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dles, to have suffered but little from the effects of time. The eyesockets were large and deep, and the breadth across the temples, together with the forehead, appeared of unusual size. There was no appearance of grave-clothes; the chest was broad, the color was dark, and had the appearance of dried flesh, and skin adhering closely to the bones. We saw no hair, nor was there any offensive odor from the body, but we observed, when the coffin had been removed to the outside of the vault, the dripping down of a yellow liquid, which stained the marble of the sarcophagus. A hand was laid upon the head, and instantly removed; the leaden lid was restored to its place; the body, raised by six men, was carried and laid in the marble coffin, and the ponderous cover being put on and set in cement, it was sealed from our sight.”
“The remains of Mrs. Washington being placed in the other marble sarcophagus, they were both boxed so as to prevent their being injured during the finishing of the vestibule of the new vault in its present form.”
“The relatives who were present, consisting of Major Lewis, Lorenzo Lewis, John Augustine Washington, George Washington, the Rev. Mr. Johnson and lady, and Mrs. Jane Washington, then retired to the mansion.”
“O, death, what art thou ?-nurse of dreamless slumbers freshening the fevered flesh to a wakefulness eternal-strange and solemn alchemist, elaborating life's elixir from these clayey crucibles ?”
Let us next pause to inquire of "Father Jack," the old fisherman. The spring of 1800 numbers bim with the dead of the great past.
“Poor Father Jack! No more at early dawn will he be seen as, with withered arms, he paddled his light canoe on the broad surface of the Potomac, to return with the finny spoils, and boast of famous fish taken on his own hook. His canoe has long since rotted on the shore; his paddle hangs idle in his cabin ; his occupation's gone, and Father Jack, the old fisherman of Mount Vernon, sleeps the sleep that knows no waking.”
"I approached the spot where the cold moon looked down from a pure blue heaven, forming dark shadows from innumerable gravestones. The solemn stillness of death reigned there, and I almost became petrified by sympathy as I gazed upon this dilapidated city of the dead. The chisel of time was swiftly touching down to dust
every memorial of the venerable dead; but I soon discovered the spot where rests the ashes of poor old John Tasker, the aged fisherman of Mount Vernon, who, for many long years, had supplied the tables at the mansion of Washington with the choicest fish of the
Aster looking intently for the last time on his humble resting-place, I rode briskly, facing the cold breeze, until I reached the mansion of the Chief."
Little Jack, the leader of the choir, Aunt Dolly, Aunt Phillis, Cully, Jr., poor old Bristol, and Mose, the cow-boy, found a home among the Lees; but Scomberry, the philosopher of Dogue Run, remained at his little home in Green Willow Hollow, and was provided for as stated in Washington's will.
From the death of Mrs. Washington in 1802, there was now and then a death, a marriage, and a departure from the Mount, thinning the ranks of servants there, both old and young, until Scomberry was left alone in Green Willow Hollow--the patriarch of the Mount.
Nothing occurred to rouse the old hermit from his solitude, or move him to speak in prophecy, until Aaron Burr went down the Ohio river in 1805. In the spring of 1806, Burr's treason began to be whispered in the ear, but before the close of autumn it was proclaimed from the house tops. The sound of treason at that early day in the history of the government, startled the patriarch of Mount Vernon, and prompted him to speak once more in the voice of prophecy; warning his countrymen of the danger that threatened the land of Washington, and describing the characters that would sympathize with Burr and his disciples in treason.
With Billy Lee, and the remnant of old servants of '98, still lingering around the Mount in 1806, as an audience, Scomberry proceeded to speak in prophecy as follows:
“De traitor gwine to seek, sar, to sell dis country dear,
But soon we's gwine to neck him, or send him to adorn
Den up will spring de army all out in battle drawn,
all round and hollow, my tarkeys all done gone.
And he what dribe de oxen, and he what dribe de mule;
And den he's gwine to Congress to live in mighty style,
In the spring of 1807, Scomberry found a peaceful grave beside his old friend, the venerable fisherman of the Mount. His prophecy was not fulfilled in the life and times of Aaron Burr; but all his types and shadows found an interpretation after the lapse of half a century, as the following notice of Mount Vernon will show
“It has been the prayer of every patriot,” writes the Lieutenant General of the United States, a half century after Scomberry's prophecy was uttered, “that the tramp and din of civil war might at least spare the precincts within which repose the sacred remains of the Father of his country; but this pious hope is disappointed. Mount Vernon, so recently consecrated anew to the Immortal Washington by the Ladies of America, has already been overrun by bands of rebels, who, having trampled under foot, the Constitution of the United States—the ark of our freedom and prosperity-are prepared to trample on the ashes of him to whom we are all mainly indebted for those mighty blessings.
"Should the operations of war take the United States troops in that direction, the General-in-chief does not doubt that each and every man will approach with due reverence, and leave uninjured, not only the tomb, but also the house, the groves and walks, which were so loved by the best and greatest of men.”