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Lincoln is a man who could receive benefits as nobly as he conferred them-and the slender revenues of his surveyorship, he struggled through the term of his law studies, and was admitted to the bar in 1836. Business flowed in upon him, and quitting New Salem, he took up his residence at Springfield, where he united his professional fortunes with those of Major Stuart. The two old friends remained in partnership until Stuart's election to Congress, by which time Lincoln had elevated himself to a position among the first lawyers of the place. In the midst of affairs, however, he never relaxed his habits of study; taking up, one by one, the natural sciences, and thoroughly acquainting himself with the abstrusest metaphysics. He remains to this day a severe and indefatigable student-never suffering any subject to which he directs his attention, to pass without profound investigation.



We now find Abraham Lincoln beginning to assume an active part in the political affairs of Illinois.

He is known to the Whigs throughout the State, and his general popularity is as great as the esteem and regard in which he is held by those personally acquainted with him.

The talented young Whig has founded his reputation upon qualities that make every man proud to say he is the friend of Lincoln.

No admirer, who speaks in his praise, must pause to conceal a stain upon his good name. No true man falters in his affection at the remembrance of any mean action or littleness in the life of Lincoln.

The purity of his reputation, the greatness and dignity of his ambition, ennoble every incident of his career, and give significance to all the events of his past.

It is true that simply to have mauled rails, and commanded a flat-boat, is not to have performed splendid actions. But the fact that Lincoln has done these things, and has risen above them by his own force, confers a dignity upon them; and the rustic boy, who is to be President in 1900, may well be consoled and encouraged in his labors when he recalls these incidents in the

history of one whose future once wore no brighter aspect than his own wears now.

The emigrant, at the head of the slow oxen that drag his household gods toward the setting sun-toward some Illinois yet further west-will take heart and hope when he remembers that Lincoln made no prouder entrance into the State of which he is now the first citizen.

The young student, climbing unaided up the steep ascent-he who has begun the journey after the best hours of the morning are lost forever-shall not be without encouragement when he finds the footprints of another in the most toilsome windings of his path.

Lincoln's future success or unsuccess can affect nothing in the past. The grandeur of his triumph over all the obstacles of fortune, will remain the same. Office can not confer honors brighter than those he has already achieved; it is the Presidency, not a great man, that is elevated, if such be chosen chief magistrate.

We have seen that, in 1842, he declines re-election to the State Legislature, after eight years' service in that body. He has already been on the Harrison electoral ticket, and has distinguished himself in the famous canvass of 1840.

But it is not as a politician alone, that Lincoln is heard of at this time. After Stuart's election to Congress has dissolved their connection, Lincoln forms a partnership with Judge Logan, one of the first in his profession at Springfield, and continues the practice of the law, with rising repute.

His characteristics as an advocate, are an earnestness and sincerity of manner, and a directness, conciseness, and strength of style; he appeals, at other times, to the weapons of good-humored ridicule as ably as to the heavier arms of forensic combat. He is strongest in civil cases, but in a criminal cause that enlists his sympathy he is also great. It is then that the advocate's convictions, presented to the jury in terse and forcible, yet eloquent language, sometimes outweigh the charge of the judge. Juries listen to him, and concur in his arguments; for his known truth has preceded his arguments, and he triumphs. There may be law and evidence against him, but the belief that Lincoln is right, nothing can shake in the minds of those who know the


He prepares his cases with infinite care, when he has nothing but technical work before him. The smallest detail of the affair does not escape him. All the parts are perfectly fitted together, and the peculiar powers of his keen, analytic mind are brought into full play. He has not the quickness which characterizes Douglas, and which is so useful to the man who adventures in law or politics. But he is sufficiently alert, and recovers himself in time to achieve success.

Lincoln does not grow rich at the law, and has not grown rich to this day, though possessing a decent competence, and owing no man anything. Poor men, who have the misfortune to do with courts, come to Lincoln, who has never been known to exact an exorbitant feo,

and whose demands are always proportioned to their poverty. There is record of a case which he gained for a young mechanic, after carrying it through three courts, and of his refusal to receive more than a comparative trifle in return.

Meantime, in the year 1842, Lincoln married a woman worthy to be the companion of his progress toward honor and distinction. Miss Mary Todd, who became his wife, is the daughter of Robert Todd, of Lexington, Kentucky, a man well known in that State, and formerly the clerk of the lower House of Congress. At the time of her marriage, Miss Todd was the belle of Springfield society—accomplished and intellectual, and possessing all the social graces native in the women of Kentucky.*

If, at this point of his career, Lincoln looked back over his past life with proud satisfaction, his feeling was one in which every reader, who has traced his history, must sympathize.

It was hardly more than a half-score of years since he had entered Illinois, driving an ox-wagon, laden with the " plunder" of a backwoods emigrant. He was utterly unknown, and without friends who could advance. him in any way. He was uneducated, and almost unlettered.

In ten years he had reversed all the relations of his

Three living sons are the children of this marriage; the first of whom was born in 1843, the second in 1850, and the third in 1853. Another son, who was born in 1846, is now dead.

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