Page:Anne Bradstreet and her time.djvu/58

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42
ANNE BRADSTREET.

CHAPTER III.


the voyage.


IT is perhaps the fault of the seventeenth century and its firm belief that a woman's office was simply to wait such action as man might choose to take, that no woman's record remains of the long voyage or the first impressions of the new country.

For the most of them writing was by no means a familiar task, but this could not be said of the women on board the Arbella, who had known the highest cultivation that the time afforded. But poor Anne Bradstreet's young "heart rose," to such a height that utterance may have been quite stifled, and as her own family were all with her, there was less need of any chronicle.

For all details, therefore, we are forced to depend on the journal kept by Governor Winthrop, who busied himself not only with this, making the first entry on that Easter Monday which found them riding at anchor at Cowes, but with another quite as characteristic piece of work. A crowded storm-tossed ship, is hardly a point to which one looks for any sustained or fine literary composition, but the little treatise, "A Model of Christian Charity," the fruit of long and silent musing on the new life awaiting them, holds the highest thought of the best among them, and