All Englishmen know the name of Lucy Hutchinson; and of her calling and election to the most wifely of all wifehoods—that of a soldier's wife—history has made her countrymen aware. Inasmuch as Colonel Hutchinson was a political soldier, moreover, she is something more than his biographer—his historian. And she convinces her reader that her Puritan principles kept abreast of her affections. There is no self-abandonment; she is not precipitate; keeps her own footing; wife of a soldier as she is, would not have armed him without her own previous indignation against the enemy. She is a soldier at his orders, but she had warily and freely chosen her captain.
Briefly, and with the dignity that the language of her day kept unmarred for her use, she relates her own childhood and youth. She was a child such as those serious times desired that a child should be; that is, she was as slightly a child, and for as brief a time, as might be. Childhood, as an age of progress, was not to be delayed, as an age of imperfection was to be improved, as an age of inability was not to be exposed except when precocity distinguished it. It must at any rate be shortened. Lucy Apsley, at four years old, read English perfectly, and was "carried to sermons, and could remember and repeat them exactly." "At seven she had eight tutors in several qualities." She