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This state has almost one hundred thousand dwelling 55 houses: it would be strange, if all of them should escape fire for twelve months. Yet is it very profitable for a man to become a deep student of all the accidents, by which they are consumed? He should take good care of his chimney corner, and put a fender before the 60 back-log before he goes to bed. Having done this, he may let his aunt or grandmother read by day, or meditate by night, the terrible newspaper articles of fires.
Some of the shocking articles in the papers raise simple, and very simple, wonder; some, terror; and some, 65 horror and disgust. Now what instruction is there in these endless wonders?-Who is the wiser or happier for reading the accounts of them? On the contrary, do they not shock tender minds, and addle shallow brains? Worse than this happens; for some eccentric minds are 70 turned to mischief by such accounts, as they receive of troops of incendiaries burning our cities: the spirit of imitation is contagious; and boys are found unaccountably bent to do as men do. When the man flew from the steeple of the North church fifty years ago, every 75 unlucky boy thought of nothing but flying from a signpost.
[The following original hymn was sung at the celebration on the 22nd of February, in the Old South Church, Boston.]
To thee, beneath whose eye
Our nation, in its prime,
That tried men's souls-"
When, from this gate of heaven,*
*The Old South Church was taken possession of by the British, while they held Boston, and converted into barracks for the cavalry, the pews being cut up for fuel, or used in constructing stalls for the horses.
By fire and sword,
Nor was our fathers' trust,
Then put to shame:
There, like an angel form,
God of our sires and sons,
And, like the brave and wise
Miserable case of a Weaver.-BELL'S MESSENGER.
A very worthy poor weaver applied to his master about three weeks since, begging earnestly for work, stating that he was in great want, and would thankfully do any thing for the means of supporting his existence. 5 His master assured him he did not want any more goods, his stock being very heavy, without any sale, and that he could not give out more work to any one. The man pressed very much, and at length his master said,
*From his position on "Dorchester Heights," that overlook the town, General Washington succeeded in compelling the British forces to evacuate Boston.
"Well, Jonathan, if it is absolutely necessary for you 10 to weave a piece to prevent you from starving, I will let you have it, but cannot give you more that 1s. for it (28. is the regular price,) for I really do not want any more goods made up for a long time to come." “Lèt me have it, master, I beg," said the poor man, 15"whatever you pay me for it, pray let me have it." The piece was given to him to weave, and at the end of two days he brought it home, and on carrying it to his master begged of him to give him 1s. 6d. for it, saying how much he was distressed for money. His master paid him the 1s. 6d., and the man went 20 away. The master feeling very uncomfortable about the poor man, thinking that the earnestness of his manner must arise from excessive want, determined on following him home. He went to the cottage of the weaver, and found the wife alone in the lower room, 25 making a little gruel over a poor fire. "Well, Máry," said the master, where is your husband?" Oh! sir, he is just come in from your house, and being very faint and weary, he is just gone to lie down in his bed." "I will go up and see him, Mary;" and immediately 30 he went to the upper room, where he saw the poor man lying on his bed, just in the agonies of death, with his mouth open, and his hands clasped; and after a short convulsion he expired. The master was very much distressed, and came down stairs, hoping to be able to 35 save the wife, who was in a very emaciated condition; she had just poured the gruel into a bason, intending to carry it up to her husband. The master said, Còme, Mary, take a little yourself first." Nò, sir," said she, "not a drop will I taste till Jonathan has had some. 40 Neither of us have had anything within our lips but water for the two days we were weaving your piece; and I thought it best to make a little gruel for us, before we took any thing stronger, as it is so long since we tasted food; but, sir, Jonathan shall have it first.' The mas45 ter insisted on her taking some herself before she went up to her husband, but she positively refused it: at last finding that he could not prevail on her to touch the gruel, he was obliged to tell her that her husband was dead. The poor woman set down the basin of gruel, sunk on 50 the floor, and immediately expired.
The Tomb of Washington.-ANONYMOUS.
We thought to gallop to Mount Vernon, but the chance of missing the way, and the tiresomeness of a gig, induced us to take a hackney coach. Accordingly we took possession, and ordered it on with all convenient 5 despatch. But haste was out of the question;—for never was worse road than that to Mount Vernon. Still, in the season of foliage, it may be a romantic route. As it was, we saw nothing to attract the eye, save a few seats, scattered among the hills, and occupying some pictur10 esque eminences. On we went-and yet onwardthrough all variety of riding; hill and vale, meadow and woodland, until a sheet of water began to glimmer through the dim trees, and announce our approach again to the Potomac. In a few moments, a turn in the wild and un15 even road brought us in view of the old mansion-house of Washington. We drove to the entrance of the old gateway, and alighted in the midst of what appeared to be a little village, so numerous and scattered were the buildings. About those which we first came upon, there 20 was an air of dilapidation and neglect that was rather unpromising. They were of brick and devoted to the lower menial purposes of the place. As we advanced, the houses that covered the grounds, had a neater appearance; and when we came in view of the edifice, of 25 which all these were the outworks or appendages, we were at once struck with the simple beauty of the structure, and the quiet and secluded loveliness of its situation. The roof is crowned with a little cupola or steeple, a common thing upon the old seats of rich pro30 prietors of Virginia, and the building itself is two stories in height. The portion nearest the river, and which is fronted with a light piazza, is an addition which was made to the mansion by the general. By this arrangement the beauty of the whole must have been much in35 creased. The style of the work, and the painting, have the effect of a freestone front; and though there is nothing imposing or grand in the appearance of the house, still there is an air of substance and comfort about it, that after all is far more satisfying than magnificence. Send40 ing in our cards, by an old servant, we were soon invit
ed to enter. Not having letters to Mr. W. the present proprietor, who is now very ill, we did not expect to see any of the family. A servant accordingly, at our request, merely accompanied us through the rooms made 45 interesting by the hallowed associations that came fast upon us as we traversed them. In the hall or entry, hangs, in a glass case, the key of the Bastile, which every body has heard of. It was presented to Washington by Lafayette. Under it is a picture of that re50 nowned fortress. This key is by no means formidable for its size, being about as large as a bank key, and of a shape by no means mysterious enough for a dissertation. The only curious portion of it, is that grasped by the hand in turning. It is solid and of an oval shape, 55 and appeared to me, for I always love to be curious in these matters, to have been broken, on a time, and then soldered or brazed again. It probably had some hard wrenches in its day. On the whole it appeared to be a very amiable key, and by no means equal to all the turns 60 it must have seen in the Revolution.
We were first shown into a small room, which was set apart as the study of Washington. Here he was wont to transact all his business of State, in his retirement. It was hung with pictures and engravings of revolutionary 65 events; and among the miniatures was one of himself, said to be the best likeness ever taken. Another room was shown us, which had nothing remarkable about it, and we then passed into a larger one, finished with great taste, and containing a portrait of Judge Washington. 70 A beautiful organ stood in the corner, and the fire place was adorned by a mantel of most splendid workmanship, in bass-relief. It is of Italian marble, and was presented to Washington by Lafayette. This part of our visit was soon over. There was little to see in the house, and 75 the portions referred to were all to which we were admitted. I could not help admiring, however, the neatness and air of antiquity together, which distinguished the several rooms through which we passed. There was something, also, fanciful in their arrangement, that was 80 quite pleasing to my eye, far more so than the mathematical exactness of modern and more splendid mansions. Passing from the house, down a rude and neglected pathway, and then over a little broken, but already verdant ground, we came to an open space, and found ourselves 85 standing before the humble tomb of George Washington.