« ПредишнаНапред »
Mr. and Mrs. Bird had gone back to the parlour, where, strange as it may appear, no reference was made on either side to the preceding conversation ; but Mrs. Bird busied herself with her knitting-work, and Mr. Bird pretended to be reading the paper.
After a while, Dinah looked in to say that the woman was awake, and wanted to see missis.
Mr. and Mrs. Bird went into the kitchen, followed by the two eldest boys, the smaller fry having by this time been safely disposed of in bed.
The woman was now sitting up on the settle by the fire. She was looking steadily into the blaze, with a calm, heart-broken expression, very different from her former agitated wildness.
“ Did you want me ?” said Mrs. Bird, in gentle tones. “I hope you
feel better now, poor woman !” A long-drawn, shivering sigh was the only answer ; but she lifted her dark eyes, and fixed them on her with such a forlorn and imploring expression that the tears came into Mrs. Bird's eyes.
“ You needn't be afraid of anything; we are friends here, poor woman! Tell me where you came from, and what you want," said she.
“I came from Kentucky,” said the woman,
“ Yes," said the woman slowly. “I did. God helping me, I crossed on the ice ; for they were behind me-right behind—and there was no other
way “Lor, missis," said Cudjoe, “the ice is all in broken-up blocks, a swinging and a tettering up and down in the water ;"
“I know it was—I know it !” she said wildly ; “ but I did it! I wouldn't have thought I could—I didn't think I should get over, but I didn't care! I could but die, if I didn't. The Lord helped me ! nobody knows how much the Lord can help 'em, till they try,” said the woman, with a flashing eye.
“Were you a slave ?” said Mr. Bird. “Yes, sir ! I belonged to a man in Kentucky.” 6 Was he unkind to you ?” “No, sir; he was a good master. I'll say that of him, any way;
and my mistress was kind; but they couldn't help themselves. They were owing money ; and there was some way, I can't tell how, that a man had a hold on them, and they were obliged to give him his will. I listened, and heard him telling mistress that, and she begging and pleading for me, and he told her he couldn't help himself, that he was obliged to sell my boy, and that the papers were all drawn ; and then it was I took him and left my home, and came away. I knew 'twas no use of my trying to live, if they did it; for 't ’pears like this child is all I have.”
“And where do you mean to go, my poor woman ?” said Mrs. Bird.
“To Canada, if I only knew where that was. Is it very far off, is Canada ?” said she, looking up, with a simple, confiding air, to Mrs. Bird's face.
“Poor thing !” said Mrs. Bird involuntarily. “ Is’t a very great way off, think ? " said the woman earnestly.
“Much further than you think, poor child !” said Mrs. Bird ; “ but we will try to think what can be done for you. Here, Dinah, make her up a bed in your own room, close by the kitchen, and I'll think what to do for her in the morning. Meanwhile, never fear, poor woman. Put your trust in God ; He will protect
Mrs. Bird and her husband re-entered the parlour. She sat down in her rocking chair before the fire, swaying thoughtfully to and fro. Mr. Bird strode up and down the room, grumbling to himself. “Pish! Pshaw! dreadful awkward business !” At length, striding up to his wife, he said
“I say, wife, she'll have to get away from here, this very night. That fellow will be down on the scent bright and early to-morrow morning. If 'twas only the woman, she could lay quiet till it was over ; but that little chap can't be kept still by a troop of horse and foot, I'll warrant me; he'll bring it all out, popping his head out of some window or door. A pretty kettle of fish it would be for me, too, to be caught with them both here, just now ! No; they'll have to be got off to-night."
To-night! How is it possible ?—where to ?”
“Well, I know pretty well where to,” said the senator, beginning to put on his boots, with a reflective air ; and stopping when his leg was half in, he embraced his knee with both hands, and seemed to go off in deep meditation.
“ It's an awkward, ugly business," said he, at last, beginning to tug at his boot-straps again," and that's a fact !” After one boot was fairly on, the senator sat with the other in his hand, profoundly studying the figure of the carpet. “It will have to be done, though, for aught I see !” and he drew the other boot anxiously on, and looked out of the window.
“ You see,” he said, “there's my old client, Van Trompe, has come over from Kentucky, and set all his slaves free ; and he has bought a place seven miles up the creek, here, back in the woods, where nobody goes, unless they go on purpose ; and it's a place that isn't found in a hurry. There she'd be safe enough ; but the worst of the thing is, nobody could drive a carriage there to-night but me.”
Why not? Cudjoe is an excellent driver."
“Ay, ay ; but here it is. The creek has to be crossed twice ; and the second crossing is quite dangerous, unless one knows it as I do. I have crossed it a hundred times on horseback, and know exactly the turns take. And so, you see, there's no help for it. Cudjoe must put in the horses, as quietly as may be, about twelve o'clock, and I'll take her over ; and then, to give colour to the matter, he must carry me on to the next tavern, to take the stage for Columbus that comes by about three or four, and so it will look as if I had had the carriage only for that. I shall get into. business bright and early in the morning. But I'm thinking I shall feel rather cheap there, after all that's been said and done ; but I can't help that.”
“ Your heart is better than your head, in this case, John," said the wife, laying her little white hand on his. “ Could I ever have loved you, had I not known you better than you know yourself ?""
Uncle Tom's Cabin.
THE PILGRIM FATHERS.
J. B. MARSDEN, M.A. The expectations of the Puritans, which had been highly raised on the accession of James I., were grievously cast down by the Conference at Hampton Court, and utterly destroyed by the Convocation that followed soon after. One hope alone remained, the hope of the
dejected and forlorn. It was embraced with reluctance, and deep misgivings of heart; but, once resolved upon, it was carried into effect with such energy as only men exert who are impelled alternately by hope and by despair. A new world had lately been discovered. On shores yet unpolluted by superstition, perhaps untrodden by the foot of man, they might find a peaceful asylum, and, free from the dread of dungeons and courts of high commission, worship God in truth. These were their aspirations; and at the distance of two centuries, none but the most insensible and stupid can read the story of their enterprise, without something of the awe and reverence which great virtue struggling with great adversity, and so achieving its lasting triumph, never fails, sooner or later, to command.
Such a scheme was not altogether new. The unhappy Huguenots of France had already sought a refuge in the wilds of North America. And so great had been the success in colonizing those distant regions, that a patent had been issued, by their friend and patron Henry IV., giving to Du Monts, a Calvinist, the sovereignty of a region which stretched from Philadelphia to Montreal. His patent secured freedom of religion for the Huguenots, with other privileges. It even seemed as if a vast empire would be founded in the west, the Protestant colony of France. But whether from the greater energy of the Saxon race, or from causes determined solely by a higher Power, and uninfluenced by the conduct of his creatures, the colony and the institutions of Du Monts have vanished, while the friendless Puritans of England laid the first foundation of a great nation-one of the greatest under heaven : the representative and offspring of our own. One third of the European population of the vast American republic of our times acknowledges a Puritan origin. Within fifteen years from the sailing of the first timid bark, freighted with these anxious emigrants, there had followed four thousand families, consisting of more than twenty-one thousand souls. Their descendants, twelve years ago, were numbered at four millions. In the states of New York and Ohio they constitute one-half the population. So astonishing the result of this enterprise we are about to relate, and benevolent the purposes of Him who protected their wanderings, and guided their almost desperate adventures.
John Robinson, the pastor of a congregation of English Brownists at Leyden, first suggested the undertaking which was to lead to such important consequences. In an age when the influence of the Christian minister was always great, he had a power of influence and control unequalled. In days when men aspersed their opponents with bitterness, and reviled each other without shame or restraint, he passed through life, or was blamed only for his nonconformity. He was one of the first fruits of Emanuel college ; and Churchmen, who cannot but regret the loss of such a name from their glorious calendar of great and good men, will feel, perhaps, that his course through life explains, to some extent, the coldness with which the new Puritan foundation was regarded by the rulers of the church. Dr. Chadderton, the master, was a Puritan, but moderate, and anxious to conform ; the pupil naturally outwent the teacher, and in a short time resigned his charge in the neighbourhood of Yarmouth, and declared himself a Brownist, a dissenter from the Church of England. He suffered some years from constant hardship ; and at length, though not without extreme difficulty, watched, and threatened—contrived with his hearers to escape to Holland. He first attempted to settle at Amsterdam, but persecution had not yet taught mutual forbearance even to the Puritans. There was another congregation of English refugees at Amsterdam, who differed on some points from the Brownists. A quarrel and a separation followed ; and Robinson, who was a man of peace, retired to Leyden, in 1608. There he and his flock abode for above ten years, and won the confidence and respect of the magistrates and citizens. But they felt it was a life of exile. Neither the manners nor the language of the Germans pleased them. They began to think of emigrating in a body across the wide, and as yet almost untried Atlantic. Robinson
his influence to the scheme, and under his auspices it was carried into effect.
The Greeks of old reverenced with heathenish superstition the ship in which the Argonauts, it was fabled, had once sailed to Colchis. The English at this day regard, with a fondness not to be severely blamed, the vessel in which Nelson died. The children of the Puritans, with equal reason, cherish the timehonoured names of the “ Mayflower” and the “Speedwell.” They were the two ships—if ships they could be termed,—the one of sixty tons, the other of one hundred and eighty, in which the exiles of Leyden, the Pilgrim Fathers, embarked upon Robinson's congregation exceeded three hundred ; and as they