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[85]

If Plymouth could not be blinded by the dazzling

Chap. XII.} 1665 May
prospect of a charter, there was no room to expect success in Massachusetts. The conference between the two parties degenerated into an altercation. ‘It is insufferable,’ said the government, ‘that the colony should be brought to the bar of a tribunal unknown to its charter.’ At length it was directly asked, ‘Do you acknowledge his majesty's commission?’ The colony declined giving a direct answer, and chose
May 19.
rather to plead his majesty's charter.

Tired of discussion, the commissioners resolved to

May 23.
act; and declared their intention of holding a court to decide a cause in which the colony was cited to appear as defendant. The general court forbade the procedure. The commissioners refused to recede; the morning for the trial dawned; the parties had been summoned; the commissioners were preparing to proceed with the cause, when, by order of the court, a herald stepped forth, and, having sounded the trumpet with due solemnity, made a public proclamation, in the name of the king, and by authority of the charter, declaring to all the people of the colony, that, in observance of their duty to God, to the king, and to their constituents, the general court could not suffer any to abet his majesty's honorable commissioners in their proceedings.

Some extraordinary form of publicity was thought necessary, to give validity to the remonstrance. The herald sounded the trumpet in three several places, and repeated publicly his proclamation. We may smile at this solitary imitation of a feudal ceremony. Yet when had the voice of a herald proclaimed the approach of so momentous a contest? It was not merely a

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