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Herndon, William H; Weik, Jesse William. Herndon's Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life; The History and Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln . Springfield: The Herndon's Lincoln Publishing Company, 1888. [format: book], [genre: biography]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon3.html


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-- 591 --

Otherwise I dissent. Mr. Lincoln's perceptions were slow, cold, clear, and exact. Everything came to him in its precise shape and color. To some men the world of matter and of man comes ornamented with beauty, life, and action; and hence more or less false and inexact. No lurking illusion or other error, false in itself and clad for the moment in robes of splendor, ever passed undetected or unchallenged over the threshold of his mind — that point which divides vision from the realm and home of thought. Names to him were nothing, and titles naught — assumption always standing back abashed at his cold, intellectual glare. Neither his perceptions nor intellectual vision were perverted, distorted, or diseased. He saw all things through a perfect mental lens. There was no diffraction or refraction there. He was not impulsive, fanciful, or imaginative; but cold, calm, and precise. He threw his whole mental light around the object, and, after a time, substance and quality stood apart, form and color took their appropriate places, and all was clear and exact in his mind. His fault, if any, was that he saw things less than they really were; less beautiful and more frigid. He crushed the unreal, the inexact, the hollow, and the sham. He saw things in rigidity rather than in vital action. He saw what no man could dispute, but he failed to see what might have been seen.

To some minds the world is all life, a soul beneath the material; but to Mr. Lincoln no life was individual that did not manifest itself to him. His
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Herndon, William H; Weik, Jesse William. Herndon's Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life; The History and Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln . Springfield: The Herndon's Lincoln Publishing Company, 1888. [format: book], [genre: biography]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon3.html
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