[special correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Washington, March 4, 1861.
This is the great day. The early morning was cold and cloudy.
Now the sun shines out fitfully, but the aspect of the sky is hard and cheerless.
It is said there are more people in the city than on any previous occasion.
The picayune character of the strangers excites the contemptuous remarks of all classes of the resident population.
From my window, I have a fine view of the dense crowd assembled round the City Hall.
The steps of that building, the portico, the streets, sidewalks, and the windows of adjacent houses, are filled ten deep with curious gazers.
From this point, the procession marches down Louisiana
to Pennsylvania Avenue, which has been swept and watered, and thence up to Willard
's, where Old Abe will be brought out and carried to the Capitol
Armed companies of volunteers are momently passing.
Most of them march wretchedly.
They have no bands, but a superabundance of kettle drums, with which an unearthly racket is kept up I notice a number of what appear to be homespun uniforms, and one company is clad in linsey hunting shirts.
The bugler at the head of a troop of horse is playing "Dixie.". I wonder that revolutionary tune has not been suppressed.
The display of flags is prodigious.
Small flags, little flags, medium flags, may be seen in every direction.
During the last three or four days, the owners of hotels and other public buildings have been viewing with each other in raising tall flag-staffs.
The longer the pole, the greater and the purer the patriotism.
All the flags contain all the stars and all the stripes.
Everything and everybody is intensely national.
Especially national are the native-born Virginians
who want to get or to keep offices.
A member of the Virginia Convention could not be more abjectly national.
Up to nine o'clock this morning, Lincoln
was still undecided about Chase
were with him at eleven last night, toning down the Inaugural.
may get Chase
But, why this great horror of Chase
Whence this sudden affection of Virginia
Both are her enemies.
is open, Seward
is sly and subtle.--Chase
will deal you a rude blow, but he will tell you when he is going to strike.
will smile most sweetly, and at the same moment infuse a slow, deadly poison in the cup he offers you to drink.
is a bungler.--Slavery, he is fool enough to think, can be destroyed in Maryland
He knows that the only way to eradicate slavery in Virginia
is by the formation of a Seward-Union party.
The procession has just marched down to Pennsylvania
Rather a decent show.
The fellows that have white
rags crossed over the breasts and fluttering over their horses cruppers, look so proud and pretty.
I had no idea there were so many respectable horses in this region.
Here goes a grand thing-a-ma-jig, a "busting great big" car, called the "Constitution," drawn by six horses all named "Union," according to the coverlids on their backs.
The car is filled with thirty-four little girls, all dressed in white frocks, which will get mighty dirty, because the wind is kicking up a devil of a dust.
Now the open space in front of the City Hall is nearly thinned out. Your correspondent will repair to Brown
's. What he sees there, will be duly related in his next.