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[p. 71] It was lynch law, but it came pretty near to being justice, at least to his uninstructed mind.

Let me say a few words about the square and its buildings as they stood about 1840.

As I have said before, I am inclined to think that the general aspect of no other precinct of the city has changed less during the last sixty years than that of the Public Square and its immediate environment. To be sure, some of the old buildings have disappeared and new ones have been put up in their places. The old Cotton bakery and the Tufts house, on either corner of Forest street, have given place to new structures, and the Opera house and Savings Bank, in their architectural bravery, put the plainer buildings in their neighborhood somewhat out of countenance. But in spite of these changes the square has been able to maintain its identity, and I am sure that one familiar with its aspect sixty years ago, though a stranger to it in the interval, would be easily able to recognize it now. Its essential features are unaltered and it has never lost its local flavor.

There is one thing, however, which he would miss if he were standing in the square on a winter's morning—and that would be the long line of ox-teams, wagons or sleds, loaded with cord-wood, stretching from what is now Governor's avenue to Pasture Hill Lane. He would miss Capt. John Sparrell with his measuring rod, vigilant to see that purchasers lost nothing of their proper dues. And he would miss the noble oxen, waving their heads and ruminating their liberal allowance of corn fodder which was spread before them, their warm, fragrant breath floating away on the frosty air, the scene affording a motif to inspire the best efforts of a Paul Potter or a Troyon. The picturesque age has passed and the mechanical has succeeded; the beautiful sky is cobwebbed with trolley wires, and day and night are made hideous with the infernal whiz of the electric car.

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