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can flag, was a mute expression of that deep grief for America's loss which filled every heart. The speeches were n') mere formal expresions of horror of the crime, or regret for the death of a chief magistrate of great eminence and worth. These sentiments were indeed uppermost in the minds of all; but those who met on that occasion were thoroughly at one with the people of the north in their great task of subduing the slaveholders' rebellion, and building up the Union on the more sure and enduring basis of freedom.
From the speeches delivered on that occasion, the speech of Mr. W. E. Forster, member of parliament for Bradford has been selected as an example of the spirit that pervaded the meeting, and as an evidence of the similarity of the effect produced by the sad event, on the people and the representatives of the people, both in England and the United States Mr. Forster spoke as follows:
“ The resolution which has been entrusted to me, and which I now move, is as follows :
“Resolved,- That this meeting desires to give utterance to the feelings of grief and horror with which it has heard of the assassination of President Lincoln, and the murderous attack upon Mr. Seward, and to convey to Mrs. Lincoln and to the United States government and people an expression of its profound sympathy and heartfelt condolence.' In moving this resolution I wish to say but a few words. There are
many speakers here this evening, and you will agree with me that this is a time at which many should have an opportunity of trying to express their feelings, and I am sure that all who speak will agree with me in saying that we can find no words that really can express what we feel. This is a time when that tie of blood which binds Englishmen to Americans, and of which we so often talk, is indeed truly felt. A thrill of grief, horror, and indignation has swept throughout the length and breadth of Europe, as this terrible news has been conveyed to the nations, and it possesses the heart of almost every Englishman as though some terrible calamity had befallen himself. It is to the credit of our country, and it would indeed be to our shame, were it otherwise, that such is the case. With very few exceptions, rich and poor, friends of the north, and friends of the south, all are anxious to show that they forget all differences with our American kinsmen in social or political arrangements, all disagreements with them in matters of policy, in overwhelming sympathy with them in this their most sore trial.
But while America has thus especial claims upon the sympathy of England it certainly does preëminently become that society, of which you, sir, are the chairman, and all of us, who, though not members of that society, have advocated its principles, that there should be a restoration of the Union with emancipation for its condition - to take the lead in expressing its indignation at the assassination which has taken place.
The freedom from the bond of slavery will be a blessing to this country and to the world, and we hasten to come forward to express our sympathy when the man who has done so much to obtain that result is thus struck down. He was the man to whom of all men it would seem that God had entrusted the duty of restoring the Union, and of freeing it from slavery, and he has been struck down just at that time when he had reason to hope that that task, to accomplish which he had been toiling with such devotion and such single-minded earnestness, had been accomplished. That the commission of such a crime as this should have been permitted, and permitted at such a time, may well seem to be a mystery, but
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
And rides upon the storm.'
And are not the whole of us beginning to see that in this civil war which has raged throughout America, and in this fearful revolution through which this people are passing, God has been working, and his work is still to purge that country and that people from the sin of slavery? But this murdered patriot had read the lesson and had learned it. The handwriting upon the wall was guiding him. From those words of solemn beauty which he was led to utter at his recent inauguration, though even then the knife of the assas
sin was hanging over his head, he saw, it is plain, that God had willed that this offence should cease, and that there should be woe upon all those, whether in the north or in the south, through whom this offence had come, and if we can thoroughly prophesy any one result that will follow from this foul crime, it is this, that the offence will all the more speedily cease, and that slavery will be a thing of the past. Like you, sir, I do not charge this crime upon the leaders of the south. It would be unpardonable of any Englishman to add fuel to that fire of anger and to that burning of heart from which every American must pray he may be preserved, by saying or insinuating that any of these leaders either instigated this crime or were acquainted with it, but I do trace it to the influence of that system of slavery which those leaders have rebelled and have fought to preserve. Doubtless this assassin and his miserable accomplices were men of morbid nature and anomalous monsters, but it needed the influence of such a social system as this — that system which gratified every bad passion and reeked it upon the weak and powerless, and which burnt black men alive, and murdered white men because they were abolitionists — I say it needed the influence of a system like this to train such a miserable man as this Booth to become a parricide. Any man who has studied the experience of the last few years must feel that there is no peace and safety to that country until the system of slavery is totally abolished, and if he
required further proof that there can be no terms possible between the Union and slavery, this must convince him. I have only one word more to add, and that is, that we must not allow the ship that leaves our shores to-night to take merely the message of our sympathy with the widow and the orphan, and with that country which has truly lost its father. I am sure this meeting will not be content with merely expressing its sympathy with our kinsmen in their present calamity, but that we shall express also our faith in their future and our confident belief that we have so learned the lesson of our common history that even at this hour of their need they will show what strength a free Christian people have to bear up against the blow than which no greater one has fallen upon a commonwealth. They will show how they can bear up against it without their power being paralysed and without any diminution of their selfreliance and self-restraint, and may we not also express our hopeful trust that those rulers to whom God has now entrusted their fate will be so imbued with the spirit of the patriot statesman they have just lost, and so imbued with the spirit of mingled firmness and moderation which has been exercised with integrity and judgment under circumstances than which none were ever more trying, that they will carry out the good work he began, and they will honor the name of Abraham Lincoln, which will be preëminent in all future history, and I hope they will