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sentimental verses, as young lovers are apt to do, sighed for a time in great unhappiness, and then went to live with his brother at Mount Vernon, in partial forgetfulness that he had once dreamed that

"She was his life,

The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
Which terminated all."

Now it was that young Washington's real intimacy with the Fairfax family commenced, and an attachment was formed between himself and George William Fairfax, his senior by six or seven years, who had just brought his bride and her sister to Belvoir.

Young Washington's heart was tender and susceptible, and that bride's beautiful sister tried its constancy to his first love very sorely. To his young friend "Robin," he wrote: "My residence is at present at his lordship's, where I might, was my heart disengaged, pass my time very pleasantly, as there is a very agreeable young lady lives in the same house (Colonel George Fairfax's wife's sister); but as that is only adding fuel to fire, it makes me the more uneasy, for by often and unavoidably being in company with her, revives my former passion for your Lowland Beauty; whereas, was I to live more retired from young women, I might in some measure alleviate my sorrows, by burying that chaste and troublesome passion in the grave of oblivion." Thus wrote George Washington before he was sixteen years of age."

He was soon taken from these temptations. He was a tall, finely-formed, athletic youth, and Lord Fairfax, who was a passionate fox-hunter, though old in years, invited him one day

to join him in the chase. His lordship was so charmed with his young friend's boldness in the saddle and enthusiastic pursuit of the hounds and game, that he took him to his bosom as a companion; and many a hard day's ride this young and old man had together after that, in the forests of Virginia.

But a more noble, because a more useful pursuit than the mere pleasures of the chase, now offered its attractions to the lad. Master Williams had taught him the mysteries of surveying, and the old Lord Fairfax, having observed his practice of the art at Mount Vernon, and his extreme care and accuracy, proposed to him to go to his broad possessions beyond the Blue Ridge, where lawless intruders were seated, and prepare his domain for settlement, by running boundary lines between large sections. The lad gladly acceded to the proposition, and just a month from the time he was sixteen years of age, he set off upon the arduous and responsible enterprise. And to this day a little log-house, near Battle Town, in Clarke county, is pointed out to the traveller, wherein the young surveyor lodged; and in the same county, not far from Winchester, stood, a few years ago, the lodge of Green way Court.

In the wilderness, around the south branch of the Potomac, the future Leader received those lessons in wood-craft-that personal knowledge of the country and its dusky inhabitants, and, above all, that spirit of self-reliance which was ever a most marked and important trait in his character — which fitted him for the great duties of a commander.

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So satisfactory were young Washington's services on that occasion, that he received, soon after his return, the appoint

ment of public surveyor, and upon the records of Culpepper county may be read, under date of July 20th, 1749 (O. S.), that “GEORGE WASHINGTON, Gent., produced a commission from the President and Master of William and Mary College, appointing him to be surveyor of this county, which was read, and thereupon he took the usual oaths to his Majesty's person and government, and took and subscribed the abjuration oath and test, and then took the oath of a surveyor, according to law." Part of each year he was beyond the Alleghanies, with no other instruments than compass and chain, acquiring strength of limb and purpose for future great achievements, and putting money in his purse at the rate of a doubloon and sometimes six pistoles a day. These expeditions he always remembered as the greatest pleasures of his youth.

After Washington's death, more than fifty years later, the simple compass and chain and other mathematical instruments of his earlier and later years, were distributed among his family connections, but only one of them, a small library instrument, was mentioned in his will, as follows:

"To David Stuart I give my large shaving and dressing table, and my telescope."

Dr. Stuart married the widow of John Parke Custis, the son of Mrs. Washington. The telescope is now in possession of his granddaughter, wife of the Reverend A. B. Atkins, of Germantown, Pennsylvania.

And now another and more extended field of action opened before the young resident at Mount Vernon. Beneath the roof of that pleasant mansion, toward the spring of 1751, he received from acting Governor Burwell the commission of adjutant of his military district, with the rank and pay of

major. It was an acceptable honor. His military spirit was kindling; for it had been fanned by old Major Muse, a fellow-soldier with Lawrence at Carthagena, who was a fre

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quent and welcome guest at Mount Vernon, and by the stout Dutchman, Van Braam (who afterward figured ingloriously in history), who had taught him the art of fencing.

Young Washington had scarcely taken his initial steps in the performance of his new duties when he was drawn from public life. Dark and ominous shadows were alternating with the sweet domestic sunlight that smiled so pleasantly around Mount Vernon. They were cast by the raven wing of the angel of disease. A hectic glow was upon the cheeks

of Lawrence Washington, and his physicians advised him to go to the more genial climate of Barbadoes in search of health. George went with him. It was in bright September, 1751, when they sailed, and in dark and stormy January he returned to tell the anxious wife of his brother that her loved one must go to Bermuda in the spring; for the hectic glow was growing brighter and his manly strength less. She was preparing to join him there, when word came that hope's promises had faded forever, and that her husband was coming home to die. He came when the bloom of May was upon the land, and before the close of July he was laid in the grave, at the early age of thirty-four years, leaving a wife and infant child.

And now George Washington, a noble youth of twenty, his fine manly face a little scarred by the smallpox, that seized him while he was in Barbadoes, was at Mount Vernon as the faithful executor of the last will and testament of his brother. He was also prospective heir of that whole beautiful domain, Lawrence having left it to his daughter, with the proviso that in the event of her death that and other lands should become the property of George. That contingency soon occurred. Little Jenny died, and George Washington became the owner of Mount Vernon. Already, by the will of his father, he was the proprietor of the paternal estate on the Rappahannock. Now he ranked among the wealthier of the planters of the Old Dominion.

The development of great and stirring events soon called Washington to the forests, not with compass and chain, and field-book, but with sword and pistol, and diplomatic com mission. Then his hero-life began.

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