Many of their antics he approved, and he restrained them in nothing.
He never reproved them or gave them a fatherly frown.
He was the most indulgent parent I have ever known.
He was in the habit, when at home on Sunday, of bringing his two boys, Willie and Thomas
— or “Tad” --down to the office to remain while his wife attended church.
He seldom accompanied her there.
The boys were absolutely unrestrained in their amusement.
If they pulled down all the books from the shelves, bent the points of all the pens, overturned inkstands, scattered law-papers over the floor, or threw the pencils into the spittoon, it never disturbed the serenity of their father's good-nature.
Frequently absorbed in thought, he never observed their mischievous but destructive pranks — as his unfortunate partner did, who thought much, but said nothing — and, even if brought to his attention, he virtually encouraged their repetition by declining to show any substantial evidence of parental disapproval.
After church was over the boys and their father, climbing down the office stairs, ruefully turned their steps homeward.
They mingled with the throngs of well-dressed people returning from church, the majority of whom might well have wondered if the trio they passed were going to a fireside where love and white-winged peace reigned supreme.
A near relative of Mrs. Lincoln
, in explanation of the unhappy condition of things in that lady's household, offered this suggestion:
Mrs. Lincoln came of the best stock, and was raised like a lady.
Her husband was her opposite,