Monday, November 21, 2005
Gettysburg Address Turns 142
Many thanks to the Infamous Dean Barnett for bringing this anniversary to my remembrance, and also pointing out that - even back then - The New York Times missed out on the most important words spoken on that day.
Abe was brief, to the point, and said more in a few paragraphs than Edward Everett said in the hours he occupied. He even went as far as to admit the same to Lincoln in a letter written after the event:
Permit me also to express my great admiration of the thoughts expressed by you, with such eloquent simplicity & appropriateness, at the consecration of the cemetery. I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.To which Abe replied:
In our respective parts yesterday, you could not have been excused to make a short address, nor I a long one. I am pleased to know that, in your judgment, the little I did say was not entirely a failure.Not bad for a man who wrote his own stuff.
Here endeth the lesson.