Page images

undiscouraged will was patient to obduracy. He was not fighting for reputation, nor for the display of generalship, nor for a future Presidency. , He had but one motive, and that as intense as life itself—the subjugation of the rebellion and the restoration of the broken Union. He embodied the feelings of the common people; he was their perfect representative. The war was waged for the maintenance of the Union, the suppression of armed resistance, and, at length, for the eradication of slavery. Every step, from Donelson to Appomattox, evinced with increasing intensity this, his one terrible purpose. He never wavered, turned aside, or dallied; he waded through blood to the horses' bridles.

The moment that the South lay panting and helpless upon the ground, Grant carried himself with magnanimous and sympathetic consideration. He imposed no humiliating conditions, spared the feelings of his antagonists, sent home the disbanded Southern men with food and with horses for working their crops, and when a revengeful spirit in the Executive chair showed itself, and threatened the chief Southern generals, Grant, with a holy indignation, interposed himself and compelled his superior to relinquish his rash purpose. He never forgot that the South was a part of the country.

* The tidings of his death, long expected, gave a shock to the whole world. Governments, rulers, eminent statesmen, and scholars from all civilized nations gave sincere tokens of sympathy. For the hour sympathy rolled as a wave over all our own land. It closed the last furrow of war, it extinguished the last prejudice, it effaced the last vestige of hatred, and cursed be the hand that shall bring them back!



Johnson and Buckner on one side, Sherman and Sheridan upon the other, of his bier, he went to his tomb, a silent symbol that liberty had conquered slavery, patriotism rebellion, and peace war.

He rests in peace. No drum or cannon shall disturb his rest. Sleep, hero, until another trumpet shall shake the heavens and the earth-then come forth to glory in immortality!




EEN out in the lifeboat often ? Ay, ay, sir, oft

enough. When it's rougher than this? Why, bless you! this

ain't what we calls rough! It's when there's a gale a-blowin', and the waves run in

and break On the shore with a roar like thunder and the white

cliffs seem to shake; When the sea is a storm of waters, and the bravest

holds his breath As he hears the cry for the lifeboat-his summons

maybe to death, That's when we call it rough, sir; but, if we can get

her afloat, There's always enough brave fellows ready to man the


You've heard of the Royal Helen, the ship as was The night as she struck was reckoned the worst as ever

wrecked last year? Yon be the rock she struck on the boat as went out

be here;

we had, And this is a coast in winter where the weather be

awful bad. The beach here was strewed with wreckage, and to tell

you the truth, sir, then Was the only time as ever we'd a bother to get the


The single chaps was willin', and six on 'em volun

teered, But most on us here is married, and the wives that

night was skeered.

Our women ain't chicken-hearted when it comes to

savin' lives, But death that night looked certain and our wives

be only wives; Their lot ain't bright at the best, sir; but here, when

the man lies dead, 'Tain't only a husband missin', it's the children's daily

bread; So our women began to whimper and beg o' the chaps

to stayI only heerd on it after, for that night I was kept away. I was up at my cottage, yonder, where the wife lay

nigh her end, She'd been ailin' all the winter, and nothin' 'ud make

her mend.

The doctor had given her up, sir, and I knelt by her

side and prayed, With my eyes all red with weepin', that Death's hand

might yet be stayed.

I heerd the wild wind howlin', and I looked on the

wasted form, And thought of the awful shipwreck as had come in the

ragin' storm; The wreck of my little homestead—the wreck of my

dear old wife, Who'd sailed with me forty years, sir, o'er the troublous

waves of life, And I looked at the eyes so sunken, as had been my

harbor lights, To tell of the sweet home haven in the wildest, darkest


She knew she was sinkin' quickly—she knew as her end

was nigh, But she never spoke o' the troubles as I knew on her

heart must lie, For we'd had one great big sorrow with Jack, our only


He'd got into trouble in London, as lots o' the lads ha'

done ; Then he'd bolted, his masters told us—he was allus

what folk call wild. From the day as I told his mother, her dear face never

smiled. We heerd no more about him, we never knew where he

went, And his mother pined and sickened for the message he

never sent.

I had


work to think of, but she had her grief to nurse, So it eat away at her heartstrings, and her health grew

worse and worse.

[ocr errors]

And the night as the Royal Helen went down on

yonder sands, I sat and watched her dyin', holdin' her wasted hands. She moved in her doze a little, then her eyes were

opened wide, And she seemed to be seekin' somethin', as she looked

from side to side; Then half to herself she whispered, “ Where's Jack, to

say good-bye ? It's hard not to see my darlin', and kiss him afore I

die !”

my mates

I was stoopin' to kiss and soothe her, while the tears

ran down my cheek, And my lips were shaped to whisper the words I

couldn't speak, When the door of the room burst open,

and were there outside With the news that the boat was launchin'. “ You're

wanted !" their leader cried. “ You've never refused to go, John; you'll put these

cowards right. There's a dozen of lives, maybe, John, as lie in our

hands to-night !" 'Twas old Ben Brown, the captain ; he'd laughed at the

; women's doubt. We'd always been first on the beach, sir, when the boat

was goin' out.

I didn't move, but I pointed to the white face on the

bed I can't go, mate,” I murmured ; “in an hour she may

be dead.

« PreviousContinue »