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important officers of government, the Secretary of War, the Lieutenant-General of the United States Army, escaped only, without doubt, in consequence of unexpected detention from the President's side. Such was the dreadful story. It was ticked off at first, at midnight, to a few blanched faces, and was rejected. It came again with stronger authority. It stared out in grim and terrible lines from the morning papers, making the brain of the reader to reel, and the heart to grow sick. It was told in husky and frightened tones by one to another, and with voices choked with tears. It leaped from face to face, pale and livid, as we never saw the faces of the people before. It began to fringe the flags, and darken the streets which were but recently so gay. It began to create gloom, and a hush and loneliness in business haunts, which, but a few days since, were filled with crowds and processions and cheers and music. It began to wail from steeple to steeple. It broke at last from the cannon's mouth in solemn thunder. And, at length, we begin to realize to-day, that our beloved President is no more.

It is a terrible national calamity, such as has not fallen upon us since we became a nation. It is an atrocious crime such as is almost unparalleled in history. It is universally regarded as such by the people. Never have they been so moved. No tidings of victory or defeat, not even the intelligence of the first assault upon the flag at Sumter has so stirred the depths of popular feeling. The country is swept to-day by a storm of silent but intense and very dangerous passion.

The feelings which these heavy tidings have univer

sally excited, are I mention them in the order in which they naturally arise- horror, grief, rage, anxiety. The country is convulsed with these emotions.

The first emotion experienced by every one upon learning of this terrible event was one of unmitigated horror, and it is a feeling from which we have not yet recovered. There were various things fitted to intensify it. We had not yet recovered from the ecstasies of delight occasioned by victories unprecedented in modern warfare, and which gave promise of speedy peace. The horrible tidings found us on the heights of exultation, and the fall in our feelings, and the shock, were proportionally tremendous. It was of all things the least expected. At an earlier stage in our national troubles, grave apprehensions were entertained of attempts upon the President's life. But for four years the enemy had forborne to resort to assassination; and, among the people of the loyal States, the President had been steadily gaining in the confidence and esteem and love of all. It was hardly imagined that he could have a personal enemy. The crime seemed horrible, because perpetrated upon a person of such high position, the head of a powerful nation, the equal of a king, or rather the superior; for kings rule by birthright, Presidents by the people's choice. It seemed horrible, because it was. committed upon a man of such unoffending goodness. It seemed horrible, because it was committed from such a motive. Assassination is a new weapon in politics in this country. It seemed horrible, because it was a part of a conspiracy against a number of the heads of government, and was executed, so far as it was executed, with


such brutal and blood-thirsty ferocity. It seemed horrible from the circumstances of its commission. With that confidence in his fellow-citizens which has distinguished every President, and led him to dispense with a body-guard, -a confidence which President Lincoln had especial right to feel, he had gone with a part of his family, unattended, to the theatre; not that he cared to go, but that he did not care to disappoint the people. He had been received with unusual demonstrations of enthusiasm and affection. Seated in a rocking-chair by the side of his wife, and with a multitude of his people around him, and regarding him as a father, he rested from the cares of office. Suddenly a man, — a man! — availing himself of the President's confidence, approached him stealthily from behind, and, without a word of warning, with a coward's hand and eye, fired at his head; then, rushing to the front, dropped upon the stage, brandished a knife, and uttered a tragic exclamation in his last role, disappeared behind the scenes, threaded the familiar passages, emerged into the open air, and escaped. Escaped? Ah, no! he should have committed his crime among some people less unitedly devoted to their Chief Magistrate; he should have done it in the empire of some other God. He will not escape. He may take the wings of the morning and fly to the uttermost parts of the sea; he may make his bed in hell; but he will not escape.

The first feeling of uncontrollable horror is succeeded by one of profound grief. It is not merely sorrow that such a crime should have to darken the annals of American history. It is not merely disappointment in being,

after all, cheated out of the ruler of our choice. It is not merely the gloom which a great crime always throws upon a community. It is not merely a regret for the uncertainty which this event throws upon our future. There is in the heart of the people a profound grief arising from a sincere and very strong attachment to President Lincoln. And well he deserved our attachment. This is not the time to enter upon any extended or thorough examination of his life and character; but I cannot omit this opportunity to add my humble tribute to his worth to those of my countrymen.

President Lincoln assumed the reins of government when the whole country was in confusion, when whole States were in rebellion, when the hands of the government were paralyzed. He was bitterly hated and opposed by a great minority, even in the States by which he was elected. He was ridiculed and hooted, not only by the press of the enemy, but by that of all Europe. During his administration he has felt compelled to employ not a few measures which have created very great discussion and feeling. And yet, after four years of unprecedented difficulties and trials, he has come forth, I need not tell you with what triumphant successes for our country; I need not tell you with what enthusiastic admiration of his countrymen, even of many who once opposed him; with what admiration and respect in foreign lands, and among the enemy. Such a record is one of which to be proud, and proves that he had greatness.

He was never a leader, he always followed public sentiment; but he followed it with the accuracy and fidelity

of a stag-hound. Some of us would have preferred a bolder and fiercer leader; but, on looking back, we can see that such an one would either have ended our strife prematurely before its results were accomplished, or more probably would have divided us so that we never could have done anything. Some of us have disapproved of some of his measures, but the result has generally shown that he was more sagacious than we. He may sometimes have erred, in the opinions of some, from the strict line of prerogative, but his sterling principle and noble purposes kept such aberrations, if there were any, from doing harm. He was a man of the purest and highest motives, and the strongest principle. His chief aim was the welfare of his people, and with the heart of a true statesman he loved all, even his rebellious people. He was willing to sacrifice himself to any extent. He never used his office and power to enrich himself or his family. He did not allow himself to be governed by his party, or to become a tool in the hands of his political friends. He never espoused theories, but was governed by experience. He never took any notice of abuse, -never lost his self-control. He could not be brought to a hasty decision; could not be turned when once decided. He endured the mistakes and disobediences of his civil and military officers with a patience which was marvellous. The people had learned to have confidence, not only in his honesty of purpose, but in his strength and sagacity of mind. His personal character was without a stain. His manners were plain, but unaffected and hearty. His benevolence was unbounded. Many are the hospitals which he has visited, the soldiers whom he has grasped

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