Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: No Vices, No Virtues

Lincoln always took great pleasure in relating this yarn:

Riding at one time in a stage with an old Kentuckian who was returning from Missouri, Lincoln excited the old gentleman’s surprise by refusing to accept either of tobacco or French brandy.

When they separated that afternoon—the Kentuckian to take another stage bound for Louisville—he shook hands warmly with Lincoln, and said, good-humoredly:

“See here, stranger, you’re a clever but strange companion. I may never see you again, and I don’t want to offend you, but I want to say this: My experience has taught me that a man who has no vices has d——d few virtues. Good-day.”