Editor's Preface

IT is a duty we owe to society, to preserve every memorial of intellectual superiority, that chance may throw in our way, and, more particularly so, those productions which reflect honor on our native genius. The literature of a nation is not to be built up like a modern edifice, with suitable honors, "a true and trusty" corner-stone, conveying the memorabilia of the age; but must have accident and design, small things, as well as great, in its foundation.

The following classical production came into my possession in so singular a way, that I feel bound to give the reader the whole history of it. In the summer of 1823, I was a member of the Ohio University, and left that Institution, expecting to return to college to pursue my studies, in the winter; but circumstances, unnecessary for me to state, prevented me from joining my class at that time, and I was induced to seek, in the western part of the state, a person with whom I could prosecute my studies during the winter season. I heard of a competent teacher in Warren county, of which Lebanon is the shire, situate about thirty miles from Cincinnati. He had excited no small degree of interest among the few who were capable of appreciating his extraordinary attainments in classical literature. — This man was Francis Glass, the author of the following work, The Life of Washington.

I found him in a remote part of the county, in a good neighborhood of thrifty farmers, who had employed him to instruct their children, who, in general, were then acquiring the simplest rudiments of an English education. The schoolhouse now rises fresh on my memory. It stood on the banks of a small stream, in a thick grove of native oaks, resembling more a den for Druidical rites, than a temple of learning. The building was a low log-cabin, with a clapboard roof, but indifferently tight — all the light of heaven, found in this cabin, came through apertures made on each side in the logs, and these were covered with oiled paper to keep out the cold air, while they admitted the dim rays.

The seats, or benches, were of hewn timbers, resting on upright posts, placed in the ground to keep them from being overturned by the mischievous urchins who sat on them. In the centre was a large stove, between which and the back part of the building, stood a small desk, without lock or key, made of rough plank, over which a plane had never passed; and, behind this desk, sat Professor Glass when I entered his school.

There might have been forty scholars present; twenty-five of these were engaged in spelling, reading, and writing, a few in arithmetic, a small class in English grammar; and a half a dozen, like myself, had joined his school, for the benefit of his instruction in the Greek and Latin languages, preparatory to a more extended course in one of the Ohio seminaries.

The moment he learned that my intention was to pursue the study of the languages with him, his whole soul appeared to beam from his countenance. He commenced in a strain, which in another would have seemed pedantic, but which, in fact, was far from being so in him.

The following imperfect sketch, drawn entirely from memory, may serve to give some idea of his peculiar manner:—

Welcome to the shrine of the Muses, my young friend, Salve! χαῖρε! The temple of the Delphian God was originally a laurel hut, and the Muses deign to dwell, accordingly, even in my rustic abode. Non humilem domum fastidiunt, umbrosamve ripam. Here, too, the winds hold converse, "Eurus, and Caurus, and Argestes loud," and the goddesses of the Castalian fountain, the daughters of the golden-haired Mnemosyne, are sometimes silent with the lyre, citharâ tacentes, that they may catch the sweet murmurs of the harp of Aeolus. Here, too, I, the priest of the muses, Musarum sacerdos, sing, to the young of either sex, strains before unheard, Virginibus puerisque canto. Plutus, indeed, that blind old deity, is far away; and far away let him be, for well has the prince of comic poets styled him ῥυπῶντα, χυφὸν, ἄθλιον, ῥυσὸν, μαδῶντα, νωδόν [filthy, crooked, miserable, wrinkled, bald, and toothless creature].

Such was my first interview. It was a display perfectly natural, and without the least apparent consciousness of effort on his part. From this moment he took the greatest interest in my studies, and I enjoyed not only his instruction during school hours, but — as I had taken up my lodgings at a farm-house about half a mile from his school, on the road to his own humble residence, situate a mile beyond — almost every evening, from his deep interest in my progress, was spent with me at my dwelling.

While at the Ohio University, I had enjoyed the privilege of able instruction from the Professor of Languages in that institution; but so far as I was capable of judging, or making comparison, the attainments and readiness of Glass seemed altogether superior to any thing I had witnessed. While reading Horace, for instance, the happy illustrations applied to each line, or word, gave an interest to my studies absolutely fascinating. Sometimes, when in a happy mood — and I soon learned that he was not always happy — he would hold me a delighted auditor, for a whole evening, while analyzing and pointing out the beauties of a single ode. The whole range of classic authors was at his tongue's end, and he would recite from them with a facility and an accuracy truly astonishing. Every thing, by way of illustration or comparison, was introduced, with such an inimitable and sweet simplicity, that, to me, it seemed as if I had never before understood the beauties of the authors I had been reading, or properly appreciated the flow, strength, and grandeur of the Latin tongue.

His method of teaching the languages was thorough and philosophical; the judgment, as well as the memory, was brought into requisition, and he illumined the page of the author with such brilliant remarks, that his pupil seldom felt the longest lesson as a task. Enamoured with standard works, he discovered a strong affection for those who had earnestly engaged in mastering their beauties: and if, at any moment, he showed a partiality for any one of his students, the love he bore to learning was the only cause of it. He was proud of being a professor of languages, and never lost the self-satisfaction that arose from the consciousness of his abilities. With him, as with Dr. Busby, the teacher could be second to no one in the nation; and he often dwelt upon that enlightened age of Greece, when the lecturer at the Academy or Lyceum was a greater man, in public estimation, than the commander of armies.

He took it upon himself to judge of the improvement of his scholars, and gave them diplomas according to their merits, from his own authority, without reciting a chartered right, or asking the privilege of a board of trustees. The form of one of these diplomas I have preserved, and deem it of sufficient interest to be here introduced.

OMNIBUS, ad quos præsentes hæ LITERÆ pervenerint, SALUTEM in domino sempiternam.

OMNIBUS hominibus per literas has præsentes notum sit, harumce latorem —, maximae spei adolescentem in studio Graec. et Lat. linguarum, aliquandiù opera strenuam (me ipso vice Præceptoris fungente,) navâsse: easdemque linguas qui doceat in quovis gymnasio, omnino idoneum esse. In cujus rei fidem, præsentes literas manu nostrâ exarandas curavimus.

FRANCISCUS GLASS, A. M. Graec. et Lat. Ling. Professor, Scripsi in Republica Ohioensi.

Glass knew nothing of the world more than a child. He was delicately formed in mind and body, and shrunk from all coarseness, as a sensitive plant from the rude touch. A cold or unfeeling word seemed to palsy every current of his soul, and every power of his mind; but when addressed in gentle confiding tones, he was easy, communicative, and full of light and life. At such hours, he poured out a stream of classical knowledge, as clear, sparkling, and copious, as ever flowed from the fountains of inspiration in the early days of the Muses. During these excursive flights, I have sat a delighted listener for hours, hardly daring to hear my own voice, for fear I should break the spell by some unclassical word, and that then the Oracle would be dumb. He had all the enthusiasm of Erasmus, and of those revivers of learning in the fifteenth century, who considered the languages the ornament and the charm of life, and more worthy of pursuit than all other attainments, and, who, from this love of letters, called them "the Humanities." The mind was, with him, measured by the amount of classical acquirements. He was not deficient in mathematics and other branches of useful science, but they were only mere matters of utility, and not of affection. Such a man is seldom properly appreciated any where, even in the bosom of letters, where many are capable of understanding such gifts; but a new country furnishes few competent judges of high literary acquirements.

I had been with him about three months, when he communicated to me his long-cherished intention of writing the life of Washington in Latin, for the use of schools. He, after this time, often adverted to the subject, with an earnestness I shall never forget. By parcels, I got something of his history. He was educated in Philadelphia, and spent the earlier part of his life in that city and vicinity, in literary pursuits. He often mentioned the name of Professor Ross, and said something of having assisted him in the compilation of his Latin Grammar. While acting as an instructor in the interior of Pennsylvania, he contracted an unfortunate marriage, in a state, as he said, of partial insanity; no wonder he thought so, when he found himself surrounded by evils which his imprudence had brought upon him.

Glass tried to make the best of his situation, but he could not soften the temper, or elevate the mind, of the being to whom he was united for life. The influence of his situation, on such a sensitive scholar, was perceptible in every act. He did all he could for his wife and rapidly-increasing family, but his efforts procured for them but a scanty subsistence.

With all ambition prostrated, and with a deadly sickness at his heart, he, somewhere in the year 1817 or '18, left Pennsylvania for the West, and settled in the Miami country. From that time to the period I became acquainted with him, he had pursued the business of school-keeping, in various places, where a teacher was wanted, subject to the whims of children and the caprices of their parents, enough alone to disturb the greatest philosopher. Of all the honest callings in this world, the most difficult is that of an instructor, who has to chastise idle boys, and to satisfy ignorant parents. Every new change of school district gave Glass some new cause of suffering, which had an effect on his health and temper.

During all the time he had been in the western country, he had made but little or no progress in his contemplated work. In the drudgery of a daily school, he could not think of sitting down to such a labor; he wanted retirement and tranquillity, while engaged in writing, to do justice to himself and the subject. He would often discover the deepest sensibility, when any allusion was made to the deeds or fame of Washington; and his own contemplations on the wishes of his heart, seemed to break down all the energies of his mind, and unfit him for the common duties of life. He was conscious of his weakness, but he had not sufficient energy of mind to rise superior to it. Every day his misfortunes were making inroads upon his slender form, and hurrying him to the grave. He viewed his situation without dismay, only fearing that he should die before he had written the life of Washington.

There were moments when hope broke in upon his despondency, and visions of glory filled his mind. He saw himself united in all coming ages with the father of his country, and with the patriotism and prowess of the greatest and the best of men, which had only been recorded in modern languages, never burning in the vernacular of Imperial Rome, nor traced with a pen plucked from the wing of the "Mantuan Swan." In this ardent glow of classical inspiration, he saw going onward to perpetuity, the fame of Washington with the honors of a Trajan, and himself not far behind the younger Pliny, who has left a model of imperishable eloquence, delivered before the Roman Senate, on the virtues of his Emperor.

These feelings and sentiments, which would have been pedantry in another, were as natural as the delights of an unsophisticated child in him.

The winter had now drawn nearly to a close, and the opening spring, with its busy scenes of rural life, had called nearly all the larger scholars from his school; still nothing had been definitely arranged in reference to the life of Washington. He renewed the subject again and again. I had no one with whom to consult. I did not know how to decide in my own mind, for I felt incapable of properly estimating his attainments, and what he really was capable of producing, — besides, the expenses to which I should be subjected, were matters of responsibility, gravely to be considered. My feelings, however, were interested. I pitied the man, and felt grateful for his attentions, and for the advantages I had derived from his instructions. The attempt, I knew, was a bold one; but, then, the subject addressed itself to the feelings of every American heart. The example, too, of such devotion to classic literature, on the part of an individual so humble, so obscure, could not, I thought, but awaken to higher efforts, on the part of individuals more favorably situated, — nor his labors be otherwise, than received with favoring kindness, by every one interested in the advancement of literature in the United States.

From the moment he learned my determination, to meet his requirements in the prosecution of his work, his gloom and low spirits forsook him, and he appeared like a new being — though it was but too apparent, that the spirits thus newly lighted up, were still encased in a weak, fragile, and gradually sinking form.

I now visited his house for the first time. I shall not attempt a description, nor do I exaggerate, when I say, that his worldly goods and chattels, of all descriptions, could not have been sold for the sum of thirty dollars. Clothing for himself and family was now ordered, and, at the end of his term, arrangements were made for the removal of himself and family to Dayton, on the Miami, sixty miles from Cincinnati, where he immediately set about his work; and ere the close of the following winter, the whole was completed.

At this period I paid him a visit, and received from him the manuscript. His request was most earnest, that the result of his labors might be published. I promised him it should, and have never seen him since; — and, though years have rolled around, I have never, until the present moment, had leisure to attend to its publication, or to redeem the promise I had made to its author.

Poor Glass! — had he only been spared, to learn that his work had been examined and approved of by some of the ripest scholars of our country[1] — men whose names are but other terms for all that is pure, and chaste, and elegant in classical literature — how it would have consoled and softened the last gloomy hours of his existence! — For so obscurely did he live, so humble and retired must have been his residence at the time of his death, that, since my return to the United States, I have not been able to learn a word in reference to him, except that he died while I was gone, and that his family had removed from Dayton to Germantownship, Montgomery county.

From what has now been stated, something may be learned of the life of the author of the following work, and of the circumstances under which it was written. It were in vain for us, for the ten thousandth time, to mourn over the untoward fate of genius, or refer to the strong passages of the writers of every age, on the difficulties of overcoming the "res angusta domi," or of struggling against the heartlessness of the world; — and although it will forever be, that favor is not always to men of skill, nor bread to men of understanding, yet it should be stated, that talents now come to a better market in this country, than formerly, and that the fate of genius is less deplorable than it was.

A word or two respecting the Latinity of the work which is here presented to the public. — To say that it is offered as a specimen of finished composition, would be to assert what is not the fact, and what the author himself, had his life been spared, would never have ventured to maintain. It boasts of no peculiar elegance of diction, no rich display of those beauties and graces, that adorn the pages of some modern Latinists; yet, in a faithful adherence to the idiom of the language, in an accurate use of approved phraseology, in that most difficult of all tasks, the clothing of modern ideas, and modern improvements, in a language that has ceased to be a spoken tongue for many centuries; in all this, and more than this, the present work may safely challenge no ordinary degree of scrutiny, and will be found to contain no small portion of what cannot but tend to propitiate and disarm the severity of criticism. In Latinising the various terms to which the changes that have taken place in the art of war, since the time of the Romans, have so abundantly given rise, we cannot but be struck with the skill which our author has displayed. Occasionally, it is true, some phrase or expression of rather doubtful origin may intrude, but the intrusion will always be found to carry its own apology along with it, and to be evidently required by the circumstances of the case. And, after all, our author's Gubernator Dinwiddie, Dux Knox, Congressus Americanus, tormenta ignivoma, glandes plumbeæ, &c., are certainly no worse than Wyttenbach's[2] tormentorium unâ explosorum, patinæ discique dissiliunt, pulveris pyrii odor, or Addison's[3] ferrea grando, and plumbi densissimus imber. Even the term Tremebundi, applied to the society of Friends, loses nothing, on being compared with the gens Quackerorum sive Trementium, of Schroeckh.[4]

Some parts of the work, on the other hand, will, I trust, be found possessed of positive merit; and I am certain that, in the description of Mount Vernon, and the delineation of the character of Washington, the most rigid critic will find much to commend. The notes speak for themselves. The author evidently had in view the possibility of his work being introduced into schools, and they were therefore written for the benefit, principally, of the younger class of readers, though, occasionally, they assume a higher and graver character.

In conclusion, the editor entertains the hope, that the little work which is here offered to the literati of his country, will be kindly received by them, and be found not undeserving of their notice. It is the production of a poor and almost friendless individual, whom a sound and liberal education had fitted for higher pursuits, but whom misfortune and disappointment had driven from the scenes of his earlier years, to the more congenial solitudes of the West. And it will show the powerful influence that classical studies, when properly pursued, are calculated to exercise over the mind; how they cling to it, even amid misfortune, and impart a sure solace under all the ills of life. J. N. R.


[1] PATRIS Patriæ vitam, opus, sive ad viri virtutes, sive ad præclaras res ab illo et inceptas et perfectas spectemus, omni curâ omnique diligentiâ dignissimum, sermone Latino, procul quidem Roma et Romuleo flumine, ignotus exarare aggredior. Nullus autem dubito quin permultos invenerim, qui genus hoc scribendi naturâ suâ nimis inusitatum, meque, quod ad veteris Latii normam attineat, plane hospitem esse judicarint. Utcunque erit, juvabit tamen famam viri, omnium sæculorum facile principis, pro virili parte me ipsum consecrasse, factaque ejus pulcherrima memoriæ tradidisse Latinâ immortalitate donata. Apud quoscunque autem labores nostri benevolentiam atque favorem sibimetipsis concilient, meminerint illi quam sit inter difficillima res novas ornatu antiquo vestire, et, si in aliquâ parte titubantes inveniamur, æquo illi acceperint animo atque errori veniam concesserint.

[2] Scripsi Tertio Idus Martii, Anno Salutis a Christo recuperatæ Millesimo Octingentesimo vicesimo quarto, in Republicâ Ohioënsi.

Caput Primum

Washingtonii ortus atque prosapia. — Studia ejus juvenilia. — Missio ad Indos. — Ad præfectum Gallicum legatio. — Munitionis, cui nomen Castellum Necessitas, fortis at irrita defensio. — Cædes Braddockiana.

[1] IN Virginiâ, tunc temporis regni Britannici provincia, octavo kalendas Martii,[1] annoque salutis millesimo septingentesimo et tricesimo secundo, dux inclytus [εὐκλεής] noster, patriæ decus, Georgius Washingtonius natus est. Avi atavique Angli erant, pater autem Virginiensis, qui, uxore priore fatis abreptâ, alteram duxit, è quâ vitam accepit Washingtonius. Quidam, errore cæci, et Europæ gloriâ stultissime capti, Washingtonium Americanum exstitisse omnino negaverunt; at tandem aliquando fateri coacti sunt, omne solum forti patriam esse, omnemque terram sepulcrum. Hanc falsam fallacissimamque sententiam multum quoque adjuvit invidia, cui aliena fama semper dolori, quæ alienas virtutes semper intabescit videndo.

[2] Sub patris tutelâ altus eruditusque, utrum literis Græcis atque Romanis animum suum Washingtonius appulerit parum comperimus, eamque rem igitur in medio relinquemus. Cognitum tamen perspectumque habetur, linguam Anglicanam eum penitus calluisse, et in scientiis mathematicis, aliisque id genus, doctissimè exstitisse eruditum. Perplures annos, postquam à præceptore discesserat, doctrinam ab illo acceptam multum atque sedulo auxit; et terræ mensoris munere, summâ cum laude peritiæque famâ, perfunctus est. Patre mortuo, cura patrimonii Laurentio fratri tradita, qui, valetudine parum firmâ aliquandiu usus, vitam, ingravescente morbo, immaturâ morte finivit.

[3] Post fratris obitum stipendia mereri, admodum juvenis, vigesimum agens annum, militiæque munera sustinere incepit; et virtutem animique vires ostendendi occasionem haud longo intervallo oblatam impigrè atque libentissimè arripuit. Inimicitiæ Gallici et Britannici regis in bella aperta tantum non eruperant. A Gallis, regionem Canadensem incolentibus, in agros colonorum Anglorum incursiones creberrimæ ferebantur esse factæ. Imperia, mandata, et rescripta ab Angliâ accepta sunt à præfecto consilioque publico Virginiæ, uti injurias hasce vi et armis propulsarent. Gubernator Virginiensis, Dinwiddie nomine gaudens, quum hæc mandata accepisset, juvenem Washingtonium quam celerrime dimisit, ut facta exploraret, cum Indis ageret, illosque hortaretur uti in Britannos fideles permanerent. Hoc munere publico mirum in modum perfunctus est, quamvis, quippe qui admodum juvenis, ideoque rerum imperitus à nonnullis putabatur, et, in primis, quia in negotiis illis ad publicarum rerum moderamen spectantibus haud multum adolescentia ejus versata erat, imperitiæ diffidentia quorundam animos invaserat. Fatendum est, attamen, res, de quibus agebatur, naturâ suâ maximi fuisse momenti; non enim multo post belli inter illas nationes causæ exstiterunt; quod quidem bellum longe lateque diffusum, ad omnes fere oras orbis terrarum pervenit, Gallosque hanc continentem relinquere, quanquam invitos et renitentes, coegit.

[4] Reducem salvumque ex negotio tantorum periculorum repleto, cives ubique, et omni studio, gratiarum actione dignati sunt. Diligentia, industria, et vigilantia Washingtonii hoc in itinere clarissime sunt perspectæ; hique, qui easdem regiones postea peragrarunt, plurimum virtuti simul ac diligentiæ ejus sese debere confitebantur. Haud multo post, heros noster juvenilis à Dinwiddie, Virginiæ gubernatore, ad præfectum Gallicum missus est, de injuriis questum, Anglis, qui prope flumen Ohio degebant, contra fœdera sanctissima populi utriusque illatis. In hac legatione, magnum eventum habiturâ, animumque prudentem æque ac impavidum postulante, per regiones desertas itinera fecit, neque imbribus, neque nive, neque amnium trajectu deterritus. Responso, ad alia omnia quam quæ placebant spectante, Virginiam longos post labores relato, delectus militum habitus est, trecenti homines sunt conscripti, hisque dominum Fry tribunum,[2] Washingtoniumque legatum, Dinwiddie consiliumque publicum dederunt. Mortuo tribuno, summum imperium Washingtonio delatum est, qui, cujusdam munitionis forti quanquam irritâ defensione, strenui militis nomen, gloriamque permagnam comparavit.

[5] Munitio, quæ ob rei necessitatem, temerè[3] extructa fuerat propè prata ingentia,[4] et in qu^ aliquantulum copiarum relictum, hostes distinendi, deque propugnaculo, Duquesne dicto, eos amovendi, speciem præbebat. Opere perfecto, ad propugnaculum Duquesne oppugnandum Americani duce Washingtonio contenderunt. Non ampliùs autem tredecim passuum millibus processerant, cum ab Indis amicis facti certiores fuerunt, «Gallos columbarum instar in sylvis, hostilemque in morem, sedibus Anglicis instare, itemque propugnaculum, quod erant oppugnaturi, nuper adauctum fuisse». In his rerum angustiis, consilium militare, unâ voce, receptum ad prata ingentia suasit: qui receptus sine morâ factus, vehementerque elaboratum, ut agger[5] quam maximè munitus esset. Priusquam hoc effici potuit, De Villier, præfectus Gallus, aggerem, magnâ manu aggredi cœpit.

[6] Oppugnatores, arboribus crebris, altoque gramine tuti erant. Americani, summâ virtute, Gallorum impetum exceperunt, cumque eorum nonnullis etiam intra aggerem conflixerunt, et in fossâ, valloque, acriter resistebant. Per diem totum, extra aggerem Washingtonius commoratus sua opera[6] fortissime defendit. Ab horâ decimâ,[7] ad noctem usque pugnatum est, cum imperator Gallus colloquium petivit, deditionisque conditiones proposuit. Hæ conditiones, ita ab eo oblatæ, partim acceptæ, partim repudiatæ erant. Tandemque post disceptationem longam,[8] ab illo impetratum est, ut copiæ Americanæ, domum, nullo impediente, reverterentur, arma impedimentaque[9] retinendi facultate concessâ.

[7] Consilium publicum Virginiense, ob insignem copiarum virtutem, quamvis ad deditionem coactæ fuerant, Washingtonio, ejusque sociis gratias habendas esse decrevit; itemque aliquantulum pecuniæ, gregariis militibus,[10] qui pugnæ adfuerant, quique sese virtute insigniverant, donandum judicavit. Attamen, bellicas expeditiones omnes in reliquum annum omittendas esse statuit. Tempore agendi peracto,[11] legio[12] in manipulos parvulos redacta est, imperioque militari Washingtonius sese abdicavit.

[8] Lis de terris occasum inter et septentrionem positis, quæ in Virginiâ primùm agitari cœpta, summo studio à Britanniâ magnâ suscepta fuit: duæque legiones Britannicæ ex Hiberniâ Columbi ad terram solverunt13, quæ regis Anglici jura tuerentur. Initio anni millesimi septingentesimi quinquagesimi quinti, cursu transmisso, Virginienses ad oras duce Braddockio appulerunt.[14] Dux iste famosus de Washingtonii ingenio certior factus, heroa nostrum invitavit, ut sibi legatus voluntarius adesset. Quod munus lætè acceptum, Washingtoniusque sese Alexandriæ Braddockio ascivit; et ad aggerem posteà Cumberland nuncupatum, comite duce, processit.

[9] Hìc, equorum, plaustrorum, cibariorumque inopia dierum duodecim remoram exercitui injecit. Equorum clitellariorum usum pro plaustris, ad exercitûs impedimenta vehendum, jam inde ab initio, Washingtonius suasit. Consilii hujusce utilitas cito eluxit, ideoque mutatio magna facta. Exercitus non longiùs denis passuum millibus à propugnaculo Cumberland processerat, cum Washingtonium febris vehementer gravis corripuit: qui tamen apud exercitum mansit, vehiculo convecto, quoniam equo insidere, præ debilitate, haud poterat. Ducem monebat, ut tormentorum bellicorum apparatum, nec non impedimenta relinqueret, quamque maximis itineribus ad aggerem Cumberland contenderet, cum copiis nonnullis delectis, parvo commeatu, levisque armaturæ peditibus.

[10] Spes magna exercitum tenebat, magno itinere confecto, propugnaculum Duquesne, præsidio parvo firmatum, opprimi posse, antequam auxilia expectata pervenirent; Consilium istud Braddockius probabat, minoraque ad prata[15] consilium militare convocavit, quo in consilio decretum, imperatorem cum mille ducentis lectis militibus iter facere oportere, tribunumque Dunbarium cum reliquis copiis, impedimentisque manere. Hæc prior acies[16] iter cum triginta tantùm plaustris facere cœpit, at mora itinerisque tarditas consilii militaris opinione majores erant. Sæpè solum æquandi, pontesque in fluentis parvulis faciendi causâ, iter intermissum. Quatriduum undevicenorum milliarium iter conficiendo absumptum fuit. Hic Washingtonii valetudo[17] adeo infirmum corpus reddiderat, ut longius sine capitis periculo ire nequiret. Simul ac corporis vires sinebant, se ad aciem priorem contulit, extemploque, ad munus exequendum, provirili,[18] accinctus est.[19]

[11] Postridie, strages terribilis exercitui obtigit. Julii die nono, Monongahelâ trajectâ, cum propugnaculum Duquesne haud longè jam abesset, periculique sine metu exercitus incederet, in agmen, viâ apertâ, gramine multo obsita, impetus factus. Galli Indique commisti, oculorum effugientes obtutum, armis ignivomis, agmen nostrum, in latus apertum, ex insidiis petere cœperunt. Prima acies in proximam relapsa, agmenque totum illicò perturbatum. Hostes, præfectos maximè collineantes, multos occiderunt. Perbrevi omnes ducis adjutores aut vulnerati, aut occisi sunt, Washingtonio excepto. Ad heroa, igitur, nostrum imperii summa devenit, qui in confertissimos hostes incurrere, retroque gradum dare, nunc suos ad fortiter pugnandum hortari, nunc vim addere victis, assiduè perseveravit. Equi duo, quibus insidebat, glandibus plumbeis,[20] suffossi fuêre; quatuorque glandes plumbeæ per tunicam transiêre, attamen incolumis evasit, omnibus aliis præfectis aut interfectis, aut graviter vulneratis.

[12] Washingtonium omninò incolumem inter tantum occisorum acervum servari, omnibus ferè incredibile visum: — at Deus, Optimus, Maximus, eum ad alia et majora reservavit. Inter hanc tantam stragem clademque, Washingtonius summam virtutem ostendit. Braddockius, inter glandium plumbearum multitudinem infinitam ultro citroque volitantium, interritus permansit, suosque, ne loco cederent, neve terga verterent, vultu gestuque est hortatus. At virtus tam insignis inanis fuit, militarisque disciplina, milites Britannos ordines servare cogens, tantummodò certius ignobiliusque exitium viris fortibus attulit.

[13] Inscius cum Indis pugnandi Braddockius, nec in hostes irruit, nec pedem retrò tulit, sed copias suas improviso impetu disjectas, loco, undè hostium vim primùm sustinuerant, consistere jussit: nudi,[21] enim, in munitos arboribus crebroque frutice pugnabant. Præmonitus periculum,[22] cui copias caputque suum objectabat, milites provinciales, suos præcedere nolebat, ut sylvas insidiasque explorarent, sed consilium tam salutare sprevit; quamobrem temeritatis pœnas morte luebat.

[14] Per tres horas pugnatum, quo in spatio, dux tres equos, quibus insidebat, amisit, tandemque vulnus accepit, quod in Dunbarii, tribuni militum, castris, vitæ exitum attulit. — Vulnerato Braddockio, copiæ in partes omnes diffugêre, nec antè acies instaurari poterat, quàm Monongahelam trajecerant. Indi prædâ allecti, haud acriter insecuti sunt. Victi veterani sese ad castra Dunlapii citò receperunt, ibique impedimentis, quorum non indigebant, deletis, Philadelphiam profecti sunt.

Caput Secundum

Lex iniqua, de præfectis provincialibus, Washingtonio hortante, abrogata est. — Omnium copiarum provincialium dux constitutus est Washingtonius. — Propugnaculo Duquesne capiendo sese insignit. — Contra Gallos Indosque in finibus pugnat. — Infirmâ valetudine coactus imperio militari sese abdicat. — Viduam Custis uxorem ducit.

[1] Ex senatûs consulto Angliæ regni, vel forsitan comitiorum apud Virginienses, decretum est «præfectum nullum provincialem, qui auctoritatem ab rege non traxerit, alteri, regio diplomate donato, imperare posse». Quod multi ex præfectis provincialibus ægrè ferentes, imperio militari sese abdicaverunt. In his fuit Washingtonius, qui paulò post exercitûs Britannici cladem insignem, cujus modò meminimus, indignans regia diplomate[1] non ex merito, sed purpuratorum[2], optimatumve voluntate pendere, literas[3] ad Gubernatorem Virginiensem aliosque misit, in quibus legem tam iniquam rescindi oportere dixit. Cujus precibus obtemperavere comitia; tantæque virtutis in præmium, Gubernator Virginiensis eum copiis omnibus provinciæ illius praefecit.

[2] Anno millesimo septingentesimo quinquagesimo octavo [AD 1758], heros noster juvenilis exercitûs ducis Forbesii[*] partem ductavit, et, propugnaculo Duquesne capiendo, sese insignivit. Hoc bello feliciter gesto, animum ad rei militaris scientiam intendit. Velitationes crebræ cum Gallis Indisque, locis sylvestribus circa fines, vigilantiam prudentiamque edocuêre, ausorumque magnorum aviditatem genuêre. Copiæ, quas ductabat, contra hostes astutissimos confligere pautatim sunt assuefactæ. — Gallorum agilitatem, Indorumque feritatem, superavit virtute. Plurimis præliis victis hostibus, longèque trans fines colonicos recedere coactis, propugnaculisque, quæ secundum fluvium Ohio ceperat, præsidio, quod satis videbatur, munitis, Forbesius imperator exercitum in hibernacula reduxit.

[3] Per hoc bellum decretorium, quod coloniis mediis tranquillitati salutique fuit, Washingtonius multas difficultates perpessus est quibus valetudo imminuebatur. Pulmonum morbo, corporisque debilitate correptus, munia militaria obire haud poterat, quocirca, ineunte vere anni millesimi septingentesimi quinquagesimi noni [AD 1759], imperio se abdicavit, Vernoniumque ad montem secessit. Erga meritum tantum, haud ingrata fuit legio Virginiensis, quæ, post ejus abdicationem, gratiarum actiones illi unâ voce decrevit: quod amoris pignus Washingtonii pectus pietate in commilitones replevit: propter, enim, pietatem in patriam, parentes, et amicos, per totam vitam benè audiebat.[4]

[4] Post biennium, valetudine saniore usus, viduam, gaudentem nomine Custis, uxorem duxit. Domina hæcce Washingtonio æquæva fuit, tamque animi dotibus, quàm corporis formâ, inter populares eminuit.

Caput Tertium

Consilii publici consors, judexque curialis, constitutus est Washingtonius. — Belli Americani causæ. Pugna Lexingtoniensis. — Collis Bunkerii prœlium memorabile.

[1] INTEREA, magistratus, consilii publici consors, judexque curialis[1] factus est. At tempus instabat, quo, Washingtonium hæc munia honorifica relinquere, civiumque suorum jura contra paucorum potentium apud Anglos tyrannidem vindicatum[2] ire oportebat. Bellum Americanum ab erroribus paucorum politiam[3] Angliæ exercentium, renixuque colonorum nonnullorum in taxationem Senatus Britannici iniquam, originem duxit. Alia quoque causa belli civilis Britanniam inter et colonias movendi ad superiorem accessit, quæ priùs explicanda videtur, quàm ad Martis discrimina nosmet accingamus.

[2] Coloni primi, qui ex Angliâ, ad inhospita Columbi litora demigraverant, potissimùm patriam fugiebant, ne ob religionem vexarentur. Numinis[4] afflatu fulti, omnia pericula peregrinâ in terrâ adibant, malumque Jovem,[5] Indorumque feritatem, famem, calorem, frigus, ultro perpessi. Hæc mala varia, invictâ virtute constantiâque superabant; infortuniumque omne subire, quam religionis causâ vexari, præstare arbitrabantur. Has cogitationes secum portantes, solum incultum omni frugum genere feracissimum reddiderunt.

[3] Paulo post pacem Parisiensem, Christi anno millesimo septingentesimo sexagesimo tertio [AD 1763] factam, ratio nova colonias Anglicas regendi instituta fuit. Solitæ libertatis tanta subitò imminutio est facta, ut duodecim spatio annorum, nil præter solum cœlumque ferè reliquum habebant. Senatus Britannicus, in quo nulli erant coloniarum vicem gerentes, non solùm vindicavit, sed etiam exercuit, colonos, ad arbitrium, jus taxandi. Hæc postulatio, Magnæ Chartæ[6] tam contraria, quæque discrimina tam invidiosa inter eidem regi subditos, diversa maris Atlantici litor habitantes, induxit, ut turbæ graves inter colonos excierentur, effecit.

[4] Longa mora esset dicere, quantâ pervicaciâ, quantâque lite à Senatu Britannico colonias Americanas jus taxandi arrogatum sit. Nunc vero ad Martis horrentia arma maturemus, satis, enim, de causis hujusce belli, jam dictum esse puto.

[5] Dux Gage, qui, ineunte anno millesimo, septingentesimo, septuagesimo quinto [AD 1775], exercitui Anglico Bostoniæ præfuit, certior factus, vim magnam[7] instrumentorum apparatûsque belli, Concordiæ, apud Novanglos, coactam fuisse, manipulos[8] nonnullos, qui vim istam delerent, misit. Hancockium Adamiumque, Congressûs provincialis, qui tunc temporis Concordiæ convenerat, viros principes, apprehendi jussit. Hi manipuli, die Aprilis undevicesimo, anno suprà dicto [April 11, 1775], primâ luce, iter Bostoniâ facere cœperunt, summo silentio profecti, apprehensoque quoque obvio,[9] ne adventu improviso vicinitas commoveretur; qui tamen, armorum ignivomorum tintinnabulorumque sonitu assiduo, consilia sua à colonis patefieri viderunt.

[6] Horâ quintâ, Lexingtoniam, quindecim milliaria Bostoniâ distantem, pervenerunt. Militia, viridi in campo, juxta oppidulum suprà dictum, à præfectis provincialibus, armorum ignivomorum ad usum, exercebatur. Legatus Pitcairnus, qui manipulo Britannico præfuit, magnâ voce clamavit, «fugite, rebelles, arma abjicite, inque fugam vosmetipsos abripite». Militiâ provinciali iisdem vestigiis inhærente, locoque cedere nolente, Pitcairnus milites regios militiam provincialem armis ignivomis petere jussit, quibus displosis, multi ex Americanis aut interfecti, aut vulnerati sunt. Copias inde Concordiam duxit, ubi belli instrumenta ibi recondita deleta sunt. Militia colonica contra copias regias acerrimè velitabatur, quâ certatione multi utrinque occisi. Copias regias Concordiâ sese Lexingtoniam recipientes, per sex milliarium spatium, magno impetu insequebantur Americani, qui, de lapideis muris, tuti, eas mirâ celeritate incedentes, omni telorum genere, petebant. Copiis regiis laborantibus recentes nonnulli manipuli, cum duobus tormentis majoribus,[10] Lexingtoniæ subveniebant.

[7] Sub Maii mensis finem, regiæ copiæ plurimæ Bostoniam adventabant, Howe, Burgoyne, Clintonioque, ducibus inclytis, imperantibus. Haud longè a Bostoniâ, collis, nomine Bunker, situs est, quem colonorum manipulus, Junii die decimo sexto [June 16, 1775], cepit, eumque munire instituit; tantâque diligentiâ operi incubuit, ut, priusquam lucesceret, munimentum vallumque castris penè circumjecerit. Quod ut vidêre copiæ regiæ, assiduâ tormentorum majorum, omnigenorumque armorum ignivomorum, oppugnatione, opera solo æquare, propugnatoresque vallo fossâque depellere enixè conabantur. Coloni, tamen, ab opere non cessabant, meridiemque circiter munimenta omnia perfecerant: quæ Americanorum audacia duces Anglos adeo efferavit, ut ad collis Bunkerii radices peditum legionem exponerent.[11]

[8] Copiæ regiæ summâ virtute collem ascenderunt; cum autem Americanorum vallo castrisque appropinquarent, tantus glandium plumbearum imber in eos subitò est effusus, ut torrentis ritu,[12] per semi-horam, caderet. Cædes tam infinita facta, ut milites veterani, se stragem terribiliorem nunquam vidisse confiterentur. Dux Howe, cujus virtus hac pugnâ clarissimè perspecta, paulisper ferè solus permansit, præfectorum militumque parte maximâ aut occisâ, aut vulneratâ. At tandem, copiis recentibus adventantibus, Americani dare terga coacti. Oppidulum, quòd de domibus copiæ colonicæ propugnabant, quòdque eis, inter pugnandum, perfugio erat, incensum fuit.

[9] In hoc prælio, pro numero pugnantium, cædes major utrinque facta, quam in ullâ aliâ pugnâ, quæ totius belli spatio obtigit. Ex parte Britannorum, mille homines cadebant; quingenti insignes viri de numero Americanorum, eo die, luce[13] carebant; in his fuit Warrenius, medicus præclarus, orator disertus, vir patriæ amantissimus, qui cives suos in Anglorum dominationem injustam accendere haud destitit. Hoc prælio facto, copiæ colonicae propugnacula aggeremque loco excelso contra Carolopolim fecêre; agilitate audaciâque hostium animos perculsere, eò magis, quòd, veterani Britanni suam laudem[14] virtutemque prædicantes, militiam provincialem ex animo despicere solebant. Præsidium Bostoniense, ad inediæ extremum, jam diuturnâ obsidione deductum.

Caput Quartum

Coloniarum fœderatarum exercituum Washingtonius imperator. — Ad Congressûs prœsidem responsum. — Cantabrigiam proficiscitur. — Expositio, à Congressu prius exarata, coram militibus recitata est. — Ordinum omnium amor patriœ. — Bostoniœ obsidio. — Bostoniam vacuefaciunt Britones, apud Neo-Eboracenses bellum gesturi.

[1] WASHINGTONIUS, vicem civitatis Virginiensis, in coloniarum fœderatarum Congressu, gerens, ad Americani exercitûs summum imperium, nemine contradicente, electus est; stipendium quoque ei à Congressu quam amplissimum decretum; quod, tamen, strenuè detrectavit. Responsi ejus ad Congressûs præsidem hæc fuit sententia.

Domine præses, Etsi verè sentio, quam valdè hâc designatione me honore extuleritis, tamen, magnopere vereor, ne animi vires, ususque rei militaris[1], imperium tam magnum, tamque latè divisum exæquare haud possint: quoniam, tamen, ita vult Congressus, ad grande munus me ipsum accingam. Summis porrò viribus, ne civium jura causaque decora imminuantur, enitar. Gratias quam maximas civibus ex animo habeo, ob pignus hoc insigne in me amoris. Sed ne quis casus infaustus, qui famam nomenque in discrimen ferat, mihi eveniat, omnes, qui adsunt, hodie monitos velim, me, imperio, quo honestatus sum, vires inferiores esse confiteri. Quoad stipendium, Domine Præses, Congressum certiorem fieri volo, quum, nullâ pecuniæ aviditate inductus, imperium tam arduum acceperim, tantumque otii privati et felicitatis dispendium fecerim, ita, ex designatione meâ, lucrifacere prorsus à me alienum esse. Sumptuum rationem[2], quam verissimè potero, tenebo: — Pecuniam, quam in commoda publica, necessariò impenderim, mihi, ut spero, cives mei persolvent: hoc mihi sufficit, nec Congressum largiora flagito.

[2] Postridie ejus diei, diploma speciale[3], à Congressu fœderatarum coloniarum Washingtonio datum, in quo, præcipuè cautum erat, ne quid detrimenti libertas Americana caperet. Simul à Congressu decretum, «se Washingtonium omnibus facultatibus fortunisque adjuturos, in libertate Americanâ sustinendâ». In mandatis erat, exercitum ordinare et disponere prout ei utilissimum factu videretur; simulque cavere, ne jura Americana imminuantur: — Sub Julii mensis initium, Washingtonius Cantabrigiam apud Novanglos profectus est, ut exercitus Americani imperium capesseret.

[3] Consilia Publica Novi Eboraci, et Massachusetts, ei de imperio gratulabantur. Cum ad castra Cantabrigiensia pervenisset, summo gaudio, lætitiâque, ab exercitu receptus. Copias regias in colle Bunkerio consedisse, tribusque propugnaculis innatantibus munitas, colonicas vero collibus tribus vallum aggeremque præduxisse invenit. Cum copiæ colonicæ solito agrestique vestitu ad castra accessissent, chlamyde [χλαμύς] venaticâ, æquabilitatis causâ, eas indui jussit. Washingtonius magnum hominum numerum ratione castrensi malè institutum, armis bellique apparatu haud bene instructum, comperit. Præterea, machinarum bellicarum artifices, instrumentaque cujuscunque generis ad propugnacula facienda, illis defuerunt. Exercitus, porrò, ex tam variis ducibus provinciisque compositus, ad disciplinam militarem ægerrime traductus. Duces audaces, hostilitatis[4] initio, sese insigniverant, deductoresque sibi adeo obnoxios[5] fecerant, ut à præfectis, nisi suo ipsorum electu constituti fuerint, dirigi nolebant.

[4] Hominum liberorum effrenam licentiam disciplinæ militari repentè subjicere, difficultatis prudentiæque erat: quam, tamen, Washingtonius solertiâ mirâ, sibique ferè propriâ, facillimè coercuit. Copiis recensitis, hæc ad Congressum scripsit; «Ad exercitum conficiendum, eximiam materiem, viros robustos, virtutisque indubitatæ, et causæ, de quâ certatur, studiosos, hic invenio». Iisdem literis, belli apparatûs, castrensis ornatûs, multorumque quorum indigebat exercitus, inopiam conquestus est. Washingtonius, coram exercitu, expositionem[6], à Congressu priùs exaratam, belli suscipiendi causas rationemque exhibentem, recitari et promulgari jussit. Hæcce expositio, sermone forti scripta, locos hos insignes præ se tulit:

[5] Si homines, ratione præditi, animum ad credendum inducant, naturæ nostræ auctorem divinum, humani generis partem, aliorum possessiones invadere, imperiumque in alios interminatum[7] exercere, voluisse; Deique optimi maximi infinitam sapientiam bonitatemque, alios justæ dominationi addictos, obstrictos, deditos, aliis tradere statuisse; harum coloniarum accolæ indigenæque, à Senatu Anglico, aliquod indicium, quod, tyrannidem hane diram Anglis præcipue datam demonstret probetque, certè postulare summoque jure petere debent: — At Creatoris magni observantia cultusque, humanitatis effata, sensûs communis præcepta, omnes, qui istis de rebus, unquam cogitavêre, evincent, imperium, ad generis humani salutem provehendam, felicitatemque augendam promovendamque, antiquitùs a Deo institutum fuisse. Senatus, autem Britannicus, immoderatâ imperii libidine incensus, quam justitiæ non solùm adversam, sed ne regni quidem ipsius Anglici formæ consonam esse novit, successumque felicem, in genere quovis certaminis, in quo justi verique ratio habita sit, desperans, colonias hasce vi in servitutem redigendi consilium crudele cepit, inivitque: nosque ad extremam armis propulsandi à cervicibus nostris gladios districtos necessitatem compulerunt. Tamen, quantumvis Senatus iste, præ nimiâ imperii aviditate, cæcutiat, jusque et hominum existimationem contemnat, nosmetipsos, ob amorem in gentes reliquas, ad causæ, quâ versamur, justitiam exponendam impelli arbitramur.

[6] Hæcce expositio audax et perspicua, sexto Julii die, Christi anno millessimo septingentesimo septuagesimo quinto [July 6, 1775], Philadelphiæ data[8], et à Joanne Hancockio, et Carolo Thomson[*], subscripta. Ille Congressûs præses, hic autem à secretis[9] fuit.

[7] Eodem ferè tempore, coloniæ inter se concordiâ mirâ consentiebant. Amor patriæ ordines omnes, cujusque ætatis homines incitavit: præjudicia etiam religiosa insigni patriæ studio superabantur. Tremebundorûm[10] adolescentes plurimi ad cœtus militares sese aggregaverant. Nec studium hocce libertatis communis tuendæ viros magis quam fœminas tenebat: conventu, enim, fœminarum comitatus[11] Bristoliensis apud Pennsylvanos habito, pecuniæ satis grandis summa, ad conscribendam instruendamque legionem, confecta et coacta fuit. Hujus legionis militibus conscriptis et in unum coactis, nurus[12] ab reliquis delegata est, quæ vexillo splendido, emblematibus aptis ornato, legionem donaret. Eodem tempore, orationem vehementem apud legionem habuit, sicque præfectos militesque effata dicitur; «Ne Columbi terræ dominarum vexilla deserant, nisi nurus Americanas nomina inter milites dare et profiteri cupiant».

[8] Exercitus, cui præfectus Washingtonius, ex quindenis ferè hominum millibus constabat. Sextilis die quarto, pulveris nitrati apud colonos, et provinciarum quatuor inter Novanglos armamentaria publica, copia omnis ferè absumpta fuerat. In hoc statu egeno, exercitus per hebdomadas duas permansit. Etsi ad legiones supplendas, exercitumque conficiendum conflandumque, vehementissime elaboratum, enixeque sudatum fuerat, legiones, tamen, haud suppletæ. Causæ plurimæ aversationem hanc à nomina[13] profitendo procreabant. Exercitus mala multa perpessus, fomitis[14] vis exigua; vestium nec non cibariorum copia satis larga ad frigus famemque arcendum militibus haud suppetebat. Variolæ[15] multos à nomina dando absterrebant. Causa, autem, præcipua militiam detrectandi à re militari aversatio fuit. Ut legiones faciliûs explerentur, munificentiæ[16] amplioris, in milites conscribendos, periculum[17] suasit Washingtonius: cujus consilio, tandem, sub Januarii mensis finem, anno millesimo septingentesimo septuagesimo sexto ab Christo nato, coloniarum fœderatarum Congressus obsecundavit. Hoc et insequenti mense, exercitus multùm militum numero adauctus.

[9] Eodem tempore, obsidione cingebatur Bostonia, Britonesque oppido inclusi erant: quæ, tamen, obsidio cives Americanos spe longè fefellit: tantas, enim, copias, omni bellico instrumento apparatuque, et armorum genere omni instructas ornatasque arbitrabantur: fama, namque, copias, quibus præpositus Washingtonius, triplò regiis majores esse ferebat. Vera copiarum multitudo, bellique instrumenta, quibus male ornabantur, Britones[18] sedulò celabantur. Cives vehementiâ quadam mirâ, moræque impatientiâ, copias regias Bostoniâ expulsas jampridem spectare avebant: idque spectaculum tam gratum pariter voluit Washingtonius; curâ, autem, prudentiâque sibi opus esse meritò duxit. Commoda, quæ ex præclaro aliquo facinore, ad cansam communem, quâ versabalur, proventura essent, animo prospexit; nec[19], se inertiæ ignaviæque ab nonnullis insimulari, imperiumque sibi à Congressu creditum prolatare, et in longum[20], sui commodi gratiâ, bellum trahere se velle, à quihusdam dici, nesciebat. Hæc civium murmura æquo animo tulit, Bostoniamque versus animum intentum habuit, et occasionem copias regias ultrò invadendi ex animo[21] quæsivit.

[10] Tandem Britones Bostoniam reliquisse, Halifaxque copiis omnibus contendere, certior factus. Bostoniâ ab Anglis desertâ, eam Washingtonius copiis omnibus, magno civium gaudio, intravit. Oppidani, acerbitatibus præsidiario[22] de more vitam agendi, variisque contumeliis, quibus obnoxii fuerant, liberati solutique, Washingtonium liberatorem et servatorem consalutant. Coloniarum quoque fœderatarum Congressus ei gratias agendas esse decrevit. Vacuefactâ à Britonibus Bostoniâ, ordo seriesque rerum in meliùs mutabantur, Washingtonii, autem, laboribus interim haud imminutis Cum hostibus deinceps longè potentioribus confli gendum crat. Exercitus enim Anglicanus, apud Bostonienses, nil aliud præter metâs Massachusetts Provinciæ injectionem sibi voluit. Bellum, autem, anno millesime septingentesimo septuagesimo sexto ab Christo nato, apud Neo-Eboracenses longe amplissimis copiis quas vidit unquam antea terra Columbi[23], geri cœptum. Classis exercitusque Anglicanus ex quinquaginta quinque hominum millibus tunc temporis constabant, cunctasque colonias fœderatas in regiam potestatem redigendi, armisque pacandi, consilium iniêre.

Caput Quintum

Bostomâ relictâ, Novum Eboracum contendit Washingtonius. — Dux Howe Insulam Staten capit. — Curatores, à rege Britanno ad pacem concordiamque restituendam constituti, colloquium frustra tentant. — Milites suos jussis generalibus affatur Washingtonius. — Colonias fœderatas, liberas, supremas, suisque viribus innitentes esse decernit Congressus. — In insulâ Longâ prœlium adversum.

[1] FUTURUM bellum in Novo Eboraco, provinciâ propè centrali, feliciùs geri, exercitus cibariorum genere omni ex insulis vicinis commodiùs instrui, et classe Anglicâ faciliès defendi, potuit. Ob eas causas, Bostoniam vacuefacere, copiasque omnes Novi Eboraci cogere, jamdudùm in Senatu Anglico statutum fuerat. Causæ eædem, quæ Britannos Novi Eboraci potiri induxerunt, Washingtonium quoque ad eos præoccupandos[1] impediendosque impulerunt; magnum, itaque, militum numerum Bostoniâ dimisit, imperioque duci Lee dato, mumitaque Bostoniâ, cum exercitu reliquo Novum Eboracum tendit, omniaque, quæ ad defensionem pertinerent, sedulò paravit. Tempus satis diuturnum huic negotio conficiendo concessum;2 namque Dux Howe, quem Novum Eboracum tendere rectâ oportebat, cum copiis præsidio Bostoniæ subductis Halifax petivit. Illic auxilia ab Angliâ expectata opperiebatur; at tandem, moræ impatiens, sine auxiliis Eboracum Novum solvit, subque Junii finem insulam Staten cepit. Frater ejus, classis præfectus, cum copiis navalibus auxiliisque pedestribus ad oras Neo-Eboracenses paulo post naves appulit[3]: fratramque duorum copiis conjunctis, ad bellum redintegrandum parata omnia videbantur.

[2] Ante belli initium, Anglicani exercitûs dux, ejusque frater, qui classi præerat, curatores[4] a rege Britanno, ad pacem concordiamque Angliam inter et colonias restituendam, constituti, colloquia de pace transigendâ habere decernunt. In hujus negotii inceptionem, literas ad «Georgium Washingtonium» miserunt, quas accipere renuit, eò quòd, titulo, ordini debito, inscriptio carebat: simulque, eâ de re, ad Congressum scripsit, «Se nunquam necessariis supervacanea prætulisse, at, hâc in re, hono- the departure of the British for Halifax. — The gerundive adjective conficiendo, in the above sentence, is dependant on concessum; it might be expressed otherwise, thus, ad hoc negotium conficiendum; hujus negotii conficiendi, or hoc negotium conficiendi; in which two last cases, conficiendi is governed by the noun tempus. rem, muneri publico[5] debitum, quem aliàs sibi privato haudquaquam arrogaret, pervicaciùs postulare, æquum esse arbitrabatur». Alteris denuò literis, eâdem de re, ad Washingtonium missis, colloquium perlongum eum inter et Patersonium, præfecti apud exercitum Anglicum tunc temporis vice fungentem, habitum, in quo Patersonius, «curatores de pace transigenda auctoritate magna donatos esse dixit»; cui responsum fuit, «eorum auctoritatem ad colonis ignoscendum, veniamque dandam, tantummodò pertinere, eosque, qui nullius sibi delicti unquam conscii fuerant, ignosci et condonari nolle». His dictis, colloquium abruptum.

[3] Sub Ducis Howe ad insulam Staten adventum, exercitus Americanus ex decem hominum millibus constabat, et, supplementis variis quotidie adventantibus, ante Sextilis[6] finem, ad viginti septem hominum millia perbrevi accrevit; quorum pars magna militia[7] fuit, totiusque exercitûs pars quarta ægrotabat: morbi, quibus milites novitii præcipuè obnoxii sunt, latè horrificèque ingruebant, et, tabernaculis deficientibus, ingravescebat in dies malum. Hæ copiæ tam sagacitèr solertèrque diversis locis insulisque disponebantur, ut hostes, quemnam locum insulamve potissimùm adorirentur, ubinamve belli inferendi initium fieret, diù ambigebant.

[4] Washingtonius nil, quod milites ad hostes lacessendos impetumque Anglorum fortitèr sustinendum alacres paratosque redderet, prætermisit; rationemque[8] omnem animos patriæ amore incendendi, irasque in hostes suscitandas, expertus est, jussis generalibus[9] sic eos affatus: «Tempus instat, quod, liberi an servi futuri sint Americani; utrumnè quidquam, quod proprium dici possit, habituri; an domus agrosque hostes impunè invasuri et direpturi; perbrevi dijudicabit. Infinitæ multitudinis nondum natæ, ex hujusce exercitus virtute[10], fatum pendebit. Hostes immites et inexorabiles nobis præter fortis renixûs, aut servitii turpissimi, optionem, nil reliqui fecêre. Vincere, igitur, aut pulchra petere per vulnera mortem, nobis hodierno die statuendum est. Officium[11] quod nobismetipsis, quod patriæ debemus, omnes vires, summamque virtutem postulat. Quòd si nobis fortuna inviderit, aut nos fortitudo defecerit, stigmosi turpissimique apud homines omnes erimus. Justitiâ, igítur, causæ, auxilioque divino freti, ad facinora magna et præclara nosmet accingamus. Popularium omnium ob oculos nunc versamur, quorum præconium laudesque feremus, si fortè tyrannidi, ab hostibus intentatæ[12], eos eripiamus: hortemur, igitur, cives, animosque[13] mutuos nobis invicem addamus, et gentibus omnibus salutare documentum, virum liberum, solo natali pro libertate certantem, quovis servo conductitio aut latrone[14] meliorem et superiorem esse, præbeamus».

[5] Congressûs constantia civium animos ardore repleverat: Senatus ille audax, mensis Quintilis[15] die quarto, anno millesimo septingentesimo septuagesimo sexto ab Christo nato, colonias fœderatas Americanas, LIBERAS, SUPREMAS, SUISQUE VIRIBUS INNITENTES ESSE decrevit. — Duces Anglici Insulam Longam[16] oppugnare constituunt: quamobrem, Augusti die vigesimo secundo, anno suprà dicto, copias omnes exposuerunt[17]: ejusdemque mensis die vigesimo septimo, primâ luce, prælium, ab Hessianis, copiis Germanicis conductitiis, commissum; tandem, cum diù acriturque pugnatum, Britanni victores discessêre. Americanorum tria millia eo prælio desiderata;18 quorum duo millia cæsa, pars autem reliqua capta. Ex parte Anglicâ, trecenti ferè interiêre.


[1] Of the father of [his] country, the life and work, either the strengths of the man or the brilliant projects by him undertaken and completed, [which] we should consider, of all care and diligence worthy, in the Latin language, far indeed from Rome and the River of Romulus, unknown [history of the man], to dig up I undertake. Not at all however do I doubt that many I should find who this kind of writing, in its nature exceedingly unusual, and myself, because to ancient Latin norms [the writing] would [strive to] attain, to be completely [like] a stranger they should judge. Utcunque erit, juvabit tamen famam viri, omnium sæculorum facile principis, pro virili parte me ipsum consecrasse, factaque ejus pulcherrima memoriæ tradidisse Latinâ immortalitate donata. Apud quoscunque autem labores nostri benevolentiam atque favorem sibimetipsis concilient, meminerint illi quam sit inter difficillima res novas ornatu antiquo vestire, et, si in aliquâ parte titubantes inveniamur, æquo illi acceperint animo atque errori veniam concesserint.

[2] Written March 13th, in the year of our salvation by Christ redeemed 1824, in the Republic of Ohio.

Preface Notes

Chapter One Notes

Chapter Two Notes

Chapter Three Notes

Chapter Four Notes

Chapter Five Notes