Washington's Birthday eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 217 pages of information about Washington's Birthday.
been captured, Washington did not then think it needful to deny having written these letters; but when they were brought forward again by his enemies during the last years of his Presidency, he was alarmed lest they should go down to history as his own.  Most of Washington’s writings which are preserved show him to us only as a grave public character, and lives of Washington drawn mainly from this source are apt to make the great man seem unnaturally cold, dignified, remote, and impressive.  So usual has this view of Washington become, that there is a common belief that he never laughed aloud—­a belief which there are many stories to refute.

Washington had immense physical courage.  In all the battles in which he fought he exposed himself fearlessly.  His moral courage was even greater.  He never shrank from doing what he thought right because it was likely to make him unpopular.  Perhaps Washington’s greatest qualities were his wisdom and prudence.  These traits were very important in the leader of a young people engaged in a revolutionary struggle.  He had few brilliant military successes, but it is impossible to say what he might not have done had he not been weighed down by immense difficulties.  His influence over men was great, and those who were under him loved him.  He was never swayed by mean motives, his actions were always honorable, and he was generous even to those who were his bitter opponents.  Though he was a man of action, he thought deeply on many subjects.  “Never,” said Jefferson, “did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great, and to place him in the same constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man an everlasting remembrance.”

FOOTNOTES: 

[17] “The Story of Washington.”  D. Appleton & Co., 1893.

* * * * *

THE MOUNT VERNON TRIBUTE[18]

WASHINGTON

The Defender of His Country, The Founder of Liberty,

THE FRIEND OF MAN.

History and Tradition are Explored in Vain for a Parallel to His Character.

IN THE ANNALS OF MODERN GREATNESS, HE STANDS ALONE,
And the Noblest Names of Antiquity Lose Their Lustre
In His Presence.  Born the Benefactor of Mankind, He
United All The Qualities Necessary to An Illustrious
Career.

NATURE MADE HIM GREAT;

He made himself virtuous.

Called By His Country To The Defence of Her Liberties,
He Triumphantly Vindicated The Rights of Humanity,
And on The Pillars of National Independence Laid the
Foundations Of A Great Republic.  Twice Invested With
the Supreme Magistracy, By the Unanimous Voice of a
Free People, He Surpassed In The Cabinet

THE GLORIES OF THE FIELD,

And Voluntarily Resigning the Sceptre and the Sword,
Retired to the Shades of Private Life.  A Spectacle So
New and So Sublime Was Contemplated With the Profoundest
Admiration; And the Name of

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Washington's Birthday from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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