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A Scrap From History

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About this time we received a flag from the enemy in Georgetown, the object of which was to make somo arrangement about the exchange of prisoners. The flag after the usual ceremony oí blindfolding was conducted into Manon's eneauipment. Having heard great talk about Gen. Marión, his faney had, naturally enough, sketched out for him sorne stout figure of a warrior, such as O'Hara or Oornwallis hiraself, of martial aspect and flaming regimentáis; hut what was his surprise when led into Marion's presence and the badge taken from his eyes, he beheld in our hero a swarthy, smoked little man,with scarce enough of threadbare homespun to cover his nakedness ! and instead of tal! ranks of gaily dressed soldiere, a handfull of sunburnt, yellow-legged miütia men - some roasting potatoes, and 6ome asleep, with their black firelocks lying by thern on the logs. Iïaving recovered a little i'rom his surprise, he prwented his letterto Gen. Marión, who perused it and toon settled everything to his satisfaction. The officer took up hia hat to retire. " Oh, no," said Marión, " it is about time for dinner, and I hope you will give us the pleasure of your company to dinner." At the mention of dinner the British officer looked around him, but to his mortification could see no signa of a pot, pan, duteh-oven, or any cooking utensils that could raise tho spirits ot a hungry man. " Weíl, Torn," said the General to one of his men, '! give us our dinner." The dinner to which he alluded to was no other than a heap of sweet potatoes, that were snugly roasting in the embers. Torn, with his pine-stick poker, soon liberated them from their ashy confine ment - pinching them every now and then to see that they were well done. Then having cleaned them of the ashes, partly by blowing them and partly jy brushing them on his shirt sleees, ie piled the best ones on a piece of bark and placed thum betvveen the British officer and Marion,on the trunk of a íullen pine 011 which they were seated. "1 fear," said the General, " our dinner will not prove so palatable to yoü as I could wish, but it is the best we have." The officer, who was a well bred man, took up one oí the potatoes aud effected to leed as f he had found a great dainty ; but it was very plain that he ate inore for good manners than for good appetite. " I euppose," replied Marión, " that it iá not erjual to your style of dining." " No indeed,' quoth the officer. - " And this, I imagine, is one of your accidental lent dinners, a sort of ban van. In general, no doubt, you live a great deal better." " Kather worse," answered the General, for we oftuu do not get enough oí this " " Heavene !" rejoined the officer. - " But probably what you lose in meals you make up in malt - though stinted in provisions you draw noble pay." " Not a cent, sir," cried Marión, "not a cent." " Heaven and Earth ! Then you must be in a bad box. I don 't see, General, how you stand it." " Why, Bir," replied Marión with a smile of self-iipprobatioD, " these things depend on feeling." The Englishman said " he did not believe that it would be an easy matter to reconcile his feelings to a soldiers life on Gen. Maiion's tenns - all fighting and no pay, acd no provitsions but potatoes." " Why, eir," answered the General, " the heart is a!l ; and wlien this rnnch is interested a man can do anything. - Many a youth would think it hard to indent liimeelf a slave for fourteen }'ears ; but let him be over head aud ears in love, and with such a svveetheart as Kachel, and he will think no more of fourteen yuars servitude than Jacob did. Well, now, this is exactly tuy case. I am in love, and my sweethcart is Liberty. Be that heavenly nymph my companion, and these wilds and woods will have charms beyond London or Paris, in slavery. To have no proud monarch driving over ma with his gilt coaches, nor his excisemen or tax gatherers insulting and robbing me, but to be my own master, my own prince and sovereign, gloriously preserving my natural diguity and eating their luscious fruits, and powing my h'elds and reaping the golden grain, and seeing millions of brothers all asound me, equally free and happy as myself - that, sir, is what I long for." The officer replied that " both as a man and a Britoin, he must certainly subscribe to this as a happy state ol things." " Happy !" quoth Marión : "yes hnppy indeed 1 And I had rather fight for pucIi blei-sings for my country, and feed on roots, than keep aloof, though wallowing in all tho luxuries of Solomon. For now, sir, I walk the Bnil that gave me birth, and oxult in the thouglit that I do not d'nhonor tfaem. I think of my own sacred rights, and rejoico that I havo not dcerted them. And when I look forward to the long ages of posterity, I glory in the thouglit that I im fighting their battlos. The childron of distant generntion ij):iy tievei' know my name, but stil] it gjaddeoa my heart to knw that I am contending for ireedom and all its bjessings." - " I teofced," says Gen. O'Hara, " at Marión as he uttered theso MDtimenta and fancied I felt as wheo I beard tlit lust words of tho bravo De Kulb." - The Englishman bung his booesthead and looked as if he had seen tho upbmiding ghotts of hi illustrious countrymen, Sidney and Hampden. On bis return to Georgetown, he was asked by Colonel Wa'.son why he looked so serious. " I liave cause, 8r," said he " to look serio na." " What, has Gen. Marión reíusod to trcat ?" " No, sir." " Well, then, ha3 oíd Washington defeated Sir Henry Clinton, and broke up our army ? ' " íío, sir, not that, cither - but worse ?" " Ah ! what can be worse ?" " Why, sir, I havesoen an American Genera] and his offieers, without pay, and almost without clothe, living on roots and drinking water, all for Lneuty I what chance have we against such mon ?" It is aaid that Col. W. was not much obliged to hun for his speech ; but the voung ofücer was so struck vvith Marion's sentiments, that he threw up his commission, and retired from the service.


Old News
Michigan Argus