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others my love of retirement is so great, that no earth-
ly consideration, short of a conviction of duty, could
have prevailed upon me to depart from my resolution
never more to take any share in transactions of a pub-
lick nature. For at my age, and in my circumstances,
what prospects or advantages could I propose to myself,
from embarking again on the tempestuous and uncer-
tain ocean of publick life 2 I do not feel myself under
the necessity of making publick declarations, in order
to convince you, gentlemen, of my attachment to your- .
selves, and regard for your interests. The whole te-
nour of my life has been open to your inspection; and
my past actions, rather than my present declarations,
must be the pledge of my future conduct.
“In the mean time I thank you most sincerely for
the expressions of kindness contained in your valedic-
tory address. It is true, just after having bade adieu
to my domestick connexions, this tender proof of your
friendships is but too well calculated still farther to
awaken my sensibility, and increase my regret at part
ing from the enjoyments of private life.
“All that now remains for me is to commit myself
and you to the protection of that beneficent Being
who, on a former occasion, hath happily brought us
together after a long and distressing separation. Per-
haps the same gracious Providence will again indulge
me. Unutterable sensations must then be left to more
expressive silence—while from an aching heart, I bid
you all, my affectionate friends, and kind neighbours,
farewell !”
It was the wish of General WAsHINGTon to avoid
parade on his journey to the seat of government, but
he found it impossible. Numerous bodies of respect-
able citizens, and detachments from the militia escort-
ed him the whole distance, and at every place through
which he passed, he received the most flattering evi-
dence of the high estimation, in which his countrymen
held his talents and his virtues

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