A Faded Leaf of History

ONE quiet, snowy afternoon this winter, I found in a dark corner of one of the oldest libraries in the country a curious pamphlet. It fell into my hands like a bit of old age and darkness itself. The pages were coffee-colored and worn thin and ragged at the edges, like rotting leaves in fall ; they had grown clammy to the touch, too, from the grasp of so many dead years. There was a peculiar smell about the book which it had carried down from the days when young William Penn went up and down the claypaths of his village of Philadelphia, stopping to watch the settlers fishing in the clear ponds or to speak to the gangs of yellow-painted Indians coming in with peltry from the adjacent forest.

The leaves were scribbled over with the name of John, — “John,” in a cramped, childish hand. His father’s book, no doubt, and the writing a bit of boyish mischief. Outside now, in the street, the boys were pelting each other with snowballs, just as this John had done in the clay-paths. But for nearly two hundred years his bones had been crumbled into lime and his flesh gone back into grass and roots. Yet here he was, a boy still ; here was the old pamphlet and the scrawl in yellowing ink, with the smell about it still.

Printed by Rainier Janssen, 1698. I turned over the leaves, expecting to find a sermon preached before Andros, “for the conversion of Sadducees,” or some “ Report of the Condition of the Principalities of New Netherland, or New Sweden, for the Use of the Lord’s High Proprietors thereof” (for of such precious dead dust this library is full); but I found, instead, wrapped in weighty sentences and backed by the gravest and most ponderous testimony, the story of a baby, “ a Sucking Child six Months old.” It was like a live seed in the hand of a mummy. The story of a baby and a boy and an aged man, in “the devouring Waves of the Sea ; and also among the cruel devouring Jaws of inhuman Canibals.” There were, it is true, other divers persons in the company, by one of whom the book is written. But the divers persons seemed to me to be only part of that endless caravan of ghosts that has been crossing the world since the beginning ; they never can be anything but ghosts to us. If only to find a human interest in them, one would rather they had been devoured by inhuman cannibals than not. But a baby and a boy and an aged man !

All that afternoon, through the dingy windows of the old building, I could see the snow falling soft and steadily, covering the countless roofs of the city, and fancying the multitude of comfortable happy homes which these white roofs hid and the sweet-tempered, gracious women there, with their children close about their knees. I thought I would like to bring this little live baby back to the others, with its strange, pathetic story, out of the buried years where it has been hidden with dead people so long, and give it a place and home among us all again.

I only premise that I have left the facts of the history unaltered, even in the names ; and that I believe them to be, in every particular, true.

On the 22d of August, 1696, this baby, a puny, fretful boy, was carried down the street of Port Royal, Jamaica, and on board the “ barkentine ” Reformation, bound for Pennsylvania ; a Province which, as you remember, Du Chastellux, a hundred years later, described as a most savage country which he was compelled to cross on his way to the burgh of Philadelphia, on its border. To this savage country our baby was bound. He had by way of body-guard, his mother, a gentle Quaker lady; his father, Jonathan Dickenson, a wealthy planter, on his way to increase his wealth in Penn’s new settlement ; three negro men, four negro women, and an Indian named Venus, all slaves of the said Dickenson ; the captain, his boy, seven seamen, and two passengers. Besides this defence, the baby’s ship was escorted by thirteen sail of merchantmen under convoy of an armed frigate. For these were the days when, to the righteous man, terror walked abroad, in the light and the darkness. The green, quiet coasts were but the lurkingplaces of savages, and the green, restless seas more treacherous with pirates. Kidd had not yet buried his treasure, but was prowling up and down the eastern seas, gathering it from every luckless vessel that fell in his way. The captain, Kirle, debarred from fighting by cowardice, and the Quaker Dickenson, forbidden by principle, appear to have set out upon their perilous journey, resolved to defend themselves by suspicion, pure and simple. They looked for treachery behind every bush and billow ; the only chance of safety lay, they maintained, in holding every white man to be an assassin and every red man a cannibal until they were proved otherwise.

The boy was hired by Captain Kirle to wait upon him. His name was John Hilliard, and he was precisely what any of these good-humored, mischievous fellows outside would have been, hired on a brigantine two centuries ago ; disposed to shirk his work in order to stand gaping at black Ben fishing, or to rub up secretly his old cutlass for the behoof of Kidd, or the French when they should come, while the Indian Venus stood by looking on, with the baby in her arms.

The aged man is invariably set down as chief of the company, though the captain held all the power and the Quaker all the money. But white hair and a devout life gave an actual social rank in those days, obsolete now, and Robert Barrow was known as a man of God all along the coast-settlements from Massachusetts to Ashly River, among whites and Indians. Years before, in Yorkshire, his inward testimony (he being a Friend) had bidden him go preach in this wilderness. He asked of God, it is said, rather to die ; but was not disobedient to the heavenly call, and came and labored faithfully. He was now returning from the West Indies, where he had carried his message a year ago.

The wind set fair for the first day or two; the sun was warm. Even the grim Quaker Dickenson might have thought the white-sailed fleet a pretty sight scudding over the rolling green plain, if he could have spared time to his jealous eyes from scanning the horizon for pirates. Our baby, too, saw little of sun or sea; for being but a sickly baby, with hardly vitality enough to live from day to day, it was kept below, smothered in the finest of linens and the softest of paduasoy.

One morning when the fog lifted, Dickenson’s watch for danger was rewarded. They had lost their way in the night ; the fleet was gone, the dead blue slopes of water rolled up to the horizon on every side and were met by the dead blue sky, without the break of a single sail or the flicker of a flying bird. For fifteen days they beat about without any apparent aim other than to escape the enemies whom they hourly expected to leap out from behind the sky line. On the sixteenth day, friendly signs were made to them from shore. “ A fire made a great Smoak, and People beckoned to us to putt on Shoar,” but Kirle and Dickenson, seized with fresh fright, put about and made off as for their lives, until nine o’clock that night, when seeing two signal-lights, doubtless from some of their own convoy, they cried out, “The French! the French!” and tacked back again as fast as might be. The next day, Kirle being disabled by a jibbing boom, Dickenson brought his own terrors into command, and for two or three days whisked the unfortunate barkentine up and down the coast, afraid of both sea and shore, until finally, one night, he run her aground on a sand-bar on the Florida reefs. Wondering much at this “ judgment of God,” Dickenson went to work. Indeed, to do him justice, he seems to have been always ready enough to use his burly strength and small wit, trusting to them to carry him through the world wherein his soul was beleaguered by many inscrutable judgments of God and the universal treachery of his brother-man.

The crew abandoned the ship in a heavy storm. A fire was kindled in the bight of a sand-hill and protected as well as might be with sails and palmetto branches ; and to this, Dickenson, with “ Great trembling and Pain of Hartt,” carried his baby in his own arms and laid it in its mother’s breast. Its little body was pitiful to see from leanness, and a great fever was upon it. Robert Barrow, the crippled captain, and a sick passenger shared the child’s shelter. “ Whereupon two Canibals appeared, naked, but for a breech-cloth of plaited straw, with Countenances bloody and furious, and foaming at the Mouth ” ; but on being given tobacco, retreated inland to alarm the tribe. The ship’s company gathered together and sat down to wait their return, expecting cruelty, says Dickenson, and dreadful death. Christianity was now to be brought face to face with heathenness, which fact our author seems to have recognized under all his terror. “We began by putting our trust in the Lord, hoping for no Mercy from these bloodyminded Creatures ; having too few guns to use except to enrage them, a Motion arose among us to deceive them by calling ourselves Spaniards, that Nation having some influence over them ” ; to which lie all consented, except Robert Barrow. It is curious to observe how these early Christians met the Indians with the same weapons of distrust and fraud which have proved so effective with us in civilizing them since.

In two or three hours the savages appeared in great numbers, bloody and furious, and in their chronic state of foaming at the mouth. “They rushed in upon us, shouting 1 Nickalees ? Nickalees ?’ (Un Ingles.) To which we replied ‘ Espania.’ But they cried the more fiercely ‘ No Espania, Nickalees ! ’ and being greatly enraged thereat, seized upon all Trunks and Chests and our cloathes upon our Backs, leaving us each only a pair of old Breeches, except Robert Barrow, my wife, and child from whom they took nothing.” The king, or Cassekey, as Dickenson calls him, distinguished by a horse-tail fastened to his belt behind, took possession of their money and buried it, at which the good Quaker spares not his prayers for punishment on all pagan robbers, quite blind to the poetic justice of the burial, as the money had been made on land stolen from the savages. The said Cassekey also set up his abode in their tent; kept all his tribe away from the woman and child and aged man ; kindled fires ; caused, as a delicate attention, the only hog remaining on the wreck to be killed and brought to them for a midnight meal ; and, in short, comported himself so hospitably, and with such kindly consideration toward the broad-brimmed Quaker, that we are inclined to account him the better bred fellow of the two, in spite of his scant costume of horsetail and belt of straw. As for the robbery of the ship’s cargo, no doubt the Cassekey had progressed far enough in civilization to know that to the victors belong the spoils. Florida, for two years, had been stricken down from coast to coast by a deadly famine, and in all probability these cannibals returned thanks to whatever God they had for this windfall of food and clothes devoutly as our forefathers were doing at the other end of the country for the homes which they had taken by force. There is a good deal of kinship among us in circumstances after all, as well as in blood. The chief undoubtedly recognized a brother in Dickenson, every whit as tricky as himself, and would fain, savage as he was, have proved him to be something better ; for, after having protected them for several days, he came into their tent and gravely and with authority set himself to asking the old question, “ Nickalees ?”

“ To which, when we denied, he directed his Speech to the Aged Man, who would not conceal the Truth, but answered in Simplicity, ‘Yes.’ Then he cried in Wrath ‘ Totus Nickalees ! ’ and went out from us. But returned in great fury with his men and stripped all Cloathes from us.”

However, the clothes were returned, and the chief persuaded them to hasten on to his own village. Dickenson, suspecting foul play as usual, insisted on going to Santa Lucia. There, the Indian told him, they would meet fierce savages and undoubtedly have their throats cut, which kindly warning was quite enough to drive the Quaker to Santa Lucia headlong. He was sure of the worst designs on the part of the cannibal, from a strange glance which he fixed upon the baby as he drove them before him to his village, saying with a treacherous laugh, that after they had gone there for a purpose he had, they might go to Santa Lucia as they would.

It was a bleak, chilly afternoon as they toiled mile after mile along the beach, the Quaker woman far behind the others with her baby in her arms, carrying it, as she thought, to its death. Overhead, flocks of dark-winged grakles swooped across the lowering sky, uttering from time to time their harsh foreboding cry ; shoreward, as far as the eye could see, the sand stretched in interminable yellow ridges, blackened here and there by tufts of dead palmettotrees ; while on the other side the sea had wrapped itself in a threatening silence and darkness. A line of white foam crept out of it from horizon to horizon, dumb and treacherous, and licked the mother’s feet as she dragged herself heavily after the others.

From time to time the Indian stealthily peered over her shoulder, looking at the child’s thin face as it slept upon her breast. As evening closed in, they came to a broad arm of the sea thrust inland through the beach, and halted at the edge. Beyond it, in the darkness, they could distinguish the yet darker shapes of the wigwams, and savages gathered about two or three enormous fires that threw long red lines of glare into the sea-fog. “As we stood there for many Hour’s Time,” says Jonathan Dickenson, “ we were assured these Dreadful Fires were prepared for us.”

Of all the sad little company that stand out against the far-off dimness of the past, in that long watch upon the beach, the low-voiced, sweet-tempered Quaker lady comes nearest and is the most real to us. The sailors had chosen a life of peril years ago ; her husband, with all his suspicious bigotry, had, when pushed to extremes, an admirable tough courage with which to face the dangers of sea and night and death ; and the white-headed old man, who stood apart and calm, had received, as much as Elijah of old, a Divine word to speak in the wilderness, and the life in it would sustain him through death. But Mary Dickenson was only a gentle, commonplace woman, whose life had been spent on a quiet farm, whose highest ambition was to take care of her snug little house, and all of whose brighter thoughts or romance or passion began and ended in this staid Quaker and the baby that was a part of them both. It was only six months ago that this firstborn child had been laid in her arms; and as she lay on the white bed looking out on the spring dawning day after day, her husband sat beside her telling her again and again of the house he had made ready for her in Penn’s new settlement. She never tired of hearing of it. Some picture of this far-off home must have come to the poor girl as she stood now in the night, the sea-water creeping up to her naked feet, looking at the fires built, as she believed, for her child.

Toward midnight a canoe came from the opposite side, into which the chief put Barrow, Dickenson, the child, and its mother. Their worst fears being thus confirmed, they crossed in silence, holding each other by the hand, the poor baby moaning now and then. It had indeed been born tired into the world, and had gone moaning its weak life out ever since.

Landing on the farther beach, the crowd of waiting Indians fled from them as if frightened, and halted in the darkness beyond the fires. But the Cassekey dragged them on toward a wigwam, taking Mary and the child before the others. “ Herein,” says her husband, “ was the Wife of the Canibal, and some old Women sitting in a Cabbin made of Sticks about a Foot high, and covered with a Matt. He made signs for us to sitt down on the Ground, which we did. The Cassekey’s Wife looking at my Child and having her own Child in her lapp, putt it away to another Woman, and rose upp and would not bee denied, but would have my Child. She took it and suckled it at her Breast, feeling it from Top to Toe, and viewing it with a sad Countenance.”

Thestarving baby, being thus warmed and fed, stretched its little arms and legs out on the savage breast comfortably and fell into a happy sleep, while its mother sat apart and looked on.

“ An Indian did kindly bring to her a Fish upon a Palmetto Leaf and set it down before her ; but the Pain and Thoughts within her were so great that she could not eat.”

The rest of the crew having been brought over, the chief set himself to work and speedily had a wigwam built, in which mats were spread, and the shipwrecked people, instead of being killed and eaten, went to sleep just as the moon rose, and the Indians began “a Consert of hideous Noises,” whether of welcome or worship they could not tell.

Dickenson and his band remained in this Indian village for several days, endeavoring all the time to escape, in spite of the kind treatment of the chief, who appears to have shared all that he had with them. The Quaker kept a constant, fearful watch, lest there might be death in the pot. When the Cassekey found they were resolved to go, he set out for the wreck, bringing back a boat which was given to them, with butter, sugar, a rundlet of wine, and chocolate ; to Mary and the child he also gave everything which he thought would be useful to them. This friend in the wilderness appeared sorry to part with them, but Dickenson was blind both to friendship and sorrow, and obstinately took the direction against which the chief warned him, suspecting treachery, “ though we found afterward that his counsell was good.”

Robert Barrow, Mary, and the child, with two sick men, went in a canoe along the coast, keeping the crew in sight, who, with the boy, travelled on foot, sometimes singing as they marched. So they began the long and terrible journey, the later horrors of which I dare not give in the words here set down. The first weeks were painful and disheartening, although they still had food. Their chief discomfort arose from the extreme cold at night and the tortures from the sand-flies and mosquitoes on their exposed bodies, which they tried to remedy by covering themselves with sand, but found sleep impossible.

At last, however, they met the fiercer savages of whom the chief had warned them, and practised upon them the same device of calling themselves Spaniards. By this time, one would suppose, even Dickenson’s dull eyes would have seen the fatal idiocy of the lie. “Crying out ‘Nickalees No Espanier,’ they rushed upon us, rending the few Cloathes from us that we had ; they took all from my Wife, even tearing her Hair out, to get at the Lace, wherewith it was knotted.” They were then dragged furiously into canoes and rowed to the village, being stoned and shot at as they went. The child was stripped, while one savage filled its mouth with sand.

But at that the chief’s wife came quickly to Mary and protected her from the sight of all, and took the sand out of the child’s mouth, entreating it very tenderly, whereon the mass of savages fell back, muttering and angry.

The same woman brought the poor naked lady to her wigwam, quieted her, found some raw deerskins, and showed her how to cover herself and the baby with them.

The tribe among which they now were had borne the famine for two years ; their emaciated and hungerbitten faces gave fiercer light to their gloomy, treacherous eyes. Their sole food was fish and palmetto - berries, both of which were scant. Nothing could have been more unwelcome than the advent of this crowd of whites, bringing more hungry mouths to fill ; and, indeed, there is little reason to doubt that the first intention was to put them all to death. But, after the second day, Dickenson relates that the chief “ looked pleasantly upon my Wife and Child ” ; instead of the fish entrails and filthy water in which the fish had been cooked which had been given to the prisoners, he brought clams to Mary, and kneeling in the sand showed her how to roast them. The Indian women, too, carried off the baby, knowing that its mother had no milk for it, and handed it about from one to the other, putting away their own children that they might give it their food. At which the child, that, when it had been wrapped in fine flannel and embroidery had been always nigh to death, began to grow fat and rosy, to crow and laugh as it had never done before, and kick its little legs sturdily about under their bit of raw skin covering. Mother Nature had taken the child home, that was all, and was breathing new lusty life into it, out of the bare ground and open sky, the sun and wind, and the breasts of these her children ; but its father saw in the change only another inexplicable miracle of God. Nor does he seem to have seen that it was the child and its mother who had been a protection and shield to the whole crew and saved them through this their most perilous strait.

I feel as if I must stop here with the story half told. Dickenson’s narrative, when I finished it, left behind it a fresh, sweet cheerfulness, as if one had been actually touching the living baby with its fair little body and milky breath ; but if I were to try to reproduce the history of the famished men and women of the crew during the months that followed, I should but convey to you a dull and dreary horror.

You yourselves can imagine what the journey on foot along the bleak coast in winter, through tribe after tribe of hostile savages, must have been to delicately nurtured men and women, naked but for a piece of raw deerskin, and utterly without food save for the few nauseous berries or offal rejected by the Indians. In their ignorance of the coast they wandered farther and farther out of their way into those morasses which an old writer calls “ the refuge of all unclean birds and the breeding-fields of all reptiles.” Once a tidal wave swept down into a vast marsh where they had built their fire, and air and ground slowly darkened with the swarming living creatures, whirring, creeping about them through the night, and uttering gloomy, dissonant cries. Many of these strange companions and some savages found their way to the hill of oyster-shells where the crew fled, and remained there for the two days and nights in which the flood lasted.

Our baby accepted all fellow-travellers cheerfully ; made them welcome, indeed. Savage or slave or beast were his friends alike, his laugh and outstretched hands were ready for them all. The aged man, too, Dickenson tells us, remained hopeful and calm, even when the slow-coming touch of death had begun to chill and stiffen him, and in the presence of the cannibals assuring his companions cheerfully of his faith that they would yet reach home in safety. Even in that strange, forced halt, when Mary Dickenson could do nothing but stand still and watch the sea closing about them, creeping up and up like a visible death, the old man’s prayers and the baby’s laugh must have kept the thought of her far home very near and warm to her.

They escaped the sea to fall into worse dangers. Disease was added to starvation. One by one strong men dropped exhausted by the way, and were left unburied, while the others crept feebly on ; stout Jonathan Dickenson taking as his charge the old man, now almost a helpless burden. Mary, who, underneath her gentle, timid ways, seems to have had a gallant heart in her little body, carried her baby to the last, until the milk in her breast was quite dried and her eyes grew blind, and she too fell one day beside a poor negress who, with her unborn child, lay frozen and dead, saying that she was tired, and that the time had come for her too to go. Dickenson lifted her and struggled on.

The child was taken by the negroes and sailors. It makes a mother’s heart ache even now to read how these coarse, famished men, often fighting like wild animals with each other, staggering under weakness and bodily pain, carried the heavy baby, never complaining of its weight, thinking, it may be, of some child of their own whom they would never see or touch again.

I can understand better the mystery of that Divine Childhood that was once in the world, when I hear how these poor slaves, unasked, gave of their dying strength to this child ; how, in tribes through which no white man had ever travelled alive, it was passed from one savage mother to the other, tenderly handled, nursed at their breasts ; how a gentler, kindlier spirit seemed to come from the presence of the baby and its mother to the crew ; so that, while at first they had cursed and fought their way along, they grew at the last helpful and tender with each other, often going back, when to go back was death, for the comrade who dropped by the way, and bringing him on until they too lay down, and were at rest together.

It was through the baby that deliverance came to them at last. The story that a white woman and a beautiful child had been wandering all winter through the deadly swamps was carried from one tribe to another until it reached the Spanish fort at St. Augustine. One day therefore, when near their last extremity, they “saw a Perre-augoe approaching by sea filled with soldiers, bearing a letter signifying the governor of St. Augustine’s greatt Care for our Preservation, of what Nation soever we were.” The journey, however, had to be made on foot; and it was more than two weeks before Dickenson, the old man, Mary and the child, and the last of the crew, reached St. Augustine.

“ We came thereto,” he says, “ about two hours before Night, and were directed to the governor’s house, where we were led up a pair of stairs, at the Head whereof stood the governor, who ordered my Wife to be conducted to his Wife’s Apartment.”

There is something in the picture of poor Mary, after her months of starvation and nakedness, coming into a lady’s chamber again, “ where was a Fire and Bath and Cloathes,” which has a curious pathos in it to a woman.

Robert Barrow and Dickenson were given clothes, and a plentiful supper set before them.

St. Augustine was then a collection of a few old houses grouped about the fort ; only a garrison, in fact, half supported by the king of Spain and half by the Church of Rome. Its three hundred male inhabitants were either soldiers or priests, dependent for supplies of money, clothing, or bread upon Havana; and as the famine had lasted for two years, and it was then three since a vessel had reached them from any place whatever, their poverty was extreme. They were all, too, the “false Catholicks and hireling Priests” whom, beyond all others, Dickenson distrusted and hated. Yet the grim Quaker’s hand seems to tremble as he writes down the record of their exceeding kindness ; of how they welcomed them, looking, as they did, like naked furious beasts, and cared for them as if they were their brothers. The governor of the fort clothed the crew warmly, and out of his own great penury fed them abundantly. He was a reserved and silent man, with a grave courtesy and odd gentle care for the woman and child that makes him quite real to us. Dickenson does not even give his name. Yet it is worth much to us to know that a brother of us all lived on that solitary Florida coast two centuries ago, whether he was pagan, Protestant, or priest.

When they had rested for some time, the governor furnished canoes and an escort to take them to Carolina, — a costly outfit in those days, — whereupon Dickenson, stating that he was a man of substance, insisted upon returning some of the charges to which the governor and people had been put as soon as he reached Carolina. But the Spaniard smiled and refused the offer, saying whatever he did was done for God’s sake. When the day came that they must go, “he walked down to see us embark, and taking our Farewel, he embraced some of us, and wished us well saying that We should forget him when we got amongst our own nation; and I also added that If we forgot him, God would not forget him, and thus we parted.”

The mischievous boy, John Hilliard, was found to have hidden in the woods until the crew were gone, and remained ever after in the garrison with the grave Spaniards, with whom he was a favorite.

The voyage to Carolina occupied the month of December, being made in open canoes, which kept close to the shore, the crew disembarking and encamping each night. Dickenson tells with open-eyed wonder how the Spaniards kept their holiday of Christmas in the open boat and through a driving northeast storm ; praying, and then tinkling a piece of iron for music and singing, and also begging gifts from the Indians, who begged from them in their turn ; and what one gave to the other, that they gave back again. Our baby at least, let us hope, had Christmas feeling enough to understand the laughing and hymn-singing in the face of the storm.

At the lonely little hamlet of Charleston (a few farms cut out of the edge of the wilderness) the adventurers were received with eagerness ; even the Spanish escort were exalted into heroes, and entertained and rewarded by the gentlemen of the town. Here too Dickenson and Kirle sent back generous gifts to the soldiers of St. Augustine, and a token of remembrance to their friend, the governor. After two months’ halt, “ on the eighteenth of the first month, called March,” they embarked for Pennsylvania, and on a bright cold morning in April came in sight of their new home of Philadelphia. The river was gay with a dozen sail, and as many brightly painted Indian pirogues darting here and there ; a ledge of green banks rose from the water’s edge dark with gigantic hemlocks, and pierced with the caves in which many of the settlers yet lived ; while between the bank and the forest were one or two streets of mud-huts and of curious low stone houses sparkling with mica, among which broad-brimmed Friends went up and down.

The stern Quaker had come to his own life and to his own people again ; the very sun had a familiar home look for the first time in his journey. We can believe that he rejoiced in his own solid, enduring way ; gave thanks that he had escaped the judgments of God, and closed his righteous gates thereafter on aught that was alien or savage.

The aged man rejoiced in a different way ; for being carried carefully to the shore by many friends, they knowing that he was soon to leave them, he put out his hand, ready to embrace them in much love, and in a tender frame of spirit, saying gladly that the Lord had answered his desire, and brought him home to lay his bones among them. From the windows of the dusky library, I can see the spot now, where, after his long journey, he rested for a happy day or two, looking upon the dear familiar faces and waving trees and the sunny April sky, and then gladly and cheerfully bade them farewell and went onward.

Mary had come at last to the pleasant home that had been waiting so long for her, and there, no doubt, she nursed her baby, and clothed him in soft fooleries again, and, let us hope, out of the fulness of her soul, not only prayed, but, Quaker as she was, sang idle joyous songs, when her husband was out of hearing.

But the baby, who knew nothing of the judgments or mercy of God, and who could neither pray nor sing, only had learned in these desperate straits to grow strong and happy in the touch of sun and wind, and to hold out its arms to friend or foe, slave or savage, sure of a welcome, and so came closer to God than any of them all.

Jonathan Dickenson became a power in the new principality ; there are vague traditions of his strict rule as mayor, his stately equipages and vast estates. No doubt, if I chose to search among the old musty records, I could find the history of his son. But I do not choose ; I will not believe that he ever grew to be a man, or died.

He will always be to us simply a baby ; a live, laughing baby, sent by his Master to the desolate places of the earth with the old message of Divine love and universal brotherhood to his children ; and I like to believe too, that as he lay in the arms of his savage foster-mothers, taking life from their life, Christ so took him into his own arms and blessed him.

Rebecca Harding Davis.