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WHAT the Diary of Samuel Pepys is to sev­enteenth century England the Diary of Samuel Sewall is to the Boston of the Puritan era. This invaluable contribution to New England literature covers more than fifty-five years of old Boston life and covers it, too, at a time when that life was putting itself into form. It is therefore a rich mine of history, a veritable storehouse of old ways and social customs. The man who wrote it was a part of all that he met and he was, besides, a red-blooded healthy-minded human being in an age — which too many people think wholly given over to disagreeable asceticism. We cannot do better, then, thin follow for a chapter Sewall's varied career as he himself traces it for us in the vivid pages of his mental and spiritual day-book.

At the outset we must do the old judge the justice to believe that, — to him, — New Eng­land was a colony with a mission. In a speech made in 1723 after Lieutenant-Governor Dummer had taken the oath of office he said: "The people you have to do with are a part of the Israel of God and you may expect to have of the prudence and patience of Moses communi­cated to you for your conduct. It is evident that our Almighty Saviour counselled the first planters to remove hither and settle here; and they dutifully followed his advice; and there­fore he will never leave nor forsake them nor theirs." All his life long Sewall strove to help the Lord do the work he felt to be marked out for the Puritans. We must bear this in mind when the judge of the witches seems narrow to us. But he does not often so seem for he was a generous-minded man, temperamentally and physically easy-going in spite of his Puri­tan training. The Reverend N. H. Chamber­lain, who has written most entertainingly of "Sewall and the World He Lived In" attributes the endearing qualities of his hero to the fact that he was much more Saxon than Dane, and came from the English South Land where the sun is warmer than in the North, the gar­dens and orchards fuller.

Moreover, none of the Sewalls had suffered from persecution. Samuel's great-grand­father, beyond whom the family cannot be traced, made a fortune as a linen-draper at Coventry and was several times elected mayor. His life was then an eminently successful one. The mayor's eldest son, however, was a Puri­tan of such strong convictions that he sent Sewall's father, Henry, to New England. But the climate of Newbury, where Henry Sewall took up land, did not agree with the family and they returned to the mother Country. Thus it happened that Samuel Sewall was born in Bishopstoke, Hampshire, England, in 1647 and spent the impressionable years of his young life in a background where orchards flourished mightily, where cock-fighting was a favourite sport and where roast beef and attendant good things exercised a potent formative influence.

When the boy Samuel was nine the family returned to America. His account of their landing at Boston is given thus naively: "We were about eight weeks at sea where we had nothing to see but water and sky; so that I began to fear that I should never get to shore again; only I thought the captains and the mariners would not have ventured themselves, if they had not hopes of getting to land again. On the Lord's Day my mother kept aboard; but I went ashore; the boat grounded and I was carried out in arms, July 6, 1661."

The future Diarist was educated a father's house in Newbury by a private tutor and at Harvard College, from which he was graduated in 1671. Three years later he took his master's degree, an occasion which he de­scribed thus in a letter written to his son, Joseph, when he (Sewall) was a grown mail: "In 1674 I took my second degree and Mrs. Hannah Hull, my dear wife, your honoured mother was invited by Doctor Hoar and his lady (her kinsfolk) to be with them awhile at Cambridge. She saw me when I took my de­gree and set her affection on me, though I knew nothing of it until after our marriage which was February 28, 1675-76. Governor Bradstreet married us." Sewall's thesis on this interesting commencement day was a Latin discourse on original sin!

For of course the young man was ministerially minded and, at this stage of his career, bade fair to follow the profession of most Harvard men of the day. Very likely, too, he would have kept on with his preaching but for the fact that, after a supplementary year or two at Cambridge, it was made easy for him to enter the business and the family of John Hull; the New England mint-master. Hull was now old and Sewall seems to have been en­trusted, almost at once, with the correspondence appertaining to the merchant branch of his profession. Ere long the Diarist is im­porting and exporting on his own account.

First, though, came his marriage with the bouncing Hannah Hull, a lady whose weight played a more important part in her charms, than has been the case with any other hero­ine of romance. Hawthorne is chiefly respon­sible for this, of course, for he has described in fascinating fashion the marriage of Sewall to this, his first wife. But if Sewall did get his wife's weight in pine-tree shillings when he got her he had not stipulated for this or any other dowry. "The mint-master was especially pleased with his new son-in-law be­cause he had courted Miss Betsy out of pure love," we are told, "and had said nothing at all about her portion." It is good for us to remember this passage when we read the, story of Judge Sewall's later courtships.

About a year after his marriage Sewall joined the Old South Church and having ful­filled this pre-requisite to citizenship, he was (in 1678) made a freeman. In 1681 he was appointed master of the public printing-press, an office which he held for some three years printing public and religious documents, and especially the Assembly's Catechism, five hun­dred copies of which he gave away to the chil­dren of his relations. Sewall had now gone to live at Cotton Hill, on Tremont street, almost opposite King's Chapel burying ground, on property which once belonged to Sir Harry Vane. In the colony records we find (1684): — "In answer of the petition of Sam' Sewall Esq, humbly showing that his house of wood in Boston, at the hill where the Revd John Cotton former dwelt, which house is consider­ably distant from other building and standeth very bleak, he humbly desiring the favour of this court to grant him liberty to build a small porch of wood, about seven foot square, to break off the wind from the fore door of said house, the court grants his request."

A pleasant glimpse of the social life of the period is gained from an entry made in the Diary the spring following the building of this porch: "June 20, Carried my wife to Dorchester to eat Cherries and Raspberries, chiefly to ride and take the air; the time my wife and Mrs. Flint spent in the orchard I spent in Mr. Flint's study reading Calvin on the Psalms." The following January he tells us that the cold was so extreme that the "harbour is frozen up and to the Castle, so cold that the sacramental bread is frozen pretty bad and rattles sadly as broken into the plates."

From November, 1688, to November, 1689, Sewall was abroad combining with the business of helping Increase Mather make terms with the King's government the pleasure of renew­ing family friendships in the land of his birth. There was naturally a good deal of sermon­-hearing mingled with these occupations and we find one excellent description of the fashion in which the Lord's supper was administered in England at the church of that Dr. Annesley of whom we have already heard as Dunton's father-in-law. "The Dr. went all over the meeting first, to see who was there, then spake something of the sermon, then read the words of institution, then prayed and eat and drunk himself, then gave to every one with his own hand, dropping pertinent expressions. In our pew said, 'Now our Spikenard should give its smell;' and said to me 'Remember the death of Christ.' The wine was in quart glass bot­tles. The deacon followed the Doctor and when his cup was empty filled it again; as at our pew all had drunk but I, he filled the cup and then gave it to me; said as he gave it must be ready in new obedience and stick at nothing for Christ."

 To Cambridge and to Oxford, the colleges where many of the Puritan preachers had been educated, Sewall made pious pilgrimages with Mather and between whiles he ate and drank with his numerous relatives. At "Cousin Jane Holt's" he had "good bacon, veal and parsnips, very good shoulder of mutton and a fowl roasted, good currant suet pudding and the fairest dish of apples I have eat in England."

But he was very glad to get back to Boston for that city was now his dear home and be was one of its most useful citizens. In 1683 he is a deputy to the General Court from West­field, as his father-in-law, John Hull, had been before him — it being then possible for a man to be elected from a town other than that in which he lived — and he belonged to the Bos­ton Fire Department and to the Police and Watch. In business he was prospering might­ily and so was able May 23, 1693, to lay the corner-stone of his new house, next Cotton Hill, "with stones gotten out of the Common." Two years later we find the house completed and Governor Bradstreet "drinking a glass or two of wine, eating some fruit and taking a pipe or two of tobacco" under its substantial roof. "Wished me joy of the house and desired our prayers," comments the Diary. Picnics and weddings were favourite diver­sions with Sewall. The Diary records one fes­tivity of the former class held Oct. 1, 1697, the refreshments for which consisted of "first, honey, butter curds and cream. For dinner very good roast lamb, turkey, fowls and apple pie. After dinner sung the 121 Psalm. A glass of spirits my wife sent stood upon a joint stool which Simon W. jogging it fell down and broke all to shivers. I said it was a lively emblem of our fragility and mortality."

The Deane Winthrop House, Winthrop

Not long after this our Diarist attended the wedding of Atherton Haugh, his ward, and Mercy Winthrop, daughter of Deane Winthrop, at the latter's house which still stands in the town bearing his name. "Sang a Psalm to­gether," writes Sewall in describing the occa­sion. "I set St. David's tune." None of the many duties which Sewall discharged was bet­ter done than that which had to do with settling his young people in life. On several occasions we find the Diary saying: "Prayed for good matches for my children as they grow up; that they may be equally yoked." It was the Puri­tan habit to marry, not once, but several times, if death came to separate. Instances of old maids were very rare and those of old bachelors even more so. (Stoughton stands almost alone among Puritan worthies as a man who never tool: unto himself a wife.) The elders on the man's side seem to have had a custom of send­ing a suitable present to the lady's parent as a sign that Barkis was "willin'." If the match was to be refused the present was very likely returned. This custom may be held to explain the following rather blind letter of Sewall's:

"BOSTON, Jan. 13, 1701.

"MADAM: — The inclosed piece of silver, by its bowing, humble form bespeaks your favour for a certain young man in town. The name (Real) the motto (plus ultra) seem to plead its suitableness for a present of this nature. Neither need you accept against the quantity; for you have the means in your own hands; and by your generous acceptance you may make both it and the giver great. Madam, I am

"Your affect. friend,
"S. S."

When the Puritans first came to New Eng­land they ordered (1646), in a reaction against the Church of England, that only magistrates or one appointed by the authorities should join parties in holy wedlock. Under this law Gov­ernor Richard Bellingham, the last survivor of the patentees named in the charter, performed a marriage service for himself and his new bride: — "His last wife was ready to be con­tracted to a friend of his who lodged in his house and by his consent had proceeded so far with her when, on the sudden, the governor treated with her and obtained her for himself. He was fifty and the lady twenty and Belling­ham also solemnized the marriage himself." By Sewall's time, however, the ministers, as we have seen, were performing the marriage ceremony.

Governor Bellingham's House, Chelsea

One rather curious courtship custom which obtained at this time was that of addressing fervid petitions to a. near woman-relative of the girl a man wished for his wife, praying that this sister or mother would intercede with the "divine mistress." Drake in his "Rox­bury" gives such a letter sent by Paul Dudley, son of the royal governor, to Mrs. Davenport, sister of his "dearest Lucy":

"DEAR MADAM: — It is impossible but that you must take notice of that most affectionate Respect and Dutiful Passion I Bear to your most charming and amiable Sister, and you as easily guess at my Design in it which I Blush at the thought of. But the just honour and Re­gard I have and ought to have to Colonel Wainwright, [the girl's father] and his Lady in this affair, forbids my pursuing it any further till I have mentioned it to them; for Which Reason it is that I am now going Hither (though with a trembling and heavy heart) and carry with me a letter from the Governor to your Father that he would allow me to wait upon my Sweetest fairest Dearest Lucy. But unless my Dearest Davenport will assist and make An Interest for me I Can't Hope for Success. I Confess I have no grounds to ask or expect such a favour from you, unless it Be by reminding you of the many obligations you have already laid me Under, and this is an argument which goes a great way with Noble and Generous minds, and I am sure if you did but know what I Undergoe Both Day and Night, you would Pity me at least. I must beg of you therefore if you have any regard to my Health and Happi­ness, I might say to my life, you would show your compassion and friendship to me in this matter;* and Hereby lay such an obligation upon me as shall not, cannot ever Be forgotten.

I Beg a thousand pardons of my Dame for this Freedom; and Pray her not to expose my folly to any one, tho' if she thinks it proper, or that it will Doe me any Service She may Read (to the mark * above) to my Divine Mistress; I know you have smiled all along and By this time are weary of my Scrawle. I'll have done therefore, and when I have asked the favour of you to present, as on my knees, my most Sin­cere, passionate, Dutifull and Constant Soul to My Charming Nymph, With whom I hope to find it upon my Return, of which I shall be most Impatient. Dear Madam, I once more beg par­don of you and pray you to think me in Earnest in what I write for every Word of it Comes from the Bottom of My Soul, and I hope Before I have done to Convince My Dearest Lucy of the truth of it tho' as yet She Believes noth­ing that I say to her. Madam, I am, with all affection and Respect, Your most obliged tho' now Distressful Humble Servant,


"You may show all this letter if you think fit, Mrs. Davenport."

He married Lucy in 1703 and there are occa­sional references, in Sewall's Diary, to the fortunes of the couple.

This son of Governor Dudley it was, by the bye, who entered Harvard at the tender age of eleven and about whom his , father thus wrote the president: "April 26, 1686. I have humbly to offer you a little sober well-disposed son, who, though very young, if he may have the favour of admittance I hope his learning may be tolerable; and for him I will promise that, by your and my care, his own Industry and the blessing of God, his mother, the uni­versity, shall not be ashamed to allow him the place of a son at seven years end. Appoint a time when he may be examined."

Sewall's children all made good matches (except Hannah, who was an invalid and never married), the oldest son winning as a wife the daughter of Governor Dudley. This alliance made it very difficult for Sewall to be as sym­pathetic as he must otherwise have been when the Mathers, with whom he was very intimate, solicited his support in their memorable con­troversy with that official.

After the weddings of the poorer classes there had been wont to be dancing at a nearby ordinary or tavern, but the court early took this abuse vigorously in hand and ordered (May, 1651) that "whereas it is observed that there are many abuses and disorders by dan­cing in ordinaries whether mixed or unmixed, upon marriage of some persons, this Court doth order that henceforward there shall be no dancing upon such occasion, or at any other times in ordinaries, upon the pain of five shil­ling for every person that shall so dance in ordinaries." Sewall especially hated dancing and writes it down with glee in his Diary when one Stepney, who had come over to teach this accomplishment, had to run away because of debt.

In his relations to Indians, negroes and the witchcraft delusion Sewall showed himself con­siderably in advance of his time, however. Reference has already been made to his brave confession of error in the acceptance of "spec­tral evidence," so we can here confine our at­tention to his attitude towards the two other persecuted peoples. After King Philip's War, which reached its crisis in May, 1676, the cause of the Indians went down apace and it was ordered "that a guard be set against the en­trance of the town of Boston (on the Neck) and that no Indian be suffered to enter upon any pretext, and without. a guard and two mus­keteers and not to lodge in town." Indians even approaching by land or water were liable to arrest. But a few men, and Sewall was among them, still persisted in their labours for these people. Cotton Mather sets down the fact that Judge Sewall built a meeting-house at his own charge for one of the Indian con­gregations and "gave those Indians cause to pray for him because 'he loveth our nation for he hath built us a synagogue.' " This meeting-house was in Sandwich, Barnstable County, Cape Cod. Already Sewall had writ­ten as to ways of dealing with the race: "The best thing we can do for our Indians is to Anglicize them in all agreeable instances; in that of language as well as others. They can scarce retain their language without a tincture of other savage inclinations.... I should think it requisite that convenient tracts of land should be set out to them; and that by plain and natural boundaries as much as may be; as lakes, rivers, mountains, rocks; upon which for any man to encroach should be accounted a crime. Except this be done, I fear their own jealousies and the French Friars will per­suade them, that the English as they increase and think they want more room will never leave till they have crowded them quite out of all their lands. And it will be a vain attempt for us to offer Leaven to them, if they take up prejudices against us as if we did grudge them a living upon their own earth."

To the negro also Sewall was a constant friend. He wrote a remarkable anti-slavery tract "On the Selling of Joseph," and he ranks first among those who strove to give the black man a chance at decent and respectable married life. The Diary of June 22, 1716, records "I essayed to prevent Indians and negroes being rated with horses and hogs but could not prevail." As a justice he gave some highly important decisions in cases where ne­groes had been wronged, one of them setting forth in truly stirring language that "the poorest boys and girls within this province, such as are of the lowest condition, whether they be English or Indians or Ethiopians, they have the same right to religion and life that the richest heirs have. And they who go about to deprive them of this right, they attempt the bombarding of Heaven; and the shells they throw shall fall down upon their own heads."

Sewall experienced, of course, that very thrilling thing, the birth of a new century. The Diary of January 2, 1701, records that "just about break of day Jacob Amsden and 3 other trumpeters gave a blast with the trumpets on the Common near Mr. Alford's. Then went to the Green Chamber and sounded there till about sunrise. Bell man said these verses a little before break-a day which I printed and gave them. The trumpeters cost me five pieces of 8." These verses were from Sewall's own pen; they were fittingly reread on Beacon Hill by the Reverend Edward Everett Hale at mid­night on the eve of our present century's dawn. The first two are:

"Once more! Our God vouchsafe to shine:
  Tame thou the rigor of our clime.
  Make haste with thy impartial light
  And terminate this long dark night.

"Let the transplanted English vine
  Spread further still; still call it thine;
  Prune it with skill: for yield it can
  More fruit to thee the husbandman."

Nothing about the Diary is more significant than some of its omissions. When "news is brought to us" (September 17, 1714) of Queen Anne's death the only comment Sewall makes upon the sad countenance of him who bore the tidings is, "I was afraid Boston had burnt again." Anne was a High Churchwoman and had given aid and succour to the Church of England to which Sewall had refused to sell land for a parish home. Though Sewall was now sixty-two, he was on hand bright and early, we may be sure, for that dinner held at the Green Dragon tavern to proclaim George I king of England and "Supreme Lord of the Massachusetts."

Green Dragon Tavern

Judge Sewall's wife Hannah died October 19, 1717. He mourned her deeply, but briefly. It was expected with the rigour of a law in the Puritan land that widows and widowers should remarry. They all did it, and not to do it was a social offence. Apparently they all helped each other to do it, and for a man in Judge Sewall's social station there was no chance of escape, even though he was sixty-five. But he appears to have bent his neck cheerfully enough to the matrimonial yoke, for we find the Diary recording:

"Feby. 6, 1718. This morning wandering in my mind whether to live a single or married life, I had a sweet and very affectionate medi­tation concerning the Lord Jesus. Nothing was to be objected against his person, parent­age, relations, estate, house, home. why did I not presently close with him. And I cried mightily to God that he would help me so to do."

"Feby. 10. I received a letter from Mr. Winthrop having one enclosed to his mother which I carry to her. She tells me Mr. Eyre [Mrs. Winthrop's first husband] married her May 20, 1680. Lived together about twenty years."

"March 10. In Madame Usher's absence Madam Henchman took occasion highly to com­mend Madame Winthrop, the Major-General's widow [as a wife] March 14. Deacon Marion comes to me, sits with me a great while in the evening; after a great deal of discourse about his courtship he told me all the Olivers said they wished I would court their aunt (Madam Winthrop). I said 'twas not five months since I buried my dear wife. Said little, but said before Was hard to know whether best to marry again or no; whom to marry. Dr. Mather (Increase) sends me his Marah in a letter in which is this expression, 'But your honor will allow me now at length to offer you my opinion that all the regards are not yet paid which you owe unto the Widow, and which are expected from you.'"

This Marah was probably one of the elder Mather's books, with the title, "An Essay to do Good unto the Widow," and the grave bad­inage here of the Puritan divine at the expense of the Puritan Judge is characteristic.

"March 19. Mr. Leverett, when he and I are alone, told me his wife and he had laid out Madam Brown for me and yet took occasion to say that Madam Winthrop had done very generously by the Major General's family in giving up her dower. I said if Madam Brown should leave her fair accommodations at Salem, she might be apt to repent it."

But soon, either because fate was unpropitious, or Sewall's discretion had the upper hand, he turned for comfort to the Widow Den­nison, whose husband had died shortly before — "an autumnal matron," as Hawthorne would phrase it, but withal a business woman not wasting property on sentiment. Judge Sewall had written the late Dennison's will and attended his funeral, for we read:

"March 19. I write Mr. William Dennison's will, being desired by a messenger from Roxbury with minutes."

On March 26, Sewall, with other Puritan notables, attended Mr. Dennison's funeral at Roxbury, where his pastor, Mr. Walter, said: "He was a man of truth, and of trust, a man of prayer, integrity and piety."

"Gov. Dudley and I went next the mourn­ers," the Judge records. "Went back to the house in a coach. At coming away I prayed God to keep house with the widow." Danforth gives the widow Dennison a high commendation for her piety, prudence, dili­gence, humility."

"April 7. I prove Mr. Dennison's will. Her brother, Edmund Wells, brought the widow to town and gave me notice before hand. I gave her 10s. to give her sister Weld for her Indian Bible. Mr. Dorr took occasion in her absence to say she was one of the most dutiful wives in the world. Her cousin, the widow Hayden, accidentally came in with her. April 8. Mr. Boydell, when I was at his office and signed the papers, smiling said Mr. Dennison's will looked as if it was written by me. I told him, 'Yes, but there was not a tittle of it mine, but the form.' "

"June 3d. Go to Roxbury, talk with Mr. Walter about Mrs. Dennison. He advises me not to see her then, lest should surprise her undressed [not dressed for callers]. Told him I came on purpose; yet finally submitted to his advice; he spake of her coming to town on Thursday. June 5. Nobody came  — I writ to Mr. Walter. June 9. Note, Mrs. D. came in the morning, about nine o'clock, I took her up into my chamber and discoursed thoroughly with her. She desired me to procure another and better nurse. [Sewall had represented that he needed some one to look after him in his old age.]

"I gave her the last two News Letters, — told her I intended to visit her at her own house next lecture day. She said 'twould be talked of. I answered in such cases persons must run the gauntlet. Gave her Mr. Whi­ting's oration, for Abijah Walter who brought her on horseback to town. I think little or no notice was taken of it."

"June 17. Went to Roxbury Lecture. Vis­ited Govr. Dudley, Mrs. Dennison; gave her Dr. Mather's sermons very well bound; told her we were in it invited to a wedding. She gave me very good curds. July 2. I gave Mrs. Dennison her oath to the inventory [of her hus­band's goods.] At night when all were gone to bed, Cousin Moody went with me into the new hall, read the history of Rebecca's Courtship and prayed with me respecting my widowed condition. July 16. Went and visited Mrs. Dennison. Gave her King George's effiges in copper; and an English crown of King Charles II., 1677. Eat curds with her; I craved a bless­ing and returned thanks; came home after it."

"July 25. I go in a hackney coach to Rox­bury. Call at Mr. Walter's who is not at home; nor Gov. Dudley nor his lady. Visit Mrs. Dennison; she invites me to eat. I give her two cases with a knife and fork in each; one, turtle shell tackling; the other long with ivory han­dles, squared, cost 4s. 6d.; pound of raisins with proportional almonds. Visit her brother and sister Weld."

"Aug. 6. Visited Airs. Dennison, carried her sister Weld, the widow and Mrs. Weld to her brother, where we were courteously enter­tained. Brought Mr. Edmund Weld's wife home with me in the coach; she is in much darkness [concerning the outcome of his suit]. Gave Mrs. Dennison a psalm book neatly bound in England with Turkey leather. 27th. I ride and visit Mrs. Dennison, leave my horse at the Grey Hound. She mentions her discouragements by reason of discourses she heard; I prayed God to direct her and me."

In fact, Sewall visits this lady upon almost every opportunity; but as his duty as circuit judge took him away, Mrs. Dennison disap­pears from the Diary while he is on his travels. The neat significant entry is Oct. 15:­

"Visit Mrs. Dennison on horseback; pre­sent her with a pair of shoe buckles cost 5s. 3d."

"Nov. 1. My son from Brookline being here, I took his horse and visited Mrs. Denni­son. I told her 'twas time to finish our busi­ness. Asked her what I should allow her. She not speaking, I told her I was willing to give her £250 pr. annum during her life, if it should please God to take me out of the world before her. She answered she had better keep as she was than to give a certainty for an uncertainty. She should pay dear for dwelling at Boston. I desired her to make proposals but she made none. I had thought of publishment next Thursday. But now I seemed to be far from it. May God who has the pity of a father, direct and help me!"

Her late husband, as Sewall well knew, had left Mrs. Dennison a life interest in all his estates. The trouble in this case seems to have been that the lady declined to alienate any of her interests by marriage. In fact, all through his later courtships Sewall shines more as a sharp business man than a lover with tact or sentiment.

"Novr. 28, 1718. I went this day in the coach [to Mrs. Dennison's], had a fire made in the chamber where I stayed with her before. I enquired how she had done these three or four weeks. Afterwards, I told her our con­versation had been such when I was with her last that it seemed to be a direction in Prov­idence not to proceed any further; she said it must be what I pleased, or to that purpose." Then there apparently proceeded one of those wrangles not peculiar to Puritan courtships, but in this case carried on with due Puritan decorum, which, as usual with persons in such relations, came to nothing, she holding her own. But the ending entry is delicious:

"She asked me if I would drink; I told her yes. She gave me cider, apples, and a glass of wine; gathered together the little things I had given her and offered them to me; but I would take none of them. Told her I wished her well, should be glad to hear of her welfare. She seemed to say she would not take in hand a thing of this nature. Thanked me for what I had given her and desired my prayers. I gave Abijah Weld an Angel. Got home about 9 at night. My bowels yearn towards Mrs. Dennison; but I think God directs me in his Providence to desist."

We catch one more glimpse of the lady, Lord's Day, Nov. 30, when, in the evening, while Sewall was at family prayers: —

"She came in, preceded by her cousin Weld, saying she wished to speak to me in private. I was very much startled that she should come so far afoot in that exceeding cold season. She asked pardon if she had affronted me. Seemed inclined the match should not break off, since I had kept her company so long. I fetched a tankard of cider and drank to her. She desired that nobody might know of her being here. I told her they should not. She went away in the bitter cold, no moon being up, to my great pain. I saluted her at part­ing."

The last glimpse of Mrs. Dennison in the Diary is this:­

"Dec. 22. Mrs. Dorothy Dennison brings an additional inventory. I gave her her oath; asked her brother Brewer and her to dine with me; she said she needed not to eat; caused her to sit by the fire and went with her to the door at her going away. She said nothing to me nor her brother Brewer."

Mrs. Dennison remarried in 1720, Sewall having already taken to wife Mrs. Tilly whom he had formerly considered, and then set aside because they could not agree upon the terms of settlement. This lady died when they had been married but a short time and then the twice-widowed judge began — after an inter­val of only four months, this time — to pay attentions to Mrs. Winthrop, a highly eligible widow. The ardent fashion in which this lady was pursued by the venerable justice I have elsewhere1 described. But the courtship came to nothing, because Sewall would not agree to set up a coach nor wear a periwig. He soon found another woman less exacting, however, and her he blithely took to be his third wife, thought he was now over seventy. She survived him, for he died Jan. 1, 1730. He sleeps in death in the Old Granary Burying Ground almost on the very spot where he long ago had his home.


     1"Romance of Old New England Churches."

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