Sidebilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

to the presidency, in 1797. After his term of four years had expired, it was found, on the new election, that his adversary, Mr. Jefferson, had succeeded by the majority of one vote. On retiring to his farm in Quincy, Mr. Adams occupied himself with agriculture, obtaining amusement from the literature and politics of the day. The remaining years of his life were passed in almost uninterrupted tranquillity.

The account that Mr. Adams gives, in a letter to a friend, of his introduction to George III., at the court of St. James, as the first minister from the rebel colonies, is very interesting. The scene would form a noble picture, highly honorable both to his majesty and the republican minister. Here stood the stern mona

narch, who had expended more than six hundred millions of dollars, and the lives of two hundred thousand of his subjects, in a vain attempt to subjugate freemen; and by his side stood the man who, in the language of Jefferson, was the great pillar of support to the declaration of independence, and its ablest advocate and champion on the floor of Congress.” Mr. Adams says,

“At one o'clock, on Wednesday, the first of June, 1785, the master of ceremonies called at my house, and went with me to the secretary of state's office, in Cleaveland Row, where the marquis of Caermarthen received and introduced me to Mr. Frazier, his under secretary, who had been, as his lordship said, uninterruptedly in that office through all the changes in administration for thirty years. After a short conversation, Lord Caermarthen invited me to go with him in his coach to court. When we arrived in the ante-chamber, the master of the ceremonies introduced him, and attended me, while the secretary of state went to take the commands of the king. While I stood in this place, where, it seems,

all ministers stand upon such occasions, always attended by the master of ceremonies, the room was very full of ministers of state, bishops, and all other sorts of courtiers, as well as the next room, which is the king's bed-chamber. You may well

suppose I was the focus of all eyes. I was relieved, however, from the embarrassment of it, by the Swedish and Dutch ministers, who came to me, and entertained me with a very agreeable conversation during the

[ocr errors]

whole time. Sose kia geranel, "hasan :
fore, came tú mise isele aj
quis of Csermarisca elesh wat er-
him to his majesi. I *a vil det ry
levee room il: *** .5: Com
I was left a 2 IM m all?"
I made the see tees - slike
about half = 2.52 2. Doi
ing to the esige zbait niri za
courts of Earce. 22 za mr-
jesty, in te se puro
have apposio zit 1.1. braun ballo
jesty, and use ceart that we are 10
letter, which ca 1 t dia
dience to the ene 2nd and
to assure you and me unieke
desire to create LIKE nuk
between your sit • suszoda
their best asses ik me per
and for that *** "*
ter from the Cuet sa uitar
form an epi n 140 sm
think my? muz trimat ihal.
haring the SSLCwr il mio
your majesty's 1*2 2 n i bio
and I shaji essen az IK Law
instrumenta ve Telomenon ir 93
to your majesty - 1212 1313.
entire esteem, omuíuens
words, the we muz aul tir 9..
tween peuge u. 294DL de
under diferent rutina di
similar requus, é uma mo
permission to aos r. arinn,
been instructor alt sour:
life, in a manner su arogant is mas

The king nenet il e
is true, but with apareu. ensuun.
visible agitation-iri ber mun iha:
touched hun, I cantax EUI
answered me with out is ta ka na

.

3

and said :-Sir: The circumstances of this audience are
so extraordinary, the language you have now held is so
extremely proper, and the feelings you have discovered so
justly adapted to the occasion, that I not only receive with
pleasure the assurance of the friendly disposition of the
United States, but I am glad the choice has fallen upon
you to be their minister. I wish you, sir, to believe, and
that it may be understood in America, that I have done
nothing in the late contest but what I thought myself in-
dispensably bound to do, by the duty, which I owed my
people. I will be frank with you. I was the last to
conform to the separation; but the separation having be-
come inevitable, I have always said, as I now say, that I
would be the first to meet the friendship of the United
States as an independent power. The moment I see such
sentiments and language as yours prevail, and a disposition
to give this country the preference, that moment I shall say,
“Let the circumstances of language, religion, and blood,
have their natural, full effect.” I dare not say that these
were the king's precise words; and it is even possible that
I may have, in some particulars, mistaken his meaning ;
for, although his pronunciation is as distinct as I ever
heard, he hesitated sometimes between members of the
same period. He was, indeed, much affected, and I was
not less so; and therefore I cannot be certain that I was so
attentive, heard so clearly, and understood so perfectly, as
to be confident of all his words, or sense.
that the foregoing is his majesty's meaning, as I then un-
derstood it, and his own words, as nearly as I can recol-
lect them. The king then asked me whether I came last
from France; and, upon my answering in the affirmative,
he put on an air of familiarity, and smiling, or rather laugh-
ing, said, “There is an opinion among some people that
you are not the most attached of all your countrymen
to the manners of France.' I was surprised at this, because
I thought it an indiscretion, and a descent from his dignity.
I was a little embarrassed; but, determined not to deny
truth, on the one hand, nor lead him to infer from it any
attachment to England, on the other, I threw off as much
gravity as I could, and assumed an air of gayety, and a tone
of decision, as far as was decent, and said, That opinion,

[ocr errors]

This I do say,

sir, is not mistaken ; I must avow to your majesty, I have no attachment but to my own country. The king replied, as quick as lightning, 'An honest man will never have any other.' The king then said a word or two to the secretary of state, which, being between them, I did not hear, and then turned round and bowed to me, as is customary with all kings and princes when they give the signal to retire. I retreated, stepping backwards, as is the etiquette; and making my last reverence at the door of the chamber, I went to my carriage.” He died on the 4th of July, 1826, with the same words on his lips, which, fifty years before, on that glorious day, he had uttered on the floor of Congress Independence forever.”— Mr. Adams is the author of an Essay on Canon and Feudal Law; a series of Letters, published under the signature of Novanglus; and Discourses on Davila.

THOMAS JEFFERSON. THOMAS JEFFERSON, the third president of the United States, was born at Shadwell Farm, near Monticello, April 2, 1743. It is a little reinarkable that the date of his birth could never be accurately determined, till it was discovered after his death. He invariably resisted all attempts made by his enthusiastic friends to obtain knowledge of it, who wished thit the anniversary of his birth might become a day of jubilee to our nation.

His youth was not squandered in pleasure which brings no return, but was faithfully and diligently devoted to the improvement of his mind. When he was yet quite young, he was one day present while Patrick Henry was pouring forth a flood of eloquence, carrying away the sentiments of all before it ; Jefferson felt within hilself the mighty struggles of a great spirit, which only demanded for its exhibition a theatre adequate to its powers.

He reflected seriously whether he should spend his time in the fashionable amusements of the young men of his age, or make the glory of Patrick Henry the pole-star of his thoughts and aspirations.

He decided on the latter course, and commenced the study of law, to which he assiduously devoted himself, and,

[graphic]
« ForrigeFortsett »