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[382] few emigrants who resorted to the new state, was
Chap. IX.}
not sensibly felt in the parent colony; for the Bay of Massachusetts was already thronged with squadrons. The emigrants had from the first been watched in the mother country with intense interest; a letter from New England was venerated ‘as a sacred script, or as the writing of some holy prophets, and was carried many miles, where divers came to hear it.’1 When the first difficulties had been surmounted, the stream of emigration flowed with a full current; ‘Godly people in England began to apprehend a special hand of Providence in raising this plantation, and their hearts
were generally stirred to come over.’ New settlements were, therefore, formed. A little band, toiling
through thickets of ragged bushes, and clambering over crossed trees, made its way along Indian paths to the green meadows of Concord. The suffering settlers burrowed for their first shelter under a hill-side. Tearing up roots and bushes from the ground, they subdued the stubborn soil with the hoe, glad to gain even a lean crop from the wearisome and imperfect culture. The cattle sickened on the wild fodder: sheep and swine were destroyed by wolves; there was no flesh but game. The long rains poured through the insufficient roofs of their smoky cottages, and troubled even the time for sleep. Yet the men labored willingly, for they had their wives and little ones about them. The forest rung with their psalms; and ‘the poorest of the people of God in the whole world,’ they were resolved ‘to excel in holiness.’ Such was the infancy of a New England village.2 Would that village one day engage the attention of the world?

1 Old Planters' Narrative, 17.

2 Johnson, c. XXXV. R. W. Emerson's Historical Discourse, 7. 11

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