One evening during the last week of his life, when extremely busy and weary as well, Lincoln was called to the reception room to see Mr. [James] Speed, then Attorney-General. He had called to introduce a friend and, seeing the weary look on the President’s face, began to apologize.
“I am very sorry, Mr. President,” said Mr. Speed, “to disturb you.”
“Speed,” he replied, “you remind me of a story of Henry Ward Beecher. One Sunday as he was going to preach, he saw some boys playing marbles in the street. He stopped and looked at them very hard. “Boys,” he said, presently, “boys, I am scared at what I see.” “Then,” replied one of the boys, “why the hell don’t you run away?”
Emanuel Hertz, Lincoln Talks: An Oral Biography, p. 200.