I am led to reflect how much more delightful to an undebauched mind, is the task of making improvements on the earth, than all the vain glory which can be acquired from ravaging it, by the most uninterrupted career of conquests.
I am once more seated under my own vine and fig tree . . . and hope to spend the remainder of my days in peaceful retirement, making political pursuits yield to the more rational amusement of cultivating the earth.
President Washington's second oath of office was taken in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia on March 4, the date fixed by the Continental Congress for inaugurations. Before an assembly of Congressmen, Cabinet officers, judges of the federal and district courts, foreign officials, and a small gathering of Philadelphians, the President offered the shortest inaugural address ever given. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court William Cushing administered the oath of office. Fellow Citizens: I am again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of united America. Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.