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And it was an altered Abraham Lincoln that came to inhabit Springfield. Arriving a day or two before his first law partnership was settled he came into the shop of a thriving young tradesman, Mr. Joshua Speed, to ask about the price of the cheapest bedding and other necessary articles. The sum for which Lincoln, who had not one cent, would have had to ask, and would have been readily allowed, credit, was only seventeen dollars. But this huge prospect of debt so visibly depressed him that Speed instantly proposed an arrangement which involved no money debt. He took him upstairs and installed him-Western domestic arrangements were and are still simple as the joint occupant of his own large bed. “Well, Speed, I'm moved," was the terse acknowl. edgment. Speed was to move him later by more precious charity. We are concerned for the moment with what moved Speed. “I looked up at him," said he, long after, “and I thought then, as I think now, that I never saw so gloomy and melancholy a face in my life.” The struggle of ambition and poverty may well have been telling on Lincoln; but besides that a tragical love story (shortly to be told) had left a deep and permanent mark; but these influences worked, we may suppose, upon a disposition quite as prone to sadness as to mirth. His exceedingly gregarious habit, drawing him to almost any assembly of his own sex, continued all his life; but it alernated from the first with a habit of solitude or abstraction, the abstraction of a man who, when he does wish to read, will read intently in the midst of crowd or noise, or walking along the street. He was what might urkindly be called almost a professional humorist, the master of a thousand startling stories, delightral to the bearer, but possibly tresome in written reminiscences, but we know too well that girts of this kind are as compacble with sadness as they certainly are mich send's seriousness.

The Legislature of nois in the eigát years from 1834 to 1942, in which Linco's belonged to it. was, though not a wise, a vigorous body. In the conditions

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which then existed it was not likely to have been captured as the Legislatures of wilder and more thinlypeopled States have sometimes been by a disreputable element in the community, nor to have subsided into the hands of the dull mechanical class of professional politicians with which, rightly or wrongly, we have now been led to associate American State Government. The fact of Lincoln's own election suggests that dishonest adventurers might easily have got there, but equally suggests that a very different type of men prevailed. “The Legislature,” we are told,"contained the youth and blood and fire of the frontier.” Among the Democrats in the Legislature was Stephen Douglas, who was to become one of the most powerful men in the United States while Lincoln was still unknown; and several of Lincoln's Whig colleagues were afterwards to play distinguished or honourable parts in politics or war. We need not linger over them, but what we know of those with whom he had any special intimacy makes it entirely pleasant to associate him with them. After a short time in which, like any sensible young member of an assembly, he watched and hardly ever spoke, Lincoln soon made his way among these men, and in 1838 and 1840 the Whig members—though, being in a minority, they could not elect him-gave him their unanimous votes for the Speakership of the Assembly. The business which engrossed the Legislature, at least up to 1838, was the development of the natural resources of the State. These were great. It was natural that railways, canals and other public works to develop them should be pushed forward at the public cost. Other new countries since, with less excuse because with greater warning from experience, have plunged in this matter, and, though the Governor protested, the Illinois Legislature, Whigs and Democrats, Lincoln and every one else, plunged gaily, so that, during the collapse which followed, Illinois, though, like Lincoln himself, it paid its debts in the end, was driven in 1840 to suspend interest payments for several years.

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Very little is recorded of Lincoln's legislative doings. What is related chiefly exhibits his delight in the game of negotiation and combination by which he and the other members for his county, together known as “the Long Nine," advanced the particular projects which pleased their constituents or struck their own fancy. Thus he early had a hand in the removal of the capital from Vandalia to Springfield in his own county. The map of Illinois suggests that Springfield was a better site for the purpose than Vandalia and at least as good as Jacksonville or Peoria or any of its other competitors. Of his few recorded speeches one concerns a proposed inquiry into some alleged impropriety in the allotment of shares in the State Bank. It is certainly the speech of a bold man; it argues with remarkable directness that whereas a committee of prominent citizens which had already inquired into this matter consisted of men of known honesty, the proposed committee of the Legislators, whom he was addressing, would consist of men who, for all he knew, might be honest, and, for all he knew, might not.

The Federal politics of this time, though Lincoln played an active local part in the campaigns of the Whig party, concern us little. The Whigs, to whom he did subordinate service, were, as has been said, an unlucky party. In 1840, in the reaction which extreme commercial depression created against the previously omnipotent Democrats, the Whig candidate for the Presidency was successful. This was General Harrison, a respected soldier of the last war, who was glorified as a sort of Cincinnatus and elected after an outburst of enthusiastic tomfoolery such as never before or since rejoiced the American people. But President Harrison had hardly been in office a month when he died. Some say he was worried to death by office seekers, but a more prosaic cause, pneumonia, can also be alleged. It is satisfactory that this good man's grandson worthily filled his office forty-eight years after, but his immediate successor was of course the Vice-President, Tyler, chosen as an influen

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tial opponent of the last Democrat Presidents, but not because he agreed with the Whigs. Cultivated but narrow-minded, highly independent and wholly perverse, he satisfied no aspiration of the Whigs and paved the way effectually for the Democrat who succeeded him.

Throughout these years Lincoln was of course working at law, which became, with the development of the country, a more arduous and a more learned profession. Sessions of the Legislature did not last long, and political canvasses were only occasional. If Lincoln was active in these matters he was in many other directions, too, a keen participator in the keen life of the society round him. Nevertheless politics as such, and apart from any large purpose to be achieved through them, had for many years a special fascination for him.

For one thing he was argumentative in the best sense, with a passion for what the Greeks sometimes called “ dialectic "; his rare capacity for solitary thought, the most marked and the greatest of his powers, went absolutely hand in hand with the desire to reduce his thoughts to a form which would carry logical conviction to others. Further, there can be no doubt-and such a combination of tastes, though it seems to be uncommon, is quite intelligible--that the somewhat unholy business of party management was at first attractive to him. To the end he showed no intuitive comprehension of individual men. His sincere friendly intention, the unanswerable force of an argument, the convincing analogy veiled in an unseemly story, must take their chance of suiting the particular taste of Senator Sherman or General McClellan; but any question of managing men in the mass--will a given candidate's influence with this section of people count for more than his unpopularity with that section? and so on-involved an element of subtle and longsighted calculation which was vastly congenial to him. We are to see him hereafter applying this sort of science on a grand scale and for a great end. His early discipline in it is a dull subject, interesting only where it displays, as it sometimes does, the perfect fairness with

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which this ambitious man could treat his own claims as against those of a colleague and competitor.

In forming any judgment of Lincoln's career it must, further, be realised that, while he was growing up as a statesman, the prevailing conception of popular government was all the time becoming more unfavourable to leadership and to robust individuality. The new party machinery adopted by the Democrats under Jackson, as the proper mode of securing government by the people, induced a deadly uniformity of utterance; breach of that uniformity was not only rash, but improper. Once in early days it was demanded in a newspaper that “all candidates should show their hands." “ Agreed," writes Lincoln,“ here's mine "; and then follows a young man's avowal of advanced opinions; he would give the suffrage to “all whites who pay taxes or bear arms, by no means excluding females.” Disraeli, who was Lincoln's contemporary, throve by exuberances quite as startling as this, nor has any English politician found it damaging to be bold. On this occasion indeed (in 1836) Lincoln was far from damaging himself; the Whigs had not till a few years later been induced, for self-preservation, to copy the Democratic machine. But it is striking that the admiring friend who reports this declaration, “too audacious and emphatic for the statesmen of a later day,” must carefully explain how it could possibly suit the temper of a time which in a few years passed away. Very soon the question whether a proposal or even a sentiment was timely or premature came to bulk too large in the deliberations of Lincoln's friends. The reader will perhaps wonder later whether such considerations did not bulk too largely in Lincoln's own mind. Was there in his statesmanship, even in later days when he had great work to do, an element of that opportunism which, if not actually base, is at least cheap? Or did he come as near as a man with many human weaknesses could come to the wise and nobly calculated opportunism which is not merely the most beneficent statesmanship, but demands a heroic self-mastery?

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