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While the people retain their virtue, and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government, in the short space of four years.
I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false is guilty of falsehood, and the accidental truth of the assertion does not justify or excuse him.
I do the very best I know howthe very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me wont amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.
I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.
It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.
Let me not be understood as saying that there are no bad laws, nor that grievances may not arise for the redress of which no legal provisions have been made. I mean to say no such thing. But I do mean to say that although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still, while they continue in force, for the sake of example they should be religiously observed.
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts.
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal...We here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside me.
Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
It is said an eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him with the words, 'And this, too, shall pass away.' How much it expresses How chastening in the hour of pride How consoling in the depths of affliction
When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and true maxim that 'a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.' So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the great highroad to his reason, and which, once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing him of the justice of your cause, if indeed that cause is really a good one.
I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day.
Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it the tree is the real thing.
If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time.
Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people may be engaged in. That everyone may receive at least a moderate education appears to be an objective of vital importance.
Corporations have been enthroned .... An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people... until wealth is aggregated in a few hands ... and the Republic is destroyed.
We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
I believe, if we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class. There seems ever to have been a proneness in the brilliant and warm-blooded to fall into this vice.
If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. You may fool all of the people some of the time you can even fool some of the people all the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
The provision of the Constitution giving the war-making power to Congress was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons. Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us.
Find out what whiskey he drinks and send all of my generals a case, if it will get the same results. - in reply to comments about General Grant's drinking problems
Hypocrite The man who murdered his parents, and then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed but I am bound to live the best life that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right and part from him when he goes wrong.
In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all... Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You cannot now realize that you will ever feel better... And yet this is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again.
Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.
Lets have faith that right makes might and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.
Quarrel not at all. No man resolved to make the most of himself can spare time for personal contention.
You may deceive all the people part of the time, and part of the people all the time, but not all the people all the time.
Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes his aid against the other.... The prayers of both could not be answered--that of neither has been answered fully.
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
I believe, if we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class.
If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business.
It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words And this, too, shall pass away.
Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics.' When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy hypocrisy.
Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes.
That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.
The people are the masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who would pervert it!
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can excercise their constitutional right of amending it, or excercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.
Those who would deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.
We are not enemies but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic cords of memory shall swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of nature.
We cannot ask a man what he will do, and if we should, and he should answer us, we should despise him for it. Therefore we must take a man whose opinions are known.
When you have got an elephant by the hind leg, and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run.
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