« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
glory unfaded shine, and die not, until love of Brandywine, the fields of Germantown, or the virtue cease on earth, or earth itself sinks into plains of Monmouth ? Every where present, chaos.
wants of every kind obstructing, numerous and How, my fellow-citizens, shall I single to valiant armies encountering, himself a host, he your grateful hearts his pre-eminent worth? assuaged our sufferings, limited our privations, Where shall I begin in opening to your view aand upheld our tottering republic. Shall I discharacter throughout sublime? Shall I speak | play to you the spread of the fire of his soul, of his warlike achievements, al springing from by rehearsing the praises of the hero of Saraobedience to his country's will—all directed to toga, and his much loved compeer of the Carohis country's good ?
| linas? No; our WASHINGTON wears not borWill you go with me to the banks of the rowed glory. To Gates—to Greene, he gave Monongahela, to see your youthful WASHING- without reserve the applause due to their emiTON, supporting, in the dismal hour of Indian nent merit; and long may the chiefs of Saravictory, the ill-fated Braddock, and saving, by toga, and of Eutaw, receive the grateful respect his judgment and by his valor, the remains of a of a grateful people. defeated army, pressed by the conquering sav- Moving in his own orbit, he imparted heat age foe; or, when oppressed America, nobly and light to his most distant satellites; and resolving to risk her all in defence of her vio- combining the physical and moral force of all lated rights, he was elevated by the unanimous within his sphere, with irresistible weight he voice of Congress to the command of her ar- took his course, commiserating folly, disdaining mies? Will you follow him to the high vice, dismaying treason, and invigorating degrounds of Boston, where, to an undisciplined, spondency ; until the auspicious hour arrived, courageous, and virtuous yeomanry, his pres- | when, united with the intrepid forces of a poence gave the stability of system, and infused tent and magnanimous ally, he brought to subthe invincibility of love of country; or shall I mission the since conqueror of India; thus fincarry you to the painful scenes of Long Island, ishing his long career of military glory with a York Island, and New Jersey, when, combat- lustre corresponding to his great name, and in ing superior and gallant armies, aided by pow. this, his last act of war, affixing the seal of fate erful fleets, and led by chiefs high in the roll of to our nation's birth. fame, he stood, the bulwark of our safety, un- To the horrid din of battle, sweet peace sucdismayed by disaster, unchanged by change of ceeded; and our virtuous Chief, mindful only fortune? Or will you view him in the preca- of the common good, in a moment tempting rious fields of Trenton, where deep gloom, un- personal aggrandizement, hushed the disconnerving every arm, reigned triumphant through tents of growing sedition; and surrendering our thinned, worn down, unaided ranks; him- his power into the hands from which he had self unmoved? Dreadful was the night. It received it, converted his sword into a ploughwas about this time of winter, the storm raged, share, teaching an admiring world that to be the Delaware rolling furiously with floating ice, truly great, you must be truly good. forbade the approach of man. WASHINGTON, Were I to stop here, the picture would be inself-collected, viewed the tremendous scene; complete, and the task imposed unfinished. his country called; unappalled by surrounding Great as was our WASHINGTON in war, and as dangers, he passed to the hostile shore; he much as did that greatness contribute to profought; he conquered. The morning sun cheer- duce the American Republic, it is not in war ed the American world. Our country rose on alone his pre-eminence stands conspicuous. His the event; and her dauntless chief, pursuing various talents, combining all the capacities of his blow, completed, in the lawns of Prince- a statesman, with those of a soldier, fitted him ton, what his vast soul had conceived on the alike to guide the councils and the armies of shores of Delaware.
our nation. Scarcely had he rested froin his Thence to the strong grounds of Morristown, martial toils, while his invaluable parental adhe led his small but gallant band; and through vice was still sounding in our ears, when he, an eventful winter, by the high efforts of his who had been our shield and our sword, was genius, whose matchless force was measurable called forth to act a less splendid, but more imonly by the growth of difficulties, he held in portant part. check formidable hostile legions, conducted by Possessing a clear and penetrating mind, a a chief, experienced in the art of war, and strong and sound judgment, calmness and temfamed for his valor on the ever memorable per for deliberation, with invincible firmness heights of Abraham, where fell Wolfe, Mont- and perseverance in resolutions maturely formcalm, and since, our much lamented Montgom-ed; drawing information from all; acting from ery, all covered with glory. In this fortunate himself, with incorruptible integrity and uninterval, produced by his masterly conduct, our | varying patriotism; his own superiority and fathers, ourselves, animated by his resistless the public confidence alike marked him as the example, rallied around our country's standard, man designed by heaven to lead in the great and continued to follow her beloved chief political as well as military events which have through the various and trying scenes to which distinguished the era of his life. the destinies of our Union led.
The finger of an overruling Providence, Who is there that has forgotten the vales of pointing at WASHINGTON, was neither mistaked
nor unobserved; when, to realize the vast hensive eye, over this great assemblage of comhopes to which our Revolution had given birth, munities and interests, he laid the foundations a change of political system became indispen- of our national policy in the unerring, immusable.
table principles of morality, based on religion, How novel, how grand the spectacle! Inde- exemplifying the pre-eminence of a free governpendent States, stretched over an immense ter- ment, by all the attributes which win the affec-itory, and known only by common difficulty, tions of its citizens, or command the respect of clinging to their union as the rock of their the world. safety, deciding by frank comparison of their
“O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint!” relative condition, to rear on that rock, under the guidance of reason, a common government
Leading through the complicated difficulties through whose commanding protection, liberty produced by previous obligations and conflictand order, with their long train of blessings, ing interests, seconded by succeeding Houses should be safe to themselves, and the sure in- of Congress, enlightened and patriotic, he surheritance of their posterity.
mounted all original obstruction, and brightThis arduous task devolved on citizens select- ened the path of our national felicity. ed by the people, from knowledge of their wis
The presidential term expiring, his solicitude dom and confidence in their virtue. In this to exchange exaltation for humility, returned august assembly of sages and of patriots, WASH- with a force increased with increase of age; INGTON of course was found; and as if acknow
and he had prepared his farewell address to his ledged to be most wise where all were wise, I countrymen, proclaiming his intention, when with one voice he was declared their chief.
the united interposition of all around him, enHow well he merited this rare distinction, how forced by the eventful prospects of the epoch, faithful were the labors of himself and his com- produced a further sacrifice of inclination to patriots, the work of their hands and our union, duty. The election of President followed, and strength and prosperity, the fruits of that work, Washington, by the unanimous vote of the nabest attest.
tion, was called to resume the chief magistracy. But to have essentially aided in presenting What a wonderful fixture of confidence! Which to his country this consummation of her hopes, attracts most our admiration, a people so corneither satisfied the claims of his fellow-citizens rect, or a citizen combining an assemblage of on his talents, nor those duties which the pos- talents forbidding rivalry, and stifling even envy session of those talents imposed. Heaven had itself? Such a nation ought to be happy, such not infused into his mind such an uncommon a chief must be forever revered. share of its ethereal spirit to remain unem
War, long menaced by the Indian tribes, now ployed; nor bestowed on him his genius unac- broke out; and the terrible conflict, deluging companied with the corresponding duty of Europe with blood, began to shed its baneful devoting it to the common good. To have influence over our happy land. To the first, framed a constitution, was showing only, with outstretching his invincible arm, under the orout realizing, the general happiness. This great ders of the gallant Wayne, the American Eagle work remained to be done ; and America, soared triumphant through distant forests. steadfast in her preference, with one voice Peace followed victory; and the melioration summoned her beloved WASHINGTON, unprac-of the condition of the enemy, followed peace. tised as he was in the duties of civil adminis-Godlike virtue, which uplifts even the subdued tration, to execute this last act in the completion savas of the national felicity. Obedient to her call,
To the second he opposed himself. New and he assumed the high office with that self-dis- I delicate was the conjuncture, and great was the trust peculiar to his innate modesty, the con- stake. Soon did his penetrating mind discern stant attendant of pre-eminent virtue. What and seize the only course, continuing to us all was the burst of joy through our anxious land, the felicity enjoyed. He issued his proclamaon this exhilarating event, is known to us all. tion of neutrality. This index to his whole The aged, the young, the brave, the fair, rival- subsequent conduct, was sanctioned by the aped each other in demonstrations of their grati- | probation of both Houses of Congress, and by tude; and this high-wrought, delightful scene, the approving voice of the people. was heightened in its effect, by the singular To this sublime policy he inviolably adhered, contest between the zeal of the bestowers and unmoved by foreign intrusion, unshaken by the avoidance of the receiver of the honors domestic turbulence. bestowed. Commencing his administration, what heart is not charmed with the recollec
“Justum et tenacem propositi virum, tion of the pure and wise principles announced
Non civium ardor prava jubentium,
Non vultus instantis tyranni, by himself, as the basis of his political life!
Mente quatit solida.” He best understood the indissoluble union between virtue and happiness, between duty and Maintaining his pacific system at the expense advantage, between the genuine maxims of an of no duty, America, faithful to herself, and honest and magnanimous policy and the solid unstained in her honor, continued to enjoy the rewards of public prosperity and individual delights of peace, while afflicted Europe mourns felicity; watching, with an equal and compre- / in every quarter, under the accumulated mise
ries of an unexampled war; miseries in which First in war, first in peace, and first in the our happy country must have shared, had not hearts of his countrymen, he was second to our pre-eminent WASHINGTON been as firm in none in the humble and endearing scenes of council, as he was brave in the field.
| private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate, Pursuing steadfastly his course, he held safe and sincere; uniform, dignified, and command the public happiness, preventing foreign war, ing, his example was as edifying to all around and quelling internal discord, till the revolving him as were the effects of that example lasting. period of a third election approached, when he To his equals he was condescending; to his executed his interrupted but inextinguishable inferiors kind; and to the dear object of his desire of returning to the humble walks of pri- affections exemplarily tender. Correct throughvate life.
| out, vice shuddered in his presence, and virtue The promulgation of his fixed resolution, always felt his fostering hand; the purity of stopped the anxious wishes of an affectionate his private character gave effulgence to his people from adding a third unanimous testimo- public virtues. nial of their unabated confidence in the man so His last scene comported with the whole telong enthroned in their hearts. When before nor of his life: although in extreme pain, not was affection like this exhibited on earth? Turn a sigh, not a groan escaped him; and with unover the records of ancient Greece; review the disturbed serenity he closed his wellspent life. annals of mighty Rome; examine the volumes Such was the man America has lost! Such of modern Europe; you search in vain. Ame- was the man for whom our nation mourns! rica and her WASHINGTON only afford the digni- Methinks I see his august image, and hear, fied exemplification.
falling from his venerable lips, these deep sinkThe illustrious personage, called by the na- ing words: tional voice in succession to the arduous office “Cease, sons of America, lamenting our sepof guiding a free people, had new difficulties to aration: go on, and confirm by your wisdom encounter. The amicable effort of settling our the fruits of our joint counsels, joint efforts, and difficulties with France, begun by WASHINGTON, common dangers. Reverence religion ; diffuse and pursued by his successor in virtue as in knowledge throughout your land; patronize station, proving abortive, America took mea- the arts and sciences; let liberty and order be sures of self-defence. No sooner was the pub- inseparable companions; control party spirit, lic mind roused by a prospect of danger, than the bane of free government; observe good every eye was turned to the friend of all, though faith to, and cultivate peace with all nations; secluded from public view, and gray in public shut up every avenue to foreign influence; conservice. The virtuous veteran, following his tract rather than extend national connexion; plough, received the unexpected summons with rely on yourselves only; be American in mingled emotions of indignation at the unmeri- thought and deed. Thus will you give immorted ill-treatment of his country, and of a deter- tality to that Union, which was the constant mination once more to risk his all in her de-object of my terrestrial labors. Thus will you fence.
preserve, undisturbed to the latest posterity, The annunciation of these feelings, in his af- the felicity of a people to me most dear: and fecting letter to the President, accepting the thus will you supply (if my happiness is now command of the army, concludes is official aught to you) the only vacancy in the round conduct.
of pure bliss high heaven bestows."