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[67] Holmes were utterly untouched by the antislavery agitation, yet both yielded to the excitement of the war, and felt in some degree its glow. It elicited from Aldrich his noble Fredericksburg sonnet. Stedman, Stoddard, and Bayard Taylor wrote war songs, as did Julia Ward Howe conspicuously. Whitman's poem on the death of Lincoln is, in my judgment, one of the few among his compositions which will live. Wallace, who must be regarded as on the whole our most popular novelist—whatever may be thought of the quality of his work—won his first distinction in the Civil War. Cable, Lanier, Thompson, and other strong writers were also engaged in it, on the Confederate side. It is absolutely impossible to disentangle from the work of any but the very youngest of our living American authors that fibre of iron which came from our great Civil War and the stormy agitation that led up to it.

What is to succeed that great tonic?—for we can hardly suppose that the human race is to be kept forever at war for the sake of supplying a series of heroic crises. It is evident that no particular source of moral stimulus is

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