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EXERCISE LXVI.—WASHINGTON'S PREPARATORY TRAINING FOR
PUBLIC STATION.-C. W. Upham. [An example of the style of narrative rising to the dignity of history. The style, both in the composition and the external manner, partakes of the oratorical character: the utterance is full and impressive.]
Among the mountain passes of the Blue Ridge and the Alleghanies, a youth is seen employed in the manly and invigorating occupations of a surveyor, and awakening the admiration of the hardy backwoodsmen and savage chieftains, by the strength and endurance of his frame, and the resolution and energy of his character. In his stature and conformation, he is a noble specimen of a man. In the various exercises of muscular power, on foot and in the saddle, he excels all competitors. His admirable physical traits are in perfect accordance with the properties of his mind and heart; and over all, crowning all, is a beautiful, and, in one so young, a strange dignity of manners and of mien, a calm seriousness, a sublime self-control, which at once compels the veneration, attracts the confidence, and secures the favour of all who behold him. That youth is the leader whom Heaven is preparing to conduct America through her approaching trial.
As we see him voluntarily relinquishing the enjoyments, and luxuries, and ease, of the opulent refinement in which he was born and bred, and choosing the perils and hardships of the wilderness; as we follow him, fording swollen streams, climbing rugged mountains, breasting the forest storms, wading through snow-drifts, sleeping in the open air, living upon the coarse food of hunters and of Indians, we trace, with devout admiration, the divinely-appointed education he was receiving to enable him to meet and endure the fatigues, exposures, and privations, of the war of Independ
Soon he is called to a more public sphere of action, on the same theatre; and we again follow him, in his romantic adventures, as he traversed the far-off western wilderness, a special messenger to the French commander on the Ohio, and afterwards when he led forth the troops of Virginia in the same direction, or accompanied the ill-starred Braddock to the blood-stained banks of the Monongahela. Everywhere we see the hand of God conducting him into danger, that he might extract from it the wisdom of an experience not otherwise to be attained, and develope those heroic quali
ties by which alone danger and difficulty can be surmounted, but all the while covering him, as with a shield.
When we think of him, at midnight and in mid-winter, thrown from a frail raft into the deep and angry waters of a wide and rushing western river, thus separated from his only companion through the wilderness, with no human aid for miles and leagues around him, buffeting its rapid current, and struggling through driving cakes of ice, when we behold the stealthy savage, whose aim, against all other marks, is unerring, pointing his rifle deliberately at him, and firing, over and over again,—when we see him riding through showers of bullets on Braddock's fatal field, and reflect that never, during his whole life, was he wounded, or even touched, by a hostile force, do we not feel that he was guarded by an Únseen Hand? Yes, that sacred person was guarded by an unseen hand, warding off every danger. No peril by flood or by field was permitted to extinguish a life consecrated to the hopes of humanity, and to the purposes of heaven.
For more than sixteen years he rested from his warfare, amid the shades of Mount Vernon, ripening his mind by reading and reflection, increasing his knowledge of practical affairs, entering into the whole experience of a citizen, at home, on his farm, and as a delegate to the colonial Assembly; and when, at last, the war broke out, and the unanimous voice of the Continental Congress invested him, as the exigency required, with almost unbounded authority, as their Commander-in-Chief, he blended, although still in the prime of his life, in the mature bloom of his manhood, the attributes of a sage with those of a hero. A more perfectly fitted and furnished character, has never appeared on the theatre of human action, than when, reining up his war-horse, beneath the majestic and venerable elm, still standing at the entrance of the old Watertown road upon Cambridge Common, GEORGE WASHINGTON unsheathed his sword, and assumed the command of the gathering armies of American liberty.
EXERCISE LXVIII.—HOTSPUR'S REPLY TO SIR WALTER BLUNT.
Worcester, Douglas, Vernon, and Sir Walter Blunt.
Not a whit.
His is certain,-ours is doubtful.
You speak it out of fear and cold heart.
(And I dare well maintain it with my life,)
Which of us fears.
Yea, or to-night.
That not a horse is half the half of himself.
In general, journey-bated, and brought low;
The better part of ours is full of rest.
may not be.
[Enter Sir Walter Blunt.] Blunt. I come with gracious offers from the king,
If you vouchsafe me hearing, and respect.
You were of our determination !
But stand against us like an enemy.
So long as, out of limit, and true rule,
Herein misled by your suggestion.
Knows at what time to promise, when to pay.
Even at the heels, in golden multitudes.
When he was personal in the Irish war
Then, to the point.-
father from the court;
Too indirect for long continuance.
Go to the king; and let there be impawned