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sorter let the old grudge drap if I was to consent to bebe-his wife. I know he is a fightin' man, and would rather fight than eat; but isn't marryin ̧ better than fightin', though it does sometimes run into it? And I don't think, upon the whole, I'd be sich a bad match, neither; I'm not over sixty, and am just four feet three in my bare feet, and not much more round the gerth; and for color, I wouldn't turn my back to nary a girl in the Lost Townships. But, after all, maybe I'm countin' my chickens before they're hatched, and dreamin' of matrimonial bliss when the only alternative reserved for me maybe a lickin'. Jeff tells me the way these fireeaters do is to give the challenged party the choice of weapons, which, being the case, I tell you in confidence, I never fight with anything but broomsticks or hot water, or a shovelful of coals or some such thing; the former of which, being somewhat like a shillelah, may not be so very objectionable to him. I will give him a choice, however, in one thing, and that is whether, when we fight, I shall wear breeches or he petticoats, for I presume this change is sufficient to place us on an equality.'
Of course some one had to shoulder the responsibility of these letters after such a shot. The real author was none other than Miss Mary Todd, afterward the wife of Abraham Lincoln, to whom she was engaged, and who was in honor bound to assume, for belligerent purposes, the responsibility of her sharp pen-thrusts. Mr. Lincoln accepted the situation. Not long after the two men, with their seconds, were on their way to the field of of honor. But the affair was fixed up without any fight
ing, and thus ended in a fizzle the Lincoln-Shields duel of the Lost Township.
An Amusing Story Concerning Thompson Campbell.
Among the numerous visitors on one of the President's reception days were a party of Congressmen, among whom was the Hon. Thomas Shannon of California. Soon after the cnstomary greeting, Mr. Shannon said:
"Mr. President, I met an old friend of yours in California last summer, Thompson Campbell, who had a good deal to say of your Springfield life.”
"Ah!" returned Mr. Lincoln, I am glad to hear of him. Campbell used to be a dry fellow," he continued. "For a time he was Secretary of State. One day, during the legislative vacation, a meek, cadaverous-looking man, with a white neck-cloth, introduced himself to him at his office, and stating that he had been informed that Mr. C. had the letting of the Assembly Chamber, said that he wished to secure it, if possible, for a course to lecture he desired to deliver in Springfield.
"May I ask," said the Secretary, "what is to be the subject of your lectures?"
"Certainly," was the reply, with a very solemn expression of countenance. "The course I wish to deliver is on the second coming of our Lord."
"It is no use," said Mr. C. "If you will take my advice you will not waste your time in this city. It is my private opinion that if the Lord has been in Springfield once, He will not come the second time!"
Lincoln's Story of Joe Wilson and His "Spotted Animals."
Although the friendly relations which existed between the President and Secretary Cameron were not interrupted by the retirement of the latter from the War Office, so important a change in the Administration could not of course take place without the irrepressible "story' from Mr. Lincoln. Shortly after this event some gentlemen called upon the President, and expressing much satisfaction at the change, intimated that in their judgment the interests of the country required an entire reconstruction of the Cabinet.
Mr. Lincoln heard them through, and then shaking his head dubiously, replied, with his peculiar smile: "Gentlemen, when I was a young man I used to know very well one Joe Wilson, who built himself a log-cabin not far from where I lived. Joe was very fond of eggs and chickens, and he took a good deal of pains in fitting up a poultry shed. Having at length got together a choice lot of young fowls-of which he was very proud —he began to be much annoyed by the depredations of those little black and white spotted animals, which it is not necessary to name. One night Joe was awakened by an unusual cackling and fluttering among his chickens. Getting up, he crept out to see what was going on.
"It was a moonlight night, and he soon caught sight of half a dozen of the little pests, which, with their dam, were running in and out of the shadow of the shed. Very wrathy, Joe put a double charge into his old musket, and thought he would 'clean' out the whole tribe at one shot. Somehow he only killed one, and the balance scampered
off across the field. In telling the story, Joe would always pause here, and hold his nose.
'Why didn't you follow them up, and kill the rest?' inquired the neighbors..
"'Blast it," said Joe, 'why, it was eleven weeks before I got over killin' one. If you want any more skirmishing in that line you can just do it yourselves!'"
An Incident Related by One of Lincoln's Clients.
It was not possible for Mr. Lincoln to regard his clients simply in the light of business. An unfortunate man was a subject of his sympathy, a Mr. Cogdal, who related the incident to Mr. Holland, met with a financial wreck in 1843. He employed Mr. Lincoln as his lawyer, and at the close of the business, gave him a note to cover the regular lawyer's fees. He was soon afterwards blown up by an accidental discharge of powder, and lost his hand. Meeting Mr. Lincoln some time after the accident, on the steps of the State House, the kind lawyer asked him how he was getting along.
"Badly enough," replied Mr. Cogdal, "I am both broken up in business and crippled." Then he added, "I have been thinking about that note of yours.
Mr. Lincoln, who had probably known all about Mr. Cogdal's troubles, and had prepared himself for the meeting, took out his pocket-book, and saying, with a laugh, "well, you needn't think any more about it," handed him the note.
Mr. Cogdal protesting, Mr. Lincoln said, "if you had the money, I would not take it," and hurried away.
At this same date he was frankly writing about his pov
erty to his friends, as a reason for not making them a visit, and probably found it no easy task to take care of his family, even when board at the Globe Tavern was "only four dollars a week."
Lincoln Defends Col. Baker.
On one occasion when Col. Baker was speaking in a court-house, which had been a store-house, and, on making some remarks that were offensive to certain political rowdies in the crowd, they cried: "Take him off the stand." Immediate confusion ensued, and there was an attempt to carry the demand into execution. Directly over the speaker's head was an old scuttle, at which it appeared Mr. Lincoln had been listening to the speech. In an instant, Mr. Lincoln's feet came through the scuttle, followed by his tall and sinewy frame, and he was standing by Col. Baker's side. He raised his hand, and the assembly subsided immediately into silence.
"Gentlemen," said Mr, Lincoln, "let us not disgrace the age and country in which we live. This is a land where freedom of speech is guaranteed. Mr. Baker has a right to speak, and ought to be permitted to do so. I am here to protect him, and no man shall take him from this stand if I can prevent it."
The suddenness of his appearance, his perfect calmness and fairness, and the knowledge that he would do what he had promised to do, quieted all disturbance, and the speaker concluded his remarks without difficulty.
The Judge and the Drunken Coachman. Attorney-General Bates was once remonstrating with the President against the appointment to a judicial posi