Yellow fever was prevailing there, and the prospect uninviting.
Some of his friends and family were apprehensive, and to satisfy them he called a council of those closest to him. When it met it was known at once that his mind was already made up. With that quick apprehension—the genius of far discernment, characteristic alike of prophet, poet and great soldier—he had mentally reconnoitered the situation, and saw the exposed flank of a rare opportunity.
We wished him Godspeed, and drank with him “a stirrup-cup.”
So clear had he been in his great office.
With such consumate tact, wisdom and firmness had he discharged the delicate, diplomatic functions devolved upon him, in the then highly inflamed state of the Spanish
mind, that President McKinley
, recognizing the eternal fitness of things, and the unanimous sentiment of the country, kept him at the post of duty, which also at that time, when treachery and conspiracy not only did their dark deeds in the nighttime, but brazenly stalked abroad at noonday, was emphatically the post of danger.
As he stood there, calm and resolute, mens equa in arduis, ‘as far from rashness as from fear,’ with the fate of nations in his hand for the time, and the world's gaze upon him, he was indeed ‘a sight for gods and men.’
Gloriously did he rise to the height of the great argument, and meet the full demands of the crisis.
I never felt so glad and so proud in all my life that ‘the right man was in the right place,’ to uphold the country's highest ideals and most sacred traditions, and that that man was a Virginian and Confederate soldier.
At length a point was reached when forbearance ceased to be a virtue.
Treaty obligations were scornfully violated, and our country's honor was at stake.
The circumstances were these: Consul-General Lee
called on Governor-General Weyler
to ask the release of an American citizen, who had been thrown into jail on some trivial charge.
was courteous, and then, as always, the gentleman.
was the braggart, arrogant, contemptuous in tone and manner, and said to Lee
: ‘You must understand, sir, that Cuba
is now under martial law, and my word is the supreme law of the land.’
The lion-heart of Lee
was aroused by his insolence, and looking him straight in the