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IN offering this Volume to your Patronage, and presenting it to the World under the Sanction of your Name—a Name as endeared by Virtues, as illustrious" from Glory—we feel that we are giving interest to excellence, and attaching tenderness to pre-eminence.
In partaking the Solicitude, alleviating the Cares, and engaging the Confidence of that great, and disinterested Mind, which speaks in these pages, you have so well known to appreciate the Endowments, and to profit from the high Example, as to prefer the patriotic Duties to the selfifh Sensibilities, by resigning, to the claim of a Nation, that dear and solitary Sentiment, whose Hope, more strong than Death, would descend to the Tomb, mingle with the Ashes, and share the Sepulchre of departed affection,—Nor will you be divided—the Poet, and the Moralist, while they contemplate the secluded Hero, will perpetuate the Charm that gladdened, and the Virtue that rewarded every effort of a mind,which, commanding victory, and obtaining glory, could controul with temperance, and possess with moderation; and which, at the dangerous summit of popular applause, was neither dazled by elevation, nor diminished by distance.
To you, the first mourner of a bereaved People, the melancholy consolation will remain, that a whole nation venerates your Virtues, and partakes your afflictions—Indeed every part of the civilized Earth will commemorate that excellence which cannot die—that Mortal, who, born for the human race, crowned with its highest Homage, and graced with its best Exaltation, still instructs, and inspires, by the words of Wisdom, falling from the lips of ImmortalIty.
With sympathy,sacred and devoted, with respect, veneration and gratitude, we remain, Madam, your obedient humble servants,
BOSTON, MARCH, l800.
1 HE compilers of this volume think proper to declare, that, in collecting the papers and materials which constitute its contents, they have used only those which the sainted Washington wrote, when it was in his great and wise mind to instruct, direct, and admonish his countrymen: they conceive that to have departed from this rule might have led them to matter, sufficiently abundant, to fill many volumes, and not so immediately connected with the public expectation. In this volume will be found all those great truths, and virtuous recommendations, which, if cherished and practised, must lead this nation to prosperity, happiness, and glory: the author of the biographical outline of General WashIngton, which forms a part of this work, is evidently indebted, for his dates,to the valuable publications of the rev. Dr. Morse, Miss Hannah Adams, and some european prints.
The original proposal for publishing this work, promised The Prefident's letter of condolence to Mrs. Washington; but this could not be obtained—we are, however, authorised in saying, that his message to Congress, communicating that virtuous lady's answer, contains the spirit of it.
F.oston, March 1800.