The birthday Boys

Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. –Abraham Lincoln

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. –Abraham Lincoln

To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. –Abraham Lincoln

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. –Abraham Lincoln

We can complain because roses have thorns, or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. –Abraham Lincoln

Character is like a tree, and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. –Abraham Lincoln

Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. –Abraham Lincoln

We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it. –Abraham Lincoln

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. –Abraham Lincoln

I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better. –Abraham Lincoln

If you call the tail a leg, how many legs will a dog have? Four; a tail remains a tail, whatever you call it. –Abraham Lincoln

I wanted to post this for Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin’s mutual birthday, both born on 12 February 1809. Of course it’s a simple coincidence, but still a curious one; can we think of other “birthday twins” who’ve had as much impact on world history and thought as these men? I have trouble imagining what things would be like if they had not lived and worked as they did. We know that Shakespeare and novelist Miguel de Cervantes died on the same day, 23 April 1616. And so did John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both dying on the Fourth of July 1826, fifty years after their work together on our Declaration of Independence. But that’s all I can think of, and it’s not really the same thing.

In any case, I’m late because I’ve been trying to pick out my favorite Lincoln quotations, and there are so many! If you want more, do a search, or browse any of the “Quotes” pages here in Take Heart!

And I wanted a few quotes from Darwin, but his style doesn’t run to many quips or aphorisms. Here’s about all I found:

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” –Charles Darwin

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. –Charles Darwin

Also see the post One Step Forward?


About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
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