The following is one of Mr. Lincoln's stories. These he told often in private conversation, rarely in his speeches.
“I once knew a good, sound churchman, who we’ll call Brown, who was on a committee to erect a bridge over a very dangerous and rapid river. Architect after architect failed, and at last Brown said ha had a friend named Jones, who had built several bridges, and could build this. ‘Let's have him in,’ said the committee. In came Jones. 'Can you build this bridge, sir?' ‘Yes,' replied Jones; ‘I could build a bridge to the infernal regions if necessary.' The sober committee were horrified; but when Jones retired, Brown thought it but fair to defend his friend. ‘I know Jones so well,’ said he, ‘and ha is so honest a man, and so good at architect, that, if he states soberly and positively that he can build a bridge to Hades—why, I believe it. But I have my doubts about the abutment on the infernal side.' So," Lincoln added, "when politicians said they could harmonize the Northern and Southern wings of the Democracy, why, I believed them. But I had my doubts about the abutment on the Southern side."
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