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Echoes of the Week

The Illustrated London News, vol. 47, no. 1325, p. 71.

July 22, 1865


...And so the Great Eastern is fairly off, and if in the ensuing fortnight the telegraph cable is successfully laid down, amongst the earliest news that runs along the line at the rate of four words a minute will be that which relates the trial of Mr. Jefferson Davis. There is now plenty of force in America, and the admirers of Mr. Carlyle and a strong Government have their wish. No one can look at a photograph of President Johnson without seeing that he is a man of great capacity and of iron will. By-the-way, with what fervour would the news be received in America (were it only true) of the assertion that Carlyle had undertaken the Life of President Lincoln. "Two men I honour," said that writer;" and no third: first, the toil-worn craftsman that conquers the earth. Venerable to me is thy hard hand, hardly-entreated brother! The second is the inspired thinker....These two, in all their degrees, I honour; all else is chaff and dust." "Unspeakably touching" is the Carlylese expression for the effect the sight of the two labourers united in one person has on him; and in Abraham Lincoln, the eloquent rail-splitter and the martyred President, surely these were so. The life of a mad despot like Frederick might possibly be atoned for by the really deeply instructive life of Abraham Lincoln. Will Mr. Carlyle take it in hand?

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