Tag Archives: James Russell Lowell

Abraham Lincoln

Last weekend I was playing with my new eReader: the interface with the computer, online shops interfaces, how to get files into it, how to make notes… and I read the eBook “Abraham Lincoln” by James Russell Lowell (which is not really a biography but an editorial about the president).

I underlined some sentences that I especially liked and wanted to share them:

  • “Among the lessons taught by the French Revolution there is none sadder or more striking than this, that you may make everything else out of the passions of men except a political system that will work, and that there is nothing so pitilessly and unconsciously cruel as sincerity formulated into dogma. It is always demoralizing to extend the domain of sentiment over questions where it has no legitimate jurisdiction […]”.
  • “We have seen Mr. Lincoln contemptuously compared to Sancho Panza by persons incapable of appreciating one of the deepest pieces of wisdom in the profoundest romance ever written; namely, that, while Don Quixote was incomparable in theoretic and ideal statesmanship, Sancho, with his stock of proverbs, the ready money of human experience, made the best possible practical governor.”
  • “Never was ruler so absolute as he, nor so little conscious of it; for he was the incarnate common-sense of the people.”

Abraham Lincoln memorial in DC.

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