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personal attention to an invited guest; one, of his sagacious observations, in travelling, upon the facilities for internal communication or agriculture, suggested by the face of the country; and another, of his avoidance of personal subjects in conversation. But, in our view, some of the most striking tributes to the gradual but absolute recognition of his character are to be found in the contemporary public journals. Thus a London paper of February, 1784, says: “ His circular letter to the army was read at a coffee-house not very distant from the Royal Exchange; every hearer was full of the writer's praises; in composition it was said to be equal to anything of ancient or modern date.” Subsequently, another popular English journal holds this language: " Whenever the shock of accident shall have so far operated on the policy of America as to have systematized and settled her government, it is obvious that the dictator, protector, stadtholder, or by whatever name the chief magistrate so appointed shall be called, will be General Washington.” His retirement established the purity of his motives; and a Dublin print, dated the same year with our first extract, said :

“There are few so blinded by prejudice, as to deny such a degree of merit to the American general as to place him in a very distinguished point of view; but even those who have been accustomed to view him as the most illustrious character of this or any other age, will be astonished by the following instance of his integrity, which we give from the most unquestionable authority. When General Washington accepted the command of the American army, he rejected all pecuniary reward or pay whatever, and only stipulated for the reimbursement of such sums as he might expend in the public service. Accordingly, at the conclusion of the war, he gave in to Congress the whole of his seven years ' expenditure, which only amounted to sixteen thousand pounds Pennsylvania currency, or ten thousand pounds sterling. In the eyes of our modern British generals the above circumstance will appear totally incredible; at least, they will deem Mr. Washington little better than a fool; for, if we judge from certain accounts, ten thousand pounds would scarcely have answered the demands of a commander-in-chief at New York a single month."

These items, taken at random from the newspapers of his day, serve to make us understand how the man whose cautious generalship provoked the ridicule of Lord Howe's soldiers at the opening of the war, and whose firmness in resisting the French alliance awoke a storm of detraction from the Jeffersonian democracy at a later period, lived down aspersion, and became, by the evidence of facts, the acknowledged exemplar of human worth and wisdom described by his last and best biographer.

His moral serenity, keeping reflection intact and forethought vigilant, is nobly manifest in the deliberate process through which, by gradual and therefore earnest conviction, he came to a decision when the difficulties between the mother country and her colonies were pending. Not one of the leading patriots of the Revolution ranged himself under its banner with more conscientious and rational motives. The same disposition is evident in his hesitation to accept the command, from that self-distrust which invariably marks a great and therefore modest soul, in his subsequent calmness in defeat and sobriety in victory, in the unexaggerated view he took of the means and his disinterested view of the ends of the momentous struggle, in the humility of spirit with which he assumed the reins of government when called to do so by the popular suffrage, in his uniform deference to the authority of all representative assemblies, in the prescient warnings of his parting address, in the unostentatious and simple habits that followed him into retirement, and in the unfaltering trust which gave dignity to his last hour. This normal characteristic of his nature, this being ever “nobler than his mood,” is what preëminently distinguishes him from the galaxy of patriots, statesmen, and warriors, whose names are blazoned in history; for the copious rhetoric of modern republicans, the fiery and yet often compromised pride of Paoli, the selfish instincts of Marlborough, the heartless ambition of Napoleon, were never long concealed, even from the eye kindled with admiration at their prowess. Washington seems not for a moment to have forgotten bis responsibility to God and his fellow-creatures; and this deep sentiment permeated his whole nature,-proof against all exciteinent, illusion, and circumstance. When he overheard a little boy exclaim, as the procession in his honor passed through the streets, "Why, father, General Washington is only a man!” the illustrious guest paused in his triumphal march, looked with thoughtful interest on the child, and, patting him on the head, replied,

" That's all, my little fellow, that's all.” He was, indeed, one of the few heroes who never forgot his humanity, its relations, obligations, dependence, and destiny; and herein was at once his safeguard and his glory.

These facts of character were viewed by distant and illustrious men in relation to their own experience ; yet, diverse as may be the inference of each, a like feeling of admiration, and a testimony equally sincere and emphatic, signalize every tribute to the unparalleled and inestimable worth of Washington in the annals of humanity. The popular statesman, who had become familiar with the deadly aspersions of party hatred, wondered that so many inimical eyes intent upon a career exposed to the keenest personal criticism failed to discover and fix one stain upon the reputation of the man, the statesman, or the soldier. This “excites astonishment," said Fox. The splendid advocate, who knew how the spell of official dignity was broken to the vision of those near the sceptre and the ermine, recorded, as an isolated fact in his knowledge of mankind, that Washington alone inspired him with the unmodified sentiment of veneration. only," writes Erskine,“ do I feel an awful reverence." The incident of his career which impressed the most renowned soldier of the age was characteristic at once of the limited scope

and the enthusiasm of military genius. The bold and successful passage of the Delaware, and the surprise of the Ilessians, awakened in Frederic of Prussia the sympathy and high appreciation which he manifested by the gift of a sword, with an inscription exclusively in praise of Washington's generalship. The moderation of his nature, the heroic balance of soul, whereby elation was kept in abeyance in the hour of success, not less nobly than despair in the day of misfortune, attracted the French philosopher, habituated as he was in the history of his own nation to the association of warlike and civic fame with the extremes of zeal and indifference, of violence and caprice. In his estimation, the good sense and moral consistency of Washington and his compatriots naturally offered the most remarkable problem. Accordingly, Guizot

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bears witness chiefly to this unprecedented union of comprehensive designs and prudential habits, of aspiration and patience, in the character of Washington, and, doubtless through the contrast with the restless ambition which marks the lives of his own illustrious countrymen, is mainly struck with the fact, that, while “ capable of rising to the level of the highest destiny, he might have lived in ignorance of his real power without suffering from it.” The Italian patriot, obliged to vent his love of country in terse dramatic colloquies and through the lips of dead heroes, is thrilled with the grand possibilities of action, through the realization of his sentiments by achievement, opened to Washington. "Felice voi,'' exclaims Alfieri, in his dedication of Bruto Primo to the republican chief, -"felice voi che alla tanta gloria avete potuto dare base sublime ed eterna, l'amor della patria dimostrato coi fatti.Even the poor Indians, so often cajoled out of their rights as to be thoroughly incredulous of good faith among the pale-faces, made him an exception to their rooted distrust. “The white men are bad,” said an aboriginal chief in his council speech, "and cannot dwell in the region of the Great Spirit, except Washington." And Lord Brougham, in a series of analytical biographies of the renowned men of the last and present century, which indicate a deep study and philosophical estimate of human greatness, closes his sketch of Washington by the emphatic assertion, that the test of the progress of mankind will be their appreciation of his character.

Is not the absence of brilliant mental qualities one of the chief benefactions to man of Washington's example? He conspicuously illustrated a truth in the philosophy of life, often appreciated in the domestic circle and the intimacies of private society, but rarely in history, — the genius of character, the absolute efficiency of the will and the sentiments independently of extraordinary intellectual gifts. Not that these were not superior also in the man; but it was through their alliance with moral energy, and not by virtue of any transcendent and intrinsic force in themselves, that he was great. It requires no analytical insight to distinguish between the traits which insured success and renown to Washington, and those whereby Alexander, Cæsar, and Napoleon, achieved their triumphs; and it is precisely because the

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popular heart so clearly and universally beholds in the American hero the simple majesty of truth, the power of moral consistency, the beauty and grandeur of disinterestedness and magnanimity, that his name and fame are inexpressibly dear to humanity. Never before nor since has it been so memorably demonstrated that unselfish devotion and patient self-respect are the great reconciling principles of civic as well as of social and domestic life; that they are the nucleus around which all the elements of national integrity, however “scattered and perverted, inevitably crystallize; that men thus severely true to themselves and duty become, not dazzling meteors to lure armies to victory, nor triumphant leaders to dazzle and win mankind to the superstitious abrogation of their rights, but oracles of public faith, representatives of what is highest in our common nature, and therefore an authority which it is noble and ennobling to recognize. The appellative so heartily, and by common instinct, bestowed upon Washington, is a striking proof of this, and gives a deep significance to the beautiful idea, that "Providence left him childless, that his country might call him -- Father.”

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