In a debate about the prosecution of the war, when the tide was turning against Lincoln, Jim Lane, a fire—breathing Senator from Kansas, gave a speech. I'm afraid I no longer have the date, or the occasion, or anything beyond the opening passage. But that opening passage speaks for itself.
'For a man to stir up sore and wounded hearts to bitterness, requires no skill, no power of oratory. For a man to address the minds of men sickened by disaster, wearied by long trial, heated by passion, bewildered by uncertainty, heavy with grief, and cunningly to turn them into one vindictive channel, into one blind rush of senseless fury —— that requires no great power of oratory. It may be the mere trick of a charlatan. For a man to address himself to an assembly like this, goaded almost to madness by long sufferirng, sorrow, disaster, humiliation, perplexity, and now aroused by venomous art to an all but unanimous condemnation of the innocent, and to turn them in their tracks and force them to go the other way —— that would indeed be a feat of transcendent oratorical power.'
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