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from four to five days. On one occasion, while grinding at this mill and following the horse in his rounds, the vicious animal gave him a severe kick, knocking him senseless. When he became conscious, he proceeded without delay to finish his grinding and return home.
About the same time, a man named Andrew Crawford, a neighboring farmer, opened a winter school on his own place. This school Abraham attended for about three months, and there learned the rudiments of arithmetic. Grammar was a mysterious science to most of the backwoods school-masters. An illustration of this occurred, at the same period, in a neighboring county in Ohio. John Woods, who afterward became a member of Congress, and a man of note and usefulness, having cyphered as far as the “Single Rule of Three,” heard of a teacher some miles off who “knew grammar," and forthwith posted away to attend his school. He became so absorbed in the study that he was accustomed to con over his lesson on the
to and from school. One evening his father and the family were startled by their trusty neighbor, Deacon Silvers, who rode up to the house in hot haste, and called out:
BAD EFFECTS OF GRAMMAR.
“I say, Alex. Woods, your John is in the edge of my clearing, a mile back, sitting on a log, and he's crazy as a loon! Come, and I'll help you home with him afore he gits away.”
“What's that ye say?” exclaimed the astonished father ; "ye don't mean to say
“I say he's gone crazy, and I'm afeard he'll be off into the woods, and may be die there."
“ And what's he at that makes ye think so ?” excitedly asked the mother, while “Alex.” was after his hat.
“ He's talking gibberish and staring at the ground. He says "I love, you love, she loves; nom’tive I possesses me.' possesses me. He's mad
He's mad crazy; and Mrs. Woods, I believe it was that Jane Pettigrew that cracked the silly fellow's head—I'm very sorry for you, Mrs. Woods.”
The acquaintance of Abraham with Mr. Crawford, as pupil and teacher, resulted in mutual confidence and esteem. Mr. Crawford had in his possession an old copy of Weems's life of Washington, which Abe greatly desired to read, and Mr. Crawford freely loaned it to him. He pored delighted over the history of that great and good man by whose side he was destined to stand in the pages of history and in the affections of mankind. One unguarded evening he left it on a table near an open window. A dashing rain-storm blew up in the night, and the book was soaked through and ruined. Little Abe's grief and self-reproach knew no bounds at the discovery of this disaster. But he took up the book and went straight to the owner, showed him its condition, and offered to make payment in full. Mr. Crawford put him to the test by offering to take two days' corn-husking in payment for the loss. Abe regarded the proposal as very liberal, and at daylight next day was in the corn-field, and continued faithfully and industriously at the work till his obligation was discharged.
As Abraham grew up he became a muscular and powerful youth; but his strong arm and hard hand were never employed in bullying or oppressing his weaker companions. He loved peace and justice, and lacked neither courage nor will to enforce their observance when occasion required. Two stout and well-matched young rowdies, whom he had often reproved for their quarrelsome and profane conduct, getting into a fisticuff encounter at a log-rolling, he seized them both, dragged them to a pond close by, with
RESCUING A DRUNKARD.
the intention of pitching them in, as he said, “to cool them off," and was only dissuaded from ducking them by their promises to behave more decently in the future.
At another time, as he was going home one freezing winter night with two companions, from a debating society, they found an incorrigible toper, well known in the neighborhood, lying drunk upon the snow. His companions proposed to let him lie there, as he was worthless and past reformation. Not so, thought Abraham. If he
a miserable sot he was still a man, and he would not willingly let him pass from his inebriate sleep into the sleep of death, to wake in a dread eternity. He asked his companions to aid him by lifting the half-lifeless form from the snow, while he sank upon one knee to receive it. Having the drunken man balanced across his shoulder, he rose and carried him a distance of a quarter of a mile, to the nearest house, and stayed with hiin till morning, sparing no efforts to save his life. The drunkard lived, but so great was the power of appetite that the terrible lesson of that night was lost upon him, and he soon after filled a drunkard's grave.
Alcohol is one of the most deceptive and deadly enemies of the human race. It besets the young man in many attractive forms, and disguises itself in generous virtues. It stills his fears, hushes conscience, and leads him in giddy mazes of delirium to that