This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
Sir: A few more days and the term of your office will expire. We had hoped, until after the recent election, that you might have held it still longer; but the people have determined otherwise, and it only remains for us to bow submissively to the will of the majority.
You step down from public to private life without the loss of one worthy qualification that you possessed when you entered upon your official duties. Nor has the tongue of slander, in all the lapse of time since then, been able to stain a single attribute of your private character. Malice has been unable to overcome you by its persistent opposition, and your course has been every way satisfactory to your constituents.
We have, indeed, been proud of you in your high position, and we are none the less proud of you now. On the contrary, we are so proud of you that at the first opportunity we propose to elect you to a higher office than that which you now relinquish.
Looking about for some suitable testimonial to present to you, as a token of our admiration and good wishes, we remembered your public spirit, benevolence and love of country, and decided, Sir, to ask your acceptance of this elegantly engrossed and richly framed copy of Washington's Farewell Address when he was about to retire, like you, to private life. Its money-value is small; but with it we offer you, also, our unfeigned appreciation of your labors in our be-half and that of our common country.
Gentlemen: I thank you not less for your hearty words of encouragement and esteem than for this beautiful memento of the honest patriotism and counsels of the Father of his Country.
In all my experiences of public life, it has been my endeavor to avoid sectional prejudices and to labor entirely for the best interests of our entire nation. Yet, in all those hours of solicitude concerning public affairs, my heart has warmly turned to my constituents for encouragement and approbation, and I have not failed to receive at your hands the most gratifying assurance that I was pursuing a satisfactory course in whatever I undertook in behalf of the whole people.
You say you are proud of me. I believe you; but you are not prouder of me than I am of my constituents, and it has been a pleasure to serve you to the best of my ability. I know not to what fields of public duty I may be called in the future, but I now "step down and out" with a feeling of relief, and the assurance that my labors have not been in vain.
Again thanking you for your kind appreciation and this elegant testimonial of your esteem, I bid you good-night and pleasant dreams.