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[54] arrived—lingered a few years on the edge—was pushed in—and scrambled out on the other side.

It was on a Monday morning. There had been a long, fierce rain, and the clouds still hung heavy and dark over the hills. Horace, then only seven years old, on coning down stairs in the morning, saw several men about the house; neighbors, some of them; others were strangers; others he had seen in the village. He was too young to know the nature of an Execution, and by what right the sheriff and a party of men laid hands upon his father's property. His father had walked quietly off into the woods; for, at that period, a man's person was not exempt from seizure. Horace had a vague idea that the men had come to rob them of all they possessed; and wild stories are afloat in the neighborhood, of the boy's conduct on the occasion. Some say, that he seized a hatchet, ran to the neighboring field, and began furiously to cut down a favorite pear-tree, saying, ‘They shall not have that, anyhow.’ But his mother called him off, and the pear-tree still stands. Another story is, that he went to one of his mother's closets, and taking as many of her dresses as he could grasp in his arms, ran away with them into the woods, hid them behind a rock, and then came back to the house for more. Others assert, that the article carried off by the indignant boy was not dresses, but a gallon of rum. But whatever the boy did, or left undone, the reader may imagine that it was to all the family a day of confusion, anguish, and horror. Both of Horace's parents were persons of incorruptible honesty; they had striven hard to place such a calamity as this far from their house; they had never experienced themselves, nor witnessed at their earlier homes, a similar scene; the blow was unexpected; and mingled with their sense of shame at being publicly degraded, was a feeling of honest rage at the supposed injustice of so summary a proceeding. It was a dark day; but it passed, as the darkest day will.

An ‘arrangement’ was made with the creditors. Mr. Greeley gave up his own farm, temporarily, and removed to another in the adjoining town of Bedford, which he cultivated on shares, and devoted principally to the raising of hops. Misfortune still pursued him. His two years experience of hop-growing was not satisfactory. The hop-market was depressed. His own farm in Amherst

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Zaccheus Greeley (1)
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