Abraham Lincoln Quote
Broken eggs cannot be mended; but Louisiana has nothing to do now but to take her place in the Union as it was, barring the already broken eggs. The sooner she does so, the smaller will be the amount of that which will be past mending. This government cannot much longer play a game in which it stakes all, and its enemies stake nothing. Those enemies must understand that they cannot experiment for ten years trying to destroy the government, and if they fail still come back into the Union unhurt.
Letter to August Belmont (31 July 1832) in "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln" edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume V, p. 350-351
Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 5.[quod.lib.umich.edu]