+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

The St. Petersburg Foundling Hospital is on
a much smaller scale than that at Moscow,
containing not half the number of children, but
the system is in both precisely the same.


THE purchase of Mount Vernon from the
American nation was an object for the attainment
of which the highest talents of the most
gifted writer might be worthily employed.
Edward Everett is a name well known in the
annals of oratory, statesmanship, and literature;
yet it was an honour even to Edward Everett to
devote his pen to the patriotic objects which we
have mentioned. His oratory had already been
exerted in its cause, not without effect, and the
good which he had wrought by his spoken
addresses he has now increased by his written

Mount Vernon, as we all know, was the
dwelling-place and is the last resting-place of
George Washington, Pater patriæ; it was but
natural, therefore, that his children should desire
to possess the paternal property. But Congress
wouldn't buy it, Virginia wouldn't buy it, and
the legal representative of the illustrious general
could hardly be expected to give up his paternal
inheritance, even to devoted worshippers at
Washington's shrine, without a consideration.
For, though man wants but little here below, he
cannot get on without a little. The legal
representative desired, in point of fact, not unnaturally,
to have a quid for his quo; this, in the land
of Virginia tobacco, should have been a matter
of but little difficulty, but it was not so easy as it
might appear. Private speculators of the Barnum
persuasion were ready enough to purchase the
property, but the owner of Mount Vernon, to
his honour, refused to treat with showmen. He
preferred to live as it were on sufferance in
his own domains, whilst enthusiastic admirers of
his great ancestor, native tourists and foreign
pilgrims, wandered over his grounds and strolled
through his house, intruded upon his privacy,
defaced his shrubbery, wrenched off the pales of
his balustrade, broke off the projecting portions
of his marble mantelpiece, cut down his
magnolias for walking-sticks, and tried to purloin
"the key of the Bastille, given by Lafayette
to Washington"—all, of course, in the kindliest
spirit, that they might have mementoes of the
mighty dead, until such time as it might please
the Nation to pay a good round sum for the
rights they exercised illegally. But it is hard
to get at the Nation; he doesn't live at any
single house in any particular street where you
can go and call upon him and transact your
business with him over a glass of sherry in a
friendly sort of way. So a Mount Vernon
Association was formed with which the Nation
might communicate by subscription, and Mr.
Everett worked in the cause of the association
with a will.

The principal object of this association was to
raise five hundred thousand dollars, and the next
to manage Mount Vernon, when purchased, for
the Nation, who has a great deal of business on
his hands, and cannot, without assistance, look
after all his property himself; he is apt to find it
defaced, mutilated, and whittled, by unruly
members of even his own family, unless he employ
watchers and guardians to keep an eye upon
them. Ten thousand of these five hundred
thousand dollars Mr. Everett might at once
pay over to the association if he would
contribute one paper every week, for a year, to
the New York Ledger, a very enterprising and
liberally-conducted journal; consequently he
consented, and his contributions have now been
collected in one volume, and published by
Appleton and Co., of New York, under the title of
The Mount Vernon Papers.

They are fifty-three in number, and derive
their title from the object for which they were
prepared, and not from the fact, which might be
erroneously assumed, that each contains some
traditions of George Washington; indeed, it is
only in nine of them that the principal theme is
Washington. The others are of a miscellaneous
character. Still, one cannot but be grateful for
anything in the way of information or anecdote
which may be vouchsafed by such a man as
Everett, who was personally acquainted with the Iron
Duke of Wellington; who has spent days and
nights at Abbotsford with Sir Walter Scott; who
has conversed with Lord Byron; who has dined
with Louis Napoleon when the present Emperor
of the French was a little boy eleven years of
age; to whom Louis the Eighteenth, and the
Duchess d'Angoulême, and nearly all the chief
characters of the drama in which they played
the most conspicuous parts, appear reflected, not
in the dim glass of history, but in the bright
mirror of personal recollection; of whom
Prescott, and Bond, and Hallam, and Von
Humboldt, were friends, and Coray, and Ugo Foscolo,
and Béranger, something more than acquaintance.

Number one is taken up chiefly with an
account of the origin of the Mount Vernon Association,
and the reason for the name of the Mount
Vernon Papers; the second is entitled Christmas,
and therein our attention is called to the
fact that, whilst the Puritans as a body "did
not observe it as a holiday or set it apart for
special religious services," there was one, John
Milton, not the least distinguished amongst
them, who, if he paid but little respect to the
traditions of men, paid glorious homage to the
sacred season in his Hymn on the Nativity. In
Number three, we learn that "the streets in the
ancient city of Boston were originally laid out
by the cows going to pasture in what is now
Beacon-street and Park-street, and returning at
night from those distant regions;" the result of
which bovine engineering was, of course, crooked
and narrow streetsso crooked, indeed, and so
narrow, that it is said that not even a native
Bostonian, unless he have been educated with a
view to that object, can find his way about the
city; and it is credibly reported that a certain
mayor of Boston owed his election to the