Hope Leslie: or, Early Times in the Massachusetts (Penguin by Catharine Maria Sedgwick

By Catharine Maria Sedgwick

Set in seventeenth-century New England within the aftermath of the Pequod War, Hope Leslie not in simple terms chronicles the position of ladies in construction the republic but in addition refocuses the emergent nationwide literature at the lives, household mores, and values of yankee girls.

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37 My Father’s Tools T-squares, draftsman’s table-world, rotatable, kept draped in oil-cloth, secrets of pencils to be pointed like long guns, scrolled blue-prints I believed full of treasure, not keel, magazine, bulkhead, or deck where scattered the exploded carrier’s thousands of legs. * His dithering, redundant language was never answerable to me, numbers, that solve-for-X slide rule’s tongue slow as courage when I needed it, digits of obedience I couldn’t get right, like a man with an idea standing on a bridge rail, cold swoon of current his signal to come.

Who brought us that baby in the back seat? Nights skating until the Circle closed. How aimless all was, like sperm puffed up, beating a way home. 22 Allen Wheeler’s Love Tale The night he saw his old man on top, Allen Wheeler said, he nearly shit with fear, but not because of what he saw, which wasn’t much, it was he wasn’t supposed to be where he was, and he was, and he thought Hell, I’ll catch his worst strap sure, and to hear him tell it, now almost crying, he struck first, shouting. Dad up and grabbed his belt and wailed.

In the principal’s office, accused, I tried faint answers, getting stiff, wordless with my fear. We will see the offender tremble. Together we will hide in the fields of our imagination, holding still, like any creature denying himself, head down in long quiet confined, in halls and numbered rooms. Tense, not speaking, we listen. Here and there one rises up and goes. We count, jaws clenched, those with us. Sundays our childhood streets were the same. —we chose sides. It grew dark, we ate, we read from animal books, fell asleep loving the brave ones.

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