exactly what he meant to say. This daily intercourse for weeks left a profound impression on those who were fortunate enough to share it. The intellectual calibre of the man was most apparent, and most imposing.
All through the rough exterior of conversation, the abundant jokes, the plain, homespun talk,—as plain as his face, but as full of power and meaning,—there was evidence enough that Lincoln
was a great man. Grant
often said at this time that he thought him by far the greatest man who had occupied the Presidential chair since Washington
And in those qualities not purely intellectual, and yet far from devoid of intellectuality, which make men great in times of revolution and civil war, Lincoln
was incontestably superior to any of his predecessors, perhaps even to the first.
His task, indeed, was far more difficult than Washington
's. He ruled thirty millions of people; Washington
was at the head of only three millions: he had a war to carry on with a part of his own nation; Washington
's was with outsiders: his armies numbered half a million soldiers; Washington
's, thirty or forty thousand.
His enemies were ten times as numerous in the field as those with whom Washington
He had the great problem of emancipation to solve, which was not presented to Washington
He had a violent, numerous, dangerous party in his rear, constantly watching to thwart and defeat him; and though Washington
knew something of this difficulty, the opposition to him was insignificant compared with that offered to Lincoln
America in Washington
's time was an isolated and inconsiderable colony; the world cared little by comparison for the result of the