“What a Man it is!”
April 30, 1864.
A little after midnight as I was writing those last lines, the President came into the office laughing, with a volume of Hood’s Works in his hand, to show Nicolay and me the little caricature, ‘An Unfortunate Beeing; seemingly utterly unconscious that he, with his short shirt hanging about his long legs, and setting out behind like the tail feathers of an enormous ostrich, was infinitely funnier than anything in the book he was laughing at. What a man it is! Occupied all day with matters of vast moment, deeply anxious about the fate of the greatest army of the world, with his own plans and future hanging on the events of the passing hour, he yet has such a wealth of simple bonhommie and good fellowship that he gets out of bed and perambulates the house in his shirt to find us, that we may share with him the fun of poor Hood’s queer little conceits.
Quoted in John Hay, Inside Lincoln’s White House, p. 194.
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