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[116] unstinted praise to worthy subordinates for the work they did. Like the chief artists who weave the Gobelin tapestries, he was content to stand behind the cloth and let those in front appear to be the chief contributors to the beauty of the fabric. . . .

If there be one single word in all the wealth of the English language which best describes the predominating trait of General Grant's character, that word is ‘loyalty.’ Loyal to every great cause and work he was engaged in; loyal to his friends, loyal to his family, loyal to his country, loyal to his God. This produced a reciprocal effect in all who came in contact with him. It was one of the chief reasons why men became so loyally attached to him. It is true that this trait so dominated his whole character that it led him to make mistakes, it induced him to continue to stand by men who were no longer worthy of his confidence; but after all, it was a trait so grand, so noble, we do not stop to count the errors which resulted. It showed him to be a man who had the courage to be just, to stand between worthy men and their unworthy slanderers, and to let kindly sentiments have a voice in an age in which the heart played so small a part in public life. Many a public man has had hosts of followers because they fattened on the patronage dispensed at his hands; many a one has had troops of adherents because they were blind zealots in a cause he represented; but perhaps no man but General Grant had so many friends who loved him for his own sake, whose attachment strengthened only with time, whose affection knew neither variableness nor shadow of turning, who stuck to him as closely as the toga to Nessus, whether he was captain, general, President, or simply private citizen.

General Grant was essentially created for great emergencies; it was the very magnitude of the task which called forth the powers which mastered it. In ordinary matters he was an ordinary man. In momentous affairs he towered as a giant. When he served in a company there was nothing in his acts to distinguish him from the fellow officers; but when he wielded corps and armies the great qualities of the commander flashed forth, and his master-strokes of genius placed him at once in the front rank of the world's great captains. When he hauled wood from his little farm and sold it in the streets of St. Louis, there was nothing in his business or financial capacity different from that of the small farmers about him; but when, as President of the Republic, he found it his duty to puncture the

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Ulysses S. Grant (3)
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