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[286] confined to her original seat, the shores and inlets running down from Maine to Georgia.

When the War of Independence closed, not a few good men were saddened by the out-look. The nobler passions, called into activity by the war, were spent, and nothing but the ordinary waste and wreck of civil strife was left. Even Washington's steadfast nerves were shaken. As he rode about the settlements, thinking of what was yet to come, his mind gave way to doubts and fears. The country lay waste. Homesteads, abandoned by their owners, were choked with mud and over-run by vermin. Towns had been destroyed by the contending armies. Bridges were gone, mills burnt, reservoirs emptied. The roads and tracks were injured. Every man in the States was poorer than he had been in the Colonies, and moody with the loss of many comforts which use had made a second nature. Every hamlet was beset by wounded, men, often by wretches in rags pretending to be wounded men. One soldier in seven was supposed to be a cripple, with a claim on his compatriots for bread. The people were unsettled and in debt. After a life of danger and excitement, no one had a mind to settle

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