东宫49JULY 【1】【9】.“The dream, Fritz,” she said. “It has come again. Helga persuaded me to lie down, and I was very tired, so at last I fell asleep. Then it came. I saw him, Fritz—I saw him as plainly as I see you. They all called him king, as they did to-day; but they did not cheer. They were quiet, and looked at him with sad faces. I could not hear what they said; they spoke in hushed voices. I heard nothing more than ‘the king, the king,’ and he seemed to hear not even that. He lay still; he was lying on something, something covered with hanging stuff, I couldn’t see what it was; yes, quite still. His face was so pale, and he didn’t hear them say ‘the king.’ Fritz, Fritz, he looked as if he were dead! Where is he? Where have you let him go?”At noon, the courier made his appearance riding by the wood lane across the fields; and the instant he was seen we all realised that there was bad news. The man was hurrying his pony and yet seemed to be very unwilling to reach the lines where his report must be made. In this instance (as was, of course, not usually the case) the courier knew what was in his despatches. The Division Adjutant stepped out on the porch of the headquarters with the paper in his hand, but he broke down before he could begin to read. The Division Commander took the word and was able simply to announce: "Lincoln is dead." The word "President" was not necessary and he sought in fact for the shortest word. I never before had found myself in a mass of men overcome by emotion. Ten thousand soldiers were sobbing together. No survivor of the group can recall the sadness of that morning without again being touched by the wave of emotion which broke down the reserve and control of these war-worn veterans on learning that their great captain was dead.My feelings were still agitated, but they were changed. I was filled with shame and remorse for the design I had entertained, and with the fear that my companions would detect it in my face, or that a careless word would betray my guilty thoughts. I remained on deck all night, instead of rousing one of the men to relieve me; and nothing brought composure to my mind, but the solemn resolution I then made to resign myself to the will of God, and take with thankfulness, if I could, but with submission, at all events, whatever he might decide should be my lot. I reflected that if my life were reduced to a brief term I should have less to suffer, and that it was better to die with a Christian’s hope, and a quiet conscience, than to live with the incessant recollection of a crime that would destroy the value of life, and under the weight of a secret that would crush out the satisfaction that might be expected from freedom, and every other blessing.东宫49
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