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eral came home wet and chilled. The next day he had a sore throat, but rode out to see about cutting down some trees and then went home again. His cold increased; he had a chill and then a difficulty in breathing. The doctors who were called could not help him and he grew worse. He had what was then called a “quinsy sore throat ”— a sort of croup or laryngitis, as it is called to-day.
He called his household around him ; he said he knew he was going, but that he was “not afraid to go ;” he thanked the doctors for their efforts, gave directions to his beloved wife and his faithful secretary, and with the words “it is well ” upon his lips, answered the call that had come to him. With his fingers upon his own pulse, calmly counting the feebly-coming strokes, at eleven o'clock on Saturday night, the fourteenth of December, 1799, George Washington the American bade good-bye to the world he had served so well by living in, the land he had helped so much by his loyalty and his love. The old General had his discharge.
When the news went abroad, saying “Washington is dead,” friends and foes alike hastened to pay tribute to his memory. The two powers against which he had stood out most sturdily — monarchical England and republican France — hastened to express their sorrow and their respect. In the midst of a great pageant of rejoicing because Napoleon Bonaparte was returning a victor from his battles in Egypt, the standards and flags of the French army, which Americans thought Washington might have to lead them against in battle, were draped in black, and “Bonaparte, First Consul of the Republic” decreed a statue to Washington. At almost the same time the great Channel fleet of England, riding at anchor in Tor Bay on the Devonshire coast, lowered the flags of every frigate and every vessel of the fleet to half-mast, thus honoring a foeman that England had faced in fight, but respected, honored and mourned.
And his own land which he had so loved and labored for, sorrowed deeply for its loss. Congress adjourned at once, the Speaker's chair was draped in black, the Congressmen put on mourning; there were resolutions passed, and speeches made, and memorial services held all over the land; and wherever, in cities or villages, on fishing-boat and workbench, in the farmhouse, the schoolhouse, and the homes of the wealthy and the poor, the sorrowful tidings came, there was mourning and sorrow, there were words of praise, of reverence and love, for the general called from his army, the planter from his farm, the husband from his home, the foremost citizen from the land he had served so nobly — Washington, “first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”