Page images
PDF
EPUB

til the nation, slowly lifting its head out which have seldom if ever before taken of its sea of troubles, arose strong and com- place on the stage of human action, nor placent and secure.

can they probably ever happen again. This farewell address, dated the day be. For who has ever before seen a disciplined fore the disbandment of the army, after army formed at once from such raw maspeaking of the proclamation of Congress terials? Who that was not a witness to that end, and its testimony “to the could imagine that the most violent local merits of the federal armies," says: prejudices would cease so soon, and that

“It only remains for the commander- men who came from the different parts in-chief to address himself once more, and of the continent, strongly disposed by the that for the last time, to the armies of the habits of education to despise each other, United States (however widely dispersed), would instantly become but one patriotic and to bid them an affectionate and long band of brothers? Or who that was not farewell. But before the commander-in-on the spot can trace the steps by which chief takes his final leave of those he such a wonderful revolution has been efholds most dear, he wishes to indulge fected, and such a glorious period put to himself a few moments in calling to mind all our warlike toils ? a slight review of the past. He will then “It is universally acknowledged that the take the liberty of exploring with his mil. enlarged prospects of happiness opened by itary friends their future prospects, of ad- the confirmation of our independence and vising the general line of conduct which sovereignty almost exceed the power of in his opinion ought to be pursued, and he description. And shall not the brave will conclude the address by expressing men who have contributed so essentially the obligations he feels himself under for to these inestimable acquisitions, retiring the spirited and able assistance he has ex- victorious from the field of war to the perienced from them in the performance field of agriculture, participate in all the of an arduous office.

blessings which have been obtained ? In "A complete attainment (at a period such a republic who will exclude them earlier than could have been expected) of from the rights of citizens and the fruits the object for which we contended against of their labor? In such a country, so hapso formidable a power can not but inspire pily circumstanced, the pursuit of comus with astonishment and gratitude. The merce, the cultivation of the soil, will undisadvantageous circumstances on our fold to industry the certain road to compart under which the war was undertaken petence. To those hardy soldiers who can never be forgotten. The singular in- were actuated by the spirit of adventure, terpositions of Providence in our feeble the fisheries will afford ample and profitcondition were such as could scarcely es- able employment, and the extensive and cape the attention of the most unobserv- fertile fields of the West will yield a most ing; while the unparalleled perseverance happy asylum to those who, fond of doof the armies of the United States through mestic enjoyment, are seeking for personalmost every possible suffering and dis- al independence. Nor is it possible to couragement for the space of eight long conceive that any one of the United States years was little short of a standing miracle. will prefer a national bankruptcy and a

“It is not the meaning nor is it within dissolution of the Union to a compliance the compass of this address to detail the with the requisitions of Congress and the hardships peculiarly incident to our serv- payment of its just debts, so that the offiice, or to describe the distresses which in cers and soldiers may expect considerable several instances have resulted from the assistance in recommencing their civil ocextremes of hunger and nakedness, com- cupations from the sums due to them from bined with the rigors of an inclement sea- the public, which must and will most inson, nor is it necessary to dwell on the evitably be paid. dark side of our past affairs. Every “In order to effect this most desirable American officer and soldier must now purpose, and to remove the prejudices console himself for any unpleasant cir- which may have taken possession of the cumstances which may have occurred by mind of any of the good people of the a recollection of the uncommon scene in United States, it is earnestly recommendwhich he has been called to act no in-ed to all the troops that with strong atglorious part, and the astonishing events tachment to the Union they should carry of which he has been a witness-events with them into civil society the most con

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ciliating disposition, and they should beyond the reach of malevolence, and let prove themselves not less virtuous and a consciousness of their achievements and useful citizens than they have been per- fame still incite the men which composed severing and victorious soldiers. What them to honorable action uuder the perthough there should be some envious in- suasion that the private virtues of econodividuals who are unwilling to pay the my, prudence, and industry will not be less debt the public has contracted, or to yield amiable in civil life than the more splenthe tribute due to merit, yet let such un- did qualities of valor, perseverance, and worthy treatment produce no invectives enterprise were in the field. Every one nor any instance of intemperate conduct. may rest assured that much, very much, of Let it be remembered that the unbiassed the future happiness of the officers and voice of the free citizens of the United men will depend on the wise and manly States has promised the just reward and conduct which shall be adopted by them given the merited applause. Let it be when they are mingled with the great known and remembered that the reputa- body of the community. And although tion of the federal armies is established the General has so frequently given it as his opinion in the most public and explicit “And being now to conclude this his last manner that unless the principles of the public orders, to take his ultimate leave in Federal government were properly sup- a short time of the military character, and ported, and the powers of the Union in- to bid a final adieu to the armies he has creased, the honor, dignity, and justice of so long had the honor to command, he can the nation would be lost forever, yet he only again offer in their behalf his recomcan not help repeating on this occasion so mendations to their grateful country, and interesting a sentiment, and leave it as his his prayers to the God of armies. May amlast injunction to every officer and every ple justice be done them here, and may the soldier who may now view the subject in choicest of Heaven's favors both here and the same serious point of light to add his hereafter attend those who, under the Dibest endeavors to those of his worthy fel- vine auspices, have secured innumerable low-citizens toward effecting these great blessings for others ! With these wishes and valuable purposes on which our very and these benedictions, the Commanderexistence as a nation so materially de-in-chief is about to retire from service. pends.

The curtain of separation will soon be "The Commander-in-chief conceives but drawn, and the military scene will be little now wanting to enable the soldiers closed forever.” to change the military character into that The casual reader, or one who does not of the citizen but that steady and decent comprehend fully the circumstances at tenor of behavior which has generally that time or the purpose for which it was distinguished not only the army under written, will see in this address only good his immediate command, but the different fatherly advice, without any particular detachments and separate armies through significance or force. But there never the course of the war. From their good was an address more carefully studied, or sense and prudence he anticipates the filled with a loftier purpose, nor better happiest consequences, and while he con- adapted to produce great and decisive regratulates them on the glorious occasion sults. It was designed to hold that scatwhich renders their service in the field no tered, impoverished army within those longer necessary, he wishes to express the safe bounds without which all would be strong obligations he feels himself under lost, and which Congress could not do. for the assistance he has received from Washington knew the dangerous temper every class and in every instance. He in which that army had been disbanded, its presents his thanks in the most serious hatred to that government which must be and affectionate manner to the general upheld by them, or all that had been won officers as well for their counsel on many would be worse than useless, and yet a govinteresting occasions as for their ardor in ernment for which they had neither love promoting the success of the plans he had nor respect, but instead scorn and conadopted; to the commanders of regiments tempt. This was a perilous state of things, and corps and to the other officers for and there was nothing to hold these negtheir great zeal and attention in carrying lected and often reckless men but their his orders promptly into execution; to the unbounded love and veneration for Washstaff for their alacrity and exactness in ington. He had proved its great strength performing the duties of their several de when the Newburgh letters convulsed the partments; and to the non-commissioned army, and this was his last effort to emofficers and private soldiers for their ex- ploy it for his country. Though he had traordinary patience and suffering as well condemned that government in unsparing as their invincible fortitude in action. language, and told it plainly that its conTo the various branches of the army the duct imperiled the “very existence of General takes this last and solemn oppor- the nation," yet he now defended it. With tunity of professing his inviolable at all its injustice and weakness, there was tachment and friendship. He wishes that nothing else to look to; he therefore more than bare professions were in his leaves it as his last injunction to every power, that he were really able to be use- officer and soldier" to support it. He ful to them all in future life. He flatters makes every possible appeal to them. He himself, however, they will do him the reaches the consciences of these Puritan justice to believe that whatever could soldiers by telling them that their wonwith propriety be attempted by him has derful success is a standing miracle, been done.

brought about by Providence being on

in war.

their side, thus making them look away human foresight, and displays in the from themselves to that Being they had strongest light the great and lofty traits been taught to reverence. He tells them of his character. that the only way to enjoy the priceless After he has thus put in their hands a blessings they have won is to prove them- chart to guide their future course, and selves as wise and prudent citizens as they laid down the only principles on which have been brave and self-sacrificing sol- they can safely act, after having done all diers; in short, to show themselves as in his power to serve and save his coungreat in peace as they have proved great try, he at last lets his thoughts revert

He tells them of his own un- alone to their bravery, their toils and debounded love for them, and promises over votion, and as he contemplates his final again that justice shall be done them in parting with them forever, his heart gives the future, and their claims satisfied. way to a burst of affection; and he bids How completely he sinks himself, the them farewell with a benediction and great central figure, out of sight! He prayer for their welfare that shows how does not refer to his own sacrifices or deeply that great heart was moved. achievements. He sees only his country, As one rises from the study of this adand thinks only of her welfare, and his dress, viewed in connection with the times whole soul is bent on keeping that army and purpose for which it was written, he which has followed his fortunes so long says, with Fisher Ames: “Of those who true to its interests.' Viewed in this light were born, and who acted through life as it stands unparalleled as a farewell address if they were born not for themselves but from a military chieftain to his soldiers, for their country, how few, alas, are reand shows a sagacity and far-seeing glance corded in the long annals of the ages! that seems more like prophetic vision than Two Washingtons come not in one age.

DALECARLIA.

II. REE from the oppressive dictation of carlian farmer doubtless finds his working Dalecarlia, wherever the picturesqueness dure, for he is obliged in this short season of people or landscape led us, regardless to make up for the long and dark winter, of the conventionalities of travel, The when candles are lighted in the middle of long days of midsummer, with no dark- the afternoon, and the cattle do not leave ness and little twilight, followed one an- the barns for months. The farm - boy other like a succession of day-dreams, for hitches up the horses to harrow at ten po arbitrary nature drove us to bed or o'clock in the evening; toward midnight summoned us to rise. At midnight we the carts laden with hay rumble along were sometimes working on sunset-color the village streets, and there are sounds of studies or sitting at the window reading. life all night long. Even the birds scarceWe started for our day's walk an hour aft- ly know when to cease singing, and their er supper, sleeping when we were sleepy, twitter may be heard far into the evening. and eating when we were hungry. How Rise when you like in the morning, and long a man accustomed to a lower lati- you will always find the farmer already tude could endure the dissipation of this at work. In the heat of high noon he irregular life we did not discover, for our may be asleep in his wooden bunk in the experiment was not long enough to fix living-room, but most of the day the house the limit of our endurance. For a while is deserted, and the key hangs on the door at least it was an agreeable change, and jamb or is stuck in the shingles of the we looked forward to dark nights with no low porch. The laborers come in for their pleasant anticipation. There came contin- dinner after hours of dusty work in the ually to mind the complaint of the thrifty fields. A huge copper pot is brought out New England housewife, who, although in the middle of the court-yard and filled rising at dawn, and continuing her work with water. The girls take off their kerby evening candle-light, never ks her chiefs and bathe their arms and necks, day half long enough for the hundred du- huddling together in the shade of the ties that are crowded into it. But the Dale- porch. Men follow, and repeat the oper

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

ation. Then the girls dip their feet in the wood and whittling. From the smoky bath, and dry them on the embroidered beams overhead hang tools, baskets, and towels hanging in the sun, and finally the poles draped with great bunches of folded men and boys likewise finish their dinner rye bread, about the appearance and textoilet in the same water. The meal is a ture of coarse brown paper. To lighten up simple one-porridge, milk, unleavened the dull-toned interior the farmer's wife has bread, and perhaps some dry or pickled hung her embroidered towels and brilliant fish. Weak fermented drink is handed overlets along the front of the straw-fillround in a clumsy wooden firkin, with ed bunks, and spread a richly colored piece side and cover painted or carved two gen- of soft home-woven wool over the painted erations ago. At the close of the meal chest where the Bibles and hymn-books they sit around the room and sing a hymn are carefully stored. On the floor she has together before they return to the fields. sprinkled fresh birch leaves or stretched a Everything in the house is of the most piece of home-made rag carpet. Geraniprimitive order. In the single large room ums and roses bloom in the long low winon the ground-floor are chairs made of dow, where the green-toned glass set in hollow tree trunks, tables of rough-hewn lead lets in a mellow light. The rakes planks turn up on folding legs against the which hang by the door are whittled out side of the room, and there are bunks in of tough wood. The beer mug, the old the wall with curiously carved and paint- hand-mangles, and the saddle-bows are ed trimmings. Beside the rude stone fire carved in grotesque forms or covered with platform, where the smoke curls up un- intricate ornamentation. Among the few der an overhanging hood, stands the well- pieces of coarse crockery is found perhaps worn chopping-block, where during the a quaint silver cup, and sticking in the long evenings of the winter months the same rack with the clumsy wooden ladles farmer sits by the hour splitting kindling- is a battered but serviceable silver spoon

« PreviousContinue »