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LINCOLN

I

LINCOLN's AMBITION

From an address to the people of Sangamon County, issued March 9, 1832.

EveRY man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say, for one, that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow-men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition is yet to be developed. I am young, and unknown to many of you. I was born, and have ever remained, in the most humble walks of life. I have no wealthy or popular relations or friends to recommend me. My case is thrown exclusively upon the independent voters of the country; and, if elected, they will have conferred a favor upon me for which I shall be unremitting in my labors to compensate. But if the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined.

TO A FRIEND

From a letter to Joshua F. Speed, dated February 3, 1842.

YoU well know that I do not feel my own sorrows much more keenly than I do yours, when I know of them; and yet I assure you I was not much hurt by what you wrote me of your excessively bad feeling at the time you wrote. Not that I am less capable of sympathizing with you now than ever, not that I am less your friend than ever, but because I hope and believe that your present anxiety and distress about her health and her life must and will forever ban

ish those horrid doubts which
I know you sometimes felt as
to the truth of your affection
for her. If they can once and
forever be removed (and I al-
most feel a presentiment that
the Almighty has sent your
present affliction expressly for
that object), surely nothing can
come in their stead to fill their
immeasurable measure of mis-
ery.
The death-scenes of those
we love are surely painful
enough; but these we are pre-
pared for and expect to see:
they happen to all, and all
know they must happen. Pain-
ful as they are, they are not an
unlooked-for sorrow. Should
she, as you fear, be destined to
an early grave, it is indeed a
great consolation to know that
she is so well prepared to meet
it. Her religion, which you
once disliked so much, I will
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venture you now prize most highly. But I hope your melancholy bodings as to her early death are not well founded. I even hope that ere this reaches you she will have returned with improved and still improving health, and that you will have met her, and forgotten the sorrows of the past in the enjoyments of the present. I would say more if I could, but it seems that I have said enough. It really appears to me that you yourself ought to rejoice, and not sorrow, at this indubitable evidence of your undying affection for her. Why, Speed, if you did not love her, although you might not wish her death, you would most certainly be resigned to it. Perhaps this point is no longer a question with you, and my pertinacious dwelling upon it is a rude intrusion upon

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