struggle in which she was engaged, and whatever sympathy was aroused, was in her behalf; whereas, in Lincoln
's day, England
took the keenest interest in the success of the South
, and stood ready and anxious to avail themselves of any favorable opportunity to interfere.
Under these circumstances, the caution mingled with determination with which the President
acted, the skill with which he avoided many embarrassments and overcame many obstacles; the tact with which he dealt with the rebels; the foresight he often displayed, of events; the knowledge of human nature; the patience with men and circumstances; the instinctive sympathy with popular feeling, which impelled him to withstand all advice and entreaties to take important steps before the proper time, and yet to accomplish his purpose promptly when the nation was ready to second him; the abnegation of self; the charity for personal and public enemies, the tender-heartedness towards offenders; and the steadiness with which he pursued the objects of the war and of the nation—all combined to make him one of the most striking characters in American history.
There was a simplicity and a straightforwardness about him that resembled the same traits in Grant
; and when, as necessarily happened in their positions, their minds came in direct and naked contact, they appreciated each other better than clever and ambitious men of the world could appreciate either.
During the day Grant
received his letters and dictated the replies, and saw the various officers who came to him for orders or counsel, while those who formed his military family were busied about