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Mr. Lincoln's Self-reliance.
Reliance on the People.
pean powers he often acted in direct opposition to the popular wish. Nothing would have been easier than for him to have brought a foreign war upon the country; and in such action, for a time at least, he would have been sustained by the mass of the people. So, too, as to vindictive measures towards the rebels. By adopting these he would, oftentimes, have been in harmony with the general wish for vengeance and retaliation. In both these instances—to name no others -he chose to act counter to the current sentiment. More politic, with a more piercing outlook than the mass, he saw the end from the beginning, and in the one case chose to overlook what was, to bis mind, grossly wrong, and in the other, to stand up for the general interests of humanity through all time rather than to cater to the desire of the hour, natural and, perhaps, pardonable though it was.
What is meant is this—that, in the complications in which the country was involved, be invariably acted, where expediency simply and not principle was concerned, so as to feel sure that the body of the people were with him. If failure were to result, he would bave them feel that the responsibility for it rested as much upon them as upon him. He earnestly endeavored to point out what he judged the better way and to bring the people to bis conviction ; but, if they relucted, be waited till they should have advanced where, or nearly where, be was. This was generally felt, and it added largely to the confidence reposed in him. By means of it, a general acquiescence was procured in many measures earlier than could have been gained by any other course.
We Americans aie a peculiar people in some respects. We dislike to be led by any man. Nay, we stoutly deny that we are. We are not when we see the leading strings.
Mr. Lincoln's state papers in their structure and composio tion were not always what a critical scholar would have desired. Some would say they were presented quite tvo often in undress. The people are not profound critics. They
Mr. Lincoln's State Papers.
His Tenacity of Purpos
could comprehend every word. They felt that they were ad. dressed as fellow-citizens. The ordinarily formal and stilted official documents came from his plain pen a talk to them by the fireside. He said, moreover, exactly what he meant and as he meant, in his own clear cogent way, void of verbiage,
omely often but always the outgrowth of a profound intelligent conviction. And, generally, he struck home. His were the words to which “the common pulse of man keeps time." How studded are his papers with lucid illustration; how transparently honest and candid, like the man, their author !
His tenacity of purpose was marked. Signing that immortal proclamation, which made him the Liberator of America, on the afternoon of January 1st, 1863, after hours of New Year's hand-shaking, he said to friends that night“The signature looks a little tremulous, for my hand was tired, but my resolution was firm. I told them in September, if they did not return to their allegiance and cease murdering our soldiers, I would strike at this pillar of their strength. And now the promise shall be kept; and not one word of it will I ever recall." In all the varying scenes through which as our leader he passed, avoiding the extremes of sudden exultation or deep depression, calm and quiet, and resolute and determined, he kept on his course, with duty as his guiding star, an unwarped conscience his prompter. Feeling always that he bore his life in his hands, in the perilous position' in wbich he was placed, as well as he who went forth to do duty in the battle-field, he faltered not, swerved not, compromised not, retracted not, apologized not, but pursued his way with an inflexibility as rare as it is grand and inspiring. Others might doubt-not he. He saw the end toward which the nation and himself must strive. That was ever present to him, and toward that he ever worked. His mission as President was, as he so often and so pointedly stated, to save the Union. And he saved it. There may be those who will contend that such a result might have been reached by
Father of his Country.
other means than those be was impelled to employ. That is theory. He reduced his to practice. For himself, he could work only in his own harness; and patiently, persistently, painfully he worked on till the goal was reached.
Well has Washington been styled the Father of his Country. Yet this arose from veneration rather than from love; for the most felt such an impassable gulf between themselves and the patriot-hero, that to them he appeared of quite another order of beings than themselves.
Abraham Lincoln was both Saviour and Father; for be preserved whatever was most valuable in the old and created a new order of things possessing an inherent dignity and importance which the old never had. And such titles the people bestow upon him through love.
The characteristics of the man stood prominently out in the statesman. He had not one garb as an official and another as a citizen. No change marked his transit from the chat of the drawing-room to the consultation of cabinet. What he was in the one situation he was in the other. His peculiar humor was not, as those who least knew bim judged, his habitual disposition. More of melancholy and sadness centred in him than most were aware. His favorite poemgiven below for the sufficient reason that it was his favorite -attests the vein of pensiveness which was in him. “There is one poem,” he remarked in conversation, " that is almost continually present with me: it comes in my mind whenever I have relief from thought and care."
Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be pruua!
The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
His Favorite Poem.
His Favorite Poem.
The infaut a mother attended and loved ;
The hand of the king that the sceptre hath borne ;
The peasant whose lot was to sow and to reap ;
The saint who enjoyed the communion of heaven,
So the multitude goes, like the flowers or the weed
For we are the same our fathers have been;
The thoughts we are thinking our fathers would think;
Taey loved, but the story we cannot unfold;
Ilis Favorite Poem.
Record of his Life.
Always a Learner.
They died, aye ! they died ; and we things that are now,
'Tis the wink of an eye, 'tis the draught of a breath;
No one was more modest than he. Look at the record of his life as furnished by himself, in 1858, for Lanman's Dictionary of Congress :
“ Born February 12, 1809, in Hardin county, Kentucky. “Education Defective. “Profession a lawyer. “Have been a captain of volunteers in the Black Hawk war. “Postmaster at a very small office. “Four times a member of the Illinois Legislature. "And was a member of the lower House of Congress. “Yours, etc.,
A. LINCOLN." With 'no self-conceit, a pupil in the school of events, be was never ashamed to confess himself a learner, and as such he grew and ripened. Equable in his temperament, never wrathful or passionate, none need have been his enemy, unless such an one were intended for an enemy of the human race. Mild and forgiving, he never allowed the unmerited abuse which was heaped upon him to affect in the least his intercourse or dealings with its authors. His very failings leaned to mercy's side. There is scarcely a hamlet in the loyal States that does not contain some witness of his clemency and lenity. One of the most touching incidents cod