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While waiting outside a courtroom one day, Lincoln's friend and fellow-lawyer Ward Lamon was challenged to a wrestling match. During the scuffle, the seat of his trousers was accidentally torn.

Shortly thereafter, he was summoned into court. As his short coat did not conceal the damage to his trousers, another lawyer facetiously began a subscription to pay for a new pair. The document was passed around and soon reached Lincoln, who scribbled his name and the following 'amount': "I can contribute nothing to the end in view."

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