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world, more than two in ten, full four in nineteen, attained the age of seventy. Of those who lived beyond ninety, the proportion, as compared with European tables of longevity, was still more remarkable.
I have dwelt- the longer on the character of the early Puritans of New England, for they are the parents of one-third the whole white population of the United States. In the first ten or twelve years and there was never afterwards
considerable increase from England—we have seen, that there came over twenty-one thousand two hundred persons, or four thousand families. Their descendants are now not far from four millions. Each family has multiplied on the average to one thousand souls. To New York and Ohio, where they constitule half the population, they have carried the Puritan system of free schools ; and their example is spreading it through the civilized world.
Historians have loved to eulogize the manners and virtues, the glory and the benefits, of chivalry. Puritanism accomplished for mankind far more. If it had the sectarian crime of intolerance, chivalry had the vices of dissoluteness. The knights were brave from gallantry of spirit; the Puritans from the fear of God. The knights did homage to monarchs, in whose smile they beheld honour, whose rebuke was the wound of disgrace; the Puritans, disdaining ceremony, would not bow at the name of Jesus, nor bend the knee to the King of Kings.
Chivalry delighted in outward show, favoured pleasure, multiplied amusements, and degraded the human race by an exclusive respect for the privileged classes. Puritanism bridled the passions, commended the virtues of self-denial, and rescued the name of man from dishonour. The former valued courtesy, the latter justice. The former adorned society by graceful refinements, the latter founded national grandeur on universal education. The institutions of chivalry were subverted by the gradually increasing weight, and knowledge, and opulence of the industrious classes; the Puritans, rallying upon those classes, planted in their hearts the undying principles of democratic liberty.
Character of Washington.
The person of Washington was commanding, graceful, and fitly proportioned; his stature six feet, his chest broad and full, his limbs long and somewhat slender, but well shaped and muscular. His features were regular and symmetrical, his eyes of a light blue colour, and his whole countenance, in its quiet state, was grave, placid, and benignant. When alone, or not engaged in conversation, he appeared sedate and thoughtful; but when his attention was excited, his eye kindled quickly, and his face beamed with animation and intelligence.
He was not fluent in speech, but what he said was apposite and listened to with the more interest as being known to come from the heart. He seldom attempted sallies of wit or humour, but no man received more pleasure from an exhibition of them by others; and, although contented, in seclusion, he sought his chief happiness in society, and participated with delight in all its rational and innocent amusements.
Without austerity on the one hand, or an appearance of condescending familiarity on the other, he was affable, courteous, and cheerful; but it has often been remarked, that there was a dignity in his person and manner not easy to be defined, which impressed every one that saw him for the first time, with an instinctive deference and awe. This may have arisen in part from a conviction of his superiority, as well as from the effect produced by his external form and deportment.
The character of his mind was unfolded in the public and private acts of his life ; and the proofs of his greatness are seen almost as much in the one as the other. The same qualities which raised him to the ascendancy he possessed over the will of a nation, as the commander of armies and chief magistrate, caused him to be loved and respected as an individual.
Wisdom, judgment, prudence, and firmness, were his predominant traits.
No man clearly the relative importance of things and actions, or divested himself more entirely of the bias of personal interest, partiality, and prejudice, in discriminating between the true and the false, the right and the wrong, in all questions and subjects that were presented to him.
He deliberated slowly, but decided surely; and, when his decision was once formed, he seldom reversed it, and never relaxed from the execution of a
measure till it was completed. Courage, physical and moral, was a part of his nature; and, whether in battle or in the midst of popular excitement, he was fearless of danger, and regardless of consequences to himself.
His ambition was of that noble kind, which aims to excel in whatever it undertakes, and to acquire a power over the hearts of men by promoting their happiness and winning their affections. Sensitive to the approbation of others, and solicitous to deserve it, he made no concession to gain their applause, either by flattering their vanity or yielding to their caprices. Cautious without timidity, bold without rashness, cool in counsel, deliberate but firm in action, clear in foresight, patient under reverses, steady, persevering, and self-possessed, he met and conquered every obstacle that obstructed his path to honour, renown, and
More confident in the uprightness of his intention, than in his resources, he sought knowledge and advice from other men.
He chose his counsellors with unerring sagacity; and his quick perception of the soundness of an opinion, and of the strong points in an argument, enabled him to draw to his aid the best fruits of their talents, and the light of their collected wisdom.
His moral qualities were in perfect harmony with those of his intellect. Duty was the ruling principle of his conduct; and the rare endowments of his understanding were not more constantly tasked to devise the best methods of effecting an object, than they were to guard the sanctity of conscience. No instance can be adduced, in which he was actuated by a sinister motive, or endeavoured to attain an end by unworthy means.
Truth, integrity, and justice were deeply rooted in his mind; and nothing could rouse his indignation so soon, or so utterly destroy his confidence, as the discovery of the want of these virtues in any one whom he had trusted. Weaknesses, follies, indiscretions, he could forgive; but subterfuge and dishonesty he never forgot, rarely pardoned. He was candid and sincere, true to his friends, and faithful to all, neither practising dissimulation, descending to artifice, nor holding out expectations which he did not intend should be realized.
His passions were strong, and sometimes they broke out with vehemence; but he had the power of checking them in an instant. Perhaps self-control was the most remarkable trait of his character. It was in part the effect of discipline; yet he seems by nature to have possessed this power to a degree which has been denied to other men.
A Christian in faith and practice, he was habitually devout. His reverence for religion is seen in his example, his public communications, and his private writings. He uniformly ascribed his successes to the beneficent agency of the Supreme Being. Charitable and humane, he was liberal to the poor, and kind to those in distress. As a husband, son, and brother, he was tender and affectionate.
Without vanity, ostentation, or pride, he never spoke of himself or his actions, unless required by circumstances which concerned the public interests. As he was free from envy, so he had the good fortune to escape the envy of others, by standing on an elevation which none could hope to attain. If he had one passion more strong than another, it was love of his country.