very often resorted to some strange and strategic performance which invariably broke his opponent down or exercised some peculiar influence over the jury.
Hence the other side in a case were in constant fear of one of his dramatic strokes, or trembled lest he should “ring in” some ingeniously planned interruption not on the programme.
In a case where Judge Logan
--always earnest and grave -opposed him, Lincoln
created no little merriment by his reference to Logan
's style of dress.
He carried the surprise in store for the latter, till he reached his turn before the jury.
Addressing them, he said: “Gentlemen, you must be careful and not permit yourselves to be overcome by the eloquence of counsel for the defense.
, I know, is an effective lawyer.
I have met him too often to doubt that; but shrewd and careful though he be, still he is sometimes wrong.
Since this trial has begun I have discovered that, with all his caution and fastidiousness, he hasn't knowledge enough to put his shirt on right.”
turned red as crimson, but sure enough, Lincoln
was correct, for the former had donned a new shirt, and by mistake had drawn it over his head with the pleated bosom behind.
The general laugh which followed destroyed the effect of Logan
's eloquence over the jury — the very point at which Lincoln
The trial of William Armstrong1
for the murder