Page:Twice-Told Tales (1851) vol 2.djvu/21

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15
HOWE'S MASQUERADE.

milder aspect, yet full of dignity, wearing a broad ruff, over which descended a beard, a gown of wrought velvet, and a doublet and hose of black satin. He carried a roll of manuscript in his hand. Close behind these two, came a young man of very striking countenance and demeanor, with deep thought and contemplation on his brow, and perhaps a flash of enthusiasm in his eye. His garb, like that of his predecessors, was of an antique fashion, and there was a stain of blood upon his ruff. In the same group with these, were three or four others, all men of dignity and evident command, and bearing themselves like personages who were accustomed to the gaze of the multitude. It was the idea of the beholders, that these figures went to join the mysterious funeral that had halted in front of the Province House; yet that supposition seemed to be contradicted by the air of triumph with which they waved their hands, as they crossed the threshold and vanished through the portal.

'In the devil's name, what is this?' muttered Sir William Howe to a gentleman beside him; 'a procession of the regicide judges of King Charles the martyr?'

'These,' said Colonel Joliffe, breaking silence almost for the first time that evening—'these, if I interpret them aright, are the Puritan governors—the rulers of the old, original Democracy of Massachusetts. Endicott, with the banner from which he had torn the symbol of subjection, and Winthrop, and Sir Henry Vane, and Dudley, Haynes, Bellingham, and Leverett.'

'Why had that young man a stain of blood upon his ruff?' asked Miss Joliffe.