Wu-Ting-Fang On Lincoln
( Originally Published 1902 )
THE ninety-second anniversary of Lincoln's birthday was celebrated by the Union League Club, of Brooklyn, by a dinner, at which Wu-Ting-Fang, the Chinese Minister to the United States, was the principal guest. His able address closed as follows : " To Lincoln may be applied the words
which a Chinese historian uses in describing the character of Yao, the most revered and honored of the ancient rulers of China. ` His benevolence was boundless ; his wisdom was profound ; to any one approaching him he had the genial warmth of the sun.' When viewed at a distance he seemed to have the mysterious warp of the clouds ; though occupying the highest station he was not haughty ; though controlling the resources of the whole nation, he was not lavish; justice was the guiding principle of his actions ; nobleness was written on every lineament of his face."
Lincoln was a child of America, but he was large enough to become the property of the world. Two Frenchmen were standing on the back platform of a Broadway street car, and as they passed the statue of Lincoln in Union Square, one said to his companion, " Who is this ?" and the answer came, "Lincoln, Lincoln le bon." " Lincoln, Lincoln the Good." All nations, all tongues pronounce him Lincoln the Good.