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The Martyr's Path

The Martyr's Path

It is recorded, as an old superstition, that the grass along the way, by which a Martyr had gone to execution, always afterwards remained paler than other grass; and it was the same with whatever tree or shrub chanced to grow there--the foliage would never wear a gladsome green. Were there any truth in this, there is more than one foot track in New England, where the grass ought to look pale, in spite of the rain and dew of ages. Boston, if grass grew in its streets, would show such a pathway, leading from the ancient prison place to the gibbet of the Quakers--a pale wavy line would be drawn across some of the green fields of Connecticut--and for Salem, there would be a blighted track, up Gallows Hill, as broad as the highway. But there are many, whose whole walk through life is a path of martyrdom; who are the martyrs of uncharitableness, which does not indeed kill the body, but grieves the heart; and yet the grass is none the paler, where their feet have been.
Source: Nathaniel Hawthorne. The American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge. (May, 1836): 394.


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