Page:Anne Bradstreet and her time.djvu/90

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74
ANNE BRADSTREET.

CHAPTER V.

old friends and new.


IN spite of the fits of depression evident in most of the quotations thus far given, there were many alleviations, as life settled into more tolerable conditions, and one chief one was now very near. Probably no event in the first years of Anne Bradstreet's life in the little colony had as much significance for her as the arrival at Boston in 1633, of the Rev. John Cotton, her father's friend, and one of the strongest influences in the lives of both English and American Puritans. She was still living in Cambridge and very probably made one of the party who went in from there to hear his first sermon before the Boston church. He had escaped from England with the utmost difficulty, the time of freedom allowed him by King James who admired his learning, having ended so thoroughly that he was hunted like an escaped convict. Fearless and almost reckless, the Colonial ministers wondered at his boldness, a brother of Nathaniel Ward saying as he and some friends "spake merrily" together: "Of all men in the world, I envy Mr. Cotton of Boston, most; for he doth nothing in way of conformity, and yet hath his liberty, and I do everything in that way and cannot enjoy mine."

The child born on the stormy passage over, and