"Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
※ "But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate -- we cannot consecrate -- we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
"The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. "It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work for which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
The crowd applauded for several minutes. Then the people began to leave.
Lincoln turned to a friend. He said he feared his speech had been a failure. He said he should have prepared it more carefully.
Edward Everett did not agree with Lincoln. He said the president's speech was perfect. He said the president had said more in two minutes than he, Everett, had said in two hours.
Newspapers and other publications praised Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Said one: "The few words of the president were from the heart, to the heart. They cannot be read without emotion."
Abraham Lincoln went back to Washington that night. He was very tired. Within a week, his secretary announced that the president was sick. He was suffering from smallpox.