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Part II. Nathaniel Hawthorne

II. The Salem Witches

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"Soon after this," said Grandfather, "Sir William Phips quarrelled with the captain of an English frigate, and also with the collector of Boston. Being a man of violent temper, he gave each of them a sound beating with his cane."

"He was a bold fellow," observed Charley, who was himself somewhat addicted to a similar mode or settling disputes.

"More bold than wise," replied Grandfather; "for complaints were carried to the king, and Sir William Phips was summoned to England to make the best answer he could. Accordingly he went to London, where, in 1695, he was seized with a malignant fever, of which he died. Had he lived longer, he would probably have gone again in search of sunken treasure. He had heard of a Spanish ship, which was cast away in 1502, during the lifetime of Columbus. Bovadilla, Roldan, and many other Spaniards were lost in her, together with the immense wealth of which they had robbed the South American kings."

"Why, Grandfather!" exclaimed Laurence, "what magnificent ideas the governor had! Only think of recovering all that old treasure which had lain almost two centuries under the sea! Methinks Sir William Phips ought to have been buried in the ocean when he died, so that he might have gone down among the sunken ships and cargoes of treasure which he was always dreaming about in his lifetime."

"He was buried in one of the crowded cemeteries of London," said Grandfather. "As he left no children, his estate was inherited by his nephew, from whom is descended the present Marquis of Normandy. The noble Marquis is not aware, perhaps, that the prosperity of his family originated in the successful enterprise of a New England ship-carpenter."

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Grandfather's Chair
Nathaniel Hawthorne

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