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ted laborers ; much, however, was still covered with wila 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 10 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 tide.
water; 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 main
tained 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 their
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, ele.
gant 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 circum10 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 four 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 every30 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 occa
sionally did, though he was not always successful in kill
ing him. He was a bold rider and an admirable horseman, though he never claimed the merit of being an accomplished fox-hunter. In the height of the season, how
ever, he would be out with the fox-hounds two or three 5 times a week, accompanied by his guests at Mount Ver
non, and the gentlemen of the neighborhood, especially the Fairfaxes of Belvoir, of which estate his friend George William Fairfax was now the proprietor. On such occa
sions there would be a hunting dinner at one or other of 10 those establishments, at which convivial repasts Wash
ington is said to have enjoyed himself with unwonted hilarity.
Occasionally he and Mrs. Washington would pay a visit to Annapolis, at that time the seat of government of Mary15 land, and partake of the gayeties which prevailed during
the session of the legislature. The society of these seats of provincial governments was always polite and fashionable, and more exclusive than in these republican days,
being, in a manner, the outposts of the English aristoc20 racy, where all places of dignity or profit were secured for
younger sons and poor but proud relatives. During the session of the legislature, dinners and balls abounded, and there were occasional attempts at theatricals. The latter
was an amusement for which Washington always had a 25 relish, though he never had an opportunity of gratifying it
effectually. Neither was he disinclined to mingle in the dance; and we remember to have heard venerable ladies, who had been belles in his day, pride themselves on hav
ing had him for a partner, though, they added, he was apt 30 to be a ceremonious and grave one.
In this round of rural occupation, rural amusement, and social intercourse, Washington passed several tranquil years, the halcyon season of his life. His already estab
lished reputation drew many visitors to Mount Vernon ; 35 some of his early companions in arms were his occasional
guests, and his friendships and connections linked him
with some of the most prominent and worthy people of the country, who were sure to be received with cordial but simple and unpretending hospitality. His marriage was
not blessed with children; but those of Mrs. Washington 5 experienced from him parental care and affection, and the
formation of their minds and manners was one of the dearest objects of his attention. His domestic concerns and social enjoyments, however, were not permitted to
interfere with his public duties. He was active by na10 ture, and eminently a man of business by habit. As judge
of the county court, and member of the House of Burgesses, he had numerous calls upon his time and thoughts, and was often drawn from home ; for whatever trust he undertook he was sure to fulfil with scrupulous exactness.
LXII. — THE ALDERMAN'S FUNERAL.
SOUTHEY. (ROBERT SOUTHEY was born in Bristol, England, August 12, 1774, and died March 21, 1813. For the last forty years of his life he resided at Keswick, in the county of Cumberland. He was a very voluminous writer in verse and prose, and his works would fill not less than a hundred volumes. His poetry is characterized by a rich and gorgeous fancy, great beauty in description, and an elevated moral tone, but not by high creative power. His “ Thalaba” and “Curse of Kehama” are splendid Oriental visions, and his “Roderick” is an elaborate and well-sustained work. Many of his shorter poems are marked by a happy vein of humor.
His prose style is admirable; pure, simple, perspicuous, and energetic; sin. gularly well suited for narrative, and hardly less so for reasoning upon the usual topics of controversy among men. His best known prose works are * The Life of Nelson," "The Life of Wesley," "The History of the Peninsular War,” “ The History of Brazil,” “ Sir Thomas More, or Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society," “ The Life of Cowper,” and “The Doctor."
Southey was exclusively a man of letters, and few men have ever adorned that profession with higher qualities of character. He was admirable in all the relations of life, full of warm affec ions, and ever faithful to duty. He had strong prejudices, but they were honestly entertained. His literary industry was worthy of all praise. He was a passionate lover of books, and left behind him a large and valuable library. Overworn by excessive mental toil and domestic anxiety, the light of his mind faded away before death released him; and his last years were passed in ignorance alike of his books and his friends.?
STRANGER. Whom are they ushering from the world,
TOWNSMAN. A long parade, indeed, sir, and yet here You see but half; round yonder bend it reaches 5 A furlong farther, carriage behind carriage.
STRAN. ”T is but a mournful sight, and yet the pomp
The chairing of the members at election t.
Than all this mourning. There, sir, you behold 15 One of the red-gowned | worthies of the city,
The envy and the boast of our exchange, —
Then he was born
Towns. When I first heard his death, that very wish Leapt to my lips; but now the closing scene
Of the comedy hath wakened wiser thoughts ; 25 And I bless God, that when I go to the grave,
There will not be the weight of wealth like his
* This poem was written in 1803. The allusion in the text is to the peace of Amiens, between England, France, Spain, and Holland, which was concluded in May, 1802.
+ In England, after a contested parliamentary election, the successful members are sometimes carried about in a chair on the shoulders of their partisans, In such elections, also, the voters on different sides are sometimes designated by ribbons and badges of a peculiar color.
I In England, a red gown is a common official dress of mayors and aldermen of cities, worn on important occasions.