Page:The King's Men (1884).djvu/19

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9
RICHARD LINCOLN.

months almost feared to speak. But half a year passed, and the dreadful crest of Anarchy had not once been raised. The French Republic, over seventy years old, strong, unenvious and equitable, was the first to applaud.

The Commonwealths of Germany, thirty-three years old, one after another spoke their congratulation.

The aristocratic Republic of Russia was officially silent. The noble Nihilists, who had murdered four Czars to obtain power, were now constitutionally terrorizing the masses; but the Russian people had learned from their rulers, and the popular press thundered encouragement to the English Commons.

America smiled like an elder sister, and held out her hand in loving friendship.

From the day of the revolution, the three names which forever belong to the history of British Republicanism were in the front—O'Donovan Rourke, the first President, and his two famous Ministers, Jonathan Simms and Richard Lincoln.

But the story of that first great Administration is read now in the school-books. The sudden death of the President was the first serious loss of the Republic. Had he lived another decade how different would have been the later history of England!

Matthew Gower, the Vice-President, entered on the unexpired term of the Presidency. He was a weak, well-meaning man, and he was jealous of the extraordinary popularity and personal influence of Richard Lincoln, the Secretary of State. When his cabinet was announced, Richard Lincoln, released from his long service in harness, with a deep feeling of relief, went back to his home in Nottingham.