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This last and crowning measure of the foreign policy of the Administration, put off the war with Great Britain until the year 1812. If it furnished a pretext for those outrages of the French government on American commerce and American citizens, which afterwards jeopardized the peace of the country, it was only owing to the culpable backwardness of Mr. Monroe to explain the views of the Administration in negotiating a treaty to which he was himself opposed, together with that reckless disregard of right, and thirst for plunder, which characterized the rise and fall of what was called the Republic of France. The long wished for period, therefore had now arrived, when the newly launched vessel of the American State, having been safely conducted out of port, and ridden out the storms, not a spar gone, which had greeted her appearance on the ocean she was destined so proudly to sail, the pilot felt at liberty to leave the helm. It was the wish, it is believed, of a large majority of the people that Washington should continue in office still another term. He was pressed by numerous solicitations to do so. But the critical period of the national affairs, which had induced him to accept a second election, was overpassed. Neither Mr. Jefferson nor any one else any longer "trembled" for the success of the experiment of selfgovernment. He had even gone so far as to declare, two years before, that the President was "getting into his dotage." But it was in the prime of a vigor which death alone could abate, although more wearied, indeed, by the contests and calumnies of party than when he had before retired from service against the enemies of his country in the field, that Washington now prepared to close up his
public career. One great duty still remained to be done. It was to give his parting counsels to the country which he had so truly loved and cherished, served and saved.
But the Farewell Address of the Father of his country is still so generally and affectionately kept in the memory of the American people, that it is not necessary here to dwell on its doctrines. They were the same as the principles of his Administration, which we have endeavored briefly to delineate. With a wisdom which time has hallowed, while it has not surpassed, he urged first upon his countrymen the importance of the union of the States, saying, "It is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion, that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts." Besides these means for preserving the unity of the nation, Washington habitually insisted upon the duty of every citizen to stand by the Constitution, and the government established under it, respecting its authority, complying with its laws, and discountenancing not only all acts of direct disobedience, all associations designed to counteract or control the action of the constituted authorities, but also that spirit of innovation, which, under the forms of law, might insidiously undermine those great pillars of the State, which it could not presume directly to overthrow. Against the baneful effects of party spirit, and the insidious wiles of foreign influence, he also raised his warning voice. Would that it had been better heeded! The danger, too, of a despotic usurpation of power by any single department of government encroaching upon the others, was pointed out by the President, who never but once applied his veto; and also, of becoming
well to govern it. Fully convinced that the character of the government would ever depend essentially upon the character of those who administered it, Washington was in favor of a Wittmagemot or rule of Wise Men, statesmen thoroughly trained in the school of learning and the school of experience, and such as could not be expected to spring up spontaneously out of the earth, like demagogues and mushrooms. The great importance of a pure native literature in shaping and elevating the current opinions, the distinctive character, the permanent policy and final destiny of a people, was highly estimated by Washington; nor could his estimate have been lower, if, from this point of time, he could trace back the destructive career of French revolution to the licentious school of writing founded by Voltaire and Rousseau, or the happy permanence of English institutions to the patriotic, conservative tone of her men of letters from the days of Chaucer and Lord Bacon. Found a military academy, continued the same far
entangled in European alliances, by him who founded the American policy of neutrality, as independent as peaceful. "I want an American character, that the powers of Europe may be convinced that we act for ourselves, and not for others," said Washington, on another occasion; and this was the burden of his present counsels. But as it was not by the name of Repudiators, that he wished his countrymen to be known among the nations, he did not fail to say to them, with his last words, "cherish public credit." Pay your debts, even to the last half-penny, provide sufficient and permanent revenues, consent to taxation, were maxims with this statesman, whose mind was sufficiently unsophisticated to see a distinction between right and wrong. An instance is on record, showing that Washington could not even endure the near company of a man who had dishonored his promise to pay; with what chagrin then, it may be inferred, would he have acknowledged his relationship to States, to whom could be applied with the least degree of justice, the hyper-sighted sagacity, in order that when the bole, that they "preferred any load of day of battle comes, the armies of the reinfamy, however great, to any burden of public may be led into the field by a skill taxation, however light." He ever ad- which shall not be second to that taught ministered public affairs on the principles in the schools, and honored in the service of private morality. At the end of forty- of kings. I want an American characfive years in the service of the State, he ter." Lay the foundations of a navy, to had learned no other rule. Accordingly, be gradually increased with the national in closing his career, he could teach no prosperity, that to whatever seas, civilized higher wisdom than to point to honesty, or barbarian, the flag of America may be virtue, religion, as the only living springs borne, it may float over decks on which of free institutions. "I want an American her sons traffic in security, or fight with character;" therefore employ means for fame. To protection, to commerce, add the diffusion of knowledge among the legislative protection to agriculture, nurse people. "The time is come," said he in of steady habits and uncorrupted hearts. 1795, "when a plan of universal educa- Add it, said Washington's last speech to tion ought to be adopted in the United Congress, to domestic manufactures, that States." Establish a national university, the United States may become an indewas a recommendation frequently repeat-pendent nation within themselves; and, ed in his speeches to Congress, in order that the American youth, coming up from all sections to one Alma Mater, may form those bonds of early friendship which time shall transmute into bonds of the State; that the patriotism of the most promising minds may not be contaminated by learning the higher arts and sciences in foreign lands; that there may always be permanent provision in the country for rearing statesmen fitted, by the possession of lib-tuity. eral knowledge and republican principles,
while maintaining liberal principles of intercourse with foreign powers, may observe such a wise care of native interests as shall eventually build up in this broad land of plains and prairies, rivers and lakes, coasts and mountains, a home where one distinct family of mankind, secure in the practice of all the arts, and happy in the enjoyment of all the blessings of the most perfect civilization, may dwell in perpe
Washington now descended from the
elevated office which he had received, held and resigned in a manner that, as has been well said, changed mankind's ideas of political greatness. The success which attended and followed his Administration was as remarkable, as the wisdom of its principles is enduring. "The nation," says Mr. Sparks, 66 was never more
prosperous than when Washington was at its head. Credit was restored, and established on a sound basis; the public debt was secured, and its ultimate payment provided for; commerce had increased beyond any former example; the amount of tonnage in the ports of the United States had nearly doubled; the imports and exports had augmented in a considerably larger ratio; and the revenue was much more abundant than had been expected. The war with the Indians was conducted to a successful issue; and a peace was concluded, which promised quiet to the frontier inhabitants, and advantages to the uncivilized tribes. Treaties had been made with foreign powers, in which long-standing disputes were amicably settled, contending claims adjusted, and important privileges gained to the United States. The relations with France alone remained in a state of incertitude and perplexity; and this was owing to the condition of affairs in Europe, and not to anything that had grown out of the acts or policy of the American government."*
Whether the country would have been equally prosperous, if Washington had deserted his high-toned principles to take up the time-serving expedients of the opposition party, is a question we leave to the demagogues to decide, if they like. But as there are warnings to be taken from the wicked, as well as wisdom to be learned of the good, we cannot forbear noticing the fact, that this party, while it stopped for the most part, its abuse of the character and conduct of Washington, the moment his intention of retiring from office was made public, still retained its venom and its sting to the last. When at the close of the Administration, it was proposed in the House of Representatives to present to the retiring President an address expressive of respect for his services,
* Washington's Writings, vol. i. page 519.
Mr. Giles, of Virginia, opposed its adoption, and declared that "he did not regret the President's retiring from office. He believed there were a thousand men in the United States, who were capable of filling the presidential chair as well as it had been filled heretofore." And among the the names of the eleven who voted with him, is recorded that of a youthful soldier, destined afterwards to receive the highest honors of his country, and who thus early showed that, with all his noble qualities, he was capable of being misled by ignoble advisers, and of being made the instrument of calling into existence a party not unlike that of which he was then a member. The so-called democracy of the present day lays claim, indeed, to an earlier origin, and avow themselves to be the lineal descendants of those opponents of Washington, whose course has been cursorily sketched in these pages. Most cheerfully, we will add, might the honors of such an ancestry be allowed, if they were really due. Indeed, we know not why we should be very strenuous in gainsaying the ambitious vanity which would trace back its pedigree to those Democratic Societies, which, fathered by Citizen Genet, approved of the excesses of the Reign of Terror, and which Washington characterized as "a most diabolical attempt to destroy the best fabric of human government and happiness that has ever been presented for the acceptance of mankind." They boast of their popular name; let them remember that, when first adopted in this country, the name of Democrat was synonymous with that of Jacobin. They claim to be the original Jeffersonians. Yes; begotten when Thomas Jefferson led the party of opposition against George Washington; when he subsidized such libellers as the Frenchman, Freneau, and the Scotchman, Callender; when scorning to descend personally into what he called the "bear-garden of newspaper controversy," he nevertheless did not disdain to urge upon his correspondents the necessity of sustaining, as the only means of preventing their party from being "entirely browbeaten," the calumniating columns of the National Gazette and the Aurora-papers, which Washington a short time before had declared "outrages on common decency," and the latter of which, charg
cuse, you will enlighten the Americans, and decide a contrary choice at the next election. All the wrongs of which France may have to complain will then be repaired;" and, finally, when he gave the shelter of his roof to Tom Paine, from patriot turned reviler, that he might beneath it prosecute those "useful labors," which subsequently induced a President of the United States to request the honor of his accepting an invitation to take passage from France to America in a national ship, and among which was the penning of sentences addressed to Washington, similar to the following: "As to you, sir, treacherous in private friendship and a hypocrite in public life, the world will be puzzled to decide, whether you are an apostate or an impostor; whether you have abandoned good principles or whether you ever had any.' Edmund Randolph, let it be granted without dispute, was a democrat; although his predecessor in the office of Secretary of State complained that he was not a sufficiently thoroughgoing one; for he not only divided the oyster and the shell, but he gave the latter to his friends and the former to his enemies; his professions to the one, his practice to the other. Thankful are we that all these statesmen, save the last, lived to render such eminent services to their country, as to turn the edge of the censure, which history must ever mete out to them in reviewing this portion of their career. For these labors let them to the latest times receive the nation's praise; and this shall be all the more valuable for dis
ing him with overdrawing his salary, with | President, you will leave him without exthe connivance of both the first and second Secretaries of the Treasury, concluded one of its tirades with the question, "Will not the world be led to conclude that the mask of political hypocrisy has been alike worn by a Cæsar, a Cromwell, and a Washington ?" Yes; Jeffersonians begotten at Monticello when its possessor instead of living as was professed "like an antediluvian patriarch among his children and grandchildren, and tilling his soil," was engaged in directing the attacks of the opposition newspapers, preparing draughts of Congressional bills, resolutions, and reports in counteraction of the policy of the government, and conducting that system of political correspondence and consultation whereby he lost the confidence and the friendship of Washington. Heirs of Jefferson, when Jefferson was a politician, not a President. James Madison, too, is another of their fathers. Yes; when he was another of the opponents of the first Administration, leading the leaders of the party by his metaphysical subtleties, and yet, with all his caution, so countenancing the excesses of more vulgar and violent partisans, that a Jacobin club in South Carolina were emboldened to dishonor his name by calling themselves "The Madisonian." And does James Monroe, also, belong to the democrats? Yes; when, and only when, he pronounced the policy of Washington to be "short-sighted and bad;" when, instead of presenting to the authorities at Paris the views of the Administration which sent him there, he gave to the Directory the following more "prudent advice," as M. Thiers calls it, "By patiently enduring, on the contrary, the wrongs of the present
criminating between the good and the evil they did, both of which have lived after them.
J. M. M.
THE PLEASANT DECEIT.
Coy Janet sits under the linden tree,
She lists for a coming step breathlessly,
She glances from under her drooping lids,
For jauntily over the hill-path way
He sings as he comes. At his breast a rose
"What maketh so merry your voice, Colin,
""Tis the kisses I've had this morning, love, And from lips as sweet as thine."
"And whence," with a rosier blush she asks,
And the smile forced up to her trembling lip,
"Scarce lovelier deem I the blush, Janet,
Now mantling thy cheek so fair,
Than the life-like glow of the one who gave
The flower on my breast I wear.