“It is not so big as thine,” she said, measuring the little hand on the palm of Arundel, “but such as it is, it shall ever be at the service of honor and justice. Were I a man I would strike a blow for the sake of the generous chief, even although sure of being prostrated to the earth by a hundred the next instant.”
The color of Eveline was heightened, and her voice trembled a little, as she made the declaration.
“Thy language, dearest, is a spur to a determination already formed. Were Sassacus to lose his life, and I to leave this land, conscious of having omitted anything to save it, (at present so greatly imperilled,) the thought would cast a gloom over the remainder of my days, which, even thy love could not chase away.”
“Yet run into no unnecessary danger—do not be rash. What have I done by my imprudent words?” said the young lady, tears swelling into her eyes, as the possible consequences of what she had said, occurred to her mind. “O Miles, heed me not. What do I know of such things!”
“To prudence and courage,” said Arundel, “there is little danger in any enterprise; but sooner shall life desert me, than I the Pequot chief.”
They parted, he to ponder means to accomplish his purpose, and she alternately to reproach and to forgive herself, for encouraging her lover in an undertaking full of peril, yet demanded by gratitude and honor.
No wound, which warlike hand of enemy
Inflicts with dint of sword, so sore doth light,
As doth the poisonous sting which infamy
Infixeth in the name of noble wight;
For by no art, nor any leeches might,
It ever can recovered be again.
SPENSER’S FAERY QUEEN.
The reader is introduced, once more, into the company of the assembled magnates of the Massachusetts Bay, in New-England, and into the same room where we beheld them before. Governor Winthrop, upon the elevated dais, in his elbow chair, presides, while, ranged around the central table, is a full attendance of the Assistants. Not as before, however, are spectators admitted. Saving the honorable Council, no person is present, for the business before them has reference to concerns of State, as well as to a judicial examination, and it is considered expedient to conduct it in secrecy. The members, at the moment we enter, are engaged in an earnest discussion, and it is the rough voice of Deputy Governor Dudley which first salutes the ear.
“It were of little avail,” he said, as if objecting to something which had been proposed. “Let us not, like the ancient Pharisees, lay upon the shoulders of the people burdens too heavy to be borne.”
“Thy comparison,” said Endicott, in reply, “is somewhat unpleasing, and the shoe fits us not; but in vain hath been our pilgrimage hither, if we continue to imitate the unhappy model we left behind.”