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3. With slow tread and still tread,
He scans the tented line;
By the gaunt and shadowy pine,
Give no warning sign.
4. The dark wave, the plumed wave !
It meets his eager glance,
Like the glimmer of a lance,
On an emerald expanse.
5. A sharp clang, a steel clang!
And terror in the sound,
In the camp a spy hath found;
The patriot is bound.
6. With calm brow, steady brow,
He listens to his doom;
Nor a shadow-trace of gloom;
He robes him for the tomb.
7. In the long night, the still night,
He kneels upon the sod,
E’en the precious Word of God;
He walks where Christ hath trod.
8. 'Neath the blue morn, the sunny morn,
He dies upon the tree,
But one life for liberty ;-
His spirit-wings are free.
9. But his last words, his message words,
They burn, lest friendly eye
A patriot could die,
A soldier's battle-cry!
10. From Fame Leaf and from Angel Leaf,
From Monument and Urn,
His history shall learn,
The name of Hale shall burn.
LVI.-HOW TO CONQUER A BULLY.
at the not to indunter, and borovoke a qusing muc
J. G. HOLLAND. 1. While Lincoln, then a clerk in a small pioneer store, was showing goods to two or three women, a bully came in and began to talk in an offensive manner, using much profanity, and evidently wishing to provoke a quarrel. Lincoln leaned over the counter, and begged him, as ladies were present, not to indulge in such talk. The bully retorted that the opportunity had come for which he had long sought, and he would like to see the man who could hinder him from saying any thing he might choose to say.
2. Lincoln, still cool, told him that if he would wait until the ladies retired, he would hear what he had to say, and give him any satisfaction he desired. As soon as the women were gone, the man became furious. Lincoln heard his boasts and his abuse for a time, and finding that he was not to be put off without a fight, said "Well, if you must be whipped, I suppose I may as well whip you as any other man." This was just what the bully had been seeking, he said, so out of doors they went, and Lincoln made short work with him.
3. He threw him upon the ground, held him there as if he had been a child, and gathering some “smart-weed”
which grew upon the spot, rubbed it into his face and eyes, until the fellow bellowed with pain. Lincoln did all this without a particle of anger, and when the job was finished, went immediately for water, washed his victim's face, and did every thing he could to alleviate his distress. The upshot of the matter was, that the man became his fast and life-long friend, and was a better man from that day. It was impossible then, and it always remained impossible, for Lincoln to cherish resentment or revenge.
4. There lived at this time, in and around New Salem, a band of rollicking fellows, or, more properly, roystering rowdies, known as “The Clary's Grove Boys.” The special tie that united them was physical courage and prowess. These fellows, although they embraced in their number many men who have since become respectable and influential, were wild and rough beyond toleration in any community not made up like that which produced them.
5. They pretended to be “regulators,” and were the terror of all who did not acknowledge their rule ; and their mode of securing allegiance was by flogging every man who failed to acknowledge it. They took it upon themselves to try the mettle of every new comer, and to learn the sort of stuff he was made of. Some one of their number was appointed to fight, wrestle, or run a foot-race, with each incoming stranger. Of course, Abraham Lincoln was obliged to pass the ordeal.
6. Perceiving that he was a man who would not easily be floored, they selected their champion, Jack Armstrong, and imposed upon him the task of laying Lincoln upon his back. There is no evidence that Lincoln was an unwilling party in the sport, for it was what he had always been accustomed to. The bout was entered upon, but Armstrong soon discovered that he had met with more than his match. The “Boys” were looking on, and, seeing that their champion was likely to get the worst of it, did after the manner of such irresponsible bands. They gathered around Lincoln, struck and disabled him, and then Armstrong, by “legging” him, got him down.
7. Most men would have been indignant, not to say furiously angry, under such foul treatment as this ; but if Lincoln was either, he did not show it. Getting up in perfect good humor, he fell to laughing over his discomfiture, and joking about it. They had all calculated upon making him angry, and then they intended, with the amiable spirit which characterized the “Clary's Grove Boys,” to give him a terrible drubbing. They were disappointed, and, in their admiration of him, immediately invited him to become one of the company. Strange as it may seem, this was, apparently, the turning point in Lincoln's life.
LVII.-CHARACTER OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
J. G. HOLLAND. 1. The writer can not bid farewell to the reader, and to the illustrious subject of this biography, without a closing tribute to a character unique in history, and an administration that stands alone in the annals of the nation. We have seen one of the humblest of American citizens struggling through personal trials and national turmoils, into the light of universal fame, and an assured immortality of renown. We have seen him become the object of warm and devoted affection to a whole nation.
2. We have witnessed such manifestations of grief at his loss, as the death of no other ruler has called forth within the memory of man. We have seen a great popular government, poisoned in every department by the virus of treason, and blindly and feebly tottering to its death, restored to health and soundness through the beneficent ministry of this true man, who left it with vigor in its veins, irresistible strength in its arms, the fire of exultation and hope in its eyes, and with such power and majesty in its step, that the earth shook beneath its stately goings. .
3. We have seen four millions of African bondmen, who, groaning in helpless slavery when he received the crown of power, became freemen by his word before death struck that crown from his brow. We have seen the enemies of his country vanquished and suing for pardon ; and the sneering nations of the world, whose incontinent contempt and spite were poured in upon him during the first years of his administration, becoming first silent, then respectful, and then unstinted in their admiration and approbation.
4. These marvelous changes in public feeling, and the revolutions embodied in these wonderful results, were not the work of a mighty genius, sitting above the nation, and ordering its affairs. That Mr. Lincoln was much more than an ordinary man in intellectual power, is sufficiently evident; but it was not by intellectual power that he wrought out the grand results of his life. These were rather the work of the heart than the head.
5. With no wish to depreciate the motives or undervalue the names of Mr. Lincoln's predecessors in office, it may be declared that never, in the history of the government, have the affairs of that office been administered with such direct reference to the will of God, and the everlasting principles of righteousness and justice, as they were during his administration. It was eminently a Christian administration-one which, in its policy and acts, expressed the convictions of a Christian people.
6. Standing above the loose morality of party politics, standing above the maxims and conventionalisms of statesmanship, leaving aside all the indirections and insincerities of diplomacy, trusting the people, leaning upon the people, inspired by the people, who in their Christian homes and Christian sanctuaries gave it their confidence, this administration of Abraham Lincoln stands out in history as the finest exhibition of a Christian democracy the world has ever seen.
7. The power of a true-hearted Christian man, in perfect sympathy with a true-hearted Christian people, was Mr. Lincoln's power. Open on one side of his nature to all descending influences from Him to whom he prayed, and open on the other to all ascending influences from the people whom he served, he aimed simply to do his duty to God and men. Acting rightly, he acted greatly. While he took care of deeds, fashioned by a purely ideal standard, God took care of results. Moderate, frank, truthful, gentle, for: giving, loving, just, Mr. Lincoln will always be remembered as eminently a Christian President; and the almost immeasurably great results which he had the privilege of achieving, were due to the fact that he was a Christian President.