“Particularly Fond of a Play of Shakspere Well Acted”

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Mr. Lincoln’s life was almost devoid of recreation. He sometimes went to the theater, and was particularly fond of a play of Shakspere well acted. He was so delighted with Hackett in Falstaff that he wrote him a letter of warm congratulation which pleased the veteran actor so much that he gave it to the “New York Herald,” which printed it with abusive comments. Hackett was greatly mortified and made suitable apologies; upon which the President wrote to him again in the kindliest manner, saying:

Give yourself no uneasiness on the subject. . . . I certainly did not expect to see my note in print; yet I have not been much shocked by the comments upon it. They are a fair specimen of what has occurred to me through life. 1 have endured a great deal of ridicule, without much malice; and have received a great deal of kindness, not quite free from ridicule. I am used to it.

This incident had the usual sequel: the veteran comedian asked for an office, which the President was not able to give him, and the pleasant acquaintance ceased. A hundred times this experience was repeated: a man whose disposition and talk were agreeable would be introduced to the President; he took pleasure in his conversation for two or three interviews, and then this congenial person would ask some favor impossible to grant, and go away in bitterness of spirit. It is a cross that every President must bear.

Quoted in “Life in the White House in the time of Lincoln” by John Hay

One thought on ““Particularly Fond of a Play of Shakspere Well Acted”

    Words : Poet « Abraham Lincoln said:
    August 15, 2016 at 10:31

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