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[37] upon the village newspaper for their knowledge of the world without. There were no heretics among them. All the people either cordially embraced, or undoubtingly assented to the faith called Orthodox, and all of them attended, more or less regularly, the churches in which that faith was expounded.

The first great peril of his existence escaped, the boy grew apace, and passed through the minor and ordinary dangers of infancy without having his equanimity seriously disturbed. He was a ‘quiet and peaceable child,’ reports his father, and though far from robust, suffered little from actual sickness.

To say that Horace Greeley, from the earliest months of his existence, manifested signs of extraordinary intelligence, is only to repeat what every biographer asserts of his hero, and every mother of her child. Yet, common-place as it is, the truth must be told. Horace Greeley did, as a very young child, manifest signs of extraordinary intelligence. He took to learning with the promptitude and instinctive, irrepressible love, with which a duck is said to take to the water. His first instructor was his mother; and never was there a mother better calculated to awaken the mind of a child, and keep it awake, than Mrs. Greeley.

Tall, muscular, well-formed, with the strength of a man without his coarseness, active in her habits, not only capable of hard work, but delighting in it, with a perpetual overflow of animal spirits, an exhaustless store of songs, ballads and stories, and a boundless, exuberant good will towards all living things, Mrs. Greeley was the life of the house, the favorite of the neighborhood, the natural friend and ally of children; whatever she did she did ‘with a will.’ She was a great reader, and remembered all she read. ‘She worked,’ says one of my informants, ‘in doors and out of door, could out-rake any man in the town, and could load the hay-wagons as fast and as well as her husband. She hoed in the garden; she labored in the field; and while doing more than the work of an ordinary man, and an ordinary woman combined, would laugh and sing all day long, and tell stories all the evening.’

To these stories the boy listened greedily, as he sat on the floor at her feet, while she spun and talked with equal energy. They ‘served,’ says Mr. Greeley, in a passage already quoted?, ‘to awaken in me a thirst for knowledge, and a lively interest in learning and ’

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