a government of themselves, by themselves, for themselves, he will assuredly occupy no insignificant place.
To accomplish the great work of preserving the Union
cost the land a great price.
Generations of Americans
yet unborn, and humanity everywhere, for years to come will mourn the horrors and sacrifices of the first civil war in the United States
; but above the blood of its victims, above the bones of its dead, above the ashes of desolate hearths, will arise the colossal figure of Abraham Lincoln
as the most acceptable sacrifice offered by the nineteenth century in expiation of the great crime of the seventeenth.
Above all the anguish and tears of that immense hecatomb will appear the shade of Lincoln
as the symbol of hope and of pardon.
This is the true lesson of Lincoln
's life: real and enduring greatness, that will survive the corrosion and abrasion of time, of change, and of progress, must rest upon character.
In certain brilliant and what is understood to be most desirable endowments how many Americans
have surpassed him. Yet how he looms above them all!
Not eloquence, nor logic, nor grasp of thought; not statesmanship, nor power of command, nor courage; not any nor all of these have made him what he is, but these, in the degree in which he possessed them, conjoined to those qualities comprised in the terms character, have given him his fame — have made him for all time to come the great American
, the grand, central figure in American--perhaps the world'shistory.