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With none of that brilliant genius which dazzles ordinary minds ; with not even any remarkable quickness of apprehension ; with knowledge less than almost all persons in the middle ranks, and many well educated of the humbler classes, possess; this eminent person is presented to our observation, clothed in attributes as modest, as unpretending, as little calculated to strike or to astonish, as if he had passed unknown through some secluded region of private life. But he had a judgment sure and sound : a steadiness of mind which “ never suffered any passion, or even any feeling to ruffle its calm; a strength of understanding which worked rather than forced its way through all obstacles-removing or avoiding rather than overleaping them.
If profound sagacity, unshaken steadiness of purpose, the entire subjugation of all the passions which carry havoc through ordinary minds, and oftentimes lay waste the fairest prospects of greatness--nay, the discipline of those feelings which are wont to lull or to seduce genius, and to mar and to cloud over the aspect of virtue herself-joined with, or rather leading to the most obstinate self-denial, the most habitual and exclusive devotion to principle--if these things can constitute a great character, without either quickness of apprehension, or resources of information, or inventive powers, or any brilliant quality that might dazzle the vulgar—then surely Washington was the greatest man that ever lived in this world uninspired by Divine wisdom, and unsustained by supernatural virtue.
His courage, whether in battle or in council, was as perfect as might be expected from this pure and steady temper of soul. A perfect just man, with a thoroughly firm resolution never to be misled by others, any more than to be by others overawed; never to be seduced or betrayed, or hurried away by his own weaknesses or self-delusions, any more than by other men's arts; nor ever to be disheartened by the most complicated difficulties, any more than to be spoilt on the giddy heights of fortune---such was this great man--great, pre-eminently great, whether we regard him sustaining alone the whole weight of campaigns all but desperate, or gloriously terminating a just warfare by his resources and his courage--presiding over the jarring elements of his political council, alike deaf to the storms of all extremesmor directing the formation of a new government for a great people, the first time that so vast an experiment had ever been tried by man-or finally retiring from the supreme power to which his virtue had raised him over the nation he had created, and whose destinies he had guided as long as his aid was required--retiring with the veneration of all parties, of all nations, of all mankind, in order that the rights of men might be conserved, and that his example never might be appealed to by vulgar tyrants.
This is the consummate glory of Washington; a triumphant warrior where the most sanguine had a right to despair ; a successful ruler in all the difficulties of a course wholly untried ; but a warrior, whose sword only left its sheath when the first law of our nature commanded it to be drawn; and a ruler who, having tasted of supreme power, gently and unostentatiously desired that the cup might pass from him, nor would suffer more to wet his lips than the most solemn and sacred duty to his country and his God required ?
To his latest breath did this great patriot maintain the noble character of a captain the patron of peace, and a statesman the friend of justice. Dying, he bequeathed to his heirs the sword which he had worn in the war for liberty, and charged them “ Never to take it from the scabbard but in self-defence, or in defence of their country and her freedom ;” and commanded them, that “when it should thus be drawn, they should never sheath it nor ever give it up, but prefer falling with it in their hands to the relinquishment thereof”words, the majesty and simple eloquence of which are not surpassed in the oratory of Athens and Rome. It will be the duty of the historian and the sage,
in all ages, to let no occasion pass of commemorating this illustrious man; and, until time shall be no more, will a test of the progress which our race has made in wisdom and in virtue be derived from the veneration paid to the immortal name of WASHINGTON !
The Stage-coach.-- Preparations for Christmas.
In the course of a December tour in Yorkshire, I rode for a long distance in one of the public coaches, on the day preceding Christmas. The coach was crowded, both inside and out, with passengers, who, by their talk, seemed principally bound to the mansions of relations or friends to eat the Christmas dinner. It was loaded also with hampers of game, and baskets, and boxes of delicacies; and hares, hung dangling their long ears about the coachman's box,-presents from distant friends for the impending feast. I had three fine rosy-cheeked schoolboys for my fellowpassengers inside, full of the buxom health and manly spirit which I have observed in the children of this country. They were returning home for the holydays in high glee, and promising themselves a world of enjoyment. It was delightful to hear the gigantic plans of pleasure formed by the little rogues, and the impracticable feats which they were to perform during their six weeks' emancipation from the abhorred thraldom of book, birch, and pedagogue. They were full of anticipations of the meeting with the family and household, down to the very cat and dog, and of the joy they were to give their little sisters by the presents with which their pockets were crammed; but the meeting to which they seemed to look forward with the greatest impatience was with Bantam, which I found to be a poney, and according to their talk, possessed of more virtues than any steed since the days of Bucephalus. How he could trot, how he could run! and then such leaps as he would take—there was not a hedge in the whole country that he could not clear.
They were under the particular guardianship of the coachman, to whom, whenever an opportunity presented, they addressed a host of questions, and pronounced him one of the best fellows in the whole world. Indeed, I could not but notice the more than ordinary air of bustle and importance of the coachman, who wore his hat a little on one side, and had a
large bunch of Christmas greens stuck in the buttonhole of his coat. He is always a personage full of mighty care and business, but he is particularly so during this season, having so many commissions to execute in consequence of the great interchange of presents. And here, perhaps, it may not be unacceptable to my untravelled readers to have a sketch that may serve as a general representation of this very numerous, and important class of functionaries, who have a dress, a manner, a language, an air, peculiar to themselves, and prevalent throughout the fraternity; so that wherever an English stage-coachman may be seen, he cannot be mistaken for one of any other craft or mystery.
He has commonly a broad full face, curiously mottled with red, as if the blood had been forced by hard feeding into every vessel of the skin ; he is swelled into jolly dimensions by frequent potations of malt liquors, and his bulk is still further increased by a multiplicity of coats, in which he is buried like a cauliflower, the upper one reaching to his heels. He wears a broad-brimmed low-crowned hat; a huge roll of coloured handkerchief about his neck, knowingly knotted and tucked in at the bosom; and has, in summer-time, a large boquet of flowers in his buttonhole, the present, most probably, of some enamoured country lass.
His waistcoat is commonly of some bright colour, striped, and his small-clothes extend far below the knees, to meet a pair of jockey boots which reach about half way up his legs.
All this costume is maintained with much precision : he has a pride in having his clothes of excellent materials; and, notwithstanding the seeming grossness