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has also published a number of English translations of modern and ancient classics. Colonel Higginson is one of our most popular writers, particularly upon American history, and his service to the cause of American letters has been no less distinguished than his share in the great victory which made our country in truth the land of the free.
"A PURITAN SUNDAY MORNING."*
T is nine o'clock upon a summer Sunday | behind her husband; and has it not, moreover, morning, in the year sixteen hundred and been found needful to impose a fine of forty shillings something. The sun looks down brightly on fast trotting to and fro? All sins are not modern on a little forest settlement, around whose expanding ones, young gentlemen. fields the great American wilderness recedes each day, We approach nearer still, and come among the withdrawing its bears and wolves and Indians into civic institutions. This is the pillory, yonder are the an ever remoter distance-not yet so far removed but stocks, and there is a large wooden cage, a terror to a stout wooden gate at the end of the village street evil-doers, but let us hope empty now. Round the indicates that there is danger outside. It would meeting-house is a high wooden paling, to which the look very busy and thriving in this little place to-day law permits citizens to tie their horses, provided it be but for the Sabbath stillness which broods over every- not done too near the passageway. For at that thing with almost an excess of calm. Even the opening stands a sentry, clothed in a suit of armor smoke ascends more faintly than usual from the which is painted black, and cost the town twentychimneys of the numerous log-huts and these few four shillings by the bill. He bears also a heavy framed houses, and since three o'clock yesterday match-lock musket; his rest, or iron fork, is stuck afternoon not a stroke of this world's work has been in the ground, ready to support the weapon; and he done. Last night a Preparatory Lecture was held, is girded with his bandolier, or broad leather belt, and now comes the consummation of the whole which sustains a sword and a dozen tin cartridgeweek's life, in the solemn act of worship. In which boxes. settlement of the great Massachusetts Colony is the * * * great ceremonial to pass before our eyes? If it be O the silence of this place of worship, after the Cambridge village, a drum is sounding its peaceful solemn service sets in! People do not sneeze or summons to the congregation. If it be Salem village, cough here in public assemblies," says one writer a bell is sounding its more ecclesiastic peal, and a red triumphantly, "so much as in England." The flag is simultaneously hung forth from the meeting- warning caution, " Be short," which the minister has house, like the auction-flag of later periods. If it be inscribed above his study-door, claims no authority Haverhill village, then Abraham Tyler has been blow-over his pulpit. He may pray his hour, unpausing, ing his horn assiduously for half an hour-a service and no one thinks it long; for, indeed, at prayerfor which Abraham, each year, receives a half pound meetings four persons will sometimes pray an hour of pork from every family in town. each-one with confession, one with private petitions, Be it drum, bell, or horn that gives the summons, a third with petitions for Church and Kingdom, and we will draw near to this important building, the a fourth with thanksgiving-each theme being concentre of the village, the one public edifice-meeting- scientiously treated by itself. Then he may preach house, town-house, schoolhouse, watch-house, all in his hour, and, turning his hour-glass, may say-but one. So important is it, that no one can legally that he cannot foresee the levity to be born in a dwell more than half a mile from it. And yet the later century with Mather Byles-" Now, my hearers, people ride to "meeting," short though the distance we will take another glass." be, for at yonder oaken block a wife dismounts from
* Copyright, Geo. R. Shepard.
HE chief historians who have added lustre to American literature during the nineteenth century are Bancroft, Prescott, Motley, Parkman, McMaster and John Fiske; and, when we add to these James Parton, the American biographer, we present an array of talent and scholarship on which any nation might look with patriotic pride. They have been excelled by the historians of no other nation of our time, if, indeed-taken from a national standpoint-they have not produced the best historical literature of the present century.
Though Prescott is the oldest, George Bancroft, in the estimation of the great majority, stands first, perhaps, among all the American historians. This eminent writer was born at Worcester, Massachusetts, in October, 1800, the same month and year in which Macauley, the great English historian, first saw the light, and,-after living one of the most laborious public and literary lives in the history of the world, -died at the ripe old age of ninety-one years (1891). His father, the Reverend Aaron Bancroft, was a minister of the Congregational Church in Worcester for more than a half century and had the highest reputation as a theologian of learning and piety.
At the early age of thirteen, George Bancroft entered Harvard College from which he graduated at the age of seventeen with the highest honors of his class. His first inclinations were to study theology; but in 1818, he went to Germany where he spent two years in the study of history and philology, and it was there that he obtained his degree of Doctor of Philosophy. During the next two years, he visited in succession, Berlin, Heidelberg, Rome, Paris, and London, returning home in 1822, the most accomplished scholar for his age which our country, at that time, had produced.
Soon after his return to the United States, Mr. Bancroft was appointed to the chair of Greek in Harvard College and those who had the benefit of his instruction spoke of his zeal, faithfulness and varied learning as a teacher. He afterward established, in conjunction with Joseph G. Cogswell, a school of high classical character at Northhampton, Massachusetts. While engaged here, he prepared a number of Latin text books for schools, which were far in advance of anything then used in the country. In the meantime, he had given some attention to politics and had been engaged for several years, incidentally, upon his "History of the United States."
In 1828 Mr. Bancroft joined the Democratic Party, having formerly been a Whig, and began to take an active interest in politics, where his great historic learning and broad statesmanship placed him quickly on the high road to political preferment. He was elected to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1830, but declined, as he was then so much engaged upon his "History of the United States" that he was unwilling to turn aside, at least until the first volume was issued, which appeared in 1834. The first and second and third volumes of this work, comprising the Colonial history of the country, were received with great satisfaction by the public on both sides of the Atlantic, being in brilliancy of style, picturesque sketches of character and incidents, compass of learning and generally fair reasoning far in advance of anything that had been written on the subject.
"Bancroft, the Historian," was now the recognition he was accorded, and his fame began to spread. He was made Collector of the Port of Boston in 1838 by President Van Buren, which position he held until 1841. In 1844 he ran as Democratic candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, but was defeated. During 1845 and 1846 he served his country as Secretary of the Navy under President Polk, and while in this office he planned and established the Naval Academy at Annapolis and issued the orders by which California was annexed to the United States. In 1846 President Polk further honored the historian by appointing him Minister-Plenipotentiary to Great Britain, where he represented the United States until 1849. The first three volumes of Mr. Bancroft's histories had preceded him to England. "The London Monthly Review" spoke in the highest terms of his quality as a historian, praising the sustained accuracy and dignity of his style, referring to him as a philosopher, a legislator, and a historian. He was also honored with the degree of D. C. L., by Oxford University in 1849, and was enrolled as a member of many learned societies.
Thus laden with honors, he returned this same year to his country, made New York his place of residence, and resumed, with renewed energy, the prosecution of his historical labors. The fourth volume of his "History of the United States" appeared in 1852, and the next year the fifth volume was published, which was succeeded by the sixth and seventh, the latter appearing in 1858, bringing the history of our country down into the stirring scenes of the Revolution.
President Andrew Johnson made Mr. Bancroft United States Minister to Russia in 1867, and he was our national representative at the North German Confederation in 1868. General Grant appointed him as our Minister to the German Empire from 1871 to 1874, during which time he enjoyed the closest friendship of Prince Bismarck. Bismarck declares that Bancroft was the foremost representative of American grit that he had ever met. "Think," said he to Minister Phelps many years afterwards, "of a Secretary of the Navy, a literary man by profession, taking it upon himself to issue orders for the occupation of a vast foreign territory as Bancroft did in the case of California. Again he caused the earliest seizure of Texas by the United States troops, while temporarily holding the portfolio of Minister of War. Only a really great man would undertake such responsibilities.” Bancroft's "History of the United States" was completed in 1874; but the last and final revised edition of it was published in 1885, fifty-one years after the first volume had been issued. This great work comprises ten volumes and comes down
only to the close of the Revolution. It is a monumental work within itself—a fit monument to the greatest of American historians. The patriotism and eloquence of its author are manifest in nearly every page, and the work has been criticised as a Fourth-of-July oration in ten volumes. It is generally regarded as a standard history of America up to the time of the Constitution.
Other works of Mr. Bancroft are "The Necessity, the Reality, and the Promises of the Human Race" (1854); "Literary and Historical Miscellanies" (1855), and "A Plea for the Constitution of the United States of America, Wounded in the House of its Guardians" (1886), written when the author was eighty-six years of age. Mr. Bancroft was an orator as well as a historian and politician, one of the bestknown of his addresses being the famous oration on Lincoln, delivered before Congress in 1866. During the latter part of his life he had a winter home in Washington, where the national archives and the Library of Congress were always at his hand, and a summer home at Newport, where he had a wonderful garden of roses, which was a great attraction. Rose-growing and horseback riding were his recreations, and the erect and striking form of the historian, with his long gray beard, mounted on a fine horse, was for years a familiar figure at Newport and on the streets of Washington.
It is beautiful to contemplate so long and useful a life as that of George Bancroft. When the old historian was nearly ninety years of age, he journeyed all the way from his northern home to Nashville, Tennessee, to make certain investigations, for historical data, among the private papers of President Polk. The writer of this sketch had the pleasure of witnessing the meeting between him and the venerable wife of James K. Polk at the old mansion which stands near the Capitol. It was a beautiful and impressive sight to see this grand old woman, who had been the first lady of the land forty-five years before, conducting this venerable historian, who had been her husband's Secretary of War, about the premises. President Polk's library with all the papers piled upon the table had remained just as he had left it, and into its sacred precincts Mr. Bancroft was admitted, with perfect liberty to select and take away whatever would be of service in his historical labors. What he did with these papers is unknown to the writer. Perhaps his death occurred too soon after to render them of practical service; but that the old historian died in the harness may well be supposed from the following extract taken from a letter written when he was more than eighty years of age: "I was trained to look upon life here as a season for labor. Being more than fourscore years old, I know the time for my release will soon come. Conscious of being near the shore of eternity, I wait without impatience and without dread the beckoning of the hand which will summon me to rest."
The beckoning hand appeared several years later-in 1891-and he passed quietly "over the river," only nine years in advance of the death of the century with which he was born, having spent altogether one of the busiest, one of the most honorable, one of the most useful and the very longest life of all the celebrities in American literature. His fame is secure. His works will live after him-a proud and lasting monument.
CHARACTER OF ROGER WILLIAMS.
HILE the State was thus connecting by the blot from the statute-book the felony of non-conclosest bonds the energy of its faith with formity; would quench the fires that persecution had its form of government, there appeared in so long kept burning; would repeal every law comits midst one of those elear minds which sometimes pelling attendance on public worship; would abolish bless the world by their power of receiving moral tithes and all forced contributions to the maintenance truth in its purest light, and of reducing the just con- of religion; would give an equal protection to every clusions of their principles to a happy and consistent form of religious faith; and never suffer the authority practice. In February of the first year of the colony, of the civil government to be enlisted against the but a few months after the arrival of Winthrop, and mosque of the Mussulman or the altar of the firebefore either Cotton or Hooker had embarked for worshipper, against the Jewish synagogue or the New England, there arrived at Nantasket, after a Roman cathedral. It is wonderful with what disstormy passage of sixty-six days," a young minister, tinctness Roger Williams deduced these inferences godly and zealous, having precious" gifts. It was from his great principle; the consistency with which, Roger Williams. He was then but a little more than like Pascal and Edwards, those bold and profound thirty years of age; but his mind had already ma- reasoners on other subjects,-he accepted every fair tured a doctrine which secures him an immortality of inference from his doctrines; and the circumspection fame, as its application has given religious peace to with which he repelled every unjust imputation. In the American world. He was a Puritan, and a fugi- the unwavering assertion of his views he never tive from English persecution; but his wrongs had changed his position; the sanctity of conscience was not clouded his accurate understanding; in the capa- the great tenet which, with all its consequences, he cious recesses of his mind he had revolved the nature defended, as he first trod the shores of New England; of intolerance, and he, and he alone, had arrived at and in his extreme old age it was the last pulsation the great principle which is its sole effectual remedy. of his heart. But it placed the young emigrant in He announced his discovery under the simple propo-direct opposition to the whole system on which Massition of the sanctity of conscience. The civil magis-sachusetts was founded; and, gentle and forgiving as trate should restrain crime, but never control opinion; was his temper, prompt as he was to concede everyshould punish guilt, but never violate the freedom of thing which honesty permitted, he always asserted the soul. The doctrine contained within itself an en- his belief with temperate firmness and unbending tire reformation of theological jurisprudence; it would benevolence.
DESTRUCTION OF THE TEA IN BOSTON HARBOR.
On the 28th day of November, 1773, the ship Dartmouth appeared in Boston Harbor, with one hundred and fourteen chests of tea. The ship was owned by Mr. Rotch, a Quaker merchant. In a few days after, two more tea-ships arrived. They were all put under strict guard by the citizens, acting under the lead of a committee of correspondence, of which Samuel Adams was the controlling spirit. The people of the neighboring towns were organized in a similar manner, and sustained the spirit of Boston. The purpose of the citizens was to have the tea sent back without being landed; but the collector and comptroller refused to give the ships a clearance unless the teas were landed, and Governor Hutchinson also refused his permit, without which they could not pass the "Castle," as the fort at the entrance of Boston Harbor was called. The ships were also liable to seizure if the teas were not landed on the twentieth day after their arrival, and the 16th day of December was the eighteenth day after.
HE morning of Thursday, the 16th of De- submission. At ten o'clock, the people of Boston, cember, 1773, dawned upon Boston,-a a day with at least two thousand men from the country, asby far the most momentous in its annals. sembled in the Old South. A report was made that Beware, little town; count the cost, and know well if Rotch had been refused a clearance from the colyou dare defy the wrath of Great Britain, and if lector. Then," said they to him, "protest imyou love exile, and poverty, and death, rather than mediately against the custom-house, and apply to