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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, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
THE SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4TH, 1865.
FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN:- At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued, seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself; and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.
On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war,- seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.
One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves; not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.
Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before,
the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God: and each invokes his aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered that of neither has been answered fully.
The Almighty has his own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which in the providence of God must needs come, but which having continued through his appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, — shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to him? Fondly do we hope - fervently do we pray that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
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 ourselves and with all nations.
WILLIAM LINDSEY, an American poet and prose-writer, born in Massachusetts in 1858. His works are: "Apples of Istakhar" (1895), a volume of poems; and "Cinder-Path Tales" (1896), stories of athletic sports.
ATHERTON'S LAST "HALF."
(From "Cinder-Path Tales.") 1
BACK in the mountains of North Carolina, where the air is like a tonic, free from all taint of river mist and swamp malaria, and medicined by the fragrance of pine and hemlock, lives Teddy Atherton.
His house is perched on a spur of the mountains, and can be seen with a good glass from Asheville on a clear day. It has green blinds, tall wooden pillars, and granite steps. It is the pattern that New England builders used to fancy fifty years ago or more, and looks a bit strange in its setting of mountain and forest. Here Teddy spends his time among his books, fishing and hunting, in the company of his dogs, or the society of an occasional friend, truant from business or profession.
For a few weeks only in midsummer he risks the dangers of our east winds, and is seen at the Somerset and Country Clubs, much to the gratification of a host of friends.
He has had me South with him a couple of times, and never goes back without inviting me to dine with him. I always accept, though the pleasure of his society is more than offset by painful recollections. We linger long at the table over my favorite madeira, and we talk of the old days, the old contests, and the old boys, grown now to be stout merchants, lawyers, and I know not what. Some of them have lads who will bring new honor to names already famous on track and field, and some, alas! have been beaten out by that famous runner and certain final winner, old Death himself.
1 By permission of Copeland & Day.
Often, as I sit and watch Atherton across the table, there comes into my eyes, not at all accustomed to such a freak, so clear a hint of moisture, that nothing but a mighty volume of smoke saves me from detection.
He is a small man, five feet five or less, and not exceeding eight stone in weight. His closely shaven face is thin and brown, his eyes dark and full of fire, his mouth firm and sensitive. There is nothing of the despairing or helpless invalid about him; his shoulders are square, and his movements resolute; yet he knows, and I know, that his life hangs by a thread. I know whose fault it is, in part at least, that his days are numbered, that his chest is hollow, and that, despite his selfcontrol, he cannot restrain every now and again that hacking cough.
I shall tell the story, not because I like to, but as a warning to those who are willing to make a winner, no matter what the risk or cost.
Late on an afternoon, just before the intercollegiate games of 188, there sat on the gymnasium steps a group of college sports, with heavy brows and serious minds.
Even the weather was dubious, for the wind had worked round into the east, the clouds were gathering, and the air was damp and dismal. What few men there were on the track wore sweaters, and one or two had pulled long trousers over their trunks to keep their legs warm. The elms had got their heads together, as if conspiring mischief, and we had talked ourselves pretty well out with no good results.
We had that day given the team a serious "try out," and were fairly contented with its showing in all the events but the "half."
There was no question about it, Bates could not call the trick; that is, not with his present showing.
We all agreed that he was good enough, but he had no head at all. He ran his second quarter to the "queen's taste," and finished strong and well; but on his first lap he sogered like a Turk, and came in at least five seconds slow. He had no idea whatever of pace, was not a sprinter, and was easy for any opponent with a turn of speed, who would trail him round and pass him in the stretch.
We had told Sherman (who had no chance to win, and knew it) to run the first lap in fifty-nine, instructing Bates to stay with him. Bates stayed all right, but Sherman was as far off
as the man he paced, in the first trial running in sixty-three, which was as bad as ever; and in the second pulling him out to fifty-six, so that neither finished.
The question was, who should make pace for Bates.
There were, sprawling on the steps that night, beside myself, Griffith, Smith, "Doc," and of course Tom Furness, for Tom had missed few such conclaves in the last half-dozen years.
Now, the public knows pretty well who wins the events, but mighty little about the planning and contriving by which the athletic material of a college is developed and made the most of. Upon us five rested much of the responsibility for making winners of the team of 188-. With me it was a matter of business and professional standing; to the others, the glory of their college, and the personal satisfaction of having added to it. All of them were practical men, who had in days gone by carried their college colors, and Tom Furness had been a mighty good athlete, who had put a record where it stood untouched for a good five years. Tom was tall, fair, and sanguine. An optimist by nature, he never dreamed of anything but success, was a favorite with the graduates, while the college worshiped him. I never saw the man who could put heart into a losing team like Tom Furness.
Just below him sat "Doc" Peckham, dark and silent. He was short and brown bearded, the very opposite of Tom, and had a rather embarrassing way of puncturing Tom's pretty bubbles. He was not so well liked as Furness, but was after all fully as valuable an adviser. He had a good practice in the city, but managed, in some way, to leave it whenever he was needed. Griffith and Smith were men who, as a rule, agreed with the majority, and myself in particular; so they were quite as useful as if they had been perpetually inventing foolish plans.
We had been silent a full minute, which is not long for a crowd of college "graybeards," when Tom Furness jumped to his feet with the air of a man who has made up his mind, expects opposition, but is still confident of the integrity of his position, and said, "Teddy Atherton's our man."
"Teddy Atherton be blowed," said "Doc," who sat on the bottom step, his knees under his chin, drawing inspiration from his pipe. "He's run nothing but the quarter' for the last three years, and while he shows a fraction slower than Allen and Waite in practice, has a better head, and I would not give a toss-up for the difference between them."