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spell correctly, but taled to do so. I always supposed, however, that this was an exaggeration, for he could not have been more than seven years old at the time this was told. My father soon after removed to another town thirty miles distant, and I lost sight of the family entirely, Horace and all, though I always remembered the gentle, flaxen-haired schoolmate with much interest, and often wondered what became of him; and when the 'Log Cabin' appeared, I took much pains to assure myself whether this Horace Greeley was the same little Horace grown up, and found it was."

From his sixth year, Horace resided chiefly at his father's house. He was now old enough to walk to the nearest school-house, a mile and a half from his home. He could read fluently, spell any word in the language; had some knowledge of geography, and a little of arithmetic; had read the Bible through from Genesis to Revel». tions; had read the Pilgrim's Progress with intense interest, and dipped into every other book he could lay his hands on. From his sixth to his tenth year, he lived, worked, read and went to school, in Amherst and the adjoining town of Bedford. Those who were then his neighbors and schoolmates there, have a lively recollection of the boy and his ways.

Henceforth, he went to school only in the winter. Again he attended a school which he had no right to attend, that of Bedford, and his attendance was not merely permitted, but sought. The school-committee expressly voted, that no pupils from other town should be received at their school, except Horace Greeley alone; and, on entering the school, he took his place, young as he was, at the head of it, as it were, by acclamation. Nor did his superiority ever excite envy or enmity. He bore his honors meekly. Every one liked the boy, and took pride in his superiority to themselves. All his schoolmates agree in this, that Horace never had an enemy at school.

The snow lies deep on those New Hampshire hills in the winter, and presents a serious obstacle to the younger children in their way to the school-house; nor is it the rarest of disasters, even now, for children to be lost in a drift, and frozen to death. (Such a calamity happened two years ago, within a mile or two of the old Gree ley homestead.) Many a morning," says one of the neighborsther a stout schoolboy, now a sturdy farmer-" many a morning I

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have carried Horace on my back through the drifts to school, and put my own mittens over his, to keep his little hands from freezing" He adds, “I lived at the next house, and I and my brothers often went down in the evening to play with him; but he never would play with us till he had got his lessons. We could neither coax nor force him to." He remembers Horace as a boy of a bright and active nature, but neither playful nor merry; one who would utter acute and “old-fashioned" remarks, and make more fun for others than he seemed to enjoy himself.

His fondness for reading grew with the growth of his mind, till it amounted to a passion. His father's stock of books was small indeed. It consisted of a Bible, a "Confession of Faith," and perhaps all told, twenty volumes beside; and they by no means of a kind calculated to foster a love of reading in the mind of a little boy. But a weekly newspaper came to the house from the village of Amherst; and, except his mother's tales, that newspaper probably had more to do with the opening of the boy's mind and the tendency of his opinions, than anything else. The family well remember the eagerness with which he anticipated its coming. Paper-day was the brightest of the week. An hour before the postrider was expected, Horace would walk down the road to meet him, bent on having the first read; and when he had got possession of the precious sheet, he would hurry with it to some secluded place, lie down on the grass, and greedily devour its contents. The paper was called (and is still) the Farmer's Cabinet. It was mildly Whig in politics. The selections were religious, agricultural, and miscellaneous; the editorials few, brief, and amiable; its suminary of news scanty in the extreme. But it was the only bearer of tidings from the Great World. It connected the little brown house on the rocky hill of Amherst with the general life of mankind. The boy, before he could read himself, and before he could understand the meaning of war and bloodshed, doubtless heard his father read in it of the triumphs and disasters of the Second War with Great Britain, and of the rejoicings at the conclusion of peace. He himself may have read of Decatur's gallantry in the war with Algiers, of Wellington's victory at Waterloo, of Napoleon's fretting away his life on the rock of St. Helena, of Monroe's inauguration, of the dismantling of the fleets on the great lakes, of the progress of the

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Erie Canal project, of Jackson's inroads into Florida, and the subsequent cession of that province to the United States, of the first meeting of Congress in the Capitol, of the passage of the Missouri Compromise. During the progress of the various commercial treaties with the States of Europe, which were negotiated after the conclusion of the general peace, the whole theory, practice, and history of commercial intercourse, were amply discussed in Congress and the newspapers; and the mind of Horace, even in his ninth year, was mature enough to take some interest in the subject, and derive some impressions from its discussion. The Farmer's Cabinet, which brought all these and countless other ideas and events to bear on the education of the boy, is now one of the thousand papers with which the Tribune exchanges.

Horace scoured the country for books. Books were books in that remote and secluded region; and when he had exhausted the collections of the neighbors, he carried the search into the neighboring towns. I am assured that there was not one readable book within seven miles of his father's house, which Horace did not borrow and read during his residence in Amherst. He was never without a book. As soon, says one of his sisters, as he was dressed in the morning, he flew to his book. He read every minute of the day which he could snatch from his studies at school, and on the farm. He would be so absorbed in his reading, that when his parents required his services, it was like rousing a heavy sleeper from his deepest sleep, to awaken Horace to a sense of things around him and an apprehension of the duty required of him. And even then he clung to his book. He would go reading to the cellar and the cider-barrel, reading to the wood-pile, reading to the garden, reading to the neighbors; and pocketing his book only long enough to perform his errand, he would fall to reading again the instant his mind and his hands were at liberty.

He kept in a secure place an ample supply of pine knots, and as soon as it was dark he would light one of these cheap and brilliant illuminators, put it on the back-log in the spacious fire-place, pile up his school books and his reading books on the floor, lie down on his back on the hearth, with his head to the fire and his feet coiled away out of the reach of stumblers; and there he would lie and read all through the long winter evenings, silent, motionless, dead


to the world around him, alive only to the world to which he was transported by his book. Visitors would come in, chat a while, and go away, without knowing he was present, and without his being aware of their coming and going. It was a nightly struggle to get him to bed. His father required his services early in the morning, and was therefore desirous that he should go to bed early in the evening. He feared, also, for the eye-sight of the boy, reading so many hours with his head in the fire and by the flaring, flickering light of a pine knot. And so, by nine o'clock, his father would begin the task of recalling the absent mind from its roving, and rousing the prostrate and dormant body. And when Horace at length had been forced to beat a retreat, he kept his younger brother awake by telling over to him in bed what he had read, and by reciting the school lessons of the next day. His brother was by no means of a literary turn, and was prone-much to the chagrin of Horace-to fall asleep long before the lessons were all said and the tales all told.

So entire and passionate a devotion to the acquisition of knowledge in one so young, would be remarkable in any circumstances. But when the situation of the boy is considered-living in a remote and very rural district-few books accessible-few literary persons residing near the school contributing scarcely anything to his mental nourishment-no other boy in the neighborhood manifesting any particular interest in learning-the people about him all engaged in a rude and hard struggle to extract the means of subsistence from a rough and rocky soil-such an intense, absorbing, and persistent love of knowledge as that exhibited by Horace Greeley, must be accounted very extraordinary.

That his neighbors so accounted it, they are still eager to attest. Continually the wonder grew, that one sinall head should carry all he knew.

There were not wanting those who thought that superior means of instruction ought to be placed within the reach of so superior a child. I have a somewhat vague, but very positive, and fully confirmed story, of a young man just returned from college to his father's house in Bedford, who fell in with Horace, and was so struck with his capacity and attainments that he offered to send him to an academy in a neighboring town, and bear all the ex

penses of his maintenance and tuition. But his mother could not let him go, his father needed his assistance at home, and the boy himself is said not to have favored the scheme. A wise, a fortunate choice, I cannot help believing. That academy may have been an institution where boys received more good than harm-where real knowledge was imparted-where souls were inspired with the love of high and good things, and inflamed with an ambition to run a high and good career-where boys did not lose all their modesty and half their sense-where chests were expanded-where cheeks were ruddy-where limbs were active where stomachs were peptic. It may have been. But if it was, it was a different academy from many whose praises are in all the newspapers. It was better not to run the risk. If that young man's offer had been accepted, it is a question whether the world would have ever heard of Horace Greeley. Probably his fragile body would not have sustained the brain-stimulating treatment which a forward and eager boy generally receives at an academy.


A better friend, though not a better meaning one, was a jovial neighbor, a sea-captain, who had taken to farming. The captain had seen the world, possessed the yarn-spinning faculty, and besides being himself a walking traveler's library, had a considerable collection of books, which he freely lent to Horace. His salute, on meeting the boy, was not 'How do you do, Horace?' but 'Well, Horace, what's the capital of Turkey?' or, Who fought the battle of Eutaw Springs?' or, 'How do you spell Encyclopedia, or Kamtschatka, or Nebuchadnezzar?' The old gentleman used to question the boy upon the contents of the books he had lent him, and was again and again surprised at the fluency, the accuracy, and the fullness of his replies. The captain was of service to Horace in, various ways, and he is remembered by the family with gratitude. To Horace's brother he once gave a sheep and a load of hay to keep it on during the winter, thus adapting his benefactions to the various tastes of his juvenile friends.

A clergyman, too, is spoken of, who took great interest in Horace, and gave him instruction in grammar, often giving the boy erroneous information to test his knowledge. Horace, he used to say, could never be shaken on a point which he had once clearly understood, but would stand to his opinion, and defend it against anybody and everybody-teacher, pastor, or public opinion.

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