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self, and then with such zeal and heroism Bought to attain.
Entering a third time the married state, John Winthrop, in April, 1618, took to wife Margaret, daughter of Sir John Tyndal. The clouds, which had gathered so deeply in repeated bereavement and gloom over his earlier years of domestic life, yielded now, and left alike the sky and the horizon of his prospects, to give place soon to the anxieties of grave enterprises, which animated while they burdened his spirit. This excellent and brave-hearted lady, as she opens her soul, 'and almost reveals what must have been a sweet and winning countenance, to the reader of her own letters in these pages, will henceforward be one of the enshrined saints of the New-England calendar. Littie did she dream at her marriage what a destiny was before her. There was in store for her husband nearly thirty years of the truest heart-love and the closest sympathy in religious trust and consecration with her. We may anticipate our narrative at this point, to say that her situation did not allow her to accompany him on his own removal to this side of the ocean, but she followed him a year and a half afterwards, arriving in November, 1631, with his eldest son and others of his children, having lost on the voyage an infant whom he had probably never seen. Her death, in a prevailing sickness, June 14, 1647, drew from her husband this tribute to her: — "In this sickness the Governour's wife, daughter of Sir John Tindal, Knight, left this world for a better, being about fifty-six years of age: a woman of singular virtue, prudence, modesty, & piety, & specially beloved & honored of all the country." Though in the December of the same year we find the Governor again married, now to the Widow Martha Coytemore, we refer the incident to wilderness-straits and the exactions of necessity or expediency in domestic life.
But we must return to Margaret, the bride. It seems that there was some objection offered to Winthrop's suit by the
lady's relatives. In one of the two charming letters which are preserved as written during his courtship to her, he refers to some "unequall conflict* " which she had to bear. These two letters, with one addressed to the lady by Father Adam, are unique as specimens of Puritan love-making. Solomon's Song is here put to the best use for which it is adapted, its only safe use.
The family-letters, which now increase in number, and vastly in their cheerfulness and radiance of spirit, and the birth of more children, present to us the most captivating glimpses of the English life of our first Chief Magistrate. From a will which ho made in Groton in 1620, of course superseded after his change of country, it appears that he had then five sons and one daughter. The Lordship of Groton had been assigned to him by his father. This was the year of the hegira of the Plymouth Pilgrims, but we have as yet no intimation that Winthrop was looking in this direction.
For more than a dccadu of years the family-history now passes on, for the most part placidly, interspersed with those incidents and anxieties which give alike the charm and the import to the routine of existence to any closely knit fellowships sharing it together. Enough of the fragrant old material, in fast decaying papers, has come to light and been transcribed for security against all future risks, to preserve to us a fair restoration of the lights and shades of that domestic experience. Time has dealt kindly in sparing a variety of specimens, so as to give to that restoration a kaleidoscopic character. Winthrop's frequent visits to London, on his professional errands, gave occasion to constant correspondence between him and his wife, and so we have epistles burdened with the intensities and refinements of the purest affection. An occasional reference to church affairs by the Patron of Groton, with extracts from the record of his religious experience, continue for us the evidence that Winthrop was growing and deepening in the root* of his noble style of life. His piety evidently ripened and mellowed into the richest fruitage which any form of theological or devotional faith can produce. A severe and ivellnigh fatal illness in London, which he concealed from his wife at Groton till its crisis was past, was made by him the occasion, as of many other good resolutions, so also of a renouncement of the use of tobacco, in which, by his own account, he, like many men as well as women at that time, bad gone to excess. His good wife, though positively enjoined by him not to venture upon the winter's journey, in the letter which communicated to her the first tidings of his illness, immediately went to him in the great city, attended only by a female servant. In a previous malady from which he had suffered severely in one of his hands while at home, his sou John, in London, had consulted in his behalf one of the helpful female practitioners of the time, and the correspondence relating to her advice, her ointments, and their efficacy, gives us some curiously illustrative matter in the history of the healing art. The good woman was sure that she could at once cure her patient, if he could be beneath her hands. She would receive no compensation.
A mystery has attached to a certain "office" which Winthrop held in London, and to which, in one of his previously published letters, he referred as having lost it. It now appears that that office was an Attorneyship of the Court of Wards and Liveries, an honorable and responsible trust. Its duties, with other professional engagements, separated him so much from his home at one period, that he meditated the removal of his family from Groton. His wife's letters on the subject are delightful revelations of confidences. It is still only by inference that we can assign the loss of his office, to the business of which we have many references, to any especial cause. It may have been surrendered by him because he longed for more home-life, or because the growing sp'n it of discontent and apprehension as to the state of public af
fairs, which he shared with so many of /his friends, made him obnoxious to tha controlling heads in civil life.
We have also some admirable specimens of bis correspondence with his son John, who, after his preliminary education at the school at Bury St. Edmund's, became, in 1622, in his seventeenth year, a member of Trinity College, Dublin, near his uncle and aunt Downing, parents of the famous Sir George Downing. These are beautiful and wise and generous expressions of a father's love and advice and dealings with a son, exposed to temptation at a critical age, and giving promise of the abilities and virtues which he afterwards exhibited so nobly as Governor of Connecticut . In one of the letters, to which the father asks replies in Latin, he writes, "I will not limit your allowance less than to y* uttermost of mine own estate. So as, if £20 be too little (as I always accounted it), you shall have £30; .& when that shall not suffice, you shall have more. Only hold a sober & frugal course (yet without baseness), & I will shorten myself to enlarge you." In another letter there is this fit commemoration of his father, Adam, dying at the age of seventy-five:— "I am sure, before this, you have knowledge of that wh., at the time when you wrote, you were ignorant of: viz., the departure of your grandfather (for I wrote over twice since). He hath fmished his course: & is gathered to his people in peace, as the ripe corn into the barn. He thought long for y' day of his dissolution, & welcomed it most gladly. Thus is he gone before; & we must go after, in our time. This advantage he hath of us, — he shall not see y* evil wh. we may meet with ere we go hence. Happy those who stand in good terms with God & their own conscience: they shall not fear evil tidings: & in all changes they shall be y same."
There are likewise letters to the student at Dublin from his brother Forth, who succeeded him at the school at St. Edmund's. It is curious to note in these epistles of the school-boy the indifferent success of his manifestly sincere effort to use the technical language of Puritanism and to express its aims and ardors. The youth evidently feels freer when writing of the fortunes of some of his school-mates. This satin- Forth Winthrop became in course a student at Cambridge, and we have letters to his father, carried by the veritable Hobson immortalized by Milton.
The younger John went, on graduating, to London, to fit himself for the law. His name is found on the books as admitted to the Inner Temple in 1624. He appears early to have cherished some matrimonial purposes which did not work felicitously. Not liking his profession, he turned his thoughts toward the sea. He obtained a secretaryship in the naval service, and joined the expedition under the Duke of Buckingham, designed to relieve the French Protestants at Rochelle, in 1627. He afterwards made an Oriental tour, of the stages of which we have some account in his letters, in 1628-9, from Leghorn, Constantinople, etc. He was thwarted in a purpose to visit Jerusalem, and returned to England, by Holland. Notwithstanding the industrious fidelity of his father as a letter-writer, the son received no tidings from home during his whole absence of nearly fifteen months. What a contrast with our times I
Before undertaking this Oriental tour, the younger John had had proposals made to him, which seem to have engaged his own inclinations, to connect himself with Endecott's New-England enterprise. He wrote to consult the wishes of his father on the subject; but that father, who in less than two years was to find himself pledged to a more comprehensive scheme, involving a life-long exile in that far-off wilderness, dissuaded his son from the premature undertaking. It does not appear that the father had as yet presented to his mind the possibility of any such step. Yet, from the readiness which marked his own earnest and complete sympathy in the enterprise when first we find him concerned in it, we must in
fer that he had much previous acquaints ance and sympathy with the early New England adventurers from the moment that a religious spirit became prominent in their fellowship. He was a man who undertook no great work without the most careful deliberation, and a slow maturing of his decision.
During the absence of John at the East, many interesting and serious incidents occurred in the personal experience and in the domestic relations of his father, which doubtless helped the preparation of his spirit for the critical event of his life. He had that severe and threatening illness in London already referred to. We have many letters covering the period, filled with matter over which, as Bo full of what is common to the human heart in all time, we linger with consenting sympathy. A wayward and unconverted son, Henry by name, caused his father an anxiety which we see struggling painfully with parental affection and a high-toned Christian aim for all the members of his family. The son's course indicated rather profitlessness and recklessness than vice. He connected himself with an enterprise at Barbadoes. He drew heavily on his father's resources for money, and returned him some tobacco, which the father very frankly writes to him was "very ill-conditioned, foul, & full of stalks, & evil-colored." He came over in the same expedition, though not in the same ship, with his father, and was accidentally drowned at Salem, July 2, 1630. In the first letter which the good Governor wrote to his wife after his landing here, dated " Charlestown, July 16, 1630," are these sentences : — " We have met with many sad & discomfort -M things, as thou shalt hear after; & y Lord's hand hath been heavy upon myself in some very near to me. My son Henry! my son Henry I ah, poor child!" While the father was writing from London to this son, then supposed to be at Barbadoes, he had other matters of anxiety. His endeared brother-in-law, Fones, died, April 15, 1629, and four days afterwards, Wmthrop was called to part, at Groton, with his venerated mother, who died under the roof where she had lived so happily and graciously with his own family in his successive sorrows and delights.
The loss or resignation of his office, with the giving up of his law-chamber in London, and his evident premonitions of the sore troubles in affairs of Church and State which were soon to convulse his native land, doubtless guided him to a decision, some of the stages and incidents of which have left no record for us. Enough, however, of the process may still be traced among papers which have recently come to light, to open to us its inner workings, and to explain its development. A ride with his brother Downing into Lincolnshire, July 28, 1629, finds an entry in Winthrop's "Experiences," that it may mark his gratitude to the Providence which preserved his life, when, as he writes, "my horse fell under me in a bogge in the fennes, so as I was allmost to y* waiste in water." Beyond all doubt this ride was taken by the sympathizing travellers on a prearranged visit to Isaac Johnson, another of the New-England worthies, at Sempringham, on business connected with the Massachusetts enterprise. But the first recovered and extant document which proves that Winthrop was committing himself to the great work is a letter of his son John's, dated London, August 21, 1629, in reply to one from his father, which, it is evident from the tenor of the answer, had directly proposed the embarking of the interest of the whole family in the enterprise. A certain mysterious paper of "Conclusions," referred to by the son, had been inclosed in the father's letter, which appears to be irrecoverable. There has been much discussion, with rival and contested claims and pleas, as to the authorship of that most valuable and critical document containing the propositions for the enterprise, with reasons and grounds, objections and answers. Our author urges, with force of arguments
and the evidence of authentic papers, entirely to our satisfaction, that John Winthrop was essentially and substantially the digester and exponent of those pregnant considerations. The correspondence which follows proves how conscientiously the enterprise was weighed, and the reasons and objections debated. Godly ministers were consulted for their advice and cooperation. No opposition or withholding of any shade or degree would seem to have been made by any member of Winthrop's family; his gentle, meek-hearted, but most heroic and high-souled wife, being, from first to last, his most cordial sympathizer and ally. We next find him entering into the decisive " Agreement," at Cambridge, with eleven other of the foremost adventurers to New England, which pledged them "to inhabit and continue there." It was only after most protracted, and, we may be sure, most devout deliberation, that the great decision was made, which involved the transfer of the patent, the setting up of a self-governing commonwealth on the foreign soil, and the committal of those who were to be its members to a life-long and exacting undertaking, from which there were to be no lookings-back. A day was appointed for the company to meet, on which two committees were chosen, to weigh and present with full force, respectively, the reasons for a removal, and the reasons against it. The "show of hands," when these committees reported, fixed the purpose of the company on what they did not hesitate to believe was the leading of Providence.
From that moment we find Winthrop busy with cares and efforts of the most exacting character, drawing upon all his great energies, and engaging the fondest devotion of his manly and Christian heart. He gave himself, without stint or regret, with an unselfish and supreme consecration, to the work, cherishing its great aim as the matter of his most earnest piety, and attending to its pettiest details with a scrupulous fidelity which proved that conscience found its province there. We seem almost to be made spectators of the bustle and fervor of the old original Passover scenes of the Hebrew exodus. It is refreshing to pause for a moment over a touch of our common humanity, which we meet by the way. Winthrop in London "feeds with letters" the wife from whom he was so often parted. In one of them he tells her that he has purchased for her the stuff for a "gowne " to be sent by the carrier, and he adds, "Lett me knowe what triminge I shall send for thy gownc." But Margaret, who could trust her honored husband in everything else, was a woman still, and must reserve, not only the rights of her sex, but the privilege of her own good taste for the fitnesses of things. So she guardedly replies,—in a postscript, of course, — " When I see the cloth, I will send word what triminge will serve." In a modest parenthesis of another letter to her, dated October 29, 1629, he speaks of himself, as if all by the way, as "beinge chosen by ye Company to be their Governor." The circumstances of his election and trust, so honorable and dignified, are happily told with sufficient particularity on our own Court Records. Governor Cradock, his honored predecessor, not intending immediate emigration, put the proposition, and announced the result which gave him such a successor.
Attending frequently upon meetings of the Company, and supervising its own business as well as his private affairs, all having in view what must then have been in the scale of the time a gigantic undertaking, full of vexations and embarrassments, Winthrop seizes upon a few days of crowded heart - strugglings to make his last visit at the dear homestead, and then to take of it his eternal farewell. How lovingly and admiringly do we follow him on his way from London, taking his last view of those many sweet scenes which were thenceforward to embower in his memory all the joys of more than forty years I He did not then know for what a rugged landscape, and for what uncouth habitations, he was
to exchange those fair scenes and the ivyclad and -festooned churches and cottages of his dear England. His wife, for reasons of prudence, was to remain for a • while with some of his children, beside his eldest son, and was to follow him when he had made fit preparation for her. His last letters to her (and each of many was written as the last, because of frequent delays) after the embarkation of the company, are gems and jewels of a heart which was itself the pure shrine of a most fond and faithful love. His leave-taking at Groton was at the end of February, 1630; his embarkation was on March 22. The ships were weather-bound successively at Cowes and at Yarmouth, whence were written those melting epistles. A letter which he wrote to Sir William Spring, one of the Parliamentary members from Suffolk, a dear religious friend of his, overflows with an ardor and intenseness of affection which passes into the tone and language of feminine endearment, and fashions passages from the Song of Solomon into prayers. One sentence of that letter keeps sharp its lacerating point for the reader of to-day. "But I must leave you all: our farewells usually are pleasant passages; mine must be sorrowful; this addition of forever is a sad close." And it was to be forever. Winthrop was never to see his native land again. Many of his associates made one or more homeward voyages. A few of them returned to resume their English citizenship, in those troublous times which invited and exercised energies like those which had essayed to tame a wilderness. But the great and good leader of this blessed exodus never found the occasion, we know not that he ever felt the prompting, to recross the ocean. .The purpose of his life and soul was a unit in its substance and consecration, and it had found its object. For nineteen years, most of them as Governor, and always as the leading spirit and the recognized Moses of the enterprise, he was spared to see the planting and the building-up which subdued the wilder