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 deeply shamed. And that it is done, only shows the weakness of representatives who have not read the very title page in the book of human nature, and who, vainly conceiving that an insult to one man can be fruitful of any public good, only illustrate the saying of Madame de Stael, ‘that the strongest of all antipathies is that of second-rate minds for a first-rate one,’ and that other maxim of Edmund Burke, that ‘great empires and little minds go ill together.’ When Marc Antony, the great Triumvir of Rome, who conquered Egypt, was himself overthrown by Octavius Caesar, he gloried dying that he ‘had conquered as a Roman, and was by a Roman nobly conquered.’ If the spirit of those brave soldiers of the Union, who, while the fields of battle were yet moist with blood, saluted Lee, had guided the conduct of the civilians to whom their valor gave the reins of State, it would have been for us Confederates who achieved great victories, and were in turn cast down, to have gloried likewise, that we in our time had conquered as Americans, and were by Americans nobly conquered. But when we recall that our honored and faithful President is disfranchised simply because he was our chief, and bravely, ably served our cause, the iron enters our soul and represses the generous emotions that well up in them. And we can only lament that shallow politicians have proven unworthy of the American name, and are not imbued with the great free spirit of a great free people. We have not a thought or fancy or desire to undo the perpetuity of the Union. For any man to pretend to think otherwise is proclamation of his falsehood, or his folly. But we intend to be free citizens of the Union, accepting no badge of inferiority or dishonor. And by the tomb of our dead hero, who was true to his chief, as to every trust, we protest to mankind against this unjust thing; an offence to our liberties and to our manhood, which are not less sacred than the grave. And we waft to him, our late Chief Magistrate, in his Southern home, our greetings and our blessings; and as the years grow thick upon him, we pray that he may find in the unabated confidence and affection of his people, some solace for all that he has borne for them; and in the strength that cometh from on high, a staff that man cannot take from him.
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