They are gone.
They were a forest of giant oaks; but the all-resistless hurricane has swept over them, and left only here and there a lonely trunk, despoiled of its verdure, shorn of its foliage, unshading and unshaded, to murmur in a few more gentle breezes, and to combat with its mutilated limbs a few more rude storms, then to sink and be no more.
They were pillers of the temple of liberty, and now that they have crumbled away, that temple must fall, unless we, their descendants, supply their places with other pillers hewn from the same solid quarry of sober reason.
Passion has helped us, but can do so no more.
It will in future be our enemy.
Reason — cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason — must furnish all the materials for our further support and defense.
Let these materials be moulded into general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the Constitution
and the laws.
... Upon these let the proud fabric of freedom rest as the rock of its basis, and as truly as has been said of the only greater institution, ‘The gates of hell shall not pervail against it.’
In time Lincoln
's style changed: he became more eloquent but with less gaudy ornamentation.
He grew in oratorical power, dropping gradually the alliteration and rosy metaphor of youth, until he was able at last to deliver that grandest of all orations — the Gettysburg
One evening, while the usual throng of loungers surrounded the inviting fireplace in Speed
's store, the conversation turned on political matters.