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It was a happy moment to visit the spot. There was something in the time, fortunate for the feelings. The very elements seemed in accordance with the season.
The day was beautiful—the sunlight was streaming full 90 upon the trees round about, and glowing with a mellow
beam upon the grave;—the place was quiet and imbosomed, and the only sound that we heard, save that of our own hearts, was the voice of the wind through the
pines, or of the waters as they broke upon the shore be95 low us.
Who can analyze his feelings as he stands before that sepulchre! Who can tell the story of his associations, or do any justice by his tongue or his pen to the emotions which the memories of the past awaken there!
The history of a whole country is overpowering him at 100 once.
Its struggle-its darkness-its despair-its victory rush upon him. Its gratitude, its glory, and its loss, pass before hir-and in a few moments he lives through an age of interest and wonder. Strange power of human
mind! What an intimation does this rapid communion 105 with the past, and with the spirits of the past, give, at
once, of their immortality and our own! But it is vain to follow out these feelings here. They would fill volumes
PART II. There is no inscription upon the tomb. The simple words " WASHINGTON FAMILY,” chiseled in granite, surmounts the plain brick work. The masonry was
originally wretched, and the plaster is now falling from 5 it. The door is well secured, and of iron. There is a
total absence of every thing like parade or circumstance about the resting-place of the Hero. He sleeps there in the midst of the very simplicities of nature. Laurel
trees wave over his dust, on every side, and the pilgrim 10 who goes to stand by his grave, finds no careful enclosure
to forbid his too near approach. In short, Washington rests in an obscurity—just that obscurity which he would have chosen, but which seems hardly compatible with
the vast gratitude and deep reverence of a great country. 15 As we were standing upon this spot, a couple
spaniels came bounding along, and following close, was an old servant of the family, and formerly a slave of Washington. On examining him, we found he was born on
the place, and recollected his master, and all he said, 20 with great distinctness. He was a very aged negro, and quite gray.
I found there was something to be gathered from this ancient of the family—and accordingly, as I stood lean
ing upon the broken gate, which swung before the door 25 of the old tomb, put him in the train, by a few ques.
tions.- “In front of the new grave-place, yonder,” said he, “ lie buried a hundred people of colour.” These, it seemed, were slaves of the plantation, who from time
to time had died here. He spoke of the great kindness 30 of Washington, and his emancipating a hundred of his
people. “His wife did the same,” added he. There were now, he said, but about fifteen attached to the establishment. Passing from one thing to another without
much connexion, he went on to say, referring to Wash35 ington—"I never see that man laugh to show his teeth
he done all his laughing inside.” This I thought worth a page of description. We then recurred to Lafayette's visit in 1825. “We were obliged to tote him all about,'
said he--by which I understood that the general was so 40 overcome, that he was literally supported by the arms of
attendants. I inquired how he appeared at the tomb. “He cried like a little infant." * Did he go in?" I asked. “O yes—he went in, sir-alone—and he made a
mighty long talk there—but I don't know what it was 45 about.” All these little things were jewels. I loved to
hear such simple narrations, from such a source, and it was with reluctance I turned away, after gathering a relic or two, and followed our old guide up to the house
again. But we had seen all we could see, and after 50 glancing at the garden and greenhouse, which appeared
in all the coming beauty of spring, and turning one more melancholy gaze upon the cluster of buildings,
which had once been improved by the great One who now slept in
their shadow, we entered our carriage, and rode slowly 55 away from Mount Vernon.
EXERCISE 47. Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, by fire, under
5 morning to make a general assault. The quiet summer
evening came on; the setting sun shone for the last time on the snow white walls, and glistening pinnacles of the Temple roof. Titus had retired to rest; when sudden
ly a wild and terrible cry was heard, and a man came 10 rushing in, announcing that the temple was on fire.
Some of the besieged, notwithstanding the repulse in the morning, had sallied out to attack the men who were busily employed in extinguishing the fires about the
cloisters. The Romans not merely drove them back, 15 but entering the sacred space with them, forced their
way to the temple. A soldier, without orders, mounted on the shoulders of one of his comrades, threw a blazing brand into a gilded small door, on the north side of the
chambers, in the outer building or porch. The flames 20 sprung up at once. · The Jews uttered one simulta
neous shriek and grasped their swords with a furious determination of revenging and perishing in the ruins of the temple. Titus rushed down with the utmost speed;
he shouted, he made signs to his soldiers to quench the 25 fires; his voice was drowned, and his signs unnoticed, in
the blind confusion. The legionaries either could not, or would not hear; they rushed on, trampling each other down in their furious haste, or stumbling over the
crumbling ruins perished with the enemy. Each exhor30 ted the other, and each hurled his blazing brand into
the inner part of the edifice; and then hurried to the work of carnage. The unarmed and defenceless people were slain in thousands; they lay heaped, like sacrifices,
round the altar; the steps of the temple ran with streams 35 of blood, which washed down the bodies that lay about.
Titus found it impossible to check the rage of the soldiery; he entered with his officers, and surveyed the interior of the sacred edifice. The splendour filled them
with wonder; and as the flames had not yet penetrated 40 to the holy place, he made a last effort to save it, and
springing forth, again exhorted the soldiers to stay the progress of the conflagration. The centurion Liberalis endeavoured to force obedience with his staff of office;
but even respect for the Emperor gave way to the furi45 ous animosity against the Jews, to the fierce excitement
of battle, and to the insatiable hope of plunder. The soldiers saw every thing around them radiant with gold,
which shone dazzlingly in the wild light of the flames;
they supposed that incalculable treasures were laid up in 50 the sanctuary. A soldier, unperceived, thrust a lighted
torch between the hinges of the door; the whole building was in flames in an instant. The blinding smoke and fire forced the officers to retreat; and the noble edifice was left to its fate.
Part II. It was an appalling spectacle to the Roman-what was it to the Jew? The whole summit of the hill, which commanded the city, blazed like a volcano. One after
another the buildings fell in, with a tremendous crash, 5 and were swallowed up in the fiery abyss. The roofs of
cedar were like sheets of flame; the gilded pinnacles shone like spikes of red light; the gate towers sent up tall columns of flame and smoke. The neighbouring
hills were lighted up; and dark groups of people were 10 seen watching in horrible anxiety the progress of the
destruction: the walls and heights of the upper city were crowded with faces, some pale
with the agony of despair, others scowling unavailing vengeance. The shouts of
the Roman soldiery, as they ran to and fro, and the 15 howlings of the insurgents who were perishing in the
flames, mingled with the roaring of the conflagration and the thundering sound of falling timbers. The echoes of the mountains replied, or brought back the shrieks of
the people on the heights: all along the walls, resounded 20 screams and wailings; men, who were expiring with
famine, rallied their remaining strength to utter a cry of anguish and desolation.
The slaughter within was even more dreadful than the spectacle from without. Men and women, old and 25 young, insurgents and priests, those who fought and
those who intreated mercy were hewn down in indiscriminate carnage.
The numbers of the slain exceeded that of the slayers. The legionaries had to clamber
over heaps of dead, to carry on the work of extermina30 tion. John, at the head of som of his troops, cut his
way through, first into the outer court of the temple; afterwards into the upper city.
Some of the priests upon the roof wrenched off the gilded spikes, with their sockets of lead, and used them as missiles against the
35 Romans below. Afterwards they fled to a part of the
wall, about fourteen feet wide: they were summoned to surrender; but two of them, Mair, son of Belgo, and Joseph son of Dalia, plunged headlong into the flames.
No part escaped the fury of the Romans. The treas40 uries, with all their wealth of money, jewels, and costly
robes—the plunder which the zealots had laid up—were totally destroyed. Nothing remained but a small part of the outer cloister, in which 6000 unarmed and defence
less people, with women and children, had taken refuge. 45 These poor wretches, like multitudes of others, had been
led up to the temple by a false prophet, who had proclaimed that God commanded all the Jews to go up to the temple, where he would display his Almighty power
to save his people. The soldiers set fire to the building, 50 and every soul perished.
Passed fearfully away.
They hailed the dawn of day,-
And wide around its gray light threw.
The icy wall asunder-
Around in awe and wonder-
To Gòd, that morn, from o'er the wave.
Pour'd his full radiance far,
Sad trophies—in the past night's war
Now drifted by, bright shining Isles.
A form more dim and dark;