« PreviousContinue »
TRIBUTES TO HIS CHARACTER FROM EUROPE.
HERE was no circumstance attending the bereavement of the American peo
ple so grateful to them, in their grief, as the expressions of sympathy and appreciation which came from Europe. The avowed and active hostility of the ruling classes in England and France; the words of reproach and ridicule which came by every steamer during the continuance of the war, and the aid they rendered to the rebels had aroused the resentment of the nation to an extent that rendered a war of retaliation on our part a probable event. This animosity was drowned in tears over Lincoln's grave. The London Times, the busy and able detractor of our country, said:
“ The news will be received in this country with sorrow as sincere and profound as it awoke even in the United States."
TRIBUTES TO HIS CHARACTER.
This proved to be true. The sensation produced throughout the kingdom was intense, and pervaded all classes from the throne to the hovel. The Queen, without delay, sent a letter of condolence to the bereaved family. Both houses of Parliament, meeting, passed resolutions of sympathy with the American people. A nobleman who had favored the rebel cause said: “Nothing but the death of our own Queen could have produced such sincere sorrow in the breast of every Englishman.” Public meetings were held, business suspended, buildings draped in black, and every indication of public grief manifested in all parts of the country. The effect was similar, though perhaps to a less extent, in Germany, Russia, Italy, and France. Even the Sultan of Turkey, separated so far from us by space, ideas, and religion, sent his words of condolence and sympathy.
The London News said:
“In all time to come, among all who think of manhood more than rank, the name of Lincoln will be held in reverence."
The London Telegraph said:
“ From corruption, hatred, jealousy, or uncharitableness this great ruler was wholly free.”
The London Globe said:
“ The news from America will send a thrill of horror throughout the land. It is too soon to estimate the breadth and depth of the calamity to Europe and America. Mr. Lincoln had come nobly through a great ordeal. He had extorted the approval even of his opponents. On this side of the water they had reluctantly come to admire his firmness, fairness, and sagacity.”
The Star said:
“ While the civilized world will lament the cruel death of Mr. Lincoln, now that the proslavery rebellion has been put down, and slavery received its death-blow, he has accomplished the mission he was raised to fulfill, and leaves behind a pure and spotless name—the name of a martyr as well as a patriot.”
The London Spectator published an elaborate review of the character of Mr. Lincoln, from which the following paragraph is taken:
“We all remember the animated eulogium on Gen. Washington which Lord Macaulay passed, parenthetically, in his essay on Hampden : 'It was when, to the sullen tyranny of Laud and Charles, had succeeded the fierce conflict of sects and factions, ambitious of ascendency or
TRIBUTES TO HIS CHARACTER.
burning for revenge; it was when the vices and ignorance which the old tyranny had engendered, threatened the new freedom with destruction, that England missed the sobriety, the self-command, the perfect soundness of judgment, the perfect rectitude of intention to which the history of revolutions furnishes no parallel, or furnishes a parallel in Washington alone.' If that high eulogium was fully earned, as it was, by the first great President of the United States, we doubt if it has not been as well earned by the Illinois peasant proprietor and village · lawyer,' whom, by some divine inspiration of Providence, the Republican caucus of 1860 substituted for Mr. Seward as their nominee for the President's chair."
The satirical London Punch, which had selected its sharpest arrows for the ungainly emancipator while living, came forward with its apology and tribute, which is given below entire:
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, FOULLY ASSASSINATED APRIL 14, 1865. You lay a wreath on murdered Lincoln's bier
You, who with mocking pencil wont to trace, Broad for the self-com placent British sneer,
His length of shambling limb, his furrowed face;
His gaunt, gnarled hands, his unkempt, bristling hair;
His garb uncouth, his bearing ill at ease; His lack of all we prize as debonair,
of power or will to shine, of art to please; You, whose smart pen backed up the pencil's laugh,
Judging each step, as though the way were plain; Reckless, so it could point its paragraph,
of chief's perplexity or people's pain. Beside this corpse, that bears for winding-sheet
The Stars and Stripes he lived to rear anew, Between the mourners at his head and feet
Say, scurrile jester, is there room for you? Yes, he had lived to shame me from my sneer,
To tame my pencil and confute my pen; To make me own this kind of princes' peer
This rail-splitter a true-born king of men. My shallow judgment I had learned to rue,
Noting how to occasion's height he rose; How his quaint wit made bome-truth seem more true;
How, iron-like, his tem per grew by blows. How humble, yet how hopeful he could be;
How in good fortune or ill the same;
Thirsty for gold nor feverish for fame.
Ever had laid on head, and heart, and hand-
Man's honest will must Heaven's good grace command;