He was often perplexed to give proper expression to his ideas; first, because he was not master of the English
language; and secondly, because there were, in the vast store of words, so few that contained the exact coloring, power, and shape of his ideas.
This will account for the frequent resort by him to the use of stories, maxims, and jokes in which to clothe his ideas, that they might be comprehended.
So true was this peculiar mental vision of his that, though mankind has been gathering, arranging, and classifying facts for thousands of years, Lincoln
's peculiar standpoint could give him no advantage over other men's labor.
Hence he tore down to their deepest foundations all arrangements of facts, and constructed new ones to govern himself.
He was compelled from his peculiar mental organization to do this.
His labor was great and continuous.
The truth about Mr. Lincoln
is that he read less and thought more than any man in his sphere in America
No man can put his finger on any great book written in the last or present century that he read thoroughly.
When young he read the Bible
, and when of age he read Shakespeare
; but, though he often quoted from both, he never read either one through.
He is acknowledged now to have been a great man but the question is what made him great.
I repeat, that he read less and thought more than any man of his standing in America
, if not in the world.
He possessed originality and power of thought in an eminent degree.
Besides his well established reputation for caution, he was