I’m still trying to process the Sopranos finale from last night, so here’s a funny story for Monday morning:
On Sunday, June 10, 1849, Lincoln traveled from his home in Springfield to Washington, D.C. to take his seat in the United States Congress. It took him about a week to make the journey, but he seems to have had company. A stranger from Kentucky accompanied Lincoln on the stage.
After completing their introductions, the Kentuckian offered Lincoln a smoke, but he declined, saying he did not smoke. After a while, the Kentuckian offered Lincoln a chew, but again, he declined, saying he did not chew. Later still, the Kentuckian offered Lincoln a drink of whiskey, but again, Lincoln declined, saying he did not drink alcohol.
The frustrated Kentuckian looked at Lincoln and said, “See here, stranger,…my experience has taught me that a man who has no vices has damned few virtues!”
Lincoln liked the exchange so much he repeated the story to his law partner, William Herndon, who included it in his Lincoln biography.