« ZurückWeiter »
foe where you stand. The way leading from the main road to the monument is a grassy lawn, formed by parallel rows of pines and maples. The many trees and small shrubbery shut out the surrounding country; but it is no great loss, for it helps you the more to enjoy what you came to see. The grave already mentioned is a few steps to the left of the monument. At the head stands a young elm; at the foot, a pine. Two large elms stand just beyond the monu
nument, a few yards apart, and mark the site of the old North Bridge. They were only saplings in '75. This is the spot—and it does the heart good to recollect it—where
“The old continentals
Faltered not.” Near the village is the home of Ralph Waldo Emerson, standing in from the road, a rusty, oldish frame building, sheltered and shaded by surrounding pines, that throw a gloom and shadow over his dwelling as deep as that which his dark, doubting, comfortless philosophy throws over the human spirit.
Half a mile from Emerson's is Hawthorne's “House of the seven gables," an odd piece of architecture, modelled, no doubt, after the old Puncheon House in Salem, which he has so well described in his romance of that title. Hawthorne is deservedly considered one of our first writers. His representations of early New England times and customs, especially the characteristic features of the old Puritans, are most complete. He draws their portraits with such a lively minuteness, such a neatness and accuracy, that you are charmed. His “House of the Seven Gables,” and “Scarlet Letter,” especially set forth the severity of Puritanism as exhibited at home and abroad, in the Church and State, in individual and social life. Great pleasure was anticipated in calling on him; for I desired to see his outer man, as I had seen his inner man in his books; but he was absent from home.
Cambridge is classic as well as historic ground. Harvard University! Its very name has a peculiar charm. You recollect, as you tread the halls, rooms and grounds, how many of our greatest and best men have trod them before you, and left, as it were, their spiritual presence behind. One of the earliest colleges of New England, it was the pride and care of the country
Its name has gone abroad, and its character has long been established. You stroll through its grounds and buildings with that peculiar reverence which is called forth by whatever is great, old and venerable. It is, perhaps, vacation and all is quiet except the occasional clatter of a mason's trowel, or the rumble of a wheel over its gravel walks. You enter the gallery of paintings, rich and interesting. From the walls look down on you the eyes of a long gone generation. You are carried back to the days of the colonies, for before you hang life-sized portraits of many ancient worthies of the seventeenth century. Their quaint dress, breeches, buckles and buttons, rich ruffles, long-tailed velvets and large powdered wigs, form a striking contrast to the present styles and fashions. There is the mild face of John Winthrop (1587–1694,) with dark
eye, thin whiskers and light mustache; William Stoughton (1632-1702,) gray hair, black square cap and heavy, loose gown; George Whitefield, crosseyed, with large, curling wig, pulpit garb, and Greek Testament in hand; Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Hubbard, Ed. Holyoke, Charles Chauncy, and many other prominent forefathers and patrons of New England theology and jurisprudence.
Time does not allow to visit “Gore Hall,” the library and Museum of Harvard; nor yet to stroll through Mt. Auburn Cemetery, a lovely place; nor yet to rest long in the shade of Washington Elm, the tree under which Washington first drew his sword as Commander-in-Chief of the American Army. Having now gathered up the fragments in the suburbs, we must return to the mother city. Entering Boston-if the idea is not lost in the crookedness of streets, the noise and hurrying to and fro—you will likely recollect, that here the first and most violent
opposition to the stamp act was made; the tea was thrown over-board; officers were burnt in effigy; here British forces landed and were bombarded, and finally compelled to evacuate it; here Sons and Daughters of Liberty held their patri. otic meetings; here is Faneuil Hall, the Old South, Province House, and but, dear me! you cannot recall everything. As we shall
it has a history, however, lying far back of all these interesting times and relics, a history which comes to you with more meaning and force, away from the present noisy business and stir of a modern city; a history of a time when Boston was called Shawmut, by the Indians; and Trimountain by the early settlers; when Washington Place was called Cornhill, because the settlers found maize growing there, when they erected their little fort commanding the harbor, in 1634.
“Though time has touched her too, she still retains
Much beauty and more majesty.” Faneuil Hall is a building of unattractive exterior, but its history makes it dear and interesting to every heart. Built in 1742 by the man whose name it bears, burnt down and rebuilt, made the rendezvous of our rebel forefathers, and ever since the Mecca of our country (next to Independence Hall in Philadelphia), the synonym of liberty, often resounding with the eloquence and patriotism of an Otis and an Adams—it is a sacred spot. What stirring associations cluster around that ancient building! It is of large capacity. The one end of the hall is ornamented with a magnificent painting of immense size, representing Webster delivering his celebrated anti-Hayne speech. The lower part of the building is a market place and has been ever since 1742. Not only is the exterior of the Hall itself unattractive, but also it stands in an unattractive section of Boston, surrounded by markets and mud, rusty shops and dirty saloons; but of course when one speaks of Faneuil Hall, you must only think of its glorious history, see only crowds thronging to the "cradle of Liberty,” and hear only shouts of a free and blood-bought people.
The Old South Church is another of those interesting places, about which it is not enough to read and hear; you wish to place your foot upon the veritable spot. During the war its pews, pulpit and entire internals were taken out, and Burgoyne turned it into a riding school. It is of very large dimensions, for being built in 1730, built of brick on the site of the old wooden one of 1669, now in the heart of Boston, then in the south end as its name indicates. In the beginning of the Revolution it was filled with patriotic assemblages; and at present it displays the stars and stripes with a most telling motto. Here Franklin was baptized and here he worshipped; here Whitefield preached; and here the old colonial governors and aristocracy worshipped. Service is still held here. The pews are old-fashioned, very large, and the furnishing tolerably fine. It is a grand privilege to stand within its sacred walls and recount its checkered history.
Just across the street is a place of even more interest, in some respects, than the “Old South,” as it is familiarly called. You might pass it for a life-time, and not potice, through a narrow alley between two brick stores, an ancient brick edifice standing in a now enclosed court. You pass
from a noisy, crowded thoroughfare, back to this inner court—a century ago it must have been a beautiful outer court-and stand before the home of the old royal, loyal, colonial Governors of Massachusetts. It was built by Edward Randolph, and bears on its front the inscription, PROVINCE HOUSE, 1669. The thousand busy passers forget, indeed thousands do not know, that here the old State levees and fetes were held; that here wealth, beauty and fashioned reigned; but alas! its glory has long departed. Hidden by the world of business, walled on every side by dwellings, stores and shops that stand where the royal gardens and yards must have been, little care or even thought was bestowed upon it. Passing from hand to hand-and worthy of a much better fate—it has become a hall of mirth and minstrel song. I was in it when no audience was present. Of course it has undergone great changes in remodelling; its hall, reception rooms, parlors, stairways and grand upper chambers have all disappeared, and even the King's coat of arms has been removed to the rooms of the Massachusetts Historical Society. The present large hall tells tales different from those of the Governor's Home; and its circling galleries are thronged by a class of persons very different from the staid old dignitaries of the olden time.
It makes one feel really sorry—and it is no foolish sorrow, either-that he cannot be transferred to the day of its glory. What a grand thing it would be to see those royal aristocrats, their velvets, and cues, their customs and fashions! At least one would like to see the Province House as it was before modern Vandals laid unholy hands on this venerable relic of a glorious past: even if rusty hinges should creak, musty parlors be damp, and dusty stairways forbid sitting. You could readily bear the creaking, the must and dust, while living, a short hour with the generations that walked these floors nearly two centuries ago. You would be glad in recollecting that here centred the nobles of the western world, that here were displayed all the pomp and pageantry of royal courts, before New England became self-sufficient to produce its own simpler fashions and customs. Beg pardon, reader, for so long a stay; but this is a very pleasant place. Why could not Boston allow this venerable mansion, so rich in associations, to stand unchanged? Was it not enough to hide it from the world?
Who has not heard of Boston Common—the place where liberty meetings were held, where so many stirring scenes of '76 took place? It is now the great common ground and place of resort for all classes and conditions. Nearly fifty acres, in the heart of Boston, with a high costly iron fencing, two rows of stately elms around the entire ground, forming a delightful shady avenue, full of trees scattered irregularly over the ground with seats at every desirable place, a beautiful lake of water near the centre, and public drinking fountains at different points—be assured Boston Common is a delightful place of resort. In 1634 this large tract was reserved as public ground, and long used as a common pasturage.. For many years,
of course, it remained entirely out of the city, and indeed it is no great while since it was still an open tract, unfenced and uncared for; but it has always been the pride of Boston. Here, as has been said, liberty meetings were held; here, even to this day, the masses throng when any public excitement is abroad; children learn to frequent and love it; their hearts drink in its inspiring story of past generations; they feel reverent towards those great old elms of nearly two centuries' growth; and so Boston Common becomes and remains the pride of every citizen. The Great Elm, standing near the centre of the grounds, is the most interesting relic in the neighborhood. Its
age is unknown. Tradition says it must have been a large tree when Boston was first settled. Great care is taken that it be not harmed. A high iron fence protects it from visitors, and iron bands strengthen its long heavy branches against the storm-king. In 1812 our troops were encamped around it. How often excited crowds have burnt effigies upon it! Oh, if this old relic had a tongue, what would it not tell of the settlement of Boston, the early sufferings of the colonists, thei ted uprising against the mother country, the scenes during the war, and the annual commemorations of victory!
“You, when a slender sapling, saw
And in their turn
Of revolution.” In the library room of the Massachusetts Historical Society may the swords of Miles Standish, Elder Wm. Brewster, and John Carver, names closely associated with the early history of the colony; also the old Winslow chair, an antique piece of furniture labelled “Cheapside, London, 1614." There is preserved some of the tea thrown overboard in Boston harbor in 1773. With that in your hand you can better remember the daring act of those bogus Mohawk Indians. In the library are many interesting printed relics. I had the pleasure of reading some of Roger Williams' letters' written from New Providence, Rhode Island, to Governor Winthrop during 1636, and the two years following. It will be recollected, that having been exiled from the Bay Region because he denied the right of civil authority to control conscience, he fled from his Christian brethren at Salem, and after great suffering found shelter and kindness among poor heathen savages, who did not distinguish between civil and ecclesiastical authority, between individual conscience and the voice of the Church. Here he lived nearly half a century, but often in great trial and trouble, because of dangerous Indians. In the letter referred to, he gives accounts of these troubles, and also mentions his success and prospects. The spelling and wording are quite characteristic of that early day.
Other letters are from John Endecott to Sir Henry Vane, justifying the Church and himself in the excommunication of William Pyncheon. There are also the records of witchcraft examinations before the authorities. These old documents carry one far back in history, and enable him to appreciate those early times of strictness and severity. Before you also hang the portraits of Governors Endecott and Winthrop, and Rev. John Wilson, Pastor of the old South Church, from 1630 to 1667. These old names and faces have a peculiar charm; calm dignified and firm, they illustrate their history.
BY CHARLES SAYRE.
Go forth on thy mission unswerving and free
We are homeward bound.
We are homeward bound.
We are homeward bound.
We are homeward bound.
We are homeward bound.
We are homeward bound.
This Hymn was found in a chest in an English cottage. The author's name is unknown.
In the still silence of the voiceless night,
O God, but thee?