en-fr  The Story of Abraham Lincoln: by James Baldwin, Part 8+9 Easy
La guerre de Black Hawk.

Il y avait encore beaucoup d'Indiens dans l'ouest. Les Indiens Sauk avaient récemment vendu aux États-Unis leurs terres situées dans le nord de l'Illinois. Ils ont alors traversé le Mississippi pour se rendre vers d'autres terres mises à leur disposition.

Mais ils n'apprécièrent pas leur nouveau territoire. Finalement, ils décidèrent de retourner vers leurs anciens territoires de chasse. Ils étaient conduits par un chef qui s'appelait Black Hawk, et ils commencèrent par tuer les colons blancs, brûler leurs maisons et leurs récoltes.

C'était au printemps 1832.

Tout l'état de l'Illinois était en alerte. Le gouverneur fit appel à des volontaires pour aider l'armée des États-Unis à repousser les Indiens.

Abraham Lincoln s'engagea. Sa compagnie le choisit comme capitaine.

Il n'avait aucune connaissance en matière de tactiques militaires. Il ignorait comment commander ses hommes. Mais il fit de son mieux et apprit beaucoup sur le tas.

Sa compagnie marcha vers le nord et l'ouest jusqu'à ce qu'ils atteignent la rivière Mississippi. Mais ils ne rencontrèrent aucun Indien et donc ne livrèrent aucun combat.

Les jeunes gens sous le commandement du capitaine Lincoln étaient de rudes gaillards des prairies et de la campagne profonde. Ils avaient des manières rustres et étaient difficiles à contrôler. Cependant, ils montraient un grand respect à leur capitaine.

Peut-être était-ce à cause de sa grande force et de son habileté à la lutte car il pouvait renverser sur le dos le plus violent et le plus fort d'entre eux. Peut-être était-ce parce qu'il était bon et gentil, et, en même temps, très ferme et résolu.

Après quelques semaines, la période pour laquelle la compagnie s'était enrôlée toucha à sa fin. Les jeunes hommes en avaient assez d'être soldats, ainsi tous, sauf le capitaine Lincoln et un homme, étaient heureux de rentrer rapidement chez eux.

Mais le capitaine Lincoln n'avait jamais abandonné quoi que ce soit qui fût à moitié fait. Il s'engagea de nouveau. Cette fois, il n'était que simple soldat dans une compagnie de rangers montés.

Le camp principal des volontaires et des soldats était établi sur les rives de la rivière Rock dans le nord de l'Illinois.

Ici, un jour, Abraham Lincoln vit un jeune lieutenant de l'armée des États-Unis, dont le nom était Jefferson Davis. Il est peu probable que le jeune et fringant officier ait remarqué le ranger à l'uniforme rudimentaire ; mais ils allaient en apprendre plus l'un sur l'autre un peu plus tard.

Trois semaines plus tard, la guerre était terminée. Les Indiens avaient été vaincus lors d'une bataille et Black Hawk avait été fait prisonnier.

Mais Abraham Lincoln n'avait pris part à aucun combat. Il n'avait pas vu d'Indiens, sauf ceux qui étaient pacifiques.

En juin, sa compagnie fut démobilisée et il retourna chez lui à New Salem.

Il avait alors vingt-trois ans.

À l'assemblée législative.

Abraham Lincoln revint à New Salem peu de temps avant les élections législatives. Les gens de sa ville et des environs voulaient qu'il les représente à l'assemblée législative et il accepta de se porter candidat.

C'est à Pappsville, à douze miles de Springfield, qu'il fit son premier discours de campagne.

Il dit : — Messieurs et concitoyens, je présume que vous savez tous qui je suis.

— Je suis l'humble Abraham Lincoln. Mes amis m'ont sollicité pour devenir candidat à l'assemblée législative.

Mes opinions politiques sont simples et pleines de bon sens.

— Je suis en faveur d'une banque nationale, je suis favorable au système de bonification interne et à un taux protecteur élevé.

Ce sont mes opinions et principes politiques. Si je suis élu, je serai reconnaissant, sinon, ça ne changera rien.

C'était un grand homme, maladroit, à l'air dur. Il était vêtu d'un vulgaire costume rustique, ce qu'on faisait de pire en matière de vêtement.

Quelques jours plus tard, à Springfield, il fit un discours plus long et bien meilleur.

Mais il ne fut pas élu.

À cette époque, un bon à rien, nommé Berry, persuada M. Lincoln de l'aider à acheter un magasin à New Salem. M. Lincoln n'avait pas d'argent, mais il donna ses billets à ordre pour la valeur de la moitié des marchandises.

L'entreprise ne fut pas rentable. En quelques mois, le magasin fut vendu ; mais Abraham n'a pas reçu un dollar. Il lui restait six ans pour rembourser les billets à ordre qu'il avait donnés.

Pendant tout ce temps, Mr Lincoln n'a pas abandonné l'idée d'être avocat. Il acheta aux enchères un exemplaire d'occasion de « Blackstone's Commentaries ». Il l'étudia si diligemment qu'en quelques semaines, il le maîtrisait intégralement.

Il acheta un vieux manuel de formulaires et commença à rédiger des contrats, des actes et toutes sortes de papiers légaux.

Il se rendait souvent à pied jusqu'à Springfield, à quinze milles de là, pour emprunter un livre, et il en maîtrisait déjà trente ou quarante pages quand il arrivait chez lui.

Bientôt, il commença modestement à exercer ses talents devant la justice de paix et des juridictions locales. Il était receveur des postes à New Salem, mais il y avait tellement peu de courrier que le bureau fut bientôt fermé.

Il avait pratiquement vingt-cinq ans. Mais, malgré toutes ses activités, il pouvait à peine gagner de quoi payer sa pension et se vêtir.

Pendant qu'il vivait dans l'Indiana, il avait appris quelques notions sur l'arpentage. Il en reprit l'étude et fut bientôt nommé arpenteur adjoint du comté de Sangamon.

C'était un arpenteur très doué. Bien que sa chaîne d'arpenteur n'était qu'une corde à nœuds, il était très précis et ne commettait jamais d'erreurs.

L'année suivante, il se présenta à nouveau aux élections législatives. Cette fois, les gens étaient disposés à voter pour lui et il a été élu. Ce n'était pas rien pour un si jeune homme d'avoir été choisi pour collaborer à l'élaboration des lois de son état.

Aucun homme n'avait jamais eu aussi peu d'avantages qu'Abraham Lincoln. En tant que garçon, il avait été le plus pauvre parmi les pauvres. Aucun ami riche pour lui tendre une main secourable. Mais regardez ce qu'il a déjà accompli grâce à son courage, sa persévérance et son honnêteté !

Il n'avait pas eu accès à beaucoup de livres, mais il les connaissait mieux que la plupart des hommes de son âge. Il connaissait la Bible par cœur, connaissait bien l'œuvre de Shakespeare, il pouvait réciter presque tous les poèmes de Burns, avait de grandes connaissances en physique et en mécanique et maîtrisait les éléments juridiques.

Il était très maladroit et loin d'être beau, mais il était si humble, si altruiste et si gentil que tous ceux qui le connaissaient l'aimaient. C'était un vrai gentleman, pas seulement en apparence mais au plus profond de lui-même.

Et ainsi, comme je l'ai déjà mentionné, Abraham Lincoln, à l'âge de vingt-cinq ans, a été élu à l'Assemblée législative de l'état. Il servit si bien la population qu'au terme de son mandat de deux ans, il fut reconduit pour un nouveau mandat.

Jusqu'à ce moment-là, Vandalia avait été la capitale de l'Illinois. M. Lincoln et ses amis réussirent alors à faire adopter une loi permettant de transférer cette capitale à Springfield. Springfield était plus proche du centre de l'état, c'était plus pratique pour tout le monde, et elle offrait d'autres avantages que Vandalia n'offrait pas.

La population de Springfield était tellement contente qu'elle l'invita à venir immédiatement y exercer ses talents d'avocat. Un avocat confirmé qui s'appelait John T. Stuart et qui avait une bonne expérience lui proposa de devenir son associé.

C'est ainsi qu'en 1837, Abraham Lincoln quitta New Salem et partit pour Springfield. Il n'avait pas grand chose à emmener avec lui. Quelques vêtements fourrés dans deux sacoches et deux ou trois livres de droit constituaient l'ensemble de ses richesses en ce bas monde. Il n'avait pas d'argent et avait emprunté un cheval pour se rendre à Springfield.

Il avait alors vingt-huit ans.

À partir de cette date, Springfield devint son lieu de résidence.
unit 1
The Black Hawk War.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 2
There were still a good many Indians in the West.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 3
The Sac Indians had lately sold their lands in northern Illinois to the United States.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 4
They had then moved across the Mississippi river, to other lands that had been set apart for them.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 5
But they did not like their new home.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 6
At last they made up their minds to go back to their former hunting-grounds.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 8
This was in the spring of 1832.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 9
The whole state of Illinois was in alarm.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 10
The governor called for volunteers to help the United States soldiers drive the Indians back.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 11
Abraham Lincoln enlisted.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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His company elected him captain.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 13
He did not know anything about military tactics.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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He did not know how to give orders to his men.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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But he did the best that he could, and learned a great deal by experience.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 16
His company marched northward and westward until they came to the Mississippi river.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 17
But they did not meet any Indians, and so there was no fighting.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 18
The young men under Captain Lincoln were rude fellows from the prairies and backwoods.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 19
They were rough in their manners, and hard to control.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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But they had very high respect for their captain.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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Perhaps it was because he was good-natured and kind, and, at the same time, very firm and decisive.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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In a few weeks the time for which the company had enlisted came to an end.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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But Captain Lincoln never gave up anything half done.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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He enlisted again.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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This time he was a private in a company of mounted rangers.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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unit 31
Three weeks after that the war was at an end.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 32
The Indians had been beaten in a battle, and Black Hawk had been taken prisoner.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 33
But Abraham Lincoln had not been in any fight.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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He had not seen any Indians, except peaceable ones.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 35
In June his company was mustered out, and he returned home to New Salem.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 36
He was then twenty-three years old.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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In the Legislature.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 38
When Abraham Lincoln came back to New Salem it was nearly time for the state election.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 40
It was at Pappsville, twelve miles from Springfield, that he made his first campaign speech.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 41
He said: "Gentlemen and fellow-citizens— "I presume you all know who I am.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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"I am humble Abraham Lincoln.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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I have been solicited by my friends to become a candidate for the legislature.
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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"My politics are short and sweet.
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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"These are my sentiments and political principles.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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If elected, I shall be thankful; if not, it will be all the same."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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He was a tall, gawky, rough-looking fellow.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 49
He was dressed in a coarse suit of homespun, much the worse for wear.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 50
A few days after that, he made a longer and better speech at Springfield.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 51
But he was not elected.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 53
Mr. Lincoln had no money, but he gave his notes for the value of half the goods.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 1 week ago
unit 54
The venture was not a profitable one.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 55
In a few months the store was sold; but Abraham did not receive a dollar for it.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 1 week ago
unit 56
It was six years before he was able to pay off the notes which he had given.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 1 week ago
unit 57
During all this time Mr. Lincoln did not give up the idea of being a lawyer.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 1 week ago
unit 58
He bought a second-hand copy of _Blackstone's Commentaries_ at auction.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 1 week ago
unit 59
He studied it so diligently that in a few weeks he had mastered the whole of it.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 1 week ago
unit 60
He bought an old form-book, and began to draw up contracts, deeds, and all kinds of legal papers.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 1 week ago
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He was nearly twenty-five years old.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
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He had learned a little about surveying while living in Indiana.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
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He was very skilful as a surveyor.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
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The next year he was again a candidate for the legislature.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
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This time the people were ready to vote for him, and he was elected.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
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No man ever had fewer advantages than Abraham Lincoln.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
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As a boy, he was the poorest of the poor.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
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No rich friend held out a helping hand.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 76
But see what he had already accomplished by pluck, perseverance, and honesty!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 77
He had not had access to many books, but he knew books better than most men of his age.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
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He was a true gentleman—a gentleman at heart, if not in outside polish.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 83
The capital of Illinois had, up to this time, been at Vandalia.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 84
Mr. Lincoln and his friends now succeeded in having a law passed to remove it to Springfield.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
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And so, in 1837, Abraham Lincoln left New Salem and removed to Springfield.
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He did not have much to move.
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He had no money, and he rode into Springfield on a borrowed horse.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 92
He was then twenty-eight years old.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
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From that time on, Springfield was his home.
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The Black Hawk War.

There were still a good many Indians in the West. The Sac Indians had lately sold their lands in northern Illinois to the United States. They had then moved across the Mississippi river, to other lands that had been set apart for them.

But they did not like their new home. At last they made up their minds to go back to their former hunting-grounds. They were led by a chief whose name was Black Hawk; and they began by killing the white settlers and burning their houses and crops.

This was in the spring of 1832.

The whole state of Illinois was in alarm. The governor called for volunteers to help the United States soldiers drive the Indians back.

Abraham Lincoln enlisted. His company elected him captain.

He did not know anything about military tactics. He did not know how to give orders to his men. But he did the best that he could, and learned a great deal by experience.

His company marched northward and westward until they came to the Mississippi river. But they did not meet any Indians, and so there was no fighting.

The young men under Captain Lincoln were rude fellows from the prairies and backwoods. They were rough in their manners, and hard to control. But they had very high respect for their captain.

Perhaps this was because of his great strength, and his skill in wrestling; for he could put the roughest and strongest of them on their backs. Perhaps it was because he was good-natured and kind, and, at the same time, very firm and decisive.

In a few weeks the time for which the company had enlisted came to an end. The young men were tired of being soldiers; and so all, except Captain Lincoln and one man, were glad to hurry home.

But Captain Lincoln never gave up anything half done. He enlisted again. This time he was a private in a company of mounted rangers.

The main camp of the volunteers and soldiers was on the banks of the Rock river, in northern Illinois.

Here, one day, Abraham Lincoln saw a young lieutenant of the United States army, whose name was Jefferson Davis. It is not likely that the fine young officer noticed the rough-clad ranger; but they were to know more of each other at a future time.

Three weeks after that the war was at an end. The Indians had been beaten in a battle, and Black Hawk had been taken prisoner.

But Abraham Lincoln had not been in any fight. He had not seen any Indians, except peaceable ones.

In June his company was mustered out, and he returned home to New Salem.

He was then twenty-three years old.

In the Legislature.

When Abraham Lincoln came back to New Salem it was nearly time for the state election. The people of the town and neighborhood wanted to send him to the legislature, and he agreed to be a candidate.

It was at Pappsville, twelve miles from Springfield, that he made his first campaign speech.

He said: "Gentlemen and fellow-citizens—

"I presume you all know who I am.

"I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I have been solicited by my friends to become a candidate for the legislature.

"My politics are short and sweet.

"I am in favor of a national bank; am in favor of the internal improvement system, and a high protective tariff.

"These are my sentiments and political principles. If elected, I shall be thankful; if not, it will be all the same."

He was a tall, gawky, rough-looking fellow. He was dressed in a coarse suit of homespun, much the worse for wear.

A few days after that, he made a longer and better speech at Springfield.

But he was not elected.

About this time a worthless fellow, whose name was Berry, persuaded Mr. Lincoln to help him buy a store in New Salem. Mr. Lincoln had no money, but he gave his notes for the value of half the goods.

The venture was not a profitable one. In a few months the store was sold; but Abraham did not receive a dollar for it. It was six years before he was able to pay off the notes which he had given.

During all this time Mr. Lincoln did not give up the idea of being a lawyer. He bought a second-hand copy of _Blackstone's Commentaries_ at auction. He studied it so diligently that in a few weeks he had mastered the whole of it.

He bought an old form-book, and began to draw up contracts, deeds, and all kinds of legal papers.

He would often walk to Springfield, fourteen miles away, to borrow a book; and he would master thirty or forty pages of it while returning home.

Soon he began to practice in a small way before justices of the peace and country juries. He was appointed postmaster at New Salem, but so little mail came to the place that the office was soon discontinued.

He was nearly twenty-five years old. But, with all his industry, he could hardly earn money enough to pay for his board and clothing.

He had learned a little about surveying while living in Indiana. He now took up the study again, and was soon appointed deputy surveyor of Sangamon county.

He was very skilful as a surveyor. Although his chain was only a grape-vine, he was very accurate and never made mistakes.

The next year he was again a candidate for the legislature. This time the people were ready to vote for him, and he was elected. It was no small thing for so young a man to be chosen to help make the laws of his state.

No man ever had fewer advantages than Abraham Lincoln. As a boy, he was the poorest of the poor. No rich friend held out a helping hand. But see what he had already accomplished by pluck, perseverance, and honesty!

He had not had access to many books, but he knew books better than most men of his age. He knew the Bible by heart; he was familiar with Shakespeare; he could repeat nearly all the poems of Burns; he knew much about physics and mechanics; he had mastered the elements of law.

He was very awkward and far from handsome, but he was so modest, so unselfish and kind, that every one who knew him liked him. He was a true gentleman—a gentleman at heart, if not in outside polish.

And so, as I have already said, Abraham Lincoln, at the age of twenty-five, was elected to the state legislature. He served the people so well that when his term closed, two years later, they sent him back for another term.

The capital of Illinois had, up to this time, been at Vandalia. Mr. Lincoln and his friends now succeeded in having a law passed to remove it to Springfield. Springfield was nearer to the centre of the state; it was more convenient to everybody, and had other advantages which Vandalia did not have.

The people of Springfield were so delighted that they urged Mr. Lincoln to come there and practice law. An older lawyer, whose name was John T. Stuart, and who had a good practice, offered to take him in partnership with him.

And so, in 1837, Abraham Lincoln left New Salem and removed to Springfield. He did not have much to move. All the goods that he had in the world were a few clothes, which he carried in a pair of saddle-bags, and two or three law books. He had no money, and he rode into Springfield on a borrowed horse.

He was then twenty-eight years old.

From that time on, Springfield was his home.