success that he must be a close reasoner, besides having at command a broad knowledge of the principles on which the statutory law is constructed.
There was of course the same riding on circuit as before, but the courts had improved in tone and morals, and there was less laxity — at least it appeared so to Lincoln
Political defeat had wrought a marked effect on him. It went below the skin and made a changed man of him. He was not soured at his seeming political decline, but still he determined to eschew politics from that time forward and devote himself entirely to the law. And now he began to make up for time lost in politics by studying the law in earnest.
No man had greater power of application than he. Once fixing his mind on any subject, nothing could interfere with or disturb him. Frequently I would go out on the circuit with him. We, usually, at the little country inns occupied the same bed.. In most cases the beds were too short for him, and his feet would hang over the floor-board, thus exposing a limited expanse of shin bone.
Placing a candle on a chair at the head of the bed, he would read and study for hours.
I have known him to study in this position till two o'clock in the morning.
Meanwhile, I and others who chanced to occupy the same room would be safely and soundly asleep.
On the circuit in this way he studied Euclid until he could with ease demonstrate all the propositions in the six books.
How he could maintain his mental equilibrium or concentrate his thoughts on an abstract mathematical proposition,