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Mount Vernon was respected by both armies during the war, though the tide of conflict rolled very near it sometimes. On one occasion a German Colonel and his officers rode up from camp to pay a visit to the lonely house. Not being an American by birth, the Colonel was disposed to deface and destroy certain landmarks of the place, in defiance of Mr. Herbert's protests. It so happened that a party of Confederate troopers galloped up on a morningvisit to the grave, and hearing from the curator of the work of destruction going on at the house, they determined to put in an appearance also.
They met the Federals face to face. “This is no place for fighting" said they, but taking the Vandal German aside, the fiery Virginian captain, single-handed, thrashed him soundly; the soldiers of both flags looking on the while, and then the Southerners mounted and rode away. The church three miles away in the woods, which Washington attended when living, was destroyed in the war.
Returning again to the knoll in front of the mansion, I let my eyes wander over the beautiful landscape around. Beneath me stretched a sea of green leaves down to the water's edge, and beyond the river on the Maryland side, forest-trees only, in unbroken rank, met the view. Near the landing-pier, the river makes a sweep or reach to the south, while further away its mud-banks are covered with flocks of wild-fowl. On these deltas of mud and sand grows an aquatic plant, which has been called the wild celery, and to dive for its milk-white roots hither come millions of scarlet-hooded birds, whose blue-white backs mark them as that species so dear to epicures—the famous canvas-backed duck, A whistle is heard behind the point, and soon my old friend the " Arrow" is rounding to and signalling us to come on board. Thus ends my day at Mount Vernon, a day long to be remembered.
Going up 'stream, we pass fortifications on the Maryland side. Fort Foot, a new battery is constructed on a bluff, and is to be mounted with 15in. Dahlgreen guns : Fort Washington is an old work and was badly used by the English ships in 1812. It would soon crumble away under the guns of an iron-clad. On the Virginian side stands the town of Alexandria. It was in this place that blood was first shed between North and South. Lieutenant-Colonel Ellesworth in the Federal service was passing up the street when he noticed a flag of new device flying from the top of a house; he ascended to the roof to take it down, and on reaching the door again he was shot down in cold blood. Blood once spilt, nothing could avenge but the letting out of rivers of blood.
THE EAGLE'S NEST.
Regions Cæsar never knew,
Thy posterity shall sway,
Reign invincible as they.
Romans fought under it, Russians, Austrians and French carry it on their banners. But it is in America that the royal bird seems to have widest range and most undisturbed dominion. He is freely handled in speech by citizen orators, but they might safely let him alone ; they cannot add to his greatness, the secret of which is liberty. I arrived at the head-quarters of the American eagle at sun-rise, and went first to look on a dazzling white eyrie in which he enthrones himself in the national Capitol. Such a sight on the Capitol-hill was to be remembered for a life-time. Up rose the day-star from his ocean-bed, smiling faintly on the land, as he chased away the gloom of night and the curtains of fog. Then he mounted higher on his throne, and at last looked down with eye undimmed and face unclouded upon the world below. Like a great."mountain of light,” lay the mass of marble on the hill, so unique the material, so perfect the design, that the wanderer feels at once that this is the chef d'ouvre of American architecture. Surely there
cannot have been American hurry here; Its builders must have wrought in the spirit of old Cathedral-rearers. As Chaucer says,
There is na workman
This must be done at leasure parfaitly. To-day the eagle folds his wings in peace,--from his eyrie he watches his emissaries throughout the world. Down Southward, his likeness is the soldier's star ;-he mounts guard over the white tents of Camp Douglas, looking down upon Mormon life. He rules in revenueboats and custom-houses in every sea-port, he emblazons the mariner's flag in the waters of China and far away Japan, and the banner which droops languidly in Naples Bay, bears also his sign. Those who study art in ruined temples at Rome, and those who seek dollars in foggy London, all look for his countenance and favour. They will find it close at hand, -over Consular posts presides the lordly bird, along with the flag of mystic stars and motto of strength, “E pluribus unum.” A peaceful bird generally, he shows beak and claw when he is aroused. Once upon a time, aided by his cousins of lilied France, he chased a British Lion right valiantly, and more recently he has driven out single-handed, the legions of the Palmetto flag. The erne or white-headed eagle is the bird which furnishes a symbol for America's flag. Its instincts are cruel, and on this account Franklin regretted that it should have been chosen as the emblem of his country. Now and then it may be seen sailing through the rainbow-sprays of Niagara on its way from northern feeding-grounds.
As the sun rises higher and higher towards his zenith he seems to strike fire against these sparkling walls of marble. The sky overhead is of cerulean blue, so much