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[28] future was at stake. What might ensue? What might not ensue? Would the strife end then and there? Would it die in a death grapple, only to reappear in that chronic form of a vanquished but indomitable people writhing and struggling in the grasp of an ininsatiate, but only nominal victor? Such a struggle as all European authorities united in confidently predicting?

The answer depended on two men—the captains of the contending forces. Grant that day had Lee at his mercy. He had but to close his hand, and his opponent was crushed. Think what then might have resulted had those two men been other than they were–had the one been stern and aggressive, the other sullen and unyielding. Most fortunately for us, they were what and who they were— Grant and Lee. More, I need not, could not say; this only let me add—a people has good right to be proud of the past and selfcon-fident of its future when on so great an occasion it naturally develops at the front men who meet each other as those two met each other then. Of the two, I know not to which to award the palm. Instinctively, unconsciously, they vied not unsuccessfully each with the other, in dignity, magnanimity, simplicity.

Si fractus illabatur orbis
Impavidum ferient ruin$ea.

With a home no longer his, Lee then sheathed his sword. With the silent dignity of his subsequent life, after he thus accepted defeat, all are familiar. He left behind him no querulous memoirs, no exculpatory vindication, no controversial utterances. For him, history might explain itself—posterity formulate its own verdict. Surviving Appomattox but a little more than five years, those years were not unmarked by incidents very gratifying to American recollection; for we Americans, do, I think, above all things love magnimity, and appreciate action at once fearless and generous. We all remember how by the grim mockery of fate—as if to test to the uttermost American capacity for self-government—Abraham Lincoln was snatched away at the moment of crisis from the helm of State, and Andrew Johnson substituted for him. I think it no doubtful anticipation of historical judgment to say that a more unfortunate selection could not well have chanced. In no single respect, it is safe to say, was Andrew Johnson adapted for the peculiar duties which Booth's pistol imposed upon him. One of Johnson's most unhappy, most ill-considered convictions was that our Civil War was a conventional old time rebellion—that rebellion was treason—that treason was a crime:

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