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of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous, and too novel example, of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantage which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! it is rendered impossible by its vices ! :30. In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded : and that in place of them just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity, or to its affections, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another, disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility, instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister, and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations has been the victim.
31. So, likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favourite nation, facilitating the illusion that an imaginary common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favourite pation, of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions, by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained ; and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld: And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, (who devote themselves to the favourite nation,) facility to betray, or sacrifice the interests of their country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding with the appearance of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for the public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.
32. As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent Patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions; to practise the arts of sedition, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public Councils ! Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter. Against the insidious wiles of foreign infuence, (I conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens,) the jealousy.of a free people ought to be constantly awake ; since history and experience prove that foreigo infuence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial ; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreiga nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil, and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favourite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.
83. The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.
34. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, ora very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreigo to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in as to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordi-nary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships, or enmities.
35. Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, she period is not far off, when we may defy material injury from external annoyance ; wben we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality, we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will yot lightly bazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.
36. Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why, quit aur own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest; humour, or caprice?
37. It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances, with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronising infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. opinion, it is unnecessary, and would be unwise to extend them.
38. Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.
39. Harmony, and liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest.
40. Bat even our commercial policy should hold ad equal and impartial hand; neither seekingnorgranting exclusive favours or preferences ;-consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing ootbing ; establishing, with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them; conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view, that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favours from another : that it must pay with a portion of its independency for whatever it may accept under that character ; that by such
But ja my
aeceptance, it hay place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favours, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater errour than to expect, or calculate, upon real favours from nation to nation, It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
41. Io offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old awal affectionate friend, i dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish--that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations : but if I may even flatter myself, that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism ; this hope will be a full recompence for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.
42. How far, in the discharge of my official duties, I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you, and to the world. To myself the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.
43. In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the 22d of April 1793, is the index to my plan.
Sanctioned by your approving voice, and that of your Representatives in both Houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me ; uninfluenced by any attempts to dete, or divert me from it.
44. After deliberate examination with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest, to take a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation.
45. The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe, that according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the Belligerent Powers, has been virtually admitted by all.
46. The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without any thing more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain iuviolate the relations of peace and amity toward other nations.
47. The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your reflections and experience. With me, a predominant mo. tive has been to endeavour to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption, to that de. gree of strength and consistency, which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of-its own fortunes.
48. Though in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my own de. fects, not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service, with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.
49. Relying on its kindness in this, as in other things, and actuated by that servept love toward it, which is so natural to a man, who views in it the vative soil of himself, and his progenitors, for several generations ; I antici. pate, with pleasing expectation, that retreat, in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws, and a free governmentthe evær favourite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labours and dangers.
G. WASHINGTON. UNITED STATES, 17th September, 1796.
General Washington's Resignation. MR. PRESIDENT, 1. The great events, on which my resignation depended, having at length taken place, I have now the honour of offering my sincere congratulations to Congress, and of presenting myself before them, to surrender into their hands the trust committed to me, and to claim the indulgence of retiring from the service of my country. Happy in the confirmation of our independence and sovereignty, and pleased with the opportunity afforded to the United States, of becoming a respectable nation, 1 resign with satisfaction, the appointment I pted with diffidence ; a diffidence in my abilities to accomplish so arduous a task, which, however, was superceded by a confi- , dence in the rectitude of our cause, the support of the supreme power of the Union, and the patronage of Heaven.
2. The successful termination of the war has verified the most sanguine expectations ; and my gratitude for the interposition of Providence, and the assistance I have received from my countrymen, increases with every review of the momentous contest. While I repeat my obligations to the army in general, I should do injustice to my own feelings, not to acknowledge, in this place, the peculiar services and distinguished merits of the gentlemen, who have been attached to my person during the war. It was impossible the choice of confidential officers, to compose my family, should bave been more fortunate.
3. Permit me, sir, to recommend, in particular, those who have continued io the service to the present moment, as worthy of the favourable notice and patronage of Congress. I consider it as an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendance of them to his holy keeping. Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of action; and bidding an affeczionate farewell to this august body, under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life.
Answer of Congress. Sir, 1. THE United States in Congress assembled, receive, with emotions too affecting for utterance, the solemn resignation of the authorities under which you have led their troops with success, through a perilous and a doubtful
Called upon by your country to defend its invaded rights, you accepted the sacred charge, before it had formed alliances, and while it was
hout funds, or a government to support you.
2. You have conducted the great military contest with wisdom and fortitude, invariably regarding the rights of the civil power, through all disasters and changes; you have, by the love and confidence of your fellow-citizens, enabled them to display their martial genius, and transmit their fame to posterity; you have persevered till these United States, aided by a magnanimous king and nation, have been enabled, under a just Providence, to close the war in freedom, safety, and independence ; on which happy event we sincerely join you ia congratulations.
3. Having defended the standard of liberty, in tbis new world having taught a lesson useful to those who inflict, and to those who feel oppression, you retire from the great theatre of action, with the blessings of your fellowcitizens ; but the glory of your virtues will not terminate with your military command; it will continue to animate remotest ages. We feel, with you, our obligations to the army in general, and will particularly charge ourselves with the interests of those confidential officers, who have attended your person to this affecting moment.
4. We join with you in commending the interests of our country to the protection of ALMIGHTY GOD, beseeching him to dispose the hearts and minds of its citizens to improve the opportunity afforded them, of becoming a happy and respectable nation; and for you, we address to him our earnest prayers, that a life so beloved, may be fostered with all his care; that your days may be happy as they have been illustrious ; and that he will finally give you that reward which this world cannot give.
Character of Washington. 1. GENERAL WASHINGTON, was in his 68th year when he died. The height of his person was about five feet eleven inches ; his chest full; and his limbs, though rather slender, well shaped and muscular. His head was small, in which respect he resembled the make of a great number of his countrymen. His eyes were of a light grey colour ; and, in proportion to the length of his face, his nose was long. Mr. STUART, the eminent portrait painter, used to say, there were features in his face, totally different from what he had ever observed in that of any other human being; the sockets for the eyes, for instance, were larger than what he ever met with before, and the upper part of the nose broader. All his features he observed, were indicative of the strongest passions; yet, like SOCRATES, his judgment, and great self-command, have always made him appear a man of a different cast, in the eyes of the world.
2. He always spoke with great diffidence, and sometimes hesitated for a word;
but it was always to find one particularly well adapted to his meaning. His language was manly and expressive. At levee, his discourse with strangers turned principally upon the subject of America, and if they had been through any remarkable places, bis conversation was free and particularly interesting, for he was intimately acquainted with every part of the country.
He was much more open and free in his behaviour at levee than in private, and in the company of ladies still more so than when solely with men.
3. Few persons ever found themselves for the first time in the presence of General WASHINGTON, without being impressed with a certain degree of veneration and awe; nor did those emotions subside on a closer acquaintance on the contrary, his person and deportment were such as rather tended to augmept them. The hard service he had seen, the important and laborious offices he bad filled, gave a kind of austerity to his countenance,