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moment to withdraw his attention from their interest. He had no fear of the Jacobins, he felt no alarm from their principles, and considered no precaution as necessary in order to stop their progress.
The people over whom he presided he knew to be acquainted with their rights and their duties. He trusted to their own good sense to defeat the effect of those arts, which might be employed to inflame or mislead their minds; and was sensible, that a government could be in no danger, while it retained the attachment and confidence of its subjects; attachment, in this instance, not blindly adopted; confidence not implicitly given, but arising from the conviction of its excellence, and the experience of its blessings. I cannot, indeed, help admiring the wisdom and fortune of this great man. By the phrase 'fortune' I mean not in the smallest degree to derogate from his merit. But, notwithstanding his extraordinary talents and exalted integrity, it must be considered as singularly fortunate, that he should have experienced a lot, which so seldom falls to the portion of humanity, and have passed through such a variety of scenes without stain and without reproach. It must, indeed, create astonishment, that, placed in circumstances so critical, and filling for a series of years a station so conspicuous, his character should never once have been called in question; that he should in no one instance have been accused either of improper insolence, or of mean submission, in his transactions with foreign nations. For him it has been reserved to run the race of glory, without experiencing the smallest interruption to the brilliancy of his career.
CHARLES JAMES Fox, termed by Burke “the most brilliant and successful debater the
world ever saw," was born in London, January 24, 1749, and died at Chiswick, September 13, 1806. He was educated at Eton and Oxford, and was distinguished for ability both at school and college. He entered parliament at the age of nineteen, and during the whole course of our revolutionary war, was a strenuous opponent of the coercive measures adopted by the English government, and a most powerful advocate of the claims of the colonists. Our extract is from some remarks made in parliam ent January 31, 1794, in allusion to Washing ton's communications to Congress (Dec. 3, 1793), comprising the reasons for the course he had pursued respecting foreign powers. In the introductory chapter to his “ History of the early part of the reign of James the Second,” published in 1808, Mr. Fox also says: "A character of virtues so happily tempered by one another, and so wholly unalloyed with any vices, as that of Washington, is hardly to be found in the pages of history.”
JUNE 6, (1794,) I had the honor of an interview with the President of the United States, to whom I was introduced by Mr. Dandridge, his secretary. He received me very politely, and after reading my letters, I was asked to breakfast. There was very little of the ceremony of courts, the Americans will not permit this; nor does the disposition of his Excellency lead him to assume it.
I confess, I was struck with awe and veneration, when I recollected that I was now in the presence of one of the greatest men upon earth-the GREAT WASHINGTON—the noble and wise benefactor of the world! as Mirabeau styles him ;—the advocate of human nature—the friend of both worlds. Whether we view him as a general in the field, vested with unlimited authority and power, at the head of a victorious army; or in the cabinet, as the President of the United States; or as a private gentleman, cultivating his own farm; he is still the same great man, anxious only to discharge with propriety the duties of his relative situation. His conduct has always been so uniformly manly, honorable, just, patriotic, and disinterested, that his greatest enemies cannot fix on any one trait of his character that can deserve the least censure. His paternal regard for the army while he commanded it; his earnest and sincere desire to accomplish the glorious object for which they were contending; his endurance of the toils and hazards of war, without ever receiving the least emolument from his country; and his retirement to private life after the peace, plainly evince, that his motives were the most pure and patriotic, that could proceed from a benevolent heart. His letters to congress during the war, now lately published in England, as well as his circular letter and farewell orders to the armies of the United States, at the end of the war, shew him to have been justly ranked among the fine writers of the age. When we look down from this truly great and illustrious character, upon other public servants, we find a glaring contrast; nor can we fix our attention upon any other great men, without discovering in them a vast and mortifying dissimilarity!
The President in his person, is tall and thin, but erect; rather of an engaging than a dignified presence. He appears very thoughtful, is slow in delivering himself, which occasions some to conclude him reserved, but it is rather, I apprehend, the effect of much thinking and reflection, for there is great appearance to me of affability and accommodation. He was at this time in his sixty-third year, being born February 11, 1732, O. S. but he has very little the appearance of age, having been all his life-time so exceeding temperate. There is a certain anxiety visible in his countenance, with marks of extreme sensibility. * * * *
Mrs. Washington herself made tea and coffee for us. On the table were two small plates of sliced tongue, dry toast, bread and butter, etc. but no broiled fish, as is the general custom. Miss Custis, her grand-daughter, a very pleasing young lady, of about sixteen, sat next to her, and her brother George Washington Custis, about two years older than herself. There was but little appearance of form: one servant only attended, who had no livery; a silver urn for hot water, was the only article of expence on the table. She appears something older than the President, though, I understand, they were both born in the same year; short in stature, rather robust; very plain in her dress, wearing a very plain cap, with her grey hair closely turned up under it. She has routs or levees, (which ever the people chuses to call them) every Wednesday and Saturday at Philadelphia, during the sitting of Congress. But the Anti-federalists object even to these, as tending to give a supereminency, and introductory to the paraphernalia of courts.
HENRY Wansey, a Wiltshire clothier, who died at Warminster, England, July 19, 1827, at the age of seventy-five, travelled in this country in 1794, and when in Philadelphia took breakfast with Washington, as above mentioned. Mr. Wansey kept a journal of his trip, which was afterwards published at Salisbury, in 1796, with the title, “The Journal of an Excursion to the United States of North America in the summer of 1794,” 8vo., from which our extract is made. A second edition appeared in 1798, the title slightly different.