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[330] the Spartans at Thermopylae, was that the lasting power of education in the victor? Or was a higher education for the storm of life evinced by those valiant arms which again and again hurled back numerical ascendency, and still hurling, while strength endured, fell finally where they fought? They who stand in the last ditch, to hold up the sinking standard of their faith, or fall with it; they who fall for their altars and their fires, can always send word to their country: ‘Here obedient to thy laws we fall.’ He who, in stout resistance to the odds against him, succumbs only to the last conqueror, has been schooled in the discipline and doctrine of life, is both hero and scholar. To conquer the difficult is the first command of education, and the second is like unto it — not to be dismayed by difficulty. Education is the strain of him who overcomes; or who, undaunted to the end, puts forth all that in him is to be not overcome; and so, if fall he must, falls unconquered. He has been faithful until death. If, as in the republic of which Plato dreamt, education is the growth out of selfishness into self—satisfaction, lack of education was not the serious deficiency.

By the endless attrition of endless numbers, and under the evertightening coil on coil of the anaconda stranglehold, the Souch was drawing to the end of her agonized strain; when Lincoln, in the second inaugural, likened by some to the prophecy of Isaiah —with, as he explained, ‘malice toward none, charity toward all’ —suggested a possible prolongation of the war, ‘until all the wealth piled up by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword. As it was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said: “The judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.” ’ The epitome of Reconstruction was in these words. Mr. Labouchere said of an English statesman that he did not find fault with him for being found occasionally with an ace up his sleeve. What he did find fault with was the claim that the ace had been put there by the Providence of God.

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