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With Firmness in the Right Frederick L. Neumann University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign One of the earliest memories I have is, as a child, climbing a set of stone steps in the fading twilight of an early spring evening toward a marble build-ing filled with light. As my father assisted me up the last step I remember being startled by an enormous statue of a bearded man sitting in a large chair whose kindly, though wrinkled, face seemed to be looking down just at me. I do not recall much that happened subsequently except that I could not get that initial view of the statue out of my mind. I do remember that there was some writing on the walls that my father and brothers said something about, but I could not take my eyes off of that statute. I have returned to the Lincoln Memorial several times since then and have been similarly affected. Learn-ing his story and reflecting on the words on the walls that surround his statue have only added to my original sense of awe. I am not a native of Illinois, but one does not live there for very long with-out noticing the shadow that the Great Emancipator still casts over the Prairie State. Lincoln remains somewhat of a folk hero as well as a revered resident. The nose on his weather-stained bust in Oak Ridge Cemetery is as bright as gold, rubbed shiny by countless visitors who use it as a sign of friendly re-spect toward this humble man of the people. One of the attributes of Lincoln that has attracted me to him is his writ-ing. We have probably never had another president who could write as mov-ingly as he. In this day of ghost writers, it is difficult to know who really originated a presidential turn of phrase that may catch our fancy. Hark back then to the days when presidents wrote their own material. Certainly there was Jefferson, but his prose, while brilliant, was not of the earthy nature or straightforward metaphor of Lincoln. Teddy Roosevelt was another of our literary presidents, but, again, his prose did not reach to the depths of Lincoln's. Among American writers of any connection, it is hard to match the Old Testament grandeur of Lincoln's style or the rich resonance of his expression. Despite all the attention given to his Gettysburg Address, Lincoln had many other memorable pieces of prose. Today, I would like to focus on his second inaugural speech. The speech was delivered near the end of the Civil War, when reconstruction loomed as the new challenge. It was not long before the assassination that would keep him from carrying it out. The particular words I want to recall deal with what Lincoln thought should be the nation's perspective toward that future. In particular, I have 9
With firmness in the right
Neumann, Frederick L.
Srivastava, Rajendra P., ed.
Auditors -- Professional ethics
Auditing Symposium X: Proceedings of the 1990 Deloitte & Touche/University of Kansas Symposium on Auditing Problems, pp. 009-019
|Source||Published by: University of Kansas, School of Business|
|Rights||Contents have not been copyrighted|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|