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him, who can go with me and re. main with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well.
The First Inaugural concludes with a passage of great tender
We learn from Nicolay and Hay that the suggestion of that passage, its first draft indeed, came from Seward.
But compare this first draft with the passage as amended and adopted by Lincoln ! This is Seward's:
I close. We are not, we must not be, aliens or enemies, but fellowcountrymen and brethren. Although passion has strained our bonds of affection too hardly, they must not, I am sure they will not, be broken. The mystic chords which, proceeding from so many battle-fields and so many patriot graves, pass through all the hearts and all hearths in this broad continent of ours, will yet again
harmonize in their ancient music when breathed upon by the guardian angel of the nation.
And this is Lincoln's :
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.
The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
There is in this last something that suggests music; again we hear the strain of the Leitmotif. Strangely enough, in 1858 Lincoln himself had used a figure not the same as, but suggestive of, this very one now given by
Seward. He was speaking of the moral sentiment, the sentiment of equality, in the Declaration of Independence. “That," he said, “is the electric chord in that Declaration, that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world.”
In the final paragraph of the Second Inaugural we find again the haunting music with which the First Inaugural closed. On the heart of what AmericanNorth or South-are not the words imprinted ?
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who
shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan-to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among our. selves, and with all nations.
As the great musician brings somewhere to its highest expression the motive which has been entwined from first to last in his music-drama, so did the expression of Lincoln's passion for his country reach its culmination in the tender and majestic phrases of the Gettysburg Address :
In a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecr
tecannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us,
the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain ; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
But there is a letter of Lincoln's which may well be associated with the Gettysburg Address. It was written, just one year after the delivery of the Address, to a mother who, the President heard, had lost five sons in the army.
I believe the