« PreviousContinue »
strengthen the States in their trial, it would be the deepfelt, spontaneous, and universal sympathy which was now travelling to them from Europe. He was sure all prayed that the government and people might be true to the example of him who was the guide of their cause.
Mr. J. B. Potter, M.P., seconded the motion. He said he now stood in Parliament as successor of Richard Cobden, whose object it was, equally with that of Lincoln, to dignify labor. Lincoln destroyed slavery in America. It should be their wish to destroy serfdom at home. And he trusted the result of the conflict in America would be to give an impetus to the cause of reform in Europe.
Mr. Baxter, M.P., supported the resolution. He expressed hearty concurrence with the eloquent tributes paid to the memory of President Lincoln. All the events of the last four years dwindled into insignificance before the issues involved in the great contest in America. Not only was the great question of slavery involved in the contest, but the question of constitutional government all through the world. He did not believe a great cause depended on a single life, and felt confident that the American people would hurry to a triumphant issue the policy and principles of Abraham Lincoln.
Hon. Lyneph Stanley, second son of Lord Stanley of Aldersley, a member of the cabinet, expressed his admiration for the character of Mr. Lincoln.
Professor Fawcett also supported the resolutions.
Mr. Shaw Lefevre, M.P., said the men who elected Lincoln could not be wrong in the choice of Johnson.
Mr. Caird, M.P., moved that copies of the foregoing resolutions be placed in the hands of Mr. Adams for transmission to the President of the United States, Mrs. Lincoln, and Mr. Seward. IIe paid a warm compliment to the American Minister, whose moderation and firmness and conciliation had been the best preservation of peace between the two countries. The resolutions were supported by Greefell, Curren, and Ewing, members of Parliament, and Rev. Newman Hall and Mason Jones.
Cyrus W. Field, who was called for, and received with great applause, thanked the chairman and the meeting on behalf of the American people, for their deep sympathy with the thirty millions on the other side of the Atlantic, who were mourning for the death of Abraham Lincoln.
The scene on the Liverpool Exchange was such as will not be forgotten for a long time. At half-past eleven it was announced that Mr. Younghusband, the secretary and treasurer of the Liver
pool Exchange News Rooms, was in possession of the news. A terrible rush took place from the 'flags' into the news-room; and after a few minutes it was announced that Mr. Younghusband would read aloud the dispatch from the bar of the news-room. All was now silent; the passage wherein it was stated that President Lincoln had been shot at caused no great dismay; but when the master of the rooms read, 'The President never rallied, and died this morning,' there was a general expression of horror. Certainly there was one dissentient voice, who had the temerity to exclaim 'Hurrah!' His presence in the news-room was of short duration, for, being seized by the collar by as good a Southerner as there is in Liverpool, he was summarily ejected from the room, the gentleman who first seized him exclaiming, 'Be off, you incarnate fiend! you are an assassin at heart.' In the course of the afternoon the flags on the American Consul's house and the Exchange buildings were placed at half-mast; and a deputation, irrespective of American party feelings, proceeded to the Town Hall, in order to consult with the mayor as to the desirability of holding a public meeting for the purpose of sending out an address of condolence to the people of the United States. The mayor being absent, no definite arrangement was arrived at, but the deputy mayor gave orders that the Town Hall flag should be at once hoisted half-mast. The American ships in the river and in the docks, as soon as the news was known, hoisted half-high' flags, and in many instances the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes were bound together with crape or black cloth. The President of the Southern Club convened a meeting of all the members, for the purpose of ascertaining whether it was desirable to take any official action upon the event. The members of the club were unanimous in their expression of abhorrence and reprobation of the foul deed.
On the afternoon of the 27th, a meeting of the merchants was held at St. George's Hall. The Mayor presided; and he and several leading merchants made speeches denouncing the crime and expressing sympathy with the people of the United States in strong terms. A resolution, expressing sorrow and indignation, regard less of all differences of opinion politically, was unanimously adopted, and ordered to be sent to the American Minister at London, to Mrs. Lincoln, and to Mr. Seward.
On the evening of the same day, and at the same place, there was another great meeting of the working classes, at which similar resolutions were adopted. A resolution of a more political character was offered, and led to confusion, amidst which the meeting was adjourned.
(From the London Star.)
"For Abraham Lincoln one cry of universal regret will be raised all over the civilized earth. We do not believe that even the fiercest partisans of the Confederacy in this country, will entertain any sentiment at such a time but one of grief and horror. To us, Abraham Lincoln has already seemed the finest character produced by the American war on either side of the struggle. He was great, not merely by the force of genius-and only the word genius will describe the power of intellect by which he guided himself and his country through such a crisis-but by the simple, natural strength and grandeur of his character. Talleyrand once said of a great American statesman that without experience he'divined' his way through any crisis. Mr. Lincoln thus divined his way through the perilous, exhausting, and unprecedented difficulties which might well have broken the strength and blinded the prescience of the best trained professional statesmen. He seemed to arrive by instinct by the instinct of a noble, unselfish, and manly nature
at the very ends which the highest of political genius, the longest of political experience, could have done no more than reach. He bore himself fearlessly in danger, calmly in difficulty, modestly in success. The world was at last beginning to know how good, and, in the best sense, how great a man he was. It had long, indeed, learned that he was as devoid of vanity as of fear; but it had only just come to know what magnanimity and mercy the hour of triumph would prove that he possessed. Reluctant enemies were just beginning to break into eulogy over his wise and noble clemency when the dastard hand of a vile murderer destroyed his noble and valuable life. We in England have something to feel ashamed of when we meditate upon the greatness of the man so ruthlessly slain. Too many Englishmen lent themselves to the vulgar and ignoble cry which was raised against him. English writers degraded themselves to the level of the coarsest caricaturists when they had to tell of Abraham Lincoln. They stooped to criticise a foreign patriot as a menial might comment on the bearing of a hero. They sneered at his manner, as if Cromwell was a Chesterfield; they accused him of ugliness, as if Mirabeau was a beauty; they made coarse pleasantry of his figure, as if Peel was a posture-master; they were facetious about his dress, as if Cavour was a D'Orsay; they were indignant about his jokes, as if Palmerston never jested. We do not remember any instance since the wildest days of British fury against the Corsican "Ogre,” in which a foreign statesman was ever so dealt with in English writings as Mr. Lincoln. And when we make the comparison we
cannot but remember that while Napoleon was our unscrupulous enemy Lincoln was our steady friend. Assailed by the coarsest attacks on this side of the ocean, tried by the sorest temptations on that, Abraham Lincoln calmly and steadfastly maintained a policy of peace with England, and never did a deed, never wrote or spoke a word which was unjust or unfriendly to the British nation. Had such a man died by the hand of disease in the hour of his triumph, the world must have mourned for his loss. That he has fallen by the coward hand of a vile assassin, exasperates and embitters the grief beyond any power of language to express."
[From the London Daily News, April 27.]
"In the hour of his great work done, President Lincoln has fallen. Not, indeed, in the flush of triumph, for no thought of triumph was in that honest and humble heart, nor in the intoxication of applause, for the fruits of victory were not yet gathered in his hand, was the Chief of the American people, the foremost man in the great Christian revolution of our age, struck down. But his task was, nevertheless, accomplished, and the battle of his life was won. So he passes away from the heat and the toil that still have to be endured, full of the honor that belongs to one who has nobly done his part, and carrying in his last thoughts the sense of deep, steadfast thankfulness that he now could see the assured coming of that end for which he had so long striven in faith and hope. * * * In all time to come, not among Americans only, but among all who think of manhood as more than rank, and set worth above display, the name of Abraham Lincoln will be held in reverence. Rising from among the poorest of the people, winning his slow way upward by sheer hard work, preserving in every successive stage a character unspotted and a name untainted, securing a wider respect as he became better known, never pretending to more than he was, nor being less than he professed himself, he was at length, for very singleness of heart and uprightness of conduct, because all felt that they could trust him utterly, and would desire to be guided by his firmness, courage, and sense, placed in the chair of President at the turning-point of his nation's history. A life so true, rewarded by a dignity so majestic, was defence enough against the petty shafts of malice which party spirit, violent enough to light a civil war, aimed against him. The lowly callings he had first pursued, became his titles to greater respect among those whose respect was worth having; the little external rusticities only showed more brightly, as the rough matrix the golden ore, the true dignity of his nature. Never was any one, set in such
high place, and surrounded with so many motives of furious detraction, so little impeached of aught blameworthy. The bitterest enemy could find no more to lay to his charge than that his language was sometimes too homely for a supersensitive taste, or that he conveyed in a jesting phrase what they deemed more suited for a statelier style. But against these specks, what thorough nobility have we not to set? A purity of thought, word, and deed never challenged, a disinterestedness never suspected, an honesty of purpose never impugned, a gentleness and tenderness that never made a private enemy or alienated a friend-these are indeed qualities which may well make a nation mourn. But he had intellect as well as goodness. Cautiously conservative, fearing to pass the limits of established systems, seeking the needful amendments rather from growth than alteration, he proved himself in the crisis the very man best suited for his post.
* * * ""
The House of Lords-Remarks of Earl Russell.
House of Lords, Monday, May 1:-My lords, I rise to ask your lordships to address her Majesty, praying that in any communication which her Majesty may make to the government of the United States expressing her abhorrence and regret at the great crime which has been committed in the murder of the President of that country, her Majesty will at the same time express the sorrow and indignation felt by this House at that atrocious deed. In this case I am sure your lordships will feel entire sympathy with her Majesty, who has instructed me already to express to the government of the United States the shock which she felt at the intelligence of the great crime which has been committed. Her Majesty has also been pleased to write a private letter to Mrs. Lincoln, expressive of sympathy with that lady in her misfortune. I think that your lordships will agree with me that in modern times there has hardly been a crime committed so abhorrent to the feelings of every civilized person as the one I am now alluding to. After the first election of Mr. Lincoln as President of the United States, he was re-elected to the same high position by the large majority of the people remaining faithful to the government of the United States, and he was in the discharge of the duties of his office, having borne his faculties meekly, at the moment when an assassin attacked him at the theatre. There are circumstances connected with this crime which, I think, aggravate its atrocity. President Lincoln was a man who, though not conspicuous before his election, had since displayed a character of so much integrity, so much sincerity and straightforwardness, and at the same time of so much kind