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casm, eloquence, and pathos of his harangue on the assistant doorkeeper? Or who was not delighted with the precision, accuracy, and effect of our evolutions under his drill through the election of officers ? The gentleman is an honor to his halberd. How close was his formation of our column! How rapidly did he deploy us into line! How skillfully was our front dressed! How rigorously were the deserters shot! Never did a more accomplished orderly report a company formed' on a parade ground. It is very true, I fear, that while he was putting us through the manual exercise in the court-yard, the enemy were climbing in at the back windows, for I observe that we have six secretaries, whereas I do not remember to have voted for more than two. However, this is but the fortune of war, and detracts nothing from his merit. Has he not glory enough? The gentleman has other duties to perform. To him it belongs to superintend the executive administration. The Masons, we know, are ordered for punishment, and when the day arrives when they are to be had up at the triangle, we shall doubtless see him in the fervent fulfillment of his employment, with his ready instrument well prepared, and we shall hear
“The long resounding line and frequent lash.' “Do not all these occupations furnish sufficient scope for the ambition or activity of the gentleman's character? Why will he grasp at more? What has he to do with the basis of representation ? Within the limits of his appropriate functions, he commands from us a respect not unmingled with a certain awe. But instead of confining himself within those limits, he seems occasionally to run beyond himself, mistakes his yellow cotton shoulder-knots for golden epaulettes, and his halberd for a leading-staff, mounts a ragged hobby, and when we are perhaps in the midst of an important affair, in the face and under the fire of the enemy, down gallops our mad sergeant along the line, and insists on our suspending all other operations that we may be instantly put through some unknown posé,' or some new.
MEN OF THE REVOLUTION.
movement to the shoulder of his own devising, and which none of us ever heard of before. And then, upon the least demur at compliance with his odd demands, he rides furiously into our ranks, breaking his halberd over the head of one, lending a horse's kick to another, covering a third from head to foot with mud, throwing our battalion into inextricable confusion, and exposing us to inevitable defeat. And all these misfortunes are to be suffered because one gentleman has not learned to discriminate between yellow cotton and gold lace! No, sir! they can not be much longer suffered. We would not touch a hair of our eccentric's head, nor even of the tail of his hobby. At present I merely beg to remonstrate kindly and gently with him, as I have been doing, against his persistence in these ludicrous yet injurious assaults upon those who, however feebly and humbly, are endeavoring to discharge their duty."
The rejoinder of Mr. Stevens was very severe and even personal. Reading it over, now when the Great Commoner is in his
grave, it seems a loud report over a very small matter, and stands in curious contrast with his immortal utterances in the great struggle for the life and liberty of a nation. The protest of Mr. Meredith against party politics in a Constitutional Convention is more pertinent, and may be profitably studied by the delegates to the body now in session.
[November 28, 1872.]
We shall have many interesting historical developments during our preparations for the great Centennial. The men and measures of the Revolution will reappear in a new light, and the contrast between the past and present will be drawn in radiant colors. In reading over a few of the periodicals of the
last quarter of the last century I found some incidents and passages in the lives of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin, that may have been forgotten by the very old and have certainly never been read by the very young. One of these is the following original letter of General Washington to the distinguished Matthew Carey, whose no less distinguished son, Henry C. Carey, is still living in Philadelphia, at an advanced age, the centre of a circle of loving friends:
“MOUNT VERNON, July 21, 1788. “Sir,-If I had more leisure I should most willingly give you any such communications (that might be within my reach) as would serve to keep up the reputation of your Museum. At present, occupied as I am with agriculture and correspondence, I can promise little. Perhaps some gentlemen connected with me may make some selections from my repositories; and I beg you will be persuaded that I can have no reluctance to permit any thing to be communicated that might tend to establish truth, extend knowledge, excite virtue, and promote happiness among mankind. “ With best wishes for success, I am, sir, your most ob't h’ble serv't,
“GO. WASHINGTON. “MR. MATTHEW CAREY, Editor of the American Museum."
Here are the qualities that make the modern philosopher and journalist. Matthew Carey was anxious to preserve for posterity the treasures that George Washington had collected in his illustrious career, and Washington responds gracefully to the request. The closing sentence in italics is Washington's ideal of the creed of a patriot, and a fine index of his own character. Jefferson's tribute to Washington is very beautiful :
“I own," he says, “I regard it, though but a single view of the character of Washington, as one of transcendent importance, that the commencement of the Revolution found him already prepared and mature for the work, and that on the day which his commission was signed by John Hancock-the immortal seventeenth of June, 1775-a day on which Providence kept an even balance with the cause, and while it took from us a Warren, gave us a Washington-he was just as consummate JEFFERSON'S ESTIMATE OF ROYALTY.
a leader for peace as for war, as when, eight years after, he resigned that commission at Annapolis."
But he did not hesitate to counsel and even to criticise his chief, as the following will show :
“Paris, May 2, 1788. “To General Washington :
“I had intended to have written a word to your Excellency on the subject of the new Constitution, but I have already spun out my letter to an immoderate length. I will just observe, therefore, that, according to my ideas, there is a great deal of good in it. There are two things, however, which I dislike strongly:
“First. The want of a declaration of rights,
“I am in hopes the opposition in Virginia will remedy this, and produce such a declaration.
“Second. The perpetual re-eligibility of the President.
"This, I fear, will make that an office for life, first, and then hereditary. I was such an enemy to monarchies before I came to Europe, I am ten thousand times more so since I have seen what they are. There is scarcely an evil known in these countries which may not be traced to their king as its source; nor a good which is not derived from the small fibres of republicanism existing among them. I can further say, with safety, that there is not a crowned head in Europe whose talents or merits could entitle him to be elected a vestryman by the people of any parish in America !"
What a picture he draws of the European sovereigns in 1789:
“I often amuse myself with contemplating the characters of the then reigning sovereigns of Europe. Louis XVI. was a fool, of my own knowledge, and in despite of the answers made for him at his trial. The King of Spain was a fool, he of Naples the same. They passed their lives in hunting, and dispatched two couriers a week one thousand miles to let each other know what game they had killed the preceding days. The King of Sardinia was a fool. All these were Bourbons. The Queen of Portugal, a Braganza, was an idiot by nature, and so was the King of Denmark. Their sons, as regents, exercised the powers of government. The King of Prussia, successor to the great Frederick, was a mere hog in body as well as in mind. Gustavus, of Sweden, and Joseph, of Austria, were really crazy, and George, of England, you know was in a straight waistcoat. There remained, then, none but old Catharine, who had been too lately picked up to have lost her comReluctant to undertake a public tour while President, he seems to have had pretty much the notion of Washington, in that respect, that our people have of Grant :
In this state Bonaparte found Europe, and it was this state of its rulers which lost it with scarce a struggle."
“WASHINGTON, June 19, 1807. “To Governor Sullivan:
“With respect to the tour my friends to the North have proposed that I should make in that quarter, I have not made up my final opinion. The course of life which General Washington had run, civil and military, the services he had rendered, and the space he therefore occupied in the affections of his fellow-citizens, take from his examples the weight of precedents for others, because no others can arrogate to themselves the claims which he had on the public homage."
ON CIVIL SERVICE.
“WASHINGTON, July 17, 1807. “I have never removed a man merely because he was a Federalist. I have never wished them to give a vote at an election but according to their own wishes. But, as no Government could discharge its duties to the best advantage of its citizens if its agents were in a regular course of thwarting instead of executing all its measures, and were employing the patronage and influences of their offices against the Government and its measures, I have only requested they would be quiet, and they should be safe." GLAD TO GET RID OF THE PRESIDENCY.
“ WASHINGTON, March 2, 1809. “To M. Dupont de Nemours:
“Never did a prisoner, released from chains, feel such relief as I shall on shaking off the shackles of power. Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science, by rendering them my supreme delight; but the enormities of the times in which I have lived have forced me to take a part in resisting them, and to commit myself on the boisterous ocean of political passions."
In his Memoirs he often sketches his associates and contemporaries. John Adams is “vain and irritable," but as “disinterested as the being who made him.” Pendleton, of Virginia," the ablest man in debate I have ever met.” “ without the poetic fancy of Mr. Patrick Henry, his sublime imagination, or his lofty and overwhelming diction.” He was in love with James Madison, “who never wandered from his subject into