Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: Hurt His Legs Less

Lincoln was one of the attorneys in a case of considerable importance, court being held in a very small and dilapidated schoolhouse out in the country; Lincoln was compelled to stoop very much in order to enter the door, and the seats were so low that he doubled up his legs like a jackknife.

Lincoln was obliged to sit upon a school bench, and just in front of him was another, making the distance between him and the seat in front of him very narrow and uncomfortable.

His position was almost unbearable, and in order to carry out his preference which he secured as often as possible, and that was “to sit as near to the jury as convenient,” he took advantage of his discomfort and finally said to the Judge on the “bench”:

“Your Honor, with your permission, I’ll sit up nearer to the gentlemen of the jury, for it hurts my legs less to rub my calves against the bench than it does to skin my shins.”