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scheme. He had a claim on the government for £16,000, lent by his deceased father to the court and naval service, which were always in embarrassment. Charles was ready to borrow, but found it hard to repay. Penn met the royal exigencies, by offering to compound his debt for a grant in America. To the east of New Jersey, and between it and the Roman Catholic province of Maryland, lay a large tract, stretching three hundred miles in length, and half that distance in width, along the Delaware, where that river finds its outlet in the sea, to the backbone of the Alleghanies, and crossing them, along the banks of the Ohio, to the shores of the distant lake Erie, then silent, now busy with life and spangled with towns and hamlets, traversed by railways and crowded by manufactures. This vast tract was then covered with forests and prairies, in which a few scattered Indians trapped the beaver or ensnared wildfowl, or hunted across the plains the elk and deer. There, where now fleets of merchantmen crowd the basins, not a sail was to be seen on the bay ; where coal and marble and salt have given staple to factories and returns to capital — where furnaces smoke and factories clatter—the woods of chesnut and oak, the pine and the poplar, the gumwood and the hickory, mingling with the myrtle, the cypress, the mulberry, and the cedar, resounded with the song of countless birds and the cry of roving beasts of prey. On these mountain ranges hung impenetrable
woods, often shrouded in deep fogs; and settlers, turning to more genial climes, shrank from the gloomy forest; not the less that a fierce and active race of Indians had fixed their wigwams there, and, encamping in its open glades, poured at times into the bordering prairies, and carried havoc and death in their assaults.
Penn's application for this province in lieu of his debt was met at first by difficulties. The idea that he meant to introduce into the New World his strange notions of freedom and toleration disquieted the Court and the Commons. His support of the New Jersey settlers against the Duke of York had alienated his royal patron; while the interests of Lord Baltimore, the proprietor of Maryland, were violently opposed to his proposal. These difficulties kept the matter long in suspense; but the impossibility of finding means to discharge the debt was the strongest argument in his favour, and at last prevailed. The charter was drawn out; the Lords and the Committee of Trade and Plantations revised it; the Council was summoned ; at Whitehall sat the gay and careless monarch ; before him, his hat on his head, stood the imperturbable Quaker; a blithe jest fell from Charles ; and, by a careless stroke of the royal pen, the State of Pennsylvania,* with its rivers and mountains, forests, and destinies, passed into the hands of the Quaker, and
* Penn wished it to be called New Wales, or Sylvania—but Charles insisted on adding the name of Penn to it.
was confirmed afterwards by the cession of rights on the part of the Duke of York.
The spirit, in which Penn received the gift, was fitted to its grandeur; no boasting, or self-gratulation, but the confidence of a humble and grateful heart :he appreciated the greatness of the gift, and recognised the Giver; “God,” he said, “hath given it to me in the face of the world; He will bless and make it the seed of a nation."
In the constitution of the colony he was assisted by Algernon Sydney; and at Worminghurst and Penshurst the two friends drew up its several articles. That it established perfect freedom of conscience, it is needless to remark. It established also a no less absolute freedom of trade; Penn sacrificing to this desire the sums, which he might have received from the sale of monopolies. The constitution, as we might assume from its bearing the sanction of Algernon Sydney, was democratic: a council of seventy-two, elected for three years, formed the senate, which Penn intended to be the deliberative body; an assembly, elected yearly by ballot and universal suffrage, and paid, confirmed or rejected the acts of the council. Trial by jury gave scope to public opinion, but the provision, that the judges were chosen only for two years, and could thus be removed by the Assembly, impaired the administration of justice.—Religion was left to voluntary efforts. -Education was carefully provided for.—The Indians
were treated on principles of such manifest justice, that they became the friends of the new colony, and no Quaker blood was shed by them.
The high estimation of Penn, both abroad and at home, created a general desire to settle in his colony; and the persecution of the Quakers, which was then raging with unusual violence, increased the feeling. In Frankfort, Liverpool, and Bristol, emigration companies were formed; and from London, under Penn's cousin Markham as governor, in the spring of 1682, the first emigrants sailed. He himself followed in September, after a parting with his family, tender and touching as we should expect from so gentle a heart; and after an exhortation to his wife--addressed to her as though they were to meet no more-giving directions concerning his children, in a spirit of sober wisdom and Christian earnestness, which proves the mastery of one great principle through all the relations of life. It is well, before Penn enters on this new course of public enterprise as a ruler, to look into the private feelings of the man. That, however eager as a controversialist, he could be gentle and forbearing to sufferers, his letter to one of his foreign correspondents proves. For, writing to the young Countess of Falchenstun, severely tried, he recalled for her comfort his own experience, assuring her of the peace, which was to be won through suffering, and adding-“my soul hath often, in the sweet sense and feeling of the Holy Presence of God,
and the precious life of His dear Son in my heart, with great tenderness implored his Divine assistance unto thee, that thou mayest be both illuminated to do, and made willing to suffer for His sake; that the Spirit of God and of glory may rest upon thy soul.”
That he could awaken the warmest regard in others, is proved by the feelings with which the Princess Elizabeth parted with him, after he had passed some days in her company and made known to her and her attendants his views. “ When the last service drew to a close, the Princess Elizabeth walked up to Penn, took him by the hand affectionately, and, offering to lead him aside, began to speak of the sense she had of God's power and presence. But emotion choked her utterance, and she sobbed out “I cannot speak to you, my heart is full.” In a gentle tone Penn whispered some words of consolation in her ear. « So we left them,” says Penn, "in the love and peace of God, praying that they might be kept from the evil of this world.” *
But his letters at this time to his friends shew still more his real affections, called out into stronger expression by the solemnity of his parting. Thus he writes to a Somersetshire gentleman, who, though not a Quaker, had treated with indulgent kindness his Quaker son, and Penn, appreciating this, had become greatly attached to him, —“Dear Friend, in my dear
* Dixon's Life of Penn, p. 179.