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Page 54


“I should have been more strange I must confess,
But that thou overheard'st me, ere I was 'ware
My love's true passion: therefore, pardon me,
And not impute this yielding to light love.”

Romeo And Juliet.

The week that succeeded Hope Leslie's interview
with Magawisca, was one of anxiety to most
of the members of Governor Winthrop's family.

The habitual self-possession of the Governor
himself seemed somewhat disturbed; he was abstracted
and thoughtful; frequently held secret
conferences with Sir Philip Gardiner in his study;
and in relation to this stranger, he appeared to
have departed from his usual diplomatic caution,
and to have admitted him to the most confidential
intimacy. There were frequent private meetings
of the magistrates; and it was quite evident
from the external motions of these guardians of
the colony, that some state secret was heaving
in their bosoms.

The Governor was in the habit of participating
with his wife his most secret state-affairs; moved
to this confidence, no doubt, by his strict views
of her rights as his help-mate; for it cannot be


Page 55
supposed, even for a moment, that one of the superior
sex should find pleasure in telling a secret.

But in this instance, he communicated nothing
to his trust-worthy partner, excepting some obscure
intimations, that might be gathered from
the significant utterance of such general truths
as, “that it was impossible for human foresight
to foresee every thing; that those who stood at
the helm of state could not be too vigilant;
that ends were often brought about by unexpected
means;” and similar truisms, which, enunciated
by grave and dignified lips, are invested with importance
from the source whence they proceed.

Madam Winthrop was happily too much absorbed
with the feminine employment of watching
the developement of her niece's affairs, to
have much curiosity in relation to cabinet secrets.
She naturally concluded that some dangerous adherent
of that arch-heretic Gorton, had been discovered;
or, perhaps, some new mode of faith
had demanded magisterial interference; whatever
her mental conclusions were, it is certain
her thoughts all ran in another channel. In all
ages of the world, in every condition, and at every
period of life, a woman's interest in the progress of
a love affair, masters every other feeling.

Esther Downing was a favourite of her aunt;
and as it had been urged by Mr. Downing, as an
objection to his removal to New-England, that his
daughters would have small chance of being eligibly
married there, it became a point of honour


Page 56
with Madam Winthrop, after he had been persuaded
to overlook this objection, to prove to him
that it was unfounded.

Madam Winthrop was too upright, intentionally
to do a wrong to any one; but, without being
herself conscious of it, she was continually setting
off the lights of her niece's character, by what she
deemed the shades of Hope Leslie's. Our heroine's
independent temper, and careless gaiety of
heart, had more than once offended against the
strict notions of Madam Winthrop, who was of
the opinion, that the deferential manners of youth,
which were the fashion of the age, had their foundation
in immutable principles.

Nothing was farther from Miss Leslie's intention,
than any disrespect to a woman whom she
had been taught to venerate; but unfortunately,
she would sometimes receive what Madam Winthrop
meant for affability, as if it were simply the
kindness of an equal; she had been seen to gape
in the midst of the good lady's most edifying remarks;
and once she ran away to gaze on a brilliant
sunset, at the moment Madam Winthrop
was condescendingly relating some very important
particulars of her early life. This was certainly
indecorous; but her offences were trifling,
and were probably forgotten by Madam Winthrop
herself, long before their effects were effaced
from her mind.

Esther was always respectful, always patient;
always governed by the slightest intimation of


Page 57
her aunt's wishes; and it must be confessed, that
even to those who were less partial and prejudiced
than Madame Winthrop, Miss Downing appeared
far more lovely than our heroine during the
week, when she was suffering the extremes of anxiety
and apprehension. No one, who did not
know that there was a secret and sufficient
cause for her restlessness, her seeming indifference
to her friends, and to every thing about her,
could have escaped the conclusion, that forced
itself on Everell's mind; that fortune, and beauty,
and indulgence, had had their usual and fatal effect
on Hope Leslie. In the bitterness of his disappointment,
he wished he had never returned to
have the vision of her ideal perfection expelled
from his imagination by the light of truth.

With the irritable feeling of a lover, he watched
the devoted attentions of Sir Philip Gardiner
to Hope, which she, almost unconscious of them,
received passively, but as Everell thought, favourably.
Utterly engrossed in one object, she never
reflected that there had been any thing in her
conduct to excite Everell's distrust; and feeling
more than ever, the want of that sympathy and undisguised
affection which she had always received
from him, she was hurt at his altered conduct; and
her manner insensibly conforming to the coldness
and constraint of his, he naturally concluded that
she designed to repel him, and he would turn
from her, to repose in the calm and twilight quiet
that was shed about the gentle Esther, whom he


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knew to be pure, disinterested, humble, and devoted.

Poor Hope, the subject of his unjust condemnation,
was agitated, not only by impatience for
the promised meeting with her unfortunate sister,
but by fear that some unforeseen circumstance
might prevent it. She was also harassed with a
sense of conflicting duties. She sometimes
thought that the duty of restoring her sister to the
condition in which she was born, was paramount
to the obligation of her promise to Magawisca.
She would waver and resolve to disclose her secret
appointment; but the form of Magawisca
would rise to her recollection with its expression
of truth and sweetness and confidence, as if to
check her treacherous purpose.

A thousand times she condemned herself for
the rashness of her promise to Magawisca, by
which she had reduced herself, surrounded as she
was by wise and efficient friends, to act without
their counsel and aid. Had Everell treated her
with his accustomed kindness, the habitual confidence
of their intercourse might have led her to
break through the restriction of her promise, but
she dared not deliberately violate her word so
solemnly pledged. Oppressed with these anxieties,
the hours rolled heavily on; and when Friday,
the appointed day arrived, it seemed to
Hope that an age had intervened since her interview
with Magawisca.


Page 59

She had taken care previously to propose an
excursion on Friday to the Governor's garden;
and contrary to usual experience, when a long
projected pleasure is to be realized, every circumstance
was propitious. The day was propitious,
one of nature's holidays—the governor too was
propitious, and even promoted the party with unprecedented

After various delays, which, however trifling,
had increased Hope's nervous impatience, they
were on the point of setting forth, when Madam
Winthrop, who was not one of the party, came
into the parlour, and said, after a slight hesitation,
“I am loath, my young friends, to interfere with
what you seem to have set your hearts on—but
really,”—she paused.

“Really what, Ma'am?” asked Hope impatiently.

Madam Winthrop was not inclined to be
spurred by Miss Leslie, and she answered very
deliberately, “I have a feeling as if something
were to happen to-day. I am a coward on the
water, at all times, more than becomes one who
fully realizes that the same Providence that
watches over us on the land, follows us on the
great deep.”

“But your fears, Madam,” said Sir Philip, “did
not prevent your crossing the stormy Atlantic.”

“Nay, Sir Philip, and I know not what metal
that woman is made of, that would not go hand


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in hand with her husband in so glorious a cause
as ours.”

“Are we not all ready?” asked Hope, anxious to
escape before Madam Winthorp proposed, as she
apprehended she was about to do, a postponement
of the party.

“Yes, all ready, I believe, Miss Leslie, but not
all too impatient to await a remark I was about
to make, namely, Sir Philip, that a party of pleasure
is very different from a voyage of duty.”

“Certainly, madam,” replied Sir Philip, who
trusted that assent would end the conversation,
“widely different.”

“It is not necessary for me,” resumed Madam
Winthrop, “to state all the points of difference.”

“Oh! not in the least, Ma'am,” exclaimed

“Miss Leslie!” said Madam Winthrop, in a
tone of surprise, and then turning her eye to Everell,
who was standing next Esther, she said, resuming
her measured tone, “my responsibility is
so great to my brother Downing—I had an uncommon
dream about you, Esther, last night—
and if any thing should happen to you—”

“If it is me, you are concerned about, aunt,”
said Esther, untying her bonnet, “I will remain
at home,—do not let me detain you,” she added,
turning to Hope, “another moment.”

Nothing seemed to Hope of any importance,
in comparison with the prosecution of her plans,


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and nodding a pleased assent to Esther, she took
her aunt's arm in readiness to depart.

“How changed,” thought Everell, as his eye
glanced towards her, “thus selfishly and impatiently
to pursue her own pleasure without the slightest
notice of her friend's disappointment.” His
good feelings were interested to compensate for
the indifference of Hope. “If,” he said to Madam
Winthrop, “you will commit Miss Downing
to my care, I will promise she shall encounter no
danger that my caution may avoid, or my skill

Madam Winthrop's apprehensions vanished.
“If she is in your particular charge, Mr. Everell,”
she said, “I shall be greatly relieved. I know, I
am of too anxious a make. Go, my dear Esther,
Mr. Everell will be constantly near you; under
Providence, your safe-guard. I believe it is not
right to be too much influenced by dreams. See
that she keeps her shawl round her, Mr. Everell,
while on the water. I feel quite easy in confiding
her to your care.”

Everell bowed, and expressed his gratitude
for Madam Winthrop's confidence, and Esther
turned on him a look of that meek and pleased
dependence, which it is natural for woman to feel,
and which men like to inspire, because—perhaps
—it seems to them an instinctive tribute to their
natural superiority.

“Miss Leslie has become so sedate of late,”
continued Madam Winthrop, with a very significant


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smile, “that I scarcely need request that no
unwonted sounds of revelry and mirth may proceed
from any member of the governor's family,
which ever has been, as it should be, a pattern
of gospel sobriety to the colony.”

Mrs. Grafton dropped a bracelet she was clasping
on her niece's arm, but Madam Winthrop's
remark—half reproof, and half admonition, excited
no emotion in Hope, whose heart was throbbing
with her own secret anxieties, and who was
now in some measure relieved, by Sir Philip
making a motion for their departure, by adroitly
availing himself of this first available pause, and
offering her his arm.

As soon as they were fairly out of the house,
“revelry and mirth,” exclaimed Mrs. Grafton, as
if the words blistered her tongue, “revelry and
mirth indeed! I think poor Hope will forget how
to laugh, if she stays here much longer. I wonder,
Sir Philip, if it is such a mighty offence to
use one's laughing faculties, what they were
given for?”

“I believe, madam,” replied the knight, with
well sustained gravity, “that ingenious theologians
impute this convulsion of the muscles to
some disorganization occasioned by Adam's transgression,
and in support of their hypothesis, they
maintain that there is no allusion to laughter in
scripture. Madam Winthrop, I fancy, intends
that her house shall be a little heaven on


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Honest Cradock, who had taken his favourite
station at Miss Leslie's side, replied, without in
the least suspecting the knight's irony. “Now,
Sir Philip, I marvel whence you draw that opinion.
I have studied all masters in theology, from the
oldest down to the youngest, and, greatest of all,
Master Calvin, with whose precious sentences I
`sweeten my mouth always before going to bed,'
yet did I never see that strange doctrine concerning
laughter. To me it appears—the Lord
preserve me from advancing novelties—but to
me it appears, that there is no human sound so
pleasant and so musical as the laugh of a little
child—and of such are the kingdom of heaven.
I have heard the walls at Bethel ring with bursts
of laughter from Miss Hope, and the thought
came to me, (the Lord forgive me, if I erred
therein,) that it was the natural voice of innocence,
and therefore, pleasing to him that made

Hope was touched with the pure sentiment of
her good tutor, and she involuntarily slipped her
arm into his. Sir Philip was also touched, and for
once, speaking without forethought, he said, “I
would give a kingdom for one of the laughs of my

“I dare say, Sir Philip,” said Cradock, “for
truly there is no heart-work in the transgressor's

“Sir!” exclaimed Sir Philip angrily.

The simple man started as if he had received


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a blow, and Hope said, “you did not mean to
call Sir Philip a transgressor.”

“Oh, certainly not, in particular, certainly not;
Sir Philip's professions are great, and I doubt not,
practice correspondent; but all of us add daily
transgression to transgression, which, I doubt
not, Sir Philip will allow.”

“Yes,” said Hope archly, “it is far easier, as
is said in one of your good books, Master Cradock,
`to subscribe to a sentence of universal condemnation,
than to confess individual sins.' ”

“What blessed times we have fallen on,” retorted
Sir Philip, “when youthful beauties, instead
of listening to the idle songs of troubadours, or
the fantastic flatteries of vagrant knights, or announcing
with their ruby lips the rewards of chivalry,
are exploring the mines of divinity with
learned theologians like Master Cradock, and
bringing forth such diamond sentences, as the
pithy saying Miss Leslie has quoted.”

“Heaven preserve us! Sir Philip,” exclaimed
Mrs. Grafton, “Hope Leslie study theology! you
are as mad as a March hare—all her theology
she has learned out of the Bible and common
prayer-book, which should always go together, in
spite of what the Governor says. It is peculiar
that a man of his commodity of sense, should
bamboozle himself with that story he told at breakfast.
Oh, you was not there, Sir Philip—well, he
says, that in his son's library, there are a thousand
books, and among them, a Bible and prayerbook


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bound together—one jewel in the dung-hill
—but that is not what he says—it seems this unlucky
prayer-book is gnawed to mince-meat by
the mice, and not another book in the library
touched.[1] I longed to commend the instinct of
the little beasts, that knew what good food was;
but every body listened with such a solemn air,
and even you, Hope Leslie, who are never afraid
to smile, even you, did not move your lips.”

“I did not hear it,” said Hope.

“Did not hear it! that is peculiar—why it was
just when Robin was coming in with the rolls—
just as I had taken my second cup—just as
Everell gave Ester Downing that bunch of rose-buds;
did you take notice of that?”

“Yes,” replied Hope, and a deep blush suffused
her cheek. She had noticed the offering with
pain, not because her friend was preferred, but
because it led her mind back to the time when
she was the object of all Everell's little favors,
and impressed her with a sense of his altered

The tell-tale blush did not escape the watchful
eye of Sir Philip, and determined to ascertain if
the “bolt of Cupid,” had fallen on this “little
western flower,” he said, “I perceive Miss Leslie
is aware that rose-buds, in the vocabulary of
lovers, are made to signify a declaration of the
tender passion.”


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Secret springs of the heart are sometimes suddenly
touched, and feelings disclosed, that have
been hidden even from our own self-observation.
Hope had been moved by Miss Downing's story,
and taking a generous interest in her happiness,
she had, with that ardent feeling with which she
pursued every object that interested her, resolved
to promote it in the only mode by which it could
be attained. But now, at the first intimation that
her romantic wishes were to be fulfilled, strange
to tell, and still stranger to her to feel, there was
a sudden rising in her heart of disappointment—a
sense of loss, and, we shrink from recording it, but
the truth must be told, tears, honest tears, gushed
from her eyes. Oh, pardon her, all ye youthful devotees
to secret self-immolation!—all ye youthful
Minervas, who hide with an impenetrable shield
of wisdom and dignity, the natural workings of your
hearts! Make all due allowance for a heroine
of the seventeenth century, who had the misfortune
to live before there was a system of education
extant, who had not learned, like some young
ladies of our enlightened days, to prattle of metaphysics—to
quote Reid, and Stewart, and Brown,
and to know (full as well as they perhaps) the
springs of human action—the mysteries of mind
—still profound mysteries to the unlearned.

Hope Leslie was shocked, not that she had
betrayed her feelings to her companions, but at
her own discovery of their existence—not that
they had appeared, but that they were. The


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change had been so gradual, from her childish
fondness for Everell, to a more mature sentiment,
as to be imperceptible even to herself. She made
no essay to explain her emotion. Mrs. Grafton,
though not remarkably sagacious, was aware of
its obvious interpretation, and of the pressing
necessity of offering some ingenious reading.
“What a miserable nervous way you have fallen
into, Hope,” she said, “since you was caught out
in that storm; she must have taken an inward
cold, Sir Philip.”

“The symptoms,” replied the knight significantly,
“would rather, I should think, indicate an
internal heat.”

“Heat or cold, Hope,” continued Mrs. Grafton,
“I am determined you shall go through a regular
course of medicine; valerian tea in the morning,
and lenitive drops at night. You have not eaten
enough for the last week to keep a humming-bird
alive. Hope has no kind of faith in medicine,
Sir Philip, but I can tell her it is absolutely necessary,
in the spring of the year, to sweeten the

Sir Philip looked at Hope's glowing face, and
said, “he thought such blood as mantled in Miss
Leslie's cheek, needed no medical art to sweeten

Hope, alike insensible to the good natured efforts
of her aunt, and the flatteries of Sir Philip,
was mentally resolving to act most heroically; to


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expel every selfish feeling from her heart, and to
live for the happiness of others.

The experienced smile sorrowfully at the generous
impulses, and fearless resolves of the young,
who know not how costly is the sacrifice of self-indulgence—how
difficult the ascent to the
heights of disinterestedness; but, let not the youthful
aspirant be discouraged; the wing is strengthened
by use, and the bird that drops in its first
flutterings about the parent nest, may yet soar to
the sky.

Our heroine had rallied her spirits, by the time
she joined her companions in the boat that was
awaiting them at the wharf; and in the effort to
veil her feelings, she appeared to Everell extravagantly
gay; and he, being unusually pensive,
and seeing no cause for her apparent excitement,
attributed it to Sir Philip's devotion—a cause that
certainly had no tendency to render the effect
agreeable to him.

When they disembarked, they proceeded immediately
to the single habitation on the island—
Digby's neat residence. The faithful fellow welcomed
Everell with transports of joy. He had
a thousand questions to ask, and recollections
to recall; and while Everell lingered to listen, and
Hope and Esther, from a very natural sympathy,
to witness the overflowings of the good fellow's
affectionate heart, their companions left them to
stroll about the island.

As soon as his audience was thus reduced


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“it seems but a day,” he said, “since you, Mr.
Everell, and Miss Leslie, were but children.”

“And happy children, Digby, were we not?”
said Everell with a suppressed sigh, and venturing
a side glance at Hope; but her face was
averted, and he could not see whether Digby had
awakened any recollections in her bosom responding
to his own.

“Happy! that were you,” replied Digby, “and
the lovingest,” he continued, little thinking that
every word he uttered was as a talisman to his auditors;
“the lovingest that ever I saw. Young folks
for the most part, are like an April day, clouds
and sunshine: there are my young ones, though
they look so happy, now they have your English
presents, Mr. Everell, yet they must now and then
fall to their little battles; show out the natural
man, as the ministers say; but with you and Miss
Hope, it was always sunshine: it was not strange
either, seeing you were all in all to one another,
after that terrible sweep off at Bethel. It is odd
what vagaries come and go in a body's mind;
time was, when I viewed you as good as mated
with Magawisca; forgive me for speaking so, Mr.
Everell, seeing she was but a tawny Indian after

“Forgive you, Digby! you do me honour, by
implying that I rightly estimated that noble creature;
and before she had done the heroic deed,
to which I owe my life—Yes, Digby, I might have
loved her—might have forgotten that nature had
put barriers between us.”


Page 70

“I don't know but you might, Mr. Everell, but
I don't believe you would; things would naturally
have taken another course after Miss Hope came
among us; and many a time, I thought it was well
it was as it was, for I believe it would have broken
Magawisca's heart, to have been put in that
kind of eclipse by Miss Leslie's coming between
you and her. Now all is as it should be; as your
mother—blessed be her memory—would have
wished, and your father, and all the world.”

Digby seemed to have arranged every thing in
his own mind, according to what he deemed natural
and proper; and too self-complacent at the
moment, to receive any check to his garrulity,
from the silence of his guests, he proceeded.
“The tree follows the bent of the twig; what
think you, Miss Esther, is not there a wedding a
brewing?” Miss Downing was silent—Digby looked
round and saw confusion in every face, and
feeling that he had ventured on forbidden ground,
he tried to stammer out an apology. “I declare
now,” he said, “it's odd—it's a sign I grow old;
but I quite entirely forgot how queer young people
feel about such things. I should not have
blundered on so, but my wife put it into my head;
she is equal to Nebuchadnezar for dreaming
dreams; and three times last night she waked me,
to tell me about her dreaming of a funeral, and
that, she said, was a sure forerunner of a wedding,
and it was natural I should go on thinking whose
wedding was coming—was not it, Miss Esther?”


Page 71

Everell turned away to caress a chubby boy.
Miss Downing fidgetted with her bonnet strings,
threw back her shawl, and disclosed the memorable
knot of rose-buds. If they had a meaning,
they seemed also to have a voice, and they roused
Hope Leslie's resolution. Some pride might have
aided her, but it was maidenly pride, and her
feelings were as near to pure generosity as our
infirm nature can approach.

“Digby,” she said, “it was quite natural for
you both to think and speak of Mr. Everell's
wedding; we are to have it, and that right soon,
I hope; you have only mistaken the bride; and
as neither of the parties will speak to set you
right,” and she glanced her eyes from Esther to
Everell, “why, I must.”

Esther became as pale as marble. Hope flew
to her side, took her hand, placed it in Everell's,
threw her arm around Esther, kissed her cheek,
and darted out of the house. Digby half articulated
an expression of disappointment and surprise,
and impelled by an instinct that told him
this was not a scene for witnesses, he too disappeared.

Never were two young people left in a more
perplexing predicament. To Everell, it was a
moment of indescribable confusion and embarrassment.
To Esther, of overwhelming recollections,
of apprehension, and hope, and above all,

She would gladly have buried herself in the


Page 72
depths of the earth. Everell understood her feelings.
There was no time for deliberation—and
with emotions that would have made self-immolation
at the moment easy, and impelled, as it
seemed to him, by an irresistible destiny, he said
something about the happiness of retaining the
hand he held.

Miss Downing confused by her own feelings,
misinterpreted his. She was, at the moment, incapable
of estimating the disparity between his
few, broken, disjointed, half-uttered words, and
the natural, free, full expressions of an ardent and
happy lover. She only spoke a few words, to refer
him to her aunt Winthrop; but her hand,
passive in his, her burning cheeks, and throbbing
heart, told him what no third person could tell,
and what her tongue could not utter.

Thus had Hope Leslie, by rashly following her
first generous impulses, by giving to “an unproportioned
thought its act,” effected that, which
the avowed tenderness of Miss Downing, the
united instances of Mr. Fletcher and Governor
Winthrop, and the whole colony and world beside,
could never have achieved. Unconscious of
the mistake by which she had put the happiness
of all parties concerned in jeopardy, she was exulting
in her victory over herself, and endeavouring
to regain in solitude the tranquillity which
she was surprised to find had utterly forsaken her;
and to convince herself that the disorder of her
spirits, which in spite of all her efforts, filled her


Page 73
eyes with tears, was owing to the agitating expectation
of seing her long-lost sister.

The eastern extremity of the island being sheltered
by the high ground on the west, was most
favourable for horticultural experiments, and had,
therefore been planted with fruit trees and grape
vines; here Hope had retired, and was flattering
herself she was secure from interruption and
observation, when she was startled by a footstep,
and perceived Sir Philip Gardiner approaching.
“I am fortunate at last,” he said. “I
have just been vainly seeking you, where I most
unluckily broke in upon the lovers, at a moment
of supreme happiness, if I may judge from the
faces of both parties; but what are you doing
with that vine, Miss Leslie?” he continued, for
Hope had stooped over a grape vine, which she
seemed anxiously arranging.

“I am merely looking at it,” she said; “it seems

“Yes—and droop and die it must. I am
amazed that the wise people of your colony
should hope to rear the vine in this cold and sterile
land; a fit climate it is not for any delicate

The knight's emphasis and look gave a particular
significance to his words; but Miss Leslie,
determined to take them only in their literal sense,
coldly replied, “that it was not the part of wisdom
to relinquish the attempt to cultivate so valuable


Page 74
a production, till a fair experiment had been

“Very true, Miss Leslie. The Governor himself
could not have spoken it more sagely. Pardon
me for smiling—I was thinking what an admirable
illustration of your remark, your friend, Miss
Downing, afforded you. Who would have hoped
to rear such a hot-bed plant as love, amidst her
frosts and ice? Nay, look not so reproachfully.
I admit there are analogies in nature—in my
rambles in the Alpine country, I have seen her
bage and flowers fringing the very borders of perpetual

“Your analogy does not suit the case, Sir Philip,”
replied Miss Leslie coldly, “but I marvel not
at your ignorance of my friend; the waters gushed
from the rock only at the prophet's touch”—
Hope hesitated; she felt that her rejoinder was
too personal, and she added, in a tone of calmer
defence, “surely she who has shown herself capable
of the fervour of devotion, and the tenderness
of friendship, may be susceptible of an inferior

“Most certainly; and your philosophy, fair reasoner,
agrees with experience and poetry. An
old French lay well sets forth the harmony between
the passions; thus it runs, I think”—and
he trilled the following stanzas.

“Et pour verité vous record
Dieu et amour sont d'un accord,
Dieu aime sens et honorance,
Amour ne l'a pas en viltance;


Page 75
Dieu hait orgueil et fausseté,
Et Amour aime loyauté
Dieu aime honneur et courtoisie
Et bonne Amour ne hait-il mie;
Dieu écoute belle prière
Amour ne la met pas arrière.”
Sir Philip dropped on his knee, and, seizing
Hope's hand, repeated,
“Dieu écoute belle prière
Amour ne le met pas en arriére.”
At this moment, when Hope stood stock still
from surprise, confusion, and displeasure, Everell
crossed the walk. The colour mounted to his
cheeks and temples, he quickened his footsteps,
and almost instantly disappeared. This apparition,
instead of augmenting Miss Leslie's embarrassment,
restored all her powers. “Reserve
your gallantries, Sir Philip,” she said, quietly
withdrawing her hand, “and your profane verses
for some subject to whom they are better suited;
if you have aught of the spirit of a gentleman in
you, you must feel that I have neither invited the
one, nor provoked the other.”

Sir Philip rose mortified and disconcerted, and
suffered Miss Leslie to walk slowly away from
him without uttering a word to urge or defend
his suit. He would have been better pleased
if he had excited more emotion of any sort;
he thought he had never seen her, on any occasion,
so calm and indifferent. He was
piqued, as a man of gallantry, to be thus contemptuously


Page 76
repelled; and he was vexed with
himself that by a false step, he had retarded, perhaps
endangered, the final success of his projects.
He had been too suddenly elated by the removal
of his rival; he deemed his path quite clear; and
with due allowance for natural presumption and
self-love, it was not perhaps strange that an accomplished
man of the world should, in Sir Philip's
circumstances, have counted sanguinely on

He remained pulling a rose to pieces, as a sort
of accompaniment to his vexed thoughts, when
Mrs. Grafton made an untimely appearance before
him. “Ah ha!” she said, picking up a
bracelet Hope had unconsciously dropped, “I see
who has been here—I thought so—but, Sir Philip,
you look downcast.” Sir Philip, accustomed as
he was to masquerade, had not been able to veil
his feelings even from the good dame, whose perceptions
were neither quick nor keen; but what
was defective in them, she made up in abundant
good nature. “Now, Sir Philip,” she said,
“there is nothing but the wind so changeful as a
woman's mind; that's what every body says, and
there is both good and bad in it: for if the wind
is dead ahead, we may look for it to turn.”

Sir Philip bowed his assent to the truism, and
secretly prayed that the good lady might be just
in her application of it. Mrs. Grafton continued,
“Now, what have you been doing with that rose,
Sir Philip? one would think it had done you an


Page 77
ill turn, by your picking it to pieces; I hope you
did not follow Everell's fashion; such a way of
expressing one's ideas should be left to boys.”
Sir Philip most heartily wished that he had left
his sentiments to be conveyed by so prudent and
delicate an interpreter; but, determined to give
no aid to Mrs. Grafton's conjectures, he threw
away the rose-stem, and plucking another, presented
it to her, saying, that `he hoped she would
not extend her proscription of the language of
flowers so far as to prevent their expressing his
regard for her.'

The good lady curtsied, and said, `how much
Sir Philip's ways did remind her of her dear deceased

The knight constrained himself to say, `that he
was highly flattered by being thus honourably
associated in her thoughts.'

“And you may well be, Sir Philip,” she replied,
in the honesty of her heart, “for my poor
dear Mr. Grafton was called the most elegant
man of his time; and the best of husbands he
proved: for, as Shakspeare says, he never let the
winds of heaven visit me.” She paused to wipe
away a genuine tear, and then continued, “it was
not for such a man to be disheartened because a
woman seemed a little offish at first. Nil desperandum
was his motto; and he, poor dear man,
had so many rivals! Here, you know, the case is
quite different. If any body were to fall in love
with any body—I am only making a supposition,


Page 78
Sir Philip—there is nobody here but these stiff-starched
puritans—a thousand pardons, Sir Philip—I
forgot you was one of them. Indeed, you
seem so little like them, that I am always forgetting

Sir Philip dared not trust Mrs. Grafton's discretion
so far as to cast off his disguises before
her, but he ventured to say that `some of his brethren
were over zealous.'

“Ay, ay, quite too zealous, aren't they? a
kind of mint, anise, and cummin Christians.”

Sir Philip smiled—`he hoped not to err in that
particular; he must confess a leaning of the heart
towards his old habits and feelings.'

“Quite natural; and I trust you will finally
lean so far as to fall into them again—all in good
time—but as I was saying—skittishness isn't a bad
sign in a young woman. It was a long, long time
before I gave poor dear Mr. Grafton the first token
of favour; and what do you surmise that was,
Sir Philip? Now just guess—it was a trick of
fancy, really worth knowing.”

Sir Philip was wearied beyond measure with
the old lady's garrulity, but he said, with all the
complaisance he could assume, `that he could
not guess—the ingenuity of a lady's favour baffled

“I thought you would not guess; well, I'll tell
you. There's a little history to it, but, luckily,
we've plenty of time on hand. Well, to begin at
the beginning, you must know I had a fan—a


Page 79
French fan, I think it was—there were two cupids
painted on it; and exactly in the middle,
between them, a figure of hope—I don't mean
Hope Leslie,” she continued, for she saw the
knight's eye suddenly glancing towards the head
of the walk, past which Miss Leslie was just walking,
in earnest conversation with Everell Fletcher.

Sir Philip felt the urgent necessity, at this
juncture of affairs, of preventing, if possible, a
confidential communication between Miss Leslie
and Fletcher; and his face expressed unequivocally
that he was no longer listening to Mrs. Grafton.

“Do you hear, Sir Philip,” she continued, “I
don't mean Hope Leslie.”

“So I understand, Madam,” replied the knight,
keeping his face towards her, but receding rapidly
in the direction Miss Leslie had passed, till almost
beyond the sound of her voice, he laid his
hand on his heart, bowed, and disappeared.

“Well, that is peculiar of Sir Philip,” muttered
the good lady; then suddenly turning to Cradock,
who appeared, making his way through
some snarled bushes—“What is the matter now,
master Cradock?” she asked. Cradock replied
by informing her that the tide served for their return
to town, and that the Governor had made it
his particular request that there might be no delay.

Mrs. Grafton's spirit was always refractory to
orders from head-quarters; but she was too discreet
or too timid for any overt act of disobedience,


Page 80
and she gave her arm to Cradock, and
hastened to the appointed rendezvous.

When Sir Philip had emerged from the walk,
he perceived the parties he pursued at no great
distance from him, and was observed by Hope,
who immediately, and manifestly to avoid him,
motioned to Everell to take a path which diverged
from that which led to the boat, to which they
were now all summoned by a loud call from the

We must leave the knight to digest his vexation,
and follow our heroine, whose face could
now claim nothing of the apathy that had mortified
Sir Philip.

“You are then fixed in your determination to
remain on the island to-night?” demanded


“And is Digby also to have the honour of Sir
Philip's company?”

“Everell!” exclaimed Hope, in a tone that indicated
surprise and wounded feeling.

“Pardon me, Miss Leslie.”

“Miss Leslie again! Everell, you are unkind;
you but this moment promised you would speak
to me as you were wont to do.”

“I would, Hope: my heart has but one language
for you, but I dare not trust my lips. I
may—I must now speak to you as a brother; and
before we part, let me address a caution to you,
which that sacred, and, thank God, permitted


Page 81
love, dictates. My own destiny is fixed—fixed
by your act, Hope; heaven forgive me for saying
so. It is done. For myself, I can endure
any thing, but I could not live to see you the
prey of a hollow-hearted adventurer.” The truth
flashed on Hope; she was beloved—she loved
again—and she had rashly dashed away the happiness
within her grasp. Her head became dizzy;
she stopped, and gathering her veil over her
face, she leaned against a tree for support. Everell
grievously misunderstood her agitation.

“Hope,” he said, with a faltering voice, “I
have been slow to believe that you could thus
throw away your heart. I tried to shut my eyes
against that strange Saturday night's walk—
that mysterious, unexplained assignation with a
stranger—knowing, as I did, that his addresses
had received the Governor's full approbation—my
father's, my poor father's reluctant
assent; I still trusted that your pure heart
would have revolted from his flatteries. I believe
he is a heartless hypocrite. I would have
told you so, but I was too proud to have my
warning attributed, even for a moment, to the
meanness of a jealous rival. I have been accused
of seeking you from”—interested motives,
he would have added; but it seemed as if the
words blistered his tongue, and he concluded,
“it matters not now; now I may speak freely,
without distrusting myself, or being distrusted by
others. Hope, you have cast away my earthly
happiness, trifle not with your own.”


Page 82

Hope perceived that events, conspiring with
her own thoughtless conduct, had rivetted Everell's
mistake—but it was now irremediable. There
was no middle path between a passive submission
to her fate, and a full, and now useless explanation.
She was aware that plighted friendship and
troth were staked on the resolution of the moment;
and when Everell added, “Oh, I have
been convinced against my will—against my
hopes—what visions of possible felicity have you
dispersed—what dreams!”—

“Dreams—dreams all,” she exclaimed, interrupting
him, and throwing back her veil, she discovered
her face drenched with tears. “Hark—they call you;
let the past be forgotten; and for the future—the
future, Everell—all possible felicity does await
you, if you are true to yourself; true to—” her
voice faltered, but she articulated, “Esther,” and
turning away, she escaped from his sight, as she
would have rushed from the brink of a precipice.

“Oh!” thought Everell, as his eye and heart
followed her, with the fervid feeling of love, “Oh,
that one, who seems all angel, should have so
much of woman's weakness!” while he lingered
for a moment to subdue his emotion, and obtain
a decent composure to fit him to appear before
Esther, and less interested observers, Sir Philip
joined him, apparently returning from the boat.
“Your friends stay for you, sir,” he said, and
passed on.

“Then he does remain with her,” concluded


Page 83
Everell; and the conviction was forced more
strongly than ever on his mind, that Hope had lent
a favourable ear to Sir Philip's suit. “The illusion
must be transient,” he thought; “vanity
cannot have a lasting triumph over the noble sentiments
of her pure heart.” This was the language
of his affection; but we must confess, that
the ardor of his confidence was abated by Miss
Leslie's apparently wide departure from delicate
reserve, in permitting (as he believed she had) her
professed admirer to remain on the island with

He now hastened to the boat, in the hope that
he should hear some explanation of this extraordinary
arrangement; but no such consolation
awaited him. On the contrary, he found it the
subject of speculation to the whole party. Faithful
Cradock expressed simple amazement. Mrs.
Grafton was divided between her pleasure in the
probable success of her secret wishes, and her
consciousness of the obvious impropriety of her
niece's conduct, and her flurried and half articulated
efforts at explanation, only served, like a
feeble light, to make the darkness visible; and
Esther's downcast and tearful eye intimated her
concern and mortification for her friend.


A fact gravely stated in Governor Winthrop's journal.