Imágenes de páginas

and you to the protection of that beneficent Being, who on m former occasion, hath happily brought us together, after a long and distressing separation. Perhaps the same gracious Provi. dence will again indulge us with the same heart-felt felicity.

But words, my fellow-citizens, fail me. Unutterable sen. sations must then be left to more expressive silence, while from an aching heart, I bid you all, my affectionate friends, and kind neighbors, farewel. (Signed)


Answer of the president of the United States, to an address

from the citizens of Baltimore, on bis way to New York, dated 17th April, 1789.

GENTLEMEN, The tokens of regard and affection which I have often received from the citizens of this town, were always acceptable, because I believed them always sincere. Be pleased to receive my best acknowledgments, for the renewal of them on the present occasion. If the affectionate partiality of my fellow-citizens, has prompted them to ascribe greater effects to my conduct and character, than were justly due, I trust the indulgent sentiment on their part, will not produce any presumption on mine. I cannot now, gentlemen, resist my feelings so much, as to withhold the communication of my ideas, respe&ting the actual situation of our national affairs. It appears that little more than common sense, and common honesty in the transactions of the community at large, would be necessary to make us a happy nation. For, if the general government, lately adopted, shall be arranged and administered in such a manner as to acquire the full confidence of the American people, I sincerely believe they will have greater advantages from their natural, moral and political circumstances, for public felicity, than any other peo-, ple ever possessed.

In the contemplation of these advantages, now soon to be realized, I have reconciled myself to the sacrifice of my fondest wishes, so far as to enter again upon the stage of public life:

I know the delicate nature of the duties incident to the part which I am called to perform ; and I feel my incompetence, without the singular assistance of Providence, to discharge them in a satisfactory manner. But having undertaken the task from a sense of duty, no fear of encountering difficulties, and no dread of losing popularity, shall ever deter me from pursuing what I conceive the true interest of my country.


This sense of duty, and steady attachment to the true intera ests of his country, were conspicuous through the whole of his administration-an administration worthy of universal imitation, being illustrious for its wisdom and justice, for its mild. ness and lenity, for its order and economy, for its virtue and piety.

In council as in camp general Washington shone with unris valled lustre. Under the new government a new order of things was to follow, and wisdom and political skill were necessary to put the vast machine into motion. With a just and impartial expression of the gratitude his country felt towards those who had served her during the revolutionary war, he filled the offices directed by the constitution--and by liis efforts the general bounties of the government were early distributed, through every part of the Union. The distresses of a long and destructive war were remembered no more--the benefits of commerce and agriculture of peace and harmony, became the common pose session of all,

The storm that had long been gathering, now burst forth, and France, shook to her centre by internal broils, plunged herself and Europe in one common destructive contest. Every energy of our Washington was now called into action. Difficulties and dangers crowded on every side-but difficulties and dangers were to him only subjects for new successes, and his conduct once more saved his countryUnbiassed by prejudices, uninfluenced by political attachments, unmoved by the opposition of a deluded mass of his countrymen, he determined on neutrality. Peace, wealth and happiness have been the attendants of that measure, while a ruinous war, poverty and misery must have followed a contrary conduct.

On the 17th day of September, 1796, general Washington, in the character of president, addressed the people of the United States, announcing his intention of retiring from public life ; which event soon after took place, and once more he returned to his beloved and calm retreat, at Mount Vernon. He now entertained a well grounded hope that no interruption would break in upon his “ present peaceful abode.” The conduct, however, of the directory of France towards our country, in deed their manifest hostility to our government, soon rendered it necessary to increase the present and raise a provisional armyat the head of which the president of the United States, with the advice and consent of the senate, placed our beloved Washington on the 11th of July, 1798. On the 14th of Decem. ber in the following year, the melancholy and momentous period arrived, when his relations and his country were at once bereaved of their dearest friend and safest guide.

By the report of his physicians, it appears that “ having been' exposed to a rain on the preceding day, general Washington was attacked with an inflammatory affection of the upper part of the windpipe, called in technical language cynache trachealis.

The disease' commenced with a violent ague, accompanied with some pain in the upper and fore part of the throat, a sense of stricture in the same part, a cough, and a difficult, rather than a painful deglutition, which were soon succeeded by fever and a quick and laborious respiration. The necessity of blood-letting suggesting itself to the general, he procured a bleeder in the neighborhood, who took from his arm in the night twelve or fourteen ounces of blood. He could not by any means be prevailed on by the family to send for the attending physician 'till the following morning, who arrived at Mount Vernon at about U o'clock on Saturday. Discovering the case to be highly alarming, and foreseeing the fatal tendency of the disease, two consulting physicians were immediately sent for, who arrived, one at half after three, and the other at four o'clock in the afternoon; in the mean time were employed two pretty copious

bleedings ; a blister was applied to the part affected, two moderate doses of calomel were given, and an injection was administered, which operated on the lower intestines, but all without any perceptible advantage, the respiration becoming still more difficult and distressing. Upon the arrival of the first of the consulting physicians, it was agreed, as there were yet no signs of accumulation in the bronchial vessels of the lungs, to try the result of another bleeding, when about thirty-two ounces. of blood were drawn, without the smallest apparent alleviation of the disease. Vapours of vinegar and water were frequently inhaled ; ten grains of calomel were given, succeeded by repeated doses of emetic tartar, amounting in all to five or six grains, with no other effect than a copious discharge from the bowels. The powers of life seemed now manifestly yielding to the force of the disorder ; blisters were applied to the extremities, together with a cataplasm of bran and vinegar to the throat. Speaking, which was painful from the beginning, now became almost impracticable ; respiration grew more and more contracted and imperfect, 'till after 11 on Saturday night, retaining the full possession of his intellect--when he expired without a struggle.

“ He was fully impressed at the beginning of his complaint, as well as through every succeeding stage of it, that its conclusion would be mortal ; submitting to the several exertions made for his recovery, rather as a duty, than from any expectation of their efficacy. He considered the operations of death upon his system as coeval with the disease; and several hours before his , death, after repeated efforts to be understood, succeeded in expressing a desire that he might be permitted to die without farther interruption,

-" During the short period of his illness, he economized his time, in the arrangement of such few concerns as required his attention, with the utmost serenity; and anticipated his approaching dissolution with every demonstration of that equani. mity for which his whole life has been so uniformly and singularly conspicuous."

" His fame, bounded by no country, will be confined to no age,"—is the eulogy even of a stranger, across the atlantic ; with whose elegant and truly pathetic description of general Washington's virtues, we will conclude this short sketch of his life.

“GENERAL WASHINGTON was, we believe, in his 68th year. The height of his person was about five feet eleven ; his chest full ; and his limbs, though rather slender, well shaped and muscular. His head was small, in which respect he resembled the make of a great number of his countrymen. His eyes were of 'a light blue colour; and, in proportion to the length of his face, his nose was long, Mr. Stewart, the eminent portrait painter, used to say there were features in his face totally different from what he had ever observed in that of any other human being ; the sockets for the eyes, for instance, were larger than what he ever met with before, and the upper part of the nose broader. All his features, he observed, were indicative of the strongest passions; yet, like Socrates, his judgment and great self-com mand have always inade him appear a man of a different cast in the eyes of the world. He always spoke with great diffi,

dence, and sometimes hesitated for a word ; but it was always - to find one particularly well adapted to his meaning. His lan

guage was manly and expressive. At levee, his discourse with strangers turned principally upon the subject of America ; and if they had been through any remarkable places, his conversation was free and particularly interesting, for he was intimately acquainted with every part of the country. He was much more apen and free in his behavior at levee, than in private, and in the company of ladies still more so than when solely with men.. Few persons ever found themselves for the first time in the pre. sence of general Washington, without being impressed with a certain degree of veneration and awe ; nor did those emotions subside on a closer acquaintance; on the contrary, his person and deportment were such as rather tended to augment them. The hard service he had seen, the important and laborious of." fices he had filled, gave a kind of austerity to his countenance, and a reserve to his manners : yet he was the kindest husband, the most huniane master, the steadiest friend. The whole range

« AnteriorContinuar »