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ple from all the neighboring country. Among the yeomanry, games with a ball, especially cricket, are very common. Formerly wrestling, was very common among the young men, who studied it with the assiduity bestowed in some countries on fencing; but the practice is nearly obsolete.
Of the Persons and Character of the Inhabitants. The inhabitants of the northern states are generally tall, bony and muscular; and less corpulent than their English ancestors. They are remarkable for their industry, invention and perseverance. They make the most diligent farmers and mechanics-and the most active, bold and hardy seamen on earth. They are distinguished for their habits of subordination to parental and civil authority, which render them peaceable, obliging and hospitable; but educated in perfect freedom, and with a strong sense of personal independence, they spurn at every assumption of superiority, and treat with contempt and detestation, any man whe is overbearing in his manners. The vices of drunkenness, tipling, gambling, trickishness in mutual dealings, profanity and the like, are found among the more corrupt members of the community. But the great body of the people who are freeholders, with estates in fee which furnish them with means of subsistence, maintain the character of good sense, discernment and pure morals; living in the constant attendance upon religious worship, and adorning their profession of christians, by a correspondent practice.
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 distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered 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 considerations 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 fu ture interest; no deficiency of grateful respect, for your past kindness; but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.
2. The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called ne, have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty, and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly 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 the last election, had even
fed 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 confi dence, impelled me to abandon the idea.
3. I rejoice that the state of your concerns, exterual as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inelination incompatible with the sentiment of duty, or propriety; and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that in the present cir cumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.
4. 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 or ganization 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 cncreasing 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 have the consolation to believe, that while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political seene, patriotism does not forbid it.
5. In looking forward to the moment, which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgement of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country, for the many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the stedfast confidence with which it has supported me; and for the opportu nities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviola ble attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let
It always be remembered to your praise and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious vicissitudes of fortune often discouragingin situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism-the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected.
6. Profoundedly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that Heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence-that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual that the free constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained-that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue-that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete, by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing, as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection and the adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.
7. Here perhaps I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to of fer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments; which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motives to bias his council. Nor can I forget as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion. Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every liga
ment of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is ne eessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.
s. The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) direc ted, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union, to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual and immoveable at tachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of your political safe1y and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.
9 For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens by birth or choice, of a common conntry, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits and political principles. You have in a comnon cause fought and triumphed together; the Independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint councils, and joint efforts, of comon dangers, sufferings and successes. But these