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fidence of the people. He loved and trusted his species—he has taught us this great secret of his confidence.” And here before me are two letters, one from each of the rival candidates for Governor of Pennsylvania thirty years ago-Henry E. Muhlenberg and Francis R. Shunk-both accurate and intelligible, and that of Shunk unusually bold and large. Thomas Ritchie wrote a hand not quite so difficult to make out as that of Mr. Greeley, but in the same style. His editorials were dashed off in great haste, sometimes on long slips, sometimes on small ones, and he composed with extraordinary facility. General Cass, who wrote much, and always like a scholar, had an editorial hand; while Andrew Stevenson, of Virginia, father of the present Senator from Kentucky, could have set copies for a country school, and yet in the ardor of composition he would make himself very difficult to decipher. Senator Sumner's writing is characteristically large and distinct; short sentences, carefully pointed, good ink, and excellent stationery—somewhat after the Parliamentary fashion. He is a prodigious worker, and, I fear, even in his prostration, can not keep his hand from pen and pencil. Caleb Cushing writes very rapidly, and it requires one familiar with his manuscript to interpret it. Of all men, however, none was harder to understand than Thaddeus Stevens. I have some notes of his which would puzzle an expert. John Lothrop Motley, the historian, is singularly precise. Thackeray seemed to rejoice in small feminine characters, and took great delight, in his letters to his friends, in decorating the border with all manner of curious caricatures. Robert T. Conrad, the poet, was a most delicate and dilettante writer. Some of his poems were not less models of literary beauty than of mechanical taste. William B. Reed, so well known in politics and in literature, writes a hand much like the venerable Henry C. Carey-fair to look upon, but sometimes hard to decipher. Stephen A. Douglas dashed off his letters without much regard to appearance. He seemed to be always under a high pressure,
and what he wrote was written with intense feeling. John C. Fremont signs his name boldly, a little after the Dickens style. William H. Seward was excessively particular in the preparation of his speeches, and composed with deliberation. I heard an old stenographer say that after he had taken down Mr. Seward, literally, in one of his greatest efforts, and presented him the full report, the statesman recast the whole discourse, and sent it to the printers in his own hand. Senator Morton writes in bold, round characters. Thurlow Weed's is significantly editorial-anybody who sees it can tell that he has reeled off multitudinous leaders. McMichael, of the North American, writes nervously, in straight lines, frequently hard to solve. He would be a fortune to any newspaper if he would allow a short-hand reporter to take down the words as they fall from his lips. We have no better debater nor conversationalist. Boker, the poet, prides himself upon his cool and dainty chirography. Rufus Choate was a dreadful affliction to the printers when they got hold of his legal papers, and the man who most resembled him, in his time, George W. Barton, of Pennsylvania, was almost as prolific in his oratory as in his handwriting, and it was far easier to enjoy his magnificent rhetoric than his written sentences. Fillmore's style was methodical and slow; Pierce's quick, bold, and legible; Lincoln's small, careful, and rather labored; Grant's unpretending, and easily read. Perhaps I can not better terminate this desultory anecdote than by giving you the following copy of an autograph letter, now before me, written by Edwin Forrest in 1856, when he sent a subscription of two hundred dollars to the treasurer of the Democratic Committee of Pennsylvania to defray the expenses of electing James Buchanan. It is very carefully composed, and indicates the business exactitude which marked him throughout life. The verse of poetry which he inclosed with his check seemed to have been cut from a country newspaper, and was pinned to his sig. nature :
“Boston, November 29, 1856. MY DEAR SIR,-You must excuse me for not replying sooner to your letter of the 21st inst., but an unusual press of business, and other matters, prevented me from doing so at an earlier period.
“I herein inclose you a check for two hundred dollars, which you will apply to the liquidation of the debt incurred by the Democratic Committee during the late political canvass. Truly yours,
s«When Fremont raised a flag so high,
On Rocky Mountain's peak,
And light upon his cheek;
To greet the Colonel's sight,
Buck and Breck.'” [February 9, 1873.]
A REPUBLIC in Spain, bloodless as yet, and therefore full of promise of permanence, is indisputably the significant event of the times. As a peaceful revolution, it is a menace more formidable than armies to the absolute powers. As a result of free opinion and fearless discussion, it marks the education of nations and their upward growth to good government. Exactly how it will progress, or where it will end, save that it is one of those advances that know “no retiring ebb,” it is not necessary to debate. The formal and almost unanimous proclamation of the Spanish Republic, and the abdication of the foreign Italian King, remind me of an anecdote which may now be related as an instance of prophecy fulfilled. Edwin M. Stanton was always friendly to Daniel E. Sickles, and when the latter was most bitterly assailed he had a stanch champion in the
great lawyer, before and after he was a member of Lincoln's Cabinet. He believed the talents of Sickles were too signal not to be made use of during the war, and when the war was ended and Grant was President, he strongly urged that the accomplished New-Yorker should be called into the diplomatic seryice. When, therefore, General Sickles was appointed American Minister to Spain, in 1869, Mr. Stanton was much gratified. The ex-Secretary was at home at his residence, on K Street, Washington, D.C., when General Sickles and myself called on him. He was reclining on his bed as we entered his chamber, but he rose and greeted us heartily. It was evident that he was doomed. Worn out in one of the severest struggles that ever taxed human energy, and wasted in the weary conflict with Andrew Johnson, all that was left was the clear and magnetic brain. Walter Scott in his magnificent “Talisman" describes Richard of the Lion Heart sick in his tent among the Crusaders, and that splendid portraiture might have been applied to the invalid Secretary, with his feeble frame, and eager, nervous interest in passing events. Nothing escaped him. He was en rapport with the whole machinery of affairs, full of solicitude for Grant, and earnest for exact justice to all sections. “I wanted to see you both,” he said ; "you, General, as the new Minister to Spain, and you, Forney, as my steady newspaper friend. We must make no mistake about Spain. She is one of our oldest and ablest allies, and behaved splendidly to us during the rebellion, refusing to open her ports to the Confederate cruisers, and never plotting through her Minister here, like England, against our cause. The Spaniards are a proud, peculiar race, and we can not do any good for liberty in Cuba by hasty action. Their prejudices must be respected; their in- . terests must not be invaded; their traditions must be remembered. Things are moving in the right way at Madrid. I know this, gentlemen. There is a new Spain, and you will both live to see a solid Spanish Republic there if we can only restrain
our politicians about Cuba. That pear is ripening, and will fall as soon as the days of the kings are ended in Spain.” There was much more, equally emphatic and pointed. The wise, cautious, yet fearless conduct of General Sickles at the Spanish court greatly aided the Republican cause, and contributed much to the preservation of peaceful relations with the United States, and I have no doubt that this sagacious and prophetic counsel of Mr. Stanton was always present in the memory of the American Minister at Madrid.
[February 16, 1873-]
On January 15,1871, the first of these anecdotes, of which this is the last, appeared in the Washington Sunday Morning Chronicle. Written to rescue some of my experiences of men and things, they grew upon my hands until I found myself pledged to extend them to a hundred. As I review the curious medley, they resemble a picture-gallery crowded with familiar faces, many of them, in fact most of them, dead; and, alas ! not a few within the little more than two years during which these hasty sketches have appeared.
Following out the plan of delineating the best traits of my subjects, just as the painter conceals the blemishes even as he achieves a faithful portrait, I have also attempted to discover the objective point of every life, especially if this could be set out as an example to the young. What better theme could I desire, then, than George W. Childs, the proprietor of The Public Ledger, who will not be forty-four till May 12, 1873? He has accomplished as much in the last quarter of a century, and has done as much for his fellow-beings, as any character within my recollection. In his fifteenth year he came to Philadelphia, like