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Abraham's own good nature and helpfulness largely, it was a happy and united household. Brothers and sisters and cousins all acknowledged that their big brother Abraham was first of them all in goodness and cleverness. Mrs. Lincoln not long before her death said to his friend, Mr. Herndon: "I can say what scarcely one mother in a thousand can say, Abe never gave me a cross word or look, and never refused in fact or appearance to do anything I asked him. His mind and mine-what little I hadseemed to run together. Abe was the best boy I ever saw or expect to see."

His fun, and he was full of it, was never viciousness or unkindness to any human creature, or dumb animal. What he must have suffered in our civil war when he was President and knew of all the wounded and suffering and dying and dead on the battlefields of our land— he who could not endure to see an animal tortured!

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There are so many kinds of schools in the world, schools where books are studied; schools of hardships where men are made strong in soul and body; schools of life where men are trained in various tasks; schools of greatness where God has a special service for a man and prepares him for it by many experiences of joy and sadness, of self-denial and hardship, of perplexity

and struggle and conquest; and always by plenty of work; in every life worth living work is never left out. The great thing is to do the right kind of work, work that will endure. It is told of Lincoln that one day after he had become a lawyer and was riding the circuit, that is, going from court to court in the different counties, he began to talk to a friend about the growing corruption of the world in politics and morals. "Oh, how hard it is," he said, "to die and not be able to leave the world any better for one's little life in it!"

This was his desire in life. How wonderfully the wish of his heart was granted!



John Hanks, Lincoln's mother's cousin, said of him: "When Abe and I returned to the house from work, he would go to the cupboard, snatch a piece of cornbread, take down a book, sit down, cock his legs up as high as his head, and read."

Except for his great fondness for reading and study, his life at that time was like that of other farm-hands. He went from farm to farm and worked. He was so strong, so willing to help in an emergency, and so efficient and good-tempered that his services were always in demand. Yet while he was using his great physical strength and getting his living, although a poor one, he was always preparing for the grand life of work and leadership before him which he so little guessed in its fame, but which, no doubt, he felt from early life was a work in which

farming, crop-raising, husking and the life of the men about him had no part.

But he never made the great mistake of slighting or lightly esteeming his neighbors and comrades on account of his dreams of a great future. He used what opportunities he hadthe only way to arrive at more-and he constantly reached out after the more. He was full of the greatest curiosity to know what was going on in the world and all facts that he could find about the universe, and was always picking up scraps of knowledge that went over the heads of his companions. One day when the little Polly Roby whom a few years before he had taught through the window to spell "defied," had grown up and married, she came to the boat where young Lincoln was working and, happening to look up at the sky, she remarked that the sun was going down. The young man took occasion to inform her that it was the earth that moved, and not the sun. She stared at him in utter scorn. To his statement that the sun was not going down but we were "coming up," she retorted: "Don't you s'pose I've got eyes?" And when he went into further explanations as to the swinging around of the earth so that we could not see the sun, she cried: "Abe, what a fool you are!" It was of no use for the flatboatman, as he then was, to try to teach the

people along the Ohio River anything about an object so familiar to them as the sun. Like many others before and since, they believed their eyes, which in some cases we, certainly, cannot believe.

The Bible and "Æsop's Fables” which it has been said he read so much, gave Lincoln in after life many a strong illustration, and also taught him much as to the best way of putting things. The "Fables" helped him in his own stories and illustrations.

After a while he got hold of "Robinson Crusoe" and delighted in the new life it told him of and the ingenuity of Crusoe in meeting all his emergencies. "Sinbad the Sailor" revealed to him a world of wonders. A "History of the United States" was perhaps the first direct preparation which he had for the work that, long afterward, lay before him. For then he began to learn somewhat of the country which afterward he was to be the leader in saving from disunion.

When he was fifteen he found that one of his neighbors had a copy of the "Life of Washington." It was a small, thin book but full of enthusiasm for its hero. Lincoln borrowed it and read it over and over very carefully and made many notes both on his shingles and his shovel and in his precious notebook. But one

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