Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.
No man is good enough to govern another man without the other's consent.
I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.
The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read.
Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.
All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.
When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.
I'm a slow walker, but I never walk back.
In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.
A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
When I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees.
Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Whatever you are, be a good one.
The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.
The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
These capitalists generally act harmoniously, and in concert, to fleece the people, and now, that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel.
To give victory to the right, not bloody bullets, but peaceful ballots only, are necessary.
No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.
The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.
Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
My father... removed from Kentucky to... Indiana, in my eighth year... It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up... Of course when I came of age, I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher... but that was all.
You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.
The ballot is stronger than the bullet.
That we we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free - honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.
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.
If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.
Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.
The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.
You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.
I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end... I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.
Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.
If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business.
If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.
Stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.
Everybody likes a compliment.
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.
The highest art is always the most religious, and the greatest artist is always a devout person.
I was losing interest in politics, when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again. What I have done since then is pretty well known.
The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.
How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.
No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.
Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality.
Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory.
The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
When I am getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say and two-thirds about him and what he is going to say.
Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose - and you allow him to make war at pleasure.
The assertion that 'all men are created equal' was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain and it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use.
I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.
Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.
I will prepare and some day my chance will come.
As our case is new, we must think and act anew.
Avoid popularity if you would have peace.
We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.
In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong.
I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.
I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.
As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.
All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.
Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new at all.
Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.
Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors to bullets.
Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.
He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.
The way for a young man to rise is to improve himself in every way he can, never suspecting that anybody wishes to hinder him.
What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.
The time comes upon every public man when it is best for him to keep his lips closed.
With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.
If there is anything that a man can do well, I say let him do it. Give him a chance.
Some single mind must be master, else there will be no agreement in anything.
I hope to stand firm enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country's cause.
Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.
It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.
I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.
Public opinion in this country is everything.
There is another old poet whose name I do not now remember who said, 'Truth is the daughter of Time.'
Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.
With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds.
A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me.
He who molds the public sentiment... makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to make.
Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.
I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.
I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.
I can make more generals, but horses cost money.
Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.
I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run.
Some day I shall be President.
Republicans are for both the man and the dollar, but in case of conflict the man before the dollar.
These men ask for just the same thing, fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have.
With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.
Every one desires to live long, but no one would be old.
Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this.
If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, calling a tail a leg don't make it a leg.
Knavery and flattery are blood relations.
I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.
A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have.
Lets have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.
The people themselves, and not their servants, can safely reverse their own deliberate decisions.
Hold on with a bulldog grip, and chew and choke as much as possible.
It is rather for us here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.
Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.