Page:Abraham Lincoln address (1909).djvu/37
poorly equipped men with two million eight hundred thousand well-fed and thoroughly equipped men with unlimited resources of all kinds?
"A man who has exhibited no evidence of greatness before reaching forty, has no element of greatness in him."
Mr. Lincoln was fifty-two when he was elected President, and Lamon says no one pretended he had developed any element of greatness up to that time.
So that, with every disposition to write truthfully about Mr. Lincoln, we are unable to find in his career any substantial basis for the great name and fame now claimed for him by his admirers both at the North and at the South, and certainly nothing either in his character, career or conduct to engender veneration, admiration and love for his memory on the part of the people of the South.
CAN'T RELY ON WHAT IS NOW WRITTEN.
The fact is, most of the Northern, as well as some Southern, writers have so distorted and exaggerated nearly every word and act of Mr. Lincoln's that it is impossible to arrive at the truth about anything said or done by, or concerning him or his career from their statements. Many illustrations of this could be given, but owing to the length of this paper, one or two must suffice. Perhaps nothing that Mr. Lincoln ever said or did has been so applauded as his Gettysburg speech, a speech of about twenty lines in length, embodying less than a dozen thoughts, not original, but very well expressed. Lamon says he was present at the time of the delivery of that speech; that it fell perfectly flat on the audience, and Mr. Everett and Mr. Seward expressed great disappointment at it. Mr. Lincoln himself said: "It fell like a 'wet blanket' and I am distressed about it." * * * "It is a flat failure and the people are disappointed." (Lamon's Recollections, 171-2.) And Lamon then adds:
"In the face of these facts, it has been repeatedly published that this speech was received by the audience with loud demonstrations of approval; that amid the tears, sobs and cheers it produced on the excited throng, the orator of the day, Mr. Everett, turned to Mr. Lincoln, grasped his hand and ex--