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pleasure and rest to him. He said, in referring to his free exercise of the pardoning power, “Some of our generals complain that I impair discipline and subordination in the army by my pardons and respites; but it makes me rested after a hard day's work, if I can find a good excuse for saving a man's life, and I go to bed happy, as I think how joyous the signing of my name will make him and his family and friends.”
That was a prescription for securing a good night's sleep which it would be well for us all to adopt. The reflection that we have during the day carried joy to some one's heart, and have sincerely sought to fulfill our duty toward God and our neighbors, is well calculated to tranquilize our minds and bring softly upon our closing eyes the balmy shades of slumber.
LINCOLN STORIES-A REMARKABLE TRAIT.
you think my father has gone to heaven?” asked little Tad. Lincoln of
a gentleman who called upon the family when their great sorrow had fallen upon them. “I have not a doubt of it," was the reply. “Then I am glad he has gone there," said the boy, in accents broken with sobbing, “ for he never was happy after he came here. This was not a good place for him."
A lady who was urging the establishment of hospitals in the Northern States, to which sick and wounded soldiers might be brought, described the suffering of the invalids in the comfortless field hospitals in the South, and added, “ If you will grant my petition, it will make you happy as long as you live.” With countenance betraying extreme dejection and pain, the President replied : “Not happy. I shall never be happy any more."
In conversing with his wife, a few hours before his decease, he said: “We must be more cheerful in the future; between the war and the loss of our darling Willie we have been very miserable.”
And yet this man, burdened with a nation's sorrows, will pass into history as the most inveterate joker of his time. He presented the strange anomaly of a mind naturally yielding to sadness and melancholy, and yet possessing the liveliest appreciation of wit and humor. When weariness and care pressed too heavily upon him, he was able to make a quick transition to the other extreme. The furrowed face, every line of which was full of sadness, would suddenly break from the gloomy shadows and light up with mirth. When a good story was gotten off, and a hearty laugh indulged, he returned as suddenly to his toil and habitual sadness. The stories were always for a specific purpose, and from the relaxation and rest they afforded him, as the following examples will show :
“ Violent criticism, attacks, and denunciation, coming either from radicals or conservatives,
rarely ruffled the President, if they reached his ears. It was in connection with something of this kind that he told me this story: “Some years ago,' said he, a couple of emigrants fresh from the Emerald Isle,' seeking labor, were making their way toward the West. Coming suddenly, one evening, upon a pond of water, they were greeted with a grand chorus of bullfrogs, a kind of music they had never heard before : · Breck-eck-ex, B-a-u-m, B-a-u-m. Overcome with terror, they clutched their shillalahs, and crept cautiously forward, straining their eyes in every direction to catch sight of the ‘inemy,' but he was not to be found! At last a happy idea seized the foremost one; he sprang to his companion and exclaimed, “And sure, Jamie, it's my opinion that it's nothing but a noise!'
Some Western tourists, who had called on the President, referred to the picturesque names given by the Indians to many localities, streams, and other natural objects, referring, among others, to the “Weeping Water” in Nebraska. Mr. Lincoln, looking up, replied: “ As Laughing Water,' according to Longfellow, is · Minnehaha,' this evidently should be Minneboohoo !”
A farmer called to protest against depredations made by Union soldiers on his hay, horse-feed, etc.; Lincoln told him the following story:
“ In my early days, I knew a lumberman in Illinois, one Jack Case, who was one of the best raftsmen on the river. It was quite a trick in those times to take the logs over the rapids, but Jack always kept his raft straight in the channel. Finally, a steamer was put on, and Jack (he's dead now, poor fellow.) was made captain of her. One day, when the boat was plunging and wallowing along the boiling rapids, and Jack's utmost vigilance was exercised to keep her in the narrow channel, a boy pulled his coattail and hailed him with, 'I say, Mr. Captain, I wish you would just stop your boat a minuteI've lost my apple overboard !'”
When Porter's great naval expedition against Port Royal sailed out from Hampton Roads, and the country was full of curiosity concerning its destination, an inquisitive patriot called on the President and confidentially asked for the muchcoveted information.
“Would you really like to know?” queried the President.