social requirements of the backwoods settlement.
It was instruction in manners.
One scholar was required to go outside, and re-enter the room as a lady or gentleman would enter a drawing-room or parlor.
Another scholar would receive the first party at the door, and escort him or her about the room, making polite introductions to each person in the room.
How the gaunt and clumsy Abe went through this performance we shall probably never know.
If his awkward movements gave rise to any amusement, his school-mates never revealed it.
The books used at school were Webster
's Spelling Book
and the American Speller
All the scholars learned to cipher, and afterwards used Pike
told me in later years that Murray
's English Reader
was the best school-book ever put into the hands of an American youth.
I conclude, therefore, he must have used that also.
's school Abe was credited with the authorship of several literary efforts — short dissertations in which he strove to correct some time-honored and wanton sport of the schoolboy.
While in Indiana
I met several persons who recalled a commendable and somewhat pretentious protest he wrote against cruelty to animals.
The wholesome effects of a temperate life and the horrors of war were also subjects which claimed the services of his pen then, as they in later years demanded the devoted attention of his mind and heart.
He was now over six feet high and was growing at a tremendous rate, for he added two inches more