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[p. 116] noble and eloquent discourse delivered after the death of George Washington. Permit me to read a passage from it that you may test its quality: ‘At the head of armies, and at the helm of government, there have been some, who in the height of their elevation, amidst all the allurements of interest, pride, ambition, and sensuality, while covered with glory, invested with power, and abounding in wealth, have yet shown themselves able to control their passions, to moderate their desires, to forego all selfish views, and preserve a character for piety, benevolence, disinterestedness, justice, meekness, temperance, purity; in short for whatever is amiable, lovely, and praiseworthy in religion, morals, and manners. Undismayed at the most formidable prospects, and uncontaminated amidst the strongest temptations to corruption, no bribe could seduce them, no terror could overawe them. They were never melted by pleasure into effeminacy, nor sunk by misfortunes into despondency. In their private deportment and public conduct they displayed dignity and magnanimity without pride; humility without meanness; justice without partiality, harshness, or severity; courage without rashness or presumption. Wary and circumspect, though not artful or designing, they were wise and penetrating in discovering and eluding the snares of enemies and opponents; sagacious and prudent in foreseeing and guarding against dangers and accidents; never exposing themselves, or the cause with which they were entrusted, to any risk, detriment, or embarrassment which could be decently and honorably avoided. I do not remember to have read in any volume of profane history, whether ancient or modern, nor even in the fictions of romance, of a single character so exempt from every spot of vice, every shade of weakness or indiscretion; so complete in the abilities of a general, in the talents of a statesman, in the virtues of a citizen, equal to him who, at the call of his country, headed our armies through the ’
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