Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and clay for miles. Up at Manomet the tervals haply beguiling resident loiterers coast is rock-bound, sure enough !” I was into conversation. then told, and I have since read all about But when the stir begins in earnest, I Elder Faunce, the son of one of the Pil- hasten up North Street and bend my course grims, – how at the age of ninety-six, in to this lone secluded spot, quiet though 1742, three years before his death, he came melancholy, perhaps quiet because melandown from his home in Eelriver village, choly. In the modern atmosphere of the purposely to identify the Rock; how "a town below, even with Bradford's Journal chair was placed for him," and how, in the and Mourt's Relation for daily reading, it presence of numbers gathered around, he is difficult to make their grim realities seem pointed to the Rock and said his father real. But here upon Burial Hill, reclining told him the Pilgrims used it in landing. under the shadow of Governor Bradford's One Deacon Spooner, then present, told monument, and aided by these printed this years afterwards to the Forefathers' records, I ignore time — which sundry

6

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

Day orator of 1817, who in his oration wise ones say has no existence — and spoke of the occurrence and of his inform- live, and land, with the Pilgrims. I look ant. Thus we see that the enthusiasm of over the town, out across the eight or nine General Grant's wife, which caused her, in miles of water, to Gurnet Lights, where their visit here, to kneel upon the Rock the land seems to leave off and the harbor and kiss it, was wholly warranted.

begins, and follow that shore inward to the I like to loiter about the place by moon- left, by Saquish Beach and Clark's Island, light, strolling along in the shadows of the to Captain's Hill, — pausing there to imancient storehouses, or down on the de- agine the valiant captain standing at the serted wharves, listening to the swash, top of his monument, saluting Faith, who swash of the waters, now and then catch- points so serenely and majestically upwards ing the far-off stroke-beat of oars, or merry from the National Monument on this side ; shout or sweet strain of music from some then follow the curve home around by Duxlate-returning water party, or glimpse of a bury and Kingston shores to the wharves swift-passing sail. And in the cool of the here below, then on to the right, past very early morning it is pleasant to sit on “ Poverty Pint," and so on far around to the caplog, watching the fishboats as they the end of Manomet Bluffs. And somehow sail away, or the jolly setting-forth of some from the space of water thus encircled all up-betimes party of young folk, and at in- the vessels and fishboats, even the white

winged mackerel fleet far out, seem to disappear, and I see only one little shallop working along in a furious gale, over darkening seas. That is not open sea, though it appears so, between the Gurnet and Manomet, for behind the Bluffs the coast bends inward and around to Provincetown, at the end of Cape Cod, where the Pilgrims first made land. They sent out a shallop to explore coastwise ; and how that shallop ever made its forlorn and unknown way hitherward, in a gale of wind, with snow and sleet beating down, with mast and rudder broke, and steering with an oar, finally drifting through the breakers upon Clark's Island, by Saquish Cove, - oh, the wonder of it! I live it all over with them ; crawl up the bank with them, wet and half frozen ; and with them watch the long night through for the fierce savages and wild beasts they expected to encounter. Interesting indeed are these detailed accounts, telling how they spent Sunday on the island, of their Sabbath services, and of their putting across next day, taking frequent soundings, and how they liked this spot on account of these protecting hills and of its many “sweet springs of water" and “ little running brooks," and how they went back to the Cape to tell the good news, and how the Mayflower sailed over and anchored off here, and how the people came ashore in boatloads, — and, after more than four months' tossing upon the waters, here they are landed on this narrow edge of an unknown continent.

“Forth They come from their long prison, hardy forms,

[graphic]

Clark's Island.

.men of hoary hair, And virgins of firm heart, and matrons grave. Bleak Nature's desolation wraps them round, Eternal forests and unyielding earth And savage man .. “In grateful adoration now, Upon the barren sands they bow; What tongues of joy e'er woke such prayer, As bursts in desolation there? What arm of strength e'er woke such power As waits to crown that feeble hour?" Just below, at the foot of Leyden Street, where Town Brook flows into the sea, the “one hundred and two" begin New England. The row of humble-roofed cabins, clay-thatched and windowed with oiled paper, nearly followed the line of the Brook,

2 sf

"The murmuring Brook whose waters sweet a long time headstones were brought from Induced them there to fix their seat,

England. The dependence of the colonists Whose gushing banks the springs afford That eked along their scanty board."

on England for almost everything needed

must account in part for the proverbial I have tasted the gushing springs, and thrift and prudence” of present New Engenvious dwellers afar shall know that it has land. They were compelled to turn everybeen my daily privilege to drink of that thing to the best advantage and to make a special fount known as Pilgrim Spring, little go far, and thus was evolved Yankee down by the bridge. A little farther up “faculty” and “contrivance.” Supplies the stream, and just over across from this, from home were always likely to fail before

[graphic][merged small]
[ocr errors]

is Watson's Hill. I seem to see that hill the next arrival. Some cheerful rhymester bare of houses, and to see Massasoit and of the period portrayed the situation in a his twenty Indians filing down. Captain long string of verses. Miles Standish meets them with seven armed men and escorts them to a dwell

“And now, too, our garments begin to grow thin,

And wool is much wanted to card and to spin. ing on this side, where the governor awaits If we can get garments to cover without, them. Cushions and a “green rug” are Our other, in-garments, are clout upon clout.1 spread down. The Indians are "pleased

But clouting our garments, that hinders us nothwith the drum and trumpet.” Massasoit

ing;

Clouts double are warmer than single whole and the governor kiss each other, — a true

clothing kiss of peace, as the treaty then formed lasted fifty years. Yet for a time the “For pottage, and puddings, and custards, and pies, colony must have had cause of alarm, —

Our pumpkins and parsnips are common sup

plies; perhaps from unfriendly Indians, - for they We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at held their Sabbath meetings in a fort. Just here it stood, made of strong logs clamped

If it were not for pumpkins, we should be undoon. together, and with a flat-roof for the artil

If barley be wanting to make into malt,

We must be contented and think it no fault; lery pieces. The site is shown by tablets

For we can make liquor to sweeten our lips among the headstones. The oldest of With pumpkins and parsnips and walnut-tree these stones says, “ 1681." I am told the chips.” earlier graves were not thus marked, as for

1 Patch upon patch.

noon;

“ Yes

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

No step

[ocr errors]

With so few of our modern facilities “But, my friend, you must allow there's then existing anywhere, scarcity must have something doing in the way of pleasurprevailed for a long period. I doubt if ing." the reign of plenty began much before the

- yes; I've looked in at their time of the ancient Unknown yonder who, dancing. Just a kind of standing up to in common with the idle tourist, frequents rest and a shoving the feet along. No these graveyard paths. Latterly he recog. Nancy Dillard singing, Now-a is the set nizes me.

The aged are garrulous. Ques- part, set part, set part; Now-a is the turn tioning may draw out somewhat of interest. part, turn part, turn,' and Dance up to

“Good morning, my friend. I often Rushy Cobbin Barnes,’ ‘Dance up to the see you sitting here."

gal with the blue short apron.' “Yes ; I do have a habit of coming." ping out the tune, and the most they try

“Because you like the sadness of the to do is to keep out of one another's way. place?"

You'd have been pleased to see the times we “ Well — no no; I am a good ways used to have up at Cornish's Tavern ; the beyond anything of that sort ; but since Thanksgiving parties and Forefathers' paryou ask, I will say that I come up here to ties ! That was live fun! But everything think over my thoughts and to look off on is duller nowadays. Even in the schools the salt water. All my family have passed 'tis drone, drone, drone. You don't see on, and I have no young ties to join me in the rulers flying. And the meeting-houses with this new generation. You may smile, are dull; no daylight let in; no rousing but I seem to myself to be shed off and kind of sermons that used to keep anybody left all by myself, and I mostly take my awake day and night. And the pulpit, and cane, — for that seems companionable-like, the ministers, too, are right down among I've known it so long, - and go strolling the people." about among the old landmarks, what "What you just said, my friend, in regard are left of them, — and I live over the to reality is in the line of my own thought. days of my youth ; and somehow the times Life must have had a sterner reality and that I did live in, and take part in, and brought deeper lessons when daily needs good, strong part, too, seem more like demanded immediate effort.” reality to me than these I've no part in. “Stranger, you speak truth. What they There's a kind of dulness to these times. got to eat had to be clutched right out Everything is right to your hand. Seems of the ground or out of the water, and there's nothing doing in these times." it was so up in our neighborhood even

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

within my own remembrance. Whoever was spinning and weaving ; now 'tis pianowanted clothes, why, there was your fax playing and going to picnics. They would and your flock o' sheep, and you could have thought very poorly of carrying their pull and shear and card and spin and victuals out doors and spreading them out weave, or do with fewer clothes. When on the ground. It takes more time to you wanted bread, there was your ground, make a gown now than it took then to and you could plant and hoe and reap, or make the cloth and the gown. Half a starve. When it came to sweetenin', why, day did very well for making one, and the they did have to buy their sweetenin'; but regular price was twenty-five cents a day, if you wanted meat you had to raise it, and work till eight o'clock. My sister learned do your own killing, or else hire it done. the mantua-maker's trade. In one family, For fish there was the catching, and for the best off in this town, the woman was clams there was the digging, and for eels close as the bark of a tree. She used to

[graphic][merged small]

there was the bobbing. In our family, father hire Prudy for half a day, and thread up a made scythe-handles and other tool-handles. whole pincushion full of needles, to save Mother she carded and spun and wove her taking a rest between daylight and and made up cloth, and the children made dark.” wooden buttons and lead inkstands and Ah, my friend, I see that human nature run over the bent-up pewter spoons in a was the same in your day as now.” mould. Grandmother used the same pins “Oh, no! Right-down honesty was of to pin her clothes together for years. The good deal more account. Children were shoemaker went his rounds from house to instructed in honesty. Once when I was house, making up shoes for winter wear. a little boy I picked up a piece of chalk All the boys and girls in our neighbor- off a carpenter's bench and carried it hood, and a good many men, went bare- home, thinking to please my mammy. footed in the summer; rain or shine, they ‘Go straight back and put that piece had to put God's leather to God's weather. of chalk where you found it,' she said. More for women to do than there is now? “Never take a pin's worth that is not your Well — more, and less. Time was used own.' I carried that chalk all the way up then, and 'tis used up now. Then it back, but the 'Never take a pin's worth'

« AnteriorContinuar »