previous next

[376] and State, returned to his farm to plow! Of Lee's personal presence Sir Garnet Wolseley and Lieutenant-Colonel G. T. Denison have said, ‘that he, more than any other man they had ever met, impressed them with human greatness.’

Many years ago a writer in the Illustrated London News thus described the charm of Lee's presence: ‘If a number of men were seated in a circle, Lee being one of them, and a little child were placed in their midst, after looking round the circle, it would be sure to go to Lee.’ Canadians may well be proud of having been born upon the Continent which produced so great a man. With what sublime appropriateness could Robert E. Lee at his life's close have repeated the memorable words of Horace:

Exegi monumentum aere perennius
Regailque situ pyramidium altius,
Quod non imber edax, non aquilo impotens
Possit diruere aut innumerabilis
Annorum series et fuga temporum.

Lee's private and public character has extorted even from his detractors unwonted praise. In him were combined in exquisite proportion many of the choicest gifts and graces of heart, of mind, of body. With sweet and simple dignity he trod the pathway of domestic life—loving, and beloved by all. With rare unselfish modesty he took upon his titan shoulders the crushing burdens of his comrades' errors without a murmur or complaint. In him humility and greatness walked hand in hand, and from his life there fell with pure and steadfast lustre the off shining of that ‘true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ The contemplation of the life and personality of this great and gentle man recalls the words of Wordsworth:

Soft is the music that would charm forever.
The flower of sweetest smell is shy and lowly.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Robert E. Lee (5)
Wordsworth (1)
Garnet Wolseley (1)
Robert Edward Lee (1)
G. T. Denison (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: