« AnteriorContinuar »
How Lincoln Resented an Insult.
While showing goods to two or three women in Offutt's store one day, a bully came in and began to talk in an offensive manner, using much profanity, and evidently wishing to provoke a quarrel. Lincoln leaned over the counter and begged him, as ladies were present, not to indulge in such talk. The bully retorted that the opportunity had come for which he had long sought, and he would like to see the man who could hinder him from saying anything he might choose to say. Lincoln, still cool, told him that if he would wait until the ladies retired he would hear what he had to say, and give him any satisfaction he desired.
As soon as the women were gone, the man became furiLincoln heard his boasts and his abuse for a time, and finding that he was not to be put off without a fight, said: "Well, if you must be whipped, I suppose I may as well whip you as any other man." This was just what the bully had been seeking, he said, so out of doors they went, and Lincoln made short work with him. He threw him upon the ground, held him there as if he had been a child, and gathering some "smart-weed" which grew upon the spot, rubbed it into his face and eyes, until the fellow bellowed with pain. Lincoln did all this without a particle of anger, and when the job was finished, went immediately for water, washed his victim's face, and did everything he could to alleviate his distress. The upshot of the matter was that the man became his fast and life-long friend, and was a better man from that day. It was impossible then, and it always remained for Lincoln to cherish resentment or revenge.
What Some Men Say About Lincoln-His First
Meeting With Richard Yates.
Lincoln was a marked and peculiar young man. ple talked about him. His studious habits, his greed for information, his thorough mastery of the difficulties of every new position in which he was placed, his intelligence touching all matters of public concern, his unwearying good nature, his skill in telling a story, his great athletic power, his quaint, odd ways, his uncouth appearance, all tending to bring him in sharp contrast with the dull mediocrity by which he was surrounded. Denton Offutt, his old employer in the store, said, after having a conversation with Lincoln, that the young man "had talent enough in him to make a President." In every circle in which he found himself, whether refined or coarse, he was always the center of attraction.
William G. Greene says that when he (Greene) was a member of the Illinois College, he brought home with him, on a vacation, Richard Yates, afterwards Governor of the State, and some other boys, and; in order to entertain them, took them all up to see Lincoln. He found him in his usual position and at his usual occupation. He was flat on his back, on a cellar door, reading a newspaper. That was the manner in which a Preșident of the United States and a Governor of Illinois be
came acquainted with one another. Mr. Greene says that Lincoln then repeated the whole of Burns, and was a devoted student of Shakspeare. So the rough backwoodsman, self-educated, entertained the college boys, and was invited to dine with them on bread and milk. How he managed to upset his bowl of milk is not a mat
EARLY HOME OF THE LINCOLNS IN ILLINOIS.
Located in Macon County, in the Sangamon Valley, about ten miles from Decatur. It was here, during the first year, that Abrabam incoln and John Hanks split several thousand rails. Lincoln was about twenty years of age at this time.
ter of history, but the fact that he did so, as is the further fact that Greene's mother, who loved Lincoln, tried to smooth over the accident and relieve the young man's embarassment.
A Pig Story-Lincoln's Kindness to the Brute
An amusing incident occurred in connection with "riding the circuit," which gives a pleasant glimpse into the good lawyer's heart. He was riding by a deep slough, in which, to his exceeding pain, he saw a pig struggling, and with such faint efforts that it was evident that he could not extricate himself from the mud. Mr. Lincoln looked at the pig and the mud which enveloped him, and then looked at some new clothes with which he had but a short time before enveloped himself. Deciding against the claims of the pig, he rode on, but he could not get rid of the vision of the poor brute, and, at last, after riding two miles, he turned back, determined to rescue the animal at the expense of his new clothes. Arrived at the spot, he tied his horse, and cooly went to work to build of old rails a passage to the bottom of the hole. Descending on these rails, he seized the pig and dragged him out, but not without serious damage to the clothes he wore.
Washing his hands in the nearest brook, and wiping them on the grass, he mounted his gig and rode along. He then fell to examining the motive that sent him back to the release of the pig, At the first thought it seemed to be pure benevolence, but, at length, he came to the conclusion that it was selfishness, for he certainly went to the pig's relief in order (as he
said to the friend to whom he related the incident,) "to take a pain out of his own mind." This is certainly a new view of the nature of sympathy; and one which it will be well for the casuist to examine.
A Hard Tussle With Seven Negroes-Life on a Mississippi Flat-Boat.
At the age of nineteen, Abraham made his second essay in navigation, and this time caught something more than a glimpse of the great world in which he was destined to play so important a part. A trading neighbor applied to him to take charge of a flat-boat and its cargo, and, in company with his own son, to take it to the sugar plantations near New Orleans. The entire business of the trip was placed in Abraham's hands. The fact tells its own story touching the young man's reputation for capacity and integrity. He had never made the trip, knew nothing of the journey, was unaccustomed to business transactions, had never been much upon the river; but his tact, ability and honesty were so trusted that the trader was willing to risk his cargo and his son in Lincoln's care.
The incidents of a trip like this were not likely to be exciting, but there were many social chats with settlers and hunters along the banks of the Ohio and Mississippi. and there was much hailing of similar craft afloat. Arriving at a sugar plantation somewhere between Natchez and New Orleans, the boat was pulled in, and tied to the shore for purposes of trade; and here an incident occurred which was sufficiently exciting, and one which, in the memory of recent events, reads somewhat strangely.