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- I saw Mr. Lincoln a number of times during the canvass for his second election. The characteristic which struck me most was his superabundance of common sense. His power of managing men, of deciding and avoiding difficult questions, surpassed that of any man I ever met. A keen insight of human nature had been cultivated by the trials and struggles of his early life. He knew the people and how to reach them better than any man of his time. I heard him tell a great many stories, many of which would not do exactly for the drawing-room; but for the person he wished to reach, and the object he desired to accomplish with the individual, the story did more than any argument could have done.
- Testimony XXIV in Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of His Time (1886) edited by Allen Thorndike Rice
- A pessimist is a man who thinks all women are bad. An optimist is a man who hopes they are.
- As quoted in FPA Book of Quotations : A New Collection of Famous Sayings (1952) by Franklin Pierce Adams
- I get my exercise acting as pallbearer to my friends who exercise.
- As quoted in Four Talks for Bibliophiles (1958) by George Allen, p. 70
- If you will refrain from telling any lies about the Republican Party, I'lll promise not to tell the truth about the Democrats.
- As quoted in "If Elected I Promise ... " Stories and Gems of Wisdom by and About Politicians (1969) by John F. Parker
Quotes about Depew
- "He is one of the foremost orators in the country, and as an after-dinner speaker is unrivaled. He charms a cultivated audience by his subtle humor, and a general audience by his flowing wit; is, in fact, so flexible that he can readily and easily adapt himself to circumstances."
- Allen Thorndike Rice in Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of His Time (1886), p. 637