Imágenes de páginas

of poetical men ; a calm and benevolent light usually gleamed from his eyes, and they flashed at times, with valorous purpose or stern indignation ; but they were not remarkably large as in persons of more fluency, and foretold Washington's natural deficiency in language, proclaiming the man of deeds, not words ; neither had they the liquid hue of extreme sensibility, nor the varying light of an unsubdued temperament; their habitual expression was self-possessed, serene, and thougbtful. There was a singular breadth to the face, invariably preserved by Stuart, but not always by Trumbull, who often gives an aquiline and somewhat elongated visage; no good physiognomist can fail to see in his nose that dilatation of the postril and prominence of the ridge which belong to resolute and spirited characters; the distance between the eyes marks a capacity to measure distances and appreciate form and the relation of space; but these special traits are secondary to the carriage of the body, and the expression of the whole face, in which appear to have blended an unparalleled force of impression. When fully possessed of the details of his remarkable countenance, and inspired by the record of his career, we turn from the description of those who beheld the man, on horseback, at the head of an army, presiding over the national councils, or seated in the drawingroom, to any of the portraits, we feel that no artist ever caught his best look, or transmitted his features when kindled by that matchless soul. If we compare any selection of engravings with each other, so inferior are the greater part extant, we find such glaring discrepancies that doubts multiply; and we realize that art never did entire justice to the idea, the latent significance, and the absolute character of Washington. There is dignity in Houdon's bust, an effective facial angle in the crayon of Sharpless, and elegance, wisdom, and benignity in Stuart's head ; but what are they, each and all, in contrast with the visage we behold in fancy, and revere in heart? It has been ingeniously remarked, that the letters received by an individual indicate his character better than those he writes, because they suggest what he elicits from others, and thereby furnish the best key to his scope of mind and temper of soul; on the same principle the likeness drawn, not from the minute descriptions, but the vivid impressions of those brought into intimate contact with an illustrious character, are the most reliable materials for his portrait ; they reflect the man in the broad mirror of humanity, and are the faithful daguerreotypes whick the vital radiance of his nature leaves on the consciousness of mankind.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

[The original MS. of the Farewell Address, in Washington's handwriting, and with his revisions and alterations, having been purchased by James Lenox, Esquire, of New York, that gentleman caused a few copies of it, with some illustrative documents, to be printed for private distribution. By permission of Mr. Lenox it is here reprinted, with the alterations, and with his explanatory remarks.]


THIS reprint of Washington's Farewell Address to the people of the United States, is made from the original manuscript recently sold in Philadelphia by the administrators of the late Mr. David C. Claypoole, in whose possession it had been from the date of its first publication. The paper is entirely in the autograph of Washington: no one acquainted with his handwriting can inspect it, and doubt for a moment the statements to that effect made by Mr. Claypoole and Mr. Rawle.

Upon examining the manuscript, it was found that, in addition to its importance as an historical document and its value from being in the autograph of Washington, it was of great interest as a literary curiosity, and threw light upon the disputed question of the authorship of the Address. It clearly shows the process by which that paper was wrought into the form in which it was first given to the public; and notes written on the margin of passages and paragraphs,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

which have been erased, prove, almost beyond a doubt, that this draft was submitted to the judgment of other persons. Such memoranda were unnecessary either for Washington's own direction on a subsequent revision, or for the guidance of the printer ; but he might very naturally thus note the reasons which had led him to make the alterations before he asked the advice and opinion of his friends. It seems probable, therefore, that this is the very draft sent to General Hamilton and Chief-Justice Jay, as related in the letter of the latter. Some of the alterations, however, were evidently made during the writing of the paper ; for in a few instances a part, and even the whole, of a sentence is struck out, which afterwards occurs in the body of the address.

Mr. Claypoole's description of the appearance of the manuscript is very accurate. There are many alterations, corrections, and interlineations; and whole sentences and paragraphs are sometimes obliterated. All these, however, have been deciphered without much trouble, and carefully noted.

It was thought best to leave the text in this edition as it was first printed : only two slight verbal variations were found between the corrected manuscript, and the common printed copies. All the interlineations and alterations are inserted in [], and where, in any case, words or sentences have been struck out, either with or without corrections in the text to supply their place, these portions have been deciphered and are printed in notes at the foot of the page. The reader will thus be enabled to perceive at a glance the changes made in the composition of the Address; and if the draft made by General Hamilton, and read by him to Mr. Jay, should be published, it will be seen how far Washington adopted the modifications and suggestions made by them.

*** 1 ਲਾਤਾ ne ,

When this preface was thus far prepared for the press, an opportunity was afforded, through the kindness of John C. Hamilton, Esquire, to examine several letters which passed between Washington and General Hamilton relating to the Address, and also a copy of it in the handwriting of the latter. It appears from these communications that the President, both in sending to him a rough draft of the document, and at subsequent dates, requested him to prepare such an Address as he thought would be appropriate to the occasion; that Washington consulted him particularly, and most minutely, on many points connected with it; and that at different times General Hamilton did forward to the President three drafts of such a paper. The first was sent back to him with suggestions for its correction and enlargement: from the second draft thus altered and improved, the manuscript now printed may be supposed to have been prepared by Washington, and transmitted for final examination to General Hamilton and Judge Jay; and with it the

« AnteriorContinuar »