's “Pilgrim's progress,” a “History of the United States
,” and Weems
' “Life of Washington
A little circumstance attended the reading of the last-named book, which only within recent years found its way into public print.
The book was borrowed from a close-fisted neighbor, Josiah Crawford
, and one night, while lying on a little shelf near a crack between two logs in the Lincoln
cabin during a storm, the covers were damaged by rain.
— not the schoolmaster, but old Blue Nose, as Abe and others called him — assessed the damage to his book at seventy-five cents, and the unfortunate borrower was required to pull fodder for three days at twenty-five cents a day in settlement of the account.
While at school it is doubtful if he was able to own an arithmetic.
His stepmother was unable to remember his ever having owned one.
She gave me, however, a few leaves from a book made and bound by Abe, in which he had entered, in a large, bold hand, the tables of weights and measures, and the “sums” to be worked out in illustration of each table.
Where the arithmetic was obtained I could not learn.
On one of the pages which the old lady gave me, and just underneath the table which tells how many pints there are in a bushel, the facetious young student had scrawled these four lines of schoolboy doggerel:
His hand and pen,
He will be good,
But God knows when.