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or her welfare. He has since been appointed to active service, and ordered to proceed to the seat
It is a usual, perhaps it is a natural presupposition, to connect the idea of youthful military men with this youthful Republic; we forget that though three score years and ten are as one day in the age of a nation, yet that they comprise the life of man.
On first seeing General Gaines, had I not known his name, I should have supposed him a Maréchal of France, of the Régime of Napoleon, and should have sought on his breast the “Star of the Brave," and the riband of the Legion of Honour. He has aided in protecting the cradle of American Independence; and though years of service have told their tale upon his earthly frame, the soldier's heart is still unchilled, his spirit unsubdued. This gallant Officer is eighty three; he is pale and white haired, tall and emaciated; but his habits are punctual and early,* and 80 strict is his adherence to discipline, that a gentleman told me that having heard General
* I remember, with shame, an appointment to accompany the General to the cupola of the St. Charles, one morning at five o'clock, to see the sun rise. The Doctor and I both overslept ourselves.
Gaines was indisposed, he went to see him, and found him lying on the bed with his military collar on, and his sword by his side; he was with difficulty prevailed on to resign the badges of a soldier even while suffering. He is the mirror of courtesy to the fair sex, and no gentleman handles a lady's fan with greater dexterity ; either sitting or standing he never forgets to relieve her from the onerous task of fanning herself.
In every relation of private life General Gaines is exemplary; a most amiable and excellent man; and doubtless the President and the country, in the services of this faithful Officer, will reap the reward of the confidence they have reposed in him.
LIEUTENANT MATTHEW FONTAINE MAURY,
OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY.
PRINCIPAL OFFICER AT THE OBSERVATORY, AT GEORGETOWN,
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Having thus introduced a gallant soldier, I cannot refuse myself the pleasure of presenting also an American Sailor to my English friends. Lieutenant Matthew Fontaine Maury is one of my husband's family; a Virginian, proud of his birthplace and his State; of generous, high bred nature, and of democratic politics. He is a man of science, equally well versed in the secrets of the sea and of the sky; an accomplished mariner, an admirable astronomer and mathematician, and a superior author on many subjects; he writes excellent English. In spite of a certain utilitarian antipathy to a very profound study of the dead languages, a heresy which has most unaccountably become
possessed of the Lieutenant in these latter years, he has a very classic taste both in reading and composition ; owing, doubtless, though he would fain deny it, to his former intimate acquaintance with those worthy Greek and Latin Masters, whom he now despises for no other reason than that they did not speak English, and were dead and buried some hundreds of years before the Anglo Saxon race began. He is a great favourite with his brother officers, both for his ability and his kindly nature; they are proud of the one, and love the other; and he is held in great estimation at Washington for his admirable regulations at the Observatory, his eminent professional knowledge and industry, his good judgment in political affairs, and his exceeding moral worth. ask him to come and see me often," said Mr. Calhoun, “he is a man of most excellent thought.”
Some years ago Lieutenant Maury was thrown from a stage coach in Ohio, and broke his leg. I have understood that a country practitioner was sent for, who being fortunately ignorant of the fatal art of amputation, set to work to save the leg, and succeeded. Maury is lame; but to
this accident is owing the developement of the most touching traits of his character, and perhaps of his choicest talents. Incapable of a murmur, suffering with manly resolution, and applying himself to every useful and philanthropic purpose, his life is a model of the best and truest heroism. I have never seen his temper ruffled, nor that serene and intelligent countenance overcast; his philosophy is that of the Christian, enduring, elevated, and manly. I love to think of his cordial welcome to me, his foreign stranger cousin, and of the honest pride he felt in seeing me so well beloved among his countrymen; and I know that he will not forget the pleasant time that we have spent together in familiar converse about those so dear whom I had left on England's shores. Many were the evening hours we sat upon the roof of the Observatory, watching the kindling lights of Washington and Georgetown, the Capitol glittering in the moonlight, and the stealthy course of the gentle Potomac ; we gazed upon the planets, comets, stars, and nebulæ. We spoke of all the objects that surrounded us, and marvelled if in future times we might again behold them in the