Page:Abraham Lincoln, A Story and a Play.djvu/49

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43
THE STORY

right to decide for itself.

Lincoln had scarcely time to get used to his new duties before the war burst forth,—a terrible war. Then it was that the new President showed how great he was,—how wise and strong, how loving towards all, whether they believed as he did or not.

No other man in the whole country could have rilled his place, for no other had such a great heart and farseeing mind. Night and day he was busy planning how the war might be ended and the country saved. Yet, with the great load of care, he was ever willing to stop and listen to the stories of those who were in trouble.

More than one unhappy woman came to beg for the life of her husband or son who had been sentenced to die. They were never turned away.

"Let the man live and have one more chance," the President would say in one case after another. "His heart is too tender," people sometimes declared. But they did not know him. When firmness was needed, no one could be more fearless than he. He seemed then to forget everything else in doing his duty.

How he grieved for the soldiers dying in battle, and for the loved ones at home who were