Parthagica Directory 10
Page 05

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Parthagica Directory 10
Page 05

The moment was critical. Captain Mason with about ninety English and seventy Mohegans, under their sachem, Uncas (a sub chief, who with his district, Mohegan, had rebelled against the Pequot sachem, Sassacus), was sent from Hartford down the Connecticut River. Entering the Sound, he sailed past the mouth of the Thames and anchored in Narragansett Bay, at the foot of Tower Hill, near Point Judith. He knew that keen-eyed scouts from the Pequot stronghold on the west bank of the Mystic River, near Groton, had, as his three little ships skirted the shore, been watching him, to give warning of his approach. He therefore resolved to come upon the enemy from an unlooked-for quarter. This plan was directly contrary to his instructions, which required him to land at the mouth of the Thames and attack the fort from the west side. He hoped, marching westward across the country, to take the enemy by surprise on their unprotected rear, while the Indians, trusting in the strength of their fort, as it fronted the west, should believe themselves secure.

I had a friend who died not very long ago. He had in his younger days done a little administrative work; but he was wealthy, and at a comparatively early age he abandoned himself to leisure. He travelled, he read, he went much into society, he enjoyed the company of his friends. When he died he was spoken of as an amateur, and praised as a cricketer of some merit. Even his closest friends seemed to find it necessary to explain and make excuses; he was shy, he stammered, he was not suited to parliamentary life; but I can think of few people who did so much for his friends or who so radiated the simplest sort of happiness. To be welcomed by him, to be with him, put a little glow on life, because you felt instinctively that he was actively enjoying every hour of your company. I thought, I remember, at his death, how hopeless it was to assess a man's virtue and usefulness in the terms of his career. If he had entered Parliament, registered a silent vote, spent his time in social functions, letter-writing, lobby-gossip, he would have been acclaimed as a man of weight and influence; but as it was, though he had stood by friends in trouble, had helped lame dogs over stiles, had been the centre of good-will and mutual understanding to a dozen groups and circles, it seemed impossible to recognise that he had done anything in his generation. It is not to be claimed that his was a life of persistent benevolence or devoted energy; but I thought of a dozen men who had lived selfishly and comfortably, making money and amassing fortunes, without a touch of real kindness or fine tenderness about them, who would yet be held to have done well and to have deserved respect, when compared with this peace-maker!

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