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adopt this speedy mode of effecting their object. Orders were instantly issued to prepare bows and arrows, with missive combustible matter.
This measure was reluctantly adopted; for the destruction of private property was repugnant to the principles which swayed the two commandants, and upon this occasion was peculiarly distressing. The devoted house was a large, pleasant edifice, intended for the summer residence of the respectable owner, whose deceased husband had been a firm patriot, and whose only marriageable daughter was the wife of Major Pinckney, an officer in the South Carolina line, who had fought and bled in his country's cause, and was now a prisoner with the enemy. These considerations powerfully forbade the execution of the proposed measure ; but there were others of much cogency, which applied personally to Lieutenant Colonel Lee, and gave a new edge to the bitterness of the scene.
Encamping contiguous to Mrs. Motte's dwelling, this officer had, upon his arrival, been requested in the most pressing terms to make her house his quarters. The invitation was accordingly accepted ; and not only the lieutenant colonel, but every officer of his corps, off duty, daily experienced her liberal hospitality, politely proffered and as politely administered. Nor was the attention of this amiable lady confined to that class of war which never fail to at. tract attention. While her richly spread table presented with taste and fashion all the luxuries of her opulent country, and her sideboard offered without reserve the best wines of Europe-antiquated relics of happier days—her active benevolence found its way to the sick and to the wounded ; cherishing with softest kindness infirmity and misfortune, converting despair into hope, and nursing debility into strength. Nevertheless the obligations of duty were imperative; the house must burn; and a respectful communi. cation to the lady of her destined loss must be made. Taking the first opportunity which offered, the next morning, Lieutenant Colonel Lee imparted to Mrs. Motte the intended measure; lamenting the sad necessity, and assuring her of the deep regret which the unavoidable act excited in his and every breast.
With a smile of complacency this exemplary lady listened to the embarrassed officer, and gave instant relief to his agitated feelings, by declaring, that she was gratified with the opportunity of contributing to the good of her country, and that she should view the approaching scene with delight. Shortly after, seeing accidentally the bows and arrows which had been prepared, she sent for the lieutenant colonel, and presenting him with a bow and its apparatus imported from India, she requested his substitution of these, as probably better adapted for the object than those we had provided.
Receiving with silent delight this opportune present, the lieutenant colonel rejoined his troops, now making ready for the concluding scene. The lines were manned, and an additional force stationed at the battery, lest the eneiny, per: ceiving his fate, might determine to risk a desperate assault, as offering the only chance of relief. As soon as the troops reached their several points, a flag was again sent to M’Pherson, for the purpose of inducing him to prevent the conflagration and the slaughter which might ensue, by a second representation of his actual condition.
Doctor Irvine, of the legion cavalry, was charged with the flag, and instructed to communicate faithfully the inevitable destruction impending, and the impracticability of relief, as Lord Rawdon had not yet passed the Santee ; with an assurance that longer perseverance in vain resistance, would place tne garrison at the mercy of the conqueror ; who was not regardless of the policy of preventing waste of time by inflicting exemplary punishment, where resistance was maintained only to produce such waste. The British captain received the flag with his usual politeness, and heard patiently Irvine's explanations ; but he remained immovable; repeating his determination of holding out to the last.
It was now about noon, and the rays of the scorching sun had prepared the shingle roof for the projected conflagration. The return of Irvine was immediately followed by the application of the bow and arrows.
The first arrow struck and communicated its fire ; a second was shot at another quarter of the roof, and a third at a third quarter ; this last also took effect, and, like the first, soon kindled a blaze. M'Pherson ordered a party to repair to the loft of the house, and by knocking off the shingles to stop the flames. This was soon perceived, and Captain Finley was directed to open his battery, raking the loft from end to end.
The fire of our six pounder, posted close to one of the gable ends of the house, soon drove the soldiers down; and no other effort to stop the flames being practicable, M'Pherson hung out the white flag. Powerfully as the present occasion called for punishment, and rightfully as it might have been inflicted, not a drop of blood was shed, nor any part of the enemy's baggage taken. M'Pherson and his officers accompanied their captors to Mrs. Motte's, and partook with them of a sumptuous dinner; soothing in the sweets of social intercourse the ire which the preceding conflict had engendered.
THE FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY.
(From the funeral oration, 1800.) First in war—first in peace—and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life; pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere ; uniform, dignified, and commanding, his example was as edifying to all around him, as were the effects of that example lasting.
To his equals he was condescending, to his inferiors kind, and to the dear objects of his affections exemplarily tender; correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence, and virtue always felt his fostering hand; the purity of his private character gave efflulgence to his public virtues.
His last scene comported with the whole tenor of his life—although in extreme pain, not a sigh, not a groan escaped him; and with undisturbed serenity, he closed his well-spent life. Such was the man America has lost-such was the man for whom our nation mourns.
Methinks I see his august iinage, and I hear falling from his venerable lips these deep-sinking words:
“ Cease, sons of America, lamenting our separation : go on, and confirm by your wisdom the fruits of our joint councils, joint efforts, and common dangers; reverence religion, diffuse knowledge throughout your land, patronize the arts and sciences; let Liberty and Order be inseparable companions. Control party spirit, the bane of free governments ; observe good faith to, and cultivate peace with all nations, shut up every avenue to foreign influence, contract rather than extend national connection, rely on yourselves only ; be Americans in thought, word and deed;—thus will you give immortality to that union which was the constant object of my terrestrial labors ; thus will you preserve undisturbed to the latest posterity the felicity of a people to me most dear, and thus will you supply (if my happiness is now aught to you) the only vacancy in the round of pure bliss high Heaven bestows,”
MASON LOCKE WEEMS.
MASON LOCKE WEEMS was born at Dumfries, Virginia, and educated in London as a clergyman.
He was for some years rector of Pohick Church, Mt. Vernon parish, of which Washington was an attendant. His health demanding a change of occupation, he became agent for the publishing house of Matthew Carey of Philadelphia, and was very successful, being “equally ready for a stump, a fair, or a pulpit.” He played the violin, read, recited, and was humorous and interesting in conversation.
His writings are attractive and often very eloquent and forcible; but we know not how much of his narratives to believe. His “Life of Washington” is the most popular and widely read of the many lives of that great man; to it alone we are indebted for the Hatchet Story.
Life of Washington.
Life of Penn.
The Philanthropist, (a tract prefaced by an autograph letter from Washington.]
THE HATCHET STORY.
(From Life of Washington.) The following anecdote is a case in point; it is too valuable to be lost, and too true to be doubted, for it was communicated to me by the same excellent lady to whom I was indebted for the last, [a relative of the Washington family.]
“When George,” she said, " was about six years old, he was made the wealthy master of a hatchet! of which, like most little boys, he was immoderately fond, and was constantly going about chopping everything that came in his