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him with a personal devotion which is not a little curious if Washington was cold of heart and distant of manner in the intimate association of a military family. This feeling for his soldiers and his officers extended also to those civilians who had stood by him and the army, and who had labored for victory in all those trying years. Such a one was old Governor Trumbull, “Brother Jonathan,” who never failed to respond when a call was made for men and money, and upon whose friendship and advice Washington always leaned. Such, too, were Robert and Gouverneur Morris. The sacrifices and energy of the one and the zeal and brilliant abilities of the other endeared both to him, and his friendship for them never wavered when misfortune overtook the elder, and when the younger was driven by malice, both foreign and domestic, from the place he had filled so well. Another, again, of this kind was Franklin. In the dark days of the old French war, Washington had seen displayed for the first time the force and tact of Franklin, which alone obtained the necessary wagons and enabled Braddock's army to move. The early impression thus obtained was never lost, and Franklin's patriotism, his sympathy for the General and the army in the Revolution, as well as the stanch support he gave them, aroused in Washington a sense of obligation and friendship of the sincerest kind. In proportion as he loathed ingratitude was he grateful himself. He loved Franklin for his friendship and
support, he admired him for his successful diplomacy, and he reverenced him for his scientific attainments. The only American whose fame could for a moment come in competition with his own, he regarded the old philosopher with affectionate veneration, and when, after his own fashion, and not at all after the fashion of the time, he arrived in Philadelphia on the exact day set for the Constitutional Convention, his first act was to call upon Dr. Franklin and pay his respects to him. The courtesy and kindliness of this little act on the part of a man who had come to the town in the midst of shouting crowds, with joy bells ringing above his head, speak well for the simple, honest heart that dictated it. After all, it may be said that a passing civility of this sort involved but little trouble, and was more a matter of good-breeding than anything else. Let us look, then, at another and widely different case. Of all the men whom the fortunes of war brought across Washington's path there was none who became dearer to him than Lafayette, for the generous, high-spirited young Frenchman, full of fresh enthusiasm and brave as a lion, appealed at once to Washington's heart. He quickly admitted him to his confidence, and the excellent service of Lafayette in the field, together with his invaluable help in securing the French alliance, deepened and 'strengthened the sympathy and affection which were entirely reciprocal. After Lafayette departed, a constant correspondence was maintained ; and when the Bastile fell, it was to Washington that Lafayette sent its key, which still hangs on the wall of Mt. Vernon. As Lafayette rose rapidly to the dangerous heights of revolutionary leadership, he had at every step Washington's advice and sympathy. Then the tide turned; he fell headlong from power, and brought up in an Austrian prison. From that moment Washington spared no pains to help his unhappy friend, although his own position was one of extreme difficulty. Lafayette was not only the proscribed exile of one country, but also the political prisoner of another, and the President could not compromise the United States at that critical moment by showing too much interest in the fate of his unhappy friend. He nevertheless went to the very edge of prudence in trying to save him, and the ministers of the United States were instructed to use every private effort to secure Lafayette's release, or at least the mitigation of his confinement. All these attempts failed, but Washington was more successful in other directions. He sent money to Madame de Lafayette, who was absolutely beggared at the moment, and represented to her that it was in settlement of an account which he owed the marquis. When Lafayette's son and his own namesake came to this country for an asylum, he had him cared for in Boston and New York by his personal friends; George Cabot in the one case, and Hamilton in the other. As soon as public affairs made it proper for him to do it, he took the lad into his own household, treated him like a son, and kept him near him until events permitted the boy to return to Europe and rejoin his father. The sufferings and dangers of Lafayette and his family were indeed a source of great unhappiness to Washington, and we have the authority of Bradford, his attorney-general, that when the President attempted to talk about Lafayette he was so much affected that he shed tears, – a very rare exhibition of emotion in a man so intensely reserved. Absence had as little effect upon his memory of old friends as misfortune. The latter stimulated recollection, and the former could not dim it. He found time, in the very heat and fire of war and revolution, to write to Bryan Fairfax lamenting the death of “the good old lord ” whose house had been open to him, and whose hand had ever helped him when he was a young and unknown man just beginning his career. When he returned to Mount Vernon after the presidency, full of years and honors, one of his first acts was to write to Mrs. Fairfax in England to assure her of his lasting remembrance, and to breathe a sigh over the changes time had brought, and over the by-gone years when they had been young together. The loyalty of nature which made his remembrance of old friends so real and lasting found expression also in the thoughtfulness which he showed toward casual acquaintances, and this was especially the case when he had received attention or service at any one's hands, or when he felt that be
was able to give pleasure by a slight effort on his own part. A little incident which occurred during the first year of his presidency illustrates this trait in his character very well. Uxbridge was one among the many, places where he stopped on his New England tour, and when he got to Hartford he wrote to Mr. Taft, who had been his host in the former town, and who evidently cherished for him a very keen admiration, the following note: — “November 8, 1789.
“SIR: Being informed that you have given my name to one of your sons, and called another after Mrs. Washington's family, and being moreover very much pleased with the modest and innocent looks of your two daughters, Patty and Polly, I do for these reasons send each of these girls a piece of chintz; and to Patty, who bears the name of Mrs. Washington, and who waited more upon us than Polly did, I send five guineas, with which she may buy herself any little ornament she may want, or she may dispose of them in any other manner more agreeable to herself. As I do not give these things with a view to having it talked of, or even to its being known, the less there is said about the matter the better you will please me ; but, that I may be sure the chintz and money have got safe to hand, let Patty, who I dare say is equal to it, write me a line informing me thereof, directed to ‘The President of the United States at New York.’ I wish you and your family well, and am,” etc.