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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesMargaret Smith's Journal In The Province Of Massachusetts Bay, 1678-9 - March 10
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Margaret Smith's Journal In The Province Of Massachusetts Bay, 1678-9 - March 10 Post by :cyberagora Category :Long Stories Author :John Greenleaf Whittier Date :April 2012 Read :2227

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Margaret Smith's Journal In The Province Of Massachusetts Bay, 1678-9 - March 10

I have been now for many days afflicted with a great cold and pleurisy, although, by God's blessing on the means used, I am wellnigh free from pain, and much relieved, also, from a tedious cough. In this sickness I have not missed the company and kind ministering of my dear Cousin Rebecca, which was indeed a great comfort. She tells me to-day that the time hath been fixed upon for her marriage with Sir Thomas, which did not a little rejoice me, as I am to go back to mine own country in their company. I long exceedingly to see once again the dear friends from whom I have been separated by many months of time and a great ocean.

Cousin Torrey, of Weymouth, coming in yesterday, brought with her a very bright and pretty Indian girl, one of Mr. Eliot's flock, of the Natick people. She was apparelled after the English manner, save that she wore leggings, called moccasins, in the stead of shoes, wrought over daintily with the quills of an animal called a porcupine, and hung about with small black and white shells. Her hair, which was exceeding long and black, hung straight down her back, and was parted from her forehead, and held fast by means of a strip of birch back, wrought with quills and feathers, which did encircle her head. She speaks the English well, and can write somewhat, as well as read. Rebecca, for my amusement, did query much with her regarding the praying Indians; and on her desiring to know whether they did in no wise return to their old practices and worships, Wauwoonemeen (for so she was called by her people) told us that they did still hold their Keutikaw, or Dance for the Dead; and that the ministers, although they did not fail to discourage it, had not forbidden it altogether, inasmuch as it was but a civil custom of the people, and not a religious rite. This dance did usually take place at the end of twelve moons after the death of one of their number, and finished the mourning. The guests invited bring presents to the bereaved family, of wampum, beaver-skins, corn, and ground-nuts, and venison. These presents are delivered to a speaker, appointed for the purpose, who takes them, one by one, and hands them over to the mourners, with a speech entreating them to be consoled by these tokens of the love of their neighbors, and to forget their sorrows. After which, they sit down to eat, and are merry together.

Now it had so chanced that at a Keutikaw held the present winter, two men had been taken ill, and had died the next day; and although Mr. Eliot, when he was told of it, laid the blame thereof upon their hard dancing until they were in a great heat, and then running out into the snow and sharp air to cool themselves, it was thought by many that they were foully dealt with and poisoned. So two noted old Powahs from Wauhktukook, on the great river Connecticut, were sent for to discover the murderers. Then these poor heathen got together in a great wigwam, where the old wizards undertook, by their spells and incantations, to consult the invisible powers in the matter. I asked Wauwoonemeen if she knew how they did practise on the occasion; whereupon she said that none but men were allowed to be in the wigwam, but that she could hear the beating of sticks on the ground, and the groans and howlings and dismal mutterings of the Powahs, and that she, with another young woman, venturing to peep through a hole in the back of the wigwam, saw a great many people sitting on the ground, and the two Powahs before the fire, jumping and smiting their breasts, and rolling their eyes very frightfully.

"But what came of it?" asked Rebecca. "Did the Evil Spirit whom they thus called upon testify against himself, by telling who were his instruments in mischief?"

The girl said she had never heard of any discovery of the poisoners, if indeed there were such. She told us, moreover, that many of the best people in the tribe would have no part in the business, counting it sinful; and that the chief actors were much censured by the ministers, and so ashamed of it that they drove the Powahs out of the village, the women and boys chasing them and beating them with sticks and frozen snow, so that they had to take to the woods in a sorry plight.

We gave the girl some small trinkets, and a fair piece of cloth for an apron, whereat she was greatly pleased. We were all charmed with her good parts, sweetness of countenance, and discourse and ready wit, being satisfied thereby that Nature knoweth no difference between Europe and America in blood, birth, and bodies, as we read in Acts 17 that God hath made of one blood all mankind. I was specially minded of a saying of that ingenious but schismatic man, Mr. Roger Williams, in the little book which he put forth in England on the Indian tongue:--

"Boast not, proud English, of thy birth and blood,
Thy brother Indian is by birth as good;
Of one blood God made him and thee and all,
As wise, as fair, as strong, as personal.

"By nature wrath's his portion, thine, no more,
Till grace his soul and thine in Christ restore.
Make sure thy second birth, else thou shalt see
Heaven ope to Indians wild, but shut to thee!"

March 15.

One Master O'Shane, an Irish scholar, of whom my cousins here did learn the Latin tongue, coming in last evening, and finding Rebecca and I alone (uncle and aunt being on a visit to Mr. Atkinson's), was exceeding merry, entertaining us rarely with his stories and songs. Rebecca tells me he is a learned man, as I can well believe, but that he is too fond of strong drink for his good, having thereby lost the favor of many of the first families here, who did formerly employ him. There was one ballad, which he saith is of his own making, concerning the selling of the daughter of a great Irish lord as a slave in this land, which greatly pleased me; and on my asking for a copy of it, he brought it to me this morning, in a fair hand. I copy it in my Journal, as I know that Oliver, who is curious in such things, will like it.


O NORAH, lay your basket down,
And rest your weary hand,
And come and hear me sing a song
Of our old Ireland.

There was a lord of Galaway,
A mighty lord was he;
And he did wed a second wife,
A maid of low degree.

But he was old, and she was young,
And so, in evil spite,
She baked the black bread for his kin,
And fed her own with white.

She whipped the maids and starved the kern,
And drove away the poor;
"Ah, woe is me!" the old lord said,
"I rue my bargain sore!"

This lord he had a daughter fair,
Beloved of old and young,
And nightly round the shealing-fires
Of her the gleeman sung.

"As sweet and good is young Kathleen
As Eve before her fall;"
So sang the harper at the fair,
So harped he in the hall.

"Oh, come to me, my daughter dear!
Come sit upon my knee,
For looking in your face, Kathleen,
Your mother's own I see!"

He smoothed and smoothed her hair away,
He kissed her forehead fair;
"It is my darling Mary's brow,
It is my darling's hair!"

Oh, then spake up the angry dame,
"Get up, get up," quoth she,
"I'll sell ye over Ireland,
I'll sell ye o'er the sea!"

She clipped her glossy hair away,
That none her rank might know;
She took away her gown of silk,
And gave her one of tow,

And sent her down to Limerick town
And to a seaman sold
This daughter of an Irish lord
For ten good pounds in gold.

The lord he smote upon his breast,
And tore his beard so gray;
But he was old, and she was young,
And so she had her way.

Sure that same night the Banshee howled
To fright the evil dame,
And fairy folks, who loved Kathleen,
With funeral torches came.

She watched them glancing through the trees,
And glimmering down the hill;
They crept before the dead-vault door,
And there they all stood still!

"Get up, old man! the wake-lights shine!"
"Ye murthering witch," quoth he,
"So I'm rid of your tongue, I little care
If they shine for you or me."

"Oh, whoso brings my daughter back,
My gold and land shall have!"
Oh, then spake up his handsome page,
"No gold nor land I crave!

"But give to me your daughter dear,
Give sweet Kathleen to me,
Be she on sea or be she on land,
I'll bring her back to thee."

"My daughter is a lady born,
And you of low degree,
But she shall be your bride the day
You bring her back to me."

He sailed east, he sailed west,
And far and long sailed he,
Until he came to Boston town,
Across the great salt sea.

"Oh, have ye seen the young Kathleen,
The flower of Ireland?
Ye'll know her by her eyes so blue,
And by her snow-white hand!"

Out spake an ancient man, "I know
The maiden whom ye mean;
I bought her of a Limerick man,
And she is called Kathleen.

"No skill hath she in household work,
Her hands are soft and white,
Yet well by loving looks and ways
She doth her cost requite."

So up they walked through Boston town,
And met a maiden fair,
A little basket on her arm
So snowy-white and bare.

"Come hither, child, and say hast thou
This young man ever seen?"
They wept within each other's arms,
The page and young Kathleen.

"Oh give to me this darling child,
And take my purse of gold."
"Nay, not by me," her master said,
"Shall sweet Kathleen be sold.

"We loved her in the place of one
The Lord hath early ta'en;
But, since her heart's in Ireland,
We give her back again!"

Oh, for that same the saints in heaven
For his poor soul shall pray,
And Mary Mother wash with tears
His heresies away.

Sure now they dwell in Ireland;
As you go up Claremore
Ye'll see their castle looking down
The pleasant Galway shore.

And the old lord's wife is dead and gone,
And a happy man is he,
For he sits beside his own Kathleen,
With her darling on his knee.

March 27, 1679.

Spent the afternoon and evening yesterday at Mr. Mather's, with uncle and aunt, Rebecca and Sir Thomas, and Mr. Torrey of Weymouth, and his wife; Mr. Thacher, the minister of the South Meeting, and Major Simon Willard of Concord, being present also. There was much discourse of certain Antinomians, whose loose and scandalous teachings in respect to works were strongly condemned, although Mr. Thacher thought there might be danger, on the other hand, of falling into the error of the Socinians, who lay such stress upon works, that they do not scruple to undervalue and make light of faith. Mr. Torrey told of some of the Antinomians, who, being guilty of scandalous sins, did nevertheless justify themselves, and plead that they were no longer under the law. Sir Thomas drew Rebecca and I into a corner of the room, saying he was a-weary of so much disputation, and began relating somewhat which befell him in a late visit to the New Haven people. Among other things, he told us that while he was there, a maid of nineteen years was put upon trial for her life, by complaint of her parents of disobedience of their commands, and reviling them; that at first the mother of the girl did seem to testify strongly against her; but when she had spoken a few words, the accused crying out with a bitter lamentation, that she should be destroyed in her youth by the words of her own mother, the woman did so soften her testimony that the Court, being in doubt upon the matter, had a consultation with the ministers present, as to whether the accused girl had made herself justly liable to the punishment prescribed for stubborn and rebellious children in Deut. xxi. 20, 21. It was thought that this law did apply specially unto a rebellious son, according to the words of the text, and that a daughter could not be put to death under it; to which the Court did assent, and the girl, after being admonished, was set free. Thereupon, Sir Thomas told us, she ran sobbing into the arms of her mother, who did rejoice over her as one raised from the dead, and did moreover mightily blame herself for putting her in so great peril, by complaining of her disobedience to the magistrates.

Major Willard, a pleasant, talkative man, being asked by Mr. Thacher some questions pertaining to his journey into the New Hampshire, in the year '52, with the learned and pious Mr. Edward Johnson, in obedience to an order of the General Court, for the finding the northernmost part of the river Merrimac, gave us a little history of the same, some parts of which I deemed noteworthy. The company, consisting of the two commissioners, and two surveyors, and some Indians, as guides and hunters, started from Concord about the middle of July, and followed the river on which Concord lies, until they came to the great Falls of the Merrimac, at Patucket, where they were kindly entertained at the wigwam of a chief Indian who dwelt there. They then went on to the Falls of the Amoskeag, a famous place of resort for the Indians, and encamped at the foot of a mountain, under the shade of some great trees, where they spent the next day, it being the Sabhath. Mr. Johnson read a portion of the Word, and a psalm was sung, the Indians sitting on the ground a little way off, in a very reverential manner. They then went to Annahookline, where were some Indian cornfields, and thence over a wild, hilly country, to the head of the Merrimac, at a place called by the Indians Aquedahcan, where they took an observation of the latitude, and set their names upon a great rock, with that of the worshipful Governor, John Endicott. Here was the great Lake Winnipiseogee, as large over as an English county, with many islands upon it, very green with trees and vines, and abounding with squirrels and birds. They spent two days at the lake's outlet, one of them the Sabhath, a wonderfully still, quiet day of the midsummer. "It is strange," said the Major, "but so it is, that although a quarter of a century hath passed over me since that day, it is still very fresh and sweet in my memory. Many times, in my musings, I seem to be once more sitting under the beechen trees of Aquedahcan, with my three English friends, and I do verily seem to see the Indians squatted on the lake shore, round a fire, cooking their dishes, and the smoke thereof curling about among the trees over their heads; and beyond them is the great lake and the islands thereof, some big and others exceeding small, and the mountains that do rise on the other side, and whose woody tops show in the still water as in a glass. And, withal, I do seem to have a sense of the smell of flowers, which did abound there, and of the strawberries with which the old Indian cornfield near unto us was red, they being then ripe and luscious to the taste. It seems, also, as if I could hear the bark of my dog, and the chatter of squirrels, and the songs of the birds, in the thick woods behind us; and, moreover, the voice of my friend Johnson, as he did call to mind these words of the 104th Psalm: 'Bless the Lord, O my soul! who coverest thyself with light, as with a garment; who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain; who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters; who maketh the clouds his chariot; and walketh upon the wings of the wind!' Ah me! I shall never truly hear that voice more, unless, through God's mercy, I be permitted to join the saints of light in praise and thanksgiving beside stiller waters and among greener pastures than are those of Aquedahcan."

"He was a shining light, indeed," said Mr. Mather, "and, in view of his loss and that of other worthies in Church and State, we may well say, as of old, Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth!"

Major Willard said that the works of Mr. Johnson did praise him, especially that monument of his piety and learning, "The History of New England; or, Wonder-Working Providence of Sion's Saviour," wherein he did show himself in verse and in prose a workman not to be ashamed. There was a piece which Mr. Johnson writ upon birchen bark at the head of the Merrimac, during the journey of which he had spoken, which had never been printed, but which did more deserve that honor than much of the rhymes with which the land now aboundeth. Mr. Mather said he had the piece of bark then in his possession, on which Mr. Johnson did write; and, on our desiring to see it, he brought it to us, and, as we could not well make out the writing thereon, he read it as followeth:--

This lonesome lake, like to a sea, among the mountains lies,
And like a glass doth show their shapes, and eke the clouds and skies.
God lays His chambers' beams therein, that all His power may know,
And holdeth in His fist the winds, that else would mar the show.

The Lord hath blest this wilderness with meadows, streams, and springs,
And like a garden planted it with green and growing things;
And filled the woods with wholesome meats, and eke with fowls the air,
And sown the land with flowers and herbs, and fruits of savor rare.

But here the nations know him not, and come and go the days,
Without a morning prayer to Him, or evening song of praise;
The heathen fish upon the lake, or hunt the woods for meat,
And like the brutes do give no thanks for wherewithal to eat.

They dance in shame and nakedness, with horrid yells to hear,
And like to dogs they make a noise, or screeching owls anear.
Each tribe, like Micah, doth its priest or cunning Powah keep;
Yea, wizards who, like them of old, do mutter and do peep.

A cursed and an evil race, whom Satan doth mislead,
And rob them of Christ's hope, whereby he makes them poor indeed;
They hold the waters and the hills, and clouds, and stars to be
Their gods; for, lacking faith, they do believe but what they see.

Yet God on them His sun and rain doth evermore bestow,
And ripens all their harvest-fields and pleasant fruits also.
For them He makes the deer and moose, for them the fishes swim,
And all the fowls in woods and air are goodly gifts from Him.

Yea, more; for them, as for ourselves, hath Christ a ransom paid,
And on Himself, their sins and ours, a common burden laid.
By nature vessels of God's wrath, 't is He alone can give
To English or to Indians wild the grace whereby we live.

Oh, let us pray that in these wilds the Gospel may be preached,
And these poor Gentiles of the woods may by its truth be reached;
That ransomed ones the tidings glad may sound with joy abroad,
And lonesome Aquedahcan hear the praises of the Lord!

March 18.

My cough still troubling me, an ancient woman, coming in yesterday, did so set forth the worth and virtue of a syrup of her making, that Aunt Rawson sent Effie over to the woman's house for a bottle of it. The woman sat with us a pretty while, being a lively talking body, although now wellnigh fourscore years of age. She could tell many things of the old people of Boston, for, having been in youth the wife of a man of some note and substance, and being herself a notable housewife and of good natural parts, she was well looked upon by the better sort of people. After she became a widow, she was for a little time in the family of Governor Endicott, at Naumkeag, whom she describeth as a just and goodly man, but exceeding exact in the ordering of his household, and of fiery temper withal. When displeasured, he would pull hard at the long tuft of hair which he wore upon his chin; and on one occasion, while sitting in the court, he plucked off his velvet cap, and cast it in the face of one of the assistants, who did profess conscientious scruples against the putting to death of the Quakers.

"I have heard say his hand was heavy upon these people," I said.

"And well it might be," said the old woman, for more pestilent and provoking strollers and ranters you shall never find than these same Quakers. They were such a sore trouble to the Governor, that I do believe his days were shortened by reason of them. For neither the jail, nor whipping, nor cropping of ears, did suffice to rid him of them. At last, when a law was made by the General Court, banishing them on pain of death, the Governor, coming home from Boston, said that he now hoped to have peace in the Colony, and that this sharpness would keep the land free from these troublers. I remember it well, how the next day he did invite the ministers and chief men, and in what a pleasant frame he was. In the morning I had mended his best velvet breeches for him, and he praised my work not a little, and gave me six shillings over and above my wages; and, says he to me: 'Goody Lake,' says he, 'you are a worthy woman, and do feel concerned for the good of Zion, and the orderly carrying of matters in Church and State, and hence I know you will be glad to hear that, after much ado, and in spite of the strivings of evil-disposed people, the General Court have agreed upon a law for driving the Quakers out of the jurisdiction, on pain of death; so that, if any come after this, their blood be upon their own heads. It is what I have wrestled with the Lord for this many a month, and I do count it a great deliverance and special favor; yea, I may truly say, with David: "Thou hast given me my heart's desire, and hast not withholden the prayer of my lips. Thy hand shall find out all thine enemies; thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger; the Lord shall wallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them." You will find these words, Goody Lake,' says he, 'in the 21st Psalm, where what is said of the King will serve for such as be in authority at this time.' For you must know, young woman, that the Governor was mighty in Scripture, more especially in his prayers, when you could think that he had it all at his tongue's end.

"There was a famous dinner at the Governor's that day, and many guests, and the Governor had ordered from his cellar some wine, which was a gift from a Portuguese captain, and of rare quality, as I know of mine own tasting, when word was sent to the Governor that a man wished to see him, whom he bid wait awhile. After dinner was over, he went into the hall, and who should be there but Wharton, the Quaker, who, without pulling off his hat, or other salutation, cried out: 'John Endicott, hearken to the word of the Lord, in whose fear and dread I am come. Thou and thy evil counsellors, the priests, have framed iniquity by law, but it shall not avail you. Thus saith the Lord, Evil shall slay the wicked, and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate!' Now, when the Governor did hear this, he fell, as must needs be, into a rage, and, seeing me by the door, he bade me call the servants from the kitchen, which I did, and they running up, he bade them lay hands on the fellow, and take him away; and then, in a great passion, he called for his horse, saying he would not rest until he had seen forty stripes save one laid upon that cursed Quaker, and that he should go to the gallows yet for his sauciness. So they had him to jail, and the next morning he was soundly whipped, and ordered to depart the jurisdiction."

I, being curious to know more concerning the Quakers, asked her if she did ever talk with any of them who were dealt with by the authorities, and what they said for themselves.

"Oh, they never lacked words," said she, "but cried out for liberty of conscience, and against persecution, and prophesied all manner of evil upon such as did put in force the law. Some time about the year '56, there did come two women of them to Boston, and brought with them certain of their blasphemous books, which the constables burnt in the street, as I well remember by this token, that, going near the fire, and seeing one of the books not yet burnt, I stooped to pick it up, when one of the constables gave me a smart rap with his staff, and snatched it away. The women being sent to the jail, the Deputy-Governor, Mr. Bellingham, and the Council, thinking they might be witches, were for having them searched; and Madam Bellingham naming me and another woman to her husband, he sent for us, and bade us go to the jail and search them, to see if there was any witch-mark on their bodies. So we went, and told them our errand, at which they marvelled not a little, and one of them, a young, well-favored woman, did entreat that they might not be put to such shame, for the jailer stood all the time in the yard, looking in at the door; but we told them such was the order, and so, without more ado, stripped them of their clothes, but found nothing save a mole on the left breast of he younger, into which Goodwife Page thrust her needle, at which the woman did give a cry as of pain, and the blood flowed; whereas, if it had been witch's mark, she would not have felt the prick, for would it have caused blood. So, finding nothing that did look like witchcraft, we left them; and on being brought before the Court, Deputy-Governor Bellingham asked us what we had to say concerning the women. Whereupon Goodwife Page, being the oldest of us, told him that we did find no appearance of witches upon their bodies, save the mole on the younger woman's breast (which was but natural), but that otherwise she was fair as Absalom, who had no blemish from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Thereupon the Deputy-Governor dismissed us, saying that it might be that the Devil did not want them for witches, because they could better serve him as Quakers: whereat all the Court fell to laughing."

"And what did become of the women?" I asked.

"They kept them in jail awhile," said Nurse Lake, "and then sent them back to England. But the others that followed fared harder,--some getting whipped at the cart-tail, and others losing their ears. The hangman's wife showed me once the ears of three of them, which her husband cut off in the jail that very morning."

"This is dreadful!" said I, for I thought of my dear brother and sweet Margaret Brewster, and tears filled mine eyes.

"Nay; but they were sturdy knaves and vagabonds," answered Nurse Lake, "although one of them was the son of a great officer in the Barbadoes, and accounted a gentleman before he did run out into his evil practices. But cropping of ears did not stop these headstrong people, and they still coming, some were put to death. There were three of them to be hanged at one time. I do remember it well, for it was a clear, warm day about the last of October, and it was a brave sight to behold. There was Marshal Michelson and Captain Oliver, with two hundred soldiers afoot, besides many on horse of our chief people, and among them the minister, Mr. Wilson, looking like a saint as he was, with a pleasant and joyful countenance, and a great multitude of people, men, women, and children, not only of Boston, but from he towns round about. I got early on to the ground, and when they were going to the gallows I kept as near to the condemned ones as I could. There were two young, well- favored men, and a woman with gray hairs. As they walked hand in band, the woman in the middle, the Marshal, who was riding beside them, and who was a merry drolling man, asked her if she was n't ashamed to walk hand in hand between two young men; whereupon, looking upon him solemnly, she said she was not ashamed, for this was to her an hour of great joy, and that no eye could see, no ear hear, no tongue speak, and no heart understand, the sweet incomes and refreshings of the Lord's spirit, which she did then feel. This she spake aloud, so that all about could hear, whereat Captain Oliver bid the drums to beat and drown her voice. Now, when they did come to the gallows ladder, on each side of which the officers and chief people stood, the two men kept on their hats, as is the ill manner of their sort, which so provoked Mr. Wilson, the minister, that he cried out to them: 'What! shall such Jacks as you come before authority with your hats on?' To which one of them said: 'Mind you, it is for not putting off our hats that we are put to death.' The two men then went up the ladder, and tried to speak; but I could not catch a word, being outside of the soldiers, and much fretted and worried by the crowd. They were presently turned off, and then the woman went up the ladder, and they tied her coats down to her feet, and put the halter on her neck, and, lacking a handkerchief to tie over her face, the minister lent the hangman his. Just then your Uncle Rawson comes a-riding up to the gallows, waving his hand, and crying out, 'Stop! she is reprieved!' So they took her down, although she said she was ready to die as her brethren did, unless they would undo their bloody laws. I heard Captain Oliver tell her it was for her son's sake that she was spared. So they took her to jail, and after a time sent her back to her husband in Rhode Island, which was a favor she did in no wise deserve; but good Governor Endicott, much as he did abhor these people, sought not their lives, and spared no pains to get them peaceably out the country; but they were a stubborn crew, and must needs run their necks into the halter, as did this same woman; for, coming back again, under pretence of pleading for the repeal of the laws against Quakers, she was not long after put to death. The excellent Mr. Wilson made a brave ballad on the hanging, which I have heard the boys in the street sing many a time."

A great number, both men and women, were--"whipped and put in the stocks," continued the woman, "and I once beheld two of them, one a young and the other an aged woman, in a cold day in winter, tied to the tail of a cart, going through Salem Street, stripped to their waists as naked as they were born, and their backs all covered with red whip- marks; but there was a more pitiful case of one Hored Gardner, a young married woman, with a little child and her nurse, who, coming to Weymouth, was laid hold of and sent to Boston, where both were whipped, and, as I was often at the jail to see the keeper's wife, it so chanced that I was there at the time. The woman, who was young and delicate, when they were stripping her, held her little child in her arms; and when the jailer plucked it from her bosom, she looked round anxiously, and, seeing me, said, 'Good woman, I know thou 't have pity on the babe,' and asked me to hold it, which I did. She was then whipped with a threefold whip, with knots in the ends, which did tear sadly into her flesh; and, after it was over, she kneeled down, with her back all bleeding, and prayed for them she called her persecutors. I must say I did greatly pity her, and I spoke to the jailer's wife, and we washed the poor creature's back, and put on it some famous ointment, so that she soon got healed."

Aunt Rawson now coming in, the matter was dropped; but, on my speaking to her of it after Nurse Lake had left, she said it was a sore trial to many, even those in authority, and who were charged with the putting in force of the laws against these people. She furthermore said, that Uncle Rawson and Mr. Broadstreet were much cried out against by the Quakers and their abettors on both sides of the water, but they did but their duty in the matter, and for herself she had always mourned over the coming of these people, and was glad when the Court did set any of them free. When the woman was hanged, my aunt spent the whole day with Madam Broadstreet, who was so wrought upon that she was fain to take to her bed, refusing to be comforted, and counting it the heaviest day of her life.

"Looking out of her chamber window," said Aunt Rawson, "I saw the people who had been to the hanging coming back from the training-field; and when Anne Broadstreet did hear the sound of their feet in the road, she groaned, and said that it did seem as if every foot fell upon her heart. Presently Mr. Broadstreet came home, bringing with him the minister, Mr. John Norton. They sat down in the chamber, and for some little time there was scarce a word spoken. At length Madam Broadstreet, turning to her husband and laying her hand on his arm, as was her loving manner, asked him if it was indeed all over. 'The woman is dead,' said he; 'but I marvel, Anne, to see you so troubled about her. Her blood is upon her own head, for we did by no means seek her life. She hath trodden under foot our laws, and misused our great forbearance, so that we could do no otherwise than we have done. So under the Devil's delusion was she, that she wanted no minister or elder to pray with her at the gallows, but seemed to think herself sure of heaven, heeding in no wise the warnings of Mr. Norton, and other godly people.'

"'Did she rail at, or cry out against any?' asked his wife. 'Nay, not to my hearing,' he said, 'but she carried herself as one who had done no harm, and who verily believed that she had obeyed the Lord's will.'

"'This is very dreadful,' said she, 'and I pray that the death of that poor misled creature may not rest heavy upon us.'

"Hereupon Mr. Norton lifted up his head, which had been bowed down upon his hand; and I shall never forget how his pale and sharp features did seem paler than their wont, and his solemn voice seemed deeper and sadder. 'Madam!' he said, 'it may well befit your gentleness and sweetness of heart to grieve over the sufferings even of the froward and ungodly, when they be cut off from the congregation of the Lord, as His holy and just law enjoineth, for verily I also could weep for the condemned one, as a woman and a mother; and, since her coming, I have wrestled with the Lord, in prayer and fasting, that I might be His instrument in snatching her as a brand from the burning. But, as a watchman on the walls of Zion, when I did see her casting poison into the wells of life, and enticing unstable souls into the snares and pitfalls of Satan, what should I do but sound an alarm against her? And the magistrate, such as your worthy husband, who is also appointed of God, and set for the defence of the truth, and the safety of the Church and the State, what can he do but faithfully to execute the law of God, which is a terror to evil doers? The natural pity which we feel must give place unto the duty we do severally owe to God and His Church, and the government of His appointment. It is a small matter to be judged of man's judgment, for, though certain people have not scrupled to call me cruel and hard of heart, yet the Lord knows I have wept in secret places over these misguided men and women.

"'But might not life be spared?' asked Madam Broadstreet. 'Death is a great thing.'

"'It is appointed unto all to die,' said Mr. Norton, 'and after death cometh the judgment. The death of these poor bodies is a bitter thing, but the death of the soul is far more dreadful; and it is better that these people should suffer than that hundreds of precious souls should be lost through their evil communication. The care of the dear souls of my flock lieth heavily upon me, as many sleepless nights and days of fasting do bear witness. I have not taken counsel of flesh and blood in this grave matter, nor yielded unto the natural weakness of my heart. And while some were for sparing these workers of iniquity, even as Saul spared Agag, I have been strengthened, as it were, to hew them in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal. O madam, your honored husband can tell you what travail of spirit, what sore trials, these disturbers have cost us; and as you do know in his case, so believe also in mine, that what we have done hath been urged, not by hardness and cruelty of heart, but rather by our love and tenderness towards the Lord's heritage in this land. Through care and sorrow I have grown old before my time; few and evil have been the days of my pilgrimage, and the end seems not far off; and though I have many sins and shortcomings to answer for, I do humbly trust that the blood of the souls of the flock committed to me will not then be found upon my garments.'

"Ah, me! I shall never forget these words of that godly man," continued my aunt, "for, as he said, his end was not far off. He died very suddenly, and the Quakers did not scruple to say that it was God's judgment upon him for his severe dealing with their people. They even go so far as to say that the land about Boston is cursed because of the hangings and whippings, inasmuch as wheat will not now grow here, as it did formerly, and, indeed, many, not of their way, do believe the same thing."

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Margaret Smith's Journal In The Province Of Massachusetts Bay, 1678-9 - April 24 Margaret Smith's Journal In The Province Of Massachusetts Bay, 1678-9 - April 24

Margaret Smith's Journal In The Province Of Massachusetts Bay, 1678-9 - April 24
A vessel from London has just come to port, bringing Rebecca's dresses for the wedding, which will take place about the middle of June, as I hear. Uncle Rawson has brought me a long letter from Aunt Grindall, with one also from Oliver, pleasant and lively, like himself. No special news from abroad that I hear of. My heart longs for Old England more and more.It is supposed that the freeholders have chosen Mr. Broadstreet for their Governor. The vote, uncle says, is exceeding small, very few people troubling themselves about it.

Margaret Smith's Journal In The Province Of Massachusetts Bay, 1678-9 - February 10 Margaret Smith's Journal In The Province Of Massachusetts Bay, 1678-9 - February 10

Margaret Smith's Journal In The Province Of Massachusetts Bay, 1678-9 - February 10
Speaking of Goody Morse to-day, Uncle Rawson says she will, he thinks, be adjudged a witch, as there be many witnesses from Newbury to testify against her. Aunt sent the old creature some warm blankets and other necessaries, which she stood much in need of, and Rebecca and I altered one of aunt's old gowns for her to wear, as she hath nothing seemly of her own. Mr. Richardson, her minister, hath visited her twice since she hath been in jail; but he saith she is hardened in her sin, and will confess nothing thereof.February 14.The famous Mr. John Eliot, having