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LIFE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
further. They brought with them a full portion of all the riches of the past, in science, in art, in morals, religion, and literature. The Bible came with them. And it is not to be doubted, that to the free and universal reading of the Bible, in that age, men were much indebted for right views of civil liberty. The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of especial revelation from God; but it is also a book that teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow-man. The great elements, then, of the American system of government, originally introduced by the colonists, and which were early in operation, and ready to be developed, more and more, as the progress of events should justify or demand, were :
Escape from the existing political systems of Europe, including its religious hierarchies, but the continued possession and enjoyment of its science and arts, its literature, and its manners. Home government, or the power of making in the colony the municipal laws which were to govern it;
Equality of rights;
Representative assemblies, or forms of government founded on popular elections.
LIFE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN.-GEORGE BANCROFT.
The choice of America fell on a man born west of the Alloghanies, in the cabin of poor people of Hardin County, Kentucky -Abraham Lincoln.
His mother could read, but not write; his father could do neither; but his parents sent him, with an old spelling-book, to school, and he learned in his childhood to do both.
When eight years old he floated down the Ohio with his father on a raft which bore the family and all their possessions to the shore of Indiana; and, child as he was, he gave help as they toiled through dense forests to the interior of Spencer County. There in the land of free labor he grew up in a log-cabin, with the solemn solitude for his teacher in his meditative hours. Of
Asiatic literature he knew only the Bible; of Greek, Latin, and mediæval, no more than the translation of Æsop's Fables; of English, John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. The Traditions of George Fox and William Penn passed to him dimly along the lines of two centuries through his ancestors, who were Quakers.
Otherwise his education was altogether American. The Declaration of Independence was his compendium of political wisdorn, the Life of Washington · his constant study, and something of Jefferson and Madison reached him through Henry Clay, whom he honored from boyhood. For the rest, from day to day, he lived the life of the American people: walked in its light; reasoned with its reason; thought with its power of thought; felt the beatings of its mighty heart; and so was in every way a child of nature-a child of the West-a child of America.
At nineteen, feeling impulses of ambition to get on in the world, he engaged himself to go down the Mississippi in a flatboat, receiving ten dollars a month for his wages, and afterwards he made the trip once more. At twenty-one he drove his father's cattle as the family migrated to Illinois, and split rails to fence in the new homestead in the wild. At twenty-three he was captain of volunteers in the Black Hawk war. He kept a shop; he learned something of surveying; but of English literature he added to Bunyan nothing but Shakspeare's plays. At twenty-fivo he was elected to the Legislature Illinois, where he served eight years. At twenty-seven he was admitted to the bar. In 1837 he chose his home at Springfield, the beautiful center of the richest land in the State. In 1847 he was a menaber of the National Congress, where he voted about forty times in favor of the principle of the Jefferson proviso. In 1854 he gave his influence to elect from Illinois to the American Senate a Democrat who would certainly do justice to Kansas. In 1858, as the rival of Douglas, he went before the people of the mighty Prairie State saying: “This Union cannot permanently endure, half slave and half free; the Union will not be dissolved, but the house will cease to be divided ;' and now, in 1861, with no experience whatever as an executive officer, while States were madly flying from their orbit, and wise men knew not where to find counsel, this descendant of Quakers, this pupil of Bunyan, this child of the Great West, was elected President of America.
JOHN BURNS, OF GETTYSBURG.
He measured the difficulty of the duty that devolved upon him, and was resolved to fulfill it.
PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S SPEECH AT THE GETTYSBURG
FOURSCORE and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which those who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measures of devotion; that we here highly 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.
JOHN BURNS, OF GETTYSBURG.-F. B. HARTE.
HAVE you heard the story that gossips tell
Briefer the story of poor John Burns;
He was the fellow who won renown
And it was terrible. On the right
Just where the tide of battle turns,
How do you think the man was dressed ?
JOHN BURNS, OF GETTYSBURG.
Never had such a sight been seen,
Close at his elbows all that day,
'Twas but a moment, for that respect
Thus raged the battle. You know the rest: