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can we feel glad to think that neither slander nor wickedness nor meanness have been able to take away one jot from the name and fame of George Washington.
HOW THE GENERAL GOT HIS DISCHARGE.
AMID tears and cheers and the warm good-byes of friends
and followers, George Washington laid aside the cares of office and went back to his farm in Virginia — that Mount Vernon farm toward which his thoughts and desires had so often turned through the eight years of his busy and anxious life as president.
He found plenty to do. Mount Vernon, in his absence, had been taken care of by an overseer, but things had been allowed to run down, or, at least, not kept up to Washington's idea of what was right; so the first thing he did was to repair and improve things. “I find myself in the situation, nearly, of a new beginner,” he wrote to one of his friends. “I am surrounded by joiners, masons and painters; and such is my anxiety to get out of their hands, that I have scarcely a room to put a friend into or to sit in myself, without the music of hammers or the smell of paint."
So he mended and repaired and built and extended, or looked after his broad plantations, glad to get back to the
free, busy, outof-door life he had always loved. His door was ever open to the friends and strangers who were constantly coming to Mount Vernon to see the greatest man in America.
For he was thegreatest man in America. Of that there can be no doubt. Notwithstanding the enemies he had made because of his say
ing to France : “ Hands off ! America is not your servant;” and notwithstanding the strong and different ways of thinking about
WASHINGTON, THE FARMER.
matters of government that were dividing the people into what we call political parties; and notwithstanding the harsh and unfriendly things that leading men and leading newspapers had said about the president, the great mass of people were of his following and on his side. They could not for
get that this strong and silent man had for forty-five years been at the front in all the great events that had made the United States possible ; they knew his sincerity, his honesty, his faith in freedom and in the people, his clear vision, his strong grasp, his wisdom in planning and doing, his modesty, his ability as a leader, his safety as a guide. For the success