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 The boys of the village may well have been amused. How astounding to find an American boy so little “cute,” so little “smart.” But how delightful also, and how refreshing; how full of promise for the boy's future character! Grant came in later life to see straight and to see clear, more than most men, more than even most Americans, whose virtue it is that in matters within their range they see straight and see clear; but he never was in the least “smart,” and it is one of his merits. The United States Senator for Ohio procured for young Grant, when he was seventeen years old, a nomination to West Point. He was not himself eager for it. His father one day said to him: “ ‘Ulysses, I believe you are going to receive the appointment.’ ‘What appointment?’ I enquired. ‘To West Point; I have applied for it.’ ‘But I won't go,’ I said. He said he thought I would, and I thought so too, if he did. I really had no objection to going to West Point, except that I had a very exalted idea of the acquirements necessary to get through. I did not believe I possessed them, and could not bear the idea of failing.” He did go. Although he had no military ardour he desired to see the world. Already he had seen more of it than most of the boys of his
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