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business or for their own selfish advantage that the President had scarcely time to give to his regular business and to his letters. In fact, all these calls kept him from attend
ing to the work he had to do. So he arranged for certain reception days. On Tuesdays, from three to four, he saw all those who wished to call upon him, and on every Friday afternoon the President and Mrs. Washington had a reception, to which the people were all invited. When this was decided upon there were plenty of people to criticise and to say that Washington and his wife were “stuck up," and were trying to be as grand as the kings and queens of Europe; and indeed, as you will soon see, as parties grew and men took
one side or the other on the questions that were all the time coming up for discussion, there were many who did not hesitate to say things against Washington which some of them lived
IN WASHINGTON'S DAY.
long enough to be sorry for and to wish they had never said. So, at last, the government was started, with a Congress and a President; and the world looked on and sneered and criticised, or applauded and praised, according as these who sneered disliked and those who praised believed in a people trying to govern themselves without kings or queens, or princes and nobles. For you see, a republic, such as the United States had declared themselves, was an experiment in the world and people did not know how the experiment would turn out. It was well for the experiment and well for the United States of America that the first American President was so great, so noble, so dignified, so simple, so just, so able, so sensible and so good a man as was George Washington of Virginia. It was his wisdom and caution and will that gave the Republic so fair a start and set it so well forward on the road that nothing could stop its progress or do it lasting harm in all the hundred years of prosperity and pride and danger and disturbance that were to follow the inauguration of its first and noblest President.
HOW WASHINGTON SERVED AS PRESIDENT THE
THE Constitution says that the term of office of the
1 President of the United States shall be four years. But when Washington's first term of four years, which extended from 1789 to 1793, was finished, the people were not willing to give him up. Even those who did not agree with him felt that it was not wise, at that time, to make a change and all agreed that no man in the land was better fitted to be its chief magistrate than George Washington.
So he was again elected to the presidency without a vote against him; and, though he wished greatly to give up the office and go back to his beloved farm at Mount Vernon, he felt that the people wished him to stay where he was and that, for a time at any rate, it was his duty to remain. And thus, on the fourth of March, 1793, he entered upon the office of President of the United States for the second time.
Great things were happening in the world, and Washington's justice, good sense and patriotism were to be tried during his second term as President as they had never before
GEORGE WASHINGTON. ("The Atheneum Head." Painted from life in 1796, ly Gilbert Stuart, and owned by the
Boston Atheneum. Now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.)