He never liked to be waited upon, or to ask any one to do anything for him that he could possibly do himself. This showed itself on one occasion, when, being struck with an amusing rhyme which I showed to him in a number of “Harper’s Weekly,” instead of requesting me to cut it out for him, he borrowed my knife, and, extending himself at half length on the deck, spread the paper before him and cut the piece out, remarking at the same time that it was not precisely the attitude for the President of the United States to assume, but it was a good position for a man who merely wanted to cut a piece out of a newspaper.
This little scrap amused him exceedingly. It was a very absurd idea, absurdly expressed; but there was something about it that pleased his fancy, and he was not satisfied until he had read it to each one of the party, appearing to enjoy it the more the oftener he read it. He even called up the captain of the cutter and read it to him.
Quoted in Egbert L. Viele, “A Trip with Lincoln, Chase, and Stanton,” Scribners Monthly 16 (October 1878), p. 816