Apr 30: Elitist!

What kind of a future does this man have in politics, when he talks in paragraph-long sentences:
I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction, which an ardent love for my country can inspire; since there is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness, between duty and advantage, between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked on the experiment intrusted to the hands of the American people.
This is kind of boring even by the standards of eighteenth-century prose, but look at the syntax! Obviously Washington is not a guy you want to have a pewter tankard of hearty early-American ale with.

But then Washington doesn't want to have a beer with you either -- as this anecdote I Googled shows:
Gouverneur Morris entered, bowed, shook hands, laid his left hand on Washington’s shoulder, and said, “My dear General, I am very happy to see you look so well!” Washington withdrew his hand, stepped suddenly back, fixed his eye on Morris for several minutes with an angry frown, until the latter retreated abashed, and sought refuge in the crowd. The company looked on in silence. At the supper, which was provided by Hamilton, Morris said, “I have won the bet, but paid dearly for it, and nothing could induce me to repeat it."
The other interesting thing about this little address (which was delivered on this date 229 years ago), is that it's larded with references to God. Actually, not to God. The word "God" isn't in this speech. He's just "the Almighty," and I hope I will be forgiven if I say that Washington's conception of this Being (who he also calls a "Parent"), looks a little like...Super-Washington:
...who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction ...may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge.
Another jawbreaker sentence! Does this guy never learn!

NOTE: You can actually see a copy of the address in Michael Gerson's Washington's own handwriting here.

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