Books > Old Books >The Elson Readers Book Six (1910)


Page 118

THE BOSTON TEA PARTY
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE

our chair disappeared from the British Coffee-house. The manner of its departure cannot be satisfactorily ascertained. Perhaps the keeper of the Coffee-house turned it out-of-doors on account of its old-fashioned aspect. Perhaps he sold it as a curiosity. Perhaps it was taken without leave by some person who regarded it as public property because it had once figured under Liberty Tree. Or perhaps the old chair, being of a peaceable disposition, had made use of its four oaken legs and run away from the seat of war.
"It would have made a terrible clattering over the pavement," said Charley, laughing.
" Meanwhile," continued Grandfather, "during the mysterious non-appearance of our chair, an army of twenty thousand men had started up and come to the siege of Boston. General Gage and his troops were cooped up within the narrow precincts of the peninsula. On the seventeenth of June, 1775, the famous battle of Bunker Hill was fought. Here General Warren fell. The British got the victory, indeed, but with the loss of more than a thousand officers and men."
" Oh, Grandfather," cried Charley, "you must tell us about that famous battle."
" No, Charley," said Grandfather; "I am not like other historians. Battles shall not hold a prominent place in the history of our quiet and comfortable old chair. But tomorrow evening Laurence, Clara, and yourself, and dear little Alice, too, shall visit the dioramaa of Bunker Hill. There you shall see the whole business, the burning of Charlestown and all, with your own eyes, and hear the cannon and musketry with your own ears."

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