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ter, had implicit confidence in his sincerity, and felt assured that he would loyally aid in carrying into effect the constitution as adopted.
It was a great satisfaction to Washington, on looking round for reliable advisers at this moment, to see James Madison among the members of Congress: Madison, who had been with him in the convention, who had labored in The Federalist, and whose talents as a speaker, and calm, dispassionate reasoner; whose extensive information and legislative experience destined nim to be a leader in the House. Highly appreciating his intellectual and moral worth, Washington would often turn to him for counsel. “I am troublesome," would he say " but you must excuse me; ascribe it to friendship and confidence."
Knox, of whose sure sympathies we have spoken, was in strong contrast with the cool statesman just mentioned. His mind was ardent and active, his imagination vivid, as was his language. He had abandoned the military garb, but still maintained his soldier-like air. He was large in person, above the middle stature, with a full face, radiant and benignant, bespeaking his open, buoyant, generous nature. He had a sonorous voice, and sometimes talked rather grandly, flourishing his cane to give effect to his periods.* He was cordially appreciated by Washington, who had experienced his prompt and efficient talent in time of war, had considered him one of the ablest officers of the revolution, and now looked to him as an energetic man of business, capable of giving practical advice in time of peace, and
, cherished for him that strong feeling of ancient companionship 'n toil and danger, which bound the veterans of the revolution firmly to each other.
* See Sullivan's Letters on Public Characters, p. 84.
WASHINGTON'S PRIVACY BESET WITH VISITS OF COMPLIMENT-QUERIES AS TO
THE PROPER LINE OF CONDUCT IN HIS PRESIDENTIAL INTERCOURSEOPINIONS OF ADAMS AND HAMILTON-JEFFERSON AS TO THE AUTHORS OF THE MINOR FORMS AND CEREMONIES-HIS WHIMSICAL ANECDOTE OF THE FIRST LEVEE-INAUGURAL BALL.
The moment the inauguration was over, Washington was made to perceive that he was no longer master of himself or of his home. “By the time I had done breakfast," writes he, “and thence till dinner, and afterwards till bed-time, I could not get rid of 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 despatches that were pouring in upon me from all quarters."
How was he to be protected from these intrusions? In his former capacity as commander-in-chief of the armies, his head. quarters had been guarded by sentinels and military etiquette; but what was to guard the privacy of a popular chief magistrate ?
What, too, were to be the forms and ceremonials to be adopted in the presidential mansion, that would maintain the lignity of his station, allow him time for the performance of its official duties, and yet be in harmony with the temper and feel. ings of the people, and the prevalent notions of equality and republican simplicity ?
The conflict of opinions that had already occurred as to the form and title by which the President was to be addressed, had made him aware that every step at the outset of his career would be subject to scrutiny, perhaps cavil, and might hereafter be cited as a precedent. Looking round, therefore, upon the able men at hand, such as Adams, Hamilton, Jay, Madison, he propounded to them a series of questions as to a line of conduct proper for him to observe.
In regard to visitors, for instance, would not one day in the week be sufficient for visits of compliment, and one hour every morning (at eight o'clock for example) for visits on business?
Might he make social visits to acquaintances and public characters, not as President, but as private individual ? And then as to his table—under the preceding form of government, the Presidents of Congress had been accustomed to give dinners twice a week to large parties of both sexes, and invitations had been so indiscriminate, that every one who could get introduced to the President, conceived he had a right to be invited to his board. The table was, therefore, always crowded, and with a mixed company; yet, as it was in the nature of things impracticable to invite everybody, as many offences were given as if no table had been kept.
Washington was resolved not to give general entertainments of this kind, but in his series of questions he asked whether he might not invite, informally or otherwise, six, eight, or ten official characters, including in rotation the members of both Houses of Congress, to dine with him on the days fixed for
receiving company, without exciting clamors in the rest of the community.
Adams in his reply talked of chamberlains, aides-de-camp, masters of ceremony, and evinced a high idea of the presidential office and the state with which it ought to be maintained. 66 The office," writes he, “ by its legal authority defined in the constitution, has no equal in the world excepting those only which are held by crowned heads; nor is the royal authority in all cases to be compared to it. The royal office in Poland is a mere shadow in comparison with it. The Dogeship in Venice, and the Stadtholdership in Holland, are not so much-neither dignity nor authority can be supported in human minds, collected into nations or any great numbers, without a splendor and majesty in some degree proportioned to them. The sending and receiving ambassadors is one of the most splendid and important prerogatives of sovereigns, absolute or limited, and this in our constitution is wholly in the President. If the state and pomp essential to this great department are not in a good degree preserved, it will be in vain for America to hope for consideration with foreign powers.”
According to Mr. Adams, two days in a week would be required for the receipt of visits of compliment. Persons desiring an interview with the President should make application through the minister of state. In every case the name, quality or business of the visitor should be communicated to a chamber. lain or gentleman in waiting, who should judge whom to admit, and whom to exclude. The time for receiving visits ought to be limited, as for example, from eight to nine or ten o'clock, lest
* Life and Works of John Adams, vol. viji.
p. 493. VOL. V.
the whole morning be taken up. The President might invite what official character, members of Congress, strangers, or citizens of distinction he pleased, in small parties without exciting clamors; but this should always be done without formality. His private life should be at his own discretion, as to giving or receiving informal visits among friends and acquaintances; but in his official character, he should have no intercourse with society but upon public business, or at his levees. Adams, in the conclusion of his reply, ingenuously confessed that his long residence abroad might have impressed him with views of things incompatible with the present temper and feelings of his fellowcitizens; and Jefferson seems to have been heartily of the same opinion, for speaking of Adams in his anas, he observes that " the glare of royalty and nobility, during his mission to Eng. land, had made him believe their fascination a necessary ingredient in government. "* Hamilton, in his reply, while he con sidered it a primary object for the public good, that the dignity of the presidential office should be supported, advised that care should be taken to avoid so high a tone in the demeanor of the occupant, as to shock the prevalent notions of equality.
The President, he thought, should hold a levee at a fixed time once a week, remain half an hour, converse cursorily on indifferent subjects with such persons as invited his attention, and then retire.
He should accept no invitations, give formal entertainments twice, or at most, four times in the year; if twice, on the anniversaries of the declaration of independence and of his inauguration: if four times, the anniversary of the treaty of alliance with
* Jefferson's Works, ix. 97.