The true rule, in determining to embrace or reject any thing, is not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more of evil than of good. There are few things wholly evil or wholly good. Almost every thing is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded.
I think about this every time I accidentally stumble upon some professional media agitator or politician fulminating on the horrors of our modern times, wherein some socialistic furriner will set up death camps and make us all wear "666" stamps on our foreheads before we are systematically executed. Or something. Abe's thinking suggests that such binary moralism is misplaced. But it is what currently drives American politics. I suspect Abe would look around and be shocked, and saddened. Since he's not here, I'll try to do it for him.
So, "furriner" threw me. Then I looked it up (on Wiktionary), and here it is in a sentence with "wild goose." I thought that was funny.
1853(?), John Greenleaf Whittier, Yankee Gypsies,
"I took this 'ere paper, you see, to help a poor furriner, who could n't make himself understood any more than a wild goose."
Good quote from Lincoln, though. My thinking is getting grayer as I age. I no longer think that's a bad thing, either...
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