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of July with a paper in the President's own cated to Jewett or Sanders, and whether they, handwriting, expressed in these words : in their constant fittings to and fro over the EXECUTIVE Mansion,
Suspension Bridge, ever made known to Clay WASHINGTON, July 18, 1864.
and Holcombe the conditions of negotiation To whom it may
concern: Any proposition laid down by Mr. Lincoln in his letters of the which embraces the restoration of peace, the integ- 9th and 15th of July. At all events they prerity of the whole Union, and the abandonment of tended to be ignorant of any such conditions, slavery, and which comes by and with an authority and assumed that the President had sent Mr. that can control the armies now at war against the Greeley to invite them to Washington without United States, will be received and considered by credentials and without conditions, to convey the Executive government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on other substantial to Richmond his overtures of peace. They and collateral points, and the bearer or bearers did not say with any certainty that even in thereof shall have safe conduct both ways.
that event his overtures would have been acABRAHAM LINCOLN. cepted, but expressed the hope that in case the
war must continue there might “ have been inMr. Greeley had already begun to have fused into its conduct something more of the some impression of the unfortunate position in spirit which softens and partially redeems its which he had placed himself, and the reading brutalities.” They then went on to accuse the of this straightforward document still further President of a “sudden and entire change of nettled and perplexed him. He proposed to views,” of a “rude withdrawal of a courteous bring Jewett into conference; this Major Hay overture," of " fresh blasts of war to the bitter declined. He then refused to cross the river end”; attributing this supposed change to to Clifton unless Major Hay would accom- “mysteries of his cabinet” or some pany him, and himself deliver the paper to the “caprice of his imperial will." They plainly Confederate emissaries. They therefore went intimated that while the South desired peace, together and met Mr. Holcombe in a private it would not accept any arrangement which room of the Clifton House (Mr. Clay being bartered away its self-government; and in conabsent for a day), and handed him the Presi- clusion they called upon their fellow-Confeddent's letter. After a few moments' conversa- erates to strip from their “eyes the last film of tion they separated, Mr. Greeley returning to delusion” that peace is possible, and “if there New York and Major Hay remaining at were any patriots or Christians” in the North, Niagara to receive any answer that might be they implored them “to recall the abused given to the letter. Before taking the train Mr. authority and vindicate the outraged civilizaGreeley had an interview with Jewett, unknown tion of their country.” to Major Hay, in which he seems to have au- Even this impudent and uncandid manifesto thorized Jewett to continue to act as his repre- did not convince Mr. Greeley that he had sentative. Jewett lost no time in acquainting committed an error. On the contrary, he the emissaries with this fact, informing them adopted the point of view of the rebel emissaof the departure of Mr. Greeley, of “his re- ries, and contended after his return to New gret at the sad termination of the initiatory York that he regarded the safe conduct given steps taken for peace, in consequence of the him on the 16th of July as a waiver by the change made by the President in his instruc- President of all the conditions of his former tions to convey commissioners to Washington letters. Being attacked by his colleagues of for negotiations, unconditionally, and that Mr. the press for his action at Niagara, he could Greeley would be pleased to receive their an- only defend himself by implied censure of the swer" through him (Jewett). They replied to President, and the discussion grew so warm Jewett with mutual compliments, inclosing a that both he and his assailants at last joined long letter to Mr. Greeley, arraigning the Presi- in a request to Mr. Lincoln to permit the pubdent for his alleged breach of faith, which lication of the correspondence between them. Jewett promptly communicated to the news- This was an excellent opportunity for Mr. papers of the country without notice to Major Lincoln to vindicate his own proceeding. But Hay, informing him afterwards in a note that he rarely looked at such matters from the he did this by way of revenging the slight of point of view of personal advantage, and he the preceding day.
feared that the passionate, almost despairing In giving the letter of the rebel emissaries appeals of the most prominent Republican to the press instead of sending it to its proper editor in the North for peace at any cost destination, Jewett accomplished the purpose would deepen the gloom in the public mind for which it was written. It formed a not in- and have an injurious effect upon the Union effective document in a heated political cam- cause. He therefore proposed to Mr. Greeley, paign. It would be difficult to ascertain, at in case the correspondence should be pubthis day, whether Mr. Greeley ever communi- lished, to omit some of the most vehement phrases of his letters and those in which he advisers nearly all think I ought to go to Fort Laadvocated peace negotiations solely for politi- fayette for what I have done already. Seward cal effect; at the same time he invited him to wanted me sent there for my brief conference with come to Washington and talk with him freely. M. Mercier. The cry has steadily been, No truce! No Mr. Greeley, writing on the 8th of August, ing but surrender at discretion ! I never heard of
armistice! No negotiation! No mediation ! Nothaccepted both suggestions in principle, but he such fatuity before. There is nothing like it in querulously declined going to Washington at history. It must result in disaster, or all experience that time, on the ground that the President is delusive. was surrounded by his “ bitterest personal ene- Now I do not know that a tolerable peace could mies," and that his going would only result in be had, but I believe it might have been last month ; further mischief, as at Niagara. “ I will gladly and, at all events, I know that an honest, sincere go," he continued, “whenever I feel a hope And I think no Government fighting a rebellion
effort for it would have done us immense good. that their influence has waned.” Then, unable should ever close its ears to any proposition the to restrain himself, he broke out in new and rebels may make. severe reproaches against the President for
I beg you, implore you, to inaugurate or invite not having received Mr. Stephens, for not proposals for peace forthwith. And in case peace having sent a deputation to Richmond to ask cannot now be made consent to an armistice for for peace after Vicksburg, for not having taken one year, each party to retain unmolested all it now the Democrats in Congress at their word, and holds, but the rebel ports to be opened. Meantime sent “ three of the biggest of them as commis- let a national convention be held, and there will sioners to see what kind of a peace they could surely be no more war at all events. get.” He referred once more to Niagara, and said magnanimously, “ Let the past go”; but In a letter of the uth of August, Mr. added the stern admonition, "Do not let this Greeley closed this extraordinary correspond
“ month pass without an earnest effort for peace.” ence by insisting that if his letters were pubHe held out a hope that if the President would lished they should be printed entire. This was turn from the error of his ways he would still accepted by Mr. Lincoln as a veto upon their help him make peace; but for the time being, publication. He could not afford, for the sake “ knowing who are nearest you,” he gave him of vindicating his own action, to reveal to up. The only meaning this can have is simply, the country the despondency – one might alDismiss Seward from your Cabinet and do as I most say the desperation - of one so promitell you, and then perhaps I can save your nent in Republican councils as the editor of Administration.
the “ Tribune.” The spectacle of this veteran The next day, having received another tele. journalist, who was justly regarded as the leadgram from the President, who, regardless of ing controversial writer on the antislavery side, his own dignity, was still endeavoring to con- ready to sacrifice everything for peace, and ciliate and convince him, Mr. Greeley wrote frantically denouncing the Government for another letter, which we shall give more fully refusing to surrender the contest, would have than the rest, to show in what a dangerous been, in its effect upon public opinion, a disframe of mind was the editor of the most im- aster equal to the loss of a great battle. The portant organ of public opinion in the North. President had a sincere regard for Mr. Greeley He begins by refusing to telegraph, "since I also, and was unwilling to injure him and his learned by sad experience at Niagara that my great capacities for usefulness by publishing dispatches go to the War Department before these ill-considered and discouraging utterreaching you.”
ances. His magnanimity was hardly appreci
ated. Mr. Greeley, in this letter of the uth I fear that my chance for usefulness has passed. of August, and afterwards, insisted that the I know that nine-tenths of the whole American President had in his letter and his dispatch of people, North and South, are anxious for peace peace on almost any terms -- and utterly sick of held in his letter of the 9th, which ground, he
the 15th of July changed his ground from that human slaughter and devastation. I know that, to the general eye, it now seems that the rebels are asserted, was again shifted in his paper “ To anxious to negotiate and that we refuse their ad- whom it may concern.” This was of course vances. I know that if this impression be not wholly without foundation. The letter of removed we shall be beaten out of sight next No- the 9th authorized Mr. Greeley to bring to vember. I firmly believe that, were the election to Washington any one “ professing to have any take place to-morrow, the Democratic majority in proposition from Jefferson Davis, in writing, this State and Pennsylvania would amount to for peace, embracing the restoration of the 100,000, and that we should lose Connecticut also. Now if the rebellion can be crushed before Novem- Union, and abandonment of slavery”; the ber it will do to go on; if not, we are rushing to letter of the 15th repeats the offer contained in certain ruin.
that of the 9th, saying, “Show that and this What, then, can I do in Washington ? Your trusted to them, and if they will come on the terms
Vol. XXXVIII. - 56.
stated in former, bring them." The next day he erred in giving any hearing to the rebels; Major Hay gave Mr. Greeley a formal safe some criticized his choice of a commissioner; conduct for himself and party, and neither and the opposition naturally made the most of them thought of it as nullifying the Presi- of his conditions of negotiation, and accused dent's letters. Indeed, Mr. Greeley's sole pre- him of embarking in a war of extermination in posterous justification for his claim that his the interest of the negro. So that this wellsafe conduct superseded the President's in- meant effort of the President to ascertain what structions was that Major Hay did not say that were the possibilities of peace through negotiit did not.
ation, or, failing that, to convince the represenIt was characteristic of Mr. Lincoln that, tative of a large body of Republicans of his seeing the temper in which Mr. Greeley re- willingness to do all he could in that direction, garded the transaction, he dropped the matter resulted only in putting a keener edge upon and submitted in silence to the misrepresenta- the criticisms of his supporters, and in arming tions to which he was subjected by reason of his adversaries with a weapon which they used, it. The correspondence preceding the Niagara after their manner, among the rebels of the conference was not published until after the border States and their sympathizers in the President's death; that subsequent to it sees North. Nevertheless, surveying the whole the light for the first time in these pages. The transaction after the lapse of twenty-five years, public, having nothing of the record except the it is not easy to see how any act of his in reimpudent manifesto of Clay and Holcombe, the lation to it was lacking in wisdom, or how it foolish chatter of Jewett, and such half-state- could have been changed for the better. Cerments as Mr. Greeley chose to make in answer tainly every step of the proceeding was marked to the assaults of his confrères of the press, with his usual unselfish sincerity and magnajudged Mr. Lincoln unjustly. Some thought nimity to friend and to foe.
MONG a thousand Æschylus forever open, and a great copy of
sity town there will On the other side one passed into high philos
always be two or ophy and dreamland: a portrait of Coleridge, three in whom science his framed autograph, a picture of his study, and poetry hold each and a whole library of mystical philosophy, other at a deadlock. including, I remember, the folio edition of The headquarters for Jacob Behmen in five volumes, over whose
these few was, in my symbolic plates we used to pore. With what time, the delightful room of delight after a rather stiff lesson in botany Edward Tenniman on the for he took a few of us as private pupils— did
spot where the new Law we turn to the other side of the room, when School now stands. He himself was the high Tenniman would unfold for us Behmen's priest of this double altar, the professor of “ Aurora, or Day-Spring,” and, better yet, these incompatible elective studies. The room the “Signatura Rerum, or the signature of was in an old colonial house of the humbler all things, showing the Sign and Signification description, the ceiling was low with a cross- of the several Forms and Shapes in the Cretimber, the walls were wainscoted, and there ation; and what the Beginning, Ruin, and was a large, open fireplace. The arrangements Cure of every Thing is, it proceeds out of of the room followed half unconsciously the Eternity into Time, and again out of time into double bent of the owner's mind. All one side Eternity, and comprehends all Mysteries. Writwas devoted to serve botanical science: tin ten in High Dutch, 1622, by Jacob Behmen, boxes, specimens, herbaria, microscopes, and a alias Teutonicus Phylosophus." No doubt recess filled with Latin and German botanical this side of the room was very unscientific, in works. The middle of the room was, as it the modern sense, but it was certainly refreshwere, transitional: there was a desk with an ing after an hour or two at the microscope. It
1 On the morning that the letter of the rebel emissa- Abe, he says, 'Let the niggers go free, and we 'll stop ries was printed Major Hay, returning to Washington, fighting.' Jeff., he says, “I'll let them be free that's heard this colloquy between two draymen on a Jersey free now, and the rest stay as they are.' Old Abe, he City ferry-boat: Have you heard the news ?” “ No; says,'No, they got to be alí free'; and so they broke up what is it?” “Old Abe and Jeff. Davis have been try on that." These draymen were not the only citizens who ing to make peace.” “ How did they make out?” “Old gave this brief and dramatic form to the negotiations.
perhaps made bad poets out of those whom and took out a duplicate from the chest, while Tenniman might otherwise have made into his granddaughter Sanna brushed, folded, and good observers, like himself; but a moderate replaced the other. He always had his pockets amount of it certainly contributed to the en- stuffed with plants, and carried other plants riching and enlarging of the whole man, and stuck in the rim of his woolen cap, a headI have never regretted having been steeped dress which he wore when the greenhouses for hours together in the perilous fascinations were at the hottest. He straightened himself of that old room.
up at our approach and said only, “So ?” Walter Vose, Tenniman's favorite pupil, “ Good morning, Nils,” said the cheery profollowed him alike in his profounder studies fessor. “This is one of my students. I found and his whims, and had a sunny, boyish tem- him reading Pliny on magic, and I brought perament of his own that carried him cheer- him to you." fully through all. One day at the Botanic “I do know nothing of magic," said Nils, Garden library, where Tenniman used some- guardedly, “and of magic plants I know only times to send us to practice analysis, the dear what all may know who do read the authors. old professor, Amos Greene, came in upon Some claim to know magic: there was one Walter and found him with a copy of Pliny's acquainted with me, in the Hardanger Valley, Natural History before him.
he did claim to know it well; but he who “Do you get your botany from Pliny, my reads Plineius, or Apuleius, or Theophrastus dear boy?” said the brisk and kindly professor. Eresius, he must know well that there are
“No," said Walter, “but Tenniman thinks magic plants.” that all botany should still be written in Latin, “But those authors are not read in our colas he wrote his little book on the Algæ, you leges," said sweet Mrs. Greene. know; so I am reading up my Pliny, and came " It is that the professors not take the care upon a passage that set me thinking, for once.” to theirselves,” said Nils, impatiently.
“Read it out,” said the professor; and they do read about the powerful herbs of Walter Vose read and translated :
Medea, the enchanting plants of Lucan, the “Noone can doubt that magic is the greatest Nepenthe of Homer, the venomous flowers of of the sciences, seeing that it is the only one Colchis and of Thessaly. Why then do they which embraces three other sciences having not know that in plants at least there is magipower over the human mind, and reduces them cal force ?" to one. No one doubts that it has sprung from “Take them to your garden," said the promedicine and become something loftier and fessor, “and they will certainly know it." holier than its parent.”
Grumbling to himself, yet with a certain air Yes, yes, yes," said the professor; “but of self-satisfaction, Nils finished his work of rereally now
potting, led the party through the back door “Dear," said a woman who had just entered of the main greenhouse, then up through a little -a woman with a face so sweet that Pliny open garden, sacred to rarities,— where grew, might have found some of his favorite magic for instance, the edelweiss, so hard to rear in in it, -"you should refer this young gentle- our climate,- and then passed to a locked man to old Nils and his garden.”
door in a hedge, which he opened. They Yes, indeed,” said the professor; “my wife found themselves in a curious scene of conhas the right of it. You know old Nils ? " fused and ill-assorted plants, some of them of
"Never heard of him," said the young man, coarse and lurid growth, among which were rather nipped in the bud.
mingled many of the commonest and most in“Come, come, come,” said Professor Greene, nocent. But what first arrested attention was with his usual
eagerness; “we shall find him the curious plan of the little plantation itself. in the fern-room.” As they entered an old man The garden lay before them divided in rose from his seat, where he was inspecting a twelve small domains, each of these being subminute fern in a vase.
divided into three, so that the effect was like Nils Bergen, as I remember him at that the ribbon-shaped subdivisions of a French time, was a tall, thin, elderly man, with a farm. Each parterre had plants of its own, seamed and weather-worn face, twinkling blue some plain, some gorgeous, planted without eyes, and a smile between shy and sly. He still regard to regularity or general effect; while wore in the greenhouses the Norwegian knee-some plots were entirely empty, as if waiting breeches and short waistcoat, as well as the for occupants. jacket thickly set with silver buttons. It was 6«These are Nils's twelve signs of the zodiac,” believed among the students that he kept in his said the cheerful professor. little house a great box full of garments just “This is a quite tolerable collection," said the like this, and that when his suit was hopelessly old gardener proudly, “ of the famed chemical soiled from the garden he simply laid it aside plants mentioned by Origen and Stobæus:
the plants named for the Decani, or the divin- stamens, the pistils; then they did dedicate ities that do rule the thirty-six parts of the these plants to the proper gods, and when they man's body. Three there are for each sign of had dreamed of any god in the temple, they the zodiac, and I have them thus divided here. did take his consecrated plants for medicine For each divinity some plant was thus for him and were cured.” sacred; use as medicine that plant—it do cure “But how came the invalids to be in the that member or organ. My acquaintance in temple?" objected Walter. “With us, the more Hardanger Valley, he did try this garden of an invalid a man is the more he stays at home chemical plants; foolish! it were too cold. from church.” Even in the great garden at Christiania, where “So! that was for the beauty of the ancient they do raise twelve different maizes, they religion,” said Nils, devoutly.“ Does not could not do that."
Jamblichus say, 'In the temple of Æsculapius “Does Sanna help you in this garden, Nils?” diseases are cured by holy dreams'? Does said the professor's wife.
not Aristophanes say, 'Let us lie down in the “ Sanna,” he said, indifferently, “she never temple of Æsculapius'? It wonders one that do come inside this gate. She is a woman; you come from college with long lists of knowlshe do like to amuse herself. When it comes edge that make no use, and do not learn either Sunday she shall take little Katrina to the from Greek or Latin what really concerns us fernery and read religious books, like as in all to know." Norway. By and by she do recommend her- “It is certainly true,"mused Walter, “that self for a teacher in the schools."
we never were encouraged to have holy dreams As they walked towards the upper end of during morning prayers. It's odd, but a docthe little garden, after passing the twelve beds, tor's certificate excuses us from the temple inthey came to seven smaller plots laid crosswise. stead of sending us there. But, after all, what a
“ These are for the seven plants,” said Nils. dangerous kind of medical practice!” “ This for another way of magic, that of “It shall not be dangerous at all,” retorted Egypt. For example, this bed contains the Nils, impatiently. “Plants are very near to us; compositæ, or composite plants, only — the they do mean us no harm. Every plant it do aster, the chrysanthemum. Why? Because it correspond in form to some part of the body; is they which do resemble to the sun. All thus the peony and poppy-buds to the head, things that do resemble to that in shape were any one can see that; then the caltha and known by the wise Egyptians to be good for anthemis,— what you call cowslip and maythe heart, because they did hold the heart to weed, — these resemble to the eye, these shall be, as it were, the sun of a smaller world. See cure the eye; the dentaria for the teeth - you do
call it tooth wort even now; yonder it grows." “ Did they cure the patient?" asked Walter. “Was it a Norwegian poet, Nils," inter
“They cured whom they did cure,” said rupted the professor, “who talked about man's Nils, indifferently. “There is no kind of medic being one world and having another to attend cine that shall do more than that. But this is him?” not the art of the Egyptians. They did cure "It shall be that it must be a different poet," also by the aid of numbers with the wondrous said Nils, discontentedly; “but it shall be true plants. There is much in numbers. In Nor- for all that." way we still have a proverb when we see magpies —One is for sorrow, and two is for On the next Sunday afternoon Walter found joy; three must be a marriage, and four do himself near the Botanic Garden, and met the bring good fortune.' But the Egyptians they professor and his wife on their way to church. did go much further, as you will see by Pro- “You will not find Nils to-day,” said Mrs. clus, his book on sacrifices and magic. They Greene. “He usually shuts himself up on Sundid anticipate Linne the Great in counting day and reads religious books.” every part of the least plant; but they knew, “Or magical ones," said her husband. “ But as he did not, what the numbers did signify. he ought to be visiting the greenhouses about They did choose ten gods whom they num- this time, as it happens. However, you cannot bered in order. Thus they did connect sacred always count upon him. He tells me that his numbers with sacred gods, as is right." national proverb says, "When a Norwegian
“A celestial numeration table,” remarked says immediately, look for him in half an hour.'” Walter,
And they walked on. Walter Vose wan“ Then,” went on the old man, unheeding, dered through the gardens and up to the gate “ they did search all plants for their various of the little corner which had been assigned to numbers of leaves, flowers, seeds; they did Nils as his own pleasure-ground. The wicket number the joints in the stems; they did ob- was locked; he could merely look through serve the three-sided and four-sided stalks, the upon the fantastically arranged flowers. "What