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 About midway between Salem and the ancient town of Newburyport, the traveller on the Eastern Railroad sees on the right, between him and the sea, a tall church-spire, rising above a semicircle of brown roofs and venerable elms; to which a long scalloping range of hills, sweeping off to the seaside, forms a green background. This is Ipswich, the ancient Agawam; one of those steady, conservative villages, of which a few are still left in New England, wherein a contemporary of Cotton Mather and Governor Endicott, were he permitted to revisit the scenes of his painful probation, would scarcely feel himself a stranger. Law and Gospel, embodied in an orthodox steeple and a court-house, occupy the steep, rocky eminence in its midst; below runs the small river under its picturesque stone bridge; and beyond is the famous female seminary, where Andover theological students are wont to take unto themselves wives of the daughters of the Puritans. An air of comfort and quiet broods over the whole town. Yellow moss clings to the seaward sides of the roofs; one's eyes are not endangered by the intense glare of painted shingles and clapboards. The smoke of hospitable kitchens curls up through the overshadowing elms from huge-throated chimneys, whose hearth-stones have been worn by the feet of many generations. The tavern was once renowned throughout New England, and it is still a creditable hostelry. During court time it is crowded with jocose lawyers, anxious clients, sleepy jurors, and miscellaneous hangers on; disinterested gentlemen, who have no particular business of their own in court, but who
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