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BILL

Jan, can

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PREFACE.

It is still too early to know Abraham Lincoln, but it is none too soon to use such knowledge as we have for adding to our conception of him, and for shaping our praise and honor. He lived so openly among mer, and he was surrounded by such a mass of eager, positive men and women in a time when the mind of man was especially alert, he was so much the object of criticism and of eulogy, and above all he was himself a man of such varied attitude toward other men, that we are likely for years to come to have an increasing volume of testimony concerning him.

Meanwhile there is slowly taking form in the general apprehension of men a figure so notable, so individual, so powerful, that men everywhere are recognizing the fact, that however other Americans may be regarded, there is one man who holds the interest, the profound respect, and the affection of the people as none other has yet done. Franklin has been widely influential, but he has not appealed to the highest spirit. He does not invite reverence, and only he is truly great to whom we look up. Washington has a place by himself, so aloof from other men, that with all our efforts we cannot perfectly succeed in humanizing him, but are content to leave him heroic. Jackson is the idol of a party; but Lincoln, appearing at a critical period, and showing himself a great leader, is

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