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Washington in Domestic Life
written by "Rush, Richard, 1780-1859"
...Therefore his reserve; and thus it was that the grand results of his life came out in manifold blessings to his country; thus it was that some at first distrustful, and others long distrustful, of his superiority, came to admit it in the end. Be it added, that his native good sense teaching him the value of social restraint, and his knowledge of the world, its approved observances in intercourse, the tone of the gentleman on its best models ever also graced his public glory. An anecdote I derived from Colonel Lear shortly before his death in 1816, may here be related, showing the height to which his passion would rise yet be controlled. It belongs to his domestic life which I am dealing with, having occurred under his own roof, whilst it marks public feeling the most intense, and points to the moral of his life. I give it in Colonel Lear's words as nearly as I can, having made a note of them at the time. Towards the close of a winter's day in 1791, an officer in uniform was seen to dismount in front of the President's in Philadelphia, and, giving the bridle to his servant, knock at the door of his mansion. Learning from the porter that the President was at dinner, he said he was on public business and had dispatches for the President. A servant was sent into the dining-room to give the information to Mr. Lear, who left the table and went into the hall where the officer repeated what he had said. Mr. Lear replied that, as the President's Secretary, he would take charge of the dispatches and deliver them at the proper time. The officer made answer that he had just arrived from the western army, and his orders were to deliver them with all promptitude, and to the President in person; but that he would wait his directions. Mr. Lear returned, and in a whisper imparted to the President what had passed. General Washington rose from the table, and went to the officer. He was ...

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