« PreviousContinue »
Then the old-fashioned Colonel
Let me lie down,
Let me lie down.
Oh, it was grand!
Oh, it was grand !
Weary and faint,
Wounded and faint.
Oh, that last charge!
Oh, that last charge i
It was duty !
It is duty!
Dying at last!
Dying at last!
I am no saint!
Ah, I'm no saint!
Hark,—there's a shout!
Well may they shout.
I'm mustered out!
I'm mustered out!
BARBARA FRIETCHIE.-JOIN G. WHITTIER.
Up from the meadows rich with corn,
The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Round about them orchards sweep.
Fair as a garden of the Lord
On that pleasant morn of the early fall, When Lee marched over the mountain-wall,
Over the mountains winding down,
Forty flags with their silver stars,
Flapped in the morning wind: the sun
Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bravest of all in Frederick town,
In her attic window the staff she set,
Up the street came the rebel tread,
Under his slouched hat, left and right,
“Halt!"-the dust-brown ranks stood fast. “Fire !"-out blazed the rifle-blast.
It shivered the window, pane and sash;
Quick as it fell from the broken staff,
She leaned far out on the window-sill,
ELEMENTS OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.
The English colonists in America, generally speaking, were men who were seeking new homes in a new world. They brought with them their families and all that was most dear to them. This was especially the case with the colonists of Plymouth and Massachusetts. Many of them were educated men, and all possessed their full share, according to their social condition, of knowledge and attainments of that age. The distinctive characteristic of their settlement is the introduction of the civilization of Europe into a wilderness, without bringing with it the political institutions of Europe. The arts, sciences, and literature of England came over with the settlers. That great portion of the common law which regulates the social and personal relations and conduct of men, came also. The jury came; the habeas corpus came; the testamentary power came; and the law of inheritance and descent came also, except that part of it which recognizes the rights of primogeniture, which either did not come at all, or soon gave way to the rule of equal partition of estates among children. But the monarchy did not come, nor the aristocracy, nor the Church, as an estate of the realm. Political institutions were to be framed anew, such as should be adapted to the state of things. But it could not be doubtful what should be the nature and character of these institutions. A general social equality prevailed among the settlers, and an equality of political rights seemed the natural, if not the necessary consequence. After forty years of revolution, violence, and
war, the people of France have placed at the head of the fundamental instrument of their government, as the great boon obtained by all their suffering and sacrifices, the declaration that all Frenchmen are equal before the law. What France has only reached by the expenditure of so much blood and treasure, and the perpetration of so much crime, the English colonists obtained by simply changing their place, carrying with them the intellectual and moral culture of Europe, and the personal and social relations to which they were accustomed, but leaving behind their political institutions. It has been said with much vivacity, that the felicity of the American colonists consisted in their escape from the past. This is true so far as respects political establishments, but no