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Abe Lincoln as a Lover., Issue 8029, 4 October 1889
Abe Lincoln as a Lover.
Abraham Lincoln’s offer of marriage was a very curious one, and, singularly enough, it has but recently come to light. Numerous as 1 his biographers hive been, and closely as they have gleaned for new facts and materials, it was left for the latest one, Mr Jesse Welk, of Greencastle, to discover this unique and characteristic production of Mr Lincoln’s almost untutored mind. The letter is one of several written, presumably, to the lady he afterwards married. Addressed to "My dear Mary,” it reads as follows :
“ You must know that I cannot see you or think of you with entire indifference; and yet it may be that you are mistaken in regard to my real feelings towards you. If I knew you were not I should not trouble you with this letter. Perhaps any other man would know enough without further information ; but I consider it my peculiar right to plead ignorance, and your bounden duty to allow the plea. I want in all cases to do right, and most particularly so in all cases with women. I want at this particular time, more than anything else, to do right with yon, and if I knew it would be doing right, as I rather suspect it would, to let. you alone, I would do it. And, for the purpose of making the matter as plain as possible, I now say you can drop the subject, dismiss your thoughts—if you ever had any—from mo for ever, and leave this letter unanswered without calling forth one accusing murmur from me. And I will even go further, and say that if it will add anything to your comfort and peace of mind to do so, it is my sincere wish that you should. Do not understand by this that I wish to cut your acquaintance. I mean no such thing. _ What I do wish is that our further acquaintance shall depend upon yourself. If such further acquaintance would contribute nothing to your happiness, I am sure it would not to mine. If you feel yourself in any degree bound to me Pam now willing to release you, provided you wish it; while; on' the other hand, I'am willing, and even anxious, to bind you faster, if I can be, convinced that ic will in any degree add to your happiness. _ This, indeed, is the whole question with me. Nothing would make me more miserable than to believe you miserable, nothing more happy than to know you were so. In what I have now said • I think I cannot be misunderstood ; and to make myself understood is the only object of this letter. If it suits you better j not to answer this, farewell. A long life ; and a merry one attend yon. But if you I conclude to write back, speak as plainly as II do. There can be neither barm nor
clanger in aaying to me anything you think, just in the manner you think fit.—Your friend, Lincoln." Probably this is the queerest love letter on record, and the most remarkable offer of marriage ever made. It is a love letter without a word of love, and a proposal of marriage that doee not propose.
“The Napier ‘News’ has the following : It is said that Makaore, who was hanged recently, was dead before the rope was put round his neck. He seemed almost paralysed with fear at his approaching fate, and when he stood on the gallows not one of his muscles appeared to move. The total coat of the ships taking part in the review at Spithead, exclusive of armament, and not including the torpedo boats, is put down at about L 19,500,000. By far the most expensive vessel is the Inflexible, which cost 1.951,000; while the swiftest is the Sharpshooter (cost L 57.000), capable of doing twenty-one knots per hour. It is a curious fact that, whilst Scottish poor folk may be brought to accept parochial relief, they have an invincible horror of being buried in a pauper’s grave when they die. An old woman of this class was once asked why she objected to parochial burial when willing to accept relief. “ Weel,”she replied, “ I dinna care sae mucklo among kent folk, but I’ll likely meet a lot o’ strangers in the guid place, an’ I wadna like them to think I had cam there at the expense o’ the parish.” Experiments have been made on the preservation of wood placed in the ground. A piece of oak sunk in the ground, in the direction of the growth of the tree, decayed in twelve years; while identical pieces, coming from the same tree, but inserted in the opposite way, showed hardly any trace of decay in the same'.time, Young Mr Brckaw (who believes in doipg everything in a business-like way): “JMlss Southmayd, I am matrimonially inclined. You are my choice above all women. I desire to marry you. Is it ago ?” Miss Southmayd (freezingly): “Yes, sir. There is the door.”
Abe Lincoln as a Lover., Issue 8029, 4 October 1889
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