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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
beautiful city, upon the spot he selected, while, above its splendid streets and its magnificent buildings and its glorious white dome, towers the mighty
soo & # 8
(In the City of Washington.)
shaft that has been reared as his monument and memorial. The home he loved so dearly at Mount Vernon is the most sacred spot in all the land, sought by pilgrims from all over the world, as one, in foreign lands, visits the shrines of saintly men. On the far Pacific coast a great and growing state bears his name, and, all over the land, towns and counties, streets and parks, schools and institutions and banks and all the things that people most prize and most work for, honor the memory of Washington by bearing his name.
And how grandly has the country which he helped to form and which he led to victory and a future, made his predictions come true! Its four millions of people who hailed him as president have grown to nearly seventy millions, its thirteen states to forty-five, its four cities to more than four hundred, any one of which is more populous than the most populous city of Washington's day. The American leads the world in enterprise, energy, invention, prosperity and patriotism; and, under the folds of the banner of the stars and stripes, schools and churches flourish as in no other land, homes are happier, men and women freer, boys and girls better, and the future more certain and more secure than in any other land upon the whole round earth.
And all this is because George Washington lived a hundred years ago; and that is why his story, as I have assured