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Page:Samuel Scoville -Abraham Lincoln, His Story.djvu/45

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37
THE LAWYER

powers of speaking, shall claim an exemption from the

drudgery of the law, his case is a failure in advance.

Lincoln brought into the practice of his profession the same charity and kindness that he had shown as a laborer, a storekeeper, and a surveyor. A young lawyer tells about arguing his first case in Chicago and making a failure of it. After he had sat down in despair a complete stranger to him came forward from the back of the room and stated that, as a member of the bar, he claimed the privilege of helping a young man who was evidently embarrassed. In spite of the protests of the lawyers on the other side, the court allowed him to do this, and he delivered a short, concise summing-up of the case which won it for the novice. The latter afterward found out that the stranger was Abraham Lincoln from Springfield.

Lincoln also had the rare faculty of trying a case without insulting or quarreling with his opponent. During all the years of his practice he never made an enemy of another lawyer.

The honesty of Lincoln's character was always evident in his practice. Once Herndon, his young partner, had drawn up a dilatory plea which would throw a case over at least one term of court. "Is this founded on fact?" demanded Lincoln. Herndon admitted that it was not, but urged that it would save the