Training For The Presidency





BY ORISON SWETT MARDEN



"I meant to take good care of your book, Mr. Crawford," said the boy,

"but I've damaged it a good deal without intending to, and now I want to

make it right with you. What shall I do to make it good?"



"Why, what happened to it, Abe?" asked the rich farmer, as he took the

copy of Weems's "Life of Washington" which he had lent young Lincoln,

and looked at the stained leaves and warped binding. "It looks as if it

had been out through all last night's storm. How came you to forget, and

leave it out to soak?"



"It was this way, Mr. Crawford," replied Abe. "I sat up late to read

it, and when I went to bed, I put it away carefully in my bookcase, as

I call it, a little opening between two logs in the wall of our cabin. I

dreamed about General Washington all night. When I woke up I took it out

to read a page or two before I did the chores, and you can't imagine how

I felt when I found it in this shape. It seems that the mud-daubing

had got out of the weather side of that crack, and the rain must have

dripped on it three or four hours before I took it out. I'm sorry, Mr.

Crawford, and want to fix it up with you, if you can tell me how, for I

have not got money to pay for it."



"Well," said Mr. Crawford, "come and shuck corn three days, and the book

's yours."



Had Mr. Crawford told young Abraham Lincoln that he had fallen heir to

a fortune the boy could hardly have felt more elated. Shuck corn only

three days, and earn the book that told all about his greatest hero!



"I don't intend to shuck corn, split rails, and the like always," he

told Mrs. Crawford, after he had read the volume. "I'm going to fit

myself for a profession."



"Why, what do you want to be, now?" asked Mrs. Crawford in surprise.



"Oh, I'll be President!" said Abe with a smile.



"You'd make a pretty President with all your tricks and jokes, now,

wouldn't you?" said the farmer's wife.



"Oh, I'll study and get ready," replied the boy, "and then maybe the

chance will come."





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