en-fr  The Story of Abraham Lincoln-Teil 2 Easy
Travail et Tristesse.
À l'automne, juste après qu'Abraham Lincoln a eu huit ans, ses parents quittèrent leur maison du Kentucky et déménagèrent dans le comté de Spencer, dans l'Indiana.

Cela ne faisait pas encore un an que l'Indiana était devenu un état. Il était possible d'acheter de la terre très bon marché, et M. Lincoln pensa qu'il pourrait confortablement y gagner sa vie et celle de sa famille. Il avait également entendu dire que le gibier abondait dans les bois de l'Indiana.

Il n'y avait pas plus de quatre-vingts miles entre l'ancienne et la nouvelle maison. Mais cela sembla bien loin, et il fallut plusieurs jours avant que les voyageurs n'arrivent au terme de leur voyage. Pendant une partie du trajet il n'y avait aucune route, et les voyageurs durent tracer leur chemin à travers une forêt dense.

Le garçon, Abraham, était très grand et fort pour son âge. Il savait déjà manier la hache et peu d'hommes tiraient mieux que lui à la carabine. Il assistait son père dans toutes sortes de travaux.

Nous étions en novembre quand la famille est arrivée à l'endroit où leur future maison se dresserait. L'hiver était tout proche. Il n'y avait pas de maison, ni d'abri d'aucune sorte. Qu'allaient devenir la mère fatiguée, malade et la petite sœur affaiblie qui s'était si courageusement comportée pendant ce long et dur voyage?

À peine les chevaux avaient-ils été détachés du chariot qu'Abraham et son père se mirent à l'œuvre avec leurs haches. En peu de temps ils avaient construit ce qu'ils ont appelé un "camp".

Ce camp n'était qu'un abri grossier, fait de rondins et couvert de feuilles et de branches. Il était fermé sur trois côtés, de sorte que les vents froids ou les pluies torrentielles du nord et de l'ouest ne pouvaient pas entrer. Le quatrième côté était resté ouvert, et, en avant de celui-ci, ils bâtirent un foyer.

Ce foyer était maintenu en activité en permanence. Il chauffait l'intérieur du camp. Une grosse marmite de fer était suspendue au-dessus au moyen d'une chaîne et d'une perche, et dans celle-ci on faisait bouillir le lard, la venaison, les haricots et le maïs pour le dîner et le souper de la famille. Dans les cendres chaudes, la bonne maman cuisinait de succulents « corn-dodgers* », et de temps en temps, peut-être, quelques pommes de terre. *petits gâteaux à la semoule de maïs

A une extrémité du camp se trouvaient les quelques ustensiles de cuisine et les petits meubles dont même la maison la plus pauvre ne peut se passer. Le salon familial et la chambre à coucher occupaient le reste de l'espace. Le sol était couvert de feuillages, sur lesquels étaient étalées des fourrures de cerfs, d'ours et d'autres animaux.

Ce fut dans ce camp que la famille passa son premier hiver en Indiana. Comme il fut glacial et lugubre cet hiver ! Pensez à ces nuits de tempête, au vent hurlant, à la neige, au grésil et au froid mordant. Pas vraiment étonnant qu'avant l'arrivée du printemps, les forces de la mère commencèrent à s'amenuiser.

Mais ce fut un hiver chargé pour Thomas Lincoln. Jour après jour, on entendait le bruit de sa hache dans les bois. Il dégageait le terrain pour pouvoir au printemps y planter du maïs et des légumes.

Il taillait des rondins pour sa nouvelle maison, car à présent il avait décidé d'avoir quelque chose de mieux qu'une cabane.

Les bois étaient remplis d'animaux sauvages. Il était facile pour Abraham et son père de tuer quantité de gibier et d'ainsi pourvoir la famille en viande fraiche.

Pour un petit garçon, Abraham était très occupé à couper, tailler, chasser et relever ses pièges. Il avait à peine le temps de jouer, et comme il n'avait pas de petits camarades, nous ne savons pas s'il en aurait seulement eu envie.

Avec sa mère, il lisait et relisait les récits bibliques que tous deux aimaient tant. Et pendant les journées de tempêtes glaciales, lorsqu'ils ne pouvaient sortir du camp, sa mère lui apprenait à écrire.

Au printemps, la nouvelle maison était debout. Ce n'était qu'une maison de rondins, avec une pièce en bas et un grenier. Mais elle était tellement mieux que l'ancienne cabane du Kentucky qu'elle semblait être comme un palais.

La famille en avait tellement assez de vivre dans le camp qu'ils emménagèrent dans la nouvelle maison alors que le sol n’était pas terminé et qu'il n'y avait aucune fermeture à l'entrée.

Puis vint le temps du labour, des semailles et du sarclage. Du matin au soir, ils n’arrêtaient pas. Les arbres et les souches étaient tellement nombreux qu'il ne restait que peu de place pour la culture du maïs.

L'été prit fin et l'automne arriva. Alors, la pauvre mère perdit ses dernières forces. Elle ne fut plus capable de remplir ses tâches ménagères. Elle se mit à dépendre de plus en plus de l'aide que ses enfants pouvaient lui apporter.

Finalement, elle devint trop faible pour quitter son lit. Elle appela son fils à côté d'elle. Elle l'enlaça et lui dit : — Abraham, je vais partir loin de toi et tu ne me reverras plus jamais. Je sais que tu seras toujours bon et gentil avec ta sœur et ton père. Essaie de vivre comme je t'ai enseigné et d'aimer ton Père céleste.

Le 5 octobre, elle s'endormit pour ne jamais se réveiller.

Les voisins creusèrent la tombe de la mère d'Abraham Lincoln, sous un grand sycomore, à un demi-mille de la maison. Ils l'ont ensevelie là-bas, en silence et avec une grande tristesse.

Il n'y avait pas de pasteur pour assurer les services religieux. Nulle part dans ce nouveau pays, il n'y avait d'église et on ne pouvait trouver aucun religieux pour prononcer des mots de réconfort et d'espoir aux personnes en deuil autour de la tombe.

Mais le garçon, Abraham, se souvint d'un prédicateur itinérant, qu'ils avaient connu dans le Kentucky. Ce prêcheur s'appelait David Elkin. Si seulement il venait.

Ainsi, quand tout fut terminé, le jeune homme s'assit et écrivit une lettre à David Elkin. Ce n'était qu'un enfant de neuf ans, mais il croyait que le brave homme se souviendrait de sa pauvre mère et qu'il viendrait.

Ce ne fut pas une tâche aisée d'écrire une lettre. Le papier et l'encre n'étaient pas des choses dont on se servait communément, comme c'est le cas maintenant. Un stylo devait être fabriqué à partir d'une plume d'oie.

Mais enfin la lettre fut finie et envoyée. Je ne sais pas comment elle fut transportée, les bureaux de poste étaient peu nombreux et très éloignés à cette époque, et les frais de port étaient très élevés. Il est plus que probable qu'un ami, qui se rendait dans le Kentucky, se soit engagé à la remettre au bon prédicateur.

Des mois passèrent. Les feuilles avaient repoussé sur les branches. Les fleurs sauvages avaient fleuri dans la forêt. Enfin le prédicateur arriva.

Il avait parcouru une centaine de miles à dos de cheval ; il avait franchi des rivières à gué, traversé des bois dépourvus de chemins ; il avait bravé les dangers de la forêt sauvage... tout cela en réponse à la lettre suppliante du jeune homme.

Il n'avait aucun espoir de récompense, excepté ce qui revient à chaque homme qui fait son devoir. Il ne savait pas qu'il adviendrait un moment où les plus grands prédicateurs du monde lui envieraient sa triste tâche.

Et à présent, les amis et les voisins se réunirent sous le grand sycomore. Le sermon funèbre fut dit. Des hymnes furent chantés. Une prière fut donnée. Des paroles de réconfort et de sympathie furent prononcées.

À partir de ce moment, l'esprit d'Abraham Lincoln fut rempli d'un noble et céleste but. Dans sa première enfance, sa mère lui avait appris à aimer la vérité et la justice, à être honnête et droit au sein des hommes, et à révérer Dieu. Leçons qu'il n'oublia jamais.

Longtemps après, quand le monde fut venu à le reconnaître comme étant un très grand homme, il déclarait : « Tout ce que je suis, ou espère être, je le dois à ma sainte mère. »
unit 1
Work and Sorrow.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 3
It was not yet a year since Indiana had become a state.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 5
He had heard also that game was plentiful in the Indiana woods.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 6
It was not more than seventy or eighty miles from the old home to the new.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 9
The boy, Abraham, was tall and very strong for his age.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 10
He already knew how to handle an ax, and few men could shoot with a rifle better than he.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 11
He was his father's helper in all kinds of work.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 12
It was in November when the family came to the place which was to be their future home.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 13
Winter was near at hand.
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 14
There was no house, nor shelter of any kind.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 17
In a short time they had built what they called a "camp."
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 18
This camp was but a rude shed, made of poles and thatched with leaves and branches.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 20
The fourth side was left open, and in front of it a fire was built.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 21
This fire was kept burning all the time.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 22
It warmed the interior of the camp.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 24
unit 26
The rest of the space was the family sitting-room and bed-room.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 28
It was in this camp that the family spent their first winter in Indiana.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 29
How very cold and dreary that winter must have been!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 30
Think of the stormy nights, of the shrieking wind, of the snow and the sleet and the bitter frost!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 31
It is not much wonder if, before the spring months came, the mother's strength began to fail.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 32
But it was a busy winter for Thomas Lincoln.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 33
Every day his ax was heard in the woods.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 34
He was clearing the ground, so that in the spring it might be planted with corn and vegetables.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 36
The woods were full of wild animals.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 38
And Abraham, with chopping and hewing and hunting and trapping, was very busy for a little boy.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 40
With his mother, he read over and over the Bible stories which both of them loved so well.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 42
In the spring the new house was raised.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 43
It was only a hewed log house, with one room below and a loft above.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 44
But it was so much better than the old cabin in Kentucky that it seemed like a palace.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 46
Then came the plowing and the planting and the hoeing.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 47
Everybody was busy from daylight to dark.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 48
There were so many trees and stumps that there was but little room for the corn to grow.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 49
The summer passed, and autumn came.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 50
Then the poor mother's strength gave out.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 51
She could no longer go about her household duties.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 52
She had to depend more and more upon the help that her children could give her.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 53
At length she became too feeble to leave her bed.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 54
She called her boy to her side.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 56
I know that you will always be good and kind to your sister and father.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 57
Try to live as I have taught you, and to love your heavenly Father."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 58
On the 5th of October she fell asleep, never to wake again.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 60
And there they buried her in silence and great sorrow.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 61
There was no minister there to conduct religious services.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 63
But the boy, Abraham, remembered a traveling preacher, whom they had known in Kentucky.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 64
The name of this preacher was David Elkin.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 65
If he would only come!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 66
And so, after all was over, the lad sat down and wrote a letter to David Elkin.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 68
It was no easy task to write a letter.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 69
Paper and ink were not things of common use, as they are with us.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 70
A pen had to be made from the quill of a goose.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 71
But at last the letter was finished and sent away.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 74
Months passed.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 75
The leaves were again on the trees.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 76
The wild flowers were blossoming in the woods.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 77
At last the preacher came.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 79
He had no hope of reward, save that which is given to every man who does his duty.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 81
And now the friends and neighbors gathered again under the great sycamore tree.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 82
The funeral sermon was preached.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 83
Hymns were sung.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 84
A prayer was offered.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 85
Words of comfort and sympathy were spoken.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 86
From that time forward the mind of Abraham Lincoln was filled with a high and noble purpose.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
unit 88
These lessons he never forgot.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 1 week ago
Siri • 587  commented on  unit 58  8 months, 1 week ago
Siri • 587  commented on  unit 13  8 months, 1 week ago

Work and Sorrow.
In the autumn, just after Abraham Lincoln was eight years old, his parents left their Kentucky home and moved to Spencer county, in Indiana.

It was not yet a year since Indiana had become a state. Land could be bought very cheap, and Mr. Lincoln thought that he could make a good living there for his family. He had heard also that game was plentiful in the Indiana woods.

It was not more than seventy or eighty miles from the old home to the new. But it seemed very far, indeed, and it was a good many days before the travelers reached their journey's end. Over a part of the way there was no road, and the movers had to cut a path for themselves through the thick woods.

The boy, Abraham, was tall and very strong for his age. He already knew how to handle an ax, and few men could shoot with a rifle better than he. He was his father's helper in all kinds of work.

It was in November when the family came to the place which was to be their future home. Winter was near at hand. There was no house, nor shelter of any kind. What would become of the patient, tired mother, and the gentle little sister, who had borne themselves so bravely during the long, hard journey?

No sooner had the horses been loosed from the wagon than Abraham and his father were at work with their axes. In a short time they had built what they called a "camp."

This camp was but a rude shed, made of poles and thatched with leaves and branches. It was enclosed on three sides, so that the chill winds or the driving rains from the north and west could not enter. The fourth side was left open, and in front of it a fire was built.

This fire was kept burning all the time. It warmed the interior of the camp. A big iron kettle was hung over it by means of a chain and pole, and in this kettle the fat bacon, the venison, the beans, and the corn were boiled for the family's dinner and supper. In the hot ashes the good mother baked luscious "corn dodgers," and sometimes, perhaps, a few potatoes.

In one end of the camp were the few cooking utensils and little articles of furniture which even the poorest house cannot do without. The rest of the space was the family sitting-room and bed-room. The floor was covered with leaves, and on these were spread the furry skins of deer and bears, and other animals.

It was in this camp that the family spent their first winter in Indiana. How very cold and dreary that winter must have been! Think of the stormy nights, of the shrieking wind, of the snow and the sleet and the bitter frost! It is not much wonder if, before the spring months came, the mother's strength began to fail.

But it was a busy winter for Thomas Lincoln. Every day his ax was heard in the woods. He was clearing the ground, so that in the spring it might be planted with corn and vegetables.

He was hewing logs for his new house; for he had made up his mind, now, to have something better than a cabin.

The woods were full of wild animals. It was easy for Abraham and his father to kill plenty of game, and thus keep the family supplied with fresh meat.

And Abraham, with chopping and hewing and hunting and trapping, was very busy for a little boy. He had but little time to play; and, since he had no playmates, we cannot know whether he even wanted to play.

With his mother, he read over and over the Bible stories which both of them loved so well. And, during the cold, stormy days, when he could not leave the camp, his mother taught him how to write.

In the spring the new house was raised. It was only a hewed log house, with one room below and a loft above. But it was so much better than the old cabin in Kentucky that it seemed like a palace.

The family had become so tired of living in the "camp," that they moved into the new house before the floor was laid, or any door hung at the doorway.

Then came the plowing and the planting and the hoeing. Everybody was busy from daylight to dark. There were so many trees and stumps that there was but little room for the corn to grow.

The summer passed, and autumn came. Then the poor mother's strength gave out. She could no longer go about her household duties. She had to depend more and more upon the help that her children could give her.

At length she became too feeble to leave her bed. She called her boy to her side. She put her arms about him and said: "Abraham, I am going away from you, and you will never see me again. I know that you will always be good and kind to your sister and father. Try to live as I have taught you, and to love your heavenly Father."

On the 5th of October she fell asleep, never to wake again.

Under a big sycamore tree, half a mile from the house, the neighbors dug the grave for the mother of Abraham Lincoln. And there they buried her in silence and great sorrow.

There was no minister there to conduct religious services. In all that new country there was no church; and no holy man could be found to speak words of comfort and hope to the grieving ones around the grave.

But the boy, Abraham, remembered a traveling preacher, whom they had known in Kentucky. The name of this preacher was David Elkin. If he would only come!

And so, after all was over, the lad sat down and wrote a letter to David Elkin. He was only a child nine years old, but he believed that the good man would remember his poor mother, and come.

It was no easy task to write a letter. Paper and ink were not things of common use, as they are with us. A pen had to be made from the quill of a goose.

But at last the letter was finished and sent away. How it was carried I do not know; for the mails were few and far between in those days, and postage was very high. It is more than likely that some friend, who was going into Kentucky, undertook to have it finally handed to the good preacher.

Months passed. The leaves were again on the trees. The wild flowers were blossoming in the woods. At last the preacher came.

He had ridden a hundred miles on horseback; he had forded rivers, and traveled through pathless woods; he had dared the dangers of the wild forest: all in answer to the lad's beseeching letter.

He had no hope of reward, save that which is given to every man who does his duty. He did not know that there would come a time when the greatest preachers in the world would envy him his sad task.

And now the friends and neighbors gathered again under the great sycamore tree. The funeral sermon was preached. Hymns were sung. A prayer was offered. Words of comfort and sympathy were spoken.

From that time forward the mind of Abraham Lincoln was filled with a high and noble purpose. In his earliest childhood his mother had taught him to love truth and justice, to be honest and upright among men, and to reverence God. These lessons he never forgot.

Long afterward, when the world had come to know him as a very great man, he said: "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."