Page:Abraham Lincoln, A Story and a Play.djvu/38

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32
ABRAHAM LINCOLN

postmaster. Still, down deep in his heart was the longing to be a lawyer, which had been there ever since he was a boy.

He was very poor, and his debt must be paid; yet he would not give up the idea of becoming a lawyer, and a great one, too. And now something happened which was of great help in carrying out his wish. He gained the place in the legislature he had failed to win two years before. It was because not only the people of New Salem, but of all that part of the country, now had faith in "Honest old Abe."

This was the beginning of a new life to the backwoods man. As he took his place in the state house with other law-makers, no one noticed him particularly. He was homely and awkward, with a sad face and a quiet manner. But his mind was full of fire and his heart beat with a steady love of the right. In a little while people would discover that this was no common man, and that a hero was moving among them.

Mr. Lincoln staid in the legislature for eight years. During that time he finished his study of the law and started out in business for himself. He was still very poor, and as people were often slow in seeking help from a new lawyer, he won-