philosophy and other scientific subjects.
He was a careful and patient reader of newspapers, the Sangamon Journal
--published at Springfield
--Louisville Journal, St. Louis Republican
, and Cincinnati Gazette
being usually within his reach.
He paid a less degree of attention to historical works, although he read Rollin and Gibbon
while in business with Berry
He had a more pronounced fondness for fictitious literature, and read with evident relish Mrs. Lee Hentz
's novels, which were very popular books in that day, and which were kindly loaned him by his friend A. Y. Ellis
The latter was a prosperous and shrewd young merchant who had come up from Springfield
and taken quite a fancy to Lincoln
The two slept together and Lincoln
frequently assisted him in the store.
He says that Lincoln
was fond of short, spicy stories one and two columns long, and cites as specimens, “Cousin Sally Dillard
,” “Becky William
's courtship,” “The down-easter and the Bull
,” and others, the very titles suggesting the character of the productions.
He remembered everything he read, and could afterwards without apparent difficulty relate it. In fact, Mr. Lincoln
's fame as a storyteller spread far and wide.
Men quoted his sayings, repeated his jokes, and in remote places he was known as a story-teller before he was heard of either as lawyer or politician.
It has been denied as often as charged that Lincoln
narrated vulgar stories; but the truth is he loved a story however extravagant or vulgar, if it had a good point.
If it was merely a ribald recital and