Slike strani




tions, seeking to wipe out the fancied disgrace | the roots and branches, and putting to flight a incurred at the Falls of Montmorency. It was sergeant's guard posted at the summit. Wolfe in this mood he is said to have composed and drew up the men in order as they mounted; sung at his evening mess that little campaigning and by the break of day found himself in possong still linked with his name: session of the fateful Plains of Abraham.

Why, soldiers, why,

Should we be melancholy, boys
Why, soldiers, why?

Whose business 'tis to die!

Montcalm was thunderstruck when word was brought to him in his camp that the English were on the heights, threatening the weakest part of the town. Abandoning his intrench

Even when embarked in his midnight enter-ments, he hastened across the river St. Charles prise, the presentiment of death seems to have and ascended the heights, which slope up cast its shadow over him. A midshipman who gradually from its banks. His force was equal was present,* used to relate, that as Wolfe sat in number to that of the English, but a great among his officers, and the boats floated down part was made up of colony troops and savages. silently with the current, he recited, in low and When he saw the formidable host of regulars touching tones, Gray's Elegy in a country he had to contend with, he sent off swift meschurchyard, then just published. One stanza sengers to summon De Bougainville with his may especially have accorded with his melan- detachment to his aid; and De Vaudreuil to reinforce him with fifteen hundred men from choly mood. the camp. In the mean time he prepared to flank the left of the English line and force them to the opposite precipices. Wolfe saw his aim, and sent Brigadier Townshend to counteract him with a regiment, which was formed en potence, and supported by two battalions, presenting on the left a double front.

"The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Await alike the inevitable hour.

The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

"Now, gentlemen," said he, when he had finished, “I would rather be the author of that poem than take Quebec."

The descent was made in flat-bottomed boats,

past midnight, on the 13th of September. They dropped down silently with the swift current. “Qui va la?" (who goes there?) cried a sentinel from the shore. "La France," replied a captain in the first boat, who understood the French language. "A quel regiment? was the demand. "De la Reine" (the queen's), replied the captain, knowing that regiment was in De Bougainville's detachment. Fortunately, a convoy of provisions was expected down from De Bougainville's, which the sentinel supposed this to be. Passe,” cried he, and the boats glided on without further challenge. The landing took place in a cove near Cape Diamond,


which still bears Wolfe's name. He had mark

ed it in reconnoitring, and saw that a cragged path straggled up from it to the Heights of Abraham, which might be climbed, though with difficulty, and that it appeared to be slightly guarded at top. Wolfe was among the first that landed and ascended up the steep and narrow path, where not more than two could go abreast, and which had been broken up by cross ditches. Colonel Howe, at the same time, with the light infantry and Highlanders, scrambled up the woody precipices, helping themselves by

Afterwards Professor John Robison, of Edinburgh.

The French, in their haste, thinking they were to repel a mere scouting party, had brought but three light field-pieces with them; the English had but a single gun, which the sailors had dragged up the heights. With these they cannonaded each other for a time, Montcalm still waiting for the aid he had summoned. At length, about nine o'clock, losing all patience, he led on his disciplined troops to a close conflict with small arms, the Indians to support them by a galling fire from thickets and cornfields. The French advanced gallantly, but irregularly, firing rapidly, but with little effect. The English reserved their fire until their aslivered it in deadly volleys. They suffered, sailants were within forty yards, and then de

out the officers. Wolfe, who was in front of the line, a conspicuous mark, was wounded by

however, from the lurking savages, who singled

chief round the wound, and led on the grena

a ball in the wrist. He bound his handker

diers, with fixed bayonets, to charge the foe, in the breast. He felt the wound to be mortal, who began to waver. Another ball struck him

and feared his fall might dishearten the troops. Leaning on a lieutenant for support: "Let not my brave fellows see me drop," said he faintly.

He was borne off to the rear; water was brought to quench his thirst, and he was asked

ET. 27.]


sired those about him to lay him down. The lieutenant seated himself on the ground, and supported him in his arms. "They run! they run! see how they run!" cried one of the attendants. "Who run?" demanded Wolfe, earnestly, like one aroused from sleep.



if he would have a surgeon. "It is needless," | who commanded the garrison, he consigned the he replied; "it is all over with me." He de- defence of the city. "To your keeping," said he, "I commend the honor of France. I'll neither give orders, nor interfere any further. I have business to attend to of greater moment than your ruined garrison, and this wretched country. My time is short,-I shall pass this night with God, and prepare myself for death. enemy, sir; they give way everywhere." | I wish you all comfort; and to be happily extricated from your present perplexities." He then called for his chaplain, who, with the bishop of the colony, remained with him through the night. He expired early in the morning, dying like a brave soldier and a devout Catholic. Never did two worthier foes mingle their life-blood on the battle-field than Wolfe and Montcalm.*

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The spirit of the expiring hero flashed up. 'Go, one of you, my lads, to Colonel Burton; tell him to march Webb's regiment with all speed down to Charles' River, to cut off the retreat by the bridge." Then turning on his side; "Now, God be praised, I will die in peace!" said he, and expired,*-soothed in his last moments by the idea that victory would obliterate the imagined disgrace at Montmorency.

Brigadier Murray had indeed broken the centre of the enemy, and the Highlanders were making deadly havoc with their claymores, driving the French into the town or down to their works on the river St. Charles. Monckton, the first brigadier, was disabled by a wound in the lungs, and the command devolved on Townshend, who hastened to re-form the troops of the centre, disordered in pursuing the enemy. By this time De Bougainville appeared at a distance in the rear, advancing with two thousand fresh troops, but he arrived too late to retrieve the day. The gallant Montcalm had received his death-wound near St. John's Gate, while endeavoring to rally his flying troops, and had been borne into the town.

Preparations were now made by the army and the fleet to make an attack on both upper and lower town; but the spirit of the garrison was broken, and the inhabitants were clamorous for the safety of their wives and children. On the 17th of September, Quebec capitulated, and was taken possession of by the British, who hastened to put it in a complete posture of defence. A garrison of six thousand effective men was placed in it, under the command of Brigadier-General Murray, and victualled from the fleet. General Townshend embarked with Admiral Saunders, and returned to England; and the wounded General Monckton was conveyed to New York, of which he afterwards became governor.

Had Amherst followed up his success at Ticonderoga the preceding summer, the year's campaign would have ended, as had been pro

cautious delay gave De Levi, the successor of Montcalm, time to rally, concentrate the scattered French forces, and struggle for the salvation of the province.

Townshend advanced with a force to receive De Bougainville; but the latter avoided a com-jected, in the subjugation of Canada. His bat, and retired into woods and swamps, where it was not thought prudent to follow him. The English had obtained a complete victory; slain about five hundred of the enemy; taken above a thousand prisoners, and among them several officers; and had a strong position on the Plains of Abraham, which they hastened to fortify with redoubts, and artillery drawn up the heights.

The brave Montcalm wrote a letter to General Townshend, recommending the prisoners to British humanity. When told by his surgeon that he could not survive above a few hours; "So much the better," replied he; "I shall not live to see the surrender of Quebec." To De Ramsey, the French king's lieutenant

Hist. Jour. of Capt. John Knox, vol. i., p. 79.

In the following spring, as soon as the river St. Lawrence opened, he approached Quebec, and landed at Point au Tremble, about twelve miles off. The garrison had suffered dreadfully during the winter from excessive cold, want of vegetables and of fresh provisions. Many had died of scurvy, and many more were ill. Murray, sanguine and injudicious, on hearing that De Levi was advancing with ten thousand men, and five hundred Indians, sallied out with his diminished forces of not more than three thousand. English soldiers, he boasted, were ha

+ Knox; Hist. Jour., vol. i., p. 77.




bituated to victory; he had a fine train of ar- | troops in a great number of small vessels, and tillery, and stood a better chance in the field than cooped up in a wretched fortification. If defeated, he would defend the place to the last extremity, and then retreat to the Isle of Orleans, and wait for reinforcements. More brave than discreet, he attacked the vanguard of the enemy; the battle which took place was fierce and sanguinary. Murray's troops had caught his own headlong valor, and fought until near a third of their number were slain. They were at length driven back into the town, leaving their boasted train of artillery on the field.

De Levi opened trenches before the town the very evening of the battle. Three French ships, which had descended the river, furnished him with cannon, mortars, and ammunition. By the 11th of May, he had one bomb battery, and three batteries of cannon. Murray, equally alert within the walls, strengthened his defences, and kept up a vigorous fire. His garrison was now reduced to two hundred and twenty effective men, and he himself, with all his vaunting spirit, was driven almost to despair, when a British fleet arrived in the river. The whole scene was now reversed. One of the French frigates was driven on the rocks above Cape Diamond; another ran on shore, and was burnt; the rest of their vessels were either taken or destroyed. The besieging army retreated in the night, leaving provisions, implements, and artillery behind them; and so rapid was their flight, that Murray, who sallied forth on the following day, could not overtake them.

A last stand for the preservation of the colony was now made by the French at Montreal, where De Vaudreuil fixed his head-quarters, fortified himself, and called in all possible aid, Canadian and Indian.

The cautious, but tardy Amherst, was now in the field to carry out the plan in which he had fallen short in the previous year. He sent orders to General Murray to advance by water against Montreal, with all the force that could be spared from Quebec; he detached a body of troops under Colonel Haviland from Crown Point, to cross Lake Champlain, take possession of the Isle Aux Noix, and push on to the St. Lawrence, while he took the roundabout way with his main army by the Mohawk and Oneida rivers to Lake Ontario; thence to descend the St. Lawrence to Montreal.

ascended the river in characteristic style, publishing manifestoes in the Canadian villages, disarming the inhabitants, and exacting the oath of neutrality. He looked forward to new laurels at Montreal, but the slow and sure Amherst had anticipated him. That worthy general, after delaying on Lake Ontario to send out cruisers, and stopping to repair petty forts on the upper part of the St. Lawrence, which had been deserted by their garrisons, or surrendered without firing a gun, arrived on the 6th of September at the island of Montreal, routed some light skirmishing parties, and presented himself before the town. Vaudreuil found himself threatened by an army of nearly ten thousand men, and a host of Indians; for Amherst had called in the aid of Sir William Johnson and his Mohawk braves. To withstand a siege in an almost open town against such superior force, was out of the question; especially as Murray from Quebec, and Haviland from Crown Point, were at hand with additional troops. A capitulation accordingly took place on the 8th of September, including the surrender not merely of Montreal, but of all Canada.

Thus ended the contest between France and England for dominion in America, in which, as has been said, the first gun was fired in Washington's encounter with De Jumonville. A French statesman and diplomatist consoled himself by the persuasion that it would be a fatal triumph to England. It would remove the only check by which her colonies were kept in "They will no longer need her protection," said he; "she will call on them to contribute toward supporting the burdens they have helped to bring on her, and they will answer by striking off all dependence.”



For three months after his marriage, Washington resided with his bride at the "White House." During his sojourn there he repaired to Williamsburg, to take his seat in the House of Burgesses. By a vote of the House, it had been determined to greet his installation by a signal testimonial of respect. Accordingly, as soon as he took his seat, Mr. Robinson, the

*Count de Vergennes, French ambassador at Constan

Murray, according to orders, embarkeu his tinople.

ÆT. 27-31.]


speaker, in eloquent language, dictated by the warmth of private friendship, returned thanks, on behalf of the colony, for the distinguished military services he had rendered to his country.

Washington rose to reply; blushed-stammered trembled, and could not utter a word. "Sit down, Mr. Washington," said the speaker, with a smile, "your modesty equals your valor, and that surpasses the power of any language I possess."

Such was Washington's first launch into civil life, in which he was to be distinguished by the same judgment, devotion, courage, and magnanimity exhibited in his military career. He attended the House frequently during the remainder of the session, after which he conducted his bride to his favorite abode of Mount Vernon.


appears to have been his beau ideal of existence, which haunted his thoughts even amid the stern duties of the field, and to which he recurred with unflagging interest whenever enabled to indulge his natural bias.

Mount Vernon was his harbor of repose, where he repeatedly furled his sail, and fancied himself anchored for life. No impulse of ambition tempted him thence; nothing but the call of his country, and his devotion to the public good. The place was endeared to him by the remembrance of his brother Lawrence, and of the happy days he had passed here with that brother in the days of boyhood; but it was a delightful place in itself, and well calculated to inspire the rural feeling.

The mansion was beautifully situated on a swelling height, crowned with wood, and commanding a magnificent view up and down the Mr. Custis, the first husband of Mrs. Washing- Potomac. The grounds immediately about it ton, had left large landed property, and forty- were laid out somewhat in the English taste. five thousand pounds sterling in money. One-The estate was apportioned into separate farms, third fell to his widow in her own right; two- devoted to different kinds of culture, each havthirds were inherited equally by her two chil- ing its allotted laborers. Much, however, was dren, -a boy of six, and a girl of four years of still covered with wild woods, seamed with age. By a decree of the General Court, Wash- deep dells and runs of water, and indented with ington was intrusted with the care of the prop-inlets; haunts of deer, and lurking-places of erty inherited by the children; a sacred and foxes. The whole woody region along the Podelicate trust, which he discharged in the most tomac from Mount Vernon to Belvoir, and far faithful and judicious manner; becoming more beyond, with its range of forests and hills, and like a parent, than a mere guardian to them. 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 throughout life incessantly reverted to it.

From a letter to his correspondent in England, it would appear that he had long entertained a desire to visit that country. Had he done so, his acknowledged merit and military services would have insured him a distinguished reception; and it has been intimated, that the signal favor of government might have changed the current of his career. We believe him, however, to have been too pure a patriot, and too clearly possessed of the true interests of his country, to be diverted from the course which he ultimately adopted. His marriage, at any rate, had put an end to all travelling inclinations. In his letter from Mount Vernon, he writes: "I am now, I believe, fixed in this seat, with an agreeable partner for life, and I hope to find more happiness in retirement than I ever experienced in the wide and bustling world."

This was no Utopian dream transiently indulged amid the charms of novelty. It was a deliberate purpose with him, the result of innate and enduring inclinations. Throughout the whole course of his career, agricultural life

"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 river well stocked with various kinds of fish at all seasons of the year, and in the spring with shad, herrings, 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 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 entails. Many of the wealthy planters were connected with old families in England. The young men, especially the elder sons, were often sent to finish their education there, and on their return




brought out the tastes and habits of the mother | macy with the Fairfaxes, and his intercourse country. The governors of Virginia were from with British officers of rank, had perhaps had the higher ranks of society, and maintained a their influence on his mode of living. He had corresponding state. The "established," or his chariot and four, with black postilions in Episcopal church, predominated throughout the livery, for the use of Mrs. Washington and her "ancient dominion," as it was termed; each lady visitors. As for himself, he always apcounty was divided into parishes, as in Eng-peared on horseback. His stable was well land, each with its parochial church, its parsonage, and glebe. Washington was vestryman of two parishes, Fairfax and Truro; the parochial church of the former was at Alexandria, ten miles from Mount Vernon; of the latter, at Pohick, about seven miles. The church at Pohick was rebuilt on a plan of his own, and in a great measure at his expense. At one or other of these churches he attended every Sunday, when the weather and the roads permitted. His demeanor was reverential and devout. Mrs. Washington knelt during the prayers; he always stood, as was the custom at that time. Both were communicants.

filled and admirably regulated. His stud was thoroughbred, and in excellent order. His household books contain registers of the names, ages, and marks of his various horses; such as Ajax, Blueskin, Valiant, Magnolia (an Arab), &c. Also his dogs, chiefly fox-hounds, Vulcan, Singer, Ringwood, Sweetlips, Forrester, Music, Rockwood, Truelove, &c.*

A large Virginia estate, in those days, was a little empire. The mansion-house was the seat of government, with its numerous dependencies, such as kitchens, smoke-house, workshops, and stables. In this mansion the planter ruled supreme; his steward or overseer was his prime Among his occasional visitors and associates minister and executive officer; he had his legion were Captain Hugh Mercer and Dr. Craik; the of house negroes for domestic service, and his former, after his narrow escapes from the toma-host of field negroes for the culture of tobacco, hawk and scalping knife, was quietly settled at Fredericksburg, the latter, after the campaigns on the frontier were over, had taken up his residence at Alexandria, and was now Washington's family physician. Both were drawn to him by campaigning ties and recollections, and were ever welcome at Mount Vernon.

A style of living prevailed among the opulent Virginian 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, elegant equipages, and superb carriage horses—all imported from England.

The Virginians have always been noted for their love of horses; a manly passion which, in those days of opulence, they indulged without regard to expense. The rich planters vied with each other in their studs, importing the best English stocks. Mention is made of one of the Randolphs of Tuckahoe, who built a stable for his favorite dapple gray horse, Shakespeare, with a recess for the bed of the negro groom, who always slept beside him at night.

Washington, by his marriage, had added above one hundred thousand dollars to his already considerable fortune, and was enabled to live in ample and dignified style. His inti

Indian corn, and other crops, and for other outof-door labor. Their quarter formed a kind of hamlet apart, composed of various huts, with little gardens and poultry yards, all well stocked, and swarms of little negroes gambolling in the sunshine. Then there were large wooden edifices for curing tobacco, the staple and most profitable production, and mills for grinding wheat and Indian corn, of which large fields were cultivated for the supply of the family and the maintenance of the negroes.

Among the slaves were artificers of all kinds, tailors, shoemakers, carpenters, smiths, wheelwrights, and so forth; so that a plantation produced every thing within itself for ordinary use: as to articles of fashion and elegance, luxuries, and expensive clothing, they were imported from London; for the planters on the main

* In one of his letter-books we find orders on his London agent for riding equipments. For example :

1 Man's riding-saddle, hogskin scat, large plated stirrups and every thing complete. Double reined bridle and Pelham bit, plated.

A very neat and fashionable Newmarket saddle-cloth. A large and best portmanteau, saddle, bridle, and pillion.

Cloak-bag surcingle; checked saddle-cloth, holsters, &c. A riding-frock of a handsome drab-colored broadcloth, with plain double gilt buttons.

A riding waistcoat of superfine scarlet cloth and gold lace, with buttons like those of the coat.

A blue surtout coat.

A neat switch whip, silver cap.
Black velvet cap for servant.

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