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ishing his breakfast, quarreling with his bread and butter, and huffing the waiter ; another buttoned on a pair of gaiters, with many execrations at Boots for not having cleaned his shoes well; a third sạt drumming on the table with his fingers, and looking at the rain as it streamed down the window-glass : they all appeared infected by the weather, and disappeared, nne after the other, without exchanging a word.
9. I sauntered to the window, and stood gazing at the people, picking their way to church, with dripping umbrellas. The bell ceased to toll, and the streets became silent. I then amused myself with watching the daughters of a tradesman opposite ; who, being confined to the house for fear of wetting their Sunday finery, played off their charms at the front windows, to fascinate the chance tenants of the inn. They at length were summoned away by a vigilant vinegar-faced mother, and I had nothing further from without to amuse me.
10. What was I to do to pass away the long-lived day? I was sadly nervous and lonely; and everything about an inn seems calculated to make a dull day ten times duller: old newspapers, smelling of beer and tobacco-smoke, and which I had already read half a dozen times; good-for-nothing books that were worse than rainy weather. I bored myself with an old volume of the Lady's Magazine. I read all the commonplace names scrawled on the panes of glass; and I deciphered several scraps of fatiguing in-window poetry which I have met with in all parts of the world.
11. The day continued lowering and gloomy; the slovenly, ragged, spongy clouds drifted heavily along; there was no variety even in the rain : it was one dull, continued, monotonous patter — patter — patter, excepting that now and then I was enlivened by the idea of a brisk shower, from the rattling of the drops upon a passing umbrella.
12. It was quite refreshing (if I may be allowed a hackneyed phrase of the day) when, in the course of the morning a horn blew, and a stage-coach whirled through the street, with outside passengers stuck all over it, cowering under cotton umbrellas, and seethed together, and reeking with the steams of wet box-coats and upper Benjamins.
13. The sound brought out from their lurking-places a crew of vagabond boys and vagabond dogs, and the carroty-headed hostler, and that nondescript animal ycleped Boots, and all the other vagabond race that infest the purlieus of an inn ; — but the bustle was transient: the coach again whirled on its way; and boy and dog, and hostler and Boots, all slunk back again to their holes.
14. The street again became silent, and the rain continued to rain on. In fact, there was no hope of its clearing up. The barometer pointed to rainy weather; mine hostess's tortoise-shell cat sat by the fire washing her face, and rubbing her paws over her ears: and, on referring to the almanac, I found a direful prediction stretching from the top of the page to the bottom through the whole month, — “Expect — much — rain - about — this — time!”
IX. - OUR COUNTRY.
In a bold metaphor the poet personifies our country as a young and beautiful mother. The lines should be read in a pure middle tone, at once animated and reverent, joyous and tender. See in Index, ARE, GLORY, SKY, TAUNT, BRYANT.
Admire and hate thy blooming years;
With words of shame
For on thy cheeks the glow is spread
Thy hopeful eye
Would rise to throw
Power, at thy bounds,
And as they fleet,
Before thine eye
X. - ON BURGOYNES SURRENDER.
For ANSWER, DISASTER, see § 22; MERCENARY, § 29; DUTIFUL, SUBDUE, § 23; GLORY, VICTORIOUS, $$ 11, 28.
See in Index, CATASTROPHE, DEFENSE OG DEFENCE, INDIAN, ISSUE, MANUFACTURER, MARSHALING or MARSHALLING, PARLIAMENT, SACRIFICE, SWORD; BURGOYNE, CHATHAM, HESSIAN, HOWE.
Delivery. Middle pitch, quality orotund, time moderate, force occasionally loud, manner at once earnest and dignified. There should be appropriate rhetorical pauses, as between the words "employing ... savages," in the second paragraph, and have ... mutinied" in the third. This speech was originally delivered in the British House of Lords, December, 1777, on the reception of the news of the surrender of Burgoyne to the American General, Gates.
. 1. To what, my Lords, shall we attribute these dis- . asters to our arms? To what but want of wisdom in our council, want of ability in our Ministers! The wild scheme of penetrating into the colonies from Canada was full of difficulty; and, even if it had proved successful, it would have been a wanton waste of blood and treasure. The character of General Burgoyne, the glory of the British arms, and the dearest interests of this undone, disgraced country, have been all sacrificed to the ignorance, temerity, and incapacity of Ministers.
2. In what terms of adequate abhorrence can I speak of their mode of carrying on this war? Under their promptings it has been the most bloody, barbarous, and ferocious contest recorded in the annals of mankind. We have sullied the arms of Britain forever by employing savages in our service ; by marshaling under the British flag the barbarians of the forest, and making the scalping-knife and the tomahawk the companions of the firelock and the sword !
3. Had it been my lot to serve in an army where such an association was permitted, I believe, on my conscience, that sooner than I would have lent myself to it, I would have mutinied. It was such a pollution of our
nàtional character as not all the water of the rivers Delaware and Hudson can ever wash away. It was such a wrong as must rankle in the breast of America, and sink so deep, that it is doubtful if centuries can efface the memory.
4. You have ransacked every corner of Lower Saxony for mercenaries; but forty thousand Hessian boors can never conquer ten times the number of American freemen. You have searched the darkest wilds of America for the scalping-knife; but all your attempts to draw strength from the inhuman alliance have proved as abortive as they are wicked. You may ravage — you cannot conquer — it is impossible — you cannot conquer the Americans. You talk of your numerous friends among them, who will annihilate the Congress, and of your powerful forces who will disperse their army: I might as well talk of driving them before me with this crutch.
5. That America is lost to us, even the accounts published by Administration seem to admit. General Washington has proved himself three times an abler general than Sir William Howe; for with a force much inferior in number, and infinitely inferior in every other respect, as asserted from an authority not to be questioned, he has been able to baffle every attempt of ours, and left us in such a situation, that, if not assisted by our fleet, our troops in the neighborhood of Philadelphia must probably share the same unhappy fate with those under General Burgoyne.
6. Do we ever consider what we owe to America ? Since our last war, what has occasioned the rise in the value of English estates ? America! That colony which, I now fear, we have forever lost. She has been the great support of this country ; has multiplied our resources; has supplied us with soldiers and sailors; las given our manufacturers employment, and opened new markets to our merchants.