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loyal to the government, do what you will with them. But, if you will
grant my petition, you will be glad as long as you live. The prayers of grateful hearts will give you strength in the hour of trial, and strong and willing arms will return to fight your battles.”
The President bowed his head; and, with a look of sadnesg which it is impossible for language to describe, said: "I shall never be glad any more.” All severity had passed away
from his face, and he seemed looking inward and backward, and appeared unconscious of the fact that he was not alone. The great burdens he had borne, the terrible anxieties and perplexities that had poisoned his life at the fountain, and the peaceful scenes he had forever left behind, swept across his memory; and then the thought that it was possible that he had erred in judgment, and done injustice to the noble men who had fought the nation's battles, brought back all his childlike tenderness.
The lady heard his mournful utterances, and said: “Oh! do not say so, Mr. Lincoln, for who will have so much reason to rejoice as yourself, when the government shall be restoredas it will be?”
“I know-I know," he said, pressing a hand on either side ; s but the springs of life are wearing away, and I shall not last." She asked him if he felt that his great cares were injuring his health. “No,” he replied; “not directly, perhaps.” She asked him if he slept well. He never was a good sleeper, he replied, and of course slept now less than ever before. Then, with earnestness, he said: “The people do not yet comprehend the magnitude of this rebellion, and it will be a long time before the end."
The lady, feeling that she had occupied too much of his time, rose to take her leave; and, as she did so, said: “ Have you decided upon your answer to me?” “No," he replied,
come to-morrow morning :-stop, it is cabinet-meeting tomorrow. Yes, come at twelve o'clock; there is not much for the cabinet to do, to-morrow." Then he bade his visitor a cordial good morning, and she retired.
The next morning, the lady found that her interview had prostrated her; but at twelve o'clock she was at the White House. The President sent her word that the cabinet would adjourn soon, and that she must wait. For three long hours she waited, receiving occasional messages from Mr. Lincoln, to the effect that the cabinet would soon adjourn, and he would then see her. She was in distress, expecting defeat. She walked the room, and gazed at the maps, and, at last, she heard the sound of feet. The cabinet had adjourned. Mr. Lincoln did not send for her, but came shuffling into the room, rubbing his hands, and saying: “My dear Madam, I am sorry I have kept you waiting so long, but we have this moment adjourned.” “My waiting is no matter,” she replied, “but you must be very tired, and we will not talk to-night.” Bidding her to a seat, she having risen as he entered, he sat down at her side, and quietly remarked: “I only wish to say to you that an order which is equivalent to the granting of a hospital in
your state, has been issued from the War Department, nearly twenty-four hours."
The lady could make no reply, except through the tears that sprang at once. Mr. Lincoln looked on, and enjoyed it. When, at last, she coald command her voice, she said: “God bless you!" Then, as doubts came, touching the nature of the order, she said earnestly: “Do you mean, really and truly, that we are going to have a hospital now?” With a look full of benevolence and tenderness,—such a look as rarely illuminates any face,—he said: “I do most certainly hope so;" and then he told her to come on the following morning, and he would give her a copy of the order. But his visitor was to much affected to talk; and perceiving this, he kindly changed the subject, asking her to look at a map which hung in the room, representing the great battle-grounds of Europe. “It is a very fine map," said he; “see-here is Waterloo, here are all the battle-fields about the Crimea.” Then, suddenly turning to the lady, he said: “I'm afraid you will not like it 80 well, when I tell you who executed it.” She replied: “It is a great work, whoever executed it.
Who was it, Mr.
President?” “McClellan,” he answered, and added: “He certainly did do this well. He did it while he was at West Point.”
The next morning, sick with the excitement through which she had passed, the lady was at the White House again. She found more than fifty persons waiting for an audience; 80 she sent in her name, and said she would call again. The messenger said he thought the President would see her, and she had better be seated. Soon afterward, he informed her that the President would see her. As she passed in, she heard the words from one of the waiting throng: “She has been here six days; and, what is more, she is going to win.” As she entered, Mr. Lincoln smiled pleasantly, drew a chair to his side, and said: “Come here, and sit down.” As she did 80, he handed her a copy of the coveted order. She thanked him, and apologized for not being more promptly at the house; she had been sick all night. “Did joy make you sick?” he inquired. “I suppose,” he added, “you would have been mad if I had said 'no.'” She replied: "No, Mr. Lincoln, I should have been neither angry nor sick.” “What would you have done?” he inquired. “I should have been here at nine o'clock this morning.” “Well,” said he, laughing, “I think I have acted wisely then." Then he turned suddenly, and looked into her face as he said: “Do n't you ever get angry?” She replied that she never did when she had an important object to attain. Further conversation occurred as to the naming of the hospital, when the lady rose, and said: “You will not wish to see me again.” “I did not say that, and I shall not say it,” said the President. “You have been very kind to me, and I am very grateful for it," said his visitor. He looked up at her from under his eyebrows, in his peculiar way, and said: “You almost think I am handsome, do n't you?” His face was full of benevolence, and his countenance lighted by a cordial smile; and it is not strange that the lady exclaimed: “You are perfectly lovely to me now, Mr. Lincoln." The President colored a little, and laughed a good deal, at the impulsive response, and reached out his hand to bid her farewell. She took it reverently, bowed her head upon it, and, bowing, prayed: “God bless you, Abraham Lincoln!” Then she turned, heard his “good bye,” and was gone.
“I shall never be glad any more!” The young men of his people were slain. His enemies were seeking his life. With a heart that beat kindly toward every human being, his motives were maligned, and his good name was contemned; greedy politicians and ambitious officers were about him, pushing forward their selfish schemes; he had daily experience of the faithlessness of men; and “this great trouble,” as he was accustomed toecall the war, was always on his mind and heart. He could not sleep; and, such was the character of the impression he had received from all his toils and cares, that he felt he could never be glad any more.
In Mr. Lincoln's senatorial campaign, and during the course of his debates with Mr. Douglas, it will be remembered that he was not once betrayed into a loss of temper. He was misrepresented and abused in every way, in order to break down his good nature; but, from the first to the last, he did not utter an angry or an impatient word. Then he was wellin the full strength of a hardy constitution. The interview just narrated has shown how much he had become changed by bearing the burdens of office. When he saw that his visitor was not only overthrowing his theory but the policy he had based upon it, and felt either that he was, or that he might be, in the wrong, he became peevish and querulous. This was very unlike Mr. Lincoln in health. He was one of the most generous of men in his dealings; but weakness and weariness made him on this, and on some other occasions, childish and petulant. Exhibitions of this character, which occurred during the last two years of his life, are all referable to the prostrated and irritable condition of his nervous system, resulting from excessive labor, mental suffering, and loss of sleep.
The interview with the lady will show, too, how universal and how minute were his cares. This case was only one among ten thousand cases that came to him for decision. It was a great thing to her, and of itself made her sick. It lasted with her a week. It concerned the establishment of a hospital, simply. With him, the burden never was laid aside. He bore hundreds of matters upon his mind, all as important as this; and felt pressing upon his shoulders the interests of freedom, the future of a wonderful nation, and the destiny of a race; while he wielded as instruments for the accomplishment of his purposes a great government, and an army composed of the flower of the national life. It was killing him. There was always one tired spot in him that was not reached by rest.
Throughout the rebellion, Mr. Lincoln was the recipient of many attentions from the various bodies which constitute the Christian church of America. There was hardly a denomination that did not take occasion to express itself upon the war, and the great questions of humanity which it involved. They visited Mr. Lincoln at the White House; they approached him with addresses and resolutions; and the majority of them called forth from him either spoken or written responses. Representatives of foreign religious and philanthropic organizations mingled their voices with these. Expressions of personal sympathy, declarations of loyalty and devotion to the national cause, recommendations of policy, counsels, prayers, encouragements, -all poured in, in almost bewildering profusion, and of themselves became a burden. McPherson's History of the Rebellion gives forty-seven large and finely printed pages, consisting entirely of records of the action of the northern churches upon the rebellion; and the results of this action were communicated to the President in a way to draw from him either grateful acknowledgments, or responses that related to their subject matter.
The wear and tear of brain and nerve were often manifested in a deep melancholy, to which he had a natural tendency. “Whichever way it ends," said he to Mrs. Stowe, the authoress, alluding to the war, “I have the impression that I shall not last long after it is over.” Hon. Schuyler Colfax met him one morning, after having received bad news which had not been made public. He had neither slept nor break