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whole period of his childhood, up to the time when he came of age, not fifty dollars in all were expended
upon his dress.
He went to school three winters in Westhaven, but not to any great advantage. He had already gone the round of district school studies, and did little more after his tenth year than walk over the course, keeping lengths ahead of all competitors, with little effort.
“ He was always,” says one of his Westhaven schoolmates, “at the top of the school. He seldom had a teacher that could teach him anything. Once, and once only, he missed a word. His fair face was crimsoned in an instant. He was terribly cut about it, and I fancied he was not himself for a week after.
“I see him now, as he sat in class, with his slender body, his large head, his open, ample forehead, his pleasant smile, and his coarse, clean, homespun clothes. His attitude was always the same. He sat with his arms loosely folded, his head bent forward, his legs crossed, and one foot swinging.
“ He did not seem to pay attention, but nothing escaped him. He appeared to attend more from curiosity to hear what sort of work we made of the lesson than from any interest he took in the subject for his own sake. Once I parsed a word egregiously wrong, and Horace was so taken aback by the mistake that he was startled from his propriety, and exclaimed, loud enough for the class to hear him,
What a fool!' The manner of it was so ludicrous that I, and all the class, burst into laughter."
If Horace got little good himself from his last winters at school, he was of great assistance to his schoolfellows in explaining to them the difficulties of their lessons. Few evenings passed in which some strapping fellow did not come to the house with his grammar or his slate, and sit demurely at the side of Horace, while the distracting sum was explained, or the dark passage in the parsing lesson illuminated.
The boy delighted to render such assistance. However deeply he might be absorbed in his own studies, as soon as he saw a puzzled countenance peering in at the door, he knew his man, knew what was wanted; and would jump up from his recumbent posture in the chimney corner, and proceed, with a patience that is still gratefully remembered, to impart the information required of him.
In his passion for books, he was alone among his companions, who attributed his continual reading more to indolence than to his acknowledged superiority of intelligence. It was often predicted that, whoever else might prosper, Horace never would.
And yet, he gave proof in very early life that the Yankee element was strong within him. In the first place, he was always doing something; and, in the second, he always had something to sell. He saved nuts, and exchanged them at the store for articles he wished to purchase. He would hack away, hours at a time, at a pitch-pine stump, the roots of which are as inflammable as pitch itself, and, tying up the roots in little bundles, he would "back” the load to the store, and sell it for kindling wood.
His favorite outdoor sport, too, at Westhaven, was bee-hunting, which is not only an agreeable and exciting pastime, but occasionally rewards the hunter with a prodigious mass of honey- as much as a hundred and fifty pounds having been frequently obtained from a single tree. This was profitable sport, and Horace liked it amazingly. His share of the honey generally found its way to the store. By these and other expedients, the boy managed always to have a little money, and when a peddler came along with books in his wagon, Horace was pretty sure to be his customer.
What did he read? Whatever he could get. But his preference was for history, poetry, and papers. He had read the whole Bible before he was six years old. He read the “ Arabian Nights” with intense interest in his eighth year; “Robinson Crusoe in his ninth ; Shakespeare in his eleventh ; in his twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth years, he read a good many of the common, superficial histories Robertson's, Goldsmith's, and others — and as many tales and romances as he could borrow.
FORMS OF ANIMALS.
EDMUND BURKE was born in Dublin, Ireland, Jan. 12, 1729. He graduated at Trinity College in 1748. He then began the study of law; but this he soon abandoned and devoted himself to literary work. In 1765 he was elected to Parliament, and there he distinguished himself greatly by his eloquence. His command of language was remarkable. Several of his greatest speeches were made in defence of the American colonists. It has been said that he had an inexhaustible wealth of powerful and cultured expression.”
He died at Bath, England, July 9, 1797.
That proportion has but a small share in the formation of beauty is fully evident among animals. Here the greatest variety of shapes and disproportions of parts are well fitted to excite this idea.
The swan, confessedly a beautiful bird, has a neck longer than the rest of his body, and but a very short tail : is this a beautiful proportion? We must allow that it is. But, then, what shall we say to the peacock, who has comparatively but a short neck, with a tail longer than the neck and the rest of the body taken together ?
How many birds are there that vary infinitely from each of these standards, and from every other which you can fix, with proportions different, and often directly opposite to each other! and yet many of these birds are extremely beautiful ; when, upon considering them, we find nothing in any one part that might determine us, a priori, to say what the others ought to be, nor, indeed, to guess anything about them, but what experience might show to be full of disappointment and mistake.
And with regard to the colors, either of birds or flowers,- for there is something similar in the coloring of both, whether they are considered in their extension or gradation, — there is nothing of proportion to be observed. Some are of but one single color, others have all the colors of the rainbow; some are of the primary colors, others are of the mixed ; in short, an attentive observer may soon conclude that there is as little of proportion in the coloring as in the shapes of these objects.
Turn next to beasts: examine the head of a beautiful horse ; find what proportion that bears to his body, and to his limbs, and what relations these have to each other; and when you have settled these proportions as a standard of beauty, then take a dog or a cat, or any other animal, and examine how far the same proportions between the head and the neck, between those and the body, and so on, are found to hold. I think we may safely say that they differ in every species ; yet that there are individuals found in a great many species so differing, that have a very striking beauty.