February 12, 2009

Let None Falter Who Thinks He is Right

lincoln1840-41.jpg
Earliest known (although disputed) photograph of Lincoln. Taken 1840-41

Lincoln, Speaking in Springfield 170 years ago, December 20, 1839.

Many free countries have lost their liberty, and ours may lose hers; but if she shall, be it my proudest plume, not that I was the last to desert, but that I never deserted her.

I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption in a current broad and deep, which is sweeping with frightful velocity over the whole length and breadth of the land, bidding fair to leave unscathed no green spot or living thing; while on its bosom are riding, like demons on the waves of hell, the imps of that evil spirit, and fiendishly taunting all those who dare resist its destroying course with the hopelessness of their effort; and, knowing this, I cannot deny that all may be swept away. Broken by it I, too, may be; bow to it I never will.

The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me. If ever I feel the soul within me elevate and expand to those dimensions not wholly unworthy of its almighty Architect, it is when I contemplate the cause of my country deserted by all the world beside, and I standing up boldly and alone, and hurling defiance at her victorious oppressors.

Here, without contemplating consequences, before high heaven and in the face of the world, I swear eternal fidelity to the just cause, as I deem it, of the land of my life, my liberty, and my love.

And who that thinks with me will not fearlessly adopt the oath that I take?

Let none falter who thinks he is right, and we may succeed. But if, after all, we shall fail, be it so. We still shall have the proud consolation of saying to our consciences, and to the departed shade of our country's freedom, that the cause approved of our judgment, and adored of our hearts, in disaster, in chains, in torture, in death, we never faltered in defending. -- From The Entire Writings of Lincoln by Abraham Lincoln

Posted by Vanderleun at February 12, 2009 1:32 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

How prescient of Old Abe.

Truer words could not be spoken, even today.

How many charlatans in Congress have stabbed the country in the back and made light of it. I, for one, will stand with Old Abe and NEVER give in to the wretches who think they can defeat my country by usurping its power, turning their flaming words on loyal citizens and honorable leaders, and then expect me to bow down to them.

It is better to die on my feet, than to kneel to their tyranny, any day, any week, any year, any time.

I despise Congress and the Press.

Subsunk

Posted by: Subsunk at February 12, 2009 3:27 PM

How prescient of Old Abe.

Truer words could not be spoken, even today.

How many charlatans in Congress have stabbed the country in the back and made light of it. I, for one, will stand with Old Abe and NEVER give in to the wretches who think they can defeat my country by usurping its power, turning their flaming words on loyal citizens and honorable leaders, and then expect me to bow down to them.

It is better to die on my feet, than to kneel to their tyranny, any day, any week, any year, any time.

I despise Congress and the Press.

Subsunk

Posted by: Subsunk at February 12, 2009 3:27 PM

How prescient of Old Abe.

Truer words could not be spoken, even today.

How many charlatans in Congress have stabbed the country in the back and made light of it. I, for one, will stand with Old Abe and NEVER give in to the wretches who think they can defeat my country by usurping its power, turning their flaming words on loyal citizens and honorable leaders, and then expect me to bow down to them.

It is better to die on my feet, than to kneel to their tyranny, any day, any week, any year, any time.

I despise Congress and the Press.

Subsunk

Posted by: Subsunk at February 12, 2009 3:27 PM

It looks like Lincoln, but the hair seems artificial. The hairline is way too 'hard'. Was it a wig?

Posted by: ahem at February 13, 2009 5:27 AM

This Daguerreotype is Lincoln. The face matches in every respect, and the jaw is displaced to his left from a childhood horse kick. Then there are the ears.

How fortunate we are to have it.

And it is wonderful to hear opinion and committment so sharpened. That is what we have lost in the erosion of time, in what Burkhardt called 'the domestication of individuality'.

Posted by: at February 13, 2009 8:25 AM