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[328] of this memorable discourse, and of the effect it produced, are given in the following letter.1

Plymouth, Thursday Evening, December 21.
. . . . We set off this morning at half past 8 precisely. Our own party consisted of Mr.Davis and Mrs. I. P. Davis, Miss Russell, Frank Gray, Mr.Webster and Mrs. Webster, Miss Stockton, Miss Mason, and myself; but in the course of the forenoon we overtook fifty or sixty persons more, most of them of our acquaintance, and at the dining-house found Colonel Perkins, Mrs. S. G. Perkins, and Susan. The dinner was very merry, . . . . in the afternoon ride Mr. Webster became extremely interested, and I enjoyed myself as much as anybody.

At last we reached the hill that opened the Bay of Plymouth upon us, and it seemed in a moment as if I were at home, so familiar to me were the names and relations of everything I saw. It was like coming upon classic ground, where every object was a recollection and almost a history,—the point of land called the Governor's Farm, because it was owned by the first governor; Clarke's Island, where the Pilgrims landed on Saturday, the 20th December, 1620, and kept their Sabbath with all the severity of their peculiar notions of religion, and refused to come to the main shore until Monday; and finally the very town itself, that now covers and hides the little spot they consecrated by their first footsteps.

The moment I got out of the carriage I set off to see whatever the daylight would still permit me to enjoy, of a spot to which more recollections tend than to any other in America. The first thing was of course the Rock, on which the first boatload that came from the Mayflower landed, on Monday, 22d of December, 1620. It was already surrounded by a crowd of the strangers who have arrived this afternoon, and a cannon was mounted on it to fire a forefathers' salute to-morrow morning.

I have seldom had more lively feelings from the associations of place than I had when I stood on this blessed rock; and I doubt whether there be a place in the world where a New England man should feel more gratitude, pride, and veneration than when he stands where the first man stood who began the population and glory of his country. The Colosseum, the Alps, and Westminster Abbey have nothing more truly classical, to one who feels as he ought to feel, than this rude and bare rock.

1 An account of this discourse, by Mr. Ticknor, appears in another form in the reminiscences he furnished to Mr. Curtis for his ‘Life of Webster.’ See that work, Vol. I. p. 192.

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