Sunday, 5 January 2014

Abraham Lincoln On Union

I've determined once and for all to finish Shelby Foote's amazing "Civil War: A Narrative". Starting at the beginning again means I've already gotten to take in the magnificent language of Abraham Lincoln's inaugural address. Though said in much different circumstances I feel some parts reverberate strongly in the run up to this year's independence referendum in Scotland.

"Physically speaking, we cannot separate. We cannot remove our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other; but the different parts of our country cannot do this. They cannot but remain face to face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends?" 


“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

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