Page:Abraham Lincoln address (1909).djvu/38

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36

claimed, 'I congratulate you on your success,' adding in a transport of heated enthusiasm, 'Ah, Mr. President, how gladly would I give my hundred pages to be the author of your twenty lines.' Nothing of the kind occurred (says Lamon). It is a slander on Mr. Everett, an injustice to Mr. Lincoln and a falsification of history." (Idem, p. 172-3.)

Again (and we would not refer to this but for the fact that it is discussed by several of his biographers with almost shameless freedom): The relations between Mr. Lincoln and his wife were notoriously unpleasant. After he had fooled her even when the day had been set for their marriage and the bridal party had assembled, by failing to appear, Lamon says: "They were married, but they understood each other, and suffered the inevitable consequences as other people do under similar circumstances. But such troubles seldom fail to find a tongue, and it is not strange that in this case neighbors and friends, and ultimately the whole country, came to know the state of things in that house. Mr. Lincoln scarcely attempted to conceal it, but talked of it with little or no reserve to his wife's relatives as well as his own friends." (Lamon, 474. See also 3 Herndon-Weik, 429-30.) Herndon says: "I do not believe he knew what happiness was for twenty years." "Terrible" was the word which all his friends used to describe him in the black mood. "It was 'terrible,' it was 'terrible,' says one and another." (Lamon, 475; 1 Morse, 64-5.)

And yet, in the face of this testimony, one of his latest biographers (Noah Brooks), writing for the series of "Heroes of the Nations," says:

"The relations of Lincoln and his wife were a model for the married people of the republic of which they were the foremost pair" (P. 422.)

Verily, as Dr. Lord says:

"Nothing so effectually ends all jealousies, animosities and prejudices as the assassin's dagger." (12 Beacon Lights of History, 314.)

So that, we repeat, you have to take everything written or said about Mr. Lincoln, by most of the Northern and some Southern writers, with many grains of allowance, for there seems to be no bounds to their exaggerations and misrepresentations. It is not out of place to add here that one of his biographers, Hapgood, says