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Page 104


“But, oh, that hapless virgin, our lost sister,
Where may she wander now, whither betake her?”


Hope Leslie, on being forced into the canoe,
sunk down, overpowered with terror and despair.
She was roused from this state by Oneco's loud
and vehement appeals to his father, who only replied
by a low inarticulate murmur, which seemed
rather an involuntary emission of his own feelings,
than a response to Oneco. She understood
nothing but the name of Magawisca, which he
often repeated, and always with a burst of vindictive
feeling, as if every other emotion were
lost in wrath at the treachery that had wrested
her from him. As the apparent contriver, and
active agent in this plot, Hope felt that she must
be the object of detestation, and the victim of
vengeance; and all that she had heard or imagined
of Indian cruelties, was present to her imagination;
and every savage passion seemed to
her to be embodied in the figure of the old chief,
when she saw his convulsed frame and features,
illuminated by the fearful lightning that flashed
athwart him. “It is possible,” she thought, “that


Page 105
Oneco may understand me;” and to him she
protested her innocence, and vehemently besought
his compassion. Oneco was not of a cruel nature,
nor was he disposed to inflict unnecessary
suffering on the sister of his wife; but he was determined
to retain so valuable a hostage, and his
heart was steeled against her, by his conviction
that she had been a party to the wrong done him;
he, therefore, turned a deaf ear to her entreaties,
which her supplicating voice and gestures rendered
intelligible, though he had nearly forgotten
her language. He made no reply by word or
sign, but continued to urge on his little bark with
all his might, redoubling his vigorous strokes as
the fury of the storm increased.

Hope cast a despairing eye on her receding
home, which she could still mark through the
mirky atmosphere, by the lurid flame that blazed
on Beacon-hill. Friends were on every side of
her, and yet no human help could reach her.
She saw the faint light that gleamed from Digby's
cottage-window, and on the other hand, the dim
ray that, struggling through the misty atmosphere,
proceeded from the watch-tower on Castle-Island.
Between these lights from opposite islands, she
was passing down the channel, and she inferred
that Oneco's design was to escape out of the harbour.
But heaven seemed determined to frustrate
his purpose, and to show her how idle were
all human hopes and fears, how vain “to cast the
fashion of uncertain evils.”


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The wind rose, and the darkness deepened at
every moment; the occasional flashes of lightning
only serving to make it more intense. Oneco
tasked his skill to the utmost to guide the canoe;
he strained every nerve, till exhausted by useless
efforts, he dropped his oars, and awaited his resistless
fate. The sublime powers of nature had
no terrors for Mononotto. There was something
awe-striking in the fixed, unyielding attitude of
the old man, who sat as if he were carved in
stone, whilst the blasts swept by him, and the
lightnings played over him. There are few who
have not at some period of their lives, lost their
consciousness of individuality—their sense of this
shrinking, tremulous, sensitive being, in the dread
magnificence—the “holy mystery” of nature.

Hope, even in her present extremity, forgot her
fear and danger in the sublimity of the storm.
When the wild flashes wrapped the bay in light,
and revealed to sight the little bark leaping over
the “yesty waves,” the stern figure of the old
man, the graceful form of Oneco, and Hope Leslie,
her eye upraised, with an instinctive exaltation
of feeling, she might have been taken for
some bright vision from another sphere, sent to
conduct her dark companions through the last
tempestuous passage of life. But the triumphs of
her spirit were transient; mortal danger pressed on
life. A thunderbolt burst over their heads. Hope
was, for a moment, stunned. The next flash
showed the old man struck down senseless.


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Oneco shrieked—raised the lifeless body in his
arms, laid his ear to the still bosom, and chafed
the breast and limbs. While he was thus striving
to bring back life, the storm abated—the moonbeams
struggled through the parting clouds, and
the canoe, driven at the mercy of the wind and
tide, neared a little island, and drifted on to the
beach. Oneco leaped out, dragged his father's lifeless
body to the turf, and renewed and redoubled
his efforts to restore him; and Hope, moved by
an involuntary sympathy with the distress of his
child, stooped down and chafed the old man's
palms. Either from despair, or an impulse of
awakened hope, Oneco suddenly uttered an exclamation,
stretched himself on the body, and
locked his arms around it. Hope rose to her
feet, and seeing Mononotto unconscious, and
Oneco entirely absorbed in his own painful anxieties
and efforts, the thought occurred to her, that
she might escape from her captors.

She looked at the little bark: her strength,
small as it was, might avail to launch it again;
and she might trust the same Providence that had
just delivered her from peril, to guide her in safety
over the still turbulent waters. But a danger
just escaped, is more fearful than one untried;
and she shrunk from adventuring alone on the
powerful element. The island might be inhabited.
If she could gain a few moments before she
was missed by Oneco, it was possible she might
find protection and safety. She did not stop to


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deliberate; but casting one glance at the brightening
heavens, and ejaculating a prayer for aid,
and ascertaining by one look at Oneco that he
did not observe her, she bounded away. She fancied
she heard steps pursuing her; but she pressed
on without once looking back, or faltering,
till she reached a slight elevation, whence she
perceived, at no great distance from her, a light
placed on the ground; and on approaching a little
nearer, she saw a man lying beside it; and at
a few paces from him several others stretched
on the grass, and, as she thought, sleeping. She
now advanced cautiously and timidly, till she was
near enough to conclude that they were a company
of sailors, who had been indulging in a lawless
revel. Such, in truth, they were; the crew
belonging to the vessel of the notorious Chaddock.
The disorders of both master, and men,
had given such offence to the sober citizens of
Boston, that they had been prohibited from entering
the town; and the men having been on this
occasion allowed by their captain to indulge in a
revel on land, they had betaken themselves to an
uninhabited island, where they might give the
reins to their excesses, without dread of restraint
or penalty. As they now appeared to the eye of
our heroine, they formed a group from which a
painter might have sketched the triumphs of

Fragments of a coarse feast were strewn about
them, and the ground was covered with wrecks


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of jugs, bottles, and mugs. Some of them had
thrown off their coats and neck-cloths in the heat
of the day, and had lain with their throats and
bosoms bared to the storm, of which they had
been unconscious. Others, probably less inebriated,
had been disturbed by the vivid flashes of
lightning, and had turned their faces to the earth.
While Hope shuddered at the sight of these brutalized
wretches, and thought any fate would be
better than
“To meet the rudeness and swilled insolence
Of such late wassailers.”
One of them awoke, and looked up at her. He
had but imperfectly recovered his senses, and he
perceived her but faintly and indistinctly, as one
sees an object through mist. Hope stood near
him, but she stood perfectly still; for she knew
from his imbecile smile, and half articulated
words, that she had nothing to fear. He laid
his hand on the border of her cloak, and muttered,
“St. George's colours—Dutch flag—
no, d—n me, Hanse, I say—St. George's—St.
George's—nail them to the mast head—I say,
Hanse, St. George's—St. George's”—and then
his words died away on his tongue, and he
laughed in his throat, as one laughs in sleep.

While Hope hesitated for an instant, whether
again to expose herself to the thraldom from
which she had with such joy escaped, one of
the other men, either aroused by his comrade's


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voice, or having outslept the fumes of the liquor,
started up, and, on perceiving her, rubbed
his eyes, and stared as if he doubted whether she
were a vision of his sleep or a reality. Hope's first
impulse was to fly; but, though confused and
alarmed, she was aware that escape would be
impossible if he chose to pursue, and that her
only alternative was to solicit his compassion.

“Friend,” she said, in a fearful, tremulous
voice, “I come to beg your aid.”

“By the lord Harry, she speaks,” exclaimed
the fellow, interrupting her—“she is a woman—
wake boys—wake!”

The men were now roused from their slumbers:
some rose to their feet, and all stared stupidly,
not one, save him first awakened, having
the perfect command of his senses. “If ye
have the soul of a man,” said Hope imploringly,
“protect me—convey me to Boston. Any reward
that you will ask or take shall be given to

“There's no reward could pay for you, honey,”
replied the fellow, advancing towards her.

“In the name of God, hear me!” she cried;
but the man continued to approach with a
horrid leer on his face. “Then save me, heaven!”
she screamed, and rushed towards the water.
The wretch was daunted; he paused but for
an instant, then calling on his comrades to join
him, they all, hooting and shouting, pursued


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Hope now felt that death was her only deliverance;
if she could but reach the waves that she
saw heaving and breaking on the shore—if she
could but bury herself beneath them. But though
she flew as if she were borne on the wings of the
wind, her pursuers gained on her. The foremost
was so near, that she expected at every
breath his hand would grasp her, when his foot
stumbled, and he fell headlong, and as he fell,
he snatched her cloak. By a desperate effort she
extricated herself from his hold, and again darted
forward. She heard him vociferate curses,
and understood he was unable to rise. She cast
one fearful glance behind her—she had gained on
the horrid crew. `Oh! I may escape them,'
she thought; and she pressed on with as much
eagerness to cast away life, as ever was felt to
save it. As she drew near the water's edge, she
perceived a boat attached to an upright post that
had been driven into the earth at the extremity of
a narrow stone pier. A thought like inspiration
flashed into her mind: she ran to the end of
the pier, leaped into the boat, uncoiled the rope
that attached it to the post, and seizing an oar,
pushed it off. There was a strong tide; and the
boat, as if instinct with life, and obedient to her necessities,
floated rapidly from the shore. Her pursuers
had now reached the water's edge, and finding
themselves foiled, some vented their spite in jeers
and hoarse laughs, and others in loud and bitter
curses. Hope felt that heaven had interposed for


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her, and sinking on her knees, she clasped her
hands, and breathed forth her soul in fervent
thanksgivings. Whilst she was thus absorbed, a
man, who had been lying in the bottom of the
boat, unobserved by her, and covered by various
outer garments, which he had so disposed as to
shelter himself from the storm, lifted up his
head, and looked at her with mute amazement.
He was an Italian, and belonged to the same
ship's company with the revellers on the shore;
but not inclining to their excesses, and thinking,
on the approach of the storm, that some judgment
was about to overtake them, he had returned to
the boat, and sheltered himself there as well as
he was able. When the tempest abated, he had
fallen asleep, his imagination probably in an excited
state; and on awaking, and seeing Hope in
an attitude of devotion, he very naturally mistook
her for a celestial visitant. In truth, she scarcely
looked like a being of this earth: her hat and
gloves were gone; her hair fell in graceful disorder
about her neck and shoulders, and her white
dress and blue silk mantle had a saint-like simplicity.
The agitating chances of the evening had
scarcely left the hue of life on her cheek; and her
deep sense of the presence and favour of heaven
heightened her natural beauty with a touch of religious

“Hail, blessed virgin Mary!” cried the catholic
Italian, bending low before her, and crossing
himself: “Queen of heaven!—Gate of paradise!


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—and Lady of the world!—O most clement!—
most pious! and most sweet virgin Mary! bless
thy sinful servant.” He spoke in his native
tongue, of which Hope fortunately knew enough
to comprehend him, and to frame a phrase in return.
The earnestness of his countenance was a
sure pledge of his sincerity; and Hope was half
inclined to turn his superstition to her own advantage;
but his devotion approached so near to
worship, that she dared not; and she said,
with the intention of dissipating his illusion,
“I am not, my friend, what you imagine me to

“Thou art not, thou art not, holy queen of
virgins, and of all heavenly citizens—then most
gracious lady, which of all the martyrs and saints
of our holy church art thou? Santa Catharina of
Siena, the blessed bride of a holy marriage?”
Hope shook her head. “Santa Helena then, in
whose church I was first signed with holy water?
nay, thou art not?—then art thou, Santa Bibiani?
or Santa Rosa? thy beauteous hair is like that
sacred lock over the altar of Santa Croce.”

“I am not any of these,” said Hope with a
smile, which the catholic's pious zeal extorted from

“Thou smilest!” he cried exultingly; “thou art
then my own peculiar saint—the blessed lady
Petronilla. Oh, holy martyr! spotless mirror of
purity!” and he again knelt at her feet and crossed


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himself. “My life! my sweetness! and my
hope! to thee do I cry, a poor banished son of
Eve—what wouldst thou have thy dedicated servant,
Antonio Batista, to do, that thou hast, oh,
glorious lady! followed him from our own sweet
Italy to this land of heathen savages and heretic

This invocation was long enough to allow our
heroine time to make up her mind as to the
course she should pursue with her votary. She
had recoiled from the impiety of appropriating
his address to the holy mother, but protestant as
she was, we hope she may be pardoned for thinking
that she might without presumption, identify
herself with a catholic saint. “Good Antonio,”
she said, “I am well pleased to find thee faithful,
as thou hast proved thyself, by withdrawing from
thy vile comrades. To take part in their excesses
would but endanger thine eternal welfare—bear
this in mind. Now, honest Antonio, I will put
honour on thee; thou shalt do me good service.
Take those oars and ply them well till we reach
you town, where I have an errand that must be

“Oh, most blessed lady! sacred martyr, and
sister of mercy! who, entering into the heavenly
palace, didst fill the holy angels with joy, and men
with hope, I obey thee,” he said, and then taking
from his bosom a small ivory box, in which, on
opening it, there appeared to be a shred of linen
cloth, he added, “but first, most gracious lady.


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vouchsafe to bless this holy relic, taken from
the linen in which thy body was enfolded, when,
after it had lain a thousand years in the grave, it
was raised therefrom fresh and beautiful, as it
now appeareth to me.”

Our saint could not forbear a smile at this
startling fact in her history, but she prudently
took the box, and unclasping a bracelet from her
arm, which was fastened by a small diamond
cross, she added it to the relic, whose value though
less obvious, could not be exceeded in Antonio's
estimation. “I give thee, this,” she said, “Antonio,
for thy spiritual and temporal necessities, and
shouldst thou ever be in extreme need, I permit
thee to give it into the hand of some cunning artificer,
who will extract the diamonds for thee,
without marring that form which thou rightly regardest
as blessed.” Antonio received the box as
if it contained the freedom of Paradise, and replacing
it in his bosom, he crossed himself again
and again, repeating his invocations till his saint,
apprehensive that in his ecstasy he would lose all
remembrance of the high office for which she had
selected him, gently reminded him that it was the
duty of the faithful to pass promptly from devotion
to obedience; on this hint he rose, took up
the oars, and exercised his strength and skill with
such exemplary fidelity, that in less than two
hours, his boat touched the pier which Hope designated
as the point where she would disembark.


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Before she parted from her votary, she said, “I
give thee my blessings and my thanks, Antonio,
and I enjoin thee, to say nought to thy wicked
comrades, of my visitation to thee; they would
but jeer thee and wound thy spirit by making
thy lady their profane jest. Reserve the tale, Antonio,
for the ears of the faithful who marvel not
at miracles.”

Antonio bowed in token of obedience, and as
long as Hope saw him, he remained in an attitude
of profound homage.

Our heroine's elastic spirit, ever ready to rise
when pressure was removed, had enabled her to
sustain her extempore character with some animation,
but as soon as she had parted from Antonio,
and was no longer stimulated to exertion by the
fear that his illusion might be prematurely dissipated,
she felt that her strength had been over-taxed
by the strange accidents and various perils
of the evening. Her garments were wet and
heavy, and at every step, she feared another
would be impossible. Her head became giddy,
and faintness and weariness, to her, new and
strange sensations, seemed to drag her to the
earth. She looked and listened in vain for some
human being to call to her assistance: the streets
were empty and silent; and unable to proceed, she
sunk down on the steps of a warehouse, shut
her eyes, and laid down her head to still its


Page 117

She had not remained thus many minutes, when
she was started by a voice saying, “Ha! lady, dost
thou too wander alone?—is thy cheek pale—thy
head sick—thy heart fluttering?—yet thou art not
guilty nor forsaken!”

Hope looked up, and perceived she was addressed
by Sir Philip Gardiner's page. She had
repeatedly seen him since their first meeting, but
occupied as she had been with objects of intense
interest to her, she thought not of their first singular
interview, excepting when it was recalled by
the supposed boy's keen, and as she fancied, angry
glances. They seemed involuntary, for when his
eye met hers, he withdrew it, and his cheek was dyed
with blushes. There was now a thrilling melancholy
in his tone; his eye was dim and sunken;
and his apparel, usually elaborate, and somewhat
fantastical, had a neglected air. His vest was
open; his lace ruff, which was ordinarily arranged
with a care that betrayed his consciousness
how much it graced his fair delicate throat, had
now been forgotten, and the feathers of his little
Spanish hat dangled over his face. Hope Leslie
was in no condition to note these particulars; but
she was struck with his haggard and wretched
appearance, and was alarmed when she saw him
lay his hand on the hilt of a dagger that gleamed
from beneath the folds of his vest.

“Do not shrink, lady,” he said, “the pure should
not fear death, and I am sure the guilty need not
dread it—there is nothing worse for them than


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they may feel walking on the fair earth with the
lights of heaven shining on them. I had this
dagger of my master, and I think,” he added with
a convulsive sob, “he would not be sorry, if I used
it to rid him of his troublesome page.”

“Why do you not leave your master, if he is
of this fiendish disposition towards you?” asked
Hope, “leave him and return to your friends.”

“Friends!—friends!” he exclaimed; “the rich
—the good—the happy—those born in honour,
have friends. I have not a friend in the wide

“Poor soul!” said Hope, losing every other
thought in compassion for the unhappy boy; and
some notion of his real character and relation to
Sir Philip darting into her mind, “then leave this
wretched man, and trust thyself to heaven.”

“I am forsaken of heaven, lady.”

“That cannot be. God never forsakes his creatures:
the miserable, the guilty, from whom every
human face is turned away, may still go to him,
and find forgiveness and peace. His compassions
never fail.”

“Yes—but the guilty must forsake their sinful
thoughts, and I cannot. My heart is steeped in
this guilty love. If my master but looks kindly
on me, or speaks one gentle word to me, I again
cling to my chains and fetters.”

“Oh, this is indeed foolish and sinful; how can
you love him, whom you confess to be so unworthy?”


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“We must love something,” replied the boy in
a faint voice, his head sinking on his bosom.
“My master did love me, and nobody else ever
loved me. I never knew a mother's smile,
lady, nor felt her tears. I never heard a father's
voice; and do you think it so very strange that I
should cling to him who was the first, the only
one that ever loved me?” He paused for a moment,
and looked eagerly on Hope, as if for some
word of encouragement; but she made no reply,
and he burst into a passionate flood of tears, and
wrung his hands, saying, “Oh, yes, it is—I know
it is foolish and sinful, and I try to be penitent.
I say my pater-nosters,” he added, taking a rosary
from his bosom, “and my ave-maries, but I
get no heart's ease; and betimes my head is wild,
and I have horrid thoughts. I have hated you,
lady; you who look so like an angel of pity on
me; and this very day, when I saw Sir Philip
hand you into that boat, and saw you sail away
with him over the bright water so gay and laughing,
I could have plunged this dagger into your
bosom; and I made a solemn vow that you should
not live to take the place of honour beside my
master, while I was cast away a worthless thing.”

“These are indeed useless vows, and idle
thoughts,” said Hope. “I cannot longer listen
to you now, for I am very sick and weary; but do
not grieve thus,—come to me to-morrow, and
tell me all your sorrows, and be guided by me.”

“Oh, not to-morrow!” exclaimed the boy,


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grasping her gown as she rose to depart; “not
to-morrow—I hate the light of day—I cannot go
to that great house—I have no longer courage to
meet the looks of the happy, and answer their
idle questions; stay now, lady, for the love of
heaven! my story is short.”

Hope had no longer the power of deliberation,
she did not even hear the last entreaty. At the
first movement she made, the sensation of giddiness
returned, every object seemed to swim before
her, and she sunk, fainting, into Roslin's arms.
The page had now an opportunity to gratify his
vindictive passions if he had any; but his mad
jealousy was a transient excitement of feelings in
a disordered, almost a distracted state, and soon
gave way to the spontaneous emotions of a gentle
and tender nature. He carefully sustained
his burden, and while he pressed his lips to
Hope's cold brow, with an undefinable sensation
of joy that he might thus approach angelic purity,
he listened eagerly to the sound of footsteps,
and as they came nearer, he recognised the two
Fletchers, with a company of gentlemen, guards,
and sailors, whom, with the Governor's assistance,
they had hastily collected to go in pursuit
of our heroine.

Everell was the first to perceive her. He sprang
towards her, and when he saw her colourless face,
and lifeless body, he uttered an exclamation of horror.
All now gathered about her, listening eagerly
to Roslin's assurance that she had just fainted, complaining


Page 121
of sickness and extreme weariness. He,
as our readers well know, could give no further
explanation of the state in which Miss Leslie was
found; indeed, her friends scarcely waited for any.
Everell wrapped her in his cloak, and assisted by
his father, carried her in his arms to the nearest
habitation, whence she was conveyed, as soon as
a carriage could be obtained, to Governor Winthrop's.