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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 217 pages of information about Washington's Birthday.

Hear Lord Erskine, the most famous of English advocates:  “You are the only being for whom I have an awful reverence.”

Remember the tribute of Charles James Fox, the greatest parliamentary orator who ever swayed the British House of Commons:  “Illustrious man, before whom all borrowed greatness sinks into insignificance.”

Contemplate the character of Lord Brougham, pre-eminent for two generations in every department of human thought and activity, and then impress upon the memories of your children his deliberate judgment:  “Until time shall be no more will a test of the progress which our race has made in wisdom and virtue be derived from the veneration paid to the immortal name of Washington.”

Blot out from the page of history the names of all the great actors of his time in the drama of nations, and preserve the name of Washington, and the century would be renowned.

* * * * *

TO THE SHADE OF WASHINGTON

BY RICHARD ALSOP

  Exalted chief, in thy superior mind
  What vast resource, what various talents joined! 
  Tempered with social virtue’s milder rays,
  There patriot worth diffused a purer blaze;
  Formed to command respect, esteem, inspire,
  Midst statesmen grave, or midst the social choir,
  With equal skill the sword or pen to wield,
  In council great, unequaled in the field,
  Mid glittering courts or rural walks to please,
  Polite with grandeur, dignified with ease;
  Before the splendors of thy high renown
  How fade the glow-worn lusters of a crown;
  How sink diminished in that radiance lost
  The glare of conquest, and of power the boast. 
  Let Greece her Alexander’s deeds proclaim;
  Or Caesar’s triumphs gild the Roman name;
  Stripped of the dazzling glare around them cast,
  Shrinks at their crimes humanity aghast;
  With equal claim to honor’s glorious meed. 
  See Attila his course of havoc lead! 
  O’er Asia’s realms, in one vast ruin hurled. 
  See furious Zingis’ bloody flag unfurled. 
  On base far different from the conqueror’s claim
  Rests the unsullied column of thy fame;
  His on the woes of millions proudly based,
  With blood cemented and with tears defaced;
  Thine on a nation’s welfare fixed sublime,
  By freedom strengthened and revered by time. 
  He, as the Comet, whose portentous light
  Spreads baleful splendor o’er the glooms of night,
  With chill amazement fills the startled breast. 
  While storms and earthquakes dire its course attest,
  And nature trembles, lest, in chaos hurled,
  Should sink the tottering fabric of the world. 
  Thou, like the Sun, whose kind propitious ray
  Opes the glad morn and lights the fields of day,
  Dispels the wintry storm, the chilling rain,
  With rich abundance clothes the smiling

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