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PAGE XXVIII TELEGRAM TO GENERAL McCLELLAN .
166 xxxI LETTER TO General HOOKER 172 XXXII LETTER TO GENERAL GRANT 175 XXXII LETTER TO J. C. CONKLING 177 XXXIV The GETTYSBURG ADDRESS . 190 XXXV RESPONSE TO A SERENADE
193 XXXVI LETTER OF CONDOLENCE TO
Mrs. BixbY OF Boston,
197 XXXVII SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS 199
The selections in this volume are taken, by permission, froin the authorized edition of " The Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln," by John G. Nicolay and John Hay.
OF style, in the ordinary use of the word, Lincoln may be said to have had little. He certainly did not strive for an artistic method of expression through such imitation of the masters, for instance, as Robert Louis Stevenson's. There was nothing ambitiously elaborate or selfconsciously simple in Lincoln's way of writing. He had not the scholar's range of words. He was not always grammatically accurate. He would doubtless have been very much surprised if any one had told him that he had a "style" at all. And yet, because he was determined to be understood, because he was honest, because he had a warm heart and a true, because he had read good books eagerly and not coldly, and because there was in him a native good taste, as well as a strain of imagination, he achieved a singularly clear and forcible style, which took color from his own noble character, and became a thing individual and distinguished.
He was indeed, extremely modest about his accomplishments. His great desire was to convince those whom he addressed, and if he could do this,- if he could make his views clear to them, still more if he could make them appear reasonable,- he was satisfied. In one of his speeches in the great debate with Douglas he said: “Gentlemen, Judge Douglas informed you that this speech of mine was probably carefully
prepared. I admit that it was. I am not a master of language; I have not a fine education; I am not capable of entering into a disquisition upon dialectics, as I believe you call it; but I do not believe the language I employed bears any such construction as Judge Douglas puts upon it. But I don't care about a quibble in regard to words. I know what I meant, and I will not leave this crowd in doubt, if I can explain it to them, what I really meant in the use of that paragraph.”
Who are, to Americans at least, the two most interesting men of action of the nineteenth century? Why not Napoleon and Lincoln ? No two men could have been more radically different in many ways; but they were both great rulers, one according to the “good old plan