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John Quincy Adams
by [?]

The neighbors saw the point, for a short time before, when the eldest daughter, Mary, had married Richard Cranch (the man who was to achieve a post-office), the community had entered a protest, and the Reverend Mr. Smith had preached from Luke, tenth chapter, forty-second verse: “And Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her.” So there, now!

And John and Abigail were married one evening at early candlelight, in the church at Weymouth. The good father performed the ceremony, and nearly broke down during it, they say, and then he kissed both bride and groom.

The neighbors had repaired to the parsonage and were eating and drinking and making merry when John and Abigail slipped out by the back gate, and made their way, hand in hand, in the starlight, down the road that ran through the woods to Braintree. When near the village they cut across the pasture-lot and reached their cottage, which for several weeks they had been putting in order. John unlocked the front door, and they entered over the big, flat stone at the entry, and over which you may enter now, all sunken and worn by generations of men gone. Some whose feet have pressed that doorstep we count as the salt of the earth, for their names are written large on history’s page. Washington rode out there on horseback, and while his aide held his horse, he visited and drank mulled cider and ate doughnuts within. Hancock came often, and Otis, Samuel Adams and Loring used to enter without plying the knocker.

Through the earnest work of William G. Spear, the cottage has now been restored and fully furnished, as near like it was then as knowledge, fancy and imagination can devise.

When we reached Quincy we saw a benevolent-looking old Puritan, and June said, “Ask him!”

“Can you tell me where we can find Mr. Spear, the antiquarian?” I inquired.

“The which?” said the son of Priscilla Mullins.

“Mr. Spear, the antiquarian,” I repeated.

“It’s not Bill Spear who keeps a secondhand-shop, you want, mebbe?”

“Yes; I think that is the man.”

And so we were directed to the “secondhand-shop,” which proved to be the rooms of the Quincy Historical Society. And there we saw such a wondrous collection of secondhand stuff that, as we looked and looked, and Mr. Spear explained, and gave large slices of Colonial history, June, who is a Daughter of the American Revolution, gushed a trifle more than was meet.

Nothing short of a hundred years will set the seal of value on an article for Mr. Spear, and one hundred fifty is more like it. On his walls are hats, caps, spurs, boots and accouterments used in the Revolutionary War. Then there are candlesticks, snuffers, spectacles, butter-molds, bonnets, dresses, shoes, baby-stockings, cradles, rattles, aprons, butter-tubs made out of a solid piece, shovels to match, andirons, pokers, skillets and blue china galore.

“Bill Spear” himself is quite a curiosity. He traces a lineage to the well-known Lieutenant Seth Spear, of Revolutionary fame, and back of that to John Alden, who spoke for himself. The bark on the antiquarian, is rather rough; and I regret to say that he makes use of a few words I can not find in the “Century Dictionary,” but as June was not shocked I managed to stand it. On further acquaintance I concluded that Mr. Spear’s bruskness was assumed, and that beneath the tough husk there beats a very tender heart. He is one of those queer fellows who do good by stealth and abuse you roundly if accused of it.

For twenty-five years Mr. Spear has been doing little else but studying Colonial history, and making love to old ladies who own clocks and skillets given them by their great-grandmammas. There is no doubt that Spear has dictated clauses in a hundred wills devising that William G. Spear, Custodian of the Quincy Historical Society, shall have snuffers and biscuit-molds.