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These measures of security, considered in themselves, do not appear to be contrary to the basis and the spirit of the constitution, provided that the arrangements, for the safety and the particular defence of the north of Germany, are not founded upon illegal impositions, and provided they are not employed to sanction the unconstitutional pretext of freeing them from the obligations binding upon them by the register of the resolutions of the empire, decreed for the purpose of the general security of Germany.

If his Imperial majesty on the present occasion were to grant to this measure of security, as it is termed in the circular letter of the Prusian minister, in the letters of convocation, and in the declarations of the plenipotentiaries of the

king, an unlimited approbation, all

who should compare it with the tenor of the decree of ratification of the 29th of July, 1795, would accuse him of adopting contradic

U - tory

tory measures, and of making an arbitrary use of his power as head of the empire, since the laws renewed in the present war forbid the states to separate, on any occafion, from the general association, and any armament, under the title of an armed neutrality, during the continuance of a war of the empire, and interdict them in the most positive manner from arbitrarily renouncing obligations formerly imposed upon them for the common defence. His Imperial majesty, in virtue of the sacred duties imposed upon him by his high office as supreme head of the empire, on the other hand, being called upon to defend the rights of the Germanic constitution against every step and every principle incompatible with their safety, to preserve to the empire, and to every particular state, its immunities entire, and to guard them against the prejudices which may arise from these measures, will be disposed in the mean time to grant them his approbation, if they are confined to the legal defence of the countries, and if they do not depart from the principles, the forms, and the obligations, pre

feribed by the laws and the consti

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TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES. Friends and Fellow Citizens, THE period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinét expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed to decline being confidered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made. I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured, that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the confiderations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country, and that, in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest; no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness; but am supported by a full convićtion that the fiep is compatible with both. The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in the office to which your suffrages have twoce called me, have been an uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty, and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I contantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power,

consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to my last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to

you ; but mature reflection on the

then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea. I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pusuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety; and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire. The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. in the discharge of this trust I will only say, that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government, the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary ; I U 3 - - have

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