Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Conversation With William Brewster

It was a year ago today that I visited Plimoth Plantation in Massachussetts for the first time in several years, and for the first time since I had really taken an interest in the Pilgrims -- particularly in the Allerton family. I was quite hoping to meet Isaac Allerton, but he was back in England on business. I could hardly be disappointed, though; I got to meet all sorts of wonderfully cool Pilgrims, one of whom was William Brewster, and he sure had a lot to say. He talked to me (and my grandparents, who had brought me to the Plantation as a birthday gift) about how he had been put on trial. This conversation really is such a wonderful memory for me. Being so in love with the study of foreign languages, particularly Dutch, I asked him whether he had learnt to speak it during his time in Holland. On the contrary, he had not been amongst those who had lived in Holland; I was mistaken. But, he told me, the little Allerton children had learnt to speak Dutch.

"Isaac Allerton is a cousin of mine," I said, utterly delighted.

He looked amazed.

"No!" he exclaimed. "Really?" Then, looking at me carefully, he added, "I cannot see the resemblance."

After chatting for a while longer, his expression became thoughtful and he asked me, "Are you a schoolgirl? It is hard to judge your age."

"I'll turn fifteen in about a week," I told him.

"Ah! Well! I think I can see it now! You do look like him; your smile, you have the same smile!"

That was such an amazingly wonderful day. I am aching to go back there, and maybe my cousin Isaac Allerton will have returned from England when I finally do.


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