The public life of John Jay was so active and varied that it is almost impossible to compress the essential facts into small compass without losing much of their interest and suggestiveness. Moreover, he was by disposition so reticent and unimpulsive, so completely self-controlled, that there is scarcely any material for constructing a history of his inner private life. He was singularly free from those faults which, trivial or serious, attract men's love by exciting their sympathy or pity. Conscientious, upright, just, and wise, John Jay, like Washington, survives in the popular imagination as an abstract type of propriety; and his fair fame has been a conspicuous mark for all who are offended by hearing an Aristides always called the Just, or who, from an a priori notion of history, believe that statesmen have always been as corrupt, civic . . .