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would really be to insult the nation he represented. If, therefore, he drove through the streets of New York with four horses to his carriage, gave splendid and hospitable entertainments, and received his guests in a full suit of black velvet, with bag, and sword, and powdered hair—the usual dress of state and ceremony in those days—he showed himself wiser and more consistent than his assailants, who, by their senseless cavils and objections, only proved the undue importance they attached to such trifles. These were the persons who could find, in a sofa at the President's ball, some fancied resemblance to a throne; and such as they have ever since continued the same system of attack, till they have driven the best minds of America from office, lowered the standard of public life, and substituted a class of nameless adventurers, for the really eminent order of men, who founded, and might have saved the republic.

But Washington was soon occupied with more serious questions than those of etiquette. It was necessary to organize executive departments, and to appoint the members of the cabinet. Before anything could be done, the constitution of the several departments had to be settled by Congress, and, while the

matter was still pending, the President was taken alarmingly ill. For some weeks he was in great pain and danger, and prepared himself for the worst with his accustomed courage and resignation. “Whether to-night or twenty years hence,” he said to his physician, “ makes no difference. I know that I am in the hands of a good Providence.” His illness had, however, the effect of rousing the people to a sense of what they might suffer by his loss, and of silencing for the moment the cabals already formed against him. While slowly recovering, he received intelligence of the death of the venerable mother, who had guided his childhood with so firm and steady a hand, and whom in age he had never ceased to revere. He was deeply affected by the news, and his strength had been much shaken by his late malady ; but the public service demanded his immediate attention, and he never postponed the national interest to any private consideration.

It was Madison who proposed in Congress the plan for the establishment of executive departments. After long discussion, bills were passed, instituting the several offices of a Secretary for Foreign Affairs, to be called the Secretary of State, who was also to have the custody of the seals and archives—a Secretary for War, whose functions included the management of both army and navy—and a Secretary of the Treasury, who was, in most respects, to perform the duties of an English Chancellor of the Exchequer. These appointments were to be made by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, but the ministers might be removed by the authority of the President alone. The latter clause led to much debate, and was only carried in the Senate by the casting vote of the Vice-President. The above three officers, with the Attorney-General, were to form the cabinet.

Washington at once confided the War Department to his old comrade in arms, General Knox, and offered the Treasury to Hamilton. He is said to have consulted Robert Morris, the former Superintendent of Finance, as to the second of these appointments, asking with a sigh: “What is to be done with this heavy debt ?”—“There is but one man in the United States," answered Morris, “who can tell you, and that is Alexander Hamilton. I am glad you have given me this opportunity to declare to you the extent of the obligations I am under to him.”

The President, who well remembered the in

valuable services of his aide-de-camp, could fully subscribe to this flattering estimate of his talents. He had lately been in frequent communication with Hamilton, and had consulted him on several grave and delicate questions. He had always cherished a pleasant recollection of their intimacy, and now the old feelings of friendship had strongly revived between them. In his elevated position, Washington needed more than ever a friend he could entirely trust. On every ground, therefore, private as well as public, he was glad to offer this important post to Hamilton; and the latter did not hesitate to accept it, although he well knew its difficulties. When warned of the calumny and persecution, which would inevitably attend his efforts to do his duty in such a position, Hamilton only answered: “Of that I am perfectly aware; but I am convinced it is the situation in which I can do most good.”

Soon after, Washington informed him that he intended to nominate Mr. Jefferson, then absent in France, as Secretary of State, and Mr. Edmund Randolph as Attorney-General. The last-named gentleman had formerly served with him in the army, and had since been Governor of his native State of Virginia. As a member of the Convention

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he had opposed several of the provisions of the Constitution, and refused his signature to the draft; but he afterwards gave his support to its final adoption. Like Knox and Hamilton, Mr. Randolph at once accepted the appointment. Mr. Jay, who had been Secretary for Foreign Affairs under the Congress, was made Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and no wiser, no more upright judge ever sat in any tribunal.

Hamilton now devoted all his thoughts to the national finances, and was busy in devising schemes to meet the pressing exigencies of the time. He was at once assailed with applications for his interest to obtain appointments, and with questions as to his intentions with regard to the policy to be adopted. Calmly and resolutely he refused to return any answer to these importunities, or to give any information which could by possibility be turned to the promotion of private interests. Even when an old friend made some inquiries as to the value of the debt and other matters, a knowledge of which could hardly be thought injurious to the public, Hamilton replied : “My dear friend, I have received your letter of the 16th instant. I am sure you are sincere when you say you would not submit me to

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