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tered his mind left it no richer than they came. It is not to be supposed that he spent any time in elaborating them, but by some law of association every event that occurred suggested some story, and, almost by an involuntary process, his mind harmonized their discordant points, and the story was pronounced "pat," because it was made so before it was uttered. Every truth, or combination of truths, seemed immediately to clothe itself in a form of life, where he kept it for reference. His mind was full of stories; and the great facts of his life and history on entering his mind seemed to take up their abode in these stories, and if the garment did not fit it was so modified that it did.
A good instance of the execution which he sometimes effected with a story, occurred in thc legislature. There was a troublesome member from Wabash County, who gloried particularly in being a "strict constructionist.” He found something "unconstitutional" in every measure that was brought forward for discussion. He was a member of the Judiciary Committee. No amount of sober argument could floor the member from Wabash. At last he came to be considered a man to be silenced, and Mr. Lincoln was resorted to for an expedient by which this object might be accomplished. He soon honored the draft thus made upon him.
A measure was brought forward in which Mr. Lincoln's constiuents were interested, when the member from Wabash arose and discharged all his batteries upon its unconstitutional points. Mr. Lincoln then took the floor, and, with the quizzical expression of features which he could assume at will, and a mirthful twinkle in his gray eyes, said:
Speaker, the attack of the member from Wabash upon the constitutionality of this measure, reminds me of an old friend of mine. He's a peculiar looking old fellow, with shaggy, overhanging eyebrows, and a pair of spectacles under them. (Everybody turned to the member from Wabash, and recognized a personal description.) One morning just after the old man got up, he imagined, on looking out of his door, that he saw rather a lively squirrel on a tree near his house, So he took down his rifle and fired at the squirre!, but the squirrel paid no attention to the shot. He loaded and fired again, and again, until, at the thirteenth shot, he set down his gun impatiently, and said to his boy, who was looking on:
Boy, there's something wrong about this rifle.'
'Rifle's all right, I know 'tis, ' responded the boy, 'but where's your squirrel?'
'Don't you see him, humped up about half way up the tree?" inquired the old man, peering over his spectacles, and getting mystified.
"No I don't,' responded the boy; and then turning and looking into his father's face he exclaimed, 'I see your squirrel! You've been firing at a louse on your eyebrow!'
The story needed neither application nor explanation. The House was in convulsions of laughter; for Mr. Lincoln's skill in telling a story was not inferior to his appreciation of its points and his power of adapting them to the case in hand. It killed off the member from Wabash, who was very careful afterwards not to provoke any allusion to his "eyebrows."
Hon. Newton Bateman's Thrilling Story of Mr. Lincoln The Great Man Looking to See How the Springfield Preachers
At the time of Lincoln's nomination, at Chicago, Mr. Newton Bateman, Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Illinois, occupied a room adjoining and opening into the Executive Chamber at Springfield. Frequently this door was open during Mr. Lincoln's receptions, and throughout the seven months or more of his occupation, he saw him nearly every day. Often when Mr. Lincoln was tired, he closed the door against all intruders, and called Mr. Bateman into his room for a quiet talk. On one of these occasions, Mr. Lincoln took up a book containing a careful canvass of the city of Springfield, in which he lived, showing the candidate for whom each citizen had declared it his intention to vote in the approaching election. Mr. Lincoln's friends had, doubtless at his own request, placed the result of the canvass in his hands. This was towards the close of October, and only a few days before election. Calling Mr. Bateman to a seat by his side, having previously locked all the doors, he said:
'Let us look over this book; I wish particularly to see how the ministers of Springfield are going to vote.'
The leaves were turned, one by one, and as the names were examined Mr. Lincoln frequently asked if this one and that were not a minister, or an elder, or a member of such or such church, and sadly expressed his surprise on receiving an affirmative answer. In that manner they went through the book, and then he closed it and
sat silently for some minutes regarding a memorandum in pencil which lay before him.
At length, he turned to Mr. Bateman, with a face full of sadness, and said: “Here are twenty-three ministers of different denominations, and all of them are against me but three, and here are a great many prominent members of churches, a very large majority are against me. Mr. Bateman, I am not a Christian,—God knows I would be one,—but I have carefully read the Bible and I do not so understand this book,' and he drew forth a pocket New Testament. 'These men will know,' he continued, ‘that I am for freedom in the Territories, freedom everywhere as free as the Constitution and the laws will permit, and that my opponents are for slavery. They know this, and yet, with this book in their hands, in the light of which human bondage cannot live a moment, they are going to vote against me; I do not understand it at all.'
"Here Mr. Lincoln paused-paused for long minutes, his features surcharged with emotion. Then he rose and walked up and down the reception-room in the effort to retain or regain his self-possession. Stopping at last he said, with a trembling voice and cheeks wet with tears:” "I know there is a God, and that he hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming, and I know that His hand is in it. If He has a place and work for me, and I think He has, I believe I am ready. I am nothing, but Truth is everything: I know I am right, because I know that liberty is right, for Christ teaches it, and Christ is God. I have told them that a house divided against itself can not stand; and Christ and Reason say the same; and they will find it so.'
'Douglas don't care whether slavery is voted up or