« AnteriorContinuar »
“I'll go and see, now directly; but tell me “Very well. When you have done what you first you are really not hurt at all!"
can, come to us there." Constance assured him that she had merely “Is this the meek and gentle lady ?" thought suffered from fright, and begged him again to
Horace, as he turned away to obey her behests. go and see that they were not harmed.
But he had not much time for thought, for " Quick, please, Mr. Fisher; every instant
Doctor Everard just at this moment called to may be precious! Stop! I'll come too."
our hero to come and assist him. He went And the fair speaker endeavoured to rise from
immediately. Near the engine lay a man, bis her seat and accompany Horace. She failed signally; the shock had' left her too weak for
face burnt and scalded, and his form writhing
in agony. A heavy piece of the burst boiler any such attempt at present, so she was sain to
had fallen upon his legs, and aid was required sit down, and let Horace go alone. He hurried
to remove it; this the two Englishmen effected back again to the train. A scene of indescrib
together, and the Doctor did what he could to able confusion met his eye, now that he had
alleviate the suffering of the poor creature; in time to contemplate it. The engine attached |
| the meantime some French surgeons had arrived to the train appeared to have taken a spring,
spring on the spot, and the rest of those who were inand to have alighted on the other side of a; hedge bordering the line. There it lay, silent,
jured by the accident were placed under proper
care. but steaming, the boiler burst, and fragments of the case scattered around. The mangled Horace, having nothing more to do, returned body of the driver was extended on the ground to the tree where he had left Constance, and close by, so hideously disfigured, that it was there found a further addition to the party, viz., scarcely possible to recognize it as a human Greyson. Stretched at full-length on the grass form. The tender had been forced up, and re lay the unfortunate man : he was uttering low, mained, half-standing, half-lying against the melancholy groans, and ever and anon rolled embankment. The coke had fallen in a shower over from side to side. The sobriquet that on the ground, and a pool of boiling water sur- he once owned could now no longer be said to rounded the place.
be applicable, for the blood had deserted his Horace burried to the carriage of his mistress. cheeks, and settled in his nose. This was the After some search he succeeded in finding it. organ which had most severely suffered. It apIts body had been so battered by the accident, peared afterwards that the Doctor and Dean, that it was not easy to recognize at first. Doc having both been thrown from their seats to tor Everard had extricated Mrs. Somers from the floor of the carriage, had alternately bumped her perilous position, and placed her on some upon one another during the jolts which had timber near. She sat there as composed and preceded the final catastrophe of the accident. placid as though she had been in her own The last shock had come most severely upon drawing-room. Greyson had not fared 80 | the Dean of St. Bride's, as the Doctor's person well.
| bad descended on his nose, and nearly flattened As Horace reached the scene of the catas- | it. trophe, the poor man was crawling out from the Miss Shirley was now quite composed, and wreck, moaning piteously, and the very picture begged Horace to take her to the scene of the of woe. The courier's natural feeling was to accident. The meek lady, however, roused succour the sufferer, and he was about to do so, herself, and put a decided veto on this when Mrs. Somers called to him to ask where proceeding; so Constance was fain to sub. Miss Shirley was, and whether she had been mit, more especially as they were assured
that every kind of assistance had been ren. “No; thank God she is safe!" answered dered. Horace, eagerly. “I left her sitting under that
In the meantime a gang of labourers had artree beyond the bank.” Mrs. Somers looked up, with a kind of meek
rived at the spot, and the débris of the carriages
were being removed, and the line repaired. The inquiry, to the speaker, which seemed to say,
cause of the disaster proved to be that a sleeper "What could it matter to him to that extent
had sunk from its position, owing to the late whether Miss Shirley was safe or not?” The
rains, and a previous train had snapped and look brought Horace back to himself, and he
displaced the iron. This left the line ready prerecollected that it would be well to ask how
pared for the accident which occurred to the Mrs. Somers herself had fared.
Brussels train, as related. "Thank you,” replied the lady, coldly, "I am none the worse: but, if you would kindly make
In an hour's time matters were so far arranged yourself useful to any of the poor sufferers that the party were enabled to proceed on their around, I will go to Miss Shirley. Where do way, an empty train having been sent down the you say she is pas
line to convey them. Hall-an-bour later they
I were safely lodged in an hotel on the Place “Under the chestnut-tree beyond the bank.” Verte.
THE PURITAN MINISTER.
It is nine o'clock upon a summer Sunday is stuck in the ground, ready to support the morning, in the year sixteen hundred and some weapon; and he is girded with his bandoleer, thing. The sun looks down brightly on a little or broad leather belt, which sustains a sword forest settlement, around whose expanding fields and a dozen tin cartridge boxes. the great American wilderness recedes each day, The meeting-house is the second to which the withdrawing its bears and wolves and Indians town has treated itself, the first having been into an ever remoter distance, not yet so far “a timber fort, both strong and comely, with but that a stout wooden gate at each end of the flat roof and battlements,”-a cannon on top, village street indicates that there is something and the cannonade of the gospel down below. outside which must stay outside, if possible. But this one cost the town sixty-three pounds, It would look very busy and thriving in this hard-earned pounds, and carefully expended. little place, to-day, but for the Sabbath stillness It is built of brick, smeared outside with clay, which broods over everything with almost an and finished with clay-boards, outside of all. excess of calm. Even the smoke ascends more It is about twenty-five feet square, with a chimfaintly than usual from the chimneys of these ney half the width of the building, and projecte abundant log-huts and scanty framed houses, ing four feet above the thatched roof. The and since three o'clock yesterday afternoon not steeple is in the centre, and the bell-rope, if a stroke of this world's work has been done. they have one, hangs in the middle of the broad Last night a preparatory lecture was held, and aisle. There are six windows, two on each of now comes the consummation of the whole the two sides, and two more at the end, part week's life, in the solemn act of worship. In being covered with oiled paper only, part glazed which settlement of the Massachusetts Colony in numerous small panes. And between the is the great observance to pass before our eyes? windows, on the outside, hang the heads of all If it be Cambridge village, the warning drum is the wolves that have been killed in the township beating its peaceful summons to the congrega- within the year. But the Quakers think that tion. If it be Salem village, a bell is sounding the wolves have cheated the parish and got inits more ecclesiastic peal, and a red flag is sim- side, in sheep's clothing, ultaneously hung forth from the meeting-house, The people are assembling. The Governor like the auction-flag of later periods, but offering has passed by, with his four vergers bearing in this case goods without money and beyond halberds before him, The French Popish amprice. But if it be Haverhill village, then Abra bassadors, who have just arrived from Canada, ham Tyler has been blowing his horn assiduously are told the customs of the place, and left to for half an hour, a service for which Abraham, stay quietly in the Governor's house, each year, receives a half-pound of pork from sweetmeats, wines, and the liberty of a private every family in town.
walk in the garden. The sexton has just called Be it drum, bell, or horn, which gives the for the minister, as is his duty twice every Sunsummons, we will draw near to this important day, and, removing his cocked hat, he walks building, the centre of the village, the one pub- | before his superior officer. The minister enters lic edifice,- meeting house, town-house, school. / and passes up the aisle, dressed in Geneva cloak, house, watch-house, all in one. So important black skull-cap, and black gloves open at thumb is it, that no one can legally dwell more than and finger, for the better handling of his manua half-mile from it. And yet the people ride to script. He looks round upon his congregation, meeting, short though the distance be, for at a few hundred, recently seated anew for the year, yonder oaken block a wife dismounts from be arranged according to rank and age. There are hind her husband ;-and has it not, moreover, the old men in the pews beneath the pulpit. been found needful to impose a fine of forty There are the young men in the gallery, or near shillings on fast trotting to and fro ? All sins the door, with ruffs, showy belts, gold and silver are not modern ones, young gentlemen.
buttons, "points" at the knees, and great boots. We approach nearer still, and come among There are the young women, with “silk or tiffthe civic institutions. This is the pillory, yon- any hoods or scarfs," “ embroidered or needle. der the stocks, and there is a large wooden cage, worked caps," "immoderate great sleeves," a terror to evil-doers, but let us hope empty “cut works,”-a mystery,"slash apparel," – now. Round the meeting-house is a high another mystery,"immoderate great vayles: wooden paling, to which the law permits citizens long wings," etc.,--mystery on mystery, but all to tie their horses, provided it be not done too recorded in the statutes, which forbid these near the passage-way. For at that opening splendours to persons of mean estate. There stands a sentry, clothed in a suit of armour are the wives of the magistrates in prominent which is painted black, and cost the town twenty-seats, and the grammar-school master's wife four shillings by the bill. He bears also a next them; and in each pew, close to the moth heavy matchlock musket; his rest, or iron fork, er’s elbow, is the little wooden cage for the
youngest child, still too young to sit alone. All It may be some very special and famous effort. boys are held too young to sit alone also ; for, Perhaps Increase Mather is preaching on “The though the emigrants left in Holland the aged Morning Star," or on “Snow," or on “The deaconess who there presided, birch in hand, to Voice of God in Stormy Winds;" or it may be control the rising generation in Sunday meet his sermon entitled “Burnings Bewailed," to ings, yet the urchins are now herded on the improve the lesson of some great conflagration, pulpil and gallery staire, with four constables which he attributes partly to Sabbath-breaking to guard them from the allurements of sin. and partly to the new fashion of monstrous And there sits Sin itself embodied in the shrink. | periwigs. Or it may be Cotton Mather, his son, ing form of some humiliated man or woman, 1 rolling forth his resounding discourse during a placed on a high stool in the principal aisle, thunder-storm, entitled “Brantologia Sacra,”bearing the name of some dark crime written on consisting of seven separate divisions or thunpaper and pinned to the garments, or perhaps derbolts, and filled with sharp lightning from a Scarlet Letter on the breast.
Scripture and the Rabbinical lore, and Cartesian Ob, the silence of this place of worship, after natural philosophy. Just as he has proclaimed, the solemn service sets in! “ People do not “In the thunder there is the voice of the glorious sneeze or cough here in public assemblies," says God," a messenger comes hastening in, as in one writer, triumphantly, “So much as in Eng. the Book of Job, to tell him that his own house land." The warning caution, “ Be short," has just been struck, and though no person is which the minister has inscribed above his study- hurt, yet the house hath been much torn and door, claims no authority over his pulpit. He filled with the lightnings. With what joy and may pray his hour, unpausing, and no one thinks power he instantly wields above his audience it long; for, indeed, at prayer-meetings four this providential surplus of excitement, remind. persons will sometimes pray an hour each,- ing one irresistibly of some scientific lecturer one with confession, one with private petitions, who has nearly blown himself up by his own a third with petitions for church and kingdom, experiments, and proceeds beaming with fresh and a fourth with thanksgiving,-neither part confidence, the full power of his compound of the quartette being for an instant confused | being incontestably shown. Rising with the with the other. Then he may preach his hour, emergency, he tells them grandly, that, as he and, turning his hour-glass, may say—but that once had in his house a magnet wbich the thunbe will not anticipate the levity to be born in a der changed instantly from north to south, so it later century with Mather Byles —“Now, my were well if the next bolt could change their hearers, we will take another glass."
stubborn souls from Satan to God. But afterIn short, this is the pomp and circumstance ward he is compelled to own that Satan also is of glorious preaching. Woe to any one who sometimes permitted to have a band in the thun. shall disturb its proprieties! It is written in der, which is the reason why it breaks oftener the statute, “If any one interrupt or oppose aon churches than on any other buildings; and preacher in season of worship, they shall be again he admits, pensively, at last, that churches reproved by the magistrate, and on repetition and ministers' houses have undoubtedly the shall pay £5, or stand two hours on a block | larger share. four feet high, with this inscription in capitals, The sermon is over. The more demoralized
A Wanton Gospeller.'” Nor this alone, but among the little boys, whose sleepy eyes have been the law stands, by the minister's doctrine, even more than once admonished by the hare's-foot out of the meeting-house. It is but a few days wand of the constables-the sharp paw is used since Nathaniel Hadlock was sentenced to be for the boys, the soft fur is kept for the smooth severely whipped for declaring that he could re- | foreheads of drowsy maidens-look up tboceive no profit from Mr. H-'s preaching; roughly awakened now. Bright eyes glance since Thomas Maule was mauled to the extent from beneath silk or tiffany hoods, for a little of ten stripes for declaring that Mr. H - preached interlude is coming. Many things may happen lies, and that his instruction was the doctrine in this pause after the sermon. Questions may of devils ; since even the wife of Nicholas Phelps be asked of the elders now, which the elders was sentenced to pay five pounds or be whipped, may answer,-if they can. Some lay brother for asserting that ihis same Mr. H- sent abroad may “exercise” on a text of Scripture, rather his wolves and bloodhounds among the sheep severe exercise, it sometimes turns out. Candiand lambs, Truly, it is a perilous thing to dates for the church may be proposed. A bapattend public worship in such reverential days. tism may take place. If it be the proper month, However, it is equally dangerous to stay at the laws against profaning the Sabbath may be home; there are tithing-men to look after the read. The last town-regulations may be read ; absentees, and any one unnecessarily absentor, far more exciting, a new marriage may be must pay five shillings. He may be put in the published. Or a darker scene may follow, and stocks or in the wooden cage, if delinquent for some offending magistrate may be required to & month together.
stand upon a bench, in his woret garments, with But we must give our attention to the sermon. a foul linen cap drawn close to his eyes, and It is what the congregation will pronounce “a acknowledge his sins before the pious people, large, nervous, and golden discourse," a Scrip. who reverenced him so lately. tural discourse, --like the skeleton of the sea. These things done, a deacon says impressively, serpent, all backbone and a great deal of that. ! “ Brethren, now there is time for contribution ; wherefore, as God hath prospered you, so freely | Shepard," in continuance of whose labours he offer.” Then the people in the galleries come kept a monthly lecture, “wherein he largely down and march two abreast, "up one aisle and handled man's misery by sin and made a most down the other,” passing before the desk, where entertaining ex position of the Book of Genesis." in a long “ pew" sit the elders and deacons. For the minister's week-days were more ardu. One of these holds a moneybox, into which the ous than his Sundays, and to have for each worshippers put their offerings, usually varying parish both pastor and teacher still left a forfrom one to five shillings, according to their midable duty for each. He must visit families ability and good-will. Some give paper pledges during several afternoons in every week, sending instead; and others give other valuables, such previous notice, so that children and domestics as “a fair gilt cup, with a cover,” for the com- might be ready for catechizing. He was munion-service. Then comes a psalm, read, “much visited for counsel” in his own home, line after line, by some one appointed, out of and must set apart one day in the week for cases the “Bay Pealm-Book," and sung by the peo- of conscience, ranging from the most fine-drawn ple. These Psalms are sung regularly througb, self-tormentings up to the most unnatural secret four every Sunday, and some ten tunes compose crimes. He must often go to lectures in neigh. the whole vocal range of the congregation. bouring towns, a kind of religious dissipation Then come the words, “ Blessed are they who which increased so fast that the Legislature at hear the word of the Lord and keep it," and then last interfered to restrict it. He must have the benediction.
five or six separate seasons for private prayer And then the reverend divine descends from daily, devoting each day in the week to special his desk aad walks down the aisle, bowing meditations and intercessions, -as Monday to gravely right and left to his people, not one of his family, Tuesday to enemies, Wednesday to whom stirs till the minister has gone out; and the churches, Thursday to other societies, Frithen the assembly disperses, each to his own day to persons afflicted, and Saturday to his own home, unless it be some who have come from a soul. He must have private fasts, spending distance, and stay to eat their cold pork and whole days locked in his study and whole nights peas in the meeting-house.
prostrate on the floor. Cotton Mather "thought Roll aside the pauorama of the three-hours' | himself starved,” unless he fasted once a month Sunday service of two centuries ago, lest that at farthest, while he often did it twice in a week. which was not called wearisome in the passing! Then there were public fasts quite frequently, prove wearisome in the delineation now. It “because of sics, blastings, mildews, drought, needed all this accumulation of small details to grasshoppers, caterpillars, small pox," “loss of show how widely the externals of New-England cattle by cold and frowns of Providence." church-going bave changed since those early Perhaps a mouse and a snake had a battle in the days. But what must bave been the daily life neighbourhood, and the minister must expound of that Puritan minister for whom this exhaust- it as “symbolizing the conflict betwixt Satan ing service was but one portion of the task of and God's poor people," the latter being the life! Truly, they were “pious and painful mouse triumphant. Then if there were a milipreachers" then, as I have read upon a stone in tary expedition, the minister might think it ihe old Watertown graveyard ;—" princely needful to accompany it. If there were even a preachers” Cotton Mather calls them. He re- muster, he must open and close it with prayer, lates that Mr. Cotton, in addition to preaching or, in his absence, the captain must officiate on Sunday and holding his ordinary lecture instead. every Thursday, preached thrice a week besides, One would naturally add to this record of on Wednesday and Thursday early in the morn- labours the attendance on weddings and funeing, and on Saturday afternoon. He also held | rals. It is strange how few years are required a daily lecture in his house, which was at last to make a usage seem ancestral, or to reunite a abandoned as being too much thronged, and traditional broken one. Who now remembers frequent occasional days occurred, when he that our progenitors for more than a century would spend six hours “in the word and in disused religious services on both these solemn prayer."' On his voyage to America he occasions ? Magistrates alone could perform being accompanied by two other ministers, they the marriage ceremony; though it was thought commonly bad three sermons a day-one after to be carrying the monopoly quite too far, when every meal. He was "a universal scholar and Governor Bellingham, in 1641, officiated at his a walking library ;" he studied twelve bours a own. Prayer was absolutely forbidden at funeday, and said he liked to sweeten his mouth rals, as was done also by Calvin at Geneva, with a piece of Calvin before he went to sleep. by John Knox in Scotland, by the English Pus
A fearful rate of labour; a strange, grave, ritans in the Westminster Assembly, and by the quaint, ascetic, rigorous life. It seems a mys- | French Huguenots. The bell might ring, the tery how the Reverend Joshua Moody could friends might walk, two and two, to the grave; have survived to write four thousand sermons, but there must be no prayer uttered. The sebut it is no mystery why the Reverend John cret was, that the traditions of the English and Mitchell was called " a truly aged young man" | Romish Churches must be avoided at all sacri. at thirty, especially when we consider that he fices. “ Doctor,” said King James to a Puritan was successor at Cambridge to "the holy, hea- divine,“ do you go barefoot because the Papists venly, sweet-affecting, and soul-ravishing Mr. I wear shoes and stockings?" Even the origin
of the frequent New-England babit of eating, the town in the work before them.” They salt fish on Saturday is supposed to have been wrote state-papers, went on embassies, and took the fact that Roman Catholics eat it on Friday. the lead at town-meetings. At the exciting
But if there were no prayers said on these gubernatorial election in 1637, Rey. John Wil. occasions, there were serinons. Mr. John Calf, son, minister of the First Church in Boston, not of Newbury, described one specimen of suneral / satisfied with “taking the stump" for his cansermon in immortal verse :
didate, took to a full-grown tree and harangued
the people from among the boughs. Perhaps “On Sabbath day he went his way,
the tree may have been the Great Elm which As he was used to do,
still ornaments the Common; but one sees no God's house unto, that they might know
chips of that other old block among its branches What he had for to show;
One would expect that the effect of this pre. God's holy will he must fulfil,
dominant clerical influence would have been to For it was his desire
make the aim of the Puritan codes lofty, their For to declare a sermon rare
consistency unflinching, their range narrow, and Concerning Madam Fryer.”
their penalties severe,-and it certainly was so.
Looking at their educational provisions, they The practice of wedding discourses was handed seem all noble ; looking at their schedule of down into the last century, and sometimes be sins and retributions, one wonders how any guiled the persons concerned into rather start. rational being could endure them for a day. ling levities. For instance, when Parson Smith's | Communities, like individuals, furnish virtues daughter Mary was to marry young Mr. Cranch, / piecemeal. Roger Williams, with all his wise --(what graceful productions of pen and pencil toleration, bequeathed to Rhode Island no such have come to this generation from the posterity system of schools as his persecutors framed for of that union !)—the father permitted the saintly
Father permitted the saintly Massachusetts. But the children who were maiden to decide on her own text for the sermon, watched and trained thus carefully might be and she meekly selected, “Mary hath chosen put to death, if they “cursed their orderly parthe better part, which shall not be taken away ents” after the age of sixteen ;- not that the from her, and the discourse was duly pro- penalty ever was inflicted, but it was on the nounced. But when her wild young sister Abby statute-book. Sabbath-breaking was placed on was bent on marrying a certain Squire Adams, a level with murder,-though Calvin himself called Jobn, whom her father disliked and would allowed the old men to play at bowls and the not even invite to dinner, she boldly suggested young men to practise military training, after for her text, “ John came, neither eating bread afternoon service, at Geneva. Down to 1769 nor drinking wine, and ye say he hath a devil.” not even a funeral could take place on Sunday But no sermon stands recorded under this pre- | in Massachusetts, without licence from a magis fix, though Abby lived to be the wife of one trate. Then the stocks and the wooden cage President of the United States and mother of were in frequent use, though “barbarous and another.
cruel” punishments were forbidden in 1641. The Puritan minister had public duties also Scolds and railers were set on a ducking-stool upon him. Indeed, for many years they virtu- | and dipped over head and ears three times, in ally controlled the franchise, inasmuch as only running water if possible. Mrs. Oliver, a male church-members could vote or hold office, troublesome theologian, was silenced with a cleft at least in the Massachusetts Colony. Those stick applied to her tongue. Thomas Scott, malecontents who petitioned to enlarge the suf- in 1649, was sentenced for some offence to learn frage were fined and imprisoned in 1646, and "the catachise," or be fined ten shillings, and, even in 1664 the only amendment was by per- | after due consideration, paid the fine. "Somemitting non-church-members to vote on a formal times offenders, with a refinement of cruelty, certificate to their orthodoxy from the minister. were obliged to “go and talk to the elders.” The government they aimed at was not demo- | And if any youth made matrimonial overtures cracy, but theocracy : “God never did ordain to a young female without the consent of her democracy as a fit government,” said Cotton. | parents, or, in their absence, of the County Accordingly, when Cotton and Ward framed Court, he was first fined and then imprisoned. their first code, Ward's portion was rejected | A new etymology for the word “courting.” by the colony as heathen, that is, based on An exbibition of this mingled influence was Greek and Roman models, not Mosaic,- and in the relation of the ministers to the Indian Cotton's was afterwards rebuked in England / wars. Roger Williams, even when banished as “fanatical and absurd.” But the govern- and powerless, could keep the peace with the ment finally established was an ecclesiastical natives. But when the brave Miantonimo was despotism, tempered by theological controversy. I to be dealt with for suspected treason, and the
lo Connecticut it was first the custom, and civil authorities decided, that, though it was then the order, lasting as late as 1708, that unsafe to set him at liberty, they yet had no "the ministers of the gospel should preach a ground to put him to death, the matter being sermon, on the day appointed by law for the finally referred to five “elders,” Uncas was choice of civil rulers, proper for the direction of straightway authorized to slay him in cold blood.