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diffidence. A dictatorial style, though it may carry conviction, is always accompanied with disgust."*

On his estate at Mount Vernon, Washington engaged extensively in the business of agriculture, and is said to have been remarkable for the judgment he displayed in the improvement of his lands. On his farm he displayed the same general features of character, by which he was distinguished, when he led the army and fought the battles of his country. The fixedness and tenacity of purpose which we have seen marking his military operations, now re-appeared in the systematic energy with which he reduced to order those complicated interests which had long been endangered by irregularity and neglect; while the same imperturbable sobriety of judgment which had contributed equally with his martial valour to the preservation of his country, was again exhibited in the prudential care of minor interests, and in unvarying seemliness of deportment. Every branch of business was conducted upon system. Exact method and economy were carried into every department of his domestic concerns. He personally inspected the account of his overseers every week; the divisions of his farms were numbered, and the expense of cultivation, and the produce of each lot, were exactly registered; so that at one view he could determine the profit or loss of any particular crop, and ascertain the comparative advantage of various modes of husbandry. He became one of the largest landholders in North America. Besides other tracts of great extent and value, his Mount Vernon estate consisted of nine thousand acres, which were entirely under his own management; and from it alone, he in one year raised seven thousand bushels of wheat, and ten thousand of Indian corn. His establishments, agricultural and domestic, consisted of no fewer than a thousand persons; and though the greater part of his farming implements were obtained from London, the linen and woollen cloth required in his business were. chiefly manufactured on the estate.

It was during this period of Washington's life that he officiated as judge of the county court. He was also elected a vestryman in Truro parish, and there, as in the House of Burgesses, exercised his powers, and spent his time in seeking the good of his constituents, his fellow-parishioners. On one occasion, about the year 1765, he gained a triumph of some moment, which has often been cited by the venerable Mr. Massey, then the clergyman of the parish, as an instance of characteristic address. "The dilapida

* Sparks.

tion of the old church rendering it, expedient either to repair or rebuild, the subject was agitated in the vestry, of which Colonel Washington was a member. It having been determined after due consideration, that a new church should be built, the question of location next presented itself. George Mason, a prominent member of the vestry, was in favour of the old situation, in the neighbourhood of which he had his residence. Others maintained that its site was not sufficiently central. George Mason supposed the place, if not perfectly central, yet not seriously inconvenient of access to any; and especially thought that the sacred associations which belonged to it, as the place of worship for several generations, and as hallowed by the sepulchres of their fathers, should induce a preference for the spot. Colonel Washington differed with George Mason, objecting to the distance and the inconvenience to which his plan would subject the parishioners. He, moreover, could not see the force of the consideration derived from the contiguity of the grave-yard. He thought churches were erected for the living, and not for the dead. Nor was it necessary that any desecration of the place should occur. The ashes of the dead could be preserved inviolably secure by a proper enclosure.' The vestry, however, adjourned, without coming to any settled conclusion, another meeting being appointed with a view to a final decision.

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"In the mean time Colonel Washington occupied himself in surveying the parish, ascertaining its limits, and the relative position of the old church. Having done this, and prepared a draught of the survey with his usual accuracy and neatness, he awaited the meeting of the vestry. On that occasion, George Mason again urged, and with increased vehemence, the claims of the old situation. Having done so, Colonel Washington repeated his former objections, and dwelt upon the remoteness of the place, took from his pocket the plan which he had prepared, in which the old church was found to be in an extreme corner of the parish. This ocular demonstration soon settled the matter, and brought about a decision against the old and in favour of the new location, which would bring the church in the centre of the parish.

"Here it was, at the new or Pohick Church, that Washington habitually attended, from the period of its erection, till the commencement of the Revolutionary War. Here he offered his adorations to the God and Father of all, and here received the symbols of a Saviour's love at the hands of the consecrated servant of the altar.

"The Rev. Lee Massey was the rector of the parish here referred He was a highly respectable man, and shared much of the esteem of Washington. In regard to the religious deportment of his distinguished friend, especially in the house of God, he has often been heard to express himself in the following strain: I never knew so constant an attendant on church as Washington. And his behaviour in the house of God was ever so deeply reverential, that it produced the happiest effects on my congregation; and greatly assisted me in my pulpit labours. No company ever withheld him from church. I have often been at Mount Vernon, on the Sabbath morning when his breakfast table was filled with guests; but to him they furnished no pretext for neglecting his God, and losing the satisfaction of setting a good example. For instead of staying at home, out of false complaisance to them, he used constantly to invite them to accompany him.""

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NALTERABLY mindful as he was of his religious, domestic, and parish duties, Washington still continued to watch with a jealous eye the progress of public events, especially as occurring in the intercourse of the colonies with the mother country. The French war having occasioned a heavy increase of expense to the British government, the ministers began to look for remuneration to the American colonies, for whose immediate benefit the increased expense had been incurred. Resolutions had previously passed the British parliament, declaring the expediency of laying a stamp duty in America; but, before 1765, they had not been followed by any legislative act. The mere declaration, however, of a right denied by the colonists, of imposing on

them a tax without their consent, was sufficient to call from them innumerable remonstrances, and strong constitutional objections were urged to the passage of such an act by statesmen of both England and America.

Notwithstanding the remonstrances and the powerful reasons offered against this unjust and hazardous experiment, in March, 1765, George Grenville, the first commissioner of the Treasury, introduced a bill into the House of Commons for imposing a stamp duty on the American colonies. By this act, the instruments of writing in daily use among a commercial people were to be null and void, unless executed upon parchment or paper stamped with a specific duty. Law documents and leases, articles of apprenticeship and contracts, protests and bills of sale, newspapers and advertisements, almanacs and pamphlets, all must contribute to the British treasury. The unjust and oppressive nature of this bill raised up for it opponents, even in the British parliament. Its passage was eloquently opposed by Colonel Barré, an officer who had served with the British army in America, and who was distinguished in the House of Commons, as one of the firmest and strongest supporters of civil liberty. The celebrated Charles Townshend, who afterwards succeeded to Grenville's office, replied in support of the bill, and after severely reprobating the attacks made upon it by Colonel Barré, concluded by indignantly demanding: "And now, will these Americans-children planted by our care, nourished by our indulgence till they are grown up to a degree of strength and opulence, and protected by our armswill they grudge to contribute their mite to relieve us from the heavy weight of that burden which we lie under ?"

To this invidious appeal to the pride and prejudices of the members of the House of Commons, Colonel Barré, after repelling the censure personally addressed to him, thus energetically replied to the conclusion of his opponent's remarks:

"They planted by your care! No, your oppressions planted them in America. They fled from your tyranny to a then uncultivated and inhospitable country, where they exposed themselves to almost all the hardships to which human nature is liable; and among others to the cruelties of a savage foe, the most subtle, and, I will take upon me to say, the most formidable of any people upon the face of God's earth; and yet, actuated by the principles of true English liberty, they preferred all hardships to those which they had endured in their own country from the hands of men who should have been their friends. They nourished by you?

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