Friday, March 27, 2009

Hamilton Wright Mabie and A. Lincoln

Found a really old book while cleaning out a bookcase in the house we will be selling. It is Volume XIII LES-MAB of the Library of the World's Best Literature. It was published in1896. One chapter is devoted to Abraham Lincoln with an overview of President Lincoln's life written by someone called Hamilton Wright Mabie. Anyone familiar with the guy?

Mr. Mabie detailed President Lincoln's love of reading and his study habits as a youth. Although his formal education was meager, Lincoln was always the student. This paragraph absolutely hit me in all the right places:

"But Mr. Lincoln's possession of certain rare qualities is in no way more surprising than their possession by Shakespeare, Burns, and Whitman. We are constantly tempted to look for the sources of a man's power in his educational opportunities instead of in his temperament and inheritance. The springs of genius are purified and directed in their flow by the processes of training, but they are fed from deeper sources."

How wonderful that truth is. I wish there were more Mr. Mabies in our world.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Woo.. even considering myself fairly intelligent, Mr. Mabie's writing is pretty high-level for me. That paragraph will take some deciphering to really get it.