Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/233

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LAURIER

good man who had carried his country through that ordeal. Then the good heart and sound judgment of the queen were again manifested. She sent a letter to the widow of the martyred president — not as the queen of Great Britain to the widow of the president of the United States, but she sent a letter of sjonpathy from a widow to a widow, herself being then in the first years of her own bereavement. That action on her part made a very deep impression upon the minds of the American people; it touched not only the heart of the widowed wife, but the heart of the widowed nation ; it stirred the souls of strong men; it caused tears to course down the cheeks of veterans who had courted death during the previous four years on a thousand battlefields.

I do not say that it brought about reconcilia- tion, but it made reconciliation possible. It was the first rift in the clouds; and to-day, in the time of England's mourning, the American peo- ple flock to their churches, pouring their bless- ings upon the memory of Britain's queen. I do not hope, I do not believe it possible, that the two countries which were severed in the eighteenth century, can ever be again united politically; but perhaps it is not too much to hope that the friendship thus inaugurated by the hand of the queen may continue to grow until the two nations are united again, not by legal bonds, but by ties of affection as strong, perhaps, as if sanctioned by all the majesty of

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