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American politician
(1842 - 1910)

A true son of nature was George Washington--of nature in her brightest intelligence and noblest mold; and the difficulty, if such there be, in comprehending him, is only that of reviewing from a single standpoint the vast procession of those civil and military achievements which filled nearly half a century of his life, and in realizing the magnitude of those qualities which were requisite to their performance--the difficulty of fashioning in our minds a pedestal broad enough to bear the towering figure, whose greatness is diminished by nothing but the perfection of its proportions.
      - [Washington, George]

Conquerors who have stretched your scepters over boundless territories; founders of empires who have held your dominions in the reign of law; reformers who have cried aloud in the wilderness of oppression; teachers who have striven to cast down false doctrine, heresy, and schism; statesmen whose brains have throbbed with mighty plans for the amelioration of human society; scar-crowned vikings of the sea, illustrious heroes of the land, who have borne the standards of siege and battle, come forth in bright array from your glorious fanes, and would ye be measured by the measure of his stature? Behold you not in him a more illustrious and more venerable presence? Statesman, soldier, patriot, sage, reformer of creeds, teacher of truth and justice, achiever and preserver of liberty, the first of men, founder and savior of his country, father of his people--this is he, solitary and unapproachable in his grandeur! Oh, felicious Providence that gave to America our Washington!
      - [Washington, George]

Encompassed by the inviolate seas, stands to-day the American Republic which he founded--a freer, Greater Britain--uplifted above the powers and principalities of the earth, even as his monument is uplifted over roof and dome and spire of the multitudinous city. Long live the Republic of Washington! Respected by mankind, beloved by all its sons, long may it be the asylum of the poor and oppressed of all lands and religions--long may it be the citadel of that Liberty which writes beneath the eagle's folded wings, "We will sell to no man, we will deny to no man, right and justice." Long live the United States of America! Filled with the free, magnanimous spirit, crowned by the wisdom, blessed by the moderation, hovered over by the guardian angel of Washington's example.
      - [Washington, George]

Grand and manifold as were its phases, there is yet no difficulty in understanding the character of Washington. He was no Veiled Prophet. He never acted a part. Simple, natural, and unaffected, his life lies before us--a fair and open manuscript. He disdained the arts which wrap power in mystery in order to magnify it. He practised the profound diplomacy of truthful speech the consummate tact of direct attention. Looking ever to the All-Wise Disposer of events, he relied on that Providence which helps men by giving them high hearts and hopes to help themselves with the means which their Creator has put at their service. There was no infirmity in his conduct over which charity must fling its veil; no taint of selfishness from which purity averts her gaze; no dark recess of intrigue that must be lit up with colored panegyric; no subterranean passage to be trod in trembling, lest there be stirred the ghost of a buried crime.
      - [Washington, George]

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