Little Masterpieces

Little Masterpieces

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Little Masterpieces

Little Masterpieces

Read FREE!

Excerpt

"It is not too much to say of him [ Lincoln] that he is among the greatest masters of prose ever produced by the English race."--The (London) Spectator.

It is said that Nathaniel Hawthorne was once asked the secret of his style. That consummate writer replied--no doubt with one of his inscrutable smiles--"It is the result of a great deal of practice. It comes from the desire to tell the simple truth as honestly and vividly as I can." The flawless perfection of Lincoln's style in his noblest utterances eludes a final analysis as completely as the exquisite pages of our great romancer, yet in striving to understand some of the causes of that perfection we may use the hint which Hawthorne has given us.

Lincoln had "a great deal of practice" in the art of speech long before his debates against Douglas made him known to the nation: endless talks in country stores, endless jests in frontier taverns, twenty years of pleading in the circuit courts, twenty-five years of constant political discussion. His law partner has noted his incessant interest in the precise meaning of words. His reputation for clear statement to . . .

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