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[139] was the disastrous effect of Miss Rutledge's death on Mr. Lincoln's mind. It operated strangely on one of his calm and stoical make-up. As he returned from the visit to the bedside of Miss Rutledge, he stopped at the house of a friend, who relates that his face showed signs of no little mental agony. “He was very much distressed,” is the language of this friend, “and I was not surprised when it was rumored subsequently that his reason was in danger.” One of Miss Rutledge's brothers1 says: “The effect upon Mr. Lincoln's mind was terrible. He became plunged in despair, and many of his friends feared that reason would desert her throne. His extraordinary emotions were regarded as strong evidence of the existence of the tenderest relations between himself and the deceased.” The truth is Mr. Lincoln was strangely wrought up over the sad ending of the affair. He had fits of great mental depression, and wandered up and down the river and into the woods woefully abstracted — at times in the deepest distress. If, when we read what the many credible persons who knew him at the time tell us, we do not conclude that he was deranged, we must admit that he walked on that sharp and narrow line which divides sanity from insanity. To one friend he complained that the thought “that the snows and rains fall upon her grave filled him with indescribable grief.” 2 He was watched with especial vigilance

1 R. B. Rutledge, Ms., letter, Oct. 21, 1866.

2 Letter, Wm. Greene, Ms., May 29, 1865.

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