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[230] then to upturned serious faces of Illinois farmers who wished to hear national issues made clear to them, then to a listening nation in the agony of civil war, and ultimately to a world which looks to Lincoln as an exponent and interpreter of the essence of democracy.

As the audience increased, the style took on beauty and breadth, as if the man's soul were looking through wider and wider windows at the world. But it always remained the simplest of styles. In an offhand reply to a serenade by an Indiana regiment, or in answering a visiting deputation of clergymen at the White House, Lincoln could summarize and clarify a complicated national situation with an ease and orderliness and fascination that are the despair of professional historians. He never wasted a word. “Go to work is the only cure for your case,” he wrote to John D. Johnston. There are ten words in that sentence and none of over four letters. The Gettysburg address contains but two hundred and seventy words, in ten sentences. “It is a flat failure,” said Lincoln despondently; but Edward Everett, who had delivered “the” oration of that day, wrote to the President: “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of ”

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