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“I am very desirous of knowing, Mr. President."

“ And will you sacredly promise me to keep the secret if I tell you?”

The anxious inquirer was ready to pledge himself by any amount of sacred and pecuniary obligations.

Well, then,” said Lincoln, “I will tell you," and advancing to the expectant listener, he took him by the coat-collar, placed his lips to his ear, and whispered, with portentous earnestness, Porter has gone down South !

Another visitor bothered him to know how many men the rebels had in the field. Lincoln replied, gravely, “ Twelve hundred thousand!”

“ TWELVE HUNDRED THOUSAND!” exclaimed the astonished questioner, with alarm starting from his open mouth and eyes.

“ Yes, sir, twelve hundred thousand. You see, all of our generals, when they get whipped, say that the enemy outnumbers them from three or five to one, and I must believe them. have four hundred thousand men in the field, and three times four make twelve! Do n't you


see it?”

Some croakers were making themselves inter


esting by prophesying all sorts of ruin and disaster to the cause—“ breakers ahead”_" innpending crisis,” and all that. “That reminds me," said Lincoln, “ of the school-boy who never could pronounce the names Shadrack, Mesheck, and Abednego. He had been repeatedly whipped for it, without effect. Some time afterward, seeing the names occur in the regular lesson for the day, he put his finger upon the place and whispered to his next neighbor, “Here comes those tormented Hebrews again!'”

In one of his debates with Senator Douglas, the latter had attempted to escape his conclusions by denying the veracity of a senator whom he had quoted. Lincoln replied that it was not a question of veracity: “By a course of reasoning,” said he, “ Euclid proves that all the angles in a triangle are equal to two right angles. Now, if you undertake to disprove that proposition, would you prove it to be false by calling Euclid a liar?

A delegation of ministers made a persevering and pertinacious effort to induce the President to correct alledged evils in the appointment of army chaplains, many of whom, they urged, were unfit for the position. “But, gentlemen,”




said he, “that is a matter which the Government has nothing to do with; the chaplains are chosen by the regiment.” The ministers were not satisfied, but urged a change in the manner of selecting them. Lincoln had his unfailing resource to end the controversy, and resorted to . it. “Without any disrespect, gentlemen, I will tell you a little story. Once, in Springfield, I was going off on a short journey, and reached the depot a little ahead of time. Leaning against the fence, just outside the depot, was a little darkey boy whom I knew, named Dick, busily digging with his toe in a mud-puddle. As I came up, I said : Dick, what are you about?' • Making a church,' said he. "A church !' said I;' what do you mean?' 'Why, yes,” said Dick,

' pointing with his toe, do n't you see? There is the shape of it; there's the steps and frontdoor, here the pews where the folks set, and there's the pulpit. “Yes, I see,' said I; “but why do n't you make a minister ?'

Laws,' answered Dick, with a grin, “I ha'n t got mud enough!'

It was known that the rebel traitor Jacob Thompson would make an effort to pass through a Northern State, just after the fall of Rich



mond, for the purpose of escaping from the country. The Secretary of War urged that he ought to be arrested and punished as a traitor. “ Well,” said Lincoln, “let me tell you a story. There was an Irish soldier here last summer, who wanted something to drink stronger than water, and stepped into a drug-store, where he espied a soda-fountain. “Mr. Doctor,' said he, 'give me, if you plase, a glass of soda-wather, and if yees will put in a few draps o' whishkey unbeknown till me, I'll be obleeged.' Now," said Lincoln, “if Jake Thompson is permitted to pass through ‘unbeknown,' what's the harm? So do n't have him arrested."

Speaking of the office-seekers who thronged so incessantly and pertinaciously upon him, he said: “I am like a man so busy in letting rooms in one end of his house, that he can't stop to put out the fire that is burning in the other."

It was intimated to him that Secretary would be a formidable rival for succession to the Presidency. With the usual reservation," meaning no disrespect," he said: "R- you were brought up on a farm, were you not? Then you know what a chin-fly is. Well, my brother and I were once plowing corn on a Kentucky




farm, I driving the horse, he holding the plow. The horse was lazy, but on one occasion he rushed across the field so that I could scarcely keep up with him. On reaching the end of the furrow, I found an enormous chin-fly fastened upon him, and knocked it off. My brother asked what I did that for. I told him I did n't want the horse bitten in that way. Why,'

• said my brother, that's all that made him go!' Now, if Secretary has a presidential chinfly biting him, I'm not going to knock it off'; it will only make his department go !

As the rebel confederacy was tumbling in its final crash, Lincoln foresaw the embarrassment which the capture of Jeff. Davis would bring upon him, and was asked by a friend what he was going to do with him. He replied : “There

a boy in Springfield who saved up his money and bought a 'coon, which, after the novelty had worn off, became a great nuisance. He was one day leading him through the street, and had all he could do to keep clear of the little vixen, which had torn his clothes half off him. At last he sat down on a curb-stone, completely flagged out. A man passing, was stopped by the disconsolate appearance of the little fellow,


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