I MUST begin this chapter after the Shandean manner by going back and telling what happened during the period covered by its predecessors and which was there omitted. There were various incidents before the year with which this chapter begins which I cannot pass over in silence, because they were so important to me and loomed so large in my small life at that time.
In the year 1858 we were obliged to leave Winthrop Place, as Devonshire Street was opened through from the rear and passed directly across the site of our house and garden. My father, therefore, bought No. 31 Beacon Street, and thither, when he had practically rebuilt the house, we went to live in 1859, after some months at the Revere House, necessitated by the delays occasioned by the alterations. Thirty-one Beacon Street had belonged to Mr. Samuel Eliot, a well-known and greatly respected citizen in the Boston of those days. He had served in Congress as a conservative Whig from one of the Boston districts, and going into business late in life had lost all his property when the firm with which he was connected was carried down in the panic of 1857, a disaster so wide-reaching in its effects that I well remember the feeling of gloom which seemed to oppress every one during that year. Thus it came about that Mr. Eliot's house and all that it contained was sold for the benefit of his creditors. My father in