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Page:Samuel Scoville -Abraham Lincoln, His Story.djvu/64

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thing to say. He thought things out for himself, instead of accepting other men's conclusions. In 1856, at the first convention of the Republican party, he delivered a speech which cast such a spell over his audience that even the reporters forgot to take notes. For years it was known as the "Lost Speech." Finally in recent years a report of it was found. Across the years the echo of it thrills us today. Every young man should read Abraham Lincoln's speech of May 19, 1856, which created a great party and outlined principles that this country has made a part of itself.

It was on November 19, 1863, that Lincoln reached his full height as an orator. The national cemetery at Gettysburg was to be dedicated. Edward Everett had spoken for two hours, furbishing up old ideas and redressing old thoughts with wonderful rhetoric and eloquence. Then Lincoln spoke for five minutes. Today no one remembers a sentence, a line, or an idea from Everett's speech. Read what Lincoln said, and note how every sentence rings true and familiar, like some oft-heard chapter of the Bible:

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation