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[32]

No sting of dishonor, no shame for past delinquencies of duty, no sense of humiliation in the presence of those who were victorious in the war, makes you or them reluctant to meet our former enemies face to face in frank, open, manly and honest agreement for the future.

You demand no guarantees except obedience to the Constitution, and you offer none but these.

Such an element of population is worthy of the confidence, respect, and proud regard of any nation.

The country cannot afford to hold these people in a state of dishonorable subjection. Granting that they would long remain in such subserviency, the loss of power for good, and the increase of power for evil, would so deeply affect the confidence of the people in the future of the Government, that it would soon cost the country more billions of dollars to balance the material losses occasioned by such folly, than it has cost to bring them to that condition.

This imperfect view of the facts, opinions, convictions and sentiments of the people of the South, on which they claim the respect and confidence of the people of the entire country, ought to be sufficient to quiet the apprehensions of such as are least willing to extend to us the fraternal hand of reconciliation.

Men who are not true to themselves are not to be trusted to keep their covenants with others.

No man can be trusted as the guardian of his own rights or of the rights of others who is incapable of feeling a wrong, and unwilling to redress it.

But we turn with confidence to a still higher plane on which Americans can meet and unite in making the future of our country as happy, as the past has been unhappy. All causes of sectional strife are removed. There remains no justifiable excuse for longer indulgence in the bitter recollections of the past. Neither section has cause to feel humiliated in association with the other. Any nation would feel proud to welcome the States of the South or of the North into fellowship or alliance. Why should we grudgingly or with reluctance consent to such honorable association? It is certain that prosperity cannot result from longer contention ; peace cannot hold its happy sway while discord reigns in the hearts of the people. There are none, not even the most virulent enemies of peace and restoration, who would willingly protract the era of strife and dissension forever. Once in power even they would turn with honeyed words of brotherly love to their late victims and bid them, in the name of the God of peace, to arise and be enfolded in their broad and tranquil bosoms.

There can be no motive to delay the return of the American people to the cordial relations, and to the pure love of a common country which

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