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Other months passed, but brought no letter. Why did he not write ? Was he again down with fever? If so, would not some one inform her? Was business crowding out all thoughts of herself? Is it a wonder that her friends once more said he was fickle-minded; that he cared little for her; that he had found some one with a fairer face? It was no secret in New Salem that he did not write; that a great disappointment had come to her. She found comfort and consolation in attending religious meetings. There was unwonted pathos in her voice as she joined in the singing. Something had gone out of her life. Her once rippling laughter was not so joyous as it had been, and there was a shade of sadness in her winsome smile.

The heart of Abraham Lincoln goes out to her. To him there never was a blossom so fragrant, sweet, and fair as this flower of the prairie. Wherever he beholds her, whether in her home, in the religious meeting, or by the bedside of the sick, her presence glorifies the place. We may be sure that he who once waded the ice-cold stream to care for a dog would love Ann Rutledge with all the intensity and greatness of his soul. He had nothing but himself to offer her; himself-an ungainly, uncultivated wood-chopper, boatman, teamster, store-keeper, surveyora piece of driftwood, thus far floating on the stream of time. He was poor, almost in poverty. Would she accept his love?

But the true love of Ann Rutledge has been awaiting, is awaiting, unanswered letters. She will write once more to him to whom she gave her love. The letter is written. Weeks pass, no answer comes, and the wounded heart, chastened by disappointment, accepts the sympathy and affection of Abraham Lincoln.

It is pleasure to labor, because Ann Rutledge has come into his life. Never before have the spring birds been so joyful, the days so bright, the nights so calm and peaceful, the vault of heaven so lit with stars, or the air so perfumed with flowers.

He returns to New Salem from his surveying, to look once more upon the face of her for whom he would lay down his life, if need be. He sits by her side in the gloaming. She sings a hymn which she has often sung in the religious meetings:

“ Vain man, thy fond pursuits forbear ;

Repent, thy end is nigh.
Death, at the farthest, can't be far,

Oh think before thou die!"(°) The hymn to which he listens was written by one who in early life wrote a book upon the “Unreasonableness of Religion” (Joseph Hart, of London, England), but who saw his mistake, and who became an earnest preacher of the Gospel. ("')

Abraham Lincoln had entered upon a period of doubt in religion. Thomas Paine's “ Age of Reason” and Volney's “Ruins” led him to question generally accepted religious beliefs.(")

Little does he think, as he listens to the enchanting voice, that a great sorrow, like the shadow of an eclipse, is about to darken his life. He does not mistrust the unwonted bloom upon her cheek that, brightening her beauty, heralds the approach of life's closing scene. He does not dream the cup of joy brimming over with blessedness at that evening hour never again will come to his lips—that Calvary is not far away.

A few hours, and her blood is on fire—the fever burning out her life. Watchers stand by her bedside—all others are excluded by order of the physician. (")

“But I must see him,” her pitiful appeal. He enters the room alone, stands by her side, gazes once more into her loving eyes. No ears other than their own hear the parting words. August 25, 1835, Ann Rutledge enters the life eternal, and all that is mortal of her is borne to its resting place. He is stunned by the loss and walks as in a dream. He spends the night beside her grave, heeding not the chilling wind or driving storm.

“I cannot bear to have the rain fall upon her!" the moan of the stricken heart. A great hope has gone down—a joy forever departed. In the daytime he wanders aimlessly. If he sits beneath the trees on the bank of the river, the fallen leaves borne away by its current remind him of his loss. The faded flowers bring before him the fairer blossom cut down by death. He is overwhelmed by grief. Reason totters. His friends are alarmed, and seek to divert his thoughts. A friend sends him the poem written by William Knox, of Scotland :

“Oh! why should the spirit of mortal be proud ?

Like a swift fleeting meteor, a fast flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
He passeth from life to his rest in the grave.

“The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,

Be scattered around and together be laid ;
And the young and the old, and the low and the high,
Shall moulder to dust and together shall lie.

Yea ! hope and despondency, pleasure and pain,

We mingle together in sunshine and rain ;

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The poem emphasizes the evanescence of earthly things. That which has come to him is the common lot of man, and so he will be resigned under the great affliction. Through life, whenever he is bowed with grief, he will find comfort and consolation in the lines.

Little does Bolin Green know what service he is rendering to the world when he takes Abraham Lincoln to his home. It is only a logcabin, but within its walls kindness and sympathy are tenderly given till reason is once more enthroned. Years pass, but the kindness is never forgotten. When at last this benefactor passes away, and Abraham Lincoln, crowned with honor, stands by the burial casket, he cannot give utterance to the words he fain would speak in commemoration of his friend. His eyes fill with tears; with tremulous lips he turns away, unable to control his emotion.

NOTES TO CHAPTER V.

(") A. Y. Ellis's letter in William H. Herndon's "Lincoln," p. 104 (edition 1889).

(*) Jndge Stephen A. Logan, quoted in Nicolay and Hay’s “ Abraham Lincolu: A History," vol. i., p. 108.

(3) Nicolay and Hay, “ Abraham Lincoln : A History," vol. 1., p. 109. (*) W. G. Green to Author, October, 1890. (5) Ibid. () William H. Herndon, “Lincolo," p. 113 (edition 1889). (*) Ibid., p. 118. (*) Ibid., p. 120; also, Nicolay and Hay, “ Abraham Lincoln: A History," vol. i., p. 115.

() John M. Rutledge's letter in William H. Herndon's “ Lincoln," p. 138, note (edition 1889).

(10) S. W. Duiffield, in “ English Hymns,” p. 100.
(") William H. Herndon, “ Lincolu," p. 439 (edition 1889).
("?) Ibid., p. 138, uote.

CHAPTER VI.

IN PUBLIC LIFE.

1836.

LTHOUGH Abraham Lincoln had once been to Vandalia as a repALTI

resentative, he had not taken an active part in public affairs. Once more he was a candidate. A great meeting was held at Spring

field, where Whigs and Democrats addressed their fellow-citizens

from the same platform. Lincoln was the leading candidate of the Whigs.

“He carried the crowd with him and swayed them as he' pleased,” are the words of one who heard him. (')

George Forquar, who had been a Whig, but who had changed his politics, and was holding an office at a salary of $3000 a year, was the next speaker. Mr. Forquar had built a new house—one of the most expensive in Springfield. Lincoln, as he rode into the city the night before, noticed the elegant residence, and was particularly interested in the lightning - rod attached to the building. He had heard about lightning-rods, but had never seen one. Many good people thought that such a contrivance to ward off a thunder - storm was an attempt to circumvent Almighty God, and therefore audacious and wicked.

Mr. Forquar thought himself of considerable importance in the community. “I see,” he said, with an air of superiority,“ that I shall have to take this young man down a little.”

His speech abounded with sarcasm and ridicule.

Abraham Lincoln has left the platform and stands a listener in the audience. He hears the loud-spoken words, the guffaws of the crowd, but does not interrupt the speaker.

When Forquar is through, Mr. Lincoln makes a speech which electrifies the audience—not of sarcasm, but argument. Not till the close does he indulge in ridicule.

“ The gentleman began his speech by saying that this young man would have to be taken down, and he was sorry that the task devolved

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