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[329]

From this interesting monument I went up to the southern side of the sunny hill, which in that cold season probably tempted the fathers to establish themselves here, and where they pitched their tents the first night; and from there went to the height where the first victims of their sufferings and privations were secretly buried. No stone marks the spot, and it is only the fidelity of an unquestionable tradition that has preserved its memory. In the course of December,—or in eight days,—out of one hundred and one that landed, four died, and in the course of January and February, forty others; so that in a little more than two months their numbers were diminished almost one half.

But they did not dare to let it be known, lest the Indians should take advantage of their weakness, and cut them off altogether. The dead, therefore, received no visible monument; but the tears and sufferings and terrors of the survivors have been to them more than all records and memorials.

It was now nearly dark, but still I was able to go and see the hill, or rather little mound, where King Massasoit came, in the following spring, and held a conference with the poor reduced settlers, and gave them assurances of good — will which induced them to remain, and found an empire of whose greatness they little dreamt. . . . .

This evening . . . . we have had a good deal of company, both old colonists and strangers. The most curious was Mr. Sam Davis, brother to the Judge; who, if I understand his character rightly, unites in his person all the attributes of a forefather, and all the recollections, traditions, and feelings of one of their descendants, so that I look upon him as a kind of ghost, come down from the seventeenth century to preserve for us what without him would certainly have been forever lost. At any rate, we found him very interesting, very curious, and very amusing. . . . .

The whole town has the air of a fete. The streets are filled with idlers, lounging about to see the curiosities, or people busily running to and fro, to get their quarters and make them comfortable; the houses and chambers are all lighted up, as if there was a party in every room, and a band of military music has been nearly all the time marching up and down the street, followed by the crowd and rabble, who seem to share not a little of the general enthusiasm. Everything, in short, gives token of a goodly day to-morrow. . . . .

Friday Evening.—I have run away from a great levee there is down stairs, thronging in admiration round Mr. Webster, to tell you a little word about his oration. Yet I do not dare to trust myself about it,


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