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"Thoughts on The Late War"

From "Bill Nye's History of the United States" (a humorous work published in 1894) at pp. 302-4 referring to the American War Between the States ("US Civil War") of 1861-1865

" One reference to the late war, and I will close. I want to refer especially to the chronic reconciler who when war was declared was not involved in it, but who now improves every opportunity, especially near election-time, to get out a tired olivebranch and make a tableau of himself. He is worse than the man who cannot forgive or forget.
  The growth of reconciliation between the North and the South is the slow growth of years, and the work of generations. When any man, North or South, in a public place takes occasion to talk in a mellow and mawkish way of the great love he now has for his old enemy, watch him. He is getting ready to ask a favour. There is a beautiful, poetic idea in the reunion of two contending and shattered elements of a great nation. There is something beautifully pathetic in the picture of the North and the South clasped in each other's arms and shedding a torrent of hot tears down each other's backs as it is done in a play, but do you believe that the aged mothers on either side have learned to love the foe with much violence yet? Do you believe that the crippled veteran, North or South, now passionately loves the adversary who robbed him of his glorious youth, made him a feeble ruin, and mowed down his comrades with swift death? Do you believe that either warrior is so fickle that he has entirely deserted the cause for which he fought? Even the victor cannot ask that.
  Let the gentle finger of time undo, so far as may be, the devastation wrought by the war, and let succeeding generations seek through natural methods to reunite the business and the traffic that were interrupted by the war. Let he South guarantee to the Northern investor security to himself and his investment, and he will not ask for the love which we read of in speeches but do not expect and do not find in the South.
  Two warring parents on the verge of divorce have been saved the disgrace of separation and agreed to maintain their household for the sake of their children. Their love has been questioned by the world, and their relations strained. Is it not bad taste for them to pose in public and make a cheap Romeo and Juliet tableau of themselves?
Let time and mercifl silence obliterated the scars of war, and succeeding generations, fostered by the smiles of national prosperity, soften the bitterness of the past and mellow the memory of a mighty struggle in which each contending host called upon Almighty God to sustain the cause which it honestly believed to be just.
  Let us be contented during this generation with the assurance that geographically the Union has been preserved, and that each contending warrior has once more taken up the peaceful struggle for bettering and beautifying the home so bravely fought for."

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