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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1109
AUTHOR: Carl Sandburg (1878–1967)
QUOTATION: Not often in the story of mankind does a man arrive on earth who is both steel and velvet, who is as hard as rock and soft as drifting fog, who holds in his heart and mind the paradox of terrible storm and peace unspeakable and perfect.
ATTRIBUTION: CARL SANDBURG, opening sentence in an address to a joint session of Congress marking the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, February 12, 1959, Congressional Record, vol. 105, p. 2265.
SUBJECTS: Lincoln, Abraham (1809–1865)