
be adjudged a witch, as there be many witnesses from Newbury to testify
against her. Aunt sent the old creature some warm blankets and other
necessaries, which she stood much in need of, and Rebecca and I altered
one of aunt's old gowns for her to wear, as she hath nothing seemly of
her own. Mr. Richardson, her minister, hath visited her twice since she
hath been in jail; but he saith she is hardened in her sin, and will
confess nothing thereof.



February 14.
The famous Mr. John Eliot, having business with my uncle, spent the last
night with us, a truly worthy man, who, by reason of his great labors
among the heathen Indians, may be called the chiefest of our apostles.
He brought with him a young Indian lad, the son of a man of some note
among his people, very bright and comely, and handsomely apparelled
after the fashion of his tribe.  This lad hath a ready wit, readeth and
writeth, and hath some understanding of Scripture; indeed, he did repeat
the Lord's Prayer in a manner edifying to hear.

The worshipful Major Gookins coming in to sup with us, there was much
discourse concerning the affairs of the Province: both the Major and his
friend Eliot being great sticklers for the rights and liberties of the
people, and exceeding jealous of the rule of the home government, and
in this matter my uncle did quite agree with them.  In a special manner
Major Gookins did complain of the Acts of Trade, as injurious to the
interests of the Colony, and which he said ought not to be submitted to,
as the laws of England were bounded by the four seas, and did not justly
reach America.  He read a letter which he had from Mr. Stoughton, one of
the agents of the Colony in England, showing how they had been put off
from time to time, upon one excuse or another, without being able to get
a hearing; and now the Popish Plot did so occupy all minds there, that
Plantation matters were sadly neglected; but this much was certain, the
laws for the regulating of trade must be consented to by the
Massachusetts, if we would escape a total breach.  My uncle struck his
hand hard on the table at this, and said if all were of his mind they
would never heed the breach; adding, that he knew his rights as a free-
born Englishman, under Magna Charta, which did declare it the privilege
of such to have a voice in the making of laws; whereas the Massachusetts
had no voice in Parliament, and laws were thrust upon them by strangers.

"For mine own part," said Major Gookins, "I do hold our brother Eliot's
book on the Christian Commonwealth, which the General Court did make
haste to condemn on the coming in of the king, to be a sound and
seasonable treatise, notwithstanding the author himself hath in some
sort disowned it."

"I did truly condemn and deny the false and seditious doctrines charged
upon it," said Mr. Eliot, "but for the book itself, rightly taken, and
making allowance for some little heat of discourse and certain hasty
and ill-considered words therein, I have never seen cause to repent.
I quite agree with what my lamented friend and fellow-laborer, Mr.
Danforth, said, when he was told that the king was to be proclaimed at
Boston: 'Whatever form of government may be deduced from Scripture, that
let us yield to for conscience' sake, not forgetting at the same time
that the Apostle hath said, if thou mayest be free use it rather.'"

My uncle said this was well spoken of Mr. Danforth, who was a worthy
gentleman and a true friend to the liberties of the Colony; and he asked
Rebecca to read some ingenious verses writ by him in one of his
almanacs, which she had copied not long ago, wherein he compareth New
England to a goodly tree or plant.  Whereupon, Rebecca read them as
followeth:--

          "A skilful husbandman he was, who brought
          This matchless plant from far, and here hath sought
          A place to set it in; and for its sake
          The wilderness a pleasant land doth make.

          "With pleasant aspect, Phoebus smiles upon
          The tender buds and blooms that hang thereon;
          At this tree's root Astrea sits and sings,
          And waters it, whence upright Justice springs,
          Which yearly shoots forth laws and liberties
          That no man's will or wit may tyrannize.
          Those birds of prey that sometime have oppressed
          And stained the country with their filthy nest,
          Justice abhors, and one day hopes to find
          A way, to make all promise-breakers grind.
          On this tree's top hangs pleasant Liberty,
          Not seen in Austria, France, Spain, Italy.
          True Liberty 's there ripe, where all confess
          They may do what they will, save wickedness.
          Peace is another fruit which this tree bears,
          The chiefest garland that the country wears,
          Which o'er all house-tops, towns, and fields doth spread,
          And stuffs the pillow for each weary head.
          It bloomed in Europe once, but now 't is gone,
          And glad to find a desert mansion.
          Forsaken Truth, Time's daughter, groweth here,--
          More precious fruit what tree did ever bear,--
          Whose pleasant sight aloft hath many fed,
          And what falls down knocks Error on the head."

After a little time, Rebecca found means to draw the good Mr. Eliot into
some account of his labors and journeys among the Indians, and of their
manner of life, ceremonies, and traditions, telling him that I was a
stranger in these parts, and curious concerning such matters.  So he did
address himself to me very kindly, answering such questions as I
ventured to put to him.  And first, touching the Powahs, of whom I had
heard much, he said they were manifestly witches, and such as had
familiar spirits; but that, since the Gospel has been preached here,
their power had in a great measure gone from them.  "My old friend,
Passaconaway, the Chief of the Merrimac River Indians," said he, "was,
before his happy and marvellous conversion, a noted Powah and wizard.
I once queried with him touching his sorceries, when he said he had done
wickedly, and it was a marvel that the Lord spared his life, and did not
strike him dead with his lightnings.  And when I did press him to tell
me how he did become a Powah, he said he liked not to speak of it, but
would nevertheless tell me.  His grandmother used to tell him many
things concerning the good and bad spirits, and in a special manner of
the Abomako, or Chepian, who had the form of a serpent, and who was the
cause of sickness and pain, and of all manner of evils.  And it so
chanced that on one occasion, when hunting in the wilderness, three
days' journey from home, he did lose his way, and wandered for a long
time without food, and night coming on, he thought he did hear voices of
men talking; but, on drawing near to the place whence the noise came, he
could see nothing but the trees and rocks; and then he did see a light,
as from a wigwam a little way off, but, going towards it, it moved away,
and, following it, he was led into a dismal swamp, full of water, and
snakes, and briers; and being in so sad a plight, he bethought him of
all he had heard of evil demons and of Chepian, who, he doubted not was
the cause of his trouble.  At last, coming to a little knoll in the
swamp, he lay down under a hemlock-tree, and being sorely tired, fell
asleep.  And he dreamed a dream, which was in this wise:--

"He thought he beheld a great snake crawl up out of the marsh, and stand
upon his tail under a tall maple-tree; and he thought the snake spake to
him, and bade him be of good cheer, for he would guide him safe out of
the swamp, and make of him a great chief and Powah, if he would pray to
him and own him as his god.  All which he did promise to do; and when he
awoke in the morning, he beheld before him the maple-tree under which he
had seen the snake in his dream, and, climbing to the top of it, he saw
a great distance off the smoke of a wigwam, towards which he went, and
found some of his own people cooking a plentiful meal of venison.  When
he got back to Patucket, he told his dream to his grandmother, who was
greatly rejoiced, and went about from wigwam to wigwam, telling the
tribe that Chepian had appeared to her grandson.  So they had a great
feast and dance, and he was thenceforth looked upon as a Powah.  Shortly
after, a woman of the tribe falling sick, he was sent for to heal her,
which he did by praying to Chepian and laying his hands upon her; and at
divers other times the Devil helped him in his enchantments and
witcheries."

I asked Mr. Eliot whether he did know of any women who were Powahs.
He confessed he knew none; which was the more strange, as in Christian
countries the Old Serpent did commonly find instruments of his craft
among the women.

To my query as to what notion the heathen had of God and a future state,
he said that, when he did discourse them concerning the great and true
God, who made all things, and of heaven and hell, they would readily
consent thereto, saying that so their fathers had taught them; but when
he spake to them of the destruction of the world by fire, and the
resurrection of the body, they would not hear to it, for they pretend to
hold that the spirit of the dead man goes forthwith, after death, to the
happy hunting-grounds made for good Indians, or to the cold and dreary
swamps and mountains, where the bad Indians do starve and freeze, and
suffer all manner of hardships.

There was, Mr. Eliot told us, a famous Powah, who, coming to Punkapog,
while he was at that Indian town, gave out among the people there that a
little humming-bird did come to him and peck at him when he did aught
that was wrong, and sing sweetly to him when he did a good thing, or
spake the right words; which coming to Mr. Eliot's ear, he made him
confess, in the presence of the congregation, that he did only mean, by
the figure of the bird, the sense he had of right and wrong in his own
mind.  This fellow was, moreover, exceeding cunning, and did often ask
questions hard to be answered touching the creation of the Devil, and
the fall of man.

I said to him that I thought it must be a great satisfaction to him to
be permitted to witness the fruit of his long labors and sufferings in
behalf of these people, in the hopeful conversion of so many of them to
the light and knowledge of the Gospel; to which he replied that his poor
labors had been indeed greatly blest, but it was all of the Lord's
doing, and he could truly say he felt, in view of the great wants of
these wild people, and their darkness and misery, that he had by no
means done all his duty towards them.  He said also, that whenever he
was in danger of being puffed up with the praise of men, or the vanity
of his own heart, the Lord had seen meet to abase and humble him, by the
falling back of some of his people to their old heathenish practices.
The war, moreover, was a sore evil to the Indian churches, as some few
of their number were enticed by Philip to join him in his burnings and
slaughterings, and this did cause even the peaceful and innocent to be
vehemently suspected and cried out against as deceivers and murderers.
Poor, unoffending old men, and pious women, had been shot at and killed
by our soldiers, their wigwams burned, their families scattered, and
driven to seek shelter with the enemy; yea, many Christian Indians, he
did believe, had been sold as slaves to the Barbadoes, which he did
account a great sin, and a reproach to our people.  Major Gookins said
that a better feeling towards the Indians did now prevail among the
people; the time having been when, because of his friendliness to them,
and his condemnation of their oppressors, he was cried out against and
stoned in the streets, to the great hazard of his life.

So, after some further discourse, our guests left us, Mr. Eliot kindly
inviting me to visit his Indian congregation near Boston, whereby I
could judge for myself of their condition.



February 22, 1679.

The weather suddenly changing from a warm rain and mist to sharp, clear
cold, the trees a little way from the house did last evening so shine
with a wonderful brightness in the light of the moon, now nigh unto its
full, that I was fain to go out upon the hill-top to admire them.  And
truly it was no mean sight to behold every small twig becrusted with
ice, and glittering famously like silver-work or crystal, as the rays of
the moon did strike upon them.  Moreover, the earth was covered with
frozen snow, smooth and hard like to marble, through which the long
rushes, the hazels, and mulleins, and the dry blades of the grasses, did
stand up bravely, bedight with frost.  And, looking upward, there were
the dark tops of the evergreen trees, such as hemlocks, pines, and
spruces, starred and bespangled, as if wetted with a great rain of
molten crystal.  After admiring and marvelling at this rare
entertainment and show of Nature, I said it did mind me of what the
Spaniards and Portuguese relate of the great Incas of Guiana, who had a
garden of pleasure in the Isle of Puna, whither they were wont to betake
themselves when they would enjoy the air of the sea, in which they had
all manner of herbs and flowers, and trees curiously fashioned of gold
and silver, and so burnished that their exceeding brightness did dazzle
the eyes of the beholders.

"Nay," said the worthy Mr. Mather, who did go with us, "it should
rather, methinks, call to mind what the Revelator hath said of the Holy
City.  I never look upon such a wonderful display of the natural world
without remembering the description of the glory of that city which
descended out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, and her light
like unto a stone most precious, even like unto a jasper stone, clear as
crystal.  And the building of the wall of it was of jasper, and the city
was pure gold like unto clear glass.  And the twelve gates were twelve
pearls, every several gate was of one pearl, and the street of the city
was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

"There never was a king's palace lighted up and adorned like this,"
continued Mr. Mather, as we went homewards.  "It seemeth to be Gods
design to show how that He can glorify himself in the work of His hands,
even at this season of darkness and death, when all things are sealed
up, and there be no flowers, nor leaves, nor ruining brooks, to speak of
His goodness and sing forth His praises.  Truly hath it been said, Great
things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend.  For He saith to the snow,
Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain and the great rain of
His strength.  He sealeth up the hand of every man, that all men may
know His work.  Then the beasts go into their dens, and they remain in
their places.  Out of the south cometh the whirlwind, and cold out of
the north.  By the breath of God is the frost given, and the breadth of
the waters straitened."



March 10.

I have been now for many days afflicted with a great cold and pleurisy,
although, by God's blessing on the means used, I am wellnigh free from
pain, and much relieved, also, from a tedious cough.  In this sickness I
have not missed the company and kind ministering of my dear Cousin
Rebecca, which was indeed a great comfort. She tells me to-day that the
time hath been fixed upon for her marriage with Sir Thomas, which did
not a little rejoice me, as I am to go back to mine own country in their
company. I long exceedingly to see once again the dear friends from whom
I have been separated by many months of time and a great ocean.

Cousin Torrey, of Weymouth, coming in yesterday, brought with her a very
bright and pretty Indian girl, one of Mr. Eliot's flock, of the Natick
people. She was apparelled after the English manner, save that she wore
leggings, called moccasins, in the stead of shoes, wrought over daintily
with the quills of an animal called a porcupine, and hung about with
small black and white shells. Her hair, which was exceeding long and
black, hung straight down her back, and was parted from her forehead,
and held fast by means of a strip of birch back, wrought with quills and
feathers, which did encircle her head. She speaks the English well, and
can write somewhat, as well as read. Rebecca, for my amusement, did
query much with her regarding the praying Indians; and on her desiring
to know whether they did in no wise return to their old practices and
worships, Wauwoonemeen (for so she was called by her people) told us
that they did still hold their Keutikaw, or Dance for the Dead; and
that the ministers, although they did not fail to discourage it, had not
forbidden it altogether, inasmuch as it was but a civil custom of the
people, and not a religious rite. This dance did usually take place at
the end of twelve moons after the death of one of their number, and
finished the mourning.  The guests invited bring presents to the
bereaved family, of wampum, beaver-skins, corn, and ground-nuts, and
venison.  These presents are delivered to a speaker, appointed for the
purpose, who takes them, one by one, and hands them over to the
mourners, with a speech entreating them to be consoled by these tokens
of the love of their neighbors, and to forget their sorrows.  After
which, they sit down to eat, and are merry together.

Now it had so chanced that at a Keutikaw held the present winter, two
men had been taken ill, and had died the next day; and although Mr.
Eliot, when he was told of it, laid the blame thereof upon their hard
dancing until they were in a great heat, and then running out into the
snow and sharp air to cool themselves, it was thought by many that they
were foully dealt with and poisoned.  So two noted old Powahs from
Wauhktukook, on the great river Connecticut, were sent for to discover
the murderers.  Then these poor heathen got together in a great wigwam,
where the old wizards undertook, by their spells and incantations, to
consult the invisible powers in the matter.  I asked Wauwoonemeen if she
knew how they did practise on the occasion; whereupon she said that none
but men were allowed to be in the wigwam, but that she could hear the
beating of sticks on the ground, and the groans and howlings and dismal
mutterings of the Powahs, and that she, with another young woman,
venturing to peep through a hole in the back of the wigwam, saw a great
many people sitting on the ground, and the two Powahs before the fire,
jumping and smiting their breasts, and rolling their eyes very
frightfully.

"But what came of it?" asked Rebecca.  "Did the Evil Spirit whom they
thus called upon testify against himself, by telling who were his
instruments in mischief?"

The girl said she had never heard of any discovery of the poisoners, if
indeed there were such.  She told us, moreover, that many of the best
people in the tribe would have no part in the business, counting it
sinful; and that the chief actors were much censured by the ministers,
and so ashamed of it that they drove the Powahs out of the village, the
women and boys chasing them and beating them with sticks and frozen
snow, so that they had to take to the woods in a sorry plight.

We gave the girl some small trinkets, and a fair piece of cloth for an
apron, whereat she was greatly pleased.  We were all charmed with her
good parts, sweetness of countenance, and discourse and ready wit, being
satisfied thereby that Nature knoweth no difference between Europe and
America in blood, birth, and bodies, as we read in Acts 17 that God hath
made of one blood all mankind.  I was specially minded of a saying of
that ingenious but schismatic man, Mr. Roger Williams, in the little
book which he put forth in England on the Indian tongue:--

          "Boast not, proud English, of thy birth and blood,
          Thy brother Indian is by birth as good;
          Of one blood God made him and thee and all,
          As wise, as fair, as strong, as personal.

          "By nature wrath's his portion, thine, no more,
          Till grace his soul and thine in Christ restore.
          Make sure thy second birth, else thou shalt see
          Heaven ope to Indians wild, but shut to thee!"



March 15.

One Master O'Shane, an Irish scholar, of whom my cousins here did learn
the Latin tongue, coming in last evening, and finding Rebecca and I
alone (uncle and aunt being on a visit to Mr. Atkinson's), was exceeding
merry, entertaining us rarely with his stories and songs.  Rebecca tells
me he is a learned man, as I can well believe, but that he is too fond
of strong drink for his good, having thereby lost the favor of many of
the first families here, who did formerly employ him.  There was one
ballad, which he saith is of his own making, concerning the selling of
the daughter of a great Irish lord as a slave in this land, which
greatly pleased me; and on my asking for a copy of it, he brought it to
me this morning, in a fair hand.  I copy it in my Journal, as I know
that Oliver, who is curious in such things, will like it.


KATHLEEN.

     O NORAH, lay your basket down,
     And rest your weary hand,
     And come and hear me sing a song
     Of our old Ireland.

     There was a lord of Galaway,
     A mighty lord was he;
     And he did wed a second wife,
     A maid of low degree.

     But he was old, and she was young,
     And so, in evil spite,
     She baked the black bread for his kin,
     And fed her own with white.

     She whipped the maids and starved the kern,
     And drove away the poor;
     "Ah, woe is me!" the old lord said,
     "I rue my bargain sore!"

     This lord he had a daughter fair,
     Beloved of old and young,
     And nightly round the shealing-fires
     Of her the gleeman sung.

     "As sweet and good is young Kathleen
     As Eve before her fall;"
     So sang the harper at the fair,
     So harped he in the hall.

     "Oh, come to me, my daughter dear!
     Come sit upon my knee,
     For looking in your face, Kathleen,
     Your mother's own I see!"

     He smoothed and smoothed her hair away,
     He kissed her forehead fair;
     "It is my darling Mary's brow,
     It is my darling's hair!"

     Oh, then spake up the angry dame,
     "Get up, get up," quoth she,
     "I'll sell ye over Ireland,
     I'll sell ye o'er the sea!"

     She clipped her glossy hair away,
     That none her rank might know;
     She took away her gown of silk,
     And gave her one of tow,

     And sent her down to Limerick town
     And to a seaman sold
     This daughter of an Irish lord
     For ten good pounds in gold.

     The lord he smote upon his breast,
     And tore his beard so gray;
     But he was old, and she was young,
     And so she had her way.

     Sure that same night the Banshee howled
     To fright the evil dame,
     And fairy folks, who loved Kathleen,
     With funeral torches came.

     She watched them glancing through the trees,
     And glimmering down the hill;
     They crept before the dead-vault door,
     And there they all stood still!

     "Get up, old man! the wake-lights shine!"
     "Ye murthering witch," quoth he,
     "So I'm rid of your tongue, I little care
     If they shine for you or me."

     "Oh, whoso brings my daughter back,
     My gold and land shall have!"
     Oh, then spake up his handsome page,
     "No gold nor land I crave!

     "But give to me your daughter dear,
     Give sweet Kathleen to me,
     Be she on sea or be she on land,
     I'll bring her back to thee."

     "My daughter is a lady born,
     And you of low degree,
     But she shall be your bride the day
     You bring her back to me."

     He sailed east, he sailed west,
     And far and long sailed he,
     Until he came to Boston town,
     Across the great salt sea.

     "Oh, have ye seen the young Kathleen,
     The flower of Ireland?
     Ye'll know her by her eyes so blue,
     And by her snow-white hand!"

     Out spake an ancient man, "I know
     The maiden whom ye mean;
     I bought her of a Limerick man,
     And she is called Kathleen.

     "No skill hath she in household work,
     Her hands are soft and white,
     Yet well by loving looks and ways
     She doth her cost requite."

     So up they walked through Boston town,
     And met a maiden fair,
     A little basket on her arm
     So snowy-white and bare.

     "Come hither, child, and say hast thou
     This young man ever seen?"
     They wept within each other's arms,
     The page and young Kathleen.

     "Oh give to me this darling child,
     And take my purse of gold."
     "Nay, not by me," her master said,
     "Shall sweet Kathleen be sold.

     "We loved her in the place of one
     The Lord hath early ta'en;
     But, since her heart's in Ireland,
     We give her back again!"

     Oh, for that same the saints in heaven
     For his poor soul shall pray,
     And Mary Mother wash with tears
     His heresies away.

     Sure now they dwell in Ireland;
     As you go up Claremore
     Ye'll see their castle looking down
     The pleasant Galway shore.

     And the old lord's wife is dead and gone,
     And a happy man is he,
     For he sits beside his own Kathleen,
     With her darling on his knee.

     1849.



March 27, 1679.

Spent the afternoon and evening yesterday at Mr. Mather's, with uncle
and aunt, Rebecca and Sir Thomas, and Mr. Torrey of Weymouth, and his
wife; Mr. Thacher, the minister of the South Meeting, and Major Simon
Willard of Concord, being present also.  There was much discourse of
certain Antinomians, whose loose and scandalous teachings in respect to
works were strongly condemned, although Mr. Thacher thought there might
be danger, on the other hand, of falling into the error of the
Socinians, who lay such stress upon works, that they do not scruple to
undervalue and make light of faith.  Mr. Torrey told of some of the
Antinomians, who, being guilty of scandalous sins, did nevertheless
justify themselves, and plead that they were no longer under the law.
Sir Thomas drew Rebecca and I into a corner of the room, saying he was
a-weary of so much disputation, and began relating somewhat which befell
him in a late visit to the New Haven people.  Among other things, he
told us that while he was there, a maid of nineteen years was put upon
trial for her life, by complaint of her parents of disobedience of their
commands, and reviling them; that at first the mother of the girl did
seem to testify strongly against her; but when she had spoken a few
words, the accused crying out with a bitter lamentation, that she should
be destroyed in her youth by the words of her own mother, the woman did
so soften her testimony that the Court, being in doubt upon the matter,
had a consultation with the ministers present, as to whether the accused
girl had made herself justly liable to the punishment prescribed for
stubborn and rebellious children in Deut. xxi. 20, 21.  It was thought
that this law did apply specially unto a rebellious son, according to
the words of the text, and that a daughter could not be put to death
under it; to which the Court did assent, and the girl, after being
admonished, was set free.  Thereupon, Sir Thomas told us, she ran
sobbing into the arms of her mother, who did rejoice over her as one
raised from the dead, and did moreover mightily blame herself for
putting her in so great peril, by complaining of her disobedience
to the magistrates.

Major Willard, a pleasant, talkative man, being asked by Mr. Thacher
some questions pertaining to his journey into the New Hampshire, in the
year '52, with the learned and pious Mr. Edward Johnson, in obedience to
an order of the General Court, for the finding the northernmost part of
the river Merrimac, gave us a little history of the same, some parts of
which I deemed noteworthy.  The company, consisting of the two
commissioners, and two surveyors, and some Indians, as guides and
hunters, started from Concord about the middle of July, and followed the
river on which Concord lies, until they came to the great Falls of the
Merrimac, at Patucket, where they were kindly entertained at the wigwam
of a chief Indian who dwelt there.  They then went on to the Falls of
the Amoskeag, a famous place of resort for the Indians, and encamped at
the foot of a mountain, under the shade of some great trees, where they
spent the next day, it being the Sabhath.  Mr. Johnson read a portion
of the Word, and a psalm was sung, the Indians sitting on the ground a
little way off, in a very reverential manner.  They then went to
Annahookline, where were some Indian cornfields, and thence over a wild,
hilly country, to the head of the Merrimac, at a place called by the
Indians Aquedahcan, where they took an observation of the latitude, and
set their names upon a great rock, with that of the worshipful Governor,
John Endicott.  Here was the great Lake Winnipiseogee, as large over as
an English county, with many islands upon it, very green with trees and
vines, and abounding with squirrels and birds.  They spent two days at
the lake's outlet, one of them the Sabhath, a wonderfully still, quiet
day of the midsummer.  "It is strange," said the Major, "but so it is,
that although a quarter of a century hath passed over me since that day,
it is still very fresh and sweet in my memory.  Many times, in my
musings, I seem to be once more sitting under the beechen trees of
Aquedahcan, with my three English friends, and I do verily seem to see
the Indians squatted on the lake shore, round a fire, cooking their
dishes, and the smoke thereof curling about among the trees over their
heads; and beyond them is the great lake and the islands thereof, some
big and others exceeding small, and the mountains that do rise on the
other side, and whose woody tops show in the still water as in a glass.
And, withal, I do seem to have a sense of the smell of flowers, which
did abound there, and of the strawberries with which the old Indian
cornfield near unto us was red, they being then ripe and luscious to the
taste.  It seems, also, as if I could hear the bark of my dog, and the
chatter of squirrels, and the songs of the birds, in the thick woods
behind us; and, moreover, the voice of my friend Johnson, as he did call
to mind these words of the 104th Psalm: 'Bless the Lord, O my soul!  who
coverest thyself with light, as with a garment; who stretchest out the
heavens like a curtain; who layeth the beams of his chambers in the
waters; who maketh the clouds his chariot; and walketh upon the wings of
the wind!'  Ah me!  I shall never truly hear that voice more, unless,
through God's mercy, I be permitted to join the saints of light in
praise and thanksgiving beside stiller waters and among greener pastures
than are those of Aquedahcan."

"He was a shining light, indeed," said Mr. Mather, "and, in view of his
loss and that of other worthies in Church and State, we may well say, as
of old, Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth!"

Major Willard said that the works of Mr. Johnson did praise him,
especially that monument of his piety and learning, "The History of New
England; or, Wonder-Working Providence of Sion's Saviour," wherein he
did show himself in verse and in prose a workman not to be ashamed.
There was a piece which Mr. Johnson writ upon birchen bark at the head
of the Merrimac, during the journey of which he had spoken, which had
never been printed, but which did more deserve that honor than much of
the rhymes with which the land now aboundeth.  Mr. Mather said he had
the piece of bark then in his possession, on which Mr. Johnson did
write; and, on our desiring to see it, he brought it to us, and, as we
could not well make out the writing thereon, he read it as followeth:--


This lonesome lake, like to a sea, among the mountains lies,
And like a glass doth show their shapes, and eke the clouds and skies.
God lays His chambers' beams therein, that all His power may know,
And holdeth in His fist the winds, that else would mar the show.

The Lord hath blest this wilderness with meadows, streams, and springs,
And like a garden planted it with green and growing things;
And filled the woods with wholesome meats, and eke with fowls the air,
And sown the land with flowers and herbs, and fruits of savor rare.

But here the nations know him not, and come and go the days,
Without a morning prayer to Him, or evening song of praise;
The heathen fish upon the lake, or hunt the woods for meat,
And like the brutes do give no thanks for wherewithal to eat.

They dance in shame and nakedness, with horrid yells to hear,
And like to dogs they make a noise, or screeching owls anear.
Each tribe, like Micah, doth its priest or cunning Powah keep;
Yea, wizards who, like them of old, do mutter and do peep.

A cursed and an evil race, whom Satan doth mislead,
And rob them of Christ's hope, whereby he makes them poor indeed;
They hold the waters and the hills, and clouds, and stars to be
Their gods; for, lacking faith, they do believe but what they see.

Yet God on them His sun and rain doth evermore bestow,
And ripens all their harvest-fields and pleasant fruits also.
For them He makes the deer and moose, for them the fishes swim,
And all the fowls in woods and air are goodly gifts from Him.

Yea, more; for them, as for ourselves, hath Christ a ransom paid,
And on Himself, their sins and ours, a common burden laid.
By nature vessels of God's wrath, 't is He alone can give
To English or to Indians wild the grace whereby we live.

Oh, let us pray that in these wilds the Gospel may be preached,
And these poor Gentiles of the woods may by its truth be reached;
That ransomed ones the tidings glad may sound with joy abroad,
And lonesome Aquedahcan hear the praises of the Lord!



March 18.

My cough still troubling me, an ancient woman, coming in yesterday, did
so set forth the worth and virtue of a syrup of her making, that Aunt
Rawson sent Effie over to the woman's house for a bottle of it.  The
woman sat with us a pretty while, being a lively talking body, although
now wellnigh fourscore years of age.  She could tell many things of the
old people of Boston, for, having been in youth the wife of a man of
some note and substance, and being herself a notable housewife and of
good natural parts, she was well looked upon by the better sort of
people.  After she became a widow, she was for a little time in the
family of Governor Endicott, at Naumkeag, whom she describeth as a just
and goodly man, but exceeding exact in the ordering of his household,
and of fiery temper withal.  When displeasured, he would pull hard at
the long tuft of hair which he wore upon his chin; and on one occasion,
while sitting in the court, he plucked off his velvet cap, and cast it
in the face of one of the assistants, who did profess conscientious
scruples against the putting to death of the Quakers.

"I have heard say his hand was heavy upon these people," I said.

"And well it might be," said the old woman, for more pestilent and
provoking strollers and ranters you shall never find than these same
Quakers.  They were such a sore trouble to the Governor, that I do
believe his days were shortened by reason of them.  For neither the
jail, nor whipping, nor cropping of ears, did suffice to rid him of
them.  At last, when a law was made by the General Court, banishing them
on pain of death, the Governor, coming home from Boston, said that he
now hoped to have peace in the Colony, and that this sharpness would
keep the land free from these troublers.  I remember it well, how the
next day he did invite the ministers and chief men, and in what a
pleasant frame he was.  In the morning I had mended his best velvet
breeches for him, and he praised my work not a little, and gave me six
shillings over and above my wages; and, says he to me: 'Goody Lake,'
says he, 'you are a worthy woman, and do feel concerned for the good of
Zion, and the orderly carrying of matters in Church and State, and hence
I know you will be glad to hear that, after much ado, and in spite of
the strivings of evil-disposed people, the General Court have agreed
upon a law for driving the Quakers out of the jurisdiction, on pain of
death; so that, if any come after this, their blood be upon their own
heads.  It is what I have wrestled with the Lord for this many a month,
and I do count it a great deliverance and special favor; yea, I may
truly say, with David: "Thou hast given me my heart's desire, and hast
not withholden the prayer of my lips.  Thy hand shall find out all thine
enemies; thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine
anger; the Lord shall wallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall
devour them."  You will find these words, Goody Lake,' says he, 'in the
21st Psalm, where what is said of the King will serve for such as be in
authority at this time.'  For you must know, young woman, that the
Governor was mighty in Scripture, more especially in his prayers,
when you could think that he had it all at his tongue's end.

"There was a famous dinner at the Governor's that day, and many guests,
and the Governor had ordered from his cellar some wine, which was a gift
from a Portuguese captain, and of rare quality, as I know of mine own
tasting, when word was sent to the Governor that a man wished to see
him, whom he bid wait awhile.  After dinner was over, he went into the
hall, and who should be there but Wharton, the Quaker, who, without
pulling off his hat, or other salutation, cried out: 'John Endicott,
hearken to the word of the Lord, in whose fear and dread I am come.
Thou and thy evil counsellors, the priests, have framed iniquity by law,
but it shall not avail you.  Thus saith the Lord, Evil shall slay the
wicked, and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate!'  Now, when
the Governor did hear this, he fell, as must needs be, into a rage, and,
seeing me by the door, he bade me call the servants from the kitchen,
which I did, and they running up, he bade them lay hands on the fellow,
and take him away; and then, in a great passion, he called for his
horse, saying he would not rest until he had seen forty stripes save one
laid upon that cursed Quaker, and that he should go to the gallows yet
for his sauciness.  So they had him to jail, and the next morning he was
soundly whipped, and ordered to depart the jurisdiction."

I, being curious to know more concerning the Quakers, asked her if she
did ever talk with any of them who were dealt with by the authorities,
and what they said for themselves.

"Oh, they never lacked words," said she, "but cried out for liberty of
conscience, and against persecution, and prophesied all manner of evil
upon such as did put in force the law.  Some time about the year '56,
there did come two women of them to Boston, and brought with them
certain of their blasphemous books, which the constables burnt in the
street, as I well remember by this token, that, going near the fire, and
seeing one of the books not yet burnt, I stooped to pick it up, when one
of the constables gave me a smart rap with his staff, and snatched it
away.  The women being sent to the jail, the Deputy-Governor, Mr.
Bellingham, and the Council, thinking they might be witches, were for
having them searched; and Madam Bellingham naming me and another woman
to her husband, he sent for us, and bade us go to the jail and search
them, to see if there was any witch-mark on their bodies.  So we went,
and told them our errand, at which they marvelled not a little, and one
of them, a young, well-favored woman, did entreat that they might not be
put to such shame, for the jailer stood all the time in the yard,
looking in at the door; but we told them such was the order, and so,
without more ado, stripped them of their clothes, but found nothing save
a mole on the left breast of he younger, into which Goodwife Page thrust
her needle, at which the woman did give a cry as of pain, and the blood
flowed; whereas, if it had been witch's mark, she would not have felt
the prick, for would it have caused blood.  So, finding nothing that did
look like witchcraft, we left them; and on being brought before the
Court, Deputy-Governor Bellingham asked us what we had to say concerning
the women.  Whereupon Goodwife Page, being the oldest of us, told him
that we did find no appearance of witches upon their bodies, save the
mole on the younger woman's breast (which was but natural), but that
otherwise she was fair as Absalom, who had no blemish from the soles of
his feet to the crown of his head.  Thereupon the Deputy-Governor
dismissed us, saying that it might be that the Devil did not want them
for witches, because they could better serve him as Quakers: whereat all
the Court fell to laughing."

"And what did become of the women?" I asked.

"They kept them in jail awhile," said Nurse Lake, "and then sent them
back to England.  But the others that followed fared harder,--some
getting whipped at the cart-tail, and others losing their ears.  The
hangman's wife showed me once the ears of three of them, which her
husband cut off in the jail that very morning."

"This is dreadful!" said I, for I thought of my dear brother and sweet
Margaret Brewster, and tears filled mine eyes.

"Nay; but they were sturdy knaves and vagabonds," answered Nurse Lake,
"although one of them was the son of a great officer in the Barbadoes,
and accounted a gentleman before he did run out into his evil practices.
But cropping of ears did not stop these headstrong people, and they
still coming, some were put to death.  There were three of them to be
hanged at one time.  I do remember it well, for it was a clear, warm day
about the last of October, and it was a brave sight to behold.  There
was Marshal Michelson and Captain Oliver, with two hundred soldiers
afoot, besides many on horse of our chief people, and among them the
minister, Mr. Wilson, looking like a saint as he was, with a pleasant
and joyful countenance, and a great multitude of people, men, women, and
children, not only of Boston, but from he towns round about.  I got
early on to the ground, and when they were going to the gallows I kept
as near to the condemned ones as I could.  There were two young, well-
favored men, and a woman with gray hairs.  As they walked hand in band,
the woman in the middle, the Marshal, who was riding beside them, and
who was a merry drolling man, asked her if she was n't ashamed to walk
hand in hand between two young men; whereupon, looking upon him
solemnly, she said she was not ashamed, for this was to her an hour of
great joy, and that no eye could see, no ear hear, no tongue speak, and
no heart understand, the sweet incomes and refreshings of the Lord's
spirit, which she did then feel.  This she spake aloud, so that all
about could hear, whereat Captain Oliver bid the drums to beat and drown
her voice.  Now, when they did come to the gallows ladder, on each side
of which the officers and chief people stood, the two men kept on their
hats, as is the ill manner of their sort, which so provoked Mr. Wilson,
the minister, that he cried out to them: 'What! shall such Jacks as you
come before authority with your hats on?'  To which one of them said:
'Mind you, it is for not putting off our hats that we are put to death.'
The two men then went up the ladder, and tried to speak; but I could not
catch a word, being outside of the soldiers, and much fretted and
worried by the crowd.  They were presently turned off, and then the
woman went up the ladder, and they tied her coats down to her feet, and
put the halter on her neck, and, lacking a handkerchief to tie over her
face, the minister lent the hangman his.  Just then your Uncle Rawson
comes a-riding up to the gallows, waving his hand, and crying out,
'Stop! she is reprieved!' So they took her down, although she said she
was ready to die as her brethren did, unless they would undo their
bloody laws.  I heard Captain Oliver tell her it was for her son's sake
that she was spared.  So they took her to jail, and after a time sent
her back to her husband in Rhode Island, which was a favor she did in no
wise deserve; but good Governor Endicott, much as he did abhor these
people, sought not their lives, and spared no pains to get them
peaceably out the country; but they were a stubborn crew, and must needs
run their necks into the halter, as did this same woman; for, coming
back again, under pretence of pleading for the repeal of the laws
against Quakers, she was not long after put to death.  The excellent Mr.
Wilson made a brave ballad on the hanging, which I have heard the boys
in the street sing many a time."

A great number, both men and women, were--"whipped and put in the
stocks," continued the woman, "and I once beheld two of them, one a
young and the other an aged woman, in a cold day in winter, tied to the
tail of a cart, going through Salem Street, stripped to their waists as
naked as they were born, and their backs all covered with red whip-
marks; but there was a more pitiful case of one Hored Gardner, a young
married woman, with a little child and her nurse, who, coming to
Weymouth, was laid hold of and sent to Boston, where both were whipped,
and, as I was often at the jail to see the keeper's wife, it so chanced
that I was there at the time.  The woman, who was young and delicate,
when they were stripping her, held her little child in her arms; and
when the jailer plucked it from her bosom, she looked round anxiously,
and, seeing me, said, 'Good woman, I know thou 't have pity on the
babe,' and asked me to hold it, which I did.  She was then whipped with
a threefold whip, with knots in the ends, which did tear sadly into her
flesh; and, after it was over, she kneeled down, with her back all
bleeding, and prayed for them she called her persecutors.  I must say I
did greatly pity her, and I spoke to the jailer's wife, and we washed
the poor creature's back, and put on it some famous ointment, so that
she soon got healed."

Aunt Rawson now coming in, the matter was dropped; but, on my speaking
to her of it after Nurse Lake had left, she said it was a sore trial to
many, even those in authority, and who were charged with the putting in
force of the laws against these people.  She furthermore said, that
Uncle Rawson and Mr. Broadstreet were much cried out against by the
Quakers and their abettors on both sides of the water, but they did but
their duty in the matter, and for herself she had always mourned over
the coming of these people, and was glad when the Court did set any of
them free.  When the woman was hanged, my aunt spent the whole day with
Madam Broadstreet, who was so wrought upon that she was fain to take to
her bed, refusing to be comforted, and counting it the heaviest day of
her life.

"Looking out of her chamber window," said Aunt Rawson, "I saw the people
who had been to the hanging coming back from the training-field; and
when Anne Broadstreet did hear the sound of their feet in the road, she
groaned, and said that it did seem as if every foot fell upon her heart.
Presently Mr. Broadstreet came home, bringing with him the minister,
Mr. John Norton.  They sat down in the chamber, and for some little time
there was scarce a word spoken.  At length Madam Broadstreet, turning to
her husband and laying her hand on his arm, as was her loving manner,
asked him if it was indeed all over.  'The woman is dead,' said he; 'but
I marvel, Anne, to see you so troubled about her.  Her blood is upon her
own head, for we did by no means seek her life.  She hath trodden under
foot our laws, and misused our great forbearance, so that we could do no
otherwise than we have done.  So under the Devil's delusion was she,
that she wanted no minister or elder to pray with her at the gallows,
but seemed to think herself sure of heaven, heeding in no wise the
warnings of Mr. Norton, and other godly people.'

"'Did she rail at, or cry out against any?' asked his wife.  'Nay, not to
my hearing,' he said, 'but she carried herself as one who had done no
harm, and who verily believed that she had obeyed the Lord's will.'

"'This is very dreadful,' said she, 'and I pray that the death of that
poor misled creature may not rest heavy upon us.'

"Hereupon Mr. Norton lifted up his head, which had been bowed down upon
his hand; and I shall never forget how his pale and sharp features did
seem paler than their wont, and his solemn voice seemed deeper and
sadder.  'Madam!' he said, 'it may well befit your gentleness and
sweetness of heart to grieve over the sufferings even of the froward and
ungodly, when they be cut off from the congregation of the Lord, as His
holy and just law enjoineth, for verily I also could weep for the
condemned one, as a woman and a mother; and, since her coming, I have
wrestled with the Lord, in prayer and fasting, that I might be His
instrument in snatching her as a brand from the burning.  But, as a
watchman on the walls of Zion, when I did see her casting poison into
the wells of life, and enticing unstable souls into the snares and
pitfalls of Satan, what should I do but sound an alarm against her?  And
the magistrate, such as your worthy husband, who is also appointed of
God, and set for the defence of the truth, and the safety of the Church
and the State, what can he do but faithfully to execute the law of God,
which is a terror to evil doers?  The natural pity which we feel must
give place unto the duty we do severally owe to God and His Church, and
the government of His appointment.  It is a small matter to be judged of
man's judgment, for, though certain people have not scrupled to call me
cruel and hard of heart, yet the Lord knows I have wept in secret places
over these misguided men and women.

"'But might not life be spared?' asked Madam Broadstreet.  'Death is a
great thing.'

"'It is appointed unto all to die,' said Mr. Norton, 'and after death
cometh the judgment.  The death of these poor bodies is a bitter thing,
but the death of the soul is far more dreadful; and it is better that
these people should suffer than that hundreds of precious souls should
be lost through their evil communication.  The care of the dear souls of
my flock lieth heavily upon me, as many sleepless nights and days of
fasting do bear witness.  I have not taken counsel of flesh and blood in
this grave matter, nor yielded unto the natural weakness of my heart.
And while some were for sparing these workers of iniquity, even as Saul
spared Agag, I have been strengthened, as it were, to hew them in pieces
before the Lord in Gilgal.  O madam, your honored husband can tell you
what travail of spirit, what sore trials, these disturbers have cost us;
and as you do know in his case, so believe also in mine, that what we
have done hath been urged, not by hardness and cruelty of heart, but
rather by our love and tenderness towards the Lord's heritage in this
land.  Through care and sorrow I have grown old before my time; few and
evil have been the days of my pilgrimage, and the end seems not far off;
and though I have many sins and shortcomings to answer for, I do humbly
trust that the blood of the souls of the flock committed to me will not
then be found upon my garments.'

"Ah, me! I shall never forget these words of that godly man," continued
my aunt, "for, as he said, his end was not far off.  He died very
suddenly, and the Quakers did not scruple to say that it was God's
judgment upon him for his severe dealing with their people.  They even
go so far as to say that the land about Boston is cursed because of the
hangings and whippings, inasmuch as wheat will not now grow here, as it
did formerly, and, indeed, many, not of their way, do believe the same
thing."



April 24.

A vessel from London has just come to port, bringing Rebecca's dresses
for the wedding, which will take place about the middle of June, as I
hear.  Uncle Rawson has brought me a long letter from Aunt Grindall,
with one also from Oliver, pleasant and lively, like himself.  No
special news from abroad that I hear of.  My heart longs for Old England
more and more.

It is supposed that the freeholders have chosen Mr. Broadstreet for
their Governor.  The vote, uncle says, is exceeding small, very few
people troubling themselves about it.



May 2.

Mr. John Easton, a man of some note in the Providence Plantations,
having occasion to visit Boston yesterday, brought me a message from my
brother, to the effect that he was now married and settled, and did
greatly desire me to make the journey to his house in the company of his
friend, John Easton, and his wife's sister.  I feared to break the
matter to my uncle, but Rebecca hath done so for me, and he hath, to my
great joy, consented thereto; for, indeed, he refuseth nothing to her.
My aunt fears for me, that I shall suffer from the cold, as the weather
is by no means settled, although the season is forward, as compared with
the last; but I shall take good care as to clothing; and John Easton
saith we shall be but two nights on the way.



THE PLANTATIONS, May 10, 1679.

We left Boston on the 4th, at about sunrise, and rode on at a brisk
trot, until we came to the banks of the river, along which we went near
a mile before we found a suitable ford, and even there the water was so
deep that we only did escape a wetting by drawing our feet up to the
saddle-trees.  About noon, we stopped at a farmer's house, in the hope
of getting a dinner; but the room was dirty as an Indian wigwam, with
two children in it, sick with the measles, and the woman herself in a
poor way, and we were glad to leave as soon as possible, and get into
the fresh air again.  Aunt had provided me with some cakes, and Mr.
Easton, who is an old traveller, had with him a roasted fowl and a good
loaf of Indian bread; so, coming to a spring of excellent water, we got
off our horses, and, spreading our napkins on the grass and dry leaves,
had a comfortable dinner.  John's sister is a widow, a lively, merry
woman, and proved rare company for me.  Afterwards we rode until the sun
was nigh setting, when we came to a little hut on the shore of a broad
lake at a place called Massapog.  It had been dwelt in by a white family
formerly, but it was now empty, and much decayed in the roof, and as we
did ride up to it we saw a wild animal of some sort leap out of one of
its windows, and run into the pines.  Here Mr. Easton said we must make
shift to tarry through the night, as it was many miles to the house of a
white man.  So, getting off our horses, we went into the hut, which had
but one room, with loose boards for a floor; and as we sat there in the
twilight, it looked dismal enough; but presently Mr. Easton, coming in
with a great load of dried boughs, struck a light in the stone
fireplace, and we soon had a roaring fire.  His sister broke off some
hemlock boughs near the door, and made a broom of them, with which she
swept up the floor, so that when we sat down on blocks by the hearth,
eating our poor supper, we thought ourselves quite comfortable and tidy.
It was a wonderful clear night, the moon rising, as we judged, about
eight of the clock, over the tops of the hills on the easterly side of
the lake, and shining brightly on the water in a long line of light, as
if a silver bridge had been laid across it.  Looking out into the
forest, we could see the beams of the moon, falling here and there
through the thick tops of the pines and hemlocks, and showing their tall
trunks, like so many pillars in a church or temple.  There was a
westerly wind blowing, not steadily, but in long gusts, which, sounding
from a great distance through the pine leaves, did make a solemn and not
unpleasing music, to which I listened at the door until the cold drove
me in for shelter.  Our horses having been fed with corn, which Mr.
Easton took with him, were tied at the back of the building, under the
cover of a thick growth of hemlocks, which served to break off the night
wind.  The widow and I had a comfortable bed in the corner of the room,
which we made of small hemlock sprigs, having our cloaks to cover us,
and our saddlebags for pillows.  My companions were soon asleep, but the
exceeding strangeness of my situation did keep me a long time awake.
For, as I lay there looking upward, I could see the stars shining down a
great hole in the roof, and the moonlight streaming through the seams of
the logs, and mingling with the red glow of the coals on the hearth.  I
could hear the horses stamping, just outside, and the sound of the water
on the lake shore, the cry of wild animals in the depth of the woods,
and, over all, the long and very wonderful murmur of the pines in the
wind.  At last, being sore weary, I fell asleep, and waked not until I
felt the warm sun shining in my face, and heard the voice of Mr. Easton
bidding me rise, as the horses were ready.

After riding about two hours we came upon an Indian camp, in the midst
of a thick wood of maples.  Here were six spacious wigwams; but the men
were away, except two very old and infirm ones.  There were five or six
women, and perhaps twice as many children, who all came out to see us.
They brought us some dried meat, as hard nigh upon as chips of wood, and
which, although hungry, I could feel no stomach for; but I bought of one
of the squaws two great cakes of sugar, made from the sap of the maples
which abound there, very pure and sweet, and which served me instead of
their unsavory meat and cakes of pounded corn, of which Mr. Easton and
his sister did not scruple to partake.  Leaving them, we had a long and
hard ride to a place called Winnicinnit, where, to my great joy, we
found a comfortable house and Christian people, with whom we tarried.
The next day we got to the Plantations; and about noon, from the top of
a hill, Mr. Easton pointed out the settlement where my brother dwelt,--
a fair, pleasant valley, through which ran a small river, with the
houses of the planters on either side.  Shortly after, we came to a new
frame house, with a great oak-tree left standing on each side of the
gate, and a broad meadow before it, stretching down to the water.  Here
Mr. Easton stopped; and now, who should come hastening down to us but my
new sister, Margaret, in her plain but comely dress, kindly welcoming
me; and soon my brother came up from the meadow, where he was busy with
his men.  It was indeed a joyful meeting.

The next day being the Sabhath, I went with my brother and his wife to
the meeting, which was held in a large house of one of their Quaker
neighbors.  About a score of grave, decent people did meet there,
sitting still and quiet for a pretty while, when one of their number,
a venerable man, spake a few words, mostly Scripture; then a young
woman, who, I did afterwards learn, had been hardly treated by the
Plymouth people, did offer a few words of encouragement and exhortation
from this portion of the 34th Psalm: "The angel of the Lord encampeth
round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."  When the meeting
was over, some of the ancient women came and spake kindly to me,
inviting me to their houses.  In the evening certain of these people
came to my brother's, and were kind and loving towards me.  There was,
nevertheless, a gravity and a certain staidness of deportment which I
could but ill conform unto, and I was not sorry when they took leave.
My Uncle Rawson need not fear my joining with them; for, although I do
judge them to be a worthy and pious people, I like not their manner of
worship, and their great gravity and soberness do little accord with my
natural temper and spirits.



May 16.

This place is in what is called the Narragansett country, and about
twenty miles from Mr. Williams's town of Providence, a place of no small
note.  Mr. Williams, who is now an aged man, more than fourscore, was
the founder of the Province, and is held in great esteem by the people,
who be of all sects and persuasions, as the Government doth not molest
any in worshipping according to conscience; and hence you will see in
the same neighborhood Anabaptists, Quakers, New Lights, Brownists,
Antinomians, and Socinians,--nay, I am told there be Papists also.  Mr.
Williams is a Baptist, and holdeth mainly with Calvin and Beza, as
respects the decrees, and hath been a bitter reviler of the Quakers,
although he hath ofttimes sheltered them from the rigor of the
Massachusetts Bay magistrates, who he saith have no warrant to deal in
matters of conscience and religion, as they have done.

Yesterday came the Governor of the Rhode Island, Nicholas Easton, the
father of John, with his youngest daughter Mary, as fair and as ladylike
a person as I have seen for many a day.  Both her father and herself do
meet with the "Friends," as they call themselves, at their great house
on the Island, and the Governor sometimes speaks therein, having, as one
of the elders here saith of him, "a pretty gift in the ministry."  Mary,
who is about the age of my brother's wife, would fain persuade us to go
back with them on the morrow to the Island, but Leonard's business will
not allow it, and I would by no means lose his company while I tarry in
these parts, as I am so soon to depart for home, where a great ocean
will separate us, it may be for many years.  Margaret, who hath been to
the Island, saith that the Governor's house is open to all new-comers,
who are there entertained with rare courtesy, he being a man of
substance, having a great plantation, with orchards and gardens, and
a stately house on an hill over-looking the sea on either hand, where,
six years ago, when the famous George Fox was on the Island, he did
entertain and lodge no less than fourscore persons, beside his own
family and servants.

Governor Easton, who is a pleasant talker, told a story of a magistrate
who had been a great persecutor of his people.  On one occasion, after
he had cast a worthy Friend into jail, he dreamed a dream in this wise:
He thought he was in a fair, delightsome place, where were sweet springs
of water and green meadows, and rare fruit-trees and vines with ripe
clusters thereon, and in the midst thereof flowed a river whose waters
were clearer than crystal.  Moreover, he did behold a great multitude
walking on the river's bank, or sitting lovingly in the shade of the
trees which grew thereby.  Now, while he stood marvelling at all this,
he beheld in his dream the man he had cast into prison sitting with his
hat on, side by side with a minister then dead, whom the magistrate had
held in great esteem while living; whereat, feeling his anger stirred
within him, he went straight and bade the man take off his hat in the
presence of his betters.  Howbeit the twain did give no heed to his
words, but did continue to talk lovingly together as before; whereupon
he waxed exceeding wroth, and would have laid hands upon the man.  But,
hearing a voice calling upon him to forbear, he did look about him, and
behold one, with a shining countenance, and clad in raiment so white
that it did dazzle his eyes to look upon it, stood before him.  And the
shape said, "Dost thou well to be angry?" Then said the magistrate,
"Yonder is a Quaker with his hat on talking to a godly minister."
"Nay," quoth the shape, "thou seest but after the manner of the world
and with the eyes of flesh.  Look yonder, and tell me what thou seest."
So he looked again, and lo! two men in shining raiment, like him who
talked with him, sat under the tree.  "Tell me," said the shape, "if thou
canst, which of the twain is the Quaker and which is the Priest?"  And
when he could not, but stood in amazement confessing he did see neither
of them, the shape said, "Thou sayest well, for here be neither Priest
nor Quaker, Jew nor Gentile, but all are one in the Lord."  Then he
awoke, and pondered long upon his dream, and when it was morning he went
straightway to the jail, and ordered the man to be set free, and hath
ever since carried himself lovingly towards the Quakers.

My brother's lines have indeed fallen unto him in a pleasant, place.
His house is on a warm slope of a hill, looking to the southeast, with a
great wood of oaks and walnuts behind it, and before it many acres of
open land, where formerly the Indians did plant their corn, much of
which is now ploughed and seeded.  From the top of the hill one can see
the waters of the great Bay; at the foot of it runs a small river
noisily over the rocks, making a continual murmur.  Going thither this
morning, I found a great rock hanging over the water, on which I sat
down, listening to the noise of the stream and the merriment of the
birds in the trees, and admiring the green banks, which were besprinkled
with white and yellow flowers.  I call to mind that sweet fancy of the
lamented Anne Broadstreet, the wife of the new Governor of
Massachusetts, in a little piece which she nameth "Contemplations,"
being written on the banks of a stream, like unto the one whereby I was
then sitting, in which the writer first describeth the beauties of the
wood, and the flowing water, with the bright fishes therein, and then
the songs of birds in the boughs over her head, in this sweet and
pleasing verse, which I have often heard repeated by Cousin Rebecca:--

          "While musing thus, with contemplation fed,
          And thousand fancies buzzing in my brain,
          A sweet-tongued songster perched above my head,
          And chanted forth her most melodious strain;
          Which rapt me so with wonder and delight,
          I judged my hearing better than my sight,
          And wished me wings with her a while to take my flight.

          "O merry bird!  said I, that fears no snares,
          That neither toils nor hoards up in the barn,
          Feels no sad thoughts, nor cruciating cares,
          To gain more good, or shun what might thee harm.
          Thy clothes ne'er wear, thy meat is everywhere,
          Thy bed a bough, thy drink the water clear,
          Reminds not what is past, nor what's to come dost fear.

          "The dawning morn with songs thou dost prevent,
          Sets hundred notes unto thy feathered crew,
          So each one tunes his pretty instrument,
          And, warbling out the old, begins the new.
          And thus they pass their youth in summer season,
          Then follow thee unto a better region,
          Where winter's never felt by that sweet airy legion."

Now, while I did ponder these lines, hearing a step in the leaves, I
looked up, and behold there was an old Indian close beside me; and,
being much affrighted, I gave a loud cry, and ran towards the house.
The old man laughed at this, and, calling after me, said he would not
harm me; and Leonard, hearing my cries, now coming up, bade me never
fear the Indian, for he was a harmless creature, who was well known to
him.  So he kindly saluted the old man, asking me to shake hands with
him, which I did, when he struck across the field to a little cleared
spot on the side of the hill.  My brother bidding me note his actions,
I saw him stoop down on his knees, with his head to the ground, for some
space of time, and then, getting up, he stretched out his hands towards
the southwest, as if imploring some one whom I could not see.  This he
repeated for nigh upon half an hour, when he came back to the house,
where he got some beer and bread to eat, and a great loaf to carry away.
He said but little until he rose to depart, when he told my brother that
he had been to see the graves of his father and his mother, and that he
was glad to find them as he did leave them the last year; for he knew
that the spirits of the dead would be sore grieved, if the white man's
hoe touched their bones.

My brother promised him that the burial-place of his people should not
be disturbed, and that he would find it as now, when he did again visit
it.

"Me never come again," said the old Indian.  "No.  Umpachee is very old.
He has no squaw; he has no young men who call him father.  Umpachee is
like that tree;" and he pointed, as he spoke, to a birch, which stood
apart in the field, from which the bark had fallen, and which did show
no leaf nor bud.

My brother hereupon spake to him of the great Father of both white and
red men, and of his love towards them, and of the measure of light which
he had given unto all men, whereby they might know good from evil, and
by living in obedience to which they might be happy in this life and in
that to come; exhorting him to put his trust in God, who was able to
comfort and sustain him in his old age, and not to follow after lying
Powahs, who did deceive and mislead him.

"My young brother's talk is good," said the old man.  "The Great Father
sees that his skin is white, and that mine is red.  He sees my young
brother when he sits in his praying-house, and me when me offer him corn
and deer's flesh in the woods, and he says good.  Umpachee's people have
all gone to one place.  If Umpachee go to a praying-house, the Great
Father will send him to the white man's place, and his father and his
mother and his sons will never see him in their hunting-ground.  No.
Umpachee is an old beaver that sits in his own house, and swims in his
own pond.  He will stay where he is, until his Father calls him."

Saying this, the old savage went on his way.  As he passed out of the
valley, and got to the top of the hill on the other side, we, looking
after him, beheld him standing still a moment, as if bidding farewell to
the graves of his people.



May 24.

My brother goes with me to-morrow on my way to Boston.  I am not a
little loath to leave my dear sister Margaret, who hath greatly won upon
me by her gentleness and loving deportment, and who doth at all times,
even when at work in ordering her household affairs, and amidst the
cares and perplexities of her new life, show forth that sweetness of
temper and that simplicity wherewith I was charmed when I first saw her.
She hath naturally an ingenious mind, and, since her acquaintance with
my brother, hath dipped into such of his studies and readings as she had
leisure and freedom to engage in, so that her conversation is in no wise
beneath her station.  Nor doth she, like some of her people, especially
the more simple and unlearned, affect a painful and melancholy look and
a canting tone of discourse, but lacketh not for cheerfulness and a
certain natural ease and grace of demeanor; and the warmth and goodness
of her heart doth at times break the usual quiet of her countenance,
like to sunshine and wind on a still water, and she hath the sweetest
smile I ever saw.  I have often thought, since I have been with her,
that if Uncle Rawson could see and hear her as I do for a single day,
he would confess that my brother might have done worse than to take a
Quaker to wife.



BOSTON, May 28, 1679.

Through God's mercy, I got here safe and well, saving great weariness,
and grief at parting with my brother and his wife.  The first day we
went as far as a place they call Rehoboth, where we tarried over night,
finding but small comfort therein; for the house was so filled, that
Leonard and a friend who came with us were fain to lie all night in the
barn, on the mow before their horses; and, for mine own part, I had to
choose between lying in the large room, where the man of the house and
his wife and two sons, grown men, did lodge, or to climb into the dark
loft, where was barely space for a bed,--which last I did make choice
of, although the woman thought it strange, and marvelled not a little at
my unwillingness to sleep in the same room with her husband and boys,
as she called them.  In the evening, hearing loud voices in a house near
by, we inquired what it meant, and were told that some people from
Providence were holding a meeting there, the owner of the house being
accounted a Quaker.  Whereupon, I went thither with Leonard, and found
nigh upon a score of people gathered, and a man with loose hair and
beard speaking to them.  My brother whispered to me that he was no
Friend, but a noted ranter, a noisy, unsettled man.  He screamed
exceeding loud, and stamped with his feet, and foamed at the mouth, like
one possessed with an evil spirit, crying against all order in State or
Church, and declaring that the Lord had a controversy with Priests and
Magistrates, the prophets who prophesy falsely, and the priests who bear
rule by their means, and the people who love to have it so.  He spake of
the Quakers as a tender and hopeful people in their beginning, and while
the arm of the wicked was heavy upon them; but now he said that they,
even as the rest, were settled down into a dead order, and heaping up
worldly goods, and speaking evil of the Lord's messengers.  They were a
part of Babylon, and would perish with their idols; they should drink of
the wine of God's wrath; the day of their visitation was at hand.  After
going on thus for a while, up gets a tall, wild-looking woman, as pale
as a ghost, and trembling from head to foot, who, stretching out her
long arms towards the man who had spoken, bade the people take notice
that this was the angel spoken of in Revelation, flying through the
midst of heaven, and crying, Woe! woe!  to the inhabitants of the earth!
with more of the like wicked rant, whereat I was not a little
discomposed, and, beckoning my brother, left them to foam out their
shame to themselves.

The next morning, we got upon our horses at an early hour, and after a
hard and long ride reached Mr. Torrey's at Weymouth, about an hour after
dark.  Here we found Cousin Torrey in bed with her second child, a boy,
whereat her husband is not a little rejoiced.  My brother here took his
leave of me, going back to the Plantations.  My heart is truly sad and
heavy with the great grief of parting.



May 30.

Went to the South meeting to-day, to hear the sermon preached before the
worshipful Governor, Mr. Broadstreet, and his Majesty's Council, it
being the election day.  It was a long sermon, from Esther x. 3.  Had
much to say concerning the duty of Magistrates to support the Gospel and
its ministers, and to put an end to schism and heresy.  Very pointed,
also, against time-serving Magistrates.



June 1.

Mr. Michael Wigglesworth, the Malden minister, at uncle's house last
night.  Mr. Wigglesworth told aunt that he had preached a sermon against
the wearing of long hair and other like vanities, which he hoped, with
God's blessing, might do good.  It was from Isaiah iii. 16, and so on
to the end of the chapter.  Now, while he was speaking of the sermon,
I whispered Rebecca that I would like to ask him a question, which he
overhearing, turned to me, and bade me never heed, but speak out.  So I
told him that I was but a child in years and knowledge, and he a wise
and learned man; but if he would not deem it forward in me, I would fain
know whether the Scripture did anywhere lay down the particular fashion
of wearing the hair.

Mr. Wigglesworth said that there were certain general rules laid down,
from which we might make a right application to particular cases.  The
wearing of long hair by men is expressly forbidden in 1 Corinthians xi.
14, 15; and there is a special word for women, also, in 1 Tim. ii. 9.

Hereupon Aunt Rawson told me she thought I was well answered; but I
(foolish one that I was), being unwilling to give up the matter so,
ventured further to say that there were the Nazarites, spoken of in
Numbers vi. 5, upon whose heads, by the appointment of God, no razor
was to come.

"Nay," said Mr. Wigglesworth, "that was by a special appointment only,
and proveth the general rule and practice."

Uncle Rawson said that long hair might, he judged, be lawfully worn,
where the bodily health did require it, to guard the necks of weakly
people from the cold.

"Where there seems plainly a call of nature for it," said Mr.
Wigglesworth, "as a matter of bodily comfort, and for the warmth of the
head and neck, it is nowise unlawful.  But for healthy, sturdy young
people to make this excuse for their sinful vanity doth but add to their
condemnation.  If a man go any whit beyond God's appointment and the
comfort of nature, I know not where he will stop, until he grows to be
the veriest ruffian in the world.  It is a wanton and shameful thing for
a man to liken himself to a woman, by suffering his hair to grow, and
curling and parting it in a seam, as is the manner of too many.  It
betokeneth pride and vanity, and causeth no small offence to godly,
sober people.

"The time hath been," continued Mr. Wigglesworth, "when God's people
were ashamed of such vanities, both in the home country and in these
parts; but since the Bishops and the Papists have had their way, and
such as feared God are put down from authority, to give place to
scorners and wantons, there hath been a sad change."

He furthermore spake of the gay apparel of the young women of Boston,
and their lack of plainness and modesty in the manner of wearing and
ordering their hair; and said he could in no wise agree with some of his
brethren in the ministry that this was a light matter, inasmuch as it
did most plainly appear from Scripture that the pride and haughtiness of
the daughters of Zion did provoke the judgments of the Lord, not only
upon them, but upon the men also.  Now, the special sin of women is
pride and haughtiness, and that because they be generally more ignorant,
being the weaker vessel; and this sin venteth itself in their gesture,
their hair and apparel.  Now, God abhors all pride, especially pride in
base things; and hence the conduct of the daughters of Zion does greatly
provoke his wrath, first against themselves, secondly their fathers and
husbands, and thirdly against the land they do inhabit.

Rebecca here roguishly pinched my arm, saying apart that, after all, we
weaker vessels did seem to be of great consequence, and nobody could
tell but that our head-dresses would yet prove the ruin of the country.



June 4

Robert Pike, coming into the harbor with his sloop, from the Pemaquid
country, looked in upon us yesterday.  Said that since coming to the
town he had seen a Newbury man, who told him that old Mr. Wheelwright,
of Salisbury, the famous Boston minister in the time of Sir Harry Vane
and Madam Hutchinson, was now lying sick, and nigh unto his end.  Also,
that Goodman Morse was so crippled by a fall in his barn, that he cannot
get to Boston to the trial of his wife, which is a sore affliction to
him.  The trial of the witch is now going on, and uncle saith it looks
much against her, especially the testimony of the Widow Goodwin about
her child, and of John Gladding about seeing one half of the body of
Goody Morse flying about in the sun, as if she had been cut in twain, or
as if the Devil did hide the lower part of her.  Robert Pike said such
testimony ought not to hang a cat, the widow being little more than a
fool; and as for the fellow Gladding, he was no doubt in his cups, for
he had often seen him in such a plight that he could not have told Goody
Morse from the Queen of Sheba.



June 8.

The Morse woman having been found guilty by the Court of Assistants,
she was brought out to the North Meeting, to hear the Thursday Lecture,
yesterday, before having her sentence.  The house was filled with
people, they being curious to see the witch.  The Marshal and the
constables brought her in, and set her in, front of the pulpit; the old
creature looking round her wildly, as if wanting her wits, and then
covering her face with her dark wrinkled hands; a dismal sight!  The
minister took his text in Romans xiii. 3, 4, especially the last clause
of the 4th verse, relating to rulers: For he beareth not the sword in
vain, &c.  He dwelt upon the power of the ruler as a Minister of God,
and as a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil; and showeth
that the punishment of witches and such as covenant with the Devil is
one of the duties expressly enjoined upon rulers by the Word of God,
inasmuch as a witch was not to be suffered to live.

He then did solemnly address himself to the condemned woman, quoting 1
Tim. v. 20: "Them that sin, rebuke before all, that others also may
fear."  The woman was greatly moved, for no doubt the sharp words of the
preacher did prick her guilty conscience, and the terrors of hell did
take hold of her, so that she was carried out, looking scarcely alive.
They took her, when the lecture was over, to the Court, where the
Governor did pronounce sentence of death upon her.  But uncle tells me
there be many who are stirring to get her respited for a time, at least,
and he doth himself incline to favor it, especially as Rebecca hath
labored much with him to that end, as also hath Major Pike and Major
Saltonstall with the Governor, who himself sent for uncle last night,
and they had a long talk together, and looked over the testimony against
the woman, and neither did feel altogether satisfied with it.  Mr.
Norton adviseth for the hanging; but Mr. Willard, who has seen much of
the woman, and hath prayed with her in the jail, thinks she may be
innocent in the matter of witchcraft, inasmuch as her conversation was
such as might become a godly person in affliction, and the reading of
the Scripture did seem greatly to comfort her.



June 9.

Uncle Rawson being at the jail to-day, a messenger, who had been sent to
the daughter of Goody Morse, who is the wife of one Hate Evil Nutter, on
the Cocheco, to tell her that her mother did greatly desire to see her
once more before she was hanged, coming in, told the condemned woman
that her daughter bade him say to her, that inasmuch as she had sold
herself to the Devil, she did owe her no further love or service, and
that she could not complain of this, for as she had made her bed, so she
must lie.  Whereat the old creature set up a miserable cry, saying that
to have her own flesh and blood turn against her was more bitter than
death itself.  And she begged Mr. Willard to pray for her, that her
trust in the Lord might not be shaken by this new affliction.



June 10.

The condemned woman hath been reprieved by the Governor and the
Magistrates until the sitting of the Court in October.  Many people,
both men and women, coming in from the towns about to see the hanging,
be sore disappointed, and do vehemently condemn the conduct of the
Governor therein.  For mine own part, I do truly rejoice that mercy hath
been shown to the poor creature; for even if she is guilty, it affordeth
her a season for repentance; and if she be innocent, it saveth the land
from a great sin.  The sorrowful look of the old creature at the Lecture
hath troubled me ever since, so forlorn and forsaken did she seem.
Major Pike (Robert's father), coming in this morning, says, next to the
sparing of Goody Morse's life, it did please him to see the bloodthirsty
rabble so cheated out of their diversion; for example, there was Goody
Matson, who had ridden bare-backed, for lack of a saddle, all the way
from Newbury, on Deacon Dole's hard-trotting horse, and was so galled
and lame of it that she could scarce walk.  The Major said he met her at
the head of King Street yesterday, with half a score more of her sort,
scolding and railing about the reprieve of the witch, and prophesying
dreadful judgments upon all concerned in it.  He said he bade her shut
her mouth and go home, where she belonged; telling her that if he heard
any more of her railing, the Magistrates should have notice of it, and
she would find that laying by the heels in the stocks was worse than
riding Deacon Dole's horse.



June 14.

Yesterday the wedding took place.  It was an exceeding brave one; most
of the old and honored families being at it, so that the great house
wherein my uncle lives was much crowded.  Among them were Governor
Broadstreet and many of the honorable Magistrates, with Mr. Saltonstall
and his worthy lady; Mr. Richardson, the Newbury minister, joining the
twain in marriage, in a very solemn and feeling manner.  Sir Thomas was
richly apparelled, as became one of his rank, and Rebecca in her white
silk looked comely as an angel.  She wore the lace collar I wrought for
her last winter, for my sake, although I fear me she had prettier ones
of her own working.  The day was wet and dark, with an easterly wind
blowing in great gusts from the bay, exceeding cold for the season.

Rebecca, or Lady Hale, as she is now called, had invited Robert Pike
to her wedding, but he sent her an excuse for not coming, to the effect
that urgent business did call him into the eastern country as far as
Monhegan and Pemaquid.  His letter, which was full of good wishes for
her happiness and prosperity, I noted saddened Rebecca a good deal; and
she was, moreover, somewhat disturbed by certain things that did happen
yesterday: the great mirror in the hall being badly broken, and the
family arms hanging over the fire-place thrown down, so that it was
burned by the coals kindled on the hearth, on account of the dampness;
which were looked upon as ill signs by most people.  Grindall, a
thoughtless youth, told his sister of the burning of the arms, and that
nothing was left save the head of the raven in the crest, at which she
grew very pale, and said it was strange, indeed, and, turning to me,
asked me if I did put faith in what was said of signs and prognostics.
So, seeing her troubled, I laughed at the matter, although I secretly
did look upon it as an ill omen, especially as I could never greatly
admire Sir Thomas.  My brother's wife, who seemed fully persuaded that
he is an unworthy person, sent by me a message to Rebecca, to that
effect; but I had not courage to speak of it, as matters had gone so
far, and uncle and aunt did seem so fully bent upon making a great lady
of their daughter.

The vessel in which we are to take our passage is near upon ready for
the sea.  The bark is a London one, called "The Three Brothers," and is
commanded by an old acquaintance of Uncle Rawson.  I am happy with the
thought of going home, yet, as the time of departure draws nigh, I do
confess some regrets at leaving this country, where I have been so
kindly cared for and entertained, and where I have seen so many new and
strange things.  The great solemn woods, as wild and natural as they
were thousands of years ago, the fierce suns of the summer season and
the great snows of the winter, and the wild beasts, and the heathen
Indians,--these be things the memory whereof will over abide with me.
To-day the weather is again clear and warm, the sky wonderfully bright;
the green leaves flutter in the wind, and the birds are singing sweetly.
The waters of the bay, which be yet troubled by the storm of last night,
are breaking in white foam on the rocks of the main land, and on the
small islands covered with trees and vines; and many boats and sloops
going out with the west wind, to their fishing, do show their white
sails in the offing.  How I wish I had skill to paint the picture of all
this for my English friends!  My heart is pained, as I look upon it,
with the thought that after a few days I shall never see it more.



June 18.

To-morrow we embark for home.  Wrote a long letter to my dear brother
and sister, and one to my cousins at York.  Mr. Richardson hath just
left us, having come all the way from Newbury to the wedding.  The
excellent Governor Broadstreet hath this morning sent to Lady Hale a
handsome copy of his first wife's book, entitled "Several Poems by a
Gentlewoman of New England," with these words on the blank page thereof,
from Proverbs xxxi. 30, "A woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be
praised," written in the Governor's own hand.  All the great folks
hereabout have not failed to visit my cousin since her marriage; but I
do think she is better pleased with some visits she hath had from poor
widows and others who have been in times past relieved and comforted by
her charities and kindness, the gratitude of these people affecting her
unto tears.  Truly it may be said of her, as of Job: "When the ear heard
her then it blessed her, and when the eye saw her it gave witness to
her: because she delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and
him that had none to help him.  The blessing of him that was ready to
perish came upon her; and she caused the widow's heart to sing for joy."

(Here the diary ends somewhat abruptly.  It appears as if some of the
last pages have been lost.  Appended to the manuscript I find a note, in
another handwriting, signed "R. G.," dated at Malton Rectory, 1747.  One
Rawson Grindall, M. A., was curate of Malton at this date, and the
initials are undoubtedly his.  The sad sequel to the history of the fair
Rebecca Rawson is confirmed by papers now on file in the State-House at
Boston, in which she is spoken of as "one of the most beautiful, polite,
and accomplished young ladies in Boston."--Editor.)

"These papers of my honored and pious grandmother, Margaret Smith, who,
soon after her return from New England, married her cousin, Oliver
Grindall, Esq., of Hilton Grange, Crowell, in Oxfordshire (both of whom
have within the last ten years departed this life, greatly lamented by
all who knew them), having cone into my possession, I have thought it
not amiss to add to them a narrative of what happened to her friend and
cousin, as I have had the story often from her own lips.

"It appears that the brave gallant calling himself Sir Thomas Hale,
for all his fair seething and handsome address, was but a knave and
impostor, deceiving with abominable villany Rebecca Rawson and most of
her friends (although my grandmother was never satisfied with him, as is
seen in her journal).  When they got, to London, being anxious, on
account of sea-sickness and great weariness, to leave the vessel as soon
as possible, they went ashore to the house of a kinsman to lodge,
leaving their trunks and clothing on board.  Early on the next morning,
he that called himself Sir Thomas left his wife, taking with him the
keys of her trunks, telling her he would send them up from the vessel in
season for her to dress for dinner.  The trunks came, as he said, but
after waiting impatiently for the keys until near the dinner-hour, and
her husband not returning, she had them broken open, and, to her grief
and astonishment, found nothing therein but shavings and other
combustible matter.  Her kinsman forthwith ordered his carriage, and
went with her to the inn where they first stopped on landing from the
vessel, where she inquired for Sir Thomas Hale.  The landlord told her
there was such a gentleman, but he had not seen him for some days.
'But he was at your house last night,' said the astonished young woman.
'He is my husband, and I was with him.'  The landlord then said that one
Thomas Rumsey was at his house, with a young lady, the night before, but
she was not his lawful wife, for he had one already in Kent.  At this
astounding news, the unhappy woman swooned outright, and, being taken
back to her kinsman's, she lay grievously ill for many days, during
which time, by letters from Kent, it was ascertained that this Rumsey
was a graceless young spendthrift, who had left his wife and his two
children three years before, and gone to parts unknown.

"My grandmother, who affectionately watched over her, and comforted her
in her great affliction, has often told me that, on coming to herself,
her poor cousin said it was a righteous judgment upon her, for her pride
and vanity, which had led her to discard worthy men for one of great
show and pretensions, who had no solid merit to boast of.  She had
sinned against God, and brought disgrace upon her family, in choosing
him.  She begged that his name might never be mentioned again in her
hearing, and that she might only be known as a poor relative of her
English kinsfolk, and find a home among them until she could seek out
some employment for her maintenance, as she could not think of going
back to Boston, to become the laughing-stock of the thoughtless and the
reproach of her father's family.

"After the marriage of my grandmother, Rebecca was induced to live with
her for some years.  My great-aunt, Martha Grindall, an ancient
spinster, now living, remembers her well at that time, describing her as
a young woman of a sweet and gentle disposition, and much beloved by all
the members of the family.  Her father, hearing of her misfortunes,
wrote to her, kindly inviting her to return to New England, and live
with him, and she at last resolved to do so.  My great-uncle, Robert,
having an office under the government at Port Royal, in the island of
Jamaica, she went out with him, intending to sail from thence to Boston.
From that place she wrote to my grandmother a letter, which I have also
in my possession, informing her of her safe arrival, and of her having
seen an old friend, Captain Robert Pike, whose business concerns had
called him to the island, who had been very kind and considerate in his
attention to her, offering to take her home in his vessel, which was to
sail in a few days.  She mentions, in a postscript to her letter, that
she found Captain Pike to be much improved in his appearance and
manners,--a true natural gentleman; and she does not forget to notice
the fact that he was still single.  She had, she said, felt unwilling to
accept his offer of a passage home, holding herself unworthy of such
civilities at his hands; but he had so pressed the matter that she had,
not without some misgivings, consented to it.

"But it was not according to the inscrutable wisdom of Providence that
she should ever be restored to her father's house.  Among the victims of
the great earthquake which destroyed Port Royal a few days after the
date of her letter, was this unfortunate lady.  It was a heavy blow to
my grandmother, who entertained for her cousin the tenderest affection,
and, indeed, she seems to have been every way worthy of it,--lovely in
person, amiable in deportment, and of a generous and noble nature.  She
was, especially after her great trouble, of a somewhat pensive and
serious habit of mind, contrasting with the playfulness and innocent
light-heartedness of her early life, as depicted in the diary of my
grandmother, yet she was ever ready to forget herself in ministering to
the happiness and pleasures of others.  She was not, as I learn, a
member of the church, having some scruples in respect to the rituals, as
was natural from her education in New England, among Puritanic
schismatics; but she lived a devout life, and her quiet and
unostentatious piety exemplified the truth of the language of one of the
greatest of our divines, the Bishop of Down and Connor 'Prayer is the
peace of our spirit, the stillness of our thoughts, the issue of a quiet
mind, the daughter of charity, and the sister of meekness.'  Optimus
animus est pulcherrimus Dei cultus.

"R. G."



TALES AND SKETCHES



MY SUMMER WITH DR. SINGLETARY.

A FRAGMENT.



CHAPTER I. DR. SINGLETARY IS DEAD!


Well, what of it?  All who live die sooner or later; and pray who was
Dr. Singletary, that his case should claim particular attention?

Why, in the first place, Dr. Singletary, as a man born to our common
inheritance of joy and sorrow, earthly instincts and heavenward
aspirations,--our brother in sin and suffering, wisdom and folly, love,
and pride, and vanity,--has a claim upon the universal sympathy.
Besides, whatever the living man may have been, death has now invested
him with its great solemnity.  He is with the immortals.  For him the
dark curtain has been lifted.  The weaknesses, the follies, and the
repulsive mental and personal idiosyncrasies which may have kept him
without the sphere of our respect and sympathy have now fallen off, and
he stands radiant with the transfiguration of eternity, God's child, our
recognized and acknowledged brother.

Dr. Singletary is dead.  He was an old man, and seldom, of latter years,
ventured beyond the precincts of his neighborhood.  He was a single man,
and his departure has broken no circle of family affection.  He was
little known to the public, and is now little missed.  The village
newspaper simply appended to its announcement of his decease the
customary post mortem compliment, "Greatly respected by all who knew
him;" and in the annual catalogue of his alma mater an asterisk has been
added to his name, over which perchance some gray-haired survivor of his
class may breathe a sigh, as he calls up, the image of the fresh-faced,
bright-eyed boy, who, aspiring, hopeful, vigorous, started with him on
the journey of life,--a sigh rather for himself than for its unconscious
awakener.

But, a few years have passed since he left us; yet already wellnigh all
the outward manifestations, landmarks, and memorials of the living man
have passed away or been removed.  His house, with its broad, mossy roof
sloping down on one side almost to the rose-bushes and lilacs, and with
its comfortable little porch in front, where he used to sit of a
pleasant summer afternoon, has passed into new hands, and has been sadly
disfigured by a glaring coat of white paint; and in the place of the
good Doctor's name, hardly legible on the corner-board, may now be seen,
in staring letters of black and gold, "VALENTINE ORSON STUBBS, M. D.,
Indian doctor and dealer in roots and herbs."  The good Doctor's old
horse, as well known as its owner to every man, woman, and child in the
village, has fallen into the new comer's hands, who (being prepared to
make the most of him, from the fact that he commenced the practice of
the healing art in the stable, rising from thence to the parlor) has
rubbed him into comparative sleekness, cleaned his mane and tail of the
accumulated burrs of many autumns, and made quite a gay nag of him.  The
wagon, too, in which at least two generations of boys and girls have
ridden in noisy hilarity whenever they encountered it on their way to
school, has been so smartly painted and varnished, that if its former
owner could look down from the hill-slope where he lies, he would
scarcely know his once familiar vehicle as it whirls glittering along
the main road to the village.  For the rest, all things go on as usual;
the miller grinds, the blacksmith strikes and blows, the cobbler and
tailor stitch and mend, old men sit in the autumn sun, old gossips stir
tea and scandal, revival meetings alternate with apple-bees and
bushings,--toil, pleasure, family jars, petty neighborhood quarrels,
courtship, and marriage,--all which make up the daily life of a country
village continue as before.  The little chasm which his death has made
in the hearts of the people where he lived and labored seems nearly
closed up.  There is only one more grave in the burying-ground,--that is
all.

Let nobody infer from what I have said that the good man died
unlamented; for, indeed, it was a sad day with his neighbors when the
news, long expected, ran at last from house to house and from workshop
to workshop, "Dr. Singletary is dead!"

He had not any enemy left among them; in one way or another he had been
the friend and benefactor of all.  Some owed to his skill their recovery
from sickness; others remembered how he had watched with anxious
solicitude by the bedside of their dying relatives, soothing them, when
all human aid was vain, with the sweet consolations of that Christian
hope which alone pierces the great shadow of the grave and shows the
safe stepping-stones above the dark waters.  The old missed a cheerful
companion and friend, who had taught them much without wounding their
pride by an offensive display of his superiority, and who, while making
a jest of his own trials and infirmities, could still listen with real
sympathy to the querulous and importunate complaints of others.  For one
day, at least, even the sunny faces of childhood were marked with
unwonted thoughtfulness; the shadow of the common bereavement fell over
the play-ground and nursery.  The little girl remembered, with tears,
how her broken-limbed doll had taxed the surgical ingenuity of her
genial old friend; and the boy showed sorrowfully to his playmates the
top which the good Doctor had given him.  If there were few, among the
many who stood beside his grave, capable of rightly measuring and
appreciating the high intellectual and spiritual nature which formed the
background of his simple social life, all could feel that no common loss
had been sustained, and that the kindly and generous spirit which had
passed away from them had not lived to himself alone.

As you follow the windings of one of the loveliest rivers of New
England, a few miles above the sea-mart, at its mouth, you can see on a
hill, whose grassy slope is checkered with the graceful foliage of the
locust, and whose top stands relieved against a still higher elevation,
dark with oaks and walnuts, the white stones of the burying-place.  It
is a quiet spot, but without gloom, as befits "God's Acre."  Below is
the village, with its sloops and fishing-boats at the wharves, and its
crescent of white houses mirrored in the water.  Eastward is the misty
line of the great sea.  Blue peaks of distant mountains roughen the
horizon of the north.  Westward, the broad, clear river winds away into
a maze of jutting bluffs and picturesque wooded headlands.  The tall,
white stone on the westerly slope of the hill bears the name of
"Nicholas Singletary, M. D.," and marks the spot which he selected many
years before his death.  When I visited it last spring, the air about it
was fragrant with the bloom of sweet-brier and blackberry and the
balsamic aroma of the sweet-fern; birds were singing in the birch-trees
by the wall; and two little, brown-locked, merry-faced girls were making
wreaths of the dandelions and grasses which grew upon the old man's
grave.  The sun was setting behind the western river-bluffs, flooding
the valley with soft light, glorifying every object and fusing all into
harmony and beauty.  I saw and felt nothing to depress or sadden me.  I
could have joined in the laugh of the children.  The light whistle of a
young teamster, driving merrily homeward, did not jar upon my ear; for
from the transfigured landscape, and from the singing birds, and from
sportive childhood, and from blossoming sweetbrier, and from the grassy
mound before me, I heard the whisper of one word only, and that word
was PEACE.



CHAPTER.  II. SOME ACCOUNT OF PEEWAWKIN ON THE TOCKETUCK.

WELL and truly said the wise man of old, "Much study is a weariness to
the flesh."  Hard and close application through the winter had left me
ill prepared to resist the baleful influences of a New England spring.
I shrank alike from the storms of March, the capricious changes of
April, and the sudden alternations of May, from the blandest of
southwest breezes to the terrible and icy eastern blasts which sweep our
seaboard like the fabled sanser, or wind of death.  The buoyancy and
vigor, the freshness and beauty of life seemed leaving me.  The flesh
and the spirit were no longer harmonious.  I was tormented by a
nightmare feeling of the necessity of exertion, coupled with a sense of
utter inability.  A thousand plans for my own benefit, or the welfare of
those dear to me, or of my fellow-men at large, passed before me; but I
had no strength to lay hold of the good angels and detain them until
they left their blessing.  The trumpet sounded in my ears for the
tournament of life; but I could not bear the weight of my armor.  In the
midst of duties and responsibilities which I clearly comprehended, I
found myself yielding to the absorbing egotism of sickness.  I could
work only when the sharp rowels of necessity were in my sides.

It needed not the ominous warnings of my acquaintance to convince me
that some decisive change was necessary.  But what was to be done?  A
voyage to Europe was suggested by my friends; but unhappily I reckoned
among them no one who was ready, like the honest laird of Dumbiedikes,
to inquire, purse in hand, "Will siller do it?"  In casting about for
some other expedient, I remembered the pleasant old-fashioned village of
Peewawkin, on the Tocketuck River.  A few weeks of leisure, country air,
and exercise, I thought might be of essential service to me.  So I
turned my key upon my cares and studies, and my back to the city, and
one fine evening of early June the mail coach rumbled over Tocketuck
Bridge, and left me at the house of Dr. Singletary, where I had been
fortunate enough to secure bed and board.

The little village of Peewawkin at this period was a well-preserved
specimen of the old, quiet, cozy hamlets of New England.  No huge
factory threw its evil shadow over it; no smoking demon of an engine
dragged its long train through the streets; no steamboat puffed at its
wharves, or ploughed up the river, like the enchanted ship of the
Ancient Mariner,--

               "Against the wind, against the tide,
               Steadied with upright keel."

The march of mind had not overtaken it.  It had neither printing-press
nor lyceum.  As the fathers had done before them, so did its inhabitants
at the time of my visit.  There was little or no competition in their
business; there were no rich men, and none that seemed over-anxious to
become so.  Two or three small vessels were annually launched from the
carpenters' yards on the river.  It had a blacksmith's shop, with its
clang of iron and roar of bellows; a pottery, garnished with its coarse
earthen-ware; a store, where molasses, sugar, and spices were sold on
one side, and calicoes, tape, and ribbons on the other.  Three or four
small schooners annually left the wharves for the St. George's and
Labrador fisheries.  Just back of the village, a bright, noisy stream,
gushing out, like a merry laugh, from the walnut and oak woods which
stretched back far to the north through a narrow break in the hills,
turned the great wheel of a grist-mill, and went frolicking away, like a
wicked Undine, under the very windows of the brown, lilac-shaded house
of Deacon Warner, the miller, as if to tempt the good man's handsome
daughters to take lessons in dancing.  At one end of the little
crescent-shaped village, at the corner of the main road and the green
lane to Deacon Warner's mill, stood the school-house,--a small, ill-
used, Spanish-brown building, its patched windows bearing unmistakable
evidence of the mischievous character of its inmates.  At the other end,
farther up the river, on a rocky knoll open to all the winds, stood the
meeting-house,--old, two story, and full of windows,--its gilded
weathercock glistening in the sun.  The bell in its belfry had been
brought from France by Skipper Evans in the latter part of the last
century.  Solemnly baptized and consecrated to some holy saint, it had
called to prayer the veiled sisters of a convent, and tolled heavily in
the masses for the dead.  At first some of the church felt misgivings as
to the propriety of hanging a Popish bell in a Puritan steeple-house;
but their objections were overruled by the minister, who wisely
maintained that if Moses could use the borrowed jewels and ornaments of
the Egyptians to adorn and beautify the ark of the Lord, it could not be
amiss to make a Catholic bell do service in an Orthodox belfry.  The
space between the school and the meeting-house was occupied by some
fifteen or twenty dwellings, many-colored and diverse in age and
appearance.  Each one had its green yard in front, its rose-bushes and
lilacs.  Great elms, planted a century ago, stretched and interlocked
their heavy arms across the street.  The mill-stream, which found its
way into the Tocketuek, near the centre of the village, was spanned by a
rickety wooden bridge, rendered picturesque by a venerable and gnarled
white-oak which hung over it, with its great roots half bared by the
water and twisted among the mossy stones of the crumbling abutment.

The house of Dr. Singletary was situated somewhat apart from the main
street, just on the slope of Blueberry Will,--a great, green swell of
land, stretching far down from the north, and terminating in a steep
bluff at the river side.  It overlooked the village and the river a long
way up and down.  It was a brown-looking, antiquated mansion, built by
the Doctor's grandfather in the earlier days of the settlement.  The
rooms were large and low, with great beams, scaly with whitewash,
running across them, scarcely above the reach of a tall man's head.
Great-throated fireplaces, filled with pine-boughs and flower-pots, gave
promise of winter fires, roaring and crackling in boisterous hilarity,
as if laughing to scorn the folly and discomfort of our modern stoves.
In the porch at the frontdoor were two seats, where the Doctor was
accustomed to sit in fine weather with his pipe and his book, or with
such friends as might call to spend a half hour with him.  The lawn in
front had scarcely any other ornament than its green grass, cropped
short by the Doctor's horse.  A stone wall separated it from the lane,
half overrun with wild hop, or clematis, and two noble rock-maples
arched over with their dense foliage the little red gate.  Dark belts of
woodland, smooth hill pasture, green, broad meadows, and fields of corn
and rye, the homesteads of the villagers, were seen on one hand; while
on the other was the bright, clear river, with here and there a white
sail, relieved against bold, wooded banks, jutting rocks, or tiny
islands, dark with dwarf evergreens.  It was a quiet, rural picture,
a happy and peaceful contrast to all I had looked upon for weary,
miserable months.  It soothed the nervous excitement of pain and
suffering.  I forgot myself in the pleasing interest which it awakened.
Nature's healing ministrations came to me through all my senses.  I felt
the medicinal virtues of her sights, and sounds, and aromal breezes.
From the green turf of her hills and the mossy carpets of her woodlands
my languid steps derived new vigor and elasticity.  I felt, day by day,
the transfusion of her strong life.

The Doctor's domestic establishment consisted of Widow Matson, his
housekeeper, and an idle slip of a boy, who, when he was not paddling
across the river, or hunting in the swamps, or playing ball on the
"Meetin'-'us-Hill," used to run of errands, milk the cow, and saddle the
horse.  Widow Matson was a notable shrill-tongued woman, from whom two
long suffering husbands had obtained what might, under the
circumstances, be well called a comfortable release.  She was neat and
tidy almost to a fault, thrifty and industrious, and, barring her
scolding propensity, was a pattern housekeeper.  For the Doctor she
entertained so high a regard that nothing could exceed her indignation
when any one save herself presumed to find fault with him.  Her bark was
worse than her bite; she had a warm, woman's heart, capable of soft
relentings; and this the roguish errand-boy so well understood that he
bore the daily infliction of her tongue with a good-natured unconcern
which would have been greatly to his credit had it not resulted from his
confident expectation that an extra slice of cake or segment of pie
would erelong tickle his palate in atonement for the tingling of his
ears.

It must be confessed that the Doctor had certain little peculiarities
and ways of his own which might have ruffled the down of a smoother
temper than that of the Widow Matson.  He was careless and absent-
minded.  In spite of her labors and complaints, he scattered his
superfluous clothing, books, and papers over his rooms in "much-admired
disorder."  He gave the freedom of his house to the boys and girls of
his neighborhood, who, presuming upon his good nature, laughed at her
remonstrances and threats as they chased each other up and down the
nicely-polished stairway.  Worse than all, he was proof against the
vituperations and reproaches with which she indirectly assailed him from
the recesses of her kitchen.  He smoked his pipe and dozed over his
newspaper as complacently as ever, while his sins of omission and
commission were arrayed against him.

Peewawkin had always the reputation of a healthy town: and if it had
been otherwise, Dr. Singletary was the last man in the world to
transmute the aches and ails of its inhabitants into gold for his own
pocket.  So, at the age of sixty, he was little better off, in point of
worldly substance, than when he came into possession of the small
homestead of his father.  He cultivated with his own hands his corn-
field and potato-patch, and trimmed his apple and pear trees, as well
satisfied with his patrimony as Horace was with his rustic Sabine villa.
In addition to the care of his homestead and his professional duties,
he had long been one of the overseers of the poor and a member of the
school committee in his town; and he was a sort of standing reference in
all disputes about wages, boundaries, and cattle trespasses in his
neighborhood.  He had, nevertheless, a good deal of leisure for reading,
errands of charity, and social visits.  He loved to talk with his
friends, Elder Staples, the minister, Deacon Warner, and Skipper Evans.
He was an expert angler, and knew all the haunts of pickerel and trout
for many miles around.  His favorite place of resort was the hill back
of his house, which afforded a view of the long valley of the Tocketuck
and the great sea.  Here he would sit, enjoying the calm beauty of the
landscape, pointing out to me localities interesting from their
historical or traditional associations, or connected in some way with
humorous or pathetic passages of his own life experience.  Some of these
autobiographical fragments affected me deeply.  In narrating them he
invested familiar and commonplace facts with something of the
fascination of romance.  "Human life," he would say, "is the same
everywhere.  If we could but get at the truth, we should find that all
the tragedy and comedy of Shakespeare have been reproduced in this
little village.  God has made all of one blood; what is true of one man
is in some sort true of another; manifestations may differ, but the
essential elements and spring of action are the same.  On the surface,
everything about us just now looks prosaic and mechanical; you see only
a sort of bark-mill grinding over of the same dull, monotonous grist of
daily trifles.  But underneath all this there is an earnest life, rich
and beautiful with love and hope, or dark with hatred, and sorrow, and
remorse.  That fisherman by the riverside, or that woman at the stream
below, with her wash-tub,--who knows what lights and shadows checker
their memories, or what present thoughts of theirs, born of heaven or
hell, the future shall ripen into deeds of good or evil?  Ah, what have
I not seen and heard?  My profession has been to me, in some sort, like
the vial genie of the Salamanca student; it has unroofed these houses,
and opened deep, dark chambers to the hearts of their tenants, which no
eye save that of God had ever looked upon.  Where I least expected them,
I have encountered shapes of evil; while, on the other hand, I have
found beautiful, heroic love and self-denial in those who had seemed to
me frivolous and selfish."

So would Dr. Singletary discourse as we strolled over Blueberry Hill, or
drove along the narrow willow-shaded road which follows the windings of
the river.  He had read and thought much in his retired, solitary life,
and was evidently well satisfied to find in me a gratified listener.  He
talked well and fluently, with little regard to logical sequence, and
with something of the dogmatism natural to one whose opinions had seldom
been subjected to scrutiny.  He seemed equally at home in the most
abstruse questions of theology and metaphysics, and in the more
practical matters of mackerel-fishing, corn-growing, and cattle-raising.
It was manifest that to his book lore he had added that patient and
close observation of the processes of Nature which often places the
unlettered ploughman and mechanic on a higher level of available
intelligence than that occupied by professors and school men.  To him
nothing which had its root in the eternal verities of Nature was "common
or unclean."  The blacksmith, subjecting to his will the swart genii of
the mines of coal and iron; the potter, with his "power over the clay;"
the skipper, who had tossed in his frail fishing-smack among the
icebergs of Labrador; the farmer, who had won from Nature the occult
secrets of her woods and fields; and even the vagabond hunter and
angler, familiar with the habits of animals and the migration of birds
and fishes,--had been his instructors; and he was not ashamed to
acknowledge that they had taught him more than college or library.



CHAPTER III. THE DOCTOR'S MATCH-MAKING.

"GOOD-MORNING, Mrs. Barnet," cried the Doctor, as we drew near a neat
farm-house during one of our morning drives.

A tall, healthful young woman, in the bloom of matronly beauty, was
feeding chickens at the door.  She uttered an exclamation of delight and
hurried towards us.  Perceiving a stranger in the wagon she paused, with
a look of embarrassment.

"My friend, who is spending a few weeks with me," explained the Doctor.

She greeted me civilly and pressed the Doctor's hand warmly.

"Oh, it is so long since you have called on us that we have been talking
of going up to the village to see you, as soon as Robert can get away
from his cornfield.  You don't know how little Lucy has grown.  You must
stop and see her."

"She's coming to see me herself," replied the Doctor, beckoning to a
sweet blue-eyed child in the door-way.

The delighted mother caught up her darling and held her before the
Doctor.

"Does n't she look like Robert?" she inquired.  "His very eyes and
forehead!  Bless me! here he is now."

A stout, hale young farmer, in a coarse checked frock and broad straw
hat, came up from the adjoining field.

"Well, Robert," said the Doctor, "how do matters now stand with you?
Well, I hope."

"All right, Doctor.  We've paid off the last cent of the mortgage, and
the farm is all free and clear.  Julia and I have worked hard; but we're
none the worse for it."

"You look well and happy, I am sure," said the Doctor.  "I don't think
you are sorry you took the advice of the old Doctor, after all."

The young wife's head drooped until her lips touched those of her child.

"Sorry!" exclaimed her husband.  "Not we!  If there's anybody happier
than we are within ten miles of us.  I don't know them.  Doctor, I'll
tell you what I said to Julia the night I brought home that mortgage.
'Well,' said I, 'that debt's paid; but there's one debt we can never pay
as long as we live.'  'I know it,' says she; 'but Dr. Singletary wants
no better reward for his kindness than to see us live happily together,
and do for others what he has done for us.'"

"Pshaw!" said the Doctor, catching up his reins and whip.  "You owe me
nothing.  But I must not forget my errand.  Poor old Widow Osborne needs
a watcher to-night; and she insists upon having Julia Barnet, and nobody
else.  What shall I tell her?"

"I'll go, certainly.  I can leave Lucy now as well as not."

"Good-by, neighbors."

"Good-by, Doctor."

As we drove off I saw the Doctor draw his hand hastily across his eyes,
and he said nothing for some minutes.

"Public opinion," said he at length, as if pursuing his meditations
aloud,--"public opinion is, in nine cases out of ten, public folly and
impertinence.  We are slaves to one another.  We dare not take counsel
of our consciences and affections, but must needs suffer popular
prejudice and custom to decide for us, and at their bidding are
sacrificed love and friendship and all the best hopes of our lives.  We
do not ask, What is right and best for us?  but, What will folks say of
it?  We have no individuality, no self-poised strength, no sense of
freedom.  We are conscious always of the gaze of the many-eyed tyrant.
We propitiate him with precious offerings; we burn incense perpetually
to Moloch, and pass through his fire the sacred first-born of our
hearts.  How few dare to seek their own happiness by the lights which
God has given them, or have strength to defy the false pride and the
prejudice of the world and stand fast in the liberty of Christians!  Can
anything be more pitiable than the sight of so many, who should be the
choosers and creators under God of their own spheres of utility and
happiness, self-degraded into mere slaves of propriety and custom, their
true natures undeveloped, their hearts cramped and shut up, each afraid
of his neighbor and his neighbor of him, living a life of unreality,
deceiving and being deceived, and forever walking in a vain show?  Here,
now, we have just left a married couple who are happy because they have
taken counsel of their honest affections rather than of the opinions of
the multitude, and have dared to be true to themselves in defiance of
impertinent gossip."

"You speak of the young farmer Barnet and his wife, I suppose?"  said I.

"Yes.  I will give their case as an illustration.  Julia Atkins was the
daughter of Ensign Atkins, who lived on the mill-road, just above Deacon
Warner's.  When she was ten years old her mother died; and in a few
months afterwards her father married Polly Wiggin, the tailoress, a
shrewd, selfish, managing woman.  Julia, poor girl! had a sorry time of
it; for the Ensign, although a kind and affectionate man naturally, was
too weak and yielding to interpose between her and his strong-minded,
sharp-tongued wife.  She had one friend, however, who was always ready
to sympathize with her.  Robert Barnet was the son of her next-door
neighbor, about two years older than herself; they had grown up together
as school companions and playmates; and often in my drives I used to
meet them coming home hand in hand from school, or from the woods with
berries and nuts, talking and laughing as if there were no scolding
step-mothers in the world.

"It so fell out that when Julia was in her sixteenth year there came
a famous writing-master to Peewawkin.  He was a showy, dashing fellow,
with a fashionable dress, a wicked eye, and a tongue like the old
serpent's when he tempted our great-grandmother.  Julia was one of his
scholars, and perhaps the prettiest of them all.  The rascal singled her
out from the first; and, the better to accomplish his purpose, he left
the tavern and took lodgings at the Ensign's.  He soon saw how matters
stood in the family, and governed himself accordingly, taking special
pains to conciliate the ruling authority.  The Ensign's wife hated young
Barnet, and wished to get rid of her step-daughter.  The writing-master,
therefore, had a fair field.  He flattered the poor young girl by his
attentions and praised her beauty.  Her moral training had not fitted
her to withstand this seductive influence; no mother's love, with its
quick, instinctive sense of danger threatening its object, interposed
between her and the tempter.  Her old friend and playmate--he who could
alone have saved her--had been rudely repulsed from the house by her
step-mother; and, indignant and disgusted, he had retired from all
competition with his formidable rival.  Thus abandoned to her own
undisciplined imagination, with the inexperience of a child and the
passions of a woman, she was deceived by false promises, bewildered,
fascinated, and beguiled into sin.

"It is the same old story of woman's confidence and man's duplicity.
The rascally writing-master, under pretence of visiting a neighboring
town, left his lodgings and never returned.  The last I heard of him,
he was the tenant of a western penitentiary.  Poor Julia, driven in
disgrace from her father's house, found a refuge in the humble dwelling
of an old woman of no very creditable character.  There I was called to
visit her; and, although not unused to scenes of suffering and sorrow, I
had never before witnessed such an utter abandonment to grief, shame,
and remorse.  Alas! what sorrow was like unto her sorrow?  The birth
hour of her infant was also that of its death.

"The agony of her spirit seemed greater than she could bear.  Her eyes
were opened, and she looked upon herself with loathing and horror.  She
would admit of no hope, no consolation; she would listen to no
palliation or excuse of her guilt.  I could only direct her to that
Source of pardon and peace to which the broken and contrite heart never
appeals in vain.

"In the mean time Robert Barnet shipped on board a Labrador vessel.  The
night before he left he called on me, and put in my hand a sum of money,
small indeed, but all he could then command.

"'You will see her often,' he said.  'Do not let her suffer; for she is
more to be pitied than blamed.'

"I answered him that I would do all in my power for her; and added, that
I thought far better of her, contrite and penitent as she was, than of
some who were busy in holding her up to shame and censure.

"'God bless you for these words!' he said, grasping my hand.  'I shall
think of them often.  They will be a comfort to me.'

"As for Julia, God was more merciful to her than man.  She rose from her
sick-bed thoughtful and humbled, but with hopes that transcended the
world of her suffering and shame.  She no longer murmured against her
sorrowful allotment, but accepted it with quiet and almost cheerful
resignation as the fitting penalty of God's broken laws and the needed
discipline of her spirit.  She could say with the Psalmist, 'The
judgments of the Lord are true, justified in themselves.  Thou art just,
O Lord, and thy judgment is right.'  Through my exertions she obtained
employment in a respectable family, to whom she endeared herself by her
faithfulness, cheerful obedience, and unaffected piety.

"Her trials had made her heart tender with sympathy for all in
affliction.  She seemed inevitably drawn towards the sick and suffering.
In their presence the burden of her own sorrow seemed to fall off.  She
was the most cheerful and sunny-faced nurse I ever knew; and I always
felt sure that my own efforts would be well seconded when I found her by
the bedside of a patient.  Beautiful it was to see this poor young girl,
whom the world still looked upon with scorn and unkindness, cheering the
desponding, and imparting, as it were, her own strong, healthful life to
the weak and faint; supporting upon her bosom, through weary nights, the
heads of those who, in health, would have deemed her touch pollution; or
to hear her singing for the ear of the dying some sweet hymn of pious
hope or resignation, or calling to mind the consolations of the gospel
and the great love of Christ."

"I trust," said I, "that the feelings of the community were softened
towards her."

"You know what human nature is," returned the Doctor, "and with what
hearty satisfaction we abhor and censure sin and folly in others.  It is
a luxury which we cannot easily forego, although our own experience
tells us that the consequences of vice and error are evil and bitter
enough without the aggravation of ridicule and reproach from without.
So you need not be surprised to learn that, in poor Julia's case, the
charity of sinners like herself did not keep pace with the mercy and
forgiveness of Him who is infinite in purity.  Nevertheless, I will do
our people the justice to say that her blameless and self-sacrificing
life was not without its proper effect upon them."

"What became of Robert Barnet?" I inquired.

"He came back after an absence of several months, and called on me
before he had even seen his father and mother.  He did not mention
Julia; but I saw that his errand with me concerned her.  I spoke of her
excellent deportment and her useful life, dwelt upon the extenuating
circumstances of her error and of her sincere and hearty repentance.

"'Doctor,' said he, at length, with a hesitating and embarrassed manner,
'what should you think if I should tell you that, after all that has
passed, I have half made up my mind to ask her to become my wife?'

"'I should think better of it if you had wholly made up your mind,' said
I; 'and if you were my own son, I wouldn't ask for you a better wife
than Julia Atkins.  Don't hesitate, Robert, on account of what some ill-
natured people may say.  Consult your own heart first of all.'

"'I don't care for the talk of all the busybodies in town,' said he;
'but I wish father and mother could feel as you do about her.'

"'Leave that to me,' said I.  'They are kindhearted and reasonable, and
I dare say will be disposed to make the best of the matter when they
find you are decided in your purpose.'

"I did not see him again; but a few days after I learned from his
parents that he had gone on another voyage.  It was now autumn, and the
most sickly season I had ever known in Peewawkin.  Ensign Atkins and his
wife both fell sick; and Julia embraced with alacrity this providential
opportunity to return to her father's house and fulfil the duties of a
daughter.  Under her careful nursing the Ensign soon got upon his feet;
but his wife, whose constitution was weaker, sunk under the fever.  She
died better than she had lived,--penitent and loving, asking forgiveness
of Julia for her neglect and unkindness, and invoking blessings on her
head.  Julia had now, for the first time since the death of her mother,
a comfortable home and a father's love and protection.  Her sweetness of
temper, patient endurance, and forgetfulness of herself in her labors
for others, gradually overcame the scruples and hard feelings of her
neighbors.  They began to question whether, after all, it was
meritorious in them to treat one like her as a sinner beyond
forgiveness.  Elder Staples and Deacon Warner were her fast friends.
The Deacon's daughters--the tall, blue-eyed, brown-locked girls you
noticed in meeting the other day--set the example among the young people
of treating her as their equal and companion.  The dear good girls!
They reminded me of the maidens of Naxos cheering and comforting the
unhappy Ariadne.

"One mid-winter evening I took Julia with me to a poor sick patient of
mine, who was suffering for lack of attendance.  The house where she
lived was in a lonely and desolate place, some two or three miles below
us, on a sandy level, just elevated above the great salt marshes,
stretching far away to the sea.  The night set in dark and stormy; a
fierce northeasterly wind swept over the level waste, driving thick
snow-clouds before it, shaking the doors and windows of the old house,
and roaring in its vast chimney.  The woman was dying when we arrived,
and her drunken husband was sitting in stupid unconcern in the corner of
the fireplace.  A little after midnight she breathed her last.

"In the mean time the storm had grown more violent; there was a blinding
snow-fall in the air; and we could feel the jar of the great waves as
they broke upon the beach.

"'It is a terrible night for sailors on the coast,' I said, breaking our
long silence with the dead.  'God grant them sea-room!'

"Julia shuddered as I spoke, and by the dim-flashing firelight I saw she
was weeping.  Her thoughts, I knew, were with her old friend and
playmate on the wild waters.

"'Julia,' said I, 'do you know that Robert Barnet loves you with all the
strength of an honest and true heart?'

"She trembled, and her voice faltered as she confessed that when Robert
was at home he had asked her to become his wife.

"'And, like a fool, you refused him, I suppose?--the brave, generous
fellow!'

"'O Doctor!' she exclaimed.  'How can you talk so?  It is just because
Robert is so good, and noble, and generous, that I dared not take him at
his word.  You yourself, Doctor, would have despised me if I had taken
advantage of his pity or his kind remembrance of the old days when we
were children together.  I have already brought too much disgrace upon
those dear to me.'

"I was endeavoring to convince her, in reply, that she was doing
injustice to herself and wronging her best friend, whose happiness
depended in a great measure upon her, when, borne on the strong blast,
we both heard a faint cry as of a human being in distress.  I threw up
the window which opened seaward, and we leaned out into the wild night,
listening breathlessly for a repetition of the sound.

"Once more, and once only, we heard it,--a low, smothered, despairing
cry.

"'Some one is lost, and perishing in the snow,' said Julia.  'The sound
conies in the direction of the beach plum-bushes on the side of the
marsh.  Let us go at once.'

"She snatched up her hood and shawl, and was already at the door.  I
found and lighted a lantern and soon overtook her.  The snow was already
deep and badly drifted, and it was with extreme difficulty that we could
force our way against the storm.  We stopped often to take breath and
listen; but the roaring of the wind and waves was alone audible.  At
last we reached a slightly elevated spot, overgrown with dwarf plum-
trees, whose branches were dimly visible above the snow.

"'Here, bring the lantern here!' cried Julia, who had strayed a few
yards from me.  I hastened to her, and found her lifting up the body of
a man who was apparently insensible.  The rays of the lantern fell full
upon his face, and we both, at the same instant, recognized Robert
Barnet.  Julia did not shriek nor faint; but, kneeling in the snow, and
still supporting the body, she turned towards me a look of earnest and
fearful inquiry.

"'Courage!' said I.  'He still lives.  He is only overcome with fatigue
and cold.'

"With much difficulty-partly carrying and partly dragging him through
the snow--we succeeded in getting him to the house, where, in a short
time, he so far recovered as to be able to speak.  Julia, who had been
my prompt and efficient assistant in his restoration, retired into the
shadow of the room as soon as he began to rouse himself and look about
him.  He asked where he was and who was with me, saying that his head
was so confused that he thought he saw Julia Atkins by the bedside.
'You were not mistaken,' said I; 'Julia is here, and you owe your life
to her.'  He started up and gazed round the room.  I beckoned Julia to
the bedside; and I shall never forget the grateful earnestness with
which he grasped her hand and called upon God to bless her.  Some folks
think me a tough-hearted old fellow, and so I am; but that scene was
more than I could bear without shedding tears.

"Robert told us that his vessel had been thrown upon the beach a mile or
two below, and that he feared all the crew had perished save himself.
Assured of his safety, I went out once more, in the faint hope of
hearing the voice of some survivor of the disaster; but I listened only
to the heavy thunder of the surf rolling along the horizon of the east.
The storm had in a great measure ceased; the gray light of dawn was just
visible; and I was gratified to see two of the nearest neighbors
approaching the house.  On being informed of the wreck they immediately
started for the beach, where several dead bodies, half buried in snow,
confirmed the fears of the solitary survivor.

"The result of all this you can easily conjecture.  Robert Barnet
abandoned the sea, and, with the aid of some of his friends, purchased
the farm where he now lives, and the anniversary of his shipwreck found
him the husband of Julia.  I can assure you I have had every reason to
congratulate myself on my share in the match-making.  Nobody ventured to
find fault with it except two or three sour old busybodies, who, as
Elder Staples well says, 'would have cursed her whom Christ had
forgiven, and spurned the weeping Magdalen from the feet of her Lord.'"



CHAPTER IV. BY THE SPRING.

IT was one of the very brightest and breeziest of summer mornings that
the Doctor and myself walked homeward from the town poor-house, where
he had always one or more patients, and where his coming was always
welcomed by the poor, diseased, and age-stricken inmates.  Dark,
miserable faces of lonely and unreverenced age, written over with the
grim records of sorrow and sin, seemed to brighten at his approach as
with an inward light, as if the good man's presence had power to call
the better natures of the poor unfortunates into temporary ascendency.
Weary, fretful women--happy mothers in happy homes, perchance, half a
century before--felt their hearts warm and expand under the influence of
his kind salutations and the ever-patient good-nature with which he
listened to their reiterated complaints of real or imaginary suffering.
However it might be with others, he never forgot the man or the woman in
the pauper.  There was nothing like condescension or consciousness in
his charitable ministrations; for he was one of the few men I have ever
known in whom the milk of human kindness was never soured by contempt
for humanity in whatever form it presented itself.  Thus it was that his
faithful performance of the duties of his profession, however repulsive
and disagreeable, had the effect of Murillo's picture of St. Elizabeth
of Hungary binding up the ulcered limbs of the beggars.  The moral
beauty transcended the loathsomeness of physical evil and deformity.

Our nearest route home lay across the pastures and over Blueberry Hill,
just at the foot of which we encountered Elder Staples and Skipper
Evans, who had been driving their cows to pasture, and were now
leisurely strolling back to the village.  We toiled together up the hill
in the hot sunshine, and, just on its eastern declivity, were glad to
find a white-oak tree, leaning heavily over a little ravine, from the
bottom of which a clear spring of water bubbled up and fed a small
rivulet, whose track of darker green might be traced far down the hill
to the meadow at its foot.

A broad shelf of rock by the side of the spring, cushioned with mosses,
afforded us a comfortable resting-place.  Elder Staples, in his faded
black coat and white neck-cloth, leaned his quiet, contemplative head on
his silver-mounted cane: right opposite him sat the Doctor, with his
sturdy, rotund figure, and broad, seamed face, surmounted by a coarse
stubble of iron-gray hair, the sharp and almost severe expression of his
keen gray eyes, flashing under their dark penthouse, happily relieved by
the softer lines of his mouth, indicative of his really genial and
generous nature.  A small, sinewy figure, half doubled up, with his chin
resting on his rough palms, Skipper Evans sat on a lower projection of
the rock just beneath him, in an attentive attitude, as at the feet of
Gatnaliel.  Dark and dry as one of his own dunfish on a Labrador flake,
or a seal-skin in an Esquimaux hut, he seemed entirely exempt from one
of the great trinity of temptations; and, granting him a safe
deliverance from the world and the devil, he had very little to fear
from the flesh.

We were now in the Doctor's favorite place of resort, green, cool,
quiet, and sightly withal.  The keen light revealed every object in the
long valley below us; the fresh west wind fluttered the oakleaves above;
and the low voice of the water, coaxing or scolding its way over bare
roots or mossy stones, was just audible.

"Doctor," said I, "this spring, with the oak hanging over it, is, I
suppose, your Fountain of Bandusia.  You remember what Horace says of
his spring, which yielded such cool refreshment when the dog-star had
set the day on fire.  What a fine picture he gives us of this charming
feature of his little farm!"

The Doctor's eye kindled.  "I'm glad to see you like Horace; not merely
as a clever satirist and writer of amatory odes, but as a true lover of
Nature.  How pleasant are his simple and beautiful descriptions of his
yellow, flowing Tiber, the herds and herdsmen, the harvesters, the grape
vintage, the varied aspects of his Sabine retreat in the fierce summer
heats, or when the snowy forehead of Soracte purpled in winter sunsets!
Scattered through his odes and the occasional poems which he addresses
to his city friends, you find these graceful and inimitable touches of
rural beauty, each a picture in itself."

"It is long since I have looked at my old school-day companions, the
classics," said Elder Staples; "but I remember Horace only as a light,
witty, careless epicurean, famous for his lyrics in praise of Falernian
wine and questionable women."

"Somewhat too much of that, doubtless," said the Doctor; "but to me
Horace is serious and profoundly suggestive, nevertheless.  Had I laid
him aside on quitting college, as you did, I should perhaps have only
remembered such of his epicurean lyrics as recommended themselves to the
warns fancy of boyhood.  Ah, Elder Staples, there was a time when the
Lyces and Glyceras of the poet were no fiction to us.  They played
blindman's buff with us in the farmer's kitchen, sang with us in the
meeting-house, and romped and laughed with us at huskings and quilting-
parties.  Grandmothers and sober spinsters as they now are, the change
in us is perhaps greater than in them."

"Too true," replied the Elder, the smile which had just played over his
pale face fading into something sadder than its habitual melancholy.
"The living companions of our youth, whom we daily meet, are more
strange to us than the dead in yonder graveyard.  They alone remain
unchanged!"

"Speaking of Horace," continued the Doctor, in a voice slightly husky
with feeling, "he gives us glowing descriptions of his winter circles of
friends, where mirth and wine, music and beauty, charm away the hours,
and of summer-day recreations beneath the vine-wedded elms of the Tiber
or on the breezy slopes of Soracte; yet I seldom read them without a
feeling of sadness.  A low wail of inappeasable sorrow, an undertone of
dirges, mingles with his gay melodies.  His immediate horizon is bright
with sunshine; but beyond is a land of darkness, the light whereof is
darkness.  It is walled about by the everlasting night.  The skeleton
sits at his table; a shadow of the inevitable terror rests upon all his
pleasant pictures.  He was without God in the world; he had no clear
abiding hope of a life beyond that which was hastening to a close.  Eat
and drink, he tells us; enjoy present health and competence; alleviate
present evils, or forget them, in social intercourse, in wine, music,
and sensual indulgence; for to-morrow we must die.  Death was in his
view no mere change of condition and relation; it was the black end of
all.  It is evident that he placed no reliance on the mythology of his
time, and that he regarded the fables of the Elysian Fields and their
dim and wandering ghosts simply in the light of convenient poetic
fictions for illustration and imagery.  Nothing can, in my view, be
sadder than his attempts at consolation for the loss of friends.
Witness his Ode to Virgil on the death of Quintilius.  He tells his
illustrious friend simply that his calamity is without hope,
irretrievable and eternal; that it is idle to implore the gods to
restore the dead; and that, although his lyre may be more sweet than
that of Orpheus, he cannot reanimate the shadow of his friend nor
persuade 'the ghost-compelling god' to unbar the gates of death.  He
urges patience as the sole resource.  He alludes not unfrequently to his
own death in the same despairing tone.  In the Ode to Torquatus,--one of
the most beautiful and touching of all he has written,--he sets before
his friend, in melancholy contrast, the return of the seasons, and of
the moon renewed in brightness, with the end of man, who sinks into the
endless dark, leaving nothing save ashes and shadows.  He then, in the
true spirit of his philosophy, urges Torquatus to give his present hour
and wealth to pleasures and delights, as he had no assurance of
to-morrow."

"In something of the same strain," said I, "Moschus moralizes on the
death of Bion:--

               Our trees and plants revive; the rose
               In annual youth of beauty glows;
               But when the pride of Nature dies,
               Man, who alone is great and wise,
               No more he rises into light,
               The wakeless sleeper of eternal night.'"

"It reminds me," said Elder Staples, "of the sad burden of
Ecclesiastes, the mournfulest book of Scripture; because, while the
preacher dwells with earnestness upon the vanity and uncertainty of the
things of time and sense, he has no apparent hope of immortality to
relieve the dark picture.  Like Horace, he sees nothing better than to
eat his bread with joy and drink his wine with a merry heart.  It seems
to me the wise man might have gone farther in his enumeration of the
folly and emptiness of life, and pronounced his own prescription for the
evil vanity also.  What is it but plucking flowers on the banks of the
stream which hurries us over the cataract, or feasting on the thin crust
of a volcano upon delicate meats prepared over the fires which are soon
to ingulf us?  Oh, what a glorious contrast to this is the gospel of Him
who brought to light life and immortality!  The transition from the
Koheleth to the Epistles of Paul is like passing from a cavern, where
the artificial light falls indeed upon gems and crystals, but is
everywhere circumscribed and overshadowed by unknown and unexplored
darkness, into the warm light and free atmosphere of day."

"Yet," I asked, "are there not times when we all wish for some clearer
evidence of immortal life than has been afforded us; when we even turn
away unsatisfied from the pages of the holy book, with all the
mysterious problems of life pressing about us and clamoring for
solution, till, perplexed and darkened, we look up to the still heavens,
as if we sought thence an answer, visible or audible, to their
questionings?  We want something beyond the bare announcement of the
momentous fact of a future life; we long for a miracle to confirm our
weak faith and silence forever the doubts which torment us."

"And what would a miracle avail us at such times of darkness and strong
temptation?"  said the Elder.  "Have we not been told that they whom
Moses and the prophets have failed to convince would not believe
although one rose from the dead?  That God has revealed no more to
us is to my mind sufficient evidence that He has revealed enough."

"May it not be," queried the Doctor, "that Infinite Wisdom sees that a
clearer and fuller revelation of the future life would render us less
willing or able to perform our appropriate duties in the present
condition?  Enchanted by a clear view of the heavenly hills, and of our
loved ones beckoning us from the pearl gates of the city of God, could
we patiently work out our life-task here, or make the necessary
exertions to provide for the wants of these bodies whose encumbrance
alone can prevent us from rising to a higher plane of existence?"

"I reckon," said the Skipper, who had been an attentive, although at
times evidently a puzzled, listener, "that it would be with us pretty
much as it was with a crew of French sailors that I once shipped at the
Isle of France for the port of Marseilles.  I never had better hands
until we hove in sight of their native country, which they had n't seen
for years.  The first look of the land set 'em all crazy; they danced,
laughed, shouted, put on their best clothes; and I had to get new hands
to help me bring the vessel to her moorings."

"Your story is quite to the point, Skipper," said the Doctor.  "If
things had been ordered differently, we should all, I fear, be disposed
to quit work and fall into absurdities, like your French sailors, and so
fail of bringing the world fairly into port."

"God's ways are best," said the Elder; "and I don't see as we can do
better than to submit with reverence to the very small part of them
which He has made known to us, and to trust Him like loving and dutiful
children for the rest."



CHAPTER V. THE HILLSIDE.

THE pause which naturally followed the observation of the Elder was
broken abruptly by the Skipper.

"Hillo!" he cried, pointing with the glazed hat with which he had been
fanning himself.  "Here away in the northeast.  Going down the coast for
better fishing, I guess."

"An eagle, as I live!" exclaimed the Doctor, following with his cane the
direction of the Skipper's hat.  "Just see how royally he wheels upward
and onward, his sail-broad wings stretched motionless, save an
occasional flap to keep up his impetus!  Look! the circle in which he
moves grows narrower; he is a gray cloud in the sky, a point, a mere
speck or dust-mote.  And now he is clean swallowed up in the distance.
The wise man of old did well to confess his ignorance of 'the way of an
eagle in the air.'"

"The eagle," said Elder Staples, "seems to have been a favorite
illustration of the sacred penman.  'They that wait upon the Lord shall
renew their strength; they shall mount upward as on the wings of an
eagle.'"

"What think you of this passage?"  said the Doctor.  "'As when a bird
hath flown through the air, there is no token of her way to be found;
but the light air, beaten with the stroke of her wings and parted by the
violent noise and motion thereof, is passed through, and therein
afterward no sign of her path can be found.'

"I don't remember the passage," said the Elder.

"I dare say not," quoth the Doctor.  "You clergymen take it for granted
that no good thing can come home from the Nazareth of the Apocrypha.
But where will you find anything more beautiful and cheering than these
verses in connection with that which I just cited?--'The hope of the
ungodly is like dust that is blown away by the wind; like the thin foam
which is driven by the storm; like the smoke which is scattered here and
there by the whirlwind; it passeth away like the remembrance of a guest
that tarrieth but a day.  But the righteous live forevermore; their
reward also is with the Lord, and the care of them with the Most High.
Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom and a beautiful crown
from the Lord's hand; for with his right hand shall He cover them, and
with his arm shall He protect them.'"

"That, if I mistake not, is from the Wisdom of Solomon," said the Elder.
"It is a striking passage; and there are many such in the uncanonical
books."

"Canonical or not," answered the Doctor, "it is God's truth, and stands
in no need of the endorsement of a set of well-meaning but purblind
bigots and pedants, who presumed to set metes and bounds to Divine
inspiration, and decide by vote what is God's truth and what is the
Devil's falsehood.  But, speaking of eagles, I never see one of these
spiteful old sea-robbers without fancying that he may be the soul of a
mad Viking of the middle centuries.  Depend upon it, that Italian
philosopher was not far out of the way in his ingenious speculations
upon the affinities and sympathies existing between certain men and
certain animals, and in fancying that he saw feline or canine traits and
similitudes in the countenances of his acquaintance."

"Swedenborg tells us," said I, "that lost human souls in the spiritual
world, as seen by the angels, frequently wear the outward shapes of the
lower animals,--for instance, the gross and sensual look like swine, and
the cruel and obscene like foul birds of prey, such as hawks and
vultures,--and that they are entirely unconscious of the metamorphosis,
imagining themselves marvellous proper men,' and are quite well
satisfied with their company and condition."

"Swedenborg," said the Elder, "was an insane man, or worse."

"Perhaps so," said the Doctor; "but there is a great deal of 'method in
his madness,' and plain common sense too.  There is one grand and
beautiful idea underlying all his revelations or speculations about the
future life.  It is this: that each spirit chooses its own society, and
naturally finds its fitting place and sphere of action,--following in
the new life, as in the present, the leading of its prevailing loves and
desires,--and that hence none are arbitrarily compelled to be good or
evil, happy or miserable.  A great law of attraction and gravitation
governs the spiritual as well as the material universe; but, in obeying
it, the spirit retains in the new life whatever freedom of will it
possessed in its first stage of being.  But I see the Elder shakes his
head, as much as to say, I am 'wise above what is written,' or, at any
rate, meddling with matters beyond my comprehension.  Our young friend
here," he continued, turning to me, "has the appearance of a listener;
but I suspect he is busy with his own reveries, or enjoying the fresh
sights and sounds of this fine morning.  I doubt whether our discourse
has edified him."

"Pardon me," said I; "I was, indeed, listening to another and older
oracle."

"Well, tell us what you hear," said the Doctor.

"A faint, low murmur, rising and falling on the wind.  Now it comes
rolling in upon me, wave after wave of sweet, solemn music.  There was a
grand organ swell; and now it dies away as into the infinite distance;
but I still hear it,--whether with ear or spirit I know not,--the very
ghost of sound."

"Ah, yes," said the Doctor; "I understand it is the voice of the pines
yonder,--a sort of morning song of praise to the Giver of life and Maker
of beauty.  My ear is dull now, and I cannot hear it; but I know it is
sounding on as it did when I first climbed up here in the bright June
mornings of boyhood, and it will sound on just the same when the
deafness of the grave shall settle upon my failing senses.  Did it never
occur to you that this deafness and blindness to accustomed beauty and
harmony is one of the saddest thoughts connected with the great change
which awaits us?  Have you not felt at times that our ordinary
conceptions of heaven itself, derived from the vague hints and Oriental
imagery of the Scriptures, are sadly inadequate to our human wants and
hopes?  How gladly would we forego the golden streets and gates of
pearl, the thrones, temples, and harps, for the sunset lights of our
native valleys; the woodpaths, whose moss carpets are woven with violets
and wild flowers; the songs of birds, the low of cattle, the hum of bees
in the apple-blossom,--the sweet, familiar voices of human life and
nature!  In the place of strange splendors and unknown music, should we
not welcome rather whatever reminded us of the common sights and sounds
of our old home?"

"You touch a sad chord, Doctor," said I.  "Would that we could feel
assured of the eternity of all we love!"

"And have I not an assurance of it at this very moment?"  returned the
Doctor.  "My outward ear fails me; yet I seem to hear as formerly the
sound of the wind in the pines.  I close my eyes; and the picture of my
home is still before me.  I see the green hill slope and meadows; the
white shaft of the village steeple springing up from the midst of maples
and elms; the river all afire with sunshine; the broad, dark belt of
woodland; and, away beyond, all the blue level of the ocean.  And now,
by a single effort of will, I can call before me a winter picture of the
same scene.  It is morning as now; but how different!  All night has the
white meteor fallen, in broad flake or minutest crystal, the sport and
plaything of winds that have wrought it into a thousand shapes of wild
beauty.  Hill and valley, tree and fence, woodshed and well-sweep, barn
and pigsty, fishing-smacks frozen tip at the wharf, ribbed monsters of
dismantled hulks scattered along the river-side,--all lie transfigured
in the white glory and sunshine.  The eye, wherever it turns, aches with
the cold brilliance, unrelieved save where.  The blue smoke of morning
fires curls lazily up from the Parian roofs, or where the main channel
of the river, as yet unfrozen, shows its long winding line of dark water
glistening like a snake in the sun.  Thus you perceive that the spirit
sees and hears without the aid of bodily organs; and why may it not be
so hereafter?  Grant but memory to us, and we can lose nothing by death.
The scenes now passing before us will live in eternal reproduction,
created anew at will.  We assuredly shall not love heaven the less that
it is separated by no impassable gulf from this fair and goodly earth,
and that the pleasant pictures of time linger like sunset clouds along
the horizon of eternity.  When I was younger, I used to be greatly
troubled by the insecure tenure by which my senses held the beauty and
harmony of the outward world.  When I looked at the moonlight on the
water, or the cloud-shadows on the hills, or the sunset sky, with the
tall, black tree-boles and waving foliage relieved against it, or when I
heard a mellow gush of music from the brown-breasted fife-bird in the
summer woods, or the merry quaver of the bobolink in the corn land, the
thought of an eternal loss of these familiar sights and sounds would
sometimes thrill through me with a sharp and bitter pain.  I have reason
to thank God that this fear no longer troubles me.  Nothing that is
really valuable and necessary for us can ever be lost.  The present will
live hereafter; memory will bridge over the gulf between the two worlds;
for only on the condition of their intimate union can we preserve our
identity and personal consciousness.  Blot out the memory of this world,
and what would heaven or hell be to us?  Nothing whatever.  Death would
be simple annihilation of our actual selves, and the substitution
therefor of a new creation, in which we should have no more interest
than in an inhabitant of Jupiter or the fixed stars."

The Elder, who had listened silently thus far, not without an occasional
and apparently involuntary manifestation of dissent, here interposed.

"Pardon me, my dear friend," said he; "but I must needs say that I look
upon speculations of this kind, however ingenious or plausible, as
unprofitable, and well-nigh presumptuous.  For myself, I only know that
I am a weak, sinful man, accountable to and cared for by a just and
merciful God.  What He has in reserve for me hereafter I know not, nor
have I any warrant to pry into His secrets.  I do not know what it is to
pass from one life to another; but I humbly hope that, when I am sinking
in the dark waters, I may hear His voice of compassion and
encouragement, 'It is I; be not afraid.'"

"Amen," said the Skipper, solemnly.

"I dare say the Parson is right, in the main," said the Doctor.  "Poor
creatures at the best, it is safer for us to trust, like children, in
the goodness of our Heavenly Father than to speculate too curiously in
respect to the things of a future life; and, notwithstanding all I have
said, I quite agree with good old Bishop Hall: 'It is enough for me to
rest in the hope that I shall one day see them; in the mean time, let me
be learnedly ignorant and incuriously devout, silently blessing the
power and wisdom of my infinite Creator, who knows how to honor himself
by all those unrevealed and glorious subordinations.'"



CHAPTER VI. THE SKIPPER'S STORY.

"WELL, what's the news below?"  asked the Doctor of his housekeeper,
as she came home from a gossiping visit to the landing one afternoon.
"What new piece of scandal is afloat now?"

"Nothing, except what concerns yourself," answered Widow Matson, tartly.
"Mrs. Nugeon says that you've been to see her neighbor Wait's girl--she
that 's sick with the measles--half a dozen times, and never so much as
left a spoonful of medicine; and she should like to know what a doctor's
good for without physic.  Besides, she says Lieutenant Brown would have
got well if you'd minded her, and let him have plenty of thoroughwort
tea, and put a split fowl at the pit of his stomach."

"A split stick on her own tongue would be better," said the Doctor,
with a wicked grimace.

"The Jezebel!  Let her look out for herself the next time she gets the
rheumatism; I'll blister her from head to heel.  But what else is
going?"

"The schooner Polly Pike is at the landing."

"What, from Labrador?  The one Tom Osborne went in?"

"I suppose so; I met Tom down street."

"Good!" said the Doctor, with emphasis.  "Poor Widow Osborne's prayers
are answered, and she will see her son before she dies."

"And precious little good will it do her," said the housekeeper.
"There's not a more drunken, swearing rakeshame in town than Tom
Osborne."

"It's too true," responded the Doctor.  "But he's her only son; and you
know, Mrs. Matson, the heart of a mother."

The widow's hard face softened; a tender shadow passed over it; the
memory of some old bereavement melted her; and as she passed into the
house I saw her put her checked apron to her eyes.

By this time Skipper Evans, who had been slowly working his way up
street for some minutes, had reached the gate.

"Look here!" said he.  "Here's a letter that I've got by the Polly Pike
from one of your old patients that you gave over for a dead man long
ago."

"From the other world, of course," said the Doctor.

"No, not exactly, though it's from Labrador, which is about the last
place the Lord made, I reckon."

"What, from Dick Wilson?"

"Sartin," said the Skipper.

"And how is he?"

"Alive and hearty.  I tell you what, Doctor, physicking and blistering
are all well enough, may be; but if you want to set a fellow up when
he's kinder run down, there's nothing like a fishing trip to Labrador,
'specially if he's been bothering himself with studying, and writing,
and such like.  There's nothing like fish chowders, hard bunks, and sea
fog to take that nonsense out of him.  Now, this chap," (the Skipper
here gave me a thrust in the ribs by way of designation,) "if I could
have him down with me beyond sunset for two or three months, would come
back as hearty as a Bay o' Fundy porpoise."

Assuring him that I would like to try the experiment, with him as
skipper, I begged to know the history of the case he had spoken of.

The old fisherman smiled complacently, hitched up his pantaloons, took a
seat beside us, and, after extracting a jack-knife from one pocket, and
a hand of tobacco from the other, and deliberately supplying himself
with a fresh quid, he mentioned, apologetically, that he supposed the
Doctor had heard it all before.

"Yes, twenty times," said the Doctor; "but never mind; it's a good story
yet.  Go ahead, Skipper."

"Well, you see," said the Skipper, "this young Wilson comes down here
from Hanover College, in the spring, as lean as a shad in dog-days.  He
had studied himself half blind, and all his blood had got into brains.
So the Doctor tried to help him with his poticary stuff, and the women
with their herbs; but all did no good.  At last somebody advised him to
try a fishing cruise down East; and so he persuaded me to take him
aboard my schooner.  I knew he'd be right in the way, and poor company
at the best, for all his Greek and Latin; for, as a general thing, I've
noticed that your college chaps swop away their common sense for their
larning, and make a mighty poor bargain of it.  Well, he brought his
books with him, and stuck to them so close that I was afraid we should
have to slide him off the plank before we got half way to Labrador.  So
I just told him plainly that it would n't do, and that if he 'd a mind
to kill himself ashore I 'd no objection, but he should n't do it aboard
my schooner.  'I'm e'en just a mind,' says I, 'to pitch your books
overboard.  A fishing vessel's no place for 'em; they'll spoil all our
luck.  Don't go to making a Jonah of yourself down here in your bunk,
but get upon deck, and let your books alone, and go to watching the sea,
and the clouds, and the islands, and the fog-banks, and the fishes, and
the birds; for Natur,' says I, don't lie nor give hearsays, but is
always as true as the Gospels.'

"But 't was no use talking.  There he'd lay in his bunk with his books
about him, and I had e'en a'most to drag him on deck to snuff the sea-
air.  Howsomever, one day,--it was the hottest of the whole season,--
after we left the Magdalenes, and were running down the Gut of Canso, we
hove in sight of the Gannet Rocks.  Thinks I to myself, I'll show him
something now that he can't find in his books.  So I goes right down
after him; and when we got on deck he looked towards the northeast, and
if ever I saw a chap wonder-struck, he was.  Right ahead of us was a
bold, rocky island, with what looked like a great snow bank on its
southern slope; while the air was full overhead, and all about, of what
seemed a heavy fall of snow.  The day was blazing hot, and there was n't
a cloud to be seen.

"'What in the world, Skipper, does this mean?' says he.  'We're sailing
right into a snow-storm in dog-days and in a clear sky.'

"By this time we had got near enough to hear a great rushing noise in
the air, every moment growing louder and louder.

"'It's only a storm of gannets,' says I.

"'Sure enough!' says he; 'but I wouldn't have believed it possible.'

"When we got fairly off against the island I fired a gun at it: and such
a fluttering and screaming you can't imagine.  The great snow-banks
shook, trembled, loosened, and became all alive, whirling away into the
air like drifts in a nor'wester.  Millions of birds went up, wheeling
and zigzagging about, their white bodies and blacktipped wings crossing
and recrossing and mixing together into a thick grayish-white haze above
us.

"'You're right, Skipper,' says Wilson to me;

               Nature is better than books.'

"And from that time he was on deck as much as his health would allow of,
and took a deal of notice of everything new and uncommon.  But, for all
that, the poor fellow was so sick, and pale, and peaking, that we all
thought we should have to heave him overboard some day or bury him in
Labrador moss."

"But he did n't die after all, did he?" said I.

"Die?  No!" cried the Skipper; "not he!"

"And so your fishing voyage really cured him?"

"I can't say as it did, exactly," returned the Skipper, shifting his
quid from one cheek to the other, with a sly wink at the Doctor.  "The
fact is, after the doctors and the old herb-women had given him up at
home, he got cured by a little black-eyed French girl on the Labrador
coast."

"A very agreeable prescription, no doubt," quoth the Doctor, turning to
me.  "How do you think it would suit your case?"

"It does n't become the patient to choose his own nostrums," said I,
laughing.  "But I wonder, Doctor, that you have n't long ago tested the
value of this by an experiment upon yourself."

"Physicians are proverbially shy of their own medicines," said he.

"Well, you see," continued the Skipper, "we had a rough run down the
Labrador shore; rainstorms and fogs so thick you could cut 'em up into
junks with your jack-knife.  At last we reached a small fishing station
away down where the sun does n't sleep in summer, but just takes a bit
of a nap at midnight.  Here Wilson went ashore, more dead than alive,
and found comfortable lodgings with a little, dingy French oil merchant,
who had a snug, warm house, and a garden patch, where he raised a few
potatoes and turnips in the short summers, and a tolerable field of
grass, which kept his two cows alive through the winter.  The country
all about was dismal enough; as far as you could see there was nothing
but moss, and rocks, and bare hills, and ponds of shallow water, with
now and then a patch of stunted firs.  But it doubtless looked pleasant
to our poor sick passenger, who for some days had been longing for land.
The Frenchman gave him a neat little room looking out on the harbor, all
alive with fishermen and Indians hunting seals; and to my notion no
place is very dull where you can see the salt-water and the ships at
anchor on it, or scudding over it with sails set in a stiff breeze, and
where you can watch its changes of lights and colors in fair and foul
weather, morning and night.  The family was made up of the Frenchman,
his wife, and his daughter,--a little witch of a girl, with bright black
eyes lighting up her brown, good-natured face like lamps in a binnacle.
They all took a mighty liking to young Wilson, and were ready to do
anything for him.  He was soon able to walk about; and we used to see
him with the Frenchman's daughter strolling along the shore and among
the mosses, talking with her in her own language.  Many and many a time,
as we sat in our boats under the rocks, we could hear her merry laugh
ringing down to us.

"We stayed at the station about three weeks; and when we got ready to
sail I called at the Frenchman's to let Wilson know when to come aboard.
He really seemed sorry to leave; for the two old people urged him to
remain with them, and poor little Lucille would n't hear a word of his
going.  She said he would be sick and die on board the vessel, but that
if he stayed with them he would soon be well and strong; that they
should have plenty of milk and eggs for him in the winter; and he should
ride in the dog-sledge with her, and she would take care of him as if he
was her brother.  She hid his cap and great-coat; and what with crying,
and scolding, and coaxing, she fairly carried her point.

"'You see I 'm a prisoner,' says he; 'they won't let me go.'

"'Well,' says I, 'you don't seem to be troubled about it.  I tell you
what, young man,' says I, 'it's mighty pretty now to stroll round here,
and pick mosses, and hunt birds' eggs with that gal; but wait till
November comes, and everything freezes up stiff and dead except white
bears And Ingens, and there's no daylight left to speak of, and you 'll
be sick enough of your choice.  You won't live the winter out; and it 's
an awful place to die in, where the ground freezes so hard that they
can't bury you.'

"'Lucille says,' says he, 'that God is as near us in the winter as in
the summer.  The fact is, Skipper, I've no nearer relative left in the
States than a married brother, who thinks more of his family and
business than of me; and if it is God's will that I shall die, I may as
well wait His call here as anywhere.  I have found kind friends here;
they will do all they can for me; and for the rest I trust Providence.'

"Lucille begged that I would let him stay; for she said God would hear
her prayers, and he would get well.  I told her I would n't urge him any
more; for if I was as young as he was, and had such a pretty nurse to
take care of me, I should be willing to winter at the North Pole.
Wilson gave me a letter for his brother; and we shook hands, and I left
him.  When we were getting under way he and Lucille stood on the
landing-place, and I hailed him for the last time, and made signs of
sending the boat for him.  The little French girl understood me; she
shook her head, and pointed to her father's house; and then they both
turned back, now and then stopping to wave their handkerchiefs to us.  I
felt sorry to leave him there; but for the life of me I could n't blame
him."

"I'm sure I don't," said the Doctor.

"Well, next year I was at Nitisquam Harbor; and, although I was doing
pretty well in the way of fishing, I could n't feel easy without running
away north to 'Brador to see what had become of my sick passenger.  It
was rather early in the season, and there was ice still in the harbor;
but we managed to work in at last; when who should I see on shore but
young Wilson, so stout and hearty that I should scarcely have known,
him.  He took me up to his lodgings and told me that he had never spent
a happier winter; that he was well and strong, and could fish and hunt
like a native; that he was now a partner with the Frenchman in trade,
and only waited the coming of the priest from the Magdalenes, on his
yearly visit to the settlements, to marry his daughter.  Lucille was as
pretty, merry, and happy as ever; and the old Frenchman and his wife
seemed to love Wilson as if he was their son.  I've never seen him
since; but he now writes me that he is married, and has prospered in
health and property, and thinks Labrador would be the finest country in
the world if it only had heavy timber-trees."

"One cannot but admire," said the Doctor, "that wise and beneficent
ordination of Providence whereby the spirit of man asserts its power
over circumstances, moulding the rough forms of matter to its fine
ideal, bringing harmony out of discord,--coloring, warming, and lighting
up everything within the circle of its horizon.  A loving heart carries
with it, under every parallel of latitude, the warmth and light of the
tropics.  It plants its Eden in the wilderness and solitary place, and
sows with flowers the gray desolation of rocks and mosses.  Wherever
love goes, there springs the true heart's-ease, rooting itself even in
the polar ices.  To the young invalid of the Skipper's story, the dreary
waste of what Moore calls, as you remember,

                         'the dismal shore
               Of cold and pitiless Labrador,'

looked beautiful and inviting; for he saw it softened and irradiated in
an atmosphere of love.  Its bare hills, bleak rocks, and misty sky were
but the setting and background of the sweetest picture in the gallery of
life.  Apart from this, however, in Labrador, as in every conceivable
locality, the evils of soil and climate have their compensations and
alleviations.  The long nights of winter are brilliant with moonlight,
and the changing colors of the northern lights are reflected on the
snow.  The summer of Labrador has a beauty of its own, far unlike that
of more genial climates, but which its inhabitants would not forego for
the warm life and lavish luxuriance of tropical landscapes.  The dwarf
fir-trees throw from the ends of their branches yellow tufts of stamina,
like small lamps decorating green pyramids for the festival of spring;
and if green grass is in a great measure wanting, its place is supplied
by delicate mosses of the most brilliant colors.  The truth is, every
season and climate has its peculiar beauties and comforts; the
footprints of the good and merciful God are found everywhere; and we
should be willing thankfully to own that 'He has made all things
beautiful in their time' if we were not a race of envious, selfish,
ungrateful grumblers."

"Doctor!  Doctor!" cried a ragged, dirty-faced boy, running breathless
into the yard.

"What's the matter, my lad?" said the Doctor.

"Mother wants you to come right over to our house.  Father's tumbled off
the hay-cart; and when they got him up he didn't know nothing; but they
gin him some rum, and that kinder brought him to."

"No doubt, no doubt," said the Doctor, rising to go.  "Similia similibus
curantur.  Nothing like hair of the dog that bites you."

"The Doctor talks well," said the Skipper, who had listened rather
dubiously to his friend's commentaries on his story; "but he carries too
much sail for me sometimes, and I can't exactly keep alongside of him.
I told Elder.  Staples once that I did n't see but that the Doctor could
beat him at preaching.  'Very likely,' says the Elder, says he; 'for you
know, Skipper, I must stick to my text; but the Doctor's Bible is all
creation.'"

"Yes," said the Elder, who had joined us a few moments before, "the
Doctor takes a wide range, or, as the farmers say, carries a wide swath,
and has some notions of things which in my view have as little
foundation in true philosophy as they have warrant in Scripture; but,
if he sometimes speculates falsely, he lives truly, which is by far
the most important matter.  The mere dead letter of a creed, however
carefully preserved and reverently cherished, may be of no more
spiritual or moral efficacy than an African fetish or an Indian
medicine-bag.  What we want is, orthodoxy in practice,--the dry bones
clothed with warm, generous, holy life.  It is one thing to hold fast
the robust faith of our fathers,--the creed of the freedom-loving
Puritan and Huguenot,--and quite another to set up the five points of
Calvinism, like so many thunder-rods, over a bad life, in the insane
hope of averting the Divine displeasure from sin."



THE LITTLE IRON SOLDIER

OR, WHAT AMINADAB IVISON DREAMED ABOUT.


AMINADAB IVISON started up in his bed.  The great clock at the head of
the staircase, an old and respected heirloom of the family, struck one.

"Ah," said he, heaving up a great sigh from the depths of his inner man,
"I've had a tried time of it."

"And so have I," said the wife.  "Thee's been kicking and threshing
about all night.  I do wonder what ails thee."

And well she might; for her husband, a well-to-do, portly, middle-aged
gentleman, being blessed with an easy conscience, a genial temper, and a
comfortable digestion, was able to bear a great deal of sleep, and
seldom varied a note in the gamut of his snore from one year's end to
another.

"A very remarkable exercise," soliloquized Aminadab; "very."

"Dear me! what was it?"  inquired his wife.

"It must have been a dream," said Aminadab.

"Oh, is that all?"  returned the good woman.  "I'm glad it's nothing
worse.  But what has thee been dreaming about?"

"It's the strangest thing, Hannah, that thee ever heard of," said
Aminadab, settling himself slowly back into his bed.  Thee recollects
Jones sent me yesterday a sample of castings from the foundry.  Well, I
thought I opened the box and found in it a little iron man, in
regimentals; with his sword by his side and a cocked hat on, looking
very much like the picture in the transparency over neighbor O'Neal's
oyster-cellar across the way.  I thought it rather out of place for
Jones to furnish me with such a sample, as I should not feel easy to
show it to my customers, on account of its warlike appearance.  However,
as the work was well done, I took the little image and set him up on the
table, against the wall; and, sitting down opposite, I began to think
over my business concerns, calculating how much they would increase in
profit in case a tariff man should be chosen our ruler for the next four
years.  Thee knows I am not in favor of choosing men of blood and strife
to bear rule in the land: but it nevertheless seems proper to consider
all the circumstances in this case, and, as one or the other of the
candidates of the two great parties must be chosen, to take the least of
two evils.  All at once I heard a smart, quick tapping on the table;
and, looking up, there stood the little iron man close at my elbow,
winking and chuckling.  'That's right, Aminadab!' said he, clapping his
little metal hands together till he rang over like a bell, 'take the
least of two evils.'  His voice had a sharp, clear, jingling sound, like
that of silver dollars falling into a till.  It startled me so that I
woke up, but finding it only a dream presently fell asleep again.  Then
I thought I was down in the Exchange, talking with neighbor Simkins
about the election and the tariff.  'I want a change in the
administration, but I can't vote for a military chieftain,' said
neighbor Simkins, 'as I look upon it unbecoming a Christian people to
elect men of blood for their rulers.'  'I don't know,' said I, 'what
objection thee can have to a fighting man; for thee 's no Friend, and
has n't any conscientious scruples against military matters.  For my own
part, I do not take much interest in politics, and never attended a
caucus in my life, believing it best to keep very much in the quiet, and
avoid, as far as possible, all letting and hindering things; but there
may be cases where a military man may be voted for as a choice of evils,
and as a means of promoting the prosperity of the country in business
matters.'  'What!' said neighbor Simkins, 'are you going to vote for a
man whose whole life has been spent in killing people?'  This vexed me a
little, and I told him there was such a thing as carrying a good
principle too far, and that he night live to be sorry that he had thrown
away his vote, instead of using it discreetly.  'Why, there's the iron
business,' said I; but just then I heard a clatter beside me, and,
looking round, there was the little iron soldier clapping his hands in
great glee.  'That's it, Aminadab!' said he; 'business first, conscience
afterwards!  Keep up the price of iron with peace if you can, but keep
it up at any rate.'  This waked me again in a good deal of trouble; but,
remembering that it is said that 'dreams come of the multitude of
business,' I once more composed myself to sleep."

"Well, what happened next?" asked his wife.

"Why, I thought I was in the meeting-house, sitting on the facing-seat
as usual.  I tried hard to settle my mind down into a quiet and humble
state; but somehow the cares of the world got uppermost, and, before I
was well aware of it, I was far gone in a calculation of the chances of
the election, and the probable rise in the price of iron in the event of
the choice of a President favorable to a high tariff.  Rap, tap, went
something on the floor.  I opened my eyes, and there was the little
image, red-hot, as if just out of the furnace, dancing, and chuckling,
and clapping his hands.  'That's right, Aminadab!' said he; 'go on as
you have begun; take care of yourself in this world, and I'll promise
you you'll be taken care of in the next.  Peace and poverty, or war and
money.  It's a choice of evils at best; and here's Scripture to decide
the matter: "Be not righteous overmuch."'  Then the wicked-looking
little image twisted his hot lips, and leered at me with his blazing
eyes, and chuckled and laughed with a noise exactly as if a bag of
dollars had been poured out upon the meeting-house floor.  This waked me
just now in such a fright.  I wish thee would tell me, Hannah, what thee
can make of these three dreams?"

"It don't need a Daniel to interpret them," answered Hannah.  "Thee 's
been thinking of voting for a wicked old soldier, because thee cares
more for thy iron business than for thy testimony against wars and
fightings.  I don't a bit wonder at thy seeing the iron soldier thee
tells of; and if thee votes to-morrow for a man of blood, it wouldn't be
strange if he should haunt thee all thy life."

Aminadab Ivison was silent, for his conscience spoke in the words of his
wife.  He slept no more that night, and rose up in the morning a wiser
and better man.

When he went forth to his place of business he saw the crowds hurrying
to and fro; there were banners flying across the streets, huge placards
were on the walls, and he heard all about him the bustle of the great
election.

"Friend Ivison," said a red-faced lawyer, almost breathless with his
hurry, "more money is needed in the second ward; our committees are
doing a great work there.  What shall I put you down for?  Fifty
dollars?  If we carry the election, your property will rise twenty per
cent.  Let me see; you are in the iron business, I think?"

Aminadab thought of the little iron soldier of his dream, and excused
himself.  Presently a bank director came tearing into his office.

"Have you voted yet, Mr. Ivison?  It 's time to get your vote in.  I
wonder you should be in your office now.  No business has so much at
stake in this election as yours."

"I don't think I should feel entirely easy to vote for the candidate,"
said Aminadab.

"Mr. Ivison," said the bank director, "I always took you to be a shrewd,
sensible man, taking men and things as they are.  The candidate may not
be all you could wish for; but when the question is between him and a
worse man, the best you can do is to choose the least of the two evils."

"Just so the little iron man said," thought Aminadab.  "'Get thee behind
me, Satan!' No, neighbor Discount," said he, "I've made up my mind.  I
see no warrant for choosing evil at all.  I can't vote for that man."

"Very well," said the director, starting to leave the room; "you can do
as you please; but if we are defeated through the ill-timed scruples of
yourself and others, and your business pinches in consequence, you need
n't expect us to help men who won't help themselves.  Good day, sir."

Aminadab sighed heavily, and his heart sank within him; but he thought
of his dream, and remained steadfast.  Presently he heard heavy steps
and the tapping of a cane on the stairs; and as the door opened he saw
the drab surtout of the worthy and much-esteemed friend who sat beside
him at the head of the meeting.

"How's thee do, Aminadab?"  said he.  "Thee's voted, I suppose?"

"No, Jacob," said he; "I don't like the candidate.  I can't see my way
clear to vote for a warrior."

"Well, but thee does n't vote for him because he is a warrior,
Aminadab," argued the other; "thee votes for him as a tariff man and an
encourager of home industry.  I don't like his wars and fightings better
than thee does; but I'm told he's an honest man, and that he disapproves
of war in the abstract, although he has been brought up to the business.
If thee feels tender about the matter, I don't like to urge thee; but it
really seems to me thee had better vote.  Times have been rather hard,
thou knows; and if by voting at this election we can make business
matters easier, I don't see how we can justify ourselves in staying at
home.  Thou knows we have a command to be diligent in business as well
as fervent in spirit, and that the Apostle accounted him who provided
not for his own household worse than an infidel.  I think it important
to maintain on all proper occasions our Gospel testimony against wars
and fightings; but there is such a thing as going to extremes, thou
knows, and becoming over-scrupulous, as I think thou art in this case.
It is said, thou knows, in Ecclesiastes, 'Be not righteous overmuch: why
shouldst thou destroy thyself?'"

"Ah," said Aminadab to himself, "that's what the little iron soldier
said in meeting."  So he was strengthened in his resolution, and the
persuasions of his friend were lost upon him.

At night Aminadab sat by his parlor fire, comfortable alike in his inner
and his outer man.  "Well, Hannah," said he, "I've taken thy advice.  I
did n't vote for the great fighter to-day."

"I'm glad of it," said the good woman, "and I dare say thee feels the
better for it."

Aminadab Ivison slept soundly that night, and saw no more of the little
iron soldier.



PASSACONAWAY.  (1833.)

          I know not, I ask not, what guilt's in thy heart, But I feel
          that I love thee, whatever thou art.
                                                  Moor.

THE township of Haverhill, on the Merrimac, contained, in the autumn of
1641, the second year of its settlement, but six dwelling-houses,
situated near each other, on the site of the present village.  They were
hastily constructed of rude logs, small and inconvenient, but one remove
from the habitations of the native dwellers of the wilderness.  Around
each a small opening had been made through the thick forest, down to the
margin of the river, where, amidst the charred and frequent stumps and
fragments of fallen trees, the first attempts at cultivation had been
made.  A few small patches of Indian corn, which had now nearly reached
maturity, exhibited their thick ears and tasselled stalks, bleached by
the frost and sunshine; and, here and there a spot of yellow stubble,
still lingering among the rough incumbrances of the soil, told where a
scanty crop of common English grain had been recently gathered.  Traces
of some of the earlier vegetables were perceptible, the melon, the pea,
and the bean.  The pumpkin lay ripening on its frosted vines, its sunny
side already changed to a bright golden color; and the turnip spread out
its green mat of leaves in defiance of the season.  Everything around
realized the vivid picture of Bryant's Emigrant, who:

              "Hewed the dark old woods away,
               And gave the virgin fields to the day
               And the pea and the bean beside the door
               Bloomed where such flowers ne'er bloomed before;
               And the maize stood up, and the bearded rye
               Bent low in the breath of an unknown sky."

Beyond, extended the great forest, vast, limitless, unexplored, whose
venerable trees had hitherto bowed only to the presence of the storm,
the beaver's tooth, and the axe of Time, working in the melancholy
silence of natural decay.  Before the dwellings of the white
adventurers, the broad Merrimac rolled quietly onward the piled-up
foliage of its shores, rich with the hues of a New England autumn.
The first sharp frosts, the avant couriers of approaching winter, had
fallen, and the whole wilderness was in blossom.  It was like some vivid
picture of Claude Lorraine, crowded with his sunsets and rainbows, a
natural kaleidoscope of a thousand colors.  The oak upon the hillside
stood robed in summer's greenness, in strong contrast with the topaz-
colored walnut.  The hemlock brooded gloomily in the lowlands, forming,
with its unbroken mass of shadow, a dark background for the light maple
beside it, bright with its peculiar beauty.  The solemn shadows of the
pine rose high in the hazy atmosphere, checkered, here and there, with
the pale yellow of the birch.

"Truly, Alice, this is one of God's great marvels in the wilderness,"
said John Ward, the minister, and the original projector of the
settlement, to his young wife, as they stood in the door of their humble
dwelling.  "This would be a rare sight for our friends in old Haverhill.
The wood all about us hath, to my sight, the hues of the rainbow, when,
in the words of the wise man, it compasseth the heavens as with a
circle, and the hands of the Most High have bended it.  Very beautifully
hath He indeed garnished the excellent works of His wisdom."

"Yea, John," answered Alice, in her soft womanly tone; "the Lord is,
indeed, no respecter of persons.  He hath given the wild savages a more
goodly show than any in Old England.  Yet, John, I am sometimes very
sorrowful, when I think of our old home, of the little parlor where you
and I used to sit of a Sunday evening.  The Lord hath been very
bountiful to this land, and it may be said of us, as it was said of
Israel of old, 'How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob! and thy tabernacles,
O Israel!'  But the people sit in darkness, and the Gentiles know not
the God of our fathers."

"Nay," answered her husband, "the heathen may be visited and redeemed,
the spirit of the Lord may turn unto the Gentiles; but a more sure evil
hath arisen among us.  I tell thee, Alice, it shall be more tolerable in
the day of the Lord, for the Tyre and Sidon, the Sodom and Gomorrah of
the heathen, than for the schemers, the ranters, the Familists, and the
Quakers, who, like Satan of old, are coming among the sons of God."

"I thought," said Alice, "that our godly governor had banished these out
of the colony."

"Truly he hath," answered Mr. Ward, "but the evil seed they have sown
here continues to spring up and multiply.  The Quakers have, indeed,
nearly ceased to molest us; but another set of fanatics, headed by
Samuel Gorton, have of late been very troublesome.  Their family has
been broken up, and the ring-leaders have been sentenced to be kept at
hard labor for the colony's benefit; one being allotted to each of the
old towns, where they are forbidden to speak on matters of religion.
But there are said to be many still at large, who, under the
encouragement of the arch-heretic, Williams, of the Providence
plantation, are even now zealously doing the evil work of their master.
But, Alice," he continued, as he saw his few neighbors gathering around
a venerable oak which had been spared in the centre of the clearing, "it
is now near our time of worship.  Let us join our friends."

And the minister and his wife entered into the little circle of their
neighbors.  No house of worship, with spire and tower, and decorated
pulpit, had as yet been reared on the banks of the Merrimac.  The stern
settlers came together under the open heavens, or beneath the shadow of
the old trees, to kneel before that God, whose works and manifestations
were around them.

The exercises of the Sabhath commenced.  A psalm of the old and homely
version was sung, with true feeling, if not with a perfect regard to
musical effect and harmony.  The brief but fervent prayer was offered,
and the good man had just announced the text for his sermon, when a
sudden tramp of feet, and a confused murmur of human voices, fell on the
ears of the assembly.

The minister closed his Bible; and the whole group crowded closer
together.  "It is surely a war party of the heathen," said Mr. Ward, as
he listened intently to the approaching sound.  "God grant they mean us
no evil!"

The sounds drew nearer.  The swarthy figure of an Indian came gliding
through the brush-wood into the clearing, followed closely by several
Englishmen.  In answer to the eager inquiries of Mr. Ward, Captain
Eaton, the leader of the party, stated that he had left Boston at
the command of Governor Winthrop, to secure and disarm the sachem,
Passaconaway, who was suspected of hostile intentions towards the
whites.  They had missed of the old chief, but had captured his son,
and were taking him to the governor as a hostage for the good faith of
his father.  He then proceeded to inform Mr. Ward, that letters had been
received from the governor of the settlements of Good Hoop and Piquag,
in Connecticut, giving timely warning of a most diabolical plot of the
Indians to cut off their white neighbors, root and branch.  He pointed
out to the notice of the minister a member of his party as one of the
messengers who had brought this alarming intelligence.

He was a tall, lean man, with straight, lank, sandy hair, cut evenly all
around his narrow forehead, and hanging down so as to remind one of
Smollett's apt similitude of "a pound of candles."

"What news do you bring us of the savages?" inquired Mr. Ward.

"The people have sinned, and the heathen are the instruments whereby the
Lord hath willed to chastise them," said the messenger, with that
peculiar nasal inflection of voice, so characteristic of the "unco'
guid."  "The great sachem, Miantonimo, chief of the Narragansetts, hath
plotted to cut off the Lord's people, just after the time of harvest, to
slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children."

"How have ye known this?" asked the minister.

"Even as Paul knew of those who had bound themselves together with a
grievous oath to destroy him.  The Lord hath done it.  One of the bloody
heathens was dreadfully gored by the oxen of our people, and, being in
great bodily pain and tribulation thereat, he sent for Governor Haines,
and told him that the Englishman's god was angry with him for concealing
the plot to kill his people, and had sent the Englishman's cow to kill
him."

"Truly a marvellous providence," said Mr. Ward; "but what has been done
in your settlements in consequence of it?"

"We have fasted many days," returned the other, in a tone of great
solemnity, "and our godly men have besought the Lord that he might now,
as of old, rebuke Satan.  They have, moreover, diligently and earnestly
inquired, Whence cometh this evil?  Who is the Achan in the camp of our
Israel?  It hath been greatly feared that the Quakers and the Papists
have been sowing tares in the garden of the true worship.  We have
therefore banished these on pain of death; and have made it highly penal
for any man to furnish either food or lodging to any of these heretics
and idolaters.  We have ordered a more strict observance of the Sabbath
of the Lord, no, one being permitted to walk or run on that day, except
to and from public worship, and then, only in a reverent and becoming
manner; and no one is allowed to cook food, sweep the house, shave or
pare the nails, or kiss a child, on the day which is to be kept holy.
We have also framed many wholesome laws, against the vanity and
licentiousness of the age, in respect to apparel and deportment, and
have forbidden any young man to kiss a maid during the time of
courtship, as, to their shame be it said, is the manner of many in the
old lands."

"Ye have, indeed, done well for the spiritual," said Mr. Ward; "what
have you done for your temporal defence?"

"We have our garrisons and our captains, and a goodly store of carnal
weapons," answered the other.  "And, besides, we have the good chief
Uncas, of the Mohegans, to help us against the bloody Narragansetts."

"But, my friend," said the minister, addressing Captain Eaton, "there
must be surely some mistake about Passaconaway.  I verily believe him to
be the friend of the white men.  And this is his son Wonolanset?  I saw
him last year, and remember that he was the pride of the old savage, his
father.  I will speak to him, for I know something of his barbarous
tongue."

"Wonolanset!"

The young savage started suddenly at the word, and rolled his keen
bright eye upon the speaker.

"Why is the son of the great chief bound by my brothers?"

The Indian looked one instant upon the cords which confined his arms,
and then glanced fiercely upon his conductors.

"Has the great chief forgotten his white friends?  Will he send his
young men to take their scalps when the Narragansett bids him?"

The growl of the young bear when roused from his hiding-place is not
more fierce and threatening than were the harsh tones of Wonolanset as
he uttered through his clenched teeth:--

"Nummus quantum."

"Nay, nay," said Mr. Ward, turning away from the savage, "his heart is
full of bitterness; he says he is angry, and, verily, I like not his
bearing.  I fear me there is evil on foot.  But ye have travelled far,
and must needs be weary rest yourselves awhile, and haply, while ye
refresh your bodies, I may also refresh your spirits with wholesome and
comfortable doctrines."

The party having acquiesced in this proposal, their captive was secured
by fastening one end of his rope to a projecting branch of the tree.
The minister again named his text, but had only proceeded to the minuter
divisions of his sermon, when he was again interrupted by a loud, clear
whistle from the river, and a sudden exclamation of surprise from those
around him.  A single glance sufficed to show him the Indian, disengaged
from his rope, and in full retreat.

Eaton raised his rifle to his eye, and called out to the young sachem,
in his own language, to stop, or he would fire upon him.  The Indian
evidently understood the full extent of his danger.  He turned suddenly
about, and, pointing, up the river towards the dwelling of his father,
pronounced with a threatening gesture:--

"Nosh, Passaconaway!"

"Hold!" exclaimed Mr. Ward, grasping the arm of Eaton.  "He threatens us
with his father's vengeance.  For God's sake keep your fire!" It was too
late.  The report of the rifle broke sharply upon the Sabbath stillness.
It was answered by a shout from the river, and a small canoe, rowed by
an Indian and a white man, was seen darting along the shore.  Wonolanset
bounded on unharmed, and, plunging into the river, he soon reached the
canoe, which was hastily paddled to the opposite bank.  Captain Eaton
and his party finding it impossible to retake their prisoner, after
listening to the sermon of Mr. Ward, and partaking of some bodily
refreshment, took their leave of the settlers of Pentucket, and departed
for Boston.

The evening, which followed the day whose events we have narrated, was
one of those peculiar seasons of beauty when the climate of New England
seems preferable to that of Italy.  The sun went down in the soft haze
of the horizon, while the full moon was rising at the same time in the
east.  Its mellow silver mingled with the deep gold of the sunset.  The
south-west wind, as warm as that of summer, but softer, was heard, at
long intervals, faintly harping amidst the pines, and blending its low
sighing with the lulling murmurs of the river.  The inhabitants of
Pentucket had taken the precaution, as night came on, to load their
muskets carefully, and place them in readiness for instant use, in the
event of an attack from the savages.  Such an occurrence, was, indeed,
not unlikely, after the rude treatment which the son of old Passaconaway
had received at the settlement.  It was well known that the old chief
was able, at a word, to send every warrior from Pennacook to Naumkeag
upon the war-path of Miantonimo; the vengeful character of the Indians
was also understood; and, in the event of an out-breaking of their
resentment, the settlement of Pentucket was, of all others, the most
exposed to danger.

"Don't go to neighbor Clements's to-night, Mary," said Alice Ward to her
young, unmarried sister; "I'm afraid some of the tawny Indians may be
lurking hereabout.  Mr. Ward says he thinks they will be dangerous
neighbors for us."

Mary had thrown her shawl over her head, and was just stepping out.
"It is but a step, as it were, and I promised good-wife Clements that I
would certainly come.  I am not afraid of the Indians.  There's none of
them about here except Red Sam, who wanted to buy me of Mr. Ward for his
squaw; and I shall not be afraid of my old spark."

The girl tripped lightly from the threshold towards the dwelling of her
neighbor.  She had passed nearly half the distance when the pathway,
before open to the moonlight, began to wind along the margin of the
river, overhung with young sycamores and hemlocks.  With a beating heart
and a quickened step she was stealing through the shadow, when the
boughs on the river-side were suddenly parted, and a tall man sprang
into the path before her.  Shrinking back with terror, she uttered a
faint scream.

"Mary Edmands!" said the stranger, "do not fear me."

A thousand thoughts wildly chased each other through the mind of the
astonished girl.  That familiar voice--that knowledge of her name--that
tall and well-remembered form!  She leaned eagerly forward, and looked
into the stranger's face.  A straggling gleam of moonshine fell across
its dark features of manly beauty.

"Richard Martin! can it be possible!"

"Yea, Mary," answered the other, "I have followed thee to the new world,
in that love which neither sea nor land can abate.  For many weary
months I have waited earnestly for such a meeting as this, and, in that
time, I have been in many and grievous perils by the flood and the
wilderness, and by the heathen Indians and more heathen persecutors
among my own people.  But I may not tarry, nor delay to tell my errand.
Mary, thou knowest my love; wilt thou be my wife?"

Mary hesitated.

"I ask thee again, if thou wilt share the fortunes of one who hath loved
thee ever since thou wast but a child, playing under the cottage trees
in old Haverhill, and who hath sacrificed his worldly estate, and
perilled his soul's salvation for thy sake.  Mary, dear Mary, for of a
truth thou art very dear to me; wilt thou go with me and be my wife?"

The tones of Richard Martin, usually harsh and forbidding, now fell soft
and musical on the ear of Mary.  He was her first love, her only one.
What marvel that she consented?

"Let us hasten to depart," said Martin, "this is no place for me.  We
will go to the Providence plantations.  Passaconaway will assist us in
our journey."

The bright flush of hope and joy faded from the face of the young girl.
She started back from the embrace of her lover.

"What mean you, Richard?  What was 't you said about our going to that
sink of wickedness at Providence?  Why don't you go back with me to
sister Ward's?"

"Mary Edmands!" said Martin, in a tone of solemn sternness, "it is
fitting that I should tell thee all.  I have renounced the evil
doctrines of thy brother-in-law, and his brethren in false prophecy.  It
was a hard struggle, Mary; the spirit was indeed willing, but the flesh
was weak, exceeding weak, for I thought of thee, Mary, and of thy
friends.  But I had a measure of strength given me, whereby I have been
enabled to do the work which was appointed me."

"Oh, Richard!" said Mary, bursting into tears, "I'm afraid you have
become a Williamsite, one of them, who, Mr. Ward says, have nothing to
hope for in this world or in that to come."

"The Lord rebuke him!" said Martin, with a loud voice.  "Woe to such as
speak evil of the witnesses of the truth.  I have seen the utter
nakedness of the land of carnal professors, and I have obeyed the call
to come out from among them and be separate.  I belong to that
persecuted family whom the proud priests and rulers of this colony have
driven from their borders.  I was brought, with many others, before the
wicked magistrates of Boston, and sentenced to labor, without hire, for
the ungodly.  But I have escaped from my bonds; and the Lord has raised
up a friend for his servant, even the Indian Passaconaway, whose son I
assisted, but a little time ago, to escape from his captors."

"Can it be?" sobbed Mary, "can it be?  Richard, our own Richard,
following the tribe of Gorton, the Familist!  Oh, Richard, if you love
me, if you love God's people and his true worship, do come away from
those wicked fanatics."

"Thou art in the very gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity,"
answered Martin.  "Listen, Mary Edmands, to the creed of those whom thou
callest fanatics.  We believe in Christ, but not in man-worship.  The
Christ we reverence is the shadow or image of God in man; he was
crucified in Adam of old, and hath been crucified in all men since; his
birth, his passion, and his death, were but manifestations or figures of
his sufferings in Adam and his descendants.  Faith and Christ are the
same, the spiritual image of God in the heart.  We acknowledge no rule
but this Christ, this faith within us, either in temporal or spiritual
things.  And the Lord hath blessed us, and will bless us, and truth
shall be magnified and exalted in us; and the children of the heathen
shall be brought to know and partake of this great redemption whereof we
testify.  But woe to the false teachers, and to them who prophesy for
hire and make gain of their soothsaying.  Their churches are the devices
of Satan, the pride and vanity of the natural Adam.  Their baptism is
blasphemy; and their sacrament is an abomination, yea, an incantation
and a spell.  Woe to them who take the shadow for the substance, that
bow down to the altars of human device and cunning workmanship, that
make idols of their ceremonies!  Woe to the high priests and the
Pharisees, and the captains and the rulers; woe to them who love the
wages of unrighteousness!"

The Familist paused from utter exhaustion, so vehemently had he poured
forth the abundance of his zeal.  Mary Edmands, overwhelmed by his
eloquence, but still unconvinced, could only urge the disgrace and
danger attending his adherence to such pernicious doctrines.  She
concluded by telling him, in a voice choked by tears, that she could
never marry him while a follower of Gorton.

"Stay then," said Martin, fiercely dashing her hand from his, "stay and
partake of the curse of the ungodly, even of the curse of Meroz, who
come not up to the help of the Lord, against the mighty Stay, till the
Lord hath made a threshing instrument of the heathen, whereby the pride
of the rulers, and the chief priests, and the captains of this land
shall be humbled.  Stay, till the vials of His wrath are poured out upon
ye, and the blood of the strong man, and the maid, and the little child
is mingled together!"

The wild language, the fierce tones and gestures of her lover, terrified
the unhappy girl.  She looked wildly around her, all was dark and
shadowy, an undefined fear of violence came over her; and, bursting into
tears, she turned to fly.  "Stay yet a moment," said Martin, in a hoarse
and subdued voice.  He caught hold of her arm.  She shrieked as if in
mortal jeopardy.

"Let go the gal, let her go!"  said old Job Clements, thrusting the long
barrel of his gun through the bushes within a few feet of the head of
the Familist.  "A white man, as sure as I live!  I thought, sartin, 't
was a tarnal In-in."  Martin relinquished his hold, and, the next
instant, found himself surrounded by the settlers.

After a brief explanation had taken place between Mr. Ward and his
sister-in-law, the former came forward and accosted the Familist.
"Richard Martin!" he said, "I little thought to see thee so soon in the
new world, still less to see thee such as thou art.  I am exceeding
sorry that I cannot greet thee here as a brother, either in a temporal
or a spiritual nature.  My sister tells me that you are a follower of
that servant of Satan, Samuel Gorton, and that you have sought to entice
her away with you to the colony of fanatics at Rhode Island, which may
be fitly compared to that city which Philip of Macedonia peopled with
rogues and vagabonds, and the offscouring of the whole earth."

"John Ward, I know thee," said the unshrinking Familist; "I know thee
for a man wise above what is written, a man vain, uncharitable, and
given to evil speaking.  I value neither thy taunts nor thy wit; for the
one hath its rise in the bitterness, and the other in the vanity, of the
natural Adam.  Those who walk in the true light, and who have given over
crucifying Christ in their hearts, heed not a jot of the reproaches and
despiteful doings of the high and mighty in iniquity.  For of us it hath
been written: 'I have given them thy word and the world hath hated them
because they are not of the world.  If the world hate you, ye know that
it hated me before it hated you.  If they have hated me they will hate
you also; if they have persecuted me they will persecute you.'  And, of
the scoffers and the scorners, the wise ones of this world, whose wisdom
and knowledge have perverted them, and who have said in their hearts,
There is none beside them, it hath been written, yea, and will be
fulfilled: The day of the Lord of Hosts shall be upon every one that is
proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up, and he shall be
brought low; and the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the
haughtiness of man shall be brought low; and the Lord alone shall be
exalted in that day; and the idols shall he utterly abolish.'  Of thee,
John Ward, and of thy priestly brotherhood, I ask nothing; and for the
much evil I have received, and may yet receive at your hands, may ye be
rewarded like Alexander the coppersmith, every man according to his
works."

"Such damnable heresy," said Mr. Ward, addressing his neighbors, "must
not be permitted to spread among the people.  My friends, we must send
this man to the magistrates."

The Familist placed his hands to his month, and gave a whistle, similar
to that which was heard in the morning, and which preceded the escape of
Wonolanset.  It was answered by a shout from the river; and a score of
Indians came struggling up through the brush-wood.

"Vile heretic!" exclaimed Mr. Ward, snatching a musket from the hands of
his neighbor, and levelling it full at the head of Martin; "you have
betrayed us into this jeopardy."

"Wagh! down um gun," said a powerful Indian, as he laid his rough hand
on the shoulder of the minister.  "You catch Wonolanset, tie um, shoot
um, scare squaw.  Old sachem come now, me tie white man, shoot um, roast
um;" and the old savage smiled grimly and fiercely in the indistinct
moonlight, as he witnessed the alarm and terror of his prisoner.

"Hold, Passaconaway!" said Martin, in the Indian tongue.  "Will the
great chief forget his promise?"

The sachem dropped his hold on Mr. Ward's arm.  "My brother is good," he
said; "me no kill um, me make um walk woods like Wonolanset."  Martin
spoke a few words in the chief's ear.  The countenance of the old
warrior for an instant seemed to express dissatisfaction; but, yielding
to the powerful influence which the Familist had acquired over him, he
said, with some reluctance, "My brother is wise, me do so."

"John Ward," said the Familist, approaching the minister, "thou hast
devised evil against one who hath never injured thee.  But I seek not
carnal revenge.  I have even now restrained the anger of this heathen
chief whom thou and thine have wronged deeply.  Let us part in peace,
for we may never more meet in this world."  And he extended his hand and
shook that of the minister.

"For thee, Mary," he said, "I had hoped to pluck thee from the evil
which is to come, even as a brand from the burning.  I had hoped to lead
thee to the manna of true righteousness, but thou last chosen the flesh-
pots of Egypt.  I had hoped to cherish thee always, but thou hast
forgotten me and my love, which brought me over the great waters for thy
sake.  I will go among the Gentiles, and if it be the Lord's will,
peradventure I may turn away their wrath from my people.  When my
wearisome pilgrimage is ended, none shall know the grave of Richard
Martin; and none but the heathen shall mourn for him.  Mary! I forgive
thee; may the God of all mercies bless thee! I shall never see thee
more."

Hot and fast fell the tears of that stern man upon the hand of Mary.
The eyes of the young woman glanced hurriedly over the faces of her
neighbors, and fixed tearfully upon that of her lover.  A thousand
recollections of young affection, of vows and meetings in another land,
came vividly before her.  Her sister's home, her brother's instructions,
her own strong faith, and her bitter hatred of her lover's heresy were
all forgotten.

"Richard, dear Richard, I am your Mary as much as ever I was.  I'll go
with you to the ends of the earth.  Your God shall be my God, and where
you are buried there will I be also."

Silent in the ecstasy of joyful surprise, the Familist pressed her to
his bosom.  Passaconaway, who had hitherto been an unmoved spectator of
the scene, relaxed the Indian gravity of his features, and murmured, in
an undertone, "Good, good."

"Will my brother go?"  he inquired, touching Martin's shoulder; "my
squaws have fine mat, big wigwam, soft samp, for his young woman."

"Mary," said Martin, "the sachem is impatient; and we must needs go with
him."  Mary did not answer, but her head was reclined upon his bosom,
and the Familist knew that she resigned herself wholly to his direction.
He folded the shawl more carefully around her, and supported her down
the precipitous and ragged bank of the river, followed closely by
Passaconaway and his companions.

"Come back, Mary Edmands!" shouted Mr. Ward.  "In God's name come back."

Half a dozen canoes shot out into the clear moonlight from the shadow of
the shore.  "It is too late!" said the minister, as he struggled down to
the water's edge.  "Satan hath laid his hands upon her; but I will
contend for her, even as did Michael of old for the body of Moses.
Mary, sister Mary, for the love of Christ, answer me."

No sound came back from the canoes, which glided like phantoms,
noiselessly and swiftly, through the still waters of the river.
"The enemy hath prevailed," said Mr. Ward; "two women were grinding at
my mill, the one is taken and the other is left.  Let us go home, my
friends, and wrestle in prayer against the Tempter."

The heretic and his orthodox bride departed into the thick wilderness,
under the guidance of Passaconaway, and in a few days reached the
Eldorado of the heretic and the persecuted, the colony of Roger
Williams.  Passaconaway, ever after, remained friendly to the white men.
As civilization advanced he retired before it, to Pennacook, now
Concord, on the Merrimac, where the tribes of the Naumkeags,
Piscataquas, Accomentas, and Agawams acknowledged his authority.



THE OPIUM EATER. (1833.)

     Heavens! what a revulsion! what an upheaving from its lowest depths
     of the inner spirit! what an apocalypse of the world within me!
     Here was a panacea, a pharmakon nepenthes for all human woes; here
     was the secret of happiness about which philosophers had disputed
     for so many ages: happiness might be bought for a penny, and
     carried in the waistcoat pocket.--DEQUINCEY's "Confessions of an
     Opium Eater."


HE was a tall, thin personage, with a marked brow and a sunken eye.

He stepped towards a closet of his apartment, and poured out a few drops
of a dark liquid.  His hand shook, as he raised the glass which
contained them to his lips; and with a strange shuddering, a nervous
tremor, as if all the delicate chords of his system were unloosed and
trembling, he turned away from his fearful draught.

He saw that my eye was upon him; and I could perceive that his mind
struggled desperately with the infirmity of his nature, as if ashamed of
the utter weakness of its tabernacle.  He passed hastily up and down the
room.  "You seem somewhat ill," I said, in the undecided tone of partial
interrogatory.

He paused, and passed his long thin fingers over his forehead.  "I am
indeed ill," he said, slowly, and with that quavering, deep-drawn
breathing, which is so indicative of anguish, mental and physical.
"I am weak as a child, weak alike in mind and body, even when I am under
the immediate influence of yonder drug."  And he pointed, as he spoke,
to a phial, labelled "Laudanum," upon a table in the corner of the room.

"My dear sir," said I, "for God's sake abandon your desperate practice:
I know not, indeed, the nature of your afflictions, but I feel assured
that you have yet the power to be happy.  You have, at least, warm
friends to sympathize with you.  But forego, if possible, your
pernicious stimulant of laudanum.  It is hurrying you to your grave."

"It may be so," he replied, while another shudder ran along his nerves;
"but why should I fear it?  I, who have become worthless to myself and
annoying to my friends; exquisitely sensible of my true condition, yet
wanting the power to change it; cursed with a lively apprehension of all
that I ought now to be, yet totally incapable of even making an effort
to be so!  My dear sir, I feel deeply the kindness of your motives, but
it is too late for me to hope to profit by your advice."

I was shocked at his answer.  "But can it be possible," said I, "that
the influence of such an excessive use of opium can produce any
alleviation of mental suffering? any real relief to the harassed mind?
Is it not rather an aggravation?"

"I know not," he said, seating himself with considerable calmness,--"I
know not.  If it has not removed the evil, it has at least changed its
character.  It has diverted my mind from its original grief; and has
broken up and rendered divergent the concentrated agony which oppressed
me.  It has, in a measure, substituted imaginary afflictions for real
ones.  I cannot but confess, however, that the relief which it has
afforded has been produced by the counteraction of one pain by another;
very much like that of the Russian criminal, who gnaws his own flesh
while undergoing the punishment of the knout.'"

"For Heaven's sake," said I, "try to dispossess your mind of such horrid
images.  There are many, very many resources yet left you.  Try the
effect of society; and let it call into exercise those fine talents
which all admit are so well calculated to be its ornament and pride.
At least, leave this hypochondriacal atmosphere, and look out more
frequently upon nature.  Your opium, if it be an alleviator, is, by your
own confession, a most melancholy one.  It exorcises one demon to give
place to a dozen others.

              'With other ministrations, thou, O Nature!
               Healest thy wandering and distempered child.'"

He smiled bitterly; it was a heartless, melancholy relaxation of
features, a mere muscular movement, with which the eye had no sympathy;
for its wild and dreamy expression, the preternatural lustre, without
transparency, remained unaltered, as if rebuking, with its cold, strange
glare, the mockery around it.  He sat before me like a statue, whose eye
alone retained its stony and stolid rigidity, while the other features
were moved by some secret machinery into "a ghastly smile."

"I am not desirous, even were it practicable," he said, "to defend the
use of opium, or rather the abuse of it.  I can only say, that the
substitutes you propose are not suited to my condition.  The world has
now no enticements for me; society no charms.  Love, fame, wealth,
honor, may engross the attention of the multitude; to me they are all
shadows; and why should I grasp at them?  In the solitude of my own
thoughts, looking on but not mingling in them, I have taken the full
gauge of their hollow vanities.  No, leave me to myself, or rather to
that new existence which I have entered upon, to the strange world to
which my daily opiate invites me.  In society I am alone, fearfully
solitary; for my mind broods gloomily over its besetting sorrow, and I
make myself doubly miserable by contrasting my own darkness with the
light and joy of all about me; nay, you cannot imagine what a very hard
thing it is, at such times, to overcome some savage feelings of
misanthropy which will present themselves.  But when I am alone, and
under the influence of opium, I lose for a season my chief source of
misery, myself; my mind takes a new and unnatural channel; and I have
often thought that any one, even that of insanity, would be preferable
to its natural one.  It is drawn, as it were, out of itself; and I
realize in my own experience the fable of Pythagoras, of two distinct
existences, enjoyed by the same intellectual being.

"My first use of opium was the consequence of an early and very bitter
disappointment.  I dislike to think of it, much more to speak of it.  I
recollect, on a former occasion, you expressed some curiosity concerning
it.  I then repelled that curiosity, for my mind was not in a situation
to gratify it.  But now, since I have been talking of myself, I think I
can go on with my story with a very decent composure.  In complying with
your request, I cannot say that my own experience warrants, in any
degree, the old and commonly received idea that sorrow loses half its
poignancy by its revelation to others.  It was a humorous opinion of
Sterne, that a blessing which ties up the tongue, and a mishap which
unlooses it, are to be considered equal; and, indeed, I have known some
people happy under all the changes of fortune, when they could find
patient auditors.  Tully wept over his dead daughter, but when he
chanced to think of the excellent things he could say on the subject,
he considered it, on the whole, a happy circumstance.  But, for my own
part, I cannot say with the Mariner in Coleridge's ballad, that

            "'At an uncertain hour My agony returns;

               And, till my ghastly tale is told,
               This heart within me burns.'"

He paused a moment, and rested his head upon his hand.  "You have seen
Mrs. H------, of -------?" he inquired, somewhat abruptly.  I replied in
the affirmative.

"Do you not think her a fine woman?"

"Yes, certainly, a fine woman.  She was once, I am told, very
beautiful."

"Once? is she not so now?" he asked.  "Well, I have heard the same
before.  I sometimes think I should like to see her now, now that the
mildew of years and perhaps of accusing recollections are upon her; and
see her toss her gray curls as she used to do her dark ones, and act
over again her old stratagem of smiles upon a face of wrinkles.  Just
Heavens! were I revengeful to the full extent of my wrongs, I could wish
her no worse punishment.

"They told you truly, my dear sir,--she was beautiful, nay, externally,
faultless.  Her figure was that of womanhood, just touching upon the
meridian of perfection, from which nothing could be taken, and to which
nothing could be added.  There was a very witchery in her smile,
trembling, as it did, over her fine Grecian features, like the play of
moonlight upon a shifting and beautiful cloud.

"Her voice was music, low, sweet, bewildering.  I have heard it a
thousand times in my dreams.  It floated around me, like the tones of
some rare instrument, unseen by the hearer; for, beautiful as she was,
you could not think of her, or of her loveliness, while she was
speaking; it was that sweetly wonderful voice, seemingly abstracted from
herself, pouring forth the soft current of its exquisite cadence, which
alone absorbed the attention.  Like that one of Coleridge's heroines,
you could half feel, half fancy, that it had a separate being of its
own, a spiritual presence manifested to but one of the senses; a living
something, whose mode of existence was for the ear alone.--(See Memoirs
of Maria Eleonora Schoning.)

"But what shall I say of the mind?  What of the spirit, the resident
divinity of so fair a temple?  Vanity, vanity, all was vanity;
a miserable, personal vanity, too, unrelieved by one noble aspiration,
one generous feeling; the whited sepulchre spoken of of old, beautiful
without, but dark and unseemly within.

"I look back with wonder and astonishment to that period of my life,
when such a being claimed and received the entire devotion of my heart.
Her idea blended with or predominated over all others.  It was the
common centre in my mind from which all the radii of thought had their
direction; the nucleus around which I had gathered all that my ardent
imagination could conceive, or a memory stored with all the delicious
dreams of poetry and romances could embody, of female excellence and
purity and constancy.

"It is idle to talk of the superior attractions of intellectual beauty,
when compared with mere external loveliness.  The mind, invisible and
complicated and indefinite, does not address itself directly to the
senses.  It is comprehended only by its similitude in others.  It
reveals itself, even then, but slowly and imperfectly.  But the beauty
of form and color, the grace of motion, the harmony of tone, are seen
and felt and appreciated at once.  The image of substantial and material
loveliness once seen leaves an impression as distinct and perfect upon
the retina of memory as upon that of the eyes.  It does not rise before
us in detached and disconnected proportions, like that of spiritual
loveliness, but in crowds, and in solitude, and in all the throngful
varieties of thought and feeling and action, the symmetrical whole, the
beautiful perfection comes up in the vision of memory, and stands, like
a bright angel, between us and all other impressions of outward or
immaterial beauty.

"I saw her, and could not forget her; I sought her society, and was
gratified with it.  It is true, I sometimes (in the first stages of my
attachment) had my misgivings in relation to her character.  I sometimes
feared that her ideas were too much limited to the perishing beauty of
her person.  But to look upon her graceful figure yielding to the dance,
or reclining in its indolent symmetry; to watch the beautiful play of
coloring upon her cheek, and the moonlight transit of her smile; to
study her faultless features in their delicate and even thoughtful
repose, or when lighted up into conversational vivacity, was to forget
everything, save the exceeding and bewildering fascination before me.
Like the silver veil of Khorassan it shut out from my view the mental
deformity beneath it.  I could not reason with myself about her; I had
no power of ratiocination which could overcome the blinding dazzle of
her beauty.  The master-passion, which had wrestled down all others,
gave to every sentiment of the mind something of its own peculiar
character.

"I will not trouble you with a connected history of my first love, my
boyish love, you may perhaps call it.  Suffice it to say, that on the
revelation of that love, it was answered by its object warmly and
sympathizingly.  I had hardly dared to hope for her favor; for I had
magnified her into something far beyond mortal desert; and to hear from
her own lips an avowal of affection seemed more like the condescension
of a pitying angel than the sympathy of a creature of passion and
frailty like myself.  I was miserably self-deceived; and self-deception
is of a nature most repugnant to the healthy operation of truth.  We
suspect others, but seldom ourselves.  The deception becomes a part of
our self-love; we hold back the error even when Reason would pluck it
away from us.

"Our whole life may be considered as made up of earnest yearnings after
objects whose value increases with the difficulties of obtaining them,
and which seem greater and more desirable, from our imperfect knowledge
of their nature, just as the objects of the outward vision are magnified
and exalted when seen through a natural telescope of mist.  Imagination
fills up and supplies the picture, of which we can only catch the
outlines, with colors brighter, and forms more perfect, than those of
reality.  Yet, you may perhaps wonder why, after my earnest desire had
been gratified, after my love had found sympathy in its object, I did
not analyze more closely the inherent and actual qualities of her heart
and intellect.  But living, as I did, at a considerable distance from
her, and seeing her only under circumstances calculated to confirm
previous impressions, I had few advantages, even had I desired to do so,
of studying her true character.  The world had not yet taught me its
ungenerous lesson.  I had not yet learned to apply the rack of
philosophical analysis to the objects around me, and test, by a cold
process of reasoning, deduced from jealous observation, the reality of
all which wore the outward semblance of innocence and beauty.  And it
may be, too, that the belief, nay, the assurance, from her own lips, and
from the thousand voiceless but eloquent signs which marked our
interviews, that I was beloved, made me anxious to deceive even myself,
by investing her with those gifts of the intellect and the heart,
without which her very love would have degraded its object.  It is not
in human nature, at least it was not in mine, to embitter the delicious
aliment which is offered to our vanity, by admitting any uncomfortable
doubts of the source from which it is derived.

"And thus it was that I came on, careless and secure, dreaming over and
over the same bright dream; without any doubt, without fear, and in the
perfect confidence of an unlimited trust, until the mask fell off, all
at once; without giving me time for preparation, without warning or
interlude; and the features of cold, heartless, systematic treachery
glared full upon me.

"I saw her wedded to another.  It was a beautiful morning; and never had
the sun shone down on a gayer assemblage than that which gathered
together at the village church.  I witnessed the imposing ceremony which
united the only one being I had ever truly loved to a happy and favored,
because more wealthy, rival.  As the grayhaired man pronounced the
inquiring challenge, 'If any man can show just cause why they may not
lawfully be joined together, let him now speak or else forever after
hold his peace,' I struggled forward, and would have cried out, but the
words died away in my throat.  And the ceremony went on, and the death-
like trance into which I had fallen was broken by the voice of the
priest: 'I require and charge ye both, as ye will answer at the dreadful
day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that
if either of you know of any impediment why ye may not lawfully be
joined together in matrimony, ye do now confess it; for be ye well
assured, that if any persons are joined together otherwise than as God's
word doth allow, their marriage is not lawful.'  As the solemn tones of
the old man died away in the church aisles, I almost expected to hear a
supernatural voice calling upon him to forbear.  But there was no sound.
For an instant my eyes met those of the bride; the blood boiled rapidly
to her forehead, and then sank back, and she was as pale as if death had
been in the glance I had given her.  And I could see the folds of her
rich dress tremble, and her beautiful lips quiver; and she turned away
her eyes, and the solemn rites were concluded.

"I returned to my lodgings.  I heeded not the gay smiles and free
merriment of those around me.  I hurried along like one who wanders
abroad in a dark dream; for I could hardly think of the events of the
morning as things of reality.  But, when I spurred my horse aside, as
the carriage which contained the newly married swept by me, the terrible
truth came upon me like a tangible substance, and one black and evil
thought passed over my mind, like the whispered suggestion of Satan.  It
was a feeling of blood, a sensation like that of grasping the strangling
throat of an enemy.  I started from it with horror.  For the first time
a thought of murder had risen up in my bosom; and I quenched it with the
natural abhorrence of a nature prone to mildness and peace.

"I reached my chamber, and, exhausted alike in mind and body, I threw
myself upon my bed, but not to sleep.  A sense of my utter desolation
and loneliness came over me, blended with a feeling of bitter and
unmerited wrong.  I recollected the many manifestations of affection
which I had received from her who had that day given herself, in the
presence of Heaven, to another; and I called to mind the thousand
sacrifices I had made to her lightest caprices, to every shade and
variation of her temper; and then came the maddening consciousness of
the black ingratitude which had requited such tenderness.  Then, too,
came the thought, bitter to a pride like mine, that the cold world had a
knowledge of my misfortunes; that I should be pointed out as a
disappointed man, a subject for the pity of some, and the scorn and
jestings of others.  Rage and shame mingled with the keen agony of
outraged feeling.  'I will not endure it,' I said, mentally, springing
from my bed and crossing the chamber with a flushed brow and a strong
step; 'never!'  And I ground my teeth upon each other, while a fierce
light seemed to break in upon my brain; it was the light of the
Tempter's smile, and I almost laughed aloud as the horrible thought of
suicide started before me.  I felt that I might escape the ordeal of
public scorn and pity; that I might bid the world and its falsehood
defiance, and end, by one manly effort, the agony of an existence whose
every breath was torment.

"My resolution was fixed.  'I will never see another morrow!' I said,
sternly, but with a calmness which almost astonished me.  Indeed, I
seemed gifted with a supernatural firmness, as I made my arrangements
for the last day of suffering which I was to endure.  A few friends had
been invited to dine with me, and I prepared to meet them.  They came at
the hour appointed with smiling faces and warm and friendly greetings;
and I received them as if nothing had happened, with even a more
enthusiastic welcome than was my wont.

"Oh! it is terrible to smile when the heart is breaking! to talk
lightly and freely and mirthfully, when every feeling of the mind is
wrung with unutterable agony; to mingle in the laugh and in the gay
volleys of convivial fellowship,

              'With the difficult utterance of one
               Whose heart is with an iron nerve put down.'

"Yet all this I endured, hour after hour, until my friends departed and I
had pressed their hands as at a common parting, while my heart whispered
an everlasting farewell!

"It was late when they left me.  I walked out to look for the last time
upon Nature in her exceeding beauty.  I hardly acknowledged to myself
that such was my purpose; but yet I did feel that it was so; and that I
was taking an everlasting farewell of the beautiful things around me.
The sun was just setting; and the hills, that rose like pillars of the
blue horizon, were glowing with a light which was fast deserting the
valleys.  It was an evening of summer; everything was still; not a leaf
stirred in the dark, overshadowing foliage; but, silent and beautiful as
a picture, the wide scenery of rock and hill and woodland, stretched
away before me; and, beautiful as it was, it seemed to possess a newness
and depth of beauty beyond its ordinary appearance, as if to aggravate
the pangs of the last, long farewell.

"They do not err who believe that man has a sympathy with even inanimate
Nature, deduced from a common origin; a chain of co-existence and
affinity connecting the outward forms of natural objects with his own
fearful and wonderful machinery; something, in short, manifested in his
love of flowing waters, and soft green shadows, and pleasant blowing
flowers, and in his admiration of the mountain, stretching away into
heaven, sublimed and awful in its cloudy distance; the heave and swell
of the infinite ocean; the thunder of the leaping cataract; and the
onward rush of mighty rivers, which tells of its original source, and
bears evidence of its kindred affinities.  Nor was the dream of the
ancient Chaldean 'all a dream.'  The stars of heaven, the beauty and the
glory above us, have their influences and their power, not evil and
malignant and partial and irrevocable, but holy and tranquillizing and
benignant, a moral influence, by which all may profit if they will do
so.  And I have often marvelled at the hard depravity of that human
heart which could sanction a deed of violence and crime in the calm
solitudes of Nature, and surrounded by the enduring evidences of an
overruling Intelligence.  I could conceive of crime, growing up rank and
monstrous in the unwholesome atmosphere of the thronged city, amidst the
taint of moral as well as physical pestilence, and surrounded only by
man and the works of man.  But there is something in the harmony and
quiet of the natural world which presents a reproving antagonism to the
fiercer passions of the human heart; an eye of solemn reprehension looks
out from the still places of Nature, as if the Great Soul of the
Universe had chosen the mute creations of his power to be the witnesses
of the deeds done in the body, the researchers of the bosoms of men.

"And then, even at that awful moment, I could feel the bland and gentle
ministrations of Nature; I could feel the fever of my heart cooling, and
a softer haze of melancholy stealing over the blackness of my despair;
and the fierce passions which had distracted me giving place to the calm
of a settled anguish, a profound sorrow, the quiet gloom of an
overshadowing woe, in which love and hatred and wrong were swallowed up
and lost.  I no longer hated the world; but I felt that it had nothing
for me; that I was no longer a part and portion of its harmonious
elements; affliction had shut me out forever from the pale of human
happiness and sympathy, and hope pointed only to the resting-place of
the grave!

"I stood steadily gazing at the setting sun.  It touched and sat upon
the hill-top like a great circle of fire.  I had never before fully
comprehended the feeling of the amiable but misguided Rousseau, who at
his death-hour desired to be brought into the open air, that the last
glance of his failing eye might drink in the glory of the sunset
heavens, and the light of his great intellect and that of Nature go out
together.  For surely never did the Mexican idolater mark with deeper
emotion the God of his worship, for the last time veiling his awful
countenance, than did I, untainted by superstition, yet full of perfect
love for the works of Infinite Wisdom, watch over the departure of the
most glorious of them all.  I felt, even to agony, the truth of these
exquisite lines of the Milesian poet:

                   'Blest power of sunshine, genial day!
                    What joy, what life is in thy ray!
                    To feel thee is such real bliss,
                    That, had the world no joy but this,
                    To sit in sunshine, calm and sweet,
                    It were a world too exquisite
                    For man to leave it for the gloom,
                    The dull, cold shadow of the tomb!'

"Never shall I forget my sensations when the sun went down utterly from
my sight.  It was like receiving the last look of a dying friend.  To
others he might bring life and health and joy, on the morrow; but tome
he would never rise.  As this thought came over me, I felt a stifling
sensation in my throat, tears started in my eyes, and my heart almost
wavered from its purpose.  But the bent bow had only relaxed for a
single instant; it returned again to its strong and abiding tension.

"I was alone in my chamber once more.  A single lamp burned gloomily
before me; and on the table at my side stood a glass of laudanum.  I had
prepared everything.  I had written my last letter, and had now only to
drink the fatal draught, and lie down to my last sleep.  I heard the old
village clock strike eleven.  'I may as well do it now as ever,' I said
mentally, and my hand moved towards the glass.  But my courage failed
me; my hand shook, and some moments elapsed before I could sufficiently
quiet my nerves to lift the glass containing the fatal liquid.  The
blood ran cold upon my heart, and my brain reeled, as again and again
I lifted the poison to my closed lips.  'It must be done,' thought I,
'I must drink it.'  With a desperate effort I unlocked my clenched teeth
and the deed was done!

"'O God, have mercy upon me!' I murmured, as the empty glass fell from
my hand.  I threw myself upon the bed, and awaited the awful
termination.  An age of unutterable misery seemed crowded into a brief
moment.  All the events of my past life, a life, as it then seemed to
me, made up of folly and crime, rose distinct before me, like accusing
witnesses, as if the recording angel had unrolled to my view the full
and black catalogue of my unnumbered sins:--

              'O'er the soul Winters of memory seemed to roll,
               And gather, in that drop of time,
               A life of pain, an age of crime.'

"I felt that what I had done was beyond recall; and the Phantom of Death,
as it drew nearer, wore an aspect darker and more terrible.  I thought
of the coffin, the shroud, and the still and narrow grave, into whose
dumb and frozen solitude none but the gnawing worm intrudes.  And then
my thoughts wandered away into the vagueness and mystery of eternity, I
was rushing uncalled for into the presence of a just and pure God, with
a spirit unrepenting, unannealed!  And I tried to pray and could not;
for a heaviness, a dull strange torpor crept over me.  Consciousness
went out slowly.  'This is death,' thought I; yet I felt no pain,
nothing save a weary drowsiness, against which I struggled in vain.

"My next sensations were those of calmness, deep, ineffable, an
unearthly quiet; a suspension or rather oblivion of every mental
affliction; a condition of the mind betwixt the thoughts of wakefulness
and the dreams of sleep.  It seemed to me that the gulf between mind and
matter had been passed over, and that I had entered upon a new
existence.  I had no memory, no hope, no sorrow; nothing but a dim
consciousness of a pleasurable and tranquil being.  Gradually, however,
the delusion vanished.  I was sensible of still wearing the fetters of
the flesh, yet they galled no longer; the burden was lifted from my
heart, it beat happily and calmly, as in childhood.  As the stronger
influences of my opiate (for I had really swallowed nothing more, as the
druggist, suspecting from the incoherence of my language, that I was
meditating some fearful purpose, furnished me with a harmless, though
not ineffective draught) passed off, the events of the past came back to
me.  It was like the slow lifting of a curtain from a picture of which I
was a mere spectator, about which I could reason calmly, and trace
dispassionately its light and shadow.  Having satisfied myself that I
had been deceived in the quantity of opium I had taken, I became also
convinced that I had at last discovered the great antidote for which
philosophy had exhausted its resources, the fabled Lethe, the oblivion
of human sorrow.  The strong necessity of suicide had passed away; life,
even for me, might be rendered tolerable by the sovereign panacea of
opium, the only true minister to a mind diseased, the sought 'kalon'
found.

"From that day I have been habitually an opium eater.  I am perfectly
sensible that the constant use of the pernicious drug has impaired my
health; but I cannot relinquish it.  Some time since I formed a
resolution to abandon it, totally and at once; but had not strength
enough to carry it into practice.  The very attempt to do so nearly
drove me to madness.  The great load of mental agony which had been
lifted up and held aloof by the daily applied power of opium sank back
upon my heart like a crushing weight.  Then, too, my physical sufferings
were extreme; an indescribable irritation, a general uneasiness
tormented me incessantly.  I can only think of it as a total
disarrangement of the whole nervous system, the jarring of all the
thousand chords of sensitiveness, each nerve having its own particular
pain.--( Essay on the Effects of Opium, London, 1763.)

"De Quincey, in his wild, metaphysical, and eloquent, yet, in many
respects, fancy sketch, considers the great evil resulting from the use
of opium to be the effect produced upon the mind during the hours of
sleep, the fearful inquietude of unnatural dreams.  My own dreams have
been certainly of a different order from those which haunted me previous
to my experience in opium eating.  But I cannot easily believe that
opium necessarily introduces a greater change in the mind's sleeping
operations, than in those of its wakefulness.

"At one period, indeed, while suffering under a general, nervous
debility, from which I am even now but partially relieved, my troubled
and broken sleep was overshadowed by what I can only express as
'a horror of thick darkness.'  There was nothing distinct or certain in
my visions, all was clouded, vague, hideous; sounds faint and awful, yet
unknown; the sweep of heavy wings, the hollow sound of innumerable
footsteps, the glimpse of countless apparitions, and darkness falling
like a great cloud from heaven.

"I can scarcely give you an adequate idea of my situation in these
dreams, without comparing it with that of the ancient Egyptians while
suffering under the plague of darkness.  I never read the awful
description of this curse, without associating many of its horrors with
those of my own experience.

"'But they, sleeping the same sleep that night, which was indeed
intolerable, and which came upon them out of the bottoms of inevitable
hell,

"'Were partly vexed with monstrous apparitions, and partly fainted; for
a sudden fear and not looked for, came upon them.'

"'For neither might the corner which held them keep them from fear; but
noises, as of waters falling down, sounded about them, and sad visions
appeared unto them, with heavy countenances.

"'Whether it were a whistling wind, or a melodious voice of birds among
the spreading branches, or a pleasing fall of water running violently;

"'Or, a terrible sound of stones cast down, or, a running that could not
be seen, of skipping beasts, or a roaring voice of most savage wild
beasts, or a rebounding echo from the hollow mountains: these things
made them to swoon for fear.'--(Wisdom of Solomon, chapter xvii.)

"That creative faculty of the eye, upon which Mr. De Quincey dwells so
strongly, I have myself experienced.  Indeed, it has been the principal
cause of suffering which has connected itself with my habit of opium
eating.  It developed itself at first in a recurrence of the childish
faculty of painting upon the darkness whatever suggested itself to the
mind; anon, those figures which had before been called up only at will
became the cause, instead of the effect, of the mind's employment; in
other words, they came before me in the night-time, like real images,
and independent of any previous volition of thought.  I have often,
after retiring to my bed, seen, looking through the thick wall of
darkness round about me, the faces of those whom I had not known for
years, nay, since childhood; faces, too, of the dead, called up, as it
were, from the church-yard and the wilderness and the deep waters, and
betraying nothing of the grave's terrible secrets.  And in the same way,
some of the more important personages I had read of, in history and
romance, glided often before me, like an assembly of apparitions, each
preserving, amidst the multitudinous combinations of my visions, his own
individuality and peculiar characteristics.--(Vide Emanuel Count
Swedenborg, Nicolai of Berlin's Account of Spectral Illusion, Edinburgh
Phrenological Journal.)

"These images were, as you may suppose, sufficiently annoying, yet they
came and went without exciting any emotions of terror.  But a change at
length came over them, an awful distinctness and a semblance of reality,
which, operating upon nerves weakened and diseased, shook the very
depths of my spirit with a superstitious awe, and against which reason
and philosophy, for a time, struggled in vain.

"My mind had for some days been dwelling with considerable solicitude
upon an intimate friend, residing in a distant city.  I had heard that
he was extremely ill, indeed, that his life was despaired of; and I may
mention that at this period all my mind's operations were dilatory;
there were no sudden emotions; passion seemed exhausted; and when once
any new train of thought had been suggested, it gradually incorporated
itself with those which had preceded it, until it finally became sole
and predominant, just as certain plants of the tropical islands wind
about and blend with and finally take the place of those of another
species.  And perhaps to this peculiarity of the mental economy, the
gradual concentring of the mind in a channel, narrowing to that point of
condensation where thought becomes sensible to sight as well as feeling,
may be mainly attributed the vision I am about to describe.

"I was lying in my bed, listless and inert; it was broad day, for the
easterly light fell in strongly through the parted curtains.  I felt,
all at once, a strong curiosity, blended with an unaccountable dread, to
look upon a small table which stood near the bedside.  I felt certain of
seeing something fearful, and yet I knew not what; there was an awe and
a fascination upon me, more dreadful from their very vagueness.  I lay
for some time hesitating and actually trembling, until the agony of
suspense became too strong for endurance.  I opened my eyes and fixed
them upon the dreaded object.  Upon the table lay what seemed to me a
corpse, wrapped about in the wintry habiliments of the grave, the corpse
of my friend.

     (William Hone, celebrated for his antiquarian researches, has given
     a distinct and highly interesting account of spectral illusion, in
     his own experience, in his Every Day Book.  The artist Cellini has
     made a similar statement.)

"For a moment, the circumstances of time and place were forgotten; and
the spectre seemed to me a natural reality, at which I might sorrow, but
not wonder.  The utter fallacy of this idea was speedily detected; and
then I endeavored to consider the present vision, like those which had
preceded it, a mere delusion, a part of the phenomena of opium eating.
I accordingly closed my eyes for an instant, and then looked again in
full expectation that the frightful object would no longer be visible.
It was still there; the body lay upon its side; the countenance turned
full towards me,--calm, quiet, even beautiful, but certainly that of
death:

              'Ere yet Decay's effacing fingers
               Had swept the lines where Beauty lingers'

and the white brow, and its light shadowy hair, and the cold, still
familiar features lay evident and manifest to the influx of the
strengthening twilight.  A cold agony crept over me; I buried my head in
the bed-clothes, in a child-like fear, and when I again ventured to look
up, the spectre had vanished.  The event made a strong impression on my
mind; and I can scarcely express the feeling of relief which was
afforded, a few days after, by a letter from the identical friend in
question, informing me of his recovery of health.

"It would be a weary task, and one which you would no doubt thank me for
declining, to detail the circumstances of a hundred similar visitations,
most of which were, in fact, but different combinations of the same
illusion.  One striking exception I will mention, as it relates to some
passages of my early history which you have already heard.

"I have never seen Mrs. H since her marriage.  Time, and the continued
action of opium, deadening the old sensibilities of the heart and
awakening new ones, have effected a wonderful change in my feelings
towards her.  Little as the confession may argue in favor of my early
passion, I seldom think of her, save with a feeling very closely allied
to indifference.  Yet I have often seen her in my spectral illusions,
young and beautiful as ever, but always under circumstances which formed
a wide contrast between her spectral appearance and all my recollections
of the real person.  The spectral face, which I often saw looking in
upon me, in my study, when the door was ajar, and visible only in the
uncertain lamplight, or peering over me in the moonlight solitude of my
bed-chamber, when I was just waking from sleep, was uniformly subject
to, and expressive of, some terrible hate, or yet more terrible anguish.
Its first appearance was startling in the extreme.  It was the face of
one of the fabled furies: the demon glared in the eye, the nostril was
dilated, the pale lip compressed, and the brow bent and darkened; yet
above all, and mingled with all, the supremacy of human beauty was
manifest, as if the dream of Eastern superstition had been realized, and
a fierce and foul spirit had sought out and animated into a fiendish
existence some beautiful sleeper of the grave.  The other expression of
the countenance of the apparition, that of agony, I accounted for on
rational principles.  Some years ago I saw, and was deeply affected by,
a series of paintings representing the tortures of a Jew in the Holy
Inquisition; and the expression of pain in the countenance of the victim
I at once recognized in that of the apparition, rendered yet more
distressing by the feminine and beautiful features upon which it rested.

"I am not naturally superstitious; but, shaken and clouded as my mind
had been by the use of opium, I could not wholly divest it of fear when
these phantoms beset me.  Yet, on all other occasions, save that of
their immediate presence, I found no difficulty in assigning their
existence to a diseased state of the bodily organs, and a corresponding
sympathy of the mind, rendering it capable of receiving and reflecting
the false, fantastic, and unnatural images presented to it.

     (One of our most celebrated medical writers considers spectral
     illusion a disease, in which false perceptions take place in some
     of the senses; thus, when the excitement of motion is produced in a
     particular organ, that organ does not vibrate with the impression
     made upon it, but communicates it to another part on which a
     similar impression was formerly made.  Nicolai states that he made
     his illusion a source of philosophical amusement.  The spectres
     which haunted him came in the day time as well as the night, and
     frequently when he was surrounded by his friends; the ideal images
     mingling with the real ones, and visible only to himself.  Bernard
     Barton, the celebrated Quaker poet, describes an illusion of this
     nature in a manner peculiarly striking:--

               "I only knew thee as thou wert,
               A being not of earth!
               "I marvelled much they could not see
               Thou comest from above
               And often to myself I said,
               'How can they thus approach the dead?'

               "But though all these, with fondness warm,
               Said welcome o'er and o'er,
               Still that expressive shade or form
               Was silent, as before!
               And yet its stillness never brought
               To them one hesitating thought."

"I recollected that the mode of exorcism which was successfully adopted
by Nicolai of Berlin, when haunted by similar fantasies, was a resort to
the simple process of blood-letting.  I accordingly made trial of it,
but without the desired effect.  Fearful, from the representations of my
physicians, and from some of my own sensations, that the almost daily
recurrence of my visions might ultimately lead to insanity, I came to
the resolution of reducing my daily allowance of opium; and, confining
myself, with the most rigid pertinacity, to a quantity not exceeding one
third of what I had formerly taken, I became speedily sensible of a most
essential change in my condition.  A state of comparative health, mental
and physical with calmer sleep and a more natural exercise of the organs
of vision, succeeded.  I have made many attempts at a further reduction,
but have been uniformly unsuccessful, owing to the extreme and almost
unendurable agony occasioned thereby.

"The peculiar creative faculty of the eye, the fearful gift of a
diseased vision, still remains, but materially weakened and divested of
its former terrors.  My mind has recovered in some degree its shaken and
suspended faculties.  But happiness, the buoyant and elastic happiness
of earlier days, has departed forever.  Although, apparently, a
practical disciple of Behmen, I am no believer in his visionary creed.
Quiet is not happiness; nor can the absence of all strong and painful
emotion compensate for the weary heaviness of inert existence,
passionless, dreamless, changeless.  The mind requires the excitement of
active and changeful thought; the intellectual fountain, like the pool
of Bethesda, has a more healthful influence when its deep waters are
troubled.  There may, indeed, be happiness in those occasional 'sabbaths
of the soul,' when calmness, like a canopy, overshadows it, and the
mind, for a brief season, eddies quietly round and round, instead of
sweeping onward; but none can exist in the long and weary stagnation of
feeling, the silent, the monotonous, neverending calm, broken by neither
hope nor fear."



THE PROSELYTES. (1833)

THE student sat at his books.  All the day he had been poring over an
old and time-worn volume; and the evening found him still absorbed in
its contents.  It was one of that interminable series of controversial
volumes, containing the theological speculations of the ancient fathers
of the Church.  With the patient perseverance so characteristic of his
countrymen, he was endeavoring to detect truth amidst the numberless
inconsistencies of heated controversy; to reconcile jarring
propositions; to search out the thread of scholastic argument amidst
the rant of prejudice and the sallies of passion, and the coarse
vituperations of a spirit of personal bitterness, but little in
accordance with the awful gravity of the question at issue.

Wearied and baffled in his researches, he at length closed the volume,
and rested his care-worn forehead upon his hand.  "What avail," he said,
"these long and painful endeavors, these midnight vigils, these weary
studies, before which heart and flesh are failing?  What have I gained?
I have pushed my researches wide and far; my life has been one long and
weary lesson; I have shut out from me the busy and beautiful world; I
have chastened every youthful impulse; and at an age when the heart
should be lightest and the pulse the freest, I am grave and silent and
sorrowful,' and the frost of a premature age is gathering around my
heart.  Amidst these ponderous tomes, surrounded by the venerable
receptacles of old wisdom, breathing, instead of the free air of heaven,
the sepulchral dust of antiquity, I have become assimilated to the
objects around me; my very nature has undergone a metamorphosis of which
Pythagoras never dreamed.  I am no longer a reasoning creature, looking
at everything within the circle of human investigation with a clear and
self-sustained vision, but the cheated follower of metaphysical
absurdities, a mere echo of scholastic subtilty.  God knows that my aim
has been a lofty and pure one, that I have buried myself in this living
tomb, and counted the health of this His feeble and outward image as
nothing in comparison with that of the immortal and inward
representation and shadow of His own Infinite Mind; that I have toiled
through what the world calls wisdom, the lore of the old fathers and
time-honored philosophy, not for the dream of power and gratified
ambition, not for the alchemist's gold or life-giving elixir, but with
an eye single to that which I conceived to be the most fitting object of
a godlike spirit, the discovery of Truth,--truth perfect and unclouded,
truth in its severe and perfect beauty, truth as it sits in awe and
holiness in the presence of its Original and Source!

"Was my aim too lofty?  It cannot be; for my Creator has given me a
spirit which would spurn a meaner one.  I have studied to act in
accordance with His will; yet have I felt all along like one walking in
blindness.  I have listened to the living champions of the Church; I
have pored over the remains of the dead; but doubt and heavy darkness
still rest upon my pathway.  I find contradiction where I had looked for
harmony; ambiguity where I had expected clearness; zeal taking the place
of reason; anger, intolerance, personal feuds and sectarian bitterness,
interminable discussions and weary controversies; while infinite Truth,
for which I have been seeking, lies still beyond, or seen, if at all,
only by transient and unsatisfying glimpses, obscured and darkened by
miserable subtilties and cabalistic mysteries."

He was interrupted by the entrance of a servant with a letter.  The
student broke its well-known seal, and read, in a delicate chirography,
the following words:--

"DEAR ERNEST,--A stranger from the English Kingdom, of gentle birth and
education, hath visited me at the request of the good Princess Elizabeth
of the Palatine.  He is a preacher of the new faith, a zealous and
earnest believer in the gifts of the Spirit, but not like John de
Labadie or the lady Schurmans.

     (J. de Labadie, Anna Maria Schurmans, and others, dissenters from
     the French Protestants, established themselves in Holland, 1670.)

"He speaks like one sent on a message from heaven, a message of wisdom
and salvation.  Come, Ernest, and see him; for he hath but a brief hour
to tarry with us.  Who knoweth but that this stranger may be
commissioned to lead us to that which we have so long and anxiously
sought for,--the truth as it is in God.
                                            "LEONORA."

"Now may Heaven bless the sweet enthusiast for this interruption of my
bitter reflections!" said the student, in the earnest tenderness of
impassioned feeling.  "She knows how gladly I shall obey her summons;
she knows how readily I shall forsake the dogmas of our wisest
schoolmen, to obey the slightest wishes of a heart pure and generous as
hers."

He passed hastily through one of the principal streets of the city to
the dwelling of the lady, Eleonora.

In a large and gorgeous apartment sat the Englishman, his plain and
simple garb contrasting strongly with the richness and luxury around
him.  He was apparently quite young, and of a tall and commanding
figure.  His countenance was calm and benevolent; it bore no traces of
passion; care had not marked it; there was a holy serenity in its
expression, which seemed a token of that inward "peace which passeth all
understanding."

"And this is thy friend, Eleonora?" said the stranger, as he offered his
hand to Ernest.  "I hear," he said, addressing the latter, "thou hast
been a hard student and a lover of philosophy."

"I am but a humble inquirer after Truth," replied Ernest.

"From whence hast thou sought it?"

"From the sacred volume, from the lore of the old fathers, from the
fountains of philosophy, and from my own brief experience of human
life."

"And hast thou attained thy object?"

"Alas, no!" replied the student; "I have thus far toiled in vain."

"Ah! thus must the children of this world ever toil, wearily, wearily,
but in vain.  We grasp at shadows, we grapple with the fashionless air,
we walk in the blindness of our own vain imaginations, we compass heaven
and earth for our objects, and marvel that we find them not.  The truth
which is of God, the crown of wisdom, the pearl of exceeding price,
demands not this vain-glorious research; easily to be entreated, it
lieth within the reach of all.  The eye of the humblest spirit may
discern it.  For He who respecteth not the persons of His children hath
not set it afar off, unapproachable save to the proud and lofty; but
hath made its refreshing fountains to murmur, as it were, at the very
door of our hearts.  But in the encumbering hurry of the world we
perceive it not; in the noise of our daily vanities we hear not the
waters of Siloah which go softly.  We look widely abroad; we lose
ourselves in vain speculation; we wander in the crooked paths of those
who have gone before us; yea, in the language of one of the old fathers,
we ask the earth and it replieth not, we question the sea and its
inhabitants, we turn to the sun, and the moon, and the stars of heaven,
and they may not satisfy us; we ask our eyes, and they cannot see, and
our ears, and they cannot hear; we turn to books, and they delude us; we
seek philosophy, and no response cometh from its dead and silent
learning.

     (August.  Soliloq.  Cap.  XXXI.  "Interrogavi Terram," etc.)

"It is not in the sky above, nor in the air around, nor in the earth
beneath; it is in our own spirits, it lives within us; and if we would
find it, like the lost silver of the woman of the parable, we must look
at home, to the inward temple, which the inward eye discovereth, and
wherein the spirit of all truth is manifested.  The voice of that spirit
is still and small, and the light about it shineth in darkness.  But
truth is there; and if we seek it in low humility, in a patient waiting
upon its author, with a giving up of our natural pride of knowledge, a
seducing of self, a quiet from all outward endeavor, it will assuredly
be revealed and fully made known.  For as the angel rose of old from the
altar of Manoah even so shall truth arise from the humbling sacrifice of
self-knowledge and human vanity, in all its eternal and ineffable
beauty.

"Seekest thou, like Pilate, after truth?  Look thou within.  The holy
principle is there; that in whose light the pure hearts of all time have
rejoiced.  It is 'the great light of ages' of which Pythagoras speaks,
the 'good spirit' of Socrates; the 'divine mind' of Anaxagoras; the
'perfect principle' of Plato; the 'infallible and immortal law, and
divine power of reason' of Philo.  It is the 'unbegotten principle and
source of all light,' whereof Timmus testifieth; the 'interior guide of
the soul and everlasting foundation of virtue,' spoken of by Plutarch.
Yea, it was the hope and guide of those virtuous Gentiles, who, doing by
nature the things contained in the law, became a law unto themselves.

"Look to thyself.  Turn thine eye inward.  Heed not the opinion of the
world.  Lean not upon the broken reed of thy philosophy, thy verbal
orthodoxy, thy skill in tongues, thy knowledge of the Fathers.  Remember
that truth was seen by the humble fishermen of Galilee, and overlooked
by the High Priest of the Temple, by the Rabbi and the Pharisee.  Thou
canst not hope to reach it by the metaphysics of Fathers, Councils,
Schoolmen, and Universities.  It lies not in the high places of human
learning; it is in the silent sanctuary of thy own heart; for He, who
gave thee an immortal soul, hath filled it with a portion of that truth
which is the image of His own unapproachable light.  The voice of that
truth is within thee; heed thou its whisper.  A light is kindled in thy
soul, which, if thou carefully heedest it, shall shine more and more
even unto the perfect day."

The stranger paused, and the student melted into tears.  "Stranger!" he
said, "thou hast taken a weary weight from my heart, and a heavy veil
from my eyes.  I feel that thou hast revealed a wisdom which is not of
this world."

"Nay, I am but a humble instrument in the hand of Him who is the
fountain of all truth, and the beginning and the end of all wisdom.  May
the message which I have borne thee be sanctified to thy well-being."

"Oh, heed him, Ernest!" said the lady.  "It is the holy truth which has
been spoken.  Let us rejoice in this truth, and, forgetting the world,
live only for it."

"Oh, may He who watcheth over all His children keep thee in faith of thy
resolution!" said the Preacher, fervently.  "Humble yourselves to
receive instruction, and it shall be given you. Turn away now in your
youth from the corrupting pleasures of the world, heed not its hollow
vanities, and that peace which is not such as the world giveth, the
peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall be yours.  Yet, let
not yours be the world's righteousness, the world's peace, which shuts
itself up in solitude.  Encloister not the body, but rather shut up the
soul from sin.  Live in the world, but overcome it: lead a life of
purity in the face of its allurements: learn, from the holy principle of
truth within you, to do justly in the sight of its Author, to meet
reproach without anger, to live without offence, to love those that
offend you, to visit the widow and the fatherless, and keep yourselves
unspotted from the world."

"Eleonora!" said the humbled student, "truth is plain before us; can we
follow its teachings?  Alas! canst thou, the daughter of a noble house,
forget the glory of thy birth, and, in the beauty of thy years, tread in
that lowly path, which the wisdom of the world accounteth foolishness?"

"Yes, Ernest, rejoicingly can I do it!" said the lady; and the bright
glow of a lofty purpose gave a spiritual expression to her majestic
beauty.  "Glory to God in the highest, that He hath visited us in
mercy!"

"Lady!" said the Preacher, "the day-star of truth has arisen in thy
heart; follow thou its light even unto salvation.  Live an harmonious
life to the curious make and frame of thy creation; and let the beauty
of thy person teach thee to beautify thy mind with holiness, the
ornament of the beloved of God.  Remember that the King of Zion's
daughter is all-glorious within; and if thy soul excel, thy body will
only set off the lustre of thy mind.  Let not the spirit of this world,
its cares and its many vanities, its fashions and discourse, prevail
over the civility of thy nature.  Remember that sin brought the first
coat, and thou wilt have little reason to be proud of dress or the
adorning of thy body.  Seek rather the enduring ornament of a meek and
quiet spirit, the beauty and the purity of the altar of God's temple,
rather than the decoration of its outward walls.  For, as the Spartan
monarch said of old to his daughter, when he restrained her from wearing
the rich dresses of Sicily, 'Thou wilt seem more lovely to me without
them,' so shalt thou seem, in thy lowliness and humility, more lovely in
the sight of Heaven and in the eyes of the pure of earth.  Oh, preserve
in their freshness thy present feelings, wait in humble resignation and
in patience, even if it be all thy days, for the manifestations of Him
who as a father careth for all His children."

"I will endeavor, I will endeavor!"  said the lady, humbled in spirit,
and in tears.

The stranger took the hand of each.  "Farewell!" he said, "I must needs
depart, for I have much work before me.  God's peace be with you; and
that love be around you, which has been to me as the green pasture and
the still water, the shadow in a weary land."

And the stranger went his way; but the lady and her lover, in all their
after life, and amidst the trials and persecutions which they were
called to suffer in the cause of truth, remembered with joy and
gratitude the instructions of the pure-hearted and eloquent William
Penn.



DAVID MATSON.

             Published originally in Our Young Folks, 1865.

WHO of my young friends have read the sorrowful story of "Enoch Arden,"
so sweetly and simply told by the great English poet?  It is the story
of a man who went to sea, leaving behind a sweet young wife and little
daughter.  He was cast away on a desert island, where he remained
several years, when he was discovered and taken off by a passing vessel.
Coming back to his native town, he found his wife married to an old
playmate, a good man, rich and honored, and with whom she was living
happily.  The poor man, unwilling to cause her pain and perplexity,
resolved not to make himself known to her, and lived and died alone.
The poem has reminded me of a very similar story of my own New England
neighborhood, which I have often heard, and which I will try to tell,
not in poetry, like Alfred Tennyson's, but in my own poor prose.  I can
assure my readers that in its main particulars it is a true tale.

One bright summer morning, not more than fourscore years ago, David
Matson, with his young wife and his two healthy, barefooted boys, stood
on the bank of the river near their dwelling.  They were waiting for
Pelatiah Curtis to come round the point with his wherry, and take the
husband and father to the port, a few miles below.  The Lively Turtle
was about to sail on a voyage to Spain, and David was to go in her as
mate.  They stood there in the level morning sunshine talking
cheerfully; but had you been near enough, you could have seen tears in
Anna Matson's blue eyes, for she loved her husband and knew there was
always danger on the sea.  And David's bluff, cheery voice trembled a
little now and then, for the honest sailor loved his snug home on the
Merrimac, with the dear wife and her pretty boys.  But presently the
wherry came alongside, and David was just stepping into it, when he
turned back to kiss his wife and children once more.

"In with you, man," said Pelatiah Curtis.  "There is no time for kissing
and such fooleries when the tide serves."

And so they parted.  Anna and the boys went back to their home, and
David to the Port, whence he sailed off in the Lively Turtle.  And
months passed, autumn followed summer, and winter the autumn, and then
spring came, and anon it was summer on the river-side, and he did not
come back.  And another year passed, and then the old sailors and
fishermen shook their heads solemnly, and, said that the Lively Turtle
was a lost ship, and would never come back to port.  And poor Anna had
her bombazine gown dyed black, and her straw bonnet trimmed in mourning
ribbons, and thenceforth she was known only as the Widow Matson.

And how was it all this time with David himself?

Now you must know that the Mohammedan people of Algiers and Tripoli, and
Mogadore and Sallee, on the Barbary coast, had been for a long time in
the habit of fitting out galleys and armed boats to seize upon the
merchant vessels of Christian nations, and make slaves of their crews
and passengers, just as men calling themselves Christians in America
were sending vessels to Africa to catch black slaves for their
plantations.  The Lively Turtle fell into the hands of one of these sea-
robbers, and the crew were taken to Algiers, and sold in the market
place as slaves, poor David Matson among the rest.

When a boy he had learned the trade of ship-carpenter with his father on
the Merrimac; and now he was set to work in the dock-yards.  His master,
who was naturally a kind man, did not overwork him.  He had daily his
three loaves of bread, and when his clothing was worn out, its place was
supplied by the coarse cloth of wool and camel's hair woven by the
Berber women.  Three hours before sunset he was released from work, and
Friday, which is the Mohammedan Sabhath, was a day of entire rest.  Once
a year, at the season called Ramadan, he was left at leisure for a whole
week.  So time went on,--days, weeks, months, and years.  His dark hair
became gray.  He still dreamed of his old home on the Merrimac, and of
his good Anna and the boys.  He wondered whether they yet lived, what
they thought of him, and what they were doing.  The hope of ever seeing
them again grew fainter and fainter, and at last nearly died out; and he
resigned himself to his fate as a slave for life.

But one day a handsome middle-aged gentleman, in the dress of one of his
own countrymen, attended by a great officer of the Dey, entered the
ship-yard, and called up before him the American captives.  The stranger
was none other than Joel Barlow, Commissioner of the United States to
procure the liberation of slaves belonging to that government.  He took
the men by the hand as they came up, and told them that they were free.
As you might expect, the poor fellows were very grateful; some laughed,
some wept for joy, some shouted and sang, and threw up their caps, while
others, with David Matson among them, knelt down on the chips, and
thanked God for the great deliverance.

"This is a very affecting scene," said the commissioner, wiping his
eyes.  "I must keep the impression of it for my 'Columbiad';" and
drawing out his tablet, he proceeded to write on the spot an apostrophe
to Freedom, which afterwards found a place in his great epic.

David Matson had saved a little money during his captivity by odd jobs
and work on holidays.  He got a passage to Malaga, where he bought a
nice shawl for his wife and a watch for each of his boys.  He then went
to the quay, where an American ship was lying just ready to sail for
Boston.

Almost the first man he saw on board was Pelatiah Curtis, who had rowed
him down to the port seven years before.  He found that his old neighbor
did not know him, so changed was he with his long beard and Moorish
dress, whereupon, without telling his name, he began to put questions
about his old home, and finally asked him if he knew a Mrs. Matson.

"I rather think I do," said Pelatiah; "she's my wife."

"Your wife!" cried the other.  "She is mine before God and man.  I am
David Matson, and she is the mother of my children."

"And mine too!"  said Pelatiah.  "I left her with a baby in her arms.
If you are David Matson, your right to her is outlawed; at any rate she
is mine, and I am not the man to give her up."

"God is great!" said poor David Matson, unconsciously repeating the
familiar words of Moslem submission.  "His will be done.  I loved her,
but I shall never see her again.  Give these, with my blessing, to the
good woman and the boys," and he handed over, with a sigh, the little
bundle containing the gifts for his wife and children.

He shook hands with his rival.  "Pelatiah," he said, looking back as he
left the ship, "be kind to Anna and my boys."

"Ay, ay, sir!" responded the sailor in a careless tone.  He watched the
poor man passing slowly up the narrow street until out of sight.  "It's
a hard case for old David," he said, helping himself to a fresh quid of
tobacco, "but I 'm glad I 've seen the last of him."

When Pelatiah Curtis reached home he told Anna the story of her husband
and laid his gifts in her lap.  She did not shriek nor faint, for she
was a healthy woman with strong nerves; but she stole away by herself
and wept bitterly.  She lived many years after, but could never be
persuaded to wear the pretty shawl which the husband of her youth had
sent as his farewell gift.  There is, however, a tradition that, in
accordance with her dying wish, it was wrapped about her poor old
shoulders in the coffin, and buried with her.

The little old bull's-eye watch, which is still in the possession of one
of her grandchildren, is now all that remains to tell of David Matson,--
the lost man.



THE FISH I DID N'T CATCH.

    Published originally in The Little Pilgrim, Philadelphia, 1843.

OUR old homestead (the house was very old for a new country, having been
built about the time that the Prince of, Orange drove out James the
Second) nestled under a long range of hills which stretched off to the
west.  It was surrounded by woods in all directions save to the
southeast, where a break in the leafy wall revealed a vista of low green
meadows, picturesque with wooded islands and jutting capes of upland.
Through these, a small brook, noisy enough as it foamed, rippled, and
laughed down its rocky falls by our gardenside, wound, silently and
scarcely visible, to a still larger stream, known as the Country Brook.
This brook in its turn, after doing duty at two or three saw and grist
mills, the clack of which we could hear in still days across the
intervening woodlands, found its way to the great river, and the river
took it up and bore it down to the great sea.

I have not much reason for speaking well of these meadows, or rather
bogs, for they were wet most of the year; but in the early days they
were highly prized by the settlers, as they furnished natural mowing
before the uplands could be cleared of wood and stones and laid down to
grass.  There is a tradition that the hay-harvesters of two adjoining
towns quarrelled about a boundary question, and fought a hard battle one
summer morning in that old time, not altogether bloodless, but by no
means as fatal as the fight between the rival Highland clans, described
by Scott in "The Fair Maid of Perth."  I used to wonder at their folly,
when I was stumbling over the rough hassocks, and sinking knee-deep in
the black mire, raking the sharp sickle-edged grass which we used to
feed out to the young cattle in midwinter when the bitter cold gave them
appetite for even such fodder.  I had an almost Irish hatred of snakes,
and these meadows were full of them,--striped, green, dingy water-
snakes, and now and then an ugly spotted adder by no means pleasant to
touch with bare feet.  There were great black snakes, too, in the ledges
of the neighboring knolls; and on one occasion in early spring I found
myself in the midst of a score at least of them,--holding their wicked
meeting of a Sabbath morning on the margin of a deep spring in the
meadows.  One glimpse at their fierce shining beads in the sunshine, as
they roused themselves at my approach, was sufficient to send me at full
speed towards the nearest upland.  The snakes, equally scared, fled in
the same direction; and, looking back, I saw the dark monsters following
close at my heels, terrible as the Black Horse rebel regiment at Bull
Run.  I had, happily, sense enough left to step aside and let the ugly
troop glide into the bushes.

Nevertheless, the meadows had their redeeming points.  In spring
mornings the blackbirds and bobolinks made them musical with songs; and
in the evenings great bullfrogs croaked and clamored; and on summer
nights we loved to watch the white wreaths of fog rising and drifting in
the moonlight like troops of ghosts, with the fireflies throwing up ever
and anon signals of their coming.  But the Brook was far more
attractive, for it had sheltered bathing-places, clear and white sanded,
and weedy stretches, where the shy pickerel loved to linger, and deep
pools, where the stupid sucker stirred the black mud with his fins.  I
had followed it all the way from its birthplace among the pleasant New
Hampshire hills, through the sunshine of broad, open meadows, and under
the shadow of thick woods.  It was, for the most part, a sober, quiet
little river; but at intervals it broke into a low, rippling laugh over
rocks and trunks of fallen trees.  There had, so tradition said, once
been a witch-meeting on its banks, of six little old women in short,
sky-blue cloaks; and if a drunken teamster could be credited, a ghost
was once seen bobbing for eels under Country Bridge.  It ground our corn
and rye for us, at its two grist-mills; and we drove our sheep to it for
their spring washing, an anniversary which was looked forward to with
intense delight, for it was always rare fun for the youngsters.
Macaulay has sung,--

               "That year young lads in Umbro
               Shall plunge the struggling sheep;"

and his picture of the Roman sheep-washing recalled, when we read it,
similar scenes in the Country Brook.  On its banks we could always find
the earliest and the latest wild flowers, from the pale blue, three-
lobed hepatica, and small, delicate wood-anemone, to the yellow bloom of
the witch-hazel burning in the leafless October woods.

Yet, after all, I think the chief attraction of the Brook to my brother
and myself was the fine fishing it afforded us.  Our bachelor uncle who
lived with us (there has always been one of that unfortunate class in
every generation of our family) was a quiet, genial man, much given to
hunting and fishing; and it was one of the great pleasures of our young
life to accompany him on his expeditions to Great Hill, Brandy-brow
Woods, the Pond, and, best of all, to the Country Brook.  We were quite
willing to work hard in the cornfield or the haying-lot to finish the
necessary day's labor in season for an afternoon stroll through the
woods and along the brookside.  I remember my first fishing excursion as
if it were but yesterday.  I have been happy many times in my life, but
never more intensely so than when I received that first fishing-pole
from my uncle's hand, and trudged off with him through the woods and
meadows.  It was a still sweet day of early summer; the long afternoon
shadows of the trees lay cool across our path; the leaves seemed
greener, the flowers brighter, the birds merrier, than ever before.
My uncle, who knew by long experience where were the best haunts of
pickerel, considerately placed me at the most favorable point.  I threw
out my line as I had so often seen others, and waited anxiously for a
bite, moving the bait in rapid jerks on the surface of the water in
imitation of the leap of a frog.  Nothing came of it.  "Try again," said
my uncle.  Suddenly the bait sank out of sight.  "Now for it," thought
I; "here is a fish at last."  I made a strong pull, and brought up a
tangle of weeds.  Again and again I cast out my line with aching arms,
and drew it back empty.  I looked to my uncle appealingly.  "Try once
more," he said.  "We fishermen must have patience."

Suddenly something tugged at my line and swept off with it into deep
water.  Jerking it up, I saw a fine pickerel wriggling in the sun.
"Uncle!" I cried, looking back in uncontrollable excitement, "I've got a
fish!"  "Not yet," said my uncle.  As he spoke there was a plash in the
water; I caught the arrowy gleam of a scared fish shooting into the
middle of the stream; my hook hung empty from the line.  I had lost my
prize.

We are apt to speak of the sorrows of childhood as trifles in comparison
with those of grown-up people; but we may depend upon it the young folks
don't agree with us.  Our griefs, modified and restrained by reason,
experience, and self-respect, keep the proprieties, and, if possible,
avoid a scene; but the sorrow of childhood, unreasoning and all-
absorbing, is a complete abandonment to the passion.  The doll's nose is
broken, and the world breaks up with it; the marble rolls out of sight,
and the solid globe rolls off with the marble.

So, overcome by my great and bitter disappointment, I sat down on the
nearest hassock, and for a time refused to be comforted, even by my
uncle's assurance that there were more fish in the brook.  He refitted
my bait, and, putting the pole again in my hands, told me to try my luck
once more.

"But remember, boy," he said, with his shrewd smile, "never brag of
catching a fish until he is on dry ground.  I've seen older folks doing
that in more ways than one, and so making fools of themselves.  It 's no
use to boast of anything until it 's done, nor then either, for it
speaks for itself."

How often since I have been reminded of the fish that I did not catch!
When I hear people boasting of a work as yet undone, and trying to
anticipate the credit which belongs only to actual achievement, I call
to mind that scene by the brookside, and the wise caution of my uncle in
that particular instance takes the form of a proverb of universal
application: "Never brag of your fish before you catch him."



YANKEE GYPSIES.

     "Here's to budgets, packs, and wallets; Here's to all the wandering
     train."
                                                  BURNS.

I CONFESS it, I am keenly sensitive to "skyey influences."  I profess no
indifference to the movements of that capricious old gentleman known as
the clerk of the weather.  I cannot conceal my interest in the behavior
of that patriarchal bird whose wooden similitude gyrates on the church
spire.  Winter proper is well enough.  Let the thermometer go to zero if
it will; so much the better, if thereby the very winds are frozen and
unable to flap their stiff wings.  Sounds of bells in the keen air,
clear, musical, heart-inspiring; quick tripping of fair moccasined feet
on glittering ice pavements; bright eyes glancing above the uplifted
muff like a sultana's behind the folds of her _yashmac_; schoolboys
coasting down street like mad Greenlanders; the cold brilliance of
oblique sunbeams flashing back from wide surfaces of glittering snow or
blazing upon ice jewelry of tree and roof.  There is nothing in all this
to complain of.  A storm of summer has its redeeming sublimities,--its
slow, upheaving mountains of cloud glooming in the western horizon like
new-created volcanoes, veined with fire, shattered by exploding
thunders.  Even the wild gales of the equinox have their varieties,
--sounds of wind-shaken woods and waters, creak and clatter of sign and
casement, hurricane puffs and down-rushing rain-spouts.  But this dull,
dark autumn day of thaw and rain, when the very clouds seem too
spiritless and languid to storm outright or take themselves out of the
way of fair weather; wet beneath and above; reminding one of that
rayless atmosphere of Dante's Third Circle, where the infernal
Priessnitz administers his hydropathic torment,--

              "A heavy, cursed, and relentless drench,--
               The land it soaks is putrid;"

or rather, as everything animate and inanimate is seething in warm mist,
suggesting the idea that Nature, grown old and rheumatic, is trying the
efficacy of a Thompsonian steam-box on a grand scale; no sounds save the
heavy plash of muddy feet on the pavements; the monotonous melancholy
drip from trees and roofs; the distressful gurgling of waterducts,
swallowing the dirty amalgam of the gutters; a dim, leaden-colored
horizon of only a few yards in diameter, shutting down about one, beyond
which nothing is visible save in faint line or dark projection; the
ghost of a church spire or the eidolon of a chimney-pot.  He who can
extract pleasurable emotions from the alembic of such a day has a trick
of alchemy with which I am wholly unacquainted.

Hark! a rap at my door.  Welcome anybody just now.  One gains nothing by
attempting to shut out the sprites of the weather.  They come in at the
keyhole; they peer through the dripping panes; they insinuate themselves
through the crevices of the casement, or plump down chimney astride of
the rain-drops.

I rise and throw open the door.  A tall, shambling, loose-jointed
figure; a pinched, shrewd face, sun-browned and wind-dried; small,
quick-winking black eyes.  There he stands, the water dripping from his
pulpy hat and ragged elbows.

I speak to him, but he returns no answer.  With a dumb show of misery,
quite touching, he hands me a soiled piece of parchment, whereon I read
what purports to be a melancholy account of shipwreck and disaster, to
the particular detriment, loss, and damnification of one Pietro Frugoni,
who is, in consequence, sorely in want of the alms of all charitable
Christian persons, and who is, in short, the bearer of this veracious
document, duly certified and indorsed by an Italian consul in one of our
Atlantic cities, of a high-sounding, but to Yankee organs
unpronounceable name.

Here commences a struggle.  Every man, the Mohammedans tell us, has two
attendant angels,--the good one on his right shoulder, the bad on his
left.  "Give," says Benevolence, as with some difficulty I fish up a
small coin from the depths of my pocket.  "Not a cent," says selfish
Prudence; and I drop it from my fingers.  "Think," says the good angel,
"of the poor stranger in a strange land, just escaped from the terrors
of the sea-storm, in which his little property has perished, thrown
half-naked and helpless on our shores, ignorant of our language, and
unable to find employment suited to his capacity."  "A vile impostor!"
replies the lefthand sentinel.  "His paper, purchased from one of those
ready-writers in New York who manufacture beggar-credentials at the low
price of one dollar per copy, with earthquakes, fires, or shipwrecks, to
suit customers."

Amidst this confusion of tongues I take another survey of my visitant.
Ha! a light dawns upon me.  That shrewd old face, with its sharp,
winking eyes, is no stranger to me.  Pietro Frugoni, I have seen thee
before.  Si, signor, that face of thine has looked at me over a dirty
white neckcloth, with the corners of that cunning mouth drawn downwards,
and those small eyes turned up in sanctimonious gravity, while thou wast
offering to a crowd of halfgrown boys an extemporaneous exhortation in
the capacity of a travelling preacher.  Have I not seen it peering out
from under a blanket, as that of a poor Penobscot Indian, who had lost
the use of his hands while trapping on the Madawaska?  Is it not the
face of the forlorn father of six small children, whom the "marcury
doctors" had "pisened" and crippled?  Did it not belong to that down-
East unfortunate who had been out to the "Genesee country" and got the
"fevern-nager," and whose hand shook so pitifully when held out to
receive my poor gift?  The same, under all disguises,--Stephen Leathers,
of Barrington,--him, and none other!  Let me conjure him into his own
likeness:--

"Well, Stephen, what news from old Barrington?"

"Oh, well, I thought I knew ye," he answers, not the least disconcerted.
"How do you do?  and how's your folks?  All well, I hope.  I took this
'ere paper, you see, to help a poor furriner, who couldn't make himself
understood any more than a wild goose.  I thought I 'd just start him
for'ard a little.  It seemed a marcy to do it."

Well and shiftily answered, thou ragged Proteus.  One cannot be angry
with such a fellow.  I will just inquire into the present state of his
Gospel mission and about the condition of his tribe on the Penobscot;
and it may be not amiss to congratulate him on the success of the steam-
doctors in sweating the "pisen" of the regular faculty out of him.  But
he evidently has no'wish to enter into idle conversation.  Intent upon
his benevolent errand, he is already clattering down stairs.
Involuntarily I glance out of the window just in season to catch a
single glimpse of him ere he is swallowed up in the mist.

He has gone; and, knave as he is, I can hardly help exclaiming, "Luck go
with him!"  He has broken in upon the sombre train of my thoughts and
called up before me pleasant and grateful recollections.  The old farm-
house nestling in its valley; hills stretching off to the south and
green meadows to the east; the small stream which came noisily down its
ravine, washing the old garden-wall and softly lapping on fallen stones
and mossy roots of beeches and hemlocks; the tall sentinel poplars at
the gateway; the oak-forest, sweeping unbroken to the northern horizon;
the grass-grown carriage-path, with its rude and crazy bridge,--the dear
old landscape of my boyhood lies outstretched before me like a
daguerreotype from that picture within which I have borne with me in all
my wanderings.  I am a boy again, once more conscious of the feeling,
half terror, half exultation, with which I used to announce the approach
of this very vagabond and his "kindred after the flesh."

The advent of wandering beggars, or "old stragglers," as we were wont
to call them, was an event of no ordinary interest in the generally
monotonous quietude of our farm-life.  Many of them were well known;
they had their periodical revolutions and transits; we could calculate
them like eclipses or new moons.  Some were sturdy knaves, fat and
saucy; and, whenever they ascertained that the "men folks" were absent,
would order provisions and cider like men who expected to pay for them,
seating themselves at the hearth or table with the air of Falstaff,--
"Shall I not take mine ease in mine inn?"  Others, poor, pale, patient,
like Sterne's monk, came creeping up to the door, hat in hand, standing
there in their gray wretchedness with a look of heartbreak and
forlornness which was never without its effect on our juvenile
sensibilities.  At times, however, we experienced a slight revulsion of
feeling when even these humblest children of sorrow somewhat petulantly
rejected our proffered bread and cheese, and demanded instead a glass of
cider.  Whatever the temperance society might in such cases have done,
it was not in our hearts to refuse the poor creatures a draught of their
favorite beverage; and was n't it a satisfaction to see their sad,
melancholy faces light up as we handed them the full pitcher, and, on
receiving it back empty from their brown, wrinkled hands, to hear them,
half breathless from their long, delicious draught, thanking us for the
favor, as "dear, good children!"  Not unfrequently these wandering tests
of our benevolence made their appearance in interesting groups of man,
woman, and child, picturesque in their squalidness, and manifesting a
maudlin affection which would have done honor to the revellers at
Poosie-Nansie's, immortal in the cantata of Burns.  I remember some who
were evidently the victims of monomania,--haunted and hunted by some
dark thought,--possessed by a fixed idea.  One, a black-eyed, wild-
haired woman, with a whole tragedy of sin, shame, and suffering written
in her countenance, used often to visit us, warm herself by our winter
fire, and supply herself with a stock of cakes and cold meat; but was
never known to answer a question or to ask one.  She never smiled; the
cold, stony look of her eye never changed; a silent, impassive face,
frozen rigid by some great wrong or sin.  We used to look with awe upon
the "still woman," and think of the demoniac of Scripture who had a
"dumb spirit."

One--I think I see him now, grim, gaunt, and ghastly, working his slow
way up to our door--used to gather herbs by the wayside and call himself
doctor.  He was bearded like a he goat and used to counterfeit lameness,
yet, when he supposed himself alone, would travel on lustily as if
walking for a wager.  At length, as if in punishment of his deceit, he
met with an accident in his rambles and became lame in earnest, hobbling
ever after with difficulty on his gnarled crutches.  Another used to go
stooping, like Bunyan's pilgrim, under a pack made of an old bed-
sacking, stuffed out into most plethoric dimensions, tottering on a pair
of small, meagre legs, and peering out with his wild, hairy face from
under his burden like a big-bodied spider.  That "man with the pack"
always inspired me with awe and reverence.  Huge, almost sublime, in its
tense rotundity, the father of all packs, never laid aside and never
opened, what might there not be within it?  With what flesh-creeping
curiosity I used to walk round about it at a safe distance, half
expecting to see its striped covering stirred by the motions of a
mysterious life, or that some evil monster would leap out of it, like
robbers from Ali Baba's jars or armed men from the Trojan horse!

There was another class of peripatetic philosophers--half pedler, half
mendicant--who were in the habit of visiting us.  One we recollect, a
lame, unshaven, sinister-eyed, unwholesome fellow, with his basket of
old newspapers and pamphlets, and his tattered blue umbrella, serving
rather as a walking staff than as a protection from the rain.  He told
us on one occasion, in answer to our inquiring into the cause of his
lameness, that when a young man he was employed on the farm of the chief
magistrate of a neighboring State; where, as his ill-luck would have it,
the governor's handsome daughter fell in love with him.  He was caught
one day in the young lady's room by her father; whereupon the irascible
old gentleman pitched him unceremoniously out of the window, laming him
for life, on the brick pavement below, like Vulcan on the rocks of
Lemnos.  As for the lady, he assured us "she took on dreadfully about
it."  "Did she die?"  we inquired anxiously.  There was a cun-ing
twinkle in the old rogue's eye as he responded, "Well, no, she did n't.
She got married."

Twice a year, usually in the spring and autumn, we were honored with a
call from Jonathan Plummer, maker of verses, pedler and poet, physician
and parson,--a Yankee troubadour,--first and last minstrel of the valley
of the Merrimac, encircled, to my wondering young eyes, with the very
nimbus of immortality. He brought with him pins, needles, tape, and
cotton-thread for my mother; jack-knives, razors, and soap for my
father; and verses of his own composing, coarsely printed and
illustrated with rude wood-cuts, for the delectation of the younger
branches of the family.  No lovesick youth could drown himself, no
deserted maiden bewail the moon, no rogue mount the gallows, without
fitting memorial in Plummer's verses.  Earthquakes, fires, fevers, and
shipwrecks he regarded as personal favors from Providence, furnishing
the raw material of song and ballad.  Welcome to us in our country
seclusion as Autolycus to the clown in Winter's Tale, we listened with
infinite satisfaction to his readings of his own verses, or to his ready
improvisation upon some domestic incident or topic suggested by his
auditors.  When once fairly over the difficulties at the outset of a new
subject, his rhymes flowed freely, "as if he had eaten ballads and all
men's ears grew to his tunes."  His productions answered, as nearly as I
can remember, to Shakespeare's description of a proper ballad,--"doleful
matter merrily set down, or a very pleasant theme sung lamentably."  He
was scrupulously conscientious, devout, inclined to theological
disquisitions, and withal mighty in Scripture.  He was thoroughly
independent; flattered nobody, cared for nobody, trusted nobody.  When
invited to sit down at our dinner-table, he invariably took the
precaution to place his basket of valuables between his legs for safe
keeping.  "Never mind thy basket, Jonathan," said my father; "we
sha'n't steal thy verses."--"I'm not sure of that," returned the
suspicious guest.  "It is written, 'Trust ye not in any brother.'"

Thou too, O Parson B------, with thy pale student's brow and rubicund
nose, with thy rusty and tattered black coat overswept by white flowing
locks, with thy professional white neckcloth scrupulously preserved when
even a shirt to thy back was problematical,--art by no means to be
overlooked in the muster-roll of vagrant gentlemen possessing the entree
of our farm-house.  Well do we remember with what grave and dignified
courtesy he used to step over its threshold, saluting its inmates with
the same air of gracious condescension and patronage with which in
better days he had delighted the hearts of his parishioners.  Poor old
man!  He had once been the admired and almost worshipped minister of the
largest church in the town where he afterwards found support in the
winter season as a pauper.  He had early fallen into intemperate habits;
and at the age of threescore and ten, when I remember him, he was only
sober when he lacked the means of being otherwise.  Drunk or sober,
however, he never altogether forgot the proprieties of his profession;
he was always grave, decorous, and gentlemanly; he held fast the form of
sound words, and the weakness of the flesh abated nothing of the rigor
of his stringent theology.  He had been a favorite pupil of the learned
and astute Emmons, and was to the last a sturdy defender of the peculiar
dogmas of his school.  The last time we saw him he was holding a meeting
in our district school-house, with a vagabond pedler for deacon and
travelling companion.  The tie which united the ill-assorted couple was
doubtless the same which endeared Tam O'Shanter to the souter:--

               "They had been fou for weeks thegither."

He took for his text the first seven verses of the concluding chapter of
Ecclesiastes, furnishing in himself its fitting illustration.  The evil
days had come; the keepers of the house trembled; the windows of life
were darkened.  A few months later the silver cord was loosened, the
golden bowl was broken, and between the poor old man and the temptations
which beset him fell the thick curtains of the grave.

One day we had a call from a "pawky auld carle" of a wandering
Scotchman.  To him I owe my first introduction to the songs of Burns.
After eating his bread and cheese and drinking his mug of cider he gave
us Bonny Doon, Highland Mary, and Auld Lang Syne.  He had a rich, full
voice, and entered heartily into the spirit of his lyrics.  I have since
listened to the same melodies from the lips of Dempster, than whom the
Scottish bard has had no sweeter or truer interpreter; but the skilful
performance of the artist lacked the novel charm of the gaberlunzie's
singing in the old farmhouse kitchen.  Another wanderer made us
acquainted with the humorous old ballad of "Our gude man cam hame at
e'en."  He applied for supper and lodging, and the next morning was set
at work splitting stones in the pasture.  While thus engaged the village
doctor came riding along the highway on his fine, spirited horse, and
stopped to talk with my father.  The fellow eyed the animal attentively,
as if familiar with all his good points, and hummed over a stanza of the
old poem:--

                   "Our gude man cam hame at e'en,
                    And hame cam be;
                    And there he saw a saddle horse
                    Where nae horse should be.
                    'How cam this horse here?
                    How can it be?
                    How cam this horse here
                    Without the leave of me?'
                    'A horse?' quo she.
                    'Ay, a horse,' quo he.
                    'Ye auld fool, ye blind fool,--
                    And blinder might ye be,--
                    'T is naething but a milking cow
                    My mamma sent to me.'
                    A milch cow?' quo he.
                    'Ay, a milch cow,' quo she.
                    'Weel, far hae I ridden,
                    And muckle hae I seen;
                    But milking cows wi' saddles on
                    Saw I never nane.'"

That very night the rascal decamped, taking with him the doctor's horse,
and was never after heard of.

Often, in the gray of the morning, we used to see one or more
"gaberlunzie men," pack on shoulder and staff in hand, emerging from the
barn or other outbuildings where they had passed the night.  I was once
sent to the barn to fodder the cattle late in the evening, and, climbing
into the mow to pitch down hay for that purpose, I was startled by the
sudden apparition of a man rising up before me, just discernible in the
dim moonlight streaming through the seams of the boards.  I made a rapid
retreat down the ladder; and was only reassured by hearing the object of
my terror calling after me, and recognizing his voice as that of a
harmless old pilgrim whom I had known before.  Our farm-house was
situated in a lonely valley, half surrounded with woods, with no
neighbors in sight.  One dark, cloudy night, when our parents chanced to
be absent, we were sitting with our aged grandmother in the fading light
of the kitchen-fire, working ourselves into a very satisfactory state of
excitement and terror by recounting to each other all the dismal stories
we could remember of ghosts, witches, haunted houses and robbers, when
we were suddenly startled by a loud rap at the door.  A stripling of
fourteen, I was very naturally regarded as the head of the household;
so,--with many misgivings, I advanced to the door, which I slowly
opened, holding the candle tremulously above my head and peering out
into the darkness.  The feeble glimmer played upon the apparition of a
gigantic horseman, mounted on a steed of a size worthy of such a rider--
colossal, motionless, like images cut out of the solid night.  The
strange visitant gruffly saluted me; and, after making several
ineffectual efforts to urge his horse in at the door, dismounted and
followed me into the room, evidently enjoying the terror which his huge
presence excited.  Announcing himself as the great Indian doctor, he
drew himself up before the fire, stretched his arms, clenched his fists,
struck his broad chest, and invited our attention to what he called his
"mortal frame."  He demanded in succession all kinds of intoxicating
liquors; and, on being assured that we had none to give him, he grew
angry, threatened to swallow my younger brother alive, and, seizing me
by the hair of my head as the angel did the prophet at Babylon, led me
about from room to room.  After an ineffectual search, in the course of
which he mistook a jug of oil for one of brandy, and, contrary to my
explanations and remonstrances, insisted upon swallowing a portion of
its contents, he released me, fell to crying and sobbing, and confessed
that he was so drunk already that his horse was ashamed of him.  After
bemoaning and pitying himself to his satisfaction he wiped his eyes, and
sat down by the side of my grandmother, giving her to understand that he
was very much pleased with her appearance; adding, that if agreeable to
her, he should like the privilege of paying his addresses to her.  While
vainly endeavoring to make the excellent old lady comprehend his very
flattering proposition, he was interrupted by the return of my father,
who, at once understanding the matter, turned him out of doors without
ceremony.

On one occasion, a few years ago, on my return from the field at
evening, I was told that a foreigner had asked for lodgings during the
night, but that, influenced by his dark, repulsive appearance, my mother
had very reluctantly refused his request.  I found her by no means
satisfied with her decision.  "What if a son of mine was in a strange
land?"  she inquired, self-reproachfully.  Greatly to her relief, I
volunteered to go in pursuit of the wanderer, and, taking a cross-path
over the fields, soon overtook him.  He had just been rejected at the
house of our nearest neighbor, and was standing in a state of dubious
perplexity in the street.  His looks quite justified my mother's
suspicions.  He was an olive-complexioned, black-bearded Italian, with
an eye like a live coal, such a face as perchance looks out on the
traveller in the passes of the Abruzzi,--one of those bandit visages
which Salvator has painted.  With some difficulty I gave him to
understand my errand, when he overwhelmed me with thanks, and joyfully
followed me back.  He took his seat with us at the supper-table; and,
when we were all gathered around the hearth that cold autumnal evening,
he told us, partly by words and, partly by gestures, the story of his
life and misfortunes, amused us with descriptions of the grape-
gatherings and festivals of his sunny clime, edified my mother with a
recipe for making bread of chestnuts; and in the morning, when, after
breakfast, his dark, sullen face lighted up and his fierce eye moistened
with grateful emotion as in his own silvery Tuscan accent he poured out
his thanks, we marvelled at the fears which had so nearly closed our
door against him; and, as he departed, we all felt that he had left with
us the blessing of the poor.

It was not often that, as in the above instance, my mother's prudence
got the better of her charity.  The regular "old stragglers" regarded
her as an unfailing friend; and the sight of her plain cap was to them
an assurance of forthcoming creature-comforts.  There was indeed a tribe
of lazy strollers, having their place of rendezvous in the town of
Barrington, New Hampshire, whose low vices had placed them beyond even
the pale of her benevolence.  They were not unconscious of their evil
reputation; and experience had taught them the necessity of concealing,
under well-contrived disguises, their true character.  They came to us
in all shapes and with all appearances save the true one, with most
miserable stories of mishap and sickness and all "the ills which flesh
is heir to."  It was particularly vexatious to discover, when too late,
that our sympathies and charities had been expended upon such graceless
vagabonds as the "Barrington beggars."  An old withered hag, known by
the appellation of Hopping Pat,--the wise woman of her tribe,--was in
the habit of visiting us, with her hopeful grandson, who had "a gift for
preaching" as well as for many other things not exactly compatible with
holy orders.  He sometimes brought with him a tame crow, a shrewd,
knavish-looking bird, who, when in the humor for it, could talk like
Barnaby Rudge's raven.  He used to say he could "do nothin' at exhortin'
without a white handkercher on his neck and money in his pocket,"--a
fact going far to confirm the opinions of the Bishop of Exeter and the
Puseyites generally, that there can be no priest without tithes and
surplice.

These people have for several generations lived distinct from the great
mass of the community, like the gypsies of Europe, whom in many respects
they closely resemble.  They have the same settled aversion to labor and
the same disposition to avail themselves of the fruits of the industry
of others.  They love a wild, out-of-door life, sing songs, tell
fortunes, and have an instinctive hatred of "missionaries and cold
water."  It has been said--I know not upon what grounds--that their
ancestors were indeed a veritable importation of English gypsyhood; but
if so, they have undoubtedly lost a good deal of the picturesque charm
of its unhoused and free condition.  I very much fear that my friend
Mary Russell Mitford,--sweetest of England's rural painters,--who has a
poet's eye for the fine points in gypsy character, would scarcely allow
their claims to fraternity with her own vagrant friends, whose camp-
fires welcomed her to her new home at Swallowfield.

"The proper study of mankind is man," and, according to my view, no
phase of our common humanity is altogether unworthy of investigation.
Acting upon this belief two or three summers ago, when making, in
company with my sister, a little excursion into the hill-country of New
Hampshire, I turned my horse's head towards Barrington for the purpose
of seeing these semi-civilized strollers in their own home, and
returning, once for all, their numerous visits.  Taking leave of our
hospitable cousins in old Lee with about as much solemnity as we may
suppose Major Laing parted with his friends when he set out in search of
desert-girdled Timbuctoo, we drove several miles over a rough road,
passed the Devil's Den unmolested, crossed a fretful little streamlet
noisily working its way into a valley, where it turned a lonely, half-
ruinous mill, and climbing a steep hill beyond, saw before us a wide
sandy level, skirted on the west and north by low, scraggy hills, and
dotted here and there with dwarf pitch-pines.  In the centre of this
desolate region were some twenty or thirty small dwellings, grouped
together as irregularly as a Hottentot kraal.  Unfenced, unguarded, open
to all comers and goers, stood that city of the beggars,--no wall or
paling between the ragged cabins to remind one of the jealous
distinctions of property.  The great idea of its founders seemed visible
in its unappropriated freedom.  Was not the whole round world their own?
and should they haggle about boundaries and title-deeds?  For them, on
distant plains, ripened golden harvests; for them, in far-off workshops,
busy hands were toiling; for them, if they had but the grace to note it,
the broad earth put on her garniture of beauty, and over them hung the
silent mystery of heaven and its stars.  That comfortable philosophy
which modern transcendentalism has but dimly shadowed forth--that poetic
agrarianism, which gives all to each and each to all--is the real life
of this city of unwork.  To each of its dingy dwellers might be not
unaptly applied the language of one who, I trust, will pardon me for
quoting her beautiful poem in this connection:--

         "Other hands may grasp the field or forest,
          Proud proprietors in pomp may shine;
          Thou art wealthier,--all the world is thine."


But look!  the clouds are breaking.  "Fair weather cometh out of the
north."  The wind has blown away the mists; on the gilded spire of John
Street glimmers a beam of sunshine; and there is the sky again, hard,
blue, and cold in its eternal purity, not a whit the worse for the
storm.  In the beautiful present the past is no longer needed.
Reverently and gratefully let its volume be laid aside; and when again
the shadows of the outward world fall upon the spirit, may I not lack a
good angel to remind me of its solace, even if he comes in the shape of
a Barrington beggar.



THE TRAINING.

                "Send for the milingtary."
                              NOAH CLAYPOLE in Oliver Twist.

WHAT'S now in the wind?  Sounds of distant music float in at my window
on this still October air.  Hurrying drum-beat, shrill fife-tones,
wailing bugle-notes, and, by way of accompaniment, hurrahs from the
urchins on the crowded sidewalks.  Here come the citizen-soldiers, each
martial foot beating up the mud of yesterday's storm with the slow,
regular, up-and-down movement of an old-fashioned churn-dasher.  Keeping
time with the feet below, some threescore of plumed heads bob solemnly
beneath me.  Slant sunshine glitters on polished gun-barrels and
tinselled uniform.  Gravely and soberly they pass on, as if duly
impressed with a sense of the deep responsibility of their position as
self-constituted defenders of the world's last hope,--the United States
of America, and possibly Texas.  They look out with honest, citizen
faces under their leathern visors (their ferocity being mostly the work
of the tailor and tinker), and, I doubt not, are at this moment as
innocent of bloodthirstiness as yonder worthy tiller of the Tewksbury
Hills, who sits quietly in his wagon dispensing apples and turnips
without so much as giving a glance at the procession.  Probably there is
not one of them who would hesitate to divide his last tobacco-quid with
his worst enemy.  Social, kind-hearted, psalm-singing, sermon-hearing,
Sabhath-keeping Christians; and yet, if we look at the fact of the
matter, these very men have been out the whole afternoon of this
beautiful day, under God's holy sunshine, as busily at work as Satan
himself could wish in learning how to butcher their fellow-creatures and
acquire the true scientific method of impaling a forlorn Mexican on a
bayonet, or of sinking a leaden missile in the brain of some unfortunate
Briton, urged within its range by the double incentive of sixpence per
day in his pocket and the cat-o'-nine-tails on his back!

Without intending any disparagement of my peaceable ancestry for many
generations, I have still strong suspicions that somewhat of the old
Norman blood, something of the grins Berserker spirit, has been
bequeathed to me.  How else can I account for the intense childish
eagerness with which I listened to the stories of old campaigners who
sometimes fought their battles over again in my hearing?  Why did I,
in my young fancy, go up with Jonathan, the son of Saul, to smite the
garrisoned Philistines of Michmash, or with the fierce son of Nun
against the cities of Canaan?  Why was Mr. Greatheart, in Pilgrim's
Progress, my favorite character?  What gave such fascination to the
narrative of the grand Homeric encounter between Christian and Apollyon
in the valley?  Why did I follow Ossian over Morven's battle-fields,
exulting in the vulture-screams of the blind scald over his fallen
enemies?  Still later, why did the newspapers furnish me with subjects
for hero-worship in the half-demented Sir Gregor McGregor, and Ypsilanti
at the head of his knavish Greeks?  I can account for it only in the
supposition that the mischief was inhered,--an heirloom from the old
sea-kings of the ninth century.

Education and reflection have, indeed, since wrought a change in my
feelings.  The trumpet of the Cid, or Ziska's drum even, could not now
waken that old martial spirit.  The bull-dog ferocity of a half-
intoxicated Anglo-Saxon, pushing his blind way against the converging
cannon-fire from the shattered walls of Ciudad Rodrigo, commends itself
neither to my reason nor my fancy.  I now regard the accounts of the
bloody passage of the Bridge of Lodi, and of French cuirassiers madly
transfixing themselves upon the bayonets of Wellington's squares, with
very much the same feeling of horror and loathing which is excited by a
detail of the exploits of an Indian Thug, or those of a mad Malay
running a-muck, creese in hand, through the streets of Pulo Penang.
Your Waterloo, and battles of the Nile and Baltic,--what are they, in
sober fact, but gladiatorial murder-games on a great scale,--human
imitations of bull-fights, at which Satan sits as grand alguazil and
master of ceremonies?  It is only when a great thought incarnates itself
in action, desperately striving to find utterance even in sabre-clash
and gun-fire, or when Truth and Freedom, in their mistaken zeal and
distrustful of their own powers, put on battle-harness, that I can feel
any sympathy with merely physical daring.  The brawny butcher-work of
men whose wits, like those of Ajax, lie in their sinews, and who are
"yoked like draught-oxen and made to plough up the wars," is no
realization of my ideal of true courage.

Yet I am not conscious of having lost in any degree my early admiration
of heroic achievement.  The feeling remains; but it has found new and
better objects.  I have learned to appreciate what Milton calls the
martyr's "unresistible might of meekness,"--the calm, uncomplaining
endurance of those who can bear up against persecution uncheered by
sympathy or applause, and, with a full and keen appreciation of the
value of all which they are called to sacrifice, confront danger and
death in unselfish devotion to duty.  Fox, preaching through his prison-
gates or rebuking Oliver Cromwell in the midst of his soldier-court
Henry Vane beneath the axe of the headsman; Mary Dyer on the scaffold at
Boston; Luther closing his speech at Worms with the sublime emphasis of
his "Here stand I; I cannot otherwise; God help me;"  William Penn
defending the rights of Englishmen from the baledock of the Fleet
prison; Clarkson climbing the decks of Liverpool slaveships; Howard
penetrating to infected dungeons; meek Sisters of Charity breathing
contagion in thronged hospitals,--all these, and such as these, now help
me to form the loftier ideal of Christian heroism.

Blind Milton approaches nearly to my conception of a true hero.  What a
picture have we of that sublime old man, as sick, poor, blind, and
abandoned of friends, he still held fast his heroic integrity, rebuking
with his unbending republicanism the treachery, cowardice, and servility
of his old associates!  He had outlived the hopes and beatific visions
of his youth; he had seen the loudmouthed advocates of liberty throwing
down a nation's freedom at the feet of the shameless, debauched, and
perjured Charles II., crouching to the harlot-thronged court of the
tyrant, and forswearing at once their religion and their republicanism.
The executioner's axe had been busy among his friends.  Vane and Hampden
slept in their bloody graves.  Cromwell's ashes had been dragged from
their resting-place; for even in death the effeminate monarch hated and
feared the conquerer of Naseby and Marston Moor.  He was left alone, in
age, and penury, and blindness, oppressed with the knowledge that all
which his free soul abhorred had returned upon his beloved country.  Yet
the spirit of the stern old republican remained to the last unbroken,
realizing the truth of the language of his own Samson Agonistes:--

              "But patience is more oft the exercise
               Of saints, the trial of their fortitude,
               Making them each his own deliverer
               And victor over all
               That tyranny or fortune can inflict."

The curse of religious and political apostasy lay heavy on the land.
Harlotry and atheism sat in the high places; and the "caresses of
wantons and the jests of buffoons regulated the measures of a government
which had just ability enough to deceive, just religion enough to
persecute."  But, while Milton mourned over this disastrous change,
no self-reproach mingled with his sorrow.  To the last he had striven
against the oppressor; and when confined to his narrow alley, a prisoner
in his own mean dwelling, like another Prometheus on his rock, he still
turned upon him an eye of unsubdued defiance.  Who, that has read his
powerful appeal to his countrymen when they were on the eve of welcoming
back the tyranny and misrule which, at the expense of so much blood and
treasure had been thrown off, can ever forget it?  How nobly does
Liberty speak through him!  "If," said he, "ye welcome back a monarchy,
it will be the triumph of all tyrants hereafter over any people who
shall resist oppression; and their song shall then be to others, 'How
sped the rebellious English?' but to our posterity, 'How sped the
rebels, your fathers?'"  How solemn and awful is his closing paragraph!
"What I have spoken is the language of that which is not called amiss
'the good old cause.'  If it seem strange to any, it will not, I hope,
seem more strange than convincing to backsliders.  This much I should
have said though I were sure I should have spoken only to trees and
stones, and had none to cry to but with the prophet, 'O earth, earth,
earth!' to tell the very soil itself what its perverse inhabitants are
deaf to; nay, though what I have spoken should prove (which Thou suffer
not, who didst make mankind free; nor Thou next, who didst redeem us
from being servants of sin) to be the last words of our expiring
liberties."



THE CITY OF A DAY.

The writer, when residing in Lowell, in 1843 contributed this and the
companion pieces to 'The Stranger' in Lowell.

This, then, is Lowell,--a city springing up, like the enchanted palaces
of the Arabian tales, as it were in a single night, stretching far and
wide its chaos of brick masonry and painted shingles, filling the angle
of the confluence of the Concord and the Merrimac with the sights and
sounds of trade and industry.  Marvellously here have art and labor
wrought their modern miracles.  I can scarcely realize the fact that a
few years ago these rivers, now tamed and subdued to the purposes of man
and charmed into slavish subjection to the wizard of mechanism, rolled
unchecked towards the ocean the waters of the Winnipesaukee and the
rock-rimmed springs of the White Mountains, and rippled down their falls
in the wild freedom of Nature.  A stranger, in view of all this
wonderful change, feels himself, as it were, thrust forward into a new
century; he seems treading on the outer circle of the millennium of
steam engines and cotton mills.  Work is here the patron saint.
Everything bears his image and superscription.  Here is no place for
that respectable class of citizens called gentlemen, and their much
vilified brethren, familiarly known as loafers.  Over the gateways of
this new world Manchester glares the inscription, "Work, or die".
Here

               "Every worm beneath the moon
               Draws different threads, and late or soon
               Spins, toiling out his own cocoon."

The founders of this city probably never dreamed of the theory of
Charles Lamb in respect to the origin of labor:--

          "Who first invented work, and thereby bound
          The holiday rejoicing spirit down
          To the never-ceasing importunity
          Of business in the green fields and the town?

          "Sabbathless Satan,--he who his unglad
          Task ever plies midst rotatory burnings
          For wrath divine has made him like a wheel
          In that red realm from whence are no returnings."

Rather, of course, would they adopt Carlyle's apostrophe of "Divine
labor, noble, ever fruitful,--the grand, sole miracle of man;" for this
is indeed a city consecrated to thrift,--dedicated, every square rod of
it, to the divinity of work; the gospel of industry preached daily and
hourly from some thirty temples, each huger than the Milan Cathedral or
the Temple of Jeddo, the Mosque of St. Sophia or the Chinese pagoda of a
hundred bells; its mighty sermons uttered by steam and water-power; its
music the everlasting jar of mechanism and the organ-swell of many
waters; scattering the cotton and woollen leaves of its evangel from the
wings of steamboats and rail-cars throughout the land; its thousand
priests and its thousands of priestesses ministering around their
spinning-jenny and powerloom altars, or thronging the long, unshaded
streets in the level light of sunset.  After all, it may well be
questioned whether this gospel, according to Poor Richard's Almanac, is
precisely calculated for the redemption of humanity.  Labor, graduated
to man's simple wants, necessities, and unperverted tastes, is doubtless
well; but all beyond this is weariness to flesh and spirit.  Every web
which falls from these restless looms has a history more or less
connected with sin and suffering, beginning with slavery and ending
with overwork and premature death.

A few years ago, while travelling in Pennsylvania, I encountered a
small, dusky-browed German of the name of Etzler.  He was possessed by a
belief that the world was to be restored to its paradisiacal state by
the sole agency of mechanics, and that he had himself discovered the
means of bringing about this very desirable consummation.  His whole
mental atmosphere was thronged with spectral enginery; wheel within
wheel; plans of hugest mechanism; Brobdignagian steam-engines; Niagaras
of water-power; wind-mills with "sail-broad vans," like those of Satan
in chaos, by the proper application of which every valley was to be
exalted and every hill laid low; old forests seized by their shaggy tops
and uprooted; old morasses drained; the tropics made cool; the eternal
ices melted around the poles; the ocean itself covered with artificial
islands, blossoming gardens of the blessed, rocking gently on the bosom
of the deep.  Give him "three hundred thousand dollars and ten years'
time," and he would undertake to do the work.

Wrong, pain, and sin, being in his view but the results of our physical
necessities, ill-gratified desires, and natural yearnings for a better
state, were to vanish before the millennium of mechanism.  "It would
be," said he, "as ridiculous then to dispute and quarrel about the means
of life as it would be now about water to drink by the side of mighty
rivers, or about permission to breathe the common air."  To his mind the
great forces of Nature took the shape of mighty and benignant spirits,
sent hitherward to be the servants of man in restoring to him his lost
paradise; waiting only for his word of command to apply their giant
energies to the task, but as yet struggling blindly and aimlessly,
giving ever and anon gentle hints, in the way of earthquake, fire, and
flood, that they are weary of idleness, and would fain be set at work.
Looking down, as I now do, upon these huge brick workshops, I have
thought of poor Etzler, and wondered whether he would admit, were he
with me, that his mechanical forces have here found their proper
employment of millennium making.  Grinding on, each in his iron harness,
invisible, yet shaking, by his regulated and repressed power, his huge
prison-house from basement to capstone, is it true that the genii of
mechanism are really at work here, raising us, by wheel and pulley,
steam and waterpower, slowly up that inclined plane from whose top
stretches the broad table-land of promise?

Many of the streets of Lowell present a lively and neat aspect, and are
adorned with handsome public and private buildings; but they lack one
pleasant feature of older towns,--broad, spreading shade-trees.  One
feels disposed to quarrel with the characteristic utilitarianism of the
first settlers, which swept so entirely away the green beauty of Nature.
For the last few days it has been as hot here as Nebuchadnezzar's
furnace or Monsieur Chabert's oven, the sun glaring down from a copper
sky upon these naked, treeless streets, in traversing which one is
tempted to adopt the language of a warm-weather poet:

     "The lean, like walking skeletons, go stalking pale and gloomy;
     The fat, like red-hot warming-pans, send hotter fancies through me;
     I wake from dreams of polar ice, on which I've been a slider,
     Like fishes dreaming of the sea and waking in the spider."

How unlike the elm-lined avenues of New Haven, upon whose cool and
graceful panorama the stranger looks down upon the Judge's Cave, or the
vine-hung pinnacles of West Rock, its tall spires rising white and clear
above the level greenness! or the breezy leafiness of Portland, with its
wooded islands in the distance, and itself overhung with verdant beauty,
rippling and waving in the same cool breeze which stirs the waters of
the beautiful Bay of Casco!  But time will remedy all this; and, when
Lowell shall have numbered half the years of her sister cities, her
newly planted elms and maples, which now only cause us to contrast their
shadeless stems with the leafy glory of their parents of the forest,
will stretch out to the future visitor arms of welcome and repose.

There is one beautiful grove in Lowell,--that on Chapel Hill,--where a
cluster of fine old oaks lift their sturdy stems and green branches, in
close proximity to the crowded city, blending the cool rustle of their
leaves with the din of machinery.  As I look at them in this gray
twilight they seem lonely and isolated, as if wondering what has become
of their old forest companions, and vainly endeavoring to recognize in
the thronged and dusty streets before them those old, graceful
colonnades of maple and thick-shaded oaken vistas, stretching from river
to river, carpeted with the flowers and grasses of spring, or ankle deep
with leaves of autumn, through whose leafy canopy the sunlight melted in
upon wild birds, shy deer, and red Indians.  Long may these oaks remain
to remind us that, if there be utility in the new, there was beauty in
the old, leafy Puseyites of Nature, calling us back to the past, but,
like their Oxford brethren, calling in vain; for neither in polemics nor
in art can we go backward in an age whose motto is ever "Onward."

The population of Lowell is constituted mainly of New Englanders; but
there are representatives here of almost every part of the civilized
world.  The good-humored face of the Milesian meets one at almost every
turn; the shrewdly solemn Scotchman, the transatlantic Yankee, blending
the crafty thrift of Bryce Snailsfoot with the stern religious heroism
of Cameron; the blue-eyed, fair-haired German from the towered hills
which overlook the Rhine,--slow, heavy, and unpromising in his exterior,
yet of the same mould and mettle of the men who rallied for "fatherland"
at the Tyrtean call of Korner and beat back the chivalry of France from
the banks of the Katzback,--the countrymen of Richter, and Goethe, and
our own Follen.  Here, too, are pedlers from Hamburg, and Bavaria, and
Poland, with their sharp Jewish faces, and black, keen eyes.  At this
moment, beneath my window are two sturdy, sunbrowned Swiss maidens
grinding music for a livelihood, rehearsing in a strange Yankee land the
simple songs of their old mountain home, reminding me, by their foreign
garb and language, of

                    "Lauterbrunnen's peasant girl."

Poor wanderers, I cannot say that I love their music; but now, as the
notes die away, and, to use the words of Dr. Holmes, "silence comes like
a poultice to heal the wounded ear," I feel grateful for their
visitation.  Away from crowded thoroughfares, from brick walls and dusty
avenues, at the sight of these poor peasants I have gone in thought to
the vale of Chamouny, and seen, with Coleridge, the morning star pausing
on the "bald, awful head of sovereign Blanc," and the sun rise and set
upon snowy-crested mountains, down in whose valleys the night still
lingers; and, following in the track of Byron and Rousseau, have watched
the lengthening shadows of the hills on the beautiful waters of the
Genevan lake.  Blessings, then, upon these young wayfarers, for they
have "blessed me unawares."  In an hour of sickness and lassitude they
have wrought for me the miracle of Loretto's Chapel, and, borne me away
from the scenes around me and the sense of personal suffering to that
wonderful land where Nature seems still uttering, from lake and valley,
and from mountains whose eternal snows lean on the hard, blue heaven,
the echoes of that mighty hymn of a new-created world, when "the morning
stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy."

But of all classes of foreigners the Irish are by far the most numerous.
Light-hearted, wrongheaded, impulsive, uncalculating, with an Oriental
love of hyperbole, and too often a common dislike of cold water and of
that gem which the fable tells us rests at the bottom of the well, the
Celtic elements of their character do not readily accommodate themselves
to those of the hard, cool, self-relying Anglo-Saxon.  I am free to
confess to a very thorough dislike of their religious intolerance and
bigotry, but am content to wait for the change that time and the
attrition of new circumstances and ideas must necessarily make in this
respect.  Meanwhile I would strive to reverence man as man, irrespective
of his birthplace.  A stranger in a strange land is always to me an
object of sympathy and interest.  Amidst all his apparent gayety of
heart and national drollery and wit, the poor Irish emigrant has sad
thoughts of the "ould mother of him," sitting lonely in her solitary
cabin by the bog-side; recollections of a father's blessing and a
sister's farewell are haunting him; a grave mound in a distant
churchyard far beyond the "wide wathers" has an eternal greenness in his
memory; for there, perhaps, lies a "darlint child" or a "swate crather"
who once loved him.  The new world is forgotten for the moment; blue
Killarney and the Liffey sparkle before him, and Glendalough stretches
beneath him its dark, still mirror; he sees the same evening sunshine
rest upon and hallow alike with Nature's blessing the ruins of the Seven
Churches of Ireland's apostolic age, the broken mound of the Druids, and
the round towers of the Phoenician sun-worshippers; pleasant and
mournful recollections of his home waken within him; and the rough and
seemingly careless and light-hearted laborer melts into tears.  It is no
light thing to abandon one's own country and household gods.  Touching
and beautiful was the injunction of the prophet of the Hebrews:

"Ye shall not oppress the stranger; for ye know the heart of the
stranger, seeing that ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."



PATUCKET FALLS.

MANY years ago I read, in some old chronicle of the early history of New
England, a paragraph which has ever since haunted my memory, calling up
romantic associations of wild Nature and wilder man:--

"The Sachem Wonolanset, who lived by the Groat Falls of Patucket, on the
Merrimac."

It was with this passage in my mind that I visited for the first time
the Rapids of the Merrimac, above Lowell.

Passing up the street by the Hospital, a large and elegant mansion
surrounded by trees and shrubbery and climbing vines, I found myself,
after walking a few rods farther, in full view of the Merrimac.  A deep
and rocky channel stretched between me and the Dracut shore, along which
rushed the shallow water,--a feeble, broken, and tortuous current,
winding its way among splintered rocks, rising sharp and jagged in all
directions.  Drained above the falls by the canal, it resembled some
mountain streamlet of old Spain, or some Arabian wady, exhausted by a
year's drought.  Higher up, the arches of the bridge spanned the quick,
troubled water; and, higher still, the dam, so irregular in its outline
as to seem less a work of Art than of Nature, crossed the bed of the
river, a lakelike placidity above contrasting with the foam and murmur
of the falls below.  And this was all which modern improvements had left
of "the great Patucket Falls" of the olden time.  The wild river had
been tamed; the spirit of the falls, whose hoarse voice the Indian once
heard in the dashing of the great water down the rocks, had become the
slave of the arch conjurer, Art; and, like a shorn and blinded giant,
was grinding in the prison-house of his taskmaster.

One would like to know how this spot must have seemed to the "twenty
goodlie persons from Concord and Woburn" who first visited it in 1652,
as, worn with fatigue, and wet from the passage of the sluggish Concord,
"where ford there was none," they wound their slow way through the
forest, following the growing murmur of the falls, until at length the
broad, swift river stretched before them, its white spray flashing in
the sun.  What cared these sturdy old Puritans for the wild beauty of
the landscape thus revealed before them?  I think I see them standing
there in the golden light of a closing October day, with their sombre
brown doublets and slouched hats, and their heavy matchlocks,--such men
as Ireton fronted death with on the battle-field of Naseby, or those who
stalked with Cromwell over the broken wall of Drogheda, smiting, "in the
name of the Lord," old and young, "both maid, and little children."
Methinks I see the sunset light flooding the river valley, the western
hills stretching to the horizon, overhung with trees gorgeous and
glowing with the tints of autumn,--a mighty flower-garden, blossoming
under the spell of the enchanter, Frost; the rushing river, with its
graceful water-curves and white foam; and a steady murmur, low, deep
voices of water, the softest, sweetest sound of Nature, blends with the
sigh of the south wind in the pine-tops.  But these hard-featured saints
of the New Canaan "care for none of these things."  The stout hearts
which beat under their leathern doublets are proof against the sweet
influences of Nature.  They see only "a great and howling wilderness,
where be many Indians, but where fish may be taken, and where be meadows
for ye subsistence of cattle," and which, on the whole, "is a
comfortable place to accommodate a company of God's people upon, who
may, with God's blessing, do good in that place for both church and
state."  (Vide petition to the General Court, 1653.)

In reading the journals and narratives of the early settlers of New
England nothing is more remarkable than the entire silence of the worthy
writers in respect to the natural beauty or grandeur of the scenery amid
which their lot was cast.  They designated the grand and glorious
forest, broken by lakes and crossed by great rivers, intersected by a
thousand streams more beautiful than those which the Old World has given
to song and romance, as "a desert and frightful wilderness."  The wildly
picturesque Indian, darting his birch canoe down the Falls of the
Amoskeag or gliding in the deer-track of the forest, was, in their view,
nothing but a "dirty tawnie," a "salvage heathen," and "devil's imp."
Many of them were well educated,--men of varied and profound erudition,
and familiar with the best specimens of Greek and Roman literature; yet
they seem to have been utterly devoid of that poetic feeling or fancy
whose subtle alchemy detects the beautiful in the familiar.  Their very
hymns and spiritual songs seem to have been expressly calculated, like
"the music-grinders" of Holmes,--

                   "To pluck the eyes of sentiment,
                    And dock the tail of rhyme,
                    To crack the voice of melody,
                    And break the legs of time."

They were sworn enemies of the Muses; haters of stage-play literature,
profane songs, and wanton sonnets; of everything, in brief, which
reminded them of the days of the roistering cavaliers and bedizened
beauties of the court of "the man Charles," whose head had fallen
beneath the sword of Puritan justice.  Hard, harsh, unlovely, yet with
many virtues and noble points of character, they were fitted, doubtless,
for their work of pioneers in the wilderness.  Sternly faithful to duty,
in peril, and suffering, and self-denial, they wrought out the noblest
of historical epics on the rough soil of New England.  They lived a
truer poetry than Homer or Virgil wrote.

The Patuckets, once a powerful native tribe, had their principal
settlements around the falls at the time of the visit of the white men
of Concord and Woburn in 1652.  Gookin, the Indian historian, states
that this tribe was almost wholly destroyed by the great pestilence of
1612.  In 1674 they had but two hundred and fifty males in the whole
tribe.  Their chief sachem lived opposite the falls; and it was in his
wigwam that the historian, in company with John Eliot, the Indian
missionary, held a "meeting for worshippe on ye 5th of May, 1676," where
Mr. Eliot preached from "ye twenty-second of Matthew."

The white visitants from Concord and Woburn, pleased with the appearance
of the place and the prospect it afforded for planting and fishing,
petitioned the General Court for a grant of the entire tract of land now
embraced in the limits of Lowell and Chelmsford.  They made no account
whatever of the rights of the poor Patuckets; but, considering it
"a comfortable place to accommodate God's people upon," were doubtless
prepared to deal with the heathen inhabitants as Joshua the son of Nun
did with the Jebusites and Perizzites, the Hivites and the Hittites, of
old.  The Indians, however, found a friend in the apostle Eliot, who
presented a petition in their behalf that the lands lying around the
Patucket and Wamesit Falls should be appropriated exclusively for their
benefit and use.  The Court granted the petition of the whites, with the
exception of the tract in the angle of the two rivers on which the
Patuckets were settled.  The Indian title to this tract was not finally
extinguished until 1726, when the beautiful name of Wamesit was lost in
that of Chelmsford, and the last of the Patuckets turned his back upon
the graves of his fathers and sought a new home among the strange
Indians of the North.

But what has all this to do with the falls?  When the rail-cars came
thundering through his lake country, Wordsworth attempted to exorcise
them by a sonnet; and, were I not a very decided Yankee, I might
possibly follow his example, and utter in this connection my protest
against the desecration of Patucket Falls, and battle with objurgatory
stanzas these dams and mills, as Balmawapple shot off his horse-pistol
at Stirling Castle.  Rocks and trees, rapids, cascades, and other water-
works are doubtless all very well; but on the whole, considering our
seven months of frost, are not cotton shirts and woollen coats still
better?  As for the spirits of the river, the Merrimac Naiads, or
whatever may be their name in Indian vocabulary, they have no good
reason for complaint; inasmuch as Nature, in marking and scooping out
the channel of their stream, seems to have had an eye to the useful
rather than the picturesque.  After a few preliminary antics and
youthful vagaries up among the White Hills, the Merrimac comes down to
the seaboard, a clear, cheerful, hard-working Yankee river.  Its
numerous falls and rapids are such as seem to invite the engineer's
level rather than the pencil of the tourist; and the mason who piles up
the huge brick fabrics at their feet is seldom, I suspect, troubled with
sentimental remorse or poetical misgivings.  Staid and matter of fact as
the Merrimac is, it has, nevertheless, certain capricious and eccentric
tributaries; the Powow, for instance, with its eighty feet fall in a few
rods, and that wild, Indian-haunted Spicket, taking its wellnigh
perpendicular leap of thirty feet, within sight of the village meeting-
house, kicking up its Pagan heels, Sundays and all, in sheer contempt of
Puritan tithing-men.  This latter waterfall is now somewhat modified by
the hand of Art, but is still, as Professor Hitchcock's "Scenographical
Geology" says of it, "an object of no little interest."  My friend T.,
favorably known as the translator of "Undine" and as a writer of fine
and delicate imagination, visited Spicket Falls before the sound of a
hammer or the click of a trowel had been heard beside them.  His journal
of "A Day on the Merrimac" gives a pleasing and vivid description of
their original appearance as viewed through the telescope of a poetic
fancy.  The readers of "Undine" will thank me for a passage or two from
this sketch:--

"The sound of the waters swells more deeply.  Something supernatural in
their confused murmur; it makes me better understand and sympathize with
the writer of the Apocalypse when he speaks of the voice of many waters,
heaping image upon image, to impart the vigor of his conception.

"Through yonder elm-branches I catch a few snowy glimpses of foam in the
air.  See that spray and vapor rolling up the evergreen on my left The
two side precipices, one hundred feet apart and excluding objects of
inferior moment, darken and concentrate the view.  The waters between
pour over the right-hand and left-hand summit, rushing down and uniting
among the craggiest and abruptest of rocks.  Oh for a whole mountain-
side of that living foam!  The sun impresses a faint prismatic hue.
These falls, compared with those of the Missouri, are nothing,--nothing
but the merest miniature; and yet they assist me in forming some
conception of that glorious expanse.

"A fragment of an oak, struck off by lightning, struggles with the
current midway down; while the shattered trunk frowns above the
desolation, majestic in ruin.  This is near the southern cliff.  Farther
north a crag rises out of the stream, its upper surface covered with
green clover of the most vivid freshness.  Not only all night, but all
day, has the dew lain upon its purity.  With my eye attaining the
uppermost margin, where the waters shoot over, I look away into the
western sky, and discern there (what you least expect) a cow chewing her
cud with admirable composure, and higher up several sheep and lambs
browsing celestial buds.  They stand on the eminence that forms the
background of my present view.  The illusion is extremely picturesque,--
such as Allston himself would despair of producing.  'Who can paint like
Nature'?"

To a population like that of Lowell, the weekly respite from monotonous
in-door toil afforded by the first day of the week is particularly
grateful.  Sabbath comes to the weary and overworked operative
emphatically as a day of rest.  It opens upon him somewhat as it did
upon George Herbert, as he describes it in his exquisite little poem:--

               "Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
               The bridal of the earth and sky!"

Apart from its soothing religious associations, it brings with it the
assurance of physical comfort and freedom.  It is something to be able
to doze out the morning from daybreak to breakfast in that luxurious
state between sleeping and waking in which the mind eddies slowly and
peacefully round and round instead of rushing onward,--the future a
blank, the past annihilated, the present but a dim consciousness of
pleasurable existence.  Then, too, the satisfaction is by no means
inconsiderable of throwing aside the worn and soiled habiliments of
labor and appearing in neat and comfortable attire.  The moral influence
of dress has not been overrated even by Carlyle's Professor in his
Sartor Resartus.  William Penn says that cleanliness is akin to
godliness.  A well-dressed man, all other things being equal, is not
half as likely to compromise his character as one who approximates to
shabbiness.  Lawrence Sterne used to say that when he felt himself
giving way to low spirits and a sense of depression and worthlessness,--
a sort of predisposition for all sorts of little meannesses,--he
forthwith shaved himself, brushed his wig, donned his best dress and his
gold rings, and thus put to flight the azure demons of his unfortunate
temperament.  There is somehow a close affinity between moral purity and
clean linen; and the sprites of our daily temptation, who seem to find
easy access to us through a broken hat or a rent in the elbow, are
manifestly baffled by the "complete mail" of a clean and decent dress.
I recollect on one occasion hearing my mother tell our family physician
that a woman in the neighborhood, not remarkable for her tidiness, had
become a church-member.  "Humph!" said the doctor, in his quick,
sarcastic way, "What of that?  Don't you know that no unclean thing can
enter the kingdom of heaven?"

"If you would see" Lowell "aright," as Walter Scott says of Melrose
Abbey, one must be here of a pleasant First day at the close of what is
called the "afternoon service."  The streets are then blossoming like a
peripatetic flower-garden; as if the tulips and lilies and roses of my
friend W.'s nursery, in the vale of Nonantum, should take it into their
heads to promenade for exercise.  Thousands swarm forth who during week-
days are confined to the mills.  Gay colors alternate with snowy
whiteness; extremest fashion elbows the plain demureness of old-
fashioned Methodism.

Fair pale faces catch a warmer tint from the free sunshine and fresh
air.  The languid step becomes elastic with that "springy motion of the
gait" which Charles Lamb admired.  Yet the general appearance of the
city is that of quietude; the youthful multitude passes on calmly, its
voices subdued to a lower and softened tone, as if fearful of breaking
the repose of the day of rest.  A stranger fresh from the gayly spent
Sabbaths of the continent of Europe would be undoubtedly amazed at the
decorum and sobriety of these crowded streets.

I am not over-precise in outward observances; but I nevertheless welcome
with joy unfeigned this first day of the week,--sweetest pause in our
hard life-march, greenest resting-place in the hot desert we are
treading.  The errors of those who mistake its benignant rest for the
iron rule of the Jewish Sabbath, and who consequently hedge it about
with penalties and bow down before it in slavish terror, should not
render us less grateful for the real blessing it brings us.  As a day
wrested in some degree from the god of this world, as an opportunity
afforded for thoughtful self-communing, let us receive it as a good gift
of our heavenly Parent in love rather than fear.

In passing along Central Street this morning my attention was directed
by the friend who accompanied me to a group of laborers, with coats off
and sleeves rolled up, heaving at levers, smiting with sledge-hammers,
in full view of the street, on the margin of the canal, just above
Central Street Bridge.  I rubbed my eyes, half expecting that I was the
subject of mere optical illusion; but a second look only confirmed the
first.  Around me were solemn, go-to-meeting faces,--smileless and
awful; and close at hand were the delving, toiling, mud-begrimed
laborers.  Nobody seemed surprised at it; nobody noticed it as a thing
out of the common course of events.  And this, too, in a city where the
Sabbath proprieties are sternly insisted upon; where some twenty pulpits
deal out anathemas upon all who "desecrate the Lord's day;" where simple
notices of meetings for moral purposes even can scarcely be read; where
many count it wrong to speak on that day for the slave, who knows no
Sabbath of rest, or for the drunkard, who, imbruted by his appetites,
cannot enjoy it.  Verily there are strange contradictions in our
conventional morality.  Eyes which, looking across the Atlantic on the
gay Sabbath dances of French peasants are turned upward with horror, are
somehow blind to matters close at home.  What would be sin past
repentance in an individual becomes quite proper in a corporation.
True, the Sabbath is holy; but the canals must be repaired.  Everybody
ought to go to meeting; but the dividends must not be diminished.
Church indulgences are not, after all, confined to Rome.

To a close observer of human nature there is nothing surprising in the
fact that a class of persons, who wink at this sacrifice of Sabhath
sanctities to the demon of gain, look at the same time with stern
disapprobation upon everything partaking of the character of amusement,
however innocent and healthful, on this day.  But for myself, looking
down through the light of a golden evening upon these quietly passing
groups, I cannot find it in my heart to condemn them for seeking on this
their sole day of leisure the needful influences of social enjoyment,
unrestrained exercise, and fresh air.  I cannot think any essential
service to religion or humanity would result from the conversion of
their day of rest into a Jewish Sabbath, and their consequent
confinement, like so many pining prisoners, in close and crowded
boarding-houses.  Is not cheerfulness a duty, a better expression of our
gratitude for God's blessings than mere words?  And even under the old
law of rituals, what answer had the Pharisees to the question, "Is it
not lawful to do good on the Sabbath day?"

I am naturally of a sober temperament, and am, besides, a member of that
sect which Dr. More has called, mistakenly indeed, "the most melancholy
of all;" but I confess a special dislike of disfigured faces,
ostentatious displays of piety, pride aping humility.  Asceticism,
moroseness, self-torture, ingratitude in view of down-showering
blessings, and painful restraint of the better feelings of our nature
may befit a Hindoo fakir, or a Mandan medicine man with buffalo skulls
strung to his lacerated muscles; but they look to me sadly out of place
in a believer of the glad evangel of the New Testament.  The life of the
divine Teacher affords no countenance to this sullen and gloomy
saintliness, shutting up the heart against the sweet influences of human
sympathy and the blessed ministrations of Nature.  To the horror and
clothes-rending astonishment of blind Pharisees He uttered the
significant truth, that "the Sabhath was made for man, and not man for
the Sabhath."  From the close air of crowded cities, from thronged
temples and synagogues,--where priest and Levite kept up a show of
worship, drumming upon hollow ceremonials the more loudly for their
emptiness of life, as the husk rustles the more when the grain is gone,
--He led His disciples out into the country stillness, under clear
Eastern heavens, on the breezy tops of mountains, in the shade of fruit-
trees, by the side of fountains, and through yellow harvest-fields,
enforcing the lessons of His divine morality by comparisons and parables
suggested by the objects around Him or the cheerful incidents of social
humanity,--the vineyard, the field-lily, the sparrow in the air, the
sower in the seed-field, the feast and the marriage.  Thus gently, thus
sweetly kind and cheerful, fell from His lips the gospel of humanity;
love the fulfilling of every law; our love for one another measuring and
manifesting our love of Him.  The baptism wherewith He was baptized was
that of divine fulness in the wants of our humanity; the deep waters of
our sorrows went over Him; ineffable purity sounding for our sakes the
dark abysm of sin; yet how like a river of light runs that serene and
beautiful life through the narratives of the evangelists!  He broke
bread with the poor despised publican; He sat down with the fishermen by
the Sea of Galilee; He spoke compassionate words to sin-sick Magdalen;
He sanctified by His presence the social enjoyments of home and
friendship in the family of Bethany; He laid His hand of blessing on the
sunny brows of children; He had regard even to the merely animal wants
of the multitude in the wilderness; He frowned upon none of life's
simple and natural pleasures.  The burden of His Gospel was love; and in
life and word He taught evermore the divided and scattered children of
one great family that only as they drew near each other could they
approach Him who was their common centre; and that while no ostentation
of prayer nor rigid observance of ceremonies could elevate man to
heaven, the simple exercise of love, in thought and action, could bring
heaven down to man.  To weary and restless spirits He taught the great
truth, that happiness consists in making others happy.  No cloister for
idle genuflections and bead counting, no hair-cloth for the loins nor
scourge for the limbs, but works of love and usefulness under the
cheerful sunshine, making the waste places of humanity glad and causing
the heart's desert to blossom.  Why, then, should we go searching after
the cast-off sackcloth of the Pharisee?  Are we Jews, or Christians?
Must even our gratitude for "glad tidings of great joy" be desponding?
Must the hymn of our thanksgiving for countless mercies and the
unspeakable gift of His life have evermore an undertone of funeral
wailing?  What! shall we go murmuring and lamenting, looking coldly on
one another, seeing no beauty, nor light, nor gladness in this good
world, wherein we have the glorious privilege of laboring in God's
harvest-field, with angels for our task companions, blessing and being
blessed?

To him who, neglecting the revelations of immediate duty, looks
regretfully behind and fearfully before him, life may well seem a solemn
mystery, for, whichever way he turns, a wall of darkness rises before
him; but down upon the present, as through a skylight between the
shadows, falls a clear, still radiance, like beams from an eye of
blessing; and, within the circle of that divine illumination, beauty and
goodness, truth and love, purity and cheerfulness blend like primal
colors into the clear harmony of light.  The author of Proverbial
Philosophy has a passage not unworthy of note in this connection, when
he speaks of the train which attends the just in heaven:--

"Also in the lengthening troop see I some clad in robes of triumph,
Whose fair and sunny faces I have known and loved on earth.
Welcome, ye glorified Loves, Graces, Sciences, and Muses,
That, like Sisters of Charity, tended in this world's hospital;
Welcome, for verily I knew ye could not but be children of the light;
Welcome, chiefly welcome, for I find I have friends in heaven,
And some I have scarcely looked for; as thou, light-hearted Mirth;
Thou, also, star-robed Urania; and thou with the curious glass,
That rejoicest in tracking beauty where the eye was too dull to note it.
And art thou, too, among the blessed, mild, much-injured Poetry?
That quickenest with light and beauty the leaden face of matter,
That not unheard, though silent, fillest earth's gardens with music,
And not unseen, though a spirit, dost look down upon us from the stars."



THE LIGHTING UP.

          "He spak to the spynnsters to spynnen it oute."
                                                  PIERS PLOUGHMAN.

THIS evening, the 20th of the ninth month, is the time fixed upon for
lighting the mills for night-labor; and I have just returned from
witnessing for the first time the effect of the new illumination.

Passing over the bridge, nearly to the Dracut shore, I had a fine view
of the long line of mills, the city beyond, and the broad sweep of the
river from the falls.  The light of a tranquil and gorgeous sunset was
slowly fading from river and sky, and the shadows of the trees on the
Dracut slopes were blending in dusky indistinctness with the great
shadow of night.  Suddenly gleams of light broke from the black masses
of masonry on the Lowell bank, at first feeble and scattered, flitting
from window to window, appearing and disappearing, like will-o'-wisps in
a forest or fireflies in a summer's night.  Anon tier after tier of
windows became radiant, until the whole vast wall, stretching far up the
river, from basement to roof, became checkered with light reflected with
the starbeams from the still water beneath.  With a little effort of
fancy, one could readily transform the huge mills, thus illuminated,
into palaces lighted up for festival occasions, and the figures of the
workers, passing to and fro before the windows, into forms of beauty and
fashion, moving in graceful dances.

Alas! this music of the shuttle and the daylong dance to it are not
altogether of the kind which Milton speaks of when he invokes the "soft
Lydian airs" of voluptuous leisure.  From this time henceforward for
half a weary year, from the bell-call of morning twilight to half-past
seven in the evening, with brief intermissions for two hasty meals, the
operatives will be confined to their tasks.  The proverbial facility of
the Yankees in despatching their dinners in the least possible time
seems to have been taken advantage of and reduced to a system on the
Lowell corporations.  Strange as it may seem to the uninitiated, the
working-men and women here contrive to repair to their lodgings, make
the necessary preliminary ablutions, devour their beef and pudding, and
hurry back to their looms and jacks in the brief space of half an hour.
In this way the working-day in Lowell is eked out to an average
throughout the year of twelve and a half hours.  This is a serious evil,
demanding the earnest consideration of the humane and philanthropic.
Both classes--the employer and the employed--would in the end be greatly
benefited by the general adoption of the "ten-hour system," although the
one might suffer a slight diminution in daily wages and the other in
yearly profits.  Yet it is difficult to see how this most desirable
change is to be effected.  The stronger and healthier portion of the
operatives might themselves object to it as strenuously as the distant
stockholder who looks only to his semi-annual dividends.  Health is too
often a matter of secondary consideration.  Gain is the great,
all-absorbing object.  Very few, comparatively, regard Lowell as their
"continuing city."  They look longingly back to green valleys of
Vermont, to quiet farm-houses on the head-waters of the Connecticut and
Merrimac, and to old familiar homes along the breezy seaboard of New
England, whence they have been urged by the knowledge that here they can
earn a larger amount of money in a given time than in any other place or
employment.  They come here for gain, not for pleasure; for high wages,
not for the comforts that cluster about home.  Here are poor widows
toiling to educate their children; daughters hoarding their wages to
redeem mortgaged paternal homesteads or to defray the expenses of sick
and infirm parents; young betrothed girls, about to add their savings to
those of their country lovers.  Others there are, of maturer age, lonely
and poor, impelled hither by a proud unwillingness to test to its extent
the charity of friends and relatives, and a strong yearning for the
"glorious privilege of being independent."  All honor to them!  Whatever
may have closed against them the gates of matrimony, whether their own
obduracy or the faithlessness or indifference of others, instead of
shutting themselves up in a nunnery or taxing the good nature of their
friends by perpetual demands for sympathy and support, like weak vines,
putting out their feelers in every direction for something to twine
upon, is it not better and wiser for them to go quietly at work, to show
that woman has a self-sustaining power; that she is something in and of
herself; that she, too, has a part to bear in life, and, in common with
the self-elected "lords of creation," has a direct relation to absolute
being?  To such the factory presents the opportunity of taking the first
and essential step of securing, within a reasonable space of time, a
comfortable competency.

There are undoubtedly many evils connected with the working of these
mills; yet they are partly compensated by the fact that here, more than
in any other mechanical employment, the labor of woman is placed
essentially upon an equality with that of man.  Here, at least, one of
the many social disabilities under which woman as a distinct individual,
unconnected with the other sex, has labored in all time is removed; the
work of her hands is adequately rewarded; and she goes to her daily task
with the consciousness that she is not "spending her strength for
naught."

'The Lowell Offering', which has been for the last four years published
monthly in this city, consisting entirely of articles written by females
employed in the mills, has attracted much attention and obtained a wide
circulation.  This may be in part owing to the novel circumstances of
its publication; but it is something more and better than a mere
novelty.  In its volumes may be found sprightly delineations of home
scenes and characters, highly wrought imaginative pieces, tales of
genuine pathos and humor, and pleasing fairy stories and fables.
'The Offering' originated in a reading society of the mill girls, which,
under the name of the 'Improvement Circle' was convened once in a month.
At its meetings, pieces written by its members and dropped secretly into
a sort of "lion's mouth," provided for the purpose of insuring the
authors from detection, were read for the amusement and criticism of
the company.  This circle is still in existence; and I owe to my
introduction to it some of the most pleasant hours I have passed in
Lowell.

The manner in which the 'Offering' has been generally noticed in this
country has not, to my thinking, been altogether in accordance with good
taste or self-respect.  It is hardly excusable for men, who, whatever
may be their present position, have, in common with all of us, brothers,
sisters, or other relations busy in workshop and dairy, and who have
scarcely washed from their own professional hands the soil of labor, to
make very marked demonstrations of astonishment at the appearance of a
magazine whose papers are written by factory girls.  As if the
compatibility of mental cultivation with bodily labor and the equality
and brotherhood of the human family were still open questions, depending
for their decision very much on the production of positive proof that
essays may be written and carpets woven by the same set of fingers!

The truth is, our democracy lacks calmness and solidity, the repose and
self-reliance which come of long habitude and settled conviction.  We
have not yet learned to wear its simple truths with the graceful ease
and quiet air of unsolicitous assurance with which the titled European
does his social fictions.  As a people, we do not feel and live out our
great Declaration.  We lack faith in man,--confidence in simple
humanity, apart from its environments.

         "The age shows, to my thinking, more infidels to Adam,
          Than directly, by profession, simple infidels to God."

                                        Elizabeth B. Browning.



TAKING COMFORT.

For the last few days the fine weather has lured me away from books and
papers and the close air of dwellings into the open fields, and under
the soft, warm sunshine, and the softer light of a full moon.  The
loveliest season of the whole year--that transient but delightful
interval between the storms of the "wild equinox, with all their wet,"
and the dark, short, dismal days which precede the rigor of winter--is
now with us.  The sun rises through a soft and hazy atmosphere; the
light mist-clouds melt gradually away before him; and his noontide light
rests warm and clear on still woods, tranquil waters, and grasses green
with the late autumnal rains.  The rough-wooded slopes of Dracut,
overlooking the falls of the river; Fort Hill, across the Concord, where
the red man made his last stand, and where may still be seen the trench
which he dug around his rude fortress; the beautiful woodlands on the
Lowell and Tewksbury shores of the Concord; the cemetery; the Patucket
Falls,--all within the reach of a moderate walk,--offer at this season
their latest and loveliest attractions.

One fine morning, not long ago, I strolled down the Merrimac, on the
Tewksbury shore.  I know of no walk in the vicinity of Lowell so
inviting as that along the margin of the river for nearly a mile from
the village of Belvidere.  The path winds, green and flower-skirted,
among beeches and oaks, through whose boughs you catch glimpses of
waters sparkling and dashing below.  Rocks, huge and picturesque,
jut out into the stream, affording beautiful views of the river and
the distant city.

Half fatigued with my walk, I threw myself down upon the rocky slope
of the bank, where the panorama of earth, sky, and water lay clear and
distinct about me.  Far above, silent and dim as a picture, was the
city, with its huge mill-masonry, confused chimney-tops, and church-
spires; nearer rose the height of Belvidere, with its deserted burial-
place and neglected gravestones sharply defined on its bleak, bare
summit against the sky; before me the river went dashing down its rugged
channel, sending up its everlasting murmur; above me the birch-tree hung
its tassels; and the last wild flowers of autumn profusely fringed the
rocky rim of the water.  Right opposite, the Dracut woods stretched
upwards from the shore, beautiful with the hues of frost, glowing with
tints richer and deeper than those which Claude or Poussin mingled, as
if the rainbows of a summer shower had fallen among them.  At a little
distance to the right a group of cattle stood mid-leg deep in the river;
and a troop of children, bright-eyed and mirthful, were casting pebbles
at them from a projecting shelf of rock.  Over all a warm but softened
sunshine melted down from a slumberous autumnal sky.

My revery was disagreeably broken.  A low, grunting sound, half bestial,
half human, attracted my attention.  I was not alone.  Close beside me,
half hidden by a tuft of bushes, lay a human being, stretched out at
full length, with his face literally rooted into the gravel.  A little
boy, five or six years of age, clean and healthful, with his fair brown
locks and blue eyes, stood on the bank above, gazing down upon him with
an expression of childhood's simple and unaffected pity.

"What ails you?" asked the boy at length.  "What makes you lie there?"

The prostrate groveller struggled half-way up, exhibiting the bloated
and filthy countenance of a drunkard.  He made two or three efforts to
get upon his feet, lost his balance, and tumbled forward upon his face.

"What are you doing there?"  inquired the boy.

"I'm taking comfort," he muttered, with his mouth in the dirt.

Taking his comfort!  There he lay,--squalid and loathsome under the
bright heaven,--an imbruted man.  The holy harmonies of Nature, the
sounds of gushing waters, the rustle of the leaves above him, the wild
flowers, the frost-bloom of the woods,--what were they to him?
Insensible, deaf, and blind, in the stupor of a living death, he lay
there, literally realizing that most bitterly significant Eastern
malediction, "May you eat dirt!"

In contrasting the exceeding beauty and harmony of inanimate Nature with
the human degradation and deformity before me, I felt, as I confess I
had never done before, the truth of a remark of a rare thinker, that
"Nature is loved as the city of God, although, or rather because, it has
no citizen.  The beauty of Nature must ever be universal and mocking
until the landscape has human figures as good as itself.  Man is fallen;
Nature is erect."--(Emerson.)  As I turned once more to the calm blue
sky, the hazy autumnal hills, and the slumberous water, dream-tinted by
the foliage of its shores, it seemed as if a shadow of shame and sorrow
fell over the pleasant picture; and even the west wind which stirred the
tree-tops above me had a mournful murmur, as if Nature felt the
desecration of her sanctities and the discord of sin and folly which
marred her sweet harmonies.

God bless the temperance movement!  And He will bless it; for it is His
work.  It is one of the great miracles of our times.  Not Father Mathew
in Ireland, nor Hawkins and his little band in Baltimore, but He whose
care is over all the works of His hand, and who in His divine love and
compassion "turneth the hearts of men as the rivers of waters are
turned," hath done it.  To Him be all the glory.



CHARMS AND FAIRY FAITH

                         "Up the airy mountain,
                         Down the rushy glen,
                         We dare n't go a-hunting
                         For fear of little men.
                         Wee folk, good folk,
                         Trooping all together;
                         Green jacket, red cap,
                         Gray cock's feather."
                                        ALLINGHAM.

IT was from a profound knowledge of human nature that Lord Bacon, in
discoursing upon truth, remarked that a mixture of a lie doth ever add
pleasure.  "Doth any man doubt," he asks, "that if there were taken out
of men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, and
imaginations, but it would leave the minds of a number of men poor,
shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to
themselves?"  This admitted tendency of our nature, this love of the
pleasing intoxication of unveracity, exaggeration, and imagination, may
perhaps account for the high relish which children and nations yet in
the childhood of civilization find in fabulous legends and tales of
wonder.  The Arab at the present day listens with eager interest to the
same tales of genii and afrits, sorcerers and enchanted princesses,
which delighted his ancestors in the times of Haroun al Raschid.  The
gentle, church-going Icelander of our time beguiles the long night of
his winter with the very sagas and runes which thrilled with not
unpleasing horror the hearts of the old Norse sea-robbers.  What child,
although Anglo-Saxon born, escapes a temporary sojourn in fairy-land?
Who of us does not remember the intense satisfaction of throwing aside
primer and spelling-book for stolen ethnographical studies of dwarfs,
and giants?  Even in our own country and time old superstitions and
credulities still cling to life with feline tenacity.  Here and there,
oftenest in our fixed, valley-sheltered, inland villages,--slumberous
Rip Van Winkles, unprogressive and seldom visited,--may be found the
same old beliefs in omens, warnings, witchcraft, and supernatural charms
which our ancestors brought with them two centuries ago from Europe.

The practice of charms, or what is popularly called "trying projects,"
is still, to some extent, continued in New England.  The inimitable
description which Burns gives of similar practices in his Halloween may
not in all respects apply to these domestic conjurations; but the
following needs only the substitution of apple-seeds for nuts:--

     "The auld gude wife's wheel-hoordet nits
     Are round an' round divided;
     An' mony lads and lassies' fates
     Are there that night decided.
     Some kindle couthie side by side
     An' burn thegither trimly;
     Some start awa wi' saucy pride
     And jump out owre the chimlie."

One of the most common of these "projects" is as follows: A young woman
goes down into the cellar, or into a dark room, with a mirror in her
hand, and looking in it, sees the face of her future husband peering at
her through the darkness,--the mirror being, for the time, as potent as
the famous Cambuscan glass of which Chaucer discourses.  A neighbor of
mine, in speaking of this conjuration, adduces a case in point.  One of
her schoolmates made the experiment and saw the face of a strange man in
the glass; and many years afterwards she saw the very man pass her
father's door.  He proved to be an English emigrant just landed, and in
due time became her husband.  Burns alludes to something like the spell
above described:--

     "Wee Jenny to her grannie says,
     'will ye go wi' me, grannie,
     To eat an apple at the glass
     I got from Uncle Johnnie?'
     She fuff't her pipe wi' sic a lunt,
     In wrath she was so vaporin',
     She noticed na an' azle brunt
     Her bran new worset apron.

     "Ye little skelpan-limmer's face,
     How dare ye try sic sportin',
     An' seek the foul thief ony place
     For him to try your fortune?
     Nae doubt but ye may get a sight;
     Great cause ye hae to fear it;
     For mony a one has gotten a fright,
     An' lived and died delecrit."

It is not to be denied, and for truth's sake not to be regretted, that
this amusing juvenile glammary has seen its best days in New England.
The schoolmaster has been abroad to some purpose.  Not without results
have our lyceum lecturers and travels of Peter Parley brought everything
in heaven above and in the earth below to the level of childhood's
capacities.  In our cities and large towns children nowadays pass
through the opening acts of life's marvellous drama with as little
manifestation of wonder and surprise as the Indian does through the
streets of a civilized city which he has entered for the first time.
Yet Nature, sooner or later, vindicates her mysteries; voices from the
unseen penetrate the din of civilization.  The child philosopher and
materialist often becomes the visionary of riper years, running into
illuminism, magnetism, and transcendentalism, with its inspired priests
and priestesses, its revelations and oracular responses.

But in many a green valley of rural New England there are children yet;
boys and girls are still to be found not quite overtaken by the march of
mind.  There, too, are huskings, and apple-bees, and quilting parties,
and huge old-fashioned fireplaces piled with crackling walnut, flinging
its rosy light over happy countenances of youth and scarcely less happy
age.  If it be true that, according to Cornelius Agrippa, "a wood fire
doth drive away dark spirits," it is, nevertheless, also true that
around it the simple superstitions of our ancestors still love to
linger; and there the half-sportful, half-serious charms of which I have
spoken are oftenest resorted to.  It would be altogether out of place to
think of them by our black, unsightly stoves, or in the dull and dark
monotony of our furnace-heated rooms.  Within the circle of the light of
the open fire safely might the young conjurers question destiny; for
none but kindly and gentle messengers from wonderland could venture
among them.  And who of us, looking back to those long autumnal evenings
of childhood when the glow of the kitchen-fire rested on the beloved
faces of home, does not feel that there is truth and beauty in what the
quaint old author just quoted affirms?  "As the spirits of darkness grow
stronger in the dark, so good spirits, which are angels of light, are
multiplied and strengthened, not only by the divine light of the sun and
stars, but also by the light of our common wood-fires."  Even Lord
Bacon, in condemning the superstitious beliefs of his day, admits that
they might serve for winter talk around the fireside.

Fairy faith is, we may safely say, now dead everywhere,--buried,
indeed,--for the mad painter Blake saw the funeral of the last of the
little people, and an irreverent English bishop has sung their requiem.
It never had much hold upon the Yankee mind, our superstitions being
mostly of a sterner and less poetical kind.  The Irish Presbyterians who
settled in New Hampshire about the year 1720 brought indeed with them,
among other strange matters, potatoes and fairies; but while the former
took root and flourished among us, the latter died out, after lingering
a few years in a very melancholy and disconsolate way, looking
regretfully back to their green turf dances, moonlight revels, and
cheerful nestling around the shealing fires of Ireland.  The last that
has been heard of them was some forty or fifty years ago in a tavern
house in S-------, New Hampshire.  The landlord was a spiteful little
man, whose sour, pinched look was a standing libel upon the state of his
larder.  He made his house so uncomfortable by his moroseness that
travellers even at nightfall pushed by his door and drove to the next
town.  Teamsters and drovers, who in those days were apt to be very
thirsty, learned, even before temperance societies were thought of, to
practice total abstinence on that road, and cracked their whips and
goaded on their teams in full view of a most tempting array of bottles
and glasses, from behind which the surly little landlord glared out upon
them with a look which seemed expressive of all sorts of evil wishes,
broken legs, overturned carriages, spavined horses, sprained oxen,
unsavory poultry, damaged butter, and bad markets.  And if, as a matter
of necessity, to "keep the cold out of his stomach," occasionally a
wayfarer stopped his team and ventured to call for "somethin' warmin',"
the testy publican stirred up the beverage in such a spiteful way, that,
on receiving it foaming from his hand, the poor customer was half afraid
to open his mouth, lest the red-hot flip iron should be plunged down his
gullet.

As a matter of course, poverty came upon the house and its tenants like
an armed man.  Loose clapboards rattled in the wind; rags fluttered from
the broken windows; within doors were tattered children and scanty fare.
The landlord's wife was a stout, buxom woman, of Irish lineage, and,
what with scolding her husband and liberally patronizing his bar in his
absence, managed to keep, as she said, her "own heart whole," although
the same could scarcely be said of her children's trousers and her own
frock of homespun.  She confidently predicted that "a betther day was
coming," being, in fact, the only thing hopeful about the premises.  And
it did come, sure enough.  Not only all the regular travellers on the
road made a point of stopping at the tavern, but guests from all the
adjacent towns filled its long-deserted rooms,--the secret of which was,
that it had somehow got abroad that a company of fairies had taken up
their abode in the hostelry and daily held conversation with each other
in the capacious parlor.  I have heard those who at the time visited the
tavern say that it was literally thronged for several weeks.  Small,
squeaking voices spoke in a sort of Yankee-Irish dialect, in the haunted
room, to the astonishment and admiration of hundreds.  The inn, of
course, was blessed by this fairy visitation; the clapboards ceased
their racket, clear panes took the place of rags in the sashes, and the
little till under the bar grew daily heavy with coin.  The magical
influence extended even farther; for it was observable that the landlord
wore a good-natured face, and that the landlady's visits to the gin-
bottle were less and less frequent.  But the thing could not, in the
nature of the case, continue long.  It was too late in the day and on
the wrong side of the water.  As the novelty wore off, people began to
doubt and reason about it.  Had the place been traversed by a ghost or
disturbed by a witch they could have acquiesced in it very quietly; but
this outlandish belief in fairies was altogether an overtask for Yankee
credulity.  As might have been expected, the little strangers, unable to
breathe in an atmosphere of doubt and suspicion, soon took their leave,
shaking off the dust of their elfin feet as a testimony against an
unbelieving generation.  It was, indeed, said that certain rude fellows
from the Bay State pulled away a board from the ceiling and disclosed to
view the fairies in the shape of the landlady's three slatternly
daughters.  But the reader who has any degree of that charity which
thinks no evil will rather credit the statement of the fairies
themselves, as reported by the mistress of the house, "that they were
tired of the new country, and had no pace of their lives among the
Yankees, and were going back to Ould Ireland."

It is a curious fact that the Indians had some notion of a race of
beings corresponding in many respects to the English fairies.
Schoolcraft describes them as small creatures in human shape, inhabiting
rocks, crags, and romantic dells, and delighting especially in points of
land jutting into lakes and rivers and which were covered with
pinetrees.  They were called Puckweedjinees,--little vanishers.

In a poetical point of view it is to be regretted that our ancestors did
not think it worth their while to hand down to us more of the simple and
beautiful traditions and beliefs of the "heathen round about" them.
Some hints of them we glean from the writings of the missionary Mayhew
and the curious little book of Roger Williams.  Especially would one
like to know more of that domestic demon, Wetuomanit, who presided over
household affairs, assisted the young squaw in her first essay at
wigwam-keeping, gave timely note of danger, and kept evil spirits at a
distance,--a kind of new-world brownie, gentle and useful.

Very suggestive, too, is the story of Pumoolah,--a mighty spirit, whose
home is on the great Katahdin Mountain, sitting there with his earthly
bride (a beautiful daughter of the Penobscots transformed into an
immortal by her love), in serenest sunshine, above the storm which
crouches and growls at his feet.  None but the perfectly pure and good
can reach his abode.  Many have from time to time attempted it in vain;
some, after almost reaching the summit, have been driven back by
thunderbolts or sleety whirlwinds.

Not far from my place of residence are the ruins of a mill, in a narrow
ravine fringed with trees.  Some forty years ago the mill was supposed
to be haunted; and horse-shoes, in consequence, were nailed over its
doors.  One worthy man, whose business lay beyond the mill, was afraid
to pass it alone; and his wife, who was less fearful of supernatural
annoyance, used to accompany him.  The little old white-coated miller,
who there ground corn and wheat for his neighbors, whenever he made a
particularly early visit to his mill, used to hear it in full
operation,--the water-wheel dashing bravely, and the old rickety
building clattering to the jar of the stones.  Yet the moment his hand
touched the latch or his foot the threshold all was hushed save the
melancholy drip of water from the dam or the low gurgle of the small
stream eddying amidst willow roots and mossy stones in the ravine below.

This haunted mill has always reminded me of that most beautiful of
Scottish ballads, the Song of the Elfin Miller, in which fairies are
represented as grinding the poor man's grist without toil:--

              "Full merrily rings the mill-stone round;
               Full merrily rings the wheel;
               Full merrily gushes out the grist;
               Come, taste my fragrant meal.
               The miller he's a warldly man,
               And maun hae double fee;
               So draw the sluice in the churl's dam
               And let the stream gae free!"

Brainerd, who truly deserves the name of an American poet, has left
behind him a ballad on the Indian legend of the black fox which haunted
Salmon River, a tributary of the Connecticut.  Its wild and picturesque
beauty causes us to regret that more of the still lingering traditions
of the red men have not been made the themes of his verse:--



THE BLACK FOX.

               "How cold, how beautiful, how bright
               The cloudless heaven above us shines!
               But 't is a howling winter's night;
               'T would freeze the very forest pines.

               "The winds are up while mortals sleep;
               The stars look forth while eyes are shut;
               The bolted snow lies drifted deep
               Around our poor and lonely hut.

               "With silent step and listening ear,
               With bow and arrow, dog and gun,
               We'll mark his track,--his prowl we hear:
               Now is our time!  Come on! come on!

               "O'er many a fence, through many a wood,
               Following the dog's bewildered scent,
               In anxious haste and earnest mood,
               The white man and the Indian went.

               "The gun is cocked; the bow is bent;
               The dog stands with uplifted paw;
               And ball and arrow both are sent,
               Aimed at the prowler's very jaw.

               "The ball to kill that fox is run
               Not in a mould by mortals made;
               The arrow which that fox should shun
               Was never shaped from earthly reed.

               "The Indian Druids of the wood
               Know where the fatal arrows grow;
               They spring not by the summer flood;
               They pierce not through the winter's snow.

               "Why cowers the dog, whose snuffing nose
               Was never once deceived till now?
               And why amidst the chilling snows
               Does either hunter wipe his brow?

               "For once they see his fearful den;
               'T is a dark cloud that slowly moves
               By night around the homes of men,
               By day along the stream it loves.

               "Again the dog is on the track,
               The hunters chase o'er dale and hill;
               They may not, though they would, look back;
               They must go forward, forward still.

               "Onward they go, and never turn,
               Amidst a night which knows no day;
               For nevermore shall morning sun
               Light them upon their endless way.

               "The hut is desolate; and there
               The famished dog alone returns;
               On the cold steps he makes his lair;
               By the shut door he lays his bones.

               "Now the tired sportsman leans his gun
               Against the ruins on its site,
               And ponders on the hunting done
               By the lost wanderers of the night.

               "And there the little country girls
               Will stop to whisper, listen, and look,
               And tell, while dressing their sunny curls,
               Of the Black Fox of Salmon Brook."

The same writer has happily versified a pleasant superstition of the
valley of the Connecticut.  It is supposed that shad are led from the
Gulf of Mexico to the Connecticut by a kind of Yankee bogle in the shape
of a bird.



THE SHAD SPIRIT.

          "Now drop the bolt, and securely nail
          The horse-shoe over the door;
          'T is a wise precaution; and, if it should fail,
          It never failed before.

          "Know ye the shepherd that gathers his flock
          Where the gales of the equinox blow
          From each unknown reef and sunken rock
          In the Gulf of Mexico,--

          "While the monsoons growl, and the trade-winds bark,
          And the watch-dogs of the surge
          Pursue through the wild waves the ravenous shark
          That prowls around their charge?

          "To fair Connecticut's northernmost source,
          O'er sand-bars, rapids, and falls,
          The Shad Spirit holds his onward course
          With the flocks which his whistle calls.

          "Oh, how shall he know where he went before?
          Will he wander around forever?
          The last year's shad heads shall shine on the shore,
          To light him up the river.

          "And well can he tell the very time
          To undertake his task
          When the pork-barrel's low he sits on the chine
          And drums on the empty cask.

          "The wind is light, and the wave is white
          With the fleece of the flock that's near;
          Like the breath of the breeze he comes over the seas
          And faithfully leads them here.

          "And now he 's passed the bolted door
          Where the rusted horse-shoe clings;
          So carry the nets to the nearest shore,
          And take what the Shad Spirit brings."

The comparatively innocent nature and simple poetic beauty of this class
of superstitions have doubtless often induced the moralist to hesitate
in exposing their absurdity, and, like Burns in view of his national
thistle, to:

              "Turn the weeding hook aside
               And spare the symbol dear."

But the age has fairly outgrown them, and they are falling away by a
natural process of exfoliation.  The wonderland of childhood must
henceforth be sought within the domains of truth.  The strange facts of
natural history, and the sweet mysteries of flowers and forests, and
hills and waters, will profitably take the place of the fairy lore of
the past, and poetry and romance still hold their accustomed seats in
the circle of home, without bringing with them the evil spirits of
credulity and untruth.  Truth should be the first lesson of the child
and the last aspiration of manhood; for it has been well said that the
inquiry of truth, which is the lovemaking of it, the knowledge of truth,
which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the
enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature.



MAGICIANS AND WITCH FOLK.

FASCINATION, saith Henry Cornelius Agrippa, in the fiftieth chapter of
his first book on Occult Philosophy, "is a binding which comes of the
spirit of the witch through the eyes of him that is bewitched, entering
to his heart; for the eye being opened and intent upon any one, with a
strong imagination doth dart its beams, which are the vehiculum of the
spirit, into the eyes of him that is opposite to her; which tender
spirit strikes his eyes, stirs up and wounds his heart, and infects his
spirit.  Whence Apuleius saith, 'Thy eyes, sliding down through my eyes
into my inmost heart, stirreth up a most vehement burning.' And when
eyes are reciprocally intent upon each other, and when rays are joined
to rays, and lights to lights, then the spirit of the one is joined to
that of the other; so are strong ligations made and vehement loves
inflamed."  Taking this definition of witchcraft, we sadly fear it is
still practised to a very great extent among us.  The best we can say of
it is, that the business seems latterly to have fallen into younger
hands; its victims do not appear to regard themselves as especial
objects of compassion; and neither church nor state seems inclined to
interfere with it.

As might be expected in a shrewd community like ours, attempts are not
unfrequently made to speculate in the supernatural,--to "make gain of
sooth-saying."  In the autumn of last year a "wise woman" dreamed, or
somnambulized, that a large sum of money, in gold and silver coin, lay
buried in the centre of the great swamp in Poplin, New Hampshire;
whereupon an immediate search was made for the precious metal.  Under
the bleak sky of November, in biting frost and sleet rain, some twenty
or more grown men, graduates of our common schools, and liable, every
mother's son of them, to be made deacons, squires, and general court
members, and such other drill officers as may be requisite in the march
of mind, might be seen delving in grim earnest, breaking the frozen
earth, uprooting swamp-maples and hemlocks, and waking, with sledge and
crowbar, unwonted echoes in a solitude which had heretofore only
answered to the woodman's axe or the scream of the wild fowl.  The snows
of December put an end to their labors; but the yawning excavation still
remains, a silent but somewhat expressive commentary upon the age of
progress.

Still later, in one of our Atlantic cities, an attempt was made,
partially at least, successful, to form a company for the purpose of
digging for money in one of the desolate sand-keys of the West Indies.
It appears that some mesmerized "subject," in the course of one of those
somnambulic voyages of discovery in which the traveller, like Satan in
chaos,--

    "O'er bog, o'er steep, through straight, rough, dense, or rare,
     With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way,
     And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies,"--

while peering curiously into the earth's mysteries, chanced to have his
eyes gladdened by the sight of a huge chest packed with Spanish coins,
the spoil, doubtless, of some rich-freighted argosy, or Carthagena
galleon, in the rare days of Queen Elizabeth's Christian buccaneers.

During the last quarter of a century, a colored woman in one of the
villages on the southern border of New Hampshire has been consulted by
hundreds of anxious inquirers into the future.  Long experience in her
profession has given her something of that ready estimate of character,
that quick and keen appreciation of the capacity, habits, and wishes of
her visitors, which so remarkably distinguished the late famous Madame
Le Normand, of Paris; and if that old squalid sorceress, in her cramped
Parisian attic, redolent of garlic and bestrewn with the greasy
implements of sorry housewifery, was, as has been affirmed, consulted by
such personages as the fair Josephine Beauharnois, and the "man of
destiny," Napoleon himself, is it strange that the desire to lift the
veil of the great mystery before us should overcome in some degree our
peculiar and most republican prejudice against color, and reconcile us
to the disagreeable necessity of looking at futurity through a black
medium?

Some forty years ago, on the banks of the pleasant little creek
separating Berwick, in Maine, from Somersworth, in New Hampshire, within
sight of my mother's home, dwelt a plain, sedate member of the society
of Friends, named Bantum.  He passed throughout a circle of several
miles as a conjurer and skilful adept in the art of magic.  To him
resorted farmers who had lost their cattle, matrons whose household
gear, silver spoons, and table-linen had been stolen, or young maidens
whose lovers were absent; and the quiet, meek-spirited old man received
them all kindly, put on his huge iron-rimmed spectacles, opened his
"conjuring book," which my mother describes as a large clasped volume in
strange language and black-letter type, and after due reflection and
consideration gave the required answers without money and without price.
The curious old volume is still in the possession of the conjurer's
family.  Apparently inconsistent as was this practice of the black art
with the simplicity and truthfulness of his religious profession, I have
not been able to learn that he was ever subjected to censure on account
of it.  It may be that our modern conjurer defended himself on grounds
similar to those assumed by the celebrated knight of Nettesheim, in the
preface to his first Book of Magic: "Some," says he, "may crie oute that
I teach forbidden arts, sow the seed of heresies, offend pious ears, and
scandalize excellent wits; that I am a sorcerer, superstitious and
devilish, who indeed am a magician.  To whom I answer, that a magician
doth not among learned men signifie a sorcerer or one that is
superstitious or devilish, but a wise man, a priest, a prophet, and that
the sibyls prophesied most clearly of Christ; that magicians, as wise
men, by the wonderful secrets of the world, knew Christ to be born, and
came to worship him, first of all; and that the name of magicke is
received by philosophers, commended by divines, and not unacceptable to
the Gospel."

The study of astrology and occult philosophy, to which many of the
finest minds of the Middle Ages devoted themselves without molestation
from the Church, was never practised with impunity after the
Reformation.  The Puritans and Presbyterians, taking the Bible for their
rule, "suffered not a witch to live;" and, not content with burning the
books of those who "used curious arts" after the manner of the
Ephesians, they sacrificed the students themselves on the same pile.
Hence we hear little of learned and scientific wizards in New England.
One remarkable character of this kind seems, however, to have escaped
the vigilance of our modern Doctors of the Mosaic Law.  Dr. Robert Child
came to this country about the year 1644, and took up his residence in
the Massachusetts colony.  He was a man of wealth, and owned plantations
at Nashaway, now Lancaster, and at Saco, in Maine.  He was skilful in
mineralogy and metallurgy, and seems to have spent a good deal of money
in searching for mines.  He is well known as the author of the first
decided movement for liberty of conscience in Massachusetts, his name
standing at the head of the famous petition of 1646 for a modification
of the laws in respect to religious worship, and complaining in strong
terms of the disfranchisement of persons not members of the Church.  A
tremendous excitement was produced by this remonstrance; clergy and
magistrates joined in denouncing it; Dr. Child and his associates were
arrested, tried for contempt of government, and heavily fined.  The
Court, in passing sentence, assured the Doctor that his crime was only
equalled by that of Korah and his troop, who rebelled against Moses and
Aaron.  He resolved to appeal to the Parliament of England, and made
arrangements for his departure, but was arrested, and ordered to be kept
a prisoner in his own house until the vessel in which he was to sail had
left Boston.  He was afterwards imprisoned for a considerable length of
time, and on his release found means to return to England.  The Doctor's
trunks were searched by the Puritan authorities while he was in prison;
but it does not appear that they detected the occult studies to which
lie was addicted, to which lucky circumstance it is doubtless owing that
the first champion of religious liberty in the New World was not hung
for a wizard.

Dr. Child was a graduate of the renowned University of Padua, and had
travelled extensively in the Old World.  Probably, like Michael Scott,
he had:

              "Learned the art of glammarye
               In Padua, beyond the sea;"

for I find in the dedication of an English translation of a Continental
work on astrology and magic, printed in 1651 "at the sign of the Three
Bibles," that his "sublime hermeticall and theomagicall lore" is
compared to that of Hermes and Agrippa.  He is complimented as a master
of the mysteries of Rome and Germany, and as one who had pursued his
investigations among the philosophers of the Old World and the Indians
of the New, "leaving no stone unturned, the turning whereof might
conduce to the discovery of what is occult."

There was still another member of the Friends' society in Vermont, of
the name of Austin, who, in answer, as he supposed, to prayer and a
long-cherished desire to benefit his afflicted fellow-creatures,
received, as he believed, a special gift of healing.  For several years
applicants from nearly all parts of New England visited him with the
story of their sufferings and praying for a relief, which, it is
averred, was in many instances really obtained.  Letters from the sick
who were unable to visit him, describing their diseases, were sent him;
and many are yet living who believe that they were restored miraculously
at the precise period of time when Austin was engaged in reading their
letters.  One of my uncles was commissioned to convey to him a large
number of letters from sick persons in his neighborhood.  He found the
old man sitting in his plain parlor in the simplest garb of his sect,--
grave, thoughtful, venerable,--a drab-coated Prince Hohenlohe.  He
received the letters in silence, read them slowly, casting them one
after another upon a large pile of similar epistles in a corner of the
apartment.

Half a century ago nearly every neighborhood in New England was favored
with one or more reputed dealers in magic.  Twenty years later there
were two poor old sisters who used to frighten school urchins and
"children of a larger growth" as they rode down from New Hampshire on
their gaunt skeleton horses, strung over with baskets for the
Newburyport market.  They were aware of the popular notion concerning
them, and not unfrequently took advantage of it to levy a sort of black
mail upon their credulous neighbors.  An attendant at the funeral of one
of these sisters, who when living was about as unsubstantial as Ossian's
ghost, through which the stars were visible, told me that her coffin was
so heavy that four stout men could barely lift it.

One, of my earliest recollections is that of an old woman, residing
about two miles from the place of my nativity, who for many years had
borne the unenviable reputation of a witch.  She certainly had the look
of one,--a combination of form, voice, and features which would have
made the fortune of an English witch finder in the days of Matthew Paris
or the Sir John Podgers of Dickens, and insured her speedy conviction in
King James's High Court of Justiciary.  She was accused of divers ill-
doings,--such as preventing the cream in her neighbor's churn from
becoming butter, and snuffing out candles at huskings and quilting-
parties.

              "She roamed the country far and near,
               Bewitched the children of the peasants,
               Dried up the cows, and lamed the deer,
               And sucked the eggs, and killed the pheasants."

The poor old woman was at length so sadly annoyed by her unfortunate
reputation that she took the trouble to go before a justice of the
peace, and made solemn oath that she was a Christian woman, and no
witch.

Not many years since a sad-visaged, middle-aged man might be seen in the
streets of one of our seaboard towns at times suddenly arrested in the
midst of a brisk walk and fixed motionless for some minutes in the busy
thoroughfare.  No effort could induce him to stir until, in his opinion,
the spell was removed and his invisible tormentor suffered him to
proceed.  He explained his singular detention as the act of a whole
family of witches whom he had unfortunately offended during a visit down
East.  It was rumored that the offence consisted in breaking off a
matrimonial engagement with the youngest member of the family,--a
sorceress, perhaps, in more than one sense of the word, like that
"winsome wench and walie" in Tam O'Shanter's witch-dance at Kirk
Alloway.  His only hope was that he should outlive his persecutors; and
it is said that at the very hour in which the event took place he
exultingly assured his friends that the spell was forever broken, and
that the last of the family of his tormentors was no more.

When a boy, I occasionally met, at the house of a relative in an
adjoining town, a stout, red-nosed old farmer of the neighborhood.
A fine tableau he made of a winter's evening, in the red light of a
birch-log fire, as he sat for hours watching its progress, with sleepy,
half-shut eyes, changing his position only to reach the cider-mug on the
shelf near him.  Although he seldom opened his lips save to assent to
some remark of his host or to answer a direct question, yet at times,
when the cider-mug got the better of his taciturnity, he would amuse us
with interesting details of his early experiences in "the Ohio country."

There was, however, one chapter in these experiences which he usually
held in reserve, and with which "the stranger intermeddled not."  He was
not willing to run the risk of hearing that which to him was a frightful
reality turned into ridicule by scoffers and unbelievers.  The substance
of it, as I received it from one of his neighbors, forms as clever a
tale of witchcraft as modern times have produced.

It seems that when quite a young man he left the homestead, and,
strolling westward, worked his way from place to place until he found
himself in one of the old French settlements on the Ohio River.  Here he
procured employment on the farm of a widow; and being a smart, active
fellow, and proving highly serviceable in his department, he rapidly
gained favor in the eyes of his employer.  Ere long, contrary to the
advice of the neighbors, and in spite of somewhat discouraging hints
touching certain matrimonial infelicities experienced by the late
husband, he resolutely stepped into the dead man's shoes: the mistress
became the wife, and the servant was legally promoted to the head of the
household.--

For a time matters went on cosily and comfortably enough.  He was now
lord of the soil; and, as he laid in his crops of corn and potatoes,
salted down his pork, and piled up his wood for winter's use, he
naturally enough congratulated himself upon his good fortune and laughed
at the sinister forebodings of his neighbors.  But with the long winter
months came a change over his "love's young dream."  An evil and
mysterious influence seemed to be at work in his affairs.  Whatever he
did after consulting his wife or at her suggestion resulted favorably
enough; but all his own schemes and projects were unaccountably marred
and defeated.  If he bought a horse, it was sure to prove spavined or
wind-broken.  His cows either refused to give down their milk, or,
giving it, perversely kicked it over.  A fine sow which he had bargained
for repaid his partiality by devouring, like Saturn, her own children.
By degrees a dark thought forced its way into his mind.  Comparing his
repeated mischances with the ante-nuptial warnings of his neighbors, he
at last came to the melancholy conclusion that his wife was a witch.
The victim in Motherwell's ballad of the Demon Lady, or the poor fellow
in the Arabian tale who discovered that he had married a ghoul in the
guise of a young and blooming princess, was scarcely in a more sorrowful
predicament.  He grew nervous and fretful.  Old dismal nursery stories
and all the witch lore of boyhood came back to his memory; and he crept
to his bed like a criminal to the gallows, half afraid to fall asleep
lest his mysterious companion should take a fancy to transform him into
a horse, get him shod at the smithy, and ride him to a witch-meeting.
And, as if to make the matter worse, his wife's affection seemed to
increase just in proportion as his troubles thickened upon him.  She
aggravated him with all manner of caresses and endearments.  This was
the drop too much.  The poor husband recoiled from her as from a waking
nightmare.  His thoughts turned to New England; he longed to see once
more the old homestead, with its tall well-sweep and butternut-trees by
the roadside; and he sighed amidst the rich bottom-lands of his new home
for his father's rocky pasture, with its crop of stinted mulleins.  So
one cold November day, finding himself out of sight and hearing of his
wife, he summoned courage to attempt an escape, and, resolutely turning
his back on the West, plunged into the wilderness towards the sunrise.
After a long and hard journey he reached his birthplace, and was kindly
welcomed by his old friends.  Keeping a close mouth with respect to his
unlucky adventure in Ohio, he soon after married one of his schoolmates,
and, by dint of persevering industry and economy, in a few years found
himself in possession of a comfortable home.

But his evil star still lingered above the horizon.  One summer evening,
on returning from the hayfield, who should meet him but his witch wife
from Ohio!  She came riding up the street on her old white horse, with a
pillion behind the saddle.  Accosting him in a kindly tone, yet not
without something of gentle reproach for his unhandsome desertion of
her, she informed him that she had come all the way from Ohio to take
him back again.

It was in vain that he pleaded his later engagements; it was in vain
that his new wife raised her shrillest remonstrances, not unmingled with
expressions of vehement indignation at the revelation of her husband's
real position; the witch wife was inexorable; go he must, and that
speedily.  Fully impressed with a belief in her supernatural power of
compelling obedience, and perhaps dreading more than witchcraft itself
the effects of the unlucky disclosure on the temper of his New England
helpmate, he made a virtue of the necessity of the case, bade farewell
to the latter amidst a perfect hurricane of reproaches, and mounted the
white horse, with his old wife on the pillion behind him.

Of that ride Burger might have written a counterpart to his ballad:--

              "Tramp, tramp, along the shore they ride,
               Splash, splash, along the sea."

Two or three years had passed away, bringing no tidings of the
unfortunate husband, when he once more made his appearance in his native
village.  He was not disposed to be very communicative; but for one
thing, at least, he seemed willing to express his gratitude.  His Ohio
wife, having no spell against intermittent fever, had paid the debt of
nature, and had left him free; in view of which, his surviving wife,
after manifesting a due degree of resentment, consented to take him back
to her bed and board; and I could never learn that she had cause to
regret her clemency.



THE BEAUTIFUL

          "A beautiful form is better than a beautiful face;
          a beautiful behavior is better than a beautiful form;
          it gives a higher pleasure than statues or pictures;
          it is the finest of the fine arts."
                         EMERSON'S Essays, Second Series, iv., p.  162.

A FEW days since I was walking with a friend, who, unfortunately for
himself, seldom meets with anything in the world of realities worthy of
comparison with the ideal of his fancy, which, like the bird in the
Arabian tale, glides perpetually before him, always near yet never
overtaken.  He was half humorously, half seriously, complaining of the
lack of beauty in the faces and forms that passed us on the crowded
sidewalk.  Some defect was noticeable in all: one was too heavy, another
too angular; here a nose was at fault, there a mouth put a set of
otherwise fine features out of countenance; the fair complexions had red
hair, and glossy black locks were wasted upon dingy ones.  In one way or
another all fell below his impossible standard.

The beauty which my friend seemed in search of was that of proportion
and coloring; mechanical exactness; a due combination of soft curves and
obtuse angles, of warm carnation and marble purity.  Such a man, for
aught I can see, might love a graven image, like the girl of Florence
who pined into a shadow for the Apollo Belvidere, looking coldly on her
with stony eyes from his niche in the Vatican.  One thing is certain,--
he will never find his faultless piece of artistical perfection by
searching for it amidst flesh-and-blood realities.  Nature does not,
as far as I can perceive, work with square and compass, or lay on her
colors by the rules of royal artists or the dunces of the academies.
She eschews regular outlines.  She does not shape her forms by a common
model.  Not one of Eve's numerous progeny in all respects resembles her
who first culled the flowers of Eden.  To the infinite variety and
picturesque inequality of Nature we owe the great charm of her uncloying
beauty.  Look at her primitive woods; scattered trees, with moist sward
and bright mosses at their roots; great clumps of green shadow, where
limb intwists with limb and the rustle of one leaf stirs a hundred
others,--stretching up steep hillsides, flooding with green beauty the
valleys, or arching over with leaves the sharp ravines, every tree and
shrub unlike its neighbor in size and proportion,--the old and storm-
broken leaning on the young and vigorous,--intricate and confused,
without order or method.  Who would exchange this for artificial French
gardens, where every tree stands stiff and regular, clipped and trimmed
into unvarying conformity, like so many grenadiers under review?  Who
wants eternal sunshine or shadow?  Who would fix forever the loveliest
cloudwork of an autumn sunset, or hang over him an everlasting
moonlight?  If the stream had no quiet eddying place, could we so admire
its cascade over the rocks?  Were there no clouds, could we so hail the
sky shining through them in its still, calm purity?  Who shall venture
to ask our kind Mother Nature to remove from our sight any one of her
forms or colors?  Who shall decide which is beautiful, or otherwise, in
itself considered?

There are too many, like my fastidious friend, who go through the world
"from Dan to Beersheba, finding all barren,"--who have always some fault
or other to find with Nature and Providence, seeming to consider
themselves especially ill used because the one does not always coincide
with their taste, nor the other with their narrow notions of personal
convenience.  In one of his early poems, Coleridge has well expressed a
truth, which is not the less important because it is not generally
admitted.  The idea is briefly this: that the mind gives to all things
their coloring, their gloom, or gladness; that the pleasure we derive
from external nature is primarily from ourselves:--

                      "from the mind itself must issue forth
                    A light, a glory, a fair luminous mist,
                    Enveloping the earth."

The real difficulty of these lifelong hunters after the beautiful exists
in their own spirits.  They set up certain models of perfection in their
imaginations, and then go about the world in the vain expectation of
finding them actually wrought out according to pattern; very
unreasonably calculating that Nature will suspend her everlasting laws
for the purpose of creating faultless prodigies for their especial
gratification.

The authors of Gayeties and Gravities give it as their opinion that no
object of sight is regarded by us as a simple disconnected form, but
that--an instantaneous reflection as to its history, purpose, or
associations converts it into a concrete one,--a process, they shrewdly
remark, which no thinking being can prevent, and which can only be
avoided by the unmeaning and stolid stare of "a goose on the common or a
cow on the green."  The senses and the faculties of the understanding
are so blended with and dependent upon each other that not one of them
can exercise its office alone and without the modification of some
extrinsic interference or suggestion.  Grateful or unpleasant
associations cluster around all which sense takes cognizance of; the
beauty which we discern in an external object is often but the
reflection of our own minds.

What is beauty, after all?  Ask the lover who kneels in homage to one
who has no attractions for others.  The cold onlooker wonders that he
can call that unclassic combination of features and that awkward form
beautiful.  Yet so it is.  He sees, like Desdemona, her "visage in her
mind," or her affections.  A light from within shines through the
external uncomeliness,--softens, irradiates, and glorifies it.  That
which to others seems commonplace and unworthy of note is to him, in the
words of Spenser,--

                   "A sweet, attractive kind of grace;
                    A full assurance given by looks;
                    Continual comfort in a face;
                    The lineaments of Gospel books."

"Handsome is that handsome does,--hold up your heads, girls!" was the
language of Primrose in the play when addressing her daughters.  The
worthy matron was right.  Would that all my female readers who are
sorrowing foolishly because they are not in all respects like Dubufe's
Eve, or that statue of the Venus "which enchants the world," could be
persuaded to listen to her.  What is good looking, as Horace Smith
remarks, but looking good?  Be good, be womanly, be gentle,--generous in
your sympathies, heedful of the well-being of all around you; and, my
word for it, you will not lack kind words of admiration.  Loving and
pleasant associations will gather about you.  Never mind the ugly
reflection which your glass may give you.  That mirror has no heart.
But quite another picture is yours on the retina of human sympathy.
There the beauty of holiness, of purity, of that inward grace which
passeth show, rests over it, softening and mellowing its features just
as the full calm moonlight melts those of a rough landscape into
harmonious loveliness.  "Hold up your heads, girls!" I repeat after
Primrose.  Why should you not?  Every mother's daughter of you can be
beautiful.  You can envelop yourselves in an atmosphere of moral and
intellectual beauty, through which your otherwise plain faces will look
forth like those of angels.  Beautiful to Ledyard, stiffening in the
cold of a northern winter, seemed the diminutive, smokestained women of
Lapland, who wrapped him in their furs and ministered to his necessities
with kindness and gentle words of compassion.  Lovely to the homesick
heart of Park seemed the dark maids of Sego, as they sung their low and
simple song of welcome beside his bed, and sought to comfort the white
stranger, who had "no mother to bring him milk and no wife to grind him
corn."  Oh, talk as we may of beauty as a thing to be chiselled from
marble or wrought out on canvas, speculate as we may upon its colors and
outlines, what is it but an intellectual abstraction, after all?  The
heart feels a beauty of another kind; looking through the outward
environment, it discovers a deeper and more real loveliness.

This was well understood by the old painters.  In their pictures of
Mary, the virgin mother, the beauty which melts and subdues the gazer is
that of the soul and the affections, uniting the awe and mystery of that
mother's miraculous allotment with the irrepressible love, the
unutterable tenderness, of young maternity,--Heaven's crowning miracle
with Nature's holiest and sweetest instinct.  And their pale Magdalens,
holy with the look of sins forgiven,--how the divine beauty of their
penitence sinks into the heart!  Do we not feel that the only real
deformity is sin, and that goodness evermore hallows and sanctifies its
dwelling-place?  When the soul is at rest, when the passions and desires
are all attuned to the divine harmony,--

                   "Spirits moving musically
                    To a lute's well-ordered law,"
                         The Haunted Palace, by Edgar A. Poe.

do we not read the placid significance thereof in the human countenance?
"I have seen," said Charles Lamb, "faces upon which the dove of peace
sat brooding."  In that simple and beautiful record of a holy life, the
Journal of John Woolman, there is a passage of which I have been more
than once reminded in my intercourse with my fellow-beings: "Some
glances of real beauty may be seen in their faces who dwell in true
meekness.  There is a harmony in the sound of that voice to which divine
love gives utterance."

Quite the ugliest face I ever saw was that of a woman whom the world
calls beautiful.  Through its "silver veil" the evil and ungentle
passions looked out hideous and hateful.  On the other hand, there are
faces which the multitude at the first glance pronounce homely,
unattractive, and such as "Nature fashions by the gross," which I always
recognize with a warm heart-thrill; not for the world would I have one
feature changed; they please me as they are; they are hallowed by kind
memories; they are beautiful through their associations; nor are they
any the less welcome that with my admiration of them "the stranger
intermeddleth not."



THE WORLD'S END.



                    "Our Father Time is weak and gray,
                    Awaiting for the better day;
                    See how idiot-like he stands,
                    Fumbling his old palsied hands!"
                                   SHELLEY's Masque of Anarchy.

"STAGE ready, gentlemen!  Stage for campground, Derry!  Second Advent
camp-meeting!"

Accustomed as I begin to feel to the ordinary sights and sounds of this
busy city, I was, I confess, somewhat startled by this business-like
annunciation from the driver of a stage, who stood beside his horses
swinging his whip with some degree of impatience: "Seventy-five cents to
the Second Advent camp-ground!"

The stage was soon filled; the driver cracked his whip and went rattling
down the street.

The Second Advent,--the coming of our Lord in person upon this earth,
with signs, and wonders, and terrible judgments,--the heavens robing
together as a scroll, the elements melting with fervent heat!  The
mighty consummation of all things at hand, with its destruction and its
triumphs, sad wailings of the lost and rejoicing songs of the glorified!
From this overswarming hive of industry,--from these crowded treadmills
of gain,--here were men and women going out in solemn earnestness to
prepare for the dread moment which they verily suppose is only a few
months distant,--to lift up their warning voices in the midst of
scoffers and doubters, and to cry aloud to blind priests and careless
churches, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!"

It was one of the most lovely mornings of this loveliest season of the
year; a warm, soft atmosphere; clear sunshine falling on the city spires
and roofs; the hills of Dracut quiet and green in the distance, with
their white farm-houses and scattered trees; around me the continual
tread of footsteps hurrying to the toils of the day; merchants spreading
out their wares for the eyes of purchasers; sounds of hammers, the sharp
clink of trowels, the murmur of the great manufactories subdued by
distance.  How was it possible, in the midst of so much life, in that
sunrise light, and in view of all abounding beauty, that the idea of the
death of Nature--the baptism of the world in fire--could take such a
practical shape as this?  Yet here were sober, intelligent men, gentle
and pious women, who, verily believing the end to be close at hand, had
left their counting-rooms, and workshops, and household cares to publish
the great tidings, and to startle, if possible, a careless and
unbelieving generation into preparation for the day of the Lord and for
that blessed millennium,--the restored paradise,--when, renovated and
renewed by its fire-purgation, the earth shall become as of old the
garden of the Lord, and the saints alone shall inherit it.

Very serious and impressive is the fact that this idea of a radical
change in our planet is not only predicted in the Scriptures, but that
the Earth herself, in her primitive rocks and varying formations, on
which are lithographed the history of successive convulsions, darkly
prophesies of others to come.  The old poet prophets, all the world
over, have sung of a renovated world.  A vision of it haunted the
contemplations of Plato.  It is seen in the half-inspired speculations
of the old Indian mystics.  The Cumaean sibyl saw it in her trances.
The apostles and martyrs of our faith looked for it anxiously and
hopefully.  Gray anchorites in the deserts, worn pilgrims to the holy
places of Jewish and Christian tradition, prayed for its coming.  It
inspired the gorgeous visions of the early fathers.  In every age since
the Christian era, from the caves, and forests, and secluded "upper
chambers" of the times of the first missionaries of the cross, from the
Gothic temples of the Middle Ages, from the bleak mountain gorges of the
Alps, where the hunted heretics put up their expostulation, "How long,
O Lord, how long?" down to the present time, and from this Derry
campground, have been uttered the prophecy and the prayer for its
fulfilment.

How this great idea manifests itself in the lives of the enthusiasts of
the days of Cromwell!  Think of Sir Henry Vane, cool, sagacious
statesman as he was, waiting with eagerness for the foreshadowings of
the millennium, and listening, even in the very council hall, for the
blast of the last trumpet!  Think of the Fifth Monarchy Men, weary with
waiting for the long-desired consummation, rushing out with drawn swords
and loaded matchlocks into the streets of London to establish at once
the rule of King Jesus!  Think of the wild enthusiasts at Munster,
verily imagining that the millennial reign had commenced in their mad
city!  Still later, think of Granville Sharpe, diligently laboring in
his vocation of philanthropy, laying plans for the slow but beneficent
amelioration of the condition of his country and the world, and at the
same time maintaining, with the zeal of Father Miller himself, that the
earth was just on the point of combustion, and that the millennium would
render all his benevolent schemes of no sort of consequence!

And, after all, is the idea itself a vain one?  Shall to-morrow be as
to-day?  Shall the antagonism of good and evil continue as heretofore
forever?  Is there no hope that this world-wide prophecy of the human
soul, uttered in all climes, in all times, shall yet be fulfilled?  Who
shall say it may not be true?  Nay, is not its truth proved by its
universality?  The hope of all earnest souls must be realized.  That
which, through a distorted and doubtful medium, shone even upon the
martyr enthusiasts of the French revolution,--soft gleams of heaven's
light rising over the hell of man's passions and crimes,--the glorious
ideal of Shelley, who, atheist as he was through early prejudice and
defective education, saw the horizon of the world's future kindling with
the light of a better day,--that hope and that faith which constitute,
as it were, the world's life, and without which it would be dark and
dead, cannot be in vain.

I do not, I confess, sympathize with my Second Advent friends in their
lamentable depreciation of Mother Earth even in her present state.  I
find it extremely difficult to comprehend how it is that this goodly,
green, sunlit home of ours is resting under a curse.  It really does not
seem to me to be altogether like the roll which the angel bore in the
prophet's vision, "written within and without with mourning,
lamentation, and woe."  September sunsets, changing forests, moonrise
and cloud, sun and rain,--I for one am contented with them.  They fill
my heart with a sense of beauty.  I see in them the perfect work of
infinite love as well as wisdom.  It may be that our Advent friends,
however, coincide with the opinions of an old writer on the prophecies,
who considered the hills and valleys of the earth's surface and its
changes of seasons as so many visible manifestations of God's curse, and
that in the millennium, as in the days of Adam's innocence, all these
picturesque inequalities would be levelled nicely away, and the flat
surface laid handsomely down to grass.

As might be expected, the effect of this belief in the speedy
destruction of the world and the personal coming of the Messiah, acting
upon a class of uncultivated, and, in some cases, gross minds, is not
always in keeping with the enlightened Christian's ideal of the better
day.  One is shocked in reading some of the "hymns" of these believers.
Sensual images,--semi-Mahometan descriptions of the condition of the
"saints,"--exultations over the destruction of the "sinners,"--mingle
with the beautiful and soothing promises of the prophets.  There are
indeed occasionally to be found among the believers men of refined and
exalted spiritualism, who in their lives and conversation remind one of
Tennyson's Christian knight-errant in his yearning towards the hope set
before him:

                           "to me is given
               Such hope I may not fear;
               I long to breathe the airs of heaven,
               Which sometimes meet me here.

               "I muse on joys that cannot cease,
               Pure spaces filled with living beams,
               White lilies of eternal peace,
               Whose odors haunt my dreams."

One of the most ludicrous examples of the sensual phase of Millerism,
the incongruous blending of the sublime with the ridiculous, was
mentioned to me not long since.  A fashionable young woman in the
western part of this State became an enthusiastic believer in the
doctrine.  On the day which had been designated as the closing one of
time she packed all her fine dresses and toilet valuables in a large
trunk, with long straps attached to it, and, seating herself upon it,
buckled the straps over her shoulders, patiently awaiting the crisis,--
shrewdly calculating that, as she must herself go upwards, her goods and
chattels would of necessity follow.

Three or four years ago, on my way eastward, I spent an hour or two at a
camp-ground of the Second Advent in East Kingston.  The spot was well
chosen.  A tall growth of pine and hemlock threw its melancholy shadow
over the multitude, who were arranged upon rough seats of boards and
logs.  Several hundred--perhaps a thousand people--were present, and
more were rapidly coming.  Drawn about in a circle, forming a background
of snowy whiteness to the dark masses of men and foliage, were the white
tents, and back of them the provision-stalls and cook-shops.  When I
reached the ground, a hymn, the words of which I could not distinguish,
was pealing through the dim aisles of the forest.  I could readily
perceive that it had its effect upon the multitude before me, kindling
to higher intensity their already excited enthusiasm.  The preachers
were placed in a rude pulpit of rough boards, carpeted only by the dead
forest-leaves and flowers, and tasselled, not with silk and velvet, but
with the green boughs of the sombre hemlocks around it.  One of them
followed the music in an earnest exhortation on the duty of preparing
for the great event.  Occasionally he was really eloquent, and his
description of the last day had the ghastly distinctness of Anelli's
painting of the End of the World.

Suspended from the front of the rude pulpit were two broad sheets of
canvas, upon one of which was the figure of a man, the head of gold, the
breast and arms of silver, the belly of brass, the legs of iron, and
feet of clay,--the dream of Nebuchadnezzar.  On the other were depicted
the wonders of the Apocalyptic vision,--the beasts, the dragons, the
scarlet woman seen by the seer of Patmos, Oriental types, figures, and
mystic symbols, translated into staring Yankee realities, and exhibited
like the beasts of a travelling menagerie.  One horrible image, with its
hideous heads and scaly caudal extremity, reminded me of the tremendous
line of Milton, who, in speaking of the same evil dragon, describes him
as

          "Swinging the scaly horrors of his folded tail."

To an imaginative mind the scene was full of novel interest.  The white
circle of tents; the dim wood arches; the upturned, earnest faces; the
loud voices of the speakers, burdened with the awful symbolic language
of the Bible; the smoke from the fires, rising like incense,--carried me
back to those days of primitive worship which tradition faintly whispers
of, when on hill-tops and in the shade of old woods Religion had her
first altars, with every man for her priest and the whole universe for
her temple.

Wisely and truthfully has Dr. Channing spoken of this doctrine of the
Second Advent in his memorable discourse in Berkshire a little before
his death:--

"There are some among us at the present moment who are waiting for the
speedy coming of Christ.  They expect, before another year closes, to
see Him in the clouds, to hear His voice, to stand before His judgment-
seat.  These illusions spring from misinterpretation of Scripture
language.  Christ, in the New Testament, is said to come whenever His
religion breaks out in new glory or gains new triumphs.  He came in the
Holy Spirit in the day of Pentecost.  He came in the destruction of
Jerusalem, which, by subverting the old ritual law and breaking the
power of the worst enemies of His religion, insured to it new victories.
He came in the reformation of the Church.  He came on this day four
years ago, when, through His religion, eight hundred thousand men were
raised from the lowest degradation to the rights, and dignity, and
fellowship of men.  Christ's outward appearance is of little moment
compared with the brighter manifestation of His spirit.  The Christian,
whose inward eyes and ears are touched by God, discerns the coming of
Christ, hears the sound of His chariot-wheels and the voice of His
trumpet, when no other perceives them.  He discerns the Saviour's advent
in the dawning of higher truth on the world, in new aspirations of the
Church after perfection, in the prostration of prejudice and error, in
brighter expressions of Christian love, in more enlightened and intense
consecration of the Christian to the cause of humanity, freedom, and
religion.  Christ comes in the conversion, the regeneration, the
emancipation, of the world."



THE HEROINE OF LONG POINT. (1869.)

LOOKING at the Government Chart of Lake Erie, one sees the outlines of a
long, narrow island, stretching along the shore of Canada West, opposite
the point where Loudon District pushes its low, wooded wedge into the
lake.  This is Long Point Island, known and dreaded by the navigators of
the inland sea which batters its yielding shores, and tosses into
fantastic shapes its sandheaps.  The eastern end is some twenty miles
from the Canada shore, while on the west it is only separated from the
mainland by a narrow strait known as "The Cut."  It is a sandy, desolate
region, broken by small ponds, with dreary tracts of fenland, its ridges
covered with a low growth of pine, oak, beech, and birch, in the midst
of which, in its season, the dogwood puts out its white blossoms.  Wild
grapes trail over the sand-dunes and festoon the dwarf trees.  Here and
there are almost impenetrable swamps, thick-set with white cedars,
intertwisted and contorted by the lake winds, and broken by the weight
of snow and ice in winter.  Swans and wild geese paddle in the shallow,
reedy bayous; raccoons and even deer traverse the sparsely wooded
ridges.  The shores of its creeks and fens are tenanted by minks and
muskrats.  The tall tower of a light-house rises at the eastern
extremity of the island, the keeper of which is now its solitary
inhabitant.

Fourteen years ago, another individual shared the proprietorship of Long
Point.  This was John Becker, who dwelt on the south side of the island,
near its westerly termination, in a miserable board shanty nestled
between naked sand-hills.  He managed to make a poor living by trapping
and spearing muskrats, the skins of which he sold to such boatmen and
small-craft skippers as chanced to land on his forlorn territory.  His
wife, a large, mild-eyed, patient young woman of some twenty-six years,
kept her hut and children as tidy as circumstances admitted, assisted
her husband in preparing the skins, and sometimes accompanied him on his
trapping excursions.

On that lonely coast, seldom visited in summer, and wholly cut off from
human communication in winter, they might have lived and died with as
little recognition from the world as the minks and wildfowl with whom
they were tenants in common, but for a circumstance which called into
exercise unsuspected qualities of generous courage and heroic self-
sacrifice.

The dark, stormy close of November, 1854, found many vessels on Lake
Erie, but the fortunes of one alone have special interest for us.  About
that time the schooner Conductor, owned by John McLeod, of the
Provincial Parliament, a resident of Amherstburg, at the mouth of the
Detroit River, entered the lake from that river, bound for Port
Dalhousie, at the mouth of the Welland Canal.

She was heavily loaded with grain.  Her crew consisted of Captain
Hackett, a Highlander by birth, and a skilful and experienced navigator,
and six sailors.  At nightfall, shortly after leaving the head of the
lake, one of those terrific storms, with which the late autumnal
navigators of that "Sea of the Woods" are all too familiar, overtook
them.  The weather was intensely cold for the season; the air was filled
with snow and sleet; the chilled water made ice rapidly, encumbering the
schooner, and loading down her decks and rigging.  As the gale
increased, the tops of the waves were shorn off by the fierce blasts,
clouding the whole atmosphere with frozen spray, or what the sailors
call "spoondrift," rendering it impossible to see any object a few rods
distant.  Driving helplessly before the wind, yet in the direction of
her place of destination, the schooner sped through the darkness.  At
last, near midnight, running closer than her crew supposed to the
Canadian shore, she struck on the outer bar off Long Point Island, beat
heavily across it, and sunk in the deeper water between it and the inner
bar.  The hull was entirely submerged, the waves rolling in heavily, and
dashing over the rigging, to which the crew betook themselves.  Lashed
there, numb with cold, drenched by the pitiless waves, and scourged by
the showers of sleet driven before the wind, they waited for morning.
The slow, dreadful hours wore away, and at length the dubious and
doubtful gray of a morning of tempest succeeded to the utter darkness of
night.

Abigail Becker chanced at that time to be in her hut with none but her
young children.  Her husband was absent on the Canada shore, and she was
left the sole adult occupant of the island, save the light-keeper, at
its lower end, some fifteen miles off.  Looking out at daylight on the
beach in front of her door, she saw the shattered boat of the Conductor,
east up by the waves.  Her experience of storm and disaster on that
dangerous coast needed nothing more to convince her that somewhere in
her neighborhood human life had been, or still was, in peril.  She
followed the southwesterly trend of the island for a little distance,
and, peering through the gloom of the stormy morning, discerned the
spars of the sunken schooner, with what seemed to be human forms
clinging to the rigging.  The heart of the strong woman sunk within her,
as she gazed upon those helpless fellow-creatures, so near, yet so
unapproachable.  She had no boat, and none could have lived on that wild
water.  After a moment's reflection she went back to her dwelling, put
the smaller children in charge of the eldest, took with her an iron
kettle, tin teapot, and matches, and returned to the beach, at the
nearest point to the vessel; and, gathering up the logs and drift-wood
always abundant, on the coast, kindled a great fire, and, constantly
walking back and forth between it and the water, strove to intimate to
the sufferers that they were at least not beyond human sympathy.  As the
wrecked sailors looked shoreward, and saw, through the thick haze of
snow and sleet, the red light of the fire and the tall figure of the
woman passing to and fro before it, a faint hope took the place of the
utter despair which had prompted them to let go their hold and drop into
the seething waters, that opened and closed about them like the jaws of
death.  But the day wore on, bringing no abatement of the storm that
tore through the frail spars, and clutched at and tossed them as it
passed, and drenched them with ice-cold spray,--a pitiless, unrelenting
horror of sight, sound, and touch!  At last the deepening gloom told
them that night was approaching, and night under such circumstances was
death.

All day long Abigail Becker had fed her fire, and sought to induce the
sailors by signals--for even her strong voice could not reach them--to
throw themselves into the surf, and trust to Providence and her for
succor.  In anticipation of this, she had her kettle boiling over the
drift-wood, and her tea ready made for restoring warmth and life to the
half-frozen survivors.  But either they did not understand her, or the
chance of rescue seemed too small to induce them to abandon the
temporary safety of the wreck.  They clung to it with the desperate
instinct of life brought face to face with death.  Just at nightfall
there was a slight break in the west; a red light glared across the
thick air, as if for one instant the eye of the storm looked out upon
the ruin it had wrought, and closed again under lids of cloud.  Taking
advantage of this, the solitary watcher ashore made one more effort.
She waded out into the water, every drop of which, as it struck the
beach, became a particle of ice, and stretching out and drawing in her
arms, invited, by her gestures, the sailors to throw themselves into the
waves, and strive to reach her.  Captain Hackett understood her.  He
called to his mate in the rigging of the other mast: "It is our last
chance.  I will try!  If I live, follow me; if I drown, stay where you
are!"  With a great effort he got off his stiffly frozen overcoat,
paused for one moment in silent commendation of his soul to God, and,
throwing himself into the waves, struck out for the shore.  Abigail
Becker, breast-deep in the surf, awaited him.  He was almost within her
reach, when the undertow swept him back.  By a mighty exertion she
caught hold of him, bore him in her strong arms out of the water, and,
laying him down by her fire, warmed his chilled blood with copious
draughts of hot tea.  The mate, who had watched the rescue, now
followed, and the captain, partially restored, insisted upon aiding him.
As the former neared the shore, the recoiling water baffled him.
Captain Hackett caught hold of him, but the undertow swept them both
away, locked in each other's arms.  The brave woman plunged after them,
and, with the strength of a giantess, bore them, clinging to each other,
to the shore, and up to her fire.  The five sailors followed in
succession, and were all rescued in the same way.

A few days after, Captain Hackett and his crew were taken off Long Point
by a passing vessel; and Abigail Becker resumed her simple daily duties
without dreaming that she had done anything extraordinary enough to win
for her the world's notice.  In her struggle every day for food and
warmth for her children, she had no leisure for the indulgence of self-
congratulation.  Like the woman of Scripture, she had only "done what
she could," in the terrible exigency that had broken the dreary monotony
of her life.

It so chanced, however, that a gentleman from Buffalo, E. P. Dorr, who
had, in his early days, commanded a vessel on the lake, found himself,
shortly after, at a small port on the Canada shore, not far from Long
Point Island.  Here he met an old shipmate, Captain Davis, whose vessel
had gone ashore at a more favorable point, and who related to him the
circumstances of the wreck of the Conductor.  Struck by the account,
Captain Dorr procured a sleigh and drove across the frozen bay to the
shanty of Abigail Becker.  He found her with her six children, all
thinly clad and barefooted in the bitter cold.  She stood there six feet
or more of substantial womanhood,--not in her stockings, for she had
none,--a veritable daughter of Anak, broad-bosomed, large-limbed, with
great, patient blue eyes, whose very smile had a certain pathos, as if
one saw in it her hard and weary life-experience.  She might have passed
for any amiable giantess, or one of those much--developed maids of honor
who tossed Gulliver from hand to hand in the court of Brobdingnag.  The
thing that most surprised her visitor was the childlike simplicity of
the woman, her utter unconsciousness of deserving anything for an action
that seemed to her merely a matter of course.  When he expressed his
admiration with all the warmth of a generous nature, she only opened her
wide blue eyes still wider with astonishment.

"Well, I don't know," she said, slowly, as if pondering the matter for
the first time,--"I don't know as I did more 'n I'd ought to, nor more'n
I'd do again."

Before Captain Dorr left, he took the measure of her own and her
children's feet, and on his return to Buffalo sent her a box containing
shoes, stockings, and such other comfortable articles of clothing as
they most needed.  He published a brief account of his visit to the
heroine of Long Point, which attracted the attention of some members of
the Provincial Parliament, and through their exertions a grant of one
hundred acres of land, on the Canada shore, near Port Rowan, was made to
her.  Soon after she was invited to Buffalo, where she naturally excited
much interest.  A generous contribution of one thousand dollars, to
stock her farm, was made by the merchants, ship-owners and masters of
the city, and she returned to her family a grateful and, in her own
view, a rich woman.

When the story of her adventure reached New York, the Life-Saving
Benevolent Association sent her a gold medal with an appropriate
inscription, and a request that she would send back a receipt in her own
name.  As she did not know how to write, Captain Dorr hit upon the
expedient of having her photograph taken with the medal in her hand, and
sent that in lieu of her autograph.

In a recent letter dictated at Walsingham, where Abigail Becker now
lives,--a widow, cultivating with her own hands her little farm in the
wilderness,--she speaks gratefully of the past and hopefully of the
future.  She mentions a message received from Captain Hackett, who she
feared had almost forgotten her, that he was about to make her a visit,
adding with a touch of shrewdness: "After his second shipwreck last
summer, I think likely that I must have recurred very fresh to him."

The strong lake winds now blow unchecked over the sand-hills where once
stood the board shanty of Abigail Becker.  But the summer tourist of the
great lakes, who remembers her story, will not fail to give her a place
in his imagination with Perry's battle-line and the Indian heroines of
Cooper and Longfellow.  Through her the desolate island of Long Point is
richly dowered with the interest which a brave and generous action gives
to its locality.





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