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Hope Leslie, Volume 2 by Catharine Maria Sedgwick


"Here stood the Indian chieftain, rejoicing in his glory!
How deep the shade of sadness that rests upon his story:
For the white man came with power—like brethren they met—
But the Indian fires went out, and the Indian sun has set!
"And the chieftain has departed—gone is his hunting ground.
And the twanging of his bow-string is a forgotten sound:—
Where dwelleth yesterday? and where is Echo's cell?
Where has the rainbow vanished?—there does the Indian dwell.

CHAPTER I.

"There's nothing I have done yet o' my conscience,
Deserves a corner: would all other women
Could speak this with as free a soul as I do."
     — Henry VIII.

While Hope Leslie was deeply engaged in the object of her secret expedition, Governor Winthrop's household was thrown into alarm at her absence.

Jennet was the only member of the family who did not admit that there was real cause of uneasiness. "Miss Hope," she said, "was always like a crazed body of moonlight nights; there was never any keeping her within the four walls of a house."

But a moonlight night it soon ceased to be. The clouds that had been scudding over the heavens, gathered in dark and terrific masses. A spring storm ensued; a storm to which winter and summer contribute all their elemental power— rain, lightning, wind, and hail.

Governor Winthrop naturally concluded, (for all persons not deeply interested are apt to be rational,) that Miss Leslie had taken refuge under some safe covert, and he summoned his family totheir evening devotions. Both the Fletchers excused themselves, and braved the storm in quest of their lost treasure; and even old Cradock, in spite of Mrs. Grafton's repeated suggestions that he was a very useless person for such an enterprise, sallied forth; but all returned in the space of an hour to bring their various reports of fruitless inquiry and search. Everell remained but long enough to learn that there were no tidings of Hope, and was again rushing out of the house, when he met the object of his apprehensions at the hall door. "Thank heaven!" he exclaimed, on seeing her, "you are safe. Where have you been?—we were all in the most distressful alarm about you."

Hope had, by this time, advanced far enough into the entry for Everell to perceive, by the light of the lantern, that she was muffled in Sir Philip Gardiner's cloak. His face had kindled with joy at her appearance; all light now vanished from it, and he stood eyeing Hope with glances that spoke, though his lips refused again to move; while she, without observing or suspecting his emotion, did not reply to him, and was only intent on disengaging herself from the cloak. "Do help me, Everell," she said, impatiently; and he endeavoured to untie the string that fastened it, but in his agitation, instead of untying, he doubled the knot.

"Oh, worse and worse!" she exclaimed, and, without any farther ceremony, she broke the string and running back to the door, gave the cloak to Sir Philip, who stood awaiting it, till then unperceived by Everell, in the shadows of the portico.

Everell again looked at Miss Leslie in the natural expectation of some explanation, but she appeared only concerned to escape to her own apartment without any inquiries from the family. Her face was extremely pale; and her voice, still affected by recent agitation, trembled as she said to Everell, "be kind enough to tell your father, and all of them, that I have come in drenched with the rain, and have gone to my own room—that I am wearied, and shall throw off my wet garments, and get to bed as soon as possible;" and then adding, a "good night, Everell," and without awaiting any answer, she was springing up the stairs when the parlour-door was thrown open, and half-a-dozen voices exclaimed, in the same breath, "oh, Hope!"—"Hope Leslie!"—"Miss Hope Leslie! is it you?"

"Come back, my child, and tell me where you have been," said Mr. Fletcher.

"Yes, Miss Leslie," said Governor Winthrop, but in a tone of kindness rather than authority, "render an account of thyself to thy rulers."

"Yes, come along Hope," said Mrs. Grafton, "and make due apologies to Madam Winthrop. A pretty hubbub you have put her house in, to be sure—though, I make no doubt, you can show good reason for it, and also for leaving Sir Philipand me in that rantipole way, which I must say was peculiar."

"For heaven's sake," said Hope to Esther, who had just joined her, "do go in and make an apology for me. Say I am wet and tired—say any thing you please, I care not what—will you?— that's a dear good girl."

"No, Hope—come in yourself—aunt Winthrop looked a little displeased—you had best come—I know she will expect it."

Thus beset, Hope dared not any longer hesitate, and with that feeling, half resolution and half impatience to have a disagreeable thing over which often impelled her, she descended the stairs as hastily as she had ascended them, and was in the parlour, confronting all the inquirers, before she had devised any mode of relieving herself from the disagreeable predicament of not being able to satisfy their curiosity.

"Verily, verily," exclaimed Cradock, who was the only one of the groupe, not even excepting Everell, whose sympathy mastered his curiosity— "verily, the maiden hath been in peril; she is as white as a snow-wreath, and as wet as a drowned kitten."

"Yes, Master Cradock, quite as wet," replied Hope, rallying her spirits, "and with almost as little discretion left, or I should not have entered the parlour in this dripping condition. Madam Winthrop, I beg you will have the goodness to pardon me for the trouble I have occasioned."

"Certainly, my dear, as I doubt not you will make it plain to us that you had sufficient reason for what appears so extraordinary, as a young woman wandering off by herself after nine o'clock on Saturday night."

Our heroine had never had the slightest experience in the nice art of diplomacy—that art that contrives to give such a convenient indistinctness to the boundary line between truth and falsehood. After a moment's reflection, her course seemed plain to her. To divulge the real motive of her untimely walk, was impossible—to invent a false excuse, to her, equally impossible. She turned to Governor Winthrop and said, with a smile, that Everell, at least, thought might have softened the elder Brutus—"I surrender myself to the laws of the land, having no hope, but from the mercy of our magistrates. I have offended, I know; but I should commit a worse offence—an offence against my own conscience and heart—if I explained the cause of my absence."

Governor Winthrop was not accustomed to have his inquisitorial rights resisted by those of his own household, and he was certainly more struck than pleased by Hope's moral courage.

Mrs. Grafton half muttered, half spoke, what she meant to be an apology for her favourite. "It was not every body," she said, "that thought as the Governor did about Saturday night."

"True, true," said Cradock, eagerly, "it is a doubtful point with divines and gifted men."

"Master Cradock," said the Governor, "thou art too apt to measure thy orthodoxy by thy charity. Saturday night is allowed to be, and manifestly is, holy time; and therefore to be applied, exclusively, to acts of mercy and devotion." Then turning to the impatient culprit, he added, "I am bound to say to thee, Hope Leslie, that thou dost take liberties unsuitable to thy youth, and in violation of that deference due to the rule and observances of my household, and discreditable to him who hath been entrusted with thy nurture and admonition."

Hope received the first part of this reproof with her eyes rivetted to the floor, and with a passiveness that had the semblance of penitence; but at the implied reproach of her guardian, for whom she had an affection that had the purity of filial and the enthusiasm of voluntary love, she raised her eyes—their mild lustre, for an instant, gave place to the passage of a flash of indignation direct from her heart. Her glance met Everell's— he stood in a recess of the window, leaning his head against the casement, looking intently on her. 'He too suspects me of evil,' she thought, and she could scarcely command her voice to say, as she turned and put her hand in the elder Fletcher's, "I have done nothing to dishonour you. You believe me—do you not?"

"Yes, yes, my dear child; I must believe you, for you never deceived me—but be not so impatient of reproof."

"I am not impatient for myself," she said; "I care not how sternly—how harshly I am judged; but I see not why my fault, even if I had committed one, should cast a shadow upon you."

Madam Winthrop now interposed her good offices to calm the troubled waters. "There is no shadow any where, Miss Leslie, if there is sunshine in the conscience; and I can answer for the Governor, that he will overlook the disturbance of this evening, provided you are discreet in future. But we are wrong to keep you so long in your wet garments. Robin," she said, turning to a servant, "light a little fire in the young ladies' room, and tell Jennet to warm Miss Leslie's bed— let her strew a little sugar in the pan—an excellent thing, Mrs. Grafton, to take soreness out of the bones."

Madam Winthrop was solicitous to remove the impression from her guests that Miss Leslie was treated with undue strictness. Hope thanked her for her kindness; and protesting that she had no need of fire, or warming-pan, she hastily bade good-night, and retired to her own apartment.

Miss Downing lingered a moment after her, and ventured to say, in a low timid tone, "that she trusted her uncle Winthrop would harbour no displeasure against her friend—she was sure that she had been on some errand of kindness; for, though she might sometimes indulge in a blameable freedom of speech, she had ever observed her to be strict in all duties and offices of mercy."

"You are right—right—marvellously right, Miss Downing," cried Cradock, exultingly rubbing his hands—and then added, in a lower tone, "a discerning young woman, Miss Esther."

"Humph!" said Mrs. Grafton, "I don't see any thing so marvellously right in what Miss Esther says—it's what every body knows, who knows Hope, that she never did a wrong thing."

Governor Winthrop suppressed a smile, and said to the good lady, "we should take heed, my worthy friend, not to lay too much stress on doing or not doing—not to rest unduly on duties and performances, for they be unsound ground."

Mrs. Grafton might have thought if she had enough such ground to stand on, it were terra firma to her; but, for once, she had the discretion of silence.

Neither Everell nor his father spoke, probably because they felt more than all the rest; and Madam Winthrop, feeling the awkwardness of the scene, mentioned the hour, and proposed a general dispersion.

Everell followed Miss Downing to the staircase. "One word, Miss Downing," he said—Esther turned her face towards him, her pale face, for that instant illuminated—"did you," he asked, "in your apology for your friend, speak from knowledge or from generous faith?"

"From faith," she replied, "but not generous faith, for it was founded on experience."

Everell turned, disappointed, away. 'Faith,'he thought, 'there might be without sight—but faith against sight, never.' "Trifles light as air" are proverbially momentous matters to lovers. Everell had too noble a mind to indulge in that fretful jealousy which is far more the result of egregious self-love than love of another. But he had cherished for Hope a consecrating sentiment —he had invested her with a sacredness which the most refined, the purest, and most elevated love throws around the object of its devotion.

"On magic ground that castle stoode,

And fenc'd with many a spelle."

Were these "spelles" to be dissolved by the light of truth? 'Why should one,' thought Everell, 'who seemed so pure that she might dwell in light—so artless, confiding, and fearless—why should she permit herself to be obscured by mystery? If her meeting with Sir Philip Gardiner was accidental, why not say so?—But what right have I to scan her conduct?—What right to expect an explanation?—It is evident she feels nothing more for me than the familiar affection of her childhood. How she talked to me this evening of Esther Downing!—'if she had a brother, she would select her friend from all the world for his wife'—'Esther was not precise, she was only discreet'—'she was not formal, but timid.' Perhaps she sees I love her, and thus delicately tries to give a different bent to my affections; but that is impossible—every hope—every purpose has been concentrated in her. My affectionsmay be blighted, but they cannot be transferred—Perhaps it is true, as some satirists say, that a woman's heart is wayward, fantastic, and capricious. This vagrant knight has scarcely turned his eyes from Hope since he first saw her, and I know he has addressed the most presumptuous flattery to her. Perhaps she favours his pretensions. I shrink even from his gazing on her, as if there were something sullying in the glance of his eye; and yet she violates the customs of the country—she braves severe displeasure—to walk alone with him—with him she is insensible to a gathering storm. He is incapable of loving her—he is intoxicated with her beauty —he seeks her fortune—Her fortune! I had forgotten that my father made that a bar between us. Fortune!—I never thought of any thing so mean as wealth in connexion with her. I would as soon barter my soul, as seek any woman for fortune—and Hope Leslie!—oh, I should as soon think of the dowry of a celestial spirit, as of your being enriched by the trappings of fortune."

These disjointed thoughts, and many others that would naturally spring up in the mind of a young lover, indicated the ardor, the enthusiasm, the disinterestedness of Everell's passion, and the restless and fearful state into which he had been plunged by the events of the evening.

While he was pursuing this train of fancies, in which some sweetness mingled with the bitter, Esther had followed Hope to her apartment, and having shut the door, turned on her friend a look of speaking inquiry and expectation, to which Hope did not respond, but continued in a hurried manner to disrobe herself, throwing her drenched shawl on one side, and her wet dress on the other.

Esther took a silver whistle from the toilet, and was opening the door to summon Jennet with its shrill call, when Hope, observing her intention, cried out, "If you love me, Esther, don't call Jennet to-night; I wish at least to be spared her croaking."

"As you please," replied Esther, quietly reclosing the door; "I thought Jennet had best come, and take care of your apparel, as, if your mind was not otherwise occupied, you would not choose to leave it in such disorder." While Esther spoke, she stood by the toilet, smoothing her kerchief, and restoring it to the laundress' folds.

"Yes," said Hope, "I prefer any disorder to the din of Jennet's tongue. I cannot, Esther—I cannot always be precise."

"Precision, I know, is not interesting," said Esther, with a slight tremulousness of voice; "but if you had a little more of it, Hope, it would save yourself, and your friends a vast deal of trouble."

"Now, do not you reproach me, Esther!—that is the drop too much!" said Hope, turning her face to the pillow, to hide the tears that gushed from her eyes: "I know I am vexed and cross— but I did not mean that you was too precise;—II do not know what I meant. I feel oppressed and wearied—and I want sympathy, and not reproof."

"Unburthen your heart then, to me," said Esther, kneeling by the bed-side, and throwing her arm over Hope: "most gladly would I pay back the debt of sympathy I owe you."

"And never, dear Esther, did a poor creditor receive a debt more joyfully than I should this. But others are concerned in my secret; a sacred promise requires me to preserve it inviolate. The Governor, and your aunt, and all of them might have known—and, most of all, Everell"—she continued, raising herself on her elbow—"they might have known, that I should not have been roaming about such a pitiless night as this, without good reason;—and Everell, I am sure, knows that I despise the silliness of making a secret out of nothing. I don't care so much for the rest; but it was very, very unkind of Everell!—I am sure my heart has been always open as the day to him."

Perhaps Miss Downing was not quite pleased with Hope's discriminating between the censure of Everell, and the rest of the family; for she said, with more even than her ordinary gravity— "There is but one thing, Hope, that ought to make you independent of the opinion of any of your friends."

"And what is that?"

"The acquittal of your conscience."

"My conscience!—Oh, my dear Esther, no mother Lois, nor grandmother Eunice, ever had a more quiet conscience than I have at this moment;—and I really wish that my tutors, governors—good friends all—would not think it necessary to keep quite so strict a guard over me."

"Hope Leslie," said Esther, "you do allow yourself too much liberty of thought and word: you certainly know that we owe implicit deference to our elders and superiors;—we ought to be guided by their advice, and governed by their authority."

"Esther, you are a born preacher," exclaimed Hope, with a sort of half sigh, half groan of impatience. "Nay, my dear friend, don't look so horridly solemn: I am sure, if I have wounded your feelings, I deserve to be preached to all the rest of my life. But really I do not entirely agree with you about advice and authority. As to advice, it needs to be very carefully administered, to do any good, else it's like an injudicious patch, which, you know, only makes the rent worse;— and as to authority, I would not be a machine, to be moved at the pleasure of anybody that happened to be a little older than myself. I am perfectly willing to submit to Mr. Fletcher, for he never"—and she smiled at her own sophistry— "he never requires submission. Now, Esther, don't look at me so, as if I was little better than one of the wicked. Come, kiss me good night;and when you say your prayers, Esther, remember me, for I need them more than you think."

This last request was made in a plaintive tone, and with unaffected seriousness, and Esther turned away to perform the duty, with a deep feeling of its necessity; for Hope, conscious of her integrity, had perhaps been too impatient of rebuke; and if to a less strict judge than Esther, she seems to have betrayed a little of the spoiled child, to her she appeared to be very far from that gracious state, wherein every word is weighed before it is uttered, and every action measured before it is performed.

CHAPTER II.

"Those well seene natives in grave Nature's hests,
All close designs conceal in their deep brests."
     — Morrell

It would be highly improper any longer to keep our readers in ignorance of the cause of our heroine's apparent aberration from the line of strict propriety. After her conversation with Everell, in which we must infer, from its effect on his mind, that she manifested less art than zeal in her friend's cause, she was retiring to her own apartment, when on passing through the hall, she saw an Indian woman standing there, requesting the servant who had admitted her, "to ask the young ladies of the house if they would look at some rare moccasins."

Miss Leslie was arrested by the uncommon sweetness of the stranger's voice; and fixing her eye on her, she was struck with the singular dignity and grace of her demeanor, a certain air indicating an "inborn royalty of soul," that even the ugly envelope of a blanket did not conceal.

The stranger seemed equally interested in Miss Leslie's appearance, and fixing her eye intentlyon her—"Pray try my moccasins, lady," she said earnestly.

"Oh, certainly, I should of all things like to buy a pair of you," said Hope, and advancing, she was taking them from her shoulder, over which they were slung, when she, ascertaining by a quick glance that the servant had disappeared, gently repressed Miss Leslie's hand, saying at the same time, "Tell me thy name, lady."

"My name!—Hope Leslie. But who art thou?" Hope asked in return, in a voice rendered almost inarticulate by the thought that flashed into her mind.

The stranger cast down her eyes, and for an half instant hesitated, then looking apprehensively around, she said, in low distinct accents, "Hope Leslie—I am Magawisca."

"Magawisca!" echoed Hope. "Oh, Everell!" and she sprang towards the parlour door to summon Everell.

"Silence—stay," cried Magawisca, with a vehement gesture, and at the same time turning to escape should Hope prosecute her intention.

Hope perceived this, and again approached her. "It cannot then be Magawisca," she said, and she trembled as she spoke, with doubts, hopes, and fears.

Magawisca might have at once identified herself, by opening her blanket, and disclosing her person; but that she did not, no one will wonder who knows that a savage feels more even thanordinary sensibility at personal deformity. She took from her bosom a necklace of hair and gold entwined together. "Dost thou know this?" she asked. "Is it not like that thou wearest?"

Hope grasped it, pressed it to her lips, and answered by exclaiming passionately—"My sister! my sister!"

"Yes—it is a token from thy sister. Listen to me, Hope Leslie—my time is brief—I may not stay here another moment; but come to me this evening at nine o'clock at the burial place, a little beyond the clump of pines, and I will give thee tidings of thy sister; keep what I say in thine own bosom; tell no one thou hast seen me; come alone, and fear not."

"Oh, I have no fear," exclaimed Hope, vehemently, "but tell me—tell me."

Magawisca put her finger on her lips in token of silence, for at this instant the door was again opened; not by the servant who had before appeared, but by Jennet. Magawisca instantly recognised her, and turned as if in the act of departing.

Time had indeed wrought little change on Jennet, save imparting a shriller squeak to her doleful voice, and a keener edge to her sharp features. "Madam Winthrop," she said, "is engaged now, but says you may call some other time with your moccasins; and I would advise you to let it be any other than the fag end of a Saturday; a wrong season for temporalities."

While Jennet was uttering this superfluous counsel, Hope sprang off the steps after Magawisca, anxious for some farther light on her dawning expectations. "Stay, oh stay," she said, "one moment, and let me try your moccasins."

At the same instant Mrs. Grafton appeared from the back parlour, evidently in a great flurry. "Here, you Indian woman," she screamed, "let me see your moccasins."

Thus beset, Magawisca was constrained to retrace her steps, and confront the danger of discovery. She drew her blanket closer over her head and face, and re-ascending the steps, threw her moccasins on the floor, and cautiously averted her face from the light. It was too evident to her, that Jennet had some glimmering recollections; for while she affected to busy herself with the moccasins, she turned her inquisitorial gray eye towards her, with a look of sharp scrutiny. Once Magawisca with a movement of involuntary disdain returned her glance. Jennet dropped the moccasins as suddenly as if she had received a blow, hemmed as if she were choking, and put her hand on the nob of the parlour door.

"Oh," thought Magawisca, "I am lost!" but Jennet, confused by her misty recollections, relinquished her purpose, whatever it was, and returned to the examination of the moccasins. In the meanwhile Hope stood behind her aunt and Jennet; her hands clasped, and her beautiful eyes bent on Magawisca with a supplicating inquiry.

Mrs. Grafton, as usual, was intent on her traffic. "It was odd enough of Madam Winthrop," she said, "not to let me know these moccasins were here; she knew I wanted them; at least she must know I might want them; and if I don't want them, that's nothing to the purpose. I like to look at every thing that's going. It is a diversion to the mind. A neat article," she continued, "I should like you to have a pair, Hope. Sir Philip said yesterday, they gave a trig look to a pretty foot and ankle. How much does she ask for them?"

"I do not know," replied Hope.

"Do not know! that's peculiar of you, Hope Leslie; you never inquire the price of any thing. I dare say, Tawney expects enough for them to buy all the glass beads in Boston. Ha, Tawney?"

Mrs. Grafton now, for the first time, turned from the articles to their possessor: she was struck with an air of graceful haughtiness in her demeanor, strongly contrasting with the submiss, dejected deportment of the natives whom she was in the habit of seeing, and dropping the moccasins and turning to Hope, she whispered—"Best buy a pair, dearie—by all means buy a pair—pay her any thing she asks—best keep peace with them, 'never affront dogs, nor Indians.' "

Hope wanted no urging, but anxious to get rid of the witnesses that embarrassed her, and quick of invention, she directed Jennet to go for herpurse, "which she would find in a certain basket, or drawer, or some where else;" and reminded her aunt that she had promised to call in at Mrs. Cotton's, on her way to lecture, to look at her hyacinths, and that she had no time to lose.

Jennet obeyed, and Mrs Grafton said, "that's true, and it's thoughtful of you to think of it, Hope; but," she added, lowering her voice, "I would not like to leave you alone, so I'll just open the parlour door."

Before Hope could intercept her, she set the door ajar, and through the aperture Magawisca had a perfect view of Everell, who was sitting musing in the window seat. An involuntary exclamation burst from her lips; and then shuddering at this exposure of her feelings, she hastily gathered together the moccasins that were strewn over the floor, dropped a pair at Hope's feet, and darted away.

Hope had heard the exclamation and understood it. Mrs. Grafton heard it without understanding it, and followed Magawisca to the door, calling after her—"Do stay and take a little something; Madam Winthrop has always a bone to give away. Ah! you might as well call after the wind; she has already turned the corner. Heaven send she may not bear malice against us! What do you think, Hope?" Mrs. Grafton turned to appeal to her niece, but she, foreseeing endless interrogatories, had made good her retreat, and escaped to her own apartment.

Jennet, however, came to the good lady's relief; listened to all her conjectures and apprehensions, and reciprocated her own.

Jennet could not say what it was in the woman, but she had the strangest feeling all the time she was there; a mysterious beating of her heart that she could not account for; as to her disappearing so suddenly, that she did not think much of; the foresters were always impatient to get to their haunts; they were like the "wild ass," that the scripture saith, "scorneth the multitude of a city."

But we leave Mrs. Grafton and Jennet to their unedifying conference, to follow our heroine to the privacy of her own apartment. There, in the first rush of her newly awakened feelings, till then repressed, she wept like a child, and repeated again and again, "Oh, my sister! my sister!" Her mind was in a tumult; she knew not what to believe—what to expect—what to hope.

But accustomed to diffuse over every anticipation the sunny hue of her own happy temperament, she flattered herself that she should even that night meet her sister—that she would be for ever restored to her—that the chord, severed by the cruel disaster at Bethel, would be refolded about their hearts. She had but a brief space to compose herself, and that was passed in fervent supplications for the blessing of God upon her hopes. She must go to the lecture, and after that trust to her ingenuity to escape to the rendezvous. The thought of danger or exposurenever entered her mind, for she was not addicted to fear; and as she reflected on the voice and deportment of the stranger, she was convinced she could be none other than Magawisca, the heroine of Everell's imagination, whom he had taught her to believe, was one of those, who,

"Without arte's bright lampe, by nature's eye,

Keep just promise, and love equitie."

Almost as impatient to go to the lecture, as she was afterwards to escape from it, (we trust our readers have absolved her for her apparent indecorum in the sanctuary,) she had tied and untied her hat twenty times before she heard the ringing of the bell for the assembling of the congregation. She refused, as has been seen, the escort of Everell, for she dared not expose to him, emotions which she could not explain.

After the various detentions, which have been already detailed, she arrived at the appointed rendezvous, and there saw Magawisca, and Magawisca alone, kneeling before an upright stake, planted at one end of a grave. She appeared occupied in delineating a figure on the stake, with a small implement she held in her hand, which she dipped in a shell placed on the ground beside her.

Hope paused with a mingled feeling of disappointment and awe; disappointment that her sister was not there—and awe inspired by the solemnity of the scene before her—the spirit-stirring figure of Magawisca—the duty she was performing—the flickering light—the monumental stones —and the dark shadows that swept over them, as the breeze bowed the tall pines. She drew her mantle, that fluttered in the breeze, close around her, and almost suppressed her breath, that she might not disturb, what she believed to be an act of filial devotion.

Magawisca was not unconscious of Miss Leslie's approach; but she deemed the office in which she was engaged, too sacred to be interrupted. She accompanied the movement of her hand with a low chant in her native tongue; and so sweet and varied were the tones of her voice, that it seemed to Hope they might have been breathed by an invisible spirit.

When she had finished her work, she leaned her head for a moment against the stake, and then rose and turned to Miss Leslie; a moonbeam shot across her face; it was wet with tears, but she spoke in a tranquil voice. "You have come— and alone?" she said, casting a searching glance around her.

"I promised to come alone," replied Hope.

"Yes—and I trusted you; and I will trust you further, for the good deed you did Nelema."

"Nelema then lived to reach you?"

"She did—wasted, faint, and dying, she crawled into my father's wigwam. She had but scant time, and short breath; with that she cursed your race, and she blessed you, Hope Leslie; her daywas ended—the hand of death pressed her throat, and even then she made me swear to perform her promise to you."

"And you will, Magawisca," cried Hope impetuously; "you will give me back my sister."

"Nay, that she never promised—that I cannot do. I cannot send back the bird that has mated to its parent nest; the stream that has mingled with other waters to its fountain."

"Oh, do not speak to me in these dark sayings," replied Hope; her smooth brow contracting with impatience and apprehension, and her hurried manner and convulsed countenance contrasting strongly with the calmness of Magawisca; "what is it you mean?—where is my sister?"

"She is safe—she is near to you—and you shall see her, Hope Leslie."

"But when?—and where, Magawisca? Oh, if I could once clasp her in my arms, she never should leave me—she never should be torn from me again."

"Those arms," said Magawisca, with a faint smile, "could no more retain thy sister, than a spider's web. The lily of the Maqua's valley, will never again make the English garden sweet."

"Speak plainer to me," cried Hope, in a voice of entreaty that could not be resisted. "Is my sister?"—she paused, for her quivering lips could not pronounce the words that rose to them.

Magawisca understood her, and replied. "Yes, Hope Leslie, thy sister is married to Oneco."

"God forbid!" exclaimed Hope, shuddering as if a knife had been plunged in her bosom. "My sister married to an Indian!"

"An Indian!" exclaimed Magawisca, recoiling with a look of proud contempt, that showed she reciprocated with full measure, the scorn expressed for her race. "Yes—an Indian, in whose veins runs the blood of the strongest, the fleetest of the children of the forest, who never turned their backs on friends or enemies, and whose souls have returned to the Great Spirit, stainless as they came from him. Think ye that your blood will be corrupted by mingling with this stream?

Long before Magawisca ceased to pour out her indignation, Hope's first emotion had given place to a burst of tears; she wept aloud, and her broken utterance of, "Oh, my sister! my sister!—My dear mother!" emitted but imperfect glimpses of the ruined hopes, the bitter feelings that oppressed her.

There was a chord in Magawisca's heart, that needed but the touch of tenderness to respond in harmony; her pride vanished, and her indignation gave place to sympathy. She said in a low soothing voice—"Now do not weep thus; your sister is well with us. She is cherished as the bird cherishes her young. The cold winds may not blow on her, nor the fierce sun scorch her; nor a harsh sound ever be spoken to her; she is dear to Mononotto as if his own blood ran in her veins; and Oneco—Oneco worships and servesher as if all good spirits dwelt in her. Oh, she is indeed well with us."

"There lies my mother," cried Hope, without seeming to have heard Magawisca's consolations, "she lost her life in bringing her children to this wild world, to secure them in the fold of Christ. Oh God! restore my sister to the christian family."

"And here," said Magawisca, in a voice of deep pathos, "here is my mother's grave; think ye not that the Great Spirit looks down on these sacred spots, where the good and the peaceful rest, with an equal eye; think ye not their children are His children, whether they are gathered in yonder temple where your people worship, or bow to Him beneath the green boughs of the forest?"

There was certainly something thrilling in Magawisca's faith, and she now succeeded in rivetting Hope's attention. "Listen to me," she said; "your sister is of what you call the christian family. I believe ye have many names in that family. She hath been signed with the cross by a holy father from France; she bows to the crucifix."

"Thank God!" exclaimed Hope fervently, for she thought that any christian faith was better than none.

"Perhaps ye are right," said Magawisca, as if she read Hope's heart; "there may be those that need other lights; but to me, the Great Spirit is visible in the life-creating sun. I perceive Him in the gentle light of the moon that steals in through the forest boughs. I feel Him here," she continued, pressing her hand on her breast, while her face glowed with the enthusiasm of devotion. "I feel Him in these ever-living, ever-wakeful thoughts—but we waste time. You must see your sister."

"When, and where?" again demanded Hope.

"Before I answer you, you must promise me by this sign, and she pointed to the emblem of her tribe, an eagle, which she had rudely delineated on the post, that served as a head-stone to her mother's grave; "you must promise me by the bright host of Heaven, that the door of your lips shall be fast; that none shall know that you have seen me, or are to see me again."

"I promise," said Hope, with her characteristic precipitancy.

"Then, when five suns have risen and set, I will return with your sister. But hush," she said, suddenly stopping, and turning a suspicious eye towards the thicket of evergreens.

"It was but the wind," said Hope, rightly interpreting Magawisca's quick glance, and the slight inclination of her head.

"You would not betray me?" said Magawisca, in a voice of mingled assurance and inquiry. "Oh, more than ever entered into thy young thoughts, hangs upon my safety."

"But why any fear for your safety? why not come openly among us? I will get the word ofour good Governor, that you shall come and go in peace. No one ever feared to trust his word."

"You know not what you ask."

"Indeed I do—but you, Magawisca, know not what you refuse—and why refuse? are you afraid of being treated like a recovered prisoner? Oh no! every one will delight to honour you, for your very name is dear to all Mr. Fletcher's friends—most dear to Everell."

"Dear to Everell Fletcher! Does he remember me? Is there a place in his heart for an Indian?" she demanded, with a blended expression of pride and melancholy.

"Yes—yes, Magawisca—indeed is there," replied Hope, for now she thought she had touched the right key. "It was but this morning, that he said he had a mind to take an Indian guide, and seek you out among the Maquas." Magawisca hid her face in the folds of her mantle, and Hope proceeded with increasing earnestness. "There is nothing in the wide world, there is nothing that Everell thinks so good, and so noble as you. Oh, if you could but have seen his joy, when after your parting on that horrid rock, he first heard you was living. He has described you so often and so truly, that the moment I saw you, and heard your voice, I said to myself, 'this is surely Everell's Magawisca.' "

"Say no more, Hope Leslie—say no more," exclaimed Magawisca, throwing back the envelope from her face, as if she were ashamed toshelter emotions she ought not to indulge. "I have promised my father—I have repeated the vow here on my mother's grave, and if I were to go back from it, those bright witnesses," she pointed to the heavens, "would break their silence. Do not speak to me again of Everell Fletcher."

"Oh, yes—once again, Magawisca; if you will not listen to me, if you will but give me this brief, mysterious meeting with my poor sister, at least let Everell be with me; for his sake—for my sake —for your own sake, do not refuse me."

Magawisca looked on Hope's glowing face for a moment, and then shook her head with a melancholy smile. "They tell me," she said, "that no one can look on you and deny you aught; that you can make old men's hearts soft, and mould them at your will; but I have learned to deny even the cravings of my own heart; to pursue my purpose like the bird that keeps her wing stretched to the toilsome flight, though the sweetest note of her mate recalls her to the nest. "But ah! I do but boast," she continued, casting her eyes to the ground. "I may not trust myself; that was a childish scream, that escaped me when I saw Everell; had my father heard it, his cheek would have been pale with shame. No, Hope Leslie, I may not listen to thee. You must come alone to the meeting, or never meet your sister— will you come?

Hope saw in the determined manner of Magawisca, that there was no alternative but to accept the boon on her own terms, and she no longer withheld her compliance. The basis of their treaty being settled, the next point to be arranged, was the place of meeting. Magawisca had no objections to venture again within the town; but then it would be necessary to completely disguise Faith Leslie; and she hinted that she understood enough of Hope's English feelings, to know that she would wish to see her sister with the pure tint of her natural complexion.

Hope had too much delicacy, and too much feeling, even inadvertently to appear to lay much stress on this point; but the experience of the evening made her feel the difficulty of arranging a meeting, surrounded as she was by vigilant friends, and within the sphere of their observation. Suddenly it occurred to her, that Digby, her fast friend, and on more than one occasion her trusty ally, had the superintendence of the Governor's garden, on an island in the harbor, and within three miles of the town. The Governor's family were in the habit of resorting thither frequently. Digby had a small habitation there, of which he and his family were the only tenants, and indeed were the only persons who dwelt on the island. Hope was certain of permission to pass a night there, where she might indulge in an interview with her sister of any length, without hazard of interruption; and having explained her plan toMagawisca, it received her ready and full acquiescence.

Before they separated, Hope said, "you will allow me, Magawisca, to persuade my sister, if I can, to remain with me."

"Oh yes—if you can—but do not hope to persuade her. She and my brother are as if one life-chord bound them together; and besides, your sister cannot speak to you and understand you as I do. She was very young when she was taken where she has only heard the Indian tongue; some, you know, are like water, that retains no mark; and others, like the flinty rock, that never loses a mark." Magawisca observed Hope's look of disappointment; and in a voice of pity, she added, "your sister hath a face that speaketh plainly, what the tongue should never speak, her own goodness."

When these two romantic females had concerted every measure they deemed essential to the certainty and privacy of their meeting, Magawisca bowed her head, and kissed the border of Hope's shawl, with the reverent delicacy of an oriental salutation; she then took from beneath her mantle some fragrant herbs, and strewed them over her mother's grave, then prostrated herself in deep and silent devotion, feeling (as others have felt on earth thus consecrated) as if the clods she pressed were instinct with life. When this last act of filial love was done, she rose, muffled herself closely in her dark mantle, and departed.

Hope lingered for a moment. "Mysteriously," she said, as her eye followed the noble figure of Magawisca, till it was lost in the surrounding darkness, "mysteriously have our destinies been interwoven. Our mothers brought from a far distance to rest together here—their children connected in indissoluble bonds!"

But Hope was soon aware that this was no time for solitary meditation. In the interest of her interview with Magawisca, she had been heedless of the gathering storm. The clouds rolled over the moon suddenly, like the unfurling of a banner, and the rain poured down in torrents. Hope had no light to guide her, but occasional flashes of lightning, and the candle, whose little beam proceeding from Mr. Cotton's study window, pierced the dense sheet of rain.

Hope hurried her steps homewards, and as she passed the knot of evergreens, she fancied she heard a rattling of the boughs, as if there were some struggling within, and a suppressed voice saying, "hist—whish." She paused, and with a resolute step, turned towards the thicket; "we have been overheard," she thought, "this generous creature shall not be betrayed." At this instant a thunder-bolt burst over her head, and the whole earth seemed kindled with one bright illumination. She was terrified, and, perhaps, as much convinced by her fears, as her reason, that it was both imprudent, and useless, to make any further investigation, she again bent her quicksteps towards home. She had scarcely surmounted the fence, which she passed more like a winged spirit, than a fine lady, when Sir Philip Gardiner joined her.

"Miss Leslie!" he exclaimed, as a flash of lightning revealed her person. "Now, thanks to my good stars, that I am so fortunate as to meet you; suffer me to wrap my cloak about you; you will be drenched with this pitiless rain."

"Oh, no, no," she said, "the cloak will but encumber me. I am already drenched, and I shall be at home directly," and she would have left him, but he caught her arm, and gently detained her, while he enveloped her in his cloak.

"It should not be a trifle, Miss Leslie, that has kept you out, regardless of this gathering storm," Sir Philip said inquiringly. Miss Leslie made no reply, and he proceeded. "You may have forgotten it is Saturday night—or, perhaps, you have a dispensation."

"Neither," replied Hope.

"Neither! then I am sure you are abroad in some godly cause, for you need to be one of the righteous, who, we are told, are as bold as a lion, to confront the Governor's family after trespassing on holy time."

"I have no fears," said Hope.

"No fears! that is a rare exemption, for a young lady; but I would that you possessed one still more rare; she who is incapable of fear, should never be exposed to danger; and if I had a charmedshield, I would devote my life to sheltering you from all harm—may not—may not love be such an one?"

"It's useless talking, Sir Philip," replied Hope; if that could be deemed a reply, which seemed to have rather an indirect relation to the previous address. "It is useless talking in this rattling storm, your words drop to the ground with the hail-stones."

"And every word you utter," said the knight, biting his lips with vexation, "not only penetrates my ear, but sinks into my heart; therefore, I pray you to be merciful, and do not make my heart heavy."

"The hail-stones melt as they touch the ground, and my words pass away as soon, I fancy," said Hope, with the most provoking nonchalance.

Sir Philip had no time to reply; they were just turning into the court in front of Governor Winthrop's house, when a flash of lightning, so vivid that its glare almost blinded them, disclosed the figure of the mysterious page leaning against the gate-post, his head inclined forward as if in the act of listening, his cap in his hand, his dark curls in wild disorder over his face and neck, and he apparently unconscious of the storm. They both recoiled—Hope uttered an exclamation of pity. "Ha, Roslin!" burst in a tone of severe reproach from Sir Philip; but instantly changing it for one of kindness, he added, "you should not have waited for me, boy, in such a storm."

"I cared not for the storm—I did not feel it," replied the lad, in a penetrating voice, which recalled to Miss Leslie all he had said to her, and induced her to check her first impulse to bid him in; she therefore passed him without any further notice, ascended the steps, and as has been related in the preceding chapter, met Everell in the hall.

It is necessary to state briefly to our readers, some particulars in relation to the re-appearance of Magawisca, which events have not as yet explained.

Her father, from the hour of his expulsion from his own dominion, had constantly meditated revenge. His appetite was not sated at Bethel—that massacre seemed to him but a retaliation for his private wrongs. The catastrophe on the sacrifice-rock disordered his reason for a time; and the Indians, who perceived something extraordinary in the energy of his unwavering and undivided purpose, never believed it to be perfectly restored. But this, so far from impairing their confidence, converted it to implicit deference, for they, in common with certain oriental nations, believe that an insane person is inspired; that the Divinity takes possession of the temple which the spirit of the man has abandoned. Whatever Mononotto predicted, was believed— whatever he ordered, was done.

He felt that Oneco's volatile unimpressive character was unfit for his purpose, and he permitted him to pursue without intermission, his own pleasure—to hunt and fish for his 'white bird,' as he called the little Leslie. But Magawisca was the constant companion of her father; susceptible and contemplative, she soon imbibed his melancholy, and became as obedient to the impulse of his spirit, as the most faithful are to the fancied intimations of the Divinity. She was the priestess of the oracle. Her tenderness for Everell, and her grateful recollections of his lovely mother, she determined to sacrifice on the altar of national duty.

In the years 1642 and 1643 there was a general movement among the Indians. Terrible massacres were perpetrated in the English settlements in Virginia; the Dutch establishments in New-York were invaded, and rumours of secret and brooding hostility kept the colonies of New-England in a state of perpetual alarm. Mononotto determined to avail himself of this crisis, that appeared so favourable to his design, of uniting all the tribes of New-England in one powerful combination. He first applied to Miantunnomoh, hoping by his personal influence to persuade that powerful and crafty chief to sacrifice to the general good, his private feud with Uncas, the chief of the Mohegans.

Mononotto eloquently pressed those arguments, which, as is allowed by the historian of the Indianwars, "seemed to right reason, not only pregnant to the purpose, but also most cogent and invincible," and for a time, they prevailed over the mind of Miantunnomoh.

Vague rumours of conspiracy reached Boston; and the Governor summoned Miantunnomoh to appear before his court, and abide an examination there. The chief accordingly, (as has been seen) came to Boston; but so artfully did he manage his cause, as to screen from the English every just ground of offence. Their suspicions, however, were not removed; for Hubbard says, "though his words were smoother than oil, yet many conceived in his heart were drawn swords."

It may appear strange, that while prosecuting so hazardous and delicate an enterprise, Mononotto should have encumbered himself with his family. Magawisca was necessary to him; and he submitted to be accompanied by Oneco and his bride, from respect to the dying declaration of Nelema, that his plans could never be accomplished till her promise to Hope Leslie had been redeemed—till, as she had sworn to her preserver, the sisters had met.

Had the Indians been capable of a firm combination, the purpose of Mononotto might have been achieved, and the English have been then driven from the American soil. But the natives were thinly scattered over an immense tract of country—the different tribes divided by petty rivalships, and impassable gulfs of long transmittedhatred. They were brave and strong, but it was brute force without art or arms: they had ingenuity to form, and they did form, artful conspiracies, but their best concerted plans were betrayed by the timid, or the treacherous.

But to return to our individual concerns. Mononotto trusted to his daughter the arrangement of the meeting of the sisters, which from his having a superstitious notion that it was in some way to influence his political purposes, he was anxious to promote. Magawisca left her companions at an Indian station on the Neponset river, and proceeded herself to Boston, to seek a private interview with Hope Leslie. The appearance of an Indian woman in Boston excited no observation, the natives being in the habit of resorting there daily with game, fish, and their rude manufactures. Aware of the necessity of disguising every peculiarity, she unbound her hair from the braids in which it was usually confined, and combed it thick over her forehead, after the fashion of the aborigines in the vicinity of Boston, whom Eliot describes as wearing this 'maiden veil.' She enveloped herself in a blanket that concealed the rich dress which it was her father's pride, (and perhaps her pleasure) that she should wear. Thus disguised, and favoured by the kind shadows of twilight, she presented herself at Governor Winthrop's, and was, as has already appeared, successful in her mission.

CHAPTER III.

"I could find in my heart to disgrace my man's apparel, and to cry like a woman."

     — As you like it

Sir Philip Gardiner, by the kind offices of Governor Winthrop, had obtained lodgings at one Daniel Maud's, the 'first recorded school-master' in Boston. Thither he went, followed by his moody page, after receiving his cloak from our thankless heroine.

Not one word passed between him and his attendant; and after they reached their apartment, the boy, instead of performing the customary servile duties of his station, threw himself on a cushion, and covering his face with his hands, he seemed lost in his own sorrowful meditations.

There had been a little fire kindled on the hearth, on account of the inclemency of the night. Sir Philip laid the fallen brands together, lighted the candles, arranged his writing materials on the table, and without permitting himself to be interrupted, or in the least affected by the sobs that, at intervals, proceeded from his companion, he indited the following epistle.

"To my good and trusty Wilton,

"'In the name of Heaven, what sends you to New-England?' were your last words to me. I had not time to answer your question then, and perhaps, when I have finished, you will say I have not ability now; but who can explain the motives of his conduct? Who can always say, after an action is done, that he had sufficient motive? Not one of us, Wilton, sons of whim and folly that we are! But my motives, such as they were, are at your service—so here you have them.

"I was tired of playing a losing game; even rats, you know, have an instinct by which they flee a falling house. I had some compunctious visitings at leaving my king when he hath such cruel need of loyal servants—jeer not, Wilton,— I had my scruples. It was a saying of Father Baretti, that when Lucifer fell, conscience, that once guided, remained to torment him. My assertion thus modestly illustrated, have I not a right to say, I had scruples? I was wearied with a series of ill-luck, and as other men are as good to fill a ditch, I have retired till dame fortune shall see fit to give her wheel a turn in my royalmaster's favour. Butwhy come hither?—to submit to 'King Winthrop and all his inventions—his Amsterdam fantastical ordinances—his preachings, marryings, and other abusive ceremonies?'—Patience, my good gossip, and I will tell thee.

"You have heard of my old friend and patron,Thomas Morton of Furnival's Inn; and you know he was once master of a fine domain here, at Mount Wollaston, for which his revels obtained the name of the 'Merry Mount.' The ruling saintships of this "New-English Canaan" were so scandalized, because forsooth, he avowed and followed the free tastes of a gentleman, that they ejected him from his own territory.

"He once well-nigh obtained redress from the king, and a decree in his favour passed the privyseal, but the influence of his enemies finally prevailed. He has had the consolation of sundry retaliations on his opponents; now, as he said, 'uncasing Medusa's head, and raising the old ghost of Sir F. George's patent,' and then thrusting home the keen point of his satiric verse. However, though this was a bitter draught to his adversaries, it was but lean satisfaction to him; and having become old, and poor, and lost his spirit, he came hither once more, last winter, in the hope of obtaining an act of oblivion of all past grievances, and a restitution of his rights.

"Immediately after his arrival, he wrote to me that 'Joshua had promised to restore to him, and to his tribe, their lot in the inheritance of the faithful—that he was again to be king of the revels on the 'merry mount,' where he invited me to live with him, his prime minister, and heir apparent.' The letter came to hand at a moment when I was wearied with a bootless service, and willing to grasp any novelty; and accordingly Iclosed with the offer, but lo! on my arrival, I found that Morton, instead of being reinstated at Mount Wollaston, is in jail, and in honest opinion, is reputed crazy—as, doubtless, he is! Laugh at me, Wilton, even as the foul fiends laugh when their master is entangled in his own meshes—I defy your laugh; for though a dupe, I am not a victim; and Cæsar and his fortunes shall yet survive the storm.

"I have done with Morton; no one here knows or suspects our former alliance. My name is not like to reach his ear, and if it should, who would take the word of a ruined man, against an approved candidate for membership with the congregation, for such even, am I—a 'brother,' in this community of saints.

"Luckily, Morton, with that cunning incident to madness, cautioned me against appearing in this camp without the uniform of the church-militant, alleging, that we must play the part of pilgrims, till we were quite independent of the favour of the saints. Accordingly, I assumed the puritan habit, bearing, and language that so much amused you at our last meeting. But why, you will ask, prolong this dull masquerade? For an object, my good Wilton, that would make you or me, saint or devil, or any thing else whereby we might secure it—the most provoking, bewitching, and soul-moving creature that ever appeared in the form of woman, is my tempter. She is the daughter and sole heir of Sir WalterLeslie, who you may remember was noted for his gallantry in that mad expedition of Buckingham to the Isle of Rhée.

"Is it not a shame that youth and beauty should be thrown away upon these drivelling, canting, preaching, praying, liberty-loving, lecture-going, pilgrims! Would it not be a worthy act to tear this scion of a loyal stock from these crabs of the wilderness, and set her in our garden of England? And would it not be a knightly feat to win the prize against a young gallant, a pink of courtesy, while the unfledged boy is dreaming of love's elysium?

"Marvel as you please, Wilton, goodly prospects are dawning on me—fortune smiles, as if inclined to pay the good turn she has so long owed me. I am in prime credit with guardians and governors—the beau-ideal of duenna-aunts and serving maids. Time and chance favour me—but— but there is always some devilish cross upon my line of luck.

"Rosa came with me to this barbarous land— a fit Houri, you will say, for a Mahometan saint, but an odd appendage to a canting roundhead— even so she is, but what was to be done! She had no shelter but my protection. I had still some lingering of love for her, and pity (don't scoff!); and besides, Morton's representations had led me to believe that she would not be an inconvenient member of the household at Merry Mount, so I permitted her to disguise herself, and comeover the rough seas with me. She is a fantastical wayward child, and a true woman withal. She loves me to distraction, and would sacrifice any to me but the ruling passion of her sex, her vanity; but in spite of my entreaties and commands, she persists in wearing a velvet Spanish hat, with a buckle and feathers, most audaciously cocked on one side; and indeed her whole apparel would better suit a Queen's page, than the humble serving-boy of a self-denying puritan.

"Luckily she is sad and dumpish, and does not incline to go abroad, but whenever she does appear I perceive, she is eyed with curiosity and suspicion; and suspicion once thoroughly awakened, discovery is inevitable, for you know her face gives the lie to her doublet and hose.

Diana's lip is not more smooth and rubious,

Her small pipe is as the maiden's organ, sound and shrill;

And all is semblative a woman's part.

"If we should be detected, I know not what punishment may be inflicted by the Draco-laws of these saints—a public whipping of poor Rosa—cropping of my ears—imprisonment—per haps death, if peradventure some authority therefor should be found in the statutes of the land— that is to say, in the old Jewish records.

"But why expose myself to such peril? Ah! Wilton, you would not ask why if you could see my enchantress—but without seeing her, no man knows better than you, that

"Love is a sweet intice,

'Gainst whom the wisest wits as yet

Have never found devise."

"If I could but persuade Rosa to be prudent till we may both cast off these odious disguises; but she disdains all caution, and fears nothing but being supplanted in my favour."

"She is still in the fever of love—all eye and ear—irritable, jealous, watchful, and suspicious. One moment passionate, and the next dissolved in tears. So intense a flame must purify or consume the sentiment her beauty inspired—it cannot be purified and—the alternative—it is consumed.

"I cannot rid myself of her—I cannot control her, and in this jeopardy I stand; but I abandon all to my destiny. Even Jupiter, you know, was ruled by fate. It is folly to attempt to shape the events of life; as easily might we direct the course of the stars—those very stars, perhaps, govern the accidents of our being. The stars— destiny—Providence, what are they all but various terms for the same invisible, irresistible agency! But Heaven forbid I should lose myself in the bewildering mazes of these high speculations! It is a enough for me that I am a knight of the holy sepulchre, that I wear my crucifix, pray to all the saints and eat no flesh on Fridays. By the way, on the very first day of my arrival here, I came nigh to winning the crown of martyrdom by my saintly obedience to the canons ofholy church. The Leslie, in simplicity or mischief, remarked on my confining myself to fish on Friday—rebel conscience, in spite of me tinged my cheeks, but thanks to my garb of hypocrisy, panoply of steel never did better service,—the light thrust glanced off and left me unharmed.

"You and I, Wilton, are too old to make, like dreaming boys, an Eldorado of our future, and you will ask me what are my rational chances of success in my present enterprise. I will not remind you of success on former similar occasions, for my vanity has been abated of its presumption this very evening by the indifference, real or affected, of this little sprite.

"Ladies must have lovers—idols must have worshippers, or they are no longer idols. I have but one rival here, and he, I think, is appointed by his wise guardians to another destiny; and being a right dutiful youth, he, no doubt, with management, and good fortune on my part, may be made to surrender his preference, (which by the way is quite obvious) and pass under the yoke of authority. Besides, the helpmate selected by these Judges in Israel, for the good youth might be, if she were a little less saint and more woman, a queen of love and beauty. But she is not to my taste. I covet not smiles cold as a sun-beam on arctic snows. Nothing in life is duller than mathematical virtue—nothing more paralyzing to the imagination than unaffected prudery. I detest a woman like a walled city, that can never be approached without your being reminded that it is inaccessible—a woman whose measured premeditated words sound always like the sentinel-cry, 'all is well!'

"Now the Leslie has a generous rashness, a thoughtless impetuosity, a fearlessness of the sanctimonious dictators that surround her, and a noble contempt of danger that stimulates me at least, to love and enterprise.

"My hope is bold, Wilton—my ambition is to win her heart—my determination to possess her hand; by fair means, if I can, but if fortune is adverse, if, as I sometimes fear, when I shrink from the falcon glance of her bright eye, as if the spear of Ithuriel touched me, if she has already penetrated my disguise, and persists in disregarding my suit, why then, Necessity! parent of all witty inventions, come thou to my aid.

"Our old acquaintance Chaddock is riding in the harbour here, owner and commander of a good pinnace. I have heard him spoken of in the godly companies I frequent, as a 'notorious contemner of ordinances,' from which I infer he is the same bold desperado we knew him. My word for it, it does not require more courage to march up to the cannon's mouth, than to claim the independence of a gentleman in this pharasaic land. Now I think if I should have occasion to smuggle any precious freight, and convey it over the deep waters, convenient opportunity and fit agents will not be wanting. Time will ripen orblast my budding hopes; if ripen, why then I will cast my slough here, and present my beautiful bride to my royal master, or if, perchance, royalty should be in eclipse in England, there are, thank heaven, other asylums for beauty and fortune.

"Farewell, Wilton, yours in good faith, "Gardiner."

As Sir Philip signed his name to this epistle, he felt Rosa's head drop upon his shoulder, an action that indicated, too truly, that she had been looking over the last paragraphs, at least, of his letter.

Fury flashed from his eyes, and he raised his hand to strike her, but before he had executed the unmanly act, she burst into a wild hysteric laugh, that changed his resentment to fear. "Rosa—Rosa," he said, in a soothing tone, "for Heaven's sake be quiet—you will be overheard— you will betray all."

She seemed not to hear him, but wringing her hands, she repeated again and again, "I wish I were dead! I wish I were dead!"

"Hush! foolish, mad child, or you will be discovered, and may indeed bring death upon yourself."

"Death! I care not; death would be heaven's mercy to what I suffer; what is death to shame!— to guilt! to the bitterness of disappointment!—to the rage of jealousy!—why should not I die!" shecontinued, overpowering Sir Philip's vain attempts to calm her; "why should not I die?— there is nobody to care for me if I live—and there is nobody to weep for me if I die."

"Patience—patience, Rosa."

"Patience! my patience is worn out; I am tired of this dreary world. Oh, that Lady Lunford had left me in my convent—I should have been happy there. She did not love me. Nobody has loved me since I left the good nuns—nobody but my poor little Canary bird, Mignonne; and she always loved me, and would always sing to me, and sing sweetest when my lady was cruellest. Cruel as my lady was, her cruelty was kindness to thine, Sir Philip. Oh, that you had left me with her!"

"You came to me with your own good-will, Rosa."

"Ay, Sir Philip—and will not the innocent babe stretch its arms to the assassin if he does but smile on it? You told me you loved me, and I believed you. You promised always to love me, and I believed that too; and there was nobody else that loved me, but Mignonne; and now I am all alone in the wide world, I do wish I were dead." She sunk down at Sir Philip's feet, laid her head on his knee, and sobbed as if her heart were breaking. "Oh, what shall I do," she said, "where shall I go! if I go to the good, they will frown on me, and despise me; and I cannot go to the wicked,—they have no pity."

Sir Philip's heart, depraved as it was, felt some motions of compassion as he looked on this young and beautiful creature, bowed to the earth with remediless anguish; some touches of remorse and pity, such as Milton's fallen angel felt, when he contemplated those "millions of spirits, for his fault amerc'd of Heav'n." "Poor child!" he said, laying his hand on her smooth brow, "would to God you had never left your convent!"

Rosa felt the blistering tears that flowed from the relicts of his better nature, drop on her cheek. She raised her heavy lids, and a ray of pleasure shot from her kindling eye. Then you do love me," she said, "you would not weep only for pity —you do love me still?"

Sir Philip perceived the eagerness with which she caught at the first glimmering of returning tenderness, and well knew how to draw his advantage from it. He soothed her with caresses and professions, and when he had restored her to composure, he endeavoured to impress her with the necessity, for both their sakes, of more prudent conduct. He convinced her that their happiness, their safety, and perhaps their lives, depended on their escaping detection; and after explaining the defeat of his hopes in relation to Morton, he averred that the part of his letter relating to Miss Leslie, was mere badinage, written for his friend's amusement; and he concluded with reiterated promises, that he would return with her in the first ship bound to England.

Rosa was credulous—at least, she wished to believe—she was grateful for restored tenderness; and without daring to confess how nearly she had already betrayed him to Miss Leslie, she promised all the circumspection that Sir Philip required.

CHAPTER IV.

"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 besupposed, 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 honourwith 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 ofher 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 heknew 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.

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 zeal.

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 handin 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 Hope.

"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, 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 overcome."

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 significantsmile, "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 earth."

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 her."

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 boyhood."

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

"Sir!" exclaimed Sir Philip angrily.

The simple man started as if he had receiveda 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 prayer- book 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. 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 conduct.

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."

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. Thechange 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 blood."

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 it."

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

"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."

"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?"

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, shame.

She would gladly have buried herself in thedepths 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 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 drooping."

"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 plant."

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 valuablea production, till a fair experiment had been made."

"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 snows."

"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 passion."

"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;

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 contemptuouslyrepelled; 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 success.

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 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 husband.'

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,Sir Philip—there is nobody here but these stiffstarched 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 it."

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 conjecture.'

"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—aFrench 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, 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 boatmen.

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 Fletcher.

"Unalterably."

"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, permittedlove, 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."

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," concludedEverell; 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 her.

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.

CHAPTER V.

"The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time.
For parting us—Oh, and is all forgot?"
     — Midsummer Night's Dream

On quitting Everell, our heroine, quite unconscious that she was the subject of painful suspicion or affectionate anxiety, sought a sequestered spot, where she might indulge and tranquilize her feelings.

It has been said that the love of a brother and sister is the only platonic affection. This truth, (if it be a truth) is the conviction of an experience far beyond our heroine's. She had seen in Esther the pangs of repressed and unrequited love, and mistaking them for the characteristic emotions of that sentiment, it was no wonder that she perceived no affinity to it, in the joyous affection that had animated her own soul. "After a little while," she said, "I shall feel as I did when we lived together in Bethel; if all that I love are happy, I must be happy too." If the cold and selfish laugh to scorn what they think the reasoning of ignorance and inexperience, it is because they have never felt, that to meditate the happinessof others, is to enter upon the ministry, and the joy of celestial spirits. Not one envious or repining thought intruded into the heaven of Hope Leslie's mind. Not one malignant spirit passed the bounds of that paradise, that was filled with pure and tender affections, with projects of goodness, and all their cheerful train.

Hope was longer absorbed in her reverie than perhaps was quite consistent with her philosophy; and when she was roused from it by Digby's voice, she blushed from the consciousness that her thoughts had been too long withdrawn from the purpose of her visit to the island. Digby came to say that his wife's supper-table was awaiting Miss Leslie. Hope embraced the opportunity, as they walked together towards his dwelling, to make her arrangements for the evening. "Digby," she said, "I have something to confide to you, but you must ask me no questions."

"That's crossing human nature," replied the good fellow; "but I think I can swim against the current for you, Miss Hope."

"Thank you, Digby. Then, in the first place, you must know, I expect some friends to meet me here this evening; all that I ask of you is, to permit me to remain out unmolested as long as I may choose. You may tell your wife that I like to stroll in the garden by moonlight—or to sit and listen to the waves breaking on the shore—as you know I do, Digby."

"Yes, Miss Hope, I know your heart always linked into such things; but it it will be heathen Greek to my wife—so you must make out a better reason for her."

"Then tell her, that I like to have my own way."

"Ah, that will I," replied Digby chuckling, "that is what every woman can understand. I always said, Miss Hope, it was a pure mercy you chose the right way, for you always had yours."

"Perhaps you think, Digby, I have been too headstrong in my own way."

"Oh, no! my sweet mistress—no—why this having our own way, is what every body likes; it's the privilege we came to this wilderness world for; and though the gentles up in town there, with the Governor at their head, hold a pretty tight rein, yet I can tell them, that there are many who think what blunt Master Blackstone said, 'that he came not away from the Lordsbishops, to put himself under the Lord's-brethren.' No, no, Miss Hope, I watch the motions of the straws—I know which way the wind blows. Thought and will are set free. It was but the other day, so to speak, in the days of good queen Bess, as they called her, when, if her majesty did but raise her hand, the parliament folks were all down on their knees to her; and now, thank God, the poorest and the lowest of us only kneel to Him who made us. Times are changed—there is a new spirit in the world—chains are broken—fetters are knocked off—and the liberty set forth in the blessed word, is now felt to be every man's birth-right. But shame on my prating tongue, that wags so fast when I might hear your nightingale voice."

Hope's mind was pre-occupied, and she found it difficult to listen to Digby's speculations with interest, or to respond with animation; but she was too benignant to lose herself in sullen abstraction, and when they arrived at the cottage, she roused her faculties to amuse the children, and to listen to the mother's stories of their ominous smartness. She commended the good wife's milk and cakes, and sat for an half hour after the table was removed, talking of the past, and brightening the future prospects of her good friends, with predictions of their children's prosperity and respectability—predictions, which, Digby afterwards said, the sweet young lady's bounty brought to pass.

Suddenly she sprang from her chair—"Digby," she exclaimed, "I think the east is lighting up with the rising moon—is it not?"

"If it is not, it soon will," replied Digby, understanding and favouring her purpose.

"Then," said Hope, "I will take a walk round the island, and do not you, Betsy, sit up for me." Betsy, of course, remonstrated. The night air was unwholesome; and though the sky overhead was clear, yet she had heard distant thunder; the beach birds had been in flocks on shore all theday; and the breakers on the east side of the island made a boding sound. These, and other signs, were urged as arguments against the unseasonable walk. Of course they were unheeded by our heroine, who, declaring that with shelter so near she was in no danger, muffled herself in her cloak, and sallied forth. She bent her steps around the cliff which rises at the western extremity of the island, leaving at its base a few yards of flat rocky shore, around which the waters of the bay sweep, deeply indenting it, and forming a natural cove or harbour for small boats. As Hope passed around a ledge of rocks, she fancied she saw a shadow cast by a figure that seemed flying before her. "They are here already," she thought, and hastened forward, expecting to catch a glimpse of them as soon as she should turn the angle of the rock—but no figure appeared; and though Hope imagined she heard stones rattling, as if displaced by hurried steps, she was soon convinced the sound was accidental. Alive only to one expectation, she seated herself, without any apprehension, to await in this solitude the coming of her sister.

The moon rose unclouded, and sent her broad stream of light across the beautiful bay, kindling in her beams the islands that gemmed it, and disclosing, with a dim indefinite light, the distant town rising over this fair domain of sea and land—hills, heights, jutting points, and islands, then unknown to fame, but now consecrated in domestic annals, and illustrious in the patriot's story.

Whatever charms the scene might have presented to our heroine's eye at another moment, she was now only conscious of one emotion of feverish impatience. She gazed and listened till her senses ached; and at last, when anticipation had nearly yielded to despair, her ear caught the dash of oars; and at the next moment, a canoe glanced around the headland into the cove; she darted to the brink of the water—she gazed intently on the little bark—her whole soul was in that look. Her sister was there. At this first assurance, that she really beheld this loved, lost sister, Hope uttered a scream of joy; but when, at a second glance, she saw her in her savage attire, fondly leaning on Oneco's shoulder, her heart died within her; a sickening feeling came over her, an unthought of revolting of nature; and instead of obeying the first impulse, and springing forward to clasp her in her arms, she retreated to the cliff, leaned her head against it, averted her eyes, and pressed her hands on her heart, as if she would have bound down her rebel feelings.

Magawisca's voice aroused her. "Hope Leslie," she said, "take thy sister's hand."

Hope stretched out her hand, without lifting her eyes; but when she felt her sister's touch, the energies of nature awoke, she threw her armsaround her, folded her to her bosom, laid her cheek on hers, and wept as if her heart would burst in every sob.

Mary (we use the appellative by which Hope had known her sister,) remained passive in her arms. Her eye was moistened, but she seemed rather abashed and confounded, than excited; and when Hope released her, she turned towards Oneco with a look of simple wonder. Hope again threw her arm around her sister, and intently explored her face for some trace of those infantine features that were impressed on her memory. "It is—it is my sister!" she exclaimed, and kissed her cheek again and again. "Oh! Mary, do you not remember when we sat together on mother's knee? Do you not remember, when with her own burning hand, the very day she died, she put those chains on our necks? Do you not remember when they held us up to kiss her cold lips?" Mary looked towards Magawisca for an explanation of her sister's words. "Look at me, Mary—speak to me," continued Hope.

"No speak Yengees," replied Mary, exhausting in this brief sentence, all the English she could command.

Hope, in the impetuosity of her feelings, had forgotten that Magawisca had forewarned her not to indulge the expectation that her sister could speak to her; and the melancholy truth, announced by her own lips, seemed to Hope to open a new and impassable gulf between them.She wrung her hands; "Oh what shall I do! what shall I say?" she exclaimed.

Magawisca now advanced to her, and said in a compassionate tone, "Let me be thy interpreter, Hope Leslie; and be thou more calm. Dost thou not see thy sister is to thee as the feather borne on the torrent?"

"I will be more calm, Magawisca; but promise me you will interpret truly for me."

A blush of offended pride overspread Magawisca's cheek. "We hold truth to be the health of the soul," she said: "thou mayest speak, maiden, without fear that I will abate one of thy words."

"Oh, I fear nothing wrong from you, Magawisca—forgive me—forgive me—I know not what I say or do." She drew her sister to a rock, and they sat down together. Hope knew not how to address one so near to her by nature, so far removed by habit and education. She thought that if Mary's dress, which was singularly and gaudily decorated, had a less savage aspect, she might look more natural to her; and she signed to her to remove the mantle she wore, made of birds' feathers, woven together with threads of the wild nettle. Mary threw it aside, and disclosed her person, light and agile as a fawn's, clothed with skins, neatly fitted to her waist and arms, and ambitiously embellished with bead work. The removal of the mantle, instead of the effect designed, only served to make morestriking the aboriginal peculiarities; and Hope, shuddering and heart-sick, made one more effort to disguise them by taking off her silk cloak and wrapping it close around her sister. Mary seemed instantly to comprehend the language of the action, she shook her head, gently disengaged herself from the cloak, and resumed her mantle. An involuntary exclamation of triumph burst from Oneco's lips. "Oh tell her," said Hope to Magawisca, "that I want once more to see her in the dress of her own people—of her own family—from whose arms she was torn to be dragged into captivity."

A faint smile curled Magawisca's lip, but she interpreted faithfully Hope's communication, and Mary's reply, "'she does not like the English dress,' she says."

"Ask her," said Hope, "if she remembers the day when the wild Indians sprung upon the family at Bethel, like wolves upon a fold of lambs?— If she remembers when Mrs. Fletcher and her innocent little ones were murdered, and she stolen away?"

"She says, 'she remembers it well, for then it was Oneco saved her life.' "

Hope groaned aloud. "Ask her," she continued with unabated eagerness, "if she remembers when we played together, and read together, and knelt together at our mother's feet; when she told us of the God that made us, and the Saviour that redeemed us?"

"She remembers something of all this, but she says, 'it is faint and distant, like the vanishing vapour on the far-off mountain.' "

"Oh, tell her, Magawisca, if she will come home and live with me, I will devote my life to her. I will watch over her in sickness and health. I will be mother, sister, friend to her—tell her, that our mother, now a saint in heaven, stoops from her happy place to entreat her to return to our God, and our father's God."

Mary shook her head in a manner indicative of a more determined feeling than she had before manifested, and took from her bosom a crucifix, which she fervently pressed to her lips.

Every motive Hope offered was powerless, every mode of entreaty useless, and she leaned her head despondently on Mary's shoulder. The contrast between the two faces thus brought together, was most striking. Hope's hat had slipped back, and her rich brown tresses fell about her neck and face; her full eye was intently fixed on Mary, and her cheek glowing with impassioned feeling. She looked like an angel touched with some mortal misery; while Mary's face, pale and spiritless, was only redeemed from absolute vacancy by an expression of gentleness and modesty. Hope's hand was lying on her sister's lap, and a brilliant diamond ring caught Mary's attention. Hope perceived this, and instantly drew it from her own finger and placed it on Mary's; "and here is another—and another—and another," she cried, making the same transfer of all her rings. "Tell her, Magawisca, if she will come home with me, she shall be decked with jewels from head to foot, she shall have feathers from the most beautiful birds that wing the air, and flowers that never fade—tell her that all I possess shall be hers."

"Shall I tell her so?" asked Magawisca, with a mingled expression of contempt and concern, as if she herself despised the lure, but feared that Mary might be caught by it, for the pleased girl was holding her hand before her, turning it, and gazing with child-like delight on the gems, as they caught and reflected the moon-beams. "Shall I ask your sister to barter truth and love, the jewels of the soul, that grow brighter and brighter in the land of spirits, for these poor perishing trifles?—Oh, Hope Leslie, I had better thoughts of thee."

"I cannot help it, Magawisca; I am driven to try every way to win back my sister—tell her, I entreat you, tell her what I have said."

Magawisca faithfully repeated all the motives Hope had urged, while Hope herself clasped her sister's hand, and looked in her face with a mute supplication, more earnest than words could express. Mary hesitated, and her eye turned quickly to Oneco, to Magawisca, and then again rested on her sister. Hope felt her hand tremble in hers. Mary, for the first time, bent towards her, and laid her cheek to Hope's. Hope uttered ascream of delight, "Oh, she does not refuse, she will stay with me," she exclaimed. Mary understood the exclamation, and suddenly recoiled, and hastily drew the rings from her fingers. "Keep them—keep them," said Hope, bursting into tears, if "we must be cruelly parted again, they will sometimes speak to you of me."

At this moment, a bright light as of burning flax, flamed up from the cliff above them, threw a momentary flash over the water, and then disappeared. Oneco rose, "I like not this light," he said, "we must begone, we have redeemed our promise," and he took Hope's cloak from the ground, and gave it to her as a signal that the moment of separation had arrived.

"Oh, stay one moment longer," cried Hope. Oneco pointed to the heavens, over which black and threatening clouds were rapidly gathering, and Magawisca said, "do not ask us to delay, my father has waited long enough." Hope now for the first time observed there was an Indian in the canoe, wrapped in skins, and listlessly waiting in a recumbent position the termination of the scene. "Is that Mononotto?" said she, shuddering at the thought of the bloody scenes with which he was associated in her mind; but before her inquiry was answered, the subject of it sprang to his feet, and uttering an exclamation of surprise, stretched his hand towards the town. All at once perceived the object towards which he pointed. A bright strong light streamed upwardfrom the highest point of land, and sent a ruddy glow over the bay. Every eye turned inquiringly to Hope. "It is nothing," she said to Magawisca, "but the light that is often kindled on Beacon-Hill to guide the ships into the harbour. The night is becoming dark, and some vessel is expected in—that is all, believe me."

Whatever trust her visitors might have reposed in Hope's good faith, they were evidently alarmed by an appearance which they did not think sufficiently accounted for; and Oneco hearing, or imagining he heard, approaching oars, said in his own language to Magawisca, "we have no time to lose—I will not permit my white bird to remain any longer within reach of the net."

Magawisca assented: "We must go," she said; "we must not longer hazard our father's life." Oneco sprang into the canoe, and called to Mary to follow him.

"Oh, spare her one single moment!" said Hope, imploringly to Magawisca, and she drew her a few paces from the shore, and knelt down with her, and in a half articulate prayer, expressed the tenderness and sorrow of her soul, and committed her sister to God. Mary understood her action, and feeling that their separation was for ever, nature for a moment asserted her rights; she returned Hope's embrace, and wept on her bosom.

While the sisters were thus folded in one another's arms, a loud yell burst from the savages; Magawisca caught Mary by the arms, and Hope turning, perceived that a boat filled with armed men, had passed the projecting point of land, and borne in by the tide, it instantly touched the beach, and in another instant Magawisca and Mary were prisoners. Hope saw the men were in the uniform of the Governor's guard. One moment before she would have given worlds to have had her sister in her power; but now, the first impulse of her generous spirit, was an abhorrence of her seeming treachery to her friends. "Oh, Oneco," she cried, springing towards the canoe, "I did not—indeed I did not know of it." She had scarcely uttered the words, which fell from her neither understood nor heeded, when Oneco caught her in his arms, and shouting to Magawisca to tell the English, that as they dealt by Mary, so would he deal by her sister; he gave the canoe the first impulse, and it shot out like an arrow, distancing and defying pursuit.

Oneco's coup-de-main seemed to petrify all present. They were roused by Sir Philip Gardiner, who, coming round the base of the cliff, appeared among them; and learning the cause of their amazement, he ordered them, with a burst of passionate exclamation, instantly to man the boat, and proceed with him in pursuit. This, one and all refused. "Daylight, and calm water," they said, "would be necessary to give any hope to such a pursuit, and the storm was now gathering so fast, as to render it dangerous to venture out at all."

Sir Philip endeavoured to alarm them with threats of the Governor's displeasure, and to persuade them with offers of high reward; but they understood too well the danger and hopelessness of the attempt to risk it, and they remained inexorable. Sir Philip then went in quest of Digby, and at the distance of a few paces met him. Alarmed by the rapid approach of the storm, he was seeking Miss Leslie; when he learned her fate from Sir Philip's hurried communication, he uttered a cry of despair. "Oh! I would go after her," he said, "if I had but a cockle shell; but it seems as if the foul fiends were at work: my boat was this morning sent to town to be repaired. And yet what could we do?" He added, shuddering, "the wind is rising to that degree, that I think no boat could live in the bay; and it is getting as dark as Egypt—Oh, God save my precious young lady!—God have mercy on her!" he continued. A sudden burst of thunder heightened his alarm—"man can do nothing for her. Why in the name of heaven," he added, with a natural desire to appropriate the blame of misfortune, "why must they be for ever meddling; why not let the sisters meet and part in peace?"

'Oh! why not?' thought Sir Philip, who would have given his right hand to have retraced the steps that had led to this most unlooked for and unhappy issue of the affair. They were now joined by the guard with their prisoners. Digbywas requested to lead them instantly to a shelter. He did so; and, agitated as he was with fear and despair for Miss Leslie, he did not fail to greet Magawisca, as one to whom all honour was due. She heeded him not—she seemed scarcely conscious of the cries of Faith Leslie, who was weeping like a child, and clinging to her. The treachery that had betrayed her wrapt her soul in indignation, and nothing roused her but the blasts of wind and flashes of lightning, that seemed to her the death-knell of her father.

The storm continued for the space of an hour, and then died away as suddenly as it had gathered. In another hour, the guard had safely landed at the wharf, and were conveying their prisoners to the Governor. He, and his confidential counsellors, who had been awaiting at his house, the return of their emissaries, solaced themselves with the belief that all parties were safely sheltered on the island; and probably would remain there during the night. While they were whispering this conclusion to one another, at one extremity of the parlour, Everell sat beside Miss Downing, in the recess of a window, that overlooked the garden. The huge projecting chimney formed a convenient screen for the lovers. The evening was warm—the window-sash thrown up. The moon had come forth, and shed a mild lustre through the dewy atmosphere; the very light that the young and sentimental—and above all, young and sentimentallovers, most delight in. But in vain did Everell look abroad for inspiration; in vain did he turn his eyes to Esther's face, now more beautiful than ever, flushed as it was with the first dawn of happiness; in vain did he try to recall his truant thoughts, to answer words to her timid but bright glances; he would not—he could not say what he did not feel; and the few sentences he uttered fell on his own ear like the cold abstractions of philosophy. While he was in this durance his father was listening—if a man stretched on a rack can be said to listen—to Madam Winthrop's whispered and reiterated assurances of her entire approbation of her niece's choice.

This was the position of all parties, when a bustle was heard in the court, and the guard entered. The foremost advanced to the Governor and communicated a few sentences in a low tone. The Governor manifested unusual emotion, turned round suddenly, and exclaimed, "here, Mr. Fletcher—Everell;" and then motioning to them to keep their places, he said in an under voice to those near to him, "we must first dispose of our prisoner—come forward, Magawisca."

"Magawisca!" echoed Everell, springing at one bound into the hall. But Magawisca shrunk back, and averted her face. "Now God be praised!" he exclaimed, as he caught the first glance of a form never to be forgotten—"it is— it is Magawisca!" She did not speak, but drew away, and leaned her head against the wall. "What means this?" he said, now for the first time espying Faith Leslie, and then looking round on the guard, "what means it, sir?" he demanded, turning somewhat imperiously to the Governor.

"It means, sir," replied the Governor coldly, "that this Indian woman is the prisoner of the Commonwealth."

"It means that I am a prisoner, lured to the net, and betrayed."

"You a prisoner—here, Magawisca!" Everell exclaimed—"impossible; justice, gratitude, humanity, forbid it. My father—Governor Winthrep, you will not surely suffer this outrage."

The elder Fletcher had advanced, and scarcely less perplexed and agitated than his son, was endeavouring to draw forth Faith Leslie, who had shrunk behind Magawisca. Governor Winthrop seemed not at all pleased with Everell's interference. "You will do well, young Mr. Fletcher, to bridle your zeal; private feelings must yield to the public good; this young woman is suspected of being an active agent in brewing the conspiracy forming against us among the Indian tribes; and it is somewhat bold in you to oppose the course of justice—to intermeddle with the public welfare—to lift your feeble judgment against the wisdom of Providence, which has led by peculiar means, to the apprehension of the enemy. Conduct your prisoner to the jail," he added, turningto the guard; "and bid Barnaby have her in close and safe keeping, till further orders."

"For the love of God, sir," cried Everell, "do not this injustice. At least suffer her to remain in your own house, on her promise—more secure than the walls of a prison." Governor Winthrop only replied by signing to the guards to proceed to their duty.

"Stay one moment," exclaimed Everell; "permit her, I beseech you, to remain here; place her in any one of your apartments, and I will remain before it, a faithful warder, night and day. But do not—do not, I beseech you, sully our honour by committing this noble creature to your jail.

"Listen to my son, I entreat you," said the elder Fletcher, unable any longer to restrain his own feelings—"certainly we owe much to this woman."

"You owe much, undoubtedly," replied the Governor, "but it yet remains to be proved, my friend, that your son's redeemed life is to be put in the balance against the public weal."

Esther, who had observed the scene with an intense interest, now overcame her timidity so far, as to penetrate the circle that surrounded the Governor, and to attempt to enforce Everell's prayer. "May not Magawisca," she said, "share our apartment, Hope's and mine; she will then, in safe custody await your further pleasure."

"Thanks, Esther—thanks," cried Everell, withan animation that would have rewarded a far more difficult effort; but all efforts were unavailing but not useless, for Magawisca said to Everell "you have sent light into my darkened soulyou have truth, and gratitude, and for the rest, they are but what I deemed them. Send me," she continued, proudly turning to the Governor, "to your dungeon—all places are alike to me, while I am your prisoner; but for the sake of Everell Fletcher, let me tell you, that she, who is dearer to him than his own soul, if indeed she has lived out the perils of this night, must answer for my safe keeping."

"Hope Leslie!" exclaimed Everell; "what has happened—what do you mean, Magawisca?"

"She was the decoy bird," replied Magawisca calmly; "and she too is caught in the net."

"Explain, I beseech you!" The Governor answered Everell's appeal by a brief explanation. A bustle ensued—every other feeling was now lost in concern for Hope Leslie; and Magawisca was separated from her weeping and frightened companion, and conducted away without further opposition; while the two Fletchers, as if life and death hung on every instant, were calling on the Governor to aid them in the way and means of pursuit. But as we hope our readers sympathise in their apprehensions, we must leave them to return to our heroine.

CHAPTER VI.

"But, oh, that hapless virgin, our lost sister,
Where may she wander now, whither betake her?"
     — Comus

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, "thatOneco 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."

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.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 todeliberate; 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 Bacchus.

Fragments of a coarse feast were strewn about them, and the ground was covered with wrecks 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'svoice, 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 you."

"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 her.

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 forher, 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 inspiration.

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

"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 her.

"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 crossedhimself. "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 English?"

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 done."

"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.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.

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 throbbings.

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 thanthey 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 world."

"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?"

"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,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, complainingof 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.

CHAPTER VII.

"He that questions whether God made the world, the Indian will teach him. I must acknowledge I have received in my converse with them, many confirmations of those two great points; first, that 'God is;' second, 'that he is a rewarder of all them that diligently seek him.' "

     — Roger Williams

Our readers' sagacity has probably enabled them to penetrate the slight mystery, in which the circumstances that led to the apprehension of Magawisca have been shrouded. Sir Philip Gardiner, after attending Mrs. Grafton home on the Saturday night, memorable in the history of our heroine, saw her enter the burial-place. Partly moved by his desire to ascertain whether there was any cause for her running away from him that might soothe his vanity, and partly, no doubt, by an irresistible attraction towards her; he followed at a prudent distance, till he saw her meeting with Magawisca; he then secreted himself in the thicket of evergreens, where he was near enough to hear and observe all that passed; and where, as may be remembered, he narrowly escaped being exposed by his dog.

Sir Philip had heard the rumour of a conspiracy among the natives; and when he saw Magawisca'sextreme anxiety to secure a clandestine interview with Miss Leslie, the probable reason for her secresy at once occurred to him. If he conjectured rightly, he was in possession of a secret that might be of value to the state, and of course, be made the means of advancing him in the favour of the Governor. But might he not risk incurring Miss Leslie's displeasure by this inter-position in her affairs, and thus forfeit the object of all his present thoughts and actions? He believed not. He saw that she yielded reluctantly, and because she had no alternative, to Magawisca's imposition of secresy. With her romantic notions, it was most probable that she would hold her promise inviolate; but would she not be bound in everlasting gratitude to him, who by an ingenious manœuvre should, without in the least involving her honour, secure the recovery of her sister? Thus he flattered himself he should, in any event, obtain some advantage. To Miss Leslie he would appear solely actuated by zeal for her happiness; to the Governor, by devotion to the safety and welfare of the commonwealth.

Accordingly, on the following Monday morning, he solicited a private interview with the magistrates, and deposed before them, "that on returning to his lodgings on Saturday night, he had seen Miss Leslie enter the burying-ground alone; that believing she had gone to visit some spot consecrated by the interment of a friend, and knowing the ardent temper of the young lady, hefeared she might forget, in the indulgence of her feelings, the lateness of the hour. He had, therefore, with the intention of guarding her from all harm, without intruding on her meditations,(which though manifestly unseasonable, might, he thought, tend to edifying by withdrawing her thoughts from worldly objects,) followed her, and secluded himself in the copse of evergreens, where, to his astonishment, he had witnessed her interview with the Indian woman." The particulars of their conversation he gave at length.

Unfortunately for Magawisca, Sir Philip's testimony coincided with the story of a renegado Indian, formerly one of the counsellors and favourites of Maintunnomoh. This savage, stung by some real or fancied wrongs, deserted his tribe, and vowing revenge, he repaired to Boston, and divulged to the Governor the secret hostility of his chief towards the English; which, he said, had been stimulated to activity by the old Pequod chief, and the renowned maiden Magawisca.

He stated also, that the chiefs of the different tribes, moved by the eloquence and arguments of Mononotto, were forming a powerful combination. Thus far the treacherous savage told the truth; but he proceeded to state plots and underplots, and artfully to exaggerate the number and power of the tribes. The magistrates lent a believing ear to the whole story. They were aware that the Narragansetts, ever since they had witnessed the defeat and extinction of their ancient enemies the Pequods, had felt a secret dread and jealousy of the power and encroachments of the English, and that they only waited for an opportunity to manifest their hostility. Letters had been recently received from the magistrates of Connecticut, expressing their belief that a general rising of the Indians was meditated. All these circumstances combined to give importance to Sir Philip's and the Indian's communications. But the Governor felt the necessity of proceeding warily.

Miantunnomoh had been the faithful friend and ally of the English. He is described by Winthrop, as a "sagacious and subtle man, who showed good understanding in the principles of justtice and equity, and ingenuity withal." Such a man it was obviously the policy of the English not unnecessarily to provoke; and the Governor hoped, by getting possession of the Pequod family, to obtain the key to Miantunnomoh's real designs, and to crush the conspiracy before it was matured.

We have been compelled to this digression, in order to explain the harsh reception and treatment of Magawisca; to account for the zeal with which the Governor promoted the party to the garden; and for the signal which guided the boat directly to the Pequod family, and which Sir Philip remained on the island to give. The knight had now gotten very deep into the councils and favour of the magistrates, who saw in himthe selected medium of a special kindness of Providence to them.

He took good care,

"That all his circling wiles should end

In feigned religion, smooth hypocrisy;"

and by addressing his arts to the predominant tastes and principles of the honest men whom he deluded, he well sustained his accidental advantage.

It would be vain to attempt to describe the various emotions of Governor Winthrop's family at the return of Hope Leslie. Madam Winthrop, over excited by the previous events of the evening, had fortunately escaped any further agitation by retiring to bed, after composing her nerves with a draught of valerian tea. Mrs. Grafton, who had been transported with joy at the unlooked for recovery of Faith Leslie, was carried to the extreme of despair, when she saw the lifeless body of her beloved niece borne to her apartment. Poor old Cradock went like the bird of poetic fame, "up stairs and down stairs," wringing his hands, and sobbing like a whipt boy. The elder Fletcher stood bending in mute agony over the child of his affections, whom he loved with even more than the tenderness of a parent. His tears, like those of old and true Menenius, seemed "salter than a younger man's, and venemous to his eyes;" and his good friend Governor Winthrop, when he saw his distress, secretly repentedthat he had acquiesced in a procedure that had brought such misery upon this much enduring man. Jennet bustled about, appearing to do every thing, and doing nothing; and hoping 'to goodness' sake, the young lady would come to herself, long enough, at least, to tell what had befallen her'—'she always thought, she did, what her harem-scarem ways would bring her to at last.' Miss Downing, without regarding, or even hearing, these and many other similar mutterings, proceeded with admirable presence of mind to direct and administer all the remedies that were at hand; while Everell, almost distracted, went in quest of medical aid.

A delirious fever succeeded to unconsciousness; and for three days Hope Leslie's friends hung over her in the fear that every hour would be her last. For three days and nights, Esther Downing never quitted her bedside, except to go to the door of the apartment to answer Everell's inquiries. Her sweet feminine qualities were now called into action: she watched and prayed over her friend; and, though her cheek was pale, and her eye dim, she had never appeared half so lovely to Everell, as when in her simple linen dressing gown, she for an instant left the invalid to announce some favourable symptom. On the fourth morning, Hope's fever abated; her incoherent ravings ceased, and she sunk, for the first time, into a tranquil sleep. Esther sat perfectly still by her bedside, fearing to move, lest theslightest noise should disturb her—she heard Everell walking in the entry, as he had done incessantly, and stopping, at every turn, to listen at the door. Till now, all her faculties had been in requisition—her mind and body devoted to her friend—she had not thought of herself; and if sometimes the thought of Everell intruded, she blushed at what she deemed the unsubdued selfishness of her heart. "Alas!" she said, "I am far from that temper which leads us to 'weep with those that weep,' if I suffer thoughts of my own happy destiny to steal in when my friend is in this extremity." But these were but transient emotions: her devotion to Hope was too sincere and unremitting to afford occasion of reproach even to her watchful and accusing conscience. But now, as she listened to Everell's perturbed footsteps, a new train of thoughts passed through her mind. "Everell has scarcely quitted that station. With what eagerness he has hung on my words when I spoke of Hope! What a mortal paleness has overspread his face at every new alarm! It would not, perhaps, have been right—but, methinks, it would have been natural—that he should have expressed some concern for me—I cannot remember that he has. How often has he said to me, 'dear Esther, you will not leave her?' and, 'for the love of heaven, trust her not a moment to the discretion of her aunt'—'do not confide in Jennet'—'Madam Winthrop has too many cares for so delicate a charge—all depends onyou, dear Esther.' Yes—he said dear Esther; but how many times he has repeated it, as if his life were suspended by the same thread as hers. If I were in Hope's condition, would he feel thus? I could suffer death itself for such proofs of tenderness. Sinful worm that I am, thus to doat on any creature." The serenity of her mind was disturbed—she rose involuntarily—as she rose, her gown caught in her chair, and overthrew it. The chair fell against a little stand by the bedside, covered with phials, cups, and spoons, and all were overthrown, with one of those horrible clatters, that are as startling in a sick-room as the explosion of a magazine at midnight.

Everell, alarmed by the unwonted noise, instinctively opened the door—Hope awoke from her profound sleep, and drew aside the curtain— she looked bewildered; but it was no longer the wildness of fever: thronging and indistinct recollections oppressed her; but after an instant, a perfect consciousness of the past and the present returned; she covered her eyes, and sunk back on the pillow, murmuring, "thank God!" and tears of gratitude and joy stole over her cheeks.

Esther lost every other emotion in unmixed joy. She went to the door to Everell, who was still standing there, as if he were transfixed. "It is as you see," she said, "the danger is past—she has slept sweetly for three hours, and was now only disturbed by my carelessness; go to your fatherwith the good news; your face will tell it even if your lips refuse, as they do now, to move."

They did now move, and the joy of his heart broke forth in the exclamation, "You are an angel, Esther! my father owes to you the preservation of his dearest treasure; and I—I—my life, Esther, shall prove to you my sense of what I owe you."

There was an enthusiasm in his manner, that for the first time satisfied Esther's feelings; but her religious sentiments habitually predominating over every other, "I have been a poor but honoured instrument," she said; "let us all carry our thansgivings to that altar where they are due." Then, after allowing Everell to press her hand to his lips, she closed the door, and returned to Hope's bedside. Hope again put aside the bed-curtain—"Is not my sister here?" she asked; "she must be here, and yet I can scarcely separate my dreams from the strange accidents of that night."

"She is here, safe and well, my dear Hope; but for the present, you must be content not to see her; you have been very ill, and need perfect rest."

"I feel that I need it, Esther, but I must first know how it has fared with Magawisca; she came on my solemn promise—I trust she has been justly dealt by—she has been received as she deserved, Esther?"

Esther hesitated—but seeing Hope's lip quiveringwith apprehension, and fearing the effects, in her weak state, of any new agitation, she, for the first time in her life, condescended to an equivocation, solacing herself with thinking that she ought to believe that perfectly right which her uncle Winthrop appointed: she said, "Magawisca has had a merited reception—now ask no more questions, Hope, but compose yourself again to sleep." If Hope had had the will, she had not the power to disobey, for nature will not be rifled of her dues. But we must leave her to the restoring influence of the kindest of all nature's provisions, to visit one from whom care and sorrow banished sleep.

At an advanced hour of the following evening, Sir Philip Gardiner repaired to the town jail, and was admitted by its keeper, Barnaby Tuttle. The knight produced a passport to the cell of Thomas Morton, and pointing to the Governor's signature and seal, "you know that, friend," he said.

"As well as my own face; but I am loath to lead a gentleman of your bearing to such an unsavory place."

"Scruple not, honest master Tuttle, duty takes no note of time and place."

"You shall be served, sir; and with the better will, since you seem to be, as it were, of a God-serving turn,—but walk in, your worship, and sit down in my bit of a place; which, though a homely one, and within the four walls of a jail, is,I thank the Lord, like that into which Paul and Silas were thrust, a place where prayers and praises are often heard."

Barnaby now lighted a candle, and while Sir Philip was awaiting his dilatory preparations, he could not but wonder that a man of his appearance should have been selected for an office that is usually supposed to require a muscular frame, strong nerves, and a hardy spirit. Barnaby Tuttle had none of these; but, on the contrary, was a man of small stature, meagre person, and a pale and meek countenance, that bespoke the disposition that lets "I dare not, wait upon I would."

"Have you been long in this service of jailer?" asked Sir Philip.

"Six years, an please your worship, come the 10th day of next October, at 8 o'clock of the morning. I had been long a servant in the Governor's own household; and he gave me the office, as he was pleased to say, because he knew me trust worthy, and a merciful man."

"But mercy, master Barnaby, is not held to be a special qualification for those of your calling."

"It is not sir? Well, I can tell your honour, there's no place it's more wanted; and here, in our new English colony, we have come, as it were, under a new dispensation. Our prisoners are seldom put in for those crimes that fill the jails in Old England. Since I have been keeper —six years next October, as I told you it is—I have had but few in for stealing, and one for murder; and that was a disputed case, there being no clear testimony; but as he was proved to have lived an atheist life, he was condemned to die, and at the last confessed many sore offences, which, as Mr. Cotton observed in his sermon, preached the next Lord's day, were each and all held worthy of death by the laws of Moses. No sir, our prisoners are chiefly those who are led astray of the devil into divers errors of opinions, or those who commit such sins as are named at length in the Levitical law."

"Ah," said Sir Philip, with a well pitched groan, "the depravity of man will find a channel: stop it at one place and it will out at another. But come, friend Barnaby—time is going on— I'll follow you." The jailer now led the way through a long narrow passage, with doors on each side, which opened into small apartments. "Hark!" said Barnaby, laying his hand on Sir Philip's arm—"hear you that? It's Gorton praying; he and his company are all along in these wards; and betimes I hear them calling on the Lord, like Daniel in the lion's den, for hours together. I hope it's not a sin to feel for such woful heretics, for I have dropped salt tears for them. Does not your honour think our magistrates may have some way opened up for their pardon?"

"I see not how they can, master Barnaby, unless these sore revilers should renounce their heresies, or—"he added, with an involuntary sneer,fortunately for him, unobserved by his simple companion, "or, their title to the Indian lands."

They had now arrived at one extremity of the passage, and Barnaby selected a key from his bunch; but before putting it in the lock, he said, "Morton is in a little room within the Indian woman's, taken the other day."

"So I understand; and by your leave, master Tuttle, I would address a private admonition to this Indian woman, who, as report saith, is an obstinate heathen."

"I suppose she is, your honour; they that should know, say so. But she hath truly a discreet and quiet way with her, that I would was more common among Christian women. But as you say you wish to speak in private, I must beg your honour's pardon for turning my bolt on you. I will give you the light, and the key to the inner room; and when you desire my attendance, you have but to pull a cord that hangs by the frame of the door inside, and rings a bell in the passage —one word more, your honour—be on your guard when you go into Morton's cell. He raves, betimes, as if all the fiends possessed him; and then again, he sings and dances, as if he were at his revels on the merry mount; and betimes he cries —the poor old man—like a baby, for the twentyfour hours round; so that I cannot but think a place in the London hospital would be fitter for him than this."

"Your feelings seem not to suit with the humour of your profession, Master Tuttle."

"May be not, sir; but there is a pleasure in a pitiful feeling, let your outward work be ever so hard, as, doubtless, your worship well knows."

Sir Philip felt that conscience sent a burning blush to his hardened cheek; and he said, with an impatient tone, "I have my instructions—let me pass in, master Tuttle." Barnaby unlocked the door, gave him the candle, and then turned the bolt upon him.

Magawisca was slowly pacing the room, to and fro; she stopped, and uttered a faint exclamation at the sight of her visitor, then turned away, as if disappointed, and resumed her melancholy step. Sir Philip held up his candle to survey the apartment. It was a room of ordinary size, with one small grated window; and containing a flock-bed, and a three-legged stool, on which stood a plate of untasted provisions.

"Truly," said he, advancing into the room, "generous entertainment this, for a hapless maiden." Magawisca made no reply, and gave no heed to him, and he proceeded, "a godly and gallant youth, that Everell Fletcher, to suffer one who risked her life, and cast away a precious limb for him, to lie forgotten here. Methinks if he had a spark of thy noble nature, maiden, he would burn the town, or batter down this prison wall, for you." An irrepressible groan escaped from Magawisca, but she spoke not.

"He leaves you here alone and helpless to await death," continued the knight; thus venting hismalignity against Everell, though he saw that every word was a torturing knife to the innocent maiden. "Death, the only boon you can expect from these most christian magistrates, while he, with a light heart and smirking face, is dancing attendance on his lady love."—

"On whom?" interrupted Magawisca, in a tone of fearful impatience.

"On her who played so faithfully the part of decoy-pigeon to thee."

"Hope Leslie!—my father then is taken," she screamed.

"Nay, nay, not so; thy father and brother, both, by some wondrous chance escaped."

"Dost thou speak truth?" demanded Magawisca in a thrilling voice, and looking in Sir Philip's face as if she would penetrate his soul— "I doubt thee."

The knight opportunely bethought himself of having heard Magawisca during her interview with Hope Leslie, allude to the Romish religion; he took a crucifix from his bosom and pressed it to his lips. "Then by this holy sign," he said, "of which if you know aught, you know that to use it falsely would bring death to my soul, I swear I speak truly."

Magawisca again turned away, and drawing her mantle, which, in her emotion, had fallen back, close over her shoulders, she continued to pace the apartment, without bestowing even a look on Sir Philip, who felt himself in an awkward predicament, and found it difficult to rally his spirits to prosecute the object of his visit. But habitually confident, and like all bad men, distrusting the existence of incorruptible virtue, he soon shook off his embarrassment, and said, "I doubt, maiden, you would breathe more freely in the wild wood than in this stifling prison; and sleep more quietly on the piled leaves of your forests, than on that bed that christian love has spread for you." Magawisca neither manifested by word or sign that she heard him, and he proceeded more explicitly,—"Do you sigh for the freedom of nature?—would you be restored to it?"

"Would I! would the imprisoned bird return to its nestlings?" she now stopped, and looked with eager inquiry on Sir Philip.

"Then listen to me, and you shall learn by what means, and on what terms you may escape from this prison, and beyond the reach of your enemies. Here," he continued, producing from beneath his cloak, a rope-ladder, and a file and wrench, "here are instruments by which you can remove those bars, and by which you may safely descend to the ground."

"Tell me," cried Magawisca, a ray of joy lighting her eyes, "tell me how I shall use them."

Sir Philip explained the mode, enjoined great caution, and then proceeded to say,—"By tomorrow night at twelve you can remove the bars; the town will then be still; proceed directly to the point where you last landed, and a boatshall there be in readiness, well manned, to convey you beyond danger."

"Well—well," she replied, with breathless eagerness, "now tell me what I am to do; what a poor Indian prisoner can do to requite such a favour as this?"

Sir Philip began a reply—stammered, and paused. He seemed to turn and turn his purpose, and endeavoured to shelter it in some drapery that should hide its ugliness; but this was beyond his art, and summoning impudence to his aid, he said, "I have a young damsel with me, who for silly love followed me out of England. Now you foresters, maiden, who live according to the honesty of nature, you could not understand me, if I were to tell you of the cruel laws of the world, which oblige this poor girl to disguise herself in man's apparel, and counterfeit the duties of a page, that she may conceal her love. She hath become somewhat troublesome to me: all that I ask as the price of your liberty is, that she may be the companion of your flight."

"Doth she go willingly?"

"Nay, not willingly; but she is young, and like a tender twig, you can bend her at will; all I ask is, your promise that she return not."

"But if she resist?"

"Act your pleasure with her; yet I would not that she were harmed. You may give her to your brother in the place of this fair-haired damsel they have stolen from him; or," he added, forhe saw that Magawisca's brow contracted, "or, if that suits not you, nor him, you may take her to your western forests, and give her to a Romish priest, who will guide her to the Hotel Dieu, which our good lady of Bouillon has established in Canada." Magawisca dropped at his feet the instruments which she had grasped with such delight. "Nay, nay, bethink you, maiden, it is a small boon to return for liberty and life; for, trust me, if you remain here, they will not spare your life."

"And dost thou think," she replied, "that I would make my heart as black as thine, to save my life?—life! Dost thou not know, that life can only be abated by those evil deeds forbidden by the Great Master of life?—The writing of the Great Spirit has surely vanished from thy degraded soul, or thou wouldst know, that man cannot touch life! Life is nought but the image of the Great Spirit—and he hath most of it, who sends it back most true and unbroken, like the perfect image of the clear heavens, in the still lake."

Sir Philip's eye fell, and his heart quailed before the lofty glance, and unsullied spirit of the Indian maiden. Once he looked askance at her, but it was with such a look as Satan eyed the sun in his "high meridian tower." With a feeling of almost insupportable meanness he collected, and again concealed beneath his cloak the ladder and other instruments, which he had been at no small pains to procure, and was turning to summonBarnaby by ringing the bell, when he suddenly recollected, that Thomas Morton had been the ostensible motive of his visit, and that it was but a prudent precaution to look in upon him for an instant; and feeling too, perhaps, a slight curiosity to see the companion of his former excesses, he changed his purpose, turned to Morton's door, unlocked and opened it.

The old man seemed to have shrunk away as if frightened, and was gathered up almost into a ball in one corner of his miserable little squalid den. A few remnants of his garments hung like shreds about him. Every particle of his hair had dropped out; his grisly beard was matted together; his eyes gleamed like sparks of fire in utter darkness. Sir Philip was transfixed. 'Is this,' he thought, 'Morton! the gentleman—the gallant cavalier—the man of pleasure—Good God! the girl hath truly spoken of life!' While he stood thus, the old man sprang on him like a cat, pulled him within the door, and then, with the action of madness, swift as thought, he seized the key, locked the door on the inside, and threw the key through the bars of the window without the prison. The candle had fallen and was extinguished, and Sir Philip found himself immured with his scarcely human companion in total darkness, without any means of rescue, excepting through Magawisca. His first impulse was to entreat her to ring the bell, but he delayed for amoment, lest he should heighten the old man's paroxysm of madness.

In this interval of silence, Magawisca fancied she heard a sound against her window, and on going to it, perceived, though the night was extremely dark, a ladder resting against the bars; she listened and heard a footstep ascending; then there was a wrestling in Morton's room; and screams—"He'll kill me—ring the bell." Again all was still, and she heard from the ground below, "Come down, Mr. Everell, for the love of heaven come down." The words were uttered in a tone hardly above a whisper.

"Hush, Digby, I will not come down."

"Then you are lost; those cries will certainly alarm the guard."

"Hush! the cries have ceased." Everell mounted quite to the window, quick as if he had risen on wings.

'He is true!' thought Magawisca, and it seemed to her that her heart would burst with joy, but she could not speak. He applied an instrument to one of the iron bars, and wrenched it off. Repeated and louder cries of "murder!—help— ring the bell!" now proceeded from Gardiner, and the old maniac seemed determined to outroar him. Again the noise ceased, and again Digby spoke in a more agitated voice than before. "Oh, they are stirring in the yard—come away, Mr. Everell."

"I will not—I had rather die—stand fast, Digby—one bar more, and she is free;" and again he applied the instrument.

"Are you mad?" exclaimed Digby, in a more raised and eager voice; "I tell you the lights are coming; if you do not escape now, nothing can ever be done for her."

This last argument had the intended effect: Everell felt that all hope of extricating Magawisca depended on his now eluding discovery; and with an exclamation of bitter disappointment, he relinquished the enterprise for the present, and, descending a few rounds of the ladder, leaped to the ground, and, with Digby, disappeared before the guard reached the spot of operations. Magawisca saw two of the men go off in pursuit, while the other remained picking up the implements that Everell had dropped, and muttering something of old Barnaby sleeping as if he slept his last sleep.

Relieved from the sad conviction of Everell's desertion and ingratitude, Magawisca seemed for a moment to float on happiness, and in her exultation to forget the rocks and quicksands that encompassed her. Another outcry from Sir Philip recalled her thoughts, and obeying the first impulse of humanity, she rang the bell violently. Barnaby soon appeared with a lamp and keys, and learning the durance of Sir Philip, he hastened to his relief. A key was found to unlock the door, and on opening it, the knight's terror and distresswere fully explained. Morton had thrown him on his back, and pinned him to the floor, by planting his knee on Sir Philip's breast, and had interrupted his cries, and almost suffocated him, by stuffing his cloak into his mouth. At the sight of his keeper, the maniac sprang off, and with a sort of inarticulate chattering and laughing, resumed his old station in the corner, apparently quite unconscious that he had moved from it.

Sir Philip darted out and shut the door, as if he were closing a tiger's cage; and then, in wrath that overswelled all limits, he turned upon poor Barnaby, and, shaking him till his old bones seemed to rattle in their thin casement, he poured out on him curses deep and loud, for leading him into that 'devil's den.' Magawisca interposed, but instead of calming his wrath, she only drew it on herself. He swore 'he would be revenged on her, d—d Indian that she was, to stand by and not lift her hand, when she knew he was dying by torture.' Magawisca did not vouchsafe any other reply to this attack, than a look of calm disdain; and Barnaby, now recovering from the fright and amazement into which Sir Philip's violence had thrown him, held up his lamp, and reconnoitring the knight's face and person, "It is the same," he said, resolving his honest doubts, "the same I let in—circumstances alter cases—and men too, I think; why, I took him for as godly a seeming man as ever I laid my eyes on; a yea and nay pilgrim; but such profane swearing exceedethChaddock's men, or Chaddock either, or the master they serve."

"Prate not, you canting villain; why did not you come when you heard my cries? or where was you that you heard them not?"

"Just taking a little nap in my rocking chair; and I said to myself, as I set myself down, 'now Barnaby, if you should happen to fall out of your meditation into sleep, remember to wake at the ringing of the bell;' and, accordingly, at the very first touch of it I was on my feet, and coming hitherward."

Sir Philip's panic and wrath had now so far subsided, that he perceived there was an alarming discordance between his extempore conduct, and his elaborate pretensions; and re-assuming his mask, with an awkward suddenness, he said, "Well, well, friend Barnaby, we will both forgive and forget. I will say nothing of your sleeping soundly at your post, when you have such dangerous prisoners in ward, that the Governor has thought it necessary to give you a guard; and you, good Barnaby, you will say nothing of my having for a moment lost the command of my reason; though being so sorely bestead, and having but a poor human nature, I think I should not be hardly judged by merciful men."

"As to forgiving and forgetting, your worship," replied the good-natured fellow, "that I can do as easily as another man, but not from any dread of your tale-bearing; for I think the Governor hath sent the guard here partly in consideration of my age and feebleness; and I fear not undue blame. Therefore, not for my own by-ends will I keep close, but that I hold it not neighbourly to speak to another's hurt; and I well know it is but the topmost saints that are always in the exercise of grace. But I marvel, your worship, that ye spoke those evil words so glibly: it seemed like one casting away stilts, and going on his own natural feet again."

"All the fault of an ungodly youth, worthy master Tuttle," replied Sir Philip, rolling up his eyes sanctimoniously, "and he who ensnared my soul, thy miserable prisoner there, is now reaping the Lord's judgments therefor."

"I think it is not profitable," said the simple man, as he led the way out of the prison, "to cast up judgments at any one; we are all—as your worship has just suddenly and wofully experienced —we are all liable to falls in this slippery world; and I have always thought it a more prudent and Christian part, to lend a helping hand to a fallen brother, than to stand by, and laugh at him, or flout him."

Sir Philip hurried away; every virtuous sentiment fell on his ear like a rebuke. Even in an involuntary comparison of himself with the simple jailer, he felt that genuine goodness, dimmed and sullied though it may be by ignorance and fanaticism, like a good dull guinea, rings true at every trial; while hypocrisy, though it show aface fair and bright, yet, like a new false coin, betrays at every scratch the base metal.

Perhaps no culprit ever turned his back on a jail with a more thorough conviction that he deserved there to be incarcerated, than did Sir Philip. Detection in guilt is said marvellously to enlighten men's consciences: there may be a kindred virtue in disappointment in guilty projects. The knight had become impatient of his tedious masquerade. He was at first diverted with a new, and, as it seemed to him, a fantastical state of society; and amused at the success with which he played his assumed character. He soon became passionately enamoured of Hope Leslie, and pursued her with a determined, unwavering resolution, that, vacillating as he had always been, astonished himself. In the eagerness of the chase, he underrated the obstacles that opposed him, and above all, the insuperable obstacle, the manifest indifference of the young lady; which his vanity (must we add, his experience) led him to believe was affectation, whim, or accident—any or all of these might be successfully opposed and overcome. He had tried to probe her feelings in relation to Everell, and though he was puzzled by the result, and knew not what it meant, he trusted it did not mean love. But if it did, what girl of Hope Leslie's spirit, he asked himself, would remain attached to a drivelling fellow, who, from complaisance to the wishes of prosing old men, had preferred to her such a statue of formalityand puritanism as Esther Downing? and Everell removed, Sir Philip feared no other competitor; for he counted for nothing those gentlemen who might aspire to Miss Leslie's hand, but whose strict obedience to the canons of puritanism left them, as he thought, few of the qualities that were likely to interest a romantic imagination. For himself, determined not to jeopard his success by wearing his sanctimonious mask to Hope, he played the magician with two faces, and to her he was the gay and gallant chevalier; his formality, his preciseness, and every badge and insignia of the puritan school, were dropped, and he talked of love and poetry like any carpet knight of those days, or drawing-room lover of our own. But this was a dangerous game to play, and must not be protracted. Some untoward accident might awaken the guardians of the colony from their credulous confidence; and to this danger his wayward page continually exposed him.

As our readers are already acquainted with the real character of this unhappy victim of Sir Philip's profligacy, it only remains to give the few untold circumstances of her brief history. She was the natural child of an English nobleman. Her mother was a distinguished French actress, who, dying soon after her birth, committed the child to some charitable sisters of the order of St. Joseph. Her father on his death bed, seized with pangs of remorse, exacted a promise from his sister, the Lady Lunford, that she would receivethe orphan under her protection. The lady performed the promise à la lettre, and no more. She withdrew the unfortunate Rosa from her safe asylum, but she kept from her, and from all the world, the secret of their relationship, and made the dependence and desolateness of the poor orphan, a broad foundation for her own tyranny. Lady Lunford was a woman of the world—a waning; Rosa, a ripening beauty. Her house was the resort of men of fashion. Sir Philip paid his devotions there ostensibly to the noble mistress, but really to the young creature, whose melting eyes, naiveté, and strong and irrepressible feelings, enchanted him. Probably Lady Lunford found the presence of the young beauty inconvenient. She certainly never threw any obstacle in Sir Philip's way; indeed, he afterwards cruelly boasted to Rosa, that her patroness had persuaded him to receive her; but this was long after; for many months he treated her with the fondest devotion; and she, poor credulous child, was first awakened from dreams of love and happiness by pangs of jealousy.

From her own confessions, Sir Philip learned how far she had divulged her sorrows to Hope Leslie; and from that moment, he meditated some mode of secretly and suddenly ridding himself of her; and finally, determined on the project which, as we have seen, was wofully defeated; and he was compelled to retreat from Magawisca's prison, with the tormenting apprehension that he might himself fall into the pit he had digged.

Let those who have yet to learn in what happiness consists, and its actual independence of external circumstances, turn from the gifted and accomplished man of the world, to the Indian prisoner; from the baffled tempter, to the victorious tempted. Magawisca could scarcely have been made happier if Everell had achieved her freedom, than she was by the certain knowledge of his interposition for her. The sting of his supposed ingratitude had been her sharpest sorrow. Her affection for Everell Fletcher had the tenderness, the confidence, the sensitiveness of woman's love; but it had nothing of the selfishness, the expectation, or the earthliness of that passion. She had done and suffered much for him, and she felt that his worth must be the sole requital for her sufferings. She felt too, that she had received much from him. He had opened the book of knowledge to her—had given subjects to her contemplative mind, beyond the mere perceptions of her senses; had in some measure dissipated the clouds of ignorance that hung over the forest-child, and given her glimpses of the past and the distant; but above all, he had gratified her strong national pride, by admitting the natural equality of all the children of the Great Spirit; and by allowing that it was the knowledge of the Englishman—an accidental superiority that forced from the uninstructed Indian the exclamation, "Manittoo!—Manittoo!"—he is a God.

CHAPTER VIII.

—"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 betweenher 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 twodays, 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 wedo 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 tears."

"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,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 fashion."

"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, "insteadof 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 off."

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 herto 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 again."

"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 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,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 up."

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;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, onEverell. 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 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?"

"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 amoment, the idol worship of that darkened papistical youth."

"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 embodiedin 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 reluctantly.

"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 done?"

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 away.

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 kindof 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 hands."

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?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 plea?"

"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, andtell me of these merits and rights, for I would be possessed of every thing in favour of this unhappy maiden."

"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,"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 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."

"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 withoutspeaking. 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."

"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 question.

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 consequences.

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

"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 you."

"Methinks that prohibition was as useless as cruel."

"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 hadany 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 Magawisca."

"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 leftthe 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 manÅ“uvrings 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 didthis 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.

CHAPTER IX.

"What trick, what device, what starting hole canst thou now find out, to hide thee from this open and apparent shame?"

     — Henry IVth.

The day appointed for Magawisca's trial, arose on Boston one of the brightest and most beautiful of summer. There are moments of deep dejection and gloom in every one's experience, when the eye closes against the beauty of light, when the silence of all those great powers that surround us, presses on the soul like the indifference of a friend, and when their evolving glories overpower the wearied spirit, as the splendours of the sun offend the sick eye. In this diseased state of mind, Everell wandered about Boston, till the ringing of the bell, the appointed signal, gave notice that the court was about to open for the trial of the Indian prisoner. He then turned his footsteps towards the house where the sittings of the magistrates were held; and on reaching it, he found a crowd had already assembled in the room assigned for the trial.

At one extremity of the apartment was a platform of two or three feet elevation, on which sat the deputies and magistrates, who constituted thecourt; and those elders who had, as was customary on similar occasions, been invited to be present as advisory counsel. The New-England people have always evinced a fondnesss for asking advice, which may, perhaps, be explained by the freedom with which it is rejected. A few seats were provided for those who might have claims to be selected from the ordinary spectators; two of these were occupied by the elder Fletcher, and Sir Philip Gardiner. Everell remained amidst the multitude unnoticed and unnoticing; his eye roving about in that vague and inexpressive manner that indicates the mind holds no communion with external objects, till he was roused by a buz of "there she comes!" and a call of "make room for the prisoner." A lane was opened, and Magawisca appeared, preceded and followed by a constable. A man of middle age walked beside her, whose deep set and thoughtful eye, pale brow, ascetic complexion, and spare person, indicated a life of self-denial, and of physical and mental labour; while an expression of love, compassion, and benevolence, seemed like the seal of his Creator affixed to declare him a minister of mercy to His creatures. Everell was struck with the aspect and position of the stranger, and inquired of the person standing next to him, "who he was?"

The man turned on him a look of astonishment which expressed, "who are you that ask so strange a question?" and replied,—"That gentleman, sir, is the 'apostle of New-England,' though it much offendeth his modesty to be so called."

'God be praised!' thought Everell. 'Eliot, (for he was familiar with the title, though not with the person of that excellent man) my father's friend! this augurs well for Magawisca."

"I marvel," continued his informant, "that Mr. Eliot should, in a manner, lend his countenance to this Jezabel. See, with what an air she comes among her betters, as if she were queen of us all."

There was certainly nothing of the culprit, or suitor in the aspect of Magawisca: neither guilt, nor fearfulness, nor submission. Her eyes were downcast, but with the modesty of her sex—her erect attitude, her free and lofty tread, and the perfect composure of her countenance, all expressed the courage and dignity of her soul. Her national pride was manifest in the care with which, after rejecting with disdain the Governor's offer of an English dress, she had attired herself in the peculiar costume of her people. Her collar— bracelet—girdle—embroidered moccasins, and purple mantle with its rich border of bead-work, had been laid aside in prison, but were now all resumed and displayed with a feeling resembling Nelson's, when he emblazoned himself with stars and orders to appear before his enemies, on the fatal day of his last battle.

The constable led her to the prisoner's bar. There was a slight convulsion of her face perceptible as she entered it, and when her attendant signed to her to seat herself, she shook her head and remained standing. Everell moved by an irresistible impulse, forced his way through the crowd, and placed himself beside her. Neither spoke—but the sudden flush of a sun-beam on the October leaf is not more bright nor beautiful than the colour that overspread Magawisca's olive cheek. This speaking suffusion and the tear that trembled on her eye-lids, but no other sign, expressed her consciousness of his presence. The Magistrates looked at Everell, and whispered together, but they appeared to come to the conclusion that this expression of his feeling was natural and harmless, and it was suffered to pass unreproved.

The Governor, as chief Magistrate, now rose and requested Mr. Eliot to supplicate divine assistance in the matter they were about to enter on. The good man accordingly performed the duty with earnestness and particularity. He first set forth the wonder-working providence of God in making their enemies to be at peace with them. He recounted in the narrative style, then much used in public devotions, the various occasions on which they had found their fears of the savages groundless, and their alarms unfounded. He touched on divers instances of 'kindness and neighbourlike conduct that had been shown themby the poor heathen people, who having no law, were a law unto themselves. He intimated that the Lord's chosen people had not now, as of old, been selected to exterminate the heathen, but to enlarge the bounds of God's heritage, and to convert these strangers and aliens, to servants and children of the most High! He alluded to the well known and signal mercies received from the mother of the prisoner, and to that valiant act of the prisoner herself, whereby she did redeem from death, and captivity worse than death, the child— the only child, of a sorely bereaved man. He hinted at the authorities for the merciful requital of these deeds in the promises of the spies of Joshua to the heathen woman of Jericho, that when the Lord had given them the land, they would deal truly with her, and show kindness to her, and to her father's house; and in the case of David's generosity to Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, wherein he passed by the evil that Saul had done him, and only remembered the favours of Jonathan. He alluded to the ruined chief, the old father, on whom 'the executed wrath of God had fallen so heavily, that, as divers testified, the light of reason was quite put out, and he was left to wander up and down among the tribes, counselling revenges to which none listened.' And finally, he dwelt on 'the gospel spirit of forgiveness as eminently becoming those who, being set on a hill in the wilderness, were to show their light to the surroundingnations," and concluded with the prayer that on this occasion, justice and mercy might be made publicly to kiss each other.

When he had done, all eyes turned again on Magawisca, and many who had regarded her with scorn, or at best, idle curiosity, now looked at her with softened hearts, and moistened eyes. Not so Sir Philip, who had his own reasons for being apprehensive of any advance Magawisca might make in the favour of her Judges. He whispered to a Magistrate near whom he sat, "is it not a singular procedure thus to convert a prayer into an ex parte statement of the case?"

"Very singular," replied the good man, with an ominous shake of the head, "but brother Eliot hath an overweening kindness towards the barbarians. We shall set all right," he added with one of those sagacious nods, so expressive of soi-disant infallibility. The Governor now proceeded to give an outline of the charges against Magawisca, and the testimony that would be adduced to support them. He suppressed nothing, but gave a colour to the whole, which plainly indicated his own favourable dispositions, and Everell felt lightened of half his fears. Sir Philip was then requested to relate the circumstances that had, through his instrumentality, led to the taking of the prisoner, and so much of the conversation he had heard between her and Miss Leslie, as might serve to elucidate the testimony of the Indian, who had pretended, by his information, to reveal a direful conspiracy. Sir Philip rose, and Magawisca, for the first time, raised her eyes, and fixed them on him; his met hers, and he quailed before her glance. As if to test the power of conscience still further, at this critical moment, his unhappy page, poor Rosa, pressed through the crowd, and giving Sir Philip a packet of letters just arrived from England, she seated herself on the steps of the platform, near where the knight stood.

Sir Philip threw the packet on the table before the Governor, and stood for a few moments silent, with his eyes downcast, in profound meditation. The trial was assuming an unexpected and startling aspect. Sir Philip now feared he had counted too far on the popular prejudices, which he knew were arrayed against Magawisca, as one of the diabolical race of the Pequods. He perceived that all the weight of Eliot's influence would be thrown into the prisoner's scale, and that the Governor was disposed, not only to an impartial, but to a merciful investigation of her case.

Reposing confidently on the extraordinary favour that had been manifested towards him by the magistrates, he had felt certain of being able to prevent Magawisca's disclosure of their interview in the prison, or to avert any evil consequence to himself, by giving it the air of a malignant contrivance, to be expected from a vengeful savage, against one who had been the providentialinstrument of her detection. But he now felt that this might be a difficult task.

He had at first, as has been seen, enlisted against Magawisca, not from any malignant feeling towards her, but merely to advance his own private interests. In the progress of the affair, his fate had, by his own act, become singularly involved with hers. Should she be acquitted, he might be impeached; perhaps exposed and condemned by her testimony. Alliances like his with Rosa, were by the laws of the colony, punished by severe penalties. These would be aggravated by the discovery of his imposture. At once perceiving all his danger, he mentally cursed the fool-hardiness with which he had rushed, unnecessarily and unwittingly, to the brink of a precipice.

He had observed Magawisca's scrutinizing eye turn quickly from him to Rosa, and he was sure from her intelligent glances, that she had at once come to the conclusion, that this seeming page was the subject of their prison interview. Rosa herself appeared to his alarmed imagination, to be sent by heaven as a witness against him. How was he to escape the dangers that encompassed him? He had no time to deliberate on the most prudent course to be pursued. The most obvious was to inflame the prejudices of Magawisca's judges, and by anticipation to discredit her testimony; and quick of invention, and unembarrassed by the instincts of humanity, he proceeded, afterfaithfully relating the conversation in the churchyard, between the prisoner and Miss Leslie, to detail the following gratuitous particulars.

He said, 'that after conducting Miss Leslie to the Governor's door, he had immediately returned to his own lodgings, and that induced by the still raging storm to make his walk as short as possible, he took a cross-cut through the burial ground; that on coming near the upper extremity of the enclosure, he fancied he heard a human voice mingling with the din of the storm; that he paused, and directly a flash of lightning discovered Magawisca kneeling on the bare wet earth, making those monstrous and violent contortions, which all who heard him, well knew characterized the devil-worship of the powwows; he would not— he ought not repeat to christian ears, her invocations to the Evil-one to aid her in the execution of her revenge on the English; nor would he, more particularly describe her diabolical writhings and beatings of her person. His brethren might easily imagine his emotions at witnessing them by the sulphureous gleams of lightning, on which, doubtless, her prayers were sped.'

Sir Philip had gained confidence as he proceeded in his testimony, for he perceived by the fearful and angry glances that were cast on the prisoner, that his tale was credited by many of his audience, and he hoped by all.

The notion that the Indians were the children of the devil, was not confined to the vulgar; andthe belief in a familiar intercourse with evil spirits, now rejected by all but the most ignorant and credulous, was then universally received.

All had, therefore, listened in respectful silence to Sir Philip's extraordinary testimony, and it was too evident that it had the effect, to set the current of feeling and opinion against the prisoner. Her few friends looked despondent; but for herself, true to the spirit of her race, she manifested no surprise, nor emotion of any kind.

The audience listened eagerly to the magistrate, who read from his note-book, the particulars which had been received from the Indian informer, and which served to corroborate and illustrate Sir Philip's testimony. All the evidence being now before the court, the Governor asked Magawisca, "if she had aught to allege in her own defence."

"Speak humbly maiden," whispered Mr. Eliot, "it will grace thy cause with thy judges."

"Say," said Everell, "that you are a stranger to our laws and usages, and demand some one to speak for you."

Magawisca bowed her head to both advisers, in token of acknowledgment of their interest, and then raising her eyes to her judges, she said, —"I am your prisoner, and ye may slay me, but I deny your right to judge me. My people have never passed under your yoke—not one of my race has ever acknowledged your authority."

"This excuse will not suffice thee," answered one of her judges: "thy pride is like the image of Nebuchadnezar's dream—it standeth on feet of clay—thy race have been swift witnesses to that sure word of prophecy. 'Fear thou not, O Jacob, my servant, for I am with thee, and I will make a full end of the people whither I have driven thee'—thy people truly—where are they?"

"My people! where are they?" she replied, raising her eyes to heaven, and speaking in a voice that sounded like deep-toned music, after the harsh tones addressed to her,—"my people are gone to the isles of the sweet south-west; to those shores that the bark of an enemy can never touch: think ye I fear to follow them?"

There was a momentary silence throughout the assembly; all seemed, for an instant, to feel that no human power could touch the spirit of the captive. Sir Philip whispered to the magistrate who last spoke,—"Is it not awful presumption for this woman thus publicly to glory in her heathen notions?"

The knight's prompting had the intended effect. "Has this Pequod woman," demanded the magistrate, "never been instructed in the principles of truth, that she dares thus to hold forth her heathenisms before us? Dost thou not know, woman," he continued, holding up a Bible, "that this book contains the only revelation of a future world—the only rule for the present life?"

"Certainly—require the oath of him," whispered Everell to Magawisca.

Magawisca bowed her assent to the Governor.

Sir Philip would not probably have been so prompt in his false testimony, if he had anticipated being put on his oath; for he was far enough from having one of those religious consciences that regard truth as so sacred that no ceremonies can add to its authority. But now, his word being questioned, it became necessary for him to recede from it, or to maintain it in the usual legal form; and, without hesitating, he advanced to the table, raised his hand, and went through the customary form of the oath. The collectedness and perfect equanimity of Magawisca, to this moment, had seemed to approach to indifference to her fate; but the persevering falsehood of Sir Philip, and the implicit faith in which it was apparently received, now roused her spirit, and stimulated that principle of retaliation, deeply planted in the nature of every human being, and rendered a virtue by savage education. She took a crucifix from her bosom—Everell whispered, "I pray thee hide that, Magawisca, it will ruin thy cause." Magawisca shook her head, and held up the crucifix.

"Put down that idolatrous sign," said the Governor.

"She hath, doubtless, fallen under popish enchantments," whispered one of the deputies; "the French priests have spread their nets throughout the western forests."

Magawisca, without heeding the Governor's command, or observing the stares of astonishment that her seeming hardihood drew upon her, addressed herself to Sir Philip: "This crucifix," she said, "thou didst drop in my prison. If, as thou saidst, it is a charmed figure, that hath power to keep thee in the straight path of truth, then press it to thy lips now, as thou didst then, and take back the false words thou hast spoken against me."

"What doth she mean?" asked the Governor, turning to Sir Philip.

"I know not," replied the knight, his reddening face and embarrassed utterance indicating he knew that which he dared not confess—"I know not; but I should marvel if this heathen savage were permitted, with impunity, to insult me in your open court. I call upon the honourable magistrates and deputies," he continued, with a more assured air, "to impose silence on this woman, lest her uttered malignities should, in the minds of the good people here assembled, bring scandal upon one whose humble claims to fellowship with you, you have yourselves sanctioned."

The court were for a moment silent: every eye was turned towards Magawisca, in the hope that she would be suffered to make an explanation; and the motions of curiosity coinciding with the dictates of justice, in the bosoms of the sage judges themselves, were very like to counteractthe favour any of them might have felt for Sir Philip. Everell rose to appeal to the court to permit Magawisca to invalidate, as far as she was able, the testimony against her, but Mr. Eliot laid his hand on his arm, and withheld him. "Stay, my young friend," he whispered, "I may speak more acceptably." Then, addressing the court, he 'prayed the prisoner might be allowed liberty to speak freely, alleging that it was for the wisdom of her judges to determine what weight was to be attached to her testimony;' and glancing his eye at Sir Philip, he added, "the upright need not fear the light of truth."

Sir Philip again remonstrated; he asked 'why the prisoner should be permitted further to offend the consciences of the godly? Surely,' he said, 'none of her judges would enforce her demand; surely, having just sworn before them in the prescribed form, they would not require him to repeat his oath on that symbol of popish faith, that had been just styled an idolatrous sign.'

"This, I think, brother Eliot, is not what thou wouldst ask?" said Governor Winthrop.

"Nay, God forbid that I should bring such scandal upon our land. It is true, I have known many misguided sons of the Romish church who would swear freely on the holy word, what they dared not verify on the crucifix; which abundantly showeth that superstition is with such, stronger than faith. But we, I think, have no warrant for using such a test—neither do we need it. The prisoner hath asserted that this symbol belongethto Sir Philip Gardiner, and that he did use it to fortify his word; if so, the credit of his present testimony would be mainly altered; and it seemeth to me but just, that the prisoner should not only be allowed, but required, to state in full that to which she hath but alluded."

A whispered consultation of the magistrates followed this proposition, during which Sir Philip seemed virtually to have changed places with the prisoner, and appeared as agitated as if he were on the verge of condemnation: his brow was knit, his lips compressed, and his eye, whose movement seemed beyond his control, flashed from the bench of magistrates to Magawisca, and then fixed on Rosa, as if he would fain have put annihilation in its glance. This unhappy girl still sat where she had first seated herself; she had taken off her hat, laid it on her lap, and rested her face upon it.

There was a vehement remonstrance, from some of the members of the court, against permitting the prisoner to criminate one who had shown himself well and zealously affected towards them. And it was urged, with some plausibility, that the hints she had received of the advantage to be gained by disqualifying Sir Philip, would tempt her to contrive some crafty tale that might do him a wrong, which they could not repair. The Governor answered this argument by suggesting that they, being forewarned, were forearmed, and might certainly rely on their own sagacity to detectany imposture. Of course, no individual was forward to deny, for himself, such an allegation, and the Governor proceeded to request Magawisca to state the circumstances to which she alluded as having transpired in the prison. Magawisca now, for the first time, appeared to hesitate, to deliberate, and to feel embarrassed.

"Why dost thou falter, woman?" demanded one of her judges; "no time shall be allowed now to contrive a false testimony—proceed— speak quickly."

"Fear not to speak, Magawisca," whispered Everell.

"I do fear to speak," she replied aloud; "but it is such fear as he hath, who, seeing the prey in the eagle's talons, is loath to hurl his arrow, lest, perchance, it should wound the innocent victim."

"Speak not in parables, Magawisca," said Governor Winthrop, "but let us have thy meaning plainly.

"Then," replied Magawisca, "let me first crave of thy mercy, that that poor youth, (pointing to Rosa,) withdraw from this presence."

All eyes were now directed to Rosa, who, herself, conscious that she had become the object of attention, raised her head, threw back the rich feminine curls that drooped over her face, and looked wildly around her. On every side her eye encountered glances of curiosity and suspicion; her colour deepened, her lips quivered, and, likea bewildered, terrified child, that instinctively flies to its mother's side, she sprang up the steps, grasped Sir Philip's cloak, as if she would have hidden herself in its folds, and sunk down at his feet. Sir Philip's passions had risen to an uncontrollable pitch; "Off boy," he cried, spurning her with his foot. A murmur of "shame! cruelty!" ran through the house. The unhappy girl rose to her feet, pressed both her hands on her forehead, stared vacantly about, as if her reason were annihilated, then darting forward, she penetrated through the crowd, and disappeared.

There were few persons present so dull as not to have solved Magawisca's parable, at the instant the clue was given by Rosa's involuntary movements. Still, all they had discovered was, that the page was a disguised girl; and a hope darted on Sir Philip, in the midst of his overwhelming confusion, that if he could gain time, he might escape the dangers that menaced him. He rose, and, with an effrontery that, with some, passed for the innocence he would fain have counterfeited, said, 'that circumstances had just transpired in that honourable presence, which, no doubt, seemed mysterious; that he could not then explain them without uselessly exposing the unhappy; for the same reson, namely, to avoid unnecessary suffering, he begged that no interrogatories might, at the present time, be put to the prisoner, in relation to the hints she had thrown out; that if the Governor would vouchsafe him a private interview, he would, on the sure word of a Christian man, clear up whatever suspicions had been excited by the dark intimations of the prisoner, and the very singular conduct of his page.'

The Governor replied, with a severe gravity, ominous to the knight, 'that the circumstances he had alluded to certainly required explanation; if that should not prove satisfactory, they would demand a public investigation. In the mean time, he should suspend the trial of the prisoner, who, though the decision of her case might not wholly depend on the establishment of Sir Philip's testimony, was yet, at present, materially affected by it.'

'He expressed a deep regret at the interruption that had occurred, as it must lead,' he said, 'to the suspension of the justice to be manifested either in the acquittal or condemnation of the prisoner. Some of the magistrates being called away from town on the next morning, he found himself compelled to adjourn the sitting of the court till one month from the present date.'

"Then," said Magawisca, for the first time speaking, with a tone of impatience, "then, I pray you, send me to death now. Any thing is better than wearing through another moon in my prison-house, thinking," she added, and cast down her eye-lids, heavy with tears, "thinking of that old man—my father. I pray thee," she continued, bending low her head, "I pray thee now to set my spirit free. Wait not for his testimony"—she pointed to Sir Philip—"as well may ye expect the green herb to spring up in your trodden streets, as the breath of truth to come from his false lips. Do you wait for him to prove that I am your enemy? Take my own word, I am your enemy; the sun-beam and the shadow cannot mingle. The white man cometh—the Indian vanisheth. Can we grasp in friendship the hand raised to strike us? Nay—and it matters not whether we fall by the tempest that lays the forest low, or are cut down alone, by the stroke of the axe. I would have thanked you for life and liberty; for Mononotto's sake I would have thanked you; but if ye send me back to that dungeon—the grave of the living, feeling, thinking soul, where the sun never shineth, where the stars never rise nor set, where the free breath of heaven never enters, where all is darkness without and within"—she pressed her hand on her breast —"ye will even now condemn me to death, but death more slow and terrible than your most suffering captive ever endured from Indian fires and knives." She paused—passed unresisted without the little railing that encompassed her, mounted the steps of the platform, and advancing to the feet of the Governor, threw back her mantle, and knelt before him. Her mutilated person, unveiled by this action, appealed to the senses of the spectators. Everell involuntarily closed his eyes, and uttered a cry of agony, lost indeed in themurmurs of the crowd. She spoke, and all again were as hushed as death. "Thou didst promise," she said, addressing herself to Governor Winthrop, "to my dying mother, thou didst promise, kindness to her children. In her name, I demand of thee death or liberty."

Everell sprang forward, and clasping his hands exclaimed, "In the name of God, liberty!"

The feeling was contagious, and every voice, save her judges, shouted "liberty!—liberty! grant the prisoner liberty!"

The Governor rose, waved his hand to command silence, and would have spoken, but his voice failed him; his heart was touched with the general emotion, and he was fain to turn away to hide tears more becoming to the man, than the magistrate.

The same gentleman who, throughout the trial, had been most forward to speak, now rose; a man of metal to resist any fire. "Are ye all fools, and mad!" he cried; "ye that are gathered here together, that like the men of old, ye shout 'great is Diana of the Ephesians!' For whom would you stop the course of justice? for one who is charged before you, with having visited every tribe on the shores and in the forests, to quicken the savages to diabolical revenge!—for one who flouts the faith once delivered to the saints, to your very faces!—for one who hath entered into an open league and confederacy with Satan against you!—for one who, as ye have testimony within yourselves, in that her looks and words do so prevail over your judgments, is presently aided and abetted by the arch enemy of mankind!—I call upon you, my brethren," he added, turning to his associates, "and most especially on you, Governor Winthrop, to put a sudden end to this confusion by the formal adjournment of our court."

The Governor bowed his assent. "Rise, Magawisca," he said, in a voice of gentle authority, "I may not grant thy prayer; but what I can do in remembrance of my solemn promise to thy dying mother, without leaving undone higher duty, I will do."

"And what mortal can do, I will do," said Everell, whispering the words into Magawisca's ear as she rose. The cloud of despondency that had settled over her fine face, for an instant vanished, and she said aloud,—"Everell Fletcher, my dungeon will not be, as I said, quite dark, for thither I bear the memory of thy kindness."

Some of the magistrates seemed to regard this slight interchange of expressions between the prisoner and her champion as indecorous: the constables were ordered immediately to perform their duty, by re-conducting their prisoner to jail; and Magawisca was led out, leaving in the breasts of a great majority of the audience, a strange contrariety of opinion and feelings. Their reason, guided by the best lights they possessed, decidingagainst her—the voice of nature crying out for her.

Before the parties separated, the Governor arranged a private interview with Sir Philip Gardiner, to take place at his own house immediate-after dinner.

CHAPTER X.

"Ye're like to the timmer o' yon rotten wood,
Ye're like to the bark o' yon rotten tree,
Ye'll slip frae me like a knotless thread,
And ye'll crack your credit wi' mae nor me."
     — Burns

At the period of our history, twelve o'clock was the hour appointed for dinner: we believe in the mother country—certainly in the colony then, as now, every where in the interior of our states, this natural division of time was maintained. Our magistrates did not then claim any exemption from the strict rules of simplicity and frugality that were imposed on the humble citizens, and Governor Winthrop's meridian meal, though it might have been somewhat superior in other luxuries, had no more of the luxury of time bestowed on it, than that of the honest artisans and tradesmen about him.

In order to explain what follows, it is necessary to state to our readers, that adjoining the parlour of Governor Winthrop's mansion, was that sine qua non of all thrifty housekeepers, an ample pantry. In the door of this pantry, was a glazed panel, over the parlour side of which, hung a green curtain. The glass, as glasses will, hadbeen broken, and not yet repaired; and let house-wives take the admonition if they like, on this slight accident depended life and death.

The pantry beside the door already described, had another which communicated with the kitchen; through this, Jennet, (who in housewife skill resembled the "neat-handed Phillis" of poetic fame, though, in other respects, prosaic enough) had entered to perform within the sanctum certain confidential services for Madam Winthrop.

It now drew near the hour of two, the time appointed for the interview of the Governor with Sir Philip; the dinner was over, the table removed, and all orderly and quiet in the parlour, when Jennet, in her retreat, heard Miss Leslie and Mr. Everell Fletcher enter, and though the weather was warm, close the door after them. A slight hint is sufficient for the wary and wise, and Jennet, on hearing the door shut, forbore to make any noise, which should apprise the parties of her proximity.

The young people, as if fearful of being overheard without, withdrew to the furthest extremity from the entry door, and came into the corner adjoining the pantry. They spoke, though in low tones, yet in the most earnest and animated manner; and Jennet, tempted beyond what she was able to bear, drew nigh to the door with a cat's tread, and applied her ear to the aperture, where the sounds were only slightly obstructed by the silk curtain.

While speakers and listener stood in this interesting relation to each other, Sir Philip Gardiner was approaching the mansion, his bad mind filled with projects, hopes, and fears. He had, after much painful study, framed the following story, which he hoped to impose on the credulity of the Governor, and through him, of the public. His sole care was to avoid present investigation and detection; like all who navigate winding channels, he regarded only the difficulties directly before him.

He meant that, in the first place, by way of a coup de grace, the Governor should understand he had intentionally acquiesced in the discovery of Rosa's disguise. He would then, as honest Varney did, confess there had been some love-passages between the girl and himself, in the days of his folly. He would state, that subsequent to his conversion, he had placed her in a godly school in England, and that to his utter confusion, he had discovered after he had sailed from London, that she had, in the disguise she still wore, secreted herself on board the ship. He had, perhaps, felt too much indulgence for the girl's youth, and unconquerable affection for him; but he should hope that was not an unpardonable sin. He had been restrained from divulging her real character on ship-board, from his reluctance to expose her youth to result, or further temptation. On his arrival, he war conscious it was a manifest duty, to have delivered her over to the public authorities, but pity—pity still had ruled him. He scrupled—perhaps that was a temptation of the enemy who knew well to assail the weakest points; he scrupled to give over to public shame one, of whose transgressions he had been the cause. Besides, she had been bred in France a papist; and he had hoped—trusting, perhaps, too much in his own strength—that he might convert her from the error of her ways; snatch the brand from the burning; he had indeed felt a fatherly tenderness for her, and weakly indulging that sentiment, he had still, when he found her obstinately persisting in her errors, devised a plan to shelter her from public punishment; and in pursuance of it, he had taken advantage of the opportunity afforded him by his visit to Thomas Morton, to propose to Magawisca, that in case she should obtain her liberty from the clemency of her judges, she should undertake to convey Rosa to a convent in Montreal, of the order to which she had been in her childhood attached.

He meant to plead guilty, as he thought he could well afford to do, if he was exculpated on the other points, to all the sin of acquiescence in Rosa's devotion to an unholy and proscribed religion; and to the crucifix Magawisca had produced, and which he feared would prove a "confirmation strong," to any jealousies the Governor might still harbour against him, he meant to answer, that he had taken it from Rosa to explainto Magawisca that she was of the Romish religion.

With this plausible tale, not the best that could have been devised, perhaps, by one accustomed to all the sinuosities of the human mind and human affairs, but the best that Sir Philip could frame in his present perplexity, he bent his steps towards the Governor's, a little anticipating the appointed hour, in the hope of obtaining a glimpse of Miss Leslie, whom he had not seen since their last interview at the island; and who was still the bright cynosure by which, through all the dangers that beset him, he trusted to guide himself to a joyous destiny.

Never was he more unwelcome to her sight, than when he opened the parlour door, and interrupted the deeply interesting conversation in which we left her engaged. She coldly bowed without speaking, and left him, without making any apology, in the midst of his flattering compliments on the recovery of her health.

Sir Philip and Everell were much on the terms of two unfriendly dogs, who are, by some coercion, kept from doing battle, but who never meet without low growls and sullen looks, that intimate their deadly enmity. Everell paced the room twice or thrice, then snatched up his hat, left the house, and sauntered up the street.

No sooner had he disappeared, than Jennet emerged from her seclusion, her hands uplifted, and her eyes upturned—"Oh, Sir Philip! SirPhilip!" she said, as soon as she could get her voice, a delay never long with Jennet—"truly is the heart deceitful—and the lips too. Oh! who would have thought it?—such a daring, presumptuous, and secret sin, too! Where is the Governor? he must know it. But first, Sir Philip, I will tell you—that will do—as you and the Governor are one in counsel."

'Heaven grant we may be so,' thought Sir Philip, and he closed the door, and turned to Jennet, eager to hear her communication; for her earnestness, and still more the source whence the intelligence emanated, excited his curiosity.

Jennet drew very close to him, and communicated her secret in a whisper.

At first, the listener's face did not indicate any particular emotion, but merely that courteous attention that a sagacious man would naturally lend to intelligence which the relator deemed of vital importance. Suddenly a light seemed to flash across him; he started away from Jennet, stood still for a moment, with a look of intense thought, then turning to his informer, he said, "Mrs. Jennet, I think we had best, for to-day, confine within our own bosoms the knowledge of this secret. As you say, Mr. Everell's is a presumptuous sin; but it will not be punished unless it proceeds to the overt act."

"Overt act! what kind of act is that?" inquired Jennet.

Sir Philip explained, and Jennet soon comprehended the difference, in its consequences to the offender, between a meditated, and an executed crime. Jennet hesitated for a few moments; she had a sort of attachment to the family she had long served, much like that of an old cat for its accustomed haunts, but towards Everell she had a feeling of unqualified hostility. From his boyhood, he had been rebellious against her petty domiciliary tyranny, and had never manifested the slighest deference for her canting pretensions. Still she was loath in any way to be accessory to an act that would involve the family, with which she was herself identified, in any disgrace or distress. Sir Philip divined the cause of her hesitation, and, impatient for her decision, he essayed to resolve her doubts: "Of course, Mrs. Jennet," he said, "you are aware that any penalty Mr. Everell Fletcher would incur, will not be of a nature to touch life or limb."

"Ay—that's what I wanted to know; and that being the case, it appears to me plain duty to let him bake as he has brewed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, Sir Philip; and this may prove a timely rebuke to his youth, and to this quicksilver, fear-nought, Hope Leslie. But you will take care to have your hand come in in time, for if there should be any miss in the matter, it would prove a heavy weight to our consciences."

"Oh certainly, certainly," said Sir Philip, with undisguised exultation, "I shall, you know, commandthe springs, and can touch them at pleasure. Now, Mrs. Jennet, will you favour me with pen and ink; and do me still another favour"— and he took a guinea from his purse—' expend this trifle in some book for your private edification; I hear much of a famous one just brought from England, entitled, 'Food for saints, and Fire for sinners.' "

"Many thanks, Sir Philip," replied Jennet, graciously accepting the gift; "such savory treatises are as much wanted among us just now, as rain upon the parched earth: it's but a sickly and a moral time with us. You put me in mind, Sir Philip," she continued, while she was collecting the writing materials, "you put me in mind of Mr. Everell's oversight; or, rather, I may say, of his making me a mark in that unhandsome way that I can never forget. When he came from England, there was not, save myself, one of the family—no, nor an old woman or child, in Springfield but what he had some keepsake for; not that I care for the value of the thing—as I told Digby, at his wedding, when he saluted every woman in the room but me. But, then, one does not like to be slighted."

Sir Philip, by this time, was fortunately bending over his paper, and Jennet did not perceive his smile at her jumble of selfish, and feminine resentments; and observing that he had at once become quite abstracted from her, she withdrew, half satisfied herself that she had acted conscientiouslyin her conspiracy against her young master, and quite sure that she should appear a pattern of wisdom and duty.

Sir Philip, mentally thanking heaven that he had not yet encountered Governor Winthrop, addressed a hasty note to him, saying that he had come to his house, true to his appointment, and impatient for the explanation, which, he might say without presumption, he was sure would remove the displeasure under which he (Sir Philip) was at this moment suffering; but that, in consequence of a sudden and severe indisposition, the effect of the distressful agitation of his feelings, he found himself obliged to return to his lodgings, and defer their interview till the next day; till then, he humbly hoped the Governor would suspend his judgment. He then directed the note, and left it on the table, and passed the threshold of the Winthrop mansion, as he believed, and hoped, for the last time.

CHAPTER XI.

"This murderous shaft that's shot,
Hath not yet lighted; and our safest way
Is to avoid the aim. Therefere to horse,
And let us not be dainty of leave-taking."
     — Macbeth

The Greeks and Romans had their lucky and unlucky days; and whatever name we give to the alternations of life, we believe that the experence of every family, and individual, will attest the clustering of joys or woes at marked periods. The day of Magawisca's trial was eventful, and long remembered in the annals of the Fletcher family. Indeed, every one in any way associated with them, seems to have participated in the influences of their ruling star. Each member of Governor Winthrop's household appeared to be moving in a world of his own, and to be utterly absorbed in his own projects and hopes.

Miss Downing was for a long time closeted with her uncle and aunt; then a great bustle ensued, and emissaries went to and fro, from Madam Winthrop's apartment; Madam Winthrop herself forgot her usual stateliness and dignified composure, and hurried from one apartment to another with quick footsteps and a disturbed countenance. The Governor was heard pacing up and down his study, in earnest conversation with the elder Fletcher. Everell had gone out, leaving directions with a servant to say to his father, or any one who should inquire for him, that he should not return till the next day. Hope Leslie resisted all her aunt's efforts to interest her in a string of pearls, which she intended for a wedding gift for Esther; "but," Mrs. Grafton said, wreathing them into Hope's hair, "her heart misgave her, they looked so much prettier peeping out from among Hope's wavy locks, than they would on Esther's sleek hair." The agitation of Hope's spirits was manifest, but (we grieve to unveil her infirmities) that, in her, excited no more attention than a change of weather in an April day. She read one moment—worked the next—and the next, was devoting herself with earnest affection to the amusement of her pining sister; then she would suddenly break off from her, and take a few turns in the garden: in short, confusion had suddenly intruded within the dominion of order, and usurped the government of all his subjects.

In the evening the surface of affairs, at least, bore a more tranquil aspect. The family all assembled in the parlour as usual, excepting Miss Leslie and Cradock, who had retired to the study, to look over a translation from the Italian, which Hope just recollected her tutor had never revised.

Faith Leslie sat on a cushion beside the door, in a state of vacancy and listlessness, into whichshe seemed to have hopelessly sunk, after the first violent emotions that succeeded her return. The ladies were plying their needles at the table: Miss Downing, pale as a statue, moved her hand mechanically, and Mrs. Grafton had just remarked, that she had seen her put her needle twelve times in the same place, when fortunately for her, any further notice of her abstraction was averted by a rap at the outer door, and a servant admitted a stranger who, without heeding a request that he would remain in the portico till the Governor should be summoned, advanced to the parlour door. He sent a keen scrutinizing glance around the room, and on every individual in it, and then fixing his eye on the Governor, he bent his head low, with an expression of deferential supplication.

His appearance was that of extreme wretchedness, and, as all who saw him thought, indicated a shipwrecked sailor. His face and figure were youthful, and his eye bright, but his skin was of a sickly ashen hue. He had on his head a sailor's woollen cap, drawn down to his eyes in part, as it seemed, to defend a wound he had received on his temple, and about which, and to the rim of his cap that covered it, there adhered clotted blood. His dress was an over-coat of coarse frieze cloth, much torn and weather beaten, and strapped around his waist with a leathern girdle; his throat was covered with a cotton handkerchief, knotted in sailor-fashion, and his legs and feet were bare.

To the Governor's inquiry of "who are you, friend?" and "what do you want?" he replied, in an unknown language, and with a low rapid enunciation. At the first sound of his voice, Faith Leslie sprang to her feet, but instantly sunk back again on the cushion, and apparently returned to her former abstraction.

Governor Winthrop eyed the stranger narrowly. "I think, brother Fletcher," he said, "this man has the Italian lineaments; perhaps, Master Cradock may understand his language, as he is well versed in all the dialects of the kingdoms of Italy. Robin," he added, "bid Master Cradock come hither."

"Master Cradock has gone out, sir, an please you, some minutes since, with Miss Leslie."

"Gone out—with Miss Leslie—whither?"

"I do not know, sir. The young lady bid me say she had gone to a friend's, and should not return till late. She begged Mrs. Jennet might be in waiting for her."

"This is somewhat unseasonable," said the Governor, looking at his watch; "it is now almost nine; but I believe," he added, in kind consideration of Mr. Fletcher's feelings, "we may trust your wild-wood bird; her flights are somewhat devious, but her instincts are safer than I once thought them."

"Trust her—yes, indeed," exclaimed Mrs. Grafton, catching the word that implied distrust. "But I wonder," she added, going to the window, and looking anxiously abroad, "that she should venture out this dark night, with nobody but that blind beetle of a Cradock to attend her; however, I suppose she is safe, if she but keep on the main land, as I think you say the wolves come no more over the neck."

"They certainly will not come any where within the bounds that our lamb is likely to stray," said Mr. Fletcher.

The Governor's care again recurred to the mendicant stranger, who now signified, by intelligible gestures, that he both wanted food and sleep. Every apartment in the Governor's house was occupied; but it was a rule with him, that admitted of no exception, that his shelter should never be denied to the wanderer, nor his charities to the poor; and, accordingly, after some consultation with the executive department of his domestic government, a flock-bed was ordered to be spread on the kitchen floor, and a meal provided, on which, we observe en passant, the stranger did extraordinary execution.

When the result of these charitable deliberations was signified to him, he expressed his gratitude by the most animated gestures, and, seeming involuntarily to recur to the natural organ of communication, he uttered, in his low and rapid manner, several sentences, which appeared, from the direction of his eye, and his repeated bows, to be addressed to his benefactor.

"Enough, enough," said the Governor, interpreting his words by a wave of his hand, which signified to the mendicant that he was to follow Robin to the kitchen. There we must leave him to achieve, in due time, an object involving most momentous consequences, while we follow on the trail of our heroine, whose excursive habits have so often compelled us to deviate from the straight line of narration.

Hope had retired to the study with Master Cradock, where she delighted her tutor with her seemingly profound attention to his criticisms on her Italian author. "You see, Miss Hope Leslie," he said, intent on illustrating a difficult passage, "the point here lies in this, that Orlando hesitates whether to go to the rescue of Beatrice."

"Ah, stop there, Master Cradock, you speak an admonition to me. You have yourself told me, the Romans believed that words spoken by those ignorant of their affairs, but applicable to them, were good or bad omens."

"True, true—you do honour your tutor beyond his deserts, in treasuring these little classical notices, that it hath been my rare privilege to plant in your mind. But how were my words an admonition to you, Miss Hope Leslie?"

"By reminding me of a duty to a friend who sadly needs my help—and thine too, my good tutor."

"My help!—your friend! It shall be as freelygranted as Jonathan's was to David, or Orpheus' to Eurydice."

"The task to be done," said Hope, while she could not forbear laughing at Cradock's comparing himself to the master of music, "is not very unlike that of Orpheus." But we have no time to lose—put on your cloak, Master Cradock, while I tell Robin what to say if we are inquired for."

"My cloak! you forget we are in the summer solstice; and the evening is somewhat over sultry, so that even now, with my common habiliments, I am in a drip."

"So much the more need to guard against the evening air," said Hope, who had her own secret and urgent reasons for insisting on the cloak; "put on the cloak, Master Cradock, and move quick, and softly, for I would pass out without notice from the family."

A Moslem would as soon have thought of resisting fate, as Cradock of opposing a wish of his young mistress, which only involved his own comfort, so he cloaked himself, while Hope flew to the kitchen, gave her orders, and threw on her hat and shawl, which she had taken care to have at hand. They then passed through the hall, and beyond the court, without attracting observation.

Cradock was so absorbed in the extraordinary happiness of being selected as the confidential aid and companion of his favourite, that he would have followed her to the world's end, withoutquestion, if she had not herself turned the direction of his thoughts.

"It is like yourself," she said, "my good tutor, to obey the call of humanity, without inquiring in whose behalf it comes; and I think you will not be the less prompt to follow the dictates of your own heart, and my wishes, when I tell you that I am leading you to poor Magawisca's prison."

"Ah! the Indian woman, concerning whom I have heard much colloquy. I would, in truth, be fain to see her, and speak to her such comfortable words and counsels, as may, with a blessing, touch the heathen's heart. You have, doubtless, Miss Hope, provided yourself with a passport from the Governor," he added, for almost the first time in his life looking at the business part of a transaction.

"Master Cradock, I did not esteem that essential."

"Oh! but it is; and if you will abide here one moment, I will hasten back and procure it," he said, in his simplicity never suspecting that Miss Leslie's omission was any thing other than an oversight.

"Nay, nay, Master Cradock," she replied, laying her hand on his arm, "it is too late now: my heart is set on this visit to the unhappy prisoner —and if you were to go back, Madam Winthrop, or my aunt, or somebody else, might deem the hour unseasonable. Leave it all to me—I will manage with Barnaby Tuttle; and when we return, be assured, I will take all the blame, if there is any, on myself."

"No, that you shall not—it shall fall on my grey head, where there should be wisdom, and not on your youth, which lacketh discretion"—'and lacketh nought else,' he murmured to himself; and, without any further hesitation, he acquiesced in proceeding onward.

They arrived, without hindrance, at the jail, and knocked a long time for admittance at that part of the tenement occupied by our friend Barnaby, without his appearing. Hope became impatient, and bidding Cradock follow her, she passed through the passage, and opened the door of Barnaby's apartment.

He was engaged in what he still called his 'family exercise;' though, by the death of his wife, and the marriage of his only child, he was the sole remnant of that corporation. On seeing our heroine, he gave her a familiar nod of recognition, and by an equally intelligible sign, he demonstrated his desire that she should seat herself, and join in his devotions, which he was just closing, by singing a psalm, versified by himself; for honest Barnaby, after his own humble fashion, was a disciple of the tuneful Nine. Hope assented, and, with the best grace she could command, accompanied him through twelve stanzas of long, and very irregular metre, which he, obligingly, gave out, line by line. When this, on Hope's part, extempore worship was finished, "Welcome here, and many thanks, Miss Leslie," said Barnaby, "it's a good sign to find a prepared heart and ready voice. Service to you, Master Cradock, you are not gifted in psalmody, I see."

"Not in the outward manifestation, but the inward feeling is, I trust, vouchsafed to me. My heart hath taken part in the fag end of your feast."

"A pretty similitude truly, Master Cradock, and a token for good is it when the appetite is always sharp set for such a feast. But come, Miss Leslie," raking open the embers, "draw up your chair, and warm your dear little feet. She looks pale yet after her sickness, ha, Master Cradock? You should not have come forth in the evening air—not but what I am right glad to see you—the sight of you always brings to mind your kindness to the dead and the living. You have not been here, I think, since the night of Ruthy's wedding—that puts me in mind that I got a letter from Ruthy to-day. I'll read it to you," he continued, taking off his spectacles, and giving them a preparatory wipe—"Ruthy is quite handy with her pen—takes after the Tuttles in that: you know, Miss Leslie, my great-grandfather wrote a book."

"Yes," said Hope, interrupting him, and rising "and I trust his great-grandson will live to write another."

"Sit down, Miss Leslie—it may be—those of as humble a degree as Barnaby Tuttle have writtenbooks; and writing runs in families, like the king's evil"—and Barnaby laughed at his own witty illustration—"but sit down, Miss Leslie, I must read Ruthy's letter to you."

"Not now, good Barnaby; let me take it home with me; it is getting late, and I have a favour to ask of you."

"A favour to ask of me!—ask any thing, my pretty mistress, that's in the power of Barnaby Tuttle to grant. Ah! Mr. Cradock, there's nobody knows what I owe her—what she did for my wife when she laid on her death-bed, and all for nothing but our thanks and prayers."

"Oh, you forget that your wife had once been a servant to my dear mother."

"Yes, yes, but only in the common way, and there's few that would have thought of it again. It's not my way to speak with flattering lips, but truly, Miss Hope Leslie, you seem to be one of those that does not to others that it may be done to you again."

"Oh, my good friend Barnaby, you speak this praise in the wrong time, for I have even now come, as I told you, to beg a favour on the score of old friendship."

"It shall be done—it shall be done," said Barnaby, snapping his fingers, his most energetic gesture; "be it what it may, it shall be done."

"Oh, it is not so very much, but only, Barnaby, I wish it quickly done, that we may return. I want you to conduct Master Cradock and myselfto your Indian prisoner, and leave us in her cell for a short time."

"Is that all! certainly—certainly," and anxious to make up for the smallness of the service by the avidity of his compliance, Barnaby prepared his lamp with unwonted activity. "Now we are ready," he said, "just show me your permit, and we'll go without delay."

Hope had flattered herself, that her old friend in his eagerness to serve her, would dispense with the ceremony of a passport from the Governor. Agitated by this new and alarming obstacle, she commanded her voice with difficulty to reply in her usual tone. "How could I think it necessary to bring a permit to you, who know me so well, Barnaby?"

"Not necessary! that was an odd thought for such an all-witted damsel as thou art, Miss Hope Leslie. Not necessary, indeed! why I could not let in the king if he were to come from his throne— the king truly, he is but as his subjects now; but if the first parliament man were to come here, I could not let him in without a permit from the Governor."

Hope walked up and down the room, biting her lips with vexation and disappointment. Every moment's delay hazarded the final success of her project. Poor Cradock now interposed with one of his awkward movements which, though made with the best will in the world, was sure to overturn the burden he essayed to bear. "Be comforted, Miss Hope Leslie," he said, "I am not so nimble as I was in years past, but it is scarce fifteen minutes walk to the Governor's, and I will hasten thither, and get the needful paper."

"Ay, ay, so do," said Barnaby, "that will set all right."

"No," cried Hope; "no, Master Cradock, you shall not go. If Barnaby cannot render me this little kindness, there is an end of it. I will give it up. I shall never ask another favour of you, Barnaby," and she sat down, anxious and disappointed, and burst into tears. Honest Barnaby could not stand this. To see one so much his superior—one who had been an angel of mercy to his habitation—one who had a right to command him in all permitted service, thrown into such deep distress by his refusal of a favour which, after all, there could be no harm in granting, he could not endure.

"Well, well," he said, after hesitating and jingling his keys for a moment, "dry up your tears, my young lady; a 'wayward child,' they say, 'will have its way;' and they say too, 'men's hearts melt in women's tears,' and I believe it; come, come along, you shall have your way."

Hope now passed to the extreme of joy and gratitude. "Bless you—bless you, Barnaby," she said, "I was sure you would not be cross to me."

"Lord help us, child, no, there's no denying you; but I do wish you was as thoughtful as Miss Esther Downing; she never came without a permit—a good thing is consideration—you have made me to do that which I trust not to do again —step aside from known duty—but we're erring creatures."

Hope had the grace to pause one instant, and to meditate a retreat before she had involved others in sinning against their consciences; but she had the end to be attained so much at heart, and the faults to be committed by her agents were of so light a dye, that the scale of her inclinations soon preponderated, and she proceeded. When they came to the door of the dungeon,— "Hark to her," said Barnaby; "is not that a voice for psalmody?" Magawisca was singing in her own language, in the most thrilling and plaintive tones. Hope thought there could not be darkness or imprisonment to such a spirit. "It is in truth, Barnaby," she replied, "a voice fit to sing the praises of God." Barnaby now turned the bolts and opened the door, and as the feeble ray of his lamp fell athwart the dungeon's gloom, Hope perceived Magawisca sitting on her flock bed, with a blanket wrapped around her. On hearing their voices she had ceased her singing, but she gave no other sign of her consciousness of the presence of her visitors.

Miss Leslie took the lamp from Barnaby. "How much time will you allow us?" she asked.

"Ten minutes."

"Ten minutes! oh, more than that I pray you, good Barnaby."

"Not one second more," replied Barnaby, resolute not to concede another inch of ground. "There may be question of this matter—you must consider, my dear young lady."

"I will—always in future, I will, Barnaby; now you may leave me."

"Yes, yes, I understand," said Barnaby, giving a knowing nod. "You mind the scripture rule about the right and the left hand—some creature comfort to be given to the prisoner. I marvel that ye bring Master Cradock with you, but in truth, he hath no more eye nor ear than the wall."

"Marvel not at any thing, Barnaby, but leave me, and let my ten minutes be as long as the last ten minutes before dinner."

Hope, quick as she was in invention and action, felt that she had a very brief space to effect her purposed arrangements, and while she hesitated as to the best mode of beginning, Cradock, who nothing doubted he had been brought hither as a ghostly teacher, asked whether "he should commence with prayer or exhortation?"

"Neither—neither, Master Cradock—do just as I bid you; you will not hesitate to help a fellow creature out of deep, unmerited distress?" this was uttered in a tone of half inquiry and half-assertion, that enforced by Hope's earnest imploring manner, quickened Cradock's slow apprehension. She perceived the light was dawning on his mind, and she turned from him to Magawisca: "Magawisca," she said, stooping over her, "rouse yourself—trust me—I have come to release you." She made no reply, nor movement: "Oh! there is not a moment to lose. Magawisca, listen to me—speak to me."

"Thou didst once deceive and betray me, Hope Leslie," she replied, without raising her head.

Hope concisely explained the secret machinations of Sir Philip, by which she had been made the unconscious and innocent instrument of betraying her. "Then, Hope Leslie," she exclaimed, rising from her abject seat, and throwing off her blanket, "thy soul is unstained, and Everell Fletcher's truth will not be linked to false-hood."

Hope would have explained that her destiny and Everell's were not to be interwoven, but she had neither time nor heart for it. "You are too generous, Magawisca," she said, in a tremulous tone, "to think of any one but yourself, now—we have not a breath to lose—take this ribbon," and she untied her sash; "bind your hair tight with it, so that you can draw Master Cradock's wig over your head—you must exchange dresses with him."

"Nay, Hope Leslie, I cannot leave another in my net."

"You must not hesitate, Magawisca—you will be freed—he runs no risk, will suffer no harm— Everell awaits you—speed, I pray you." Sheturned to Cradock, "now, my good tutor," she said, in her most persuasive tones, "lend me your aid, quickly—Magawisca must have the loan of your wig, hat, boots, and cloak, and you must sit down there on her bed, and let me wrap you in her blanket."

Cradock retreated to the wall, planted himself against it, shut his eyes, and covered his ears with his hands, that temptation might, at every entrance, be quite shut out. "Oh! I scruple, I scruple," he articulated in a voice of the deepest distress.

"Scruple not, dear Master Cradock," replied Hope, pulling down one of his hands, and holding it between both hers, "no harm can, no harm shall befall you."

"Think not, sweet Miss Hope, it's for the perishing body I am thoughtful; for thy sake I would bare my neck to the slayer; to thy least wish I would give the remnant of my days; but I scruple if it be lawful for a Christian man to lend this aid to an idolater."

"Oh! is that all? we have no time to answer such scruples now, but to-morrow, master Cradock, I will show you that you greatly err;" and as she said this, she proceeded, without any further ceremony, to divest the old man of his wig, which she very carefully adjusted on Magawisca's head. Both parties were passive in her hands, Magawisca not seeming to relish much better than Cradock, the false character she was assuming. Such was Cradock's habitual deference to his young mistress, that it was morally impossible for him to make any physical resistance to her movements: but neither his conscience, nor his apprehensions for her, would permit him to be silent when he felt a conviction that she was doing, and he was suffering, an act that was a plain transgression of a holy law.

"Stay thy hand," he said, in a beseeching voice, "and let not thy feet move so swiftly to destruction."

"Just raise your foot, while I draw off this boot, Master Cradock."

He mechanically obeyed, but at the same time continued his admonition: "Was not Jehoshaphat reproved of Micaiah the prophet, for going down to the help of Ahab?"

"Now the other foot, Master Cradock—there, that will do. Draw them on, Magawisca, right over your moccasins—quick, I beseech you."

"Was not the good king Josiah reproved in the matter of Pharaoh-nechoh?"

"Oh, Magawisca! how shall I ever make your slender shoulders and straight back look any thing like Master Cradock's broad, round shoulders? One glance of Barnaby's dim old eyes will detect you. Ah! this will do—I will bind the pillow on with the sheet." While she was uttering the device, she accomplished it. She then threw Magawisca's mantle over her expanded shoulders, and Cradock's cloak over all; and,finally, the wig was surmounted by the old man's steeple-crowned hat. "Now," she said, almost screaming with joy at the transformation so suddenly effected, "now, Magawisca, all depends on yourself: if you will but contrive to screen your face, and shuffle a little in your gait, all will go well."

The hope of liberty—of deliverance from her galling imprisonment—of escape beyond the power and dominion of her enemies, had now taken full possession of Magawisca; and the thought that she should owe her release to Everell and to Hope, who in her imagination was identified with him, filled her with emotions of joy, resembling those a saint may feel, when she sees in vision the ministering angels sent to set her free from her earthly prison: "I will do all thou shalt command me, Hope Leslie; thou art indeed a spirit of light, and love, and beauty."

"True, true, true," cried Cradock, losing, in the instincts of his affection, the opposition he had so valorously maintained, and his feelings flowing back into their accustomed channel, "Thou woman in man's attire, it is given to thee to utter truth, even as of old, lying oracles were wont to speak words of prophecy."

Hope had not, as may be imagined, stood still to listen to this long sentence, uttered in her tutor's deliberate, entrecoupé manner, but in the meanwhile she had, with an almost supernatural celerity of movement, arranged every thing topresent the same aspect as when Barnaby first opened the door of the dungeon. She drew Cradock to the bed, seated him there, and wrapped the blanket about him as it had enveloped Magawisca. "Oh! I hear Barnaby," she exclaimed; "dear Master Cradock, sit a little straighter— there—that will do—turn a little more side ways, you will not look so broad—there—that's better."

"Miss Hope Leslie, ye have perverted the simple-minded."

"Say not another word, Master Cradock; pray do not breathe so like a truimpet; ah, I see it is my fault." She readjusted the blanket, which she had drawn so close over the unresisting creature's face as almost to suffocate him. "Now, Magawisca, sit down on this stool—your back to the door, close to Master Cradock, as if you were talking with him." All was now arranged to her mind, and she spent the remaining half instant in whispering consolations to Cradock: "Do not let your heart fail you, my good kind tutor—in one hour you shall be relieved." Cradock would have again explained that he was regardless of any personal risk, but she interrupted him: "Nay, you need not speak; I know that is not your present care, but do not be troubled; we are commanded to do good to all—the rain falleth on the just and the unjust—and if we are to help our enemy's ox out of the pit, much more our enemy. This best of all thy kind services shall be requited. I will be a child to thy old age—hush— there's Barnaby."

She moved a few steps from the parties, and when the jailer opened the door, she appeared to be awaiting him: "Just in season, good Master Tuttle; my tutor has nothing more to say, and I am as impatient to go, as you are to have me gone."

"It is only for your own sake that I am impatient, Miss Hope; let us make all haste out." He took up the lamp which he had left in the cell, trimmed it, and raised the wick, that it might better serve to guide them through the dark passage.

Hope was alarmed by the sudden increase of light—"lend me the lamp, Barnaby," she said, "to look for my glove—where can I have dropped it? It must be somewhere about here. I shall find it in a minute, Master Cradock, you had best go on while I am looking."

Magawisca obeyed the hint, while Hope in her pretended search, so skilfully managed the light, that not a ray of it touched Magawisca's face. She had passed Barnaby—Hope thought the worst danger escaped. "Ah, here it is," she said, and by way of precaution, she added, in the most careless tone she could assume, "I will carry the lamp for you, Barnaby."

"No, no, thank you, Miss Leslie, I always like to carry the light myself; and besides, I must take a good look at you both before I lock the door. It is a rule I always observe in such cases, lest I should be left to 'brood the eggs the fox has sucked.' It is a prudent rule I assure you, always to be sure you take out the same you let in. Here, Master Cradock, turn round, if you please, to the light, just for form's sake."

Magawisca had advanced several steps into the passage, and Hope's first impulse was to scream to her to run, but a second, and happier thought prevailed, and taking her shawl, which was hanging negligently over her arm, she contrived in throwing it over her head, to sweep it across Barnaby's lamp, in such a way as to extinguish the light beyond the possibility of recovery, as Barnaby proved, by vainly trying to blow it again into a flame.

"Do not put yourself to any further trouble about it, Barnaby, it was all my fault; but it matters not, you know the way—just give me your arm, and Master Cradock can take hold of my shawl, and we shall grope through this passage without any difficulty."

Barnaby arranged himself as she suggested, and then hoping her sudden action had broken the chain of his thoughts, and determined he should not have time to resume it, she said,—"When you write to Ruth, Barnaby, be sure you commend me kindly to her; and tell her, that I have done the baby linen I promised her, and that I hope littleBarnaby will prove as good a man as his grandfather."

"Oh, thank ye, Miss Hope, I trust, by the blessing of the Lord, much better; but they do say," added the old man, with a natural ancestral complacency, "they do say he favours me; he's got the true Tuttle chin, the little dog!"

"You cannot tell yet whether he is gifted in psalmody, Barnaby?"

"La, Miss Hope, you must mean to joke. Why little Barnaby is not five weeks old till next Wednesday morning, half past three o'clock. But I'm as sure he will take to psalmody as if I knew; there never was a Tuttle that did not."

Our heroine thus happily succeeded in beguiling the way to the top of the staircase, where a passage diverged to the outer door, and there with many thanks, and assurances of future gratitude, she bade Barnaby good night; and anticipating any observation he might make of Cradock's silence, she said, "my tutor seems to have fallen into one of his reveries; but never mind, another time he will remember to greet and thank you."

Barnaby was turning away from the door, when he recollected that the sudden extinction of the candle had prevented his intended professional inspection. "Miss Hope Leslie," he cried, "be so good as to stay one moment, while I get a light; the night is so murky that I cannot see, even here, the lineaments of Master Cradock's complexion."

"Pshaw, Barnaby, for mercy's sake do not detain us now for such an idle ceremony; you see the lineaments of that form, I think; we must have been witches indeed, to have transformed Magawisc's slender person into that enormous bulk; but one sense is as good as another—speak, Master Cradock," she added, relying on Magawisca's discretion. "Oh, he is in one of his silent fits, and a stroke of lightning would scarcely bring a sound from him, so good night, Barnaby," she concluded, gently putting him back and shutting the door.

'It is marvellous,' thought Barnaby, as he reluctantly acquiesced in relinquishing the letter of his duty, 'how this young creature spins me round, at her will, like a top. I think she keeps the key to all hearts.'

With this natural reflection he retired to rest, without taking the trouble to return to the dungeon, which he would have done, if he had really felt one apprehension of the fraud that had been there perpetrated.

At the instant the prison door was closed, Magawisca divested herself of her hideous disguise, and proceeded on with Hope, to the place where Everell was awaiting them, with the necessary means to transport her beyond the danger of pursuit. But while our heroine is hastening onward, with a bounding step and exulting heart, we must acquaint our readers with the cruel conspiracy that was maturing against her.

CHAPTER XII.

"Sisters! weave the web of death:
Sisters! cease; the work is done."
     — The Fatal Sisters

The conversation overheard by the faithless Jennet, and communicated with all its particulars to Sir Philip Gardiner, was, as must have been already conjectured by our readers, the contrivance for Magawisca's liberation. It appeared by her statement, that Hope and Magawisca unattended, would, at a late hour of the evening, pass through an uninhabited and unfrequented part of the town near the water-side, and that Everell, with assistants, would be in waiting for them at a certain landing-place. Before they reached there, Sir Philip knew there were many points where they might be intercepted, without the possibility of Everell's coming to their rescue.

Sir Philip was entangled in the meshes of his own weaving; extrication was possible—nay, he believed probable; but there was a fearful chance against him. He had now to baffle well-founded suspicions—to disprove facts—to double his guard over his assumed and tiresome character— and after all, human art could not secure himfrom accidents, which would bring in their train immediate disgrace and defeat. His passion for Miss Leslie had been stimulated by the obstacles which opposed it. His hopes were certainly abated by her indifference; but self-love, and its minister vanity, are inexhaustible in their resources; and Sir Philip trusted for better success in future to his own powers, and to feminine weakness; for he, like other profligates, believed that there was no woman, however pure and lofty her seeming, but she was commanded

"By such poor passion as the maid that milks, And does the meanest chares;"

yet this process of winning the prize was slow, and the result, alas! uncertain.

Jennet's information suggested a master-stroke by which he could at once achieve his object; a single coup de main by which he could carry the citadel he had so long and painfully besieged. If an evil spirit had been abroad on a corrupting mission, he could not have selected a subject more eager to grasp temptation than Sir Philip; nor a fitter agent than Jennet, nor have contrived a more infernal plot against an "innocent and aidless lady," than that which we must now disclose.

Chaddock (whose crew had occasioned such danger and alarm to Miss Leslie) was stillriding in the bay with his vessel. Sir Philip had formerly some acquaintance with this man. He knew him to be a desperate fellow—that he had oncebeen in confederacy with the bucaniers of Tortuga—the self-styled "brothers of the coast," and he believed that he might be persuaded to enter upon any new and lawless enterprise.

Accordingly, from Governor Winthrop's he repaired to Chaddock's vessel, and presented such motives to him, and offered such rewards, as induced the wretch to enter heartily into his designs. Fortunately for their purposes, the vessel was ready for sea, and they decided to commence their voyage that very night. All Miss Leslie's paternal connexions were on the royal side—her fortune was still in their hands, and subject to their control. "If the lady's reluctance to accept his hand was not subdued before the end of the voyage," (a chance scarcely worth consideration) Sir Philip said, "she must then submit to stern necessity, which even a woman's will could not oppose." After their arrival in England, he meant to abandon himself to the disposal of fortune; but he promised Chaddock, that he, with certain other cavaliers, whom he asserted had already meditated such an enterprise, would, with the remnant of their fortunes, embark with him, and enrol themselves among the adventurers of Tortuga.

It may be remembered by our readers, that early in our history, some glimmerings of a plot of this nature appear, from a letter of Sir Philip's, even then to have dawned on his mind; but other purposes had intervened and put it off till now,when it was ripened by sudden and fit opportunity.

The detail of operations being all settled by these worthy confederates, Sir Philip, at nightfall, went once more to the town, secretly withdrew his baggage from his lodgings, and bidding Rosa, who, in sorrow and despair, mechanically obeyed, to follow, he returned to the vessel, humming, as he took his last look at the scene where he had played so unworthy a part,

"Kind Boston, adieu! part we must, though 'tis pity, But I'm made for mankind—all the world is my city."

Sir Philip, in his arrangements with Chaddock, excused himself from being one of the party who were to effect the abduction of Miss Leslie. Perhaps the external habits of a gentleman, and it may be, some little remnant of human kindness, (for we would not believe that man can become quite a fiend,) rendered him reluctant to take a personal part in the cruel outrage he had planned and prepared. Chaddock himself commanded the enterprise, and was to be accompanied by four of the most daring of his crew.

The night was moonless, and not quite clear. "It is becoming dark, extremely dark, Captain," Sir Philip said, in giving his last instructions, "but it is impossible you should make a mistake. Miss Leslie's companion, as I told you, may be disguised—she may wear a man's or woman's apparel, but you have an infallible guide in herheight: she is at least a half head taller than Miss Leslie. It may be well, when you get to the wharf, to divide your party, agreeing on the signal of a whistle. But I rely on your skill and discretion."

"You may rely on it," replied the hardy desperado. "He who has boarded Spanish Galleons, stormed castles, pillaged cities, violated churches, and broken open monasteries, may be entrusted with the capture of a single defenceless girl."

Sir Philip recoiled from trusting his prey in the clutches of this tiger; but there was no alternative. "Have a care, Chaddock," he said, "that she is treated with all due and possible gentleness."

"Ay, ay, Sir Philip—kill, but not wound"—a smile of derision accompanied his words.

"You have pledged me the honour of a gentheman," said Sir Philip, in an alarmed tone.

"Ay—the only bond of free souls. Remember, Sir Philip," he added, for he perceived the suspicion the knight would fain have hidden in his inmost soul, "remember our motto, 'Trusted, we are true—suspected, we betray.' I have pledged my honour, better than parchment and seal—if you confide in it."

"Oh, I do—entirely—implicitly—I have not the shadow of a doubt, my dear fellow."

Chaddock turned away, laughing contemptuously at the ineffectual hypocrisy of Sir Philip, and ordered his men, who were to be left in charge of the vessel, to have every thing in readiness to sail at the moment of his return. "And whither bound, Captain?" demanded one of his sailors.

"To hell," was his ominous reply. This answer, seemingly accidental, was long remembered and repeated, as a proof that the unhappy wretch was constrained, thus involuntarily, to pronounce his approaching doom.

Once more, before he left the vessel, Sir Philip addressed him: "Be in no haste to return," he said; "the lady was not to leave Governor Winthrop's before half-past eight—she may meet with unforeseen detentions—you will reach the dock a few minutes before nine. Take your stations as I have directed, and fortune cannot thwart us, if you are patient—wait till ten—eleven—twelve, or one, if need be. Again, I entreat there may be no unnecessary haste; I shall have no apprehensions—I repose on your fidelity."

"D—n him," muttered Chaddock, as he turnaway, "he reposes on my fidelity!—while he has my vessel in pledge."

Sir Philip remained standing by the side of the vessel, listening to the quick strokes of the oars, till the sounds died away in the distance, then he spoke aloud and exultingly, "shine out my good star, and guide this prize to me."

"Oh! rather," exclaimed Rosa, who stood unobserved beside him, "rather, merciful heaven,let thy lightnings blast her, or thy waves swallow her. Oh, God!" she continued, sinking on her knees, and clasping her hands, "shield the innocent—save her from the hand of the destroyer."

Sir Philip recoiled, it seemed to him there was something prophetic in the piercing tones of the unhappy girl, and, for a moment, he felt as if her prayer must penetrate to heaven, but soon collecting courage, "hush that mockery, Rosa," he said, "your words are scorpions to me."

Rosa remained for a few moments on her knees, but without again giving voice to her feelings, then rising, and sobbing as she spoke, "I thought," she said, "no prayer of mine would ever go upward again. I have tried to pray, and the words fell back like stones upon my heart; but now I pray for the innocent, and they part from me winged for heaven." She folded her arms, looked upwards, and continued to speak as if it were the involuntary utterance of her thoughts: "How wildly the stars shoot their beams through the parting clouds! I have sometimes thought that good spirits come down on those bright rays to do their messages of love. They may even now be on their way to guard a pure and helpless sister—God speed them!"

Sir Philip's superstitious fears were awakened: "What do you mean, Rosa?" he exclaimed; "what, are you talking of stars! I see nothing but this cursed hazy atmosphere, that hangs likea pall over the water. Stars indeed! are you mad, Rosa?"

Rosa replied, with a touching simplicity, as if the inquiry were made in good faith, "Yes—betimes I think I am mad. Thoughts rush so fast, so wildly through my poor head—and then, again, all is vacancy. Yes," she continued, as if meditating her case, "I think my brain is touched; but this—this, Sir Philip, is not madness. Do you not know that all the good have their ministering spirits? Why, I remember reading in the 'Legends of the Saints,' which our good Abbess gave me, of a chain, invisible to mortal senses, that encompassed all the faithful, from the bright spirits that wait around the throne of heaven, to the lowliest that walk upon the earth. It is of such exquisite temper that nought but sin can harm it; but if that but touch it, it falls apart like rust-eaten metal."

"Away with these fantastic legends, inventions of hypocritical priests and tiresome old women. You must curb these foolish vagaries of your imagination, Rosa. I have present and urgent work for you; do but this good service for me, and I will love you again, and make you as happy as you were in your brightest days."

"You make me happy, Sir Philip! Alas! alas! there is no happiness without innocence; if that be once lost, like the guilty Egyptian's pearl, you told me of, melted in the bowl of pleasure, happiness cannot be restored."

"As you please, girl—if you will not be happy, you may play the penitent Magdalen the rest of your life. You shall select your own convent, and tell your beads, and say your prayers, and be as demure and solemn as any seeming saint of them all. I will give you a penance to begin with,—nay, I am serious—hear me. In spite of your prayers, and visions, and silly fancies, Miss Leslie must soon be here; the snare is too well prepared to be escaped. After this one violence, to which she and cruel fate have driven me, I will be a true knight, as humble and worshipful as any hero of chivalry."

"But she does not now love you, and do you not fear she will hate you for this outrage?"

"Ay, but there is a potent alchymy at work for us in the hearts of you women, that turns hate to love. You shall yet hear her say, like the lady of Sir Gawaine, 'Oh! how it is befallen me, that now I love him whom I before most hated of all men living.' But you must aid me, Rosa—this proud queen must have her maid of honour."

"And I must be the poor slave to do her bidding!" said Rosa, impatiently, interrupting him, and all other feelings giving way to the rising of womanly pride.

"Nay, not so, Rosa," replied Sir Philip; and added, in a voice which he hoped might soothe her petulance, "render to her all maidenly service; for a little while do the tasks of the bondwoman, and you shall yet have her wages—nay, start not—you remember the good Patriarch's affections manifestly leaned to the side of Hagar."

"Yes, yes—and I remember too what her fate was—the fate of all who followin her footsteps—to be cast out to wander forth in a desert, where there is not one sign of God's bounty left to them."— She burst into tears, and added, "I would give my poor life, and a thousand more, if I had them, to save Hope Leslie, but I will never do her menial service."

Sir Philip continued to offer arguments and entreaties, but nothing that he said had the least effect on Rosa; he could not extort a promise from her, nor perceive the slightest indication of conformity to his wishes. But trusting that when the time came she would of necessity submit to his authority, he relinquished his solicitations, and quitting her side, he paced the deck with hurried impatient footsteps.

There is no solitude to the good or bad. Nature has her ministers that correspond with the world within the breast of man. The words, "my kingdom is within you," are worth all the metaphysical discoveries ever made by unassisted human wisdom. If all is right in that "kingdom," beautiful forms and harmonious voices surround us, discoursing music; but if the mind is filled with guilty passions—recollections of sin —and purposes of evil, the ministering angels of nature are converted into demons, whose"monstrous rout are heard to howl like stable wolves." Man cannot live in tranquil disobedience to the law of virtue, inscribed on his soul by the finger of God. "Our torments" cannot "become our elements." To Sir Philip's disordered imagination the heavy mist seemed like an infolding shroud—there was a voice of sullen menace in the dashing of the waves against the vessel—the hooting of the night-bird was ominous—and Rosa's low sobs, and the horrid oaths of the misruled crew, rung in his ears like evil prophecies.

Time wore away heavily enough till ten, the earliest moment he had calculated on the return of the boat, but after that it appeared to stand stock-still. He ordered the signal lights attached to the mast to be doubled—he strained his eyes in the vain attempt to descry an approaching object, and then cursed the fog that hemmed in his sight. Suddenly a fresh breeze came off the shore, the fog dispersed, and he could discern the few lights that still glimmered from the habitations of the town, but no boat was seen or heard. "What folly," he repeated to himself a hundred times, "to be thus impatient; they certainly have not failed in their object, or relinquished it, for in that case they would have been here—it is scarcely time to expect them yet;" but, as every one must have experienced, when awaiting with intense anxiety an expected event, the suggestions of reason could not calm the perturbations of impatience. For another hour he continued to stride the deck, approaching the light at every turn to look at his watch. The sailors now began to fret at the delay. "Every thing was ready," they said, "good luck had sent them a fair breeze, and the tide had just turned in their favor." And in Sir Philip's favour too, it appeared, for at this moment the longed-for boat was both heard and seen rapidly nearing the vessel. He gazed towards it, as if it contained for him a sentence of life or death—and life it was, for he soon perceived a female form wrapped in Chaddock's watch-cloak.

The boat came to the side of the vessel.— "Has the scoundrel dared to put his arm around Hope Leslie?" thought the knight, as he saw the captain's arm encircling the unfortunate girl; but a second reflection told him that this, which seemed even to him profanity, was but a necessary precaution! "He dared not trust her—she would have leaped into the waves rather than have come to me—ungracious girl!"

"What hath kept you?" called out one of the sailors.

"The devil and Antonio," replied the captain. "We left him with the boat, and while we were grappling the prize he ran away. I had to be chains and fetters to the prisoner—we had not hands to man our oars, so we waited for the fellow, but he came not, and has, doubtless, ere this, given the alarm. Weigh your anchor andspread your sails, boys—starting with this wind and tide we'll give them a devil of a chace, and bootless at last."

While this was saying, the unhappy victim was lifted up the side of the vessel, and received in Sir Philip's arms. She threw back the hood that had been drawn over her head, and attempted to speak, but was prevented by her shawl, which the ruffians had bound over her face to prevent the emission of any sound. Sir Philip was shocked at the violence and indignity she had suffered. "Did I not order you, Chaddock," he said, "to treat the lady with all possible respect?"

"D—n your orders," replied the captain, "was I to let her scream like forty sea-mews, and raise the town upon us."

"A thousand—thousand pardons!" whispered Sir Philip, in a low imploring voice, and then aloud to Chaddock, "but after you left the town, captain, you surely should have paid more respect to my earnest and repeated injunctions."

"D—n your injunctions. John Chaddock is yet master of his vessel and boat too. I tell you when the fishing-smacks hailed us, that even with that close-reefed sail, she made a noise like a creaking mast in a gale."

"Oh forgive—forgive," whispered Sir Philip, "this horrible—necessary outrage. Lean on me, I will conduct you away from these wretches—a room is prepared for you—Rosa shall attend you —you are queen here—you command us all. Forgive—forgive—and fear nothing. I will not remove your skreen till you are beyond the lawless gaze of these fellows—here, Roslin!" he called, for he still kept up the farce of Rosa's disguise in the presence of the ship's company, "here, Roslin!—take the lamp, and follow me."

Rosa obeyed, her bosom heaving with struggling emotions, and her hand trembling so that she could scarcely hold the lamp. "Bear the light up, and more steadily, Roslin. Nay, my beloved—adored mistress, do not falter; hasten forward—in one minute more we shall be below, in your own domain, where you may admit or exclude me at pleasure. Do not struggle thus— you have driven me to this violence—you must forgive the madness you have caused. I am your slave for life."

They had just passed down the steps that served as a companion way, when Sir Philip observed on his right hand, an uncovered barrel of gun-powder. It had been left in this exposed situation by a careless fellow, entrusted with the preparation of the fire arms for the expedition to the town. "Have a care," cried Sir Philip to Rosa, who was just coming down the stairs; "stay where you are—do not approach that gunpowder with the light." He heard a footstep above. "Here, friend," he called, "lend us a hand; come down and cover this powder. We cannot discretely move an inch." The footsteps ceased, but there was no reply to the call. "I cannotleave Miss Leslie," continued Sir Philip, "she leans on me as if she were fainting. Set down your lamp, Rosa, and come yourself, and cover the barrel."

Rosa did not set down the lamp, but moved forward one or two steps with it in her hand, and then paused. She seemed revolving some dreadful purpose in her mind. Her eyes glanced wildly from Sir Philip to his helpless victim—then she groaned aloud, and pressed her hand upon her head as if it were bursting.

Sir Philip did not observe her—he was intent upon his companion. "She is certainly fainting," he said, "it is the close air and this cursed shawl." He attempted to remove it, but the knot by which it was tied baffled his skill, and he again shouted to Rosa, "Why do you not obey me? Miss Leslie is suffocating—set down the lamp, I say, and call assistance. Damnation!" he screamed, "what means the girl?" as Rosa made one desperate leap forward, and shrieking, "it cannot be worse for any of us!" threw the lamp into the barrel.

The explosion was instantaneous—the hapless, pitiable girl—her guilty destroyer—his victim—the crew—the vessel, rent to fragments, were hurled into the air, and soon engulfed in the waves.

CHAPTER XIII.

"And how soon to the bower she loved, they say,
Returned the maid that was borne away
From Maquon, the fond and the brave."
     — Bryant

After Miss Leslie's escape from Oneco on the island, he remained for some time unconscious of her departure, and entirely absorbed in his efforts to quicken the energy of reviving life in his father; and when he discovered that his prisoner had left him, he still deemed her as certainly within his power on the sea-girt island, as if she had been enclosed by the walls of a prison. He felt that his father's life depended on his obtaining an asylum as soon as possible, and he determined to abandon his plan of going to Narragansett, and instead, to cross the bay to Moscutusett, the residence of the son and successor of Chicetabot, an avowed ally of the English, but really, in common with most of the powerful chiefs, their secret enemy.

If, availing himself of the sheltering twilight of the morning, he could convey his father safely to the wigwam of his friend, Oneco believed he might securely remain there for the present. Inthe mean time, he should himself be at liberty to contrive and attempt the recovery of his wife. The instrumentality of Hope Leslie might be important to effect this object, and she also might remain in safe custody with the Indian chief.

Thus having digested his plans, before the morning dawned, and by the sufficient light of the moon, he went in quest of his prisoner, but was destined, as our readers know, to be disappointed.

He encountered Chaddock's crew, much in the situation in which they were first discovered by Miss Leslie, for after having been baffled in their pursuit of her, they returned and recomposed themselves to await the light of day, when they might give a signal to some boat to take them off the island.

Oneco apprehending that in the prosecution of his search over the island, he might meet with some straggler from this gang, very prudently disguised himself in certain of the cast-off garments belonging to the men, which would enable him to escape, at least, immediate detection. This disguise, though useless then, proved afterwards of important service to him.

Compelled by the approach of day to abandon his search, he returned to his canoe, placed his father in it, and rowed him to Sachem's-head, where he was kindly received and cherished, though with the utmost secresy, for the Indians had long ere this been taught, by painful experience, to guard against the most dispiriting of all dangers—a danger to which the weak, in the neighbourhood of a powerful and comparatively rich foe, are always exposed—the treachery of their own people.

The chief of Moscutusett obtained, from day to day, intelligence of whatever transpired in Boston; and in this way Mononotto was apprised of the imprisonment and probable fate of Magawisca. This was the last drop in his cup of bitterness; worse, far worse, than to have borne on his body the severest tortures ever devised by human cruelty. Magawisca had obtained an ascendency over her father's mind by her extraordinary gifts and superior knowledge. He loved her as his child—he venerated her as an inspired being. He might have endured to have had her cut off by the chances of war, but to have her arraigned before the tribunal of his enemies, as amenable to their laws—to have her die by the hands of the executioner, as one of their own felon subjects, pierced his national pride as well as his affection, and he resigned himself to overwhelming grief. Oneco sorrowed for himself, and he sorrowed for the old man's tears, but he felt nothing very deeply but the loss of his "white bird."

All his ingenuity was employed to devise the means of her escape. After having painted his face, hands, and legs, so as effectually to conceal his tawny hue, he appeared a foreignsailor, in Madam Winthrop's parlour. All succeeded better than his most sanguine expectations. He contrived to give every necessary hint to Faith Leslie; and so happily veiled his language by his indistinct and rapid utterance, that Governor Winthrop, familiar as he was with the sound of the Indian dialects, did not suspect him. The family retired immediately after their evening devotions: he laid himself down on the bed that had been hospitably spread for him, and soon feigned himself asleep. He watched the servants make their last preparations for bed—the lights were extinguished, and the fire raked up, though enough still glimmered through the ashes, to afford him a competent light when he should need it. The menials withdrew—their footsteps had hardly ceased to vibrate on his ear, when his wife, impatient of any further delay, stole from her aunt's side, threw on her dress, and with the light bounding tread of a fawn, passed down the stairs, through the hall, and into the kitchen. Oneco started up, and in a transport of joy would have locked her in his arms, when Jennet—Jennet, our evil genius, appeared. She, like some other disagreeable people, seemed to be gifted with ubiquity, and always to be present where happiness was to be interrupted, or mischief to be done.

She stood for an instant, her hands uplifted in silent amazement, hesitating whether to alarm the family with her outcries, or more quietly to give them notice of the character of their guest.Oneco put a sudden end to her deliberations. He first darted to the door and closed it; then drew a knife from his bosom, and pointing it at Jennet's heart, he told her in very bad English, but plainly interpreted by his action, that if she moved or uttered a sound, his knife should taste her life-blood.

Jennet saw determination in his aspect, and she stood as still as if she were paralyzed or transfixed, while Oneco proceeded to tell her, that to make all sure, she should go with him to his canoe. He bade her calm her fears, for then he would release her, provided that in the mean time, she made no effort, by voice or movement, to release herself.

There was no alternative, but she did beg to be allowed to go to her room to get her bonnet and shawl. Oneco smiled deridingly at the weak artifice by which she hoped to elude him; but deigning no other reply to it, he caught a shawl which hung over a chair, threw it over her, and without any further delay, compelled her to follow him.

Oneco took care to avoid the danger, slight though it was, of encountering any passengers, by directing his way through an unfrequented part of the town. Impatience to be beyond the bounds of danger, and the joy of escape and reunion, seemed to lend wings to Jennet's companions, while she followed breathless and panting, enraged at her compelled attendance, and almostbursting with spite, to which she could not give its natural vent by its customary outlet the tongue, the safety-valve of many a vexed spirit.

They had arrived very near to the cove where Oneco had moored his canoe. He good naturedly pointed towards it, and told Jennet that there she should be released. But the hope of release by a mode much more satisfactory to her feelings, inasmuch as it would involve her companions in danger, had dawned on Jennet. She had just perceived some men, (how many she could not tell, for the night was then dark) who were, unobserved by Oneco, stealing towards them. She withdrew a few inches, as far as she dared from his side, lest he should execute sudden vengeance with the weapon which he still held in his hand. Her conjectures were now converted to certainty, and she already mentally exulted in the retaliation she should inflict on her companions, but alas!—

"Esser vicino al lido

Molti fra naufragar;"

or, to express the same truth by our vernacular adage,—"There's many a slip between the cup and the lip." The men did approach, even to her side, and without listening to her protestations of who she was, and who her companions were— without even hearing them, they seized on her, and suffering the other parties to escape without any annoyance, they bound her shawl over her head and face, and as our readers have already anticipated, conveyed her to that awful destiny, which she had herself indirectly prepared.

It may excite some surprise that Chaddock, forewarned as he had been, that the lady whom he was to intercept would have no male attendant, should not have hesitated when he saw Oneco. But that may be explained by Oneco wearing the dress of the ship's crew, and the natural conclusion on Chaddock's part, that Antonio, whom he had left in the boat, had come on shore, and probably just joined these females. Chaddock's only care was, to select the shortest of the two women, and obscure as the night was, their relative height was apparent.

CHAPTER XIV.

"Basta cosi t'intendo
Già ti spiegasti a pieno;
E mi diresti meno
Se mi dicessi più."
     — Metastasio

We trust we have not exhausted the patience of our readers, and that they will vouchsafe to go forth with us once more, on the eventful evening on which we have fallen, to watch the safe conduct of the released prisoner.

The fugitives had not proceeded many yards from the jail, when Everell joined them. This was the first occasion on which Magawisca and Everell had had an opportunity freely to interchange their feelings. Everell's tongue faltered when he would have expressed what he had felt for her: his manly, generous nature, disdained vulgar professions, and he feared that his ineffectual efforts in her behalf had left him without any other testimony of the constancy of his friendship, and the warmth of his gratitude.

Magawisca comprehended his feelings, and anticipated their expression. She related the scene with Sir Philip, in the prison; and dwelt long on her knowledge of the attempt Everell then madeto rescue her. "That bad man," she said, "made me, for the first time, lament for my lost limb. He darkened the clouds that were gathering over my soul; and, for a little while, Everell, I did deem thee like most of thy race, on whom kindness falls like drops of rain on the lake, dimpling its surface for a moment, but leaving no mark there— but when I found thou wert true," she continued in a swelling, exulting voice—"when I heard thee in my prison, and saw thee on my trial, I again rejoiced that I had sacrificed my precious limb for thee; that I had worn away the days and nights in the solitudes of the forest musing on the memory of thee, and counting the moons till the Great Spirit shall bid us to those regions where there will be no more gulfs between us, and I may hail thee as my brother."

"And why not now, Magawisca, regard me as your brother? True, neither time nor distance can sever the bonds by which our souls are united, but why not enjoy this friendship while youth, and as long as life lasts? Nay, hear me, Magawisca —the present difference of the English with the Indians, is but a vapour that has, even now, nearly passed away. Go, for a short time, where you may be concealed from those who are not yet prepared to do you justice, and then—I will answer for it—every heart and every voice will unite to recall you; you shall be welcomed with the honour due to you from all, and always cherished with the devotion due from us."

"Oh! do not hesitate, Magawisca," cried Hope, who had, till now, been only a listener to the conversation in which she took a deep interest. "Promise us that you will return and dwell with us—as you would say, Magawisca, we will walk in the same path, the same joys shall shine on us, and, if need be that sorrows come over us, why, we will all sit under their shadow together."

"It cannot be—it cannot be," replied Magawisca, the persuasions of those she loved, not, for a moment, overcoming her deep invincible sense of the wrongs her injured race had sustained. "My people have been spoiled—we cannot take as a gift that which is our own—the law of vengeance is written on our hearts—you say you have a written rule of forgiveness—it may be better—if ye would be guided by it—it is not for us—the Indian and the white man can no more mingle, and become one, than day and night."

Everell and Hope would have interrupted her with further entreaties and arguments: "Touch no more on that," she said, "we must part—and for ever." Her voice faltered for the first time, and, turning from her own fate to what appeared to her the bright destiny of her companions, "my spirit will joy in the thought," she said, "that you are dwelling in love and happiness together. Nelema told me your souls were mated—she said your affections mingled like streams from thesame fountain. Oh! may the chains by which He, who sent you from the spirit land, bound you together, grow brighter and stronger till you return thither again."

She paused—neither of her companions spoke —neither could speak—and, naturally, misinterpreting their silence, "have I passed your bound of modesty," she said, "in speaking to the maiden as if she were a wife?"

"Oh, no, Magawisca," said Everell, feeling a strange and undefinable pleasure in an illusion, which, though he could not for an instant participate, he would not for the world have dissipated—"oh, no, do not check one expression, one word, they are your last to us." 'And may not the last words of a friend, be, like the sayings of a death-bed, prophetic?' he would have added, but his lips refused to utter what he felt was the treachery of his heart.

To Hope it seemed that too much had already been spoken. She could be prudent when any thing but ner own safety depended on her discretion. Before Magawisca could reply to Everell, she gave a turn to the conversation: "Ere we part, Magawisca," she said, "cannot you give me some charm, by which I may win my sister's affections? she is wasting away with grief and pining."

"Ask your own heart, Hope Leslie, if any charm could win your affections from Everell Fletcher?"

She paused for a reply. The gulf from which Hope had retreated, seemed to be widening before her, but, summoning all her courage, she answered with a tolerably firm voice, "yes—yes, Magawisca, if virtue, if duty to others required it, I trust in heaven I could command and direct my affections."

We hope Everell may be forgiven, for the joy that gushed through his heart when Hope expressed a confidence in her own strength, which at least implied a consciousness that she needed it. Nature will rejoice in reciprocated love, under whatever adversities it comes.

Magawisca replied to Hope's apparent meaning: "Both virtue and duty," she said, "bind your sister to Oneco. She hath been married according to our simple modes, and persuaded by a Romish father, as she came from Christian blood, to observe the rites of their law. When she flies from you, as she will, mourn not over her, Hope Leslie—the wild flower would perish in your gardens—the forest is like a native home to her—and she will sing as gaily again as the bird that hath found its mate."

They now approached the place where Digby, with a trusty friend, was awaiting them. A light canoe had been provided, and Digby had his instructions from Everell to convey Magawisca to any place she might herself select. The good fellow had entered into the confederacy with hearty good will, giving, as a reason for his obedience tothe impulse of his heart, 'that the poor Indian girl could not commit sins enough against the English to weigh down her good deed to Mr. Everell.'

Everell now inquired of Magawisca whither he should direct the boat: "To Moscutusett," she said; "I shall there get tidings, at least, of my father."

"And must we now part, Magawisca? must we live without you?"

"Oh! no, no" cried Hope, joining her entreaties, "your noble mind must not be wasted in those hideous solitudes."

"Solitudes!" echoed Magawisca, in a voice in which some pride mingled with her parting sadness. "Hope Leslie, there is no solitude to me; the Great Spirit, and his ministers, are every where present and visible to the eye of the soul that loves him; nature is but his interpreter; her forms are but bodies for his spirit. I hear him in the rushing winds—in the summer breeze—in the gushing fountains—in the softly running streams. I see him in the bursting life of spring—in the ripening maize—in the falling leaf. Those beautiful lights," and she pointed upward, "that shine alike on your stately domes and our forest homes, speak to me of his love to all,—think you I go to a solitude, Hope Leslie?"

"No, Magawisca; there is no solitude, nor privation, nor sorrow, to a soul that thus feels the presence of God," replied Hope. She paused—it was not a time for calm reflection or protracted solicitation; but the thought that a mind so disposed to religious impressions and affections, might enjoy the brighter light of Christian revelation—a revelation so much higher, nobler, and fuller, than that which proceeds from the voice of nature—made Hope feel a more intense desire than ever to retain Magawisca; but this was a motive Magawisca could not now appreciate, and she could not, therefore, urge: "I cannot ask you," she said, "I do not ask you, for your sake, but for ours, to return to us."

"Oh! yes, Magawisca," urged Everell, "come back to us and teach us to be happy, as you are, without human help or agency."

"Ah!" she replied, with a faint smile, "ye need not the lesson, ye will each be to the other a full stream of happiness. May it be fed from the fountain of love, and grow broader and deeper through all the passage of life."

The picture Magawisca presented, was, in the minds of the lovers, too painfully contrasted with the real state of their affairs. Both felt their emotions were beyond their control; both silently appealed to heaven to aid them in repressing feelings that might not be expressed.

Hope naturally sought relief in action: she took a morocco case from her pocket, and drew from it a rich gold chain, with a clasp containing hair, and set round with precious stones: "Magawisca," she said, with as much steadiness of voice as she could assume, "take this token with you, it will serve as a memorial of us both, for I have put in the clasp a lock of Everell's hair, taken from his head when he was a boy, at Bethel—it will remind you of your happiest days there."

Magawisca took the chain, and held it in her hand a moment, as if deliberating. "This is beautiful," she said, "and would, when I am far away from thee, speak sweetly to me of thy kindness, Hope Leslie. But I would rather—if I could demean myself to be a beggar"—she hesitated, and then added, "I wrong thy generous nature in fearing thus to speak; I know thou wilt freely give me the image when thou hast the living form."

Before she had finished, Hope's quick apprehension had comprehended her meaning. Immediately after Everell's arrival in England, he had, at his father's desire, had a small miniature of himself painted, and sent to Hope. She attached it to a ribbon, and had always worn it. Soon after Everell's engagement to Miss Downing, she took it off to put it aside, but feeling, at the moment, that this action implied a consciousness of weakness, she, with a mixed feeling of pride, and reluctance to part with it, restored it to her bosom. While she was adjusting Magawisca's disguise in the prison, the miniature slid from beneath her dress, and she, at the time, observed that Magawisca's eye rested intently on it. She must not now hesitate—Everell must not seeher reluctance, and yet, such are the strange contrarieties of human feeling, the severest pang she felt in parting with it, was the fear that Everell would think it was a willing gift. Hoping to shelter all her feelings in the haste of the action, she took the miniature from her own neck, and tied it around Magawisca's. "You have but reminded me of my duty," she said; "nay, keep them both, Magawisca, do not stint the little kindness I can show you."

Digby had at this moment come up to urge no more delay; and we leave to others to adjust the proportions of emotion that were indicated by Hope's faltering voice, and an irrepressible burst of tears, between her grief at parting, and other and secret feelings.

All stood as if they were rivetted to the ground, till Digby again spoke, and suggested the danger to which Magawisca was exposed by this delay. All felt the necessity of immediate separation, and all shrunk from it as from witnessing the last gasp of life. They moved to the water's edge, and, once more prompted by Digby, Everell and Hope, in broken voices, expressed their last wishes and prayers. Magawisca joined their hands, and bowing her head on them,—"The Great Spirit guide ye," she said, and then turning away, leaped into the boat, muffled her face in her mantle, and in a few brief moments disappeared for ever from their sight.

Everell and Hope remained immoveable, gazingon the little boat till it faded in the dim distance; for a few moments, every feeling for themselves was lost in the grief of parting for ever from the admirable being, who seemed to her enthusiastic young friends, one of the noblest of the works of God—a bright witness to the beauty, the independence, and the immortality of virtue. They breathed their silent prayers for her; and when their thoughts returned to themselves, though they gave them no expression, there was a consciousness of perfect unity of feeling, a joy in the sympathy that was consecrated by its object, and might be innocently indulged, that was a delicious spell to their troubled hearts.

Strong as the temptation was, they both felt the impropriety of lingering where they were, and they bent their slow, unwilling footsteps homeward. Not one word during the long protracted walk was spoken by either; but no language could have been so expressive of their mutual love and mutual resolution, as this silence. They both afterwards confessed, that though they had never felt so deeply as at that moment, the bitterness of their divided destiny, yet neither had they before known the worth of those principles of virtue, that can subdue the strongest passions to their obedience. An experience worth a tenfold suffering.

As they approached Governor Winthrop's, they observed that instead of the profound darknessand silence that usually reigned in that exemplary mansion at eleven o'clock, the house seemed to be in great bustle. The doors were open, and they heard loud voices, and lights were swiftly passing from room to room. Hope inferred, that notwithstanding her precautions, the apprehensions of the family had probably been excited in regard to her untimely absence, and she passed the little distance that remained with dutiful haste. Everell attended her to the gate of the court, and pressing her hand to his lips, with an emotion that he felt he might indulge for the last time, he left her and went, according to a previous determination, to Barnaby Tuttle's, where, by a surrender of himself to the jailer's custody, he expected to relieve poor Cradock from his involuntary confinement.

CHAPTER XV.

"Quelque rare que soit le véritable amour il l'est encore moins que la véritable amitié."

     — Rochefoucauld

Hope Leslie met Mr. Fletcher at the threshold of the door. He was sallying forth with hasty steps and disordered looks. He started at the sight of her, and then clasping her in his arms, exclaimed, "My child! my child! my precious child!"

At the sound of his voice the whole family rushed from the parlour. "Praised be the Lord for thy deliverance, Hope Leslie," cried Governor Winthrop, clasping his hands with astonishment. Mrs. Grafton gave vent to her feelings in hysterical sobbings, and inarticulate murmurs of joy. Madam Winthrop said,—"I thought it was impossible—I told you the Lord would be better to you than your fears:" and Esther Downing embraced her friend with deep emotion, whispering as she did so, "the Lord is ever better to us than our fears, or our deservings."

It was obvious to our heroine, that all this excitement and overflowing of tenderness could not be occasioned merely by her unseasonable absence, and she begged to know what had caused so much alarm.

The Governor was beginning, in his official manner, a formal statement, when, as if the agitations of this eventful evening were never to end, the explosion of Chaddock's vessel broke in upon their returning tranquillity, and spread a panic through the town of Boston.

The occurrence of the accident, at this particular moment, was fortunate for Magawisca, as it prevented a premature discovery of her escape; a discovery by which the Governor would have felt himself obliged to take measures for her recapture, that might then have proved effectual. The explosion of course withdrew his attention from all other subjects, and both he and Mr. Fletcher went out to ascertain whence it had proceeded, and what ill consequences had ensued.

In the mean time, Hope learned the following particulars from the ladies. The family had retired to bed at the accustomed time, and about half an hour before her return, were alarmed by a violent knocking at the outer door. The servant first awakened let in a stranger, who demanded an immediate audience of the Governor, concerning matters of life and death. The stranger proved to be Antonio, and his communication, the conspiracy with which our readers are well acquainted, or rather, as much of it as had fallen within the knowledge of the subordinate agents. Antonio declared, that having within the harbour of Boston been favoured with an extraordinaryvisitation from his tutelar saint, who had vouchsafed to warn him against his sinful comrades, he had determined from the first, that he would, if possible, prevent the wicked designs of the conspirators; and for that purpose, had solicited to be among the number who were sent on shore, intending to give notice to the Governor, in time for him to counteract the wicked project: he averred that after quitting the boat, he had heard the screams of the unhappy girl, when she was seized by the sailors; he had been spurred to all possible haste, but unhappily, ignorant of the town, he had strayed out of his way in coming from the cove, and finally, had found it almost impossible to rouse any of the sleeping inhabitants to guide him to the Governor's.

Antonio knew the name of the author of this guilty project to be Sir Philip Gardiner, and its victim, Miss Leslie. These names were fearful hints to the Governor, and had prevented his listening with utter incredulity to the tale of the stranger. As the easiest means of obtaining its confirmation or refutation, a messenger was despatched to Sir Philip's lodgings, who almost instantly returned with the intelligence, that he, his page, and baggage, had clandestinely disappeared during the evening. This was a frightful coincidence; and while the Governor's orders that all the family should be called were executing, he made one further investigation.

He recollected the packet of letters which Rosahad given to her master during the trial. Sir Philip had laid them on the table, and forgetting them in the confusion that followed, the Governor had taken possession of them, intending to restore them at the first opportunity. He felt himself now, not only authorised to break the seals, but compelled to that discourtesy. The letters were from a confidential correspondent, and proved, beyond a doubt, that Sir Philip had formerly been the protegé, and ally of Thomas Morton, the old political enemy of the colony; that he was a Roman catholic; of course, that the Governor and his friends had been duped by his religious pretensions; and in short, that he was an utter profligate, who regarded neither the laws of God nor man.

And into the power of this wretch the friends of Miss Leslie were left, for a few agonizing moments, to believe she had fallen; and their joy at her appearance was, as may be believed, commensurate with their previous distress.

Some of the minor incidents of the evening now transpired. One of the servants reported that the young sailor had disappeared; and Mrs. Grafton suddenly recollected to have observed that Faith Leslie was not with her when she was awakened, a circumstance she had overlooked in her subsequent agitation. By a single clew an intricate maze may be threaded. Madam Winthrop now recalled Faith Leslie's emotion at the first sound of the sailor's voice, and the ladies soon arrivedat the right conclusion, that he was in reality Oneco, and that they had effected their escape together. Jennet (if Jennet had survived to hear it, she never would have believed the tale,) the only actual sufferer, was the only one neither missed nor inquired for. Good Master Cradock was not forgotten; but his friends were satisfied with Miss Leslie's assurance that he was safe, and would, probably, not return before the morning.

The final departure of her sister cost Hope many regrets and tears. But an inevitable event, of such a nature, cannot seriously disturb the happiness of life. There had been nothing in the intercourse of the sisters to excite Hope's affections. Faith had been spiritless, woe-begone— a soulless body—and had repelled, with sullen indifference, all Hope's efforts to win her love. Indeed, she looked upon the attentions of her English friends but as a continuation of the unjust force by which they had severed her from all she held dear. Her marriage, solemnized as it had been by prescribed Christian rites, would probably have been considered by her guardian, and his friends, as invalidated by her extreme youth, and the circumstances which had led to the union. But Hope took a more youthful, romantic, and, perhaps, natural view of the affair; and the suggestions of Magawisca, combining with the dictates of her own heart, produced the conclusion thatthis was a case where 'God had joined together, and man might not put asunder.'

All proper (though it may be not very vigorous) measures were taken by Governor Winthrop, on the following day, to discover the retreat of the fugitives; but the secret was faithfully kept while necessary to their security.

The return of his children, and, above all, of Magawisca, seemed to work miracles on their old father: his health and strength were renewed, and, for a while, he forgot, in the powerful influence of her presence, his wrongs and sorrows. He would not hazard the safety of his protector, and that of his own family, by lingering a single day in the vicinity of his enemies.

Before the dawn of the next morning, this little remnant of the Pequod race, a name at which, but a few years before, all within the bounds of the New-England colonies—all, English and Indians, 'grew pale,' began their pilgrimage to the far western forests. That which remains untold of their story, is lost in the deep, voiceless obscurity of those unknown regions.

The terrors her friends had suffered, on account of our heroine, induced them to overlook every thing but the joy of her safety. She was permitted to retire with Esther to their own apartment, without any inquisition being made into the cause of her extraordinary absence. Even her friend, when they were alone together, made no allusion to it, and Hope rightly concluded thatshe was satisfied with her own conjectures as to its object.

Hope could scarcely refrain from indulging the natural frankness of her temper, by disclosing, unsolicited, the particulars of her successful enterprise; and she only checked the inclinations of her heart from the apprehension that Esther might deem it her duty to extend her knowledge to her uncle, and thus Magawisca might be again endangered. 'She certainly conjectures how it is,' thought Hope, making her own mental comments on Esther's forbearance; 'and yet she does not indicate the least displeasure at my having combined with Everell to render the delightful service that her severe conscience would not allow her to perform.' 'She never spoke to me with more tenderness—how could I ever suspect her of jealousy, or distrust?—she is incapable of either—she is angelic—far, far more deserving of Everell than I am.'

At this last thought, a half stifled, but audible, sigh escaped her, and reached her friend's ear. Their eyes met. A deep, scorching blush suffused Hope's cheeks, brow, and neck. Esther's face beamed with ineffable sweetness and serenity. She looked as a mortal can look only when the world and its temptations are trampled beneath the feet, and the eye is calmly, steadily, immovably fixed on heaven. She folded Hope in her arms, and pressed her fondly to her heart, but not a word, tear, or sigh escaped her. Her soulwas composed to a profound stillness, incapable of being disturbed by her friend's tears and sobs, the involuntary expression of her agitated, confused, and irrepressible feelings.

Hope turned away from Esther, and crept into her bed; feeling, like a condemned culprit, selfcondemned. It seemed to her that a charm had been wrought on her; a sudden illumination had flashed from her friend's face into the most secret recesses of her heart, and exposed—this was her most distressful apprehension—to Esther's eye, feelings whose existence, till thus revealed to another, (and the last person in the world to whom they should be revealed,) she had only, and reluctantly, acknowledged to herself.

Deeply mortified and humbled, she remained wakeful, weeping and lamenting this sudden exposure of emotions that she feared could never be explained or forgotten, long after her friend had encircled her in her arms, and fallen into a sweet and profound sleep.

We must leave the apartment of the generous and involuntary rivals, to repair to the parlour, where Governor Winthrop, after having ascertained that Chaddock's vessel had been blown up by the explosion, was listening to Barnaby Tuttle's relation of the transaction at the prison.

The simple jailer, on learning from Everell's confessions how he had been cajoled, declined increasing his responsibilities by making the exchange Everell proposed, but very readily acceded to his next proposition, namely, that he should be permitted to share the imprisonment of Cradock. On entering the dungeon, they found the good old man sleeping as soundly on Magawisca's pallet, as if he were in his own apartment; and Everell rejoicing that he had suffered so little, in the good cause to which it had been necessary to make him accessory, and exulting in the success of his enterprise, took possession of his dark and miserable cell, with feelings that he would not have bartered for those of a conqueror mounting his triumphal car.

Barnaby had a natural feeling of vexation at having been outwitted by Hope Leslie's stratagems; but it was a transient emotion, and not strong enough to check the habitual current of his gratitude and affection for her, nor did it at all enter into his relation of the facts to the Governor. On the contrary, his natural kind-heartedness rendered the statement favourable towards all parties.

He did not mention Magawisca's name without a parenthesis, containing some commendation of her deportment in the prison. He spoke of Hope Leslie, as the "thoughtless child," or, the "feeling young creature." Master Cradock was, "the poor witless old gentleman;" and "for Mr. Everell, it was not within the bounds of human nature, in his peculiar case, not to feel as he did; and as to himself, he was but an old dotard, ill fitted to keep bars and bolts, when a child—theLord and the Governor forgive her!—could guide him with a wisp of straw."

Nothing was further from Barnaby Tuttle's thoughts, than any endeavour to blind or pervert a ruler's judgment; but the Governor found something infectious in his artless humanity. Besides, he had one good, sufficient, and state reason for extenuating the offence of the young conspirators, and of this he made a broad canopy to shelter his secret and kind dispositions towards them. A messenger had that day arrived, from the chief of the Narragansetts, with the information that a war had broken out between Miantunnomoh and Uncas, and an earnest solicitation that the English would not interfere with their domestic quarrels.

To our ancestors, it appeared their melancholy policy to promote, rather than to allay these feuds among the tribes; and a war between these rival and powerful chieftains assured, while it lasted, the safety of the English settlements. It became, therefore, very important to avoid any act that might provoke the universal Indian sentiment against the English, and induce them to forego their civil quarrel, and combine against the common enemy. This would be the probable effect of the condemnation of the Pequod girl, whose cause had been espoused by several of the tribes: still, on a further investigation of her case, the laws might require her condemnation—andthe puritans held firmly to the principle, that good must be done, though evil ensue.

Governor Winthrop perceived that Magawisca's escape relieved them from much and dangerous perplexity; and though Everell Fletcher's interposition had been unlawful and indecorous, yet, as Providence had made him the instrument of certain good, he thought his offence might be pardoned by his associates in authority.

He dismissed Barnaby, with an order to appear before him with his prisoners, at six o'clock the following morning. At that hour he assembled together such of the magistrates and deputies as were in Boston, deeming it, as he said, proper to give them the earliest notice of the various important circumstances that had occurred since the morning of the preceding day.

He opened the meeting with a communication of the important intelligence received from the Narragansett chief; intimated the politic uses to which the wisdom of his brethren might apply it; then, after some general observations on the imperfection of human wisdom, disclosed at full the iniquitous character and conduct of Sir Philip Gardiner; lamented in particular, that he had been grievously deceived by that crafty son of Belial—and then dwelt on the wonderful interposition of Providence in behalf of Hope Leslie, which clearly intimated, as he said, and all his auditors acknowledged, that the young maiden's life was precious in the sight of the Lord, andwas preserved for some special purpose. He called their attention to the light thrown on the testimony of Sir Philip against the Indian prisoner by his real character—and last of all, he communicated the escape of Magawisca, and the means by which it had been accomplished, with this comment simply, that it had pleased the Lord to bring about great good to the land by the rash act of two young persons, who seemed to have been wrought upon by feelings natural to youth; and the foolishness of an old man, whose original modicum of sense was greatly diminished by age, and excess of useless learning; for, he said, Master Cradock not only wrote Greek and Latin, and talked Hebrew like the Rev. Mr. Cotton, but he was skilled in Arabic, and the modern tongues.

The Governor then proceeded to give many and plausible reasons, with the detail of which it is not necessary to weary the patience of our readers, why this case, in the absence of a precise law, should be put under the government of mercy. His associates lent a favourable ear to these suggestions. Most of them considered the offence very much alleviated by the youth of the two principal parties, and the strong motives that actuated them. Some of the magistrates were warm friends of the elder Fletcher, and all of them might have been quickened in their decision, by the approach of the breakfast hour; for as modern philosophy has discovered, the mind and sensibilities are much under the dominion of these periodical returns of the hours of refection.

The conclusion of the whole matter was, that Miss Leslie and Master Cradock should receive a private admonition from the Governor, and a free pardon; and that Mr. Everell Fletcher should be restored to liberty, on condition that, at the next sitting of the court, he appeared in the prisoner's bar, to receive a public censure, and be admonished as to his future carriage. To this sentence Everell submitted at the proper time, with due humility, and a very becoming, and, as said the elders, edifying modesty.

Throughout the whole affair, Governor Winthrop manifested those dispositions to clemency, which were so beautifully illustrated by one of the last circumstances of his life, when being, as is reported of him, upon his death-bed, Mr. Dudley pressed him to sign an order of banishment of an heterodox person, he refused, saying,—"I have done too much of that work already."

Everell and Master Cradock, who had awaited in an adjoining apartment the result of these deliberations, were now informed of the merciful decision of their judges, and summoned to take their places at the breakfast-table. While all this business was transpiring, Hope Leslie, wearied by the fatigues, agitations, and protracted vigil of the preceding night, was sleeping most profoundly. She awoke with a confused sense of her last anxious waking thoughts, and naturallyturned to look for Esther, but Esther had already risen. This excited no surprise, for it must be confessed that our heroine was often anticipated in early-rising, as in other severe duties, by her friend. Admonished by a broad sun-beam that streamed aslant her apartment, that she had already trespassed on the family breakfast hour, she rose, and despatched her toilet duties. Her mind was still intent on Esther, and suddenly she missed some familiar objects: Esther's morocco dressing-case and Bible, that always laid at hand on the dressing-table. Hope was at that moment adjusting her hair; she dropped her comb—cast a hasty survey around the room. Esther's trunks, bandboxes, every article belonging to her had disappeared. "What could this mean?" Some solution of the mystery might have dawned from the recollections of the preceding night, but impatient for a full explanation, she seized her whistle, opened the door, and blew for Jennet, till its shrill notes had penetrated every recess of the house. But no Jennet appeared; and without waiting to adjust her hair, which she had left in what is called disorder, but according to the natural and beautiful order of nature, and with a flushed cheek and beating heart she hastily descended to the parlor, and dispensing with the customary morning salutations, eagerly demanded—"Where is Esther?"

The family were all assembled at the breakfast-table. Her sudden appearance producedan apparent sensation—every eye turned towards her. Mrs. Grafton would have impulsively answered her question, but she was prevented by an intimation from Madam Winthrop. Everell's eye, on seeing her, flashed a bright intelligent glance, but at her interrogatory it fell, and then turned on Madam Winthrop inquiringly, indicating that he now, for the first time, perceived that there was something extraordinary in the absence of her niece.

Hope still stood with the door half open, her emotions in no degree tranquillized by the reception of her inquiry.

Governor Winthrop turned to her with his usual ceremony. "Good morning, Miss Hope Leslie— be good enough to close the door—the wind is easterly this morning. You are somewhat tardy, but we know you have abundant reason; take your seat, my child—apologies are unnecessary."

Madam Winthrop beckoned to Hope to take a chair next her, and Hope moved to the table mechanically, feeling as if she had been paralyzed by some gorgon influence. Her question was not even adverted to—no allusion was made to Esther. Hope observed that Madam Winthrop's eyes were red with weeping, and she also observed that in offering the little civilities of the table, she addressed her in a voice of unusual kindness.

She dared not look again at Everell, whose unexpected release from confinement would, at any other time, have fully occupied her thoughts; and her perplexity was rather increased by seeing her guardian's eyes repeatedly fill with tears while they rested on her with even more than their usual fondness.

Impatient, and embarrassed as she was, it seemed to her the breakfast would never end; and she was in despair when her aunt asked for her third, and her fourth cup of chocolate, and when the dismissal of the table awaited old Cradock's discussion of a replenished plate of fish, from which he painfully and patiently abstracted the bones. But all finite operations have their period—the breakfast did end, the company rose, and all left the parlour, one after another, save the two Fletchers, Madam Winthrop, and our heroine.

Hope would have followed her aunt—any further delay seemed insupportable, but Madam Winthrop took her hand, and detained her.— "Stay, my young friend," she said, "I have an important communication which could not be suitably made till this moment." She took a sealed letter from her pocket. "Nay, Hope Leslie, grow not so suddenly pale, no blame is attached to thee—nor to thee, Mr. Everell Fletcher, who art even more deeply concerned in this matter. Both the Governor and myself have duly weighed all the circumstances, and have mostheartily approved of that which she hath done, who near and dear as she is to us in the flesh, is still nearer and dearer by those precious gifts and graces that do so far exalt her (I would offend none present,) above all other maidens. Truly, "if many do virtuously," Esther "excelleth them all."

Hope was obliged to lean against the wall for support. The elder Fletcher looked earnestly at Madam Winthrop, as if he would have said— "for Heaven's sake do not protract this scene." Perhaps she understood his glance—perhaps she took counsel from her own womanly feelings.— "This letter, my young friends," she said, "is addressed to you both, and it was my niece's request that you should read it at the same time."

Madam Winthrop kindly withdrew. Everell broke the seal, and both he and Hope, complying faithfully with Miss Downing's injunction, read together, to the very last word, the letter that follows:

"To my dear and kind friends, Everell Fletcher and Hope Leslie.

"When you read these lines, the only bar to your earthly happiness will be removed. With the advice and consent of my honoured uncle and aunt, I have taken passage in the "Lion," which, as you know, is on the eve of sailing for London. With God's blessing on my present purposes, Ishall remain there, with my father, till he has closed his affairs in the old world, and then come hither again.

"Do not think, my dear friends, I am fleeing away, because, as matters stand between us, I cannot abide to stay here. For your sakes, for I would not give you needless pain, I go for a little while. For myself, I have contentment of mind. It hath pleased God to give me glimpses of christian happiness, the foundations of which are not laid on the earth, and therefore cannot be removed or jostled by any of the cross accidents of life.

"There have been some notable errors in the past. We have all erred, and I most of all. My error hath been exceeding humbling to the pride of woman; yours, Hope Leslie, was of the nature of your disposition—rash and generous; and you, Everell, (I speak it not reproachfully, but as being truth-bound,) have not dealt with gospel sincerity. I appeal to thine own heart—would it not have been better, as well as kinder, to have said, "Esther, I do not love thee," than to have permitted me to follow my silly imaginings, and thereby have sacrificed my happiness for this world—and thine—and Hope Leslie's?—for I think, and am sure, you never did me the wrong to believe I would knowingly have taken thy hand without thy affections—all of them (at least such measure as may be given to an earthly friend,)being poor and weak enough to answer to the many calls of life.

"It is fitting, that, having been guided to a safe harbour by the good providence of God, we should look back—not reproachfully—God forbid—but with gratitude and humility, on the dark and crooked passages through which we have passed. Neither our virtue—I speak it humbly—nor our happiness, have been wrecked. Ye will in no wise wonder that I speak thus assuredly of your happiness, but, resting your eye on the past, you might justly deem that, for myself, I have fallen into the 'foolishness of boasting'—not so. In another strength than mine own, I have overcome, and am of good cheer, and well assured that, as the world hath not given me my joy, the world cannot take it away.

"For the rest, I shall ever rejoice that my affections settled on one worthy of them—one for whom I shall hereafter feel a sister's love, and one who will not withhold a brother's kindness. And to thee, my loving—my own sweet and precious Hope Leslie—I resign him. And may He, who, by his signal providence, hath so wonderfully restored in you the sundered affections of your parents, knitting, even from your childish years, your hearts together in love—may He make you his own dear and faithful children in the Lord.

"Thus—hoping for your immediate union, and worldly well-being—ever prays your true and devoted friend,

"Esther Downing."

Hope Leslie's tears fell, like rain drops, on her friend's letter; and when she had finished it, she turned and clasped her arms around her guardian's neck, and hid her face on his bosom. Feelings for which words are too poor an expression, kept all parties for some time silent. To the elder Fletcher it was a moment of happiness that requited years of suffering. He gave Hope's hand to Everell: "Sainted mothers!" he said, raising his full eyes to heaven, "look down on your children, and bless them!" And, truly, celestial spirits might look with complacency, from their bright spheres, on the pure and perfect love that united these youthful beings.

Mr. Fletcher withdrew, and we, following his example, must permit the curtain to fall on this scene, as we hold it a profane intrusion for any ear to listen to the first confessions of reciprocated, happy love.

Events have already meted 'fit retribution' to most of the parties who have figured in our long story. A few particulars remain.

There was one man of Chaddock's crew left alive to tell the tale; the same whose footsteps, it may be recollected, Sir Philip heard, and on whom he had vainly called for assistance. This man was lingering to observe the principal actors in the tragedy, when the explosion took place, and, with the rest, was blown into the air; but he escaped with his life, gained the boat, and came, the next day, safely to the shore, where he related all he knew, to the great relief of the curiosity of the good people of Boston.

Strict search was, by the Governor's order, made for the bodies of the unhappy wretches who had been so suddenly sent to their doom.

Jennet's was one of the first found: the shawl that had been bound over her head still remained, the knot which defied Sir Philip's skill having also resisted the lashing of the waves. When this screen was removed, and the body identified, the mystery of her disappearance was at once explained. "Death wipes out all scores." And even Jennet, dead, was wrapped in the mantle of charity; but all who had known her living, mentally confessed that Death could not have been more lenient in selecting a substitute for the precious life he had menaced.

Poor Rosa's remains were not

"Left to float upon their wat'ry bier

Unwept, and welter to the parching wind."

Her youth, her wrongs and sufferings, combined with the pleadings of Hope Leslie, obtained for her the rites of a separate and solemn burial. Tears, of humility and pity, were shed over her grave; a fit tribute, from virtuous and tender woman, to a fallen, unhappy sister.

All the bodies of the sufferers were finally recovered, except that of Sir Philip Gardiner; and the inference of our pious forefathers, that Satan had seized upon that as his lawful spoil, may not be deemed, by their skeptical descendants, very unnatural.

We leave it to that large, and most indulgent class of our readers, the misses in their teens, to adjust, according to their own fancy, the ceremonial of our heroine's wedding, which took place in due time, to the joy of her immediate friends, and the entire approbation of all the inhabitants of Boston, who, in those early times, manifested a friendly interest in individual concerns, which is said to characterise them to the present day.

The elder Fletcher remained with his children, and permitted himself to enjoy, to the full, the happiness which, it was plain, Providence had prepared for him. The close of his life was as the clear shining forth of the sun after a stormy and troubled day.

Dame Grafton evinced some mortification at the discovery of the fallibility of her judgment in relation to Sir Philip Gardiner; but she soon dubbed him Sir Janus; a name that implied he had two faces, and her sagacity was not at fault if she judged by the one presented to her. Her trifling vexation was soon forgotten in her participation in her niece's felicity, and in her busy preparations for the wedding; and after that event, she was made so happy by the dutiful care of Hopeand Everell, that she ceased to regret Old England, till, falling into her dotage, her entreaties, combining with some other motives, induced them to visit their mother country, where the old lady died, and was buried in the tomb of the Leslies, the church burial service being performed by the bishop of London. Her unconsciousness of this poetic justice must be regretted by all who respect innocent prejudices.

We hope that class of our readers, above alluded to, will not be shocked at our heroine's installing Master Cradock as a life-member of her domestic establishment. We are sure their kind hearts would reconcile them to this measure if they could know with what fidelity, and sweetness, and joy to the good man, she performed the promise she gave in Magawisca's prison, "that she would be a child to his old age.' If they are still discontented with the arrangement, let them perform an action of equal kindness, and they will learn from experience that our heroine had her reward.

Digby never ceased, after the event had verified them, to pride himself on his own presentiments, and his wife's dreams. A friendship between him, and Everell and Hope subsisted through their lives, and descended, a precious legacy, through many generations of their descendants, fortified by favours, and gratitude, and reciprocal affection.

Barnaby Tuttle, and his timely compliancewith her wishes, were not forgotten by our heroine. Persuaded by her advice, and enabled by an annual stipend from her to do so, he retired from his solitary post of jailer, and passed his old age comfortably with his daughter Ruth, versifying psalms, and playing with the little Tuttles.

After the passage of two or three years, Miss Downing returned to New-England, and renewed her intercourse with Everell and Hope, without any other emotions, on either side, than those which belong to warm and tender friendship. Her personal loveliness, Christian graces, and the high rank she held in the colony, rendered her an object of very general attraction.

Her hand was often and eagerly sought, but she appears never to have felt a second engrossing attachment. The current of her purposes and affections had set another way. She illustrated a truth, which, if more generally received by her sex, might save a vast deal of misery: that marriage is not essential to the contentment, the dignity, or the happiness of woman. Indeed, those who saw on how wide a sphere her kindness shone, how many were made better and happier by her disinterested devotion, might have rejoiced that she did not

"Give to a party what was meant for mankind."

 
 
 

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