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I am not accustomed to the language of eulogy; I have never studied the art of paying compliments to women; but I must say that if all that has been said by orators and poets, since the creation of the world, in praise of woman, was applied to the women of America, it would not do them justice for their conduct during this war.
I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.
- in a speech [Slavery]
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.
I can only say that I have acted upon my best convictions, without selfishness or malice, and that by the help of God I shall continue to do so.
I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.
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 of me.
- in a reply to the Missouri Committee of Seventy
I do not allow myself to suppose that either the convention or the League, have concluded to decide that I am either the greatest or the best man in America, but rather they have concluded it is not best to swap horses while crossing the river, and have further concluded that I am not so poor a horse that they might not make a botch of it in trying to swap.
- to a delegation of the National Union League on his second nomination
I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.
I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
I go for all sharing the privileges of the government who assist in bearing its burdens. Consequently I go for admitting all whites to the right of suffrage who pay taxes or bear arms, by no means excluding females.
- written in 1836 [Government]
I have always wanted to deal with everyone I meet candidly and honestly. If I have made any assertion not warranted by facts, and it is pointed out to me, I will withdraw it cheerfully.
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 that day.
I know there is a God, and that He hates the injustice of slavery. I see the storm coming, and I know that His hand is in it. If He has a place and a work for me, and. I think He has, I believe I am ready. I am nothing, but truth is everything. I know I am right, because I know that liberty is right, for Christ teaches it, and Christ is God.
- [Lincoln's Birthday]
I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come.
If ever this free people, if this government itself is ever utterly demoralized, it will come from this human wriggle and struggle for office--that is, a way to live without work.
If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.
If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.
In law it is good policy never to plead what you need not, lest you oblige yourself to prove what you cannot.
It has ever been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its existence in great emergencies.
It is easiest to "be all things to all men," but it is not honest. Self-respect must be sacrificed every hour in the day.
It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do wrong.
Knavery and flattery are blood relations.
- [Flattery : Knavery]
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