[Ads-l] Who said: "God must love poor people, he made so many of them?"

Mark Mandel mark.a.mandel at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 18 22:19:45 UTC 2019

What's the import of the expression "his Quaker phrase" in the excerpt from
Nicolay and Hay? Lincoln wasn't a Quaker, or a member of any denomination (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Abraham_Lincoln). Is it
just a bit of word play on his opening  vocative "Friend" to this stranger?

Mark Mandel

On Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 3:54 PM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>

> *...*
> Hay and a colleague presented a version of the dream anecdote in "The
> Century Magazine" in 1890:
> [ref] 1890 February, The Century Magazine, Abraham Lincoln: A History by
> John G. Nicolay and John Hay  (Private Secretaries to the President)
> (Footnote says copyright by J. G. Nicolay and John Hay, 1886), Section:
> Lincoln's Fame, Start Page 571, Quote Page 573, Column 2, The Century
> Company, New York. (Google Books Full View) link [/ref]
> https://books.google.com/books?id=VYxHAQAAMAAJ&q=%22looking+people%22#v=snippet&
> [Begin excerpt]
> One night he had a dream, which he repeated the next morning to the writer
> of these lines, which quaintly illustrates his unpretending and kindly
> democracy. He was in some great assembly; the people made a
> lane to let him pass. "He is a common-looking fellow," some one said.
> Lincoln in his dream turned to his critic and replied,
> *in his Quaker phrase, "Friend, the Lord prefers common-looking people:
> that is why he made so many of them."*
> [End excerpt]

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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