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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 217 pages of information about Washington's Birthday.
others, who, from motives of curiosity, respect for the chief magistrate, or other cause, are induced to call upon me, I was unable to attend to any business whatever; for gentlemen, consulting their own convenience rather than mine, were calling after the time I rose from breakfast, and often before, until I sat down to dinner.  This, as I resolved not to neglect my public duties, reduced me to the choice of one of these alternatives:  either to refuse visits altogether, or to appropriate a time for the reception of them....  To please everybody was impossible.  I, therefore, adopted that line of conduct which combined public advantage with private convenience....  These visits are optional, they are made without invitation; between the hours of three and four every Tuesday I am prepared to receive them.  Gentlemen, often in great numbers, come and go, chat with each other, and act as they please.  A porter shows them into the room, and they retire from it when they choose, without ceremony.  At their first entrance they salute me, and I them, and as many as I can talk to.”

An English gentleman, after visiting President Washington, wrote:  “There was a commanding air in his appearance which excited respect and forbade too great a freedom toward him, independently of that species of awe which is always felt in the moral influence of a great character?  In every movement, too, there was a polite gracefulness equal to any met with in the most polished individuals of Europe, and his smile was extraordinarily attractive....  It struck me no man could be better formed for command.  A stature of six feet, a robust but well-proportioned frame calculated to stand fatigue, without that heaviness which generally attends great muscular strength and abates active exertion, displayed bodily power of no mean standard.  A light eye and full—­the very eye of genius and reflection.  His nose appeared thick, and though it befitted his other features, was too coarsely and strongly formed to be the handsomest of its class.  His mouth was like no other I ever saw:  the lips firm, and the under jaw seeming to grasp the upper with force, as if its muscles were in full action when he sat still.”

Such Washington appeared to those who saw and knew him.  Such he remains to our vision.  His memory is held by us in undying honor.  Not only his memory alone, but also the memory of his associates in the struggle for American Independence.  Homage we should have in our hearts for those patriots and heroes and sages who with humble means raised their native land—­now our native land—­from the depths of dependence, and made it a free nation.  And especially for Washington, who presided over the nation’s course at the beginning of the great experiment in self-government and, after an unexampled career in the service of freedom and our human-kind, with no dimming of august fame, died calmly at Mount Vernon—­the Father of his Country.

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