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Northeastern Sky appeared suffused by a dark blood-red coloured vapour, without any variety of different coloured rays. I have never since seen the like. This was about the year 1734. Northern Lights were then a novelty, and excited great wonder and terror among the vulgar.
In 1737, Square Toed Shoes were going out of fashion; I believe few or none were worn after 1737. Buckles instead of Shoe Strings began to be used about the same time, but were not universal in the country towns till 1740 or 1742. Very broad brim'd llats were worn as early as I remember. My father had a beaver whose Brims were at least 7 inches; which when he left off, I remember I used to wear in the Garden, or in a shower, by way of Umbrella. They were all cock'd triangularly. And pulling them off by way of salutation was invariably the Fashion by all who had any Breeding.
Boots were never worn except on horseback, or snowy or rainy weather. They frequently had large broad Tops that reach'd full half way up the Thigh. But Boots did not come into general use till the close of the revolutionary war.
Funerals were extravagantly expensive. Gold Rings to each of the Bearers, the Minister, the Physician, &c. were frequently given, when the family could but ill afford it. White gloves in abundance, burnt wine to the company, &c. &c. This extravagance occasioned the enacting sumptuary laws, which though they check'd did not entirely suppress the complaints till the commencement of the revolutionary war.
In 1749, it was reported the train band list of the town of Marblehead, was equal that of the to of Salem. The difference is now very great. I suppose Salem has at least twice the number of Marblehead.
[1749.]* The Houses in Salem) were generally very ordinary. The first handsome house was built by Mr. Jno. Turner, then Col. Pickman, then Mr. J. Cabot, &c.
There was but one ropewalk, and that was on the neck, inside the gate. But one tavern of any note, and that was an old house at the corner now occupied by Stearns' brick store. The
* These remarks refer to the period of Dr. Holyoke's residence in Salem, preceding the revolution.
Houses for publick worship were only the old (first) church-the eastern parish—the secession from the first church-the Friends' meeting house, and the Episcopal church.
The number of Inhabitants was estimated at between 5 and 6000.
The Commerce of this town was chiefly with Spain and Portugal and the West Indies, especially with St. Eustatia. The Cod fishery was carried on with success and advantage. The Schooners were employed on the fishing banks in the summer, and in the autumn were laden with Fish, Rum, Molasses, and the produce of the country, and sent to Virginia and Maryland, and there spent the winter retailing their cargoes, and in return brought Corn and Wheat and Tobacco. This Virginia voyage was seldom very profitable, but as it served to keep the crews together, it was continued till more advantageous employment offered.
There were a few Chaises kept by gentlemen for their own use, but it was no easy matter to hire one to go a journey.
The following poetical scraps are introduced merely as matters of curiosity, and without the most distant idea of claiming for Dr. Holyoke the meed of poetical excellence. They serve to show what common observation will verify, that most men at some period or other of their life seek an utterance for the vividness of their thoughts in the flow of measured numbers. The, first piece is a production of an early period of his life, and occasioned by the mildness and beauty of the season. The second short “ fragment” bears the date of 1823, when the author was 95 years old, and is a playful protest against the innovations of modern customs.
When from serener skies and purer Air
pronounce him free from Pain. But when Celestial Maid ! thou deign'st to dwell As oft thou dost, with Mortals doom'd to Toil To Penury and Want, when there thou smil'st, They willingly pursue their destin'd Task, With cold and hunger combat, still with mirth The jocund Year goes round, and Song or Dance Forget not, but with Sports and Pastimes crown Their Labor, and each vacant hour employ.
and smoak'd segars !
A DISSERTATION ON INTEMPERANCE,
TO WHICH WAS AWARDED THE PREMIUM OFFERED BY THE
Massachusetts Medical Society,
IN MAY, 1829.
BY WILLIAM SWEETSER, M. D.
[At the annual meeting in June 1827, the Society voted to offer a premium of
Fifty Dollars for the best Dissertation which should be offered during the year, on the subject of Intemperance; and the Counsellors appointed a Committee to receive the Dissertation, and award the Premium. At the annual meeting in June, 1828, the Committee reported that no Dissertation had been received in season to be entitled to the Premium; and the offer was renewed for another year. Several Dissertations were then offered, and the Premium was adjudged to the following ; which was read at the annual meeting in June, 1829, and is now printed by the Society, agreeably to the original vote on the subject.]
“ Pass where we may, through city or through town,
-ev'ry twentieth pace
A very slight acquaintance with the laws of the animal constitution, will serve to convince us that its wise Author never fitted or intended it for violent excitements. No matter whether we view it in a moral or physical light, it holds equally true that unduly excited action tends to the waste of those powers on which health and life depend. Death we know is sometimes the sudden result of violently aroused passion; at any rate, some one, or more, important function of life commonly becomes deranged, if the mind be long agitated by strong and turbulent feelings. The constitution cannot long react against the influence of intemperate excitements. If the springs of life are overstrained, if the functions are impelled into an unnatural state, the laws of the living economy are violated, and evil consequences inevitably ensue, bearing a relation to the nature, violence and duration of action of the exciting agents.
It would almost seem as though life was consumed by the very motions which are necessary to its existence; as if the stimuli required to sustain the actions of life, were the means tending ultimately to its extinction. We know that some cold blooded animals, accidentally excluded from the excitation of all stimuli, and having consequently only the most obscure vital actions, have lived to periods far beyond what we have any reason to believe possible under an active state of being. No limits in truth can be placed to the existence of some creatures, could they be continued in this dormant condition. Frogs and toads, as is familiar to every reader, have been taken from the interior of solid rocks, from the trunks of trees, and from depths of the earth, in which situations they must probably have remained for ages in a torpid state, and on exposure to air and light have immediately resumed their active state of being. Could these animals have maintained their existence for such a period if their living functions had been continued in an active and energetic