He said the ‘old man’ had plenty of money, but had sent him enough to come home once or twice before, and would not send any more.
Upon further inquiry, I found that my friend's hotel bill and expenses home would amount to a little less than the sum I had just drawn on my pay account up to date; so I handed him the money, saying that he could return it when convenient, and his ‘honor’ was fully satisfied.
I never afterward heard anything from him about that money, and my tailor had to wait a little longer for his pay; but I had done my duty, as I understood it, under the code of honor.
I saw that friend once afterward.
He went into the army in 1861, accidentally shot himself, and died miserably on the march, an old musket-barrel, placed there by my order, marking his grave by the wayside.
It was not granted to him, poor fellow!
to fight a battle for his country.
I took with me to Florida
some law-books—Blackstone, Kent
, and a few others: so few, indeed, that I learned them nearly all by heart; then, for want of anything better, I read over the entire code of the State of Florida
Several times in after years I found it necessary, in order to save time, to repeat to great lawyers the exact words of the Constitution of the United States
; but their habit was much the better.
It is seldom wise to burden the memory with those things which you have only to open a book to find out. I recollect well the answer once made by William M. Evarts
, then attorney-general of the United States
, to my inquiry whether he would give me, offhand, the law on a certain point, to save the time requisite for a formal application and answer in writing.
He said if it was a question of statute law he would have to examine the books, but if only a question of common law he could make that as well as anybody.
But I had nothing better to do for a time in Florida
, and when I got out I did not find my memory