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Chap.ix was turned and all hopes were placed,...lives now 1799. only in his own great actions, and in the hearts of an affectionate and afflicted people.
"If, sir, it had even not been usual openly to testify respect for the memory of those whom heaven has selected as its instruments for dispensing good to man, yet, such has been the uncommon worth, and such the extraordinary incidents which have marked the life of him whose loss we all deplore, that the whole American nation, impelled by the same feelings, would call, with one voice, for a public manifestation of that sorrow which is so deep and so universal.
"More than any other individual, and as much as to one individual was possible, has he contributed to found this our wide spreading empire, and to give to the western world independence and freedom.
"Having effected the great object for which he was placed at the head of our armies, we have seen him convert the sword into the ploughshare, and sink the soldier into the citizen.
"When the debility of our federal system had become manifest, and the bonds which connected this vast continent were dissolving, we have seen him the chief of those patriots who formed for us a constitution which, by preserving the union, will, I trust, substantiate and perpetuate those blessings which our revolution had promised to bestow.
"In obedience to the general voice of his country calling him to preside over a great people, we have seen him once more quit the retirement be loved, and, in a season more stormy and tern- Chap. Ix. pestuous than war itself, with calm and wise 1799, determination, pursue the true interests of the nation, and contribute, more than any other could contribute, to the establishment of that system of policy which will, I trust, yet preserve our peace, our honour, and our independence.
"Having been twice unanimously chosen the chief magistrate of a free people, we have seen him, at a time when his re-election with universal suffrage could not be doubted, afford to the world a rare instance of moderation, by withdrawing from his high station to the peaceful walks of private life.
"However the public confidence may change, and the public affections fluctuate with respect to others, with respect to him, they have, in war and in peace, in public and in private life, been as steady as his own firm mind, and as constant as his own exalted virtues.
"Let us then Mr. Speaker pay the last tribute of respect and affection to our departed friend. Let the grand council of the nation display those sentiments which the nation feels. For this purpose I hold in my hand some resolutions which I take the liberty of offering to the house."
The resolutions,* after a preamble stating the death of general Washington, were in the following terms.
* These resolutions were prepared by general Lee, who happening not to be in his place when the melancholy intelligence was received and first mentioned in the house, placed them in, the hands of the member who moved them.
Chap.ix. "Resolved, that this house will wait on the 1799. president in condolence of this mournful event.
"Resolved, that the speaker's chair be shrouded with black, and that the members and officers of the house wear black during the session.
"Resolved, that a committee, in conjunction with one from the senate, be appointed to consider on the most suitable manner of paying honour to the memory of the MAN, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his fellow citizens."
Immediately after the passage of these resolutions, a written message was received from the president, accompanying a letter from Mr. Lear, which he said, "will inform you that it had pleased Divine Providence to remove from this life our excellent fellow citizen GEORGE WASHINGTON, by the purity of his life, and a long series of services to his country, rendered illustrious through the world. It remains for an affectionate and grateful people, in whose hearts he can never die, to pay suitable honour to his memory."
To the speaker and members of the house of representatives who waited on him in pursuance of the resolution which has been mentioned, he expressed the same deep-felt and affectionate respect "for the most illustrious and beloved personage America had ever produced."
The senate, on this melancholy occasion, addressed to the president the following letter."The senate of the United States respectfully take leave, sir, to express to you their deep regret for the loss their country sustains in the death of Chap, Ix. general GEORGE WASHINGTON. 1799.
"This event so distressing to all our fellow citizens, must be peculiarly heavy to you who have long been associated with him in deeds of patriotism. Permit us, sir, to mingle our tears with yours. On this occasion it is manly to weep. To lose such a man, at such a crisis, is no common calamity to the world. Our country mourns a father. The Almighty disposer of human events has taken from us our greatest benefactor and ornament. It becomes us to submit with reverence to HIM who ' maketh darkness his pavilion,.1,
"With patriotic pride we review the life of our WASHINGTON, and compare him with those of other countries who have been pre-eminent in fame. Ancient and modern names are diminished before him. Greatness and guilt have too often been allied; but his fame is whiter than it is brilliant. The destroyers of nations stood abashed at the majesty of his virtues. It reproved the intemperance of their ambition, and darkened the splendour of victory. The scene is closed, ...and we are no longer anxious lest misfortune should sully his glory; he has travelled on to the end of his journey, and carried with him an increasing weight of honour: he has deposited it safely where misfortune cannot tarnish it; where malice cannot blast it. Favoured of heaven, he departed without exhibiting the weakness of humanity; magnanimous in death, the darkness of the grave could not obscure his brightness.
Chap.'ix. "Such was the man whom we deplore. Thanks 1799. to God, his glory is consummated. Washington yet lives on earth in his spotless example...his spirit is in heaven.
"Let his countrymen consecrate the memory of the heroic general, the patriotic statesman, and the virtuous sage: let them teach their children never to forget that the fruits of his labours and his example are tbeir inheritances''
To this address the president returned the following answer. "I receive, with the most respectful and affectionate sentiments, in this impressive address, the obliging expressions of your regret for the loss our country has sustained in the death of her most esteemed, beloved, and admired citizen.
"In the multitude of my thoughts and recollections on this melancholy event, you will permit me to say that I have seen him in the days of adversity, in some of the scenes of his deepest distress and most trying perplexities. I have also attended him in his highest elevation and most prosperous felicity, with uniform admiration of his wisdom, moderation, and constancy.
11 Among all our original associates in that memorable league of this continent in 1774, which first expressed the SOVEREIGN WILL of a FREE NATION in AMERICA, he was the only one remaining in the general government. Although with a constitution more enfeebled than his, at an age when he thought it necessary to prepare for retirement, I feel myself alone, bereaved of my last brother; yet I derive a strong