Philadelphia, December 19.
On Saturday the 14th instant, died suddenly, at his seat in Virginia, Gen. George Washington, Commander In Chief Of the Armies of the United States of America; Mature in years, covered with glory, and Rich in the Affections of the American People.
When men of common character are swept from the theatre of life, they die without the tribute of public notice of concern, as they have lived without a claim to public esteem. When personages of more exalted worth are summoned from the scenes of sublunary existence, their death calls forth a burst of general regret, and invigorates the flame of Public gratitude. In obedience to the wishes and to the voice of their country, the orator, the poet, and the historian combine to do justice to the virtues of their character, while the labors of the painter, the sculptor, and the statuary, in perpetuating their likeness, do homage to their memory.
But, when, in compliance with heaven’s high mandate, the hero of the age lies numbered with the dead—When the reverend sage, the august statesman the father of his country has resigned his breath—When the Idol of an empire, the envy and admiration of distant nations, and the brightest ornament of human nature—when Washington, is no more, let a sense of the general loss be testified by the badges of a general mourning.
From Vernon’s Mount behold the Hero r’fe ! :
Resplendent Forms attend him through the skies!
The shades of war-worn veterans round him throng,
And lead enwrapt, their honored Chief along!
A laurel wreath th’ immortal Warren bears,
An arch triumphal Mercer’s hand prepares,
Young Laurent, ’erst th’ avenging bolt of war,
With port majestic guides the glittering car,
Montgomery’s godlike form directs the way,
And Green unfolds the gates of endless day?
While Angels, “trumpet-tongued” proclaim thro’ air,
“Due honors for the first of men prepare.”
We learn that in consequence of the melancholy information yesterday received of the death of Lt. General George Washington, the Common Council of Philadelphia, Iast evening passed a resolution requesting the Mayor of the city to have the bells muffled for three days; and that deliberations of Council be suspended until Monday evening, as a public testimony of respect due to his exalted and most excellent character.
The Senate of the United States have come to an order, that the members wear black during the session, and that the chair of the President be shrouded with black, overhung with curtains of black, and the whole chamber lined in a similar manner—as a testimony of respect for the memory of their beloved and regretted late fellow citizen, George Washington.