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" A capacity, and taste, for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others. "
" Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition. "
" My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families - second families, perhaps I should say. "
" Extemporaneous speaking should be practiced and cultivated. It is the lawyer's avenue to the public. However able and faithful he may be in other respects, people are slow to bring him business if he cannot make a speech. "
" 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). "
" 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. "
" Nothing new here, except my marrying, which to me is a matter of profound wonder. "
" I was losing interest in politics, when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again. What I have done since then is pretty well known. "
" The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every calling, is diligence. "
" I am like a man so busy in letting rooms in one end of his house, that he can't stop to put out the fire that is burning the other. "
" No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens. "
" When Southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we are, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists, and that it is very difficult to get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. "
" We here highly resolve that these 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, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. "
" Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. "
" I hold that while man exists, it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind. "
" I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. "
" I have said a hundred times, and I have no inclination to take it back, that I believe there is no right, and ought to be no inclination in the people of the free States to enter into the slave States, and to interfere with the question of slavery at all. I have said that always. "
" It is a great piece of folly to attempt to make anything out of my early life. "
" I have talked with great men, and I do not see how they differ from others. "
" Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory. "
" The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty. "
" That I am not a member of any Christian church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures, and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular. "
" Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends? "
" A house divided against itself cannot stand. "
" Concede that the new government of Louisiana is only to what it should be, as the egg is to the fowl; we shall sooner have the fowl by hatching the egg than by smashing it. "
" 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. "
" Why was the amendment, expressly declaring the right of the people to exclude slavery, voted down? Plainly enough now, the adoption of it would have spoiled the niche for the Dred Scott decision. "
" I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end... 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. "
" I think that slavery is wrong, morally, socially and politically. I desire that it should be no further spread in these United States, and I should not object if it should gradually terminate in the whole Union. "
" When I am getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say and two-thirds about him and what he is going to say. "
" Among the friends of Union, there is great diversity of sentiment and of policy in regard to slavery and the African race among us. "