Our revels now are ended; these our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
Lincoln: We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life ...
THE CURTAIN FALLS.
First Chronicler: Two years again.
Desolation of battle, and long debate,
Counsels and prayers of men,
And bitterness of destruction and witless hate,
And the shame of lie contending with lie,
Are spending themselves, and the brain
That set its lonely chart four years gone by,
Knowing the word fulfilled,
Comes with charity and communion to bring
To reconcile and build.
The two together: What victor coming from
Leaving the victim desolate,
But has a vulnerable shield
Against the substances of fate?
That battle’s won that leads in chains
But retribution and despite,
And bids misfortune count her gains
Not stricken in a penal night.
His triumph is but bitterness
Who looks not to the starry doom
When proud and humble but possess
The little kingdom of the tomb.
Who, striking home, shall not forgive,
Strikes with a weak returning rod,
Claiming a fond prerogative
Against the armoury of God.
Who knows, and for his knowledge stands
Against the darkness in dispute,
And dedicates industrious hands,
And keeps a spirit resolute,
Prevailing in the battle, then
A steward of his word is made,
To bring it honour among men,
Or know his captaincy betrayed.
An April evening in 1865. A farmhouse near Appomattox. GENERAL GRANT, Commander-in-Chief, under Lincoln, of the Northern armies, is seated at a table with CAPTAIN MALINS, an aide-de-camp. He is smoking a cigar, and at intervals he replenishes his glass of whiskey. DENNIS, an orderly, sits at a table in the corner, writing.
Grant (consulting a large watch lying in front of him): An hour and a half. There ought to be something more from Meade by now. Dennis.
Dennis (coming to the table): Yes, sir.
Grant: Take these papers to Captain Templeman, and ask Colonel West if the twenty-third are in action yet. Tell the cook to send some soup at ten o’clock. Say it was cold yesterday.
Dennis: Yes, sir.
Grant: Give me that map, Malins.