Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

a meas

one hundred and sixty-five thousand were | Mississippi, which would not be divided, recruited into service. Once, within four and the range of mountains which carweeks, Ohio organized and placed in the ried the stronghold of the free through field, forty-two regiments of infantry - Western Virginia and Kentucky and Ten

. nearly thirty-six thouand men; and Ohio nessee to the highlands of Alabama. But was like other States in the east and in the it invoked the still higher power of immorwest. The well-mounted cavalry numbered tal justice. In ancient Greece, where sereighty-four thousand; of horses there were vitude was the universal custom, it was bought, first and last, two thirds of a mil- held that if a child were to strike its parent, lion. In the movements of troops science the slave should defend the parent, and by came in aid of patriotism ; so that, to choose that act recover his freedom. After vain a single instance out of many, an army resistance, Lincoln, who had tried to solve twenty-three thousand strong, with its ar- the question by, gradual emancipation, by tillery, trains, baggage and animals, were colonization, and by compensation, at last moved by rail from the Potomac to the Ten- saw that slavery must be abolished, or the nessee, twelve hundred miles in seven days. Republic must die; and on the 1st day of In the long marches, wonders of military January, 1863, he wrote liberty on the banconstruction bridged the rivers; and where- ners of the armies. When this proclamaever an army halted, ample supplies await- tion, which struck the fetters from three ed them at their ever changing base. The millions of slaves reached Europe, Lord. vile thought that life is the greatest of Russell

, a countryman of Milton and Wilblessings did not rise up. In six hundred berforce, eagerly put himself forward to and twenty-five battles, and severe skir- speak of it in the name of mankind, saying: mishes blood flowed like water. It streamed"It is of a very strange nature ;”. over the grassy plains; it stained the rocks; ure of war of a very questionable kind;" the undergrowth of the forest was red an “ act of vengeance on the slave owner," with it; and the armies marched on with that does no more than “ profess to emancimajestic courage from one conflict to anoth- pate slaves where the United States authorer, knowing that they were fighting for God ities cannot make emancipation a reality." and liberty. The organization of the medi- Now there was no part of the country emcal de riment met its infinitely multiplied braced in the proclamation where the United duties with exactness and despatch. At the States could not and did not make emancinews of a battle, the best surgeons of our pation a reality. Those who saw Lincoln cities hastened to the field, to offer the most frequently had never before heard zealous aid of the greatest experience and him speak with bitterness of any human skill. The gentlest and most refined of being; but he did not conceal how keenly women left homes of luxury and, ease to he felt that he had been wronged by Lord build hospital tents near the armies, and Russell. And he wrote, in reply to another serve as nurses to the sick and dying. Be- caviller: “ The emancipation policy, and sides the large supply of religious teachers the use of colored troops, were the greatest by the public, the congregations spared to blows yet dealt to the rebellion. The job was their brothers in the field the ablest minis a great national one; and let none be slightters. The Christian Commission, which ed who bore an honorable part in it. I hope expended five and a half millions, sent four peace will come soon, and come to stay; thousand clergymen chosen out of the best, then there will be some black men who can to keep unsoiled the religious character of remember that they have helped mankind the men, and made gifts of clothes and food to this great consummation." and medicine. The organization of private charity assumed unheard of dimensions. The Sanitary Commission, which had seven The proclamation accomplished its end, thousand societies, distributed, under the for, during the war, our armies came into direction of an unpaid board, spontaneous military possession of every State in rebelcontributions to the amount of lifteen mil- lion. Then, too, was called forth the lions, in supplies or money - a million and new power that comes from the simultanea half in money from California alone - ous diffusion of thought and feeling among and dotted the scene of war from Paducah the nations of mankind. The mysterious to Port Royal, from Belle Plain, Virginia, sympathy of the millions throughout the to Browsnville, Texas, with homes and world was given spontaneously. The best lodges.

writers of Europe waked the conscience

of the thoughtful, till the intelligent moral THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION.

sentiment of the Old World was drawn The country had for its allies the River i to the side of the unlettered statesman

RUSSIA AND CHINA.

CONTINUANCE OF THE WAR.

THE GREATNESS OF MAN.

of the West. Russia, whose emperor had ing him to a second term of service. The just accomplished one of the grandest acts raging war that had divided the country in the course of time by raising twenty mil- had lulled; and private grief was hushed lions of bondmen into freeholders, and thus by the grandeur of its results. The nation assuring the growth and culture of a Rus- had its new birth of freedom, soon to be sian people, remained our unwavering secured forever by an amendment of the friend. From the oldest abode of civiliza- Constitution. His persistent gentleness had tion, which gave the first example of an im- conquered for him a kindlier feeling on the perial government with equality among the part of the South. His scoffers among the people, Prince Kung, the secretary of state grandees of Europe began to do him honor. for foreign affairs, remembered the saying The laboring classes every where saw in his of Confucius, that we should not do to advancement their own. All peoples sent others what we would not that others should bim their benedictions. And at the modo to us, and in the name of the Emperor ment of the height of his fame, to which his of China closed its ports against the war humility and modesty added charms, he fell ships and privateers of the seditious.” by the hand of the assassin; and the only

triumph awarded him was the march to the

grave. The war continued, with all the peoples of the world for anxious spectators. Its cares weighed heavily on Lincoln, and his

This is no time to say that human glory face was ploughed with the furrows of is but dust and ashes, that we mortals are thought and sadness. With malice towards no more than shadows in pursuit of shadows. none, free from the spirit of revenge, victo

How mean a thing were man, if there were ry made him importunate for peace; and himself — if he could not master the iHu

not that within him which is higher than his enemies never doubted his word, or

sions of sense, and discern the connections despaired of his abounding clemency. He longed to utter pardon as the word for all, from God. He so shares the divine impul

of events by a superior light which comes but not unless the freedom of the negro ses that he has power to subject interested should be assured. The grand battles of Mill Spring which gave us Nashville, of passions to love of country, and personal Fort Donelson, Malvern Hill, Antietam, in vain has Lincoln lived, for he has helped

ambition to the ennoblement of man. Not Gettysburg, the Wilderness of Virginia, to make this Republic an example of jus Winchester, Nashville, the capture of New Orleans, Vicksburg, Mobile, Fort Fisher, tice, with no caste but the caste of humanithe march from Atlanta and the capture of ty: The heroes who led our armies and Savannah and Charleston, all foretold the ships into battle - Lyon, McPherson, Reyissue. Still more, the self-regeneration of nolds, Sedgwick, Wadsworth, Foote, Ward, Missouri, the heart of the continent; of Ma- with their compeers --- and fell in the serryland, whose sons never heard the mid-vice, did not die in vain ; they and the my.

riads of nameless martyrs, and he, the chief night bell chime so sweetly as when they rang out to earth and heaven that, by the martyr, died willingly " that government of voice of ber own people, she took her place

the people, by the people, and for the peoamong the free; of Tennessee, which passed ple, shall not perish from the earth.” through fire and blood, through sorrows and THE JUST DIED FOR THE UNJUST. the shadow of death, to work out her own The assassination of Lincoln, who was so deliverance, and by the faithfulness of her free from malice, has from some mysterious own sons to renew her youth like the eagle influence struck the country with solemn - proved that victory was deserved and awe, and hushed, instead of exciting, the would be worth all that it cost. If words passion for revenge. It seemed as if the of mercy uttered as they were by Lincoln just had died for the unjust. When I think on the waters of Virginia, were defiantly of the friends I have lost in this war and repelled, the armies of the country, moving every one who hears me has, like myself, with one will, went as the arrow to its lost those whom he most loved – there is mark, and without a feeling of revenge no consolation to be derived from victims on struck a deathblow at rebellion.

the scaffold, or from any thing but the es

tablished union of the regenerated nation, LINCOLN'S ASSASSINATION. Where, in the history of nations, had a

CHARACTER OF LINCOLN. Chief Magistrate possessed more sources of In his character Lincoln was through and consolation and joy, than Lincoln ? His through an American. He is the first nacountrymen had shown their love by choos- I tive of the region west of the Alleghanies to attain to the highest station; and how hap- Lincoln was one of the most unassuming py it is that the man who was brought for- of men. In time of success, he gave credit ward as the natural outgrowth and first for it to those whom he employed, to the fruits of that region should have been of un- people, and to the providence of God. He blemished purity in private life, a good son, did not know what ostentation is; when he a kind husband, a most affectionate father, became President he was rather saddened and, as a man, so gentle to all. As to in- than elated, and his conduct and manners tegrity, Douglas, his rival, said of him, “ Lin-showed more than ever his belief that all coln is the honestest man I ever knew." men are born equal. He was no respecter

The habits of his mind were those of of persons; and neither rank, por reputameditation and inward thought, rather than tion, nor services overawed him. In judge of action. He excelled in logical statement, ing of character he failed in discrimination, more than in executive ability. He rea- and his appointments were sometimes bad; soned clearly, his reflective judgment was but he readily deferred to public opinion, good, and his purposes were fixed; but and in appointing the head of the armies he like the Hamlet of his only poet, his will followed the manifest preference of Conwas tardy in action, and for this reason, and gress. not from humility or tenderness of feeling, A good President will secure unity to his he sometimes deplored that the duty which administration by his own supervision of devolved on him had not fallen to the lot of the various departments. Lincoln, who acanother. He was skilful in analysis, dis- cepted advice readily, was never governed cerned with precision the central idea on by any member of his Cabinet, and could which a question turned, and knew how to not be moved from a purpose deliberately disengage it and present it by itself in a few formed; but his supervision of affairs was homely, strong old English words that would unsteady and incomplete ; and sometimes, be intelligible to all. He delighted to ex- by a sudden interference transcending the press his opinions by apothegm, illustrate usual forms, he rather confused than adthem by a parable, or drive them home by a vanced the public business. If he ever story.

failed in the scrupulous regard due to the Lincoln gained a name by discussing relative rights of Congress, it was so eviquestions which, of all others, most easily dently without design that no conflict led to fanaticism; but he was never carried could ensue, or evil precedent be estabaway by enthusiastic zeal, never indulged lished. Truth he would receive from any in extravagant language, never hurried to one; but, when impressed by others, he did support extreme measures, never allowed not use their opinions till by reflection he himself to be controlled by sudden impulses. had made them thoroughly his own. During the progress of the election at which It was the nature of Lincoln to forgive. he was chosen President, he expressed no When hostilities ceased, he who had alopinion that, went beyond the Jefferson ways sent forth the flag with every one of its proviso of 1784. Like Jefferson and Lafa- stars in the field, was eager to receive back yette, he had faith in the intuitions of the bis returning countrymen, and meditated people, and read those intuitions with rare “some new announcement to the South.” sagacity. He knew how to bide his time, The amendment of the Constitution abolishand was less apt to be in advance of public ing slavery had his most earnest and unopinion than to lag behind. He never wearied support. During the rage of war sought to electrify the public by taking we get a glimpse into his soul from his an advanced position with a banner of privately suggesting to Louisiana that" in opinion ; but rather studied to move for- defining the franchise some of the colored ward compactly, exposing no detachment people might be let in,” saying: “ They in front or rear; so that the course of his would probably help; in some trying time administration might have been explained to come, to keep the jewel of liberty in the as the calculating policy of a shrewd and family of freedom.” In 1857 he avowed watchful politician, had there not been seen himself “ not in favor of” what he impropbehind it a fixedness of principle which erly called “negro citizenship:” for the from the first determined his purpose and Constitution discriminates between citizens grew more intense with every year, consum- and electors. Three days before his death ing his life by its energy. Yet his sensibili- he declared his preference that “ the electties were not acute, he had no vividness of ive franchise were now conferred on the imagination to picture to his mind the hor- very intelligent of the colored men and on rors of the battle-field or the sufferings in those of them who served our cause as hospitals ; bis conscience was more tender soldiers ;” but he wished it done by the than his feelings.

I States themselves, and he never harbored

PALMERSTON AND LINCOLN.

the thought of exacting it from a new gov- the eternal truths of liberty, obeyed them ernment as a condition of its recognition. as the commands of Providence, and accept

The last day of his life beamed with sun- ed the human race as the judge of his fidelshine, as he sent by the speaker of this ity. Palmerston did nothing that will enHouse his friendly greetings to the men dure; his great achievement, the separation of the Rocky Mountains and the Pa- of Belgium, placed that_little kingdom cific slope; as he contemplated the return where it must gravitate to France; Lincoln of hundreds of thousands of soldiers to fruit- finished a work which all time cannot overful industry; as he welcomed in advance throw. Palmerston is a shining example of hundreds of thousands of emigrants from the ablest of a cultivated aristocracy; LinEurope; as his eye kindled with enthusi- coln shows the genuine fruits of institutions asm at the coming wealth of the nation. where the laboring man shares and assists to And so, with these thoughts for his country, form the great ideas and designs of his he was removed from the toils and temp- country. Palmerston was buried in Westtations of this life and was at peace. minster Abbey by the order of his Queen,

and was followed by the British aristocracy

to his grave, which after a few years will Hardly had the late President been con- hardly be noticed by the side of the graves signed to the grave, when the Prime Minis- of Fox and Chatham; Lincoln was followed ter of England died, full of years and hon- by the sorrow of his country across the conours. Palmerston traced his lineage to the tinent to his resting-place in the heart of time of the conqueror : Lincoln went back the Mississippi valley, to be remembered only to his grandfather. Palmerston re- through all time by his countrymen, and by ceived his education from the best scholars all the peoples of the world. of Harrow, Edinburgh, and Cambridge; Lincoln's early teachers were the silent

CONCLUSION. forest, the prairie, the river, and the stars. As the sum of all, the hand of Lincoln Palmerston was in public life for sixty raised the flag; the American people was years; Lincoln for but a tenth of that time. the hero of the war; and therefore the rePalmerston was a skilful guide of an estab- sult is a new era of republicanism. The dislished aristocracy; Lincoln a leader or rather turbances in the country grew not out of any. a companion of the people. Palmerston thing republican, but out of slavery, which is was exclusively an Englishman, and made a part of the system of hereditary wrong, his boast in the House of Commons that the and the expulsion of this domestic anomaly interest of England was his Shibboleth ; opens to the renovated nation a career of Lincoln thought always of mankind as well unthought of dignity and glory. Henceas his own country, and served human na- forth our country has a moral unity as the ture itself. Palmerston from his narrowness land of free labour. The party for slavery as an Englishman did not endear his coun- and the party against slavery are no more, try to any one court or to any one people, and are merged in the party of Union and but rather caused uneasiness and dislike; freedom. The States which would have left Lincoln left America more beloved than us are not brought back as conquered States, ever by all the peoples of Europe. Palm- for then we should hold them only so long erston was self-possessed and adroit in as that conquest could be maintained; they reconciling the conflicting claims of the fac- come to their rightful place under the Constitions of the aristocracy ; Lincoln, frank and tution as original, necessary and inseparable ingenuous, knew how to poise himself on the members of the State. We build monuconflicting opinions of the people. Palm- ments to the dead, but no monuments of erston was capable of insolence towards the victory. We respect the example of the weak, quick to the sense of honour, not Romans, who never, even in conquered heedful ot' right ; Lincoln rejected counsel lands, raised emblems of triumph. And given only as a matter of policy, and was our generals are not to be classed in the not capable of being wilfully unjust. Palm- herd of vulgar conquerors, but are of the erston, essentially superficial, delighted in school of Timoleon and William of Orange banter, and knew how to divert grave op- and Washington. They have used the position by playful levity. Lincoln was a sword only to give peace to their country man of infinite jest on his lips, with saddest and restore her to her place in the great earnestness at his heart. Palmerston was a assembly of the nations. Our meeting fair representative of the aristocratic lib- closes in bope, now that a people begins to erality of the day, choosing for his tribunal, live according to the laws of reason, and renot the conscience of humanity, but the publicanism is intrenched in a continent. House of Commons; Lincoln took to heart |

LITTELL'S LIVING AGE. - NO. 1135.-3 MARCH, 1866.

To the Editor of the Living Age.

Winding along the dream-lit shadowy plain,

Like ghosts of hope and youth and bloom, I think thou wilt agree with me that the

Year after year, all beautiful and bright, following poem is worthy of a place in thy In phantom silence stealing on my sight, miscellany. Its author, as the lines indicate,

Comes gliding, gliding from the tomb; is both blind and deaf, and I know not where And, trooping by, their lines of fading light to look for a more pathetic, or, with the ex- Remind of youth's decay and beauty's blight, ception of Milton's sonnets and Samson Till

, like spent meteors shimmering through Agonists, a more sublime description of the

the night, double solitude of night and silence.

The vision melts in closing gloom.
J. G. W.

Another day, in sable vesture clad,
DARKNESS AND SILENCE.

All drear with new-blown pleasures blighted,

Comes blindly groping through the twilight « Silence and darkness, solemn sisters, twins

sad, From ancient night, who nurse the growing Like one in moonless mists benighted.

thought To reason, and on reason build resolve,

Oh, day unhappy! could oblivion roll (That coluinn of true majesty in man,)

Its leaden billows o'er my shrinking soul, Assist me; I will thank you in the grave;

Living or dying I'd ne'er forget!
The grave your kingdom; there this frame shall For life bereft of light no memory needs
A victim sacred to your dreary shrine.”

To tell, of night that ne'er to morning leads,
YOUNG'S NIGHT THOUGHTS. Or day that is for ever set.

fall

I.

From yonder sky the noonward sun was torn, Where is the harp that once with dirges A midnight blotted out my spreading morn,

Ere day dawn's rosy hue had fled ; thrilled,

Ere childhood's dewy joys had vanished. But now is hushed in leaden slumbers, Save when the withered hand old age hath Like a spangled web, the heavens were swept

No slow-paced evening ushered in the night; chilled

from sight; Sweeps o'er its chords in broken numbers ?

The mild moon fled and never waned, It hangs in halls where shapes of sorrow dwell, and all of earth that's beautiful and fair Where echoless silence tolls the mutiled knell

Became as shadows in the empty air : Of dead delights and fleeting years.

A boundless, blackened blank remained. Go, bring it me, sweet friend ; and, ere we part, A tale I'll weave so sad 'twill wring thy heart Of all its pity, all its tears.

I heard the gates of Night with sullen jar

Close on the smiling Day for ever; As fitful shadows round me gather fast,

Hope from my sky dropped like a falling star, And solemn watch my thoughts are holding,

Again to reach her zenith never. Dear Memory comes, lone hermit of the past,

For she, blithe offspring of the jocund Day,

Was loath to enter with obtrusive ray,
The rising morn of life unfolding.
Now fade from view all living joy and strife;

Where Night, swart goddess, held unsocial

sway; Time past is now my present, death my life; All that exists is obsolete;

And things of beauty, grace, and bloom, While o'er my soul there steals the pensive And fair-formed joys that once around me glow

danced, Of sainted joys that young years only know;

Bewildered grew where sunbeams never glanced, And past scenes looming dimly rise, and throw

And lost their way in that thick glooin. Thcir lengthening shadows at my fect.

Pensylla, o'er me many sunless years I see a morn domed in by sunny skies;

Of faithless hopes and soul-benumbing fears The dew is on its budding pleasures; Have flown, since last a beam of Heaven, The fresh warm light all gladsome on it lies; The coming-on of morn mid smiles and tears, And to it from this dark my pent soul flies,

The soft descent of dreamy even; As misers' nightly to their treasures.

Or sight of woods and meads in green arrayed, With airy pace in one long glittering train, Valley or hill or stream or dewy glade, THIRD SERIES, LIVING AGE. VOL. XXXII. 1479.

« VorigeDoorgaan »