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you, was not yet come to an end. It never will end, while the world stands, and fathers and mothers teach their boys and girls to reverence worth and greatness, truth and honor, nobility and goodness, strength and purpose, grandeur and success — all of which are chapters in the ever-living story of George Washington, the noblest American.
power simply for his own ends, and because they brought him what he desired — not such a man is worthy to be selected by you as a real hero; not the man who is powerful because he is rich, or because he is strong, or because he is smart, alone, is to be chosen by you as your hero; but the man who, knowing what is right, dares to do it, and, doing it, is able to do it nobly and well, the man whose work is not for himself, but for the good of others, who is courageous, strong and honest, loving, tender and true, who can command and counsel, but is himself willing to obey and to take advice, who is a leader of men, but a lover of men also, who is noble because he is good, and great because he is noble — that is the man you can take for your hero, and thank God that such a man really has lived and labored and succeeded in the world. And such a man was George Washington.
The people who, as I have told you, object to heroworship are ready to criticise Washington. They will tell you that he was not an American, but only an Englishman who happened to live in America when America was really English; they will tell you he was cold and stern, and unloving; that he was great, as a mountain or an iceberg is great, but not such a man as boys and girls would love if they knew him, or would care to hang about or cling to, if they were with him; they will tell you that he never laughed, that he never played, that he never joked or did any of the things that make men pleasant comrades and good fellows.
To all of which things you can answer: “It is not so." No man was more an American than Washington. He, first of all, saw the great future that was in store for the people he had made free, and the nation he had founded. He was cold only to those who tried to use him for selfish ends; stern only to those who proved themselves unworthy, cowardly, traitorous or disloyal; unloving to no one, not even his enemies. The man who, when a young Indian fighter, was so moved by the woes of the people on the frontier as to say : “I solemnly declare I could offer myself a willing victim to the butchering enemy, provided this would contribute to the people's ease;" who could love his mother, even like a little child, when he was both general and president; who, as we have seen, was a favorite with children and especially to little girls; who could make such young men as Hamilton and Lafayette cling to him in affection and admiration, and could kiss his officers good-bye when the war was over, and the day of parting came — this was surely not a cold, a stern nor an unloving man.
The man who has the care of a nation on his shoulders, who is naturally grave, silent and sober, does not go about
A PEN PORTRAIT OF PRESIDENT
poking fun at people, “ cutting up,” or being what is called a "hail fellow;" and yet we know that Washington enjoyed a good time, a hearty laugh and a pleasant company.
But these things, after all, are not for us to consider. As the years pass, the greatness of Washington grows on the world. His story is not yet at an end; and it will never end, while men and women honor nobility of character, while boys and girls love to hear the story of how a farmer's boy grew into a hero, and a simple gentleman into a great man. His story will never end, for the world will never cease to love, to honor and to reverence the name of George Washington.
And how his country has honored him! It holds him as, above all others, its mightiest man. The capital of the nation
bears his name, and is built, a (In the City of Washington.)
beautiful city, upon the spot he selected, while, above its splendid streets and its magnificent buildings and its glorious white dome, towers the mighty
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