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the old McCormick House, changed to a bedroom during court, the former occupying a threequarter bed, and Lincoln and I occupying the other one, jointly. This parlor was an 'annex' to the main building, and one door opened out directly on the sidewalk, and as the Fall term was held in cold weather, we had a hearth wood fire to heat our room. One morning, I was awakened early — before daylight — by my companion sitting up in bed, his figure dimly visible by the ghostly firelight, and talking the wildest and most incoherent nonsense all to himself. A stranger to Lincoln would have supposed he had suddenly gone insane. Of course I knew Lincoln and his idiosyncrasies, and felt no alarm, so I listened and laughed. After he had gone on in this way for, say, five minutes, while I was awake, and I know not how long before I was awake, he sprang out of bed, hurriedly washed, and jumped into his clothes, put some wood on the fire, and then sat in front of it, moodily, dejectedly, in a most sombre and gloomy spell, till the breakfast bell rang, when he started, as if from sleep, and went with us to breakfast.”

Of the influence of this circuit life on Lincoln's natural bent toward story-telling he himself said to Chauncey M. Depew that, “ Riding the circuit for many years and stopping at country taverns where were gathered the lawyers, jurymen, witnesses, and clients, they would sit up all night narrating to each other their life adventures; and that the things which happened to an original people, in a new country, surrounded by novel conditions, and told with the descriptive power and exaggeration which characterized such men, supplied him with an exhaustless fund of anecdote which could be made applicable for enforcing or refuting an argument better than all the invented stories of the world.” To the same Mr. Depew, himself so well known as a story-teller, Lincoln said :

“They say I tell a great many stories; I reckon I do, but I have found in the course of a long experience that common people”—and repeating it

-“common people, take them as they run, are more easily influenced and informed through the medium of a broad illustration than in any other way, and as to what the hypercritical few may think, I don't care. ... I have originated but two stories in my life, but I tell tolerably well other people's stories.” In Mr. Depew's opinion Lincoln's appreciation of humor was wonderful, but his estimate of it was not very critical. Certainly it was not captious. Fineness and coarseness, colloquialism and sublimity, were mixed in him in a fashion seldom rivalled. Intelligent observers have compared him to Socrates, but Leonard Swett gives a more vivid impression when he

says, “ No one who knew him ever knew another man like him.”

To this period, stretching from his term in Washington to the return of political activity after the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, belongs one short letter to his brother which shows what feeling was left in him for his father, and also gives one side of the case in the discussion, never to be settled, about his religion. Toward his father, of whom he said to Swett that his father wished him to have a good education, but that his idea of a good education was that he should cipher clear through the old arithmetic in the house, — toward this enlightened parent Lincoln's attitude remained just and cold. Certainly the religion which he deals out to him will not have the sound of intimate reality to every

The letter, which is dated January 12, 1851, reads: —

“You already know I desire that neither Father or Mother shall be in want of any comfort either in health or sickness while they live; and I feel sure you have not failed to use my name, if necessary, to procure a doctor, or anything else for Father in his present sickness. My business is such that I could hardly leave home now, if it were not, as it is, that my own wife is sick abed (it is a case of baby-sickness, and I suppose is not dangerous). I sincerely hope Father may yet recover his health ; but at all events tell him to remember to call upon and confide in our great, and good, and

T 12,

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 many loved ones gone before, and where the rest of us, through the help of God, hope ere long to join them.” Of all the details of this period of legal practice, however, the most dramatic incident is one of the last, belonging to the summer of 1857 after his new political activity was well under way, and connected with a visit to Cincinnati on the case of McCormick vs. Manny. There he was not only treated with rude contempt by a more prominent lawyer, who looked upon him as a backwoodsman, but the somewhat imaginative account adds that this lawyer even spoke scornfully, within his hearing, of the ridiculous appearance of the apparition from Illinois. At any rate, there seems to be little doubt that Lincoln was wounded. Five years later he made his insulter Secretary of War, and thereby was able to add to this first experience numberless other proofs of magnanimous patience in enduring the brutal absence of decent personal feeling in Edwin M. Stanton. He could say of a certain singer in a light-hearted way, “She is the only woman that ever appreciated me enough to pay me a compliment,” and make other similar jests at his own grotesqueness, but enough is known of his real sensitiveness to suggest what deep strength was required to take all the rough treatment he received from Stanton and so many others with that distant, kind, patient reasonableness that seems more wonderful the more it is thought of. His was the highest dignity. He was unhappy, kind, and alone. Most of his friends speak as if they did not feel they really knew him, and Swett once said, “You cannot tell what Lincoln is going to do, until he does it.”

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