with his book; would stop and stand for a few moments, then walk on, or pass from one house to another or from one crowd or squad of men to another.
He was apparently seeking amusement, and with his thoughtful face and ill-fitting clothes was the last man one would have singled out for a student.
If the company he was in was unappreciative, or their conversation at all irksome, he would open his book and commune with it for a time, until a happy thought suggested itself and then the book would again return to its wonted resting-place under his arm. He never appeared to be a hard student, as he seemed to master his studies with little effort, until he commenced the study of the law. In that he became wholly engrossed, and began for the first time to avoid the society of men, in order that he might have more time for study.
He was not what is usually termed a quick-minded man, although he would usually arrive at his conclusions very readily.
He seemed invariably to reflect and deliberate, and never acted from impulse so far as to force a wrong conclusion on a subject of any moment.”
It was not long until he was able to draw up deeds, contracts, mortgages, and other legal papers for his neighbors.
He figured conspicuously as a pettifogger before the justice of the peace, but regarding it merely as a kind of preliminary practice, seldom made any charge for his services.
Meanwhile he was reading not only law books but natural