Page:Anne Bradstreet and her time.djvu/121

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105
ANNE BRADSTREET.

CHAPTER VI.

a theological tragedy.


IT was perhaps Anne Bradstreet's youth, and a sense that she could hardly criticise a judgment which had required the united forces of every church in the Colony to pronounce, that made her ignore one of the most stormy experiences of those early days, the trial and banishment of Anne Hutchinson. Her silence is the more singular, because the conflict was a purely spiritual one, and thus in her eyes deserving of record. There can be no doubt that the effect on her own spiritual and mental life must have been intense and abiding. No children had as yet come to absorb her thoughts and energies, and the events which shook the Colony to the very center could not fail to leave an ineffaceable impression. No story of personal experience is more confounding to the modern reader, and none holds a truer picture of the time. Governor Dudley and Simon Bradstreet were both concerned in the whole course of the matter, which must have been discussed at home from day to day, and thus there is every reason for giving it full place in these pages as one of the formative forces in Anne Bradstreet's life; an inspiration and then a warning. There are hints that Anne resented the limitations that hedged her in, and had small love of