you know too well.
I have not regained it; and until I do I cannot trust myself in any matter of much importance.
I believe now that had you understood my case at the time as well as I understood yours afterwards, by the aid you would have given me I should have sailed through clear; but that does not now afford me sufficient confidence to begin that or the like of that again . . . I always was superstitious, I believe God made me one of the instruments of bringing Fanny and you together, which union I have no doubt he had foreordained.
Whatever he designs he will do for me yet. ‘Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord
,’ is my text just now. If, as you say, you have told Fanny all, I should have no objection to her seeing this letter, but for its reference to our friend here; let her seeing it depend upon whether she has ever known anything of my affairs; and if she has not, do not let her. I do not think I can come to Kentucky
I am so poor and make so little headway in the world that I drop back in a month of idleness as much as I gain in a year's sowing.”
The last letter, and the one which closes this series, was written October 5, 1842.
In it he simply announces his “duel with Shields
,” and then goes on to “narrate the particulars of the duelling business, which still rages in this city.”
This referred to a challenge from the belligerent Shields
to William Butler
, and another from General Whitesides
to Dr. Merryman
In the latter, Lincoln
acted as the “friend of Merryman
,” but in neither