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view the solitary walk, and tread the paths of private life, with a heartfelt satisfaction.
Envious of none, I am determined to be pleased with all; and this being the order of my march, I will move gently down the stream of life, until I sleep with my fathers.
THE GOOD CITIZEN.
No wish of my retirement can exceed that of seeing our country happy; and I can entertain no doubt of its being so, if all of us act the part of GOOD CITIZENS, contributing our best endeavors to maintain the constitution, support the laws, and guard our independence against all assaults from whatsoever quarter they may come. Clouds may, and doubtless often will, in the vicissitudes of events, hover over our political concerns; but a steady adherence to these principles will not only dispel them, but render our prospect the brighter by such temporary obscurities.
The affection and attachment of my fellow-citizens, through the whole period of my public employments, will be the subject of my most agreeable recollections. The belief, which the affecting sentiments of the people of Massachusetts, expressed by their Senate and
House of Representatives, with those of my fellow-citizens in general, have inspired, that I have been the happy instrument of much good to my country and to mankind, will be a source of unceasing gratitude to Heaven.
My time is now occupied by rural amusements, in which I have great satisfaction. And my first wish is, (although it is against the profession of arms, and would clip the wings of some of our young soldiers, who are soaring after glory,) to see THE WHOLE World IN PEACE, and the inhabitants of it, as ONE BAND OF BROTHERS, striving who should contribute most to the happiness of mankind.
Rural employments, while I am spared, which, in the natural course of things, cannot be long, will now take the place of toil, responsibility, and the solicitude attending the walks of public life. And with a desire for the peace, happiness, and prosperity of a country in whose service the prime of my life has been spent, and with the best wishes for the tranquillity of all nations and all men, the scene to me will close; grateful to that Providence, which has directed my steps and shielded me, in the various changes and chances through which I have passed, from my youth to the present moment.
THE PATRIOT, AT HOME.
Every day, the increasing weight of years * admonishes me, more and more, that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied, that, if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe, that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.
To have finished my public career to the satisfaction of my fellow-citizens, will, to my latest moments, be a matter of pleasing reflection. And to find an evidence of this approbation among my neighbors and friends, (some of whom have been the companions of my juvenile years,) will contribute not a little to heighten this enjoyment.
* He was now sixty-four years of age; and he wrote these words three years before his death.
If virtue can secure happiness in another world, he is happy. In this, the seal is now put upon his glory. It is no longer in jeopardy from the fickleness of fortune.
ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Jan. 2d, 1800.
No American who has not been in England, can have a just idea of the admiration, expressed among all parties, of General Washington. RUFUS KING, Feb. 6th, 1797.
His example: that let us endeavor, by delineating, to impart to mankind. Virtue will place it in her temple, Wisdom in her treasury. FISHER AMES, Feb. 8th, 1800.
I find myself just able to hold the pen during a few minutes, and take this opportunity of expressing my sincere grief, for having done, written, or said, any thing disagreeable to your Excellency. My career will soon be over; therefore justice and truth prompt me to declare my last sentiments. You are, in my eyes, the GREAT AND GOOD MAN. May you long enjoy the love, veneration, and esteem of those States, whose liberties you have asserted by your virtues.
GENERAL THOMAS CONWAY.
NOTE. He was a brigadier-general under Washington, but a wicked calumniator. Gen. Cadwallader challenged him, and dangerously wounded him. Supposing himself to be mortally wounded, he wrote these words to Washington.