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Where he paused to listen and look down
8 Beneath, in the church-yard, lay the dead
? Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
B And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height,
9 A hurry of hoofs in a village-street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed that flies fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat .
10 It was twelve by the village-clock,
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town
11 It was one by the village-clock,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
12 It was two by the village-clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
13 You know the rest. In the books you have read
14 So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm, —
A cry of defiance, and not of fear, —
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beat of that steed,
And the midnight-message of Paul Bevere.
LXI. — WASHINGTON AT MOUNT VERNON.
[This sketch of Washington's manner of life, from the close of the old French war to the beginning of the revolution, is from the first volume oi Irving's " Life of Washington."]
Mount Vernon was beautifully situated on a swelling height, crowned with wood, and commanding a magnificent view up and down the Potomac. The grounds immediately about it were laid out somewhat in the English 5 taste. The estate was apportioned into separate farms, devoted to different kinds of culture, each having its allotted laborers; much, however, was still covered with wild woods, seamed with deep dells and runs of water, and indented with inlets — haunts of deer and lurking-places of foxes. The whole woody region along the Potomac from 5 Mount Vernon to Belvoir, and far beyond, with its range of forests, and hills, and picturesque promontories, afforded sport of various kinds, and was a noble hunting-ground. Washington had hunted through it with old Lord Fairfax in his stripling days; we do not wonder that his feelings
1C throughout life incessantly reverted to it.
"No estate in United America," observes he in one of his letters, "is more pleasantly situated — in a high and healthy country; in a latitude between the extremes of heat and cold; on one of the finest rivers in the world, a
15 river well stocked with various kinds of fish at all seasons of the year, and in the spring with shad, herring, bass, carp, sturgeon, &c, in great abundance. The borders of the estate are washed by more than ten miles of tidewater; several valuable fisheries appertain to it; the whole
20 shore, in fact, is one entire fishery."
These were as yet the aristocratical days of Virginia. The estates were large, and continued in the same families by entail. Many of the wealthy planters were connected with old families in England. The young men, especially
25 the elder sons, were often sent to finish their education there, and on their return brought out the tastes and habits of the mother country. The governors of Virginia were from the higher ranks of society, and maintained a corresponding state. The "established" or
30 Episcopal church predominated throughout the "ancient dominion," as it was termed; each county was divided into parishes, as in England — each with its parochial church, its parsonage, and glebe.
A style of living prevailed among the opulent Virginia
35 families in those days that has long since faded away. The houses were spacious, commodious, liberal in all theii appointments, and fitted to cope with the free-handed, open-hearted hospitality of the owners. Nothing was more common than to see handsome services of plate, elegant equipages, and superb carriage horses— all imported 5 from England.
The Virginia planters were prone to leave the care of their estates too much to their overseers, and to think personal labor a degradation. Washington carried into his rural affairs the same method, activity, and circum
/ 0 spection that had distinguished him in military life. He kept his own accounts, posted up his books, and balanced them with mercantile exactness. We have examined them, as well as his diaries recording his daily occupations, and his letter-books, containing entries of shipments of tobacco,
15 and correspondence with his London agents. They are monuments of his business habits. The products of his estate also became so noted for the faithfulness, as to quantity and quality, with which they were put up, that it is said any barrel of flour that bore the brand of
20 George Washington, Mount Vernon, was exempted from the customary inspection in the West India ports. He rose early, often before daybreak in the winter when the nights were long. On such occasions he lighted his own fire, and wrote or read by candlelight. He breakfasted
25 at seven in summer, at eight in winter. Two small cups of tea, and three or four cakes of Indian meal, (called hoe-cakes,) formed his frugal repast. Immediately after breakfa_ he mounted his horse, and visited those parts of the estate where any work was going on, seeing to every
80 thing with his own eyes, and often aiding with his own hand.
Washington delighted in the chase. In the hunting season, when he rode out early in the morning to visit distant parts of the estate, he often took some of the dogs 85 with him, for the chance of starting a fox, which he occasionally did, though he was not always successful in kill