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Grandfather's Chair by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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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.






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, anti 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

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. I)o 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 no( 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

"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 dear]as 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 govern-
ment. 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 elbow-

"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 Stephen-son, were hanged at Boston. A woman had been sen-
tenced 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

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
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





"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 curiousity 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."

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