confidence of the people, he is not an immaculate hero.
He has two weaknesses: he loves to smoke a good cigar, and he loves to drive good horses.
There are some persons to whom even these weaknesses, in a man like Grant
, commend themselves more than rigid virtues; and there are few who, while they appreciate his high qualities and well-balanced character, will like him any the less for such tokens of a genial humanity.
He is an inveterate smoker.
He smokes on almost all occasions when there is not an absolute impropriety in the indulgence.
And sometimes the force of habit has been so strong that it was necessary to remind him of the propriety of laying aside his cigar; as once, when he visited the Capitol
, and was about to enter the Senate chamber
as the most distinguished guest of the Senate.
So on more than one occasion the guard over ammunition wagons has been obliged to repeat to him the orders, “No smoking allowed here, sir!”
Like a gentleman and a soldier he always good-naturedly complied with such suggestions, whether there is danger of a social explosion or an explosion of gun-powder.
Smoking, with Grant
, acts as a sedative rather than as a stimulant.
During the war, in the most trying times of anxiety, while awaiting the result of movements vital to success, and in the most exciting moments of battle, he smoked incessantly, and, to all out-ward appearances, as calmly as if his mind were not burdened with the heavy responsibilities and duties of his position and the time.
He smoked while laying his plans and consulting his officers in his tent, and while, on the battle-field, he watched the eventful contest