« السابقةمتابعة »
though a man of great vigour of body and boldness of heart. But on being made prisoner the whole pride of his spirit arose within him; and from that moment we find in the anecdotes given by his enemies, nothing but repeated flashes of elevated and prince-like heroism. Being questioned by one of the English who first came up with him, and who had not attained his twentysecond year, the proud-hearted warrior, looking with lofty contempt upon his youthful countenance, replied, “ You are a child-you cannot understand matters of war-let your brother or your chief come—him will I answer.”
Though repeated offers were made to him of his life, on condition of submitting with his nation to the English, yet he rejected them with disdain, and refused to send any proposals of the kind to the great body of his subjects; saying, that he knew none of them would comply. Being reproached with his breach of faith towards the whites; his boast that he would not deliver up a Wampanoag, nor the paring of a Wampanoag's nail; and his threat that he would burn the English alive in their houses; he disdained to justify himself, haughtily answering that others were as forward for the war as himself, “ and he desired to hear no more thereof."
So noble and unshaken a spirit, so true a fidelity to his cause and his friend, might have touched the feelings of the generous and the brave: but Canonchet was an Indian ; a being towards whom war had no courtesy, humanity no law, religion no compassion-he was condemned to die. The last words of his that are recorded, are worthy the greatness of his soul. When sentence of death was passed upon him, he observed that he liked it well, for he should die before his heart was soft, or he had spoken any thing unworthy of himself.” His enemies gave him the death of a soldier, for he was shot at Stonington, by three young Sachems of his own rank.
The defeat at the Narrhaganset fortress, and the death of Canonchet, were fatal blows to the fortunes of King Philip. He made an ineffectual attempt to raise a head of war, by stirring up the Mohawks to take arms; but though possessed of the native talents of a statesman, his arts were counteracted by the superior arts of his enlightened enemies, and the terrror of their warlike skill began to subdue the resolution of the neighbouring tribes. The unfortunate chieftain saw himself daily stripped of power, and his ranks rapidly thinning around him. Some were suborned by the whites; others fell victims to hunger and fatigue, and to the frequent attacks by which they were harassed. His stores were all captured; his chosen friends were swept away from before his eyes; his uncle was shot down by his side; his sister was carried into captivity; and in one of his narrow escapes he was compelled to leave his beloved wife and only son to the mercy of the enemy. “ His ruin," says the historian, “ being thus gradually carried on, his misery was not prevented, but augmented thereby; being himself made acquainted with the sense and experimental feeling of the cap
tivity of his children, loss of friends, slaughter of his subjects, bereavement of all family relations, and being stripped of all outward comforts, before his own life should be taken away.” . To fill up the measure of his misfortunes, his own followers began to plot against his life, that by sacrificing him they might purchase dishonourable safety. Through treachery a number of his faithful adherents, the subjects of Wetamoe, an Indian princess of Pocasset, a near kinswoman and confederate of Philip, were betrayed into the hands of the enemy. Wetamoe was among them at the time, and attempted to make her escape by crossing a neighbouring river: either exhausted by swimming, or starved with cold and hunger, she was found dead and naked near the water side. But persecution ceased not at the grave. Even death, the refuge of the wretched, where the wicked commonly cease from troubling, was no protection to this outcast female, whose great crime was affectionate fidelity to her kinsman and her friend. Her corpse was the
object of unmanly and dastardly vengeance ; the head was severed from the body and set upon a pole, and was thus exposed at Taunton, to the view of her captive subjects. They immediately recognised the features of their unfortunate queen, and were so affected at this barbarous spectacle, that we are told they broke forth into the “ most horrid and diabolical lamentations.”
However Philip had borne up against the complicated miseries and misfortunes that surrounded him, the treachery of his followers seemed to wring his heart and reduce him to despondency. It is said that “ he never rejoiced afterwards, nor had success in any of his designs.” The spring of hope was brokenthe ardour of enterprise was extinguished-he looked around, and all was danger and darkness; there was no eye to pity, nor any arm that could bring deliverance. With a scanty band of followers, who still remained true to his desperate fortunes, the unhappy Philip wandered back to the vicinity of Mount Hope,