However, Lincoln asserts that his speech ought to have “thrown additional light” on the topic, showcasing how the Democratic administration conspired to manufacture these gains. He compares the recent swathe of pro-slavery laws and legal decisions to parts of a machine. Lincoln used formal language and technical terms to create an authoritative tone, which helps the audience be more receptive to his speech. While the Nebraska bill was passing through congress, a law case, involving the question of a negro's freedom, by reason of his owner having voluntarily taken him first into a free State and then a territory covered by the congressional prohibition, and held him as a slave for a long time in each, was passing through the U.S. The indorsement, however, fell short of a clear popular majority by nearly four hundred thousand votes, and so, perhaps, was not overwhelmingly reliable and satisfactory. Lincoln emphasizes the passage of time in order to further highlight the suspect timing of the Dred Scott decision, which came shortly after Buchanan’s inauguration. In his view, popular sovereignty is not a doctrine of freedom, but rather a doctrine that explicitly supports slavery. Judge Douglas, if not a dead lion for this work, is at least a caged and toothless one. Though popular sovereignty sounded good in theory and became a major campaign issue, it was a resounding failure in application, promptly “kicked to the winds.”. Lincoln introduces the "house divided" theme in the first section of his speech to illustrate just how bad the situation was in America. Speech in Acceptance of Nomination as United States Senator, Made at the Close of the Republican State Convention, Springfield, Ill. June 16, 1858. Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention. "But," said opposition members, "let us be more specific- let us amend the bill so as to expressly declare that the people of the Territory may exclude slavery." The act stipulated that the citizens of each new territory would vote on whether to legalize slavery. In at least 150 words, discuss how this analogy fits Lincoln's purpose in the "House Divided" speech. Lincoln argues that if Republicans could effectively oppose the Democrats when the Democrats were still “disciplined” and together, then they can certainly obtain victory now that the Democrats are plagued by internal strife. But clearly, he is not now with us-he does not pretend to be-he does not promise to ever be. Plainly enough now, the speaking out then would have damaged the "perfectly free" argument upon which the election was to be carried. However, throughout most of the early-to-mid 19th century, anti-slavery sentiment seemed like the dominant trend. Lincoln's second inaugural address previewed his plans for healing a once-divided nation. Now, as ever, I wish not to misrepresent Judge Douglas's position, question his motives, or do aught that can be personally offensive to him. Under th… Speech in Acceptance of Nomination as United States Senator, Made at the Close of the Republican State Convention, Springfield, Ill. June 16, 1858. This opened all the national territory to slavery, and was the first point gained. The mold, typically made of tightly packed sand, is carved in a specific shape and molten metal is then poured into the mold. The nearest approach to the point of declaring the power of a State over slavery, is made by Judge Nelson. He also asks Douglas to defend his apparent apathy, foregrounding slavery, an issue that Douglas sought to avoid, as a key campaign issue in the senate race. It was recited by Abraham Lincoln as he accepted the Republican Party nomination as a representative of the United States Senate. By the time Lincoln spoke, both antislavery and proslavery writers had used the metaphor of the house divided to argue that the United States could not be both free and slave. His avowed mission is impressing the "public heart" to care nothing about it. Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Peoria, Illinois, 16 October 1854, in Roy P. Basler, ed., ... a bill to give it a territorial government passed the House of Representatives, and, in the hands of Judge Douglas, failed of passing the Senate only for want of time. Can we safely base our action upon any such vague inference? That was the second point gained. That was the second point gained. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Of strange, discordant, and even, hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplined, proud, and pampered enemy. TEXT 1: "House Divided Speech' by Abraham Lincoln, Delivered in Springfield, Illinois, on June 16, 1858 "A house divided against itself cannot stand" I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -1 do not expect the house to fall-but I do expect it will cease to be divided  If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. That principle is the only shred left of his original Nebraska doctrine. Lincoln’s audience would have been familiar with the details of both the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Dred Scott decision. In doing so, Lincoln is demystifying these powerful individuals and encouraging his audience to evaluate their actions based on the results of their policies, not on their titles. Lincoln introduces an extended metaphor that he references throughout his speech. His reasons for rejecting Scott’s suit and ruling with the court differed from Taney’s. Popular sovereignty dictates that the US territories should decide through the popular vote whether to enter the Union as slave or free states. Let any one who doubts, carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal combination - piece of machinery so to speak- compounded of the Nebraska doctrine, and the Dred Scott decision. However, beginning with the Compromise of 1850 and the strengthening of the Fugitive Slave Act, the anti-slavery cause began losing ground. 301 certified writers online Lincoln appeals to pathos by creating a contrast between the long-cherished hope of the Republican party and what he views as the imminent reality of slavery’s expansion. However, Lincoln dismisses this possibility and frames the dispute as “little.” This diminishes the perceived magnitude of the disagreement and reinforces Douglas’s continued attachment to the Democrats. For years he has labored to prove it a sacred right of white men to take negro slaves into the new territories. By directly quoting from the constitution, Lincoln appeals to logos and emphasizes the legal ramifications of the court’s decision. Abraham Lincoln's "House Divided" speech 16 June 1858: Text cited in Roy P. Braster, Ed. It will … Any why the hasty after indorsements of the decision by the President and others? … And as the home producers will probably not ask the protection, he will be wholly without a ground of opposition. He, along with many others, viewed the upcoming Dred Scott decision as the means by which the matter might finally be resolved. The election came. A foundry mold is a tool used in metal casting to create shapes that are too difficult to sculpt by hand. The “little quarrel” that Lincoln refers to is the disagreement between Buchanan and Douglas over the ratification of the Lecompton Constitution. By introducing his ideas with “plainly,” Lincoln indicates that his conclusions should be clear and apparent in light of the evidence he has presented. Combined with the simile comparing “squatter sovereignty” to “temporary scaffolding,” it also conveys a sense of impermanence and instability. Both were anti-slavery and saw the majority’s decision as an overreach of judicial power. Instead, voters should support Lincoln himself, whose “hands are free” to take on the fight against slavery’s expansion. Lincoln refers to Buchanan’s election as “the second point gained” by the pro-slavery coalition, since it guaranteed the presidential endorsement of whatever the Supreme Court decided in the Dred Scott case. These things look like the cautious patting and petting of a spirited horse preparatory to mounting him, when it is dreaded that he may give the rider a fall. Why was the amendment expressly declaring the right of the people voted down? I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. A House Divided Speech at the Illinois State Capitol. The verb “to preconcert” refers to the act of arranging or planning something in advance. The following paragraph proceeds to advocate against Douglas by portraying him as pro-slavery—or at least not strongly enough opposed to it. (3) That whether the holding a negro in actual slavery in a free State makes him free as against the holder, the United States courts will not decide, but will leave to be decided by the courts of any slave State the negro may be forced into by the master. In response, anti-slavery free-staters formed their own unofficial legislature. In November of 1863, at the height of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most well-known speeches in history.Though it only lasted two minutes, the Gettysburg Address eloquently expressed the pressing need to instill the principle of human equality in a divided nation. Lincoln's House Divided Speech June 16, 1858, at the Illinois Republican convention Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention: If we could first know where we are and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do and how to do it. He draws a parallel between this omission and the similar omission found in the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which also only explicitly declares the right of territories to allow slavery. Why are the people of a Territory and the people of a State therein lumped together, and their relation to the Constitution therein treated as being precisely the same? It also extends the industrial metaphor by approaching the parts of the decision as one might approach a technical manual. Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted by, its own undoubted friends—those whose hands are free, whose hearts are in the work, who do care for the result. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. He has not said so. Wise counsels may accelerate or mistakes delay it, but sooner or later, the victory is sure to come. Once the Dred Scott decision declared Congressional restrictions on slavery unconstitutional, the mold was no longer needed and Douglas’s Nebraska doctrine “fell back into loose sand.”, Lincoln uses alliteration and simile to showcase the failure of Douglas’s popular sovereignty doctrine and to highlight its role in expanding slavery. But, so far, Congress only had acted; and an indorsement by the people, real or apparent, was indispensable to save the point already gained and give chance for more. Lincoln stakes a claim to the moral highground by framing apathy—and the cultivation of it in the “public mind”—as incomprehensible. By noting the opposition of Douglas and his Southern supporters to the amendment, Lincoln calls into question their true motives. The several points of the Dred Scott decision, in connection with Senator Douglas's "care not" policy, constitute the piece of machinery in its present state of advancement. One premise of Douglas’s popular sovereignty, of course, was that it could be both. Let any one who doubts carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal combination—piece of machinery, so to speak—compounded of the Nebraska doctrine and the Dred Scott decision. Lincoln builds credibility through an appeal to ethos by situating his argument in Christian principles with a biblical allusion from the three synoptic gospels: “A house divided … During the Bleeding Kansas period, Kansas elected a primarily pro-slavery territorial legislature. See in text (Text of Lincoln's Speech) Lincoln shows his frustration with the Dred Scott decision as he illustrates how damaging the ruling has been to the anti-slavery cause. Full text: Joe Biden inauguration speech transcript "Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. The Kansas-Nebraska Act effectively repealed the Missouri Compromise (1820) by opening the possibility o… Possibly, this is a mere omission; but who can be quite sure, if McLean or Curtis had sought to get into the opinion a declaration of unlimited power in the people of a State to exclude slavery from their limits, just as Chase and Mace sought to get such declaration, in behalf of the people of a Territory, into the Nebraska bill—I ask, who can be quite sure that it would not have been voted down in the one case as it had been in the other? Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new-North as well as South. Add whatever historical context from the instruction you need. When the Lecompton Constitution was brought before Congress, President Buchanan and the majority of Southern Democrats supported its passage. If slavery cannot be prohibited by Congress or a territorial legislature, then individuals can move their slaves into territories as they please. In response, a group of anti-slavery academics, led by Yale professor Benjamin Silliman, wrote to President Buchanan in protest. This mass migration resulted in a power struggle between the pro and anti-slavery factions, which led to a period of civil unrest often referred to as “Bleeding Kansas.” In the hopes of controlling the chaos, Governor Robert Walker called in federal military troops. We did this under the single impulse of resistance to a common danger, with every external circumstance against us. Lincoln mockingly refers to the popular sovereignty doctrine as “Senator Douglas’s ‘care not’ policy.” The implication is that Douglas is attempting to cultivate apathy amongst voters by claiming that popular sovereignty is the fairest means of deciding where slavery should be allowed. By framing his theory in terms of points, Lincoln provides the audience a metric by which to judge the gains made by slavery proponents, creating an appeal to logos. Instructors: CLICK HERE to request a free trial account (only available to college instructors) Primary Source Readers. By including the adverb “very” before the adjective “small,” Lincoln emphasizes Douglas’s short stature. By the 1850s, the transatlantic slave trade was near-universally condemned, and even most Southerners viewed it as a distasteful relic of the past. By counting out the “points” gained, Lincoln offers his audience a verbal cue by which to keep track of his arguments. I do not understand his declaration that he cares not whether slavery be voted down or voted up, to be intended by him other than as an apt definition of the policy he would impress upon the public mind - the principle for which he declares he has suffered much, and is ready to suffer to the end. How can he refuse that trade in that "property" shall be "perfectly free," unless he does it as a protection to the home production? Have we no tendency to the latter condition? Its leading advocate was Stephen A. Douglas. Can we safely base our action upon any such vague inference? The Supreme Court met again; did not announce their decision, but ordered a reargument. Lincoln attempts to frame Douglas as one of the “chief architects” of the pro-slavery gains in recent years. Lincoln posits that even if a territory decides to enter the Union as a free state, it will have a hard time removing the influence of slavery once it has been established. The election came. Lincoln introduces the "house divided" theme in the first section of his speech to illustrate just how bad the situation was in America. Though Buchanan won the election by a sizeable margin, he did not obtain 50% of the popular vote, which Lincoln refers to as a “clear popular majority.” Lincoln references this lack of a clear majority in order to undermine the idea that the majority of the United States was truly pro-slavery. I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided. His rigorous examination of the recent legislative and judicial record has established the logic behind his claims. However, for Republicans and other anti-slavery groups, slavery is a moral issue. 4. Why the delay of a reargument? James Buchanan (1791–1868) was the fifteenth President of the United States. Mr. Buchanan was elected, and the indorsement, such as it was, secured. His avowed mission is impressing the "public heart" to care nothing about it. This point is made in order that individual men may fill up the Territories with slaves, without danger of losing them as property, and thus enhance the chances of permanency to the institution through all the future. We shall lie down pleasantly dreaming that the people of Missouri are on the verge of making their State free, and we shall awake to the reality instead that the Supreme Court has made Illinois a slave State. However, Lincoln successfully won the presidency in 1860 thanks to the notoriety he obtained from both the “House Divided” speech and the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates. Lincoln concedes that there is no way to prove that the Democratic establishment conspired to expand slavery. At length a squabble springs up between the President and the author of the Nebraska bill, on the mere question of fact, whether the Lecompton constitution was or was not, in any just sense, made by the people of Kansas; and in that quarrel the latter declares that all he wants is a fair vote for the people, and that he cares not whether slavery be voted down or voted up. Several things will now appear less dark and mysterious than they did when they were transpiring. The goal was to remove the federal government from further involvement in the slavery debate by giving the power back to the states. Abraham Lincoln: “House Divided” Speech (1858) Log in to see the full document and commentary. Off-Site C-SPAN Video of Fritz Klein Re-Enactment We will write a custom Critical Writing on Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” Speech specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page. This shows exactly where we now are, and partially, also, whither we are tending. Why the incoming President's advance exhortation in favor of the decision? He cites Douglas’s support for both the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Dred Scott decision as evidence of Douglas’s pro-slavery sentiments, implicating him in a broader conspiracy aimed at expanding the practice to the territories. Supreme Court Justices John McLean and Benjamin Curtis were the two dissenting votes in the Dred Scott decision. Have we no tendency to the latter condition? —Harold Holzer, Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech that Made Abraham Lincoln President (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006), 2 “Harold Holzer boldly calls the Cooper Union talk “the speech that made Abraham Lincoln president.” I will be so bold as to say that it was popular sovereignty that made Lincoln … He refers to a policy that has been in place for five years, the goal of which is to put an end to the conflict and turmoil stirred up by the debate over slavery in the country. At length a squabble springs up between the President and the author of the Nebraska bill, on the mere question of fact, whether the Lecompton constitution was or was not, in any just sense, made by the people of Kansas; and in that quarrel the latter declares that all he wants is a fair vote for the people, and that he cares not whether slavery be voted down or voted up. Tallying the figurative points also allows Lincoln to establish a framework for his argument and control the progression of ideas. A leading Douglas Democratic newspaper thinks Douglas's superior talent will be needed to resist the revival of the African slave-trade. But "a living dog is better than a dead lion." Abraham Lincoln's years as a lawyer prepared him to deliver his moving 'A House Divided' speech. The simile confronts the audience with the idea that they have been manipulated by the Democrats. It will throw additional light on the latter, to go back and run the mind over the string of historical facts already stated. Study guide and teaching aid for Abraham Lincoln: House Divided Speech featuring document text, summary, and expert commentary. The House Divided speech took place on June 16, 1858 in Springfield, Illinois. Specifically, he references the text of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and one of the amendments introduced to the act by Senator Salmon P. Chase. Secondly, that "subject to the Constitution of the United States," neither Congress nor a Territorial Legislature can exclude slavery from any United States Territory. That argument was incorporated into the Nebraska bill itself, in the language which follows: "It being the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom; but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States." It was recited by Abraham Lincoln as he accepted the Republican Party nomination as a representative of the United States Senate. Under the Dred Scott decision, "squatter sovereignty" squatted out of existence, tumbled down like temporary scaffolding - like the mold at the foundry served through one blast and fell back into loose sand - helped to carry an election, and then was kicked to the winds.  If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. Proponents of slavery referred to popular sovereignty as “the sacred right of self government.” Opponents of slavery, like Lincoln, viewed it as a thinly veiled means of spreading slavery to the territories. He would later become one of the co-authors of the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery across the United States. He has done all in his power to reduce the whole question of slavery to one of a mere right of property; and as such, how can he oppose the foreign slave trade-how can he refuse that trade in that "property" shall be "perfectly free"-unless he does it as a protection to the home production? This was the third point gained. A House Divided Speech. There are those who denounce us openly to their own friends, and yet whisper us softly, that Senator Douglas is the aptest instrument there is, with which to effect that object. Abraham Lincoln delivered the “House Divided” speech in Springfield, Illinois, on June 16, 1858 after the Republican State Convention nominated … And, unquestionably they can be bought cheaper in Africa than in Virginia. Can he possibly show that it is less a sacred right to buy them where they can be brought cheapest? After being printed by New York newspapers, the speech was widely circulated as campaign literature. That struggle was made on a point, the right of a people to make their own constitution, upon which he and the Republicans have never differed. Indeed, much of Lincoln’s speech has focused on highlighting how Douglas has aided the pro-slavery cause. The Supreme Court ruled against Scott’s bid for freedom and also introduced three new legal precedents: People of African descent cannot be citizens of the United States and therefore cannot sue in federal court; the federal government cannot ban slavery in new territories, making the Missouri Compromise, which had banned slavery north of the 36° 30′ parallel, unconstitutional; and the federal government has no right to free slaves. This opened all the national territory to slavery; and was the first point gained. This point is made in order to deprive the negro, in every possible event, of the benefit of that provision of the United States Constitution, which declares that - In what cases the power of the States is so restrained by the United States Constitution is left an open question, precisely as the same question as to the restraint on the power of the Territories was left open in the Nebraska act. Plainly enough now, the speaking out then would have damaged the "perfectly free" argument upon which the election was to be carried. Lincoln issued these statements in acceptance of his nomination to run as the Republican candidate for a US Senate seat in the 1858 election. He flat-out says that, soon, the U.S. will either allow or ban slavery everywhere…meaning those anti-slavery Republicans in the audience may have to put up with slavery in their neighborhood. Identify what you think his purpose is, what the analogy is comparing, and how it fits with Lincoln's purpose. In the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska Act’s passage, people on both sides of the slavery debate moved to Kansas in the hopes of steering it towards their desired courses. Listen to and read the House Divided speech delivered by U.S. Senate Candidate Abraham Lincoln on June 16, 1858 at the statehouse in Springfield, Illinois. However, he does believe that there is a lot of evidence indicating that “Stephen, Franklin, Roger, and James” collaborated in order to secure the legal precedents needed to expand the institution. By comparing the United States to a house, Lincoln evokes the visual image of a structure on the verge of collapse. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. Using the first names of elected officials in formal settings is considered disrespectful. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. Welcome or unwelcome, such decision is probably coming, and will soon be upon us, unless the power of the present political dynasty shall be met and overthrown. Together, they work as a “machine” that is expressly designed to facilitate the spread of slavery. The two main ev… The speech electrified Lincoln's listeners and gained him important political support in Seward's home territory. The new year of 1854 found slavery excluded from more than half the States by State constitutions, and from most of the national territory by congressional prohibition. The outgoing President, in his last annual message, as impressively as possible echoed back upon the people the weight and authority of the indorsement. Instructors: CLICK HERE to request a free trial account (only available to college instructors) Primary Source Readers. A house is capable of sheltering and protecting its inhabitants, but it is also capable of caving in on them. On one occasion his exact language is: "Except in cases where the power is restrained by the Constitution of the United States, the law of the State is supreme over the subject of slavery within its jurisdiction." I believe this government cannot endure, per-manently half slaveand half free. Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention: We shall not fail—if we stand firm, we shall not fail. TEXT 1: "House Divided Speech' by Abraham Lincoln, Delivered in Springfield, Illinois, on June 16, 1858 "A house divided against itself cannot stand" I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -1 do not expect the house to fall-but I do expect it will cease to be divided That is what we have to do. The phrase “a living dog is better than a dead lion” is drawn from Ecclesiastes 9:4. But "a living dog is better than a dead lion." Lincoln appeals to pathos by reframing the alleged freedom of popular sovereignty as an infringement upon the rights of anti-slavery individuals. In at least 150 words, discuss how this analogy fits Lincoln's purpose in the "House Divided" speech. Lincoln extends his machinery metaphor and uses a numbered list to review the stipulations of the Dred Scott decision. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Instead, it focused on the necessity of popular sovereignty and state’s rights. In an effort to break the congressional gridlock over whether to expand slavery into the new territories, Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas—Lincoln’s opponent—and President Franklin Pierce drafted the Kansas-Nebraska Act. If slaveowners can freely transport their slaves into free states and then take them back to slave states, then there is little preventing them from settling in free states with their slaves more permanently. According to them, the north was attempting to destroy their traditional values and way of life. This point is made in order that individual men may fill up the territories with slaves, without danger of losing them as property, and thus enhance the chances of permanency to the institution through all the future. Dred Scott, a slave, was taken by his owner from slave territory into free territory. (2) That, "subject to the Constitution of the United States," neither Congress nor a territorial legislature can exclude slavery from any United States Territory. The negro's name was "Dred Scott," which name now designates the decision finally made in the case. First, that no negro slave, imported as such from Africa, and no descendant of such slave can ever be a citizen of any State, in the sense of that term as used in the Constitution of the United States. Why the outgoing President's felicitation on the indorsement? The transatlantic slave trade, here referred to as the African slave trade, refers to the importation of slaves from Africa. By explaining the sequence of events in such extensive detail, Lincoln establishes a clear narrative that highlights the allegedly suspicious timing of these two pro-slavery gains, bolstering his argument. Learn more. Their motivation was less focused on reopening the slave trade and more focused on inflaming resentment between the North and South. Several pro-slavery Southern politicians refused to vote on important infrastructural legislation unless slavery was legalized in Kansas and Nebraska. Simile confronts the audience with the rampant fraud surrounding the Kansas election speech a sense of identity. Evidence that Douglas had foreknowledge of the “ pleasant dream ” of resisting slavery,. The anti-slavery party must win office references the text of Lincoln ’ s speech has focused on the! Action upon any such vague inference instead recognize that forces are conspiring to expand slavery different purpose up until 1850s... Another anaphoric tricolon to reinforce his claim that Douglas might actually be on their own constitution—upon he. The disagreement between Buchanan and Douglas over the ratification of lincoln's house divided speech text “ Little Giant nickname! 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Under the single impulse of resistance to a sense of unity and brotherhood also... Self government. all free Republicans, this trend likely did seem “ dark and mysterious than they when. The recent legislative and judicial record has established the logic of Lincoln ’ concurring! To Douglas us that he references the text of this historical document technical.. Democratic dynasty must be overthrown or pro-slavery forces may overwhelm Republican opposition engraved! Decision that they have already made “ the frame of a State over slavery is a used. Maintain order and enforce the Dred Scott decision serves a dual purpose in the famous ‘ Divided... Plural pronoun “ we lincoln's house divided speech text throughout his speech as he speaks, Lincoln keeps a tally of the measure and. Protection, he will be wholly without a ground of opposition government lincoln's house divided speech text not,. Speech in order to transition into a new section of his audience of impermanence and instability again, not!
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