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What, indeed, could be more touching than the fate of such a woman? What example more striking than hers, of uncompromising affection and piety? Born in the lap of ease, and
.. ) by affluence; with every prospect which could make hope gay, and fortune desirable ; accustomed to the (...) of a court, and the scarcely, less splendid hospitalities of her ancestral home; she was yet ( .. ) to quit, what has, not inaptly, been termed “this paradise of plenty and pleasure,” for “a wilderness of wants,” and, with a fortitude ( ) to the delicacies of her rank and sex, to trust herself to an unknown ocean and a distant (.. ), that she might partake, with her husband, the pure and spiritual worship of God.
To the honor, to the eternal honor of her sex, be it said, that, in the path of duty, no (
) is with them too high or too dear. Nothing is with them (
), but to shrink from what love, honor, innocence, religion, require. The voice of pleasure or of power may pass by unheeded; but the voice of affliction, never. The chamber of the sick, the pillow of the dying, the vigils of the dead, the altars of religion, never missed the presence or the sympathies of (
). Timid though she be, and so delicate that the winds of heaven may not too (
) visit her, on such occasions she loses all sense of danger, and assumes a preternatural courage, which knows not, and fears not (..). Then she displays that undaunted spirit, which neither courts difficulties, nor evades them; that resignation, which utters neither murmur nor regret; and that patience in suffering, which seems (
) even over death itself. The lady Arabella (
) in this noble undertaking, of which she seemed the ministering angel; and her death spread (
gloom throughout the colony. Her husband was overwhelmed with ( . ) at the unexpected event, and survived her but a single month. Governor Winthrop has pronounced his eulogy in one short sentence: “He was a holy man, and wise, and died in sweet peace.”
He was truly the idol of the people ; and the spot selected by himself for his own (
) became consecrated in their eyes; so that many left it as a dying request, that they might be buried by his side. Their request prevailed; and
the Chapel burying-ground in Boston, which (. ) his remains, became, from that time, appropriated to the (
) of the dead. Perhaps the best tribute to this excellent pair is, that time, which, with so unsparing a hand, consigns statesmen, and heroes, and even sages, to oblivion, has embalmed the memory of their worth, and preserved it among the choicest of New England relics. It can scarcely be forgotten, but with the annals of our country.
TRIALS OF THE PILGRIMS. From the dark portals of the Star Chamber, and in the stern text of the acts of uniformity, the Pilgrims received a commission more efficient than any that ever bore the royal seal. Their banishment to Holland was fortunate; the decline of their little company in a strange land was fortunate; the difficulties which they experienced in getting the royal consent to banish themselves to this wilderness were fortunate; all the tears and heart-breakings of that ever memorable parting at Delfthaven, had the happiest influence on the rising destinies of New England. All this purified the ranks of the settlers. These rough touches of fortune brushed off the light, uncertain, selfish spirits. They made it a grave, solemn, self-denying expedition, and required of those, who engaged in it, to be so too. They cast a broad shadow of thought and seriousness over the cause; and if this sometimes deepened into melancholy and bitterness, can we find no apology for such a human weakness?
It is sad, indeed, to reflect on the disasters which the little band of pilgrims encountered; sad to see a portion of them the prey of unrelenting cupidity, treacherously embarked in an unsound, unseaworthy ship, which they are soon obliged to abandon, and crowd themselves into one vessel; one hundred persons, besides the ship's company, in a vessel of one hundred and eighty tons ! One is touched at the story of the long, cold, and weary autumnal passage; of the landing on the inhospitable rocks at this dismal season, where they are deserted, before long, by the ship which had brought them, and which seemed their only hold upon the world of fellowmen; a prey to the elements and to want, and fearfully ignorant of the numbers, the power, and the temper of the savage tribes that filled the unexplored continent upon
verge they had ventured. But all this wrought together for good. These trials of wandering and exile, of the ocean, the winter, the wilderness, and the savage foe, were the final assurance of success.
It was these that put far away from our fathers' cause all patrician softness, all hereditary claims to pre-eminence. No effeminate nobility crowded into the dark and austere ranks of the Pilgrims; no Carr or Villiers would lead on the ill-provided band of despised Puritans; no well-endowed clergy were on the alert to quit their cathedrals, and set up a pompous hierarchy in the frozen wilderness; no craving governors were anxious to be sent over to our cheerless El Dorados of ice and of snow. No. They could not say that they encouraged, patronized, or helped the pilgrims. Their own cares, their own labors, their own counsels, their own blood, contrived all, achieved all, bore all, sealed all. They could not afterward fairly pretend to reap where they had not sowń; and, as our fathers reared this broad and solid fabric with pains and watchfulness, unaided, barely tolerated, it did not fall when the favor, which had always been withholden, was changed into wrath ; when the arm, which had never supported, was raised to destroy.
Methinks I see it now, that one solitary, adventurous vessel, the May-Flower of a forlorn hope, freighted with the prospects of a future state, and bound across the unknown sea. I behold it pursuing, with a thousand misgivings, the uncertain, the tedious voyage. Suns rise and set, and weeks and months pass, and winter surprises them on the deep, but brings them not in sight of the wished-for shore. I see them now, scantily supplied with provisions, crowded almost to suffocation in their ill-stored prison, delayed by calms, pursuing a circuitous route; and now driven in fury before the raging tempest, on the high and giddy waves. The awful voice of the storm howls through the rigging; the laboring masts seem straining from
their base; the dismal sound of the pumps is heard; the ship leaps, as it were, madly, from billow to billow; the ocean breaks, and settles with ingulting floods over the floating deck, and beats, with deadening, shivering weight, against the staggered vessel. I see them, escaped from these perils, pursuing their all but desperate undertaking, and landed, at last, after a few months' passage, on the ice-clad rocks of Plymouth; weak and weary from the voyage, poorly armed, scantily provisioned, depending on the charity of their ship-master for a draught of beer on board, drinking nothing but water on shore, without shelter, without means, surrounded by hostile tribes.
Shut now the volume of history, and tell me, on any principle of human probability, what shall be the fate of this handful of adventurers. Tell me, man of military science, in how many months were they all swept off by the thirty savage tribes, enumerated within the early limits of New England ? Tell me, politician, how long did this shadow of a colony, on which your conventions and treaties had not smiled, languish on the distant coast? Student of history, compare for me the baffled projects, the deserted settlements, the abandoned adventures of other times, and find the parallel of this.
Was it the winter's storm, beating upon the houseless heads of women and children? was it hard labor and spare meals ? was it disease? was it the tomahawk? was it the deep malady of a blighted hope, a ruined enterprise, and a broken heart, aching, in its last moments, at the recollection of the loved and left, beyond the sea ? was it some, or all of these united, that hurried this forsaken company to their melancholy fate? And is it possible that none of these causes, that not all combined, were able to blast this bud of hope? Is it possible, that, from a beginning so feeble, so frail, so worthy, not so much of admiration as of pity, there has gone forth a progress so steady, a growth so wonderful, an expansion so ample, a reality so important, a promise, yet to be fulfilled, so glorious ?
LANDING OF THE PILGRIMS.
The breaking waves dashed high
On a stern and rock-bound coast, And the woods against a stormy sky,
Their giant branches tossed;
And the heavy night hung dark
The hills and waters o'er,
On the wild New England shore.
Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted, came,
And the trumpet that sings of fame.
Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear; They shook the depths of the desert's glooin
With their hymns of lofty cheer.
Amid the storm they sang,
And the stars heard, and the sea; And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rany
To the anthem of the free.
The ocean eagle soared
From his nest by the white wave's foam, And the rocking pines of the forest roared ;
This was their welcome home.
There were men with hoary hair,
Amid that pilgrim band;
Away from their childhood's land ?
There was woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
And the fiery heart of youth.
What sought they thus afar ?
Bright jewels of the mine?