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cares and attentions which were imposed upon Chap. ix. him by his public station. His solicitude res- 1798. pecting the organization of an army which he might possibly be required to lead against an enemy the most formidable in the world, was too strong to admit of his being inattentive to its arrangements. In addition to the appointments for the troops that were to be called into immediate service, it was important that proper selections of officers should be made for those which were eventually to be raised, and to these also his attention was directed.
Yet he never did believe that an invasion of the United States would actually take place. His conviction that it was not the interest of France to wage an unprovoked war with America, and that the hostile measures which the executive directory had adopted originated in the opinion that those measures would overthrow the administration, and place power in the hands of those who had uniformly supported all the pretensions of the French republic, remained unshaken. As a necessary consequence of this conviction, he was persuaded that the indignation which this system had excited would effect its change. The only circumstance that weakened this hope arose from the persevering opposition which was still maintained in congress, and from the evidence which was daily afforded that those party animosities to which he ascribed the present dangerous crisis were far from being healed. Those who had embraced the cause of France in the controversy between that nation and the United States,
Chap. ix. had been overwhelmed by a flood of testimony 1798. which silenced them for a time, but which weakened them more in appearance than in reality. They were visibly recovering both strength and confidence. It is not therefore wonderful that general Washington should have expressed himself more freely than had been his custom, respecting American parties, and that he should have exerted an influence which he had not been in the habit of employing, to induce men whose talents he respected, but who had declined political life, to enter into the national and state legislatures.
Events soon demonstrated that general Washington had not calculated unreasonably on the effects of the spirit manifested by his country. Although America, supplicating for peace, had been spurned with contempt ; although the executive directory had rejected with insult her repeated and sincere prayers to be permitted to make explanations, and had haughtily demanded a concession of their arrogant and unfounded claims, or the advance of pecuniary aids, as a preliminary to negotiation;...America, in arms, was treated with some respect. Indirect pacific overtures were made, and a willingness on the part of France, to accommodate the existing differences on reasonable terms was communicated.  Truly solicitous to restore that harmony and good understanding with their ancient ally which the United States had laboured so incessantly and so sincerely to preserve, the president caught at the overtures which were indirectly made, and again appointed three envoys extraor
dinaryand ministers plenipotentiary to the French Chap.ix. republic. These gentlemen found the government 1799. in the hands of a person who had taken no part in those transactions which had embroiled the two countries, and who entered into negotiations with them which terminated in the amicable adjustment of differences.
General Washington did not live to witness the restoration of peace.
On Friday* the 13th of December, while attend- hiitoth. ing to some improvements upon his estate, he was exposed to a light rain, by which his neck and hair became wet. Unapprehensive of danger from this circumstance, he passed the afternoon in his usual manner; but in the night, he was seized with an inflammatory affection of the windpipe. 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 deglutation, which were soon succeeded by fever and a quick and laborious respiration.
Believing bloodletting to be necessary, he procured a bleeder who took from his arm twelve or fourteen ounces of blood, but he would not permit a messenger to be dispatched for his family physician until the appearance of day. About eleven in the morning doctor Craik arrived; and perceiving the extreme danger of the case, re
• This account is extracted from a certificate signed by doctor Craik and doctor Dick, and in part from a priyat^' letter of Doctor Craik.
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Chap. ix. quested that two consulting physicians should be 1799. immediately sent for. The utmost exertions of medical skill were applied in vain. The powers of life were manifestly yielding to the force of the disorder; speaking, which was painful from the beginning, became almost impracticable: respiration became more and more contracted and imperfect; until half past eleven on Saturday night, when, retaining the full possession of his intellect, he expired without a struggle.
Believing at the commencement of his complaint, as well as through every succeeding stage of it, that its conclusion would be mortal, he submitted to the exertions made for his recovery rather as a duty than from any expectation of their efficacy. Some hours before his death, after repeated efforts to be understood, he succeeded in expressing a desire that he might be permitted to die without interruption. After it became impossible to get any thing down his throat, he undressed himself and went to bed, there to die. To his friend and physician doctor Craik who sat on his bed, and took his head in his lap, he said with difficulty, "doctor I am dying, and have been dying for a long time, but I am not afraid to die."
During the short period of his illness he economised his time, in arranging with the utmost serenity those few concerns which required his attention; and anticipated his approaching dissolution with every demonstration of that equanimity for which his life was so uniformly and singularly conspicuous.
The deep and wide spreading grief occasioned Chap. ix. by this melancholy event, assembled a great con- i^T" course of people for the purpose of paying the last tribute of respect to the first of Americans. On Wednesday the 18th of December, attended by military honours and the ceremonies of religion, his body was deposited in the family vault at Mount Vernon.
So short was his illness that, at the seat of government, the intelligence of his death, preceded that of his indisposition. It was first communicated by a passenger in the stage to an acquaintance whom he met in the street, and the report quickly reached the house of representatives which was then in session. The utmost dismay and affliction was displayed for a few minutes; after which a member stated in his place, the melancholy information which had been received. This information he said was not certain, but there was too much reason to believe it true.
"After receiving inttlligence," he added, "of a national calamity so heavy and afflicting, the house of representatives can be but ill fitted for public business." He therefore moved an adjournment. Both houses adjourned until the next day.
On the succeeding day, as soon as the orders were read, the same member addressed the chair in the following terms.
"The melancholy event which was yesterday announced with doubt has been rendered but too certain. Our WASHINGTON is no more! the hero, the patriot, and the sage of America;... the man on whom, in times of danger, every eye