Something was said soon after we started [on a walk] about the penalty which attached to high positions in a democratic government–the tribute those filling them were compelled to pay to the public. “Great men,” said Mr. Lincoln, “have various estimates. When Daniel Webster made his tour through the West years ago, he visited Springfield among other places, where great preparations had been made to receive him. As the procession was going through the town, a barefooted little darkey boy pulled the sleeve of a man named T., and asked,–“What the folks were all doing down the street? “Why, Jack,” was the reply, “the biggest man in the world is coming.” Now, there lived in Springfield a man by the name of G.,–a very corpulent man. Jack darted off down the street, but presently returned, with a very disappointed air. “Well, did you see him?” inquired T. “Yes,” returned Jack; “but laws–he ain’t half as big as old G.”
Francis Carpenter, Six Months at the White House with Abraham Lincoln, p. 36-37.