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ABRAHAM LINCOLN

This authorized special edition has heen
published with the permission
of C. P.

Farrell.

G^/^^^crl^

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
%
ROBERT G. IXGERSOLL

Nothing is grander than to break chains from the bodies of men nothing nobler than to destroy the phantoms of the soul

JOHN LANE COMPANY NEW YORK MCMVII

Entered according to Act of Congress,

in the

year 1S94, by

ROBERT
a

G.

IXGERSOLL

the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.

THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE,

U. S.

A.

COLLECTORS'

LIMITED AUTOGRAPH EDITION

Of

this

edition

only

One Hundred Copies

have been printed on Imperial Japanese
vellum.
September

This book

is

Number

/-*_

sixth, 1907.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
N
the 12th of Feb-

ruary, 1809,

two babes

were born

— one in the
sur-

woods of Kentucky,
amid the hardships and poverty of
pioneers
;

one

in

England,

rounded

by wealth and

culture.

One was educated in

the University

of Nature, the other at Cambridge.

One

associated

his

name with
millions,

the enfranchisement of labor, with

the emancipation of

with the salvation of the Republic.

He

is

known

to us as

Abraham

Lincoln.
[5]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
The
other broke the chains of
superstition

and

filled

the world

with intellectual

light,

and he

is

known

as Charles
is

Darwin.

Nothing

grander than to break

chains from the bodies of

men

nothing nobler than to destroy the

phantoms of the

soul.

Because of these two
nineteenth century
is

men

the

illustrious.

A

few

men and women make

a nation glorious

— Shakespeare
Voltaire

made England immortal,
civilized

and humanized France
Schiller,

Goethe,
lifted

and

Humboldt
and

Germany

into the light.
Galileo,

Angelo, Raphael,

Bruno crowned with
the Italian brow, and
precious
treasure
[6]

fadeless laurel

now

the most

of

the

Great

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Republic
Lincoln.
is

the memory of Abraham

Every generation has
its

its

heroes,
-

iconoclasts,

its

pioneers,

its

ideals.

The people always have
still

been and

are divided, at least

into classes

— the many, who with
who keep
toward the dawn

their backs to the sunrise worship

the past, and the few,
their faces

— the
labor

many, who
world as

are satisfied with the
;

it is

the few,

who

and

suffer for the future, for those

to be, and

who

seek to rescue the

oppressed, to destroy the cruel distinctions of caste,

and to

civilize

mankind.

Yet

it

sometimes happens that

the liberator of one age becomes the oppressor of the next.
[7]

His

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
reputation becomes so great
is

so revered and worshiped

— he — that
take

his followers, in his

name, attack
to

the hero

who endeavors

another step in advance.

The

heroes of the Revolution,

forgetting

the

justice

for

which

they fought, put chains upon the
limbs of others, and in their names
the lovers of liberty were denounced
as ingrates

and

traitors.

During the Revolution our fathers
to justify their rebellion to the bed-rock of

dug down
rights
there.

human
all

and planted their standard

They

declared that

men were

entitled to liberty

and that govern-

ment derived

its

power from the

consent of the governed.

But when

victory came, the great principles
[8]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
were forgotten and chains were
put upon the limbs of men.

Both

of the great political parties were
controlled

by greed and

selfishness.

Both were the defenders and protectors of slavery.

For nearly three-

quarters of a century these parties

had control of the Republic.
principal object of both parties

The
was

the protection of the infamous institution.

Both were eager to secure
and honor upon the
party died and

the Southern vote and both sacrificed principle

altar of success.

At

last

the

Whig

the Republican was born.

This

party was opposed to the further
extension of slavery.
cratic party of the

The DemoSouth wished

to

make

the "divine institution"
[9J

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
national

— while the Democrats of
itself.

the North wanted the question decided by each territory for

Each of
servatives

these parties had con-

and

extremists.

The

extremists of the Democratic party

were
back;

in the rear

and wished to go

the extremists of the Re-

publican party were in the front

and wished to go forward.

The

extreme Democrat was willing to
destroy the
slavery,
lican

Union

for the sake of

and the extreme Repub-

was willing to destroy the
for the sake of liberty.

Union

Neither party could succeed
without the votes of
its

extremists.
in

This was the condition

1858-60.
his

When

Lincoln was a child

parents removed from Kentucky to
[10]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Indiana.

A

few trees were

felled

— a log hut open to
floor,
little

the south, no
built

no window, was
land plowed and
lived.

—a
the

here

Lincolns

Here the

patient,

thoughtful,

silent,

loving mother

died

— died

in the

wide forest

as a

leaf dies, leaving nothing to her son

but the

memory

of her love.

In a few years the family moved
to Illinois.

Lincoln then almost
skins,

grown, clad in
stitch

with no woven

upon

his

body

— walking and
Another farm
subdued

driving the cattle.

was opened — a few acres
from the door.
farm

and enough raised to keep the wolf
Lincoln quit the
the Ohio and
flat-boat

— went

down

Mississippi as a

hand on a

~ afterward

clerked in a country

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
store — then
in

partnership with

another bought the store

failed.

Nothing

left

but a few debts

learned the art of surveying— made

about half a living and paid something on the debts

— read admitted to the bar — small cases — nominated
Legislature and

law

tried a
for

few
the

made

a speech.

This speech was in favor of a
tariff,

not only for revenue, but to

encourage American manufacturers

and to protect American workingmen.
as

Lincoln

knew then
the

as well

we do now,
limits

that everything, to
possible,

the

of

that

Americans use should be produced

by the energy,
of Americans.

skill,

and ingenuity
that the

He knew
we
[12]

more

industries

had, the greater

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
variety

of

things

we made,

the

greater would be the development

of the American brain.

And

he

knew
nation

that great

men and

great

women

are the best things that a

can

produce,

— the

finest
raise.
sells

crop a country can possibly

He knew

that a nation that
will

raw material
manufacture

grow ignorant
grow
intelligent

and poor, while the people who
will

and

rich.

To

dig, to chop, to plow,

requires

more muscle than mind,
to manufacture, to

more strength than thought.

To

invent,

take advantage of the forces of

nature

— this

requires thought,
This develops the

talent, genius.

brain and gives
imagination.
[13]

wings

to

the

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
It
is

better

for

Americans to
if

purchase from Americans, even
the things purchased cost more.
If

we purchase

a ton of steel

rails

from England
then
the money.
steel rails

for

twenty

dollars,

we have the
But

rails
if

and England
a ton of
for

we buy

from an American

twenty-five dollars, then America

has both the

rails

and the money.

Judging from the present universal

depression

and the recent
in

elections,

Lincoln,

his

first

speech, stood on solid rock and was

absolutely right.

Lincoln was edu-

cated in the University of Nature

— educated
by
field

by cloud and

star

and winding stream

— — by

billowed plains and solemn forests

— by morning's birth and death of
[14]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
day
ever eager Spring

— by storm and night — by the — by Summer's
and transient
glories of

wealth of leaf and vine and flower

— the sad
the
builder of

Autumn woods

— and

Winter,

home and
within.

fireside,

and

whose storms without create the
social

warmth

He was perfectly acquainted with
the political questions of the day

— heard
knew

them

discussed at taverns

and country

stores, at

voting places

and courts and on the stump.
all

He

the arguments for and

against,

and no

man

of his time

was better equipped
conflict.

for intellectual

He knew

the average

mind

— the thoughts of the people,
prejudices

the hopes and

of his

fellow-men.

He

had the power

[15]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
of accurate statement.
logical,

He

was
In

candid,

and

sincere.

addition, he had the "touch of

nature that makes the whole world
kin.

In 1858 he was a candidate for
the

Senate

against

Stephen A.

Douglas.

The extreme Democrats would
not
vote
for

Douglas,

but

the

extreme Republicans did vote
for Lincoln.

Lincoln occupied the

middle ground, and was the compromise candidate of his

own party.

He

had lived

for

many

years in the

intellectual territory of

compromise

in a part of

our country settled

by Northern and Southern men

— where
ideas

Northern and Southern

met, and the ideas of the
[16]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
two
sections

were brought together

and compared.

The sympathies
ties

of Lincoln, his

of

kindred,

were with

the

South.

His convictions,

his sense

of justice, and his ideals were with

the North.
of slavery,

He knew
and
he

the horrors

felt

the un-

speakable ecstasies and glories of

freedom.

He

had the kindness,

the gentleness, of true greatness,

and he could not have been a master; he had the manhood and
independence
of true
greatness,
slave.

and he could not have been a

He

was

just,

and was incapable of

putting a burden upon others that

he himself would not willingly bear.

was merciful and profound, and it was not necessary for him
[17]

He

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
to read the history of the world to

know

that liberty and slavery could
in

not live in the same nation, or
the same brain.
statesman.

Lincoln was a
is

And there

this differ-

ence between a politician and a states-

man.

A politician schemes and works
way
to

in every

make the people do

something

for him.

A

statesman
the

wishes to do something for
people.

With him place and power
is

are

means to an end, and the end

the good of his country.

In

this

campaign Lincoln demon-

strated three things

first,

that he

was the
and

intellectual superior of his
;

opponent second, that he was right
third, that a majority of the

voters of Illinois were on his side.

[18]

II

IN 18G0 the Republic

mlgl reached abetween The libcrisis.

jM?

conflict

erty and slavery could

no longer be delayed.
quarters

For three-

of a century the forces
for the battle.

had been gathering

After the Revolution, principle

was

sacrificed for the sake of gain.

The

Constitution contradicted the

Declaration.

Liberty as a principle
contempt.
Slavery

was held
Slavery
courts,

in

took possession of the Government.

made

the laws, corrupted

dominated Presidents, and

demoralized the people.
I

do not hold the South respon[19]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
sible for slavery

any more than

I

do the North.
must.

The

fact

is,

that

individuals and nations act as they

There

is

no chance.

Back

of every event

— of
— of

every hope,

prejudice, fancy,

and dream

— of

every opinion and belief
vice

— of every
the child,

and virtue
curse,
is

every smile

and

the efficient cause.
is

The
past.

present

moment

and the necessary

child, of all the

Northern politicians wanted
office,

and so they defended slavery
sell

Northern merchants wanted to
their

goods to the South, and so

they were the enemies of freedom.

The preacher wished to please the people who paid his salary, and
so

he

denounced the
[20]

slave

for

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
not being
tion in
satisfied

with the posi-

which the good God had
the

placed him.

The

respectable,

the

rich,

prosperous, the holders of and the
seekers for office, held liberty in

contempt.
Constitution

They regarded
as
far

the

more sacred
Candidates

than the rights of men.
for the presidency

were applauded

because they had tried to

make
and

slave States of free territory,

the

highest

court

solemnly and
that

ignorantly

decided

colored

men and women had no rights. Men who insisted that freedom
was better than
their babes,
slavery,

and that

mothers should not be robbed of

were hated, despised,
Mr. Douglas voiced
[21]

and mobbed.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
the feelings of millions

when he

de-

clared that he did not care whether

slavery

was voted up or down.
a

Upon

this question the people,

majority
savages.

of

them,

were

almost

Honor, manhood, con-

science, principle

all

sacrificed

for the sake of gain or office.

From
hosts,

the heights of philosophy

— standing

above the contending

above the prejudices, the sen-

timentalities of the

day

— Lincoln

was great enough and brave enough
and wise enough to utter these
prophetic words
"

A

house divided against
I

itself

cannot

stand.

believe this

Government cannot
free.
;

permanently endure half slave and half
I

I

do not expect the Union to be dissolved do not expect the house to fall but I do
;

expect

it

will cease to

be divided.

It will

[22]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
become
all

the

one thing or the other.
it,

Either the opponents of slavery will arrest

the further spread of
the public
it is

and place

it

where

mind

shall rest in the belief that

in the course of ultimate extinction, or
it

its

advocates will push

further until

it

becomes
as well as

alike lawful in all the States, old

new, North as well as South."

This declaration was the standard

around which gathered the grandest
political party the

world has ever

seen,

and

this

declaration

made

Lincoln the leader of that vast
host.

In

this,

the

first

great

crisis,

Lincoln uttered the victorious
truth that

made him

the foremost

man
him

in the Republic.

The Republican party nominated
for

the

presidency and the

people decided at the polls that a

house divided against
[231

itself

could

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
not stand, and that slavery had
cursed soul and
It
is

soil

enough.

common thing to elect a really great man to fill the highest
not a
official position.

I

do not say that
have been

the great

Presidents

chosen by accident.

Probably

it

would be better to say that they

were the favorites of a happy
chance.

The average man
genius.

is

afraid of

He
in

feels

as

an awkward
a

man

feels

the

presence of

sleight-of-hand performer.

He

admires and suspects.
appears to carry too
to

Genius
sail

much

lack

prudence, has too

much

courage.

The

ballast of dullness

inspires confidence.

By

a happy chance Lincoln was
[24]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
nominated and elected
his fitness
just,

in spite of

— and the patient, gentle,
called
as great a

and loving man was

upon to bear

burden as

man

has ever borne.

[25]

Ill

HEN
crisis

came another
crisis

— the

of

Secession
war.

and

Civil

Again Lincoln spoke the deepest
feeling

and the highest thought of
In his
first

the Nation.
lie

message

said
is

" The central idea of secession
essence of anarchy."

the

He also showed
secession,

conclusively that

the North and South, in spite of

must remain
they

face to face

— that
separate

physically they could not

— that

must

have

more
this

or less

commerce, and that
carried

commerce must be
[26]

on

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
either

between the two sections
situation

as friends, or as aliens.

This

and

its

conse-

quences he pointed out to absolute
perfection in these words
" Can aliens
friends
:

can

make treaties make laws? Can

easier

than

treaties

be

more
laws

faithfully enforced

between

aliens than

among

friends?"

After having stated
fairly the

fully

and

philosophy of the conflict,
satisfy

after

having said enough to

any calm and thoughtful mind, he
addressed himself to the hearts of

America.

Probably there are few
than the

finer passages in literature

close of Lincoln's inaugural address
"
I

am

loth to close.

We

are not enemies,

but friends.
not break,

must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must
our bonds
of affection.

We

The

mystic chords of

memory
[27]

stretching from

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
every battlefield and patriotic grave to every
loving heart and hearthstone
all

over this

broad land, will swell the chorus of the Union

when again touched,

as surely they by the better angels of our nature."

will be,

These

noble,

these

touching,

these pathetic words, were delivered in the presence of rebellion,
in the

midst of spies and conspir-

ators

— surrounded
in

by but few

most of whom were unknown, and some of whom were
friends,

wavering

their

fidelity

— at

a

time when secession was arrogant
and organized, when patriotism was
silent,

and

when, to

quote

the

expressive words of Lincoln himself,

" Sinners

were

calling

the

righteous to repentance."

When Lincoln became President,
he was held in contempt by the
[28]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
South

and East

by

his

— underrated by the North — not appreciated even cabinet — and yet he was
mankind.
Union
in

not only one of the wisest, but one
of the shrewdest of

Knowing
all

that he had the right to

enforce the laws of the

parts of the United States and

Territories

— knowing,

as he did,

that the secessionists were in the

wrong, he also knew that they had
sympathizers not only in the North,

but

in other lands.
felt

Consequently, he

that

it

was

of the utmost importance that the

South should

fire

the
act

first

shot,

should do some
solidify the

that would

North, and gain for us
of

the

justification

the civilized

world.
[29]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

He

proposed to give food to the

soldiers at

Sumter.
all

He

asked the

advice of

his
all,

cabinet on this

question, and

with the exception
Blair,

of

Montgomery

answered in

the negative, giving their reasons in
writing.

In spite of

this,

Lincoln

took his
to

own
the

course

— endeavored
and while
his

send

supplies,

thus

engaged, doing

simple
actual
fort.

duty, the South
hostilities

commenced
fired

and

on the

The

course

pursued by Lincoln
right,

was absolutely
of the the

and the act

South to a great extent
North, and gained

solidified

for the

Republic the justification

of a great other lands.

number of people

in

At that time Lincoln
[30]

appreciated

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Lhe scope

and consequences of the

impending- conflict.

Above all other
will
settle

thoughts in his mind was this

"This

conflict

the

question, at least for centuries
to come, whether

man

is

capable

of governing himself, and conse-

quently

is

of greater importance to

the free than to the enslaved."

He knew
issue "

what depended on the
said
:

and he

We shall nobly save, or meanly
the
last,

lose,

best hope of earth."

[31]

IV

HEN
"

came

a crisis in
It

the North.
clearer

became
day

and clearer to
mind,

Lincoln's

by day, that the Rebellion was
slavery,

and that

it

was necessary

to keep the border States on the
side of the

Union.

For
a

this pur-

pose

he

proposed

scheme of

emancipation and colonization

—a

scheme by which the owners of
slaves should be paid the full value

of what they called their "property."

He knew that if the border States
agreed
to

gradual

emancipation,
for their

and received compensation
slaves,

they would be forever lost
[32]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
to the Confederacy, whether secession

succeeded

or

not.

It

was

objected at the time, by some, that

the scheme was far too expensive

but Lincoln, wiser than

his advisers

far

wiser

than

his

enemies

demonstrated that from an
nomical point of view,
his

eco-

course

was

best.

He

proposed that 8400 be paid

for slaves, including

men, women,

and children.
price,

This was a large

and

yet
it

he

showed how

much

cheaper

was to purchase

than to carry on the war.

At

that time, at the price

men-

tioned, there

were about 8750,000
in

worth of slaves
cost of carrying
least

Delaware.

The
at

on the war was
[33]

two

millions of dollars a day,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
and
for one-third of
all

one day's ex-

penses,

the slaves in Delaware

could be purchased.
that
all

He also showed
in

the

slaves

Delaware,

Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri
could be bought, at the same price,
for less

than the expense of carrying
for eighty-seven days.

on the war

This was the wisest thing that
could

have

been

proposed,

and

yet such was the madness of the

South, such the indignation of the

North, that the advice was
heeded.

un-

Again,

in July,

1862, he urged

on

the

Representatives

of

the

border States a scheme of gradual

compensated emancipation but the
;

Representatives were too deaf to
hear, too blind to see.

[34]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Lincoln
always
felt

hated

slavery,

and yet he

the obligations and

duties of his position.

In his

first

message he assured the South that
the laws, including the most odious
of
all

— the

law

for the return of

fugitive

slaves— would be enforced.
hear.

The South would not

After-

ward he proposed to purchase the
slaves of the border States, but the

proposition was hardly discussed

hardly heard.

Events came thick

and

fast

;

theories gave

way to facts,
to force.

and everything was

left

The extreme Democrat
North

of the
slavery

was

fearful

that

might be destroyed, that the
Constitution might be broken, and
that Lincoln, after
all,

could not

be trusted

;

and

at the

same time

[35]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
the radical Republican feared that

Lincoln loved the Union more than

he did

liberty.

The
office,

fact

is,

that he tried to dis-

charge the obligations of his great

knowing from the
must
perish.

first

that

slavery

The

course

pursued by Lincoln was so gentle,
so kind and persistent, so wise and
logical, that millions of

Northern

Democrats sprang to the defence,
not only of the Union, but of his
administration.

Lincoln refused to

be led or hurried by Fremont or

Hunter, by Greeley or Sumner.

From
events.

first

to

last

he was

the

real leader, and he kept step with

[36]

»N

the

22d of July,
sent

18G2, Lincoln

word
wished to see them.

to the

members
happened
first

of his cabinet that he
It so

that Secretary Chase
to arrive.

was the

He found

Lincoln read-

ing a book.

Looking up from the
:

page, the President said
did
"
"

" Chase,

you ever read
is

this

book

?

What book
Let

it

?

"

asked Chase.

Artemus Ward,"

replied Lincoln.

"

me

read you this
in

chapter,

entitled

Wax Wnrx

Albany.

"

And
other

so he

began reading while the

members of the cabinet one by one came in. At last Stanton
[37]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
told

Mr. Lincoln that he was
if

in

a great hurry, and

any business
like to

was to be done he would
do
it

at

once.

Lincoln laid

Whereupon Mr. down the open book,
I

opened a drawer, took out a paper,

and

said

:

" Gentlemen,

have

called

you together to notify you
I

what

have determined to do.

I

want
change

no

advice.

Nothing

can

my

mind."

He

then read the Proclamation

of Emancipation.

Chase thought
which Lincoln
won't hurt

there ought to be something about

God
it."

at the close, to
:

replied
It

"

Put

it in, it

was

also agreed that the

President would wait for a victory
in

the

field

before

giving

the

Proclamation to the world.
[38]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
The meeting was over, the members went their way. Mr.
Chase was the
last to go,

and

as

he went through the door looked

back and saw that Mr. Lincoln

had taken up the book and was
again engrossed in the
at Albany.

Wax Wurx

This was on the 2 2d of July,
1862.

On
his

the

22d of August

of

the

same

year

Lincoln
letter

wrote

celebrated
in

to

Horace Greeley,

which he stated
save the
it

that his object was to

Union

;

that

lie

would save

with

slavery if he could ; that

if it

was
in
;

necessary

to

destroy

slavery

order to save the Union, he would
in other words, he

would do what

was necessary to save the Union.
[39]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
This letter disheartened, to a great
degree, thousands and millions of

the friends of freedom.

They

felt

that Mr. Lincoln had not attained

the moral height upon which they

supposed he stood.

And

yet,

when

this letter

was written, the
in

Emancipation Proclamation was
his hands,

and had been

for thirty

days, waiting only an opportunity
to give
it

to the world.
after the letter

Some two weeks
to Greeley, Lincoln

was waited on
was

by a committee of clergymen, and

was by them informed that

it

God's will that he should issue a

Proclamation of Emancipation.

He

replied to them, in substance,

that the day of miracles had passed.

He also mildly and kindly suggested
[40]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
that
if it

were God's will this Proclaissued, certainly

mation should be

God would have made known
will to

that

him

— to the
issue

person whose

duty

it

was to

it.

On
1862,

the 22d day of September,
the most glorious
date in

the history of the Republic, the

Proclamation of Emancipation was
issued.

Lincoln had reached the generalization of all

argument upon the
that

question of slavery and freedom
a generalization

never

has

been, and probably never will be,
excelled
" In giving freedom to the slave,

we

assure

freedom to the

free."

This

is

absolutely true.

Liberty

can be retained, can be enjoyed,
[41]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
only by giving
spendthrift
prodigal.
it

to others.

The
is

saves,

the

miser

In the realm of Freeis

dom, waste

husbandry.

He
soul.

who

puts chains upon the body

of another shackles his

own

The moment
public

the

Proclamation

was issued the cause of the Re-

became sacred. From that moment the North fought for the human race. From that moment
North stood under the blue
stars,

the

and

the
free.

flag

of

Nature,

sublime and

In 1831 Lincoln went down the
Mississippi

on a

flat-boat.

He

re-

ceived the extravagant salary of ten
dollars a

month.

When he reached
some of
city.

New

Orleans, he and

his

companions went about the
[42]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Among

other places, they visited

a slave market,

where men and

women were

being sold at auction.
girl

A

young colored

was on the

block.

Lincoln heard the brutal

words of the auctioneer
savage remarks of bidders.
scene
filled his

— the
The

soul with indignation

and horror.

Turning to
said, "

his

companions, he

Boys,

if I

ever get a chance
I
'11

to hit slavery,

by God

hit

it

hard

!

The

helpless girl, unconsciously,
in

had planted

a great heart the

seeds of the Proclamation.

Thirty-one years afterward the

chance came, the oath was kept,

and to four millions of

slaves, of

men,

women, and
[43]

children,

was

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
restored liberty, the jewel of the
soul.

In the history, in the
the world, there
is

fiction of

nothing more

intensely dramatic than this.

Lincoln held within his

brain

the grandest truths, and he held

them
as

as unconsciously, as as
its

easily,

naturally,

a waveless pool
stainless breast a

holds within

thousand
In

stars.

these

two

years

we had

traveled

from the

Ordinance of

Secession to the Proclamation of

Emancipation.

[44]

VI
^E were surrounded by

enemies.

Many

of

the so-called great in

Europe and England
were against
us.

They hated the
to aid

Republic, despised our institutions,

and sought
the South.

in

many ways

Mr. Gladstone announced that
Jefferson Davis had

made

a nation,

and that he did not believe the
restoration of the

American Union

by

force attainable.

From
It

the Vatican

came words

of encouragement for the South.

was declared that the North
for

was fighting
South

empire and the

for independence.
[45]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
"

The Marquis The people of
allies

of Salisbury said

:

the South are the

natural

of

England.

The
shop

North keeps an opposition
in the

same department of trade
a very elevated sentiment

as ourselves."

Not

but English.

Some

of their statesmer declared

that the subjugation of the South

by the North would be
to the world.

a calamity

Louis

Napoleon

was

another
es-

enemy, and he endeavored to
tablish a

monarchy

in

Mexico, to

the end that the great North might

be destroyed.
the

But the

patience,
sense, the

uncommon common

statesmanship of Lincoln

in spite

of foreign hate and Northern divi[46]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
sion

— triumphed
forgive

over

all.

And

now we

all foes.

Victory

makes forgiveness
mat.

easy.

Lincoln was by nature a diplo-

He knew
the

the art of sailing

against

wind.
as

He
is

had

as

much

shrewdness

consistent

with honesty.

He
In

understood, not

only the rights of individuals, but
of nations.
all his

correspond-

ence with other governments he
neither wrote nor sanctioned a line

which afterward was used to
his hands.

tie

In the use of perfect
all his

English he easily rose above
advisers

and

all his fellows.

No
all.

one claims that Lincoln did

He

could have done nothing
field,

without the generals in the

and the generals could have done
[471

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
nothing without their armies.
praise
as
is

The

due to

all

— to the private
;

much as lowest who

to the officer

to the

did his duty, as

much

as to the highest.

My

heart goes out to the brave

private as

much

as to the leader

of the host.

But Lincoln stood
and with
infinite
skill,

at the center

patience,

with

consummate

with the genius

of goodness, directed, cheered,
consoled, and conquered.

[48]

VII

LAVERY
cause
of
perpetual
block.

was the
the
war,

and slavery was the
stumbling-

As

the war went on, ques-

tion after question arose

— questions
when
slave

that could
theories.

not

be

answered by

Should we hand back
the
to

the slave to his master,

master was
destroy the

using

his

Union
slaves

?

If the

South

was

right,

were property,

and by the laws of war anything
that might be used to the advan-

tage of the

enemy might be
General
[49]

confis-

cated by us.
for

Events did not wait
Butler

discussion.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
denominated the negro as " a contraband."

Congress provided that

the property of the rebels might

be confiscated.

The extreme Democrats of
North regarded the slave
sacred than to
kill
life.

the

as

more

It

was no harm
burn
his

the master

— to

house, to ravage his

fields

— but
right

you must not
If in

free his slave.

war a nation has the
friends

to take the property of

its citizens
it

— of
those

its

— certainly

has

the right to take the property of
it

has the right to

kill.

Lincoln was wise enough to
that

know

war

is

governed by the laws

of war, and that during the conflict

constitutions are silent.

All

that

he could do he did in the
[50]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
interests of peace.

He
all

offered to

— including the most infamous of — to buy the slaves the border States — to
execute every law
in

establish

gradual, compensated

emancipation; but the South would

not hear.
property

Then he
of
rebels

confiscated the

— treated

the

slaves as contraband of war, used

them

to put

down
of

the Rebellion,
in

armed them and clothed them
the uniform
the

Republic

was

in favor of

zens and allowing

making them citithem to stand on
of the Nation.

an equality with their white brethren

under the

flag

During these years Lincoln moved with events, and every step he took
has been justified by the considerate

judgment of mankind.
[51]

VIII

INCOLN

not only

watched the war, but
kept his hand on the
political pulse.

In
the

1863

a

tide

set

in

against

administration.

A

Republican
in

meeting was to be held
field,

Spring-

Illinois,

and Lincoln wrote a

letter to

be read at this convention.
It

It

was

in his happiest vein.

was

a perfect defence of his administration,

including

the Proclamation

of Emancipation.
things he said

Among

other

" But the proclamation, as law, either
valid or
it
it

is

is

not valid.

If it

is

not valid

needs no retraction, but
-

if it is valid it

cannot be x etracted, any more than the dead
can be brought to
life."

[52]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
To the Northern Democrats who said they would not fight for
negroes, Lincoln replied
"

you

— but no matter."

Some

of

them seem

willing to fight for

Of negro

soldiers

" But negroes, like other people, act upon motives. Why should they do anything for
us
if

we

will

do nothing

for

them

?

If they

stake their lives for us they must be prompted

by the strongest motive
of freedom.

— even the promise

And

the promise, being made,

must be kept."

There

is

one
it

line in this letter

that will give

immortality

"The Father
to the sea."

of waters again goes unvexed

This line is worthy of Shakespeare.

Another
" Among free
ful

men there

can be no success-

appeal from the ballot to the bullet."

He

draws a comparison between
[53]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
the white

men

against us and the

black
"

men

for us
there will be some black

And then

men

who can remember

that with silent tongue

and clenched teeth and steady eye and wellpoised bayonet they have helped mankind on to this great consummation while I fear there will be some white ones unable to for;

get that with malignant heart and deceitful

speech they strove to hinder

it."

Under the
and above

influence of this letter,

the love of country, of the Union,
all,

the love of liberty,

took possession of the heroic North.

There was the greatest moral
exaltation ever

known.

The

spirit

of liberty took pos-

session of the people.

The masses
is

became sublime.

To

fight for yourself fight for others
is

natural
;

— to

grand
is

to

fight for

your country
[54]

noble

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
to fight for the

human

race

for

the liberty of hand and brain
is

nobler

still.

As
their
pit in

a matter of fact, the defenders

of slavery had sown the seeds of

own

defeat.

They dug the
fell.

which they

Clay and

Webster and thousands of others
had by their eloquence made the

Union almost
was the very

sacred.

The Union
the source
liberty

tree of

life,

and stream and sea of
law.

and

For the sake of slavery

millions

stood by the Union, for the sake

of liberty millions knelt at the altar
of the

Union
is

;

and

this love of the

Union

what, at

last,

overwhelmed

the Confederate hosts.
It does

not seem possible that
[55]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
only a few years ago our Constitution, our laws, our Courts, the

Pulpit, and the Press, defended

and

upheld the institution of slavery
that
it

was a crime to feed the

hungry
of

thirst

— to give water to the — shelter to a woman

lips

flying

from the whip and chain
old flag

The

are there

— the — the stains have gone.
still flies

stars

[56]

IX

IXCOLX
the end.

always saw

He was

un-

moved by the storms ^g^}> and currents of the
times.

He

advanced too rapidly

for the conservative politicians, too

slowly for the radical enthusiasts.

He

occupied the line of safety, and

held by his personality

— by
by

the
his

force of his great character,

charming
his side.

candor — the

masses on

The
All

soldiers

thought of him as

a father.

who had

lost their sons in

battle felt that they

had

his

sym-

pathy

felt

that his face was as
[57]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
sad
as
theirs.

They knew
his

that

Lincoln was actuated by one motive,

and that

energies were

bent to the attainment of one end

— the salvation of the Republic.
They knew
sincere,

that he was kind,

and merciful.

They knew
that

that in his veins there was no drop of tyrants' blood.

They knew

he used

his

power to protect the
life

innocent, to save reputation and

— that he had the brain of a philosopher — the heart of a mother.
During
mercy,
death.
all

the

years

of war,

Lincoln stood the embodiment of

between

discipline

and

He

pitied the imprisoned

and

condemned.

He
of the

took

the

unfortunate in his arms, and was
the
friend

even

convict.

[58]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

He knew
the

temptation's strength

weakness
in fury's

of the

will

— — and
and

how

sudden

flame the
scales,

judgment drops the
passion

— blind
a

and deaf

— usurps

the throne.

One day
dent.

woman, accompanied
called

by a Senator,
of

on the Presiwife

The woman was the one of Mosby's men. Her
tried,

hus-

band had been captured,

and

condemned
band.

to be shot.

She came

to ask for the pardon of her hus-

The President heard her
what kind of
" Is

story and then asked

man

her

husband was.
does
beat

he
the

intemperate,
children

he

abuse
"

and

you?"
is

Xo,

no," said the wife, " he

a good

man, a good husband, he loves
[59]

me

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
and he loves the children, and we
cannot
live

without
is

him.
is

The
a fool
in

only trouble

that he
I

about

politics

live
if I

the

North, born there, and

get him

home, he

will

do no more fighting
" Well," said Mr.

for the South."

Lincoln, after examining the papers, " I will

pardon your husband
for safe

and turn him over to you
keeping."

The poor woman,
joy, sobbed as

over-

come with
"

though

her heart would break.

My dear woman," said
feel,

Lincoln,
it

"

if I

had known how badly
I

was

going to make you

never
"

would have pardoned him."
between her
understand
"

You
not
I

do not understand me," she cried
sobs.

You do

me."
[60]

" Yes,

yes,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
do," answered the President,
if

"and

you do not go away

at once I

shall

be crying with you."
another occasion, a

On

member
to
see

of Congress,

on

his

way

Lincoln, found in one of the ante-

rooms of the White House an old
white-haired

man,

sobbing
tears.

his

wrinkled face wet with
old

The

man

told

him that

for several

days he had tried to see the President
for

— that
his

he wanted a pardon

The Congressman told the old to come with him and he would introduce him to Mr.
son.

man

Lincoln. the old

On
man

being
:

introduced,

said

" Mr. Lincoln,

my

wife sent

me

to you.
all

We had

three boys.

They
[61]

joined your

army.

One

of 'em has been killed,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
one
's

a-fighting now,

and one of

'em, the youngest, has been tried
for deserting,

and he

's

going to be

shot

day

after

to-morrow.

He
and

never deserted.

He

's

wild,

he

may have drunk
in

too

much and

wandered off, but he never deserted.
'T ain't

the

blood.
if

He
he
's

's

his

mother's favorite, and
I

shot,

know

she'll

die."

The

Presi:

dent, turning to his secretary, said

"Telegraph General Butler to
suspend the execution in the case
of
[giving the

name]
."

until

further orders from

me, and ask

him

to answer

The Congressman congratulated
the old
the old

man on man did
satisfied.

his'

success

— but
He

not respond.

was not

" Mr. President,"

[62]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
he began, "
1 can't

take that news
his

home.

It

won't satisfy

mother.
11
"
?

How
give
"

do

I

know but what you
man,"
said

further orders to-morrow

My good

Mr. Lincoln,
I

" I

have to do the best

can.

The
that

generals are complaining beI

cause

pardon so many.

They say
discipline.
tell

my

mercy destroys

Now, when you get home you
his

mother what you

said to

me

about

my
'

giving
tell

further

orders,

and then you
this
:

her that I said
lives until

If

your son

they

get further orders from me, that

when he does

die people will say

that old Methusaleh was a baby

compared to him.'"

The pardoning power
[63]

is

the only

remnant of absolute sovereignty

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
that a President has.

Through

all

the years, Lincoln will be
as

known

Lincoln the loving, Lincoln the

merciful,

[64]

INCOLN

had the

keenest sense of hu-

mor, and always saw the

laughable

side

even of

disaster.

In his humor

there was logic and the best of
sense.

No

cated the question, or
rassing the

how complihow embarsituation, his humor
matter

furnished an answer and a door of
escape.

Vallandigham was a friend of the
South, and did what he could to

sow the seeds of

failure.

In his

opinion everything, except rebellion,

was unconstitutional. was
arrested, convicted
[65]

He

by a

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
court
martial,

and sentenced
doubt

to

imprisonment.

There

was

about

the

legality of the trial,
in the

and thousands

North denounced the whole
the same time millions

proceeding as tyrannical and infa-

mous. At demanded

that

V

r

allandigham
the

should be punished.
Lincoln's
rescue.

humor came

to

He

disapproved of the

findings of the court, changed the

punishment, and ordered that Mr.

Yallandigham should be sent to
friends in the South.

his

Those who regarded the act
unconstitutional almost forgave
for the sake of
its

as
it

humor.

Horace Greeley always had the
idea that he was greatly superior
[66]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
to Lincoln, because he lived in a
larger town,
insisted

and
the

for a long

time
the

that

people

of

North and the people of the South
desired
peace.

He

took

it

upon
Lin-

himself to lecture Lincoln.
coln,

with that wonderful sense of

humor, united with shrewdness and
profound
that,
if

wisdom,

told
really

Greeley

the South

wanted
the

peace,

he
thing,

(Lincoln)

desired
all

same

and was doing
it

he

could to bring
insisted that a

about.

Greeley

commissioner should
with
authority
to

be appointed,

negotiate with the representatives
of

the

Confederacy.
opportunity.

This

was
au-

Lincoln's

He
as

thorized Greeley to

act

such

commissioner.

The
[671

great editor

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
felt

that he was

caught.
finally

For a
went,

time he hesitated, but

and found that the Southern commissioners
into

were willing to

take
of

consideration

any

offers

peace that Lincoln might make,
consistent with the independence

of the Confederacy.

The
he was

failure of

Greeley was huin

miliating,

and the position
absurd.

which

left,

Again the humor of Lincoln
had triumphed.
Lincoln, to satisfy a few faultfinders
in

the

North,

went to

Grant's headquarters and

met some

Confederate

commissioners.

He
for

urged that

it

was hardly proper

him to negotiate with the representatives of rebels in arms
[68]

— that

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
if

the South wanted peace,

all

they

had to do was to stop

fighting.

One

of the commissioners cited as

a precedent the fact that Charles

the First negotiated with rebels in
arms.
that
head.

To which Lincoln
Charles

replied
lost his

the

First

The conference came
as

to nothing,

Mr. Lincoln expected.

The commissioners, one
being

of

them

Alexander
in

H.

Stephens,

who, when

good

health,

weighed

about ninety pounds, dined with
the President and General Grant.

After dinner, as they were leaving,

Stephens put on an English
the
tails

ulster,

of

which

reached

the

ground, while the collar was some-

what above the wearer's head.
[69]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
As
Stephens went out, Lincoln
:

touched Grant and said
look at Stephens.

" Grant,

Did you ever

see as little a nubbin with as

much

shuck

?

Lincoln always tried to do things
in the easiest

way.

waste

his

strength.

He He

did not

was not
along

particular

about

moving

straight lines.

the

He did not tunnel He was willing mountains.

to go around, and reach the end
desired as a river reaches the sea.

[70]

XI
!NE
of the most

wonever

derful

things

done by Lincoln was
Pl^SjIgy the

promotion of
After the battle

General Hooker.

of Fredericksburg, General Burnside

found great fault with Hooker,

and wished to have him removed
from the

Army

of the Potomac.

Lincoln disapproved of Burnside's
order,

and gave Hooker the com-

mand.
this

He

then wrote Hooker
letter
at the

memorable

"I have placed you

Army
done

of the Potomac.
this

Of

course

head of the I have

upon what appears to me to be and yet I think it best for you to know that there are some things in regard to which I am not quite satisfied with
sufficient reasons,

[71]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
you.
ful
I

believe you to be a brave and skill-

soldier

also believe

your

— which, you do profession —

of course,

I

like.

I

not mix politics with

in

which you are

right.

You have confidence
if

— which
;

is

a valuable,

not an indispensable, quality.

You
I

are

ambitious, which, within reasonable bounds,

does good rather than harm

but

think
of

that during General Burnside's

command

the army you have taken counsel of your

much as you which you did a great wrong to the country and to a most meritorious and
ambition to thwart him as
could

in

honorable brother

officer.
it,

I

have heard, in

such a way as to believe

of your recently

saying that both the army and the Govern-

ment needed
not for
this,

a dictator.

Of

course
that
I

it

was

but in spite of

it,

have

given you command.

who gain successes can What I now ask of you is

Only those generals set up dictators.
military successes,

and I will risk the dictatorship. The Government will support you to the utmost of
its ability,
it
I

which

is

neither more nor less than
all commanders. which you have

has done and will do for

much

fear that the spirit

aided to infuse into the army, of criticising
their

commander and withholding confidence
[72]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
in him, will
assist

now

turn upon you.
I

I
it

shall

you, so far as

can, to put

down.

Neither you, nor Napoleon, if he were alive, can get any good out of an army while such
a spirit prevails in
rashness.
it. And now beware of Beware of rashness, but with

energy and sleepless vigilance go forward and give us victories."

This

letter

has,

in

my

judg-

ment, no

parallel.
is

The mistaken

magnanimity
the prophecy

almost equal to

" I much fear that the spirit which you have aided to infuse into the arcny, of criticising

their

confidence in him, will

commander and withholding now turn upon you.
fulfill-

Chancellors ville was the

ment.

[73]

XII
R.

LINCOLN

was a

The great stumbling-block
statesman.

the great obstruction

in

Lincoln's way,

and

in

the

way

of

thousands,

was the old

doctrine of States Rights.

This

doctrine

was

first

estabIt

lished to protect slavery.

was

clung to to protect the inter- State
slave trade.
It

became sacred

in

connection with the Fugitive Slave

Law, and

it

was

finally

used as the

corner-stone of Secession.

This doctrine was never appealed
to in defence of the right
in

— always
For

support

of

the wrong.
[74]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
many
years politicians

upon both
endeavored

sides of this question

to express the exact relations exist-

ing between the Federal Govern-

ment and the
of no one

States,

and

I

know

who
on

succeeded, except

Lincoln.
delivered
definition

In his message of 1861,

July

the
it is

4th,

the

is

given,

and

perfect

" Whatever concerns the whole should be
confided
to

the whole

— to

the

General
to

Government.
State
State."

Whatever concerns only the
left

should be

exclusively

the

When
a

that definition

is

realized

in practice, this

country becomes
shall

Nation.

Then we

know
citi-

that the

first

allegiance of the

zen

is

not to his State, but to the
first

Republic, and that the
of the Republic
is

duty

to protect the

[75]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
citizen,

not only when

in

other
this

lands,

but at home, and that
cannot
it

duty

be

discharged

by

delegating

to the States.
in

Lincoln believed
eignty
of

the sover-

the

people

in

the

supremacy of the Nation
territorial integrity of

in the

the Republic.

[76]

XIII

GREAT
be

actor

can

known only when
assumed the

he has

principal character in

a great drama.
est

Possibly the great-

actors
it

have

never

appeared,

and

may

be that the greatest
the
lives

soldiers

have lived
peace.

of

perfect

Lincoln assumed

the leading part in the greatest

drama ever enacted upon the stage
of this continent.

His criticisms of military movements, his correspondence with his
generals and others on the conduct

of the war,

show that he was
[77]

at all

times master of the

situation

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
that he was
a natural strategist,

that he appreciated the difficulties

and advantages of every kind, and
that
field

in

" the

still

and

mental

of war he stood the peer of
flag.

any man beneath the

Had
vice,

McClellan followed

his ad-

he would have taken Rich-

mond.

Had Hooker acted
ville

in accordance

with his suggestions, Chancellors-

would have been a victory

for

the Nation.
Lincoln's
political

prophecies

were

all fulfilled.

We
stood

know now
at

that he not only

the

top,

but

that
first

he
to

occupied the center, from
last,

and that he did

this

by reason

of his intelligence, his humor, his
[78]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
philosophy,
patriotism.
his

courage, and

his

In

passion's

storm

he

stood,

unmoved,
In
his

patient, just,

and candid.

brain there was no cloud,
his

and

in

heart

no

hate.

He

longed to save the South as well
as

North, to see the Nation one
free.

and

He
known.

lived

until

the

end was

He
until

lived until the Confederacy

was dead

— until Lee
fled, until

surrendered,

Davis

the doors of
until

Libby Prison were opened,
the Republic was supreme.

He

lived

until

Lincoln

and

Liberty were united forever.

He

lived to cross the desert

to reach the

palms of victory
[79]

— to

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
hear the

murmured music

of the

welcome waves.

He
were
deeds

lived until all loyal hearts
his

until the history of his
in the souls of

made music
he

men

— until
his

knew
first.

that

on

Columbia's Calendar of worth and

fame

name

stood

He

lived

until there

remained

nothing for him to do as great as

he had done.

What
for,

he did was worth living
for.

worth dying

He
midst

lived until he stood in the

of universal

Joy,

beneath

the outstretched wings of Peace

the foremost

man

in all the world.

And
Night

then
fell

the

horror

came.

on noon.
[80]

The Savior

of the Republic, the breaker of

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
chains, the liberator of millions,

he

who had "assured freedom
free,"

to the

was dead.
his

Upon
time

brow Fame placed the
for the first

immortal wreath, and

in the history of the

world a

Nation bowed and wept.

The memory of Lincoln
all all

is

the

strongest, tenderest tie that binds

hearts together now,

and holds
flag.

States beneath a Nation's

[81]

XIV

BRAHAM LINCOLN — strange
mingling of mirth and
tears,

of

the

tragic

and grotesque, of cap and crown,
of Socrates

and Democritus, of
all

iEsop and Marcus Aurelius, of
that
is

gentle and just,

humorous
con-

and honest, merciful,
able, lovable,

wise, laugh-

and

divine,

and

all
;

secrated to the use of

man
all,

while

through

all,

and over

were an

overwhelming sense of obligation, of
chivalric loyalty to truth,
all,

and upon

the shadow of the tragic end.
all

Nearly

the

great

historic

characters are impossible monsters,
[82]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
disproportioned by flattery, or by

calumny
nothing

deformed.

We

know
or

nothing of their

peculiarities,

but

their

peculiarities.

About

these oaks there clings none

of the earth of humanity.

Washington
engraving.

is

now

only a steel

About

the real

man
The

who
glass

lived

and loved and hated and
little.

schemed,

we know but

through which we look at
is

him

of such high

magnifying

power that the

features are exceed-

ingly indistinct.

Hundreds of people
engaged
in

are

now
lines

smoothing out the

of Lincoln's face
tures to

— forcing

all fea-

the

common mold

— so

that he

may

be known, not as he

really was, but, according to their

[83]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
poor standard, as he should have
been.

Lincoln was not a type.
stands
fellows,

He
no

alone

— no

ancestors,

and no successors.

He
in a
ity,

had the advantage of living
country, of social equal-

new

of personal freedom, of seeing

in

the horizon of his future the

perpetual star of hope.

He
and

prehis

served

his

individuality

self-respect.

He knew

and min;

gled with
after
all,

men men

of every kind

and,

are the best books.

He

became acquainted with the

ambitions and hopes of the heart,
the means used to accomplish ends, the springs of action and the seeds

of thought.
nature,

He

was familiar with
things, with

with

actual
[84]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
common
the
facts.

He
poem

loved

and

appreciated the

of the year,

drama of the
at
least

seasons.

In a
possess

new country

a

man must
virtues

three


is

honesty, courage, and generosity.

In cultivated society, cultivation
often

more important than

soil.

A well-executed
more
ine.

counterfeit passes

readily than a blurred genuIt
is

necessary only to ob-

serve the unwritten laws of society

— to

be honest enough to keep

out of prison, and generous enough
to subscribe in public

— where the
is is

subscription can be defended as an

investment.

In a new country, character
essential
;

in the old, reputation

sufficient.

In the new, they find
[85]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
what a man
resembles.
really
is
;

in the old,

he generally passes for what he

People separated only
are

by

distance

much

nearer

together, than those divided

by the

walls of caste.
It
is

no advantage to

live in a

great city, where poverty degrades

and
fields

failure

brings
lovelier

despair.

The
paved
than
are

are

than

streets,

and the great

forests

walls of brick.

Oaks and elms

more poetic than
chimneys.

steeples and

In the country

is

the idea of
rising
ac-

home.

There you see the
;

and setting sun

you become

quainted with the stars and clouds.

The

constellations are your friends.

You

hear the rain on the roof and
[86]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
listen to the

rhythmic sighing of

the winds. the

You

are

thrilled

by

resurrection

called

Spring,

touched and saddened by

Autumn

— the
Every
scape
;

grace and poetry of death.
field
is

a picture, a land-

every landscape a

poem
In the

every flower a tender thought, and every forest a fairyland.

country you preserve your identity

— your

personality.

There you

are an aggregation of atoms, but
in the city

you are only an atom

of an aggregation.

In the country you keep your

cheek close to the breast of Nature.

You

are calmed and enno-

bled by the space, the amplitude

and scope of earth and sky
the constancy of the
[87]
stars.

— by

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Lincoln never finished
tion.

his

educa-

To

the night of his death
in-

he was a pupil, a learner, an
quirer, a seeker after

knowledge.

You

have no idea

how many men
is

are spoiled
cation.

by what

called edupart,
col-

For the most

leges are places

where pebbles are

polished and diamonds are

dimmed.
at

If Shakespeare had graduated

Oxford, he
quibbling

might have
attorney,

been
a

a

or

hypo-

critical parson.

Lincoln

was

a

great

lawyer.

There
world

is

nothing shrewder in this
intelligent
is

than

honesty.
shield.

Perfect candor

sword and

He
man.

understood the nature of

As

a lawyer

lie

endeavored

to get at the truth, at the very
[88]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
heart of a case.

He

was not

will-

ing even to deceive himself.

No
what

matter what
his passion

his interest said,

demanded, he was great and strong
pronounce judgment

enough to

find the truth

enough

to

against his

own

desires.

Lincoln was a many-sided man,
acquainted with smiles and tears,

complex
direct
as

in brain, single in heart,

light

;

and

his

words,

candid as mirrors, gave the perfect

image of

his

thought.

He

was

never afraid to ask
nified

— never too dighad keener
wit,

to

admit that he did not

know.

No man
may

or kinder humor.
It

be that humor

is

the

pilot

of reason.
drift

People without
into

humor

unconsciously
[89J

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
absurdity.
side

Humor
in

sees the other

— stands
a
its
is

the

mind

like

a

spectator,

good-natured

critic,

and gives

opinion before judg-

ment

reached.

Humor

goes

with good nature, and good nature
is

the climate of reason.

In anger,

reason abdicates and malice extinguishes the torch.

Such was the
truths

humor
tell

of Lincoln that he could

even

unpleasant

as
tell

charmingly as most
the things

men

can

we wish

to hear.

He
is

was not solemn.

Solemnity

a

mask worn by ignorance and

hypocrisy

it

is

the preface, pro-

logue, and index to the cunning or

the stupid.

He

was natural

in his life

and

thought

— master
[90]

of

the

story-

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
teller's art, in illustration apt, in

ap-

plication perfect, liberal in speech,

shocking
using

Pharisees

and

prudes,

any word

that wit

could

disinfect.

He
shed

was a
light.

logician.

His logic

In

its

presence the

obscure became luminous, and the most complex and intricate political and metaphysical knots seemed
to untie themselves.

Logic

is

the

necessary product

of intelligence
It

and

sincerity.
It
is

cannot

be

learned.

the child of a clear
heart.

head and a good

Lincoln was candid, and with candor often deceived the deceitful.

He

had

intellect

without

arrogance,

genius

without pride,

and religion without cant
[91]

— that

is

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
to say, without bigotry and without
deceit.

He was an orator — clear, sincere, He did not pretend. He natural.
did not say

what he thought others

thought, but what he thought.
If

you wish to be sublime you

must be natural
by the
be

— you must keep
You must
;

close to the grass.
fireside of
it is

sit

the heart

above

the clouds

too cold.

You must
speech
;

simple

in

your

too

much polish suggests The great orator
real,

insincerity.

idealizes

the

transfigures

the

common,

makes even the inanimate throb
and
thrill,
fills

the gallery of the

imagination with statues and pictures

perfect

in

form and

color,

brings to light the gold
[92]

hoarded

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
by memory the
miser, shows the
glittering coin to the

spendthrift

hope, enriches the brain, ennobles

the heart, and quickens the conscience.

Between

his

lips

words

bud and blossom.
If

you wish to know the
an orator

differ-

ence between
elocutionist

and an
is felt

and what

is

— between what said — between

what

the heart and brain can do together

and what the brain can do alone

read Lincoln's wondrous speech at

Gettysburg, and then the oration
of

Edward Everett. The speech of Lincoln
It

will
live

never
until

be forgotten.

will

languages are dead and
dust.

lips

are

The

oration of Everett will

never be read.
[93]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
The
elocutionists believe in the

virtue of voice, the sublimity of

syntax, the majesty of long sentences,

and the genius of gesture.
orator loves the real, the

The
simple,

the

natural.
all.

the thought above

He places He knows

that the greatest ideas should be

expressed in the shortest words

that the greatest statues need the
least drapery.

Lincoln was an immense person-

ality—firm
Obstinacy
heroism.
is

but

not

obstinate.

egotism — firmness,
influenced
others
;

He
effort,

without

unconsciously
to

and

they submitted

him

as

men

submit to nature

— unconsciously.
with others.

He

was severe with himself, and

for that reason lenient

[94]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

He

appeared to

apologize

for

being kinder than his fellows.

He did merciful things as stealthily as

others committed crimes.

Almost ashamed of tenderness,

he said and did the noblest

words and deeds with that charming
confusion,
is

that

awkward-

ness, that

the perfect grace of

modesty.

Asa

noble man, wishing to pay

a small debt to a poor neighbor,
reluctantly offers a hundred-dollar
bill

and asks

for change,

fearing

that he

may

be suspected either of

making
hesitated

a display of wealth or a

pretence of payment, so Lincoln
to

show

his

wealth of

goodness even to the best he knew.

A great man

stooping, not wish[95]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
ing to

make

his fellows feel

that

they were small or mean.

By
by

his candor,

by

his kindness,
re-

his

perfect

freedom from

straint,

by saying what he thought,
it

and saying

absolutely in his
it

own

way, he made

not only possible,

but popular, to be natural.

He

was the enemy of mock solemnity,
of the stupidly respectable, of the
cold and formal.

He
on
his

wore no

official

robes either

body or

his soul.

He

never
or

pretended to be more or
other, or different,
really was.

less,

from what he

He
He

had the unconscious naturalself.

ness of Nature's
built

upon the
[96]

rock.

The

foundation was secure and broad.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
The
structure
it

was
rose.

a

pyramid,

narrowing as

Through

days and nights of sorrow, through
years of grief and pain, with un-

swerving purpose, "with malice
towards none, with charity for
with
infinite
all,'

patience,

with

un-

clouded vision, he hoped and

toiled.

Stone after stone was
at last the
place.

laid,

until
its

Proclamation found

On that the Goddess stands.
others, because per-

He knew

fectly acquainted with himself.

He
for

cared nothing for place, but every-

thing for principle

;

little

money, but everything
pendence.

for inde-

Where no
easily
if in

principle

was

involved,

swayed


to

willing to go slowly,
direction

the right

— sometimes
[97]

willing

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
stop
;

but he would not go back,

and he would not go wrong.

He
knew
fool

was willing to
that

wait.

He
not

the

event

was

waiting, and that fate

was not the
that

of

chance.

He knew

slavery had defenders, but
fence,

no de-

and that they who attack the

right

must wound themselves.

He was neither tyrant nor slave. He neither knelt nor scorned.
With him, men were
great nor small
or wrong.
neither

— they were right
clothes, titles,
real

Through manners,
rags,

and race he saw the
which
is.


he

that

Beyond

accident,

policy,

compromise, and war

saw the end.

He

was

patient
[98]

as

Destiny,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
whose undecipherable hieroglyphs
were so deeply graven on
his sad

and tragic

face.

Nothing
for the

discloses real character
It
is

like the use of power.

easy

weak

to be gentle.

Most
But
if

people can bear adversity.

you wish to know what a man
really
is
is,

give

him power.
test.

This

the supreme

It

is

the glory

of

Lincoln

that,

having

almost
it,

absolute power, he never abused

except on the side of mercy.

Wealth
this loving

could

not

purchase,
this divine,

power could not awe,
man.
no

He knew
pitying

fear except the fear

of doing wrong.

Hating

slavery,

the

master

— seeking

to

conquer, not persons, but prejudices
[99]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

— he
He He
strike,

was the embodiment of the
the hope,

self-denial, the courage,

and the nobility of a Nation.
spoke not to inflame, not to

upbraid, but to convince.
raised
his

hands,

not

to

but

in benediction.

He He

longed to pardon.
loved to see the pearls of

joy on the cheeks of a wife whose

husband he had rescued from death.
Lincoln was the grandest figure
of the fiercest
gentlest
civil

war.

He

is

the

memory

of our world.

[100]

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