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Page 150


—“My heart is wondrous light,
Since this same wayward girl is so reclaimed.”

Romeo and Juliet.

The next morning opened on Boston with that
boon to all small societies, a new topic of interest
and conversation. The attempt on the prison the
preceding night, was in every one's mouth; and
as the community had been much agitated concerning
the heresies and trial of Gorton and
his company, they did not hesitate to attribute the
criminal outrage to some of his secret adherents,
who, as the sentence that had passed on the unfortunate
men, was the next day to take effect, had
made this desperate effort to rescue them. It
was not even surmised by the popular voice,
that the bold attempt had been made on account
of the Indian woman. The magistrates had very
discreetly refrained from disclosing her connection
with state affairs, as every alarm about the
rising of the Indians, threw the colony, especially
the women and children, into a state of the greatest
agitation. The imprisonment of Magawisca
was, therefore, looked upon as a transient
and prudential and domiciliary arrangement, to
prevent the possibility of any concert between


Page 151
her and the recovered captive, Faith Leslie, who
was known to be pining for her Indian friends.

That the Governor's secret conclusions were
very different from those of the people, was indicated
by a private order, which he sent to Barnaby
Tuttle, to remove the Indian maiden from the
upper apartment, to the dungeon beneath the
prison; but by no means to inflict any other severity
on her, or to stint her of any kindness consistent
with her safe keeping. Gorton's company
were, on the same day, removed from the prison;
and, as is well known to the readers of the chronicles
of the times, distributed separately to the
towns surrounding Boston, where, notwithstanding
they were jealously guarded and watched, they
proved dangerous leaven, and were soon afterwards
transported to England.

Whatever secret suspicions the Governor entertained
in relation to Everell Fletcher, his kind
feelings, and the delicate relation in which he
stood to that young man, as the son of his dearest
friend, and the betrothed husband of his niece,
induced him to keep them within his own bosom;
without even intimating them to his partners in
authority, who, he well knew, whatever infirmities
they, frail men, might have of their own,
were seldom guilty of winking at those of others.

But to return to our heroine, whom we left convalescing;
the energies of a youthful and unimpaired
constitution, and the unwearied care of her
gentle nurse, restored her in the space of two


Page 152
days, to such a degree of strength, that she was
able to join the family in the parlour at the evening
meal, to which we cannot give the convenient
designation of “tea,” as Asia had not yet
supplied us with this best of all her aromatic luxuries.

Hope entered the parlour leaning on Esther's
arm. All rose to welcome her, and to offer their
congratulations, more or less formal, on her preservation
and recovery. Everell advanced with
the rest, and essayed to speak, but his voice failed
him. Hope with natural frankness gave him her
hand, and all the blood in her heart seemed to
gush into her pale cheeks, but neither did she
speak. In the general movement their reciprocal
emotion passed unobserved, excepting by Esther;
she noted it. After the meal was finished, and
the Governor had returned thanks, in which he
inserted a clause expressive of the general gratitude
“for the mercies that had been vouchsafed
to the maiden near and dear to many present, in
that she had been led safely through perils by
water, by land, and by sickness,” Madame Winthrop
kindly insisted that Hope should occupy her
easy-chair, but Hope declined the honour, and
seating herself on the window-seat, motioned to
her sister to come and sit by her. The poor girl
obeyed, but without any apparent interest, and
without even seeming conscious of the endearing
tenderness with which Hope stroked back
her hair, and kissed her cheek. “What shall we


Page 153
do with this poor home-sick child?” she asked,
appealing to her guardian.

“In truth, I know not,” he replied. “All day,
and all night, they tell me, she goes from window
to window, like an imprisoned bird fluttering
against the bars of its cage; and so wistfully she
looks abroad, as if her heart went forth with the
glance of her eye.”

“I have done my best,” said Mrs. Grafton, now
joining in the conversation, “to please her, but
it's all working for nothing, and no thanks. In
the first place, I gave her all her old play-things,
that you saved so carefully, Hope, and shed so
many tears over, and at first they did seem to
pleasure her. She looked them over and over,
and I could see by the changes of her countenance
as she took up one and another, that some
glimmerings of past times came over her; but as
ill luck would have it, there was among the rest,
in a little basket, a string of bird's eggs, which
Oneco had given her at Bethel. I remembered
it well, and so did she, for as soon as she saw it,
she dropped every thing else, and burst into

“Poor child!” said Mr. Fletcher, “these early
affections are deeply rooted.” Everell, who stood
by his father, turned and walked to the other extremity
of the apartment; and Hope involuntarily
passed her hand hastily over her brow; as she
did so, she looked up and saw Esther's eye fixed
on her. Rallying her spirits, “I am weak yet,


Page 154
Esther,” she said, “and this sudden change from
our still room confuses me.” Mrs. Grafton did
not mark this little interlude, and replying to Mr.
Fletcher's last observation, “Poor child! do
you call her?” I call it sheer foolishness. Her
early affections indeed! you seem to forget
she had other and earlier than for that Indian
boy; but this seems to be the one weed that has
choked all the rest. Hope, my dear, you have
no idea what a non compos mentis she has got
to be. I showed her all my ear-rings, and gave
her her choice of all but the diamonds that are
promised for your wedding gift, dearie, you know,
and do you think, she scarcely looked at them?
while she won't let me touch those horrid blue
glass things she wears, that look so like the tawnies,
it makes me all of a nerve to see them. And
then just look for yourself, though I have dressed
her up in that beautiful Lyon's silk of yours, with
the Dresden tucker, she will—this warm weather
too—keep on her Indian mantle in that blankety

“Well, my dear aunt, why not indulge her for
the present? I suppose she has the feeling of the
natives, who seem to have an almost superstitious
attachment to that oriental costume.”

“Oriental fiddlestick! you talk like a simpleton,
Hope. I suppose you would let her wear
that string of all coloured shells round her neck,
would you not,” she asked, drawing aside Faith's
mantle, and showing the savage ornament, “instead


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of that beautiful rainbow necklace of mine,
which I have offered to her in place of it?”

“If you ask me seriously, aunt, I certainly
would, if she prefers it.”

“Now that is peculiar of you, Hope. Why,
Miss Esther Downing, mine is a string of stones
that go by sevens—yellow, topaz—orange, onyx—
red, ruby—and so on, and so on. Master Cradock
wrote the definitions of them all out of a latin
book for me once; and yet, though it is such
a peculiar beauty, that silly child will not give up
those horrid shells for it. Now,” she continued,
turning to Faith, and putting her hand on the
necklace, “now that's a good girl, let me take it

Faith understood her action, though not her
words, and she laid her own hand on the necklace,
and looked as if obstinately determined it
should not be removed.

Hope perceived there was something attached
to the necklace, and on a closer inspection,
which her position enabled her to make, she saw
it was a crucifix; and dreading lest her sister
should be exposed to a new source of persecution,
she interposed: “Let her have her own way at
present, I pray you, aunt: she may have some
reason for preferring those shells that we do not
know; and if she has not, I see no great harm in
her preferring bright shells to bright stones; at
any rate, for the present we had best leave her


Page 156
to herself, and say nothing at all to her about her
dress or ornaments.”

“Well—very well, take your own way, Miss
Hope Leslie.”

Hope smiled—“Nay, aunt,” she said, “I cannot
be Miss Hope Leslie till I get quite well

“Oh, dearie, I meant nothing, you know,” said
the good lady, whose displeasure never held out
against one of her niece's smiles. “If Miss Esther
Downing,” she added, lowering her voice,
“had told me to say nothing of dress and ornaments,
I should not have been surprised; but it is
an unheard of simpleness for you, Hope. Dress
and ornaments! they are the most likely things
in the world to take the mind off from trouble.
Till I came to this New English colony, where
every things seems, as it were, topsy turvy, I never
saw that woman whose mind could not be diverted
by dress and ornaments.”

“You strangely dishonor your memory, mistress
Grafton, or Hope's noble mother,” said the elder
Fletcher; “methinks I have heard you often say
that Alice Fletcher had no taste for these vanities.”

“No, you never heard me say that, Mr. Fletcher.
Vanities!—no, never, the longest day I had
to live; for I never called them vanities—no—I
did say Alice always went as plain as a pike staff,
after you left England; and a great pity it was, I


Page 157
always thought; for when queen Henrietta came
from France, we had such a world of beautiful
new fashions, it would have cured Alice of moping
if she would have given her mind to it. There
was my lady Penyvére, how different it was with
her after her losses: let's see, her husband, and
her son Edward, heir to the estate; and her
daughter-in-law—that was not so much—but
we'll count her; and Ulrica, her own daughter—
all died in one week. And for an aggravation,
her coachman, horses, coach and all, went off
London Bridge, and all were drowned—killed—
smashed to death; and yet, in less than a week,
my lady gave orders for every suit of mourning—
and that is the great use of wearing mourning, as
she said: it takes the mind off from trouble.”

Hope felt, and her quick eye saw, that her aunt
was running on sadly at her own expense; and
to produce an effect similar to the painter, when,
by his happy art, he shifts his lights, throwing defects
into shadow, and bringing out beauties, she
said, “You are very little like your friend, lady
Penyvére, dear aunt, for I am certain, if, as you
feared, I had lost my life the other day, all the
mourning in the king's realm would not have
turned your thoughts from trouble.”

“No, that's true—that's true, dearie,” replied
the good lady, snuffling, and wiping away the
tears that had gathered at the bare thought
of the evil that had threatened her. “No, Hope,
touch you, touch my life; but then,” she added,


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lowering her voice for Hope's ear only, “I can't
bear to have you give in to this outcry against
dress; we have preaching and prophesying
enough, the Lord knows, without your taking it

Lights were now ordered, and after the bustle,
made by the ladies drawing around the table, and
arranging their work, was over, Governor Winthrop
said, “if your strength is equal to the task,
Miss Leslie, we would gladly hear the particulars
of your marvellous escape, of which Esther has
been able to give us but a slight sketch; though
enough to make us all admire at the wonderful
Providence that brought you safely through.”

The elder Fletcher, really apprehensive for
Hope's health, and still more apprehensive that
she might, in her fearless frankness, discredit herself
with the Governor, by disclosing all the particulars
of her late experience, which he had already
heard from her lips, and permitted to pass
uncensured, interposed, and hoped to avert the
evil, by begging that the relation might be deferred.
But Hope insisted that she felt perfectly
well, and began by saying, `she doubted not her
kind friends had made every allowance for the
trouble she had occasioned them. She was conscious
that much evil had proceeded from the rash
promise of secresy she had given.' She forbore
to name Magawisca, on her sister's account, who
was still sitting by her; the Governor, by a significant
nod, expressed that he comprehended her;


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and she went on to say, `that she trusted she had
been forgiven for that, and for all the petulant
and childish conduct of the week that followed it.'
“I scarcely recollect any thing of those days, that
then seemed to me interminable,” she said, “but
that I tried to mask my troubled spirit with a laughing
face, and in spite of all my efforts I was rather
cross than gay. I believe, Madam Winthrop, I
called forth your censure, and I pray you to forgive
me for not taking it patiently and thankfully,
as I ought.”

Madam Winthrop, all astonishment at Hope's
exemplary humility and deference, graces she had
not appeared to abound in, assured her with unassumed
kindness, that she had her cordial forgiveness;
though, indeed, she was pleased to
say, `Hope's explanation left her little to forgive.'

“And you, sir,” said Hope, turning to the Governor,
“you, I trust, will pardon me for selecting
your garden for a secret rendezvous.”

“Indeed, Hope Leslie, I could pardon a much
heavier transgression in one so young as thee;
and one who seems to have so hopeful a sense
of error,” replied the Governor, while the goodwill
beaming in his benevolent face, shewed how
much more accordant kindness was with his nature,
than the austere reproof which he so often
believed the letter of his duty required from him.

“Then you all—all forgive me; do you not?”
Hope asked; and glancing her eye around the
room, it involuntarily rested, for a moment, on


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Everell. All but Everell, who did not speak, were
warm in their assurances that they had nothing
to forgive; and the elder Fletcher tenderly pressed
her hand, secretly rejoicing that her graceful
humility enabled her to start with her story from
vantage ground.

“I did not see you, I believe, Esther,” continued
Hope, “after we parted at Digby's cottage?”

“Speak a trifle louder, if you please, Miss Leslie,”
said the Governor. Hope was herself conscious
that her voice had faltered, at the recollection
of the definitive scene in Digby's cottage,
and making a new effort, she said in a firmer
and more cheerful tone, “you, Esther, were happily
occupied. I was persecuted by Sir Philip
Gardiner, whose ungentlemanly interference in
my concerns, will, I trust, relieve me from his society
in future.”

“Pardon me, Miss Leslie, said the Governor,
interrupting Hope, “our friend, Sir Philip, hath
deserved you thanks rather than your censure.
There are, as you well know, duties paramount
to the courtesies of a gentleman, which are, for
the most part, but a vain show: mere dress and
decoration;” and he vouchsafed a smile, as he
quoted the words of Mrs. Grafton, “Sir Philip
believed he was consulting your happiness, when
he took measures to recover your sister, which
your promise forbade your taking.”

“Sir Philip strangely mistakes me,” replied


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Hope, “if he thinks any thing could console me
for apparently betraying one who trusted me, to
sorrowful, fearful imprisonment.”

There was a pause, during which Mrs. Winthrop
whispered to Esther, “then she knows all
about it?”

“Yes—she would not rest till she heard all.”

Hope proceeded. “I believe I am not yet
strong enough to speak on this point.” She then
went on to narrate circumstantially all that
took place after she was parted from Magawisca,
till she came to Antonio. Cradock,
when she began, had laid aside a little Greek
book, over which he was conning, and had at
every new period of her relation given his chair
a hitch towards her, till he sat directly before
her, on the edge of his chair, his knees pressed
close together, and his palms resting upright
on them, his head stooped forward, so as to
be at right angles with his body, and his parting
lips creeping round to his ears, with an expression
of complacent wonder. Thus he sat and looked,
while Hope described her politic acquiescence in
Antonio's error, and repeated her first reply to
him in Italian. At this the old man threw his
head back, and burst into a peal of laughter, that
resembled the neighing of a horse more than any
human sound; and as soon as he could recover
his voice, “did not I teach her the tongues?” he
asked, with a vehement gesture to the company—
“did not I teach her the tongues?”


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“Indeed you did, kind master Cradock,” said
Hope, laying her hand on his; “and many a
weary hour it cost you.”

“Never—never one—thou wert always a marvellous
quick witted damsel.” He then resumed his
seat and his former attitude, and, closing his eyes,
said in his usual low, deliberate tone, “I bless the
Lord that the flower and beauty of my youth
were spent in Padua: a poor blind worm that I
am, I deemed it a loss, but it hath saved her most
precious and sweet life.” And here he burst into
a paroxysm of tears and sobbing, almost as violent
as his laughter had been: his organs seemed
moved by springs which, if touched by an emotion,
were quite beyond his control, and only
ceased their operation when their mechanical
force was exhausted.

Hope had little more to relate: she prudently
suppressed the private concerns of Sir Philip's
page, and attributed their accidental meeting to
his having come abroad, as in truth he had, in
quest of his master. When she had finished, the
Governor said, “Thou hast indeed been brought
through many dangers, Hope Leslie; delivered
from the hand of thy strong enemy, and thy feet
made like hinds' feet; and I joy to say, that thy
experience of the Lord's mercies seemeth to have
wrought a becoming sobriety in thee. I would
fain pass over that last passage in thy evening's
adventures without remark, but duty bids me say,
thou didst err, lamentably, in permitting, for a


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moment, the idol worship of that darkened papistical

“Worship, sir!” said Hope: “I did not esteem
it worship; I thought it merely an affectionate
address to one who—and I hope I erred not in
that—might not have been a great deal better
than myself.”

“I think she erred not greatly,” said Mr.
Fletcher, who at this moment felt too tenderly
for Hope, patiently to hear her rebuked; “the
best catholic doctors put this interpretation on the
invocations to saints.”

“Granted,” replied the Governor, “but did she
right to deepen and strengthen the superstition
of the Romish sailor?”

“It does not appear to me,” said Mr. Fletcher,
“that it was a seasonable moment for meddling
with his superstitions. We do not read that Paul
rebuked the Melitans, even when they said he
was a god.” This was but negative authority;
but while the Governor hesitated how he should
answer it, Mr. Fletcher turned to Esther: “Miss
Downing,” he said, “thou art the pattern maiden
of the commonwealth,—in Hope's condition,
wouldst thou have acted differently? out of thy
mouth she shall be justified or condemned.”

“Speak, dear Esther,” said Hope; “why do
you hesitate? If I were to choose an external
conscience, you should be my rule; though I
think the stern monitor could never be embodied


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in so gentle a form. Now tell us, Esther, what
would you have done?”

“What I should have done, if left to my own
strength, I know not,” replied Esther, speaking

“Then, Esther, I will put the question in a form
to spare your humility; I will not ask what you
would have done, but what I ought to have

Esther's strictness was a submission to duty;
and it cost her an effort to say, “I would rather,
Hope, thou hadst trusted thyself wholly to that
Providence that had so wonderfully wrought for
thee thus far.”

“I believe you are quite right, Esther,” said
Hope, who was disposed to acquiesce in whatever
her friend said, and glad to escape from any
further discussion; and, moreover, anxious to
avert Esther's observation from Everell, who, during
the conversation, had been walking the room,
his arms folded, to and fro, but had narrowly
watched Esther during this appeal; and when
she announced her opinion, had turned disappointed

Mrs. Grafton now arose with a trifling apparent
vexation, and, taking Faith by the arm, she
signified her intention to retire to her own apartment.
While crossing the room she said, “It is
not often I quote scripture, as you all know; because,
as I have said before, I hold a text from scripture,
or a sample of chintz, to be a deceptive kind


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of specimen; but I must say now, that I think
the case of David, in eating the shew bread, instead
of looking for manna, upholds Hope Leslie
in using the means the Lord chose to place in her

Having the last word is one of the tokens of victory,
and the good lady, content with this, withdrew
from the field of discussion. Governor
Winthrop retired to his study. Hope followed
him thither, and begged a few moments audience;
which was, of course, readily granted.
When the door was closed, and he had seated
himself, and placed a large arm-chair for her, all
the tranquillity which she had just before so well
sustained, forsook her; she sunk, trembling, on
her knees, and was compelled to rest her forehead
on the Governor's knee: he laid his hand
kindly on her head, “what does this mean?”
he asked; “I like not, and it is not fitting, that
any one should kneel in my house, but for a holy
purpose,—rise, Hope Leslie, and explain yourself
—rise, my child,” he added in a softened tone,
for his heart was touched with her distress; “tyrants
are knelt to—and I trust I am none.”

“No, indeed, you are not,” she replied, rising
and clasping her hands with earnest supplication;
“and therefore, I hope—nay, I believe, you will
grant my petition for our poor Indian friend.”

“Well, be calm—what of her?”

“What of her! Is she not, the generous creature,
at this moment in your condemned dungeon?


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is she not to be tried to-morrow—perhaps sentenced
to death—and can I, the cause of bringing
her into this trouble—can I look calmly on?”

“Well, what would you have, young lady?”
asked the Governor, in a quiet manner, that
damped our heroine's hopes, though it did not
abate her ardour.

“I would have your warrant, sir,” she replied
boldly, “for her release; her free passage to her
poor old father, if indeed he lives.”

“You speak unadvisedly, Miss Leslie. I am
no king; and I trust the Lord will never send
one in wrath on his chosen people of the new
world, as he did on those of old. No, in truth, I
am no king. I have but one voice in the commonwealth,
and I cannot grant pardons at pleasure;
and besides, on what do you found your

“On what?” exclaimed Hope. “On her merits,
and rights.”

“Methinks, my young friend, you have lost
right suddenly that humble tone, that but now in
the parlour graced you so well. I trusted that
your light afflictions, and short sickness, had tended
to the edification of your spirit.”

“I spoke then of myself, and humility became
me; but surely you will permit me to speak courageously
of the noble Magawisca.”

“There is some touch of reason in thy speech,
Hope Leslie,” replied the Governor, his lips almost
relaxing to a smile. “Sit down, child, and


Page 167
tell me of these merits and rights, for I would be
possessed of every thing in favour of this unhappy

“I have not to tell you, sir,” said Hope, struggling
to speak in a dispassionate tone, “but only
to remind you of what you were once the first to
speak of—the many obligations of the English to
the family of Mononotto—a debt, that has been
but ill paid.”

“That debt, I think, was cancelled by the
dreadful massacre at Bethel.”

“If it be so, there is another debt that never has
been—that scarce can be cancelled.”

“Yes, I know to what you allude: it was a
noble action for a heathen savage; and I marvel
not that my friend Fletcher should think it a title
to our mercy; or, that young Mr. Everell, looking
with a youthful eye on this business, should
deem it a claim on our justice. They have both
spoken much and often to me, and it were well,
if Everell Fletcher were content to leave this matter
with those who have the right to determine it.”
Hope perceived the Governor looked very significantly,
and she apprehended that he might
think her intercession was instigated by Everell.

“I have not seen Everell Fletcher,” she said,
“till this evening, since we parted at the garden;
and you will do both him and me the justice to
believe, I have not now spoken at his bidding.”

“I did not think it. I know thou art ever somewhat
forward to speak the dictates of thy heart,”


Page 168
he continued with a smile; “but now let me
caution you both, especially Everell, not to stir
in this matter, any private interference will but
prejudice the Pequod's cause. They have ever
been a hateful race to the English. And as the
old chief and his daughter are accused, and I fear
justly, of kindling the enmity of the tribes against
us, and attempting to stir up a war that would
lay our villages in ruins, it will be difficult to make
a private benefit outweigh such a public crime.
At any rate, the prisoner must be tried for her
life; afterwards, we may consider if it be possible,
and suitable, to grant her a pardon.” Hope
rose to withdraw: the sanguine hopes that had
sustained her were abated, her limbs trembled,
and her lips quivered, as she turned to say “good-night.”
The Governor took her hand, and said
compassionately,—“Be not thus disquieted, my
child; cast thy care upon the Lord, He can bring
light out of this darkness.”

`And he alone,' she thought, as she slowly
crept to her room. A favourite from her birth,
Hope had been accustomed to the gratification
of her wishes; innocent and moderate they had
been; but uniform indulgence is not a favourable
school, and our heroine had now to learn from
that stern teacher experience, that events and
circumstances cannot be moulded to individual
wishes. She must sit down and passively await
the fate of Magawisca. `She had done all she
could do, and without any effect—had she done


Page 169
all?' While she still meditated on this last clause
of her thoughts, Esther entered the room. Absorbed
in her own reverie, Hope did not, at first,
particularly observe her friend, and when she did,
she saw that she appeared much disturbed. Esther,
after opening and shutting drawers and cupboards,
and seeking by these little devices to conceal
or subdue her agitation, found all unavailing,
and throwing herself into a chair, she gave way to
hysterical sobbings.

This in almost any young lady would have been a
common expression of romantic distress; but in
the disciplined, circumspect Esther, uncontrolled
emotion was as alarming, to compare small
things to great, as if an obedient planet were to
start from its appointed orbit.

Hope hastened to her, and folding her arms
around her tenderly, inquired what could thus
distress her? Esther disengaged herself from her
friend, and turned her face from her.

“I cannot bear this,” said Hope, “I can bear
any thing better than this: are you displeased
with me, Esther?”

“Yes, I am displeased with you—with myself—
with every body—I am miserable.”

“What do you mean, Esther? I have done
nothing to offend you; for pity's sake tell me
what you mean? I have never had a feeling or
thought that should offend you.”

“You have most cruelly, fatally injured me,
Hope Leslie.”


Page 170

“Here is some wretched mistake,” cried Hope;
“for heaven's sake explain, Esther: if I had injured
you knowingly, I should be of all creatures
most guilty; but I have not. If I have innocently
injured you, speak, my dear friend, I beseech you,”
she added, again putting her arm around Esther;
“have not you yourself, a thousand times, said
there should be no disguises with friends; no untold
suspicions; no unexplained mysteries.”

Again Esther repressed Hope. “I have been
unfairly dealt by,” she said. “I have been treated
as a child.”

“How—when—where—by whom?” demanded
Hope impetuously.

“Ask me no questions now, Hope. I will answer
none. I will no longer be played upon.”

“Oh, Esther, you are cruel,” said Hope, bursting
into tears. “You are the one friend that I
have loved gratefully, devotedly, disinterestedly,
and I cannot bear this.”

There was a pause of half an hour, during which
Esther sat with her face covered with her handkerchief,
and sobbing violently, while Hope walked
up an down the room; her tender heart penetrated
to the very core with sorrow, and her
mind perplexed with endless conjectures about
the cause of her friend's emotions.

She sometimes approached near the truth, but
that way she could not bear to look. At last
Esther became quiet, and Hope ventured once
more to approach her, and leaned over her without


Page 171
speaking. Esther rose from her chair, knelt
down, and drew Hope down beside her, and in a
low, but perfectly firm voice, supplicated for
grace to resist engrossing passion, and selfish affections.
She prayed they might both be assisted
from above, so that their mutual forgiveness, and
mutual love, might be perfected, and issue in a
friendship which should be a foretaste of heaven.
She then rose, and folded her arms around her
friend, saying, “I have given way to my sinful nature;
but I feel already an earnest of returning
peace. Do not say any thing to me now, Hope
—the future will explain all.”

There was an authority in her manner, that
Hope could not, and did not, wish to resist. “If
you speak to me so, Esther,” she said, “I would
obey you, even though it were possible obedience
should be more difficult. Now we will go to bed,
and forget all this wearisome evening; but first
kiss me, and tell me you love me as well as ever.”

“I do,” she replied; but her voice faltered;
and governed by the strictest law of truth, she
changed her form of expression—“I mean that I
shall again love you as well—I trust better than
ever—be content with this, for the present, Hope,
and try me no further.”

Once, while they were undressing, Esther said,
but without any emotion in her voice,—her face
was averted from Hope,—“Everell has been proposing
to me to assist him in a clandestine attempt
to get Magawisca out of prison.”


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“To get her out!” exclaimed Hope, with the
greatest animation—“to night?”

“To-night or to-morrow night.”

“And is there any hope of effecting it?”

“I thought it not right for me to undertake it,”
Esther replied in the same tone, quite calm, but
so deliberate, that Hope detected the effort with
which she spoke, and dared not venture another

They both went to bed, but not to sleep; mutual
and secret anxieties kept them for a long
time restless, and a strange feeling of embarrassment,
as distant as the width of their bed would
allow; but, finally, Hope, as if she could no longer
bear this estrangement, nestled close to Esther,
folded her arms around her, and fell asleep
on her bosom.

Madam Winthrop had very considerately, in
the course of the evening, left Everell and her
niece alone together; and he had availed himself
of this first opportunity of private communication,
to inform her, that after being frustrated in all his
efforts for Magawisca's rescue, he had, at length,
devised a plan which only wanted her co-operation
to insure it success. Her agency would certainly,
he believed, not be detected; and, at any
rate, could not involve her in any disagreeable

`Any consequences to herself,' Esther said,
`she would not fear.' Everell assured her, that
he was certain she would not; but he was anxious


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she should see he would not expose her to any,
even to attain an object for which he would risk
or sacrifice his own life. He then went on eagerly
to detail his plan of operations, till Esther
summoned courage to interrupt him. Perhaps
there is not on earth a more difficult duty, than
for a woman to place herself in a disagreeable
light before the man she truly loves. Esther's affections
were deep, fixed, and unpretending, capable
of any effort, or any sacrifice, that was not
proscribed by religious loyalty; but no earthly
consideration could have tempted her to waver
from the strictest letter of her religious duty, as
that duty was interpreted by her conscience. It
cost her severe struggles, but after several intimations,
which Everell did not understand, she constrained
herself to say, `that she thought they had
not scripture warrant for interfering between the
prisoner and the magistrates.'

“Scripture warrant!” exclaimed Everell with
surprise and vexation he could not conceal.
“And are you to do no act of mercy, or compassion,
or justice, for which you cannot quote a
text from scripture?”

“Scripture hath abundant texts to authorise
all mercy, compassion, and justice, but we are not
always the allowed judges of their application;
and in the case before us we have an express
rule, to which, if we submit, we cannot err; for
thou well knowest, Everell, we are commanded
in the first of Peter, 2d chapter, to `submit ourselves


Page 174
to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's
sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or
unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him
for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise
of them that do well.' ”

“But surely, Esther, there must be warrant, as
you call it, for sometimes resisting legitimate authority,
or all our friends in England would not be
at open war with their king. With such a precedent,
I should think the sternest conscience would
permit you to obey the generous impulses of nature,
rather than to render this slavish obedience
to the letter of the law.”

“Oh, Everell! do not seek to blind my judgment.
Our friends at home are men who do all
things in the fear of the Lord, and are, therefore,
doubtless guided by the light of scripture, and the
inward testimony. But they cannot be a rule for
us, in any measure; and for me, Everell, it would
be to sin presumptuously, to do aught, in any way,
to countervail the authority of those chosen servants
of the Lord, whose magistracy we are privileged
to live under.”

Everell tried all argument and persuasion to subdue
her scruples, but in vain; she had some text,
or some unquestioned rule of duty, to oppose to
every reason and entreaty.

To an ardent young man, there is something
unlovely, if not revolting, in the sterner virtues;
and particularly when they oppose those objects
which he may feel to be authorised by the most


Page 175
generous emotions of his heart. Everell did not
mean to be unjust to Esther—his words were
measured and loyal—but he felt a deep conviction
that there was a painful discord between
them; that there was, to use the modern German
term, no elective affinity. In the course of their
conversation, he said, “you would not, you could
not, thus resist my wishes, if you knew Magawisca.”

“Everell,” she replied, “those who love you
need not know this maiden, to feel that they
would save her life at the expense of their own,
if they might do it;” and then blushing at what
she feared might seem an empty boast, she added,
“but I do know Magawisca; I have visited
her in her prison every day since she has been

“God bless you for that, Esther—but why did
you not tell me?”

“Because my uncle only permitted me access
to her, on condition that I kept it a secret from

“Methinks that prohibition was as useless as

“No, Everell; my uncle, doubtless, anticipated
such applications as you have made to-night,
and he was right to guard me from temptation.”

`He might securely have trusted you to resist
it,' thought Everell. But he tried to suppress the
unkind feeling, and asked Esther `if she had


Page 176
any motive in visiting Magawisca thus often, beyond
the gratification of her compassionate disposition?'

“Yes,” replied Esther, “I heard my uncle say,
that if Magawisca could be induced to renounce
her heathenish principles, and promise, instead of
following her father to the forest, to remain here,
and join the catechised Indians, he thought the
magistrates might see it to be their duty to overlook
her past misdemeanors, and grant her Christian
privileges.” Esther paused for a moment, but
Everell made no comment, and she proceeded,
in a tone of the deepest humility: “I knew I was
a poor instrument, but I hoped a blessing on the
prayer of faith, and the labour of love. I set before
her, her temporal and her eternal interest—
life, and death. I prayed with her—I exhorted
her—but, oh! Everell, she is obdurate; she neither
fears death, nor will believe that eternal misery
awaits her after death!”

To Esther's astonishment, Everell, though he
looked troubled, neither expressed surprise or disappointment
at the result of her labours, but immediately
set before her the obvious inference
from it. “You see, yourself,” he said, “by your
own experience, there is but one way of aiding

“It is unkind of you, Everell,” she replied,
with a trembling voice, “to press me further; that
way, you know, my path is hedged up;” and
without saying any thing more, she abruptly left


Page 177
the room; but she had scarcely passed the threshold
of the door, when her gentle heart reproached
her with harshness, and she turned to soften her
final refusal. Everell did not hear her returning
footsteps; he stood with his back to the door;
and Esther heard him make this involuntary
apostrophe. “Oh, Hope Leslie! how thy unfettered
soul would have answered such an appeal!
why has fate cruelly severed us?”

Esther escaped hastily, and without his observation;
and the scene already described, in the
apartment of the young ladies, ensued.

Everell Fletcher must not be reproached with
being a disloyal knight. The artifices of Sir
Philip Gardiner, the false light in which our heroine
had been placed by her embarrassments
with Magawisca—the innocent manœuvrings of
Madam Winthrop, and finally, the generous rashness
of Hope Leslie, had led him step by step, to
involve himself in an engagement with Miss Downing;
that engagement had just been made
known to her protectors, and ratified by them,
when the denouement of the mysterious rendezvous
at the garden, explained his fatal mistake.
When he recurred to all that had passed since
his first meeting with Hope Leslie, and particularly
to their last interview at the garden, when
he had imputed her uncontrollable emotion to her
sensibility in relation to Sir Philip, he had reason to
believe, he was beloved by the only being he had
ever loved. But in what cruel circumstance did


Page 178
this discovery find him! His troth plighted to one
whose pure and tender heart he had long possessed.
There was but one honourable course for him
to pursue, and on that he firmly resolved; to
avoid the presence of Hope Leslie—to break the
chain of affection wrought in youth, and rivetted
in manhood, and whose links seemed to him, to
encompass and sustain his very life; in fine, to
forget the past—but alas! who can convert to
Lethe the sweetest draughts of memory?

Hope's dangerous illness had suspended all his
purposes; he could not disguise his interest—and
indeed, its manifestation excited neither surprise
nor remark, for it seemed sufficiently accounted
for by their long and intimate association. While
Hope's life was in peril, even Magawisca was
forgotten; but the moment Hope's convalescence
restored the use of his faculties, they were all devoted
to obtaining Magawisca's release, and he
had left no means untried, either of open intercession,
or clandestine effort; but all as yet was
without effect.