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our country; and that we add our own for the choicest of those blessings on the most beloved of her citizens."

While waiting the movements of the Legislature, the President endeavoured fully to acquaint himself with the state of public affairs, and for this purpose, he called upon those who had been the heads of departments under the confederation, to report to him the situation of their respective concerns. He also, having consulted with his friends, adopted a system for the order of his own household; for the regulation of his hours of business, and of intercourse with those who, in a formal manner, visited him as the Supreme Magistrate of the nation.

He publicly announced that neither visits of business or ceremony would be expected on Sunday, as he wished to reserve this day sacredly to himself. Other regulations, adopted at this time, were at a subsequent period complained of as par-, taking too much of monarchical customs. To a friend in Virginia, who had made known these complaints, the President gave the following reasons for their adoption.

“ While the eyes of America, perhaps of the world, are turned to this government, and many are watching the movements of those who are concerned in its administration, I should like to be informed through so good a medium, of the public opinion of both men and measures, and of none more than myself; not so much of what may be thought commendable parts, if any, of duct, as of those which are conceived to be of a

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different complexion. The man who means to commit no wrong, will never be guilty of enormities, consequently can never be unwilling to learn what are ascribed to him as foibles. If they are really such, the knowledge of them, in a well disposed mind, will go half way towards a reform. If they are not errors, he can explain and justify the motives of his actions. At a distance from the theatre of action, truth is not always related without embellishments, and sometimes is entirely perverted, from a misconception of the causes which produced the effects that are the subject of censure.

“ This leads me to think that a system which I found it indispensably necessary to adopt upon my first coming to this city, might have under, gone severe strictures, and have had motives, very foreign from those that governed me, assigned as the causes thereof. I mean first, returning no visits ; second, appointing certain days to receive them generally, (not to the exclusion, however, of visits on any other days under particular circumstances) and third, at the first entertaining no company, and afterwards (until I was unable to entertain any at all) confining it to official characters. A few days evinced the necessity of the two first in so clear a point of view, that had I not adopted it, I should have been unable to have attended to any sort of business, unless I had applied the hours allotted to rest and refreshment to this purpose; for the by time I had done breakfast, and thence until dinner, and afterwards until bed time, I could not get relieved from the ceremony of one visit, before I had to attend to another. In a word, I had no leisure to read or to answer the dispatches that were pouring in upon me from all quarters.

-“ Before the custom was established, which now accommodates foreign characters, strangers, and others, who, from motives of curiosity, respect to the Chief Magistrate, or any other cause; are induced to call upon me, I was unable to attend to any

business whatsoever. For gentlemen, consulting their own convenience rather than mine, were calling from the time I rose from breakfast, often before, until I sat down to dinner. This, as I resolved not to neglect my public duties, reduced me to the choice of one of these alternatives ; either to refuse them altogether, or to appropriate a time for the reception of them. The first would, I well knew, be disgusting to many; the latter, I expected, would undergo animadversions from those who would find fault with or without cause.

To please every body was impossible. I therefore adopted that line of conduct which combined public advantage with private convenience, and which in my judgment was unexceptionable in itself.

These visits are optional. They are made without invitation Between the hours of three and four every Tuesday I am prepared to receive them. Gentlemen, often in great numbers, come and go, chat with each other, and act as they please. A porter shews them into the room, and they retire from it when they choose, and without ceremony. At their first entrance, they salute

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me, and I them, and as many as I can talk to, I do. What pomp there is in all this, I am unable to discover. Perhaps it consists in not sitting : to this two reasons are opposed; first, it is unusual ; secondly, which is a more substantial one, because I have no room large enough to contain a third of the chairs which would be sufficient to admit it. If it is supposed that ostentation, or the fashions of courts (which by the bye I believe originate oftener in convenience, not to say necessity, than is generally imagined) gave rise to this custom, I will boldly affirm that no supposition was ever more erroneous ; for were I to indulge my inclinations, every moment that I could withdraw from the fatigues of my station, should be spent in retirement. That they are not; proceeds from the sense I entertain of the propriety of giva ing to every one as free access as consists with that respect which is due to the chair of government; and that respect, I conceive, is neither to be acquired nor preserved, but by maintaining a just medium between much state, and too great familiarity

“ Similar to the above, but of a more familiar and sociable kind, are the visits of every Friday afternoon to Mrs. Washington, where I always

These public meetings, and a dinner once a week to as many as my table will hold, with the references to and from the different departments of state, and other communications with all parts of the union, is as much, if not more, than I am able to undergo ; for I have already had, within less than a year, two severe attacks, the last worse



than the first ; a third, it is more than probable, will put me to sleep with my fathers ; ai what distance this may be, I know not."

At the commencement of the presidency of General Washington, a variety of circumstances combined to create anxiety and apprehension respecting the operations of the government.

The relation of the country with foreign powers was critical and embarrassing. Spain discovered jealousies of the American people, and manifested a disposition to check their progress to national wealth and strength. She had refused negotiation with the American government, and denied to its subjects the navigation of the Mississippi south of the boundary of the United States.

Between Great Britain and the United States, great causes of altercation existed. Just complaints of the non-execution of essential articles of the treaty of peace were mutually made, and an irritable state of mind appeared in both nations, which rendered the adjustment of the controversy the more difficult.

France early discovered a disposition to take advantage of the partiality of the American people, to gain an influence in their councils, and to acquire the control of their destiny.

The Indians, through the whole extent of the western frontier, manifested great inquietude. Their jealousies of the United States were supposed to have been excited by the intrigues of Spanish and British partisans, and most of the tribes assumed a very threatening attitude.

In addition to these foreign difficulties, there.


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