to the Executive Mansion
, and showed him the world of flowers represented there.
He followed me patiently through.
‘How beautiful these flowers are!
how gorgeous these roses!
Here are exotics,’ I exclaimed, in admiration, ‘gathered from the remotest corners of the earth, and grand beyond description.’
A moody silence followed, broken finally by Mr. Lincoln
with this observation: ‘Yes, this whole thing looks like spring; but do you know I have never been in here before.
I don't know why it is so, but I never cared for flowers; I seem to have no taste, natural or acquired, for such things.’
I induced him one day,” continued Mrs. Edwards
, “to walk to the Park
north of the White House
He hadn't been there, he said, for a year.
On such occasions, when alone or in the company of a close friend, and released from the restraint of his official surroundings, he was wont to throw from his shoulders many a burden.
He was a man I loved and respected.
He was a good man, an honest and true one.
Much of his seeming disregard, which has been tortured into ingratitude, was due to his peculiar construction.
His habits, like himself, were odd and wholly irregular.
He would move around in a vague, abstracted way, as if unconscious of his own or any one else's existence.
He had no expressed fondness for anything, and ate mechanically.
I have seen him sit down at the table absorbed in thought, and never, unless recalled to his senses, would he think of food.
But, however peculiar and secretive he may have seemed, he was anything but cold.
Beneath what the world saw ”