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to a race. We have all been taught to revere the sacred characters. Among them, Moses stands preëminently high. He received the law from God, and his name is honored among the hosts of Heaven. Was not his greatest act the delivering of three millions of his kindred out of bondage ? Yet we may assert that Abraham Lincoln, by his proclamation, liberated more enslaved people than ever Moses set free, and those not of his kindred or his race. Such a power, or such an opportunity, God has seldom given to man.

“As a ruler, I doubt if any President has ever shown such trust in God, or in public documents so frequently referred to Divine aid. Often did he remark to friends and to delegations, that his hope for our success rested in his conviction that God would bless our efforts, because we were trying to do right. To the address of a large religious body, he replied, " Thanks be unto God, who, in our national trials, giveth us the churches.' To a minister who said he hoped the Lord was on our side, he replied that it gave him no concern whether the Lord was on our side or not, for, he added, "I know the Lord is always on the side of right,' and, with deep feeling, added, " But God is my witness that it is my constant anxiety and prayer that both myself and this nation should be on the Lord's side.'

* “ Chieftain ! farewell! The nation mourns thee. Mothers shall teach thy name to their lisping children. The youth of our land shall emulate thy virtues. Statesmen shall study thy record and learn lessons of wisdom. Mute though thy lips be, yet they still speak. Hushed is thy voice, but its echoes of liberty are ringing through the world, and the sons of bondage listen with joy. Prisoned thou art in death, and yet thou art marching abroad, and chains and manacles are bursting at thy touch. Thou didst fall not for thyself. The assassin had no hate for thee. Our hearts were aimed at, our national life was sought. We crown thee as

our martyr- and humanity enthrones thee as her triumphant son. Hero, martyr, friend, farewell !” ”

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OHAPTER XXIX.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

THOSE
HOSE who shall have read these pages thus far, have

already obtained better means of forming a correct judg. ment of Mr. Lincoln than from any attempt at word painting. He was a man difficult to describe, and one who can be best understood and appreciated as portrayed by his own speeches, writings and conduct.

Physically, he was a tall, spare man, six feet and four inches in height. He stooped, leaning forward as he walked. He was very athletic, with long, sinewy arms, large, bony hands, and of great physical power. Many anecdotes of his strength are given which show that it was equal to that of two or three ordinary men. He lifted with ease five or six hundred pounds. His legs and arms were disproportionately long, as compared with his body; and when he walked, he swung his arms to and fro more than most men. When seated, he did not seem much taller than ordinary men. In his movements there was no grace, but an impression of awkward strength and vigor. He was naturally diffident, and even to the day of his death, when in crowds, and not speaking or acting, and conscious of being observed, he seemed to shrink with bashfulness. When he spoke, or listened, this appearance left him, and he indicated no self-consciousness. His forehead was high, his hair very dark, nearly black, and rather stiff and coarse ; his eye-brows were heavy, his eyes dark-grey, very expressive and varied; now sparkling with humor and fun, and then deeply sad and melancholy; flashing with indignation at injustice or wrong, and then kind, genial, droll, dreamy; always changing with his moods. His nose was large, clearly defined and well shaped; cheek-bones

on canvass.

high and projecting. His mouth firm. He was easily caricatured – but difficult to represent as he was in marble or

The best bust of him is that of Volk, which was modeled from life in May, 1860, while he was attending court at Chicago. Among the best portraits, in the judgment of his family and intimate friends, is that of Carpenter, in the picture of the Reading of the Proclamation of Emancipation before the Cabinet.

He would be instantly recognized as belonging to that type of tall, thin, large boned men, produced in the northern portion of the Valley of the Mississippi, and exhibiting its peculiar characteristics in a most marked degree in Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. In any crowd in the United States, he would have been readily pointed out as a Western man. His stature, figure, manner, voice and accent, indicated that he was of the Northwest. His manners were always cordial, familiar, genial; always perfectly self-possessed, he made every one feel at home, and no one approached him without being impressed with his kindly, frank nature, his clear, good sense, and his transparent truthfulness and integrity. There is more or less of expression and character in handwriting. Lincoln's was plain, simple, clear, and legible, as that of Washington, but unlike that of Washington, it was without ornament.

In endeavoring to state those qualities which gave him success and greatness, one of the most important, it seems to me, was a combination of a supreme love of truth, and a wonderful capacity to ascertain and find it. Mentally, he had a perfect eye for truth. His mental vision was clear and accurate : he saw things as they were. I mean that everything presented to his mind for investigation, he saw divested of every extraneous circumstance, every coloring, association or accident which could mislead. This gave him at the bar a wonderful sagacity which seemed almost instinctive, in sifting the true from the false, in ascertaining facts; and so it was in all things through life. He ever sought the real, the true, and the right. He was exact, carefully accurate in all his statements. He analyzed well; he saw and presented what lawyers call the very gist of every question, divested of all unimportant or accidental relations, so that his statement was a demonstration. At the bar, his statement of his case, or of a question of law, was so clear, that most persons were surprised that there should be any controversy about it. His reasoning powers were keen and logical, and moved forward to a demonstration with the precision of mathematics. What has been said implies that he possessed not only a sound judgment, which brought him to correct conclusions, but that he was able to present questions so as to bring others to the same result.

His memory was strong, ready, and tenacious. His reading was limited in extent, but his memory was so ready, and so retentive, that in history, poetry, and general literature, no one ever remarked any deficiency. As an illustration of the power of his memory, I recollect to have once called at the White House, late in his Presidency, and introducing to him a Swede and a Norwegian; he immediately repeated a poem of eight or ten verses, describing Scandinavian scenery and old Norse legends. Ir reply to the expression of their delight, he said, that he had read and admired the poem several years before, and it had entirely gone from him, but seeing them recalled it.

The two books which he read most were the Bible and Shakespeare. With these he was very familiar, reading and

. studying them habitually, and constantly. He had great fondness for poetry, and eloquence, and his taste and judgment in each was exquisite. Shakespeare was his favorite poet; Burns stood next. Holmes' beautiful poem, “ The Last Leaf,” was with him a great favorite. The following verse he regarded as equal to anything in the language:

“ The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has pressed

In their bloom,
And the names he loved to hear,
Have been carved for many a year,

On the tomb." *

He made a speech at a Burns'Festival, in which he spoke at length of Burns' poems; illustrating what he said by many

* Carpenter's Six Months at the White House, p. 69.

quotations, which was listened to with the greatest pleasure, but it was unfortunately never reported. He was extremely fond of ballads, and simple, sad, and plaintive music.

He was a most admirable reader. He read and recited from the Bible and Shakespeare with great simplicity, but remarkable expression and effect. Often when going to and from the army, on the steamers and in his carriage, he took a copy of Shakespeare with him, and not unfrequently read aloud to his associates. After conversing upon public affairs, he would take up his Shakespeare, and addressing his companions, remark, “What do you say now to a scene from Macbeth, or Hamlet," and then he would read aloud, scene after scene, never seeming to tire of the enjoyment. On the last Sunday of his life, as he was coming up the Potomac, from his visit to City Point and Richmond, he read many extracts from Shakspeare. Among other things, he read, with an accent and feeling which no one who heard him will ever forget, extracts from Macbeth, and among others, the following:

“Duncan is in his grave;
After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well.
Treason has done his worst; nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing
Can touch him farther."

After “treason" had done his worst,the friends who heard him on that occasion, remembered that he read that passage over twice, and with an absorbed and peculiar manner. Did he feel a mysterious presentiment of his approaching fate?

His conversation was suggestive, original, instructive, and playful; and by its genial humor, fascinating and attractive beyond comparison. Mirthfulness and sadness were strongly combined in him. His mirth was exuberant, it sparkled in jest, story, and anecdote; and the next moment those peculiary sad, pathetic, melancholy eyes, showed a man “ familiar with sorrow, and acquainted with grief.” I have listened for hours at his table, and elsewhere, when he has been surrounded by statesmen, military leaders, and other great men of the Nation, and I but repeat the universally concurring

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