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[386] He died a paroled prisoner of war, in the calm of peace, five years after war had ended—died the foremost and noblest man in a Republic which proclaims itself ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave,’ himself and his Commander in Chief constituting the most conspicuous of its political slaves. But as the oak stripped of the foliage by the winter blast, then, and then only, stands forth in solemn and mighty majesty against the wintry sky, so Robert Lee, stripped of every rank that man could give him, towered above the earth and those around him, in the pure sublimity and strength of that character which we can only fitly contemplate when we lift our eyes from earth and see it dimmed against the Heavens!

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