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[367] Men do not idly erect monuments to lost causes. Fame has no trumpet for failure. The world hears not the voice of the vanquished. Yet history might teach us strange things of men who fail and causes that are lost. Genius did not keep Hannibal or Napoleon from defeat; heroism went with Joan of Arc to the stake, and Emmett to the scaffold. The eloquence of Demosthenes did not save Greece, or Cato's virtue Rome. The courage of Kosciusko availed naught for Poland, and Hungary went down for all the patriotism of Kossuth. Sometimes defeat gives a tragic pathos which lifts the commonplace into the immortal, and tenderly preserves the memory of the vanquished long after the victor has been forgotten.

Since the death of Napoleon there has been no career which illustrates so dramatically the vicissitudes of fortune as that of Jefferson Davis. Born amid the rugged surroundings of a frontier State, he lived to win the triple glory of the soldier, the orator, and the statesman. He became the ruler of 7,000,000 of people. His government was overwhelmed, his fortune swept away. He was bound as a criminal and prosecuted for his life. He became an exile. He was denied the rights of citizenship. He was defamed, denounced, insulted, ridiculed to the hour of his death. And yet he died by millions more sincerely mourned and deeply beloved than any other man in the history of the nation. If his enemies had succeeded in putting him to death he would have been the most conspicuous figure in American history.

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