... at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented.
The people are very interested in what is happening - Lincoln says, red highlight - what more can I say that hasn't already been said, and that the people don't know about?
Hence, not 'c', but 'e'
He continues in that vein:
The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all.
Which words suggest to you that the public are not interested in his speech?
Student or Learner