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edge the justice of the unexampled honour which has been conferred upon you by the spontaneous and unanimous suffrages of three millions of free en, in vour election to the supreme magistracy; nor to ad nire the patriotism which directs your conduct, do vour neighbours and f. iends now address you. Themes ess splendid, but more endearing, impress our minds. The first and best of citizens must leave us. Our aged must lose their ornament; our youth their model ; our agriculture its improver; our commerce its friend ; our infant academy its protector ; our poor their benefactor, and the interiour navigation of the Potomack (an event replete with the most extensive utility already, by your unremitted exertions, brought into partial use) its institutor and promoter.
"Farewell !-go! and make a grateful pecple happy, a people, who will be doubly grateful when they con template this recent sacrifice for their interest.
“ To that Being, who maketh and unmaketh at his will, we commend you ; and after the accomplishment of the arduous business to which you are called, may he restore to us again, the best of men, and the most beloved fellow citizen !" To which General WASHINGTON replied as follows :
GENTLEMEN, “ Although I ought not to conceal, yet I cannot de. scribe the painful emotions which I felt in being called upon to determine whether I would accept or refuse the Presidency of the United States. The inanimity in the choice, the opinion of my friends communicated from different parts of Europe as well as from America, the apparent wish of those who were not entirely satisfied with the constitution in its present form; and an ardent desire on my own part to be instruinental in connecting the good will of my countrymen towards each other, have induced an acceptance. Those who know me best (and you, my fellow citizens, aro, from your situation, in that number) know better than any
others my love of retirement is so great, that no earth ly consideration, short of a conviction of duty, could have prevailed upon me to depart from my resolution never more to take any share in transactions of a publick nature. For at my age, and in my circumstances, what prospects or advantages could I propose to myself, from embarking again on the tempestuous and ur.cor. tain cean of publick life? I do not feel myself under the necessity of making publick declarations, in order to convince you, gentlemen, of my attachment lu yourselves, and regard for your interests. The whole tenour of my life has been open to your inspection; and my past actions, rather than my present declarations, must be the pledge of my future conduct.
“ In the mean time I thank you most sincerely for the expressions of kindness contained in your valedic. tory address. It is true, just after having bade adieu to my domestick connexions, this tender proof of your friendships but too well calculated still farther to awaken my sensibility, and increase my regret at part ing from the enjoyments of private life.
“ All that now remains for me is to commit myself and you to the protection of that beneficent Being who, on a former occasion, hath happily brought us together after a long and distressing separation. Perhaps the same gracious Providence will again indulge
Unutterable sensations must then be left to more expressive silence-while from an aching heart, I bid you all, my affectionate friends, and kind neighbours, farewell !"
It was the wish of General WASHINGTON to avoid parade on his journey to the seat of government, but he found it impossible. Numerous bodies of respecto able citizens, and detachments from the militia esco:t. ed him the whole distance, and at every place through which he passed, he received the most flattering evidence of the high estimation, in which his countrymun held his talents and his virtues
Gray's bridge over the Schuylkill was, with much taste, embellished on the occasion. At each erit arches were erected composed of laurel, in imitation of a Roman triumphal arch; and on each side was a laurel shrubbery. As the General passed, a youth by the aid of machiuery (unperceived by him) let down upon his head a civick crown. Through avenues and streets thronged with people, he passed from the Schuylkill into Philadelphia, and at night the city was illuminated.
At Trenton, the ladies presented him with a tribute of gratitude for the protection which, twelve years before, he gave them, worthy of the taste and refinement of the sex. On the bridge over the creek which runs through this place, a triumphal arch was erected on thirteen pillars; these were entwined with laurel and decorated with flowers. On the front of the arch was the following inscription, in large gilt letters,
THE DEFENDER OF THE MOTHERS
WILL BE THE
PROTECTOR F THE DAUGHTERS. On the centre of the arch above the inscription was a dome of flowers and evergreens encircling the dates of two events particularly interesting to the inhabitarts of New-Jersey, viz. the successful assault on the Hessian post in Trenton, and the gallant stand made by General WaSHINGTON at the same creek on the evening preceding the battle of Princeton. A numerous party of matrons, holding their daughters in their hands, who were dressed in white and held on their arms baskets of flowers, assembled at this place, and on his epproach the daughters sung the following ode,
Welconie, Mighty Chief, once more
Aims at THEE the fatal blow.