Notes to Ch 22, The Procession
The Scarlet Letter

this body of soldiery--which still sustains a corporate existence ...sl22.html#g02
In 1649 this was still known as the "Military Company of Massachusetts," but today as well in 1850 it has the name of the "Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts." We cannot find another reference to it elsewhere in Hawthorne's writings, but he must have seen its parades while he lived in Boston. You can visit its museum on your trip to Boston--it is in the top floor of Faneuil Hall--and you can see it parade on such days as Evacuation Day. Today it is mostly a ceremonial and honorary fraternal organization.
Knights Templars ...sl22.html#g02
Hawthorne would certainly not approve of a College of Arms, which serves hereditary aristocracy by authorizing titles and coats of arms. The reference to Knights Templar might indicate that the Military Company had some sort of secret religious level, as for example perhaps Freemasonry or the group of Cincinnati at the time of the Revolution. But, if so, the religious significance is lost, and this sort of military adventurism as by the Templars would not be something of which Hawthorne would approve.
the Low Countries ...sl22.html#g02
Fighting in Holland and Flanders continued through this period of European wars, and English mercenaries were engaged in the battles as Protestants against Catholics. Perhaps there they would have become experts in the new field of artillery and so would have contributed their skills to Boston.
the mother country need not have been ashamed ...sl22.html#g03
Hawthorne in his writings frequently referred back to these early governors and leaders. Here he puts forward the interesting idea they they are at the same time "foremost men of an actual democracy" and also might well have been counselors to the King. Of course, in this year King Charles was deposed by the Puritans in England, so that would have been an odd idea. Still, he is saying that these sturdy early leaders were worthy of respect and reverence, even if all they did was get the colony started, since their traits of character were precisely what was needed at the time. The Puritans in England (a few of the ministers from Boston joined them, but not many) did not carry through their revolution successfully, and democracy did not prevail there.
the sea-fire, that flashes ...sl22.html#g22
Phosphorescence, the cold, flashing light given off by blooms of micro-organisms in sea water at night. The implication is that it is somewhat mysterious yet beautiful.
self same ...sl22.html#g29
Our copy-text has "self same," but the Library of America text (following the Centenary Edition) has the word hypenated as "self-same." Most likely it should either be hyphenated or one word, since the two separate words do not seem to be found in Hawthorne's writings, while the other two forms are used several times each. They all mean the same, and are alternate, correct spellings.

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