Abraham Lincoln 3 Essay Research Paper Abraham — страница 6

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at a dance. He was immediately attracted to her and said, “Miss Todd, I want to dance with you in the worst way.” Later, she told friends, “And he certainly did!”Courtship and MarriageSoon Lincoln was spending every free moment with Mary Todd. They both loved literature and poetry, especially Shakespeare and Robert Burns. Lincoln delighted in reciting passages from memory. He had always been, as he said, a “slow learner,” but he never forgot what he learned. He was also pleased that Mary took an interest in politics. Mary Todd was also being courted by Stephen Douglas, a prominent lawyer, with whom Lincoln was later to debate dramatically (see Douglas, Stephen). Her wealthy, aristocratic family was opposed to Lincoln, who was considered to be “uncouth, full of rough

edges.” Mary, as always, knew exactly what she wanted. By the spring she was devoted to Lincoln and told friends, “His heart is as big as his arms are long.” She was also so sure of his remarkable abilities that she predicted he would someday be elected president of the United States. After a series of temperamental clashes between them, Mary Todd, the Kentucky belle, and Abraham Lincoln, son of the frontier, were married on Nov. 4, 1842. They were living in one room at the Globe Tavern in Springfield when their first child, Robert Todd, was born in 1843. During the next year Lincoln bought a light tan frame house on the edge of town. There Edward, William, and Thomas (Tad) were born in 1846, 1850, and 1853. The Lincolns’ home life was often stormy. Both of them were at

fault. An extremely sensitive, high-strung woman who was afflicted with migraine headaches, Mary frequently gave way to rages of uncontrollable temper. Sometimes they may have been justified, for Lincoln had trying habits. Most arose from his enormous power of concentration. When he became interested in a book or a problem, he forgot everything else. Once when he was pulling his baby sons in a wagon and reading a book as he walked, one of the boys fell out. Lincoln did not notice the child’s frightened howls until Mary rushed to pick up her son, then censured the surprised father. Lincoln went to bed at all hours and got up at all hours. Often he came home two or three hours late to dinner, then was startled to find Mary upset over his tardiness. When he took off his stovepipe

hat, his notes and legal papers spilled over the neat parlor floor. (He usually carried his work in his hat, which he called his “walking office.”) If the parlor stove went out when he was lost in thought, he never noticed the cold. For no apparent reason he sank into black, silent moods for hours, and sometimes days, at a time. When he thought of it, however, he would do anything to please her. Patiently, he let her teach him the social graces. He was extremely careless about his dress and knew that this bothered Mary, who wanted to take pride in him as a rising young lawyer. Every morning before walking slowly to his untidy law office, he stood in the doorway to let her inspect him. His shirt, which she made, must be fresh, his boots polished, his suit and stovepipe hat

brushed. In wet weather she made him carry his baggy umbrella; on cold days, his gray shawl. He knew she was terrified by thunder. No matter how busy he was, he would hurry from his office at the first warning of a storm. Rushing home, he would stay at her side until it ended. Like Mary, he enjoyed entertaining. He neither drank nor smoked but loved music and people. Although he cared nothing for food and had to be prodded to eat, he liked to have friends in for supper. As he prospered in his law practice, Mary and he gave large dinner parties and became noted as generous and gracious hosts.Devotion to FamilyMary and Abe Lincoln were blindly devoted to their four sons. They thought the boys could do no wrong, but the children were hopelessly spoiled and annoyed the whole

neighborhood. On Sundays, while Mary was at church, Lincoln took the youngsters to his law office. While he worked unheedingly on his papers, they raced, wrestled, spilled ink, and overturned furniture until Lincoln’s law partner, Herndon, told friends, “I’d like to wring their necks!” He never complained to Lincoln, however. At home Lincoln gave them boisterous “romps,” or read aloud to them while they climbed over him, thumping him enthusiastically. In the yard they chased around him while he curried the horse or milked the cow. When he went to market to help Mary, grocery basket in hand, they trailed along swinging from his long arms or riding his shoulders. Often the noisy procession stopped while he and the boys and neighbor children held hopping contests.