« 이전계속 »
North and Lord George Germaine and their ences upon the American cause both at home fellow-ministers, a full reason for the issue. and abroad.” He praises Washington's noble nature—as The high authority of Jefferson has prowho must not ?—but he never sees the great nounced, that “his heart was not warm in general. Yet, if not mere success (a test its affections ;” and with that judgment the which would surely insure the Virginian's world in general seems readily to have conname a triumph), but rather the power of curred; yet with perhaps still less reason. making all circumstances favor his schemes, He was reserved to the many from habit, of never losing an opportunity, often creat- and “stern,” it is rightly said, “ to all whom ing one, show generalship, the world has he deemed wanting in those high moral reqnever beheld his superior. A very contrary uisites which dignify and adorn our nature. belief has, strange to say, obtained advo- Stern he was to the disturbers of the repose cates, not only in Europe, but in America. of society, the violators of those institutions Even Jefferson declared that his extreme which “promote peace and good-will among .caution was better adapted for the methodi- men,” and could wither up with a glance cal operations of a siege than for the more impertinents like Governor Morris, who, for energetic displays of a pitched battle. We a bet, accosted the general with a rudely rather think that contemporaries, in some jocular slap on the shoulder ; but there his measure rivals, were scarcely fair judges of austerity ended. If the jealous politicians his powers; and that Mr. Parke Custis' par- of Congress could not always fairly estimate tiality has carried him rather nearer the either his martial genius or his ready benevtruth, notwithstariding his copious discharge olence, at all events his soldiers and officers, of notes of interrogations : “Did not this all at least but his rivals, could and did thormodern Fabius," he writes, “in the very oughly. To them his patience was not indepth of winter, and after overcoming sensibility, and his coolness not coldness. mighty obstacles, surprise his enemy at When his aide-de-camp, Colonel Fitzgerald, Trenton, and recall victory to his standard, cried for joy, at finding him escape uninjured when hope was almost sinking in despair ? from a desperate and triumphant effort to Did he not, by a masterly manæuvre, and rally his men at Princeton, the reply by a midnight march, surprise his enemy in brief order to do his duty and bring up the Princeton and add yet another laurel to that troops was not thought sullenness; nor already acquired by the capture of the Hes- again, when Hamilton, in his rage at General sians ? Did he not, with an army hastily Lee's apparent treachery, leaping from his raised, and defeated at Brandywine, in horse, proposed to make, a forlorn attack on twenty-three days thereafter, surprise the the enemy, was the calm command to him, enemy at Germantown? And though vic- to obey orders and mount till he was bid distory was denied him by a force of circum- mount, regarded by its impetuous object as stances no human power could have con- a piece of unkindly irony against enthusitrolled, yet the boldness of the enterprise, asm. On one occasion, described in this and the success attending it in the outset, volume, when the troops were wearily plodproduced such a confidence abroad in our ding to their winter-quarters at Valley Forge, courage and resources as to lead to our alli- Washington's approach was announced. As ance with a powerful nation. Did he not he rode slowly up, he was observed to be surprise the enemy at Monmouth? And, eying very earnestly the frozen surface of although untoward events seemed to cripple the ground. He bade the commanding offithe operations of the early part of the day, cer come to him, and addressed him as folyet the setting sun shone upon the battle- lows: “How comes it, sir, that I have field in possession of the Americans, the en- tracked the march of your troops by the emy retreating, and their dead and wounded blood-stains of their feet ? The officer's left as trophies to the victors. Such were reply was, that it was his regiment's misforthe memorable instances in which Washing- tune to be among the last to be served ; and ton, with troops newly raised, and badly pro- the stores became exhausted before their vided with every necessary of war, struck at turn came. “ The general was observed to his veteran and well-appointed foe when be deeply affected by this description. His least expected, producing the happiest influ-l compressed lips, the heaving of his chest, betokened the powerful emotions that were swer it to his country? The blood of the struggling in his bosom, when, turning tow- slain is upon him—the curse of widows and ards the troops, with a voice tremulous yet orphans !' This torrent came forth in tone friendly, he exclaimed, ' Poor fellows!' then, appalling. His very frame shook. He sat giving rein to his charger, rode away. Dur- | down on the sofa once more. He was silent. ing this touching interview, every eye was He at length said, in an altered voice, * This bent upon the chief, every ear was attentive must not go beyond this room.' Another to catch his words; and when those words pause followed a longer one—when he said, reached the soldiers, a grateful but subdued in a tone quite low, 'General St. Clair shall expression burst from every lip of "God have justice. I will hear him without prejbless your excellency, your poor soldiers' udice; he shall have full justice.'” And friend!!" When a man's acts are always from Washington St. Clair had justice. benevolent, it is wonderful how few words “ The unfortunate general, worn down by are needed to interpret them clearly enough. age, disease, and the hardships of a frontier Congress was always voting studied pane- campaign—assailed by the press, and with gyrics, but seldom sending shoes and pork; the current of popular opinion setting hard and thus the army was ever ready to convert against him-repaired to his chief, as to a the selfish panegyrical Speaker's mace into shelter from the fury of so many elements. a royal sceptre for the taciturn, laborious Washington extended his hand to one who commander.
appeared in no new character; for, during His officers had the same feeling. His the whole of a long life, misfortune seemed subordinate generals might, in the glow of to have marked him for her own.' Poor their occasional triumphs, be tempted into old St. Clair hobbled up, seized the offered caballing and sneering; but, in the day of hand in both of his, and gave vent to his reverse and general outcries, even a Horatio feelings in an audible manner. He was subGates turned, not in vain, to the justice of sequently tried by a commission of governthe man he had sought to supplant for pro- ment, and proved to have been unfortunate.” tection. The account of Washington's de- The world, in this case, and probably in meanor, on hearing the news of General St. | many others, only witnessed the results of Clair's surprise in Ohio, by the Indians, Washington's deliberation; it was merely lightens up, as by a sudden flash, the mys. by an accident that we know of how severe terious depths of his profound character, a struggle this generous forbearance to an both bringing into relief the justice and fair- unsuccessful lieutenant was the issue. Beness which made his soldiers and his often cause he so ruled himself as not to run the murmuring officers rely on him in adversity; risk of having to award the slow and altoand also showing that the apparent equabil- gether inadequate compensation of an apolity of his temper was a carefully trained and ogy through prejudging an imputed offence, fostered ue, not a defect of nature. It men who saw no manifestation of indignawas while at dinner on a winter's day, that tion inferred that he felt none. On the conhe was called out to read the despatch. He trary, those who knew him well have allowed soon returned, apologized for his absence, that he was naturaily of a quick and violent and attended to his wife's evening visitors temper, nobly controlled. Perhaps only on with his customary courtesy. At last, he one occasion was it suffered to run its course was left alone with his secretary, Mr. Lear. freely. After the war, a friend of General For some minutes, he walked up and down Scott, whose every other word was an oath, in silence ; at length: “Yes,' he burst forth, endeavoring to break him of the habit by • here, on this very spot, I took leave of holding up to him the example of his late him; I wished him success and honor. I commander, asked him if Washington ever said, “I will add but one word: beware of swore. “Scott reflected for a moment, and a surprise.' He went off with that as my then exclaimed, · Yes, once. It was at Monlast solemn warning thrown into his ears. mouth, and on a day that would have made And yet, to suffer that army to be cut to any one swear. Yes, sir, he swore on that pieces, hacked by a surprise--the very thing day till the leaves shook on the trees i guarded him against ! o God, o God! he charming, delightful! Never have I enjoyed is worse than a murderer! How can he an- such swearing before or since! Sir, on that ever-memorable day, he swore like an angel vice, by whom they were sure to be conveyed from heaven!” It was superfluous to add to Washington's head-quarters. to this account that the reformer abandoned We wonder what the same depreciators of his friend in despair.
the general's readiness and acuteness at the We believe that, even in other matters, head of an army will think of the following Washington's coolness and serenity of de- anecdote :portment has caused some injustice to be “ The bearer of one despatch was a young done to his very remarkable powers of in- man named Montagnie, who was directed by tellect and knowledge of human character. Washington to cross the river at King's It is as though his morality had been praised Ferry, proceeded by Haverstraw to the at the expense of his sagacity. The follow- Ramapo Clove, and through the pass to ing anecdote about the general's intercourse Morristown. Montagnie, knowing the Rawith Rivington, editor of the Royal Gazette mapo Pass to be in possession of the friends at New York, while in the occupation of the of the enemy, ventured to suggest to the king's troops, and a most unscrupulous ca- commander-in-chief that the upper road lumniator of the revolutionary leaders, seems would be the safest. 'I shall be taken,' he to show that he knew how to avail himself said, if I go through the Clove.' Your of secret services, and to profit by the cor- duty, young man, is not to talk, but to ruptibility of humanity. “When Washing- obey!' replied Washington sternly, enforcton entered New York, on its evacuation by ing his words by a vigorous stamp of his the British forces, he said one morning to foot. Montagnie proceeded as directed, and, two of his officers, ' Suppose, gentlemen, we near the Ramapo Pass, was caught, and sent walk down to Rivington's book-store ; he to New York. The day after his arrival, the is said to be a very pleasant kind of a fel- contents of the despatches taken from him low.' Amazed as the officers were at the were published in Rivington's Gazette, with idea of visiting such a man, they of course great parade, for they indicated a plan of prepared to accompany the chief. When attack upon the city.” arrived, Rivington received his visitors with When they had exhausted their time and great politeness, for he was, indeed, one of preparations, the British and Montagnie the most elegant gentlemen and best bred learned, at the same time, that, meanwhile, men of the age” (and wore curled and pow- Washington had had leisure to concert and dered hair, claret-colored coat, scarlet waist- execute a movement in quite a different dicoat, trimmed with gold lace, buckskin rection, and that the messenger's capture breeches, and top-boots). “Escorting the was not entirely accidental. party into a parlor, he begged the officers to Under the same temperate calmness, which be seated, and then said to the chief, • Will seems to have deceived so many into considyour excellency do me the honor to step into ering him rather contemptuously as a natuthe adjoining room for a moment, that I may ral stoic-a passionless man—he sheltered a show you a list of the agricultural works í high and generous moral courage, which, am about to order out from London for your though he was not a man to scorn or outrage special use ?' They retired. The locks on public opinion, enabled him on occasion to the doors of houses in New York, more than brave and to shame it. Robert Morris was threescore years ago, were not so good as the great financier of the Revolution. To his now. The door of Rivington's private room courageous confidence in its eventual success closed very imperfectly, and soon became it was indebted for the pecuniary supplies ajar, when the officers distinctly heard the which kept its army from perishing. Yet chinking of two heavy purses of gold as they this man, impoverished by land speculations were successively placed on the table.” It from which Washington had tried to disis said that Rivington had communicated suade him, his country suffered to spend the with Washington by binding his billets in last years of his life in the debtor's prison at the covers of the books he published. He Philadelphia. Well may Mr. Custis extrusted to selling these to the spies who were claim : "For Robert Morris to have been ignorant of the special nature of their ser- imprisoned in character, the bars should
have been of gold!” It is a noble reminis- humanity, the character which feels and de-
Indeed, if ever there was a man ho can John Adams, and Jefferson, and Hamilton, be taken as an example of the tempáywvos as conspicuous and pre-eminent as in war, ávýp, the four-square man of Aristotle, that where he had no rival. What some of his man was Washington. If his virtues had countrymen have accounted defects in his been the result solely of a passionless calm habits enlarged his efficiency. His old Virof temperament, as so many have repre- ginian aristocratic tone of feeling and mansented, he would be but a very imperfect ners for instance, prevented the people from example of the Aristotelian type of com- missing the pomp and ceremonial of the plete humanity. The anecdotes given in former royal governors, and sustained in the this volume show, that it was not because he upper classes that interest in the governwanted fire in his disposition, that his de- ment of their country, the disappearance of meanor was so serene, but because his love which in more modern times is so dangerof justice, his determination never to con- ous and ruinous a feature in the United demn, though he captured an offender red- States. It is not, in fact, quite accurate to handed, was so entire. He might, be taken, say, as does Mr. Custis, that “there never we think, far, very far, more_fitly, by Mr. lived a man more averse to show and pomp Carlyle, than the father of Frederick the than Washington.” There was, assuredly, Great, to exemplify the dumb-poetic type of never any one with less of vanity; but some
little show his early associations and remi- | though the master's indignation at the cost niscences of the old state of things in Vir- might consign the luxury to the servants’ hall; ginia made seem to his mind part of the de- and Uncle Harkless, the chief cook, sauntercencies and proprieties of high station even ing with the dandies up Market Street, in in a republic. That he had not lost “the silk, with cocked hat and gold-headed cane, genteel taste for fine cloathes," as Walton to glorify the presidential establishment. expresses it in speaking of George Herbert, Washington knew how to preserve simwhich marks his commissions to his London plicity of manner and thought amid some agents before the war; or for fine equipages, magnificence of living. Some few might as when, in the precincts of the vice-regal murmur at, for instance, his levées and his court at Williamsburg, in the days of the wife's drawing-rooms as verging on monarold regime, Colonel Washington's bays vied chical etiquette and formality; but, on the with Colonel Byrd's grays, is abundantly whole, the nation approved and liked to proved by the cream-colored English coach, have a chief who could live like a prince, with panels painted by Cipriani, with groups and feel and talk like a citizen among citiof the Seasons, and its six shining bay horses, zens. The voluntary celebration of his which was one of the sights of Philadelphia ; birthday by a ball in every great town showed and the purple satin dress, or rich black vel- that the endurance of presidential ceremonivet, with diamond knee-buckles, scrupulously als was not deemed by republican America a japanned shoes and buckles, ruffles, pow- forced discharge of the debt of gratitude due der, bag and dress-sword of his presidential to its great liberator. days; all being adorned by a manner most Perhaps the most interesting portions of courteous without being formal, a singularly the book are the accounts of Washington at attractive smile, eyes which could flash and Mount Vernon, when released from the comglow on occasion, and an expression of coun- mand of the army, and, at length, from the tenance, grave, but not stern, which no cares of civil office. A part of each day was painter could catch, and by a form declared always set apart for meditation and devotion; by Lafayette to be the most superb he had nor this in time of peace only; for we are ever beheld. The internal arrangements of told that “one day, while the Americans his household were all decorous and digni- were encamped at Valley Forge, the owner fied. There was no useless parade or ex- of the house occupied by the general, a pense: he always himself scrupulously in- Quaker, strolled up the creek, and, when spected his weekly accounts; but there was, not far from his mill, heard a solemn voice. at the same time, nothing sordid ; and He walked quietly in the direction of it, and though not of a disposition to diminish saw Washington's horse tied to a sapling. needlessly his patrimony, he freely spent the In a thicket near by was the chief, upon his produce of the sale of a very considerable knees in prayer, his cheeks suffused with estate to eke out the state salary. We find tears.” He rose generally about four : the amusingly described in the " Recollections” library, and a visit to the stables, occupied the awful neatness of the President's stables; the time till breakfast; and then he reguthe horses enveloped, the night before they larly every day made the tour of his farms, were to be ridden, in a white paste ; the without attendants, opening his gates, pullostlers hard at work rubbing this off before ing down and pulling up his fences as he dawn; the overseer with a muslin handker- passed, with compass in hand, and in his chief in his hand, on which, when applied plain drab clothes, broad-brimmed white to the animals' coats, if the slightest stain hat, with a hickory switch and umbrella with' were perceptible, down came the whip; then long staff attached to his saddle-bow, the Fraunces, the steward of magnificent ideas, ideal of a gentleman farmer, who did all who, to reproaches on the score of waste, things, from the inauguration of a constituwould reply with tears and the exclamation, tion to the planting of a tobacco-field, with *** He may kill me if he will; but while he his whole heart and soul. Precisely at a is President, and I have the honor to be his quarter to three, his horse's hoofs were steward, his establishment shall have the heard approaching the door, for whether it best of every thing,'” even the solitary were the pit of a theatre, or Congress, a shad of the season, at three dollars the fish, band of expectant maidens with laurel