frequently worked himself to avert the overwhelming effects of his constitutional melancholy — and in the inspiration of the moment penned this letter, which many regard as an unfortunate composition.
The class who take such a gloomy view of the matter should bear in mind that the letter was written by Mr. Lincoln
in the fervor of early manhood, just as he was emerging from a most embarrassing situation, and addressed to a friend whom he supposed would keep it sacredly sealed from the public eye. As a matter of fact Mr. Lincoln
was not gifted with a ready perception of the propriety of things in all cases.
Nothing with him was intuitive.
To have profound judgment and just discrimination he required time to think; and if facts or events were forced before him in too rapid succession the machinery of his judgment failed to work.
A knowledge of this fact will account for the letter, and also serve to rob the offence — if any was committed — of half its severity.
The letter was written in the same month Miss Owens
made her final departure from Illinois