Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)
Mentor Graham: Well, Abe, there are always two occupations open to those who have failed at everything else: school teaching and politics.
Abraham Lincoln: [discussing why he can't face Mary Todd before his marriage to her] I'd have to tell her that I have hatred for her infernal ambition. That I don't want to be ridden and driven onward and upward through life with her whip bashing me and her spurs digging in me. If her poor little soul craves importance in life let her marry Stephen Douglas. He's ambitious too. I want only to be left alone.
Sarah Bush Lincoln: Wherever you go, whatever you do, you remember what the Good Book Says: "The world passeth, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever."
Abraham Lincoln: I'll remember, maw.
Abraham Lincoln: [after a particularly hysterical outburst by Mary, he comes up to her; her back is to him] Why do you take every opportunity you can to make a public fool out of me and yourself? It's bad enough when you act like that in the privacy of our own home, but here in front of people! You're not to do that again, do you hear? You're never to do that again!
Mary Todd Lincoln: [she turns to face him amazed, then] You never spoke to me like that before. You lost your temper, Abe... you've never done that before.
Abraham Lincoln: I'm sorry.
[He turns and walks away from her]
Abraham Lincoln: I still think youn should go home rather than stay here and endure the strain of this Death Watch.
Mary Todd Lincoln: [slowly goes to the door, opens it, pauses, then turns back to him] This is the night I dreamed about when I was a child... when I was an excited young girl and all the gay young gentlemen of Springfield were courting me... and I fell in love with the least likely of them. This is the night I'm waiting to hear that my husband is become President of the United States... and even if he does, it's ruined for me.
[He turns to stare at her]
Mary Todd Lincoln: It's too late.
[She slowly leaves]
Mary Todd Lincoln: [Contemptuously as she hears crowd noises from outside] Stephen Douglas has arrived. Listen to them cheering for him!
Abraham Lincoln: [Laconically] They ought to cheer. He paid 'em enough for it.
Abraham Lincoln: A house divided against itself cannot stand. The government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.
Aide to Stephen Douglas: You don't mean to say you're afraid of Abe Lincoln. Why, the country doesn't know him!
Stephen Douglas: Maybe the country doesn't... but I do.
Mr. Crimmin: Gentlemen, I may not know as much as you about economics and theology, but I do know politics and what is the essential quality that we demand in our candidate. It is simply this: that he be able to get himself elected.
Politician: Well, there's something in what you say.
Politician: And do you think he can do it?
Mr. Crimmin: I tell you, gentlemen, in that uncouth rail splitter you may observe one of the slickest, smoothest politicians that ever hoodwinked a yokel mob.
Ninian Edwards: [after he withdraws from politics] What'll yuh do, Abe?
Abraham Lincoln: Judge Stuart's offered me a chance to work in his law office in Springfield. Course I don't know much about the law, but there's one thing I've learned here in politics... that ignorance is no obstacle to advancement. In fact, in some cases it's quite an advantage.
Mentor Graham: Abe carried New Salem by 205 votes to 3.
Jack Armstrong: My boys are out tryin' to find the 3 skunks who voted wrong.
Lincoln's Cook: President of the United States! If they get him back there into Washington, he won't ever come out alive.
[a shocked Mary drops a pot]
Jack Armstrong: [to the crowd] I tell you, you all ought to listen to the judge. He got a round belly but a level head. No one can do nothin' with me without lickin' me first!