I think I attended school with Horace Greeley two summers and two winters, but have no recollection of seeing him except at the school-house. He was an exceedingly mild, quiet and inoffensive child, entirely devoted to his books at school. It used to be said in the neighborhood, that he was the same out of school, and that his parents were obliged to secrete his books to prevent his injuring himself by over study. His devotion to his books, together with the fact of his great advancement beyond others of his age in the few studies then pursued in the district school, rendered him notorious in that part of the town. He was regarded as a prodigy, and his name was a household world. He was looked upon as standing alone, and entirely unapproachable by any of the little mortals around him. Reading, parsing, and spelling, are the only branches of learning which I remember him in, or in connection with which his name was at that time mentioned, though he might have given some attention to writing and arithmetic, which completed the circle of studies in the district school at that time; but in the three branches first named he excelled all, even in the winter school, which was attended by several young men and women, some of whom became teachers soon after. Though mild and quiet he was ambitious in the school; to be at the head of his class, and be accounted the best scholar in school, seemed to be prominent objects with him, and to furnish strong motives to effort. I can recall but one instance of his missing a word in the spelling class. The classes went on to the floor to spell, and he almost invariably stood at the head of the “first class,” embracing the most advanced scholars. He stood there at the time referred to, and by missing a word, lost his place, which so grieved him that he wept like a punished child. While I knew him he did not engage with other children in the usual recreations and amusements of the school grounds; as soon as the school was dismissed at noon, he would start for home, a distance of halt a mile, with all his books under his arm, including the New Testament, Webster's Spelling Book, English Reader, &c., and would not return till the last moment of intermission; at least such was his practice in the summer time. With regard to his aptness in spelling, it used to be said that the minister of the town, Rev. Mr. McGregor, once attempted to find a word or name in the Bible which he could not
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