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him to be king, he was very angry. Even to think of such a thing was treachery to the cause of liberty; to say it, was open treason. He had pledged his life for the freedom of America, and now to be asked to himself be the tyrant he had overthrown, and rule as king, made him very angry. “Be assured, sir,” he wrote in reply, “no occurrence in the course of the war has given me more painful sensations than your information of there being such ideas existing in the army as you have expressed, and which I must view with abhorrence and reprimand with severity. ... I am at a loss to conceive what part of my conduct could have given encouragement to an address which to me seems big with the greatest mischief that can befall any country. ... Let me conjure you, if you have any regard for your country, concern for yourself or posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind, and never communicate, as from yourself or any one else, a sentiment of the like nature.”
To me, boys and girls, this is one of the noblest moments in the life of George Washington. People who have written all about him do not seem to give it much attention; but, when I read the history of the world, and see how many great men have fallen into temptation at just such moments as this that Washington faced, when I see how they were unable to put aside the dream of power, the chance of glory, the opportunity to wear the crown and be king of the land in which they lived, I believe that no mightier, nobler, or grander man ever lived than George Washington. For he, who had the power to say yes, was strong enough to say no; he was true enough and noble enough to be angry that anything of the sort should have been said to him. You may be sure no one ever again suggested to Washington the idea of being king of America.
And when, a little later, the soldiers still called loudly for their pay, and threatened to march against Congress and force it to pay what was due, Washington saw that here was a real danger, and quieted it as no other man could. Instead of scolding, as he might, or of heading his discontented soldiers, he asked them to meet him; and then he read to them
a speech that calmed them, and changed their passion into patience.
At last the day came for the breaking up of the army. The war was over, the British had gone,
the trouble between the army and Congress, thanks to Washington's exertions, had been fixed up, and now the general must say good bye to the brave men who had fought by his side, and been his faithful officers through all the years of war.
It was in New York City, and in a famous hotel called Fraunces’ Tavern, that he bade them good bye, giving to one a kiss, to another an embrace, and to all, the warm hand