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 day, demanded that of Lee. Then outspoke Grant,—General of the Army. Lee, he declared, was his prisoner. He had surrendered to him, and in reliance on his word. He had received assurance that so long as he quietly remained at his home, and did not offend against the law, he should not be molested. He had done so; and, so long as Grant held his commission, molested he should not be. Needless, as pleasant to say, what Grant then grimly intimated did not take place. Lee was not molested; nor did the General of the Army indignantly fling his commission at an accidental President's feet. That, if necessary, he would have so done, I take to be quite indubitable. Of Lee's subsequent life, as head of Washington College, I have but one incident to offer. I believe it to be typical. A few months ago I received a letter from a retired army officer. It is needless to give his name; but, from his letter, I extract the following: ‘Lee was essentially a Virginian. His sword was Virginia's, and I fancy the State had higher claims upon him than had the Confederacy, just as he supposed it had than the United States. But, after the surrender, he stood firmly and unreservedly in favor of loyalty to the Nation. A gentleman told me this anecdote: As a boy he ran away from his Kentucky home, and served the last two years in the rebel ranks. After the war he resumed his studies under Lee's presidency; and, on one occasion, delivered as a college exercise an oration with eulogistic reference to the “Lost cause,” and what it meant. Later, General, then President, Lee sent for the student; and, after praising his composition and delivery, seriously warned him against holding or advancing such views, impressing strongly upon him the unity of the Nation, and urging him to devote himself loyally to maintain the integrity and the honor of the United States. The kindly paternal advice thus given was, I imagine, typical of his whole post-bellum life.’ Let this one anecdote suffice. Here was magnanimity, philosophy, true patriotism: the pure American spirit. Accepting the situation loyally and in a manly, silent way,—without self-consciousness or mental reservation,—he sought by precept, and yet more by a great example, to build up the shattered community of which he was the most observed representative in accordance with the new conditions imposed by fate.
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