Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguised Men of His Time

Front Cover
Allen Thorndike Rice
General Books LLC, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 174 pages
Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1909. Excerpt: ... XIX LINCOLN IN HISTORY HEN Anson Burlingame was in this country V V the last time he gave me an account of his life in China, his relations with the principal personages there, and said, finally, "When I die they will erect monuments and temples to my memory. However much I may now protest, they will do that." This, we are told, the people and government of China have done. Gratitude to public benefactors is the common sentiment of mankind. It has found expression in every age; it finds expression in every condition of society. Monuments and temples seem to belong to the age of art rather than to the age of letters, but reflection teaches us that letters cannot fully express the obligations of the learned, even to their chief benefactors, and only in a less degree can epitaphs, essays and histories satisfy those who have not the opportunity and culture to read and understand them. Moreover, monuments and temples in honor of the dead express the sentiments of their contemporaries who survive; and the sentiments of contemporaries, when freed from passion, crystallize, usually, into opinion--the fixed, continuing opinion of mankind. Napoleon must ever remain great; Washington, good and great; Burke, the first of English orators; the younger Pitt, the chief of English statesmen; and Henry the Eighth, a dark character in British history. Time and reflection, the competing fame of new and illustrious men, the antiquarian and the critic, may modify the first-formed opinion, but seldom or never is it changed. The judgment rendered at the grave is a just judgment usually, but whether so or not it is not often disturbed. The fame of noble men is at once the most endearing and the most valuable public possession. Of the distant past it is all of value that remains; and of the recent past, the...

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