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their death. This General Grant declined to accept, and the articles were turned over directly to the Government, and placed in the museum at Washington.
aid of General Grant should pass, and interest was again revived in it.
At last, just in the final hour of the session, an agreement was reached whereby On February 20, 1885, the first bulletin of a vote was taken. Congressman Randall General Grant's condition reached the public: moved that, by unanimous consent, the bill "The action of Congress in refusing to pass be taken up, and to this the Democratic the bill restoring him to his honors, has been majority of the House agreed, provided a very depressing to him," the physicians said; certain contested election case was taken "but he is feeling very comfortable other- up and voted upon. Thereupon Mr. Wilson wise." They were making the best of a of Iowa, the holder of the contested seat, very bad case, for Grant was already reduced who had thus far successfully filibustered in weight from nearly two hundred pounds against his opponent, generously rose and to barely one hundred and forty-five, though said: "In order that this Congress shall do his face did not show this emaciation. By justice to the hero of Donelson and AppoFebruary 17th he had nearly ceased to mattox, I yield to the request of the gentlework on his book. The first volume was man from Pennsylvania." It cost him his finished, and the second was begun; but the seat and his salary, but the bill restoring resolution of even his indomitable soul could Grant to his military rank and placing him not master the growing weakness and lassi- on the retired list was passed. President tude of his body. He became silent and Arthur was in the Capitol, waiting to sign distrait, and sat amidst his family in abstrac- the bill. He affixed his signature, the fortion which filled them with terror. When mal nomination of Grant went immediately alone, he lay stretched out on his reclining- to the Senate, and the Senate at once conchair, facing the fire, with eyes which saw neither flame nor wall. Occasionally, when roused by some friend, he spoke of his book, and expressed a desire to finish it. He spoke of it as one might who wished to complete some task before going on an inevitable journey. He was waiting the summons of the bugle, and was ready to obey.
RESTORATION TO HIS OLD RANK.
He was confined not merely to the house, but to his room. To walk around the hall and back was a long walk. Visitors were at last denied him, but he had around him nearly his entire family. His sons were with him constantly, and his daughter Nellie had been sent for. Little by little the details of the General's condition became public, and the returning regard of the world began to make itself felt. Resolutions of sympathy began to come in from State legislatures and other bodies. The Assembly of New York expressed to the New York delegation in Congress its wish that the bill in
The honor came almost too late for "the old commander." When the telegram announcing it was read to him, his eyes did not brighten, and he uttered no word of pleasure nor even of interest. He had gone beyond the reach of acts of Congress. He had loosened his hold on life. "I am a very sick man," he said to a friend; and in his eyes was the look of a hunted creature, weary and hopeless of rest.
A FATAL DIAGNOSIS.
During all this time the disease never rested. The ulcer ate its way deep into his throat, sapping his vitality and undermining his superb courage. It was recognized at last to be a very grave matter indeed, and the friends of the General began to allude to it as cancer. Up to this time the ulceration had not been considered incurable. Dr. Douglas and Dr. Barker grew alarmed at last, and called in other physicians for consultation. Even then no decision as to the character of the disease was reached. About the 10th of March a piece of the diseased tissue was placed before Dr. G. R. Elliot, an expert microscopist, who also submitted it to Dr. George F. Shrady. Dr. Shrady, who was afterwards called into the case as one of the consulting surgeons, corroborated the opinion of Dr. Elliot. Without know ing whence the tissue came nor anything of the case at the time, he made an examina
tion, and immediately reported: "This tissue comes from the throat and base of the tongue, and is affected with cancer."
Dr. Elliot, though this was also his own conclusion, said: "This is a very important matter; are you sure?"
"Perfectly sure. The patient from whom this tissue comes has epithelial cancer." Almost in a whisper the other said: "That tissue comes from the throat of General Grant."
Dr. Shrady replied slowly: "Then General Grant is doomed."
and see the green grass and the budding. trees it would help him. His illness brought out the purely human side of the great historical character. He became as gentle and patient as a woman.
The 27th of March being a fine, warm day, he was taken to ride in the Park, and seemed brightened by the change. on his return he was met by several attorneys engaged in the trial of Fish, the former president of the Marine Bank. General Grant's testimony was needed; and though emaciated, worn with loss of sleep, and This appalling verdict of the men of speaking with great difficulty, the General science was made public after a consultation went to his duty resolutely and with a cerat General Grant's house, and the news was tain readiness. He told all he knew concernflashed round the world that General Grant ing the case, sparing neither Fish nor was attacked by cancer and was fighting his Ward. He said that he had no knowledge last battle. The nation awoke to sympathy. of any speculation in government contracts, All criticism of the great General was for and that he had distinctly charged Ward not the time laid aside, and the Christian public to have any such business, and had informed offered daily prayers for his recovery. But him that if the firm of Grant and Ward was he grew daily weaker. He could not sleep concerned in any way with such business, he without morphia, and yet he fought against must retire. its use. He feared becoming a victim to its power, and endured to the utmost the agonies of sleeplessness before asking for relief. He was the most docile of patients. You are in command here, " he would say to Dr. Shrady.
In order to take even liquid food, he was forced to fling the contents of the bowl down his throat at one gulp, before the spasm closed his throat. It required all his resolution to do this. Yet he seldom uttered a word of complaint. He never forgot to be courteous and mindful of others. He obeyed his nurses like a child, at the same time that his great brain pondered upon questions national in scope. He concealed his despondency with studied care from his wife, and was careful that she should not see him at his worst. His son Frederick and his physicians perceived the whole truth of his condition. The expediency of performing a radical surgical operation was discussed early in the case, but the surgeons considered the cancer too deeply rooted to be removed by the knife.
The anodyne and the disease combined at times to produce dazing effect, and his mind wandered. Once he said: "I am detailed from four to six." He was back at West Point, a ruddy youth again. Once he clutched his throat, and cried out, "The cannon did it," thinking, perhaps, of the officer whose head was blown away by solid shot at Palo Alto. He longed for spring to come, and thought if he could get out
The examination occupied less than an hour, but it exhausted him, and he had a very bad night. Three days later he had a choking spell so deadly in its sudden seizure that he rose from his chair in agony, crying out to his nurse: "Oh, I can't stand it! I must die! I must go!" But the spasm passed away, and under the ministrations of the physicians he became easier.
It was now certain that General Grant was dying, and the usually quiet street swarmed with reporters and with curious and sympathetic people, who walked slowly past, looking up at the windows shining with the flare of gas-jets at full flame.
AN INSTANCE OF GRANT'S UNSELFISHNESS.
The 31st of March was made memorable by a strange incident. A professed astrologer had cast the General's horoscope, and predicted that he would die on the 31st of March. The family were anxious to keep all such matters from the General, and papers containing them were excluded from his chamber. But one morning, when the family returned to the General's room from breakfast, they found him intent on the astrologer's prediction.
They made no remark about it, but tried to keep his mind off the thought of death, and yet he seemed to dwell upon it. As the date set in the prediction drew near, he seemed to be asking very often, "What day of the month is to-day?" He sometimes
asked twice in the same day; and when his son Ulysses answered on one occasion, he said: "You told me that before."
"I know I did, father; but it was this morning."
"I had forgotten it," he replied. anodynes had affected his memory.
The family were alarmed at his anxiety. He seemed to be dwelling on that particular day in March. At last the dreaded day came, and then it fell out that it was the day on which he was to receive his first month's pay as General Grant. He had been thinking of that, and not of the astrologer's prediction. He could scarcely wait until the money came. When it was placed in his hands, he at once made it up into rolls, which he passed to his sons and his wife, retaining only twenty-five dollars. He cared nothing for money himself, but he was eager to put it into their hands. It was the final seal upon his restoration to honor and trust. His constant reference to the 31st of March showed how deeply, after all, he appreciated the return of the nation's confidence and pride in him. His indifference had been concealment.
"He is the most suppressive man I ever knew," said one of his physicians at the time. "He is not devoid of emotional nature, but his emotions from early life have been diverted from their natural channels of expression, and have expended themselves at the vital centers. What has been called imperturbability in him is simply introversion of his feelings."
Toward the end of the day, as he grew easier, the General said reassuringly: "Yes, I am much better. I think I shall pull through after all."
To his son Ulysses he said: "I am ready to go. No Grant ever feared to die. I am not afraid to die, but your mother is not ready to let me go away. My only wish is to leave her so that she will not want."
But that night the physicians did not leave the house. They feared the worst. Some time in the early morning, Dr. Shrady, who was sleeping in a near-by room, was roused by Dr. Douglas, who called him in great excitement, saying, "Get up; the General is dying."
As the two physicians reentered the room, the members of the family were all gathered about the General's chair. Mrs. Grant was kneeling by his side, imploring him to speak. His head was fallen upon his breast, and he was drawing his breath with
great difficulty. There was no time to be lost.
What shall we do?" asked Dr. Douglas, who was overcome with emotion. Hold on; let us try some stimulants; the General is not dead yet," replied Dr. Shrady; and with Dr. Douglas's consent, he began to inject brandy into the veins of the General's wrist. In a short time after the first touch of the syringe, the pulse perceptibly improved. The stimulant was having its effect. To the weeping family, Dr. Shrady said: "Don't despair; the pulse is improving. The General must not die. We will take the last chance."
Meanwhile, the Rev. Dr. Newman appeared with a baptismal bowl filled with water, from which he solemnly and with due form baptized the unconscious and apparently dying man.
In a few minutes the General was able to He wanted to know what had happened. "I am surprised," he said gently to his wife, as he comprehended the meaning of the baptismal water. He then murmured something about Hamilton Fish and his book. A little later he was able to say, "I want to live and finish my book." That seemed to be the most important thing.
A MARKED CHANGE FOR THE BETTER.
A marvellous change for the better now took place in the patient's condition. The sloughing of the diseased tissue left him easier, and the gnawing of the disease. seemed to stop. He swallowed with less pain than for many weeks. He relished his food, and his gain was perceptible from hour to hour. Two days after the night when he seemed to be dying, he was walking about the room, and smiling and bowing at the window to the great crowds in the street. Easter Sunday, when a great crowd was before the house, Dr. Shrady, upon whom the writing of the daily bulletins had fallen, said: "General, there are hundreds of people in the street waiting to hear how you are this morning."
'They are very good. I am very grateful to them," Grant replied.
"What shall I say to them?"
Say I am very comfortable." "Why not tell me, General, what you would like to have said, and I will embody it in a special bulletin as coming from you?'
Then in faltering speech the General said: "I am very much touched-and grateful
for the sympathy and interest manifested in me by my friends-" he hesitated-" and by those who have not hitherto been regarded as friends."
His inherent delicacy would not let him speak of any one as his enemy at this time. He was magnanimous beyond most men; but there were those whom he could not forgive, and to whom he never alluded.
He was still gaining miraculously on the 9th of April, the twentieth anniversary of Appomattox. The date was referred to by General Badeau, but Grant only answered with a sad smile. He had no desire to celebrate it in any way. He was still troubled about the future of his family, and as he grew stronger, the desire to finish his book came back. With that done, he would consider his work on earth finished.
Now that this sudden turn to strength took place, the papers took on an injured tone. Their sympathy had been wasted. The General was reported to be taking his meals with his family, and actually eating solid food once more. Every one was glad to have the illustrious patient recover, of course, but no one liked to be misled by a corps of doctors. Therefore, the attending physicians were denounced as men of little knowledge and of no discernment. The funny men fell upon them with a rush. Imaginary bulletins were printed, giving humorous details of the condition of the doctors, signed, "U. S. Grant." Comic head-lines abounded. "Grant Thinks the Doctors Will Pull Through." The Doctors Still Gain Slowly." "A Bad Day for the Doctors. General Grant Watching Them Closely." Their pulse was reported as "rising almost as high as their bills." They were called "the silent men," in derision of their sudden abandonment of bulletins. Great pressure was brought to bear to get outsiders admitted to a trial of their hands upon the patient.
The General remained loyal to his physicians. He believed in them, and no pressure could move him. He said to Dr. Shrady: "Never mind what people say. You are right. Don't be afraid. I am the one to be pleased, and I am satisfied. Hold the fort."
Spring opened warm and wet, and the patient was oppressed by it. His gain was fitful. There were days when he worked, and days when he did little but sit and dream, always in that strangely suggestive attitude, propped in a reclining chair, his limbs wrapped in a gray robe, his hands folded on
his breast, his eyes looking straight ahead, searching dim seas of speculation. Sometimes he drove out for a short time, tottering to his carriage. Surrounded by the street scenes and the brisk, agile, and curious pedestrians, he seemed but the wraith of his stern, self-reliant manhood. When he felt particularly well, he dictated to a stenographer, walking painfully up and down the room, till his voice failed him; after that he whispered his words into the stenographer's ear. At last he was forced to write it all with his own hand. The malignant ulcer, like a living thing, had reached out and laid hold upon the vocal cords, and silenced the voice of The Great Commander forever. But he toiled with a desperate resolution painful to witness.
About the middle of May, interested persons spread the report that the General was not writing his book himself. This was contradicted by those who saw him working day by day, and the General himself despatched a letter to his publishers wherein he stated conclusively that the book was his own and that no one else had any claim upon it.
He took pleasure in his work, for it helped him forget his pain and weariness. "It is my life," he said to a friend. Every day, every hour, is a week of agony. I am easier when employed."
REMOVAL TO MOUNT MCGREGOR.
As May grew old, the weather became more and more oppressive, and Grant began again to fail. Then the question of removing him to the mountains came up, and it was decided to take him out of the city at once. The press of the nation grew serious again. It was perceived that the physicians knew their business after all. A friend (Mr. Joseph W. Drexel) put his cottage on Mount McGregor at the General's service, and it was decided to accept of the offer, and June 16th was fixed upon as the day of removal. Thereafter Grant was eager to get away. longed with ever-increasing wistfulness for the trees and the sky and the wholesome influence of nature's springtime life.
He did not deceive himself. He knew he was going away to die, but he was eager to escape the town and the close confinement of his room. When he came out to enter his carriage that beautiful June day, he was like a man walking toward his open grave. His tottering step, his emaciated limbs, and his pale and weary face were indices of the power of the dread disease. There was no
more joking on the part of the public. The crowd stood in silent awe to see him pass. As he entered the train, some of the officials saluted him, and he disengaged his hand from his son's arm to return the salute. Some ladies bowed to him, and he returned their salutations with instant courtesy; and so he entered the car and was whirled away up the pleasant shores of the Hudson River. Naturally he thought of West Point, which had seemed so beautiful to him when he first saw it, a country youth of seventeen, and it seemed more beautiful still, now that as a dying man of three score years and three he was looking upon it for the last time. As he passed it, he turned to his wife and smiled a sad smile, and tried to speak, but could not his voice was utterly gone.
The day after Grant's arrival at Mount McGregor was made memorable by a significant message. After returning from a walk which he seemed to enjoy, Grant grew restless and unaccountable in action. He moved to and fro in the cottage as if seeking something, and at last, by signs, he made known his wish for pencil and paper. Being furnished therewith, he sat writing busily for some time, and then handed two letters to Colonel Grant. One was addressed to Dr. Douglas; the other one bore the superscription: "Memoranda for my family.'
There was something ominous in his action, and the son tore open the letter in great anxiety. It was a message of death. "I feel that I am failing," he had written; and then passed on to certain things which he wished taken care of after his death.
The family were thrown into an agony of grief, but the General sat quietly in his chair, as if resignedly waiting the end. Fear was not in his face; only weariness and lofty patience. His work was done. He had given up the fight. His invincible will to live was withdrawn; henceforward the physicians must fight alone.
The days that followed were simply days of pain and brave endurance, as his life forces slowly ebbed away. Occasionally he hobbled out into the sunshine on the piazza, but for the most part he kept to his chair and mused in statue-like immobility on incommunicable themes.
People from the surrounding country came in procession past the cottage, eager to catch a glimpse of the most renowned man of his time. The railway brought other swarms of curious or sympathetic tourists, and they stole near and gazed si
lently upon the dying man, and then moved on. He was not annoyed as another might have been by these passing shadows. Once he wrote of them: "To pass my time pleasantly, I should like to talk with them if I could.” If they bowed to him he returned their salutes; and once, when a woman passing removed her bonnet, he struggled to his feet and removed his hat in acknowledgment. His favorite seat was a willow chair which stood at the northeast corner of the veranda, and there he sat during the middle hours of each day to enjoy the sun and air; as it grew chill, he returned to his fireside. He listened as courteously to the spokesman of a troop of school children, or to a little girl presenting a bouquet, as to a delegation of leading citizens or foreign journalists.
Alluding to his work, he said, "I have no connected account now to write. Occasionally I see something that suggests a few remarks. . . . At times it taxes my brain to work, now it would not. If I had a chapter to write in my book, it would give me pleasure to write it. I am thankful, however, that the work is done and I am not to add to it."
Though he was pain-weary and foreboding death, he joked a little. Once he alluded to the doctor's close-cut hair, and said it was done in order that, if the doctor was stopped at Sing Sing, on his way to Mount McGregor, he would be properly clipped. During an examination of his throat, he wrote in explanation of an attempt to whisper another jocose remark: "I said if you want anything larger in the way of a spatula-is that what you call it ?—I saw a man behind