I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Letter to Mrs. Bixby of Boston, who lost five sons killed in battle. Nov. 21, 1864.
Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondmans two-hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right,3 let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nations wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphanto do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
Remark attributed to Lincoln.
Note 1. They have seen in his [Douglass] round, jolly fruitful face, post-offices, land-offices, marshalships and cabinet-appointments, charge-ships and foreign missions, bursting out in wonderful exuberance, ready to be laid hold of by their greedy hands. Ibid. [back]