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A plain NARRATIVE Of the UNCOMMON SUFFERINGS, and REMARKABLE DELIVERANCE OF THOMAS BROWN, Of Charlestown, in New-England; [...] Father's House the Beginning of Jan 1760, after having been absent three Years and [...] eight Months.

CONTAINING An Account of the Engagement between a Party of [...], commanded by Maj. [...], and a Party [...] and [...], in J [...]n. [...]; in which [...] was kill'd; and [...] Author of his Narrative having receiving three Wounds (one of which thro' his Body) he was left for Dead on the Field of Battle:—

How he was taken Captive by the Indians, and carri­ed to Canada, and from thence to the Mississippi where he liv'd about a Year, and was again sent to Canada—During all which time, he was no­ [...] in constant Peril of his own Life: but had [...] Mortification of being an Eye-Witness of di­ [...] [...], and shocking [...], that were [...] by the Indians on several [...]sh Prison­ers [...] of whom he saw [...] to death; another [...] and his Entrails drawn out, &c. &c.

BOSTON: Printed and Sold by FOWLE and DRAPER, at their Printing Office [...] 1760.

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A NARRATIVE, &c.

AS I am but a Youth, I shall not make those Remarks on the Diffi­culties I have met with, or the kind Ap­pearances of a good GOD for my Preser­vation, as one of riper Years might do; but shall leave that to the Reader as he goes along, and shall only beg his Prayers, that Mercies and Afflictions may be sancti­fied to me, and relate Matters of Fact as they occur to my Mind.—

I was born in Charlestown, near Boston in New-England, in the Year 1740, and put an Apprentice by my Father to Mr. Mark White of Acton, and in the Year 1756, in the Month of May, I inlisted into Major Rogers's Corps of Rangers, in the Company commanded by Capt. Spike­man.

We march'd for Albany, where we ar­riv'd the first of August, and from thence to Fort-Edward. I was out on several Scouts, in one of which I kill'd an Indian.

[Page 4]On the 18th of Jan. 1757, we march'd on a Scout from Fort William-Henry; Major Rogers himself headed us: All were Voluntiers that went on this Scout.— We came to the Road leading from Tion­deroga to Crown-Point, and on Lake Cham­plain (which was froze over) we saw a­bout 50 Sleys; the Major thought proper to attack them and ordered us all, about 60 in Number, to lay in Ambush, and when they were near enough we were order'd to pursue them. I happened to be near the Major when he took the first Prisoner, a Frenchman: I singled out one and follow'd him; they fled some one Way and some another, but I soon came up with him and took him. We took seven in all, the rest escaping, some to Crown-Point, and some return'd to Tionderoga: When we had brought the Prisoners to Land the Major examined them, and they inform'd him that there were 35 Indians and 500 Regulars at Tionderoga.

It being a rainy Day we made a Fire and dry'd our Guns.

The Major tho't best to return to Fort William-Henry in the same Path we came, the Snow being very deep; we march'd [Page 5] in an Indian-File and kept the Prisoners in the Rear, lest we should be attack'd: We proceeded in this Order about a Mile and an half, and as we were ascending a Hill, and the Centre of our Men were at the Top, the French, to the Number of 400, besides 30 or 40 Indians, fir'd on us before we discovered them: The Major ordered us to advance. I receiv'd a Wound from the Enemy (the first Shot they made on us) thro' the Body, upon which I re­tir'd into the Rear, to the Prisoner I had taken on the Lake, knock'd him on the Head and kill'd him, lest he should escape and give bad Information to the Enemy; and as I was going to place myself behind a large Rock, there started up an Indian from the other Side; I threw my­self backwards into the Snow, and it being very deep, sunk so low that I broke my Snow-shoes (I had Time to pull 'em off, but was obliged to let my Shoes go with them) one Indian threw his Tomahawk at me, and another was just upon seizing me; but I happily escaped and got to the Centre of our Men, and fix'd myself be­hind a large Pine, where I loaded and fir'd every Opportunity; after I had discharged [Page 6] 6 or 7 Times, there came a Ball and cut off my Gun just at the Lock. About half an Hour after, I receiv'd a Shot in my Knee; I crawled again into the Rear, and as I was turning about receiv'd a Shot in my Shoulder. The Engagement held, as near as I could guess, 5 ½ Hours, and as I learnt after I was taken, we killed more of the Enemy than we were in Number. —By this Time it grew dark and the Fir­ing ceased on both Sides, and as we were so few the Major took the Advantage of the Night and escaped with the well Men, without informing the wounded of his Design, lest they should inform the Ene­my and they should pursue him before he had got out of their Reach.

Capt. Spikeman, one Baker and myself, all very badly wounded, made a small Fire and sat about half an Hour, when looking round we could not see any of our Men; Captain Spikeman called to Major Rogers, but received no Answer, except from the Enemy at some Distance; upon this we concluded our People were fled. All hope of Escape now vanish'd; we were so wounded that we could not travel; I could but just walk the others could scarce [Page 7] move; we therefore concluded to surren­der ourselves to the French: Just as we came to this Conclusion, I saw an Indian coming towards us over a small Rivulet that parted us in the Engagement: I crawl'd so far from the Fire that I could not be seen, though I could see what was acted at the Fire; the Indian came to Capt. Spikeman, who was not able to resist, and stripp'd and scalp'd him alive; Baker, who was lying by the Captain, pull'd out his Knife to stab himself, which the In­dian prevented and carried him away: Seeing this dreadful Tragedy, I concluded, if possible, to crawl into the Woods and there die of my Wounds▪ But not being far from Capt. Spikeman, he saw me and beg'd me for God's sake! to give him a Tomahawk, that he might put an End to his Life! I refus'd him, and exhorted him as well as I could to pray for Mercy, as he could not live many Minutes in that deplorable Condition, being on the frozen Ground, cover'd with Snow. He desired me to let his Wife know (if I lived to get home) the dreadful Death he died. As I was travelling as well as I could, or ra­ther creeping along, I found one of our [Page 8] People dead; I pull'd off his Stockings (he had no Shoes) and put them on my own Legs.

By this Time the Body of the Enemy had made a Fire, and had a large Number of Centries out on our Path, so that I was obliged to creep quite round them before I could get into the Path; but just before I came to it I saw a Frenchman behind a Tree, within two Rods of me, but the Fire shining right on him prevented his seeing me. They cried out about every Quarter of an Hour, in French, ALL IS WELL! And while he that was so near me was speaking, I took the Opportunity to creep away, that he might not hear me, and by this Means got clear of him and got into our Path. But the Snow and Cold put my Feet into such Pain, as I had no Shoes, that I could not go on; I there­fore sat down by a Brook, and wrapt my Feet in my Blanket. But my Body being cold by sitting still, I got up, and crawl'd along in this miserable Condition the Re­mainder of the Night.

The next Day, about 11 o'Clock, I heard the Shouts of Indians behind me, and I suppos'd they saw me; within a few Mi­nutes [Page 9] four came down a Mountain, run­ing towards me: I threw off my Blanket, and Fear and Dread quickned my Pace for a while; but, by Reason of the Loss of so much Blood from my Wounds, I soon fail'd. When they were within a few Rods of me they cock'd their Guns, and told me to stop; but I refus'd, hoping they would fire and kill me on the Spot; which I chose, rather than the dreadful Death Capt. Spikeman died of. They soon came up with me, took me by the Neck and kiss'd me. On searching my Pockets they found some Money, which they were so fond of, that in trying who could get most they had like to have kill'd me. They took some dry Leaves and put them into my Wounds, and then turn'd about and ordered me to follow them.

When we came near the main Body of the Enemy, the Indians made a Live-Shout, as they call it when they bring in a Prisoner alive (different from the Shout they make when they bring in Scalps, which they call a Dead-Shout.) The In­dians ran to meet us, and one of them struck me with a Cutlass a-cross the Side; he cut thro' my Cloaths, but did not touch [Page 10] my Flesh; others ran against me with their Heads: I ask'd if there was no In­terpreter, upon which a Frenchman cry'd, I am one: I ask'd him, if this was the Way they treated their Prisoners, to let them be cut and beat to Pieces by the In­dians? He desired me to come to him; but the Indians would not let me, holding me one by one Arm and another by the other: But there arising a Difference be­tween the four Indians that took me, they fell to fighting, which their commanding Officer seeing, he came and took me away and carry'd me to the Interpreter; who drew his Sword, and pointing it to my Breast, charged me to tell the Truth, or he would run me through: He then ask'd me what Number our Scout consisted of? I told him 50: He asked me where they were gone? I told him, I supposed as they were so numerous they could best tell. He said I told him wrong; for he knew of more than 100 that were slain: I told him we had lost but 19 in all: He said, there were as many Officers. On which he led me to Lieut. Kennedy. I saw he was much tomhawk'd by the In­dians. He ask'd me if he was an Officer? [Page 11] I told him, he was a Lieutenant: And then he took me to another; who, I told him, was an Ensign: From thence he carried me to Captain Spikeman, who was laying in the Place I left him; they had cut off his Head, and fix'd it on a Pole.

I beg'd for a Pair of Shoes, and some­thing to eat; the Interpreter told me, I should have Relief when I came to Tion­deroga, which was but one Mile and a ¼ off, and then delivered me to the 4 Indians that took me. The Indians gave me a Piece of Bread, and put a pair of Shoes on my Feet.

About this Time Robert Baker, men­tioned above, was brought where I was; we were extremely glad to see each other, tho' we were in such a distress'd Condition: he told me of five Men that were taken. We were ordered to march on towards Tionderoga: But Baker replied, he could not walk. An Indian then pushed him forwards; but he could not go, and there­fore sat down and cried; whereupon an Indian took him by the Hair, and was go­ing to kill him with his Tomhawk: I was moved with Pity for him, and, as weak as I was, I took his Arms over my [Page 12] Shoulders, and was enabled to get him to the Fort.

We were immediately sent to the Guard House, and, about half an Hour after, brought before the Commanding-Officer, who, by his Interpreter, examined us se­parately; after which he again sent us to the Guard-House. The Interpreter came and told us, that we were to be hang'd the next Day, because we had kill'd the 7 Prisoners we had taken on the Lake; but was afterwards so kind as to tell us, this was done only to terrify us. About an Hour after came a Doctor, and his Mate, and dressed our Wounds; and the Com­manding-Officer sent us a Quart of Claret. We lay all Night on the Boards, without Blankets. The next Day I was put into the Hospital, (the other Prisoners were carried another Way) here I tarried 'till the 19th of Feb. and the Indians insisted on having me, to carry to their Homes, and broke into the Hospital; but the Cen­tinel call'd the Guard and turn'd them out; after which, the commanding Offi­cer prevailed with them to let me stay 'till the 1st of March, by which Time I was able to walk about the Fort.

[Page 13]As I was one Day in the Interpreter's Lodging, there came in 10 or 12 Indians, with the Scalps they had taken, in order to have a War-Dance: They set me on the Floor, and put 7 of the Scalps on my Head while they danc'd; when it was over, they lifted me up in triumph: But as I went and stood by the Door, two In­dians began to dance a Live-Dance, and one of them threw a Tomhawk at me, to kill me, but I watch'd his Motion and dodg'd the Weapon.

I lived with the Interpreter 'till the first of March, when General Rigeau came to the Fort with about 9000 Men, in order, as they said, to make an Attempt on Fort William-Henry: Their Design was to scale the Walls; for which Purpose I saw them making Scaling-Ladders.—The Day be­fore they marched the General sent for me, and said, Young Man you are a likely Fellow; it's Pity you should live with such an ignorant People as the English, you had better live with me. I told him I was willing to live with him: He answer'd, I should, and go with him where he went: I replied, Perhaps he would have me go to War with him: He said, That was the [Page 14] Thing; he wanted me to direct him to Fort William-Henry, and show him where he might scale the Walls. I told him, I was sorry that a Gentleman should desire such a Thing of a Youth, or endeavour to draw him away from his Duty.—He added, He would give me 7000 Livres on his Return. I replied, that I was not to be bought with Money, to be a Traitor to my Coun­try and assist in destroying my Friends: He smiled, and said, In War you must not mind even Father or Mother.—When he found that he could not prevail with me, by all the fair Promises he made, he or­dered me back to the Fort; and had two other Prisoners brought before him, to whom he made the same Proposals as he had made to me; to which they consent­ed. The next Day I went into the Room where they were, and asked them if they had been with the General; they said, they had, and that they were to have 7000 Livres a-piece, as a Reward: I ask'd them, if that was the Value of their Fa­thers and Mothers, and of their Country? They said they were obliged to go. I said, the General could not force them; and added, that if they went on such a De­sign, [Page 15] they must never return among their Friends; for if they did, and Baker and I should live to get Home, we would en­deavour they should be hang'd. At this Time a Smith came and put Irons on my Feet: But the General gave those two Men who promis'd to go with him, a Blanket, a Pair of Stockings and Shoes. They were taken out of the Guard-House, and marched with the French as Pilots.—The General did not succeed; he only burnt our Battoes, &c. and returned to Tionder­oga.—The poor Fellows never had their Reward, but, instead of that, were sent to the Guard-House and put in Irons.

Soon after this I was taken out of Irons, and went to live with the Interpreter 'till the 27th of March; at which Time the Indians took me with them, in order to go to Montreal, and set me to draw a large Sled, with Provisions, my Arms being tied with a Rope. By the Time we got to Crown-Point, I was so lame that I could not walk. The Indians went ashore and built a Fire, and then told me I must dance: to which I complied, rather than be kill'd. When we sat off again, I knew not how to get rid of my Sled, and I [Page 16] knew I was not able to draw it; but this Fancy came into my Head; I took three Squaws on my Sled, and pleasantly told them, I wish'd I was able to draw 'em: All this took with the Indians; they freed me of the Sled, and gave it to other Pri­soners: They stripp'd off all my Cloaths, and gave me a Blanket. And the next Morning, they cut off my Hair and paint­ed me, and, with Needles and Indian-ink, prick'd on the back of my Hand the Form of one of the Scaling-Ladders, which the French made to carry to Fort William-Henry. I understood they were vex'd at the French, for the Disappointment.

We travelled about nine Miles on Lake Champlain, and when the Sun was two Hours high we stop'd; they made a Fire, and took one of the Prisoners that had not been wounded, and were going to cut off his Hair, as they had done mine: He foolishly resisted them, upon which they prepar'd to burn him; but the Com­manding-Officer prevented it at this Time. But the next Night, they made a Fire, stripp'd and ty'd him to a Stake, and the Squaws cut Pieces of Pine, like Scures, and thrust them into his Flesh, and set [Page 17] them on Fire, and then fell to powwaw­ing and dancing round him; and ordered me to do the same: Love of Life obliged me to comply; for I could expect no bet­ter Treatment if I refus'd. With a bitter and heavy Heart I feigned myself merry. They cut the poor Man's Cords, and made him run backwards and forwards. I heard the poor Man's Cries to Heaven for Mer­cy; and at length, thro' extreme Anguish and Pain, he pitched himself into the Flames and expired.

From thence we travelled, without any Thing worthy of Notice happening, 'till we came to an Indian Town, about 20 Miles from Montreal.—When we were about a Gun's-shot from the Town, the Indians made as many live Shouts as they had Prisoners, and as many dead Ones as they had Scalps. The Men and Women came out to meet us, and stripp'd me na­ked; after which they pointed to a Wig­wam, and told me to run to it, pursuing me all the Way with Sticks and Stones.

Next Day we went to Montreal, where I was carried before Governor Vaudreuill and examined: Afterwards I was taken into a French Merchant's House, and there [Page 18] I lived three Days. The third Night two of the Indians that took me came in drunk, and asked for me; upon which the Lady called me into the Room, and as I went and stood by the Door, one of them began to dance the War-Dance about me, de­signing to kill me; but as he lifted up his Hand to stab me, I catch'd hold of it with one of mine, and with the other knock'd him down, and then ran up Garret and hid.—The Lady sent for some Neighbours to clear the House of her Guests, which they did: It was a very cold Night, and one of the Indians being excessive drunk, fell down near the House, and was found in the Morning froze to Death. The In­dians came to the House, and finding their Brother dead, said I had kill'd him; and gathering a Number together, with their Guns, beset the House and demanded me of the Lady, saying, I should die the most cruel Death: The Lady told me of it, and advis'd me to hide myself in the Cellar, under the Pipes of Wine; which I did▪ They searched the House, and even came down Cellar, but could not find me. The Lady desired a Frenchman to tell the Indians, That he saw me without the City [Page 19] running away; they soon took after me, every Way.—The Merchant pitying my Condition, cover'd me with a Blanket, and carried me in his Conveyance about five Miles, to a Village where his Wife's Fa­ther lived, in order to keep me out of the Way of the Indians. When the Indians that pursued me had returned, and could not find me, they concluded that I was concealed by the Merchant; and applied to the Governor that I might be delivered to them, in order that they might kill me for killing their Brother; adding, by Way of threatning, that if I was not delivered up to them, they would turn and be a­gainst the French. The Governor told them, he had examined into the Matter, and found that I did not kill the Indian, nor know any Thing about it; but that he froze to Death. On this they said they would not kill me, but would have me to live with them: The Governor then in­formed them where I was, and they came and took me with them to Montreal again, and dressed me in their Habit.

On the 1st of May we set off to go to the Missisippi, where my Indian Master belonged, and two other English Prisoners [Page 20] with them. For several Days the Indians treated me very ill; but it wore off. We went in Bark Canoes, 'till we came to Lake Sacrament, the first Carrying-Place. We continued our Journey till we came to the Ohio, where General Braddock was de­feated. Here they took one of the Prison­ers, and with a Knife ript open his Belly, took one End of his Guts and tied to a Tree, and then whipt the miserable Man round and round 'till he expired; obliging me to dance, while they made their Game at the dying Man.

From hence we set off to go to an In­dian Town about 200 Miles from the Ohio, where we arrived in 15 Days, and tarried three. The third Night one of the Indians had a mind to kill me; as I was standing by the Fire, he ran against me to push me into the Flames, but I jumped over, and escaped being burnt: he follow­ed me round and round, and struck me several Times with his Head and Fist; which so provok'd me, that as he was coming at me again, I struck him and knock'd him backwards. The other In­dian laugh'd, and said I was a good Fellow.

[Page 21]The next Day we set off for the Missi­sippi, where we arrived the 23d of August, having passed over thirty-two Carrying-Places from our leaving Montreal. When we came here, I was ordered to live with a Squaw, who was to be my Mother. I liv'd with her during the Winter, and was employed in Hunting, dressing Leather, &c. being cloath'd after the Indian Fashion.

In the Spring a French Merchant came a Trading in Bark Canoes, and on his Re­turn wanted Hands to help him; he pre­vailed with my Mistress to let me go with him to Montreal. When we came there, and the Canoes were unloaded, I went in­to the Country and liv'd with his Wife's Father, and worked at the Farming-Bu­siness for my Victuals and Cloathing; I fared no better than a Slave. The Family often endeavoured to persuade me to be of their Religion, making many fair Promises if I would: Wanting to see what Altera­tion this would make in their Conduct to­wards me, one Sunday Morning I came to my Mistress, and said; Mother, will you give me good Cloaths if I will go to Mass? She answered, Yes, Son, as good as any in the House. She did so, and I rode to [Page 22] Church with two of her Daughters; in giving me Directions how to behave, they told me, I must do as they did. When we came Home, I sat at the Table and ate with the Family, and every Night and Morn­ing was taught my Prayers.

Thus I lived 'till the next Spring, when my Master's Son-in-Law, that bro't me from the Missisippi, came for me to re­turn with him, as he was going again there to trade. I refus'd to go, and appli­ed to the Governor. I was then put into Goal, where I tarried 5 Weeks, living on Bread and Water and Horse-Beef. When some Prisoners were going to be sent to Quebeck, in order to be transported to Old-France, I went with them: Here we laid in Goal 6 Weeks. But happening to see one of my Master's Sons, he prevailed with me to go back with him and work as for­merly; I consented, and tarried with him 'till the 8th of September.

There was at the next House an English Lad, a Prisoner; we agreed to run away together, through the Woods, that so, if possible, we might get home to our Friends: But how to get Provisions for the Way, we know not; 'till I was allow­ed [Page 23] a Gun to kill Pigeons, which were very plenty here. I shot a Number, split and dried them, and concealed in the Woods. We agreed to set off on a Sunday Morning, and were to meet at an appointed Place; which we did, and began our Journey towards Crown-Point. After we had tra­velled 22 Days, 15 of which we had no Provision except Roots, Worms, and such like, we were so weak and faint that we could scarce walk: My Companion gave out, and could go no further; he desired me to leave him, but I would not. I went and found three Frogs, and divided them between us. The next Morning he died. I sat down by him, and, at first, conclud­ed to make a Fire, as I had my Gun, and eat his Flesh, and if no Relief came, to die with him; but, finally came to this Resolution;—To cut off of his Bones as much Flesh as I could, and tie it up in a Handkerchief, and so proceed as well as I could: Accordingly did so, and buried my Companion on the Day I left him, I got three Frogs more the next Day. Be­ing weak and tired, about 9 o'Clock I sat down; but could not eat my Friend's Flesh. I expected soon to die myself; [Page 24] and while I was commending my Soul to GOD, I saw a Partridge light just by me, which I thought was sent by Providence; I was so weak, that I could not hold out my Gun; but by resting, I brought my Peice to bear so that I kill'd the Partridge. While I was eating of it, there came two Pigeons, so near, that I kill'd 'em both. As I fired two Guns, I heard a Gun at a Distance: I fired again, and was answered twice. This roused me; I got up and travelled as fast as I could towards the Re­port of the Guns; and about half a Mile off, I saw three Canadians: I went to 'em and pretended to be a Dutchman, one of their own Regulars, that was lost in the Woods. They brought me to Crown-Point; upon which I desired to see the Commanding-Officer: He knew me a­gain, and asked me, how I came there? I told him my Story, and what Difficulties I had met with. He ordered me to the Guard-House, and to be put in Irons: A­bout an Hour after he sent me a Bowl of Rice.

After I had been at [...] or twelve Days, the Commanding-Officer sent me back, under [...], [Page 25] to Montreal, in a Battoe, and wrote a Letter (as I afterwards understood) to my Master not to hurt me.

When I came to the House, one of his Daughters met me at the Door, and push­ed me back, and went and called her Fa­ther. At this House there was a French Captain, of the Regulars, billeted; he was a Protestant: He hearing my Voice, called me to him, and ask'd me where I had been? Upon my telling him, he call'd me a Fool, for attempting a Thing so im­possible. My Master coming in, took me by the Shoulder, and threatned to kill me for stealing his Gun when I run away: But the good Captain prevented him from using any Violence. The Captain asked me if I had been before the Governor; I told him, I had not; and then he advis'd my Master to send his Son with me (who was an Ensign among the Canadians.) When We came to a small Ferry, which we were to pass, I refused to go any fur­ther; and after a great deal of do, he went without me. On his Return, he said he had got Leave of the Governor, that I should go back to his Father and work as formerly. Accordingly I lived with him [Page 26] 'till the 19th of November; and when Col. Schuyler was coming away, I came with him to Albany.

Here I was taken Sick, and some of the Light-Infantry promised me, if I would inlist, that they would provide for me; and having neither Friends or Mo­ney, I was obliged to consent. They or­dered me a Bed, and Care to be taken of me: Five Days after, they put me on board a Sloop, and sent me to Kingston, and put me into a Hospital; where I was three Months.

The Regiment remained here 'till May, when we went to Albany, from thence to Fort William-Henry, and then to Tion­deroga and Crown-Point; both of which Places surrendered to General AMHERST.

On Sept. 19th, I went Pilot of a Scout to Cackanowaga, with Lieutenant M'Curdy, and on our Return, as we were on Lake Champlain, turning a Point of Land, and under great Way, we discovered in a large Cove a French Brig; but it was unhappily too late for us to make our Escape: We were pursued and taken Prisoners, (being 7 in Number) and the next Morning sent to Nut-Island: where we were stripp'd [Page 27] [...] the Indians and dressed after their [...]. From thence we were conduct­ [...] to Montreal, and examined before the Governor; after which we were ordered [...]. I applied to the Governor, and [...], That I had been a Prisoner there [...] had liv'd with such a Far­ [...] and desired Liberty to go to him a­gain, [...] which he sent for my Mas­ [...] [...] being inform'd of the Truth [...] what I related, consented.

I carried with the Farmer 'till Novemb. [...]th, when by a Flag of Truce 250 Eng­lish Prisoners came to Crown-Point; where [...] my Regiment.

After repeated Application [...] General AMHERST, I was dismissed, and returned in Peace to my Father's House the Begin­ning of January, 1760, after having been absent 3 Years and almost 8 Months.

‘O! that Men would praise the LORD for his Goodness, and for his wonderful Works to the Children of Men.’

"Bless the LORD, O my Soul!—

FINIS

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