Page:Anne Bradstreet and her time.djvu/37

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21
ANNE BRADSTREET.

minor ministerial offence, his pardon could have been had; but since his crime was Puritanism, he must flee for his life. So, for his life he fled, dodging his pursuers; and finally slipping out of England, after innumerable perils, like a hunted felon; landing in Boston in September, 1633."

Long before this crisis had come, Thomas Dudley had been recalled by the Earl of Lincoln, who found it impossible to dispense with his services, and the busy life began again. Whether Anne missed the constant excitement the strenuous spiritual life enforced on all who made part of John Cotton's congregation, there is no record, but one may infer from a passage in her diary that a reaction had set in, and that youth asserted itself.

"But as I grew up to bee about fourteen or fifteen I found my heart more carnall and sitting loose from God, vanity and the follys of youth take hold of me.

"About sixteen, the Lord layd his hand sore upon me and smott mee with the small-pox. When I was in my affliction, I besought the Lord, and confessed my Pride and Vanity and he was entreated of me, and again restored me. But I rendered not to him according to ye benefit received."

Here is the only hint as to personal appearance. "Pride and Vanity," are more or less associated with a fair countenance, and though no record gives slight est detail as to form or feature, there is every reason to suppose that the event, very near at hand, which altered every prospect in life, was influenced in degree, at least, by considerations slighted in later years, but having full weight with both. That Thomas Dudley was a "very personable man," we