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[343] one who is born to command, and to whom all men turn when their hearts are ‘failing them for fear’ as a leader. He was great not only in action but in repose—great in his very calm—in the fortitude with which he bore himself through all changes of fortune, through dangers and disasters, neither elated by victory nor depressed by defeat—mental habitudes which many will recognize as reappearing in one who seems to have formed himself upon that great model.

Washington was distinguished for his magnanimity—was not Lee also? Men in public station are apt to be sensitive to whatever concerns their standing before the world, and so, while taking to themselves the credit of success, they are strongly tempted to throw upon others the blame of failure. Soldiers especially are jealous of their reputation, and if a commander loses a battle his first impulse is to cast the odium of defeat upon some unfortunate officer. Somebody blundered—this or that subordinate did not do his duty. Military annals are filled with these recriminations. If Napoleon met with a check in his mighty plans, he had no scruple in laying it to the misconduct of some lieutenant, unless, as in Russia, he could throw it upon the elements, the wintry snows and the frozen rivers—anything to relieve himself from the imputation of the want of foresight or provision for unexpected dangers. At Waterloo it was not he that failed in his strategy, but Marshal Ney that failed in the execution. In this respect General Lee was exactly his opposite. If he suffered a disaster he never sought to evade responsibility by placing it upon others. Even in the greatest reverse of his life, the defeat at Gettysburg, when he saw the famous charge of Pickett melt away under the terrible fire that swept the field, till the ranks were literally torn to pieces by shot and shell, he did not vent his despair in rage and reproaches, but rushing to the front took the blame upon himself, saying: ‘It is all my fault.’ Perhaps no incident of his life showed more the nobility of his nature.

When the war was over General Lee had left to him at Lexington about the same number of years that Napoleon had at St. Helena, and if he had had the same desire to pose for posterity in the part of the illustrious exile his mountain home would have furnished as picturesque a background as the rocky island in the south Alantic, from which he could have dictated ‘Conversations’ that should furnish the materials of history. He need not have written or published a single line if he had only been willing to let others do it for him. By their pens he had opportunity to tell of the great part he had

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