previous next


They are passing away.

We meet from time to time in the obituary columns of the newspapers announcements of the deaths of old citizens of Virginia, some of them known to us by reputation, others personally, which, though unaccompanied by flaming laudatory notices, we cannot read without peculiar emotion. A class of men is silently passing away from among us, whose places, we much fear, are to remain vacant forever. They are the older members of our country gentry, who yet, until the shock of these times, have borne their age so well, and seemed so ha and vigorous, that we had looked upon them as destined to survive many of a younger and more off minute generation. But they are falling, falling, falling, like leaves in the chill autumn blast. With a fervid prayer for their country on their dying lips, the old Virginia gentlemen, whose homes have so long been the abodes of patriarchal virtue and hospitality, whose hearts were so pure and brave, whose hands so strong, yet gentle, are passing away from scenes which their presence had consecrated, and of which they seemed almost as much a part as the hereditary oaks before the door, or the mountain that threw its shadow over their dwelling. We may not mention the names that have suggested these reflections, but they are not the names of politicians, nor public men,--simple country gentlemen living upon their estates in unostentatious independence, genial in soul, uncompromising in virtue; honest, chaste, generous, herole, noble; the finest specimens, physically and morally, of God's creatureman, that we have ever seen. Virginia does not seem Virginia without them. The world does not seem the same world. May the men who inherit their fortunes strive to inherit their virtues. May the day be far distant when their graves shall be desecrated by the footsteps, the customs or spirit of Yankee civilization!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: