"Lincoln is our only president who read Shakespeare constantly and read it out loud in conference with men... After returning from Congress in 1849 he started to make up for his lack of a liberal education. He learned to read Spanish, German and French and he also read Gibbon's history of Rome. But it was not until 1859 that he read Plutarch's Lives... It was, however, the reading of the Greek classics that changed his style and gave him the 'Attic simplicity and Hellenic elevation of his closing and deathless utterances'"
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