Open main menu

Page:Samuel Scoville -Abraham Lincoln, His Story.djvu/44

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

of country. In his hand he usually carried a queer, old carpet-bag. Although he was always careless about his clothes he kept himself scrupulously clean, and had learned that a man who shaves every day will go much farther than one who does not. Sometimes his appearance was against him, as when he was sent by his first partner, Major Stuart, to try a case in an adjoining county for one Baddeley, an Englishman. The latter, who was accustomed to the bewigged, powdered, and gowned advocates of his home-country, was disgusted to find that he was to be represented by a tall, awkward young man whose trousers were as much too short as his coat was too large. Baddeley immediately sent him back to Stuart and retained someone else. He lived, however, to become one of Lincoln's most enthusiastic admirers.

In 1850 Lincoln in a lecture to young lawyers made some suggestions which are worth repeating:

The leading rule for a lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today. Never let your correspondence fall behind. . . . Extemporaneous speaking should be practiced and cultivated. It is the lawyer's avenue to the public. However able and faithful he may be in other respects, people are slow to bring him business if he cannot make a speech. And yet there is not a more fatal error to young lawyers than relying too much on speech-making. If anyone, upon his rare