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ting-no gambling of old ladies nor hoiden chattering and romping of young ones-no self-satisfied struttings of wealthy gentlemen, with their brains in their pocketsnor amusing conceits, and monkey divertisements, of smart 5 young gentlemen, with no brains at all. On the contrary, the young ladies seated themselves demurely in their rushbottomed chairs, and knit their own woollen stockings; nor ever opened their lips, excepting to say yes or no, to any question that was asked them; behaving, in all things, 10 like decent, well-educated damsels. As to the gentlemen, each of them tranquilly smoked his pipe, and seemed lost in contemplation of the blue and white tiles with which the fireplaces were decorated; wherein sundry passages of Scripture were piously portrayed.
The parties broke up without noise and without confusion. They were carried home by their own carriages, that is to say, by the vehicles nature had provided them, excepting such of the wealthy as could afford to keep a wagon. The gentlemen gallantly attended their fair ones to their respective abodes, and took leave of them with a hearty smack at the door: which, as it was an established piece of etiquette, done in perfect simplicity and honesty of heart, occasioned no scandal at that time, nor should it at the present if our great-grandfathers approved of the 25 custom, it would argue a great want of reverence in their descendants to say a word against it.
LIV. -THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
[GEORGE BANCROFT was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1800, and was graduated at Harvard College in 1817. In the following year he went to Europe, and remained there about four years, mostly in Germany. For some years after his return he was employed in the practical duties of a teacher, first in Harvard College, and afterwards as one of the principals of a seminary upon Round Hill, in Northampton. In 1838 he was appointed collector of the port of Boston, and in 1844 he took a seat in the cabinet of President Polk, as secretary of the navy; resigning that post in 1846, he was appointed minister plenipotentiary to the court of Great Britain, and continued in that station till 1849. Since that date, he has been a resident of the city of New York.
His great work, "The History of the United States," has now reached eight volumes, the first having been published in 1834. It is a production of marked and peculiar merit, presenting the results of extensive and elaborate research in a condensed form, and showing an uncommon power of analysis and generalization. His style is vivid, animated, and picturesque; full of point and energy; but somewhat abrupt in its transitions, and rather wanting in simplicity and repose. His speculations are often acute and profound, but they occupy more of his pages than the taste of some of his readers approves; and the dispassionate seeker after truth is occasionally merged in the fervid and eloquent advocate.]
THE British advanced in line in good order, steadily and slowly, and with a confident imposing air, pausing on the march to let their artillery prepare the way, and firing with muskets as they advanced. But they fired too soon, 5 and too high, doing but little injury.
Encumbered with their knapsacks, they ascended the steep hill with difficulty, covered as it was with grass reaching to their knees, and intersected with walls an fences. Prescott waited till the enemy had approached 10 within eight rods as he afterwards thought, within ten or twelve rods as the committee of safety of Massachusetts wrote, when he gave the word: "Fire." At once from the redoubt, and breastwork, every gun was discharged. Nearly the whole front rank of the enemy fell, and the 15 rest, to whom this determined resistance was unexpected, were brought to a stand. For a few minutes, fifteen or ten, who can count such minutes! each one of the Americans, completely covered while he loaded his musket, exposed only while he stood upon the wooden platform or
steps of earth in the redoubt to take aim, fought according to his own judgment and will; and a close and unremitting fire was continued and returned, till the British staggered, wavered, and then in disordered masses retreated precipi5 tately to the foot of the hill, and some even to their boats. The column of the enemy which advanced near the Mystic under the lead of Howe, moved gallantly forward against the rail-fence, and when within eighty or cne hundred yards, displayed into line, with the precision of troops 10 on parade. Here, too, the Americans, commanded by Stark and Knowlton, cheered on by Putnam, who like Prescott bade them reserve their fire, restrained themselves as if by universal consent, till at the proper moment, resting their guns on the rails of the fence, they poured forth a delib15 erate, well-directed, fatal discharge. Here, too, the British recoiled from the volley, and after a short contest, were thrown into confusion, and fell back till they were covered by the ground.
Then followed moments of joy in that unfinished redoubt, 20 and behind the grassy rampart, where New England husbandmen, so often taunted with cowardice, beheld veteran battalions shrink before their arms. Their hearts bounded as they congratulated each other. The night-watches, thirst, hunger, danger, whether of captivity or death, were 25 forgotten. They promised themselves victory.
As the British soldiers retreated, the officers were seen by the spectators on the opposite shore, running down to them, using passionate gestures, and pushing them forward with their swords. After an interval of about fifteen minutes, 30 during which Prescott moved round among his men, encour aging them and cheering them with praise, the British column under Pigot rallied and advanced, though with apparent reluctance, in the same order as before, firing as they approached within musket shot. This time the Amer5 icans withheld their fire till the enemy were within six
* A small stream entering into Boston Harbor near Bunker Hill.
or five rods of the redoubt, when, as the order was given, it seemed more fatal than before. The enemy continued to discharge their guns, and pressed forward with spirit. But from the whole American line, there was," said Prescott, "a continuous stream of fire," and though the British officers were seen exposing themselves fearlessly, remonstrating, threatening, and even striking the soldiers to urge them on, they could not reach the redoubt, but in a few moments gave way in greater disorder than before. The 10 wounded and the dead covered the ground in front of the works, some lying within a few yards of them.
On the flank, also, the British light infantry again marched up its companies against the grass fence, but could not penetrate it. Indeed," wrote some of the survivors, 15 "how could we penetrate it? Most of our grenadiers and light infantry, the moment of presenting themselves, lost three fourths, and many, nine tenths of their men. Somno had only eight or nine men in a company left, some only three, four, or five." On the ground where but the day 20 before the mowers had swung the scythe in peace, "the dead," relates Stark, "lay as thick as sheep in a fold.” Howe, for a few seconds, was left nearly alone, so many of the officers about him having been killed or wounded; and it required the utmost exertion of all, from the generals 25 down to the subalterns, to repair the rout.
At intervals the artillery from the ships and batteries was playing, while the flames were rising over the town of Charlestown, and laying waste the places of the sepulchres of its fathers, and streets were falling together, and ships 30 at the yards were crashing on the stocks, and the kindred of the Americans, from the fields and hills around, watched every gallant act of their defenders. "The whole," wrote Burgoyne, "was a complication of horror and importance beyond anything it ever came to my lot to be witness 35 to. It was a sight for a young soldier, that the longest service may not furnish again."
"If we drive them back once more," cried Prescott, 'they cannot rally again." To the enduring husbandmen about him, the terrible and appalling scene was altogether new. We are ready for the red-coats again," they shouted, 5 cheering their commander, and not one of them shrunk
LV.-WARREN'S ADDRESS BEFORE THE BATTIK
1 STAND! the ground's your own, my braves