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If Washington Lived Today

—Washington's Birthday


The Principles Which Underlie Success Are the Same at All Times.

THE LESSON—That true success will attend those who found their lives on the principles which governed the life of Washington.

Properly handled, the illustration designed for the following talk will prove a revelation to young and old. The application fits the illustration so well that the talk should prove of absorbing interest and lasting impressiveness.

The Talk.

[Before beginning the talk, make the following preparations very carefully: Attach several thicknesses of your drawing paper to your board, leaving the outer sheet free at the bottom by tacking at the top only. Next, with a sharp pen-knife, cut a hole in the outer sheet, indicated by the dotted lines in Fig. 45, and throw away the piece which has been cut out. The object of this preparation is this: When you draw the portrait of Washington, represented in Fig. 45, a portion of your drawing will appear on the outer sheet and part of it—the face—on the next sheet beneath. If your preparations have been well made, the outer sheet will lie flat against the one beneath, and the audience will not see the hole until the proper time comes.]

Figure 45: A portrait of Washington.

"I am going to draw first an outline portrait of George Washington, copied from the profile crayon sketch of St. Memin. [Draw Fig. 45, complete, being careful, in moving the crayon from one sheet to the other, not to tear the outer sheet.] This view shows plainly the style of wig and military clothing of a gentleman of the revolutionary days, and, as we look at it we note what a difference there is between this and the dress of the men of today. Do we also feel that there is a great difference between the men of colonial days and the present time—the same difference in character that there is in dress? If this thought has come to us, we have also asked ourselves, perhaps, this strange question, 'What kind of a man would George Washington be if he were living at the present time?'

"Of course, if he had not performed his great work in helping to shape the destiny of our nation, it is probable that America would have had a vastly different history. We will assume, however, that Washington were a product of the present day and that the present conditions prevailed. What, then, would Washington be like? How would he act? What would he do?

"Perhaps we can best transplant him to our day by dressing him in the clothing of the man of the present. [Slowly fold back the outer sheet, so the audience may see that you have already drawn on the under sheet a portion of the second "scene"—the most important part, in fact. As you continue the talk, add lines to complete Fig. 46.] In the first place, Washington, with his abundance of natural hair, would not wear a wig just for style, so we will draw his head as we think it would appear naturally. Nor would he wear the colonial style of clothing, so we will substitute the coat, collar and tie of an American gentleman of today. And here we have Washington as he would look if he lived in our own time.

Figure 46: Washington, now wearing modern clothes.

"I do not believe Washington would be a military leader in this latter day. He was essentially a man of peace, and everywhere in his writings we find expressed a longing to return after the strife of battle and the weary days in the presidential chair, to his quiet, beloved Mount Vernon, to carry on his extensive private business and enjoy his friends and the sweets of home life.

"But we cannot doubt that he would be a great leader in the struggle for right against wrong in every form. From his childhood, he loved truth and honesty. He was a deep and careful student. He worked hard at his duties as a surveyor of the wilderness and then came the call from Governor Dinwiddie to carry a message to the French over hundreds of miles of unknown land, in the dead of winter. It was the most perilous undertaking ever entrusted to any man in the new land of America up to that time, but he met the task manfully. It was such victories as these in his youth that made him the Father of His Country. It is the meeting of our own problems in the same spirit that means our own success in life.

"If Washington lived today, his career would be vastly different from what it was, yet he would have made his place, and the world would have been eminently better for his work. Let us study to apply to our own lives the principles which made Washington truly great."

[In closing, restore the outer sheet to its first position, thus presenting the original portrait. It may be necessary to fasten it down with a thumb-tack.]

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