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leave her, he wrote a very touching filial letter, addressing it to Johnston. The letter has the following paragraph :
“You already know I desire that neither father nor mother shall be in want of any comfort, either in health or sickness, while they live; and I feel sure that you have not failed to use my name, if necessary, to procure a doctor or anything else for father in his present sickness. I sincerely hope father may yet recover his health ; but, at all events, tell him to remember and call upon and confide in our great and good and merciful Maker, who will not turn away from him in any extremity. He notes the fall of a sparrow, and numbers the hairs of our heads; and He will not forget the dying man who puts his trust in Him. Say to him that, if we could meet now, it is doubtful whether it would not be more painful than pleasant; but that, if it be his lot to go now, he will soon have a joyous meeting with loved ones gone before, and where the rest of us, through the help of God, hope ere long to join them.”
That the reader may know we have not spoken with partiality of Mr. Lincoln as a lawyer, the following tribute of two of the most distinguished jurists of his day, spoken after his tragic death, will prove.
Judge David Davis said: “In all the elements that constitute the great lawyer he had few equals. The framework of his mental and moral being was honesty. He never took from a client, even when the cause was gained, more than he thought the service was worth and the client could reasonably afford to pay. He was loved by his brethren of the bar.”
Judge Drummond said: “With a probity of character known to all, with an intuitive insight into the human heart, with a clearness of statement which was in itself
an argument, with uncommon power and felicity of illustration,—often, it is true, of a plain and homely kind,—and with that sincerity and earnestness of manner which carried conviction, he was one of the most successful lawyers in the State.”
THE RISING STATESMAN.
M R. LINCOLN was elected to Congress in 1846. II He was brought forward in a meeting to nominate delegates to a Congressional Convention in 1844, but Colonel Baker received the endorsement of the convention. Mr. Lincoln, however, was chosen one of the delegates to the district convention, whereupon he wrote to his old friend Speed, in a vein of humour, “The meeting appointed me one of the delegates, so that in getting Baker the nomination I shall be 'fixed' a good deal like the fellow who is made groomsman to the man who has 'cut him out,' and is marrying his own dear gal."
Henry Clay, his favourite statesman, was the Whig candidate for President that year; and Mr. Lincoln entered into the canvass with all his heart, making numerous speeches, and winning golden opinions. He was chosen a presidential elector, a merited honour.
One day he was coming down the steps of the State House, when he met an old clicnt, whose note for services he held.
"Hallo, Cogdal !” Lincoln exclaimed, heartily extending his hand : "you have been very unfortunate, I hear.” Cogdal had been blown up by an accidental discharge of powder, and lost one hand by the calamity.
“Yes, rather unfortunate ; but it might have been worse," answered Cogdal.
“Well, that is a philosophical way of looking at it, certainly," continued Lincoln. “But how are you getting along in your business ? "
“Badly enough. I am not only broken up in my business, but crippled for life also.”
"I am sorry for you, very sorry indeed,” replied Lincoln, with profound sympathy.
“I have been thinking about that note of yours," Cogdal added, in a despairing tone.
“Well,” responded Lincoln, in a half-laughing way, “you needn't think any more about it,” at the same time taking the note from his pocket-book and handing it to him.
Cogdal protested against taking the note, and expressed the hope that some day he might be able to pay it. But Lincoln insisted, adding, “If you had the money I would not take it,” and he hurried away.
We said that he was elected to Congress in 1846. He was elected, too, by a surprisingly large majority. Henry Clay received but nine hundred and fourteen majority in the district in 1844; but Lincoln's majority was one thousand five hundred and eleven. Many voted for him who were not Whigs, his honesty and peculiar fitness for the office winning their votes. He took his seat in the National House of Representatives, December 6th, 1847; and the fact that he was the only Whig member from Illinois contributed somewhat to his popularity. At the same session Stephen A. Douglas took his seat in the United States SenateDemocratic senator from Illinois. He was "the youngest and shortest member of the senate," while Lincoln was the “youngest and longest member of the house;" so a waggish associate claimed.
The country was thoroughly excited, at that time, upon the questions of “the Mexican war” and the " admission of Texas as a slave State.” The war with Mexico was unjustly waged in the interests of slavery, and the South was looking to Texas for the extension of their inhuman institution. Lincoln at once arrayed himself against these unrighteous measures, and he delivered a speech which was acknowledged to be the best that was delivered against them during the session.
The anti-slavery conflict in Congress was hot and bitter during the two years he served in the House. Those mighty champions of Liberty, John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, and Joshua R. Giddings, of Ohio, were members ; and Lincoln found himself fighting for his principles by their side. He assailed slavery as “unjust and cruel," and did not hesitate to declare that God would visit the land in terrible retribution, if the American people continued to legislate and govern in the interests of human bondage. He voted fortytwo times, in one way and another, for that famous anti-slavery measure — “The Wilmot Proviso."
He became popular with both Whigs and Democrats, by reason of his genial spirit, fairness, and sincerity in debate, his quick-witted ability in controversy, and his transparency and uprightness of character.
He declined re-election in 1848, and again in 1850, preferring to be at home with his family, and follow his chosen profession.
His life in Washington forced upon his conviction anew that he must give more attention to intellectual improvement. He saw and felt that the distance between himself and many of his congressional associates was great indeed ; and he resolved to lessen it. He devoted himself to the study of English and American Literature with the earnest application of early days. He studied language and style by reading the best authors. In short, he took a new departure in mental progress,