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this sort of thing, and in confining the publication of his inadequate rhymes to the sacred privacy of indulgent and sympathetic friendship. We
to Lincoln the accomplished orator. His speech in Congress on the 28th of January, 1848, on the Mexican War, strikes the note of solemn verity and of noble indignation which a little later rang through the country and, with other voices, aroused it to a sense of impending danger.
It was in 1851 that he wrote some family letters that not only show him in a charming light as the true and wise friend of his shiftless stepbrother, but the affectionate guardian of his stepmother, who had been such a good mother to him. There is something Greek in the clear
phrase and pure reason of these epistles.
DEAR BROTHER: When I came into Charleston day before yesterday, I learned that you are anxious to sell the land where you live and move to Missouri. I have been thinking of this ever since, and cannot but think such a notion is utterly foolish. What can you do in Missouri better than here? Is the land any richer? Can you there, any more than here, raise corn and wheat and oats without work? Will anybody there, any more than here, do your work for you? If you intend to go to work, there is no better place than right where you are; if you do not intend to go to work, you cannot get along anywhere. Squirming and crawling about from place to place can do no good. You have raised no crop this year; and what you really want is to sell the land, get the money, and spend it.
Part with the land you
have, and, my life upon it, you will never after own a spot big enough to bury you in.
We find in his Peoria speech of 1854 a statement of his long contention against the extension of slavery, and a proof of his ability to cope intellectually with the ablest debaters of the West. His Peoria speech was in answer to Judge Douglas, with whom four years afterward he held the famous debate. Lincoln was now forty-five years old, and his oratory contains that moral impetus which was to give it greater and greater power.
In 1856 occurred the Frémont and Dayton campaign, which came not so very far from being the Frémont and Lincoln campaign. In a speech in this campaign he used a memorable
phrase : “All this talk about the dissolution of the Union is humbug, nothing but folly. We do not want to dissolve the Union; you shall not.” In his famous speech delivered at Springfield, Illinois, at the close of the Republican State Convention of 1858,-in which he had been named as candidate for United States senator,—the skilful and serious orator rises not merely to the broad level of nationality, but to the plane of universal humanity. As events thicken and threaten, his style becomes more solemn. So telling at last his power of phrase that it would hardly seem to be an exaggeration to declare that the war itself was partly induced by the fact that Abraham Lincoln was able to express his pregnant thoughts with. the art of a master. How
familiar now these words of prophecy:
“ A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved-I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
The cadence of Lincoln's prose with its burden of high hope, touched with that heroism which is so near to pathos, reminds one of the Leitmotif, the leading motive" in symphony and music-drama of which musicians make use, and which is especially characteristic of the manner of Wagner:
Two years ago the Republicans of the nation mustered over thirteen hundred thousand strong. We did this under the single impulse of re