Howe's Masquerade

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Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804—1864) American novelist and short-story writer


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Story by Hawthorne, published in Twice-Told Tales (1842).

At the Boston tavern, the Old Province House, once headquarters of the royal governors, the proprietor tells a visitor this legend: When Governor Howe gave an entertainment, the night before the patriots' victory in the siege of Boston, the guests were costumed as figures of history and fiction, with comic individuals in rags representing Washington and his generals. Late in the evening, a funeral march was heard, and a solemn procession of ancient figures passed through the ballroom. Colonel Joliffe, an aged patriot detained during the siege, was present with his granddaughter, and identified the apparitions as early Puritan governors, “summoned to form the funeral procession of royal authority in New England.” According to legend, the procession reappears on each anniversary of the occasion.

Subjects: Literature.

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