Eloquent Abe

I had no idea how eloquent Abraham Lincoln was until purchasing a book of selected letters & speeches. Here is an excerpt on the price of freedom:

“If the relative grandeur of revolutions shall be estimated by the great amount of human misery they alleviate, and the small amount they inflict, then, indeed, will this be the grandest the world shall ever have seen. Of our political revolution of ’76, we all are justly proud. It has given us a degree of political freedom, far exceeding that of any other of the nations of the earth. In it the world has found a solution of that long mooted problem, as to the capability of man to govern himself. In it was the germ which has vegetated, and still is to grow and expand into the universal liberty of mankind.
But with all these glorious results, past, present, and to come, it had its evils too. It breathed forth famine, swam in blood and rode on fire; and long, long after, the orphan’s cry, and the widow’s wail, continued to break the sad silence that ensued. These were the price, the inevitable price, paid for the blessings it bought.”

It is humbling that someone of Lincoln’s education could speak so clearly yet poetically, and disheartening to compare him to some of today’s political leaders speaking on the subject of freedom and revolution, with their empty and often vague rhetoric, despite “thorough” educations.