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On October 24, 1863, Abraham Lincoln spoke before an audience here in Baltimore and confessed, in effect, that he considered himself ill chosen for the duty that had been thrust upon him. Regarding my infinitely smaller duty pertaining to this lecture, I must make, respectfully, without wishing to offend the selection committee, the same confession. Lincoln spoke here less than a month before he delivered his address at Gettysburg. With that weak justification, I take liberty to begin this lecture as follows