An Evening With Hawthorne by Sherwin Cody

By Sherwin Cody

Sherwin Cody direction in English
Port Washington, manhattan

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The eyes of Sir William Howe and his guests being di- HOWE'S MASQUERADE 63 reeled to the staircase, there appeared, on the uppermost landing-place that was discernible from the bottom, several personages descending toward the door. The foremost was a man of stern visage, wearing a steeple-crowned hat and a skull-cap beneath it; a dark cloak, and huge wrinkled boots that came half-way up his legs. Under his arm was a rolled-up banner, which seemed to be the banner of England, but strangely rent and torn; he had a sword in his right hand, and grasped a Bible in his left.

HOWE'S MASQUERADE One afternoon last summer, while walking along Washington Street, my eye was attracted by a signboard protruding over a narrow archway, nearly opposite the Old South Church. " I was glad to be thus reminded of a purpose, long entertained, of visiting and rambling over the mansion of the old royal governors of Massachusetts ; and entering the arched passage, which penetrated through the middle of a brick row of shops, a few steps transported me from the busy heart of modern Boston into a small and secluded courtyard.

The great staircase, however, may be termed, without much hyperbole, a feature of grandeur and magnificence. It winds through the midst of the house by flights of broad steps, each flight terminating in a square landingplace, whence the ascent is continued toward the cu- 56 HAWTHORNE pola. A carved balustrade, freshly painted in the lower stories, but growing dingier as we ascend, borders the staircasa with its quaintly twisted and intertwined pillars, from top to bottom. Up these stairs the military boots, or perchance the gouty shoes, of many a governor have trodden, as the wearers mounted to the cupola, which afforded them so wide a view over their metropolis and the surrounding country.

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