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222 LAST DRIVE WITH MRS. LINCOLN.

intent on the promotion of those arts of peace, through which he hoped to lessen the burthen of the nation's obligations, he went forth to that last Cabinet Council, of which the touching record remains, that "he spoke very kindly of Lee and others of the Confederacy." His mood, Mrs. Lincoln has lately stated, had become far more cheerful; even when going down the Potomac to the army he had been "almost boyish in his mirth." But on that

terrible Friday-—

"His manner was even playful. At three o'clock he drove out with me in the open carriage. In starting, I asked him if any one should accompany us? He immediately replied, 'No, I prefer to ride by ourselves to-day.' During the drive he was so gay, that I said to him laughingly, 'Dear husband, you almost startle me by your great cheerfulness.' He replied, 'And well I may feel so, Mary, for I consider this day the war has come to a close' ; and then added, 'We must both be more cheerful in the future. Between the war and the

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loss of our darling Willie,* we have been very miserable." "

LAST STATE-PAPER.

He still found time that afternoon to pen one public document, of special value to us Englishmen, the draft of a reply to Sir F. Bruce, on his forthcoming first presentation as British Minister, outlined indeed by Mr. Seward, but which was only to be read by his successor (20th April). No notice of his state papers and speeches can be sufficient which does not include this voice from the grave-this last solemn token of Abraham Lincoln's friendly feeling towards our country and our sovereign :—

"Sir Frederick Bruce-Sir: the cordial and

* The loss of this favourite son was reckoned by Mr. Lincoln himself as a turning-point in his spiritual history. "That blow," he said on one occasion, “overwhelmed me. It showed me my weakness, as I had never felt it before."

In the spring of 1862, being at Fortress Monroe, he once called to his aide-de-camp, Colonel Cannon, who was in the adjoining room, "You have been writing long enough, Colonel, come in here; I want to read you a passage in 'Hamlet.'" He read the discussion on ambition between Hamlet and his courtiers, and the soliloquy in which conscience debates of a future state.

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friendly sentiments which you have expressed on the part of Her Britannic Majesty gave me great pleasure. Great Britain and the United States, by the extended and varied forms of commerce between them, the contiguity of positions of their possessions, and the similarity of their language and laws, are drawn into contrast and intimate intercourse at the same time. They are from the same causes exposed to frequent occasions of misunderstanding, only to be averted by mutual forbearance. So eagerly are the people of the two countries engaged

DRAFT OF THE REPLY.

This was followed by passages from "Macbeth." Then opening to "King John," he read from the third act the passage in which Constance bewails her imprisoned lost boy. Then closing the book, and recalling the words :— "And, father Cardinal, I have heard you say

That we shall see and know our friends in heaven:
If that be true, I shall see my boy again."

Mr. Lincoln said, "Colonel, did you ever dream of a lost friend, and feel that you were holding sweet communion with that friend, and yet have a sad consciousness that it was not a reality? Just so I dream of my boy Willie." Overcome with emotion, he dropped his head on the table, and sobbed aloud. (From Mr. Carpenter's "Anecdotes,” passim.)

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throughout almost the whole world in the pursuit of similar commercial enterprises, accompanied by natural rivalries and jealousies, that at first sight it would almost seem that the two governments must be enemies, or at best cold and calculating friends. So devoted are the two nations throughout all their domain, and even in their most remote territorial and colonial possessions, to the principles of civil rights and constitutional liberty, that on the other hand the superficial observer might erroneously count upon a continued consent of action and sympathy, amounting to an alliance between them. Each is charged with the development of the progress and liberty of a considerable portion of the human race. Each in its sphere is subject to difficulties and trials not participated in by the other. The interests of civilization and humanity require that the two should be friends. I have always known, and accepted it as a fact, honourable to both countries, that the Queen of England is a sincere and honest well-wisher of the United States, and have been equally frank and explicit in the opinion that the friendship

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TO SIR FREDERICK BRUCE.

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of the United States towards Great Britain is enjoined by all the considerations of interest and of sentiment affecting the character of both. You will therefore be accepted as a Minister friendly and well-disposed to the maintenance of peace and the honour of both countries. You will find myself and all my associates acting in accordance with the same enlightened policy and consistent sentiments; and so I am sure that it will not occur in your case, that either yourself or this Government will ever have cause to regret that such an important relationship existed at such a crisis."

And so, at a little after eight p.m., he went forth to meet his martyr's doom.*

REPLY TO SIR FREDERICK BRUCE.

The details of the dread tragedy at Ford's Theatre should still be fresh in our minds. The following account, however, of what took place, compressed from Mr. Raymond's (which must be considered as authoritative), may not here be superfluous :—

The play was "Our American Cousin." In a double box, with a vestibule behind, and with a front of about ten feet looking upon the stage, from which hung the United States' flag, sate the President in a rocking chair, Mrs. Lincoln on his right; two other persons,

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