the law gives me to keep order in this court, but I know very well the power God Almighty has given me."
Another one of Lincoln's contemporaries tells of a trial which he attended, when the sheriff burst into the courtroom, out of breath, and announced to the judge that he had six jurors tied up and that his deputies were running down the others. Evidently, jury duty was no more popular in Lincoln's day than it is at present.
It was in such surroundings that Abraham Lincoln began the practice of law. His legal training dated back to the day when he bought an old barrel for his store for fifty cents, and discovered under some rubbish in the bottom a complete set of Blackstones Commentaries. He afterward said that was the best stroke of business he ever did as a storekeeper.
Some of the happiest years of Lincoln's life were spent in walking or riding the circuit, which embraced more than a dozen counties and was one hundred and fifty miles broad. Once before he was able to afford a horse he was trudging along a frozen road toward a county-seat, when he was overtaken by a man in a wagon.
"Would you mind carrying my overcoat to town for me?" inquired Lincoln, stopping him.