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tion of good manners which deals with all men for what they are, and is full of a warm sympathy born of a good heart? He was criticised for coldness and accused of monarchical leanings, because,, at Mrs. Washington's receptions and his own pub-, lic levees, he stood, dressed in black velvet, with one hand on the hilt of his sword and the other behind his back, and shook hands with no one, although he talked with all. He did this because he thought it became the President of the United States upon state occasions, and his sense of the dignity of his office was always paramount. But away from forms and ceremonies, with the old servant or the old soldier, or the country parson, his hand was never behind his back, and his manners were those of a great but simple gentleman, and came straight from a kind heart, full of sym. pathy and good feeling.
He was, too, the most hospitable of men in the best sense, and his house was always open to all who, came. When he was away during the war or the presidency, his instructions to his agents were to keep up the hospitality of Mount Vernon, just as if he had been there himself; and he was especially careful in directing that, if there were general distress, poor persons of the neighborhood should have help from his kitchen or his granaries.
His own more immediate hospitality was of the same kind. He always entertained in the most liberal manner, both as general and President, and in a style which he thought befitted the station
he occupied. But apart from all this, his table, whether at home or abroad, was never without its guest. “Dine with us,” he wrote to Lear on July 31, 1797, “or we shall do what we have not done for twenty years, dine alone.” The real hospitality which opens the door and spreads the board for the friend or stranger, admitting them to the family without form or ceremony, was his also. “My manner of living is plain,” he wrote to a friend after the Revolution; "I do not mean to be put out of it.' A glass of wine and a bit of mutton are always ready; and such as will be content to partake of them are always welcome. Those who expect more will be disappointed, but no change will be effected by it." Genuine hospitality as unstinted as it was sincere was not characteristic of a cold man, or of one who sought to avoid his fellows. It is one of the lighter graces of life, perhaps, but when it comes freely and simply, and not as a vehicle for the display or the aggrandizement of its dispenser, it is not without a meaning to the student of character.
Washington was not much given to professions of friendship, nor was he one of the great men who keep a circle of intimates and sometimes of flatterers about them. He was extremely independent of the world and perfectly self-sufficing, but it is a mistake to suppose that because he unbosomed himself to scarcely any one, and had the loneliness of greatness and of high responsibilities, he was therefore without friends.
He had as many
friends as usually fall to the lot of any man; and although he laid bare his inmost heart to none, some were very close and all were very dear to him. In war and politics, as has already been said, the two men who came nearest to him were Hamilton and Knox, and his diary shows that when he was President he consulted with them nearly every day wholly apart from the regular cabinet meetings. They were the two advisers who were friends as well as secretaries, and who followed and sustained him as a matter of affection as much as politics. At home his neighbor, George Mason, although they came to differ, was a strong friend whom he liked and respected, and whose opinion, whether favorable or adverse, he always sought. His feeling to Patrick Henry was much deeper than mere political or official acquaintance, and the lovable qualities of the brilliant orator, clear even now across the gulf of a century, were evidently strongly felt by Washington. They differed about the Constitution, but Washington was eager at a later day to have Henry by his side in the cabinet, and in the last years they stood shoulder to shoulder in defense of the Union with a personal sympathy deeper than any born of a mere similarity of opinion. Henry Lee, the son of his old sweetheart, he loved with a tender and peculiar affection. He watched over him and helped him, rejoiced in the dashing gallantry which made him famous as Light-horse Harry, and, when he had won civil as well as military distinction, trusted
him and counseled with him. Dr. Craik, the companion of his youth and his life-long physician, was always a dear and close friend, and the regard between the two is very pleasant to look at, as we see it glancing out here and there in the midst of state papers and official cases. For the officers of the army he had a peculiarly warm feeling, and he had among them many close friends, like Carrington of Virginia, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina. His immediate staff he regarded with especial affection, and it is worthy of notice that they all not only admired their great chief, but followed 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,
upon whose friendship and advice Washington always leaned. Such, too, were Robert and Gouverneur Morris. The sacri. fices 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
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