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Henry Morton Stanley, Dorothy Stanley, The Autobiography of Sir Henry Morton Stanley, part 1.4, chapter 1.5 (search)
ould have mildewed in Wales, because, with some knowledge of my disposition, I require great cause to break away from associations. Unknown to myself, and unperceived by anyone else, I had arrived at the parting of the ways. Unconsciously I had contracted ideas about dignity, and the promise of manhood was manifest in the first buds of pride, courage, and resolution; but our school-master, exposed to moods of savage temper, and arbitrary from habit, had failed to notice the change. In May, 1856, a new deal table had been ordered for the school, and some heedless urchin had dented its surface by standing on it, which so provoked Francis that he fell into a furious rage, and uttered terrific threats with the air of one resolved on massacre. He seized a birch which, as yet, had not been bloodied, and, striding furiously up to the first class, he demanded to know the culprit. It was a question that most of us would have preferred to answer straight off; but we were all absolutely i