In this respect early youth is exactly like old age; it is a time of waiting for a big trip to an unknown destination. The chief difference is that youth waits for the morning limited and age waits for the night train
It began with one act of madness, and it ended with another. John Brown heard history's clock strike in the night and tried to hurry dawn along with gunfire; now John Wilkes Booth heard the clock strike, and he tried with gunfire to restore the darkness. Each man stood outside the human community, directed by voices the sane do not hear, and each kept history from going logically... The line from Harper's Ferry to Ford's Theater is a red thread binding the immense disorder of the Civil War into an irrational sort of coherence.
Abraham Lincoln was not all brooding and melancholy and patient understanding. There was a hard core in him, and plenty of toughness. He could recognize a revolutionary situation when he saw one, and he could act fast and ruthlessly to meet it.
Beneath everything else, North and West, there ran a profound, unvoiced, almost subconscious conviction that the [American] nation was going to go on growing-in size, in power, in everything a man could think of-and in that belief there was a might and a fury that would take form instantly at the moment of shock.