The Character of Lee
by John Williams
Speaking for generations of Southerners, Jones remembers what was right about the South, and
about her greatest son.
He possessed every virtue of the great commanders, without their vices. He was a foe without
hate; a friend without treachery; a private citizen without wrong; a neighbor without reproach; a
Christian without hypocrisy, and a man without guilt. He was a Caesar without his ambition; a
Frederick without his tyranny; a Napoleon without his selfishness; and a Washington without his
reward. He was obedient to authority as a servant, and loyal in authority as a true king. He was
gentle as a woman in life; modest and pure as a virgin in thought; watchful as a Roman vestal in
duty; submissive to law as Socrates, and grand in battle as Achilles.