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"I am perfectly willing that you should, madam."

"But how can I go, with my petition refused?"

"I cannot grant it," frowned the President.

"I supposed you were a kind-hearted man," persisted the timid woman.

"I'll not listen to you!" he said, loudly, calling forward some others.

"You are just about as much of a gentleman as I expected to find you," added the woman, as she flouted out of the room.


** * *

There was some confusion among the next set of petitioners; for one singular-looking individual found much trouble in getting a seat to his liking, and, being rather tall and rather awkward, and very stiff, had much difficulty in assuming a position.

"How are you, my good fellow?" asked the President, shaking the stranger's hand warmly, adding, with a hearty laugh, "It's just the weather for rheumatism."

"Ah, sir," answered the stranger, with a mysterious air, his zigzag mouth zigzagging at a rapid rate, "Oh, sir," he repeated, in almost a whisper, and with his finger lifted, probably to inspire awe, "I have come on a serious errand -an errand which involves the whole nation." And then, rolling his dull eyes, he continued, in the same mysterious manner: "I want you to listen to me, and do exactly as I say; for I have had a vision

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"Of angels?" interrupted the President.

"Well, I can't say as to them being exactly angels; but they be disembodied spirits-Washington, and some of the Presidents. Washington sent a message to you."


"Yes, he did. But first, before I tell you, I must sound you, to see how deep your faith is. If you have no faith in Washington, why, I can't give you any."

"I have faith in him, of course," said the President.

"Then you will believe just what I tell you?"

"That's a different thing. You are very honest, no doubt, yet you may be mistaken. I do not believe any messages come from another world, only as our own souls tell us. If there is any thing for me to know, my soul will find it out. Perhaps I will not listen to my soul; then I must suffer for it. Perhaps you will not listen to your soul; then you will suffer."

** ** * *

A Catholic priest entered, with two women. He looked at the writer with a face which plainly said he would rather she would not be there. She moved from the desk toward the door. The President waved his hand, saying, "Come back; I do not wish you to go."

The priest, turning to the President, said:

"I should like a private interview."

"I do nothing privately," was the calm answer; "all I do is public;" and he gave the signal for more petitioners, upon whom the priest looked with unconcealed anger, and to the President said, pompously:

"Then we are to have no hearing?" "Certainly, you shall be heard. I will listen to you now."

"That will not do. I wish to see you alone."

"I can only tell you, as I did before, that I do nothing privately," answered the President, coldly.

The priest angrily rose and left the room, followed by the two women. The President went on with his work, unruffled. He was quite used to all sorts of addresses, manners, and degrees of respect.

The last of these petitioners was a young girl of singular beauty.

"I cannot let you go down there," said the President, dwelling sadly upon his words. "How can I?" he asked, looking up at the sweet face, so earnest and truthful, and the deep, spiritual eyes trembling with heavy tears. "I cannot let you go, and I cannot refuse you. What shall I do ?"

"Let me go there," she pleaded. "I am not afraid. God will take care of me." "I don't know-I don't know," he said. "Your faith is beautiful-but I don't know," he added, in a low, sad

Then, looking up sorrowfully, he continued, "There is not a woman down there."

any thing without God; and if it is His will that I must die by the hand of an assassin, I must be resigned. I must do my duty as I see it, and leave the rest with God. I go to amusements very much against my inclinations. I go simply because I must have change. I laugh because I must not weep; that's

"I know it," she answered, thought- all-that's all.” * * fully.

"Are you not afraid-not the least afraid?"

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No, sir; I am not afraid. I have trusted our heavenly Father many times before, and He has never forsaken me."

"And He never will!" exclaimed the President, springing to his feet. "No, my child, He never will." And, drawing a chair close to the fire, he went on: "Come, sit here, until you are quite warm. I will write you a pass. You shall go to your father."

Then, as though he felt pained at seeming inquisitiveness, he stopped suddenly, when just upon the verge of asking something; but the interest he felt in the petitioner prevailed, and he asked if she were fully prepared for her journey.

"Yes, sir; I have plenty of money. If money could make the heart glad, I have enough; but I have no mother, and my father is perhaps dying. I cannot stay to get warm-I can never get warm. Good-by, President-kind, good President Lincoln ! I shall never sce you again in this world; so shake hands with both of mine."

A moment more, and she had gone. The President leaned forward, touched the bell, and the room was again filled. * * * *

The conversation turned to Mrs. Lincoln's fear that some of the Southern women might have hidden weapons to take his life, and it was her carnest request that women should not be admitted, except in company of gentlemen known to the Executive Departments.

The President answered, with much animation, that he did not feel afraid, and then he added, solemnly, "I do not consider that I have ever accomplished



"You take up too much time," said a woman, pushing, and stepping in front of another. "I will talk to the President now, and then you can finish what you have to say. "Mr. President, your Honor, my husband lost a limb in this last battle, and I want the War Department to settle a pension upon him without delay. I believe in 'first come, first served;' and I want my son to have a position in Washington, if it is no higher than clerk in the Treasury Building. Only two petitions I ask of you. I am in a hurry, for every day I spend in Washington costs me five dollars. I have been here eight days, and, because of the insolence of your ushers, I could not get up to speak to you before. Couldn't you teach them how to treat a lady? It's a great disgrace to an establishment to have saucy servants." Then, in a higher key, she went on: Only a pension for my husband, and a position for my son. He is just like me-he will repay you for all you can do for him. I have brought him up never to be under obligations to any person."

She paused to take a good long breath, and the President interrupted her with :

"I can do nothing for you, madam.” "Not give my husband a pension?" "No; the War Department will attend to that."

"Not give my son a position?" "No, madam."

Her countenance was expressive of her anger; but the President bowed her and her indignation from the room. Once she turned in her exit, saying, “I am proud and sensitive, or I would give you a piece of my mind."

A singular specimen of humanity

next came forward, entering the room alone.

"Mr. President, your Honor, will you give me a position in one of your hospitals, as nurse? I am a doctor-a clairvoyant."


"Yes; I am ahead of many others, and just now, with these natural eyes of mine "-lifting her hand toward two parti-colored, stony-looking orbs "with these eyes I can see right into your heart and liver and lungs; and what do you think I might see with my spirit-eyes?

"I don't know, I am sure."

"No, sir; of course you don't know. It isn't given to you to know. Your lungs and heart are all right, but your liver is in a sad condition. I can give you a prescription that will make you a well man, and make you live to a good old age. I want to get into a hospital, for it is an extensive field for my talents, which will expand as I exercise them. I have been sick for years and years; I can sympathize with sick ones. I raised myself up from a bed of suffering to perform my mission. Have you a place for me, do you think?"

"Well, no; I think not," answered the President. "You know rather too much for a hospital."

"Mr. President, your Honor, I have come from the State of New York," said a man with wonderful physical development. "Mr. President, your Honor," he continued, with a flourish of his cane, "I have brought a complaint against Governor S. takes no interest in these exciting times. He takes no notice of petitions presented to him. He makes no effort to bring things to a focus."


"A focus!" exclaimed the President. "I am glad he is so sensible; for it would take forty lifetimes to do that. Allow me to say, sir, that I do not wish any complaints against your Governor. Go home, sir-go home, and do not molest me." And the President went on with the other petitioners, who were scarcely dismissed before the room was again filled.

The clairvoyant came in a second time on tip-toe, and her voice was soft as a peacock's. Her light-blue eye was fixed on vacancy, as she approached the President, saying:

"Kind sir, I believe that you will change your mind about interesting yourself in getting me a position, when I tell you that I have had a vision. I have seen and talked with those who occupied this mansion before they took their departure from this gross world to that region of perfect lovelinessthat region to which I lift my eyes-to which my soul goes every night only to return each day to my mission heremy mission, to heal the sick. A few manipulations with these hands "-displaying monstrous specimens―" a few manipulations will cure disease. I can cast out evil spirits. I can lift up the weak and drooping. And, in my vision, the great doctor who has control of my gifts told me to come to you again. I do not expect the world to praise me, for I am not of the world. I find my comfort with those beings with whom I commune." Here her llue eye, more susceptible than the gray one, shed a solitary tear.

The President said: "Well, don't tell me any thing more. I am only a poor, weak mortal. I can't stand it-I can't, indeed.”

"Oh, I don't propose to rub you,” she answered, solemnly. "I want a position in one of the hospitals."

"Well, I tell you confidentially," he replied, dropping his voice, and moving his head sideways with his oddest of odd smiles, "I tell you, good woman, those fellows at the hospitals are a rough set; it would take forty such kind and considerate persons as you are to rub faith into one of them; and, of course, if they had no faith, you could do them no good."

"That's true, sir; it all depends upon their faith. Without it, I could not help them."

"Then do not waste your time in an unsuccessful attempt."

"I am sensitive," she continued, sorrowfully. "I am very sensitive; per

haps I could not survive the hospitals. I believe I will go home." And the blue eye and the gray eye looked at the President kindly, as she extended her prodigious hand.

A clergyman pleaded for permission to cross the lines-to go down among the prison-pens.

"You shall go," answered the President, extending his hand to him. "It is a perilous work," he added, looking up at the calm, intellectual face, and feeling the influence of those sympathetic eyes. "I can't exchange these poor prisoners half fast enough. I have great faith in those laboring for them; but what can a few do? Lee can help them.-May you send this letter to him? Of course, you may, Miss WWhat have you written ?—Very welljust to the point! If Lee can't get food for the prisoners, he can let them go."

"He says he has wept tears of blood over this terrible Rebellion; but he could not fight against the State in which he was born."

"That's all bosh!-fight against his State! If a man is born in a bad State, the best thing for him to do is to get out of it as quickly as possible."

A young girl who had much trouble to get an audience, at last succeeded. She begged to go to her brother, who was reported very sick. She told the President that Senator said he could not introduce her, but he would get somebody else, for there was a feud between the President and himself.


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A feud!" laughed the President. "Well, we are a little out on politics, and that little 'outness' has detained you. Perhaps it is for the best-who knows?"

The room was quite full. A soldier, wan and lame, pleaded for eight weeks' furlough to go home and get strong. The young girl uttered a cry of surprise.

"My brother!-my dear brother!" The President gave him a furlough of three months.

The petitioners came and went until far into the night. Their pleadings

were the same heard thousands of times before. To each one the petition was new and all-absorbing; to the Presi dent, only the echoes of the vast army already gone.

Often persons pushed themselves into the Executive Chamber solely to irritate the President. Many of these were women who sympathized with the Rebellion, and their elegant courtesy (?) of manner was really amazing. Such an ore had kept her chair during the going and coming of five or six relays of visitors, watching each as they presented their claims, following them with her eyes to the door, and then staring at the others. The President, annoyed at her presence, said, rather sternly, "Have you a petition to present?”

She lifted her eyes in a peculiar manner, with an arrogant expression, but she only said, "Yes, sir."

The President said, "It is time you told me what you have to say; you have been here a good while."

"Yes, sir," she replied, brightly; and, confident that he had not gained this time, folded her hands with an air of perfect satisfaction.

"Will you give me your errand, or shall I go on with the others?"

"Yes, sir," and coolly stroked her muff.

The President jerked himself in his chair, and went on with the rest. These had all gone, and still she sat there.

"Shall I talk to you now, or do you intend to stay all day?" he exclaimed, in a voice which would frighten any ordinary person.

"Yes, sir." And the brazen woman actually smiled at him. He snapped the bell, and the room was filled. Her presence was almost insupportable. It was almost night. Silent contempt, cr expression of anger, were alike unavailing. For more than an hour the President had ignored her presence, but at last said:

"Will you, madam, prepare to give me your errand, or leave me alone?" "Yes, sir," was the unblushing an


The President groaned, shook his

head from side to side, stamped his feet, and, bringing his hand down heavily upon the table, cried, "I will call some person who will escort you from the building."

He moved toward the door. "Yes, sir," said the amiable lady; and, agile as a cat, she sprang in front of him, and passed out of the room.

"President Lincoln, I have a very gifted daughter," said a silly-looking woman. "She is an authoress, and has been ever since she was seven years old."

"Ah, indeed!"

"Yes, sir; and the publishers have a game of keeping her writings until we forget all about them, and then publish them without giving her any remuneration; and she always marks the price upon the first page. I have a piece with me now-it is a story-a story in one hundred and twelve chapters. Will you read it, and give me your opinion? Please write me a note," she added, quickly. Giving the President not an instant to reply, she went on: “If you write me a note, it will have weight with the publishers, and-"

"If the manuscript," interrupted the President, "has merit, there is no need of any note. If it has no merit, all the notes in the world would do it no good."

"Oh, it has merit! replied the woman, assuming an indignant air, "it has merit! My daughter is a genius; but I thought it would be better to have a note from you. Every body has recommendations nowadays. Just read a little," she added, coaxingly. "It is very fascinating," she went on earnestly. "Won't you read it?"

"I can't; I don't like novels." "Novels! sir, it is not a novel; it is a story. I would not allow my daughter to write a novel. I am a Christian. This is a little girlish, thrilling story. It displays a knowledge of history far

beyond her years." (And a good deal more of the same sort.)

A young man desired a clerkship. He was sure he would be made for the world if he had a position in Washing


"You are mistaken, young man," the President answered; "you are mistaken. What you ask for would ruin you. No, no; go home, and do any thing there that comes to you, rather than be deluded by such false ideas, Washington is no place for a young man to come to from a good home."

"I am very steady," answered the young man, modestly.

"That may be; but this is no place for you. Temptations abound here. Believe me to be your friend, young man. Take my advice, and go home."

Seeming much disappointed, he gracefully bowed to the President as he moved backward from the room. The President, pleased with his manner, said, as the petitioner's hand touched the door:

"You will thank me, three years from now; yet, I know I seem unkind to you-very unkind.”

"It does seem splendid to have a position in Washington," was the earnest

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