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may be searched from end to end with very meager gleanings in the field of narrative. It is surprising to discover how few stories are to be obtained from Lincoln's authentic writings and how many from reminiscences of conversations with him. He knew well in what forms of discourse his homely illustrations would add weight to his argument, and when, in the interests of good taste or more solid and cogent reasoning it was better to omit them.


So much for the books which helped to make Lincoln; let us consider now the books which Lincoln helped to make.

Lincoln never wrote a book. J. McCann Davis reproduced in fac-simile the one book that might be called Lincoln's, being a series of newspaper clippings from his speeches on slavery, with annotations in his handwriting, arranged in a small blank book as an exposition of his authorized utterances on that subject. He edited from newspaper reports for publication in book form his part in the LincolnDouglas debates. I have seen the original sheets which he used, and it is notable that he did not change phraseology that he might possibly have wished to have modified slightly, and that he quite generally cut out the words "Laughter" and "Applause" with which the favorable press reports sprinkled the record of his addresses.

Lincoln liked to see his own addresses in print. Some of his biographers, notably Lamon,


comment on this fact with apparent desire to criticize him for it. But his editing of his addresses for publication, as it has fallen under the eye of the present writer, is strikingly modest.

Altogether the published addresses, state papers and correspondence of Lincoln make several thick volumes, two in one edition, eight in another and twelve in another. Beside these are one or two supplementary volumes of his otherwise uncollected writings. He was, therefore, an author of considerable fecundity. He was also a writer whose literary style underwent a remarkable and most interesting evolution. The little book of Prof. Dodge has already been referred to; a valuable little volume by Prof. Luther E. Robinson as "Lincoln as a Man of Letters" may also be cited.

Books compiled from the writings of Lincoln began to appear almost as soon as he was dead. The first of these began to be compiled within a few days after the assassination. The American News Company received on April 18, 1865, a letter saying:

"You have it in your power to erect a monument of its own kind to the memory of the President. Collect and publish, in the speediest

possible manner, the inaugural and other addresses of Abraham Lincoln, his proclamations, messages and public letters, indeed all that he has written as President, and you will contribute to the mournful celebrations of the American people your share of lasting value, and of far more impressive eloquence than the most fervent orator could utter."

The publishers acted instantly on the suggestion, and prepared a volume of 297 pages, which was entitled "The Martyr's Monument." It was followed a few weeks or months later by a smaller volume of selections, entitled "President Lincoln Self-Portrayed" compiled by John Malcolm Ludlow, the proceeds of which were used for the freedmen, and this by a well selected group of Lincoln's writings entitled "The President's Words." The title page bears no name of compiler, but it is known that this selection was made and edited by Edward Everett Hale.

These were followed by larger and yet larger collections of the writings of Lincoln until Nicolay and Hay published their supposedly exhaustive work, and other diligent compilers added other and valuable sets of the "complete" writings of Lincoln. All "complete" sets, however, have need to be supplemented.

It must not be supposed that at the time of Lincoln's death the nation held any such view of the beauty of Lincoln's writings as now obtains. His wonderfully lucid and pure style had only begun to impress the mind of the reading public. Even the Gettysburg address came somewhat slowly to recognition. At the time many were disappointed in it. At least one New York paper spoke slightingly of it. The "Patriot and Union" of Harrisburg spoke what many felt:

"The President succeeded on this occasion because he acted without sense and without constraint in a panorama that was gotten up more for the benefit of the party than for the glory of the nation and the honor of the dead. We pass over the silly remarks of the President; for the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall de dropped over them and that they shall no more be repeated or thought of."

They have been repeated, however, and will be repeated and thought of, as long as the English language endures.

Quotations such as this remind us that in the thought of very many, including some members of the committee of invitation, the President

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