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[589] gloomy, abstracted, and joyous — rather humorousby turns; but I do not think he knew what real joy was for many years.

Mr. Lincoln sometimes walked our streets cheerily, he was not always gloomy, and then it was that on meeting a friend he greeted him with plain “Howd'y?” clasping his hand in both of his own, and gave him a hearty soul-welcome. On a winter's morning he might be seen stalking towards the market-house, basket on arm, his old gray shawl wrapped around his neck, his little boy Willie or Tad running along at his heels asking a thousand boyish questions, which his father, in deep abstraction, neither heeded nor heard.1 If a friend met or

1 “I lived next door to the Lincoln for many years, knew the family well. Mr. Lincoln used to come to our house, his feet encased in a pair of loose slippers, and with an old, faded pair of trousers fastened with one suspender. He frequently came to our house for milk. Our rooms were low, and he said one day, ‘Jim, you'll have to lift your loft a little higher; I can't straighten out under it very well.’ To my wife, who was short of stature, he used to say that little people had some advantages: they required less ‘wood and wool to make them comfortable.’ In his yard Lincoln had but little shrubbery. He once planted some rose bushes, to which he called my attention, but soon neglected them altogether. He never planted any vines or fruit trees, seemed to have no fondness for such things. At one time, yielding to my suggestion, he undertook to keep a garden in the rear part of his yard, but one season's experience sufficed to cure him of all desire for another. He kept his own horse, fed and curried it when at home; he also fed and milked his own cow, and sawed his own wood. Mr. Lincoln and his wife agreed moderately well. Frequently Mrs. Lincoln's temper would get the better of her. If she became furious, as she often did, her husband tried to pay no attention to her. He would sometimes laugh at her, but generally he would pick up one of the children and walk off. I have heard her say that if Mr. Lincoln had remained at home more she could have loved him better. One day while Mr. Lincoln was absent — he had gone to Chicago to try a suit in the United States Court — his wife and I formed a conspiracy to take off the roof and raise his house. It was originally a frame structure one story and a half high. When Lincoln returned he met a gentleman on the sidewalk and, looking at his own house and manifesting great surprise, inquired: ‘Stranger, can you tell me where Lincoln lives?’ The gentleman gave him the necessary information, and Lincoln gravely entered his own premises.” --Statement, James Gourly, February 9, 1866.

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