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I will tell you a joke about Joel and Mary,
It is neither a joke nor a story,
For Reuben and Charles have married two girls,
But Billy has married a boy.
The girls he had tried on every side,
But none could he get to agree;
All was in vain, he went home again,
And since that he's married to Natty.

So Billy and Natty agreed very well,
And mamma's well pleased with the match.
The egg it is laid, but Natty's afraid
The shell is so soft it never will hatch,
But Betsy, she said, “You cursed bald head,
My suitor you never can be,
Besides your ill shape proclaims you an ape,
And that never can answer for me.

That these burlesques and the publicity they attained aroused all the ire in the Grigsby family, and eventually made Abe the object on which their fury was spent is not surprising in the least. It has even been contended, and with some show of truth too, that the fight between John Johnston and William Grigsby was the outgrowth of these caricatures, and that Abe forebore measuring strength with Grigsby, who was considered his physical inferior, and selected Johnston to represent him and fight in his stead. These crude rhymes and awkward imitations of scriptural lore demonstrated that their author, if assailed, was merciless in satire. In after years Lincoln, when driven to do so, used this weapon of ridicule with telling effect. He knew its power, and on one occasion, in the rejoinder of a debate, drove his opponent in tears from the platform.

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John Johnston (2)
William Grigsby (2)
Abe Lincoln (1)
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