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[4] his parents, and such assistance as they could render. He learned much by experience and observation, and acquired the habit of making practical application of what he learned by study. Thus his education at school and at home laid the foundation for the accomplishment of great deeds in his manhood, when his country imposed upon him the necessity.

When men have become famous, it is quite usual to find recorded numerous anecdotes of their sayings and doings in boyhood, which are characteristic of the qualities they exhibited in maturer years. If these are not readily found in family traditions or neighborly gossip, they are sometimes invented, or enlarged from some trivial occurrence which the subsequent fame of the subject alone would cause to be remembered. It is not proposed to repeat or to create any such myths concerning the boyhood of Grant. Doubtless many things occurred to him, and he did many things, which might, if duly recorded, add interest to his biography. But such things occur to all boys, and most of them do something characteristic, only there are but few whose after career renders it worth while to remember or enlarge upon such things to point a moral or adorn a biography.

But Grant's boyhood was not very remakable, and gave no special promise of future greatness, though a phrenologist once said he would be President of the United States. He was a downright, earnest, honest boy, quiet and unassuming, with indications of reserved power to meet emergencies. He was no boaster, but he exhibited self-reliance, persistency, and courage which could not but win the respect of his associates.

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