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To have and to hold


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Title:ToHaveandToHold
Author:MaryJohnston
ReleaseDate:January4,2009[EBook#2807]
LastUpdated:March11,2018
Language:English

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TOHAVEANDTOHOLD



ByMaryJohnston

TO
THEMEMORYOF
MYMOTHER

CONTENTS
TOHAVEANDTOHOLD

CHAPTERI.INWHICHITHROWAMBS-ACE
CHAPTER II. IN WHICH I MEET MASTER JEREMY
SPARROW
CHAPTERIII.INWHICHIMARRYINHASTE
CHAPTER IV. IN WHICH I AM LIKE TO REPENT AT
LEISURE
CHAPTERV.INWHICHAWOMANHASHERWAY
CHAPTERVI.INWHICHWEGOTOJAMESTOWN


CHAPTER VII. IN WHICH WE PREPARE TO FIGHT THE
SPANIARD
CHAPTERVIII.INWHICHENTERSMYLORDCARNAL
CHAPTERIX.INWHICHTWODRINKOFONECUP
CHAPTERX. IN WHICH MASTER PORY GAINS TIME TO
SOMEPURPOSE
CHAPTERXI.INWHICHIMEETANITALIANDOCTOR
CHAPTER XII. IN WHICH I RECEIVE A WARNING AND
REPOSEATRUST
CHAPTER XIII. IN WHICH THE SANTA TERESA DROPS
DOWNSTREAM
CHAPTERXIV.INWHICHWESEEKALOSTLADY
CHAPTERXV.INWHICHWEFINDTHEHAUNTEDWOOD
CHAPTER XVI. IN WHICH I AM RID OF AN
UNPROFITABLESERVANT
CHAPTER XVII. IN WHICH MY LORD AND I PLAY AT
BOWLS
CHAPTERXVIII.INWHICHWEGOOUTINTOTHENIGHT
CHAPTER XIX. IN WHICH WE HAVE UNEXPECTED
COMPANY
CHAPTERXX.INWHICHWEAREINDESPERATECASE


CHAPTERXXI.INWHICHAGRAVEISDIGGED
CHAPTER XXII. IN WHICH I CHANGE MY NAME AND
OCCUPATION


CHAPTERXXIII.INWHICHWEWRITEUPONTHESAND
CHAPTERXXIV.INWHICHWECHOOSETHELESSEROF
TWOEVILS
CHAPTERXXV.INWHICHMYLORDHATHHISDAY
CHAPTERXXVI.INWHICHIAMBROUGHTTOTRIAL
CHAPTERXXVII.INWHICHIFINDANADVOCATE
CHAPTER XXVIII. IN WHICH THE SPRINGTIME IS AT
HAND
CHAPTERXXIX.INWHICHIKEEPTRYST
CHAPTERXXX.INWHICHWESTARTUPONAJOURNEY
CHAPTER XXXI. IN WHICH NANTAUQUAS COMES TO
OURRESCUE
CHAPTERXXXII.INWHICHWEARETHEGUESTSOFAN
EMPEROR
CHAPTERXXXIII. IN WHICH MY FRIEND BECOMES MY
FOE
CHAPTERXXXIV. IN WHICH THE RACE IS NOT TO THE
SWIFT
CHAPTER XXXV. IN WHICH I COME TO THE
GOVERNOR'SHOUSE
CHAPTERXXXVI.INWHICHIHEARILLNEWS
CHAPTER XXXVII. IN WHICH MY LORD AND I PART
COMPANY


CHAPTERXXXVIII.INWHICHIGOUPONAQUEST
CHAPTERXXXIX.INWHICHWELISTENTOASONG


TOHAVEANDTOHOLD


CHAPTERIINWHICHITHROWAMBS-ACE
THEworkofthedaybeingover,Isatdownuponmydoorstep,pipeinhand,
to rest awhile in the cool of the evening. Death is not more still than is this
Virginianlandinthehourwhenthesunhassunkaway,anditisblackbeneath
thetrees,andthestarsbrightenslowlyandsoftly,onebyone.Thebirdsthatsing
all day have hushed, and the horned owls, the monster frogs, and that strange
andominousfowl(iffowlitbe,andnot,assomeassert,aspiritdamned)which
weEnglishcallthewhippoorwill,areyetsilent.Laterthewolfwillhowlandthe
pantherscream,butnowthereisnosound.Thewindsarelaid,andtherestless
leavesdroopandarequiet.Thelowlapofthewateramongthereedsislikethe
breathingofonewhosleepsinhiswatchbesidethedead.
I marked the light die from the broad bosom of the river, leaving it a dead
man'shue.Awhileago,andformanyevenings,ithadbeencrimson,—ariverof
blood.Aweekbefore,agreatmeteorhadshotthroughthenight,blood-redand
bearded,drawingaslow-fadingfierytrailacrosstheheavens;andthemoonhad
risenthatsamenightblood-red,anduponitsdisktherewasdrawninshadowa
thing most marvelously like a scalping knife. Wherefore, the following day
beingSunday,goodMr.Stockham,ourministeratWeyanoke,exhortedustobe
onourguard,andinhisprayerbesoughtthatnoseditionorrebellionmightraise
its head amongst the Indian subjects of the Lord's anointed. Afterward, in the
churchyard, between the services, the more timorous began to tell of divers
portents which they had observed, and to recount old tales of how the savages
distressedusintheStarvingTime.Thebolderspiritslaughedthemtoscorn,but
the women began to weep and cower, and I, though I laughed too, thought of
Smith, and how he ever held the savages, and more especially that
Opechancanoughwhowasnowtheiremperor,inamostdeepdistrust;tellingus
that the red men watched while we slept, that they might teach wiliness to a
Jesuit,andhowtobideitstimetoacatcrouchedbeforeamousehole.Ithought
of the terms we now kept with these heathen; of how they came and went
familiarly amongst us, spying out our weakness, and losing the salutary awe
which that noblest captain had struck into their souls; of how many were
employedashunterstobringdowndeerforlazymasters;ofhow,breakingthe
law, and that not secretly, we gave them knives and arms, a soldier's bread, in
exchange for pelts and pearls; of how their emperor was forever sending us
smooth messages; of how their lips smiled and their eyes frowned. That


afternoon,asIrodehomethroughthelengtheningshadows,ahunter,red-brown
and naked, rose from behind a fallen tree that sprawled across my path, and
madeoffertobringmemymeatfromthemoonofcorntothemoonofstagsin
exchangeforagun.Therewasscantlovebetweenthesavagesandmyself,—it
was answer enough when I told him my name. I left the dark figure standing,
stillasacarvedstone,intheheavyshadowofthetrees,and,spurringmyhorse
(sent me from home, the year before, by my cousin Percy), was soon at my
house,—apoorandrudeone,butpleasantlysetuponaslopeofgreenturf,and
girtwithmaizeandthebroadleavesofthetobacco.WhenIhadhadmysupper,I
calledfromtheirhutthetwoPaspaheghladsboughtbymefromtheirtribethe
Michaelmasbefore,andsoundlyfloggedthemboth,havinginmymindasaying
ofmyancientcaptain's,namely,“Hewhostrikesfirstoft-timesstrikeslast.”
Upon the afternoon of which I now speak, in the midsummer of the year of
grace1621,asIsatuponmydoorstep,mylongpipebetweenmyteethandmy
eyesuponthepallidstreambelow,mythoughtswerebusywiththesematters,—
sobusythatIdidnotseeahorseandrideremergefromthedimnessoftheforest
intotheclearedspacebeforemypalisade,norknew,untilhisvoicecameupthe
bank,thatmygoodfriend,MasterJohnRolfe,waswithoutandwouldspeakto
me.
I went down to the gate, and, unbarring it, gave him my hand and led the
horsewithintheinclosure.
“Thou careful man!” he said, with a laugh, as he dismounted. “Who else,
think you, in this or any other hundred, now bars his gate when the sun goes
down?”
“Itismysunsetgun,”Iansweredbriefly,fasteninghishorseasIspoke.
Heputhisarmaboutmyshoulder,forwewereoldfriends,andtogetherwe
went up the green bank to the house, and, when I had brought him a pipe, sat
downsidebysideuponthedoorstep.
“Of what were you dreaming?” he asked presently, when we had made for
ourselvesagreatcloudofsmoke.“Icalledyoutwice.”
“IwaswishingforDale'stimesandDale'slaws.”
He laughed, and touched my knee with his hand, white and smooth as a
woman's,andwithagreenjewelupontheforefinger.
“Thou Mars incarnate!” he cried. “Thou first, last, and in the meantime
soldier!Why,whatwiltthoudowhenthougettesttoheaven?Makeittoohotto
holdthee?OrtakeoutlettersofmarqueagainsttheEnemy?”


“Iamnotthereyet,”Isaiddryly.“InthemeantimeIwouldlikeacommission
against—yourrelatives.”
Helaughed,thensighed,and,sinkinghischinintohishandandsoftlytapping
hisfootagainsttheground,fellintoareverie.
“Iwouldyourprincesswerealive,”Isaidpresently.
“SodoI,”heansweredsoftly.“SodoI.”Lockinghishandsbehindhishead,
he raised his quiet face to the evening star. “Brave and wise and gentle,” he
mused.“IfIdidnotthinktomeetheragain,beyondthatstar,Icouldnotsmile
andspeakcalmly,Ralph,asIdonow.”
“'Tisastrangething,”Isaid,asIrefilledmypipe.“Loveforyourbrother-inarms, love for your commander if he be a commander worth having, love for
yourhorseanddog,Iunderstand.Butweddedlove!totieaburdenaroundone's
neck because 't is pink and white, or clear bronze, and shaped with elegance!
Faugh!”
“YetIcamewithhalfamindtopersuadetheetothatveryburden!”hecried,
withanotherlaugh.
“Thanksforthypains,”Isaid,blowingblueringsintotheair.
“Ihaveriddento-dayfromJamestown,”hewenton.“Iwastheonlyman,i'
faith, that cared to leave its gates; and I met the world—the bachelor world—
flockingtothem.NotamileofthewaybutIencounteredTom,Dick,andHarry,
dressedintheirSundaybraveryandmakingfulltiltforthecity.Andtheboats
upontheriver!IhaveseentheThameslesscrowded.”
“Therewasmorepassingthanusual,”Isaid;“butIwasbusyinthefields,and
didnotattend.What'sthelodestar?”
“Thestarthatdrawsusall,—sometoruin,sometoblissineffable,woman.”
“Humph!Themaidshavecome,then?”
Henodded.“There'sagoodlyshipdownthere,withagoodlylading.”
“Videlicet,somefourscorewaitingdamselsandmilkmaids,warrantedhonest
bymyLordWarwick,”Imuttered.
“This business hath been of Edwyn Sandys' management, as you very well
know,” he rejoined, with some heat. “His word is good: therefore I hold them
chaste.ThattheyarefairIcantestify,havingseenthemleavetheship.”
“Fairandchaste,”Isaid,“butmeanlyborn.”
“Igrantyouthat,”heanswered.“Butafterall,whatofit?Beggarsmustnotbe
choosers.Thelandisnewandmustbepeopled,norwillthosewhocomeafterus


look too curiously into the lineage of those to whom a nation owes its birth.
What we in these plantations need is a loosening of the bonds which tie us to
home,toEngland,andatighteningofthosewhichbindustothislandinwhich
wehavecastourlot.Weputourhandtotheplough,butweturnourheadsand
looktoourEgyptanditsfleshpots.'Tischildrenandwife—bethatwifeprincess
orpeasant—thatmakehomeofadesert,thatbindamanwithchainsofgoldto
the country where they abide. Wherefore, when at midday I met good Master
WickhamrowingdownfromHenricustoJamestown,toofferhisaidtoMaster
Buckeinhispressofbusinessto-morrow,IgavethegoodmanGodspeed,and
thoughthisafruitfulerrandandonepleasingtotheLord.”
“Amen,” I yawned. “I love the land, and call it home. My withers are
unwrung.”
He rose to his feet, and began to pace the greensward before the door. My
eyes followed his trim figure, richly though sombrely clad, then fell with a
suddendissatisfactionuponmyownstainedandfrayedapparel.
“Ralph,” he said presently, coming to a stand before me, “have you ever an
hundredandtwentypoundsoftobaccoinhand?Ifnot,I”—
“Ihavetheweed,”Ireplied.“Whatthen?”
“Thenatdawndropdownwiththetidetothecity,andsecureforthyselfone
ofthesesameerrantdamsels.”
I stared at him, and then broke into laughter, in which, after a space and
unwillingly,hehimselfjoined.WhenatlengthIwipedthewaterfrommyeyesit
was quite dark, the whippoorwills had begun to call, and Rolfe must needs
hastenon.Iwentwithhimdowntothegate.
“Takemyadvice,—itisthatofyourfriend,”hesaid,asheswunghimselfinto
thesaddle.Hegatheredupthereinsandstruckspursintohishorse,thenturned
to call back to me: “Sleep upon my words, Ralph, and the next time I come I
looktoseeafarthingalebehindthee!”
“Thouartasliketoseeoneuponme,”Ianswered.
Nevertheless, when he had gone, and I climbed the bank and reentered the
house,itwaswithastrangepangatthecheerlessnessofmyhearth,andanangry
and unreasoning impatience at the lack of welcoming face or voice. In God's
name, who was there to welcome me? None but my hounds, and the flying
squirrelIhadcaughtandtamed.Gropingmywaytothecorner,Itookfrommy
storetwotorches,litthem,andstuckthemintotheholespiercedinthemantel
shelf;thenstoodbeneaththeclearflame,andlookedwithasuddensickdistaste
upon the disorder which the light betrayed. The fire was dead, and ashes and


embers were scattered upon the hearth; fragments of my last meal littered the
table,andupontheunwashedfloorlaythebonesIhadthrownmydogs.Dirtand
confusion reigned; only upon my armor, my sword and gun, my hunting knife
anddagger,therewasnospotorstain.Iturnedtogazeuponthemwherethey
hung against the wall, and in my soul I hated the piping times of peace, and
longedforthecampfireandthecalltoarms.
Withanimpatientsigh,Isweptthelitterfromthetable,and,takingfromthe
shelf that held my meagre library a bundle of Master Shakespeare's plays
(gatheredformebyRolfewhenhewaslastinLondon),Ibegantoread;butmy
thoughtswandered,andthetaleseemeddullandofttold.Itosseditaside,and,
takingdicefrommypocket,begantothrow.AsIcastthebitsofbone,idly,and
scarce caring to observe what numbers came uppermost, I had a vision of the
forester'shutathome,where,whenIwasaboy,inthedaysbeforeIranawayto
thewarsintheLowCountries,Ihadspentmanyahappyhour.AgainIsawthe
brightlightofthefirereflectedineachwell-scrubbedcrockandpannikin;again
Iheardthecheerfulhumofthewheel;againthefaceoftheforester'sdaughter
smileduponme.Theoldgraymanorhouse,wheremymother,astatelydame,
sateverathertapestry,andanimperiouselderbrotherstrodetoandfroamong
his hounds, seemed less of home to me than did that tiny, friendly hut. Tomorrowwouldbemythirty-sixthbirthday.AllthenumbersthatIcastwerehigh.
“IfIthrowambs-ace,”Isaid,withasmileformyowncaprice,“cursemeifIdo
nottakeRolfe'sadvice!”
Ishooktheboxandclappeditdownuponthetable,thenliftedit,andstared
withalengtheningfaceatwhatithadhidden;whichdone,Idicednomore,but
putoutmylightsandwentsoberlytobed.


CHAPTERIIINWHICHIMEETMASTER
JEREMYSPARROW
MINEarenotdicers'oaths.ThestarswereyetshiningwhenIleftthehouse,
and, after a word with my man Diccon, at the servants' huts, strode down the
bankandthroughthegateofthepalisadetothewharf,whereIloosedmyboat,
putuphersail,andturnedherheaddownthebroadstream.Thewindwasfresh
andfavorable,andwewentswiftlydowntheriverthroughthesilvermisttoward
thesunrise.Theskygrewpalepinktothezenith;thenthesunroseanddrankup
the mist. The river sparkled and shone; from the fresh green banks came the
smellofthewoodsandthesongofbirds;aboverosethesky,brightblue,witha
few fleecy clouds drifting across it. I thought of the day, thirteen years before,
whenforthefirsttimewhitemensailedupthissameriver,andofhownobleits
width, how enchanting its shores, how gay and sweet their blooms and odors,
howvasttheirtrees,howstrangethepaintedsavages,hadseemedtous,stormtossed adventurers, who thought we had found a very paradise, the Fortunate
Islesatleast.Howquicklywereweundeceived!AsIlaybackinthesternwith
half-shuteyesandtilleridleinmyhand,ourmanytribulationsandourfewjoys
passed in review before me. Indian attacks; dissension and strife amongst our
rulers;truemenpersecuted,falseknaveselevated;thewearysearchforgoldand
theSouthSea;thehorrorofthepestilenceandtheblackerhorroroftheStarving
Time;thearrivalofthePatienceandDeliverance,whereatweweptlikechildren;
that most joyful Sunday morning when we followed my Lord de la Warre to
church; the coming of Dale with that stern but wholesome martial code which
wasnostrangertomewhohadfoughtunderMauriceofNassau;thegoodtimes
thatfollowed,whenbowl-playinggallantswereputdown,citiesfounded,forts
built, and the gospel preached; the marriage of Rolfe and his dusky princess;
Argall's expedition, in which I played a part, and Argall's iniquitous rule; the
returnofYeardleyasSirGeorge,andthepricelessgifthebroughtus,—allthis
andmuchelse,oldfriends,oldenemies,oldtoilsandstrifesandpleasures,ran,
bitter-sweet, through my memory, as the wind and flood bore me on. Of what
wasbeforemeIdidnotchoosetothink,sufficientuntothehourbeingtheevil
thereof.
Theriverseemeddeserted:nohorsemenspurredAlongthebridlepathonthe
shore;theboatswerefewandfarbetween,andheldonlyservantsorIndiansor


very old men. It was as Rolfe had said, and the free and able-bodied of the
plantations had put out, posthaste, for matrimony. Chaplain's Choice appeared
unpeopled;Piersey'sHundredsleptinthesunshine,itswharfdeserted,andbut
few,slow-movingfiguresinthetobaccofields;eventheIndianvillageslooked
scant of all but squaws and children, for the braves were gone to see the
palefaces buy their wives. Below Paspahegh a cockleshell of a boat carrying a
greatwhitesailovertookme,andIwashailedbyyoungHamor.
“Themaidsarecome!”hecried.“Hurrah!”andstooduptowavehishat.
“Humph!”Isaid.“Iguessthydestinationbythyhose.Aretheynot'thosethat
werethypeach-coloredones'?”
“Oons! yes!” he answered, looking down with complacency upon his
tarnishedfinery.“Weddinggarments,CaptainPercy,weddinggarments!”
Ilaughed.“Thouartatardybridegroom.Ithoughtthatthebachelorsofthis
quarteroftheglobesleptlastnightinJamestown.”
His face fell. “I know it,” he said ruefully; “but my doublet had more rents
thanslashesinit,andMartinTailorkeptituntilcockcrow.Thatfellowrollsin
tobacco;hehathgrownrichoffourimpoverishedwardrobessincetheshipdown
yonder passed the capes. After all,” he brightened, “the bargaining takes not
place untiltowardmidday,after solemnserviceandthanksgiving.There's time
enough!”Hewavedmeafarewell,ashisgreatsailandnarrowcraftcarriedhim
pastme.
Ilookedatthesun,whichtrulywasnotveryhigh,withasecretdisquietude;
forIhadhadascurvyhopethatafterallIshouldbetoolate,andsothenoose
whichIfelttighteningaboutmyneckmightunknotitself.Windandtidewere
againstme,andanhourlatersawmenearingthepeninsulaandmarvelingatthe
shipping which crowded its waters. It was as if every sloop, barge, canoe, and
dugoutbetweenPointComfortandHenricuswereanchoredoffitsshores,while
abovethemtoweredthemastsoftheMarmadukeandFurtherance,theninport,
andofthetallshipwhichhadbroughtinthosedovesforsale.Theriverwithits
dancingfreight,theblueheavensandbrightsunshine,thegreentreeswavingin
thewind,thestirandbustleinthestreetandmarketplacethrongedwithgayly
dressedgallants,madeafairandpleasantscene.AsIdrovemyboatinbetween
thesloopofthecommanderofShirleyHundredandthecanoeoftheNansemond
werowance,thetwobellsthennewlyhunginthechurchbegantopealandthe
drum to beat. Stepping ashore, I had a rear view only of the folk who had
clusteredalongthebanksandinthestreet,theirfacesandfootstepsbeingwith
oneaccorddirectedtowardthemarketplace.Iwentwiththethrong,jostledalike


by velvet and dowlas, by youths with their estates upon their backs and naked
fantasticallypaintedsavages,andtramplingthetobaccowithwhichthegreedy
citizens had planted the very street. In the square I brought up before the
Governor's house, and found myself cheek by jowl with Master Pory, our
Secretary,andSpeakeroftheAssembly.
“Ha,RalphPercy!”hecried,wagginghisgrayhead,“wetwobetheonlysane
younkersintheplantations!Alltheothersarehorn-mad!”
“Ihavecaughttheinfection,”Isaid,“andamoneofthebedlamites.”
He stared, then broke into a roar of laughter. “Art in earnest?” he asked,
holdinghisfatsides.“IsSaulamongtheprophets?”
“Yes,”Ianswered.“Idicedlastnight,—yeaorno;andthe'yea'—plagueon't
—hadit.”
Hebrokeintoanotherroar.“Andthoucallestthatbridalattire,man!Why,our
cow-keepergoesinflamingsilkto-day!”
Ilookeddownuponmysuitofbuff,whichhadintruthseensomeservice,and
at mygreatboots,whichIhadnotthoughttocleansinceImiredinaswamp,
comingfromHenricustheweekbefore;thenshruggedmyshoulders.
“Youwillgobegging,”hecontinued,wipinghiseyes.“Notaoneofthemwill
somuchaslookatyou.”
“Thenwilltheymissseeingaman,andnotapopinjay,”Iretorted.“Ishallnot
breakmyheart.”
Acheerarosefromthecrowd,followedbyacrashingpealofthebellsanda
louderrollofthedrum.Thedoorsofthehousesaroundandtorightandleftof
the square swung open, and the company which had been quartered overnight
uponthecitizensbegantoemerge.Bytwosandthrees,somewithhurriedsteps
anddowncasteyes,othersmoreslowlyandwithfreeglancesatthestaringmen,
they gathered to the centre of the square, where, in surplice and band, there
awaited them godly Master Bucke and Master Wickham of Henricus. I stared
withtherest,thoughIdidnotaddmyvoicetotheirs.
Before the arrival of yesterday's ship there had been in this natural Eden
(leaving the savages out of the reckoning) several thousand Adams, and but
some threescore Eves. And for the most part, the Eves were either portly and
bustlingorwitheredandshrewishhousewives,ofageandexperiencetodefythe
serpent. These were different. Ninety slender figures decked in all the bravery
theycouldassume;ninetycomelyfaces,pinkandwhite,orclearbrownwiththe
rich blood showing through; ninety pair of eyes, laughing and alluring, or


downcast with long fringes sweeping rounded cheeks; ninety pair of ripe red
lips,—the crowd shouted itself hoarse and would not be restrained, brushing
asidelikestrawsthestavesofthemarshalandhismen,andsurginginuponthe
lineofadventurousdamsels.Isawyoungmen,panting,seizehandorarmand
strivetopulltowardthemsomereluctantfair;otherssnatchedkisses,orfellon
theirkneesandbeganspeechesoutofEuphues;otherscommencedaninventory
of their possessions,—acres, tobacco, servants, household plenishing. All was
hubbub,protestation,frightenedcries,andhystericallaughter.Theofficersranto
and fro, threatening and commanding; Master Pory alternately cried “Shame!”
andlaughedhisloudest;andIpluckedawayajackanapesofsixteenwhohadhis
handuponagirl'sruff,andshookhimuntilthebreathwaswell-nighoutofhim.
Theclamordidbutincrease.
“WayfortheGovernor!”criedthemarshal.“Shameonyou,mymasters!Way
forhisHonorandtheworshipfulCouncil!”
ThethreewoodenstepsleadingdownfromthedooroftheGovernor'shouse
suddenly blossomed into crimson and gold, as his Honor with the attendant
Councilorsemergedfromthehallandstoodstaringatthemobbelow.
TheGovernor'shonestmoonfacewasquitepalewithpassion.“Whatadevil
isthis?”hecriedwrathfully.“Didyouneverseeawomanbefore?Where'sthe
marshal?I'llimprisonthelastoneofyouforrioters!”
Upon the platform of the pillory, which stood in the centre of the market
place, suddenly appeared a man of a gigantic frame, with a strong face deeply
linedandagreatshockofgrizzledhair,—astrangething,forhewasnotold.I
knew him to be one Master Jeremy Sparrow, a minister brought by the
Southamptonamonthbefore,andasyetwithoutacharge,butatthattimeIhad
not spoken with him. Without word of warning he thundered into a psalm of
thanksgiving,singingitatthetopofapowerfulandyetsweetandtendervoice,
andwithafervorandexaltationthatcaughttheheartoftheriotouscrowd.The
two ministers in the throng beneath took up the strain; Master Pory added a
husky tenor, eloquent of much sack; presently we were all singing. The
audacious suitors, charmed into rationality, fell back, and the broken line reformed.TheGovernorandtheCouncildescended,andwithpompandsolemnity
tooktheirplacesbetweenthemaidsandthetwoministerswhoweretoheadthe
column. The psalm ended, the drum beat a thundering roll, and the procession
movedforwardinthedirectionofthechurch.
Master Pory having left me, to take his place among his brethren of the
Council,andthemobofthosewhohadcometopurchaseandofthecuriousidle
havingstreamedawayattheheelsofthemarshalandhisofficers,Ifoundmyself


aloneinthesquare,saveforthesinger,whonowdescendedfromthepilloryand
cameuptome.
“CaptainRalphPercy,ifImistakenot?”hesaid,inavoiceasdeepandrichas
thebassofanorgan.
“Thesame,”Ianswered.“AndyouareMasterJeremySparrow?”
“Yea, a silly preacher,—the poorest, meekest, and lowliest of the Lord's
servitors.”
Hisdeepvoice,magnificentframe,andboldandfreeaddresssogavethelie
tothehumilityofhiswordsthatIhadmuchadotokeepfromlaughing.Hesaw,
andhisface,whichwasofacastmostmartial,flashedintoasmile,likesunshine
onascarredcliff.
“Youlaughinyoursleeve,”hesaidgood-humoredly,“andyetIambutwhatI
professtobe.InspiritIamaveryJob,thoughnaturehathfittodressmeasa
Samson.Iassureyou,IamworsemisfittedthanisMasterYardstickyonderin
thoseFalstaffianhose.But,goodsir,willyounotgotochurch?”
“IfthechurchwerePaul's,Imight,”Ianswered.“Asitis,wecouldnotget
withinfiftyfeetofthedoor.”
“Ofthegreatdoor,ay,buttheministersmaypassthroughthesidedoor.Ifyou
please,Iwilltakeyouinwithme.Theprettyfoolsyondermarchslowly;ifwe
turndownthislane,wewilloutstripthemquite.”
“Agreed,”Isaid,andweturnedintoalanethickplantedwithtobacco,madea
detour of the Governor's house, and outflanked the procession, arriving at the
small door before it had entered the churchyard. Here we found the sexton
mountingguard.
“IamMasterSparrow,theministerthatcameintheSouthampton,”mynew
acquaintanceexplained.“Iamtositinthechoir.Letuspass,goodfellow.”
The sexton squared himself before the narrow opening, and swelled with
importance.
“You,reverendsir,Iwilladmit,suchbeingmyduty.Butthisgentlemanisno
preacher;Imaynotallowhimtopass.”
“You mistake, friend,” said my companion gravely. “This gentleman, my
worthy colleague, has but just come from the island of St. Brandon, where he
preaches on the witches' Sabbath: hence the disorder of his apparel. His
admittancebeonmyhead:whereforeletusby.”
“NonetoenteratthewestdoorsaveCouncilors,commander,andministers.
Anyattemptingtoforceanentrancetobearrestedandlaidbytheheelsifthey


beofthegenerality,or,iftheybeofquality,tobedulyfinedanddebarredfrom
thepurchaseofanymaidwhatsoever,”chantedthesexton.
“Then,inGod'sname,let'son!”Iexclaimed“Here,trythis!”andIdrewfrom
mypurse,whichwassomethingoftheleanest,ashilling.
“Trythis,”quothMasterJeremySparrow,andknockedthesextondown.
We left the fellow sprawling in the doorway, sputtering threats to the air
without, but with one covetous hand clutching at the shilling which I threw
behindme,andenteredthechurch,whichwefoundyetempty,thoughthrough
the open great door we heard the drum beat loudly and a deepening sound of
footsteps.
“Ihavechoiceofposition,”Isaid.“Yonderwindowseemsagoodstation.You
remainhereinthechoir?”
“Ay,” he answered, with a sigh; “the dignity of my calling must be upheld:
whereforeIsitinhighplaces,rubbingelbowswithgoldlace,whenofthevery
truth the humility of my spirit is such that I would feel more at home in the
servants'seatsoramongthenegarsthatweboughtlastyear.”
HadwenotbeeninchurchIwouldhavelaughed,thoughindeedIsawthathe
devoutlybelievedhisownwords.Hetookhisseatinthelargestandfinestofthe
chairsbehindthegreatvelvetonereservedfortheGovernor,whileIwentand
leanedagainstmywindow,andwestaredateachotheracrosstheflower-decked
buildinginprofoundsilence,until,withonegreatfinalcrash,thebellsceased,
thedrumstoppedbeating,andtheprocessionentered.


CHAPTERIIIINWHICHIMARRYINHASTE
THElongserviceofpraiseandthanksgivingwaswell-nighoverwhenIfirst
sawher.
Shesatsometenfeetfromme,inthecorner,andsointheshadowofatall
pew. Beyond her was a row of milkmaid beauties, red of cheek, free of eye,
deep-bosomed,andberibbonedlikeMaypoles.Ilookedagain,andsaw—andsee
—a rose amongst blowzed poppies and peonies, a pearl amidst glass beads, a
Perditainaringofrustics,anonparellaofallgraceandbeauty!AsIgazedwith
allmyeyes,Ifoundmorethangraceandbeautyinthatwonderfulface,—found
pride, wit, fire, determination, finally shame and anger. For, feeling my eyes
uponher,shelookedupandmetwhatshemusthavethoughttheimpudentstare
ofanappraiser.Herface,whichhadbeenwithoutcolor,paleandclearlikethe
skyabouttheeveningstar,wentcrimsoninamoment.Shebitherlipandshotat
meonewitheringglance,thendroppedhereyelidsandhidthelightning.WhenI
lookedatheragain,covertly,andfromundermyhandraisedasthoughtopush
back my hair, she was pale once more, and her dark eyes were fixed upon the
waterandthegreentreeswithoutthewindow.
The congregation rose, and she stood up with the other maids. Her dress of
dark woolen, severe and unadorned, her close ruff and prim white coif, would
havecried“Puritan,”hadeverPuritanlookedlikethiswoman,uponwhomthe
poorapparelhadtheseemingofpurpleandermine.
Anon came the benediction. Governor, Councilors, commanders, and
ministersleftthechoirandpacedsolemnlydowntheaisle;themaidsclosedin
behind;andwewhohadlinedthewalls,shiftingfromoneheeltotheotherfora
long two hours, brought up the rear, and so passed from the church to a fair
green meadow adjacent thereto. Here the company disbanded; the wearers of
gold lace betaking themselves to seats erected in the shadow of a mighty oak,
andtheministers,ofwhomtherewerefour,bestowingthemselveswithinpulpits
of turf. For one altar and one clergyman could not hope to dispatch that day's
business.
Asforthemaids,foraminuteormoretheymadeonecluster;then,shylyor
with laughter, they drifted apart like the petals of a wind-blown rose, and silk
doubletandhosegavechase.Fiveminutessawthegoodlycompanyofdamsels
errant and would-be bridegrooms scattered far and near over the smiling


meadow. For the most part they went man and maid, but the fairer of the
femininecohorthadringsofclamoroussuitorsfromwhomtochoose.Asforme,
Iwalkedalone;forifbychanceInearedamaid,shelooked(womanlike)atmy
apparel first, and never reached my face, but squarely turned her back. So
disengaged,Ifeltlikeaguestatamask,andinsomemeasureenjoyedtheshow,
though with an uneasy consciousness that I was pledged to become, sooner or
later,apartofthespectacle.IsawashepherdessfreshfromArcadiawavebacka
dozen importunate gallants, then throw a knot of blue ribbon into their midst,
laugh with glee at the scramble that ensued, and finally march off with the
wearerofthefavor.Isawaneighborofmine,tallJackPride,wholivedtwelve
miles above me, blush and stammer, and bow again and again to a milliner's
apprenticeofagirl,notfivefeethighandalleyes,whodroppedacurtsyateach
bow.WhenIhadpassedthemfiftyyardsormore,andlookedback,theywere
stillbobbingandbowing.AndIheardadialoguebetweenPhyllisandCorydon.
SaysPhyllis,“Anypoultry?”
Corydon.“Amatteroftwalvehensandtwacocks.”
Phyllis.“Acow?”
Corydon.“Twa.”
Phyllis.“Howmuchtobacco?”
Corydon. “Three acres, hinny, though I dinna drink the weed mysel'. I'm a
Stewart,woman,an'theKing'spuircousin.”
Phyllis.“Whathouseholdplenishing?”
Corydon.“Anelargebed,aneflockbed,anetrundlebed,anechest,anetrunk,
aneleathercairpet,saxcawfskinchairsan'twa-threerush,fivepairo'sheetsan'
auchteendowlasnapkins,saxalchemyspunes”—
Phyllis.“I'lltakeyou.”
At the far end of the meadow, near to the fort, I met young Hamor, alone,
flushed,andhurryingbacktothemorepopulouspartofthefield.
“Notyetmated?”Iasked.“Wherearethemaids'eyes?”
“By—!”heanswered,withanangrylaugh.“Ifthey'realllikethesampleI've
justleft,I'llbuymeasquawfromthePaspaheghs!”
Ismiled.“Soyourwooinghasnotprospered?”
His vanity took fire. “I have not wooed in earnest,” he said carelessly, and
hitched forward his cloak of sky-blue tuftaffeta with an air. “I sheered off
quicklyenough,Iwarrantyou,whenIfoundthenatureofthecommodityIhad
todealwith.”


“Ah!”Isaid.“WhenIleftthecrowdtheyweregoingveryfast.Youhadbest
hurry,ifyouwishtosecureabargain.”
“I'moff,”heanswered;then,jerkinghisthumboverhisshoulder,“Ifyoukeep
on to the river and that clump of cedars, you will find Termagaunt in ruff and
farthingale.”
Whenhewasgone,Istoodstillforawhileandwatchedtheslowsweepofa
buzzardhighintheblue,afterwhichIunsheathedmydagger,andwithittriedto
scrape the dried mud from my boots. Succeeding but indifferently, I put the
blade up, stared again at the sky, drew a long breath, and marched upon the
covertofcedarsindicatedbyHamor.
AsInearedit,Iheardatfirstonlythewashoftheriver;butpresentlythere
cametomyearsthesoundofaman'svoice,andthenawoman'sangry“Begone,
sir!”
“Kissandbefriends,”saidtheman.
The sound that followed being something of the loudest for even the most
hearty salutation, I was not surprised, on parting the bushes, to find the man
nursinghischeek,andthemaidherhand.
“You shall pay well for that, you sweet vixen!” he cried, and caught her by
bothwrists.
Shestruggledfiercely,bendingherheadthiswayandthat,buthishotlipshad
touchedherfacebeforeIcouldcomebetween.
WhenIhadknockedhimdownhelaywherehefell,dazedbytheblow,and
blinking up at me with his small ferret eyes. I knew him to be one Edward
Sharpless,andIknewnogoodofhim.HehadbeenalawyerinEngland.Helay
on the very brink of the stream, with one arm touching the water. Flesh and
bloodcouldnotresistit,so,assistedbythetoeofmyboot,hetookacoldbathto
coolhishotblood.
Whenhehadclamberedoutandhadgoneaway,cursing,Iturnedtofaceher.
She stood against the trunk of a great cedar, her head thrown back, a spot of
angrycrimsonineachcheek,onesmallhandclenchedatherthroat.Ihadheard
herlaughasSharplesstouchedthewater,butnowtherewasonlydefianceinher
face.Aswegazedateachother,aburstoflaughtercametousfromthemeadow
behind. I looked over my shoulder, and beheld young Hamor, probably
disappointed of a wife,—with Giles Allen and Wynne, returning to his
abandoned quarry. She saw, too, for the crimson spread and deepened and her
bosom heaved. Her dark eyes, glancing here and there like those of a hunted
creature,metmyown.


“Madam,”Isaid,“willyoumarryme?”
She looked at me strangely. “Do you live here?” she asked at last, with a
disdainfulwaveofherhandtowardthetown.
“No,madam,”Ianswered.“Iliveupriver,inWeyanokeHundred,somemiles
fromhere.”
“Then,inGod'sname,letusbegone!”shecried,withsuddenpassion.
Ibowedlow,andadvancedtokissherhand.
Thefingertipswhichsheslowlyandreluctantlyresignedtomewereicy,and
thelookwithwhichshefavoredmewasnotsuchanoneaspoetsfeignforlike
occasions. I shrugged the shoulders of my spirit, but said nothing. So, hand in
hand, though at arms' length, we passed from the shade of the cedars into the
openmeadow,wherewepresentlymetHamorandhisparty.Theywouldhave
barredtheway,laughingandmakingunsavoryjests,butIdrewherclosertome
and laid my hand upon my sword. They stood aside, for I was the best
swordsmaninVirginia.
Themeadowwasnowlessthronged.Theriver,upanddown,waswhitewith
sailboats, and across the neck of the peninsula went a line of horsemen, each
withhispurchaseuponapillionbehindhim.TheGovernor,theCouncilors,and
thecommandershadbetakenthemselvestotheGovernor'shouse,whereagreat
dinnerwastobegiven.ButMasterPiersey,theCapeMerchant,remainedtosee
the Company reimbursed to the last leaf, and the four ministers still found
occupation, though one couple trod not upon the heels of another, as they had
doneanhouragone.
“Imustfirstsatisfythetreasurer,”Isaid,comingtoahaltwithinfiftyfeetof
thenowdesertedhighplaces.
Shedrewherhandfrommine,andlookedmeupanddown.
“Howmuchisit?”sheaskedatlast.“Iwillpayit.”
Istaredather.
“Can'tyouspeak?”shecried,withastampofherfoot.“AtwhatamIvalued?
Tenpounds—fiftypounds”—
“Atonehundredandtwentypoundsoftobacco,madam,”Isaiddryly.“Iwill
payitmyself.Towhatnameupontheship'slistdoyouanswer?”
“PatienceWorth,”shereplied.
Ileftherstandingthere,andwentuponmyerrandwithawhirlingbrain.Her
enrollmentinthatcompanyproclaimedhermeanlyborn,andsheboreherselfas
ofbloodroyal;ofherownfreewillshehadcrossedanoceantomeetthisday,


andsheheldinpassionatehatredthisdayandallthatitcontained;shewascome
toVirginiatobetterhercondition,andthepursewhichshehaddrawnfromher
bosom was filled with gold pieces. To another I would have advised caution,
delay, application to the Governor, inquiry; for myself I cared not to make
inquiries.
Thetreasurergavememyreceipt,andIprocured,fromthecrowdaroundhim,
Humfrey Kent, a good man and true, and old Belfield, the perfumer, for
witnesses.WiththematmyheelsIwentbacktoher,and,givinghermyhand,
wasmakingforthenearestminister,whenavoiceatalittledistancehailedme,
cryingout,“Thisway,CaptainPercy!”
I turned toward the voice, and beheld the great figure of Master Jeremy
Sparrow sitting, cross-legged like the Grand Turk, upon a grassy hillock, and
beckoningtomefromthatelevation.
“Ouracquaintancehathbeenoftheshortest,”hesaidgenially,whenthemaid,
thewitnesses,andIhadreachedthefootofthehillock,“butIhavetakenaliking
to you and would fain do you a service. Moreover, I lack employment. The
maidstakemeforahedgeparson,andsheerofftomybrethren,whotrulyareof
amoreclericalappearance.Whereasiftheycouldonlylookupontheinnerman!
Youhavebeenlonginchoosing,buthavedoubtlesschosen”—Heglancedfrom
me to the woman beside me, and broke off with open mouth and staring eyes.
There was excuse, for her beauty was amazing. “A paragon,” he ended,
recoveringhimself.
“Marryusquickly,friend,”Isaid.“Cloudsaregathering,andwehavefarto
go.”
He came down from his mound, and we went and stood before him. I had
around my neck the gold chain given me upon a certain occasion by Prince
Maurice,andinlieuofotherringInowtwistedoffthesmallestlinkandgaveit
toher.
“Yourname?”askedMasterSparrow,openinghisbook.
“RalphPercy,Gentleman.”
“And yours?” he demanded, staring at her with a somewhat too apparent
delightinherbeauty.
Sheflushedrichlyandbitherlip.
Herepeatedthequestion.
Shestoodaminuteinsilence,hereyesuponthedarkeningsky.Thenshesaid
inalowvoice,“JocelynLeigh.”


It was not the name I had watched the Cape Merchant strike off his list. I
turneduponherandmadehermeetmyeyes.“Whatisyourname?”Idemanded.
“Tellmethetruth!”
“Ihavetoldit,”sheansweredproudly.“ItisJocelynLeigh.”
Ifacedtheministeragain.“Goon,”Isaidbriefly.
“The Company commands that no constraint be put upon its poor maids.
Wherefore,doyoumarrythismanofyourownfreewillandchoice?”
“Ay,”shesaid,“ofmyownfreewill.”
Well,weweremarried,andMasterJeremySparrowwishedusjoy,andKent
wouldhavekissedthebridehadInotfrownedhimoff.HeandBelfieldstrode
away, and I left her there, and went to get her bundle from the house that had
shelteredherovernight.Returning,Ifoundherseatedontheturf,herchininher
handandherdarkeyeswatchingthedistantplayoflightning.MasterSparrow
hadlefthispost,andwasnowheretobeseen.
Igavehermyhandandledhertotheshore;thenloosedmyboatandhelped
heraboard.Iwaspushingoffwhenavoicehailedusfromthebank,andthenext
instantagreatbunchofredroseswhirledpastmeandfellintoherlap.“Sweets
tothesweet,youknow,”saidMasterJeremySparrowgenially.“GoodwifeAllen
willnevermissthem.”
Iwasintwomindswhethertolaughortoswear,—forIhadnevergivenher
flowers,—whenshesettledthequestionformebyraisingthecrimsonmassand
bestowingitupontheflood.
Asuddenpuffofwindbroughtthesailaround,hidinghisfallencountenance.
The wind freshened, coming from the bay, and the boat was off like a startled
deer.WhenInextsawhimhehadrecoveredhisequanimity,and,withasmile
upon his rugged features, was waving us a farewell. I looked at the beauty
oppositeme,and,withasuddenmovementofpityforhim,mateless,stoodup
andwavedtohimvigorouslyinturn.


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