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George Haven Putnam
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 53 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln.

A pause.

You have no conditions to make?

Tucker:  None.

Lincoln (rising): Mrs. Lincoln and I would wish you to take supper with us.

Tucker:  That’s very kind, I’m sure.  And your answer, Mr. Lincoln?

Lincoln:  When you came, you did not know me, Mr. Tucker.  You may have something to say now not for my ears.

Tucker:  Nothing in the world, I assure—­

Lincoln:  I will prepare Mrs. Lincoln.  You will excuse me for no more than a minute.

He goes out.

Tucker:  Well, we might have chosen a handsomer article, but I doubt whether we could have chosen a better.

Hind:  He would make a great judge—­if you weren’t prosecuting.

Price:  I’d tell most people, but I’d ask that man.

Tucker:  He hasn’t given us yes or no yet.  Why should he leave us like that, as though plain wasn’t plain?

Hind:  Perhaps he wanted a thought by himself first.

Macintosh:  It wasn’t that.  But he was right.  Abraham Lincoln sees deeper into men’s hearts than most.  He knows this day will be a memory to us all our lives.  Under his eye, which of you could have given play to any untoward thought that had started in you against him since you came into this room?  But, leaving you, he knew you could test yourselves to your own ease, and speak the more confident for it, and, if you found yourselves clean of doubt, carry it all the happier in your minds after.  Is there a doubt among us?

Tucker:} Hind:  } No, none. Price:  }

Macintosh:  Then, Mr. Tucker, ask him again when he comes back.

Tucker:  I will.

They sit in silence for a moment, and Lincoln comes in again, back to his place at the table.

Lincoln:  I wouldn’t have you think it graceless of me to be slow in my answer.  But once given, it’s for the deep good or the deep ill of all this country.  In the face of that a man may well ask himself twenty times, when he’s twenty times sure.  You make no qualification, any one among you?

Tucker:  None.  The invitation is as I put it when we sat down.  And I would add that we are, all of us, proud to bear it to a man as to whom we feel there is none so fitted to receive it.

Lincoln:  I thank you.  I accept.

He rises, the others with him.  He goes to the door and calls.

Susan.

There is silence.  SUSAN comes in.

Susan:_ Yes, Mr. Lincoln.

Lincoln:  Take these gentlemen to Mrs. Lincoln.  I will follow at once.

The four men go with SUSAN.  LINCOLN stands silently for a moment.  He goes again to the map and looks at it.  He then turns to the table again, and kneels beside it, possessed and deliberate, burying his face in his hands.

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