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a load of public care. I hope to spend the remainder of my days in cultivating the affections of good men and in the practice of the domestic virtues." That the hope was sincere we may well suppose, but that it was more than a hope may be doubted. It was a wish, not a belief, for Washington must have felt that there was still work that he would surely be called to do. Still for the present the old life was there, and he threw himself into it with eager zest, though age and care put some of the former habits aside. He resumed his hunting, and Lafayette sent him a pack of splendid French wolf-hounds. But they proved somewhat fierce and unmanageable, and were given up, and after that the following of the hounds was never resumed. In other respects there was little change. The work of the plantation and the affairs of the estate, much disordered by his absence, once more took shape and moved on successfully under the owner's eye. There were, as of old, the long days in the saddle, the open house and generous hospitality, the quiet evenings, and the thousand and one simple labors and enjoyments of rural life. But with all this were the newer and deeper cares, born of the change which had been wrought in the destiny of the country. The past broke in and could not be pushed aside, the future knocked at the door and demanded an answer to its questionings.
He had left home a distinguished Virginian; he returned one of tho most famous men in the world, and such celebrity brought its usual penalties. Every foreigner of any position who came to the country made a pilgrimage to Mount Vernon, and many Americans did the same. Their coming was not allowed to alter the mode of life, but they were all hospitably received, and they consumed many hours of their host's precious time. Then there were the artists and sculptors, who came to paint his portrait or model his bust. "In for a penny, in for a pound is an old adage," he wrote to Hopkinson in 1785. "I am so hackneyed to the touches of painters' pencils that I am now altogether at their beck, and sit ' like patience on a monument,' whilst they are delineating the lines of my face. It is a proof, among many others, of what habit and custom can accomplish." Then there were the people who desired to write his memoirs, and the historians who wished to have his reminiscences, in their accounts of the Revolution. Some of these inquiring and admiring souls came in person, while others assailed him by letter and added to the vast flood of correspondence which poured in upon him by every post. His correspondence, in fact, in the needless part of it, was the most formidable waste of his time. He seems to have formed no correct idea of his own fame and what it meant, for he did not have a secretary until he found not only that he could not arrange his immense mass of papers, but that he could not even keep up with his daily letters. His correspondence came from all parts of his own country, and of Europe as well. The French officers who had been his companions in arms wrote him with affectionate interest, and he was urged by them, one and all, and even by the king and queen, to visit France. These were letters which he was only too happy to answer, and he would fain have crossed the water in response to their kindly invitation; but he professed himself too old, which was a mere excuse, and objected his ignorance of the language, which to a man of his temperament was a real obstacle. Besides these letters of friendship, there were the schemers everywhere who sought his counsel and assistance. The notorious Lady Huntington, for example, pursued him with her project of Christianizing the Indians by means of a missionary colony in our western region, and her persistent ladyship cost him a good deal of time and thought, and some long and careful letters. Then there was the inventor Rumsey, with his steamboat, to which he gave careful attention, as he did to everything that seemed to have merit. Another class of correspondents were his officers, who wanted his aid with Congress and in a thousand other ways, and to these old comrades he never turned a deaf ear. In this connection also came the affairs of the Society of the Cincinnati. He took an active part in the formation of the society, became its head, steered it through its early difficulties, and finally saved it from the wreck with which it was threatened by unreasoning popular prejudice. All these things were success
fully managed, but at much expense of time and thought.
Then again, apart from this mass of labor thrust upon him by outsiders, there were his own concerns. His personal affairs required looking after, and he regulated accounts, an elaborate business always with him, put his farms in order, corresponded with his merchants in England, and introduced agricultural improvements, which always interested him deeply. He had large investments in land, of which from boyhood he had been a bold and sagacious purchaser. These investments had been neglected and needed his personal inspection; so in September, 1784, he mounted his horse, and with a companion and a servant rode away to the western country to look after his property. He camped out, as in the early days, and heartily enjoyed it, although reports that the Indians were moving in a restless and menacing manner shortened his trip, and prevented his penetrating beyond his settled lands to the wild tracts which he owned to the westward. Still he managed to ride some six hundred and eighty miles and get a good taste of that wild life which he never ceased to love, besides gathering a stock of information on many points of deeper and wider interest than his own property.
In the midst of all these employments, too, he attended closely to his domestic duties. At frequent intervals he journeyed to Fredericksburg to visit his mother, who still lived, and to whom he was always a dutiful and affectionate son. He watched over Mrs. Washington's grandchildren, and two or three nephews of his own, whose education he had undertaken, with all the solicitude of a father, and at the expense again of much thought and many wise letters of instruction and advice.
Even from this brief list it is possible to gain some idea of the occupations which filled Washington's time, and the only wonder is that he dealt with them so easily and effectively. Yet the greatest and most important work, that which most deeply absorbed his mind, and which affected the whole country, still remains to be described. With all his longing for repose and privacy, Washington could not separate himself from the great problems which he had solved, or from the solution of the still greater problems which he had done more than any man to bring into existence. In reality, despite his reiterated wish for the quiet of home, he never ceased to labor at the new questions which confronted the country, and the old issues which were the legacy of the Revolution.
In the latter class was the peace establishment, on which he advised Congress, much in vain; for their idea of a peace establishment was to get rid of the army as rapidly as possible, and retain only a corporal's guard in the service of the confederation. Another question was that concerning the western posts. As has been already pointed out, Washington's keen eye had at once detected that this was the perilous point in the treaty, and he