A Life Of Gen. Robert E. Lee Part 1

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A Life Of Gen. Robert E. Lee  Part 1

The Name Of Lee Is Beloved And Respected Throughout The World. Men Of
All Parties And Opinions Unite In This Sentiment, Not Only Those Who
Thought And Fought With Him, But Those Most Violently Opposed To His
Political Views And Career. It Is Natural That His Own People Should
Love And Honor Him As Their Great Leader And Defender In A Struggle Of
Intense Bitterness--That His Old Enemies Should Share This Profound
Regard And Admiration Is Due Solely To The Character Of The
Individual. His Military Genius Will Always Be Conceded, And His
Figure Remain A Conspicuous Landmark In History; But This Does Not
Account For The Fact That His Very Enemies Love The Man. His Private
Character Is The Origin Of This Sentiment. The People Of The North, No
Less Than The People Of The South, Feel That Lee Was Truly Great; And
The Harshest Critic Has Been Able To Find Nothing To Detract From This
View Of Him. The Soldier Was Great, But The Man Himself Was Greater.
No One Was Ever Simpler, Truer, Or More Honest. Those Who Knew Him
Best Loved Him The Most. Reserved And Silent, With A Bearing Of Almost
Austere Dignity, He Impressed Many Persons As Cold And Unsympathetic,
And His True Character Was Long In Revealing Itself To The World.
To-Day All Men Know What His Friends Knew During His Life--That Under
The Grave Exterior Of The Soldier, Oppressed With Care And Anxiety,
Beat A Warm And Kindly Heart, Full Of An Even Extraordinary Gentleness
And Sweetness; That The Man Himself Was Not Cold, Or Stiff, Or
Harsh, But Patient, Forbearing, Charitable Under Many Trials Of His
Equanimity, And Magnanimous Without Effort, From The Native Impulse Of
His Heart. Friend And Foe Thus To-Day Regard Him With Much The Same
Sentiment, As A Genuinely Honest Man, Incapable Of Duplicity In
Thought Or Deed, Wholly Good And Sincere, Inspired Always Under All
Temptations By That _Prisca Fides_ Which Purifies And Ennobles, And
Resolutely Bent, In The Dark Hour, As In The Bright, On The Full
Performance Of His Duty. "Duty Is The Sublimest Word In Our Language,"
He Wrote To His Son; And, If We Add That Other August Maxim, "Human
Virtue Should Be Equal To Human Calamity," We Shall Have In A Few
Words A Summary Of The Principles Which Inspired Lee.

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