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Memoirs of the Long Island Historical Society, Vol. 4

Excerpt from Memoirs of the Long Island Historical Society, Vol. 4: George Washington and Mount Vernon Much of the Washington Mythology is a folklore such as must always invest the founders of nations or the man of the people. Washington is entitled to his Washington-lore, by which, indeed, he is rather draped than disguised. It is the fashion to smile at Parson Weems's romances of Washington's early life; but the quaint Rector of Mount Vernon, as he called himself, to whom Washington in his last year wrote a kindly letter, needs only more time-perspective to be seen as an humble Homer reciting to Virginia villagers legends and ballads of their great men. One would travel far to surprise him reading the Bible to the negroes in their cabins, then tuning his fiddle for their dance; or to observe the lank figure beside his ancient buggy and bony horse, attracting his court green audience with his music, and selling his patriotic leaf lets. The very soul of his time, picturesque as it recedes, is in his ballad of Lord Fairfax, who, on hearing that Great Britain had surrendered to his surveyor, said, in Weems's recitative: Come, Joe, I'm sure 'tis high time for me to die. Then up rose Joe, all at the word, And took his master's arm, And to his bed he softly led The lord of Greenway farm There oft he called on Britain's name, And oft he wept full sore. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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