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while time endures. He dies, but his country lives ; freedom has triumphed; the broken chains at the feet of the slaves are the mute witnesses of his victory."
Graceful the tribute of England's jester, “ London Punch :"
"He went about his work--such work as few
Ever had laid on head and heart and hand-
Man's honest will must Heaven's good grace command;
• The Old World and the New, from sea to sea,
Utter one voice of sympathy and shame;
Sad life, cut short just as its triumph came!"
“He conquered,” said the “Paris Époque,” “ without ever departing
” from republican forms, without one single infraction of the laws of his country. When every temptation was offered him, when certain violent measures were demanded by the situation, he still thought he could do without them. He took his stand upon legality, and never lent himself to an exceptional or arbitrary act. He was the living law.”
Said Leopold Gaillard : “ No funeral oration can attain to the simple and religious eloquence of the second inaugural, which will remain as the political bequest of Abraham Lincoln. He enters into that body of the elite of the historic army which M. Guizot once called the battalion of Plutarch."
“ He was an honest man, giving the word its full meaning," wrote Prevost Paradol. “The idea of doing more or anything else than his duty never entered his plain, upright mind. He has not lived alone for his country, since he leaves to every one in the world to whom liberty and justice are dear a great remembrance and a pure example."
“Death has revealed to all eyes,” said the “ Revue des Deux Mondes," “the worth of this honest man. Opinion has done Mr. Lincoln wrong while living. It is now making solemn efforts to repair that wrong when he is no more."
“ Abraham Lincoln,” said Emilio Castelar in the Spanish Cortes, “ was the humblest of the humble before his own conscience, the greatest of the great before history.”
From the people of England, the peasantry of France, Germany, Italy, and all European countries, from the republics of South America, from India and China, came heartfelt tributes. In the chalets of the Alps, in the peasant homes along the Danube, and on the vine-clad banks of the Rhine, the portrait most frequently seen was that of Abraham Lincoln. Throughout the United States, pulpit and platform voiced the universal grief. Those who had denounced him as “ tyrant” and “ usurper" bowed their heads in shame as all people laid unfading flowers on his bier.
In the world's valhalla are the statues of those who have done great things for their fellow-men. Pericles, builder of the Parthenon, was willing to pay for its construction if but his name alone could be sculptured upon the enduring marble. Abraham Lincoln's Parthenon was his country. Not his own name, but the Constitution and the Union was the only legend he desired to see inscribed upon the edifice. Cincinnatus-patrician, dictator—though holding the plough and using the spade on his glebe, had little in common with the people. Abra
ham Lincoln-boatman, ploughman, President-gave his sympathies to all men, irrespective of race or condition. Where shall be found his compeer in the battalion of the Christian era? Not Alfred the Great, nor Richard the Lion-hearted—none of England's kings; neither Marlborough, Cromwell, nor Wellington; not Frederick the Great of Gerinany; neither Gustavus Adolphus, William the Silent, Henry of Na
varre, Napoleon Bonaparte, nor George Washington. Not with these may Abraham Lincoln be compared. Nature gave not to them as to him such ability to foresee, provide, and execute, such quality of statesmanship and manhood, such combination of greatness and goodness. To none of them has been given such affectionate remembrance as to him. Washington will ever be the father, Lincoln the savior, of our country. The inspiration of his life was the song of the heavenly host to the shepherds of Bethlehem, “ Peace on earth, good will to man.”
The millions whom Abraham Lincoln delivered from slavery will ever liken him to Moses, the deliverer of Israel. Only in part are they to be compared. Humble alike their birth, but the childhood of one was passed in the luxurious court of Pharaoh, that of the other amid the poverty of a frontier cabin. The learned of Egypt's realm revealed the wisdom of the ages to the youthful IIebrew; itinerant teachers imparted limited instruction to the boy of the rustic school. Moses becomes a shepherd; Abraham Lincoln swings an axe. Ony meditates on lofty themes in the solitude of Sinai; the other on the banks of the Sangamon. One discovers God in the mystery of the burning bush at Horeb; to the other, in a restful retreat, comes the uplifting revelation that God is his Father, and all men his brothers. Moses gives just and righteous laws to Israel, Abraham Lincoln a new charter of liberty to his country. Both lead their fellow - men out of bondage, both behold the promised land of a nation's larger life, but neither is privileged to enter it.
Says James Russell Lowell of Abraham Lincoln :
“ Nature, they say, doth dote,
And cannot make a man
Repeating us by rote:
Of the unexhausted West,
But at last silence comes ;
The kindly, earnest, brave, far-seeing man,
New birth of our new soil, the first American."
I attempt no estimate of the character of Abraham Lincoln. I am too near him in time. There must be the perspective of many years before his goodness, his greatness, and his influence upon the world can be justly and fully comprehended. Analysis, eulogy, and comparison thus far have failed to portray the true lineaments of this matchless
Like the snow-clad summit of the loftiest mountain, gleaming in its distinctive grandeur, shall he shine with stainless whiteness and eternal glory!