FOR LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY
If we Americans are ever in danger of setting up a saint of our own, we shall canonise, I think, the simple-minded, great-hearted hero whom the world reveres under the name of Abraham Lincoln.
Those who in the past scoffed at the "rail-splitter" for president now hold him next in honour to Washington—and to him is paid the great compliment of a general holiday on the day of his birth.
Anaxagoras, the philosopher of Athens and preceptor of Pericles, it may be remembered, when asked how they best could show him honour, replied: "Give the school-children a holiday—in remembrance of the day of my birth. Then my memory will be loved."
No special observance of Lincoln's birthday has as yet become general—it is just a day to be happy in, to gratefully remember the man who bore the chief burden in our time of national peril, and to rejoice in our reunited country and restored brotherhood.
A dinner is the most popular of all entertainments, particularly a little dinner among friends. For such a modest feast, the hostess may give free play to her fancy in the table appointments, unhampered by any rule or precedent.
The centrepiece, if of flowers, may be of the national colours—red and white carnations with bluets, which bloom in February in hot-houses, and are of the same size as the carnations. Failing these, a blue ribbon may be tied about the dish. Surrounding the flowers, leaving a space of a few inches, a chain made of cardboard, covered with tin foil or black paper, may be placed, the links severed in one place—to typify the broken shackles of slavery.