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 To mere slander he replied with the silence of contempt. And to the unjust strictures derogatory to his fair name and character, which were passed on him by his former comrade on the field, and echoed by many to whose honor it would have redounded more had they held their peace, General Hood replied towards the end of his life in a book, singularly temperate and liberal in tone, and free from all bitterness. Retiring after the war to civil life, General Hood entered a business career and shortly afterwards married. “How can any adversity come to him who hath a wife?” said Chaucer; and, truly, his wife was more—she was his comrade, counsellor, friend. A solace in his trials, a comfort in his hours of sadness, her gentle, winning and so tender devotion sweetened his life. Their home was a sanctuary—their union ideal. So years of happiness rolled by until the scythe of Time was sharpened by the plague. Preceded by his eldest child and his beloved wife, General Hood followed them to the grave within a week, breathing his last on the 30th of August, 1879. Death, the master of princes and paupers, of saints and sinners, of the hale and broken, the happy and miserable—often so cruel—was merciful when he reunited them in the cold bosom of the earth. He had lived fifty-eight years; not one fraction thereof had been allowed to pass without being devoted to the service of his fellowmen. Refined by sorrow, purified by aspirations, strengthened through self-reliance, and made gentle by an earnest faith in the things unseen, he was genial, generous and indulgent towards others and severe with himself. His aims were prompted by noble desires, and in politics his ideals for democratic action were high. He knew his powers and also his limitations. And he had his limits as the sun has its spots. Above all, the strong force of his character yielded an influence no oratory can command, and that influence is not ended—nay, it is only just beginning to sprout in our hearts.
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