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Title: Grandfather's Chair
Author: Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Grandfather's Chair" ***

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By Nathaniel Hawthorne



     PART I.


     PART II.


     PART III.

     I.    A NEW YEAR'S DAY


IN writing this ponderous tome, the author's desire has been to describe
the eminent characters and remarkable events of our annals in such a
form and style that the YOUNG may make acquaintance with them of their
own accord. For this purpose, while ostensibly relating the adventures
of a chair, he has endeavored to keep a distinct and unbroken thread
of authentic history. The chair is made to pass from one to another
of those personages of whom he thought it most desirable for the young
reader to have vivid and familiar ideas, and whose lives and actions
would best enable him to give picturesque sketches of the times. On its
sturdy oaken legs it trudges diligently from one scene to another, and
seems always to thrust itself in the way, with most benign complacency,
whenever an historical personage happens to be looking round for a seat.

There is certainly no method by which the shadowy outlines of departed
men and women can be made to assume the hues of life more effectually
than by connecting their images with the substantial and homely reality
of a fireside chair. It causes us to feel at once that these characters
of history had a private and familiar existence, and were not wholly
contained within that cold array of outward action which we are
compelled to receive as the adequate representation of their lives. If
this impression can be given, much is accomplished.

Setting aside Grandfather and his auditors, and excepting the adventures
of the chair, which form the machinery of the work, nothing in the
ensuing pages can be termed fictitious. The author, it is true, has
sometimes assumed the license of filling up the outline of history with
details for which he has none but imaginative authority, but which,
he hopes, do not violate nor give a false coloring to the truth. He
believes that, in this respect, his narrative will not be found to
convey ideas and impressions of which the reader may hereafter find it
necessary to purge his mind.

The author's great doubt is, whether he has succeeded in writing a book
which will be readable by the class for whom he intends it. To make a
lively and entertaining narrative for children, with such unmalleable
material as is presented by the sombre, stern, and rigid characteristics
of the Puritans and their descendants, is quite as difficult an attempt
as to manufacture delicate playthings out of the granite, rocks on which
New England is founded.


PART I. 1620-1692.


GRANDFATHER had been sitting in his old arm-chair all that pleasant
afternoon, while the children were pursuing their various sports far off
or near at hand, Sometimes you would have said, "Grandfather is asleep;"
hut still, even when his eyes were closed, his thoughts were with the
young people, playing among the flowers and shrubbery of the garden.

He heard the voice of Laurence, who had taken possession of a heap of
decayed branches which the gardener had lopped from the fruit-trees,
and was building a little hut for his cousin Clara and himself. He heard
Clara's gladsome voice, too, as she weeded and watered the flower-bed
which had been given her for her own. He could have counted every
footstep that Charley took, as he trundled his wheelbarrow along the
gravel-walk. And though' Grandfather was old and gray-haired, yet his
heart leaped with joy whenever little Alice came fluttering, like
a butterfly, into the room. Sire had made each of the children her
playmate in turn, and now made Grandfather her playmate too, and thought
him the merriest of them all.

At last the children grew weary of their sports, because a summer
afternoon is like a long lifetime to the young. So they came into the
room together, and clustered round Grandfather's great chair. Little
Alice, who was hardly five years old, took the privilege of the
youngest, and climbed his knee. It was a pleasant thing to behold that
fair and golden-haired child in the lap of the old man, and to think
that, different as they were, the hearts of both could be gladdened with
the same joys.

"Grandfather," said little Alice, laying her head back upon his arm, "I
am very tired now. You must tell me a story to make me go to sleep."

"That is not what story-tellers like," answered Grandfather, smiling.
"They are better satisfied when they can keep their auditors awake."

"But here are Laurence, and Charley, and I," cried cousin Clara, who was
twice as old as little Alice. "We will all three keep wide awake.
And pray, Grandfather, tell us a story about this strange-looking old

Now, the chair in which Grandfather sat was made of oak, which had grown
dark with age, but had been rubbed and polished till it shone as bright
as mahogany. It was very large and heavy, and had a back that rose high
above Grandfather's white head. This back was curiously carved in open
work, so as to represent flowers, and foliage, and other devices, which
the children had often gazed at, but could never understand what they
meant. On the very tip-top of the chair, over the head of Grandfather
himself, was a likeness of a lion's head, which had such a savage grin
that you would almost expect to hear it growl and snarl.

The children had seen Grandfather sitting in this chair ever since they
could remember anything. Perhaps the younger of them supposed that he
and the chair had come into the world together, and that both had always
been as old as they were now. At this time, however, it happened to be
the fashion for ladies to adorn their drawing-rooms with the oldest and
oddest chairs that could be found. It seemed to cousin Clara that, if
these ladies could have seen Grandfather's old chair, they would have
thought it worth all the rest together. She wondered if it were not
even older than Grandfather himself, and longed to know all about its

"Do, Grandfather, talk to us about this chair," she repeated.

"Well, child," said Grandfather, patting Clara's cheek, "I can tell you
a great many stories of my chair. Perhaps your cousin Laurence would
like to hear them too. They would teach him something about the history
and distinguished people of his country which he has never read in any
of his schoolbooks."

Cousin Laurence was a boy of twelve, a bright scholar, in whom an early
thoughtfulness and sensibility began to show themselves. His young fancy
kindled at the idea of knowing all the adventures of this venerable
chair. He looked eagerly in Grandfather's face; and even Charley, a
bold, brisk, restless little fellow of nine, sat himself down on the
carpet, and resolved to be quiet for at least ten minutes, should the
story last so long.

Meantime, little Alice was already asleep; so Grandfather, being much
pleased with such an attentive audience, began to talk about matters
that happened long ago.


BUT before relating the adventures of the chairs found it necessary to
speak of circumstances that caused the first settlement of New England.
For it will soon be perceived that the story of this remarkable chair
cannot be told without telling a great deal of the history of the

So Grandfather talked about the Puritans, {Foot Note: It is more precise
to give the name of Pilgrims to those Englishmen who went to Holland and
afterward to Plymouth. They were sometimes called Separatists because
they separated themselves from the church of England, sometimes
Brownists after the name of one of their eminent ministers. The Puritans
formed a great political as well as religious party in England, and
did not at first separate themselves from the church of England, though
those who came to this country did so at once.} as those persons were
called who thought it sinful to practise certain religious forms and
ceremonies of the Church of England. These Puritans suffered so much
persecuted in England that, in 1607, many of them went over to Holland,
and lived ten or twelve years at Amsterdam and Leyden. But they feared
that, if they continued there much longer, they should cease to be
England, and should adopt all the manners, and ideas, and feelings of
the Dutch. For this and other reasons, in the year 1620 they embarked on
board the ship Mayflower, and crossed the ocean, to the shores of Cape
Cod. There they made a settlement, and called it Plymouth, which, though
now a part of Massachusetts, was for a long time a colony by itself. And
thus was formed the earliest settlement of the Puritans in America.

Meantime, those of the Puritans who remained in England continued to
suffer grievous persecution on account of their religious opinions. They
began to look around them for some spot where they might worship God,
not as the king and bishops thought fit, but according to the dictates
of their own consciences. When their brethren had gone from Holland to
America, they bethought themselves that they likewise might find refuge
from persecution there. Several gentlemen among them purchased a tract
of country on the coast of Massachusetts Bay, and obtained a charter
from King Charles, which authorized them to make laws for the settlers.
In the year 1628 they sent over a few people, with John Endicott at
their bead, to commence a plantation at Salem. {Foot Note: The Puritans
had a liking for Biblical names for their children, and they sometimes
gave names out of the Bible to places, Salem means Peace. The Indian
name was Naumkeag.} Peter Palfrey, Roger Conant, and one or two more had
built houses there in 1626, and may be considered as the first settlers
of that ancient town. Many other Puritans prepared to follow Endicott.

"And now we come to the chair, my dear children," said Grandfather.
"This chair is supposed to have been made of an oak-tree which grew in
the park of the English Earl of Lincoln between two and three centuries
ago. In its younger days it used, probably, to stand in the hall of the
earl's castle. Do not you see the coat of arms of the family of Lincoln
carved in the open work of the back? But when his daughter, the Lady
Arbella, was married to a certain Mr. Johnson, the earl gave her this
valuable chair."

"Who was Mr. Johnson?" inquired Clara.

"He was a gentleman of great wealth, who agreed with the Puritans in
their religious opinions," answered Grandfather. "And as his belief was
the same as theirs, he resolved that he would live and die with them.
Accordingly, in the month of April, 1630, he left his pleasant abode and
all his comforts in England, and embarked, with Lady Arbella, on board
of a ship bound for America."

As Grandfather was frequently impeded by the questions and observations
of his young auditors, we deem it advisable to omit all such prattle
as is not essential to the story. We have taken some pains to find out
exactly what Grandfather said, and here offer to our readers, as nearly
as possible in his own words, the story of the Lady Arbella.

The ship in which Mr. Johnson and his lady embarked, taking
Grandfather's chair along with them, was called the Arbella, in honor
of the lady herself. A fleet of ten or twelve vessels, with many hundred
passengers, left England about the same time; for a multitude of people,
who were discontented with the king's government and oppressed by the
bishops, were flocking over to the New World. One of the vessels in the
fleet was that same Mayflower which had carried the Puritan Pilgrims to
Plymouth. And now, my children, I would have you fancy yourselves in
the cabin of the good ship Arbella; because, if you could behold the
passengers aboard that vessel, you would feel what a blessing and honor
it was for New England to have such settlers. They were the best men and
women of their day.

Among the passengers was John Winthrop, who had sold the estate of
his forefathers, and was going to prepare a new home for his wife and
children in the wilderness. He had the king's charter in his keeping,
and was appointed the first governor of Massachusetts. Imagine him a
person of grave and benevolent aspect, dressed in a black velvet suit,
with a broad ruff around his neck, and a peaked beard upon his chin.
{Foot Note: There is a statue representing John Winthrop in Scollay
Square in Boston. He holds the charter in his hand, and a Bible is under
his arm.} There was likewise a minister of the gospel whom the English
bishops had forbidden to preach, but who knew that he should have
liberty both to preach and pray in the forests of America. He wore a
black cloak, called a Geneva cloak, and had a black velvet cap,
fitting close to his head, as was the fashion of almost all the Puritan
clergymen. In their company came Sir Richard Saltonstall, who had been
one of the five first projectors of the new colony. He soon returned to
his native country. But his descendants still remain in New England; and
the good old family name is as much respected in our days as it was in
those of Sir Richard.

Not only these, but several other men of wealth and pious ministers were
in the cabin of the Arbella. One had banished himself forever from the
old hall where his ancestors had lived for hundreds of years. Another
had left his quiet parsonage, in a country town of England. Others had
come from the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge, where they had gained
great fame for their learning. And here they all were, tossing upon
the uncertain and dangerous sea, and bound for a home that was more
dangerous than even the sea itself. In the cabin, likewise, sat the Lady
Arbella in her chair, with a gentle and sweet expression on her
face, but looking too pale and feeble to endure the hardships of the

Every morning and evening the Lady Arbella gave up her great chair to
one of the ministers, who took his place in it and read passages
from the Bible to his companions. And thus, with prayers, and pious
conversation, and frequent singing of hymns, which the breezes caught
from their lips and scattered far over the desolate waves, they
prosecuted their voyage, and sailed into the harbor of Salem in the
month of June.

At that period there were but six or eight dwellings in the town; and
these were miserable hovels, with roofs of straw and wooden chimneys.
The passengers in the fleet either built huts with bark and branches of
trees, or erected tents of cloth till they could provide themselves with
better shelter. Many of them went to form a settlement at Charlestown.
It was thought fit that the Lady Arbella should tarry in Salem for
a time; she was probably received as a guest into the family of John
Endicott. He was the chief person in the plantation, and had the only
comfortable house which the new-comers had beheld since they left
England. So now, children, you must imagine Grandfather's chair in the
midst of a new scene.

Suppose it a hot summer's day, and the lattice-windows of a chamber in
Mr. Endicott's house thrown wide open. The Lady Arbella, looking
paler than she did on shipboard, is sitting in her chair, and thinking
mournfully of far-off England. She rises and goes to the window. There,
amid patches Of garden ground and cornfield, she sees the few wretched
hovels of the settlers, with the still ruder wigwams and cloth tents of
the passengers who had arrived in the same fleet with herself. Far and
near stretches the dismal forest of pine-trees, which throw their black
shadows over the whole land, and likewise over the heart of this poor

All the inhabitants of the little village are busy. One is clearing a
spot on the verge of the forest for his homestead; another is hewing
the trunk of a fallen pine-tree, in order to build himself a dwelling;
a third is hoeing in his field of Indian corn. Here comes a huntsman
out of the woods, dragging a bear which he has shot, and shouting to the
neighbors to lend him a hand. There goes a man to the sea-shore, with
a spade and a bucket, to dig a mess of clams, which were a principal
article of food with the first settlers. Scattered here and there are
two or three dusky figures, clad in mantles of fur, with ornaments of
bone hanging from their ears, and the feathers of wild birds in their
coal-black hair. They have belts of shellwork slung across their
shoulders, and are armed with bows and arrows, and flint-headed spears.
These are an Indian sagamore and his attendants, who have come to gaze
at the labors of the white men. And now rises a cry that a pack of
wolves have seized a young calf in the pasture; and every man snatches
up his gun or pike and runs in chase of the marauding beasts.

Poor Lady Arbella watches all these sights, and feels that this New
World is fit only for rough and hardy people. None should be here but
those who can struggle with wild beasts and wild men, and can toil
in the heat or cold, and can keep their hearts firm against all
difficulties and dangers. But she is not of these. Her gentle and timid
spirit sinks within her; and, turning away from the window, she sits
down in the great chair and wonders whereabouts in the wilderness her
friends will dig her grave.

Mr. Johnson had gone, with Governor Winthrop and most of the other
passengers, to Boston, where he intended to build a house for Lady
Arbella and himself. Boston was then covered with wild woods, and had
fewer inhabitants, even, than Salem. During her husband's absence, poor
Lady Arbella felt herself growing ill, and was hardly able to stir
from the great chair. Whenever John Endicott noticed her despondency he
doubtless addressed her with words of comfort. "Cheer up, my good lady!"
he would say.

"In a little time you will love this rude life of the wilderness as I
do." But Endicott's heart was as bold and resolute as iron, and he could
not understand why a woman's heart should not be of iron too.

Still, however, he spoke kindly to the lady, and then hastened forth
to till his cornfield and set out fruit-trees, or to bargain with the
Indians for furs, or perchance to oversee the building of a fort. Also,
being a magistrate, he had often to punish some idler or evil doer, by
ordering him to be set in the stocks or scourged at the whipping-post.
Often, too, as was the custom of the times, he and Mr. Higginson,
the minister of Salem, held long religious talks together. Thus John
Endicott was a man of multifarious business, and had no time to look
back regretfully to his native land. He felt himself fit for the New
World and for the work that he had to do, and set himself resolutely to
accomplish it.

What a contrast, my dear children, between this bold, rough, active man,
and the gentle Lady Arbella, who was fading away, like a pale English
flower, in the shadow of the forest! And now the great chair was often
empty, because Lady Arbella grew too weak to arise from bed.

Meantime, her husband had pitched upon a spot for their new home. He
returned from Boston to Salem, travelling through the woods on foot, and
leaning on his pilgrim's staff. His heart yearned within him; for he was
eager to tell his wife of the new home which he had chosen. But when he
beheld her pale and hollow cheek, and found how her strength was wasted,
he must have known that her appointed home was in a better land. Happy
for him then--happy both for him and her--if they remembered that there
was a path to heaven, as well from this heathen wilderness as from the
Christian land whence they had come. And so, in one short month from her
arrival, the gentle Lady Arbella faded away and died. They dug a grave
for her in the new soil, where the roots of the pine-trees impeded their
spades; and when her bones had rested there nearly two hundred years,
and a city had sprung up around them, a church of stone was built upon
the spot.

Charley, almost at the commencement of the foregoing narrative, had
galloped away, with a prodigious clatter, upon Grandfather's stick, and
was not yet returned. So large a boy should have been ashamed to ride
upon a stick. But Laurence and Clara had listened attentively, and were
affected by this true story of the gentle lady who had come so far to
die so soon. Grandfather had supposed that little Alice was asleep; but
towards the close of the story, happening to look down upon her, he saw
that her blue eyes were wide open, and fixed earnestly upon his face.
The tears had gathered in them, like dew upon a delicate flower; but
when Grandfather ceased to speak, the sunshine of her smile broke forth

"Oh, the lady must have been so glad to get to heaven!" exclaimed little
Alice. "Grandfather, what became of Mr. Johnson?" asked Clara.

"His heart appears to have been quite broken," answered Grandfather;
"for he died at Boston within a month after the death of his wife. He
was buried in the very same tract of ground where he had intended to
build a dwelling for Lady Arbella and himself. Where their house would
have stood, there was his grave."

"I never heard anything so melancholy," said Clara.

"The people loved and respected Mr. Johnson so much," continued
Grandfather, "that it was the last request of many of them, when they
died, that they might be buried as near as possible to this good man's
grave. And so the field became the first burial ground in Boston. When
you pass through Tremont Street, along by King's Chapel, you see a
burial-ground, containing many old grave-stones and monuments. That was
Mr. Johnson's field."

"How sad is the thought," observed Clara, "that one of the first things
which the settlers had to do, when they came to the New World, was to
set apart a burial-ground!"

"Perhaps," said Laurence, "if they had found no need of burial-grounds
here, they would have been glad, after a few years, to go back to

Grandfather looked at Laurence, to discover whether he knew how profound
and true a thing he had said.


NOT long after Grandfather had told the story of his great chair, there
chanced to be a rainy day. Our friend Charley, after disturbing the
household with beat of drum and riotous shouts, races up and down the
staircase, overturning of chairs, and much other uproar, began to feel
the quiet and confinement within doors intolerable. But as the rain came
down in a flood, the little fellow was hopelessly a prisoner, and now
stood with sullen aspect at a window, wondering whether the sun itself
were not extinguished by so much moisture in the sky.

Charley had already exhausted the less eager activity of the other
children; and they had betaken themselves to occupations that did not
admit of his companionship. Laurence sat in a recess near the book-ease,
reading, not for the first time, the Midsummer Night's Dream. Clara was
making a rosary of beads for a little figure of a Sister of Charity,
who was to attend the Bunker Hill fair and lend her aid in erecting
the Monument. Little Alice sat on Grandfather's footstool, with a
picture-book in her hand; and, for every picture, the child was telling
Grandfather a story. She did not read from the book (for little Alice
had not much skill in reading), but told the story out of her own heart
and mind.

Charley was too big a boy, of course, to care anything about little
Alice's stories, although Grandfather appeared to listen with a good
deal of interest. Often in a young child's ideas and fancies, there, is
something which it requires the thought of a lifetime to comprehend. But
Charley was of opinion that, if a story must be told, it had better be
told by Grandfather than little Alice.

"Grandfather, I want to hear more about your chair," said he.

Now, Grandfather remembered that Charley had galloped away upon a stick
in the midst of the narrative of poor Lady Arbella, and I know not
whether he would have thought it worth while to tell another story
merely to gratify such an inattentive auditor as Charley. But Laurence
laid down his book and seconded the request. Clara drew her chair nearer
to Grandfather; and little Alice immediately closed her picture-book
and looked up into his face. Grandfather had not the heart to disappoint

He mentioned several persons who had a share in the settlement of our
country, and who would be well worthy of remembrance, if we could find
room to tell about them all. Among the rest, Grandfather spoke of the
famous Hugh Peters, a minister of the gospel, who did much good to the
inhabitants of Salem. Mr. Peters afterwards went back to England,
and was chaplain to Oliver Cromwell; but Grandfather did not tell the
children what became of this upright and zealous man at last. In fact,
his auditors were growing impatient to hear more about the history of
the chair.

"After the death of Mr. Johnson," said he, "Grandfather's chair came
into the possession of Roger Williams. He was a clergyman, who arrived
at Salem, and settled there in 1631. Doubtless the good man has spent
many a studious hour in this old chair, either penning a sermon or
reading some abstruse book of theology, till midnight came upon him
unawares. At that period, as there were few lamps or candles to be had,
people used to read or work by the light of pitch-pine torches. These
supplied the place of the 'midnight oil' to the learned men of New

Grandfather went on to talk about Roger Williams, and told the children
several particulars, which we have not room to repeat.


"ROGER WILLIAMS," said Grandfather, "did not keep possession of the
chair a great while. His opinions of civil and religious matters
differed, in many respects, from those of the rulers and clergymen of
Massachusetts. Now, the wise men of those days believed that the country
could not be safe unless all the inhabitants thought and felt alike."

"Does anybody believe so in our days, Grandfather?" asked Lawrence.

"Possibly there are some who believe it," said Grandfather; "but they
have not so much power to act upon their belief as the magistrates
and ministers had in the days of Roger Williams. They had the power to
deprive this good man of his home, and to send him out from the midst of
them in search of a new place of rest. He was banished in 1634, and went
first to Plymouth colony; but as the people there held the same opinions
as those of Massachusetts, he was not suffered to remain among them.
However, the wilderness was wide enough; so Roger Williams took his
staff and travelled into the forest and made treaties with the Indians,
and began a plantation which he called Providence."

"I have been to Providence on the railroad," said Charley. "It is but a
two-hours' ride."

"Yes, Charley," replied Grandfather; "but when Roger Williams travelled
thither, over hills and valleys, and through the tangled woods, and
across swamps and streams, it was a journey of several days. Well,
his little plantation has now grown to be a populous city; and the
inhabitants have a great veneration for Roger Williams. His name is
familiar in the mouths of all, because they see it on their bank-bills.
How it would have perplexed this good clergyman if he had been told that
he should give his name to the ROGER WILLIAMS BANK!"

"When he was driven from Massachusetts," said Lawrence, "and began his
journey into the woods, he must have felt as if he were burying himself
forever from the sight and knowledge of men. Yet the whole country has
now heard of him, and will remember him forever."

"Yes," answered Grandfather; "it often happens that the outcasts of one
generation are those who are reverenced as the wisest and best of men by
the next. The securest fame is that which comes after a man's death. But
let us return to our story. When Roger Williams was banished, he appears
to have given the chair to Mrs. Anne Hutchinson. At all events, it
was in her possession in 1687. She was a very sharp-witted and
well-instructed lady, and was so conscious of her own wisdom and
abilities that she thought it a pity that the world should not have the
benefit of them. She therefore used to hold lectures in Boston once
or twice a week, at which most of the women attended. Mrs. Hutchinson
presided at these meetings, sitting with great state and dignity in
Grandfather's chair."

"Grandfather, was it positively this very chair?" demanded Clara, laying
her hand upon its carved elbow.

"Why not, my dear Clara?" said Grandfather. "Well, Mrs. Hutchinson's
lectures soon caused a great disturbance; for the ministers of Boston
did not think it safe and proper that a woman should publicly instruct
the people in religious doctrines. Moreover, she made the matter worse
by declaring that the Rev. Mr. Cotton was the only sincerely pious and
holy clergyman in New England. Now, the clergy of those days had quite
as much share in the government of the country, though indirectly, as
the magistrates themselves; so you may imagine what a host of powerful
enemies were raised up against Mrs. Hutchinson. A synod was convened;
that is to say, an assemblage of all the ministers in Massachusetts.
They declared that there were eighty-two erroneous opinions on religious
subjects diffused among the people, and that Mrs. Hutchinson's opinions
were of the number."

"If they had eighty-two wrong opinions," observed Charley, "I don't see
how they could have any right ones."

"Mrs. Hutchinson had many zealous friends and converts," continued
Grandfather. "She was favored by young Henry Vane, who had come over
from England a year or two before, and had since been chosen governor
of the colony, at the age of twenty-four. But Winthrop and most of the
other leading men, as well as the ministers, felt an abhorrence of her
doctrines. Thus two opposite parties were formed; and so fierce were the
dissensions that it was feared the consequence would be civil war and
bloodshed. But Winthrop and the ministers being the most powerful, they
disarmed and imprisoned Mrs. Hutchinson's adherents. She, like Roger
Williams, was banished."

"Dear Grandfather, did they drive the poor woman into the woods?"
exclaimed little Alice, who contrived to feel a human interest even in
these discords of polemic divinity.

"They did, my darling," replied Grandfather; "and the end of her life
was so sad you must not hear it. At her departure, it appears, from
the best authorities, that she gave the great Chair to her friend Henry
Vane. He was a young man of wonderful talents and great learning, who
had imbibed the religious opinions of the Puritans, and left England
with the intention of spending his life in Massachusetts. The people
chose him governor; but the controversy about Mrs. Hutchinson, and
other troubles, caused him to leave country in 1637. You may read the
subsequent events of his life in the History of England."

"Yes, Grandfather," cried Laurence; "and we may read them better in
Mr. Upham's biography of Vane. And what a beautiful death he died, long
afterwards! beautiful, though it was on a scaffold."

"Many of the most beautiful deaths have been there," said Grandfather.
"The enemies of a great and good man can in no other way make him so
glorious as by giving him the crown of martyrdom."

In order that the children might fully understand the all-important
history of the chair, Grandfather now thought fit to speak of the
progress that was made in settling several colonies. The settlement of
Plymouth, in 1620, has already been mentioned. In 1635 Mr. Hooker
and Mr. Stone, two ministers, went on foot from Massachusetts to
Connecticut, through the pathless woods, taking their whole congregation
along with them. They founded the town of Hartford. In 1638 Mr.
Davenport, a very celebrated minister, went, with other people, and
began a plantation at New Haven. In the same year, some persons who
had been persecuted in Massachusetts went to the Isle of Rhodes, since
called Rhode Island, and settled there. About this time, also, many
settlers had gone to Maine, and were living without any regular
government. There were likewise settlers near Piscataqua River, in the
region which is now called New Hampshire.

Thus, at various points along the coast of New England, there were
communities of Englishmen. Though these communities were independent of
one another, yet they had a common dependence upon England; and, at so
vast a distance from their native home, the inhabitants must all have
felt like brethren. They were fitted to become one united People at a
future period. Perhaps their feelings of brotherhood were the stronger
because different nations had formed settlements to the north and to the
south. In Canada and Nova Scotia were colonies of French. On the banks
of the Hudson River was a colony of Dutch, who had taken possession of
that region many years before, and called it New Netherlands.

Grandfather, for aught I know, might have gone on to speak of Maryland
and Virginia; for the good old gentleman really seemed to suppose that
the whole surface of the United States was not too broad a foundation
to place the four legs of his chair upon. But, happening to glance at
Charley, he perceived that this naughty boy was growing impatient
and meditating another ride upon a stick. So here, for the present,
Grandfather suspended the history of his chair.


The children had now learned to look upon the chair with an interest
which was almost the same as if it were a conscious being, and could
remember the many famous people whom it had held within its arms.

Even Charley, lawless as he was, seemed to feel that this venerable
chair must not be clambered upon nor overturned, although he had no
scruple in taking such liberties With every other chair in the house.
Clara treated it with still greater reverence, often taking occasion to
smooth its cushion, and to brush the dust from the carved flowers and
grotesque figures of its oaken back and arms. Laurence would sometimes
sit a whole hour, especially at twilight, gazing at the chair, and, by
the spell of his imaginations, summoning up its ancient occupants to
appear in it again.

Little Alice evidently employed herself in a similar way; for once when
Grandfather had gone abroad, the child was heard talking with the gentle
Lady Arbella, as if she were still sitting in the chair. So sweet a
child as little Alice may fitly talk with angels, such as the Lady
Arbella had long since become.

Grandfather was soon importuned for more stories about the chair. He had
no difficulty in relating them; for it really seemed as if every person
noted in our early history had, on some occasion or other, found repose
within its comfortable arms. If Grandfather took pride in anything,
it was in being the possessor of such an honorable and historic

"I know not precisely who next got possession of the chair after
Governor Vane went back to England," said Grandfather. "But there is
reason to believe that President Dunster sat in it, when he held the
first Commencement at Harvard College. You have often heard, children,
how careful our forefathers were to give their young people a good
education. They had scarcely cut down trees enough to make room for
their own dwellings before they began to think of establishing a
college. Their principal object was, to rear up pious and learned
ministers; and hence old writers call Harvard College a school of the

"Is the college a school of the prophets now?" asked Charley.

"It is a long while since I took my degree, Charley. You must ask some
of the recent graduates," answered Grandfather. "As I was telling you,
President Dunster sat in Grandfather's chair in 1642, when he conferred
the degree of bachelor of arts on nine young men. They were the first in
America who had received that honor. And now, my dear auditors, I must
confess that there are contradictory statements and some uncertainty
about the adventures of the chair for a period of almost ten years. Some
say that it was occupied by your own ancestor, William Hawthorne, first
speaker of the House of Representatives. I have nearly satisfied myself,
however, that, during most of this questionable period, it was literally
the chair of state. It gives me much pleasure to imagine that several
successive governors of Massachusetts sat in it at the council board."

"But, Grandfather," interposed Charley, who was a matter-of-fact little
person, "what reason have you, to imagine so?"

"Pray do imagine it, Grandfather," said Laurence.

"With Charley's permission, I will," replied Grandfather, smiling. "Let
us consider it settled, therefore, that Winthrop, Bellingham, Dudley,
and Endicott, each of them, when chosen governor, took his seat in
our great chair on election day. In this chair, likewise, did those
excellent governors preside while holding consultations with the chief
councillors of the province, who were styled assistants. The governor
sat in this chair, too, whenever messages were brought to him from the
chamber of representatives."

And here Grandfather took occasion to talk rather tediously about the
nature and forms of government that established themselves, almost
spontaneously, in Massachusetts and the other New England colonies.
Democracies were the natural growth of the New World. As to
Massachusetts, it was at first intended that the colony should be
governed by a council in London. But in a little while the people had
the whole power in their own hands, and chose annually the governor,
the councillors, and the representatives. The people of Old England
had never enjoyed anything like the liberties and privileges which the
settlers of New England now possessed. And they did not adopt these
modes of government after long study, but in simplicity, as if there
were no other way for people to be ruled.

"But, Laurence," continued Grandfather, "when you want instruction on
these points, you must seek it in Mr. Bancroft's History. I am merely
telling the history of a chair. To proceed. The period during which the
governors sat in our chair was not very full of striking incidents.
The province was now established on a secure foundation; but it did not
increase so rapidly as at first, because the Puritans were no longer
driven from England by persecution. However, there was still a quiet
and natural growth. The Legislature incorporated towns, and made new
purchases of lands from the Indians. A very memorable event took place
in 1643. The colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and
New Haven formed a union, for the purpose of assisting each other in
difficulties, for mutual defence against their enemies. They called
themselves the United Colonies of New England."

"Were they under a government like that of the United States?" inquired

"No," replied Grandfather; "the different colonies did not compose one
nation together; it was merely a confederacy among the governments: It
somewhat resembled the league of the Amphictyons, which you remember
in Grecian history. But to return to our chair. In 1644 it was highly
honored; for Governor Endicott sat in it when he gave audience to an
ambassador from the French governor of Acadia, or Nova Scotia. A treaty
of peace between Massachusetts and the French colony was then signed."

"Did England allow Massachusetts to make war and peace with foreign
countries?" asked Laurence.

"Massachusetts and the whole of New England was then almost independent
of the mother country," said Grandfather. "There was now a civil war in
England; and the king, as you may well suppose, had his hands full at
home, and could pay but little attention to these remote colonies. When
the Parliament got the power into their hands, they likewise had enough
to do in keeping down the Cavaliers. Thus New England, like a young and
hardy lad whose father and mother neglect it, was left to take care of
itself. In 1649 King Charles was beheaded. Oliver Cromwell then became
Protector of England; and as he was a Puritan himself, and had risen
by the valor of the English Puritans, he showed himself a loving and
indulgent father to the Puritan colonies in America."

Grandfather might have continued to talk in this dull manner nobody
knows how long; but suspecting that Charley would find the subject
rather dry, he looked sidewise at that vivacious little fellow, and saw
him give an involuntary yawn. Whereupon Grandfather proceeded with the
history of the chair, and related a very entertaining incident, which
will be found in the next chapter.


"ACCORDING to the most authentic records, my dear children," said
Grandfather, "the chair, about this time, had the misfortune to break
its leg. It was probably on account of this accident that it ceased to
be the seat of the governors of Massachusetts; for, assuredly, it would
have been ominous of evil to the commonwealth if the chair of state had
tottered upon three legs. Being therefore sold at auction,--alas I what
a vicissitude for a chair that had figured in such high company!--our
venerable friend was knocked down to a certain Captain John Hull. This
old gentleman, on carefully examining the maimed chair, discovered that
its broken leg might be clamped with iron and made as serviceable as

"Here is the very leg that was broken!" exclaimed Charley, throwing
himself down on the floor to look at it. "And here are the iron clamps.
How well it was mended!"

When they had all sufficiently examined the broken leg, Grandfather told
them a story about Captain John Hull and the Pine-tree Shillings.

The Captain John Hull aforesaid was the mint-master of Massachusetts,
and coined all the money that was made there. This was a new line of
business, for, in the earlier days of the colony, the current coinage
consisted of gold and silver money of England, Portugal, and Spain.
These coins being scarce, the people were often forced to barter their
commodities instead of selling them.

For instance, if a man wanted to buy a coat, he perhaps exchanged
a bear-skin for it. If he wished for a barrel of molasses, he might
purchase it with a pile of pine boards. Musket-bullets were used instead
of farthings. The Indians had a sort of money, called wampum, which was
made of clam-shells; and this strange sort of specie was likewise taken
in payment of debts by the English settlers. Bank-bills had never been
heard of. There was not money enough of any kind, in many parts of the
country, to pay the salaries of the ministers; so that they sometimes
had to take quintals of fish, bushels of corn, or cords of wood, instead
of silver or gold.

As the people grew more numerous, and their trade one with another
increased, the want of current money was still more sensibly felt. To
supply the demand, the General Court passed a law for establishing a
coinage of shillings, sixpences, and threepences. Captain John Hull was
appointed to manufacture this money, and was to have about one shilling
out of every twenty to pay him for the trouble of making them.

Hereupon all the old silver in the colony was handed over to Captain
John Hull. The battered silver cans and tankards, I suppose, and silver
buckles, and broken spoons, and silver buttons of worn-out coats, and
silver hilts of swords that had figured at court,--all such curious old
articles were doubtless thrown into the melting-pot together. But by far
the greater part of the silver consisted of bullion from the mines of
South America, which the English buccaneers--who were little better than
pirates--had taken from the Spaniards and brought to Massachusetts.

All this old and new silver being melted down and coined, the result
was an immense amount of splendid shillings, sixpences, and threepences.
Each had the date, 1652, on the one side, and the figure of a pine-tree
on the other. Hence they were called pine-tree shillings. And for every
twenty shillings that he coined, you will remember, Captain John Hull
was entitled to put one shilling into his own pocket.

The magistrates soon began to suspect that the mint master would have
the best of the bargain. They offered him a large sum of money if he
would but give up that twentieth shilling which he was continually
dropping into his own pocket. But Captain Hull declared himself
perfectly satisfied with the shilling. And well he might be; for
so diligently did he labor, that, in a few years, his pockets,
his money-bags, and his strong box were overflowing with pine-tree
shillings. This was probably the case when he came into possession of
Grandfather's chair; and, as he had worked so hard at the mint, it was
certainly proper that he should have a comfortable chair to rest him
self in.

When the mint-master had grown very rich, a young man, Samuel Sewall by
name, came a-courting to his only daughter. His daughter--whose name I
do not know, but we will call her Betsey--was a fine, hearty damsel,
by no means so slender as some young ladies of our own days. On the
contrary, having always fed heartily on pumpkin-pies, doughnuts, Indian
puddings, and other Puritan dainties, she was as round and plump as a
pudding herself. With this round, rosy Miss Betsey did Samuel Sewall
fall in love. As he was a young man of good character, industrious in
his business, and a member of the church, the mint-master very readily
gave his consent.

"Yes, you may take her," said he, in his rough way, "and you'll find her
a heavy burden enough!"

On the wedding day, we may suppose that honest John Hull dressed himself
in a plum-colored coat, all the buttons of which were made of pine-tree
shillings. The buttons of his waistcoat were sixpences; and the knees of
his small-clothes were buttoned with silver threepences. Thus attired,
he sat with great dignity in Grandfather's chair; and, being a portly
old gentleman, he completely filled it from elbow to elbow. On the
opposite side of the room, between her bride-maids, sat Miss Betsey. She
was blushing with all her might, and looked like a full-blown peony, or
a great red apple.

There, too, was the bridegroom, dressed in a fine purple coat and
gold-lace waistcoat, with as much other finery as the Puritan laws and
customs would allow him to put on. His hair was cropped close to his
head, because Governor Endicott had forbidden any man to wear it below
the ears. But he was a very personable young man; and so thought the
bridemaids and Miss Betsey herself.

The mint-master also was pleased with his new Son-in-law; especially as
he had courted Miss Betsey out of pure love, and had said nothing at all
about her portion. So, when the marriage ceremony was over, Captain Hull
whispered a word to two of his men-servants, who immediately went out,
and soon returned, lugging in a large pair of scales. They were such
a pair as wholesale merchants use for weighing bulky commodities; and
quite a bulky commodity was now to be weighed in them.

"Daughter Betsey," said the mint-master, "get into one side of these

Miss Betsey--or Mrs. Sewall, as we must now call her--did as she
was bid, like a dutiful child, without any question of the why and
wherefore. But what her father could mean, unless to make her husband
pay for her by the pound (in which case she would have been a dear
bargain), she had not the least idea.

"And now," said honest John Hull to the servants "bring that box

The box to which the mint-master pointed was a huge, square, iron-bound,
oaken chest; it was big enough, my children, for all four of you to play
at hide-and-seek in. The servants tugged with might and main, but could
not lift this enormous receptacle, and were finally obliged to drag it
across the floor. Captain Hull then took a key from his girdle, unlocked
the chest, and lifted its ponderous lid. Behold! it was full to the brim
of bright pine-tree shillings, fresh from the mint; and Samuel Sewall
began to think that his father-in-law had got possession of all the
money in the Massachusetts treasury. But it was only the mint-master's
honest share of the coinage.

Then the servants, at Captain Hull's command, heaped double handfuls
of shillings into one side of the scales, while Betsey remained in the
other. Jingle, jingle, went the shillings, as handful after handful was
thrown in, till, plump and ponderous as she was, they fairly weighed the
young lady from the floor.

"There, son Sewall!" cried the honest mint-master, resuming his seat in
Grandfather's chair, "take these shillings for my daughter's portion.
Use her kindly, and thank Heaven for her. It is not every wife that's
worth her weight in silver!"

The children laughed heartily at this legend, and would hardly be
convinced but that Grandfather had made it out of his own head. He
assured them faithfully, however, that he had found it in the pages of
a grave historian, and had merely tried to tell it in a somewhat funnier
style. As for Samuel Sewall, he afterwards became chief justice of

"Well, Grandfather," remarked Clara, "if wedding portions nowadays were
paid as Miss Betsey's was, young ladies would not pride themselves upon
an airy figure, as many of them do."


WHEN his little audience next assembled round the chair, Grandfather
gave them a doleful history of the Quaker persecution, which began in
1656, and raged for about three years in Massachusetts.

He told them how, in the first place, twelve of the converts of George
Fox, the first Quaker in the world, had come over from England. They
seemed to be impelled by an earnest love for the souls of men, and a
pure desire to make known what they considered a revelation from
Heaven. But the rulers looked upon them as plotting the downfall of all
government and religion. They were banished from the colony. In a little
while, however, not only the first twelve had returned, but a multitude
of other Quakers had come to rebuke the rulers and to preach against the
priests and steeple-houses.

Grandfather described the hatred and scorn with which these enthusiasts
were received. They were thrown into dungeons; they were beaten with
many stripes, women as well as men; they were driven forth into the
wilderness, and left to the tender mercies of tender mercies of wild
beasts and Indians. The children were amazed hear that the more the
Quakers were scourged, and imprisoned, and banished, the more did the
sect increase, both by the influx of strangers and by converts from
among the Puritans, But Grandfather told them that God had put
something into the soul of man, which always turned the cruelties of the
persecutor to naught.

He went on to relate that, in 1659, two Quakers, named William Robinson
and Marmaduke Stephenson, were hanged at Boston. A woman had been
sentenced to die with them, but was reprieved on condition of her
leaving the colony. Her name was Mary Dyer. In the year 1660 she
returned to Boston, although she knew death awaited her there; and,
if Grandfather had been correctly informed, an incident had then taken
place which connects her with our story. This Mary Dyer had entered
the mint-master's dwelling, clothed in sackcloth and ashes, and seated
herself in our great chair with a sort of dignity and state. Then she
proceeded to deliver what she called a message from Heaven, but in the
midst of it they dragged her to prison.

"And was she executed?" asked Laurence.

"She was," said Grandfather.

"Grandfather," cried Charley, clinching his fist, "I would have fought
for that poor Quaker woman!"

"Ah, but if a sword had been drawn for her," said Laurence, "it would
have taken away all the beauty of her death."

It seemed as if hardly any of the preceding stories had thrown such
an interest around Grandfather's chair as did the fact that the poor,
persecuted, wandering Quaker woman had rested in it for a moment. The
children were so much excited that Grandfather found it necessary to
bring his account of the persecution to a close.

"In 1660, the same year in which Mary Dyer was executed," said he,
"Charles II. was restored to the throne of his fathers. This king had
many vices; but he would not permit blood to be shed, under pretence of
religion, in any part of his dominions. The Quakers in England told
him what had been done to their brethren in Massachusetts; and he sent
orders to Governor Endicott to forbear all such proceedings in future.
And so ended the Quaker persecution,--one of the most mournful passages
in the history of our forefathers."

Grandfather then told his auditors, that, shortly after the above
incident, the great chair had been given by the mint-master to the
Rev. Mr. John Eliot. He was the first minister of Roxbury. But besides
attending to the pastoral duties there, he learned the language of the
red men, and often went into the woods to preach to them. So earnestly
did he labor for their conversion that he has always been called the
apostle to the Indians. The mention of this holy man suggested to
Grandfather the propriety of giving a brief sketch of the history of the
Indians, so far as they were connected with the English colonists.

A short period before the arrival of the first Pilgrims at Plymouth
there had been a very grievous plague among the red men; and the sages
and ministers of that day were inclined to the opinion that Providence
had sent this mortality in order to make room for the settlement of the
English. But I know not why we should suppose that an Indian's life is
less precious, in the eye of Heaven, than that of a white man. Be that
as it may, death had certainly been very busy with the savage tribes.

In many places the English found the wigwams deserted and the cornfields
growing to waste, with none to harvest the grain. There were heaps
of earth also, which, being dug open, proved to be Indian graves,
containing bows and flint-headed spears and arrows; for the Indians
buried the dead warrior's weapons along with him. In some spots there
were skulls and other human bones lying unburied. In 1633, and the year
afterwards, the small-pox broke out among the Massachusetts Indians,
multitudes of whom died by this terrible disease of the Old World. These
misfortunes made them far less powerful than they had formerly been.

For nearly half a century after the arrival of the English the red men
showed themselves generally inclined to peace and amity. They often
made submission when they might have made successful war. The Plymouth
settlers, led by the famous Captain Miles Standish, slew some of them,
in 1623, without any very evident necessity for so doing. In 1636,
and the following year, there was the most dreadful war that had yet
occurred between the Indians and the English. The Connecticut settlers,
assisted by a celebrated Indian chief named Uncas, bore the brunt of
this war, with but little aid from Massachusetts. Many hundreds of the
hostile Indians were slain or burned in their wigwams. Sassacus, their
sachem, fled to another tribe, after his own people were defeated; but
he was murdered by them, and his head was sent to his English enemies.

From that period down to the time of King Philip's War, which will be
mentioned hereafter, there was not much trouble with the Indians. But
the colonists were always on their guard, and kept their weapons ready
for the conflict.

"I have sometimes doubted," said Grandfather, when he had told these
things to the Children,--"I have sometimes doubted whether there was
more than a single man among our forefathers who realized that an Indian
possesses a mind, and a heart, and an immortal soul. That single man was
John Eliot. All the rest of the early settlers seemed to think that the
Indians were an inferior race of beings, whom the Creator had merely
allowed to keep possession of this beautiful country till the white men
should be in want of it."

"Did the pious men of those days never try to make Christian of them?"
asked Laurence. "Sometimes, it is true," answered Grandfather, "the
magistrates and ministers would talk about civilizing and converting
the red people. But, at the bottom of their hearts, they would have had
almost as much expectation of civilizing the wild bear of the woods and
making him fit for paradise. They felt no faith in the success of any
such attempts, because they had no love for the poor Indians. Now, Eliot
was full of love for them; and therefore so full of faith and hope that
he spent the labor of a lifetime in their behalf."

"I would have conquered them first, and then converted them," said

"Ah, Charley, there spoke the very spirit of our forefathers." replied
Grandfather. "But Mr. Eliot a better spirit. He looked upon them as his
brethren. He persuaded as many of them as he could to leave off their
idle and wandering habits, and to build houses and cultivate the earth,
as the English did. He established schools among them and taught many
of the Indians how to read. He taught them, likewise, how to pray. Hence
they were called 'praying Indians.' Finally, having spent the best years
of his life for their good, Mr. Eliot resolved to spend the remainder in
doing them a yet greater benefit."

"I know what that was!" cried Laurence.

"He sat down in his study," continued Grandfather, "and began a
translation of the Bible into the Indian tongue. It was while he was
engaged in this pious work that the mint-master gave him our great
chair. His toil needed it and deserved it."

"O Grandfather, tell us all about that Indian Bible!" exclaimed
Laurence. "I have seen it in the library of the Athenaeum; and the tears
came into my eyes to think that there were no Indians left to read it."


As Grandfather was a great admirer of the apostle Eliot, he was glad to
comply with the earnest request which Laurence had made at the close
of the last chapter. So he proceeded to describe how good Mr. Eliot
labored, while he was at work upon the Indian Bible.

My dear children, what a task would you think it, even with a long
lifetime before you, were you bidden to copy every chapter, and verse,
and word, in yonder family Bible! Would not this be a heavy toil? But
if the task were, not to write off the English Bible, but to learn a
language utterly unlike all other tongues, a language which hitherto
had never been learned, except by the Indians themselves, from their
mothers' lips,--a language never written, and the strange words of which
seemed inexpressible by letters,--if the task were, first to learn this
new variety of speech, and then to translate the Bible into it, and to
do it so carefully that not one idea throughout the holy book should
be changed,--what would induce you to undertake this toil? Yet this was
what the apostle Eliot did.

It was a mighty work for a man, now growing old, to take upon himself.
And what earthly reward could he expect from it? None; no reward on
earth. But he believed that the red men were the descendants of those
lost tribes of Israel of whom history has been able to tell us nothing
for thousands of years. He hoped that God had sent the English across
the ocean, Gentiles as they were, to enlighten this benighted portion of
his once chosen race. And when he should be summoned hence, he trusted
to meet blessed spirits in another world, whose bliss would have been
earned by his patient toil in translating the word of God. This hope and
trust were far dearer to him than anything that earth could offer.

Sometimes, while thus at work, he was visited by learned men, who
desired to know what literary undertaking Mr. Eliot had in hand. They,
like himself, had been bred in the studious cloisters of a university,
and were supposed to possess all the erudition which mankind has hoarded
up from age to age. Greek and Latin were as familiar to them as the
bab-ble of their childhood. Hebrew was like their mother tongue. They
had grown gray in study; their eyes were bleared with poring over print
and manuscript by the light of the midnight lamp.

And yet, how much had they left unlearned! Mr. Eliot would put into
their hands some of the pages which he had been writing; and behold! the
gray-headed men stammered over the long, strange words, like a little
child in his first attempts to read. Then would the apostle call to him
an Indian boy, one of his scholars, and show him the manuscript which
had so puzzled the learned Englishmen.

"Read this, my child," would he say; "these are some brethren of mine,
who would fain hear the sound of thy native tongue."

Then would the Indian boy cast his eyes over the mysterious page, and
read it so skilfully that it sounded like wild music. It seemed as if
the forest leaves were singing in the ears of his auditors, and as the
roar of distant streams were poured through the young Indian's voice.
Such were the sounds amid which the language of the red man had been
formed; and they were still heard to echo in it.

The lesson being over, Mr. Eliot would give the Indian boy an apple or
a cake, and bid him leap forth into the open air which his free nature
loved. The Apostle was kind to children, and even shared in their sports
sometimes. And when his visitors had bidden him farewell, the good man
turned patiently to his toil again.

No other Englishman had ever understood the Indian character so well,
nor possessed so great an influence over the New England tribes, as the
apostle did. His advice and assistance must often have been valuable
to his countrymen in their transactions with the Indians. Occasionally,
perhaps, the governor and some of the councillors came to visit Mr.
Eliot. Perchance they were seeking some method to circumvent the forest
people. They inquired, it may be, how they could obtain possession of
such and such a tract of their rich land. Or they talked of making
the Indians their servants; as if God had destined them for perpetual
bondage to the more powerful white man.

Perhaps, too, some warlike captain, dressed in his buff coat, with a
corselet beneath it, accompanied the governor and councillors. Laying
his hand upon his sword hilt, he would declare that the only method of
dealing with the red men was to meet them with the sword drawn and the
musket presented.

But the apostle resisted both the craft of the politician and the
fierceness of the warrior.

"Treat these sons of the forest as men and brethren," he would say;
"and let us endeavor to make them Christians. Their forefathers were of
that chosen race whom God delivered from Egyptian bondage. Perchance he
has destined us to deliver the children from the more cruel bondage
of ignorance and idolatry. Chiefly for this end, it may be, we were
directed across the ocean."

When these other visitors were gone, Mr. Eliot bent himself again over
the half-written page. He dared hardly relax a moment from his toil. He
felt that, in the book which he was translating, there was a deep human
as well as heavenly wisdom, which would of itself suffice to civilize
and refine the savage tribes. Let the Bible be diffused among them, and
all earthly good would follow. But how slight a consideration was
this, when he reflected that the eternal welfare of a whole race of men
depended upon his accomplishment of the task which he had set himself!
What if his hands should be palsied? What if his mind should lose its
vigor? What if death should come upon him ere the work were done? Then
must the red man wander in the dark wilderness of heathenism forever.

Impelled by such thoughts as these, he sat writing in the great chair
when the pleasant summer breeze came in through his open casement; and
also when the fire of forest logs sent up its blaze and smoke, through
the broad stone chimney, into the wintry air. Before the earliest bird
sang in the morning the apostle's lamp was kindled; and, at midnight,
his weary head was not yet upon its pillow. And at length, leaning back
in the great chair, he could say to himself, with a holy triumph, "The
work is finished!"

It was finished. Here was a Bible for the Indians. Those long-lost
descendants of the ten tribes of Israel would now learn the history of
their forefathers. That grace which the ancient Israelites had forfeited
was offered anew to their children.

There is no impiety in believing that, when his long life was over,
the apostle of the Indians was welcomed to the celestial abodes by the
prophets of ancient days and by those earliest apostles and evangelists
who had drawn their inspiration from the immediate presence of the
Saviour. They first had preached truth and salvation to the world.
And Eliot, separated from them by many centuries, yet full of the same
spirit, has borne the like message to the New World of the west. Since
the first days of Christianity, there has been no man more worthy to be
numbered in the brotherhood of the apostles than Eliot.

"My heart is not satisfied to think," observed Laurence, "that Mr.
Eliot's labors have done no good except to a few Indians of his own
time. Doubtless he would not have regretted his toil, if it were the
means of saving but a single soul. But it is a grievous thing to me
that he should have toiled so hard to translate the Bible, and now the
language and the people are gone! The Indian Bible itself is almost the
only relic of both."

"Laurence," said his Grandfather, "if ever you should doubt that man is
capable of disinterested zeal for his brother's good, then remember how
the apostle Eliot toiled. And if you should feel your own self-interest
pressing upon your heart too closely, then think of Eliot's Indian
Bible. It is good for the world that such a man has lived and left this
emblem of his life."

The tears gushed into the eyes of Laurence, and he acknowledged
that Eliot had not toiled in vain. Little Alice put up her arms to
Grandfather, and drew down his white head beside her own golden locks.

"Grandfather," whispered she, "I want to kiss good Mr. Eliot!"

And, doubtless, good Mr. Eliot would gladly receive the kiss of so sweet
a child as little Alice, and would think it a portion of his reward in

Grandfather now observed that Dr. Francis had written a very beautiful
Life of Eliot, which he advised Laurence to peruse. He then spoke of
King Philip's War, which began in 1675, and terminated with the death of
King Philip, in the following year. Philip was a proud, fierce Indian,
whom Mr. Eliot had vainly endeavored to convert to the Christian faith.

"It must have been a great anguish to the apostle," continued
Grandfather, "to hear of mutual slaughter and outrage between his own
countrymen and those for whom he felt the affection of a father. A few
of the praying Indians joined the followers of King Philip. A greater
number fought on the side of the English. In the course of the war the
little community of red people whom Mr. Eliot had begun to civilize was
scattered, and probably never was restored to a flourishing condition.
But his zeal did not grow cold; and only about five years before his
death he took great pains in preparing a new edition of the Indian

"I do wish, Grandfather," cried Charley, "you would tell us all about
the battles in King Philip's War."

"Oh no!" exclaimed Clara. "Who wants to hear about tomahawks and
scalping knives?"

"No, Charley," replied Grandfather, "I have no time to spare in
talking about battles. You must be content with knowing that it was the
bloodiest war that the Indians had ever waged against the white men; and
that, at its close, the English set King Philip's head upon a pole."

"Who was the captain of the English?" asked Charley.

"Their most noted captain was Benjamin Church, a very famous warrior,"
said Grandfather. "But I assure you, Charley, that neither Captain
Church, nor any of the officers and soldiers who fought in King Philip's
War, did anything a thousandth part so glorious as Mr. Eliot did when he
translated the Bible for the Indians."

"Let Laurence be the apostle," said Charley to himself, "and I will be
the captain."


The children were now accustomed to assemble round Grandfather's chair
at all their unoccupied moments; and often it was a striking picture
to behold the white-headed old sire, with this flowery wreath of young
people around him. When he talked to them, it was the past speaking
to the present, or rather to the future,--for the children were of a
generation which had not become actual. Their part in life, thus far,
was only to be happy and to draw knowledge from a thousand sources. As
yet, it was not their time to do.

Sometimes, as Grandfather gazed at their fair, unworldly countenances,
a mist of tears bedimmed his spectacles. He almost regretted that it was
necessary for them to know anything of the past or to provide aught for
the future. He could have wished that they might be always the happy,
youthful creatures who had hitherto sported around his chair, without
inquiring whether it had a history. It grieved him to think that his
little Alice, who was a flower bud fresh from paradise, must open her
leaves to the rough breezes of the world, or ever open them in any
clime. So sweet a child she was, that it seemed fit her infancy should
be immortal.

But such repinings were merely flitting shadows across the old man's
heart. He had faith enough to believe, and wisdom enough to know, that
the bloom of the flower would be even holier and happier than its bud.
Even within himself, though Grandfather was now at that period of life
when the veil of mortality is apt to hang heavily over the soul, still,
in his inmost being he was conscious of something that he would not have
exchanged for the best happiness of childhood. It was a bliss to which
every sort of earthly experience--all that he had enjoyed, or suffered
or seen, or heard, or acted, with the broodings of his soul upon the
whole--had contributed somewhat. In the same manner must a bliss, of
which now they could have no conception, grow up within these children,
and form a part of their sustenance for immortality.

So Grandfather, with renewed cheerfulness, continued his history of the
chair, trusting that a profounder wisdom than his own would extract,
from these flowers and weeds of Time, a fragrance that might last beyond
all time.

At this period of the story Grandfather threw a glance backward as far
as the year 1660. He spoke of the ill-concealed reluctance with which
the Puritans in America had acknowledged the sway of Charles II. on
his restoration to his father's throne. When death had stricken Oliver
Cromwell, that mighty protector had no sincerer mourners than in New
England. The new king had been more than a year upon the throne before
his accession was proclaimed in Boston, although the neglect to perform
the ceremony might have subjected the rulers to the charge of treason.

During the reign of Charles II., however, the American colonies had but
little reason to complain of harsh or tyrannical treatment. But when
Charles died, in 1685, and was succeeded by his brother James, the
patriarchs of New England began to tremble. King James was known to
be of an arbitrary temper. It was feared by the Puritans that he would
assume despotic power. Our forefathers felt that they had no security
either for their religion or their liberties.

The result proved that they had reason for their apprehensions. King
James caused the charters of all the American colonies to be taken away.
The old charter of Massachusetts, which the people regarded as a holy
thing and as the foundation of all their liberties, was declared void.
The colonists were now no longer freemen; they were entirely dependent
on the king's pleasure. At first, in 1685, King James appointed Joseph
Dudley, a native of Massachusetts, to be president of New England. But
soon afterwards, Sir Edmund Andros, an officer of the English army,
arrived, with a commission to be governor-general of New England and New

The king had given such powers to Sir Edmund Andros that there was now
no liberty, nor scarcely any law, in the colonies over which he
ruled. The inhabitants were not allowed to choose representatives, and
consequently had no voice whatever in the government, nor control over
the measures that were adopted. The councillors with whom the governor
consulted on matters of state were appointed by himself. This sort of
government was no better than an absolute despotism.

"The people suffered much wrong while Sir Edmund Andros ruled over
them," continued Grandfather; "and they were apprehensive of much more.
He had brought some soldiers with him from England, who took possession
of the old fortress on Castle Island and of the fortification on
Fort Hill. Sometimes it was rumored that a general massacre of the
inhabitants was to be perpetrated by these soldiers. There were reports,
too, that all the ministers were to be slain or imprisoned."

"For what?" inquired Charley.

"Because they were the leaders of the people, Charley," said
Grandfather. "A minister was a more formidable man than a general, in
those days. Well, while these things were going on in America, King
James had so misgoverned the people of England that they sent over to
Holland for the Prince of Orange. He had married the king's daughter,
and was therefore considered to have a claim to the crown. On his
arrival in England, the Prince of Orange was proclaimed king, by the
name of William III. Poor old King James made his escape to France."

Grandfather told how, at the first intelligence of the landing of the
Prince of Orange in England, the people of Massachusetts rose in their
strength and overthrew the government of Sir Edmund Andros. He, with
Joseph Dudley, Edmund Randolph, and his other principal adherents, was
thrown into prison. Old Simon Bradstreet, who had been governor when
King James took away the charter, was called by the people to govern
them again.

"Governor Bradstreet was a venerable old man, nearly ninety years of
age," said Grandfather. "He came over with the first settlers, and had
been the intimate companion of all those excellent and famous men who
laid the foundation of our country. They were all gone before him to the
grave, and Bradstreet was the last of the Puritans."

Grandfather paused a moment and smiled, as if he had something very
interesting to tell his auditors. He then proceeded:--

"And now, Laurence,--now, Clara,--now, Charley,--now, my dear little
Alice,--what chair do you think had been placed in the council chamber,
for old Governor Bradstreet to take his seat in? Would you believe that
it was this very chair in which Grandfather now sits, and of which he is
telling you the history?"

"I am glad to hear it, with all my heart!" cried Charley, after a shout
of delight. "I thought Grandfather had quite forgotten the chair."

"It was a solemn and affecting sight," said Grandfather, "when this
venerable patriarch, with his white beard flowing down upon his breast,
took his seat in his chair of state. Within his remembrance, and even
since his mature age, the site where now stood the populous town had
been a wild and forest-covered peninsula. The province, now so fertile
and spotted with thriving villages, had been a desert wilderness. He was
surrounded by a shouting multitude, most of whom had been born in the
country which he had helped to found. They were of one generation, and
he of another. As the old man looked upon them, and beheld new faces
everywhere, he must have felt that it was now time for him to go whither
his brethren had gone before him."

"Were the former governors all dead and gone?" asked Laurence.

"All of them," replied Grandfather. "Winthrop had been dead forty years.
Endicott died, a very old man, in 1665. Sir Henry Vane was beheaded, in
London, at the beginning of the reign of Charles II. And Haynes, Dudley,
Bellingham, and Leverett, who had all been governors of Massachusetts,
were now likewise in their graves. Old Simon Bradstreet was the sole
representative of that departed brotherhood. There was no other public
man remaining to connect the ancient system of government and manners
with the new system which was about to take its place. The era of the
Puritans was now completed."

"I am sorry for it!" observed Laurence; "for though they were so stern,
yet it seems to me that there was something warm and real about them.
I think, Grandfather, that each of these old governors should have his
statue set up in our State House, Sculptured out of the hardest of New
England granite."

"It would not be amiss, Laurence," said Grandfather; "but perhaps clay,
or some other perishable material, might suffice for some of their
successors. But let us go back to our chair. It was occupied by Governor
Bradstreet from April, 1689, until May, 1692. Sir William Phips then
arrived in Boston with a new charter from King William and a commission
to be governor."


"AND what became of the chair?" inquired Clara, "The outward aspect of
our chair," replied Grandfather, "was now somewhat the worse for its
long and arduous services. It was considered hardly magnificent enough
to be allowed to keep its place in the council chamber of Massachusetts.
In fact, it was banished as an article of useless lumber. But Sir
William Phips happened to see it, and, being much pleased with its
construction, resolved to take the good old chair into his private
mansion. Accordingly, with his own gubernatorial hands, he repaired one
of its arms, which had been slightly damaged."

"Why, Grandfather, here is the very arm!" interrupted Charley, in great
wonderment. "And did Sir William Phips put in these screws with his own
hands? I am sure he did it beautifully! But how came a governor to know
how to mend a chair?"

"I will tell you a story about the early life of Sir William Phips,"
said Grandfather. "You will then perceive that he well knew how to use
his hands."

So Grandfather related the wonderful and true tale of the sunken

Picture to yourselves, my dear children, a handsome, old-fashioned
room, with a large, open cupboard at one end, in which is displayed
a magnificent gold cup, with some other splendid articles of gold
and silver plate. In another part of the room, opposite to a tall
looking-glass, stands our beloved chair, newly polished, and adorned
with a gorgeous cushion of crimson velvet tufted with gold.

In the chair sits a man of strong and sturdy frame, whose face has been
roughened by northern tempests and blackened by the burning sun of
the West Indies. He wears an immense periwig, flowing down over his
shoulders. His coat has a wide embroidery of golden foliage; and his
waistcoat, likewise, is all flowered over and bedizened with gold. His
red, rough hands, which have done many a good day's work with the hammer
and adze, are half covered by the delicate lace ruffles at his wrists.
On a table lies his silver-hilted sword; and in a corner of the room
stands his gold-headed cane, made of a beautifully polished West India

Somewhat such an aspect as this did Sir William Phips present when he
sat in Grandfather's chair after the king had appointed him governor
of Massachusetts. Truly there was need that the old chair should be
varnished and decorated with a crimson cushion, in order to make it
suitable for such a magnificent-looking personage.

But Sir William Phips had not always worn a gold-embroidered coat, nor
always sat so much at his ease as he did in Grandfather's chair. He was
a poor man's son, and was born in the province of Maine, where he used
to tend sheep upon the hills in his boyhood and youth. Until he had
grown to be a man, he did not even know how to read and write. Tired
of tending sheep, he next apprenticed himself to a ship-carpenter, and
spent about four years in hewing the crooked limbs of oak-trees into
knees for vessels.

In 1673, when he was twenty-two years old, he came to Boston, and soon
afterwards was married to a widow lady, who had property enough to set
him up in business. It was not long, however, before he lost all the
money that he had acquired by his marriage, and became a poor man again.
Still he was not discouraged. He often told his wife that, some time or
other, he should be very rich, and would build a "fair brick house" in
the Green Lane of Boston.

Do not suppose, children, that he had been to a fortune-teller to
inquire his destiny. It was his own energy and spirit of enterprise, and
his resolution to lead an industrious life, that made him look forward
with so much confidence to better days.

Several years passed away, and William Phips had not yet gained the
riches which he promised to himself. During this time he had begun to
follow the sea for a living. In the year 1684 he happened to hear of a
Spanish ship which had been cast away near the Bahama Islands, and which
was supposed to contain a great deal of gold and silver. Phips went to
the place in a small vessel, hoping that he should be able to recover
some of the treasure from the wreck. He did not succeed, however, in
fishing up gold and silver enough to pay the expenses of his voyage.

But, before he returned, he was told of another Spanish ship, or
galleon, which had been east away near Porto de la Plata. She had now
lain as much as fifty years beneath the waves. This old ship had been
laden with immense wealth; and, hitherto, nobody had thought of the
possibility of recovering any part of it from the deep sea which was
rolling and tossing it about. But though it was now an old story, and
the most aged people had almost forgotten that such a vessel had been
wrecked, William Phips resolved that the sunken treasure should again be
brought to light.

He went to London and obtained admittance to King James, who had not yet
been driven from his throne. He told the king of the vast wealth that
was lying at the bottom of the sea. King James listened with attention,
and thought this a fine opportunity to fill his treasury with Spanish
gold. He appointed William Phips to be captain of a vessel, called the
Rose Algier, carrying eighteen guns and ninety-five men. So now he was
Captain Phips of the English navy.

Captain Phips sailed from England in the Rose Algier, and cruised for
nearly two years in the West Indies, endeavoring to find the wreck of
the Spanish ship. But the sea is so wide and deep that it is no easy
matter to discover the exact spot where a sunken vessel lies. The
prospect of success seemed very small; and most people would have
thought that Captain Phips was as far from having money enough to build
a "fair brick house" as he was while he tended sheep.

The seamen of the Rose Algier became discouraged, and gave up all hope
of making their fortunes by discovering the Spanish wreck. They
wanted to compel Captain Phips to turn pirate. There was a much better
prospect, they thought, of growing rich by plundering vessels which
still sailed in the sea than by seeking for a ship that had lain beneath
the waves full half a century. They broke out in open mutiny; but were
finally mastered by Phips, and compelled to obey his orders. It would
have been dangerous, however, to continue much longer at sea with such
a crew of mutinous sailors; and, besides, the Rose Algier was leaky and
unseaworthy. So Captain Phips judged it best to return to England.

Before leaving the West Indies, he met with a Spaniard, an old man, who
remembered the wreck of the Spanish ship, and gave him directions how to
find the very spot. It was on a reef of rocks, a few leagues from Porto
de la Plata.

On his arrival in England, therefore, Captain Phips solicited the king
to let him have another vessel and send him back again to the West
Indies. But King James, who had probably expected that the Rose Algier
would return laden with gold, refused to have anything more to do with
the affair. Phips might never have been able to renew the search if the
Duke of Albemarle and some other noblemen had not lent their assistance.
They fitted out a ship, and gave the command to Captain Phips. He sailed
from England, and arrived safely at Porto de la Plata, where he took an
adze and assisted his men to build a large boat.

The boat was intended for the purpose of going closer to the reef of
rocks than a large vessel could safely venture. When it was finished,
the captain sent several men in it to examine the spot where the Spanish
ship was said to have been wrecked. They were accompanied by some
Indians, who were skilful divers, and could go down a great way into the
depths of the sea.

The boat's crew proceeded to the reef of rocks, and rowed round and
round it a great many times. They gazed down into the water, which was
so transparent that it seemed as if they could have seen the gold and
silver at the bottom, had there been any of those precious metals there.
Nothing, however, could they see, nothing more valuable than a curious
sea shrub, which was growing beneath the water, in a crevice of the reef
of rocks. It flaunted to and fro with the swell and reflux of the waves,
and looked as bright and beautiful as if its leaves were gold.

"We won't go back empty-handed," cried an English sailor; and then he
spoke to one of the Indian divers. "Dive down and bring me that pretty
sea shrub there. That's the only treasure we shall find."

Down plunged the diver, and soon rose dripping from the water, holding
the sea shrub in his hand. But he had learned some news at the bottom of
the sea.

"There are some ship's guns," said he, the moment he had drawn breath,
"some great cannon, among the rocks, near where the shrub was growing."

No sooner had he spoken than the English sailors knew that they had
found the very spot where the Spanish galleon had been wrecked, so
many years before. The other Indian divers immediately plunged over the
boat's side and swam headlong down, groping among the rocks and sunken
cannon. In a few moments one of them rose above the water with a heavy
lump of silver in his arms. The single lump was worth more than a
thousand dollars. The sailors took it into the boat, and then rowed back
as speedily as they could, being in haste to inform Captain Phips of
their good luck.

But, confidently as the captain had hoped to find the Spanish wreck,
yet, now that it was really found, the news seemed too good to be true.
He could not believe it till the sailors showed him the lump of silver.

"Thanks be to God!" then cries Captain Phips "We shall every man of us
make our fortunes!"

Hereupon the captain and all the crew set to work, with iron rakes and
great hooks and lines, fishing for gold and silver at the bottom of the
sea. Up came the treasure in abundance. Now they beheld a table of solid
silver, once the property of an old Spanish grandee. Now they found a
sacramental vessel, which had been destined as a gift to some Catholic
church. Now they drew up a golden cup, fit for the King of Spain to
drink his wine out of. Perhaps the bony hand of its former owner had
been grasping the precious cup, and was drawn up along with it. Now
their rakes or fishing-lines were loaded with masses of silver bullion.
There were also precious stones among the treasure, glittering and
sparkling, so that it is a wonder how their radiance could have been

There is something sad and terrible in the idea of snatching all this
wealth from the devouring ocean, which had possessed it for such a
length of years. It seems as if men had no right to make themselves rich
with it. It ought to have been left with the skeletons of the ancient
Spaniards, who had been drowned when the ship was wrecked, and whose
bones were now scattered among the gold and silver.

But Captain Phips and his crew were troubled with no such thoughts as
these. After a day or two they lighted on another part of the wreck,
where they found a great many bags of silver dollars. But nobody could
have guessed that these were money-bags. By remaining so long in the
salt water, they had become covered over with a crust which had the
appearance of stone, so that it was necessary to break them in pieces
with hammers and axes. When this was done, a stream of silver dollars
gushed out upon the deck of the vessel.

The whole value of the recovered treasure, plate, bullion, precious
stones, and all, was estimated at more than two millions of dollars.
It was dangerous even to look at such a vast amount of wealth. A
sea-captain, who had assisted Phips in the enterprise, utterly lost his
reason at the sight of it. He died two years afterwards, still raving
about the treasures that lie at the bottom of the sea. It would have
been better for this man if he had left the skeletons of the shipwrecked
Spaniards in quiet possession of their wealth.

Captain Phips and his men continued to fish up plate, bullion, and
dollars, as plentifully as ever, till their provisions grew short. Then,
as they could not feed upon gold and silver any more than old King Midas
could, they found it necessary to go in search of better sustenance.
Phips resolved to return to England. He arrived there in 1687, and was
received with great joy by the Duke of Albemarle and other English lords
who had fitted out the vessel. Well they might rejoice; for they took by
far the greater part of the treasure to themselves.

The captain's share, however, was enough to make him comfortable for the
rest of his days. It also enabled him to fulfil his promise to his wife,
by building a "fair brick house" in the Green Lane of Boston. The Duke
of Albemarle sent Mrs. Phips a magnificent gold cup, worth at least five
thousand dollars. Before Captain Phips left London, King James made
him a knight; so that, instead of the obscure ship-carpenter who had
formerly dwelt among them, the inhabitants of Boston welcomed him on his
return as the rich and famous Sir William Phips.


"Sir William Phips," continued Grandfather, "was too active and
adventurous a man to sit still in the quiet enjoyment of his good
fortune. In the year 1690 he went on a military expedition against the
French colonies in America, conquered the whole province of Acadia, and
returned to Boston with a great deal of plunder."

"Why, Grandfather, he was the greatest man that ever sat in the chair!"
cried Charley.

"Ask Laurence what he thinks," replied Grandfather, with a smile. "Well,
in the same year, Sir William took command of an expedition against
Que-bec, but did not succeed in capturing the city. In 1692, being then
in London, King William III. appointed him governor of Massachusetts.
And now, my dear children, having followed Sir William Phips through
all his adventures and hardships till we find him comfortably seated in
Grandfather's chair, we will here bid him farewell. May he be as happy
in ruling a people as he was while he tended sheep!"

Charley, whose fancy had been greatly taken by the adventurous
disposition of Sir William Phips, was eager to know how he had acted
and what happened to him while he held the office of governor. But
Grandfather had made up his mind to tell no more stories for the

"Possibly, one of these days, I may go on with the adventures of the
chair," said he. "But its history becomes very obscure just at this
point; and I must search into some old books and manuscripts before
proceeding further. Besides, it is now a good time to pause in our
narrative; because the new charter, which Sir William Phips brought
over from England, formed a very important epoch in the history of the

"Really, Grandfather," observed Laurence, "this seems to be the most
remarkable chair, in the world. Its history cannot be told without
intertwining it with the lives of distinguished men and the great events
that have befallen the country."

"True, Laurence,'" replied Grandfather, smiling; "we must write a book
with some such title as this: MEMOIRS OF MY OWN TIMES, BY GRANDFATHER'S

"That would be beautiful!" exclaimed Laurence, clapping his hands.

"But, after all," continued Grandfather, "any other old chair, if it
possessed memory and a hand to write its recollections, could record
stranger stories than any that I have told you. From generation to
generation, a chair sits familiarly in the midst of human interests, and
is witness to the most secret and confidential intercourse that mortal
man can hold with his fellow. The human heart may best be read in
the fireside chair. And as to external events, Grief and Joy keep a
continual vicissitude around it and within it. Now we see the glad face
and glowing form of Joy, sitting merrily in the old chair, and throwing
a warm firelight radiance over all the household. Now, while we thought
not of it, the dark-clad mourner, Grief, has stolen into the place of
Joy, but not to retain it long. The imagination can hardly grasp so wide
a subject as is embraced in the experience of a family chair."

"It makes my breath flutter, my heart thrill, to think of it," said
Laurence. "Yes, a family chair must have a deeper history than a chair
of state."

"Oh yes!" cried Clara, expressing a woman's feeling of the point in
question; "the history of a country is not nearly so interesting as that
of a single family would be."

"But the history of a country is more easily told," said Grandfather.
"So, if we proceed with our narrative of the chair, I shall still
confine myself to its connection with public events."

Good old Grandfather now rose and quitted the room, while the children
remained gazing at the chair. Laurence, so vivid was his conception of
past times, would hardly have deemed it strange if its former occupants,
one after another, had resumed the seat which they had each left vacant
such a dim length of years ago.

First, the gentle and lovely Lady Arbella would have been seen in the
old chair, almost sinking out of its arms for very weakness; then Roger
Williams, in his cloak and band, earnest, energetic, and benevolent;
then the figure of Anne Hutchinson, with the like gesture as when she
presided at the assemblages of women; then the dark, intellectual face
of Vane, "young in years, but in sage counsel old." Next would have
appeared the successive governors, Winthrop, Dudley, Bellingham, and
Endicott, who sat in the chair while it was a chair of state. Then
its ample seat would have been pressed by the comfortable, rotund
corporation of the honest mint-master. Then the half-frenzied shape
of Mary Dyer, the persecuted Quaker woman, clad in sackcloth and ashes
would have rested in it for a moment. Then the holy, apostolic form of
Eliot would have sanctified it. Then would have arisen, like the shade
of departed Puritanism, the venerable dignity of the white-bearded
Governor Bradstreet. Lastly, on the gorgeous crimson cushion of
Grandfather's chair would have shone the purple and golden magnificence
of Sir William Phips. But all these, with the other historic personages,
in the midst of whom the chair had so often stood, had passed, both in
substance and shadow, from the scene of ages. Yet here stood the chair,
with the old Lincoln coat of arms, and the oaken flowers and foliage,
and the fierce lion's head at the summit, the whole, apparently, in as
perfect preservation as when it had first been placed in the Earl of
Lincoln's hall. And what vast changes of society and of nations had been
wrought by sudden convulsions or by slow degrees since that era!

"This Chair had stood firm when the thrones of kings were overturned!"
thought Laurence. "Its oaken frame has proved stronger than many frames
of government!"

More the thoughtful and imaginative boy might have mused; but now a
large yellow cat, a great favorite with all the children, leaped in
at the open window. Perceiving that Grandfather's chair was empty, and
having often before experienced its comforts, puss laid herself quietly
down upon the cushion. Laurence, Clara, Charley, and little Alice all
laughed at the idea of such a successor to the worthies of old times.

"Pussy," said little Alice, putting out her hand, into which the
cat laid a velvet paw, "you look very wise. Do tell us a story about




MR. ELIOT had been for some time assiduously employed in learning the
Indian language. To accomplish this, he secured the assistance of one of
the natives, who could speak English. Eliot, at the close of his Indian
Grammar, mentions him as "a pregnant-witted young man, who had been
a servant in an English house, who pretty well understood his own
language, and had a clear pronunciation." He took this Indian into his
family, and by constant intercourse with him soon become sufficiently
conversant with the vocabulary and construction of the language to
translate the ten commandments, the Lord's prayer, and several passages
of Scripture, besides composing exhortations and prayers.

Mr. Eliot must have found his task anything but easy or inviting. He was
to learn a dialect, in which he could be assisted by no affinity with
the languages he already knew. He was to do this without the help of any
written or printed specimens, with nothing in the shape of a grammar or
analysis, but merely by oral communication with his Indian instructor,
or with other natives, who, however comparatively intelligent, must from
the nature of the case have been very imperfect teachers. He applied
himself to the work with great patience and sagacity, carefully acting
the differences between the Indian and the English modes of constructing
words; and, having once got a clew to this, he pursued every noun and
verb he could think of through all possible variations. In this way he
arrived at analyses and rules, which he could apply for himself in a
general manner.

Neal says that Eliot was able to speak the language intelligibly after
conversing with the Indian servant a few months. This, in a limited
sense, may be true; but he is said to have been engaged two years in the
process of learning, before he went to preached to the Indians. In that
time he acquired a somewhat ready facility in the use of that dialect,
by means of which he was to carry the instructions of spiritual truth to
the men of the forest, though as late as 1649 he still lamented his want
of skill in this respect.

Notice having been given of his intention [of instructing the Indians],
Mr. Eliot, in company with three others, whose names are not mentioned,
having implored the divine blessing on the undertaking, made his first
visit to the Indians on the 28th of October, 1646 at a place afterwards
called Nonantum; a spot that has the honor of being the first on which
a civilized and Christian settlement of Indians was effected within
the English colonies of North America. This name was given to the high
grounds in the north, east part of Newton, and to the bounds of that
town and Watertown. At a short distance from the wigwams, they were met
by Waban, a leading man among the Indians at that place, accompanied
by others, and were welcomed with "English salutations." Waban, who
is described as "the chief minister of justice among them," had
before shown a better disposition than any other native to receive the
religious instruction of the Christians, and had voluntarily proposed
to have his eldest son educated by them. His son had been accordingly
placed at school in Dedham, whence he had now come to attend the

The Indians assembled in Waban's wigwam; and thither Mr. Eliot and his
friends were conducted. When the company were all collected and quiet,
a religious service was begun with prayer. This was uttered in English;
the reason for which, as given by Mr. Eliot and his companions, was,
that he did not then feel sufficiently acquainted with the Indian
language to use it in that service.

The same difficulty would not occur in preaching, since for this, we may
suppose, he had sufficiently prepared his thoughts and expressions
to make his discourse intelligible on all important points; and if he
should, in some parts, fail of being, understood, he could repeat or
correct himself, till he should succeed better. Besides, he took with
him an interpretor, who was frequently able to express his instructions
more distinctly than he could himself. Though the prayer was
unintelligible to the Indians, yet, as they knew what the nature of the
service was, Mr. Eliot believed it might not be without an effect in
subduing their feelings so as to prepare them better to listen to the

Mr. Eliot then began his sermon, or address, from Ezek. xxxvii. 9, 10.
The word wind, in this passage, suggested to the minds of some, who
afterwards gave an account of this meeting, a coincidence which might,
in the spirit of the times, be construed into a special appointment of
Providence. The name of Waban signified, in the Indian tongue, wind; so
that when the preacher uttered the words, "say to the wind," it was as
if he had proclaimed, "say to Waban." As this man afterwards exerted
much influence in awaking the attention of his fellow savages to
Christianity, it might seem that in this first visit of the messengers
of the gospel he was singled out by a special call to work in the cause.
It is not surprising that the Indians were struck with the coincidence.
Mr. Eliot gave no countenance to a superstitious use of the
circumstance, and took care to tell them that, when he chose his text,
he had no thought of any such application.

The sermon was an hour and a quarter long. One cannot but suspect that
Mr. Eliot injudiciously crowded too much into one address. It would
seem to have been better, for the first time at least, to have given
a shorter sermon, and to have touched upon fewer subjects. But he was
doubtless borne on by his zeal to do much in a good cause; and, as we
have reason to think, by the attentive, though vague, curiosity of the

Thus ended a conference three hours long, at the end of which the
Indians affirmed that they were not weary, and requested their visitors
to come again. They expressed a wish to build a town and live together.
Mr. Eliot promised to intercede for them with the court. He and his
companions then gave the men some tobacco, and the children some apples,
and bade them farewell.

A fortnight afterwards, on the 11th of November, Mr. Eliot and his
friends repeated their visit to the wigwam of Waban. This meeting was
more numerous than the former. The religious service was opened, as
before, with a prayer in English. This was followed by a few brief and
plain questions addressed to the children, admitting short and easy
answers. The children seemed well disposed to listen and learn. To
encourage them, Mr. Eliot gave them occasionally an apple or a cake; and
the adults were requested to repeat to them the instructions that had
been given. He then preached to the assembly in their own language,
telling them that he had come to bring them good news from God, and
show them how wicked men might become good and happy; and, in general,
discoursing on nearly the same topics as he had treated at his first

PART II. 1692-1763.


"O GRANDFATHER, dear Grandfather," cried little Alice, "pray tell us
some more stories about your chair!"

How long a time had fled since the children bad felt any curiosity to
hear the sequel of this venerable chair's adventures! Summer was now
past and gone, and the better part of autumn likewise. Dreary, chill
November was howling out of doors, and vexing the atmosphere with sudden
showers of wintry rain, or sometimes with gusts of snow, that rattled
like small pebbles against the windows.

When the weather began to grow cool, Grandfather's chair had been
removed from the summer parlor into a smaller and snugger room. It now
stood by the side of a bright, blazing wood-fire. Grandfather loved a
wood-fire far better than a grate of glowing anthracite, or than the
dull heat of an invisible furnace, which seems to think that it has done
its duty in merely warming the house. But the wood-fire is a kindly,
cheerful, sociable spirit, sympathizing with mankind, and knowing that
to create warmth is but one of the good offices which are expected from
it. Therefore it dances on the hearth, and laughs broadly throughout the
room, and plays a thousand antics, and throws a joyous glow over all the
faces that encircle it.

In the twilight of the evening the fire grew brighter and more cheerful.
And thus, perhaps, there was something in Grandfather's heart that
cheered him most with its warmth and comfort in the gathering twilight
of old age. He had been gazing at the red embers as intently as if his
past life were all pictured there, or as if it were a prospect of the
future world, when little Alice's voice aroused him. "Dear Grandfather,"
repeated the little girl, more earnestly, "do talk to us again about
your chair."

Laurence, and Clara, and Charley, and little Alice had been attracted
to other objects for two or three months past. They had sported in
the gladsome sunshine of the present, and so had forgotten the shadowy
region of the past, in the midst of which stood Grandfather's chair. But
now, in the autumnal twilight, illuminated by the flickering blaze of
the wood-fire, they looked at the old chair, and thought that it had
never before worn such an interesting aspect. There it stood in the
venerable majesty of more than two hundred years. The light from the
hearth quivered upon the flowers and foliage that were wrought into its
oaken back; and the lion's head at the summit seemed almost to move its
jaws and shake its mane.

"Does little Alice speak for all of you?" asked Grandfather. "Do you
wish me to go on with the adventures of the chair?'

"Oh yes, yes, Grandfather!" cried Clara. "The dear old chair! How
strange that we should have forgotten it so long!"

"Oh, pray begin, Grandfather," said Laurence, "for I think, when we talk
about old times, it should be in the early evening, before the candles
are lighted. The shapes of the famous persons who once sat in the chair
will be more apt to come back, and be seen among us, in this glimmer and
pleasant gloom, than they would in the vulgar daylight. And, besides, we
can make pictures of all that you tell us among the glowing embers and
white ashes."

Our friend Charley, too, thought the evening the best time to hear
Grandfather's stories, because he could not then be playing out of
doors. So finding his young auditors unanimous in their petition, the
good old gentleman took up the narrative of the historic chair at the
point where he had dropped it.


"You recollect, my dear children," said Grandfather, "that we took leave
of the chair in 1692, while it was occupied by Sir William Phips.
This fortunate treasure-seeker, you will remember, had come over
from England, with King William's commission, to be governor of
Massachusetts. Within the limits of this province were now included the
old colony of Plymouth, and the territories of Maine and Nova Scotia.
Sir William Phips had likewise brought a new charter from the king,
which served instead of a constitution, and set forth the method in
which the province was to be governed."

"Did the new charter allow the people all their former liberties?"
inquired Laurence.

"No," replied Grandfather. "Under the first charter, the people had been
the source of all power. Winthrop, Endicott, Bradstreet, and the rest
of them had been governors by the choice of the people, without any
interference of the king. But henceforth the governor was to hold his
station solely by the king's appointment and during his pleasure; and
the same was the case with the lieutenant-governor and some other
high officers. The people, however, were still allowed to choose
representatives; and the governor's council was chosen by the General

"Would the inhabitants have elected Sir William Phips," asked Laurence,
"if the choice of governor had been left to them?"

"He might probably have been a successful candidate," answered
Grandfather; "for his adventures and military enterprises had gained him
a sort of renown, which always goes a great way with the people. And he
had many popular characteristics,--being a kind warm-hearted man, not
ashamed of his low origin nor haughty in his present elevation. Soon
after his arrival, he proved that he did not blush to recognize his
former associates."

"How was that?" inquired Charley.

"He made a grand festival at his new brick house," said Grandfather,
"and invited all the ship-carpenters of Boston to be his guests. At the
head of the table, in our great chair, sat Sir William Phips himself,
treating these hard-handed men as his brethren, cracking jokes with
them, and talking familiarly about old times. I know not whether he wore
his embroidered dress; but I rather choose to imagine that he had on a
suit of rough clothes, such as he used to labor in while he was Phips
the ship-carpenter."

"An aristocrat need not be ashamed of the trade," observed Laurence;
"for the Czar Peter the Great once served an apprenticeship to it."

"Did Sir William Phips make as good a governor as he was a
ship-carpenter?" asked Charley.

"History says but little about his merits as a ship-carpenter," answered
Grandfather; "but, as a governor, a great deal of fault was found with
him. Almost as soon as he assumed the government, he became engaged in
a very frightful business, which might have perplexed a wiser and better
cultivated head than his. This was the witchcraft delusion."

And here Grandfather gave his auditors such details of this melancholy
affair as he thought it fit for them to know. They shuddered to hear
that a frenzy, which led to the death of many innocent persons, had
originated in the wicked arts of a few children. They belonged to the
Rev. Mr. Parris, minister of Salem. These children complained of being
pinched and pricked with pins, and otherwise tormented by the shapes of
men and women, who were supposed to have power to haunt them invisibly,
both in darkness and daylight. Often in the midst of their family
and friends the children would pretend to be seized with strange
convulsions, and would cry out that the witches were afflicting them.

These stories spread abroad, and caused great tumult and alarm. From the
foundation of New England, it had been the custom of the inhabitants,
in all matters of doubt and difficulty, to look to their ministers for
counsel. So they did now; but, unfortunately, the ministers and wise
men were more deluded than the illiterate people. Cotton Mather, a very
learned and eminent clergyman, believed that the whole country was full
of witches and wizards, who had given up their hopes of heaven, and
signed a covenant with the evil one.

Nobody could be certain that his nearest neighbor or most intimate
friend was not guilty of this imaginary crime. The number of those who
pretended to be afflicted by witchcraft grew daily more numerous; and
they bore testimony against many of the best and worthiest people. A
minister, named George Burroughs, was among the accused. In the months
of August and September, 1692, he and nineteen other innocent men and
women were put to death. The place of execution was a high hill, on the
outskirts of Salem; so that many of the sufferers, as they stood beneath
the gallows, could discern their own habitations in the town.

The martyrdom of these guiltless persons seemed only to increase the
madness. The afflicted now grew bolder in their accusations. Many people
of rank and wealth were either thrown into prison or compelled to flee
for their lives. Among these were two sons of old Simon Bradstreet, the
last of the Puritan governors. Mr. Willard, a pious minister of Boston,
was cried out upon as a wizard in open court. Mrs. Hale, the wife of
the minister of Beverly, was likewise accused. Philip English, a rich
merchant of Salem, found it necessary to take flight, leaving his
property and business in confusion. But a short time afterwards, the
Salem people were glad to invite him back.

"The boldest thing that the accusers did," continued Grandfather, "was
to cry out against the governor's own beloved wife. Yes, the lady of Sir
William Phips was accused of being a witch and of flying through the
air to attend witch-meetings. When the governor heard this he probably
trembled, so that our great chair shook beneath him."

"Dear Grandfather," cried little Alice, clinging closer to his knee,
"is it true that witches ever come in the night-time to frighten little

"No, no, dear little Alice," replied Grandfather. "Even if there were
any witches, they would flee away from the presence of a pure-hearted
child. But there are none; and our forefathers soon became convinced
that they had been led into a terrible delusion. All the prisoners on
account of witchcraft were set free. But the innocent dead could not
be restored to life and the hill where they were executed will always
remind people of the saddest and most humiliating passage in our

Grandfather then said that the next remarkable event, while Sir William
Phips remained in the chair, was the arrival at Boston of an English
fleet in 1698. It brought an army which was intended for the conquest of
Canada. But a malignant disease, more fatal than the smallpox, broke out
among the soldiers and sailors, and destroyed the greater part of them.
The infection spread into the town of Boston, and made much havoc there.
This dreadful sickness caused the governor and Sir Francis Wheeler,
who was commander of the British forces, to give up all thoughts of
attacking Canada.

"Soon after this," said Grandfather, "Sir William Phips quarrelled
with the captain of an English frigate, and also with the collector
of Boston. Being a man of violent temper, he gave each of them a sound
beating with his cane."

"He was a bold fellow," observed Charley, who was himself somewhat
addicted to a similar mode or settling disputes.

"More bold than wise," replied Grandfather; "for complaints were carried
to the king, and Sir William Phips was summoned to England to make the
best answer he could. Accordingly he went to London, where, in 1695,
he was seized with a malignant fever, of which he died. Had he lived
longer, he would probably have gone again in search of sunken treasure.
He had heard of a Spanish ship, which was cast away in 1502, during the
lifetime of Columbus. Bovadilla, Roldan, and many other Spaniards were
lost in her, together with the immense wealth of which they had robbed
the South American kings."

"Why, Grandfather!" exclaimed Laurence, "what magnificent ideas the
governor had! Only think of recovering all that old treasure which had
lain almost two centuries under the sea! Methinks Sir William Phips
ought to have been buried in the ocean when he died, so that he might
have gone down among the sunken ships and cargoes of treasure which he
was always dreaming about in his lifetime."

"He was buried in one of the crowded cemeteries of London," said
Grandfather. "As he left no children, his estate was inherited by his
nephew, from whom is descended the present Marquis of Normandy. The
noble Marquis is not aware, perhaps, that the prosperity of his
family originated in the successful enterprise of a New England


"At the death of Sir William Phips," proceeded Grandfather, "our chair
was bequeathed to Mr. Ezekiel Cheever, a famous schoolmaster in Boston.
This old gentleman came from London in 1637, and had been teaching
school ever since; so that there were now aged men, grandfathers like
myself, to whom Master Cheever had taught their alphabet. He was a
person of venerable aspect, and wore a long white beard."

"Was the chair placed in his school?" asked Charley.

"Yes, in his school," answered Grandfather; "and we may safely say that
it had never before been regarded with such awful reverence,--no,
not even when the old governors of Massachusetts sat in it. Even you,
Charley, my boy, would have felt some respect for the chair if you had
seen it occupied by this famous schoolmaster."

And here grandfather endeavored to give his auditors an idea how matters
were managed in schools above a hundred years ago. As this will probably
be an interesting subject to our readers, we shall make a separate
sketch of it, and call it The Old-Fashioned School.

Now, imagine yourselves, my children, in Master Ezekiel Cheever's
school-room. It is a large, dingy room, with a sanded floor, and is
lighted by windows that turn on hinges and have little diamond-shaped
panes of glass. The scholars sit on long benches, with desks before
them. At one end of the room is a great fireplace, so very spacious
that there is room enough for three or four boys to stand in each of the
chimney corners. This was the good old fashion of fireplaces when there
was wood enough in the forests to keep people warm without their digging
into the bowels of the earth for coal.

It is a winter's day when we take our peep into the school-room. See
what great logs of wood have been rolled into the fireplace, and what a
broad, bright blaze goes leaping up the chimney! And every few moments a
vast cloud of smoke is puffed into the room, which sails slowly over
the heads of the scholars, until it gradually settles upon the walls and
ceiling. They are blackened with the smoke of many years already.

Next look at our old historic chair! It is placed, you perceive, in the
most comfortable part of the room, where the generous glow of the fire
is sufficiently felt without being too intensely hot. How stately the
old chair looks, as if it remembered its many famous occupants, but yet
were conscious that a greater man is sitting in it now! Do you see the
venerable schoolmaster, severe in aspect, with a black skullcap on his
head, like an ancient Puritan, and the snow of his white beard drifting
down to his very girdle? What boy would dare to play; or whisper, or
even glance aside from his book; while Master Cheever is on the lookout
behind his spectacles? For such offenders, if any such there be, a rod
of birch is hanging over the fireplace, and a heavy ferule lies on the
master's desk.

And now school is begun. What a murmur of multitudinous tongues, like
the whispering leaves of a wind-stirred oak, as the scholars con over
their various tasks! Buzz! buzz! buzz! Amid just such a murmur has
Master Cheever spent above sixty years; and long habit has made it as
pleasant to him as the hum of a beehive when the insects are busy in the

Now a class in Latin is called to recite. Forth steps a rowel
queer-looking little fellows, wearing square-skirted coats and
small-clothes, with buttons at the knee. They look like so many
grandfathers in their second-childhood. These lads are to be sent to
Cambridge and educated for the learned professions. Old Master Cheever
had lived so long, and seen so many generations of school-boys grow up
to be men, that now he can almost prophesy what sort of a man each boy
will be. One urchin shall hereafter be a doctor, and administer pills
and potions, and stalk gravely through life, perfumed with assafoetida.
Another shall wrangle at the bar, and fight his way to wealth and honors
and, in his declining age, shall be a worshipful member of his Majesty's
council. A third-and he is the master's favorite--shall be a worthy
successor to the old Puritan ministers now in their graves; he shall
preach with great unction and effect, and leave volumes of sermons, in
print and manuscript, for the benefit of future generations.

But, as they are merely school-boys now, their business is to construe
Virgil. Poor Virgil! whose verses, which he took so much pains to
polish, have been misscanned, and misparsed, and misinterpreted by so
many generations of idle school-boys. There, sit down, ye Latinists. Two
or three of you, I fear, are doomed to feel the master's ferule.

Next comes a class in arithmetic. These boys are to be the merchants,
shopkeepers, and mechanics of a future period. Hitherto they have traded
only in marbles and apples. Hereafter some will send vessels to England
for broadcloths and all sorts of manufactured wares, and to the
West Indies for sugar, and rum, and coffee. Others will stand behind
counters, and measure tape, and ribbon, and cambric by the yard. Others
will upheave the blacksmith's hammer, or drive the plane over the
carpenter's bench, or take the lapstone and the awl and learn the
trade of shoemaking. Many will follow the sea, and become bold, rough

This class of boys, in short, must supply the world with those active,
skilful hands, and clear, sagacious heads, without which the affairs
of life would be thrown into confusion by the theories of studious and
visionary men. Wherefore, teach them their multiplication-table, good
Master Cheever, and whip them well when they deserve it; for much of the
country's welfare depends on these boys.

But, alas! while, we have been thinking of other matters, Master
Cheever's watchful eye has caught two boys at play. Now we shall see
awful times. The two malefactors are summoned before the master's chair,
wherein he sits with the terror of a judge upon his brow. Our old chair
is now a judgment-seat. Ah, Master Cheever has taken down that terrible
birch rod! Short is the trial,--the sentence quickly passed,--and now
the judge prepares to execute it in person. Thwack! thwack! thwack! In
these good old times, a schoolmaster's blows were well laid on.

See, the birch rod has lost several of its twigs, and will hardly serve
for another execution. Mercy on his, what a bellowing the urchins make!
My ears are almost deafened, though the clamor comes through the far
length of a hundred and fifty years. There, go to your seats, poor boys;
and do not cry, sweet little Alice, for they have ceased to feel the
pain a long time since.

And thus the forenoon passes away. Now it is twelve o'clock. The master
looks at his great silver watch, and then, with tiresome deliberation,
puts the ferule into his desk. The little multitude await the word of
dismissal with almost irrepressible impatience.

"You are dismissed," says Master Cheever.

The boys retire, treading softly until they have passed the threshold;
but, fairly out of the schoolroom, lo, what a joyous shout! what a
scampering and trampling of feet! what a sense of recovered freedom
expressed in the merry uproar of all their voices! What care they for
the ferule and birch rod now? Were boys created merely to study Latin
and arithmetic? No; the better purposes of their being are to sport, to
leap, to run, to shout, to slide upon the ice, to snowball.

Happy boys! Enjoy your playtime now, and come again to study and to feel
the birch rod and the ferule to-morrow; not till to-morrow; for to-day
is Thursday lecture; and, ever since the settlement of Massachusetts,
there has been no school on Thursday afternoons. Therefore sport, boys,
while you may, for the morrow cometh, with the birch rod and the ferule;
and after that another morrow, with troubles of its own.

Now the master has set everything to rights, and is ready to go home to
dinner. Yet he goes reluctantly. The old man has spent so much of his
life in the smoky, noisy, buzzing school-room, that, when he has a
holiday, he feels as if his place were lost and himself a stranger in
the world. But forth he goes; and there stands our old chair, vacant
and solitary, till good Master Cheever resumes his seat in it to-morrow

"Grandfather," said Charley, "I wonder whether the boys did not use to
upset the old chair when the schoolmaster was out."

"There is a tradition," replied Grandfather, "that one of its arms was
dislocated in some such manner. But I cannot believe that any school-boy
would behave so naughtily."

As it was now later than little Alice's usual bedtime, Grandfather broke
off his narrative, promising to talk more about Master Cheever and his
scholars some other evening.


Accordingly, the next evening, Grandfather resumed the history of his
beloved chair.

"Master Ezekiel Cheever," said he, "died in 1707, after having taught
school about seventy years. It would require a pretty good scholar in
arithmetic to tell how many stripes he had inflicted, and how many birch
rods he had worn out, during all that time, in his fatherly tenderness
for his pupils. Almost all the great men of that period, and for many
years back, had been whipped into eminence by Master Cheever. Moreover,
he had written a Latin Accidence, which was used in schools more than
half a century after his death; so that the good old man, even in his
grave, was still the cause of trouble and stripes to idle schoolboys."

Grandfather proceeded to say, that, when Master Cheever died, he
bequeathed the chair to the most learned man that was educated at his
school, or that had ever been born in America. This was the renowned
Cotton Mather, minister of the Old North Church in Boston.

"And author of the Magnalia, Grandfather, which we sometimes see you
reading," said Laurence.

"Yes, Laurence," replied Grandfather. "The Magnalia is a strange,
pedantic history, in which true events and real personages move before
the reader with the dreamy aspect which they wore in Cotton Mather's
singular mind. This huge volume, however, was written and published
before our chair came into his possession. But, as he was the author
of more books than there are days in the year, we may conclude that he
wrote a great deal while sitting in this chair."

"I am tired of these schoolmasters and learned men," said Charley. "I
wish some stirring man, that knew how to do something in the world, like
Sir William Phips, would sit in the chair."

"Such men seldom have leisure to sit quietly in a chair," said
Grandfather. "We must make the best of such people as we have."

As Cotton Mather was a very distinguished man, Grandfather took some
pains to give the children a lively conception of his character. Over
the door of his library were painted these words, BE SHORT,--as a
warning to visitors that they must not do the world so much harm as
needlessly to interrupt this great man's wonderful labors. On entering
the room you would probably behold it crowded, and piled, and heaped
with books. There were huge, ponderous folios, and quartos, and little
duodecimos, in English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldaic, and all other
languages that either originated at the confusion of Babel or have since
come into use.

All these books, no doubt, were tossed about in confusion, thus forming
a visible emblem of the manner in which their contents were crowded into
Cotton Mather's brain. And in the middle of the room stood table,
on which, besides printed volumes, were strewn manuscript sermons,
historical tracts, and political pamphlets, all written in such a queer,
blind, crabbed, fantastical hand, that a writing-master would have
gone raving mad at the sight of them. By this table stood Grandfather's
chair, which seemed to have contracted an air of deep erudition, as if
its cushion were stuffed with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and other hard

In this chair, from one year's end to another, sat that prodigious
bookworm, Cotton Mather, sometimes devouring a great book, and sometimes
scribbling one as big. In Grandfather's younger days there used to be a
wax figure of him in one of the Boston museums, representing a solemn,
dark-visaged person, in a minister's black gown, and with a black-letter
volume before him.

"It is difficult, my children," observed Grandfather, "to make you
understand such a character as Cotton Mather's, in whom there was so
much good, and yet so many failings and frailties. Undoubtedly he was
a pious man. Often he kept fasts; and once, for three whole days, he
allowed himself not a morsel of food, but spent the time in prayer and
religious meditation. Many a live-long night did he watch and pray.
These fasts and vigils made him meagre and haggard, and probably caused
him to appear as if he hardly belonged to the world."

"Was not the witchcraft delusion partly caused by Cotton Mather?"
inquired Laurence.

"He was the chief agent of the mischief," answered Grandfather; "but
we will not suppose that he acted otherwise than conscientiously. He
believed that there were evil spirits all about the world. Doubtless
he imagined that they were hidden in the corners and crevices of his
library, and that they peeped out from among the leaves of many of
his books, as he turned them over, at midnight. He supposed that these
unlovely demons were everywhere, in the sunshine as well as in the
darkness, and that they were hidden in men's hearts, and stole into
their most secret thoughts."

Here Grandfather was interrupted by little Alice, who hid her face
in his lap, and murmured a wish that he would not talk any more about
Cotton Mather and the evil spirits. Grandfather kissed her, and told her
that angels were the only spirits whom she had anything to do with.

He then spoke of the public affairs of the period.

A new War between France and England had broken out in 1702, and had
been raging ever since. In the course of it, New England suffered much
injury from the French and Indians, who often came through the woods
from Canada and assaulted the frontier towns. Villages were sometimes
burned, and the inhabitants slaughtered, within a day's ride of Boston.
The people of New England had a bitter hatred against the French, not
only for the mischief which they did with their own hands, but because
they incited the Indians to hostility.

The New-Englanders knew that they could never dwell in security until
the provinces of France should be subdued and brought under the
English government. They frequently, in time of war, undertook military
expeditions against Acadia and Canada, and sometimes besieged the
fortresses by which those territories were defended. But the most
earnest wish of their hearts was to take Quebec, and so get possession
of the whole province of Canada. Sir William Phips had once attempted
it, but without success.

Fleets and soldiers were often sent from England to assist the colonists
in their warlike undertakings. In 1710 Port Royal, a fortress of Acadia,
was taken by the English. The next year, in the month of June, a fleet,
commanded by Admiral Sir Hovenden Walker, arrived in Boston Harbor. On
board of this fleet was the English General Hill, with seven regiments
of soldiers, who had been fighting under the Duke of Marlborough in
Flanders. The government of Massachusetts was called upon to find
provisions for the army and fleet, and to raise more men to assist in
taking Canada.

What with recruiting and drilling of soldiers, there was now nothing but
warlike bustle in the streets of Boston. The drum and fife, the rattle
of arms, and the shouts of boys were heard from morning till night.
In about a month the fleet set sail, carrying four regiments from New
England and New York, besides the English soldiers. The whole army
amounted to at least seven thousand men. They steered for the mouth of
the river St. Lawrence.

"Cotton Mather prayed most fervently for their success," continued
Grandfather, "both in his pulpit and when he kneeled down in the
solitude of his library, resting his face on our old chair. But
Providence ordered the result otherwise. In a few weeks tidings were
received that eight or nine of the vessels had been wrecked in the St.
Lawrence, and that above a thousand drowned soldiers had been washed
ashore on the banks of that mighty river. After this misfortune Sir
Hovenden Walker set sail for England; and many pious people began to
think it a sin even to wish for the conquest of Canada."

"I would never give it up so," cried Charley.

"Nor did they, as we shall see," replied Grandfather. "However, no more
attempts were made during this war, which came to a close in 1713. The
people of New England were probably glad of some repose; for their young
men had been made soldiers, till many of them were fit for nothing else.
And those who remained at home had been heavily taxed to pay for the
arms, ammunition; fortifications, and all the other endless expenses of
a war. There was great need of the prayers of Cotton Mather and of all
pious men, not only on account of the sufferings of the people, but
because the old moral and religious character of New England was in
danger of being utterly lost."

"How glorious it would have been," remarked Laurence, "if our
forefathers could have kept the country unspotted with blood!"

"Yes," said Grandfather; "but there was a stern, warlike spirit in
them from the beginning. They seem never to have thought of questioning
either the morality or piety of war."

The next event which Grandfather spoke of was one that Cotton Mather, as
well as most of the other inhabitants of New England, heartily rejoiced
at. This was the accession of the Elector of Hanover to the throne of
England, in 1714, on the death of Queen Anne. Hitherto the people had
been in continual dread that the male line of the Stuarts, who were
descended from the beheaded King Charles and the banished King James,
would be restored to the throne.

"The importance of this event," observed Grandfather, "was a thousand
times greater than that of a Presidential election in our own days.
If the people dislike their President, they may get rid of him in four
years; whereas a dynasty of kings may wear the crown for an unlimited

The German elector was proclaimed king from the balcony of the
town-house in Boston, by the title of George I.; while the trumpets
sounded and the people cried amen. That night the town was illuminated;
and Cotton Mather threw aside book and pen, and left Grandfather's chair
vacant, while he walked hither and thither to witness the rejoicings.


"COTTON MATHER," continued Grandfather, "was a bitter enemy to Governor
Dudley; and nobody exulted more than he when that crafty politician was
removed from the government, and succeeded by Colonel Shute. This took
place in 1716. The new governor had been an officer in the renowned Duke
of Marlborough's army, and had fought in some of the great battles in

"Now I hope," said Charley, "we shall hear of his doing great things."

"I am afraid you will be disappointed, Charley," answered Grandfather.
"It is true that Colonel Shute had probably never led so unquiet a life
while fighting the French as he did now, while governing this province
of Massachusetts Bay. But his troubles consisted almost entirely of
dissensions with the Legislature. The king had ordered him to lay claim
to a fixed salary; but the representatives of the people insisted upon
paying him only such sums from year to year as they saw fit."

Grandfather here explained some of the circumstances that made the
situation of a colonial governor so difficult and irksome. There was not
the same feeling towards the chief magistrate now that had existed while
he was chosen by the free suffrages of the people, it was felt that as
the king appointed the governor, and as he held his office during the
king's pleasure, it would be his great object to please the king. But
the people thought that a governor ought to have nothing in view but the
best interests of those whom he governed.

"The governor," remarked Grandfather, "had two masters to serve,--the
king, who appointed him; and the people, on whom he depended for his
pay. Few men in this position would have ingenuity enough to satisfy
either party. Colonel Shute, though a good-natured, well-meaning man,
succeeded so ill with the people, that, in 1722, he suddenly went
away to England and made Complaint to King George. In the meantime
Lieutenant-Governor Dummer directed the affairs of the province, and
carried on a long and bloody war with the Indians."

"But where was our chair all this time?" asked Clara.

"It still remained in Cotton Mather's library," replied Grandfather;
"and I must not omit to tell you an incident which is very much to
the honor of this celebrated man. It is the more proper, too, that you
should hear it, because it will show you what a terrible calamity the
smallpox was to our forefathers. The history of the province (and, of
course, the history of our chair) would be incomplete without particular
mention of it."

Accordingly Grandfather told the children a story, to which, for want of
a better title, we shall give that of The Rejected Blessing.

One day, in 1721, Doctor Cotton Mather sat in his library reading a book
that had been published by the Royal Society of London. But every
few moments he laid the book upon the table, and leaned back in
Grandfather's chair with an aspect of deep care and disquietude. There
were certain things which troubled him exceedingly, so that he could
hardly fix his thoughts upon what he read.

It was now a gloomy time in Boston. That terrible disease; the
small-pox, had recently made its appearance in the town. Ever since
the first settlement of the country this awful pestilence had come at
intervals, and swept away multitudes of the inhabitants. Whenever it
commenced its ravages, nothing seemed to stay its progress until there
were no more victims for it to seize upon. Oftentimes hundreds of people
at once lay groaning with its agony; and when it departed, its deep
footsteps were always to be traced in many graves.

The people never felt secure from this calamity. Sometimes, perhaps,
it was brought into the country by a poor sailor, who had caught the
infection in foreign parts, and came hither to die and to be the cause
of many deaths. Sometimes, no doubt, it followed in the train of the
pompous governors when they came over from England. Sometimes the
disease lay hidden in the cargoes of ships, among silks, and brocades,
and other costly merchandise which was imported for the rich people
to wear. And sometimes it started up seemingly of its own accord, and
nobody could tell whence it came. The physician, being called to attend
the sick person, would look at him, and say, "It is the small-pox! Let
the patient be carried to the hospital."

And now this dreadful sickness had shown itself again in Boston. Cotton
Mather was greatly afflicted for the sake of the whole province. He had
children, too, who were exposed to the danger. At that very moment he
heard the voice of his youngest son, for whom his heart was moved with

"Alas! I fear for that poor child," said Cotton Mather to himself. "What
shall I do for my son Samuel?"

Again he attempted to drive away these thoughts by taking up the book
which he had been reading. And now, all of a sudden, his attention
became fixed. The book contained a printed letter that an Italian
physician had written upon the very subject about which Cotton Mather
was so anxiously meditating. He ran his eye eagerly over the pages; and,
behold! a method was disclosed to him by which the small-pox might be
robbed of its worst terrors. Such a method was known in Greece. The
physicians of Turkey, too, those long-bearded Eastern sages, had been
acquainted with it for many years. The negroes of Africa, ignorant as
they were, had likewise practised it, and thus had shown themselves
wiser than the white men.

"Of a truth," ejaculated Cotton Mather, clasping his hands and looking
up to heaven, "it was a merciful Providence that brought this book under
mine eye. I will procure a consultation of physicians, and see whether
this wondrous inoculation may not stay the progress of the destroyer."

So he arose from Grandfather's chair and went out of the library. Near
the door he met his son Samuel, who seemed downcast and out of spirits.
The boy had heard, probably, that some of his playmates were taken ill
with the small-pox. But, as his father looked cheerfully at him, Samuel
took courage, trusting that either the wisdom of so learned a minister
would find some remedy for the danger, or else that his prayers would
secure protection from on high.

Meanwhile Cotton Mather took his staff and three-cornered hat and
walked about the streets, calling at the houses of all the physicians in
Boston. They were a very wise fraternity; and their huge wigs, and black
dresses, and solemn visages made their wisdom appear even profounder
than it was. One after another he acquainted them with the discovery
which he had hit upon.

But the grave and sagacious personages would scarcely listen to him.
The oldest doctor in town contented himself with remarking that no such
thing as inoculation was mentioned by Galen or Hippocrates; and it was
impossible that modern physicians should be wiser than those old sages.
A second held up his hands in dumb astonishment and horror at the
mad-ness of what Cotton Mather proposed to do. A third told him, in
pretty plain terms, that he knew not what he was talking about. A fourth
requested, in the name of the whole medical fraternity, that Cotton
Mather would confine his attention to people's souls, and leave the
physicians to take care of their bodies. In short, there was but a
single doctor among them all who would grant the poor minister so much
as a patient hearing, This was Doctor Zabdiel Boylston. He looked
into the matter like a man of sense, and finding, beyond a doubt,
that inoculation had rescued many from death, he resolved to try the
experiment in his own family.

And so he did. But when the other physicians heard of it they arose
in great fury and began a war of words, written, printed, and spoken,
against Cotton Mather and Doctor Boylston. To hear them talk, you would
have supposed that these two harmless and benevolent men had plotted the
ruin of the country.

The people, also, took the alarm. Many, who thought themselves more
pious than their neighbors, contended that, if Providence had ordained
them to die of the small-pox, it was sinful to aim at preventing it. The
strangest reports were in circulation. Some said that Doctor
Boylston had contrived a method for conveying the gout, rheumatism,
sick-headache, asthma, and all other diseases from one person to
another, and diffusing them through the whole community. Others flatly
affirmed that the evil one had got possession of Cotton Mather, and was
at the bottom of the whole business.

You must observe, children, that Cotton Mather's fellow-citizens were
generally inclined to doubt the wisdom of any measure which he might
propose to them. They recollected how he had led them astray in the old
witchcraft delusion; and now, if he thought and acted ever so wisely, it
was difficult for him to get the credit of it.

The people's wrath grew so hot at his attempt to guard them from the
small-pox that he could not walk the streets in peace. Whenever the
venerable form of the old minister, meagre and haggard with fasts and
vigils, was seen approaching, hisses were heard, and shouts of derision,
and scornful and bitter laughter. The women snatched away their children
from his path, lest he should do them a mischief. Still, however,
bending his head meekly, and perhaps stretching out his hands to bless
those who reviled him, he pursued his way. But the tears came into his
eyes to think how blindly the people rejected the means of safety that
were offered them.

Indeed, there were melancholy sights enough in the streets of Boston
to draw forth the tears of a compassionate man. Over the door of almost
every dwelling a red flag was fluttering in the air. This was the signal
that the small-pox had entered the house and attacked some member of the
family; or perhaps the whole family, old and young, were struggling
at once with the pestilence. Friends and relatives, when they met one
another in the streets, would hurry onward without a grasp of the hand
or scarcely a word of greeting, lest they should catch or communicate
the contagion; and often a coffin was borne hastily along.

"Alas! alas!" said Cotton Mather to himself, "what shall be done for
this poor, misguided people? Oh that Providence would open their eyes,
and enable them to discern good from evil!"

So furious, however, were the people, that they threatened vengeance
against any person who should dare to practise inoculation, though it
were only in his own family. This was a hard case for Cotton Mather, who
saw no other way to rescue his poor child Samuel from the disease. But
he resolved to save him, even if his house should be burned over his

"I will not be turned aside," said he. "My townsmen shall see that I
have faith in this thing, when I make the experiment on my beloved son,
whose life is dearer to me than my own. And when I have saved Samuel,
peradventure they will be persuaded to save themselves."

Accordingly Samuel was inoculated; and so was Mr. Walter, a son-in-law
of Cotton Mather. Doctor Boyleston, likewise, inoculated many persons;
and while hundreds died who had caught the contagion from the garments
of the sick, almost all were preserved who followed the wise physician's

But the people were not yet convinced of their mistake. One night a
destructive little instrument, called a hand-grenade, was thrown into
Cotton Mather's window, and rolled under Grandfather's chair. It was
supposed to be filled with gunpowder, the explosion of which would have
blown the poor minister to atoms. But the best informed historians are
of opinion that the grenade contained only brimstone and assafoetida,
and was meant to plague Cotton Mather with a very evil perfume.

This is no strange thing in human experience. Men who attempt to do the
world mere good than the world is able entirely to comprehend are almost
invariably held in bad odor. But yet, if the wise and good man can wait
awhile, either the present generation or posterity will do him justice.
So it proved in the case which we have been speaking of. In after years,
when inoculation was universally practised, and thousands were saved
from death by it, the people remembered old Cotton Mather, then sleeping
in his grave. They acknowledged that the very thing for which they had
so reviled and persecuted him was the best and wisest thing he ever did.

"Grandfather, this is not an agreeable story," observed Clara.

"No, Clara," replied Grandfather. "But it is right that you should know
what a dark shadow this disease threw over the times of our forefathers.
And now, if you wish to learn more about Cotton Mather, you must read
his biography, written by Mr. Peabody, of Springfield. You will find it
very entertaining and instructive; but perhaps the writer is somewhat
too harsh in his judgment of this singular man. He estimates him fairly,
indeed, and understands him well; but he unriddles his character rather
by acuteness than by sympathy. Now, his life should have been written by
one who, knowing all his faults, would nevertheless love him."

So Grandfather made an end of Cotton Mather, telling his auditors that
he died in 1728, at the age of sixty-five, and bequeathed the chair
to Elisha Cooke. This gentleman was a famous advocate of the people's

The same year William Burner, a son of the celebrated Bishop Burnet,
arrived in Boston with the commission of governor. He was the first that
had been appointed since the departure of Colonel Shute, Governor
Burnet took up his residence with Mr. Cooke while the Province House was
undergoing repairs. During this period he was always complimented with a
seat in Grandfather's chair; and so comfortable did he find it, that,
on removing to the Province House, he could not bear to leave it behind
him. Mr. Cooke, therefore, requested his acceptance of it.

"I should think," said Laurence, "that the people would have petitioned
the king always to appoint a native-born New-Englander to govern them."

"Undoubtedly it was a grievance," answered Grandfather, "to see men
placed in this station who perhaps had neither talents nor virtues to
fit them for it, and who certainly could have no natural affection
for the country. The king generally bestowed the governorships of
the American colonies upon needy noblemen, or hangers-on at court, or
disbanded officers. The people knew that such persons would be very
likely to make the good of the country subservient to the wishes of the
king. The Legislature, therefore, endeavored to keep as much power as
possible in their own hands, by refusing to settle a fixed salary upon
the governors. It was thought better to pay them according to their

"Did Governor Burner work well for his money?" asked Charley.

Grandfather could not help smiling at the simplicity of Charley's
question. Nevertheless, it put the matter in a very plain point of view.

He then described the character of Governor Bur-net, representing him
as a good scholar, possessed of much ability, and likewise of unspotted
integrity. His story affords a striking example how unfortunate it is
for a man, who is placed as ruler over a country to be compelled to aim
at anything but the good of the people. Governor Burnet was so chained
down by his instructions from the king that he could not act as he might
otherwise have wished. Consequently, his whole term of office was wasted
in quarrels with the Legislature.

"I am afraid, children," said Grandfather, "that Governor Burner found
but little rest or comfort in our old chair. Here he used to sit,
dressed in a coat which was made of rough, shaggy cloth outside, but of
smooth velvet within. It was said that his own character resembled that
coat; for his outward manner was rough, but his inward disposition soft
and kind. It is a pity that such a man could not have been kept
free from trouble. But so harassing were his disputes with the
representatives of the people that he fell into a fever, of which he
died in 1729. The Legislature had refused him a salary while alive;
but they appropriated money enough to give him a splendid and pompous

And now Grandfather perceived that little Alice had fallen fast asleep,
with her head upon his footstool. Indeed, as Clara observed, she had
been sleeping from the time of Sir Hovenden Walker's expedition against
Quebec until the death of Governor Burnet,--a period of about
eighteen years. And yet, after so long a nap, sweet little Alice was a
golden-haired child of scarcely five years old.

"It puts me in mind," said Laurence, "of the story of the enchanted
princess, who slept many a hundred years, and awoke as young and
beautiful as ever."


A FEW evenings afterwards, cousin Clara happened inquire of Grandfather
whether the old chair had never been present at a ball. At the same time
little Alice brought forward a doll, with whom she had been holding a
long conversation.

"See, Grandfather!" cried she. "Did such a pretty lady as this ever sit
in your great chair?"

These questions led Grandfather to talk about the fashions and manners
which now began to be introduced from England into the provinces. The
simplicity of the good old Puritan times was fast disappearing. This was
partly owing to the increasing number and wealth of the inhabitants,
and to the additions which they continually received by the arrival and
settlement of people from beyond the sea.

Another cause of a pompous and artificial mode of life, among those who
could afford it, was that the example was set by the royal governors.
Under the old charter, the governors were the representatives of the
people, and therefore their way of living had probably been marked by a
popular simplicity. But now, as they represented the person of the king,
they thought it necessary to preserve the dignity of their station
by the practice of high and gorgeous ceremonials. And, besides, the
profitable offices under the government were filled by men who had lived
in London, and had there contracted fashionable and luxurious habits
of living which they would not now lay aside. The wealthy people of the
province imitated them; and thus began a general change in social life.

"So, my dear Clara," said Grandfather, "after our chair had entered the
Province House, it must often have been present at balls and festivals;
though I cannot give you a description of any particular one. But
I doubt not that they were very magnificent; and slaves in gorgeous
liveries waited on the guests, and offered them wine in goblets of
massive silver."

"Were there slaves in those days!" exclaimed Clara.

"Yes, black slaves and white," replied Grandfather. "Our ancestors not
only brought negroes from Africa, but Indians from South America, and
white people from Ireland. These last were sold, not for life, but for
a certain number of years, in order to pay the expenses of their voyage
across the Atlantic. Nothing was more common than to see a lot of likely
Irish girls advertised for sale in the newspapers. As for the little
negro babies, they were offered to be giver away like young kittens."

"Perhaps Alice would have liked one to play with, instead of her doll,"
said Charley, laughing.

But little Alice clasped the waxen doll closer to her bosom.

"Now, as for this pretty doll, my little Alice," said Grandfather, "I
wish you could have seen what splendid dresses the ladies wore in those
times. They had silks, and satins, and damasks, and brocades, and high
head-dresses, and all sorts of fine things. And they used to wear hooped
petticoats of such enormous size that it was quite a journey to walk
round them."

"And how did the gentlemen dress?" asked Charley.

"With full as much magnificence as the ladies," answered Grandfather.
"For their holiday suits they had coats of figured velvet, crimson,
green, blue, and all other gay colors, embroidered with gold or silver
lace. Their waistcoats, which were five times as large as modern ones,
were very splendid. Sometimes the whole waistcoat, which came down
almost to the knees, was made of gold brocade."

"Why, the wearer must have shone like a golden image!" said Clara.

"And then," continued Grandfather, "they wore various sorts of periwigs,
such as the tie, the Spencer, the brigadier, the major, the
Albemarle, the Ramillies, the feather-top, and the full-bottom. Their
three-cornered hats were laced with gold or silver. They had shining
buckles at the knees of their small-clothes, and buckles likewise in
their shoes. They wore swords with beautiful hilts, either of silver, or
sometimes of polished steel, inlaid with gold."

"Oh, I should like to wear a sword!" cried Charley.

"And an embroidered crimson velvet coat," said Clara, laughing, "and a
gold brocade waistcoat down to your knees."

"And knee-buckles and shoe-buckles," said Laurence, laughing also.

"And a periwig," added little Alice, soberly, not knowing what was the
article of dress which she recommended to our friend Charley.

Grandfather smiled at the idea of Charley's sturdy little figure in such
a grotesque caparison. He then went on with the history of the chair,
and told the children that, in 1730, King George II. appointed Jonathan
Belcher to be governor of Massachusetts in place of the deceased
Governor Burner. Mr. Belcher was a native of the province, but had spent
much of his life in Europe.

The new governor found Grandfather's chair in the Province House. He was
struck with its noble and stately aspect, but was of opinion that age
and hard services had made it scarcely so fit for courtly company as
when it stood in the Earl of Lincoln's hall. Wherefore, as Governor
Belcher was fond of splendor, he employed a skilful artist to beautify
the chair. This was done by polishing and varnishing it, and by gilding
the carved work of the elbows, and likewise the oaken flowers of the
back. The lion's head now shone like a veritable lump of gold. Finally
Governor Belcher gave the chair a cushion of blue damask, with a rich
golden fringe.

"Our good old chair being thus glorified," proceeded Grandfather, "it
glittered with a great deal more splendor than it had exhibited just a
century before, when the Lady Arbella brought it over from England. Most
people mistook it for a chair of the latest London fashion. And this may
serve for an example, that there is almost always an old and timeworn
substance under all the glittering show of new invention."

"Grandfather, I cannot see any of the gilding," remarked Charley, who
had been examining the chair very minutely.

"You will not wonder that it has been rubbed off," replied Grandfather,
"when you hear all the adventures that have since befallen the chair.
Gilded it was; and the handsomest room in the Province House was adorned
by it."

There was not much to interest the children in what happened during
the years that Governor Belcher remained in the chair. At first, like
Colonel Shute and Governor Burner, he was engaged in disputing with the
Legislature about his salary. But, as he found it impossible to get a
fixed sum, he finally obtained the king's leave to accept whatever the
Legislature chose to give him. And thus the people triumphed, after this
long contest for the privilege of expending their own money as they saw

The remainder of Governor Belcher's term of office was principally taken
up in endeavoring to settle the currency. Honest John Hull's pine-tree
shillings had long ago been worn out, or lost, or melted down again;
and their place was supplied by bills of paper or parchment, which were
nominally valued at threepence and upwards. The value of these bills
kept continually sinking, because the real hard money could not be
obtained for them. They were a great deal worse than the old Indian
currency of clam-shells. These disorders of the circulating medium were
a source of endless plague and perplexity to the rulers and legislators,
not only in Governor Belcher's days, but for many years before and

Finally the people suspected that Governor Belcher was secretly
endeavoring to establish the Episcopal mode of worship in the provinces.
There was enough of the old Puritan spirit remaining to cause most of
the true sons of New England to look with horror upon such an attempt.
Great exertions were made to induce the king to remove the governor.
Accordingly, in 1740, he was compelled to resign his office, and
Grandfather's chair into the bargain, to Mr. Shirley.


"WILLIAM SHIRLEY," said Grandfather, "had come from England a few years
before, and begun to practise law in Boston. You will think, perhaps,
that, as he had been a lawyer, the new governor used to sit in our great
chair reading heavy law-books from morning till night. On the contrary,
he was as stirring and active a governor as Massachusetts ever had.
Even Sir William Phips hardly equalled him. The first year or two of
his administration was spent in trying to regulate the currency. But
in 1744, after a peace of more than thirty years, war broke out between
France and England."

"And I suppose," said Charley, "the governor went to take Canada."

"Not exactly, Charley," said Grandfather; "though you have made a pretty
shrewd conjecture. He planned, in 1745, an expedition against Louisburg.
This was a fortified city, on the island of Cape Breton, near Nova
Scotia. Its walls were of immense height and strength, and were defended
by hundreds of heavy cannon. It was the strongest fortress which the
French possessed in America; and if the king of France had guessed
Governor Shirley's intentions, he would have sent all the ships he could
muster to protect it."

As the siege of Louisburg was one of the most remarkable events that
ever the inhabitants of New England were engaged in, Grandfather
endeavored to give his auditors a lively idea of the spirit with which
they set about it. We shall call his description The Provincial Muster.

The expedition against Louisburg first began to be thought of in the
month of January. From that time the governor's chair was continually
surrounded by councillors, representatives, clergymen, captains, pilots,
and all manner of people, with whom he consulted about this wonderful

First of all, it was necessary to provide men and arms. The Legislature
immediately sent out a huge quantity of paper-money, with which, as
if by magic spell, the governor hoped to get possession of all the old
cannon, powder and balls, rusty swords and muskets, and everything else
that would be serviceable in killing Frenchmen. Drums were beaten in
all the villages of Massachusetts to enlist soldiers for the service.
Messages were sent to the other governors of New England, and to New
York and Pennsylvania, entreating them to unite in this crusade against
the French. All these provinces agreed to give what assistance they

But there was one very important thing to be decided. Who shall be the
general of this great army? Peace had continued such an unusual length
of time that there was now less military experience among the colonists
than at any former period. The old Puritans had always kept their
weapons bright, and were never destitute of warlike captains who were
skilful in assault or defence. But the swords of their descendents
had grown rusty by disuse. There was nobody in New England that knew
anything about sieges or any other regular fighting. The only persons
at all acquainted with warlike business were a few elderly men, who
had hunted Indians through the underbrush of the forest in old Governor
Dummer's War.

In this dilemma Governor Shirley fixed upon a wealthy merchant, named
William Pepperell, who was pretty well known and liked among the people.
As to military skill, he had no more of it than his neighbors. But, as
the governor urged him very pressingly, Mr. Pepperell consented to shut
up his ledger, gird on a sword, and assume the title of general.

Meantime, what a hubbub was raised by this scheme! Rub-a-dub-dub!
rub-a-dub-dub! The rattle of drums, beaten out of all manner of time,
was heard above every other sound.

Nothing now was so valuable as arms, of whatever style and fashion they
might be. The bellows blew, and the hammer clanged continually upon the
anvil, while the blacksmiths were repairing the broken weapons of other
wars. Doubtless some of the soldiers lugged out those enormous, heavy
muskets which used to be fired, with rests, in the time of the early
Puritans. Great horse-pistols, too, were found, which would go off with
a bang like a cannon. Old cannon, with touchholes almost as big as
their muzzles, were looked upon as inestimable treasures. Pikes which,
perhaps, had been handled by Miles Standish's soldiers, now made their
appearance again. Many a young man ransacked the garret and brought
forth his great-grandfather's sword, corroded with rust and stained with
the blood of King Philip's War.

Never had there been such an arming as this, when a people, so long
peaceful, rose to the war with the best weapons that they could lay
their hands upon. And still the drums were heard--rub-a-dub-dub!
rub-a-dub-dub!--in all the towns and villages; and louder and more
numerous grew the trampling footsteps of the recruits that marched

And now the army began to gather into Boston. Tan, lanky, awkward
fellows came in squads, and companies, and regiments, swaggering along,
dressed in their brown homespun clothes and blue yarn stockings. They
stooped as if they still had hold of the plough-handles, and marched
without any time or tune. Hither they came, from the cornfields, from
the clearing in the forest, from the blacksmith's forge, from the
carpenter's workshop, and from the shoemaker's seat. They were an army
of rough faces and sturdy frames. A trained officer of Europe would
have laughed at them till his sides had ached. But there was a spirit
in their bosoms which is more essential to soldiership than to wear red
coats and march in stately ranks to the sound of regular music.

Still was heard the beat of the drum,--rub-a-dub-dub! And now a host of
three or four thousand men had found their way to Boston. Little quiet
was there then! Forth scampered the school-boys, shouting behind the
drums. The whole town, the whole land, was on fire with war.

After the arrival of the troops, they were probably reviewed upon the
Common. We may imagine Governor Shirley and General Pepperell riding
slowly along the line, while the drummers beat strange old tunes, like
psalm-tunes, and all the officers and soldiers put on their most warlike
looks. It would have been a terrible sight for the Frenchmen, could they
but have witnessed it!

At length, on the 24th of March, 1745, the army gave a parting shout,
and set sail from Boston in ten or twelve vessels which had been hired
by the governor. A few days afterwards an English fleet, commanded
by Commodore Peter Warren, sailed also for Louisburg to assist the
provincial army. So now, after all this bustle of preparation, the town
and province were left in stillness and repose.

But stillness and repose, at such a time of anxious expectation, are
hard to bear. The hearts of the old people and women sunk within them
when they reflected what perils they had sent their sons, and husbands,
and brothers to encounter. The boys loitered heavily to School, missing
the rub-a-dub-dub and the trampling march, in the rear of which they had
so lately run and shouted. All the ministers prayed earnestly in their
pulpits for a blessing on the army of New England. In every family, when
the good man lifted up his heart in domestic worship, the burden of his
petition was for the safety of those dear ones who were fighting under
the walls of Louisburg.

Governor Shirley all this time was probably in an ecstasy of impatience.
He could not sit still a moment. He found no quiet, not even in
Grandfather's chair; but hurried to and fro, and up and down the
staircase of the Province House. Now he mounted to the cupola and looked
seaward, straining his eyes to discover if there were a sail upon the
horizon. Now he hastened down the stairs, and stood beneath the portal,
on the red free-stone steps, to receive some mud-bespattered courier,
from whom he hoped to hear tidings of the army. A few weeks after the
departure of the troops, Commodore Warren sent a small vessel to Boston
with two French prisoners. One of them was Monsieur Bouladrie, who had
been commander of a battery outside the walls of Louisburg. The other
was the Marquis de la Maison Forte, captain of a French frigate which
had been taken by Commodore Warren's fleet. These prisoners assured
Governor Shirley that the fortifications of Louisburg were far too
strong ever to be stormed by the provincial army.

Day after day and week after week went on. The people grew almost
heart-sick with anxiety; for the flower of the country was at peril in
this adventurous expedition. It was now daybreak on the morning of the
3d of July.

But hark! what sound is this? The hurried clang of a bell! There is the
Old North pealing suddenly out!--there the Old South strikes in!--now
the peal comes from the church in Brattle Street!--the bells of nine or
ten steeples are all flinging their iron voices at once upon the morning
breeze! Is it joy, or alarm? There goes the roar of a cannon too! A
royal salute is thundered forth. And now we hear the loud exulting shout
of a multitude assembled in the street. Huzza! huzza! Louisburg has
surrendered! Huzza!

"O Grandfather, how glad I should have been to live in those times!"
cried Charley. "And what reward did the king give to General Pepperell
and Governor Shirley?"

"He made Pepperell a baronet; so that he was now to be called Sir
William Pepperell," replied Grandfather. "He likewise appointed both
Pepperell and Shirley to be colonels in the royal army. These rewards,
and higher ones, were well deserved; for this was the greatest triumph
that the English met with in the whole course of that war. General
Pepperell became a man of great fame. I have seen a full-length portrait
of him, representing him in a splendid scarlet uniform, standing before
the walls of Louisburg, while several bombs are falling through the

"But did the country gain any real good by the conquest of Louisburg?"
asked Laurence. "Or was all the benefit reaped by Pepperell and

"The English Parliament," replied Grandfather, "agreed to pay the
colonists for all the expenses of the siege. Accordingly, in 1749, two
hundred and fifteen chests of Spanish dollars and one hundred casks of
copper coin were brought from England to Boston. The whole amount was
about a million of dollars. Twenty-seven carts and trucks carried this
money from the wharf to the provincial treasury. Was not this a pretty
liberal reward?"

"The mothers of the young men who were killed at the siege of Louisburg
would not have thought it so," said Laurence.

"No; Laurence," rejoined Grandfather; "and every warlike achievement
involves an amount of physical and moral evil, for which all the gold in
the Spanish mines would not be the slightest recompense. But we are to
consider that this siege was one of the occasions on which the colonists
tested their ability for war, and thus were prepared for the great
contest of the Revolution. In that point of view, the valor of our
forefathers was its own reward."

Grandfather went on to say that the success of the expedition against
Louisburg induced Shirley and Pepperell to form a scheme for conquering
Canada, This plan, however, was not carried into execution.

In the year 1746 great terror was excited by the arrival of a formidable
French fleet upon the coast It was commanded by the Duke d'Anville, and
consisted of forty ships of war, besides vessels with soldiers on board.
With this force the French intended to retake Louisburg, and afterwards
to ravage the whole of New England. Many people were ready to give up
the country for lost.

But the hostile fleet met with so many disasters and losses by storm and
shipwreck, that the Duke d'Anville is said to have poisoned himself in
despair. The officer next in command threw himself upon his sword and
perished. Thus deprived of their commanders, the remainder of the ships
returned to France. This was as great a deliverance for New England as
that which Old England had experienced in the days of Queen Elizabeth,
when the Spanish Armada was wrecked upon her coast.

"In 1747," proceeded Grandfather, "Governor Shirley was driven from the
Province House, not by a hostile fleet and army, but by a mob of the
Boston people. They were so incensed at the conduct of the British
Commodore Knowles, who had impressed some of their fellow-citizens,
that several thousands of them surrounded the council chamber and threw
stones and brickbats into the windows. The governor attempted to pacify
them; but not succeeding, he thought it necessary to leave the town and
take refuge within the walls of Castle William. Quiet was not restored
until Commodore Knowles had sent back the impressed men. This affair was
a flash of spirit that might have warned the English not to venture upon
any oppressive measures against their colonial brethren."

Peace being declared between France and England in 1748, the governor
had now an opportunity to sit at his ease in Grandfather's chair. Such
repose, however, appears not to have suited his disposition; for in the
following year he went to England, and thence was despatched to France
on public business. Meanwhile, as Shirley had not resigned his office,
Lieu-tenant-Governor Phips acted as chief magistrate in his stead.


IN the early twilight of Thanksgiving Eve came Laurence, and Clara, and
Charley, and little Alice, hand in hand, and stood in a semicircle
round Grandfather's chair. They had been joyous throughout that day of
festivity, mingling together in all kinds of play, so that the house had
echoed with their airy mirth.

Grandfather, too, had been happy though not mirthful. He felt that this
was to be set down as one of the good Thanksgivings of his life. In
truth, all his former Thanksgivings had borne their part in the present
one; for his years of infancy, and youth, and manhood, with their
blessings and their griefs, had flitted before him while he sat silently
in the great chair. Vanished scenes had been pictured in the air. The
forms of departed friends had visited him. Voices to be heard no more on
earth had sent an echo from the infinite and the eternal. These shadows,
if such they were, seemed almost as real to him as what was actually
present,--as the merry shouts and laughter of the children,--as their
figures, dancing like sunshine before his eyes.

He felt that the past was not taken from him. The happiness of former
days was a possession forever. And there was something in the mingled
sorrow of his lifetime that became akin to happiness, after being long
treasured in the depths of his heart. There it underwent a change, and
grew more precious than pure gold.

And now came the children, somewhat aweary with their wild play, and
sought the quiet enjoyment of Grandfather's talk. The good old gentleman
rubbed his eyes and smiled round upon them all. He was glad, as most
aged people are, to find that he was yet of consequence, and could give
pleasure to the world. After being so merry all day long, did these
children desire to hear his sober talk? Oh, then, old Grandfather had
yet a place to fill among living men,--or at least among boys and girls!

"Begin quick, Grandfather," cried little Alice; "for pussy wants to hear

And truly our yellow friend, the cat, lay upon the hearth-rug, basking
in the warmth of the fire, pricking up her ears, and turning her head
from the children to Grandfather, and from Grandfather to the children
as if she felt herself very sympathetic with them all. A loud purr, like
the singing of a tea-kettle or the hum of a spinning-wheel, testified
that she was as comfortable and happy as a cat could be. For puss had
feasted; and therefore, like Grandfather and the children, had kept a
good Thanksgiving.

"Does pussy want to hear me?" said Grandfathers smiling. "Well, we must
please pussy, if we can."

And so he took up the history of the chair from the epoch of the peace
of 1748. By one of the provisions of the treaty, Louisburg, which the
New-Englanders had been at so much pains to take, was restored to the
King of France.

The French were afraid that, unless their colonies should be better
defended than heretofore, another war might deprive them of the whole.
Almost as soon as peace was declared, therefore, they began to build
strong fortifications in the interior of North America. It was strange
to behold these warlike castles on the banks of solitary lakes and far
in the midst of woods. The Indian, paddling his birch canoe on Lake
Champlain, looked up at the high ramparts of Ticonderoga, stone piled
on stone, bristling with cannon, and the white flag of France floating
above. There were similar fortifications on Lake Ontario, and near the
great Falls of Niagara, and at the sources of the Ohio River. And all
around these forts and castles lay the eternal forest, and the roll of
the drum died away in those deep solitudes.

The truth was, that the French intended to build forts all the way
from Canada to Louisiana. They would then have had a wall of military
strength at the back of the English settlements so as completely to hem
them in. The King of England considered the building of these forts as a
sufficient cause of war, which was accordingly commenced in 1754.

"Governor Shirley," said Grandfather, "had returned to Boston in 1753.
While in Paris he had married a second wife, a young French girl, and
now brought her to the Province House. But when war was breaking out it
was impossible for such a bustling man to stay quietly at home, sitting
in our old chair, with his wife and children, round about him. He
therefore obtained a command in the English forces."

"And what did Sir William Pepperell do?" asked Charley.

"He stayed at home," said Grandfather, "and was general of the militia.
The veteran regiments of the English army which were now sent across the
Atlantic would have scorned to fight under the orders of an old American
merchant. And now began what aged people call the old French War. It
would be going too far astray from the history of our chair to tell you
one half of the battles that were fought. I cannot even allow myself to
describe the bloody defeat of General Braddock, near the sources of
the Ohio River, in 1755. But I must not omit to mention that, when the
English general was mortally wounded and his army routed, the remains
of it were preserved by the skill and valor of George Washington."

At the mention of this illustrious name the children started as if a
sudden sunlight had gleamed upon the history of their country, now that
the great deliverer had arisen above the horizon.

Among all the events of the old French War, Grandfather thought that
there was none more interesting than the removal of the inhabitants
of Acadia. From the first settlement of this ancient province of the
French, in 1604, until the present time, its people could scarcely ever
know what kingdom held dominion over them. They were a peaceful race,
taking no delight in warfare, and caring nothing for military renown.
And yet, in every war, their region was infested with iron-hearted
soldiers, both French and English, who fought one another for the
privilege of ill-treating these poor, harmless Acadians. Sometimes the
treaty of peace made them subjects of one king, sometimes of another.

At the peace of 1748 Acadia had been ceded to England. But the French
still claimed a large portion of it, and built forts for its defence.
In 1755 these forts were taken, and the whole of Acadia was conquered
by three thousand men from Massachusetts, under the command of General
Winslow. The inhabitants were accused of supplying the French with
provisions, and of doing other things that violated their neutrality.

"These accusations were probably true," observed Grandfather; "for
the Acadians were descended from the French, and had the same friendly
feelings towards them that the people of Massachusetts had for the
English. But their punishment was severe. The English determined to tear
these poor people from their native homes and scatter them abroad."

The Acadians were about seven thousand in number. A considerable part of
them were made prisoners, and transported to the English colonies. All
their dwellings and churches were burned, their cattle were killed,
and the whole country was laid waste, so that none of them might find
shelter or food in their old homes after the departure of the
English. One thousand of the prisoners were sent to Massachusetts; and
Grandfather allowed his fancy to follow them thither, and tried to give
his auditors an idea of their situation.

We shall call this passage the story of


A sad day it was for the poor Acadians when the armed soldiers drove
them, at the point of the bayonet, down to the sea-shore. Very sad were
they, likewise, while tossing upon the ocean in the crowded transport
vessels. But methinks it must have been sadder still when they were
landed on the Long Wharf in Boston, and left to themselves on a foreign

Then, probably, they huddled together and looked into one another's
faces for the comfort which was not there. Hitherto they had been
confined on board of separate vessels, so that they could not tell
whether their relatives and friends were prisoners along with them.
But now, at least, they could tell that many had been left behind or
transported to other regions.

Now a desolate wife might be heard calling for her husband. He, alas!
had gone, she knew not whither; or perhaps had fled into the woods of
Acadia, and had now returned to weep over the ashes of their dwelling.

An aged widow was crying out in a querulous, lamentable tone for her
son, whose affectionate toil had supported her for many a. year. He was
not in the crowd of exiles; and what could this aged widow do but sink
down and die? Young men and maidens, whose hearts had been torn asunder
by separation, had hoped, during the voyage, to meet their beloved ones
at its close. Now they began to feel that they were separated forever.
And perhaps a lonesome little girl, a golden-haired child of five years
old, the very picture of our little Alice, was weeping and wailing for
her mother, and found not a soul to give her a kind word.

Oh, how many broken bonds of affection were here! Country lost,--friends
lost,--their rural wealth of cottage, field, and herds all lost
together! Every tie between these poor exiles and the world seemed to be
cut off at once. They must have regretted that they had not died before
their exile; for even the English would not have been so pitiless as
to deny them graves in their native soil. The dead were happy; for they
were not exiles!

While they thus stood upon the wharf, the curiosity and inquisitiveness
of the New England people would naturally lead them into the midst of
the poor Acadians. Prying busybodies thrust their heads into the circle
wherever two or three of the exiles were conversing together. How
puzzled did they look at the outlandish sound of the French tongue!
There were seen the New England women, too. They had just come out of
their warm, safe homes, where everything was regular and comfortable,
and where their husbands and children would be with them at nightfall.
Surely they could pity the wretched wives and mothers of Acadia! Or aid
the sign of the cross which the Acadians continually made upon their
breasts, and which was abhorred by the descendants of the Puritans,--did
that sign exclude all pity?

Among the spectators, too, was the noisy brood of Boston school-boys,
who came running, with laughter and shouts, to gaze at this crowd of
oddly dressed foreigners. At first they danced and capered around them,
full of merriment and mischief. But the despair of the Acadians soon
had its effect upon these thoughtless lads, and melted them into tearful

At a little distance from the throng might be seen the wealthy and
pompous merchants whose warehouses stood on Long Wharf. It was difficult
to touch these rich men's hearts; for they had all the comforts of the
world at their command; and when they walked abroad their feelings were
seldom moved, except by the roughness of the pavement irritating their
gouty toes. Leaning upon their gold-headed canes, they watched the scene
with an aspect of composure. But let us hype they distributed some of
their superfluous coin among these hapless exiles to purchase food and a
night's lodging.

After standing a long time at the end of the wharf, gazing seaward, as
if to catch a glimpse of their lost Acadia, the strangers began to stray
into the town.

They went, we will suppose, in parties and groups, here a hundred, there
a score, there ten, there three or four, who possessed some bond of
unity among themselves. Here and there was one who, utterly desolate,
stole away by himself, seeking no companionship.

Whither did they go? I imagine them wandering about the streets, telling
the townspeople, in outlandish, unintelligible words, that no earthly
affliction ever equalled what had befallen them. Man's brotherhood with
man was sufficient to make the New-Englanders understand this language.
The strangers wanted food. Some of them sought hospitality at the doors
of the stately mansions which then stood in the vicinity of Hanover
Street and the North Square. Others were applicants at the humble wooden
tenements, where dwelt the petty shopkeepers and mechanics. Pray Heaven
that no family in Boston turned one of these poor exiles from their
door! It would be a reproach upon New England,--a crime worthy of heavy
retribution,--if the aged women and children, or even the strong men,
were allowed to feel the pinch of hunger.

Perhaps some of the Acadians, in their aimless wanderings through the
town, found themselves near a large brick edifice, which was fenced in
from the street by an iron railing, wrought with fantastic figures. They
saw a flight of red freestone steps ascending to a portal, above which
was a balcony and balustrade. Misery and desolation give men the right
of free passage everywhere. Let us suppose, then, that they mounted the
flight of steps and passed into the Province House. Making their way
into one of the apartments, they beheld a richly-clad gentleman, seated
in a stately chair, with gilding upon the carved work of its back, and a
gilded lion's head at the summit. This was Governor Shirley, meditating
upon matters of war and state, in Grandfather's chair!

If such an incident did happen, Shirley, reflecting what a ruin of
peaceful and humble hopes had been wrought by the cold policy of the
statesman and the iron band of the warrior, might have drawn a deep
moral from it. It should have taught him that the poor man's hearth
is sacred, and that armies and nations have no right to violate it. It
should have made him feel that England's triumph and increased dominion
could not compensate to mankind nor atone to Heaven for the ashes of a
single Acadian cottage. But it is not thus that statesmen and warriors

"Grandfather," cried Laurence, with emotion trembling in his voice,
"did iron-hearted War itself ever do so hard and cruel a thing as this

"You have read in history, Laurence, of whole regions wantonly laid
waste," said Grandfather. "In the removal of the Acadians, the troops
were guilty of no cruelty or outrage, except what was inseparable from
the measure."

Little Alice, whose eyes had all along been brimming full of tears, now
burst forth a-sobbing; for Grandfather had touched her sympathies more
than he intended.

"To think of a whole people homeless in the world!" said Clara, with
moistened eyes. "There never was anything so sad!"

"It was their own fault!" cried Charley, energetically. "Why did not
they fight for the country where they were born? Then, if the worst had
happened to them, they could only have been killed and buried there.
They would not have been exiles then."

"Certainly their lot was as hard as death," said Grandfather. "All that
could be done for them in the English provinces was, to send them to the
almshouses, or bind them out to taskmasters. And this was the fate
of persons who had possessed a comfortable property in their native
country. Some of them found means to embark for France; but though it
was the land of their forefathers, it must have been a foreign land to
them. Those who remained behind always cherished a belief that the King
of France would never make peace with England till his poor Acadians
were restored to their country and their homes."

"And did he?" inquired Clara.

"Alas! my dear Clara," said Grandfather, "it is improbable that the
slightest whisper of the woes of Acadia ever reached the ears of Louis
XV. The exiles grew old in the British provinces, and never saw
Acadia again. Their descendants remain among us to this day. They
have forgotten the language of their ancestors, and probably retain no
tradition of their misfortunes. But, methinks, if I were an American
poet, I would choose Acadia for the subject of my song."

Since Grandfather first spoke these words, the most famous of American
poets has drawn sweet tears from all of us by his beautiful poem

And now, having thrown a gentle gloom around the Thanksgiving fireside
by a story that made the children feel the blessing of a secure and
peaceful hearth, Grandfather put off the other events of the old French
War till the next evening.


IN the twilight of the succeeding eve, when the red beams of the fire
were dancing upon the wall, the children besought Grandfather to tell
them what had next happened to the old chair.

"Our chair," said Grandfather, "stood all this time in the Province
House. But Governor Shirley had seldom an opportunity to repose within
its arms. He was leading his troops through the forest, or sailing in
a flat-boat on Lake Ontario, or sleeping in his tent, while the awful
cataract of Niagara sent its roar through his dreams. At one period,
in the early part of the war, Shirley had the chief command of all the
king's forces in America."

"Did his young wife go with him to the war?" asked Clara.

"I rather imagine," replied Grandfather, "that she remained in Boston.
This lady, I suppose, had our chair all to herself, and used to sit in
it during those brief intervals when a young Frenchwoman can be quiet
enough to sit in a chair. The people of Massachusetts were never fond
of Governor Shirley's young French wife. They had a suspicion that she
betrayed the military plans of the English to the generals of the French

"And was it true?" inquired Clara.

"Probably not," said Grandfather. "But the mere suspicion did Shirley a
great deal of harm. Partly, perhaps, for this reason, but much more on
account of his inefficiency as a general, he was deprived of his command
in 1756, and recalled to England. He never afterwards made any figure in
public life."

As Grandfather's chair had no locomotive properties, and did not even
run on castors, it cannot be supposed to have marched in person to the
old French War. But Grandfather delayed its momentous history while he
touched briefly upon some of the bloody battles, sieges, and onslaughts,
the tidings of which kept continually coming to the ears of the old
inhabitants of Boston. The woods of the North were populous with
fighting men. All the Indian tribes uplifted their tomahawks, and took
part either with the French or English. The rattle of musketry and roar
of cannon disturbed the ancient quiet of the forest, and actually drove
the bears and other wild beasts to the more cultivated portion of the
country in the vicinity of the seaports. The children felt as if they
were transported back to those forgotten times, and that the couriers
from the army, with the news of a battle lost or won, might even now
be heard galloping through the streets. Grandfather told them about
the battle of Lake George in 1755, when the gallant Colonel Williams,
a Massachusetts officer, was slain, with many of his countrymen. But
General Johnson and General Lyman, with their army, drove back the
enemy and mortally wounded the French leader, who was called the
Baron Dieskau. A gold watch, pilfered from the poor baron, is still in
existence, and still marks each moment of time without complaining of
weariness, although its hands have been in motion ever since the hour of

In the first years of the war there were many disasters on the English
side. Among these was the loss of Fort Oswego in 1756, and of Fort
William Henry in the following year. But the greatest misfortune that
befell the English during the whole war was the repulse of General
Abercrombie, with his army, from the ramparts of Ticonderoga in 1758. He
attempted to storm the walls; but a terrible conflict ensued, in which
more than two thousand Englishmen and New-Englanders were killed or
wounded. The slain soldiers now lie buried around that ancient fortress.
When the plough passes over the soil, it turns up here and there a
mouldering bone.

Up to this period, none of the English generals had shown any military
talent. Shirley, the Earl of Loudon, and General Abercrombie had each
held the chief command at different times; but not one of them had won a
single important triumph for the British arms. This ill success was not
owing to the want of means: for, in 1758, General Abercrombie had fifty
thousand soldiers under his command. But the French general, the famous
Marquis de Montcalm, possessed a great genius for war, and had something
within him that taught him how battles were to be won.

At length, in 1759, Sir Jeffrey Amherst was appointed commander-in-chief
of all the British forces in America. He was a man of ability and a
skilful soldier. A plan was now formed for accomplishing that object
which had so long been the darling wish of the New-Englanders, and which
their fathers had so many times attempted. This was the conquest of

Three separate armies were to enter Canada from different quarters.
One of the three, commanded by General Prideaux, was to embark on Lake
Ontario and proceed to Montreal. The second, at the head of which
was Sir Jeffrey Amherst himself, was destined to reach the river St.
Lawrence by the way of Lake Champlain, and then go down the river to
meet the third army. This last, led by General Wolfe, was to enter the
St. Lawrence from the sea and ascend the river to Quebec. It is to Wolfe
and his army that England owes one of the most splendid triumphs ever
written in her history.

Grandfather described the siege of Quebec, and told how Wolfe led his
soldiers up a rugged and lofty precipice, that rose from the shore of
the river to the plain on which the city stood. This bold adventure was
achieved in the darkness of night. At daybreak tidings were carried to
the Marquis de Montcalm that the English army was waiting to give him
battle on the Plains of Abraham. This brave French general ordered his
drums to strike up, and immediately marched to encounter Wolfe.

He marched to his own death. The battle was the most fierce and terrible
that had ever been fought in America. General Wolfe was at the head
of his soldiers, and, while encouraging them onward, received a mortal
wound. He reclined against a stone in the agonies of death; but it
seemed as if his spirit could not pass away while the fight yet raged so
doubtfully. Suddenly a shout came pealing across the battle-field. "They
flee! they flee!" and, for a moment, Wolfe lifted his languid head. "Who
flee?" he inquired.

"The French," replied an officer. "Then I die satisfied!" said Wolfe,
and expired in the arms of victory.

"If ever a warrior's death were glorious, Wolfe's was so," said
Grandfather; and his eye kindled, though he was a man of peaceful
thoughts and gentle spirit. "His life-blood streamed to baptize the
soil which he had added to the dominion of Britain. His dying breath was
mingled with his army's shout of victory."

"Oh, it was a good death to die!" cried Charley, with glistening eyes.
"Was it not a good death, Laurence?"

Laurence made no reply; for his heart burned within him, as the picture
of Wolfe, dying on the blood-stained field of victory, arose to his
imagination; and yet he had a deep inward consciousness that, after all,
there was a truer glory than could thus be won.

"There were other battles in Canada after Wolfe's victory," resumed
Grandfather; "but we may consider the old French War as having
terminated with this great event. The treaty of peace, however, was not
signed until 1763. The terms of the treaty were very disadvantageous
to the French; for all Canada, and all Acadia, and the Island of Cape
Breton,--in short, all the territories that France and England had been
fighting about for nearly a hundred years,--were surrendered to the

"So now, at last," said Laurence, "New England had gained her wish.
Canada was taken."

"And now there was nobody to fight with but the Indians," said Charley.

Grandfather mentioned two other important events. The first was the
great fire of Boston in 1760, when the glare from nearly three hundred
buildings, all in flames at once, shone through the windows of the
Province House, and threw a fierce lustre upon the gilded foliage and
lion's head of our old chair. The second event was the proclamation, in
the same year, of George III. as King of Great Britain. The blast of the
trumpet sounded from the balcony of the Town House, and awoke the echoes
far and wide, as if to challenge all mankind to dispute King George's

Seven times, as the successive monarchs of Britain ascended the throne,
the trumpet peal of proclamation had been heard by those who sat in our
venerable chair. But when the next king put on his father's crown, no
trumpet peal proclaimed it to New England. Long before that day America
had shaken off the royal government.


NOW THAT Grandfather had fought through the old French War, in which our
chair made no very distinguished figure, he thought it high time to tell
the children some of the more private history of that praiseworthy old
piece of furniture.

"In 1757," said Grandfather, "after Shirley had been summoned to
England, Thomas Pownall was appointed governor of Massachusetts. He was
a gay and fashionable English gentleman, who had spent much of his life
in London, but had a considerable acquaintance with America. The new
governor appears to have taken no active part in the war that was going
on; although, at one period, he talked of marching against the enemy
at the head of his company of cadets. But, on the whole, he probably
concluded that it was more befitting a governor to remain quietly in our
chair, reading the newspapers and official documents."

"Did the people like Pownall?" asked Charley.

"They found no fault with him," replied Grandfather. "It was no time to
quarrel with the governor when the utmost harmony was required in order
to defend the country against the French. But Pownall did not remain
long in Massachusetts. In 1759 he was sent to be governor of South
Carolina. In thus exchanging one government for another, I suppose he
felt no regret, except at the necessity of leaving Grandfather's chair
behind him."

"He might have taken it to South Carolina," observed Clara.

"It appears to me," said Laurence, giving the rein to his fancy, "that
the fate of this ancient chair was, somehow or other, mysteriously
connected with the fortunes of old Massachusetts. If Governor Pownall
had put it aboard the vessel in which he sailed for South Carolina, she
would probably have lain wind-bound in Boston Harbor. It was
ordained that the chair should not be taken away. Don't you think so,

"It was kept here for Grandfather and me to sit in together," said
little Alice, "and for Grandfather to tell stories about."

"And Grandfather is very glad of such a companion and such a theme,"
said the old gentleman, with a smile. "Well, Laurence, if our oaken
chair, like the wooden palladium of Troy, was connected with the
country's fate, yet there appears to have been no supernatural obstacle
to its removal from the Province House. In 1760 Sir Francis Bernard, who
had been' governor of New Jersey, was appointed to the same office in
Massachusetts. He looked at the old chair, and thought it quite
too shabby to keep company with a new set of mahogany chairs and an
aristocratic sofa which had just arrived from London. He therefore
ordered it to be put away in the garret."

The children were loud in their exclamations against this irreverent
conduct of Sir Francis Bernard. But Grandfather defended him as well as
he could. He observed that it was then thirty years since the chair had
been beautified by Governor Belcher. Most of the gilding was worn off
by the frequent scourings which it had undergone beneath the hands of a
black slave. The damask cushion, once so splendid, was now squeezed
out of all shape, and absolutely in tatters, so many were the ponderous
gentlemen who had deposited their weight upon it during these thirty

Moreover, at a council held by the Earl of Loudon with the governors of
New England in 1757, his lordship, in a moment of passion, had
kicked over the chair with his military boot. By this unprovoked and
unjustifiable act, our venerable friend had suffered a fracture of one
of its rungs.

"But," said Grandfather, "our chair, after all, was not destined to
spend the remainder of its days in the inglorious obscurity of a garret.
Thomas Hutchinson, Lieutenant-governor of the province, was told of
Sir Francis Bernard's design. This gentleman was more familiar with
the history of New England than any other man alive. He knew all the
adventures and vicissitudes through which the old chair had passed,
and could have told as accurately as your own Grandfather who were the
personages that had occupied it. Often, while visiting at the Province
House, he had eyed the chair with admiration, and felt a longing desire
to become the possessor of it. He now waited upon Sir Francis Bernard,
and easily obtained leave to carry it home."

"And I hope," said Clara, "he had it varnished and gilded anew."

"No," answered Grandfather. "What Mr. Hutchinson desired was, to restore
the chair as much as possible to its original aspect, such as it had
appeared when it was first made out of the Earl of Lincoln's oak-tree.
For this purpose he ordered it to be well scoured with soap and sand
and polished with wax, and then provided it with a substantial leather
cush-ion. When all was completed to his mind he sat down in the old
chair, and began to write his History of Massachusetts."

"Oh, that was a bright thought in Mr. Hutchinson," exclaimed Laurence.
"And no doubt the dim figures of the former possessors of the chair
flitted around him as he wrote, and inspired him with a knowledge of all
that they had done and suffered while on earth."

"Why, my dear Laurence," replied Grandfather, smiling, "if Mr.
Hutchinson was favored with ally such extraordinary inspiration, he made
but a poor use of it in his history; for a duller piece of composition
never came from any man's pen. However, he was accurate, at least,
though far from possessing the brilliancy or philosophy of Mr.

"But if Hutchinson knew the history of the chair," rejoined Laurence,
"his heart must have been stirred by it."

"It must, indeed," said Grandfather. "It would be entertaining and
instructive, at the present day, to imagine what were Mr. Hutchinson's
thoughts as he looked back upon the long vista of events with which this
chair was so remarkably connected."

And Grandfather allowed his fancy to shape out an image of
Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson, sitting in an evening reverie by his
fireside, and meditating on the changes that had slowly passed around
the chair.

A devoted Monarchist, Hutchinson would heave no sigh for the subversion
of the original republican government, the purest that the world had
seen, with which the colony began its existence. While reverencing the
grim and stern old Puritans as the founders of his native land, he would
not wish to recall them from their graves, nor to awaken again that
king-resisting spirit which he imagined to be laid asleep with
them forever. Winthrop, Dudley, Bellingham, Endicott, Leverett, and
Bradstreet,--all these had had their day. Ages might come and go, but
never again would the people's suffrages place a republican governor in
their ancient chair of state.

Coming down to the epoch of the second charter, Hutchinson thought of
the ship-carpenter Phips springing from the lowest of the people and
attaining to the loftiest station in the land. But he smiled to perceive
that this governor's example would awaken no turbulent ambition in the
lower orders; for it was a king's gracious boon alone that made the
ship-carpenter a ruler. Hutchinson rejoiced to mark the gradual growth
of an aristocratic class, to whom the common people, as in duty bound,
were learning humbly to resign the honors, emoluments, and authority of
state. He saw--or else deceived himself--that, throughout this epoch,
the people's disposition to self-government had been growing weaker
through long disuse, and now existed only as a faint traditionary

The lieutenant-governor's reverie had now come down to the period at
which he himself was sitting in the historic chair. He endeavored to
throw his glance forward over the coming years. There, probably, he saw
visions of hereditary rank for himself and other aristocratic colonists.
He saw the fertile fields of New England proportioned out among a
few great landholders, and descending by entail from generation to
generation. He saw the people a race of tenantry, dependent on their
lords. He saw stars, garters, coronets, and castles.

"But," added Grandfather, turning to Laurence, "the
lieutenant-governor's castles were built nowhere but among the red
embers of the fire before which he was sitting. And, just as he had
constructed a baronial residence for himself and his posterity, the fire
rolled down upon the hearth and crumbled it to ashes!"

Grandfather now looked at his watch, which hung within a beautiful
little ebony temple, supported by four Ionic columns. He then laid his
hand on the golden locks of little Alice, whose head had sunk down upon
the arm of our illustrious chair.

"To bed, to bed, dear child!" said he. "Grandfather has put you to sleep
already by his stories about these FAMOUS OLD PEOPLE."




AT a consultation, held between Colonel Winslow and Captain Murray, [of
the New England forces, charged with the duty of exiling the Acadians,]
it was agreed that a proclamation should be issued at the different
settlements, requiring the attendance of the people at the respective
posts on the same day; which proclamation should be so ambiguous in
its nature that the object for which they were to assemble could not
be discerned, and so peremptory in its terms as to ensure implicit
obedience. This instrument, having been drafted and approved, was
distributed according to the original plan. That which was addressed
to the people inhabiting the country now comprised within the limits of
King's County, was as follows:--

"To the inhabitants of the District of Grand Pre, Minas, River Canard,
&c.; as well ancient, as young men and lads:

"Whereas, his Excellency the Governor has instructed us of his late
resolution, respecting the matter proposed to the inhabitants, and
has ordered us to communicate the same in person, his Excellency being
desirous that each of them should be fully satisfied of his Majesty's
intentions, which he has also ordered us to communicate to you, such as
they have been given to him. We, therefore, order and strictly enjoin,
by these presents, all of the inhabitants, as well of the above-named
district as of all the other Districts, both old men and young men, as
well as all the lads of ten years of age, to attend at the Church at
Grand Pre, on Friday, the fifth instant, at three of the clock in the
afternoon, that we may impart to them what we are ordered to communicate
to them; declaring that no excuse will be admitted on any pretence
whatever, on pain of forfeiting goods and chattels, in default of real
estate. Given at Grand Pre, 2d September, 1755, and 29th year of his
Majesty's Reign.

"John Winslow."

In obedience to this summons four hundred and eighteen able-bodied men
assembled. These being shut into the church (for that, too, had become
an arsenal), Colonel Winslow placed himself, with his officers, in the
centre, and addressed them thus:--


"I have received from his Excellency Governor Lawrence, the King's
Commission, which I have in my hand; and by his orders you are convened
together to manifest to you, his Majesty's final resolution to the
French inhabitants of this his Province of Nova-Scotia; who, for almost
half a century, have had more indulgence granted them than any of his
subjects in any part of his dominions; what use you have made of it you
yourselves best know. The part of duty I am now upon, though necessary,
is very disagreeable to my natural make and temper, as I know it must be
grievous to you, who are of the same species; but it is not my business
to animadvert but to obey such orders as I receive, and therefore,
without hesitation, shall deliver you his Majesty's orders and
instructions, namely--that your lands and tenements, cattle of all kinds
and live stock of all sorts, are forfeited to the Crown; with all other
your effects, saving your money and household goods, and you yourselves
to be removed from this his Province.

"Thus it is peremptorily his Majesty's orders that the whole French
inhabitants of these Districts be removed; and I am, through his
Majesty's goodness, directed to allow you liberty to carry off your
money and household goods, as many as you can without discommoding the
vessels you go in. I shall do everything in my power that all those
goods be secured to you, and that you are not molested in carrying them
off; also, that whole families shall go in the same vessel, and make
this remove, which I am sensible must give you a great deal of trouble,
as easy as his Majesty's service will admit; and hope that, in whatever
part of the world you may fall, you may be faithful subjects, a
peaceable and happy people. I must also inform you, that it is his
Majesty's pleasure that you remain in security under the inspection and
direction of the troops that I have the honor to command."

And he then declared them the King's prisoners. The whole number of
persons collected at Grand Pre finally amounted to four hundred and
eighty-three men, and three hundred and thirty-seven women, heads of
families; and their sons and daughters, to five hundred and twenty-seven
of the former, and five hundred and seventy-six of the latter; making in
the whole one thousand nine hundred and twenty-three souls. Their stock
consisted of one thousand two hundred and sixty-nine oxen, one thousand
five hundred and fifty-seven cows, five thousand and seven young cattle,
four hundred and ninety-three horses, eight thousand six hundred and
ninety sheep, and four thousand one hundred and ninety-seven hogs. As
some of these wretched inhabitants escaped to the woods, all possible
measures were adopted to force them back to captivity. The country was
laid waste to prevent their subsistence. In the District of Minas alone,
there were destroyed two hundred and fifty-five houses, two hundred and
seventy-six barns, one hundred and fifty-five outhouses, eleven mills,
and one church; and the friends of those who refused to surrender were
threatened as the victims of their obstinacy.

In short, so operative were the terrors that surrounded them, that of
twenty-four young men, who deserted from a transport, twenty-two were
glad to return of themselves, the others being shot by sentinels; and
one of their friends, who was supposed to have been accessory to their
escape, was carried on shore to behold the destruction of his house
and effects, which were burned in his presence, as a punishment for his
temerity and perfidious aid to his comrades. The prisoners expressed the
greatest concern at having incurred his Majesty's displeasure, and in a
petition addressed to Colonel Winslow intreated him to detain a part of
them as sureties for the appearance of the rest, who were desirous
of visiting their families, and consoling them in their distress and
misfortunes. To comply with this request of holding a few as hostages
for the surrender of the whole body, was deemed inconsistent with his
instructions; but, as there could be no objection to allow a small
number of them to return to their homes, permission was given to them to
choose ten for the District of Minas (Horton) and ten for the District
of Canard (Cornwallis) to whom leave of absence was given for one day,
and on whose return a similar number were indulged in the same manner.
They bore their confinement, and received their sentence with a
fortitude and resignation altogether unexpected; but when the hour
of embarkation arrived, in which they were to leave the land of their
nativity forever--to part with their friends and relatives, without the
hope of ever seeing them again, and to be dispersed among strangers,
whose language, customs and religion were opposed to their own, the
weakness of human nature prevailed, and they were overpowered with the
sense of their miseries. The preparations having been all completed, the
10th of September was fixed upon as the day of departure. The prisoners
were drawn up six deep, and the young men, one hundred and sixty-one
in number, were ordered to go first on board of the vessels. This they
instantly and peremptorily refused to do, declaring that they would
not leave their parents; but expressed a willingness to comply with the
order, provided they were permitted to embark with their families. This
request was immediately rejected, and the troops were ordered to fix
bayonets and advance towards the prisoners, a motion which had the
effect of producing obedience on the part of the young men, who
forthwith commenced their march. The road from the chapel to the shore,
just one mile in length, was crowded with women and children; who, on
their knees, greeted them as they passed with their tears and their
blessings, while the prisoners advanced with slow and reluctant steps,
weeping, praying, and singing hymns. This detachment was followed by the
seniors, who passed through the same scene of sorrow and distress. In
this manner was the whole male part of the population of the District
of Minas put on board the five transports, stationed in the river
Gaspereaux, each vessel being guarded by six non-commissioned officers,
and eighty privates. As soon as the other vessels arrived, their wives
and children followed, and the whole were transported from Nova Scotia.
The haste with which these measures were carried into execution did not
admit of those preparations for their comfort, which, if unmerited by
their disloyalty, were at least due in pity to the severity of their
punishment. The hurry, confusion, and excitement connected with the
embarkation had scarcely subsided, when the Provincials were appalled
by the work of their own hands The novelty and peculiarity of their
situation could not but force itself upon the attention of even the
unreflecting soldiery; stationed in the midst of a beautiful and fertile
country, they suddenly found themselves without a foe to subdue, and
without a population to protect. The volumes of smoke which the half
expiring embers emitted, while they marked the site of the peasant's
humble cottage, bore testimony to the extent of the work of destruction.
For several successive evenings the cattle assembled round the
smouldering ruins, as if in anxious expectation of the return of their
masters, while all night long the faithful watchdogs of the Neutrals
howled over the scene of desolation, and mourned alike the hand that had
fed, and the house that had sheltered them.

PART III. 1763-1803.


ON THE evening of New-Year's Day Grandfather was walking to and fro
across the carpet, listening to the rain which beat hard against the
curtained windows. The riotous blast shook the casement as if a strong
man were striving to force his entrance into the comfortable room. With
every puff of the wind the fire leaped upward from the hearth, laughing
and rejoicing at the shrieks of the wintry storm.

Meanwhile Grandfather's chair stood in its customary place by the
fireside. The bright blaze gleamed upon the fantastic figures of its
oaken back, and shone through the open work, so that a complete pattern
was thrown upon the opposite side of the room. Sometimes, for a moment
or two, the shadow remained immovable, as if it were painted on the
wall. Then all at once it began to quiver, and leap, and dance with a
frisky motion. Anon, seeming to remember that these antics were unworthy
of such a dignified and venerable chair, it suddenly stood still. But
soon it began to dance anew.

"Only see how Grandfather's chair is dancing!" cried little Alice.

And she ran to the wall and tried to catch hold of the flickering
shadow; for, to children of five years old, a shadow seems almost as
real as a substance.

"I wish," said Clara, "Grandfather would sit down in the chair and
finish its history."

If the children had been looking at Grandfather, they would have noticed
that he paused in his walk across the room when Clara made this remark.
The kind old gentleman was ready and willing to resume his stories of
departed times. But he had resolved to wait till his auditors should
request him to proceed, in order that they might find the instructive
history of the chair a pleasure, and not a task.

"Grandfather," said Charley, "I am tired to death of this dismal rain
and of hearing the wind roar in the chimney. I have had no good time
all day. It would be better to hear stories about the chair than to sit
doing nothing and thinking of nothing."

To say the truth, our friend Charley was very much out of humor with the
storm, because it had kept him all day within doors, and hindered him
from making a trial of a splendid sled, which Grandfather had given him
for a New-Year's gift. As all sleds, nowadays, must have a name, the
one in question had been honored with the title of Grandfather's chair,
which was painted in golden letters on each of the sides. Charley
greatly admired the construction of the new vehicle, and felt certain
that it would outstrip any other sled that ever dashed adown the long
slopes of the Common.

As for Laurence, he happened to be thinking, just at this moment, about
the history of the chair. Kind old Grandfather had made him a present of
a volume of engraved portraits, representing the features of eminent and
famous people o f all countries. Among them Laurence found several who
had formerly occupied our chair or been connected with its adventures.
While Grandfather walked to and fro across the room, the imaginative
boy was gazing at the historic chair. He endeavored to summon up the
por-traits which he had seen in his volume, and to place them, like
living figures, in the empty seat.

"The old chair has begun another year of its existence, to-day," said
Laurence. "We must make haste, or it will have a new history to be told
before we finish the old one."

"Yes, my children," replied Grandfather, with a smile and a sigh,
"another year has been added to those of the two centuries and upward
which have passed since the Lady Arbella brought this chair over from
England. It is three times as old as your Grandfather; but a year makes
no impression on its oaken frame, while it bends the old man nearer and
nearer to the earth; so let me go on with my stories while I may."

Accordingly Grandfather came to the fireside and seated himself in the
venerable chair. The lion's head looked down with a grimly good-natured
aspect as the children clustered around the old gentleman's knees. It
almost seemed as if a real lion were peeping over the back of the
chair, and smiling at the group of auditors with a sort of lion-like
complaisance. Little Alice, whose fancy often inspired her with singular
ideas, exclaimed that the lion's head was nodding at her, and that it
looked as if it were going to open its wide jaws and tell a story.

But as the lion's head appeared to be in no haste to speak, and as
there was no record or tradition of its having spoken during the whole
existence of the chair, Grandfather did not consider it worth while to


"CHARLEY, my boy," said Grandfather, "do you remember who was the last
occupant of the chair?"

"It was Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson," answered Charley. "Sir Francis
Bernard, the new governor, had given him the chair, instead of putting
it away in the garret of the Province House. And when we took leave
of Hutchinson he was sitting by his fireside, and thinking of the past
adventures of the chair and of what was to come."

"Very well," said Grandfather; "and you recollect that this was in 1763,
or thereabouts, at the close of the old French War. Now, that you may
fully comprehend the remaining adventures of the chair, I must make some
brief remarks on the situation and character of the New England colonies
at this period."

So Grandfather spoke of the earnest loyalty of our fathers during the
old French War, and after the conquest of Canada had brought that war to
a triumphant close.

The people loved and reverenced the King of England even more than if
the ocean had not rolled its waves between him and them; for, at the
distance of three thousand miles, they could not discover his bad
qualities and imperfections. Their love was increased by the dangers
which they had encountered in order to heighten his glory and extend his
dominion. Throughout the war the American colonists had fought side by
side with the soldiers of Old England; and nearly thirty thousand young
men had laid down their lives for the honor of King George. And the
survivors loved him the better because they had done and suffered so
much for his sake.

But there were some circumstances that caused America to feel more
independent of England than at an earlier period. Canada and Acadia had
now become British provinces; and our fathers were no longer afraid of
the bands of French and Indians who used to assault them in old times.
For a century and a half this had been the great terror of New England.
Now the old French soldier was driven from the North forever. And even
had it been otherwise, the English colonies were growing so populous
and powerful that they might have felt fully able to protect themselves
without any help from England.

There were thoughtful and sagacious men, who began to doubt whether a
great country like America would always be content to remain under the
government of an island three thousand miles away. This was the more
doubtful, because the English Parliament had long ago made laws which
were intended to be very beneficial to England at the expense of
America. By these laws the colonists were forbidden to manufacture
articles for their own use, or to carry on trade with any nation but the

"Now," continued Grandfather, "if King George III. and his counsellors
had considered these things wisely, they would have taken another course
than they did. But when they saw how rich and populous the colonies had
grown, their first thought was how they might make more profit out of
them than heretofore. England was enormously in debt at the close of the
old French War; and it was pretended that this debt had been contracted
for the defence of the American colonies, and that, therefore, a part of
it ought to be paid by them."

"Why, this was nonsense!" exclaimed Charley. "Did not our fathers spend
their lives, and their money too, to get Canada for King George?"

"True, they did," said Grandfather; "and they told the English rulers
so. But the king and his ministers would not listen to good advice. In
1765 the British Parliament passed a Stamp Act."

"What was that?" inquired Charley.

"The Stamp Act," replied Grandfather, "was a law by which all deeds,
bonds, and other papers of the same kind were ordered to be marked with
the king's stamp; and without this mark they were declared illegal and
void. Now, in order to get a blank sheet of paper with the king's stamp
upon it, people were obliged to pay threepence more than the actual
value of the paper. And this extra sum of threepence was a tax, and was
to be paid into the king's treasury."

"I am sure threepence was not worth quarrelling about!" remarked Clara.

"It was not for threepence, nor for any amount of money, that America
quarrelled with England," replied Grandfather; "it was for a great
principle. The colonists were determined not to be taxed except by their
own representatives. They said that neither the king and Parliament, nor
any other power on earth, had a right to take their money out of their
pockets unless they freely gave it. And, rather than pay threepence when
it was unjustly demanded, they resolved to sacrifice all the wealth of
the country, and their lives along with it. They therefore made a most
stubborn resistance to the Stamp Act."

"That was noble!" exclaimed Laurence. "I understand how it was. If they
had quietly paid the tax of threepence, they would have ceased to be
freemen, and would have become tributaries of England. And so they
contended about a great question of right and wrong, and put everything
at stake for it."

"You are right, Laurence," said Grandfather, "and it was really amazing
and terrible to see what a change came over the aspect of the people the
moment the English Parliament had passed this oppressive act. The former
history of our chair, my children, has given you some idea of what a
harsh, unyielding, stern set of men the old Puritans were. For a good
many years back, however, it had seemed as if these characteristics were
disappearing. But no sooner did England offer wrong to the colonies than
the descendants of the early settlers proved that they had the same kind
of temper as their forefathers. The moment before, New England appeared
like a humble and loyal subject of the crown; the next instant, she
showed the grim, dark features of an old king-resisting Puritan."

Grandfather spoke briefly of the public measures that were taken in
opposition to the Stamp Act. As this law affected all the American
colonies alike, it naturally led them to think of consulting together
is order to procure its repeal. For this purpose the Legislature of
Massachusetts proposed that delegates from every colony should meet in
Congress. Accordingly nine colonies, both Northern and Southern, sent
delegates to the city of New York.

"And did they consult about going to war with England?" asked Charley.

"No, Charley," answered Grandfather; "a great deal of talking was yet
to be done before England and America could come to blows. The Congress
stated the rights and grievances of the colonists. They sent a humble
petition to the king, and a memorial to the Parliament, beseeching that
the Stamp Act might be repealed. This was all that the delegates had it
in their power to do."

"They might as well have stayed at home, then," said Charley.

"By no means," replied Grandfather. "It was a most important and
memorable event, this first coming together of the American people by
their representatives from the North and South. If England had been
wise, she would have trembled at the first word that was spoken in such
an assembly."

These remonstrances and petitions, as Grandfather observed, were the
work of grave, thoughtful, and prudent men. Meantime the young and
hot-headed people went to work in their own way. It is probable that the
petitions of Congress would have had little or no effect on the British
statesmen if the violent deeds of the American people had not shown how
much excited the people were. LIBERTY TREE was soon heard of in England.

"What was Liberty Tree?" inquired Clara.

"It was an old elm-tree," answered Grandfather, "which stood near
the corner of Essex Street, opposite the Boylston Market. Under the
spreading branches of this great tree the people used to assemble
whenever they wished to express their feelings and opinions. Thus, after
a while, it seemed as if the liberty of the country was connected with
Liberty Tree."

"It was glorious fruit for a tree to bear," remarked Laurence.

"It bore strange fruit, sometimes," said Grandfather. "One morning in
August, 1765, two figures were found hanging on the sturdy branches
of Liberty Tree. They were dressed in square-skirted coats and
small-clothes; and, as their wigs hung down over their faces, they
looked like real men. One was intended to represent the Earl of Bute,
who was supposed to have advised the king to tax America. The other was
meant for the effigy of Andrew Oliver, a gentleman belonging to one of
the most respectable families in Massachusetts."

"What harm had he done?" inquired Charley.

"The king had appointed him to be distributor of the stamps," answered
Grandfather. "Mr. Oliver would have made a great deal of money by
this business. But the people frightened him so much by hanging him in
effigy, and afterwards by breaking into his house, that he promised
to have nothing to do with the stamps. And all the king's friends
throughout America were compelled to make the same promise."


"LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON," continued Grandfather, "now began to
be unquiet in our old chair. He had formerly been much respected and
beloved by the people, and had often proved himself a friend to their
interests. But the time was come when he could not be a friend to
the people without ceasing to be a friend to the king. It was pretty
generally understood that Hutchinson would act according to the king's
wishes, right or wrong, like most of the other gentlemen who held
offices under the crown. Besides, as he was brother-in-law of Andrew
Oliver, the people now felt a particular dislike to him."

"I should think," said Laurence, "as Mr. Hutchinson had written the
history of our Puritan forefathers, he would have known what the temper
of the people was, and so have taken care not to wrong them."

"He trusted in the might of the King of England," replied Grandfather,
"and thought himself safe under the shelter of the throne. If no dispute
had arisen between the king and the people, Hutchinson would have had
the character of a wise, good, and patriotic magistrate. But, from the
time that he took part against the rights of his country, the people's
love and respect were turned to scorn and hatred, and he never had
another hour of peace."

In order to show what a fierce and dangerous spirit was now aroused
among the inhabitants, Grandfather related a passage from history which
we shall call The Hutchinson Mob.

On the evening of the 26th of August, 1765, a bonfire was kindled in
King Street. It flamed high upward, and threw a ruddy light over the
front of the Town House, on which was displayed a carved representation
of the royal arms. The gilded vane of the cupola glittered in the blaze.
The kindling of this bonfire was the well-known signal for the populace
of Boston to assemble in the street.

Before the tar-barrels, of which the bonfire was made, were half burned
out, a great crowd had come together. They were chiefly laborers and
seafaring men, together with many young apprentices, and all those idle
people about town who are ready for any kind of mischief. Doubtless some
school-boys were among them.

While these rough figures stood round the blazing bonfire, you might
hear them speaking bitter words against the high officers of the
province. Governor Bernard, Hutchinson, Oliver, Storey, Hallowell, and
other men whom King George delighted to honor, were reviled as traitors
to the country. Now and then, perhaps, an officer of the crown passed
along the street, wearing the gold-laced hat, white wig, and embroidered
waistcoat which were the fashion of the day. But when the people beheld
him they set up a wild and angry howl; and their faces had an evil
aspect, which was made more terrible by the flickering blaze of the

"I should like to throw the traitor right into that blaze!" perhaps one
fierce rioter would say.

"Yes; and all his brethren too!" another might reply; "and the governor
and old Tommy Hutchinson into the hottest of it!"

"And the Earl of Bute along with them!" muttered a third; "and burn
the whole pack of them under King George's nose! No matter if it singed

Some such expressions as these, either shouted aloud or muttered under
the breath, were doubtless heard in King Street. The mob, meanwhile,
were growing fiercer and fiercer, and seemed ready even to set the town
on fire for the sake of burning the king's friends out of house and
home. And yet, angry as they were, they sometimes broke into a loud roar
of laughter, as if mischief and destruction were their sport.

But we must now leave the rioters for a time, and take a peep into the
lieutenant-governor's splendid mansion. It was a large brick house,
decorated with Ionic pilasters, and stood in Garden Court Street, near
the North Square.

While the angry mob in King Street were shouting his name,
Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson sat quietly in Grandfather's chair,
unsuspicious of the evil that was about to fall upon his head. His
beloved family were in the room with him. He had thrown off his
embroidered coat and powdered wig, and had on a loose-flowing gown and
purple-velvet cap. He had likewise laid aside the cares of state and all
the thoughts that had wearied and perplexed him throughout the day.

Perhaps, in the enjoyment of his home, he had forgotten all about the
Stamp Act, and scarcely remembered that there was a king, across the
ocean, who had resolved to make tributaries of the New-Englanders.
Possibly, too, he had forgotten his own ambition, and would not have
exchanged his situation, at that moment, to be governor, or even a lord.

The wax candles were now lighted, and showed a handsome room, well
provided with rich furniture. On the walls hung the pictures of
Hutchinson's ancestors, who had been eminent men in their day, and were
honorably remembered in the history of the country. Every object served
to mark the residence of a rich, aristocratic gentleman, who held
himself high above the common people, and could have nothing to fear
from them. In a corner of the room, thrown carelessly upon a chair, were
the scarlet robes of the chief justice. This high office, as well as
those of lieutenant-governor, councillor, and judge of probate, was
filled by Hutchinson.

Who or what could disturb the domestic quiet of such a great and
powerful personage as now sat in Grandfather's chair?

The lieutenant-governor's favorite daughter sat by his side. She leaned
on the arm of our great chair, and looked up affectionately into her
father's face, rejoicing to perceive that a quiet smile was on his lips.
But suddenly a shade came across her countenance. She seemed to listen
attentively, as if to catch a distant sound.

"What is the matter, my child?" inquired Hutchinson.

"Father, do not you hear a tumult in the streets?" said she.

The lieutenant-governor listened. But his ears were duller than those
of his daughter; he could hear nothing more terrible than the sound of a
summer breeze, sighing among the tops of the elm-trees.

"No, foolish child!" he replied, playfully patting her cheek. "There is
no tumult. Our Boston mobs are satisfied with what mischief they have
already done. The king's friends need not tremble."

So Hutchinson resumed his pleasant and peaceful meditations, and again
forgot that there were any troubles in the world. But his family were
alarmed, and could not help straining their ears to catch the slightest
sound. More and more distinctly they heard shouts, and then the
trampling of many feet. While they were listening, one of the neighbors
rushed breathless into the room.

"A mob! a terrible mob'!" cried he. "They have broken into Mr. Storey's
house, and into Mr. Hallo-well's, and have made themselves drunk with
the liquors in his cellar; and now they are coming hither, as wild as so
many tigers. Flee, lieutenant-governor, for your life! for your life!"

"Father, dear father, make haste!" shrieked his children.

But Hutchinson would not hearken to them. He was an old lawyer; and he
could not realize that the people would do anything so utterly lawless
as to assault him in his peaceful home. He was one of King George's
chief officers and it would be an insult and outrage upon the king
himself if the lieutenant-governor should suffer any wrong.

"Have no fears on my account," said he, "I am perfectly safe. The king's
name shall be my protection."

Yet he bade his family retire into one of the neighboring houses. His
daughter would have remained; but he forced her away.

The huzzas and riotous uproar of the mob were now heard, close at hand.
The sound was terrible, and struck Hutchinson with the same sort of
dread as if an enraged wild beast had broken loose and were roaring
for its prey. He crept softly to the window. There he beheld an immense
concourse of people, filling all the street and rolling onward to his
house. It was like a tempestuous flood, that had swelled beyond its
bounds and would sweep everything before it. Hutchinson trembled; he
felt, at that moment, that the wrath of the people was a thousand-fold
more terrible than the wrath of a king.

That was a moment when a loyalist and an aristocrat like Hutchinson
might have learned how powerless are kings, nobles, and great men, when
the low and humble range themselves against them. King George could do
nothing for his servant now. Had King George been there he could have
done nothing for himself. If Hutchinson had understood this lesson, and
remembered it, he need not, in after years, have been an exile from his
native country, nor finally have laid his bones in a distant land.

There was now a rush against the doors of the house. The people sent up
a hoarse cry. At this instant the lieutenant-governor's daughter, whom
he had supposed to be in a place of safety, ran into the room and threw
her arms around him. She had returned by a private entrance.

"Father, are you mad?" cried she. "Will the king's name protect you now?
Come with me, or they will have your life."

"True," muttered Hutchinson to himself; "what care these roarers for the
name of king? I must flee, or they will trample me down on the floor of
my own dwelling."

Hurrying away, he and his daughter made their escape by the private
passage at the moment when the rioters broke into the house. The
foremost of them rushed up the staircase, and entered the room which
Hutchinson had just quitted. There they beheld our good old chair facing
them with quiet dignity, while the lion's head seemed to move its jaws
in the unsteady light of their torches. Perhaps the stately aspect of
our venerable friend, which had stood firm through a century and a half
of trouble, arrested them for an instant. But they were thrust forward
by those behind, and the chair lay overthrown.

Then began the work of destruction. The carved and polished mahogany
tables were shattered with heavy clubs and hewn to splinters with
axes. The marble hearths and mantel-pieces were broken. The volumes of
Hutchinson's library, so precious to a studious man, were torn out
of their covers, and the leaves sent flying out of the windows.
Manuscripts, containing secrets of our country's history, which are now
lost forever, were scattered to the winds.

The old ancestral portraits, whose fixed countenances looked down on
the wild scene, were rent from the walls. The mob triumphed in
their downfall and destruction, as if these pictures of Hutchinson's
forefathers had committed the same offences as their descendant. A tall
looking-glass, which had hitherto presented a reflection of the enraged
and drunken multitude, was now smashed into a thousand fragments. We
gladly dismiss the scene from the mirror of our fancy.

Before morning dawned the walls of the house were all that remained. The
interior was a dismal scene of ruin. A shower pattered in at the
broken windows; and when Hutchinson and his family returned, they stood
shivering in the same room where the last evening had seen them so
peaceful and happy.

"Grandfather," said Laurence, indignantly, "if the people acted in this
manner, they were not worthy of even so much liberty as the King of
England was willing to allow them."

"It was a most unjustifiable act, like many other popular movements at
that time," replied Grandfather. "But we must not decide against the
justice of the people's cause merely because an excited mob was guilty
of outrageous violence. Besides, all these things were done in the first
fury of resentment. Afterwards the people grew more calm, and were more
influenced by the counsel of those wise and good men who conducted them
safely and gloriously through the Revolution."

Little Alice, with tears in her blue eyes, said that she hoped the
neighbors had not let Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson and his family be
homeless in the street, but had taken them into their houses and been
kind to them. Cousin Clara, recollecting the perilous situation of our
beloved chair, inquired what had become of it.

"Nothing was heard of our chair for some time afterwards," answered
Grandfather. "One day in September, the same Andrew Oliver, of whom I
before told you, was summoned to appear at high noon under Liberty Tree.
This was the strangest summons that had ever been heard of; for it was
issued in the name of the whole people, who thus took upon themselves
the authority of a sovereign power. Mr. Oliver dared not disobey.
Accordingly, at the appointed hour he went, much against his will, to
Liberty Tree."

Here Charley interposed a remark that poor Mr. Oliver found but little
liberty under Liberty Tree. Grandfather assented.

"It was a stormy day," continued he. "The equinoctial gale blew
violently, and scattered the yellow leaves of Liberty Tree all along the
street. Mr. Oliver's wig was dripping with water-drops; and he probably
looked haggard, disconsolate, and humbled to the earth. Beneath the
tree, in Grandfather's chair,--our own venerable chair,--sat Mr. Richard
Dana, a justice of the peace. He administered an oath to Mr. Oliver that
he would never have anything to do with distributing the stamps. A vast
concourse of people heard the oath, and shouted when it was taken."

"There is something grand in this," said Laurence. "I like it, because
the people seem to have acted with thoughtfulness and dignity; and this
proud gentleman, one of his Majesty's high officers, was made to feel
that King George could not protect him in doing wrong."

"But it was a sad day for poor Mr. Oliver," observed Grandfather. "From
his youth upward it had probably been the great principle of his life to
be faithful and obedient to the king. And now, in his old age, it must
have puzzled and distracted him to find the sovereign people setting up
a claim to his faith and obedience."

Grandfather closed the evening's conversation by saying that the
discontent of America was so great, that, in 1766, the British
Parliament was compelled to repeal the Stamp Act. The people made great
rejoicings, but took care to keep Liberty Tree well pruned and free
from caterpillars and canker-worms. They foresaw that there might yet be
occasion for them to assemble under its far-projecting shadow.


THE NEXT evening, Clara, who remembered that our chair had been left
standing in the rain under Liberty Tree, earnestly besought Grandfather
to tell when and where it had next found shelter. Perhaps she was
afraid that the venerable chair, by being exposed to the inclemency of a
September gale, might get the rheumatism in its aged joints.

"The chair," said Grandfather, "after the ceremony of Mr. Oliver's oath,
appears to have been quite forgotten by the multitude. Indeed, being
much bruised and rather rickety, owing to the violent treatment it had
suffered from the Hutchinson mob, most people would have thought that
its days of usefulness were over. Nevertheless, it was conveyed away
under cover of the night and committed to the care of a skilful joiner.
He doctored our old friend so successfully, that, in the course of a few
days, it made its appearance in the public room of the British Coffee
Houses in King Street."

"But why did not Mr. Hutchinson get possession of it again?" inquired

"I know not," answered Grandfather, "unless he considered it a dishonor
and disgrace to the chair to have stood under Liberty Tree. At all
events, he suffered it to remain at the British Coffee House, which
was the principal hotel in Boston. It could not possibly have found a
situation where it would be more in the midst of business and bustle, or
would witness more important events, or be occupied by a greater variety
of persons."

Grandfather went on to tell the proceedings of the despotic king and
ministry of England after the repeal of the Stamp Act. They could not
bear to think that their right to tax America should be disputed by the
people. In the year 1767, therefore, they caused Parliament to pass
an act for laying a duty on tea and some other articles that were in
general use. Nobody could now buy a pound of tea without paying a tax to
King George. This scheme was pretty craftily contrived; for the women
of America were very fond of tea, and did not like to give up the use of

But the people were as much opposed to this new act of Parliament as
they had been to the Stamp Act. England, however, was determined that
they should submit. In order to compel their obedience, two regiments,
consisting of more than seven hundred British soldiers, were sent to
Boston. They arrived in September, 1768, and were landed on Long Wharf.
Thence they marched to the Common with loaded muskets, fixed bayonets,
and great pomp and parade. So now, at last, the free town of Boston was
guarded and overawed by redcoats as it had been in the days of old Sir
Edmund Andros.

In the month of November more regiments arrived. There were now four
thousand troops in Boston. The Common was whitened with their tents.
Some of the soldiers were lodged in Faneuil Hall, which the inhabitants
looked upon as a consecrated place, because it had been the scene of a
great many meetings in favor of liberty. One regiment was placed in the
Town House, which we now call the Old State House. The lower floor of
this edifice had hitherto been used by the merchants as an exchange. In
the upper stories were the chambers of the judges, the representatives,
and the governor's council. The venerable councillors could not assemble
to consult about the welfare of the province without being challenged by
sentinels and passing among the bayonets of the British soldiers.

Sentinels likewise were posted at the lodgings of the officers in many
parts of the town. When the inhabitants approached they were greeted by
the sharp question, "Who goes there?" while the rattle of the soldier's
musket was heard as he presented it against their breasts. There was
no quiet even on the sabbath day. The quiet descendants of the Puritans
were shocked by the uproar of military music; the drum, fife, and bugle
drowning the holy organ peal and the voices of the singers. It would
appear as if the British took every method to insult the feelings of the

"Grandfather," cried Charley, impatiently, "the people did not go to
fighting half soon enough! These British redcoats ought to have been
driven back to their vessels the very moment they landed on Long Wharf."

"Many a hot-headed young man said the same as you do, Charley," answered
Grandfather. "But the elder and wiser people saw that the time was not
yet come. Meanwhile, let us take another peep at our old chair."

"Ah, it drooped its head, I know," said Charley, "when it saw how the
province was disgraced. Its old Puritan friends never would have borne
such doings."

"The chair," proceeded Grandfather, "was now continually occupied
by some of the high tories, as the king's friends were called, who
frequented the British Coffee House. Officers of the Custom House, too,
which stood on the opposite side of King Street, often sat in the chair
wagging their tongues against John Hancock."

"Why against him?" asked Charley.

"Because he was a great merchant and contended against paying duties to
the king," said Grandfather.

"Well, frequently, no doubt, the officers of the British regiments, when
not on duty, used to fling themselves into the arms of our venerable
chair. Fancy one of them, a red-nosed captain in his scarlet uniform,
playing with the hilt of his sword, and making a circle of his brother
officers merry with ridiculous jokes at the expense of the poor Yankees.
And perhaps he would call for a bottle of wine, or a steaming bowl of
punch, and drink confusion to all rebels."

"Our grave old chair must have been scandalized at such scenes,"
observed Laurence; "the chair that had been the Lady Arbella's, and
which the holy apostle Eliot had consecrated."

"It certainly was little less than sacrilege," replied Grandfather; "but
the time was coming when even the churches, where hallowed pastors had
long preached the word of God, were to be torn down or desecrated by
the British troops. Some years passed, however, before such things were

Grandfather now told his auditors that, in 1769, Sir Francis Bernard
went to England after having been governor of Massachusetts ten years.
He was a gentleman of many good qualities, an excellent scholar, and a
friend to learning. But he was naturally of an arbitrary disposition;
and he had been bred at the University of Oxford, where young men were
taught that the divine right of kings was the only thing to be regarded
in matters of government. Such ideas were ill adapted to please the
people of Massachusetts. They rejoiced to get rid of Sir Francis
Bernard, but liked his successor, Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson, no
better than himself.

About this period the people were much incensed at an act committed by a
person who held an office in the Custom House. Some lads, or young men,
were snowballing his windows. He fired a musket at them, and killed a
poor German boy, only eleven years old. This event made a great noise
in town and country, and much increased the resentment that was already
felt against the servants of the crown.

"Now, children," said Grandfather, "I wish to make you comprehend the
position of the British troops in King Street. This is the same which we
now call State Street. On the south side of the Town House, or Old State
House, was what military men call a court of guard, defended by two
brass cannons, which pointed directly at one of the doors of the above
edifice. A large party of soldiers were always stationed in the court
of guard. The Custom House stood at a little distance down King Street,
nearly where the Suffolk Bank now stands, and a sentinel was continually
pacing before its front."

"I shall remember this to-morrow," said Charley; "and I will go to State
Street, so as to see exactly where the British troops were stationed."

"And before long," observed Grandfather, "I shall have to relate an
event which made King Street sadly famous on both sides of the
Atlantic. The history of our chair will soon bring us to this melancholy

Here Grandfather described the state of things which arose from the ill
will that existed between the inhabitants and the redcoats. The old
and sober part of the townspeople were very angry at the government
for sending soldiers to overawe them. But those gray-headed men were
cautious, and kept their thoughts and feelings in their own breasts,
without putting themselves in the way of the British bayonets.

The younger people, however, could hardly be kept within such prudent
limits. They reddened with wrath at the very sight of a soldier, and
would have been willing to come to blows with them at any moment. For it
was their opinion that every tap of a British drum, within the peninsula
of Boston was an insult to the brave old town.

"It was sometimes the case," continued Grandfather, "that affrays
happened between such wild young men as these and small parties of the
soldiers. No weapons had hitherto been used except fists or cudgels. But
when men have loaded muskets in their hands, it is easy to foretell that
they will soon be turned against the bosoms of those who provoke their

"Grandfather," said little Alice, looking fearfully into his face, "your
voice sounds as though you were going to tell us something awful!"


LITTLE ALICE, by her last remark, proved herself a good judge of what
was expressed by the tones of Grandfather's voice. He had given the
above description of the enmity between the townspeople and the soldiers
in order to Prepare the minds of his auditors for a very terrible event.
It was one that did more to heighten the quarrel between England and
America than anything that had yet occurred.

Without further preface, Grandfather began the story of the Boston

It was now the 8d of March, 1770. The sunset music of the British
regiments was heard as usual throughout the town. The shrill fife and
rattling drum awoke the echoes in King Street, while the last ray of
sunshine was lingering on the cupola of the Town House. And now all the
sentinels were posted. One of them marched up and down before the Custom
House, treading a short path through the snow, and longing for the
time when he would be dismissed to the warm fireside of the guard room.
Meanwhile Captain Preston was, perhaps, sitting in our great chair
before the hearth of the British Coffee House. In the course of the
evening there were two or three slight commotions, which seemed to
indicate that trouble was at hand. Small parties of young men stood at
the corners of the streets or walked along the narrow pavements. Squads
of soldiers who were dismissed from duty passed by them, shoulder to
shoulder, with the regular step which they had learned at the drill.
Whenever these encounters took place, it appeared to be the object of
the young men to treat the soldiers with as much incivility as possible.

"Turn out, you lobsterbacks!" one would say. "Crowd them off the
sidewalks!" another would cry. "A redcoat has no right in Boston

"O, you rebel rascals!" perhaps the soldiers would reply, glaring
fiercely at the young men. "Some day or other we'll make our way through
Boston streets at the point of the bayonet!"

Once or twice such disputes as these brought on a scuffle; which passed
off, however, without attracting much notice. About eight o'clock, for
some unknown cause, an alarm-bell rang loudly and hurriedly.

At the sound many people ran out of their houses, supposing it to be an
alarm of fire. But there were no flames to be seen, nor was there any
smell of smoke in the clear, frosty air; so that most of the townsmen
went back to their own firesides and sat talking with their wives and
children about the calamities of the times. Others who were younger and
less prudent remained in the streets; for there seems to have been a
presentiment that some strange event was on the eve of taking place.

Later in the evening, not far from nine o'clock, several young men
passed by the Town House and walked down King Street. The sentinel
was still on his post in front of the Custom House, pacing to and fro;
while, as he turned, a gleam of light from some neighboring window
glittered on the barrel of his musket. At no great distance were the
barracks and the guard-house, where his comrades were probably telling
stories of battle and bloodshed.

Down towards the Custom House, as I told you, came a party of wild young
men. When they drew near the sentinel he halted on his post, and took
his musket from his shoulder, ready to present the bayonet at their

"Who goes there?" he cried, in the gruff, peremptory tones of a
soldier's challenge. The young men, being Boston boys, felt as if they
had a right to walk their own streets without being accountable to a
British redcoat, even though he challenged them in King George's name.
They made some rude answer to the sentinel. There was a dispute, or
perhaps a scuffle. Other soldiers heard the noise, and ran hastily from
the barracks to assist their comrades. At the same time many of the
townspeople rushed into King Street by various avenues, and gathered
in a crowd round about the Custom House. It seemed wonderful how such a
multitude had started up all of a sudden.

The wrongs and insults which the people had been suffering for many
months now kindled them into a rage. They threw snowballs and lumps of
ice at the soldiers. As the tumult grew louder it reached the ears of
Captain Preston, the officer of the day. He immediately ordered eight
soldiers of the main guard to take their muskets and follow him. They
marched across the street, forcing their way roughly through the crowd,
and pricking the townspeople with their bayonets.

A gentleman (it was Henry Knox, afterwards general of the American
artillery) caught Captain Preston's arm.

"For Heaven's sake, sir," exclaimed he, "take heed what you do, or there
will be bloodshed."

"Stand aside!" answered Captain Preston, haughtily. "Do not interfere,
sir. Leave me to manage the affair."

Arriving at the sentinel's post, Captain Preston drew up his men in a
semicircle, with their faces to the crowd and their rear to the Custom
House. When the people saw the officer and beheld the threatening
attitude with which the soldiers fronted them, their rage became almost

"Fire, you lobsterbacks!" bellowed some.

"You dare not fire, you cowardly redcoats!" cried others.

"Rush upon them!" shouted many voices. "Drive the rascals to their
barracks! Down with them! Down with them! Let them fire if they dare!"

Amid the uproar, the soldiers stood glaring at the people with the
fierceness of men whose trade was to shed blood.

Oh, what a crisis had now arrived! Up to this very moment, the angry
feelings between England and America might have been pacified. England
had but to stretch out the hand of reconciliation, and acknowledge that
she had hitherto mistaken her rights, but would do so no more. Then
the ancient bonds of brotherhood would again have been knit together as
firmly as in old times. The habit of loyalty, which had grown as strong
as instinct, was not utterly overcome. The perils shared, the victories
won, in the old French War, when the soldiers of the colonies fought
side by side with their comrades from beyond the sea, were unforgotten
yet. England was still that beloved country which the colonists called
their home. King George, though he had frowned upon America, was still
reverenced as a father.

But should the king's soldiers shed one drop of American blood, then it
was a quarrel to the death. Never, never would America rest satisfied
until she had torn down the royal authority and trampled it in the dust.

"Fire, if you dare, villains!" hoarsely shouted the people, while the
muzzles of the muskets were turned upon them. "You dare not fire!"

They appeared ready to rush upon the levelled bayonets. Captain Preston
waved his sword, and uttered a command which could not be distinctly
heard amid the uproar of shouts that issued from a hundred throats. But
his soldiers deemed that he had spoken the fatal mandate, "Fire!" The
flash of their muskets lighted up the streets, and the report rang
loudly between the edifices. It was said, too, that the figure of a
man, with a cloth hanging down over his face, was seen to step into the
balcony of the Custom House and discharge a musket at the crowd.

A gush of smoke had overspread the scene. It rose heavily, as if it were
loath to reveal the dreadful spectacle beneath it. Eleven of the sons
of New England lay stretched upon the street. Some, sorely wounded, were
struggling to rise again. Others stirred not nor groaned; for they were
past all pain. Blood was streaming upon the snow; and that purple stain
in the midst of King Street, though it melted away in the next day's
sun, was never forgotten nor forgiven by the people.

Grandfather was interrupted by the violent sobs of little Alice. In his
earnestness he had neglected to soften clown the narrative so that it
might not terrify the heart of this unworldly infant. Since Grandfather
began the history of our chair, little Alice had listened to many tales
of war. But probably the idea had never really impressed itself upon
her mind that men have shed the blood of their fellow-creatures. And
now that this idea was forcibly presented to her, it affected the sweet
child with bewilderment and horror.

"I ought to have remembered our dear little Alice," said Grandfather
reproachfully to himself. "Oh, what a pity! Her heavenly nature has now
received its first impression of earthly sin and violence. Well, Clara,
take her to bed and comfort her. Heaven grant that she may dream away
the recollection of the Boston massacre!"

"Grandfather," said Charley, when Clara and little Alice had retired,
"did not the people rush upon the soldiers and take revenge?"

"The town drums beat to arms," replied Grandfather, "the alarm-bells
rang, and an immense multitude rushed into King Street. Many of them
had weapons in their hands. The British prepared to defend themselves. A
whole regiment was drawn up in the street, expecting an attack; for the
townsmen appeared ready to throw themselves upon the bayonets."

"And how did it end?"

"Governor Hutchinson hurried to the spot," said Grandfather, "and
besought the people to have patience, promising that strict justice
should be done. A day or two afterward the British troops were withdrawn
from town and stationed at Castle William. Captain Preston and the eight
soldiers were tried for murder. But none of them were found guilty.
The judges told the jury that the insults and violence which had been
offered to the soldiers justified them in firing at the mob."

"The Revolution," observed Laurence, who had said but little during the
evening, "was not such a calm, majestic movement as I supposed. I do
not love to hear of mobs and broils in the street. These things were
unworthy of the people when they had such a great object to accomplish."

"Nevertheless, the world has seen no grander movement than that of our
Revolution from first to last," said Grandfather. "The people, to a man,
were full of a great and noble sentiment. True, there may be much fault
to find with their mode of expressing this sentiment; but they knew no
better; the necessity was upon them to act out their feelings in the
best manner they could. We must forgive what was wrong in their actions,
and look into their hearts and minds for the honorable motives that
impelled them."

"And I suppose," said Laurence, "there were men who knew how to act
worthily of what they felt."

"There were many such," replied Grandfather; "and we will speak of some
of them hereafter."

Grandfather here made a pause. That night Charley had a dream about the
Boston massacre, and thought that he himself was in the crowd and struck
down Captain Preston with a great club. Laurence dreamed that he was
sitting in our great chair, at the window of the British Coffee House,
and beheld the whole scene which Grandfather had described. It seemed to
him, in his dream, that, if the townspeople and the soldiers would but
have heard him speak a single word, all the slaughter might have been
averted. But there was such an uproar that it drowned his voice.

The next morning the two boys went together to State Street and stood on
the very spot where the first blood of the Revolution had been shed. The
Old State House was still there, presenting almost the same aspect that
it had worn on that memorable evening, one-and-seventy years ago. It is
the sole remaining witness of the Boston massacre.


THE NEXT evening the astral lamp was lighted earlier than usual,
because Laurence was very much engaged in looking over the collection of
portraits which had been his New-Year's gift from Grandfather.

Among them he found the features of more than one famous personage who
had been connected with the adventures of our old chair. Grandfather
bade him draw the table nearer to the fireside; and they looked over
the portraits together, while Clara and Charley likewise lent their
attention. As for little Alice, she sat in Grandfather's lap, and seemed
to see the very men alive whose faces were there represented.

Turning over the volume, Laurence came to the portrait of a stern,
grim-looking man, in plain attire, of much more modern fashion than that
of the old Puritans. But the face might well have befitted one of those
iron-hearted men. Beneath the portrait was the name of Samuel Adams.

"He was a man of great note in all the doings that brought about the
Revolution," said Grandfather. "His character was such, that it seemed
as if one of the ancient Puritans had been sent back to earth to
animate the people's hearts with the same abhorrence of tyranny that
had distinguished the earliest settlers. He was as religious as they, as
stern and inflexible, and as deeply imbued with democratic principles.
He, better than any one else, may be taken as a representative of the
people of New England, and of the spirit with which they engaged in the
Revolutionary struggle. He was a poor man, and earned his bread by
a humble occupation; but with his tongue and pen he made the King of
England tremble on his throne. Remember him, my children, as one of the
strong men of our country."

"Here is one whose looks show a very different character," observed
Laurence, turning to the portrait of John Hancock. "I should think, by
his splendid dress and courtly aspect, that he was one of the king's

"There never was a greater contrast than between Samuel Adams and John
Hancock," said Grandfather. "Yet they were of the same side in politics,
and had an equal agency in the Revolution. Hancock was born to the
inheritance of the largest fortune in New England. His tastes and
habits were aristocratic. He loved gorgeous attire, a splendid mansion,
magnificent furniture, stately festivals, and all that was glittering
and pompous in external things. His manners were so polished that there
stood not a nobleman at the footstool of King George's throne who was a
more skilful courtier than John Hancock might have been. Nevertheless,
he in his embroidered clothes, and Samuel Adams in his threadbare coat,
wrought together in the cause of liberty. Adams acted from pure and
rigid principle. Hancock, though he loved his country, yet thought quite
as much of his own popularity as he did of the people's rights. It is
remarkable that these two men, so very different as I describe them,
were the only two exempted from pardon by the king's proclamation."

On the next leaf of the book was the portrait of General Joseph Warren.
Charley recognized the name, and said that here was a greater man than
either Hancock or Adams.

"Warren was an eloquent and able patriot," replied Grandfather. "He
deserves a lasting memory for his zealous efforts in behalf of liberty.
No man's voice was more powerful in Faneuil Hall than Joseph Warren's.
If his death had not happened so early in the contest, he would probably
have gained a high name as a soldier."

The next portrait was a venerable man, who held his thumb under his
chin, and, through his spectacles, appeared to be attentively reading a

"Here we see the most illustrious Boston boy that ever lived," said
Grandfather. "This is Benjamin Franklin. But I will not try to compress
into a few sentences the character of the sage, who, as a Frenchman
expressed it, snatched the lightning from the sky and the sceptre from a
tyrant. Mr. Sparks must help you to the knowledge of Franklin."

The book likewise contained portraits of James Otis and Josiah Quincy.
Both of them, Grandfather observed, were men of wonderful talents and
true patriotism. Their voices were like the stirring tones of a trumpet
arousing the country to defend its freedom. Heaven seemed to have
provided a greater number of eloquent men than had appeared at any other
period, in order that the people might be fully instructed as to their
wrongs and the method of resistance.

"It is marvellous," said Grandfather, "to see how many powerful writers,
orators, and soldiers started up just at the time when they were wanted.
There was a man for every kind of work. It is equally wonderful that men
of such different characters were all made to unite in the one object
of establishing the freedom and independence of America. There was an
over-ruling Providence above them."

"Here, was another great man," remarked Laurence, pointing to the
portrait of John Adams.

"Yes; an earnest, warm-tempered, honest and most able man," said
Grandfather. "At the period of which we are now speaking he was a lawyer
in Boston. He was destined in after years to be ruler over the whole
American people, whom he contributed so much to form into a nation."

Grandfather here remarked that many a New-Englander, who had passed his
boyhood and youth in obscurity, afterward attained to a fortune which he
never could have foreseen even in his most ambitious dreams. John Adams,
the second President of the United States and the equal of crowned
kings, was once a schoolmaster and country lawyer. Hancock, the first
signer of the Declaration of Independence, served his apprenticeship
with a merchant. Samuel Adams, afterwards governor of Massachusetts, was
a small tradesman and a tax-gatherer. General Warren was a physician,
General Lincoln a farmer, and General Knox a bookbinder. General
Nathaniel Greene, the best soldier, except Washington, in the
Revolutionary army, was a Quaker and a blacksmith. All these became
illustrious men, and can never be forgotten in American history.

"And any boy who is born in America may look forward to the same
things," said our ambitious friend Charley.

After these observations, Grandfather drew the book of portraits
towards him and showed the children several British peers and members of
Parliament who had exerted themselves either for or against the rights
of America. There were the Earl of Bute, Mr. Grenville, and Lord North.
These were looked upon as deadly enemies to our country.

Among the friends of America was Mr. Pitt, afterward Earl of Chatham,
who spent so much of his wondrous eloquence in endeavoring to warn
England of the consequences of her injustice. He fell down on the floor
of the House of Lords after uttering almost his dying words in defence
of our privileges as freemen. There was Edmund Burke, one of the wisest
men and greatest orators that ever the world produced. There was Colonel
Barry, who had been among our fathers, and knew that they had courage
enough to die for their rights. There was Charles James Fox, who never
rested until he had silenced our enemies in the House of Commons.

"It is very remarkable to observe how many of the ablest orators in the
British Parliament were favorable to America," said Grandfather. "We
ought to remember these great Englishmen with gratitude; for their
speeches encouraged our fathers almost as much as those of our own
orators in Faneuil Hall and under Liberty Tree. Opinions which might
have been received with doubt, if expressed only by a native American,
were set down as true, beyond dispute, when they came from the lips of
Chatham, Burke, Barre, or Fox."

"But, Grandfather," asked Lawrence, "were there no able and eloquent men
in this country who took the part of King George?"

"There were many men of talent who said what they could in defence of
the king's tyrannical proceedings," replied Grandfather. "But they had
the worst side of the argument, and therefore seldom said anything worth
remembering. Moreover, their hearts were faint and feeble; for they
felt that the people scorned and detested them. They had no friends,
no defence, except in the bayonets of the British troops. A blight
fell upon all their faculties, because they were contending against the
rights of their own native land."

"What were the names of some of them?" inquired Charley.

"Governor Hutchinson, Chief Justice Oliver, Judge Auchmuty, the Rev.
Mather Byles, and several other clergymen, were among the most noted
loyalists," answered Grandfather.

"I wish the people had tarred and feathered every man of them!" cried

"That wish is very wrong, Charley," said Grandfather. "You must not
think that there is no integrity and honor except among those who stood
up for the freedom of America. For aught I know, there was quite as
much of these qualities on one side as on the other. Do you see nothing
admirable in a faithful adherence to an unpopular cause? Can you not
respect that principle of loyalty which made the royalists give up
country, friends, fortune, everything, rather than be false to their
king? It was a mistaken principle; but many of them cherished it
honorably, and were martyrs to it."

"Oh, I was wrong!" said Charley, ingenuously.

"And I would risk my life rather than one of those good old royalists
should be tarred and feathered."

"The time is now come when we may judge fairly of them," continued
Grandfather. "Be the good and true men among them honored; for they
were as much our countrymen as the patriots were. And, thank Heaven,
our country need not be ashamed of her sons,--of most of them at
least,--whatever side they took in the Revolutionary contest."

Among the portraits was one of King George III Little Alice clapped her
hands, and seemed pleased with the bluff good-nature of his physiognomy.
But Laurence thought it strange that a man with such a face, indicating
hardly a common share of intellect, should have had influence enough on
human affairs to convulse the world with war. Grandfather observed that
this poor king had always appeared to him one of the most unfortunate
persons that ever lived. He was so honest and conscientious, that, if he
had been only a private man, his life would probably have been blameless
and happy. But his was that worst of fortunes,--to be placed in a
station far beyond his abilities.

"And so," said Grandfather, "his life, while he retained what intellect
Heaven had gifted him with, was one long mortification. At last he grew
crazed with care and trouble. For nearly twenty years the men arch of
England was confined as a madman. In his old age, too, God took away
his eyesight; so that his royal palace was nothing to him but a dark,
lonesome prison-house."


"OUR old chair?" resumed Grandfather, "did not now stand in the midst
of a gay circle of British officers. The troops, as I told you, had been
removed to Castle William immediately after the Boston massacre. Still,
however, there were many tories, custom-house officers, and Englishmen
who used to assemble in the British Coffee House and talk over the
affairs of the period. Matters grew worse and worse; and in 1773 the
people did a deed which incensed the king and ministry more than any of
their former doings."

Grandfather here described the affair, which is known by the name of
the Boston Tea Party. The Americans, for some time past, had left off
importing tea, on account of the oppressive tax. The East India Company,
in London, had a large stock of tea on hand, which they had expected
to sell to the Americans, but could find no market for it. But after a
while, the government persuaded this company of merchants to send the
tea to America.

"How odd it is," observed Clara, "that the liberties of America should
have had anything to do with a cup of tea!"

Grandfather smiled, and proceeded with his narrative. When the people
of Boston heard that several cargoes of tea were coming across the
Atlantic, they held a great many meetings at Faneuil Hall, in the Old
South Church, and under Liberty Tree. In the midst of their debates,
three ships arrived in the harbor with the tea on board. The people
spent more than a fortnight in consulting what should be done. At last,
on the 16th of December, 1773, they demanded of Governor Hutchinson that
he should immediately send the ships back to England.

The governor replied that the ships must not leave the harbor until the
custom-house duties upon the tea should be paid. Now, the payment of
these duties was the very thing against which the people had set their
faces; because it was a tax unjustly imposed upon America by the English
government. Therefore, in the dusk of the evening, as soon as Governor
Hutchinson's reply was received, an immense crowd hastened to Griffin's
Wharf, where the tea-ships lay. The place is now called Liverpool Wharf.

"When the crowd reached the wharf," said Grandfather, "they saw that
a set of wild-looking figures were already on board of the ships. You
would have imagined that the Indian warriors of old times had come back
again; for they wore the Indian dress, and had their faces covered with
red and black paint, like the Indians when they go to war. These grim
figures hoisted the tea-chests on the decks of the vessels; broke them
open, and threw all the contents into the harbor."

"Grandfather," said little Alice, "I suppose Indians don't love tea;
else they would never waste it so."

"They were not real Indians, my child," answered Grandfather. "They
were white men in disguise; because a heavy punishment would have been
inflicted on them if the king's officers had found who they were.
But it was never known. From that day to this, though the matter has
been talked of by all the world, nobody can tell the names of those
Indian figures. Some people say that there were very famous men among
them, who afterwards became governors and generals. Whether this be true
I cannot tell."

When tidings of this bold deed were carried to England, King George
was greatly enraged. Parliament immediately passed an act, by which all
vessels were forbidden to take in or discharge their cargoes at the
port of Boston. In this way they expected to ruin all the merchants,
and starve the poor people, by depriving them of employment. At the
same time another act was passed, taking away many rights and privileges
which had been granted in the charter of Massachusetts.

Governor Hutchinson, soon afterward, was summoned to England, in order
that he might give his advice about the management of American
affairs. General Gage, an officer of the old French War, and since
commander-in-chief of the British forces in America, was appointed
governor in his stead. One of his first acts was to make Salem, instead
of Boston, the metropolis of Massachusetts, by summoning the General
Court to meet there.

According to Grandfather's description, this was the most gloomy time
that Massachusetts had ever seen. The people groaned under as heavy a
tyranny as in the days of Sir Edmund Andros. Boston looked as if it were
afflicted with some dreadful pestilence,--so sad were the inhabitants,
and so desolate the streets. There was no cheerful hum of business.
The merchants shut up their warehouses, and the laboring men stood idle
about the wharves. But all America felt interested in the good town of
Boston; and contributions were raised, in many places, for the relief of
the poor inhabitants.

"Our dear old chair!" exclaimed Clara. "How dismal it must have been

"Oh," replied Grandfather, "a gay throng of officers had now come
back to the British Coffee House; so that the old chair had no lack of
mirthful company. Soon after General Gage became governor a great many
troops had arrived, and were encamped upon the Common. Boston was now
a garrisoned and fortified town; for the general had built a battery
across the Neck, on the road to Roxbury, and placed guards for its
defence. Everything looked as if a civil war were close at hand."

"Did the people make ready to fight?" asked Charley.

"A Continental Congress assembled at Philadelphia," said Grandfather,
"and proposed such measures as they thought most conducive to the public
good. A Provincial Congress was likewise chosen in Massachusetts. They
exhorted the people to arm and discipline themselves. A great number of
minutemen were enrolled. The Americans called them minute-men, because
they engaged to be ready to fight at a minute's warning. The English
officers laughed, and said that the name was a very proper one, because
the minute-men would run away the minute they saw the enemy. Whether
they would fight or run was soon to be proved."

Grandfather told the children that the first open resistance offered
to the British troops, in the province of Massachusetts, was at Salem.
Colonel Timothy Pickering, with thirty or forty militia-men, prevented
the English colonel, Leslie, with four times as many regular soldiers,
from taking possession of some military stores. No blood was shed on
this occasion; but soon afterward it began to flow.

General Gage sent eight hundred soldiers to Concord, about eighteen
miles from Boston, to destroy some ammunition and provisions which
the colonists had collected there. They set out on their march on the
evening of the 18th of April, 1775. The next morning the general sent
Lord' Percy with nine hundred men to strengthen the troops that had gone
before. All that day the inhabitants of Boston heard various rumors.
Some said that the British were making great slaughter among our
countrymen. Others affirmed that every man had turned out with his
musket, and that not a single soldier would ever get back to Boston.

"It was after sunset," continued Grandfather, "when the troops, who
had marched forth so proudly, were seen entering Charlestown. They were
covered with dust, and so hot and weary that their tongues hung out
of their mouths. Many of them were faint with wounds. They had not all
returned. Nearly three hundred were strewn, dead or dying, along the
road from Concord. The yeomanry had risen upon the invaders and driven
them back."

"Was this the battle of Lexington?" asked Charley.

"Yes," replied Grandfather; "it was so called, because the British,
without provocation, had fired upon a party of minute-men, near
Lexington meeting-house, and killed eight of them. That fatal volley,
which was fired by order of Major Pitcairn, began the war of the

About this time, if Grandfather had been correctly informed, our chair
disappeared from the British Coffee House. The manner of its departure
cannot be satisfactorily ascertained. Perhaps the keeper of the Coffee
House turned it out of doors on account of its old-fashioned aspect.
Perhaps he sold it as a curiosity. Perhaps it was taken, without leave,
by some person who regarded it as public property because it had
once figured under Liberty Tree. Or perhaps the old chair, being of a
peaceable disposition, has made use of its four oaken legs and run away
from the seat of war.

"It would have made a terrible clattering over the pavement," said
Charley, laughing.

"Meanwhile," continued Grandfather, "during the mysterious
non-appearance of our chair, an army of twenty thousand men had started
up and come to the siege of Boston. General Gage and his troops were
cooped up within the narrow precincts of the peninsula. On the 17th of
June, 1775, the famous battle of Bunker Hill was fought. Here General
Warren fell. The British got the victory, indeed, but with the loss of
more than a thousand officers and men."

"Oh Grandfather," cried Charley, "you must tell us about that famous

"No, Charley," said Grandfather, "I am not like other historians.
Battles shall not hold a prominent place in the history of our quiet
and comfortable old chair. But to-morrow evening, Laurence, Clara, and
yourself, and dear little Alice too, shall visit the Diorama of Bunker
Hill. There you shall see the whole business, the burning of Charlestown
and all, with your own eyes, and hear the cannon and musketry with your
own ears."


THE next evening but one, when the children had given Grandfather a full
account of the Diorama of Bunker Hill, they entreated him not to keep
them any longer in suspense about the fate of his chair. The reader will
recollect that, at the last accounts, it had trotted away upon its poor
old legs nobody knew whither. But, before gratifying their curiosity,
Grandfather found it necessary to say something about public events.

The Continental Congress, which was assembled at Philadelphia, was
composed of delegates from all the colonies. They had now appointed
George Washington, of Virginia, to be commander-in-chief of all the
American armies. He was, at that time, a member of Congress; but
immediately left Philadelphia, and began his journey to Massachusetts.
On the 3d of July, 1775, he arrived at Cambridge, and took command of
the troops which were besieging General Gage.

"O Grandfather," exclaimed Laurence, "it makes my heart throb to think
what is coming now. We are to see General Washington himself."

The children crowded around Grandfather and looked earnestly into his
face. Even little Alice opened her sweet blue eyes, with her lips apart,
and almost held her breath to listen; so instinctive is the reverence of
childhood for the father of his country.

Grandfather paused a moment; for he felt as if it might be irreverent
to introduce the hallowed shade of Washington into a history where
an ancient elbow-chair occupied the most prominent place. However, he
determined to proceed with his narrative, and speak of the hero when it
was needful, but with an unambitious simplicity.

So Grandfather told his auditors, that, on General Washington's arrival
at Cambridge, his first care was to reconnoitre the British troops with
his spy-glass, and to examine the condition of his own army. He found
that the American troops amounted to about fourteen thousand men. They
were extended all round the peninsula of Boston, a space of twelve
miles, from the high grounds of Roxbury on the right to Mystic River
on the left. Some were living in tents of sailcloth, some in shanties
rudely constructed of boards, some in huts of stone or turf with curious
windows and doors of basket-work.

In order to be near the centre and oversee the whole of this
wide-stretched army, the commander-in-chief made his headquarters at
Cambridge, about half a mile from the colleges. A mansion-house, which
perhaps had been the country seat of some Tory gentle man, was provided
for his residence.

"When General Washington first entered this mansion," said Grandfather,
"he was ushered up the staircase and shown into a handsome apartment. He
sat down in a large chair, which was the most conspicuous object in the
room. The noble figure of Washington would have done honor to a throne.
As he sat there, with his hand resting on the hilt of his sheathed
sword, which was placed between his knees, his whole aspect well
befitted the chosen man on whom his country leaned for the defence of
her dearest rights. America seemed safe under his protection. His face
was grander than any sculptor had ever wrought in marble; none could
behold him without awe and reverence. Never before had the lion's head
at the summit of the chair looked down upon such a face and form as

"Why, Grandfather!" cried Clara, clasping her hands in amazement, "was
it really so? Did General Washington sit in our great chair?"

"I knew how it would be," said Laurence; "I foresaw it the moment
Grandfather began to speak."

Grandfather smiled. But, turning from the personal and domestic life of
the illustrious leader, he spoke of the methods which Washington adopted
to win back the metropolis of New England from the British.

The army, when he took command of it, was without any discipline or
order. The privates considered themselves as good as their officers;
and seldom thought it necessary to obey their commands, unless they
understood the why and wherefore. Moreover, they were enlisted for so
short a period, that, as soon as they began to be respectable soldiers,
it was time to discharge them. Then came new recruits, who had to be
taught their duty before they could be of any service. Such was the army
with which Washington had to contend against more than twenty veteran
British regiments.

Some of the men had no muskets, and almost all were without bayonets.
Heavy cannon, for battering the British fortifications, were much
wanted. There was but a small quantity of powder and ball, few tools
to build intrenchments with, and a great deficiency of provisions
and clothes for the soldiers. Yet, in spite of these perplexing
difficulties, the eyes of the whole people were fixed on General
Washington, expecting him to undertake some great enterprise against the
hostile army.

The first thing that he found necessary was to bring his own men into
better order and discipline. It is wonderful how soon he transformed
this rough mob of country people into the semblance of a regular army.
One of Washington's most invaluable characteristics was the faculty
of bringing order out of confusion. All business with which he had any
concern seemed to regulate itself as if by magic. The influence of his
mind was like light gleaming through an unshaped world. It was this
faculty, more than any other, that made him so fit to ride upon the
storm of the Revolution when everything was unfixed and drifting about
in a troubled sea.

"Washington had not been long at the head of the army," proceeded
Grandfather, "before his soldiers thought as highly of him as if he had
led them to a hundred victories. They knew that he was the very man whom
the country needed, and the only one who could bring them safely
through the great contest against the might of England. They put entire
confidence in his courage, wisdom, and integrity."

"And were they not eager to follow him against the British?" asked

"Doubtless they would have gone whithersoever his sword pointed the
way," answered Grandfather; "and Washington was anxious to make
a decisive assault upon the enemy. But as the enterprise was very
hazardous, he called a council of all the generals in the army.
Accordingly they came from their different posts, and were ushered into
the reception-room. The commander-in-chief arose from our great chair to
greet them."

"What were their names?" asked Charley.

"There was General Artemas Ward," replied Grandfather, "a lawyer by
profession. He had commanded the troops before Washington's arrival
Another was General Charles Lee, who had been a colonel in the English
army, and was thought to possess vast military science. He came to the
council, followed by two or three dogs which were always at his heels.
There was General Putnam, too, who was known all over New England by the
name of Old Put."

"Was it he who killed the wolf?" inquired Charley.

"The same," said Grandfather; "and he had done good service in the old
French War. His occupation was that of a farmer; but he left his plough
in the furrow at the news of Lexington battle. Then there was General
Gates, who afterward gained great renown at Saratoga, and lost it again
at Camden. General Greene, of Rhode Island, was likewise at the council.
Washington soon discovered him to be one of the best officers in the

When the generals were all assembled, Washington consulted them about
a plan for storming the English batteries. But it was their unanimous
opinion that so perilous an enterprise ought not to be attempted. The
army, therefore, continued to besiege Boston, preventing the enemy
from obtaining supplies of provisions, but without taking any immediate
measures to get possession of the town. In 'this manner the sum met,
autumn, and winter passed away.

"Many a night, doubtless," said Grandfather, "after Washington had been
all day on horseback, galloping from one post of the army to another,
he used to sit in our great chair, rapt in earnest thought. Had you seen
him, you might have supposed that his whole mind was fixed on the blue
china tiles which adorned the old-fashioned fireplace. But, in reality,
he was meditating how to capture the British army, or drive it out of
Boston. Once, when there was a hard frost, he formed a scheme to cross
the Charles River on the ice. But the other generals could not be
persuaded that there was any prospect of success."

"What were the British doing all this time?" inquired Charley.

"They lay idle in the town," replied Grandfather. "General Gage had been
recalled to England, and was succeeded by Sir William Howe. The British
army and the inhabitants of Boston were now in great distress. Being
shut up in the town so long, they had consumed almost all their
provisions and burned up all their fuel. The soldiers tore down the Old
North Church, and used its rotten boards and timbers for firewood. To
heighten their distress, the small-pox broke out. They probably lost far
more men by cold, hunger, and sickness than had been slain at Lexington
and Bunker Hill."

"What a dismal time for the poor women and children!" exclaimed Clara.

"At length," continued Grandfather, "in March, 1776, General Washington,
who had now a good supply of powder, began a terrible cannonade and
bombardment from Dorchester Heights. One of the cannon-balls which he
fired into the town struck the tower of the Brattle Street Church, where
it may still be seen. Sir William Howe made preparations to cross over
in boats and drive the Americans from their batteries, but was prevented
by a violent gale and storm. General Washington next erected a battery
on Nook's Hill, so near the enemy that it was impossible for them to
remain in Boston any longer."

"Hurrah! Hurrah!" cried Charley, clapping his hands triumphantly. "I
wish I had been there to see how sheepish the Englishmen looked."

And as Grandfather thought that Boston had never witnessed a more
interesting period than this, when the royal power was in its death
agony, he determined to take a peep into the town and imagine the
feelings of those who were quitting it forever.


"ALAS for the poor tories!" said Grandfather. "Until the very last
morning after Washington's troops had shown themselves on Nook's Hill,
these unfortunate persons could not believe that the audacious rebels,
as they called the Americans, would ever prevail against King George's
army. But when they saw the British soldiers preparing to embark on
board of the ships of war, then they knew that they had lost their
country. Could the patriots have known how bitter were their regrets,
they would have forgiven them all their evil deeds, and sent a blessing
after them as they sailed away from their native shore."

In order to make the children sensible of the pitiable condition of
these men, Grandfather singled out Peter Oliver, chief justice of
Massachusetts under the crown, and imagined him walking through the
streets of Boston on the morning before he left it forever.

This effort of Grandfather's fancy may be called the Tory's Farewell.

Old Chief Justice Oliver threw on his red cloak, and placed his
three-cornered hat on the top of his white wig. In this garb he intended
to go forth and take a parting look at objects that had been familiar to
him from his youth. Accordingly, he began his walk in the north part
of the town, and soon came to Faneuil Hall. This edifice, the cradle of
liberty, had been used by the British officers as a playhouse.

"Would that I could see its walls crumble to dust!" thought the chief
justice; and, in the bitterness of his heart, he shook his fist at
the famous hall. "There began the mischief which now threatens to rend
asunder the British empire. The seditious harangues of demagogues in
Faneuil Hall have made rebels of a loyal people and deprived me of my

He then passed through a narrow avenue and found himself in King Street,
almost on the very spot which, six years before, had been reddened by
the blood of the Boston massacre. The chief justice stepped cautiously,
and shuddered, as if he were afraid that, even now, the gore of his
slaughtered countrymen might stain his feet.

Before him rose the Town House, on the front of which were still
displayed the royal arms. Within that edifice he had dispensed justice
to the people in the days when his name was never mentioned without
honor. There, too, was the balcony whence the trumpet had been sounded
and the proclamation read to an assembled multitude, whenever a new king
of England ascended the throne.

"I remember--I remember," said Chief Justice Oliver to himself, "when
his present most sacred Majesty was proclaimed. Then how the people
shouted! Each man would have poured out his life-blood to keep a hair of
King George's head from harm. But now there is scarcely a tongue in all
New England that does not imprecate curses on his name. It is ruin and
disgrace to love him. Can it be possible that a few fleeting years have
wrought such a change?"

It did not occur to the chief justice that nothing but the most grievous
tyranny could so soon have changed the people's hearts. Hurrying from
the spot, he entered Cornhill, as the lower part of Washington Street
was then called. Opposite to the Town House was the waste foundation of
the Old North Church. The sacrilegious hands of the British soldiers had
torn it down, and kindled their barrack fires with the fragments.

Farther on he passed beneath the tower of the Old South. The threshold
of this sacred edifice was worn by the iron tramp of horses' feet;
for the interior had been used as a riding-school and rendezvous for a
regiment of dragoons. As the chief justice lingered an instant at the
door a trumpet sounded within, and the regiment came clattering forth
and galloped down the street. They were proceeding to the place of

"Let them go!" thought the chief justice, with somewhat of an old
Puritan feeling in his breast. "No good can come of men who desecrate
the house of God."

He went on a few steps farther, and paused before the Province House.
No range of brick stores had then sprung up to hide the mansion of the
royal governors from public view. It had a spacious courtyard, bordered
with trees, and enclosed with a wrought-iron fence. On the cupola that
surmounted the edifice was the gilded figure of an Indian chief,
ready to let fly an arrow from his bow. Over the wide front door was a
balcony, in which the chief justice had often stood when the governor
and high officers of the province showed themselves to the people.

While Chief Justice Oliver gazed sadly at the Province House, before
which a sentinel was pacing, the double leaves of the door were thrown
open, and Sir William Howe made his appearance. Behind him came a throng
of officers, whose steel scabbards clattered against the stones as they
hastened down the court-yard. Sir William Howe was a dark-complexioned
man, stern and haughty in his deportment. He stepped as proudly in that
hour of defeat as if he were going to receive the submission of the
rebel general.

The chief justice bowed and accosted him.

"This is a grievous hour for both of us, Sir William," said he.

"Forward! gentlemen," said Sir William Howe to the officers who attended
him; "we have no time to hear lamentations now."

And, coldly bowing, he departed. Thus the chief justice had a foretaste
of the mortifications which the exiled New-Englanders afterwards
suffered from the haughty Britons. They were despised even by that
country which they had served more faithfully than their own.

A still heavier trial awaited Chief Justice Oliver, as he passed onward
from the Province House. He was recognized by the people in the street.
They had long known him as the descendant of an ancient and honorable
family. They had seen him sitting in his scarlet robes upon the
judgment-seat. All his life long, either for the sake of his ancestors
or on account of his own dignified station and unspotted character,
he had been held in high respect. The old gentry of the province were
looked upon almost as noblemen while Massachusetts was under royal

But now all hereditary reverence for birth and rank was gone. The
inhabitants shouted in derision when they saw the venerable form of the
old chief justice. They laid the wrongs of the country and their own
sufferings during the siege--their hunger, cold, and sickness--partly to
his charge and to that of his brother Andrew and his kinsman Hutchinson.
It was by their advice that the king had acted in all the colonial
troubles. But the day of recompense was come.

"See the old tory!" cried the people, with bitter laughter. "He is
taking his last look at us. Let him show his white wig among us an hour
hence, and we'll give him a coat of tar and feathers!"

The chief justice, however, knew that he need fear no violence so long
as the British troops were in possession of the town. But, alas! it was
a bitter thought that he should leave no loving memory behind him. His
forefathers, long after their spirits left the earth, had been honored
in the affectionate remembrance of the people. But he, who would
henceforth be dead to his native land, would have no epitaph save
scornful and vindictive words. The old man wept.

"They curse me, they invoke all kinds of evil on my head!" thought he,
in the midst of his tears. "But, if they could read my heart, they would
know that I love New England well. Heaven bless her, and bring her again
under the rule of our gracious king! A blessing, too, on these poor,
misguided people!"

The chief justice flung out his hands with a gesture, as if he were
bestowing a parting benediction on his countrymen. He had now reached
the southern portion of the town, and was far within the range of
cannon-shot from the American batteries. Close beside him was the bread
stump of a tree, which appeared to have been recently cut down. Being
weary and heavy at heart, he was about to sit down upon the stump.

Suddenly it flashed upon his recollection that this was the stump of
Liberty Tree! The British soldiers had cut it down, vainly boasting
that they could as easily overthrow the liberties of America. Under its
shadowy branches, ten years before, the brother of Chief Justice Oliver
had been compelled to acknowledge the supremacy of the people by taking
the oath which they prescribed. This tree was connected with all the
events that had severed America from England.

"Accursed tree!" cried the chief justice, gnashing his teeth; for anger
overcame his sorrow. "Would that thou hadst been left standing till
Hancock, Adams, and every other traitor, were hanged upon thy branches!
Then fitly mightest thou have been hewn down and cast into the flames."

He turned back, hurried to Long Wharf without looking behind him,
embarked with the British troops for Halifax, and never saw his country
more. Throughout the remainder of his days Chief Justice Oliver was
agitated with those same conflicting emotions that had tortured him
while taking his farewell walk through the streets of Boston. Deep love
and fierce resentment burned in one flame within his breast, Anathemas
struggled with benedictions. He felt as if one breath of his native air
would renew his life, yet would have died rather than breathe the
same air with rebels. And such likewise were the feelings of the other
exiles, a thousand in number, who departed with the British army. Were
they not the most unfortunate of men?

"The misfortunes of those exiled tories," observed Laurence, "must have
made them think of the poor exiles of Acadia."

"They had a sad time of it, I suppose," said Charley. "But I choose to
rejoice with the patriots, rather than be sorrowful with the tories.
Grandfather, what did General Washington do now?"

"As the rear of the British army embarked from the wharf," replied
Grandfather, "General Washington's troops marched over the Neck, through
the fortification gates, and entered Boston in triumph. And now, for the
first time since the Pilgrims landed, Massachusetts was free from
the dominion of England. May she never again be subjected to foreign
rule,--never again feel the rod of oppression!"

"Dear Grandfather," asked little Alice, "did General Washington bring
our chair back to Boston?"

"I know not how long the chair remained at Cambridge," said Grandfather.
"Had it stayed there till this time, it could not have found a better or
more appropriate shelter, The mansion which General Washington occupied
is still standing, and his apartments have since been tenanted by
several eminent men. Governor Everett, while a professor in the
University, resided there. So at an after period did Mr. Sparks, whose
invaluable labors have connected his name with the immortality of
Washington. And at this very time a venerable friend and contemporary of
your Grandfather, after long pilgrimages beyond the sea, has set up his
staff of rest at Washington's headquarters."

"You mean Professor Longfellow, Grandfather," said Laurence. "Oh, how I
should love to see the author of those beautiful Voices of the Night!"

"We will visit him next summer," answered Grandfather, "and take Clara
and little Alice with us,--and Charley, too, if he will be quiet."


WHEN Grandfather resumed his narrative the next evening, he told the
children that he had some difficulty in tracing the movements of the
chair during a short period after General Washington's departure from

Within a few months, however, it made its appearance at a shop in
Boston, before the door of which was seen a striped pole. In the
interior was displayed a stuffed alligator, a rattlesnake's skin, a
bundle of Indian arrows, an old-fashioned matchlock gun, a walking-stick
of Governor Winthrop's, a wig of old Cotton Mather's, and a colored
print of the Boston massacre. In short, it was a barber's shop, kept by
a Mr. Pierce, who prided himself on having shaved General Washington,
Old Put, and many other famous persons.

"This was not a very dignified situation for our venerable chair,"
continued Grandfather; "but, you know, there is no better place for news
than a barber's shop. All the events of the Revolutionary War were heard
of there sooner than anywhere else. People used to sit in the chair,
reading the newspaper, or talking, and waiting to be shaved, while Mr.
Pierce, with his scissors and razor, was at work upon the heads or chins
of his other customers."

"I am sorry the chair could not betake itself to some more suitable
place of refuge," said Laurence.

"It was old now, and must have longed for quiet. Besides, after it had
held Washington in its arms, it ought not to have been compelled to
receive all the world. It should have been put into the pulpit of the
Old South Church, or some other consecrated place."

"Perhaps so," answered Grandfather. "But the chair, in the course of its
varied existence, had grown so accustomed to general intercourse with
society, that I doubt whether it would have contented itself in the
pulpit of the Old South. There it would have stood solitary, or with no
livelier companion than the silent organ, in the opposite gallery, six
days out of seven. I incline to think that it had seldom been situated
more to its mind than on the sanded floor of the snug little barber's

Then Grandfather amused his children and himself with fancying all the
different sorts of people who had occupied our chair while they awaited
the leisure Of the barber.

There was the old clergyman, such as Dr. Chauncey, wearing a white wig,
which the barber took from his head and placed upon a wig-block. Half
an hour, perhaps, was spent in combing and powdering this reverend
appendage to a clerical skull. There, too, were officers of the
Continental army, who required their hair to be pomatumed and plastered,
so as to give them a bold and martial aspect. There, once in a while,
was seen the thin, care-worn, melancholy visage of an old tory, with a
Wig that, in times long past, had perhaps figured at a Province House
ball. And there, not unfrequently, sat the rough captain of a privateer,
just returned from a successful cruise, in which he had captured half
a dozen richly laden vessels belonging to King George's subjects. And
sometimes a rosy little school-boy climbed into our chair, and sat
staring, with wide-open eyes, at the alligator, the rattlesnake, and the
other curiosities of the barber's shop. His mother had sent him, with
sixpence in his hand, to get his glossy curls cropped off. The incidents
of the Revolution plentifully supplied the barber's customers with
topics of conversation. They talked sorrowfully of the death of General
Montgomery and the failure of our troops to take Quebec; for the
New-Englanders were now as anxious to get Canada from the English as
they had formerly been to conquer it from the French.

"But very soon," said Grandfather, "came news from Philadelphia, the
most important that America had ever heard of. On the 4th of July,
1776, Congress had signed the Declaration of Independence. The thirteen
colonies were now free and independent States. Dark as our prospects
were, the inhabitants welcomed these glorious tidings, and resolved to
perish rather than again bear the yoke of England."

"And I would perish, too!" cried Charley.

"It was a great day,--a glorious deed!" said Laurence, coloring high
with enthusiasm. "And, Grandfather, I love to think that the sages
in Congress showed themselves as bold and true as the soldiers in the
field; for it must have required more courage to sign the Declaration of
Independence than to fight the enemy in battle."

Grandfather acquiesced in Laurence's view of the matter. He then touched
briefly and hastily upon the prominent events of the Revolution. The
thunderstorm of war had now rolled southward, and did not again
burst upon Massachusetts, where its first fury had been felt. But she
contributed her full share. So the success of the contest. Wherever
a battle was fought,--whether at Long Island, White Plains, Trenton,
Princeton, Brandywine, or Germantown,--some of her brave sons were found
slain upon the field.

In October, 1777, General Burgoyne surrendered his army, at Saratoga,
to the American general, Gates. The captured troops were sent to
Massachusetts. Not long afterwards Dr. Franklin and other American
commissioners made a treaty at Paris, by which France bound herself to
assist our countrymen. The gallant Lafayette was already fighting for
our freedom by the side of Washington. In 1778 a French fleet, commanded
by Count d'Estaing, spent a considerable time in Boston harbor. It marks
the vicissitudes of human affairs, that the French, our ancient enemies,
should come hither as comrades and brethren, and that kindred England
should be our foe.

"While the war was raging in the Middle and Southern States," proceeded
Grandfather, "Massachusetts had leisure to settle a new constitution of
government instead of the royal charter. This was done in 1780. In the
same year John Hancock, who had been president of Congress, was chosen
governor of the State. He was the first whom the people had elected
since the days of old Simon Bradstreet."

"But, Grandfather, who had been governor since the British were driven
away?" inquired Laurence. "General Gage and Sir William Howe were the
last whom you have told us of."

"There had been no governor for the last four years," replied
Grandfather. "Massachusetts had been ruled by the Legislature, to whom
the people paid obedience of their own accord. It is one of the
most remarkable circumstances in our history, that, when the charter
government was overthrown by the war, no anarchy nor the slightest
confusion ensued, This was a great honor to the people. But now Hancock
was proclaimed governor by sound of trumpet; and there was again a
settled government."

Grandfather again adverted to the progress of the war. In 1781 General
Greene drove the British from the Southern States. In October of the
same year General Washington compelled Lord Cornwallis to surrender his
army, at Yorktown, in Virginia. This was the last great event of the
Revolutionary contest. King George and his ministers perceived that all
the might of England could not compel America to renew her allegiance
to the crown. After a great deal of discussion, a treaty of peace was
signed in September, 1783.

"Now, at last," said Grandfather, "after weary years of war, the
regiments of Massachusetts returned in peace to their families. Now the
stately and dignified leaders, such as General Lincoln and General Knox,
with their powdered hair and their uniforms of blue and buff, were seen
moving about the streets."

"And little boys ran after them, I suppose," remarked Charley; "and the
grown people bowed respectfully."

"They deserved respect; for they were good men as well as brave,"
answered Grandfather. "Now, too, the inferior officers and privates came
home to seek some peaceful occupation. Their friends remembered them as
slender and smooth-checked young men; but they returned with the erect
and rigid mien of disciplined soldiers. Some hobbled on crutches and
wooden legs; others had received wounds, which were still rankling in
their breasts. Many, alas! had fallen in battle, and perhaps were left
unburied on the bloody field."

"The country must have been sick of war," observed Laurence.

"One would have thought so," said Grandfather. "Yet only two or three
years elapsed before the folly of some misguided men caused another
mustering of soldiers. This affair was called Shays's war, because a
Captain Shays was the chief leader of the insurgents."

"Oh Grandfather, don't let there be another war!" cried little Alice,

Grandfather comforted his dear little girl by assuring her that there
was no great mischief done. Shays's war happened in the latter part of
1786 and the beginning of the following year. Its principal cause
was the badness of times. The State of Massachusetts, in its public
capacity, was very much in debt. So likewise were many of the people.
An insurrection took place, the object of which seems to have been to
interrupt the course of law and get rid of debts and taxes.

James Bowdoin, a good and able man, was now governor of Massachusetts.
He sent General Lincoln, at the head of four thousand men, to put down
the insurrection. This general, who had fought through several hard
campaigns in the Revolution, managed matters like an old soldier, and
totally defeated the rebels at the expense of very little blood.

"There is but one more public event to be recorded in the history of
our chair," proceeded Grandfather. "In the year 1794 Samuel Adams was
elected governor of Massachusetts. I have told you what a distinguished
patriot he was, and how much he resembled the stern old Puritans. Could
the ancient freemen of Massachusetts who lived in the days of the first
charter have arisen from their graves, they would probably have voted
for Samuel Adams to be governor."

"Well, Grandfather, I hope he sat in our chair," said Clara.

"He did," replied Grandfather. "He had long been in the habit of
visiting the barber's shop, where our venerable chair, philosophically
forgetful of its former dignities, had now spent nearly eighteen not
uncomfortable years. Such a remarkable piece of furniture, so evidently
a relic of long-departed times, could not escape the notice of Samuel
Adams. He made minute researches into its history, and ascertained what
a succession of excellent and famous people had occupied it."

"How did he find it out?" asked Charley; "for I suppose the chair could
not tell its own history."

"There used to be a vast collection of ancient letters and other
documents in the tower of the Old South Church," answered Grandfather.
"Perhaps the history of our chair was contained among these. At all
events, Samuel Adams appears to have been well acquainted with it. When
he became governor, he felt that he could have no more honorable seat
than that which had been the ancient chair of state. He therefore
purchased it for a trifle, and filled it worthily for three years as
governor of Massachusetts." "And what next?" asked Charley.

"That is all," said Grandfather, heaving a sigh; for he could not help
being a little sad at the thought that his stories must close here.
"Samuel Adams died in 1803, at the age of above threescore and ten.
He was a great patriot, but a poor man. At his death he left scarcely
property enough to pay the expenses of his funeral. This precious chair,
among his other effects, was sold at auction; and your Grandfather, who
was then in the strength of his years, became the purchaser."

Laurence, with a mind full of thoughts that struggled for expression,
but could find none, looked steadfastly at the chair.

He had now learned all its history, yet was not satisfied.

"Oh, how I wish that the chair could speak!" cried he. "After its long
intercourse with mankind,--after looking upon the world for ages,--what
lessons of golden wisdom it might utter! It might teach a private
person how to lead a good and happy life, or a statesman how to make his
country prosperous."


GRANDFATHER was struck by Laurence's idea that the historic chair
should utter a voice, and thus pour forth the collected wisdom of two
centuries. The old gentleman had once possessed no inconsiderable share
of fancy; and even now its fading sunshine occasionally glimmered among
his more sombre reflections.

As the history of his chair had exhausted all his facts, Grandfather
determined to have recourse to fable. So, after warning the children
that they must not mistake this story for a true one, he related what we
shall call Grandfather's Dream.

Laurence and Clara, where were you last night? Where were you,
Charley, and dear little Alice? You had all gone to rest, and left old
Grandfather to meditate alone in his great chair. The lamp had grown so
dim that its light hardly illuminated the alabaster shade. The wood-fire
had crumbled into heavy embers, among which the little flames danced,
and quivered, and sported about like fairies.

And here sat Grandfather all by himself. He knew that it was bedtime;
yet he could not help longing to hear your merry voices, or to hold a
comfortable chat with some old friend; because then his pillow would be
visited by pleasant dreams. But, as neither children nor friends were
at hand, Grandfather leaned back in the great chair and closed his eyes,
for the sake of meditating more profoundly.

And, when Grandfather's meditations had grown very profound indeed,
he fancied that he heard a sound over his head, as if somebody were
preparing to speak.

"Hem!" it said, in a dry, husky tone. "H-e-m! Hem!"

As Grandfather did not know that any person was in the room, he started
up in great surprise, and peeped hither and thither, behind the chair,
and into the recess by the fireside, and at the dark nook yonder near
the bookcase. Nobody could be seen.

"Poh!" said Grandfather to himself, "I must have been dreaming."

But, just as he was going to resume his seat, Grandfather happened to
look at the great chair. The rays of firelight were flickering upon it
in such a manner that it really seemed as if its oaken frame were all
alive. What! did it not move its elbow? There, too! It certainly lifted
one of its ponderous fore legs, as if it had a notion of drawing
itself a little nearer to the fire. Meanwhile the lion's head nodded
at Grandfather with as polite and sociable a look as a lion's visage,
carved in oak, could possibly be expected to assume. Well, this is

"Good evening, my old friend," said the dry and husky voice, now a
little clearer than before. "We have been intimately acquainted so long
that I think it high time we have a chat together."

Grandfather was looking straight at the lion's head, and could not be
mistaken in supposing that it moved its lips. So here the mystery was
all explained.

"I was not aware," said Grandfather, with a civil salutation to his
oaken companion, "that you possessed the faculty of speech. Otherwise I
should often have been glad to converse with such a solid, useful, and
substantial if not brilliant member of society."

"Oh!" replied the ancient chair, in a quiet and easy tone, for it had
now cleared its throat of the dust of ages, "I am naturally a silent
and incommunicative sort of character. Once or twice in the course of
a century I unclose my lips. When the gentle Lady Arbella departed this
life I uttered a groan. When the honest mint-master weighed his plump
daughter against the pine-tree shillings I chuckled audibly at the joke.
When old Simon Bradstreet took the place of the tyrant Andros I joined
in the general huzza, and capered on my wooden legs for joy. To be sure,
the by-standers were so fully occupied with their own feelings that my
sympathy was quite unnoticed."

"And have you often held a private chat with your friends?" asked

"Not often," answered the chair. "I once talked with Sir William Phips,
and communicated my ideas about the witchcraft delusion. Cotton Mather
had several conversations with me, and derived great benefit from my
historical reminiscences. In the days of the Stamp Act I whispered in
the ear of Hutchinson, bidding him to remember what stock his countrymen
were descended of, and to think whether the spirit of their forefathers
had utterly departed from them. The last man whom I favored with a
colloquy was that stout old republican, Samuel Adams."

"And how happens it," inquired Grandfather, "that there is no record nor
tradition of your conversational abilities? It is an uncommon thing to
meet with a chair that can talk."

"Why, to tell you the truth," said the chair, giving itself a hitch
nearer to the hearth, "I am not apt to choose the most suitable moments
for unclosing my lips. Sometimes I have inconsiderately begun to speak,
when my occupant, lolling back in my arms, was inclined to take
an after-dinner nap. Or perhaps the impulse to talk may be felt at
midnight, when the lamp burns dim and the fire crumbles into decay,
and the studious or thoughtful man finds that his brain is in a mist.
Oftenest I have unwisely uttered my wisdom in the ears of sick persons,
when the inquietude of fever made them toss about upon my cushion. And
so it happens, that though my words make a pretty strong impression at
the moment, yet my auditors invariably remember them only as a dream.
I should not wonder if you, my excellent friend, were to do the same
to-morrow morning."

"Nor I either," thought Grandfather to himself. However, he thanked this
respectable old chair for beginning the conversation, and begged to know
whether it had anything particular to communicate.

"I have been listening attentively to your narrative of my adventures,"
replied the chair; "and it must be owned that your correctness entitles
you to be held up as a pattern to biographers. Nevertheless, there are a
few omissions which I should be glad to see supplied. For instance, you
make no mention of the good knight Sir Richard Saltonstall, nor of the
famous Hugh Peters, nor of those old regicide judges, Whalley, Goffe,
and Dixwell. Yet I have borne the weight of all those distinguished
characters at one time or another."

Grandfather promised amendment if ever he should have an opportunity to
repeat his narrative. The good old chair, which still seemed to retain a
due regard for outward appearance, then reminded him how long a time
had passed since it had been provided with a new cushion. It likewise
expressed the opinion that the oaken figures on its back would show to
much better advantage by the aid of a little varnish.

"And I have had a complaint in this joint," continued the chair,
endeavoring to lift one of its legs, "ever since Charley trundled his
wheelbarrow against me."

"It shall be attended to," said Grandfather.

"And now, venerable chair, I have a favor to solicit. During an
existence of more than two centuries you have had a familiar intercourse
with men who were esteemed the wisest of their day. Doubtless, with your
capacious understanding, you have treasured up many an invaluable lesson
of wisdom. You certainly have had time enough to guess the riddle of
life. Tell us, poor mortals, then, how we may be happy."

The lion's head fixed its eyes thoughtfully upon the fire, and the
whole chair assumed an aspect of deep meditation. Finally it beckoned to
Grandfather with its elbow, and made a step sideways towards him, as if
it had a very important secret to communicate.

"As long as I have stood in the midst of human affairs," said the chair,
with a very oracular enunciation, "I have constantly observed that
Justice, Truth, and Love are the chief ingredients of every happy life."

"Justice, Truth, and Love!" exclaimed Grandfather. "We need not exist
two centuries to find out that these qualities are essential to our
happiness. This is no secret. Every human being is born with the
instinctive knowledge of it."

"Ah!" cried the chair, drawing back in surprise. "From what I have
observed of the dealings of man with man, and nation with nation, I
never should have suspected that they knew this all-important secret.
And, with this eternal lesson written in your soul, do you ask me
to sift new wisdom for you out of my petty existence of two or three

"But, my dear chair "--said Grandfather.

"Not a word more," interrupted the chair; "here I close my lips for
the next hundred years. At the end of that period, if I shall have
discovered any new precepts of happiness better than what Heaven has
already taught you, they shall assuredly be given to the world."

In the energy of its utterance the oaken chair seemed to stamp its
foot, and trod (we hope unintentionally) upon Grandfather's toe. The old
gentleman started, and found that he had been asleep in the great chair,
and that his heavy walking-stick had fallen down across his foot.

"Grandfather," cried little Alice, clapping her hand, "you must dream a
new dream every night about our chair!"

Laurence, and Clara, and Charley said the same. But the good old
gentleman shook his head, and declared that here ended the history, real
or fabulous, of GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR.




BOSTON, Aug. 30, 1765.

MY DEAR SIR, I came from my house at Milton, the 26 in the morning.
After dinner it was whispered in town there would be a mob at night, and
that Paxton, Hallowell, the custom-house, and admiralty officers'
houses would be attacked; but my friends assured me that the rabble were
satisfied with the insult I had received and that I was become rather
popular. In the evening, whilst I was at supper and my children round
me, somebody ran in and said the mob were coming. I directed my children
to fly to a secure place, and shut up my house as I had done before,
intending not to quit it; but my eldest daughter repented her leaving
me, hastened back, and protested she would not quit the house unless
I did. I could n't stand against this, and withdrew with her to a
neighboring house, where I had been but a few minutes before the hellish
crew fell upon my house with the rage of devils, and in a moment with
axes split down the doors and entered. My son being in the great entry
heard them cry: "Damn him, he is upstairs, we'll have him." Some ran
immediately as high as the top of the house, others filled the rooms
below and cellars, and others remained without the house to be employed

Messages soon came one after another to the house where I was, to inform
me the mob were coming in pursuit of me, and I was obliged to retire
through yards and gardens to a house more remote, where I remained until
4 o'clock, by which time one of the best finished houses in the Province
had nothing remaining but the bare walls and floors. Not contented with
tearing off all the wainscot and hangings, and splitting the doors to
pieces, they beat down the partition walls; and although that alone
cost them near two hours, they cut down the cupola or lanthorn, and they
began to take the slate and boards from the roof, and were prevented
only by the approaching daylight from a total demolition of the
building. The garden-house was laid flat, and all my trees, etc.,
broke down to the ground.

Such ruin was never seen in America. Besides my plate and family
pictures, household furniture of every kind, my own, my children's, and
servants' apparel, they carried off about £900 sterling in money, and
emptied the house of everything whatsoever, except a part of the kitchen
furniture, not leaving a single book or paper in it, and have scattered
or destroyed all the manuscripts and other papers I had been collecting
for thirty years together, besides a great number of public papers in
my custody. The evening being warm, I had undressed me and put on a thin
camlet surtout over my waistcoat. The next morning, the weather being
changed, I had not clothes enough in my possession to defend me from
the cold, and was obliged to borrow from my friends. Many articles
of clothing and a good part of my plate have since been picked up in
different quarters of the town, lint the furniture in general was cut to
pieces before it was thrown out of the house, and most of the beds cut
open, and the feathers thrown out of the windows. The next evening,
I intended with my children to Milton, but meeting two or three small
parties of the ruffians, who I suppose had concealed themselves in the
country, and my coachman hearing one of them say, "There he is!" my
daughters were terrified and said they should never be safe, and I was
forced to shelter them that night at the Castle.

The encouragers of the first mob never intended matters should go this
length, and the people in general expressed the utter detestation of
this unparalleled outrage, and I wish they could be convinced what
infinite hazard there is of the most terrible consequences from such
demons, when they are let loose in a government where there is not
constant authority at hand sufficient to suppress them. I am told the
government here will make me a compensation for my own and my family's
loss, which I think cannot be much less than £3,000 sterling. I am not
sure that they will. If they should not, it will be too heavy for me,
and I must humbly apply to his majesty in whose service I am a sufferer;
but this, and a much greater sum would be an insufficient compensation
for the constant distress and anxiety of mind I have felt for some time
past, and must feel for months to come. You cannot conceive the wretched
state we are in. Such is the resentment of the people against the
Stamp-Duty, that there can be no dependence upon the General Court to
take any steps to enforce, or rather advise, to the payment of it. On
the other hand, such will be the effects of not submitting to it, that
all trade must cease, all courts fall, and all authority be at an end.
Must not the ministry be excessively embarrassed? On the one hand, it
will be said, if concessions are made, the Parliament endanger the
loss of their authority over the Colony: on the other hand, if external
forces should be used, there seems to be danger of a total lasting
alienation of affection. Is there no alternative? May the infinitely
wise God direct you.

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