Once, when Lincoln was pleading a case, the opposing lawyer had the law in his favour. The weather was warm, and his opponent, as was admissible in frontier courts, pulled off his coat and vest as he grew warm in the argument. At that time, shirts with buttons behind were unusual.
Lincoln took in the situation at once. Knowing the prejudices of the primitive people against pretension of all sorts, or any affectation of superior social rank, arising, he said: "Gentlemen of the jury, having justice on my side, I do not think you will be at all influenced by the gentleman's pretended knowledge of the law, when you see he does not even know which side of his shirt should be in front." There was a general laughter, and Lincoln won the case.
Lincoln was, naturally enough, much surprised one day, when a man of rather forbidding countenance drew a revolver and thrust the weapon almost into his face. In such circumstances, Lincoln at once concluded that any attempt to debate or argue was a waste of time and words. "What seems to be the matter?" inquired Lincoln with all the calmness and selfpossession he could muster. "Well," replied the stranger, who did not appear to be intrested in answering, "some years ago I swore an oath that if I ever come across an uglier man than myself I'd shoot him on the spot."
A feeling of relief evidently took possessionof Lincoln at this rejoinder, as the expression upon his countenance lost all suggestion of anxiety