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“ [298] me as more of a man, more of a democratic man, than the tallest of--'s roughs; to the eye of the spirit there is more strength in this man's daily endurance of petty care and small weariness for love, more of the sort which makes a real democracy and a sound republic, than in an army of —' s unshaven loafers.” This came, be it remembered, from a man who had fought through the seven days of fighting before Richmond; who had “given his proofs,” as people used to say in the old days of duelling — a thing which the writer criticised had not done. And then, more consistently than many men, Lanier goes on to illustrate the same principle from the life of a woman.

He describes a woman of a type such as many of us have known, who has for twenty years spent her life in bed with spinal disease. “Day by day she lies helpless at the mercy of all those tyrannical small needs which become so large under such circumstances; every meal must be brought to her, a drink of water must be handed; and she is not rich to command service.” Yet she is a person of unfailing spirits, of inexhaustible energies, and the centre of a loving circle of bright people. Her room is habitually known as “Sunnyside ;” when strong men are tired they go to her for rest; when the healthy are weary they seek her for refreshment. This woman has not so much rude muscle in her whole body

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Sidney Lanier (1)
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