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"Shirley did not mean that any notice of any preparation that he was making should get outside. This, you will say, is an old man's story; perhaps it is, but I throw it out as a hint. I was very much interested about this ballad of Longfellow's. I went up to the State library; I knew all the gentlemen there; I said, 'I want the Council Records of 1746.' They said, 'You are forgetting that we have not got the Council Records of 1746 here; the Council Records have never been in this room, but if you will come downstairs, I will give them to you.' We went downstairs to the Secretary of State's desk, and he opened this drawer and that drawer, and took out the Council Records of 1746. I said, “Why are those things here?' He said, 'God knows, I suppose; I don't; ever since I have been Secretary of State, the Council Records of 1746 have been in this drawer, and they are here now.' I think those Council Records of 1746 were kept in some such private drawer, and had been until they were gotten out by me in 1891.".
A BALLAD OF THE FRENCH FLEET.
Sailed from the port of Brest,
The signal: “Steer south-west."
Had sworn by cross and crown
Our helpless Boston Town.
In the houses there was fear
And the danger hovering near;
Spread the tidings of dismay,
Saying humbly: “Let us pray."
“O Lord! we would not advise;
But if, in thy providence, A tempest should arise
To drive the French fleet hence, And scatter it far and wide,
Or sink it in the sea,
For my soul was all on flame;
The answering tempest came. It came with a mighty power,
Shaking the windows and walls, And tolling the bell in the tower
As it tolls at funerals.
The lightning suddenly
Unsheathed its flaming sword, And I cried: "Stand still and see
The salvation of the Lord!” The heavens were black with cloud,
The sea was white with hail, And ever more fierce and loud Blew the October gale.
VI. The fleet it overtook,
And the broad sails in the van Like the tents of Cushan shook,
Or the curtains of Midian. Down on the reeling decks
Crashed the o'erwhelming seas; Ah, never were there wrecks
So pitiful as these!
Like a potter's vessel broke
The great ships of the line; They were carried away as a smoke,
Or sank like lead in the brine. O Lord! before thy path
They vanished and ceased to be, When thou didst walk in wrath
With thine horses through the sea. "An Ancient Instance of Municipal Ownership" was the title of a paper read to the Society by Hon. SAMUEL UTLEY, of Worcester, relating to an old quarry from which the inhabitants of Worcester have a perpetual right to take stone.
Mr. SAMUEL S. GREEN: “The Courts seem to have decided that the people of Worcester have a right to take stone from that quarry, but I noticed that the late Andrew H. Green, whose land surrounded the quarry, and who claimed that he owned it, still felt that he had grounds for contention. Do you know what they were?”
Mr. UTLEY: "I do not. I have known of his threatening, but I never knew of his bringing it to a conclusion. I rather thought it was more of a 'bluff game' than otherwise. I have talked with his lawyer, but of course counsel only tell what is known to have been done. Mr. Green long ago consulted Mr. Peter C. Bacon and Senator Hoar, but as no action likely to bring on a trial on the merits has at any time been taken, it is perhaps fair to assume that counsel have not found sufficient grounds to advise such a course. The statutes of Massachusetts allow a man to prevent the acquisition of title by twenty years' use, by posting notices, and Mr. Green did this. I have an idea that it was a nuisance to him to have the quarry there. They blast very recklessly and throw rocks over the adjoining premises, and probably any neighbor would be glad to get rid of it, but I have not been able to find that there is any ground for changing the legal conditions, as I have stated them."
Mr. HENRY H. EDES said: “At our semi-annual meeting in 1900, our associate Mr. Samuel Swett Green read an interesting paper on the Craigie House. Toward the end of it he inserted in a footnote an extract from a paper read by Miss Alice M. Longfellow to the Cantabrigia Club,
in which she erroneously calls Dr. Andrew Craigie's bride Miss Nancy Shaw.' Mrs. Craigie was Elizabeth Shaw, only child of the Rev. Bezaliel Shaw (H. C. 1762), of Nantucket, and cousin-german to Chief-Justice Lemuel Shaw. I call attention to Miss Longfellow's error in order that our Publications may contain an accurate statement of Mrs. Craigie's baptismal name.'
It was voted that the papers of the day be referred to the Committee of Publication. The meeting was then dissolved, most of the members repairing to the Hotel Somerset for lunch.
CHARLES A. CHASE,
1 In Volume VII. of the Publications of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, in the Transactions at the stated meeting in April, 1902, will be found some reminiscences of Dr. Andrew Craigie of Cambridge, written by the late Mr. John Holmes (H. C. 1832). In the editorial notes appended to these reminiscences are many interesting facts concerning Dr. and Mrs. Craigie.
REPORT OF THE COUNCIL.
The Council are glad to report that with one exception our ranks are unbroken by death.
By vote of the Council the Treasurer, in consultation with the President, has been authorized to procure bookplates (with engraved portraits) of Isaiah Thomas, our founder and first president, and of our fifth president, the late Stephen Salisbury, and this is being done.
Mr. Nathaniel Paine has completed the Contents of the Society's Proceedings 1880–1903, which was recently announced, and it is in print ready for distribution. This has involved much labor and will be highly appreciated by all interested in that period.
Our associate Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis has presented to the Society about three hundred and fifty copies of his book, “The Confiscation of John Chandler's Estate," and about the same number of his work, “Tracts Relating to the Currency, 1681-1720.” The former of these publications contains a review of the law relating to the confiscation of the estates of loyalists, and furnishes through copies of the papers in the Proceedings an object lesson for lawyers. The latter contains reprints of the pamphlet literature of the period on the Currency question. There is room enough on the shelves of the libraries of the country for all of these books, although it may take several years for them to find their ultimate destination.
Dr. G. Stanley Hall has prepared a memoir of the late Prof. H. B. Adams, and Dr. Jameson has prepared memoirs of the late Sir John G. Bourinot and Dr. Douglas Brymner.