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into his presence, he asked, with some surprise, why so many children had called to see him.
"We came, sir," said the foremost lad, "to claim a redress of grievances."
"What! have your fathers been teaching you rebellion, and have they sent you here to utter it?"
"No one sent us, sir," replied the speaker, while his cheeks grew red and his dark eyes flashed. "We have never injured nor insulted your troops; but they have trodden down our snow hills, and broken the ice on the skating pond. We complained, and they called us young rebels, and told us to help ourselves if we could. We told the captain of their conduct, and he laughed at us. Yesterday our works were a third time destroyed, and now we will bear it no longer."
General Gage looked at them with undisguised admiration, and turning to an officer who stood near him, he exclaimed: "Do you hear? The very children draw in a love for liberty with the air they breathe." After waiting a few moments, he turned to the boys and said: "You may go, my brave boys, and be assured that if any of my troops hereafter molest you, they shall be severely punished."
Sub altern: a commissioned military officer below the rank of cap-
"He who is honest is noble,
Whatever his fortune or birth."
FRANKLIN'S ARRIVAL IN PHILADELPHIA.
I was in my working dress; my best clothes were in a box that was coming by sea. I was dirty from my journey; my pockets were stuffed out with shirts and stockings, and I knew no soul, nor where to look for lodging. I was fatigued with traveling, rowing, and want of rest; I was very hungry, and my whole stock of cash consisted of a Dutch dollar and about a shilling in copper. The dollar I gave to the people of the boat for my passage; they at first refused it on account of my rowing; but I insisted on their taking it. A man is sometimes more generous when he has but little money than when he has plenty; perhaps through fear of being thought to have but little.
I walked up the street, gazing about, till near the market-house I met a boy with bread. I had made many a meal on bread, and, inquiring where he got it, I went immediately to the baker's to whom he directed me, in Second Street, and asked for biscuit, intending such as we had in Boston, but they, it seems, were not made in Philadelphia.
Then I asked for a three-penny loaf, and was told they had none such. So, not considering or knowing the difference of money and the greater cheapness, nor the names of his bread, I bade him give me three-penny worth of any sort. He gave me, accordingly, three large puffy rolls.
I was surprised at the quantity, but took it, and having no room in my pockets, walked off with a roll under each
arm and eating the other. Thus I went up Market Street as far as Fourth Street, passing by the door of Mr. Read, my future wife's father. When she, standing at the door, saw me, she thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward and ridiculous appearance.
Then I turned and went down Chestnut Street and part of Walnut Street, eating my roll all the way, and, coming round, found myself at Market Street wharf, near the boat I came in, to which I went for a drink of the river water! Being filled with one of my rolls, I gave the other two to a woman and her child, who had come down the river in the boat with us, and were waiting to go farther.
Thus refreshed, I walked again up the street, which had by this time many clean-dressed people on it, who were all walking the same way. I joined them, and thereby was led into the great meeting house of the Quakers, near the market.
I sat down among them, and, after looking around a while and hearing nothing — being very tired through labor and want of rest the preceding night — I fell asleep and continued so till the meeting broke up, when some one was kind enough to rouse me. This was, therefore, the first house I was in, or slept in, in Philadelphia.
I believe I have omitted mentioning that, in my first voyage from Boston, being becalmed off Block Island, our people set about catching cod, and they hauled up a great number.
Hitherto I had kept my resolution of not eating animal food, and on this occasion I considered the taking of every
fish as a kind of unprovoked murder, since none of them had done or ever could do us any injury that might justify the slaughter.
All this seemed very reasonable; but I had formerly been a great lover of fish, and when this came hot out of the frying-pan it smelled admirably well. I hesitated some time between principle and inclination, till I recollected that when the fish were opened I saw smaller fish taken out of their stomachs. "Then," thought I, "if one another, I don't see why we may not eat you." That day I dined upon cod very heartily, and I continued to eat with other people, returning only occasionally to a vegetable diet.
How convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do. -Adapted from Benjamin Franklin's “Autobiography.”
In cli na'tion (shŭn): a leaning. Rěs'o lū tion (shŭn): a fixed or settled purpose.
At one time Robert Bruce, of Scotland, and a small army were in full retreat, followed by soldiers about three times their own number. A poor woman, the wife of one of the soldiers, became sick because of great fatigue and hardship.
Bruce heard of the woman's illness and called a halt to have her cared for properly so that her life might be spared.
CAPTURE OF TICONDEROGA.
The men were drawn up in three ranks, as the first beams of morning broke on the mountain peaks, and Ethan Allen addressed them thus:
"Friends and fellow soldiers, we must this morning quit our pretensions to valor or possess ourselves of this fortress; and inasmuch as it is a desperate attempt, I do not urge it on contrary to your will. You who will undertake it voluntarily, poise your fire-lock."
At the word every fire-lock was poised. "Face to the right," commanded Allen, as he placed himself at the head of the center file, and with Arnold by his side, marched to the gate. It was shut, but the wicket was open. The sentry snapped a fusee at him. The Americans rushed into the fort, darted upon the guards, and raising the Indian war-whoop, such as had not been heard in that region since the days of Montcalm, formed on the parade in a hollow square to face each of the barracks.
One of the sentries, after wounding an officer and being slightly wounded himself, cried out for quarter, and showed the way to the apartment of the commanding officer.
"Come forth instantly or I will destroy the whole garrison," cried Allen, as he stood at the door. At this, Delaplace, the Commander, came out half-dressed, with some of his clothes in his hand. "Deliver to me the fort instantly," said Allen.
"By what authority?" demanded Delaplace.