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Good Stories for Great Holidays by  Frances Jenkins Olcott


 

 

LINCOLN THE LAWYER

BY Z. A. MUDGE (ADAPTED)

HE delighted to advocate the cases of those whom he knew to be wronged, but he would not defend the cause of the guilty. If he discovered in the course of a trial that he was on the wrong side, he lost all interest, and ceased to make any exertion.

[35] Once, while engaged in a prosecution, he discovered that his client's cause was not a good one, and he refused to make the plea. His associate, who was less scrupulous, made the plea and obtained a decision in their favor. The fee was nine hundred dollars, half of which was tendered to Mr. Lincoln, but he refused to accept a single cent of it.

His honesty was strongly illustrated by the way he kept his accounts with his law-partner. When he had taken a fee in the latter's absence, he put one half of it into his own pocket, and laid the other half carefully away, labeling it "Billy," the name by which he familiarly addressed his partner. When asked why he did not make a record of the amount and, for the time being, use the whole, Mr. Lincoln answered: "Because I promised my mother never to use money belonging to another person."


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