Great statesmen seem to direct and rule by a sort of power to put themselves in the place of the nation over which they are set, and may thus be said to possess the souls of poets at the same time they display the coarser sense and the more vulgar sagacity of practical men of business.
The soul of me is very selfish. I have gone my way after a fashion that made me the center of the plan. And you who are so individual, who are so independent a spirit, whose soul is also a kingdom, have been so loyal, so forgiving, so self-sacrificing in your willingness to live my life. Nothing but love cold have accomplished so wonderful a thing.
The greatest and truest models for all oratorsis Demosthenes. One who has not studied deeply and constantly all the great speeches of the great Athenian, is not prepared to speak in public. Only as the constant companion of Demosthenes, Burke, Fox, Canning and Webster, can we hope to become orators.
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This book [the Bible] speaks both the voice of God and the voice of humanity, for there is told in it the most convincing of human experience that has ever been written...and those who heed that story will know their strength and happiness and success are all summed up in the exhortation, "Fear God and keep His commandments."
In fundamental theory socialism and democracy are almost if not quite one and the same. They both rest at bottom upon the absolute right of the community to determine its own destiny and that of its members. Men as communities are supreme over men as individuals. Limits of wisdom and convenience to the public control there may be: limits of principle there are, upon strict analysis, none.
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The nature of men and of organized society dictates the maintenance in every field of action of the highest and purest standards of justice and of right dealing.... By justice the lawyer generally means the prompt, fair, and open application of impartial rules; but we call ours a Christian civilization, and a Christian conception of justice must be much higher. It must include sympathy and helpfulness and a willingness to forego self-interest in order to promote the welfare, happiness, and contentment of others and of the community as a whole.
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Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down. Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process. Colonies must be obtained or planted, in order that no useful corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused.
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The great war that broke so suddenly upon the world two years ago, and which has swept up within its flame so great a part of thecivilized world, has affected us very profoundly.... With its causes and its objects we are not concerned. The obscure fountains from which its stupendous flood has burst we are not interested to search for or explore.
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Leadership does not always wear the harness of compromise. Once and again one of those great influences which we call a Cause arises in the midst of a nation. Men of strenuous minds and high ideals come forward.... The attacks they sustain are more cruel than the collision of arms.... Friends desert and despise them.... They stand alone and oftentimes are made bitter by their isolation.... They are doing nothing less than defy public opinion, and shall they convert it by blows. Yes.
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Let him [the President] once win the admiration and confidence of the country, and no other single force can withstand him, no combination of forces will easily overpower him.... If he rightly interpret the national thought and boldly insist upon it, he is irresistible; and the country never feels the zest of action so much as when the President is of such insight and caliber.
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You have the greatest soul, the noblest nature, the sweetest, most loving heart I have ever known, and my love, my reverence, my admiration for you, you have increased in one evening as I should have thought only a lifetime of intimate, loving association could have increased them. You are more wonderful and lovely in my eyes than you ever were before; and my pride and joy and gratitude that you should love me with such a perfect love are beyond all expression, except in some great poem which I cannot write.
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I have had the accomplishment of something like this at heart ever since I was a boy.... So I feel tonight like the man who is lodging happily in the inn which lies half way along the journey and that in time, with a fresh impulse, we shall go the rest of the journey and sleep at the journey's end like men with a quiet conscience.
I come from the South and I know what war is, for I have seen its terrible wreckage and ruin. It is easy for me as President to declare war. I do not have to fight, and neither do the gentlemen on the Hill who now clamor for it. It is some poor farmer's boy, or the son of some poor widow - who will have to do the fighting and dying.
I can imagine no greater disservice to the country than to establish a system of censorship that would deny to the people of a free republic like our own their indisputable right to criticize their own public officials. While exercising the great powers of the office I hold, I would regret in a crisis like the one through which we are now passing to lose the benefit of patriotic and intelligent criticism.
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When I think of the flag.... I see alternate strips of parchment upon which are written the rights of liberty and justice, and stripes of blood to vindicate those rights, and then, in the corner, a prediction of the blue serene into which every nation may swim which stands for these great things.
We have begun a fight that it may be will take many a generation to complete... but you know that men are not put into this world to go the path of ease; they are put into this world to go the path of pain and struggle... We have given our lives to the enterprise, and that is richer and the moral is greater.
The immortality of Thomas Jefferson does not lie in any one of his achievements, or in the series of his achievements, but in his attitude towards mankind and the conception which he sought to realize in action of the service owed by America to the rest of the world... Thomas Jefferson was a great leader of men because he understood and interpreted the spirits of men.
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If there are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States, they are going to own it; what we have to determine now is whether we are big enough, whether we are men enough, whether we are free enough, to take possession again of the government which is our own.
A politician, a man engaged in party contests, must be an opportunist. Let us give up saying that word as if it contained a slur. If you want to win in party action, I take it for granted that you want to lure the majority to your side. I never heard of any man in his senses who was fishing for a minority.
If young gentlemen get from their years in college only manliness, esprit de corps, a release of their social gifts, a training ingive and take, a catholic taste in men and the standards of true sportsmen, they have gained much but they have not gained what a college should give them. It should give them insight into the things of the mind and the spiritthe consciousness of having taken on them the vows of true enlightenment and of having undergone the discipline, never to be shaken off, of those who seek wisdom in candor, with faithful labor and travail of spirit.
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My dream is that as the years go by and the world knows more and more of America, itwill turn to America for those moral inspirations that lie at the basis of all freedomthat America will come into the full light of the day when all shall know that she puts human rights above all other rights, and that her flag is the flag not only of America but of humanity.
A powerful Navy we have always regarded as our proper and natural means of defense; and it has always been of defense that we have thought, never of aggression or of conquest. But who shall tell us now what sort of Navy to build? We shall take leave to be strong upon the seas, in the future as in the past; and there will be no thought of offense or provocation in that. Our ships are our natural bulwarks.
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It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilizationitself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things we have always carried closest to our hearts.
We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.
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