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foreign governments, and to his own countrymen, were always sincere. If Washington possessed ambition, that passion was, in his bosom, so regulated by principles, or controlled by circumstances, that it was neither vicious nor turbulent. Intrigue was never employed as the means of its gratification; nor was personal aggrandizement its object. The various high and important stations to which he was called by the public voice, were unsought by himself; and, in consenting to fill them, he seems rather to have yielded to a general conviction, that the interests of his country would thereby be promoted, than to any particular inclination of his own.
Washington accoinplished the most of his great duties with apparent ease, by a rigid observance of punctuality It is known that whenever he assigned to meet Congress at noon, he never failed to be passing the door of the hall when the clock struck twelve. His dinner hour was four, when he always sat down to his table, only allowing five minutes for the variation of timepieces, whether his guests were present or not. It was frequently the case with new members of Congress, that they did not arrive until dinner was nearly half over, and he would remark, "Gentlemen, we are punctual here; my cook never asks whether the company has arrived, but whether the hour has.” When he visited Boston in 1782, he appointed eight o'clock in the morning as the hour when he should set out for Salem, and while the Old South clock was striking eight, he was crossing his saddle. The company of cavalry which volunteered to escort him, not anticipating this strict punctuality, were parading in Tremont street after his departure ; and it was not until the President had reached Charles river bridge, where he stopped a few minutes, that the troop of horse overtook him. On passing the corps, the President, with perfect good nature said : Major I thought you had been too long in my family, not to know when it was eight o'clock."
The life of this great man has been given to us by Judge Marshall, in five vols. Svo . and a corious selection from his manuscripts is now publishing by Mr. Jared Sparks.
The second President of the United States, was born at Braintree, Mass., October 30, 1735. He graduated at Harvard University in 1755; and, while a member of that institution, was distinguished by diligence in his studies, and kur the most unequivocal evidence of genius The three yea.s next succeeding his graduation, he spen studying law at Worcester; and, at the same time, as a means of subsistence, instructed a class of scholars in Latin and Greek. In October, 1758, Mr. Adams presented himself, a stranger, poor, and without the influence of friends, to the superior court then sitting at Boston, for admission to practise as an attorney. He now menced in the labors of his profession, at Quincy, then in the county of Suffolk, and soon obtained a competent portion of lucrative business.
In 1764, Mr. Adams was married to Abigail Smith; and in the year following he removed to Boston, where he acquired an extensive legal practice. Although he was offered patronage from the officers of the British govern. ment, he was induced to decline all such aids to personal distinction and affluence, choosing rather to espouse the cause of his native country, hazardous as this course evi. dently was. His patriotism was duly appreciated by his fellow-citizens, and he received numerous marks of public confidence in this respect.
He took a prominent part in every leading measure, and served on several committees which reported some of the most important state papers of the time. He was elected
a member of the Congress, and was among the foremost in recommending the adoption of an independent government. It has been affirmed, by Mr. Jefferson himself, s that the great pillar of support to the declaration of independence, and its ablest advocate and champion on the floor of the house, was John Adams.”
In 1777, he was chosen commissioner to the court of Versailles, in the place of Mr. Dean, who was recalled. I: is said that at this time he had been a member of ninety committees, and chairman of twenty-five. On his
return from France, about a year afterwards, he was elected a member of the convention to prepare a form of government for the State of Massachusetts, and placed on the sub-committee chosen to draught the project of a constitution. The clause in regard to the patronage of literature was written by him. September 29, 1779, he was appointed minister plenipotentiary to negotiate a peace, and had authority to form a commercial treaty with Great Britain. In June, 1780, he was appointed in the place of Mr. Laurens, ambassador to Holland, and in 1782 he went to Paris to engage in the negotiation for peace, having previously obtained assurance that Great Britain would recognise the independence of the United States. Aster serving on two or three commissions to form trea. lies of amity and commerce with foreign powers, in 1785 Mr. Adams was appointed first minister to Lon. don.
In a letter to Mr. Jay, Mr. Adams gives the following graphic and interesting account of his public reception by the king :
“At one, on Wednesday, the first of June, the master of ceremonies called at my house and went with me to the Secretary of State's office, in Cleaveland Row, where the Marquis of Carmarthen received me, and introduced me to Mr. Frazier, his under secretary, who had been, as his lordship said, uninterruptedly in that office, through all the changes in administration, for thirty years, having first been appointed by the Earl of Holderness. After a short conversation upon the subject of importing my effects from Holland and France free of duty, which Mr. Frazier himself introduced, Lord Carmarthen invited me to go with him in his coach to court. When we arrived in the antichamber, the Eil de Bæuf of St. James, the master of the ceremonies met me, and attended me while the Secretary of State went to take the commands of the king. While I stood in this place, where it seems all ministers stand upon such occasions, always attended by the master of ceremonies, the room very full of ministers of state, bishops, and all other sorts of courtiers, as well as the next room, which is the king's bedchamber, you may
we!! suppose that I was the focus of all eyes. I was relieved, however, from the embarrassment of it, by the Swedish and Dutch ministers, who came to me and entertained me in a very agreeable conversation during the whole time. Some other gentlemen, whom I bud seen before, came to make their compliments too; until the Marquis of Carmarthen returned and desired me to go with him to his majesty. I went with his lordship through the levee room into the king's closet, The door was shut, and I was left with his majesty and the secretary of state alone. I made the three reverences; one at the door, another about half way, and the third before the presence, according to the usage established at this, and all the northern courts of Europe, and then addressed myself to his majesty in the following words: “Sir, the United States of America have appointed.me their minister plenipotentiary to your majesty, and have directed me to deliver to your majesty this letter, which contains the evidence of it. It is in obedience to their express commands, that I have the honor to assure your majesty of their unanimous disposition and desire to cultivate the mest friendly and liberal intercourse between your majesty's subjects and their citizens, and of their best wishes for your majesty's health and happiness, and for that of your royal family.
* The appointment of a minister from the United States to your majesty's court, will form an epoch in the history of England and America. I think myself more fortunate than all my fellow-citizens, in having the distingaished honor to be the first to stand in your
majesty's royal presence, in a diplomatic character; and I shall esteem myself the happiest of men, if I can be instrumental in recommending my country more and more to your majesty's royal benevolence, and of restoring an entire esteem, confidence, and affection, or in better words, “the old good nature and the old good harmony," between people, wlio, though separated by an ocean, and under different govornments, have the same language, a similar religion, and kindred blood. I beg your majesty's permission to add, that although I have sometimes before been intrusted by my courtry, it was never in my whole life in a inanner so agreeable to myself.' 'The king listened to every word I said, with dignity, it is true, but with apparent emotion. Whether it was the nature of the interview, or whether it was my visible agitation, for I felt more than I did or would express, that touched him, I cannot say, but he was much affected, and answered me with more tremor than I had spoken with, and said, *Sir— The circumstances of this audience are so extraordinary, the language you have now held is so extremely proper, and the feelings you have discovered, so justly adapted to the occasion, that I must say, that I not only receive with pleasure the assurances of the friendly disposition of the people of the United States, but that I am very glad the choice has fallen upon you to be their minister. I wish you, Sir, to believe, and that it may be understood in America, that I have done nothing in the late contest, but what I thought myself indispensably bound to do, by the duty which I owed to my people. I will be frank with you. I was the last 10 conform to the separation : but the separation having been made, and having become inevitable, I have always said, as I say now, that I would be the first to meet the friendship of the United States, as an independent power. The moment I see such sentiments and language as yours prevail, and a disposition to give this country the preference, that mo. ment I shall say, let the circumstances of language, religion, and blood, have their natural and full effect.",
“I dare not say that these were the king's preciso words, and it is even possible that I may have, in some particular, mistaken his meaning; for although his pat nunciation is as distinct as I ever heard, he hesita sometimes between his periods, and between the members of the same pı:riod. He was indeed much affected, and I was not less so, and therefore I cannot be certain that I was so attentive, heard so clearly, and understood so perfectly, as to be confident of all his words or sense; this I do say that the foregoing is his majesty's meaning, as I then understood it, and his own words, as nearly as ] can recollect them.
.: The king then asked me, whether I came last from France; an l upon my answering in the affirrnative, he pu: