Lincoln on Washington

This is the one hundred and tenth anniversary of the birth-day of Washington. We are met to celebrate this day. Washington is the mightiest name of earth — long since mightiest in the cause of civil liberty; still mightiest in moral reformation. On that name, an eulogy is expected. It cannot be. To add brightness to the sun, or glory to the name of Washington, is alike impossible. Let none attempt it. In solemn awe pronounce the name, and in its naked deathless splendor, leave it shining on.

Abraham Lincoln, February 22, 1842

 

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5 Comments

  1. This tidbit is just that – it adds nothing to the greatness of the man, but George Washington is the original owner of the land that is presently occupied by the Hickory Heights golf club in South Fayette Township, PA, about three miles from my house.

  2. I am sure Donald will correct me if I err below, but I just wanted to say something about my pseudo-namesake, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus that I use here at TAC. Yes, I did a little research this morning, but what Florus wrote was a little confusing. I tried to make sense of it. Well, any errors are mine, not the sources I “plagiarized.”

    The only other man in history besides George Washington (of whom I am aware) who returned to his farm and family after performing his public duty for the people was Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (519 – 430 BC). Cincinnatus was a Roman patrician, statesman, and military leader during the early Roman Republic. He became a legend of Roman virtue—particularly civic virtue—by the time of the Empire. Despite his old age, he worked his own small farm until an invasion prompted his fellow citizens to call for his leadership. He came from his farm to assume dictatorship over the state but, upon achieving a swift victory, relinquished his power and its perquisites and returned to his farm. As I recall, he served as dictator twice: once to lead Rome in the battle against the Aequi who broke the previous year’s treaty with Rome and the second time to deal with a plot by a plebeian Spurius Maelius to buy the loyalty of the poor and establish himself as king over Rome. Cincinnatus left public service both times after he had done his duty. His success and immediate resignation of his near-absolute authority (he was appointed dictator!) with the end of this crisis (around 458 BC) is an example par excellence of outstanding leadership, service to the greater good, civic virtue, humility, and modesty.

    Roman historian Lucius Annaeus Florus (AD 74 – 130) writes about this in verses 11 through 15 of chapter V (Bellum Latinum) in Book I of his Epitoma de Tito Livio Bellorum Omnium Annorum. But there appears to be some confusion of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus with his brother (or maybe nephew – we don’t know for certain) Titus Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus. Nevertheless, the relevant verses are noteworthy:

    11 Pervicacissimi tamen Latinorum Aequi et Volsci fuere et cotidiani, ut sic dixerim, hostes. 12 Sed hos praecipue Titus Quinctius domuit, ille dictator ab aratro, qui obsessa et paene iam capta Manili consulis castra egregia victoria recuperavit. 13 Medium erat tempus forte sementis, cum patricium virum innixum aratro suo lictor in ipso opere deprehendit. Inde in aciem profectus, victos, ne quid a rustici operis imitatione cessaret, more pecudum sub iugum misit. 14 Sic expeditione finita rediit ad boves rursus triumphalis agricola — fidem numinum — qua velocitate. 15 Intra quindecim dies coeptum peractumque bellum, prorsus ut festinasse dictator ad relictum opus videretur.

    11 Yet the most persistent of the Latins were the Aequi and Volsci, who were, if I may use the phrase, the everyday enemies of Rome. 12 These were subdued chiefly by Titus Quinctius, the dictator who was summoned from the plough and by a famous victory rescued the camp of the consul Manilius, which was beleaguered and almost captured. 13 It happened to be the middle of the season of sowing, when the lictor found the patrician actually at work bending over the plough. Setting out thence to the battle-field, in order that he might keep up the tradition of his rustic employment, he made his conquered enemies pass like cattle under the yoke. 14 The campaign being concluded, this farmer who had enjoyed a triumph returned to his oxen, and, ye Heavens, with what speed! 15 For the war was begun and finished within fifteen days, so that it seemed for all the world as if the dictator had hurried back to finish the work which he had left.

    Twice granted supreme power, Cincinnatus held onto it for not a day longer than absolutely necessary. He consistently demonstrated great honorability and integrity. As a result of his humility, Cincinnatus has inspired a number of organizations and other entities, some named in his honor. Therefore, parallels are drawn between Cincinnatus and our George Washington who also returned to his private life after completing his duty during the Revolutionary War.

    We have forgotten history. As a result of our ignorance, we continue to elect politicians like communist pornography writer Bernie Sanders and geriatric senile imbecile Joe Biden, both of whom have made themselves wealthy off the public dime.

  3. George Washington is Father of our USA. Had Washington accepted the crown as king which had been offered to him, all people would have become subjects, people who do as they are told instead of constituents, people who constitute government of the people, for the people, and by the people. Had Washington accepted the crown as king Washington would have betrayed the freedom for which he fought for himself and his constitutional Posterity, all people, all future generations, us.
    Washington said that he would be a farmer rather than king.

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