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[86] struggle of the general court and the commissioners
Chap. XII.} 1665.
nor yet of Charles II. and Massachusetts; it was a still more momentous combat—the dawning strife of the new system against the old system, of American politics against European politics.

The commissioners could only wonder that the

May 24.
arguments of the king, his chancellor, and his secretary, could not convince the government of Massachusetts. ‘Since you will misconstrue our endeavors,’ said they, “we shall not lose more of our labors upon you;” and so they retreated to the north. There they endeavored to inquire into the bounds of New Hampshire and Maine, and to prepare for the restoration of proprietary claims. Massachusetts was again equally active and fearless; its governor and council forbade the towns on the Piscataqua to meet, or in any thing to obey the commission, at their utmost peril.1

In Maine, the temper of the people was more favorable to royalty; they preferred the immediate protection of the king to an incorporation with Massachusetts, or a subjection to the heir of Gorges; and the commissioners, setting aside the officers appointed by Massachusetts, and neglecting the pretensions of Gorges, issued commissions to persons of their selection to govern the district. There were not wanting those who, in spite of threats, openly expressed fears of ‘the sad contentions’ that would follow, and acknowledged that their connection with Massachusetts had been favorable to their prosperity. Secure in the support of a resolute minority, the Puritan commonwealth, soon after the departure of the commissioners, entered the

province, and again established its authority by force of arms. Great tumults ensued; many persons, opposed

1 Hutch. Coll. 419.

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