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a right to despair; a successful ruler in all the difficulties of a course wholly untried; but
Lord Broug ham's eulogy on Washington.
a warrior whose sword only left its sheath when the first law of our nature commanded it to be drawn; and a ruler who, having tasted of supreme power, gently and unostentatiously desired that the cup might pass from him, nor would suffer more to wet his lips than the most solemn and sacred duty to his country and his God required.” "It will be the duty of the Historian and the Sage in all ages to let no occasion pass of commemorating this illustrious man; and until time shall be no more, a test of the progress our race has made in wisdom and virtue will be derived from the veneration paid to the immortal name of Washington."
What a tribute is this for one of England's most celebrated statesmen to pay to the leader of the nation that won its independence of England by arms!
If now it be asked what renders Washington so great, much discrimination is needed to frame a reply.
Intellectually he was not preeminent. He was careful, methodical, accurate in his observaWashington's tion of men and things, and familiarized himself with the sources of power in the kinds of employments to which he was called. He was a skilful farmer, perhaps the best at that time in
America. He was a shrewd legislator, especially in the committee room. He was decided in his convictions, but courteous in their enforcement. His letters and state papers show a correctness of expres sion, characteristic of an accurate thinker.
As a military officer, though sometimes defeated, and seldom winning decisive victories, he confessedly displayed wonderful power in organizing his forces, small or large, and in baffling the purposes of the enemy.
But his chief excellences were rather moral than intellectual. His transparent integrity, his self-abnegation, his unyielding firmness, his conciliatory manner, his power to select good advisers, and to repel the turbulent and ambitious, showed him fitted by Providence to fulfil the demands of America in the most momentous hour of her destiny. He stands alone, the most conspicuous and the most honored leader of the XVIIIth century, and unsurpassed in any century or any nation of the world. And yet it is possible to regard Washington idola trously and foolishly and most unworthily should not be for an American. Washington's great
mission was to lead a revolution which was to break down the foolish practice of man-worship, which culminates in voluntary submission to despotism. We dishonor him most when we worship
him or unduly clothe him with a splendor woven by our own fancy. Washington did not make this country, nor alone did he save it. He performed his part, a noble part, but others also did theirs. We are not the worthy citizens of a republic if we wor ship Washington.
It should be remembered that our Revolutionary
Republicans should worship only God.
War was not a rebellion on our part, but
a war to maintain old privileges, and if a rebellion at all, it was on the part of EngEngland it was that broke the compact. Freedom was planted here in the early part of the XVIIth century. Washington was not the first to rise in defence of endangered liberties. Others arose and debated and pleaded and finally called upon him to be the military leader in defence of ancient rights. Others did the legislation and furnished the sinews of war and aided in the actual contest. Others framed the Constitution and organized the nation, he, indeed, giving them the aid of his counsel and influence. It was America that conquered and rose before the world in her majesty-not Washington. He was too honest to claim more than belonged to him, and we honor him most when we accord to him all, and only all, of his high desert.
A great modern statesman has said that we should do better to imitate the patriotic fathers than to
eulogize them. Imitate their good qualities indeed we should, but the greatest incentive to imitation is healthy commendation; indiscriminate eulogy and fulsome flattery are both characteristic of weakness and senility, but a clear admiration of the good stimulates to like goodness. There have been and are many Americans as pure and patriotic as Washington, Franklin, and Otis, and Henry and Lee, the Adamses, Jefferson, Jackson, Taylor and Lincoln, and many who have acted as judges and legislators, and thousands not permitted to make their names familiar as household words, have been as devoted to justice. and liberty as he. His greatest glory is that he is the best and finest impersonation of the typical American idea of manhood!
His day was not free from contentions and party spirit, and corruption and selfishness and the necessary resistance to evil. Nor is our day free from these; but now, as then, right is triumphing over wrong, and hope rather than despair takes the helm of State.
Happy was it for the world that when this continent was opened to civilized men, a people were ready to be organized out of the leading nations of Europe, not to repeat the failures of the past, but to embody in concrete form the ripest results of Statesmanship and Christianity. Crudely it may be, feebly,
and to some extent falsely, the experiment began; but the good predominated over the evil, and the result was a new growth. There was never a Republic in the modern sense before. Greece was an aristocracy or bundle of aristocracies, the great mass of the people of the same color and race being slaves. Rome and the republics of medieval times were simply free cities governed by aristocracies. America is a confederation of republics into one sovereign Republic. It could not have been born till Christianity had raised up a proper people.
It has now completed the first century after its consolidation, actually it has had a history of more than two centuries and a half, for there has never been anything but a republican form of government among the whites of North America. During the whole of these two centuries and a half it has had but one foreign war for conquest, and then gracefully gave up the most it had won, and has never been overcome in any contest.
In this century Great Britain has had eight foreign wars, France nine, Russia thirteen,
ican wars in one
wars and Amer-Prussia six, and all the great nations of Europe about as many, the United States of America has had only two. The most of the States of Europe have been engaged in foreign war from twenty to fifty years in this century; the United