Burr never lost his sense of humor about having killed Hamilton and made facetious references to “my friend Hamilton, whom I shot.” Once, in the Boston Athenaeum, Burr paused to admire a bust of Hamilton. “There was the poetry,” he said, tracing creases in Hamilton’s face with his finger. Another time, Burr paused at a tavern to refresh his horses and wandered over to a traveling waxworks exhubition. He suddenly came upon a tableau that represented him and Hamilton in the duel. Underneath ran this verse: “O Burr, O Burr, what has thou done? / Thou hast shooted dead great Hamilton. / You hid behind a bunch of thistle, / And shooted him dead with a great hoss pistol.” In relating the story, Burr roared with laughter. Only once did Burr betray any misgivings about killing Hamilton. While reading the scene in Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy in which the tenderhearted Uncle Toby picks up a fly and delicately places it outside a window instead of killing it, Burr is said to have remarked, “Had I read Sterne more and Voltaire less, I should have known the world was wide enough for Hamilton and me.”
Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow.