, an old man who still survives, told me in 1865, that he had often employed Lincoln
to do farm work for him, and was surprised to find him one day sitting barefoot on the summit of a wood-pile and attentively reading a book.
“This being an unusual thing for farm hands in that early day to do, I asked him,” relates Godby
, “what he was reading.
‘I'm not reading,’ he answered.
‘Law, sir,’ was the emphatic response.
It was really too much for me, as I looked at him sitting there proud as Cicero
‘Great God Almighty!’
I exclaimed, and passed on.”
kept on at his studies.
Wherever he was and whenever he could do so the book was brought into use. He carried it with him in his rambles through the woods and his walks to the river.
When night came he read it by the aid of any friendly light he could find.
Frequently he went down to the cooper's shop and kindled a fire out of the waste material lying about, and by the light it afforded read until far into the night.
One of his companions at this time relates that, “while clerking in the store or serving as postmaster he would apply himself as opportunity offered to his studies, if it was but five minutes timewould open his book which he always kept at hand, study it, reciting to himself; then entertain the company present or wait on a customer without apparent annoyance from the interruption.
Have frequently seen him reading while walking along the streets.
Occasionally he would become absorbed ”