Quotations from Abraham Lincoln.
I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.
I never went to school more than six months in my life, but I remember how; when a mere child, I used to get irritated when anybody talked to me in a say I could not understand.... I can remember going to my little bedroom, after hearing the neighbors talk of an evening with my father, ...trying to make out what was the exact meaning of some of their, to me, dark sayings.
I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.
Whatever woman may cast her lot with mine, should any ever do so, it is my intention to do all in my power to make her happy and content; and there is nothing I can imagine that would make me more unhappy than to fail in the effort.
It is difficult to make a man miserable when he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.
I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.
I have never had a feeling, politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.
When any church will inscribe over its altar, as its sole qualification for membership, the Saviour's condensed statement of the substance of both law and Gospel, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and thy neighbor as thyself," that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul.
I say "try"; if we never try, we shall never succeed.
If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the thing is more than half done already. It is but a small matter whether you read with anybody or not. I did not read with anyone. Get the books, and read and study them till you understand them in their principal features; and that is the main thing. It is of no consequence to be in a large town while you are reading. I read at New Salem, which never had three hundred people living in it. The books, and your capacity for understanding them, are just the same in all places.
I am not ashamed to confess that twenty-five years ago I was a hired laborer, hauling rails, at work on a flatboat -- just what might happen to any poor man's son. I want every man to have a chance.
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. I do the very best I know how -- the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the ends brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. If the ends brings me out wrong, ten thousand angels swearing I was right would make no difference.
I should be the most presumptuous blockhead upon this footstool if I for one day thought that I could discharge the duties which have come upon me, since I came to this place, without the aid and enlightenment of One who is stronger and wiser than all others.
I am not at all concerned about that, that the Lord is on our side in this great struggle, for I know that the Lord is always on the side or the right; but it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation may be on the Lord's side.
In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it....
I cannot understand why men should be so eager after money. Wealth is simply a superfluity of what we don't need.
Die when I may, I want it said of me, by those who know me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower when I thought a flower would grow.
Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good.
Important principles may and must be flexible.
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 the time; but you can't fool all the people all the time.
Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
It is not the qualified voters, but the qualified voters who choose to vote, that constitute the political power of the State.
Writing, the art of communicating thoughts to the mind through the eye, is the greatest invention of the world. Its utility may be conceived by the reflection that to it we owe everything which distinguishes us from the savages. Take it from us, and the Bible, all history, and science, all government, all commerce, and nearly all social intercourse, go with it.
When an end is lawful and obligatory, the indispensable means to it are also lawful and obligatory.
Universal idleness would speedily result in universal ruin.
I believe each individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruits of his labor, so far as it in no wise interferes with any other men's rights.
Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.
The better part of one's life consists of his friendships.
The loss of enemies does not compensate for the loss of friends.
How miserably things seem to be arranged in this world! If we have no friends, we have no pleasure; and if we have them, we are sure to lose them, and be doubly pained by the loss.
A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has been discovered by others. It is the key, or one of the keys, to the already solved problems. And not only so; it gives a relish and facility for successfully pursuing the unsolved ones.
Extemporaneous speaking should be practiced and cultivated. It is the lawyer's avenue to the public.
No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent.
This is a world of compensations; and he who be no slave must consent to have no slaves. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.
A universal feeling whether well or ill-founded, cannot be safely disregarded.
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other thing.
The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.
Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of cause we believe to be just.