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[338] successors, declined the trust,1 and the infant settle-
Chap. IX.} 1638 to 1640.
ments then called New Somersetshire were abandoned to anarchy, or to so imperfect a government, that of the events of two years no records can be found.

Meantime a royal charter now constituted Gorges,

1639 April 3.
his old age, the lord proprietary of the country; and his ambition immediately soared to the honor of establishing boroughs, framing schemes of colonial government, and enacting a code of laws. The veteran royalist, clearly convinced of the necessity of a vigorous executive, had but dim conceptions of popular liberty and rights; and he busied himself in making such arrangements as might have been expected from an old soldier, who was never remarkable for sagacity, had never seen America, and who, now in his dotage, began to act as a lawgiver for a rising state in another hemisphere.2

Such was the condition of the settlements at the north at a time when the region which lies but a little nearer the sun, was already converted, by the energy of religious zeal, into a busy, well-organized, and even opulent state. The early history of Massachusetts is the history of a class of men as remarkable for their qualities and their influence on public happiness, as any by which the human race has ever been diversified.

The settlement near Weymouth was revived; a

new plantation was begun near Mount Wollaston,
within the present limits of Quincy; and the merchants of the West continued their voyages to the islands of New England. But these things were of

1 Winthrop. Hubbard, 261, 262 Williamson 268.

2 Gorges, 50, and ff.

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