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1789.]

A QUESTION OF ETIQUETTE.

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a temporary balcony at the west end; a long procession passed before him, whose salutations he occasionally returned. These and other ceremonials being over, the Lieutenant Governor and Council, accompanied by the Vice President, conducted Washington to his lodgings, where they took leave of him.” And now he is doomed to the annoyance of a new question of etiquette. He had previously accepted the invitation of Governor Hancock to an informal dinner, but had expected that that functionary would wait upon him as soon as he should arrive; instead of which he received a message from him, pleading that he was too much indisposed to do so. Washington distrusted the sincerity of the apology. He had been given to understand that the Governor wished to evade paying the first visit, conceiving that, as Governor of a State, and within the bounds of that State, the point of etiquette made it proper

that he should receive the first visit, even from the President of the United States. Washington determined to resist this pretension; he therefore excused himself from the informal dinner, and dined at his lodgings, where the Vice President favored him with his company

. The next day the Governor, on consultation with his friends, was persuaded to waive the point of etiquette, and sent “his best respects to the President," informing him that, if at home and at leisure, he would do himself the honor to visit him in half an hour, intimating that he would have done it sooner had his health permitted, and that it was not without hazard to his health that he did it now.

The following was Washington's reply, the last sentence of which almost savors of irony:

“SUNDAY, 26th October, 1 o'clock. The President of the United States presents his best respects to the Governor, and has the honor to inform him that he shall be home till two o'clock.

“The President need not express the pleasure it will give him to see the Governor; but at the same time, he most earnestly begs that the Governor will not hazard his health on the occasion."

From Washington's diary we find that the Governor found strength to pay the litigated visit within the specified time—though, according to one authority, he went enveloped in red baize and was borne, in the arms of servants, into the house. *

It does not appear that any harm resulted from the hazard to which the Governor exposed himself. At all events, the hydra etiquette was silenced and every thing went on pleasantly and decorously throughout the remainder of Washington's sojourn in Boston.

Various addresses were made to him in the course of his visit, but none that reached his heart more directly than that of his old companions in arms, the Cincinnati Society of Massachusetts, who hailed him as “their glorious leader in war, their illustrious example in peace.

' Dear, indeed," said he, in reply, “is the occasion which restores an intercourse with my associates in prosperous and adverse fortune; and enhanced are the triumphs of peace participated with those whose virtue 1789.] RETURNS TO THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT.

* Sullivan's Letters on Public Characters, p. 15.

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and valor so largely contributed to procure them. To that virtue and valor your country has confessed her obligations. Be mine the grateful task to add to the testimony of a connection which it was my pride to own in the field, and is now my happiness to acknowledge in the enjoyments of peace and freedom.'

After remaining in Boston for a week, fêted in the most hospitable manner, he appointed eight o'clock, on Thursday the 29th, for his departure. The appointed time arrived, but not the escort; whereupon, punctual himself, and fearing, perhaps, to be detained by some new question of etiquette, he departed without them, and was overtaken by them on the road.

His journey eastward terminated at Portsmouth, whence he turned his face homeward by a middle route through the interior of the country to Hartford, and thence to New York, where he arrived between two and three o'clock on the 13th of November,

CHAPTER VII.

OOL. JOHN TRUMBULL-MESSAGE TO WASHINGTON FROM LAFAYETTE

JEFFERSON'S EMBARKATION FOR AMERICA-WASHINGTON FORWARDS

HIS COMMISSION AS SECRETARY OF STATE--HIS ACCEPTANCE.

Not long after Washington's return from his eastern tour, Colonel John Trumbull, his aide-de-camp in former days, now an historical painter of eminence, arrived from Europe, where he had been successfully prosecuting his art and preparing for his grand pictures, illustrative of our revolutionary history. At Mr. Jefferson's house in Paris, he had been enabled to sketch from the life the portraits of several of the French officers who had been present at the capture of Cornwallis, and were now among the popular agitators of France. He had renewed his military acquaintance with Lafayette; witnessed the outbreak of the revolution ; the storming of the Bastille ; and attended the Marquis on one occasion, when the latter succeeded in calming the riotous excesses of a mob, principally workmen, in the Faubourg St. Antoine.

Trumbull brought an especial message from Lafayette. The Marquis had been anxious that Washington should know the state of affairs in France, and the progress and prospects of the momentous cause in which he was engaged, but, in the hurry of occupation, had

1789.]

TRUMBULL'S REPORT.

49

not time to write with the necessary detail ; finding, however, that Trumbull was soon to depart for the United States, be invited him to breakfast with him at an early hour and alone, for the express purpose of explaining matters to him frankly and fully, to be communicated by him to Washington, immediately on his arrival in America.

We give the Colonel's report of Lafayette's conversation, as he has recorded it in his autobiography.

“You have witnessed the surface of things,” said the Marquis ; "it is for me to explain the interior. The object which is aimed at by the Duke de Rochefoucauld, M. Condorcet, myself, and some others, who consider ourselves leaders, is to obtain from France a constitution nearly resembling that of England, which we regard as the most perfect model of government hitherto known. To accomplish this, it is necessary to diminish, very essentially, the power of the king; but our object is to retain the throne, in great majesty, as the first branch of the legislative power, but retrenching its executive power in one point, which, though very important in the British crown, we think is needless here. The peerage of France is already so numerous, that we would take from our king the right of creating new peers, except in cases where old families may become extinct. To all this, the king (who is one of the best of men, and sincerely desirous of the happiness of his people) most freely and cordially consents.

“We wish a House of Peers with powers of legislation similar to that of England, restricted in number to one hundred members, to be elected by the whole body from among themselves, in the same manner as the

VOL. V.-4

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