Hook: Very well, I will be frank. I mistrust your judgment.
Lincoln: In what?
Hook: Generally. You over-emphasise abolition.
Lincoln: You don’t mean that. You mean that you fear possible public feeling against abolition.
Hook: It must be persuaded, not forced.
Lincoln: All the most worthy elements in it are persuaded. But the ungenerous elements make the most noise, and you hear them only. You will run from the terrible name of Abolitionist even when it is pronounced by worthless creatures whom you know you have every reason to despise.
Hook: You have, in my opinion, failed in necessary firmness in saying what will be the individual penalties of rebellion.
Lincoln: This is a war. I will not allow it to become a blood-feud.
Hook: We are fighting treason. We must meet it with severity.
Lincoln: We will defeat treason. And I will meet it with conciliation.
Hook: It is a policy of weakness.
Lincoln: It is a policy of faith—it is a policy of compassion. (Warmly.) Hook, why do you plague me with these jealousies? Once before I found a member of my Cabinet working behind my back. But he was disinterested, and he made amends nobly. But, Hook, you have allowed the burden of these days to sour you. I know it all. I’ve watched you plotting and plotting for authority. And I, who am a lonely man, have been sick at heart. So great is the task God has given to my hand, and so few are my days, and my deepest hunger is always for loyalty in my own house. You have withheld it from me. You have done great service in your office, but you have grown envious. Now you resign, as you did once before when I came openly to you in friendship. And you think that again I shall flatter you and coax you to stay. I don’t think I ought to do it. I will not do it. I must take you at your word.
Hook: I am content.
He turns to go.
Lincoln: Will you shake hands?
Hook: I beg you will excuse me.
He goes. LINCOLN stands silently for a moment, a travelled, lonely captain. He rings a bell, and a CLERK comes in.
Lincoln:_ Ask Mr. Hay to come in.
Clerk: Yes, sir.
He goes. LINCOLN, from the folds of his pockets, produces another book, and holds it unopened. HAY comes in.
Lincoln: I’m rather tired to-day, Hay. Read to me a little. (He hands him the book.) “The Tempest”—you know the passage.