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and asked him the matter. 0," said he, this 'coon is such a trouble to me!' • Why do n't you get rid of him, then ?' said the gentleman. • Hush!' said the boy, do n't you see he is gnawing his rope off? I'm going to let him do it, and when I go home I can tell the folks that he got away from me!'

He was free to make merry at his own personal appearance. He was dressed for a state party one evening, and, holding up his gloved hands, said: “An Illinois friend tells me that

ver see these without thinking of canvased hams." A friend observing the accuracy

of portrait of him, spoke of it in flattering terms. “ Yes,” said Lincoln, “it is horridly like me; and added : “ That reminds me of a good woman, not remarkable for good looks, who, on a visit to the Young Men's Christian Association, caught sight of herself in a concealed looking-glass, and retired in great confusion, saying she would not visit an institution where she could not go without meeting disreputable people.”

Volumes of such “stories” might be gathered from the newspapers of the time, which reproduced them, from time to time, under the caption

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The use

of " Old Abe's Last.” Such wit is a valuable faculty, designed by the beneficent Creator to add to the happiness of his creatures. of this talent for the purpose of wounding the sensibilities of our neighbors, or giving them pain in any manner, is, therefore, a direct perversion of its use, and a heinous abuse of God's goodness, and will surely be punished. Cheerfulness and merriment are not inconsistent with Christian character; it is inconsistent only in those who are “without hope and without God in the world." The Psalmist, in describing his inexpressible joy at the return of the people from captivity, said:

“When Zion's, bondage God turned back,

As men that dreamed were we;
Then filled with laughter was our mouth,

Our tongues with melody."
If the use of wit and humor for the

of injuring another is directly contrary to the purposes of God in giving the faculty, the use of it in obscenity and vulgarity is a horrible degradation, fit only for the carnivals of devils. Let every young man beware of listening to it, as he prides in his manhood, or hopes for happiness here or in the world to come. Many a Chris


tian man is stung in his inmost soul by the recollection that he, at some time in his life, has been guilty of this degrading abuse of his intellectual gifts. Nor is it lawful or consistent with Christian character to use ridicule as a weapon except in self-defense. It is a sharp blade if handled by a master. It may be used properly and lawfully in cutting down the pride of scoffers or unprincipled assailants of truth, not against an honest or misled opponent. Him we are bound to convince with truth itself, not to attack and annoy, or humiliate with the superiority of wit.





T will be difficult for those who come after us either to realize the vast pro

portions of the American civil war, or to appreciate the feelings of the people while bearing its burdens. The rescue of the country was undertaken with enthusiasm and alacrity, but with a very limited conception of the immensity of the task.

The burden grew gradually heavier as the months of self-sacrifice, toil, and sorrow wore away, until it seemed too heavy to be borne, and yet the President and people sustained it with hopefulness, fortitude, and resolution such as has not been exceeded in the history of man. The debt of the General Government rose, notwithstanding the heaviest practical taxation, to the sum of over twenty-seven hundred millions of dollars; and this did not in


clude nearly all the pecuniary burdens created by the war. Nearly two and a quarter millions of soldiers were, from first to last, enlisted in the service of the Government. Three hundred and sixty battles were fought upon the land. The deaths resulting directly and indirectly from the war, among the Union forces, can never be accurately known, but were probably not less than a quarter of a million. It is vain to attempt a conception of the physical agony, the sorrow of friends, and the weight pressing on the hearts and minds of the people which were endured ; and yet such were the terrible calamities which arose from that bottomless pit of oppression and cruelty, American slavery.

Every day of the life of Mr. Lincoln, during the progress of this contest, was of necessity crowded with important events and labors. But there are but a few other incidents which the limits proposed in this volume will permit to be noticed. These are selected as showing at once his character and his style as a writer and controversialist.

When the battle of Antietam was in progress, he made a solemn vow to God that if he would give us the victory, he would free the bondmen

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